Friday, February 27, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Cooler Than Blood' Robert Lane

Robert Lane’s second stand-alone Jake Travis novel, Cooler Than Blood, blends Lane’s trademark humor with page-turning suspense and literary crime-noir overtones.  His debut novel, The Second Letter was released last year and his third Jake Travis novel, The Cardinal’s Sin will be released in October 2015. You can learn more at Robertlanebooks.com. You can also follow Robert on Facebook and twitter at RLaneBooks. Lane resides on the west coast of Florida.

Purchase COOLER THAN BLOOD on Amazon

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Different days produce different answers. How’s this: I could find precious little that I enjoyed reading, so I wrote my own book and fell in love with the process. An element of that answer exists every day.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

I haven’t a clue what it’s cracked up to be. It’s hard, long work and adheres to the dictum of 99 percent work and 1 percent inspiration. The demands? Your life. The perks? You get to do it every day. Any place. It’s new, exciting, and your best effort. Get it out there.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I formed a LLC and publish through that. I outsource as much as I can, so ‘self-published’ is a bit of a myth. I’ve made nearly every mistake out there. You can likely say that about any business you start from the ground up. The nitty? You must embrace the marketing side and not be jealous that it is draining precious writing moments away from your limited hours. The gritty? Find good people to help you. Learn to compartmentalize your working hours.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I come from a long line of readers and bibliophiles. Everyone is supportive.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Ignore the phone, dinner’s whiskey on the rocks and I have no boss.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Okay, those are pretty extreme words, even if diluted. Nothing crazy or insane has happened to me in the book publishing process. It might be driving me crazy, and while that may not address the spirit of your question, it’s paramount in my mind.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

That’s a shifting landscape if there ever was one. The jury’s still out, but I think Facebook has a slight lead, twitter’s hugging the rail, and instagram is closing fast on the outside. That’s enough metaphors for a mixed salad, but so goes social media. I’m not sure what helps today will necessarily help tomorrow. I’d like to avoid them all and have the world circumferenced by breathless reader’s waiting for my next book.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

We’ve all hear the mantra but it bears repeating. Write the best book you can, market it as if the survival of western civilization rested on its success, and repeat. Over and over and over and over. I view books sales as yearly targets that encompass more that one book. I know that when I discover a new (to me) writer, the first thing I do is go back and read previous titles. I believe that if I am relentless in my effort, sales will follow. If not, shame on me if the effort wasn’t there.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

It wouldn’t be about anything in particular—I would just scream. 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I like having the book out of me; all the themes, the action, the conflict—all a refection of a certain period of my life, the months that I worked on the book. If I started today and wrote the first line of a book I’d previously written, it would be vastly different.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Not All Americans Are Racist' Nicole Weaver

Nicole weaver is an award-winning author. Her first trilingual book Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle was published in 2009. Her love for languages and other cultures resulted in publishing the award-winning book, My Sister Is My Best Friend which was published in 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing and has won numerous awards. 

My Brother Is My Best Friend, published by Guardian Angel Publishing, January 2014, earned the 2014 Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and the 2014 Children's Literary Classics Gold Award. The book also earned a bronze medal in 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

Nicole Weaver’s latest book is Not All Americans Are Racist. 

About the book:
In Not All Americans Are Racist, Nicole Weaver recounts her experiences with racial discrimination and the non-racist white individuals who made it possible for her to attend and finish college. As an immigrant from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she is thankful for the opportunities America has offered her.

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I love reading and writing became my main way to address the depression I experienced when my second child left for college. The rest is history. After I wrote my first book, I was hooked. I mainly write children’s trilingual books . I believe in exposing young children to a foreign language early on.  I teach high school French and Spanish and know from firsthand experience how important it is to study a foreign language at an early age.
Now, I am really having a ball writing nonfiction on topics that are very important to me.  Racism in America is real.  Eric garner and Trayvon Martin killings left me in total disbelief.  It whisked me back to a time in my own life I soon forget forever.  But the dormant feelings occupied my thoughts and took revenge by writing a nonfiction book titled, Not All Americans Are Racist. I hope my story will be an inspiration to all who have experienced any types of discrimination.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The competition is steep. I am still trying to learn the art of marketing. Right now the only perk that resonates well with me is the joy I derive from sharing my stories with readers.  It takes time to brand yourself as an author, I will continue to work on that and hopefully I will eventually reach all of my long term goal of selling a zillion copies of my books. One can only dream, right?

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I self-published, because I can get my book out faster.  I am set to continue to self-publish my nonfiction books because I have a great editor, a great cover designer, and a great individual who can format my books.  All three are very important in order to be successful in the self-publishing world. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My three kids are grown; I have one   living at home temporarily.  My husband does not bug me much.  Writing is how I deal with the stress of teaching high school.  He watches TV, and I sit next to him on my recliner while I write. 

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

Yes they are!  I have plants all over my house. I have the plants that eat toxins. I have some next to my bed and in every room in my house.  It is easy to take care of my plants; I make sure to water them at least once a week.  I used to have a garden, but gave that up so I can have more time for my writing.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I cook enough to last me a few days. I write for two hours each before my husband gets home. I get up every morning at five AM to go to the gym, so when I get home, my time is spent writing.  As for my boss, calling, that is not something that will ever happen.  I have to be at work on time to open the door to my classroom, or else, my students will be standing out in the hall. Definitely do not want to piss off my principal!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I had hired this person to edit my book, only to find out that the manuscript was riddled with errors. I learned my lesson, and will not subject myself to that ever again! 

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I hate social media, and I wish for all of them to go away. I am still clueless on how Google plus and Pinterest work. 

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Honestly, I am still working on that one.  There is so much to learn, so I am not letting myself get stressed too much. My motto: One day at a time!

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I am an award winning traditionally and self published author! 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I love getting my thoughts on paper. Writing is very therapeutic for me, so being able to write my books gives me an emotional high that is better than anything I have ever experienced. I find writing is the doorway to my soul, and sharing my writings with readers enables me to make an important contribution to the world.  Writing to me is like teaching high school.  I help my students develop a love for other cultures and languages, which in turn will help them become better world citizens.  I hope my books will help people understand my perspective on how important it is to appreciate others. There is no greater joy than that!



Straight From the Mouth of 'Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships' Eve Picquette



Eve Picquette has been looking for love, joy and fun all her life. Along the way she has had lots of experiences - some with more fun than others! A licensed attorney, she served as director of risk and quality management at hospital corporations in California and Arizona for thirty years. She is also a certified NLP life coach, matrix, EFT and Angel Therapy practitioner. Eve Picquette received her MSN in community mental health at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis.

Author of Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys -What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries and companion Mini Meditation MP3's, she lives in Arizona, and her present happy work is teaching and advising clients regarding having more love and joy in personal and business relationships. 

For More Information

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

As an attorney, I have done a lot of writing, so that part was easy.  I didn’t plan on writing a book.  I had written some quick relationship tip sheets that I wanted to give away on my
website.  Then I decided to add my angels as the theme, so I had them painted.  Once the angel portraits were done – it became a book and I just had to finish it. 

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Demands - Writing can be lonely if you are used to being in a busy office with lots of chaos and drama.  There is also the question of whether anyone will want your book, when all is said and done.  This is also dramatically connected to your financial state – unless you are independently wealthy!

Perks – Personal freedom!  I love knowing that I can do what I want and write about what I want!  I may choose to work today, but I don’t have to impress anyone with my work ethic or appear at 8am somewhere everyday! 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I love design, so I wanted to have a beautiful gift book and be in control of the cover, colors, fonts, and content.  I choose self-publishing for that reason and because I am impatient and didn’t want to go through the submission and rejection (and possibly no acceptance!) in the traditional route.  Amazon’s Create Space made it very easy and really a pleasure.  The only delays have been my own – correcting, fixing, adding more content.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I am too early in the process to really comment.  Great question!

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My daughter approves.  I am currently living alone, so am blessedly free from any criticism of my schedule, late nights or obsession with my book!  My friends aren’t really aware of where I spend all my time.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I am pretty new – so I should have a much better story in a few months. This is pretty boring - I did have a book cover designer who didn’t really think I meant what I said about how the book should look.  I had to have them modify the cover to follow my original intent.  Other than that it has been really smooth!

