Author Interview: J. S. Strange

I’m delighted to welcome British author J. S. Strange (otherwise known as Jack) for a return visit to my blog. Jack writes zombie apocalypse novels featuring a feisty young woman called Winter Smith. You can read my review of his first novel, Winter Smith: London’s Burning, which he self-published in 2015, as well as an excerpt from when Jack featured as my guest storyteller last year.

He’s due to to publish the second book in the series, Winter Smith: The Secrets of France,  on August 17. Meanwhile, there’s a Goodreads Giveaway to enter for a chance to win a copy of the first book.


Jack, what age did you start writing stories/novels?

I started writing from a young age. I was always writing stories, whether it be brand new ones usually involving all of my cats, or stories adapting existing films and plots. I used to love sitting there drawing and writing, because I found it so much fun. When I was about sixteen, I started writing one book, and I finished it. I wrote it by hand. But then at seventeen I started writing the Winter Smith series.

Have you ever scared yourself with your vivid imagination?

Sometimes I’ve managed to spook myself out with my own thoughts. I’ve grown up on horror, so I’m always picturing horror scenes. It’s easy to imagine something going wrong, and there’s been a few cases where I’ve freaked myself out by convincing myself there is someone in the house with me, or I’ve heard a ghost.

What inspired you to write a zombie apocalypse novel?

It was the first thing I thought I could really tackle and enjoy doing. I’ve watched a lot of zombie films, and always loved them, and I find zombies really thrilling. I’ve heard people say they’re cliché, and it’s a shame to see people rule out zombie novels and films as just another zombie story. I get what they mean. A lot of the books I read never explained where the dead came from, whilst others were just blood and gore and nothing else. I also found that a lot of characters in these zombie books and films weren’t very interesting, and didn’t seem to have anything to them. So I thought, because there’s a whole world of zombies already there, I can have something to base my stories off, but I want to change it as much as possible. I want a zombie novel that has the zombies we recognise, but I wanted characters with personality and depth. I wanted more problems and flaws to these characters than just surviving and avoiding being bitten. I wanted to explain where the dead came from and why. In London’s Burning, I kept a lot of original zombie elements, because I think you need that. You need people to have something to latch onto and recognise. But in The Secrets of France, my next book, I’ve explained where the zombie virus came from, and I’ve also introduced a new breed of zombie.

Why did you choose to have a female as your main character in Winter Smith: London’s Burning and Winter Smith: The Secrets of France and how easy did you find it to write from her point of view?

I’ve always found females empowering, interesting and easy to get along with. I grew up with a lot of female leads, and I love nothing more than a kick ass female doing her thing. I grew up with Lara Croft, and I always found her appealing, because I loved the adventure and I love that it was led by her. She had so much depth and a great backstory. I also really love female led bands and pop stars, because they always seem to have an edge, and it’s great to see them doing their thing. So I just decided that in the process to change the zombie genre, I wanted it female led, as most of the ones I’ve seen or read or heard about are dominated by a muscly man, normally with a fighting background, fighting his way through the dead. I wanted a female character who was young, fresh and flawed, but could handle herself well. Saying that though, I never really went out intending to have a female lead for the sake of a female lead. Winter Smith came to me before the idea, so it was natural to include her as the main protagonist. I didn’t find it too hard to write from her point of view. Most of my friends are female, so I based some traits on some of them, very loosely. I hate stereotypes, and know humans are very complex, so I just tried to avoid making her too ‘girly’, and I tried to forget I was a young man writing as a seventeen year old female. I did read recently, however, that many male authors are now writing under female pen names, especially when writing female leads. Maybe I should have done that with the Winter Smith series. Who knows what would have happened?

Who is your favourite character in the novel and why?

I think my favourite character is Violet Black. She’s quite a flawed young girl, but she’s ballsy and has a lot to say, and knows how to stick up for herself. I love writing her, and I love making her witty and trying to make the reader laugh. I think you either love Violet or you hate her.

