Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview, promo

Welcome Back to Creekside Cafe Tiffany Christina Lewis

I’d like to welcome my fellow crime fiction author, Tiffany Christina Lewis back to Creekside Café. Y’all may remember our previous interview. Tiffany is a publisher at Rebellion LIT, she works tirelessly to support other authors. I was lucky enough to have been interviewed on Rebellion LIT. Welcome Tiffany, it’s so good to have you back.

Tiffany: Thank you for speaking with me again Sherri! I will never forget our last interview because you helped me get over my hesitation to write Romance. Shortly after our interview, I was able to write two romance plots. A short story and a novella, so I am very grateful for our chats! 

Sherri: You have a new book coming out. Is this part of your crime series?

Tiffany: No, this new book is a short story collection. Helpless is my opposition to the tropes of true crime. As much as I love true crime, women are often seen as victims in the shows and they are rarely shown as survivors. It’s just the formula the channels are using that has given them the best ratings. My book includes eight stories of women who rise above adversity, save themselves and those around them and take control of their lives. I feature Crime Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Adventure stories. I’m very proud of the stories I’ve offered!

Sherri: Tiffany is the author of six books and has been published in more than a dozen anthologies and magazines. I know this isn’t an easy answer, but what inspires your writing?

Tiffany: Everything inspires my writing, but I think my stories come from characters first. For instance, with my Michael Taylor series, I knew Michael first. He is based on one of my long-time celebrity crushes, and truly, the idea just came to me based on the idea of the character. The same thing happened with my new release. I knew all the women first, then their profile created the story I wanted to tell. More recently, I’ve been inspired by the books I read. I’ve been reading 3-5 books a month, depending on the length of course, but the Indie authors I read always inspire me and give me ideas by creating worlds I can get submerged in and for my imagination to chew on.

Sherri: What inspired this new book? The blurb from Janae Bunn called it a book dedicated to the craziness, determination, and spirit of grit that women possess. I’d like to know more about that.

Tiffany: The characters definitely inspired this book. It started with one story. I was waiting at a vanpool stop to pick up my boyfriend after work and it was in the Fall so it was pretty dark out. All of a sudden I had the wild thought of someone smashing my car window with a brick. lol. Crazy, I know, and I was in a completely safe environment. There were tons of people waiting with me there, but as I explored the idea more, I created the story of Rainey, which is a crime fiction story in the collection. Each story really started with the woman, her struggle, and a big moment. Some stories are gritty, some are a little crazy and all of the women are determined.

Sherri: As you know, I like kick-ass women characters. I believe that sometimes we have to be the heroes in our own stories and rescue ourselves.

Tiffany: Absolutely! I think Fiction does a great job of presenting women like that, especially now. As I say in the introduction to my book, women are not just a ball of emotions, they can fight and they can win!

Sherri: What are you planning to do next?

Tiffany: I’m actually in the process of editing Michael Taylor number four but after that, I think I’ll take a step back from my own books and really put my publisher hat on. I have a poetry book to release under Rebellion LIT and I’ve been pushing back the start of our first Anthology release. I wanted it to be coming this summer, but obviously not… I’ll need to take some time away from my books to get this done because my Rebellion “staff” consists of 3 people and I’m the only one who releases the books so it’s a lot of work. Doing the author and publisher thing at the same time is challenging and I want to give my all to the authors I’ll be serving.

Sherri: Tiffany resides in Sacramento, CA with her family and Miniature Pinscher. This has been a difficult year and a half especially for those of you who live in larger cities, how have you managed during the pandemic?

Tiffany: I have been very blessed. My job as well as my boyfriend’s offered us work alternatives, so I was able to work from home with full pay. As a preschool teacher, my duties were very limited initially but this school year things ramped up. It did give me a lot of time at home that I wouldn’t typically have. We couldn’t go anywhere, I eliminated my commute, so I was able to write and fully plan this book release. It’s really been excellent for my writing career but not as good for my classroom. I am concerned about how my students will do in Kindergarten and I hope our state has a plan for these children who have had so little socialization.

