Author Spotlight: John Rosenman

  • a neurotic, sometimes impractical, imaginative, tennis-playing, speculative fiction writer.

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to John Rosenman!

John is a retired English professor who has published two dozen books and 250+ stories in places such as Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Fangoria, Galaxy, Endless Apocalypse, The Age of Wonders, and the Hot Blood erotic horror series.

Two of his major themes are the endless, mind-stretching wonders of the universe and the limitless possibilities of transformation—sexual, cosmic, and otherwise.

John, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

We had two female terrier-like dogs who I loved and I’d like another. One of them was crazy about the salt on my body and would methodically lick my legs and between my toes.

I’ve also been thinking about a cat.

A good dog is like nothing else.

What do you write? And how did you get started?

I love ideas and story concepts. In fact, I always have. When I was a small child I would say to my father, “Tell me a story,” and at night he would tell me one while I lay in bed. That perhaps more than anything else got me started.

As a small child I liked to sit with my girl friend (not girlfriend) and make up stories about drivers who passed us. “Ah, that one is the lady burglar!” As I grew up, I liked to create alien worlds, fascinating characters, mind-bending concepts. While I have written some realistic fiction, I’m usually more comfortable creating speculative fiction and tales of fantasy and horror.

I find myself always giving people motivations for what they do, even if I don’t know them, as well. And speculative fiction makes it a little harder for people to tell you ‘you got it wrong.’

I’ve heard a rumor that you’re a pantser, not a plotter. Is that true?

It is! I’ve tried doing an outline and character sketches, but it’s not for me. In general, I like to make it up as I go with only a cloudy destination in sight.

This NaNoWriMo, I’ve been doing more discovery writing than I’m comfortable with, but having a cloudy destination is a great thing, at least for me.

What do you like to read?

Science fiction and speculative fiction. Some horror and fantasy. Jack Reacher hard-nosed, action thrillers. Recently I read The Forgotten Child and Girl With a Pearl Earring. Actually, I read all kinds of genres and love to find unexpected jewels and bangles in all of them.

I’m right there with you! Speculative fiction of all sorts is my jam. But a wide variety can only broaden you as a reader and a writer.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Write what you know.

I usually write about what I don’t know. Imaginary worlds, alien species. They come from my imagination. Sometimes I do research to flesh out and make real things I know little about, like driving through Wyoming and Denver and being a crab fisherman in the Chesapeake Bay. Thank God for Google!

Imaginary worlds are my home, too.

Although, my grandpa was actually a crabber for a couple years, my aunt and uncles helped him out. But yes! Grounding the fantastic with things drawn from this world can really help flesh out a story and give it a realism that is hard to duplicate.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Find a beta reader

Find a really good beta reader and/or a really good writers’ critique group. Both are so important. Thanks to my writers’ group, I’ve polished and sold dozens of short stories and novels. Today, I have a friend who critiques all my stuff online. We trade back and forth, helping each other out.

One-hundred percent. Having writer friends who get it, who support you, and who push you to greatness is irreplaceable.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Here goes. My Inspector of the Cross sci-adventure series now numbers six books, with the latest, Crash having just been released. The first five novels are Inspector of the Cross, Kingdom of the Jax, Defender of the Flame, Conqueror of the Stars, and Skyburst.

The first three novels are now available as a boxset under the title Starfighter Chronicles.

Thanks to suspended animation, Turtan is over 3500 years old and travels on freeze ships to distant worlds. His mission is to investigate weapons that will help humanity turn the tide against their ancient nemesis…the Cenknife. Vicious aliens, the Cenknife seek to conquer the universe and enslave humanity. And only one man can save them!

A Senseless Act of Beauty
FREE with Kindle Unlimited and available on Audio

Imagine the 1950’s Sci-Fi movie Forbidden Planet with 1000 new wonders. Can Aaron, a Nigerian scientist, solve the glorious mysteries of Viridis and avoid destruction for both him and his crew?

Beyond Those Distant Stars
FREE with Kindle Unlimited AND Audio

Alien invaders have all but destroyed humanity. Stella McMasters, a retired naval officer, yearns to get in the war but knows she’ll never get a chance. Then amazing things start to happen, after an incident in which she nearly loses her life.

Check John Rosenman out across the web!

Website | Amazon

Author Spotlight: Lauren Sevier

  • a YA author who splits her time working full-time in Cardiology, writing, filming YouTube videos, and being a proud wife and mother.

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Lauren Sevier!

Lauren Sevier is a proud Ravenclaw and YA author who helps mend broken hearts and runs after her wild little boy.

Hailing from the deep south, she writes with as much spice as she cooks with and collects antique tea cups, good books, and great friends.

Lauren, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Well, I have two dogs one is a red-haired Border Collie named Lily (yes, after Lily Potter) who is as beautiful as she is neurotic, and a pint-sized criminal aptly named Bandit who is too smart for his own good and dramatic to boot. They’ve both been with us through really hard times, we got Bandit before going through infertility treatment and Lily was purchased as a support animal for my husband after his first hip replacement surgery.

So, even though I could say a dragon or mermaid or gryphon or some other cutesy answer… the fictional doesn’t compare with reality. They’re warm and funny and frustrating, and have beaten away sorrow and loneliness during hardships with a relentlessness that only dogs possess. They’re family and since having our son that’s been made more clear to us than ever, as he is now a favorite partner in mischief.

A loyal dog is worth its weight in gold. I’m so happy they’ve been such a bright spot in your life.

What do you write?

My debut is a YA Fantasy novel, the first in a 7-book series, but I’ve dabbled in YA sci-fi, YA dystopian, and am starting a few projects that would be considered Adult fiction or NA fiction. I started writing as most of us do in childhood or more aptly, adolescence. Silly stories, about batman’s daughter or a girl who lives in an enchanted forest. I think I wanted to imagine a world in which being different than everyone else made you special and not weird.

Growing up I had a hard time, I had flaming red hair (hence the childhood nickname of ketchup head) and too much imagination for my peers. Even among my family members, I was considered odd, preferring to stay inside and read instead of going shopping or to social events. As someone so hyper-active and extroverted it seemed a contradiction and people couldn’t seem to figure me out. As I grew older that transformed into writing song lyrics on my front porch swing and reading classic literature and poetry. For years I had the impossible dream of writing a novel of my own. Admitting it, even to myself, would have opened up my fragile hope to ridicule and criticism, the same kind that had devastated me for my entire adolescence.

In fact, it wasn’t until I met my former writing partner that I even dared to dream about it. She introduced me to fan-fiction first, a toe in the water, a pressure-free environment in which to explore and experiment with my writing. Then, during one of the hardest moments of my life, she gave me a writing prompt to get my mind off of the world around me for a little while. Two days later I emailed her a completely original non-fan fiction first chapter and it blew her away. Neither of us knew I had that kind of passion and talent. Ever since then, I’ve been completely unable to turn it off, much to my husband’s chagrin. (He can’t seem to keep up with all the stories I have working at a given time, LOL).

I was just sharing notes on a panel from former fanfiction writers talking about all of the skills it gives writers — whether they play in their own worlds or continue with shared universes. I’m thrilled it’s a path that worked for you and that you’ve found the strength to put your works out there for others to read. It can feel like sharing your soul and waiting for judgment.

What do you like to read?

I have a busy schedule, so reading is a luxury and also an essential part of honing my craft. So, I have to constantly multi-task (via audiobooks) and prioritize by being really selective with my reading. I read pretty extensively in my genre which is currently YA fantasy, but I also read craft books, self-help books, books for research, and occasionally a romance novel to let off some mental steam (i’m a hopeless romantic and love the happily ever afters).

I hear the busy schedule, and am jealous of people who can absorb stories through audio books. I’ve gotten better with short stories, but for longer stuff, I need a long drive or I need a longer commute. YA fantasy is my first writing love, too. And bring on the quick-reading romances that you know are going to end on a happy note.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Write Every Day.

Write every day. I can’t tell you how much I hate seeing people perpetuate this advice to the point that it is considered a professional standard. Not only is it unrealistic, I think for some individuals it could be really unhealthy. Between my full-time job in Cardiology, traveling for work, being a mother to a toddler, a wife to a husband with an incurable auto-immune disease, and my writing goals… writing every day isn’t only impossible, it’s unhealthy.

This is such a widely accepted piece of advice that people are normally taken aback by how strongly I feel about it. Writing, like any artistic endeavor is a creative pursuit and you can’t draw on a well that is empty. Taking breaks from writing and recharging yourself is so necessary to keep yourself healthy and productive.

I would amend the advice to say instead, ‘Work every day.’ There are so many things you can do that can help further your writing journey other than writing; reading, research, learning about publishing trends, working on your marketing plan (for self-publishing) or query letter (for traditional), building your social media platforms, and so much more! Things that can take away that pressure to perform that can leave you feeling weak or drained. Or, as Bilbo Baggins once put it, “like butter scraped over too much bread.”.

Best thing about writing advice is you only have to take the bits that work for you. I can manage writing everyday for NaNoWriMo, but the rest of the year, I have a pace that’s a bit more realistic for my life. And reading definitely reminds me why I want to do this in the first place.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Write like it matters, and it will.

Libba Bray

Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors and she once said “Write like it matters, and it will.” This is something I say to myself like a motto when I have to push through deadlines or find inspiration when I’ve hit a wall. What is the point of writing this? I ask myself, constantly. Does this matter to me? If it does, WHY does it matter to me? Because if it doesn’t matter to me, if it doesn’t make me feel anything: passion, horror, sorrow, vindication, whatever it may be then my readers won’t have the same experience.

My motivation behind publishing isn’t to make a ton of money, or become famous, it’s to connect with other people. To hopefully touch them or inspire them, to make them feel something, to help them escape the mundane or downright awful. I want my writing to matter to my readers in the same ways it has always mattered to me. I can only hope that one day it will.

That’s so encouraging. I know my dream is that someone I don’t know, that didn’t get the book from someone I know, finds out who I am and tells me it’s their favorite story.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Songs Of Autumn

What if your entire life you knew the exact day you were going to die?

Magick in the Kingdom of Aegis has almost run out. When that happens, the seasons will stop changing, the tides will cease to turn, and the sun will no longer be able to rise and set. The only way to save the lives of her people is if Liz agrees to be a blood sacrifice in a brutal ceremony that will take her life.

The problem is, Liz isn’t ready to go.

With the help of a mischievous wanna-be soldier, Matioch Steele, Liz dares to take her fate into her own hands. Defying a blood-thirsty sorcerer, her desperate flight teaches her how to truly live while Mat finds out what’s worth dying for. Each other.

Love, Death, Magick, and Mystery come together to weave one girl’s epic tale of self-discovery.

Her song will echo within us all.

Check Lauren Sevier out across the web!

Website | Instagram | Twitter |Goodreads | Amazon | Youtube

Author Spotlight: Laura Detering

  • former dancer, worship leader, high school teacher, and cardiac sonographer turned happily-ever-after author.

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Laura Detering!

Laura Detering is a happily married mom of 2 girls. She spends her days very differently than she ever did before and it’s not because of COVID.

A few years ago she was struck with invisible neurological conditions (Chronic Vestibular Migraines and MDDS) that have left her disabled. Finding herself mostly couch and bed ridden in chronic pain, instead of letting depression keep her down, she was encouraged to continue to try and heal as well as begin a lifelong dream, writing.

Laura, thanks for agreeing to be here today. What a struggle! I’m so glad you’ve found your way to writing. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Oh my word, I haven’t really ever thought about it because most pets trigger my asthma! In real life, I would love a little “hypoallergenic” lap dog (maybe like a Morkie?) to keep me company while I write as well as be a friend for my daughters.

In the fantasy world, I would love an Ikran (flying dragon of Pandora). I mean besides the obvious (who wouldn’t want to fly?) they are warriors and their coloring is beautiful!

Lovely choices! All right thinking people usually have an eye on a dragon. And puppies are classics for a reason!

What do you write?

Common themes you will see in my writing are hope, happily ever afters, and mostly clean romance. I hope to never be boxed into a specific genre or age group.

I took time off of my job to raise my kiddos with plans to return to the workforce once my youngest was old enough to start school.

Around 18 months before that was set to happen, I felt God nudging me to write my book based on a recurring dream I had as a child, something I had always felt called to do. I figured with only 18 months left, I better hop to it.

I spent 2-3 months researching names, making timelines and webs, bare-bones outlines, etc. From late January of 2017 to the beginning of April 2017, I had my very first draft complete. I wrote late in the evening once everyone was asleep with the show Friends in the background. I got through one set of edits, and then I set it aside for a few months.

By the time I picked it back up, my conditions hit. Editing was painful and painfully slow afterward. I started planning The Witch in the Envelope in 2016 and I am just now publishing it.

Writing is tough when everything is going well. It takes a determined person to push through and focus with all you have going on. I love that you choose to write happily-ever-after stories, keeping your focus on the positive.

What do you like to read?

Give me all the fluff, romance, relationship tropes, and happily ever afters! My neurological conditions tax my central and parasympathetic nervous systems so I do not do well with anything that causes me stress. I do have a problem though… if a book has sucked me in, I HAVE to finish it as fast as I
possibly can. It’s an addiction, really.

I’m right there with you on ‘having’ to finish a book. Let hear it for those stories that you just ‘know’ are going to turn out okay.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Write Every Single Day.

It’s not physically possible for me. I have to give myself grace for days when my body says, “absolutely not today.”

I used to beat myself up about it, which caused stress, which caused my body to go into a flare, and well… you get the idea. Even if I wasn’t sick, life ebbs and flows a lot and having younger kids is a feat in itself. I am not saying to make a bunch of excuses all the time and not make your writing a priority; just don’t beat yourself up about it.

One hundred percent. Life has to be your priority. Making space for your writing doesn’t mean ignoring the things around you — be it family, day-jobs, or your own health – all of these things often need to come first.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Write the story you want to read

If I had spent time on social media researching all of the writing advice out there, I may never have started writing in the first place.

As a newbie author, it is easy to get swept away in the opinions and advice of others, no matter how well-intentioned. That can include lies that your story isn’t needed right now, or the market is too saturated, or it doesn’t fit current market trends, etc. Write what you want to read because you will read it…. dozens and dozens of times.

One-hundred percent! Chasing the market typically ends up with people six months late into an over-saturated market, with writing that lacks heart. When you care about your story, it shows.

Did You Always Want To Be A Writer?

Heck Yes! Well, no… maybe?

I had an awesome 1st and 2nd-grade teacher. She had us re-write fairytales with a twist and I loved that. I wanted to turn my recurring dream into a children’s book.

Slowly, I began to hate writing. Ugh- a ten page paper was like pulling teeth. In high school, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time and was involved in many sports, clubs, and activities. I did volleyball, dance, musicals, madrigals, and SAVE. I also took AP and honors courses. I never had time to read and all my writing was for school. I hated everything that we were assigned to read and most topics/prompts we had to write on.

It wasn’t until my second year of teaching high school that I fell in love with reading again. Thanks, Twilight! Becoming an avid reader again, my desire to write sprang back to life.

So, Twilight, huh?

I know, I know. It is a super unpopular opinion. However, I will ALWAYS be grateful to that series! So, I was teaching history for half the day and ethnic dance the second half.

I started seeing kids reading. You would think this would be common in a school setting, but it really wasn’t. Everywhere I went, I would see a handful of kids reading wherever they could find a spot to get to a few more pages and they all were reading the same book. If I had a few minutes of free time at the end of class, kids were whipping out this book instead of their cell phones.

I asked some of the students in my dance class what the book was about. When they told me the premise, I scoffed. A human falling in love with a vampire in a love triangle with a wolf? What the heck? I’m not reading that. But, this one student challenged me to read it over the weekend and told me to come back and answer him one thing, Team Edward or Team Jacob. Well, he was right! I LOVED it. (I’m team Edward by the way). This book series allowed me to connect with my students in a way I’d never had before and we had so much fun!

It also allowed me to connect with my older sister as well. I will never forget being super pregnant, wearing a team Edward tee, going to see New Moon in Orlando on opening weekend with her. The audience made it that much better!

You will never hear me diss Twilight fans. While not for me, the genre is right up my alley. And? I find that you’ll see a lot of literary criticism on what teenage girls and “moms” like to read, listen to, anything that becomes popular with women is often mocked or derided for someone’s idea of its merit. They find condemning stuff that they aren’t the target market for easy.

Plus? The popularity of things with these groups just shows me that these are likely underserved markets, starving for more. Let me stop here before I really start to rant…

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

The Witch in the Envelope is my debut novel and the first in the trilogy. I am very proud of myself for not quitting on this project even though my brain hated every second of my 5 minute stints at the computer and made me pay for it with dizziness and disabling migraines.

I hope Liddy’s story allows my readers to escape this harsh 2020 if even for a short time. I am now finding treatment that has helped me some as well as new technology that I am getting more comfortable with. I promise it will not be another 4 years for book 2 to hit shelves (I plan to release it in the spring or fall of 2021).

Book 1 in the TWITE series…

As a child, nightmares of a hauntingly beautiful yet vicious witch plagued Liddy Erickson. But when she wakes one morning with a deep gash on her chest in the same place the witch attacked her, she realizes these were no ordinary dreams. Shortly after she confides in her best friend, Will, his entire family disappears along with her memories of them.

It’s now 1998, and seventeen-year-old Liddy has one goal: to move out of the cold Chicago suburbs after graduation. Two things that are not in her perfectly planned life: fun and dating. That is until the new transfer student catches the eye of every girl at Wheeling High School. With intriguing scars and eyes that seem to glow, he awakens something inexplicable in Liddy and proves to know her even better than her closest friends. This forbidden attraction could be her greatest downfall…or her saving grace.

When a stranger with a distinct melodic chime to his walk saves Liddy from opening an enchanted envelope, he reveals an outrageous claim that she is a lost Watcher and the saving grace for their homeland, Cristes. As Christmas draws near, Liddy must decide if she can trust the stranger’s orders or risk condemning an entire nation.

Check Laura Detering out across the web!

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon |

Author Spotlight: Tamara Woods

  • cozy-mystery and women’s literature author, content creator, and writing community organizer

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Tamara Woods!

Tamara Woods doesn’t spend her time sipping on Mai Tais on the beach. In fact, by living in Hawaii, she’s found that she’s more of a mountain person than a beachy one. Must be her West Virginia roots.

Maybe that’s why there’s such a strong call to small towns and country living in her books whether they’re women’s literature or cozy mysteries. She likes to talk about writing and books on her YouTube channel.

She hosts a weekly Twitter called #writestuff where writers talk about writing. She is the author of the poetry collection, “The Shaping of an ‘Angry’ Black Woman.” And she is consistently working on the next novel. She’s a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.

Tamara, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

I’m so basic, if I could have a pet, I would have a puppy and a kitty. In our current apartment, we’re not allowed any pets. :insert sad trombone sound:

No pets at all? That’s so sad. I hope your next place lets you get them.

What do you write?

I started writing when I was a single-digit Tamara. Once I figured out it was people like me telling these stories that I loved so much, I was hooked. I initially wrote a lot of horror and women’s fiction. Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe were my writing touchstones.

As I’ve grown older and the world around me grew a bit darker, I realized I wanted to tell stories of tight-knit communities where women who looked like me solved the problem. And the bad guy always got theirs. Plus, I loved watching Murder She Wrote with my family growing up. Cozy mystery was the obvious choice.

It’s always great when you find your passion at a young age. Cozy mysteries seems like just the right fit for grown-up Tamara — at least for now.

What do you like to read?

I am a “whale reader.” Some people binge Netflix, I binge read. I tend to these days read a lot of cozies and romantic suspense. I also get down with a ton of other genres as well but mostly fantasy, mystery, and romance.

I’m definitely a binge-reader, too! I used to be just sf and fantasy, and then I got hooked on paranormal romances. But, those cat-themed cozy mysteries got my tip-toeing into the mystery genre.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.


I don’t think that outlining is for everyone. My math guy thinks I’m ridiculous because I like to plan my life, but my writing life, I hiss at planning. I told him it doesn’t have to make sense. It just needs to work for me.

Oh, wow! I’ve always shied away from mystery and suspense sort of books because I thought they needed more planning than my very-high-level notional stuff. It’s great to know that genre doesn’t matter when it comes to being a plotter or not.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Write what you know

But I like to add the caveat of research the rest.

Well, I write some out-of-this-world stuff, but definitely. Do your research and base your people, their hopes, their fears on the way people actually work.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Currently I’ve been working on my Beach Bound Cozy Mystery series, so that’s what I’ll talk to y’all about. 

My latest book, Bailed Out, is currently on preorder, launching November 3rd

After an unexpected call from Queen’s Medical Center, Fraya learns her ex-husband, Jackson, has been hospitalized in paradise. Confused that she’s listed as his emergency contact, she puts the pedal to the metal and flies down the highway, only to find he’d checked out the hospital under mysterious circumstances.