What’s your rationale behind choosing Gay and Lesbian Fiction as one of your two book categories for Kindle Direct Publishing, when there are no gay relationships in book one?

There are very subtle hints at sexuality in London’s Burning. I’m a gay author, and it took me a while to discover who I was and who I liked. When I was sixteen/seventeen, I mostly knew I liked guys, but there would be days where I would feel conflicted, and thought I liked girls, too. So writing sixteen/seventeen year olds, I had that in mind. So Winter Smith is trying to work out who she likes and who she is. I plan to explore the LGBT themes a bit more in books two and onwards. They’re not key parts of the story, at least not yet, but they’re there. I also chose the gay and lesbian genre because I’m a gay author, so I thought it might be good to try and fit in that category, in case people are looking for works written by authors in the LGBT community. I also thought that maybe, amongst all the erotica and romance novels, a zombie novel would stick out as well.

Do you intend to stick with this genre after you’ve finished the Winter Smith series?

I plan to write another two or three Winter Smith novels. There will definitely be a third, and more than likely a fourth, but I think the fourth might be the last one. I don’t plan to stick with the zombie genre. I think I need a break from that. As I mentioned earlier, people tend to write off the zombie genre as nothing new. But whenever I have tried to write something fun, it always has dark twists to it. I think I’d like to move into thriller writing, and I probably will stick to the horror genre, too, as that’s my favourite genre, and most of my ideas have horror to them. But I’d like to write some young adult novels, as well as possibly an erotic novel in the future. I want to try everything last least once. I need to find what works for me. Right now, horror and thriller seems to be the right thing for me. We’ll see!

How do you organise your writing time?

I don’t! I struggle. I need a place in the quiet to write, where I can’t be disturbed. But when you live in a house with TV’s playing programmes and hoovers going off, and people asking me questions, I find it really hard. I tend to write whenever I can. Sometimes it’ll be a chapter, other times it’ll be a page, then I’ll manage to find ten minutes. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I can write from morning until afternoon, but that’s very rare! I’m hoping it improves when I figure my life out and get my own space!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A bit of both! I had the whole plot written out for London’s Burning, but with The Secrets of France, I kept writing until every kink was ironed out and I knew where I was going, and how to get from book two to book three. With other works, I have the plot loosely planned out, remember the key points, and just write.

Why did you decide to self publish rather than publish traditionally?

I tried! Believe me, I tried. I submitted Winter to literally every publisher I could find. I still submit it now. Every rejection letter I got through was disheartening, mixed with happiness that I’d even had a reply. I know this is my first work, I’m young, and hopefully there’s plenty of opportunity for work to be published in the future. I think I knew I wanted to get Winter Smith out there, and I wanted people to read the story, so I self published. I’m quite good at marketing, to a certain extent, and I enjoy promoting myself and my work, so I wasn’t too worried about self publishing. I do think, though, that Winter Smith will be the only books I self publish. I hope that my next work over the next few years will get picked up. But maybe four or five years down the line, I’ll find nobody wants me, and I’ll be back at the self publishing game.

What interests do you have apart from writing?

I run a videography and website design company, as my background is in television programme editing. I enjoy film making, and I hope one day to write a short film, feature film or a television series. As I grow up, though, I realise that a lot of this work is very much about who you know, and coming from a small town, I know nobody, so whether or not that happens is another question. I also run a clothing company, because I like being creative and being able to design something.

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Hopefully with my own successful business that I can live off, and earn decent money from. As well as that, I hope to be traditionally published. It’s one thing I think about daily, and wish to happen.

Author Interview: William D. Holland

Today I’m thrilled to have a chat with my very good blogging friend and fellow author, Bill (William D. Holland). This is a return visit, as Bill was also my guest storyteller in January of this year, when he shared an excerpt from his paranormal crime thriller Shadow Over the Hangman’s Noose, the third book in his “Shadows” series.

Welcome back to my blog, Bill…

Very exciting, being interviewed by someone I respect greatly, so thank you Sarah, and hello to my new friends across The Pond.  Sarah has tossed a few questions my way, some softballs, some very hardballs indeed, so I’ll try to answer them all with my trademark bluntness and honesty.

My pleasure, Bill, the respect is mutual and may you gain many more friends from over my side of The Pond 🙂 Now for those softballs and hardballs…


Bill, was there a defining moment when you decided to become a freelance writer, or did life decide it for you?

Oh my goodness, Sarah, let’s see.  I had always wanted to be a writer, dating back to my college days, but as trite as it may sound, life had other plans for me . . . and then I managed to get in my own way for a number of years, blocking any possible progress.  So the turning point you are asking about came eight years ago when I realized that the teaching profession, after eighteen years, was not what I envisioned it being.  It was moving in a direction I could not live with, and so one day I tossed my keys to the principal of the school and told her to have a good life.  The next day I declared myself to be a writer.  I had no financial safety net and not one clue how to actually be a freelance writer, but by God that’s what I told the world . . . I am a writer!!!

Before you started your blog “Artistry with Words”, you had a blog titled “The Happy Life as an Alcoholic” and 5 years ago you self-published a 52-page eBook titled Loving life as an alcoholic. Why did you equate the words “happy” and “loving” with the alcoholism and what made you decide to kick the addiction?

The second question is the easy one to answer: I decided to begin recovery because I was miserable and I didn’t want to die.  It’s been over ten years now and I still don’t want to die.

Happy and loving?  Without alcohol dictating my every move in life, I am now free to enjoy life and love myself and others, and that’s what I try to do daily.  I love life; always did when I was younger, and now that I’m not drinking I love it again.

As a side note, I no longer write in that “alcohol” blog because I don’t want to be known as a writer who only writes about addiction.  I’m so much more than a recovering alcoholic.  I’m not a writer who writes about addiction, nor am I just a writer who is recovering.  I prefer to think of myself as a spiritual being having a human experience.

You’ve self-published 15 full-length books, although I counted 26 publications in all, if you include the shorter publications. Did you ever submit any of your works to traditional publishers, or did you decide to self-publish from the start?

No, I didn’t start out self-publishing.  When I began writing novels, my goal, and my dream, was to be picked up by a major publishing firm, and then fame and fortune would follow shortly after that.  My first three novels were pitched to many, many publishers, to no avail.  After that I decided the publishing game had changed, and my best chance at any exposure was to simply self-publish.  I have no regrets, by the way.   I love writing, so even if my circle of followers is relatively small, and sales are modest, I still get to do what I love doing, and that is writing and telling a story.

And without trying to sound all Pollyanna, if I didn’t make a penny on my novels, I would still write them.


So far I’ve read and enjoyed (in a nail-biting sense of the word) your novel Shadows Kill, which you describe as “Death Wish” meets “Silence of the Lambs” and is the first book in your Shadow Thriller series. Why does someone as mild-mannered, peace-loving, and gentle as you choose to write such dark and visceral fiction?

There are two influences, actually.  When I was a child the famous serial killer, Ted Bundy, was our paperboy (he delivered newspapers to homes in our neighbourhood).  Once it was discovered that he was a serial killer, it was only natural to become fascinated by the dynamics of an evil human being appearing so normal, and Bundy did, in fact, appear very normal.

I then became fascinated by the concepts of “Good and Evil.” What if there is a real entity of Evil?  What if it invaded the bodies of humans and guided them on evil lives?  And what if there were those among us who are chosen to fight Evil?

That is the basis for my Shadow Series of novels.

With which of your literary characters do you identify the most and why?

That would be Tobias King, the main character in Resurrecting Tobias.  It is as close to an autobiography as I am likely to write.  Toby is me and I am Toby.  A great deal of the story is fictional, but the spirit of the story, and the spirit of Toby . . . well, read it and you’ll catch a glimpse of me growing up, maturing, falling, and finally finding happiness.

Are all of your novels set in your home town of Olympia near Washington? If so, how much artistic license do you take with the setting; in other words, would locals recognise the locations? And (you don’t have to answer this last bit) are your literary characters composites of people you know, plus bits of yourself?

I would say 90% of my novels take place in Olympia. The only exception, really, was Resurrecting Tobias, which takes place in a number of different locations, but they are all locations I have visited or lived in.  And really, I take very little artistic license with Olympia at all.  Locals would most definitely recognize streets and actual businesses that I write about.

Characters are definitely composites of people I have known, or do know.  I’ve mentioned this before: I am basically a lazy writer when it comes to inventing characters and doing research for locations.  I write what I know about almost all of the time, and that includes people.  I’ve lived sixty-eight years and during that time I have met some fascinating people.

This year you’ve taken a break from novel-writing to concentrate on self-publishing 3 colouring (coloring) books, which I believe have yielded some healthy local sales, especially at the farmers’ market where you also sell quails eggs and herbs. Why have you diversified into producing colouring books and would you advise other novelists to diversify rather than focus on one area of creativity?

There were a few reasons for the coloring books. I wanted another item I could sell at the markets, so I did one for each of the two cities where the markets are located (their histories) and one about urban farming.

The second reason was because I had spent the better part of the four previous years writing novels that were dark and gloomy, and it was affecting me in a negative way.  I could sense my mood darkening and that is not a good thing for this boy.  Alcoholics should not spend too much time in the darkness if it can be avoided.

Finally, I switched gears because I felt my novel-writing was getting a bit stale.  I needed a break from my characters and I suspect they needed a break from me.

Would I recommend diversification?  Definitely if you are a freelance writer who needs the income from your writing endeavours.  And truthfully, I recommend a switching-of-gears for any writer from time to time. I think it helps a writer to grow when a new challenge is faced, and I think it helps a writer to remain fresh in his/her writing. Staleness is an easy trap to fall into, and a comfortable place to be.  I’ve seen quite a few well-known authors fall into that trap, when they should have retired five years earlier.

Who in your life has inspired and/or influenced you the most?

You said “in your life” so my answer is about life in general, and that person would definitely be my father.  He died many years ago, when I was nineteen, but the lessons he taught me are still with me today.  I still miss him greatly and it’s almost been fifty years since I saw him last.

His influence?  Hard-work….focus….treating others with respect….never complain….find answers, not excuses….family and friends are treasures and should always be protected….get the most out of your talent and then push for more….these are things which will be with me until I join him in the next realm.

Who is your favourite author?

There are three who have influenced me greatly: Harper Lee, James Lee Burke, and John Steinbeck . . . master storytellers, exquisite creators of scenes, and an ability to see the grimy, gritty underbelly of life, in very realistic ways, without glorifying it.

What is your next project?

I’m currently on the second draft of my next “Shadows” novel, this one called “Shadows Fall on Rosarito.” That will be the fourth in that paranormal-thriller series.  And I’m halfway through the fifth in that series.  The working title for that one is currently “Shadows Embrace Mary and Her Little Lamb.”  Once those two books are finished I’ll get to work on a “coming of age” story about my life during the 60’s with my best friend Frank.  It will be dedicated to Frank because, well, he’s dying of cancer right now and it’s important, to me, that he be immortalized.  Good people always should be, don’t you think?

Thank you so much for the questions, Sarah.  I hope others find my answers interesting.  If they want, they can find me on my blog at, and all of my novels can be found on that blog as well as at Amazon under the name William D. Holland.

Again, thank you!

Interview: Meet Author, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I’m thrilled to welcome author, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to my blog for a second time, on this happy occasion to interview her about her writing.  For those of you who missed her guest storyteller post back in November of last year, here’s a recap of her biography.

Kansas City native Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is a woman of Jewish descent and the granddaughter of Eastern European immigrants. She has a close personal connection to Jewish history, which has been a recurring theme throughout much of her writing. Growing up, she was heavily influenced by the Sholom Aleichem stories, the basis for Fiddler on the Roof. Her novels Please Say Kaddish for Me, From Silt and Ashes and As One Must, One Can were born of her desire to share the darker side of these beloved tales—the history that can be difficult to view, much less embrace.

She is also the author and illustrator of This, That and Sometimes the Other, an eclectic anthology of short stories.

Before becoming an author, Rochelle attended the Kansas City Art Institute, where she studied painting and lithography. Her preferred media are pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor. Her artwork is featured on the covers of her books and within them as well. Her coffee table companion book to her trilogy which will feature character portraits, A Stone for the Journey, is due out in the spring 2017.

Rochelle maintains a blog called Addicted to Purple where she facilitates the internationally popular flash fiction challenge known as Friday Fictioneers. She and her husband, Jan, raised three sons and live in Belton, Missouri. When she takes a break from writing and illustrating, Rochelle enjoys swimming, reading and dancing.


All three of your novels in “The Havah Gitterman Saga” are wonderfully rich in historical detail. How did you approach your research? And how much information did you already have to hand, due to your Jewish background?

Wonderful questions to which there are no simple answers. One would think that growing up Jewish, I would have come into these novels with more ammunition. However this is not the case. We were secular Jews so I really didn’t know a lot about liturgy and traditions.  

When I was born in 1953, memories of the Holocaust were fresh in everyone’s minds. The massacres called pogroms in Eastern Europe that occurred forty years prior to Hitler took a backseat.

I credit my mother with what little knowledge I had of my Eastern European heritage. Her father came from Poland in the early 1900’s as she put it “at the age of 19 with nothing but the shirt on his back and became a self-taught tailor.” She said he didn’t know his own birthdate because the pogromists customarily destroyed the synagogues first, which is where birth and death records were kept.

I’m grateful for the internet, which holds a wealth of information and Google is my friend. Wikipedia is a good place to start. Such sites as Jewish Gen and Jewish Virtual Library are also great resources as well.

Jewish Gen has a holiday calendar that was invaluable for keeping dates straight and true to life. It was how I knew that Bayla’s birth on December 1st, 1899 was first night of Hanukkah. When she celebrated her 8th birthday in 1907 it also fell on the first night of Hanukkah.

Old newspapers are wonderful resources. One website I used, especially for the third in the Saga, AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN, is It’s full of treasures from a newspaper called “The Kansas City Journal.” The character of Judge William H. Wallace came from those pages. I couldn’t have invented a better nemesis for Havah.

What inspired you to write the first novel, Please Say Kaddish For Me, and did you plan from the beginning for it to be a standalone novel or part of a trilogy?

In the beginning, I planned to write my grandfather’s story, but no one in the family seemed to know much about him aside from what I already knew about him. Yet, I wanted to tell the dark side of Fiddler on the Roof. That part of history that few, including some of my Jewish relatives, know nothing about.

There is a version of the mourner’s Kaddish, the prayer said in honor of the dead that we recite in my synagogue on Yom Kippur. After each line, the name of a site of persecution is said such as Treblinka, Auschwitz, etc. One of those places that I knew little about, until the beginning of my research, was Kishinev.

Curiosity piqued, I began my research trail. One of the first things I learned was that the bloodbath on Easter weekend 1903 took the lives of at least 50 Jews, including children. Not only that, but it was the first internationally recognized pogrom. Since it was in what’s now known as Moldova and not Poland, it became clear that this story had nothing directly to do with my grandfather. (I did name a character in the third book Sam Weiner after him.)

Mind you, when I started PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME I was greener than grass in May. I had no clue how to write, I only knew I had a story to tell. As good fortune would have it, I’d met a fellow Hebrew student Annie Withers who was also a professional writer. Thanks to her, I ended up in three different critique groups.

I can’t tell you how many revisions I did as I learned the craft. I mean I really can’t, because I lost count a long time ago.

