Marketing – Your Way

There have been quite a lot of articles around lately about how free and very low priced books are creating a large band of readers who are not prepared to pay for regular priced ones, thereby swiping the food out of “legitimate” authors mouths. That’s fine. People who are never going to pay for a book don’t matter, and probably wouldn’t buy your book even if it suddenly became illegal to ever give one away for free anyway. You’re in charge of the pricing of your work, and if somebody wants to read it they will buy it. Regardless of what all those intrepid freebie hunters get up to. So don’t be shouting at hardworking people simply doing their best to get a new product to the eyes of people who would otherwise never have a clue who they are. Indie authors who started publishing eBooks with Amazon seven to ten years ago had a lot more room to move up there than new Indies today. Some of the strategies that they used to get noticed, and beat their way up the rankings back then might not be so easy to implement successfully now with the thousands of books being published every single day. Those early writers who managed to grab hold of a rung on the ladder and work their way to the top will probably stay there now, so they won’t have to think totally out of the box to come up with brand new ways for their latest books to be noticed in amongst that epic labyrinth of millions of others that is Amazon 2014.

New ways will be found though. The kind of person who has the will and the determination to write a book, then polish it to publishing standard, design and make a cover for it, publish it, and then market it, all the while scribbling away at the next book, is most definitely the kind of person who is capable of thinking outside of any old box. I think that the self-publishing landscape will probably have to shift and morph to accommodate the sheer volume of new books pouring in, and the work to get to the top will be harder. I also think that we should be wary of demonising one or another of the tactics scribblers use to get their books to new eyeballs. After all, if there really was a proven formula to sell books, everyone would be in Stephen King Land, and that is not a reasonable idea to have. There is no formula that will ensure your success as an author. It’s all down to lots of hard work, trial and error, more patience than you would expect, and a large dollop of good luck. Indies are their own bosses, and with that goes the privilege of making their own rules as far as their own careers are concerned. They can do as little as they want, or as much as they want to market their books. They can sell boxed sets, give their books away for free or charge 99 cents or $9.99 for them if they want to. Very little of what other Indie authors do should have any effect on you. What works for one person’s book promotion won’t necessarily work for yours and vice versa. Apart from never, ever – seriously never – ever – spamming anyone with desperate pleas to buy your book, keep all of your options open when the time comes to launch your labour of love into the arms of the reading population.

If you have the resources to pay for the professional finishing of your book after writing it, and are able to afford to pay for it to be advertised, you obviously are going to fare better out of the starting gates than the writer who can’t afford these things. For the Indie who is going it totally alone, the work will be harder, and the pace to the point where you finally find some regular readers will be much slower. Much bumpier too, what with the inevitable learning curves with missed typos, disastrous first attempt covers, and formatting faux pas. You’d have to be some kind of superior being if you get it totally right the first time around without any help at all. It’s not the end of the world to make mistakes, as long as you fix them just as fast as you can when you realise what you’ve done wrong. The wonderful thing is that every time you falter and scrape your knees – or your ego, you’ve learned something new about the industry by the time you’re back up again.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about the free, the low priced, or the Goodreads giveaway. There are many vocal supporters both for and against these things. The only opinion that should count in your Indie world is your own. You are your publisher, editor, creative department, and sales department – and you get to make all executive decisions. I’ve tried the freebies and the 99 cents to very good effect – but that’s just me. Your book – your decisions, so try them all for yourself, and see how things go, and don’t for a minute believe that your little promo is going to have an effect on the sales of anyone else’s books at all. Only their own marketing efforts will. One thing I’ve learned in this wonderful world of Indie is that you’re learning all the time, and that opinions seemingly set in stone often change. ABS

The Write Life-19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays

Hey everyone,

I subscribe to a site called

TheWriteLife.com

And yes, it has information about exactly what you think it does. An email I received this morning is something I thought might interest some of our writers out there. Even if you say you are a writer of novels and not for magazines and websites, getting your name out and about is key to success. Name recognition not only by the public but also by those in the industry always helps. The more you have out there the more you can point to.

So click the link below and check it out and sign up for the emails yourself. They have a lot covering a lot of different areas of writing.

 

19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays

 

 

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Ronovan

@RonovanWritesfollowmeonbloglovin

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

My Review of The Blue Diamond by @PSBartlett.

One thing to tell you about me and the rest of us here at LitWorldInterviews (LWI) is we are going to be honest, even about our own family and by family that includes the LWI Team members. Why, because if we’re not then we might as well not even be doing this at all.

 

If you’ve read the recent announcements here at LWI, then you know award winning author PS Bartlett has joined our team. You also know her latest novel, The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge was released this past Friday.

I read the book.

BD_Poster_w_diamond

I will say here and now that a Historical Adventure Romance was not exactly on my radar, even though I have actually written Romance in the past year and am working on revisions and all of that as I get feedback. But still, I’m a guy, right? Romance? And then the cover? I loved the cover but it just looked so . . . so . . . ROMANCE!

 

 

 

Yeah, my bad.

I’m an idiot. I admit it. Think about it. I have written Adventure novels. I have written Romance novels. I have written novels with Historical elements in them, I am a certified History teacher after all. So you would have thought this would have been something I would have read with no problem. Two Pirate Captains meet and the adventure begins and thoughts and worlds begin to be questioned.

 

I mean you have Pirates, Adventure and a lot more, why would I not want to read it?

 

Yeah, my stereotype manly man side peeked out and tried to show itself.

 

I started reading it and right from the start it wasn’t what I had expected. The more I read the more I liked it. Being a former History teacher I definitely enjoyed the history aspects, which were not in your face. They were there for no other reason than a backdrop to enhance the story. That is one thing I appreciated about the novel. Some people make some historical thing THE reason for the book. Not in this one. I’m not saying a historical thing cannot be the point of a book, but it can be over done.

I also appreciated that Bartlett handled the romance scenes with what I think was an eye to all readers. In my own novels, yes novels, the Romance I am doing is a Trilogy, I am concerned about what I call the ‘scenes’, if you know what I mean. Bartlett handled these with taste and oddly, as I think about it, she lets your imagination do a lot of the work.

 Was the book perfect?

There were some passages between face to face scenes that I could have seen just a little shorter as I got farther into the book. As I said in my Amazon Review, I think this might be partly because toward the end of the book I was ready for more of the action and seeing what was going to happen next.

I at first wondered about the character displayed by Ivory Shepard and her cousins. Ivory “Razor” Shepard is the pirate captain of a ship that is attacked and sunk. The aftermath is where we enter the story. Her cousins are also women pirates. But the truth is they could very well be based on actual women pirates that operated in the Caribbean, one of which particularly comes to mind.

Even if there was no historical basis for a female pirate, Bartlett does handle how Ivory becomes captain well. I do wonder about the final action that makes her captaincy possible, but it is a believable and not fantastical idea. It is just something I might have wanted to see handled in a slightly different way, yet I do understand why it happened the way it did.

What did I really like?

I enjoyed the character of Maddox “Blacksnake” Carbonale a lot. He is a slightly typical Romantic Hero lead type, but with a few extra layers of development added. I’m not one for the typical. Bartlett made Carbonale believable in many ways and as the story progresses you understand more and more.

The supporting cast, which in reality is more than that, was developed well and was given enough attention for you to care about them. There were no unnecessary characters thrown in. There are a few surprises along the way that I enjoyed, and one that I caught onto just in time before a reveal. Bartlett definitely can tell a story and give you just enough to tell you all you need to know if you pay attention.

So what’s the score?

I gave The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge 5 out of 5 stars at Amazon. I give it the same here. Why? I didn’t find the scenes overdone or unnecessary. The plot was excellent. The story was great. And it kept me wanting to read. I also liked the balance of the three genre elements. Historical enough to be scenery, Adventure enough to keep me wanting more, and Romance enough to make it believable and real. And one other big reason for a 5-I want to read the next book in the series. And isn’t that a sign of a successful piece of writing?

 

Since this is a ‘family’ member I reviewed and somewhat said there were some improvement areas, I do hope to see you again at LWI. If not, Bartlett knows where she buried the body.

Remember

Read a Book, Write a Review!

I did!

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

Ronovan

@RonovanWritesfollowmeonbloglovin

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Q&A Sandi K Whipple Dancing with a Cowboy @whipsan

Dancing With A Cowboy

 

 

Reviews of previous work Loving Adonis

 

The happy ending is full of twists and surprises that I couldn’t foresee, and it made up for all the frustration.-Trish Jackson (Author) 4 out of 5 stars

 

I’ll tell you this was a very sweet but frustrating read but that is not a bad thing it this case. You have this amazing couple that fall in love with each other the minute they meet and yet they spend the entire book confusing each other because they are to stubborn to talk….Keep the tissues handy and enjoy a GREAT READ!-DD Gott 5 out of 5 stars

 

My guest today just kind of ended up being one of those finds. I liked what I saw so I asked her for an interview. It’s pretty much that simple. Okay, so I had to send the information and then received an okay. But now we have her and that’s what counts. So now it’s time to meet . . .

 

Sandi K. Whipple

 

 

RW:Where are you from?

SANDI: I was born in Waukegan, Illinois (Home of Jack Benny) but moved to California’s San Francisco Bay area as a teen. With the exception of time spent in the Military as an Air Traffic Controller, I spent most of my adult life there. I moved to North Dakota in June of 2000.

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

SANDI: Bari Wood, who wrote the Killing gift and Mrs. John R. Marsh, also known as Margaret Mitchell, author of one of the greatest love stories ever written, “Gone With the Wind”. A little trivia about her, the fame disrupted her way of living to a point that one day, in a fit of exasperation she said she was determined never to write another word as long as she lived.

 

RW:What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

SANDI: I drink Vodka martinis or have a few beers when I go out (which is seldom), otherwise I like Cran-Rasberry juice or ice water.

 

RW: What is your favorite word?

SANDI: Are the honesty police nearby? I’m ashamed to admit it, “crap”.

 

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

SANDI: I guess I really don’t have a background in writing. In 2007, after major surgery, I was in a wheelchair for eleven weeks, and I was bored! I was reading two and sometimes three Romance novels a day. I shared my disappointment with a friend regarding a novel I read, and she suggested I write my own. So I did. And it kind of stuck.

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

SANID: I watch one of my favorite movies on DVD. I have close to 1000, as well as 15 complete older TV series. (Kojak, Streets of San Francisco, FBI, Mannix, and more.)

 

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

SANDI: My current book is titled “Dancing With A Cowboy”. I was perusing stock book covers on the Internet one day, and I saw a cover that caught my attention. It had a make believe title on it, as most stock covers do, and I thought a book with that title would be great.

 

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

SANDI: Romance

 

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

SANDI: I’ve been reading Romance stories and books since I was ten years old. (A very long time ago!) I’d steal my mother’s True Confession magazines, now owned since 2012 by True Renditions LLC. (After being sold several times since it started in 1922.)

 

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

SANDI: Lucy Baumgardner, working partner in a law firm in Philadelphia, works too hard. So says the senior partner, who just happens to be her father. When she’s forced to take a two week hiatus, she assumes two weeks of pedicures, massages, and poolside relaxation with a glass of wine won’t kill her. But things aren’t always what one expects.

To her horror, city girl Lucy ends up stuck on a working ranch with no phones, cell service, or WiFi. Her acute shock dictates she will NOT play cowgirl for two weeks.

Lucy’s a well educated, quick witted, observant young woman who, for the first time as an adult, finds herself in a position that she isn’t in control of. Stace, the ranch owner, whose carrying some heavy baggage after being hurt in the past, finds Lucy comical, and oh yeah, beautiful!

As a relationship develops, it comes to light that a few guests aren’t on the ranch to play wanna-be cowboys. Trouble is brewing, and they’re behind it.

As an attorney, Lucy jumps right in to find out what’s going on, and Stace let’s her take charge of the situation. When the problem is solved, for fear of getting hurt again, he foolishly shows his gratitude by sending her away!

I wrote this book, and I laughed out loud while writing some of the comical things Lucy does and says, and I even found myself looking for the Kleenex box.

 

RW: What inspired the book?

SANDI: A mixture of 2 pictures I saw on the Internet.

 

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

SANDI: Lucy’s an educated and independent woman who above all is no quitter! No matter what! I think since the late sixties, and even still today, women who are strong and independent, yet still sweet and feminine, are the survivors of romance.

 

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

SANDI: That’s a ‘tuff’ question. I’m thinking maybe a Sandra Bullock type?

 

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

SANDI: If you truly love someone, a sad romance, doesn’t necessarily have to end sadly.

 

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

SANDI: That I have a sense of humor. Or so a friend told me.

 

RW: Describe your book in one word.

SANDI: Entertaining!

 

RW: Where can we get your book now?

SANDI: After October 15th Smashwords for eBook, and Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes and Noble for paperback.

 

RW: What other books have you written?

SANDI: Loving Adonis and Twisted Engagement

Loving AdonisTwisted Engagement

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

SANDI:

Reader and Writer of Romance

www.sandikwhipple.com

www.lovingadonis.com

www.twistedengagement.com

www.dancingwithacowboy.com

Facebook ~ Loving Adonis

Facebook ~ Twisted Engagement

 

GoodReads

Linkedin

 

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

SANDI: NO! At this point, after so many depressing rejection letters, I’m not sure. I even received a response from an agent telling me, successful, willing agents, are few and far between, and unless I’m a Nora Roberts, not to hold my breath. But even if I could find and agent with tremendous connections, I might question what they would do for me that I can’t. I arranged an appearance on the local CBS affiliate for a live interview, and plugged two, not one book. I arranged and advertised a surprisingly successful book signing. I made certain both local newspapers ran articles about my books. Am I getting rich? No. Am I selling books? Yes, and more than I anticipated.

 

RW: What are you working on right now?

SANDI: A romantic suspense that takes place in Maine.

 

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

SANDI: The River Maiden by Meredith R. Stoddard.

 

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

SANDI: Do your homework. Unless you can afford to get ripped off for a lot of money, let the website “Preditors & Editors” become your bible. I speak from experience! And learn whatever you can about MARKETING! It’s a never ending process. Even if you’re fortunate enough to land an agent, you’ll still be expected to market, publicize, advertise, and sell your own books! It’s a never ending process.

 

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

SANDI: Gone With The Wind, because it’s a real heartwarming love story that has you hating, loving, and pitying the hero! The romance and love stories of today are expected to have the HEA! (Happily Ever After)

Military Air Traffic Controller to romance writer. That one kind of blows my mind just a little. But in an awesome way. Who would think that I would ever write romance myself? (Hopefully no ex-girlfriends are reading this.) I want to thank Sandi for joining us for an interview. And I want encourage all of you to guy her books, follow her where you can online.

And one last thing: Whenever you read a book, write a review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Read a Book, Write a Review.

That’s my new slogan here at LWI.

What many people don’t realize is, reviews have an impact on Amazon and other sites in how a book might show up and of course the more reviews the better chance of a book being purchased.

I’ll have something more about how to write a good review at another point. But really, just write an honest and helpful review for a possible reader. Write what you would be looking for if you were wanting to know about the book, without giving away the story of course. I had to throw that in there because you know some people might give away all the details.

 

Expect to see “Read a Book, Write a Review” a lot.

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Ronovanfollowmeonbloglovin

 

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Q&A Shannon A. Thompson of Take Me Tomorrow @ShanAshleeT23

takemetomorrowTake Me Tomorrow

Shannon A. Thompson

 

5.0 out of 5 stars  An exciting YA dystopian novel-Elaine Jeremiah
“This was an exciting, intriguing tale. In the dystopian world Sophia, her family and friends are living in, there is a war on between the State who control the various regions in this post-modern America and those who use and promote a clairvoyant drug.”

4.0 out of 5 starsEnticing, mysterious dystopian!-Jen @Star-Crossed Book Blog

“This was truly a unique read! I love my dystopian worlds and while some can blend together, that definitely wasn’t the case in Take Me Tomorrow. The elements of the storyline were enticing and the mystery of all of the unknowns kept me flying through the pages. The little hints of romance were innocently sweet and what blossomed from it left me smiling. And the ending of the book left me completely dismayed (but in a good way)! I can’t even start to imagine where they can all go from here!”

4.0 out of 5 stars A YA novel unafraid to address grown up issues-Allie Potts

“The book’s premise hooked me right away. Set in a realistic future featuring extreme immigration control and harsh anti-drug policies, a teenager named Sophia Gray’s sheltered world is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a stranger in the woods. This stranger has ties to a risky drug believed to provide users with the temporary ability to see everything all at once, including the future. While users are potentially endangering their own lives by using the drug, it is the government that is the most threatened by its existence. The novel asks you to answer the question, what is more important security or freedom?”

 

 

I want to say my guest and I have followed each others blogs for some time now. I mean she’s an author, I think authors are cool, so of course I followed the author lady. That of course meant that when I decided to start this site I wanted to interview her and amazingly enough she said yes. I am surprised with each person that says yes, but especially those who have several books out. Now it’s time to meet . . .

Shannon A. Thompson

pic1 

 

RW: Where are you from?

SHANNON: I’m from the road. Even though I’m only 23, I have moved 15 times in my life. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Georgia, and on the Kansas-Missouri border, so I don’t really have a hometown. It’s hard for me to stay in one place for too long. Traveling is when I feel at home.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

SHANNON: Jack Kerouac and Edgar Allan Poe are my favorite traditional authors, but I absolutely adore Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Oliver and Lynne Ewing in the young-adult market. I’m also a huge fan of the poet, Billy Collins.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

SHANNON: Coffee! I’m such a coffee addict that I just cannot go a single day without at least one pot of coffee. I’ve actually been drinking it regularly since I was twelve. I am not a fan of chocolate, so I didn’t like having hot chocolate in the winter mornings to keep me warm, so my father thought it was a good idea to give me his leftover coffee. Been hooked ever since. The funniest moment was when my middle school teacher realized what I was drinking every morning, but that’s another story to be told. I’m actually drinking a coffee right now.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

SHANNON: Writing – I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I have many types of writing. I write young-adult novels, but I’m also a poet, and I work on numerous books at a time. If I’m stressing out about one, I just skip over to something else – something that I don’t have to worry about – and if I don’t want to write at all, I’ve been known to hop in the car and drive without a destination in mind. The road is a comforting place. Unless you’re short like me driving into the setting sun. Then, it burns.

RW: What is your favorite word?

SHANNON: Midnight – I am a night owl, practically nocturnal, and the single word reminds me of how calm everything is late into the evening when everyone else is asleep.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

SHANNON:  I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. In fact, my mother taught me to write in order to cope with my night terrors as a child, but she – unfortunately – died very suddenly when I was eleven, so I began chasing a serious writing career after that. My first novel was published five years later, and since then, I’ve had four novels, two short stories, and a collection of poems published all around the world, including a Norwegian magazine. I also studied literature and creative writing at the University of Kansas where I graduated from in 2013.

RW: Tell us about why you chose Take Me Tomorrow as the title of your novel?

SHANNON: Take Me Tomorrow is my latest novel, and the title created itself. About halfway through the story, one of the protagonists talks about tomorrow and what it means to them, but explaining it too much might give away parts of the story. The novel is a young-adult dystopian tale about a clairvoyant drug. When citizens can see the future, it changes how everyone lives in the present and remembers the past, so time is a huge factor in both the story and the title. The drug is also called “tomo” and everyone believes it is a nickname for “tomorrow” but it isn’t. ::wink wink::

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

SHANNON:  Young-adult dystopian.

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

SHANNON:  I write in many genres, but I currently only have young-adult, paranormal romance, dystopian, contemporary, military, and poetry published. Whew. I thought that list would be shorter when I started, but – as you can see – I love writing in various styles. I look at it this way: I love reading numerous genres. Why would I only write in one genre?

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

SHANNON:  Take Me Tomorrow is a young-adult dystopian novel about a clairvoyant drug, but sixteen-year-old, Sophia Gray, has other problems to deal with. Her father runs an illegal forgery, and her best friend is caught up in small crime, and that is not even the end of it. When a mysterious boy shows up in her backyard, Sophia has to decide whether to fight for a tomorrow she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

RW: What inspired the book?

SHANNON:  Take Me Tomorrow deals with many sensitive issues within society, including drug abuse, addiction, and immigration. I decided to write about these topics mainly because my mother was a drug addicted, and it ultimately killed her. I spent many years researching drugs, and that research developed itself into this novel. I actually wrote an article about this if you want more details: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/07/18/why-i-write-about-immigration-drugs-and-addiction/

 

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

SHANNON:  Sophia Gray is strong, stubborn, and willing to do anything to help her friends and family, but she’s also human. Her anger can get the best of her, but she doesn’t let anyone try to stop her from doing what she thinks is right. Noah, on the other hand, is rather forced into doing things, and everything has slowly broken him down. He’s a very complex and damaged character, but when the two come together, a dark serenity clears the tension around them.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

SHANNON:  I would beg, beg, BEG for an open-casting call. I wish Hollywood would do that more often for two reasons:

  1. It gives new actors and actresses a chance at participating in a large project

  2. (I think) Viewers can believe in the characters more when they haven’t seen the actors everywhere before.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

SHANNON:  As much as Take Me Tomorrow deals with sensitive topics revolving around drug abuse, I strived to stay neutral to the topic, and so far, many readers have reflected that in their reviews. The message is completely up to the reader, and I wanted it to be that way because society is that way. These things are not black and white. These moments are always gray.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

SHANNON:  After it was all written, I think I realized how much of my personal life I have slipped into the story. Sophia is very much like me when I was sixteen years old. She has a knife collection. (Something I do, in fact, have.) And she finds peace in a forest that she checks with her dog, Argos, who she loves very much. That was practically my life. I had acres I had to watch over, and my husky and I spent hours out there. Writing about it brought many happy memories back, but writing about the drug use was also very hard. When my mother first died, I never told anyone how it happened. I just avoided explaining it. But after many years passed, I slowly dealt with the fact that she had been addicted to drugs, and writing allowed me to explore a lot of those emotions. There’s a moment in Take Me Tomorrow where Sophia looks at Noah and states, “I could handle his drug-induced state. His sober state was more terrifying.” This line has been pointed out by readers, and I think that’s because it’s uncomfortable and true. Not for all situations, of course, but for some people who’ve had loved ones addicted. Sharing those moments can be scary, confusing, disheartening, and honest.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

SHANNON: Take Me Tomorrow is available everywhere – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, etc.

RW: What other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

SHANNON: The Timely Death Trilogy is an award-winning, paranormal romance, and it is also available everywhere. Minutes Before Sunset (book 1) explores the world of lights and shades, creatures that live among humans as humans, and two characters – Jessica and Eric – tell the story of two destinies and one death. Book 2, Seconds Before Sunrise, is also available, and Death Before Daylight, book 3, is releasing in January of 2015.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

SHANNON:  I am mainly found on my website – ShannonAThompson.com – where I talk about reading, writing, and publishing. We are so close to 18,000 followers! But I love connecting with anyone and everyone, so I am also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wattpad, Instagram, and more.

 

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

SHANNON:  In 2012, I was signed by AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., and they’ve represented The Timely Death Trilogy as well as Take Me Tomorrow. My poetry was published by LALUNA magazine and Kansa Publishing, and my short story was in The June Project. My first novel was done by Golden Eagle Publishing, but I’ve gotten my rights back, and I plan on re-releasing November Snow in November of 2015.

RW: What are you working on right now?

SHANNON:  For publication, I’m working on my content edits for Death Before Daylight, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, and November Snow. I have other works pending in various stages of publication, but I don’t like talking about them until they’re coming out – I’m a very superstitious person, and I always feel like I’m jinxing it if I talk about it with anyone but beta readers.

 

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

SHANNON:  One of my jobs at AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., is pre-reading novels before release, so I’ve been reading two novels we’re releasing – The Stars Are Infinite, book 2 of The Stars Trilogy, by Amber Skye Forbes and The Pandora Chronicles by Ryan Attard.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

SHANNON:  Research and research some more to make sure the path you take is the best one for both your novel and your goals. Traditional publishing, small press, and self-publishing all have pros and cons. Understanding those is key to achieving the type of publication you dream of.

RW: List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.

SHANNON:

There you have it all folks. Everything you need to know about Shannon. Below you will see her book trailer for Take Me Tomorrow, enjoy it. I once again thank Shannon for agreeing to join us today. I just cannot believe the generosity of the Literary Community in starting this site off in such a great way.

 

Much Love & Respect to You All

Ronovan

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What about those Reviews – The Good, The Bad, and the Confusing @JoRobinson176

LitWorldInterviews very own Jo Robinson,

Jo Robinson
Jo Robinson

shared something on her personal author blog that I thought was absolutely amazing, helpful, and something I have thought for so long.
Jump over and check it out. It’s a quick read that will help every aspiring author and established author as well to handle reviews we get of our work.

You get to see just one of the reasons I went after Jo so hard to be part of the LWI Team. Her experience is just a wealth for all of us to pull from.
Much Respect
Ronovan

Jo Robinson

If you publish with Amazon, you can be pretty certain that at some point or another you’re going to get a review that will make you scratch your head in confusion. The thing I like the most about these odd reviews is that it’s considered very bad form to ever answer one – I would hate to ever have to answer a rotten review. It’s not a good idea to answer any review for your book whether good or bad actually. Amazon reviews are a free forum type thing, and anyone who has read your book should be free to say what they thought about it without any fear of either a rant or a lot of fawning gratitude from the author.

Poor old Hannah. One of the first reviews that my Fly Birdie got was a two sentence one star clonker, where the reviewer said, “I was disgusted by…

View original post 708 more words

Writer’s Block

I love it when those super productive plot bunnies come to visit.  Those days when ideas for new plots, or new exciting twists for a work in process come streaming in hard and fast, and supply writing fodder for years to come.  But then sometimes you have those moments when you hit a brick wall writing a story.  You’re scribbling away, and then—.  Something needs to happen, and you realise that you haven’t got a clue what that something should be.  You think, and you think, and you stare at the screen.  You squish your face with the effort and hurl expletives at the world in general.  But still nothing comes.  A great big pile of nada.  It can be quite a frightening moment, and if you carry on pushing yourself for days or weeks to think of what comes next to the exclusion of anything else, you will end up scaring yourself into the back of a cupboard somewhere, quivering and muttering profanely turgid sentences about the tragic ending of your yellow brick writing road.

For me, rather than wasting time, and upsetting myself with thoughts of my absolute lack of any writing talent at all, or verbally abusing innocent passersby, there are a couple of things that I try to do instead, and one way or another that missing happening always arrives when it’s ready.  Without fail.  The first and easiest thing is to type in a whole lot of bold red exes so that there’s no chance of losing that plot black hole, and then carry on writing on the other side.  You obviously know why you need this event to happen – it is the cause for some outcome in your book, so just carry right on into the outcome and the event will eventually be revealed to you.  Promise.

If you’re just way too angry at your own ineptitude to write anything at all, then walk away from your computer and do something else.  It’s amazing how being tense can block up all creativity, just as it is the way being relaxed or doing something totally different can unplug that old blockage.  Run around your house – hop up and down in the garden – windmill your arms, or do the Makarena while singing it loudly.  Writers are supposed to get moving every hour anyway, to prevent the entire body from oozing downwards and pooling around your ankles after years spent unmoving in front of a computer.  Not a good look I would imagine.  Any old physical thing generally gets me going.  Get all those endorphins on the move, while at the same time gaining inspiration for future scribbles from the reactions to your awesome activities from your family and neighbours.

Edit.  Work on ideas for your covers.  Do some research.  Either for the event that has you stumped, or for any other project.  While you’re cramming up on the merits of murder by lily bulb, your brain is working on your problem behind the scenes, and the solution could pop up at any time.  Have a little faith in your writer’s mind – it’s probably more than a little strange, but it won’t let you down in the end.

Ideas come from the strangest places, as all you scribblers already know.  Television is great for inspiration, and for me, watching shows like Ancient Aliens classifies as research.  So get out the ice-cream or other equally healthy snack and settle into your couch to do some work.  Or for a little bit of fun, go play with a Random Plot Generator.  You never know what could be lurking in a bit of silliness to inspire you. Click on the image to read the brilliant computer generated story, and see – reviews too!

Willow   Plot Generator

LitWorldInterviews Author PS Bartlett WINS! @PSBartlett

LitWorldInterviews Author

PS Bartlett

of The Blue Diamond–The Razor’s Edge out Friday, Oct. 3

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GET HER LATEST
The Blue Diamond–TheRazor’s Edge

FRIDAY, OCT. 3

Read her interview here!

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Q&A Lisa Mason of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series @lisaSmason

the_garden_of_abracadabra

 The Garden of Abracadabra

Lisa Mason

 “This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more. “-D. Pflaster about The Garden of Abracadabra

Author of numerous books spanning over a surprising amount of time, I was very excited to have our guest today. She accepted with such sincerity and kindness I was encouraged about the literary world. Meet . . .

Lisa Mason

lisa_mason 

 

 

RW: Where are you from?

LISA: The heart of the Midwest. But I’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for so long, and love where I live so much, I consider myself a California native.

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

LISA: That has evolved over the years as my taste in fiction has evolved and broadened. While I was writing book reviews for Goodreads and skimming through works I’d previously read, I was struck at how some books and authors stand the test of time, while others aren’t as great as I’d remembered them.

E.B. White and P.L. Travers from my childhood reading remain fresh and delightful. Classical writers like Edith Wharton (domestic dramas), Margaret Mitchell (historical romance), and Raymond Chandler (hard-boiled 1940s detective mysteries) are always good for relaxation. In science fiction, Frank Herbert’s Dune still reads well, but Dan Simmons’ Hyperion isn’t quite as amazing as when I first read it.

In contemporary urban fantasy, I enjoy Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. In detective mysteries, I like the early Sue Graftons, not so much the later ones. In high fantasy, George R.R. Martin is of course the king, but I just don’t have time for 1,000 page books.

So there you have it. I like to read and write in different genres.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

LISA: Oh, like every red-blooded writer, coffee is essential in the morning. Later in the day, I enjoy chilled chardonnay. Throughout the day, I sip lots of cold spring water. I love water.

RW: What is your favorite word?

LISA: I like “murmur.” The word sounds just exactly like what it means. I like the symmetry of the spelling. “Susurrus” is a good one too, but not quite as usable as “murmur.”

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

LISA: My mother bought me lots of great books when I was a child. I loved reading and decided I wanted to be a writer. Stories and fantasies would pop into my head. I wrote my first book at age five. I’ve got it on my desk right now. It is 1¼ inches by 2 inches, hand-sewn, with two chapters lavishly illustrated by the author, and entitled, “Millie the Caterpillar.” Millie is despondent at being “a fat, green, hairy, little caterpillar.” Then spring comes, she breaks out of her cocoon, and “to her surprize, she found two beautiful red and black wings on her shoulders.” Happiness! The End.

I’ve thought ever since that surprise should be spelled with a z.

So you could say I got bit by the writing bug early on.

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

LISA: My latest novel-length work is The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series.

The title is a take on a classic memoir, The Garden of Allah, by Sheilah Graham, about a wild and crazy apartment complex in 1940s Hollywood (that no longer exists) where many famous actors lived before they hit big in the movies, as well as the “Round Table” New Yorker crowd of famous writers, who had come to Hollywood to write screenplays.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

LISA: Urban fantasy.

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

LISA: Urban fantasy is one of several genres I write in, and I like it for all the reasons I like to read and write in different genres.

I like the rich blend of fantasy tropes (magic and magicians, witches, wizards, vampires, shapeshifters, and demons) in a contemporary setting, often a city but not necessarily, and mystery tropes (detective work, murder and crime, police procedural), spiced up with dicey romance, troublesome relationship issues, and wit and whimsy interspersed with murder and mayhem.

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

LISA: At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus.

She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and that each apartment is a fairyland or hell.

On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before.

Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between humanity and demonic realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

 RW: What inspired the book?

LISA: Often inspiration springs from something quotidian. You’re in the shower. Or shopping for groceries. Or, in this instance, searching for a parking place in Berkeley.

Berkeley is a small historic university town across the Bay from San Francisco. The town is so crowded these days, searching for a parking place on the street is something of a quixotic quest.

As my husband and I were cruising through unfamiliar neighborhoods looking for that elusive space, we passed by a spectacular 1920s Mediterranean apartment building and were both instantly struck by its beauty.

But more than that, the place had a powerful vibe. It was spooky!

The idea sprang instantly to my mind: what if you were the superintendent of a building and discovered that every tenant was some stripe of supernatural being and every apartment was a portal to a fantasy world? To a fairyland or a hell?

Setting the book and the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts in Berkeley itself was a natural fit. Berkeley is not only home to the University of California, but several other eminent colleges as well.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

LISA: Abby is an everywoman, but she’s got magical power, so she’s special. She’s chosen. She’s still discovering herself and her power as an adult. She’s still exploring with whom she wants to share her life and her love.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

LISA: That’s up to the casting director!

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

LISA: That Magic exists all around us. The study of Real Magic is a powerful tool to help you in real life. And above all, Know Thyself! Think for yourself! We are bombarded from all sides by the media. It’s vital to keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to the truth.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

LISA: Life is an onward process of learning about yourself and the world. Never stop learning!

Describe your book in one word.

Magic!

RW: Where can we get your book now?

LISA: The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series, is forthcoming. With the publication of the second book, my publisher may produce print editions.

 

RW: What other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

LISA: My perennial bestseller is Summer of Love, originally published by Bantam, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. This is my Great American (Science Fiction) Novel, about a significant turning point in American history with both wonderful and terrible consequences. The book is also about a harrowing coming of age for a teenager, a friendship that ends in tragedy, and a love spanning centuries.

Summer Of Love on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

I love reading short stories and have published two dozen in magazines and anthologies worldwide. In September 2014, I sold another story, “Tearsdrop” to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’ll announce the publication date when I have it on my website.

I’ve long wanted a story collection and got one in 2013, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, which has won five-star reviews from the San Francisco Review of Books, the Book Brothers Blog, and Amazon readers. As I mulled over my previously published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these strange ladies came from.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

RW: What are you working on right now?

LISA: Although I love urban fantasy—and authors who are fifteen books into their series are still selling well—my sense is that some readers, and certainly the publishers, are searching for fresh ground. Dystopian fiction, which interests me less, seems to have run its course, as well.

I’m continuing my urban fantasy, The Abracadabra Series, for at least two more books and will consider more after I’ve wrapped up that trilogy arc.

I’ve got several YA ideas in development, as well as a children’s series. Forthcoming also is an adaptation of my early cyberpunk novels, Arachne and Cyberweb, as a Young Adult or New Adult piece, The Quester Trilogy. I’ve got another backlist series published by Bantam, Pangaea I and II, on the slate sometime down the road.

My main focus now is on a science fantasy with—I hope!—a new fresh exciting concept. I can’t say more about it!

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

LISA: I’ve got a To-Read List a mile long, but since I’m really, really busy (see above!), I don’t know when I’ll get to it. I’d like to read Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, The Night Circus, maybe Gone Girl (though I’m not sure after reading the mixed reviews). I love reading short stories, so any of the Year’s Best in F&SF are always a good bet.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

LISA: Read works you admire, write constantly (even notes and random ideas that you’ll never develop), study the craft of writing, and persevere.

Figure out your entry point into the marketplace—and make no mistake, it’s a marketplace. If, for example, you want to write another Gone With The Wind, but you’re more likely to break in with a simple romance, start with a simple romance.

If you’re writing science fiction and fantasy, selling short stories is a terrific (and time-honored) way to break in. No other genre offers as many opportunities to publish short fiction as F&SF. Even writers who now publish mostly mainstream works (Jonathan Lethem, Karen Joy Fowler), started out with stories in F&SF magazines.

That said, if you’re prepared to devote ten years to a masterpiece as your first book, be all means give it your best shot!

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

LISA: I power-walk three-and-a-half miles a day, usually seven days a week unless I need to travel out of town. That keeps me on track on a daily basis.

I also enjoy reading, watching movies, researching on the Internet, (usually the book business and what other writers are publishing), cooking for my family, a bit of gardening, and local field trips (usually research for a piece I’m working on).

I think it was Voltaire who said (I’m paraphrasing), “Live a quiet, ordinary life so you can be outrageous in your writing.”

Unless you’re writing a tell-all memoir about your road trip with Miley Cyrus, that’s sound advice!

RW: List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.

LISA: Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson and the galleries where he’s presently showing work, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

Now you know a few things about Lisa you may not have. I want to thank her again for this chance to learn more and for her allowing us to take up some of her time to answer our questions. Buy the books and follow her on her various sites. I am still excited she said yes.

 

 

summer_of_lovestrange_ladies_7_stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuchRespect

Ronovan

 

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She was never going back. #Book #Review of Deception by Eloise De Sousa @mello_elo

Title: Deceptiondeception_body_bag
Author: Eloise De Sousa
ISBN-10: 1291547955
ISBN-13: 978-1291547955
http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/
Pages: 234
Genre: Adult Crime-Romance

 

What’s it about?

Deception is a story about facing your past and learning to trust.

Amanda Glenson has a nice life working in a law firm in London while raising her 5 year old son Zachary. Unfortunately for her, a past that sent her fleeing from her home, her country on another continent, has finally caught up with her. There is no way around facing it; she must return home to Zimbabwe.

Enter Alex Edwards a lawyer brought in specifically to handle a situation in Zimbabwe for the law firm Amanda works for. Sparks fly between the two, only for Alex to discover he will be taken along for the ride into Amanda’s past, a coincidence that fate brings about. Two people with tainted pasts join together in a quest to find truth.

Highlights of the Book

236 pages of every kind of emotion keeps you reading.  The suspense makes you want to read it in one sitting. Who did what? How are Amanda and Alex connected? What is the Deception? And how does little Zachary play a role in the story?

De Sousa brings a realistic feel to the story and her imagery is perfect. She writes what she knows–London and Africa. Authentic in her knowledge of her environment, she carries you along on a tour of her image memories. This in part is what makes it a good, easy flowing read.

The deception title is all through the book in so many ways you have to keep guessing what is the deception. You won’t guess but you can try.

Romance, desire, heat, and all done well with taste and great imagery that gives you just enough to let you become part of the story, but not so much to drive you away from it. Very well done, classy.

Challenges of the Book

There are several interesting characters that could have greater depths in personality and add to the story. There were some opportunities for the male protagonist, Alex, to have done more on several levels. That being said some of the emotional aspects of the character were perfect.

What do you get from it?

Trust is a hard thing to do.

What would I change if anything?

I would have used Alex a little more and turned up either a bit more of the action or perhaps liked to have seen a little more intense dialogue exchanges to increase the tension that made the insides twist wanting more.

Who would I recommend this book to?

The book is classified as a Adult Crime Romance, but to me, it could also be classified as Suspense Drama. There are Romance elements in the book but are not driving points of the story. When Romance is part of the story, it is done very well.

Ratings:product_thumbnail.php4
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Ovearall Rating: 3.8

 

Buy it at:
 Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: 8.41 USD
Kindle: .99 USD
Alternate Purchsing:

Amazon U.K., Lulu.com

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Eloise De Sousa

 

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Q&A Olga Núñez Miret of Escaping Psychiatry @OlgaNM7

Escaping Psychiatry finalEscaping Psychiatry

Olga Núñez Miret

“All three stories offer a great insight into psychological work and naturally allow the wonderfully interesting characters to be explored with depth and analytical sharpness.
On the way the author manages to include deep thoughts aboout a variety of subjetcs, making this a thoughtful and enjoyable read.”-ChristopherFischerBooks

“Through the genuinely interesting characters in her book, Olga weaves a so quite spellbinding study into the dynamics of life. Once one begins reading, it really truly IS difficult to put down. “– Dr. Glen Hepker (author of “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health)

“Olga Nunez Miret writes with a fine eye for the minutiae of human motivations and interactions. I, for one, hope this is not the last we have seen of the author’s central character, the reluctant psychiatrist, Mary. She deserves more outings than a paltry three.”-Diogenes

When I first learned of my guest today and read about her I was truly amazed at all this lady was/is. I think I actually used the word fascinating when I first talked to her. Of course that put her on my list of musts to interview for the site. The fact that she agreed to an interview considering her busy life thrills me. You don’ t want to read any further form me. Meet . . .

Olga Núñez Miret

 

RW: Where are you from?

OLGA: I’m from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (so far. There are proposals for voting for independence but at the moment it’s still in Spain).

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

OLGA: There are a number of authors I love, some I’d been reading since I was quite young (like Louisa May Alcott. Little Women and the character Jo was a great influence in my love for writing. I’ve also liked Oscar Wilde since I was very young). I love horror stories and Stephen King’s books in particular. I also always try to read all of John Irving’s books. I’m from Barcelona and I read in Spanish and Catalan too and Mercé Rodoreda is one of my firm favourites, although I also love Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. I studied American Literature and discovered some of their classics (Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne…) and some more recent ones (F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner…). I always try to read anything by Tony Morrison. In more recent years I’ve become quite interested in Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood… And since I started publishing I’ve got to know and love many independent writers, but there are too many to mention. I’ve always felt happy with a book in my hands, since I was very young and that’s never changed (although now I also use an e-reader that makes packing much easier!).

 

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

OLGA: I’m not a drinker of tea or coffee, or hot drinks in general. Hot chocolate if it’s very cold, but Spanish hot chocolate is quite different to what we get in the UK and I’ve never quite got used to other versions. Freshly squeezed orange juice, water, and I must confess to being a fan of Pepsi Max and other low-calorie cola drinks. I don’t drink alcohol either. Matter of taste not of conviction.

 

 

RW: What is your favorite word?

OLGA: In Spanish probably susurro. In English….Not sure. Joy?

 

 

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

OLGA: I’ve always been a reader, and I started writing when I was quite young, although longer stories from my teenage years. I’ve always loved literature and I used to exchange stories with other friends who were as interested in stories as I was. Later on I studied Medicine and became a Psychiatrist but I’ve always carried on reading and writing. I’m not very good at settling for anything (only the old favourites) and studied a degree in American Literature and went on to do a PhD (nominally under the American Literature umbrella although I wrote about the films of David Mamet). Many of my stories have been lost in the midst of time and bad storage, but over the years I’ve also taken a couple of courses on creative writing and short-story writing and some of the books I’ve published have been a labour of many years. I guess what makes me a writer is that I love to write.

 

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

OLGA: I love to exercise and do it most days but usually a nice walk is always inspiring and relaxing for me. I rarely have to escape from writing, although I do from things related to it (marketing, editing…). I also like to go to the cinema or the theatre but those work out more like organised escapes and sources of inspiration rather than real escape valves.

RW: What is the title of your book?

OLGA: Since I started publishing in October 201 2 I’ve published a number of books, longer and shorter. At the moment I have one novel (The Man Who Never Was), two shorter works of fiction (Twin Evils? and Family, Lust and Cameras), a romantic novel where the reader can choose between three endings (Click Me Happy!), and a collection of three stories Escaping Psychiatry. I will talk about this one in more detail. Ah, I have also published all of these books in Spanish.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

OLGA: Escaping Psychiatry would fit into the psychological thriller genre.

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

OLGA: The book is a collection of three stories: Cannon Fodder, Teamwork, and Memory, with the same main protagonists.

RW: What inspired the book?

OLGA: I wrote Cannon Fodder many years back (in 1998-9) when I was studying at Mount Holyoke as part of my degree in American Literature. I had been reading and studying about American History and the Civil Rights Movement and due to my work as a psychiatrist I got an idea for a story that would combine the two. I showed it to several people I knew, including some of my lecturers, who liked it but commented it was too long for a short story (between 60 and 70 pages) but too short for a novel. One of them suggested that I might want to consider writing other stories with the same main character and publishing them together. I noted the comment but didn’t do much about it until 2 or 3 years ago, when I’d gone back to working in psychiatry and had finished a Masters in Criminology, and that left me a bit more time to go back to my writing. As I was working in forensic psychiatry, that combined with the topic of my recent studies made me go back to look at the story and think up of some others that could involve the same character.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

OLGA: Mary, a psychiatrist and writer, is the main character of the book. She’d love to dedicate herself fully to writing, but people she knows and circumstances conspire to keep bringing her back into her other professional arena. In ‘Cannon Fodder’ one of her best friends, Phil, a lawyer, asks her to provide a report on a young man , Cain, who’s been accused of causing public disturbance and inciting a riot. This man says he can hear God and God is black. In the process of assessing Cain, Mary not only discovers many secrets about the man’s family but opens herself up to discovering a few things about herself. The other two stories are more straight forward thrillers, but the psychological aspect is always pretty central to the plot.

Mary is very insightful in her professional life but cannot help getting personally involved in the cases she comes across. She tries to do right by everybody but in some occasions that comes at a high personal cost. Phil, her lawyer friend, also appears in the three stories, and a bit like Mary, we get to know more and more about him throughout the three stories.

The cases involve a variety of characters, but I think what helps them connect to readers is that things aren’t clear cut and characters are complex, not all good or bad. Also the fact that in the first two stories we see things from Mary’s point of view makes us share with her in the doubts and feelings that she might try very hard to keep from others and puts us in a privileged position.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

OLGA: I haven’t given it much thought. There are many great actresses around, but now that you make me think about it… the actress in the original Danish version of The Killing, Sofie Gråbøl, would be great.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

OLGA: If there is a message it would be that nobody is perfect and appearances can be deceptive, but that works both ways. Somebody who seems to be a pillar of society can in reality be anything but, but we also need to be weary of pigeonholing people due to their appearance, colour, religion, sexual preference, social class, or anything else, because we might well be projecting onto others our own fears and prejudices.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

OLGA: Engaging. Or thought-provoking.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

OLGA: It is available in all the usual suspects in e-format (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Foundry…) and also in paper through Amazon. There is also a wonderful audio version narrated by Emmy Award Winner writer, actor and director Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet) available in Amazon, Audible and i-Tunes.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

OLGA: I am in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, have my own blog where I blog about writing, random things, but also about other authors and books, I have an author page in Amazon and Goodreads, have a website , I’m also in Tumbler, Google Plus and Stumble. I belong to a number of author groups and several readers and writers groups in Facebook and Goodreads. I have shared my e-mail in my website also. I’ve shared some videos in You Tube….If anybody tries to contact me and I don’t answer straight away I’m likely to be writing or translating.

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

OLGA: No, I don’t. I guess I’d like my ideal agent to be a combination of a great PA, a good friend, somebody very adept at marketing, and a magician. I’d like to find somebody to bounce ideas on, who would be able to encourage me but also tell me when something was likely to go wrong, and somebody who would know the market and the publishing business inside out. And somebody who would love writing and books as much as I do.

RW: What are you working on right now?

OLGA: I am in the final stages of correcting a sweet romance, I Love Your Cupcakes, set in the world of TV cooking and baking competitions. I had the idea a while back and I felt it was time for something upbeat and cheerful. Once this is ready I want to finish writing a Young Adult series called Angelic Business, about a young girl’s involvement with celestial (and less so) beings. I’ve written the first two novels but I’ve decided to complete the third one and translate them all before publishing them at short intervals, so people won’t have to wait ages to get the full story.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

OLGA: I’ve started reading Under the Tuscan Sun in French (Sous le soleil de Toscane) that I found at Père Lachaise cemetery with a note asking to read it and pass it on. As I had just visited Florence I had to take it (and it will also be good to practise French!). I’ve just finished reading a book by an author friend, Francis Molehorn, in Spanish La piel del pecado and I’m planning to start reading Waldek the translation of the best-seller book La búsqueda by fantastic writer Blanca Miosi. I review books for BTS e-Magazine and I’m waiting to receive the next book to review for them.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

OLGA: Do not despair just because you think your book doesn’t fit into one of the best known genres or is not about the topics that make it into the best-selling list. If you really want to write about something, do it. With regards to getting published, explore all options. It is very difficult to approach the big publishing companies without much of a writing record or agent representation, but consider other options like small publishing companies (beware of what used to be called ‘vanity publishing’ and anybody who offers to publish for a fee…), and self-publishing. Even if you don’t feel confident on how to do some of the things, there are people who offer their specific services, lot of advice on line, and I’ve found other authors very generous in sharing their expertise and advice. Seek them out. Of course, write the best book you can, correct it, edit it but above all, never stop writing. And be prepared to keep going. Don’t expect immediate success. But if you really love it, do it.

 

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

OLGA: Wow! That’s a question! Probably La Plaça del Diamant (The Time of the Doves or In Diamond Square depending on the translation) or Moby Dick.

 

I want to thank Olga for agreeing to an interview. Such an intelligent woman with a wide variety of literary offerings and no sign of settling on one genre. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Welcome Jo Robinson to the LitWorldInterviews Team! @jorobinson176

Welcome Jo Robinson to the LitWorldInterviews Team!

Jo Robinson
Jo Robinson

 

As soon as I interviewed Jo I knew I needed her to join me on this adventure in helping authors be promoted and give her invaluable advice as a successful self published author. What makes someone a success? She is doing it and doing it and it’s her choice and she knows it inside and out. Her goal in may ways will be to help authors see how self publishing can be done by pointing them in the right direction while also giving her own tips on writing along the way. She brings a wealth of expertise in the self publishing arena as well as an author. I am blown away she said yes when asked to join up!

 

Thank you Jo for joining LitWorldInterviews!

 Make sure to check out Jo’s site and her books as well.

 

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The Rules

Jo Robinson
Jo Robinson

A lot of indie authors are pretty rigid with their writing rules. There’s nothing wrong with this when it’s your style, and self-imposed. You’ll have problems though if rigid rules don’t fit well with your character, and you’ve only inflicted them on yourself because a successful and well known writer said that that’s what you should be doing if you ever want to succeed. “Must” is often the word lurking behind procrastination in any field, and when it comes to creative souls, I believe it could shut down production pretty well.

The minute we’re told we must do something, our subconscious goes into overdrive, bombarding us with all the ways we could fail, and settles like a lump in your mind, effectively blocking all those wonderful sentences that had been champing at the bit to leap onto your pages. This fear can be good in small doses. When you have to do one particular finite job, it can goad you into stepping up to the plate and giving it your best shot, purely so that you can put it behind you and move on. But if it’s a rule that you see looming into your entire future career, it could very well be daunting enough for some to throw in the towel rather than risk failure.

If you are told that in order to be any sort of author worth your salt that you MUST write a minimum of X amount of words every single day, and you MUST avoid adverbs, and you must this or that or the other thing – and you believe it – even though your writing regime and style are miles away from that, you’re pretty much going to knobble yourself. If it is your own personal goal to churn out ten books a year, and your personal writing style is naturally succinct, then apply those rules to yourself without fear. On the other hand, if you like to toss in a couple of flowery or acrimonious adverbs now and then (as I do), and if forcing yourself to write thousands of words every day raises your cortisol levels to terrifying heights, then you really shouldn’t, because even if you do manage to get any words down they’re not likely to be the ones that you would have written under your own steam. Fine for businesslike articles, but not so much for creative fiction or non-fiction.

We have more than enough fear already as writers, whether previously published or not. Thoughts pop up that what we publish will be laughed under tables all over the place, or that readers will guess which bits of our fiction aren’t really fiction at all, and think that we’re just plain weirdoes, and so on, and so on. Write your own book at your own pace, and in whatever style is yours without worrying about what anyone will think, until you’ve written the very last word of it. Then you can worry about grammar while you’re doing your dreaded edits. And just because a particular way of writing is believed by many modern authors to be the most well received, that doesn’t mean that it’s true. There is nothing wrong with a couple of well placed adverbs in any story for instance. They can add feeling and depth to a sentence. We use them in our speech after all, so why should they be excluded from the written word?

So yes, read what other authors say about their own success stories. Read all the advice out there, but think it through first as it would apply to you, and follow your own heart and style when you write your own. Many of the most wildly successful books were written in styles and by writers who conformed to nobody but themselves, and broke so many of the rules that they wouldn’t have stood a chance if they had followed the pack.

Get Luccia Gray’s All Hallows at Eyre Hall for #Kindle for .99 NOW! @LucciaGray

 

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Q&A P.S. Bartlett-The Blue Diamond: THE RAZOR’S EDGE @PSBartlett

Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite
“It’s not often I read stories about female pirates and I am impressed with The Blue Diamond (The Razor’s Edge Book One). P.S. Bartlett writes an entertaining novel that offers great action, adventure and witty dialogue. The personalities of Ivory and her cousins are complex, but I easily connected with them. These are independent, free spirited women with lusty appetites, especially Miranda. Their sense of humour shines through any situation they are placed in. I liked this romantic story which includes some historical data to make it appropriate for that era.”

*This Book Was Given To Me By The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review* Amanda Masters of Nerd Girl Reviews 5 out of 5 Stars
“Great Story! full of adventure and pirates! P.S. Bartlett is a wonderful storyteller and her characters are full of life and woe and they go from ship to ship plundering and pillaging. I found myself caught up more and more by their story as I got to know more about them and I can’t wait to read more! These are some of the mose interesting pirates I have come across in a long time!”
Kindle Ninja 5 out of 5 Stars
“There’s a feisty pirate at sea and she’s not to be messed with. Swashbuckling Ivory “Razor” Shepard, with three of her equally fearless female cousins, set sail to escape the manhunt, err femalehunt. Forget damsels in distress, you won’t find them in here. Instead, you’re treated to a rampaging story dressed up in the trappings of pirate lore.”
 ps-bartlett

 The Blue Diamond: THE RAZOR’S EDGE

 

History, adventure and a touch of romance. Is there any wonder why I wanted to interview my guest today? Veteran of several novels and a great conversationalist, I might add, P.S. Bartlett was a must as soon as I met her. So now without any more words, meet  . . .

Author_Photo

 

RW: Where does a Pirate Adventure Romance author live?

P.S.: I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I grew up in a corner row home in South Baltimore. Now they call it Federal Hill but when I was growing up there, Federal Hill was just a big hill overlooking the inner harbor where we rode our bikes and went sledding because the hills were awesome. It is also a national monument.

RW: Why do you write about Pirates?

P.S.: I love history. I love doing research and learning something with each book I write.

RW: Where did the title The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge come from?

P.S.: The reason for choosing that name is simple; the book is about a big blue diamond. The Razor is the main character and the Razor’s Edge means…well, you’ll have to read it to figure that part out for yourself. 😉

RW: I did read it but I won’t give the reason away. Tell those that haven’t read the book what The Blue Diamond is about.

P.S.: The best way I’ve found to describe it in a simple way is: Charlie’s Angels meet the Pirates of the Caribbean. However, here is the blurb: Ivory Shepard didn’t want to be a pirate when she grew up but she didn’t plan on being orphaned and alone at thirteen with her three cousins either.

RW: Ivory and her cousins were basically orphaned after a Spanish raid, that’s not giving away anything of the story, what happens next that ends up leading them to lives as pirates?

P.S.: Ivory held her cousins together, trained them to fight for their lives and led them to a life of quiet refuge on the banks of the Ashley River. Out of reach of the hands of unscrupulous men, they found life on the farm a tolerable substitute for the traditional alternatives life would force onto them—until the night the pirates showed up.

Setting foot on that first pirate ship was nothing compared to the life of freedom and adventure awaiting them, once Ivory and the girls were through playing nice. Only one man believes he can stop her and he won’t need a ship full of guns to do it.

If it were only that easy…

RW: Is it ever that easy when romance is involved? Tell us what inspired the book?

P.S.: Who knows where my crazy ideas come from, right? I love pirates, adventure and stories about powerful women. I mushed them all together and this is what came out my head.

RW: Ivory and the man Maddox Carbonale are the main, I guess I will say love interests, protagonists in the book. In my review I referred to their relationship as similar to Rhett and Scarlett from Gone with the Wind. Two leaders, strong willed and strong minded who meet and fireworks begin, tell us about them and who else we’ll find in The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge.

P.S.: Ivory is strong, proud and capable but she is also wounded deep inside. She’ll kill or die to protect her family—and has. Fortunately, she and her cousins are survivors. All four women are completely different but I believe they represent women of every century.

Cassandra: The voice of reason and logical thinking.

Miranda: Passionate, willful and loving—and perhaps a bit promiscuous.

Keara: Stern and matter of fact. She’s small but she’s a spitfire and true leader.

The male protagonist is Maddox Carbonale. He is a rival captain and an interesting man. He enjoys the finer things in life, even if he does steal them. He reads Shakespeare and isn’t the sort to engage in down and dirty deeds.

Alphonse Green is Maddox’s Quartermaster and best friend. He’s a native Jamaican and is both Maddox’s right hand and his conscience.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

P.S.: Fearless!

RW: The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge is your first trip into Adventure, but you’ve written two other books, one that has actually won a few awards. Tell us about them.

P.S.: My first two novels: Fireflies and Hope From the Ocean are the first two books in a series about the Whelan family. They are an Irish immigrant family. Both stories take place in the 19th Century and have paranormal elements and tell quite a bit of the family saga.

RW: You failed to mention the Reader’s Favorite Awards for Fireflies. But I just did so we’ll let it go for now. So being a pirate lady, is your favorite beverage rum with gunpowder in it like Blackbeard?

P.S.: Coffee—the darker roast the better. No sugar but I love sugar free flavored creamers of pretty much any kind.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

P.S.: Besides the fact that I can write an awful lot, I suppose that I really am living out some great fantasies through my writing.

RW: What are you working on right now?

P.S.: I am currently writing book three in the Fireflies series and preparing to launch The Blue Diamond.

RW: Tell us about your publishing as it stands right now.

P.S.: I am currently with Ravenswood Publishing but down the road, I would hope an agent could be a possibility. Obviously I want to be a bestseller some day and I know someone is going to have to sell my books up the chain. Right now, I’m very happy with Ravenswood and the owner, Kitty Honeycutt. She’s been a fabulous advocate for my books.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

P.S.: Write the BEST possible book you can. Learn as much as you can about the publishing industry so you can make the right choices for yourself.

RW: Sometimes our stories or our characters just don’t cooperate with us and we want to tear our hair out. What do you do to let that go?

P.S.: Playing with my three granddaughters or just hanging out chatting and having fun with my girlfriends watching a football game.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

P.S.: I’m finishing up the first book in the Outlander series. I’m hoping to read book two by Christmas. When you work a full time job, write, have a family, grandchildren and husband, finding precious time to read is a blessing.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

P.S.: If I’m going way, way back, I’d have to start with the master himself, Stephen king. I loved horror and after I read Carrie in middle school, I was hooked. I also love Anne Rice, Jane Austen and in high school, I was obsessed with William Shakespeare.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

P.S.: Gone with Wind. I don’t know why. I suppose because it is a masterpiece of historical fiction.

 

How to acquire P.S. Bartlett’s books at Amazon!

The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge

Fireflies

Hope From the Ocean

 

Where to find P.S. Bartlett online:

Web Site

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Facebook

Goodreads

LinkedIn

Pinterest

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The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge Book Trailer

 

 

 

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Self-Publishing is the Future-Guest Post by Author-Kimberly Castillo @K_A_Castillo

Self-Publishing is the Future

by Kimberly Castillo

Kimberly_Castillo

 

 

 

 

Author of The Convenience of Lies

 

Two separate small publishers offered me contracts to publish The Convenience of Lies. I turned both of them down because I didn’t like the terms they were offering. For both contracts I would receive minimal royalties (less than $0.25/copy sold), would be required to do all of my own publicity, and I would have to sign away the rights to my book. One publisher even required me to pay my own editor! At that point, it seemed like all the publishers were really providing for me was cover art and prestige, and for a very high price.

To be honest, I didn’t want to sell myself out like this. The Convenience of Lies is a project I started 10 years ago and I have truly invested my heart, time, money, and soul. While I was shopping my book around the traditional publishing world, it fell into the hands of an editorial reviewer, who gave me a glowing review of my work. Not only that, but my mom is a high school English teacher and she’s had boys in her class who don’t like to read complete it in one night, by choice. I was not about to let a traditional publisher take advantage of my creation.

At the same time as I was querying publishers, I was also researching self-publishing. I discovered that I could self-publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace and receive royalties of over $5.00/copy, which is more than a 20x increase from traditional publishing. Also, CreateSpace has a cover creator tool that I could use to generate the cover, and has a print on demand option. Meaning, when someone orders my book from Amazon, CreateSpace prints it, takes their cut of the profit, and sends me the royalties. There is no up-front cost for either party.

Not only is self-publishing arguably a better business decision, due to the internet it is now the choice of the future. We are in an era where we don’t need a publisher to reach our audience. The internet has cut out the middle man and made it so that artists can reach their audience directly. This applies not only to publishing your book, but also to promoting your book. Between tumblr, twitter, facebook, reddit, and the blogosphere, you can reach out directly to readers as I am doing now. Keep in mind that many traditional publishers require authors to do this promotional work. So, let me ask you, what is that traditional publisher really doing for its authors?

As ironic as it is for me to say as an author, the world of traditional publishing is ending. Artists can now affordably create professional works and also reach their audience as never before. Not only that (and a real cincher) the author can also keep possession of the rights to their works through self-publishing. The world of traditional publishing is simply taking too much from authors and not giving them enough in return. The internet has cut out the middle man with the connections and has given you direct access to those connections. As they say, it is simply up to you to seize this opportunity.

 

Kimberly Castillo  

http://www.kacastillo.blogspot.com/

Buy Convenience of Lies at Amazon

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The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of either ronovanwrites.wordpress.com or litworldinterviews.wordpress.com. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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Jo Robinson #Kindle #Books #Free & .99 #Amazon !!!! @jorobinson176

You can still get Fly Birdie and The Visitation each for .99! The other special prices have expired.

Jo Robinson,

Jo Robinson (2)

Blog

 

one of our interviewees, has marked her books at .99 for the first time and some are

FREE!

This will not last forever, so click it and get it . . .

NOW!

 

Fly Birdie

FREE!

Fly Birdie

The Visitation

FREE!

The Visitation

 

Shadow People (The Finding Book 1)

For .99

Shadow People

African Me & Satellite TV

For .99

AM Cover V1 - Copy

 

 

 

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Q&A Jo Robinson African Me & Satellite TV @jorobinson176

AM Cover V1 - CopyAfrican Me & Satellite TV

Jo Robinson

“Even though this is not the type of story I would normally read, I enjoyed the other three different themed books by this author (Fly Birdie, The Visitation and Shadow People) so much that I decided to try this latest one – and I’m glad I did, because it let me see yet another aspect of her talent as a writer.”-Chris Graham

The author has done a masterful job describing a wide range of characters. The artistic Suzette, the rugged men who work the land, the cook, maid, and tragic gardner – all have distinct personalities that leapt off the page. Enter the villainous couple who I wanted the smack from the moment I met them.”-Mark Myers

There is never a dull moment in the Hertzog household, which consists of Suzette, her loving husband Herman, their cook, Precious, the gardener, Christopher and their dog and cat who are like their children.
The novel is set in today’s Zimbabwe and Suzette, the main character – a white woman of Afrikaner heritage – cares a lot about justice and despises prejudice of any sort. Her problem is that she doesn’t want to rock the boat, is scared of most things but especially public speaking.
When the Shermans move in next door, with their ugly, racist and mean attitude, Suzette is beginning to find it difficult to contain her rage.”-Carol Balawyder

 

I met my guest today through what I call Blog World, the land of blogdom. We followed each other and enjoyed each others posts. Then I discovered she was an author and . . . of course . . . I had to ask for an interview. I don’t ask everyone, but she’s an amazing lady and I find her posts enjoyable and I needed to find out more. So without any more from me, it’s time to meet . . .

Jo Robinson

Jo Robinson (2)

 

RW: Tell us where you’re from?

JO: I was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, but spent most of my childhood in Johannesburg and my

twenties in Cape Town.  After that I lived in Zimbabwe – out in the rural lands – until last year, when I

came back home to South Africa.  And very happy to be back, even though I’ll never forget the people

I met, the adventures I had, and the lessons that Zimbabwe taught me.

 

 

RW: And who would you say are your favorite authors?

JO: There aren’t many genres that I don’t like to read, so my favorite authors probably look a little mismatched.  I’ve always loved horror, with Stephen King at the top of that pile for me. 

Ever since I read Carpet People by Terry Pratchett when I was young, I’ve been madly in love with that man –I’ve read most of his books at least three times each. 

I’m a big sci-fi and fantasy fan too, so James Herbert, Asimov of course, Anne McCaffrey, and Piers Anthony are major faves. 

I also love Joanna Trollope’s gentle style of writing, and Philippa Gregory’s historical books.

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

JO: I very seldom drink anything other than water during the day – boring, I know, I know, but I’m a big fan of wildly colored cocktails with umbrellas and swizzle sticks in them for now and then, and champagne and orange with breakfast now and then is not a bad thing at all.

 

 

RW: What is your favorite word?

JO: Goodness!  I never knew I had one, but the first word that pops up now is love.  It’s the answer to most questions and problems after all.

 

 

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

JO: I started writing quite abruptly a couple of years ago.  I never thought about it, or planned it.  It just happened.  I was sitting at the kitchen table writing out a shopping list, and it went something like: Milk – Bread – Bog Roll – and then the first few paragraphs of African Me & Satellite TV happened. I’ve never changed them either.  The way they are now in the book is the way that they came out then.  I’d actually forgotten until recently, that I had just started a new job as a reporter for a small town newspaper when I was eighteen, and I got to interview the junior Miss Bethal and write up the article just before my mother passed away.  It was published without any editing and I got a pat on the back for a job well done, but things got a bit crazy after that and writing never occurred to me again.

Reading on the other hand – I did that all the time.

 

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

JO: I have quite a lot of loves, and fortunately these days my writing helps to bring them all together.  I paint, and cook, and garden, and just lately I’m trying my hand at photography and digital painting too.  The art and the photography aren’t guilty pleasures because those two things will hopefully help with future covers and book projects, but being out in the sun, or spending hours in a kitchen full of gorgeous aromas are pretty good explosion stoppers for me.

(I have to intrude, I now want to be in her kitchen.)

 

 

RW: What genre does African Me & Satellite TV fall into?

JO: Fictional Drama

 

 

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

JO: It’s about heartbreak caused by hatred and racism, and about healing with love and courage.

“For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in

it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens.

Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.

After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And then an unexpected hero changes everything.

Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.

On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.”

 

 

RW: What inspired the book?

JO: I saw a terrible verbal racist attack take place on a street in Zimbabwe.  White person screaming abuse – black person standing silently looking at the ground until the white person made an exit with screeching wheels bouncing off the pavement.  It sort of smacked me in the face then that we had all just stood and gaped.  Not a single one of us had uttered a word or stepped in, when somebody really, really should have.  The foulness of that incident stayed in the back of my mind for a long time, and eventually became the inspiration for African Me.

 

 

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

JO: hey’re human, and they have flaws.  Suzette has quite a few to be honest, and until you get to know her you might want to give her a little shake or two.  Christopher has suffered a great deal in his life, and fallen at one of life’s hurdles, so he’s also flawed.  But they have strengths too.  I think that all of the characters in this story came to life with their own very distinctive traits – good, bad, or just plain odd, and I’m pretty fond of most of them, warts and all.

 

 

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

JO: Funny you should ask that – it has occurred to me.  I suppose all of us scribblers consider that now and then.  I would go for Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman – in fact they were made for these roles!  Hang on a bit – just off to email them…..

charlize_theron morgan_freeman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

JO: That all humans need to respect all other humans as equals, and treat them as such, because at the end of the day it is the truth.  And that when some who feel so terribly superior to others have hatred in their hearts, and act out on it, only sorrow and loss can result.

 

 

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JO: That’s a sneaky one!  I think it will have to be “Live”, as in – Live your life.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

JO: There are several options:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

 

 

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

JO: Mainly through my blog, which is my favourite place to be online, and I have Contact Me pages there and also on my website.  Google+ is lovely and interactive, and Twitter is great for chats.  I don’t have much time to spend on Facebook these days, although I’m going to try and make some.  The problem with Facebook is that once you open it up, you fly through some sort of warped and twisted portal that turns what you think are minutes into hours. And of there is also Goodreads.

