Books · interviews

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Jason Price, the author of “Pleasant Grove”. I read this book recently and I really enjoyed it! It is the perfect adventurous book to read during winter. You can read my review by clicking HERE. Get to know Jason Price better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Jason Price?

I’m a husband and father. I’ve worked in movie publicity for almost 20 years, which, I suppose, tells you the most about me as an author: my lifelong love of movies and storytelling.  

Tell us a little bit more about your book – “Pleasant Grove”.

In many ways, it was movies – particularly those I watched as an adolescent – that most informed the writing of Pleasant Grove. I wrote the novel for my daughters, who are both in grade school now, and approaching the same age when I first discovered movies like The Goonies, and E.T. and TV shows like The Twilight Zone. I wanted them to read a novel that captured the same spirit of wonder and adventure that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin films captured for my generation. Pleasant Grove is the story of a 12-year-old girl named Agnes Goodwin, who lives in an idyllic small town with one peculiar feature: It’s enclosed by a glass dome. But that all changes the day Agnes discovers a strange boy from the outside. The hook was to take a small town and drop it in the middle of a sci-fi story – a story built around a single mystery: What’s outside the dome? I grew up in the suburbs, so I pulled from those experiences as well. The kids’ adventure becomes an exploration of what it means to leave a hometown – what’s gained…and what’s lost.

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

What was your favourite moment when writing “Pleasant Grove”?

My favorite moments are when a character says something, or acts in a way, that’s contrary to my outline. It happened multiple times during the writing of Pleasant Grove, despite my best-laid plans. That’s always exciting, because if I can surprise myself then there’s a good chance it will surprise the reader too.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Agnes. She’s curious and likes asking questions…which puts her at odds with the adults in the town, who hold the secrets of Pleasant Grove and aren’t too keen on spilling the beans. But Agnes’s quest for knowledge knows no bounds. I hope readers of all ages can identify with her. I wanted to ground the extraordinary in the ordinary. My favorite sci-fi stories would still resonate without the supernatural element, because as much care is given to the ordinary as the extraordinary.  

How long does it take to write a book?

Pleasant Grove took me a little over 2 years, from rough draft to published copy. But the truth is, a book takes as long as it takes. There were months of brainstorming before I began writing. Stories are an accumulation of life experiences, so perhaps the more accurate answer is a lifetime.  

How do you deal with a writer’s block? 

Some days the writing is easy; some days it’s hard. I outline before I start writing, which gives me a blueprint. Inevitably, the characters and story will take the lead, but the blueprint helps mitigate any potential writer’s block. I also find it useful to end the writing day when I know what happens next, so when I sit down again, I have the benefit of a head start. 

What is the most challenging part when writing a book? 

I can only speak for myself here. The way I see it, there are 3 major steps to writing a book: brainstorming, first draft, editing. None are easy, but all hold their pleasures. I find brainstorming to be the most difficult. It’s the foundation. Building a foundation is grunt work; it’s exhausting, and your hands get dirty. But a good foundation – a house with good bones – will see you through; so in that sense, it’s also the most rewarding. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A screenwriter. This started in high school when I began writing screenplays. I also wrote stage plays and had a couple works performed at the Alley Theatre and Stages Theatre in Houston. But there’s a certain creative freedom to the long-form narrative that appeals to me now, namely that the work is complete when I type “The End.” It’s not dependent on funding, or performance, only a willing reader.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time? 

At the moment, I’m coming off a deep dive into Stephen King and Richard Matheson. I like genre books that transcend their genre.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies? 

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m on the hunt for my next favorite movie or album. Outside of a great book, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as watching a great movie, or listening to a great album, for the first time. 

What is your favorite book, author or quote? 

I’ll take a crack at all three. I’ll pick the first book to really blow my mind, and that’s 1984. Over any other author, give me Stephen King at his best. My favorite quote comes from King: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” 

What are you planning next for us, readers?

This is going to sound like a dodge, but I like to keep ideas close to the vest. Many of my closest friends didn’t know about Pleasant Grove until it was published.

Get your copy of Pleasant Grove here. And don’t forget to follow Jason Price on Goodreads as well.

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Jason! I wish you all the luck and success in the future. 

It was a pleasure. Many thanks Ivana!

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Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Matthew Moss

Author Interview Matthew Moss After the Last Battle blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference book books

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Matthew Moss, the author of “After The Last Battle”. Get to know Matthew Moss better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Matthew Moss?

I’m a twenty-three year old author with one book published so far. My future plans are to hopefully publish the sequel to my first book, “After The Last Battle”, within the next year.

Tell us a little bit more about your most recent book – “After The Last Battle”.

The inspiration for “After The Last Battle” actually came from a song that got me thinking about a story in which angels were extinct or nearly extinct. I also toyed with the idea of a world in which the good guys didn’t prevail. A story which focused around the victory of the bad guys intrigued me and fit well with the concept of no angels, so I went with it. In the book, Telarious sets out with an angel in hiding to try to use his newfound abilities to help those he can. Little does he know, that very quest will get him into something deeper than he ever expected.

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

I don’t know that I’ve ever reached a point where I just can’t think of any ideas. Instead, I have the most trouble selecting which ideas are best. Trying to sift through all the possibilities to select the few options for the next scene that fit the scene’s mood, serve the purpose in the story that I want them too, and fit the characters involved is the hardest part. And, my advice for that, is just to sit down and work at it. Eventually, something will come to you that just works.

What is the most interesting thing about being an author?

One of the most interesting things I’ve found that comes with being an author is all the random bits of research. I knew there would be a lot of research involved with writing a book, but I didn’t realize just how many random, odd things I might need to Google. For example, I was helping another author with a question for their book and I had to research whether or not a human body would float in pickle relish. In case you’re wondering, it will.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?

Details. Details can make or break a story and the reader’s immersion, so keeping everything lined up from one POV to another is difficult but necessary. While the big details might be the most important to keep straight, it’s the small things that are easy to miss. It’s not uncommon that I come to a scene and I have to stop and think, Wait, did I describe this building in the last book as wood or stone?

How long does it take to write a book?

My first book took me about a year to complete from conception to writing the last word. It took a few more months of editing and other finishing touches before it was worthy of publishing.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I actually wanted to grow up to be a Marine and graphic designer. While I always had an interest in stories, it wasn’t until much later that I decided I wanted to be a full-time writer.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time?

My preference is definitely fantasy and sci-fi, but I’m not afraid to venture out if the book catches my eye.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies?

When not writing, I’m usually at work or playing video games. And, when playing video games, I’m usually kicking myself for not writing.

What is your favorite book, author or quote?

This is a tough one. I really like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, but it’s hard to say if it’s my favorite series of all time. There are a LOT of good books out there.

Where can we find your content and follow your future steps?

Thank you to Diary of a Difference for the chance to talk a little about my book. Also, thank you to everyone who has helped support a new author’s journey into the literary world.

I’m by far most active on Facebook at FantasticalFiction, but I can also be found on Instagram as @the_american_writer. You can join my mailing list on my website at On my website, you’ll also find links to all of my other social media and my contact email, as well as the trailers for After The Last Battle. Finally, while still a work-in-progress, you can check out my World Anvil page to get a deeper look into the world, characters, and lore of After The Last Battle at

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Matthew! I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

Purchase Links for “After the Last Battle” by Matthew Moss:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

Author Interview Matthew Moss After the Last Battle blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference book books

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Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Katie Lowe

author interview katie lowe the furies uk harpercollins hq writer diaryofdifference book books blog blogging wordpress

Hello All!

I have the pleasure to give to you an exclusive interview with KATIE LOWE, the author of The Furies, a book which I love and cherish!

Katie Lowe is a writer living in Worcester, UK. Her debut novel, The Furies has been published by Harperfiction (UK) this May. I have the pleasure to have this amazing short e-interview with Katie, while we discuss who she is, what inspired her to become an author and find out more about her first book.

Who is Katie Lowe?

Well, at the moment, first and foremost, I’m a novelist – spending almost all of my time working on my second book. I’m also about to start my PhD in literature – on the subject of female rage in literary modernism, and contemporary women’s writing – so I’d also say I’m an avid reader!

I live in Worcester, in a lovely little house with my sister, who’s an incredibly talented musician… So I consider myself to be a pretty lucky person, all things considered.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I think in one way or another it’s what I’ve always wanted to be – there’s a photo of on my eighth birthday in front of the typewriter I’d begged my parents for, because even back then, apparently, I took myself very seriously as a writer!

With that said, I always thought I’d write non-fiction – so for a long time, my great dream was to become an academic, or a journalist. It was only when my agent suggested I try my hand at fiction that I even considered I might be able to do it – and even then, I had to work at it for a good four or five years before I figured out how, exactly, fiction works… And that I could have a lot of fun doing it.

What particularly inspired you to write ‘’The Furies’’?

I knew I wanted to write a book about young women – particularly teenage girls – because I remember that period of my own life as being pretty emotionally intense, and full of potential. And the idea of witchcraft as a form of rebellion seemed to me too interesting not to write about. I find it a really powerful idea, personally, to have this history of (often forgotten) women who’ve positioned themselves as outsiders, even in the face of truly terrifying consequences… So I wanted The Furies to, in some way, explore that.

What message do you want to give to your readers through ‘’The Furies’’?

I don’t think there are any characters in the book that are particularly aspirational, or who’d serve in any way as role models – so I’m not sure it’s got an enormously positive message, in that respect. But what I’d love for it to do is to show that women – even, and especially, young women – have real agency, and power, and that they only have to believe in their own ability to harness it to make incredible things happen… Though whether that’s a good thing for the girls in this book, I’ll let your readers decide!

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

To be honest, I’ve never really found writer’s block to be a huge issue – partly because, up until quite literally the last month, I’ve always had to find time to write outside of work, using free minutes here and there… So each time I’ve sat down at my desk, I’ve been desperate to get going.

However, I’ve definitely found myself stuck on plot points, or other technical issues, while writing before – and for me, the best way to keep going is to go and do something else. So, for instance, if I’m stuck on how to move the plot forward, I’ll go back to another part of the book and focus on the description, the dialogue, or something else, and polish it up – and usually while I’m working on that, something will click with the bigger issue, so I can pick up where I left off.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?

For me, it’s definitely plot. I so admire writers who can put together a really gripping, twisty plot – and it’s what I wanted to learn how to do with The Furies (though I’ll let you decide whether I’ve succeeded!) Writing flowery descriptions and spending time in character’s heads – that, for me, is all a joy – but the mechanics of getting a story from beginning to end in a way that’s believable, and yet unexpected… It’s definitely the biggest challenge, for me – and yet also the most satisfying thing to get right.

What kind of books do you want to read?

Given my PhD topic, this might be a fairly predictable answer – but I love books with complex, angry women – ideally who aren’t particularly likeable, either. I don’t know what that says about me, as a person, but… Here we are.

I also love books that give me an insight into a world, or a situation, that I know nothing about. I think there’s nothing better than closing the last page of a book and feeling like you truly experienced something you’d never have had the opportunity to, otherwise.

What was your favourite read in 2018?

A book that I absolutely adored – by which I mean, kept bringing up in conversation, without any context, and forcing it into the hands of almost-strangers – was Suicide Club by Rachel Heng. It’s an incredibly well-written book, with a brilliant premise – but it’s also deeply bittersweet, and asks a lot of questions about how, and why, we should want to live. I loved it.

Thank you for your time, Katie! It was a pleasure.

If you want to read my thoughts about The Furies, click here.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble |

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Books · interviews

Interview With Author – Sean Gibson

Interview with an author

 Hello All!

I have to admit – this is one of my most precious interviews! Sean Gibson, the author of The Camelot Shadow is probably the funniest and most interesting writer I have met. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this book yet – please do! You can see my review here. He has also written The Chronicle of Heloise & Grimple and The Strange Task Before Me: Being an Excerpt from the Journal of William J. Upton (Camelot Shadow #0.5).


When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?

Just last Tuesday—it was all very sudden. I’m kidding, of course. I realized I wanted to be a writer when I discovered Bob Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy 25 years ago (I’m dating myself with that revelation, I suppose, though at least if I’m dating myself, I know I won’t get turned down…well, I probably won’t get turned down; I do have SOME standards, though, so it’s entirely possible I might reject me).

I’d always been an avid reader, but that was the first time I was consciously aware of books shaping my worldview and inspiring me to think about my approach to life in a different way. I thought it would be pretty fantastic if I could someday do for a reader what Salvatore did for me (and what numerous other writers have done since): entertain, inspire, and provoke thought.


Where do you get your ideas from?

Ritually sacrificing stuffed bunnies and ripe mangoes to the goddess Buhlschitt in exchange for inspiration. Isn’t that how everyone gets ideas?

What are you currently working on?

I’m just finishing the first draft of a book tentatively titled THE PART ABOUT THE DRAGON WAS (MOSTLY) TRUE (though I suspect the title will change). It’s a prequel of sorts to THE CHRONICLE OF HELOISE & GRIMPLE, albeit written as a cohesive narrative as opposed to a serialized adventure as its predecessor was. It’s a fantasy homage/parody that’s part Hobbit, part Behind the Music with the joke cadence of a Tina Fey show.


Where did you get your idea for The Camelot Shadow?

The scene that opens Chapter 1—an older man, sitting in a well-worn leather chair in a magnificent library late at night, a book in his lap and a glass of Scotch by his side—popped into my head unbidden one night when I was trying to fall asleep. I was in college at the time and far more concerned with midterms and naked quad streaking than writing books, so I didn’t do anything about it immediately. Every so often, though, I would think about that scene. The details were so clear in my head—I could practically smell the chair leather and feel the vellum pages within the books. Eventually, I started asking myself who the man was, why he was so melancholy, how he’d amassed all those wonderful books, and why it seemed as though this quiet moment was just the calm before the storm. As I answered those questions, I realized I had a story I had to tell.

It’s funny—when I finished writing the book, I was convinced that was it. I’d told those characters’ tale and it was onto the next thing. But, after a while, I started thinking about them again—what happened after the story ended, and even what had come before. I missed hanging out in that world and writing in that ornate Victorianish style. What can I say? I like my prose like I like my Little Mermaid villains—over the top and incredibly purple.

So, having released a prequel short (THE STRANGE TASK BEFORE ME: BEING AN EXCERPT FROM THE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM J. UPTON), I’ve begun plotting a couple of sequels. It’s safe to say that we haven’t seen the last of these characters—well, except for those who met rather final fates in THE CAMELOT SHADOW. 

What does your writing process look like?

 Mostly it involves trying not to get carsick while typing in the backseat of a stranger’s car, as I chronicle here: 

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

  I like to slip in an occasional joke or phrase that only a couple of close friends will catch. A few characters in THE CAMELOT SHADOW are named for close friends, too. And sometimes I’ll work in a Ghostbusters quote, which sharp-eyed GB obsessives will catch. Oh, and if you take the first letter of every sentence in THE CAMELOT SHADOW, you will discover a riddle that, if you can solve it, will lead you to an ancient pirate treasure worth eleventy-billion dollars.

What is your favorite book of all times?

Let me complicate a very straightforward question by saying that I’m ruling ineligible for my response any book that’s part of a series. “That seems unduly draconian, Big Nose,” you might opine, and you would certainly be justified in holding that opinion, both about my exclusion of series books and the proportions of my proboscis. That said, the reason for that exclusion is that I find it impossible to judge a book in a series solely on its own merit; it is inextricably bound up with and linked to the events that happen in the other books in the series, events that inform your response to the book upon first read and shade your memory and perception of it after you’ve read subsequent volumes. For example, I would probably say that GOBLET OF FIRE is my favorite Harry Potter book, but perhaps my love for that book is, at least in part, a result of the buildup to it in the preceding three books and knowing the impact that Voldemort’s return at the story’s end will have on future tales.

(Should I have marked that as a spoiler? I feel like that one’s pretty fair game at this point. Voldemort always comes back, people.)

With that in mind, then, I’ll limit the pool of potential candidates to stand-alone books, and while it’s still an exceedingly difficult choice, if forced to select a single tome, I would say Bram Stoker’s DRACULA.

I first encountered DRACULA as a precocious second grader. While I wouldn’t recommend that most 8-year-olds read a book that’s likely to give them nightmares, if not force them into years of therapy (or, at least, force them to look up every other word), I was hooked from the get-go by a book whose style and plot resonated from page one. For whatever reason, the ornate language, shiver-inducing slow-burn buildup, and terrifying prospect of one of fiction’s most fascinating villains appealed to me so much that, 10 years later, I would make Victorian lit the primary focus of my collegiate career as an English literature major (though, to be fair, the subsequently read works of Dickens and Conan Doyle played a significant role in that decision).

Sure, the book is laden with Victorian melodrama and weird psychosexual shenanigans, but I love that stuff (well, the Victorian melodrama, at least). I’d be hard pressed to think of another single book that pulled me so fully and completely into its world and left me breathless at its conclusion.


What is your favorite fictional character and why?

That’s a little bit like asking which is my favorite piece of macaroni in a bowl of macaroni and cheese—I have whole mouthfuls of favorite fictional characters (which is a weird thing to say, maybe). If I was forced to answer the question lest I be denied mac and cheese in perpetuity, I would say Drizzt Do’Urden from R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf books. Dark elves are typically evil, sadistic, and very unlikely to bake cookies for new neighbors. Drizzt, however, has a good heart, and he fights his way to the surface world in an effort to live a life that’s true to his values. What I love most about Drizzt isn’t that he’s noble, brave, and very good at killing orcs (though I do enjoy all of those things)—it’s that he’s always asking questions about the world around him and is unflinching in examining his own actions and beliefs in the service of becoming a better person. I aspire to have Drizzt’s courage and commitment to self-improvement and facing the uncomfortable truths we all have to confront within ourselves from time to time.

Sean, thank you very much for deciding to do this interview with me. It was really an honor and I greatly appreciate it!

Books · interviews

Interview With Author – Michael Kott

 Hello All!

I had the honor and opportunity to have an interview with Michael Kott – the author of Piasa, Cryptid and LifeShift. I have had the chance to read Piasa (read my review) and Cryptid (read my review)  so far, and LifeShift is on my TBR list.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a writer?

   I considered it at times but got serious when writing with my daughter.  After going to the Naval Academy  and serving her retired time in the Navy, she was attempting to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. She needed something to fill her time there and asked if I wanted to help her write a book about what it was like for a girl to go to the Naval Academy. This was in the early 2000s. She quit Hollywood because she could not see that lifestyle but as she followed her husband from station to station, we continued, via the internet, to continue write. While she was in Memphis, Tennessee, she had the idea of us getting together somewhere in between where I live (Chicago area) and Memphis. Looking at a map we decided on Alton, Illinois, where we found a nice Bread & Breakfast House to rent.  There I was introduced to the Piasa legend and I began writing about that.  Finally, Krystee, tired of the inability of agents to place her novel and finding herself about to have her first child, told me she was giving up writing. I continued.


Where do you get your ideas from?

   Our stay in Alton sparked the Piasa novel and an interest in Cryptozoology. That led to Cryptid.  Those stories are in my website blog. Cryptid contains a setup for a third novel but at present I don’t know if I want to continue them.  Most of my ideas of stories originate in the form of dreams, Usually I try to write based on the dream but it leads somewhere else. Both LifeShift and Moonglimmer started that way, as separate novels, but later merged into one idea. Many scenes are based on personal experiences, especially those in LifeShift and the currently being written, Shadow Lake.


Where did you get your idea for Piasa?

    I covered this above, but failed to mention that I was actually aware of this obscure legend even  before and it was instrumental in my suggesting Alton as our meeting place. I was looking up something else on the early internet and somehow came across the early pictograph which is said to be the Piasa. That sparked an interest and I gathered many stories of it, many which seemed to have now disappeared off the internet.  I was aware of a museum in Alton which had featured the Piasa myth in an exhibit, and when I found it was very close to a bed & breakfast, I suggested that as a place to stay. I have pictures of the trip (everything in Alton has changed) if you want to see them. The story started with just the Mike and Pamela characters until someone suggested it would be a good YA tale. Enter Sara Marshall.

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

   I’ve never had writer’s block, I more get Writer’s Interference. That is other things interfering with the process.  With those I let them run their course.


What does your writing process look like?

     I usually write in the morning’s, but sometime’s it runs all day. If Something changes, I go back and rewrite immediately. Everyone says to finish first but I can’t do that. Sometimes I switch stories when changes have put my intended outline in jeopardy.  When a story is well on its way I’ll seek someone to read it and give me feedback. Lately that’s been my editor. Being self-published, I don’t have some army of people at some publishers to fall back on. I seek out readers and I have a trusted editor in California. She is very honest with me and gives me critical feedback. When we agree a story is finished, I hire a cover creator and at the same time send it off to my formatter to create a print ready version and e-book. From there it goes to both CreateSpace and Ingram Spark.


How do you select the names for your characters?

   I thumb through a Baby names book I got when Krystee was having her first child. When I get an inspiration there, I use it. Sometimes I come across names I like and use them. This is for first names. For last names, I keep old graduation ceremony handouts and look for a last name that goes well with the selected first name. Real scientific, Huh?

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

   I love this question.  My secrets are that some scenes of my fictional stories are in actuality based on facts or beliefs. Sometimes they come out in the news and I worry people will think I put them in because i saw them on the news.  In LifeShift, Alex has a dream where he is living  on Mars and meets with a girl at the shore of and ocean. This was originally written about 2004-5. Two years ago, about 2015, an article appeared saying that science now believes that Mars was one day home to oceans of water. My story was based on a personal dream.  Way back when I first wrote Piasa, I included the entire scene with an escaped tiger. Several years after that scene was written a news story appeared out of Texas about an escaped tiger.

If you had to choose, Piasa or Cryptid, and why?

     Piasa because it was my first. The story line of Cryptid was a substitute as it was originally supposed to be about the Tasmanian Tiger. However, some stupid movie came out with like, killer Tasmanian Tigers, so I abandoned that as a Cryptid I would write about. There continue to be stories out of Tasmania and mainland Australia regarding sightings of thylacines, so maybe I’ll reconsider. I would need to go to Tasmania though so I can write about it.

Mike, thank you very much for taking the time to do this with me! I greatly appreciate it!