Interview with Author – Roselyn Jewell @jewellromance

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Author Bio:
I’m an author, a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and so much more! I’ve always loved reading and found myself wanting to continue the stories I loved so much, which is how I started writing. Now I’ve finally reached my dream of being published. My novels are mainly romance, though there are a lot of other elements as well. My books prove that you can have the romance and the passion without having to sacrifice great plot lines or strong character personalities.

What inspires you to write?
I find inspiration from a lot of sources. Initially, I was inspired by other authors. As an avid reader, I wanted to create stories of my own that people would love to read. My family, friends, and personal life experiences inspire me as well. I chose the romance genre to be my main genre because I wanted to prove that romance books can be hot and steamy but still have strong characters and a good plot as well.

Tell us about your writing process.
I actually have what I think is a pretty unique process that helps me to get ideas for my books. I have written down 100 or so different plot points, ideas for character personalities, settings, and things like that. They’re a mix between things I like to see or think would be fun to write about, and things that have been used in some of my favorite romance novels. So when I want to write a new book, I will pick 5-10 of them out of a hat and challenge myself to write a story that incorporates all of those things. It makes the writing difficult and exciting but also really fun!

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I would say yes, I listen to them. Not sure about talking to them because well, that might look kinda weird ;) But I definitely feel like I know their personalities and I listen as far as if I start to write something that just doesn’t feel like something that character’s personality would have them say or do, I definitely would change it based on that.

What advice would you give other writers?
My advice for other writers would simply be to go for it. Finishing an entire book is the first step. A lot of people start and never even finish, so if you get that far, you’re already on the right track! Also never give up and never let anyone make you feel like you’re anything less than awesome.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I made the decision to self publish through Amazon because for one, I love the control that it gives me. I get to set all of the details and really go through the entire process from beginning to end and see all of it, which I wouldn’t get to do with traditional publishing. Also, it gives me the chance to get my book out there right away versus waiting months or longer.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s a really exciting time for authors right now because self publishing is no longer the suicide that it used to be. E-books are so popular right now that there are plenty of authors that are almost as successful via self publishing than some traditionally published authors. I think that’s awesome and I see it continuing to expand even more in the coming years.

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

What genres do you write?
romance, erotica, mystery, thriller

What formats are your books in?
eBook

Website(s)
Roselyn Jewell Home Page Link
Link To Roselyn Jewell Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
http://www.facebook.com/jewellromance
http://twitter.com/jewellromance

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Interview with Author – Lathish Shankar @lathishshankar

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Author Bio:
Lathish, 36, from India. His parents are from Kerala, and he was born and raised up in Karnataka. He did all his schooling in Karnataka and has been working as a teacher for 16 years. Had the passion of writing right from his childhood. He is a musician and also a chess player. He has been writing for a long time, and this is his first English work to be published.

What inspires you to write?
Most of my writings come after I travel. I prefer to travel alone, and that makes me to think more. Maybe my past, or the ways to build up my future. I have been getting criticisms from many people who I really think not deserved to, so my writings can also be considered as an escapism. No, not that; many who criticizes me are the ones who help me indirectly to come up with something creative that I have. I believe in myself, and always I’m positive that I can do something far better. These things really gives me an inspiration to write.

Tell us about your writing process.
I used to outline the things when I am free lazily lying down in bed, with some A4 sheets along with me. After that, I try to build up the characters and then start to write.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I used to do both, talking with my characters and then listening to their answers. In fact, I used to have a long time conversations with my characters.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have self-published my first book. I was really fed up with the hassles of finding a publisher, and obviously I thought it would cost me a lot of money. After getting my story reviewed with my friends who had good knowledge of English, I gained confidence that my story is presentable. This made me self-publish my book.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Really really, no idea. But I know something that nowadays, reading habits are gone less than how it was in the past. That doesn’t mean that reading habits cannot come back, no I am not saying that way. Today people are accessible to wide range of things over the net, and they really do not have time to spend with the books. The time may change. But I still believe as long as book-lovers are there, book publishing has a future.

What genres do you write?
horror, contemporary

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Link To Lathish Shankar Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8411549.Lathish_R_Shankar
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lathish-Shankar-Author-of-APRIL-SHOWERS-BRING-MAY-FLOWERS/278033085732910?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/lathishshankar

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Interview with Author – L.S. Engler @lsengler

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Author Bio:
L.S. Engler writes from just outside Chicago, in the company of two cats and three rowdy roommates. Ever since she was young, she loved weaving exciting tales, usually of the strange and unusual, a habit that she decided to try to make into more than just overactive playtime. She particularly enjoys magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction.

What inspires you to write?
I find even the smallest thing a great inspiration. Everything from the mundane to the fantastical…there’s a story embedded deeply into everything, several stories in most things, so inspiration is all around us. Just as the White Queen believes in five impossible things before breakfast, I’m inspired by five marvelous things before I even crawl out of bed.

