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Interview with Oyvind Jonas Jellestad   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Øyvind Jonas Jellestad.

This article will include a book cover that features a nude model. I don’t run nudes on my blog as a rule. I’ve maintained PG standards for the most part. I don’t do interviews with authors who feature sexual exploitation in their books. The reason I am making an exception here is that I don’t believe Oyvind means the photograph as sexual exploitation of women and I also recognize that his culture has different standards than mine. This does not mean I am generally relaxing the standards of my blog. I have the skills to conceal the model’s breasts, but I decided that was a rude thing to do to someone else’s book cover, so if you’re easily offended, you might want to stop reading right now, but you probably don’t need to worry about future blog posts because nudity is not going to become a “thing” for me. I just generally think sex and nudity belong in private, but I am making an exception because this book is an ode to an artist’s model and artist’s models often appear in the nude. Exceptions do not become the rule.

Welcome to the blog, Oyvind. Tell us something about yourself. 

Oyvind Author PicI am born in Bergen, Norway in 1953, but I have lived in several of the largest cities in Norway, mostly on the west coast of Norway.  It rains a lot but it is a good place to live.
Norway is maybe one of the most expensive countries to live in, so many wonder how I can live so well even if I am retired. I got injured during work as a lithographic printer and as well as an industrial painter. Because of that, I have a good pension. A pension which gives me the opportunity to do whatever I want, such as becoming an Indie publisher at age of 64.

 

 

I always love interviewing authors from other cultures besides America and the UK because it gives my readers … and myself … a different perspective on the world. My grandfather was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and I am in contact with cousins there, but I haven’t been able to afford a trip there … yet. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

Already as a child I liked to write and as a teenager I wrote a novel. Luckily I got refused!

 

 

We’re all lucky that our first novels are collecting dust somewhere dark and forgotten. Tell us about your writing process.

I always start with the pictures, when they are ready I write the text.

 

 

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

Both!

 

 

What are you passionate about?

Cooking. That’s my favourite (and my wife is lucky, she hasn’t been cooking for over 16 years).

My next big project is a real old fashion cook book. I already write a food blog http://loeken.se but I like to write a really thick cook book!

Politics is one passion which I have had since I was very, very young. I am not active in politics anymore but still have very strong beliefs.

 

 

I would like to discuss that with you sometime because I am a nonpartisan who is passionate about political philosophy. What is something you cannot live without?

Love, music, reading and cooking!

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

I am reading.

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

Yes, I have occupied our spare bedroom and use it as my office. When I write about food though I like to sit in the kitchen.
Since most of my writing incorporates photographs I am very dependent on my computers. When it comes to serious photography I cannot rely on laptops.

 

 

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

No.

 

 

 

 

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 …. although being from Norway, you probably could handle it. 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 bring books written by Erich Maria Remarque and Haruki Murakami.

 

All’s Quiet on the Western Front? Stunning novel. I’m familiar with Murakami but admit I’m not a fan. 

They have both written a lot of outstanding novels, but “Arch of Triumph” by Erich Maria Remarque changed my life in many ways.

The same goes for “Dance, dance, dance” by Haruki Murakami.

I don’t know how many times I have read them but I still find new aspects in both of them …

 

 

I’ll have to give Murakami another chance. Tell me about your books. Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Scanned from film negativeMy first book When the Crowd Cries was made as a tribute to one of my models AnneGrethe Fuller, who died all too young. Yes, the book has a message when it comes to morality.

 

 

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

Satisfied?

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

As a young boy “I grew up” in a printer and a publishing company. I always wanted to run my own. Caused by the computers and internet it is possible to do that today.

 

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

I honestly don’t know.

 

 

That is one of the more honest answers I’ve gotten from the question. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

That I can publish whatever I want.

 

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?

Honestly? I don’t care!

 

I like that. I’m sort of the same mind. I write for myself and I love the idea that I can put it out there for others to read, but I’m not interested in conforming to some standard other than my own. Who designed your book cover/s?

I do it myself.

 

 Where can readers find you and your books?

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

 

 

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Interview with Taylor Caley   Leave a comment

mToday’s interview is with Taylor Caley. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Taylor Caley Author PicI am from south central Pennsylvania in the United States. I am currently enrolled in creative arts at Full Sail University. Rising up the ladder in the creative industries is what I want to do with my life, as an author and a filmmaker. Until then, I pay my bills by working full time at my local ski resort and as an Uber driver in my free time. Despite full time work and college, I am always writing and continuing to expand the fictional tale I have to tell.

 

My current novels can be found on Amazon as well as my website, www.taylorcaley.com, where people can learn more about my works as they unfold.

 

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

 

Some people adopt writing as a hobby, others are adopted by it instead. That’s what I believe, and I’ve always believed myself to be among the latter. I’ve been telling stories on paper ever since I was six-years-old. I haven’t the faintest idea what it was about, but I remember everybody telling me I had talent for such a young child. When I was 13, my aunt urged me to take my talent to the next step, asking me to write for her a full length fictional story. This was what inspired me to step onto the road of professional writing, and after nine years of editing and evolving of the story, just after my 22nd birthday, I paid her a visit to personally give her a paperback copy of my first published book, Ice Cold – Part One: The Dark Zone.

 

That is really neat. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

 

My favorite genres to read have undoubtedly always been fantasy and science fiction. I read the Harry Potter series throughout middle school, and after that the Lord of the Rings, and just fell in love with the idea of such boundless limits in the worlds of fantasy. Ever since then, the vast fantasy genre has become my favorite to write as well. I wanted to create a great universe such as those I had read that I could call my own, but at the same time, I wanted to go beyond that. I wanted to create something that nobody had done before, and I’ll be spending the rest of my years bringing it to life. My first book, Ice Cold, is just the beginning of that.

 

What are you passionate about?

 

I am very passionate about the creative industries as a whole, in fact there is nothing I am more passionate about. I follow new films and television series very closely, and rarely ever watch them without a computer handy because I am constantly doing research on every aspect, story elements, people involved, anything I can learn from them in the interest of improving and advancing my own writing.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

 

Well, when I’m not writing it usually means I’m either working or at school. However, there is one activity I enjoy, my passion for which is right up there next to writing, and that is the game of paintball. My friends and I play most weekends throughout the summer, and I’ve always felt it was the best activity that could take my mind off writing for a while, considering it’s more or less the polar opposite.

 

 

Nice. I use hiking to fill that activity void myself. You have to vary your interests. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

 

Most of the inspiration for my writing comes from my dreams. J. R. R. Tolkien once said, “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities,” and he’s absolutely right. Perhaps the greatest inspiration I’ve had was when I was writing my first book, Ice Cold, the setting of which takes place in the Appalachian Mountains. I was greatly inspired by the beauty of the mountains after having lived in the Appalachians as a teenager, and one of the most common praises of my book has been my descriptive ability to make my readers vividly see the beautiful forests and mountains in my writing.

 

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

In developing a sci-fi/fantasy literary universe of my own, the bulk of my research has been in the areas of ancient legends and religions, in order to twist historical and mythological contexts and transform the world we all know into one of epic fantasy across all eras of time; chief among those being Plato’s concept of a hollow Earth and the curious but rather far-fetched multiverse theory.

 

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

 

                Usually I’d say you’d be better off trying to learn quantum physics in five minutes. Joking aside, I like to call it a new generation of science fiction. I say this because the style of my writing can be compared to modern day stories and films such as the increasingly loved Marvel Cinematic Universe, in the sense that my writing is made up of many different stories and series along the same chronological tangents, all of which are meant to converge to bring about the ultimate climax of the story. To contrast it with said comparison, what makes my writing different is that it is completely original, therefore my biggest challenge is that, unlike Marvel which has been around for decades, I can’t just jump right into the middle of the series and expect my audiences to go along with it. Because of this, my writing has been expanded into an incredibly large, complex tangent of novels and series. In this way, I can slowly introduce characters that my readers can fall in love with, and sci-fi elements that they can eventually accept as if they’ve known it all along as they dive deeper and deeper into an ever-growing world of adventure and excitement. It all starts off easy; my first novel, Ice Cold, merely tells a simple tale of a native culture battling against foreign foes that seek to wipe them out, but as read into it you soon begin to discover that there are some unknown, outside elements that make you realize there’s a lot more going on, and a lot more to come.

 

 

That actually sounds like a really good start to a series. Do you have a special place where you write?

 

I don’t have any special place to write in particular. All I need is solitude as well as peace and quiet, of which any writer can certainly agree. I have found that the best time for me to write is at night, when the mind seems to be at its most active point. Often, I get so lost in my own worlds that I end up writing until dawn!

 

 

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

 

                I would definitely say that I’m more character driven. I firmly believe that characters are born from certain traits and qualities of the writer, and understanding where our characters come from can help writers to better understand themselves. Being driven by my characters, and watching them suffer and rise above the obstacles in their paths, helps me to move the story along, and to take the plot to places beneficial to their further development.

 

 

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

 

I create detailed outlines of my books before I begin writing, laid out by chapter with specific points to help me understand why each chapter is important and how it leads to the next part of the story. The personalities of my characters, however, is often something I tend to develop along the way as they’re faced with new challenges that could change them, much like obstacles in our own lives have the potential to change us as well.

 

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

 

I was never a huge fan of first-person narration mainly because I feel it sounds like a story that has already passed, as it’s being told from the point of view of one of the characters. Third-person on the other hand, despite also being written in past-tense style, I’ve always felt carries the feeling that it’s happening as you’re reading it, and in essence, it feels much more exciting. The thing about third-person narration is that it can be told with aspects of first-person as well. I often write certain parts of my stories as if you’re reading it straight out of the character’s mind, and it really makes you feel like you’re literally right there beside them.

 

I like that! So, 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’ve always wanted to see the mountains of Alaska, or to even have my own cabin. With food supplied to me, there’s not a lot of things I would wish to bring with me. Instead, I would find myself marveling at the beauty of the Alaskan environment, and remembering my days in the mountains that filled me with inspiration. Such solitude would be everything I’d need to immerse myself completely into my writing.

