Saturday, November 18, 2017

Last Day of the Battlecreek Boutique!

What treasures are you missing out on?




Friday, November 17, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Battlecreek Boutique

My Newest Book

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Battlecreek Boutique - Day 2

Come and see the awesomeness at Battlecreek Boutique!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Matilda Moore from The Matilda Effect

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


My name is Matilda Moore. I am 12 years old and live in Arnos Yarm, which is in boring old Canterbury. I am an inventor and love designing and building things that I have come up with. I’m working on getting an international patent for my latest design. I mean business, you see.




What do you like to do in your spare time?


Draw and invent and draw and invent and maybe invent some more. There’s not much time left for anything after that. Oh, I do like reading autobiographies of famous inventors and scientists, though. 
I’ve just finished one on Marie Curie.


What is your favorite color and why?


Silver, because it reminds me of metal.


What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?


Pizza! I like it hot, hot, hot. I do NOT like vegetable pasta bake. (See below.)


What would you say is your biggest quirk?


I’ve known I’ve wanted to be an inventor for years and the international patent for my design is going to cost thousands of pounds and I don’t get any pocket money, but Mum and Dad give me £3 for school dinners, so I buy vegetable pasta bake which is the cheapest thing on the school menu at £1.30 and I save the £1.70 for my international patent. I’ve been eating vegetable pasta bake for six months now and probably have another three years of it before I’ve saved up enough.


What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? 


Well, my Granny was a scientist back in the 1960s and she discovered a brand new planet. But her boss, Professor Smocks, claimed that HE discovered it and everyone believed him and not my granny because there weren’t many female scientists back then and Professor Smocks was really respected. And in two days time, he’s about to be awarded a Nobel Prize for Granny’s achievement. So it annoys me that he’s lied to everyone and that Granny and I have to somehow get all the way to Sweden to gatecrash the Nobel Prize ceremony and tell everyone the truth.


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?


I was really close to my Grandad Wilf because he was the one who got me into inventing. We would visit my grandparents every Sunday and I’d spend hours in Grandad Wilf’s shed, cutting and drilling metal and doing my woodwork. But he died a few months ago and I’d give anything to get him back again. The world feels a bit greyer without him in it.


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


That I’m actually really funny. I tell really good jokes. Except I’m quite serious in the book because justice is a serious business!


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


Maybe – maybe just once – I could have a vegetable pasta bake free day.


***

A Question for Kathryn: 

Do you like ALL your characters? Even the bad ones? Can you understand where they’re coming from?

Great question! Yes, I like all of my characters because each of my characters teaches me about life. We need both the good and the bad characters anyway to carry a story forward. I think of my own life. Would I have been able to move forward and improve if not for those less than great people helping me out?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In a pickle? Come to the Battlecreek Boutique

Get the best Gifts for Christmas at the Battlecreek Boutique event!

I would love to see you!


I will be signing my books all four days!

Monday, November 13, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ellie Irving

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

I’m 36 and currently live in London. I wrote my first story aged 7 because I was obsessed with Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote and asked my parents for a typewriter for Christmas. The first story I wrote was a rubbish murder mystery but I enjoyed writing and kept at it. I studied broadcasting at University, worked in TV for a while and then enrolled on an MA in Screenwriting in 2007. On the course, I wrote a feature film that I then turned into a children’s book – For the Record – which (after many rejections) was published in 2011.


Get the Book at Amazon
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I’m lucky in that I can write full time, so if I’m not on a school visit, it’s a writing day. I’ll aim for a word count of 1500 a day, but also maybe spend time researching the subject I’m writing. Though normally that leads to me whiling away hours on YouTube…

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

When I’m in the initial stages of plotting and planning and just thinking about what the story’s about, I’ll use a notepad and pen. I like mind maps – thinking of the title or keywords to do with the theme I want to write about and explore from there. I’ll then write a 4-5 page synopsis of the story on my laptop, before sitting down to write the first draft, which I also do on my laptop. I prefer a laptop to the computer as it’s portable. I like spending time writing at the Royal Festival Hall or the National Theatre, or even just my local Costa. I like getting out and about most days.

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


My favourite part of writing is playing around with the initial idea. Once I’ve got the germ of what the story’s going to be about, I love thinking about all the different directions it could take. At this point, it’s the best idea ever and a guaranteed bestseller! My least favourite part is when I sit down to write the first draft because getting to the end is like pulling teeth and I realise that the book is never going to match the perfect idea that I have in my head. But you get through that – get to the end of your first draft and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. It’ll come good again.

