Category Archives: Author Interview

Interview with Jena C. Henry, author of The Golden Age of Charli

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Inside the Book:

The Golden Age of Charli
Title: The Golden Age of Charli
Author: Jena C. Henry
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Charlotte McAntic spent her thirties, forties, and even fifties in peace and harmony aligning her marriage, mortgage, careers, and children. As she stumbles into a new phase of life—also known as the Golden Years—Charli cannot help but wonder where the gold and her husband, Pud, are hiding.

Pud is happily cruising down the retirement path that, for him, leads straight to the golf course. While Charli spends her days at home cleaning out closets and the basement, she yearns to gaze deeply into Pud’s blue eyes and remember all the reasons why she fell in love with him thirty years ago. Unfortunately, the only thing Pud is eying is the next fairway. Knowing there is more to savor in retirement than silver-hair shampoos, senior discounts, and hernia surgery, Charli embarks on a quest to do whatever it takes to spend retirement in the embrace of the man she loves. But is it too late for happily ever after?

In this humorous novel, a high-energy wife and her solid guy must learn to adjust to a new chapter in their lives and find their way back into each other’s hearts after their retirement begins with a jolt.



Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I published The Golden Age of Charli- RSVP, the first book in the series in September, 2015. The second book in the series, The Golden Age of Charli-BMI will be released soon! I all ready have the copies- so excited!!
When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

Good question! My writing journey started when I decided to finally try to write what I called “a book-length document.” As I wrote, I began to feel more positive about my product. One day, while I was using the online thesaurus, an ad popped up- “Are you writing a book?” “Yes… YES!” I shouted. I clicked the link and soon received a call from a consultant at iUniverse. After a long discussion and plenty of questions from me, I chose iUniverse because they are a hybrid self-publisher. They offer a large team of professionals and services- all types of editing, cover design, marketing and promotion. This was the best of both worlds for me- I could move forward and achieve my publishing dream, but have access to all the services I would need to produce a high quality project.
How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Less than six months. I needed heavy editing for my first book- but much less for the second manuscript! Yay!
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was thrilled, satisfied, and excited, and eager to learn more about the book and publishing world. I celebrated by starting to write the second book in the series. I also had a lovely launch party and book signing, complete with a specially crafted Charli cocktail.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Before my book was published, I used to wake up at night and worry about how to market and promote my book. iUniverse offered me a variety of marketing services and I have used many of them. I love marketing my book. The first thing I did, after my launch party, was to take a course in social media so I could start to build my platform. Since my first book was released, I have worked 4-6 hours a day on social media and my website and blog.

Meet the Author:


Jena C. Henry holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Akron, presents writing workshops, and loves good times with friends. Now retired, Jena and her husband, Alan, live in tropical Ohio where they enjoy their two adult children and extended family, friends, and darling dog. This is the first book in The Golden Age of Charli series.


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Interview with Steven Fujita, author of Toe Up to 10K

Toe Up to 10K 1Title: Toe Up to 10K

Author: Steven Fujita

Publisher: BookBaby

Pages: 168

Genre: Self-Help

Format: Ebook

In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs.

“Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.

Purchase Your Copy At:


The Interview

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Toe Up to 10K is about my road to recovery from spinal cord injury.  Chronologically, it covers the time from when I was diagnosed with meningitis, and became a paraplegic, to when I was walking without a cane and working to run again.  As far as the subjects I discuss, I write about the physical and issues I dealt with, where, what and who I drew inspiration from, my exercise regimen and the strategies I employed to adapt to the issues caused by the spinal cord injury.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

In June 2012, I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with viral meningitis.  Four days later, I lapsed into semi-consciousness, and when I regained full consciousness, I was paralyzed from the chest down.  Although doctors thought I might walk again, it wasn’t guaranteed, and if so, only to the point of “well enough.”  It was implied that I would spend about a year in a wheelchair.  However, within six months, I was walking around with the aid of only a quad cane, and within 15 months, was walking without a cane.

So, the triggers for writing this book were the meningitis, the damage to the spinal cord, the resulting paralysis, and recovering from that paralysis much better than anybody expected.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

There were two main inspirations.  One, when I was in the hospital, I really wanted to know what would happen next – the chronology of recovery.  Now, I know every individual recovers differently, both in areas that recover, and the amount of recovery.  However, I wanted to share my experiences and be a point of reference for those who experience spinal cord injury.  Although everybody’s experience is different, there are some common ground.

The second inspiration is the recovery itself.  I don’t think I was expected to recover my ability to walk as well as I have, nor as quickly as I did.  I wanted to share not only what I did physically, but also wanted to share the importance of attitude and drawing inspiration from outside sources, whether it is from creative works, such as songs, or from people, such as friends, family and healthcare workers.

What are you currently working on?

Outside of writing, I’m currently working on running. I currently walk at the same speed as pre-injury.  When I finished the book, I still had trouble sprinting.  Currently, I can sprint – I just need to work on speed and endurance.

As far as writing, I’m returning to my “roots,” so to say: supernatural fantasy.  I use the word, “fantasy” because I like to write about monsters that don’t exist in real life such as stereotypical vampires and zombies.  Specifically, I am working on the sequel to my vampire novella, Sword of the Undead.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

My one bit of advice to writers is to be yourself.  Not only does the sincerity come out, but you, as an individual comes out.  You will also notice that words flow easier, making the process more enjoyable (or less painstaking).

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

Other books on spinal cord injury are compelling and inspiring stories about people who’ve overcome obstacles.  I believe mine is the same.  However, Toe Up to 10K is different because it can also serve as a point of reference as to what issues what one can expect when the spinal cord is damaged.  And regarding this, I cover some issues that are glossed over in other books, such as bowel and bladder issues.  Toe Up to 10K can also be a handbook as far as finding examples of dealing with some of the issues caused by spinal cord injury: the exercises, the act of drawing inspiration from others, the importance of support from others, etc.

I didn’t include as much person to person interaction as I could have, and in that respect, I think this book has a little more of an objective feel to it than other books. I actually think it would make a good reference book for fiction writers who want to have a character whose spinal cord has been injured – and still enjoy the compelling and inspirational tone of the book.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

Life is a priceless gift, and one of the best ways to make use of this gift is to practice gratitude.

Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.

Listen to Steven Fujita’s interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker’s vampire novel, Dracula.

His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth.

His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012.

Visit his website at:

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Interview with Ed Grizzle, author of It’s Your Decision

Title: It’s Your Decision

Author: Ed Grizzle

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 128

Genre: Family Relationships/Parenting

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan.

Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you.

It’s Your Decision discusses

• planning for children;

• knowing what children need;

• being aware of the important years in a child’s life;

• understanding that children will test parents;

• valuing the role of grandparents;

• dealing with abused children;

• communicating openly and honestly;

• clarifying family roles.

Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.




Use no more than two sentences – why should we read your book?

I would need to know more about someone before answering this question.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

That I stood before a judge when I was 18 and got a choice to go to prison or military.  I obviously chose military.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?

I personally think there are several and I can’t choose one in particular.

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you?

– The best one that I can think of is ‘Ed you have seen Vegas first class all the way now get the hell out of here and don’t come back’.  My friend told me that over 100 times one weekend and I learned that gambling can destroy people. 

Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It’s Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois

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Interview with Cheri DeGroot, author of Dear Friend




Title: Dear Friend

Genre: Non-fiction humanities

Author: Cheri DeGroot

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 60

Language: English

ISBN – 978-1-44016-146-9


Are you looking for a way to meet new people from all over the world, make new friends, and help others? The solution is simple and affordable—become a pen pal. In Dear Friend, author Cheri DeGroot shares the joys and rewards of becoming a pen pal and provides tips on sharing friendships through handwritten letters.

Based on fifty-three years of personal experience as a pen pal, DeGroot details how her lifelong passion for pen palling began and how her friendships with people from all over the United States have helped her through life’s good and bad times. This guide demonstrates the positive aspects of pen palling—from sharing news of family, hobbies and emotions to expanding their knowledge by learning about different cultures and different people.

Stressing the importance of communication, Dear Friend reveals how becoming a pen pal can help those who are lonely to find friendship, love, and happiness through the power of the written word.

Purchase your copy:



Could you please tell us a little about your book?

The topic of my book Dear Friend is about pen palling and journaling. How I started pen palling, and how I started journaling in different ways. Sharing different pen pal views on pen palling. I learned about pen palling and journaling from my own experiences in my life. I started at the age of ten. And now I am 68 years young and still running two pen pal clubs. I love pen palling it’s my work and being an author.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

I wrote this book to help inspire others to make a change in their lives, by learning to communicate by handwritten letters or now chatting on the computer, or talking on the phone. They have choices today, which I didn’t have growing up. Writing letters is more personal when you open your mailbox you have email from friends and not just bills or no mail at all. Letters from others makes you happy and excited it just makes your day.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I am passionate about my writing, because when I write my mind is clear and the words just come out what I want to write down a paper.

Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work?

Yes I have a good ritual I feel I did a good job and jump for joy that I accomplished it on my own. Feeling good about yourself is very important when you are a writed.

Who has influenced you throughout your writing career?

I had a lot of help doing my writing career, my family, husbands, friends, relatives they all supported me and gave me the encouragement to go ahead with my dream of writing.

What are some of your long term goals?

I would like to write another book like a sequel to my Dear friend book in the near future, as all my pen pals friends keep asking me when im going to do it.


Cheri DeGroot loves writing letters and journals of her life. Pen palling helps her make new friendships by reaching out through written letters and by computer. DeGroot has initiated several pen pal clubs. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren and lives in Milverton, Ontario, with her husband, Joe.

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