Radio Interview!


I recently had the wonderful experience of sitting for an interview with Kaye McIntyre of Kansas Public Radio; the subject was my novel A Nest of Hornets!

On September 3rd Kaye’s Program aired, featuring interviews with 2017 Kansas Notable Book Authors. My segment was certainly not the best; in fact my “MUST READ” list has expanded significantly after listening to the show. Nevertheless, it was an honor to air on KPR.

Here is a link to the program: KPR Presents!

(I come in at around minute 41)


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Character Interview: Kate Scott

January 1777; Chatham, NJ. After my interview with Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Scott of the New Jersey Militia, I had the opportunity to speak with his wife, Kate, who also appears in the novel A Nest of Hornets. Here are my questions and her responses:

Robert Krenzel: Mrs. Scott, please tell us a little about your background.

Kate Scott: Please, Dear, call me Kate. What should I say? I am from New York City. I was born there in 1753, as Katherine Vogels. I was quite happy there until my family moved to that little backwater in New Jersey called New Brunswick. I made the best of it, I suppose, but there was so little for an ambitious young girl to do! Fortunately we were not so far as to preclude occasional visits to New York for culture and shopping.

RK: You are not happy here in New Jersey?

KS: I am happiest where there is society and culture. Frankly, I would prefer London or Paris, but if we must be on this Continent, I would prefer New York; or perhaps Boston or Philadelphia. And while New Brunswick was bad, this place we are in now is just beastly! We might as well all be wearing animal skins and dancing around a fire.

RK: As you implied you currently reside in Chatham, but used to be in New Brunswick. As I understand it from your husband enemy troops are now quartered in your New Brunswick estate, and you all fled for your lives. Can you tell me more about that?

KS: Fortunes of war, I suppose. I would certainly not say I fled for my life, though. I think Daniel would have preferred to fight to the death in our front door; I don’t know how well it would have gone for me under those circumstances, so I persuaded him to remove us somewhere away from the fighting. In retrospect, perhaps I should have let him fight it out.

RK: Your husband indicated you have a happy marriage. You must feel very fortunate.

KS: [with raised eyebrows] Oh, of course. What lady would not consider herself blessed to be married to such a man?

RK: He is something of a hero, is he not?

KS: I suppose so. He is certainly committed to his cause.

RK: He has a reputation for ferocity; is there a hidden side of him at home that his troops would be surprised to see?

KS: [smiling enigmatically] At home he is like a puppy in my lap.

RK: How did you meet?

KS: My father arranged it. Daniel came from a well-to-do family with reasonable connections. It was a good match.

RK: You recently had a chance to meet a young Continental officer named Lieutenant Gideon Hawke, who is of interest to my readers. What can you tell us about him?

KS: He is such a delightful young man! He is very eager to please, which I like in men, and very handsome. He seems a bit naïve in social settings, but I have no doubt he is a fearsome on the battlefield as his reputation would suggest.

RK: Have you noted any tension between him and your husband?

KS: There is tension between everyone and my husband. I think dear Gideon is very idealistic. My husband is more pragmatic. I can see how that would lead to the occasional difference of opinion, don’t you?

RK: Quite; especially in a time like this when politics and war have torn families apart. Having been through so much, what words of wisdom would you offer to young ladies in these trying times?

KS: The same advice I offer all young ladies: “Marry a handsome man and you marry trouble.” Those are words to live by.

RK: Yes…well…I was referring to the war. Are you saying that in spite of the war everything revolves around marriage?

KS: What I am saying…and please don’t take me for a hopeless romantic…is that I am a practical woman. I would say that whom she marries is very important for determining how comfortable a young lady will be, and how many options she will have available, especially in times such as these.

RK: I see. The current war has been hard on New Jersey and its population; are you hopeful for the future?

KS: I am absolutely certain I will find a way to manage.

RK: What do you think it will take to heal the wounds left by this war?

KS: I suppose each person will have to find her own way. I will certainly find mine.

RK: Do you think America will win its independence?

KS: I have no idea. The war is not a particular concern of mine, aside from how it affects me directly. I can’t say I care one way or another about the cause.

RK: Kate, thank you very much for your time. This has been truly…informative.

KS: [Placing a hand on my arm] It has been delightful!

You can learn more about Kate Scott in Gideon Hawke #3, A Nest of Hornets!

A Nest of Hornets on Amazon:

Author Interview: P. Wish

I recently had the opportunity to interview author and blogger P. Wish. Here are my questions with her responses:

You wrote your first “official novel” when you were seven years old; tell us how that came about.

P-minI’ve always loved to write. I used to read a lot of fantasy when I was seven. I started writing my own fantasy story in a diary. I wrote one page per day. Over time, it became a book.

On your blog you recommend aspiring writers act out what their characters experience; what has doing so done to enhance your writing? Has that led you into any awkward or memorable situations?

My characters have personalities that are very different from mine. 3colorsHowever, I always manage to find something in common between us. I use that as the starting point to impersonate the character. Then, I think, ‘what would I say in this situation?’ I think that has helped me write better dialogue.

I seem to have developed a habit of talking to myself. I talk to myself in the character’s voice. Sometimes, I do it on the street without realizing what I’m doing. That does invite a few stares.

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?

Everywhere! I find inspiration mainly in fictional characters. Sometimes people around me influence me too.

Your books have amazing covers! What is your secret?

Thank you so much. I create them myself using Canva. I might hire a cover designer in the future but for now, I’m happy doing it myself.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

I have a habit of writing down ideas when they come to me. That has resulted in many unfinished manuscripts on my computer. When I need inspiration, I read my old work. I put a twist on it and it works. Sometimes, I use the basic idea and create a completely different story around it.

I find inspiration in movies, as well. I’m a visual person. I relate to images easily. Sometimes when I watch a good movie or read a good book, I think ‘I have to write something like that.’. That’s how it usually starts.

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what would it be and why?

I think I would be a whale. A blue whale. I don’t know why but I’ve always thought of myself as a whale. I like whales because they’re big and mysterious.

LightDo you have any new projects in the works?

I’m currently working on a science-fiction thriller. It should be out early next year. I’m done with the first draft and am revising it. I’ll have some updates on my page soon.

Thank you for doing this interview with me. I enjoyed answering your well-researched questions.

Thank you for your answers!


You can learn more about P. Wish at the links below.

P. Wish interviews me:

Twitter username: @authorpwish




Blog RSS Feed:

Goodreads Author Page:

Link to Kindle Store (US):*Version*=1&*entries*=0


Author Interview: Justin Bienvenue

I recently had the opportunity to interview “The Plasmatic Writer,” Justin Bienvenue. Here is our Q&A:

On your website you mention that when you were young your friends and family said you had quite an imagination. Do any particular incidents stand out?

There are a few in my mind that stand out. I remember my mother telling me that my teacher told her I was rambling on about a story in great detail. She told my mother I had quite an imagination and if he could write down what he can tell out loud that I could be quite the storyteller. I also remember telling my mom a story in the car once about animals and super powers if my memory serves correct and she asked me where on earth I came up with such an idea. I told her I made it up the night before and I just kept thinking of stuff. Back then as a kid I’m sure I made nothing of it but now when my imagination kicks into gear I embrace and make the most of it.

Crime and horror are recurring themes in your work. To what do you attribute that dark influence?

One thing I will note is that horror and crime are two of the most popular themes in our society today when it comes to reading and watching television. I see this and I make good on it since it’s popular. As to where I get my dark side? I’d say Edgar Allan Poe for one. I always mention him or bring him up but truly it’s hard not to mention the father of gothic poetry and macabre story telling. I have read several of his works and his sinister style just reaches me in such a way that I cannot help but try my own dark tales. As for crime that I’m not really sure, I’d say given all the crime shows and psychological books that have been on over the years I’ve taken a good sure of mental notes and used them for myself. It’s always good to take mental notes when you’re a writer as you never know when inspiration will strike.

Evil Eye PDHow did you come to write your novel Opium Warfare? What drew you to that place and time?

I had the idea for Opium already in mind and I knew I wanted it to have a warfare like effect in the sense that it was used to bring down a city or group. The title itself came to me after I came across the word Guerilla Warfare and for reasons I will never know opium popped into my head to which I then added warfare to it and a title was born. I knew briefly that China was associated with opium so as I did a little research and decided to go with China as my place. I didn’t want it to be too far back but felt that the twenties would serve as the perfect time period for the book. I picked Shanghai and it wasn’t until I did research after that I found that Shanghai was known for and is still known widely for opium. It all really worked out quite well.

How would you compare/contrast writing poetry versus writing fiction?

With poetry I feel there’s freedom, feeling and expression.  With poetry you can write it in many different ways and in any way you want. You can put your feelings into it and put your emotions into it and you can express yourself in such a way that it can define you or let people know your deep and meaningful. With fiction you have to do a lot of research and you really have to go in and do your work and think what you want to write before you write it whereas poetry I myself can write on the spot. I feel poetry is more flowing and not connected compared to fiction where you have to think as to whether or not an idea you have has already been done, you have to make it your own. With poetry it is your own right from the start.

If you could visit any one place in the world you have not already been, where would it be?

Well there’s a lot of places I haven’t been but I would say Rome or Egypt. I enjoy history and I love Egyptian history and I would love to see the Coliseum in Rome. I would really enjoy taking in all the history and learning more about the culture and times and it would more than likely spark ideas for some new novels.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m focused on promoting Opium Warfare and some of my other works. I know the saying goes a writer can help promote and market by writing that next work but Opium Warfare took a lot of work and it took a bit out of me. I am going to focus on marketing the books around the holidays and I will likely have some fresh ideas ready to go for next year.


Twitter: @JustinBienvenue

Opium Warfare is available on Amazon @
It is also available on Createspace, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scrbid and iBook

Justin’s interview with me:

Author Interview: Bob Gorman

On this page I have interviewed several people whom I know because they are authors. It is a rare privilege to be able to interview Bob Gorman, who I knew BEFORE he published his new novel, “Newsmaker.” Bob is a friend, a talented newspaper editor, a non-profit executive, a church leader, and a pillar of the community; and it turns out he has quite a talent for plot twists and character development! So here is my interview with new indie author Bob Gorman:

Bob, tell us a little about your novel, “Newsmaker.” newsmaker

“Newsmaker” is my effort to give insight in to small town politics in the South during the 1980s when two historic trends were unfolding — the rise of black political power and the rise of the Republican Party. I do that through the lens of journalism, which is my background.

What inspired you to write “Newsmaker?”

I wish I had a better answer than this: in March 1994 I moved from South Carolina to New York and my family didn’t follow until that summer after my kids were finished with the school year. I had a lot of idle time on my hands. But I also had a lot of memories in my head of a complex region of our country that defies simple explanations of what black and white means. The fact I waited 20 years to finish the last 10 percent of the book says something about my dedication to my profession, family life, church, etc. But in some ways it says something about my inability to figure out how to get a book published.

How autobiographical is your novel? Is any of you hidden in those pages?

Authors should write what they know and I certainly know small-town journalism and politics. But the editor in the novel — Ted Forrester — isn’t close to me in his personal life. On the other hand, there are certainly a lot of his world views that mirror mine. “The Constitution guarantees a free press yet it doesn’t guarantee that every town will have a great newspaper. But it should.” Ted Forrester and I both believe that.

I am always interested in how characters come to be; in Newsmaker I was especially fascinated by “Big Jimmie” Morris, the corrupt, incompetent, overweight, Harley-riding sheriff. What inspired that character?

An actual South Carolina sheriff who fit that description, up to a point. He was featured in the New York Times in September 1982 for being under legal and political attack for his alleged incompetence. But after that, there is nothing in common with that sheriff and Big Jimmie.

How would you compare and contrast publishing newspapers versus publishing your own book?

Well, in my book, I am trying to explain “truths” rather than trying to write something that is true. I have much more of an agenda in my book than I ever did with my newspapers… and that is the challenge for journalists. How do you write about what has happened and what it means without narrowing your focus so much so that you end up supporting one view over another. I am old school on this, which is why I can’t stand to watch Fox or MSNBC. I really think an informed public will ultimately — sometimes after an election or two — get it right. Beating the public over the head with a political agenda every day is nothing more than holding the public in contempt.

Shifting gears…you have two hours to spend at any location on earth, sharing conversation and the beverage of your choice with any author, living or dead. Who is the author, what is the beverage, what is the location, and why?

The easy part is Scotch and the Carolina coast. After that I would be wrestling with choosing either Stephen Ambrose or David McCullough. I guess that pretty much narrows down the kind of books I find interesting. Of course, when I read Laura Hillenbrand I then think, “OK, that’s the best writer going.” They all have the ability to look at history through its nuances and tell a greater story. And they do it in simple language. I wish I were that good. Maybe I need to ease up on the Scotch.

What’s next? Is there another novel in your future?

Yes, but I wouldn’t even start it if “Newsmaker” doesn’t strike a chord. (Spoiler alert: The best murder weapon is an icicle — just make sure it melts soon after…) I would certainly be able to crank out the story more quickly because in writing Newsmaker I learned about the discipline necessary to think through the ramifications of what one character says and does and how that affects other characters 10 and 15 chapters later.
Thanks, Bob! I look forward to finding out more about that icicle!

You can learn more about, and buy, “Newsmaker” on Amazon at: Newsmaker by Bob Gorman

Author Interview with Isabell Lawless

Isabell Lawless: in her own words, “She owns CornerliveMusic Production Company, holds a Masters Degree in Ethnology, and enjoys life being a vodka drinking, meatball eating Swede living in the US.” 

Author Isabell Lawless

Author Isabell Lawless

You are a Swede living in the United States; what is your backstory?

I grew up in Sweden and at age twenty-one I left a dysfunctional relationship behind me, which also happened to become the inspiration to my first novel ‘Beast of Venery’, I met my future husband on an online dating site. As most Swede’s live or study abroad for some time in their life I sold my belongings, took a five weeks vacation to the US and fell in love. Not only with my husband-to-be, but the country itself.

I saw in one of your recent Facebook posts that you had a character in your head, and you felt compelled to write a paragraph about him, perhaps as part of a future novel. Please describe how your characters drive your novels.

So far each and every character in my books show up in my dreams: walking out from behind a building, showcasing their physical features by staring at me, sometimes telling me a few words, and then leave. If the dream happens to wake me up I scurry to the living room writing down the persona or any of their spoken words before heading back to bed. At times a person’s action compels me to investigate who he/she is and what their backstory might be. As throwing a bloody axe down in a field of grass before running away, throwing an object of importance toward me, or simple tell me what’s on their mind.

I rarely see people in my waken state and draw inspiration from them, more so potential characters hide behind a curtain of sleepiness and in my dream state of mind before entering.

You described ‘Beast of Venery’ as semiautobiographical; how close is it to real life?

There are two major violent scenes in this novel that are fictional, the sinister antagonist’s personality, spinning twists and turns with mind games, is my way of writing him out of my life. The book was partly written as therapy and partly a way of spreading a voice to those who has yet to leave that type of quiet tyranny behind.

What inspired your Gass County Novel Series?

For quite some time these four different male characters lived in my head, their lives interlace with one another, and from my love of reading books taking place in small towns, I decided to let them live in the same rural city but gave the four of them their own novel. They seemed alright with that idea.

How would you describe your writing process?

A main plot is always in place when I start writing a new book. I have certain major events that I know will take place before hand, but after that I let my pen to the work to see where it might guide me.

Do you have a favorite beverage to drink while writing?

In the morning coffee is my dearest friend, but when the day has been long and the mind is in need of relaxation a glass of wine doesn’t hurt my creativity, if any it makes the writing darker, more violent, and sometimes very erotic.

If you could share a meal and conversation with the fictional character of your choice, which character would you choose, where would you dine, and why?

I’m a romance/erotica/suspense reader at heart and fell head over heels in love with author Candis Terry’s character Reno Wilder, the sulky, hard working, but oh so hot cowboy in her novel, Anything but Sweet (Sweet Series – Wilder Brothers). Not only does his persona resemble my husband’s but what woman could decline a cold glass of wine in the backyard then being pushed up against the side of a dirty truck next to a barn at sunset just to devour one another? I know I wouldn’t.

Thanks for having me!


Beast of Venery:


Burned Gasoline:


Once Upon A Killing: ambulance back




Social media links:






Author Interview with Cynthia Vespia

Author Cynthia Vespia

Author Cynthia Vespia

Cynthia Vespia, “The Original Cyn,” is an author, screenwriter, and freelancer. She was nominated for a “Best in Series” award for her trilogy DEMON HUNTER.  I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

Darkness and death are common themes in your novels. To what do you attribute that dark influence?
In all honesty I had alot of tragedy plague my family at a young age, so alot of it is deep rooted in my past. Other than that I like to read darker tales like horror and dark fantasy.

You are a prolific writer; how do you manage to get so much writing done?
I think it’s probably because I started when I was a teenager. And at that time I wasn’t going out and partying like most high schoolers. I stayed home and wrote and that’s how the majority of my early work came about. Then as I grew into a better writer I went back and reworked a few of my first books, such as The Crescent, and repackaged them for publishing.

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?
Real life. You run into alot of characters throughout the majority of your lifetime. Bits and pieces of these people inevitably latch onto your subconscious and then they wind up on the page. Where there are holes, or the character has to be or do something specific, obviously that’s where creativity comes in handy. Honestly creating characters is my absolute favorite part of writing. It’s like inventing a new friend.

Do you have a favorite character you have created? Which one and why?
I have a few. In my Las Vegas thriller Lucky Sevens my lead character Lucky Luchazi was an absolute joy to write. I think part of the reason was that I gave him some quirks that may come off as unlikable (for example he’s an alcoholic) but that gave him a depth of realism to work with. Also, alot of his mannerisms and dialogue were based on my own father so how could I not love him. Another character who stands out for me is the female gladiator Nadja in The Crescent. She’s compelling because she was ripped from her home and forced into slavery to fight as a gladiator but all the while she never gives up her strength. I like writing strong women. I like creating realism in my characters. I like creating characters!

Have you considered writing books in any other genres?

I learned a new term the other day, it’s hybrid-author. Simply stated it means that genres are mixing to give readers the best possible story. I do alot of mixed genre writing myself. But these days I am leaning more towards suspense with a touch of supernatural.

What has been the high point of your writing career thus far?

When you’re an independent writing it is difficult to know whether or not your writing is actually in circulation. Even with all the marketing, etc. it is hard to see if it is even making a dent sometimes. So I like to do conventions because it puts me face-to-face with readers. This past year I had a few really nice encounters with folks. A couple of different times I had some folks buy a book or two and then the next day of the convention they came back to tell me they already started the book and that they loved it! That was cause to smile right there. But, my absolute favorite moment this year was when a young couple came up to my table. The boyfriend stood in front and his girlfriend seemed to be shying away behind him too nervous to talk. He proceeded to tell me that I was this girl’s favorite author. I did a double take and then welcomed her over. She was the kind of nervous I get when I meet one of my favorite actors, etc. But she told me how much she loved my books and how excited she was to meet me in person. We posed for a few pictures and some autographs and she got a few more of my books. I cannot tell you how that made me feel. Words fail this writer except to say that I was humbled. Those moments are why I write.

If you could visit one place you have never been, where would it be and why?huntresfront

I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. It stems from watching Xena: Warrior Princess and Lord of the Rings. That is the most epic and beautiful countryside I have ever seen. Also on my bucket list is Disneyworld. I’ve been meaning to go there for years now and everytime I try to plan it something comes up. But life is short and I intend to make that happen this year!
Thank you for having me! Check me out online at or Facebook and Twitter!

Cynthia Vespia| Original

Interview with Amanda Clay, author of the YA novel “Rebel Song”

Amanda Clay

Amanda Clay

Amanda is a fellow independent author, with a penchant for travel.  She was good enough to answer a few questions about herself and her work.

You can read my answers to her questions at: Interview with Robert Krenzel

Amanda, what is it about writing that keeps you coming back?

Writing is just something that’s a part of me. Even before I could read I would dictate stories to my mom and have her write them down for me. Words just come to me and I have to get them down on paper or I feel like I’ll explode. And really, I just love to read. I love a great movie. I binge watch HBO dramas. In short, I absolutely love the art of storytelling. Writing gives me the chance to weave my own story—or rather the story that my characters want you to know.  It’s also a way of sharing my passions and living vicariously through my characters experiences. Writing is the freedom to inject yourself into any world you could possibly dream up. Writing is a world of endless possibilities. If I couldn’t write, I might actually wither up and die.

You have two hours to spend at any location on earth, sharing conversation and the beverage of your choice with any author, living or dead. Who is the author, what is the beverage, where would you choose, and why?

Hmm…It might have to be George R. R. Martin, a bottle of wine on the bank of the Seine River in Paris. I have SOO many questions for that guy! And I’m practically foaming at the mouth for the next Fire and Ice installment (I read Game of Thrones circa 1996—before it was cool J ). Besides, he’s such a wonderful story teller I’m not sure the conversation would ever get old. I’m sure he would find me so fascinating that he’d want to stay more than two hours, haha. As to the wine? Well, duh, wine. And location? Sunsets on the bank of the Seine River—next to a 1,000 year old bridge—is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any city. It’s a place that inspires art.

If Tolkein wanted to join the party, I’d be the happiest little girl in the world.

You seem to have a “global” mindset. Tell me about your travels and how they affect your writing.
Second to writing, travel is perhaps my biggest passion. I have always been a student of the arts and history and of course those studies often take your mind to a place across the world. I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures and places. So far I’ve been to 13 countries outside the U.S., and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Every time I visit a new place, it changes me. We become extremely centric in our thinking if we don’t have our paradigm shaken up from time to time. Seeing a village in Guatemala without running water, police opening fire on a political protest in Madrid, or being stung by an African Killer bee in Belize—things like this frighten me, shock me, but make me want to write it all down.

Anyone reading your bio and blog is likely to notice that rebellion seems to be a recurring theme. To what do you attribute that?

The key conflict in Rebel Song is that the country is on the verge of civil war due to years of political abuse, poverty and wars. Again the inspiration here comes from countries all over the world experiencing revolutions and war even right now. To me, it’s a very real issue affecting millions. Governments across the globe mistreat their people in various ways. Sometimes a great hero stands up to them. Sometimes a rebel leader rises to power with an agenda no better than the current government. I’ve always loved the very basic struggle of good versus evil, but knowing that it’s rarely that black and white. War is a nasty thing and rarely does anyone come out of it with their hands clean.

How do you deal with negative feedback about your writing?

With a bottle of wine and the whole wheel of cheese. Kidding…sort of. One of my weird exercises is to look up my favorite books on Goodreads and read the negative reviews. This reminds me that writing is art and art is subjective. You can’t please everyone. Even the most acclaimed books of all times are going to have their haters. I’ve been fortunate to have received fantastic feedback so far on Rebel Song. But, as it will happen, sometimes I get a comment that shoots me right through the heart. After all, your book is really a piece of you. When someone doesn’t like it, it feels so incredibly personal. So I have to take a step back, consider the merit of their comment (Are they just being mean? Do they maybe have a good point? Was the genre just not their cup of tea?) and then re-read the positive comments I’ve received. I’ve had some less than stellar feedback that I’ve actually turned into a positive by taking it as an opportunity to improve my writing. But, in the end we as writers have to have thick skin. This isn’t a profession for the overly sensitive. We put ourselves out there, bare our souls, expose our wounds—we have to expend those wounds to sting sometimes.

If you could read only one more book, ever, what would it be?

Ooohhh…what a cruel form of torture. I think Lord of the Rings—it was originally one book so I’m going with that. That book is like a bible—chalked full of wisdom, soul, and guidance. And it’s just the best damn story ever written! I could read it over and over and probably still find nuances I’ve never noticed.

You can find Rebel Song at: Amazon

You can follow Amanda at:

Amanda Clay Rebel Song