author

Meet Michele McAvoy!

Michele McAvoy Headshot

Michele McAvoy is a children’s book author from New Jersey. As a child, she read Judy Blume and drew Garfield comics. For her 10th birthday, she asked for a pink typewriter. Michele always loved the smell of new books. Now all grown-up (typewriters near obsolete) she loves bringing joy to children through her own books. The Gorilla Picked Me! is based on a true story from her childhood. Michele’s debut children’s book My Superhero Grandpa is the recipient of a Children’s Moonbeam Book Award.

The Gorilla Picked Me! is currently on sale for pre-orders on the Native Ink Press website. Pre-order copies will be autographed by the author and mailed on release! Get your copy today!

Connect with Michele on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

 

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:

The Gorilla Picked Me!

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Dr. Rob Burton

Dr. Rob Burton was a professional sociologist for over 25 years at the University of Exeter, the Open University and the University of Plymouth. Now semi-retired Rob works in Nanjing, China teaching English and writing novels.  He has authored many academic articles and recently published, with a Chinese co-author, a crammer for Chinese students who wish to succeed with their IELTS speaking test. His first novel Meditations on Murder is available now on Amazon as an ebook or paperback.

His novels are firmly set in the Urban Fantasy genre where he brings his experiences of traveling the world and his academic interest in Cornwall, the Cornish, and the Celtic world to the fore.

Rob has an 18-year-old daughter back in the UK. Snook Doggy Dog, a female Jack Russell that he took with him to China and features in his books.

 

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR: 

Meditation on Murder
Dr. Burton Unlocks the Secrets of the IELTS Speaking Test
The Castle of the Red-Haired Maidens
The Twelfth Rune
A Taste of English

The Twelfth Rune is his WIP (Work in Progress). He has also written a memoir under a pen name.

Connect with Rob Burton on his website, https://www.rob-burton.co.uk, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

An Interview with Rob Burton

Ink Smith: Let’s get some basics out of the way! What is your favorite food?
Rob: I live in China at the moment so the opportunity for favorite food is limited. But I’m British so a curry would be top of the list, and surprisingly there are good curry houses here in China with authentic Indian cooks. Cheese is hard to get here in China, when I do manage to buy it from the local French supermarket (Auchan) I tend to eat it all in one go. Fish and Chips from a takeaway from my home city of Plymouth, UK is also something I miss big time.

Ink Smith: What is your favorite color?
Rob: Blue – and in particular the blue/turquoise of the sea. Any sea. I have always lived by the sea apart for the last six years living inland in Nanjing, China. I miss the sea, miss surfing in the sea, I miss just looking at the sea as the sun sinks into the horizon.

Ink Smith: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Rob: My writing goes in fits and starts – so I can spend a lot of time writing and then have a bunch of time off writing. I don’t get het up about it. I know that my unconscious brain is working it all out. I’m not a plotter and a planner. I don’t have an office with a big white-board covered in timelines and plots. Nor walls covered in post-it notes. I’m a pantser – my characters drag me through the story. I have the small corner of a two seater sofa of which the dog and the girlfriend have the majority of the space. I also get to write in my office at the school here in China where I teach English in the two office hours I have to do every day as part of my contract.

Ink Smith: What inspired you to write your first book?
Rob Burton: Discounting my PhD and the Chinese book, my first book started, as opposed to published, was Meditations on Murder. I worked in a British University that was trying to make me redundant and the relationship I had with my daughter’s mum was down the tubes so I wasn’t in the best of moods. So a lot of the dark stuff in the book is semi-autobiographical – I was getting my angst out there.

These are the first lines I wrote
Chapter 1.
I wanted to kill someone.
It could be anyone.
I wasn’t holding a grudge.
I just felt like it.
Why not?

Ink Smith: What is your favorite book?
Rob: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (who has recently passed away). I first bought this book in Holland where I was living and working. It was probably around the mid 70’s so the book had just come out. I cannot count how many times I have passed this book on never to get it back. Fortunately, it can often be found in Charity Shops, car boot sales and secondhand bookstores which are all my favorite shopping places.

Ink Smith: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
Rob Burton: Writing about 12th century Scotland for The Castle of the Red-Haired Maidens was interesting. I wanted to get the period details right. For instance in common parlance, we would call the Norsemen that colonized northern Scotland and its islands ‘Viking’s when in fact they were called Lochlannach – which effectively means ‘Scandinavian’. Viking is a verb – ‘They went Viking.’

I also learned about weapons and stuff like that – for instance, chopping off a head with a single sword swipe would be very difficult despite the movies. As I am in China my main research sources are Google and Wikipedia, but also posting questions on the FB writer pages I am on.

