Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spotlight on Multi-Published Romance Author Leigh Michaels.....

Welcome to an Interview with Multi-Published Romance Author  Leigh Michaels....

Hello-Hello and how are you today? I'm back and hope everyone is doing well and happy! Welcome back to my blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest you. Today I interview a fellow author. And with me this time is Multi published romance author, Leigh Michaels.

Leigh Michaels ( is the award-winning author of more than 100 books, including Regency romances, contemporary romances, and non-fiction. Six of her books have been finalists in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest, and more than 35 million copies of her books are in print in 25 languages and 120 countries. She is also the author of On Writing Romance, and teaches romance writing online at Gotham Writers’ Workshop where we first met.

Without further ado, lets us begin. …
Photo of Leigh at a conference. 

SJ: You’re a romance writer, Leigh, but actually studied journalism at Drake University. How on earth did you transition from one to the other? What transpired that made you switch?
Leigh: I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was fond of the idea of having a roof over my head. I figured I could work at a newspaper or magazine and write on the side. Instead I ended up in radio and public relations and as a librarian. My first editor told me I wrote “lovely clear prose” that translated easily, and that helped to explain my success in overseas markets. I credit my journalism training– it taught me to write precisely, to write fast, and to meet deadlines.

SJ: You’ve written over 100 books including romance and non-fiction: Where do you continue to get your ideas after so many stories?
Leigh: I almost always start developing a story with a problem – an interesting situation that’s going to put pressure on my main character – and then I figure out what kind of person would be most affected by that problem. Why is it important? How would they react? Sometimes it can be as simple as reading a snippet in a newspaper, but that’s only the germ of an idea. It’s the characters, and why this problem is so all-encompassing to them, that make the story special.

SJ: Now this one will cause you to think…of all the books you’ve written, is there one that stands out as your favorite to write and why?
Leigh:  Oh, actually that’s easy. My all-time favorite book is my runway bride book – Backwards Honeymoon. I’d been thinking about that story for a year, but one morning I woke up knowing exactly who the heroine was and why she was running away from her wedding, exactly who the hero was, what put him in her path and why he was willing to help her run away,  and pretty much how their story unfolded. I wrote that entire book in 17 days, and my editor didn’t change a word. (What’s not to like about that?)

SJ: What do you love most about being a writer? Least?
Leigh:  I love that writing allows me to live multiple lives – I can, through my characters, have many different jobs, live in different places and even different eras, and follow different lifestyles. Being an author means I never really have to grow up. 

What I like least is the pressures of a writing career – things like deadlines and the demands of marketing and promotion.

SJ: What one writer inspired you most and how?
Leigh: Georgette Heyer. I always enjoyed reading her Regency romances, long before I started writing historicals. I loved the humorous twists and I loved her heroes – and I think all of my books, even the contemporaries, have a similar flavor and sense of humor. I still go back to Georgette Heyer every year or two and reread my favorites.

SJ: If you could give just one piece of important writing advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Leigh: Stick to it. In the classes I teach, I see a lot of people who have talent – but they never make it because they give up when the first book doesn’t get published. I see people who achieve moderate success but don’t reach their full potential because they don’t challenge themselves to make each story better than the one before.

SJ: In closing, Leigh, what is a favorite book you enjoyed reading and would recommend without hesitation? Why?
Leigh: Oooh, this is hard. I’ll settle for sharing a book that I’ve just finished and really enjoyed – The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr. It’s the first book of a series set in 1365 in and around Oxford, England – about a young surgeon who gets drawn into trying to solve murders. If it was on television they’d call it CSI: Medieval!

SJ: Thank you, Leigh so much for your time and allowing me to take some time out of your busy schedule and interview you about your writing career and your latest historical novel: Ruining the Rake.

Follow news about Leigh at her website: 

Her latest release, Ruining the Rake is a new Regency romance novella and here is a synopsis: 
                                                    A desperate young lady…

When Elinor’s guardian arranges her marriage to an elderly merchant interested only in her society connections, she will do anything to sabotage the wedding – even if it means ruining herself by running off with another man.

A gentleman rake…

Who could be a better choice for a woman who needs ruining than a man so notorious that all of London calls him Lord Rake?