Sherri: While I’m sure everyone will agree there’s been a lot of awful following on the tails of Covid-19, there have also been some wonderful innovations, ideas, friendships, and blessings. Do you have a special something to lift our readers?

Tiffany: I have definitely had a chance to connect with a lot more authors, interact more, share ideas and grow as an author during this time, believe it or not! Being on social media more, which I think we all have been, has actually been good for me. It has been the only way I could meet like-minded people during this time. Zoom has even played a role in my social life, outside of work! I also think the deeper connections I made with family have been a mirrored experience of others. Just checking in with family more and wishing more people well has made me feel joyful.

Sherri: I know you like to help other writers, what advice would you give a new writer? What would you say to one publishing their first book? What advice do you wish you’d had before becoming a published author?

Tiffany: I actually had a TON of advice before publishing. My mentor was a five-time published author who then became my publisher and she told me what I tell people all the time now, the number one advice I would give a new writer is to write another book! I would follow that up with please get a professional editor and an amazing book cover. Releasing your best work and putting a great face on it is step one, but if you don’t have another book coming soon, it can be hard to keep the momentum of your career. Especially depending on the genre of the book. The literary industry is so complicated, but on a lower level, writing another book means you are writing and writing is the best way to get better at writing.

Sherri: Like the strong women you write about, you embody the spirit of your heroines. Tell us again how we can find your books and remind us of your latest.

Tiffany: My latest release is Helpless: A Short Story Collection, with 8 stories of women kicking butt and taking names! To see all my titles you can check my website here, Find my Amazon Book Store here:

Book Blurb: 

Content and Trigger Warnings for this title and all titles by Tiffany Christina Lewis are available at

“Finally, a book dedicated to the craziness, determination, and spirit of grit that women possess.” — Janae Bunn

Women are powerful and can be rational thinkers under pressure. They can also be devious and vengeful. A woman is not just a ball of emotion. Women can fight, they can protect, and they can win.

These eight stories of women kicking ass, standing tall, and refusing to be victims are Tiffany’s opposition to the tropes of true crime. With stories from five genres including Paranormal, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and Crime Fiction, you are sure to find a story you love.

“Tiffany Christina Lewis branches out with new stories that will have you at the edge of your seat and wanting more! Her writing now explores the realms of paranormal, science fiction, and romance with short stories that will entrance her readers.” — Joseph S. Samaniego author of the Legends of the Carolyngian Age series

Here is a link to the book as well:

Sherri: Thank you for stopping by my virtual café, it was so good to have you back. I wish you much success on your latest book and hope we can get together again soon.

Thank you so much, Sherri! I appreciate your time. I included book links for Helpless below. Autographed: Bookstores: Amazon: Goodreads:

Tiffany Christina Lewis
Novelist of Crime Fiction


Posted in Creekside Cafe

On the Porch with Parker McCoy

It’s a lovely autumn day in eastern North Carolina, and I’m happy to welcome Parker McCoy to my virtual cafe.

Parker: Thank you so much for having me, Sherri. Happy to be here!!

Sherri: We’re almost kissing cousins, I understand you grew up in Tennessee?

Parker: Yes, I have always lived in west Tennessee. Lots of green hills and quiet country which always draws me in.

Sherri: How long have you been writing? Did you write stories as a child?

Parker: Well, when I was a kid, I often came up with characters. I loved the Dick Tracey movie when it came out in 1990. My friends and I would make up villains and draw them out and give them names. We never wrote stories. Just drew and made up the characters. I didn’t read a ton of stuff as a kid. I didn’t read a lot of books until I hit my twenties. I’m almost forty now. So, I have had plenty of experience at this point. But no, as a kid, I mainly watched cartoons and read comic books and played with action figures in a huge backyard for hours on end by myself. I think I was always making up stories in my head, but I wasn’t writing them down, which is what separates a writer from a normal person. We actually have to write these things down or we forget them. I’ve always had a big imagination, though. I really enjoy coming up with stories and would do it rather I put my work out there or not. I figure why not share it with the world, I may get a laugh or two out of it.

Sherri: Is Fairfax and Glew your first books? Tell us a little about them?