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I only use Facebook and Twitter – and I think they can be helpful.  I use Aweber and Social Oomph to make it easier.  I would skip Twitter, but it seems to be important and many people read my tweets – which is amazing.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I am working with Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book.  I am pretty good at many things I do, but marketing is NOT one of them.  I knew I needed help!

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Since the object of my book is to ignore what I can’t control and other techniques to let go and be happy – I should not say what I would jump on the rooftop and scream about – (sounds of laughter).   However, if I were really human – I would say that if I get a negative review of my book, (that I, of course, feel is entirely unfounded) that would do it!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I so agree with the part above – “all those things don’t really matter”! 

What I love the most is the idea of freedom.  I want the opportunity to “sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in” – more than for 2 or 3 weeks a year. That is my goal as a semi retired writer - to be able to travel more and enjoy everywhere I am, every day!

Thank you so much for the interview and very clever questions!  Eve Picquette

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Between These Walls' John Herrick

A self-described "broken Christian," John Herrick battled depression since childhood. In that context, however, he developed intuition for themes of spiritual journey and the human heart.

Herrick graduated from the University of Missouri—Columbia. Rejected for every writing position he sought, he turned to information technology and fund development, where he cultivated analytical and project management skills that helped shape his novel-writing process. He seized unpaid opportunities writing radio commercial copy and ghostwriting for two nationally syndicated radio preachers.

The Akron Beacon Journal hailed Herrick's From the Dead as "a solid debut novel." Published in 2010, it became an Amazon bestseller. The Landing, a semifinalist in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, followed.

Herrick's nonfiction book 8 Reasons Your Life Matters introduced him to new readers worldwide. The free e-book surpassed 100,000 downloads and hit #1 on Amazon's Motivational Self-Help and Christian Inspiration bestseller lists. Reader response prompted a trade paperback.

His latest novel, Between These Walls, returns readers to Hudson, Ohio, to which he introduced them in From the Dead.

Herrick admits his journey felt disconnected. "It was a challenge but also a growth process," he acknowledges. "But in retrospect, I can see God's fingerprints all over it."

Visit John Herrick at www.JohnHerrick.net or at his blog, johnherricknet.blogspot.com. Connect with him on Facebook or @JohnHerrick. 


Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
Thank you for letting me stop by for a chat! I love bloggers and readers. At 8 years old, I fell in love with writing stories. By age 10, I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing it. As an adult, I write because I die a slow death inside if I don’t. I love the writing process, but writing itself feels like lifeblood flowing through me. It’s a “must” for me, but a good kind of “must.”

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
As far as the effort goes, it’s a challenging road:  A novel requires a 2-year commitment from me to plan and write. The process becomes emotionally taxing because I spend those years walking with a character during a rough period in his life, then begin the process all over again with another character. And chances are, by the time you see a book on the shelf, that author has faced years of rejection along the way! For me, the key was, on Day One, to remove quitting from my list of options. One of the demands is to allow the general public to judge your work—some people are kind, others not so much!—and to refrain from defending yourself.

Now for the perks:  Holding your book in print is a rush! It’s a dream come true. The sense of accomplishment is its own reward because you know the effort you invested into it. You’ll develop relationships with talented individuals along the way—people you interview during the research phase, people with whom you work to create a solid product, and other authors you meet along the way who share a kindred spirit and know the unique challenges of the journey. But the perks don’t get any greater than when a reader says  our book impacted his or her life. That’s a beautiful thing.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I work with a small indie publisher. On one hand, it means you don’t benefit from the marketing muscle of the big New York houses. On the other hand, the product remains more organic. I’m involved with the entire vision from start to finish.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
I have an advantage in that respect! I’m a single guy with no kids, so I can devote as much time to a project as is needed, working around the day job. I look at my brother, who is married with kids, and see all his life entails. If I were in his shoes, writing novels while balancing a day job and a family would be much more difficult. I guess God knew what He was doing with me!

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
Let me put it this way:  My fake plants still look as alive as they did 10 years ago!

