Archive for the ‘Author Interviews’ Category

Interview with JAnn Bowers   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with JAnn Bowers. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

JAnn Bowers Author PicMy name is JAnn. I live in Eureka, Montana. Eureka has played a significant part of my writing career for all the tragic events that happened with my family here. I love Eureka for its nature with the Bitterroots and Rocky Mountains surrounding the valley where I live. With its abundance of nature, I am close to and balanced spiritually with Mother Nature. I meditate outdoors during the summer months and seek indoor retreats while I hibernate away in the winter.  I use my spirituality and meditation to write poetry about visions, thoughts, ideas and creativeness. I am also a divorced mom and grandmother. I have four kids here on Earth with me and one in heaven watching over me. My youngest son is Autistic and the joy of my world. My second daughter lives in North Dakota with my granddaughter and grandson.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? (When did you write your first story, for example?)

I knew I wanted to write poetry from a young age when I heard Robert Frost’s work. I absolutely fell in love with the magical formation of poetry. At that moment in my life, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a career. However, life got in the way and it never happened. I went onto to being married for 22 years and busy raising kids. Once I was divorced, I found my spark again and started writing poetry. Now I have eight books published and working on two more. I just recently published my first memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past”

 

Tell us about your writing process.

JAnn Bowers GoneMy writing process almost always starts off with a deep round of meditation to help clear my mind of any distorted thoughts. Then I proceed to lock my phone where I cannot access social media or receive any notifications either, usually for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. I turn to the screen and just write. I write what falls from my mind to my fingertips. It maybe love poetry, micropoetry, nature themed, or spiritual themed but it usually takes me less than 3 minutes to write a micropoem and less than 7 minutes to write a longer poem. Once my phone block is over then I save my doc and stuff it away. I use the same document for the entire week. If I go to share on my blog or Twitter, I pull up my document to read and edit and share.
As for writing essays, such as “Is Graffiti Art?” I choose my subject then research. I write my notes as I research the topic. Once I have completed my research I pursue the book format, write then edit and publish.

 

As for my memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past,” it took eight years of starting and stopping and throwing away a lot of drafts before it all came to me. My memoir was hard, difficult and a lot of tears fell inside while I wrote it. With this book, I used the scene as if I was meeting with the reader having coffee and telling them my life story.  Each chapter or entry is in reference to a family member & first love I have lost through death.  After each memory, there is a spread of poetry I wrote in dedication to their memory or about how their death affected me.

 

As for my poetry books, such as “Wasted” I wrote that book on my iPhone while spending several nights up with my youngest son. I was going through a period of depression, anxiety attacks and my past happened to creep in every once in a while.  To me, “Wasted” resembled a part of my life where I wasted many lonely nights fighting a battle within me while seeking for something new and fresh.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre is poetry to write. My favorite genres to read are: true stories, true crime, contemporary romance, mystery, suspense, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, self-help and religious reads. I do not care to read erotica, thrillers, and horror.

 

What are you passionate about?

Besides writing, I am passionate about music and art. Back in my college days I took an Art History course and loved it. I still enjoy researching about pieces of art and writing short articles. As for music, music has always been my savior throughout my life. My mom always had the radio or tape deck going and I learned to love it as much as she does. I am a big fan for the 80’s music scene and a huge fan of Def Leppard.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

First would be my kids and grandkids but minus them would be my caffeine. I have to have my daily intake of coffee. I am a huge drinker of coffee when I am writing. Besides coffee would be education or books.

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

JAnn Bowers NowSince I am disabled due to several health issues, if I am not writing, I am spending time with my kids. We are huge WWE fans and my daughter KayCee and I both enjoy many other sports. If I am not watching sports or a documentary, then I can be found reading or learning something new. Besides, these enjoyments, I like to take long walks when my health allows me too, and yoga.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

Illusions of Love & She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised, these books have taught me a lot about what love really is and what it is not. To me they have taught me not to fall in love so easily and that most of the time all love is an illusion to our hearts and souls. What one may know about love may be just a figment of their imagination.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

My past inspires me to write poetry in themes that may help someone through a rough patch in life. My kids also inspire me to write the more cheerful, spiritual connected themes. Music also plays a significant role in my poetry.

 

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your poems asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

Very open-minded and sad, that is how I would describe my writing.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

I enjoy writing outdoors on my front steps on my iPhone. But I can write about wherever.  When inside I prefer my desk in my room if the kids are being loud, if not I do like to be out in the kitchen at the island working.

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Yes, love sneaks into almost all my poems and no, I am not getting any closer to why I write about love, and heartbreak.

 

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

JAnn Bowers If OnlyI have lived four years in Alaska before. But it was before my inner light switch was turned back on.  This time around I would pack my suitcase for hiking since I didn’t get the chance to do much outdoor enjoyments while I lived there. Then, I would definitely bring lots of writing paper and pens, and a camera. For books, I would bring my favorite books which there is too many to list. I would spend my days enquiring nature at its best and worst and in the evenings I would write about my experiences and poetry or read. I would definitely take a lot of photos this time.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

Illusions of Love – this book is written about a close male friend I fell in love with who I thought had the same feelings which he did but he was too scared and hurt by the painful events from his ex-wife. The poems in this book are my honest feelings about love and him.

 

She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised- This book was written for the same male friend but only after he broke my heart. When he told me that cold winter morning that he didn’t want to ruin our friendship for a relationship with me, it broke my heart and ripped my soul to pieces but we stayed friends.

 

 

Only If I Could – After much needed time to heal from my heartbreak and once I felt I had recovered and could move forward this book took shape as a rebirth of me, it does still have poetry that reflects back onto my broken heart.

 

Is Graffiti Art – This started and ended as an essay for my college final for Art History. I was always interested and thought graffiti was an amazing art form but once I got into researching and learning the history of it I grew to love it even more. This book also references to 5POINTZ, the graffiti mecca of the world that was demolished in New York City. My daughter and I both crusaded in helping to save the building but it was whitewashed after I had finished my course.

 

Words Whisper to Me – This poetry book is my favorite one! It shows my love for writing poetry and how much my world is full of words and poetry.

 

Poetry Playground – This is a 2-section book. The first section is fun, quirky poems about my kids and life in general. The second section is nature poetry that I wrote while I lived in Idaho.

 

Wasted – This book is about all the wasted time in my life. In this book, the feel of the poetry is if I am seeking to find what life is really about.

 

It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past – This is my memoir of life events and experiences and how they affected me. It discusses the death of many family members and also my mental illness and physical chronic pain.

 

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

A message! All my poetry is about sending a strong message of hope to my readers that life does go on and it does get better if we only turn the switch on inside of us to create the life we want to have.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to think or feel that they have any and all power to better themselves and to overcome any obstacle in life.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I have never sought a publisher. I have always enjoyed self-publishing. But, if a publisher offered me a contract, of course, I would take it. Self-publishing, to me, allowed me to build up my audience and my self-confidence in my writing. It has taught me so much about what the readers want and how to deliver my books to them.

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Yes and no. I believe it is harder now to get picked up by publishers because places like Amazon makes it easier for independent writers to get their books out into the market. I honestly believe that traditional publishers have their minds shut off to some really good and strong talented writers. As for the future, no one should or can predict what it holds in any industry.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

Being in full control of every aspect of the book, from writing to editing to creating your own covers to setting your price and choosing which industrial platforms who want. I personally prefer to publish through Pronoun.com than Kindle Direct. In the past, I had several issues with my book formats not working with Kindle Direct whereas with Pronoun they have a simple format for poetry where my books look and feel professional. The self-marketing does get hard and tiresome, but it is also fun to meet and collaborate with fellow writers that are willing to be a beta reader, swap blog posts, or promote you on social media.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Having someone to do the dirty work of promoting their books. Self-publishing writers have the long haul of self-promoting their books and getting them out there, versus having a personal rep or agent helping.

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

I concentrate on the inside of my book first then I approach the cover during the editing scene. That way I know what I want and what I think will attract readers. I think the cover and title stands out the most but the blurbs are so important as well. I honestly think it takes trial and error with each book to see what happens with the audience. Some of my books have been on the very top of best sellers on Amazon and some have made lower marks. Those are the trials and errors.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

My daughter KayCee K designs all my book covers and graphics. She is so talented and has such a huge imagination to match. She runs her own blogging promotional service for authors at Double Decker Books, so she sees and deals with all sorts of writers and their work. I think this has helped her out when she creates mine. She also runs her monthly e-magazine where she does a majority of the graphics and layouts herself. Her magazine is “Double the Books”.

 

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

I believe we can produce high-quality books on our own if we take each step of the process seriously and do a good enough job. I take each step very personally and professionally. Editing, covers and blurbs are what attracts and keeps readers coming back for more.

 

Where do readers find you and your books? 

 

I welcome you to grab a free book! Grab a copy today!
Amazon Author http://amzn.to/2qnfOmE
Website http://bit.ly/2rK0rEz
Social Media
https://twitter.com/Echoic_JAnn

https://jannbowers.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Echoic.JenniferAnn.72/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/63237527-jennifer-jann

https://www.pinterest.com/Echoicjann/

https://www.instagram.com/jannbowerspoet/?hl=en

ALWAYS include links, author photos, and cover art. It makes for a prettier interview and readers want to find you and your books.

Interview with Stephany Tullis   1 comment

Today’s interview is with STEPHANY TULLIS. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Stephany Tullis Author PicHello, I refer to myself as a ‘A Native New Yorker’. Typically, when most people think of New York, they think of New York City—one of the biggest cities in the world. I’m from upstate New York about two hours north of NYC. However, I love The City—as it is also called and have visited it many times but would not like to live there-. New York, however, is a city known for its style, flare, theatre, shopping and so much more. It is a progressive city where its residents and often first-time visitors learn the importance of coping with their environment and circumstances with an attitude and perspective of succeeding with the hand life has dealt them. It is that seeming ability to cope and handle it all that I bring to my personality. My father and some family members continue to live in New York State. Other family members live in Georgia where I also reside about 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

I currently have small business management consulting company but write full time for the most part.

 

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first book entitled The Master’s Plan, A Novel at the dare of my oldest son. I had unexpectedly left my management job in New York because of family reasons and relocated to the Atlanta area sooner than I expected. Upon relocation, I was extremely disappointed when I was not able to find a job. When I relocated, finding another job was the least of my worries. It was this New Yorker attitude that eventually led me to conclude that my sometimes brash, bold, fast talking, confident persona did not mesh well with the genteel southern sometimes-not-so-hospitable south.

