Meet the Author: Interview with Kelly Rimmer

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is Kelly Rimmer. She is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, 2 children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages.  Today Rimmer shares her thoughts on a variety of topics and issues reflected in her novels.

Q&A with Kelly Rimmer

Q: The opioid crisis in the United States was recently declared a national public health emergency, and yet you started work on this book nearly two years ago. What inspired you to write about an addicted mother and the struggles she faces within the relentlessly harsh legal system? What kind of research did you conduct to write so accurately about the current politics of addiction and recovery for this often unmentioned population of women?

A: Addiction is an issue close to my heart, so I have been watching the crisis evolve for some time. The situation has been at “crisis levels for almost a decade, and I’m relieved that it’s at least beginning to get some national attention—although there’s a very long way to go yet before it’s effectively addressed.

I spent almost a year interviewing, reading, and researching to gain an understanding of the science around addiction and the legal issues involved in the book. I also, of course, spent time researching the complex issues for those who leave fundamentalist religious sects like the one the sisters are trapped within as children.

Q: The novel really showcases how blurry the line between right and wrong is when dealing with addiction, and yet so often, women who are pregnant and addicted are dealt with harshly and in ways that negatively impact them, their babies, their families, and their communities for generations. The legal impact feels especially drastic in the book’s scenes when Annie delivers the baby and almost immediately loses all legal rights as a parent. Is this situation a common reality for women like Annie?

A: Laws around drug use in pregnancy are set at the state level, and each state handles the matter differently—but there are countless real-life cases like Annie’s across the nation, where women have lost their children or served prison time. It’s actually impossible to know how many women have had their parental rights removed like this because cases like Annie’s are often handled in the juvenile courts—which means case records aren’t publically available.

Q: At its core, Before I Let You Go is a powerful story of two sisters—Lexie and Annie—and the bond between them and the bond they both have with Annie’s baby, Daisy. How did you write about this relationship in such a real, moving way?

A: There are few relationships in life as profound as those between siblings—it’s a uniquely enduring relationship. Who else sees into the corners of our lives, right from early childhood? I wanted to try to capture the way those sibling relationships can stretch and bend under great tension…but it’s just so hard to break them, despite the fact that these are also the people we might fight with sometimes! In the case of Lexie’s special relationship with Daisy, I actually thought of her easy willingness to care for Daisy as an extension of her endless love for her sister, in a roundabout way. Of course, Lexie cares deeply for her niece, but her bond with Annie is so deep and so wide that she’d do anything for her and her child—even going so far as to step into her role as “mom” when the circumstances demand it.

Q: You write in your author’s note about a favorite uncle who suffered from addiction and how that has influenced you. Even though this book is a work of fiction and not autobiographical, was your uncle an inspiration for this book?

A: It was the loss of my uncle that sparked my interest in issues around addiction in the first place. He was one of the voices of my childhood, always cheering me on and encouraging me to believe I could do anything. When it comes to my writing career, sometimes I can’t quite believe the things I’ve managed to achieve, but I’m also fairly confident that if my uncle were still alive he’d be quite smug about it—I can easily imagine telling me, “Well, I knew you could do it!”

But there’s also no sugar-coating it: my uncle’s behavior could also be immensely destructive, and this deeply affected both his own life and the lives of those who loved him, and the damage lives on long after his death for some of our family members. This is the nature of addiction—it is ugly and brutal, and there are no simple solutions because real lives are changed forever. Once beautiful, vibrant people get caught in its grip. That’s why I dedicated the book to my uncle, and although the story in no way reflects his story, that’s how he inspired it.

Q: Addiction is an issue that most people have concrete opinions about, and yet your book presents addiction and pregnancy in a new light and shows the tragedy of it from a different perspective. Do you think what’s missing from the conversation is compassion? If so, how do we get that back into the dialogue?

A: I think the sheer scale of the drug crisis is part of the reason we have failed to address it—it’s unfortunately human nature to ignore something that seems too big to fix, particularly when we’re not personally impacted. I wanted to break the crisis all the way down to its most granular level and to tell the story of a single family in crisis. It’s so much easier to feel compassion towards a person you know, and the beautiful thing about fiction is that it gives us a chance to walk around in another character’s shoes for a while.

We do desperately we need to reframe the conversation around the opioid crisis. It’s a medical crisis, and it needs medical solutions. We need to remove moralistic language from the discussion and focus instead on resourcing addiction scientists and specialist health professionals as they implement evidence based treatments. This shift is particularly vital when it comes to our treatment of pregnant women with addiction within the legal system—the stakes are so high when the next generation is at risk, too.

Q: You’ve written several bestselling, acclaimed novels. Was the process and experience of writing Before I Let You Go different than your experience with past books?

A: The nature of the stories I write is that my writing process becomes deeply personal—but that was certainly true in a more intense way with this book. I think I lived and breathed Annie and Lexie’s story for six months and then “woke up” and realized my real life was actually still happening outside of my office!

Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? Are you working on anything else you can share?

A: I’ve finished the first draft of my 2019 novel—I’m so excited for the next one! I can’t say too much just yet, as it’s still in the very early stages of development, but I think readers who enjoy Before I Let You Go will love it, too.

Learn more about Kelly Sommer and her books at www.kellyrimmer.com.

About the Book

On sale April 2018

Lexie is a successful doctor who hasn’t seen her trouble sister Annie in years when she receives an unexpected call: Annie, once bright and bubbly, is now drug addicted, living in a squalid trailer park, and has a baby on the way. While Lexie vows to fight for the little sister she swore she’d always protect, Annie herself harbors a dark secret that has haunted her for decades—and it’s one that just might kill her.

Advertisements

Meet the Author: Interview with Julia A. Royston

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner is Julia Royston. She is an author, publisher, speaker and teacher. Royston provides full-service book publishing services, writing and publishing coaching services as well as hosts workshops and conferences to help aspiring writers become best-selling authors and thriving entrepreneurs. By profession, she is a 22-year certified, media specialist/technology instructor with the local public school system. Let’s get to know a little more about Julia Royston.

Tell us about BK Royston Publishing.

BK Royston Publishing is a full-service publishing company established in 2008 to publish high quality and enjoyable inspirational materials for all ages. BK Royston Publishing has assisted hundreds of authors with the guidance, information, coaching and publishing services necessary to write, publish and promote books in all media formats. BK Royston Publishing stays on the cutting edge of publishing by providing publications in multiple formats including paperback, hard back, eBook, Kindle and other mobile device.

Do you provide services? If yes, tell us about your services.

We provide all of the services to get a book from idea to the reader including writing coaching, editing, graphics, formatting, cover design and publishing options.

What led you into the publishing industry?

I wrote my first book and began selling it throughout the community. Prior to my first book, I sang 75+ events per year so I would go to different places in my community and around the country. I met with a friend and she asked me if I had more than 1 book in me. I hesitantly said yes and BK Royston Publishing was born to only publish my own books. A couple of years later, someone said that she had written a book, wanted it published and was going to pay me to publish her books. I told her I would do it for her and the rest is history. She told more friends and learned more and more about publishing.

As a motivational speaker, what topics do you cover?

Well, writing of course, publishing and being a business owner. Because I sing and teach technology as a career, I teach on praise and worship as well as being a psalmist and worship leader. As an information manager/librarian/media specialist, I teach technology skills and tools for business. I have multiple interests and gifts. I use them all of God’s glory and the education and benefit of others.

As a publisher, what do you look for in talent (meaning authors) to add to your roster?

A message, passion and an ability to reach and engage people. We can work on the book, its cover, the interior, tools and information for promotion and marketing to have the book ready for the world but if the author doesn’t have a passion for their own story, build a following of engaged people to become avid readers, it will be very hard to sell the book.

Tell us about Jillian Forrester.

Jillian is single, hard-working, spirit led, passionate, multi-gifted and talented educated young woman looking for someone to share her life with. She has had relationships but doesn’t want to settle for a man who doesn’t love God, her and himself, in that order.

Jillian touches on faith, how important was this topic to the story?

Extremely important because Jillian is Book #1 of the Women of the Fellowship Series set around women who are not church goers but church administrators and leaders on a national level in their particular denomination.

Do you write in other genres?

I write devotionals, poetry, children’s books, business topics and praise and worship.

Do you believe authors should be avid readers?

I do because it is the virtual networking and professional development that comes from reading someone else’s work that should cause you to take your writing endeavors to the next level. With the demands of publishing, I don’t get to read as much as I would like.

What is your favorite place to write?

My desktop computer with the door closed. I like music when I write and the music changes with the genre. Romance, soft romantic music. Devotionals or Praise and Worship Topics, Praise and Worship Music, etc.

What is your favorite quote or scripture?

“I will say of the Lord that he is my refuge, my fortress, my God and in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2

Where can readers find you?

My headquarters to find all of my websites, businesses and information is www.juliaroyston.net

About the Book

Jillian watched so many of her friends date, get engaged and marry before her. She wondered what was taking so long. Jillian had done all of the right things. She had gone to school, built a thriving company, owned a home, drove a luxury car and dedicated years of service to her church and community. But, where was her love? Come experience the lessons, longing and love of Jillian Forrester. Have faith, your love is on the way too.

Purchase link:

Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/ybk7pnpw

Amazon Kindle: http://a.co/g25CVcY

Amazon Paperback: http://a.co/cnd0R2q

Meet the Author: Interview with Shawn Flossy

Shawn Flossy is a self-published author who founded PURP Publications, at the age of 25. Before venturing into her first novel, Shawn was an avid blogger on her NightLife Chronicles blog. A former internet radio host, she helped host with Hear Me Now Radio (HMN) out of Fort Worth, Texas, for over a year. With more business ventures on the horizon, Shawn is definitely climbing the ladder for success. Her sophomore book debut titled, “Ally”, releases later this year.

Get to know Shawn:

What inspired you to write The NightLife Chronicles?

What really inspired the book was the blog I was writing before the book, also called The Nightlife Chronicles, for 2 years. The blog was was so popular that I was writing enough content to actually create a novel. So to answer your question, my fans from my blog inspired my book.

Are any of the characters based on influences you’ve had in your life?

Everybody thinks the main character, Taya Roberts, is a reflection of me, she’s not. Every other character is representations of pieces of people I’ve met in my life.

Tell us the most difficult portion of writing the book?

The ending by far. With me it’s always the last chapter or last paragraph or last sentence because I never know when to stop writing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years as an author?

My long term goal is having a screenplay published on a major platform. It doesn’t have to even be a huge success, but having my own works produced would be a major accolade.

What else do you have in the works?

“Ally” the novel, my sophomore piece. It’s going to top my first book; I really went all out on this one. I also have a poetry book in the works as well, I love writing poems.

When can we expect “Ally” to be available to the public?

We’re expecting to release it by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, and pre orders will be up soon.

Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends?

I want to thank everybody for being interested in what I have to offer, stay tuned because we’re just getting started.

Find the author:

Face-Book: https://www.facebook.com/PURPPublictaions/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TNLChronicles

Shawnflossy.com

http://shawnflossy.blogspot.com

About the Book

Battling her natural instinct to play men and her common sense to be monogamous, Taya Roberts learns her true fate. It’s not that she isn’t ready to settle down rather she just can’t imagine what life would be like without her options. Until she meets Michael Keith who spins her world upside down. His debonair suave mystic personality catches her eye and even has her questioning if this player lifestyle was ever truly for her.

Excerpt

I woke up the next morning with my breath smelling like straight Hennessy. I went in my bathroom and found two naked chicks in my spa tub and a third chick laying on the floor. I stepped over shorty on the floor and proceeded to the sink to brush my teeth and wash the crust out my eyes. I slipped on some hoop shorts and walked out my room to see what the rest of the house was looking like. 

I stood on the balcony overlooking my living room and all I could see was beer bottles covering the floor and a few puddles of vomit. Face down in one of those puddles was my boy Sly Hood. It was several motherfuckas passed out around the crib including Dre’s ass. I went back in my room, grabbed my iPhone out my pants pocket, and called my usual cleaning crew to come a little earlier than scheduled.

After I rounded up all the hungover folks and put them out of my house; let the cleaning crew in, and got dressed, I headed to my office. I know it’s Sunday, but a real businessman never stops working. Growing up I watched my mom hustle everyday of the week just to make sure me any my brother had fresh clothes to wear to school.

Buy the Book:

http://purppublications.bigcartel.comhttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Shawn+Flossy&search-alias=books&field-author=Shawn+Flossy&sort=relevancerank

Meet The Author: Interview with Nick Haskins

Nick Haskins is the author of On the Edge of Heat, Jamal, My Husband’s Wife and his latest novel, Betrayed. Nick was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio where he currently resides. After years of aspiring to become a film and TV writer, he began to shape his creative dreams and released his first book in 2011. Nick has been actively working on building his catalog of work, and readership, with plans to become a full-time writer.

Let’s get to know Nick Haskins

It has been a while since you stopped by Authors & Readers Book Corner, tell us about your journey since releasing My Husband’s Wife.

Yes, it has been awhile since my last visit with Authors & Readers Book Corner. After I released my third book, My Husband’s Wife, in 2013 I took a lot of time off. I stopped all promotions, ads, campaigns etc. in early 2014. I was dealing with a lot of personal issues that prevented me from giving total focus to my career. I wanted to get me together first, and now I’m back with a brand-new book.

What genres do you write in? Will you write in other genres as you progress as a writer?

All of my books are African-American fiction, although the book that I’m currently working on leans more toward urban fiction. I have dabbled a little in erotica as well. Other than those three genres, I see myself maybe exploring suspense, or even a murder mystery.

What is your process for creating characters?

My characters always seem to appear to me. I don’t seek them out; I let them come to me along with the plot, the climax of the story, and the ending.

Do you write from an outline? If not, what is your writing process?

