Autumn With An Author Ended

What a fabulous couple of months I had interviewing many authors, some were very familiar to me, and others very new that I wanted to get to know. I was inspired to see how they didn’t let the rough times we are traversing stop them from producing new books and putting many more in the working mode. I chose this season to shine a small group of authors to be the jewel tones of precious stones and colors of the Autumn. Each author’s name is highlighted and linked to the interview in case you missed it. Enjoy reading them and their uniqueness.

The first author to open the series was beautiful Sally Cronin from Ireland. In her books, she often ponders on life’s events and situations. She says: “There is a rhythm to life and everything in this world from weather to the smallest creature. There are highs and lows within that rhythm, and whilst we may like to think we are in control, it is only partly true. (…) My writing is a way of coping with this environment of fear that has been created about the future and offers me comfort and I hope those who read the poems or stories. (…)
I hope your new “Life Is Like A Mosaic” is doing well and wish you much success. Amazon Author Page

Author Marjorie Mallon from Cambridge, UK writes imaginative mystery books for young adults, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She says that the Corpus Christi Chronophage invented by extraordinary British inventor Dr. John C Taylor OBE, who she met in person in 2017, inspired her latest book. The extraordinary timepiece is situated on King’s Parade Cambridge opposite King’s College. She says: “Often, unsuspecting bypassers become my characters! Otherwise, (as is the case in Bloodstone,) a burst of frenetic energy creates the character and my writing flows forward from that.” (…)
She is developing some poetry/photography books, one of which is fairly developed and is called Do What You Love.
I wish you well with “Bloodstone, The Curse Of Time” and the new publications. Visit Marje here.

Mysterious Teagan Riordáin Geneviene from New Mexico, USA, always surprises me with her attractive book covers. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. This year she is developing “Dead of Winter” a high fantasy book, published monthly in novelette-sized installments. She says: “It takes place in a world that resembles some lands in the past of our own world.  The heroine, Emlyn, is a 12-year-old girl who sees and hears spirits.”
Her message is “to thine own self be true.  Most of my heroines have to be true to themselves, regardless of the lack of acceptance that might come with it. (…) we can’t underestimate the value of our uniqueness. I cheer for that and wish you great success with your “Dead Of Winter” novelettes. Amazon Author’s Page

Author Robbie Cheadle from South Africa is a writer and poet specializing in historical, paranormal, horror novels, and short stories. She says about her latest book: “My intention with Behind Closed Doors was to create a record of my thoughts and experiences about a few subjects that disturb and distress me. (…) I have been reading dark fiction and true crime fiction since I was ten. (…) As an adult, I gravitate towards books about war and the paranormal, so this is my literary diet.” Robbie also writes with her son Michael and bakes the characters in her Sir Chocolate series. Wishing you good luck with the new Sir Chocolate book called “Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog.”  Visit Robbie here

If you want to know everything about Venice in Italy, you must read Kathleen Gonzalez from San Jose, CA. She says: “Within minutes of seeing the Grand Canal and the palaces, I was smitten and felt compelled to return that summer. That began a love affair with the city, and I return nearly every year. When I can’t be in Venice, I read about it, which led me to write about its people and history.”
Kathleen Gonzalez was quoted in Smithsonian magazine and by the BBC for her Casanova research and published articles on Casanova in l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes and Casanoviana. Her research on Casanova has also been used in a French TV documentary, a 2017 biography, the art exhibit “Casanova: The Seduction of Europe,” all about Casanova’s life, and in a local performance about women glassmakers in Venice. I hope your latest publication “A Beautiful Woman in Venice” and the spirit of Casanova bring you much success. Visit Kathleen here.

Author Didi Oviatt wrote her latest book “Weathering Old Soul” with author James Cudney IV and together they became a powerful force. I asked her if her compositional method was much in relation to their respective backgrounds and critical aims, or if she had to adapt to James’s style and vice versa. She said: “a mutual respect for views and likeness in opinions and culture is a must. Working with Jay has been so much fun! (…) We wanted our sweet little bookish child, Weathering Old Souls, to be seamless from cover to cover – without giving away to our readers who wrote what. His style is, how do you say it, more intelligent? Lol… All the while my writing style is a bit simpler and tends to lean on the emotional side.” She writes mystery/thrillers, short stories and she published her first romance novella “Skinny Dippin”.
Didi seems to generate her best ideas in the shower. I can relate to that I get my design ideas often in the showers.
I wish you great success with your new publications. Visit Didi here.