Having no other option, she tries concentrating on her day-to-day routine, hanging out with her writing group and the guy she’s sorta seeing. When her life is threatened during date night, Fraya is left with more questions than answers.

Why is Jackson really on the island? And did he bring the danger with him or has some unknown person been plotting against her?

But you can meet Fraya and catch up on the whole series!

We start with Fraya and her two cousin Isa and Neilina during a pivotal summer while they’re tweens. The summer changes them in ways that they’re not even fully aware of. That story is called Midnight Murder (and it’s available for free as a newsletter sign-in)

Mystery Follows Her: A cozy mystery multi-author collection by [Dianne Ascroft, Ellen Jacobson, Tamara Woods, Sarah Biglow, Aubrey Elle, Beate Boeker, Adriana Licio, Vikki Walton, Angela K. Ryan]

Next comes the story of how Fraya moves from Whisper Valley, West Virginia to Kailua, Hawaii and the trouble she runs into when she lands in the tropics.

That story is available in the Mystery Follows Her cozy mystery boxset. Myself and eight other cozy authors from around the world contributed to this wonderful work.

And Book 1 of the Beach Bound series is called Wiped Out: Murder is a Beach.

Fraya Taylor is done with the drama of life on the mainland. She’s carved out a new magical black girl life for herself in Kailua, Hawaii, writing novels, talking story with her bestie, and soaking up the sun.

But sometimes life has other plans.

Check Tamara Woods out across the web!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Youtube | Patreon

Author Spotlight: Cass Voit

  • horror/thriller author, photographer, artist, belly dancer, and flow artist

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Cass Voit !

IMG_4136 copy.jpg

Cass Voit is a self-published author based out of Northern Virginia. She has breached over 200 subscribers on Authortube after eleven years of honing her writing craft.

She is also a professional photographer, illustrator, bellydancer, and flow artist. At the end of the day, she enjoys curling up with her husband and her black cat, Nobukatsu, watching a stupid show, and reading a horror book.

Cass, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Frankly, I have it: A fat black cat that was feral. I suppose next best would be a full on panther, but the danger of getting mauled one day is real. 

An excellent choice. Black cats are pretty amazing.

What do you write?

I technically write supernatural horror/urban fantasy fan-fiction set in the World of Darkness, which is the intellectual property of White Wolf Entertainment.

I’ve enjoyed playing games in that world. It’s definitely a fun setting with a lot of things to explore.

What do you like to read?

I read urban Fantasy mostly. I have been reading a lot of Supernatural Horror/thriller lately, but I’ve been disappointed a lot too: When you put Supernatural Thriller on the cover, don’t fill it with erotic fiction. No judgement against Erotic fiction; I love it, but when I’m expecting horror, it’s a bitter spoon to be fed. 

I find myself reading a lot of urban fantasy (and paranormal romance), these days. And what a good point, I know so many authors who hate being penned into genre categories, but expectations matter. If you promise one genre, but give another, you’re setting yourself up for disappointed readers and one-star reviews. Truth in advertising matters.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Adverbs are the devil.

No, they’re not. Just don’t abuse them. 

Definitely! I use adverbs, but try not to have too many per paragraph. A well placed adverb can add so much to your story. As with all how-to-write grammar sort of things, one should never take it as a ‘never’, and more of a reminder to not be lazy with your writing. There are so many verb choices in english, you can often forgo the adverb with a well-chosen verb, but not always. And it’s good to vary sentence structure.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Use active voice, not passive.

This was a game changer for me. Converting all my old writing to third person and active is really the bulk of the work I have yet to do.

It’s great that your earlier writing is completely usable, readable, and enjoyable with a… well, not-so-simple, but straightforward edit! It’s easy, especially with descriptive passages or transition passages to turn to passive-voice, but often a more active voice adds so much, without adding much to the wordcount.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Check out Cass Voit’s debut novel! Hopes Chest

Set in The World Of Darkness

Pandora “Panda” Tran is a queen among the White Hats based out of the Washington DC area. When a government agency hires her to hack into a “suspect” forum, she is confronted by wizards that use computers in their magic. When the Government agents that hired her show their true colors, Panda has no choice but to also learn this form of magic in order to stay alive.

Set in the World of Darkness. 

Coming soon: The Damned Hitman series

Check Cass Voit out across the web!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Storyteller’s Vault