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Interview with JAnn Bowers   Leave a comment

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

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

 

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

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

 

Tell us about your writing process.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What are you passionate about?

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

 

What is something you cannot live without?

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

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

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

 

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

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

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

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

 

 

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

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

 

Where do readers find you and your books? 

 

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

https://jannbowers.blogspot.com/

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Tuned for Writer Wednesday   1 comment

Posted February 14, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesday

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

Posted January 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

Interview, of course, and a writing article. I think I also have a book sale.

Writers, Do You Want an Interview?   Leave a comment

Christian AnarchyI’m clearing up my backlog and getting ready to schedule some more writers. Typically I’m looking for self-published or small-press authors whose covers won’t violate the PG-13 rating on my blog. Drop me an email at lelamarkham@gmail.com with Interview Request in the Subject line and I’ll send you questions.

I publish one interview a week on Wednesdays so everybody gets some time in the limelight.

And, if you’re an author with something cool to say beyond just that you wrote a novel, sometimes I do series on faith, politics, philosophy. You’re certainly welcome to ask.

Posted November 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Interview with Heather Biedermann   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Heather Biedermann. Welcome to the blog, Heather. Now, you’re one of the authors in the Agorist Writers Workshop anthology Echoes of Liberty, coming out next week. Tell us something about yourself.

biedermann-heather-author-picHi, Lela! I live in the land of the Vikings in Southern Minnesota. To pay the bills, I am a librarian. I am lucky enough to work in a university and get to work with amazing students and faculty. It really does keep you young! I am married to a great guy and have two rambunctious cats. For fun, I love to go glamping (glam camping) and enjoy traveling to visit friends. If we cross paths, pull up a chair next to me and we can share some wine or beer. I love to hear stories!

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

I have always had a love of writing since I was a little girl. I think it has something to do with my weird, overactive imagination. Mostly, I would write for my own enjoyment. I am my own worst critic, so until lately, I haven’t shared many of my stories publicly. Tell us about your writing process. I find it easiest to first daydream a basic story idea – the bare bones of the concept. Then, I write an outline with plot points I want to hit. I research for a day or two. Once I feel comfortable with concept and outline, I go straight into writing. When I’m in the writing mode, I try to write for an hour or two each day. I crank it out as fast as I can. After that, I let it sit a couple of days, to let it breathe. I rewrite and edit. I have someone else look it over. Then, I edit some more. Once I feel it has been picked apart enough, I’m done and won’t look at it anymore. Sometimes you just have to say, “Good enough,” and walk away. It feels pretty good getting to the finish line! What is your favorite genre … to read … to write? I work in a library, so I get a wide variety of great books to read all the time. I go between fantasy, horror and sci-fi for fiction. I have “Devil in the White City,” on my Kindle right now. I’m on a non-fiction binge lately, as well. I have been reading a lot about building tiny houses and getting off the grid. When you are not writing, what do you do? I love watching movies with my husband. We are totally addicted to Netflix, and binge shows together. Also, we play Xbox One games at our house. I’m in the middle of Fallout 4 right now. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels? I am a dreamer by nature. I find that in this hard world, having a vivid imagination is both entertaining and a life-saver. Some of my best ideas come from sitting at work when the library is quietly buzzing with students doing their homework. I saw my story with a superhero team of women come alive out of the quiet of a work day.

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

bierdermann-valiant-high-resolution-640x1024As a librarian, I can really lose myself in research for a novel. I love research! I have access to materials all over the world and the kind of incredible databases that any author would drool over. That said, I always limit myself to a week of research or I never would get around to actually writing my novel! Sometimes, it is better to write and highlight where you need more research later. It can be easier not to get too caught up in it, even though it is something I’m passionate about. If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say? I love to have collisions of normal, everyday experiences with abnormal, unusual events. How would an accountant see an alien invasion? A housewife fights demons, and still finds a way to put dinner on the table and get the kids to school. These are my favorite kinds of stories.

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska 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? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

I would love to get dropped in the remote cabin! There is never enough time to unwind and to unplug. I think it is something everyone should try to do. That is probably why I try to go camping every year. It is a chance to recharge and not feel so constantly connected to everyone. I’d love to explore the land in Alaska and get to know the nature around the cabin. Maybe I’d take a boat out on the lake and fish? I would definitely read a lot. I have a huge collection of books on survival and living off the land. One of my old favorites was the “Back to Basics,” book that talks about how you could make a homestead and live off the land. I would always daydream about doing that someday. I also have a never-ending pile of fiction to read. It would be fun to brush up on my homesteading skills. I’d love to cook big meals and take naps. Also, I’d write as much as possible. It would be a lot of fun. Can I bring my cats and husband, too? I think that would be even better for me.

 

Talk about your books individually.

biedermann-echoes_front_cover-small-leveledMy first story was published this year in “Valiant, He Endured,” a Libertarian Sci-Fi collection. The story I wrote is called, “The Keep,” and it talks about women in a future prison where the majority of the poor population is housed along with their families. There are elements of the government using technology to placate the population, and the story showcases the human spirit fighting back against an oppressive system. My newest book is the upcoming “Echoes of Liberty (The Clarion Call Book 2)” and I’m really excited to see that come out. The story I wrote for that is called, “The Guard and the Crane.” It is about two families living in California and one family is taken away to a Japanese internment camp. It is important to me to remember what we have done to our own people in this country, and to make sure it never happens again.

 

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

One important theme in my writing is that if we let our freedoms constantly be taken away, where does it ever end? Real evil is subtle. It is the sort of like being mugged and thanking your attacker. We see many times freedom taken away to “protect” us. If you don’t stand up for your neighbors, who will stand up for you when the time comes? For self-published authors

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Self-publishing gives greater control over your content. The turnaround time to get your book into ebook and print format is so much faster in the self-publish world. I have many friends who are self-published, and they have had great success with it. Publishing houses often take a huge cut of profits, so the benefit is really only getting your book in bookstores. Bookstores are sadly on their way out, so really being self-published makes a lot more sense right now.

 

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

The greatest advantage of self-publishing is that you control your own content. You get a greater cut of the profits. I feel that if you have fans, you can really tailor your work to them and not have to change your message based on the publishing companies’ goals. It is about your own vision. I really think this is the way of the future.

 

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

I think self-published authors do miss out on a lot of the marketing available through publishing companies. Access to excellent editors, graphic designers, and someone to set up book tours is invaluable. However, all of these benefits can be self-taught or outsourced. You may have to spend your own money to get cover art or editing as a self-publisher. You may have to make connections to self-market your own books. Having a publishing company is easier for a newbie, but at a cost.

 

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?

To have high-quality books as a self-published author, you need to do your homework. You can design your own covers if you are comfortable, but it may turn out better if you hire someone to create your art. Ask around and find people you trust to be honest with you about your skills. The same can be said with editing your own books. I would never do it myself, when I know there are people who excel at each of these tasks that I can pay a reasonable price to. I always think having more eyes look at your novel is better. Errors are embarrassing and make people think you are unprofessional. Take your time to make things perfect and you won’t regret it.

 

How do readers find you and your books?

Valiant, He Endured: 17 Sci-Fi Myths of Insolent Grit (There Will Be Liberty Book 2) https://amzn.com/B01F2RLLGW

Echoes of Liberty (The Clarion Call Book 2) https://agorafest.com/index.php/echoes-of-liberty/

Heather Biedermann’s author page: https://heatherbiedermann.com/

 

Lela Markham is a multi-genre author whose books are available on Amazon and Createspace.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I’ll have an interview and maybe a book related article … if I can get it finished. This workday starting on a Tuesday thing means today is Monday. Ugh!

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