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

I’m obsessed with space and often bore my husband with facts about meteors while he’s trying to watch the football. I’ve wanted to write a story about space for years. As I was researching the theme, I discovered a lady called Jocelyn Bell Burnell. She was an astrophysicist in the 1960s and was the very first person in the world to discover radio pulsars. Her boss used her findings in his own research and went on to win the Nobel Prize for it. Jocelyn Bell Burnell did not. So I wanted to write about this injustice. I decided to broaden the scope of the story from space to science and inventing, and thus the character of Matilda was born.

To give an idea of how long it took – I came up with the idea for the story in September 2015, wrote the synopsis in November 2015 and the book was published in July 2017. So all that time!

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

As well as the normal outreach to schools about visits where I can promote the book (and The Matilda Effect plays well in schools, being all about STEM and promoting girls in STEM, too) I’ve done a couple of science festivals, have written articles in magazines, had national newspapers pick The Matilda Effect as a top read, and used social media and bloggers to help spread the word.

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

At this point in time, I’m currently working on a book for a slightly younger age range, 7-9s. I’m halfway through the first draft at the moment, so there’s still a long road ahead.

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

As well as writing books for children, I have an idea for an adult novel and a play that I’d like to pursue at some point. It’s just a matter of finding the time to write everything!

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

I sought out a network of like-minded individuals – a writer’s group – who would offer support and constructive feedback upon reading my work. I’d recommend joining a local writer’s group and asking for feedback. BUT – you don’t have to agree with everything someone tells you; remember, it’s YOUR story. Hold on to the essence of what you want to write – remember why you started writing the story in the first place. And remember that EVERY SINGLE PUBLISHED AUTHOR will have had (multiple) rejections before they became published. So keep going!

***


A Question for  Kathryn:

I have a question about research – how important do you think it is for your story? Or is just using your imagination enough?

I remember when I was working on my first mystery. My editor told me that I should never guess on something, but should look it up. Someone was bound to discover the falsehood if I didn't. Sure, using your imagination is great, but in a mystery, you need to know how people really die, and if this poison or this murder weapon will work for your story. If you're writing a fantasy, you need to know if the planet you've created will work with the light source you've envisioned. You need to know about the setting, backwards and forwards. If you don't know about the place you're writing about, research is needed. And in nonfiction, you need to research the topic to make sure you've covered everything. You need to make sure that what you've written is accurate, and that you have sourced everything you end up using.

***
www.ellieirving.com

Twitter: @Ellie_Irving


Friday, November 10, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Visions of a Dream


Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, November 9, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY from James Allen



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

You're Invited to a Book Signing at...


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nikki Trionfo

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

For two years my husband and I couldn’t have kids. At the ripe old age of 23, I figured I needed a backup plan, so I decided to write a book. After a handful of fertility treatments, my body got things figured out. I went on to have five kids, attending writing groups regularly during each pregnancy. I wrote slowly. I finished my first book when I was 27. I finished it again when I was 31. It was better the second time, really. I wrote Shatter after that.


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

I used to write primarily during naptime and occasionally before bed, staying up much too late. I’ve experimented with early morning writing. Unfortunately, my kids have an internal time bomb that explodes the second I wake up, even if it’s 5 a.m., bringing them all from their rooms in a cranky nightmare of childcare needs. My youngest started kindergarten this year, and now I get to write while he’s gone. I miss him, but I love the time.

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

Laptop if I can get it. For drafting only, I have a Neo, which is an AA battery-operated machine that allows me to generate text. It’s awesome because it doesn’t allow for time-wasting internet surfing. I carry a small notebook in my purse at all times so I can jot down ideas or write out a scene waiting in a doctor’s office. If I get stuck on a story, I brainstorm with paper and pencil, usually listing out very stupid plot ideas until I get one I like, which I circle. I draw arrows on my brainstorming pages as if I will reference the pages later. I don’t though. I mostly use the brainstorming to shift my paradigm of the story and then write from that paradigm.

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

Favorite: editing!
Least favorite: writing!
I know. I don’t really like writing. I like having written. There’s a difference.

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

I wanted to write a book with a lot of spark. Something like my favorite TV show, Veronica Mars. Something edgy, with conspiracy and a smart female lead and emotion desperate enough to push my characters to their limits.

Get the Book at Amazon

While nursing an infant at my daughter’s soccer game, I saw a teen girl eyeing a group of guys who both allured and frightened her. The guys in my past who were most alluring and frightening were gang members. As I sat there, I imagined an event so powerful that a smart, shy girl would approach dangerous, alluring teens. That event was the death of Salem’s sister, Carrie, which sparked the novel, SHATTER. I wrote it in two years, edited and queried for a year, edited for a year with a former agent who gave it to editors (some of whom held onto it for a year), and got an offer from Cedar Fort three weeks after they received it.

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

I’m an active participant in writers’ groups, both in person and online, and attend book signings and community literary events. That was my start to marketing. Having a group of friends gave me the courage to start a writing webinar called #50FIRSTCHAPTERS, available free on YouTube. That webinar got me a mailing list of proto-fans that I called on when Shatter released, asking them to share Shatter on social media. With their support, I reached #1 in two Amazon categories, print and digital. I only stayed at #1 for a few days and you might think that a shortstop there doesn’t gain much, but actually a stat like #1 is extremely helpful. I reference that ranking all over my Facebook page, my website, and my bio when I present at libraries and conferences—opportunities that come up more often because my bio reads well, having sales to cite as well as leadership positions in Storymakers Conference plus a grand prize win in a first chapter contest. The point is that marketing starts small and builds as you be honest and public about your successes. Marketing is no place for modesty.  

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

For me, as a mom, I made a firm commitment to do the publishing side of my career correctly (i.e., spending lots of time on it) without cutting off my kids completely. Shatter published in May and I took the entire summer to play with my kids, plan my author lessons, present to teen readers and adult writers all over Utah and California, give a podcast interview, broadcast a new writing webinar, etc. I didn’t write for nearly six months. It felt like the right decision for me. Now that school is back in session, I’m working on a YA coming-of-age romance and a “comedic mystery of romantic proportions.” I made up that genre all by myself, lol.

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

Man, what don’t I have on the back burner! I want to write sci-fi. Like, hard-core, super-sciencey sci-fi. Before I became an author, I taught physics and chemistry to eighth graders. I got an honorable mention in Writers of the Future for a time-travel sci-fi horror that I’d love to expand into a novel. I want to write chick-lit that’s hysterical and one of those middle-grade slice-of-life stories that will make me cry all over my laptop. I want to stick with young adult mysteries and have a whole slew of them for fans to choose from. And romance. Novella-length romance. Sweet romance. Spicy romance. I basically want reincarnation and a forever laptop.

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

Listen, go get a career that pays the bills and that gives you plenty of life to experience. Meanwhile, writing will always be there, like the air you breathe that you sometimes take for granted, wishing it could be sweeter or warmer or more stirring. It simply is. Stories are like that. They are effortless in their abundance. They exist inside you as a sustaining force. They may pay the bills someday and they may not, but that’s a terrible thing on which to judge writing. Writing is still art, even in the 21st century.

***
A Question for Kathryn:

I’ve “only” written three novels and sort of can’t imagine having written twelve books! What keeps your drive to write alive? Or is it “just” a day job at this point?

Great question! I actually had my first book published by a traditional publisher in 2002, went back to school a few years after that, graduated with a degree in Mass Communication, and then tried and failed to find a job in journalism. If you remember, about the year 2009, jobs at the newspaper were being cut right and left.

Suffice it to say, I bought the rights back to that first book (with the help of my brother) and decided to start my own writing business. All of my books have come after that, and I have been able to help 22 writers write and publish their books through my company, Idea Creations Press

I guess you could say that I love working for myself, and I love to create new characters and new worlds. I don't think writing or publishing will ever become a 'day' job for me, I love it too much!

Thanks for the question!

***







Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tie Died is FREE Today!


Tie Died (Brianne James Mysteries Book 1) by [Jones, Kathryn Elizabeth]

Just a heads-up!

Tie Died is FREE TODAY!

You can get the eBook here.

If you'd rather have the audio, let me know. I have some free codes to give away from Audible.

Tie Died cover art



Whatever format you choose, I am in need of some book reviews! Please help me with that. Thank you!

Friday, November 3, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Laughing P by Kari Holloway


Never too Late by Kari Holloway
Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, November 2, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Let Your Man Make Dinner Tonight!


Okay, so I didn't know anything about this wonderful holiday until today, but, you know, I sort of like it!

Doug, are you listening?

My husband is a good cook and actually cooks a good portion of the meals at home, but I could use a break anyway. I just sat out some chicken, so maybe you can figure out a recipe around that, honey? We've also got some frozen broccoli in the fridge, and I really like the dessert option at the end of this fun video, though I realize we are both on a special diet. Still...

Anyway, girls, get your husband on board tonight to cook your meal and sit down with a good book. I'm telling you, that's what's on my mind!

Happy Men Make Dinner Day!

Kathryn

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

National Author's Day. What are you doing to celebrate?

Dear Readers,

I had an author interview scheduled for today, but it fell through.

Stuff happens.

As I've been thinking about what to do in place of it, it occurred to me that it's National Author's Day. Actually, I had this mostly unknown holiday written on my calendar and just now looked at it - thus, the sudden occurrence. 

Since this is also the month of that great turkey day, Thanksgiving, it also occurred to me that I wouldn't really have a job without you, the reader.

Sure, I could write until the cows came home, and perhaps this writing would help me personally, but without you, I wouldn't have much of a story. 

So, thank you. I mean it. Thank you for reading and enjoying, and reading and not enjoying my work. Thank you for reviewing, and allowing me to be on your blog with a guest post. Thank you for interviewing me, for taking take out of your busy schedule to write me a note of thanks for my newsletter. Thank you for speaking with me at book signings, even if you don't buy any of my books. 
Most of all, thanks for cheering me on. 

You know who you are.

A writer's life isn't just lonely sometimes, it's tough, and it's really nice to know that you're not alone in the world and that someone appreciates what you do.

So, 

Image result for thank you

Kathryn



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

National Knock Knock Jokes Day - Some Fun for Halloween!

Image result for knock knock jokes about writers
Image result for knock knock jokes about writers

Monday, October 30, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Ben from Jumpers

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

They call me Ben. That’s not who I am though. Thing is, I don’t remember my real name. So I make do with Ben. I live in Davor City, one of the biggest cities on post-Spasm Earth. I’m rather ordinary looking—blonde hair, hazel eyes, medium build—just like a hundred other guys you come across every day.


What I hope to achieve? World peace. No, seriously! With the government clamping down on super-powered, the supervillains on the rampage, and ordinary people caught in the crossfire, I really hope for peace. And I wish I could find out my real identity.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I scan databases. Mostly the missing persons' list. Someone, I’m sure, is out there looking for me. And perhaps . . . maybe they’ve had me listed as missing. I can’t seem to give up on finding my real family, so I keep looking. Any chance I get.   

What is your favorite color and why?

White. It reminds me of snow. It’s weird because I've never seen real snow, yet, just thinking about it makes me happy.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Nothing fancy, just a bowl of steaming rice, fish, and veggies, with a dash of pimento sauce on top. It’s called a donburi, Eric style. Why I love it? It’s the first food I tasted since my memory was wiped clean, and the one taste I’ll remember until the end of my life.  

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I like to sleep, especially when I’m worried or upset about something. I call it ‘sleeping through problems’ and it does wonders. Usually, I wake up with a brainwave and things just kick into high gear right after.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

I hate it when bad guys are blessed with super good looks. Take Simon Brill, for example. All he has to do to make a girl swoon is flash that lopsided grin. Wish it were even half as easy for me, the hero.

A quote from Jumpers:
“It was unfair that a man as vile be blessed with such good looks—dark hair and sharp eyes, a craggy face that was peppered with the right amount of boyish charm, and that swagger—things I’d heard girls tediously croon about far too often.”

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?

That’d be Shilpa, of course. Smart, beautiful, mysterious and a Jumper like me, Shilpa is one woman I would do anything to keep in my life. Problem is, she’s barely in my life to begin with. How do you hang on to people who are not even yours?

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

Davor City, that cold and heartless maze of giant concrete buildings, is actually a 200-year-old man-made island. Like spokes of a wheel, five bridges—the longest nearly 10 miles in length—connect Davor City to the mainland.

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

Good one! Well, sometimes I wonder, am I really a hero that she wants to make me? Who was I before the Spasm took my memory? I could’ve been a serial killer for all she knows.

***

 Question for Kathryn:

I often wonder if my writer is anything like me. What about you? Are you similar to any of the characters you’ve written?

Let's just say that I am at least pieces of the characters I write about, and if not like me, I pull character traits from those I know or wish I didn't know. My first published book, A River of Stones, is the most like me, but I hear that most writers bring out their true selves or qualities they would like to have in that first book. For me, A River of Stones was a book of healing. It is still the book that when I speak to others about it, I usually get teary eyed.

***
Website: www.sgbasu.com

Thursday, October 26, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Are Pumpkins Just for Picking?


Today is National Pumpkin Day. How are you celebrating?
LOVE this idea.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How to set up a FREE promotion on Amazon KDP Select


It's the season to promote your book for FREE on Amazon!

How do you do it?

Watch this great video and learn how!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TUESDAY TRAILERS: Don't Want to Write? Watch this...


Me? 

I've had a rough week.

But today? Well, I'm starting over.

How about you?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

FREE eBook!

Last day to get Scrambled for FREE!


Get the eBook here!

Friday, October 20, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Scrambled FREE

Today and tomorrow I will be offering my eBook, Scrambled, for free. If you haven't read the Susan Cramer Mystery series yet, now is the time!

Scrambled has received mixed reviews, and I'd like to hear yours. 

Expect twists and turns, red herrings, mounting questions, and an amateur detective that's new at the job. Scrambled is a clean read, and many teens have enjoyed the book.

Scrambled Audiobook

Would you rather listen to the audio? Listen here for a taste!


Or get the eBook FREE here.

HAPPY READING!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Fantasy - Futuristic Music Playlist

I don't know about you, but I like to listen to the 'appropriate' music while writing the various genres that I write.

I'm on my second draft of Light/Shade. 



It is my first YA Science Fiction Fantasy, and I have found it interesting to listening to a certain style of music to set the 'mood.'

I have been using Pandora, but today I found this while searching for something 'thoughtful' to share with you today.

I like it.

Do you?



This one is more futuristic. I like it too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Aaliyah .S

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

I’m Aaliyah and I'm from Mumbai, India. I’m 18 years old and I don't think that there was anything in particular that made me start writing. It just happened.

One day I grabbed my iPad and BOOM! the blank page was filled with creative words, which I then posted on Wattpad, where I got really good reviews on my work.

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

I write when I have the time, and I always have time since I dropped out of school at an early age *laughs*. But if I get busy, which I seldom do, I write when the moon is nigh.

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

I write on my laptop and the best place for me to write is in my room since it's cozy and quiet and the view is amazing. I mostly prefer a laptop to bleed my words.

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

Favorite part about writing: Being IN the story, feeling the characters feelings and looking through other character’s perspective and getting to know their thoughts.

Least favourite part: Sometimes not knowing where the story is heading and also bringing up new characters.

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

It was afternoon, and my sister and I were doing our own things when suddenly I said, “I want to write a book.” I don't know what came over me, but yeah.
It took me about a year to complete my book and an extra month for editing.

Get the eBook at Amazon
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I mostly use social networking sites, since I'm on a low budget *embarrassing laugh*.

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

I'm currently writing the second part of my book. Please watch for it.

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

I would tell them to take that laptop of theirs and just start writing because you may believe that you don’t have enough talent but ask yourself, do you want to just give up on your dreams? You can’t do that. It takes time to bring out the hidden talent in you but it also takes a little ‘believe’ to make it all happen. Ask yourself, why did you start writing in the first place? Because you have that talent! Don’t give up, keep writing and make sure that your book is on that shelf of the person who was waiting for it.

***
 A Question for Kathryn:


Was it difficult to promote your book? If yes, then how did you manage to overcome the difficulties? 

Promoting your book is the difficult part that comes after writing your book. In my yearly updated marketing book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," I tell authors: "I've come to the conclusion that nothing worth having comes easy, but that working hard and knowing a few secrets helps to ease the journey along the way."

Working smart comes with working hard. An author must discover what works for them and what doesn't, and then spend that time marketing smart. 

***

Lulu 
Kobo 

Monday, October 16, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Justine Hemmestad

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

In 1990 (I was 19 and married for three months) my car was hit by a city bus – I sustained a severe brain injury, was in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors thought I wouldn’t recover (my story is in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries). Within a few months I was walking again and began writing, and my husband and I moved to Iowa where we started our family of seven kids. I also began college part-time in the mid-2000s, as I continued to research and write Visions of a Dream, as well as a few other books I was writing (my novella Truth be Told is also on Amazon). I’ve earned my BLS from The University of Iowa, and I’m now working on a Master’s Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University. Writing helped to discipline my mind and organize my thoughts post-brain injury.


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

I write in my head wherever I am, but physical writing seems more focused the more chaos surrounds me and when I use actual pen and paper. I have seven kids, so when they were all young at once I couldn’t schedule time – I just had to be prepared to write if I had the chance. I can understand the writers who write in a cafe or with a bustle going on around them, as it makes writing more streamlined when I’m ‘in the zone.’

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

I write wherever I am if I have the opportunity. I carry a notebook and pen with me wherever I go and I always have them near me even when I sleep. I write on a laptop or computer when I’m at home or in the later stages of writing. I find that when I write with pen and paper, my writing flows better and I have more concentration to employ all that I’ve learned about writing in my story.

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

My favorite part about writing is also my least favorite part – that it takes so much of my heart to write, as a writer (I think Hemingway) said, you just sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Fatigue also gets bad for me after writing for a while. It’s refreshing but it almost makes me feel like I’m going to pass out.

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

I came up with the idea of writing about Alexander the Great after I watched a documentary about him and admired his fortitude. The more research I did on him, especially through his own words in documented speeches, the more I felt inspired to not only write about him in order to discover his motives but also to recover from my injuries myself. I was researching it and writing it for twenty years.

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

With the release of my prior novella, Truth be Told, I was featured on the front page of the local newspaper – which was good for sales. However, with Visions of a Dream, I want to be read for the quality of the writing and the story itself and for that to be passed on by word of mouth from those who have read it. I tried a publicist, which didn’t work out well, and now I’m trying to get the word out about Visions of a Dream and how important the message is, not only for Alexander’s story but also for the times we live in today. My goal is more toward getting it put into libraries – I want it to have staying power if it takes a long time to be noticed.

Get the Book at Amazon
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

My new novel, Visions of a Dream, focuses on the spiritual fire that ignites Alexander the Great's actions as he learns from the other cultures he comes into contact with. The first three parts of my book are in his own point of view to allow readers inside his head so that they might understand why he believes as he does, and the fourth part is in the point of view of his companion, Baphomet (a name that in ancient times meant knowledge), to highlight Alexander’s emotional distance that accompanies PTSD (first “documented” at the Battle of Marathon one hundred years prior), and the emotional and spiritual challenge she provides him with. This third person point of view allows for Alexander to be seen objectively. Baphomet and his companion since childhood, Hephaestion vie for his love but they also provide the steel he needs to be sharpened spiritually and emotionally, for before he conquers the world he must first conquer his own mind (Masahide’s quote, “My storehouses having burnt down, nothing obstructs the view of the bright moon,” is included in Part Three). He was inclusive of all people, all cultures, and all religions and he lived that belief. Alexander’s relationships with his fellow man knew no restrictions, nor did his love of the sublime. He immersed himself in the Persian culture when there, in the Egyptian Culture when there, and also the Indian culture when there, for he believed in the individual beauty of each culture rather than assimilation. This immersion gave me the opportunity to authentically present each culture’s deepest spiritual beliefs as they would have been presented to Alexander. To this end, the exploration of his heart and mind becomes the greatest legacy he leaves behind in the world.

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

I’m very focused on getting the word out about Visions of a Dream as well as working on my Master’s Degree in Literature. I have a few upcoming talks at local libraries and I’ll be participating in a book fair in Iowa City (home of The Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where I’ve taken a few courses via distant learning). I’m also working on having Visions of a Dream reviewed, which has been a more difficult endeavor than I thought.

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

I would advise them to center themselves, meaning to find out what inspires them and be humbled to that – then the writing process takes care of itself. Also, take writing classes to improve upon talent (which exists if you feel inspired) with solid foundations. Listen to the advice you’re given, considering your respect for the source, even if it wounds your pride. Be humble to your honest love for writing because it will always carry you back to itself. Read a lot, as that is often where inspiration arises.

***
A Question for Kathryn:

Can creativity be learned?

What a great question! I think everyone has a creative side to them, but not everyone uses the creativity they have been given. Perhaps they feel like their life or work hinders them, but, the truth is, using creativity simply means opening our eyes to it. Once we do that, we can use what is inherently already inside of us. 

Thanks for the question!

*** 




Visions of a Dream Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFMe1DFLyRs&t=48s