It really depends on the mood I’m in. When I’m feeling extremely creative, usually, the end of the story will play in my head for days, sometimes weeks. When it’s like that, I start jotting down my ending, and before long, I find myself typing out full chapter outlines. Other times, I sit at my computer, turn on some low tunes, and just start typing. I try not to have too much of a process though; I like to just let it flow.

What are four tips you have learned since becoming a published author?

The four tips I’ve learned is, one, it’s a lot harder than it looks! But, I’ve learned not to give up, or stall out each time someone says no, or I don’t get the review I was looking for etc. I’m learning to keep going. Two, as an author, one of my main goals is to entertain my readers, so I’m learning with each book how to craft and weave stories more for my readers amusement. Three, I’ve learned how to have a small group read my work a few times before it’s released. I have an amazing team who is always willing to read my manuscripts, and provide honest feedback which is so needed. The fourth tip I’ve learned is to read and understand everything! I feel as an author, I am in control of my career, and I owe it to myself, and my books, to make sure I’m making the best, and most informed decisions and choices.

What ingredients do you believe a book needs to keep readers?

I believe to keep readers an author shouldn’t leave them in too much suspense. You have to take them on a journey with you, but make sure they know where you’re going, why, and with which characters. With that, a smooth beginning, a good climax, and a rocky cliffhanger ending seems to have been my main ingredients.

Your new book, Betrayed, has a message about loyalty, how important was this topic to the storyline?

Loyalty, or the lack there of, is very important to the storyline. In Betrayed, William Majors is married to a disloyal woman, while his son, Billy, proves where his loyalty lies when he falls in love with his father’s new wife.

What city is Betrayed based in? Is it a city familiar to you?

Betrayed is based in Anchorage. I am not familiar with Alaska at all, but when the storyline started playing in my head set in Anchorage, Alaska I went with it.

Tell us about Williams Majors Sr.

William Majors Sr. is a hardworking, fifty-one-year-old single father. While his first wife Jean was dying, he promises her – and their young son – that he would always take good care of their boy. William dedicated himself to his son, living as a single man for many years. He didn’t trust another woman to come in and attempt to raise his son, so did it on his own. When Billy turns twenty-one, William becomes eager to find a wife. That’s when he meets, and falls madly in love with Jennifer Payne.

Tell us about Jennifer.

Jennifer Payne was written after Jennifer Williams from Basketball Wives. She’s tall, thin, beautiful and proves to be dangerous for the Majors men. She loves her husband, William, and wants him and their marriage, but she starts to want his son just a little more.

Where do you see Nick Haskins in five years?

In five years, I hope to see my name on the New York Times Best Sellers list. I also want to eventually migrate into TV and/or film.

What is your favorite motto or scripture?

My favorite motto is: If it didn’t kill you, brush yourself off and keep going!
I have several favorite scriptures: Psalms 23, Psalms 103, Isaiah 41:28-31, and the one that’s taught me the most about having faith in God which is James 1:1-9

Readers can visit Nick’s website at www.nickhaskinsbooks.com, or email him at nickhaskinsbooks@gmail.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IamNickHaskins 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamnickhaskins
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamnickhaskins/

Purchase a copy of Betrayed at Amazon.com

About the Book

Sixteen years ago, William Majors Sr. made his young son, Billy, a promise that he would always take care of him after his mother died. He vowed to raise his son into a man he would someday be proud of. William also vowed not to take another wife until Billy was all grown up, so he opted to live as a single man. That all changed the day Jennifer Payne walked into his life. Her seductive body and stunning beauty instantaneously captures William . . . and Billy. When Billy secretly deceives William – seemingly overnight – Jennifer finds herself trapped in a dangerous love trio with both Father and son. When she chooses one over the other, a deadly line of betrayal will be crossed that will shake The Majors’ forever . . .

Excerpt from Betrayed

Over the years, a variety of women have tried and failed with William no matter what their efforts. He just wasn’t ready . . . until now. Only problem is, he doesn’t know where to start. He surely doesn’t fancy any of the desperate, flabby tired selection of women that was constantly trying to feed him and his son. He’s a fifty-one-year-old father, so clubbing is completely out of the question. He’s never attended a church service, so meeting a good ole’ church girl wasn’t going to happen either. He doesn’t trust anyone off the Internet, so his future wife, in his words, would have to come and find him, which is exactly what happened the day Jennifer Payne walked into his lumber company.

Jennifer was doing a small remolding job to her condo, and needed to pick out just the right materials for the project. Her contractor gave her a card for Anchorage Lumber, and told her she should go check out some of the marble samples the lumberyard offered. When she decided to take the contractors advice, Jennifer’s tall, thin frame swayed into Anchorage Lumber and the rest, as they say, is history – history William Majors Sr. would someday wish he could rewrite . . .