A straightforward bargain…

But when their arrangement goes awry, saving Elinor may mean ruining the rake! 

And before we close this interview, Leigh would like to share an excerpt for you to enjoy: 

As Gus descended the stairs on his way to breakfast, a commotion at the front door drew his attention. One of the footmen appeared to be attempting to block the entrance as he remonstrated with a caller – certainly an odd circumstance. If it wasn’t the master of the house who was the object of the call, the visitor should have used the servants’ entrance instead. Gus himself was expecting no visitors, and anyone who had the temerity to call on him at this hour would be such an intimate friend that he would be admitted without question.

The butler hurried toward the door, and Gus’s eyebrows rose. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen old Feather take anything but a slow and deliberate pace. The footman moved aside, deferring to the butler. Beyond him, Gus caught a glimpse of a slight figure draped in an all-concealing dark gray cloak, standing just inside the door.

Gads! Were the determined ladies of the marriage mart pursuing their quarry even into a gentleman’s own home these days? Or was this some new sort of wager among the bored young women of the ton, to beard Lord Rake in his own den? Last night, there had been those two young ladies prowling around the folly as if they were seeking prey...

“I have come to see Lord Rackham,” the visitor said clearly.

Definitely a lady, judging by the accent – though the timbre of her voice was lower and richer than he had expected, not the high-pitched, giggly prattle of the simpering debs whom he avoided at all costs.

Intrigued, he moved closer.

“My business is my own,” she said firmly, obviously in answer to a question Gus hadn’t heard. “My errand is personal, and I shall speak of it only to his lordship. Please tell Lord Rake a lady wishes to see him.”

“A lady? Not hardly,” the footman breathed with a smirk – until his gaze slid away from the caller and landed on Gus. Instantly, the servant straightened back to attention, displaying the same wooden expression normally found only on a nutcracker.

With the servant reminded of his place, Gus stopped glaring at him and turned his attention back to the gray-clad figure. The cloak enveloped her entire body, and the deep hood was drawn up till it concealed her face. There was nothing he could see about her except her height – or lack of it; he estimated the top of her head would come only to his chin. But her voice...

 Gus concluded this was not a woman he’d met before, because he would have remembered her voice. He couldn’t possibly have forgotten any woman who could sound so soft, so gentle, and so fiendishly determined – all at the same time.

Regardless of what the footman so obviously thought, Lord Rake had never seduced this female.

Or perhaps it was more accurate to say he hadn’t seduced her yet. The day was young and he had no other plans, and suddenly Gus felt like whistling.

“Now, Feather,” he said gently. “Surely we must not allow a lady to stand on the doorstep where any chance passerby might see.” He stepped forward.

The lady turned to face him and curtsied, and for an instant the shapeless, dull-colored cloak parted and Gus was rewarded with a brief glimpse of a pale muslin skirt and a slender ankle.

He swept a magnificent bow. “Do come in, my dear. I am Rackham – or perhaps I should say, I am Lord Rake. Will you come with me to my library, and tell me what I may do for you?”

He held out a hand, and though she hesitated for an instant, the lady laid her gloved fingers in his and let him lead her across the marble-floored entrance hall. The servants melted away, and as Gus shut the library door, closing them in together, she pushed back the deep hood of the cloak that all this time had shadowed and hidden her face.

He turned to inspect his prize – and sucked in a stunned breath, for this young woman was familiar after all. “You were at Vauxhall last night, at the folly. What the devil are you doing in my house?”

And she said, in her gentle and soft and very determined voice, “I want to run away with you.”     

Ruining the Rake is available in both e-book and print available from online retailers:

Until next month....stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Pass it along...
S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
My Black Opal Books Author Page:
View My ShoutOut:
 A Book Review 4 U:
A Consumer's View:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guest Interview with Paranormal Romance Author Carole Avila.

Guest Interview with Paranormal Author Carole Avila....

