A fellow author ~ Claire Highton-Stevenson

I ‘interviewed’ my fellow author Claire Highton-Stevenson in order to help her highlight her new release.
‘Borrowed’ permanently from James Lipton on The Actor’s Studio:
What is your favorite word? A word that I say often? Probably something as simple as ‘Really?’
What is your least favorite word? No…Don’t we all want to hear yes more often!
What turns you on? Clever conversation. if you’re going to flirt with me, then it needs to engage me.
What turns you off? Childish behavior at inappropriate times. Don’t flirt with me in a childish way…
What sound or noise do you love? Either of my dogs dreaming… those little whimpers and yelps.. so cute!
What sound or noise do you hate? Drilling…
What is your favorite curse word? It starts with C…
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? International popstar.. but I need to get over my fear of singing in public first!
What profession would you not like to do? Anything in the sex industry…
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Told ya!
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Claire Highton-Stevenson had no idea 5 years ago that she would be writing, publishing and making a career from romance.

In just two years she has accomplished much, including a Goldie in this year’s awards at the GCLS convention in Pittsburgh for her book, The Promise.

Claire is married and lives in the UK with her wife and fur babies. She is an avid traveler and a big Liverpool FC fan. When she is not writing you can find her in a plethora of coffee shops, locally, or abroad.

Using the name ItsClaStevOfficial, you can find out more about Claire on most social media platforms

And my Links to Social Media 

Introducing ~ Anne Hagan

I recently talked Anne Hagan into talking about our latest releases on our blogs and to our readers.  Here is hers:

I recently released Steel City Confidential. It’s ‘technically’ a legal thriller set in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but it’s much more than that. It’s a book I was challenged to write. The challenge was to write a thriller or a legal thriller that included other elements like outlaws, action and adventure, women over 40, families with children and a few more things.

In all honesty, I was having a hard time putting together a plausible plot that included all of that. Because it comes out in chapter one, on page two, it’s not a spoiler to say what made it all come together was when a writing group buddy, Sarah Fritts, suggested the “What if Thelma and Louise survived? Where are they now?” idea. I took that and ran with it.

What kind of heroine is in your current book?

There are multiple heroines in the book. I’ll talk about three of them. There’s Pam (AKA Thelma), on trial for murder, who thinks only about her loved ones until there very end. There’s Charlotte (AKA Louise) who’s loyal to her friends and to her causes, no matter what. And, there’s Rochelle ‘Ro’ Rabinowitz, the lawyer who must work it all out and make sure justice is served to the right person.

Is there one scene from your book that is the most memorable?

The big reveal that comes at the beginning, then the book builds backward taking the reader through time, back to that point and beyond it. That early reveal scene had to be right. It sticks in my mind and readers seem to agree.

How did you choose the names for your characters?

I’ve been writing the same mystery series, The Morelville Mysteries, for a long time. It has established characters with only a few new faces per book. I use the usual methods to pick those names; baby name lists from years age appropriate for the character and lists of last names common in the area where the stories are set, near Zanesville, Ohio.

For Steel City Confidential, I could have done the same thing, but I opted to ask for some reader help. Pittsburgh is an ethnically diverse city with strong Irish, Italian and Slavic roots and a growing black community. I wanted the ‘local’ cast to reflect all of that. I asked my readers to suggest a name for my lawyer and her firm with the winner getting an autographed copy of the final book. They came through big. I picked a name for the lawyer, but I used several other names that were suggested to fill other roles on ‘Ro’s’ staff, with the police department, with the DA’s office and more. Everybody was acknowledged in the book and won at least an eBook copy!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a thing!

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite?

I was always partial to ‘Dana’s Dilemma’ and ‘Hitched and Tied,’ books three and four of The Morelville Mysteries series because they’re an equal balance of mystery and a romance coming full circle. I have to say now that Steel City Confidential is my favorite ‘book’, by just a bit. It was a labor of love to write and it may well be the best book I have in me. As a couple though, I’ll always be partial to Mel and Dana. I know them so well!

If you could have anyone play the main character of one of your books, any actress, who would you choose and why?

For Steel City Confidential, all of the primary cast of the original movie are still with us. It would be amazing to see them reprise their roles, 28 years later age appropriate to the story. For the attorney, ‘Ro’ I’d like to see someone like either Jennifer Connelly or Moran Atias cast. They both have the look I picture for Ro and at least some of her heritage, plus they’re both great actresses who don’t get enough credit for their work.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a detailed plotter these days. I ‘pantsed’ the first draft of my first book and it was awful. It took a lot of rewriting and editing to make that story come together. After that, I started basic plotting. With an intricate story like my latest, my detailed plot saved me many times. I hate loose ends and plot points that shoot off then go nowhere and readers do too.

What genres do you normally write in?

I write mysteries primarily, but I do have several romances out there too. There were characters in my primary mystery series that had readers begging to know more. I gave them their own stories, that stand apart from the series. Some of my romance only readers have no idea where some of those characters came from!

I’ve also been slowly adding to my longish short story series, ‘Loving Blue in Red States.’ There are seven stories out now, each focusing on a different couple in a different red state. I have ideas for couples in three more states at least partially plotted out.

What are you working on now?

Several things: The 12th Morelville Mystery, ‘Tennessee Bound’ is due out next. I’m working on the 8th Loving Blue in Red States short story, also set in Tennessee…no, that wasn’t planned. I’m in the early plotting stages of the next Steel City legal thriller and I have the third Morelville Cozy mystery about half done. It’s due out later this year.

What genres do you typically read?

Mystery and legal thrillers, of course! Mysteries are my first love, from way back. I also read romance, but not the usual stuff. Maybe I should call my preference what librarian MJ Lowe calls the sort of books I like in the genre, ‘love stories’. I’m not about the meet cute, miscommunication and then a happily ever after. I like drama. I like angst. I don’t read romance to escape, I read it to feel things.

What do you think of the ‘explosion’ of available titles for the Lesfic reader that have come onto the market vs say 5-10-20 years ago? Is this a good thing or bad?

I think it’s great! The more, the better. Give us choices, lots of choices!

Facebook Groups I Run: Women Loving Women Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Lovers Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/WLWMysteryThrillerSuspense/ and the Lesfic Book Review Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1785006305146254/
If you don’t know Anne, take a moment to check out her various books and follow her on social media.  She’s one of the most active I have seen on Twitter, she’s always up to helping others when I see her on Facebook and has helped me learn about various things in publishing and advertising.


Check out this podcast


I talk about writing, my publishing, and my awards!

Also, check out their other social media sites:

Interview with The Lesbian Talk Show

Please check out this wonderful interview from The Lesbian Talk Show about K’Anne MeinelShadoe Publishing, marketing, the Lesfic Bard Awards, and the Gay Scribe Awards.d-people-yelling-megphone-illustration-two-person-shouting-megaphone-to-another-man-human-person-character-43782668

Authors are shy

som-som-dont-be-shy-hello-you-know-you-want-5729723.pngWell, not all of us of course.  There is a wide range of personalities after all involved in writing books.  1bai19Some are introverts, extroverts, perverts, converts, and a few other ‘verts’ that I can’t seem to find to make my point.  Some of what I am trying to say here is that sometimes it is hard to interview an author because of this ‘shyness’.  What an author writes in their books isn’t necessarily what they are like in ‘real’ life or even what they would think of becoming.  After all, you don’t have to be a murderer to write a murder-mystery (although, it might help, just sayin’).  You also don’t have to know love to write a romance.  I hope you get my point here.

I think a lot of it stems from being afraid to make a fool of themselves, saying something that might come back to embarrass them either immediately or in the future.Meme---Im-shy-at-first Authors and writers like time to gather their thoughts before they put it out there, whether on social media or in person.  Sometimes that hesitation can be misinterpreted…as shyness, when really, they are just trying to sound articulate or make a profound statement or even, just to speak up.  download It doesn’t mean we aren’t friendly or want to socialize but some, those who are introverts, find it exhausting to put themselves out there.  Even their books, which may not come out too often (years apart) are due to a lot of hard work that they put into the process, putting themselves and their art out there.  It’s not that those who put out more work are less introverted or less shy, they just have different ways of expressing it.

That is one of the reasons I created the Lesfic Reading Group on Facebook, so we can get to know authors and their books.  I’ve interviewed at least two hundred authors over the last five years (in this group as well as another) and I must say, I enjoy it.  It helps me find out what others are doing, more about them personally, and overall, help me overcome my shyness…believe it or not I can be shy (stop laughing, those of you who think you know better).  It’s true, I can be.  I put myself out there in the group as the host to question authors and I have to say in the hundreds of authors I’ve interacted with only a couple were disappointing to interview.  Most were fun, gracious, and we all learned a lot about them.  With over 2000 people in the group there is always someone lurking, perhaps themselves too shy to interact, but they are reading, learning, and absorbing the information we put out there in the interviews.

So if you have a couple of hours, mostly on Saturdays and Sundays, we usually have an interview every other weekend in the group (I do need time off for my own work).  Come on in, we don’t bite (hard) Yes, followers

The cool thing is not only can you share your love of lesbian fiction (lesfic), you can get to know some of your favorite authors, sometimes discovering a new favorite (yes, you can read more than one author). Yes I can like copy  Definitely in for a good time as we explore the minds, the lives, and the books of these authors!  Come on in, we’re waiting for your suggestions about who we should read, interview, and definitely your recommendations.  The Lesfic Reading Group.  It’s done IN the group itself, typed up, so it’s best if you can participate on a computer…come on, it’s fun!

Live Interview

If you have ever enjoyed my Q&A on The Writer’s Block in my group the Lesfic Reading Group you will be pleased to know this weekend I AM the one being interviewed, in another group, but there is still time to apply and be accepted to Lez Spinecrackers as we talk about my latest release Cavalcade!

C’mon, you know you’ve been dying to ask me something!

An Interview with USA TODAY ~ Happily Every After

I am thrilled to bring you an interview with Joyce of USA Today Life ~ Happily Ever After over my book, SURVIVORS!  Read it here.

GAvailable now on my website, with all the corresponding links!

Five Star

Amazon Customer

April 3, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
I thought this was a great story and I highly recommend it. There is a really interesting story line that sucks you right in. The author did a great job developing the characters and you feel like you get to know everyone while you are rooting for them all to overcome the obstacles that they face in order to survive. This was a well written book that doesn’t follow a standard plot line. There are plenty of shocks and surprises along the way. I really liked both of the two main characters who were good people without being perfect.

April 3, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
Ever wonder what will happen if the world finally does go crazy? K’Anne does a good job giving us an idea! Jodi and Krista just wanted a place to go for peace and quiet. They always hoped that’s what their cabin in the woods would be, a refuge to decompress from the rat race. Little did they know that one day the cabin would become their castle!
I really liked this story and the thought K’Anne put into it! If you want to read a book that you won’t want to put down, start reading Survivors now! It’s well written and well edited! A really good read!

Women and Words ~ Interviews

Hello! A few weeks back we had a wonderful time interviewing the authors of Dirt Road Books. For those who don’t know, it’s a group of authors who with their combined (about 150 years) experience in writing, editing, and other business pursuits banded together to make their own publishing house. It was wonderful that despite […]

via Interviews by K’Anne Meinel — Women and Words