Archive for the ‘#authorinterview’ Tag

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/

 

Interview with Theresa Snyder   1 comment

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

Theresa Snyder author picI live in the Pacific Northwest with my elder father, cat and an occasional dragon house guest. I run the printshop at the local community college, which just happens to be about five blocks from my doorstep. I consider all my student staff at work ‘my kids’ and they help me with everything techie that an indie author needs to know. They are constantly pushing and opening doors for me on social media. The latest is Snap Chat. They keep me young.

 

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

I have been writing since I was a youngster. My mother gave me a journal and encouraged me to write. However, I don’t think I really considered myself an author until I wrote my first book in 1990 and then didn’t talk about being an author until I was published in 2013. I know, twenty-three years, but sometimes things that are worth doing take some time and are worth waiting for.

 

Theresa Snyder DragonTell us about your writing process. Do you have a special place you write?

I am a morning writer. I wake up with ideas and want to get them down on paper. I spend a lot of time writing in my head before I start in on the keyboard, so there is no outline and the characters might take me a totally different direction then what I have planned. If I stumble, and don’t know where to go, I take a nap. My brain keeps working and I wake with the answer. I like writing while listening to instrumental music, piano, cello, classical guitar. I can’t write with the radio on, I want to stop and sing along. I have a writing room that is all decked out in a Moroccan motif. I love it there – rich colors and stimulating atmosphere.

 

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

I don’t have a favorite genre to read. I read everything. I am voracious. As for writing, I love the genre I am with at the moment. Right now, I am really into wrapping up my paranormal/fantasy series and therefore I live, eat and breathe everything from shape shifters to dragons and hippogriffs to fire demons.

Theresa Snyder Beast Within

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

I am a sponge. I get the inspiration and ideas for my novels from friends and family events and conversations, news articles or broadcasts, people watching and hypothesizing about their lives and relationships, documentaries and other programs on television. My most recent scifi book, The Beast Within came from two ideas. I saw a newscast on the homeless children in Brazil and I was watching one of those challenge programs on tattooing. To find out how that all connects, you will have to read the book. No spoilers here.

 

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

I write very character-driven novels. My scifi is low tech like “Firefly.” My fantasy can be enjoyed on multiple levels depending on how deeply you want to think about it. I am not an epic writer. My books move very quickly and the one complaint I get, in spite of my 4 and 5 star reviews, is they are over too fast. In that case, I just tell folks to pick up the next in the series. After all, I have twenty-four books in print.

Theresa Snyder Farloft_Collection_General

Wow, 24. That’s amazing. What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

I have grown to love writing first person. My favorite character currently is Cody/Scar my shape-shifter in the Twin Cities Series. His books are all from his point of view and I love seeing the world through his eyes whether as a human or as a wolf.

 

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 would write. I often escape to a small town in the woods to spend a week writing in a log cabin with the river running past the door. If there is electricity at your cabin then I would bring my laptop and my favorite throw for keeping my feet warm. If no electricity is available then my suitcase would be filled with paper and pens. The only thing other than that would be something to play music on. If I have my laptop, it is loaded, or my phone, or my tablet or my MP3 player – I have music everywhere. If no electricity is available, perhaps you could hire Adam Hurst or Gary Jess to play for me while I write.

 

Theresa Snyder Star Traveler Series

You might have to settle for the babble of the creek. You would prefer that over the chug-chug-chug of the generator. Talk about your books individually, or … since you have 24, how about just an overview of each series.

The 1st book of each series is permanently free on all platforms in e-book.

“The Farloft Chronicles”A dragon series for all ages. A series for anyone who has ever loved or loves a dragon. They will find Farloft irresistible. For those who enjoyed “How to Train Your Dragon” no matter what their age.

“The Star Traveler Series” – Action, adventure, romance and intrigue; it all began with a friendship between Jake, a battle-worn, middle-aged human mercenary and a young alien named Arr. From that friendship sprang the foundation of a series that will envelope you in its character-driven stories and fast-paced, paging-turning momentum.

 

“The Twin Cities SeriesThe Realms refers to a parallel dimension hidden between Minneapolis and St. Paul where creatures, humans think of as only mythical, roam free. Cody is a shape shifter with some monumental problems that all started when he died. He’s escaped to The Realms from the midlands between Heaven and Hell only to find his best friend is potential food for the resident vampires, his girlfriend only loves him in his wolf form and her mother… well that’s a whole other story. It isn’t easy being Cody, but like a good wolf he’ll do what he can to protect his pack even if it kills him. Wait… he’s already dead.


Theresa Snyder Both In2Minds

“In2Minds”The home world’s sun is going to explode and Commander Tait is the last hope for a one-way mission to terra-form a distant planet. The only catch is the accident that buried him alive. With only his computer to assist him, will her survive?

“We 3” Non-fiction – is a collection of stories – sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious, always authentic – about a baby boomer caring for her aging parents.

 

 

Theresa Snyder Twin Cities Series

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

I would like them to be so involved with the characters that they can’t wait to download or order the next book to find out what happens. I would like them to be hungry for more adventure whether in the future of the universe, the fantasy land of dragons, or The Realms where all things humans think are fantastical, paranormal or magical actually live.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I planned to just format my books, print and bind a copy for myself. After all, I do run a print shop, but my writing group convinced me to self-publish and I have never looked back.

 

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

Theresa Snyder WE 3 (1)You are in total control. That might be the greatest disadvantage too. It is great to be able to produce at your own rate, chose your own cover design, form your own marketing campaigns, but you must see it as a small business. It is something most of us will work at for years before it shows any return other than the joy of interacting with your readers on social media.

 

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

Supposedly, you have the backing of the marketing department of the traditional publisher, but I have talked to authors who did not have much assistance even though they were published traditionally. I think the main thing a traditional publishing would do for me would be to raise my books above the notion that all self-published books are inferior. You fight this all the time, because frankly there are people who call themselves author, but put either poorly written or poorly edited work up for sale. A reader will only buy a limited amount of these ‘inferior’ books before they start going back to the traditional publishers where they either know the author is good or they know the quality of editing is worth their money.

 

Completely agree. 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 start with a quality product – a sound plot, careful editing, attractive covers, and an eye-catching blurb. After that it is a matter of marketing. That, my friends, is like gardening, everyone has an opinion on how to do it. You just have to find your ‘groove.’

 

I like that. 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?

This is certainly achievable. I started “Affordable Proofreading & Editing Service, LLC” to assist authors in making their work shine. The better the quality, the more chance we all have of being read. As I said in the question above, the readers will only tolerate inferior works for so long before they go back to the names they know. If you got a raw hamburger three times in a row from the local diner, you would be headed back to McDonald’s in not time. I advocate cooking the book thoroughly before serving.