Ink Smith: Do you have a specific writing style?
Rob Burton: I have no idea – I do write with my tongue firmly in my cheek and hope that people find the humor in my work, which does also have its darker side. I am not trying to be out and out funny but sometimes even the darkest things can give us a little chuckle.

Ink Smith: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rob Burton: No messages. I have tried to add subliminal BUY MY NEXT NOVEL messages into the text but that doesn’t work. Nor does writing sentences backward so they read like a satanic chant – that didn’t work for The Beatles either.

Ink Smith: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Rob Burton: Reading, reading and more reading. I was one of those kids that dodged school and hid in the City Library reading all day. I failed at school and didn’t get to University until my mid 30’s getting my PhD in my 40’s. I do recall being asked once to join an A Level English Course at a college once on the basis of one of my stories but my parents said no as I was doing an engineering apprenticeship at the time.

Ink Smith: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Rob Burton: My favorite author is James Lee Burke. And in particular his detective series featuring Dave Robicheaux. I find Burke to be a very atmospheric writer. His stories do not seem to be hurried; they are well paced and draw the reader in. Also he answers his fan emails *blush*

Ink Smith: What is your favorite mythical creature?
Rob Burton: 
Although not mythical but revered by millions, Ganesha is my choice. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Ganesha writing.

Ink Smith: What are your current projects?
Rob Burton: 

  1. At the moment my novella The Castle of the Red-Haired Maidens is out with the editor. This is the back-story to Nye the 12th Century Scottish ghost who is a main character in my novel Meditations on Murder. In that book, she tells us she was horribly murdered – the novella covers that incident.
  2. I am also writing the second novel of the series with Charlie Simpson. (I wanted him to be a pretty ordinary man facing extraordinary circumstances – hence the boring name) I am about 50% through it at the moment. The Twelfth Rune is set in Cornwall and uses Cornish myths and legends to drive the story as Charlie has to pit his wits against Modred the arch Arthurian villain to rescue some lost religious artifacts and, of course, save the world again. (Is that too much of a spoiler?)
  3. I also earn some spare cash doing some writing and proofreading for Nanjing University and an English Training school. The translation department sends me English translations of works and I have to check the English. Recently, I proofed a book about Karl Marx (still popular here of course) and am working on a book about the various translations of the Chinese classic Dao De Jing by Laozi . (I am hopeless at proofreading my own stuff of course.)

Ink Smith: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Rob Burton: Write Like A Bastard Everyday – if I am not working on the novel, I am either blogging, writing on Facebook, or doing paid writing for other people. It’s not my main source of income but provides some extra cash.

Ink Smith: If you had to do it all over again, what would you change in your latest book?
Rob Burton: I would probably pay for a developmental editor to have a look at it. I made the mistake, being a proofreader myself, I doing my own editing and then publishing on KDP. A few mistakes were mentioned to me. Then I looked at it again after a few months and it was blindingly obvious it needed to be looked at professionally. Also, I was personally uncomfortable with having a substandard work out with my name across it – so it was also a matter of pride. So it’s now been edited and I have re-published it and I am happy now. But maybe a developmental edit could have made it even stronger than it is (currently it does have 5-star reviews on Amazon)

Ink Smith: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers
Rob Burton: Readers if you enjoy indie writers who offer their work at good prices and you enjoy what you read, please remember to go back and give the author a review – good or bad – reviews are the indie authors lifeblood and they help new readers find the new writers.

If this article has peaked your interest like it has ours, stop by Rob’s social media pages (https://www.rob-burton.co.ukFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ), or better yet, stop by his Amazon (Amazon UK) pages and pick up a copy or two of his books!

In addition, if anyone happens to be passing through Nanjing, China they can have a free audience with Rob over a beer and if they have a paper copy of his book he’ll even sign it.


A note to readers from Rob Burton:

Many young writers ask on the Facebook writer’s page that they want to start writing but they don’t know how or what to write. My advice is travel. See the world, have some adventures. Live life.

“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”
― Robert M. PirsigZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

 

 

My Desk

A short, true story, by author Helen Pugsley.

 

I had the stupendous and rare fortune of purchasing my mentor’s home, The Nest, as she named it. June Wilson Read and I shared the only town I want to live in all through my childhood. She has helped me in all things writing since I began. Being in her 80’s she wanted to move closer to family. With her home came her desk. A door laid across two wooden filing cabinets.

“I’m so happy you’re the one getting my house!” she said, “And my writing desk!”

I grinned through that last part. I was and am madly in love with the sun-drenched cottage but as soon as a replacement could be found I had every intention of throwing the door down a ditch and stacking the filing cabinets on top of each other to save on floor space. I could use one of the nice metal desks my family keeps in the garage until I got the guts and finances to purchase an antique roll-top!

