Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Do Birthday Parties, Too!

Not really.

At least, not yet.

With mega-book chains closing their doors (Borders) and online booksellers battling for eBook domination, authors are faced with the daunting task of connecting with their readers. How do we get our print books out there? How do we connect with our digital readers?

Here's the thing: I love to write. 

Along with that, I truly enjoy meeting fans and aspiring authors. So, I will take every opportunity to get out there and meet some great people. One of my favorite activities is visiting classrooms. I have found that teachers these days do an incredible job of motivating kids to read. When an author walks into the classroom, that is a springboard for their hungry little minds!

Teachers: Please send me emails, I would love to come to your class, at any grade level. If I can't drive to you, then I can use Skype or Google video chat.

Another fun suggestion is that my books can be used for fund raisers. I've done it before. It's unique and leaves a lasting impression.

Take a look at what I've got coming up:

April 18 - Lake County Library System: Local Authors DayThe Lake County Library System is proud to announce the second program celebrating local authors and their books. The Spring Local Authors’ Day will be held in the Lady Lake Public Library on Wednesday, April 18th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. In addition to meeting some of the best authors from around Florida, participants can enter for a prize drawing sponsored by the Friends of the Lady Lake Public Library.

May 7 & 8 - Great Wolf Lodge (Charlotte, NC): Home School Week - Comfort Publishing is once again parterning with Great Wolf Lodge Concord for Home school week, May 6-11, 2012! Authors joining us will be Kendra A. ThomasMark Miller (The Empyrical Tales) andSherri Gallagher! Book ANY room for $139! Use the code 1205HOME! This is the official debut of The Secret Queen. Exclusive advance copies will be for sale before the June 1st release date.

June 2 - Barrel of Books and Games (Downtown Mount Dora, FL): Starting at 1pm on June 2nd, I will be signing autographs and answering questions at this fun shop!

I hope to see you at one of my events, plus I will be adding more. Contact me if you would like me to speak to your group, present a creative writing class or help with your fund raiser.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

With a Foreword by...

"Dinosaur George" Blasing

I am very excited by this! "Dinosaur George" has written the foreword for The Secret Queen, which will be available in about 75 days.

This is the first of my novels to have a foreword and who better since the third book of The Empyrical Tales has dinosaurs in it.

I contacted Mr. Blasing a while back with the aim of him verifying some of my dinosaur facts. When I go into classrooms, I tell the students that a huge part of writing fiction is doing the research. My research led me to "Dinosaur George". He was already a household name to us, having seen him on various dino-documentaries. Despite his busy schedule, he read my manuscript and commented in a surprisingly short amount of time. I pressed my luck further and asked if he would be willing to write the foreword. He said he would "love to". I gave him the opportunity to read The Fourth Queen and The Lost Queen. He says he enjoyed the whole series, but likes The Secret Queen best.

I will say this about "Dinosaur George": rarely have I met someone so kind and supportive. He is a great person with a passion for teaching young people. My son and I were already fans of his, and I am honored that he calls himself my fan!

Here is a little about "Dinosaur George" from his website (

“Dinosaur George” Blasing is a self taught paleontologist and animal behaviorist with more than 35 years of study and research. Blasing is a public speaker, writer and television personality who has performed live to over 1 million people and has lectured in over 2800 museums, schools and public events. He has volunteered his time to make hundreds of appearances in children’s hospitals, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and Boys and Girls Scouting events.

In 2007 he co-created, wrote and hosted a 12 part series for The History Channel called Jurassic Fight Club and is currently involved in the creation of a several new television projects.

In 2009, he was named as a member of the Board of Directors for the Proctor Museum of Natural History in Houston Texas.

In 2010, he was honored with an appointment as “Guest Curator of Paleontology” for the Witte Museum, located in San Antonio.

To promote the importance of reading, Dinosaur George set off on a state wide tour of Texas libraries during the summer of 2011. He performed in 67 libraries and spoke to nearly 10,000 children and adults. 

With his vast knowledge of prehistoric life, expertise in animal behaviors, and powerful on camera presence, Dinosaur George is a highly respected and sought after public figure who shares his love of “all things prehistoric” with throngs of enthusiastic fans.

The Empyrical Tales Book III: The Secret Queen will be available from Comfort Publishing on June 1, 2012. You can pre-order it now on here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

BOGO is Back On

From Trestle Press:

Starting Saturday March 10 and running through March 17th Trestle Press and its authors will be having a Buy One Get One Free Sale. All of our titles are included in the sale. All you have to do to get your free story is email us at and send us the proof of purchase from either Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook and we will be happy to send you the free story of your choice of equal or lesser value. Straight up fun so why not fill those hungry e-readers with any of our Best-Selling titles or maybe find a new author to follow. Above all enjoy yourself! Thank you for supporting our authors and their hard work! 

Here are some helpful links:

Meant To Be - This is the first story in the One series. All of the authors in this series are donating some portion of their proceeds to Give Kids the World ( -

Sons of the King - Christian, Sci-Fi, Fantasy co-written with my 9 year old daughter -

New Kids on the Rock - Part one of the international spy adventure series Small World Global Protection Agency

Daniel's Lot - a novella based on the Christian movie, which is available on DVD -

Put "Trestle Press" in your Amazon toolbar to see all of the other great titles available!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Authors of One Interviews: Rachel Hunter

Perfect Nothing is the seventh story in the One series. Author Rachel Hunter is contributing 100% of her proceeds to Give Kids the World ( She has taken time out of her busy college schedule for a brief interview.

MM: Rachel Hunter is a two-time award winning poet, she has an upcoming fantasy novel and, at nineteen, is the youngest author in this series. Her story Perfect Nothing is a moving and highly personal account of her own near-death experience. What brought you to share such an intimate experience?

RH: Honestly, if I had been asked a year ago, I would never have written this story - nor anything that portrayed my illness and the internal confliction I suffered - in such a way. It is highly personal and difficult - I think - for someone who has not suffered from an eating disorder to fully understand. But my desire to heal others gave me the inspiration to finally pour my emotions into words. This is the first time my story has gone out publicly. Most deeply of all, I wish for others to be rid of the heinous clutches of their eating disorder - or any affliction, for that matter - and for those who know of a loved one who suffers to be able to understand the extent to which the individual is fearful, lonely, and most likely caught between a world of internal chaos. It is as equally difficult for an observer to go through this this as the actual figure with the illness. I think it is therefore important for the stress of both parties to be recognized, as well as the horrifying truth that no one can force another to  change; it must come from within. Perhaps sharing my experience will help others to find the light in life - to find something by which they may grasp and pull from despair. That, above all, is my inspiration

MM: Also, the fact that you are now a medical student is a testimonial to your desire to heal, not only yourself, but others. I imagine writing is a cathartic way of dealing with your experience. How long have you been writing?

RH: I have been writing since I was just a girl - in fact, even before I could fully read or spell words.  Ever since I was a child, I would create stories in my head, relay them aloud for my parents, and have them spell each word as I wrote them down in tiny paper books. I was quite handy with a stapler! Yes - even at a young age, I aspired to build a library filled with volumes of my own.

MM: My own daughters were the same way. We had to hide the stapler and tape. To think those tools would be so crucial to the creative process! I can see by your vocabulary that you have evolved since those days. What are some of your other writing habits or eccentricities?

RH: I tend to be quite compulsive in my writing. That is, when I begin something, I prefer to sit down and work on it until it is complete. Therefore, when I am in the heat of writing, I will most likely be locked away for hours at a time in my room - for however long it takes me to finish. Sometimes, I almost forget what the sun looks like. *chuckles* But another habit I frequent is the way in which I actually begin to write, for very seldom do I first sit down to scratch up a ‘blueprint’ of what to actually write. No - I let the creativity flow as it comes. In fact, when I started writing Perfect Nothing, I knew it was going to be about my eating disorder, but I had no clue as to what aspects I would bring up or what style of writing I would use to express my inner thoughts. I prefer to write on whim. It’s enchanting, really.

MM: There are definitely different schools of thought on the whole process. For example, I typically do need that “blueprint”, but I’m always open to serendipity. Beyond your writing habits, do you want to share anything about your faith that is not already in your story?

RH: As my short story clearly alludes, I take strong hold in Voltaire’s saying, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” As a psychology/pre-med major, I find quite a fascination with the psychological necessity it seems religion holds for mankind. If one looks throughout history, he will discover that religion has always been with us - though in varying forms. Therefore, I take on a more ‘coexistant’ faith, in which I believe truth can be found in any religious belief. A beautiful aspect of religion is that it does not need to be necessarily true (I.e. the existence of a god) for individuals to feel a divine connection or embrace life in a devoted, systematic way. Rather, it is the conviction and belief in a particular substance or ‘divine’ figure that draws this. It is, after all, psychological. Yet that belief is enough, it seems.

MM: Those are some deep concepts for a young person. You must be well read, which will surely be a benefit to your writing future. From all of those books, who are your writing influences?

RH: Aha! A grand question. I will, inevitably, be unable to list every name of every figure who has held some sort of influence over me.  As I have grown and matured in my reading and writing, I have found more than one individual in each genre who has inspired me in some way: whether to think differently about a subject or pique my interest in a particular topic. However, I must relent to name a few: Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Ken Follett, Edgar Allen Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Kurt Vonnegut.

MM: So, at heart, you are a romantic. You clearly love a good fairytale. I can definitely see that influence in Perfect Nothing, especially the way you treat the doctors. Because this series is about writing and spirituality, this interview would not be complete without asking who are  your spiritual influences?

RH: My father, for keeping an open mind and embracing all peoples; and society, for showing me who I do not want to become.

MM: Your father plays a significant role in Perfect Nothing. Obvioulsy, he is a central figure in your life. As a father, I read your story feeling the emotions he might have felt. While the illness happened to you, I can see how it affected him. You mentioned earlier that these types of illnesses affect everyone it touches. I hope your writing has helped him cope as well. Now, since you are being so personal, do you want to tell us anything that is not in your author bio?

RH: Oh, goodness… Where to begin? I am highly organized, feel like I belong in an earlier century, appreciate nature for its serenity and exquisite beauty, find a fascination with the human brain, and am intrigued with endangered creatures called slow lorises. Also, I must admit a weakness: nostalgia. Yes; I’m afraid that anything that reminds me of the 1990s (the decade in which I was birthed) brings about a solemn, even awed, emotion. Let’s not even start on old photos…

MM: One, what are slow lorises? I had to look that up. Apparently, it is a type of rare, and small, primate. I also have to say I love that you consider the 90’s nostalgic! I graduated from high school before you were born, so please don’t make me feel old. Now, before my nurse says “lights out”, can you tell us what other projects you are involved in at present?

RH: Well, it is my first year attending the University of Oklahoma, and my Anthropology professor has personally requested that I become her research assistant and transcriber, and the wife of my Zoology professor, who is actually the author of my college Biology textbook, has asked that I aid her, and thus become a contractor for McGraw-Hill, in the creation of her new textbook. Needless to say, it has been quite a year already, and the second semester has not yet begun! Oh, I cannot forget to include my recent accomplishment: finishing my 8,000-piece puzzle of the School of Athens, which is roughly 4’x6’ in dimension. Let’s just say that it is nearly taller than myself!

MM: Don’t forget, you also have a soon-to-be published novel. Readers can get your links at the end of this interview, but, as you would expect, it is YA Fantasy. Not that I need an excuse, but I do like to get a little silly sometimes, so I will end with two oddball questions. First, if you could ask your supreme being one question, what would you ask?

RH: Well, seeing as I believe we - as in, all of humanity - are divine, I would most likely ask something along the lines of: Why? Why the need for something beyond yourself to find peace in this world? Why a ‘higher’ being? Cannot man be divine?

MM: Most paradoxical. It is something for which we can all strive. Lastly, if you were a flavor of ice cream, what would it be?

RH: Vanilla - that way, the possibilities of the devourer are endless. I may be coated with sprinkles, I may be doused in chocolate… Who knows the possibilities! If I were, say, Rocky Road, then my fate would already be set. Vanilla is an open canvas.

MM: A blank canvas is an excellent description! We authors get to paint with words. Thankfully, at your age and with overcoming your illness, your canvas still has plenty of room for a great story. Thank you for participating in the One series and thank you for taking time for this interview.

RH: Thank you most cordially. Oh yes! Please visit my blog, where updates on my upcoming novel, Empyreal Fate, will be listed, as well as other shenanigans: Also, feel free to check out my websites: and

All of the stories of One are available on Amazon Kindle or BN Nook for ONLY 99 Cents each. Every participating author has agreed to donate some portion of their proceeds to charity.

You can get Perfect Nothing on Kindle here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Perfect Nothing is Something Perfect

The One series continues with Trestle Press for a March release that focuses on a serious topic.

Rachel is an award-winning poet and first year medical student. Somehow, she finds time to write. I think it took a lot of courage to share her harrowing story with us. Please take the time to read it and remember she is donating her proceeds to Give Kids the World.

Rachel Hunter says that no one should have expected her to be more than her illness. She became a victim of her own desire and a thing of woe. Then she became something more.
I met Rachel by funny coincidence. I have a series of fantasy novels called The Empyrical Tales and she is about to publish her own novel called Empyreal Fate. Independently, we are both writing about our ideas of a heaven-like place. In that regard, I have to assume we are both romantics, dreamers. I had to have a kindred spirit participate in this series.
When I asked Rachel to write a story of faith, she delivered something quite powerful and very personal. She tells of her battle with the physical and psychological illness called Anorexia Nervosa. I am honored to know that this is the first time she has written about or made her story public.
The thrust of her story is about her relationship with her father and him literally carrying her into the emergency room. As a father, I saw this story from that perspective and it brought me to tears.
One is about faith and belief and sometimes a person’s faith is not in a god, but in themselves.  Rachel is currently a medical student, inspired by the doctors that helped save her life. She is becoming more than she expected to be. Her belief in herself and the power of the human mind is a concept that transcends so many religions and faiths. She is determined to not be defined by her own expectations and that is something from which we can all benefit.