Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview with twelve-year-old author Spencer Brokaw about his novel "The Impenetrable Spy"...

Today, in the Forum, I’m especially delighted to introduce Spencer Brokaw. This amazing twelve-year-old is the author of The Impenetrable Spy an adventure novel for people of all ages.
Tim Greaton: Can you tell us a little about yourself, how you like school, your interests and hobbies?

Spencer Brokaw: I am 12 years old. I love school and get almost all A’s. I am in advanced Math (Algebra) and in the advanced Reading and Writing classes at our school. Some of my hobbies are writing, drawing, reading, golfing, swimming, and riding my bike.

Tim Greaton: What books have you read more than once and why?  

Spencer Brokaw: Usually, I only read books more than once when I really like them. I did read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde twice, but that was only because I couldn’t understand it the first time…and I still can’t understand it today. But my favorite books that I have read several times would be all the Harry Potter books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel X series, and The Lightning Thief series.

Tim Greaton: It’s amazing that you have published a book at your age. I can’t tell you how impressed I am, Spencer, and I’m sure our readers are just as blown away. When did you first start writing?

Spencer Brokaw: I first started writing at age 6, and I still have the stories that I wrote. The first was about a man who broke out of jail, an idea I got from the Alcatraz movie starring Clint Eastwood. I wrote many other types of stories but gradually decided that I liked the action genre, so that’s what I write in it today.

Tim Greaton: Why did you choose an adult spy novel as your first book?

Spencer Brokaw: I didn’t really choose it per se, and I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be publishing it. I had just written it for fun over the past couple of years, but when I came across Kindle Direct Publishing I decided to publish it. I know a lot of people refer to it as an adult novel but it’s really a YA/Adult book, appropriate for all ages.

Tim Greaton: How has this publishing experience changed you? Do you view your friends differently, or do they view you differently now?

Spencer Brokaw: I now view Reading and Writing classes at school as if they were “author classes.” I listen to every word the teacher says and apply it to what I write. My writing is definitely getting better over time. My friends now view me as some kind of genius even though they are just as smart as me. A lot of them are interested in writing a little bit more, and I’ve even been able to show some of them that creating a website can be as simple as a few clicks. My friends enjoy what I have to say and I value their comments, too. I don’t view my friends differently; they’re still a bunch of goofballsJ.

Tim Greaton: How were you able to make so many of your scenes realistic?

Spencer Brokaw: I just try to describe things the way I have seen or imagined them. Sometimes, I write based on what I’ve seen in movies.

Tim Greaton: Did you travel to any of the sites that you have described in your book?

Spencer Brokaw: Not in that book but my sequel is based in Chicago, which is a setting that I have visited.

Tim Greaton: Do you think you might try a different genre for one of your next books?

Spencer Brokaw: Good question. I actually have a few more series planned besides espionage YA adventures. I have ideas for:

-a Super Hero series,

-an apocalyptic book that focuses on Guardian Angels,

-and a teen detective book.

Tim Greaton: How do you balance writing and marketing into what must be a hectic schedule with school, sports and friends?

Spencer Brokaw: Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way yet. But I am getting more used to my schedule, so I hope I will be able to balance everything out soon.

Tim Greaton: What is the title of your latest book? And could you tell us a little about the story?

Zachary Brokaw: The title is The Impenetrable Spy which is about Zack Carter, who was an ordinary person until he met up with the CIA. Zack creates a time machine that can transport him back in time when his heart rate stops. Zack is nearly "Impenetrable" and cannot be beaten. Wang Bo, a rich leader of China discovers a small statue that can make people’s worst fears come alive. He is also the leader of a mass terrorist group dubbed ‘The Bad Hounds.’ Zack's main priority is to save the United States from World War 3, and to do that he undertakes several missions involving several huge mansions, a war torn D.C, an insane asylum and New York City.

Tim Greaton: Have you been surprised at the response that your novel has gotten?

Spencer Brokaw: I have. The Impenetrable Spy has gotten four- and five-star reviews and a lot of nice commentsJ.