Author Rebecca Rosenberg from California brings us bubbles with her new book “Champagne Widows”. She says: “It is the story of Veuve Clicquot, who was tragically made a widow at 27. She did not want to give up the business she had started with her husband. She had no experience or education to make champagne, but read everything she could, and trained under other winemakers. She used her innate intelligence, talent, and perseverance to succeed.” Rebecca is a novelist, champagne historian, tour guide, and champagne cocktail expert. I wish you well with your new book “Champagne Widows”, Visit Rebecca here.

Author Eleyne-Mari Sharp from Rhode Island, USA, writes about colors. She is a certified color therapist, spiritual aromatherapist, jewelry designer, and crystal worker. She says: “If you don’t like how you’re feeling, change your colors. And I believe that color is a gift. Treating yourself to a color treatment is a smart idea, especially during these chaotic times. It may include all your chakras, which are the spinning wheels of energy within our bodies that we all have, although they are not visible to everyone. Whether you balance your chakras with crystals, irradiation, color breathing, or sound, I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial color is to balance your whole body, mind, and spirit. Color is a gift. It raises our vibrations and helps us feel better.”
Thank you Eleyne-Mari, I couldn’t agree more. Good luck, wish you great success with new publications to come.
Visit Eleyne-Mari here

Author James Cudney IV from New York, doesn’t need an introduction, his books speak for him. Among many publications, he wrote the series “Braxton Campus Mysteries” and “Weathering Old Soul” in symbiosis with Author Didi Oviatt. His publications have been translated in many languages, produced in various format paperback, kindle and audio books. I asked him if time has come to make a film. He says: “I would relish that! Early on, there were some talks about Watching Glass Shatter being turned into a film or series. (…) I would love to see the Glass family on the big screen even more than the citizens of Braxton.”
James writes in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. I wish you well with all your publications. Visit James here.

Amazon Author’s Page

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books on various subjects on which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Some years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. Find her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Autumn With An Author: James Cudney IV

I am honored to introduce you to Author James Cudney IV, from New York City. He doesn’t need any introduction really. His name is a guarantee for a good read. James is a writing volcano, it seems he produces a new book every four-five months in every format and are translated into many romance languages. He writes family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. I met him in the blogosphere a few years ago, we clicked immediately and became friends. I let him tell you the rest.

Author James (Jay) Cudney IV
  1. James, you wrote among everything, a few book series such as Braxton Campus Mysteries.
    Do you take all your characters for a walk to make sure you still recognize them after a few months have passed by?

    I do enjoy writing in a variety of genres. Coming back to the Braxton Campus Mysteries is always refreshing but sometimes painful. There are almost 150 characters across the eight books (#8, Sleigh Bell Tower releases in December 2021), and while everyone is vivid in my mind, I can’t recall all the details about exact physical traits and their extensive histories. I generally remember the main ones, but at times, I’ll think… “Didn’t I say she hated cold weather in the second book?” and then I’m back to reading them again. Luckily, I maintain a spreadsheet with all the primary details and relationships, and I cut/paste descriptions of settings and people in a master document. I always wish I could conjure them up and go for an amazing walk!
  2. Do you always have a good relationship with your characters or do they appear in your sleep and tell you what to do?
    Rarely do they appear in my sleep. New characters will, but once someone is alive in a book, they are gone from my dreams. And that’s because they are real, so I don’t need to rely on my imagination as much. Occasionally, I’ll be in bed thinking about someone’s next adventure and it will spill into a dream… but the new ones fight hard to cross the threshold into my literary reality.
  3. Your publications have been translated in many languages, you have produced paperback, kindle and audio books. Is it time for a movie?
    I would relish that! Early on, there were some talks about Watching Glass Shatter being turned into a film or series. Truthfully, I wasn’t savvy enough in the industry and couldn’t split my time between writing, marketing, and filming. I’d love to revisit it in the future, though. I would love to see the Glass family on the big screen even more than the citizens of Braxton.
  1. If a movie producer turned one of your books into a movie, would you play a role? If not, which actors would you choose to play your characters?
    Great question. I acted in high school and college. If there were a small part, perhaps a walk-on or one with two or three lines, I’d definitely consider it. There are some of those characters who would lend themselves to me taking the risk of performing in front of the camera instead of behind it. When we launched the initial marketing for Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, we had contests to choose the actors for the primary roles. I had so many potential options to consider. I’ll always fall back on Meryl Streep playing Olivia Glass; she’d be the perfect actress to bring out the many sides of this matriarch.
  2. Are some of the people you know afraid of sharing with you their happenings, thoughts, feelings or events, risking to end up in one of your books?
    Definitely not. I have included a few lines people muttered in real life, but most of the characters are all fictional. Given there are murder mysteries in most of the books, that would be scary. I also tend not to be risky or intentionally offend anyone I know, so I wouldn’t put them in a strange position. But if someone angers me, they become the picture I see when I am writing murder scenes in the books. It’s cathartic and comforting without bordering on the insane and criminal.

  1. 6. With so many books published in a short time, I gather you are busy writing every day?
    Not anymore. Although I took three years off between my last corporate job and this one, I am now only able to write on the days I take off, at night, and on weekends. What used to take me three months takes me nine months, and even then, I’m exhausted from ten-hour workdays… writing is hard, especially while running a blog, social media, marketing existing books, and having a personal life. I’ve got the next book almost finalized for a December 2021
    Legally-Blind-Luck-Promo-Hardback-Ereader (2).png
    release, but nothing else is written… so I will be busy again soon.

    7. Do you need your wiring space to be inspirational, tranquil, and inviting or messy with noisy music?
    Pure silence. No interruptions. Don’t need to look at anything inspiring. I focus on the words and the screen, and it flows from my mind. But I need three to four hours when I can dedicate myself without anyone needing me or feeling the desire to check my work email or phone calls.

    8.You read a lot and review a lot of books. How do you manage it with your work, daily life and writing commitments?
    Not very well lately. I’ve slowed down a lot of things… when I’m writing, I barely get to read a book a week. When I’m not writing, I can finish three or four, so it balances out. I have no writing planned from Nov to Dec this year, but I will be outlining the two books I want to write in 2022. I try to maintain a schedule so workouts and work are done by 5:30. I have two hours to write or edit, then eat dinner, watch TV and read before bed. It’s mostly a matter of planning in advance, calendarizing my entire day so I have free time and dedicated ‘work’ time.

    9. Do you enjoy every book you read?
    Mostly. I prefer to read a book series and authors I already enjoy. For every four books where I choose them due to the author or series, I add in one from an indie or a friend I’ve met online. When it’s a genre I don’t normally read, it’s tough… unless there is a good story. Two good author friends write in genres I don’t read, but I love their stuff. You can usually tell from my book reviews if I liked it or not. If I have a light review or it’s generic, it means I hardly got anything from the book. I won’t give it a 5, but I might give it a 4 if it’s an author I want to support. If you see 3 or less, the book had a major problem or I just didn’t get into it. Some 3 ratings are purely in comparison to other books in the series that were so good, they got 4 and 5 ratings.

    10. If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be?
    Organized. Diligent. Multi-dimensional. (Yes, that hyphenated word counts as one here.)

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full-length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog
Next Chapter:

Social Media

Genres, Formats & Languages
I write in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. My first two books were Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I wrote a sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, for my debut novel, and they are known as the Perceptions of Glass series. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with seven books available. Recently I co-wrote a psychological drama, Weathering Old Souls, with Didi Oviatt.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, large print paperback, pocket-size paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links
Perceptions of Glass
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Hiding Cracked Glass (October 2020)

Father Figure (April 2018)
Weathering Old Souls (co-written with Didi Oviatt May 2021)

Braxton Campus Mysteries
*Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
* Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)
Legally Blind Luck – #7 (April 2021)
Sleigh Bell Tower – #8 (December 2021)

Amazon Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter

Hiding Cracked Glass

Father Figure

Academic Curveball

Broken Heart Attack

Flower Power Trip

Mistaken Identity Crisis

Haunted House Ghost

Frozen Stiff Drink

Legally Blind Luck

James, you are a powerhouse and I am honored to have you as my guest. Congratulations on your new release coming up. If you were any closer, I would have invited you to the TV station where I produce my shows and put on a small production for one of your books.


I feel intimidated by James, please allow me to do a small advertisement of my books.

Books by Author Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. 

Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Rebecca Rosenberg

What’s not to like about champagne? It’s bubbly, it’s happy, it creates an emotion, it’s fun to turn golden grape into a nectar that will never lie, it’s fun to write about it. I think award winning Author Rebecca Rosenberg had a load of fun bringing to light her latest novel “Champagne Widows”. Please welcome her with a sparkly energy.

Author Rebecca Rosenberg
Champagne Widows by Author Rebecca Rosenberg
  1. I was drawn to the title of one of your books “Champagne Widows” a historical fiction based on a woman with a great sense of smell, taking over the men’ world in the production of Champagne. What similitude did you find between your character and women of today who want to be in a man’s profession?

In the 1800’s women were not allowed to own businesses or even property. CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS is the story of Veuve Clicquot, who was tragically made a widow at 27. She did not want to give up the business she had started with her husband. She had no experience or education to make champagne, but read everything she could, and trained under other winemakers. She used her innate intelligence, talent, and perseverance to succeed.

I think women today can do anything they want, and they do it by being educated and using their instincts to succeed in much the same way that Veuve Clicquot does in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. For example: my daughter is in the top candidates to be selected for astronaut, a dream she has had since she was three. She’s worked very hard to have the credentials, 30 years of working for her dream. I believe she will make it, despite the obstacles she’s faced.

  1. In your historical fictions “Gold Digger” you focused on a life of a woman. Do women inspire your writing because of the complexity of our emotions and the courage often we display in tough situation?

I like to write about women because their stories have often not been told, and they are worthwhile. When I was growing up, I wondered why history was all about men. My first novel, The Secret Life of Mrs. London was about the wife of Jack London, Charmian London. She wanted to be a writer, but instead, focused on Jack London’s writing, editing, and typing for him and managing his professional and personal needs—until she finds her own voice. I think women learn to do it all, many times at the detriment to their own work.

  1. Would you have liked to be alive in the era of your book “Gold Digger” and married to a dashing bard?
    In GOLD DIGGER, Baby Doe was attracted to Horace Tabor because of his gutsy bravado and the way he turned everything to gold, but his bravado leads to scandal and financial demise. Baby Doe Tabor’s love of Horace Tabor resulted in a scandalous reputation and great loneliness and poverty. I love finding out about these women’s struggles and how they deal with it. With Champagne Widows, Veuve Clicquot, wanted to run a champagne house. But to do that, she could not be married again. She had to sacrifice love to own her winery. She must have felt so alone.
  2. The goal of historical books is to capture time, customs, fashion, colors, way of thinking etc. of a specific era to allow the modern readers to get immersed in an era that will never come back. Did you strive to stay historically accurate, or did you dramatize events/people?

I always strive to be historically accurate in terms of details, customs, activities, and beliefs that were lived in that particular era. But, as a writer, you do not know what people said to each other and what they were thinking. You need to really think about what the evidence says about the character, and interpret that through their language, actions, and intentions.

  1. Are your reasons for writing pure pleasure, a need to keep history alive, or to say with a book what you can’t say out loud and stir emotions?

I love to write about fascinating women who haven’t been given a voice. These women have gone through challenges that we all face: In CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, Veuve Clicquot battled pandemics, mental illness, wars, and sexism. Sounds like challenges we have all faced the past couple of years, doesn’t it?

  1. Did you discover something new about yourself while creating your books?
    I have discovered the joy of making subconscious connections within the storyline, or between characters, showing that love is not perfect. I have discovered an unquenchable desire to uncover little known facts of life in different eras and bring them alive for people.
  2. What are your quirks and do they show in your books?
    I have discovered a hidden sense of humor. I have never been funny, but I always have a funny character. I really enjoy that sense of humor coming out that I did not know I possess!
  3. Some authors can publish books every month. How long does it take you before you can say your book is finished?
    The research takes a long time and continues throughout writing the book. CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS took me five years. GOLD DIGGER took five years. THE SECRET OF MRS. LONDON took two. I do about thirty rewrites before the book is finished.
  4. If you would read one of your books years later, would you still like it the way you wrote, or would you change something and republish it?
    I am sure I would change the book a little because I have changed as a writer. But I probably would leave the stories basically the same, because I had a point to make with the story.
  5. Any new books on the horizon?
    I am half finished with the second CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, about Madame Pommery, of Pommery champagne fame. She has a completely different story than Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. Madame Pommery’s husband died as he was ready to retire, leaving her a single parent with two children and no way to support her family.

I’m also writing a sequel to GOLD DIGGER, about Baby Doe Tabor’s daughter, SILVER DOLLAR, who tippled precariously between stardom, mental illness, poverty, and religious fervor.

Rebecca Rosenberg Bio:
Rebecca Rosenberg is a champagne geek, lavender farmer, and award-winning novelist. Rebecca first fell in love with methode champenoise in Sonoma Valley, California, where she lives. Over decades of delicious research, she has explored the wine cellars of France, Spain, Italy, and California in search of fine champagne. When Rebecca discovered the real-life stories of the Champagne Widows of France, she knew she’d dedicate years to telling the stories of these remarkable women who made champagne the worldwide phenomenon it is today. Rebecca is a champagne historian, tour guide, and champagne cocktail expert for Breathless Wines. Other award-winning novels include The Secret Life of Mrs. London and Gold Digger, the Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.


“This effervescent historical novel paints a richly detailed portrait of the enterprising Veuve Clicquot. The twinned plots of Clicquot and Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise and fall are filled with detail that give life to this far-off time. The prose is light, yet detailed, and peppered with moments of wry humor. Rosenberg’s characterization of Napoleon is well-crafted and give his character new life. Clicquot’s character is charming, and readers will love getting to know her. Rosenberg has a superb eye for blending humor with drama.” ~Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize.

 “For anyone who loves champagne, a must-read novel about Veuve Clicquot.” 
~ Judithe Little, best-selling author of The Chanel Sisters. “The sun-drenched vineyards of France, a real-life heroine who against all odds refuses to give up her dreams… and champagne. What’s not to love? And that’s just what Rebecca Rosenberg delivers in Champagne Widows. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was a woman ahead of her time, a fascinating blend of ingenuity, heart, and sheer tenacity, with a nose for wine and a head for business. A 19th century widow who built an empire as war raged all around her. Note: This richly woven tale is best savored slowly, though with all delicious things, it won’t be easy.” 
~ Barbara Davis, best-selling author of The Last of the Moon Girls.

Rebecca Rosenberg, Novelist
Join my mailing list at to stay tuned to my upcoming novels!
Amazon – Champagne Widows
Bookbub – Champagne Widows
Goodreads – Champagne Widows

This sounds very exciting, Rebecca, I can’t wait to read your new novel. I live in the Bay Area, it would be nice if I could meet you when I will come to visit Sonoma.

Please allow me to occupy a small space with my books, available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Books by Author Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Autumn With An Author: Didi Oviatt

I would like to introduce Didi Oviatt, a versatile, prolific author who often writes with the hands of another author and produces brilliant books. She is an upbeat person and although I have never met her, I feel to have known her for awhile. This interview turned out to be an alive conversation between her and James Cudney IV. She writes about multi-genre and I let her say the rest.

