Have you ever heard, let experience be your teacher?

I’m offering you information on how to develop strategies in your book launch. Do you struggle to research for answers, while you can easily find them here!  Secrets book launch gives you techniques needed.

Have you ever heard, let experience be your teacher?

I’m offering you information on how to develop strategies in your book launch. Do you struggle to research for answers, while you can easily find them here!  Secrets book launch gives you techniques needed.

1K-Promotion

by | Nov 15, 2018 |

Welcome to 1K Book Promotion event 2018!

Enjoy the promotion event and meet new wonderful authors of all genre. Don’t forget to comment like and share. If you feel like asking questions feel free to do so here and on the website. The author might respond to you! Invite friends that might like to read.

The more we are the more fun we get! Here is the link http://lannconsultings.com/1k-promotion/

Happy 1K book promotion party 2018!

I would like to introduce you to these amazing authors. I enjoyed their books and I am pretty sure you will love them too! 

I am Ndeye Labadens, author of How To Crush Social Media in Only 2 Minutes A Day and I host this big event of 1K book Promotion. Meet authors talk about their books and get the free books and the discounted books below:

Meet Daniel Kemp

Hello and thank you for inviting me, Ndeye.

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

My name is Daniel Kemp. I’m an ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and a licensed London taxi driver. A varied life, but at no stage did I plan to become a writer, that came about by accident. After my first novel—The Desolate Garden —was under a five-year paid option to become a $30 million film I figured I must be doing something right so I carried on writing. That was five years ago. Since then I have six other books published by Creativia Publishing, one of which recently became a number one bestselling novel on four separate Amazon sites.

What’s the story behind the title?

The Desolate Garden is a story based around one family: the Patersons, Earls of Harrogate who since the fourteenth century have been the sole custodians of a secret Government bank near to the Houses of Parliament.

In 2012 Lord Elliot Paterson takes over the ownership and begins the task of converting the bank’s hand-written ledgers into digital form. In a hidden ledger, dated 1936, he discovers the start of vast quantities of money being erased from the accounts. He comes across some initials and an address in Leningrad, Russia. He suspects that his grandfather, Lord Maudlin, was funding a Russia spy.

The novel opens with Lord Elliot’s murder. His son, Lord Harry Paterson – forty-two, single, a philanderer living on the Harrogate estate, and long ago recruited into the secret world is summoned to London to cast light on his fathers’ murder. Seemingly by accident, he meets Judith Meadows, an attractive, but otherwise stick-figure of a woman, in the world-famous Martini bar at Duke’s Hotel in London’s St James’s. Meadows plays him for the rake that he is before destroying his hopes of bliss when she discloses that she works for the Home Office and is to be his case officer assigned to unravel the mysterious murder.

Harry knows more than he is willing to reveal, and Meadows knows more about his family than Harry realizes. As the story unfolds, the relationship between the two ricochets back and forth like a train driven by a teenager, stuck in first gear.

Why did you write this book?

As I said at the beginning, I did it by accident, or to be more correct because of an accident. I had been involved in a road traffic accident that had left me out of work for a considerable amount of time. In that time I wrote a story and sent a synopsis off to roughly two hundred or more agents. I sat back and waited for them all to come knocking on my door. Of course, that never happened. In fact, for months nothing happened, until one night the phone rang. An agent was interested! I’d made it. No, I was wrong again. No one wanted that story. The agent told me to write another so I did and six months or so later The Desolate Garden was the outcome.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I think it’s achieved by writing an intriguing story and I hope all my novels accomplish that. Given a preference, I enjoy writing as much of the story in dialogue as seems appropriate. My life outside of academia was one surrounded by people from a huge array of different walks of life, and from that experience, I hope my characters speak as actual humans and not as contrived fictional personalities.

How did you come up with this book idea?

After the Second World War, my father was in Italy working for Army Intelligence interviewing captured Axis forces. On returning home he worked for the War Department again in intelligence gathering. Sadly he died before I knew much about him but what I did know captured my attention and stayed in my memory. In The Desolate Garden, I’ve used snippets of what he told me, continuing to use more in my other books and combining those recollections with personal knowledge.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I’m fortunate in having a publisher who takes care of most of that. The cover designs they provide are imaginative and faultless. As for formatting, I wouldn’t have a clue how that’s done. A lot of the marketing is my responsibility and one that I detest. In reality, I’m useless at it. To be honest, I would love a life where I could just concentrate on writing and research which for the type of thrilling murder mysteries I write needs a reliable degree of accuracy.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am 50,000 words into a new novel which originally I hoped to have ready for editing and proofreading by October, but lots of things have delayed the progress of that schedule. I’m trying to catch up. It’s the third story involving Patrick West who I introduced in—What Happened in Vienna, Jack? That’s the book I referred to as being a #1 bestseller. Once I Was A Soldier is the second installment of his journey.

Where would my audience find your book?

The Desolate Garden along with all my work is on Amazon. http://Author.to/Daniel 

May I thank you once again for the opportunity of introducing my work to your audience, Ndeye.

 

Meet Emmanuel Bancesco

I lived through some of the events in the story, such as, singing with a rock band in a city that inspired the fictional Rodeni of the novel. I did get into trouble with the local mob and was forced into physical intimacy with a person I couldn’t have desired in a million years. How did you come up with this book idea?

How can a storyteller not remember and not fictionalize these episodes?

So because I kept retelling this little strange story to anyone willing to listen, my wife said, “put it in your book please, and be done with it.”

What is the most memorable feedback you received from your readers?

I would transcript here a paragraph from one of the book’s reviews:                       “I would best describe MAL D’HIVER as almost “lyrical”, with a profusion of original metaphors that make the sensory perceptions appear almost tangible. One can smell the fear and pain, the uncertainty of youth; savour the metallic taste of fresh blood, or the headiness of unrequited passion.”

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

Like all authors I yearn for readers’ admiration of my work but more importantly, I want them to discover and take with them truths about us, humans, that only art can reveal.

How do you measure success as a writer?

I’d like to say that a best seller is the indubitable proof of success, but success is absent, elusive or ephemeral all too often, unless you are a Tolstoy, a Joyce, a Proust. For me, success translates in a reader’s desire to discuss my books.

Do you have any tips for young writers?

Read til you drop and write while you read. Load each sentence with as much honesty as you can muster and don’t fall in love with your words. Write as though you were wrestling – and overcoming – what you fear.

I loved your previous book. What makes this new one different?

Mal D’Hiver spans one year in the life of the main character whereas Adrift encompasses half-a-century. Therefore, Mal D’Hiver offers a much more focused narrative; the pace is consequently faster. The societal issues are there but the novel isn’t necessarily addressing their causes, for, having only one year within which to pack it all, it chooses to capture facts rather than expounding on their analysis. So Mal D’Hiver is a thriller of sorts while Adrift is a brooding contemplation of life through the bewildering changes of history. Here is the link, below.

https://www.amazon.com/Adrift-J-Bancesco/dp/0996663460 

Is it hard to become a serial writer?I know that many writers do not pass their first book, what would you tell just published writers who have trouble writing a second book?

I can only speak from my experience. My second book had been there evolving in my mind while I was struggling with the first , but while the first took fifteen or so years to write, the second was ready for publishing in only two. So whatever wisdom I can glean from my process is this: think stories all the time. Force them out if they don’t offer themselves willingly. Pose a question in your mind, as in: play with scenarios, yank interesting characters from your life and place them in circumstances that test their limits. As for serial writers, this isn’t me – or at least I don’t think it is. I have no idea why. Maybe A blank canvas is more inspiring for me.

Where to find you and your books? 

You have the links to my books, I believe.

Anything else you want to add? Any question you would have liked to be asked and never been before?

I would listen avidly to authors revealing their own secret struggles between artistic integrity and the compromises they must make to interest literary agents.

 

Meet Marjorie Hembroff

Hello Folks, Marjorie, Tell us about yourself.

Who I am? I am Marjorie Hembroff a mother, grandmother, an author and animal lover. When I am not writing I like to sketch, garden and read. My books are published under M. E. Hembroff and are available on Amazon.

