Category Archives: Author Interviews

My TV interview on Arts Talk…


Talking about my newest YA book, Clickety Click but also my other books too.

So now I’ve actually watched myself on this TV interview (cringe but I don’t think I was too awful!!!) I can share it – go to 11.04 on the time line. I wanted to thank my gracious hosts for inviting me onto the show. It was a lot of fun.

 

Interview with Paranormal Investigator – Cheryl Lynn Carter…


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What inspired you to write your first book?
About ten years ago a lovely lady named Toni Sun did a reading for me. She told me I was going to write something special. I told her I was already a journalist for a small newspaper, but she said no. It would be a book; maybe two or three. I chuckled to myself as the thought had never crossed my mind. I asked her if she knew what the books would be about. She just said, “You’ll know.” But I didn’t. Then I began my quest to search for answers about the afterlife. As a medium, I had the opportunity to “speak” with spirits and hear their stories. Some of them had been waiting years for somebody to finally hear them. I promised I would share their stories so that others would remember them. And so, I began writing my book.

How did you come up with the title?
At first I could not decide on a title. Sure I had several tentative ideas, but not one that seemed quite fitting. I decided to start writing and figured the right one would find its way to me. Then one day my Great Grandmother Elizabeth “said” to me, “Let’s call our book “Whispers.” And so “Whispers Beyond the Grave” it was.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
This is my first book and I’m proud to say I have become an International Author already. Currently, I am working on two new books: “Fear the Darkness” and “When the Dead Come Alive.” I have also helped with the research on my friend Tom Conwell’s new book “They Are Here: Central US UFOs.” I verified the Native teachings for him.

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Can you tell us about your upcoming books?
“When the Dead Come Alive” is the next book about my adventures and encounters with those from the Other Side. I met a lot of spirits this past year that wanted their story to be told. I shall never forget my “new friends” from Waverly Hills, Ashmore Estates, Poasttown Elementary, Collingwood Arts Center, Willis House Inn, the USS Edson, USS Silversides, Detroit Fort Wayne and a special farm in Farwell, MI.

“Fear the Darkness” is a collection of dark and twisted short stories and poems. I’m not sure where these came from as they are a bit edgy for me; perhaps I was channeling Edgar Allen Poe!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message that I want to convey is actually very simple. “Spirits were once people too!” Often times people forget this. They may have transcended into that mysterious dimension known as the afterlife leaving their physical body behind. However, they are still unique individuals like you and I with intelligence and feelings. They should always be treated with respect.

How much of the book is realistic?
My book is 100% true. I’m a Medium, Paranormal Researcher and EVP Specialist. This book is about my strange, scary, but mostly cool true encounters with the many spirits from the other side.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You don’t have to be “gifted” to communicate with your loved ones that have passed on. Just talk to them. They can hear you. Perhaps they are already leaving you signs. Be more observant. Do you sometimes experience a whiff of perfume or pipe tobacco right under your nose? Does a certain song play when you are thinking about them? These are just some of the little ways they are letting you know that they are still around and thinking about you.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love sharing my experiences in such a way that the reader feels they are right there with me. It’s a real compliment when people say they enjoyed the trip.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I was inspired by my teacher Mrs. Foley when I was a freshman in high school. She made English class a true experience and I quickly grew to appreciate the written word. After that, the stories and poems flowed as my hand penned the cursive words over the paper.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
Oh my, don’t make me choose. Each one of my paranormal encounters was special to me. But I suppose my favorite would be the chapter about Sarah. There was a local legend about a woman in white that would roam William Ganong Cemetery at night. The story was intriguing to me so I decided to visit one afternoon. I had been there only a short time when she appeared to me. She led me to her grave the old gravestone crumbling with age. As I brushed away the leaves, the words read, “Sarah Dickinson, wife of Mathew, died 1865 at age 20.” I heard her disembodied voice as she cried, “Help!” and also captured EVPs of the same. She told me she was waiting for her beloved Mathew to come back from the Civil War. He promised her he would return and she promised to wait. I quickly did the math and realized she had been waiting 148 years! I “saw” that she was sick perhaps with the deadly flu that claimed its victims in one day. She went to sleep and never awoke; she had no idea she was dead. After four visits to the cemetery, I finally sat down on the stone bench and had a serious talk with her. I told her the truth and that I knew where to find Mathew. As I encouraged her to walk over the beautiful bridge toward the light, she became hesitant. I asked Mathew to come to the bridge. There he was wearing his Union uniform and twenty years old again. He wanted to be just like she remembered. When Sarah saw him, she raced over the bridge and into his loving arms. In typical “Gone With the Wind” fashion, he picked her up and carried her away. It was a true love story.