Tell us about your writing process.
More often than not, I pants around a plot, putting it together as I go along, though I have on occasion benefited from an outline. In general, I do most of my scribbling in the morning and a little bit during the slow bits at my part-time job. I can’t go a day without writing something, or else I tend to go insane, even if it’s just a page, and I tend to write a page at a time. I wish I had more of an attention span, to just be able to sit down and write for an hour on end, but that rarely happens.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters all tend to have minds of their own. I think I know precisely what they’re going to do, and then they go and turn around to do something else entirely. A lot of my characters actually develop through sketching. I like to draw, but I have no great talent for it, so very few of them see the light of day, but wonderful stories have been brought up because of them. Characters jabber in my head all day long; I rarely response, though. Instead, I just write it out.

What advice would you give other writers?
My most frequently given advice to other writers is simply to just KEEP WRITING. So many authors get caught up in the minute details and rigor morale of a perfect draft, and that’s why so many authors get stuck. A rough draft is rough for a reason. Blaze through to the end, and then go back to refine it. The sense of accomplishment in writing “The End” is one of the best feelings in the world, but you do actually have to get there first.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Ideally, I would like to dabble in both types of publishing, independent and traditional. I know not all of my books would appeal to the traditional method, but I would still like to pursue that path for some of my other books. Right now, until I have more works under my belt so that I can start shipping to traditional publishers and still manage some indie titles while waiting, I’ll be exploring the independent path. I think both methods have their benefits and their downsides, so, naturally, I want to experience both!

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing will be a strange, new world, one that I’m excited to see, especially as there will always be bibliophiles like me out in the world, hungry for more.

What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, contemporary, magical realism

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
L.S. Engler Home Page Link
Link To L.S. Engler Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
http://www.facebook.com/ellis.engler
http://twitter.com/lsengler

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Interview with Author – Adam Ingle @meesterbob

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Author Bio:
Adam Ingle is a basement-dwelling, graveyard-shift nerd by night and an aspiring peddler of exorcised creative demons by day. He and his chinchilla live in a tin can on the side of the interstate somewhere in South Carolina.

What inspires you to write?
Not going insane. I’m only partially joking. I have a constant stream of images, ideas, book titles, characters, settings, and a whole host of other things swirling around in my head. I’m never at a loss for something for something to write so much as I am for energy, focus, and motivation. I write to help clear out some of those ideas. To purge a bit and make room for more.

Tell us about your writing process.
For the most part I start writing with a basic idea, sometimes even just a title or opening paragraph, and let things unfold from there. The only time I do anything close to outlining is when I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s next, how to connect the dots, or move forward. Even then I mostly just summarize the story so far to see the basic details of what has lead to the point where I’m stuck so I can’t see whats next. Sometimes I ask myself questions; what does the character want, why would they do something I’m trying to make them do, how would they accomplish a task if I were to put them in a room and leave them to their own devices? More often than not this gets me through a roadblock. On occasion I continue to find myself stuck and I just brute-force my way through the scenario and change things later if it doesn’t seem to work.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not in the schizophrenic sense, but I do write down questions and put myself in their place to come up with the answer. When I’m writing I try to allow the character as I imagine them to lead the way. I try to let their actions and thoughts be organic and not force them. If it starts feeling fake or forced I’ll trash it. I’ve trashed 50,000 words worth of story before because it felt false.

What advice would you give other writers?
The obvious trip is to write. Whether you feel inspired, whether you feel you have a story at the time, whether you have a load of laundry to do or dishes to clean. I don’t do well with the prescribed “Write every day from 9:30 to 10:30″ regardless of whats going on, but I do think writing every day is important. Whenever you can fit some time in, though personally I need at least an hour to get into a grove and actually feel productive. Also, research does not count as writing. Research is critical thinking, not creative thinking. If your story needs research, you need to allocate time separate from your writing time. Same goes for editing. Write or edit, but not both.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted desperately to be a traditionally published author. I had a dream of walking into a book store and find some cute girl checking out the back flap of my book and I lean against the shelf, smiling smugly, saying “I wrote that.” Fate had different plans and after tirelessly but fruitlessly shopping around for an agent (and refusing to going directly to a publisher and get raped with a boiler plate contract) I ended up going the self-publishing route. It wasn’t quite that straight forward – there were long periods of inaction, feet dragging, and resignation before taking the self-publish route seriously.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of publishing is going to be very exciting but tumultuous. Power is suddenly and rather rapidly shifting into the hands of the authors directly and away from traditional publishers. Self-publishing, boutique publishing, small press publishing is where the power is shifting. The big traditional publishers are still the 800-pound gorillas, but they’re losing weight and clout. The readers already seem to care very little how an author gets their work out, as long as it’s quality and easily accessible. The big publishers will likely transform and survive in some form, maybe driving whatever the next phase of the evolution is. But I see them having less of a strangle hold on the retail channels and trade magazines that help promote new works.

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

What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Sci-fi, Fiction, Contemporary, Action/Adventure

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Adam Ingle Home Page Link
Link To Adam Ingle Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8328255.Adam_Ingle
https://www.facebook.com/adamingleauthor
https://twitter.com/meesterbob

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Interview with Author – Kirstin Lenane @KirstinLenane

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Author Bio:
Kirstin has a BA in English from Vassar College and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University where she is also an academic and personal counselor. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and one-year-old son.

Although I began as a short-story writer, my work has evolved into what I now call my “illustrated stories.” These stories contain a revolving cast of existential, furry creatures, struggling with the timeless topics of what it means to be a good friend, how to cope with one’s imperfections, and how to lead a life well-lived.

After completing my MFA in Creative Writing and struggling for several years to eek out worthy sentences, I began drawing pictures again. Somehow, adding this visual component rekindled my creative spirit and returned me to a more natural place as a writer.

I hope you will enjoy my books!

What inspires you to write?
Living life.

Tell us about your writing process.
I like to draw but I don’t draw very well. My poorly drawn images inspire me because odd things seem to appear that I never intended.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Self-publishing is so exciting. I’m glad to reach readers on my own terms.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is totally changing and I love it.

What genres do you write?
Children’s Picture Books

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Kirstin Lenane Home Page Link
Link To Kirstin Lenane Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8333966.Kirstin_Lenane
http://twitter.com/KirstinLenane

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Interview with Author – Rick Chiantaretto @ricktheauthor

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Author Bio:
I’ve often been accused of having done more in my life than the average person my age but if I were completely honest, I’d have to tell you my secret: I’m really 392.

So after all this time, I’m a pretty crappy writer.

I have two books published and a bunch half written (when you have eternity, where’s the reason to rush?). I’ve been favorably reviewed by horror greats like Nancy Kilpatrick, and my how-to-write-horror articles have been quoted in scholarly (aka community college freshmen’s) papers.

I enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary, although a Bloody Kathy or Susan will suffice.

Mostly, I just try to keep a low profile so people don’t figure out who I REALLY am.

What inspires you to write?
I get inspiration from very odd places (pretty much, everywhere). Stephenie Meyer influenced my voice (you can blame her that Death of the Body is written from the first person POV, which I have actually never done before), Stephen King has helped me learn how to scare people, Nancy Kilpatrick made me believe in myself, and LJ Smith is where it all started.

I have to say that my love of the supernatural was born from the ghosts that lived in my basement when I was a kid. They inspired nightmares when I was eight, which in turn inspired the stories I write today.

Tell us about your writing process.
This varies, and I’m probably all over the map. I guess you could say my writing process is more “seat of my pants” and less “structure.” I write whenever I can, wherever I am, but I suppose my favorite places to write are on airplanes, and while sitting in my living room alone at night, when the shadows come alive in the dark.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Characters really do become family, and it is fun to watch them take on a life of their own. They develop distinct personalities, and as such make decisions that I, the author, may not have originally made for them.
So while I don’t necessarily converse with my characters directly, I do dialog with them, as them, in their voice. Sometimes I’ll hash a scene over in my head so many times that it practically writes itself by the time I sit down to write it down.

What advice would you give other writers?
Publish. Publish NOW.

If you have a finished manuscript, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for the big publishing contract that will offer you millions of dollars and movie rights. Those contracts are going to authors who already have a following, who were successful with a smaller press or in the indie market. Only a tiny tiny fraction of people get the opportunity to work with a big press without proving themselves FIRST.

And, you’re losing out on money, sales, and readers.

It is so easy to publish your work. Check out Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, sign up for accounts, and get yourself out there.

Stop holding back. Let the readers decide if your work is “good enough.” Stop judging it yourself (‘cause it will never be good enough for you).

Go. Publish. Now. (but hire a good editor).

How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, Facade of Shadows, was published with a small press originally. While the experience was a dream come true, small presses have their own issues and challenges, and I decided that for the Crossing Death series, I wanted full control over design, editing, pricing, and marketing, so I decided to indie publish.

As I said above, it is possible to get your work out into the world now thanks to alternate publishing avenues. These pathways allow you to start gaining followers and building a fan base all while helping you refine your work and gain the attention of larger publishing houses. I’ve been told by many people in the industry that the indie market is becoming the traditional publisher’s “slush pile.”

That said, I understand and empathize with the “self-publishing = bad” mentality. I still have my own hangups about that. With the publishing world in a state of constant change, I suggest simply doing your research, shooting for the stars, but doing whatever you need to do to make it so that people can read your writing.

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

What genres do you write?
horror, dark fantasy, suspense, mystery, thriller, mythology, paranormal, urban fantasy

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Rick Chiantaretto Home Page Link
Link To Rick Chiantaretto Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/ricktheauthor
https://www.facebook.com/rickchiantaretto
https://www.twitter.com/ricktheauthor
http://www.pinterest.com/ricktheauthor/

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Interview with Author – Ines Gaschot

Author Bio:
Ines Gaschot has been working with dogs for over 9 years. She consistently attends seminars and webinars to keep up with the most up to date training methods. She has recently transitioned from traditional training techniques to more positive and scientifically supported techniques. She has worked with dogs of all sizes and enjoys watching a dog learn and understand what you want! Dogs are intelligent creatures that can be taught how to behave properly without the use of force or pain.

In 2012 she started All Positive Dog Training LLC in Arlington, TX after she realized there was a severe lack of positive trainers in the area. She hopes to provide a great resource for dog owners who don’t want to put choke chains or shock collars on their dogs. She is currently volunteering at a local rescue by teaching a basic training beginners class for new dog owners to prevent returns based on behavior problems. She is also a dog behavior consultant two other rescues to support foster homes and new adopters with training advice and behavior issue solutions.

What inspires you to write?
My dog, Loker, has taught me so much over the past year. He has taught me to love him for who he is.

Tell us about your writing process
I read other articles, participate in discussions on social media sites, and watch videos on Youtube which all inspire what I write about. I wanted to make a simple, easy to read book for the normal dog owner. My book is unique in that it really is step-by-step so that you know exactly what to do. There is no guessing and there are no wrong interpretations so that you can train your dog quickly and easily.

What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t freak out! Clicker training is a new concept to most people although it has been around for over a decade. It is just starting to infiltrate dog owner’s homes. It began when Karen Pryor used it to train dolphins and now clicker training is used to train all kinds of animals all over the world! It is a very simple concept.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I needed a low-cost medium so that I could keep the price low. This book is great for new dog owners and is priced to be affordable to anyone!

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I am very excited!! What a wonderful opportunity it is to be able to publish your own books!

What genres do you write?
Non-Fiction, Dogs

What formats are your books in?
eBook

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

Your Social Media Links
https://www.facebook.com/TrainYourDogTheEasyWay
https://twitter.com/AllPositiveDT
http://pinterest.com/allpositivedt/

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Interview with Author – Oliver Sparrow

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Author Bio:
Oliver Sparrow was born in the Bahamas, raised in Africa and educated at Oxford to post-doctorate level, as a biologist with a strong line in computer science. He spent the majority of his working life with Shell, the oil company, which took him into the Peruvian jungle for the first time. He was a director at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House for five years. He has started numerous companies, one of them in Peru, which mines for gold. This organisation funded a program of photographing the more accessible parts of Peru, and the results can be seen at http://www.all-peru.info. Oliver knows modern Peru very well, and has visited all of the physical sites that are described in his book Dark Sun, Bright Moon.

What inspires you to write?
The creative urge is one of those deep emotions that latches randomly and often haplessly onto this or that mode of expression. I have to say that I get as much charge from a well-designed graphic, business deal or electronic circuit as I do from writing, but that of those, writing is the pleasure that lasts the longest.

Most of my output has been non-fiction, written for an audience of senior manager generalists. You have been asked to “explain Brazil”. What do they need to know? Why do they need to know it? The perennial aim is always to condense as much you are able of a complex subject into as few words and images as is compatible with reader understanding and patience. To do this, you need a strong notion of their likely initial understanding, both of the subject and the toolkit that you will use in order to dissect it. Is this understanding even correct? Is the balance wrong, being comprised of sound bites and folk-wisdom, views that obscure a more organic insight? Your own role has to be understood, for you must estimate how much trust they will extend. How much evidence will they require? How many nits, picked? This is a long way from academic writing, and a skill in its own right.

Fiction is, in many ways, even less free. If the milieu is familiar – daily suburban life – your task is to entertain within this tiny frame of ivory, finding hundreds of pages of novelty in its blandness. You must follow the formulae without being formulaic. If the environment is marked unfamiliar – as is the world of Dark Sun, Bright Moon – then the issue is not one of delivering novelty. The constraint is in your reader’s patience as you slip them an entire novel cosmology, a starkly unfamiliar society with no links whatsoever to the remainder of humanity and an environment that combines snow, humid jungle and desert within a few days walk of each other. The perils of the expository conversation are always there: “ So tell me, Prince Regent, how do you get on with your Father, King George? George the Third, of course. You know, the one who lost us the Americas.”

Satisfying the creative impulse comes from balancing all of these elements of the ‘fair challenge’. In this regard, miniatures minutely deployed on familiar ivory are really not for me. The creative writing course critique that assesses life in a launderette or relationships between 20-somethings in a fine art auction house offer scant stimulus and less challenge. Yet, neither do the further reaches of science fiction, much as I enjoy reading it. Inspiration demands a stretching, but within the discipline that is set by a broad dose of reality.

Tell us about your writing process.
It’s said that every tenth computer in the developed world has a bit of a novel on it. A typical book will swallow a year to a year and a half of your life. If you do not invest a couple of these months in elementary planning and preparations then, in my opinion, you are very likely never to finish, or to run years over your time budget.

Simply starting work and wandering about, hoping for inspiration is like beginning a trip across the Sahara with a sandwich and a small bottle of fizzy water for companions. Something may turn up, but probably it won’t, or it will be a flight of wheeling vultures.

I have sent a fair part of my life managing large projects, and I approach writing much as I would such a project. I do not actually do what follows, but it may be helpful to set it out in this way so that people unfamiliar with these disciplines can see what is involved.

Projects work from plans, to specifications. There are generally thought to be three useful levels of specification: what are known as the requirement, functional and technical specs. The requirement specification for, let’s say, an oil rig sets out a minimal general description of what it is to do, under what conditions it is to work and what cost and other profiles it has to satisfy. In writing, this stage defines the target audience, the mise-en-scène, the plot engine, the broad plot and the principle characters. (The plot engine is the McGuffin, the structural framework that drives the plot. The hero has the secret papers, the agents of dreadfulness want them back, what the Greeks called agon, hence protagonist, antagonist.)

The functional specification of a project sets out the component parts, how they work together and what role each plays. In a book, this is the forty or so page paragraph-level summary and the psychological profiles of the characters. I prefer to work from abstract psychology to prevent each character being a projection of myself, crudely painted onto people I have met. The proto-fascist Alcavicca in Dark Sun, Bright Moon is, for example, a classical narcissist with overtones of psychopathy.

Then you arrive at the technical specification, which for an engineering project comprises the drawings, perhaps a prototype, certainly models; it will define the tolerances to be permitted and identify and cost a roll-out plan. That translates less well into writing, but there are still lessons to be learned from it. You need your story board, ideally illustrated, your chronology and your “who is where and when” assessment of the action. Otherwise, your action may cease when you find one character impossible far away from where you need them to be, too young or still entangled in some other aspect of the plot.

Whiteboard? Software? This is where you talk about your writing process so others can learn from your way of doing things.)

MS Project is helpful, as are Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. MS Word to do the dirty work backed by a non-interpreting word processor such as EditPad Pro. Assorted PDF editing software is essential to handle layout if that is needed from you by the publication porocess. I loath dedicated publishing software as it tries to be “helpful”, like a hungry husband in a kitchen, fiddling about with things you want left alone. I don’t use paper, as it gets lost. I do back up, frequently and onto separate media, as several times bitten has made exceedingly shy.

I have used reader panels several times in the development of the text. Dark Sun, Bright Moon went through fourteen drafts, and was subject to group critique on two occasions. Naturally, you have to organise this for yourself and to pay people to attend.

What advice would you give other writers?
If you are writing for anyone but yourself, try another profession. Writing that is consciously aimed at a commercial target burns you up, and it always sounds false.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I went around the literary agents in London, many of whom were positive about the text but who were unable to help “in the current climate”. I also had discussions with friends who worked in publishing. The clear message that I got was that conventional publishing houses have seen their business model crumble, and so wished to take on nothing remotely risky or new. Cleverly packaged second editions of old favourites are very much what gets you promoted. At the retailing end, bookshops were hauling off a deadly lee shore, and the rocks were coming closer and closer.

If you follow the self-publishing route, you end up with a bunch of books: lovely books, no doubt, your babies, doubtless, but in no sense flying from your attic or garage on spontaneous papery wings. If writing is hard work, marketing is far harder. There are professionals to help. Engage their services. The Internet is a great help in this regard, but it does not self-organise and persistence and connectivity help.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The book as a physical object will not quickly be replaced by reading machines, however light, however bright. They lack the cuddle factor: fine for airport trash and technical manuals, less attractive when intimacy is engaged. I acknowledge that I may be wrong, or that we may stop reading altogether in favour of other media, but I take comfort from the fact that more people read more books for more hours than ever before in history. That must be pathognomonic for something positive.

That said, the business model that puts a book in a reader’s hand is changing and will continue to change. Amazon’s CreateSpace prints books when they are purchased, and does so with extremely high quality, whatever the conventional publishers may say. Conventional printing has moved almost entirely to low wage areas. Much of the printing and proofing process has been automated, and more will be in future. Right now, it demands familiarity with a dozen software packages – and careful study of book layout archetypes – but that will no doubt change as templates become available.

Readers are not inclined to buy from on-line sources with familiarity and frequency. This has a way to go, however. It is my personal view that the interfaces that have been adopted by Amazon and others do not help readers to browse, and utterly fail to reproduce the book shop experience. For example, publishers – and now on-line design consultants – put great effort into matching the book cover to the taste of the target reader, and as a result we are generally able to pick the book that will appeal to use from a rack of hundreds in just a few seconds. Current on-line vendors do not make use of this important method of browsing.

Amazon, for example, clutters the screen nonsense – ‘readers who bought this also bought toothpaste’ – and they waste enormous amounts of screen real estate on proprietary clutter. You cannot even browse Amazon for the most recent publications in a genre, because you instead get ten pages of books anticipated but not yet published. But all of that will, without doubt, sort itself out, if not in Amazon then in whatever replaces it.

Like the music industry, publishing has received a massive blow to its fundamentals and it has yet to find a model that will work for it. Other industries are similarly in need of a received business model. For example, channel-stream television will soon to be replaced by user-selected or agent-selected items from a data base of program material. Some of these industries will evaporate, their function usurped and carried on by other means. But there will be readers, and where there are readers there will be books.

What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Fiction, Historical

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Oliver Sparrow Home Page Link

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22805356-dark-sun-bright-moon

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Interview with Author – Sasha Leigh @sashaleighs

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Author Bio:
Sasha Leigh is a self-diagnosed dreamer. When she isn’t stuck in worlds of her own making, listening to characters squabble for attention in her head, she’s immersed in stories created by others. A lover of all things “weird”, Sasha’s world is considered complete when she has her daughter at her side, her sketchpad, notebook, and something to write with – even if it’s just a piece of chalk. Working by day in the insurance industry, she spends her evenings and weekends devouring or writing new tales of magic, mythology, and all things supernatural (except dragons).

When she isn’t writing and updating readers, Sasha Leigh tries to update a separate blog at www.MythicWords.blogspot.ca with all that she’s come across in the self-publishing industry, be it formatting, covers, beta readers, editing, etc. By sharing her mistakes and what she finds works, she can help someone else along their journey.

What inspires you to write?
Everything. I always keep a notebook with me, and I absolutely love the voice recorder on my phone, which I utilize all the time. It’s especially good when you wake up after a really good dream that you don’t want to forget. But other than dreams, pictures inspire me. I saw a picture of a flaming bird and an entire book series popped into my head, though only the synopsis is written at this point. Driving past a cemetery on my way home from work inspired another series, which I just started writing.

As I said, “everything”. It all depends on the mood I am in and what’s going on around me. My first love was art and poetry, so I guess I’m just the type of person who can see something in all that’s I’m around. I love playing the word association game – with a twist. Pick a word, and instead of trying to find other words that are similar, try to see if you can come up with a synopsis for a novel. Ninety percent of the time, it’s going to be silly, but it sure helps when you want to brainstorm for new ideas, whether for new stories or just a new twist in a story you already have on the go.

Tell us about your writing process.
When I first starting thinking of writing (after I had written and deleted two novels), I was so caught up in the “how” of it, I spent most of my time on the internet and with my head stuck in books trying to learn what was expected of authors. What’s the best way to present characters? How should my plot be arranged? Prologue or Epilogue? What is needed in the beginning, middle and end? Literary devices, bookisms . . . and oh, my goodness! Is my grammar and punctuation okay? I have binders filled with meticulous notes handwritten and categorized.

Thankfully, I have always been a bookworm, so I have shelves filled with novels, from classics to encyclopaedias. At the time, I didn’t realize this was the best way to learn. For my first series, Cast From Power, I filled a binder with character sketches, detailed outlines of locations, plots, etc. When it came time to write, I knew everything inside-out, and everything has a meaning – eye colors, names, location names . . . even the dogs names! This series is my baby, but in a way, outlining it all sort of took the fun out of writing.

So I began the Twisted Fate Series. For this, other than a four-page synopsis that I began years before deciding to write, I am a total “pantser”. I have written four novels and a novella so far, and it wasn’t until I went back to the first to edit that I decided I needed to start notating character descriptions and locations. I have a general idea of where the plot goes, with the end being determined already, but otherwise? The last two books will be written the same way the first four were.

Having written both ways, I much prefer the “pantser” method; however, it would be smarter (for me) to write outlines for characters, locations, and timelines prior to editing, so a mix of the two methods would be ideal.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters yell at me if I ignore them for too long. I write everything by longhand, which allows me slow down what I am thinking so that it’s like a movie in my head, as well as saves me from the dreaded “delete” button I used to love so much. But while I am writing, I can picture everything that is said – the tone, the pronunciation, and gestures. When I’m not writing, or haven’t written for a while (I am currently going back and forth between two series), the characters will start to talk to each other. This happens mostly while I am trying to fall asleep, and sometimes entire scenes with some really great lines play out, which means I have a lot of stickies and recordings on my phone to figure out come the light of day.

What advice would you give other writers?
My advice to other writers is this: keep going no matter what people say, learn everything you can about the genre you are interested in writing, and READ AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

When you start writing, your work isn’t going to be ready for a best-seller list. More likely than not, your first story is going to find the delete button (my first two did) or a shredder. But find a critique site – Wattpad and Figment are great for younger crowds – and let people help you because it’s only going to make you better. Other authors are people you can learn from, and readers? Well, they will let you know what they do and do not like, such as what drags and the kind of pacing that keeps them interested. Don’t let the negative critiques, whether it is on a critique site, from a teacher, or on a published novel somewhere like Amazon, get you down. Learn from it. Grow. Be better. Let a story simmer after you’ve read comments on it or before you edit, and you’ll come back without the resentment and make it better with a fresh pair of eyes.

Everyone has a story to tell, but it’s up to you to share it in a unique way.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Sometimes I feel like this decision was made for me!

I’m just kidding (sort of). I found a couple of critique sites online to “share” without giving up who I was – I think it was WritersCafe.org and Authonomy. At the time, there was no way I wanted to tell people I knew what I was doing. A lady found and read my book. She asked if I had thought about publishing, at which point I said something along the lines of, “That’s a dream.” She gave me her email address and said, “We need to talk.” So we did.

