recently I had the pleasure of conducting an author interview with Kevin Ansbro. Kevin is the author of four books. One of them is a collection of short stories that truly delighted me. He is a master wordsmith and writes mostly in the magical realism genre. I have fallen in love with his books and have read all of them. What follows are the questions asked and Kevin’s wonderfully honest answers:

1. In your opinion, does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Hi, Glenda.
A mind filled with self-delusion is as much use to a writer as a chocolate teapot! I’m a firm believer that a writer learns more from constructive criticism than they do from artificial flattery.

2. Have you ever considered writing a book in another genre from your preferred one, maybe under a pseudonym?
If I did, my pseudonym would be a toss-up between Rooster Hipthrust and Lancelot Mustang!
I write in the magical realism genre and endeavour to weave something outlandish into the fabric of our real world while still making it seem believable. To write something that would appeal to the masses would be a whole lot easier, but where is the art in that? It’s like telling a gourmet restaurateur that he could make more money by taking on a McDonald’s franchise!  : )
I did, however, really enjoy dabbling in different genres in The Minotaur’s Son: & other wild tales.

 3. In your opinion, do you think a writer can be effective if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
In order to drag an unsuspecting reader through the gamut of emotions, the writer should themselves be able to draw upon their own life experiences. I love to elicit strong emotions in my readers, whether they hoot with laughter, sob uncontrollably, or want to throttle me because I’ve killed off their favourite character! My muse is altogether a restless genie, a conniving devil, a wanton mistress and a fairy godmother.

4. Did the publishing of your first book change your process of writing?
Absolutely! My first manuscript for Kinnara was made considerably leaner by the publishing editor, much to my chagrin (although I was guilty of hyperbole). I straightaway saw the sense of her advice and henceforth adopted a ‘less is more’ approach.

 5. Have you read a book that you considered to be under-appreciated by the masses?
I feel that Yann Martell’s Life of Pi often goes unappreciated. I read it in 2002, immediately after it had won the Man Booker Prize. I was wholly intrigued by the improbable premise of a boy sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger in the middle of an ocean, and was thereafter taken on an absorbing adventure. A clever book and a great read! 

6. Have you read a book that you considered to be overrated by the masses?
Too many to mention; especially nowadays, where the big publishers put their financial muscle into promoting humdrum books that create a whirlwind of undeserved hype. Sadly, the best authors are dead. My advice to everyone is to occasionally read novels that have stood the test of time if they truly crave excellence!  : )

7. What does literary success look like to you?
Success, for me, is the knowledge that I’ve taken my readers on a magic carpet ride around the world and beyond. Astonishingly, some even come back for more!

 8. How do you go about selecting the names of your characters?
I choose my characters’ names very carefully: their monikers should not only suit their nationality, but should also befit their personality. Charles Dickens was a master at this: how could Bill Sikes be anything but a brute? How could Scrooge be anything but an old miser?

 9. What was your hardest scene to write?
Without a doubt it was this: I included a rape scene in one of my books (The Fish that Climbed a Tree). It served to reinforce the inhumanity of one of the bad guys (Yuri Voloshyn), but wasn’t done gratuitously and the reader is spared any unnecessary detail. I ran it by my wife, as it weighed heavy on my mind, but she said it was instrumental in accentuating the clear and present danger that this thug posed.

10. What was your favorite book as a child?
It depends at which age:
The first books to enthral me were Aesop’s Fables. I couldn’t get enough of them as a little kid and their allegorical quintessence has remained a part of my authorial psyche ever since. Aged ten, I read a book titled Elidor, by Alan Garner (kids stumbling into a dark parallel universe). Not long after, I fell in love with Gerald Durrell’s Corfu trilogy. His descriptive writing instantly beguiled me and I’m still a huge fan.

11.  If you could ‘live’ inside a fictional story, which would it be and why?
A wonderful question, Glenda! I was asked something similar by Goodreads a while back, so I’ll replicate my answer here:
Blinged-up with the most spectacular wings in the cosmos, I would swoop into the pages of Les Misérables at the point before Jean Valjean is forced to steal a loaf of bread to feed his sister and her starving children.
I would ask that he ignore my freakish appearance and accept my no-strings offer of a great deal of money.
Then, safe in the knowledge that I have saved a good man from a great deal of hardship, I would return to the 21st century for a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.  : )

Thank you for inviting me to take part in this author interview, Glenda. I loved your questions (not a clichéd one among them) and had a blast answering them!  
Warmest regards and happy reading!

I want to thank Kevin for allowing me to conduct this interview and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did. Kevin is a wonderful person, with a great sense of humor that comes across in his books. He lives in Norwich with his lovely wife, Julie. They love to travel and have been many places. Kevin is also a foodie and loves fine dining.



It is Sunday afternoon here in Arizona. The weather is beautiful and I really should be out doing things. But, I prefer to stay in, read and ponder things. I turn to my computer to give me ideas that I would probably never think of, but they do deserve some thought.

Sometimes asking ourselves the right questions can do a lot to help us see life from a whole different perspective.

There are some questions that can be life-changing, if we raise them, contemplate on them, and try to answer them. This, however, can be achieved only if we ask those questions with full honesty.

Here are a few such questions to ponder:

I have answered some but must, well, you know, ponder most!!

  • If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
  • If you had the opportunity to be different, what would you change about yourself?
    • I would be less judgmental and more open to others opinions, even if I didn’t agree with them
  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  • If you could choose to live anywhere in the world, where would you prefer to live?
    • England at the moment, but that is subject to change as I read more books about far away places
  • If you could commit any crime and get away with it, what would you do?
  • What would you do if you found the wallet of your next door neighbor who you hated?
    • I would return it to him. Crime never pays.
  • If you could have any car you wanted, which car would you choose? Would it be practical or flashy?
    • I would purchase a Jeep Rubicon Wrangler in either bright red or chartreuse. I have a Jeep Renegade now and have had Jeeps before. Good reliable automobiles.
    • If you could be famous (a household name), what would you like to be famous for?
      • Writing a book.
  • If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
    • Enough money to travel extensively.
  • If you could do any job, what would you like it to be?
    • Own or manage a book store
  • If you were asked to speak to a graduating class, what would you say?
  • If you were given a choice between being given great wisdom or great wealth, which would you choose?
    • Great wealth. Sorry, I’m shallow I suppose.
  • If you were given the opportunity to be born again, how would you change how you lived?
  • If you were walking through the forest and you suddenly saw a tiger, what would you do?
    • Stand very still and hope he didn’t eat me.
  • If you were told you had a terminal illness and had six months to live. What three things would be most important for you to do?
    • Spend time with my loved ones.
  • f you could say a sentence which the whole world could hear, what would you say?
  • If you were given a choice to live as long as you want, how long would you like to live?
  • If you could only see three people for the rest of your life, who would they be?
    • This is the easiest. My two wonderful sons and my soul mate.

Here are five of just some things that I don’t think about often, but when I do, I am puzzled. The English language is a very hard language to master by someone trying to master it as a second language. I believe it. I’m going to list a few things that make me think. Some I have seen before over the years and others are new to me. I found them interesting.


     Before your head hits the pillow at night, you have to set your alarm to go off at a certain time. But aren’t you really telling it to turn on at a certain time, so that it wakes you up? This is one of the unanswerable questions about life that might not matter much, but makes you think.


  Pathological liars never really tell the truth, so it’s hard to believe a word that comes out of their mouths. So if they claim they’re a pathological liar, are they being honest for once?


Synonyms are words that have the same meaning as another word. It would be ironic if ‘synonym’ did not have a synonym, but no words come to mind.


This question is a hypothetical one, which is what makes it so ironic. You can’t imagine a world without hypothetical situations unless you’re thinking about a hypothetical situation.

That’s all of today. I’m sure I’ll find some other things to sit and waste time thinking about when I’m not reading.
Until next time……….farewell!!!!



Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

I ran across an article earlier that had to do with introverts. Since I am an introvert, I stopped to read it. It gave twenty-six (26) books that introverts might enjoy. I have read a couple of them and I am going to add another one or two to my ever-expanding TBR list. However, my list will outlive me, I have no doubt. I’m in the process of writing a post about my goals as far as book reading goes, during 2020. I’m aiming high and hope I can live up to.
Please check out this article. You can find it here. You will probably find some you have read and add to your list as well
There is also a quiz on this site that you can take to determine to what degree and what kind of introvert or extrovert you are.

I have listed below six of the books from this list that either caught my eye, I have read, or I’m planning to read. There are twenty more to check out. It’s a fun list to look at.


It’s 1987, and June Elbus has lost her best friend in the world, her uncle Finn. June is 14, and reserved in a way her sister, Greta, will never understand. They used to be so close, but now, the only comfort June can find is in the woods, where she is free to think and be alone without the painful eyes of other people on her. As June finds out more about her uncle, and comes to learn more about herself, her family, and the world itself. This perfectly quiet novel will make any shy or introverted person feel immediately understood.

I have not read this book, however I find the synopsis above to be tempting. Sometimes when I was a child, after I lost my grandmother who died at 96, I would go off in the woods next to our house with just my dog, Lucky, and roam for hours. If I found a cleared spot or got tired, I would stop to rest. I had all I needed. My lunch, my dog, and a book. I may add this to my list. Said list is already so long, it will undoubtedly outlive me. This book is available at Amazon


It’s 2044, and the world is falling apart. Ernest Cline’s bestselling first novel tells the story of Wade Watts, a teenager who has almost completely removed himself from reality in order to pursue an “Easter Egg” within a video game to win a billion dollar prize. Wade, and the rest of the world, would rather communicate via virtual reality than actual reality, they feel more themselves tucked away, a feeling most introverts know all too well.

I’m reading this book now (October 30, 2019). I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it has been on my TBR list for a very long time. I checked Goodreads for reviews and came away with many 5* reviews. A good many, from long-time friends of mine whose opinion I trust. So, I have high hopes for this one. This book may be found at Amazon


Bernadette might be the ultimate introvert in literature. She would rather disappear from her daughter’s life all together than take a trip to Antarctica, because other people will be there. While we’ve surely all felt this way at one time or another, Bernadette takes introversion and dislike of crowds to an entirely new, hilarious level.

This is another book that has been on my TBR list for a couple of years now. It will go on my list of goals for 2020. Be on the lookout for a separate post later in the year.

It really sounds good. While I am an introvert, I don’t think that I would risk losing contact with one of my children rather than go anyplace undesirable to me. I would probably just “suck it up” and be miserable. I’m looking forward to reading this book. This title can be purchased from Amazon

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

Susan Cain takes a scientific look at introverts, and the quiet power they hold, even in a society that seems to grow louder and louder every day. A must read for any and all introverts who could use a little empowerment every now and then.

I have read this book and it was an epiphany to me. It’s a must if you’re the least bit curious about introverts and extraverts and the difference between the two. I highly recommend reading this. You can find it here.


It wouldn’t be a list about being an introvert without this one. Stephen Chbosky (literally) wrote the book on it. There’s a good chance you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower at some point in high school and related so well to Charlie that you couldn’t quite believe it. He’s quiet, he just wants to read his books, go to school, and make things work, and, sometimes, he just can’t put those things into words. Been there, felt that.

I have read this book many years ago. It described exactly how I felt as a teenager in high school. I was a big geek, as I am now, and would rather read than socialize. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, young or old for either a reminder of their teenage years, or to make them feel better to know that lots of people go through this to some degree.
Find it here . A movie was also made several years ago. Find it here


The Goldfinch features the ultimate dynamic: the introverted, shy friend joined by the incredibly spunky, outgoing best friend. Tartt’s writing has so much to it, but one of the best parts by far is the friendship between Theo and Boris. An introvert brought out of his shell and pushed by an extroverted friend is something all introverts have experienced at least once!

This is in my top five favorite books for me in 2019. It was absolutely wonderful. Donna Tartt is a terrific author and I have read several of her books. Unfortunately, I could not find a website dedicated to her. You can find out more about her from You can find the book at Amazon. The Goldfinch was a Pulitzer Price Winner for fiction in 2014. A movie came out in 2019. I did not get a chance to see it. I’m hoping it will hit Netflix sooner than later. It is fantastic and I would recommend it to all.

So that’s it folks. I hope you look over the entire list and maybe you will pick up one or two that you must read. I know I did.