Where do readers find you and your books?

Website: www.TheresaSnyderAuthor.com

Books Available on Amazon / Smashwords / CreateSpace / Google play

  • “Scifi reminiscent of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein”
  • “Paranormal like a breath of fresh air in a genre that has become formatted”
  • “Fantasy beautifully written with complex characters that children to adults can appreciate”
  • “Memoirs that are heartwarming, funny and soothing to the spirit”

Link to Moroccan Room Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qFQL6-Yf-c

Link to Affordable Proofreading & Editing Service, LLC: http://affordableproofedit.blogspot.com/

Link to Media Kit for Bio Picture: http://www.theresasnyderauthor.com/media-kit/

Trailer

 

Interview with Zara Altair   3 comments

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

Profile photoLela, thank you for inviting me to this conversation. I live just outside of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. When I’m not working on my stories, I’m still writing. I contribute semantically optimized content for several websites and blog article series. Right now, I am also ghostwriting a thriller.

I’ve taught writing in various roles from kindergarten through university. For the past 10 years, I’ve been helping other story writers with developmental editing and script review.

 

 

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

I’ve been telling stories since I was a toddler and began writing stories when I was around five years old. At that same time, I met a writer of children’s books and knew I wanted to be a writer.

 

 

Tell us about your writing process.

The process is a mix. Characters come to me and want their story told. I get to know my character and, for the historical mysteries, I do a great deal of research.

For planning, I do a three-point plan: Beginning, middle, and end. Then I fill in the chapters that get the story from the beginning to the end. Those chapter notes are loose ideas. I find that as I write, characters do and say things that move the story in unexpected ways. I do not compose the story linearly. If a scene pops into my head, I write it while it is fresh in my mind. A similar process may happen with bits of dialog. So-and-so has to say this, and then fit it into the story.  But, in the main, I write from the beginning to the end, fitting in those already written scenes at the appropriate place in the story line.

Writing time is uninterrupted. No phone conversations. No quick checks of email. I want to get “in the flow” and stay there during writing time.

 

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

The Used Virgin: An Argolicus Mystery (Argolicus Mysteries) by [Altair, Zara]I read a lot of thrillers, crime, police procedurals, some legal thrillers. I also read science fiction.

 

I love writing mysteries. I think it is the puzzle that intrigues me. What is the puzzle? Who is involved? Who seems like the perfect foil? What are the clues? Where do I plant them in the story?

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

I find that reading history of the time of my stories, early 6th Century Italy, provides great inspiration for the circumstances of the plot and what issues surround characters. Some of the reading is fairly dry, but as a storyteller my response may be: What the bishops were running a slave trade? The area was known for horse breeding? Sometimes these idea sparks come from scholarly footnotes, not the main text. I’m always looking for juicy situations.

 

Because the Emperor Justinian did everything he could to remove all traces of the Ostrogoths in Italy, research is always a challenge. From quotidian details like meals and clothing to palace intrigue sources are scant. A perfect example is the mosaic of the palace in Sant’Apollonare Nuovo. Justinian had the original mosaic, believed to be Theoderic and his court, removed and replaced with the curtains. If you look closely you can see hands on three of the pillars which are left over from the original mosaic.

 

My central character, Argolicus, was a real person at the time of Theodoric’s reign in Italy. He is mentioned nine times in Cassiodorus’ Variae (iii 11, iii 12, iii 29, iii 30, iii 33, iv 22, iv 25, iv 29, iv 42) as praefectus urbis of Rome. His childhood and ongoing friendship with Cassiodorus come from my imagination.

 

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

The Peach Widow: An Argolicus Mystery (Argolicus Mysteries) by [Altair, Zara]I have bookshelves full of historical references. Conference proceedings bound into books, sometimes including lively question and answer sessions. Many of the books are in Italian. One conference may have presentations in English, French, Italian, etc. I struggle through quotes in Latin and Greek. My one comparison to Shakespeare is that, as Ben Jonson said, I have “small Latin and less Greek.” I sound out the Greek. It’s like a kid just learning to read.

 

I traveled to Italy, to interview scholars at the Universitá di Bologna, who graciously answered many questions and supplied me with 30 kilos of books to further my research. Two questions I had were inadvertently answered by just being there. I found a small cookbook in a bookstore about the food of the Ostrogoths, and a bartender gave me a local journal that spoke of an underground café, which for story purposes, was the place where the king stored the wheat and bread that he gave out.

 

 

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

My stories are traditional mysteries set in a long-ago time, a time when the Ostrogoths ruled Italy. The main character straddles the two worlds of Ostrogoth and Italian culture. There were no police or private detectives, and murder was not a crime under either legal system.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

Yes, my desk. Sometimes it is covered with reference books.

 

 

 

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

Mysteries have a standard plot trope. Beyond that, I play with the characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

My short story, The Used Virgin, had been sitting on my computer for several years. I decided to put it out there for anyone who might be interested. Little did I know at the time, how much I had to learn about creating an author platform and communicating with readers and potential readers.

 

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

Getting the book out is a relatively short process. The author has control of publication.

 

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 don’t think so much about getting the books to stand out as finding readers who want to read the type of story I write. That thinking comes from working as a writer in the Search Engine Optimization world. Business owners, that’s me as an author, can spend energy on ranking, or they can optimize to engage with customers. It’s a similar approach.

Ask me again in two years.

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

I feel fortunate to work with Ryan J. Rhoades of Reformation Designs. After talking with him about the series, he created covers that captured the essence of the time. And, each cover has an important clue hidden in the details. We did that for fun.

Although I had worked with him on other design projects, his branding tends to look very modern. I was hesitant at the beginning but as soon as I saw his first cover I knew I had made a good decision.

 

 

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?

Absolutely. Write the best story you can. Find an editor familiar with your genre. Hire a cover designer who understands your book. Choose cover material and paper that match the feel of your book. Self-published authors who put in attention to detail in all phases of book production have no worries about high-quality.

 

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

Nothing so formal as a cooperative. I have been in writing groups for years starting with the Russian River Writers in California in the late 1970s.

My current writing group is small. When I moved to Oregon from California four years ago, I looked at a number of groups but most of them were not a fit. I started corresponding with a contact from a group that had folded and we chatted about our “ideal” group. It took us almost a year to form the group. We have written rules, a trial period, and a tight community.

We meet twice a month. We bring printed copies of the pages. We take turns reading each other’s passage aloud. After the reading each individual comments. The writer leaves with written comments and suggested edits from each member.

The comments and suggestions are instrumental in honing the final story. I recommend a writing group for any writer. What we do with suggestions is up to the writer.

 

How do readers find you and your books?

