Monday, February 29, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: C.D. Verhoff

Tell us about yourself.
 
I grew up in Indiana, number four of five sisters, no brothers. Let me beat you to the punch, “Your poor dad!” Heh, heh.

As far as previous occupations go, there have been many, including retail, elementary school teacher, medical lab tech, insurance, finance and more. Writing has been something I've enjoyed since grade school. I like my books to include something fantastic, a touch of science fiction, or elements of the paranormal. Currently, I live in rural Ohio with my husband, two children and a lab/border collie mix. I love weird trivia and humorous antidotes, so you'll find them sprinkled throughout my blog.

When and why did you begin writing?
 
I began writing in grade school because my teachers made me—the big meanies! 

When did you first know you could be a writer?
 
There’s a difference between being a writer and writing for a living. I’ve always known the former was possible. As for the latter, ask me again in ten years.
 
Why do you continue to write?
 
I’m addicted. When a scene comes together, it gives me a high. When I’m forced to stay away from my computer too long, I get jittery until I get my daily fix of wordage. The compulsion sometimes interferes with my other responsibilities—housework, social life, and even my health. Writing is my blue meth, I guess.  
 
What writing are you most proud of?
 
The Wish Thief—definitely. I wrote the skeleton of the book, from beginning to the end in less than three days. Didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, it was as if the story poured into me from some other realm. I haven’t had the same experience with any of my other books.  
 

Get it at Amazon!

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
 
Anyone can publish these days, so my first inclination is to say marketing. But the more I think about it, the more I’m leaning toward the middle option. Writing is easy, but writing well is hard. It’s so hard only the bravest, or perhaps the most delusional of us, set out to make a living at it.
 
Do you find it difficult to share your work?
 
At first it felt like offering my heart on a platter to a stranger. Would they tear it apart or cherish it? I’ve grown a thicker skin since then. So, nah, it’s not difficult anymore.


What are you working on right now?
 
I’m currently working on the sequel to Avant Nation, a dystopian suspense with romantic elements. I’m way behind schedule, still working on the first draft, but it will be published sometime this year. God willing.

What else is coming down the pipeline?
 
I’m thinking about writing a novel based on a dream I had during my freshman year of college. It was both religious and apocalyptic, something I’ve pondered many years. S
ometimes it’s so hard to keep at it - What keeps you going?
 
Sheer madness.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? 

My goal is to entertain people. I invite readers to apply their own understanding of the characters and events as presented. If someone finishes one of my stories and it leaves them wanting to dive deeper into my fictional world, then I’ve accomplished my goal. I hope my words stir up a wide range of emotions . . . anxious, excited, scared, love, hate and joy. You name it.
  
How do you think people perceive writers?
 
Traditionally published authors are thought of as intelligent, introverted, eccentric, worldly, competent and cool.

Self-published authors are perceived as subpar, delusional, annoying little boogers who are always pushing their books.

I’m not saying the labels are fair or accurate, but that’s the common perception. Fortunately, opinions are shifting. The high price of traditionally published eBooks have brought a lot of readers over to the bargain bins, which are overflowing with self-published books. Since many readers return to the bargain bin again and again, they are obviously satisfied with what they have found there in the past. From what I can tell, the negative sweeping judgments about self-published writers aren’t as negative as they used to be. I regularly sift through the bargain bin myself. More than half of the books on my Kindle are self-published. If I can be entertained at bargain prices, I’m going for it.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
 
The ideal answer would be to say exercise or volunteering at a soup kitchen, but that would be a lie. I eat, nap, read, talk on the phone, take a walk down the lane or watch television. Isn’t that what normal people do to relax? 
 

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?


On hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul the Second’s last audible words:

"I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you."
 
I like this quote for many reasons. One of them being that it highlights how a man’s deeds come back to him in the end. It’s also a testament to a great man’s humility, gratitude and undying faith.  
 
Do you intend to make writing a career?  
If the income was reliable it would be the career of my dreams. Reality tells me to wake up and smell the coffee.  
 

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
 
I inject my own philosophies and beliefs into my novels, sure, but I don’t set out to send messages. Once my book goes out to the world, its interpretation belongs to the readers. They will grasp what is meaningful to them and it doesn’t matter what I think. 

***

Thank you, C.D.!

Learn more about C.D. at the following sites:

World of C.D. Verhoff blog:

Amazon Author Page: 

The Wish Thief on Barnes & Noble:

Author on Goodreads:



Friday, February 26, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I started out as a reader. Throughout my childhood, I read voraciously. It really was a natural progression to become a writer, but I didn’t know any writers when I was growing up. After I graduated college, I learned about MFA programs and decided to take a fiction course. That was really the beginning, but my lifelong affair with books began as soon as I learned to read.


How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I have two young children, so I have to play a lot of mind tricks to get to the page each day. Over the years, I’ve become a morning person. Some days I get up earlier than my family to get to my desk. Other days, I write as soon as the kids are off to school. I used to write at night. Now I can barely stay awake past 10 pm!

