Firstly, an apology for not posting earlier. We have had a change to the household, which has meant the normal routine has been turned upside down! More later on that.
For now I can share that I have started this book, which is a collection of short stories. The author, Tom Hanks, best known as a great actor has turned his unique skills into writing. He has done a great job (in my opinion). Each story is a snap shot of a life and they draw you in beautifully. I will of course write a review once I finish the book but for now – it’s really enjoyable.
As many of you know I love old typewriters so the book’s content appealed a lot.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I post a Word of the Day and every ten days create a ‘story’ using those words. You may find it interesting to see how I compile those stories.
In Alberta we enjoyed a long weekend, although all the days merge into one at the moment. However, to make the weekend seem slightly special, we explored a new sculpture installation near home and then drove in the countryside. It is good to get out of the four walls!
The sculpture is one of a series that will be erected for children to discover, which seems like a great incentive. The idea is that they find the mosquitoes!
We also came across a field full of mares and their foals. It really is Spring! This is onyl a couple as there were around seven foals.
On our way out, I spotted this plant, which I think might be wild garlic. If you know please comment – thanks. I had to scramble down the ditch to get the photos.
My latest novel, “After The Sun Rises”, was written as a sequel to my first novel “War Dads”. Without giving too much away, “War Dads” ends with a tragic event and “After The Sun Rises” picks up from there.
How did you come up with the title?
The title came from two sources. The first is a tribute to Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” (Hemingway is my favourite author) and the idea that even in tragedy some good can happen. We need to get up and meet every new day.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message I was trying to convey is that sometimes good can come out of bad. Sounds hokey, but I just tried to imagine what I would like to see happen if I was involved in the same situation as the characters.
How much of the book is realistic?
Not much of “After The Sun Rises” is real. However, in “War Dads,” the trip Jill and her family took to find her dad is based on a family trip my family and I took to Florida when I was in high school. In “Beating the Odds” (the book I wrote on beating Stage IV bladder cancer), that entire book, is sadly real.
In “The Grotto and Other Short Stories” (a book of short stories I wrote) most of the events in the stories are based on real life events.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes, there is a little bit of both events that took place in my life and my characters are all based on people I know; family and friends.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I have three books hopefully coming out next. Another kids book, a book of poetry and prose, and perhaps a sequel to “After The Sun Rises.”
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite and why?
I have three. In “Eli and the Fisherman” (one of my kid’s books) Eli is based on my son and the book is based on Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea”. In “Sebastian’s Fish (another of my kid’s books) Sebastian is based on my other son and the story is based on us going to buy his first fish. And in “After The Sun Rises, Charlotte is my favourite character, because she is what I would like the world to be; good people doing the right thing.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I have dabbled in several genres and have enjoyed them all, but kid’s books are my favourite. Most of my energy will be concentrated on them going forward.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
Bit of both. My first novel was totally seat of the pants style. The second novel was more planned out.
The kid’s books and the short stories were planned out and the memoir was just an honest portrayal of what I went through.
What is your best marketing tip?
I honestly wish I was better at marketing but if I have learned anything in life it is the fact that patience and perseverance pays off. Well hopefully for some. In my opinion there is no such thing as overnight success. Success comes from never giving up. One other thing I have learned also is, if you have your books on Amazon, you need to get as many people, family, friends etc. to buy off there. It is the only way to use their algorithms to your advantage. Selling books in person is nice but unless those people write reviews or share your books on their social media sites, in the long run it doesn’t really do you any good.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
As I said social media can be a great tool, but getting family and friends to share your work is sometimes very difficult. (Example: if all the people who liked my author page bought just one book, I would be a best seller on Amazon. Same goes for the books I have sold personally, if all those people had bought my book on Amazon, I would be a best seller according to their algorithms.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the fact that writing allows me the chance to express the things that I truly believe in. It may be fiction, but there is a lot of what I think and feel in my writing.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I have been writing since I was in high school but I only started to take it serious after I was diagnosed in 2008.
Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
I have always dabbled in poetry and fiction. The kid’s books I started writing after diagnosis. In case I didn’t make it, I wanted my kids to have something to remember me by. I guess they will now.
What genre are you currently reading?
Both fiction and non-fiction. I’m what you might call a political junkie, so I read a lot of stuff on politics fact and fiction.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
Both. I also find that reading really helps with my writing.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My mum and dad encouraged me to read from a very early age.
Where is your favorite writing space?
I have a place in my house where I put all the finishing touches on my work; it used to be my mum’s office space, (we live in m parent’s old house). But I always carry a notebook with me to jot stuff down. I never know when the muse may come so I like to be prepared.
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I belong to several groups on FB.
If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Ernest Hemingway; he was/is my idol. I just loved the simplicity of his writing and how every story would take you on a different adventure. He instilled in me a passion for travel as well. Because of him I have been to Paris and Cuba because I wanted to see them first hand. Hopefully Spain will be next, or to see Mt. Kilimanjaro.
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
Cuba. I have been there twice and love the people and the climate. That or Italy, again because of the people and the climate.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love it if it were, but realistically, no.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
Chips are my favourite snack food. (Salt and Vinegar)
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
I don’t reward myself with anything in particular. Completing a book and seeing it published is enough of a reward. I have always wanted to be a published author, and now I can say I am. Not too many people can say that. For that I am truly grateful.
In closing I would like to thank everyone who has bought a book and supported me thus far.
Bless you all.
I have been writing for the better part of thirty years. In that time I have written a memoir, several children’s book, a collection of short stories, a book of fiction, numerous poems, works of prose and free verse.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer and I underwent two years of treatment including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. In January of 2010 I had my bladder removed and thankfully I have been cancer free since then.
During treatment I found writing to be very therapeutic and I kept notes throughout my treatment. These notes then became my story.
In 2014 I self-published my memoir “Beating the Odds”, A Chronicle of a Cancer Survivor’s Battle with Cancer, Inadequate Healthcare and Social Injustice.
Unlike most cancer survivor success stories, my book, in my opinion, differs because it provides the reader with a poignant look into the trials and tribulations that all cancer patients have to deal with above and beyond their treatment.
Since then I have gone on to publish:
“War Dads” a fictional story about the unfortunate killing of a war vet who was living on the street and suffering from PTSD. “After The Sun Rises” a sequel to “War Dads”. After Jill and the family are met with a tragic event they must learn to cope with the help of an unsuspecting aide; the woman who caused the accident.
“The Grotto and Other Stories” a collection of short stories based on real life events.
“Eli and the Fisherman” children’s book that tells the story of a young boy and an old fisherman.
“Sebastian’s Fish” children’s book that is a delightful and beautifully illustrated story about a boy who goes to buy his first fish.
All of these books are available on Amazon worldwide, as paper backs or E books, at: amazon.com/author/andrewglen