 

 

Links:

Amazon Author Page

Author Website

Facebook Author Fan Page

Twitter

Goodreads

Google+

YouTube

 

Interview with Raven H. Price   3 comments

Today’s interview is with Raven H. Price, who I have been retweeting often. Welcome to the blog, Raven. Tell us something about yourself.

Raven Price Author PicI am from Leesburg, GA, a small town a few miles north of Albany, GA.  I am a wife, mother and grandmother who retired from government service in 2014, to write and travel.

 

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

In 2010, I was inspired to write a fantasy/romance based on my own life’s story.  I lived through several heart-breaking events and felt sharing them in an entertaining manner would inspire and encourage other women to be more careful with relationships and seek a life with Jesus first.

 

 

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

I love to read fantasy and romance novels so, when I began writing, it was natural for me to incorporate the two genres.

 

 

I’m a big fan of writers who write the books they want to read. What are you passionate about?

Raven Price The PlanShowing people love, respect and acceptance regardless of their beliefs, lifestyles or sexual orientations.

 

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you?

Yes.  While I was writing THE PLAN, I realized if I didn’t write truthfully as well as in a fictional manner I would lose a reader’s interest.  I found myself crying many times and came to realize being a judgmental person had to die.  It was then I promised myself to be open-minded and show respect to people as much as possible.

 

 

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

Sort of.  The Plan, my first book is a stand-alone, but the other three are a trilogy call The Paradigm Shift Trilogy.   Convicted (Book 1) has an abusive theme involving physical abuse, Convinced (Book 2) has a mental abuse twist where Commissioned (Book 3) is a fantasy explaining why physical and mental issues are intertwined.

 

 

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?

Raven Price ConvictedI usually write early in the mornings and after lunch I love sitting quietly in a natural environment.  Communing with what is around me clears my mind and opens my heart for a more enjoyable relationship with Jesus.  I like reading so I’d probably have a few romance novels to read in the evenings, such as Nora Roberts & J.D. Robb books.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

Rather than talk about my books I will post the blurbs.

 

THE PLAN: As a young child, Rachel Parody has a very special relationship with Jesus. By his side, she explores a magical place, is comforted, and encouraged to not live in fear. Over time, Rachel and Jesus lose contact and evil demons use their time of separation to steer her into the ways of the world. Not until her heart is completely broken and her mind is convinced she is headed for hell will she seek a face-to-face encounter again with her Saviour. At the age of thirty-four, Rachel learns to rely and depend on her childhood friend once again. He teaches her the truth and then introduces her to the love of her life.
Because of her horrific past, many years later, Rachel’s need to be a good example for young women in her church drives her to worry over their romantic influences. When she notices a series of books and movies enslaving them with lustful desires, her interest gets piqued. After investigating the books, these stories don’t repulse her but become a catalysis for Rachel to share the love of Jesus with these girls. But the fantasy appeal of the characters enthralls the girls more than helping them see there is a true immortal named, Jesus. She tried many ways to share how this love story between a mortal and a vampire was written from references out of the Bible’s ‘Song of Solomon.’ but no one would listen.
Once Rachel realizes her efforts were futile, she asks Jesus to calm her obsession and send someone who could reach the younger generation with His loving nature. Instead of sending Rachel help, Jesus convinces her to write her own story. Exposing her past was not in Rachel’s plan, but giving her life away as an example was His.
Will Rachel tell everything?

 

CONVICTED (Book 1 of The Paradigm Shift Trilogy)

Raven Price ConvincedThis book was previously published as The Conversion (Book 1 of the Harvesting Machine Trilogy)
Convicted (Book 1 of the Paradigm Shift Trilogy) begins the story by explaining how after being beaten and emotionally bruised by two ex-husbands, Hope Anderson seeks the comfort she once felt within her family church. Upon her first visit back, she sits on the last row to secure her anonymity. Desperate to find comfort and acceptance, Hope felt judgmental eyes instead. Regularly plagued by fear and paranoia, Hope seeks counsel and finds it through a female evangelist on television. The woman’s depiction of love and her explanation of a spiritual journey prompts Hope to ask God for the same. He grants her request. Hope is taught how to pray effectively because of her journey with the Holy Spirit. With intercession, Hope is also granted supernatural gifts of spiritual sight and hearing. She faces demons bravely through her faith in the Holy Spirit to help others.
When Hope’s journey is over, she does not turn her back on her church or on her colleagues at work. Convicted, she boldly stands and fights for them using her superpowers. It is through this process that Hope learns to love herself and other people and to forgive.
Living happily with her Lord, Hope is faced once again with what caused her immense fear and paranoia. The fight for her life begins, and it is the worst physical and spiritual battle imaginable!

 

CONVINCED (Book 2 of The Paradigm Shift Trilogy)

Raven Price CommissionedA prophecy is starting over. Heaven holds a meeting so the last piece of a puzzle can be found. Jesus chooses Gina Grimes, a strong willed, self-serving and unchurched young woman to complete the team.
For Jesus’ plan to work, the Holy Spirit has to first convince Gina her lifestyle isn’t great. He uses Caylee Sellers, Gina’s happy-go-lucky co-worker, to convince her there is a better life with the Lord. Once Gina submits to Jesus, he sends her a guardian angel. But when the angel called Ox arrives on the scene to guard her, he sees that Satan is already focused on Gina and is determined to ruin or kill Jesus’ new convert before the Lord’s seed of faith can take root.
A battle of wills begins and in the process Gina gets physically hurt. To counter act the situation Satan caused, the Holy Spirit uses another strategy on Gina to produce an effect that will shape her outlook and give her a supernatural way to contour nearly every action and thought.
While Gina physically heals, the Holy Spirit makes sure Gina finds new friends who are also equipped with guardian angels and various powers. Jesus’ plan starts working. Gina gains strength with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Ox’s presence and her new friend’s assurance. Will she find what she craves before all hell breaks out?

 

COMMISSIONED (Book 3 of the Paradigm Shift Trilogy) picks up where Convinced left off. After Gina Grimes places Satan under her feet, Jesus declares a war. One factor remained before He could follow through with His war. God, insisted He free Satan’s harlot before proceeding with the annihilation.
After Jesus releases the harlot, for one year, the Holy Spirit, also known as Whisperer, will narrate the story behind the commissioned. He will lead readers through more escapades involving the heroes and heroines of the first two books while explaining how they harvest souls for God’s kingdom. After telling how Pastor Craig Reed is transformed into the vessel God uses to preach the true meaning of love, Jesus unleashes his final battle that affects the old harlot and gives her a purpose.
Who is this harlot that Jesus redeems? Why did God insist she be saved from Satan before Jesus started a war? How is she transformed to create a paradigm shift for mankind to follow? Find the answer to these questions and see how her decision and actions affect all of humanity.

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I had a previous contract with another publisher, but the books were priced too high and it forced me to rethink my career.  Self-publishing was a great decision.

 

 

Price is so important when it comes to selling books. You would think publishers would know that, but they don’t seem to. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

I love being in total control of my work.

 

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

The only thing I miss is having someone’s help with marketing and planning book signing events.

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

selfpubbookcovers.com

 

 

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

Yes.  I belong to South Georgia Writer’s Guild.  All of the authors share helpful tips, encouragements as well attending events together.

 

 

 

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

I am a Christian fiction writer, but my books are not just geared to a Christian audience.   All women, not just Christian women will enjoy my books because they are sweet romances with fantasy elements that will keep their interests.

 

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

People think since you write Christian themed books that you will be a preachy, judgmental writer.  I’m the opposite of this.  I try to inspire, and encourage women who feel forgotten, abused, and weak.  I love empowering my readers with hope and happy endings.

 

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?

I’m glad you asked.  I truly believe in a spiritual existence, where we can be better people, know true love and grow as strong, well-rounded people.  Without having a sense of a pure undefiled place, our realities would cause our brains to malfunction.  Everyone must be able fantasize, dream or wish upon the proverbial star.  I write a lot about the spiritual realm where angels live and fight for us.

 

How do readers find you and your books?

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

Interview with Ryan Hill   1 comment

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

Ryan Hill Author PicI’m 21 years old, live in West Newbury, MA, and am originally from Greenwich, CT.  I attend the college of UMASS Amherst, and I’m studying to be an English major.  I’m also writing my second novel, but it’s taking a whole lot longer than I expected.

 

 

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

I knew I wanted to be a writer in sixth grade.  I had to write a four-page mystery for my English class but instead wrote a 25-page scifi.  Ever since then, I have been writing fiction.

 

My teachers hated when I would do that. Tell us about your writing process.

For my first novel, I had a daily quota of writing I needed to hit.  My book ended up being a hell of a lot longer than it should have been, but I did complete it in a matter of months.  My goal was to just sit down and write everyday without any care toward how long it would become.  I started writing thinking I would never reach a full length novel’s word count.  I was very wrong.

My second novel has been much slower for me.  I don’t have a daily quota, and I keep restarting the book trying to get it to sound just right.  The good news is, I have been making steady progress, and it is getting longer by the day, but it’s taking me years where my first novel took me months.

 

I always go back to revisit the beginning on rewrite. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Ryan Hill Author Pic 2My favourite genre to read is horror, and my favourite genre to write is horror.

 

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing a good novel, and I’m struggling to produce one.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

I can’t live without my family.  The house feels so empty if one of them is away.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

I am full-time student, but when I’m not studying, I work out at the gym and watch a lot of movies. I am a huge fan of film and hope to take some screenwriting courses this spring.

 

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

Ryan Hill Barking Madness ebook coverBarking Madness is the only book I’ve completed thus far, and it did change the way I view myself.  Whenever I think I can’t do something, I think back to my writing that novel.  That accomplishment is still my greatest.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Movies.  I want to write fiction that makes others feel how movies have made me feel.

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I do minimal research.  Fact checking is the biggest.  I write about things I already know about.

 

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

Well, my first and only novel right now, Barking Madness, is really childish.  I wrote it when I was 18, and it’s about 18 years old.  The language and descriptions match what you would expect of an 18-year-old narrator but because of this, there’s never any rational adult thinking taking place.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

No.  I’ll write anywhere.  I do like my room, though.

 

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

I do like the whole man-becoming-monster thing.  Something about a good man or woman becoming horribly evil gets me going.  I tend to like those characters more than the others when I’m watching them on the television or reading about them in a book.

 

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

I’m more of a plot-driven writer because I like the whole show-don’t-tell formula of writing.  Put people in a terrible situation and see who rises to the occasion.  I always think that’s amusing to watch or write about.

 

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

I write from an outline because it helps keep me on track with where the plot is going.  I also like having the ending set in stone before I start writing anything.  I like knowing where the characters and story will end up.

 

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

I prefer to write in first person because it’s so much easier to write from a character’s narrow viewpoint when describing a situation or object.  When writing from third person, I find it hard to seemingly move on from situation to situation or object to object.

 

Do you head-hop?

I am writing my second novel in third person, so there is no head-hopping, but my first novel, which is in first person, has no head-hopping either.

 

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 great television system, a ton of movies, and a computer.  I will watch those movies and write a book during my stay, nothing more.

 

 

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

No it wasn’t.  I write for the fun of it and for the readers’ entertainment.  If the readers aren’t entertained, then they should stop reading my book.

 

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

I just want them to have a good time, that’s all.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Nobody would publish my book, and I really wanted to hold it.

 

 

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

No, because there are hundreds of thousands of books published each year.  In order to find the good ones, it helps if they have been represented by a publishing company.  Usually self-publishing comes with connotation that the books are not as good as the ones that are published traditionally.

 

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

All the money you make is your own.

 

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

Positive publicity.  Almost everyone I have spoken with about my book treats it more officially because it is published.  Before I got it published, all I had was a manuscript that most people thought unworthy of reading.

 

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?

Get it published traditionally and more recognition will come with it, or make sure it’s real damn good and all the reviewers like it.  Hopefully, word of mouth will spread.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

I bought my book cover online from The Cover Collection. They were great to work with and had a lot of covers to pick from.

 

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?

Self-published authors can definitely produce as high-quality books as traditionally published authors.  Getting your book recognized without traditional publishing is the hard part.  Less reviewers are willing to read your book because it hasn’t been backed by a publishing house.

 

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

No. I reach out to people on facebook through groups and on twitter as well.

 

 

 

Authors – Want an Interview?   Leave a comment

Christian AnarchyAs a service to the authorial world, I offer absolutely FREE interviews on my blog. There are openings in my schedule. Email me at lelamarkham@gmail.com, if interested.

#amwriting, #interviews

Interview with Wolf DeVoon   2 comments

Today’s interview is with Wolf DeVoon, who I met through the radio program Patriot’s Lament, where the topic was not his fiction, but his writings on the constitution and libertarian thinking. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Wolf Devoon Author PicI started in a small Rust Belt village, got out as soon as I could, went to the nearest big city. Not very good at paying bills. Married four times.

 

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

I wrote and produced a class play in 3rd grade. Wanting to become a writer was never a goal as such. I got beaten into it, more or less, when I realized that I wasn’t going to make it as a film director. I wrote screenplays in the 1980s, some of them work-for-hire, others on spec, worked on and off as a film editor, freelance film & TV director, kept at it doggedly until the mid-90s. Then one day I found myself in a cubicle at Disney, spending Mickey’s money to transfer other people’s movies to home video, and it was over. They say when a great director dies, he becomes a cameraman. I became a writer instead, started a novel.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

I start with a character in a difficult situation, a vague idea of where it’s going, but it seems to unfold in unexpected ways. I wrote an essay about it, spoke of it as a temple with its own mad logic of dramatic necessity – and I’m incapable of doing anything else when I write, until it’s finished, writing every day for months.

 

 

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

 

I admire Scott Fitzgerald, read him and marvel, but Chandler and Hammett shaped how I see the world — a lone wolf who survives by the skin of his teeth, because he knows what makes people tick. For fun, I re-read Robert Louis Stevenson. I write a genre that I call “bang-ow, with sex scenes.” Not hardboiled pulp, although a lot of people die. The foreground is always an adult romance.

 

 

What are you passionate about?

 

Wolf VALOR COVER 600px (1)That’s a tough question. When I started as a teenage filmmaker, I loved the smell of raw stock. I got lucky in Hollywood, had a brilliant mentor who taught me how to direct actors, and there’s a special sort of exaltation in an editing room, to make the screen come alive. There was a sign in the Australian Film Academy that said: When the shooting stops, the filmmaking begins. That’s how I build scenes in a novel. Words became my raw stock and action and sound.

 

I love that metafor. What is something you cannot live without?

 

Truthfully? I haven’t been lovingly touched in years. It’s killing me.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

 

Promote my books, read financial news, do physical work. I spent a year clearing land and supervising construction of a house. Took a long time to clean up, do finish carpentry. At the moment I’m staring at a blank future, nowhere to go and nothing to do, except write.

 

 

Ooo, the infamous blinking cursor. Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

 

My latest was a real breakthrough. Previous books took every ounce of my energy. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ was easy to write, but I went through a dozen boxes of tissues, cried my eyes out in triumph and tender admiration for Chris and Peachy.

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

 

Life on life’s terms. That’s the short answer. When seconds count, the police are doing something else, unable to save life or stop a bad guy.

 

 

So true! What sort of research do you do for your novels?

 

‘Mars Shall Thunder’ required a lot of technical research, architectural design, utility engineering, maps, etc. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ needed place-name and spelling verification. I asked an FBI pal to read the draft of a chapter for authenticity, and she suggested certain weapons that a professional killer would carry.

 

 

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

 

There are better writers.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

 

Desk, keyboard, ashtray, coffee pot, music, a place to lay down. Alone. It’s always been that way from the beginning. There had to be a room no one else enters. ‘A Portrait of Valor’ was written in a small tin barn. Years ago, one of my first projects was written in a tack room, 6V lantern on a hook over a manual typewriter.

 

 

 

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

 

The answer is slightly embarrassing. The goal of my work is to show that freedom matters, that people have to act, come hell or high water, win lose or draw.

 

 

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

 

Ray Chandler gave me permission to forget about plot (although I like intrigue, action, seemingly hopeless predicaments). Believability is a matter of style.

 

 

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

 

I try to plan, always need to see where it’s going, yet two-thirds is discovery. The business of writing is forcing characters to discover what matters, and it’s usually not what anyone expects. None of my people remain unchanged. It was drilled into me by critic Bill Kerr (How Not To Write A Play). Show the transformation on stage. There is no drama unless we see someone transformed. Very difficult to predict that in advance. It has to be discovered as the characters move and grow.

 

 

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

 

I’ve settled on first-person for a series with Chris and Peachy.

 

 

Do you head-hop?

 

Yes – and got complaints from editors I pitched. When Chris goes to prison, I jump to Peachy first-person (“Mrs. Blount’s Chapter”) because she has all the interesting obstacles and decisions to make.

 

In previous stories, I’ve used third-person, first-person, head-hopping, at times a sort of blurt heat / image / mind fire, to render great passion. Worse: commentary on the human condition, to say: Look at this, see what it means.

 

 

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?

 

Laptop, solar charger, tools. Tender Is The Night, The Fountainhead.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

FIRST FEATURE (2007)

autobiography, subtitled ‘A Rake’s Progress in Downtown Gomorrah’

my first, perhaps best literary work, written 1988, revised 2004

 

LAISSEZ FAIRE LAW (2007)

a collection of essays, evolution of my thought on liberty and justice

In prison, I vowed to do something about government. It took 25 years.

 

THE GOOD WALK ALONE (2007)

16-chapter serial fiction written for Laissez Faire City Times

main character is a female cop, homicide investigator, warrior

 

MARS SHALL THUNDER (2008)

first draft 1998, rewritten and tightened 2002

Harry and Laura destroy a colonial paradise

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT IN GALT’S GULCH (2014)

compares utopian fiction and real-world experience

 

AN EGGSHELL ARMED WITH SLEDGEHAMMERS (2015)

https://www.amazon.com/Eggshell-Armed-Sledgehammers-Wolf-DeVoon/dp/1532984243

collection of essays, satire, anecdotes, and dream fiction

 

ROCK AND ROLL REST HOME (2016)

anthology of silly stories

 

A PORTRAIT OF VALOR (2016)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/wolf-devoon/a-portrait-of-valor/paperback/product-23015202.html

detective novel

 

RUBE (to be published posthumously)

memoirs

 

 

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

 

Hot water seeks its own level. It’s possible to find each other, mate for life, unquestionably worthy of each other, destined to love, price no object.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

That they lost awareness of author, text, typography – immersed in story.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

 

No choice.

 

 

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

 

In 1990 I co-authored a reference book that sold well, 6,000 hardcover and 4,000 paperbacks, with foreign rights revenue and a Simon & Schuster offer, quite a lot of publicity, book signings, good reviews in library journals, radio interviews.

 

Self-publishing is no money, no publicity, no sales.

 

 

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

 

It works for some authors, especially celebrities, fantasy/horror, thrillers.

 

 

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

 

None.

 

 

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

 

Distribution, chain bookstore sales, radio and TV chat shows, bestseller lists

 

 

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 can’t and don’t. A few people know my work.

Interview with Stevie Turner   4 comments

Stevie Turner is a long-time friend from the Open Book Blog Hop and I finally got her to interview with me. Welcome to the blog, Stevie. Tell us something about yourself:

StevieTurner AuthorPicI’m a British author, married with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, and live in the East of England. I worked for many years as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital, but took early retirement in 2014 due to side-effects from thyroid cancer treatment (I’m in remission now).  I’ve only been writing seriously since 2013, and since then I’ve written 8 novels, 4 novellas, and 18 short stories.  I’ve also just finished my memoir ‘Waiting in the Wings’, which will be published on November 30th.

 

 

Wow. That’s a lot of production in a short time. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since the age of 11 when I won an inter-schools’ writing competition.  I’d always enjoyed writing stories even before the win, but once I received my certificate there was no stopping me!  When a London literacy agency debated for a week in 2014 about whether to sign up my debut novel, I couldn’t sleep for the excitement of it.  However, the consensus of opinion was that it needed rewriting, and so that’s what I’m doing now.

 

 

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

Stevie HouseI love writing family relationship dramas, humorous books and also suspense stories.  However, I prefer to read autobiographies or biographies.

 

 

What is something you cannot live without?

Due to having only one working vocal cord, I cannot live without a bottle of water by my side, as my voice will dry up altogether if I don’t sip water at regular intervals.

 

 

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

 

I never write from an outline.  My stories sometimes end up quite differently to how I originally thought.  It’s great to make it all up as I go along, because then even I don’t know how it’s going to end!

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaskan cabin for a month.  It’s summer, so you don’t have to 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?

 

Steve SakeOkay, so if the cabin is remote, then there’ll be no Internet.  In that case I’ll bring a portable CD player, loads of batteries and a pile of rock, blues and reggae CD’s.  I can then play the music as loud as I like and dance around the cabin without anybody laughing at me.  I’ll also take my Kindle and a few autobiographies to read.  At the moment I’m reading Phil Collins’ ‘I’m Not Dead Yet’ and Davina McCall’s ‘Lessons I’ve Learned’.  I’ll also bring my walking shoes for some rambling about outside.

 

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

I’d say a lot of my work is based on the intricacies of family relationships, which is written from past experiences or knowledge I’ve gained over the years from talking to others.  I’m always fascinated by human behaviour and why people do what they do, and how their childhoods shape the adult they become.

 

Talk about your books individually:

 

Stevie RepentAll my books can be found on my Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

 

I think maybe there’s too many to name, so I’ll just concentrate on the main ones:

Repent at Leisure is a women’s fiction family drama/suspense novel that has been nominated for one of the Read Freely’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2016.  All votes will be gratefully received!     http://www.readfree.ly/vote-50-best-indie-books-2016/

 

 

A House Without Windows is a suspense/thriller which has gained 401 ratings on Goodreads, and has won a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 and a New Apple Book Award in 2014.

 

 

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is another family relationship drama which made the Stevie LifeNew Apple Book Awards official selection list in 2015. Daughters-in-law sometimes get the short straw, especially if they have to compete with their husband’s sisters, as Arla Deane found out.

 

 

For the Sake of a Child is my most popular novella, focusing on a housekeeper’s discovery of a paedophile network going on in the offices she cleans, and the effect that this discovery has on her family.

 

 

Life: 18 Short Stories About Significant Life Events is free to anybody who signs up to my mailing list.  It has won a Readers’ Favorite 5 star seal this year.

 

 

No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal!  and The Pilates Class are humorous novels.  I have quite a dry sense of humour, and so…

 

 

 

Stevie WaitingA Rather Unusual Romance is not only a romance, but is also partly based on a situation I have lived through myself, though not the romance bit!

 

 

Waiting in the Wings  is my new memoir, detailing the perils of ageing and also focusing on how my mother and I have grown together in the past few years as I have taken on the role of her part-time carer.

 

 

 

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

 

The same as one chap did when he read one of my novels ‘The Donor’. He said that he now wanted to read every single book I’d ever written!

 

That is a great compliment. What influenced your decision to self-publish?

 

The difficulty that authors who are not celebrities face in acquiring a literary agent.  However, I will eventually be sending my debut novel back to the London agency when I have re-written it.

 

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

 

The control you have over your work as regards pricing and alterations.

 

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

The clout of a literary agent to champion your work and put it forward for competitions and awards.

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditionally published?

 

Sure, if they’re very computer literate or want to spend, spend, spend on editors and cover artists etc. Some of my books are published through Creativia.org, an Independent publisher, who does a much better job than I could ever do.  Eventually I hope all of them will be published through Creativia, as although I can do all the proofreading okay, I probably fall a bit short on the layout.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

 

Yes, at my computer in my front room.  My husband works from home upstairs in his office, and I work downstairs.  We meet up for tea and lunch breaks!

 

When you’re not writing, what do you do?

 

I’ll be reading or out walking around the Suffolk countryside where I live.  In the summer you’ll find me at a music festival or two (or three).

 

You can reach Stevie at the following locations:

Links to social media:

 

Website:  http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

 

Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

 

Amazon Author Page (worldwide):  http://bookShow.me/B00AV7YOTU  

 

YouTube:   https://goo.gl/E8OHai

 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/

 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6

 

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/

 

WordPress Blog:  https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

 

Audible:  http://goo.gl/sz1cXS

 

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?vpa=pub&locale=en_US

 

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/105747643789021738179/posts/p/pub

 

 

 

Interview with Stella Brians   4 comments

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

Brians Stella1Hello Lela, thank you so much for having me today. I am originally from rainy New England. I am a full time author, and I primarily write Metaphysical Fiction but I also write poetry and other genres.

 

My husband’s from New England. Lovely part of the country. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My parents are both writers, so the desire to write and be creative was innate. They were always very encouraging and supportive, and I took a writing class instructed by my father. I have always dabbled with writing, but I wrote my first novella when I was sixteen As a child, I spent most of my time reading and I loved going to the library.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

I am a rather disorganized writer. I make notes in two different notebooks, and on my laptop. A friend suggested Scrivener, but I’m not completely sold on it yet. Sometimes if I am away from home and I get an idea, I will text myself. I am always thinking about the book I am writing, from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep. Something that really helps me stay focused is New Age music or at least something that is low key—like Ray Lynch’s album Deep Breakfast.

 

 

I like that “draft” function in my cell phone for jotting down ideas. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

That is difficult to say, because I have a very eclectic reading list going right now. I really enjoy fantasy, like Anne Mccaffrey or Ursula Le Guinn. I also love classics, like Alice in Wonderland or The Secret Garden. I also do a lot of reading in the New Age genre, because that is what I write most of the time.

To write, I would say that I love to write Metaphysical Fantasy, which is officially known as Visionary Fiction. It combines ideas such as Reincarnation, Paganism, and other  like spiritual beliefs and blends it with fiction.

 

Brians Wysteria1

I just learned something new and here I am, a fantasy writer. What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about a lot of things, but it is  especially important to me that all living things are treated with love and care. That means all animals, all people, and all plants. I am passionate about writing and all creative forms. I think that is vital to keep learning throughout your life, and to never stop reading or being creative.

 

 

What is something you cannot live without?

My significant other means the most to me, but if we are talking about objects only I would say it is vital that I have books and my laptop. Of course, having access to running water, clothing, and a way to cook food is very important too.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

Brians paperback writer of central parkWhen I am not writing, I am usually reading, doing research for my writing, sketching, taking a walk in the woods, or spending time with my significant other.

 

 

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

I would have to say that the books in my “Hidden World of Wysteria” Series have had a very positive and transformative effect on me. Writing them has led me to do more research about my spiritual beliefs, and I have been able to work creatively while combining New Age elements with fantasy. Recently I have been working on illustrations for the third book in my series, so it has also released the artistic side of me.

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

The first book in my series, The Paperback Writer of Central Park was inspired by a long visit I had in New York City. It was the summer of 2009, and I took a bus from New Haven to Manhattan. I stayed in hostels and wandered about, writing in a journal. This was a troubling time for me, but it was also a time of healing. I made a friend from England, whose name was Sarah. She shows up in the book as the good friend of the two main characters.

Nature (rain and trees in particular) are very inspiring for me. All kinds of weather and nature have important roles in my books, sometimes as characters. I would say that growing up in New England has enhanced my fascination with nature, it is a very beautiful and peaceful place. Connecticut’s oceans, weather, and sleepy towns were like a blueprint for my world of Wysteria.

 

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I read many books on paganism, tree magick, and Earth magick in general. I combine my research with my own experience in life and with my spiritual journey with the Universe.

 

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

I would describe my writing as very gentle and understanding. The characters in my book have usually led troubled lives, and they go through ordeals that they must work through in one way or another. Part of why I decided to write this series is that I wanted people with depression, anxiety, and other life issues to know that they will okay. I want them to know that although the author may not know them personally, but she cares about them. I tend to write in a very poetic, whimsical tone.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

Most of the time, I type at my computer but if I am not going to be home for a bit I take a notebook. I can write anywhere as long as it is quiet and not hot.

 

 

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

Brians Wysteria Cover PhotoThe reoccurring themes in my Hidden World of Wysteria Series (generally speaking) are dealing with mental illness, believing in yourself and finding those who understand you, as well as the New Age element that honors the Earth. The Afterlife is a prevalent theme, and it is discussed in a peaceful and creative way. The answers the main characters seek are complex, and will reveal themselves as the series continues.

 

 

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

I think that my work is a combination of the two. The storylines of my series delve into the lives of those who live in Wysteria, and is told by a troubled main character. The setting of the peaceful Wysteria is special, because there is much to discover, and the land is constantly expanding. That, along with the woes of the main character drive the plot.

Basically, in the series the wizard Zeferaus plays an important role as a teacher and Memory Curator. What that means is, he collects memories about New England that have been forgotten or discarded and sews  together  a world  made out of them. That world is Wysteria, the afterlife dimension where much of my books take place.

 

 

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

For every novel, I have a basic idea and a few characters along with the old ones from the previous books. I jot down my notes and character sketches, and begin to write. I am largely a discovery writer, and  keep a document for all changes and store it all together. As I write, I make notes of new characters, places, events, and so forth. This is how my creativity and imagination work best.

 

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

I write from first person, because I have tried other viewpoints and first works best. I feel that it brings out the best in my writing, the characters, and the story. Also I prefer to read novels that are in first person, it is my overall preference.

 

Do you head-hop?

I usually stay within the mind of one character, but I may write a scene where another character is telling a story.

 

 

 

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?

Since it is Alaska, I can imagine that the heat will be tolerable. I would settle into an office, and bring my research books, the few novels I am currently reading, and my laptop. I would draw and photograph the Alaskan landscape, its animals, and use this time to write and be at peace.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

The Paperback Writer of Central Park is the first book in my Hidden World of Wysteria Series. It centers around two introverted writers, Elizabeth and River. Elizabeth tells the story in a gentle but honest way.

She is homeless for years in New York City, but lives in hostels from the money she makes as a freelancer. Whenever she is not doing that, she is working on her debut novel. After haphazardly publishing it and getting on her feet, she and her British punk friend Sarah start a writing group they call The Paperback Writers. The group is composed of a motley crew of indie writers, including a shy hippie named River.

Elizabeth and River fall in love, and bring love and understanding to each other’s lives. Throughout the novel, the Paperback Writers stick together and not only self-publish their books but open a tiny bookstore for indies. After Elizabeth and River get married, his parents give them a cottage in Mystic, Connecticut and they open a lighthouse bookstore. The couple discover Zeferaus’s potion room behind their attic bookcase, and are inducted into Wysteria. Towards the end of the book, an intruder is discovered by the intuitive Willow trees and Zeferaus asks for their help.

 

Wysteria is the second book in my Hidden World of Wysteria Series. The novel is told from the voice of Milo, a young man who has emancipated himself from his abusive father. He lives in a pleasant Massachusetts town, but is lonely. An indigo colored cat with telekinesis and the ability to talk shows up on his doorstep, and from then on Milo’s life is never the same.

He and his girlfriend Lorna begin to have the same dreams of a stone lighthouse by the water, and one day  the wizard Zeferaus shows up in their kitchen. He explains that they are old souls, and that it is their time to leave Earth.

They make the decision to pass on, and soon they are settled into Wysteria. Things seem peaceful at first, but an enemy of the wizard is bent on destroying their world. Through defending Wysteria, Milo and Lorna make new friends and convince Zeferaus to open a school for Earth Magick and Spirituality.

 

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

Yes. It was important to me to write a series with the elements of kindness, love, acceptance, and spiritual tolerance.

 

 

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

I want them to know that they are not alone in their troubles, that there is always someone willing to help. It is my hope that they believe in themselves, in their dreams—which is different for everyone.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Several elements were present in my decision to self-publish. Over the course of a year, I did an enormous amount of research about publishing, and joined a private online writing group where I spoke to authors and learned as much as I could. I also wrote a paper on self-publishing, and Createspace in particular.

When I was a child, my father self-published his own books through a micro press. He now publishes through Createspace. Throughout my life I have learned from him about writing and publishing. One of his most important lessons was the integrity of self-publishing versus traditional. When you publish independently and by your own merits, you are able to remain true to your word without having to change for the marketing needs of a publishing company. I realize that it is more difficult to get your book noticed on your own, but if you know where to look there are always people willing  to help. Often times, independent bookstores will agree to carry a book by an indie author.

 

 

 

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

For me, the greatest advantage is to be able to retain complete rights of my books and to have control over the story, creativity, and design. As a person and author, my individuality is very important to me. I want to always be true to myself and to my creative spirit.

I always greatly appreciate when someone buys my books. It absolutely makes my day. My goal is to have my books help people, and to make a difference.

 

 

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

I think that what self-published authors struggle with is the financial ability to promote nearly as much as a traditional publisher. We advertise in smaller but significant ways that are appropriate for our budget and do everything we can to reach readers.

 

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 write and design my novels with honesty and integrity. I give them a very Earthy, New England feel blended with a sense of calm. Something really important that I would like to pass on to other authors—it is vital to advocate for yourself. Always be polite, but assertive. Ask if you can hang that flyer up, if you may have an interview. And, do not be afraid to give back.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

I did! The photo on the cover of The Paperback Writer of Central Park is actually the green in Colchester, Connecticut during autumn. My mother took the cover photo for Wysteria, and it is of  the Avery Point Lighthouse in Connecticut. It was very important to me to have that particular lighthouse on the cover, because it inspired the one in my series. I was so grateful for her help.

For the third book, I am going to illustrate the cover and possibly add some illustrations for the interior.

 

 

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 that self-published authors can create beautiful, high quality books. It is my opinion that using a matte finish versus a glossy finish really gives your book a professional, high quality look. In my experience, original photographs or hand drawn illustrations add to the level of  aestheticism and beauty that indie books are trying to achieve. What I think brings down the quality of a book is when people use stock images or computer illustrations which add a tasteless effect.

 

 

As someone who designs her own covers (with input from my daughter, who is an artist), I agree with you about striving for excellence and uniqueness in covers. Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.

I belong to a private writing group online, and it has been an incredible experience. I have learned a great deal about my writing, the publishing world, and what to do, what not to do. This group is one of the most peaceful places on the internet for people to critique each other’s writing, help each other, or just to hang out. I have met some wonderful writers and made some dear friends.

 

About Stella Brians

Stella is the author of her Metaphysical Fantasy Series, The Hidden World of Wysteria. She is currently working on the third book in that series. Stella loves animals, the rain, and reading. To learn more about Stella or request to be interviewed by her about your indie writing, please visit: https://paperbackwriterlife.wordpress.com/about/

To Purchase Her Books:  https://www.amazon.com/Stella-Brians/e/B01N3MEQ3Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1491337011&sr=1-1

https://paperbackwriterlife.wordpress.com/the-paperback-writer-store/

A Visit with Jane Bwye   4 comments

Today’s guest on the blog is Jane Bwye, a longtime friend and fellow writer. Welcome back to the blog, Jane.

Bwye Author PicLela, it’s good to be visiting you again. While browsing through your Writing Wednesday blogs, I discovered our interview way back in 2014. It was the very first one in your series. You mentioned that I might be following it up with an article. Well – here it is – three years later, on the eve of the launch of another book!

GRASS SHOOTS, the sequel to Breath of Africa, will be launched on Amazon on 30th March, 2017!

Caption: Elephants in Shaba Game Reserve

“More rocks had appeared on the near shore, captured by the sun. She glanced at the original clump, and back again. They had multiplied, and were covering the sand bar. They were moving…  ‘You’ve seen the elephants?’”

Bwye breath of africa - 902kbThis tender inter-racial love triangle concludes the saga of Caroline’s and Charles’s inter-racial families. Their children climb an erupting volcano, explore archaeological sites along the coast, and go on safari in Kenya’s exotic game reserves. The book pivots round the devastation in a highland village caused by the violence after the elections of 2007.  It touches upon present-day problems with foreign aid, beset by politics and corruption. It explores the possibility of alternative ways to help, which include input from the people on the ground – the ordinary villagers – and a burgeoning Kenyan middle class.

That’s sounds like a great book, Jane … one that really touches on the issues faced in Africa today.

The words I wrote in our previous interview have evolved into the main theme which is one of hope, and charity.

Faith and hope are strong among the poorest of its people, who exhibit a simplicity, happiness and gratitude for the smallest of mercies. Volunteers from churches overseas have had life-changing experiences when visiting to help communities in Africa, and I suspect the spiritual benefit received by those offering charity can be greater than that of the recipients. Africa can teach the rest of the world a thing or two about faith, forgiveness and the philosophy of life. I guess that is why I believe so firmly that there is a future in Africa – even though it may not be the same hope as understood by the rest of the world.

Bwye Kenya07 003 (2)Although I have no personally had the opportunity to do missions in Africa, I have friends who are involved in mission efforts in Tanzania and I think you’re probably right about the spiritual benefit accruing as much ot the missionaries as to the recipients. It’s my experience that Christians who live in difficult circumstances are much more reliant on God’s grace as exercised through faith than we are in the 1st world.

The name of my fictitious charity, which is founded in the United Kingdom, is Grass Shoots; and a significant part of the action takes place in the make-believe highland village of Amayoni, which – in Swahili – means birds.

Bwye I lift up my eyesTropical forest grew in great entanglements around her and its immensity engulfed her. It was denser than she could ever have imagined, with myriad shades of green and mystical shapes and forms, vibrant with life. Bursts of song filled her ears, yet she could see no birds in the thick foliage, which rocked and swished as the wind gusted through.

            Suddenly a branch bent over with a crack, and something large and blue flopped partially into view. Her senses were filled with the glorious sight of a large bird, a flash of yellow on its beak, its blue-green feathers melding into the background. It stayed, majestic, still, for a breath-taking second, then crouched forward and hopped in smooth bounds up the branch.

            “That’s a great blue,” a voice said at her shoulder.

            “A great blue?”

            “Turaco. You’re lucky. They’re a rare sight in this forest. The name of the village you’re going to visit tomorrow is Amayoni, which means birds.”

            They were standing on a closely-cropped lawn gazing over the carefully cultured flowerbeds at a dense wall of trees. A stream raced between them and the forest, its bank smooth and inviting. On the other side, a disarray of broken sticks and branches trailed in the water. A tumble of trunks growing at various angles dissolved into the mass of trees, blocking off the evening sun.

Bwye Grass RootsShe stooped to dip her finger in the torrent. It was icy cold. She straightened her back and pulled her cardigan round her shoulders before following the manager into the Kakamega Forest Lodge.

There is an enhanced Glossary of terms at the back of this book.

This sounds like another great book, an excellent follow-up to Breath of Africa.

Thank you for having me again, Lela. I will be happy to return the favour any time.

 

 

Jane lived in Kenya for over half a century, where she brought up her large family. An intermittent freelance journalist and business owner, she has written a cookbook, Museum Mixtures (1989) in aid of the National Museums of Kenya, and a History of her church in Eastbourne (2013).

Her first novel, Breath of Africa (2013) was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. It draws on her experiences growing up in the country she still calls her home. Grass Shoots, the sequel, completes a family saga through to modern day Kenya. The novella, I Lift Up My Eyes, (2015) is set in Sussex.

A world traveller, Jane has bought a bird book in every country she visited. Now living in the UK, she is a business mentor and dressage judge, while indulging her love for choral singing, tennis, and playing bridge.

Link’d In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-bwye-9866041b/

Facebook:  JLBwye

Amazon Author Profile.co.uk

Amazon Author Profile.com

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