You have no doubt seen numerous authors sharing their books all across social media sites and readings from favorite books recorded for children in the last few weeks of social distancing. This sharing is the writing communities way of bringing some comfort to everyone isolated during this time. We have the ability to ‘connect’ remotely, which is a blessing during this time of COVID-19.
As we all know information is the new currency, and reading is the best source of continuous learning, knowledge and acquiring more of that currency. However, reading has many other benefits, you may not realize.
It puts your brain to work as it uses various parts to work together, in essence reading is exercise for your brain. It becomes active allowing growth, change and the making of new connections and different patterns. While reading we can roam the expanse of space, time, history, or discover deeper views of ideas, concepts, emotions, and our body of knowledge. Reading increases ‘fluid intelligence” which is the ability to solve problems, understand things and detect meaningful patterns. Other benefits of reading are an increase in attention span, focus and concentration. reading is in fact a multifaceted exercise.
Fictional narratives, allow us to imagine an event, a situation, numerous characters, and details of an imagined story. It is a total immersion process. It has been proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships. So the more you read the better you become within your own mind and for those around us. So get reading!
Everyone please take care, stay well and safe.
If you are looking for a new read please take a look at my books. I have narratives for children, young adult and adult so something for all the family. As always if you have any questions about any of the books please comment below and I will answer.
3 – Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
4 – What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I won’t name names; I might leave someone out. I can rely on them to be honest with their criticism regarding plot, style, tone, and character development. I am also inspired and encouraged by the authors I have met through Goodreads and Facebook.
5 – Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My first book is a World War 2 drama that will not have a sequel. My work-in-progress is a diamond caper set in Venice, Italy with an amateur sleuth protagonist who, if she is well received, may find herself in future novels.
6 – What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
$6.95 for a copy of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.
7 – What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
In 8th grade when I began public speaking.
8 – What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
History by Elsa Morante. It was a success in Italy, but the English translated version didn’t receive the recognition it deserved.
9 – As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Pinocchio is my favorite “Guy.” I love his fearless, curious nature, his sense of joy, and most of all, his unwavering love for his father. I have an assortment of Pinocchio figurines and dolls that I have collected during my annual visits to Italy. Located throughout my home, they never fail to make me smile.
10 – How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Five completed children’s books and one work-in-progress novel.
11 – What does literary success look like to you?
My desire is to entertain and inform. I want readers to lose themselves in my stories and enjoy and connect with my characters. I am deeply touched and elated when a reader takes the time to let me know through email, website, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. that they enjoyed my book. A happy, satisfied reader is golden.
12 – What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My research for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams included interviews throughout Italy including multiple family members, and translating countless documents and publications. The discovery of personal letters and journals written by Italian POW’s augmented my study. The consistent manifestation of hope, scribbled across those abandoned pieces of paper, afforded a valuable glimpse into the Italian sentiment during this horrific period. Research takes the author off on so many fascinating tangents; and then comes the difficult task of editing down to just enough information so as not break the suspension of disbelief. I will say, to weave my fiction around the time-line of events that I wanted to highlight was tricky, but I didn’t want to alter facts to fit my fiction; instead, I utilized truth to enhance my characters and their story. And so, after more than a decade of research, translations, false starts, writing, editing, shelving, writing, editing, shelving, etc., etc., Bridge of Sighs and Dreams finally developed into a novel of which I am proud.
13 – How many hours a day/week do you write?
I write for several hours every day.
14 – How do you select the names of your characters?
I love naming my characters. Names are important; they have to “fit” the character’s look, personality, and nationality. They need to be easily remembered (No Stobingestikofsky), and not too similar to the other characters (No Jane, Janet, Joan, Jason, Jack, etc. all in one story) Readers don’t need to spend time trying to remember who’s who or attempting to pronounce a certain name every time it shows up.
15 – What was your hardest scene to write?
I don’t want to give away the who, but sending off two of my favorite characters to be executed really had me weeping over the computer keys. I still can’t read than scene without welling up.
16 – Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
While growing up, I always hated listening to jokes about the Italians going into World War 2 with their hands raised. This was not at all the case, and I wanted to point out the bravery of the Italian population during this horrific time. Although Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is fiction. It is based on real events. I felt compelled to write a war novel in which the women don’t play the role of wallpaper or objects of amusement to soldiers and politicians. The women in Bridge of Sighs and Dreams take center stage in a behind-the-lines battle between good and evil.
17 – How long have you been writing?
I started writing in grade school. I loved books and enjoyed making up my own stories.
18 – What inspires you?
The lives of ordinary people who preform extraordinary deeds without seeking recognition. Diligent and creative people also inspire me.
19 – How do you find or make time to write?
As I don’t have a regular 9-5 job, I balance my day between writing and painting.
20 – What projects are you working on at the present?
I am currently working on a “not-too-serious” diamond caper that takes place in Venice, Italy. I am also a translator for various Italian poets, so there are continuous translation projects in the works. As a working artist, there is always a new painting on the easel.
21 – What do your plans for future projects include?
I am considering adding to and publishing my blog, Painting in Italy, which is a guide to painting in Italy for artists who prefer independent travel and off the beaten track locations. I have written 5 children’s stories that I still need to edit and illustrate, and I continue to take on select translation assignments, mostly for Italian poets and musicians.
Pamela Allegretto lives in Connecticut and divides her time between writing and painting. In addition to her historical fiction novel, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, her published work includes dual-language poetry books, translations in Italian literary journals, articles in local newspapers, book and CD covers, illustrations, and cartoons. Her original art is collected worldwide.
Both! LOL! Writing is my escape. It can be very invigorating and exhausting.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Research. I can get lost exploring medieval times. Hours later, I’m amazed at how much time has gone by with my head in what was going on in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. LOL!
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Seven years ago, I dipped my toe in the writing world with Romance Writers of America. Through that membership, I joined romance writers’ organizations Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart. I served as Treasurer of Hearts Through History for a couple years and became actively involved in the chapter. It was during that time when I joined the critique group. I met some amazing authors who have become good friends. They have helped me tremendously! I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for their wonderful support and encouragement.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each book in my series can be read stand alone, but they are written in chronological order. You’ll find my books follow different series. I love to read stories that continue through secondary characters. As a matter of fact, the books I’m currently plotting branch off from my first series, The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall. Throughout Cameron, Heather, Lindsey, and Elsbeth, you will meet colorful individuals whose stories beg to be told. After I complete Elsbeth, the legacy will continue throughout generations to come.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent as a writer was in joining the Romance Writers Association of America which gave me access to several online affiliated chapters. The authors in those chapters have helped me in so many ways. I’m truly blessed to be part of the groups.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have published four books in my Daughters of Alastair MacDougall series, two in the Turnberry Legacy, and several half-finished books.
What does literary success look like to you?
I write for the sheer pleasure and love of storytelling. To have someone send me a message letting me know they enjoyed my books is the most gratifying success. That is what keeps me writing.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
I try to write very day for at least one hour, but my job often gets in the way.
How do you select the names of your characters?
After I’ve developed the storyline, I search internet sites for names used during my story’s time period. As I go down the list, certain names will jump out at me that seem to fit my characters.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In my latest book, A King’s Enemies, there are a couple of interrogation scenes. During medieval times, those questioning methods were brutal. Those scenes were the most difficult to write.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I like most any kind of romance novel, but my heart has always been drawn to the medieval period, particularly in Scotland, Ireland, and England. That said, I plan to write stories spanning the early Middle Ages through the American Civil War. While my books are fiction, each one is based on historical facts, and you will often see known figures such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, or The Red Comyn make guest appearances. All my stories revolve around human struggles, sacrifices survivors are forced to make, and their resilience to live and thrive.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing all my life, but I started seriously writing in 2011.
What inspires you?
For some strange reason, my muse pings off the charts when I am hiking with my husband. My imagination runs wild with what it would have been like walking through the woods during the medieval times, or when the enemy might be lurking in the trees.
How do you find or make time to write?
I enjoy writing at most any time, but my daytime job often gets in the way. So, I write a good bit before I go to bed and then edit what I wrote early in the morning. I also write after work, on weekends and any time I can find a few minutes.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Now that I finished A King’s Enemies, I’m writing the third book in the series, A King’s Allies. I hope to release that story late fall of this year. I’m also working on a new book about an imperfect rogue that will be released late this summer.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I have four more books outlined up for my Turnberry Legacy series. As soon as I finish the two stories I’m working on now, I’ll jump into writing the rest of the books.