She shared what she knew about querying agents and traditional vs. self-publishing, and I started to research on my own. At this point, I was quite adept at the whole “looking into it” process. The first thing was comparing the two, and after a lot of articles and stories from other authors, both traditional and indie, I decided that I wanted to go the self-publishing route. It isn’t so much about the royalties, but the control. I like owning my rights, deciding my titles and covers, and if I fail? That’s ALL ON ME. It’s harder, sure, with marketing and promotion, but if I don’t fail? If I can do well, or at least not-too-shabby?

That’s all on me, too :)

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing as already begun, and the possibilities are unlimited. Not too long ago, it was said that self-published authors had a stigma placed on them, but authors like Amanda Hocking tore that to shreds. Not only have we succeeded when traditional snobs said it couldn’t be done, indie authors have the capability of being picked up by publishing houses and have the rights to movies being optioned! Fifty Shades of Grey anyone?

Conversely, traditional publishing is changing. Look at Authonomy and Figment – those are both owned by publishing houses, and the stories posted there are being picked up more and more. Literary agents are looking everywhere – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, oneshotpitch.com, etc. – for new talent, which means EVERYONE has to be at their best.

Everyone has their own taste, though, and public opinion – the ability to get a good read seen – is going to remain what matters the most. It’ll be interesting to see where the mix in publishing leads.

What do you use?
Beta Readers

What genres do you write?
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Speculative Fiction, Mythology

What formats are your books in?
eBook

Website(s)
Sasha Leigh Home Page Link
Link To Sasha Leigh Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
http://www.goodreads.com/sashaleigh
http://www.facebook.com/sashaleighauthor
http://www.twitter.com/sashaleighs
http://www.pinterest.com/sashaleigh

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Interview with Author – Aleena Stark @AleenaStark

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Author Bio:
I enjoy spending my days with my husband, the love of my life. He is my inspiration, and my dream come true. We are the parents of two very clingy cats that constantly compete for our attention. I am an avid reader, artist and daydreamer.

I am very excited about my newest venture into erotic romance. Please, look for more steamy romance to come in the near future.

What inspires you to write?
Hunter is my hero. He is the oldest of the Cursed brothers, and their conscience. He is the one who vowed to protect humans when most of the Cursed ones would be content debauching themselves for eternity. Hunter is the only one who believes they are blessed and not cursed, though he has his doubts occasionally. Hunter’s story needed to be told. He deserved to find his mate. I found inspiration for Hunter thinking of the heroes who return home from serving their country. They deserve to find their happiness, and Hunter’s selfless service to his brothers deserved a reward as well.

Tell us about your writing process.
I am a reluctant outliner. I start a book on the seat of my pants, and twelve hours later exhausted physically, I have to outline the rest of my thoughts, because I can’t go on writing twenty four / seven. Often, I write in bursts and wait until the story unfolds for me, but when it does, I have to jot down the main points afraid I will loose the feeling I have at that moment, and I don’t want to fill in my pages with anything less the than strong emotion I feel when I realize the path the story insists I take.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I watch my characters. I see them, and feel them as if they are a part of me, or an extension of myself. When I describe the first time Dagon sees Samantha, I imagine the scene playing out like a movie, and then go deeper picturing the thoughts through the way they interact.

What advice would you give other writers?
Keep trying, keep submitting, and keep writing.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
Since my sister had experience as a self-publisher, it was a no-brainer for me.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
All I know for sure is it’s changing. Who knows what’s around the corner, but I can’t wait to find out.

What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?
alpha male erotic romance

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Aleena Stark Home Page Link
Link To Aleena Stark Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7848600.Aleena_Stark
http://https://www.facebook.com/aleena.stark
https://twitter.com/AleenaStark
http://www.pinterest.com/aleenastark/

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Interview with Author – Rebecca Duvall @duvall827

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Author Bio:
Rebecca Duvall is married to a retired Deputy Sheriff and a mother of three. Her husband is currently a Law Enforcement Chaplain. She studied Accounting and worked in several different Accounting positions as she worked her way up the corporate ladder. Then, not long after her oldest daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy, she decided to be a stay at home mom to be more available for her family.

As her children went through Elementary school she volunteered on the Parent Teacher Club (PTC) Board as Treasurer and President. Her passion was working with other parents to help the teachers, school and district. She was even a part of a district wide campaign, S.O.S~Support our Students, which was all about helping the school district raise extra funds that were needed.

Up until 2008 Rebecca had no religious foundation. She thought she had to do everything on her own and the world was expected of her at all times. Then, through the women she volunteered with, she became a Christian in the end of 2008 and was baptized in June of 2009. Once she put her life in God’s hands, she realized He would equip her with all she needed along her journey of life, along with an entire community of people, the church.

Since becoming a Christian, Rebecca has been very active at the church she attends. From being on the Outreach Committee helping run the Alpha course to being an Elder over Prayer and Administration and Finance. At times, when needed, she has stepped in as Interim Bookkeeper.

More recently, God has given Rebecca the desire to share her story and the struggles she walked through in her marriage. She did this through writing In His Way. She also continues to share her daily struggles with faith and family through her blog www.inhisway.com/blog. Rebecca enjoys connecting with others via the internet and sharing their ‘God stories’ on her blog. If you have a ‘God story’ you would like to share on her blog, you can reach her through her website.

What inspires you to write?
I enjoy writing about my faith. I share stories how I continually find myself in God’s way, and through His love and grace He shows me how to do things In His Way.

Tell us about your writing process.
I write it as it comes to me and then go back for editing later.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I published through Createspace.com. I didn’t want to wait for a traditional publisher and I didn’t want to pay for a self publishing company.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m happy there are more options, as well as more people open to reading self published work.

What do you use?
Ghostwriter

What genres do you write?
Christian Non-Fiction

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Rebecca Duvall Home Page Link
Link To Rebecca Duvall Page On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaDuvallInhisway
https://twitter.com/duvall827
http://www.pinterest.com/duvall827/

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Interview with Author – Martin Gibbs @MartinGibbs2

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Author Bio:
Martin Gibbs lives in the snow-covered paradise of Minnesota, where he writes novels, short stories, and poetry. By day he is an IT professional, though his passion for writing has led him down an intricate network of exciting roads.

Gibbs is an avid reader. He favors the classics: Dumas, Dickens, Tolstoy, Proust, Lovecraft; as well as Stephen King, Robert Jordan, George RR Martin.

He enjoys cross-country skiing, biking, and burning béarnaise sauce. He has two very active boys who share his wild imagination, and a wonderful wife who supports all the craziness.

What inspires you to write?
On the first day of class, my freshman high school English teacher gave our class a challenge: The first person to get published in a magazine or journal would receive an A for the quarter. I started writing poetry like a madman; it was rather quickly that I heard back from Chimera Children’s Magazine. They had agreed to publish my piece, “Don’t Patronize Me.” Mr. Poss was impressed, for he wanted to impress upon us the reality that a writer’s desk contains more rejection letters than their own material. He wasn’t wrong—it would be twenty years before a “real” publisher took any of my work!
Yet I keep writing. And reading.

Tell us about your writing process.
I used to write by the seat of my pants—then wondered why everything got rejected. Then I read (twice!) the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. Somebody developed a Visio plot flow for that thing—and it’s huge! None of my stuff has that much intricate plotting between characters, as I don’t want to have 1200-page novels; however, I took a lesson from Dumas and I plot. I do use Visio (which reveals my IT personality), and I outline the flow, and diagram the relationships between characters.
Outlines are very helpful. I may not fill them out to the detail but it really helps me keep organized. For Visio, it shows me where a certain character should know something, or more importantly, should NOT know something.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They talk to me. A lot. I can hear their voices as I write drafts.
Bailey in Love’s Pale Road visits me from time to time. I see his innocent face, and the guitar slung across his back; he sees me but he’s talking to someone else. He’s talking to my father, who passed away several years ago: He’s talking to him, but I only get to see Bailey’s side of the conversation. Then the guitar becomes a sword—
Ah, but that would give away too much… I wonder sometimes what dreams Stephen King has. I read The Shining years ago, but still can see the Overlook hotel; I can feel the horror within; the absolute isolation.

What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t get worked up about the small things. Also, I think this is a journey rather than any destination–we’re never really going to arrive. If we think we have arrived, then we are mistaken. Write, write, write. Read, read, read! As long as you keep practicing your craft, accept criticism and advice (and go with it!), you will do well.
Now: “Doing well” does not mean sales! I don’t sell my stuff, but yet I keep writing because I love it. My favorite stories and books to write are those which will only appeal to a very narrow audience. But that is what energizes me.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I still try to find a traditional publisher. In fact, I do have a contract for four books with one; yet I still self-publish a lot also. I like the freedom of self-publishing, but it also means that, even with editors, proof-readers, graphics artists, things slip by that aren’t 100%. Some readers are OK with that: They want the story and don’t care who published it. But the market is really saturated now with self-pubbed books: Which ones are gems?

Working with a traditional publisher has its own challenges. You aren’t on your own timeline. I can push and push all I want for a certain release date, but until the book is ready on their end, it ain’t happening. Now, the benefits there are distribution (trying to distribute as a self-published author on Ingram is an adventure like no other!) and a little marketing.
Either way, you have to own your work. It won’t sell itself.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think books will go away and even e-books will fade. I’m sorry, but I see an entire generation walking around, staring at small screens, sending out transmissions in a whole new language. How can I convince them to read a 50k-word novel when they can only handle a 140 characters at a time?!

Those of us who prefer the printed page will be trading dusty tomes of Stephen King and Mark Twain in darkened alleys, while the rest of the world walks by, their entire world only a few inches wide.

A little exaggeration, but I do think (as much as I hate to admit), that reading as a pastime will fade away. It’s up to the authors to figure out a way to get their streams across to both the short-attention-spanners and those who can sit for more than an hour and read a book.

What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer

What genres do you write?
fantasy, bizarro, christian fiction

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
Martin Gibbs Home Page Link

Your Social Media Links
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5754534.Martin_D_Gibbs
https://twitter.com/MartinGibbs2
http://www.pinterest.com/glyndwr99/

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