 

Stephany Tullis Masters PlanAs I commiserated over my unemployment status, my son said quite cavalierly, ‘why don’t you do what you do best? Write! Write a book!’ I had never thought about writing fiction. Loved to read—always have and he was correct. I wrote but my expertise was in the areas of technical writing—contracts, proposals, speech-writing.

Needless to say, I took the dare and wrote my first book in 2013—a novel about a woman’s search for purpose.

 

What are you passionate about?

As I write in my bio, “In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.”

My world (my back-story) is guided by my faith and the inspiration I receive from God.

With this backdrop, regardless of the date or time of your visit, you will find family. Without exaggeration, family and relationships are the core of every book I write.

I love to travel and like me, my characters are always off and running and in so doing require me to research (and often visit) so many fascinating places.

I also love music—all kinds and I’m never surprised by what track finds its way to my personal playlists and a character’s ring tone, door chime, or car radio station.

People frown sometimes and don’t understand my love of politics, but I have a political administration background and thrived on it and in my past government career. For me, it’s the people, the process and what democracy offers. As with life, my fictional towns and cities include mayors, governors, school board members, etc.

If you haven’t guessed, I love my world that allows me the joy of living a life I love but most importantly, one where I can share it with others via my writing.

 

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Stephany Tullis Blue LadyFrom start to finish, my writing is driven by my characters. There are times when I have an idea or a plot and storyline but as I create my characters, the story line and plot usually changes. For example, recently, I had developed a very general outline of my intended story. When I began my search for images for my cover design, the entire theme of my story changed as well as the qualities, quirks and characteristics of my characters. In this respect, my cover is very important to me and has a motivating influence on the development of my characters and the ultimate storyline. Additionally, I use a lot of dialogue in my stories and have been told that I am a cinemagraphic writer…scene and dialogue driven.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?

I am a pantster, i.e. discovery writer primarily as I describe above. My characters drive my story and as ‘they develop (along with the storyline), an initial plot outline will change drastically as my story evolves. I no longer spend time in developing outlines for this reason.

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Stephany Tullis Love's LegacyI intend to write ‘with purpose’ without moralizing or chastising. I write in several genres but my goal is to not only entertain and write a ‘good’ book but to also provide my readers something to think about. This was an important objective in writing my first novel, The Master’s Plan. My first book is ‘Inspirational’ and I tackle some important moral issues; e.g. fidelity, family, relationships, etc. My goal was to write a book that anyone could read and would want to read regardless of religious backgrounds and come away with a message that they could apply to their respective personal situations.

 

My favourite review of this first book is by a reader who describes himself as a ’63-year-old blond-haired, blue eyed male who rated the book with five stars.

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish after hearing the horror stories of so many writers who had signed writing contracts only to find themselves boxed into situations that limited their ability to write and did not provide them the financial advantages they expected.

 

If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

For a short period, I was under contract with a small publishing company. There were some distinct advantages such as the availability of editing, proofreading and cover design services. I’ve learned, however, that I prefer my independence and the ability to direct my writing according to my personal preferences. I had anticipated that I would receive much more support in promoting my books with a publishing company. I was extremely disappointed to discover that this was not the case.

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

As mentioned previously, my cover design is very important to me and I view the cover as a reflection of me, the overall quality of my book and writing. I have used several designers since publishing my first book. My primary objective in selecting a designer is their willingness to work with me to design a cover that meets my needs and personal taste. I’m proud and very happy to say that I have ongoing relationships with all my designers and that several of my covers have won ‘best cover’ awards in various competitions.

 

 

***Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?

I address this question above but would also like to reiterate that I write cross genre, always with a ‘purpose’ and do not write only for Christian audiences. I want my reading audience to understand that all people, regardless of their religious background, ethnicity or gender have problems, issues, and challenges. It’s the manner in which we handle those issues and challenges that makes the difference in our lives.

 

What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?

The biggest challenge for me is reflected in how I view myself. I am a Christian who writes fiction and not a Christian writer. This may appear to be a minor point, but it isn’t. I’ll use a couple of examples to illustrate my point. As a Christian, I know that we all have issues and problems. We live in a world filled with horrific problems that impact us all and not just Christians. My goal as a writer is to share stories about how people live in view of and despite such problems. To illustrate a point, as a writer, I might have a character who swears. While I know most Christians will find swear words offensive in an inspirational book, I approach this area carefully. Usually by softening the presentation by using language such as, ‘he cursed’ but I have been known to use certain words such as ‘hell’ to illustrate a point.

 

 

Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?

 

I think as a writer who is a Christian, my purpose is to tell a great story. In my first book, The Master’s Plan’, I use a lot of scriptural references (note the book is based around a woman in search of her purpose who happens to be the second wife of a pastor). My goal is not to present the gospel. My goal is to present a life style that reflects a character’s ability to face life challenges in a manner that would be pleasing to Christ.

