Category Archives: Author & Artist Interviews

Read an Exchange with Author Fiona Quinn (@FionaQuinnBooks)

I am so excited to have author, Fiona Quinn, on my blog. I’m a huge fan of her and her writing.

When I set out to write a mystery, her wisdom and experience were invaluable to me. In this interview, you’ll find out how she shares her knowledge with authors.

Now, let’s learn more about this fascinating woman and her book, Virginia is for Mysteries.

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Welcome Fiona, thrilled to have you here. Let’s start with some personal questions. Tell me some of your favorite curse words.

Ha! This is the easiest question you asked. I drop the F bomb with regularity, though in a lady-like way. Actually, when I curse, it’s usually in French. Not many people speak French (at least the curse words) in my area, so I can let a stream of them fly without any repercussions. People have actually said to me, “What a beautiful language. What did you just say?” which makes my kids roll their eyes.

Even curses sound romantic in French! What is one thing you want to do before you die?

I would like to eat chocolate covered strawberries from a silver platter, whilst sitting in a hot tub in Iceland, under a spectacular Aurora Borealis with my husband.

Wow, I love that response! Do you have any extravagances?

Long scalding-hot baths when I can just lay there and let my mind play.

How about a profession other than your own you’d like to try?

I think I would like to be a spa critic. I would fly all over the world to the very best spas, indulge in their classes, events, and pampering specialties, and then tell people what I thought about them. Yes, yes indeed, I think that would be the perfect job for me.

Hmm … I’m sensing a water theme. ;) Let’s learn more about you as a writer. What projects do you have on the go at the moment? 

Right now, I am focused on growing my blog ThrillWriting. It is doing very well, and I just love the process of learning, helping other writers, and getting to know people all over the world.

I am developing a short story for a Guppy anthology contest. I am also working on a novel project with my writing partner John Dolan. The plot line runs from America to England and is so much fun – I have never laughed so hard.

You know I’m a huge fan of your ThrillWriting blog. For writers of crime, mystery, and thrillers, it’s an amazing resource, and I’ve learned so much from it. Hit the banner below and see some of Fiona’s fabulous articles.

As for your anthology with John Dolan, I can’t wait for it. I’m sure it will be wonderful.

thrill writing

Fiona’s terrific blog for writers

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

With novels, I know the beginning middle and end in my head, and I move towards them. In short stories, I just let the plot surprise me. As I hear a character tell me something, I put it on tape or in notes and make sure it shows up in the story. Usually my characters know what happened, and they just tell me. It’s my job to explain it to the readers.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

I LOVE writing, editing, talking about writing, being critiqued, learning… I HATE querying and being rejected. But it goes with the territory, right?

It sure does. How do you market yourself?

I have tried various things, but I get most of my interaction through my blog. I use Facebook and Twitter – I’ve tried Pinterest but that feels like quicksand to me. If I started indulging, I don’t think I could rear my head to get anything else done.

I hear you, marketing can be exhausting. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I thought that I wanted to write tourist books and travel guides, and so I travelled all over the world to develop connections and learn languages (enough that I could get from point A to point B). But then there was marriage and children and divorce and new marriage and more children… life happened. I ended up un-schooling my kids. As the first set flew from the nest, I thought, Great! Now I have time to write. I sat down to write about un-schooling. Long story short, I started killing people on paper and it turned into a romantic suspense.

Funny how characters dictate a story sometimes. Tell readers about your current book.

I write romantic suspense with a psychic twist. Since my novels are hanging out in slush piles, I will tell you about the anthology that has two of my short stories, Virginia Is for Mysteries. My style changes based on the tone of voice of my protagonist – I let my characters decide what kind of book they want to be in. “Caged Bird,” is quiet and more poetic and cozy in nature. “Key to a Crime” is faster paced, frenetic, and much more suspenseful.

Virginia is for Mysteries cover-final

Buy from Amazon: ebook | Paperback

The book blurb

Yes, Virginia may be for lovers, but according to fifteen authors from the Old Dominion, Virginia is for Mysteries, too. This collection of sixteen modern-day stories takes readers on a wicked twist through the Old Dominion.