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write longhand in a notebook or I use a laptop. It really doesn’t matter. I prefer libraries, but I can also get it done at home or in a coffee shop. I really don’t have time to be picky about my writing environment these days. I do wear noise cancelling headphones, however. I don’t like interruptions once I get started.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is the act of imagination. I love making things up. It is probably why I prefer fiction over nonfiction. My least favorite part is that it takes a long time to finish a book. I am a slow writer. I wish I could write faster, but I can’t.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The idea for my first book Wench came while I was reading a biography of W.E.B. DuBois. I discovered that DuBois had taught at Wilberforce University in Ohio, a school that had once been a resort where slave owners frequently vacationed with their enslaved mistress. I was shocked, and I could not stop thinking about it. The idea for my second novel Balm was a bit more organic. I did not want to write a sequel to Wench, but I did want to explore the next chapter of history: the Civil War era.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I use social media a lot. I also travel frequently and speak at libraries and universities.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Get the Book at Amazon
My most recent novel Balm just came out in paperback this February 2016. It is a novel about people rebuilding their lives at the end of the Civil War. Set in Chicago, it tells of two women with magical powers who share a love for healing. It is a meditative historical novel about the resilience of the American spirit.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’m at the very beginning of a new project. It is very different for me because it is set in the 1970s.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Don’t worry about comparing yourself to other writers. There is a story in your heart that is yours to tell. Nobody else can tell it. Take it one page at a time, and tell it the best way you know how. Just have fun!

***
Thank you, Dolen!

Learn more about Dolen:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Writing Contest! Have You Entered?

Just a little reminder about the 1st Semi-Annual Writing Contest!!

You have through February 29 to get your first chapter and synopsis to authorsupport@ideacreationspress.com!




No entry fee!
Two winners chosen!

Click here to learn more!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Teresa Ives Lilly, author of Wild Prairie Rose

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

As a young teen I had a teacher who was thrilled with my short stories.  She allowed me to take summer school 12th grade English, when I was in 9th grade, so I could participate in her writing class. 



How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write in the evenings from 9 pm to midnight.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have a guest bedroom with a desk and computer and television.  I use a regular computer because I find a laptop too small.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is coming up with the idea.  The least favorite part is editing.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Get the Book at Amazon
 Wild Prairie Rose is part of a series my publisher Forget Me Not Romances put together. Each writer picked a state flower and created a story which used the state and the state flower. It’s 20k words, it took two months to write.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I send messages to all the face book pages I am on in my town.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently writing a book called Gold Dust Tea.  It should be out this week.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’m working on six books for different collections, but am also putting together a collection through my publishing company, Lovely Christian Romance Press called Cocoa Christmas. I’m open to submissions….see www.lovelychristianromancepress.wordpress.com

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Write… and after you have finished a chapter or two… read it out loud… see how it sounds. Join ACFW and get in a critique group… they will tell you the truth.

***

Thank you, Teresa!






Monday, February 15, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Libby Sarjeant from the Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery series

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

I live in a village called Steeple Martin, in Kent, England. There is a map of the village on Lesley Cookman’s website and in all her books. I am fairly short, about five feet three inches – or possibly two inches if I’ve shrunk. I’m  – slightly – er – overweight and my hair is a sort of dark rusty red and very curly. I look a bit like a rusty bottle brush. Achievements? Well, I’d quite like a quiet life. We seem to keep having murders thrust upon us.

Get the Book at Amazon

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I should say painting, but I only do that for money these days. Just pin money, really, and I don’t enjoy it as I used to. Also, what was my job as an actress turned into a hobby, and has now turned into business again, as my partner Ben and I, with his cousin Peter, run our theatre – the Oast Theatre.

What is your favorite color and why?
Red, I think.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
I like spicy food, and I think my favourite is Mexican Pollo Con verde, cooked by my friend Harry.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?
Nosiness, definitely.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

My children, my partner Ben, my cat Sidney, my best friend Fran, Peter and Harry... I suppose I’d do just about anything I could to keep them with me.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

After 16 books and two novellas, there’s very little my readers don’t know about me or my past!

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Tell that woman anything? As if she’d listen!

 ***
Thank you, Libby

Learn more about Libby and her creator


Friday, February 12, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: Jack and Boo's Dinosaur Island, by Philip Bell


Get the Book at Amazon!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Keeping Focused in Writing

I have a grandson who has a hard time remaining focused. You ask him to clean his room, he is busy playing a video game. Ask him to do his math homework, and he's reading a book. Try to get him to help with dishes, and, no surprise, he's using the bathroom.



We had just such a morning. It took four of us, including him, to get his Valentine's for school started and finished, his socks on, his backpack found, and his homework finished - he actually left without finishing the last piece.

Sometimes it's just easier to do what comes naturally, in other words, to do the stuff you want to do. It's easier to go out to lunch with a friend, spend the evening watching old movies. It's even easier to clean the house sometimes than to write.

Your writing may get shelved for a day or two, maybe even for a week, as you trod along, doing what comes naturally.

Oftentimes, I lose my focus on writing because my 'to do' list is too long, or I'm too stressed or too tired to think about writing. And this hurts me.

