Interview with Author – Amanda Gibson

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About Amanda Gibson:
Amanda Gibson was born in Chicago, Illinois but grew up in Columbus, Ohio before returning to Chicago to earn her Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing. She enjoyed getting to write about the city in her first young adult novel, Children of Guerra. Young adult books are her passion, and she loves the message of hope that is inherent in every single one. Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, or contemporary, she’ll read anything with a good love story. She still lives in Chicago with her husband and two obligatory cats.

What inspires you to write?
Movies inspire me to write more than anything else. Leaving the theater with that feeling of having experienced someone else’s story – it makes me need to tell a story too.

Tell us about your writing process.
I never outline. I probably should. But I always dive right in and decide to solve my problems later. It sometimes makes a mess. But I know if I outlined I wouldn’t stick to it. Writing surprises you and changes course constantly. It’s one of my favorite things about it.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen and talk to my characters daily. I have conversations with them when I’m lying awake at night, and they follow me everywhere. I’m far too attached to them for my own good.

What advice would you give other writers?
Forgive yourself for the days you don’t write. Fight against the desire to stop altogether.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I couldn’t wait to get my story out there, and there’s far too much waiting these days, with agents, editors, and publishers. I might not have the power of a publisher behind me, but I get to have the story my way and in my timeframe.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s never as bleak as people want to make it sound. We all love good stories, and we’ll love them forever. Modes of consumption naturally change, but we’ll never stop caring about the content.

What genres do you write?: Young Adult

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

Website(s)
Amanda Gibson Home Page Link

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Arnulfo Oxlaj

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About Arnulfo Oxlaj:
Arnulfo Oxlaj, K’iche’ Mayan medicine man, Q’amol B’e or guide on the path, philosopher and genocide survivor from the Oxlaj lineage in Guatemala, helps people of purpose – those with a thirst for happiness and a burning desire to make a difference – realise their mission and live the life of success and deep peace they were born to live by coaching them on the ancient secret Mayan wisdom path: the Path of Life. He is the founder of AMOR, an NGO working to bring social justice to the indigenous communities of Guatemala devastated by genocide.

What inspires you to write?
There are a thousand reasons for this book’s existence. Essentially, though, I wrote this book because the world is thirsty today; the world is lost in a great desert. You say you’re happy. Why is your heart sad, then? Why do you feel that confusion when you’re in bed at night?

Many of us believe we’re intelligent, yet we have an empty space in our hearts and we’re not satisfied in life. We understand the word ‘‘humility’’ and ‘‘obedience’’ as being directed to the exterior world. For my ancestors, the Children of Maize, humility and obedience are applied in our five elements – soul, spirit, heart, body and mind – so that we may reconnect to the Centre of Nature’s will for our life, and realise our mission.

For these reasons and many more, the world needs the secrets of my ancestors in order to emulate the eagle. We’re like eagles with old, heavy feathers. We need to cleanse ourselves so that we can fly again. This book can help us begin to pluck out the feathers than are no longer useful, one by one. But it isn’t belief or intelligence that are important; it’s seeing who we really are; it’s seeing these wings full of past and pride that rob us of our strength to fly higher than we could ever dream. It’s starting each day of our lives with a firm step.

I didn’t write this book to put my ‘beliefs’ into anyone’s mind. The world today needs more than a belief. It needs more than intellectual capacity; it needs to apply humility and obedience to the Centre of Nature in all aspects of life.

Above all, I wrote this book not because I wanted to, but because the owner of all life wanted this card to be sent to you. For me and my ancestors, I’m a messenger. You can choose to keep this book in your heart or burn it. This is the most important part of the message.

Tell us about your writing process.
My teachings are transcribed (written or directly onto the computer) and then rigorously edited. I’m a fan of Alicia Dunam’s method of getting a book on ”paper” over the course of a weekend. I must admit, I think a week is more realistic. I decide on a topic and then teach it to my students. It helps that I have a lot to say!

What advice would you give other writers?
My advice would be to focus on giving your gift to the world, not the thoughts of your mind or what you think the world needs or wants to hear, but what you truly have to share from your heart and soul. May your written contribution to the soul of the world be for good, and not more destruction.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to publish my books first through Createspace and Kindle in order to take advantage of Amazon’s monster ability to promote books and products under their wing. I am not based in the US and that is the disadvantage of Createspace as they remain heavily weighted towards the US market. To buy author copies I need to ship to Europe from the US which is a huge hassle and expense. I’m looking at using Completely Novel in the UK to balance this out.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing has been opened up to everybody and their dog, for good and for bad. A good book has become the proverbial needle in a haystack. Books contribute to the regeneration or construction of society and the world. We need to focus on what our heart and soul really need in life – then and only then will our writing have worth.

What do you use?: Dictated and got transcribed, Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?: Nonfiction, autobiography, memoir

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

Website(s)
Arnulfo Oxlaj Home Page Link
Link To Arnulfo Oxlaj Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Chris Winterton

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About Chris Winterton:
CHRIS LIKES HATS, WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE HE WEARS MANY. FOR HIS NOVEL FOLK, HE HAD TO WEAR QUITE A FEW.

He’s made a career out of being a polycreative; writer, designer, art director, musician, producer, creative director and new dad. Chris is one of many in a growing breed who’s as comfortable swapping the fedora for the straw boater as he his swapping the keyboard for the, well, keyboard.

He has written, performed and produced lyrics and music for several major commercial and artistic projects and productions everywhere from the Edinburgh Fringe to his home town. He has also worked as a copywriter and creative consultant for the last 14 years on a range of major multi-national clients.

What inspires you to write?
I love to read. That’s why I write. I wanted to create the kind of world you could lose yourself in. The kind of of story you carry with you even when you put the book down.

Tell us about your writing process.
I like to get pretty detailed in the outline stage. It begins with some deep and somewhat tangental research of time/place/theme which I think is important in helping shape a story. It also informs character development grounding in a time and place. I build my outlines like I would draw; starting with rough outlines and then filling in the detail.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have conversations with my characters all the time.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
As a polycreative; writer/designer/art director/producer/performer, it had to be self publishing.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
We will see the rise of Polycreatives: Somewhere in Brooklyn a young mustachioed bass guitarist is hand-lettering the signage on a cafe window. The owner of that cafe roasts his own beans and sells them on a website he designed and built himself. A visual merchandise specialist in Fitzroy is holding a macramé master-class. A rockabilly group in Tokyo are filming their own music video to promote their fashion label. And an author in Melbourne is finding a global audience writing, designing, and marketing his books whilst hollering sea-shanties in a folk-punk band in his spare time.

What genres do you write?: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

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

Website(s)
Chris Winterton Home Page Link
Link To Chris Winterton Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Maggie Le Page

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About Maggie Le Page:
Maggie lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her partner and two children. Her career has (so far) morphed from finance to education to small business and, truthfully, writing fiction is about the last thing her training prepared her for. But Maggie’s never been one to let a little thing like you’re-not-trained-for-this stop her, and when motherhood came along she took the opportunity to spend more time writing.

Kids and part-time admin work are still her ‘day jobs’, but after dark it’s all about the keyboard. She is ably assisted by her ultra-fluffy, ultra-talkative cat who is quick to ‘assume the position’ (on Maggie’s lap, tail draped over keys).

Maggie’s favourite hangout is her local café where she people-watches, catching snippets of conversation and extrapolating wildly to invent new characters. She loves travel, reading, and lazy hazy beach days, preferably presented to her as a tropical island holiday combo. (Maggie lives in hope.)

What inspires you to write?
To be honest, I’m not sure why I feel compelled to write (and it’s not like I really have time for it!) – but I do. Almost anything can – and does – inspire me. Random comments, actions, views . . . before I realise I’ve even realised I noticed them I’m writing a story in my head. People watching is so much fun! And who ever thought I’d be able to day dream for a living?

Tell us about your writing process.
I started off as a pantser because I didn’t know what I was doing as a writer. I just figured if you sat down and wrote, the book would emerge. I was right insofar as a book – a very BAD book – emerged, but I hadn’t factored in the revisions and edits and thinking and layering and refining that needed to go into the process.

