Thrill Me With Suspense!
Readers and authors, it’s that time again. Welcome to this showcasing of an author who also advocates for other authors. A mystery writer and blogger with more clicks a week on his website than average, I’m speaking of none other than James Moushon.
SHELLEY: Hello, James. I’m excited to interview you, because you are invaluable to readers and authors. Your website has a plethora of information for readers, as well as for authors who need help in almost any area. You and I met at the annual Tucson Book Festival. That was actually my first time attending that particular festival, but I know you have been a part of it for some years. I have been in the industry many years, and the reason I love you, James, is you actually know what you’re doing. I know that might come off strange to some who will read this, but what I mean is, you are a fantastic writer. You have three books currently on the market of which I have two. I just realized I need to jump online and make certain I get the third. You also know a lot about the industry, eBook publishing, and you provide as much help as you can to other authors to help them as well. Tell us a little about yourself, if you will.
JAMES: First, thanks for asking me to do this interview for your great blog. I have attended the Tucson Festival of Books for the last several years. What a great experience for all the attendees. What a great collection of authors. I enjoy the festival because I go as a blogger, not an author. I get to meet new authors and observe how they market their works. Also, I visit with established authors I have met over the years and share ideas. I try to check out new releases, upcoming book events and new author groups. Several years ago I started an award system that I post on my blog along with a post about the TFOB. I check out the way authors display their works, how they engage the audience and what kind of swag they have. I go away with a large bag of stuff. I sit down and go through each piece and grade them by category. Then I select the top swag by author in each category. We met at the 2015 Festival. Your business card was selected along with several others out of hundreds. The business cards ranged from 4-color quality cards with cover pictures to stock business cards to none at all. Yours was one of the best.
SHELLEY: Let me tell you. I was excited to receive that award. It didn’t matter to me that it was your general ‘atta boy’ type deal. I was selected, and that told me someone was paying attention. Let’s talk about the author you are first. Your novels feature fictional CIA undercover agent Jonathon Stone. Tell us what influenced you about Jonathon that allowed you to bring him to life in your books?
JAMES: I wanted a strong character on top of his game most of the time but not a Bond type. Jonathon became more of a techy guy who solves conflicts with his mind rather than shooting his way out of trouble. Also, he likes gambling, drinking and the ladies. Rather than a PI or FBI Agent or someone like that, Agent Stone is part of a CIA Domestic Division which means he has no rules that he has to go by. Of course, we know this operation exists in real life.
SHELLEY: Yes, and that’s what makes your books good reading. I place Jonathan Stone up there with other characters written by well-known authors. And this is why I love interviewing indie authors, because some of their books, like yours, is of the same quality and need more recognition. Tell us what you’re working on now. Can you give readers an enticing peek?
JAMES: Earlier this year, I completed a short story collection titled OPERATION ALPHA DOG. It’s a 6-pack of Jonathon Stone adventures and can be found by clicking here. The reviews I received, along with readers, encouraged me to write a new 6-pack called Operation Bravo Eagle, which I’m in the middle of the editing process. Hopefully it will be published in the first quarter 2017.
SHELLEY: And do let me know when it’s out so I can get my copy. I LOVE reading good stories, and you always deliver. For those of you who enjoy a little crime, suspense-thriller, make sure to check out the links below. Now let’s talk about James, the advocate for other authors. Your website is visited daily by authors and readers of every genre. Tell us why you think your website has become so popular. I mean, seriously, people are taking time out of their day to read your latest blogs and postings.
JAMES: I enjoy blogging as much as I do writing fiction. My blogs just passed 725,000 views. I get to interact with other authors and readers. For readers, I try to point them to good reads at good prices. For authors, hopefully, I can provide useful information and give them added exposure.
SHELLEY: Of all of the blogs you write about, tell us what subject interests you most.
JAMES: There is more to being an author than having an idea and writing it down on paper.
SHELLEY: This is so true, and I hit on this in my book “Anyone Can Write.”
JAMES: Most definitely. Authors need to market the book and themselves at the same time. It could be something as simple as picking a twitter name to deciding which genre your novel falls under. And there is the time commitment that everyone underestimates.
SHELLEY: I find the time pays off, especially when authors can get their foot into many open doors. And this is where you come in. As an author, I find your website very informative. From writing tips, and what to expect and do while attending book festivals and fairs to author interviews, there is something authors and readers can learn from every posting. How do you select authors to interview and how can they contact you if an author is interested?
JAMES: It is a very scientific process. (laughs hysterically) No, not really. I have several sources I use to select authors to interview. I also use book events like the one I met you at. My Mystery Readers Circle blog in which I highlight weekly promos and book sets, I showcase the authors of the book bundles. It can also come from interesting authors who have a social media presence. I focus on fiction writers mainly, although I have interviewed several non-fiction authors. If anyone is interested, they can contact me at email@example.com.
SHELLEY: This is why I find it important to have a social media presence, because authors can run into people like you, because interviews provide authors free exposure. I have heard back from readers who visit my blog telling me how they liked the book I recommended. As a reader myself, I know that a good book is vital! How about we take a moment and learn more about the man who I like to think knows it all. Where are you from? Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people don’t know about you.
JAMES: Oh, I don’t know it all. That’s for sure. There are many experts in this growing industry that can help authors as well. As for me, I was raised in the Midwest. Like many people, I had a story inside me but never had time to do anything about it. I got hooked when I took a writing class in college which had a leading expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald lecturing to the class. Hemingway of course was one of his main topics. That was all it took. That put fiction writing on my to-do list. However, writing went on hold except for business articles for industry magazines. I started my professional career as an accountant than to the owner of a software development company. Then along came the digital world and my company was all in for the conversion of business and publishing documents to a digital format including eBook development. Now I am retired and a full-time writer and blogger trying to give back my business knowledge to authors.
SHELLEY: If you’re an avid reader and are not sure which book next to buy, I encourage you to check out James’ books, as well as some of his featured authors’ work. James’ books are also affordably priced, which makes them a great deal. If you’re a writing looking for tips, you, too, should check out James’ website that gets more clicks per day than average. Thank you all for this spotlight in Indie in My Kindle. James, can you leave our readers with a few parting words?
JAMES: Be serious about being an author or don’t start. Get help up front. Realize there is a huge time commitment.
SHELLEY: Thanks again for allowing me to interview you, James. For those of you reading this post, I have listed more details about James Moushon, including his profile and links to his site that may help you find a good book to read or help authors, as well as people who are thinking of becoming an author, with tips and how-to information.
James Moushon is a mystery writer an author advocate. He’s the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books and a collection of short stories. Click the links below to read free samples on Amazon.
The blog's purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 600 authors to date.
The HBS Mystery Reader's Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.
The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today's ever changing world of book publishing.
To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thrill Me With Indie News
Welcome to the latest edition of Indie in My Kindle.
Today I would love for you to meet an award winning writer whose career in magazines, editing, journalism and a talk show host spans more than thirty years. This woman has a lot to offer for readers, writers and promotors. From Gary, Indiana who, yes, did know those five little cute boys from her hometown known as Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, her collection of novels, short stories and blogs has earned her dominance in social media. I’m speaking of none other than the Cheryl Holloway.
SHELLEY: Cheryl, welcome. You’re all over social media, so much that I see your photo more than any other author and that says a lot. You have a lot to offer anyone who reads this interview. Your novel A Sisterhood of Women Living Life has generated much media buzz since its release. Many readers don’t leave reviews, but conversations and online discussions seem to pay off. What inspired you to write a book about love scene from many angles?
CHERYL: I wanted to give my readers—a sisterhood of women of all ages—something to read and enjoy. So, I created short stories for the young and the old to laugh, cry and love. I do a lot of research to make my stories very realistic and believable.
SHELLEY: As all of my readers know, my interviews go a little deeper. As a plus size woman myself, what are your views on BBW relationships today versus twenty or more years ago?
CHERYL: Funny you should mention BBWs. I used to be a BBW model for Lane Bryant in-store fashion shows in California, when a BBW was a size 16. I also was Editor of my own BBW Newsletter back in the day. At the time, men were into skinny woman and they had to learn that Big, Beautiful Women had a lot to offer them.
SHELLEY: Romance novels have been the top-selling genre many years now, so I’m not surprised that an author of your renown has written a few romance short stories. I like that your Cougar series pays homage to a topic that become famous with older celebrity women unafraid to express their interests in younger men. Care to share any personal experiences?
CHERYL: Yes, it was my personal experiences that started my writing of the Cougar Tales series. So, I have plenty short stories to add to the collection. A quick short story…I had to go to a press party in L.A. and needed a date. My girlfriend introduced me to a handsome younger man, who was extremely fine, but couldn’t carry on a conversation if you handed it to him in a box. So, we went to the party and I told him not to say a word, just smile and let me do the talking. We had a blast and most of L.A. thought he was “shy.” Men have been doing the same thing—with younger women—for ages.
SHELLEY: Authors who write believable characters are thought of as the inspiration for the characters they write about. I get this a lot and men sometimes are unrelenting with comments and personal interest in female writers who, how can I say this, plucked a nerve. LOL. Where did you get your inspiration for the Cougar series?
CHERYL: Most of the men I date are younger than me, even today. I can only name two or three older men, including my ex-husband. So, those relationships were my inspiration. I have lots of material for my stories. I decided that I had too many good stories about older women and younger men to leave untold. So, that’s how I got started.
SHELLEY: I’m going to switch things up a bit here. You’re a retired journalist and magazine editor. Is there any particular piece you wrote that brings back fond or unforgettable memories?
CHERYL: Yes, when I was Managing Editor for Road & Recreation Magazine, an Air Force magazine for the military, I wrote an article, Pump Up the Volume, about boom boxes making a generation of teens going deaf. We received so much feedback and after the article, I was known for writing up-to-minute topics for our military troops.
SHELLEY: I like that you kept true to who you are with your journalistic skills and your career as a writer. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
CHERYL: I knew from a very young age—pre-school—that I wanted to be a writer. My career goal was to never take a job unless it involved writing. I am proud to say that all of my jobs have involved some type of writing. I was the first African American editor for Road & Recreation Magazine (Air Force); and Proceedings Magazine (Coast Guard); as well as the first African American writer/editor for the Social Security Administration, Headquarters.
SHELLEY: Praise for your novel, A Forgotten Negro League Star. Tell us why you felt it important to bring awareness to Al Burrows.
CHERYL: I met Mr. Al Burrows in a memorabilia store and he was a “Living Legend” in Christmas 2002. I asked him if anyone had ever written a book about him and his baseball journey. He said, ”No.” So, I began the research and in January 2004, the book was in his hand. He was so proud!
SHELLEY: You are the author of several novels and short stories, all of which are available on Amazon. What can readers find in your novels that will make them want to read more?
CHERYL: My books are based on real-events and I just add a little excitement and some imagination to the stories, which makes my books come alive for the readers.
SHELLEY: Because your career has been so extensive, this is the first interview where I’m tackling different subjects and not just a particular novel. Your blogs have drawn considerable attention, as well as helped authors actually sell books. What do you think makes your interviews and blogs stand out from others?
CHERYL: Well, back in 2005, when I couldn’t get any publicity for my baseball book, I created an internet talk show, Just About Books Talk Show, where I provided 1-hour live interviews for any author. It was the same pay-it-forward concept as my blog. I guess, it’s what I do best—help promote other authors. I think the show and blog stand out because I wasn’t seeking anything in return.
SHELLEY: Some indies may read this interview, and as an indie myself, sometimes it’s hard to find reliable sources in the areas of editing and marketing. Do you offer services of these kinds, and if so how can an author contact you?
CHERYL: Yes, I provide editing. Every author needs their work edited before publishing to provide a polished work for their audience. I am also an accountability writing coach for debut authors.
SHELLEY: Not that you haven’t done a lot already, but what more do you wish to accomplish in the near future?
CHERYL: I am in the process of writing a prayer book, How to Enhance Your Life with Prayer.
SHELLEY: Brand name is everything and readers know what they like and love discovering new authors. What do you promise to give your readers in each of your books? In other words, what is your brand? I know for myself, I have a strong female following who loves in depth relationships with plenty of suspense and unseen twists. So in that regard, please tell us what you offer similarly.
CHERYL: I offer my readers entertainment and a good storyline, whether it is a short story or a novella. For instance, The Proposal: A Leap of Faith, was a well-talked about short story that kept readers discussing it for quite some time. Most of them were surprised when the ending wasn’t a “Happy Ever After” ending. But they enjoyed the book.
SHELLEY: Cheryl, it’s been a pleasure having you on Indie in My Kindle. For all of those reading this spotlight please note I have listed all of Cheryl’s books, links, website and blog information. Please do spare a moment and check her out.