I didn’t see myself writing a second novel. I thought that once I completed PSKFM my work would be finished—until I read about the pogrom in Odessa, Ukraine in 1905 and the response of the Kansas City Jewish community. So began my work on FROM SILT AND ASHES. As I learned more about writing and about my characters I found myself bouncing between the two novels and, practically, writing them simultaneously.

At one point, I thought I’d completed both of them and began work on AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. About 60,000 words into it, I landed a contract for PSKFM and FSAA with agent Jeanie Loiacono.

When I picked the third novel back up to complete it, my characters had changed so much over the course of the stories that I whacked a good 40,000 and, for all intents and purposes, started over. 

Who are your favourite three characters in the saga, and why?

This is a tough question because the answer can vary from day to day and I have so many characters it’s tough to choose only three. Of course I adore Ulrich, Havah’s dear friend and benefactor, however I’ll have to go with the three who have grown and changed the most over the course of the three novels that cover a ten year period.

Havah Cohen Gitterman, the main character and lynchpin of the trilogy, has her childhood ripped from her in one night. She’s often selfish and headstrong. I really like her because she’s also forgiving and willing to learn. No matter what curveballs life—or a cruel author—throws her way, she’s determined to rise above them. For example, when she loses the manual dexterity in her right hand she becomes proficient with her left. She has a mother’s heart, big enough to accept her daughter’s blindness and adopt three traumatized orphans as well.

Lev Gitterman is one of those three orphans and Havah’s nephew by marriage. In PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME he started out as a nine-year-old boy who was only meant to be mentioned once or twice. However through FROM SILT AND ASHES and AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN he took it upon himself to become one of the most important people in the books. There is a tenderness about him that I love. He’s able to work through the trauma and abuse that have beset him his entire life and rise above it.

The third character I have to include is Nikolai Derevenko, a Russian doctor. I only meant for him to be Ulrich Dietrich’s sidekick. Ironically, I’d have to say that, of all of the many characters, Nikolai is the most complex. That alone makes him one of my three favorites. Over the course of the three novels, he goes from being a confident surgeon to a haunted man who has seen too much. His past and present collide in the third book. Writing his redemption was a great experience.

It’s unusual for a publisher to allow an author to illustrate her own book cover. What is your artistic background? And do you consider yourself primarily an artist or a writer, or both in equal measure?

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. According to my mother, no piece of paper in the house was safe. Everything had to be drawn on. As far as training is concerned, I attended two years at the Kansas City Art Institute before deciding I had different ideas about art than my instructors. In retrospect, I was a bit hasty and quite immature. I do consider myself both illustrator and author in equal measure.

While working on a book, how do you organise your writing time?

Organise? Organisation has always been a challenge for me. I’m pretty spontaneous and tend to flit from one activity to another. However, before I retired from full time employment, I did have to be quite disciplined. Since my hours as a cake decorator were mostly early morning to late afternoon, I would rise between three and four in the morning to write.

Since I wrote the major bulk of AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN post retirement, my time was more flexible. However, as a creature of habit, I found that my best writing time is before sunrise.

With the first draft, do you edit as you go, or save it until the end?

When I wrote PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME the first time, I wrote it from beginning to end. Being a novice I considered it finished. In retrospect, I had a lot to learn. With AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN I edited as I went. In fact, when it comes to editing, I’m guilty of editing my emails and even text messages.

Are you easy to live with when absorbed in a project?

If you asked my husband Jan, I think you’d probably get a resounding, “No!” He’s put up with many late suppers and the absentee wife.

Who is your favourite author, and why?

Without question, my favorite author is Geraldine Brooks. She is the maven of historical fiction. Her books PEOPLE OF THE BOOK and CALEB’S CROSSING are brilliant examples. Her extensive research and use of the language of the times give authenticity to her work. Her characters tend to be three dimensional and practically walk off the page. I want to be her when I grow up.

What are you working on at the moment, and do you have any ideas for future projects?

The next work in progress is A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY, which will be a coffee table companion book for Havah’s trilogy or as my publisher has dubbed it, “The Havah Gitterman Saga.” The plan is for the book to be hard-back containing at least 180 8”x 10” full color pictures of scenes from the novels as well as character studies.

When my publisher, after seeing a few of those character portraits I’ve posted on my blog, asked if I would be interested in producing a coffee table book, I didn’t have to think twice. This is really the fulfilment of a childhood dream.

Prior to obtaining your first deal with a traditional publisher, did you ever consider self-publishing?

No, not really. However with seeing the success of such novels as THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, that was ultimately picked up by a traditional publisher and made into a movie, I might reconsider on a future project.

Do you have any writing tips for aspiring authors?  

Before you can break the rules, you have to know the rules. Be willing to listen and learn. Nobody’s first draft is perfect. (I’m not sure the 20th draft is perfect.)

To be a writer, one should first be a reader.

Be aware that these days, the author must be willing to be his or her own publicist. Social media is important. Set up a blog and interact with your commenters. Build your brand. Join blog writing challenges. Not only are they wonderful for honing your craft, but for networking as well.

Know your audience. Today’s readers have short attention spans. Most won’t read such classics as GONE WITH THE WIND or EAST OF EDEN (more’s the pity) where there’s a slow build to the action. The action must begin in the first chapter.

If you truly believe in your writing, don’t give up! To quote agent Terry Burns, who, incidentally turned my novel down in 2008:

“Publishing is a process of trying to have the right product in the right hands at exactly the right time, hitting that window of opportunity while it’s still open. … 85% of all authors give up or just put it out themselves with little success. The publishing world belongs to those who are persistent, grow their craft, and who do the extraordinarily hard work of getting established in business.”


Available in print and on Kindle

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Review: Please Say Kaddish For Me

Review: From Silt and Ashes

As One Must, One Can

November’s Guest Storyteller, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An Interview With Poet Sarah Potter

For those of you who want to know more about Japanese poetic forms, do read my guest post on Bill Holland’s wonderful blog. Whilst there, perhaps you might like to have a go penning a Japanese-style poem of your own in “comments”.

Artistry With Words


Well, I always feel bad for the poets out there, because I feel like you get the short end of the stick on my blog.  Truth is I know next to nothing about poetry, so I figure it’s better that I just stay quiet about it rather than embarrass myself.

But today you poets are in for a surprise.  I have an expert in the figurative house, and her name is Sarah Potter, and she has agreed to discuss Japanese Poetic Forms with you today.

Let it never be said that I don’t care about all of you.

And now, here’s Sarah!

Sarah Potter “Waning” Lyrical About Japanese Poetic Forms

Thank you so much, Bill, for inviting me as a guest on your wonderful blog. I’m both excited and a bit daunted, as this is the first time a fellow blogger has asked me to write…

View original post 1,081 more words

Play Genre Slip-n-Slide: My Interview with Sarah Potter, Author of “Quirky” Novels

Last week, I visited Leigh Ward-Smith’s blog for an interview all about my quirky novels, inspiration, marketing, and what is next on my writing agenda. To read the full post, click on the link below. Whilst visiting, do have a read of some of Leigh’s wonderfully speculative short fiction, poems, and opinions about things that matter.

Leigh's Wordsmithery

sarah-potter-interview_noah-padgett-cover Sarah’s newest novel, on special Dec. 25 through Jan. 1, 2017! Check out her Kindle Count-down deal and the Audio book version.

If you’re like me, you love to pick the brains of all the book-lovers and writers you know.

To that end, I’m very nearly ecstatic to host my very first author interview here on the ol’ Wordsmithery blog. So, without further ado, please join me in welcoming speculative fiction author and blogger Sarah Potter, who recently published a new novel.

*Please note that green typefaces are for emphasis and were supplied by me (that is, Leigh).

sarah-potter-interview_sarah Author walking in the wilds of the U.K.

1. Sarah, for those who might be visiting my blog and/or getting to know you for the first time, could you please introduce your own writing and other literary history, such as your own blog (and how long you’ve been doing that, etc.)?


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