Posts tagged ‘Author Biography’

Book Spotlight – The Dragon Tempest


Book Spotlight – The Dragon Tempest, Anthology #2

The Dragon Tempest offers a collection of short stories in a variety of fantasy genres, including dark, light, adventure, and epic. Creatures from all worlds abound: dragons, angels, centaurs, witches, gods and goddesses, and those lurking below the water’s surface. Whether you’re moved by tales of battle and bloodshed, suspense, humor, or enlightenment, The Dragon Tempest will leave you craving more from each author. Such a diversity of great fantasy tales to enjoy will leave no room for disappointment.


Allison D. Reid

KJ Hawkins

D.B. Mauldin

Joshua Robertson

1st Place Winners

Christine King

Katie Roxberry

Winter Bayne

Jane Dougherty

Wilson F. Engel, III

2nd Place Winners

Christine Haggerty

Randall Lemon

Deborah Jean Anderson

J. Abram Barneck

Louise Findlay

3rd Place Winners

Samuel Milner

Karen Brown

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Author Biography

Randall Lemon, one of our 2nd place winners, has an impressive list of previously published works. Read on to learn more:

Randall took a sabbatical from writing and that period of rest lasted almost three decades.  At one time Randall was a regular fixture of the role playing community.  He was one of the top ranked players from the inception to the end of the RPGA ranking system.  He also served as a high ranking tournament judge, marshal and coordinator of various events at Gen Con and other gaming conventions.  During that time, he was a frequent contributor to Polyhedron magazine perhaps best remembered for the creation of one of the most beloved establishments in the Living City, “Embrol Sludge’s Eatery and Seashell Shoppe.”  Along with a co-author he created the adventure known as “Eye of the Leviathan.” Randall also wrote articles for Video Review Magazine and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.

Hailing from Northwest Indiana just across the line from Chicago, Randall graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree.  While at Purdue he was a winner of the prestigious Purdue Literary Awards contest.  He then received his Master’s degree from the University of Southern California and did some work toward the PhD at the University of Illinois.  He taught high school for thirty-four years, has two children and a wife, all of whom he loves dearly.

Now Randall has returned to writing.  This time he is concentrating on flash fiction and short stories.  “The Treasure of Freedom” is Randall’s first endeavor with A Good Tale and he looks forward to many more.  Recent publications by Randall include the round-robin novel, Gryffon Master:  Curse of the Lich King, the story, “A Mouser, a Keg of Rum and a Gunnery Mate” in the Anthology, World of Pirates and Randall’s story, “Mercy Killing” in an anthology called Lava Storm:  In the Neighborhood.  He also has two stories each in the anthologies, Dangerous Days and Aspiring Writers 2013.

Randall will have some of his short fiction showcased in a number of anthologies scheduled to come out in 2014 or 2015 and is currently working on a solo attempt at a fantasy novel.

Previously Published Works

Gryffon Master:  Curse of the Lich King,  “Acceptable Losses” in Final Ships, “After-Life” in Visions: Leaving Earth, “Flames of Red Make Violet Blue” in Violet Hopes, “Gathering Flowers in the Garden of Fermey” in Dance Like a Monkey, “Hat Trick” and “Victory or Death?” in Aspiring Writers 2013 Winners Anthology, “Heavy Hangs the Head…” and “Taking Liberties” in Dangerous Days, “White Demons,” “Knock-Knock: Who’s There?” “A Less-Than-Perfect Date” and “One Cannot Lose a Mother’s Love” in Aspiring Writers 2014 Winners Anthology, “Mercy Killing” in Lava Storm, “A Mouser, a Keg of Rum, and a Gunnery Mate” in World of Pirates, “A Lighter Philosophy” in One-Minute Stories from Around the World, “Someone Told Me, It’s All Happening…” in Of Past and Future, “The Treasure of Freedom” in Trash to Treasure, “Bobby Darwin’s Lucky Day” in online emagazine “The News in Books” June, 2014 issue pgs 12 – 15.

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Randall Lemon on for “books” and “Kindle ebooks”

for Dance Like a Monkey from Silence in the Library.

Excerpt from Randall Lemon’s Winning Short Story

The Tears of Regas

By: Randall Lemon

“Perhaps it is time for me to endow one of the creatures on the material plane with the spark of divinity,” he finally spoke aloud.  “Most of the other gods I know have christened at least one deity.  How could any of them object to my doing so?”

Regas began to search the mortal realm.  He looked for a mortal female who enjoyed solitude.  He kept his divine ears opened to the prayers that flowed in continually.  When he found a likely supplicant, he would cast his far-seeing eye upon her to determine her worthiness for the boon he intended to grant her.  It wasn’t easy.  He looked for the perfect choice, rejecting one after another for not being pristine enough, or for lacking the proper dignity or concentration.  Finally he heard a prayer that showed great promise.

The woman who uttered it was a holy hermit among her people, one who many believed had been granted the gift of foresight.  She was both beautiful and serious and had no need to be surrounded by others of her race.

“This one would make a perfect companion for me.  Once I have raised her to godhood, I could grant her a sliver of my responsibilities.  I know; I could make her the patron of hermits.  That would not take too much of her attention and I could discourse with her for hour upon hour.  Just like I did with…just like I did with…?”

Regas suddenly realized he could no longer remember the name of the goddess who had elevated him to the heavens.  “Truly, the powers of Hemris are great, for he gets both men and gods to forget the vanquished!”

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The Fallen – Book Cover Reveal


The Fallen

Book Cover Reveal


After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, hunter cells were established across the globe to serve and protect every living soul. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell in the north of England. But Maddison has a new role now; her responsibilities as Watcher. She belongs to a legion of warriors assigned to serve the Fallen; guardian angels afforded the privilege of residing on Earth.

When Maddison is drawn to the city by an event which resonates hundreds of miles away, she is thrown into the path of a newly fallen angel. But Obadiah is no ordinary angel. He is a Prime, and his presence symbolizes a new threat. There is a war coming, and Maddison must form an alliance if she has any hope of winning this first battle. After all, the Fractured are a formidable enemy; a group of lost souls – powerful creatures of darkness who crave to destroy those who belong to the light.


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Author Bio:

Melissa Barker-Simpson has been writing since  she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Melissa often looks back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at her inexperience, she is reminded that she has always lived in other worlds.

Her first novel was published in 2008, and Melissa loved nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside her head invariably pull her in different directions, so although she tried to work on one thing at a time, those who know her would tell you it doesn’t always work!

She works a full-time job, which does not involve writing per se, incorporates her love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, Melissa gets to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

She also has two beautiful daughters who bring her great joy. They keep her grounded,  otherwise she would be stuck in the clouds permanently!


The Fallen is the first of the Fractured Series written by Melissa Barker-Simpson. She has travelled down many roads as an author over these last few years; genres include fantasy, science-fiction, and crime – all with an element of romance. Melissa currently has four ongoing series, with the Fractured being the most current. This is her journey into a world she has been dying to share for years.

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Changing Worlds:

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Just a short few weeks ago Melissa released the prequel to her Fractured Series in a double book anthology with Gina Briganti, entitled Changing Worlds. The prequel, a novella she named The Contract, began a tale which will continue on July 30th. This cover reveal is the first step on the road to promoting The Fallen. Stay tuned for her pre-order announcement, which will follow next week.

The countdown to release day begins now! Make sure you don’t miss out by signing up for Melissa Barker-Simpson’s Newsletter. All subscribers will receive a special discount for being part of her mailing list.

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Addy’s Choice (Winchester Brothers Book 1) – Book Interview

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Addy’s Choice (Winchester Brothers Book 1) – Book Interview

Author, Nat Hobson

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Briefly explain the relationships of some of the characters in the book.

Briefly – now there’s a challenge!

Okay, so we have the Davies family; Simon and Veronica, who have four children; Sebastian, Dylan, Tyler, and Constance. They have adopted others along the way! Chris Martin is Sebastian’s best friend, and together they own Winchester Brothers (which started with a chain of restaurants). Lily-May Saunders is Dylan’s best friend, and was taken into the family one fateful night when she was only a child. That leaves brother and sister, Adrienne Baxter and James Colby. They were both adopted but lost their family when they were both teenagers – they have supported each other ever since. It’s difficult to explain the relationship with a limited number of words because all these characters interlink. Tyler Davies was one of the firefighters who saved Adrienne and James from a fire. It was this experience which cemented their friendship.

Tell us about Addy’s job as a radio personality.

Addy has a deep, smoky voice which earned her the reputation ‘Morning Glory!’ She is gregarious on air, larger than life and has a natural humour which draws her listeners in. She enjoys to banter, and to get people involved with the show. She comes alive behind the microphone and excels on the morning breakfast show.

What can you tell us about Sebastian without giving too much away?

Sebastian is confident, charismatic, and committed. He is a restaurateur, savvy businessman, and is accustomed to the limelight. He has a lighter side and, at the root, is a family man. That said, he has a competitive streak and goes after what he wants with a single-minded focus, inherited from his mother.

Until recently he lived a nomadic existence, intent on chasing the next big adventure. It wasn’t until he returned to Winchester that he realized how much he had missed his home.

Where does Lucy fit in?

That’s hard to say without giving away any spoilers, especially for those who haven’t yet read Addy’s Choice. Let’s just say she appears out of the blue, to mix things up! Lucy has had her share of heartache, and is desperate to make a connection to the only family she has left.

What are some of the things in life Addy is most scared of and how does she overcome her fears?

Addy has never really fit in. Not until she was a teenager and finally found a home – a home which was torn away from her. She found a new family when she began working at the radio station, Music 101, but her naivety and desire for connection, led her down the wrong path. It is these experiences which make it difficult for Addy to open her heart, to trust people. Her main fears are familiar – she is terrified of change, and of losing the people she cares about – of being hurt again. Fortunately, she has her brother, James; her best friend, Tyler, and Simon Davies – head of the station, and each are able to influence a change. She overcomes her fear by taking a leap of faith, risking everything because of the example set by those she holds dear.

Addy's Choice 2

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Sometimes the hardest thing about lowering our defenses is the fear of how far we might fall.

That fear had been Adrienne Baxter’s driving force most of her life. It was far easier to hide behind her radio personality, feeding from her audience, than to risk exposure.

She had James, her brother by choice if not by blood. It was enough – most of the time.

As the co-host of the early morning breakfast show at Music 101, Adrienne is the confident, sassy presenter with the silver tongue and fast-talking wit.

When she meets Sebastian Davies, the station owner’s son, her carefully applied façade begins to slip. He presents a new kind of danger, because this time she could lose her heart.

Heart of Fire BookJust Released – Heart of Fire Book 2

Purchaing Links: Amazon~


Tyler Davies was eighteen when he met the fiery beast he would later battle on a regular basis. Seduced by the beauty of her flaming touch, he had looked right into the heart of the fire and known she had claimed him.

It was the second time he’d seen his future. The first was the day he met Lilly-May Saunders, a girl who burned so bright he was blind to anyone else. If it hadn’t been for her friendship with his brother, a relationship he didn’t truly understand, he would have confessed his feelings. But when his friend dies in the line of duty, and Tyler discovers the truth behind the accident, everything changes. Those he loves are in danger, and the one who owns his heart is at the top of the list.

Author Bio.:

Nat Hobson is a pseudonym of Melissa Barker-Simpson. Publishing under Nat, she concentrates on her passion for writing love stories, focusing on contemporary romance. Although there is an element of romance in all her novels, this is usually interwoven in tales of crime, fantasy or science fiction. By writing as Nat, this allows her to write everyday stories of love, and friendship for a specific audience.


Nat’s Website~

Melissa Barker-Simpson~

(this site is reserved for work under my own name. It is also where I do most of my blogging, so pop on over and visit!)

Featured Fiction~

(this is a writing prompt based site, aimed at readers and writers. If you enjoy taking part in writing contests/prompts, follow the link and join us there.)

Writing Room 101~

(As the name suggest, this site is for all things literary related and includes; interviews, reviews, author spotlights, articles, and information on new releases.)




Character Interview with Dosien from the Shadow Stalker Series

Shadow Stalker Banner 2 for Destiny Reconciled Part Two

Character Interview with Dosien from the Shadow Stalker Series

Today we were visited by Dosien from the Shadow Stalker Series by Renee Scattergood. Dosien is a shadow stalker, the elder of his village, Ganida, and Auren’s Uncle.

Dosien, you’re Auren’s mother’s brother, right?

Yes, I am.

Did you know Auren’s father, Zain, very well?

I had met him a couple of times, but I didn’t know him very well.

It must have been hard when your sister died. Did you often wonder what happened to her child?

Yes, it was very difficult. I was close with my sister even though we grew up in different villages. We still saw each other a couple of times a year, and we maintained a strong bond with one another.

As far as what happened to Auren, I suspected she had been rescued even though many people believed the Galvadi had murdered her. Kado had disappeared at the same time and though no one else found that suspicious, I knew there was something to it. I kept my thoughts to myself, though, to protect my niece.

Did you see Kado often when he was growing up?

My sister often brought him and Cathnor with her when she came to visit. They were both good boys, though Kado had a wild streak as a youngster.

Did you grow up in Ganida?

Yes, and my sister grew up in Adaliasa, which is how she met Zain. It was an interesting situation because she and Zain had feelings for each other since they were adolescents, but they were told they were not allowed to be mated with each other. Zain had originally been mated with another woman, who died a year before Drevin had his supposed prophetic dream about my niece. They had two boys who died fairly young in the first war against the Galvadi.

I thought Drevin predicted the Foramar’s first child would be the one who would enslave the people of the Serpent Isles.

He referred to the first child with his new wife, Frai, Auren’s mother.

So how did he and Frai eventually get together if they had been forbidden to mate?

Several months after his first wife died, Zain dreamed about Frai, and consulted the shadow people who informed him she was to be his next mate. It’s never been clear why she couldn’t have been his mate to begin with.

How did the people in your village escape the attack on the Dark Isle?

Adaliasa was the only village that really came under attack. My guess is they focused on that one village because it’s where the Foramar and his wife lived. They knew they were losing the war and it was their last chance to kill the delohi-saqu before he or she was born. We were warned as soon as the attack came, and we left the Dark Isle. Some went to aid those in Adaliasa, but many of them were captured or killed. The Galvadi had developed a weapon that could neutralize our power.

It’s hard to imagine that such a weapon exists.

Yes, it is, and as of yet, we still do not know how to counter it.

Well that’s all we have time for today, Dosien. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. It was great getting to meet you.

The pleasure was all mine.

Shadow Stalker Destiny Reconciled Part Two

Purchasing Link:

All Episodes of Shadow Stalker are free on Smashwords for the next 24 hours or so, for a special promotion they’re doing. The coupon code for the promotions is RAE50, so you just enter it when you buy to get it free. Also, Demon Hunt is half price. This is only on Smashwords, though.

The other thing is, you only have another 24 hours or less to enter the giveaway to win a personalized and digitally signed copy of the Shadow Stalker Bundle (Episodes 1 – 6) or Episode 6. If you haven’t won anything yet, this is your chance!

Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has also published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.

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Ithaca Davidson, Character Interview



By: Quan Williams

Ithaca Davidson Character Interview

Early on in the book, you are accused of always quoting the Bible. Can you tell us why?

I don’t think there is a more quotable source of information than the Holy Bible. Every word in it is the truth, so why not use it to emphasize my point? Even if you’ve never read a word of God’s Word, you can still acknowledge the truth contained within it. And I try to use that truth to illustrate the truth in what I’m trying to say. Every word of God is pure. He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Did you see yourself as the conscience of the company, Baal?

Yes, I did, and I am unashamed of that. When you work in a corporate environment as long as I have, and at any job, really, you’re going to see a lot of workplace politics anddoubledealing. Shady alliances, backstabbing and sabotaging others are the rule and not the exception. I’ve seen many people come and go through Baal, their careers sidetracked or destroyed, simply because they made an enemy of the wrong person at the wrong time. That’s not what I stand for, and I consider it my responsibility to fight that culture at every opportunity.

You tried to warn Elijah, several times, about power, and how it could change a man. How did you feel when he rejected you time after time?

I admit it’s hard to not take rejection personally. But to be fair, Elijah wasn’t the first one who rejected me, and he wasn’t the last. “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” I think Elijah might have stung a bit more because I was working so closely with him every day, and it was easier to see not only the trajectory of his character, but also where I had thepportunity to reverse it before it got him into some serious trouble. I failed.