I just bought the book! What has the reception been to it so far?

Virginia Is for Mysteries is an anthology written by Sisters in Crime members from Virginia. Right from the beginning, our project was embraced. Virginia Tourism gave us permission to tap into the Virginia Is for Lovers logo and has been an ally. Virginia Library Systems has also been great advocates. They held our book launch at The Library of Virginia where we had a sellout crowd. They also ordered our book for Virginia libraries. Depending on the day, we hit Amazon top hundreds lists and have been on their top 10 list. Our publisher, Khoeler Books, is pleased enough with the sales that we are in negotiations for the sequel.

Fantastic. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?

Patience. Putting a book out is a lot of hurry up and wait. Things take so much longer than one would think.

I know the feeling well. What has surprised you the most about writing the book?

How many fun experiences and wonderful people I would enjoy.

Wonderful to hear. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round! 

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer.

Amazing how many writers say this.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Turkey

Name a food you can eat every day. Chocolate

Salty or sweet? Yes.


Cat or dog? DOG!

Best gift? A GPS

Favorite season? Fall

Something you cannot go a day without. The love and support of my family.

Thanks Eden, that was loads of fun!

Thank you, Fiona for taking the time to share about your books and yourself, and for all you do for writers. I can’t wait to dive into Virginia Is for Mysteries. 

~ eden

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Connect To Fiona

fiona quinn

Website | Facebook | Twitter @FionaQuinnBooks

ThrillWriting Blog | Google +Pinterest

Canadian born, Fiona is now rooted in the Old Dominion outside of D.C. with her husband and four children. She homeschools, pops chocolates, devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop.

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Read an Exchange with Author @RaymondBolton

Raymond, welcome to Eden’s Exchange, so thrilled to reconnect after writing with you as part of the collective Black Ink, White Paper. Recently, I had the pleasure of picking up your book, Awakening, The Ydron Saga.

Now we get to learn more about you and your writing.

Readers, please sit back and enjoy!

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Read an Exchange with Author @DiBartoloJoseph

Serendipity played a role in my connection to Joseph DiBartolo, or Joey, as he has asked me to call him. I’m happy to share my space, so you can learn more about him.

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Read an Exchange with author @MWeidenbenner1

I love discovering new authors. When I put a call out for mystery/thriller writers to interview, Michelle answered the request, so here she is. In reading her responses, I discovered we had one odd thing in common. She loves oatmeal! I can’t think of many people who would say that. Let’s find out more about Michelle and her writing. Continue reading


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Read an Exchange with Author Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks)

Christoph, welcome to Eden’s Exchange. You’re a generous author who conducts many interviews on your own site, which makes me especially happy to have you as the first author interviewed under my new format. I hope you have fun, and thanks for bringing a drink along too. :) Continue reading


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My Author Interview Series gets a Makeover

Inside the Author’s Mind was an interview series I started Dec. 10, 2010 to highlight indie authors and their work. It also provided insight into different writers’ minds.

It’s been one of my most popular posts and is run on Fridays.

I’m streamlining the series to give it a fresh look. The questions will focus on the author as a person, while providing a platform to sell their work. I realize how important it is for writers to make connections via the networks, and the interview format is a great way to do it.

As I’m moving into the genre of psychological mystery/thriller with my new book, I invite authors of this genre to be interviewed. Feel free to leave a comment with your contact information if you wish to participate.

Of course, I will continue to feature writers of all genres, as I’ve done from the beginning. I will contact them directly.

Since this is a makeover, I thought it would be nice to give the series a new name. I’d like to introduce:

eden’s exchange

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Like a conversation …

the conversation

No, not THAT type of conversation!

More like this, by the fireplace, an exchange of ideas … fun, relaxed, and informative. We can even roast marshmallows if you like. ;)

Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 6.52.33 PM

Photo courtesy of SquarEstate

Look for the new format next month, and feel free to visit previous years’ interviews. It’s been a privilege to interview these wonderful writers, and I encourage you to connect to them.

Interviews of: 2010/2011 | 2012 | 2013



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Props to the people I interviewed in 2013

I hosted 47 authors in 2011, the first complete year of my blog.

I expanded the segment to other creatives with 44 interviews in 2012.

In 2013, I continued to share amazing talent on my blog. Read them if you missed their interviews initially. They’re wonderful people to have as part of your social network.

 Click on the name for the interview. 

 Profession and/or Genre  Name
 Mystery/Thriller/Humour  John Dolan
 Crime/Paranormal  Tim Dittmer
 YA Fantasy/Romance  Raine Thomas
 Editor and author of poetry  Loren Kleinman
 Women’s fiction  Erin Cawood
 Romance/Contemporary fiction/Short stories  Cameron Garriepy
 Memoir/Crime thriller/Romance  Billy Ray Chitwood
 Paranormal Romance/Celtic  Shannon Macleod
 Contemporary Fiction  Lance Burson
 Erotica/Romance  Layna Pimentel
 Editor and author of urban fantasy/Flash fiction  Annetta Ribken
 Thriller/Suspense  Everett Powers
 Historical fiction/Humour  Nicole Chardenet
 Paranormal/Suspense  Sheilagh G. Lee
 Filmmaker and author of non-fiction/Poetry  John T. Trigonis
 Satire/Politics/Humour  Christoph Paul
 Literary Podcaster/Social media brand manager  Lydia Aswolf
 Actor/Producer/Biographer  Gregor Collins
 Science fiction/Fantasy  Matthew Bryan
 Editor and author of short stories/novellas  Jennifer Wingard
 Publicist and author of multiple genres  Anne Chaconas
 Speculative fiction/Horror/YA  Jessica McHugh
 Urban paranormal/Epic fantasy  J.H. Sked
 Short stories/Aspiring novelist  Timothy Bryant Smith
 Victorianesque fantasy/Science fiction  MeiLin Miranda
 Noir crime/Personal development non-fiction  Joe Hefferon
 Instructional non-fiction/Science fiction/Fantasy  Matt Posner
 Historical Fiction  Mary Ann Bernal

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Get Inside the Mind of author Mary Ann Bernal (@BritonandDane)

Social media and serendipity connected me to Mary Ann Bernal, and I’m proud to say she’s my final author interview of 2013.

I knew little about her until now, but I loved discovering her work. You will too.

Please welcome Mary Ann and learn more about her and her books. Continue reading


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Get Inside the Mind of author Matt Posner (@Schooloftheages)

I met Matt through mutual friend and author, Junying Kirk. He was kind enough to interview me earlier this year, and I’m delighted to return the favor.

Matt is a diligent writer with passionate views. He doesn’t pull his punches as you will find out from his interview. He’s written a new book entitled How to Write Dialogue, and I’m happy to spotlight it.

Please welcome a man of many talents, author Matt Posner.

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Get Inside the Mind of author Joe Hefferon (@hefferonJoe)

I’ve gotten to know many sides of Joe Hefferon—author, news junkie, pithy commenter, wine connoisseur, and ex-cigar smoker.

He also has a self-deprecating sense of humor, which borders on the bizarre at times, but at the heart of it — the man is smart, very smart. And I have a thing for smart men.

Joe writes a terrific column for called the Inspiring Women Series. He wrote a wonderful piece on me earlier this year. He’s interviewed many incredible women and offers a thoughtful perspective on each one. His articles are generous and well written.

If you get the feeling he likes women, you’d be right. Read his series and you’ll know what I mean. Continue reading


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Get Inside the Mind of author @MeiLinMiranda

I’m honored to have fellow author from the Allegories of the Tarot anthology, MeiLin Miranda join me today. She’s a prolific writer, and a woman I admire for her strength and perseverance.

An author of multiple series, she has a slick platform and writers can learn from her.

Please help me welcome the ethereal,  MeiLin Miranda.

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Get Inside the Mind of author Timothy Bryant Smith (@NeutrinoDreams)

In reading my friend, Tim Smith’s interview, I discovered some juicy titbits (You read that right, titbits, I say). He’s usually one of those quiet men who weaves in and out of social networks, but when he speaks, I want to know about it.

And so will you.

He’s funny, intelligent, and a little depraved, but that’s what makes him special.

Please welcome fellow author from the Allegories of the Tarot anthology, Timothy Bryant Smith, and be prepared to laugh your tits off.

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Get Inside the Mind of author J.H. Sked (@jhsked)

I love people with a sense of humor and J.H. (Janet) Sked certainly has one. In her words, her humor is “warped.” She doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she’s extremely thoughtful and supportive.

Please welcome a fellow author from the Allegories of the Tarot anthology. I am very proud to have my story alongside hers.

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Get Inside the Mind of Jessica McHugh (@TheJessMcHugh)

Please welcome the gorgeous Jessica McHugh to my interview series.

Along with me, she’s one of 22 authors featured in the Allegories of the Tarot anthology, which just released yesterday and is climbing the charts!

Learn more about this fascinating woman, and be sure to connect with her.

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Get inside the mind of author and publicist @AnneChaconas

Friend and editor, Annetta Ribken, introduced me to the multi multi-talented Anne Chaconas. That’s right, she’s got so much on the go, she’s redefined what it means to be a mult-tasker. Considering she has two very young children, I’m amazed by her ability to do 10 things at once (if not more) on no sleep.

Anne is the marketing brains behind Badass Marketing (BAM), which launches the month-long promotion for Allegories of the Tarot anthology, releasing Oct. 31st. We both have a story in it too.

Hold on to your hat, and please welcome writer, author, publicist, mother, Master of snark, Anne Chaconas.

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Get Inside the Mind of Jennifer Wingard (@Independent_Pen)

I met Jennifer Wingard on Facebook through good friend and editor, Annetta Ribken.

Her company, The Independent Pen provides writing and editing services, including copy editing and beta reading.

Along with me, she’s one of 22 authors featured in the Allegories of the Tarot anthology, and I’m thrilled to write with her!

You will find Jennifer’s answers spare and to the point, probably like her editing style. Mixed in there is a sense of edgy humor and a genuinely, warm person. I hope you enjoy learning more about her.

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Get Inside the Mind of Author Matthew Bryan (@talshadar)

I met Matthew Bryan while working on the Allegories of the Tarot anthology. Along with me, he’s one of 22 authors featured in the book, releasing Oct 31st! I know he’s as excited about it as I am!

Some other cool facts about Matthew …

He’s a Canadian living in Calgary, we share the same fabulous editor (Annetta Ribken), and he just launched his own book in August of this year!

Find out more about this lovely man, and be sure to connect to him.

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Get Inside the Mind of Actor and Author @GregorCollins

Gregor Collins was introduced to me by friend Marcella Selbach, a patron of the arts whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last year.

Gregor has written a personal account of his time with Holocaust Refugee, Maria Altmann in his bestselling book, The Accidental Caregiver.

Please welcome him and learn more about this multi-talented man. Continue reading


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Get Inside the Mind of Podcaster @LydiaAswolf

I first met Lydia Aswolf when she interviewed friend and podcaster, Casey Ryan. Lydia has a wonderful way of drawing information out of her guests. She is a psychic medium, an aspiring author, and a strong advocate for writers.

She is also a popular presence on social media, especially Twitter, where she hands out the most delicious tweets ever!

Please enjoy this wonderful interview with Lydia and tune in to her podcast, Lydia’s Literary Lowdown. It’s a great show, and I’ll be making an appearance on it shortly.

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Get Inside the Mind of Christoph Paul (@ChristophPaul_)

Christoph Paul is a man of many talents—poet, musician, and author. His book, which I recently finished and reviewed is a terrific mix of humor, satire, and porn references. Yes. You heard me, porn. He should know.

Find out why.

Please welcome all the many passions of Christoph Paul.

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