When I wake up, and I do wake up, or you wouldn't be seeing this post, I realize that my list could be shorter, that I don't have to do everything in one day, that if I'm stressed or tired, writing something will take my mind off my stress and writing will take my mind off sleeping.

Writing does more than keep me awake. It takes me to another world, another place, where I can focus in on a life that matters. And because my life matters too, it's only natural that I'd want to write, and write focused every day.

Here's to your writing!

Kathryn

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WRITE HERE IN EPHRAIM CONFERENCE IS COMING UP!

It's that time again to refill your bucket with great writing ideas and direction


2016

Come and join us!

My husband and I will be teaching:

CREATE YOUR OWN BOOK TRAILERS THAT ROCK!


Want your book trailer to sing, dance, even rock? Then you'll not want to miss this class. Learn how to create winning trailers for your book(s) with little or no out-of-pocket cash! Learn how to incorporate music, photos, video, text and more into your captivating book trailer. Learn what works and what doesn't when it comes to including your book's message for even greater book sales. 

and

MARKETING YOUR BOOK ON A BUDGET!

 

Have a book out but no clue how to market it? Whether the book is your first or your seventh, learn the ins and outs of book marketing. Get a clue about blogs, interviews, and that thing called book trailers. What about reviews, social media, advertising, contests and book signings? Find out what free and low cost marketing can really do for your latest book in this fun, informative class.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lesley Cookman

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’ve always written, from a very young child, when I wanted to make up my own books. I won regional prizes while I was at Grammar School, but didn’t start to write professionally until much later when I began to write features for trade magazines.



How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

It’s my day job, so I have an office and try to work office hours. I don’t work in the evenings, and I must admit to having time off when I want it!

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have an iMac in my office. I write on my MacBook when I’m on holiday, and occasionally edit on that on my sofa in front of the fire!

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favourite part? As a career, it’s better than stacking supermarket shelves! My least favourite part is the need for self-discipline. I’m bad at that.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I write roughly two books a year under contract, and as my favourite reading has always been mysteries and detective fiction, particularly that of the Golden Age, my choice of subject was easy. It was also a commercial decision between my publisher and me to start a mystery series.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

My publisher, luckily, does most of it, but I have a blog, a website, a Facebook page and I’m on Twitter.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I am currently working on the revisions and edits for the 16th book in the Libby Sarjeant series, Murder Dancing and writing the 17th.


Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Not exactly the back burner, but the first novella in a brand new series set in Edwardian England came out on Boxing Day, Death Plays A Part. I will be writing this series alongside the Libby Sarjeant series.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Work hard, read a lot, and keep submitting. Do NOT leap straight into self publishing before you’ve honed your craft. It will show.

The question most people ask me at talks and events is “where do you get your ideas”. There is no simple answer to that, and I frequently tell them I go to the ideas shop. However, my children do supply me with scenarios, especially  my eldest son, who has come up with many of my recent book settings.

Answered by Kathryn: I get many of my ideas listening to ideas others have for me. I also get ideas simply by living my life and putting my experiences on paper when they come up. Writing what you know is so important, but also being willing to do a little research when necessary. Writing prompts have also gotten me going, especially when I get a temporary writer's block.

***

Thanks, Lesley!

Learn more about Lesley at the following sites:






Monday, February 1, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Roni Kennedy




Roni Kennedy Photo for bookTell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

I used to write poems as a teenager and when I was in my early twenties I would write songs and try to play them on the guitar. I also had a mother who was a school teacher and she wrote a few books. I learned and lived by the example that was formed in my 
child and teen years.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? 

I have not written anything except in my journal every once in a while. I know I need to start that habit again because time is so important. I really think I do my best at writing when it is peaceful and quiet and I can think of what I really want to write. My thought process works better with no interruptions. For instance, it is late in the evening at this time and it would be a perfect time to write a book. Mornings could work for me too. I have no children to raise. I just need to set some time aside and go for it.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?  

I usually write with pen and paper but that has become old school. I could adapt to a laptop when writing because that is what I am usually working on all day or even a desktop.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Coming up with a good idea and making a great story out of it. Especially an experience or an event that I have encountered in my life. My least favorite part of writing is having a good thought to write about and being able to come up with a good ending.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 

Please don’t mind me telling you that I was frustrated with a neighbor that thought he was so much better than others. He came off to me as being very conceited and better that me. He just seemed so arrogant and had the perfect family syndrome. It only took me about 2 days to write the book and about 2 weeks to do all of the illustrating. That was a process. I was so into it that nothing could hold me back from getting it accomplished.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

FaceBook, Twitter, the web, word of mouth,  my publisher and the interviews . I am working on having a website built really soon.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

I am currently working on getting this book marketed. The Boy That Grew Teeth In His Ear.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it. Yes. I have a book I need to edit and re-illustrate photos that was written by my mother. It is called the Story of Timmy Mitton.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

I would tell them to look at their options and find someone like I have to publish their book. I had no idea there were marketing systems out there that are all online.

***
Thank you, Roni!

Find Roni at the following sites below:

Facebook, Twitter, Free Classifieds, KSL, Craigslist. 

YouTube video: