Thrilled to have Densie Webb on the Spotlight this week to discuss When Robins Appear

Author Name: Densie Webb

Book Title: When Robins Appear

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: October 20, 2020

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Welcome, Densie! How would you describe WHEN ROBINS APPEAR?

WHEN ROBINS APPEAR focuses on the lives of the Earle family, Deb, Richard, and their teenage daughter, Amanda. The story delves into young love, past love, keeping secrets, and the agonizing decisions women make about forming families. In the end, it’s about how dual health crises challenge a loving, stable family and how, in the end, they are forced to recreate themselves in unexpected ways.

What sparked the idea?

When my daughter was in high school, a classmate of hers had a devastating skateboarding accident. My original thought was to create a story about a skateboarder and his family. But, as often happens, the story wandered far away from that. There are still skateboarders, but they are not the focus of the story. A high-school senior, Amanda Earle and her mother are the main POV characters, told in alternating chapters.

What’s your favorite part about writing? What do you find challenging?

I just love language. I read novels as much for the language as I do for the story. I’m a huge fan of figurative language (metaphors, similes, analogies) and if you read ROBINS, I think you would pick up on that. The most challenging part of writing for me is simply getting it done. I’m the procrastinator queen. Once I sit my butt in the chair and get into it, I’m good. But there’s always this feeling of “Well, if I can’t devote several hours to it, I should wait until I can.” Well, those “several hours” seldom appear and, as a result, I always take much longer to write and edit than I would like.

What about the publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?

It’s always an unpleasant surprise for writers who are first dipping their toes in the publishing waters, just how long it takes to write, edit (even for writers who are much faster than me), get accepted for publication, and then actually make it out into the world. Another eye-opener is how difficult it is to get the attention of readers when there are literally tens of millions of books to choose from on Amazon. After all that effort leading up to publication, garnering reader interest is yet another mountain to climb.

Are you working on a new project?

Yes! I’m actually reworking a story I wrote a while ago about a celebrity stalker and the havoc she wreaks on several people’s lives—not just the celebrity. That one was fun to research. I learned more about stalkers than is probably healthy. Some of the things that the stalker does might seen over the top, but everything she is based on something a real stalker has done. After that, I’m returning to a story I started about a young Irish musician and Texas girl and how their connection evolves over the years.

Where can readers find you?

If you want to connect, ask a question, or just say hi! I’m on several social media outlets:

Websitedensiewebb.com

Emaildensie.webb@gmail.com

Twitter: @dlwebb

Instagram: densiewebbbooks

BookBub: @densiewebb

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2I1DoPF

Amazon: https://amzn.to/355CCsu

You can find WHEN ROBINS APPEAR at any of the links below:

BookPeople (my local independent bookstore inAustin, TX): https://bit.ly/3wlXOqc

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3wpKqkK

Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/3hQFbGG

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3u7gGYxean=2940162906636

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3oEqkk1

Google Play: https://bit.ly/344jf2R

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3f56lbh

Thank you, Densie! WHEN ROBINS APPEAR is out NOW.

With a lucrative freelance career and a loving family, Deborah Earle has a life many women would envy. But her daughter, Amanda, is heading to college soon, and Deborah worries about having an empty nest. She thinks another child might be the answer. Her husband, Richard, however, may not be willing to start over so late in life.

Amanda is excited about attending NYU next year, but she meets Graham, a handsome older boy, falls hard, and considers postponing her education to stay close to him. Her mother takes an instant dislike to Graham, but Amanda refuses to let her keep them apart.

As Deborah watches her daughter rush headlong toward heartache on an all-too-familiar path, the secrets lurking in Deborah’s past continue to echo in her present. When tragedy strikes, Deborah faces a future she could never have imagined.

BIO:

Densie Webb (not Denise) has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books on the topic. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York City, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she adores zombies, vampires and apocalyptic stories), drinks too much coffee, and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes.

The fiction bug bit her several years ago and she now has two novels, her debut women’s fiction novel, When Robins Appear, published by Red Adept Publishing and a paranormal romance, Le Reméde, published by Wild Rose Press. She also had her essay: Boob Job Regrets: In Appreciation of Your Previously Small Chest, included in an anthology compiled by Randy Susan Meyers, titled Women Under Scrutiny: An Anthology of Truths, Essays, Poems, Stories & Art. All proceeds from the anthology go to Rosie’s Place in Boston, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women. And her flash fiction piece, The Prank, was in the top ten finalists for Women on Writing’s Summer 2019 Flash Fiction contest.


Women’s fiction novelist, Leanne Treese, returns to the Spotlight to chat about her latest, Mother of the Accused

Author Name: Leanne Treese

Book Title: Mother of the Accused

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Moxie Publishing

Welcome back, Leanne, and big congrats on Mother of the Accused! Please tell us about the book.

A mother struggles with the repercussions of serious criminal allegations against her teenage son.  How far will she go to protect her own? 

What drew you to the idea for Mother of the Accused and how close is the end product to that seed of an idea?

The idea of a mother struggling with a child who committed (or may have committed) a serious crime came to me first.  I stayed pretty close to that vision.  One thing I did change was how I laid out the story.  In my original vision, I’d planned to have more points of view, including one from the mother of the victim of the crime.  However, this additional POV ultimately detracted from the root story, so I removed it.  That said, the character of Kelly Dixon (mother of the victim) was fully formed because of the chapters I wrote in her POV, even though they’re not in the book.  I think Kelly comes across as a more authentic character because of that effort. 

How has your real life (day job, hobbies, etc.) informed Mother of the Accused?

I am a mother of three and could draw upon my personal experience in writing about how the main character would feel and react. 

In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out [or over the course of your career so far]?

I have written just two books (so far).  My main takeaway is that each book is different and unfolds differently.  In my first book. Their Last Chance, I overwrote and had to delete tons (probably a quarter of the book).  With Mother of the Accused, I needed to add scenes. 

What drew you to the women’s fiction genre?

I like to read women’s fiction books so writing in that genre felt natural. 

What’s your favorite part about publishing your work independently? What’s challenging?

I like being in control of the process — the cover, the timing of release, price promotions, advertising.  I do miss the feeling of camaraderie I had when I was an author with a small press.  It was fun to have the other authors pulling for me and vice versa. 

What are you working on now?

I am working on a Christmas-themed romantic comedy.  Fingers crossed I can get it done in time for the holidays!

How are you adjusting to marketing a book during a pandemic?

Most of my marketing is done online so it has not impacted me too much.  I do miss some in-person events like book fairs. 

Where can readers find you?

Website: www.leannetreese.com

Instagram: @leannetreese

Facebook: @authorleanne50

Thank you, Leanne! Mother of the Accused is available NOW.

After the tragic death of her husband, Meredith Morgan spends a decade raising their son, Zach, alone.  On the verge of Zach’s graduation from high school, Meredith moves in with her fiancé, Dr. Reed Edwards, excited to begin a new chapter. But, when Zach is accused of sexually assaulting the daughter of a prominent lawyer, Meredith’s life spins out of control.  Reed’s ex-wife does not want their daughters in the house with Zach; Meredith’s best friend distances herself and her sons from the fray.  Only childhood friend and lawyer, Peter Flynn, remains by Meredith’s side.  ​

As Meredith and Peter team up to prove Zach’s version of the events, long buried feelings resurface, complicating an already difficult circumstance.  Meanwhile, evidence mounts against Zach and Meredith faces the ever-increasing likelihood that her son is guilty.  Struggling to copy with the idea of Zach behind bars, Meredith learns just how far a mother will go protect her own.  

BIO:

Leanne Treese spent over two decades as family law attorney before writing her first novel, Their Last Chance. When Leanne is not writing, she can be found at home with her husband, three children, and two beloved dogs. Leanne’s favorite places include Martha’s Vineyard, the Jersey shore, and any place that sells books or coffee, preferably both. Her latest novel, Mother of the Accused, is set to be released on June 1, 2021.


Big welcome to Hanna Mary McKinnon to the Spotlight this week–her latest thriller launches TODAY

Author Name: Hannah Mary McKinnon

Book Title: You Will Remember Me

Book Genre: Thriller

Release Date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: MIRA Books

Thanks for joining us today! How would you describe You Will Remember Me?

A twisty tale where the fates of three people intertwine: a man who wakes up on a beach but doesn’t know who or where he is. Lily, who’s searching for her boyfriend, Jack, who went missing after going for a swim, and Maya, who’s also looking for someone–her stepbrother, Ash, who abandoned her and his entire life two years prior. But is the man from the beach Jack, Ash, neither…or both?

What drew you to the idea for You Will Remember Me and how close is the end product to that seed of an idea?

A few years ago, a man from Toronto vanished from a ski hill in Lake Placid while there on vacation and showed up six days later in Sacramento. He had amnesia and couldn’t remember much, including the cross-country trip he’d made as he’d hitchhiked across the US. Everything worked out for the man in the end and he found his way home, but it made me wonder—what could have gone wrong? That story was the genesis for You Will Remember Me. The novel is quite close to the original idea I developed, minus a few stumbling blocks my brilliant editor Emily helped me get rid of.

How has your real life (day job, hobbies, etc.) informed You Will Remember Me?

Not at all, fortunately, considering I write thrillers. I do sprinkle little details here and there, which my family would recognize: names of places, a hobby, maybe the name of a stuffed toy or something but otherwise I pull very little from my life. My job is to make things up and it’s a part of the process I thoroughly enjoy. Creating different settings, people, and circumstances is fun!

In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out [or over the course of your career so far]?

My novels have definitely become darker–in that sense I’m taking more risks because I’m more confident in my ability to pull it off. With each book my process has also become more streamlined, and, six books in, I feel more in control. Having said that, self-doubt always, always creeps in, particularly when I’m writing my first “skeleton draft,” which is a first, very loose version nobody will ever see. However, I’ve learned to trust my writing process. If I can get the bones of the story on paper, I’ll add layers and complexity as I go over the novel again and again in preparation for my editor’s eyes. I accept the finer details will come as I work through the story. I’ll figure out plot-holes if I allow myself time to work through them. Just like most people who draw, paint, or write music or books, the first draft will never be my best work. I’m glad I’ve accepted that because it stops me from being overly self-critical when I start a project. I also set myself deadlines, and work hard to beat them.

What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?

I love the camaraderie of the writing community, it’s like nothing I’ve experienced elsewhere. Authors, readers, agents, publishers—we all love books and it’s truly wonderful. In terms of writing, I love the initial anticipation of starting a new book where everything is open and the only limit is my imagination. I also adore when I get to the editing part and think, “Yeah, I believe I’ve got something here” — that’s always such a rush.

What are your interests outside of writing and reading?

Getting outdoors for a walk or a hike (with an audiobook if I’m alone, I LOVE audiobooks), I’m a huge fan of the movies (I love the trailers!), in non-Covid times I go to the gym and participate in a few obstacle runs in the summer (I live for the mud and obstacles, I’m rubbish at the running part). We have three teenage boys, so my husband and I spend time with them as often as they’ll let us. Watching films as a family is one of my favourite things. There’s something deeply comforting about us having a laugh together and just hanging out. Oh, I cook too, and love to bake. I make a mean zucchini-lime loaf, and Mark Bittmann’s No Knead Bread, which is delicious.

How are you adjusting to promoting a book during a pandemic?

I never have to ask, “Does my bum look big in this?” – which is brilliant! In all seriousness, I flipped events online very quickly and I’ve had a blast ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I miss in-person events and can’t wait until we can have them safely again, but the reach with online is so broad, it can’t be underestimated. I adore meeting and chatting with readers and other authors virtually—people who I wouldn’t otherwise get to see. There are no geographical restrictions, either. My mother was disabled and being able to offer events to people with physical limitations, and who can’t get to an in-person event is so important. Once things return to normal, I do hope we keep the online component.

Another great thing that came out of the pandemic for me is First Chapter Fun. Back in March 2020, when Covid first hit Canada, a group of us were discussing how we could help promote one another and give our books a boost. I half-jokingly offered to read the first chapter of their novels on Facebook and Instagram, and within a few days I had over 40 daily readings lined up and launched First Chapter Fun. I read for 53 days in a row (didn’t think the “must do hair and make-up” thing through very well), introducing viewers to a new novel and author each day.

In May 2020, I teamed up with my partner-in-fictional-crime, powerhouse author Hank Phillippi Ryan. We created a new Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/firstchapterfun and Instagram account www.instagram.com/firstchapterfun. We read twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday (the days with a “T) on both platforms simultaneously at 12.30 pm ET, and already have readings scheduled until the end of 2021. All the previously aired episodes are saved and can be viewed at leisure.

The one thing that surprised me the most about this industry is how genuine, welcoming, and helpful other authors are. This project is my way of paying it forward to them.

What are you working on now?

My 6th book is done and in my wonderful editor’s hands. It’s written from the anti-hero’s point-of-view, which I’ve never done before, and is the story of Lucas, who hired a hitman to kill his wife. A month later, Lucas receives a partial photograph of his wife in the mail. Who sent it? What do they know? And, more importantly, what do they want? I can’t wait to introduce you to my characters! In the meantime, I’m plotting and outlining Book 7, but it’s too early to give anything away.

Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? Feel free to include any upcoming, live events (like your First Chapter Fun series), too!

Website:             www.HannahMaryMcKinnon.com

Facebook:            www.facebook.com/HannahMaryMcKinnon (@hannahmarymckinnon)

Instagram:          www.instagram.com/HannahMaryMcKinnon/ (@hannahmarymckinnon)

Twitter:                www.twitter.com/HannahMMcKinnon (@hannahmmckinnon)

Goodreads:          www.goodreads.com/author/show/15144570.Hannah_Mary_McKinnon

Bookbub:             www.bookbub.com/authors/hannah-mary-mckinnon

Thank you, Mary! You Will Remember Me is out NOW.

Forget the truth. Remember the lies.

He wakes up on a deserted beach in Maryland, wearing only swim trunks and a gash on his head. He can’t remember who he is. Everything—his identity, his life, his loved ones—has been replaced by a dizzying fog of uncertainty. But returning to his Maine hometown in search of the truth raises more questions than answers.

Lily Reid thinks she knows her boyfriend, Jack. Until he goes missing one night, and her frantic search reveals that he’s been lying to her since they met, desperate to escape a dark past he’d purposely left behind.

Maya Scott has been trying to find her estranged stepbrother, Asher, since he disappeared without a trace. Having him back, missing memory and all, feels like a miracle. But with a mutual history full of devastating secrets, how far will Maya go to ensure she alone takes them to the grave?

Shared fates intertwine in a twisty, explosive novel of suspense, where unearthing the past might just mean being buried beneath it.

Bio:

Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, TIME AFTER TIME, was a rom com, she transitioned to the dark side thereafter. Her suspense novels include THE NEIGHBORS, bestsellers HER SECRET SON and SISTER DEAR, and her latest, YOU WILL REMEMBER ME. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons.

Author Spotlight Archives