Books by Didi Oviatt
  • You wrote a mystery book with four hands together with Author James J. Cudney. Was your compositional method much in relation to your respective backgrounds and critical aims, or did you have to adapt to James’s style and vice versa.
    Ultimately, a mutual respect for views and likeness in opinions and culture is a must. Working with Jay has been so much fun!  I’ve co-written before in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection, and the technique that Kim Knight and I shared  couldn’t have been any more different than the technique that Jay and I ran with.
    With Kim — we passed our work back and forth, making clear distinctions on when one of us would stop writing and the other would start. It worked out wonderfully with the short story concept we were after.
    With Jay — we took a completely different approach. We wanted our sweet little bookish child, Weathering Old Souls, to be seamless from cover to cover – without giving away to our readers who wrote what. His style is, how do you say it, more intelligent? Lol… All the while my writing style is a bit simpler and tends to lean on the emotional side. So, we went in with a clear agreement that it was completely OK for either of us to add to, delete and/or alter whatever the other had written. Although neither of us ever actually deleted anything the other wrote, we found ourselves elaborating and adding on to one another’s stuff in a way that just worked. One of us would produce a good five to ten pages and then the other would transform that into sometimes double the content before writing another five to ten to send back. From here, the other of us would do the exact same thing with the freshly written pages… and so on. In a way, you could say that we adapted to and complemented each other’s work.  
    JJC: Didi said it all… and I’m not entirely sure I agree that my writing is more intelligent! I tend to go for those shocking connections and intricate clues, so maybe I might agree on that element… but Didi also sells herself short on the emotional aspect. Truly, when she revised scenes I wrote, I couldn’t believe the leaps and bounds they took. I’m entirely about plot and setting, but she brings characters to life with the details that make someone able to connect. And the descriptions of how a person’s actions mimic reality were so spot on, I had to re-read some of her stuff just to keep on absorbing the many different levels. It was like this perfect symbiosis during the 6 months we wrote the book. We had a rough outline, but the details in between were completely up to each person, and like Didi mentioned, we’d change some lines in each other’s work or move things around, but we’d hardly ever delete what was written. We deleted at the end when we had duplications or stuff that no longer made sense, but that was all.

Weathering Old Soul by Authors James Cudney and Didi Oviatt

  • Who came up with the plot of “Weathering Old Soul” and its characters?
    I’ve got to give Jay credit for the original concept 100%. He actually came to me with a few different ideas on a colab possibility, and I fell in love with past life regression ideas right out the gate. He was the king of organization and timelines too. We came up with each character and their backstories together, bouncing ideas off of one another almost daily until we were ready to dive into the manuscript. Putting together the plot and outlines were a breeze, I absolutely love writing with Jay. 
    JJC – I am a bit of an organizational freak. It’s my day job blending into my writing job. Thinking back, there were times when we’d have some ideas for a scene, but Didi’s previous scene ending was left unfinished (purposely). We did that to each other sometimes to keep us on our toes, but also to let creativity shine. If I had 80% of the scene worked out, but I couldn’t decide on a transition, Didi swept in and just carried it forward through til the next chapter. And I’d read her work, cry a bunch, and be inspired for what came next.
  • In psychology there is a concept of personality types based on psychological preferences, one of them is extroversion and introversion. Did your writing partner compliment you?
    In every way he did!  I like to think of myself as an ambivert. It’s like a mix between the two. I go in waves and phases – I’m moody, and change from day to day. I could easily hole up in my house for weeks, not speak to a soul and be perfectly content. Yet, I could also get out and mingle on a regular basis, and be happy and confident with this lifestyle too. Despite the occasional anxiety I’m able to adapt to circumstances and crowds. In writing Abigail’s story – Jay and I were able to work out a comfortable pace and write around each of our schedules and personal lives very smoothly. We accomplished a wonderful pace and encouraged one another creatively so I never felt rushed or pressured. With a consistent upbeat and uplifting approach, writing with Jay was a wonderful blend of laid back and accomplished.
  • Writing with four hands was an experience you would repeat?
    I feel like this is a loaded question lol. There’s a handful of authors that have reached out and asked, a couple of whom I’m considering a project with. I absolutely love writing with other talented authors and will most certainly do it again. The question is more of who and when. I have a few projects started on my own that I’ve promised myself to commit to first. I’m also picky. I’ll choose my next writing partner just as carefully as before. Both Kim and James are wonderful writers that I was extremely familiar with their work as well as personalities before we ever started creating as a team. I’d read their books and interacted with them for quite some time before making the decision to write together. Co-writing is a big commitment and you want to be absolutely certain that the partnership will work. 
  • Do you want each of your thriller books to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
    You know it’s funny, I really enjoy reading books that tie in with one another. My favorite writer who does this is L.J. Shen. I love how her Sinners of Saint books can each be read as a stand alone if you’d like, yet they all line up so nicely together too. Yet, in writing, I do best with stand alones that are each their own separate story and individual characters. Maybe it’s a commitment problem??? scratches head
  • Do you embed secrets in your thriller books?
    Every. Single. One.  
  • Do you dream about your characters, do they talk to you and/or suggest the next move?
    Some have and some haven’t come to me in dreams. Ahnia, the MC in Justice for Belle is one that I had a lot of dreams about. Which is weird and actually kind of worries me a little because her character was a killer in her sleep… That epiphany aside, I will say that most of my inspired thoughts have happened in the shower. Not sure how that works out or why. But something about the relaxing hot water and the sounds of the shower really just yanks the creative energy around, pulling it front and center in mind!     
  • Having a big ego – does hurt or help a writer?
    Oh that’s a great question!!  I don’t see it affecting the actual writing but when it comes to marketing and interacting with fellow authors I think it’s extremely important to stay humble and grounded.  A big ego isn’t a good thing to have in any aspect of life – writing included.
  • You have two kids, how do you manage your writing needs with their needs?
    I’m not going to lie, it’s hard!!  My son is autistic and requires a lot of time and attention. My daughter is so extremely demanding, she’s even more work than him. They are my priority in every way and I’d stop writing in a heartbeat if I felt it was taking away from them in any way. They are my whole world. Usually what I do is pull up my document(s) daily and just leave it all open. I’ll sit down for 10 minutes to an hour here and there as I can. I set goals and play it by ear every single day. I try not to be too hard on myself when I fall behind and remind myself of all the things they’ve accomplished or that we’ve accomplished together as a family instead of dwelling on their effects on my writing time.
  • Do you have unpublished books in your computer, that particular idea you can’t get to it?
    HA!  Several! I’m not above tucking manuscripts away for a year or two and then completely flipping them into a different story when I finally decide to open them back up.
    JJC – This is totally where Didi and I differ in approach. I’m too impatient. Once it’s written, I need it gone from my to do list! LOL I admire how much she has written and held for the future – she probably has the Best Seller hidden for the right time.
  • In this cancel culture we are living these days, do you see classical publications disappearing?
    I don’t. I feel like there are way too many literary lovers ready and willing to fight for the conservation of classics whether certain groups disagree with them or not. It’s important to keep history alive, and it’s also impossible to rid the world of all the works that have already been published. It saddens me to see books taken off the shelves, but it also gives me hope that those who already own such books will take care of them and conserve them until culture changes again and eventually brings them back. I’m a strong believer that if you don’t like something just stay away from it without taking it from people who do in fact appreciate the history in it.  It is possible to stay true to yourself without forcing your opinions on others who are only trying to stay true to themselves as well.
    JJC – Love this answer!!! Everyone needs to understand the time in which something was written. Doesn’t make it right, but it does help you to understand the hows and whys, as well as determine what to do to change for the future.

    Author BIO:
    Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
    Where to find Didi:

Listen to Didi Oviatt’s books on Audible:

Books by Didi Oviatt

Well, Didi, this interview with Jay was totally unexpected, I got two birds with one stone. I enjoyed reading and learning more about you. Some people discover to have a powerful voice under the running water of the shower, you get your best ideas for your books, therefore, if it helps you writing more books, just don’t stop taking showers. 😂

I feel intimidated and honored by these two giants, please allow me to place my books here with theirs.

Books by Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
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