Taylor Evan Fulks is a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, specializing in open heart surgery to pay the bills. She’s also a wife, a mother of two very challenging (in a good way) teenage daughters, and an ardent “nocturnal gardener” due to her ongoing battle with skin cancer. She resides in a quaint little town in Southern Ohio, along the banks of the Ohio River.

Time to chat with Taylor!

What is your latest book?

Hello everyone! I’m Taylor Evan Fulks, author of My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal. Whew! That’s quite a mouthful! My debut novel is based on a true story…my story. It’s a dark, disturbing and very graphic account of my life as a survivor (I really hate that term…I prefer warrior) of Child Sexual Abuse.

You have written about deeply traumatic experiences that affect millions of people yet are not always understood or discussed openly. How did you reach a place within yourself where you were able to share your past?

Actually, I didn’t set out to write this particular book at all. I wanted to be a romance writer. I’m a voracious reader! I’ve read over seven hundred books since 2007, so I flippantly reasoned, “How hard can it be?” I’m also a storyteller, though my audience is listening to me ramble on and watching me gesticulate with my hands (I’d explode if you tied them behind my back) rather than reading my words. I sat down to write a romance that had been percolating in my head but found I couldn’t write. I hadn’t lost my muse…I didn’t have one. All I could hear was a little girl inside my head, inside of me, begging for a voice. So, I finally listened.

In the beginning, I wrote about the abuse I endured, tentatively, innocuously, without detail or description, leaving it to the reader’s imagination as to the horror a child suffers at the hands of an abuser. I was completing chapter sixteen of my forty chapter novel when the Penn State, Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal broke into the national headlines.  In the beginning, I was elated, thrilled with the stance the University and the NCAA took in regards to Joe Paterno’s culpability, stripping him of his awards and accolades. They even removed a statue of him from the University campus. I was thrilled with the arrest and prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, now a convicted pedophile.

I watched like a hawk for stories from the victims, some quite young. But all I saw were grossly edited snippets of interviews that minimized the severity and sometimes questioned the validity of the abuse. Then the day of reckoning came…a day that altered my life forever. I watched a group of students, administrators and staff from Penn State stand in front of a TV camera and cry foul! One middle-age man said right into the camera with unflinching eyes, “The punishment is too harsh for the crime!”

I have known rage in my life, feelings of anger so toxic it’s frightening, but I had never amassed and embraced this level of insanity. I was possessed! I didn’t think. I didn’t process or calculate what I was about to do. I just reacted.

I shredded the first eight chapters of my novel and sat down to begin again…this time, in graphic detail. I didn’t consciously think through the consequences of telling my story, at least the consequences to me personally. I did discuss it with my daughters, assuring them I wouldn’t publish if they were the least bit against it. Both girls came at me with a resounding “Go for it, Mom!”

Raw, blatant honesty became my mission statement!

The words poured out of me like a faucet with a busted valve. I wrote with rage and fury, letting the words and experiences flow from the depths of my soul. I wrote until my hand cramped and my fingers were numb…then I cried. I cried for myself and then for all the innocent children that are lost and have no voice. I cried in Shame…

For good or bad, I laid myself naked and exposed to the world (or at least to the few friends that I thought would actually read my book). I bared myself before the world to be judged, criticized and condemned.  I left nothing to the imagination…I take the reader far beyond what is comfortable and far beyond what most would consider inappropriate.

This is as naked and exposed as I’ll ever be…


On your website, you say that you have always been struck dumb and quite frankly amazed, by the concealed and often guarded reporting of sexual abuse. Can you talk more about this?

It’s a sad truth. That which we fear, that which we don’t understand, we shun. Society and abusers hone and cultivate victims of child sexual abuse into becoming gatekeepers of secrecy. It’s a shameful, taboo subject that dates back to biblical times, yet we don’t talk about it. We don’t like things that push the envelope, cross boundaries or make us uncomfortable. We like neat and tidy.

I was introduced to Shame at a very young age…I believe I was six at the time. Shame was that little voice in my head telling me that what was happening to me was wrong. Because you see, abusers seclude their victims, putting them in solitary confinement with no connection to the norms of society or the ways of the outside world. Children learn what they live. Had I not met Shame, not been introduced to the “wrongness” of the life I lived, the cycle would have probably continued with me…for without Shame, we know no better.

Child Sexual Abuse is Shameful in the minds of most people in society. It’s something very hard to wrap your mind around. The mind is a compensatory organ, a flesh and blood computer if you will, allowing a plethora of knowledge and feeling to flow through its pathways…yet, always filtering and camouflaging some things, buffering and blocking others, and shutting off completely when it’s unable to handle or compute. In other words, it makes sure the soul can handle the download of images (real or perceived) and information. And therein lays the problem with Child Sexual Abuse. We hear those three words and our minds will only allow us to imagine so far before we filter, buffer, block, or completely shut off the things too unpleasant to handle. My mission became clear…I had to take the reader to that dark, dismal, shameful place no one ever talks about, and with written words…make them feel.

I know a place so dark that the only light is the knowledge I survived last night. I know a place so shameful, that the only hope in my life is surviving tonight, and the next night, and the next…

Was I too descriptive? Probably. Was I too graphic? Definitely! But I saw no other way to lead readers through my journey…the journey of a lost and forgotten child that had no voice, no protector, no way out. I do not apologize for the subject matter or the way I wrote it (I hate to sound arrogant…I’m not, I swear). My job as a writer in this instance is to provide you the reader, a literary video clip for your mind to grasp and ultimately making you feel. If you come away from my book with an inkling of what it’s like to have no choices, no freedom and no safety as a defenseless child, well then…I’ve done my job. By the same token, I also believe in full disclosure. To the horror and angst of my editor, I put a “Note from the Author” missive on the first page of my book warning readers of the descriptive and graphic nature. My editor said it would kill my sales. Maybe so…but I can sleep soundly at night.

What kind of feedback have you received after writing My Prison Without Bars?

My novel to date has done very well. On Amazon it has over 120~ 5 star reviews and is ranked in the Top 25 in two categories for twenty weeks. On Goodreads my book maintains a 4.5 rating. All of this is fantastic and quite shocking to me. But the greatest blessings in all of this are the emails, Twitter messages, and Facebook messages I’ve received from people wanting to share their horror stories, some of whom have never told a soul. The honesty and trust these wonderful readers have bestowed upon me is far greater and more humbling than any 5-star reviews I’ve gotten thus far.

My community and my colleagues have embraced me with so much love and support. It’s funny, I was so afraid I would have to hang my head in shame, eyes downcast after everyone read my book…I work in the operating room with a mask on my face…only my eyes showing. I pondered how in the world I was going to pull that one off.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?

Ah well…let’s just say that traditional publishers are not ready for edgy, controversial or taboo topics. I contacted five publishing houses (three big ones and two smaller houses) that were taking open submissions. I even contacted TWCS~ The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, original publisher of The Fifty Shades Trilogy.  I wasn’t even given the chance to submit. The submission requirements for all these Houses declined my topic, listing it with subjects like Child Porn, bestiality, and necrophilia. This made me furious, but it also galvanized me to get my book out there.

I spent two months researching self-publishing and my options. I went with Amazon’s Createspace and I’m very proud of the product I’ve published.

Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?

It’s ironic you ask this question. When I started my book I used a speech recognition program to type my MS. I’m not a typist…I do open heart surgery. Anyway, you have to verbalize everything; punctuation, paragraphs, quotations etc… I could never get a feel for the ebb and flow of my writing. Was it a good story? Did it read like a novel, or like a book report?

So, I asked four of my closest friends at work to proofread my MS a chapter at a time as I completed them. They were very positive and encouraged me to continue. Then Penn State occurred and subsequently my rewrite. I brought those pages in, handed them to the girls and promptly walked away. I came back to the locker room an hour later and was blown away. All four women were in tears, looking at me with what can only be described as “awe.” The scene is permanently etched in my mind. The initial encouragement to write my story changed to vehement demands to finish it and publish. I sat down next to them and we all cried.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

First of all, I don’t believe ANY BOOK should receive a review lower than a 3 star rating. The sheer effort to write, edit, format, publish and market the book should warrant 3 stars.

I could give the pat answer~ Ignore it, but we all know as authors, we don’t. I’ve had three 1 star reviews so far (knock on wood), one on Amazon and two on Goodreads. All three were vicious and hurtful, telling the world that what I wrote couldn’t have happened. Between Amazon and Goodreads I have over 200~ 4 and 5 star reviews. I choose to go with the majority.

The world is full of “not very nice” people whether they’re a reader giving a bad review, or a co-worker that you’d love to throttle. My advice is to allow yourself to feel the hurt for a day, two if need be, then dust off and seek the positive. You can’t please everyone…

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

You can judge my book by its cover…that was my intention when I designed it. I wanted no doubt that the reader could tell exactly what they were about to read.

I entered a cover contest on a rather large and popular blog. I waited anxiously for two months for the results. I came in second to last out of sixty-four entries and the judges posted a comment next to my cover that said, “This is disturbing and really very ‘creepy.’” Well, to say I was crushed is a gross understatement! For two days I was undesirable to live with. Then, the little girl inside of me said, “You won dummy! That’s what we were going for…”

What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?

I wish I had known the power of healing is in the TELLING! I’ve lived in shame and secrecy for four decades believing I wasn’t worthy of love, of acceptance or anything better. I lived in a state of suppressed rage…for my abuser, for my faults and mostly toward my mother. In telling my story, I have found acceptance, not necessarily from others, but acceptance of me, by me. My life is what it is. My past is just that…my past. I don’t live there anymore. It’s time to move on.

Care to brag about your family?

Ah…my favorite topic! I’ve been blessed with two of the loveliest daughters a mother could ask for. My oldest daughter is twenty-one and entering her first year of nursing school at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. She’s my worrier, my pleaser and very much a “momma’s girl.”

My youngest daughter is seventeen and my social butterfly. She actually set me up with social media. She found it amusing when she set me up on Twitter, without instructions I might add, and told me to have at it! She and eleven of her friends (ages 18 and under) were my first followers. She got a kick out of watching me thank myself for the follow and thank myself for the retweet for the first three weeks I was on twitter. I got a kick out of confiscating her car keys and keeping them for the next three weeks after I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.

She will be starting her senior year of high school this fall and hopes to get a scholarship to a Division 1 college to play softball. She has a 64 mph fastball and a curveball that breaks 9 inches off the plate. She is definitely a “daddy’s girl.”

What music soothes your soul?

This will sound odd, but I love Classic Rock! The louder the better! If you can’t feel it rattle your bones, it’s not loud enough, and not worth listening to. Both my girls were raised listening to it. They prefer Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac to the noise that’s on the radio nowadays. It takes me to a good place in my head…it drowns out bad thoughts and stirs as much as it soothes my soul.

What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?

My favorite movie would have to be Braveheart with Mel Gibson. I know, I know, it’s so GRAPHIC! I love things, stories, and people that push the boundaries. I lived so many years with my feelings sequestered that now, I’m all about passion. I want things to make me feel, make me ponder long after it’s over and take my breath away! This movie does all of these for me.

My favorite book, hands down, is the Outlander Series (eight books) by Diana Gabaldon. In my opinion, it is the greatest love story ever written. I reread all eight books once a year. It’s time travel, historical fiction and a delicious love story all in one. I highly recommend it! I rate it 10 stars!

Well, I believe my time is up. I want to thank Lisette’s Writers’ Chateau for graciously allowing me to guest blog today. I’m truly honored and humbled.

I’m proud to say the little girl inside my book (inside of me) is fine…I protect her now. She’s finally found her voice…






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woman close-up in orange sweater

What is your latest book?

My latest book is called Unbreakable. This is a new adult romance featuring a heroine named Sophie Morgan. After having a tumultuous time in her teenage years, her parents decide to send her off to stay on a farm with her aunt and uncle in another state. That’s where she meets our hero, Miller Rhodes. And, of course, sparks fly!


What else have you written?

A lot of the books I’ve written up until now have been in the contemporary romance genre. Recently, I’ve also started to write in the new adult romance genre because I find it interesting to take characters from youth until they become adults. Often, these books are filled with more emotion and angst than a typical contemporary romance. For me, that’s fun to write. But it’s also fun for the reader because they get to go on a journey with the characters.

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

I think the greatest misconception about indie authors is that we are inexperienced. Personally, I have a degree in journalism and a long history of working in that field, so writing is nothing new for me. However, a lot of people think that indie authors are somehow lesser than a traditionally published author, but that is simply not true. There are creative people in all walks of life, and some people just haven’t had the chance to get traditionally published.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

The part of writing that I like the least would be just the beginning sections of the book where all of the introduction has to be done. I love to write the action parts of the book, so it’s hard for me to go through the early process of letting the readers get to know the characters before jumping into the action.

The part of writing that I like the most is creating characters and situations out of thin air. I especially enjoy writing dialogue as I think it lets readers really get to know and identify with the characters.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

I write all of my scenes in order. It’s just easier for me to do it that way. If I try to jump ahead and write scenes out of order, I risk losing some of the continuity of the story or missing out on important facts that I’ve included elsewhere. Also, if I write the action first, it becomes even more difficult for me to go back and write the less exciting scenes.

Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?

When I start writing, I have at least some idea of how the book will end. However, I am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. Plotting and outlining is something I’ve tried, but it seems to stifle the creative process for me. However, before I start a book, I know who my characters are, at least somewhat, and I know what the overall idea for the story is. The title usually comes to me about halfway through the book.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

I don’t do a lot of heavy editing or revisions of my work, so the final draft is very much like the original draft. However, I do edit for spelling and grammar, and I do that as I go along. So I write for a period of time and then go back and edit that work before I start my next section of writing. I also run my book through a professional editor for spelling and grammar checks before it’s published.

Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

My advice for first-time authors is to just keep writing. You will improve your writing skills the more you write. You have to keep your butt in the chair and consistently put words on the screen in order to be successful in this business. If you allow people to knock you down or make you feel like you aren’t a good writer, you’ll quit too soon. Take the criticism constructively and use it to better your writing.

Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

My favorite thing about social media is that I get to interact personally with my readers. I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter chatting with my readers, doing polls and doing giveaways of Amazon gift cards and other things. I’ve gotten to know a lot of my readers personally, and I know that they are a loyal fan base. I really don’t have a least favorite part of dealing with social media as I think it’s one of the most fun parts of being authors in this day and age.

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

Cover design is probably the second most important part of publishing a book. In fact, it might be the most important because no one is going to read your content if your cover doesn’t look good. I place a lot of importance on covers, and I hire mine out to a designer for that very reason. When I used to try to design my own covers, it was very obvious that they were homemade even though I used expensive software to do them. I think that most people should hire out for professional covers instead of creating their own even if they know how to.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I was raised here. While I love the South and a lot of my books are set here, I would love to live closer to the beach. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do that! My big dream is to get a motorhome and be able to travel all around the United States anywhere I want to go at any time.

Care to brag about your family?

I have an amazing family. I’ve been married for almost 16 years to my husband, together for 18 years. We have three children ages 13, 12 and 10. They are turning into super people and are involved in lots of different activities including martial arts, music and ballet.

What music soothes your soul?

I love all kinds of different music, but I’m especially fond of piano music, blues and some jazz music. I listen to all kinds of music with the exception of very hard rock and alternative music, but when I write I like to listen to things that don’t have words so that I don’t get distracted.

What was the most valuable class you ever took in school? Why?

Being that I’m a writer, I would have to say that English class was the most valuable class I ever took in school. It was also the class that I always had the best grades in!

If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite shows with us?

I do watch TV, and I get lots of ideas for my books from doing so. Some of my favorite TV shows… I really like reality shows like Survivor, Big Brother, The Voice and others. I’ve also been watching Days Of Our Lives since I was in the eighth grade, and we know soap operas can give you some great plot points for books!

What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?

Being from the South, it’s probably no surprise that my favorite film and book are Gone With The Wind. I’ve always loved that movie and have seen it dozens of times since they shared it to us in our classroom in the eighth grade.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when people are late. I’m always early or right on time, and I can’t stand it when people are late. I feel that it shows a lack of respect.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

The first thing is to dream big. I think that a lot of people put themselves in a box and don’t dream big enough to make real changes in the world. The second thing is to be kind to other people even if you don’t understand who they are. A lot of times we are unkind to people simply because they’re different from us. The third thing is to step out of your own problems and help other people. When you do that, your problems will seem small in comparison and you will be focused on helping them rather than what’s going wrong in your own life.









Darcia Helle writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.  Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else’s mind.

Time to chat with Darcia!

What is your latest book?

On June 1st of this year, I published Killing Instinct: A Michael Sykora Novel. This is the third book in the series. No Justice is book #1 and Beyond Salvation is book #2.

I love to explore the darker side of life, and Killing Instinct is one of my darkest. The plot involves obsession, revenge, a bit of madness, and a love story, though not in the traditional romantic sense.


What else have you written?

I have 10 published books, including the three in my Michael Sykora Series. My other titles are:

Enemies and Playmates

Hit List

Miami Snow

The Cutting Edge

Into The Light

Quiet Fury: An Anthology of Suspense


All of my writing falls somewhere within the suspense genre. Enemies and Playmates is my first and leans heavily into romantic suspense. Hit List is more psychological suspense. The Cutting Edge is dark humor suspense, if that’s even a genre. It’s also the only book I’ve written in first person. Into The Light is my only book (so far) with a paranormal aspect.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

I love writing the first few scenes. This is the period when I’m discovering the characters and their stories.

I get very cranky when I reach the final edit, before sending the book off to my editor. By then, I’ve lived and breathed the story to excess. I’m tired of my own words, tired of the routine and drudgery.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

I usually fall somewhere between these two parameters. A normal routine for me is, when I sit down to write, I first reread the scenes I wrote during my previous session. This helps me get into the mindset of the characters and the mood of the story. In the process, I do some minor editing. Occasionally, I find myself completely rewriting scenes or even tossing them out. Typically, though, I finish writing the entire book before doing any major edits.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

A lot of my research is done before I even know what I need or why. I read a lot of nonfiction books on sociology; studies in human behavior, how the mind works, true crime, etc. I also read a lot of random articles, such as research studies on criminal recidivism, the effects of isolation in prison, and assorted, obscure tidbits of information. When I come across something of particular interest, I file it away for reference.

Both of these factors came into play with Killing Instinct. I’d read an article on the Internet underground and knew immediately that Michael Sykora, my main character in this series, had to explore this vast part of cyberspace unknown to most of us. During the writing process, I was also reading an early review copy of The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime by Adrian Raine. A big part of this book’s content involves looking at and understanding the fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) of sociopaths. This helped me give a realistic feel to the protagonist’s character, and also sparked the idea for something that happens to shape the man he becomes.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?

I was definitely born to write. I’m pretty sure I’d require a padded cell if I was forced to stop.

I wrote my first story in kindergarten. Over summer breaks from school, I’d create word search puzzles, each with a specific theme. I loved doing phonics workbooks, and was probably the only 10 year old in my town who got excited about conjugating verbs. During my teen years, I wrote a lot of dark poetry. Even back then, I preferred the dark side.

When I wasn’t writing, I was creating stories in my mind. I’d lie awake half the night with a story playing out. When those stories became so invasive that I could no longer sleep, I sat down and wrote a scene. Then I wrote another. Soon I had my first novel

Writing is not something I decided to do one day; it’s an inherent part of who I am.

Are you an early bird writer or night owl? And do you have any must haves like coffee, chocolates, wine, music or something else?

I despise mornings. My brain cells don’t talk to each other before 9 a.m., and even then they’re not happy about being called upon. Creativity is impossible before noon.

When my sons were young, I did all my writing late at night. Sometimes I’d be up until four in the morning writing, despite having to be up at 6:30 to get the kids off to school and myself off to work. Now that my sons are grown and I no longer have a day job, I do most of my writing in the afternoon when the house is quiet. Once my husband gets home from work, there is noise and various distractions. I don’t do well with noise and distractions when I’m trying to write. My dream home will have a soundproof room.

My must have is silence. White noise doesn’t bother me. The dogs can bark, providing they aren’t barking at someone pounding on my door. But, to write, I need to immerse myself in the characters and their story. Voices take me out of the moment, whether they belong to a person in the house with me or are coming from the TV. (Or my loud neighbors.) And, as much as I love music, it’s far too distracting. I find myself singing the lyrics. Even music without lyrics seeps into my being and alters my mood.

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

Cover design can be crucial, since it’s often the first thing a person sees. The cover design reflects the genre, the content, and, more importantly, either entices readers or gives them a subliminal cue to move along.

I’ve personally passed on countless books based solely on the cover. For instance, I don’t like Harlequin romances. No offense intended to the authors or the readers; I simply don’t like formulaic romance novels. Certain covers give me the immediate impression of this sort of novel, and I won’t even stop to read the description. Other times, I see an obviously amateur cover, sometimes almost cartoonish, and again I won’t bother to look further. I could be missing out on many books I’d enjoy, but the cover design acts like a flashing caution sign telling me to avoid the story ahead.

We can never know what appeals to any one person. The best I can hope for is that my covers manage to reflect the story within and capture the attention of the majority of readers looking for the kind of books I write.

Do you have complete control over your characters or do they ever control you?

This question made me laugh. I have absolutely no control over my characters. They are in full control from the time they pop into my head, which tends to happen spontaneously and sometimes at inopportune moments.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

My favorite comfort food is ice cream. In fact, I’m a bit of an ice cream snob. I prefer organic, such as Stoneyfield Farms. Cold Stone Creamery is absolutely addictive. I like Ben & Jerry’s, partly because they don’t use hormones on their cows and also because it’s creamy and tastes really good. I’m not a big fan of the typical grocery store brands, such as Breyers. The flavor is a little generic and it’s not creamy enough. The one oddity in my ice cream snobbery is that I could probably overdose on Dairy Queen.

My least favorite food is, without a doubt, peanut butter. The smell alone makes my stomach quiver.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I love to write from the POV of a deranged killer, but I’m a total, unapologetic peacenik.

What makes you angry?

I’d need to write an entire book to answer this question. On second thought, I’d probably need to write a series of books!

Some things that anger me: lack of respect, animal abuse, child abuse, narrow-mindedness, insurance companies, greed, and the hackers who hijacked my website for use in a bank scam.

What music soothes your soul?

Almost all music soothes me. I have an eclectic, obsessive, out-of-control collection. Certain styles of music work better to soothe me, depending on the situation and my mood. Overall, there is nothing like a blues guitar to make my spirit vibrate. A few chords is all it takes for the music to creep under my skin and touch me to the core.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

My dogs make me smile, even on my worst days.




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Peter Pollock is an author, blogger, stay-at-home dad, web hosting trainer and geek (and proud of it!) His most recently published book, Web Hosting For Dummies, is proving to be a hit with readers as well as people within the hosting industry as they are recommending it to their clients.

Time to chat with Peter!


How did you come to write your new book, Web Hosting For Dummies?

I’d have to say it was hard work, trial, and error and not a small amount of serendipity! I get asked this question a lot and the honest answer is, I really don’t know. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I had a book contract in my hand.

The most important thing I did though was going to conferences and, despite my shyness and the fact I’m an introvert, I made friends and talked to as many people as I could.

It was those connections that put me in the position where everything could come together for me.

What was your inspiration for writing the book?

To the average person, web hosting can seem too technical of a concept to understand. As I try to demonstrate in my book though, most of the functions and facilities provided in a hosting account are actually very easy to master, if you have the right teacher.

My belief in pretty much everyone’s ability to get more out of their hosting than they currently do led me to write the book and also start planning a series of workshops around the country to teach people, in a hands on environment, what they need to know, but have been too afraid to try. For more information, go to

How can your book help people with hosted blogs?

My main aim in everything I do is to help others. I believe that we can all do so much more than believe with our websites if we could gain just a little more knowledge – simple knowledge at that.

There are many facilities which come with web hosting that people don’t know about but which are actually really simple and can assist any and all website owners seem more professional and make their sites more secure and protected.

In Web Hosting For Dummies, I try to lay those things out in simple terms using analogies anyone can understand to help people get the most out of their hosting accounts.

Why are you such a fan of WordPress?

WordPress helps level the playing field between those who can afford professional developers and those who can’t. Obviously, there will always be a market for expert professionals but WordPress enables anyone to make a professional site on his or her own.

What were the easiest and hardest parts of writing this book?

The easiest part by far, was procrastinating – but the publisher tends not to like it when I do that, I can’t imagine why! The hardest part was ensuring that I made the book simple enough for anyone to understand and follow yet detailed and deep enough to teach valuable skills. Finding the right balance was very tricky!

Is your recent book part of a series?

WHFD is part of the fantastic For Dummies series of books, which now extends to over 1600 titles. I feel incredibly blessed and honored to have been able to write for this series.

If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?

Okay, you got me there. I did actually make Web Hosting For Dummies bumper stickers, which just have the Web Hosting For Dummies logo on them. Now you ask that though, I am going to have to come up with something clever for the next batch. Maybe something like, “I’m no dummy now that I have read Web Hosting For Dummies.”

What else have you written?

Earlier this year I self-published a children’s fiction book, called A Very Different School, which is the first in a series called The Fantastic Fieldtrips series (yes, I am on a campaign to make fieldtrip an acceptable compound word!). The second book in the series is planned for later in the year, to come out in time for Christmas.

What part of writing a non-fiction do you enjoy the most? The least?

The best thing about writing non-fiction is that you get to do something that you know will benefit people in the future. Conversely though, the hardest part is the weight of knowing that people will rely on you to get everything right and knowing that if you make mistakes, you will be panned for it in reviews. With fiction you can’t be “wrong,” with non-fiction, you can be very, very wrong indeed!

Some authors, like me, always write books in order. But I know some people write them out of order. How about you?

I wrote this book mostly chronologically simply because it’s easier to keep track of which chapters have been done that way. I have to admit though, that some of the chapters were more difficult to write than others and at times I skipped the hard ones to write the easy ones.

Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

Being active in social media is essential these days. However, making your voice heard in the crowd can be difficult. I use Facebook and Twitter more than the other platforms, but that’s just my own personal preference. Just remember that every update you write affects how potential readers see you and how they judge your writing abilities, so even the shortest of updates can influence whether or not someone decides it read your book.

A lot of authors are frustrated by readers who don’t understand how important reviews are? What would you say to a reader who doesn’t think his or her review matters?

People are highly influenced by not only what reviews say, but by the volume of reviews left on each book. Even a very short review tells another potential reader that the book was either good enough or bad enough to warrant sixty seconds of your time to rate it online. So please take a moment to leave a review of any book you read on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

We currently live in the armpit of America, aka the Central Valley (California). It is hot and it smells! If I could move anywhere, I think maybe somewhere around Denver, Colorado would be my preference, because it is hot in the summer and nicely cold in the winter.

Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?

Planes, definitely planes, I love flying. Or maybe automobiles – I love fast cars! … I’m a guy!

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream is my favorite comfort food!!!! (although I generally just eat the brownies and throw most of the ice cream away.

My least favorite food is…. umm…. I can’t think right now, all I can think about is a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Thanks, Lisette, now I have to go shopping!

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to draw/paint. In fact I would love to have enough fine motor control to even write neatly. My handwriting is terrible!

What music soothes your soul?

“Oh, give me the beat, boys, to soothe my soul I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away…”

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

Buy my book

Read my book

Tell others about how awesome my book is!

… At least, that will make the world a better place for me… and one person out of 6 billion isn’t bad, right?