Interview with Author – Matthew D. Ryan

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About Matthew D. Ryan:
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Apheliondotcom and YesteryearFictiondotcom. He is the operator of a web-site which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels “Drasmyr” and “The Children of Lubrochius” as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”

What inspires you to write?
I love fantasy. I’ve spent the bulk of my life reading fantasy novels and playing fantasy games like AD&D, Magic, and Talisman. All that experience gels together and gives me a rich substrate to draw from. That is the basic backdrop of all my stories; at this point, having spent years as a Gamemaster, telling fantasy stories is almost second nature. Specific inspirations, though, can come from anything: a picture, a beatific scene in nature, a song, or even another story. I once wrote a short story entitled “The River’s Eye” which was inspired by a painting at my aunt’s house. I came up with the title first, and wrote from there.

Tell us about your writing process.
My first book, “Drasmyr”, was written as a seat of the pants writer. The older I get, though, the more I’ve started relying on outlines. “The Children of Lubrochius,” for example (the sequel to “Drasmyr”) was written with an outline. Generally, I do my initial outline by hand on lined paper. Then, I type it into my computer and begin revisions. The revision consists of printing out a hardcopy of the current outline, editing it as I see fit, and then updating. It’s a lengthy process, but it’s also fun, too.
Yes, I create character sketches … or I do now. Didn’t need them for the first book. Nowadays, I have a little grey notebook filled with all the information I have on all my characters. I refer to it periodically, but usually just when I forget a detail.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
That actually doesn’t happen to me. I create the characters, write down what I need to know and remember, but that’s usually the extent of my effort. There’s no imaginary conversations … I have enough psychological problems as it is that I don’t need to have imaginary conversations :) . Anyway, no, that’s not a technique I use.

What advice would you give other writers?
Be persistent. Edit. Edit. And edit some more. For every hour you spend writing, you’ll probably spend somewhere from two to four editing, maybe even more. Be prepared for that. And don’t give up. If you really love it, keep at it. There’s lots of options these days from the traditional route to the indie author route. Regardless, be prepared to be your own strongest advocate. You’ll have to wear a lot of hats: author, editor, marketer, and more.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the traditional route first, but got fed up with all the rejections. There are just too many authors competing for too few publishers. I finally went the self-published route. There are perks–namely, you have complete control over the entire process, you don’t have to edit by committee, and others–but its a tough slog. I would advise other authors to try the traditional route first–who knows? You might get lucky–Give it a few months, maybe a year, and if you don’t get any bites, go indie. You’ll have to handle all forms of marketing and other business decisions, but it’s worth it to see you’re name in print on a book.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Ebooks are the wave of the future. The unfortunate reality is, though, people are becoming less and less willing to pay real money for an ebook. Many people expect to get their ebooks for free. This makes it very difficult for new authors, even established authors. Standards are down and not everyone reads at the same level. A book with lots of grammatical errors, if they are subtle, might still earn five stars from an unsophisticated reader. This can distort ratings on all web sites. As a result, poor books can become superstars and stellar books can fail. It all depends on how the market reacts, and much of the market is not as discerning as the average writer or editor.

What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: dark fantasy

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Matthew D. Ryan Home Page Link
Link To Matthew D. Ryan Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit (other than removing hyperlinks in the body of the text), to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Leanne Schroder

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About Leanne Schroder:
I’m a mom with teens and an author. I was born in the land down under, Australia. Though a lifelong Aussie hailing from Queensland, I’m now also a Tassie, as I currently reside in Hobart, Tasmania. In my youth, I was a competitive swimmer, winning Silver for Queensland at state in the 200 meters butterfly and also representing in the 10K marathon swim. I’ve written several books including Kidnapped at K7, Mission Possible, Elusive Quarry, and Mumma Africa.

What inspires you to write?
Mission Possible is my latest release. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’ve been scribbling passionately for many years. I’ve tried for a few years to find success with my first novel. Now I just write for me and have fun.

Tell us about your writing process.
I like to write in the wide outdoors. Sometimes kangaroos, koalas or whatever else may happen by and interrupt me but I enjoy it.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters are very real to me. I see them in my mind’s eye and if I’m not true to their “character” they let me know.

What advice would you give other writers?
Chin up. Be brave. Be true to yourself. Know when to give up, but keep trying if you have even the slightest inkling of possibility.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
It’s been a long, mostly unsuccessful journey for me. I published my first book in 2011 and I’ve been scraping along for over four years. I lost hope for a while, then found a great marketing team (Kindle Marketing) to help me do the things I really couldn’t. Now I just focus on writing and they take care of everything for me that I hated doing anyway.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s scary and exciting. There are so many opportunities, but seems like so little chance to actually make a living at what I love. I try not to be discouraged about that, but it’s hard. Recently, I signed a distribution deal with a trade publisher and I’m very excited about the possibilities.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: Mystery, Action, Adventure

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Leanne Schroder Home Page Link
Link To Leanne Schroder Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Facebook
Twitter

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Lotus Landry

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About Lotus Landry:
I am finding my voice in three different fictional genres – a Western Historical romance, a modern mystery, and an animal fantasy. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and presently reside in the Los Angeles basin in a neighborhood with too many urban coyotes.

What inspires you to write?
My first novel was set in the 1800’s in Oregon. However, several characters were based on behaviors of family and friends from the modern era from that geography. The strong female character, Matooskie, had the habits of an inquisitive modern botanist who happened to be my friend’s mother.
The modern mystery is set in a Homeowner’s Association, and it reflects the lifestyle that many now experience in such communities.

Tell us about your writing process.
My first novel had an outline for a very complex plot. The third novel consists of ephemera and interviews of the main characters so the plot thread came into play in about half of the chapters. Sometimes the characters just seemed to ‘take over’. I like to start with legal pads before transcribing to electronic files.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I had to do considerable research for dialect in the period fiction and I had to research cage-fighting for one of my characters in the 2nd modern novel. So this research enabled me to enter their worlds.

What advice would you give other writers?
Take some writing classes and join some writing groups. Don’t necessarily do what the writing groups suggest.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
The publishing world seems to be changing and I had no celebrity identity that would draw the attention of traditional publishers. So, it became easier to self publish.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Editors certainly have a role that gets omitted with self publishing.

What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?: historical romance, mystery, chick-lit, fantasy animal

What formats are your books in?: eBook

Website(s)
Lotus Landry Home Page Link
Link To Lotus Landry Page On Amazon

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Jean-Louis McMillan

About Jean-Louis McMillan:
Jean-Louis McMillan is a retired freelance journalist and first-time author.
He was born in Oran on the Mediterranean coast in Algeria, but left Algeria after a restless childhood and settled in Paris, France, where he earned a degree in Philosophy.

Now, after a turbulent youth and a career that had thrown him into the heart of the hardest battles in the Middle East, Jean-Louis wanders between the Orient and the Occident.

He writes as a means to explore, and to heal.
“Desire & Prejudice” is his first published book.

“Desire & Prejudice” climbed to #1 on free Erotica category and #11 on free Fiction, during the last KDP Free Days Promotion.

What inspires you to write?
Like other books and other beginner authors, important part of “Desire & Prejudice” is based on my personal experiences.
I started writing it as a short story, which I extended over nearly two years of writing and erasing.
Rather a spot of research allowed me to alter the placement and nature of events either to be faithful to my personal story, but still to blur the individuality of characters involved in.
The writing of this book and the detailed descriptions are part of the cure of my personal PTSD, from which I suffer for decades.
Everything, it seems, is part of my recovery.
It doesn’t end.

Tell us about your writing process.
As one who suffers from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), I used to isolate myself and avoid all kind of social life.
In order not to go crazy and experiencing hallucinations and flashbacks from the traumatic event I’ve experienced, I used to create characters and situations, which I described on a little notebook I held permanently in my pocket. I conducted animated conversations with those characters, and built around them different backdrops.
Slowly, it created a few short stories.
DESIRE & PREJUDICE is based on one of these stories

How did you decide how to publish your books?
As this book is my first published book, ebook and Amazon seems to me the right way to publish it.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think ebook will definitely be the main support of book publishing, even if I personally prefer to read a print books.

What do you use?: Professional Editor

What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance (with a “Spy Thriller” twist)

What formats are your books in?: eBook

Website(s)
Link To Jean-Louis McMillan Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Linda B. Myers

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About Linda B. Myers:
Linda B. Myers

The Early Years

I won my first creative contest in the sixth grade for my Clean Up Fix Up Paint Up Week. This started a career that even a Phi Beta Kappa and BA from Michigan State University could not derail.

The Career Years

I wrote a non-fiction book entitled The Great Lakes: North America’s Inland Sea published by Outdoor World. The publisher is now defunct, and the book is no longer in print. From this experience I learned how little an author can make.

I became a copywriter in Chicago and eventually a creative director. I learned it not only pays to advertise, it pays to write it, too.

I started my own marketing consultancy twenty years ago under the name of Mycomm One. A few years back, I traded in my stilettos for rain boots and moved to the Pacific Northwest.

And Now

A few years back, I turned in my stilettos for rain boots and moved to the Pacific Northwest. I started to write for real.

• Lessons of Evil was my first book to publish. It’s a damn scary psychological mystery if you ask me. Leave your lights on.

• Speaking of scary: Both of my parents and my husband died in nursing homes. I have an unrivaled record for hours spent with my big butt on an uncomfortable visitor’s chair, observing the comings and goings. Fun House Chronicles offers earthy guidance to anyone facing tough decisions for themselves or their loved ones.

• Bear in Mind is the first in the Bear Jacobs mystery series. Hard to Bear is the second. This series is largely based on the character introduced in Fun House Chronicles. They wouldn’t settle down so I just had to bring them back.

• A Time of Secrets is a psychological mystery set on the Big Island of Hawaii. If you like romance and intrigued, combined with island lifestyle and humor, this read is for you. Aloha!

What inspires you to write?
I wrote commercials for a living as well as essays and poems for fun. But I was in my 60s when I took on my first novel. Why so old? I knew I had the skills and that writing was a pleasure for me. Maybe I had to get that old to feel I really had something to say.

Sharing knowledge and emotion and experience. I think that’s what inspires me. When I receive a review from a stranger who has been touched by one of my books? That is the collateral for me to keep going. It is what makes me feel rich.

Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t outline. I begin with only a broad overview of how the book will develop. I like the freedom of having the unexpected happen outside the boundaries of an outline (which feels restrictive to me). This means that I do plenty of rewriting, of course, as I go along. I am not a fast writer. It is a trip of discovery for me as well as for my readers.

But I don’t just make a leap of faith, either. I keep two documents close at hand to guide me:
– Because I enjoy books with many characters, I have a list of their physical and personality traits.
– Also, my most recent novel is a second in a series called HARD TO BEAR. I created a short ‘synopsis’ of the backstory I wanted to include in it for the benefit of those who had not read the first in the series (BEAR IN MIND).

Also, I believe in critique groups if you are careful to ignore what does not sound right to you. But good ‘plotters’ and writers with an ear for dialog? They can be invaluable to you.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I write a scene I think it through from every character’s point of view. If Harry is listening to Hank, what else is he doing? Scratching his ass? Humming? Building a steeple with his fingers? Whether all the info makes it into the manuscript or not, it makes that character have dimension for me. And that dimension will keep me on track when I meet him again in another scene.

My main characters – friend or foe – become quite real to me. I miss them when I have moved on. I suppose that it the big reason one cast has appeared in three of my books.

What advice would you give other writers?
First, let me say I am no spring chicken. So a lot of what I believe comes from that point of view. Here are a few tips from the back nine:

– Have another way to make money. Start out assuming that your career as a writer won’t pay the bills.
– Don’t do all things poorly. Choose the things you can do well. For instance, don’t employ all social media for marketing but become a real presence on the few you choose.
– Spend some money on marketing whether you publish traditionally or you are an Indy. Your product may be an art form, but you’re also running a business. Act like it. Investment spend and you will see results sooner.
– Don’t believe everything you read online. But do read other writer blogs. Lots of good ones.
– If money is your goal, pick a genre and stick to it. On the other hand, if you like to write lots of different stuff, do it. It will be harder for fans to follow you, but you’ll be a happier – if poorer – camper.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
It took me two years to find an agent, and two years later she retired. In that time, my only traditional success was with a publisher in Turkey who released LESSONS OF EVIL in Turkish. So following the four years of trying to publish in the U.S. I decided on self-publishing.

I shook my fist at the sky a lot. But now? I like it. I accept that writing the book is only the tip of the iceberg … that promoting it takes every bit as much time.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Right now, publishing is like writing in the Wild West. There are few definite rules. Many of us feel that we are having to find new paths. I think that will change once the electronic industry achieves its full potential and once print books settle on the piece of the industry that will be theirs.

I hate the idea that Marketing runs writing now. It can only look at what HAS worked to determine which books to promote. This leaves little room for those writers who are working in genuinely new territories or who like to cross genres. It’s harder for readers, too, to find those unexpected gems.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: Literary fiction, contemporary fiction, psychological mystery, cozies with bite

What formats are your books in?: eBook

Website(s)
Linda B. Myers Home Page Link
Link To Linda B. Myers Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Facebook
Twitter

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Matt Minor

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About Matt Minor:
Matt Minor presently serves as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. He has worked as a political campaign manager and is a well-regarded public speaker. Matt has authored official state publications, oversees syndicated editorials, is a speechwriter and district radio legislative commentator.

Prior to his life in state politics Matt was a professional musician and entertainer; his numerous recordings receiving wide critical praise. Matt practices numerous other arts including the craft of poetry; an interest that has brought academic recognition.

Matt Minor lives with his wife Stacy on their ranch property in Wharton County, Texas. He maintains an apartment in Austin.

What inspires you to write?
Injustice; the tragic passage of time; the futility of everything; regret; and love against the world.

Tell us about your writing process.
I start with an idea and a protagonist. No outline. I have an idea on how to begin, the climax, and how to end. For the Representative I thought of a phrase or epigram: If the nature of art is a search for truth, then the nature pf politics is the concealment of it. Out of that I created the protagonist. Everything else just gradually fell into place.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
After creating their background I then have a template for how they will act or react in a given situation. Then I put myself in their shoes and go from there, with the understanding that some people are prone to impulse. It would be a lie to say that I don’t take the Method Actors perspective when in the midst of a book. I don’t recommend it, however, as it is very unhealthy.

What advice would you give other writers?
Every writer has a different process. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. Figure out what works for you and don’t worry if it doesn’t fit others.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self – publish the Representative after being told by several editors that my book was not cookie cutter enough; and after several agents told me to disregard that, put it out and see what happens.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I worry about it because people are getting so LCD. I know recent college grads who know virtually nothing about books and literature.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: Political suspense; romance; mystery

What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Link To Matt Minor Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – J Richard Knapp

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About J Richard Knapp:
J Richard Knapp is an internationally recognized American author and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. His education includes degrees from the University of Oregon and Boise State university. Knapp is internationally recognized as a leader in education, bully prevention, and an author of many tween and young adult fiction books. J Richard Knapp is the Founder and CEO of Stop-Bullies.com, Magpye Publishing, and KnappStory.com.

What inspires you to write?
As a child, I would make up stories in my head and share them orally with the other kids in the neighborhood. Some of my greatest moments was hanging out with my buddies at sleep-overs and trying to scare them in the dark with my stories.

I began transferring these stories to the written page by the time I reached middle school and even had a couple of my early works published in the school newspaper.

This continued for many years until I sat down with Wilson Rawls the author of ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ in my early twenties. He was aware that I wanted to be a children’s writer. Wilson set a box down in front of me and opened the lid. Inside the box was the original handwritten manuscript of ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’. From that moment on, I was determined to be a writer of children’s stories.

Tell us about your writing process.
First, I never touch the keys of my computer until I completely know the sequences of the story, the characters, and settings. This often involves a great deal of background research, observation, and reflection.

Second, I begin playing the story in my head like a movie. If I can’t see the movie, I can’t write it.

Third, I begin writing the story from page 1 in my head. I am blessed with the ability to write a number of pages in my head before transferring it to the computer.

Last, once I begin writing the book, I am relentless and will spend many hours a day until the first draft is complete. I will follow this by taking a few days off and then start the editing process.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I spend a great deal of time watching people – their mannerisms, physical and social interactions, needs, desires, dreams, and more. Some of my characters are represented in part by people I know and often – me.

What advice would you give other writers?
Do you want to write? Then write…

Learn to see what is hard see, hear what is often unheard, and dream what has never been dreamt. Now you are on the path to ‘Writer’.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am a control freak when it comes to my work. I tried the traditional publishing path years ago, but have evolved into the ‘Indie’ style of publishing. I want to know every aspect to self-publishing. This has led me to developing my own publishing house.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe the traditional approaches to publishing a book will continue to decline and only represent a small handful of authors. The future of books will be in the digital world and will continue to amaze us with technologies. Authors will have to become extremely knowledgeable in the writing, publishing, and marketing processes.

What genres do you write?: Children’s, MG, and YA Fiction

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
J Richard Knapp Home Page Link
Link To J Richard Knapp Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Scott Nagele

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About Scott Nagele:
Scott Nagele grew up in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. He now lives in Michigan with his wife and three sons. Scott’s writing has been published in Berkeley Fiction Review and other literary journals. His novels are: Temp: Life in the Stagnant Lane, A Housefly in Autumn, and Wasted Moons. He is also author of the short story collection, A Smile Through a Tear. When he is not writing, he goes off to earn a living. Scott also blogs about his experiences as a writer and a father.

What inspires you to write?
I have stories to tell. I’ve always loved a good story. At a young age I discovered you don’t have to always be the listener to stories. Sometimes you can tell your own. Since then, I’ve always wanted to tell a better story. It’s a sort of addiction. I say “sort of” because it’s harder work than it seems like an addiction should be.

Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is haphazard. I have one full time job, two blogs, and three young kids. I write when I can, spreading my creative time between blogging, novel writing, and all the extra stuff that comes with publishing and marketing your own books. I don’t outline and I make few notes. I write from the storyline in my head, then revise, a lot. If I can add an interesting scene while ending the manuscript with fewer words than I began, that’s a great revision.

I never get as much done as I would like to in any given day, but as long as we managed to get all the required diapers changed and all the little mouths fed, it will all be okay. I’ll find time tomorrow to catch up on everything else.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I would say I listen to their emotions. I listen to the way they must feel in their current circumstances. Then I use what they tell me to write the words that describe their actions and their dialogue. Mostly I watch them, so I can relate to the reader the subtle, little things they do when they think no one is looking.

Do I talk to them? No. They’ve got better things to do than listen to me talk. It’s bad enough I put them in situations they have no desire to be in.

What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t have a full time job, two blogs, three young kids, and write novels if you’ve got any hobbies you’d like to hang on to. Hobbies are for people with leisure time. If you’ve got all the aforementioned things, it’s always time to go to work in one form or another. Seriously, writing to publish is a big commitment. Anyone who wants to do it well needs to recognize this.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I used to submit to agents and editors like everybody else, back in the days when everybody did that. Then it occurred to me that I was spending life waiting to hear back from somebody. I first dipped my toes into self-publishing when it was largely considered more vanity than publishing. Over time, the image of self-published authors has improved. I’ve tried to aid that improvement by working hard to turn out respectable, well-produced books. I believe readers will quickly recognize that mine are not mere cranked out cogs of some get-rich-quick scheme. And if they are, it hasn’t worked.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the big publishers will stick around, but the independents will finally get the piece of the pie they deserve. When self-publishing first became a viable option, many people saw it as a chance to make easy money. I think most of them have figured out they were wrong by now, leaving more space for the authors who treat writing as a craft. For this reason, I believe self-publishing will gradually lose what stigma of vanity still clings to it. Self-publishing will be supported by enough authors of quality that it will demand growing respect. The sky’s the limit!

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: Historical, Humor, Short Stories, General Fiction, Young Adult

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Scott Nagele Home Page Link
Link To Scott Nagele Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Facebook

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Craig Faustus Buck

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About Craig Faustus Buck:
Craig Faustus Buck is an author and screenwriter. His debut noir mystery novel, Go Down Hard, was published by Brash Books in 2015 and was First Runner Up for Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award. His short story “Honeymoon Sweet” is currently nominated for both the Anthony and the Macavity Awards. He was also an Anthony short story nominee in 2014 for “Dead End,” the prequel to his novella Psycho Logic (Stark Raving Press, 2014). Among his six co-authored nonfiction books, two were #1 NYT bestsellers. He wrote the Oscar-nominated short film Overnight Sensation. He was one of the writers on the seminal miniseries V: The Final Battle. His indie feature, Smuggling for Gandhi, is slated for production in 2016. He is chapter President of Mystery Writers of America SoCal.

What inspires you to write?
I’ve spent my career writing for other people–studios, producers, publishers, editors and such. I turned to crime fiction novels and stories to finally write what I enjoy without having to answer to a master. As it is, I’m the toughest boss I’ve ever had to write for. But I’m having a ball doing it. Judging by my Amazon reviews, my audience is having as much fun reading my stuff as I’m having writing it, which is all I can ask for.

Tell us about your writing process.
My process, too, is a revolt against my past. In TV and nonfiction books, you don’t get sent to script or paid to write the book until your outline has been approved. The result can often feel like painting by the numbers. Yawn. Now that I’ve got no taskmaster, I create characters, invent a situation to put them into, and set them off running. My characters continually surprise me, which is a joy for me and, I hope, for my readers. Of course there’s a lot of backtracking to motivate these surprises, but the process makes it nearly impossible to telegraph my punches. In Go Down Hard, I didn’t know who the murderer was until I was only two chapters from the end of the book.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The answer to this question really depends on whether I’m writing in the first person or third person. My novels have so far been first person narratives, so I’m inside my character’s head for the entire book. It’s more like telepathy because I hear his or her thoughts. In the third person, which is how I tend to write my short stories, I don’t talk to my characters because they are doing the driving, not I. No matter what the POV, I always listen to my characters. Dialog is crucial to my voice, perhaps from my years writing scripts, so I have to hear the language of my characters and make sure it sounds natural.