What book are you reading now?
At the moment, I’m reading a great book by my good friend Jeff Mudgett called “Bloodstains.” After discovering diaries that belonged to his Great Great Grandfather Herman Webster Mudgett, he began searching to uncover the truth. The truth being he was really known as H.H. Holmes America’s most notorious serial killer during the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
My friend Tom Conwell has written two very interesting books: “They Are Here: East Coast UFOs” and “They Are Here: Central US UFOs.” Both books contain amazing information convincing me that we are not alone in this universe.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
I always enjoy a Coke and a Reese’s. They give me the energy I need to keep going.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?
Besides the fact that I talk to dead people? Well, I do remember when I was four and Grandma would open the cedar chest. As she lifted the lid, the earthy scent would fill the room. She reached inside and pulled out some old books. Together we sat on the bed surrounded by generations of relatives living within the weathered pages. I watched as she carefully turned each page of black and white photographs fastened on with tiny black corners. Memories in bits and pieces spilled out before our eyes. Grandma said they were places she could return to again and again no matter how much times goes by. Although I did not know who these people were, it appeared they made Grandma smile. It was as though they were talking to her. But of course, I thought that was silly. Pictures didn’t talk. Then one day, she left me alone as she went into the kitchen. I picked up a photograph and held it in my hand. And indeed the photograph “spoke” to me. It felt as if my hand was a telephone allowing me to connect to some unknown place without ever dialing the number.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My next project is already underway. I’ve been asked to be part of a documentary called “The Mystery of Farwell Farm” about the mysterious happenings at my friend’s farm in Farwell, MI. We’ve been working on this for over a year and continue to discover new information.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?
My book is available on Amazon.com. You will find my Author page on Facebook by searching Cheryl.Lynn.Carter.author

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Author Interview – P.S.Winn…


Please welcome Pamela – I asked her to participate mainly due to her book entitled Obligations, to tie into my near death topic, however as a prolific author it was soon clear I needed to highlight her other books too. Enjoy.

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What inspired you to write your first book?

I think I began writing more to just preserve my ideas in book form. My husband was told he may not live much longer back in 2012. That was scary and we moved back to my hometown so I could be by my family. I almost threw out my poems and short stories due to the quick nature of the move. I decided then I needed to keep those writings and began then to actually write a novel. My husband has since stabilized, not improved, but is hanging in there and we are taking each day as it comes and cherishing the moments.

How did you come up with the title?

The first book is “Foretold” and is based on the last days found in the Bible and in the works of Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus. I never thought the world would just end, but I always felt it would never be the same and people may have to go back to the basics. The Bible has a quote about turning weapons to plow shares. I feel that means we won’t have the things we have now and we may all instead have small gardens and farms to support our families. Now, getting ready to write book #42 I still find that what I learned in the Bible, by reading Cayce, Nostradamus and others can be found in whatever I write.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

I have just finished book #41 entitled “Tidbits and Treasures” it is a collection of poetry.
I am having health issues of my own and having problems with my spine which in turn effects my hands, so I am slowing down in writing, but have finished the 41 in 4 years, with 42 being started and 3 more in my head.

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Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In almost all my books I like to combine a bit of spirituality in with the other genres. I think I have two that show this best “Obligations” and “Of Jeebies and Journeys”. I also a couple of collections of short stories that definitely do. “Visitations” and “Wings to Whispers”

How much of the book is realistic?

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In “Obligations” a near death experience takes a young man to the other side and then he is sent back because evil followed him. The young man, Josh, is given the gifts of seeing spirits and auras to help him. I haven’t had a near death experience, but know people who have and tried to base the book on what they saw and felt. I think the curtain between our world and heaven is very thin and think if people open their minds they may see that loved ones who have passed away are trying to reach us, protect us and let us know they are not too far away. In “Jeebies and Journeys” Jed journeys from this world to the next in hopes of returning something precious that was stolen from his wife Ellie by the Jeebies. I hope I captured Heaven and the possibilities we’ll find in that novel.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think all writing has to be based on what we know and have lived through. I also think characters have many things in common with people we know or even ourselves. Don’t tell my friends though, I am keeping identities secret.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I really love Josh in the book “Obligations” and Nikki in the book “Tunnels”. The latter combines a bit of supernatural with spiritual as wormhole like Tunnels take Nikki to other worlds and alternate realities.

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If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I wouldn’t change any books. I’ve had people say some books are too short, although I have “Tunnels” which is over 600 pages. I know I have been asked several times to write sequels to the books, especially “Obligations” and “Pacific Passage”, which is a novel where people live through a wreck of a cruise ship that heads through a vortex to an island where mysteries of ages are discovered..

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks, without readers vivid imaginations the books wouldn’t be finished. I think each reader brings their own ideas and images to the books they read and make them better. As an avid reader, I know when I read a book I see it just a little differently than the next person. I am positive that is why the book is always better than the movie. We bring our own mind with a personal movie screen along with us and as we read the story unfolds to each of us differently.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Just putting the words down on paper, I do this longhand. I think the best part is when I am not actually writing, but doing something else and an idea pops in my head, usually my characters taking to me, and they take the story in a route I never thought of.

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What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I’d have to say at least by the first grade, or as soon as I learned to write. I loved to write poems and short stories, I just didn’t try to write a novel until October of 2012.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I think I love it all, but when the work is done and I try to add in a special note to family, friends and readers that I hope is more personal and can express the gratitude I feel for all the support in this crazy world I find myself in.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

I love supernatural. I think some may think supernatural is science fiction, but for me I like to think that supernatural is closer to what is possible.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I don’t write a whole lot of romance, although it is definitely in the books and I don’t write erotica. I think romance is good when we let our own imaginations fill in the gaps.

What book are you reading now?

Hard to say, I usually read between 4 and 6 books a day. I am a top ten reader on Goodreads and have done over two thousand reviews on Amazon since 2013.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

About a million. I’d have to say my favorite authors who have multitudes of books and genres would be John Dizon, Char Iverson and Angie Blake. I love Berkeley Rourke and John Putnam, especially for westerns. For books that touch the heart I love Phyllis McManus and Stephanie Parker McKean. For suspense Mark Tilbury is great and spiritual writer Doug Simpson is a must have. I know I have missed hundreds of people whose books I love and hope they will forgive me.

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Do you see writing as a career?

That is what I do now. I used to work in customer services, but herniated discs, spine degeneration and my husband’s health problems make being an author with my own hours a much better choice. I am just thankful that I am able to do that. Being an author, unless you are a Stephen King or a J.K. Rowling doesn’t keep the lights on.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I nibble when I write and when I don’t! My favorite is chocolate, but I love a good bowl of buttered popcorn too. I also live on coffee, both with and without chocolate added.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I don’t know if my habits are odd, but most of my stories are written in my mind in that place we go between being awake and asleep. Luckily for me, I remember the stories in the morning when I wake up. I think from childhood, the amazing thing and what I appreciate most are my parents giving me the love of reading, which led to the writing. My parents are gone now, but they still visit me once in a while and those moments are added into the short story collections “Visitations” and “Wings to Whispers.”

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Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I have no idea, if I am lucky, I hope to have a few more books out and also be helping other authors to do the say. I try to help get other writers noticed by putting their books on my face book page and on twitter where I have almost 17000 followers.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Slowing down, sometimes if I know how I want a book to end, it is hard to force myself to slow down and get the whole story in before that ending.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

I have no deadlines, my reward is always that first review and I have to say my readers have been amazing. So many touch my heart with the reviews and many explain my book better than I can.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Not yet. I have found a couple of times I was almost ready to throw something out and start over when the story changed, usually with my characters input, and the story turned out better than I could have imagined.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Bible or something like that. A guide for people to follow that would bring them happiness and also a type of guideline for morals, love and understanding. I think our world needs that. I wrote a short story collection called “Life Bridges” with three stories of people who used love and understanding to overcome hatred, bullying and prejudice. That is what is important in this life. I am not a religious person who regularly attends church, but I am spiritual and believe we can make a difference with one good gesture if we all try.

What is your best marketing tip?

I think it is running a book on a 99 cent sale. I promote in Facebook groups and on Twitter. When I sell a book on sale instead of just giving it a way I get more reviews. Although as a reader I grab a lot of freebies and always leave a review. The only time don’t is if it would be under a three star. I can’t do that to an author and try to find them and personally send a message why.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

The new book is about the paranormal, but it is also a mystery with some twists and turns as a spirit tries to share a tragedy in her past with people in the present.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

“Tidbits and Treasures” should be released in November and is a collection of my life through poems. I wanted to put a lot of the poems I have written through the years in book form. Mostly to preserve that writing, but also I hope to touch readers with what are treasures to me. The poems are on love, life and all that involves, including tragedies with the happy moments.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

The books are on Amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/P.-S.-Winn/e/B00E6XAR82/

on Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/p.s.-winn

My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pswinnbooks/

On Twitter I am @ https://twitter.com/pswinnauthor

You can also find me on Goodreads where I am an author and an avid reader!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580862.P_S_Winn
Thanks so much for letting me spout my thoughts here and I hope that I have given you some good information and I hope you will join me on Facebook or Twitter, especially if you are a fellow author. I would love to share what others write on my pages.
Even though I have written 40 books, getting ready for 41, in 4 years I am still honored and amazed when asked if I would like to do an interview and am grateful for your asking me.

Guest blog – Dorothy M Place…


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The literary fiction novel, The Heart to Kill, is a story of a horrible crime, an enduring friendship, and personal illumination. Sarah, a student at Northwestern University Law School, returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages. The first is that she has not been chosen for a coveted internship for which her father had arranged an interview; the second is that Sarah’s best friend in high school, JoBeth Ruland, has murdered her two children. To mislead her father about her failure to obtain the internship, Sarah decides to secure a position on JoBeth’s defense team and, against his wishes, returns to her family home in Eight Mile Junction, South Carolina. She sets out to become a vital member of her friend’s defense team and to regain favor with her father, but is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with chauvinism, malice, duplicity, and betrayal. Her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the expert trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and discovery of the role of several individuals in the degradation of JoBeth. Please visit the author’s website, http://www.dorothymplace.com, where you can read more about the novel, how it came to written, and take a virtual tour of Eight Mile Junction.

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www.dorothymplace.com

I love the virtual tour map on Dorothy’s website – take a look.