Hello-Hello and hello again and how are you today? I hope you’re all doing well and happy. I really do.
Ready to hear about a new book? Welcome back to my blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest you. Today is the third time I interview a fellow author and I'm so excited. With me this time is paranormal romance author, Carole Avila. Carole is an award winning author, poet and playwright. Black Opal Books published her paranormal romance, "Eve's Amulet, Book 1," an exciting and fun story to read and makes a great gift for time-travel, adventure, or romance enthusiasts. Her young adult horror story, “Death House,” should be released next year and is sure to scare her audience! Carole’s non-fiction work, "The Long Term Effects of Sexual Abuse," will be published by Spout Hill Press, and is based on her personal experience, as well as intuitive life coaching work. Carole lives in Southern California, and when she isn’t writing, reading, or visiting with friends, she enjoys the company of her children and grandchildren.
Carole Avila.
     Carole has graciously accepted me into her world to take up some of her valuable writing time to talk about her writing and her debut novel, Eve's Amulet Book 1. So please, without further ado, let us welcome Carol to the blog and get this show on the road......Oh and before I forget, for those of you that visit this blog and leave a comment as well as subscribing to one of Carol's blogs, she is offering one (1) Free Printed Copy of Eve's Amulet Book 1 to one (1) lucky winner. So don't be bashful. Go ahead and leave a comment. Subscribed to one of Carole's blogs. Maybe even subscribe to mine (not necessary for the contest.) Good Luck and happy reading!!

SJ: Thank you Carole for spending time with us. We want to hear about Eve’s Amulet and writing. I’ve always been fascinated with the entire concept of time travel and enjoy seeing it used in a romance. Eve’s Amulet sounds like such an intriguing idea. What was the inspiration for Eve’s Amulet? Can you tell us a little bit of how the idea evolved?
Carole: Eve’s Amulet was completely inspired. I literally did this: I placed my hands on the keyboard and prayed for a new story to come in. Within moments ideas flew into my head, and I couldn’t type them fast enough. I didn’t do any initial research, just trusted my gut instinct and kept writing. Eve’s Amulet-Book 1 was written in a weekend. (However, it took me more time to research the data and edit.)

 SJ: Amazing. Your protagonist, Mandy certainly has a dilemma on her hands. I get the impression that she is a very strong woman.  Will we see more of her in future books? How did the idea evolve for a series versus just one book?
Carole:  Mandy is strong, but at first doesn’t see herself this way. You will see Mandy and all the heroines of each of the 5 books unite in the last book of the series, where lots of surprises will take place. It became an idea for a series with the amulet that had six sides, which meant 6 time-travel stories. Women are empowered through my characters, but there are different ways we connect to that inner source of strength, thus the need for more characters with different situations and symbiotic relationships to experience it.

Eve's Amulet by Carole Avila. 
SJ: You certainly have your work cut out for you with a six book series. Carole, please tell us what do you love most about being a writer? Least?

Carole:  What I love the most is eventually sharing my written creation that impacts others in a positive manner, if at the very least to entertain and relieve someone’s stress for a while.
     The least has to be marketing and promoting. I’d rather spend days alone at the top of a mountain rewriting the same page than to spend hours finding ways to get my name out. With that said, I love the one-on-one interaction with readers and other authors—but marketing and promotion is about mass engagement, and that is “work” to me, unlike the joy I find in writing.  

SJ: All writers can empathize with you on that. I feel the same way. Now tell us, please, what writer inspired you most and how?
Carole: I was 3 years old and read “Go, dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman. It was my first book—and a romance at that. (Two dogs drive off into the sunset in a convertible together!) I wondered what was beyond the horizon where a road ended, and my imagination would allow me to create fascinating possibilities. 

SJ: Speaking of inspiration, Carole, if you could give just one piece of important writing advice to an aspiring writer, Carole, what would it be?
Carole: Actually, it would be two things that I think are equally important.
1.)    When I asked Ray Bradbury the same question, he told me, “Write.” But first, I had to move beyond a lot of fear based excuses. So, write without fear of what others may think and keep your integrity intact by sticking with your truth.
2.)     Be open to constructive criticism. There’s no room for ego in creating an exceptional work that you want to share with an audience. (I’m talking about letting go of that false pride ego, not the healthy kind that gives one confidence.) 

SJ:  What is a favorite book you enjoyed reading and would recommend without hesitation? Why?
Carole: I can no more recommend a favorite book than I can a favorite film, food, or song. There are just too many fabulous works out there. Some at the top include: John Steinbeck novels, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels, the Harry Potter series, and of course, Ray Bradbury. These are wonderful authors with great books that kept me interested and/or entertained. (I love good literary fiction and autobiographies but can never remember the names of the works, probably because they’re generally not in a series.) 

SJ:  Before we close our interview Carole, is there anything new on the horizon for your fans to know about?  Anything we should watch out for?
Carole: Thank you for asking, SJ. Book 2 of Eve’s Amulet is still being written. Death House, my young adult horror story will be out next year. I’m writing my nonfiction work, The Long Term Effects of Sexual Abuse, based on my life coaching work and personal experience, and once it’s finished I will go back to conducting workshops for abuse survivors. I have several books that are being edited, including a literary piece, a contemporary romance, and a few literary short stories. I've also started a new blog devoted to coaching abuse survivors. 

You’re an inspiration to others, Carole. Have no doubt. Thank you so much for your time and allowing me to take some time out of your busy schedule and interview you about your time-travel romance, Eve’s Amulet, Book 1.I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I did. It’s been a pleasure spending time with everyone.
While we’re on the subject, here for you is a Synopsis for Eve’s Amulet Book 1: 
     Mandy Ruhe receives a sacred amulet from a mysterious woman she’s never met, and is suddenly swept back in time to Texas 1845, where romance goes hand in hand with gunrunning. Mandy finds herself inside the body of Carmena Luebber, owner of the Holiday Ranch. Until she can return to her own time, Mandy must assume Carmena’s role and is caught up in the lives of the people who work for Carmena—their struggles, hopes, and dreams. Torn between two men in love with the woman she portrays, Mandy finds herself hoping that true love can triumph over time. Trapped in the past, she must find a way back to her own life—before she messes up the future for everyone! 
    Remember to check out Carole Avila’s blog at: Carole’s brand new blog dedicated to healing from abuse called “Healing Through Awareness & Self-expression” can be found at 
    Of course, this interview wouldn’t be complete without an excerpt for my readers to enjoy: Read on for an excerpt from Eve’s Amulet, Book 1 

Captain Charles Sanders rose above insanely gorgeous. He could turn the head of a mannequin, the classic image of a steroid muscle man on the front cover of a paperback romance, an easy six-feet-four—maybe five—inches tall.

I swallowed. “Captain. It’s absolutely wonderful to see you.” And it was.

Carlos, out of the captain’s line of sight, rolled his eyes heavenward. I stumbled past the chairs behind my desk.

“Thank you, Carmena.” The captain’s masculine voice wrapped invisible arms around me. “And may I say that it’s always wonderful to see you?” He glided across the room with the heat of a professional tango dancer. He took my hands and placed a long, slow kiss on the back of each one. “I’m so glad you have recovered from that unfortunate circumstance.”

“Carlos,” I kept my toothy grin on the officer, “I’ve changed my mind about our last discussion. Perhaps you can attend to that other matter we were just dealing with.”

“And what matter would that be, Carmena?” Carlos asked. He stood like a permanent fixture with his arms crossed.

I waved my hand. “Whatever. Just take care of it.”

“I don’t understand, Carmena,” Carlos said. “We were just discussing your poor condition after the lieutenant’s attack.”

“Is it true?” the captain asked, deep concern evident in his tone, and he held my hands tighter. “Are you unwell, Carmena?”

“Oh, no. I’m feeling much better now.”

“Why don’t we sit down?” Charles said. He took my arm, and I felt a girlish flutter in my solar plexus. We sat down on the leather settee, and Carlos seated himself on the matching chair directly across from us.

“Carlos, is there something else you need?”

“Yes, actually. We need to finish the conversation we were having moments before the captain arrived in which you told me how fatigued you still felt since the attack.”

Alarm washed across the captain’s handsome face. “Please, Carmena. You mustn’t try to be brave for me.” The captain unwittingly joined the enemy’s side in the verbal tussle I was having with Carlos, and he abruptly stood. “Perhaps I can return another day.”

