Saturday, August 12, 2017

Savvy Saturday: History of an Author or Two

Welcome back to Savvy Saturday. Today, we will be taking a trip down author lane as we take a look at the authors of our four new releases.

Keith Willis
Here's a note from the man himself:

I'm Keith W. Willis, author of the Knights of Kilbourne fantasy /romance series of novels. My debut novel Traitor Knight was released on September 7, 2015 by Champagne Books. Desperate Knight, the second volume in the series, will be released Summer 2017. I'm working on the third book, tentatively titled Bewitched Knight, and I have a dragon's horde of short stories from the Kilbourne universe that I hope to collect into an anthology someday.

I live with my wife (and best friend) Patty, near Saratoga Springs, NY, in the heart of a beautiful patch of country--close to the Adirondacks, the Berkshires, and the Taconic Range; three hours from NYC, Boston, the south shore of Rhode Island, and Montreal. Patty and I love to head for the woods (or the shore) with our camper hitched up to the trusty Subaru and the old red canoe strapped down on the car top. In case you haven't noticed from the various pictures that appear on this site, I love the water--whether it's the crashing roar of the ocean, a river cascading over rocks, or just the calm stillness of a lake at sunset. It lifts my soul, fills my heart with joy, and puts a smile on my face.

I graduated (a long time ago) from Berry College in Rome, GA with a BA degree (double major, English Lit and French). Immediately realizing that this qualified me for little except unemployment benefits, I embarked on a whirlwind tour of the working world which has included stints as a bank operations manager, copy center manager, and retail sales manager. (See a pattern here? Those that can't, teach. Those that can't teach, manage). I currently work as the team lead for an eclectic group of database content editors at a global information technology firm. How's that for corporate doublespeak?

I have always been a devourer of books, with a varied taste in genre: anything from sci-fi (Heinlein and Asimov were favorites of my youth) to classic mysteries (Stout, Christie) to the wacky, whimsical world of P.G. Wodehouse. My early exposure to fantasy was limited to T.H. White's The Once and Future King,. I wore out the pages on that book with re-reading. But it wasn't until I was recovering from a bout of mono after my first semester of college that someone gave me a set of Tolkien. I went through those books like a starving man goes through an all-you-can-eat buffet. Then I went back and started all over again. I forgot that I was supposed to be sick. Who has time to be sick, when you're fighting your way through to Rivendell, or on the trail of the Hobbits with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas? Or riding down with Rohan to the delivery of Minas Tirith? (Ok, I'll fess up--I've always found the subplots of TLOR more entertaining than the main story-line. I'm weird that way, I guess...).

But it wasn't just the characters of LOTR,or the creation of Middle-Earth, that had me spellbound. It was the way Tolkien used language. I think that was what stuck with me so much over the years, and eventually prompted me to try writing myself. Oh, I had always written 'stuff', generally just throw-away pieces done to amuse my friends. But Tolkien opened up vistas for me that I had only dimly imagined, inspired me to listen to those people that were wandering around in my head muttering, and to begin to write down what they said.

With that in mind, I finally decided that I had interesting stories I wanted to tell, and a decent enough grasp of the language to be able to tell them. I don't feel I have anything earth-shattering to say. My goal is to entertain--to provide light, fun, fast-paced stories that can be polished off over the course of a rainy Sunday afternoon and leave the reader smiling and wanting to visit that world, those characters again, to see what they may be up to now.

I am a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, the Latham/Albany/Schenectady/Troy Science Fiction Association, the Mythopoeic Society, and the Adirondack Center for Writing. You can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook (see the Follow Me links below).

I hope you'll visit the rest of this site, to see the kinds of stories I tell. And I hope you'll let me know what you think of them.


Check this dragon-fighting author out on his website.

Kay Latour
Kay Latour resides in Ottawa – Canada’s capital city – with her Techie Wizard husband and two built-in-alarm-system Chihuahuas. She is a self proclaimed nerd and bookworm. She loves fantasy, paranormal and science fiction stories in book, TV or movie form. She patiently waits for the return of the science fiction series FIREFLY – Browncoats forever!

Early on she discovered that her elementary school library contained amazing books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Greek myths. The stories within spoke of goblins, witches, fairies, deities, giants and all manner of magical folk! Incredible! It struck a spark and stoked her imagination. From that time on she gravitated to any type of fantasy, mythology, science fiction or paranormal books she could get her hands on.

Now that Kay’s two children have reached ‘the age of reason’ she has time to write her own stories.

Kay has her own blog, Fae and Witches and Ghosts- Oh My! that features other authors, all things paranormal, and more goodies.

J.S. Marlo

J.S. Marlo spent her childhood in a small French Canadian town, reading and daydreaming stories. One day, she met her hero, a dashing young officer, and followed him back and forth across the country.

The "memorable" adventures she experienced with her young family fuelled her imagination and kindled the dream of one day becoming a published author. When her three spirited children left the nest in pursuit of their own adventures, J.S. gave writing a chance.

Her first two dozen stories were for her friends' eyes only. To her surprise and delight, they enjoyed them and rewarded her with their encouragement and support. J.S. kept writing and learning.

She captured her dream with her first novel "Salvaged" then carried on with two series. The "Duty Bound Series" (Unscripted #1, Unearthed #2, and Untamed #3) and the "Heart & Endurance Series" (Cold Sweat #1, Thin Ice #2, and Hot Water #3).

J.S. lives in Alberta with her amazing hubby, and when she's not visiting her children and little granddaughter, she's working on her next novel under the northern lights.

Check out Marlo's website and see where suspense meets romance in her books.

Veronica Helen Hart
From Miss Veronica:

Although born in Manhattan, I never lived there. Raised as something of a vagabond, attending fourteen schools before graduating from high school in Miami, Florida. Colleges and universities were intermittent and include: UCLA, SUNY, Villanova, and many one-course programs. I managed to complete four years of Russian language and literature studies along the way and passed some KLEP exams, including Literature and Psychology.

The chronic moving throughout my childhood left me with few friends, but a vivid imagination of what it might be like to live in a house where people stayed all their lives. I began to create fantasy lives for myself. Often I lost track of truth and fiction and sometimes got caught in my own webs of deceit.

During my first marriage, I also moved a great deal around the states, hence the various schools, and even spent a few years living in Tehran, Iran where I became fairly fluent in Farsi.

While living in Cooperstown, NY, I began writing and producing murder mystery plays.

Now settled in Ormond Beach, Florida, I am happily working on two more novels, and have several ideas lurking in the background swirls of my mind waiting to spring forth.

Six of my short stories appear in six Florida Writers Collection volumes.

My musical, "Murder in Morocco," spawned from my play of the same name, was awarded eight Outstanding Achievement Awards by the New York State Theater Association.

"The Prince of Keegan Bay," won first place in the Florida Writers Royal Palm Literary Awards. That book began life as a NANOWRIMO novel in 2008.

My YA novel, "Escape from Iran" was a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Awards in 2011 and winner in the 2011 Florida Writers RPLA.

"Elena-the Girl with the Piano" was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards.

Six of my short stories appear in six Florida Writers Collection volumes.

I am most proud of my latest achievement where I worked in partnership with Michael Pyle and The Chiles Academy in Daytona Beach, FL, to produce "Young Mothers' Voices", a compilation of stories, poems, and essays by teen mothers.

Uppity Women Press is my latest venture to produce books primarily about adventurous, historical, sometimes humorous, and always strong women.

Always writing, always hoping to entertain and educate.

Find out more about Veronica on her website.

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