Want Jason’s book? Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Hourglass-Jason-Foss-ebook/dp/B00LNQ2X8M
Want to visit Jason’s blog? Go here: http://empowered-individuals.blogspot.com
1) What is your favorite film? Jerry Maguire
2) Any movie that you really want to see? Bumblebee
3) Please tell me about your novel. “The Hourglass” is about a character by the name of Jake Trust. In college, he was the captain of the basketball team and very popular. However, as soon as he graduated he has a regular office job like everybody else. Out of frustration he reaches out to his best friend Josh and asked him to gamble with him. If they WIN they can save their money and figure out what else they can do with their lives. If they lose at least they gave it a shot. Jake had no idea that Josh used to have a gambling problem.
4) Which is your favorite character in your book and why? Jake Trust is my favorite character in my book because he has a big heart and all these great ideas but he also feels stuck at a job that doesn’t appreciate him. He takes a lot of risks and it can hurt or help a lot of people depending on what happens from his choices. To carry that burden and take those chances for the better good of him and his friends makes him my favorite character.
5) How did you come up with the Title? This is a quote of mine in the book that answers why I came up with the Title The Hourglass. “Hey, mom the hour’s over, look at the hourglass!” She smiled. “Very smart son, and remember you’ll never get that hour back. Don’t waste your time being angry at the little things. Don’t wait to enjoy your life. Do it now. Pretend there’s an Hourglass. That way you’ll have no regrets.”
6) How long did it take you to write this book? About a year and a half.
7) What is your favorite motivational phrase? “The Journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step!” -Lao Tzu
Meet the Amazing Laurie Bell author of The Butterfly Stone – a YA fantasy to be published by Wyvern’s Peak Publishing in 2018!Blood Fever Laurie’s adult sci-fi will be published by Incendia Books in 2018. Also know that she has a few others on the go too… details can be found on her blog. https://solothefirst.wordpress.com
First some fun trivia. What is your favorite junk food vice? Oh, it has to be chocolate… Any kind (I prefer milk chocolate but do enjoy a bit of Dark Mint Chocolate too). Solid chocolate is better than diluted chocolate with fillings (And I’m just not a cake person – shocking I know).
Do you have a favorite book or film? I have a list! Seriously, I have a giant list of favorites that I can pull out depending on my mood. But if you were going to pin me down to ONE film (and why would you do that? You make me want to cry,) I would have to say The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars). It is just the perfect movie.
But come on, allow me two… The Princess Bride. It has EVERYTHING, Love, adventure, action, swordfights, magic, revenge!
I have more…
And as for book… gah… so hard to pick, currently, I would go with The Illuminae Files (By two Aussie sci-fi writers, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff). It’s soooooo good. If you haven’t read it… read the print version (not electronic). The text artwork throughout the book is amazing and in such intricate detail that you want to see the printed page.
Any movies that you really want to see? Marvel’s Black Panther, I cannot wait for this one. And of course, Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War. I’m loving superhero movies at the moment. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my all-time favorite movies, (that is not Star Wars or The Princess Bride).
What 5 words would you use to describe yourself? Creative, Empathetic, Imaginative, Intuitive, Bonkers – Aussie term 😊
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? I love to write and will write in every genre. But I prefer sci-fi and fantasy because there is just so much you can say (and it’s such a fun way to say it). Sci-fi and fantasy can show you the future, what you would like to see, and what you would not like to see. It can tell us who we are, or were, and who we will become, or who we want to be. It can also help us understand the world and people around us. And spaceships and magic… It’s all about the spaceships and magic.
What do you do when you are not writing? When is that? 😊 What is this time you speak of?
Which is your favorite character in your book and why? Such a tough question.
With The Butterfly Stone, I want to say Uncle Donny, or Prince Henry or Grandma…
But it’s Tracey. Tracey is my hero. She is just a kid trying to fit in and get her homework done. Her family is a little bit nuts, school is hard, and she has to deal with friendships and bullies and working for her uncle. Life gets overwhelming and she just keeps on keeping on. And, you know, Magic. She is learning to control her powers too… and then along comes the Shadowman and Tracey has to learn what is important to her and to fight for what she believes in. She makes tough choices and must react to the consequences of those choices and that is what makes her a hero.
How long did it take you to write this book? The Butterfly Stone took about eight months to write the first draft (I work full time so that is writing for about 3 hours a day, (on the train and at lunchtime), then a year of edits, rewrites and changes. I also sent it to my CPs who are wonderful! I totally recommend seeking out a group of writers that you trust to act as critic partners. They read your work and let you know what is working, what is not working, where there are plot holes or missing information or when something is just not described well enough (or too much). They can help with pacing, and flow and characterization. I have a group of three CP’s who I absolutely adore. To have eyes on your book, people who can see what you can’t and who can tell you (in a nice way) what is working/not working is the most valuable help you can get as a writer. I also have valued friends who act as my initial readers. And I have a number of trusted consultants who I can send my manuscript to, those that are in the biz, who can really get to the nitty-gritty of why something is not working.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I started writing in grade school (primary school in Australia). I read like a demon… anything I can get my hands on. I left libraries with a stack of books higher than my head every week (this was before smartphones) and wrote down all the stories that overflowed in my head. I have several tubs full of old notebooks with handwritten stories from when I was little. I collaborated with school friends, wrote short stories and long stories and radio plays and everything in between. I don’t think of myself as a writer… it is just ME. I have always written. I love the idea of telling stories, of sharing stories, of sharing ideas and talking about books and creating worlds and characters and making people want to care.
Do you have a specific writing style? Are you a planner or does the story just flow out of you? LOL, a specific style. Well, I’m not sure if it is a style, more like a general mashing together of everything at the same time! I write my first draft by hand. Usually, after a chapter or two (or before I starting writing if I am really organized) I grab a small notebook (A5) that I call my book bible and start writing up Character Sheets (general characteristics of a character, hair color, eye color etc… and what they like/dislike, who makes up their family and how the character relates to them, same with their friends, work colleagues and love interests). I will write up a character sheet for every one of my main cast. Then on one page, I will map out the start, middle, and end (really rough). I will also add in what my main character wants and a major conflict (or several) and problems to stop them from getting it.
Then over three or so pages, I will roughly map out each chapter in two lines until I have 30 or 40 steps/chapters. Usually by this stage, I also have a general idea of a start (this is usually my idea trigger… how I came up with the story in the first place.) I will then transfer the chapter points to post it (sticky) notes. If I have two or more interweaving stories, or two or more POV then I might use different colored post-it notes.
In a new notebook (A4 hardcover spiral bound) I count out 8 to 10 pages (with my handwriting size this equals around 1500 to 2000 words) and put a little dot in the corner. I also fill the first two pages with all of my plot post-it notes. This is my writing guide. Then I start writing. A chapter at a time (up to my drawn dot). I focus only on that chapter and make it a scene in my head. The scene generally has a set-up, a middle point and an end moment… the point at which I end the chapter (sometimes a cliffhanger, sometimes a reveal, sometimes a precursor to something else happening.)
After ten or so chapters, I go back to my post-it notes and rewrite them… because by this stage the story has changed. It has now become a live beast that has headed off in its own direction. My post-it notes are a way of herding that beast back into a general plot line. At the mid-point or heading into the last ten or so chapters an END has usually popped into my brain. I rewrite my post-it notes again to herd the story beast toward this ending.
Draft two is typing my book into a document, fixing things as I go and locating plot holes or story ideas that have come later in the writing process, especially points that I need to weave back into the story. After a few more drafts I will send it off to my CPs for comments.
What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Be yourself. Make conversation, make friends, and talk to people. Support your fans and your friends. Be genuine. Speak your truth.
Don’t only sell your work (and don’t Direct Message ANYONE with your book details.) Show people what you are like and what you like. We all want to know you, not for what you have produced, but who you are. By all means, tell us about your work, but do more than that, tell us about you. Support your fellow writers.
You want people to follow you and your work BECAUSE they already like you. If they follow you because they love your work then terrific… but you want them to hang around, don’t you? I have made some fabulous friends on social media. There is an amazing writing community online. Jump on board and chat to people. Most are not too scary, though some can be a little wild. I love and read their work sure, but I really enjoy the interactions too.
Oh, and don’t be a douchebag. Don’t insult people or their books. It’s just rude.
You can learn more about Laurie Bell and her work at any of the places listed below.www.wyvernspeak.com @WyvernsPeak www.facebook.com/WyvernsPeak
Welcome to my interview with, Bailey Ordiway, author of American Holdovers, Blackout, and Entertainment 100.Hello, Bailey! I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia. Do you have a favorite book or film? My all time favorite book is Looking For Alaska by John Green. My favorite film is Silver Linings Playbook, though it is a good book as well! When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? First I look to see if I’m in the store at all. If I am, I sign a couple copies. Then, I go to the young adult section because I will always have a soft spot for that genre. Do you have a job other than being an author? If so, what is it? Yes! I actually own a small vape shop. I do most of my writing on the couch there while waiting for customers. What do you listen to when you write? I usually listen to a mix of classical and electronic. No words and relaxing in different ways. What genre do you consider your book(s)? I actually try to expand out into multiple genres so I don’t get stuck in a niche, but they all kind of remain around Young Adult. What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Start a blog! I have my entertainment blog that has become just as important to me as my books. On top of that, it keeps you busy when you have writer’s block. What has been your favorite part of being an author? Probably getting to tell people I’m an author! It never gets old, really. Are you a plotter, a planner, or do you prefer to dive right in? I am a plotter for sure. I have a problem focusing and if I don’t write out a very thorough outline then I will ramble and get sidetracked. Find The BaileyBee Blog Here! Follow Bailey on Goodreads Follow Bailey on Twitter Find him on AMAZON Thanks for stopping by, Bailey! It was great to meet you.
Dave Hassler Interview
First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…! What is your favorite place to eat? Why? Why? The Original Taco House on 36th and Powell in Portland. Arguably, it’s in the bottom third for “quality cuisine,” but I love it – classic American-style Mexican food straight from the Sixties, with the décor to match. I have a lot of fond memories of the place from childhood, and, family myth has it, my parents had a date there once.
What is your favorite junk food vice? Gotta be nachos.
What does a typical day look like for you? If I’m not at my part-time job, I get up late, around 8:30 or so, drink some tea, and putter. Then, I tackle personal projects, scan the writing/editing boards, fool around with my ham radio gear, run errands, read, write, watch some TV. If I’m at the job, the day looks like this: get up early, go in, process/shelve returns, help patrons, come home, eat, TV, sleep. The weekends could be anything from taking a walk or easy hike (I’m no kid anymore), going out to the movies, hanging out with friends, going to see a sporting event. Beer and wine are often involved. I’m usually with my girlfriend, Sarah.
Favorite book or film? Why? For a book, it’s a toss-up between The Brothers K by David Duncan and Almost Famous by David Small. They’re both “baseball books,” but really more about dreams and what can happen to people when the dreams get shattered, twisted, or derailed. For a movie, I have to agree with that eminent arbiter of culture, Peter Griffin: “Roadhouse.”
Any movies that you really want to see? Nope.
What’s on your reading list right now? I’m a fairly random reader. Usually, I’ll go to the library or a bookstore with a topic or person in mind and then browse until I find something that looks satisfactory. Lately, it’s been 20th century political biography, physics and biology for the layman, and there’s always a little science fiction brain candy close at hand.
We all have our little things when it comes to reading that bug us. What makes you cranky when you read a novel? Dialogue that over-uses characters’ names. No one speaks like that. We know who we’re talking to (to whom we’re talking). Also, dialogue in perfect, grammatically correct English. Again, no one speaks like that.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? I have several hobbies, but my main one is amateur radio. I have a station set up here at home, and I can talk to people all over the world. And yes, some of those radios have vacuum tubes. I also have a rotary-dial phone, so there you go.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? If it’s strictly for fun, I like a novel with a fast pace, a definite problem for the protagonist to solve or overcome, and (preferably) laser pistols and hyperdrive.
Who are your favorite authors? Mike Reznick, Verner Vinge, Harry Harrison, Harry Turtledove and Poul Anderson for science fiction (John Scalzi is quickly becoming a favorite); Hemingway, Plath, Carver (poetry and stories), Kundera; Richard Dawkins.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself? Task-oriented, willing, curious, cynical, humorous, careful, thoughtful.
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why? The bargain bin, because it may have a great book in it, and I’m cheap (just go ahead and make that the eighth word that describes me).
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it? I quit my job at an insurance company — talk about soul-killing! — to set up my editing business and between clients I get to write.
What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you? “Are you trying to tell me that I should put one piece of pipe inside of another?” For context, this came from a chapter on building a portable antenna mast.
What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? Just talk to people. Be genuinely interested in what they’re doing and what they have to say. There’s no magic bullet.
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? To read, sci-fi; to write, poetry.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? I was once told that I was out of my mind to think that anyone would be interested in my story, and that I couldn’t tell it “right” anyway. Another person told me that the exact same collection had touched her very deeply, that she was moved to tears. This experience taught me that I should trust myself and write what I need to write. Some people will get it, some people won’t. You can’t please everyone, and it’s foolish to try. But if you can reach someone, make that connection, you’ve done something good.
What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? I love creating and communicating my view of the world, of the human condition. When I can do that with a well-crafted sentence and/or paragraph, so much the better. What I don’t like is the pounding my fingers take. After 15 years in journalism and not being a touch typist, I’m more than ready for voice recognition software.
What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting? Not getting instant results is frustrating, another artifact of my journalism career. I’m still used to writing a story in the afternoon and seeing it in print the next morning. As for exciting, I’ve won peer-judged awards for political commentary and sports columns.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? The short answer is, “The computer, mostly.” For almost every kind of writing I want to use the computer — it’s efficient, and I have a wealth of tools at my immediate disposal, both in apps and online. But when writing a poem, I always want pen and paper. It makes me feel closer to the work. I usually do my first rewrite of a poem on the original, scratching out, adding in, drawing arrows and brackets all over the place.
What do you do when you are not writing? I enjoy getting out and walking around, reading, camping, travel, my ham radios, and watching sports.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? Not really. At heart, I’m still a pen-n-paper guy.
What draws you to your genre(s)? I’ve written in a number of genres, but in non-fiction, what I really like is the opportunity to discover truth — to write about a subject in a factual way. Come to think of it, I feel exactly the same way about poetry.
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? I don’t feel I can speak on this with any authority. I write because that’s the impulse I feel. I certainly don’t try to gauge the public’s interest and write to its tastes. I understand that social media is the currently accepted way to expand one’s base, but I’m not a blogger or heavy self-promoter.
Along the same lines, what advice do you have for writers about the writing process and their development as writers? It’s the old “write what you know.” Yada yada yada. Yeah, it’s totally cliché, but I don’t know of any other avenue that produces authentic results. I would say to a beginning author to bash out a first-draft manuscript, non-stop, then look it over, maybe after three or four weeks. Fool around with it, play with it, and make the voices of your characters sound like people you know.
What advice would you give to a younger you? How has reading influenced you? I would tell my 25-year-old self to keep reading, and to be a little more brave when it came to sharing his work — with the public, with agents, with publishers, with magazines, with fellow writers … everyone. I feel I’ve really missed an opportunity to have my writing read by more people than has been the case.
Are you a plotter/planner or do you prefer to dive right in? I plan. An outline is essential for longer work. Even with a poem, I like to think about the topic for a while before diving in.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I’m more willing now to take on different kinds of writing, more open to new (to me) ways and forms of expression.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why? I will often put on the local classical station, because I like some background noise and it’s the least distracting. But if I’m writing poetry, I like it quiet.
Did you have any teacher in school that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice? My freshman English teacher encouraged me. His only advice was to keep writing, so I did.
Please tell me about your novel. The novel is set in 2053 Tacoma, Washington, and concerns a young man who becomes disillusioned with the U.S.’s authoritarian government. Through a series of misfortunes, he ends up in a prison camp and later has to rebuild his life.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why? My favorite character is Beck, the domestic security officer who hounds the protagonist. She’s got a whole trainload of baggage, and it makes her a very interesting character to explore. If there’s another novel in that universe, it’ll be with her as the protagonist.
What authors inspired you to write this particular novel? No particular author inspired me, but I’ve been reading sci-fi since I was 7 years old, so I’m sure there’s plenty of influence. If I had to peg one of those authors of my youth, I’d say Ben Bova.
Dream big… Your book has been purchased to be turned into a movie script and you have been asked to list the people you would most like to play each role. Who do you choose? Fun question! Mike (my protagonist) would be played by Zach Quinto or Kunal Nyaar, Beck would be played by Sarah Shahi (but she’s have to go blonde), Syd would go to Kirsten Dunst, and Ansel would be either Steve Martin or Bill Murray.
What else do you have in the pipeline? A non-fiction book about a prominent athletic contest that, I think, was the last of its kind.
Links – Where can people learn more about you and your work?www.vanportmedia.com — there and amazon.com, of course! www.amazon.com/Triple-Charlies-Advice-Recipes-Bachelor-ebook/dp/B01N0OEARU and www.amazon.com/Propagation-Dave-Hassler-ebook/dp/B01M8IKBGZ L.R.W. LEE INTERVIEW L. R. W. Lee credits her love of fantasy with her introduction to C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Later on, she enjoyed the complex world of Middle Earth brought to life by J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The multiple dimensions of the worlds mixed with a layer of meaning, captivated her and made her desire to invent Young Adult Fantasy and Epic Fantasy worlds others could get lost in, but also take meaning away from. More recently, L. R. W. Lee has found inspiration from J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series as well as Brandon Mull and his best selling Fablehaven, Beyonders and Five Kingdoms series. L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. She lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband. Their daughter is a Computer Engineer for Microsoft and their son serves in the Air Force. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | 1. How did you come up with your main character, Andy Smithson? Did he just pop into your imagination or did you specifically develop him? Andy is patterned after my son. After our first child who was what I would call compliant and seemed to need little to no correction, our son arrived on the scene. As with most 2nd children, he was polar opposite and provided much fodder for an engaging main character. 2. How did your experience with building a business help with your writing? It has been invaluable for I understand that writing is only 50% of the writer’s success equation. Unlike Field of Dreams, with so many good books available today, just launching it, even on a well trafficked platform like Amazon, does not get recognition. Because of my corporate background, from day one I began working to build a platform – Twitter and Facebook primarily and now also Book Nerd Paradise. As well, I understand the importance of the author community, for no author can succeed these days without the support of fellow authors. My background has also helped in understanding the need to optimize my books to rank well on the variety of sites they are listed on. There’s much more, but those are the biggest helps I would say. 3. Was there any particular book or author whom you feel had the most influence on your work? I have to say JK Rowling. The imagination she revealed, the strength of her characters, the world building, the depth of plot over multiple books…she definitely shaped how I think about writing. 4. What do you love the most about writing for young people? Young people are moldable. My passion for writing is to share with readers principles that from my experience can help them live more peaceful lives. A few of these principles include overcoming fear, frustration and impatience as well as understanding that true success in life is not from riches, fame or power, but rather responsibility, diligence and dignity. If they can finish any of my books closer to understanding these principles, I feel very fulfilled. 5. Which part of the creative process is your favorite? Least favorite? Designing the story arc is my favorite part of the creative process for you can take a story anywhere your imagination can go. My least favorite part is editing/revising. Even though I know the narrative gets much stronger as a result, it’s still my least favorite part. 6. How long does it usually take you to write one of your stories from when you get the idea to when it’s finished? Usually about 6 months. 7. I know that most authors love all their characters but which of your many “children” is your favorite (besides Andy) and why? I have to say Mermin, the kindly old wizard who speaks with a lisp. I love him most after Andy because he’s so warm, humble and approachable. He’s fallible and he knows it, which is why he doesn’t apologize for his mistakes, rather he is comfortable in his own skin. 8. Do you ever plan to branch out into other genres besides middle grade/young adult fantasy? Funny you should ask. Yes, I’m actually noodling with a story arc of a YA Sci Fi story. 9. How do you feel your writing has evolved since your first novel? I can see how much I’ve changed and improved in showing rather than telling my readers what’s happening. I want them to engage and to show – providing sight, sounds, touch, smell, and taste cues is a big part of that. I was particularly thrilled when my editor came back a full week sooner than expected with this current book because I had improved so much between book three and four. My pocketbook also appreciated that J THE DEPTH OF THE ANDY SMITHSON SERIES If you’re an adult looking for a clean series you can sink your teeth into, Andy Smithson is definitely it! In it I develop four layers simultaneously: 1) Andy Smithson in Lakehills, TX 2) Andy in Oomaldee 3) the Afterlife 4) a meaning layer. A few examples to demonstrate the depth… Symbolism is used extensively (a couple examples): • The fog of the curse symbolizes blindness and oppression. • The magic key unlocks doors, brings stone statues to life, as well as revives. Put another way, it symbolizes bringing forth, opening up, and revealing (aka taking responsibility). • Methuselah is not only a weapon and helper, but also represents justice as it divides good and evil. Consistent with life, justice requires diligence to uphold. You can find her books: AMAZON | Smashwords | Kobo | Google | B&N | Podiobooks
Welcome to my interview with novelist, Robin Woods, author of The Watcher Series.Hello, Robin, I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…! What’s on your reading list right now? I just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I loved it. I’m not ready to move onto another book yet. The world is still lingering in my head. Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? Spending time with my kids, seeing movies, listening to music, and crafting—there isn’t enough time in the day for all of the things I like to do! What 5 words would you use to describe yourself? Upbeat, passionate, motivated, down-to-earth, and organized. When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Young & New Adult Section Do you have a job other than being an author? If so, what is it? I teach 11th grade English (American Literature), 12th grade English (British Literature), and am an adjunct college professor. Please tell me about your novels. The Watcher Series follows the journey of Aleria Hayes who is initially an average high school student, but is quickly pulled into the world of the Watchers. The Unintended begins in her world, but by the second novel, she is away from everything familiar. The series becomes darker, sexier, and more action packed with each novel. I am a lover of unexpected twists and am not afraid to kill my darlings to raise the stakes. I have a strong mythology built into the series and weave Greek and Celtic mythology into my vampire lore. What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? I am almost always listening to music. I have playlists for different types of scenes that I write. If I am writing an action scene, I tend to listen to dub step or electronica. Whereas, if I am writing something with raw emotional elements, I tend to listen to something instrumental. What else do you have in the pipeline? I am finishing up a few extras and shorts that go along with my series. I will be releasing them in an eBook entitled, Light & Shadow: The Watcher Series Extras. In addition to the eBook, I’m starting to work with a Hollywood producer to create a few novellas to be turned into scripts. We will see! What genre do you consider your book(s)? The series starts in Young Adult and technically ends in upper Young Adult/New Adult. They would be categorized as Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance (though the story is more focused on her journey than the romance itself). What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I am a full-time plus English teacher and a wife/mother. I tend to write late at night and for a few hours on Saturday mornings while the kids are watching cartoons. I am very disciplined, and even if I only have a few minutes, I can produce something. Do you have any advice for other writers? 1. Write everyday (even if it is only a paragraph). 2. Read, read, and read. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Know what is happening in your genre and feed your soul. 3. Guard your writing time. 4. Be consistent. 5. Spend a little time on social media each day. Build a supportive community. Be generous. 6. Have your work professionally edited–by more than one editor (content and line-by-line editors). What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? Build a platform branding yourself and not your books. You never know when you may write something in another genre. Spend a little time on social media each day. Blogging is also recommended, even if it only a couple of times per month. If you would like additional tips and some free resources there are more on my website—I try to give back to the community. What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Establish relationships with bloggers and other writers. Think of other writers as community and not competition. What has been the biggest compliment given to you as an author? A couple of college students told me that they are switching to English majors after reading my books and want to become writers. I don’t think there is a higher compliment. Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? My pacing is faster and my descriptions more streamlined. I have also refined my end of chapter hooks. Are you a plotter, a planner, or do you prefer to dive right in? I have a general outline, just five to ten bullet points with the main story arc. Then I write a few key scenes—the game changers. Afterwards, I go through and connect the dots from beginning to end. Why do you write? I have a story inside me and it needs to get out. Big hugs, Robin and thanks so much for being here!
Links Where can people learn more about you and your work? Official Site: http://RobinWoodsFiction.com/ Facebook Twitter Good Reads Get her books here: Amazon USA Tumblr Pinterest Google+Welcome to my interview with novelist, PJ Webb, author of the Prince of the Blood Series and the Cliff House Series. Hello, PJ, I’m glad you’re here! Hi, Lauren, thanks for having me. First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…! Do you have a favorite book or film? Yes my very favorite film is Somewhere in Time. In fact, my husband and I named our boat Somewhere in Time. Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? I love boating. When you’re out on the water anything to do with everyday life just seems to fade away. What 5 words would you use to describe yourself? Fiery, compassionate, stubborn, quirky, diligent. My husband would also say annoying. My answer to him is that that’s my true purpose in life, to annoy him. Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it? My first novel and the one that started my writing career is Prince of the Blood – Transformation, so it will always be very dear to me not only because it’s my first, but because of events in my life that led me to write it. It was born out of a desire not to stay up all night worrying about events that were unfolding in my life that were beyond my control. You see, my husband and I were about to lose everything we owned, including what was a very lucrative business, because of the recession and in spite of our tremendous effort to save it. So, I began to write a story about a character who lost everything and managed to cope with that loss and reinvent himself in the process. Not only did I spend my nights doing something constructive, but the story I was telling and the strength of my main character, Sebastian, actually helped to heal the enormous depression I felt. Way to turn things around! I’m proud of you! Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? My first novel and every novel in the Prince of the Blood Series is dedicated to my Sebastian, my awesome husband, Scott. The only thing we had managed to save before leaving New York was our 36’ cabin cruiser, Somewhere In Time. Our intention had been to drive it to Florida, where my husband’s brother lives, but we broke down and ended up in New Bern, NC. We spent fifteen months living on board and met so many wonderful and caring people that we decided to stay. My husband started a new business and we’ve moved off the boat into our new home. He, by some source of great strength, was able to reinvent himself and move on, and I am still involved in helping him and continue to write. What else do you have in the pipeline? Thanks for asking, Lauren, the first book in my new paranormal fiction series, Cliff House, should be released before the end of August and is named Lora Lee. While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? Oh, yes! All of them, in fact I take on their personalities as I’m writing them and whisper read each ones dialogue. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I suppose Anne Rice. The first book I ever read of hers was “The Interview with the Vampire”. I was mesmerized by her writing style and still am. Do you have any advice for other writers? I feel the most important thing I can possibly tell them is to make sure they have a perfect job of editing before they put their work out there. You can have the most original story ever and if it’s not well edited, you won’t have anything except bad reviews. What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting? The most frustrating thing I would have to say is not having enough time to write and the most exciting is to read a good review from someone who escaped into my fantasy world and was entertained. Thank you so much for the interview, Lauren. I really appreciate it. Where can people learn more about you and your work? TWITTER @PletchaPJWebb FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/PJ.Webb.author FACEBOOK AUTHORS PAGE https://www.facebook.com/PJ.Webb.auth.pg?ref=hl GOOGLE + http://bit.ly/1EAbwmd My Work: PART ONE – PRINCE OF THE BLOOD – TRANSFORMATION Imagine fate putting you in all the right places at all the right times. Love, success, even stardom have been given to you and you embrace them with passion, but the path of your destiny has many twists and turns. Sebastian Blood had just such a life until it was stolen by his most jealous and ardent admirer. He then found himself thrust into a dark underworld where he was forced to suffer unspeakable horror. Will the one who cursed him for eternity destroy his immortal life, as well? The Prince of the Blood Vampire Chronicles is a work of historical fiction and a paranormal fantasy crisscrossing centuries. Available at AMAZON http://amzn.to/1Ksb0Ml and has 9 FIVE STAR REVIEWS, as well as a FIVE STAR RATING by READER’S FAVORITE https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/prince-of-the-blood … PART TWO- PRINCE OF THE BLOOD – EVOLUTION As Sebastian Blood, he lived a life of fame and wealth—an open book to his adoring fans and with the love of his mortal life by his side. As Sebastian Du Sang, his life is one of infamy and revulsion—a figure cloaked in mystery and with only one constant—the love of his immortal life. One reality for another as luck would have it. The devastating blow of fate. And, what will he do with this new and horrific beginning? He will rise above it NEW RELEASE Available at AMAZON http://amzn.to/1COtfsE Welcome to my interview with novelist Effrosyni Moschoudi, author of The Lady of the Pier trilogy. The first part, The Ebb, is only 99c on Amazon US at the moment and until May 31st. This is an ABNA Q-Finalist, a sweet romance with a paranormal twist that will enthuse romantic souls out there. Hurry and download a copy while the offer lasts! Hello, Effrosyni, I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…! What is your favorite junk food vice? A – Greek souvlaki of course, preferably chicken with pita bread – yum! Q- Do you have a favorite book or film? A – I have many favorites so I’ll choose one at random from each: Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Film: Dead Poets Society by Peter Weir Q – Any movies that you really want to see? A – That’s easy. The next one starring Robert Pattinson. He is the only actor that I will watch in any movie, no matter what it is, as I am such a huge fan. He has done two really bad movies in my opinion, both by Cronenberg, but some gems too, like Bel Ami and Remember Me. Luckily the next one out is bound to be wonderful: Queen of the Desert with co-stars Nicole Kidman and James Franco. Can’t wait! Q – What’s on your reading list right now? A – A bunch of awesome reads by indie authors, most of them co-members of the writer’s group eNovel Authors at Work. I also have a couple of non-indie books lined up, like the latest from Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop. Q – Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? A – Swim and sunbathe. I love the sea. Even in the winter, I need to feel near it, so whenever I have time, I’ll walk along the shore or in our local marina. Q – Now for some general questions about your current writing. Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? A – The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb is dedicated to my grandparents and I wrote the book as a tribute to them. Although the plot is a work of fiction, it is peppered with autobiographical elements. Like my character Sofia, I used to spend my summers in Corfu with my grandparents. I was an overprotected daughter and yearned for freedom, just like her. I have a myriad of blissful memories from my summers in Corfu. My readers tell me the descriptions are so vivid it feels like you’re there too. It pleases me immensely to hear that. Q – What else do you have in the pipeline? A – I am currently working on the sequels of The Lady of the Pier trilogy. The Flow (book 2) is in the last edits stage and will be published this summer. I am nearly done writing The Storm (book 3) as well and this will be published later this year. Once The Storm is written, I’ll start working on a chick lit story and a children’s story too. Last, I’ll be translating The Necklace of Goddess Athena into Greek as to try and sell it in this country, also to allow my family members to read it; my teenage nieces especially, who keep asking! Q – Tell us a little bit about your approach to the writing craft. What books have most influenced your life? A – Books of esoteric philosophy and self-help. I have been working with myself for the past thirty years, trying to shape my thinking and my character in a way I choose as to find peace and happiness. The greatest achievement for man, I believe, is to master one’s mind, i.e. to learn to control your own thinking. So many people are victimized by the chatterbox of negativity inside their heads. I used mind control methods and meditation to get rid of it and my life has improved dramatically ever since. I’ve also learned to forgive through these practices and to practice gratitude every day. To name the three books that have helped me live a happy life the most, I’ll mention The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder and Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. Q – What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? A – Reviews don’t sell books, and neither do posts on Twitter and Facebook. From what I have seen, two things only can grant you sales: 1) writing more books: The more you have out there, the more you’re getting heard 2) Doing promotion and advertising. No matter how long you spend on social media and writing blog posts, that won’t get you anywhere. Actually, if I had to choose one, I’d say putting more books out there is #1. After a while, the books almost sell themselves, especially when the Phoenix Effect kicks in, i.e. when your fans start buying your older books because they loved your latest. Q – Why do you write? A – Why does the fish swim? Why does the bird fly? A writer can’t help writing any more than these creatures can help doing these things. I think a true writer is born and not made. They pick up a pen as soon as they learn the alphabet and start writing, just like that. They don’t choose it, and they don’t need a reason to write. Where can people learn more about you and your work? http://www.effrosyniwrites.com http://www.amazon.com/author/effrosyni http://www.twitter.com/frostiemoss https://www.facebook.com/authoreffrosyni https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7362780.Effrosyni_Moschoudi https://plus.google.com/+EffrosyniMoschoudi http://www.pinterest.com/efrosinimoschou/
Author Interview of Laurie Bell!A big warm welcome to the one and only… Laurie Bell! “I’m a writer, blogger and all round creative nut. I muse and ramble and write whatever I feel like… Visit my blog www.solothefirst.wordpress.com, head on over to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell or visit me on Twitter @LaurienotLori I love a good prompt, love an interactive audience and love to write serials, novels and anything in between. I’m a huge movie/television buff and I think Joss Whedon is a genius!”
What is your favorite place to eat? Why?
Anywhere that is out and someone has cooked for me! I am an awful cook. It is my aim in life to not have to cook for myself!
I’m still waiting. Therefore my favorite place to eat out is a little restaurant about ten minutes from my house. A little Italian place that I love. They have the most amazing deserts!! Ahem and meals, the main meals are terrific too. Did I mention the deserts?
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Aha, chocolate and coffee. Honestly, I am not picky, any type of chocolate I will eat it. But I do prefer Australian Cadbury (I make the distinction because I have lived overseas and there IS a difference.) And I have a real weakness for Easter eggs. Yeah my fridge is usually full of eggs a good month before Easter and at least a month afterwards!
What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?
Typical day? Work unfortunately but one must pay the bills. At every opportunity I can be found writing in a little notepad or parked in front of the TV catching up on all the shows I missed during the week. It’s all research of course! In fact the best advice I ever read was an interview with Joss Whedon who actually said that. Everything you watch, read, do, experience can be considered research. (I’m paraphrasing of course.) As for a weekend? Well typically either out with the boyfriend or in front of the TV. If I’m not catching up with friends and their babies, I am out at a café by myself. If I am out by myself I can usually be found with a notebook writing away on my next story.
Favorite book or film? Why?
Well, these are two very different questions.
Favorite Movie is tricky – because there are so many, though at the moment it would be The Avengers – Joss Whedon. Seriously, my writing hero, you might have guessed that huh?
Book? Well, I guess my favorite would be Cyclops by Clive Cussler. I think I have read it several times. It just stays with me. Great tension in the action scenes… even more in the waiting for the action scenes. Dirk Pitt Bathtub – is all I’m saying.
What’s on your reading list right now?
Soooo much, I’m not sure I’ll get to it all. Book four of the Secret Watcher series! Haha but also several new books by friends who are authors (or soon will be) some amazing work coming out…. Keep an eye on Helen Valentina, and Linh Nguyen-Ng.
Oooo and I recently read a book called Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith… Very fun – I’m looking forward to book two.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
If I can get lost in it. I think that’s probably the most important thing and if I can hear the character’s voices in my head. If I can continue the dialogue in my head after I’ve finished a book then I know it’s a great book!
Who is your favorite author?
I have a few – a lot of friends of course. I would change the question slightly and say my favourite writer is Joss Whedon (I’m sure I’ve mentioned that) Ha ha. I have a whole room of bookshelves at home. And you can find every style of book within. I guess the authors I am most sure of buying when I see a new release would be Clive Cussler and Janet Evanovich.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
Creative, fun, nuts, professional, weird, Introvert, Extrovert. (You would think those last two can’t go together but I think they do. I am a very loud, chatty person in public and can make people laugh but I also love my alone time and can sit at home in front of my tv for days on end too.)
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why?
Scifi/Fantasy. But I can and will spend hours walking around a bookstore. I cover every area from young adult to kids, picture books to new releases, adult to romance. I spend two hours a day on the train. It gives me a lot of reading time. If I’m not writing on the train I am reading. I love books.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
Still working. Am yet to publish though I do have two books at the editor right now. Keep an EYE out for White Fire and Blood Fever by ME.
I work as a PA (personal assistant) to an IT manager in an insurance company. Funnily enough I also volunteer at my local theatre, and often work as assistant to the director… I seem to assist a lot!
What do you do when you are not writing?
Reading, reading and more reading, a lot of TV and movies too… As Joss Whedon says, everything is research! And I’m very lazy, so yeah, TV mostly! haha, oooh and eating out, I’ve mentioned that before right?
Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?
Ooooh, both actually. I roughly jot out chapters on sticky notes and then going off two or three points just start writing.
What am I working on?
Well I have two books I am working on at the moment. Two different series of Science Fiction/Action. Very Female James Bond meets Star Wars with a very Guardians of the Galaxy feel. One is a YA the other is a little darker and older.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why?
Mate, He is an android canine and the partner to my heroine. He is just my favourite character! I love his “Voice” and his loyalty.