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Interview with Brian Finney, author of Money Matters

Brian Finney, author of Money Matters

Recently, I had the privilege to get an interview with a Professor Emeritus and James Tair Memorial Book Prize-winning author. Brian has written 8 nonfiction books, but our interview focused on his first NOVEL, Money Matters, a literary detective tale.


The main story of Money Matters is narrated by its protagonist Jenny, 27-years-old and a little lost in life. She is still just getting by with two part-time jobs. Asked to look into the disappearance of the CEO’s girlfriend, Jenny reluctantly turns amateur detective and soon finds herself up against a range of powerful and sinister forces, including big money, a corrupt politician, and a Mexican drug cartel.

So the novel is part (late) coming-of-age, part amateur sleuth, part social issues. Immigration, one such issue, permeates both the main plot and subplot featuring an undocumented young Mexican-American. Jenny’s search leads to her meeting the young, handsome director of an immigrants’ rights organization to whom she is strongly attracted. So the novel has elements of romance(as well!).

Money Matters

In our interview we learn more about Brian, his work, and interests.


– Can you share a little of your current work with us? (short synopsis)

Money Matters is my debut suspense novel that combines a number of genres. Its narrator and major character is Jenny, a 27-year-old woman who hasn’t got her life together. She still lives in her sister Tricia’s Venice apartment and survives on two minimal paying part-time jobs – one doing plant maintenance for Todd, the CEO of a mutual fund company, the other for a large detective agency replaying surveillance tapes.

She is persuaded to investigate the disappearance of Todd’s girlfriend by his Mexican-American housekeeper. Her amateur detective work soon brings her up against the interests of big money, politics (the novel is set during the 2010 mid-term election), and a Mexican drug cartel. 

It also brings into her life the attractive director of an immigrant rights organization. The reader is left unsure to the end whether she will overcome the powerful and dangerous forces opposed to her search for the truth.

– What inspired you to write your first book?

I spent much of my adult life teaching university students how to read and analyze works of fiction. When I retired I felt free at last to write a work of fiction myself. Also, the novel raises questions about immigration, and I emigrated from England over thirty years ago; so I felt a natural bond to my immigrant characters and their difficulties.

– Do you have a specific writing style?

I have written seven nonfiction books (including an award-winning biography of Christopher Isherwood) and in all of them I have tried to develop as colloquial style as the genre allowed. Once I turned to fiction I had unlimited use of colloquial language and developed the voice of my female protagonist to exploit this stylistic trait.

– How did you come up with the title?

Waking up one night it came to me. Its ambiguous meaning encapsulates so economically Jenny’s fight against the monetary society she is a part of which accounts for her lack of money, and the realization that you can’t ignore the role and power of money today. Her endless fights with her wealthy sister give this dual theme dramatic substance.

– What book are you reading now?

Currently, I am on vacation and reading travel literature pertinent to places I am visiting. Just before that, I read Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte, an update of Cervantes Don Quixote set in contemporary America. It’s a wonderful hodgepodge of buffoonery, literary parody, social satire, and much more. I have written a long review of it for the Los Angeles Review of Books that will be published in late October.

– Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?

I loved Laila Lalami‘s The Other Americans, a novel that, like mine, focuses on immigrants’ experience, though her focus is almost exclusively on an immigrant community. The novel is short-listed for a National Book Award.

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

Early on I wanted to be a train driver as I was under the influence of an elder brother obsessed by railways who eventually did become a train driver. I soon grew out of that obsession once my brother left home.

– Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I find I can write with ease, which doesn’t mean I don’t then have to do a lot of deleting and revising. With this novel, my biggest challenge was stopping myself from weighting the scales in favor of Jenny whose views I largely share. I had to spend much time and effort making Tricia’s arguments as convincing as Jenny’s. I hope I succeeded, as conflict is at the essence of narrative.

– Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

This book was set in Los Angeles where I live. But writing my biography of Christopher Isherwood brought me to Southern California to interview him and his friends, and that in turn led to my immigrating there.

-Who designed your covers?

Carl Graves at Extended Imagery, a talented book cover designer, as you can see from the cover of my novel.


Money Matters, which is a Finalist in the American Fiction Awards, is now published as an e-book, paperback, and audiobook. It is available from Amazon:

I also have a website with details of all my books and other publications:

Thanks very much to Brian, and his excellent PR team for getting us in touch. IF you want an interview on Writer Groupie, or a podcast segment, just let us know by leaving a contact form!

