short stories

Alternate Voices: Interview with Caroline Lee

Today’s guest is Caroline Lee, author, artist, and contributor to the Alternate Voices anthology. Not only does Caroline have a story in the anthology, she is also responsible for the sketches used in this book and others in the series. You can find out more about her work at her website:

alternate voices

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Caroline. I’m a mum of two girls aged 9 and 8 and a little boy who is 2.5. When I am not writing, I am drawing or I am co-hosting a weekly live podcast show, supporting and promoting independent musicians.

For my day job I work for a charity and I work with people who are socially isolated, teaching them IT and social media skills to help reduce their isolation.

Can you tell us about your contribution to Alternate Voices?

My story sees the Lyle family and Fox family meeting at a travelling fair for some fun. It starts off well, but a grizzly discovery halts their fun evening and puts DI Lyle in danger.

Why did you decide to participate in the anthology?

I’ve enjoyed all of the DI Lyle stories to date. I’ve done a few drawings for Juliet for her other books and I enjoyed the challenge of writing with someone else’s characters. It’s great to be involved in an anthology, more so knowing that proceeds go to a worthy cause.

I look forward to reading the other stories too. I did do some sketches for each story, based on a brief description and asking some of the authors a few questions, which was fun to do and challenging. I’ve never done as many drawings as I did for this book and I just hope I captured some of the scenes right.

Just for fun, which D.I. Lyle book is your favorite and why?

That’s a tough question! Alongside the stand-alone story plots, there is a continuing arc running throughout and I think this is part of the draw to these stories. To see the developing story of DI Lyle and those around him. If I really had to choose, I would choose Best Served Cold. The continuing story featuring Bob Kenyon was well developed and the personal edge with what happens to DS Fox and Reform was very engaging.

Alternate Voices is available on iTunesKoboNook, and Kindle. The book is also available in paperback.

alternate voices collage

Categories: anthology, short story | Tags: , , ,

Alternate Voices: Interview with Paul Trembling

Today’s guest is Paul Trembling, author and contributor to the Alternate Voices anthology, a compilation of short stories featuring characters from the DI Frank Lyle series. Proceeds from the sales of this collection go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Alternate Voices is available on iTunesKoboNook, and Kindle. The book is also available in paperback.

alternate voices

Welcome, Paul. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Only a little?  OK, I’ll try!

I’m just a few years short of 60, and for nearly all those years I’ve been making up stories.  I started before I could even write them down, and have never been able to shake the habit – though to be honest I’ve never tried!  When forced to exist in the real world, I’ve worked in a lot of places as a lot of things – seaman, missionary, janitor, storeman, admin. assistant and currently a CSI.

Along the way I became a husband, a father, a dog and chicken owner.  I enjoy walking, I like food, I hate DIY.  I’m a Christian, and that’s the whole basis of my live and my POV on the world.  But always and in everything, I’m a storyteller.

Can you tell us about your contribution to Alternate Voices?

I’m not hugely familiar with all of Juliet’s many books and characters, so I wasn’t sure at first how or where to start my contribution.  After some thought, I decided to work with D.I. Andrew Redfern – Juliet had mentioned that no one had yet used him, and as he is a Christian I thought that this would give me a good character point to build on.

But I also wanted to find a setting that I was comfortable with, so I decided to bring DI Redfern into my own fictional world.  Since officers often travel to other Force areas to work on cases that they are connected with, that was a viable scenario, and it also gave me the chance to bring in one of my characters, Ben Drummond.  Ben is an old-school Scenes Of Crime Officer, and is renowned for his cantankerous nature, so any story with him is bound to produce some interesting personality clashes!

With these parameters established, the rest of it fell into place quite easily.  A run down church gave an atmospheric setting.  The death – apparently by suicide – of the Pastor, found hanging from his pulpit was a powerful image to build the story on – though in the end this was only described in the past tense. The real story, as it developed, was in the past, for the deceased person was someone known and wanted by DI Redfern’s force, which was where he came in.

Enough said – I don’t want to give too much away!

Why did you decide to participate in the anthology?

The short answer is, because Juliet asked me to!  When the idea was originally being put round, I didn’t respond, as I didn’t think I’d have enough time to put something together.  However, it happened that when Juliet asked me directly I found that I actually had some unexpected time off, and since it is for such a good cause, I was very happy to be able to contribute.

Just for fun, which DI Lyle book is your favourite and why?

I don’t really have any favourites, so I can’t help you with that one!

Can you give us some information about your published works and how readers can find them?

I currently have two books out in the crime genre.  ‘A Pattern Of Murder’ is a collection of short stories, mostly featuring Ben Drummond.  It includes the prologue from my crime novel ‘Can of Worms’  Both are written from a Scenes Of Crime (or CSI, if you prefer) point of view, and are available online both as e-books (Kindle or most other platforms) or paperbacks.