Tim Greaton: Is there a particular scene in your book that you are especially proud of?

Spencer Brokaw: I particularly love the Washington D.C. scene, the ending showdown, and the chapter where Zack receives an amazing car.

Tim Greaton: Were any of your characters based on real people?

Spencer Brokaw: No, they were just based off of the pictures in my headJ.

Tim Greaton: Are you planning a sequel or are there other books available in this series?

Spencer Brokaw: The second novel in the series is finished but not yet published. I am working on a prequel which introduces the character Jack.

Tim Greaton: Just for fun, Spencer, what would be your author’s dream come true?

Spencer Brokaw: To see The Impenetrable Spy in actual bookstores like Books & Company or Barnes & Noble. That would make my day…no, my yearJ!

Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blog site and links to where our audience could directly purchase your books.

Spencer Brokaw: My website is:

Also available on iBooks and soon in paperback.

Tim Greaton: I have to say, Spencer, you have become one of my heroes. I’m completely awestruck by not just the fact that you’ve written and published a book, but that it’s a great book. I’m sure a lot of our readers will be enjoying it before long. Thank you for spending the time with me today.

Spencer Brokaw: It has been my pleasure to be with you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interview with author Jennifer Malone Wright about her novel "The Birth of Jaiden"...

Jennifer Malone Wright joins us in the Forum today. She’s here to share some insight into both her real world and the story world she created in The Birth of Jaiden, which is a fascinating twist on vampires and other supernatural beings in our world today.
Tim Greaton: Jennifer, what would be a great snapshot bio of you? 

Well, I live in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with my military husband and children. As a child, I always had my nose in a book. Because of my husband's work, we have moved around the country for the last ten years. These days, I feel a bit like a nomad and hate to be in one place for too long.

Tim Greaton: Jennifer, could you give us some sparkling bit of history about you?

Jennifer Malone Wright: By sparkling I assume you mean interesting. Hmmm? Well, personally, I think the most interesting thing about me is that I’m a mother of five kids. Most people think this is crazy and have no idea how I ever find the time to write at all. It is quite an experience having all these kids. It makes life a really big adventure.

Tim Greaton: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an author?

Jennifer Malone Wright: I don’t ever remember not wanting to be an author. I think the actual realization probably hit me sometime in grade school where I used to write all kinds of stories and poems. Also, I had a love for making my own homemade greeting cards with little poems inside.

Tim Greaton: Was there a particular book or event that led you to become a novelist?

Jennifer Malone Wright: No. All books made me want to become a novelist. I love the written word and how a book can take you right out of this world and surround you with another one. That’s a gift I want to give to others. So, yeah, it was all books, not just one.

Tim Greaton: What have been some of the biggest obstacles in learning the writing craft?

Jennifer Malone Wright: The biggest challenge for me has been the technical aspect of writing. Editing is my enemy. I have learned a lot over the years, but I still have a lot to learn. I’ve now come to realize that the process is never ending, and that there is always ALWAYS something more you can learn to make yourself and your writing better.

Tim Greaton: What’s the most interesting place that you’ve either written about or conducted research for a book? 

Jennifer Malone Wright: Sadly, I haven’t had a lot of time for location research, and I don’t really like to write about a place I can’t describe well. So, in most cases, I create my own locations. Right now, I’m writing about a small community of vampire hunters, and I have to say the setting is the most interesting I’ve ever created, which is good because I want my readers to really feel that they are right there walking with the characters.

Tim Greaton: What is the title of your latest book, and where did you get the idea for the plot?

Jennifer Malone Wright: My recent release is The Birth of Jaiden. It’s about a vampire who is selected by God to raise a human baby. The baby is prophesied to be the key to the fate of the world. She is a powerful witch, so if the bad guys get ahold of her it could be the end…for everyone. So Alex, the vampire, and his buddies on The Great Council (angels, dark angels, witches, warlocks) must keep this baby safe. The plot idea came to me several years ago with just the idea of a vampire raising a human baby, and everything just flowed outward from there.

Tim Greaton: Where did you get the ideas for the people in your story?

Jennifer Malone Wright: Some of the characters are based on people I know, some are oddly people I might like to be and yet others were plucked straight from my often overactive imagination.

Tim Greaton: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

Jennifer Malone Wright: I really enjoyed creating and working with my bad guy…well bad lady, Levine. Writing her character was so different for me. It was awesome to be able to let loose and do things that, in my real life, I could never do. She wasn’t supposed to be a main character, but she managed to surprise me time after time and ultimately wedged her way into the story where she does some really terrible things.

Tim Greaton: What are you hoping readers take away from your story?
Jennifer Malone Wright: I just hope they enjoy it, but underneath the surface of the whole paranormal thing, this is a story of loyalty and family. I hope that the readers shut this book when they are finished and think about how the people who are really your family aren’t just the ones bound to you by blood.

Tim Greaton: Is there a sequel on the way?

Jennifer Malone Wright: The second novel in the series is in the works, I’m shooting for three books in the series.

Tim Greaton: Just for fun, if you had a magic wand, what part of your book would you make come true in the world today?

Jennifer Malone Wright: Oh, wow, that’s a fun question. I think I would make The Great Council come alive. It would be nice to have a special governmental body to keep all the supernatural creatures in line. Darn vamps and werewolves runnin’ wild all over need some control, ya know! Lol

Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blogsite and links to where our audience could directly purchase your books.

Jennifer Malone Wright: You can visit my website at
And The Birth of Jaiden is available in paperback and E-book at
Or Smashwords for all digital formats

Tim Greaton: Jennifer, it has really been wonderful having you visit the forum. The Birth of Jaiden sounds fascinating and I’m sure has found its way onto dozens of TBR (to be read) lists today. I’m really hoping that you’ll consider visiting us again when the next installment of your story comes out.

Jennifer Malone Wright: I’ve had a great time today, Tim, and I would love to come back.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interview with Venezuelan author Edwin Stark...

Today, in the Forum, author Edwin Stark visits us all the way from South America.
I’m looking forward to getting a glimpse into both his life and his fascinating novel, Eco Station One.

Tim Greaton: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you for some time now, Edwin, but for our readers could you tell them a little bit about yourself. For instance, you were born and currently reside in Venezuela, which I know hasn’t been easy for you. Could you tell us a little about why?

Edwin Stark: Hello, Tim. Freaked out but glad to be here. Ok, a little about myself, I’m 44 years old and I live in Venezuela, which you got right, definitely isn’t easy.  It's a little difficult to explain without going too much into local politics, and that’s even more difficult since here in my home country EVERYTHING has become a political issue lately. I suspect that one of these days even the fact that the sun rises everyday will have a political facet. All kidding aside, Venezuela is basically an oppressive authoritarian regime, running under a thin veneer of democracy. In the course of the past decade, I lost everything due to the political climate: I lost my livelihood, which was running the family business that was a moderately successful sporting goods manufacturing company; I miss all my friends, because all of them have spread all around the globe, running away from dismal living conditions. When I
lost my main source of income, I was forced to buy a house in the fringe of civilization, which was the only thing I could afford. In fact, a tropical rainforest starts about 50 yards beyond my backyard fence.

Tim Greaton: Friends of mine have some family ties in Venezuela. During the 1990s, one of them was almost kidnapped during a brief visit. Is it safe in your area?

Edwin Stark: Even though you're advising me to not get myself into trouble by answering, I'll do it. One of the many problems in this whole affair is the silence about it during all this time. And since I've no friends nor family down here, anyone willing to put some pressure on my persona will find that they have little leverage against me. The answer is NO... this place is definitely NOT SAFE. The crime rate is staggering, and the main fear which a Venezuelan has, once he sets foot out his house, is that he doesn't if he will return home alive.

Tim Greaton: Is there more danger for visitors than locals?

I could say that anyone's fair game at this time, Tim. Any local, be she or he poor or rich, is subject to this terrible crime wave, every single day. Visitors face more or less the same risks as the locals, although the fact that they're from abroad might be an attractive point to consider by the criminals. They usually carry hard currency, electronic gadgets and mainly a naive attitude, which may mark them as easy targets.

Tim Greaton: Infrastructure and finances seem to play a large role in your personal challenges in reaching English markets with your books. I was hoping you could explain a little more about your circumstances and the unbearable costs of even some basic items.

Edwin Stark: You got that right, Tim! Many of these obstacles come from my actual location. This place is so far away from civilization that I'm fortunate to even have electric power. I was basically without Internet for the best part of a decade, and it was only due to advances in cellular phone technology and new cell antenna relatively close to my home that I was finally able to reconnect to the world four years ago. Unfortunately, the small device that allowed me to reach the Web recently passed away, and replacing it will be an uphill battle. It's basically a cell phone that costs around 30-40 bucks elsewhere, but my Internet Service Provider will charge me about 700 dollars for it. And, unfortunately, I can't buy it online because they say it has to come from them…or nothing. Another example: a small HP notebook I have my eyes on (tiny thing, screen 9 inches wide but it'd certainly beat the 633 Pentium III old clunker I'm now using) costs online 300 bucks; the same machine would cost here something in the vicinity of $1,500 US dollars.

My home country doesn't allow Venezuelans to use their credit cards abroad. This is because they implemented a very Draconian currency exchange control, so you can no longer freely convert from one currency to another. They allotted us a yearly quota for travel and Internet shopping. The limit to Internet use in US currency is $400 per year, so this severely limits my advertising budget and the way I can reach my prospective readers. I have to choose wisely how many review copies I'll send out and who will get them. The same goes for placing ads in several related websites. I also can't set up my own webpage, because I don't have a way to pay for the name domain, even though I have the money. It's just that all my assets are in Venezuelan currency, which is a currency no one else in the world will accept, not even a gunpoint, because it's utterly worthless. Go to any currency exchange house in the world and ask them if they will exchange Venezuelan Bolivars. ( grinning awfully )

Tim Greaton: We’d love to know more about you and your interests and hobbies outside of writing?

Edwin Stark: Tim, I'm basically a renaissance man. I love to drawing, painting, photography and I even tried some sculpting. I also have a nearly fanatical interest in recycling, which regrettably my fellow countrymen don't share; they're generally litterbugs, so they think I'm crazy for walking everywhere with a plastic bag while I clean the streets of the area I live in and the shoulders of highways. Ironically, this interest has also sparked most of my better stories; there's a lot of time to think while you're trying to spot the silvery butt of the next aluminum can, you know! The Recycling Kid, maybe the best story in my Cuentos anthology, was directly inspired by it.

Tim Greaton:  A lot of your work is simmered in humor. Are you just as funny in your personal life, or is that part of your personality reserved for your fiction?

Edwin Stark: Great question! I'm very glad that you made it!  Aren't you glad that you made it? Next Question! Now, all kidding aside, I consider myself a very amusing guy. Although I'm going through a very dark period of my life at this moment, I try my best to keep my chin up by means of my good humor. Even though I have written some very somber and creepy books, you can see even there that impish spark of my lighter side, always trying to sneak in. In Eco Station One, the book we'll be discussing a bit later, I pulled all stops and let my personality run out unleashed.

Tim Greaton: I know you have been working diligently to get the word out about your work in English speaking markets. Do you currently publish in your local market or in Spanish at all?

Edwin Stark: Nah! I don't even bother to publish in the local market anymore. If you think that publishing with the Big Six in the English speaking market is TOUGH, you should try it down here to get a sudden shift in perspective, man! You can't get to an editor desk in South America if you aren't already famous by being a TV personality, politician or something similar. Somehow, the notion of reaching stardom by becoming a mass murderer and then getting a hundred book deals because of that doesn't appeal to me. I tried for almost twenty years, though, and I think two decades was quite a lenient time period to waste in that thankless effort. The final straw that made me switch languages was book piracy: there's a lot of that down here. Especially when a reporter, who was doing a piece on bootlegging, kindly asked me if I knew that the Spanish version of one of my books had been the most pirated. I think I looked quite funny to him when I just sat there, dumbfounded and blinking in surprise. Then he put a pirated copy of one of my books under my nose, telling me that all data indicated that at least 500,000 copies were circulating around. 

Tim Greaton: How has publishing in the world market changed your hopes or plans?

Edwin Stark: Well, with the advent of self-publishing, my perspectives of finally being able to reach an audience considerably shifted. Since I no longer have to pitch my book to a prospective publisher (who probably in the end will send me a rejection letter stating that "we loved your book but it isn't commercial enough" anyway), I can directly address the part of the world's audience out there that may be interested in what I write. I know I have at least a million readers out there, even if I haven't been able reach them effectively…yet.

Tim Greaton: What is the title of the book we’re talking about today, and could you tell us a little about the story?

Edwin Stark: Ahhh...the plot thickens. The book's title is Eco Station One (as if we didn't see that coming). It's the tale of a good-for-nothing kinda guy and how he gets involved in a major scheme to siphon funds out from under a big Corporation. You see, the scoundrels behind this ploy just want him as a scapegoat to blame when the whole thing blows up in their faces. There's this small ecological research thingy running in the place that gives the book its name, and they're telling the big corporation that its costs run up to a million per month, while they're actually only a couple thousand bucks. Of course, this guy isn't as dumb as he seems, and he has a few tricks up his sleeve, so the schemers are getting more than they bargained for. This was a great setup for comedy and satire. Along the way my protagonist meets a great deal of new friends and his future girlfriend. He also has an extraordinary nemesis!

Tim Greaton: Tell us about your main character(s) and why you felt they were the right personalities for your story?

Edwin Stark: The main guy in question, Eduardo Sinnombre, is kind of an anti-hero figure. You could see your average Venezuelan represented there, always ready to outsmart everyone else. Marina, his future girlfriend is quite contradictory. She looks shy but she's passionate and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She gave me a surprise about a third into the book, when she suddenly became a major character instead of just another spear carrier, as I originally planned. Marina was inspired by this lovely Mexican lady I met in a chat room, and with whom I chatted and corresponded for almost two years with high hopes of online romance (the only kind I can afford while being stuck in this tropical jungle). Fortunately, I was able to finish the book before we broke up due to financial reasons (she's in Mexico... I'm in Venezuela... neither one could afford to reach the other. 'nuff said). There are many others, but to talk about them might risk spoiling the surprise for the readers.

Tim Greaton: Did you laugh out loud or cry when writing or editing any of the scenes I in your novel?

Edwin Stark: I can't really say that I expressed those emotions while writing or editing, Tim. While I write, I tend to be rather clinical and a dispassionate observer of what happens inside my imagination. I'm used to working way ahead with my books, so almost every step is planned. I experienced some moments of amused cleverness, though, when I worked my way around some difficult scenes. Then I set the book down and let it cool off for a while before I give the book one last read more like a normal reader (with some minor editing). It is then that I find myself laughing or bordering on tears at times. I guess my deep involvement while writing gets sometimes in the way of the emotions.

Tim Greaton: Are you planning a sequel or are there other books available in this series?

Edwin Stark: Eco Station One was intended as a stand-alone book from the start. I usually manage without plans to write sequels, and I made a stern warning about that idea in my first book, AI Rebellion. But a few years later I found myself writing a sequel anyway. There are some loose ends in Eco Station One that might merit a sequel, but only time with tell.

Tim Greaton: Just for fun, if you wind up as a mega-bestselling author and money becomes no object, where in the world would you move? And what is the most expensive item you could see yourself purchasing just to show off?

Edwin Stark: Ah, money... the eternal question for a writer, isn't it? Well, that's an easy one. I'd move as fast as I could to Manhattan, New York. The crime rate there is significantly lower than anywhere in my entire country. I’d really enjoy being able to visit a grocery store, theaters, pizza shops and delis right at my corner, instead of fifty miles away as now. As for the most extravagant item I would purchase, I don’t think I’d try to show off. Instead, I think I might hire a private investigator to track down my Mexican lady friend…which kinda shows how bad my situation is, doesn't it?

Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blogsite and links to where our audience could directly purchase your books.

Edwin Stark: Being disconnected from the world as now I am, keeping a website up or a blog would be quite irresponsible toward my readers: I wouldn't be able to update it as regularly as I would like. My books are readily available through all major online distributors, but I'll share with you the links of the places through which I'd like to increase my sales, as in:


Tim Greaton: Edwin, I have found our time together absolutely fascinating and I really appreciate you being here with us today, even if only in a cyber-sense. I feel certain a number of new readers have just found a new favorite author. I know I have.

Edwin Stark: The pleasure is definitely mine, Tim. I enjoy every opportunity to reach past my borders to talk directly with readers. It’s been fun.          


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interview with author Howard Hopkins...

Today, in the Forum, I have the immense pleasure of introducing Howard Hopkins, an author and friend of many years. His sage advice has saved more than one of my books from plot disasters. But, more importantly, his stories have kept me enthralled. Howard writes in several genres that I'll be sure to ask him about.

Tim Greaton: You have been publishing under different name in Europe for years. Could you tell us a little about that?

Howard Hopkins: My penname is Lance Howard, my first and middle names reversed. I use that name for a specific type of Western I write for Black Horse Westerns, more traditional stuff, though I do push the boundaries quite a bit. They recently accepted my 33rd, Twilight Trail.

Tim Greaton: We’d love to know more about you and your interests outside of writing?

Howard Hopkins: My biggest hobby was/is comic books and old pulp heroes such as Doc Savage, The Shadow and The Avenger. I’ve been lucky enough to turn those hobbies into writing and editing anthologies for Moonstone Books recently (my comic book THREESOME, written with NY Times bestselling author Nancy Holder will be out soon. With it I realized a life-long dream of creating my own super heroine called The Veil.) I have always been into music, singing, playing mandolin, guitar, keyboards, alto sax, and used to have a couple of groups that went to play at nursing homes and such. I also love investigating paranormal stuff.

Tim Greaton: You write in a number of different genres and for different age groups. Did that come naturally to you, or was there a difficult adjustment at first?

Howard Hopkins: It came perfectly naturally. I like to say, “I read to escape…I write to help others escape.” And everything I write, from horror to westerns to comic books and graphic novels to my children’s horror series. The Nightmare Club is geared to helping my readers escape for a little while. The world is filled with far too many worries and fears—I do my best to take them away from that, if only for a short period.

Tim Greaton: Having read a number of your novels, I can attest to your amazing ability. What advice would you give to other writers who are just starting out?

Howard Hopkins: Learn your craft. Read everything in every genre you can stomach, then read some more. Pay no attention to what your mom or bff says about your writing—get honest opinions, but not too many so you don’t drive yourself crazy. And in the end, follow your gut. Writing is very subjective in many ways, so have faith in your talent and story, and your ability to tell that story. It’s likely to be a long hard road, so try not to let discouragement crush you.

Tim Greaton: Has the age of the internet notably changed the way that you interact with your fans and the way that you market your books? 

Howard Hopkins: Totally. I don’t have “fans” anymore. I have friends who read my work now. They tell me what they think instantly on Facebook (/howardhopkins) or Twitter (@yingko2), and that is fantastic for a writer. It also allows authors to find folks who enjoy the type of material they write much easier. Imagine sending a hundred letters out by postal mail? The cost, the time consumed stuffing envelopes. A single post on Twitter does that for you now. And allows instant feedback. It’s helped even the field, too, between big NY publishers and small Indie publishers. Authors have a chance, now.

Tim Greaton: Do you research for your settings and characters, and if so what is that process like?

Howard Hopkins: Oh, yes. I do the major research I know I will need before writing, but I don’t do a lot of detail stuff until after I have written the first draft. Things always come up because my characters often refuse to go where I want them to go, instead running off on their own excursions. So unexpected research points crop up during the actual writing.

Tim Greaton: What have been your biggest time challenges over the years?

Howard Hopkins: Plot has always been my biggest challenge. It never comes easy, and, perhaps, that’s a good thing.

Tim Greaton: Would you say that the writing lifestyle gets easier as you mature in your career?

Howard Hopkins: No, not at all. As a perfectionist I feel the need to keep challenging myself. There were many things I was ignorant of when I first started writing—and believe me, ignorance indeed can be bliss! It has gotten harder. Ideas tend to slow from the runaway train of notions you get when you first start out putting pen to paper or fingers to keys. You become more particular of which ones you want to develop, too.

Tim Greaton: What is the title of your latest book, and could you tell us a little about the story?

Howard Hopkins: My latest are The Chloe Files series and The Nightmare Club series (a horror series for kids 8-12+) As for The Chloe Files, the tragic events that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts set free an Evil that escaped the Witch Trials and cursed the small seaside town of New Salem, Maine. That Evil now claims its due and the dark secrets long buried are rising to the surface. The war has begun. And exotic dancer, demon-ass kicker Chloe Everson is the front line between Hell on Earth and Salvation. Chloe is a strong independent woman who is just as likely to save the hero as need one to save her. She’s been through some pretty bad things in her life, and now must face even worse from beyond the veil. She’s had to do a lot to just survive, lost her parents at a young age and had her twin sister taken away by some mysterious agency. It’s a bit of The X-Files meets Burlesque meets Buffy. There’s also a 600-year-old monkey named Bob—and Chloe hates monkeys, so you can imagine how THAT goes over. One thing I will say about this series, and for The Nightmare Club as well, they are meant to be FUN. An escape. So much escape that the moment you open the book something inside might just reach out and grab you—by the throat! But don’t worry, Chloe will save you.

Tim Greaton: When you’re writing a frightening scene, do you experience the same fear as your characters?

Howard Hopkins: I live through every freaking harrowing minute of it! I feel every emotion, every nuance of their terror. Writing characters is a highly emotional experience for me. Because, after all, they become real. Chloe certainly has. She writes stuff in her journal and I merely transcribe it, now, which isn’t always easy with her penmanship (note to Chloe: PLEASE buy a laptop and stop doing things the old fashioned way! Sorry, had to get that out of my system…) I firmly believe that if you can’t feel your characters, your readers won’t be able to feel them, either. And that goes for the evil ones, too. I recently wrote a novel where I had to get into the head of Jack the Ripper. It left me extremely depressed and enervated.

Tim Greaton: Are you planning a sequel or are there other books available in this series?

Howard Hopkins: I’m planning a LOT of sequels, and in fact the second entry, Sliver of Darkness, is already available in Kindle, Nook and dead tree. There are a ton of strange and haunting mysteries in Chloe’s life that need to be solved—primarily the riddle of her sister’s disappearance and why the little girl’s ghost is coming back now to haunt Chloe. Which, in New Salem, does NOT mean her sister is dead. Nothing dead in New Salem stays buried for long, anyway!

Tim Greaton: Just for fun, if you could tame the most frightful supernatural figure in the world and parade it across the United States, what would it be and what would your presentation be like?

Howard Hopkins: Thank goodness you didn’t say “Politician” or I’d never be able to answer this question. I would choose the Devil himself. What could be better than shackling up ol’ Horn Head and dragging him by his smoking ass across the countryside and showing people they have nothing to fear? He’s like the Bumble in Rudolph—no teeth, Ma! I’d make sure he wore pink, too.

Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blogsite and links to where our audience could directly purchase your books.

My own website is:
To purchase The Chloe Files #1 on Kindle:

Tim Greaton: Thanks so much for taking the time to spend with us today. I know that our readers appreciate it, and I am excited to have more people learn about you and your work.

Howard Hopkins: Thanks you for the opportunity to appear on your blog. I really enjoyed it.