4. Introducing Writers and Authors

Introducing Writers and Authors and the works they produce.  
Please take time to get to know these talented people.
If this website will not allow comments, please feel free to make them on 
(Please note that older interviews will no longer have pictures in order to make room for the newer authors.  My apology for this.  GoogleSite does not allow the space.)

October 14, 2015

Today will be the last author I am interviewing for a while due to the writing classes I’ve begun.

Please help me welcome...

 

 

Stephanie Collins

 

Stephanie and I first met on LinkedIn in PenAndPaperWorld.  Since then, we have become friends on Facebook. Now it is your turn to enjoy learning more about this delightful lady.

 

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

I never planned to be an author. In what felt like the blink of an eye, I went from being a young woman wrestling with a temperamental marriage to a single mother of an asthmatic, autistic toddler and an epileptic infant in heart failure. There were suddenly an overabundance of WTF moments, OMG moments, and "just hold your head in your hands because you can't even remotely believe this is happening" moments. I began writing therapeutically, and I found my recollections came in layers. I would first write what happened (like, “the baby stopped breathing in my arms, but I didn't start CPR right away as I should have”), and I would think, "Oh, I handled that horribly; I'm such a rotten mother!"  Then I'd remember, "Oh yeah; this was going on, too," (like, the fact that I was a young, sleep-deprived, postpartum mother who had just bore witness to hours of failed IV attempts. And I was reeling over a rare, potentially fatal diagnosis, holding onto hope for survival, but not having any idea what that survival would actually mean for me or my baby. And meanwhile, I was preparing myself for the very real possibility of her passing. Oh, and I was also "mourning the death of the healthy child I thought I had" before receiving her diagnosis). Then it would hit me that 3 other things were happening at the same time (like my failing marriage, pathetic financial woes, and my other daughter's increasingly bizarre behaviors), and so...if that portion of my parenting career didn't exactly resemble June Cleaver, well...no wonder! Those were some pretty extreme circumstances! Digging through those layers was definitely therapeutic.

Then other people (specifically nurses and therapists) began to read what I had written, and said things like, "Wow, I'm working with another family right now, and I'm certain the mom is struggling with the feelings you wrote about here, but she doesn't seem comfortable sharing her thoughts. I think she's ashamed or afraid to open up, and I think reading something like this would really help her to know she's not alone...that the way she's responding to what life is throwing at her right now is only natural." After many similar comments, I decided to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and bear my exposed, bleeding heart to the world. I figured if sharing my tale would help just one family facing similar challenges, my fear of criticism from the rest of the reading world would all be well worth it.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

Because I had no intention of publishing, I was in no rush with the writing. That part of the publishing journey lasted a good fifteen years or so. Once the decision was made to publish, however, I took about two years to put the book together, then spent about a year working with my editor/publisher.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

I’m an indie author. I was extremely lucky to find a talented, professional, trustworthy editor/publisher through Pubmatch.com, named Donna Erickson. Donna owned a very small publishing service, so despite her very helpful hand, I’m still considered an indie author. Along with the title of “editor and publisher”, Donna holds the much more significant title of “friend”. Sadly, she had to retire early due to a recent cancer diagnosis, but we remain close.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

I’ve learned so much throughout my publishing journey! I would say my biggest lesson was the sad reality that there are likely countless brilliant books out there that nobody will ever have the pleasure of devouring. Being a successful indie author (i.e., being an indie author who gets many people to read his/her work) is a two-step process. Step one is writing a good, quality book. Step two is effectively marketing that book so people know it exists. That’s the real trick! I would be willing to bet that the majority of authors are introverts – not exactly a population of people one would expect to be great salesmen. If you don’t have a traditional publishing company dealing with promotion for you, the challenge is for you to shoulder it, alone. From there, the process of promotion has a steep learning curve! I resisted the title of “chief publicist” at first, but now I’m actually enjoying the process.

 

What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point?

I wrote a memoir. I actually had some question in the beginning as to what category my story fit in. I was told very early on that because I changed the names of all of my “characters” (out of respect – and fear in one case – of those who didn’t want their names in print), my book had to be considered fiction. I have since found that pretty much everyone is comfortable with me calling this [100% true, aside from names] story a memoir.

 

The irony of ever thinking I would have to label With Angel’s Wings as fiction is that I have ZERO imagination. I have massive respect for authors of fiction; I could never do what they do! As for writing another book of non-fiction, I don’t have any plans to do so. I wrote an epilogue that covered the 10 years after the end of the book. After multiple requests for a sequel, I “compromised” with a monthly blog. I think of it as a continuation of my epilogue. That’s enough writing for me for now.

 


(Below are some pictures from the book, With Angel’s Wings, and their corresponding chapters from the book.)

 



         

            Chapter Two                                 Chapter Four                            Chapter Five          

 

  GoogleSites seems to be having a BIG problem today with downloading and these pictures are taking forever to do so, so please hop over to my Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/

to see the remaining two pictures, which are in order for their pages.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

 Chapter Sixteen                                                 Chapter Twenty-Two      

This picture has 4 pictures on the page           This picture has two pictures on the page                                      

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

My biggest challenge in writing my story was digging through the layers of circumstance and emotion that made it necessary to write therapeutically in the first place. It was very important to me that I was completely honest in all I wrote (what good would it be, otherwise?). Sometimes, though, truth can be lost in excuse and/or confusion. Interestingly, clarity was a surprising side-effect of changing the names of all involved and re-writing the book in a third person perspective. Those alterations allowed me to set aside some of the raw emotion, which – oddly – helped the whole process. For instance, I found I had much more patience and understanding for “Laura” than I did for myself. It was fascinating to me that altering the writing in preparation for publication ended up becoming an even more therapeutic process than the original writing!

 

What is the key message of your story?

 

There is a duality to all parenting. How many times can a parent be heard saying, “It’s a good thing you’re cute!” We love our children, but raising them is difficult and challenging, so it is not always “pretty”, wonderful and rewarding.  We often get bogged down in the trenches of parenthood.

 

Once special needs are added to the mix of typical parenting challenges, everything is intensified ten-fold.  The simple act of a special needs child picking up a toy can bring tears of joy, much less the magnanimous event of a first word or first step.  But just as typical parenthood is a blending of joys and frustrations, so is the life of a special needs parent.  Who can help but be frustrated to tears at the sight of a blow-out diaper…yet AGAIN…after 20 YEARS of changing that child’s diapers?  Who can help but scream out in agony after months of watching his or her child suffer through gut-wrenching seizures?  Who can help but be angered…that’s right – ANGERED by an autistic child who repeatedly lashes out physically in frustration over not understanding the world around him or her?

 

Society has deemed it acceptable to complain about the trials and tribulations of parenthood.  It is the fodder of countless successful comedians.  We love our children, and despite the grief they bring to the table, we more than welcome the entire package because the good so easily outweighs the bad.  But with special needs children, rarely is anything so simple.  Bluntly stated, special needs children can be much more difficult to love.  As a parent, you don’t always “get back” what you give…sometimes, not even close.  And that’s frustrating.  That’s painful.  That’s difficult.  But we love our children.  So we trudge on…silently.  Because what kind of a person complains about a child who seizes…or is non-verbal…or is incontinent?  Special needs parents are perpetually trapped by guilt.  They feel they’ll be looked at as a monster if they complain about such hardships.  And if they can’t vent - if they don’t feel comfortable honestly communicating their pain, then it can’t help but be destructive…to their marriages, their children…themselves.  Honesty is the first step in healing, and that’s what With Angel’s Wings is all about – opening the door to honest discussion about REAL life with special needs children.

 

How did you land on “With Angel’s Wings” as a title?

 

My editor/publisher, Donna, helped me come up with the title, With Angel’s Wings. When she got to that line (the phrase “with angel’s wings” is a direct quote in the story, describing a stuffed angel cow), she recognized and wanted to cast a spotlight on how that particular part of the story was a real turning point. As a matter of fact, one of our title considerations was “The Cow Room”, referring to a room described in that same section of the book. After some thought (and a few laughs – because, how ridiculous would it be to name a memoir “The Cow Room”?) we decided on “With Angel’s Wings”, especially since it offers a bit of a wink and nod to the reoccurring angelic theme about one of the main characters.

 

On the book's website (www.withangelswings.net) there is an "Ask the Author Forum" where you invite readers to ask questions. How did the idea of ​​this section arise?

 

My two hopes for sharing With Angel’s Wings was that it would offer hope to others facing similarly difficult situations, and that it would enlighten “typical folks” - people who have no exposure to the realities of special needs in their own lives. That being said, my story certainly doesn’t “say it all”. If a reader is left with questions, I want to try to answer them. And I certainly don’t have all the answers. So, if one reader can help another reader, all the better; especially if it results in a lasting, supportive friendship! The Ask the Author Forum is all about offering an area for everyone to share questions and/or experiences, so we can all help one-another.

 

Tell me more about yourself, Stephanie.

 

With Angel’s Wings (along with the epilogue included on the book’s website and my new blog) pretty much sums up who I am.  I am a mother of 4.  Catherine (“Emily” in the book), 23 has high-functioning autism with mild to moderate cognitive delay. Sarah (“Hannah” in the book), 20, has a rare genetic disorder, Wolf-Hirschorn Syndrome (history of 7 heart defects, non-verbal, non-ambulatory, incontinent, exclusively G-tube fed, seizure disorder, and cognitively approximately 6 months old). Will, 12, has severe ADHD and dyslexia, and Ellie, 8 – who I described for years as my [finally!] “typical” child [albeit with something of a princess complex] - was just diagnosed last fall with ADHD/dyslexia (although, a significantly milder case than Will’s).  I have a 4-year degree in psychology and a 2-year degree in nursing.  I worked for approximately 10 years as a registered nurse on the medical unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital, but gave up my career to focus on the growing needs of my family. When I was 40 I set out to get rid of the 10 souvenir pounds I had collected from each of my 4 pregnancies. In the process, I found my inner jock, and I now love to run and I'm addicted to Zumba. Other than that, I read every minute I can.

 

 

Links:

 

Book Website:  http://www.withangelswings.net

With Angel's Wings ~ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Wings-Stephanie-Collins-ebook/dp/B00GYL9DCA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

With Angel's Wings ~ Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/with-angels-wings-stephanie-a-collins/1117049291?ean=9781627766807

With Angel's Wings ~ The Later Years (Blog): http://withangelswingsepilogue.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7330360.Stephanie_A_Collins

With Angel's Wings' Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/withangelswings

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/W_Angels_Wings

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+StephanieCollinsAuthor/about

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephanie-collins/44/9a4/72a/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/withangelswings/

 

Stephanie Collins, I have enjoyed learning so much more about you and your work. I’ll look forward to seeing more from you as well. I know our readers will be looking.

Thank you again for allowing me to interview you and God bless all your efforts.



October 7, 2015

Please help me welcome author Erica Robinson to my website and Facebook Group Forum today.

Erica Robinson

And without delay, we will get right into the interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work, Erica.

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why? 

I was in my 40s when the real thought occurred to me to compose a book. The idea was mainly for my kids to have a copy and for me to see it in print.

 

What type of writing do you do, and do you think you may write something else at some point?

I write poetry, but I would like to write a novel using my family and life as the story line.

 

                                          What have you written so far? 

I have one book of poetry finished, Paper Trail.

It is poetry from approx. 1960-1971 with a few from 1990s.  I have hundreds of poems.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

I didn’t try publishing at all until 2 years ago. I was too busy to commit to anything for myself like that.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author? 

I went through Create Space. (Interviewer’s note: For those of you who do not know, CreateSpace is a place where authors can publish their own works.)

 

Have you written anything else?

I have written the beginning of a few novels….does that count? (Interviewer comment: Well, of course it does, silly writer!!!  LOL)

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author? 

How computer illiterate I am!!!!

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything? 

I would like to be a stronger writer. 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

Ha ha! I wouldn’t say I am my favorite! My sister, CJ Vermote, who is a newer author. I am a lover of classics so Alexander Dumas and Dickens; in fantasy, Terry Goodkind; mystery, I like many; Christian is K. Kingsbury and Cheney. I own and love every book by Catherine Cookson/Marchand.

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

My family of course…what else can they say. My sisters and a few friends.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

Yes, I am. I often have more than one book on the go at the same time.

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own? 

Not really, there are too many books behind me!

 

Do you have aspirations of any of your works becoming a movie? 

No, even if I get the novel written I don’t have that aspiration.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

Only when the words come jumping and flying into my mind. I can go weeks without writing. That may be why I am not a stronger writer.

 

Where do you like to write? 

Out walking is a pretty common time that poetry comes to me; I am so thankful for the notebook on my phone! One time, I had to dash into a corner store and ask for any scrape of paper and a pencil!

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

The ocean definitely.

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

I Know You? By CJ Vermote, Book of Negroes, Counte of Monte Christo, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Sora’s Quest and The White by TL Shreffler

 

Are there other writers in your family? 

One of my sisters is a writer. CJ Vermote. She has 4 published and another on the ready to go. Our mother was a writer and our father wanted to be a journalist.

 

What is your biggest problem in writing?

Getting started and holding it together!

 

When do you think your next book of poetry will come out?

I have another book of poetry coming out in Oct. or Nov. of this year.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

Be brave and do it! Don’t be afraid to let people read your work. I didn’t let anyone read any of my poetry until I was around 65 for fear it was all clap trap.

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up?

Born in Maryland, but grew up in Renton, Seattle and Olympia Washington. I moved to the Fraser Valley in BC, Canada in 1971.

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

The majority of my life was in Seattle, Washington

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing?

My traumatic childhood, divorce, death of some very close people. The mess I made of my early life. Writing poetry helped me keep my balance and sanity. I write it on the paper and walk away. I am considered to be a happy contented person and I believe that is part of the reason.

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

I think the emotion brought out by the events in my life, happy and sad, influenced my writing the most. My poetry is all strong emotion.

 

Tell us a little more about yourself personally.

I came from a family of 6 girls, me being the eldest. Our mother remarried when I was 15 bringing the kid number in a three bedroom house to 10. In this photo I am the second from the right with dark hair and dark framed glasses. I am holding baby number 11.

Baby number 11 arrived the year I turned 18. I married in ’71 and moved to Canada where I knew no one else. We had a raspberry farm and hobby farmed animals as well during those “hippie” years.  I loved that time in my life. I became a Christian in 1973, which was transforming for sure. I had two children who never gave us any trouble. Circumstances in  life caused me to go out to work. I worked for 35 years in two different Christian schools. One of my jobs was to create a library and getting it running…dream job!   I was divorced in ’95. I have lived for the last 16+ years in a “granny suite” with my daughter and her family.

 

I like to hike, walk, camp and in general be outside. I knit and crochet a bit, read a lot, attend aqua fit and other similar activities.

 

I have a pug dog that needed a home.

 

The only hope I have of getting a website up and running would require a huge bribe to my techie sister!

 

I keep thinking when I grow up I will get it together…ha!

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

Email:  rbitsyr@gmail.com

Or on pen and paper:

5821 Cowichan St.,

Chilliwack, BC

V2R 0G7

 

Thank you for this delightful look into the life and work of Erica Robinson. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better and hope that you have great success with both your next book of poems, as well as that novel that I know is in there somewhere. We will be looking forward to hearing more from you in the future, Erica Robinson.




September 30, 2015

Today, I would like to introduce you to…

 

 

Céleste Perrino-Walker

 

Céleste and I met Goodreads where she was looking for Christian authors to share whether or not they wrote Christian or secular material for her blog post.

I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her as much as I have.

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

 

I knew I wanted to be a writer long before I equated that with a profession, or in my case, a writing ministry. My parents advised me to write as a hobby, and train for a “real” job. So I became a nurse, but continued to write constantly. About four years after I graduated from high school, I started submitting stories for publication, and I began to get published.

It took a long time to feel like a legitimate author. I think I felt as though I’d “arrived” when my first book was published. But really, writers ultimately write for themselves. I “arrived” when I first put my thoughts on paper. Getting them published was great, but writers write, and from the moment I began writing, I was an author.

As for why…I didn’t have any visions of fame or glory. I write all the time; whether or not it gets published is kind of secondary for me. I mean, if suddenly I couldn’t get published, I’d still write. I don’t know why. I just always have. It’s like breathing in that way.

But in terms of publishing, I do have a very specific agenda for my writing. I decided when I started out that my writing should be a means of sharing the gospel. It’s my vehicle for fulfilling Jesus’ command in Mark 15:16: “ ‘And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone’ ” (NLT). I have to say, being in partnership with Jesus writing books is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can, literally, hardly wait to get up in the morning and start writing.

 

 

What adjectives would you use to describe yourself as an author?

 

Tenacious. Determined. Stubborn. I really think you have to be all of these things to make it in writing. The most common scenario I see among new writers is that they give up when the going gets tough. But that’s the time to dig in and keep going. I can say that with confidence because I’ve been writing and publishing for about 26 years now. I wouldn’t still be here if I let every setback and bump in the road derail me.

Everyone wants instant results, but with writing, patience pays. Nothing sells your frontlist like your backlist and nothing sells your backlist like your frontlist. So the best thing you can do is staple your pants to your chair and write.

 

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

I’d been writing about a year when I had my first book proposal accepted. It took me about six months to write the book, and it came out a year or so later. (One of my favorite aspects of indie publishing is getting my book out within weeks of finishing it. With traditional publishing I could be finished with another book before the previous one was released. And then I had to wait until the following spring for my first royalty check. That’s a LONG time. And the first royalty check is usually slim to non-existent because the royalties have to exceed the advance before you receive any. So it was usually the NEXT year before you saw much money at all.)

 

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I’m both, so I’m considered a hybrid author. I started out publishing traditionally. I have 17 books published traditionally (twenty-one altogether.) I was extremely excited when the platform opened for indie publishing. As much as I love publishing traditionally, it’s hard to watch someone else in control of your brain child. My publishing houses changed book titles on me, commissioned artwork, and made those executive decisions without even taking my input into consideration. The first I usually saw of the artwork was when I got my comps in the mail!

I admit I’m a control freak, but it was hard to sit by and watch my work get changed. So when I had the chance, I decided to explore the indie publishing platform. While I can’t say it’s been easy, it has been incredibly rewarding. I’m about to release my fourth indie published title, and I’m extremely pleased with each of them. (And I LOVE the covers!! LOL!)

 

 

What are the problems you face while writing, either with getting your story down or with interruptions during the process?

 

Interruptions are tough. I wrote during my children’s entire growing up period, and I thought it would get easier now that they’re grown. But one of the dynamics of family is that they constantly “touch base” with you when they are home. We’ve all got different schedules now, so the interruptions can come at any time. In addition to which, I often have to deal with sick animals. I find the older I get the harder it becomes to regather my focus after being interrupted.

