Meet G.R. Holton, US Award-Winning Science Fiction Author

read-tellG.R. Holton, US award-winning science fiction author of YA novels, is visiting us today. Bob’s novella “Soleri” won the 2010 Best Science Fiction from, while his horror novel “Deep Screams” won in 2011, the year Bob also won’s “50 Best Writers You Should be Reading”. Bob also writes children’s picture book and screenplays.

Born in a little town in Massachusetts G. R. Holton served 4 ½ years as an Army Military Police officer until he had a severe breakdown caused by Bipolar. After a couple of failed marriages he found his angel who led him to Christ and changed his life. He appreciates those around him and loves life. We will chat with Bob about his soon-to-be-released novel “The Mob” and his writing life.


"I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through."

“I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through.”


Hello Bob, a warm welcome, a very happy wish on your birthday, and congratulations on your soon-to-be released novel THE MOB. Let’s chat about this one first. What is it about?

The Mob is a 1930s mobster story, a tale of a woman’s revenge for the death of her father. It is a new novel and screenplay due out on June 1st, 2013.

Would you like to give readers a one-sentence synopsis?

A ten year old girl swears vengeance for her father’s murder by a young mobster.

Where will it be available?

The book will be available on my website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million, and most eBook sites.

What compelled you to write this one?

It is a collaboration work with Producer Marlene Mendoza. She had the idea of a woman wanting to become a singer and then marries into the mob. I thought it would be great to have it start out as a little girl losing her father to a gangster and then having her living for nothing but revenge.

What sets this one apart from the rest of your books? Is this a repeat or are there new excitements? 

This is an altogether out of the box for me. My other works are science fiction and fantasy. I loved the thought of the 1930s and gangsters. I grew up around an old Italian neighborhood where the mafia was known to be.

Tell us about the characters. Which actors would you choose to play these characters in a movie rendition? 

Well there is of course Antonio Capresi, the husband of Maria. I would love to see someone like Leonardo DiCaprio. Maria the vengeful wife… Hmmm…  Jessica Biel comes to mind first.

Why is this a must read?

Not only is this a story of a woman losing her father, but it is about the depths she would go to make his killer pay and include anyone that gets in her way.

When is the planned release?

Tell us your latest news. The book is now in final edit and is slated for release by World Castle Publishing around mid-June.

Coming soon

Coming soon

Sample paragraph, please?

Once they landed in Cozumel, Antonio took her straight to the room. Maria unpacked the suitcases while Antonio stood out on the balcony smoking a cigar and drinking a glass of Scotch from their in-room bar. She then went out on the balcony and joined her husband.

“Antonio, do me a favor and pour me a glass of champagne?”

“Sure doll, but do you want to drink before we go to supper?”

“Yeah…we are celebrating, aren’t we?”

“You got me there. One sec and I will get it.” Antonio said as he turned and faced her. He looked deeply into her eyes, took her face in his hands, and kissed her passionately. Maria returned the kiss as she had many times before.

Antonio opened a bottle of champagne and poured them both a glass. Returning to Maria on the balcony, he handed one of the drinks to her. “Maria, a toast. To us—may we have many beautiful years together, and love as long as time itself.”

“Cheers,” Maria said, placing the glass to her lips.

“Okay, enough with the drinks. I hope you are hungry, because I made reservations at the most renowned five star restaurant in the area.”

“I am ready to eat. Can I go freshen up my makeup?”

“Sure dollface, you have plenty of time. Go do your thing and then we will go.”

Maria went to the bathroom and stared into the mirror. She knew what this was all leading up to, and it almost made her want to vomit, but she was locked in. There was no turning back now. She had to play it through no matter what it took. She fixed her makeup, and then the two of them went downstairs to the front of the hotel. There they took a horse drawn surrey around town before stopping at a beautiful restaurant called Sammy’s Place.

After they had dinner they went dancing, and Maria had a few drinks. In fact, she had planned to get a little tipsy, because she knew she could never handle what was to come if she was sober.



White Magic, Black Magic, Ogres, Trolls, Dragon’s, and Fantasy galoreWould you like to tell us about Dragon’s Bow too?
Two sisters both seek the power of a fabled bow to change their lives, but for different reasons.

How real are your characters?

I like to consider my characters as real people in my head. They are often made after people I know and not just by name. I add their character also.