What advice would you give other writers?
Glue your butt to the chair. That’s what makes the difference between a writer and a wannabe. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write. And if you do write, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Don’t be discouraged by early efforts. And read voluminously. If you like something you’re reading, try to figure out how the author did it. If you don’t like what you’re reading, try to figure out the author’s mistakes. It’s also useful to hang out with other writers, to commiserate and learn from each other’s habits or mistakes. Get involved in your local Mystery Writers of America or Sisters in Crime chapter if you’re a crime writer. Or equivalent writers’ organizations in other genres. Writing is a lonely business. It helps to have an understanding shoulder to kvetch on.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
My publishers Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman of Brash Books were so enthusiastic about Go Down Hard that I didn’t have the heart to turn them down. It didn’t hurt that I’d already been rejected by the Big Boys in NY. I will say I got rave rejections and they all want to see my next book, but Brash’s exuberance was downright irresistable. They were also willing to put resources into promotion, which was a huge factor for me. I considered self-publishing for about a minute, but the task of breaking out of the pack of zillions of other self-published books seemed too daunting. I want to write, not self-promote. I realize I’ve got to do both in today’s publishing environment, but having a publisher to share the burden is a godsend.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
No one knows where publishing is going, but I can guarantee that it will never return to where it’s been. The traditional publishers are slowly coming around to this realization. The question is whether they’re being too slow. As an author, you either have to ride the wave or drown in it. That choice is easy. It’s picking the right wave that’s hard. Brash is small and nimble and run by two authors who’ve been around the block enough times to know what’s good and what’s bad about traditional models. They’re still feeling their way, but they’re definitely trying to forge a new path. I just hope it’s the right one.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: mystery, suspense, speculative, horror, noir, comedy

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Craig Faustus Buck Home Page Link
Link To Craig Faustus Buck Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Christopher Favors

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About Christopher Favors:
I am a author, speaker, publisher, from Atlanta GA. A parent of one daughter, but raised and mentored several girls through marriage and relationship. I have a certificate degree from Liberty University for Biblical History/Theology/Apologetic. I also have an Honorary of Doctors of Divinity; “Dr. Christopher Favors”. I spoken to over five thousand people for the HFTH at Georgia World Congress Ctr. Also I have produced my Women conference called “Break The Cycle” based on The14 Women book to inspire women for greatness …

What inspires you to write?
It can be anything. TV, a line someone says, or even a commercial….anything. A great concept, or title etc.

Tell us about your writing process.
My process is weird. I write with a reason; meaning inspiration. I walk around for days or weeks with it in my head first. Then when a spark comes I put the ideas on paper; “I write the vision.” Or it can start with just a interesting title, that moves me, and I go from there.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I feel them; and look at their story and just write….

What advice would you give other writers?
Its hard work publishing and putting a book together from scratch. It took me a few years to get it done. Its worth it to see it all pay off; if its really your purpose and goal.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish because, your traditional publishers are not accepting new writers, the doors are closed to unknown authors. If you have a following or celeb, then yes; or unless you have sold a lot copies yourself. It left me know choice but to self-publish my own book to heard. The upside is you can control your own monies. The down side is you have to invest your own monies without any guarantees of distribution and promotions.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Good question; I think it needs to be more conducive for up and coming writers.

What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?: non-fiction,fiction, and action drama

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Link To Christopher Favors Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Grace Lowrie

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About Grace Lowrie:
Writing was my first love back when I composed poetry and short stories as a child. Since then I have worked a variety of jobs, run my own garden design business and travelled the world. Now I am rekindling my original passion by writing contemporary romance novels in Hertfordshire, where I also help out with the family business, explore the countryside and bake cakes.

What inspires you to write?
In a word: characters. I wrote my debut novel Kindred Hearts because I found I had fictional people, specifically the twins Sebastian and Celeste, living in my head and it was a choice between going mad or putting pen to paper. I honestly felt compelled to write their story and I revelled in the process so much that the dark winter months positively flew by. I’ve developed a real taste for it now and I’m working hard writing my next books.

Tell us about your writing process.
I usually start with the characters – I have an idea in my head of their personalities, internal struggles and desires. From there I go on to explore the relationship between those people, sketching out a rough plot with a beginning, middle and end, to tell their story. Once I have a loose outline I flesh out the middle with as much action, drama and tension as my characters will allow and then sprinkle my plan with ideas on the imagery, themes and general atmosphere. (I often use music and image searches to inspire me at this stage, but I have to be careful not to let it consume me). Plan achieved, I try to blast my way through a first draft quickly, while my character’s voices are fresh, because I know I can always go back and improve on things later. But I am only human and often get sidetracked along the way :-)

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters; I don’t talk back – that would be crazy right? – But they sometimes make me smile and their moods often affect mine. I constantly have to remind myself they’re not real.

What advice would you give other writers?
I’ve only had one book published so far, so it feels a little presumptuous to advise other writers – but I would say always have a pen and a notebook beside the bed; some of my best ideas come to me just as I’m falling asleep and if I don’t jot them down, they are lost by morning.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was extremely lucky in that I was introduced to my publisher, Accent Press, by a friend. If they had not offered me a contract I would have tried the self-publishing route, in the hope of finding a publisher one day.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Generally I think having a publisher is important when you are first starting out as I am – Accent Press provides immense support whilst also lending their authors a certain amount of credibility. Self-publishing has its obvious benefits – not least financial rewards and greater control, but possibly proves more successful for those authors who have already achieved a fan base. I would like to think that paperback copies of the most popular books will always be in demand, despite the comparable ease of downloading e-books.

What genres do you write?: Romance, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Erotic Romance

What formats are your books in?: eBook

Website(s)
Grace Lowrie Home Page Link
Link To Grace Lowrie Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.

Interview with Author – Helen Burns

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About Helen Burns:
I am an Australian born and raised writer and serial traveller, lucky to live in Byron Bay, first place to see the sun rise and the most easterly point of our continent. My writing includes poetry, part-time book reviewing, travel articles, fiction and non-fiction. An encounter in Iran inspired a prize winning poem at the 2007 Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. In the following year I was guest poet at Southern Cross University’s International Human Rights and Peace Conference.

My first travel memoir, The Way is a River of Stars, was awarded a Varuna LongLines residency in 2007 then shortlisted for the Varuna Harper Collins award in 2009. Since its publication I have been spending time in South India working on a second book – this time fiction. In so many ways it brings me full circle back to a love affair with India, four decades after studying Hindi and Asian Studies at Australian National University.

What inspires you to write?
Writing is a way to mine the depths, the experiences that have formed the person I am today and the world in which I live. What do I really want to say and to share? It’s a dynamic process; one that is constantly changing. Often it will be a question that begins the writing process. And more often than not that question comes when I am walking in nature whether it be across a country as in my pilgrimage across Spain, on a pilgrimage up into the mountains of India’s Western Ghats or at home on the bush track up to the lighthouse.

Tell us about your writing process.
I craft as I go. If it’s non-fiction then I have a rough plan in my head from beginning to end. If it’s non-fiction I like to be caught up in the mystery of what is developing for my characters. This keeps the writing alive for me and then hopefully the same will happen for the reader. Reading aloud from time to time is a really important way to recognize the good the bad and the ugly as far as sentence structure, flow and rhythm go. Before I a began writing prose I wrote poetry. It was a good foundation I think for the economy of words and finding the beauty inside language.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to them. And when they speak and I forget I’m there at the desk, forget the time of day or night – that’s when a kind of magic happens.

What advice would you give other writers?
Be authentic. Speak the truth – this applies in fiction and non-fiction.
Read read read – all sorts of books so your mind stretches beyond just the ones you like the idea of. Even badly written books can teach you.
Join or form a writing group.
Find a reader, or two, who is on your side but who is also not afraid to be .

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published after coming SO close too many times to clinching that deal with a publisher. It’s getting harder and harder. The beauty of self-publishing is that its becoming easier! AND empowering for writers.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The book – you know that bound thing you can hold with paper pages – will never die. E-Books are here to stay too. Easy or odd bed companions? That’s to be seen.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?: Any genre that seeks the truth and challenges the mind / spirit

What formats are your books in?: eBook

Website(s)
Helen Burns Home Page Link

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Pinterest

All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.