Author Interview: Claire Buss

Today I’m fortunate to present Claire Buss author of The Rose Thief.

Hi Claire, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I’m from the UK, just moved to Southend-on-Sea sAuthor Pico I’m looking forward to being inspired by living next to the seaside!

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good story needs to capture the reader’s imagination so either a wondrous setting, imaginative storyline or characters that you can really connect with. Ideally all three in one book if possible. What I enjoy the most about reading is forgetting that I am turning physical pages because I am so swept up in the story world.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book? 

Gaia Raven CoverMy first book, The Gaia Effect, was the result of taking part in a local book writing competition. I saw free writing workshops available at my local library and thought that would be a great opportunity to get back into writing. The workshops led to entry into the Pen to Print Book Competition with an opening chapter. I was fortunate enough to become a finalist in January 2015, all I had to do was write the rest of the book by August 2015! It was an amazing experience and I am so proud of The Gaia Effect, the first of many books I hope.

Tales from Suburbia jpgMy second book, which I released in July 2017, is called Tales from Suburbia and is a collection of short stories, plays and blog posts that intermingle my own personal experiences as a mum, the peccadillos of suburbia and the perils of social media. The subject matter varies from social observation to the humorous reflection of toddler life. Burying my Baby is heartbreaking. One, Two, Cha Cha Cha is hilarious. This collection is full of human foibles and folly and is both amusing and empathetic.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I am a stay-at-home mum so it can be difficult to juggle set writing times, it’s better if I try to remain flexible and jump on any and all opportunities to write. I often manage to get an hour in first thing as my little boy is a very early riser, between 5 and 6am usually. He watches Fireman Sam and I work on my latest project. When I am writing first draft I do sit down with a 1000 word daily target in order to make sure I get the book out of my head and onto paper. It’s a case of doing as much as I can, when I can.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmmm, well I am a touch typist so I don’t have to look at my fingers when I’m typing which my husband finds highly amusing. I never plan, I’ll have a vague outline of the story – only about five lines or so – but absolutely no idea who is going to do what or how we will get from the beginning to the end. I think that’s why I enjoy writing so much because I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

My latest book is called The Rose Thief, it’s a humorous fantasy set in a world where magic exists and humans live alongside fae folk.

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I am always surprised at being able to string words together. I think because I don’t have a writing plan and never know what’s going to happen back, it’s always impressive reading the first draft for the first time and thinking, wow, I wrote this!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

 The Rose Thief Cover 1           Ned’s train of thought was disturbed by a blood-curdling scream coming from the direction of the Black Narrows. This in itself was not unusual. Most sounds down the Black Narrows were of the screaming persuasion. It wasn’t a place you visited after dark. Or in the middle of the day. Or ever, unless you were one of the unlucky hundreds who happened to call it home. There was no immediate response so the screamer tried a different tack.

            ‘It’s Two-Face Bob! Eee’s been murdered!’

            That did the trick. Soon the Narrows were filled with onlookers – some brought a stool and a beverage, the forward thinkers of Narrow society – others got stuck in the crowd. The murder alarm had started bonging in the thief-catcher’s office and seeing as the spell that ran the alarm had a bad habit of growing ten decibels a minute, it seemed to Ned to be a good idea to get away from that and investigate. Thief-Catchers were not required to investigate all murders, most were covered by The Guild of Inhumers. There was a monthly newsletter outlining who to look out for. As long as the correct paperwork had been logged and a receipt issued, everyone knew where they stood. They might not like it but at least they knew about it. The murder alarm somehow knew who had receipts and who didn’t. It was spell casting beyond Ned’s blocked ability, he couldn’t even manage the volume control.

            There was a bit of shoving and muttering as Ned pushed his way through the ranks. He didn’t have to look too hard to find the murder scene, all he had to do was follow the curious crowd. A fair number of the shifty looking men in nondescript clothing had come to make sure Two-Face Bob was actually dead. Certain people owed certain things and if his death were true, life had suddenly become a lot brighter. It only took one look to know for certain. One of Two-Face Bob’s faces stared lifelessly at the smog-ridden skies above, both eyes missing. The other face, which incidentally remained on his head, attached to his body, had eyes popping, mouth open as if to scream and a terrified look of fear and shock frozen in place. Someone had clearly taken a violent dislike to Two-Face Bob. Looking down at the separated visages of Two-Face Bob, Ned felt a flicker of unease surge in his stomach. It could be because he hadn’t eaten in the past twenty-four hours. Or it could be because Two-Face Bob had been to see him less than five minutes ago, claiming intel on the Rose Thief. Ned didn’t hold much weight with coincidences. The viciousness of the attack was unusual for the type of murder usually committed in Roshaven. Put that together with Two-Face Bob’s extensive protection system of both magical and mundane origin and it was obvious.

            ‘He’s been ripped apart by a wraith,’ Ned muttered under his breath.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I have a short story in the new Inklings Press anthology, Tales from the Underground and one in a brand new anthology called Quantum Soul – both of which should be out by the end of 2017. I shall begin writing the sequel to The Gaia Effect in January 2018 and I have plans to revisit the world of The Rose Thief with some additional stories. I also have a techno-western, a re-imagined fairy tale, a possible multi-book series as well as a second short story collection and a book about my book club. Lots more to come!

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

So far, the best money I’ve spent is to have the cover of The Rose Thief designed by a proper artist who is talented and knows what he’s doing, the wonderful Ian Bristow.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can contact me via Facebook – – or twitter – I also have a website – where you can find the sign-up link to my newsletter, the latest news, and other social media links.


Alienation BLOG HOP TOUR #scifi #blogtour

Mackenzie Flohr

Welcome to the Alienation BLOG HOP TOUR.

Please take your seat and strap yourself in, as we take you on an intergalactic tour. You will be amazed, entertained, and educated. Manoeuvre through the cosmos and be astounded at all you see. Hunt down the hidden words that will get you to your final destination where a one-of- a -kind award awaits one lucky traveller.


You are here to celebrate the release of Alienation, book two of the humorous Sci-Fi series, Starstruck.

Sally Webber’s dream is coming true: Zander is back and taking her out for a night on the town–on a planet hundreds of light years away from Earth.

But when an accident separates her from her alien tour guide, she’s thrown into the seedy underbelly of an insane city where nothing is as it seems. Suddenly lost and desperate to get back home, Sally is willing to do anything to get out, even if it means accepting spontaneous marriage proposals, crashing some fancy parties, or joining what appears to be the space mob.

All she wanted was some decent interstellar pizza, but now it might be the end of the world as evil nanobots and an out of control AI try to take the universe by force, and the only one who can stop them is missing in action. Sally has no choice but to try to stop them herself–if she can stay alive that long.

Pre-order your copy now!

Alienation is the fantastic sequel to the hit sci-fi comedy, Starstruck by S.E. Anderson.

Scavenger Hunt Instagram



The woman before you shuffles uncomfortably in her chair. She’s pulled her light brown hair up into a ponytail, a way to tame her twitchy fingers. It’s only after she’s stopped and put her hands back on her lap, resting them gently on her worn jeans, that they interviewer begins.

Mackenzie: There’s no need to be nervous, Sally. It’s just a fun interview!

Sally: Sorry. It’s just that I have a bit of an anxiety disorder. Even small things, like calling people on the phone, my brain blows completely out of proportion. I know there’s nothing to worry about, but this is an interview, and I’ve never really been interviewed before.

Mackenzie: Maybe you could start by telling us a little bit about yourself? To break the ice?

Sally: Ok, let’s do this. I’m Sally – Sally Webber – and a human. I’m from earth.  I have to start the interview this way, since a lot of my friends aren’t…

Mackenzie: Aren’t what?

Sally: Aren’t from earth. Or, entirely human. I’m not quite sure what they are. They sure look human, but they can do things no other human being can do. Like teleport instantly from one side of the universe to the other.

Mackenzie: And how did you meet these friends of yours?

Sally: Zander I met when I ran him over with my car. He’s fine, really, and no hurt feelings. He was my roommate for a while, after that. Blayde’s his sister. She was separated from him when the car thing happened, but managed to find him.

Mackenzie: And this new novel, Alienation. It tells your story…

Sally: After the incident at GrishamCorp, Zander promised he’d take me to see something off Earth. A bit of a thank you – and a good bye present, I guess? I had to wait two years for him to come pick me up, but he took me to Da-Duhui, an amazing city planet at the heart of the Alliance.

Mackenzie: The Alliance? Who or what is that?

Sally: They’re the closest alien union to Earth. Hundreds of planets tied together by accords. They actually know about earth, but it’s a weird tourist destination, from what I can tell. Wow, look at me, talking about all this like I actually know what’s going on!

Mackenzie: You don’t?

Sally: Heck no. I have no idea! A few hours after we get to Da-Duhui, Zander and I get separated. The pizza betrays me, we get in a bit of a hovercar accident – I’d call that karma – and I get stuck in the Undercity of the planet with no way to reach him.

Mackenzie: Oh my gosh, that’s terrible! How did you escape?

Sally: Now you’re going to have to read the book for that!

Mackenzie: One last question, then. You said it took Zander two years to come back to get you. And then, he loses you in an alien city. Do you resent him for that?

Sally: I’m done answering these questions. I mean, come on, who asks that? He’s my friend! And he… No. We’re through here.



Follow this exciting blog tour starting at your first stop UrbanHype101 and if you get lost in cyber space, come back to UrbanHype101 for the tour map. There’s something new to read see or hear on each of these stops.

Don’t forget to hunt for that special word and if you find ALL of them, send them to and you could win a signed copy of Alienation and a gift pack of unique swag. This contest is open internationally.

Now hop onto your spacecraft and visit the next blog.

10th October –  Paisley Piranha

Author Interview: C H Clepitt #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present C H Clepitt, author of a variety of works, including The Book of Abisan and I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse.

Hi, C H, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I’m from Bristol in the UK, famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, The balloon fiesta and Wallace and Gromit!

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Well drawn characters and an exciting story. The characters have to be real for me to enjoy reading it, and I think the situations can be utterly ludicrous as long as the characters react plausibly.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

It’s a bit corny, but I actually had a very vivid dream, which basically told me the plot of the first four chapters, and it just went from there! My inspirations come from things I feel passionate about, and in recent years my writing has become much more political.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

A bit erratic! In an ideal world, I would be nocturnal, but as the rest of the humans are not, I am forced out in daylight, but really, I get my best writing done at night. I try not to schedule it, though, as I find it hard to be creative on demand, so I just go with the flow.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I guess that I play out entire scenes in my head before writing them. I go for long walks just letting my mind play them out, then I mull them over for days before writing them down. My process takes a while!

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse – satirical sci fi.

Heels Text Meme

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Badgers make great spirit guides, and all the readers love a badger!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

I am currently working on the sequel to I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse, and have attached a teaser for you!

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Cape Meme (1)

Well, I am finishing up edits on Everything is better with a Cape, and hope to have it available for pre-order in less than a month, and am working on a new fantasy book called The Smuggler’s Daughter, which I am currently posting on as I write it. The first two chapters are up there. Alongside that, I am working with another author to create a fantasy magazine, we have so much content and I am really excited that people are soon going to get the chance to see it.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Reckon my Chromebook! It is so battered now, but it still works better than any other computer I’ve ever had, and I can just carry it around and write whenever and wherever I like!

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I have a website,, or I’m on Facebook @CHClepitt or Twitter @BadgersTweetToo. Stop by and say hello, I love meeting new people.


Author Interview: Andy Zach

Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Zach, author of Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law, the first two volumes of the Life After Life Chronicles.

Hi, Andy, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

20590563_10208041570311682_465099112_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and lived in a couple of suburbs there until I was 32. I left Cleveland for a job in Peoria, Illinois.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Fast action, dramatic plot twists, and realistic characters you care about and want to meet. Oh, and humor.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I always loved writing since I was a child. Going into college I realized it would be hard to make a living as a writer, so I became a computer programmer, then a Six Sigma Black Belt, and a project manager. As soon as I retired, I wrote “Zombie Turkeys”.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Start working at 9:30-10 am, clear off work related email and social media posts, then start writing by 10:30 am. Lunch at 12, then back to writing by 1 PM and keep at it until 5 PM. In the evening, I’ll write blog posts and answer emails, check on book sales and read for education and entertainment.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I love researching my books. If I’m writing about a locale, I’ll get photos from the area and detailed maps. I’ll check distances and compute times it takes for my characters to move about. I love digging into a subject such as ICBM missiles silos or superyachts and getting diagrams and layout of them, both of which appear in “My Undead Mother-in-law.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

20496142_10208041572351733_952476117_nMy Undead Mother-in-law is what I call comic urban fantasy or humorous fantasy.  Although it has violence and horror, it’s shot through with ridiculous situations, satire, and irony

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?  

How real life is often like fiction! I had a scene in Manhattan Kansas and I wanted a National Guard base and an ICBM missile silo nearby.  Researching these, I found them both within a half hour of Manhattan! Later, I had a scene in New Orleans and I wanted a Navy and Marine base and an Air Force base there. Again, they were all there in real life!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Always! How many minutes do I have? I have a 10-minute excerpt and a 5 minute one.

20472049_10208041609472661_530747697_nAs soon as he hung up, Sam’s cell phone rang. Noting it was Lisa, he said, “Hi, sweetheart!”

“No time for that romantic crap. We’ve got another zombie turkey outbreak!”


“Not far from you. It’s a small private turkey farm near Gary, Deviled Turkeys. I’ve sent you the address.”

“Odd name.”

“They’re bedeviling the family, who’s surrounded. They called our turkey hotline. I’ve already notified the local authorities and the Indiana National Guard. Get the story, Sam! We’re dying for news here. I may have to cut our staff back again.”

“You’ve got a hot story in your in-basket from Gary already, about the zombie family. I’ve got Dr. Galloway getting DNA samples from them.”

“Great! You always pick me up, Sam.”

“You’re turning into a mushball.”

“You have that effect on me. Now, hurry up and get going!” She hung up.

“Bye, Lisa.” One tradition hadn’t changed since their marriage. She still hung up abruptly, leaving Sam talking into a dead phone.

Sam arrived at the Deviled Turkeys farm in the dark winter evening. Sam could see the National Guard trucks and a couple of police cars along the snowy drive to the barnyard. They had distracted the flock of perhaps a thousand turkeys from attacking the house and were now barely holding their own position.

Sam heard the BANG of shotguns, and the pop, pop of rifles and pistols. Why did the police waste their time and ammunition? Those weapons proved ineffective against the zombie turkeys last November.

Grabbing his trusty Flaming Turkey brand flamethrower from the backseat, he approached the line of soldiers.

“Stay away, mister!” an officer yelled over the crackle of gunfire.

Sam noticed he had a skinny neck and a shock of red hair.

“You should have a flamethrower!” Sam yelled back.

“We do! We can’t use them this close to the buildings. There’s a family in there!”

Good thing Lisa isn’t here, Sam thought. During the zombie turkey apocalypse, she’d flamed first and asked questions later.

Another car pulled up in the drive. The officer yelled, “Get away, ma’am! This is a dangerous situation!”

“I’ve come to reason with the turkeys,” Diane Newby yelled back, her red eyes gleaming.

“You can’t reason with crazed killer turkeys!”

“You watch me!” She leapt past the officer, past the line of soldiers, directly toward the mass of turkeys. The soldiers ceased firing, for fear of hitting her. The mass of turkeys washed over Diane like a tsunami. Sam reluctantly filmed her last moments, for her family’s sake.

The mound of turkeys burst apart, revealing Diane throttling a tom. She ripped off its head, legs, wings and then smashed the body into paste on the ground.

“Listen up, you turkeys!” she yelled. “I’m the boss turkey now! Follow me!” Obediently, the turkeys followed her into the barn. She led them back into their cages and shut them in. Where the turkeys had burst doors and wire fencing, using her bare hands Diane wove the tough steel wire into a tight net, holding them securely. “Good thing I’m handy with macramé,” she said to herself as she wove.

Diane’s clothing was shredded and bloody like she’d been through a wood chipper, but her skin showed pink and unbroken through the many holes in her pants and coat. Sam ran to her.

“Are you OK, Diane?”

“Never felt better! I told you I could reason with the zombie turkeys!”

“How did you find out?”

“It was on the zombie turkey Twitter feed on the Midley Beacon page, where I was reading your story about us!”

“Ma’am, I have to thank you for saving us from a difficult situation,” the officer said. “I’m Sergeant Coxcomb.”

“How appropriate,” Sam murmured. Louder, he said, “I’m Sam Melvin, investigative reporter for the Midley Beacon.”

Smiling broadly, Diane said, “I’m Diane New—er—Sydney. I came here as soon as I heard of the attack. I just knew I could control the zombie turkeys. They’re quite easy, compared to children!” She laughed.

“Diane, I filmed your battle. Do I have your permission to broadcast it?”

“By all means! Be sure to say a zombie human came to the rescue! Just call me anytime you have a zombie animal outbreak!”

“Will do!”

“I’ll testify to that!” Sergeant Coxcomb said.

“OK, let me interview you then, Sergeant, and I’ll add your testimony.”

The interviews with Sergeant Coxcomb and Diane, combined with the thrilling video of human zombie versus turkey zombies, burst across the internet like a nuclear bomb. Once again, the Midley Beacon plowed new ground in the zombie news business.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

The third novel of Life After Life Chronicles is in research mode right now. It’s working title is Paranormal Patriots. It’ll be out in 2018. I also plan an audiobook version of Zombie Turkeys and a graphic novel for it in 2017.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

That’s an easy one: the money I spent on my editor Dori Harrell. She helped me with line and developmental editing and made my books clearer and clearly better.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

On Facebook: @AndyZachAuthor page.
Twitter: @AndyZach2.
My blog is on
My email is
My Amazon page:

Snail mail: PO Box 10705, Peoria, IL 61612

Author photos:


My Undead Mother-In-Law:

Kindle edition: Coming out August 5, 2017:


Zombie Turkeys, front and back covers: