Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: M.J. Colewood (Mark Colenutt and Jacqueline Wood)


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

Mark: Six months laid up in bed after a leg operation. I had to put that time to good use so I decided to write a book as I didn’t have any money to play with on the stock exchange, my other probable project at that time.

Jacqueline: My father used to invent stories for me at bedtime when I was tiny and I would usually get him to change the ending, or things that I didn’t like along the way. Then, at the age of eight I spent hours writing a book, which I presented to my headmaster. He even wrote a critique back.


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

Mark: Whenever my little one is asleep. Also, being a teacher I get some extra holiday time and that is when I get the bulk of my writing done.

Jacqueline: I’ve just given up teaching and both my children are at university, so I now have more time to write. I need to work out a schedule though, as when I sit down to write I can get so absorbed that I don’t get anything else done!

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

Mark: Laptop is king and I write wherever I get time. The place is never a problem, only time is the controlling factor. So, in the livingroom, kitchen, on my knee on the train, in a café wherever.

Jacqueline: I use my laptop but it’s quite large so that does restrict where I can use it. I usually write at the dining room table or on the sofa. I’ve also started using my son’s old bedroom as a writing room. I would like a smaller laptop so that I can pop it into my bag and write anywhere.

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

Mark: The best part is being creative and setting down in words an idea that will make a reader pause for thought or a scene that will make them laugh or delight them, afford them a moment of escapism.

Jacqueline: I love it when I get into the writing flow. In those moments, it’s as if I’ve stepped into the story and my fingers are typing on their own. The worst part is the proof checking.

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

Mark: I have had the idea building up inside my mind in idle moments over the past thirty-three years. The school I attended, the one in the story, had some unique attributes and stories attached to it, and for someone interested in history that got me thinking and one thought led to another.

Jacqueline: When Mark asked me if I would like to co-author the book I was delighted. It’s taken a year and a half from our first planning meeting to publication day.

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

Jacqueline: We’re involved in many of the social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and have our website. We’re currently organizing interviews and features on blogs.  

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

Mark: Book 2 in The Chester Bentley Series, which we can reveal will also be set in glorious Devon.

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

Mark: Myself, I have a completed history book on the Indian Famines under the British Raj. I have an MA in Imperialism so this is really my specialist area. It is a lamentable episode in British history and one we need to know more about, if we ever wish to claim that we truly know our own history. But as Bertrand Russell once said it is the citizens of the imperial power that are always among the last to know – or care – about circumstances in the colonies. I think he had a point.

Jacqueline: I’ve got two writing projects on hold at the moment. One is a book which I wrote for my own children a few years ago. The other is a romantic novel, set in Spain.

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

I suppose it’s a case of knowing if your writing is worth reading, and to find that out one can always turn to writing groups where people share their material and comment. That should give you strength to move forward secure in the knowledge that you are not deluding yourself. Beyond that, are you writing to serve a reading public or for a personal conviction? In the case of The Last Treasure of Ancient England, it’s both. In the case of my history book it is clearly the latter. A lot of people want to read a good treasure hunt, while not so many want to read about the negative aspects of the British Empire. The novel is an easier sell, while the non-fiction is a hard one. But you can always bypass the gatekeepers in today’s modern age and self-publish, after that if the material is read worthy then it’s a case of effective marketing and making sure your message gets heard. So, the final question is: are you ready to work as hard at marketing as you did when writing? If the answer is yes, then you need little more advice from me.

***

A Question for Me:

Would you ever include an opinion/ idea, a situation that you felt passionate about and knew might annoy your general readership but is something that needs to be said in the interests of free speech and individual expression?

Wow, what a question. I suppose I would. I mean, especially if I'm writing a non-fiction piece, I would want to be clear to my readership how I really felt. As an example, I recently wrote a political post on my blog, and I knew that some of my readers wouldn't like it, while others would appreciate it. Still, I felt strongly that the piece needed to be written. You can find it here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2016/10/voting-my-conscience.html.

Thanks for the question.

***

Learn more about Mark and Jacqueline at the following sites:





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Anne Evans

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

When I was a child, my dad had a personal library of 4000 books. He got me hooked on the reading addiction early. From there it was a natural step for me to start wanting to create books of my own. As a middle schooler, I fell in love with Rosemary Sutcliff’s juvenile historical fiction and at age 15 I finished my first full length novel. The rest is history.


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

As the mom of a preschooler and new baby, I write either before the kiddos get up, or after they’re in bed. While on deadline, though, I’ve been known to attempt trying to string sentences together while my 4-year-old “Joe-Joe” has his preschool songs turned up to an ear-blasting amount of decibels.

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

I type 120 wpm so trying to piece together thoughts on anything slower than a laptop keyboard drives me crazy. Thumb typing on my phone is sheer torture.

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

My favorite part about writing is getting people’s edits in my critique groups and seeing my story through their eyes. My least favorite part about writing is getting people’s edits in my critique groups and seeing all my mistakes through their eyes.
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How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Several years before I had written Hot Lead & Cold Apple Pie, a romantic comedy set in the 1890s in the silver-mining town of Gilman, CO. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a book contract for it. Then my literary agent sent out a call for Christmas novella submissions. Using some of the characters from my former novel, I came up with Plum Pudding Bride on a whim and pounded out the entire manuscript in a month or so. Happily this year I got a contract on Hot Lead & Cold Apple Pie, so if you like Plum Pudding Bride, you will be able to stay in Gilman, CO a little longer for another love story full of adventure and comedy.

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

I do a little bit of everything. Right now though, I just started a Facebook group connecting book bloggers and authors. Unlike other groups, it’s blogger focused and bloggers get to pick the books they want to request rather than having authors contact them. Here’s the link. If you’re a blogger, please do check out the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/192888064470707/

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

Rosemary Sutcliff initiated my love of Ancient Rome and taking two years of Latin in college cemented that love. The first novel I ever wrote was set in the Roman Empire and finally I got a contract for novels set in that period. I have a four book series set in Ancient Rome coming out next year and I am currently working on edits. The Love & Warfare series follows a family of elite Roman patricians, the Paterculis, through the first and second century A.D. Each book is a love story, but there are plenty of villains, barbaric uprisings, smuggling, and slave revolts as well.

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

As soon as I get edits out of the way, I will start in earnest on my contemporary romantic suspense, From Harvard to Al-Qaeda. An atheist Harvard grad student ends up in Saudi Arabia posing as a native under a fake passport for her Ph.D. thesis in middle eastern studies. A Christian CIA operative falls in love with her and they get tangled up in Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Pennisula in Yemen trying to stop a terrorist plot. Still looking for beta readers if the premise intrigues you.

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

Most writing lectures I’ve attended start with a form of this quote: “If there’s a way you can convince yourself to give up writing, do so, because writing will drive you insane.” It’s true. You have to look far and wide to find as low paying, highly frustrating work as writing. I personally have tried to give up writing on numerous occasions and I just can’t. I need to write. Stories jump at me and I can’t seem to push them away.

So don’t worry about talent. If writing is in your blood, you’ll find a way to make your writing publish-worthy. One can’t write all the time for years without getting good at it. And if writing isn’t an all-consuming passion for you, do yourself a favor and find a job that pays more. Your checkbook will thank you.

***




Monday, November 28, 2016

CYBER MONDAY SAVINGS!

Who doesn't like FREE or almost FREE?
Surprize!

Scrambled is FREE today only!
at Amazon!
And get Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones for only .99 cents!
at Amazon 


Friday, November 25, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: The Christmas Wish


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

THANKFUL THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mary L. Ball

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

Kathryn, it’s great to be on your blog. I’m a multi-published author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. I reside in the heart of North Carolina. When I’m not working on a story, I like to reading, fish and singing with hubby at church functions.

I didn’t start writing until I quit working in administration to keep my grandson full time. When he was a baby I began writing Christian articles and from there branched into fiction.    


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

Just like many I have a busy life. I have parents in a nursing facility. I tend to their laundry needs and other situations. I keep my grandson when my daughter is working, I’m an associate pastor’s wife and we have a singing ministry. 
I don’t have the luxury of being able to close the door to my home office and write every day for 5 hours. But I enjoy crafting stories so I keep at it as often as I can. I’m a morning person so early mornings is my best time. I work on my writing until about 9:30 then most days I’ll go to the nursing home. Later, after I’ve prepared dinner I’ll try to get a couple hours of writing in before I retire for the night.              
    
      How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or                         some other method of getting your words down? 

      I prefer my desktop and in the mornings I use that. In the         
      afternoons or evenings it is usually my laptop. If it’s nice        
      weather out I’ll go on my porch and write.    

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

My favorite part of creating a story is having full control over the outcome of my characters’ lives. My least liked part of the writing process is the necessary evil in writing, the many edits and proof reads.    

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

     For most of my novels I have a clear answer to that question and can      go back to the hour the idea flourished or the day that I felt a nudge        from the Lord.              
     
     However, the complete story of “Sparks of Love” was different.              I knew I wanted to write about a character that felt the Lord                  had turned away from her and she’d lost faith, but the plot of the               story was a process that developed as I worked on the character’s                      situation. Most of my novels take about  four to six months to finish        the first draft.      
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    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

    I post to Facebook on groups that fit my genre. I use twitter and               have a few regular sites that I often buy ads on. Promoting  takes so         much time away from writing and it’s a struggle to find time to do it         all.       

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

   I have a non-fiction in the works, “Moments with God’s Word,” soon to    be released. My current fiction work in progress is called “Awaiting          Tomorrow.” It is at a halfway stage.

   And yes, I have another release. J A novella titled “A Love Valley          Christmas” it is part of Prism Book Group’s Christmas Cowboy line      coming out sometime in Nov. 2016.            

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

   I have a fiction story tugging at my heart about pearl diving. It’s                resting in my mind until I can complete my other projects.  

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

   Writing is a learning process. Anyone who wants to write and can form       an understanding paragraph can tune their writing skills, and develop what they need to become a published author.   

***

A Question for Me:


Kathryn, It doesn’t take a published author long to learn that       writing and marketing the book goes hand in hand. How do you juggle promoting and still have time to write? 


    Balancing marketing is tough, but I have found that if I give time every day to both, then I never feel as if I am writing and not marketing or marketing and not writing. Most days, I have from morning to late afternoon to work on my writing, and so I try to put aside at least a couple of hours of marketing per day and a bit more writing. It really depends on the day. The important thing is to be flexible; not all writers have the same amount of time to spend at marketing or writing, so make time for what works for you. 


   Another thing I have done to balance marketing and writing, is to have my marketing information in one place. I used to have emails, social media, contact names and so forth, all over my desk and in a messy binder. As of 2012, I created a book called, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," that is updated and re-released every January. In this book I offer writers links to getting book reviews; even how to create book trailers on the cheap. You can find the book here.



   Thanks!


***

To learn more about Mary:




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What are you doing to keep sane this holiday season?

I couldn't resist writing about this topic today.

After all, we're almost to Thanksgiving, and then the real fun begins!

During the holidays, do you spend time reading a good book, or are you more likely to be racing around the stores for the best buys?

Do you shop online to avoid the rush?

Are you a Scrooge?

Do you love to decorate and spend time in the evening sipping hot cocoa by the fire?



As I thought about the things I do every Christmas season, I was actually surprised at some of the more worthy traditions our family has incorporated, many of which ease the stress of the holidays.

1. Reading children's Christmas books together. I have the opportunity to be with 2 of my 4 grandchildren every Christmas because they live with me. So that means I have ample time to read at night before bed or during the day.

2. I also invite my grandchildren to decorate the tree with me. I play Christmas music and enjoy the excitement that only children can bring.


3. We ususally take a drive and see the Christmas lights, stopping afterward to get scones and hot chocolate at a nearby country store. Unfortunately, this year there will be a little bit of stress choosing another location since our favorite place has closed down.



4. Some of the more practical things I do to turn down the volume, is to wrap my gifts and place them under the Christmas tree right after I've purchased them, rather than spending hours wrapping them on Christmas Eve. 

5. I also choose one Christmas book I'd like to read during the month of December and make sure I get throughit before December 25. This year the book is O Little Town by Don Reid of the Statler Brothers.



What do you do to keep sane?

What are some of your holiday traditions?

I would love to hear!

Kathryn

Monday, November 21, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Sharon Srock

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

About me…well, I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, God only knows where that will end, they just keep coming! (SMILE) Those people all carry a little bit of my heart with them each day. I like to bake, read , and travel.

I started writing for publication about 6 years ago and I’ve been very blessed with fairly rapid success. I told God that if He was going to start me on this path after the age of 50, I didn’t have time to mess around.



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

I still work full time, so actually scheduling writing time is a trick I haven’t learned yet. I write on breaks, lunch time, in the car when I’m a passenger, and in the evening when I’m not being a wife, mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother.

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

I’m a computer writer. I can’t imagine trying to do this on a typewriter. Cut and paste and spell checker are my best friends.

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

Favorite part—editing the completed rough draft.  Least favorite—writing that first chapter. 

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

I sort of wake up with story ideas in my head. With my first books (The Valley View Series) they sort of came out of the writing. This time I actually had 5 ideas before I started. I hope that means I’m growing and learning as a writer. It took me about four months to write MAC’s story.

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

I use facebook, my newsletter, and outlets like Bookbub.

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

I’m working on book two of the Sisters by Design series. I hope to have RANDY’S story ready for a spring release.

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

I have an idea for a serialized novel, but the necessity of getting the installments out in rapid fire mean this will have to wait until I retire.

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

Not to let that stop them. This is the best time to be a writer. Social media has made the sharing of info and knowledge so easy. Work, ask, grow. In the end we set our own limitations. Don’t limit yourself.

***

A Question for Me:

Of all the social media outlets, which do you find the most valuable for the indie author?

Great question! I would have to say Facebook, and running a close second, Amazon. Amazon does some pretty fantastic stuff, and all for free, like helping you with advertising and allowing you to price your stuff for .99 cents for a time or for free. 

Facebook has given me a way to spread the news about my website; whether I'm linking to a recent blog post or merely sharing something I love about life or writing with others. I also love the ease it gives me in sharing a new book release. 

***

Learn more about Sharon and her books:


After separating herself from the oppressive cult where she was raised, Mackenzie Soeurs has two dreams: to give her son Riley a better life than she had, and to live in peace, as far from the harsh God of her past as she can get. At least that was the plan until her son got hauled to jail for theft and she lost the mother she never truly understood. In the darkest moments of her life, Mac finds herself surrounded by a group of Christian women she can’t understand and a handsome man, willing to take her son under his wing.

Dane Cooper, Garfield’s former bad boy and groom left at the altar, can’t deny his initial attraction to Mackenzie. Neither can he resist the urge from God to mentor her delinquent son. How can he guard his battered heart and still give Riley the same second chance he was given?

When Jesse, Charley, Randy, and Alex signed up for Mac’s first fitness class, they were looking for someone to whip them into physical shape. What they found was a woman bound by a cruel history, suffering through a tragic present, and in desperate need of a friend…or four.






Thursday, November 17, 2016

THANKFUL THURSDAY

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Simple Treasures was a Blast! Sign up for my new newsletter!

I had a great time as always at the Simple Treasures Gift Show this past weekend, and as usual, I finally feel as if things are getting back to normal.

Times are fun at the Simple Treasures event, but it takes me a few days to recuperate from all of the excitement.

Thanks for everything. For those of you I know and love that showed up, and for the many new readers I met.

You're all terrific!

Coming up I have one more book signing scheduled before Christmas, a signing at the Kearns Senior Center, and plenty of days when my books will be discounted. Please let me know if you'd like to sign up for my newsletter, and you'll get all the specifics.

For now, here are the specifics for the author signing:

Christmas Boutique
Kearns Senior Center
4851 West 4715 South
9-4
December 9-10


Monday, November 14, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rodney Saulsberry

Are you considering getting a voice over expert to assist you in creating an audio version of your book? Do you want to learn how to do voice over yourself?

You'll not want to miss my lastest interview with Rodney Saulsberry!

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

I am an actor, singer, guitar player, voice over coach, voiceover actor and author. I have done extensive work in all of these areas and I have been very successful in all of the these areas. I decided to write my first book, “You Can Bank on Your Voice” in
2004.


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

I just write whenever I am in the mood. I don’t have a set schedule.

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

I write at home in my office or at the nearest Barnes and Noble bookstore. I use my desktop at home and my iPad on the road.

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

My favorite part about writing is the creativity. The initial idea and the construction of typing it onto the page. My least favorite part is the re-write or honing of the written words.

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

My latest book “Rodney Saulsberry’s Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups” was created because I am known for my popular tongue twisters on YouTube and throughout the voiceover community. I needed to get my old and new creations into one place. I also sensed a need in the industry for more literature on vocal care and vocal warm-ups. It took me about a year to write the book.

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

I market through my email database and social media. I also do several interviews and podcasts. I sell my books in workshops and conferences around the country.

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

I am currently working on my first novel titled, “Graylin Brown.” It’s set in Detroit, Michigan and Hollywood, California in the 60’s thru the 90’s with a musical showbiz backdrop and theme.

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

If you don’t feel like you have the talent, take a writing class. It all starts with a greatidea or a great story to tell. If you are passionate about your idea or story, you will do whatever it takes to get it out there to the public!

***

A question for me:

Can you make money as a self publisher?

Great question! Actually, I think you can make more money as a self publisher over going the traditional route. When my first book was published with a traditional publisher, I made about 10 percent a book. Now, having bought the rights back to that book as well as going it the self publishing route on my own I make upwards of 70 percent per book. Quite a difference!

I also have the freedom to choose my book cover, the interior lay out I like, and the price of my book. I didn't get any of these choices going with a traditional publisher.

***
Learn more about Rodney at the following sites:



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