But winter came…

First, my mother said, “You’re going to trade wood and good memories for cold steel?!”

Being porous, wood absorbs a lot of things. That’s why I won’t use wooden cutting boards. As well as beef blood I hope wood sops up talent! “Ack! Fine. I don’t feel like moving the heavy summagun anyway,” I reasoned to her.

Next, there was going to be a washer dryer set there, right in my dining room.

“But Dad! Actually having a desk will keep me from writing in bed!” A terrible habit. Guess where I penned this?

“You should really quit doing that! But find somewhere else. The washer and dryer will go here.” You can’t argue too much when someone is financing the labor and the appliances.

However, the contractor inadvertently took my side. “A water line on an exterior wall? Are you crazy?!” The huge, rectangular window is amazing for gleaning enough natural light to write by until twilight. It is not so great for keeping water lines above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A stackable apartment sized washer/dryer will now set next to my oven.

When she left she handed me a pile of pelts. June was truly a Wyoming woman. Not knowing what else to do with them, I set them in one corner of the desk in a neat pile with an axe. Later, the axe got moved to my bedside.

A short while ago a neighbor of mine wanted some kittens. In a week she discovered she was horribly allergic. So now Iris and Wilhelm live with me. When they’re not in their heated bed they like to sleep in the pelt pile on my desk. I like to think of it as the kitten annex.

Even newer than the kittens is a kitchen chair I picked up at a second-hand shop for under $10. The silk seat is perfect for resting my feet on when I’m feeling rebellious. I sit with my tooshy on the desk and a notebook in my lap.

One day my mother and I got to looking at the door-desk very carefully and realized it’s probably my closet door. It is literally a part of my home. I can’t just throw it down a ditch! Not when the empty door knob socket is perfect for stringing a laptop cord through! And how could I when that desk is where June Wilson Read penned most of her book, Frontier Madam?! Maybe parts of Whistle Creek and Other Wyoming Tales. Also a score of unpublished works she tells me she keeps in a trunk. How could I throw it down a ditch?! That’s my desk!

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

Book Signing At Niobrara County Library for War & Chess

If you are in the area of Niobrara County Library in Lusk, Wyoming, then make sure to stop by and meet Helen M. Pugsley and grab a copy of her debut novel War & Chess! She’ll even sign it for you. Helen will be at the library on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm!

“Come see me on your way to the county fair!” Helen said.

For more information, check out the event page on Facebook here, or you can check out the library’s webpage. Helen hopes to see you there!

Niobrara County Library
425 S Main St, Lusk, Wyoming 82225

Author Interview with Ashley Townsend

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Ashley: I typically write in my room, surrounded by fluffy pillows and the sound of my writing playlist. But I’m trying not to be such a hermit when I’m in the zone, and so I’ve branched out to coffee shops, Barnes and Noble, and the outdoors to get some fresh air while I create. And what do these places have in common? Coffee goes great with them! I’m good to go as long as I have my music, notes, and coffee—or the “life blood” of champions, as I call it. ^_~

 

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of Chasing Shadows? How long did it take you to write?

Ashley: This has been about a ten-year process that started back in middle school, and Sarah’s story has evolved dramatically since then. It was just a little 8-page creative project I cooked up, and then I added to it over the years as new influences took over and fresh story ideas interested me; I wanted to challenge myself and play around with the gang in Serimone—see how hard I could push them if certain obstacles got in their way—and I am so pleased with the place they took their stories to!

 

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Ashley: The saddest question any bibliophile must answer, especially since I can’t list my own books or characters, even though I love them so much. *sighs dramatically* Okay, here goes nothing:

Anything that Ally Carter touches, and I mean anything, especially her Heist Society trilogy and The Gallagher Girls. This lady has an incredible knack for writing the most hilarious and creative tales imaginable, and I always look forward to her new releases. Follow her on Twitter; she’s a riot!

A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. The author is a good friend of mine (and the best dancer I know!), and her Out of Time series is so packed full of emotion, depth, and understanding of the human condition that it is difficult to put down.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. One word: Arin *sighs*

The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh. I fell in love with this Arabian Nights retelling instantly and then had the pleasure of meeting the author at Comic-Con last year. She is not only incredibly intelligent, but also hilarious and sweet.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. This book, and the entire trilogy, is just—wow. A dark gothic and emotional retelling of several of my favorite classic tales (like Frankenstein), and she has such a knack for drawing you into Juliet’s story and the world she created. This series is a must if you enjoy any gothic literature.