Full details of these and my other books (as well as some free reading!) are on my website –





Categories: anthology, author interview, short stories | Tags: , , ,

Alternate Voices: Interview with Gerry McCullough

Today’s guest is Gerry McCullough, bestselling author. She is a contributor to Alternate Voices, a short story anthology featuring characters from the DI Frank Lyle series. Proceeds from the sale of this book go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Alternate Voices is available on iTunesKoboNook, and Kindle. The book is also available in paperback.

alternate voices

Welcome, Gerry. Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Gerry McCullough. I was born and brought up in Belfast Northern Ireland, and I live in a small village a dozen miles away from there. I’m married with four grown up children. I’ve been writing all my live and currently I have six full length novels published, plus two collections of short stories and a children’s book. My debut novel, Belfast Girls, was a No. 1 best seller on Amazon UK.

Can you tell us about your contribution to Alternate Voices?

My story for Alternate Voices is called ‘Simple Twist of Fate.’ This is a Bob Dylan song sung by Joan Baez on her album Diamonds and Rust, and I took this title because it’s well known that DI Frank Lyle absolutely loves Joan Baez. The story begins with a series of warehouse robberies culminating in murder, and leads on to the twist of fate of the title – and that’s all I’m can really tell you without spoiling the story.

Why did you decide to participate in the anthology?

I’ve read all the DI Frank Lyle books and I admire their author, Juliet B. Madison, whose story telling skills are excellent. Juliet got together this anthology to raise money for the Macmillan cancer nurses, and this is a cause which I’m very happy to support. In addition, I’ve never done this sort of thing before, that is, writing about characters created by someone else. I thought it would be both a challenge and great fun – and so it was.

Just for fun, which D.I. Lyle book is your favorite and why?

My personal favourite is Unholy Alliance, mainly because I really like the character Canon Thomas Rice, who is introduced here. I think Juliet B. Madison handles this character really well, dealing with his beliefs in a careful and sensitive way, never belittling him or them. The mystery also strikes me as one of her cleverest, with an unusual solution.


Other Works by Gerry McCullough:


Belfast Girls: The story of three girls – Sheila, Phil and Mary – growing up into the new emerging post-conflict Belfast of money, drugs, high fashion and crime; and of their lives and loves.

Sheila, a supermodel, is kidnapped. Phil is sent to prison. Mary, surviving a drug overdose, has a spiritual awakening.

It is also the story of the men who matter to them –

John Branagh, former candidate for the priesthood, a modern Darcy, someone to love or hate. Will he and Sheila ever get together? Davy Hagan, drug dealer, ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. Is Phil also mad to have anything to do with him?

Although from different religious backgrounds, starting off as childhood friends, the girls manage to hold on to that friendship in spite of everything.

A book about contemporary Ireland and modern life. An Irish story which both men and women can enjoy – thriller, romance, comedy, suspense – and much more ….



Hel’s Heroes: A light hearted mixture of modern romance and historical thriller – a book within a book. Helen McFadden – Hel for short – is a successful writer of Historic Romance for the eBook market. But one day she decides that she needs to get out and experience a bit of real life. She is soon clubbing, partying and generally having a good time – and men are springing up in her life from all directions.

There’s Jason, the actor, Paddy the happy-go-lucky businessman, Jordie the footballer, Markie the pop star, even Pete, her old friend.

But do any of them measure up to the heroes she writes about – especially Jack, the highwayman in her current book? Will Hel ever learn to relate to a real man and stop expecting to meet a clone of one of her heroes?

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Categories: anthology, short stories | Tags: , , , ,

Alternate Voices: Interview with Joel Mark Harris

Today’s guest is author Joel Mark Harris. Joel is a contributor to Alternate Voices, and anthology of short stories featuring characters from the DI Frank Lyle series. Proceeds from the sale of this book go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Alternate Voices is available on iTunesKoboNook, and Kindle. The book is also available in paperback.

alternate voices

Welcome Joel. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an author, journalist filmmaker and entrepreneur. I live in Vancouver, Canada. I have published 3 books and a 4th coming out before Christmas. I founded the Writer’s Marketing Academy to help other writers with, in my opinion, the most difficult part of writing and that’s getting your work out into the world.

Can you tell us about your contribution to Alternate Voices?

I have worked with Juliet on another anthology that I edited and that was when I was introduced into the world of LI Lyle. I enjoyed her characters and writing style. I feel my writing compliments hers.

Why did you decide to participate in the anthology?

I knew it meant a lot to Juliet and it’s for a good cause. Juliet has such a big heart and I really wanted to be a part of her journey. Cancer has hit our family recently and I feel this is a good way to give back.

