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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

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Temba Magorimbo   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Temba Magorimbo. Welcome to the blog. I love interviewing authors from cultures I’m less familiar with because I learn a lot. I also have to say this interview made me laugh. You’re a very funny guy. Tell us something about yourself.

Temba Author PicMy name is Temba Magorimbo. I am a male author. My twitter handle is @_the_chapter6k but it should have been @_the_author6k. Misspelling, call it that. I am from Zimbabwe here in Africa. You don’t know where Zimbabwe is? That is the country which broke world records by having the worst recorded inflation outside a war zone. I work for the government as an accounting assistant. I shuffle financial and administrative duties at a school. I am married, yes to Itayi. We have two daughters whose marriages are going to the highest bidder, offers? Did anyone say a cruise yacht?

 

Ah, you have a sense of humor. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing when I was around ten to eleven years old. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer. I just created stories or I extended those I had heard. I liked pen dancing patterns on paper. My father was not amused. I tried writing mystery novels between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.

 

Yeah, my parents always wanted me to do my homework instead. Tell us about your writing process.

Oh boy! My writing process is going through a metamorphosis. I used to plan, strategise then put pen on paper. Now I find snippets of action coming to my mind. I record these. I end up with ten percent of the book in abeyance for some period before I start work. I use a storyline to guide me though I don’t split that into chapters.

 

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

Romance is what makes me a writer, the contemporary variety. Other than that I would choose to write the general fiction category. That allows a writer to put in a little bit of the cheating wife, the squeamish detective and the hit-and-run driver. I read all types of fiction except horror or erotic.

 

What are you passionate about?

Temba Boomerang

I like to read and research. I like my game of cricket. I watch other sports when time allows. I also enjoy seeing winter sports that include skiing plus English soccer.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

If I knew that I would have written a guide to inspiration for would-be writers. Inspiration just pops up like a dog on a wet beach. I just get inspired maybe by an article or a glimpse of an event then off I go creating fictitious situations and characters.

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I do detailed research. No reader wants to find out that the author is off key on any topic. Of course you can always write a disclaimer that the author’s views are their own and they cannot be held accountable for errors. Or you can call it an error of judgement. I try to avoid all that.

 

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

I would say I am a fiction contemporary romance author heading for the top wherever the top is be it a sand dune, anthill or Mount Kilimanjaro. Maybe I am headed for the top of Mount Pinatubo, geez, let no volcano start when I am past the point of no-return.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

My bedroom is where it is peaceful. That way I do not allow television programs to disturb me. After all some of them are repeats. At times I even write at the office if the ideas keep popping in.

 

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

 

Yes. I should not find the answer because that would be bad for business. Is there any pension for retired writers?

 

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

Temba Butterscotch

I would suggest that I am plot driven. Characters just hang on to the gravy wagon as I write. Though once in a while I come up with the ideas of a strong character or protagonist, I always plot and plan before I put myself to write.

 

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

Outlines are like playing tennis. They keep you within the rules of the game. You then wonder what the umpire or line judge was thinking of.

 

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

I swoop for third point of view. It allows me to snoop without being detected.

 

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 will bring a laptop, a smart phone or/and a tablet. Make sure there is internet connectivity even via a satellite link. I will need to see CNN News everyday because that is where some ideas come from. The Discovery Channel and National Geographic Wild will keep me entertained. After I am bruised by the characters, I will need to know why the wildebeest keep crossing the same crocodile-infested river between Tanzania and Kenya. Of course, I need hear the verbal roasting of some unlucky character or vehicle by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and his comrades in crime. Then I need to know what is trending on the international finance/economic section.

 

 

Africa is apparently better connected to the Internet than Alaska. Talk about your books individually.

Temba Child Of Promise

The latest are the most remembered. A writer’s memory ages with the date they created new fiction. The latest is BOOMERANG about a guy who likes to use a chisel on wood while keeping his distance from other folk. They call him weird. He is befriended by the ruling class who take on his creations while his own try to fleece him. He loses the chieftainship. He shifts to a place 200 kilometres away and marries to produce a family. His blood brother is a rural dancer and drummer of repute. He has a reputation for liking ladies and beer. He leaves a trail of broken-hearted and pregnant women. Then time swings to the present. Who fathered the boy that Richard adopted? LAKE OF MY HEART is about Trevor who likes to go up the mountain even when the storm is heading the opposite way. Of humble beginnings, he burns the midnight oil up the real estate ladder then he meets a girl, Naomi with dimples and tantrums/short or explosive temper. His heart is broken by this charming lady more than four times? Will their marriage survive? PATA – PATA [SOFT FOOTSTEPS] is about Sandra who is love lone now that she is a single mother in a society where being a single mother reduces marital chances. She goes to a couples’ forum and play acts at marriage with a roving bachelor who has a live wire of a girlfriend called Tina. Tina is not amused. What will happen? She has sharp nails. BUTTERSCOTCH is about a man with luck in getting high paid jobs yet they are on contract. He loses his first date when she dumps him. He is married with children when she returns to him. She wants them to live together once outside the country in Alberta. Who of his married ex-girlfriend mother of two and his wife is joining him in Calgary, Alberta?

 

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

Life is a struggle. Those who hang on will tell about the storm that drowned many. They will explain that there are no fish seedlings.

 

I like that. What influenced your decision to self-publish?

The traditional publishing houses liked making entry into the publishing field to be like being asked to attend dinner at the White House. Dinner tastes the same at the Waldorf Astoria or at a beach with white sand.

 

You and I would get along great. There are people who believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Yes, rather digital publishing is getting to the top. Gone are the days when the publisher will be at pains to explain that their print run of your book, that one you said was a bestseller, did not sell. Traditional publishing is the stage coach resisting the internal combustible engine and the melancholy model T-Ford. These are the days of reading devices that are hand held which can contain an entire library with less than 40GB of hard drive.

 

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

Temba Pata-Pata

It is unique. The writer can change and edit as the book sells. Whereas if a million copies

 

are printed and there is a need to edit it becomes extremely embarrassing. Self publishing gives the readers/buyers the choice of deciding who goes to the #1 list and why?

 

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

They have to behave like professionals and treat their work like assets. They may miss out on brushing shoulders with agents, librarians and booksellers. Most of them are tongue-tied anyway. Books cannot be mass produced. They have to be created one at a time.

 

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 do well given the right financial platform. It costs a lot to do editing, book jacket, interior design and to other works because they have to be done by dedicated professionals. These same professionals are at par with those doing the same tasks for the traditional publishing market.

 

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

No I don’t. The last time I tried that they accused me of being a Bolshevik communist.

 

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

 I am a Christian. I do not write for the Christian market. I write what can be read by the general market. I have read books about Allah akbar so why not write for the general market.

 

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

 You need to separate your church and your writing. You need to separate your Christian beliefs and your writings without denying the Christ.

 

Christians are told to be “in the world, but not of it.” As a Christian writer, how do you write to conform to that scripture?

 Yeah I do though I do not pronounce some of my staunch Christian beliefs on paper. You have to be principled. That is why there are no bedroom scene descriptions.

 

Do you feel that Christian writers are expected to conform to some standards that are perhaps not realistic to the world?

 Yes and no. Christian writers should remember they are not preacher bodies. They are writers like the rest of the world. Christian writers are bound by the Biblical moral code.

 

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?

 A great Christian fiction is told in story form. If you decide to take the pulpit to the writing boardroom then make sure you explain the book is a FICTION title. You can always reverse the roles. If anyone interviews you, just say, “No comments.”

 

If you write speculative fiction, do you find that the Christian reader community is accepting of that genre?

 They will not. However they will be loading speculative fiction from non-Christian writers onto their kindles or kobo.

 

Yeah, there is that double standard. How do readers find you and your books?

 

EBOOKS LINKED TO AMAZON KINDLE STORE

 

https://www.amazon.com/Butterscotch-meet-Alberta-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00JNN8APW

 

https://www.amazon.com/All-Have-Sinned-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00DJTURMA

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lake-My-Heart-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00IQRK5MW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Can-Weep-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00ITPI460

 

https://www.amazon.com/Splash-Loch-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00K45BQDQ

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lamb-Slaughter-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00QTGWMOQ

 

https://www.amazon.com/Let-Close-Me-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00DK6N256

 

https://www.amazon.com/Off-Eagles-Claws-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00I6CNZTW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Pata-Pata-soft-footsteps-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00ONSONTE

 

https://www.amazon.com/Breed-Merino-Sheep-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00OF9SFWW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Hunt-Night-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00DJOR76E

 

https://www.amazon.com/Whiplash-love-triangle-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B00TV0TQIC

 

https://www.amazon.com/Child-Promise-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B015E9GC9E

 

https://www.amazon.com/BOOMERANG-Temba-Magorimbo-ebook/dp/B01EYJ4VSE

 

OTHER LINKS

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5203977.Temba_Magorimbo

https://www.amazon.com/Mr.-Temba-Magorimbo/e/B00F9TABDI

https://twitter.com/_the_chapter6k

https://www.facebook.com/The-Chapter-1099133093438985/

 

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