5 Questions with Charlaine Harris

Hey guys … welcome to the new and, hopefully, improved “Tampa Bay Book Examiner” page.  As I mentioned before, this page will give the reader new book reviews, author interviews and the latest publishing information around.

To start the ball rolling, I interviewed New York Times bestselling author, Charlaine Harris.  For those who don’t know, Ms. Harris is the author of the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire Series), as well as, many, many more.  Her collaboration with HBO resulted in the acclaimed “True Blood” series and her latest foray into television comes to NBC on July 24th, 2017 as her “Midnight, Texas” is adapted for the small screen.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.  If so, please consider following this page and sharing it with your friends.

Coming soon, more interviews with authors like Wendi Corsi Staub, Cheryl Bradshaw, Douglas Preston, Kathy Reichs and many, many more favorites.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have for your favorite author, comments, or suggestions for future book reviews and author interviews.

Starting soon, I will be interviewing one indie author a week and reviewing an indie title as well.  So if you have anyone or any books in mind, please let me know.

I love feedback.  Any type of feedback.  Good, bad, indifferent.  Let me hear from you.

And, naturally, I wouldn’t be an independent author myself if I didn’t promote my own titles, so please check out my new book.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  But, if you are, it was a small amount to take a leap of faith.




Big changes coming …

So I’ve published my first fictional book, Though the Brightest Fell, and now what? Sales are going as sales go for an independent author of limited means and little time. Meaning, sales are nowhere and it’s time to move forward with a new project.

Starting soon, besides working on the second book in “The Brooklyn Angels Series, I will begin to use this page to review new books, conduct author interviews with some of your favorites and discuss the latest from the publishing industry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still continue to hawk my own work, but I love to read and talk to other authors so why not have the best of both worlds.

It is my fervent hope that you follow this page, enjoy what you see and comment, comment, comment.  Think of it as your personal book newsletter and a place to go to find the latest in the world of books.

And, for my fellow independent authors, I will offer one day a week where I’ll review a new independent title, as well as, interview a new independent author.

I’ll keep you up-to-date on all the new changes and the exciting plans to come.

So, please join me on my new endeavor. I look forward to seeing and speaking with each and every one.



Cover Reveal … Yay!!!

“Though the Brightest Fell”, the new novella by author Nola Cancel, is a supernatural thriller about Joe DeFalco, a drug addicted neighborhood guy with a gangster father whose life is spinning out of control. That is, until a miracle happens that changes everything.
With a wife at her wits end, a fallen angel who hates and takes pleasure in destroying all humans (especially Joe) and a Guardian Angel who can barely keep up, Joe’s story takes the reader on an exciting ride from ancient Jerusalem and the crucifixion through to Rome and an incredible twist and,finally, to Brooklyn, NY and a brutal and unbelievable conclusion at a decaying amusement park ride.
Throw in “Mr. Scary”, a psychopathic killer with a penchant for inflicting pain on anyone or anything that crosses his path and “Though the Brightest Fell” has everything a reader wants in a good story. Exciting and heart-wrenching with nail-biting suspense, the story will stay with you long after the novella ends.
Coming soon …

“It takes a village” to indie-publish a book


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Some of you may have noticed that I have changed the image attached to this blog.  The new image, a copy of my new book cover, including new title, was a labor of love that has practically left me bald and in need of psychotropics.

The original cover of my indie-published book of interviews with the iconic author Anne Rice, was a wonderful gift from a marvelous artist named Bret Bouriseau who I had neglected to give the correct submission requirements for createspace causing some blurring issues with the cover.

Though, he was more than happy to correct the problem, in my haste to fix everything immediately, I contacted another wonderful artist, Ran Valerhon, who created the beautiful image above.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I want what I want, when I want it.  I am terrible to work for and always have been (ask the employees at my 9-5).  But, both these gentlemen, as well as, my editor, Todd Barselow, put on their big boy under-roos and had no problems with my bitchin’.  For this, and so much more, I am beyond grateful.

Which really goes to show, indie-publishing is really like raising a child, “It takes a village”.

I use to think I could do this with my eyes closed.  I was wrong … I admit it.  Just because you’ve finished writing the words, does not mean your work is done.  In fact, it only begins.

So, just remember, whoever you choose to take this journey with you, make sure you treat them nice once in awhile, tell them how much their help means to you and always give props where props are due.

Here’s to everyone who patted me on the back, gave me a supportive word, listened to me complain, put up with my bad grammar and took shit when I was just plain tired.

Thank you!

Why do I feel so bad about self-promoting?

I don’t know about anyone else, but while my brain understands the need for an independent author to rely on social-media when it comes to promoting their book, my conscience always suffers a little whenever I post another request to please check out my new book of interviews with Anne Rice, entitled “Anne Rice On”, currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com and scheduled for release September 6th, 2014.  Sorry, couldn’t resist. (See link below to order).

For me, and maybe it’s my own issue (God knows I have many), it feels like begging and that feels wrong.

Perhaps, it’s because I’ve never, ever relied on anyone else in my life to give me anything I wanted.  I was taught at a very young age by parents who could barely afford to put food on the table, much less afford the latest “keds”, that if I wanted something, I should get a job and get it myself.

Or, perhaps, it is my innate and ingrained fear that if I continue to “shuck” my book, people will no longer like me online.  Sick, I know, but maybe true.  I hate the idea of pissing someone off if I don’t intentionally mean to.  I am not completely insane (though that has yet to be proven) so I do realize these faceless avatars on social media are not really my friends, but some of them really feel like they are and who wants to pressure their friends to buy your book.

I am sure I am not the first independent author to feel this way, but I wonder how other people feel about it.  I try to think about it like television.  If a person doesn’t like what’s on their T.V. screen they don’t have to watch or they can change the channel.  But, I doubt that attitude is going to sell many books.

So, what to do, what to do?  Well, I guess I’ll finish writing this, post it all over social media and than start all over again tomorrow.

After all, “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers”.

To Order:  


Why was I born before the computer revolution?


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Hello Fellow Travelers.

Today I wanted to rant about being born at the ass end of the “baby-boomers” and before the computer revolution.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have a telephone until I was 8.  In all honesty, who were we going to call.  Everyone we knew and loved lived within a couple of blocks and if you wanted to talk to them, you got dress, left your house and went to see them.

My first computer was brought into our home 9 years later by my brother who had become interested in this new phenomenon.  It was a Commodore 64.  “Nuff said”.

For those too young to understand what that means, let me explain.  When we wanted to play a role playing game on the Commodore, you used words (no graphics) and told the characters what to do.  The computer would then reply things like:  “Frank is unable to do that”, “Frank has completed the task” or “What would you like Frank to do next”.  Granted, we had loads of fun telling Frank where to go and what to do when he got there (and I’m not talking about picking up the big rock).  We had hours of giggles telling those unseen characters to do the filthiest things we could think of and couldn’t get enough of Frank’s reply, “Frank is unable to do that”.  Poor Frank.

All of which leads me to my current state of computer illiteracy.  Yes, over the years I have been forced to pick up a few things but to be quite honest, I just learned to “copy and paste” about 5 years ago.  How sad is that.

Yes, I can use a word processor (barely).  Yes, I know how to send an attachment.  Yes, I know how to upload and download.  But, ask me to do something else and you might as well ask me to speak another language.  And, believe me, I have enough trouble with English.

And, that is my lesson for today to all those fledgling Indie-Authors.  Either take a basic class in computer comprehension or make sure you ask someone younger than 20 to handle the formatting and uploading of your book to those online e-book retailers who constantly tell you how easy it is to publish.  In what country?

I’m a quick learn … I really am.  But, between the file not fitting into their format and the cover not being the right size and a number of other things that went wrong from my simple word document to their publishing tool, I’m beat, whipped and ready to call it a day.

I just keep telling myself when all the kinks are worked out I will be the author of a real book … my own book.  And, that is what keeps me going and should keep you going as well.

That and the fact that there is no shame in asking a 15 yr. old to help your ancient ass out.

For a copy of the book that is causing me such angst, please check it out:


The road goes ever onward …


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Okay, as many of your know I just self-published a book of my three years worth of interviews with iconic author, Anne Rice.  Naturally, I will post the link below for anyone interested.

However, I have reserved this page not only for blatant self-promotion but for all those other indie-authors out there looking to take a leap of faith and self-publish their own book but who may be worried how deep and cold the water’s going to be.  This will be the place where I either frighten you to death or encourage you to go forward.  Either way, the choice will be yours.

Knowing that, I want to tell you what I’ve been doing for the past 7 hours.  That’s right, I said 7 hours.  For me, that was how long it took to review my wonderful editor, Todd Barselow’s, corrections and suggestions while trying to use an outdated and pretty useless copy of Microsoft Word that I just found out, does not contain a review pane, which would have made my life so much easier today.

Then it was on to my cover issues.  I also found out that if your cover isn’t a certain amount of pixels (dpi’s I think it’s called) then when you try to apply it to your book (especially the print version) it will lose most of it’s clarity and look blurry …. Yay!!!!

Since I didn’t have the funds to hire a professional graphic artist, I used a friend of a friend who I can’t personally thank enough, but who could only do, what he could do.  I’m now awaiting a proof copy to tell me if I’m okay or I have to beg, borrow and steal to hire a professional.  I’ll let you know.

In the midst of all this turmoil, it is still Sunday in America and the laundry has to be done, dinner has to be made and errands have to be done leaving very little time to enjoy the pleasure of creation.

So, I guess today’s lesson for the would be indie-author would be to make sure you have the right equipment (a decent computer) the right software (not the starter stuff that comes with the computer) and a few bucks socked away.  Believe me, your going to need a good editor (even if he does live so far away the time difference is amazing – he goes to bed when I wake up – which does not make for great conversations) and a possible graphic artist for the most professional cover you can possible publish.  Oh, and someone to help with all the other stuff while your working on your masterpiece would be a true treasure.

But don’t get disheartened faithful readers and writers.  So far, I have sold a whole 10 books and, no matter what, they will contain my words and my name on the cover.

And that is something I have dreamed about for as long as I can remember.

If you’d like to check out my new book “Anne Rice On …” please visit this site: