StarkLight Press Interviews Roxann Harvey

In our next StarkLight Press Interview, we discuss Roxann Harvey’s winning entry in StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest.
Roxann Harvey is the Business Administrator for her husbands company, Rocky’s Tours Jamaica.  She is a practical Nurse by profession and a self-published Author – very enthusiastic, loving  and fun. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in business Administration.The current Novel that she is working on is “Love and Money Worries”. It is about the life of Catherine Barrows , a very young and beautiful young lady from a small village in the lovely Caribbean Island of Jamaica, her life was full of struggles.
1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?
The first thing I remembered writing was a poem entitled Life a narrow path. I entered this poem on the previous and it was a winner. I wrote that poem when I was only 10 years old and I carried it with me into adulthood I will never lose that poem. I currently have more than one version of this poem.
2. What is your main inspiration to write? 

My main inspiration to write started at the age of eight years old I stumbled up on a poetry book written by Robert Frost on my grandmother’s book shelf, I would read a page from that book every day. The poems hit home, at that age they were like a story to me and I said to my self I would like to write like this one day. So at the age of 10 years I wrote my first poem , never stopped writing and reading. At the age of twelve I was still reading Robert Frost book it had many pages and was very thick, I believe I read it over and over, from just reading a poetry book by a very renown author and writer without even knowing at that time, it spiraled me into a a poetry drunkard. A writerholic, even if I am not writing a poem I would find something to write, I just love to write.

3. What is your story for StarkLight Press about?

My story for StarkLight Press is entitled Parents were Cousins, which is a flash fiction, this story is about a young girl by the name of Catherine who went to spend some time with her uncle’s family, she fell in love with her cousin Chris, she also got pregnant by him. She was betrayed, locked in an attic and later on was sent to the asylum. She was locked away to protect the family name because it was wrong for women to be in relationships with their family members. Chris married a wealthy doctor who later on in the story helped Catherine to get out of the asylum.

4. Why did you choose this story/genre? 

I am apart of a writing group hosted by Virginia Stark, she gave us a writing Challenge to write a flash fiction story off a list that had many different reasons why people were committed to an insane Asylum back in 1864 to1869. I liked the one that said parents were cousins, it hit me right there in the head, so I submitted my first story to the group it was liked by my fellow poets, and I was encouraged to expand on it.  Based on the fact that this was the first story I had ever written I believed that I should really expand on it. When Starklight press posted that they were accepting Short Stories and It could be a flash fiction, I said yes! this is my opportunity to make this story come alive. It reminds me of Flower’s in the attic by V.C Andrews a 1979 novel. I really love that story, Therefore Parents were Cousins is my version of Flowers in the attic. It is a reincarnation of the images that the story flowers in the attic has left in my mind, expressed my way.

5. What advise do you have for aspiring authors?

My advise to aspiring authors is to follow your dream, write as much as you can, try to find positive persons to be around who will give you sound advise and push you in the right direction. Get on the internet find writing groups to join. Learn how to self publish yourself. Never give up and never give in to pressure, obstacles and hurdles will come your way, but don’t you faint, continue to press forward because you will reap the reward at the end of the struggle, my motto is “Hard work brings true joy”  I am very grateful  to prove this to be true. If you work hard when you reap the reward of your labor you will be very happy.

6. What are some of your other hobbies? 

My other hobbies are listening to music, helping others, Surfing the internet, socializing, relaxing and enjoying nature.

7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?
 My hobbies infiltrate my writing in a very positive way, I am able to write the things I see, I write about people, I am able to put life’s experiences into words, its putting pen to paper. its living each day as a day with new ideas and new words. My hobbies are like one with my writing, I always have pen and paper close by so I can jot down stuff to write about later. If I am driving and I see a sign I will either write the words on it or take its picture, I always have my phone on me and I use it like a camera, I shot any thing and then put it together later to formulate a poem, a short story, quotes of inspiration and new phrases for my miniature book of constant self encouragement.
8. How has your own past influenced your writing? 
 My past has influenced my writing greatly it is the driving force behind my passion for writing, I grew up in a Christian home. I have seen good days and bad days so I am able to relate to both circumstance in life. Most of my writings are influenced by my christian belief that there is a creator who made all things and it is through him that we live and breathe, that there is hope and no matter our status in life or the situations that we face there is hope.. My poems are encouraging and inspiring to keep going no matter what.  over time I have been learning to come out of my comfort zone and launch out into a variety of genre’s, I explore far beyond my comfort zone and this feels great. I am very optimistic so I am excited each time I try something new. I am always searching for more.
9. Any final thoughts? 
My final thoughts are:
a. To implore anyone that is reading my interview to stay the course, weather the storm don’t give up and follow your hearts desire to write, because words are powerful and if you write encouraging words you will bless a heart, save a life, encourage someone, you will be an inspiration. Set your goals and execute them. No matter where you are from once you have ambition you can be among the greats.
b. A big thank you to my husband Roxroy Lawrence for his tolerance and continued support of me in my writing endeavors also my children for being my cheer leaders.
c. Wow!  I must say thank you very very much Anthony Stark and Virginia Stark for making this short story writing eligible for me,you are awesome. You are doing a great big wonderful job and I wish you all the very best in your writing and publishing business, I can truly see that you love what you do with a passion, you go about it with a lot of enthusiasm and professionalism. This is brilliant as you have all the mechanisms for growth, development and success.

Thought for the Day

writing persistence

This persistence of writing is the only thing that separates the most famous authors in the world from everyone else, and it is coincidentally also what makes the best human beings.

Are we suggesting writers are a superior lifeform?


Congratulations to all our short story submittors, and true encouragement to all our next contestants. Check back at for our upcoming Fourth Short Story Contest announcement! Remember, past winners may re-contribute for our other anthologies and online publishing.

In addition, first time authors are welcome to submit. If you are a winner of our contests, write a comment of encouragement for those considering entering on this post!

StarkLight Press wants to see the people writing, and receiving the interpersonal support they need to do so.  Let’s all get out there and become the superior lifeforms we know you can be!

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

StarkLight Press Interviews Van Fleming

1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?
The first thing I remember writing is actually a story that takes place after this one where Markus is a major support character.
2. What is your main inspiration to write?
Imagination. Seeing something in real life and spinning it on it’s head.  Change the setting, or style or even the time frame and see what happens. Even a line from a song can give the spark to start a fire and turn into a full blown idea.
3. What is your story for StarkLight press about?
Markus is a mercenary in a war against an ancient evil. Wolves shaped with magic and given intelligence. A weapon for a war long past that has become the bane of modern times. This story leads up, telling how he rose to the lofty position we find him in in a later story.
4. Why did you choose this story/genre?
Since I was a child (my wife would say I still am) I have always found swords and magic more interesting than the wild west or a galaxy far far away. What would it be like to ride on a dragon? What is the cost to wield the great powers of magic? Can a small group of people truly be the catalyst that changes a generation?
5. What advise do you have for aspiring authors?
Day dream, fantasize, set no limits. The stories you write come from the imagination, and that is fueled by an open and eager mind. And never let anyone tell you it’s not good enough. Only you can say that.
6. What are some of your other hobbies?
Clogging, Line Dance and Gaming as well as the occasional anime with my teenage daughter.
7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?
A few names and descriptions have come from characters of my friends, with their permission of course.
8. How has your own past influenced your writing?
Some of the sword fights in my stories have been inspired by my early martial arts training, and many of my values can be seen in the main characters. A respect for life, a need to help others and the need to do the right thing, no matter what.
9. Any final thoughts?
I appreciate the opportunity you guys gave me to get my story out there and to also spread my wings into a little science Fiction in the GAF Universe.
Van Fleming is a Texas author who is one of the winners of StarkLight Press’ Third Short Story Contest, as well as an upcoming inductee to GAF Mainframe writers’ circle.
– Virginia Carraway Stark,
StarkLight Press.

StarkLight Press Interviews G.W. Renshaw

Virginia Carraway Stark next interviews Gary Renshaw, notable Calgary author and Renaissance man, author of The Vacation, winner of StarkLight Press’ Third Short Story Contest.


1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?

In grade seven I wrote a book by hand that would now be classified as
Star Trek fanfic. I think I still have it somewhere. From what I
remember it was utterly horrible.

Yes, by hand. This was before I got my first typewriter, and long before
we had computers that fit inside a house and cost less than the GNP of a
small country.

2. What is your main inspiration to write?

Ideas pop into my head, and doctors look at you oddly when you ask them
to cut the ideas out. Writing is a safe, effective, alternative treatment.

I frequently get ideas from a small detail in something unrelated. I
write speculative fiction, so for me it’s all about the “what if” and
the “wait a minute.”

For example, “wait a minute, the Ent Wives in Lord of the Rings
disappeared how long ago and nobody’s seen them since? Why? Where? How?
Was this enemy action by Sauron, or is something else going on? What if
they were kidnapped by aliens?”

If anybody wants that idea they can have it. Just mention me at your
awards ceremony.

3. What is your story for Starklight press about?

A science fiction author is on his way to Earth for an SF convention
when Bad Things happen and Hilarity Ensures.

Readers who want a Theme, Deep Symbolism, Comments on the Human
Condition, and Biting Allegory won’t like it. Those who remember the
days when we were allowed to write Ripping Adventures will probably love it.

4. Why did you choose this story/genre?

One morning, the only thing I could remember of what must have been a
really good dream was the line “I really hate the onions and snakes.”
Every bit of context vanished back into the dark recesses of the night.

Obviously the line has to be related to science fiction, so I wrote a
story around it. The story is fun, it gave me a chance to include some
Esperanto, and it’s sort of early Heinlein-ish.

What more could one want?

5. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

1. Don’t be lazy. Learn how to put together a real sentence. Learn the
mechanics of story construction. Research those details that you don’t
know. If you are lazy, somebody will call you on it. You do not want a
doctor reviewing your first novel and saying “the medical details are
all completely rubbish and completely ruined it for me.”

2. Learn to speak in public. I guarantee that you’ll need it when you
read at a bookstore. I was terrified at first. I got over it. You
probably can too. Acting classes help.

3. Learn marketing. No, that big publisher won’t do all your marketing
for you. You need to know what to do for yourself. I highly recommend
that you start with Kate Larking’s “Novel Marketing: Making Your Author
Brand Work for You and Your Books” ( And no, I
don’t get anything for recommending this e-book.

4. Learn that this is a business. There are tax breaks you can use if
you are an author. There are records you must keep. Ask people who
really know what they are doing. It’s not difficult.

5. At first you will suck. Everybody does. Friends and family almost
never give you honest assessments. If they say your writing is
wonderful, it almost never is. That’s why a good writing group that
specializes in giving critiques is useful. Painful, but useful. You will
learn a lot in a good writers group.

6. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for the latest computer and
fancy writing software, I bought a second-hand laptop. I installed
Ubuntu Linux, LibreOffice, Gimp, and some other programs to make my life
comfortable. The total cost was zero, apart from the computer. I can
write, research, and do my own cover art. Why pay more?

6. What are some of your other hobbies?

I’ve had an injury for several years, so I’m a bit boring at the moment,
but I’m rather fond of cave exploration, mountain climbing, and martial
arts. I have a black belt in aikido and a blue belt in Chito Ryu karate.

I also have a young padawan who started out as my aikido student. We’re
now friends and practice aikido, Krav Maga, baton, sword, and tradecraft
together. We’d done some man tracking (I was taught by Terry Grant, the
original TV Mantracker). We’re also planning a joint novel project.

Cooking is a lot of fun. People keep asking why I don’t become a
professional chef. It’s simple. I can live without that kind of stress.
It’s much better to cook for friends and family.

My big hobby is learning things. I’ll happily soak up just about
anything from anthropology to zoology.

7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?

Continuously, like an artesian well. As one subject bubbles up, I learn
another to take its place.

Writers are often told to write what they know, so the only reasonable
way to be a writer is to never stop learning. Otherwise you are just
writing the same story and people over and over.

8. How has your own past influenced your writing?

Oh, great. Nobody told me I’d have to be introspective. Now I’ll be
having serious thoughts all day.

Back when I was a little tyke, in the days of The Honeymooners and The
Flintstones in black and white, it bothered me the way Ralph and Fred
treated their wives. I didn’t really know why, but it just seemed wrong.
Although there was no term for it at the time, I was a feminist.

Fast forward several decades. If I write a story, there’s at least an
80% chance that it has a female protagonist. Almost 100% of those are
strong, competent women.

9. Any final thoughts?

Tell my wife that I love her.

Oh, not that final?

Okay, everybody should buy this anthology. And my books. And everybody
else’s books. Yeah, I think that covers it.
G. W. Renshaw is a speculative fiction author, Linux druid and martial
artist whose day job involves playing with the brains of medical
students. His current project is The Chandler Affairs, a series of
contemporary mythology/mystery novels about a normal Canadian private
investigator and her decidedly abnormal cases.

You can find him online at and on Facebook by the same name.

-Virginia Carraway Stark,


StarkLight Press.