Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wanted: Author Interviews, Character Interviews, Book Trailers

It's that time again to start thinking about the holidays. No kidding.

Come September, the rush is on to get those books out for holiday sales. Do you want to be a part of the rush? Let me know and I'll set up an author and/or a character interview with you.

So far, everything is scheduled out until October 10th, so anything after that is fair game. I usually post interviews on Monday's and Wednesday's with a Friday Flicks segment on, you guessed it, Friday's.

A am looking for authors in various genres to spotlight. Please send me an email at: kathy@ariverofstones.com and we'll discuss when we can place you. 

Things will be getting busy. Why not get your interview ready before the rush?

Thanks!

Kathryn



Monday, August 22, 2016

Need a break? Take it.

This past Saturday I needed a break. Things were very busy with my sister in town and because of all the planned family events, it was just nice to sit back and enjoy some music.

Granted, I was sitting on the lawn section and Josh Groban looked about as tall as my pinky finger, but the experience was heavenly. This is my third Groban concert to date and I loved being outside and listening to the music only Josh can send.

So, if you're feeling a big overwhelmed, a bit behind the eight ball, a bit stressed, take a few moments to just dream...


Friday, August 19, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Neils Knudsen author of The Singing Stones of Rendor



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

I’m a 68 year old introvert with marketing issues. I’ve always preferred letting others stand in the spot light which makes showing off my work difficult. I’m still working on that problem. 

I’ve always been involved with writing in one fashion or another most of my life. I did some guest articles in my high school’s student paper, wrote what is now considered flash fiction for my mother’s various social clubs (she read them out loud, not me—I wasn’t fortunate enough to get her social genes—just her allergies). After a couple of years in college my draft number came up so I went out and joined the U.S. Navy where I was immersed in the bazaar language of governmentese.  The Navy has (ahem) boatloads of very passive phrases and I became (aaaahem) submerged in it.

Fast forward 6 years, one month and 24 days. Honorably discharged from the military I went back to college and then worked for the U.S. Army at the Deseret Chemical Depot at an industrial facility dedicated to the research and development of chemical warfare agents. More . . . much, much more governmentese. Fast forward another 24 years to retirement.

I had a bout with cancer and my wife had a bicycling accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. A normally active life became rather sedate and I bumped around trying to find something to do. My son suggested I write a book. It was a suggestion I had toyed with a few times but never took seriously.

For six full months a stared at a computer writing the worst stuff I could imagine. Fortunately, my wife has a degree in English and she plowed, blasted and pulverized my story (and me) until it was readable. After 500,000 words of garbage, loving every minute of it, I managed to learn the basics. I then joined the League of Utah Writers to commiserate with other writers. I had no idea there were so many wordsmiths out there. The next year, 2013, I received first place for the first chapter in my book, The Singing Stones of Rendor. In 2014 the book received the leagues coveted Silver Quill Award. That’s when I thought I might actually have some skill.

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

My schedule revolves mostly around my wife’s needs. She no longer drives so I take her to her appointments and watercolor seminars and workshops. When her schedule is clear, I make time in the afternoon to write for a few hours, unless there are other unscheduled events like our kids and grandkids dropping in. Family is far more important to me than pounding out a set number of words.

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

A small pad of lined yellow paper is my preferred note-taking device. Weird ideas, metaphors, idioms and a whacky turn of phrase are my favorite ways to develop a character or scene. If I’m watching TV I listen for those unique lines of dialogue that in my mind just fun. I realize my ideas of fun may be outdated, but I’m not writing for anyone but myself. If I’m having a good time, maybe my readers will too.

My main writing instrument is my PC. When my wife is in her water coloring  workshops I’m sitting nearby with my laptop.

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

My favorite part is how the voices in my head tell me what to write. I can always trust my characters to figure out how to get something done.

My least favorite is marketing. However, if you don’t consider that part of writing then I guess it is editing my work for the umpteenth time and still not satisfied with the details. That’s when I go looking for some good editors.

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

My son suggested a fantasy novel with an antagonist based on my cancer. The idea evolved into a trilogy that I’m still working on. It took four and a half years to write and publish the first book—that includes the learning curve to do creative writing. The second book, which I hope to publish in late August, took two years.

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

You may have guessed by now that I’m a reticent marketer. What marketing I have done is limited to Facebook, my blog at NWKnudsen.blogspot.com and some online book events. At a recent event, I met our host, Kathy Jones, at the “Spring Into Books” event at the Viridian Center in West Jordan, Utah. I’ve spoken to some small press publishing companies who have expressed interest in the trilogy when it is done. I’ll probably tuck myself under one of their wings and hope they will guide me in that arena.

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

I’m wrapping up book 2 in the trilogy. Tentatively titled, “The Call to Empire,” the novel currently stands at about 110,000 words (about 360 pages) and should be out by late August or early September. If my muse (wife) and/or my editors say it needs more work it may take a bit longer.

Get the Book at Amazon
Do  you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes, I do. It is a prequel to the series and about half written. It is about the main character in first chapter of the trilogy, a witch with a particular skill you don’t see in other fantasy novels. At least none that I’m aware of. She dies at the end of that chapter. The book is a kind and powerful witch and the tragedy that turned her to anger and vengeance. It is also about how, even after death, one’s life can have a great impact on others.

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

Write it for the fun of it. Do it for yourself. Take an idea and run with it. So what if it doesn’t work, you learn through the process. Do it again. Don’t be afraid of writing junk. There is plenty of free, enthusiastic help out there to teach you. Join one or more writing groups. Toss around your ideas. Let them grow. Don’t worry about all the rules you are going to hear—that’s what editors are for. I don’t recall who said this, “there are three ironclad rules to writing, the trouble is, no one knows what they are.”

And, last but not least, develop a thick skin. Listen to the constructive criticism and toss the rest. The test? Knowing which is which.

My Question for you:
     
Do you consider yourself an introvert? Have you ever had trouble promoting yourself and/or your writing? If so, how did you overcome it?

I'm definitely not an introvert, though I was a pretty shy gal growing up. Once I went to college in my 40s, however, and graduated, I decided that I would do all it took to get my books out there. Sure, I still get nervous speaking in front of groups, but I do it. And you know what? The journey has gotten easier. I can speak about my book in front of writers, readers, non-readers, even people I've just met in line at the supermarket. But this has taken time and a daring sort of attitude.

***
Learn more about Neils:
Blog: 

NWKnudsen's Knotty Corner Post

Facebook: 



Monday, August 15, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Robin King

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

Believe it or not, I hated writing growing up. I did win a few writing contests in grade school and was the only one from my grade sent to a district writing conference, but I never really enjoyed it because I felt like I was being forced to do it. It wasn’t until I started writing in a journal regularly in high school that I discovered that putting my thoughts on paper could be fun and therapeutic. But again, it took me another seven years after I graduated from college to consider writing a novel. I think it was my teen students that inspired me to write something they could one day read.

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

I participate in NaNoWriMo each year. It's National Novel Writing Month and you set a goal with thousands of other people to complete 50,000 words of a new novel. It’s hard to get around 1700 words a day for 30 days straight but I love how it pushes me to complete a novel.

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

I write everywhere! Some people don’t believe me when I tell them I wrote over half of my last book on my iphone. I have a blue tooth keyboard and even use the dictation software on my phone to write. I’ve found that if I use my time that could have been wasted just sitting and waiting, I get a lot done. When I’m not writing on my phone, I have a laptop that is well-loved (i.e. super old) that I use in my home office. I’ve also been known to go to the local library or coffee shop when I don’t want interruptions.

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

My favorite part of writing is living in a new world with characters I create. I love to write a new character and have them take on a life of their own. Because I’m a voracious reader too, I enjoy discussing my books with others and talking about the books like the characters are real people.

As for what I hate, I don’t like that I don’t have more time to write.

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

My first book, Remembrandt, came to be because I’ve always loved the idea of espionage. Honestly, if I would have been gifted enough with foreign languages, I would have tried to join the CIA. Instead I write about a teen spy who uses her eidetic memory to solve crimes and rescue stolen pieces of artwork.



Remembrandt took me about six months to write and then another six months to revise. It was another 18 months before I found a publisher and another six months for it to be published. I wrote it in 2012 and have since completed four other novels and am halfway through a fifth one.

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

Teaching and talking about writing is my passion. I go to schools to discuss writing and being an author. I also use social media and my website to keep people up to date on what I’m doing. I try and attend 2-3 writing conferences a year and do book signings to get the word out. I wish I had time to do more.

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

The final book in the Remembrandt series will be released November 2016 (Book 2 was entitled Van Gogh Gone). The title is Memory of Monet. It is suspenseful ending to the complicated life of teen spy, Alexandra.


I’m also in the process of obtaining a publisher for the contemporary fantasy series I’m working on. Once the Remembrandt series is out, I’ll be able to concentrate on these new novels.  


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

I started an epic fantasy novel last year that I’m only about 50,000 words into and I’m absolutely in love with the story and characters. I’d love to finish it and get it into the hands of readers too.

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

Anyone can write a story and everyone has some talent that can make their writing unique. I think the best place to start is to find the story you are passionate about and get it on paper. Attend some writing conferences to better your craft and meet people that are in the same boat as you. Form a writing group to help push and support you.

Learn more at:


***

A Question for me:

What makes your book different from others I have read?

Because I have published 10, the answer would vary depending on the book. But let's take my mystery series. They are typical who-done-it, but are without the bad language and scenes you wouldn't want your son or daughter reading. The main character, Susan, is middle aged, and sort of drops into her new role as detective - so you can imagine the things that she bungles. All of my books have an egg theme, and this egg theme, relates to the book titles.