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How do I start a podcast?

How do I start a podcast has to be one of the most common asked questions. It is pretty simple actually, and there are a wealth of great informative sites on the subject. I will just add my two centavos in here however, just to be able to say I did.

Starting a podcast in this year would be a bit different from how things looked back about 10 years ago when the Internet was younger and less crowded. Podcasts and Youtube were still considered ground breakers and you could get a little traction on those sites where you might get overlooked as a blogger.

Start a podcast 2008 version

It sure didn’t hurt to be a blogger AND podcaster AND Youtuber back then. It still doesn’t but you do have to work a lot harder now to get noticed. 500 hours are uploaded to YT every minute!

But back to my question at hand. How do you start a podcast today?

If I were going to start one today, I would look into apps that make it easier. I use Mobile Podcaster for my flyby shows. It can be done on the “fly”, uploaded to your WordPress blog, and edited, and published really easily.

I believe that as Youtube changes its algorithm and makes video uploads and content more financially beneficial to them, you will see that video will not be the main go to for small content creators. Audio is easier, and has smaller files so uploading is quicker.

start a podcast

I am considering going to an all audio format for Writer Groupie because that truly is the preferred way for most writers to be interviewed. Most do not like to have their countenances portrayed on YT and across the web.

But if you want to start a podcast, and you have any questions, drop me a line. I am happy to help.

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Bound to Morocco by Leslie Hachtel

Bound to Morocco – New Release! 

Bound to Morocco

by Leslie Hachtel

Genre: Historical Romance



What if your family sold you to a Sultan’s Harem?

Drugged and kidnapped, Shera finds herself on a ship to Morocco to serve the Sultan. Abandoned and alone, Shera must find a way to escape and confront the people who betrayed her. She gets help from an unlikely source: the man who kidnapped her. But, he has his own secrets. And, when their partnership turns to love, the two must face constant danger to endure. But will they ever be free?


Purchase now on Amazon for Kindle and in PRINT!
Click on cover to go to AMAZON now!Also available at these retailers:

Barnes and Noble


for other retailers not listed contact the author at her website: 


Leslie Hachtel was born in Ohio, raised in New York and has been a gypsy most of her adult life. Her various jobs, including licensed veterinary technician, caterer, horseback riding instructor for the disabled and advertising media buyer have given her a wealth of experiences.Leslie Hachtel
However, it has been writing that has consistently been her passion. She sold an episode of a TV show, had a screenplay optioned and has so far produced eleven novels, including eight historicals and three romantic suspense. Leslie lives in Cordova, Tennessee with a fabulously supportive engineer husband and her writing buddy, Jakita, a terrier.

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WGP Episode 67 – Rich Meyrick, travel adventures


Rich Meyrick is the fingertips behind everything associated with Jaspa’s Journey. Born in Wales, he developed a fascination in geography, history and the environment at an early age, interests which culminated in a PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a post-doc at the University of Waterloo (Canada). In 2000, Rich accepted a position as an environmental scientist in Weimar, Germany, at a research station of the renowned Senckenberg Institute. Four years later he married Sue and returned to Waterloo, this time permanently. Since then, when he and Sue aren’t actually travelling with Jaspa, Rich spends his days writing books and blogs about Jaspa’s adventures. It’s a Journey he hopes will continue for many years to come.

To get Rich’s books simply click the cover!


Jaspa’s Journey: The Great Migration

Follow the thrilling adventures of Jaspa, a distant relative of the giraffe only three inches tall.He and his equally-small Ses friends must take on The Journey – a perilous, 800-kilometre ordeal across Africa’s Serengeti Plain in the company of the immense herds of the Great Migration.

Jaspa’s Journey 2: The Pride of London

Jaspa and his friends are at it again! This time they embark on a whirlwind tour of London,attempting to solve the riddles of The Path in order to help their new friend Ernest, a Ratses, become a member of the clandestine Ses society known simply as The Pride.

Interview with Rich Meyrick

Show Notes
In this episode we learn:

  • How Rich and his wife, Sue, met and how his writing journey got underway
  • What Rich thinks is the most enjoyable and straightforward part of the writing journey
  • How Rich helps with the administrative part of the family life and how his writing life fits into it
  • Where research comes into play with his books
  • Rich’s opinion about editing and how it works
  • We learn about Jaspa’s Journey and how he and his wife have created the world of it
  • How Jaspa got his name
  • Where the settings are from in the books and how they set the tone of each
  • Insider details about the cover art of his books and a little about the artist, Brad Hughes
  • Why Rich and Sue went with an indie publisher, Speaking Volumes, rather than going it alone
  • Discussion: How marketing has remained a big black box for Rich and why he feels like it is not his forte
  • The total country count for Jaspa and how he is a very well traveled little plush toy
  • Info about his blog

and so, so much more, including his BEST advice for aspiring authors

Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

You can find Rich Meyrick online at:

Website :
Blog :
Goodreads :
Twitter :
Instagram :
Facebook :


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

Did you enjoy this episode?

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!

Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:



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WGP Episode 59 Dr. Robert Williscroft, Hard Sci Fi

Dr. Robert G. Williscroft is an adventurer, deep sea diver, nuclear submariner, polar explorer, and author to name a few of his accomplishments. See his website here at this link to see what all he has done in his life. He will educate and entertain you all in the span of the first five minutes of our interview. Robert’s many achievements encourages us to greater heights with our work by the knowledge that we CAN DO THIS! We are only limited by gravity, as I am known to say.

Robert has written six books and has been interviewed by 41 radio talk shows on 38 radio stations across the nation, several of them twice or more. I am very lucky to have him on Writer Groupie again, and believe me, you will love this show.


A reviewer said of his book Slingshot 

In this episode, we learn about:

Show Notes

  • Dr. Williscroft tells us what he’s been doing since we last met
  • He tells us about hard sci fi and how it is important to get the research right if you want to write it
  • We get insight into his journey as a scientist, adventurer, and author
  • He tells us how he ended up at the South Pole conducting research
  • We learn how the book The Chicken Little Agenda came into being
  • He gives us inside details about diving (and the serious problems it can create if you don’t come back up properly)
  • Details about Operation Ivy Bells and how that book is based on facts
  • Robert shares with us the things he is doing to promote his work, including what Linkedin Pulse has to offer
  • He gives insider details about his book Slingshot and how it was featured at a conference and how he offers to anyone who wants to get an autographed hardback copy he will get them a special coffee mug also.
  • Details about how he got 30,000 followers on Twitter

AND SO MUCH MORE including his best advice for aspiring authors!

A few of his books:





STARMAN JONES-A Relativity Birthday Presemt (children’s book)

Coming soon!




You can find her online at his Facebook page Robert Williscroft and on Twitter @RGWilliscroft

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

Did you enjoy this episode with Dr. Williscroft?

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!

Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:



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Top 5 Marketing Tips For Your Book

Self-published authors know that the biggest row to hoe ahead of them is marketing their book. The writing is hard, the editing is harder, but the marketing of that book is certainly the hardest of them all when it comes to this self-publishing journey. I know. I have been there. But I also have a few tips for you to maybe give you food for thought.
First, some people might just want to know what marketing your book MEANS. In my honest opinion, it’s just telling folks about your book. It’s getting the word out.
Secondly, some people want to know if it is a “have-to-do” item. YES! I mean a THOUSAND times yes. You must get out there and put that book in front of people. You cannot sit down and do nothing. Of course, when you DO sit down, you better be working the ropes.

So what does a writer do to market their book?

This list is not complete by any stretch, and is in no certain order other than what appeals to me. If you think of more things, please leave a comment.

The Top 5 Marketing Tips For Your Book

  • Get it on radio shows such as Blogtalk Radio, or a podcast such as Writer Groupie. There are a lot of podcasts out there these days/
  • Strategize your book launch to make it work for you. There are a LOT of book bloggers out there who do nothing but host book tours. And of course, social media plays a role.
  • Meet other writers and network. Never scoff at the role that going to writer’s cons plays. You never know who you will meet at a con, be it agent, editor, cover artist, or another writer. They can and oftentimes do send you off on a new leg of the writing journey, and can be great places to get marketing tips.
  • The old standby is, of course, social media. There has been so much said about this subject that I am a little tired of hearing about it. Suffice it to say, you should be on Facebook. Twitter, and Pinterest. ‘Nuff said.
  • Along with writer’s cons are live book signing events. These are such fun and really make you feel like a published author. There is nothing like meeting readers face-to-face and telling them about your book. You might even get a chance to speak there in the capacity of a writing authority (yes, like me!) and so there are great opportunities at live events to market your book.
  • And just because I just thought of it … the last thing I can say about marketing a book is the easiest for a writer to do.


    It cannot be said enough that readers are pretty voracious these days. If you want to make that first book sell, then write another one. And another and … well, you get the picture.

    HELPFUL TIP: Please remember that this stuff takes time also, plan your book marketing strategy way in advance. Like months – weeks – but not days before your book comes out. The reason being most podcasts, book blogs, etc. are booked in advance.

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    WGP Episode 56: Eliza Gale, Interviewer

    podcast logo

    Eliza Gale runs, Eliza Gale’s Interviews which is a website on which she interviews writers, actors, and other artists about their jobs and their dreams. She is a part-time proletarian and part-time professional blogger, whose work has appeared on AXS, Examiner, Portland Metro Live and other websites.

    Ms. Gale is a published poet and a produced playwright. Her play, “The Little Nebbish” is about a disgruntled telemarketer who plots to destroy the coworkers who bully her and the roommate who uses her.
    Her novel, “Papaya Paltrow, The Psychic and The Time Machine” will be released on April 11, 2016. The book is about a fake psychic who stumbles across a real time machine in her roommate’s closet. She uses the technology to advance her career and become a clairvoyant to the stars. One day she travels too far into the future where America has become a positive thinking police state.

    This is an audio-only episode so put your earbuds in and have a listen!

    In this episode, we discuss:

    Show Notes

  • How long Eliza has been doing interviews
  • Why she chose interview format to produce
  • She explains what a proletarian is
  • She tells us about her play, The Little Nebbish
  • Discussion about her as an interviewee rather than the interviewer and why others don’t reciprocate when they are asked to give an interview
  • Insider details about her site page called Page of Flakes and what it really is
  • How many subjects do not answer all their questions
  • Her 8 rules for interview subjects and why it is important
  • Insights into one particular interview and how the subject tried to hide behind a fake persona
  • Her most memorable interview with Ric O’Barry
  • What her perfect subject would be
  • Advice for someone looking to start a blog to interview subjects


    Her site is:

    Click the cover to go to Amazon to purchase this great work!


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

    Did you enjoy this episode with Eliza Gale?

    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!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:



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    WGP Ep 55- The Charm Bracelet, Viola Shipman

    Charm Bracelet revised cover


    is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered. To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.

    In this episode, we discuss:

    Show Notes

  • Book launches and how checking the numbers is sort of universal
  • The author’s book list and how this one is different for him (memoir to fiction)
  • Inspiration: he talks about how he was inspired and how author’s should write what calls to them
  • Insider details: how reading got his writing really going (structure, flow etc.)
  • How writing a prologue meant a lot to this book and how they can be effective and necessary
  • Information: Details about what/whom The Charm Bracelet is based on and the true human experience that inspired the writing of it
  • The important things in life that helped to write the book ie. setting, characters, etc.
  • The truth factor of fiction and how much of our life ends up in our books
  • What’s coming up next for Wade in the “heirloom” series.
  • How long it took to write The Charm Bracelet and how he went about writing it
  • How his agent helped the writing of it
  • His AHA moment during the writing of this book
  • Editing and how he loves that part of writing and how long he spends during that process
  • What other writing he does that helps in the editing process
  • What his best advice is for an aspiring author



    Click the cover to go to Amazon to purchase this great book!


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

    Did you enjoy this episode with Viola Shipman aka Wade Rouse?

    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!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:



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    WGP- Flyby Episode – Fan, Follow, and Like Us

    Welcome to Writer Groupie Podcast! Also known as WGP.

    This is a quick flyby episode done in text, as I am still sort of froggy-throated, so I am not recording yet.
    I want to get more listeners for the podcast, though, so I am here to encourage you to share WGP with your friends.

    If you love to read, and want to know more about the authors who wrote the books you love, this is the right podcast for you. Did you know that authors, especially popular ones, get paid to do speaking gigs? They do! And when they arrive on a podcast like WGP you are getting to hear them for free. Pretty sweet!

    Now if you an author, or a writer who aspires to publish, this is the right podcast for you as well. WGP is filled with information and insider details you can use and you never have to leave the comfort of your treadmill, or easy chair to get it.

    Speaking of easy chairs and treadmills,

    WGP is available on iTunes

    – go out and subscribe to us –

    and also on Youtube – and we love ratings and reviews- so please go out and rate and review this show. These items help us grow the show. We will appear in different sections of sites when we get lots of ratings and reviews so more people can find us.


    So, think of it this way–with the blog post here at and the iTunes feed and the Youtube account, people get the content that they want in the way that they like to consume it. I try to feed it out to a variety of place as well, so if you are a Facebook fan, go to our Facebook page and like our page. We also have a Twitter account @wrtrgroupie and we tweet up all of our guest and blog info.

    If you like anything you see on the site, feel free to share it. We have a Google+ account, and you can also pin the shows and posts.

    Well, I guess that’s about it for today, I will be back soon with another great guest. Until then, fan, follow, and like Writer Groupie Podcast and share us with your friends!

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    Too Much Promo Can Hurt You

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    Too Much Promo and Why It Is Bad

    There are two things that social media sites allow: one, interaction with others, two, publicity of anything you want to promote. This is not only a viable way for businesses (and especially writers) to get the word out about their products and services, but it is also the most popular way. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if overused can become one. Too much promo can be like too much sugar in our diets, eventually corrupting things.

    So, why is it when we go out there into the world of the Internet, we think we have to shout and tout our wares? Because mainstream media is the leader, and they do it ad nauseum. We naturally think that if big companies shove ads in our faces all the time, then that HAS to be the way to go, right?


    Don’t believe me? Go and like a major brand of anything or anyone on Facebook. Take one of my favorites: Dr. Pepper. They have a tremendous following on FB. Over 12 million fans in 2012, and of course, still growing. How did they do that? Well, it wasn’t from sitting idle, I can tell you.

    On an average, this brand posts once a day, but oftentimes twice. And what do they post about? Dr. Pepper. A few years ago they held a tuition giveaway for college students. This past Christmas they posted yummy recipes using … you got it…Dr. Pepper. I don’t think the winner has been announced yet. Their posts contain images of their products (they have many) and interesting tidbits that they want consumers to know about their products.

    Sounds like a great way to promote? Well…not so fast. What if I liked their page because I like the diet drink? What if every blessed time I go to my newsfeed I get an advertisement for everything BUT the diet version? Um hm…starting to sound familiar? How do you build sales? Get an already interested party to buy OTHER things. Here we go–too much promo.

    Because it doesn’t stop there.

    A few days later, Facebook sends me ads in that same newsfeed that advertise Coke. And maybe, Pepsi, or Gatorade, or anything else they think I might want since I love soda so much. This is the problem with selling on social media. It becomes a way for that platform to sell to us, too. If I like Amazon’s page or books there, you can bet Barnes & Noble will have an ad in my feed. As well as, Nook, Books a Million, and anyone else advertising similar stuff.

    So, what I believe we are doing wrong is selling on social media. It’s like living in a tiny one room apartment. You toss the magazine from the mail on the coffee table. Then you leave your coffee cup there. Followed by the bags from your lunch at McDonalds and viola! Your small space just became really ugly and cluttered. Ditto for our social media sites.

    Think hard about your newsfeed on Twitter. How many people do you see selling something, or promoting something? I am amazed at how far I have to scroll to get to a tweet with shared info that I care about.

    Too much promo!

    So what do we do then?

    How do we stop too much promo?

    Remember, first, social media is a place to interact with others. It’s great to keep up with your sister in Maine, your brother who is a pirate re-enactor, and your various friends who live far away. It is a place to BE SOCIAL! Go out and friend people who are into what you are into and start intelligent conversations. Get others excited about the fact that YOU ARE A WRITER. A lot of folks are writer groupies like me. We love books. We want to talk about that process and all its spiderwebs.

    And second, I didn’t say NEVER promote. I think that if you say once a week that you are promoting this thing or that, you are probably safe. Just don’t fill up your Twitter page with nothing but that. No more repetitive “Buy my book for .99 cents on Amazon” posts on Facebook.

    Most importantly, use your time wisely. Write more books, and try to make more friends instead of selling, selling, selling. Believe me, if you will build relationships before you wrangle buyers, the sales will come. And wouldn’t you rather have buyers who really want to read your work instead of people who buy out of some high-pressure sales tactic?