Indie Author Spotlight #9: Thomas Fenske Writes “With a Slice of Life”

Indie Author SpotlightHere in our ninth edition of the Indie Author Spotlight I am aiming to keep bringing positivity despite what’s going on in the world, which I’ve pretty much withdrawn from for a bit. Today I’m chatting with Thomas Fenske, who I’ve mentioned here at The Edifying Word many, many times over the years; most recently I reviewed his latest work, The Hag Rider, which released just this week. I’ve been a fan of Fenske since I read his first book, and I hope you will be, too.

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thefensk

Thomas Fenske now has four published books and one more coming out this summer (yay!). As he is one of my favorite authors, I’m always thrilled to feature him and his books and I’ve had the great pleasure of writing advance reviews for the last two, which are included in the books (and that makes me feel special). His first three books and the upcoming release are Adventure/Mystery, while The Hag Rider is historical fiction. Good historical fiction, that manages to be obviously anti-racism (which we all need right now) despite being told from the point of view of a Confederate Cavalryman. Now THAT takes some writing skill, my friends, and you should check it out! Now, let’s let him speak!

Thanks for joining us here for the Indie Author Spotlight! Let’s start out with this: what do you want readers to know about you?

My biggest goal is to entertain readers and get them to think. I try to add a little humor and always add as much human realism as I can, in small snippets. I call that writing with a slice of life.

I LOVE that phrase, and I think it perfectly encapsulates what I love about your writing. Please tell us about your published books and any upcoming projects! 

As of this writing, I have four books in print and one more coming out this summer. The Fever, A Curse That Bites Deep, and Lucky Strike represent the inaugural trilogy of my Traces of Treasure series. The Hag Rider released this week, and the fourth book of the Traces of Treasure series, Penumbra, will be released in August. A fifth story in the series is planned, and I have a couple of science fiction plots I’ve toyed with for a while, one of those might pop to the surface soon… but with two releases coming out in quick succession I’ll be consumed with marketing for a short while.

Ooh, I’m so excited for Penumbra, book five, AND your sci-fi plans! You’re becoming quite prolific, and I appreciate that you can write well across genres. Have you always been a writer?

I majored in English and took a lot of creative writing course, because it was an upper-division course you could repeat! I dabbled in writing over the course of about 35 years, then finally about ten years ago I dug in my heels and wrote my first (still unpublished) full-length novel. I’ve kept hammering away and managed to interest a small publisher, through which I’ve published all of my books.

Can you tell us about your writing process?

Writing has become a compulsion. When I start a new story, I tell my wife my brain has shifted into novel mode. I have a hard time thinking of anything else when I get into novel mode. I like to fast write, NaNoWriMo-style (sometimes during NaNoWriMo), and work from a loose outline. I find fast writing to be extremely creative because as I push forward, the story tells me where it wants to go. **Quick note for all of you who are wondering what on EARTH NaNoWriMo is — the writing community has an annual “National Novel Writing Month” each November, where participating writers aim to pen an entire novel in one month, with the community to help keep them accountable.

So do you read the same genres you write? Do you have any other hobbies?

I like hard history, and fill in with science fiction, mostly, although I have an abiding appreciation for a masterfully told cozy mystery. I don’t have many other hobbies outside of writing these days. I collect cookbooks, but I’ve run out of space. It loses its appeal when most of your new acquisitions are relegated to tubs.

Sounds like you’re quite busy writing and marketing these days. Are you living your author dream?

I just want to keep writing and publishing. Success? Not sure what that entails. Like I said before, my primary desire is to entertain readers.

And he does! Find Thomas Fenske’s books exclusively at Amazon, visit his website, and look for him on social media: Twitter: @thefensk  —  Instagram: @thefensk  —  Facebook.  

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Would you like to be featured, too? Please contact me at kristin@theedifyingword.com!

ARC Review: Lucky Strike by Thomas Fenske

Lucky Strike by Thomas Fenske

Thomas Fenske does not disappoint with his third installment of the Traces of Treasure series, Lucky Strike. Changing focus from the lost gold mine to a mystery buried treasure from World War II, Fenske steps it up in the complexity department. I’m impressed by his ability to weave together so many disparate parts into a coherent whole, slowly revealing bits of information both about the resolution of the mystery and about the characters we’ve met through the first two books. World War II, deserters, and buried treasure; international criminals, kidnapping, and murder. Oh, and our friends the ghosts, who once again play a pivotal role in the resolution of the key drama. As the drama unfolds, we learn in bits both information useful for solving the mystery of the lost treasure as well as some of the backstory to the characters we’ve come to love from the first two books. I originally erroneously thought the series was going to end with this book, and that made me sad because Sam, Smidgeon, and Lance have started to feel like old friends. I’ve spent so much time with them and in Van Horn that sometimes I forget I’ve never actually been to Texas. I’m glad to spend more time with them, though at the same time I do wish they could live in some sort of peace!

Four stars!

Check out my reviews of Books 1 and 2, The Fever and A Curse That Bites Deep, then go buy them and read up in anticipation of Lucky Strike‘s release this fall!

Top Ten Tuesday: Food in Books!

Today for the first time I am participating in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m going for a loose association here, as I don’t really have a “top ten yummy foods mentioned in books,” and I’m only choosing five today. Here is basically my dump of the first five books I thought of when I read the prompt. Without further ado…

  1. Frog and Toad Together – I already had Frog and Toad on the brain, and I just love the story in this book about Frog and Toad uncontrollably eating cookies and their subsequent discussion of willpower. They remind me a little of me…

Frog and Toad Together (Frog and Toad I Can Read Stories Book 2) by [Lobel, Arnold]

2. The Mossback Café Cookbook – This is a lovely cookbook put together by Thomas Fenske to highlight the fictional Texas café from his books The Fever and A Curse That Bites Deep. Check out the cookbook, but then read the books! They’re great! See my reviews here, here, and here.

Product Details

3. A Life More Complicated by Lizzie Steel – The effort and dedication Josh shows in his quest to make the perfect pizza for Corina is a heartwarming example of someone stepping outside his own comfort zone to complete an act of love for another. Have I mentioned before how amazing this book is? Somehow I’m still the only person who has reviewed it on Amazon – I’m telling you, you are all missing out if you don’t read it!

A Life More Complicated by [Steel, Lizzie]

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl – So, this is NOT yummy, but I couldn’t help thinking of snozzcumbers!

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5. 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous by Lisa Leake of 100daysofrealfood.com – I posted about this book a while back when I had yet to cook anything from it, and I have to say, after actually using it, I really love it. There are still tons of recipes in it that I haven’t tried, but I’m making my way through them slowly. Lisa’s slow cooker chicken and chicken stock recipes have become staples in my house, and my kids are big fans of her oatmeal applesauce pancakes (as am I, yum!).

100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food by [Leake, Lisa]

I’m sure I could think of more if I really tried, but instead how about I throw it out to you — anyone game for filling in the next five for me? I’d love to hear what you think up!