Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Rob Samborn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Rob Samborn! His debut novel, The Prisoner of Paradise: A Dual-Timeline Thriller Set in Venice (Painted Souls Book 1) released on November 30th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Like many authors, I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, but professionally (or with professional aspirations), for about twenty years. My professional writing training and education is in screenwriting. I’ve written nine feature scripts, as well as some TV pilots, shorts and work-for-hire projects. I’m also a script doctor. Though I still work on screenplays, I transitioned to novels about seven years ago.

Describe a typical writing day.

This has changed considerably since the release of my first book, The Prisoner of Paradise, in Nov. 2021. My second book, Painter of the Damned, releases on Oct. 25, 2022. Nowadays, beyond my day job, about 80% of my writing day is filled up with book marketing and promotion activities, as well as editing and/or prep for my next release. I often don’t start on actual writing until 9:00 at night!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

For all my book and script ideas, I get inspiration from everywhere. It could be a real event or person, something I see, a theme, or ideas that pop into my head for characters or plot. I have a list of over 100 different story ideas.

For my current books, which are a series, they’re all inspired by the same idea. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of soul mates—the connection between two people that goes beyond physical attraction or shared interests, etc. And this doesn’t need to be between people who are romantically involved. It can definitely be felt between friends. Oftentimes, it’s an immediate, unexplainable connection. I’ve always wanted to explore that theme in a story.

On a trip to Venice, I was captivated with paintings by a Renaissance master named Jacopo Tintoretto. Many of his paintings are massive in scale, and includes dozens, and sometimes, hundreds of people. The paintings of these people are portraits in their own right and the people run the gamut in terms of race, gender, age, social class, etc. I started wondering where he got his inspiration from. Of course, artists use models, but he would’ve had a line of people out his door.

All of these people have truly been immortalized. They’re still there, plain as day, hanging on a museum wall.

From there, I married this concept of immortalization through art with my fascination with soul mates. I thought, maybe it’s their souls that are captured in the paintings. And a story was born…

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I want readers to be captivated with the characters and go on what is often a heart-wrenching journey. I want them to have a thrilling escape while they’re reading, but there’s also a decent amount of history and art, so if people learn something, I’d love that, as well. And as a take away, I hope they want to read the next book!

What is the significance of the title?

The Prisoner of Paradise actually has different meanings and people will need to read the book to find out. However, the obvious significance is that it revolves around Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting. This real-life painting has hundreds of people in it. In my book, one of these people is a woman whose soul has been imprisoned in the two-dimensional canvas as a purgatory of sorts.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A huge amount. Though my book takes place in the real world in real places, not everybody is familiar with Venice, Italy. So, it was very important for me to not only establish that world but continue building it as the story goes. It also takes place in the present and 16th century, so I need to build the 16th century world.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

There are obvious career highlights – getting an agent, signing with the publisher, release of the book. Post release, whenever someone says they love my book, that’s a highlight that never gets old. And during the writing process, I love writing a scene and then when I reread it, I know it’s something special.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I’m currently working on the third book in the series, which will be released in 2023.

What advice would you give to other authors?

For aspiring authors who haven’t been published yet, my advice is to never stop learning your craft, never stop reading, and never stop learning about the industry. Writers need to realize and accept this is a business. You’re creating a product to sell in a marketplace.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

That my books are escapist thrill rides set in the real world. If you love thrillers or historical mysteries and want to go on a journey unlike any you’ve read or seen, I think you’ll love my books.


Thank you Rob Samborn for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out The Prisoner of Paradise today!


A disembodied whisper.
A soul mate murdered in 1589.
An ancient order that will kill to silence the truth.


Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.

Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers a religious order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.

As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.

The order will never let that happen.

A riveting thriller ignites with a time-spanning love story. Perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman or David Mitchell.

In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them  and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.


Facebook Author Page: 







Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ophelia Lockheart

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ophelia Lockheart! Her debut book, Songbird in a Storm: A captivating 1920s time travel romance (Songbird Series Book 1) released on February 27th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Ophelia Lockheart, a British author from the south coast of England. I write suspenseful, angsty time travel romance set in 1920’s London, and my debut novel: Songbird in a Storm has just released!

Congrats on your new debut release! How has the new release been going for you?

It has been so incredibly exciting! I’ve been engaging with the writing community and they’ve been so welcoming! I’ve made a bunch of new friends (here’s looking at you Vixen 😉) and I’ve also received a ton of great reviews. Life is so good right now and I can see releasing books becoming very addictive!

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since childhood. My mum was an avid reader and while she’d sit in her reading nook, I’d compile stories to read to her.

Describe a typical writing day.

I start everyday tending to my three completely bonkers children and then while they’re at school I write. I tend to write most of my words in the morning while my brain is at its most creative and then spend the afternoon researching, reading and learning about craft, and also indulging in way too much social media—it’s my vice lol!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Songbird in a Storm is set in the 1920s and I’ve loved this period since a school GCSE art deco project I did way back in… (well, a very long time ago 😉   

I draw inspiration from everywhere. Songbird has been likened to Outlander and Peaky Blinders which are both shows I love (though my youngest watches a lot of Peppa Pig so I’m really hoping that annoying piglet doesn’t infiltrate my creative brain lol!). 

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

The importance of family and community is a thread that runs deeply throughout Songbird in a Storm. When Roseanna finds herself thrown back to 1921she is something of a lone wolf but, as was common in the 1920s, she learns that community can become family. There is a strength in togetherness that runs deeper than only blood.

What is the significance of the title?

Roseanna becomes a pub singer in one of Daniel Alderman’s businesses. The idea is that she’ll help him look for his brother’s killer, and this will place her where she might be able to identify the person responsible. Danny ends up nicknaming her Songbird. Roses is caught up in a storm as soon as she arrives in 1921. She witnesses Danny’s brother’s murder and there are other problems that were prolific at the time such as drugs and organised crime. Not to mention Danny is London’s most ruthless gangster.

 If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Introvert, caring and a bit morbid!

What was the highlight of writing this book?

I just loved learning about the customs and details of this period. Like, where the saying ‘piss poor’ came from. Funeral customs… did you know a person would actually watch over the dead until they were buried? Or, as a self confessed foodie, the things people  would eat. Tongue sandwich anyone? Lol! I feel like I’ve learned so much and have tried to make this book as richly detailed as possible while still delivering a romance that will make your heart swell.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I just finished the second book in this series, Captive Songbird, which will release next month 🙂

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep going! Holding the finished book in your hands is like no other feeling.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

They’re angsty! This book is crammed full of tension on every page. If you have a heart condition… don’t say you weren’t warned 😉

Thank you Ophelia Lockheart for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Songbird in a Storm today!


“If you loved Peaky Blinders and Outlander then you’re in the right place.”

Enemies become lovers when a modern woman is ripped from her life and thrown back to the roaring twenties where she must learn to navigate gangsters and organised crime if she is to survive.

London paramedic, Roseanna Chapman, has her hands full. But when she is cast back in time and witnesses a murder, she finds herself stranded and in danger.

In 1921, Daniel Alderman’s a feared and ruthless gangster. He must rely on Roseanna to find his brother’s killer, but with her hiding so many secrets, can he trust her?

The two connect as a race against time ensues, but as their feelings intensify, so does the threat against Roseanna’s life.

Can they navigate time and tragedy together or will their love become another cautionary tale of days gone by?

** A perfect book for fans of Diana Gabaldon, Mariah Stone, Trinity Dunn, and Diana Knightley. **

One click now to enter a riveting world of romance, secrets and the quest for home.

Ophelia Lockheart lives in south England with her two dogs, husband and three children.

She’s a huge fan of powerful, cranky men with hearts-of-gold and chivalrous values who’ll do anything for the sassy, independent women who own their hearts.

With plenty of suspense, swoon-worthy storylines, and enough sizzle to set your hearts on fire, you can rest assured that if you’re reading one of Ophelia’s books, you’re putting your time into just the right tale!

Follow on FB:



TikTok: @ophelialockheart


Temporal Gambit by Larry A. Brown – My Review

Title: Temporal Gambit

Author: Larry A. Brown

Release Date: August 13th 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

Playing with Time can have dangerous consequences.

Martin joined the secret Chronos Project to research some of history’s intriguing mysteries. At first, his journeys through time go smoothly. Then something goes wrong.

When an alien race tampers with earth history, their interference ripples through time. Martin no longer recognizes his present. He must travel to the ancient past to save his planet. But he finds himself playing a game without rules.

Can Martin counter his opponents’ moves before they eliminate the world he knows?

If you like time travel and alternate reality adventures, you’ll enjoy Larry A. Brown’s Temporal Gambit. To find out who wins, get your copy today!

Buckle up because you’re about to go on one wild ride!

Right from the start, you’re thrown into one heck of an adventure! Time travel, enough said. It was fun to see where in the past Martin would end up.There are many twists and turns that added to the thrill. It was really cool to see Martin think on the fly and connect the changes to the past and fix what needed to. From the characters to the story, everything was well written and exciting. This is a new to me author and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy this book! 

If you love adventure and history, this book is for YOU! The author’s storytelling style has gained Mr. Brown a new fan. I look forward to reading more from this author. The story and characters will engage you. I highly recommend this book. You won’t soon forget the journey it will take you on. I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*