Author Interview – Mary R. Woldering


Author Spotlight

Mary R. Woldering

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight, Ms. Woldering. I have a few questions so we can learn more about you and your current and future works.

1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

I would have to say that’s a maybe. I wanted to do spectacular things like time travel, being a trapeze artist, a princess, a sea captain, a mad poet, a famous archaeologist, and more, but the bottom line was that I wanted to have adventures and then write them down.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?

I couldn’t find anything in my Junior High School Library that I wanted to read, so I started writing stories and reading them to friends.

3. What is the name of your latest novel?

It’s the third book in my Children of Stone Series – Opener of the Sky


4. How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

There’s a novel in that too! Friends and I explored spirituality when I was in college. Part of the study was self-styled “ghostbusting” and past-life regressions which were more like time travel to other time periods. The crazy part was that what we saw started checking out years later. The series is based on the things we saw.

5. Who is your favorite character and why?

That is tough. I like them for different reasons. Marai of course is the hero, but he’s fragile and naïve in his own way. Ariennu is the wild child in my inner self, given permission to be promiscuous and make decisions I’d never make in my own life. Maatkare Raemkai is just plain hot and wicked – the man who will just do you wrong but you want him to.

6. Who is your least favorite character and why?

I don’t have one. I love all of them.

7. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

As above, Ariennu – her rash decisions, her obsessions, she’s my hidden wild side

8. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

Our lives are combinations of choices on the road to wisdom, but decisions we make along the way constantly re-write out script. Important to keep growing and learning right up until the end. If you are breathing you’re not done.

9. What books have influenced you the most?

Why? Books? I guess anything Edgar Allan Poe wrote. Herman Melville. I was also fond of Robert E. Howard’s pulp Conan the Barbarian adventures…Evangeline Walton’s Island of the Mighty Series… folk tales and hero stories of all lands. One of Kola Boof’s books: The Sexy Part of the Bible

10. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Those mentioned above. I’ve never been one to read the popular works.

11. What author would you love to have a conversation with?

Kola Boof. We are Facebook friends but have never met. Any of the above and also Stan Lee.

12. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

Book 4 of the series Heart of the Lotus also some spinoff novellas with the series characters visiting other eras. One I started was Miss Hattie and the Hoppers which is a steampunk mystery.

I have also written portions of a post-Roman Celtic saga tentatively called Raven (something…) I wrote a historical fiction set in 19th century England & America, and one set in 16th century Spanish Mexico. And there is the modern Dionysus story…


13. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book? The latest one?

No. I plan to tune up the first book Voices in Crystal and part of the second at some distant date.

14. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

Without giving too many spoilers, Ariennu and Naibe have been serving as concubines of King Menkaure. Hordjedtef, the king’s uncle and a high priest, has had them kidnapped and rushed up the river as potential threats on the king’s life. Their captor is his sadistic grandson. Using her own psychic ability Ariennu visits in the form of a brown hawk. She is attempting to get a message to his majesty to send someone to save them.

“Where are they? I want them brought to me at once!” she heard the king roar and saw him struggle to his feet while his grooms fell to their knees, his clothing in their hands. One man held out the pleated linen that formed the king’s shendyt, but Menkaure swatted at the air near them and the man shrank back knowing he could be punished with instant death. Menkaure paced for a moment then noticed his own nakedness and tersely beckoned for one of his grooms to fasten and belt his clothing neatly. He beckoned the other man who held his ordinary khat to put it on him and to clasp his pectoral at his throat.

“Lady Naibe…” The king called “Lady ArreNu.”

“Your Majesty.” a low and timid voice suggested the king calm himself enough for the kohl to be painted around his eyes.

Ariennu saw guards returning up the stairs strong-arming the young concubines, Irika and Suenma, who had been rude to her right before the party commenced. They had been chosen by the king to entertain him after the party but when Menkaure had seen Naibe’s dance his plans changed. The women froze at the door, reading the king’s displeasure. The guards behind them pushed them to the floor in an attitude of worship.

“Where are they? What have you done to them? Then “Guard your words with your worthless and jealous lives.”

Ariennu shuddered, almost ready to leave that scene. She had seen the king mildly happy, tired, depressed, slightly ill and even paternal but never enraged to the point of breathlessness. The concubines were clinging to each other and crying. Menkaure slumped into his wicker day chair and had the guards bring them closer, pushing them face-down on the floor before him.

“You two know something. You will tell me everything and if what I hear is not to my liking or if I even begin to sense you are lying to me, your throats shall feel a draft and your last words to your Father will be an apology.”

He pointed to Irika first.

“You… You did not like my fire haired healing woman…or the young goddess-girl.” He shifted in his chair uncomfortably. “You spoke ill of my young dancer as if you told a joke, but I knew your spiteful heart from the day she joined her sister here.” He leaned forward, accusing. “I know you women plot to be with your Father, and to be the star in his eye. This morning Lady Naibe has gone from me when I did not give her leave and her dear sister is missing too.”

The tall and lanky woman whose arm Ariennu remembered twisting when she insulted her, buried her face in her hands. Ari smirked inwardly. I should have become a fly so I could see this closer. Look at that. I could almost laugh at the stupid kuna, scared like that. Not so proud and sure of yourself now, are you?

The sensation of a controlling utterance at the door stirred Ari’s attention. She layered extra secrecy over her hawk shadow and sensed more than saw the elongated skirtlike shendyt that swept gracefully into the room: Count Prince Hordjedtef.

And there it is. The demon himself. Damn! Ari sighed. I see the bastard saving the day for his young pet. Wretched girl knows who has the real power in this place… she watched the elder prince bend to the girl to comfort her and then dismiss both of them.
“Uncle, did you just dare speak for me?” Ari heard the king snarl “I will know what became of the sojourning women who were in my house. The girls were bold enough to speak of their discomfort. I asked for them to be brought for questioning and now you release them?”

Uh-oh. Ari’s vision continued. King Menkaure leapt to his feet and strode to the elder priest in such a rage that for a moment Ari hoped she would see the king liberate the Great One’s head from his neck.

Be strong your Majesty…
He is the one.
He is the architect

She tried to get into the king’s thoughts, but winced when she felt the Great One’s gaze search the outer porch as if he had sensed something.

“I’ve known you as my wise uncle all my life as a young prince and all through the good times and the bad with my heavy crown. I looked up to you, even passing over the advice of my brothers and my good vizier Neb, yet your heart decides it speaks as god?”

Ari knew the king blamed Hordjedtef for her and Naibe’s disappearance. She watched as Menkaure pushed the elder aside and headed for the door. She saw him pause, seize the old man by the top of his collar and yank him close to his rage-darkened face. Ariennu heard his words and felt her heart suddenly drop. She knew her thought had reached him but now she realized she should have kept it to herself.

“Just so you know, Uncle, I have also heard the cry of my sweet child’s soul again through the gifts of these holy women you so callously sent packing. I am taking fine offense at what you have done.” He shook the old man loose from his hand and stormed to the door about to send for his guards.

“Kind Majesty…”

Ariennu sensed the old man scrambling after the king; trying to get his attention.
“Don’t.” Menkaure turned from his elder. “It seems I’ve listened to your whispering and your spells long enough. You have been holding back and dismissing as fantasy the very truth I knew from the day my heart was torn out. The ladies, without me asking them to do so, brought my sweet one back to me. “I know this is why you sent them away. You are to protect goddess Maat, not bury her or choke her with lies.” The king whirled in another pacing turn. “I will see the best rowers on my swiftest boats sent to take them up and bring them here back to my arms. They are to me more than gold.”
Ariennu bowed her head, feeling an impossible blush of pride.

“But Most High Majesty. Hear me once more and then no more if you wish.” The elder protested. “These women have gained your trust and have cast spells of their own on you I fear. You know their sire was a would be- foreign usurper whom I and my second man Prince Wserkaf apprehended and routed…You had approved all that was done to him at one time.”