(Case in point: as I’ve been working on these questions for the last hour, my family has interrupted me at least half a dozen times. And I am working in the back of the house, so they have had to come and seek me out to do it!)

The other type of “interruption” that I find difficult to deal with is the social media interruptions. Writers have to be a lot more “social” than I am typically comfortable with. Left to my own devices I’m not sure I’d even have Facebook. But as a writer, I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, About Me, LinkedIn, and probably others I’m forgetting. They are a lot of work and contribute significantly to interruptions. But they are also vital, so you have to find a balance in order to deal with them.

 

 

When do you know you have the story the way you want it to read?

 

I’ve always been a little odd in this sense. I could never figure out what a first draft was. The way the story comes out of my head is the way it is. Period. I may tweak a word or two here or there, rearrange a sentence structure, or clarify something, but I rarely make big changes after it’s written.

That said, I do write slowly compared to some authors who just try to get their thoughts out on paper and worry about editing and correcting later. That method would be too confusing to me, and I would end up going back to tidy something up before moving on.

For me, a book is done when I’ve read it through and haven’t found any inconsistencies, and I’ve made all the little adjustments to eliminate redundancy, etc.

 

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

 

I’ve always wished my language was more poetical. But for the most part, poetry baffles me. However, there is a lyrical form of writing I really admire. A book such as The Wind in the Willows captures it well, I think.

 

 

What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

I sort of created my own genre. I call it Indie Christian. It’s a very bold form of Christian writing. I try to create practical demonstrations of what Christianity looks like when it’s lived out. I want to show people what happens when we have a relationship with a living God and His power in our lives.

So many Christian novels are little more than ordinary novels with characters who are supposed to be Christians. They act like pretty much any other non-Christian character. I wanted to smash that stereotype.

 

 

How many books have you written? 

 

I’m just completing my 21st book. I’ve lost track of how many articles and stories I’ve written. Hundreds for sure, probably more than a thousand by now.

 

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

LOL! Yes! There’s a woman in Australia who says she’s my biggest fan.

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

 

My two favorite characters are rather similar. One is Jane Eyre. I admire her for being a strong, Christian character who is faithful to her convictions. She has a strong moral compass. The other is a character I created, Brooke Merrill, from The Shaking. I admire her for her faith, her humility, and her tenacity in seeking God.

 

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie? 

 

I have mixed feelings about this. I think it could be fun, but the one time I was approached by a producer who wanted to make two of my books into a movie it didn’t go well. He kept changing the contract and wanting strange things. In the end, he wanted me to relinquish my “moral rights” to the material. I refused and the deal folded. But I would love to see my novels become movies. One of them was recently turned into a play, and while I can’t attend in person because it’s too far away, the director said she would send me a video of the production. So that’s kind of the same thing. Sort of.

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

I write books for at least two hours a day. That’s my scheduled writing time from 6-8 in the morning. I also keep a notebook in my purse and write a lot when I’m in waiting rooms. I wrote at least half of Salome’s Charger in my vet’s waiting room. (I ended up dedicating the book to him!) Aside from scheduled writing time, I write whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.

I also line edit a weekly magazine and write several magazine columns as well as other magazine articles, otherwise I’d spend more time on my books. All told, I probably write or edit for 6-8 hours a day.

 

 

Where do you like to write? 

 

My writing space has migrated and transformed over the years. I used to write laying on my stomach on the sofa with a notebook and pen. Learning how to compose on a keyboard when I made the leap to computer was difficult. I often returned to the notebook and pen to compose and transferred my writing to the keyboard. It took time to adjust to the new method, but I’m glad I did. I’m a lot faster on a keyboard (something I used to lament when my thoughts got ahead of my scribbling), and I don’t have to stop periodically because of writer’s cramp.

These days I write in a corner of my bedroom that’s been set up as a tiny office/oasis. My husband put up an antique cupboard to hold all my “office stuff”, and I am surrounded by my very favorite paintings. I have everything set up to be not only efficient, but aesthetic, which is important to me. Although I have a radio and a record player, I never listen to music when I write or edit, but I often do while performing other office chores.

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

     

August 31, 2015. LOL! That’s when Salome’s Charger releases. The next, Life & Death, should be out sometime in September or October.

(Note from the interviewer:  This interview was received prior to the date she gave for the release of Salome’s Charger.)

 

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Nevah, nevah, nevah give up. Seriously. Beyond that, find your own voice. Be willing to stick it out if you want to succeed. And don’t ask everyone and their brother to read your writing and tell you what they think about it. Everyone’s a critic, and more often than not, they’ll just end up discouraging you. (Writing groups can be helpful or destructive. Be wary of them. Search until you find one that is constructive in their criticism and supportive.) Develop the confidence you need to trust your own voice and put your work out there. Don’t rest on your laurels unless you keep them under your desk chair. When one book or project is finished, start the next one immediately. Keep moving forward, it’s the only way you’re going to make progress.

 

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

 

I was born at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, DC because my father was in the Navy, and we lived there until I was six months old. But my family is from Vermont, and that is where I grew up. When I was ten, we moved very close to the border of Canada, near my mother’s relatives. This factored into my writing for my Toussaint, Vermont Series, which is set in a fictional town that shares a lot of similarities to the one I lived in. It has a French-Canadian flavor, and I drew heavily from my French-Canadian heritage to write it, even though it’s highly romanticized.

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

The most significant experience in my life that has contributed to my writing is without a doubt my relationship with God. I’m a practical person; esoteric concepts don’t mean much to me. I grew up in a Christian family not having much idea about God outside of a concept. It was only after I came to know God personally that I began to understand how He communicates with us, how He helps us, and how He changes us. God is dynamic and our relationship with Him should be dynamic, too! It’s interactive and affects every part of our lives. With my writing, I try to demonstrate my characters having that practical, honest relationship with God that changes their lives. That’s what the Good News is all about!

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself personally.

 

I live on a small farm (Reindeer Station Farm) and have a fiber studio (Spindrift Studio). On my farm, I have a few textile animals: sheep, angora rabbits, a llama, and an alpaca. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, designing knitwear, or bunny cuddling. I also play traditional music, primarily on my fiddle though I do play other instruments as well, and I enjoy Sacred Harp singing which I do with a group at a nearby college. I’m avid about being outdoors and love to hike, bike, kayak, and walk. I live very close to a section of the Appalachian Trail as it passes through Vermont and have started a group of “trail angels” (The Bright Wings Trail Angels) who give food and assistance to hikers passing through.

 

 

Where can our readers get in touch with you?

 

My website is cperrinowalker.com.

My farm blog is at reindeerstationfarm@blogspot.com.

My author Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/cperrinowalker

My farm Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/spindriftstudioatreindeerstationfarm.

On Twitter I’m CelestePWalker.

On Pinterest I’m at https://www.pinterest.com/cperrinowalker/

On LinkedIn I’m at: www.linkedin.com/in/cperrinowalker.

My Amazon author page is at: http://amzn.to/OxG00i.

 

Here is another of Celeste’s published books. Hope you all enjoyed the interview.

Again, thank you for your time and the opportunity to present you, the author, and your work. It has been a real pleasure to get to know more about you,

Céleste Perrino-Walker




September 23, 2015

My Guest Author interview today will be with…

 

 

AnnaLee Conti

 

I met AnnaLee when she was featured on another author friend’s blog http://elainestock.blogspot.com/2015/01/annalee-conti-secret-of-managing-life.html at the beginning of this year.  Please join me in welcoming her to my website and Facebook Group Forum, Writers and Authors

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author, and why?

 

I come from a family of readers and writers.

 

My grandparents, Charles & Florence Personeus, traveled across the continent to Alaska in 1917 to serve as pioneer missionaries. As newlyweds, they left Bible school in Rochester, New York, not knowing even how much it would cost to get to their field of ministry. They went by faith and lived by faith in Alaska for 65 years. My parents, Bob & AnnaMae Cousart, also lived by faith as missionaries in Alaska, where I grew up during the fifties and sixties.

 

My missionary family members were readers and writers. Grandma Personeus was a storyteller and kept everyone entranced with her accounts of their early days in Alaska. She also read books aloud to us when we grandchildren visited each summer during our childhood. She’d read to us as we did the dishes and in her spare time—books she’d enjoyed as a child. She was also a prolific poet and wrote curriculum for Sunday school quarterlies and articles for church magazines. My mother also wrote continued stories and composed songs for us, for her Sunday school class, and eventually for publication.

 

My great-grandfather, George Newton LeFevre, wrote and published his own newspaper, The Christian Home, in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. It was instrumental in getting the Prohibition Amendment passed. He also wrote a genealogy of The Pennsylvania LeFevres. For many years, my great aunt was editor of The Sunday School Times, a magazine published in Philadelphia. She also wrote nine Christian fiction books under the pen name of Zenobia Bird published by Revell. Recently, I discovered that Beverly Lewis and I share the same LeFevre ancestry.

 

As a young teenager, I discovered Christian fiction and read all of my aunt’s books. My father subscribed to a Christian book club to provide us with good reading material for cold, dark winter nights. We could hardly wait for the two selections that arrived each month. Those pages influenced my world view and my attitudes about life and love. And my dream to write Christian novels was born.

 

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 


About 3 years of actual work, although I jotted notes for it for years before I actually started writing it. In the early seventies, we were stationed in Rhode Island in the Army. We discovered Beavertail Lighthouse in Narraganset Bay. That has become our favorite one-day get-away ever since. We love to sit on the rocks and watch the waves crash in from the Atlantic Ocean on three sides of that rocky point. As I sat there, I’d imagine scenes I’d like to write and jot down notes, descriptions, characters, etc. These became the opening scenes for Evie’s story in Till the Storm Passes By.

 

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

 

Writing the middle. That is my struggle now on my third novel too.

 

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

I loved writing in school and took one writing course in college. After six years as an Army officer, including a tour in Vietnam, my husband felt called into the gospel ministry. While he was in seminary, I worked in editorial at Gospel Publishing House. The editors I worked with encouraged me to write and submit short stories and articles for publication. Soon, I was also writing Sunday school, children’s church, and VBS curriculum on assignment. When we began pastoring, I continued to write curriculum on assignment as well as freelance articles and short stories for more than 25 years.

 

While I was working at Gospel Publishing House, my grandparents visited us. The year was 1973. Grandma handed me a packet and said, “Many people have asked me to write our story, but I’m too old to see it through by myself, so I’m placing all my written accounts in your hands to do with as you think best.” In 1982, I holed up for a week and wrote the rough draft of Frontiers of Faith. Before Grandma died in 1985, I was able to read it to her and Grandpa. It wasn’t until 2002 that I was able to get it published by 1st Books, now called AuthorHouse.

 

But I still wanted to write Christian novels. As I was researching the book about my grandparents, I came across several fragments of stories that triggered my imagination, and the idea for my Alaskan Waters series was conceived. At the time, I was teaching fulltime and writing a daily devotional for the website of a Christian radio network. When I was forced to retire from teaching due to an injury, I joined a writing critique group at a local library, and began writing my first novel. Till the Storm Passes By, the first title in my Alaskan Waters series, was published by Ambassador International (Emerald House) in 2013.

 

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

Ambassador International is a shared venture that features aspects of both traditional publishing and the Indie route. We share the cost of editing and publishing the book; they assist me in marketing it and pay me royalties.

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

Writing a book is a lonely, difficult job that requires a lot of self-discipline. I write because I have stories of faith to tell—stories that are carriers of truth about God’s love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. I am called by God to write. I write because I can’t not write.

 

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

 

I am happy with the three books I’ve published so far. I want to continue to grow in my ability to write stories that touch the hearts of my readers. Over the years I’ve observed that unless the emotions are touched, people don’t change. And my goal in writing is for people to see Jesus in my writing and for their lives to be “conformed to His image.”

 

 

What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

At this point, my genre is historical fiction. I learned a lot of history from reading that genre as a teenager. After I would read a book, I’d check out the encyclopedia (and the Bible, if it was biblical fiction) to try to discover what was fact and what was fiction. I still enjoy doing that.

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

Ideally, at least four hours. In reality, some days I don’t even sit down at my computer. Other days, I write all day. I’d like to become more disciplined about this, but life interferes. This year, my husband had open heart surgery, and I had several procedures on my back. That slowed me down on my writing.

 

 

Where do you like to write? 

 

I have an office in our spare bedroom lined with bookcases (full to overflowing), file cabinets, and my desktop computer. When I started out writing, I wrote longhand in a living room chair and typed it on an electric typewriter. Curriculum had to be typed to an exact stroke and line count. That required retyping over and over until I got it right. Now, I love writing on the computer. I can edit without having to retype the whole thing.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

I’d like to visit Strasbourg, France. My ancestors were French Huguenots who escaped martyrdom at the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in the mid-to-late 1600s. When my husband was stationed in Germany in 1968 in the Army, we drove along the Rhine River and looked across at Strasbourg, but we couldn’t cross into France since he didn’t have an international driving license. I’d like to write a historical novel about my LeFevre ancestors. Visiting Strasbourg would help me place it in its setting.

 

My ideal writing place would be a house on Douglas Island overlooking Gastineau Channel and Juneau, Alaska, or overlooking Lizianski Inlet in Pelican, Alaska, where I could derive inspiration from the scenes as I write my Alaskan Waters series and my blog’s faith stories about growing up in a missionary family in Alaska.

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

I believe all of my experiences contribute to my writing. Extensive travel has certainly helped me write accurately about the settings of my stories. During the fifties and sixties, my family and I traveled by large and small prop airplanes, ferries and boats, trains and subways, and cars all over Alaska and coast to coast across the United States. So far, I have lived in or visited 46 of the 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii, taken an educational bus tour across Canada as a teenager, spent a year in Germany in 1968, visited Belgium and Austria, touched down in Ireland and England, and toured with a group of pastors for a week in Israel in 1986. For the past eight summers, my husband and I have driven cross country from New York to the West Coast and back to visit family and friends.

 

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

 

I say with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:3,4, “Blessed be … the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Having gone through earthquakes and floods in Alaska, separations during the Vietnam War, experiencing the many trials and tribulations as well as the many joys in pastoring, surviving three major car accidents, living by faith and seeing God supply our needs, etc., I am able to forge characters who also find God’s comfort in tribulations. As a writer, I have more to say and I think my characterization is more true to life having personally gone through those hard experiences of life and I share those stories in my blog, “Nuggets of Faith.”

 

 

How many books and poems have your written? 

 

I’ve written and published three books so far and am working on my fourth. I have also written several poems—usually only when I have a strong sense of inspiration. A few are on my website: www.AnnaLeeConti.com.

 

 

Have you written anything else?

 

I’ve already mentioned the curriculum, short stories, and articles I’ve written. I also like to write devotionals and paraphrases of familiar Bible passages, such as 1 Corinthians 13. One, entitled “Essays and Empty Sets,” was published in a couple of youth magazines in the seventies.

 

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

My mother was my biggest fan. She would tell everybody about my books. She was bolder than I am. She probably sold more of my first book than I did! She went home to be with the Lord in 2012. My 93-year-old dad continues as a big fan and encourager. I know he prays for me every day.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

Yes, I love to read, especially Christian fiction. I can get so engrossed in a book that I don’t write, so I work to balance reading with writing.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

I have so many favorite authors (Tracie Peterson, Colleen Coble, Candace Calvert, Beverly Lewis, Miralee Ferrell, Linda Nichols, to name a few), but if I can name only one favorite, I’d have to say Karen Kingsbury. Her stories touch my emotions very deeply. Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series is one of the best Biblical fiction series I’ve read. On the lighter side, I also enjoy Julie Klasson’s books. They remind me of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a favorite classic.

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own, and why do you call this character your favorite?

 

Here again, I have so many favorite characters it is hard to name just one. Evie, in my book, Till the Storm Passes By, is perhaps my favorite so far. She had to overcome so many hurts, tragedies, and personal losses that made forgiving a challenge for her. I see a lot of me in her temperament.

 

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie? 

 


Several in my writing group have said that Frontiers of Faith would make a good movie. I even started writing a screen play based on it, but it requires extensive reorganization.

 

 

Whom would you like to play the leads?

 

I’ve always thought that Meryl Streep looks a lot like my grandmother, who is the main character in the part of the book I’d use for a screen play. Harrison Ford looks a little like my grandfather.

 

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

 

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the end of World War II. When I was 2 years old, my parents returned to Alaska as missionaries, where we lived by faith. I lived in Juneau until I was 12, then Pelican for 2 years. Pelican had no high school, so my parents moved us to a pastorate in Seward, Alaska, where I went to high school. I met my husband at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where I earned my B.A. in music and elementary education. I love Alaska and miss it terribly. Writing about it is the next best thing to living there.

 

I lived in Alaska from 1948 to 1970. As a writer friend put it, people who never leave a place grow with the changes and don’t notice them because they happen so gradually. For those who move away and return many years later, the way we left it is indelibly imbedded in our memory. While I have visited Alaska a number of times since I left, the memory of Alaska as I knew it is still fresh in my mind. While exploring themes such as God’s love and human love, forgiveness and reconciliation, rebellion and redemption, fear and faith, death and sorrow, I showcase the majestic beauty and fascinating history of the Alaska I remember.

 


Note from interviewer:  AnnaLee did not mention her second book in the Alaska Water series.  Here is a picture of the cover.

 

 

 

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

 


I grew up in Alaska, but I have spent most of my adult life in New York State, where my husband and I came in 1977 to pioneer a new church planting in Gloversville (40 miles northwest of Albany). We have pastored three churches and are now retired from pastoring.

 

Tell us a little more about yourself personally; family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.

 

My husband and I are both ordained ministers. (I am the fifth generation ordained minister in my grandfather’s line.) I have taken an active part in all of our pastorates, serving as minister of music, Christian education, and women’s ministries, and on our New York State denominational C. E. and women’s ministries committees. We both sing solos as well as together and in choirs, and I have directed choirs and musicals and played the piano for services. Serving as the bookkeeper in all the churches we pastored provided an enjoyable break from all the demands on my creativity.

 

We have one son, whom God gave us in answer to prayer. (That story is on my blog.) He is an elementary school teacher in Newburgh (just across the Hudson River from where we live in Beacon). He has given us five grandchildren: a girl and four boys ages 22 to 13. It is our joy to see them grow up in the ways of the Lord. The family lives in a house built by my husband’s grandfather in 1938.

 

In addition to reading, I enjoy watching Hallmark movies with happy endings, scrapbooking, and other arts and crafts. I have taught tole painting and have also filled my house with decorative plaster craft lamps and bookends I have painted. I’ve also given many to family members as gifts. I used to sew my own clothes (until it became cheaper to buy readymade and alter them to fit). I also crochet, embroider, and do counted cross stitch and crewel work.

 

In fifth grade I decided I wanted to be an elementary teacher, so I earned a teaching certificate in college. I actually only taught in schools for four years. I found my niche in adult education, teaching GED classes for eight years. But God never wastes our experiences. My degree in education equipped me for my work in Christian education and writing church school curriculum. For a number of years I have taught Bible and ministry preparation classes to prepare people for pastoring and other church leadership. I view my writing as an extension of my ministry gift of teaching.

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Raymond Obstfeld said, “The main difference between successful writers and wannabe writers is not talent—it’s perseverance.” I taped that quote to my computer.

 

To that I would add, read, read, and read good literature. Write, write, and write!

Study the craft of writing:

·       The mechanics: good vocabulary, spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.

·       The techniques of plot, characterization, structure, emotions, themes, dialogue, etc.

·       Resources: local libraries, magazines on writing (The Writer, Writer’s Digest), websites for writers and of writers, local writing groups, and writing courses in college or online.

·       Develop a platform on social media, develop a website, and start writing a blog.

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

I’m hoping to finish the third book in the Alaska Waters series, Beside Still Waters, and have it published by the spring of 2016.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

Website: www.AnnaLeeConti.com

Email: FrontiersofFaith@AnnaLeeConti.com

Blog “Nuggets of Faith”: http://AnnaLeeConti.blogspot.com/

Facebook.com/AnnaLeeConti.Author

Twitter: @AnnaLeeConti

 

              

 

Thank you, AnnaLee Conti for your time and the opportunity to present you, the author, and your work.




September 16, 2015

Today’s interview will be with,

Kim Gosselin

 

 

Kim

Is an author I met on my favorite group in LinkedIn, PenandPaperWorld where we have had discussions on numerous topics for writers and authors.

 

And now, let’s get into the questions and answers, and learn more about this interesting author of helpful children’s book.

 

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author and why?

 

Although I wrote words from the time I was a young child, I never dreamed of becoming an “Author” or a real writerSuddenly, when my son was diagnosed with a chronic condition at the age of six, I was faced with a need to fill.  I never chose to write a book, rather it chose me.  I felt a passion never known before.

 

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

I wrote my first book in a matter of minutes before teaching myself how to publish over the course of about six months.  This was over twenty years ago, before Indie was a trend or Amazon even existed.  I didn’t have a computer at the time so everything was done by hand or press.

 

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I once owned a traditional publishing company that published about 26 titles, including all of my children’s books.  Today, I’m pursuing both avenues, Indie and traditional.

 

 

How many books have you written?

 

I wrote sixteen children’s books to help educate children’s peers about chronic conditions in a fun and non-technical way.

 

(Here are seven of her other books.  You can see the rest by visiting Amazon and typing in her name to pull up all they offer.)

 

 

(These were my first two books written shortly after my children were diagnosed/six months apart.)

 

            

 

 

 

Have you written anything else?

 

Yes, I’ve written close to 300 blog posts consisting of short stories, articles, quotes and poetry.  But, by far I’m most proud of my forthcoming picture book, a work of fiction entitled, Babies of Two.  It’s the first book written from the perspective of baby twins prior to birth.  What do they see?  What do they do?  The secret is out.  So much fun for me and you!  It’s a heartwarming story filled with love and humor that generations can share for years to come.

 

 

When do you know you have the story the way you want it to read?

 

By reading it aloud several times and doing editing in-between until my ear hears it the way a reader might.   I was a theatre major in college so perhaps this helps a bit.  Often, I read stories to my three year old grand-daughter.  If I capture her attention or make her giggle, then I know I’ve done my job.

 

 

Who is your favorite author?  

 

There are several that come to mind who have passed on but are still some of my favorite authors. 

 

Dominick Dunne was a favorite who specialized in true crime books as well as writing articles for Vanity Fair.  He was a master at writing crime-related novels, providing a genuine peek behind the curtain of his character’s lives. 

 

E.B. White is by far my favorite children’s book author, having written Charlotte’s Webb.  I still cry upon the death of dear Charlotte, particularly at the end when her babies are whisked off in the upper breeze of the barn. 

 

And, Sylvia Plath is still a long favorite poet of mine for the haunting and beautiful lines she wrote so prophetically.

 

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

Oh, my absolute dream is to climb high in the sky where I’d settle into a cozy nook of a custom tree-house.  My favorite books would surround me plus an assortment of pens and paper to write magical stories from the dreams of my imagination.   A bit of heaven above the earth for me!

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Yes, work your passion while living your dreams and don’t ever give-up.  Never take rejection as an answer but use it as an opportunity.  If your passion isn’t in it, don’t do it.  And whenever possible, surround yourself with the innocence of children in order to witness wonders of the world.

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

My next book, Babies of Two is due for release in e-book format on November 1st and will be available on Amazon.com.  It’s beautifully illustrated in water-color by the oh-so-talented, Alisa Belzil.   Babies of Two in hard cover format will be available at some time in the near future.

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

To write for the love of the process, not for the color of money.  To give 110% to every word I write whether it’s a short blog post, a poem I’m working on or a brand new book.  I must keep writing until my words are the very best that they can be in order to be proud of each and every endeavor.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

http://kimgosselinblog.com/

http://kimgosselin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003375543650

linkedin.com/in/kimgosselin

https://twitter.com/realkimgosselin

 

 

My heart-felt appreciation to you Kim Gosselin, for the time you took out of your busy schedule to do this interview.  I enjoyed learning more about you and your talent and I’m sure the readers will feel the same.  We will be looking for you new book in November, as well as more to come.

God bless you.

 




September 9, 2015

My author interview for today is with someone I have come to know through LinkedIn originally, but also on Facebook where we exchange comments often and have a lot of fun doing so.

 

Ruth Ann Hixson

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

 

About 40 years ago. My sister was taking courses to write children's books. After reading a very poorly written book, I said, "I can do better than that." I did not know where that decision would take me. I was 40 years old and I wrote my first book in a notebook. It's never been typed but I still have it. It's a post Vietnam novel written in a contemporary timeframe. After numerous rejection slips I knew I needed a writing background. I wanted to take a creative writing course but since it wasn't a credit course, my rehabilitation wouldn't pay for it. So I went for the course in journalism. After all, that's writing. At age 42 I went off to college to study journalism. After I graduated in 1988 with an Associate's degree, I went to work at a newspaper. I still wrote in my notebooks over the years but I still couldn't interest a publisher except Harlequin. They wanted a rewrite and I didn't have time.

 

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

Too long ago. I can't remember.

 

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

 

Getting it typed. I had an old Underwood typewriter.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

I had no luck trying to get my work published traditionally. In fact, for a while I gave up and quit writing. But I always had a book going on in my head. Then I began writing again. I wrote a series but I still didn't hold out much hope of being published. Then along came the internet and e-publishing. Nothing has been the same since. My first book, a romantic suspense No Plans for Love, was published by me in 2012. Since then I have published five more: three mysteries, a western and an anthology of my poetry.

  


I'm not even going to try to publish by the traditional. I'm 71 years old. It takes two or three years to get a book into print. I don't know how many years I have left so I'll keep e-publishing.

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

Writing is hard work but I keep plodding along. Learning never stops. My writing style is constantly evolving. Another thing: you can't take everything someone says in internet posts as gospel. I take what I can use and delete the rest.

 

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

 

I'm not sure how to answer that. I know my writing could use improvement but so can every writer's. I just write the story and then edit it. Put it away for a while and edit it. I edit it again for grammar, typos and misspellings. I can't afford to hire an editor. I know I should but before long summer will be over and we'll have to buy heating oil again. And so the cycle goes.

 

 

What is your genre? 

 

I have a few genres: Mystery/crime, western, romantic suspense, poetry and short stories. I have already published an anthology of my poetry--Poetry A to Z. I would like to do an anthology of my short stories.

 

 

How many books and poems have your written?

 

I can't think of them all off hand. Perhaps 30. A similar number of poems. I have enough ideas to last the rest of my life and they keep coming. Such is the life of a writer.

 

 

Have you written anything else?

 

Of course. I worked for a newspaper. I wrote a weekly column, hard news (I used to do police reports) soft news (I was Lifestyles editor) medical news and anything else.

 

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?

 

I have no illusions that my books will ever be movies. I'm not saying they couldn't be. In fact I think they would make good movies. I'm not even trying along those lines.

 

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

I can't think of one except possibly my one niece who told me she read all my books

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

It varies. Some days I don't write. I read. And I still must do the essential chores of cooking, laundry and such. My son usually does the sweeping and mopping.

 

 

Where do you like to write?

 

At my computer desk in the living room.

 

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

At my computer desk in my living room.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

Definitely. I always have a book I'm reading. I read novels, non-fiction, just about anything I find interesting.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

I have several: Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark and more.

 

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

 

I cannot say which is my favorite. There are too many.

 

 

What is your own favorite novel?

 

Of my own, I would say A Cowboy's Love.

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own, and why do you call this character your favorite?

 

I have read too many books and stories to have a favorite character. There are just too many options. Of my own published book, I would say Charley Hampton, the main character in A Cowboy's Love. A lot of Charley's character was based on my son.

 

 

Are there other writers in your family?

 

I have a nephew who has the ability but he prefers to garden. I told him he has the soul of an artist. His daughter has been interested in writing since she was about four.

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

I don't know. This one is a little different in that it is a Christian mystery. The Title is One Man's Loss.

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Don't give up. Persistence pays.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

I have a blog page on Wordpress at: newhopeinlove.wordpress.com

 

 

Where were you born? 

 

I was born in my grandparents' farmhouse in Lewis Township, Union County, PA.

 

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

 

Union County, PA

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

Oh, I have lots of experience to draw on. 71 years worth. Good, bad and indifference. In fact, I'm lucky to be here. When I was just over 1 year old, I drank coal oil. Daddy said when he carried me into the ER I was blue. He thought I was dead.

 

 

Tell us a little more about yourself.

 

There isn't a lot to tell. I grew up on a farm. I graduate from Lewisburg High School in 1961. I worked in various jobs until I had elbow surgeries, both arms. Hence the rehabilitation to pay for my college. I graduated with an Associate Degree in Individual Studies, Mass Communications. I went to work at Park Newspapers until I retired.

 

I married Kerby Hixson and we had three children, two boys and a girl. My oldest son was killed in a shooting accident when he was 19. I was married 45 years when my husband died. My daughter lives about three miles away and we currently aren't speaking. My other son, a confirmed bachelor, lives with me. I don't know what I'd do without him.

 

 

Thank you for allowing us to learn more about you…

Ruth Ann Hixson, the author

It has been a pleasure to interview you.  We will definitely be looking for more of those books that you said you have still in your head.  God bless you.



September 2, 2015

Today, please allow me to introduce you to…

 

Judith  Golightly

 

Judith Golightly is one of the many authors I have met here on Facebook.  She is the author of Billy’s Story, but I will let her tell you all about that by getting right into the interview.

 

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author, and why?

 

I have always enjoyed writing, but I never thought I would become an author until about 30 years after my first son passed away. I started hearing a lot of stories on the news about children dying for one reason or another, some in mass killings. It was then that I felt led to write a book about my experience, dealing with a seriously ill child and his eventual death. My purpose in writing the book was to help others who have lost children.

 

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

It took me about three years to write my book, because the first two years I was working full time, so I was only able to write part time.

 

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

It took about three years for me to write the book and an additional year to get it published.

 

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I am an Indie author, although my book was published through the services of WestBow Press.

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

The biggest thing I have learned is that there is a lot more to writing a book than just sitting down and putting pen to paper. The whole process is quite involved, including, among other things, editing, obtaining written permission to include other published material in your work, getting a copyright, placing pictures strategically in the book, the cost of publishing, and, last, but not least, marketing your book.

 

 

What are the problems you face while writing, either with getting your story down or with interruptions during the process?

 

A major hurtle that I dealt with was trying to remember, thirty years after the fact, the details of the experience. I had not kept a diary or journal while going through the ordeal, so I had to try to recall all of the important, and sometimes painful, memories from the past. Occasionally I would remember something significant in the middle of the night, and if I didn’t get up and write a note about it, I wouldn’t remember it the next morning. The other thing that I had some difficulty with is putting the story together in a logical order. Because I wrote so many notes of things that I remembered, as I thought about them, they were disjointed. So, it was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together to make the complete picture.

 

I will add that I found the publishing aspect of writing a novel more daunting than the actual writing of the novel. Dealing with my publisher was not the pleasant experience that I thought it would be. I thought they would be doing more of the work in the publishing phase than they did, thus taking that burden off of me. But I wound up doing much more work in that phase than I originally anticipated.

 

 

When do you know you have the story the way you want it to read?

 

You read it over and over again until it seems to flow well and get your message across.

 

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

 

I would like to be more organized while writing books in the future.

 

 

What is your genre, and do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

I have always enjoyed reading non-fiction biographical books, and that is what I plan to write in the future.

 

How many books or poems have your written? 

 

So far I have written one book and one poem.

 

 

Have you written anything else?

 

I have written a song.

 

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie? 

 

Yes, I would love for a movie to be made based on my book. Although, on one side of the coin, the subject matter of my book may be considered sad, because it involves the loss of a child, on the other side of the coin, it has an encouraging message of hope and perseverance.

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

I am currently taking a hiatus in writing. But I do plan to write another book at some not too distant time in the future.

 

 

Where do you like to write?

 

I write wherever I am at the time I feel inspired. That is why I have so many notes that I have to organize when I put it together.

 

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

A transatlantic cruise would be a nice place to write because it would be a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

I don’t really have a favorite author, but I enjoy reading good non-fiction books, e.g. “The Hiding Place,” “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” and “Unbroken.”

 

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer and what is your own favorite novel?

 

My favorite novel (if it can be considered a novel) is “The Hiding Place.” I don’t think my book, “Billy’s Story – Every Parent’s Nightmare – The Loss of a Child,” would qualify as a novel.


 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own? 

 

Corrie ten Boom is my favorite character in “The Hiding Place.”

 

 

Why do you call this character your favorite?

 

She is my favorite character because she was so human, and yet so spiritual.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

I am not an avid reader, so a book has to really peak my interest for me to even purchase it and read it. But if I find such a book, I will stay up until the wee hours reading it.


 

Are there other writers in your family?  Tell us a little about them.

 

My cousin, Ron Levinson, is a professional writer. He used to be a producer and writer for Hollywood, but now is an independent writer. Most recently, Ron wrote "Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior," the powerful memoir of General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during 9/11, and one of the leading military figures of our time. President Clinton called the book “well-written, bluntly honest and genuinely educational.”

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

I anticipate that my next book will be available in about two years.

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

If you decide to self-publish, do a lot of research on it, and ask people who have done that before for advice. I purchased the services of a publisher to take care of a lot of the details of publishing, e.g. obtaining the ISBN from the Library of Congress, printing, editing, etc., and I could have saved a lot of money by doing that myself.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

The best way to contact me is through my website: billysstory.com. You can also connect with me on Twitter at: @golightjl and on Linkedin under: Judith Golightly and on Facebook under: Billy’s Story

 

 

What do you like to hear back from the readers that helps you in your writing?

 

I like constructive criticism, e.g. what they found meaningful and what could be improved upon.

 

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

My daughter.

 

 

On a more personal note, where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

 

I was born and raised in the St. Louis area. I am sure that living in a mid-western city had an impact on my life and how I wrote. I had excellent teachers in school who emphasized good grammar and creative writing styles. That was a positive influence.

 

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

 

I spent most of my life in Missouri

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing?

 

Definitely, the death of my first son was the catalyst to my writing my first book. 

 

 

 Tell us a little more about yourself.

 

I graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. I worked for the U.S. Government in Army Aviation for over 30 years and for Boeing for 8 years. I am married and have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Occasionally I sing in my church choir, and I like to travel.

 

 

Thank you again for taking the time to allow our readers to get to know you.  It has been a pleasure, Judith  Golightly.  We will be looking forward to hearing more from you through future writing.  God bless you and your work.




August 26, 2015

May I please introduce you to my author for this week…

Patricia Bradley

Patricia is one of my fellow authors on Facebook and someone with whom I personally am interested in getting to know better.  Hope you will join me as we find out more about this interesting lady.

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

It was 1980, and I couldn’t sleep at night. One night as I stared at the ceiling, a man appeared in my mind. He was looking out a window on a grayish, smoke-stack filled scene, and he said, “This is not the way I thought it would end.” From that moment on, a desire to write took root in my heart.

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

Five years.

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

I didn’t know how to write. I knew I could be a writer and that I had a good story, but it was only after studying the craft that I received the tools I needed to tell the story.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

From 1980 to 2013. Thirty-three years. However, I didn’t start writing novels until around 1995. I wrote two that will NEVER see the light of day. But, most of the characters from those two books have made their way into my later ones. And I took off 6 years to work with teens in the abstinence program.

That said, I started Shadows Of the Past in 2007. The first chapter won first place in the inspirational category of Georgia’s RWA contest. The judge who awarded me first place was an editor at Harlequin, and since I’d won a critique from her at their conference, I sent it to her. It came back bleeding. So I sought out someone who could teach me the craft of writing. That turned out to be Susan May Warren. I attended 4 of her Deep Thinkers retreats as well as attended her Monday night teaching chats. That’s where I learned to write.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

Traditional, although I will have a short novella in an Indie published anthology with eleven other Harlequin Heartwarming authors.

 

What is your genre? 

I write romantic suspense for Revell and sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming.

 

How many books have your written? 

I’ve written six books, four for Revell and two for Harlequin. I’m starting my seventh book, a romantic suspense about cold cases set in Memphis.

 

Have you written anything else?

I’ve written magazine articles for Country Living, Woman’s World and a couple of other magazines, and I blog at www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  Whom would you like to play the leads?

YES! Anyone they chose. Lol. When I was writing the book that just released, Gone Without a Trace,  I envisioned the Brazilian soccer player Kaka as the hero, Alex Jennings.

 

Here’s the back cover blurb for Gone Without a Trace:

Gone without a Trace

A Novel

Patricia Bradley

 

The past is repeating itself—and time is running out

 

It’s been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds’s cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator’s missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her after killing a teenager in the line of duty and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she’s finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she’ll have to find a way to work with Alex—before it’s too late.

 

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case—and a relationship—that is anything but certain.

 

 

Where were you born?  Where did you grow up?  Did this have any bearing on how or what you write about?

I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and have lived most of my life in North Mississippi, about 2 hours from Oxford. I think it has a great bearing on what I write—Southern, small town and soon to be big city settings.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

All of them! Although I’ve never killed anyone. Lol

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

I’ve experienced so much and those experiences have given me a well of emotions to draw from for my characters.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

That it’s a gift from God and without His creativity, I can’t write one thing. That and how long traditional publishing takes. Lol

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

I want to grow as a writer. To weave metaphors and symbols in my writing.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

Eight to ten hours a day, but usually not that many at the computer—unless I’m on deadline. Writing is also about thinking and working out problems. The story is always on my mind—at the grocery, when I exercise, when I’m driving…

 

Where do you like to write, office, patio, living room, bedroom, garden, etc.?

All of the above. Six months of the year, I start out each morning on my deck, where I am right now, with my laptop. When it gets too hot, I save everything to Dropbox and go to my office and pick up on my iMac desktop. Then, later in the day, I might move to the living room.

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

I have a Harlequin Heartwarming book, The Christmas Campaign, coming out November 1. Then, my fourth book in the Logan Point series will release May 8, 2016, and January 1, 2017, my first book in the Cold Case series will release.

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

The guy I’ve been dating for the past 17 years.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

I was a reader before I was a writer. I love to read.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

My favorite author is always the one I’m currently reading.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

Study the craft so that you will be where you need to be when God opens the door, and don’t give up.  Realize it’s never too late to become a writer.

 

Tell us a little more about yourself personally.

I have two grown daughters and two grandchildren and one great! I live in North Mississippi with Suzy, my rescue kitty,

and am a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. I love writing romance and suspense. I teach writing workshops and have taught two online courses with American Christian Fiction Writers and workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN. When I have time, I like to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

www.patriciabradleyauthor.com
www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
https://twitter.com/PTBradley1
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

 

Thank you for this opportunity to connect with readers!

 

Thank you, Patricia Bradly, for your time and the opportunity to present you, the author, and your work.  We will be expecting even more great writing from you in the future.



August 19, 2015

My author interview today is with a lady who did the very first author interview on me.  She is the one who inspired me to start doing interviews myself.  Allow me to introduce you to…

 


Patti J. Smith

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

 


Writing has been a love of mine since I was a child.  I am a great proponent of journaling and it was because of that I decided to pursue publishing my journey from sin to redemption … an effort to give women light at the end of the tunnel.  During that process, I began using my life experience as a basis for individual devotionals.  My personal testimony as well as four of my devotionals are in “Moments with God” (paperback and e-book) and are also available in e-book format separately.

 

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I am published through the Christian publisher, Helping Hands Press. 

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

I have learned that the author community is one of camaraderie.  I have not met one author that hasn’t been willing to provide advice, constructive criticism and encouragement in my writing endeavors.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

I have two … James Patterson who is one of the best crime writers out there and Scott Hahn who writes about the Catholic faith.

 

 

What is your genre and do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

Some of my author friends call me Dr. Jekyll and Patti J. Smith!  I started out with Christian devotionals…

 

       


 

…but with encouragement from my publisher, I have branched out to suspense/mystery and light romance.  I find moving from one genre to the next keeps my work from becoming stale.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

Absolutely.  Not only do I enjoy reading, but it is an important tool in improving my writing skills.

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

 

Dallas Keegan is a detective in my Grave Obsessions series.  She is like many of us trying to find the good in life, amongst all the darkness, through faith. 

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  

 

I really don’t have aspirations, but I wouldn’t refuse!  (LOL) 

 

 

Whom would you like to play the leads?

 

I see Sandra Bullock as Dallas Keegan and Kyra Sedgewick as her partner, Twyla Worley. 

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

I try to write five to six hours on most days (actually, I write in the middle of the night to avoid distractions). 

 

 

Where do you like to write?

 

You can find me in my recliner in the living room.  I have also gone to Mission San Luis Rey during their “Quiet Mondays” and used one of their guest rooms. 

 

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

 

One of my favorites (I have so many) is “The Thornbirds” by Colleen McCullough.

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Be fearless, write from the heart and reach out to other authors.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

Visit me at my blog:  http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
Visit my author's page: http://amazon.com/author/pattijsmith 
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/gridirongranny
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/gridirongranny5
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/gridirongranny
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/giridirongranny

 

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or what you write about?

 

I was born in Wimpole Park, England.  My father in the Air Force and we lived in England, Morocco, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington State.  I don’t think my childhood travels have any bearing on how or what I write, but my adult experiences definitely do. 

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

The greatest experience that contributed to my writing is when I finally accepted Christ into my life. 

 

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

 

My life experiences are lessons I can share with others … as a way to prevent them from making the same mistakes and give hope to those who sadly followed in my former footsteps.

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself personally.

 

I worked for the federal government as an auditor for the Department of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, as an Elementary School Office Manager for the San Jacinto Unified School District, served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserves and recently retired as a background investigator.

I am a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, Associate of the Order of St. Luke the Physician, serve as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Co-lead Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats. I publicly share my story of redemption in a variety of venues, have been a guest on Sacred Heart and Blogtalk Radio and appear in the newly-released documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles”.


I live in Vista, CA with my husband and we have been blessed with two beautiful granddaughters. I'm a prolific blogger and reader and proudly admit to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. My travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

 

 

Thank you for allowing me to interview you, Patti.  You are one very interesting lady.  I wish you all the best in your writing and will be looking forward to hearing from you regarding new publications.

 




August 12, 2015

It is my privilege today to introduce you to…

Talia Carner

 


 

Talia is one of the many talented authors whom I have enjoyed learning about on Facebook.  And now, we will all learn even more about this lovely lady together.

 

 

Talia, what and how have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

 

In the late 1980s-early 1990s, while running my marketing consulting firm for Fortune 500 companies, I was also a volunteer counselor for the Small Business Administration, specifically for women’s programs in New York. That’s how I was tapped in 1993 by the US Information Agency to fly to Russia to teach women business skills. After the fall of communism these were survival skills they sorely needed, and indeed, my first trip in May 1993 was an amazing, eye-opening—and very gratifying-- experience.  I met a highly educated group of women; many were doctors and engineers, who were essentially reduced by Soviet shortages to becoming “hunters and gathers.”  Furthermore, with the fall of communism, the country’s legal system was obliterated.  Women lost their minimum 1/3 quota of representation in the Duma, the Russian parliament, as well as social safety nets such as school lunches for children and whatever medical services had been available in a country that never had Aspirin or Band-Aids in its stores.  Speaking to these female professionals and learning their stories left a lasting impression upon me. 

          Six months later, I was excited to return, but unfortunately, I landed in Moscow only two hours after the uprising against the president, Boris Yeltsin had begun.  In the coming three days I asked ‘too many’ questions of our handlers who denied that anything was going on.  “It was all Western propaganda,” they said about CNN accounts we received from home.  By some twists of events, the militia came after me, threatening me with jail.  After the U.S. Embassy whisked me out of the country, the 23-page report I wrote to the USIA launched my writing career.  

 

 

What is your genre? 

 

My stories are all social issues painted on large international canvases.  The topics that I’ve written about it, such as infanticide or women’s lives in oppressive societies grab a hold on me until I must write about each.  With research and numerous editing and revisions, each novel takes about five years from start to finish. 


          The plot of a story emerges naturally by placing a character in particular settings and under certain conditions.  This character reacts to the events in a particular way that is cohesive to her personality and values.  For my latest book, Hotel Moscow, I had the idea about a New York liberal Jewish woman who is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.  I wanted to juxtapose her feelings of being “Holocausted-out” against blatant anti-Semitism, so I sent her to Russia, using my previous experiences, and then I followed her journey to see how the plot would develop.  When I write, I am in a dream-like trance, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and smelling the scents and I let my fingers record the events.  

 

 

Do you think you may write in another genre at some point?

 

          I keep surprising myself, but right now a story that interests me is one where the human spirit rises above the forces that control our lives, be it psychological, economical, geographical, religious or political.  It’s the trials and tribulations along the way, with some surprising twists, that make a compelling read—and writing.

 

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

 

Honing the fine craft of pacing, dialogue, scenes and characterization.  Writing a novel is always an exhilarating process as I embark on the journey with the protagonist.  Since I do not map out the plot, I encounter the hurdles, agonize over the events, and discover the social issues along with my protagonist.  I cry and laugh with her, literally.  Whenever the reader is surprised by a twist in the plot, it is also a point where I, the author, was taken by surprise.  In my early novels, the protagonist could lead me into side scenes irrelevant to the story line.  Luckily, I am no longer easily led into such blind alleys.  Even though the protagonist is her own person, she is reined in to the immediate development of events.  The result is that I do less complete restructuring of the entire novel even as I go through numerous revisions and rewrites.

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own, and why do you call this character your favorite?

 

As Talia, the person, I am still yet to appear in any of my books.  I am forever an observer—or even an involved instigator—but I do not write about myself as one of the characters that populate my stories.  In the case of HOTEL MOSCOW, the Russian women I met in Moscow and St. Petersburg reminded me of the valiant women of my own family, and I felt an incredible bond with them across the language barrier.  Their food was familiar to me, and in my youth I danced the hora to their songs because they had been translated to Hebrew(!)  When we couldn’t speak, we hugged.

          I feel that I possess some of Olga’s courage to fight for justice.  I admire her willingness to take risks in order to make her country a better place for her granddaughter—and for other women.  I also identify with Brooke's vulnerability: she seems like someone who has it all: a privileged, successful New York executive, pretty and poised.  But she carries the burden of her sad childhood and walks as if surrounded by the bubble of air of her parents’ tragedies.  Also, Brooke is forgiving toward Svetlana, instinctively rather than intentionally, because her Jewish values seep through.  I love her for it.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

The worst advice ever given to authors is “Write what you know.”  Most of us would barely fill one book with our knowledge.  Or, new authors throw everything they know into one book—whether it is relevant to the story and moves it along--or not.  Instead, research what you don’t know, but when discovering the issue, the time, or the place with the protagonist, you will be greatly enriched.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

My website, www.TaliaCarner.com is chock full of interesting material—including contact information.  Besides an extensive list of personal appearances, where readers can meet me in person and hear me give thought-provoking speeches (I find “readings” to be boring,) I participate in many book group meetings via phone or Skype.  Book groups are welcome to e-mail me to check my availability.  Actually, there is no greater pleasure for an author than to share her work with engaged readers.


 

Thank you for this wonderful look into Talia Carner, the author.  You certainly have had many interesting experiences to share with readers in your stories.  We wish you all the best.  God bless you and your writing.




August 5, 2015

Today I have a new acquaintance to feature on my Introducing Writers and Authors page.  Her name is Karen Witemeyer, but she is quickly becoming a friend.  I think she will to you too, after you read more about her.  

I met Karen through a reader/friend of mine and became friends with her on Facebook.  Ever since then, I have been 

enjoying learning more about her.  Now it’s your turn.

 

I introduce to you …


Author, Karen Witemeyer

 

 

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

Six years. I first got serious about writing for publication in 2003. I started with short fiction pieces (children's Bible stories for Clubhouse Jr. Magazine) and first person narratives (think Chicken Soup for the Soul kinds of articles).  Then I moved on to longer stories, studying as much as I could about the craft of fiction.  Finally in 2007, I had my first novel completed and ready to pitch at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference.  I got a request from a publisher and was so excited.  Then came the rejection letter.  However, as far as rejections go, this one was pretty good.  They said they turned down my project because it was too similar to something else they recently published, but they invited me to submit again when I had another manuscript ready.  By the 2008 conference, I had a new manuscript and the first chapter of a third.  In January 2009, Bethany House offered me a three-book contract.  In 2010, my first novel hit the shelves.

         Karen’s debut novel:   A Tailor-Made Bride


Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

Traditional.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

It's hard to pick a single favorite. Some of the Christian authors I enjoy reading are Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Dani Pettry.

 

 

What is your genre, and do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

I write Christian Historical Romance.  I doubt I will ever write anything else.  I've always been in love with historical books.  From Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables when I was a girl, to all the historical romances I read as a young adult and still continue to read today.  It is my favorite genre to read.  I rarely read anything else.  It's my escape.  There is a fairy-tale feel to it that I love.  Maybe it's the big dresses.  Ha! Because I'm so passionate about it as a reader, I can't imagine writing in a genre that wasn't my first love. 

 

 

How many books have your written? 

 

I've had 7 full-length novels published along with 2 novellas.  I'm contracted for three more books and two more novellas, so hopefully I will continue to build a library of work from here.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

Very much so.  It is my favorite hobby.  I always have a book going as well as an audio book.  I listen to the audio book when I'm doing chores around the house or while getting ready in the morning, and the regular books are for unwinding in the evening.

 

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

If I were to pick a writing hideaway, I would love a cabin up in the mountains surrounded by forest.  There should be a path to a lake where I can stroll and look at wildflowers and another path that leads to a secluded waterfall where I can bask in God's majesty.  How could I not be inspired in such a place?  Of course, I would also need a top notch Internet connection and options for takeout when I don't feel like cooking. Ha!

 

Interviewers comment:  I want to go, I want to go!  WOW, what a word picture.  Thank you, Karen for the image.  Readers, I would take this as an example of what you will find in Karen’s books.  


 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

My most recent novel just came out in June – A Worthy Pursuit. It features a bounty hunter on the trail of a kidnapper and a teacher on the run trying to protect the children in her care from the wealthy man who will stop at nothing to control them.

 

In January 2016, there will be a follow-up novella that carries over with two of the secondary characters from A Worthy Pursuit. The title is The Husband Maneuver and it will be part of a collection called On Bended Knee: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry. Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears all have stories in the collection as well. It should be a really fun read!

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

The best place to find me online is my website – www.karenwitemeyer.com.

You can also find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KarenWitemeyersAuthorPage

and Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3114906.Karen_Witemeyer.

 

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

When it comes to spiritual themes in my books, I always draw from things either I or people close to me are struggling with.  Even mature believers falter from time to time, and I certainly have plenty of room to grow in my faith journey.  For
example, in my second book, Head in the Clouds, my heroine struggles to wait on the Lord's timing instead of moving ahead with her own plans. I wrote this book while I was still unpublished and playing the waiting game.
 I questioned my path many times.  You'll also see themes of submitting fully to God, trusting him, and not worrying.  Forgiving others and ourselves for past wrongs and not being judgmental.  Offering hospitality even when it doesn't come naturally.  All of these themes are sore places in my spiritual growth.  In order to make my characters feel real, I give them real faith issues that I struggle with myself.  That's when I feel God's presence most closely while I'm writing.  I know he is teaching me and training my spirit, and I pray the process proves encouraging and perhaps even challenging to my readers as they strive to grow closer to Christ in their own lives.

 

 

Thank you for a look into your life as an author, and for telling us a little about your work.  Thank you also for sharing how God has worked in your life as an author.  We will look forward to seeing more from you, Karen Witemeyer.

 

 

July 29, 2015

This week’s Interview will be with someone whom I met on LinkedIn in the PenandPaperWorld Group.  She has become a good friend and has spurred me on with her encouragement.

 

Allow me to introduce you to…

 


Patricia Yeager

 

Okay…so let’s get started with our interview.  I know you are all wanting to learn more about this wonderful lady, affectionately known as Pat.

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author, and why?

I'm not sure when I wanted to become an author.  However, as a child I remember thinking of stories in my head that I would like to read in a book.  I must be honest; I did not give a lot of thought to writing them myself.  Reminiscent of people who have a creative mind, I did not believe in myself enough to think I could write what was crowding my mind.

I came from a huge family, the fifteenth of sixteen children, where survival and serious hard work was the only thing supporting in our family.  Like everyone, I had responsibilities and very little time to participate in anything outside of home and school.  Discussing my thoughts and stories did not exist.

Eventually, my fourth grade class was given an assignment to write a poem then, and so I did.  I remember the poem was a grace, a prayer, and my teacher so touched by it, asked if she might keep it.  That may have been the beginning of knowing I could do something.

Life happened and years passed.  The stories in the treasure chest of my mind continued to manifest inside and finally, a picture I found of my beloved mother when she was a young girl inspired me to write her story.

 


Taken from whispers I heard all of my life by my older siblings, and my mother’s picture, I wrote my first novel, Before the Rooster Crowed. 

 

At this time, I am in the process of formatting my 351 pg. novel, seeking publishing for my true labor of love.  

 

Having written her story gave me complete realization and understanding of a mother's struggle for the love of her children both spiritual and physical in a time when survival was essential for family

 

 

 Note from interviewer:  Patricia has not chosen a cover picture for her book as yet.  



How long did it take you to write your first book?

Not published yet, however it took eleven years to write.

 

Are you looking to be published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

I would like to see my book published traditionally.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

Writing is a hard job.  Harder than most things I've attempted and I have raised five children.  The hours, patience, knowledge, and grit of sticking with it is a huge strain on oneself and family.  Still, writing is something I cannot, not do.

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

I honestly can say, I don't look for ways to change my writing.  I like it as it is and that comes from learning and practice

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

Like everyone, I have many.  My ultimate favorite is PAT CONROY.  His stories touch me and can even take me home, back to my own childhood.

 

What is your genre, and do you think you may write in another at some point?

I write drama, historical fiction, and romance when I'm in the mood.  Lately I am working on articles for magazines concerning children's depression, recovery, etc.  I also write short stories and poetry.

 

How many books have your written? 

One novel completed, working on a romance.

 

Have you written anything else?

Lots of things, however not worthy of publishing.  Mostly personal wedding, retirement, or funeral poems for someone who asks.

 

Do you have a biggest fan

My daughter, Joan.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

When I was younger, I read quite a bit.  Now however, I cannot seem to fit a lot of reading in.  If something catches my attention, I will take a look.

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

I do have several favorites in Before the Rooster Crowed.  A secondary character named Chloe, a turn of the twentieth century ex slave midwife who delivered Meagan, my main character during a time of southern manors and wealth of white men.  Steeped in her religion of voodoo, and being a freed slave, she holds no punches knowing she is a commodity in the south where no doctors are readily available.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?

I would love to have my book made into a movie.  The way of life depicted in the time, post-Civil War, turn of the century, WWl, into The Great Depression, is a story of survival through immense measures in a day when the struggle was to live, not so much to build great wealth in order to live beyond ones needs.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

It depends.  There are days when I'm alone, I write from morning to night.  Other times a few hours a day.  I try to be respectful of other’s needs.

 

Where do you like to write?

I have a small room where I escape whenever I want to write or be alone.  Decorated my way and a bit girly.

Interviewer’s comment:   Nothing wrong with “girly.”  After all…we are girls.  Hee hee hee

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

Nowhere really.  I'm pretty much a home body.

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.  Like my sister-in-law-says, his words are delicious.

 

Are there other writers in your family? 

No, none at all?

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

The editing and research.  Also, the first time Before the Rooster Crowed was near completion, my computer crashed and I lost the entire story.  I was not learned or sophisticated enough to know I should have made copies.  So, I did what I do and started over from scratch, and this time saved and made copies.

Interviewer’s comment:  Ah…the “learning-from-experience” experience.  Been there many times, Pat, so don’t feel bad.  I’ve done many a redo.  Not the whole story but many of my self-editing sections, when I’ve forgotten to save or copy my work.  Bummer!

 

When do you think your book will come out?

As soon as I can find a publisher.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

If writing is your passion, do it.  Do not listen to naysayers, and they are out there.  Believe in yourself above all and go for it.  God don't make no junk, and you are no junk.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

Email:  psyeag29@gmail.com

I would love to fill my mailbox with letters and queries and push out all the junk.

 

Now I think our readers would like to know a little more about you personally, Pat.

 

Where were you born?  Where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

Born in Virginia, lived in Virginia all my life, mostly on a farm with eight of my sixteen siblings, when I was a child.  This only has bearing on my Memoir, Where Were You, God?  Which is a work in progress.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

Too many to name.  Living on a farm mostly, dealing with family issues and ADD struggles throughout school, and later surviving an abusive marriage.

 

Tell us a little more about Patricia Yeager, your family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.

Mother of five grown children, fifteen grandchildren (yeah, I know :), married to Dave for forty-one years, no it hasn't been easy, but you do what you have to do to make things work and I never give up.  I am blessed.  I love crafting just about anything, including purses and jewelry.  My daughter calls me Little Martha Stewart.  Flower gardening is where I find peace.  I am a Christian and I believe The Lord loves me as much as I love Him.  I try very hard not to let Him down.  I am a multi colored box of crayons and I love life.  I don't need much to make me happy, just love of family, friends, encouragement, and my Yorky, Molly.

 

I can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Would love to hear from you.

 

Thank you, Pat, for a wonderful interview, looking into the work and life of Patricia Yeager.  I learned many things I did not know about you until now.  I sincerely hope you find your publisher, and have great success with your books. 

 

I have to tell our readers that you have been such a blessing to me since I first met you and you are always ready to give encouragement.  Therefore, if any of you would-be writers out there need to get your own ball rolling, Pat is a perfect person for you to contact.  She will indeed spur you on in your endeavor.

 

We will be looking for Before the Rooster Crows and much more from you, Pat.  God bless you.





July 22, 2015

Today’s interview will be with another of my more recent LinkedIn contacts.

 

Rebecka Vigus, Author

 

Affectionately labeled Duchess by a dear cousin of hers when she lived in an old farmhouse on what the neighbors called lilac hill.  She said, and I quote, “…was nicknamed Lady Rebecka, Duchess of Lilac and the Duchess part has stuck…although my 26th great grandfather was William the Conqueror).

   

Okay, so let us get started with the interview…

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why? 

I was told by a teacher when I was ten years old, with my imagination he would one day see me in books.  I believe him.

 


How long did it take you to publish your first book?

I typed, printed and had bound my first book of poetry in 1978. It was titled, Only a Start. There were fifty copies and most were given away.  I republished it through a vanity press in 2004 as Only a Start and Beyond.

 


What is your genre and do you think you may write in another at some point?

I currently write mystery/thriller/suspense.  I have delved into children’s literature and hope to do more of it.  I think something historical in an earlier era would be something I’d like to try.  I’ve also written a self-help book.


 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

I am an Indie published author.  I went with a small press and it was a disaster.

The small press was Unforgettable Books Inc.  Just before my second book in my series came out, they broke my contract and shut their doors.  They paid my royalties for 2012; however, I have not seen a dime since.  While the person I worked with there is super, she too was given the boot.  They have cheated her out of money, too.  The book I had with them Cold Case: Sleeping Dogs Lie has been pulled and is being re-released through Lilac Publishing in a few weeks.  It will be Rivers Edge, the original title of the book and have a new cover and interior thanks to my design team Blue Harvest Creative.

 

My poetry book and the self-help book were done through Infinity Press who is a vanity press.  They are my live and learn books. 





What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

My writing changes from book to book.  Each one is an improvement on the last.  It is a growing experience.

 




How many total books, poems, etc. have your written?  

I have written two ebook short stories, a book of poetry, a self-help book, a children’s book, a spin-off short story, a novella, and five novels.  For a grand total of eleven.

Mystery/suspense/thriller books are Broken Chains, Out of the Flames, Crossing the Line, Sanctuary and Escape.  Target of Vengeance is getting a new cover so I don't have a picture to send you at this time. Secrets will be getting a new cover, but I will attach the current one.

   
   
   
      -

               

 

                        

  



  And newly released, The Heir.   






      
         
                       

  



   The children's literature is a spin-off of Sanctuary, titled Of Moombeams and Fairies Collected     Tales.





Have you written anything else?

I write a blog: www.ramblingsbyrebecka.blogspot.com

And I write articles for hubpages.com

 

 

            (So those of you who are reading here will know, you can read some of her articles at this direct site:              http://duchessoflilac1.hubpages.com/I will also add here that I enjoy your pages, Rebecka.

 



How much time do you spend writing each day?

Do e-mails count?  It depends on the day of the week.  I might spend an hour and I might be getting into a groove and write eight or ten hours.  I have no set schedule.

 


How long did it take you to write your first novel?

My first novel was written in 21 days during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  It was nowhere near ready for publication, but it was written.

 


What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

Finding the right approach.  I had two other starts before I settled on the one which actually propelled the novel to completion.

 


Where were you born, where did you grow up, spend most of your life, and did this have any bearing on how or what you write about?

I was born in Flint, Michigan.  I grew up in the suburbs of Flint, more rural.  I’m not sure it has impacted my writing, but I could be wrong.  I do write about small town living and rural areas.  Until this past April, my entire life was spent in Michigan

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

Several life experiences have added to what I write.  Being a single mom, having a stalker, just life in general, the day-to-day normalcy we live in being torn apart by tragedy, natural disasters, or anything else which interrupts the routine.  I think all writers bring something of themselves into their writing making it richer.  I’d like to think some of the things I’ve gone through have helped to enrich my writing.

 


Where do you like to write?

Ideally, I’d like a library, study, or den in my home.  However, I am in an apartment right now so I do my writing on the daybed, which serves as my sofa.

 


If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

To just write?  I would have to think about it.  For travel I would say the Maldive Islands.  To write would be near the beach where I could walk before or after writing to recharge.

 

Are there other writers in your family?

No other writers I know of, however my grandfather on Dad’s side was a wonderful storyteller.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

Find a day job.  Writing will not pay off to begin with.  Keep writing.  Find a writers’ group who will give you honest feedback and help you grow.  Don’t be afraid to attend a writers’ conference even if you haven’t written anything.  I could suggest three: Midwest Writers’ Workshop, the third weekend in July at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  The networking, as sessions are a more than what you pay; Iowa Summer Writing Festival, at the University of Iowa, you can do weekends, week-long, or go hang out for the summer.  I wish I had attended more than once.  Finally, The Writers’ Police Academy, limited to 150 participants.  If you are writing anything police procedural, this is where you need to go.

 


When do you think your next book will come out?

I have an ebook short story releasing soon.  Two of my novels are in for redo, and will be re-released this year.  I am working on book four in the Macy McVannel series, hopefully it will be finished by the end of the year for release in 2016.

 


Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  Whom would you like to play the leads?

I don’t know about a movie, maybe a TV series.  If my Macy McVannel series were going to be a TV series, I’d like an unknown actress.  I have a former student who is a model who would be perfect.

 


Are you an avid reader yourself?

So much so, my brother once said the world could be collapsing around me and I’d never even know.  Mom even gave me a sleep shirt which says: Goes to bed with a different author every night.   Maybe not every night but close.

 


Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

My answer to this is the one I am currently reading.  As I read all the time, I have no real favorite.  I have my go to authors, but I’m always looking for something different.

 


What is your favorite novel from another writer?

From another writer, again the one I am reading now.  Too many writers to pick just one.

 


What is your own favorite novel?

As to my own, I am most partial to Sanctuary, book three in the Macy McVannel series.  It was written in third person so you get a more rounded look at Macy and it introduces Danielle Montgomery who could be a series all on her own.

 


Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

No, one character leaps out at me as a favorite.  Mostly because I love so many of them (Mine and others).  I look for characters who are flawed, yet don’t let the flaw become a hindrance.  They function well, even with human frailties.

 


Do you have a biggest fan?

Not sure.  My mom is my biggest cheerleader followed closely by Dad.  I have non-family fans, not sure who the biggest one is.

 


                                And now to learn a little more of the personal side of Rebecka Vigus…

 


Tell us a little about yourself personally.

I’m the eldest of four and grew up in a middle class family.  I am the mother of one and grandmother of two.  I spend my time reading, writing, crocheting, hiking, and swimming.  I don’t have any pets and like it as it is.  I don’t have to find a pet sitter when I want to travel.  I have a multitude of friends, some close, some here for the moment.  I know without them, I would not survive.

 


Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

Twitter @RebeckaVigus, facebook.com/Rebecka Vigus-Author, southern_belle2013@yahoo.com

 


And here are some other places where you readers can learn more about Rebecka Vigus, Author. 

http://www.ramblingsbyrebecka.blogspot.com/ 

http://duchessoflilac1.hubpages.com/ 

http://rebeckavigus.wix.com/penadream#

http://www.bhcauthors.com/ click authors at the top

https://www.facebook.com/RebeckaVigusAuthor?fref=ts

 


Thank you, Rebecka for this peek into your life as an author, and your work.  I’ve enjoyed learning more about you, as I’m sure my followers have.  We will look forward to more from…

Rebecka Vigus, Author







July 15, 2015

Today I'd like to introduce to one of the most interesting people I know.
Alan O'Reilly

Alan O' Reilly is the author of two WW2 fact-based novels entitled 'Sound of Battle' and ‘Desired Haven,’ which look at the impact of Christianity on both men and women in war.  He is an independent (Indie) author, as are a lot of us today, published through Llumina Press.

 

Alan is also a dear friend of mine, someone who I refer to as my big brother (one I’ve never personally met but have corresponded with for many years, over the “Pond”).  He is the person responsible for my becoming an author in the first place, contributed greatly to my own stories, and who proofreads for me (although I missed getting my MS to him on my last book and have regretted it ever since…sorry ‘bout that Alan). 

 

Welcome to my website and to the Facebook Group Forum: Writers and Authors…

 

Author of Sound of Battle, and Desired Haven

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

Specifically it was after a Holts Battlefield Tour to Arnhem in about 1984.  Major Tonie and Mrs Valmai Holt have retired from leading the tours but the organisation continues http://holts.co.uk/.  They really pioneered that kind of tour in this country and they are excellently well run.  I came away from the tour minded to write the work that you see described on the BBC Radio Stoke site (Sound of Battle, see below). 

 

I think this link says it all for me http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/features/2005/02/sound_of_battle.shtml

Readers, in case you have problems opening that link, I’ve copied and printed below (with Alan’s permission) what it says

 

“I came to England from Australia in 1978 to work for ICI on Teesside. Two years later, I got married and still live in this country, in spite of the winters!

 

Soon after my arrival, I visited Staffordshire; and have vivid memories of Cannock Chase and the Roaches.

 

They struck me as areas of outstanding natural beauty and when, after a visit to the WW2 battlefield areas of Arnhem in Holland, I decided to write a fact-based novel about wartime, it seemed right to include those areas in the book.

 

I reckoned that the main male character should be an athletic type who regularly ran the Roaches and subsequently trains on the Chase as an infantryman.

 

Christian soldier

My character later transfers to the Parachute Regiment and sees action in North Africa, Sicily and at Arnhem during the 'Market Garden' operation, where he must reconcile his Christian beliefs with the hideous principle of 'killed or be killed' in desperate, close quarter fighting.

 

That reconciliation is achieved largely through the knowledge that his comrades-in-arms depend on him, as he does on them, for sheer survival.

 

At times, that most basic of instincts can eclipse the strongest faith and lay bare our raw humanity.

 

‘Sound of Battle...’

The title Sound of Battle is drawn from the Bible text, Jeremiah 50:22: "A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction"

 

Jeremiah alludes to what is often the ordinary soldier's most distressing experience and indeed one of the cruellest of weapons used against him, the very sound of modern warfare, from shattering bombardments and the savage clatter of Spandau fire to the pitiful cries of friends wounded, dying or unhinged.

 

The book does have its gentler side, in the form of the main female character who becomes a Queen Alexandra's army nursing Sister but she too must strive to keep trusting in God's mercy when confronted with shockingly wounded men from the battlefront.

 

Not an easy task, especially when one's fiancé is posted Missing In Action.

 

Staffordshire memories

The late Mr George Leigh, formerly of Stafford, who served with the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, provided me with invaluable first-hand material for the campaigns in North Africa and Sicily.

 

For recollections of the 'Market Garden' operation, I was extremely fortunate during my Arnhem tour to meet a Mr Bill Croft, long-time resident of Tean (near Cheadle in North Staffordshire) who served with the 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards, all the way from Normandy to Germany itself.

 

When Bill's battalion arrived at Sandbostel Concentration Camp in about May 1945, he recalled that the first thing he saw was "a long grey mound, like the ash heaps back home."

 

It turned out to be a pile of decomposing bodies.

 

Bill passed away last December, aged 91. (from the article dated, February 2005)

 

A lasting tribute

Sadly, the WW2 generation is passing from the scene and I like to think that 'Sound of Battle' will help to commemorate the efforts of Bill, George and others like them, to whom we will always be indebted”

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

The practicality notwithstanding, you can never do too much proof-reading.  It’s natural to want to get your work off to the publisher asap but it’s always worth doing an extra proof-reading even if you think you don’t need it.

 

The only thing worse than seeing you left out a ‘the’ (the tendency is usually to omit) or used an s instead of an a or vice versa (the letters are next to each other on the keyboard) in your printed copy is having someone else tell you you did it.

He’s picking on me here because I didn’t get my last book to him to proofread before I had it published. (embarrassed)

 

Also, watch out when changes are made to names or descriptions that you take care of all the knock-on effects – you don’t want to end with a Jamaican female with naturally blonde tresses.

There you go picking on me again, Alan.  I’m fixing it, I’m fixing it…soon.  But please do take his advice. 

 

How many books total have your written? 

3 printed books, Sound of Battle, Desired Haven, and "O Biblios" The Book, 2 booklets and a Collected Works CD obtainable from AV Publications http://www.avpublications.com/avnew/home.html, the 2015 Update totaling over 4000 searchable pages.  I have written numerous studies that are downloadable from Bro. Davis’ site http://www.timefortruth.co.uk/why-av-only/  and links, http://www.timefortruth.co.uk/alan-oreilly/

  


Sound of Battle and Desired Haven are both on Kindle now. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sound-Battle-Alan-J-OReilly-ebook/dp/B00YEUMOEM/ref=sr_1_2_twi_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1435420425&sr=8-2

& keywords=sound+of+battle

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Desired-Haven-Alan-J-OReilly-ebook/dp/B00YERQOUK/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1435420288&sr=8-1

& keywords=desired+haven

 

"O Biblios" The Book can be obtained here http://www.covpub.co.uk/search.php?advtype=author&criteria=145

&Submit3=Search. 

However, I strongly recommend the updated edition from Bro. Davis’ site http://www.timefortruth.co.uk/why-av-only/

 



Tell us about some of the other works you have written.

They consist mainly of counters to anti-Biblical writers like James White and others and Q/A studies using lists of questions on Sunday a.m. messages provided by the pastor of the church that we attend.

 

It is always found that the 1611 Holy Bible soundly defeats its critics and that changing words in the AV1611, which no-one has the authority to do, invariably results in a loss of revelation.

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing, aside from the World War II history experience?

While it may seem somewhat removed from real life, having spent most of my working life as a university lecturer, I have had the experience, even if in a different context from the novels, of having to prepare a large amount of written material and try to express it clearly.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day on any of your projects?

It varies.  I usually get started late but probably about 4 hours in total, with breaks.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

E-publishing definitely appears to be the way to go these days.  Once you’ve started, keep going to the end, even if you only get a little done each day.  The web is a great help for matters of detail but sites can become unavailable.  As far as possible, therefore, stick with sites that won’t suddenly disappear.  If you are writing a novel, avoid long descriptive passages, break them up with dialogue but not long speeches.  Finally, one more proof-read is always valuable, even if you don’t think you need it.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

In the realm of Christian-based novels, Sharon K. Connell not only for her original ideas but also for honouring the King James Bible as it should be honoured.  No other writer in this particular genre appears to do so.

 

In the non-fiction realm, in particular for Biblical research and commentary, Sister Riplinger and Dr Ruckman, for their voluminous ground-breaking work and for facing down the multitude of satanic opponents arraigned against them, Mark 5:9, professing Christian fundamentalists foremost.

 

I have to inject a comment here, as I am overwhelmingly humbled by Alan’s comment above.  (I also want to let all of you know that I have run across a few novels where the author has used only the Authorized King James Text, for which I personally am grateful.  So, there are some others out there.)  I thought for sure your favorite author would be J.R.R. Tolkien. 

 

Regarding Tolkien, he was a very good writer but I don’t know if he was ever saved.  I’m not really into fantasy and, good as TLOTR was/is, it’s a secular book like all such and as with all film/movie epics, it goes nowhere.  The real adventure is the 2nd Advent, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, 3:5.  That’s where the action is.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

I’d say I was a steady reader.  I’m not reading any straight fiction atm but am looking forward to Sharon K. Connell’s next work His Perfect Love, which promises to have a distinct identity all its own.

My family, who know me well, have given me books for Christmas and birthdays on Israel, Antarctic exploration, the first governor of the New South Wales, Australia, colony and a concise and well-researched history of the USA.  All of that has been fascinating and informative.  In addition, I’m keeping up the reading of Dr Ruckman’s and Sister Riplinger’s works as well as that of other Bible-believing authors who’ve written books on related subjects.

 

What is your favorite novel and favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

I think Desired Haven is my favourite novel, even though I wrote it myself.  I’d say Captain Steve Graham RE in Desired Haven is my favourite character because he is an engineer as I was.  SPOILER: He also gets the girl who is the main female character in DH

.

Note: I think he’s an excellent choice and so is the book, Alan.  I liked them both.

 Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

I’m on FB https://www.facebook.com/alan.oreilly.58

 

Tell us a little more about yourself.

Personally, not a lot to add really to what’s already been mentioned in other replies.  Being nearly a septuagenarian, I’m a regular at the local gym for my health.  We have a cat who is an habitual hunter and often brings in evidence of his catches but readers seriously don’t want to know any more there.  I like to think that I’m something of a rebuke to the anti-King James Bible originals-onlyist fundamentalist church we attend for now, in my case for the sake of 1-2 folk there who do believe the King James Bible for what it is.

 

As Sharon K. Connell can testify, I regularly keep up with Garfield.  I appreciate various televised documentaries because they take my mind off other things.  Right now, I’m following Weapons That Changed The World because they are a small sample of what the Lord will do with “this present evil world” Galatians 1:4 when He comes back to “put down all rule and all authority and power” 1 Corinthians 15:24 according to Psalm 46:8 “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.”

 

Our two lads, both grown-up and graduates, are saved and going on in the scriptures and we trust that they will be like King David of whom the LORD “gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” Acts 13:22. 

 

Readers, I have read both of Alan’s excellent novels and found them exciting and well written.  That said from someone who normally does not read war stories, says a lot.  I found it fascinating to read about the U.S. Forces from a Brit’s point of view.  In addition, the faith in God shown in these tales, based on real experiences, was a boost to my own faith.  I would like to see another book from you Alan. 

 

I have also read most of Alan’s other writings which are excellent, although very in-depth studies and not for the casual reader.  If you are looking for truth about what is happening in our world, look at some of his other writings.  They are real revelations.

 

Thank you again for allowing me to interview you, Alan.  As always, it was a blessing and a learning experience.  You encourage me with your faith, straightforward testimony, and honesty.




July 8, 2015

This week I am introducing Elaine Stock, one of my contacts on Twitter and a friend on Facebook


 

Elaine Stock, Author

 

Elaine, welcome to my website and the Facebook Group Forum, Writers and Authors.  We are so happy to get to know more about you and your work.  So…let’s jump right in and get started with questions and answers.

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

I was born in Brooklyn, NY. My family “neighborhood-hopped” as each neighborhood got progressively bad (this was a while back, before it was thought fashionable to even live in Bklyn!) I was raised in one of the world’s largest cities at a crucial time in history, with the Vietnam War and changing civil rights as my background. Add a few hippie (though they were my parents generation, not mine) chants for peace and love, and the great MLK’s demonstrations for rights, and I see a distinct influence on the themes of my novels.  However, my family moved north when it came time for me to enter high school, to a NYC suburb.  I was then fortunate enough to get a flavor of small town life/rural living, which has also added and shaped my writing.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing?

I truly don’t mean to bring negative or pity-party attention toward me, but I had a difficult and unstable childhood.  As the great Nora Roberts has said, since writing is cheaper than psychotherapy, I write… and often my characters come from either dark backgrounds or have a significant amount to overcome.  Yet, since I do hope to convey a Christian message, I strive to have my characters’ world brightened by His loving grace.

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author, and why?

I’ve always taken pen to hand, and now fingers to keyboard.  While fellow junior high classmates did whatever “typical” kids do, I fiddled around with script writing, fancying myself as the next Neil Simon.  Throughout high school I continued to write, just for the fun of it.  It wasn’t until my mother passed away in ’88—a woman, due to mental illness, who had lots of dreams and talent, yet didn’t or couldn’t do much with them—that I thought to try writing with publishing in mind.  However, Life 101 kept me distracted for another couple of decades.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

Yes! I enjoy stand-alone mainstream/contemporary fiction for both the ABA and CBA readership.  I also enjoy suspense, and the occasional historical read.

It seems that the occupational hazard of a writer who is seriously striving to become a published author is the little time to read recreationally.  Oops.  Was I supposed to admit that?  Fortunately, I have a half hour commute, both ways, to the day job and always listen to the audio version of a book.

I understand what you mean completely, Elaine.  I find little time to read myself, and I used to read every spare minute.  Now I miss those minutes, but I think we can look at it this way…we are providing for others’ spare minutes of reading.  LOL  I still take a book with me everywhere I go, and when I need a break, out comes my latest read.  

 

What is your genre, and do you think you may write in another at some point?

Contemporary fiction, leaning toward a bit of suspense, interfused with women’s fiction.  However, I can’t seem to get away from writing younger characters, especially teens, so perhaps my stories are also geared toward the YA market.  I think my writing best suits the contemporary fiction genre on the overall basis.

In 2014 I was blessed to be published in 2 anthologies: IN HIS OWN TIME in Family Fiction’s THE STORY: 2014 Anthology and CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A Collection of Christmas Stories.  Writing these short stories was fun!


What I never expected of doing until recently, is writing non-fiction.  I’m presently a contributing author to the online publication Happy Sis, an international e-magazine devoted to uplifting and encouraging girls and women in their walks with Jesus.

The idea of writing a memoir-type of book is swimming in my mind… we’ll see where life takes me.

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

My agent and I hit on this subject earlier today: not having enough constructive criticism.  People who took the time to give me feedback were so nice… expressing encouraging words, but without really pointing out weaknesses.  Then, there were the No’s that came in from editors/agents (that now I know I’d submitted prematurely), but with only no-thanks and without the reason(s) why, I was forced to scratch my head and shrug it off.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

Just when I think my editing is done, it’s not.  In other words: the true story becomes alive after many unanticipated drafts, and that it’s best not to fall in love with your words!

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

I feel very strongly that He is guiding me to traditional publication first… perhaps indie after?  I’m being very open-minded right now.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  Whom would you like to play the leads?

Of course… who doesn’t?  But LOL, by the time my novel gets pubbed, the first dream movie stars will be too old to play the characters!  

  (Interviewer laughing her head off)

 

Where do you like to write?

May God bless the person who created the laptop!!  Because of neck problems and often the cold weather here in the Northeast, I often write on the sofa beside my woodstove.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

If I travel, it’s for fun, for escape.  If I had a magic wand, I’d have my own office within my home.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

I often hang out on my blog, Everyone’s Story http://elainestock.com

and occasionally on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

Please note: my blog has a Contact Me form on the right-hand sidebar, toward the bottom. I’d enjoy hearing from readers and other writers/authors.

 

Thank you so much for the time you have given us to get to know you a little better, Elaine.  We will look forward to hearing more about author, Elaine Stock in the future.  God bless your endeavors to bring good Christian books to the readers.

 




July 1, 2015

Today we have Mark Becker featured on my website, Rosecastleplace, and the Facebook Group Forum, Writers and Authors.  I met Mark through a mutual friend, another of my former co-workers before I retired.  Mark is a lawyer and mediator, besides being a successful author.  However, I’ll let him tell you his story and about his work.

 

May I please introduce you to this week’s guest author…


Mark Becker

 

Mark, when did you know you wanted to become an author, and why? 

It all started in the second grade.  I wrote things that were on my eight-year old mind, let other people read them, and saw the pleasure that my words created in their minds.  I thought, "If a little kid can get an adult's attention with just a few mind-bursts erupting from a #2 pencil onto paper, I can control the world!"  (Not really, but it would make a good story, don't you think?)

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book? 

Three and one-half years.  I can't write it 3 +1/2, because that is too short.  It took a long time.  I wrote the first 50 pages of a story that had been rattling around in my head for years.  That took about two weeks.  Then I let it simmer for about six months while I gave myself pep talks about "you can be an author, too".  Then I sat down with my self and we had a brain to ego talk, while the Id and the Superego sat heckling from the bleachers.  I came out of that confrontation bruised and bloodied, but the end result was the realization that I could write 50 pages that only I would read, or I could write a book that everyone could read.  I finished the writing of "At Risk of Winning".  My second novel, No Corner to Hide took just over a year.  Then I departed traditional publishing and published it under my own publishing company, New Genre Publishing.

 

Tell us about your second book, No Corner to Hide, and the Max Masterson series.

There will be 12 books in the series of Max Masterson thrillers, all taking place during the first term of our nation’s only independent president.  Max is like you and me, probably more like me, but he is not a member of any political party and he only makes speeches when required.  The rest of his social responsibilities are left to Scarlet Conroy, his vice-president, who is the prototypical politician.  In No Corner to Hide, Max has been elected, and he is awaiting the Inaugural.  He doesn’t wait for anything, and deals with a domestic terrorist attack by a group led by the former director of homeland security.  They want him out, and seek to discredit him.  Max is a threat to established politics, and this theme will prevail in future books.  My third book, to be published soon, is titled, Scorpions in the Sand, and deals with a crisis in the Middle East based on paranoia and finger-pointing.  Like most thrillers, it is the hook that keeps you reading; how would Max save his country and the world?  Don’t ever skip to the second-to-last chapter.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author? 

Indie.  Both of the authors who have stuck with traditional will soon die of old age.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author? 

Patience, and the realization that my words are not immutable.  I have no investment in the words, and I take constructive criticism well.  I only have an investment in the message of the Max Masterson series.

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything? 

I would like for each cover to honestly say, "Internationally loved best-selling author", or words to that effect.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)? 

I have learned from many.  Bradbury, Michener, Rollins, Cussler, Herbert, Heinlein, Twain, King, and many more.

 

What is your genre and do you think you may write in another at some point? 

I write thrillers, but I have so many books rattling around in my head that I prefer not to be tied to one genre.  I am entering a new phase in my writing which will result in at least one book from each road I follow.

 

How many books, poems, etc. have your written? 

4 novels, countless other stories and poems.

 

Have you written anything else?

Yes, I have become adept at filling out insurance forms lately.

That’s not exactly what I meant, Mark…but we’ll go on.  LOL  

 

Do you have a biggest fan? 

Yes.  My 86 year-old Mom.  She likes my writing better than Grisham, and she reads a book a week.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself? 

Avid is a tepid word.  I am a voracious reader with an insatiable curiosity.  Those who know me claim that if they locked me in a roomful of books at age 10, I would emerge holding a diploma for my PhD.  The question you need to ask yourself is this:  A PhD in what?

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite? 

Max Masterson.  He is the thread through which all ideas originate.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  If so, whom would you like to play the leads? 

Ahh, yes.  Readers say my writing is very visual.  The leads evolve day by day.  How does the author picture characters?  Don't you think that is the job of Hollywood types who want to spin a tale with their own brand of genius?  I would like to sit on the sidelines and watch and only voice an opinion if asked.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

3 hours.

 

Where do you like to write? 

Wherever the mood strikes me.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write? 

My beach mansion.

Mark!  You have a beach mansion??? 

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer?  What is your own favorite novel? 

I have re-read Alas Babylon by Pat Frank, so that is my latest favorite.  My favorite written by me will be my last one.

 

Are there other writers in your family?  Tell us a little about them. 

No.  Are you kidding?  My 3 brothers used to say, "Mark's in a daze again," and I would lock myself in the bathroom to read or write.

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel? 

Believing I could write a novel that people would enjoy.

 

When do you think your next book will come out?


45 days.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors? 

Don't give up.  Give a draft to a friend to read.  If they say it sucks, ask about it, don’t argue or feel offended, and fix it.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you? 

atriskofwinning.com and atriskofwinning@gmail.com

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or what you write about? 

Dearborn, Michigan.  Trenton, Michigan.  Yes.

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

First half in Michigan.  Second half in Florida.  When people ask whether I have lived in Florida all my life, I respond, “Not yet.”

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

I can't go through a day without an adventure.

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing? 

In every way.  Unfair question.

Hey…I’m the interviewer…I get to do “unfair!”  LOL

 

Tell us a little about yourself/personally; family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc. 

I am a lawyer/mediator, father and son, scuba diver/snorkeler, former gymnast/triathlete, former husband/potential boyfriend, kayaker/manatee guide, risk-taker/adventurer, dog owner, curious/eccentric with an independent streak.  Oldest of 4 boys, all hockey players, whose Mom was an ER nurse (It came in handy).  Aspiring retired rich guy/underwater archeologist.

 

Ahh…Mark…you forgot to mention that you are an author.  LOL  I think maybe our readers might want to know what you do in your spare time. 

I don’t have spare time.  When I am not writing or working, my brain is working overtime.

 

Mark, I’d like to thank you again for your time and the opportunity to present you, the author, and your work.  I hope that you will have much success in your tales about Max.  



 
June 24, 2015

This week our interview will be with author, John Jeffries, from Branson, Missouri.  John is another of my contacts on LinkedIn.  In this case, and because I have not known him very long, I will be learning about Mr. Jeffries along with the rest of you. 

 

Welcome to my website, Rosecastleplace

& Writers and Authors Group Forum

 

John Jeffries


Author of

The Disappearance: A Journalist Searches for Answers

 


When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

        I have had a passion for the effective use of the written and spoken word since before I started in the first grade, ironic for a boy who was painfully shy.  This may sound geeky, but in the fifth grade, I actually studied the dictionary (back then, there were far fewer words).

 

        During my active years in intelligence, I wrote 33 articles that were published in U.S. government publications on topics relating to espionage, terrorism, and security.  With them, I discovered I had a calling to “get the word out.”  It came easy for me, yet I never believed I could produce something as large as a full book until I met Carol Ann, my wife.  What an encourager!  Each time I would read her a page her response would be: “Hurry up, Johnny, write the next one!”

 

        In a world with so many writers and talking heads jostling for the attention of the public with smoke and false information, my desire always is to present the truth in a clear, succinct, and entertaining manner.

  

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

        “The Disappearance: A Journalist Searches for Answers” required a year and a half to write part-time while still working in the public sector full-time.


What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

        I prefer the term challenge.  Although it may not be apparent when reading a faction, the research can be quite a run.  For months, I compared prophecies in the “major” and “minor” prophets of the Old Testament and the prophecies in the New Testament for details and chronological order of the events.  Then I went to several reliable commentaries and non-fiction books on the subjects by trusted scholars.  My passion was to not forsake a point of accuracy for the sake of literary license.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

        My first novel took 18 months to write and a year from first contact to public release the first time around.  That venture was through a vanity publisher who printed copies as they were ordered.  Since they had very little “skin” in the game, the marketing effort was almost entirely on me.

 

        This approach only tends to be successful if the author is an established author, plans to give away the copies, or is a known authority in another field.  Professionals with my background are only well-known within their own circles, so that was not very productive.  On my own, I contacted essentially every chain and indie bookstore on the planet, making an average of fifty contacts per day.

 

        The second printing was with a subsidized publisher, whereby the author purchases a  publishing and marketing “package.”  That process took an additional year from first contact to international release.  With subsidized publisher, the company takes on more of the marketing burden.

 

        My heart's desire for the next six in various stages of planning and research is to have a publisher that will take the ball and run with it – someone who has the same intense passion for its success as I.

 

What is your genre, and do you think you may write in another at some point?

        Essentially, what I am writing are Christian factions.  Factions are heavily researched, fact-based fiction.  The dialogue, action, and settings become vehicles to carry along what at the heart are true stories.

 

        One of my planned books is what might be termed a biographical fiction.  As I envision it, the true story is so difficult to believe that I must fictionalize it.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

        Do not pay attention to the negative voices that whisper into your ear or shout through others.  Submit the entire process to the Lord, trust Him, follow His leading and you will make it.

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

        Considering the majority of my adult writing has been official, the tendency to “cut to the chase” is strong.  I have had to truly take time and work at “fluffing out” the scenes with descriptions that stimulate the reader's inner eye.

 

        I've been helped greatly in that regard by the Holy Spirit.  Whenever I've faced even minor writer's block, I've prayed over it and within 48 hours seen the next scene or even part of a chapter in colorful detail.  And why not?  These really are His books.

 

How many books, poems, etc. have your written? 

        Thus far I have one novel out to the vendors and distributors.  None of my poems or short stories have been published as yet.  The same is true for my lyrics for “Taco Bell Heaven,” which can be viewed on my LinkedIn page.  And I so thought Yum Brands might pick that one up.  Some of my poems can also be found on my LinkedIn page.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  If so, whom would you like to play the leads?

        I was delighted upon my return from one book signing event to find messages waiting from three production companies who were looking at the novel as a potential screenplay.

 

        David White would be a very good leading man.  I believe Erin Bethea would make an effective leading lady.  They should be believable as a couple.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

        If we leave out the weekly opt-in only summary of news from around the world relating to apocalyptic matters and other writing, I would say I write an average of an hour a day on the books and spend another two hours daily in research.  Discipline is key.  A successful author once told me two things: (1) to be effective you should sit at the keyboard and open a vein (figuratively speaking, of course); and (2) if you consistently write one page a day, at the end of a year you will have completed a 365 page manuscript.

 

Where do you like to write? 

        For inspiration and prayer, I often walk the property here.  Online research takes place at my desktop PC.  Hard copy research takes place in my enclosed porch or at the library.  The porch is where outlining takes place.  Actual writing I do at the PC (If you've seen my handwriting you might understand why.  It is pretty good if I take my time and go cursive.).  I like to keep a non-alcoholic drink close at hand.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

        My home here in the Branson, Missouri area.  Peace, tranquility, friendly neighbors and locals, natural beauty, inspiration… we have it all here.  And since this is a tourist haven, there is no shortage of inspiring personalities.  As a “people-watcher,” I study (without staring – that would be rude and a little creepy), mannerisms, appearances, facial movements, accents, speech patterns, etc.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

        When it comes to the marketing process, do not be content to do it the way everyone else has done it.  Pick a publisher who is abreast of what genuinely is working at this point in time.  Then forge ahead.  Whatever you do, do it with all your might.  For your level of success will never exceed your willingness to believe.

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

        The tentative title is “Elliott: A Man Who Did Not Die.”  The first draft is approximately 90% complete, with editing, re-editing, and proofreading as I go.  Presently I expect it to hit the stores in 2016.  With “Elliott,” I have taken an ancient personage, brought him forward and dropped him into the middle of 21st Century America.

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

        This would have to be my wife, Carol Ann.  The girl believes I can do anything.  Certainly, “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me,” yet my faith has a way to go.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

        Both my wife and I could be considered avid readers in a variety of genres.  When we married thirteen years ago and combined our libraries, I was tempted to wonder whether the library room might collapse through the floor under the weight.  The walls are lined with bookcases, each shelf two books deep.  And this is after giving away six cases last year.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

        There are a few: Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Joel Rosenberg, John Grisham, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins stand out in my mind.  All demonstrate awesome skill as writers painting mind-pictures for the reader.

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

        Of recent works, I would have to say “The Harbinger” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn that was released in 2012.  This too would be well described as a faction.

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

        Without question it would be Jason Bourne from Robert Ludlum. I relate to the character because of my own work in the intelligence community.

 

Are there other writers in your family?  If so, tell us a little about them.

        Yes.  I have a cousin in Springfield, Missouri.  Jim Wilcox.  He is a preacher, semi-retired.  His books are Christian who-dunnit fiction: “Body in the Baptistery,” “Body in the Snow,” “Body in the Grave” and a yet to be named sequel.  They are excellently written, with more twists than a Missouri creek.  You think you have it figured out… well, anyway.  He has also published a non-fiction “How to Do Church.”

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

        I can be reached through my publisher, Tate Publishing of Mustang, Oklahoma.  I can also be contacted through my page on LinkedIn (John Jeffries, Christian novelist).  Readers are welcome to write me at 3 Cardinal Course, Forsyth, Missouri 65653 USA or via eMail at john.jeffries.novelist@gmail.com.

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did any of this have a bearing on how or about what you write?

        I was born and raised in Carthage, Missouri – near Joplin.  A writer can never separate him/herself entirely from the influences of family, community of origin, education.  In one fashion or another, it will crop up in their writing.  Bits and pieces may appear in characters, setting, dialogue and action.  Many of my characters are composites of family, friends, co-workers, associates, etc.

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

        More than half of my life was spent within 90 miles of Joplin, Missouri.  I have lived in California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, New Jersey, Germany, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.  In addition, I have traveled as part of my career to a goodly number of other states and countries.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

        Some of my plot points derived from my years as a restaurant manager and my involvement in the Church.  The greatest professional influence thus far has come from my active years as a federal investigator, intelligence officer, special agent, intelligence analyst, and linguist.  For over a decade, I worked overtly and in covert special operations in the areas of espionage, terrorism, sabotage, and subversion and VIP security.  You might say there is a lot of material from which to draw.

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

        The characters' lives to an extent have been patterned on experiences I have had or those with whom I have dealt with have had.  Some of the details have come from historical study or current events.

 

This is the point at which I like to get a little more personal with the author. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself personally, family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.

        I am a son of a country evangelist, carpenter and quarry foreman.  My mother was a traditional Midwestern housewife and pastor's wife.  I have three brothers.  Between my wife and me, we have six children, thirteen grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren.

 

        We have a tabby cat named – what else – Tabby, although I am more of a small dog person.

 

        During my more years than I care to admit in the workforce, I have managed convenience stores, commercial offset print shops, restaurants, and rental car branches.

 

        My hobbies and interests include research, legal issues, German, Spanish, theology and Bible study, music, art, theater, crafts, travel, politics, reading, writing poetry and song lyrics for friends and family, walking, fishing, camping, board games, travel, teaching plastic canvas craft ....  I have a passion for helping others.

 

Thank you so much for this glimpse into your life as an author, John.  I appreciate the time you set aside for us, and I thoroughly enjoyed your answers.  You are a very interesting, and busy man.  We will look forward to more from John Jeffries in the future.  God bless you.




June 17, 2015

For our next author interview, I would like you to meet…

 

Jodie Bailey

 

 

Jodie is a fellow author whom I met through a former co-worker, before I retired.  So far, I have read her book, Freefall and thoroughly enjoyed the story.  (Yes, I do plan to read the rest of her books as well; simply have not had the time, but they are on my “To Read” list)  I hope you will all enjoy this interview and her books.

 

            
         

 

Now…let us get started…

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel? 

 

My very first novel, Going in Circles, was a contemporary romance.  I started it in August 2008 and finished it a few months later.  But I spent HOURS at the computer every day and lived in that world.  I don’t get the luxury of writing like that anymore.  



 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel? 

 

I had no problems with that one, because I had no idea what I was doing, and ignorance is bliss.  It was wonderful fun!  The problem came when I had to revise it.  And the fun became very different. 


 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?  

 

I am so, so blessed, because this ride went crazy fast for me.  I think God knows all about me and patience.  From the time I finished and revised (and revised and revised) my first novel, it was seven months before I signed my agent.  That novel didn’t sell, but the third one did.  I got “the call” in August 2011, two years after I got my agent.  This is why my advice is always keep writing.  Don’t stop at one book and wait for it to sell.  Keep going.  Like I said, it was #3 that sold, not the first two. 


  

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author? 

 

My first six are/will be traditionally published, and I’ll continue on that path.  I enjoy working with my editors so much!  I am indie publishing one series.  I’m intrigued by the hybrid author idea, and my agent encourages it.  It’s been fun to do!

 

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author? 

 

The process is slow but worth it.  Your first draft won’t be publishable.  Neither will your second and probably not even your third.  Other people—critique partners, beta readers, editors, agents—are all there to make you better.  That goes for traditional and indie.  And there is always more to learn!  Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but revision and editing sure isn’t! 

 


What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything? 

 

My weakness is scene setting.  I have to go back and layer in the scenes and make a conscious effort to get the five senses involved.  I wish that was more effortless for me!  I also wish I had the patience to plot out a novel.  I do a very loose plot outline, because I have to know where I’m going, but when it comes to long, detailed plotting?  I’m lost.  I’m too anxious to write!


 

What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point? 

 

I write military romantic suspense and contemporary romance.  I think I like it there.  Adding any more would be really, really hard on my brain!  I tried historical once, and I got so bogged down in details like whether or not shoes buttoned or tied, and how long it took mail to go from one place to another… I only wrote two pages in a month.  So, yeah.  That didn’t work.  I’m a researcher at heart, and I spent more time playing in the research than writing the book.

 

 

How many books have your written? 


Wow.  Let’s just go with how many I’ve written since I started this as a career.  I have four novels and one novella out or on the way from Love Inspired Suspense, one with Abingdon, and three coming in February that I’m self-publishing.  And half of one for a new military suspense series I’ve started.

 

 

How much time do you spend writing each day? 

 

Okay, wait.  The better question would be how much time do I spend at my computer?  I spend too much time on Facebook some days, because I start needing someone to talk to after a while.  But average actual writing time?  Four hours or more.

 

 

Where do you like to write? 

 

If I’m brainstorming, my back porch.  Writing?  In my office.  I have a great office that was once my grandmother’s sewing room.  Being creative in the place where she was so creative makes my heart happy.

 

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write? 

 

Plant me on the south end of Hatteras Island on a beachfront deck and let’s see what gets written.

 

 

Have you written anything else? 

 

Blog posts, a few articles…  I’m too long-winded for short stories, although I’m totally intrigued by flash fiction. 

 

 

Do you have a biggest fan? 

 

That’s easy.  My daughter.

 

 

Are you an avid reader yourself? 

 

Oh yes. Some days, all I want to do is go get whatever book I’m reading and forget I’m a writer for a while.  My To Be Read pile is huge, and I’m adding to it daily.  Give me coffee and a good book and you’ve lost me.

 

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)? 

 

Ooh… that’s a tough one.  I love Rachel Hauck and the way she drops the spiritual into the everyday.  Sarah Sundin is incredible.  She has this way of making scenes and characters come alive that I envy.  I get lost in her books and read them over and over again, then count the days `til the next one.  Siri Mitchell is the queen of description.  I study her contemporary novels like other people study a textbook, looking for how she makes scenery a whole other character. 

 

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

 

Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my all time favorite book.  I love following Francie Nolan as she grows from child to adult, her writer’s heart at work the entire time.  It’s a beautiful, funny, poignant story that always touches me. 

 

 

What is your own favorite novel? 

 

My favorite of mine is one that hasn’t been released yet, Stalling Out.  I love the interplay between the two leads and the growth of Kate, the protagonist, as she learns to let go of control and fear and let God lead the way. 

 

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own, and why do you call this character your favorite? 

 

When I wrote my first novel, the protagonist’s best friend was her cousin Ryan.  Everyone who read the book fell in love with Ryan Dellinger.  And so did I.  He was a blast to write and has multiple layers, so I gave him his own book.  And he was even more fun to write.  I love him to pieces, so much so that I’ve written and revised that whole book minus the last scene, because I don’t want him to end.  In other people’s books, it’s Francie Nolan, from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Watching her grow up is perfection.  And she has a writer’s heart that is evident from page one all the way through.  I love Francie.  We could have been friends if she’d been, you know, real.

 

 

Are there other writers in your family?  If so, tell us a little about them. 

 

My kiddo loves to go to the coffee shop and write.  She starts a new book every month.  We’ll see when she latches on to one and finishes it.  She’s having a blast!

 

 

When do you think your next book will come out? 

 

Smokescreen comes out from LIS in August, and it’s followed by Compromised Identity in January.  My NASCAR series will come out in late February, God willing!

 

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Finish.  If you’ve started a book, finish it.  If you feel like you’re writing garbage, write it anyway.  You can edit bad writing, but you can’t edit a blank page.  (I tell myself that A LOT.)  Don’t quit until it’s finished.  So many people want to write a book, fewer actually start, and even fewer finish.  Complete a novel and you’re already ahead of the game.  And, this is true for me at least…when you come to the end of yourself and you can’t make the words come, that’s when it gets interesting, because that’s when God takes over.

 

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you? 

 

If you hop over to www.jodiebailey.com you can find all you need there… email, Facebook, Twitter, all of it.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Now I’m going to get a bit more personal with you, Jodie…

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write? 

 

I grew up in coastal North Carolina.  I’m like that old saying, “I’m Tarheel born and Tarheel bred, and when I die, I’ll be Tarheel dead.”  J  I love being from Carolina.  And that Southern touch shows up in my writing.  I enjoy writing about the South.  And of course, I married a soldier, so that definitely impacted the writing!

 

 

Where did you spend most of your life? 

 

Until I got married, I was right here in North Carolina.  And then we moved all over the place for fifteen years.  And now, I’m right back where I started, even living in my grandmother’s house.


 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing? 

 

Growing up in the South in a small town, moving with the military, living through deployments, watching my husband and other soldiers, working with military spouses and families, growing up in a family of NASCAR fans… and, of course, loving and being loved by Jesus!

 

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing? 

 

They color my voice and my settings.  I talk the way I do because of where I’m from and I write the way I do because of where I’m from.  I’ve seen God perform a lot of grace in my life.  I’ve seen Him do a lot of freeing.  And those themes seem to recur a lot in my books.


 

Tell us a little about yourself personally, family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc. 

 

I think I’m boring.  I write.  I read.  Occasionally, I scrapbook with my kiddo.  About the most interesting thing I do is ride the Harley with my husband.  I’m a beach girl.  Even though I’m not teaching right now, I miss my kiddos and wish there was a way to be a full-time writer and a full-time teacher.  Sadly, for me and my personality, that will never work, because I’m an all-in kind of person.  I’m happy God made a way for me to write!  We have two dogs, one who I love and who loves me, and one I love but who loves my husband. 

 

 

Jodie, thank you very much for allowing us the privilege of getting to know you a little better.  I personally appreciate the testimony you have shared with us about how God has worked in your life as an author.  I know we will be hearing more in the future about author, Jodie Bailey.  God bless you.








June 10, 2015

This week we have an interview with a husband and wife team from Germany.  Thank you, Metka Klemenčič and Andreas Möhn, for consenting to be interviewed.

 

The first time I conversed with Codex Regius was in a conversation on LinkedIn.  I thought it was a single person, a female, with whom I was interacting.  It was not until this interview that I found out there are two distinct individuals behind the name Codex Regius.  I am so happy to get to know both of you.

 

Hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I had doing it.

 

Okay…here we go…

 

May I please introduce you to …

Metka Klemenčič and Andreas Möhn

Otherwise known as Codex Regius


 

Why did you choose your penname, “Codex Regius?”

Andreas: I came first up with that when a customer asked me for an inspiration how to name a small publishing company he intended to found.  “Codex Regius” is the name of a medieval manuscript and it means “The Royal Book”, which I considered very apt for a publishing house that was supposed to specialize on high-quality print (including our own books).  The company was never founded due to various reasons.  But we adopted our proposal as our pen name, brand name or publisher – whatever you want to call it.  Especially on the English market, it sounds much better than any combination of our awkward central European surnames with their host of diacritics.  And Metka is not fond of books that print the author larger than the title: She prefers not to see her name showing up there at all.

Note:  Perhaps we should note that Andreas is a male and Metka a female name.  They would translate into English as Andy & Maggie.

 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

Andreas: I have grown up in the German city of Wiesbaden where we are still living for the major part of the year.  That is what persuaded me to set our historical novels in this environment.  It was quite unexploited by authors till then, so we had something to tell that had not already been told a thousand times before.  And it was the place I knew best, obviously.

Metka: I am from Slovenia.  That has inspired my husband to include my hometown Ljubljana in our historical novels, too.

Andreas: Yes, one of our protagonists is from Emona, which was the Roman precursor of Ljubljana.  Homage to my wife!  And, shshsh: Another protagonists has eerie green cat-eyes, just like Metka.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing?

Metka: The main factor was the fight that we and the doctors had to go through to preserve our infant son’s life.  It told us how much a human being is worth and what a Man is willing to sacrifice for that – while at the same time, at other places, humans are worth so little that they are just exterminated like vermin.  And all of this occurs in the very same world.

Andreas: This experience shows very prominently near the end of our first novel, “Corpus Sacrum”, in Vitalis’ report on his war experiences that is deliberately set against Restitutus’ fight for the life of his little son.  This is a passage that has been very important for me to have but it is so terrifying that Metka has always refused to read it again during the revision phases.

 

When did you know you wanted to become an author, and why?

Andreas: I have been writing since boyhood.  Several of my products from that time have earned awards, which convinced me that I may have some talent.  Metka has grown into the business with proofreading and editing, then she increasingly contributed with developing her own plot elements and subplots.  Now it is perfectly legitimate to call her my co-author.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

Metka: Yes, I am.  But then I always have a bad conscious because I think I should rather write more myself and there is not enough time for doing everything.

Andreas: I sign that.  I am reading a lot, whether ancient Greek classics or contemporary Russian Sci-Fi authors.  But our children demand their time as well, so less of it is devoted to reading than I would like to have.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

Andreas: Definitely J.R.R. Tolkien.  Out of devotion I have even published five highly specialized books about his works plus a few more essays on my homepage - Lalaith’s Middle-earth Science Pages - that is very popular with Tolkien readers.

 

Metka: That’s a devotion, which I do not really understand.

Andreas: Because you have watched those dreadful movies first and they absolutely ruined the books for you.

Okay…the interviewer has to inject a little bit here…just cannot help it!  (Now wait just a minute here, Andreas!  The interviewer begs to differ with your opinion on the movies.  I loved them.  LOL  I even have the collector’s edition of Lord of the Rings.  We also have the whole set of the Hobbit movies.  I have seen them about four times now.  [Had to say this in defense of the movies, you understand.]  I have also read the books at least five times through.  Now I will have to look up your books on them.  [Just had to tease you a little here.])

And this is the rebuttal I received…

Disagreeing with whom?  With me calling them dreadful or with Metka claiming that those nuisances have probably ruined the books for her forever?  She has read "Fellowship" until the Lothlórien chapters and then gave up with a complaint that she just couldn't get the movie images (which she hated) out of her mind while reading.  I agree that she should have read the book before; now anything Tolkien is probably lost on her.  Our daughter slept through the first "Hobbit" during a school performance and keeps saying since that she doesn't bother about reading a book of which such a stupid movie has been made.  In short: Peter Jackson has obviously been terribly detrimental to the works and reputation of J.R.R. Tolkien for generations to come. L

 

(Well, Andreas…despite your objections…I still love the books and the movies. JJJ  However, you are both entitled to your opinions.  Oh yes, your daughter is too, bless her heart. J  Loved arguing with you.  LOL)


What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point?


Andreas: So far we have primarily published “Corpus Sacrum” and “Opus Gemini” (as their original titles went) that merged into “Romanike,” our magnum opus: a series of historical novels set in Rome under the adopted emperors, and there were also some Sci-Fi stories and plenty of non-fiction.  I would like to do something different next, maybe a Steampunk novel set in our region (fairly unexplored by this genre, too) or maybe a fantasy novel whose hero is a kind of Renaissance scientist, a polymath.  But would such a story work at all?

 



How long did it take you to publish your first book?

Andreas: Including writing it?  Well, “Corpus Sacrum” was written from 2001 to 2004, accepted after a year or so and a dozen rejections, and it took another year to prepare the book for presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2006.

 

What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

Metka: That we didn’t set out with a real plan for the plot.

Andreas: Instead, we piled revision upon revision, and that’s why it took us that long to finish “Corpus Sacrum”.  Then we did the same thing with “Opus Gemini” all over again. Its final German version was V15!  And even when you, dear Metka, translated the whole series into English to become “Romanike” you started to revise them another time.

Metka: Hey, they did not actually suffer from that!

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

Andreas: It is difficult to become a published author but it is even harder to stay one!

Metka: You have to be so strong that you will manage to make your book top priority.  You have to ignore everything around, including the fact that all your friends and neighbors are much, much better paid and recognized for their work.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

Andreas: Both.  All of our German manuscripts had been trade-published; then we slowly realized that the standard publisher would do little to promote you if your name is not Dan Brown.  The marketing workload is actually the same for Indie authors but the royalty percentage is much higher, that’s why we chose that way.  Plus, it gave us access to the English market that is otherwise very secluded against abroad.

 

How many books have you written? 

Andreas: Depends on how many volumes you count in the “Romanike” series: are there two – “Corpus Sacrum” and “Opus Gemini” - or are there six? The history behind is somewhat convoluted: The German edition of “Corpus Sacrum” has been trade-published, but by the time we finished the sequel, our editor had left his job and we had lost our support.  When the promise to found a new publishing house had also failed, I learnt about CreateSpace in an online forum and, since I have learned at a former job how to generate professional preprints, we decided to become Indie authors.  The decision to slice each of the translated volumes into a trilogy was just for convenience: to speed the rhythm of publication and to impose more pressure on ourselves to get the whole thing finished.  So the “Romanike” series is both two books and six.

The most important among the minor works is “Horsemen of Mars”, a “hard Sci-Fi” novel that received a significant award in Germany and a nomination for the Kurd-Lasswitz-Award which is the German equivalent of the American “Hugo”.  I also entertain myself with serious non-fiction like a detailed timeline of Asimov’s “Trantor Universe” or those studies on aspects of Middle-earth.

Metka: Which were so favorably reviewed on Amazon’s US site by Scott …, what was his name?

Andreas: You mean Orson Scott Card. Oh, yes!  Guess how my jaws dropped on the floor when I first saw that.  Card is one of my favorite Sci-Fi authors: You have watched “Ender’s Game”, I presume?  And such a man reads our books and praises them!  I felt like having been knighted.

 



Have you written anything else?

Andreas: I have once been very active in the fandom of “Perry Rhodan” which is for Germany what “Star Trek” is for America, and about 20 non-fictional essays plus two Sci-Fi short stories have been printed by the franchise’s official publisher.  And then there were our graduate works, of course, in physical engineering for me and in biochemistry for Metka.

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

Andreas: Including our own?  That’s obviously Valeriana.  I really enjoy using her because she is so powerful and versatile, and she stands out in my imagination with a particular vividness that was also perceived by the readers.  Yes, she is a real bad…; but she looks very much like our daughter, how could I wish her harm?  Valeriana was intended to be a minor detraction in “Opus Gemini”, but sometimes our characters outgrow their assigned role.  She usurped much of the plot and did it again when Metka retrofitted her into the English edition of “Corpus Sacrum.”  I wonder how we have managed without her before.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  Whom would you like to play the leads?

Metka: Sometimes I dream that once I would sit in the cinema and watch “Romanike” turned into a movie.  Or into several movies.  That’s not only a dream, it’s actually a very good idea.  If I had the money, I would invest it into such a project at once.

Andreas: And hire Ridley Scott to direct it?  Yes, I can see that … The cast is a difficult question, though.  I have very distinct images of our characters in my mind and in most cases they do not look like known actors, so I would very probably be dissatisfied with any casting conceivable.  Perhaps a radio play might do?

 

Tell us now a little about yourself personally.  You have mentioned that children demand your time as well.

Metka: Yes, they do.  There are a son, Dorjan, who is now 15 years, and a daughter, Galja, who is only 10 ½ months younger.  They have been bilingually raised, and though they visit German schools, we spend each vacation in Slovenia so that they are able to maintain the ties to their relatives from the maternal side as well.

 

Where do you like to write?

Andreas: We have a compartment with two workstations in our living room that serves as our office.  Since our main job is a freelance translation business, that is all we need to make a living.

Metka: And it is the only way for us that works.  You see, it allows us to take care of our son.  Dorjan was born with neurofibromatosis and suffers a very severe level of symptoms; he is physically disabled and frequently needs visits to physicians and therapists of all sorts.  Which employer would grant you as much off-time as he needs?  We both have to be available at home, hence, and thanks to the internet we survive because all our work can be communicated online.



If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

Andreas: A little weekend house at the Adriatic seaside would be fine.  That’s about an hour from Metka’s home.

Metka: With its own swimming pool!  (To maintain some privacy for the children.)

Andreas: And a high-speed internet connection, of course.  That is indispensable.

 

Are there other writers in your family? Tell us a little about them.

Andreas: My maternal grandfather has been a sports journalist and my grandmother had published a few poems and short novels.  There is probably a genetic trait at work here.  I do not know of any writers in Metka’s family.  But one of her cousins is a professional music arranger and another is internationally known for her stop-motion animations.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

Andreas: Our bilingual main site is easy to remember: http://www.codex-regius.de.  I am running a separate blog for the English “Romanike” series at http://www.corpus-sacrum.de and another for the German edition, which is probably of no concern to you, on both I occasionally post background information for readers who want to know more about the historical details behind our series.  Codex Regius is also accessible by that name on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Twitter and Pinterest and we have our authors’ pages on Amazon US, UK and DE.  Our ebooks are distributed by http://www.xinxii.com and our printed books by Amazon’s CreateSpace service and, recently, also by Lulu.  Oh, and before I forget: There are video playlists of our trailers on Codex Regius’ Youtube and Dailymotion channels.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

Andreas: When you write, do it for the sake of writing.  Don’t put earning money in the foreground.  Unless your name is Dan Brown (or maybe even then), you will get a higher hourly wage if you assign for cleaning public restrooms.  That’s a FACT.  Accept it.

 

Metka and Andreas, I have enjoyed our interview very much.  You both have a delightful sense of humor and a lot of common sense in your attitude toward writing.  I admire you both for the dedication to your craft and to your children, as well as to each other.  I am looking forward to getting to know you both better.  Thank you for the interview and God bless you, your family, and your writing.

Andreas: You’re welcome any time, Sharon.

 






Now for our next interview
June 3, 2015

Today I would like to welcome Jim P. Spencer

to the my website as well as Writers and Authors Group Forum 


Live Well

Jim Spencer

USAF Retired

Author of Red, White and Black Lies

And soon to be released Family Lies

 

Through LinkedIn, I have gotten to know Jim and have been impressed with his attitude toward his fellow authors.  He is always ready to help the fledgling writer, for which I am personally very grateful.


Now to my questions:

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

 

It was in 2001 that I had a stress-induced heart attack.  It resulted in a quadruple by-pass.  During the recovery, I consumed many drugs and had some interesting experiences.  On numerous occasions, I was visited by a blue and green dragon that commanded I write.  With nothing to do but rest, I wrote a short story.  A knowledgeable friend told me it was an excellent piece, so I entered it in a competition.  I won.  When I got better, I went to conferences and shared my writings with others.  Prominent authors told me I was a gifted writer.  At sixty-five years of age, I found something I wanted to do and I’ve been told I’m good at.  I do it for the acknowledgment, accolades, the money but mostly to have fun.

 

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

I guess it was about a year from start to finish the initial draft.  It would have been much sooner, but I learned how to write better at each conference I went to so I re-wrote some of that which I had already completed.

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?

 

                        The book I wrote first isn’t published yet.  I have been working on that one for nine years now  and it is almost ready to put out.  My second book, Red, White and Black Lies, took me about  five years to get to print- one year to write, two years of revision and two additional to get a printed copy into my hand.


What was your biggest problem in writing your first novel?

 

The editing, the editing and the editing.  And still didn’t come out correct!

 

 What is your genre?  Do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

I write in two distinct genres –mystery and fantasy.  I do the mystery for the money and fantasy for the pure enjoyment of it.  I am trying to use fantasy to do my memoirs and leave a legacy of my feelings on important issues that have been presented to me.

 

How many books have your written?

 

I have written seven books.  One is published, a second, and a third is soon to be released and the other four are in various phases of completion.  

 

Have you written anything else?

 

I have written a few short stories.  I write a column for the local senior newspaper.  I’m starting a blog.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I guess one might say I am an Indie author.  I found a young woman trying to start a publishing company and helped her with a financial input.  I got a higher percentage of sales and a percentage of the profits for a few years.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

Take the time to do it right.  My first published book went to press improperly edited.  I had it done by a retired newspaper editor who did it well for a newspaper but not for a novel.  That will never happen again.

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing if anything?

 

This question requires no thought to answer.  I would love to have fewer grammar errors to resolve.

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

I spend six to eight hours a day doing something concerning my writing.  It may be actually putting words on the computer.  It might be marketing or research.  It might be just answering e-mails from my readers.  

 

Where do you like to write?

 

I have a very lovely office that is mine and mine alone.  Everything I need is right there an arm’s length away.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

I would love to set up my office in my own private yacht anywhere in the Caribbean.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

I wouldn’t go as far as saying avid.  My wife always has a book in her hands.  My granddaughter devours books.  I read a novel every two weeks. Avid? I don’t think so.

 

Who is your favorite author (aside from yourself, of course)?

 

This is a difficult question for me given the fact that I have so many favorite authors.  I have favorites for different reasons.  I guess if I had to choose just one it would be James Clavell.

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer?  What is your own favorite novel (if you’ve written more than one)?

 

Again having to pick one – it would have to be Shogun.  One of mine?  My fantasy.  It is over 180,000 words and an epic tale an extraordinary saga set in a different dimension aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, greed and most importantly a man’s search for who he is.

 

Do you have a favorite character in any novel, including your own?  Why do you call this character your favorite?

 

My favorite character is one “Merahi.”  She is a character in my Seven Knights series.  She is my favorite because she is patterned after a real person in my life.  This woman is the most interesting woman I have ever met and had the privilege to work with.  She is a unique individual.  

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie?  Whom would you like to play the leads?

 

I have actually had discussions with a producer on making my book into a movie.  I’m a realist so I’d hope the biggest box-office draws would love to play a part in the movie.

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

            My biggest fan by leaps and bounds in my granddaughter.

 

Are there other writers in your family?  Tell us a little about them.

 

Only my granddaughter.  She is “almost” 11 and her favorite pastime is to read and write.  We have long discussions on both.  She loves to show not tell. 

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

Within two months if all goes as planned.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Take your time and do it right.  Don’t be afraid of failing – just do it!

 

And now to get more personal with our author:

 

Where were you born?  Where did you grow up?  Did this have any bearing on how or what you write about?

 

Born in Florence, Massachusetts – a son of a firefighter and a nurse.  Grew up in a dozen corners of the world – like Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Washington DC and countless others.  Some good, some bad, some even worse. Learned about people, life, death and a lot in-between.  If there was a canvas painting of my life it would have a lot of different color paint on it.

 

Where did you spend most of your life?

 

The question is not where but how.  I have traveled the world searching for answers to questions that bothered me. From Hawaiian beaches to darkened bars in Saigon.  In a lot of the major cities in the world –Amsterdam is my favorite. Today I spend every minute I can travel to promote my book and experience the world.

 

What experiences in life have contributed to your writing?

 

All of it! Twenty-two years in the military.  Maybe fifty different jobs from the bottom thru senior management.  Owning my own business.  Consulting and writing.  Every experience and I’ve had more than my fair share has contributed to my writing. 

 

How have the experiences in your life contributed to your writing?

 

They have taught me that there is no right or wrong in life.  There are no absolutes.  Everything is valid to someone.  Nothing is ever how you expect it to be.

 

Tell us a little about yourself personally, family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.

 

a.      Family – wife of 47 years, two kids a boy and a girl

b.      Friends – none! All lost to life.  Acquaintances – hundreds and growing every day.

c.       Pets – had a Border Collie that helped me a lot when I had the heart attack.  He died of cancer way before his         time.  I miss him terribly and will never have another pet.

d.      Hobbies – I travel, I fish and I live life to the fullest.

 

Where can your readers and future readers contact you?

 

Jimspencer2@gmail.com – anytime and I promise I will answer them.  This is my biggest form of marketing.

 

Jim, I have enjoyed this interview and learning more about you.  You have my personal admiration for the time you take to help anyone who asks a question regarding the art of writing.  I hope that we will hear more from you. 

 

Please feel free to jump in and make comments on the Group Forum to let us know when we can expect your books to be available and where.

 

Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to be interviewed.





Our first guest Writer/Author is Lorraine Cobcroft...Welcome
May 27, 2015

Presenting…Lorraine Cobcroft, Author

 

  

Lorraine, I would like to thank you for being my guest today on my website as well as on Writers and Authors Group Forum on Facebook 

Here are some questions for you to answer for our readers.

 

When did you know you wanted to become and author, and why?

 

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I recall being excited about writing when I was in the fourth grade. I won a road safety essay contest, and I wrote a wonderful story about fairies living in a hollow tree. It was so good that another student copied it, and I remember the teacher couldn’t decide whose story was original and whose was a copy, though she ought to have known! I was devastated by her inquiries and implied accusations.

 

Sadly, my family actively discouraged my interest in writing, claiming there was no future in it for a girl from the working class who had no connections. Although I continued to write a little, in secret, they succeeded in convincing me not to get serious about writing. I had the opportunity, at age 17, to become a cadet journalist, but family talked me out of it. It took until I was in my late 40s to shake off their criticisms and discouraging remarks and have the courage to pursue my passion. I fell, quite by accident, into technical and instructional writing when I was asked to distribute a software product, created by a Boston couple, in Australia.

 

After enjoying casual writing for many years, and having some minor works published, then working professionally for a decade as an instructional and business writer, I felt compelled to write my husband’s story. His was a story that begged to be told.

 

Looking for help to transition from instructional and business writing to fiction and creative non-fiction, I joined  Fairfield Writers Group (in Brisbane). A wonderfully supportive group of new friends changed my life forever, and writing became my passion.

 

Some of my best short stories are featured in three of Fairfield Writers Group’s Anthologies: ‘Life’s a Roller Coaster’, ‘Changing Seasons’, and the soon-to-be launched ‘Crime Stories’

(See www.fairfieldwritersgroupqld.org/Books.php).


 

                               

                                                            

 

How long did it take you to publish your first book?


 

Forty years! Well, no, actually much longer. I started writing my first book when I was ten, but I never completed it. I began writing ‘The Pencil Case’ (not under that title) in my mid-twenties, but I put it aside and only resumed after I retired. By then, the focus of the story had dramatically changed. I added the words, ‘They Stole Us White Kids Too’ to the title. What had begun as fiction loosely based on fact became minimally fictionalized non-fictiona social comment and a condemning exposé.

 

From the time I began a serious attempt to complete it, it took three years to get it into print. It has been well-received, and has facilitated many wonderful friendships. I have formed connections with readers from all over the worldmany I may never get to meet face to face. The reviews provided the incentive to continue serious writing, and the confidence to call myself ‘a writer’, and I’m now completing a novel, ‘Mortgaged Goods’, which will be published in June.

 

In a few months, my husband and I will start a trip around Australia and I’ve had him sign-write our vehicle to promote myself as an author, editor and publisher, and I plan to do book signings at stops on the way.

 

Are you published through the traditional method, or are you an Indie author?

 

I’m an Indie author. I was offered a publishing contract for ‘The Pencil Case’, but I wasn’t happy with the terms. Several other publishers and agents expressed strong interest, but the story was too politically controversial for their taste.

 



How many books, poems, etc. have your written? 


Three books of my own, not counting the many texts and instructional works I produced as a company employee, and at least a dozen ghost-written books—mostly informational works, but also a memoir.  I’ve lost count of the poems, short stories and articles I’ve written.

 

What is your genre and do you think you may write in another at some point?

 

I have written in many genres. ‘The Pencil Case’ is biographical creative non-fiction/social history.  I’ve written a children’s picture book, and a variety of short stories—mostly ‘slice of life’, though the latest was crime. 

 

My latest work, ‘Mortgaged Goods’ is women’s fiction, and that’s a genre I might stick with, though I’m in no way committed to any particular genre. It depends on my mood and the nature of the next idea that pops into my head.

 

Have you written anything else?

 

In my working life, I wrote instructional and technical material (software manuals and courses in 3GL programming with visual software development tools), business reports, and marketing copy.

 

Do you have aspirations of your work becoming a movie, and whom would you like to play the leads?

 

Yes. I believe ‘The Pencil Case’ should be a movie, but I’ll leave selection of the leads to the experts. The story bears similarities to ‘The Rabbit-Proof Fence’ and ‘Oranges and Sunshine’, but sadly my story isn’t politically acceptable. It exposes lies governments and the media want believed.

 

What is the biggest thing you have learned in the process of becoming an author?

 

That author’s need thick skins! Self-confidence is something I’ve always been short on, but a supportive writing group has helped me enormously, and I’ve learned both to give and receive constructive critiques, while maintaining a belief in my own ability to determine the right way to express myself.

 

What would you most like to see changed about your own writing, if anything?

 

Oh, I’d love to write like Stephen King or John Grisham! I think what I find most challenging is obtaining background information to set believable and interesting scenes and develop characters who do exciting things. I’ve lived a full life, but I don’t have ready access to experts to help me with research. It would be wonderful to have ready access to psychologists, forensic experts, etc.

 

Are you an avid reader yourself?

 

Oh yes! I struggle to balance my time between reading and writing. I don’t think you can write well if you are not an avid reader.

 

What is your favorite novel from another writer? 

 

I don’t have favorite novels. There are just too many brilliant works out there. But I can recommend a series by a talented fellow Australian writer. M.A. McRae’s ‘Shuki series’, starting with ‘Not a Man’, is brilliant. (See http://www.amazon.com/Not-Man-Shuki-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B0089H5X58)

 

Who is your favorite author?

 

I couldn’t possibly answer that. There are so many that I love, and I keep discovering authors I’ve never read before. I like different authors for different reasons. John Grisham is definitely on the list of preferred writers, and Stephen King of course, plus Erica Spindler, Irwin Shaw, Tim Winton...  The list could go on forever!

 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

 

Not nearly enough, and I struggle to maintain a routine. But I try to get at least 20 hours a week in.

 

Where do you like to write? 

 

Mostly in my lovely office which has windows overlooking a koala sanctuary, though I sometimes migrate to the back outdoor living area (which has similar views), and I often write when traveling in our campervan.

 

If you could go anywhere, where would you most like to go to write?

 

Italy or Greece. I will get there one day soon! I can’t wait. The history of those countries intrigues me.

 

When do you think your next book will come out?

 

‘Mortgaged Goods’ will be released in the next couple of months hopefully before we leave, in mid-July, to travel around Australia.

 

Do you have a biggest fan?

 

I guess, ironically, it would have to be my 90-year-old mother, who discouraged me actively from writing and was often quite harsh in her put-downs, but now boasts to everyone about my writing and shows off my works at every opportunity.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for future authors?

 

Write. Read. Write. Believe in yourself, but be open to criticism and hungry to learn and improve constantly. Writing isn’t as much a talent as a skill that is learned through study and practice.

 

And NEVER dismiss a reader’s feedback rudely or contemptuously. Remember, an opinion can never be wrong. Consider feedback carefully. You may choose to dismiss it, but always value it. It just might provide a clue to improvement. 

 

Lorraine, that last paragraph was my favorite piece of advice.  Thank you.

 

Now on a personal note…where were you born, where did you grow up, and did this have any bearing on how or about what you write?

 

I was born in Armidale, in the New England area of NSW, Australia. I spent  my first 11 years there, growing up as part of a large and very close extended family and in a loving but very conservative rural community. My mother was widowed when I was just 6 weeks old, after only 11 months of marriage. When I was 2, she went to England to visit my father’s family, and we lived there for 6 months. She met a man on the return voyage who migrated to California, and when I was 11, she went to California and married him. We spent four years there, returning to Australia (after she divorced) just before my sixteenth birthday.

 

After a few years back in Australia, I married a soldier-musician and went to live in Singapore for two years.

 

My childhood and youth were tumultuous in many ways, and I suffered a great deal of hurt and heartache. The culture shock, when we returned to Australia, combined with family challenges, disrupted my education and prevented me from fulfilling my dream of going to university. I completed high school, but with no formal recognition that I had done so. I found that devastating. Sadly, I have never been able to complete my education, and I find that a handicap when promoting myself.


I think every writer draws on personal experience in their writing, and it’s impossible not to be influenced, in your writing, by your upbringing and family.

What else would you like us to know about Lorraine Cobcroft?

 

I have been happily married for 44 years to a wonderful man, and we have three childrentwo lovely daughters and a son. Two sons-in-law and five delightful grandchildren complete the family. Sadly, our daughter-in-law succumbed to cancer three years ago, leaving our son with four very young children to raise alone. Though he has found a new love, he has not remarried.

We have had pet dogs, one of whom
Honey, a Chihuahuawas almost human and a deeply loved member of our family. Since she passed away, we can’t bring ourselves to love another animal.

 

My highest priority in allocating time and energy has always been my family. Growing up without a father or siblings, and later marrying a man who was deprived of the love of his parents, family was always vitally important. It was something both my husband and I craved in youth, and determined to create and hang on to in adulthood.

 

While family is my life, writing is my passion. I also love beta reading, critiquing, editing and mentoring emerging writers. I run a small publishing enterprise and arrange publicationboth print and e-bookfor Indie authors. And I write book reviews.

Apart from writing-related activities, I enjoy reading, sewing, nature walks, singing in the local choir (and elsewhere!) and travel. And spending time with friends. I’m richly blessed with an abundance of wonderful, caring friends. Ironically, my husband now has three families
the blood family he was reunited with at age 26, the ‘brothers’ he grew up with in an orphanage, and his army band corp ‘family’all of whom I include in a vast circle of good friends.


 

Lorraine, I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did.  We will be looking forward to your book, Mortgaged Goods, as well as many more books from you.

 

    

Here are some places where you can read more about Lorraine Cobcroft, Author, and contact her:

 

Readers and fellow writers can learn more about me at www.rainbowriter.com or contact me by emailing writer@rainbowriter.com. I’m also active on a vast number of writer and social media websites, including Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, Authonomy, Inkspand, Noveltunity to name a few, and LinkedIn and Facebook. 

‘The Pencil Case: They Stole Us White Kids Too’ is available from Amazon and most good bookstores. Watch for ‘Mortgaged Goods’ to appear shortly at all the same venues.