Why did you start a Bible study group at Baal?

Why not? You have to understand that the only way to reverse a culture of corruption is to instill habits of righteousness. For me, starting a Bible study group was a step in that process. And it wasn’t like nobody came. Sheila from accounting was one of our most consistent attendees. At some level, I believe everyone at Baal was exposed to theJudeau-Christian-Islamic view of God at some point in time. They have been exposed to the Bible in some way, shape or form. I just gave them an avenue to deeper explore that and encourage some more positive behavior in the process.

In the end, you and Elijah end up collaborating to find your way to Claudius Webster. Can you tell us why the two of you decided to trust one another and work together?

Know this: I am not Elijah’s enemy. I never was. Yes, we clashed often while working together, but I was always on the side of righteousness. After the ordeals he had been put through, he finally saw things the way I’ve always seen them. And plus, we both had lives at stake: he was trying to rescue his wife and child, and I’m trying to find my sister. And despite escaping that abominable building, our mission still isn’t over. I’m still searching for my sister, and we will not rest until we have reunited our families and made Webster and his cronies pay for their evil.


Author Bio.

Quan Williams has previously published three other books and various short stories, as well as spending two years as a journalist for The Michigan Daily Newspaper. He studied creative writing under the tutelage of Jonis Agee, author of “Strange Angels” and “South of Resurrection.”

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The book is $12.99, downloads are 2.99

Hands of Evil: Delving into the Characters: Jonathon Jukes (JJ)

Media Kit

Media Kit


Hands of Evil

By: Melissa Baker-Simpson

Delving into the Character of Jonathon Jukes (JJ)

Jonathan Jukes (JJ) Bio

Jonathan Jukes was born in Chelsea, England. His father left before he could walk and his mother succumbed to her heroin addiction when he was twelve, leaving him in the care of his sister. He signed on to be a Marine with his best friend, Andrew Butcher, when he was eighteen. JJ served as a Royal Marine Commando for twelve years. He eventually left the fold to care for his sister, who was a victim of domestic abuse. Julie died in 2010 after reconciling with her husband. JJ now serves within a new team at Morgan and Fairchild, a private security agency. He considers each one of his team-mates family and although they helped him to come to terms with his loss, JJ still views his sister’s death as his own personal failure. He gains solace, on the anniversary of her death, by spending time with Imogen Downes, the manager of a home for abused families and a friend of his sister’s. Morgan and Fairchild offer their services to the home pro-bono, due to JJ’s affiliation.

He is an excellent marksman, with particular skills in field craft, intelligence, surveillance and observation. Having trained as a sniper, JJ is extremely focused and has a keen eye for detail. His is tough, fair and extremely loyal.

He is an excellent marksman, with particular skills in field craft, intelligence, surveillance and observation. Having trained as a sniper, JJ is extremely focused and has a keen eye for detail. His is tough, fair and extremely loyal.

JJ Character Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

Q: So, JJ it is noticeable throughout your book Hands of Evil, that you have a lot of training in the military. How did you come to obtain your military background?

A: My best friend, Andrew Butcher (Butch), persuaded me to sign up. We were pretty wild when we were kids, got ourselves into quite a few scrapes, so I think it was the only option. That discipline, you know, the sense of purpose. I would have followed him anywhere, but I’m glad I followed him into the Marines.

Q: In your military record it states you served as a Royal Marine Commando. Could you elaborate on the kinds of duties this entails?

A: My main role was that of a sniper within a reconnaissance troop. Without getting too technical it means I have an expertise in weapons, field craft and observation – so knowledge of distances, terrain, that kind of thing. As a Marine I worked in extreme environments and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. During one of my tours I worked with the Commandos rifle company and was part of a two man team.

Q: Throughout your book you show us many different sides of your personality. What do you believe is your biggest trait others love about you?

A: I’d like to think it’s my sense of humour, but I guess it would be my focus. My team mates usually send me in to get a lay of the land, often to observe from afar, because they like to get my perspective on things. It feels good to have their trust.

Q: One of the main reasons you are at the center of much of the action is your role in the agency Morgan and Fairchild. How exactly did you come to work there?

A: Kelvin Fairchild is Butch’s cousin, so we go way back. I served with Brad Morgan, was assigned to one of his teams, and I have a lot of respect for them both. When they created the agency and asked me to come on board, I jumped at the chance.

Q: There is a tight family bond between you and your team at Morgan and Fairchild. What do you believe they would say about you if given a chance?

A: Ellen would have something derogatory to say, something old school – like I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag! She’s like a kid sister and she’s made tormenting me her life’s work. I’m sure my ‘spidey-sense’ would be mentioned, the guys like to ride me about that. Justin, the youngest member of our team, he’s like my conscience. He’s the voice in my ear, literally most of the time, and he thinks I need to loosen up!





Blog Tour – Interview with Melissa Barker-Simpson







 The day has finally come for our Launch Week-Blog Tour to begin with Melissa Barker-Simpson and her novel, Hands of Evil. Readers’ Corner is the second stop on the week-long tour…so their will be plenty more fun items like excerpts, book trailers, interviews of all kinds, and best of all their will be one lucky winner at the end of it all.

Make sure to enter for your chance to win a signed edition of Melissa Barker-Simpson’s novel, Hands of Evil. Plus, if you sign up for her newsletter you could even win a surprise by being entered into a drawing for a one of a kind story…featuring your favorite characters.

But, let’s get the party started with getting to know our author. After all, you’re not reading this to stay pretty. So, for further-or-to here is our lovely author now…all ready for the grilling to begin 🙂

What inspired you to become a writer? I used to write plays and perform them for my family when I was a child, usually roping my sister in and a group of friends. As soon as I could write I would get lost in a story or, in this case, script. My mum likes to say I started talking when I was ten months old and I haven’t stopped since!

I don’t know when I began to think of myself as a writer, but I do remember the numerous short stories I wrote growing up. I would read them to my friends (a slow form of torture) and then move onto the next adventure. I wrote my first novel when I was a teenager but nobody would ever want to read it!

I had a few really inspiring English teachers, who took my passion and encouraged me to run with it. But I think I was born to write. I haven’t always been very good at it, but I’ve always put my heart and soul into it. I was certainly born with stories in my head and when I wasn’t jabbering about them, I was writing them!

You have shared with your readers that you have written stories since you were very young. Can you tell us what you felt when you finished your first writing project? I felt pride and great affection for my characters (despite the fact I’d put them through every disaster known to man). I wanted to share it, to introduce those characters to others. I also felt a little surprised, because although I could see them vividly in my head, sometimes (especially back then), I didn’t know where they would take me.

You have been writing online for some time with several different projects. The concept behind Writing Room 101 and Featured Fiction, for example, is wonderful! Can you tell us a bit about the websites and what prompted you to create these sites? I created both of those sites because I enjoy collaborating with others. I love being part of a writing community and I wanted to give back in some way. Personally when I’m struggling to focus or just need a quick fix, I turn to writing prompts. There are so many characters in my head it can get a little busy and since I can’t give them all my attention, I allow them to come out and play for a while!

Really, I wanted to create a safe environment, one where writers could come together, learn from each other and experiment a little. It’s a win win, because readers can access a mixed variety of stories, but also learn more about their favourite writers and how the process works for them.

Could you entertain us momentarily by telling us about the clever character blog of Lance Legion? Lance has been in my head for a long time. I could see him, see all his personalities; his alter egos, and I thought – he’s a legion of ‘one’! That’s where his name came from. I wanted to devote some time to him, but I have so many projects on the go, or waiting to happen, I knew it would be quite some time. That’s why I decided to give him his own site. It means I can develop him over time, let him journey wherever he decides and share him with others. I mean, who doesn’t love a good superhero; regardless of his flaws!

As a full-time employee and mother, I imagine you discover new ideas for stories each day-your books definitely have captivating storylines. Can you tell us about what inspires your stories? Inspiration can strike at any time, sometimes at the worse possible moments! I might be working and something pops into my head and it won’t go away until I’ve got it down on paper. Whether it’s something I see, overhear, or a feeling I get, the next thing I know there’s a strong character in my head! It can be fun when the unconscious part of my mind makes associations and the details come out in a story.

I work in a variety of environments, meet so many rich and interesting people who I can’t help but dream up new adventures in my head. Sometimes when I get a look of extreme concentration on my face, it’s not that I’m working hard to process between two different languages (I’m a sign language interpreter), it’s the characters vying for attention!

You have written both action (mystery/suspense) and romance novels. Which genre do you prefer to write and why? I’m a romantic at heart so I really enjoy writing in that genre. But there’s something special about starting a good mystery; taking people on a journey and using my characters to tie up all those loose ends. Suspense gets the blood pumping and the heart racing and it’s so easy to get caught up in it all.

I loved the way in the “Hands of Evil” you blended a heated romance into a mystery/thriller. Can you tell us some of the writing techniques you used in blending the two? If I’m completely honest it was more of a mystery/thriller first. There was an attraction between JJ and Grace but, at least for the first draft, I wanted to allow my characters to explore the situation they were in. I then took them through each scene again and let them react to it in their own individual way – the attraction built from there and the romance blossomed.

Since your first book was published in 2008, how have you evolved creatively in your writing style? I think the experience of being exposed to so many other writers, and exploring my strengths and weaknesses in a safe and productive way, has been invaluable in terms of my evolution. The actual process of writing a novel can be an isolating experience, but gaining support from my peers, especially the advice and encouragement, has meant that I am never truly alone.

It is commendable that you have pursued learning new tools of the trade through your writing career. Are there any tidbits that you would share with upcoming writers? I would say that however you write, whether you’re a planner, or not, you should explore different techniques and push your boundaries. Having a strong community, one you can share and collaborate with, is vital. It seems obvious, but it’s also important to write as often as possible, even if you would never show what you’ve written to another living soul! Everything we write is valuable in some way, and we learn and grow because of it.

Where did you get the idea for your Morgan and Fairchild Series? My brother inspired the Morgan and Fairchild Series. He’s a soldier and always has a funny tale to tell. The camaraderie he speaks of, and humour in those stories influences the team I created.

Your latest book, Hands of Evil, is the second book in the Morgan and Fairchild Series. Should we expect a third installment? If so, what is the time frame you are expecting before release? Absolutely, I love the team and I can’t wait to spend more time with them. I’ll be publishing the first in a new series in November, entitled Worlds Apart. I’m also currently writing a story that will form part of an anthology, but I have set aside time for the next Morgan and Fairchild novel. I aim to publish book three in the summer of 2015.

How many books do you have planned for the Morgan and Fairchild Series? I have three more planned, but I’m sure that’s just the beginning! I know people are anxious to read Justin’s story and I’ll certainly give him his own adventure. The next book though, will be about Andrew Butcher.

The cover of, Hands of Evil, is engaging and somewhat telling of the suspense of the story to come. Please share who designed the cover and how you developed the design. I designed the cover. Initially, I got advice from colleagues and then began to research images that matched the theme of the novel. Unfortunately none of the images fit with the idea I had in my head so, as I didn’t have the budget to employ a designer, I decided to sketch out a few ideas. I knew I wanted hands to play a part, and as Grace is an integral part of the book I wanted a representation of her too. So I grabbed my camera and persuaded my sister to strike a pose! I experimented with photo editing programs and developed it from there.

How can readers discover more about you and your work? They can visit my website, where I have details of my novels, and a blog. I also post short-stories and have a link to the other sites already mentioned. My website can be found at and my blog can be found at I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Tumblr. All links to my social media accounts can be found on my blog.


With being a full-time employee, mother and now an author. Do you ever find time to relax? What do you do to let off the steam? How do you manage to balance it all? I’d like to say I’ve found a good balance, but I spend far too much time on my computer. My daughters are teenagers now so they ignore me most of the time! We do manage to fit in our ‘girly nights’ though, and enjoy the cinema when there’s a movie we can agree on. I also spend a lot of time with my family, and they keep me grounded.

Book Blurb:

Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ’s past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the centre of it all.

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About Melissa:

Melissa Barker-Simpson image for website

I’ve been writing since, well…since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.

My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn’t always work!

I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

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Interview Done by: Joshua Robertson and D.B. Mauldin

(DKC Team Members)

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