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Author Interview – Bianca Rowena

August 10, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Author-Interview-Button

 

Bianca

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Mostly it exhausts me, both emotionally and physically. But so does playing the piano and doing art. If I was doing those things to relax, then it would be like a colouring page or writing a diary entry. But when I’m truly working on my art (writing) then I’m exhausted afterwards because it takes a part of my very self, when I’m truly creating.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Constant interruptions.

Book 1 Rowena

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Yes. I wanted to publish a mid-grade book, which would be too far separated from my adult romance. I wouldn’t want the mid-graders to pick up the adult romance, so I considered writing the younger genre under a pseudonym.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m part of a writer’s group, where we write together and share our work. My best friend is also a writer, who writes romance and we talk about writing all the time. I am lucky to also have a couple friends who work at the local library and who like to write and read, not to mention writers I’ve met and become friends with through conferences, book fairs and author readings from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. It really is a big community once you get involved. They help me become a better writer because we share insights and advice and things we’ve learned or discovered, from anything from writing style to book advertising options.

Ryn

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Currently I’m working on a three book series. The first two definitely go together, originally written as one long novel split into two. The third book could be a stand alone and is the prequel to the first two. The series is a Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy based on a fanfiction novel I wrote two years ago. The first book has been published and is called ‘The Gift Stone’, book one of the Gifted Series ( https://www.amazon.ca/Gift-Stone-Bianca-Rowena/dp/0994851332/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 ).

Book two will be released in the summer of 2018, and will be titled ‘Takano Rynn’, the name of the main male character in the series. Book three will hopefully follow soon after that.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I was born in Romania and we were Hungarian speaking. So when I came to Canada I was five years old and put into Kindergarten. I remember being forced to go to these English language sessions in the office, where they would hold up a photocard of a boot and say ‘boot’ over and over again. It didn’t take me very long to learn English, and it was WAY before anyone realized I understood it. So I had the power to know what everyone was saying around me and about me, without them knowing that I understood them. Understanding English came quickly at age five, but speaking it back, took a bit longer.

Also, whenever my parents needed to tell us something that they didn’t want anyone else to overhear, they’d tell us in Hungarian. And when they wanted to discuss something that they didn’t want my sister and I to hear, they’d discuss it in Romanian (we were too young to have learned Romanian in school, before coming to Canada). So I recognized at an early age that language held the power of communication, either to make it possible or to close it off and leave you completely clueless, depending on which language was being spoken at the time.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

‘Swim the Fly’ by Don Calame

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The Eagle.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve got five unpublished but completed novels and one half finished novel, as well as 4 full length screenplays and many, many, many stories I started.

Virgin

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

A movie made based on your book.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

For my fan-fiction I spend a lot of time researching the details. Otherwise my novels are more character based so I don’t get into details, even in my sci-fi/fantasy novels, of the technicality of things. I sort of avoid too much research. As for character research I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books in the genre I write and observe everyone around me. That too is research!

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

The last three months I’d been writing at least 3-5 hours daily, mostly for posting fanfiction chapters daily ( www.wattpad.com/biancawatson ). But when I’m not deep in my fanfiction I spend most of my time editing. I’ll write a novel in a month or two, non-stop, about 6 hours a day. Then I’ll stop and do edits at a slower pace. I’m not a planner, so when ideas hit me I write them as fast as I can (like my personal Nanowrimo), then I plan and edit and work hard on the rewrites, but at a slower pace, a few hours a day. It’s not a consistent thing for me, writing. It’s on a project by project basis, so the times fluctuate per month.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I like short, simple names. Usually I can just sense that the name is right for the character or if it is wrong.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I write YA because everything I write comes out sounding YA, whether I intend it to or not. My first novel, The Virgin Diaries, was a contemporary adult romance. Yet anyone who has read it would tell you it ‘reads’ like a YA. I’m naturally drawn to writing in a more simple, easy to read, style and my understanding of the world around me seems to be naturally very young minded. So I stick with what I write best!

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I was working on my Star Wars fanfiction right after the new movie came out, doing a sequel to it. Now I’m focusing on my next novel in the Gifted Series, Takano Rynn, which comes out this Summer. I also want to write some new material for future work, and I’m editing (alongside book two) book three of the Gifted Series, which may need a rewrite for the ending. I also write in a journal when I can.

  1. Share links to your author websites.

www.biancarowena.com

www.facebook.com/biancarowena

https://biancarowena.wordpress.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Bianca-Rowena/e/B0161S8DI0

https://www.instagram.com/biancarowena/

https://twitter.com/biancarowena

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14199529.Bianca_Rowena

 

Holly DeWolf Interview…

October 21, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Vivacious – definition: lively; animated; gay

Please welcome Holly, an author and an illustrator. Her images are delightful.

hollydewolf

a) What do you enjoy most about writing?

It’s relaxing! It’s also a wonderful way to organize thoughts and push ideas. All this can be used to teach, motivate and share knowledge. Writing really does teach you a lot about yourself and lets you get in tune with where your ideas come from.

b) What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I actually started writing late in my career. I’ve been an illustrator for quite some time but enjoyed mingling text with my work. I decided to take it bit further and put out a book idea in 2008. After being published, I have continued to write articles, blogs and have contributed to several books.

c) Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

It has changed. I initially started writing about creativity, creative business and freelance advice. From there, it has led to me wanting to write children’s books. I illustrated my first children’s book that came out in the Spring so I think this would be a natural transition.

d) What genre are you currently reading?

Right now I am focusing on children’s publishing and young adult books. I still maintain my blogs and perhaps I will write a follow up to my first book.

e) Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

I definitely do both. When it gets busy, I try to read as many articles as I can. I set them in a file to read over the weekend. As far as books, I have been reading books on writing, creativity and of course children’s books to my youngest daughter. Books are a big part of my household.

f) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My kids hands down. They are 24/7 idea generators with more creativity and energy rolled up together that is very inspiring. Working at home is all they have ever known so they are used to me working around them. It can be a delicate balance.

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

So far it’s a bat. It’s a work in progress but I do love the little guy and the positive ideas I am creating around his character.

h) Where is your favorite writing space?

I like a quiet comfy space but I do like the right music to go along with it. It’s a comfy Ikea chair that works well for me. If it’s winter and I’m cold I’ll write in bed with my bedside table.

i) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?

My ideas for stories are random. After that, I plan them out. I like to do the my ideas in point form or just snippets of thought. Lately I have been using my voice memo on my smartphone so I do not lose any ideas when I’m busy or out of the studio. Probably looks like I’m talking to myself at the bus stop but I really don’t want those ideas to slip away.

j) What inspires your ideas/stories?

My kids are great for this. Luckily, since I’m an illustrator too there is no end to the ideas. I had to start a notebook to catch it all. Most ideas come from things I read, music lyrics and from writing.

k) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

Not yet. I plan on joining The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) to start with and then go from there with local writing groups.

l) Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase 

it?

I wrote the book Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: the guide for artists, designers and illustrators published by How Books. You can find it here: http://www.mydesignshop.com/breaking-into-freelance-illustration

Break Into

I have also contributed to the 2009 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market , 2012 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market , Your Planet Needs You written by Jon Symes and Creatively Self-Employed Written by Kristen Fischer. Also, I’ve contributed articles to How Design & Zero2illo.

m) If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Cat's_Eye_book_cover

Margaret Atwood for sure! Her book, Cat’s Eye made a had a huge impression on me. This compassionate retrospective about a women’s life felt familiar especially because it’s about an artist.

n) Where can readers find you and your blog?

My blogs:

Illustration Notes: http:hollydewolf.blogspot.com

Diary Of An Illustrator: http://illustratordiary.blogspot.com

My Little Corner Of The World: http://sweethappyjoyjoy.blogspot.com

My website: http://www.hollydewolf.com

o) Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

Yes I do. It’s been a work in progress for the past year. I have 2 children’s book I am working on plus a follow up book about illustration/creativity. I’m also working on a young adult book.

The title of the children’s book I illustrated is What’s Going On At The Time Tonight? published by Nimbus Publishing written by Gerald Mercer.

Links:

What's Going
Chapters/Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Whats-Going-On-at-the-Time-Tonight-/9781771080040-item.html?ref=item_page:richrel:rr-carousel-small:json1

Nimbus Publishing: http://www.nimbus.ca/Whats-Going-On-at-the-Time-Tonight–P6631.aspx

Amazon.ca:http://www.amazon.ca/Whats-Going-at-Time-Tonight/dp/1771080043/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377703265&sr=8-1&keywords=what%27s+going+on+at+the+time+tonight%3F

 

 

 

 

Interview with A.J. Rowe…

August 31, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Bushwhack – definition: to make one’s way through the woods by cutting the undergrowth.

Interview A.J. Rowe – my youngest author by far! He is certainly blazing his own writing trail. Welcome the winner of the Clawson Arts & Authors competition. http://clawson.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/14-year-old-aj-rowe-writing-contest-winner-of-clawson-arts-and-authors-festival_fa4139da

AJ for Blog PicWhat do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy being able to create my own world with no limitations or rules and set my mind free to imagine.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started writing in Kindergarten.  I told my teacher at the time that I wanted to be a “book maker”.

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

For the most part, it has remained the same.  I enjoy writing medieval fiction.

What genre are you currently reading?

Currently I am most interested in fantasy/fiction (there’s a theme here!).

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Mostly for pleasure but some is research to help me with my writing.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My parents, for sure!

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

I created a character named Emily a while ago for one of my other stories.  I would have to say that she has been my favorite so far.  She is funny, smart and rather crazy at times.

Where is your favorite writing space?

I do most of my writing downstairs on the sofa with my iPad.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?

I usually plan the plot and the first chapter or two and just let it flow after that.

What inspires your ideas/stories?

I’m not really sure.  I just get an idea in my head and I want to write.  Once I get started I want to keep going until I finish – just ask my parents.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

No, I don’t belong to any kind of a writing group right now – maybe someday.

Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

Yes, I currently have a book entitled “Falsely Accused”. It is available on Amazon as a download for Kindle.  I also have had a few paperback copies made as well for family and friends and for people without an e-Reader.

http://www.amazon.ca/Falsely-Accused-ebook/dp/B00ECKQNCS/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1377219844&sr=8-10&keywords=Falsely+accused

Falsely

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Christopher Paolini.  I love his books and he was a young author like me when he got started. It would be great to be able to talk to him and get some ideas.

Where can readers find you and your blog?

Unfortunately, nowhere yet.  I hope to have a website up and running in the near future to promote my works, get ideas for new books and get feedback from my readers.  Stay tuned….

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have several ideas in my head right now.  I would like to have a poll on my website to see what readers would like to see for my next effort before I get started.

Manaswita Ghosh Interview…

August 22, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Vanquish – definition: to conquer or subdue by superior force; to overcome or over power

Please welcome Manaswita Ghosh – a poet and story teller, who has conquered, with the help of her Elephant God, publishing for her work and now assists others.

Manaswita

What do you enjoy most about writing?I enjoy the fact that I can play with words. Writing helps me pen my feelings, and the things my lips can’t frame, my intricate experiences with life and its challenges.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?I was eleven; to be precise. I was in 6th grade, and was bored at the new school I had joined. And as I was doodling around on my notebook, I wrote a poem. And that was just the beginning. In fact, now, after eleven years, what’s even more fascinating is that my very first book is a poetry collection which is due for publication this year.

 Has your genre changed or stayed the same?I love to experiment. Writing is fun and one should never confine them to a specific genre. You should explore, experiment, and learn. That’s what writing is all about. I write poems, short stories, creative/analytical articles and now I am working on three books – A short story collection for children, a Young Adult Fiction, and my second book of poetry.

What genre are you currently reading?I am not very specific about genre. I pick up any good book I find. In the recent months however, I have been very fascinated to discover the Islamic world, their rules and way of life. I read ‘Girls of Riyadh’ by Rajaa Alsanea last month, and now I am reading ‘The Convert’ by Deborah Baker and ‘Dear Prophet’ by Ali Ansari. These books are worth a read.

 Do you read for pleasure or research or both?I read for both pleasure and research. To be a good writer, you need to be a prolific reader. And yes, you should read anything that appeals to you, fascinates you and makes you give it a thought.

 Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?Every single person I have met/known has contributed in my making. My parents, my best friends – Ron, Akanksha and Santy, my publisher at Bombadil Publishing, UK, they have all been a great source of support and inspiration for me. They have helped me all through my writing aspirations and my entrepreneurial venture – Walkin Wordz. I started my company this year, which is basically a content writing and editing firm.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?There is a character that I love, and he is yet to be shaped. I dreamed of him once, and it was beautiful. That guy carries magic in his pockets. He is warm, caring and strong. I hope I can pen him just the way I dreamed him. Strangely, I don’t know his name.

Ganesha

 Where is your favorite writing space?My writing desk comprises of my laptop and my diary, which has a complete record of my ideas and story lines and my idol of Ganesha (Elephant God, who is the symbol of wisdom). I stick to it every time I am up for writing. Else, I carry my laptop around and just sit wherever feels best in the house.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?Depends. I don’t go looking for stories; instead, I like to observe people. Everyone has a story; all you need to do is find the right one to frame into a story.

 What inspires your ideas/stories?Random people inspire me. An anonymous girl busy with her books, a beggar looking at passersby hopefully, a little boy throwing tantrums. An Indian bride in her wedding attire, ready to be married; everyone has a story.

 Do you belong to a writing group? If so, which one? Officially, no, I don’t belong to any writers’ group.

Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

I have been published by Penguin Books India in the anthology ‘Love Stories That Touched My Heart’ with my short story ‘A Pair of Shoes’.

Love Stories

http://www.amazon.ca/Love-Stories-That-Touched-Heart/dp/0143419641

The book was released in December, 2012. You can find it on Amazon, Flipkart, Homeshop18, and perhaps some more. The eBook Single of my story has been published as well. You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

Two of my poems were published in a poetry collection called ‘Convergence – A Global Poetry Collection’ which features 80 poets all across the globe. This book is available on Amazon as well.

Convergence

http://www.amazon.com/Convergence-A-Global-Collection-Poetry/dp/1482702258

My poetry collection, which comprised of 46 of my poems is all set for publication this year by Bombadil Publishing House, UK.

 If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why? J.K.Rowling. I think she is a writer’s (not to mention a reader’s) dream. She inspires me, and she is the reason I ventured into writing. Her ability to imagine, conjure up such great plots, perfect and mature emotions, her characters and their stories, everything fascinates me.

Where can readers find you and your blog?

Readers can find me on twitter https://twitter.com/ManaswitaGhosh, and my blog – http://expressingmone.blogspot.in/.

You can reach my company at – http://walkinwordz.in/.   walkingwords

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? I am currently working on three books. My second book of poetry which is halfway done (The first being all set for publication), a Young Adult Fiction based on a real life story and a Children’s book that comprises of thirty short stories.

Interview with Joe McGee…

August 17, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Fortuitous – definition: happening or produced by chance; accidental; lucky; fortunate

Please welcome Joe McGee – his fortuitous meeting with his current mentor steered him into his current genre.

Joe McGee

a) What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy exploring new worlds, meeting these wonderful characters that become living extensions of my imagination. I enjoy the process and the discovery along the way. Many times I am just as surprised in my writing, with the way the story unfolds, as the reader may be. In essence, I enjoy the very act of creating…of giving life to people and places and entire worlds….

b) What age did you start writing stories/poems? I distinctly remember writing stories for other people to read, at the age of 12. I would write short stories in my spiral bound notebook and read them to kids at recess. Whole groups of kids would gather in the brick alcove where the doors were and listen to me read my weird tales or fantasy adventures. In 6th grade, I was among the few children chosen from my school to attend “Young Author’s Day,” a series of workshops aimed at aspiring creative writers throughout the school district.

c) Has your genre changed or stayed the same? I wrote adult fantasy, horror and sci-fi, for the longest time (when I got older, of course), while learning my craft. I had some small pub success, my biggest achievement coming as a 2nd place winner in the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Genre competition. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I discovered where my natural voice was, and where I belonged, and that was in writing for children and young adults. And now I am writing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels!

d) What genre are you currently reading? I read all over the place; all across the board. Since I am writing in three spectrums, I try and read in all three spectrums: picture books, middle-grade and YA. However, I do still indulge in some adult and fantasy novels, especially as my circle of professional writer friends expands. I am a firm believer in supporting my fellow authors through the purchase and reading of their work. Lately, I have been reading a tremendous amount of Roald Dahl, as he has been the subject of my critical thesis at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

e) Do you read for pleasure or research or both? Both. Absolutely. I read for pleasure, in my general interest and genre, because that encourages me and inspires me to write good stories. However, I also read to learn and grow as a writer. Having recently completed a M.A. in writing, and being close to completing my M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults, I have been trained to read with a critical eye. I cannot help but dissect and examine as I read, recognizing those things that work, and those that don’t. I also read what I have to for research. The Writer’s Digest piece that I won with was a dystopian about immortality, death and tattooing; heavy on the tattoos. I did extensive tattoo research (reading, physical exploration, and interviews) and I firmly believe that that research made the piece as strong as it was. So, research, yeah…absolute necessity. If you write fantasy, sure..you could write about the soldiers thundering about on horses, but go out and ride a horse. Feel a horse’s mane, the muscle tone. Smell a horse. Feed it, put its gear on…that’s research and that becomes evident in your work.

f) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?  Wow..that’s tough. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by a lot of great writers/people in the last couple of years. However, I’d have to say that Lisa Jahn-Clough, a successful children’s writer and creative writing professor, has been of tremendous support to me as a friend, a mentor, and an encourager. She helped me discover that I belonged in the field of writing for children and young adults, and that I had what it took to be successful. She is the reason that I am at VCFA, and ultimately realizing my dream of being published.

g) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?  I think my favorite character is in the YA book that I am currently working on, because in many ways, he is me…and his struggles are mine. I am touching on emotional themes that I thought I’d buried and some that are current struggles. His name is Sebastian; Sebastian Finn…but I really love all of my characters. In a way, they are all pieces of me. That’s how it works, right?

h) Where is your favorite writing space?  Coffee shops…although I say this having no good local coffee shop to write in. I write on my MacBook Pro, so I can write anywhere. But I prefer some ambient light and a bit of civilization. That being said, I write in my basement office a lot right now (complete opposite of what I say I prefer), and I built myself a treadmill desk so that I can work for hours AND exercise. My dream spot is a loft office above a detached garage, preferably in Vermont, but I’m not picky…

Joe treadmill

Take a peek at Joe’s treadmill desk!

i) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer? I am a hybrid. And this is another thing I have been experimenting with this last year. Here’s what I do now: I write the beginning, the first twenty pages or so….then I write the end. The climax, the denouement, bam. Then I plot a few major scenes as they pertain to quartiles/acts/writer’s journey…whichever method you most associate with (they are all very close)…and then I pants it. It’s like laying out the map, knowing where you start, where you end, and where the filling stations are in between. Then you drive through the fog and see what you see.

j) What inspires your ideas/stories?  I live by “What if?” So…I’m usually inspired by a cheeky idea or some twist on what I see/hear/read….sometimes it’s a concept, sometimes it’s a character. But whatever it is, I take it, twist it, warp it, stretch it, and see just how much fun I can have in distorting the hell out of it.

k) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one? Right now, my writing group is my fellow classmates at VCFA (Go Allies!) and my advisor, none other than THE Amy King (A.S. King). I’ve recently worked with Tom Birdseye and Sharon Darrow.

l) Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it? We (my agent, Linda Epstein, Jennifer DeChiara Agency, and I JUST recently sold my first picture book. However, we are in the midst of signing the official contracts and such, so I am not supposed to give out any more info (i.e. publisher, etc) until I sign…(next week?) and it goes up on PW…so, SHHHHHHH….. 😉 Spoilers…

m) If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why? One? Come on, really? I’m giving you two and you can’t stop me: Stephen King and Roald Dahl. King’s mind fascinates me, as well as his ability to churn out stories (not to mention his twisted mind); Dahl is an amazing storyteller and since I’ve been reading a lot about his life, he seems like he’d be a hell of a cool person to hang out with over dinner and drinks.

n)Where can readers find you and your blog? You can follow my blog at http://mcgeejp.com/  and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mcgeejp    Here is Joe’s blog header – it’s really cool.  Forging Worlds One Word At A Time.

joe blog

o) Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?  I do! We have three more picture books ready for sub: one about a young witch (Autumn Grimm) who discovers that having a pet is no easy job (especially when that pet is a giant spider), a book about a clockwork city in which the winding key is lost, and one in which the protagonist discovers that he is not alone in the book and is fearful of what lurks within. I am revising a middle-grade novel about an outcast with a dark legacy who must save his town from a 19th century madman and his army of ghouls, and I am at work on a YA novel about a young Ink Binder with the ability to resurrect the dead through arcane tattooing. 

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