Monday, September 26, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rebecca Rode author of Numbers Game

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

I can’t remember, actually. I’ve just always done it. Writing has always been a huge part of my life. I still have some stories I wrote when I was five. They’re pretty epic for a kindergartner, in my opinion.

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

I have four kids, so I write when I can. Usually that’s from 9-11 pm after they go to bed. I used to watch TV during that time, so I figure it was a good trade.

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

I have a laptop. I enjoy the freedom that brings. I like to change where I sit because I have neck problems, so sometimes I’ll lie on the couch propped up by pillows, while other times I’ll sit up in a chair. Depends how my neck is feeling that day.

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

I enjoy the brainstorming and outlining stages. Even the initial drafting part is really fun for me. But I hate editing and revisions. I keep thinking it will get easier with the next book, but it never really does.

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

My Numbers Game series was sparked by a trip to the bank. I was signing some paperwork to buy my husband’s truck and took a long look at my credit score. It was interesting to me, how they could look at me and my life and take everything about my complicated financial history into account, then assign me a single number.

My brain started churning. What if that number represented more than just finances? What if it was my appearance, my intelligence, my athleticism? What if I had to wear that number around? What if it determined where I lived and who I could marry? And above all, what if someone was manipulating the numbers? Thus, Numbers Game was born.

It took me about two years from start to finish to write Numbers Game, but that’s because I wrote and traditionally published another book in the middle of it. I can usually write and edit a novel in about nine months. I’m amazed with the people who can publish a book every month or so. They must not have four children. J

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

I’m a big fan of newsletters. I like doing author cross-promotions, and having a decent-sized newsletter definitely helps. I do ads on occasion, but only when I have a book on sale (which is about every three months since my books are in Kindle Unlimited). When I have a book release, I do a cover reveal and a book blast to help get the word out.

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

I just finished Ruby’s Story, which is a prequel and companion novella to my second Numbers Game book, Numbers Ignite. I’m giving Ruby’s Story to my VIP Clan members for free, and I’m really excited to hear what they think. I’m also working on book three, Numbers Raging. I already have the cover and I can’t wait to show everyone.

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

When Numbers Raging is finished, I have a YA pirate fantasy book that I can’t wait to get finished up. I’ve been working on it for about two years, and I’ve already had agent interest. I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it right now.

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

Talent is a myth. Hard work is seriously what matters most. There’s a YouTube clip of Howard Tayler that I absolutely love called “Who Needs Talent?” It’s definitely worth a listen.

The question I get asked most is, how do you write with kids? 

The simplest answer is my husband. He is incredibly supportive. I’m out at conferences and conventions a lot, but he rarely complains about spending his Saturdays catering to my hectic schedule. Supportive family members can honestly make or break a writing career, and he’s definitely made mine.

Rebecca, I used to write with children hanging on my legs; I used to jokingly call them my 'dangling participles'. I also used to write during nap time and late at night when they were finally asleep. 


Learn more about Rebecca and her books:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Over Easy?

Just finished the first draft of Over Easy, book 4 in the Susan Cramer Mystery series!

What that means for you?

It's time for you to pick up books 1, 2 and 3!

Book 4 will be out in the Spring of 2017, and there's not a moment to lose!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brian Dickinson author of Blind Descent

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

I live in Snoqualmie, Wa with my wife, JoAnna, and kids, Emily and Jordan.  I served 6 years in the US Navy as an Air Rescue Swimmer and now I’m a world adventurer and do motivational speaking.  I wrote Blind Descent to share my experience of survival on Mount Everest, where I soloed the summit then went blind on the descent.

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

I’ve only written the one book so it was a focused project a few months after returning from Mount Everest in 2011.  I was connected with my agent, Working Title Agency, and they introduced me to Tyndale House Publishers.  I worked with an editor for months to convert my transcript into a published novel.

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

My writing of Blind Descent started as a journal during my Everest expedition.  Climbing Magazine was also writing a blog about me, so after the expedition I transformed both into a transcript.  I prefer a laptop and usually just get it all out and worry about the formatting later, otherwise I’ll get distracted and lose valuable content.

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

Writing true details of your life is very therapeutic and allows you to unpack things about real situations from different angles, like including senses that you may normally ignore.  For instance what I was hearing or smelling during certain areas of my expedition.  My least favorite part was that it was very emotional to revisit my survival situation in detail.  It was necessary to capture that level of detail, but very painful to write about it when it was so fresh in my mind.

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

The idea wasn’t difficult since it was a true experience I had just survived. I had the details documented from my journal and I was persuaded into converting it to a memoir.  I took a couple months to write Blind Descent and another 5 months working with the editors at Tyndale House Publishers.

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

Tyndale had a marketing strategy, which had me on Anderson Cooper in New York and other interviews.  I’ve had quite a bit of media including Good Morning America, CNN, radio shows, podcasts, magazines, television and I’ll be in 2 upcoming movie series by KingdomWorks Studios.  I’m also very active on social media.

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

I’m filming 2 movie series with KingdomWorks Studio and I’ll be in Success Magazine in the coming months.  I don’t currently have another book in the works.