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Meet Ashley Townsend

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogy, Defying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016.

Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

 

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Author Interview with Grant Elliot Smith

Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

I like to write at night when the house is quiet either at my desk or in bed.

My writing process is old school pen and paper. After a writing session, I sit down at my computer to type it out. This gives me another chance to revise as I transition the words to the computer.

 

How did you come up with the idea of this book? How long did it take you to write?

Rathen: The Legend of Ghrakus Castle is a story that has been in my head from when I was about thirteen. I revised it to make it a deeper story and created the characters that would go on the adventure. I would say when I was younger I had a strong imagination.

Writing the book took about three years and another year to revise it the way I wanted it.

 

Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Piers Anthony is an author that caught my interest from an early age. From thirteen I read many of the books from his XANTH series. I enjoyed the fantasy aspect and Mr. Anthony’s great imagination.

H.P. Lovecraft is another author who captured my imagination with his style, story, and world creation.

 

Have other questions for our authors? Let us know!

 

Meet the Author

Grant Elliot SmithOriginally from the Midwest, Grant Elliot Smith loved to read from an early age. Saving up his allowance, he spent it all at the local bookstore buying up as much as he could from the fantasy section. His first interest was poetry, which he wrote voraciously; and some of his early work, from as far back as the 1980s, can be found in various poetry anthologies.

Completing four university degrees, including a Masters in Sociology from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, Smith has lived and worked around the world, spending a number of years in Japan. The sights and sounds from the various cultures he has seen helps to fuel his imagination for writing.

Meet Grant Elliot Smith

Grant Elliot Smith

Originally from the Midwest, Grant Elliot Smith loved to read from an early age. Saving up his allowance, he spent it all at the local bookstore buying up as much as he could from the fantasy section. Writing has always been a passion of his.

His first interest was poetry, which he wrote voraciously. Some of his early work, from as far back as the 1980s, can be found in various poetry anthologies.

Completing four university degrees, including a Masters in Sociology from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, Smith has lived and worked around the world, spending a number of years in Japan. The sights and sounds from the various cultures he has seen helps to fuel his imagination for writing.

His most recent work, Rathen: The Legend of Ghrakus Castle is a fantasy novel about Rathen, a former Captain in King Delvant’s army. Rathen has retired to a quiet backwater town after the Kingdom’s forces were dissolved following the King’s sudden death. After being recruited to lead a band of fighters, healers and mages to dispel brigands from his lands Rathen, and his ex-gladiator best friend Bulo, begin to hear stories of magical creatures and numerous dead in the land they are tasked with cleansing. Despite these stories, they head for Ghrakus Castle, learning of its dark history on the way.

When they finally arrive, the full horror of their task becomes clear—with their chances of returning home dwindling, the threat of betrayal awaits.

Submissions Start February 1st!

We are pleased to announce that we will be open for submissions once more! Our submission reading period will start February 1st 2015 and run until July 2015. Any submission submitted before or after these dates will be read during the next submission reading period.

Please review our guidelines before submitting as they have changed.

If you are interested in submitting fiction:

http://ink-smith.com

If you are interested in submitting non-fiction or children’s stories:

http://nativeinkpress.com

Rachel Walter – Guest Author Interview

Rachel Walter

Website: http://rachelwalterauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/rachelwalterauthor
Twitter: http;//twitter.com/rachelw_auth
Book Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Walter/e/B00DX77Q1I
Publisher: Rachel Walter

Question: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Aside from preparing a novel for my editor, I’m working on a Young Adult Contemporary. It’s called Pucked and the story follows two teenagers through their chaotic journey to adulthood. It touches on several real issues that some teens are subjected to, such as Parental Alienation.

Question: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

“You are not alone and you are loved.
That’s a big theme in most of my work.”

Question: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Madeline Sheehan is one of my favorite authors. She doesn’t write the hearts and flowers of life, she writes the raw, gritty romances that hang out in my head like they’re renting space. They’re powerful stories, deeper than I thought they’d be but amazing just the same. I never expected to like the Undeniable Series, it’s not my normal go to genre, and frankly I was afraid of Undeniable just from the blurb. But then she posted the beginning of Unbeautifully, and I knew I had no other choice but to read book one. Because of that, I’m positive I’ll read anything and everything that amazing woman puts out for us.

Question: Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is simple. Go with your gut, but always, always, always find an editor you can trust.

Questions: What are your current projects?

Soul Promise is my number one focus at the moment. It’s book two in my YA series, The Soul Mate Series. Once I send the file to my editor, I’ll be refocusing on my YA Contemporary, Pucked. And because I can’t work on one thing at a time, I have two works on the back burner. One is a romance and the other is a young adult paranormal.