 

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

JO: I’ve never looked for an agent or publisher, and the couple that offered didn’t look overly fantastic to me.  I’ve worked very hard to learn what I know now about independent publishing, so I would have to be offered a very good deal to hand over the reins to any of my work, and with my control issues I don’t think that I’d be easy to work with.  I wouldn’t like to work with me that way.  Apart from my short story with Springbok Publications I only represent myself.  Like it like that.

 

 

SP2 The Hunger - Version 1 2

 

RW: What are you working on right now?

JO: I’ve had a lot of major interruptions to my work this past year and things have piled up, so I’m working on polishing three books at the moment, and I’ll publish all of them within weeks of each other probably.  The Hunger is the second book in my Shadow People series.  Emmaline, which is the first in my Ghost Writer collection, and a third, which even though it does have a title, I probably won’t share that until I publish it.  Or maybe I will – just not yet.

 

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JO: I have a large pile of indie published books that I’m reading my way through to review right now on my Kindle, but at the same time I’m slowly reading the paper version of Further Along The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck.  I loved the first book, and this one is also the kind of book that takes time to read in little bits, because of all the long pauses to stop and think a while.

 

 

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

JO: Write it and then do it.  For an indie published writer, my advice would definitely be not to publish the book that you’ve been slaving away on for years first.  Publish a shorter story to begin with to learn the ropes a little, figure out how things work, see how other authors are marketing their books, and then head on in with your novel.  Especially if you don’t already have much of an online presence -you’ll be to talking to the wall if there’s nobody in the room to buy your book.  Also, don’t be shy to ask for help with the technical bits.  Writers are kind souls, and they are mostly all willing to help you with your first time round.

 

 

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

JO: I can think of a couple that I would have liked to have watched being written so I could get inside their authors heads, but I can’t think of any that I would have liked to have written myself – apart from Harry Potter because if I had I’d be rolling in dough and have all the time in the world to write my own stuff, and not have to worry about crusts of bread and so on.

 

~~~~

I would like to thank Jo for agreeing to the interview today and I am going to be begging for her to come back when it’s time for the release of her new books. I think when she described her book in one were she was describing what she does. I think we can all agree that Jo Robinson does live a life to its fullest.

 

GET HER BOOKS Starting Saturday September 20, 2014 for .99 and FREE for Kindle. See our other note about it.

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Much Respect

Ronovan

 

 

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Q&A w/Cyril Bussiere of The WorldMight @cyrilbussiere

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“The writing is utterly descriptive and sensory oriented and it really gets you to experience what the characters are going through.”-Dan

“This book is set in a fantasy land, and Bussiere does a fantastic job at painting a scene. You instantly fall in love with the characters, and the character development is phenomenal. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction.”-Alyssa from Lubbock, TX

“Spell binding. I didn’t want the book to end. In The WorldMight Cyril Bussiere weaves together a world of fantasy and the deep, complex questions of life. The characters are wonderfully and fully drawn.”-V.C.

 ~~~

I’ve known Cyril Bussiere for some time now. He’s a guy with a great sense of humor but who is way to smart at times. Sometimes you just wish he could stop thinking, but you know it’s not going to happen. Cyril did an interview with me back when I first started doing them but now we have a new one about his book The WorldMight and of course a little about the man behind it.

Now it’s time for you to meet . . .

Cyril Bussiere

copyright_Cyril_Bussiere_All_Rights_Reserved@cyrilbussiere

RW: Tell everyone your interesting path to where you currently find yourself?

CYRIL: I was born in Avignon, France and spent my youth in Marseille, Provence by the Mediterranean Sea.

Cyril Journey

After high school and a brief stint in Med School, I left for the US. There I got my B.S. in Biology from the University of Utah and then my PhD in Microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

CYRIL: Tough one, among a good fifty, the ones that marked me the most are Kazantzakis, Nietzsche, Stephen King, and Emile Cioran.

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

CYRIL: A light beer like a Shiner or a Blue Moon. But they don’t last long.

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point of overload or writer’s block?

CYRIL: Something mindless. Right now I’m getting back into classical guitar after a five year hiatus, so I do a lot of that. I’m also involved with Big Brother Big Sister and my little lent me Grand Theft Auto V so I’m playing that too.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

CYRIL: I was trained in microbiology and the last thing I wrote before getting into fiction was my Ph.D. thesis (you can find it here if you’re into that kind of stuff, or would enjoy a headache right about now). I wrote a lot as a youth, but  only poetry and some short plays.  Most people who knew me before I graduated from high school were surprised when I went into science rather than literature.

As far as being a writer, I instinctively shy away from labels, they always feel so reducing (as if we’re not stuffed into enough boxes already). So instead of calling myself a writer, I prefer saying that I write, the difference is probably more about how one feels about it than anything else, but that’s where I stand.

RW: What genre does The WorldMight fall into?

CYRIL: I’d say it’s a mystical fantasy imbued with romance. It contains a good dose of philosophy too and has spiritual stuff interwoven throughout the plot. At its core it is a drama in the classical sense where events long passed have far reaching consequences in the lives of people and there is not much they can do, knowing little or nothing about them, to change the flow of events they find themselves sucked in.

RW: Gives us your book jacket version of The WorldMight.

CYRIL: It is the end of fall in the kingdom of Alymphia. Princess Aria and Prince Hob are readying themselves for yet another Fall Passing Festival. But unbeknownst to them, change is coming to the kingdom. Change brought on by dark forces and events that occurred generations prior. And those changes will unfold over their lives like a flood that nothing can stop.

In another place and another time, a mysterious prince walks the world, trusted steel at his belt and a mystical stone imbued with magic at his neck. He is looking for a word that has never been said; a word that would save his love from the grip of an ancient beast.

RW: What inspired the book?

CYRIL: The idea came to me while driving a U-haul truck across Texas (I was helping my wife move from Austin to Lubbock). It was a simple thought, about a princess trapped in a sleeping beast and her prince trying to free her; and he needs a word that has never been said to wake the beast up and rescue her. That was it; like I said, simple. That idea stayed dormant for a year and a half. I finished my PhD, moved to Lubbock and one morning, in October 2011, out of the blue I started writing what became the prologue of The WorldMight. The strangest thing is that I didn’t stop writing. And from those first few paragraphs the rest of the novel came to life more or less of its own accord.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will make them connect to readers.

CYRIL: There are really four main characters. But one ends up being the most preeminent, so I’ll tell you about that one.

The prince is described in the first lines of the prologue as follow: “His father was no king and his mother was no queen, but he was a prince nonetheless.” He is a mysterious character who one mindedly searches the world for an equally mysterious word which would save his love. His whole quest is wrapped in mystery and learning more about who he is and what the word is is one of the drives pulling the reader along the pages.

He is the embodiment of devotion and perseverance; he relentlessly forges forward in his quest and faces off with many natural and none-natural obstacles and enemies, some coming from within. I think we’ve all gone above and beyond for someone we love, though probably nothing as epic as what the prince goes through, but we can relate to that feeling of going to the end of the world for someone we deeply cherish.

 

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

CYRIL: Well, let’s see, he’s a young man, so without giving it to much thought, I’d pick Xavier Samuel

Xavier_Samuel

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

CYRIL: I’d say there are many,  faith, governance, self-cognizance, but in the end it is the tragic story of the prince and his love, and the take-home message is that in the face of chance, of all the things that pre-determine who we are and where we stand in life (think genetics and environment – which are everything and are completely determined by chance, or randomly if you want to put it that way) there is little we can do within these tight and often insurmountable constraints but persevere forward toward our goals, however unreachable they might appear or actually be.

RW: What did you learn about yourself while writing The WorldMight?

CYRIL: First thing would be that I can write a novel. That was not something I was sure of until the epilogue was finished.

Second, that I don’t have much control over the writing process. It happens more than I make it happen. It’s both engrossing when it flows and utterly frustrating when it doesn’t.

Third, that I pour a lot of who I am in my characters. They might be very different from me, but there’s always a crucial aspect about them that is a reflection of an aspect of my own persona. Sometimes, I don’t see it right away and it’s only on the umpteenth reread that it jumps at me, but it’s always there.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

CYRIL: Introspection

RW: Where can we get your book now?

CYRIL: At this moment it’s available at Amazon for Kindle.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

CYRIL:

By email at: cyril.buissiere (at) gmail (dot) com

Also to follow:

cyrilbussiere.wordpress.com 

@cyrilbussiere

Bloglovin

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

CYRIL: Since I enjoy writing in various styles and in different genres, flexibility would be important in an agent. Also, given my attachment to well written sentences, one who is ruthless when it comes to editing would be a definite plus. And of course someone who would know how to get my work in the right hands both publisher-wise and to reader-wise.

 

RW: What are you working on right now?

CYRIL: Right now, I am working on a novel, BLUR.

blur-logo

The story takes place in Austin, TX, and follows Barrett, a scientist and wannabe writer, and, Pete, the protagonist of Barrett’s first novel. In it I explore love, lust, and the effect childhood experiences have on intimate relationships. It’s a raw, sometimes graphic work, that’s very different from my first novel. I’m six chapters short of being done, so I hope to have it out by beginning 2015.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

CYRIL: I’m between two books from authors new to me: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (a friend’s recommendation) and Death’s Hand by SM Reine (a random internet freebie find)

 

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

CYRIL: Hmmm, I’m self-published so that’s very different from being traditionally published but I think having a good story and a tight manuscript trimmed of all the excess fat and well edited is definitely a good starting point either way.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

CYRIL: Hands down Report to Greco (or Letter to Greco in French)  by Nikos Kazantzakis. An amazing book, beautifully written, deep and thought provoking. Ha! What a life that man lived, so much fire, unyielding in the face of the void, deeply spiritual in the most life-affirming way. One can only hope to live half a life such as his.

Thank you Cyril for this interview. I encourage all to get a copy of The WorldMight, as I have my own as well, and no I had it long after my first interview with Cyril. For that interview click here. It has much more detail about many things you might find interesting, including his original book cover art and book trailer. Also you can see Cyril with his guitar.

Again to purchase a copy of The WorldMight click here.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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