WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – G J Stevens

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Give a big wolf welcome to GJ Stevens

29066376_1078869432253464_3932930084414947328_oGJ Stevens started writing fiction at the age of thirty. He describes his style of writing as popular fiction which usually has some sort of Sci-Fi or paranormal element, but he is on a journey and won’t pigeon hole himself into one genre. Even as a degree level engineer with a large family and a full-time career in a serious profession with plenty of adult responsibilities, he has always had an artistic and creative side. After years of self-suppression, the flood gates opened and his novel, In The End, is the culmination of many years of finding time from nowhere to learn the craft.

Whilst working to self-publish his first novel, GJ, real name Gareth, chose to document his publishing journey in an open-book and honest fashion and through his blog he lays bare his journey, detailing his mistakes and the findings of his research as he treads his way into publishing.

As a lover of the outdoors, every year he spends weekends out in the desolate countryside of the UK hiking and camping with his long-time friends which he uses as inspiration for both his creative fiction works and the subject of many a blog post. GJ Stevens is on the beginning of his publishing journey and wants to share the highs and lows with anyone who will listen.

Wolf: Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Gareth: A dog person. I grew up with a dog in the family but as an adult I’m allergic to both cats and dogs. I get my dog fix vicariously through my best friend’s black lab.

Wolf: I’m a dog person too. (Shouldn’t be a surprise for a wolf.) While walking in the woods you come across…

Gareth: A sight I knew I would see eventually. I’d taken to the woods to get away. Walking between the trees because it felt safe, despite each step taken with care, a glance to where my feet might trip, might snap a branch or twig and turn their heads, might force me to run, to find some other place of safety

This is an adapted version of one of my favourite flash fiction pieces I have pinned on my twitter account.

Wolf: Cool. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Gareth: Invisibility, until I really think about it. I’d like to be left alone to write, but I’d have to be able to turn the power on and off. I love my family and friends and wouldn’t want that to end just because they can’t see me! I’m an introvert when it comes to creativity but weirdly confident and somewhat more extrovert when it comes to normal life.

Wolf: That would be a great power. It seems like every time I sit down to write someone walks in the room or calls. Maybe I should try closing the door. Speaking of doors:

There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Gareth: Shout at the TV and tell myself not to take a single step forward. When I realize I’m not on the TV, I’ll look around for anything heavy to swing. If nothing is at hand then I’ll check my pockets for a pen and paper so I can immortalize the moment, ready for adding the scene to my next book.

Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Gareth: Find my wife and hold her in my arms. If I’ve got a little longer then gather together with my friends and family and empty the wine stocks from the house.

Wolf: I’ll drink to that. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Gareth: This is very fitting. My first novel to be published is set at the start of a world changing event and I blog about preparing for the worst by packing a bug out bag. With the bag you’re limited to what you can carry on your back, but if I could only take five items they would be a water filtration straw so you can drink water from almost any source, my micro-pick for defense. It’s lightweight and packs a great punch suitable for all types of post-cataclysmic scenarios. A roll of gaffer type, the swiss army knife of survival. The final items would be a sleeping bag and my multi-fuel compact camping stove.


Wolf: You are ready to go. Let’s hope you never need to used it. I think my character, Tatiana, would have loved your bag. What story are you working on now?

Gareth: I’m editing the follow up to my first novel In The End. It’s is as-of-yet unnamed, but follows the same timeline as the first novel but from another, completely different perspective.

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

Gareth: I work full time and have a wonderful family and group of close friends. When I get chance, I like to hike with my friends but I only get the chance to do that once or twice a year.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. You can connect with GJ Stevens through these links:

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @stevens_GJ



Startouched front cover2


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Holdontothelight FB BannerI had intended to post a little something about mental health each day in September, but time slipped away. Excuses are easy to find, but in all likely hood, it was the gray shroud that tried to smother me again. I’ve battled depression since childhood, although I wasn’t diagnosed until my late twenty’s.

I’ve always been good at hiding my gray, showing the world my glass-half-full side. Perhaps that’s why I like the song “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile,” from Annie. That and “Tomorrow” were my go-to songs growing up. If only I’d felt that way inside as well. But I didn’t. I was more than a little sad. There were times when I’d cry uncontrollably for no reason, but I couldn’t stop.

So why didn’t I get help then? Why didn’t I talk to someone?

I had no idea who to talk to, and I was afraid of what people would say or think. A middle school run in with bullies left me hyper conscious of reactions. Besides, people didn’t talk about depression back then. They didn’t even talk about bullies. There was no internet to get information on depression or resources for help. There were no depression or suicide hotlines at school, or anywhere else that I know of.

Besides, I wasn’t that far into the darkness to consider ending my life. That meant that I didn’t need help, right?


No one should have to walk through life half in darkness. It took me years to figure that out and get help.

Next time you see someone without a smile, say good morning/good evening as you walk by. It may not seem like much, but sometimes that little greeting can mean the difference between gray and darkness, a small touch to let them know someone cares.

Everyone needs help at times
Don’t be afraid to ask
For a rope of light
To pull you from the darkness
Climb out of the gray
Hold onto yourself
Your life
Your heart
This world
Hold onto the light

About the campaign:

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight

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The Morning After

America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, September 28, 2018

Yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court came off yesterday pretty much the way Chairman Chuck Grassley intended. There were no witnesses other than Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. None of the eleven white male members of the Committee questioned Professor Ford directly; instead, Rachel Mitchell, a professional prosecutor with a long history of trying sexual assault cases addressed all questions on their behalf.

There were some positive differences in style between the Kavanaugh hearing and the Clarence Thomas hearing of 1991. Professor Ford was treated respectfully, and Ms. Mitchell addressed her with professional calm and sensitivity, but then, Mitchell was there to assure that no Republican Senator could say anything that might be taken as offensive to women. They were simply muzzled.

Except for those differences, the hearing was a replay of 1991. Anita…

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Looking for something fun to do this weekend?

Come to the Baltimore Book Festival.

Friday September 28 – Sunday September 30

The Baltimore Book Festival, produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, is Baltimore’s premier celebration of the literary arts and features hundreds of appearances by local, celebrity and nationally-known authors, book signings, more than 100 exhibitors and booksellers, nonstop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by top chefs and culinary-themed panel discussions, workshops, hands-on projects for kids, live music and a thoughtfully curated local food and beverage program. Admission to the festival is free.

I’ll be at the Maryland Writers’ Association table on Sunday from 11:00 – 2:00.

Come by and say hi to me and Fifi.

Startouched front cover2


Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.

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Promote Your Book Party!

charles french words reading and writing



Hello to everyone! I want once again to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help. All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This includes poetry and non-fiction.

To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.

Thank you for participating!



Celebrate and promote your writing! Shout it out to the world! Let everyone know about your work!

Feel free to promote a new or an older book!

I hope this idea is successful, and I…

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Author Interview Series: A L Kaplan

GJ Stevens posted a very nice interview of me today. Check it out.

GJ Stevens

Today we welcome A L Kaplan, the author of Star Touched, a science fiction novel with fantasy elements.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Amy adjusted smallWhile my roots are in northern New Jersey, I’ve lived in Maryland for most of my life and Ihave a wonderful and energetic dog named Laila. She’s definitely high energy and an amazing jumper. We love agility and have entered a few competitions. At our first one, I learned that yes, you can get a negative score out of a possible 200. She’s since earned an agility degree. I’m also happily married, the mother of two wonderful adult daughters, and the props manager for Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

I write, of course, and I have a blog at alkaplanauthor.com, I’m also the vice president of the Maryland Writers’ Association.

How long have you been writing for?

I’ve created stories…

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Taking Control of Depression

There are some great suggestions here to combat depression.

Phoebe, MD: Poetry & Medicine

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Depression. One word that can mean so many things. For those who have lived with or currently live with depression, you know very well the effects it can have on your daily life. Depression can drain not only your physical energy, but also your hopes, motivation, enjoyment, and personal drive. You may be aware of all the steps to getting better, but you just cannot get yourself to take even the first one. If this sounds all too familiar to you, you are not alone. And there is hope.


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