Parker: No, I’ve written other books under another name, but I also have Thinking Me Dead under Parker McCoy. Fairfax and Glew center around George Fairfax, who is the black sheep of his family and is also an adventurous dude who doesn’t like to sit still for long. Wally Glew is a private eye with too much time on his hands and together they go after thieves and other petty criminals. You won’t find murder or mayhem in these stories. They’re lighter tales with a humorous side. If you want to read about a guy who steals Marie Callender dinners, this series is for you.

Sherri: What are your plans for your writing future? Do you have more Fairfax and Glew stories or are you thinking of trying something new?

Parker: Oh, I have many, many plans for Fairfax and Glew. I can envision volume ten and beyond that. The farther it goes, the more interesting and developed the characters and of course, introducing new characters is always a thrill as well. I also love it that this series doesn’t take itself too seriously and so I can play around and have a blast. It’s definitely the most fun I’ve ever had through my many years of writing. As for other projects, I’m not currently on anything but who knows? If something strikes me, sure. I’ll take on another project but for now, it’s all about Fairfax and Glew.

Sherri: I have read several of your shorts on your blog. I like your writing style. Is this how your stories are in your books?

Parker: Yes, I like to focus on action and dialogue. I’m not big on lots of reflection or lengthy descriptions of things. I like stories that really move which I think works well for my genre. The first fourteen stories on the blog are written in first-person from Fairfax’s point of view. I like first-person but for a series, I don’t think it works as well. So, I switched to third-person limited so I could pop around in other characters’ heads which has been a blast. It’s opened up whole new worlds for me. But yes, if you like the blog stories, you’ll love the books. However, the stories in the books are longer but they’re in the same style. So, same style and more story. Win, win!!

Sherri: How did you come up with the characters of Fairfax and Glew? Did anyone influence their inception?

Parker: I’d written different books and stories but generally, with one main protagonist. So I played around with a buddy-type, duo story and decided it was something I wanted to do. I came up with Fairfax although he was named Kenneth Fairfax at first. However, I decided he needed to come from a wealthy family who named their children after royalty-kings and queens. As it turned out, there was no King Kenneth. So I changed that to George. Glew popped up on a search and then Wally popped right into my head right after. As far as influence, I think all my characters are a combination of different people I’ve met. That is what’s so cool about meeting and hanging out with a lot of different people.

Sherri: What or whom has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Parker: I’d say laughter. Anytime I quote a movie or book or show to my friends, it’s always the funny parts, even if the movie or show is not a comedy. I think that drives me. When I can make people laugh and forgot about the cruel world out there, I feel great. It starts with making myself laugh and then I hope it moves onto the readers. So far, I think that’s been the case with many. Knock on wood…

Sherri: What do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?

Parker: I’m a big fan of crime and short stories. Edgar Alan Poe was definitely an influence. Donald Westlake was for sure, since he combined humor with crime stories. Charles Dickens wrote my favorite book- A Christmas Carol. I’ve also enjoyed work by Stephen Hunter, Jim Thompson, Ambrose Bierce, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Lee Burke, Dashiell Hammett, and Patricia Highsmith. I also love just about anything involving Alfred Hitchcock.

Sherri: Do you belong to any writing groups or organizations? Do you have Beta readers? Are you traditionally or indie published?

Parker: I don’t currently belong to any writing groups, but I would like to. I just haven’t branched out in that area. I use beta readers and enjoy their input. I’m indie published and proud of it!

Sherri: If you could learn from or talk about writing with one person, who would that be? Why?

Parker: I’d love to talk with Donald Westlake and ask him how he churned out so much material, even when things weren’t going so well for him since all writers have tough spots in their careers. He really put in the work.

Sherri: If your stories were picked up for a movie deal, do you have anyone in mind to play your main characters?

Parker: You know, I have nothing against movie adaptations of books, but I really like to picture my characters in my head. When I see them in a movie, it takes something away. It’s like my imagination dies a little. Personally, I’d like to see two unknown actors handle the job. There’s nothing better than seeing a hungry young actor take on a role and break out.

Sherri: Parker and I are part of the Shameless Self Promo group on Twitter, we’re an eclectic group that has found strength and courage with each other. What would you say to someone who is just starting out as a writer or first-time author?

Parker: I would give them some advice that I saw Ray Bradbury give to a young group one time which is to write a short story a week for a year. At the end of the year, you have fifty-two stories. Some won’t be good but there may be a gem or two and you will have so much experience in writing about different characters and different scenarios. Writing is definitely a long game. Very few find success early on. Makes sure it’s fun for you and that you’d do it if you didn’t get paid for it. Focus on telling a story purely. Listen to family members and friends who always captivate people when they tell stories. Learn from them. They are naturals, even though most of them never write anything down. And lastly, of course, have fun at it! If it isn’t fun, move onto a project that is and have a ball!

Sherri: Parker, thank you for joining me at my virtual cafe, stick around a while, the fishing is good and if you brought some good Tennessee whiskey, we can swap some fish stories though I’m not much of a fisherman myself.

Parker: Oh, we don’t need to fish to swap great stories, and whiskey is not a necessity, but the stories may flow better with a little lubricant. Ha-ha. Thank you so much for having me, Sherri. It’s a real pleasure. Or a real McCoy, you might say.




Book links-

Fairfax & Glew: Volume 1-
Fairfax & Glew Volume Tew-

Posted in Creekside Cafe

Creekside Café Chat with author Tiffany Christina Lewis

Welcome Tiffany Christina Lewis to Creekside Café. It is great to have you here.

Tiffany: Thanks for having me Sherri!

Sherri: Your recent blog post titled “Scary Genre: Romance” made me laugh. At first, I wanted to call you on it but then as I read on, I realized we have the same problem, the interpretation of romance. I thought I was a romance writer but then realized this shit isn’t romance. I like to blow things up and kill people, oh they can stop and have sex, but it’s not all hearts and flowers. Sometimes it’s just banging up against the wall and maybe I’ll call you later. What is your interpretation of romance? How do you think the romance genre varies now from what it used to be?

Tiffany: Oh boy. What it used to be was ladies in flowing dresses and making love in flower fields! Every cover was a beautiful woman and a hunky man in a scenic location. The stories were of taming men for marriage or women head over heels. Now, we have interracial, multiple sexual preferences, genre splicing and settings that don’t just resemble lovely flower fields. I interpret romance as fake love. I know a lot of romance authors will want to fight when I say that, but I’m really referring more to TV and movies. I am just starting to really read Romance for education purposes. Educating myself on writing and genres is very important at this stage in my career. A dear friend of mine, Zachary Sigurdson, was the first one to tell me how important it was to get out of my genre, so I am slowly learning about new romance. In TV and film, romance happens when someone picks up your napkin. Unfortunately, I’ve never experienced anything like that, so it’s hard for me to rationalize it.

Sherri: As a hopeless romantic, I differ with what I think romance is. To me, romance isn’t just heart and flowers, it’s giving the person what they need to be their best. When I read romance, I see new authors trying to interpret this in today’s landscape as well as the modern historical romance authors.

I’ve also been married to my own romantic hero for going on 29 years. While some days I want to beat him with a pool noodle, most days he’s my biggest champion. He encourages me to do what makes me happy. He was as excited about my first book as I was. He is my teammate, my partner, my friend and lover, to me, that is romance.

Tiffany: I agree with you on your assessment of romance. Real romance is giving your partner what they need to be their best! We’re still early in our relationship but my boyfriend is also my business partner and his willingness to support my business aspirations and even participate in them, has been life changing.

Sherri: You refer to yourself as a rebel. I agree. I think most of us writing Indie are rebelling against the traditional publishers. What is your rebellion?

Tiffany: My rebellion is actually cultural. When I wrote Inside Out in 2014, there was a huge wave of Urban Fiction in self and Indie publishing that featured negative stereotypes and bad characters. I wanted to flip that on its head. I wanted to be an African American author who wrote Black characters who were not drug dealers, womanizers, promiscuous or murderers. I have always had a love for detective stories so my books were bound to be Crime Fiction and I thought what better way to represent an upstanding African American male than in the role of a detective. Over time, I made my characters LITERALLY rebellious and their passion for avenging victims comes first, over following rules and procedures.

Sherri: We need more positive role models of color. I’m glad to see you breaking the stereo type. If you are looking for great authors who write African American characters who are honorable and strong, check out Reese Ryan, Farrah Rochon, and Beverly Jenkins.

Tell us a little about your series. I recently purchased your first book Inside Out. Michael Taylor sounds like an interesting character. What made you write a crime novel from a male, police detective’s point of view?

Tiffany: Again, part of me wanted to pick a man to mangle stereotypes that were abundant back in those days. He was also the first character to come to me for a full-length work. My stories often just fall out of my imagination and into my lap. I had many stories published back then with many female and male characters, non-detective, but he was the first one who I felt I could write as a novella. I was able to grow that book into two full novels in the series, and the plan is for at least three more.

Sherri: You say you don’t write romance and yet we have a love interest or romantic connection here with Candy aka Vanessa. Tell us a little about their relationship. Why is it not a romance?

Tiffany: Their relationship is entirely romantic but it fits what I think romance is, compared to what I thought romance was offering back then. They met at a strip club which is something urbanites sometimes do, and Michael’s behavior with her, although romantic has an interesting twist that I think is not very abundant in romance. I will also say, without giving too many spoilers, that hint of romance is why it took me four years to write the second book in the series…

Sherri: I think we often get hung up on labels and when it comes time to define ourselves or our writing, we haven’t got just one box to put it in. While your books are definitely crime thrillers, how else would you describe them; what other box or category would you classify them?

Tiffany: Crime is definitely the overarching category for all my books, but the Michael Taylor series is police procedural and these novels have a strong focus on criminals. I love the psychology of criminals so they get a lot of shine in my books. I don’t think there is necessarily a category for that in fiction. In non-fiction it is categorized as True Crime when the movements of a criminal and detective are outlined.

Sherri: You published Inside Out in 2014, you have two other novels in this series out now. What do you think you have learned since writing and publishing your first book? What do you wish you’d done differently? What will you do different with any future books?

Tiffany: The number one thing I would have done differently would have been to keep writing and not wait this long to release a sequel and get serious about my career as a writer. I did a lot of things between 2014 and now that was not writing, marketing or honing my skills as an author. Let my mother tell it, there are two things I was born to do, teach and write. I have been a preschool teacher for over 15 years and this has placed me in many high-ranking positions in the childcare industry, but I haven’t dedicated nearly as much time to my writing career and that was a mistake. I would have sold more and had a nice fan base by now, had I stuck with it, but still, no regrets. Had I released Stitches before 2019, it wouldn’t have been the same.

In the future, I will do what I’m doing now which is finishing my books, making sure they are high quality and release them frequently. I believe the number one marketing tip for authors is to have another book coming out. Lol. So, that’s my plan.

Sherri: Tell us a little about your new company, Rebellion Lit. Are you publishing other authors now?

Tiffany: Rebellion Lit is the brain child of my partner Brandon Lambert. He is the one who taught me that I was a rebel. He has allowed me to run Rebellion with lots of freedom! We each have our area of expertise and Rebellion Lit is my baby. I am very passionate about the company and can’t wait to introduce it to more readers and writers!

Currently we are not publishing other authors, but I have a hand full of people that I am keeping my eyes on. Some self-published authors I’ve met I would love to publish but I have to get the company on a proper trajectory first. There is nothing worse than getting a contract with a publisher who can’t get your book where you want it, so we are starting with yearly Anthologies. They will be themed and we’ll be looking for author submissions in December! We are BUYING works for the book because I believe authors should be paid for their hard work and with our anthologies we can continue developing proper marketing, as well as offering many, many authors exposure for their talent! It’ll be a blast!

Sherri: Tiffany, thank you for being a part of Creekside Café Chats, I look forward to seeing what happens next with your writing and publishing. If you all enjoyed this interview, check out Tiffany’s links and follow her on social media. You can buy her books through her website or on Amazon.

Here are Tiffany’s links: – Amazon Author Page – Blog – Twitter – Goodreads

 my publishing company website. lol.