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Bio:

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Dorothy M. Place now lives and writes in Davis, California. A principle investigator of a research group at Sacramento State College, she began creative writing, first as a hobby then as a second career, ten years ago. Since 2005, ten of her short stories have been published in literary journals and magazines, two of which were selected for prizes. At present, she is putting together her first collection of short stories, Living on the Edge, and working on her second novel, The Search for Yetta.

Interview with Karlyle Tomms…


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What inspired you to write your first book?

It started as a joke. I have done community theater for about 45 years and I’ve always been a bit of a cut up. One day, I was joking with a friend and this character came out of me. She was a smoking, aging hippie woman who said, “My daughter would never dress out for gym class. That’s because one nipple pointed up and one nipple pointed down, and all the children called her tiddlywinks. –Of course that golf ball sized hairy mole on her ass never helped matters much either.”
It got a laugh. So, liking a laugh, I decided to sit at the keyboard and see what she would say. The rest was a total shock. Over the next couple of years, she wrote her entire autobiography as my first novel. She had a lot more to say than just a joke, and actually, that joke never came out in the novel. It was a catalyst that started the writing, and apparently that is all it needed to do. It was a spark that lit the flame of my novel writing. From that point on, I simply wrote what she told me to say in her own words.

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How did you come up with the title?

The pet name that the protagonist’s father gave her as a child was Pumpkin Patch. So, since she was confessing all kinds of things, the title became “Confessions from the Pumpkin Patch.”

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

This is actually not my first book, but it is my first novel. I had written a self-help adult coloring book back in the mid 1990’s when I lived in Nashville, Tennessee. It appears now, I was ahead of my time since adult coloring books have become so popular. At the time, I had great endorsements, had a literary agent and a film producer who was helping me with a film clip to promote myself for speaking engagements. However, personal tragedy struck, and the result was I ended up moving back to the Ozarks to take care of my Grandmother. So, the book deals kind of fell apart. We had editors of major publishing companies who were interested in the book, but the “bean counters” in the days before publish on demand existed, were hesitant to publish it. In retrospect, it is probably just as well, as I would not have been able to care for my grandmother and have the time to promote the book or do speaking tours anyway.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

This is the first novel in my “Soul Encounters” series. It became a series when one of the cameo characters who interacted with the protagonist of this first novel began nagging me that he wanted to tell his story. As I started his story, I had yet another character who began nagging me to tell his story, and so on. It is called “Soul Encounters” because there is a life changing event that occurs in the interaction between the cameo character and the protagonist, that triggers changes for both of them. These are stories about life’s misfits (in a way). One might not recognize them as misfits because they appear, on the surface perhaps, to be quite together, but they are not. They struggle with inner demons, and struggle to overcome life’s challenges, conflicting beliefs and conflicting relationships. They struggle with dysfunctional family, addictions, mental illness, PTSD, abuse, rejection by society, prejudice etc. Then they realize in the end, that there is another way of looking at life, another way of looking at their conflicts and perhaps another way of looking at themselves. Each one is a story of overcoming in a different form, a story of surviving to be a stronger, to become a more emotionally healthy human being.

How much of the book is realistic?

Well, none of the books are fantasies. There are no fairies, dwarfs or witch queens, no flying unicorns or dragons. Each one is based on a point in history. In the first book, Lovella (Pumpkin Patch) struggles with the issues of the 1960’s, hippies, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, her own racial prejudice (that she never thought she had), and the struggles in her relationship with her mother who she grew to despise from a young age. The second novel in the series, “In My Father’s House” covers the 1940’s through the early 1970’s and has to do with struggles around religion, faith, sexuality, abuse, suicide, addiction and mental illness.

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Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I have a friend who swears the protagonist of “Confessions from the Pumpkin Patch” is our friend Marcy, who has passed away. She was an older woman of the 1960’s who we met in college, and who took us under her wing. She was a child of the 60’s, though not quite a hippie and she struggled as well in her relationship with her mother. However, it was not my intent to base this character on her, and the character is very different from her in many ways. If I were to say anything about these characters, I would say they are (in a way) all part of me. If I were to have Dissociative Identity Disorder and have multiple personalities, perhaps the protagonists of my novels might be personalities that would have manifested inside of me. It feels as though they are a part of me. They talk to me. They tell me who they are. They tell me their stories, and they tell me how to write their stories.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Oh Wow! Don’t make me choose. That is kind of like asking a father which of his children is his favorite. You love them all for different reasons. I’m so excited about, and for all of them. I love that they have wonderful stories to tell, and that their stories have lessons of spirituality, and mental health contained within them. I love watching the stories unfold in my mind, and I love watching how they get told in the written word. It is almost as though I am not writing the story, but I am listening to them tell it.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, I don’t think so. My latest book is actually only one or two chapters from being finished. It is the second book in the Soul Encounters series. When I get those chapters finished, then my editor and I get to work pouring over and over the manuscript to make sure the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct, the time lines are correct, that I got the history around the story correct, and that it flows well from beginning to end. At this point, there are tweaks that can still be made, but probably very few. If the first novel is any indication, it will all fall in place right where and how it is supposed to.

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Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I am so grateful for all the folks who have taken the time to buy and read this first book. I hope you will enjoy all the books in the series just as much. I am grateful that so many people have liked the first book, and I’m thankful for all the positive feedback I’ve gotten about it both from readers and professional reviewers.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

It is just as entertaining for me to write the stories as it is for the readers to read them. I love to write! I never thought I would ever be able to write a novel until Pumpkin Patch showed me how. Before this, I realize I had been over thinking it, trying too hard, getting so focused on the planning that I failed to see the process. Now, I look forward to writing. I look forward to telling the stories just as I look forward to watching a good movie or having dinner with friends. Writing is entertainment to me. Creativity is a joy.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I wrote my first play when I was in the 8th grade. It was called, “Who Ate the Tree?” I have no idea what happened to it, and recall little about it except it was a story about being environmentally responsible. That would have been about 1965 or 1966 (Don’t make me do the math!). I wrote poetry all through high school and when I was in college, I was the editor for the campus literary magazine showcasing student writing talent.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

My favorite part of the first novel is the last few pages and the last line of the book. It made me cry when I wrote it, and I’ve cried practically every time I’ve read it since then. This is a mother/daughter story, but it is also a story about coming to recognize love behind the veil of conflict.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

I guess general and historical fiction which is the genre of the Soul Encounters series. I love science fiction, and I actually have several ideas for science fiction novels, but those have not decided to come to fruition. I have an idea for a murder mystery novel that I have carried around in my head since the 1990’s, but that has also not come to fruition. My first book, Confessions from the Pumpkin Patch won the 2016 New Apple Awards Medal for general fiction as a coming of age story. They are all coming of age stories, in a way, but absolutely not for young adults. These are very adult books, and there are segments that are quite graphic, both sexually, and by the third novel, violently. One might consider these novels historical fiction. However, I have had a hard time labeling a genre for them.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Actually, I don’t think there is a subject I would never write about except that I will never write about a nihilistic or hopeless view of life. I will not write a story in which the premise is – why bother, it’s all worthless bull anyway. I don’t believe that about life. I went through hell in my own life. [Read “Hate (My Story)” on my blog page karlyletomms.com.] I have overcome the concept of a doomed world with doomed relationships. I think if I can overcome it, others can too. In fact, that is exactly the point of my writing. When you have been through trauma and oppression, you have basically two options. You can succumb to it or you can overcome it. I chose to overcome it.

What book are you reading now?

I’m not reading now. Since I had my first novel published, I have had my nose so much to the grindstone that I have not really had time to read. I will watch movies because I can sit down for about 2 hours and get the story, but a book takes more time and effort. There are things I enjoy about both, and maybe if I can get a vacation soon, I can do one of my favorite things to do on vacation, relax with a good book. I did recently order Hold Back the Sun by Warren Bell, and I’m looking forward to an opportunity to read it. I am interested in reading it because it is a novel about the Pacific War of World War II. Since my father was a Japanese prisoner of war in World War II, I have an interest in Japan and that whole era.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

As mentioned above, I have interest in books by Warren Bell. I have also marked a few “want to read” on my Goodreads page that look interesting to me.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh Yes! Please Lord! Yes! Yes! – This is how I want to spend my retirement. I am sixty-one years old, and over the next few years will be retiring from my day job (unless my writing sells enough to get me out sooner), and I want to spend the rest of my life writing, writing and writing.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I do not nibble as I write. In fact, I find that food gets in the way of typing fingers. It also can make the keys sticky—yuck! I hate when my keyboard doesn’t’ feel right. However, my favorite snack food is popcorn, and if you ever find me passed out, administer dark chocolate liberally.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I have multiple childhood stories and many of these can be found on the blog page of my website (karlyletomms.com). In the early 1990’s I wrote for a regional magazine called “Recovery Times” and was published with a monthly feature article alongside people like Rokelle Lerner, Father Leo Booth, Alan Cohen and Thom Rutledge. I would tell a childhood story in my articles and then wrap it around a metaphor or moral for addictions recovery at the end. I still have about twelve of those articles and I’ve considered publishing them as a compilation.  Odd habits? I don’t know. Your definition of odd and mine could be entirely different. However, I prefer to be barefoot and will go barefoot any time the room or the weather is warm enough to allow it. In fact, I moved south so I could go barefoot more often. If I can move near the equator one day, I may never wear shoes again. When I was a child, I went barefoot all over the farm, and have scars on my feet to prove it. No jokes about Arkansas stereotypes please.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would love to be a well-established writer, and have multiple works in publication. I would love to try my hand collaborating on screenplays, and I would love to have my stories turned into well-funded and well produced movies.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time for it! I will have a lot more time for it when I retire, and maybe when I can sell enough books to hire someone to do the promotion and a lot of other things I am doing on my own now. I seem to be at that squeeze point of success where you are selling so much you can’t keep up with it, but you are not selling enough to hire the help you need.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

Deadline? What deadline? There are deadlines? Nobody told me about this! I have moved back my own deadline for finishing my current novel twice. However, this one is getting written in about three years when it took six years to write the first one. I think my reward will be getting it finished and seeing it in publication.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Well, of course. I don’t think you are a normal writer if you like everything you write. There are several things in the hard drive that I’ve never finished for multiple reasons. There are poems I have simply ripped up after handwriting them. I may re-visit some of those things some day and try again, and maybe I won’t.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – brilliant book! It is the only book I have ever read that I couldn’t wait to get back to as soon as possible. I read every evening after work until I finished it, and couldn’t wait to get back to it the next evening.

What is your best marketing tip?

I haven’t figured that out yet. I am just running around trying everything that happens to pop into my head (if I can achieve it) and praying it works. What I have done most is Twitter. I post my own quotes and sayings on photos (most that I take myself) and I have a service that repeatedly re-tweets them on a schedule. It seems to be gradually picking up speed. I also post to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and others. I have a daily mini blog on Instagram with a commentary about one of my photo quotes.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

For now, I am staying with my current genre of general and recent historical fiction. The novel I am about to finish is about a man with a fetish, and a sexual addiction who hates himself for it because it conflicts with his fundamentalist religious beliefs.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Well, I had the idea to have people read the current novel and try to guess which cameo character would be the protagonist of the next novel. However, I can tell you it is about a man who is struggling with conflicts between his sexual addiction and his religious upbringing.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

There are links through my website karlyletomms.com and my work can be purchased on Amazon. Also if you Google my name, Karlyle Tomms, there are multiple links available to a variety of things including the books.

 

Interview Brian Hayden – An Experience of Holding onto Life…


Brian Hayden

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first Book, “Understanding Strategic And Tactical Planning” was a surprise. I was the Chief Operating Officer for Specialty, 24 hour and Emergency Animal Hospitals for a national Animal hospital company. I wrote some notes, intended to help our hospital managers understand the process of operating animal hospitals. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) saw it. They asked me to expand it into a book.

1583260196 VET

The next two books dealt with my death. “Death: Living To Talk About It” started out as a blog. I had just come out of hospice, where I was supposed to have died. I began a blog – the sole purpose was try to understand the ordeal I went through.

Tell us a little about yourself before your experience.

I am happily married, with two grown children. I have six grandsons. Before the problems began, I was an Air Force Master Sargent, stationed in England. I was 35 years old when I first died.

What were your ‘belief’s on life after death at that time (if any)?

I hadn’t really thought about life after death. Just the usual passing thought now and then. That changed when I was in hospice, waiting to die.

I was visited by both of my grandmothers. They had passed many years before.  Though I was drugged and dying, years of reflection bring me to one conclusion. My grandmothers were with me – watching and waiting. I talk about this in detail, in am upcoming book.

book cover

How did you come up with the title?

The title of my first post death experience book came easily. “Death: Living To Talk About It”. Having died  (actually died) 5 times and had “should have died” moments more than 200 times – well, the title just presented itself.

Is this your first book?

This was not my first book. The management book I mentioned earlier was my first book. During that period, I had written several scripts for education videos.

Why did you decide to write about your experience?

At first, I wanted to write about my experiences to help me understand what had happened to me. Later, the motivation shifted. As the blog was progressing, I received feedback from many people. They appreciated me sharing my story. It was informational, and it let people know that they are not alone. Lots of people struggle with serious health issues. They were comforted knowing others were experiencing the same things they were.

What message do you want to send to your readers?

Hope. It’s a powerful word. When you read my books, you understand the adversity and struggles I had for many years. Never give up. Think to yourself: If he can still be skulking about after all that he has gone through, maybe then I can too.

Road to Transplant

How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

“Road To Transplant” is the sequel to the “Death” book. It is an international bestselling book that chronicles my journey for life. Great information. It examines family dynamics during family crisis, looks into the process of getting a heart transplant, and follows me through the process of dying – not knowing if a heart would become available.

I’ve also written a book. “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems”. I desperately needed a diversion from talking about illness. It is a fun book. The stories will make you laugh, cry, be happy and sad.

Poems.jpg

What book are you reading now?

I am re-reading “A Movable Feast” by Hemmingway. His words stir the creative juices in my mind. I always read him, and the Russian writers of the 18th and 19th century as I write my own stories.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I have a second book of short stories and poems in the works. Also a historical fiction is almost completed. Both books should be available in about a year.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about me is on my web page. Along with excerpts from my books, reviews and links to purchase them. Also, you will find a great blog that nearly a half million people have read.

Go to Brianhayden.net for all stuff ME!

Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to know more about me, and my work.

Brian has also made videos on the dangers of smoking. See below.

 

 

My Interview at Joseph D Drumheller – The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book…


Link here: https://josephdrumheller.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/five-steps-to-create-a-childrens-book/

The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book  

Rumble's First Scare

  1. The Idea

This may seem like the easiest part of creating a children’s book – right? Not as easy as first appears as it turns out. Your idea has to convert onto the page in a language that your target audience can understand word usage is vital so take note.

  1. What age group are you writing for?
  2. Will you target pre-schoolers or an older age group?
  3. Will the story contain a moral or lesson?

My children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare began life as a prompt for Halloween. I did not want to write the usual monster narrative but something more unusual and fun. So I wrote the story from the young monster’s point of view. Younger children love Rumble and monsters are not so scary.

  1. Finding a Publisher

There are numerous avenues to research when it comes to finding a publisher.

  1. You can follow children’s book agents.
  2. Submit your story to contests with a book contract attached.
  3. Attend conferences and find an interested agent/publisher.
  4. Research local or regional publishing houses and submit your story.

I was fortunate to find a publisher locally and this made my publishing experience a more personally tailored one. Dream Write Publishing did an amazing job and I was part of the process all the way through.

  1. Illustrations

The amount of illustrations is dependent on the age of your target group, the younger the age group the more pictures are required and less text.

  1. If you are a talented artist you can illustrate yourself.
  2. Do you know an artist that will collaborate with you on the project?
  3. Does your publisher offer this service?
  4. There are many artists on social media you can approach.

My Rumble character was the culmination of my imagination and crude drawings and a wonderful artist friend, Matthew McClatchie, who made my idea of what Rumble would look like into reality.

  1. Text

Again the amount of text needs to be balanced for the target age group. For example, if the books are for very young children the text needs to be simple and sparse with great pictures, but for independent readers, illustrations can be on the chapter headers only.

  1. Do you want the story in rhyme form?
  2. Choose simple pronounceable names for your characters.
  3. Wrap the text around the pictures or along the bottom of the page.
  4. Keep exposition to a minimum
  1. Extra Pages
  2. The publisher will require your author bio and a photo
  3. You will create a ‘blurb’ – a brief description of the story – for the back of the book.
  4. If you wish you can have a dedication page.
  5. The publisher will allocate an ISBN and the legal disclaimers and permissions for duplication.

Sharing my little book with friends and family was stupendous. The moment any author is handed their first book is overwhelming emotional. It is the closest an adult comes to childish delight. The reality that your words are now published, that many people will read it and your words will outlive you delighting generations to come is a heady feeling.

After your book is published your work is not done. Promotion becomes your master. Be creative and say ‘Yes’ to any and all opportunities that come your way. The more your book is noticed the more sales.

Mandy and Rumble at SC Summerwood

To promote Rumble I created a soft toy of Rumble, which was so much fun. Once I showed my writing group they all announced I should make miniatures for each book, I declined!  Rumble accompanies me to readings and events and is always popular. As I had a good deal of promotion to manage without sewing into the wee hours, I did commissioned Rumble hats, and ordered T-shirts, which are a lot easier to handle.

Bio:

Mandy@

Always creative, I came to writing later in life. A chance visit to a writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, propelled me into the written word in a way I could never have imagined. I delve into all genres expanding my writing muscles and with several books published; I am certainly making up for ‘lost’ time. As a free flow writer, my stories lead me rather than the other way round, delighting me with plot twists and turns. Writing is my passion, the source of new found fellowship and most of all fun.

shelf

Contact:

I can be reached through my blog at www.mandyevebarnett.com, on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/ and through Twitter @mandyevebarnett

Annual Colouring Contest:

I arrange an annual colouring competition prior to Halloween for Rumble fans. The picture is in .pdf format and downloaded from my publisher’s website – http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca. Once all entries are in I choose the winners. Prizes include Rumble hats, T-shirts, monster orientated toys and games.

My newest book will be launched this fall – Clickety Click   is a YA monster story. Why do I have a propensity for monsters, I have no idea!

Click crop cover

 

Author Interview – Joe McKnight…


Joe McKnight

Please welcome Joe to my blog. He is a great writer, a talented artist as well as author and the President of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always had a love for storytelling. Even when I was young. When I was fourteen I saw a game called Time Soldiers and I basically took it from there. Many rewrites later the final draft looks nothing like the original; even the title – Time’s Hostage – is different.

Time's_Hostage

How did you come up with the title?

I needed a title that wasn’t already owned by a video game so during my last revision, I looked into my story to find a title that worked with the story. I knew I wanted to incorporate time into the title so that’s where I started. Then, because one of the characters is kidnapped and taken through time, I came up with Time’s Hostage.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or un published)

Time’s Hostage was my first; it was published in 2013. Since then I have published two more with a fourth one coming out in fall of 2016. I am currently writing a fifth book and planning a sixth one to be started in November 2016.

Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?

Occasionally I throw in a message but mostly I just want the reader to have fun and enjoy the world I have created.

How much of the book is realistic?

I try to immerse my characters into the real world whether that be a world where they travel through time, exist on another planet or live in a world of enhanced humans. I try to create relatable characters no matter what environment put them in.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I don’t base my characters on real people usually but sometimes a steal memories from real life and insert them into my stories.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I am answering this one for Fly On The Wall as it is my newest one as of Summer 2016. I’m not so sure I would change anything. This book was different than anything I had written previously and that’s how I try to write all my books. Keep them different from each other; try new things. It was a lot of fun for me to write.

Fly on the Wall

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Just that I hope everyone who reads my books gets as much, if not more, enjoyment from my stories as I did writing them.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I don’t know that I have a specific favorite part or chapter in my novels. What I really do enjoy is creating completely new worlds. In my novel The Arrival and my newest book, Powerless, due in fall, I got to create worlds far apart from our own – a distant planet and an alternate universe respectively.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

Sci-fi has to be my favorite genre. Four of my books are of a science fiction nature. Two of which happen to be time travel, which would be my favorite theme. Although I do try and change it up. Right now I am writing a suspense novel.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m sure there probably is a subject I wouldn’t write about but I haven’t been approached to write anything so I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh out whether or not I felt comfortable in writing it. I basically get inspired to write certain stories that both interest and excite me.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to have a career as a writer and to do this full time.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

By then I hope to be working full-time for a local publishing company, still writing, and possibly making the Comic Con circuit.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Research is always challenging. I have dealt with scenes involving medical, law enforcement, science professionals, and time travel. The trick is to make each scene believable and authentic.

Have you ever hated anything you have written?

Of course. If I really hate something I have written and editing cannot fix the issue, I would consider revising or just scrap it altogether.

Which book do you wish you had written?

This might come across as a pure money grubbing answer but I wish I had written the Harry Potter series. I title like that would make my wish as a full-time writer come true.

What is your best marketing tip?

Actually, I’m still working on my marketing. But from what I can tell, social media is a great way to go. Get your name out there. The more people who know who you are and what you’re writing, the better your chances are.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

My current WIP is a suspense novel. It’s about a woman who has been keeping secrets from her husband, which could end up turning her life upside down when her husband vanishes.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My newest book, Powerless – due out in fall of 2016 – is about an alternate world where everyone has enhanced abilities but someone is using a serum to rob people of their abilities; sending them to exile on Institutional Island. One man who has had his abilities taken away from him before he had the chance to gain them finds a way to stay on the mainland to protect the city from this threat.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

You can find my books and bio on the Dream Write Publishing site – www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/j-e-mcknight. I don’t have a blog but you can also see me at various events around Strathcona County. As well, I will be at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo in September 2016. Booth 1101 – come and meet me.Joe at WITP 2014

Find Joe’s art here:

https://www.facebook.com/Art-by-Joe-23409481552/

wagon by Joe

 

 

Getting To Know You


 

getting2knowu-2

I am pleased to be included in Robyn’s blog series – Getting to Know You – today. Thank you, Robyn for the opportunity!

Please follow the link – http://justbitsandpieces.com/2016/02/16/getting-to-know-mandy-eve-barnett/

WIth 2014 my table

Interview with Claire Luana…


Headshot Claire
What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband and I were on our honeymoon and talking a lot about life. He asked me what I would do if I could do anything. I realized the answer was to write a novel. So I figured I should just go ahead and do it!

Tell us about your book!
In the country of Kita, the sentence for being a female sorceress—a moonburner—is death. So when the main character, Kai, is exposed as a moonburner, she is forced to escape to neighboring Miina, where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors. But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all burners. After uncovering an unexpected secret in her own heritage, Kai realizes that she may be the one person able to bring peace to the two warring countries.

How did you come up with the title?
I worked for several months outlining a trilogy of novels. But every time I started writing, I got stuck. I had another idea hanging around in the back of my mind and I decided to give into it. Within about 10 minutes I had a one-page outline of the plot and the title for Moonburner, my first novel. I think it’s really true what they say about the muse striking you!

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
Quitsu! My protagonist, Kai, has an animal companion, a magical talking fox named Quitsu. He was definitely the comic relief, and I had a lot of fun writing his snarky comments.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That the world isn’t black or white, but shades of grey. All the “good guys” aren’t good in the book, and all the “bad guys” aren’t bad. If Kai gave in to stereotypes and prejudices, she would have missed out on some of her greatest friends and allies. You have to gauge each person individually based on their character and actions, not because they belong in a particular gender, race, or political group.

What makes Moonburner different?
I think Moonburner is unique because the moral of the story isn’t good triumphing over evil. It’s about mutually assured destruction…if you can’t find a way to work together and coexist, you will both perish.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the creativity of it. I’m a practicing lawyer for my full time job, and so I spend a lot of time being analytical and precise. I love the freedom to let my mind take me where it takes me with writing. I thought because I am such a type–A planner that I would be a “plotter,” making detailed outlines of every part of my book before I wrote a word. I found that in fact, I do much better when I let my creativity take the wheel. That has been a very refreshing discovery.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
I have always loved to read and write fantasy. There is something about being taken away to another magical world that provides just the right escape I am looking for with a novel. My goal with Moonburner was to write a novel that I would enjoy reading.

What is the current status of Moonburner?
I am seeking a publisher for Moonburner currently, so you can’t read it quite yet! But it will either be picked up for publication or I will self-publish in 2016. I am also about 90% done with the first draft of Sunburner, the sequel.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
Come see me at claireluana.com. That’s where you’ll find my blog, as well as updates about Moonburner and Sunburner.

Twitter @clairedeluana