Monday, April 30, 2012

Interview with Nike Chillemi

Author Nike Chillemi wearing a blue blouse


Writing always came easy to me as a means of self-expression. As a preteen and teenage girl I wrote all the requisite poems filled with angst. My poor parents had to sit through my overly dramatic poetry readings. But it's only been in the last six to seven years that I thought of writing fiction for publication. About five years ago, I got really serious about it. I thought I had something the Lord wanted me to say. A message that should be said and could be said in fiction.


Historically, I believe crime fiction has a basic morality to it. In fact, I think the entire genre comes out of the ethos of the Christian west. In crime fiction the hero, traditionally, is the good guy and he or she is hunting the bad guy. The bad guy is usually brought to justice by the end of the story. As a Christian writer, this appeals to me. I also enjoy figuring out what clues to imbed in the story, but in such a way that the reader can't figure them out until the very end.


James Scott Bell was perhaps the first Christian thriller author who influenced me. Then Robert Liparulo, J. Mark Bertrand, Steven James, Sibella Giorello, Eric Wilson, and Ted Dekker. I've gone ga-ga over all of them...written reviews about their novels, plastered Facebook and Twitter with raves. I'm very loyal to writers who stimulate my mind and engage my spirit. I also have a few general market crime fiction authors who have influenced me: Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Barbara Parker, Lee Child.


Keep writing. Don't worry about what it looks like on the page, not in the first draft anyway. Get a story written and put "the end" on it. Join a good critique group like the ones American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) have going. And read the top writers in your genre, the ones who have won literary contests and who are best sellers.                               


I'm a combination of the two. I keep a file of prospective story ideas. At the moment I've got about fifty possible stories, most of them so horrid they will never see the light of day. However, there are a handful that I add to and develop. Eventually I will have complete synopsis, sometimes quite a long and detailed synopsis. But it's not even close to an outline. Outlining is way too plotter for me. I take that detailed synopsis and start writing seat of the pants. I do keep a file, which is a summary of finished chapters. I'll note details that might be useful later in the story. That way I won't have to go back and reread an entire chapter to check on a detail.

A Christmas tree is shown in the background, a young blonde woman is shown in the foreground


Goodbye Noel, the second in the Sanctuary Point series, released in December. The story unfolds during the Christmas and New Year's vacation (1946/47) on the south shore of Long Island, NY. Even though it's set at this time, it can be read at any time of year. It's about new beginnings, rising out of the ashes and starting again. It's about friends and loved ones helping each other. It's about honesty in a love relationship, about trust and fidelity. 

Perilous Shadows, the third novel in the series will release in mid-July of this year. It's set in August of 1947 and opens with the murder of a college coed.


I like all of the heroes and heroines in my novels. If I had to choose, it would be either Katrina Lenart or Det. Ian Daltry in Goodbye Noel. Of the two, I'd have to choose Katrina. She is beautiful and smart. One of the most endearing things about her is the love she shows for an orphaned infant whose mother was the first murder victim. Katrina also has a deep faith, nothing surface.


In the first novel, Burning Hearts, my hero Lorne Kincade had been an operative on secret missions for General George Patton in France during WWII. The most interesting thing I learned was that not only did General Patton orchestrate such covert missions, but that in Germany he also tried to sneak an entire tank detachment behind enemy lines.


I've written three novels in the Sanctuary Point series. Burning Hearts and Goodbye Noel are already out. The third one, Perilous Shadows will release this July. There will be a fourth novel in the series, but readers will have to wait for that one. I also have a contemporary romantic thriller, Network Then Die, which will release toward the end of this year. So, you see, I've been quite busy.


The authors of this blog are affiliates. Sometimes, we will include links in our blog posts. When visitors to this site purchase items from using links in our posts, the authors of this blog earn a percentage of the sales. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Interview with Teric Darken

Interview with edgy fiction author, Teric Darken.


It's always been in my blood. I used to write short stories as a kid, and when in high school, I found it to be a great way to relieve myself of all the teen angst. The whole she-bang simply kept snowballing, and... Here I am.


Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Robert Liparulo, C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, Dean Koontz...


Disc jockey Carter "The Cart-Man" Jackson has been climbing the stairway to heaven - keeping his life as simple as possible by living from one song to the next. He had the world by the tail, coming from a family of power, prestige and politics... until he let it all go.

Killer Queen is burning up the highway to hell - terrorizing a town in her crimson-red stilettos by holding random men at gunpoint. She had nothing except a dad who abused her... and now she has nothing to lose.

KILL FM 100 is the visual soundtrack of two opposing lives colliding head-on at a destined radio station. As Killer Queen puts the DJ under the gun during his night shift, she begins to question who the real hostage is as she confronts the demons of her past. And as the DJ shines his light into her darkened world, a few shadows of his own begin to loom from his closet.

A full-throttle storyline, injected with one of the most unique twists ever unleashed, KILL FM 100 is the thriller that reads like a soundtrack.

The Night Shift Edition features ten extra chapters not found in the original storyline. My newest offering, U-TURN KiLLuR (Death Row Edition) is lurking right around the corner.


Four books total: KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition), U-TURN KiLLuR (Death Row Edition), Wickflicker, and my completed and forthcoming middle-grade readers book, The Sisterly Shenanigans of Doopie Piper and Sissy Pants, which will be released under my given name. (Note: The first editions of KILL FM 100 and U-TURN KiLLuR are not included.)


Playing music and hanging out with my wife and children.





Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interview with B.J. Robinson

photo of author BJ Robinson standing in front of body of water

My third grade teacher submitted a pet story about my dog to the local newspaper, and it was published. This motivated me to write. In later years, my first college essay was published in another local newspaper, and my first penned short story won first prize in Southeastern Louisiana University's fiction-writing competition and was published in their literary magazine, Gambit. This served as validation for me, and I continued to pen poems, short stories, and articles. I developed Southern Superstitions from that prize-winning short story years later. I wrote devotionals and had 12 published in one year. My early success spurred me to continue, and the Lord placed inspiring people along life's path to help encourage me with my writing journey, such as my college creative-writing teacher, my American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) critique group, my Long Ridge writing instructor, and my Christian Writers Guild mentor. I continue to strive to hone my skills and further develop my craft. Learning is a lifelong process.
I love Jerry B. Jenkins, Lynn Austin, Eva Marie Everson, and Chris Fabry. Naomi Musch and Shawna K. Williams are two colleagues at Desert Breeze who inspire me the most. I love their writing styles, and the recent authors who have influenced me are those two. As an avid reader, there are too many to name, but I devour books over the summer months. Though I read and review books year round, I have more time for reading during the summer.

Write what you know and love. Get your story down on paper. Join a great critique group and be ready to edit, layer, and rewrite. When you have finished your story for the first time, you have a rough draft, a great start, but you're not finished. Put the work-in-progress (WIP) away for awhile. Go back to it with fresh eyes and you'll do a much better job of editing and layering. You need conflict, or you don't have a story. Don't be afraid to allow your characters to go through an obstacle course. Continue to hone your skills and craft. Attend writing workshops and conferences. Online classes are offered. I enjoyed taking mine with Christian Writers Guild (CWG).

I write every chance I get, in my spare time, since I work Monday through Friday. I'm a morning person and that's when I do my best writing. I write weekends, holidays, summer vacations, and early mornings. If I'm pushed for a deadline, I write evenings and at night.  

My most recent release, Southern Superstitions, published January 15, 2012, by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc., is a sweet inspirational romantic suspense novel set in Louisiana, developed from my first prize-winning short story in fiction-writing competition at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1988.

Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman's husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, "Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God's hands like she's done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her." God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions. Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God's help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother's mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there's more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Mrs. Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child? 
Favorite sentences: It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or dime declared, "In God we trust."

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions by B. J. Robinson. She says, “Southern Superstitions  is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

 Illuminated Cross image is shown in front of a forest
Rod joined the search party to help investigate his dad's disappearance. It'd disbanded at
nightfall and picked up the search again at daybreak, but they'd found no sign of his dad. Rod
guided a canoe deep into the marshes and swamps. He'd hunted with his father many times in
these wetlands so he knew where to check. No word or sign of his father made the cold,
Christmas season stab like an ice pick, and his heart ached for his mother, left alone.

He slid the canoe through a wall of cypress trees, deeper and deeper into the heart of the
swamp. He figured his father headed for the hills. White cranes flew from the cypress limbs. The
canoe hit a cypress knee, and Rod gently eased it around a few more. The way they stuck out of
the shallow water, like protruding nubs, they reminded him of his grandmother's warning finger
wagging in his face. They could tear a hole in the bottom of a boat. Thank God my boat survived
the lick. Maybe that's what happened to Dad.

Finally, after twelve hours of searching, Rod spotted his dad's pirogue on the side of the
hill, where they'd hunted the previous year. He tied his canoe to a tree limb. "Dad!" He raced to
the dome tent and unzipped the door. "Dad?" The tent looked as if his dad made camp, but hadn't
yet used it. The sleeping bag was still rolled up in a corner. The butt of his dad's 30-30 stuck out
from under a sleeping bag. The supplies were still there. Outside, there was no sign of a
campfire. It looked as though he never got to hunt. There was no sign of him. Where was he?
Rod picked up the rifle and carried it back to his canoe. He left the other items in case his
dad returned looking for them.

They searched until dark. Rod dreaded giving his mother the disappointing news. She'd
worry even more, because the pirogue was in perfect condition and so was the tent. No leaking
pirogue kept him from coming home. The campsite looked peaceful and serene, not like anything
bad had happened, but still there was no sign of his father.

Mom's on pins and needles, yet she clings to her faith and trust in God. I hear her
faithfully pray for Dad's safe return. Maybe she won't fall apart when she hears the news but oh,
how I dread having to tell her.
That depends on what type of novel I'm writing and where it's set. When I wrote Southern Superstitions, I had to do very little research since I'm familiar with the areas I wrote about. I lived in Louisiana, and I'm a Florida transplant, so I can write about those areas. I also write about areas I've vacationed in and part of my research is done while traveling and visiting. If I'm writing about a place I haven't lived or visited, it requires more research. Since I don't write pure historical fiction, I don't complete as much research as someone who does. I may have to research certain items from time to time.

I've learned research can be fun. While writing Southern Superstitions I discovered Louisiana had its own Alcatraz. The state prison is called "The Alcatraz of the South" or "The Farm," but until I read about it, I wasn't aware of its nicknames. I'd heard of Alcatraz and even read about it in books in school, but I'd lived in Louisiana most of my life unaware we had our own. I'd always heard it referred to as Angola. I did very little research for this novel, so this was the most interesting new fact. I wrote most of the novel from previous life experience, such as picking strawberries as a teen to earn extra spending money. I picked them before school in the morning for a local schoolteacher and on my aunt's strawberry farm in Springfield, Louisiana, on Saturdays. As an adult, I gained experience picking edible mushrooms and other edible plants in the woods and hunting box turtles, so I didn't have to research those areas. I chose to write about what I knew to create realistic fiction.

I have two published at this time, Last Resort and Southern Superstitions, one releasing August 15, and another releasing October 15. The first three are all inspirational, romantic suspense. The last one is a YA. My novels are available at, Barnes and, Kobo, Sony, etc.

a smoking gun is shown as well as someone with hands folding near a book, presumably a Bible

Reading. I'm an avid reader and when I'm not working on my own WIP, I'm reading another author's great book. I review them on my blog and Amazon and Barnes and, etc. I also submit them to Long Ridge Writers Group where they gain exposure in a weekly newsletter. I enjoy gardening, traveling, camping, and visiting theme parks.

Please visit me at my blog where I review books and post updates about my own, Blog readers have an opportunity to win free books from time-to-time by commenting on the posts. I'm also on Facebook,

B.J. Robinson is a multi-published, award-winning author of two Christian romantic suspense novels, Southern Superstitions and Last Resort. She makes her home in Florida with her husband and pets, blessed with children, grandchildren, and faith. She's an avid reader and passionate writer. Visit her at Visit her author page at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Interview with Matthew Horn

Matthew Horn sitting in front of fireplace

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING? I recall vividly the desire to write, but I have no idea where it came from.  I was reading The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks when I had this feeling well up inside me that I knew I could describe a scene in a similar fashion.  I stopped mid-chapter and went to my computer.  By the end of the evening, I had a 5-page outline and the first few pages of the first chapter already finished.  I really believe that I had had that story inside of me all these years and just never knew it. 

WHAT AUTHORS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?  Hands down, the most influential were C.S. Lewis and J.B. Phillips.  I strive to to write enjoyable works of fiction that have God not only existing, but playing a real role in my characters' lives just as he does in my life.  I think its possible to read my works and just enjoy them, but for a Christian, I truly hope they speak much louder and on a deeper level.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS?  Don't ever let yourself feel alone as an author.  There are so many people out there who are going through or who have already gone through what you are that it is relatively easy when using the internet to find help to almost every question.  Ask questions and the Lord will lead you to the answers. 

DOES YOUR "REAL JOB" EVER INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?  Come to think of it, it does.  I am a Chief Financial Officer for a small family company, and the experiences I've had with government, lawyers, employees, etc. come into play when describing real situations.  I've never really thought of it, but I really do believe that the experiences I've had with my "real job" have helped me tremendously as a writer.

WHAT DOES YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?  It is absolutely all over the place.  My wife gave birth to our first child, a baby girl, on January 31st so my work and home life have been ridiculous anyway on top of still trying to find time to write.  I'm at work everday by 8 am, I leave at lunch to bring my wife (who works with me) and my daughter to work with me for the afternoon, and then we spend the evening trying to get dinner and get our daughter to eventually go to bed.  I try to find time to write either early in the morning or late at night.  On top of it all, the marketing that goes a long with being an author consumes much of my available time to write.  It's very hectic, but it's also extremely rewarding.

text reads "A Fight for Truth and Justice" a mask is shown on the cover in front of trashcans in what appears to be an alley way.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE.  In September of 2011, Brighton Publishing released my first book, The Good Fight.  It is about a young boy named Jeff who at the age of 9 finds himself alone, abandoned, and in a dark alley at night.  He stumbles into some trouble and has his life saved by a dark-suited vigilante.  The event is traumatic but influential for Jeff who 16 years later finds himself on the cusp of college graduation.  One night he is given the opportunity to save the life of this same vigilante.  He discovers the man's identity only to learn that he is not quite the hero that Jeff hoped he would be.  Jeff becomes the hero's reluctant protege but continues to learn disturbing facts.  Eventually, Jeff must decide whether to wear the dark suit himself to prevent his "hero" from doing something horrible, or to just let things be and live his life as if nothing were wrong.  His decisions will affect his career, his girlfriend, and his life. 

The Good Fight is 200 pages long and is a suspense/thriller novel that received 4 out of 5 stars from Baron Book Review.  The sequel, Nothing Good is Free, is currently under production at Brighton Publishing and will be ready for release this fall. 

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE A STORY?  I would guess that 25% of the time I spend writing a book is research.  It's amazing how many things we generally take for granted in movies are completely untrue.  When you write your hero into a corner, it's easy for the mind to come up with some fantastic method of getting out.  It's the details of getting it done that are difficult.  For example, cars don't explode by shooting the gas tank, and you can't fall 30 feet and expect rolling will help avoid injuries, etc.  A good author really has to take his time and research how these things actually happen before you can write them into your book.  Or maybe you could just watch a lot of Myth Busters, hehe.

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR RESEARCH?  In The Good Fight, there is a scene where Jeff uses a small explosive device that his "hero" built for him.  I felt very strange during the research process because I found myself searching the internet for "bomb building methods."  I was a bit worried that an FBI agent was going to kick in my door and seize my computer.  However, I did learn how to make a small bomb.  I really don't see myself ever needing to have that knowledge, but it was certainly the most "interesting" thing I learned.

HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN? I have 4 competed books: 1 currently published and a second that will be out this fall.  I also have 4 other projects currently being written, and I don't plan on stopping.  I love to write, and I hope one day to have 20 or 30 published books out there.  I love telling stories, and I really hope that everyone will enjoy reading them.

HOW CAN READERS CONTACT YOU AND/OR LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WRITING?  The best place to find me is at  I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, aNobii, YouTube, Bebo, Flickr, LinkedIn, and at several Yahoo Discussion Groups such as ACFW.  I can also be emailed at

To watch the trailer for The Good Fight, click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jennifer Fromke

Today, I'd like to welcome Jennifer Fromke. I've asked her to tell us about her new book, A Familiar Shore. 
Jennifer, thanks for joining us today.


Thanks so much for hosting me! I’m excited to share my first novel with you and your readers today!

The story of Joseph inspired A Familiar Shore. I was studying that point in the story where Joseph stands before his brothers with the power to exact revenge on them or choose to restore the relationship. I wondered what that might look like in a contemporary setting, so that set the wheels in my mind turning. You many not recognize this story in the novel if I didn’t give you this heads up - it was merely an inspiration. Then I saw a stunning photograph taken by a friend. It depicted the bow of a yacht, bowlines swooping toward the dock and a sunset over the water behind it all. This picture gave me Popsie, one of the main characters in the novel. He’s an octogenarian who lives on a yacht, traveling around the southeast, wearing regrets from his past across his shoulders. My main character is his adopted daughter, Meg.

The story begins when Meg, a young lawyer, is hired by a friend of Popsie’s to write his will. But it’s an odd arrangement because Meg is not allowed to meet this client face to face and she must travel to meet his estranged family, deciding on her own, who deserves what in the client’s will.

I think my favorite characters from this novel are a pair of secondary characters. I have a pair of twins who crack me up. They seem a little unreal to begin with, but I think they tend to grow on readers as the story progresses. As a kid, I used to wish I had a twin, so it was fun to write them.

While there is no overt Christian content in A Familiar Shore, the story is informed by my faith and I think the Christian reader will be able to pull Christian themes from the material. The book is aimed at the general market, but is written with all the “taste” of a Christian novel. I feel strongly there is a need for solid stories in the general market, which don’t contain cussing, vampires, graphic sex and detailed violence/gore on the page. I think that’s what I’ve managed to do in A Familiar Shore.

Jennifer, thanks for visiting today.

If we get 12 comments, Jennifer is willing to give away a copy of A Familiar Shore.