At the turn of the fourteenth century, danger abounds with Scotland’s leadership in flux. Amidst rumors of King Edward reinstating John Balliol to the throne, Robert the Bruce commands his most trusted men to resurrect The Turnberry Bond, a pact specifying loyal Scots and Irish nobles band together in resistance against all adversaries. Follow the rebel warriors fighting for the rightful king of Scotland and their struggle with honor and love as their lives become intertwined with the brave women who challenge them.
A King’s Enemies ~ Book Two
Tormented by King Edward’s brutality against Scottish sympathizers, Drake Fletcher vows revenge, but only a madman single-handedly attacks the Crown. Instead, he enters the royal court as a spy to aid Robert the Bruce’s rise to power and place a formidable leader on Scotland’s throne.
Scottish lass Katherine Mackenzie Armstrong targets three of King Edward’s officers who brutally raped and murdered her mother. Disguised as one of Queen Margaret’s attendants, she sets a course to destroy the men.
The acts of treason both Drake and Katherine commit are punishable by death in The Tower of London but their determination pushes dangerous limits. Considered enemies, they use each other to gain vital information. Neither expect their overwhelming attraction to one another, the staggering emotions stirred. But the closer they become, the more they jeopardize their pledges of vengeance.
Will the weight of retaliation crush them, see them beheaded? Or will Katherine and Drake form an alliance and learn to live and love again
Thank you for having me!
Starting out as an accountant in line with the rest of the corporate echelons struggling up the proverbial ladder, I soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. So, I decided to hit the road selling financial software. Jumping from one high-pressured frying pan into the other, the stress of the road- warrior life and constant deadlines took its toll. I needed a release and found that with my face buried in historical romance books, I could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, I am fortunate to have found my true passion in writing of spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them.
I am a southern girl living on top of a mountain in North Georgia, and I’m most happy when surrounded by family and friends. If I am not writing, you can find me hiking with my husband, or fiddling around in my flower and vegetable gardens, feeding the birds and watching black bears and deer. I am blessed to have a wonderful son—my pride and joy, my buddy who, along with my husband, have made my life complete.
It was such a pleasure to get to know Lane and her historical romances.
There is no author interview this Friday, however I have a fantastic list already of writers & authors who have signed up! This is a wonderful way to get to know a plethora of authors.
Lisa de Nikolits
Jeannie JB Richards
Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Linda J Pedley
Phyllis H Moore
Obviously I am more than happy with the response but please feel free to contact me via the contact form if you would like to be included during 2018 or know an author/writer who would like to participate! There are a lot of Friday’s to fill.
Last Saturday I attended a local author reading, it was at a new venue – a local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. The cafe owner is welcoming all local artisan’s to display or perform giving the community a new place to enjoy the arts.
Although this is not my first public reading, there are always steps to take in preparation.
Firstly, you must determine what you are going to read. If you have several books, will you read from a new one or something you feel will grip the audience.
Will the audience be young or adult? Tailor your readings accordingly OR take two pieces to read just in case. (Which is what I did for this reading)
If there is a time limit to the reading, practice the passages out loud. It doesn’t work well to just read it. Practice inflection and if you are good at them, dialectics.
Make sure to mark the start and finish of the piece you are reading, this will ensure you stay within the time limit.
Remember to take promotional items with you including business cards, bookmarks and of course books. A small amount of petty cash too so you have change.
Props are a good idea for children’s books. I have a soft toy I made for my Rumble book. I did take a couple of ornaments with me just in case children were present and I did read from Ockleberries to the Rescue as well as from The Rython Kingdom.
Depending on the venue, there maybe a microphone, if not it is an idea to either purchase one or borrow one. Some venues have a lot of background noise so you want your audience to be able to hear you.
Remember to smile, look up while reading and engage your audience.
Be ready with answers to questions about your book and your writing.
The event on Saturday was an all adult audience which resulted in quite a long Q&A session.
What tips can you share about author readings?
Not the most flattering photo of Karen Probert and I – just wondering what we we discussing when the camera caught us! There will be another photo to add – hopefully!
Karen is a short story expert – her books and mine can be found at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca – Karen’s: Fragments of Lives & Colouring Our Lives. Mine: Rumble’s First Scare & Ockleberries to the Rescue and also The Rython Kingdom.
New photo from SGC staff – I had to share – loved the captive audience even though you can’t see them all.