How many books did you write?

I have written three books. The book genres are

Gramma Mouse Tells a Story is a children’s picture book.

Bess’s Magical Garden is a middle grade novel.

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin is a middle grade novel.

Why did you write these books?

It all started with a series of dreams. In the first dream I was sitting with a book in my lap but there weren’t any words inside or a designed cover. There were a series of dreams with several books that were also blank inside.   One of the ladies in my art group liked to interpret dreams. She told me that I was supposed to write the story and possibly do the covers. Shortly afterwards I was reading through a book on writing a picture book. I had come up with the idea of writing a story about a little mouse. When I looked through the other story prompts. I thought of my daughter when she adopted a cat from next door. Then I started asking the questions. Why? Who? Where? And When? That is when both Bess in Bess’s Magical Garden and Tiny Mouse in Gramma Mouse Tells a Story were born.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

A story prompt got me started. There was an inner drive that couldn’t be ignored any longer. Characters clamored to get out of my brain and onto paper.

Based on your experience after 3 books. What would you tell newbies?

The first thing I would tell someone starting out would be to read a lot of books in your preferred genre. Then write from the heart. Start small with little stories.

What would I tell my earlier self before launching my book?  I would say to get my name out there on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads before the  books was published.

What is the most memorable feedback you received from your readers?

When I gave a reading from Bess’s Magical Garden to a group of twelve-year old’s at the local library. They listened intently and then asked questions about writing and publishing. There was a budding writer in the group and I did sell a few books.

Where to find your book?

My amazon link is https://goo.gl/UaE7Lx

E-book is available from https://goo.gl/ufFAsu

Thank you for your time Marjorie!

 

Meet Charles Harris

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

I am a martial arts black belt, author and writer-director for cinema and TV drama. I also founded the world’s first screenwriters’ workshop – now Euroscript – have lectured on writing in many countries and have written two books on screenwriting.

What is your latest book about?

“The Breaking of Liam Glass” is a satirical literary thriller about tabloid journalism and fake news.

What’s the story behind the title?When the secret love-child of a famous footballer is stabbed, local newspaper journalist Jason Crowthorne is about to lose his job. In desperation, he teams up with celebrity PR agent Tony Potts to sex-up the story and land Jason his dream job on a national tabloid, in the process gaining publicity for one of Potts’ biggest clients. What could possibly go wrong?

Of course their plan soon spirals out of control, and Jason finds himself on the run from the police, sparking violence and endangering the young victim’s life.

Why did you write this book?I’ve written all my life, as long as I can remember, and professionally journalism, cinema and TV. But much my writing comes out of a kind of amazement at how ridiculous the human race can be. This is mixed with a very real anger at what some people do to each other. Most relevantly, I hate what the tabloid press has become.

There’s something about my make-up that tends to see the funny side of things. I don’t think people are fundamentally evil. I think they are flawed, and that leads directly to comedy and satire. Journalism is essential to a healthy democracy – the tabloid press has great power – and it abuses it daily. You could get very pompous about it all. Or you could show these powerful people as they really are and laugh.

What is the most memorable feedback you received from your readers?If I look on Amazon, it’s great that readers got the humour and also the insights. They also said it was a thrilling page-turner, which was very rewarding.

Perhaps the most memorable remark came from a reader who thought the whole story was too true to be funny – a nice tongue-in-cheek remark (I hope!) but it’s a fact that it’s almost impossible to make up something ridiculous about journalism (or come to that politics or the police which also feature in the novel) that doesn’t turn true a short time after!

What marketing or promotional tools or techniques do you use to reach your readers?Marble City doesn’t have a massive budget, so I’ve been working hard as guest blogger and podcast interviewer. I’ve been invited to crime festivals, and when I do I make contact with local newspapers and radio stations who have been happy to interview me. There have been newspaper and blog reviews and I’ve managed to get a fair number of Amazon reviews.

We made a promotional video and I use social media – mainly Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I have a growing mailing list and blog and put out a regular weekly posting with articles and tips – mainly about writing, drawing on my writing books and experience as a director and trainer.

From time to time MC also run a seven day price promotion, tied in with on-line adverts.

Finally, I love talking to readers’ groups – either in person or online.

What impact do you want your books to have on your readers?I have two aims with everything I do. First, I want to do something that hasn’t been done before – and I felt nobody had properly dealt with modern tabloid journalism and its links with local newspapers, politics and the police.

Second, I want to entertain, while making people sit up and take notice. You laugh and then you think, “Oh God, these things are actually happening now!”

With the hindsight of being a published author, anything you would have done differently?Due to circumstances, we ended up having a much shorter lead time from production of the books to publication. This meant that some media couldn’t cover it. In hindsight, I feel we could have delayed the pub date to ensure that we had more media coverage. The received wisdom is six months after the first proof copies are available for review and that would have been good.

If you were able to email yourself in the past what would be the most important thing you would like to write to you before your first launch?Apart from the above, the launch went very well. We hit all our targets for reviews and Amazon has us at #1 for Hot New Releases in Satire. The only thing I’d tell myself is not to get too worried about giveaways. I was advised to offer all kinds of freebies to induce people to buy the book before the pub date, to enhance our ratings. While that may well work for non-fiction, it didn’t raise any serious interest for “Liam Glass.” It felt inappropriate and I wouldn’t bother with that next time. I feel people either want to read the story or they don’t. No book is for everyone.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I’m just finishing off a literary psychological thriller and starting another satirical crime novel, but this time set in the Caribbean. The research is done, so I can sit at home remembering the sunshine and feeling like I’m writing under a palm tree, sipping cocktails. Nice.

Where will my audience find your book? (list stores where the book is already available)The paperback of “The Breaking of Liam Glass” can be ordered from any bookstore through the standard distributors and from Amazon, as can the e-book.

 

Meet M. Ainihi.

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is M. Ainihi. I am a passionate fantasy author, proud mother and wife. I’m originally from a small town in upstate New York and currently reside in the Chicagoland area with my husband two sons, and two rambunctious rat terriers

What’s the story behind the title?

Rise is set in an alternate reality where long ago; the races of magical beings had been divided into different realms to stop them from fighting against themselves and to prevent the extinction of mundane humans.

As Amanda is suddenly thrust into this strange world of magic, she doesn’t have time to properly grieve all that she has lost and is on the verge of giving up when she is faced with a new dilemma. If she doesn’t find the courage to rise up against the sorcerer that has imprisoned her, the entire race of Jinn will be put under his control and if she does she risks losing herself in the process.

How would you describe yourself?

I want to say I am a genuinely curios person. The type of person that when approached about a subject I have never heard of, is going to go straight home and immediately start looking up all the information on it that I can get my hands on.

I think this is why I love to incorporate elements that are going to take a decent amount of research into my writing. It’s probably also why I love to travel.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I have always loved Writing, it’s been like a compulsion ever since I was in grade school. For me, there is something very therapeutic about the challenge of finding the perfect words to express your truth.

But I’m also my own worst critic and writing at times, especially when faced with a deadline, can be frustrating to the point where you want to tear your hair out. At those times it’s my husband that reminds me of the fact that if writing was always easy I wouldn’t enjoy it so much. He is also the person that motivated me to start thinking about publishing one of my manuscripts.

Luckily, my family continues to support me unequivocally and I have discovered some amazing writing communities along the way.

If you were able to email yourself in the past what would be the most important thing you would like to write to you before your first launch?

I would advise myself to join more writing communities sooner and not to rush the end of the process. I didn’t take time to market Rise at all before its publication.

What is the most memorable feedback you received from your readers?

I have had many wonderful reviews but if I had to pick just one comment I guess I would say that this quote made me ecstatic when I read it,

“I LOVED Amanda and could relate to her on so many levels. This may have been more of a YA Fantasy novel but I could feel Amanda’s emotions through the pages and I hurt along with her.” Dani P.

I had received comments about being an emotional writer while I was working on the manuscript, but to receive that feedback from an unbiased reader was altogether something different.

That said, I love every single one of the reviews I have received from readers of Rise for different reasons. As Edmund Wilson said, “No two persons ever read the same book.”