I practically jumped on top of him and dragged him back down. “But I’m much better today!” I turned to Carlos and gave him a ferocious stink eye. “Aren’t I looking much better, Carlos?”

“Well…” He rubbed his chin. “Now that you mention it, you do look a little pale.”

     Until next time, I wish you all health and happiness. May all your dreams come true for you. Stay safe. Be happy. Smile. Be kind to one another. Show compassion for all, especially for those without a voice.

S.J. Francis 

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.

My Black Opal Books Author Page:

View My ShoutOut:
A Book Review 4 U:
A Consumer's View:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Welcome to this Book Blitz for Debut Author Kristina Rienzi....

Welcome to this Book Blitz for Debut Author Kristina Rienzi....
Hey everyone! I'm participating in a book blitz happening for debut author Kristina Rienzi on Tuesday, November 25th.  Thanks for stopping by to visit! 
Note from the Author -- 
Hey guys!  

Thank you so much for stopping by today to check out my debut novel, Choosing Evil! This baby was a labor of love, for sure. And, its tagline, 'Embrace Your Inner Demon' has already raised some eyebrows around my small beach town (oops!). 

Well, if you're into the paranormal like I am, it won't shock you to know the demons in Choosing Evil are not only sexy and bad-ass, but full of emotional baggage and human appeal.  

While Choosing Evil is Serafina's story, her love interest, Damon is a giant part of it. If you like what you read, get ready for the sequel, Breaking Evil, which I'm hoping to release in 2015. Both books are part of The Ensouled Trilogy, which not only pits good against evil, but makes each character, and reader, question what evil really means to them.  

I hope you have fun today getting introduced to Choosing Evil, and me! Don't forget to find me on social media and, of course, sign up for my giveaways below :) 

Thank you again for helping me celebrate Choosing Evil's release!  


GENRE--Paranormal Suspense, Romance

TOUR DATE-- November 25th, 2014 

TOUR EXTRA-- Book Trailer

View the book trailer at YouTube:
Book Blurb: 
Serafina Murano is no stranger to the paranormal. All of her life she’s lived harmoniously alongside demons. Damon Serpe is a conflicted demon on a mission. Unexpectedly, they collide into each other’s lives and are inexorably drawn to one another. 
Dark deadly secrets, gut wrenching betrayal, and elusive questions haunt her and have her entire life. Instinctively, Serafina realizes Damon holds the key to her understanding. If she trusts him, can he help decipher her recurring nightmares and unravel the mysteries surrounding her?  
On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, she must select her path and make a difficult choice. One which will change her, and perhaps the world, forever. 
Will Serafina embrace the truth and face her evil? 
Would you?
Want to buy a copy?
Book Links  
All Romance
Join the Party!  
Kristina will be hosting a release day FB party and everyone is invited! It’s kicking off tonight (Nov 25th) at 8PM EST. Come by and visit for a bit! There will be all kinds of giveaways and lots of fun! To join in visit THIS page!  (
     Thanks for stopping by and visiting with debut author Kristina Rienzi on this one (1) day Book Blitz.
Please return Wednesday, November 26, 2014 and visit with Paranormal Author Carole Avila.
Until next month when we'll be visiting with Multi-Published Romance Author Leigh Michaels I wish you all health and happiness. May all your dreams come true for you. Stay safe. Be happy. Smile. Be kind to one another. Show compassion for all, especially for those without a voice.
S.J. Francis 
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
My Black Opal Books Author Page:
View My ShoutOut:
A Book Review 4 U:
A Consumer's View:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Balancing Your Writing with Social Media...How I do it....

Balancing Your Writing with Social Media...How I do it.