 

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Book Bub

Readers Group

Interview with Suzanna J. Linton   3 comments

Today’s interview is with Suzanna J. Linton. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

Suzanna J Linton headshotI live in South Carolina and have nearly my whole life. I’ve always loved books and telling stories. My mother likes to say I would scribble on anything I could get my hands on. I’m married. My husband has been very supportive in my desire to write, which has been a serious blessing. As well as writing fiction, I also do a little freelancing on the side.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

I don’t know if there ever was any one point I knew I wanted to be a writer. Writing has always been something I’ve wanted to do; it’s as natural as breathing. I remember trying to write a story at around age 9 but I mostly wrote poetry until high school. That’s when I started writing novels.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

I do have an office that I use. It has my reference books, my to-be-read pile, a white board, a board covered in notes and pictures, and other odds and ends. My desk is one of those you can readjust so that you’re standing at it. I don’t use it like that nearly as often as I should but it’s good for those days when I need to stretch.

However, I don’t always stay in that office. I love going to a café in my town. For some reason, when I’m surrounded by the bustle of life, it’s easier to write.

 

I’ve found that too. Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

I’ve noticed that I keep writing about desire versus duty. Sometimes, what our heart wants and what we should do are two separate things. While there are times when our duty is wrong, I think there’s too much emphasis today on “do what feels right”. What feels right isn’t necessarily the right thing to do and our society has suffered for that philosophy. I don’t know if I’m looking for an answer so much as I’m trying to say what I think and work it out in myself at the same time. Yes, duty is important but it’s hard to say no to the heart.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Suzanna Linton Clara-FJM_Low_Res_500x750I think I’m a bit of both. Character is really important but you can’t shape character if things don’t go terribly wrong. I try to balance the two.

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

 

I am such a practical person that my immediate thought was “a gun”! I have always wanted to go to Alaska, by the way, so this scenario might become something of a reality one day. Besides the necessary firearm (because bears and moose), I would bring plenty of notebooks, pens and pencils, my favorite coffee, a camera, good hiking boots, and books. The books I would bring would probably be from my “to be read” pile because this sounds like an excellent time to catch up. Also, religious books to help me meditate and pray.

 

Wow, you are the first person to come up with the primary Alaska hiker’s accessory. Very practical, since our cabin comes with a neighborhood grizzly bear who thinks humans might taste good with katsup! Talk about your books individually.

 

As of this interview, I have three novels published.

 

CLARA and CLARA’S RETURN belong to the Stories of Lorst Series. <a href=”http://books2read.com/clara”>CLARA </a> follows the story of a young woman freed from slavery but burdened with the gift of Second Sight. A civil war grips her kingdom and, to survive, she must discover the horrifying truth behind the war.

 

Suzanna Linton ClarasReturn2_Final-FJM_Low_Res_500x750<a href=”http://books2read.com/clarasreturn”>CLARA’S RETURN</a> picks up not long after the first book. Clara is on a quest to learn about her past when a new threat to the kingdom appears in the form a traitor who is closer to Clara than she could ever imagine.

 

<a href=”http://books2read.com/willows-of-fate>WILLOWS OF FATE</a> is the first book of the Lands of Sun and Stone Series. Desdemona sees strange creatures and knights in armor, things no one else sees. She fears she’s crazy but when her mother dies, Des uncovers letters and journals that suggest what she has been seeing is real. That’s when the man in gold appears, telling her that if she doesn’t come with him to his world, then she and everyone she loves will be in grave danger.

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

I try not to go into a story with a specific message or morality in mind. I know if I do that, then I’ll just “preach on it” and it won’t be a story any longer. The message develops as I tell the story, so it’s almost like my subconscious working quietly in the background as I consciously write the story. I never know what a story is really about until I’ve written it.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them — both women and men — to feel empowered and ready to face the challenges in their lives. I don’t really think about it beyond that. Each book is different and I would want them to feel different things. I definitely would want them to think, “Hey, I should buy more of her books!”

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Suzanna Linton willowOfFateFinal-FJM_Low_Res_500x750 (1)I tried to get an agent or trad publisher interested in my first book, CLARA. When that didn’t happen, I self-published almost on a whim. I was tired of being told no one was excited about my work, but then not telling me why. I think it was frustration with the whole process that influenced me the most.

 

 

I represent that. There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I think that traditional publishing has a lot to learn from self-publishing if it wants to survive. If trad publishers don’t recognize the niches and audiences they’ve been ignoring for years, then, yes, it will go the way of Blockbuster. However, as long as self-publishing doesn’t offer consistent quality, then traditional publishing will keep on going because, at the end of the day, that’s what readers want. They want to pick up a book they know is good and well edited. I’m sorry to say that with self-publishing, it can be a little like literary Russian roulette.

 

Very much so. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

I think the greatest advantage is that no one tells you, “this isn’t salable”. Good stories aren’t always salable. I think writers should be willing to go against trends and fashion, but mainstream publishing is powered by that! If you don’t fit into the mold the Big Five says you should fit into, then you’re just out of luck. With self-publishing, you can just bypass all of that.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

I think self-published authors miss out on a feeling of credibility. There’s still a stigma about self-publishing, as if only untalented hacks ever bother with it. Many writers already struggle with imposter syndrome. Being traditionally published helps to mitigate that. And, it’s easier for your books to be in brick-and-mortar stores if you’re traditionally published.

 

Wow, that is some deep insight about the credibility issue. I see it with quite a few of the people I interview. Your covers were what attracted me to your books when I saw them on Twitter. Who designed your covers?

 

My covers are designed by <a href=”http://fionajaydemedia.com”>Fiona Jayde Media</a>. Fiona is a phenomenal person to work with. She wants to know as much about the books as she can and she wants to hear ideas from the writer. And she has this amazing ability to take ideas from someone not as artistically inclined and then interpret them in a beautiful way. I highly recommend her.

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

 

I definitely think that we can. The first thing I think we should do is get away from the idea of quantity over quality. I see so many advice articles written saying that you have to put out as much content as you can as fast as you can because that’s the only way to get people to notice you. Enough people have done that to where the market is saturated by low-quality books that wouldn’t have gotten a B in a high school creative writing course. This helps keep alive that stereotype of “only bad writers self-publish”.

 

Once we’re away from that, then it feels safer to invest in good cover artists, good editors, and good proofreaders. It can take up to two years for a book to be traditionally published because of all the rounds of editing. If a trad writer goes through that much trouble, shouldn’t we? I think once those two things are done consistently, across the board, then more readers will come.

 

 How do readers find you and your books?

 

suzannalinton.com
twitter.com/suzannalin
facebook.com/SuzannaJLinton
Looking for a good read?
Clarabooks2read.com/clara
Clara’s Return: books2read.com/clarasreturn
Willows of Fatebooks2read.com/willows-of-fate

 

Interview with Aduro   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Aduro. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

AduroWell, I’m from the United States, Idaho in particular and well, let’s just say writing is otherwise my life. I live and breathe storytelling.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Well, it was after I had gone through a number of possible career options in my younger years. Eventually though, I reached a point where school became a hassle, because just one of the teachers ruined the experience for me and she was outright horrible in her own way. Not saying she was a bad teacher, I’m just saying she was a bad teacher for me in particular and was kind of insufferable to deal with.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

I’m what you would call a really complicated author. I write in what can only be described as an “expanded universe” similar to that of DC or Marvel in its concept. As for direct writing, I simply start with a character of mine and build a story around them. If it works, I start writing the story and see how I can expand the story further until I reach a state where I can be satisfied with the work itself.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

I mostly prefer works of fantasy, especially high fantasy. Though I also enjoy some mythology too, namely Greek Mythology.

 

What are you passionate about?

Writing and gaming of course.

 

Well, of course. What is something you cannot live without?

Writing. I couldn’t live without being able to write stories. Though I mostly use a computer. I’d probably have to use a typewriter if I couldn’t use a computer.

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

Gaming. Playing video games.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

Not that I can think of.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Aduro Within Shadows CoverA variety of sources, but mostly I get them from the media I take in. Whether it’s a TV show or a video game. Though a huge chunk of my inspiration comes from a combination of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra.

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

Well, given the subject of my novels are usually pretty fictional, I don’t really need to do as much research. The only time I need to do research is when I need to apply some scientific concept or medical knowledge, maybe even a bit of cooking knowledge, to a story.

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

Hmm, that’s rather difficult. I would best describe them as something similar, though not as good as J.R.R. Tolkien’s works with some flavour of J.K. Rowling’s works sprinkled on top. Mind you, compared to them, I’m just a small time indie author, while they are among the biggest legends of the modern literature world. But I have modeled my style more after Tolkien’s.

 

At one time, they were small-time, unknown authors. Do you have a special place where you write?

Not really. Just my room.

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Yes. One of the many recurring themes in my works usually involve balance. Finding it and bringing it to others. In some cases though I just write a story for the sake of writing it/simply because I want to write it.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

More character driven. Though they drive the plot more.

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I start as a discovery writer with a very rudimentary outline just to know where I’m going and so I don’t get lost. But once I finish the first draft, I create a more detailed outline for my second draft and beyond, that way I can return to it at any time. Even if I have to take a pause from the story and deal with other matters.

 

What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

Third person, usually third person omniscient. Meaning I can get into all the characters’ minds if I need to, but I primarily focus on just ONE character at a time.

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Computer, video games, a fair internet connection. That way I can do what I want in some peace and quiet. If I bring any books, they’re my own or Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings, so I can reread them and spot details I may have missed.

 

Tell us about your book.

Within Shadows is my first and presently only published novel. It is a simple story about the Head General of a kingdom waking up to find herself in pain with little memory of how she got there. It focuses primarily on her trying to find out why that is the way it is and getting everything back on track within the kingdom. Being a no-nonsense type of person.

Any future stories I wish to keep to myself for now.

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Sometimes, it depends on the story itself. I believe in leaving things up for the reader to interpret instead of intentionally planting moral messages in a story. If it happens, it might be unintentional.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

That they just took a walk in the lives of these characters. That they entered a fantasy world and experienced something different. That they truly felt like they connected with some of the characters.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Well, considering the content of my work focuses on Non-human characters as the mains in most cases, where they are instead animal people or dragons, or something of the like. I don’t think I’m that good for the mainstream.

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I believe that traditional publishing will stand, but if they don’t make a change, they will fall. Self-publishing does have some future as it lets people get work out and become known as authors. People like myself that have ideas that are willing to push boundaries.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

The creative freedom. I can mostly do what I want in my works and I don’t have anyone putting deadlines on me. It’s the control I need.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Better pay and advertising. Their books will get out there faster and become known faster. As well, they’ll usually do better overall.

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

I haven’t exactly figured this one out yet. It’s just a matter of hammering it away as much as you can. Making unique characters and well crafted stories, while advertising as hard as you can.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

A close friend. Skitty22 on deviantart, though her name is Cheyanne.

 

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

Yes. We can, and it’s a relatively simple process. All you have to do is find a good editor, go through all the appropriate hoops and everything and you can have high quality stories. But you need a GOOD TEAM to help you.

 

Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.

No. I don’t.

 

How do readers find you and your book?

Link to the cover artist: http://skitty22.deviantart.com/

Link to my personal Deviantart account: http://adurotri.deviantart.com/

Link to Within Shadows: https://www.amazon.com/Within-Shadows-Aduro-Tri-ebook/dp/B01AHRL5GI

Primary Twitter: https://twitter.com/adurotri

Dedicated Writing Only Twitter: https://twitter.com/within_shadows

Interview with Loredana Gasparotto   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Loredana Gasparotto. Loredana is my first interview with a film maker and screen writer. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.
Loredana Gasparotto PictureMy name is Loredana Gasparotto. I was born and raised in a small, medieval and enchanting Italian town called Bassano Del Grappa. Bassano is a beautiful place
full of history and beauty, however it always felt too small, like a pair of tight
shoes.

The land I longed for was far, far away: it was America. As I landed in NYC at the end of 1999, I felt immediately at home. I’ve been living in NY for the past 17 years and it’s been a long, intricate and adventurous journey that took me to write Pentimento, my first feature film. This long life journey brought me to recognize and completely accept who I am: I am an artist. But what does it mean being an artist in America, the land of opportunities?

PENTIMENTO Trailer

Well, being true to yourself and your art in America, where conformity and success
are measured in terms of popularity and money is a true challenge. My questions
were and still are: is it finding buyers for my art what makes me a true artist? Or
does it turn me into a salesperson and a product instead of an artist? I realized that I
had to set aside all those marketing values. They did not belong to me and I did not
belong to them. Being an artist for me is the freedom to be myself. Free to search
and free to fail without the worry of being liked by “consumers”.

I wrote Pentimento with those ideals in mind. It might sounds heroic, but its’s a
continuous struggle. And why did I become a “writer”? Something that I never
liked in the first place? Because I had to. I had to write my own ideas in order to
turn them into moving images, in order to tell stories through filmmaking.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I was forced to learn to write to make movies. I had to accept that it was a
necessary step in order to communicate my ideas and produce them into film.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

Initially I wrote scripts following the process my teacher taught me, which is to
begin writing a film treatment first.

Well, let me tell you: it probably works if you have to pitch your idea to a studio
executive, but I don’t think it’s the most creative nor the most fulfilling way to
write. I personally follow the Sylvester Stallone’s method, lol: Write and just write
until you get the first draft of the script done! I thought it was ridiculous at first, but
it works! I finished the first draft of my second feature in 2 days ( however, I had
been thinking about it for 10 years� ) I just let the protagonist go on her journey
without any judgments. It was a fun and wild ride� loved it!

Loredana Self-Portrait

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Well I would think that my favorite genre is thriller and comedy. I believe these are
the two genre I am drawn to by default. Most of the stories and scenes I write are
scary or bizarre.
What are you passionate about?

Pentimento PosterI am passionate about honesty and originality. I watch tons of films and TV shows.
When I see something that stands out I am the happiest and more excited person
ever!

 

What is something you cannot live without?
Music, films, the sun, coffee, my iMac, my iPhone, my bike and sleep. Love to
sleep! �

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your films?

I get my inspiration from life. I came across so many weird things and crazy
people, that I can say with all honestly: life is much weirder than fiction.

Pentimento Preview

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing
and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Weirdly enough, I keep repeating the action of having the main characters looking
outside windows. What’s up with that? I have that in all my movies! Definitely a
cycle that needs to be broken. Dream sequences are also a biggie. Seriously. All my
movies have dream sequences. I don’t even plan to create them consciously. I just
put them in . I think it probably has to do with my night dreams. I have crazy
intense dreams basically every night. So I guess I tend to recreate my daily life
dynamics. Usually all my characters become conscious through a bizarre dream
experience. Almost like a prophetic or paranormal perceptions.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

I did try to write stories following an outline, but it never really worked for me. I
mean it always forced the story and it was not an organic progression. When I
began following my characters instead, everything fell into place. As I follow
them, the story creates itself.

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
I usually don’t begin a story with that in mind. Usually the beginning is just about
the journey of the character. However, I believe it’s the ending of the story that
defines its message. How is the heroine/hero’s journey going to end? Would she or
he find what they were looking for or not? The ending will define the moral of the
story as well as the philosophical views of the writer.

 

What do you want the readers to think or feel after watching in your films?

I’d like them to leave with a new prospective on how stories can be told and about
how life could be. I’d like them to be surprised.

 

What influenced your decision to self-produce?

Well, as a first time feature film director I had a super tough time finding investors
to make the film.

I searched for a very long time. I wrote proposals, met people etc… However, it is
extremely difficult to find individuals who’ll dare to invest in your ideas without
the guarantee of financial gain. And of course the film business is very
unpredictable. We can’t ever really predict what will be a hit or a flop. At the end,
I realized I had to invest my own money.With that, comes the pros and cons.
One of the major cons is that the production value of the film is not as
sophisticated as the one of a multimillion dollar production. Also the production
and post production phases are incredibly longer.

However you have enormous freedom to create. And I truly believe that my best
ideas came out of this process.

Creativity is the daughter of scarcity. If I’d had access to all the tools I wished for, I
wouldn’t have had to squeeze my brain to come up with new creative ways to solve a
problem.

I truly believe that Pentimento is a unique film because I was forced to invent
solutions to all the productions issues I encountered. I’m actually very please with
that.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-producing?

It’s definitely the creative control and originality that comes with it.

 

Who designed your posters?

I actually made the choice to do it myself. I was inspired by the posters of Wong
kar Wai’s film posters like Fallen Angels and Chunking Express.

I decided to utilize the technique of mashup to create an original poster, by the
way still in the making. I utilized this technique for my previous art work. I think
it’s a good fit for the film.

 

What sort of research do you do for your films?
Research is one of my favorite aspects of writing. I learn so much in the process.
For my second feature I am researching a varieties of topics from insights on the
NYC real estate market to various species of NYC BUGS. From Saint Francis, the
magic flute and Snow White to dumpsters recycle. Did you know that dumpster
recycling in NY is the new Trend? So much fun!

 

How do people interested in your work find you?

https://www.facebook.com/LoredanaGasparottoArt/

https://www.facebook.com/Pentimentofilm/

Interview with Ellie Douglas   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Ellie Douglas. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.

 

Douglas Author PicMy name is Ellie Douglas, I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and have a wonderful hubby who earns enough so I can stay at home with the kids and write my novels 🙂 I have four ankle-biting horrors, twin girls and two boys, I scored the lottery with them 🙂

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer from a young, very young age. I wrote my first story when I was 15 but I didn’t do anything with it. Then many years later I picked writing back up and haven’t put it down since. No intentions of stopping at all.

 

I don’t think real writers can ever turn off the tap. Tell us about your writing process.

My writing process is a little, well, lets just say eccentric. I write when I want, and when the mood strikes. I could be laying in bed struggling to sleep. So I get up and write. I could be at the beach and the mood strikes so I start writing. I have no outlines or plots that I work from, I start at the beginning and build from there, even I don’t know what the ending will be until I finish the novel.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Horror for both reading it and writing it.

 

What are you passionate about?

My family are what I am most passionate about.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

My kids

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

Douglas hounded1smaller.pngI like to read, a lot. I also love watching TV shows. I’m a also a big fan of movies. I also create book covers, professionally. So when not writing I can be found doing those other things and, of course, spending time with my kids 🙂

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

No

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

A few places, sometimes I get them from the book covers I create, sometimes I get them from movies and/or other books. Mostly I get them from just ideas that rush through my head like a steam train out of control.

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I do a lot of research, location — weapons, clothing, interior design, exterior …. Every novel I have ever written has been thoroughly researched. I even had to research psychology and doctors, phobias and other mental illnesses.

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I’d say be afraid, of being grossed out and scared. It is my aim to do just that 🙂

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

Not really, I do tend to sway more towards, writing in my lounge. Kicking back on my lazy-boy, extending my legs and using my laptop.

 

Douglas Zombie Dogs

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

I guess if you call Zombies a theme as I have a tendency to write more about them than other themes.

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Douglas Coloring BookCharacter driven, because I believe building the ultimate character to give the reader the joy of knowing someone that isn’t real yet feels very real and realistic at the same time is gold.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I am a discovery writer, why? It is just how I prefer to write, no real explanation to why, sorry. It is what it is 🙂

 

 

I totally understand. What’s the fun of knowing what’s coming next … even if you are the writer. I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

First, thank God, it is summer. I’d have my laptop. I’d have movies and books, far too many to list specific titles, but they are all horrors.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want readers to be scared. I want them to be grossed out. I want them to feel excitement and to fall in love with the characters. To travel with the characters both good and evil, to experience what my characters do through the eyes of the readers.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Mostly impatience and the flexibility of being self-published. That need to get my story out now, instead of a year after it has been finished.

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Neither, because neither of those are true. Traditional publishing will always be there, and self-publishing will as well. That is what I believe, hey I could be totally wrong, ignorant to believe what I do, it is what it is though 🙂

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

The greatest advantage is to have what you worked hard on, to be on the market for sale straight after it is finished.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

 

Not a great deal really. If you sell the rights to your book you could be underselling yourself. Keeping the rights to your book and nominating the prices you wish to sell, are the things you can’t get if you are traditionally published. But being traditionally published has its perks too. It would be nice to experience both so I could answer this properly.

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

Yes, it is increasingly difficult to be seen. The only way I know how to increase visibility is to constantly advertise. Promotion is the best advice I could give to any author, both self-published and traditionally. Word of mouth is top of course. But overall it is pumping out the links to the books you have on a continuous basis. Remember you are competing with millions of other authors. So it is even harder to be seen. Don’t be discouraged. Keep on going 🙂

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

I designed my own book covers. I do it professional as my regular job.

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

 

Yes they can, provided you have a good editor and beta readers, not family members and not friends. But professionally paid services that will polish your book to it’s highest. They don’t come cheap, so save before you even finish writing a book. Save hard. But, it is vital that you hire a professional editor. And a proof reader.

 

Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.

 

No I don’t. Not yet, but one day soon I will.

 

 

Where do readers find you and your books?

http://bit.ly/zomDog1   Hounded (Amazon)

http://bit.ly/EllieTube YouTube Channel

http://bit.ly/FB-ELLIE Facebook

http://bit.ly/LinkedIn-Ellie LinkedIn

http://bit.ly/Ellie-Pin Pinterest

http://bit.ly/Ellie-Instagram Instagram

https://twitter.com/AuthorEllie Twitter

www.authorellie.com

Interview with Samantha Ryan Chandler   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Samantha Ryan Chandler. Welcome to the blog. How did you get the idea of your 1st book?

Chandler Author PicThe book is not about an idea. It is about my life. If I had not lived it, I can assure you, I would never think what I went through was possible. I had to write my story. There were two motivating factors in writing such a raw and vulnerable account of my life. I needed my three girls to know the truth about their mommy, and as a child of God, I had to see where He was in my life in times that just could not be understood. How could evil overtake me? I had to know God was involved when it looked like pure evil. Like Job of the Old Testament, all was lost in a breath. I described the 22-year marriage to a very wealth man that decided to destroy me, taking my child and trying to throw me on the street with nothing … all in the name of greed.

In the chapter titled: When Pollyanna Marries Darth Vader, I encountered massive distortion powered by ‘people of important’ and money that sullied my name. I cannot allow someone to rewrite truth so they can win in the name of greed. In a blink of the eye, I watched my whole world change.

 

Why Pollyanna and Darth Vaer as lead characters?

I had to! Darth Vader is a very rich and prominent man in the large city we lived in. He could buy judges as well as “truth”. He planned my demise for five years prior to executing his plan. I did not know who to trust and lived in fear. I truly thought for years he was capable of killing me. DV loves to take people to court. I avoided this by giving everyone mentioned fake names such as Darth Vader. Even my children are called 1st Bably, Middle Baby and Baby Baby.

After 12 years since this all happened, I still sleep with my bedroom door locked.

 

Wow, what an incredible thing to go through. Tell us about your writing process?

Chandler A Love Story CoverWell, I must say my style could be called peculiar as I did not write to a reader. I wrote to myself. I started with times in my life that were unsettling or horrific. These earlier times, I did not know God, but I could easily see as I wrote that He knew me. He was there in a particular time that should by all accounts have taken my life. In writing, I started to see I had a purpose. Not to spoil the end of my book, but I must say the last sentence is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever said. If you were to rush to the back and read first…it would not have the impact that leads a reader to understand the emotion behind it. Having said this, I love to hear from readers. All I ask is, if you read my story please have an emotion…please feel something. If not, then I have failed.

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
Having written all of the above, this causes a pause.  It is both. I had to write my story so truth about me and my character had a voice. I cannot allow someone to sully my reputation and the way I lived out my beliefs. Maybe the message was for DV…maybe about me. There is a moral message, evil does not win. My book has scriptures woven throughout my writings. These were scriptures I held on to as I was falling down the hole that I was pushed down. I felt like Alice in Wonderland when she saw things that made no sense. Scripture is God’s promises to us. If Samantha says something there is room for it to change or not happen. If God says it…it is not a suggestion.
 I do a good amount of TV and radio interviews and invariably I hear from listeners. Many are reaching out to know there is life at the end of your “trial”. I always give out a way to contact me, email and my cell phone. I can remember a time after a TV interview, I got a call on my cell phone from someone in audience. I pulled my car over to a parking lot and just listened. She needed someone to talk to.  I didn’t have answers to her problem but I could listen.
What is something you cannot live without?
No hesitation or thought…my three girls.
Do you ever have writers block?
Yes, I have it now.  I started writing a book with my husband of 1 year. It is fiction and loosely based on our lives prior to meeting. David writes a chapter to me and then I pick up where I think it should go and send it back to him. I have not heard of this style before but it is making for an interesting story as I do not know what he will write. All I can tell you that we both know, is that; the male character sees my character entering a post office and that I have a mail box. He then begins to write to me and I do not know who he is. It’s a love story.
Do you write specifically for a Christian audience?
I am a Christian but I do not mention this except when I quote New Testament. I made it about God and me. I have had Jewish people read my book.
What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?
I have a review on Amazon that comes to mind. Please remember that my cover is my hand reaching up to the Heavens with a hand coming down holding mine. Incidentally, this is my hand on the cover. Look at the title…does it not spell out God?  The reviewer said my book had too much “God” in it!!  I was stunned they even bought it but more shocked they bothered to criticize it for it’s purpose. It was 1 star.
Who designed you book cover?
I did the theme and my “middle baby” did the art and the photography.  I have a small chapter on seeing God’s hand come down and hold mine while I was in labor…for the same baby that did the art. On the back cover has  me in a cemetery sitting on a tombstone that has a cross behind my shoulder. We went to New Orleans where I am from to a very old cemetery that all are monuments. The hard bound copy has this at the bottom of the page, “We do not fight for victory – We fight from victory
Any more question you might need or have?
www.SamanthaRyanChandler.com
https://twitter.com/SamchanRyan
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011230836978
404 824 0229 cell
samchan@bellsouth.net

 

 

 

 

 

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