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Author Interview – Dana Popov and Marc Evans…

September 21, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Dana PopovMarc Evans

What inspired you to write your first book? 

The first book of the series ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ was part of a project we started in 2007. We is my husband who is originally from Quebec/Canada and I am from Germany.

In 2002 we met in Playa del Carmen – Mexico where we lived for 8 years. The entire area is filled with Mayan history and culture. We wanted to engage the tourists into the culture and the local environment during their stay and believed that a story would be the most entertaining way for children to learn about it. Unfortunately the project back then never took off and we forgot about the story until this year. Our daughter loves books and so I suddenly remembered the story and started writing on it again. Weirdly enough it was really easy.

How did you come up with the title? 

We wanted to change the title from the original project “Key to Paradise” to something new because the project itself was past. The first idea my husband had was ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ and I loved it.

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 How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

Yes, first published book. I always liked to write though. I have a blog in German about food for babies.

Weirdly enough ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ I write in English and then translate it into German. Don’t know why.

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

Absolutely. Besides being educational on culture and environment it is about empowerment for kids. Believe in yourself!!!

Ti & Magic Key

How much of the book is realistic? 

The story line itself is fiction however all of the environmental information are researched and so are a the places, temples, Mayan gods etc. A lot of little details in the book are true to the believes of the Mayas and educate without the feeling of being educated.

I wanted to ‘un-dust’ the Mayan culture with this book. A lot of existing books or movies are either bloody or feel out of date and do this amazing culture no justice.

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

The Mayan gods are based on Mayan believes however some of their relations are fiction. The boy and his parents are fiction.

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

It is two of the characters. The gods Kukulkan and Itzama because one is the evil one and the other one the good god. It is the ying and the yang.

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

Probably the format. The second book is a lot longer and more intense than the first book. So it will have a different format than the first book.

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

Dream, Believe and protect our planet.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

That I hopefully inspire children to do more research on culture and environment.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

My first poem was around the age of 8. It was four lines long and rhymed well.

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

Seeing the story come alive in the images and the first time I read a new chapter to my husband and he goes: “Wow”

What is your favorite theme/genre to write? 

Writing for children and take them on an imaginary journey.

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

Any type of abuse

What book are you reading now?

It is a German book. It is a humorous perspective of a mother on her life. I can relate to it. My daughter is four.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

I purposely read in German because I do not want to lose my mother tongue. A lot of the authors are German. Probably nobody you would know.

Do you see writing as a career? 

I never did. But I really want the series ‘Ti and the Magical Key’ to reach children all over the world because I love the message and education in it. This is why we translate the story from English into German, French and Spanish.

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

Unfortunately chocolate 🙂 I wish it would be an apple.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I am rolling my eyes a lot when someone tells me a story. My daughter picked that up and we had a meeting at her kindergarden where we got told that rolling eyes is not a nice habit.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

On a balcony overlooking the ocean writing a book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

A lot of research goes into ‘Ti and the Magical Key’. Because a lot of evidence has been destroyed when the Spaniards conquered the Americas you find different opinions on the internet. At some point I have to decide which one to follow without really knowing.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

More chocolate 🙂

Have you ever hated something you wrote? 

Not that I remember. But then again my brain capacity diminished during pregnancy and never fully recovered. So I can’t answer that with certainty.

What book do you wish you had written?

Harry Potter

What is your best marketing tip?

I am still figuring the marketing out myself. Currently we have a Facebook Fan page, twitter- and Pinterest account as well as a website. We are trying to get the kids involved and are writing personally to our fans to invite them into the ‘VIP Readers Club’ where we share secrets about the next book and adventures.

As well we started a blog on our website ‘Ti travels the world’ where parents from all over the world are sending us pictures of their kids with the book. I really love the blog. The pictures are amazing and are the best reward.

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

I am working on finishing the second book of the series.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

The gods are playing a much bigger role in the second book and we are introducing a girl. In regards to the environment we cover the mangroves and cenotes/sinkholes.

mangroves

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/blog-ti-travels-the-world

http://www.tiandthemagicalkey.com/buy-book.html

http://www..facebook.com/Tiandthemagicalkey

You can email us at team@tiandthemagicalkey.com

Welcome back Paul W Papa – A Second Interview…

February 9, 2015
mandyevebarnett


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What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been fascinated with history and with Las Vegas, combining the two seemed like the natural thing to do with It Happened in Las Vegas.

IHI LV HIRES

How did you come up with the title?

The publisher came up with the title actually. My first book is part of a series called “It Happened In…”

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

My latest book Discovering Vintage Las Vegas is my fourth book, all of which have been published by Globe Pequot Press. This was by far my favorite one to write as it celebrates all those great places that have been in Las Vegas for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years—quite an accomplishment for a town that blows up its past like most people change their shoes. This book tells their stories and invites the reader to visit each place on their own. Additionally, there are shout outs of vintage spots that each contains a short but interesting tidbit.

DiscoverVintageLasVegas

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

Yes. It’s important to treasure the past as you move forward.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s non-fiction, so all of it. One of my favorite places is a gorgeous chapel right on the Las Vegas strip that got its funding from a notorious mobster.

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

There are no characters in this book. However, there are plenty of people and they are all very real.

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

Yes. I would’ve liked to include a story on Ralph Jones Display. It’s a great spot where Christmas is celebrated all year round. I didn’t think of it until after I already wrote the book, but I did manage to give the place a vintage spot shout out.

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

I want them to understand that history doesn’t have to be boring. We all remember sitting around the campfire enthralled by some great storyteller. That’s what I want history to be—a great tale that you can’t break yourself away from.

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

I don’t really have a favorite chapter. Each story was a little adventure on its own and I enjoyed following each one to its conclusion—receiving a unique reward each time.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

History: or more specifically, the story of people. I find people fascinating and I have learned that each and every one of us has our own little story. My goal is to capture as many of those stories as I possibly can.

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

I’m not into satanic things or the occult—though I have written a book about haunting in Las Vegas (Haunted Las Vegas). That’s not a road I feel comfortable walking too far down.

Haunted LV HIRES

What book are you reading now?

I’m always reading books on my craft—learning how to tell stories the best way I can. For relaxing reading I can usually be found with my nose in Lawrence Sanders’ McNally series or following Tom Dorsey’s lovable serial killer (I know—but it’s not what you thing) and Florida historian Serge.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, Gretchen Archer and LynnDee Walker, both mystery authors. If you have not checked out these two women, you are missing something indeed.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yeah, a hard career, but a very enjoyable one. Hard only because what they don’t tell you at author school is that you can write the greatest book ever written, but if you don’t know how to get that book into the hands of readers, you’re wasting your time. Authors need to know not just how to write, but also how to embrace that evil word “marketing.”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Key West Florida…oh, you meant as a career didn’t you? I see myself with several books on the bestseller list, doing what I love—capturing people’s tales and ensuring their stories are not forgotten.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making sure I honor the people I write about. Those people entrust their stories to me and I feel a strong weight on my shoulders to do them justice.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes, but only after it was published. Okay, here it is…my first book has so many mistakes in it I’m embarrassed to call it mine. I wrote the book too quick and didn’t spend enough time proofreading. When you get dates wrong, you lose your credibility and once that’s gone you can’t get it back. I learned a valuable lesson not to skip the proof-reading step. You can tell a great story, but if you say that story happened in 2003 when it really happened in 1993, you’ve cheated your audience—the people who have trusted you with their time and money.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Art of Driving in the Rain, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

What is your best marketing tip?

If you Indie publish, learn as much as you can about key words. Don’t think of it as marketing, put yourself in the role of the reader and think “how would I find this book if I were looking for it,” then make sure you book comes up on those searches.

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

Non-fiction. I’m writing a book about bike trails in and around Las Vegas. I’m an avid bike rider and this is my first guide book. It’s been fun and challenging…and I’m always up for a new challenge.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure, it’s a guide to 35 bike trails in and around Las Vegas. Some trails are for mountain bikes, some for road bikes, and some for urban bikes.  The book contains mile-by-mile instructions, as well as maps and cool things to do in the area.

Best Bike Rides of Las Vegas Cover

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

I can be found here:

Amazon Author’s Page: amazon.com/author/paulwpapa.americanstoryteller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulWPapa?ref=hl

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3172096.Paul_W_Papa

In addition, I have a website: www.paulwpap.com. I have a blog on the site, but it is kind of under construction, but keep checking back, I have a very exciting project in the works and should be revealing it shortly.

Here is a link to Paul’s previous interview in 2013 -https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/04/07/interview-with-paul-w-papa/

You can see he has been extremely busy writing! Thank you for joining us Paul.

Invisible Writing – An Art Form..?

July 11, 2014
mandyevebarnett


invisible

Many of us experimented with ‘secret’ writing as kids playing spies with our friends and sending messages to each other. There were kits you could buy to be a Secret Agent or there was always the lemon juice technique. However, as I read recently – see link:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/55195/11-historical-uses-invisible-ink  – there were numerous occasions through history where invisible writing was used for more sinister reasons.

How many of these did you know of?

Certainly it is fascinating to read about the culprits and there ’causes’. So that brings us to today’s prompt.

What method did/would you use and what message did/would you send and to whom. Have fun with it.

FunDay

 

 

 

 

 

And on the subject of letters, I had to share this wonderful story today. Letters declaring love shoould never be a secret – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/01/real-life-love-story-ww2-soldiers-letters-recovered

 

Utilizing Opportunities & The Editable Best List…

March 3, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles

Do you take advantage of opportunities sent your way?

One of the first lessons learnt in launching a freelance business is to identify and follow through with any and all opportunities given to you. Some might be poorly paid, others an exciting prospect but it is better to pick the ones that give value. However, the value does not always mean financial. I interviewed a local not-for-profit cafe owner over the weekend for a local e-zine.  I took the incentive and approached the owner for the interview knowing I could utilize my link as a regular contributor to the e-zine, Strathcona Connect (http://strathconaconnect.ca/)  and thus promote her cafe. There will be no financial benefit for me, but I will be promoting a worthwhile community driven business, for my extended neighborhood. The value is therefore, the addition of an article to my portfolio and my name on the article for other local businesses to see. The article will appear later this week. Link to follow.

wikibest

One other opportunity given to me over the weekend came from another source which was certainly not local. The new, exciting web site – http://www.wikibest.com  is an editable guide to the best of things.  As a collaborative project, it gives users the opportunity to write their own reviews on a plethora of subjects. Subjects include but are certainly not limited to movies, websites, electronics and hotels. With an easy to use format; once an account is created, users can write their own expert views on a free page, enabling them to share their knowledge of events, media, people and places with the world. It is truly a public forum.

Why not take a look and enter your own review of ‘the best of…?’ Get in early with this new site and share.

 

Literary News & Fun On Friday’s…

January 10, 2014
mandyevebarnett


wirheader-

My community announced the new Writers in Residence for 2014 recently – the details are below.

I would like to say if you have the opportunity to meet and gain wisdom and help from a Writer in Residence, then do so. Having an expert review your work and give you authoritative assistance, all for free, is worth its weight in gold. If you are unsure contact your local library for their residency details.

Margaret Macpherson Margaret_smaller

Margaret Macpherson has worked as a full-time professional writer, teacher and editorial/educational mentor for the last decade. With a Masters of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from UBC and she was widely published in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally before moving to Alberta in 1994.

After a career in journalism and teaching, which took her to the East Coast and Bermuda, Margaret began playing in long narrative prose. She has subsequently published seven books, both fiction and non fiction, including a biography entitled Nellie McClung: Voice for the Voiceless which won the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) Exporting Alberta Award in 2004.

Her collection of short stories Perilous Departures (2004), and her first novel, Released (2007) were both nominated for Manitoba Book Awards and her last novel Body Trade won the DeBeers Northwords Prize in 2012.

An essayist, poet and storyteller, Margaret has worked as a fiction editor for three different literary magazines and regularly performs poetry and aural story telling.
She represented Alberta in the National CBC Poetry Face-Off (2006) and has won (and lost) the coveted Story Slam championship.

An expressive arts practitioner, Margaret mucks about with oils and pastels and has sold the odd watercolour. She has written and co-produced a CD of original music and has had one of her plays produced in Vancouver’s NewWorks festival.

Although Edmonton has been home for the last 18 years, Margaret grew up in the Northwest Territories, and has lived extensively in Halifax, Bermuda, Vancouver and Nelson, BC. She lives with her husband, three kids and a very black cat.

Jason Lee Norman

Jason_smaller

Jason Lee Norman was born and raised in the Edmonton area. With a degree in English from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester he returned to Edmonton in 2009 to make his fortune. He is the author of two short story collections: ‘Americas’ and ‘Beautiful Girls & Famous Men’ and is the co-founder of the #yegwords (Words with Friends) creative writing collective which holds regular events in Edmonton throughout the year, including the very popular Word Crawl.
In 2013 he introduced Edmonton to 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology. 70 pieces of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction all about or inspired by winter in Edmonton. 40 Below was published by Jason’s small publishing concern Wufniks Press.

In the past few years Jason has nominated himself for dozens of awards but has won very few. He hopes to one day finish his novel so that it may receive a scathing review in the National Post. Thus completing the circle of life

Full article here:  http://metrowir.com/

Literary Magazine link: http://www.everywritersresource.com/literarymagazines/

And for the fun part of today : Invent your own country! It can be on earth or another planet. Inhabited by humans or aliens. Hostile or idyllic.  Let your imagination go wild.FunDay

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