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I used to write in the evening, between dinner and bedtime. I took my phone to another room, plugged it in, and ignored it for the rest of the night. Anyone who knew me also knew I wasn’t checking the phone, so they weren’t offended. Eventually, after working all day, I grew exhausted and lost more and more sleep as I stayed up later and later. So I shifted my schedule. Nowadays, I write in the early morning for a couple of hours before the day job begins. That provides a built-in hard stop, so late arrivals at work aren’t an issue.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
The first time an agent asked to read the manuscript for one of my books. Technically, that wasn’t crazy or insane, but it was to me. I’d faced almost a year’s worth of flat-out rejection before that first request arrived. Prior to that, the first personal response I received from an agent who enjoyed my manuscript sample (sent with the query) felt just as extraordinary. That reply came in 2005 from Laurie Liss, the agent who discovered The Bridges of Madison County and author Richard Paul Evans. Although it was a rejection, it was such an honor, and she confirmed—at the right time—that my writing had potential for a wide audience.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I love connecting with my readers and am a big believer in social networks. I’m convinced that word of mouth is more powerful than a media appearance, and social networks are rooted in word of mouth. It’s all about a group of people with a common interest coming together. The downside is you only have 24 hours a day, and social networks multiply like rabbits! I wish I had time to devote to each and every one.

For now, I’m focused on the larger ones. You can find me at Facebook, Goodreads, @JohnHerrick on Twitter, and blogs like this when I’m allowed to stop by. J

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?
Word of mouth is the best promotional tool. I’ll say “Yes” to just about anything that gets people talking. Some people believe a radio or TV appearance will sell a ton of books, but those media don’t carry the same influence as a friend’s recommendation. The friend has the personal relationship.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
Don’t give up too early!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Thanks, I love Chamomile tea. You really know how to welcome a guest—I might never leave! Writing books is a privilege because you have the potential to speak to thousands of individuals and connect with them, heart to heart. If my book encourages readers or changes their perspectives on life, the whole process is worth it. Life is all about the lives we impact. The rewards don’t get much better than that.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Fantastical' Marija Bulatovic

Marija Bulatovic was born in the 1970s Yugoslavia immigrated to the Chicago land area, just ahead of the 1990s Yugoslav wars and the breakup of the country.

Marija has spent 15 years working in hi-tech industry and is an accomplished business professional driving enterprise business with Fortune 500 companies.

She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and son-who was the catalyst for FANTASTICAL.

Find out more on Amazon

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

While I didn’t set out to pursue career as an author, I was moved to do so after the birth of my son.  FANTASTICAL is a legacy to my son, as his birth was the catalyst for the book. 

These stories were born with my son.  Uncertain upon entering a wholly new phase of life, I sought wisdom and enlightenment – and a break from the daily routine of feedings, lack of sleep, and disorientation.  I was in search of something that would lift my spirit, make me laugh, and transport me, if only for a moment, to another, less tangible, place and time. 

While the world in which these stories unfold no longer exists, I still cling to the many lessons it taught me.  Because of my fantastical childhood, I know in my heart that life is much more than a sum of mundane survival activities.  I know that it’s fluid, magical, brimming with love and connection.

This book was indeed the respite I needed.  It freed my mind to roam the wild landscape of a bygone era and lifted me on the wings of Balkan stardust.  I hope it will do the same for my readers.  My hope is that these stories amuse and transport my readers, sustaining them on their journey as they have me on mine. 


Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Great question and IT is different for each author based on their expectations. As for me, IT is all it’s cracked up to be and I’m enjoying the journey.  Just to bring a book project forward and have it published is a huge personal and professional accomplishment and to be able to talk about it and bring it to the broader audience is wonderful and very rewarding. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I chose to self-publish.  FANTASTICAL is a work of passion and a very personal and dear project to me.  As such, I was interested to personally and deeply become involved in all aspects of publishing, from identifying the right experts to edit, illustrate, layout, and print the book to working with a tremendously talented publicist to bring it to light. 
Self-publishing is enormously labor and time intensive, but also very rewarding and profitable, assuming one is able to make investments to get the book to the finish line.
The pros are that you, as an author are 100% in control of your book and the every aspect of it.  You are the final decision maker and owner of the outcomes-good and bad. It’s a wonderful opportunity to merge one’s creative talents with flawless execution.  It does require much self-discipline and hard work, but it’s also a rewarding process.  While the world of self-publishing tools and services can feel like a maze, once the author understands them, they are generally easy and efficient to use.
The cons are that you have to invest money, time and energy to personally research and identify everything that shapes the book: editors, publicists, designers, printers, distributors, etc.  This is no easy task and authors can feel discouraged by it and by the long road ahead.  The self-publish path also requires that you make personal investments or raise money to fund your book project-which done right, is not an inexpensive proposition. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Great question and self-publishing a book is definitely a commitment! My family was extremely supportive along the way.  Specifically, my wonderful husband, Gerry Miller, and my parents, my eternal guides and strength, Smiljka and Ljubomir Bulatovic, were extremely encouraging, reading and re-reading the stories, critiquing, asking thoughtful questions, reviewing designs and all-around cheering me on.  Also, my broader circle of family, especially my wonderful in-laws KyungAe Bea and Ralph Miller, were very generous with their time and feedback. And of course, my mentor, Joe Keller, and a number of dear friends cheered me on every step of the way!

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

No pets hereJ but I love animals.

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

Yes, I own a number of plants, some of which were sitting on my desk as I was writing or making directional decisions about FANTASTICAL! Just looking at them during the writing process provided me with a sense of calm and when I needed a break, I loved watering them and rewarding their peaceful inspiration.

I currently have a beautiful jasmine plant at my home which is always a reminder of my childhood, these stories, as its scent prominently figures in FANTASTICAL.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

There are certainly many distractions to writing or any other form of work.  I did most of my writing during my baby’s naps, when the house was quiet and when I had the best ability to focus. 

On the other hand, knowing that there would be distractions, I would plan around those, block time on the calendar for writing exclusively and put 100% of my energies toward FANTASTICAL during this time.

It’s definitely a balancing act!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

The fact that a lot of FANTASTICAL was envisioned and created while nursing my baby is probably the craziest thing about the project! Much of it at night too! 2am, 4am feedings…

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I’m not far down the social networks path yet, so can’t comment from experience if one is better than others. 

However, I am a networker and a connector by nature, so I’m reaching out to everyone is my broad circle of friends, family and associates letting them know FANTSTICAL is out, encouraging them to read it and if they like it, review it and share the good word with others.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I’m just starting out, but it’s very nice to already have book sales! It’s a good tangible validation of 2 years of deep personal investment. 

Especially, as a self-publishing author sales are very important and a way to sustain the project. 

That’s also a beauty of self-publishing, once you are published, the revenue is yours! (minus printing, distribution costs, but NO publisher revenue share)

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I’d like to encourage anyone who’s looking for a little magic, a break from the mundane, a pinch of humor in their lives to pick up FANTASTICAL and transport themselves, for a moment, into a world that has vanished from the map but not the mind and open themselves up to magic in their own lives! 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Publishing and especially self-publishing a book is a major accomplishment, professionally and personally.  It’s very rewarding.  My journey as an author is just starting, I’m thrilled for it and am happy to have put good energy into the universe via these stories! Hope my readers enjoy it as much as I do! Cheers!



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Cornered' Linda DeFruscio

Linda DeFruscio is the founder and president of A & A Laser, Electrolysis & Skin Care Associates in Newtonville, MA. In addition to Cornered, her memoir about her friendship with Dr. Richard J. Sharpe, she is currently writing a book on skin care and completing a book of profiles based on interviews with transgender people, many of whom are her clients. While Cornered is her first book, her skin care articles have been published in magazines for years.

Find out more on Amazon. 
Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I never had a choice. I take notes all the time and on virtually every subject. Sometimes I have an interesting thought and I don’t want to forget it, and sometimes I am simply recording what’s going on around me, because I find it fascinating. Some of my notes wind up becoming the foundation for articles or books.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Writing a memoir is a real challenge. You have to walk a fine line between telling the truth as you know it and ensuring that you don’t insult anyone along the way. Because Richard Sharpe’s story was very high profile, I had to work with lawyers to make sure I played by the right rules.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I have had my own business for many years. It was hard enough to squeak out the time to write Cornered. I certainly didn’t have the time to get involved with self publishing it. So I went the traditional route. I actually had three offers, albeit all from small presses, and I picked Twilight Times Books because they seemed the best fit for me.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My husband is elated to see the result of all my hard work. Like me, he is anxious to see what will happen next regarding  reviews, book signings, etc. As far as other family members, I don’t think it made much of a difference in their lives. They’re happy for me.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I usually try to do my writing at end of the day when all that stuff is over with or early in the morning before it all starts. Again, since I work full time at a business that I own, I never had the luxury of sitting and writing hour after hour, day after day. But I was driven, and I got the job done and am now working on two other books.

What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I can be fanatical when it comes to certain details. There are pictures of Richard Sharpe on the cover of the book. Even though they are small pictures, maybe an inch square, they are very important because they show his progression from childhood to student to Harvard medical school graduate to cross-dresser to convict. I wanted them to be perfect, but every time we worked with the printer to modify the colors on the cover, the contrast or hue of the pictures changed too. We couldn’t seem to get it all right. As of this writing, the first printing has been completed, but we’re still tweaking the cover, trying to perfect it for the second printing. Other people have said the cover looks fine, to just let it go. But I’m not a “let it go” kind of person. If I was, I never would  have finished the book in the first place.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Too soon to say.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I’m off to a good start because I have hundreds of clients and friends who want to read the book. I am extremely social. I know a lot of people and I’ve never been shy about telling them what I was writing about. Everyone wants to get the skinny on Richard Sharpe. The book of course is a memoir, but my life-changing association with him is at its center.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

After all these years I still want to scream because in 2000 Dr. Richard J. Sharpe’s mental instabilities resulted in the death of the person he loved most in the world—his wife. I want to scream for her sake, because she was a remarkable woman who was extremely nurturing toward everyone she met, and I want to scream for his sake, because if he hadn’t screwed up royally and wound up in prison, he would have found a cure for cancer by now. If he was alive now, he’d be looking for a cure for ebola. He couldn’t help himself. He was as committed to putting the world right as she was. The difference between them was that his psyche was fragile, perhaps badly dysfunctional, and when the world seemed to be caving in on him, he lashed out big time.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

The act of writing a memoir has opened my eyes to some truths about myself and some truths about the people, especially Richard Sharpe, I interact with in my story. Truth is all important to me. The truth will set you free.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Interview with Jeremy Bates, author of Suicide Forest


Title: Suicide Forest
Author: Jeremy Bates
Publisher: Ghillinnein Books
Pages: 350
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan...and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods.

When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighboring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara. But they get more than they bargained for when one of them is found hanged in the morning—and they realize there might be some truth to the legends after all.

For More Information
  • Suicide Forest is available at Amazon

 
Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

        To make millions and millions of dollars (ha, right!). I don’t know really. It’s just something I always wanted to do, especially when I realized becoming an astronaut was going to be a longshot.


Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

        It’s great. You get to do something you have chosen to do. You get to be creative. You’re largely in control of your future. The only thing that would make it better is the aforementioned oodles of cash.


Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

        My first two novels were traditionally published. I learned how everything worked and got a good sense of the industry—enough at least I figured I could give it a go myself with Suicide Forest and not have the publisher take an 80% cut.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

        My fiancĂ© is super supportive. My family is great. Everyone else doesn’t seem to care one way or another!


Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

        I chopped up my kitties for meowing too loud. (C’mon, I’m a horror writer, it’s allowed!)

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

        Grooveshark.com and earphones.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

        My debut novel, White Lies, hit #1 overall in the Paid Kindle.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

        I don’t think any help all that much. They’re fun though. I like Twitter the best.


What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
       
        An asteroid’s coming! I can see it! We’re all doomed!


Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

        I can go to work drunk :P (very occasionally!).



Jeremy Bates is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller White Lies, which was nominated for the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award. He has spent the last ten years traveling the world, visiting more than thirty countries. He has lived in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Bates is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in English literature and philosophy. He is an active member of Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and Crime Writers of Canada. For More Information Visit Jeremy’s website. Connect with Jeremy on Twitter , Goodreads and Facebook  

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