Fearless wretch… Ariennu murmured, He’ll turn it around and now I’ll have to watch how it happened. She saw the king pause, then think. Goddess; she thought quickly. Do not listen, Majesty. Do not believe him.

“I did, it’s true.” The king paused, still pacing and becoming even more agitated. “Have I piled on even more evil? Or is it you, Uncle?”

“The fault is also mine to have taken pity on these pleasing ones, Majesty. I discovered that they cast spells on us all with their weeping and grieving, but under it, the whole time they were plotting and planning. I know the elder one whispered to you that you ought to take in her flower teas and creamed broths and not the tonics I labored to produce for you. Remember that soon enough you knew them to be weaker medicine? The younger beauty then came to you in your weakened state and further seized your godly heart.” The Great One of Five straightened. “I feel there was less of love in them for you and more of vengeance.”

Ariennu saw the old man’s secretive gesture and the resulting twinge in the king’s chest. She winced and made a cawing screech.

Ah, Majesty, you see…he said, rushing to Menkaure to heal him with all of the proper series of touches. She saw the elder priest look up once and noticed the reddened glare in his slit-like bird eyes. Everything dissolved around her.

15. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Start publishing much earlier than I did. I wrote for YEARS on spiral notebooks. I had to wait until I retired to really get started. And don’t be a perfectionist to the extent that you feel your work will never be perfect. It won’t be. Just get it out there. Don’t die with the stories untold.


To find out more about Mary R. Woldering and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or on Amazon…Children of Stone series-  Voices in Crystal, Going Forth by Day, and  Opener of the Sky.

Thank you for stopping by the Desu Beast Blog, Mary. I look forward to reading your series and upcoming releases.


Author Interview -James Goodridge

Author Spotlight

James Goodridge


Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight. Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 56 year old African American male from the boogie down Bronx in NYC who started on a journey in 2004 into the world of speculative fiction.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

Yes. I’ve always wanted to write and live the life of a writer, but I consider myself a reader who writes.

  1. What inspired you to write your first story? 

    Shows like Twilight Zone, the X files etc. I’m in the process of working on a collection of occult detective/diesel funk short stories to be published near the end of 2017, or the beginning of 2018 by Fist City Press. Also a coming of age story I wrote a few years ago.

  2. What is the name of your latest novel?

Not ready for a novel yet. The working title of the short story collection: Madison Cavendish/Seneca Sue The Passing of Time Sagas.

  1. How did you come up with the concept?

I started off with a short story titled The Lower Manhattan Horror, a Lovecraft type of story but without the xenophobic theme that Lovecraft, a product of his times tended to write.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

It’s a tie. Madison, an immortal with vampire issues, just wants to get through the day and solve whatever  affairs (as I call them) that comes their way. Seneca Sue, on the other hand, is an immortal Shaman and part werewolf who’s more free wheeling.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

None yet.

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

I guess Madison, because of the incident that happened to him and Seneca back in 1914, they have to adjust to the mortal world down through the ages. So many changes from 1914 to 2017, for the both of them being born in the year 1885. Then you have the fact that both of them are biracial, hence the passing of time title has two meanings to focus on . Only their love gets them through time. Try picturing a relationship of over 90 years between a vampire and a lycanthorpe who are enemies according to folklore and film.

  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

Yes . Life is complex. Nothing is cut and dried. I also like to use African American historical figures who are not well known, but were part of our struggle as a race. Everyone has some basic knowledge of icons like Paul Robeson, but know little of Lt Samuel Battle, the first black NYPD officer, Rollo Ahmed,  black occultist or Phillippa Schuyler black classical pianist.

  1. What books have influenced you the most? Why?

War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells because I’m a scifi fan who happens to be better at writing horror. I know,  go figure. I loved the book because of the  “what if” scenario.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, John Updike, Ray Bradbury, Walter Mosley, Yukio Mishma, Rod Serling and all the great writers on the Twilight Zone series from the 60’s. And believe it or not, U.S. Grant because of his plain cut to the chase style of his memoir

  1. What author would you love to have a conversation with?

 Rod Serling. I would have loved to talk with him over a bottle of Scotch.

  1. Any other projects you would like to talk about?

I have a series of short stories titled Artwork which have been showcased in issue # 7 and reprinted in the Winter 2016 issue of Genesis magazine of the black science fiction society  you can also find some of my work at

  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest work?

My current work, no.  I’m forever revising and editing.

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current work that you would like to share?

” Hello, How do you do?” came a voice with a lisp from a figure stepping out of the kitchen of the cozy apartment done up in bell pepper green and warm orange. I can’t lie I had baby doll pegged as a rival right from the start, but I also sensed a troubled life and a tragic future from this young lady. Long raven black hair part of it thrown over her right shoulder, light sand complexion, dark eyes, round soft baby face, Phillippa’s body exuded a sensuality super charged by youthful zest in a tight fitting angora sweater, dull olive green stone set in a gold ring adoring her right ring finger. A dark blue pencil skirt, dark silk stockings and dark blue high heels shoes completed the package. (The Cloverdale Affair (c) 2016 )

  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

While I sometimes like to listen to Miles Davis while I write, don’t get caught up in “Oh I need for the mood to be right” as Ray Bradbury once said “Just write!”

  1. Do you have any links that you would like to share?

You can friend me on Facebook : James Goodridge, you can go to my Facebook page : Who gives you the Write, I do blogs some time especially for black history month or as we say black horror history month at

Thank you Aaron

You are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with me. I look forward to reading more of your work. Great Success!

Author Interview – M. L. Spencer


Author Spotlight

M.L. Spencer

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight. Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

Hi and thanks for having me! I’m M.L. Spencer, author of the epic fantasy series The Rhenwars Saga. I am passionately in love with fantasy as well as science! I teach biology at the high school I graduated from.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

Yes. I started writing as soon as I could pick up a pencil. I wrote my first manuscript at thirteen.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

I was always living in a fantasy world. I lived in an orange grove and made the whole place into a land complete with maps, towns, rivers, and populations. It even had its own currency, language, and religion!


  1. What is the name of your latest novel?


  1. How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

I wanted to write a serious that was less about good versus evil and more about the exploration of differing moral ethics.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

In Darkstorm, my favorite character is Quin. I love him because he is a flawed, sarcastic, self-deprecating addict that has a heart of gold but can’t seem to do anything right. Coming up with his dialogue was some of the best times of my life.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

My least favorite character to write is Arden Hannah. Getting into her point of view makes me feel soiled inside. I literally feel like I need a bath!

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

Probably Quin. I, too, have had my own struggles with addiction, so there’s a lot of myself in him.


  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

There is. But I’m going to keep that one under my hat, for now.

  1. What books have influenced you the most? Why?

Wow. That’s hard. I was born and raised on fantasy fiction. I think I could best describe my work as an amalgamation of Frank Herbert, Stephen King, and Robert Jordan.

  1. What author would you love to have a conversation with?

Patrick Rothfuss. Want to pick that man’s beautiful brain.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

Working on book 4!

  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

I don’t think so. I had a pretty good idea where I wanted to go with this series from the very beginning and, for the most part, it’s just taken me there. I feel like I’m riding a tall ship at full sail.

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

He shuddered at the sound of that voice. It was vilely seductive, gliding like soft velvet down the length of his nerves. Braden kept his eyes squeezed closed, so loathe was he to gaze upon that face.

He could feel her moving toward him across the cell. Her hands brushed against his skin, a silken caress as she slid her arms around his torso. With gentle pressure, she compelled him to his feet. He stood, swaying, naked from the waist up, arms chained behind his back. His breath still came in gasps.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” she whispered gently in his ear as her soft fingertips stroked the skin of his back. “You can still choose to make a difference. Think of the lives you would be saving. It’s the right thing to do.”

His eyes shot open, glaring his contempt at her.

“Don’t lecture me on morals, woman,” he grated. “You have no idea what they are.”


  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Yes. Keep writing. Don’t give up. Every word brings you one step closer to success, even if it’s hard to see light when you’re standing in the dark.

  1. Do you have any links that you would like to share?

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with me, M.L. Spencer. I am eagerly awaiting your next novel. As you know, you are one of my favorite Epic Fantasy authors. Great Success!




OnyxCon is the first event that I am attending in 2017. If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to meet me, please come out and join us for this FREE event. There will be a host of talented creatives, cosplayers, and much more.


The largest convention in the Southeast celebrating the impact, contributions, and presence of the African Diaspora in *REALMS OF IMAGINATION through the popular arts.

So what exactly is ONYXCON?

ONXCON is a convention, festival, and celebration.

We promote, showcase, educate, and entertain all fans of the Sequential Arts and related media.  We EDUTAIN!  We feature independent and legendary creators of comics, books, film, and other media with a focus on African Diaspora culture, concepts, interests, and general markets. Ultimately we represent diversity in these Arts and so we are open to representing all POPULAR ARTS  that are CONSCIOUSLY DIVERSE!  Our event is for everyone, and is a progressive and diverse networking event for professionals as well as enthusiasts who appreciate our showcase. Because comic books/comic strips have long stood as the foundation Art form of this type of convention, comics are a major feature. But ONYXCON IS NOT LIMITED TO COMIC BOOKS. Our events highlight other literary genres like speculative fiction, as well as video games, collectable toys and models, films/documentaries, and all other media related to the Popular Arts. 


Similar events that inspired ONYXCON continue to have success. Established festivals like Philadelphia’s East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC) founded by Yumy Odom inspired this event.

The original – The Black Age of Comics Convention founded in 1993 by Artist/Educator Mr. Turtel ONLI of Chicago, IL, was the 1st Black Age convention. Inspired ECBACC and many other conventions making ONLI the “Father of The Black Age of Comics”!  Others that added to the movement include The Motor City Black Age of Comics (Detroit, MI) founded by Andre Batts/Urban Style Comics, The Kids Comicon ( Bronx, NY ) founded by Alex Simmons.  These conventions, The National Black Arts Festival and numerous other ‘comic cons’ were inspirational catalyst for the creation of ONYXCON.


The origin of the word Onyx is defined as meaning ‘ring’. Onyx is also associated with the stone of the same name which features many tones and variations. It is often prized for the variations that are Black. The good energy attributes associated with the stone, the term ‘Black’ as it associates with the culture and vision of the African Diaspora, and the symbolism of a ‘ring’ as a complete circle of networking, learning, and influence are the symbolisms associated with the ONYXCON’s mission. CON means to convene, come together, unify for a purpose. Con is short for Convention.  = ONYXCON

For more information, please visit their website.



Interview – Jarvis Sheffield

Spotlight Interview


Jarvis Sheffield

It has been a great honor to sit down and speak with Mr. Jarvis Sheffield.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today. You have numerous existing projects and some that are currently underway. Could you share some information about the upcoming Earth Squadron?

  1. How did you come up with the concept?

I have been a fan of science fiction since I was a young child and had ideas of my own from the start. Around 2001 I was in a training class for a cellular telephone job. I was kind of bored so I started jotting ideas down in a notebook. I eventually read a few Sci-Fi writing books and turned those ideas into a short story that was eventually published in Genesis Science Fiction Anthology Book 1 around 2009.


  1. What is the projected completion date?

We are shooting for the fourth quarter of 2017 from completion of the film. The project has been a multi-year endeavor but we hope to make it worth the wait. The film adaptation was completed by William Hayashi in 2014. Since then we have completed the storyboards, dozens of characters, and location designs. We just moved into the voice over phase which will be followed by animation, special effects, and sound design. The last thing we want to do is rush something out and it not live up to the blood, sweat and tears the team has put into it.

  1. Do you have a favorite character and why?

I don’t really have a favorite character in the film. I am equally enamored with all of them. I will say this I identify with David the most. He has to find his place in the world and go for it when the time comes. Which is kind of how I felt at a certain time in my life. Once I found my calling then I had to go for it with everything I had.

  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your viewers to grasp?

The central message that I want people to get is that no matter what society says about you, you hold value. Everything and everyone is here for a purpose, some are easy to see others are not. Contrary to what some erroneously think, one group is no better than the other in this life.

  1. What books/movies have influenced you the most? Why?

Oh my, books and movies that influence me the most would include; Star trek, Star Wars, Lost in Space, Dr. Who, Aliens, Twilight Zone, Tales From The Crip, Tales From The Hood, Cosmic Slop and Tales from the Dark side. These influenced me the most because they captured my attention at an early age. The movies were all so exciting to see in the theater when I was young that they got my imagination going full speed. I began to imagine myself and others that looked like me as characters in the big Sci-Fi movies. Also, the episodic shows were glimpse into what could be now or what it would be like in the future. In terms of books, I’ve read virtually everything from Octavia Butler. Her work is totally engaging and she was the first Black Sci-Fi Writer I was exposed to. Speculative fiction gives us glimpses of possible futures.

  1. If you could sit down and talk with anyone (past/present) who would it be? Why?

 Wow, that is a really tough question. So that answer will not be an easy one. I really would sit and talk with Jesus. I say this because I don’t think any other living being could answer the grand questions that I would have about life, the universe and the hereafter.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

Oh, I always want to encourage everyone I know to support my Black Science Fiction Society Online Network, Genesis Sci-fi Radio Show, Genesis Sci-Fi Magazine and buy our Genesis Sci-Fi Anthology books series. Each of these are ways to network, create, showcase and promote diverse work by talented independent creators. Also, we have begun prototyping of positive toys and video games that we hope to have available in the very near future. In terms of Earth Squadron, we would like to make toys and possibly a video game for it. Hopefully, that will be attainable in the ensuing future.

  1. Do you have any advice you would like to share?

My advice is simple. If you have a worthy goal or dream don’t let it die as just an idea. You should read, watch training videos, take classes, plan and devote at lease and hour a day towards that goal. Don’t listen to the naysayers, just do it like the Nike ad campaign used to say. Just Do It! Over time you will be surprised at what you will be able to accomplish.

  1. I know that you have your numerous irons in the fire. Could you list a few links and give us some information about your Sci-Fi Society?

Sure thing! Here are a few links to projects currently underway:


  1. You are an active participant in many conventions. Are there any on your schedule where we could meet you in person that you can share with us?

I don’t have dates for 2017 but here are the events I would like to attend next year:

Antioch High school Afrofuturism Day

Onyxcon Sankofa ATL

AstroBlackness: Planet Deep South

Afrofuturism Symposium Clark Atlanta University

Atlanta Sci-Fi Fantasy Expo ATL

AfroFuturist Affair


Juneteenth  ATL

Afrofuturism Network Comic Book Convention and Conference

DuSable Museum of African American History is hosting “BLACK AGE EVENT”


African Street Festival

Independent Comic Creators Convention

Motor City Black Age of Comics Convention

I do my best to attend events around the country. These are our grass roots distribution systems. They are great for networking, selling and buying Black focused products. They are also great cultural events in themselves often with books, art, comics, toys, music, videos, games, food, face painting, dance and other great activities for the entire family.

Lastly, I want to thank you for offering me this awesome opportunity to talk about one of my favorite topics. I also want to thank those that support these projects as well as my family and friends for standing behind me with their loving support.

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with me. It has been a pleasure to not only talk about the upcoming projects, but also allowing me to be a part of the upcoming Earth Squadron film and the fantastic interview on Genesis Science Fiction Radio.

I hope to see you in person at some of the above listed events.