Author / Novel Spotlight

On this page I spotlight an author and one of their works.  My aim is to get a little more context around a book so that you have a flavour of what the author has tried to achieve.  If you’re an author and would like to have a spotlight, fill in the contact form at the bottom of the page.



In this spotlight, we hear from R.V. Johnson, author of Beyond the Sapphire Gate, the first book in the Flow of Power series.

RV JohnsonRV JohnsonR.V. has desired to write a good story—an epic tale chock full of wonder and imagination on a rich, planetary scale. He wanted a fantastical adventure where the characters come as alive as the new world they travel through, and he wanted it for everyone.

What made you decide to publish a novel?

With the passing of long-time favourite authors—Robert Jordan, Roger Zelazny, and J.R.R. Tolkien to name a few, I craved something more traditional that conveyed a strong sense of wonder.

Where do you get you inspiration to write?

There are so many inspirations it would take hours to list them all, lately though, Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings enthralled me. I love becoming immersed in a new world and learning a new magical system.

Beyond the Sapphire GateIf you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

Strive to be the gem the dragon hoards.

Why have you chosen Beyond the Sapphire Gate as the spotlight?

The book is shown through the POV’s of the three main characters, two sisters and their father as they try and survive stranded on a world where a frothing, river of magic called the ‘Flow’ is accessed by Users of magic both light and dark. One sister tries to develop her home world magical symbols—something the world of Astura has never seen—while the younger sister, a half a world away, tries desperately to escape a harrowing Dark Citadel with her soul intact. Their father fights to escape his Dark User captors and reunite the family. In short, the main characters, and their companions really grow and bond with the reader on a strange, and violent world.

Read more about RV, and Beyond the Sapphire Gate here


In this post, I talk to Pamela Daniell, author of Revelations.

What made you decide to publish a novel?

Ever since I was a little girl it was a dream of mine to become a published author. In grade school I had a teacher who would always tell me to ‘Keep on writing’ and it encouraged me to finish Revelations and submit it to be published.

Rev wall 1Where do you get you inspiration to write?

I get the inspiration from a lot of places, dreams, work, tv shows, and music.

If you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

‘Your past is your past” Don’t let it define who you are today. People grow and learn from their mistakes.

Where did the idea for Revelations come from?

The TV series Supernatural.

Different authors have differing approaches to writing. Some prepare very detailed plot outlines before they begin on their first draft, while others have a much looser outline and like to see where the story leads them. What was your approach with Revelations?

I have a very loose outline. I know how the story starts and how I’d like it to end when I start and I kind of know what I want to happen, but my characters seem to have a way of telling me whether that’s how the story will go or not. Sometimes my muse will end a story a totally different way than planned, or introduce characters that were never intended on being written into the book.

Read more about Pamela and Revelations here



Today I talk to Tito Martinez Barberi, author of The Pinnacle of Power, Book 1 in the Keeper of the Balance saga.

Tito was born in Mexico City, in 1970. He spent many years working as a translator and copyrighter, and his experience in these fields, added to what Tito himself calls his “hyperactive imagination” led him to write the fantasy series The Keeper of the Balance.

Tito is a passionate lover of fantasy and sci-fi. Although he lives in Puebla, Mexico with Dani, his cat, Tito’s mind spends most of his time in planet Akaladia, working on the next books in The Keeper of the Balance saga.

Pinnacle of PowerWhat made you decide to publish a novel?

I wanted to write my own take on the Hero’s Journey, trying to tell it from a fresh, novel, original point of view, set in what I like to describe as an alternate, futuristic version of Earth in a parallel universe. I took writing this as a challenge that I thought would be lots of fun, and so it’s been

Where do you get you inspiration to write?

I get inspiration from everyday life, from people I’ve met who’ve left a mark on me (be it positive or negative), from major events happening across the world, historical and current both, from spirituality, from books and films I love, even from conspiracy theories . . . in short, my influences are so wide and varied that there’s just too many to put here.

If you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

“All in its due time.”

Where did the idea for the The Keeper of the Balance come from?

Again, this story was shaped by many ideas, influences, and sources of inspiration. I just sat down one day and decided to write this take on the classic Hero’s Journey, using more modern, current themes, but trying to keep the classic archetypes found in fantasy literature intact.

Read more about Tito and the Pinnacle of Power here




In this post I hear from Kara Jorgensen about her forthcoming novel, The Winter Garden, the second book in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series.

Kara Jorgensen is an author and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature, history, and science through steampunk.

What made you decide to publish a novel?

Since I was ten, I have wanted to be a writer. I always thought I would need to search out a publisher and wait to be picked from the slush pile, but when I realized self-publishing was a viable option that would allow me more freedom than traditional publishing, I jumped at it. I had my first book, The Earl of Brass, pretty much ready to go. It’s been a learning experience, but I love doing it.

Where do you get you inspiration to write?

From reading other works, I think. I read a lot of Victorian or Neo-Victorian literature, and they often inspire me to write during that period. Social issues can also inspire me to work them into my books. How do they differ now versus the Victorian Era? Often, I find they don’t differ that much, but by taking the issue out of its normal context, readers will consider it differently.

If you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

Technically, it’s two sentences, but you need both for understand the quote, “He really wanted to, but the voices of his long-dead parents, his boss, and the queen echoed through his mind, forbidding his thoughts. One day they will be dead, and I will still be here as unhappy as I ever was.”

The character, Adam, is struggling between societal norms and morals while his heart is telling him otherwise. He ends up choosing freedom and happiness over restriction just to uphold societal standards.

Why have you chosen this book as the spotlight?

I have two books in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series thus far: The Earl of Brass and The Winter Garden. The latter is coming out in a few weeks, so I want to get the word out a bit. As much I love The Earl of Brass, I love The Winter Garden more. I think it’s the characters and tone of the story. It’s a little dark at times, but that suits me.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

The Winter Garden began its life a long time ago, before my first book actually, as a very different story. The two main characters, Immanuel Winter and Emmeline Jardine, were transformed between conception and execution. He became a science student at Oxford who is kidnapped because his ancestors created a potion that could reanimate the recently deceased, and Emmeline became a Spiritualist medium. During the Victorian Era, all sorts of pseudo-sciences surrounding the paranormal and occult popped up, and The Winter Garden uses those as a basis for its plot. There were even rumours at the time that Prince Albert was not really dead, which appears in a subplot in the novel.


Read more about Kara and The Winter Garden here



In this post I talk to Christina McMullen, author of Past Life Strife, the first book in the Rise of the Discordant Series.

Back of Book HSChristina McMullen is a science fiction and fantasy author who is still waiting for her letter from Hogwarts. She currently resides in Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband and three dogs. When she isn’t writing, Christina enjoys travel, vegan cooking, modern and classical art, and of course, reading.

What made you decide to publish a novel?

I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it wasn’t until the advent of e-books that I began to think seriously about publishing. Once my first book was published in 2012, I became unstoppable. Thanks to e-books and self-publishing, I am not limited to shoehorning myself into a single genre.

Where do you get you inspiration to write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I am also a voracious reader. I am inspired by other authors who have come before me and wrote the books that I’ve enjoyed.

If you could pick just one phrase from your writings to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

I’m not a very serious or profound person, so I will impart the wisdom of Bogie’s great uncle Howie, a character who is only quoted and never seen in this book:

“There ain’t nothin’ free booze can’t fix.”

pastWhy have you chosen Past Life Strife for the spotlight?

Past Life Strife is the first book in my latest series, Rise of the Discordant. The second book, Splitsville will be out soon. This is the only book/series of mine that I can claim is straight fantasy, though with the humor and real world elements, I’m not sure I can truthfully claim this either.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

This series came from combining two short story ideas I had back in the early nineties. I’d planned to do something with each, but I kept putting it off. When I decided that it was time to write another series, these two stories came to mind and suddenly I had an idea for a series of stories with multiple character voices that revolve around this one odd town. It has since grown to what will eventually be a seven book series.

Read more about Christina and Past Life Strife here 



If you’d like to be featured in the spotlight, please click on the blue “Author Spotlight” below for a pdf version of the form authors are asked to complete. I’ll email you a Word version once you’ve contacted me.

Author Spotlight


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