Just for fun, which D.I. Lyle book is your favorite and why?

Heir to Misfortune because it was the first one I read.
Joel 2
About Joel Mark Harris:

Joel Mark Harris graduated from the Langara Journalism School in 2007. He is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. His first novel, A Thousand Bayonets, won an Editor’s Choice Award and the Pinnacle Achievement Award for Best Thriller. His feature-length film Neutral Territory won ten awards.

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Categories: anthology, short stories | Tags: , , , ,

Alternate Voices Anthology: A Book for a Cause

alternate voices

This week is a celebration of the release of Alternate Voices, a DI Lyle Anthology. Seven authors (including Juliet B Madison, author of the DI Lyle Series) have come together to present a collection of short stories. The proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. Each day this week, I am featuring a different author. I’m proud to say I am a part of this wonderful collection of stories. Since I can’t interview myself, I would like to talk about my contribution to the anthology.

My short story is called A Change of Heart and is about DI Frank Lyle’s ex-wife Sarah who is trying work through her feelings about the dissolution of her marriage and falling-out with her son. When Sarah meets a young homeless man in the park, she is forced to confront the truth about the mistakes she’s made in her family life. As she attempts to help save this young man, she also works up the courage to make things right with her own son.

I decided to contribute a short story for two reasons. One, because I’m friends with Juliet B Madison and a fan of her series. And two, because I believe the proceeds from the book sales are going to an extremely worthy cause. Most of us have been affected by cancer or know someone who has. Macmillan Cancer Support is an organization which helps cancer patients and their families. I’m very proud to be a part of this project.

As I mentioned above, I’m a fan of the DI Lyle Series. It’s very difficult to pick a favorite book, so I’ll highlight two that really stuck with me. Unholy Alliance is a favorite because it features Canon Thomas Rice, a particularly well-written and fascinating character. Canon Rice is a former police officer who helps DI Lyle in the investigation. Here’s the blurb:

The brutal murder of a curate at an ecumenical conference leads DI Lyle and his team to uncover the shocking and somewhat tragic past of the victim, Reverend Martin Hayes,whom no one appears to have known very well.

Assisted by Canon Thomas Rice, a former police officer, DI Lyle works his way through a tangled web, which leads to a recently released prisoner with a deep-seated hatred of the church. Can DI Lyle penetrate the unholy alliance formed between the ex con and a corrupt police officer? And will a little knowledge prove a dangerous thing?

The other book I’d like to mention as a favorite is Best Served Cold. This is the darkest book in the series and explores themes such as hate crimes and revenge. Here’s the blurb:

DI Lyle is about to get a glimpse into the murky world of political activism and hate crime; the murder of a prominent city councillor is just the tip of the iceberg.

The city of Ashbeck is on high alert when news breaks that convicted triple murderer and paedophile Bob Kenyon has escaped from custody.

Can DI Lyle and his team get to the bottom of this murky mess before another atrocity occurs?

Alternate Voices will be widely available on September 23rd. You can pre-order on iTunes, Kobo, and Nook. The book will also be available on Kindle and in paperback.

alternate voices collage

Categories: anothology, mystery, short stories | Tags: , , , , , ,

Alternate Voices Anthology: An Interview with Juliet B Madison

Today’s guest is Juliet B. Madison, author of the DI Lyle Series. Her latest book. Alternate Voices, is a collection of fan fiction short stories featuring characters from the DI Lyle Series. Here’s Juliet to tell us more about the anthology and why this book is near and dear to her heart…

alternate voices

What gave you the idea for the Alternate Voices anthology?

JULIET:  Last year I contributed a DI Lyle story to an anthology Shadows & Light to highlight the issues of Domestic Violence. I thought it would be interesting to see if other people could write DI Lyle stories as well and the six contributors have done an awesome job and done me and the DI Lyle Mystery Series proud.

I chose Macmillan Cancer Support because my late partner, David, had a lovely Macmillan nurse and I know that Macmillan do an awesome job in the UK helping people who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as their friends and families. I have chosen to release Alternate Voices on the seventh anniversary of David’s death as it’s a bad day for me and I need something positive to focus on. Alternate Voices is dedicated to David’s memory.

Can you tell us a bit about your contribution to the anthology?

JULIET:  My story Sudden Impact is set between Prescription for Murder and Old Sins Cast Long Shadows.  James Lyle takes his boyfriend, Thomas, to visit his step-brother, Jez, in prison. The visit goes well but unexpected events on the way home force Thomas to confront his past.

Here is a short excerpt

“You know where to go from here, Mr Lyle?” The guard asked.

“Yes,” James nodded.

