Archive by Author | Patty Hammond

Interview with an author: Ken MacGregor

Head shot of Author Ken MacGregor
Author Ken MacGregor

It is my pleasure to welcome Ken MacGregor, Co-Author of the HEADCASE series and Editor of the Anthology STITCHED LIPs

Welcome Ken to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your works better!

Cover for Anthology Stitched Lips
Anthology Stitched Lips

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Well, I have several, so we’ll go with the most recent: STITCHED LIPS: An Anthology of Horror from Silenced Voices. This is my second curated anthology, and I theme is “silence.” I only accepted stories from people who are traditionally underrepresented: women, People of Color, LGBTQ+, etc.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Okay, so I’ll change tack and talk about the one novel I have out there, cowritten with my friend Kerry Lipp: HEADCASE. The title character, Johnny Headcase, is an aging bounty hunter who tends to wade into trouble with both fists and a large gun. Generally speaking, however, I tend to use names that seem to fit the characters while trying not to be too overt. In one story, I have a German piano teacher who turns out to be quite sinister: his name is Klaus Engel. Engel is German for angel; he’s the fallen kind. Subtle? Maybe not. Too obvious? I don’t think so.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I have always loved “what if?” stories! I cut my teeth on Piers Anthony as a kid, graduation to more serious writers in my teens. I adored the world-building of Roger Zelazny; the hugely creepy yet relatable Stephen King, and the antihero Thomas Covenant in the Stephen R. Donaldson series. Later, I discovered Clive Barker, along with a massive pile of astounding authors, and I’m still discovering more all the time. I continue to love to read, to immerse myself in someone’s world. One of the main reasons I write is to tell the stories no one else has, the ones I want to read that haven’t been written.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

This is an interesting question. It sort of implies that all writers are barely containing their madness. That we’re all teetering on the brink. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some truth to that. I doubt it’s just writers though. I think that human beings are often pushed beyond what they believe they can handle, and yet, somehow, we manage to keep going, most of us. Tragically, some do not. I have been pushed very close to my limits, and not that long ago. In 2018, my wife of 17 years died suddenly, leaving me and my two children to flounder in grief and misery for a long, long time. I stayed drunk for a while. I stayed angry for about 18 months. I’m still (in 2021) a badly wounded animal, but I function well enough. To answer the second part of your question, that depth of emotion worms its way into my fiction. My characters are broken, devastated, lost. I feel kind of bad for them sometimes.

What makes you laugh?

Like most people, kittens, cute babies, prat falls… but, really, what gets me going is the very clever: where wit shines. I have a deep appreciation for a sharp mind.

What makes you cry?

These days, seeing anyone grieving will trigger that. Or just thinking about my dead wife. Hell, for a while there, just being awake was enough.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

We’ll go back to the first question for this. STITCHED LIPS is not only an anthology of stories by underrepresented authors. Those authors are wonderful! There are multiple Stoker winners in there. The talent is staggering. Also, the proceeds (50% until I’ve paid back my investment; 100% after) go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which works hard to fight discrimination and to promote equality for all.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I’m between websites (I have a new domain but am still working on building it. Not my wheelhouse), so probably Facebook:

About Ken MacGregor

Ken writes stuff. Sometimes, he edits stuff too.

He has two story collections: AN ABERRANT MIND, and SEX, GORE & MILLIPEDES, a young adult novella: DEVIL’S BANE (YA winner of the 23rd annual Critters Readers Poll), a co-written (with Kerry Lipp) novel: HEADCASE (available in serialized form), and is a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers (GLAHW). He is a somewhat regular contributor to HorrorTree with his column Brain Babies.  He has also written TV commercials, sketch comedy, a music video, some mediocre poetry, and a zombie movie. Ken is the Managing Editor of Collections and Anthologies for LVP Publications. He’s curated two anthologies: BURNT FUR for Blood Bound Books, and STITCHED LIPS for Dragon Roost Press..

When not writing, Ken drives the bookmobile for his local library. He lives with his kids, two cats, and the ashes of his wife.

Ken is currently between websites. He can be found via social media on the following platforms:

Twitter: @kenmacgregor



Interview with Author K.M. Fawcett

It is a great pleasure to welcome K.M. Fawcett author of The Survival Race series.

K.M. Fawcett
K.M. Fawcett

Welcome K.M. to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

Thank you, Patty, for having me on EverydayFangirl!

What does the title of your science fiction romance series, The Survival Race, signify?

The Survival Race is a bloodsport where the last man alive wins! On a planet where humans are pets, alien rulers gamble upon human gladiators to see who will survive bitter arctic conditions, wild beasts, and death matches! But death on Hyborea isn’t necessarily final. The medically and technically advance aliens can “reawaken” humans—If the body meets the right conditions, and if they so choose.

Where did you get the idea for this series?

The idea came from watching the rescue of mistreated horses on an episode of Animal Cops. It broke my heart to see those beautiful animals neglected and starved so thin their rib cages showed. How would their owners like being penned up and abused like that? This got me thinking. What if humans were pets, and someone—aliens perhaps—bred us and gambled upon us for sport? I have no idea what happened in the rest of the episode. I was busy cogitating an alien abduction story with a broken alpha gladiator forced to kill for entertainment, and his newly arrived, fiery mate who refuses to breed warriors for the Survival Race. Captive is the first book in the series and begins on Earth when the a rookie cop is abducted during a forest fire and wakes up caged with a naked alpha gladiator claiming to be her mate!

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

I try to give my characters names that signify who they are. Since this is a human pet story, I wanted to give my alpha male hero a name that sounded like it could be a dog’s name. I didn’t want anything too obvious like Rex, Buddy, or Fido. Lol. I settled on Max. I don’t remember where Addy’s name came from, but in the story Max calls her “woman” (usually with “hell” preceeding it) in an effort to keep her at a distance. Using her name would show he cares, and he’s too broken to care—except deep down he does. Read this exceprt to see what I mean…

He moved closer but still didn’t touch her. “Are you okay?”

Addy’s forehead slid back and forth on the smooth floor as she shook her head no. “What’s happening to me?”

“It’s the Hyboreans. Are you hurt? Can you see?” She must have given him an odd look because he explained, “Too much voltage can blind you. Or worse. Hell woman, for your own safety, don’t piss off the Hyboreans.”

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I am a fan of fish-out-of-water stories and underdog stories. My all time favorite book is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Claire is a 20th century English woman hurled back in time to 18th century Scotland. You can’t get any more fish-out-of-water than that! I like to write about characters who are out of their element because it’s fun to dicover a new world through their eyes, and to see how clever they can be while reaching their ultimate goals.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Captive (book 1) and Fearless (book 2) are both enemies-to-lovers stories with sexy alpha heroes and strong, fish-out-of-water heroines. They are stand-alone stories that are part of the series in which each couple gets their HEA. There are no cliff hangers!

Captive features a slow burn relationship as the hero and heroine must learn to trust each other as they escape captivity.

Fearless features a warlord and shaman in a steamier relationship that involves a little…ahem…sexual healing. 😉 Both first chapters are available to read for free on my website!

Renegade (book 3) has a different twist in that the heroine is the gladiator and the hero is a gentleman scientist. It’s available for pre-order now for a July 31st release.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Thank you again for having me here, Patty! Happy reading everyone and stay safe out there!Amazon link for Renegade (Survival Race #3)’m most active on Facebook

I’m also on twitter


And Bookbub

How can readers find more about The Survival Race series?

The Survival Race series are available through the following links:

Universal book link for CAPTIVE (Survival Race #1)

Universal book link for FEARLESS (Survival Race #2)

Amazon link for Renegade (Survival Race #3)

K.M. Fawcett is the author of the thrilling science fiction romance series, The Survival Race. She writes stories featuring underdogs and fish-out-of-water characters who find their place in the universe. She believes in happy endings and true love conquering all.
She and her husband—who wants the world to know he’s the inspiration for all her heroes, albeit toned down for believability—own Tenchi Dojo in NJ, where they teach traditional Okinawan karate and kobudo (weapons). K.M. incorporates two decades of martial arts experience into her stories to create strong, kick-ass characters who aren’t afraid to fight for the life and love they deserve.
Wielding the world as her office, K.M. exhausts many hours writing in parked cars, on airplanes, at a local coffee shop, outdoors, and in her home library with two mischievous cats vying for attention.
Hang out with her on social media and subscribe to her newsletter at for book info, sneak peeks, and self-defense articles!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Finally Returns Friday!

I am so excited that the award-winning “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” returns for its epic final season beginning Friday, Feb. 21! This is one of the main reasons I immediately subscribed to Disney+ when the multi-year packages were offered.

Rex and The Bad Batch

Rex with the Bad Batch team

I am very excited to see the further adventures of Ahsoka and Rex along with Anakin and Obi-Wan. Today the streaming service shared a new clip and unreleased images from the season premiere. Also, if you like this Star Wars Tweet, the account will send you reminders of when each episodes posted.


Are you as excited as I am to watch this final season of such an amazing series?

EG Manetti And The Twelve Systems Chronicles

The Adventures of The EverydayFangirl welcomes back Author EG Manetti to discuss another story in the The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The series title, The Twelve Systems Chronicles, is intended to convey epic science fiction with a heavy dose of space opera. The tag line—Where duty and passion collide—brings in the passion, romance, and suspense. I hope.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

I love this question. The character names come from many sources; family, friends, my erratic muse. Some are deliberate choices based on meaning. Others are simply names, although I try to pull from the full range of cultures as I do for my characters.

With my heroine, Lilian; it was her name from the first. I have no idea where it came from or why it is spelled as it is. The same is true of the names for the Twelve Systems’ deities—The Five Warriors and Adelaide—they and their stories emerged from my psyche full-blown.

The alpha-male hero took some time to settle. I wanted something that evoked the ruthlessness and warrior culture of ancient Rome, but also Rome’s commitment to law and order. According to Behind the Names, Lucius is a ‘Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux “light”. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian.’

For Lilian’s little sister, Katleen is a variation on the name of my best friend since childhood.

For the spymaster, Trevelyan, I wanted a foil for Lucius. I went with the British Isles where the Romans struggled to gain and hold territory. Again, Behind the Names helped me out: from a surname which was derived from a Cornish place name meaning “homestead on the hill”.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I have always loved science fiction. As a young reader, I lamented the lack of romance in otherwise great stories. When Science Fiction Romance emerged in the 90s, I loved it. But I wanted something more, something with the epic nature of Dune, but with the central character a female. To make this happen, I had to defy the romance central convention the primary couple ending the book with a Happily-Ever-After, or at least, a Happily-For-Now.

All the books end on a positive note, but the relationship between Lilian and Lucius doesn’t conform to conventions, although I promise, they will get their Happily-Ever-After. In fact, Chalice Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 1 is designed to fulfill the promise of the other seven books, although it is not the final book in the series.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

The Twelve Systems Chronicles are my first set of stories. For the series, I researched martial arts and weaponry as well as crystal computing. Swords and other blades haven’t changed much in centuries. Crystal computing, on the other hand, changes almost daily.

Book specific research takes me to all sorts of interest places. Transgressions: The Apprentice, Volume 3 required research into geological formations that I revisited when writing Chalice Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 1 (release date: January 21, 2020). In Serengeti Valor: The Apprentice: Volume 5, I went to a primary source for technical advice on battle tactics – my dear husband served in the marines. Nightingale: The Apprentice, Volume 6 needed a slow-acting, readily curable poison. On a lighter note, Lilian does get to attend fancy parties in several volumes. When I need inspiration for gowns and other high fashion, Vanity Fair is a go-to, as are all the shots of various red-carpet events.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

If it is okay, I would like to use the words of others.

The two volume, Twelve Systems Bundle: The Cartel & Bright Star is a 2019 Paranormal Romance Guild nominee for a Reviewers Choice Award. From the PRG 5-star Review:

“Lillian is brilliant. She is fierce and smart and vulnerable and endearing. She has an inner resolve that is enviable. Her confusion about her feelings for her Monsignor is so relatable and real. I am
well and truly invested in her.”

The series also has four crowned-heart reviews from InD’tale and has three times been nominated for a RONE with two books becoming finalists. From InD’tale: With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Any of my social media accounts will find me, although I tend to be a bit faster responding to Facebook and website comments. I also have a monthly newsletter, Red Gems, where I provide updates on promotions, progress on upcoming releases, and personal appearances. You can sign up here!

EG Manetti has always enjoyed a vivid imagination and occasional scribbling. In 2010 she was struck by the inspiration for The Twelve Systems Chronicles. The draft of a single novel soon became three, and then more. In 2012, after several hundred thousand words, The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1 was published, followed by six other volumes. The latest, Chalice Bearer, releases January 21, 2020.

A former information technology project manager, EG writes as often as possible, cooks exceptionally and gardens adequately. She resides in Florida with her beloved (and often confounded) husband and their severely OCD Jack Russell Terrier.





Interview with Author Sonia Nova

It is a great pleasure to welcome Sonia Nova author of Kraev, which is part of the Warload Brides Universe.

Welcome Sonia to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your latest story better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Kraev is the name of the alien hero of this book. The book is the first one in the Warriors of Rae series, which follows alien warriors from the planet Raewan. The series is named Warriors of Rae, because Rae is the name of the sun their planet rotates around. In their culture, they have a saying that they have been blessed by Rae. They believe that their sun, Rae, is the source of all life on the planet, and that everything – including their people – flourishes thanks to Rae. The name of their planet, Raewan, literally means the world (blessed by) Rae.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Naming characters, especially alien ones, is always interesting. I honestly just go with what I think sounds good, combining letters pretty randomly. But sometimes I form systems for the names, like for the alien heroes of this series. The main character’s name in this book is Kraev ek-Tayn. Although the name seems completely meaningless, his last name actually isn’t a family name, but it reflects the place of his birth. His name literally means “Kraev from (the town of) Tayn”. His best friend in the book is Zevyk ek-Tayn, who was born in the same clan, and another character (their Warlord) is Rath ek-Tuin – Rath from Tuin.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I’ve always been a fan of stories with paranormal, magical, and sci-fi elements. I discovered sci-fi romance books nearly a decade ago and immediately fell in love. The genre was much smaller back then and it has been incredible to see how it has grown. A few years ago, I decided to put some of my own story ideas to paper and started writing sci-fi romance.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

This series is actually a part of a shared universe (Warlord Brides) that a few other sci-fi romance writers and I came up with in 2016. In the beginning, there was a lot of brainstorming as we discussed our ideas and fleshed out the universe. Then each of us made our own spin on the world and the alien heroes we’d created. I started writing this book already back then, but I got stuck on a plot point and unfortunately never managed to finish it. Now, I’ve completely rewritten the story and I feel like the plot is a lot stronger because of it.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This book has been a long time coming and I’m really excited that it’s finally here! If you like to read action-packed sci-fi romance with hot alien warriors and the women they’ve been waiting their entire lives for, the Warlord Brides Universe is for you! Steamy romance, space adventure, and a happily ever after guaranteed!My series is the newest addition to the world. Other authors who have written in the universe are Nancey Cummings, Abigail Myst, Thanika Hearth, and Phoebe Fawkes.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

The best way to stay up to date on my writing is to join my email newsletter. I also have a Facebook Page for news and a Reader Group.
Facebook Page:
Facebook Reader Group:

Here is the link to purchase Kraev:

Guest Post: Pets in Space 4 And Hero Dogs

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Pauline Baird Jones as a guest blogger to talk about the latest Anthology release, Pets in Space 4 and the charity that it supports, Hero Dogs!

Take it away Pauline!

The authors of Pets in Space® 4 have blogged at other places about our wonderful charity, Hero Dogs (who helps to place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders) and we’ve all also blogged about our love of pets and how we believe it is the pets who give a special kind of heart to the stories in our limited release anthologies. So I wasn’t sure what was left to blog about unless it is science fiction romance—our genre.

Both Veronica Scott and myself love to read and write science fiction romance, but we will also agree that it is an often misunderstood genre. I think readers are sometimes afraid of the science in science fiction romance, fearing it will be technical or boring. So that is also one of the reasons we wanted to do our anthologies—to introduce new readers to the fun, adventure, accessibility, and yes, romance of science fiction romance. 

Inside the pages of Pets in Space® 4 readers will journey to far off worlds with Anna Hackett’s House of Roan or board Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr for another amazing Interstellar cruise (who doesn’t want to take a cruise??). From S.E. Smith’s Lords of Kassis, Tiffany Roberts’ The Infinite City, to Pauline Baird Jones’ Project Enterprise series, you’ll find the perfect story along with a few unusual pets. 

I think this year’s anthology has our most diverse selection of pets—and their owners—ever. As one of the organizers (along with Veronica Scott), I get to read the stories first and it has been both wonderful and painful waiting for readers to get a their chance to dive in and take their armchair journey to distant worlds. The heroes are fearless and so are the heroines and the pets will make you laugh, cheer and fall in love, too.

I promise that what science there is in the stories is very accessible and introduced to make the stories more exciting—things like space ships and cool weapons so they can smack down the bad aliens. LOL

If you love pets and love romance, there is a really good chance you’ll love this anthology—and who knows, you may end up becoming a fan of science fiction romance, too.

For the price of a cup of coffee, readers run the “risk” of discovering a fun new genre, and thirteen new, favorite authors. Okay, so maybe your TBR pile should be afraid. LOL

Here’s all the details you need to know:

For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Pets in Space® proudly supports, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!

Proud supporters of, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past three years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space® 4 will again go to Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today so together we can continue to assist this worthy charity! 

You can order your copy at the following vendors:

All Buy Links: 


Amazon UK: 

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:


Apple Books:



Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today so together we can continue to assist this worthy charity!

About Pauline Baird Jones

USA Today Bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. Loves chocolate, bacon, flamingoes, and mid-century modern anything. If you would like to contact Pauline directly, she can be reached via email at or by visiting her website, her Blog or any of the following social media outlets:

Pauline Baird Jones Facebook Fan page

Twitter: @paulinebjones




Interview with Fangirl Heather aka Geekanista

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview Geek Fashion designer and Fangirl Heather aka Geekanista!

I became aware of Heather through the Star Wars Fangirl Community and I am very happy that she agreed to this interview!

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I’ve always been a fangirl, just closet one. I was in high school when The Phantom Menace came out and it wasn’t cool to be a nerd. I was so excited Star Wars was back I made my mom go to movie with me so I didn’t have to go alone. This was big deal as my mom doesn’t do Star Wars. I would sneak into the toy section for stuff and hide from friends. Not to mention the original trilogy special edition re-release in theaters, which I went to all of those also and have my VHS tapes still! Only my high school sweetheart knew of my obsession and still said I was a dork. After Revenge of the Sith, when Star Wars went MIA did I have to shelf my obsession. When The Force Awakens was announced and Star Wars made huge comeback I finally said F-it I don’t care anymore, this is who I am!  So like I said I’ve always been a fangirl, just never as open as I am now.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

It has helped me a lot, I’ve connected with a lot of fellow fangirls, found the Her Universe Fashion Show which I was honored to be able to be apart of this year and find the support to help share my fandom with others thru my sewing. Of course there are a couple hindrances as toxic people and trolls tend to put damper on things, but being able to push past that and brush them off helps to maintain the positive.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I was about 5 yrs old when Star Wars entered my life. My older brother would babysit me since I was 3 and watch movies like Aliens, Nightmare on Elm St and of course Star Wars. (Great bro I know lol). Star Wars was what stuck, especially Return of the Jedi, which to this day still my favorite movie! We had a VHS tape of the movie recorded from TV and my parents would have card nights on Saturdays. I was allowed to stay up with them and that was the move I watched, again and again and again! I think I wore that tape out! I had….and still do…. a huge crush on Luke Skywalker and apparently, according to my parents, I would kiss the TV when he was on.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

Oh wow, lots of things. I guess the biggest is it’s ok to not only flaunt your fandom, but that you’re not alone! Knowing there are other girls out there that love Star Wars as much as I do has helped me to continue to pursue my dream to be a geek fashion designer. Not only has it changed my goals for future, but made me finally realize what I want to do with my life!

What else do you Fangirl about?

That’s a tough one! Lol Star Wars is my main love, but I do remember how much I loved Jurassic Park when it came out. Others are Aliens, Evil Dead Series, Superman, Back to The Future, Wolverine, Phantom of the Opera, Pirates films, anything from my 80s childhood, just to name a few.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

All I have to say is don’t be afraid! There are those out there who will cut you down because you don’t see things how they want you to. Just ignore those words and keep being you! Whether you’re a prequel, sequel or original trilogy fan, or you want Rey to be Luke’s daughter or to being Reylo shippers. Who cares what others think, you don’t need their approval to love what you want. If you were teased, taunted or a loaner growing up, you retreated to your fandom to escape and stay strong. I did the same and to this day if I’m having a bad day or rough time, I go to a galaxy far far away for therapy!

Where can others interact with you?

I have my Instagram, @geekanista5
My Facebook is Geekanista
And Twitter is also @Geekanista5

Interview with Author Tana Stone

It is a great pleasure to welcome Tana Stone author of Tribute Brides of the Drexian Warriors series.

Welcome Tana to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know more about you and your stories better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

I was inspired to call the first book in the Tribute Brides of the Drexian Warriors series TAMED by “The Taming of the Shrew.” The protagonist starts out the book a bit spoiled and her alien warrior tames her temper rather creatively.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I’m already a successful mystery authors, but I love reading Sci-fi romance, so it wasn’t a jump to want to write it. But, like all writers, I wanted to put my own special twist on the alien abduction trope.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

My key to writing success is steadiness (and taking breaks). I also switch things up (alternating writing sci-fi romance and mysteries. I consider myself pretty independent, which I think most of my female protagonists are, as well.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?  

Since my series is speculative, I watched Star Trek episodes for inspiration. Lots of the ones with holodecks!

What makes you laugh?

Cats in costumes or hats (although I’d never try to put my cats in either)!

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love the concept of holodecks, so I included lots of that in my fantasy space station. How cool to be able to recreate settings that look and feel completely real, right?

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

If you like hot alien warriors, spunky Earth women, sci-fi action, steamy romance with a happily ever after, and a few laughs, I think you’ll love the Tribute Brides of the Drexian Warriors series. You can find out more about each book in the series through the following links:





What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

MY FB page or visit my author Website:

Interview with Director Jessica Leski

It is a great pleasure to welcome Jessica Leski, Director of I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story.

Jessica welcome to and thanks so much for taking the time to discuss this awesome Fangirl documentary project with us!

Patty: What does the title of this documentary signify?

Jessica: The title is a direct quote from one of the main characters in the film, Elif, a One Direction fan from Long Island, New York. It comes at a fascinating moment where she is at a backyard pizza party with friends and she starts spiraling into a 1D fantasy, imagining Niall Horan casually turning up to the party. She suddenly stops and catches herself and wails to her friends “This is not good! I used to be normal!” I loved this moment as she was both allowing herself to sink deep into her fandom fantasies, but was also aware and present enough to question her behaviour. Each of the characters in the film is struggling with what being a fan means to them and how to reconcile it with their ideas of growing up and being a woman in the world. That was something I found very interesting – the judgement and consequential shame that can come with loving a boyband and how to own it and celebrate it, rather than hide it away.

The film will hopefully lead audience members to question what is normal behaviour, and consider that they may have judged fans too quickly and too harshly.

Patty: What prompted you to create a documentary on this topic and who or what inspired you to?

Jessica: The fact that I had never liked a boyband before. When I was in high school in the late 1990s, arguably the golden era of boybands, I was actually dismissive of the entire phenomenon. The boys, their music and their fans didn’t interest me at all. But then in 2012, I was driving and heard the One Direction song “One Thing” on the radio. I remember scoffing at how simple the song was – they repeated the chorus so many times! But by the end of the song, it was stuck in my head. As soon as I got to my desk I looked up the video clip on Youtube. And I was hooked. That video clip in particular was such a magnificent introduction to boybands for me – the co-ordinated outfits, the hairstyles, the goofing around, the attempts at dancing. It was so innocent and wholesome and joyful. This led to an internet spiral into the world of One Direction. I had never been a fan of something since the internet had become such a huge part of my life. And so I was floored by how much access I could have to material – photos, articles, videos. This felt so different from being a fan when I was a teenager, carefully cutting photos out of magazines to stick into a scrapbook. It very quickly followed that I discovered how truly amazing fans of this era are. I was astounded by how talented, creative and hilarious these 1D fans were. I’d never seen fan art before, or read fan fiction or seen a twitter hashtag take off. It made me think that I may have misjudged the Backstreet Boys and Nsync fans I’d known when I was a teenager. And I started to think that I’d like to see a film that gave boyband fans a voice, away from judgment and ridicule. I didn’t feel like I’d ever seen them treated that way.

Patty: What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a creator and how does your work reflect some of these attributes?

Jessica: Ha ha, this is a great question! I think you have to be a little bit insane to be a filmmaker, or probably to be any creative person trying to make a living as an artist. Finding that balance between sanity and insanity is challenging for sure. I think what is key for me is deeply loving the projects I work on. You are stuck with them for so long and you have to constantly defend them and hype them up. It really helps if the love you feel is real, to put it mildly. You have to believe in yourself and your ideas, even if those around you are implying or even outright stating that you shouldn’t.

I also think that finding collaborators who share a common vision and drive is so important. This can be very hard to find, but so worthwhile for those moments when you feel that you’re a part of a cohesive and inspiring team. Documentary teams are very small and intimate so it’s essential to find people who have different but complimentary skills to your own.

Patty: What kind of research did you have to do for this documentary and how is this different from others you may have worked on before?

Jessica: Researching for this film was so much fun! Sometimes too fun – and the lines between work and play were easily blurred. I lost track of how many times I tried to convince Rita, the producer, that scrolling through tumblr and instagram were not just important, but absolutely critical activities. But arguably they were; we found some of our key interview subjects online!

Beyond delving into boyband history starting from The Beatles to today, I also researched a lot about the history and evolution of pop music, our physiological reactions to music and the teenage brain. We interviewed a wide range of people in the first year of making the film – musicians, psychologists, neurologists – even former boyband members! The film evolved a lot over the years we were filming, which was a very different experience for me. It was often challenging, wanting things to move along faster, but also a blessing to have had such a large amount of time to research, explore and grow with the characters.

Patty: How did you decide which Boy Bands to cover and which Fangirls to interview?

Jessica: In my very early plans and ideas for the film I wanted to cover as many boybands and as many different kinds of fans as possible. However I realized what was at the heart of this project was a desire to demystify the boyband fan, to allow audiences access to a kind of person who routinely gets judged in a negative light or simply dismissed. I decided to focus instead on a key group of fans that were smart, honest and open and had had a wide range of experiences. All that mattered to me was that their bands were different and that they were from different generations.

It’s been very rewarding to have audience members communicate how much they connect with the stories in the film, whether their particular boyband was focused on or not. Even more rewarding is when fans of entirely different things can see themselves in these women – we’ve had horror movie fans, heavy metal music fans and fantasy novel fans all feel a deep sense of connection with these stories.

Patty: Love how diverse the documentary is and that it spans multiple eras. Was this a conscious decision during the process or was this something that developed organically?

Jessica: Yes this was something that was very important to me. Because I came to boyband fandom later in life, I had a distinct feeling of having missed out on what had come before. I had so many questions for fans of different generations. I wanted to explore how being a fan may have shifted and evolved over the last 50 years and also if being a young woman had changed. I think the findings were really surprising.

Patty: How long did this project take and when/where will this be released?

Jessica: We started filming this project in 2013 and followed the key characters for a number of years. The film had its world premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto in 2018 and has spent the last year traveling to film festivals all around the world. It will be released onto various US digital streaming platforms from September 17th 2019 (Amazon, InDemand, DirecTV, AT & T, FlixFling, Vudu, FANDANGO, Sling/Dish).

Patty: What are you a fan of and for how long? Are Boy Bands your passion too or is it something else entirely?

Jessica: I’d say I’m a fan of boyband fans even more than the actual boybands themselves. But a large part of my heart will always belong to One Direction, as they were the catalyst for this journey and the reason I got to meet so many incredible people and work with such a wonderful team. I’m holding out for the reunion tour… I’m thinking maybe 2030? 😉

Patty: What makes you laugh?

Jessica: I am still feeling all the good feelings from watching the first season of Pen15 earlier this year. I ADORED it. I also love watching Broad City re-runs. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are absolute geniuses.

Patty: How would you describe yourself and your creative process?

Jessica: I’m both focused and easily distracted. So many things in the world fascinate me. I feel like documentary filmmaking gives me permission to sit back and observe, and that’s one of my favourite states to be in. I like to give my creative process a lot of flexibility. I find if I get too fixed on one idea or one way of doing things it closes the door to opportunities, and a great thrill about making documentaries is all the unexpected things that can happen along the way.

Patty: Anything else you would like to share?

Jessica: As mentioned previously, the film will be released on digital platforms (Amazon, iTunes, DirecTV, AT&T, FlixFing, InDemand, Vudu, FANDANGO, Sling/Dish) on Sept. 17th. Find out more about this release through the following links:

I Used To Be Normal Madman Films Page/
Rotton Tomatoes

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