 

 

Tell us about your book.

 

              Taylor Caley Ice Cold  Ice Cold is part of a six-part series (more accurately the series is divided into three parts, each containing two of their own), and is where the grand tale begins. My first book, Ice Cold – Part One: The Dark Zone, tells the story of a small, hidden culture known as the Ravennites, descended from the mysterious Native American tribe, the Seluitah. The book pits the Ravennites against the oppression of Outside invaders, with the addition of a New York teen named Alex Lee, who finds himself accidentally caught in the middle of the conflict. After seeing the pain and suffering caused by the Outsiders, Alex’s journey begins when he sides with the Native culture and begins to fall in love with a young Ravennite woman.

 

                Ice Cold – Part Two: Winter’s Bane is nearly entering the publishing phase, and sees the climax of the war between the Ravennites and the Outsiders. At the same time, it explores more of the religious folklore of the Ravennites’ ancestors and deepens the bond between Alex and the woman he loves, but it is also here that key elements of the fantasy epic to come slowly begin to unfold.

 

                Between Ice Cold and the rest of this distinct series, I’m in the process of writing a short novella titled, Rowan. It’s a simple story taking place almost immediately after the end of Ice Cold, and centers around Rowan, the Ravennite girl whom Alex Lee had fallen in love with, and how she copes with life after her people’s war, all the while discovering secrets about herself that had been kept from her all her life. It’s designed to be a rather heart-rending story while leaving the reader anxiously wanting to see what her own future holds.

 

 

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

 

                I did not necessarily have a message or moral in mind when I set out to write, not within the story at least. If anything, it’s my desire more than anything to set an inspiration for other young, aspiring writers to go above and beyond their limitations to create great universes the world has never seen before. That’s the message I truly hope to give.

 

 

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

 

                Feel is the key word here. So far, my readers have told me that they can vividly picture the story and the settings, and that they have started to grow attached to the characters already. What I want is for readers to feel exactly what I felt when creating the story; the sense of realism, beauty, and love for the characters they encounter. The way I see it, feeling the happiness and pain in such fictional characters that seem so real is all people need to understand the same feelings in the people around them.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

 

                Despite the obvious disadvantages that come with self-publishing, I would say that my main influence to self-publish was simply to learn the process for myself, and what it takes to own and manage one’s work. It’s not an easy task, but it opens doors to possibilities with my future works, such as how I can better market my books, and who I can bring over to my side and collaborate with in the interest of expanding.

 

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

 

The greatest advantage of self-publishing that I’ve seen so far is definitely being the one who makes the final decisions. That has its disadvantages, of course, but as I said before, the experience is what truly gives you the knowledge to make changes as you see fit and what you need to do in the future to avoid the obstacles you’ve run into the first time around if building upon your writing is what you wish to do with your life.

 

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

 

                Of course, the main disadvantage is bitter fact that, at least from the beginning, you’re on your own, and that your campaign is based solely around the gamble of spending money to make money.

 

Who designed your book cover?

 

The cover for my first book was designed by my publisher, Outskirts Press, per my instructions, and I could not have been happier with the result. They truly captured the beauty of setting in one detailed illustration. However, with the only downside being the amount of money I spent on the cover alone, I am currently having the cover of my second book done by a separate entity at coversought.com for a much better price, and I have absolute confidence that they can produce the same astounding results as I’ve seen in my first book’s cover.

 

 

 

 

 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 self-published authors have more power to produce high-quality books than traditional publishers because these are the true creators. The only thing that really stands in the way of self-published authors is the means to make themselves known, which is why my hope is to collaborate and network with not traditional publishers, but other self-published authors to help give rise to the idea that self-publishing in the creative industries is, in fact, the future.

 

Where do readers find you and your books?

Amazon

Website

 

 

Interview with JAnn Bowers   Leave a comment

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

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

 

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

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

 

Tell us about your writing process.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What are you passionate about?

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

 

What is something you cannot live without?

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

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

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

 

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

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

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

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

 

 

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

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

 

Where do readers find you and your books? 

 

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

https://jannbowers.blogspot.com/

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with Stephany Tullis   1 comment

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What are you passionate about?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

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

 

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

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

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Book Bub

Readers Group

Interview with Loredana Gasparotto   Leave a comment

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

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

PENTIMENTO Trailer

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

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

 

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

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

 

Tell us about your writing process.

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

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

Loredana Self-Portrait

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your films?

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

Pentimento Preview

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What influenced your decision to self-produce?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Who designed your posters?

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

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

 

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

 

How do people interested in your work find you?

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

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

Interview with Ellie Douglas   Leave a comment

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Horror for both reading it and writing it.

 

What are you passionate about?

My family are what I am most passionate about.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

My kids

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

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

 

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

No

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

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

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

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

 

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

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

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

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

 

Douglas Zombie Dogs

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Where do readers find you and your books?

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

http://bit.ly/EllieTube YouTube Channel

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

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/AuthorEllie Twitter

www.authorellie.com

Interview with Samantha Ryan Chandler   1 comment

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

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

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

 

Why Pollyanna and Darth Vaer as lead characters?

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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