Tag Archives: author interview

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 How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?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


karlyle-tomms

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.

 

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.

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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!

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