How Do You Balance Your Writing with Social Media?            
Excellent question. Up until several years ago, social media in its present form didn’t exist and life went along fine and happy without it. Social media was television and newspapers and magazines and talking on the phone. Networking was done in person. Internet? What’s that? Twitter? Face Book? My Space? Up until several years ago, these entities didn’t exist. Now, it seems due to the rise and fascination with it, life can’t get along without it. Unless one is ‘out there’ in social media one really doesn’t exist. Social Media is a way of life, though many of us struggle with balancing it with life. A business professional, especially a writer needs social media to make a presence, connect with their audience, and take a stand. However, a writer also needs to write for that is what a writer is and does.
Whether one likes it or not, social media is a necessity. I like to call it a necessary evil. How do you balance social media with your life, your career, your writing? For me, just like when I enter a swimming pool, instead of inching in a toe at a time, I dove in head first and immersed myself in it. I learned as I went along, conducting research and watching how others did it along the way. I’ve learned a great deal, and as each day progresses I learn a great deal more.
                                                              For me, what works best is balancing my writing with social media as I balance sitting down with standing up. I alternate. I write for an hour or two and then, and only then do I go onto the internet and work with my social media. Depending on how much writing and/or editing I got through that day determines how much time I allow myself on twitter, face book, etc. Usually, I allot myself no more than an hour at a time per social media site, or for all four total if there isn’t much to do with it that day. More so, if it is required of me. I believe in connecting with and engaging with others and for me that means personal messages. For me, this seems to work out for a perfect balance between writing and handling social media. It isn’t perfect, I prefer writing and sometimes skip the social media for that day. Sometimes, I spend too much time with social media, but usually it works just fine with the aid of a kitchen timer. A kitchen timer is a valuable tool not restricted for use in the kitchen.  Of course, this is what works for me. It may not work for you. Only you know what you can handle and how to go about doing it. The trick I found to work with me is to experiment with all at once and as time goes by, when it becomes overwhelming, pick one or two or three that works for you and keep with it. You'll find, as I did that you'll favor one over another etc.  The important thing is to engage with your audience not just connect with them. Of course, I'm still with all the social media I began with and added more along the way.
If this post helps you manage your writing with social media, or gives you an idea on how to do so, please leave me a comment and let me know. I love to hear from others and comments, good or bad are always welcome and helpful.
Until next time…Stay safe! Smile! Be kind to one another! Show compassion to all living things.
S.J. Francis     

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Welcome to an Interview with Crime Thriller Author J. J. White...

Welcome to an Interview with Crime Thriller Author J. J. White....
Hello-Hello and how are you today? I'm back and hope everyone is doing well and happy! Welcome back to my blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest  you. Today is the second time I interview a fellow author. And with me this very second is crime and thriller author, J. J. White. ...

J. J. has graciously accepted to take some valuable time out of his writing schedule to talk about writing and his latest novel, Prodigious Savant available for sale tomorrow, October 11, 2014 from Black Opal Books and online retailers such as, and more. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming J. J. White to this blog. Thank you J. J. for spending time with us. Shall we begin...
A Synopsis for Prodigious Savant:

Burlington, Vermont, 1962. Seventeen-year-old Gavin Weaver survives a dreadful explosion, six hours of brain surgery, and thirty days in a coma, to awake possessing not just one savant talent, but several, including art, music, mathematics, and memory, and all without suffering any of the usual mental disabilities associated with head trauma.

His newly acquired abilities thrust him into the public eye as the amazing ‘Whiz Kid’ from Burlington; a moniker he detests. His genius, paranoia, and increased hallucinations result in some strange and extraordinary encounters with the icons of the ‘60s, including Bobby Fischer, Nikita Khrushchev, Edward R. Murrow, John Chancellor and even a tragic meeting with John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The odds are slim Gavin will survive both the internal and external conflicts that keep him from the one thing he wants most, the girl he’s loved since childhood.
And now for the interview:  

SJ: I love the title and scope of this book. What was your inspiration for Prodigious Savant?  Can you tell us a little bit of how the idea came about?
     JJ: Well, this may be a long answer since there was not just one thing that inspired me. It was very much like what Stephen King said in his book, On Writing, about how stories are fossils in the ground waiting to be found. My story was a fossil that first surfaced when I was seven. It happened in Burlington Vermont, the main setting of my novel. Two local teenagers fired their rifles at a construction shed full of dynamite. The resulting explosion killed one boy and blinded the other. I had always wanted to tell that story of how the blind boy coped. Instead, in my novel, I have my protagonist not only survive the explosion but wake from a coma as a Prodigious Savant, with genius abilities and math, art, music, and memory. The other inspiration for the book was the true story of Jason Padgett who, after an injury suffered in a mugging, became an Acquired Savant with a genius level ability in mathematics. 

SJ: Your protagonist, Gavin isn’t exactly a likeable fellow.  Why should the reader empathize with him in this story?
     JJ: Gavin actually is a lovable, handsome scamp who, as his mental illness progresses, becomes quite unlovable. He is something like a combination of Holden Caulfield and Forrest Gump. But as readers of fiction we all know how stories end up, don't we? So hang in there and see if it all works out.
SJ: I noticed Prodigious Savant takes place in 1962. Is there a reason it wasn't placed in the present? 
     JJ: The life-changing event for my protagonist actually happened that year in Vermont, so I described that event and the setting as well as I could remember, considering I was nine at the time. I probably got most of it wrong and I’m sure I’ll hear about it from my siblings and my relatives who still live there.
SJ: What do you love most about being a writer? Least?
     JJ: What I love the most is when I’m writing the middle section of a chapter and I get into a zone where my characters come alive, as if they were performing on a stage in front of me. When that happens, my pen can’t keep up with my brain. I write everything by hand, by the way.
     What I hate the most is the begging, cajoling, and bribing of family, friends, and strangers to first read my writing and then buy it. When I'm in the marketing phase I feel like an Amway sales associate at a home viewing party. The only way to cleanse my sins after that is to hole up in my office and write.
SJ: What writer inspired you most and how?
     JJ: It was, Patrick D. Smith, who lived near me in Merritt Island, Florida. He penned, A Land Remembered, one of the most important novels ever written on the history of Florida. By the second page, I was lost in the story and literally hated to put it down. It was fascinating how Smith structured his book to keep the story moving while holding the reader spellbound his beautiful exposition, narrative, and dialogue. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and it should have won.
SJ: If you could give just one piece of important writing advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
     JJ: It would be the standard writing advice you hear from most authors. Actually, two pieces of writing advice. One: Read, as much as you can, as fast as you can.  And two: Write as much as you can, as fast as you can, and don't worry if it's crap. Writing is like a video game, the more you practice, the better you get at it.
SJ: In closing, what is a favorite book you enjoyed reading and would recommend without hesitation?
     JJ: Of course the book I mentioned earlier, A Land Remembered, but I also loved Truman Capote's, In Cold Blood. And about a thousand others.

SJ: You've picked two books. Can you tell us why they're your favorite.
     JJ: Both A Land Remembered and In Cold Blood use the Three Acts writing process that I used as templates for my writing, where the first act has a life-changing event on the protagonist(s), the second act involves escalating danger and conflict to the protagonist(s) and finally, the third act resolves this drama/conflict in a satisfying conclusion for the reader. That was the main reason, although the books also ask and answer a moral question that the reader can relate to.

Fantastic information. Thanks J.J. for joining us here. I'm sure everyone is intrigued with Prodigius Savant and we're looking forward to its release, tomorrow, October 11, 2014 at online bookstores everywhere. I know I am. Of course, we couldn't leave this blog without first giving you a taste of Prodigius Savant without an excerpt:
Steve sighted his rifle. “It went behind the shed,” he said, then fired twice, both shots hitting the window and shattering the panes. Black smoke poured out.
“It’s on fire,” Gavin said. “Why’d you do that? Somebody could be sleeping in there.”
“There’s nobody in there. If there were they would’ve woken up by now.”
Gavin lay on the ground, narrowed his eyes, and studied the shed. A second later it transformed into a massive ball of soil, concrete, and fire.
Steve never saw it disintegrate. One of the planks on the west side of the shed flew the hundred feet up the hill, decapitating him where he stood, his rifle still clutched in his hands. Gavin, because of his prone position, also didn’t see the explosion. The mound directly below him formed into a wave of dirt, propelling him backward down a steep embankment and slamming the left side of his head against a boulder blown out by the blast.

And the purchase links to buy Prodigious Savant by J.J. White are:

Amazon Kindle:

Thanks J.J. for visiting with us. Thank you all for stopping by. J.J. please return any time. It was fun.
Until next month...every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others.

S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
My Black Opal Books Author Page:
View My ShoutOut:
 A Book Review 4 U:
A Consumer's View: