Category Archives: mystery

Eps 84 – R Weir-Mann in the Crossfire

Mann in the Crossfire

This is my second interview with Randy Weir, author of Mann in the Crossfire, his latest novel. If you want to see the first interview go here :

…or just read the blog here

Randy has just gotten back from a conference and he tells us all about what happened there, and if it was a good one for you to plan on attending.

We also discussed the latest book Mann in the Crossfire and how Randy hopes it is well received as it may be the last in the series. We talk about how to know when a series has reached its natural end, and what may be coming in the future.

There is a lot of good discussion about writing and the writing life in this video and I hope you will enjoy it.

You can get R Weir’s previous work, Front Range Butcher here at Amazon – this IS an affiliate link.

book covers
Front Range Butcher by R. Weir

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R. Weir, author of the Jarvis Mann PI series
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WGP Episode 63: Rich Zahradnik, mystery

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Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series from Camel Press. Last Words is the first novel in the series and was published October 2014. Drop Dead Punk came out August 2015.

Drop Dead Punk won the gold medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Last Words won honorable mention for mystery in Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year Awards and the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs.

Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry.

In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York’s Center for Fiction.

He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was founding executive producer of, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik also co-founded the weekly newspaper The Peekskill Herald at the age of 25, leading it to seven state press association awards in its first three years.

Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches elementary school kids how to publish the online and print newspaper the Colonial Times.

To get any of Rich’s books simply click the cover!




In this episode we learn:

Show Notes

WGP Interview: Kathleen Gerard

Recently, Writer Groupie Podcast had the privilege of interviewing Kathleen Gerard, author of In Transit and The Thing Is. Here is the interview and you can get links to her work below.

Kathleen Gerard
Photo credit: North Jersey Media Group, The Record

THE THING IS (a novel) by Kathleen Gerard

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Here’s a brief synopsis of THE THING IS:
Can a woman mired deep in the throes of grief have her heart and soul rallied by a therapy
dog named Prozac who has supernatural wisdom and a canine Mensa IQ?

Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.

Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal brokenhearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.
Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.

THE THING IS is a perfect read for fans of General Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, and Dog and Pet Lovers!

Do you have a specific writing style?

All of the books I’ve published (so far) deal with strong women who are forced to overcome challenges of some kind. Humor and romance also play a part in the stories. My first novel, In Transit, is a suspenseful woman-in-jeopardy story about a female rookie NYPD cop who falls in love with the wrong man.

Cold Comfort is more of a heartwarming-style romance about a workaholic photojournalist who comes face-to-face with an old flame who broke her heart in college.

I experimented a bit with The Thing Is, telling that story from two, very distinct points-of-view—that of a blocked romance writer who has become entrenched in grief after her fiancé dies, and a crafty, sometimes very devious, “Spirit Guide Dog,” who believes his mission is to help the writer learn how to live and love again.

How did you come up with the title?

THE THING IS was inspired by the poem, “The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass. Bass’s poem speaks to how to go on living life when we feel completely heartbroken and riddled with despair. It was apropos to the themes of the story, and I decided to title the novel by the very same name.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a photojournalist—and I pursued that passion throughout childhood, high school and college. I always hoped that one day I would work for the Associated Press (AP) and travel the world taking pictures, including photographing in war zones. But when I realized that my personality was much more methodical and analytical by nature, I reconsidered things. And that was when the writing bug suddenly bit me.

Who is your favorite character in your books and why?

I select all of my characters–even the “bad guys”–with care, so I like them all. However, writing from a clever dog’s point-of-view in THE THING IS was very fun—and liberating.

Who designed the cover?

My publisher, Red Adept Publishing, has a great staff on board for all facets of their books from editing to book covers to marketing. The very talented Jessica Anderegg worked with Streetlight Graphics (they’re wonderful!) to make a gem of a book cover for THE THING IS

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part about writing this book was staying the course and letting the story unravel on its own—without preconceiving the plot. Once I figured out who the characters were and their goals (I wrote and wrote and threw out a lot), the story evolved very organically. When I make a concerted effort to stick to and follow through with the writing of a book, I always try to keep my heart, soul and mind open to whatever crosses my path during the process. I’ve found that if I stay attuned and pay attention to things as they happen in my real life, then, more often than not, my writing life becomes the beneficiary of that attentiveness. For example, a friend (or even a stranger) may off-handedly make a remark, or I’ll read an article in the newspaper, or maybe even a postcard advertisement will arrive in the mail…the mundane can suddenly become an aha! moment—something that unexpectedly serves the story. But trusting that process–and being patient–is sometimes very difficult.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. And stick to it!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read. Hang out with my dog. I like to cook and enjoy watching cooking shows on TV. And when I want to unwind, I like to watch indie films and romantic comedies.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong characters. Conflict and transcendence.

Quick fire questions:
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite music: Lately, music by Sara Bareillis
Favorite TV program: Cooking shows with Lidia Bastianich
Five things you like: My dog. Pizza. Red wine. Cooking (and eating). A good story.
Five things you dislike: Illness. Mean-spirited/cruel people. Phoniness/Gossip. Dieting. Traffic.
Five words that describe you: Sensitive. Spiritual. Loyal. Analytical. Tenacious.

Kathleen Gerard

Learn more about THE THING IS:

Learn more about IN TRANSIT
Learn more about COLD COMFORT

The Thing Is can be purchased at:
* Amazon –
* Barnes and Noble –
* BooksAMillion –
*Indiebound –
* Google Play:

THE THING IS (a novel) by Kathleen Gerard
Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 299
Release: March 9, 2016
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
ISBN: 9781940215587


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WGP Episode 58 Nova Ren Suma, YA author

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller The Walls Around Us, now available from Algonquin, which is a finalist for the Edgar Award and named the #1 Indie Next Pick on the Spring 2015 kids’ list and a Best Book of 2015 by The Boston Globe, NPR, School Library Journal, the Chicago Public Library, The Horn Book, and Book Riot.

Nova also wrote the YA novels Imaginary Girls (Dutton, 2011) and 17 & Gone (Dutton, 2013), both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her first book, the middle-grade novel Dani Noir (S&S/Aladdin, 2009), was reissued in paperback as Fade Out (Simon Pulse, 2012) and was named a Top 10 Editors’ Pick for 2009 by Amazon. Her short story “The Birds of Azalea Street” appears in the new YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Dial, 2015) and she will have an essay in the YA anthology Feminism for the Real World, forthcoming in 2017. She is now at work on a new YA novel coming from Algonquin.

image of Novaangelica-kitchen-bw-1024x768

There is a lot more info about Nova and her books at her Amazon page also, at:

Nova Ren Suma’s Amazon page

In this episode, we learn about:

Show Notes

  • Insight into Nova’s name and how she came by it and what she longed to be called instead
  • Details about her book, The Walls Around Us, and info on her journey as a published author including her work life as a production editor or copy editor at Harper Collins
  • She mentions the book that set her off into the world of YA, it is called FEATHERED and you can check it out below in the image section
  • She tells us about working in publishing and what is important as an employee there
  • Insight into how an author becomes a NY Times Bestseller
  • Details about what it takes to break into traditional publishing
  • Insider info on an author’s willingness to write something new if what they are writing isn’t working.
  • We discuss her Edgar nomination and how that all played out
  • She tells us what her weakness is in writing and how she feels like she got accepted in spite of it
  • We learn which book is the book of her heart and why it is special to her
  • AND SO MUCH MORE including her best advice for aspiring authors!

    Her current book:

    Her previous books:


    You can find her online at her website NOVA REN SUMA and on Twitter @novaren

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode with Nova Ren Suma?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
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    WGP Episode 54 – JD Rhoades, hardboiled mystery author

    Born and raised in North Carolina, J.D. Rhoades has worked as a radio
    news reporter, club DJ, television cameraman, ad salesman, waiter,
    attorney, and newspaper columnist. His weekly column in North Carolina’s
    The Pilot was twice named best column of the year in its division.
    Author of The Devil’s Right Hand, Good Day in Hell, Safe and Sound,
    Breaking Cover, and Broken Shield, he lives, writes, and practices law
    in North Carolina.


    There is a lot more info about JD Rhoades and his books at his Amazon page also, at:

    In this episode, we learn about:

    Show Notes

  • JD’s writing life and how he broke into the trad pub market (St. Martin’s-Minotaur) and subsequently went hybrid
  • Information about his covers which truly do brand his genre and books
  • We talk a bit about Jason Pinter and Polis Books
  • Insider info on the hardboiled PI genre and how it appealed to JD
  • The explanation of redneck-noir and how it came to be and how Ice Chest was a departure from his norm in genre/book
  • Insight into his southernistic point of view (JD is a North Carolina man) sometimes encouraged by what he reads
  • Details about the writing of Good Day in Hell and how he makes the setting and character step off the page
  • Info about what JD thinks will happen in the industry as we go along based on the changes that have already occurred (ie. Joe Konrath and how he has led the way for indies)
  • His opinion about how indies need to make their work indistinguishable from trad pub books
  • How Polis Books took publishing in a new direction by giving authors like JD a new opportunity and how social media became a part of it
  • Insider details: JD offers a few new authors to try that are with Polis YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!
  • Virtual reality, Oculus Rift, and JD Rhoades (totally funny)
  • Insight: If JD went wide, or stayed exclusive with Kindle and his opinion about both
  • AND SO MUCH MORE including his best advice for aspiring authors!!!


    The latest Jack Keller novel:


    You can find him online at his website and on Twitter @JD_Rhoades

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode with JD Rhoades?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

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    WGP Episode 50-Robin Murphy, paranormal mysteries

    Interview with Robin Murphy


    Welcome, Groupies! This is episode 50 of the podcast, and today I chat with Robin Murphy. Robin was born in the small coal mining town of Windber, Pennsylvania and remembers a wonderful childhood with her parents and two older brothers. She’s written a paranormal mystery series, beginning with Sullivan’s Secret and I know you will get a lot out of our time together.

    So, here we go…on with the show!

    robin murphy


    Robin is full of great information for authors seeking help with their work. I am excited to have her on Writer Groupie Podcast. Be sure to check out her sites at the bottom of this post.


    In this episode, we learn about:

  • Robin’s writing journey which spans nearly 10 years now.
  • Why the first book morphed into a series.
  • Insider details about her “how-to” book for writers.
  • How self-publishing has grown and changed through the years.
  • What Robin misses about DIY in books.
  • Insider info on what Robin would want to know if she were starting over as an indie author.
  • How writing series of books benefits an author.
  • If setting the first book to free works for an author today.
  • How being an indie author allows freedoms that makes writing fun.
  • Details on being a graphic design artist and how covers are a big part of a book’s success.
  • and so MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!

    Find Robin Murphy on these sites:
    Her Website
    Rookie Writer Solutions

    You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE


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