Thursday, July 20, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Ever feel like doing this?

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Tammy Lash

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

I had no intention of ever writing! I’m a second generation story-teller and I learned the craft from my mom (Linda Bolhuis) who taught Children’s Church and 5 Day clubs for as long as my memory can stretch. My Aunt Stella (RBM), Uncle Al Ross (RBM) and Uncle Lam and Aunt Jan (Vacation Bible School) were all as energetic and charismatic as my mom, and I soaked up everything I could from their children’s ministries. Uncle Charlie from Children’s Bible Hour (now Keys For Kids) was a favorite of mine growing up (I had all his records. Yes, I just dated myself!) and most of my own children’s stories that I told to my own Children’s Church classes were a melding of his style and my mom’s.  

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The stories that I told the children in my own Children’s Church classes were never written down; just scribbled in haste in my notebook or scratched in outline form on scrap pieces of paper. I did, however, manage to finally sit down and write several church plays. That was the first time my work was shared with adults. I had always trusted children with my stories; they loved them. Adults opinions, however, frightened me. They can be harsh and critical. It was a terrifying experience to share and direct my plays, but it was the needed step to get me to where I am now with a novel on my nightstand.

My son’s high school writing course, One Year Adventure Novel, injected me with curiosity to try my hand at a book. Could I take the stories I had always told from my lips and transform them into written form? Daniel Schwabauer taught us how to do that very thing, step by step. I didn’t have my novel done that year, but I did have the start of one! Success!

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

I write in the mornings right after I get my husband off to work. I fit writing in Monday-Friday in my 6-10 a.m. slot. We only have one of our three kids left to homeschool. He’s in highschool and his work is pretty much self-guiding, so my morning routine is flexible. Four hours of quiet, uninterrupted writing sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s not, really. I spend much of it interrupting myself!  I have a short attention span, so Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and texting are the things that tug at my attention instead of the kids these days! If I can squeak out a page of writing a day, I’m thrilled!

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

This will sound extremely self-indulgent and lazy, but--I write mostly in my bed with my jammies and electric blanket. My husband built me a “command center” (a cute desk area) that I gathered ideas for on Pinterest. I left my bed for that spot last summer and did my rewrites for White Wolf there.

I do all of my writing on the laptop that my husband gifted me two years ago. My fingers work faster on the keyboard and I can easily delete--and I do A LOT of deleting! The pen is too slow, and it can’t keep up with my ideas. It creates more scribbles than legible writing.

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

My favorite part is ending each chapter! It’s fun to tie up a thought or “scene” and leave a little cliff hanger at the end. I always *sigh* in relief that I did it! Finishing a chapter is exhilarating, but it’s also bittersweet. It leads me to my least favorite part--starting a new chapter. I’m nervous every time I begin one and I hear the same nagging whisper that rasps “you can’t do it”. I push past it, sentence by sentence, until I get to the end, and then I bask in the victory by taking a break the next day. I read the finished chapter (and a few previous chapters to check for fluidity) with a steaming mug of coffee and blaring playlist. I make it a point to celebrate every victory-- no matter how small it may seem.

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

My family and I vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan every spring--sometimes in the fall, too!--and we often visit the Garlyn Zoo in Naubinway. A white wolf captured my heart there, and I knew I had to incorporate him into a story. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is my story told through an Indian legend that I wrote for my husband and I. My--our--story is spoken through the lips of the books different characters. I met the white wolf of Garlyn zoo about six years ago. My novel took me four years.


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

I do most of it through Facebook (with a personal page and author page), but I use Instagram, Pinterest and I have a blog that I yet have to do something with. I prefer marketing mostly through Facebook because I consider White Wolf to be part of a ministry, and relationships are a big part of that. Facebook allows me to communicate with my readers in a way that my blog doesn’t.

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

My second book, Letters From the Dragon’s Son, is currently in the writing phase. If I can keep my Facebooking, texting, Pinteresting and Instagramming under control, I’m hoping to have it ready for my beta readers this fall.

A children’s book with an author friend of mine is in the planning stages. I’m excited (and nervous!) to get back to my “roots” writing for the younger kiddos again.

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

I wrote a Christmas story for my mom a few years back that was rejected by Clubhouse magazine (Focus on the Family) that I’d like to publish. The editor penned in the margin how much he enjoyed the story and he asked that I try another avenue with it. Letters From the Dragon’s Son is begging for my attention right now, but I definitely want to try to tackle my Christmas story in the future.

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

You will NOT believe what the Lord will can give you strength for! Step towards the “impossible”, friends, and see! If He wants it done--it WILL get done! I have PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. Everything and anything scares me. I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and I struggle with low self-worth. Who am I to think I can write? Who would want to listen to me? Our flaws and weakness, dear friends, make us not only special and unique, but it also makes us human and accessible. Each of us has a story to share. You--have a story to share. You are valuable, therefore, your words are. White Wolf is my beautiful reminder that my “Papa” thinks I’m valuable, too.

I fought past my fears to share my story because I wanted the world to see who Jesus is and what He pulled me from. I made Him a promise as a little girl, if He were to help me survive, I’d share my story. He came through with His part of the deal. I’m here. White Wolf is here, too. You have something to say. Say it through your writing. Your voice is important. Your voice matters. Show the world who He is, and I promise, He will guide every step!


Question for Kathryn:

“What is your definition of a book’s success?”

Does your book make a positive change in the world? Do your words resonate with a reader long after it's has been laid to rest? If you change one life for good, then your writing has been a success. Making lots of money is just a bonus, like the icing on a lucsious piece of cake or a cherry on an incredible ice cream sunday.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rick Karlsruher

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

I’ve had a wide-ranging life and career. I started out working a bit in the music business, did live promotions, international trade, but wrote from time-to-time for many years. I’ve written everything from ad copy to lyrics to scripts and books. I tend to write more comedy than anything.

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

I’m not sure I’d recommend my schedule for most. I’m an all or nothing type of writer. I don’t do formulas. Once I get an idea, I start. I’ve been known to write 14-18 hours in a day until I finish a section and then go a week until I figure out what’s next. I actually wrote the first draft of a hundred plus page script over a weekend.

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

My typing is so bad that I try to use the biggest screen I have at the time.

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

I love the excitement of coming up with the idea. I dislike proofreading and editing. I can’t do it for myself. I know what I think it says whether those are the words on the page of not.

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

This is a very unusual story. Standoff was originally a script that I wrote decades ago. Comedy legends Dick Martin (Laugh-In) and Matty Simmons (Founder of National Lampoon, Producer of Animal House, Vacation and more) loved it. The studios thought we were too far ahead of our time. In late 2015, I saw a new Cold War starting and decided to make Standoff into a book.

The original idea came to me, because I believed the concept of a shooting war in the Cold War would end the world and thought the best way to bring this out was comedy.

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

I have a mailing list and use Twitter. My editor, Nancy Hartwell, has had a very successful book and chose to become my publicist. We’ve set a goal of 100 interviews for the rest of this year.

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

I’m basically working on making Standoff a success and trying to find some investment for my website www.noveltunity.com. We try to help new/unknown writers get discovered. We’re in a holding pattern at this moment, but hope to be back in the game in fall.

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

he project I have is to make Standoff a success and then into twofer movie. My first book A Story Almost Told (which got to #1 in its genre on Amazon and Smashwords) tells of my horrific odyssey in trying get Standoff made into a movie. It’s a perfect tie-in.

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

The great baseball philosopher, Tug McGraw said, “You Gotta Believe”. This is the #1, #2, #3 and #4 step. Next, you’ve got to ignore the negative noise around you. It’s hard, but you have to do it.

Also, write what interests you. Don’t listen to those who tell you to churn out book after book just to have product out there. If you don’t believe in it and love it, you can’t write it well or sell it.

I’d like to thank Kathryn for inviting me to share this with all of you. Believe that you can do it and you will!




Read 10% for free, then you can buy it. Please keep pasta, coffee or anything that can stain your clothes or spill into your computer away while reading Standoff. I am responsible for any damage outbursts of laughter may cause. J

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Friday, July 14, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: The Matilda Effect by Ellie Irving


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Available August 22, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Writing is tough sometimes...

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Tina Brown


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

Hi, I’m Tina Brown.  My pen name is TM Brown.  I live in Tampa.  My childhood was difficult and continued to haunt me in my adult life.  I began journaling which eventually lead to my first book: A Life Not My Own.

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

I don’t schedule a specific time.  I write whenever my characters speak to me.  This can happen at any time, requiring that I search for something to write on.  I have notes written on napkins, hotel stationary, or anything that I can get my hands on.

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

I prefer to type my stories.  Often as the story unfolds, the hunting and pecking of the keys sounds like music to me.

What's your favorite part about writing? 

My favorite part of writing is discovering the story.  I never quite know what direction the story will take or when new characters will be introduced.  

Your least favorite part about writing?  

My least favorite part about writing is the patience required to complete a story. 

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

My books ideas are often a product of my personal experiences or of people that I know.  My goal is to write one book per year. 

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

I promote my books on many social media platforms in addition to the local events that I participate in.

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

My most current book is Tethered Angel, Part 2 of the award-winning Struggles of the Women Folk.   

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

I am currently working on a not-too-far-in-the-future piece.  Again, there will be a female lead who after escaping from an abusive environment, finds herself in even more danger.

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

Give it a try.  You never know what you can do until you try.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Barbara Bras

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

I never wanted to write, but I knew I had a story to tell about my son’s miraculous adoption and God’s impact on my life. Up until that time, I loved to tell stories but despised the act of writing.


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

After two years of trying to figure out what works best for me, I write a minimum of 3 hours per day, five days a week. I reserve that time for my current works in progress. I write new material for 15 minutes, and then edit another work for 45. Social media, marketing and all of the other administrative tasks happen outside of that 3-hour window.

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

I use a computer. I revert to long hand if I am hopelessly stuck.

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

It took me a while to figure out that the part I love is getting the story out on paper. I love watching the story unfold as I tell it. I usually don’t have any idea where it’s going. That’s great fun for me.

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

As I edited my memoir, I began writing new material and the story of Cassie emerged. I student taught in Hawaii with a woman named Barbara Robinson, who told me her story. She endured time alone as a sick child on Maui and when she finally attended school, she spoke antiquated English and discovered that she could read minds. I wrote the core of the book in a few weeks. The rest of the story, or the editing, publishing and so on took about six months.

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

I promote my website authorbbras regularly via my newsletter, my Facebook Author page and Twitter. I blog on two sites, my own and http://www.heartwingsblog.com which gives me exposure to a different audience. I participate in as many giveaways as I can to attract new readers. Celebrate Lit has also promoted my books through their blog tours.

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

As I described above, I generally have two works in progress. My editing project is a story I finished in November 2015. It’s about a woman who has floated through her life. She is jolted back to reality determined to rediscover herself, her children and love. The other is the sequel to She Who Knows, a Tale of the Heart. The story of Cassie’s struggle to hold onto love continues as she returns to Hawaii after college.

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

People who care for a terminally ill loved one fascinate me. I admire their personal sacrifice, especially since it goes against the ME FIRST philosophy today. I also know the impact self-sacrifice can have on caregivers, both physically and emotionally. I witnessed this first hand, as my daughter cared for her husband as he battled a brain tumor. Since then I have met others who have had similar experiences and my dream is to share their stories. 

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

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Thomas A. Edison

Thomas A. Edison’s definition of Genius definitely applies to compelling literature. Spoken like a former English teacher, am I right? Birthing the story is exciting, creative work, but the editing process, which adds elements necessary to create a story worth reading, requires tedious toil and tears. Everyone has a story to tell. If you are willing to do the hard work to get it into a reader’s hands then you have the talent.

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A Question for Kathryn:

Book reviews are critical in today’s world. Why will readers write to tell the author what they loved about the story, but won’t take the time to write a short review? 

Excellent question, one that I've wondered about for a long time. Perhaps, though, writing a review on Amazon means that everyone (and their dog) gets to see it, wheras a thoughtful note to your favorite author, or even a short thank you in person, has only one set of eyes.

I have had readers shy away from the professional review because they are hung up on 'doing it right,' instead of merely wanting to express their feelings about a book no matter the typos. 

If I tell them that it doesn't need to be perfect, that what I want is their honest feelings about my book, and that I care less about their less than 'perfect grammar' they are more likely to want to share their feelings with the entire world.

***


My website                          
http://www.authorbbras.com

Author Facebook page        https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBrasAuthor/

Twitter                                 @authorbbras

Goodreads                           https://www.goodreads.com/bsbras

Amazon                               https://tinyurl.com/n87r47j


Pinterest                               http:www.pinterest.com/bsbras

Friday, July 7, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Five Tips for Writing Fantasy


Thursday, July 6, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by David Schlosser

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Crissy Crosby from Roped

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

I raked my fingers through the blonde curls drooping in my eyes. “Not much to tell, ma’am. Name’s Crissy. Crissy Crosby. I’m almost fourteen and a half and I love horses, ropin’ and ridin’. My folks are ranchers on a small spread outside of Terrell, Texas. I’m just an ordinary cowgirl—since before I turned four. Papa says God made my long legs just like Mama’s, so I’d wind up in the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame just like her. And I sure hope all this practice earns me a rodeo scholarship to college. I want to be a vet—just like Doc Adams. He saved both my horses this year.”
2.     
      What do you like to do in your spare time?
“Well, livin’ on a ranch, plus school, with five horses and rodeo practice, plus other critters to care for, who has spare time? Ranch life is hard, but it’s fun.”
3.    
         What is your favorite color and why?

My Nana’s favorite color is blue. All of a sudden this past year, she left and went to live with Jesus.” Fore I could stop ’im, tears filled my eyes and leaked down my cheeks. “Sorry…” I wiped ’em away with the back of my hand. “…still makes my heart hurt. So now I wear blue to remind me of her. Sure do miss her.”
4.      
      What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

“That’s sure a no-brainer. We raise cattle—ribs, hamburgers, steak, tacos—‘about anything beef and Tex-Mex!”
5.      
      What would you say is your biggest quirk?

“Why’d you have to ask that question?” I looked away, hopin’ the question would vanish. It didn’t. “Mama says I’m impetuous—whatever that means. And Daddy says my temper yanks me into trouble every time I open my mouth, just like the big ‘ole brim that bites his fishin’ line and ends up in Mama’s fryin’ pan.”
6.      
      
      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

“Only one thing? Every time Jodie Lea Fairgate opens her mouth an irk tackles me. But rodeo night a few weeks ago, I stumbled into her family’s ugly secret. And trust me—her daddy’s the King of Irks. He tried to have Chun and me thrown out of the rodeo. And her? I couldn’t see her face, but her tornado shriek blasted through the wood door like it was tissue paper—‘Crissy Crosby—you hear me good. I swear by the Fairgate name, if you’ve hurt my daddy again, I’ll kill you.’ Can you believe that? And I’m the one who saved her sassy self.”
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?

“Don’t even have to think about that one. My family! Mama, Daddy and ‘specially my Papa. I’d do anything to shoo the hurt in their hearts away and make ’em smile again. Oh, and my new friend, Chun Len too. I almost had to whip two guys on the school bus ‘cause Jodie Lea told a whopper about him.”
8.      
      What one thing would like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I shook my head and stared at the clouds, wondering whether I should tell this lady the truth. Why not? Might help someone. “I’ve never told another soul, but sometimes I’m scared. Really scared. And most of the time, that’s when my temper gets the best of me.”
9.      
      If you could tell your writer anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

“Oh my! You really know how to turn up the heat, don’t you?” I felt heat ooze over my cheeks. “Please don’t tell my mama or daddy, but I love Chun Len. He’s not like any of the other guys I know. But his daddy sure wouldn’t like that—not one bit! The girls of his culture aren’t like me—they’re pretty and quiet and don’t ride horses.”
      
      Ask me any question. I’ve always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself.

I giggled to myself imaginin’ this pretty, young, writer-lady with her fancy nails…”Do you like horses? Have you ever been to a real-live rodeo? How would you like me to teach you to run barrels?”

Well, well. I guess there's a first for everything...First of all, thank you for thinking I am pretty and young and do up my nails fancy. Yes, I do like horses, but I haven't ridden one since I was small, when the one that my brother was riding took off with him clinging to his mane. I guess the horse was hungry because he ran my brother all the way to the barn before stopping.

I haven't been to a rodeo, and I suppose I'd have to learn how to ride first before I was taught anything like running barrels, but thanks for asking.