Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Interview with Kat Flannery

December 21, 2015


What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Chasing Clovers was inspired by my Grandmother. She’d lost two children just months apart and I always wondered how she was able to endure such a harrowing ordeal. It was her faith, and the love of her family that helped her through. Chasing Clovers is a mail order bride story where my main character Livy Green has lost her only child, and now has to care for her soon-to-be husband’s children. The story is about hope.

How did you come up with the title?
Chasing Clovers was chosen by my publisher, Imajin Books.

Chasing Clovers

How many books have you written (published or self published)
I have three full-length novels, and two novellas published.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, there is in my three full-length novels. Chasing Clovers, There is hope in all things. Lakota Honor, Don’t judge others. Not all things are what they seem, and Blood Curse, We all have the courage to be great.

How much of your books are realistic?
All of them are based on realistic characters, settings and problems. Lakota Honor and Blood Curse are from the Branded Trilogy and are paranormal historical romance.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My characters are based on a bunch of people I know combined together not just one.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite and why?
I’d have to say Otakatay from Lakota Honor is my favorite male character because he was so different than anything I’d ever written. He was a bounty hunter who killed the witch-women. I had to create real true-to-life heartbreaking reasons for why he killed these women, and in turn this evoked empathy from the reader toward him. He became the perfect hero.
Pril of the Peddlers from Blood Curse is my favorite female character. A gypsy, Pril is strong, skilled with a weapon, and rebellious. She will do anything to protect her daughter from the men who hunt her.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love hearing from my readers, and I answer back! Email me anytime.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the story. Escaping into another world is the best part.

What age did you start writing stories/poem?
When I was in Junior High. I’ve always loved to write.

Kat Banner

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
I love to write historical. The research is a favorite part for me. I’ve always said if I couldn’t be a writer I’d be a history teacher. I love learning about our past.

What book are you reading now?
Unfortunately, I’m not reading anything right now. I don’t read while I’m writing and at the moment I’m in the middle of writing the third book to the Branded Trilogy.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Peggy Henderson’s Yellowstone series is amazing, and Tanya Ann Crosby.

Do you see writing as a career? I do. I always have even while I worked other jobs. If I don’t treat my writing as a career I’d never meet a deadline.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what is your favorite snack food?
No, I take breaks to have breakfast or lunch.

Do you have any odd habits?
Yes, I must have my playlist (I make a new one for each book) pumping tunes, a foot heater, and candles burning.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Writing more books.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
I go for a massage. At about 70,000 words in I start to get excited and push to finish.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Yes, of course! I’ve deleted enough scenes and dialogue to complete a whole book.

What is your best marketing tip?
Be visual. Interact with your readers as much as you can.

What genre is your next project?
Historical paranormal romance.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Sure, it’s the third and final book to the Branded Trilogy. I will be finished with it this month and cannot wait. This book will have a piece of my heart in it as I wrote it for my brother.

How do we find your books, blog bio?
Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance.
She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing. A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career.
Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been an Amazon bestseller many times. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.

Special Note: Kat’s paperbacks are on sale for 15% off until Dec. 31st and eBooks on sale from Dec.24th -Jan 4th? As part of an annual Christmas sale event. 

You can find Kat here:

Twitter @KatFlannery1
Author Website

When Words Abandon Us…

December 17, 2015


It can certainly feel like we are plunging into an abyss when our words, for whatever reason abandon us. They may disappear for a moment or for longer but take heart in knowing they will return – much like a whisper across our minds that we grasp with all our might and put ink to page or screen. There can be a multitude of reasons why they elude us – work or family commitments, physical restrictions, geographical changes. Whatever they are there are opportunities to find moments for writing. A long soak in a bath with a notepad beside you, waiting in an airport lounge, riding a bus or train – use that time to jot down what you see, feel and smell. These nuggets can be useful in the future.

When your muse finally returned, what was it’s greeting? Did you stumble upon a character’s motivation? A storyline took another route? That scene you were struggling with finally came into being?

I try a word or picture prompt that is totally unrelated to my current work and the switch in thinking has a magic effect. The struggle ceases and my creativity takes over rejoicing in its freedom once again. I compare it to a re-boot of a computer – clearing the old data and making space for new thoughts. When I finish this breakaway task I find my fresh perspective makes all the difference to my current work in progress.

Why not try a prompt – there are many sites on the web to choose from, but one of my favorites is

How to you overcome writer’s block? Care to share?


New Places Explored…

December 14, 2015

I took an alternative route home after my hairdressing appointment on Saturday on a mere whim. It culminated in the discovery of a place I never before visited and now wish I had done so often. I will be going back now I know its location. The place? A literal treasure trove of artifacts, objects, and delightful items displayed in the Old Strathcona Antique Mall. This building is full from top to bottom with a huge variety of objects, from furniture to toys to books. As you can image I browsed the books shelves for quite some time!


Although most of the ‘antiques’ were modern to my experience, after all in England we have relics from the bronze, iron and Roman eras and antiques can be as old as 11th-century furniture, it was a fascinating experience. There was so much to see in the main floors and each booth. I am determined to carefully pick sections to visit next time enabling me to give each one my undivided attention.

We all tend to stick to the normal routine of our lives and become dull and lifeless but a simple change of direction, exploring a new place or even reading a different genre, can bring surprise and delight.

I find being open to new experiences keeps me interested and vital but also gives me excellent sources of inspiration for my stories.

Have you ‘discover’ something new recently? Care to share?

2015-12-12 14.25.312015-12-12 14.49.08

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Special items like these are too precious not to share.

Interview with Claire Luana…

December 10, 2015

Headshot Claire
What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband and I were on our honeymoon and talking a lot about life. He asked me what I would do if I could do anything. I realized the answer was to write a novel. So I figured I should just go ahead and do it!

Tell us about your book!
In the country of Kita, the sentence for being a female sorceress—a moonburner—is death. So when the main character, Kai, is exposed as a moonburner, she is forced to escape to neighboring Miina, where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors. But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all burners. After uncovering an unexpected secret in her own heritage, Kai realizes that she may be the one person able to bring peace to the two warring countries.

How did you come up with the title?
I worked for several months outlining a trilogy of novels. But every time I started writing, I got stuck. I had another idea hanging around in the back of my mind and I decided to give into it. Within about 10 minutes I had a one-page outline of the plot and the title for Moonburner, my first novel. I think it’s really true what they say about the muse striking you!

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
Quitsu! My protagonist, Kai, has an animal companion, a magical talking fox named Quitsu. He was definitely the comic relief, and I had a lot of fun writing his snarky comments.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That the world isn’t black or white, but shades of grey. All the “good guys” aren’t good in the book, and all the “bad guys” aren’t bad. If Kai gave in to stereotypes and prejudices, she would have missed out on some of her greatest friends and allies. You have to gauge each person individually based on their character and actions, not because they belong in a particular gender, race, or political group.

What makes Moonburner different?
I think Moonburner is unique because the moral of the story isn’t good triumphing over evil. It’s about mutually assured destruction…if you can’t find a way to work together and coexist, you will both perish.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the creativity of it. I’m a practicing lawyer for my full time job, and so I spend a lot of time being analytical and precise. I love the freedom to let my mind take me where it takes me with writing. I thought because I am such a type–A planner that I would be a “plotter,” making detailed outlines of every part of my book before I wrote a word. I found that in fact, I do much better when I let my creativity take the wheel. That has been a very refreshing discovery.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
I have always loved to read and write fantasy. There is something about being taken away to another magical world that provides just the right escape I am looking for with a novel. My goal with Moonburner was to write a novel that I would enjoy reading.

What is the current status of Moonburner?
I am seeking a publisher for Moonburner currently, so you can’t read it quite yet! But it will either be picked up for publication or I will self-publish in 2016. I am also about 90% done with the first draft of Sunburner, the sequel.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
Come see me at That’s where you’ll find my blog, as well as updates about Moonburner and Sunburner.

Twitter @clairedeluana


Keeping Your Uniqueness in Your Writing…

December 7, 2015

writer worrying

When we start out on our writing journey’s we are plagued with self-doubt.

Is my story exceptional?

Have I learned the ‘rules’ well enough?

Will anyone read it?

It is easy to compare ourselves to the ‘greats’ (whichever genre great you follow) trying to glimpse within their writing the ‘how they do it’.

Taking advantage of other writers interviews, writing courses and the knowledge of members of your writing support group are all ways to increase your skill. If you have a particular genre you wish to excel in, then read as many novels in that genre as you can. Dissect the story, its characters and how the story arc is constructed. Notice the details, the amount of dialogue compared to exposition, how the characters are introduced and how they ‘change’. These are essential lessons to help you excel in your craft. Also, books on writing are a good investment but chose carefully to ensure they are complimentary to your style.


The main focus after learning your basic skills should be your uniqueness, what is known as your ‘voice’. We are all distinctive beings, even twins have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes. We have at our fingertips an unlimited amount of personality types to choose from or create.

How you tell your story makes it special as no one else will write it exactly the same way. The more you write and practice, the more you will find your ‘voice’ forming, it will become distinctive and your readers will know, without looking at your name that they are reading your words. It is your combination of structure, character building, and language that creates your voice.

When did you realize your ‘voice’ was forming?

How did you find out?



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