I then tried outlining the whole novel ahead of time. It kind-of worked – but only to the extent that it gave me a full picture before I started. It didn’t help with layering, though. For me, that deeper knowledge of characters and story and what the book needs if it’s going to grab the reader by the throat doesn’t emerge until far later in the process. Which means my process still requires me to do a lot of editing. (Dammit!)

I now write using a mish-mash of techniques. Some plotting, some pantsing, and lots of editing. I’m not a fast writer by any means, but I hope that will change with practice (and as the kids get older!).

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I hear my characters. I also see them. It’s like I’m watching a movie in my head. I would LOVE to be able to talk to them in an adult-to-adult kind of way – y’know, like, “Hey Jock, what are you going to do now? I mean, she’s just publicly humiliated you? Are you going to let her get away with that?” And then just be the scribe rather than the creator. :)

What advice would you give other writers?
1 Perseverance is key.
2 Don’t compare yourself to any other writer; we all have our own journeys to travel and this week’s rejection may be the one that spurs the rewrite needed to make your book a raging success.
3 Network with other writers, locally as well as online. You’ll learn so much about everything writing-oriented if you’re connecting with other writers.
4 Be warned: to succeed as a writer you need to learn to be a marketer. Either that or employ someone to do it for you. Marketing is far more important in this bizo than I ever realised.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I first started writing I was determined to be traditionally published. Self-published books were inferior. Getting traditionally published was the only way forward.

I was wrong.

After 70-odd rejections I finally got sick of waiting and self-published my first novel. To be honest I felt a bit ashamed of myself – and my book – when I hit ‘publish’.

It took almost a year before it gained any traction, but now, almost two years later, I am so grateful for all those rejections I had. I am selling my books every day. I have loyal readers. I am earning something off my books – and it’s far more lucrative as a self-publisher (per sale) than it would ever has been as a novice starting out with a big publishing house. (Well. For starters I’d still be earning zero because I wouldn’t have a contract!)

Through self-publishing I have also learned a huge amount about marketing (I’m still rubbish at it), and the publication process. But most of all, I’ve had validation that my books are worth of an audience. They may not be written to quite the same formula those big publishers think readers are after, but they still have an audience. That is so, so affirming.

There are a variety of publishing routes open to authors these days and, really, it’s up to the individual to decide what works best for them. Self-publishing is hard work. Traditional publishing is also hard work. Digital-only publication, being a hybrid author . . . all the options are valid.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think these are exciting times in book publishing. I have no idea what the industry will look like in ten years! But I do know I’ll be writing, and publishing, so watch this space. :)

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

What genres do you write?: chick lit, women’s fiction, suspense, contemporary romance

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

Website(s)
Maggie Le Page Home Page Link
Link To Maggie Le Page Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Marc Richard

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About Marc Richard:
Marc Richard is an author of horror, love stories, science fiction, and literary fiction that is otherwise unclassifiable. He even authored a semi-autobiographical novel about Borderline Personality Disorder. He promises something to read for every interest. All of his novels are peppered and spiced with his dark, twisted sense of humor. Originally hailing from Rumford Maine, he calls Portland Maine his home. He has an award winning personality, and is very handsome, according to his mother.

What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by other writers, as well as film makers and musicians who have a unique voice (e.g. Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, Carlton Mellick III, David Lynch, Cohen Brothers, Mike Patton). I also inspire myself, on occasion.

Tell us about your writing process.
Normally, I just sit down in front of the computer and type. I let the story write itself. I allow the characters and storyline to surprise me. Some ideas I have require an outline, such as a project I have going that incorporates a music CD, or other oddly-structured thingamajigs.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t allow my characters to email, phone, or text me. However, if I saw them on the street, I would probably stop and say a brief hello. But no eye contact.

What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you know. Also, write what you don’t know. Don’t ever get discouraged. Everyone has a voice, and someone, somewhere, wants to hear what you have to say.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried going the route of hooking up with an agent, but there was so much red tape and junk involved, that I stopped. It wasn’t until I had five books already written that I decided to take matters into my own hands and start Sucks Publishing. So far I am the only client, but I want to help other people get their books off the ground some day.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
“Books” will all be transmitted telepathically, and you will be able to dream them when you go to sleep. Conversely, people will be able to upload their own dreams and market them as “books” for others to enjoy.

What genres do you write?: Fiction, dark/ black comedy, horror, science fiction, love stories, autobiographies, musicals, literary fiction

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

Website(s)
Link To Marc Richard Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Raven Oak

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About Raven Oak:
Raven Oak is the author of the epic fantasy novel, Amaskan’s Blood, and the upcoming space opera, The Silent Frontier. She spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Raven is currently at work on the sequels to both Amaskan’s Blood and The Silent Frontier.

What inspires you to write?
Life inspires me to write.
Everything from the mountains outside to my kitty’s light snores when he sleeps beside me. Every person, every moment is a story waiting to happen.

Tell us about your writing process.
I spent my writing time doing five things: writing, editing/revising, critiquing, researching, and networking/promoting.
The first two of that list make up about 85% of my time, and I put in 10-12 hours a day into the ‘job.’

Monday through Friday, I spent my mornings writing and my afternoons editing/revising. I check my email and do whatever networking and promoting is needed after I have spent at least 7 hours on the writing and editing portions. Social networking can be a great place to promote your material, which is important, but it can also suck you into wasting time. On the weekends, I put in 3-4 hours total on critiquing novels and short stories from the members of my local critique group. I also try to write at least 15 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. And that’s my week.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters, but I do listen. Sometimes they take me in a direction I wasn’t expecting.

What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Every Day. Without fail.
As I type this, I have a broken wrist. I’ve been writing by hand in a spiral notebook because I can’t type, and on days when I can’t do that, I dictate. The only way to improve and gain an audience is through writing daily.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
The ever-changing market made me curious about hybrid authors who both use traditional and indie publishing. I think the future is unknown and to ignore one or the other completely is to be foolhardy.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is wide open and ever-changing. I think the traditional big-5 are in for an eye-opener in regards to the future. As to what that future looks like, I can’t say, but I do see authors taking more control of their futures.

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

What genres do you write?: Fantasy & Science Fiction

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

Website(s)
Raven Oak Home Page Link
Link To Raven Oak Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – macayle

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About macayle:
I write books. Some are about magic. Some are about adventure. Some are about neither.

I am a collector and concocter of myths and legends, as well as some very real truths (though it may often be difficult to tell which is which). I have written many things on many topics. Some were not very good, and therefore not very important. What is important is my ever-increasing stack of yet-to-be-written adventures.

What inspires you to write?
That’s an easy answer: C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. When I was young, I got into trouble a lot at school. It wasn’t that I was a bad kid, I just had a hard time sitting still. I got bored very easily, and the things that a kid finds to get him or herself un-bored…are not always acceptable to teachers. So, I spent a lot of time in the library. In the library, there were loads of interesting books to keep me from getting bored (and keep me out of trouble).

When I used to read about Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket, or Sophie’s witching hour “abduction” by the Big Friendly Giant, I couldn’t help but fantasize about that sort of thing happening to me. But, nothing stirred up those kinds of thoughts like the Chronicles of Narnia. I couldn’t get enough of the idea that one could travel so easily from the most ordinary places to lands of great adventure and marvelous wonder. I wanted so badly to find a door to Narnia, that I often wondered if I could make it happen by believing hard enough. It never worked, I’m sorry to say (although, I suppose I might not be allowed to tell you if it had). So, writing stories about kids finding magical doors is (probably) the closest I’ve gotten to visiting Narnia myself.

Tell us about your writing process.
I always had it in my mind to get to Narnia, or Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Writing stories is just the closest I’ve gotten so far.

My favorite part of writing a book is when it writes itself. Sometimes the events just seem to happen on their own, and my only role is to write them down as fast as I can. When that happens, it’s a real joy, because I get to experience the book the same way the readers do.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
There used to be a TV show from Ireland called “Ballykissangel.” One of the characters, Niamh, was the person I kept picturing when I wrote about Sister Frances. Frances was not actually based on Niamh at all, but there was a loose connection in my mind, for some reason.

Mr. Martin MacArthur is a lot like me, I think. He never made it to Narnia either (unless we’ve both been sworn to secrecy), but I am a bit envious of the adventure he did find throughout his life. I am too old to travel to Narnia now (they have certain rules about that), but it would be nice to have such a fantastic journey.

The cartoon and books called “Charlie and Lola” remind me of David and Alice. The way actor Ricky Gervais speaks reminds me of Brent. Lana and Audrey happen to share names with two of the most memorable movie stars of the 1950’s. But, all this is pure coincidence. The characters are who they are because that’s who they are. Sure, some things have to be changed here and there (for various reasons), and I might forget a detail or two along the way, but I write true stories…for the most part.

What advice would you give other writers?
I don’t really know whether what works for me will work for others, or even that what works for me will work for me again next time I try it, so I don’t have any advice on writing, per se. What I do know, though, is that in today’s world where readers face an unlimited quantity of high-quality low-cost works, it’s all about quality. Whether it’s a cookbook, romance novel, gardening how-to, memoir or political treatise, great writing and professional-quality editing are critical for a book’s success.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Writing my first book would not have been possible without my parents (especially since I wouldn’t exist!). The other person is my friend Kelly Lenihan (whose name you will find listed in my book for more official reasons). She has been the Fairy Godmother to my writing career. Without her help, there is almost zero chance that I would ever have gotten a book published, and very little chance that I would ever have written a second.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Increased competition between traditional publishers and indie authors has changed the publishing landscape. By imagining what’s possible, readers and authors can prepare for the future, or take steps to realize the future they desire.

What do you use?:

What genres do you write?: fantasy, adventure

What formats are your books in?: Print

Website(s)
macayle Home Page Link
Link To macayle Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook

Interview with Author – Greg Dragon

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About Greg Dragon:
Greg Dragon has been a creative writer for several years, and has authored on topics of relationship, finance, physical fitness and more through different sources of media.This Florida author brings exciting action and drama to his written work. His storylines keep readers engaged with characters that come to life from the beautiful celestial scenes of science fiction, to the gritty world of urban drama.

What inspires you to write?
The magic of the thing. I like to close my eyes and imagine scenarios, people, and situations, then choose one of them and just simply be. The act of creating something that we imagine and have it be vivid enough to allow someone else in is a beautiful thing. Sometimes I find myself asking someone that read something I wrote to describe a scene to me, and it’s as if they were there with me when I wrote it. I’m like “yeah, that was crazy, you could see it too.” Writing is sorcery,

Tell us about your writing process.
Outlining helps when you want to stick to a certain amount of pages, or if there is a big picture idea that you want to convey–this is how I see it. I am a very organic writer, I may start with an outline (I typically don’t) but by the time the book is finished, I am elsewhere with it. The interesting thing about an outline for me, is that it stays in the back of my mind. I don’t write by the numbers, but if the outline said “boy marries girl” I somehow remember to work it in during my freestyle storytelling.

Typically I will think up a situation and a resolution and then brainstorm the best way to enter. I am a sucker for a great intro, so I always strive to have one in my books. I like when I read a book where the prose just seduces you from the first paragraph. There is no magical formula to this, but I write intros over and over until it’s sexy, and then I let my imagination build out the story. Somewhere towards the middle an ending will come to me, like: “I bet it would be cool to make his robot lover kill him in the shower and wrap it right there!” Then I switch gears and do the final chapter–because its too exciting not to write it–then I pick back up where I left off and steer the story towards that conclusion.

I wouldn’t encourage new writers to follow me in this methodology, it’s what works for me, and I am not working from a stencil. Find what gets a great story out of you and unto paper, and do you.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I talk out my dialogue (I probably sound crazy), but I record myself talking things out when I can, especially if it’s a heated argument or important exchange. I try to get into the minds of every single character in order to make them authentic, and it makes me feel as if I know each of them in real life.

What advice would you give other writers?
Three things…

First of all, don’t be an ass. You can write and hide for a time from the public but eventually you will have to answer an email, speak at a signing, or post on social media. You don’t want the world to neglect your beautiful craft because of your lack of manners–or tact–when it comes to interacting with your readers. I see so many authors doing bad on social media, public forums, and their own blogs, that I feel the need to warn new people to behave properly.

Don’t read any of our blogs, and posts as “fact”. Read them as suggestions (mostly subjective) that come from experience. This industry gives even footing to people out to manipulate and genuinely helpful people, so take it all in, ask for second opinions, and decide for yourself. There is no magical answer to marketing or writing. It will always be left up to you to carve your path.

If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make cents(sense). When it comes to promoting your new books, do research into what sites will actually give you some ROI and don’t fall into the trap of paying out money to the fanciest website. It took me a year to figure out the fact that the people who make money in Indie Publishing are the ones that are selling us services, so as a writer, I urge you to vet and vet and vet, before paying for someone to email out your cover.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve been an entrepreneur all of my adult life who kept books as a personal love. My writing went to my blogs and on my flash drives because I had no interest in traditional publishing. When I found out that there was a lane that would allow me to share my books and flex my entrepreneurial muscles in marketing at the same time, I perked up happy! For the author that doesn’t realize the heartache, money sink, failure first, depression-laced journey that this is… I urge you to pick up a book on self publishing before taking the dive. It’s hard out here.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think about it. The question reminds me of Frank Herbert’s Dune where Paul Atreides is given the Gom jabbar test and has to chant the Bene Gesserit mantra on fear being the mind-killer. Stressing over things that I have very little control over is a mind killer. No matter what happens with publishing I plan to adapt and adjust. That’s how you survive in any business. The minute you get into the maelstrom of arguing over what-ifs you find that it affects your writing, and the muse runs away because you’re not creating, you’re simply speculating and wasting time.

What genres do you write?: Science Fiction, Crime

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

Website(s)
Greg Dragon Home Page Link
Link To Greg Dragon Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Interview with Author – Jamie Farrell

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About Jamie Farrell:
Jamie Farrell writes fun contemporary romances with quirky characters and lots of heart. She believes love, laughter, and bacon are the most powerful forces in the universe. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist for the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.

A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.

What inspires you to write?
Everyday life inspires me to write. Oftentimes something in life has made me laugh before eight in the morning, usually something unexpected my kids say (“Mom! Squeaker won’t give me back my ninja banana!”) or a really bad joke from my husband (I won’t torture you with an example, I promise) and I want to share that joy with the world. The world can be such a dark and dreary place, but I think love stories full of laughter and heart can showcase the parts of life we too often overlook.

Tell us about your writing process.
I write by the seat of my pants usually, which means I spend more time in the editing chair than I do in the writing chair. With three little ones who like to rise before the sun, I’m usually out of bed and at my computer by 4:30 AM most mornings, since I write best after a good nights’ sleep. The best way to write is to make a habit of it, and that’s my time and place, usually with a cat in my lap too. And bunny slippers. The slippers are imperative.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I tend to listen more than I talk to them, and they’re hysterical. Every year when the Alabama-Auburn game comes on, I have a hero who pops in and tells me I better root for ‘Bama (even though I’m from Illinois). My upcoming country music hero will wince if I sing off-key and declare myself the next American Idol winner (which I would only say to annoy him, honestly). And even my husband will sometimes talk about my characters like they’re real.

What advice would you give other writers?
Just write. :-) Read a lot, and write. Believe in your story, and keep writing.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had been submitting manuscripts to agents and editors for about six years when my rejections turned from rejection-by-silence or, “This isn’t right for us at this time,” to “This story is great, but I just don’t think the market is right for this kind of quirky right now.” That’s when I knew my craft and story was at the right level, and I decided to find an audience on my own through self-publishing.

I advise all authors who want to be published, even if they want to self-publish, to go through the process of submitting their books to agents and editors, and possibly contests too. It’s a great experience in getting ready to handle less-than-gushing reviews. Also take some time to understand the marketing and business side of being a writer. There are too many books being published every day for there to be any realistic expectation of accidental discovery.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that there will be more and more fantastic books written, but they’ll be harder and harder to find because of the sheer number of books being published every day. But I’m going to keep writing the best books I know how, and have a great time going on the ride.

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

What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Military Romance

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

Website(s)
Jamie Farrell Home Page Link
Link To Jamie Farrell Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on Smashwords

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Interview with Author – Tammy Lyons

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About Tammy Lyons:
Tammy Lyons grew up in Southern California and spent her summers following various bands around. As a groupie she listened to the music and helped rodeo a band or two. While not in Southern California following the sound she loves to travel and spends her holidays in Canada and any other country that will take her in.

What inspires you to write?
My love for music inspires me to weave story around music with a touch of history. There is nothing like making words coming to life.

Tell us about your writing process.
I am inspired by sitting a coffee shop or bookstore and watching the world go by. I start with the beginning and ending then work my way to the middle. Before my story is completed I already know how it is going to end. The fun is taking the characters to the ending.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters make me laugh. I think did I really say that and go from there. Its fun to see how I would react in the same situation.

What advice would you give other writers?
No matter who rejects your work it does not mean you are failure. Everyone has their own opinions and you cannot please everyone no matter how much you try.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
My book was published because I had something to say. I took the first yes and went with it.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing is going to the all self publishing. Paper books will still be around but ebooks will be where everyone will publish. The prices will go down so unless you plan on writing the next bestseller money will be in short supply.

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

What genres do you write?: Fantasy

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

Website(s)
Tammy Lyons Home Page Link

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – Deanna Kahler

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About Deanna Kahler:
Award-winning author Deanna Kahler is a proud mom and an accomplished writer. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives.

“Sara’s Soul” is her fourth book. It was designed as a follow-up novel to “Echoes of Paradise,” a paranormal love story about the afterlife. Two of her books have been honored with awards. “From Pain to Parenthood” was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Parenting/Family category and “Echoes of Paradise” was a finalist in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards in the Fiction/Paranormal category.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb and enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

What inspires you to write?
I’ve always loved writing, but what inspires me the most is being able to reach people and touch lives. Everything I write has some sort of personal challenge or crisis that must be overcome. My ultimate goal is to inspire people and provide hope.

Tell us about your writing process.
I do a lot of writing in my head before I even sit down at the computer. Some of my best ideas have come while in bed or in the shower. During those quiet moments of solitude, my creative mind takes over and begins developing the story. I’ve never used outlines, character sketches or software to brainstorm ideas—and I never intend to. I prefer to let my own imagination lead the way.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t listen to or talk to my characters. However, I do rely on my intuition and inner voice to guide me. Many times, it seems my inspiration comes from somewhere outside myself—like an unseen force is helping me along. During those moments, the ideas really seem to flow and it is amazing how effortless writing becomes.

What advice would you give other writers?
My best advice is to just write. I say this all the time, but it’s the key to being a successful writer. Don’t wait until you think you have a great idea to write something. Instead, write about anything and everything you can. Keep a journal, start a blog, try your hand at poetry. And, certainly don’t worry about being perfect or getting your grammar and spelling right the first time! Creativity is a process that is best expressed without censorship or pressure.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self-publish because I loved being able to have creative control over my work and also bring a book to market quickly. I would recommend new authors do a lot of research before deciding which publishing route they would like to follow. Every person is different, so what may be a great fit for one author can be totally wrong for another.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m excited about the future of book publishing. There are so many resources available to authors and so many ways to reach readers. I see publishing continuing to grow

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

What genres do you write?: Fiction/Paranormal Romance, Visionary/Metaphysical Fiction, Non-Fiction/Memoir and Fiction/Children’s Books

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

Website(s)
Deanna Kahler Home Page Link
Link To Deanna Kahler Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Interview with Author – J. Frank James

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About J. Frank James:
J. Frank James is the author of crime thriller novels. His crime fiction books are gripping and suspenseful with readers being unable to put them down once they get into them. Jim has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thriller novels, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation.

Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. Not only that, Jim has traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thriller novels from his travels. Some of the countries that Jim has visited include Peru, Brazil, Italy, Greece and countless others. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.

At present, Jim has published four crime thriller novels in the Lou Malloy Crime Series: The Run Begins, Dead Money Run, Only Two Cats, and Blue Cat In Paradise. They offer the readers just enough information to keep them guessing and trying to solve the crimes until the end of the books when they are actually revealed. Jim’s books are also fresh and unique takes on crime as well, though. They are not the same whodunit type books that have been done over and over again. By infusing his personal travels into his books, Jim creates characters and atmospheres based on just enough truth to be relatable.

Jim’s books have everything in them from robbery to prison to family. They have hard and soft elements simultaneously to really capture the life of a hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, Jim gives the reader perspectives from private investigators to balance out the story.

Jim’s books even have a hit of romance when his characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well. Jim has an amazing way of incorporating various elements into his latest crime novels to create thrillers that readers cannot get enough of, which is perhaps why all four of his books so far carry on one from the other to continue the same story concerning the hardened criminal who did 15 years in prison, Lou Malloy and who comes to be his partner, private investigator, Hilary Kelly. The two of them go it together to create gripping stories that keep readers coming back for more.

What inspires you to write?
This is going to sound like a bit of a cliché, but I like to take the reader where they have never been before in my Lou Malloy series. I think part of a reader’s experience should be centered around entertaining the readers imagination. Lou Mally is a bit of a modern pirate. He can go and do things that most people just think about. In my life I have traveled the world and seen just about every continent. When I write I get a sense of excitement. I’m Lou Malloy. It gives me a bit of a rush. I suppose the biggest inspiration is the ability to step into the story.

Tell us about your writing process.
I first conceive the plot and then I begin to simply build the story around that with my characters. I do not do an outline and I would say that I write by the ‘seat of my pants’ as you might suggest. To tell a good story you have to have experienced some of the events. It is every hard to talk about landing a big fish if you have never done that. The pull on the line as it sings through the reel. The bend of the pole as the fish dances on the surface of the water and finally the landing in the boat. For me to be a writer, I suggest that you simply write. Project yourself into the story. Your characters will do the rest.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, all the time. Quite often they may want to take the plot in a different direction. Hilary Kelly especially.

What advice would you give other writers?
Sit down and start writing. Don’t worry about the grammar, or your spelling or for that matter, what someone else is going to think. You are the writer. This is your book, so write it. Then get yourself a good proof reader and editor.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Self-publish. I am a journalist by education and I have worked as a reporter for two years in my early life. I also wanted to control the treatment of my books. It is not an easy route, but one that will bring you a lot of satisfaction in the end. Amazon is the largest publisher in the world. It is larger than all the others combined. You have to get comfortable in that environment otherwise I think you will experience a lot of heartache down the road.

My advice to a new writer is to do it yourself, but steel yourself to the obstacles as you labor in the trenches. Another thing you should consider is the length of your book. Try and keep it under 300 pages, cover to cover. If you can keep your first book to 250 pages all the better. The reason is that often readers of first time authors don’t like to read a story that takes forever to get there. Next, when you finish the first book, write another. Don’t wait. Finally, be prepared to make mistakes. It comes with the territory. If you are afraid of making a mistake you will never be a writer. Last, but not least, never give up. Don’t let someone talk you out of your story. If you get a bad review from someone, remember it just means you are just that closer to getting good one.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The publishing business is going to be driven by technology. Whoever thought that we would be reading books off of tablets, but we are and soon that will be in the past. Amazon is the 500 pound gorilla of publishing. You might as well get used to it. In the not too distant future, hard copies of books will be gone. They will only be for textbooks and research manuscripts. For me, electronic publishing is the future as well as video takes on books using such things as YouTube, etc.

What genres do you write?: mystery, suspense, thriller

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

Website(s)
J. Frank James Home Page Link
Link To J. Frank James Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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