How long did it take you to write Dragon’s Bow?

My mentor has a name for me… “the machine”. I can sit and write 5,000 to 8,000 at a time if the day is good. But usually I average about 3,000 a day. This book took me just under two months to write.

How did you come up with the title?

Actually like most of my work it came to me in a dream. I was walking in a cave and found the bow and as soon as I picked it up it began to glow and the dragon that protected it came around corner. I woke up at that point and came out and started to write.

What is your favorite paragraph in Dragon’s Bow?

It is the poem that my wife and I came up with to locate the bow: Above the altar the wall shall be the secret of the wall to see. The holder of the heart must own, and be placed upon the wizard’s stone.

When did you first know you just had to write?

Writing was never a thought for me until I met my mentor Derek Milton, a movie director/screenwriter. He let me read his work and I knew at that point I had to try. It became the best therapy I could ever do.

Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

Ray Bradbury is one of the biggest. There is something about his style that just forces me to read further. When I read Fahrenheit 451 I couldn’t believe the way he put me in that story.
What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

Well I am a disabled veteran. I said earlier that writing was therapy. I suffer from severe Bipolar disorder and can’t work around people. But with writing I can escape the real world and immerse myself into the worlds I am creating.

Who gives you the most encouragement? Why is that important to you?

I get my biggest encouragement from my Mom who lives with me and my wife. She is always asking me about my stories and telling me that I need to write when I am depressed or my manic side is getting the best of me.

How do you see writing Bob? And why?  

Writing is now my career. I love sitting and creating new worlds or new characters. It is either that or I go back to playing Farmville… I don’t think so…

How much do you have in common with your protag? 

I am nothing like my protags. They are usually very heroic, outgoing, and straight forward types. I am happy in my little house and to have my back to the wall whenever we go out to eat.

What are your hobbies?

I do a little bit of Fishing but other than that I play angry birds usually as a way to escape writer’s block. But that is going to change. I just found out I have congestive heart failure and need to make my hobby exercising.
When do you find the time to write?

Being disabled I am lucky I guess that I can write anytime that the people in my head want to talk. I usually do most of my writing in the late afternoon and evening. I am not a morning person.

Tell us a bit about who and what matters to you.

I am a fifty-year-old happily married man with three absolutely fantastic children, two cool step-children, and three of the most beautiful little granddaughters you could find. My granddaughters mean the world to me; though they are far away they are always in my heart.

How has your published work influenced others and their attitude towards you?

My family can’t believe that I have become a writer. They support me and always want to be characters in my work. People treat me so nice when they hear that I am a published author and that I have won awards for it.

What one thing is important for your audience to know about you? Why?

I am an award-winning author and I am very proud of that. I won the 2010 Books and’s Best Science Fiction for my book “Soleri” and again in 2011 for “Deep Screams”. I was also named as one of the “2011 Best Authors you Should be Reading” by The Author’s I do the best I can at writing good stories people will like.

Any tips for us on reading and writing?

Yes… I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through.

Thank you so much for your time Bob, and I hope you will win many more awards. Best wishes for all of your books!

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting R.G. Holton. Come check out his website and follow his updates on

Click on the book covers in this interview for the books’ Amazon links.




Soleri: Three teens are teleported to another galaxy to help the aliens turn on a defense shield.



Deep Screams 100



Deep Screams: Horror and Death abound as a Space Station searches for a new Earth.



GuardiansAlliance 100



Guardian’s Alliance: A Science Fiction Space Opera where nine elite fighters brought together to protect the Heledrium Galaxy.



Click cover for Amazon US



SQUAZLES!: Teach your child with this picture book how not to judge others by appearance alone.




And here are my mini reviews of Soleri and Dargon’s Bow:


 SOLERI, reviewed by Ia Uaro 

Title: Soleri
Author: G.R. Holton
ISBN: 978-1938243707
Wesley, the son of an electronic engineer, builds a robot. When he uses Dad’s new transducer chip, he, together with his sister Macy, her best friend Ashley, and their dog Poston are accidentally teleported to an alien planet.  This planet called Soleri, and the Solerians are slaves of their cruel neighbours the Tojinians, who force them to grow food.  The Solerian leader informs the teen about an imminent attack from the Tojinians and he needs to activate his defense shield. However the shield controller, which will also needed to help the teens return to earth, is deep within the catacombs of Soleri and is under the control of the Tojinian guards.
Einstein once said that if you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it enough. G.R. Holton clearly shows a fantastic imagination in creating a brand-new planet and its inhabitants, and he knows how to explain it simply with just the right amount of fascinating details as the story flows.
Soleri is a steampunk science fiction peopled with likeable characters and filled with lively dialogues and suspenseful obstacles. Highly entertaining and moving, this is a book for readers of all ages.


DRAGON’S BOW, reviewed by Ia Uaro
Title: Dragon’s Bow
Author: G.R. Holton
ISBN: 978-1938243691
Inventive author G.R. Holton creates horrible creatures and beautiful humans in the island Kratonin and its surrounding fantasyland, and weaves fun interaction among them as he rolls out an exciting plot of white magic clashing with dark magic.
Evil Malahan plots to deceive the white-witch Queen of Kratonin in order to obtain a powerful offspring from her, and twin sisters Adria and Audra are born as the results of this mix black magic and white magic. Audra is determined to follow their father’s evil ways and conquer the world, while her twin is determined to cleanse her sister’s dark soul.
Trust Holton’s ability to give young readers an entertaining fun-pack action adventure and to throw in moral values without shoving it down their throats. The twins’ training and dangerous challenges are detailed with excellent imagination, as always, and thoroughly thought-out.



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Meet Carlyle Labuschagne, author of Young Adult urban fantasy.

Read & Tell





My guest today is urban-fantasy author Carlyle Labuschagne, a firm believer in YA saves!  This South African PR and Marketing Manager holds a diploma in creative writing through the writing school at Collage SA.


Carlyle Labuschagne, South African author of urban-fantasy novel The Broken Destiny, voted #3 in Goodreads Debut list 2012

Carlyle Labuschagne, South African author of Young Adult urban-fantasy:
” My goal as an author is to touch people’s lives
and help others love their differences and one another.”


Carlyle is working her way into the hearts of international readers. Her debut novel “The Broken Destiny” was voted #3 on the Goodreads Debut list for 2012. Today, she has agreed to chat with me about its sequel, which is due to be released later this year .

Before we start, let’s visit the first novel for a bit to help readers who are yet unfamiliar with The Broken series.


Book One in The Broken series: The Broken Destiny 


All my life, I had searched for something, something I thought I ought to be. I felt like I was living someone else’s life, waiting for the awakening of my own. I felt like an empty shell burning for life. That was, until the day I lay dying in the prince’s chambers. I could no longer feel the pain from the tear in my gut. The only sensation left was a hollowed-out feeling that I had made a huge mistake in assuming that taking my own life, would have stopped the ancestors’ spirit from raging out. I had given up. I didn’t want to see myself killing the ones I loved. I was the Chosen one, but I threw it all away for what I thought would save a life. Could you end a life to save a life? I did, and I have regretted it ever since. I realized then that things like me are not meant to exist. What had been missing my whole life? It was I. To find myself, I had to lose myself in the worst possible way. The consequences of my actions became the legend of The Broken.


The Broken Destiny , YA novel by Carlyle Labuschange, South African urban-fantasy author. This is the first book in The Broken series. "The Broken" is genetically enhanced human race. They live with other races in planet Poseidon after the destruction of the earth.

The Broken Destiny, urban-fantasy YA novel
by South African author Carlyle Labuschange. This first book in The Broken series was voted #3 in Goodreads Debut list 2012 .
“The Broken” is genetically enhanced human race. They live with other races in planet Poseidon after the destruction of the earth.


The Setting

Poseidon, a complex dystopian planet where humans migrate to after the earth was destroyed. Beautiful, mysterious, exotic. The Council rules Poseidon’s inhabitants the humans, Minoans, and Zulus races.



“The Broken” is a race of genetically enhanced humans. 16-year-old Ava, third generation of The Broken, knows much more, and feels much more than she is allowed to. When she starts questioning her origins and the destruction of Earth, things go horribly wrong for her. She is saved by a Minoan boy from an attempted kidnapping on her life–the perpetrators are evil Zulus and their dark ancient magic. Humans and Minoans are forbidden to interact with each other, and as she is taken back to their village she finds out why–they know of her, her kind and her destiny to save a dying race. Ava must rid them from the Council’s ruling and free the galaxy of The Shadow. Her destiny is to rise above the fall, because within her soul is the key to an archaic weapon that has been missing in the mix of a genetic code since the time of the ancients. As the prophecy unfolds she learns of her bloodline–a bloodline that makes her less human than she could ever have imagined. She alone has the power to destroy or save, but the mind-shift is a horrible thing. Ava will become what she hates to save the ones she loves. Beaten, poisoned, possessed and betrayed by her own emotions, she has no choice but to rise above it all… for that is her Destiny. 



16-year-old Ava discovers her destiny is to save a dying race.
Beaten, poisoned, possessed —and betrayed by her own emotions,
she has no choice but to rise above it all.


Now let’s meet the fabulous author and check out the sequel.

Hello Carlyle, thank you for stopping by. What is the book title of Book Two?

Evanescent A Broken Novel

Would you please give our readers a one-sentence synopsis of Evanescent?

Her fall has just begun and only HIS touch can save her from the mind-shift that could destroy it all.

Where do you get your inspiration for this sequel? Did you base the sequel on what readers like from the first book or your own inspiration? 

I knew with my first book it was going to be a series. Sequel is a bit of what my imagination had in mind for me and a dash of what my readers liked from book one.

Tell us about the characters. Which actors would you choose to play these characters in a movie rendition?

I have a vast cast, form Zulu’s to Ancient Minoans and then the genetically enhanced kind. Please visit my Pinterest board.

What sets Evanescent apart from your first book? Is this a repeat or are there new excitements?

This book is very very different from book one. Its an entire new world!

Why is this a must read?
I’ve incorporated so many hard hitting issues that teenagers and most people crave for closure, I just did it in a creative way:

-Love in all its forms. Of one’s self , the good and the bad.

-Differences between races and people.

-The journey, the struggle, anger, betrayal, disappointment, rape, suicide, murder.

-Of believing in one’s self.

-Fighting to make your own destiny.

Sample paragraph, please?

It had been written many times over, been portrayed in so many Earth movies. Those flashes that pass through you before you die. But to me, it was not my life I was leaving behind, it was the choices I had made which had brought me to this moment, the moment before the reckoning. The shift had caused a rift within me. When the first blood-shift came, it tore through flesh and blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart with its honeyed seductive poison. It came with vicious intent, moving my thoughts, altering me forever. It had many ways out, and when it was released, there was nothing that could stop it. No one was safe when it entrapped me in its claws of foul lust. Crooked, damnable, depraved, destructive, hideous – your kind would call it many things. In my blood, runs the thing our kind call The Shadowing disease. It shadows over, and turns everything to its will. I, however, had the only antidote against the evil that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the spurs of a sweet darkness that clung on for dear life. I knew what I had to do; the desperation pulled my mind with the deep determination of a hungry predator. But, by the time the revelation lifted me from the dark dungeon of our bounds – it was too late.

When is the planned release?

Evanescent due for release late 2013 – between Oct and Nov.

And we’ll be looking forward to Evanescent. Now, would you like to share a bit about yourself? What are your hobbies?

I love to swim, fights for the trees, and I’m a food lover who is driven by passion. I also write for IU e-magazine—an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words.

What matters the most to you?

The drive behind my author career is healing through words. My goal as an author is to touch people’s lives and help others love their differences and one another.

Very commendable, Carlyle, my best wishes on that.

Want to share your latest news?

Latest news: The Broken Destiny just hit the local bookstores!

Congratulations! Good luck for The Broken Destiny, and thank you so much for visiting Carlyle—keep in touch!

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting Carlyle. Follow her on Twitter @CarlyleL , Goodreads, Facebook, and check out her website, blog and book trailer. Her book The Broken Destiny is available from Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

And of course, here’s my review of the first book:


The Broken Destiny, reviewed by Ia Uaro


Author: Carlyle Labuschagne

ISBN: 978-1612048727 (paperback),  ASIN: B009I3TE9S (eBook)


“The Broken” is a race of genetically enhanced humans, survivors of the destroyed earth who have migrated to Poseidon, an exotic dystopian planet. Three races cohabit this new planet: the Broken (humans), the Minoans, the Zulus—but strict apartheid segregation rules forbid them to interact. Poseidon is ruled by The Council. It is here 16-year-old Ava, third generation of The Broken, questions her existence, challenges the boundaries and gets into trouble.

Meanwhile some evil Zulus want to take over the planet for sinister purposes and they want Ava because she alone has the key to save the planet—whether she is willing or not. Ava learns more about herself after being abducted by the Zulus and saved by the Minoans. Apparently, she is The Chosen One. She has been predestined to be the planet’s Savior.

And her path isn’t easy. It involves internal and external struggles—and boys and black magic and various dangers. Dealing with these complex issues, the headstrong girl reluctantly journeys from being a self-absorbed teen to become a responsible savior. Yeah, this part reminds me of a book from the 80s about a reluctant Jesus who’d rather stick with his day job as a mechanic instead of becoming the Savior as predestined, if only he had a choice. However, despite traces of influences from the South African local politics and a rigid salvation dogma, the talented and imaginative Carlyle Labuschagne has invented a highly original new world packed with actions and tangled with intrigues that is sure to delight fans of dystopian fantasy.

THE BROKEN DESTINY is a complex weave of dystopian science fiction and urban fantasy, paranormal, mystery, and YA romance with mild sexual references. An entertaining coming-of-age novel with message.



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Meet Sue-Ellen Holmes—Neuroscientist and Science Fiction Author


read & tell






Sue-Ellen Holmes, Australian author of several science-fiction and urban-fantasy novels for young adults is with us today. Sue is different from most authors. She is very shy, humble, but she writes about outspoken, passionate heroines who would fight for justice.


SueEllen Holmes, Australian author of best dystopian Young Adult novels

Sue-Ellen Holmes, Australian author of best dystopian and urban fantasy Young Adult novels


Hello Sue, lovely to have a neighbour stopping by J It was so entertaining your book BRINK. Would you be so kind to give readers its one-sentence synopsis?

In the near future where the intellect rules and science offers civilisation’s only salvation, a mad-man bio-terrorist is determined to purge the planet of its human stain and the only one standing in his way is defiant hyper-immune girl called Io, whose ridiculed physical gifts may just give her the upper fist.

The setting of Brink: Maverick Institute of Advance Thought, in the near future.

The setting of Brink: Maverick Institute of Advance Thought, in the near future.


How real are your characters?

Well it’s really important to create characters with the full range of human emotions, complexity and depth, but whether I succeed or not is for the reader to judge. Often what’s in your head is not always transcribed well on the page no matter how hard you try because real people are actually quite confusing and their motivations are often obscure. I have a Psych degree, but as in life, I find that’s no help at all. As you can tell, I’m good at nailing confusion!

You’re good at building the characters! Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’m a Neuroscientist, so many aspects of the physical world fascinate me. If I had my time over, I think I’d specialise in bacteria and viruses—they’re such perfectly nasty little suckers. So, it was only natural that I wrote about something I’m very interested in. Also, many people write about catastrophe in retrospect and I thought it would be fun to see an extinction event as it unfolds. BRINK was actually the first full length novel I attempted and it’s ten years old now. Unfortunately, if I’d had the skills back then to clean up the story and edit it to a higher standard, I might have beaten the current slew of dystopian/post-apocalyptics flooding the market. Still, despite the poor timing, it’s a far better story now that I’ve practiced and schooled myself in the art of writing and I’m grateful for the delay.


Brink by SueEllen Holmes: a mad-man bio-terrorist is determined to purge the planet of its human stain and the only one standing in his way is defiant hyper-immune girl called Io, whose ridiculed physical gifts may just give her the upper fist.

Brink by SueEllen Holmes: a mad-man bio-terrorist is determined to purge the planet of its human stain and the only one standing in his way is defiant hyper-immune girl called Io, whose ridiculed physical gifts may just give her the upper fist.


The catastrophe is well detailed. When did you first know you just had to write?

I’ve been writing creatively since primary school—poetry and short stories—but didn’t attempt a full length novel until I was an adult. Now writing’s like breathing and I can’t imagine a day without it. I resent anything that interferes, such as mortgage-paying jobs and maintaining personal hygiene. All of my jobs involve either academic writing or educational writing, so I guess it’s always been deep in my bones.

How long did it take you to write Brink?

The writing process is very quick for me, it’s the editing and fine tuning that takes a long time. I finished an entire re-write of the first version of BRINK for a contest (ABNA 2011) in four frenzied days. It’s taken months since to fine-tune.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted a word that represented not only the visual image of teetering on a cliff, but also one that auditorily came to a screeching halt. I spent a long time messing around with crappy titles, until BRINK finally hit me.

What is your favourite phrase in Brink?

“They’ll come” because it encapsulates a particularly unexpected instance of treachery and provides a bit of a cliff-hanger in a book that is mostly stand-alone.


Coming soon... Click here to find out more about Sue's next novels

Coming soon… Click here to find out more about Sue’s next novels


Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

The list evolves, as there have been so many. I know it’s cliché for fantasy writers, but I love Tolkien or any author who can transport the reader to a place that, although utterly strange and unreal, seems likely (of course, J K Rowling). Dr Seuss is the earliest genius I remember encountering. Everything he’s done is just so gleeful, yet also imparts a subtle, valuable message. I read Dune when I was quite young and even though it necessitated a dictionary and periods of extensive confusion, I just loved the grand scope of that series, the tantalising possibility of it all. At the moment, I’m enjoying Laini Taylor and her exciting new spin on angel mythology. It sounds harsh, but I cherish any writer who can effortlessly keep me turning pages. Currently, I put so many potentially good YA stories down unread due to boredom and it’s such a shame.

What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

I’m a fairly solitary creature so the great stretches of time alone writing don’t bother me, as it does some people. Besides, I’m surrounded by the characters I conjure on the page. It’s when I’m forced to venture outside the comfortable sphere of my study, even in virtual realms that I find being an author testing. Discoverability is something I’ve struggled with and failed miserably to master—letting the target reader know you’re actually there. And reaching teens is not the easiest in reality, let alone across the world wide web. Plus, if you’re not determined to overcome the self-doubt, the lack of financial reward, the constant rejection and less than glowing opinions, forget about it. So in essence, real thick-skinned writers never give up!

But getting immersed in your writing is a wondrous adventure and a reward in itself, right? Who gives you the most encouragement? Why is that important to you?

Selling the odd book tends to give me an enduring high… My family, while not effusive in their encouragement, are stoically non-critical of my crazy dream to work full-time as an author. They weather the tears and gin-abuse with eye-rolling fortitude. My adorable  long-suffering husband no longer bothers to compete with the computer for attention and now sleeps with his surfboard. It doesn’t matter how much external validation you get, if you don’t ‘back’ yourself nothing anyone can say will make a difference—which is supremely ironic given this entire career choice is about the subjective opinion of others. Go figure…

Sounds rather like my long suffering, accepting family! What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

I’m attempting to work on completing the trilogies for each of the novels I’ve published on my website . Unfortunately, I’ve a few rather annoying jobs that eat up far too much time, so the endeavour is patchy at best. And I’m toiling to complete a space opera that is my own personal favourite, Able Unwilling.

You’re very creative  and courageous! Do you see writing as a career or distraction? Why?

A career, without doubt, because it’s the thing I most love doing (except in my pesky day jobs, which are the true distractions!). You know that old adage ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’? It’s true. Now, if I could just make enough/any money as an idle, gin-swilling, hammock-swinging writer…


Other books by SueEllen Holmes, now available. Click here to find out more about these books.

Other books by SueEllen Holmes, now available. Click here to find out more about these books.


And we can’t possibly give to readers something that we can’t love. How much do you have in common with your protag?

Io is head-strong, highly strung and anti-authoritarian, while I am as meek as a lamb. <I read this aloud and assorted family members were on the floor in tears of hilarity. I admit to being slightly miffed at the implication I am in any way oppositional. I am so not!> Okay, so maybe Io and I share some character traits. But she is also elegant and athletic, the opposite of clumsy old me (her abilities are wishful thinking on my part, perhaps).

I could see you when I was reading her 🙂      What are your hobbies?

Writing, painting, writing, running, writing, reading, writing, surfing (sort of, see comment above)… Oh, and that elusive past-time of doing absolutely nothing for a stretch longer than thirty seconds. Not to mention shamelessly embarrassing my adolescent children at every opportunity.

What is your other profession? When do you find the time to write?

I’m a Neuroscientist by trade, but am working as a monkey-slave running research for several sets of doctors at the moment. Squeezing time out of the day is the biggest challenge right now and writing is relegated to the weekend, much to my irritation. This means I’ve been working seven days a week now for two and a half years. My body is frozen in the seated position, which makes jogging particularly challenging (and fairly awkward).

Sue, come tell us a bit about who or what matters to you.

My husband and my children are the world. They provide me with that other essential ingredient in a life worth living: laughter (even if it’s often at my expense).

Wonderful family!  🙂  Now, how has your published work influenced others and their attitude towards you?

I’d have to say it’s barely made a ripple to the exchanges I have with others. In the beginning, I had too many friends apologising for ‘not getting around’ to reading my stuff, which just made everyone fidget and stare at the floor. Unless I morph into Stephanie Meyer overnight and people beg me for a profound sound-bite (and despite what people think of her technique, that woman is a brilliant example of connecting with her target audience. I’d take tips from her any day), I’ll be sticking to my ‘keep quiet and don’t startle the nervous/apathetic/guilty associate’ approach. Clearly, self-promotion is not my forte.

What one thing is important for your readers/audience to know about you? Why?

I work my bum off to avoid boring readers… I study television and movies to see how tension is maintained, strive to first and foremost write entertaining adventure stories where the protagonist struggles to prevail, much like everyday life, only bigger, harder and in much weirder places, usually with a generous helping of the supernatural or technology or my friend ‘the germ’. Boredom is the enemy of good story-telling.

Any tips for us on reading and/or writing?

If I were to offer tips on writing technique, the underlying inference seems to be that I am somehow an expert, which I do not feel is true. There is always something more to learn about writing. Reading good books is the best thing an aspiring writer can do—find examples that you love and try to discern why they push your buttons, what you admire. See if you can somehow emulate them with your very own twist. The best I can suggest is to keep writing and endure—never give-up on yourself. Oh, and remember when receiving criticism that planet earth would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things. Even Harry Potter got a one star now and then. So, have a laugh and go in search of a large gin to toast the honest effort.

What you’d like people to know about you apart from the questions above?

That I sing like a nightingale, am exceptional at ballet, have an IQ to rival Hawking and speak ancient Hebrew at parties just for the smart-arsed hell of it… I harbour a secret desire to be a dark avenger and right society’s wrongs ala Dexter Morgan, only a little less messy as I’m averse to doing housework. Well, Ia, you didn’t specify it had to be true (except for that last part)!

 Hahahahaha… you forget to mention your sense of humour!  

It’s been fun Sue, good luck with all these marvelous books, thanks again for coming!


Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting Sue. And now my review of BRINK, here it goes:


Book title: Brink

ASIN: B007DMWZXS, 306 pages

Author: Sue-Ellen Holmes


The year isn’t clear, but BRINK takes place in the future when science dominates our earth. This first book in the Maverick trilogy is the story of 17-year-old Io Calypso, originally of Maverick Institute of Advance Thought. Here intellectual brilliance and obedience are the most valued assets, but alas, rebellious Io is a freedom-craving girl with physical gifts and a penchant for rock climbing instead.

On the day Io gets into trouble for challenging Maverick’s constrictive rules, a mad bio-terrorist places humankind at the brink of extinction by permanently covering the land with hazardous pollution and deadly disease. To survive, Io and 14 other survivors must take refuge in a shielded subsurface pod, protected from harm. Io loses her entire family in the disaster, except her grandmother. Or so she believes as she grieves.

Concerns for her grandmother’s health cause Io to sneak back to Maverick, their former luxurious home, one year later. Unexpectedly, impossibly, she encounters a surprise survivor, and learns that the disaster which she had thought was an accident was actually a sabotage staged by a devious and dangerous enemy, and that more survivors exist. Is her beloved brother Iz among them?

Enter Io’s pod members, geniuses who have shielded the deviant girl from the truth for her own “good”. At the head is her bossy, crafty grandma; at her side is Wim—an over-protective friend; around her is an assortment of interesting characters who now must back Io as this tough girl embarks on her lethal mission to free Iz from the clutch of menacing evil.

BRINK is a gripping dystopian science fiction that will delight smarter readers. Io is of your typical teen-against-the-world variety, but she has an extra-ordinary immune system and splendid determination. Sue-Ellen Holmes plays the early events by flipping the present and the past back and forth. These frequent flips wouldn’t allow me to lose myself in the mood of the scenes at the beginning, but once the story flows Io’s adventures through dangers are carefully plotted and original, the catastrophe and treacherous grounds vividly detailed, the descriptions imaginative, and the narration at times chilling.




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