Thomas followed James into the visiting room. It was austere. The metal chairs were bolted to the floor.  They were directed to a table with two visitor’s chairs. James took out the cigarettes he’d brought. Jez used them as currency to exchange for stamps and phone cards, he didn’t actually smoke himself. Thomas smoked occasionally.

Some minutes later the prisoners filed in and took their seats across from their visitors.

Thomas saw a man in his early forties making his way towards them. The fact he looked like Jim Morrison hadn’t been exaggerated. Jez sat down.

“Alright kid?” he said to James.

“Fine thanks Jez, this is Thomas.”

Jez offered his hand and Thomas shook it.

“So you’re the man who has stolen my kid brother’s heart?”

“Guilty as charged,” Thomas smiled.

Did you have to do much research for Sudden Impact?

JULIET: I had to study the London Underground map once I found out which was the correct stop for HMP Wormwood Scrubs where Jez is incarcerated and, owing to what happens on the return journey, I had to look into the role of the British Transport Police. 

Just for fun, what’s your favorite DI Lyle book and why? 

JULIET: (Laughs) That’s not a fair question to ask the author. Although I’m not a Christian I think Unholy Alliance is my favourite because it deals with far more than the brutal murder of a clergyman; it’s about loyalty, destructive secrets and psychological torment. It’s quite dark in places and I tried not to overdo the religious symbolism. It also introduces the character of cop turned cleric Canon Thomas Rice, whom readers seem to have taken to and the Canon does actually appear in one of the stories in Alternate Voices but I’m not saying which one or who the author is.

What writing-related projects do you currently have on the go?

 JULIET: Well I’m working on the 6th DI Lyle novel In Harm’s Way and I’m also making a start on my new paranormal crime Psychic CID series. Also Best Served Cold is currently being translated into Spanish so I’m really excited about that..

Where can readers go to get a copy of Alternate Voices?

JULIET: The book is scheduled for release September 23rd. You can pre-order on iTunes, Kobo, and Nook. The book will also be available on Kindle and in paperback.

You can connect with Juliet B Madison at the following links: 


Connect with Juliet on Facebook

Follow Juliet on Twitter

Juliet’s crime author website

DI Frank Lyle Efanzine

Psychic CID website



Second Chances

Heir to Misfortune

Unholy Alliance

DI Lyle Mystery Box Set (Ebook only)

Murder in the Wings

Best Served Cold

A Winter Murderland

Old Sins Cast Long Shadows

DI Frank Lyle’s Casebook Vol 1

DI Frank Lyle’s Casebook Vol 2

alternate voices collage

Categories: anthology, author interview, authors to watch, mystery, mystery series, police procedural, short stories | Tags: , , , ,

Interview with Viv Drewa

Today’s guest is a very special person. Viv Drewa is an author, a blogger, and a friend to authors everywhere. She’s here to speak with us about her books. Let’s all give a warm welcome to Viv!

from the pages of grandfathers life (2)

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer but didn’t get support from my family. I studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan but, as they say, life happened.  I worked as a Pharmacy Tech for 25 years, then moved up north and got a job as a senior customs agent. Then were the cuts because of the economy and did some sewing from my home. Then I decided to try my hand at writing.

When did you begin writing?

In 2013. I came up with a couple ideas and started on them.

Are you self-published or traditionally published? What has been your experience with publishing, and have you considered other publishing options?

At first I tried getting an agent and while working on my second book decided to go the Indie route.

sipan lord4

Can you tell us about The Owl of Sipan Lord? How did you get the idea for the book?

This was my favorite book to write. Once I decided the profession of the female protagonist I started doing research. After two weeks I was able to get enough information to plan the story.

This also takes place in South America, Peru, at an archaeological dig. This is my first paranormal book.

angler and the owl

Can you tell us about The Angler and the Owl and how you came up with the idea for this novel?

My love of owls inspired this book, as well as my love for the Amazon River. I couldn’t figure out who would be the male protagonist until I was watching River Monsters and decided to model John Sinclair after the host of the show, Jeremy Wade.

Owls seem to be a recurring theme in your books. Have you always been interested in owls? 

Yes, since I was three. My favorite is the American Barn Owl because their face plate is shaped like a heart.

In addition to being a novelist, you’re also a regular blogger. Can you tell us about your blogs?

My blogs support my fellow authors. I post their interviews, new releases, cover releases and anything to help get their name out there. I also post articles about tips for writing.

What projects are you currently working on?

My WIP is The Midnight Owl and is a paranormal murder mystery. This will be my first series and I’m planning on releasing it later this summer. Since I wasn’t able to get enough information about police procedures in South America this book takes place in my hometown.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Read! Get to know the genre you’re interested in writing and get to know what’s out there.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For The Owl of the Sipan Lord I contacted a well known archaeologist because I wasn’t able to find something I needed. He sent me a couple references.

With my WIP I contacted our local medical examiner with questions about the murder. We spoke on the phone and he was also very helpful.

viv drewa

To learn more about Viv Drewa, please visit the following links:

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life (short story):  

The Owl of the Sipan Lord:

The Angler and the Owl eBook on  

I’ve contributed to several editions of this anthology. These ebooks are always free.

Ashtrays to Jawbreakers, 1 Smashwords

Ashtrays to Jawbreakers, 2 Smashwords

Ashtrays to Jawbreakers, Christmas Edition Smashwords

Ashtrays to Jawbreakers, 4 Smashwords


Categories: adventure books, author feature, author interview, non-fiction, short stories, short story | Tags: , , , ,

The Dating Game: Book Feature

The Dating Game: Short Stories about the Search for Mr. Right

From fairytale romances to dating disasters and everything in between, The Dating Game chronicles stories of hopefuls on their journey toward happily ever after. In this compilation of dating stories, writers share their adventures and experiences while on their quest toward finding their soul mate. Whether it’s new love, old love…Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, these hilarious, heartwarming and thought-provoking stories are guaranteed to leave you wanting more!


Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble

Contact Links






Categories: anthology, book feature, book tour, contemporary romance, diverse books, romance, romantic comedy, short stories, women's fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Interview with Shannon Muir

Today’s guest is blogger and author, Shannon Muir. Welcome, Shannon! Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a writer who has worked in a variety of mediums, from prose to poetry to animation scriptwriting. My favorite genres are science fiction, fantasy, and mystery – both to read and write – though I have written about some other subject matters. Also, I’m known for running two blogs that focus on writers, INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS at that features author interviews and guest posts, while DISCOVER WORDS at leans more toward excerpts and cover reveals. INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS has been around for about three years now, and DISCOVER WORDS for around two, though after a rather catastrophic incident with my provider both blogs have to be rebuilt, so I appreciate patience with any readers who come to visit. I’ve also held production positions on animated series that continue to remain fan favorites such as INVADER ZIM and EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS., as well as worked as part of the team that launched the now-closed NEOPETS spinoff virtual world PETPET PARK.

I grew up with my father reading my sister and I THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS as bedtime stories; Bilbo Baggins is absolutely still my favorite literary character of all time. Favorite books also included all of L. Frank Baum’s OZ novels and C.S. Lewis’ NARNIA books. I also grew up reading Encyclopedia Brown and every single Nancy Drew story I could get my hands on. Those early loves I believe still reflect in all I do.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first novel at the age of 10, though the quality might be dubious. Around the same time period in school, the class was writing poems and the best of the class would be chosen to be displayed in the mall; I wrote a couplet about a journey through a toy store. My poem turned out to be one of the ones selected, but that didn’t really make an impact at the time. It would be my sixth grade teacher, Naomi Yap, who would make the most difference. Every week we had twenty spelling words, and she would challenge us to write stories in class that had to use all twenty words, and the next week the best ones would be read to the class. Mine would repeatedly end up being read to the class, and this really made an impact; she also chose one of those stories to display at the mall that year. An interesting aside, I did a set of stories about a boy and a girl and their cat who regularly went to a magic fantasy land called Zim where they assumed alternate identities and had fantastic adventures; little did I know that many years later I would be a Production Coordinator on a cult favorite called INVADER ZIM that – other than the name -bears absolutely no relation!

During my teen years, I turned my attention to learning about animated scriptwriting, but didn’t completely give up on prose writing. I wrote another novel at seventeen, a book on teenage pregnancy in a small town, which I even attempted to send to New York agents. I did go on to get a degree in English-Creative-Writing as well as Radio-TV, but found out after I entered that genre fiction such as I preferred to write was frowned upon, so I actually did all my writing workshops in poetry. This experience dissuaded me from continuing to write prose for a while. For years I focused solely on writing for the animation medium and didn’t pick up the prose bug again around 2004, when I stumbled on a call for submissions to an anthology called ARIA KALSAN; someone had already developed a world and wanted people to write stories based on the “bible”; since that is similar to how live-action and animation television series are done it felt a natural segue to try my hand after such a long time. I began writing regularly again after taking the National Novel Writing Month challenge in 2005 (see for more on this), which I have completed successfully for ten years as of 2014. I’ve made a lot of those manuscripts available via self-publishing, because while they are personal passion products for me with interesting characters and settings, they don’t reflect my primary love of genre fiction which is what I am starting to pursue in earnest. With Pro Se Press, and other outlets, that is finally coming to fruition all these years later.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

“Ghost of the Airwaves” focuses on a radio actress who starred alongside her husband on a popular radio drama. He’s killed and the police are sure the case is closed. However, a mysterious letter that comes through her mail slot from the “Ghost of the Airwaves” lets her know that the police missed some crucial information. When the police don’t seem to take things seriously enough, the radio actress decides she’s going to take things into her own hands  and be sure that everyone involved with her husband’s death is found.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Book is really becoming more of a generic term, it seems. “Ghost of the Airwaves” is what is known as a digital single, which in other words is a short story packaged on its own with a cover. Pro Se Press does a lot of this, but I’ve come to realize other publishers are seeing as a reasonable market as well.

I decided I wanted to tell this story after the fun I had doing another story for Pro Se Press in an anthology called NEWSHOUNDS. That story, “Pretty as a Picture,” involved a group of people working for a newspaper who use the press in 1950s America to fight injustice in their city; those characters had all been pre-developed by Pro Se Press and documented in a “bible” and we wrote stories about them. As much as I loved doing that story, I also wanted to show what I could do on my own.

At the time, Pro Se Press also put out a magazine and “Ghost of the Airwaves” was originally written and submitted to the magazine to get more exposure for myself as a writer as well as within the genre. As it turned out, they discontinued the magazine soon after submission but everyone who had submitted would be considered for the digital single line called Single Shots. It’s taken a year for this manuscript to come to the top of that pile.

So that’s why the story happened to begin with, but there’s also the part of the question as to why I chose the golden age of radio specifically. Basically, the core of this story starts with a television script that I wrote in college called FROM THE FATAL HEART. In college, I received a double major in Radio-TV and English-Creative Writing, and also worked as a DJ on the college stations, so I drew in part from experience. In that script, a modern day request-and-dedication DJ thinks his wife committed suicide but comes to learn it was a carefully orchestrated murder; the script ended up getting national recognition as a finalist for a competition run by a national radio-television honor society. Years later, I still love that story, but in hindsight found the male lead to be very passive in deciding the course of his fate. I wondered what would happen if I made the lead a woman, made her a more active participant in finding the solution, changed the time period, but kept the same basic premise. By choosing an earlier time period, radio dramas were ruling the airwaves and the DJ as we know that role today didn’t even exist. I didn’t have any idea how the story would turn out when I started, but am very pleased with the result.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

Since the NEWSHOUNDS characters were created by Pro Se Press, I’m going to focus this answer on GHOST OF THE AIRWAVES. Actually, my favorite character is the person who turns out to be the “Ghost of the Airwaves,” but fully as to why would be giving away too much. Let’s just say I like the challenges that come with writing this character and I’d love to do so again. However, sales and word of mouth will be what it takes to see if further adventures come out. The story is written in such a way that while it does resolve, further tales could be told if the demand existed.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Because it is set in a historical time period, I needed to be sure I had all my facts straight. I looked up the history of radio dramas for the time period I wanted, to see what kind of shows were popular that my lead character might be involved in. Also, the radio drama was a “story within a story,” so I needed to know all the characters being played in the radio drama and how they related to one another both in front of the microphones and away from them.

What is your primary goal as an author?

My primary goal would be to tell stories with believable character regardless of the time, place, or situation. If a reader can’t get into the story and care about the characters propelling it, the rest doesn’t carry much weight at all. Some stories I do might strive to make people think, but generally the primary intent is to entertain.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m waiting for final editing stages on several more stories with Pro Se Press that are slated for other anthologies, so there is definitely more to come in this vein of storytelling. I also have a story pending with Emby Press, whose tales lean more toward the paranormal and horror, that I hope will come out this year; it is part of an anthology regarding superheroes, so that’s closer to the tales I write than most of what they publish.

However, I also have some self-published titles that are of a different genre. Most of them came about over the last ten years of doing National Novel Writing Month and succeeding every year. For any readers not familiar with this challenge at, people challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word (or more) first draft of a novel in November. I’ve done this over and over successfully for a decade, though my two attempts at the more flexible Camp version actually didn’t work out. Basically, over the years, I created many books in several series that while I find myself passionate about them, I know they are just too niche for publishers. Over the next two years, I plan to return to the remaining first drafts that need a fresh eye and editing and complete both these series. After that, other than a one-off project I’m planning called DYING WITH HER NAME IN LIGHTS – featuring murder mysteries in the entertainment field, but not necessarily as intense in action as stories like those for Pro Se need to be – I’m not planning to do much more on the self-publishing side of things unless a story comes along that I absolutely feels must be told but that it isn’t worth the effort of burdening down publishers over.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Be open to trying new things; you may find in time that there are things you can do that previously seemed out of range. I certainly never saw myself writing the kinds of stories I’ve been doing such as “Ghost of the Airwaves” and “Pretty as a Picture,” though I enjoy reading and watching entertainment in the same vein. Kevin Paul Shaw Broden – who at times is my writing partner and who I will be married to – is even more into it than I am, and in fact is how I discovered Pro Se Press. He was reading a book called YESTERYEAR by Tommy Hancock (who also happens to be Editor in Chief of Pro Se Press, but I didn’t know it then), and I asked to take a look at it; it intrigued me but I still didn’t think I could do it. Then I found out that every so often, Pro Se Press put out open calls for submissions and Kevin showed me a list. A couple things were on that list, but the one that really stood out to me was NEWSHOUNDS. Suddenly, seeing that anthology idea about ordinary people using the power of the pen to write wrongs as something I could relate to, my repetitive “I can’t” turned into “I can”. I tried but was unsure if I’d be accepted, and as it turned out so did Kevin, not to mention the cover is also his art. The advice I’d give out of that that story is this: don’t ever close your mind to possibility and invest in your passion for the long haul.


About the Author:

SHANNON MUIR’s most recent genre fiction release is the Single Shot “Ghost of the Airwaves,” a New Pulp digital single tale, preceded by her debut genre fiction story “Pretty as a Picture” in the anthology NEWSHOUNDS from Pro Se Productions. Prior to venturing into the world of New Pulp, Muir is best known to genre readers as co-writer of the long-running webcomic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY with her partner, Kevin Paul Shaw Broden (featured in Pro Se’s anthology THE BLACK FEDORA, his own story in NEWSHOUNDS, and the self-published REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST). She tends to gravitate towards writing stories with females in leading or influential roles, which can prove a challenge in the time periods that pulp stories are set in. Muir aspires to bring different perspective to a classic time period by taking on this viewpoint. Muir also has credits in new adult contemporary fiction, as well as published textbooks on the animation industry, a field in which she’s held writing and production positions as part of her nearly twenty year career focused in family entertainment. She currently resides in Glendale, California.

Connect with Shannon Muir:



Twitter: @Shannon_Muir

Amazon Author Page:

Smashwords Author Page:



“Ghost of the Airwaves”:  From Pro Se Productions’ Single Shot line comes a tale of mystery and murder set against the backdrop of the Golden Age of Radio! Through this stand alone digital single, Author Shannon Muir introduces the world to Ghost of the Airwaves!

Ghost of the Airwaves is the suspenseful tale of radio actress Abigail Hanson, whose husband died under mysterious circumstances. Everyone believes the culprit is caught until a mysterious typed letter from “Ghost of the Airwaves” comes through her mail slot. Abigail becomes determined to find out who killed her husband and uses her own observant eye to help coax the police along. But, as she delves deeper into the mystery, Abigail may learn she should have stayed behind the microphone…to stay alive!

Ghost of the Airwaves by Shannon Muir, featuring fantastic cover art and logo design by Jeff Hayes and digital formatting by Russ Anderson. A Pro Se Single Shot digital single from Pro Se Productions!

“Ghost of the Airwaves” is available on Kindle and Smashwords 


NEWSHOUNDS: News For All, Justice for the Innocent and Weak! That is the Masthead of The Partisan and the mission of its keepers in Pro Se Productions’ action packed tribute to the printed press- NEWSHOUNDS! Dogged reporters, crusty editors, copyboys and cub photographers with dreams of grandeur. Pressmen who know the city lives and breathes by what they print. Characters like Editor ‘Red Dillinger, reporters Viv Bailey and Ted Boland, photographer Margie Haviland, and more all work for The Partisan, a 1950s paper partial to the common man, to righting the wrongs done against the housewives and the blue collars! And this gaggle of hard bitten, hard fighting men and women are known near and far to those who love them and those who wish to see them dead! Do No Wrong in Their City unless you want it covered by the Newshounds! Started in 1930 to stand up for the little person and to protect the rights of the rightless. The Partisan has always been the paper that focused on both accurate news reporting and standing up for the common citizen against crime and corruption of all types. This led to a style of writing both factual and fiery that the paper is known for. Authors Kevin Paul Shaw Broden, Shannon Muir, and J. Walt Layne bring life to the chaotic adventures of a larger than life newspaper staff in this three story collection. Only two types of people work at The Partisan- Those truly interested in standing up for truth and justice and what’s right…and those with a death wish or nowhere else to go. Either way, they make great stories for Pro Se Productions’ NEWSHOUNDS!

Buy NEWSHOUNDS in Print at Amazon

Buy NEWSHOUNDS on Kindle and Smashwords

Categories: anthology, author feature, author interview, digital singles, historical fiction, new pulp, short story | Tags: , , , , , ,

Interview with Joleene Naylor

Today I’m meeting with one of my favorite authors. Joleene Naylor is the author of the Amaranthine series. She’s also a contributor to the Strange Portals anthology, as well as the organizer who put it all together. I’m very grateful to her for all her hard work on the book cover, formatting, and organizing the whole collection. If you’d like to read Strange Portals, you can find it FREE on Smashwords, Nook, and Kindle.

strange portals

Welcome, Joleene! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Right now I am sitting in my living room, wearing fluffy fox house shoes and eating Pringles salt and vinegar chips, a cat above my head and a dog near my feet. Oh, you meant something deeper? In that case, it was a snowy night long, long ago, at the end of the seventies when…Too far back? Let’s just say I like to write, I like to draw, and I like to take photos. And that dog I mentioned just climbed on the couch. He’s not supposed to be on it, but he’s cute, so I’ll let him stay. (I’m also a sucker).

When did you begin writing?

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to write and illustrate “books” for fun. I graduated to “novel length” in sixth grade. Funnily enough, I didn’t write short stories for my own entertainment until late high school. The real question is, was any of this writing good? And the answer is “probably not”. Ah well, we have to dig through a lot of crud to get to the gold.

Can you tell us about your stories in the anthology, Strange Portals? What inspired you to write it?

I have two, Verchiel and Predator. Verchiel is a character from my paranormal series Amaranthine, and one of the most popular (and one of my favorites, but don’t tell him I said that). I’m working on a collection of short stories, each one about one of the Executioners (vampire police) from Amaranthine, and that is his. I had a hard time choosing a story for him because there are so many things that would have been interesting, but in the end, an origin story is always good.

Predator is a story a friend of mine challenged me to write during my MySpace days. (Anyone remember MySpace?) It’s a takeoff of one called Imagination that was a rework from those high school days I mentioned. Imagination has a similar theme but a very different ending.

Please tell us about your other published work.

This is where I copy and paste, right? Ha ha! Seriously, though, the Amaranthine series are vampire books for those of us who don’t like our heroes to glitter. Heck, even if you do like glittery heroes you might like it. Katelina is an average human woman who gets pulled into the vampires world thanks to a “friend”. One minute she is mourning his death and the next she’s running from vampires who are trying to capture her. Luckily the dark, heroic, and smexy Jorick is there to save her. Then she discovers he’s a vampire too and things really pick up.

People often ask me what genre they fit in. Are they paranormal romance? Sure, there’s romance. (Did you see where I called Jorick smexy?) but if I had to pick a category I’d choose paranormal fantasy because the pacing, plots, etc are far more fantasy novel than romance novel.

I love your Amaranthine series! What projects are you currently working on?

Clash of Legends, book 7 in the Amaranthine series, will be released March 31. I’m also working on the Tales from the Executioners short story collection, and I’d like to do an Amaranthine Encyclopedia. Someday I might also rework the Patrick prequel. If I do I’m more likely to give it away on my website, though, as only about 30% of the readers will like it.

Do you have a book recommendation to share with us?

How many do I get? I’ll limit myself to three series, but that’s hard to do.

DM Yates’ fantasy novels, starting with Always, are awesome. They have a reincarnation premise, so each book has the same “characters” but they get to be different people – it’s brilliant! The first is more contemporary but the second and third are dragons and warriors.

CG Coppola’s Arizel Wars series is also awesome. It’s a fantasy/sci-fi series about a girl who is taken to an alien planet and gets mixed up with a hottie and an interplanetary war.

Spellbringers by our very own Tricia Drammeh is amazing – it’s YA fantasy and centers on a pair of girls – one magical and one human – and the Spellbringers, a magical race that lives side by side with our own.

Thank you for the shout out to the Spellbringers. I totally agree with you about DM Yates’ books. Always is amazing! What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Don’t expect to make big bucks. There was a time you could sell books just by showing up. Not now. There are millions of ebooks and only so many digital readers. Sure, new people are buying eReaders every day, but the growth rate is a LOT slower than it was. Add to that traditional publishers have started giving away freebies and selling for low prices, and our competition just doubled. If you’re planning to write novels because you want money: don’t. If you’re writing because you want to write, then go for it.

That’s excellent advice, and so true. Thank you for being here today, Joleene. And congratulations on the upcoming release of Clash of Legends

all covers ebook

Author Bio:

Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia.

In what little time is left she watches anime and updates her blogs, all from a crooked Victorian house in Villisca, Iowa. Between her husband and her pets, she is never lonely, and should she ever disappear one might look for her on a beach in Tahiti, sipping a tropical drink and wearing a disguise.

joleene naylor 2

Connect with Joleene Naylor at the following links:

Facebook Page  |  Twitter  |  Website  |  Goodreads  |  FB Profile  |  Pinterest  |  Google+

You can find Joleene’s books on these sites:

Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  B&N  |  Kobo

You can also get them on iTunes, and in paperback on Amazon


Categories: author interview, fantasy, Fantasy Anthology, horror, paranormal, short stories, strange portals, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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