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

My life is a balance of working, speaking, family and adventures.  There’s no shortage of adventures on this earth and I’m always planning something interesting.  I also have several television producers’ regularly reaching out to see if I’m interested in staring in new programs or reality shows.  A show would have to be a perfect blend of adventure and giving back / helping others, without taking me away from my family for too long.  So there could be something in the future, but I haven’t agreed to anything quite yet.

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

Have confidence and write it out.  We are all wired differently and there’s probably more to your story or idea than you believe.  Bounce ideas off of other people and let them provide feedback on your transcript.  There are over 7 billion people on this earth and I’d guarantee that there’s an audience out there just waiting to read what you have to offer.


A Question for Me:

With such a saturated market and low success rate of becoming an author, is it better to self-publish or find an agent?  What can make a new author rise above the rest from a marketing point of view?

Great question! Yes, the market is saturated, and many authors don't even want to put out the effort to market because they feel as if it won't do them any good. The truth is, doing a little will always be better than doing nothing. 

I began the traditional route and had my first book published by a local publisher. The best news for me was buying my rights back a few years later and going it on my own. You may spend years searching for an agent and not find one you can work with. On the other hand, if you decide to self-publish, you can get started at any time. After perfecting your craft you can reach out to cover designers, editors and layout guru's or learn to do these things yourself. 

Marketing is for everyone, whether you self-publish or not, and I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't - at least for me. The good news is, that the only way to rise to the top is to experiment on various ideas until you find those that work for you - and then stick with them. You may want to start here


Learn more about Brian and his book at the following sites:
Links: (trailer embedded)

Monday, September 19, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Captain Carl Roche from The Last Flight of the Phoenix

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

         Hello, I’m Captain Carl Roche.  For the last ten years I have been in command of the T.S.S. Phoenix, the Alliance’s oldest, and frankly, most successful war ship.  It is also been my home for the past 15 years.  I started my career around the same time the war began, just over 20 years ago, as a fighter pilot.  I’ve put on a little weight and have a lot more grey in my hair than I would care for, but try to stay fit enough.  My goal is to see this war to its conclusion and bring my crew home.

The Last Flight of the Phoenix: The New Terra Sagas: Book Two by [Duncan, Matthew  O]
Get the Book at Amazon

2.      What do you like to do in your spare time?

        Well,… spare time is an odd thing on a starship.  There is always something that needs to be done, especially by its Captain; but I suppose when I have a rare moment to myself I mostly enjoy listening to music, typically classical, and reading a good book.  To be honest I can’t remember the last time I read.  It’s been a long war.
      What is your favorite color and why?

      What is my favorite color? I never really gave that much thought.  I honestly don’t know.  I can tell you the colors I don’t like.  Red is one.  I’ve seen enough of that for a life time.  Black is another.  Not just the color, but the lack of any color, any light.  There are times when…, you know what, let’s just move on.
      What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

       Well, I suppose a good steak.  It’s been a few years since I’ve had one.  I eat the same food the crew does.  I never felt comfortable with taking privileges that other ship captains might indulge in.
      What would you say is your biggest quirk?

       I would be a fool to think I don’t have any flaws, but as Captain it is part of my duty to keep those things to myself.
      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.
       The enemy are the Serkin and the Sa’larie, but the true antagonists of the story are Time and Death.

       From The Last Flight of the Phoenix:

       The heavy metal superstructure moaned loud and long once again.  Both men stopped and listened
       as if the great beast might be taking its last breath.  The sound subsided, but the knot in the
       Captain’s gut didn’t pass.   His great ship was drifting helplessly in space, trapped so far behind
e     enemy lines that even if they could call for help no one could ever come.  Holding the ship together with only a skeleton crew, a third of which were recovering from injuries in sick bay and practically
       no defenses gave them little prospects for any hope.  Yet giving up was not an option, so long as
t      they were alive there was a tomorrow.  It was that idea and that idea alone that kept him going. 
7.      What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? 

       The obvious answer would be my crew, and it would be true.  I would give my life to protect anyone in mu command.  But if I have to pick just one thing, the one thing I care about the most, well, it would be this ship.  This old, past her prime, war bird that has refused to die in fights she had no business surviving.  It is more than a collection of bulk heads and laser cannon.  She had led the First Fleet to victory after victory against an enemy who has been determined to destroy us all.  I honestly believe that without this ship we would have lost this war years ago. 
      What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

       I consider myself fortunate.  I’ve served with some of the finest people in the fleet and I have had the honor of commanding the Phoenix.  (pause)  We lost a lot of good people over the years, but in the end we made a significant difference in the war and billions remain safe and free because of our efforts.  For that reason I have no regrets. 
      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

        I don’t like being kept in the dark.  There is something very odd on New Terra and considering our circumstances I would think you would trust me with the knowledge.  Not knowing makes it very hard to make the difficult decisions I have to face.


A Question for Me:

      How do you pick a book to read next?  Do you judge a book by its cover?

        Good question. The last book I read was "One Lane Bridge" by Don Reid. I chose it because of the synopsis. Then I really looked at the cover. The cover was different, sort of ethereal, and so I bought it. Although people say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I often do. The cover has to speak to me in some way, I have to feel connected to it, but it's what the story is about that intrigues me first.