Reviews can be a great way to learn from your readers and I feel listening to reviews can be just as beneficial for improving upon my overall writing process as attending webinars and conferences.

Anything else you want to add? 

As they say, two minds are better than one. I believe that there is real value in collaboration and I don’t think that I would have had the confidence in my manuscript to publish without the help of my editors and proofreaders.

Where could my audience find a copy of your book?

Rise is available for purchase through:

https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Blood-Inheritance-M-Ainihi-ebook/dp/B075PX97CK

 

Meet Joe Everner

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hello, thank you for the interview! I’m Joe Evener. I have written three books. The Heart of Seras series. Book one, Journey to Seras; book two, The Elders; and book three, Revelation. There will be six books in the series. I have been married to my wife Bronwen for 36 years. We have two sons and two grandsons. I live in Delaware, Ohio. I coach girls’ track and field for Big Walnut HS. I have been a Language Arts and Social Studies teacher for six years. And I love to travel and write.

 

What’s the story behind the title?

The title of the series comes from my main character being prophesized as the Heart. A warrior designated by the ancient elders to save the dimension of a world named Seras. The Heart, Julie Ayers, is a teenage girl from Earth. She is brought to Seras to begin her training to vanquish an evil queen set on destroying Seras and Earth. I came up with the ‘Heart’ because she is the life force coursing through the story, and it also describes her personality – vibrant, energetic, full of life. I wanted something to conjure images of her ability to liven any room. The name Seras is a different story. I really struggled with what to name a different dimension. As it happened, there was a Sears Hardware store I had to pass nearly every day on my way from where I lived to where I coached when my main road was closed for repairs. After seeing Sears that often I started playing with the letters…and S-E-A-R-S quickly became S-E-R-A-S. I liked it, and it stuck.

Why did you write this book?

I have always had a thriving imagination. I love reading, especially fantasy books – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. I also loved comic books growing up. My best friend, my brother, and I made up our own superheroes. We drew the comics and came up with storylines. So I used to make up stories just to have fun and escape for a while. In Fourth grade, my teacher had the class write stories and read them in class. A friend of mine was struggling and asked if I would write one for him. I wrote Super Joe Saves the President. I was a superhero and made my friend the president. I made one of the prettiest girls in class his wife. I remember being thrilled beyond belief about having my story read aloud, listening to my classmates laugh…and even being slightly embarrassed. During my time in working for an insurance company from 1983-1999 I wrote two screenplays. One was being looked at by a company that went out of business before anything materialized. After that I just played round with short stories and poetry to feed my desire to write. Then this story came along. I wrote this book because it was a story that needed to be told. It wouldn’t let me not tell the story. It is pure escapism fun, and let’s face it, we need more escapism fun in the world. 

How do you keep the reader attention?

I write what I look for in a story, whether it is a book, movie, or TV show. I want action. So I make it a point to add a fight scene or something dramatic/tragic/sensual (depending on what I am writing) by every two-three chapters. I want my stories to be original. The worst thing I could hear is, that’s just like blah, blah, blah. While I am inspired by all kinds of work, I don’t want to copy them. So I try to keep their interest by giving them something new, something original, and something with a lot of action.

How did you come up with this book idea?

I started writing my book series in 2005 during my first year of college (I was 41 years old at the time), after being inspired by a freshman writing class which had the first three books of Harry Potter as textbooks, and Classical Mythology 101. In Mythology class I was supposed to do a project for a final grade. I decided to create my own mythology story with new gods and goddesses, however it was taking to long so I scraped it for another project but kept the idea behind it. I started playing with a character on a horse riding with the sun rising behind him, nearly dead. Why was he dying? He became Marcus. After that, the story just flowed. I put a lot of elements of books, movies, and television shows I love into the story: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lord of the Rings, Highlander, Gladiator, and Chronicles of Narnia to name a few. My first draft had my main male character, Marcus, as the main character, but I felt Julie’s story was better in the long run. Marcus has a redemption story, Julie’s story is the real journey.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I love helping with the design of the book covers. Working with cover artists about the mood, tone, and style of the books is fascinating to me. A good cover is important to catch readers’ attentions. The part I dislike the most is marketing. There is never enough time in the day to market all the ways possible. You never know which way is the best. And, while I am marketing, I’m not writing.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am keeping buy. I am currently working on book four of my The Heart of Seras series, The Dark Warrior. Book one, Journey to Seras, was published in 2013; book two, The Elders, came out in 2015; and book three, Revelation, was just released this year. I am hoping for a 2020 release date for book four, and the whole series (six books) will be completed by 2024. Book five (Into the Abyss), and book six (Journey’s End) are all outlined, and just waiting for me to get to them. Journey to Seras is also scheduled to be released in audio version by the end of the year. I am also shopping around a new stand alone romance book I completed last year, as well as starting a new middle grade fantasy book (Weird Things in Wickerville).

Where would my audience find your book?

My books are available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Evener/e/B00H5U2Y02/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Barnes and Nobel online

 

Meet Angela Joseph

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

My name is Angela Joseph. I am the author of one non-fiction book Women For All Seasons and the Egypt series, three fiction books. I am also a blogger and freelance writer for health and wellness sites.

What’s the story behind the title?

The story behind the title goes back to the time when I was a teacher in Trinidad. Two sisters attended the school where I taught, although neither of them were my pupils, and it was rumored they were being abused by their father. They lived in a secluded home in a place called Egypt Village. Coming Out of Egypt deals with the journey of two sisters who lived in the same locale and were abused by their father. I have also used the Biblical story of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt as a metaphor for the turbulent journey of these two sisters out of an abusive childhood.

Why did you write this book?

Stories of sexual abuse are in the news every day. It is neither obsolete nor pertinent only to third world countries, yet victims of sexual abuse do not receive the help or attention they deserve. I wrote this book to inspire and encourage women, as well as men, who have been sexually abused and let them know that they have self worth and they too can “come out of Egypt” and find love, understanding and forgiveness.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I keep the reader’s attention by pacing the plot points in such a way that the reader wants to know what happens next, but at the same time doesn’t skip over any part of the narrative. For example, a high-tension scene where Cicely’s father tells her fiancé that Cicely was a nightclub dancer in an attempt to break them up, is preceded by a tropical rainstorm in which she is almost marooned on the beach. The reader can feel the tension building. I also sprinkle cultural titbits throughout the novel that give them a glimpse of Trinidad culture and add depth to the story.

How did you come up with this book idea?

The idea came to me when I saw TV personalities like Oprah Winfrey and popular televangelist Joyce Meyer and others talking openly about their experience with sexual abuse. I thought if these women could “come out of Egypt” to become who God created them to be, then anyone, with God’s help, could do the same. So, I decided to rewrite the story of those two pupils I knew in Egypt Village.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

Once the ink has dried, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the rest involved with publishing disappear, but unfortunately that is not case. So, while I don’t enjoy any of them, I get some satisfaction when I see even my limp marketing efforts bear some fruit. I strictly avoid design and formatting. I tackle editing with a vengeance because I know how important that is.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am currently working on another women’s fiction set in Georgia. It deals with three friends and their secrets. I also have a fun, romantic novella that I started some time ago that I would like to complete. In addition, I will continue blogging and freelancing for health and wellness sites. I will also continue to promote Coming Out of Egypt and the other books in the series, In the Wilderness and In the Promised Land.

Where would my audience find your book?

They can find Coming Out of Egypt at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FNJ5EIU

 

Meet Benyakir Horowitz

Q: Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Benyakir B. Horowitz. I spent most of my life in Boulder, Colorado, where I and studied Italian, Classics and Linguistics for my undergrad before earning a Master’s degree from Middlebury College in Florence. I then worked in Milan for a year before I moved back to the United States. I first thought I would go into translation, but I quickly found that I could express myself better and more clearly through my own original work that I never looked back.

Q: What’s the story behind the title?

It took me a long time to make the decision of how to title my book, The Rest of the Dreams. I made this decision because it was the best way to convey the totality of the story. Both of the words, Rest and Dreams each have specific meanings they transform between during the story. The protagonist’s Rest starts off as repose or a break from reality. His rest comes when he holds his breath as he passes from death’s door to security. A second meaning comes as he wakes up from his coma and begins to feel impatient at having to go through the long, intensive process of recovery and the powerlessness that comes with it. As far as Dreams go, it begins as the visions that come at night and in a coma. Much like Rest, it transitions into aspirations as the protagonist regains enough of his consciousness to want something better for himself.

Q: Why did you write this book?

For a long time, I wrestled with the idea of writing about my experiences in a coma. The straw that broke the camel’s back was seeing and reading one too many inaccurate portrayals of comas, atrophy and recovery in TV and books. I wanted to give what was to me a realistic but fictional narrative of such a calamity.

Q: How do you keep the reader’s attention?

I believe that the most important element in a book is honesty. All readers (me included) are drawn into a story that exaggerates and dramatizes, but in those moments of midnight trips to the fridge, it rings hollow to me. The way that I put this in my stories is that I have never felt that my characters should necessarily be relatable or personable to an audience for the sake of it but because they are acting like themselves. My goal is to capture the weird idiosyncrasies and tics that make up a human, not the idealized (or platonic) template of a strong, bad or scheming character. By relying on my honesty instead of stereotypes and interchangeable stories, I hope to create a unique story that uplifts the reader as much as it does the author.

Q: How did you come up with this book idea?

Besides what I wrote above, I thought writing the book would be easy (because of my experiences), but when I finally got down to it I had no idea where to begin. Thankfully, I got a much clearer idea after ingesting post-modern literature and films (such as Gravity’s Rainbow and Jacob’s Ladder). They showed me that the best way to communicate the effects of a coma is to emphasize sensation and emotion over coherence or concision.

Q: What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I’m not a big fan of design because I’m a perfectionist of little graphical abilities. I have great ideas, but I have few ways to implement them. I often get frustrated and annoyed while designing my covers because I have a hard time with any sort of format for expression other than writing.

As far as what I enjoy, it probably is the marketing. I’m still a newbie, but there are a lot of creative and cool things you can do. I previously thought of marketing as lying to get sales, but there’s something more I’ve figured out. I get the opportunity to offer a different perspective to people who disagree on what good writing is.

Q: What’s next on your writing journey?

I’m about halfway done writing the rough draft of a new book about the immigration in the United States through the allegory of a semi-dysfunctional university. The story behind it is that I have become quite involved with it and needed to put in my two cents. After having experiences abroad and helping my wife move to the United States from Italy and hearing people say quite erroneous conclusions, I feel like I need to correct them on the onerous complexity of both the system and the burden of the immigrant.

Q: Where would my audience find your book?

Out on December 5th, The Rest of the Dreams will be available softbound and as an e-book on Lulu and soon after on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Nobles and other common platforms for e-books, such as iBooks. Also, until the book is published, I will be posting a different draft of the first chapter, available on Wattpad at: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/159460983-the-first-chapter-of-the-rest-of-the-dreams

You can learn more about me as an author on my Amazon author page at: https://www.amazon.com/Benyakir-B.-Horowitz/e/B079MHHNLF/

My Lulu page at: https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1551974

 

Meet Jennifer 

Thanks for your patience. Here is the list of questions: (Answer below each question and keep the bold to differentiate them)

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

My name is Jennifer Irwin. I released my debut novel, A Dress the Color of the Sky in October of last year. I reside in Los Angeles but grew up in New York. While raising my three sons, I taught private Pilates which gave me a lot of great material for my book. Since its release, my novel has received four book awards and been optioned for a feature film. Over the past year, I have written a lot of flash fiction. One of my stories was published in a just released anthology titled, California’s Emerging Writers.

What’s the story behind the title?

The title is based on the 15th century fairy tale Donkeyskin. In the fairy tale, the queen, who is on her deathbed, tells the king he can only marry someone fairer than she. After the queen passes the king turns mad and believes his daughter is the fairest of them all. He asks the princess for her hand in marriage. Of course the princess doesn’t want to marry her father so she visits a fairy. The fairy tells the princess to ask her father to make her a dress the color of the sky. He surely won’t be able to this and then the princess would be free. I chose this title because my book deals with the subject of healing from childhood trauma which aligns with the fairy tale. This is the first book in a trilogy. The other books will be, A Dress the Color of the Moon and, A Dress the Color of the Sun.

Why did you write this book?

I began writing the book to heal from a toxic, traumatizing marriage. After my divorce, I felt like I had failed at the most important thing in my life and writing made me feel better. There was also a part of me that wondered whether my difficult childhood had played a role in my inability to choose the right partner. The more curious I became, the more research I conducted and that turned into me creating the character, Prudence Aldrich.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I have a unique writing voice which is direct and unadorned. The book goes back and forth in time which creates empathy for the flawed, poorly behaved protagonist. Prudence’s thoughts are in italics so the reader understands her frame of mind when she checks into rehab. They are also by her side through her journey to find self love. I don’t just drop off characters and forget about them. Each person in rehab has a story and is woven through the book.

How did you come up with this book idea?

I wrote a screenplay when I was studying film at Denison University. The book idea was spring-boarded from the screenplay so I guess I’ve been thinking about it for a long time! Most of what I’m curious about is how our childhood affects our lives and most importantly how we look at love and choose a partner to share our lives with. I’m also interested in the difference between the male versus female sex drive. Something I delve into in the book. I wanted to create a relatable yet flawed female protagonist. A character who does bad things but when you learn about her life, you begin to care about her and root for her. The underlying theme of pretty much every story I write is, nothing is ever what it seems.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

Right now, I feel ask though I’m in a place of limbo. I’ve released my book and it’s doing well but I published indie so all of the marketing falls on my shoulders. The marketing takes up a ton of time and my agent is putting the pressure on me to get the sequel written. It’s hard to let go of one baby so you can create the next one. My agent is in the process of trying to land me a big five publishing contract to re-release A Dress the Color of the Sky and an upfront publishing deal for the sequel. To answer your question, I am good at marketing but it’s such a time sucker that I’m struggling with finding balance. So at the moment, I’m not a fan of marketing!

What’s next on your writing journey?

I’m going to slow down the marketing on A Dress the Color of the Sky and focus on what’s next for Prudence Aldrich. I would love to take a few writing seminars and enjoy meeting other writers to share ideas and commiserate. Indie writers are very supportive of each other, especially on Twitter which is where I have my biggest fan base.

Where would my audience find your book?

My book is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover. It’s also available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Powells. Thank you for letting me talk about my favorite subject, A Dress the Color of the Sky:-)

 

Meet Jen YatesNZ 

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hi Ndeye, thank you for inviting me here. I write as Jen YatesNZ and rather obviously, I live down-under in New Zealand. I added NZ to my name to differentiate from another Jen Yates on Amazon who writes about cake wrecks! I’m a great-gran and live in a small rural village in the King Country, a farming region in the central North Island, with my ‘somewhat’ younger husband.

What’s the story behind the title?

This is the 4th book in the ‘Lords of the Matrix Club’ series. The heroes are cousins and Knight, “Lord Knightsborough, in ‘Her Dark Lord’ is the oldest and has no intention of marrying. He is well acquainted with the family tendency to dark moods, spends his days holed up in his office in the bowels of the Horse Guards building and his nights overseeing the Matrix Club which he runs in his home on Chapel Street for the sexual misfits of the ton. His gruff and stern exterior some ugly emotional wounds and a deep need to help those similarly afflicted. Somewhat like a mole, he prefers the dark. But he’s tired and is looking forward to retiring and moving permanently to his country estate to hibernate now his cousins are all married.

Why did you write this book?

I thought there were only going to be three books in this series at first but Knight developed into an amazing character who, more than the other three, needed some light in his life. He would have argued quite vehemently against such a suggestion so I brought Lady Penelope Grantwood to his door. She’s feisty, she challenges him (with a gun in her hand in the first instance), he needs to keep her close because she might be the clue he’s looking for in a treason investigation, and she needs his protection. I loved dragging him into the light and giving him a HEA.

How do you keep the reader attention?

My books are character and emotion driven. I write sexy romance set in the Regency era. The H & H usually have ‘wounds’ from the past that shape who they are in the time of the story, or who they think they are. If they are attracted, there’s a very strong reason why they shouldn’t be, or don’t want to be. In ‘Her Dark Lord’, the heroine’s gay husband has just been killed in a suspicious riding accident. Although she’s not a virgin (her step-father raped her on her wedding night because he knew her husband couldn’t consummate the marriage) she’s been several years in a sexless marriage. Nevertheless, she’s a widow of one day! She’s also been kidnapped and brought to London for questioning by one of Knight’s operatives. Having learned the hard way to protect herself, she always carries a pair of small pistols about her person – and often dresses as a man. She’s a direct challenge to Knight on every level. And they are both snared from the first fraught meeting.

How did you come up with this book idea?

This is a hard question. Books 2 & 3 in the series pretty much started with the titles, ‘The Perfect Duchess’ and ‘The Virgin Widow’. The title for Bk.4. proved much more elusive and I’m still not sure I’m totally happy with it! My stories tend to evolve as I write and cogitate and work with my critique partner. Knight himself was the catalyst for this book. He was a challenge I couldn’t resist and he so deserved his HEA. So I had to find the perfect, saucy lady to challenge him at every turn and show him there could be more to life than the dark world he chose to inhabit. The moment she stood at his door with a gun in her hand, I knew she was perfect for him. And he was just the man to show her what an intimate relationship with a man could actually be, even though he would have argued the opposite!

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I want to write the books and let someone else do all the rest!!! I imagine this is the answer many writers would give to this question. But my first books didn’t seem to fit any genre and I turned to self-publishing. Not surprising really, as my family will all tell you, my catch-phrase from early childhood has been, ‘I can do it myself!’ Not being born into the computer age, every step of the techno-journey has been a trial and a triumph. I get my covers made for me. My efforts in that direction sucked! But I mastered publishing on Amazon so am happy with this process. I have managed to publish 3 in print format through CreateSpace. I find this more difficult and am slow to start the next one! It’s a vanity thing really, cos it’s so great to be able to hold a physical copy of your own book! So eventually I will grit my teeth and start the next one!

Marketing? It has to be done but I’m really like a babe wandering in the woods. I tend to join things, think it’s going to be a cinch, can’t find my way around the site or work out what I’m supposed to do, and throw my hands in the air and move on! Yeah, marketing is the worst! 

What’s next on your writing journey?

My next project is another series of 9 books – (‘she says cautiously’ cos I’ve already found another hero on one of the family trees named Dante. With a name like that, he has to have a story!) So actually, I think this series might just continue! And harking back to my intro where I divulged that I’m a Great-Gran, I’m thinking this series might actually see me out! Though I do mean to continue writing for many years yet!!! The series is based on the young ladies of five families living in the big houses loosely surrounding the imaginary town of Stannesford in Oxfordshire. One dies, and her story overshadows all the others. And it’s set in the Regency era. It’s where I’m most at home.

Where would my audience find your book?

My books are available through Amazon via

Jen YatesNZ Author Page  – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009MSEA7U And they can be accessed on Amazon

 

Meet Barbara

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

My name is Barbara Storey, and I’m an author, photographer and digital artist, and a pattern designer. I love to write, to read, to travel, and am also crazy about baseball. I was born and now live in Canada, but I’m a former resident of New York City and miss it very much. I’m particularly fond of certain book series – Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Outlander – of poetry, historical fiction, mysteries and thrillers, biographies, and history of almost any kind, but particularly art and political. I have lived several different, interesting lives in both North America and Europe, but through them all, one thing has remained true: creating is essential. Writing or art – as long as I’m making something and telling a story, I’m happy.

What’s the story behind the title?

“Fate Cuts Both Ways” is about a young couple who meet and fall in love because of an unusual circumstance, so they think of Fate as having brought them together. But the path of their relationship is not ALL happy – the sorrow of a tragic incident reminds them that Fate is not always kind.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote “Fate” because I am an incurable romantic, and I also wanted to see a relationship that triumphs over sorrow and disappointment of a particular kind.

How do you keep the reader attention?

The main characters – Jon and Becca – are complex and passionate people who have very full lives before they even meet, and their story will really draw readers in and may even remind them of events in their own lives. Also, the love scenes are very . . . compelling!

How did you come up with this book idea?

I belonged to an online forum that did regular writing challenges, and I started writing this story in response to one of those challenges. It was only supposed to be a short story, but I got carried away!

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

Marketing and promotion are probably my least favourite parts of publishing, because I’m really not very good at them. I love the design parts, coming up with covers and promotional materials.

What’s next on your writing journey?

My WIP is a ghost story with touches of time travel and romance, a lot of good food, and pirates!

Where would my audience find your book?

“Fate Cuts Both Ways” is available now for preorder on Amazon – due out in early September.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G2W7GR9

Meet Rebecca Reddell

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Thank you! My name is Rebecca Reddell, aka Becky, and I was born and raised in Missouri. It’s where I still reside with close family and friends. I’m a dog lover and have my own pup, Kody. I enjoy a good cup of tea, but I do need my morning coffee to start the day! One day I hope to learn how to play the guitar, piano and learn other languages fluently. I’m a former elementary teacher and current bookseller.

Anything else you want to add?

I have written five books. One is a poetry compilation I put together to share my thoughts on emotions, family, life, love, and inspiration. Later, I wrote my own take on fairy tales, and those retellings comprise Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. I’m in the middle of a four-art historical fiction series. Creating my own books is something I love to do. It’s my dream.

How do you measure success as a writer?

I measure success by every reader who lets me know that they enjoyed my books. It makes me feel as if I’m returning to the world what several authors have done for me. They’ve allowed me to escape to other worlds, become new characters, and opened up whole new worlds I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to visit otherwise. My success comes from every reader who is given a memorable reading experience.

Do you have any tips for young writers?

Keep going! Even if you get discouraged, never give up! You can do it. Trying, working hard, and climbing that hill is all worth it in the end. When you have finished your project, it is such an amazing and life-changing feeling. Put your fingers to the keys or your pencil to paper and just write! Write anything you can every day.

When and why did you start writing?

I was first introduced to books at birth, and I’ve been reading and writing since I can remember. The feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, and the contrast of the letters and pictures against the page were intoxicating to me as a child. Even before I could connect letters and sounds, I knew books were the most important part of my new world. My love of reading led to my passion for writing. I started writing my first novel when I was twelve, and I hand-wrote 247 pages before I got my first computer. It was the start of a life-long passion.

What’s the story behind the title?

Realm Walk is my own take on Sleeping Beauty. It’s a retelling that features elves, hybrids, witches, warlocks, Greek gods and goddesses, and mermaids. That might sound like a lot, but you don’t know what Maezy is up against.

I was inspired to write this version after I had written my other fairy tale retellings. Maezy, Brandalfr, and her whole story came to me in an instant. Sometimes, it’s like that. To start though, Anne Elisabeth Stengl and Rooglewood Press had contests for different retellings. I participated in the first couple and gained great feedback from the judges.

This led me to be inspired to continue my writing and revise the ones I’d already written. From there, my twelve-year-old self-decided that I wanted to follow through with my life-long dream of being a writer, and I decided to give self-publishing a try. I researched it, and I hoped to share my stories with others. A few terrifying months later, I pushed publish. I’ve been pleased with my decision ever since.

How did you develop the villain character?

I developed the Elf King by considering some of my favorite elf characters (J.R.R. Tolkien’s to be honest) and giving him/them an evil makeover. I thought of Legolas and what he’d be like if he had a hidden agenda and wanted to rule the world instead of defeating Sauron and destroying the ring. It’s my take on how evil can rule the day, and the main character is the “ring” instead of an actual, you know, ring.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

I would like readers to take away from my writing a sense of enjoyment. I hope they feel as if they visited a new world and met some great characters. I hope they appreciate the new twists to my fairytale retellings and come to love the new characters I have created.

Meet Karen S. Cole

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

I am Karen S. Cole, book ghostwriter and editor since 2003 and before. And book marketer, script and screenplay ghost supplier, also music, lyrics, speeches and other ghostwriting services agency worker. I run Ghost Writer, Inc. in other words, a longtime Internet ghostwriting company. We’re located at https://rainbowriting.com and we offer affordable ghostwriting services of all kinds, year round. Meanwhile, I currently have three published books out, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kodo, Smashwords and many other venues: The Rainbow Horizon: A Tale of Goofy Chaos; Woody Allen Makes a Scary Sandwich; and The Book of Nice Monsters: A Few Scurrilous Drawings. The latter was #1 on Amazon under keyword: Native American. All three books were Amazon best sellers for several months, the last one for over eight months.

 

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

A sense of wonder, wholeness and completeness. My magnum opus is The Rainbow Horizon, which is possibly the world’s first truly multicultural, multiracial book that features American ethnic humor in a positive, non-stereotypical light. People of Color starring, white inclusive. Abounding with diversity of many kinds, probably not all kinds, but I tried to portray the 1980’s Pacific Northwest as I remembered it: ethnically diverse and ever-growing. I want my readers to have fun, not take things too seriously, kick back and enjoy a nice cozy read by the fire or on the beach, that sort of thing. Not too serious!

How do you measure success as a writer?

Well, not necessarily through book sales. Although that helps. I have yet to sell a million copies of anything of mine, but some of my ghostwritten books that were either ghosted by me or members of my team have hit the New York Times bestseller lists. Not allowed to name the ones I did, NDAs signed for those. So I feel successful, having worked directly on over 50 books over time and indirectly on something like 300-400 books. I’ve also written plenty of articles, blog posts, worked on improving websites, done artwork with writing similar to graphic novels…I inked a splash page for Batman (DC Comics) once!

Do you have any tips for young writers?

Don’t despair. It can be hard to get published at first. But the Internet is an exciting new venue for all types of writing. No holds barred! So no matter who and what you are, or your experience level, you CAN and WILL be published if you hang in there and keep trying. I suggest publishing your articles and posts on writer’s blogs and Internet article websites, which can be a foot in the door and lead others to your work. And get published in literary arts magazines, here in the USA and overseas. Universities have these, send them your work fitting their guidelines and get in that way. Many a published book author got their start in literary arts magazines. Also, get a degree of some kind, such as in English Language and Literature.

When and why did you start writing?

As soon as I hit kindergarten. I wrote a story about an elephant (based on the Republicans) pushing his head into people’s windows and spying on them when I was in First Grade. My teacher told me I ought to be a writer, and I agreed. Been on the road to become one ever since. Am always starting to become one, no matter how experienced I get there is always something new. At 14, I was in my family’s basement reading Marvel Comics and researching Stan Lee’s Bullpen when I decided to stop reading comic books – too much graphic violence and gore, not enough plot – and start reading only books. Then, I decided, once I grew up I would found my own ghostwriting business and send work out to other ghostwriters on my own team or “cattle pen.” In 2003, my dream was realized when I founded Rainbow Writing, Inc. I did all the book ghostwriting at first, then due to having more work leads than I could handle, I started sending work out to other ghosts in 2005, just like I dreamed of in our basement. Slowly, my team has grown to over 200 people. And that is just the short list! In 2011, I rebranded my growing company as Ghost Writer, Inc. I have ghosted and edited every genre or type of book you can name, except for technical writing.

What’s the story behind the title?

Ghost Writer, Inc. is due to search engine terms reasons. But The Rainbow Horizon: A Tale of Goofy Chaos is an outgrowth of Rainbow Writing, Inc. I was inspired by Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition, and the LGBTQ Rainbow Movement, as well as rainbows in general. The Seattle area, like NYC, is infamous for the amount of rain it gets. Helps put out the forest fires!

Why did you write this book? The genre is relatively confusing did you do it on purpose?

Well, the genre turned out to be magical realism, according to Amazon. I had thought I’d come up with something profoundly original, but it turned out to be similar to Mexican writing of a similar stripe. I figured, as a mostly white-looking woman with up to 1/4 Native American ancestry, I was as able as anyone else to write a multicultural humor novel – as long as I kept things simple and not stereotypical. I like to think I did pretty well in that regard.

If you were able to email yourself in the past what would be the most important thing you would like to write to you before your first launch?

Be careful what you wish for, for your wishes are all going to come true!

Meet Susanne Leist

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hi. My name is Susanne Leist. I am the author of The Dead Game.

What’s the story behind the title?

The Dead Game is the first in a series of books that take place is the fictional setting of Oasis, Florida. Oasis is nestled on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean with white sand and picturesque homes. Tourists visit the town for its warm weather and the Oasis Hotel, which caters to the rich and famous. The nights bring another story. The chilly sea breeze brings dark shadows to the street of the town and mysterious parties in the woods behind the town.

Why did you write this book?

My recent interest in the paranormal enticed me to write a paranormal suspense in an exotic location. I wanted to combine suspense, mystery, and romance.

How do you keep the reader’s attention?

Readers won’t have time to let their attention wander. The action is non-stop. There are twists and turns along the way that will keep them guessing.

How did you come up with this book idea?

My idea began with a deserted house as in many mysteries. My characters are lured to this mansion with a promise of a party. They are confronted with traps and illusions. The story takes a turn to the supernatural by the residents who keep hidden during the day but appear only after dark. I didn’t know I would be entering the paranormal realm until my characters did.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I love writing and marketing. These activities I perform on my own. Editing can be a chore, but it must be done. I hire help for editing and formatting.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I finished writing the second book in the series. I’m still editing. Soon I will forward it to an editor.

Where would my audience find your book?

My book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in e-book and paperback. AMAZON     http://amzn.to/1lKvMrP     

Meet GIGI Sedlmayer 

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

I was born in Berlin, Germany, on 19 May 1944. Escaping to the West before the wall went up, we moved a lot around, changing schools and having no friends. Finally settling in Munich.

Studying architectural drafting, I met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967.

In May 1975 we moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business.

In 1988 we decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji the year after.

In September 1992 we immigrated to Australia.

In 1993 I was diagnosed with cancer. Surviving, I started to write stories. First only short stories, until I wrote the story about handicapped Matica and her giant condor, Talon. A lot is in Matica about me and my life.

What’s the story behind the title?

Because I suffered greatly as a child, when we moved so many times and had to change school about 7 times. I never had friends anymore. I was afraid I would lose them anyway. The same is, when a child has an affliction. That child is rejected as well. Since we had adopted Indian twin-girls from Fiji, they also faced some of rejection when they started school. But we always lifted them up with positive things. And so it came, that I say:

Children suffer from all sorts of affliction and through my books they can learn how to cope with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can and should find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with none curable afflictions, or been rejected, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.

Parents can read my books to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome their affliction in a positive way, not in a negative way.

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to show the world, that it is possible to overcome and not only dwell on the things they are, but dwell on the things they can be, if they put their minds to it. I know, and I have come to it, that it is not easy to follow what I am writing. People dwell, unfortunately, too much on the things they see in front of them and not what can be. But I try to give them the message. Like we did with our adopted girls.

How do you keep the reader attention?

Writing that, I put a great adventure with it. Like in my story, Matica, the handicapped child, she has a growth handicap, she stays too small for her age, I let her be friends with a pair of giant condors. To do that, she has to face herself and overcome her fear. So I had to put the story to the Andean in Peru, South America. She and her Dad rescuing the egg from the poachers and she is bringing up the chick, to become the mighty condor he meant to be. And then starts the read adventure.

How did you come up with this book idea?

“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. (I myself had that problem. I was crawling into the shell of a turtle or in a black hole, as I always said) This pressure is leading to record rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

Well, I have to say that I hate all of the publishing requirements. I love writing. So I have a publisher who I pay, to do the design, formatting and all that. And I try as much as I can, to advertise. Mostly in Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Google+. I have put my books in several internet outlets. Also in competition. I have won some of them.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I have published five books up to now. Finish writing the sixth, but I am still re-writing it. That I do a lot. I have started with the seventh.

  • TALON, COME FLY WITH ME:
  1. TALON, ON THE WING
  2. TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE
  3. TALON, CONNECTED
  4. TALON, ENCOUNTER

Where would my audience find your book?

https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

 

Meet Michael Madden

Hello Micheal,

Please introduce yourself

I have always had a passion for writing, and to be read! It began with school projects, songs for a band that I was in, poetry, newsletters for various cricket teams, etc. However, that has never been how I made a living.

I have worked for many years in the IT industry, as a result of which I have been quoted in publications as prestigious as the New York Times. My career also spawned the popular 11 part blog The History Of (My) Coding(http://www.legacyit.co.uk/the-history-of-my-coding-cards-and-catastrophes/).

I have self-published five titles, including a rhyming children’s picture book, a “coffee table” book exploring the legacy of Elvis Presley based upon the artists that have covered his original songs (foreword by Suzi Quatro), two novels and a cookery book.

I also created Mike Sanchez Big Town Playboy (foreword by Robert Plant) in a publishing deal with Music Mentor Books. This involved interviewing such musical legends as Robert Plant, Bill Wyman, Jeff Beck and Andy Fairweather Low.

I have had several articles published in newspapers and magazines, on subject matter ranging from the growth in Print On Demand publishing, to articles on Olympic hopefuls, and even a preview and review of a performance by rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef, that included an interview with the singer himself. I regularly undertake interviews with star performers at the Leek Blues & Moorlands Americana Festival, where my pieces feature prominently.

More recently I have become guest presenter on The Book Show on Ex Pat Radio.

Originally from Sale in Cheshire, I now live with my wife Sally in the more peaceful surroundings of Whaley Bridge, in the Peak District.

You can find more of my writing at http://michael-madden.co.uk/

How did you get the idea to write a book about zombies, even though you mentioned at the beginning that it is very different from other zombie story’s?

My sons are always on their X-Boxes, and one of the games that they play is Nazi Zombies. Outside of that they watch movies such as Zombieland, and the Waking Dead series, so I know that zombies are a subject that interests young people.

Did you want to sympathize Zombies with kids?

Not really. It was my idea to engage with zombies and in some way show a progression from being perfectly normal to being a zombie. Teens have very inquiring minds, and they need to believe in a story. There is always a reason someone becomes a zombie, I made that “spark” a relatively simple process, as opposed to other stories that, for instance, require a top secret experiment to go hideously wrong.

When Mr.Gibson thought the kids how zombies get infected (insects, fish or chemicals) did you think about a disease or something?

I did think that becoming a zombie could be seen as a kind of disease, and as I mentioned previously this is more believable than the top secret experiment.

Is it easy to find a way to write a scary book for kids but don’t get too scary?

It is a challenge because kids grow up so differently. In some cases zombies would be off limits to a teenager, whilst in my experience many primary school children have encountered zombie gore and rampages in various forms. When I was growing up there was very little zombie type violence on the tv and at the cinema you had to be 18 to get in to see it. Nowadays, with X-Boxes and other easily accessible media, the lines have been blurred. Parents quite often relax the rules because “its only a video game”. I pitched my book at young teens, which by definition is around 13-15, but I have had readers as young as 9.

Isn’t it traumatic for Jimmy and zak to see Schmitty (Adrian) get eaten by his dad?

Yes – and I tried to almost make time stand still at that point in the book. Encountering a horror can heighten the senses, and you notice things that perhaps you would not otherwise see, in this case to focus on something other than the horror. However, I tried to avoid the “Stephen King” level of detail, based upon the young audience that I was aiming for.

Is there any French influence in the books? ( Zombie stages: rouge, bleu, noir etc.)

Almost by accident I have a lot of Ex Pat French readers. I also wanted to make the zombie strains a bit more exotic, but not just the traditional alpha, beta, etc. If the book is successful I have the germ of an idea to explore where the stages got their names from in a sequel.

What inspired you to the catchy phrase „a thousand miles from home can still be home“?

I think there are a lot of books, particularly horror, where catchphrases are used as a “hook”. The previously mentioned Stephen King is a master at this. I always had the idea that the action would be close to Jimmy and Zak’s homes, whilst recalling times in my own childhood when things were unfamiliar even within just a couple of miles from my own home.

What kind of Point has the character of Joshua?

Joshua is a kind of hero and almost an antihero. In future books his role would be further explained, but it would also diminish as Jimmy and Zak become the real zombie hunters. When I scripted Joshua I pictured the professor from “Back To The Future” – a kind of mad scientist!

Where were Ollie and their mother the whole time?

I deliberately kept the characters to a minimum. In adult books it is not recommended to exceed 7 characters, in children’s I think it should be less. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven were an exception, as they were more of a group, but in The History Of Zombies I saw no need to add to the complexity just for the sake of expanding their roles.

Why does the book have the title „The History of Zombies“ (inside of the story, there aren’t really historical parts)?

The “History” refers to the title of the scroll. This story is just the beginning, and I am hopeful that I will be able to produce future tales that will expand on the scroll and the real “History Of Zombies”; where they came from, who named them, etc.

Are the main characters only dreaming or making the story about the zombies up (it is so unrealistic )?

The main characters are not dreaming, but thinking of the audience, although I wanted to make it more realistic than other zombie dramas, I wanted it to still be something that could not be considered “real”. So I used aerosol sprays as a weapon, and commonly used medical equipment. I also wanted to introduce the idea that zombies, if they really were mindless, would not just eat humans, they would eat animals and each other if they were given the chance. Again, all very unrealistic, but a different angle on the traditional “zombie hordes”.

Are the characters in your other books similar to Jimmy and Zak?

My other books are very different. The only other one aimed at children is the rhyming picture book Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle. Again there are Ole and Zac in the mix, but that’s because they are the names of my two sons. This book was conceived on a rainy holiday in Barbados, and when we returned to the UK we got the local schoolchildren to provide illustrations for the book, with the finished product sold to raise funds for the school charity. However, I am hoping to make The History Of Zombies into the first of a series.

How did you get the idea to write a book about zombies, even though you mentioned at the beginning that it is very different from other zombie story’s?

I wanted to get kids off their X-Boxes and into a book, which seems to be so difficult these days. As I mentioned previously, one of the games that is frequently played deals with zombies, and I thought this would be a good subject to tempt kids into a paperback!

 

Meet LINDA HEAVNER GERALD

https://media.licdn.com/dms/image/C4E12AQGJ1PbiWjxZUw/article-inline_image-shrink_1500_2232/0?e=1549497600&v=beta&t=6GQr2JzTnqsj_gdmcL0DsTPZpkQXonmXKMUPDPupjQc

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Linda Heavner Gerald

What’s the story behind the title?

VieVie La Fontaine is my dream book. This story about Paris in post World War I France demonstrates the fear, depravity, and loyalty of the French people as Hitler marched toward that glittering jewel, Paris. I fell in love with Paris in the 1980’s. Later, I visited northern France and saw the graves to the French Resistance. Something stirred in me. The dream of writing a book about that time period inspired me. Often, I try to imagine how they felt as a monster mowed down everything in his path. The Jewish people are lovingly remembered in this book. The narrator is Mark Lichter, a young Jewish man, who is forced to leave his parents in Berlin and reside with strangers in an unknown land. He falls in love not only with the place but his beautiful hostess, VieVie La Fontaine, who was once a model there. Her husband, Louie, was a famous general. Under his nose, these two people fall in love and betrayal his love and loyalty. Till the end of their lives, they struggle with their deceptive actions.

Why did you write this book?

It was always my dream to write such a book but one evening while my husband and I dined in a local restaurant, I discussed my fascination with this period in time. A man across the aisle listened intently. Finally, he came to our table as he quietly conveyed the fact that he was a French Resistance fighter. Later, he sent photos to me. This book is dedicated to him, John Pugliese. It is also dedicated to all who perished in the Holocaust.

How do you keep the reader attention?

Writing a historical novel makes holding the attention of the reader simple. Maybe because I am a history buff, I find it intriguing to read fiction set in real events. If you enjoy history told with a moving emotional story mingled with romance, you’re going to love VieVie La Fontaine.

How did you come up with this book idea?

I offered to write a book using the highest bidder’s name one night at a charity event for the local humane society. The lady who won the bid was named VieVie La Fontaine. Although I dreamed of writing this story, I don’t know if I would have without this catalyst.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I love writing and designing. I detest editing and marketing. I write for God. Although I am not an “in your face” testifier, I pray for His guidance and write as I feel he directs. This book was so easy to write. It was as if He wrote it. My goal is not necessarily to reach the Christians but those in the world who struggle and feel hopeless. My message is that of redemption. No matter what you may have done, don’t despair. He waits with love to correct your path but remember that there are consequences. He is a just God. My story is always about the protagonist who messes up his life. As the story unwinds, he discovers that hope waits. This is true for VieVie La Fontaine. Mark and VieVie make a real mess of things and hurt her husband. There are the consequencesofo their actions. The ending will grab your heart.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am doing some rewrites on my earlier three books. Finally, I have obtained rights to them. I don’t like rewriting a book but this is necessary. The book that I am working on now is called Cycles Of Hatred. It is a story of misogyny between a twin brother and his sister. The setting is Frascati, Italy. A beautiful tale of family love and healing as a young girl suffers the worst betrayal at the hands of a brother who always hated her. This abusive person does exist in our society as unbelievable as the story seems. My husband and I have traveled all over the world. I enjoy transporting my reader to places that they may have dreamed to visit. This adds depth and charm for the reader as he imagines going there. I also like to sprinkle medical facts from my background as a registered nurse.

Where would my audience find your book?

Amazon has all my books. Eventually, Barnes and Noble also will have it. If you enjoy audios, it will be released shortly on Audible. Get ready because my producer carries this deeply emotional tale to new heights.

https://www.amazon.com/VieVie-Fontaine-Linda-Heavner-Gerald-ebook/dp/B07DYT26W6

Meet Phyllis

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hi there! My name is Phyllis Entis. I am a retired food safety microbiologist turned mystery writer. I’ve written technical reports, lab manuals, a food safety textbook, and a food safety blog during the course of my first career. In 2013, I decided to reinvent myself and started work on my first novel, The Green Pearl Caper, which I released in 2015. I now have a four-book series on Amazon and shall soon begin work on book #5. In January 2017, I donned my original hat and resumed blogging about food safety issues. This twice-weekly sideline has morphed into a free-lance writing assignment for Food Safety News, where my focus is on pet food safety issues.

When not at my computer, I can be found on my hands and knees in the garden, or out walking with husband and dog.

My mantra when things get hectic is “Send in the Clones.”

What’s the story behind the title?

My mystery series is The Damien Dickens Mysteries. I’ve always been a lover of Charles Dickens’ writings and wanted to salute him with a character’s name. Damien just seemed to fit – partly due to the alliteration, and partly because I wanted to insert a hint of devilment in the name.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote the first book just to see whether I could sustain a plot over a full-length novel. The second book came about because I wanted to find out what happened next. The third and fourth book answered questions about the backgrounds of the main characters, Damien and his wife, Millie. I’ve been working on some plot ideas for book #5. When I figure out why I want to write it, I’ll be able to begin.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I try to make the characters real. My protagonists have their strengths and also their faults, some of which derive from their strengths. I try to make my supporting cast three-dimensional as well. Many readers have told me that their favorite character is Bruno Caravaggio, a sidekick of Damien and Millie, who makes relatively brief appearances in each book.

In addition to making the characters three-dimensional, I try to have two main plot lines in each book, overlapping them at times, and (if everything goes according to plan) exposing the element that links the two plots together near the end of the book.

 

How did you come up with this book idea?

In 2011, I started attending a drop-in writing workshop at the local library near our home. At the start of each weekly session, the moderator furnished a writing prompt. We were to write whatever story was triggered by the prompt. It was a timed writing, typically 15 or 20 minutes. At the end of the time, we put pens down and those of us who were sufficiently brave read our rough stories to the rest of the group. It was a very safe space – not a critique group – and most of us were comfortable sharing. I learned a lot from listening to the other stories, including the importance of giving a story a sense of place, effective use of dialogue to reveal backstory, and so forth.

At the start of one of the weekly sessions, the moderator gave us a tactile prompt instead of a verbal one. She handed each of us a brown envelope and told us to reach inside and then describe in a few words what we thought the object was. Then, we removed the objects from the envelopes and used them for our prompts. My object was a string of green Mardi Gras beads. The beads evoked the idea of a rope of green pearls, which led me to a slinky female in distress wearing those pearls when she walked into a detective’s office looking for help. Thus, Damien Dickens and The Green Pearl Caper were born.

 

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I love the writing, of course. I don’t even mind the editing. I enjoy interacting with other writers, whether on Facebook, by email, or in person. I’m fortunate to have found a local fellow-writer. We get together weekly for what we refer to as C&C, which stands for either Caffeine & Conversation, Caffeine & Congratulation, or Caffeine & Commiseration, depending on how things are going.

I find cover design somewhat challenging, but am lucky to have a very talented and artistic cousin, Hillary Quint, who works with me on my covers. She has a terrific eye for detail, and keeps me on track when I want to go off on a tangent or settle for something that is less than perfect.

I have never been comfortable in a sales role and do not enjoy the time and effort required to market my books.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I have two projects on my desk at the moment. I’ve already alluded to book #5 in the Damien Dickens series. The other project is a non-fiction book about the pet food industry. It will be part exposé and part educational and will include some suggestions for home preparation of pet food. I’m in the process of collecting old FDA inspection reports on various pet food manufacturing facilities for that book.

Where would my audience find your book?

All four books in the Damien Dickens series are available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook formats. The paperbacks are available for on-line purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The audiobooks are available from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Here are the links for each book

The Green Pearl Caper: Amazon ebook, paperback and audiobookBarnes & NobleAudibleiTunes

The White Russian Caper: Amazon ebook, paperback and audiobookBarnes & NobleAudibleiTunes

The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper: Amazon ebook, paperback and audiobookBarnes & NobleAudibleiTunes

The Gold Dragon Caper: Amazon ebook, paperback and audiobookBarnes & Noble, Audible, iTunes

 

Meet Adel,

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

I am Adel Alharbi, I am ESL Instructor, researcher, publisher, translator and editor too. I obtained my MA in Applied Linguistics from LaTrobe University, Australia in 2010 and currently I am doing my PhD in Vocabulary Learning Strategies at University of Memphis, TN, USA. My major research passion areas include; SLA, ESL, Culture and Intercultural Communication (ICC). My recent work is on Vocabulary Learning Strategy and language identity. I have been working with some US companies as an interpreter and Intercultural Communication consultant. There are also some studies that I like such as, Phonology, Language literacy and Cultural differences. Since I travelled to many different countries such as U.K, Australia, Spain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica and US, I enjoyed observing their cultural differences. I relished noticing their languages, accents, habits, and behaviors. I believe this experience have enriched my ability to communicate with different kinds of people. On the other hand, it has enhanced both my language competencies and cultural differences. I love doing some sports too such as tennis, swimming, hiking, walking, rafting, and many other outdoor sports and activities. I am independent person and love to help other people and learn from them. My best intelligent is nature and physical world and I am kinesthetic-visual learner type. I wish to be influencer and entrepreneur one day soon to fight against illiteracy and poverty around the world and empower new generations.

 

What’s the story behind the title? 

This book was sparked by my students’ determination as they struggled to manage their language learning and showed that they wanted to succeed in their academic life.

The story of why this book came about began in the winter of 2013, when I devoted my time as a volunteer teacher to teach a group of European and Asian students at the American Language Center in northwest Philadelphia. At that time, I worked for free: I did not get a salary paycheck or even one penny from the institution. I felt this work was so important that I drove over 40 minutes (one way) to help those students for two semesters. One day, I was teaching them some reading that they needed to comprehend. It was full of new vocabulary for them and out of reality somehow. The students asked so many questions about vocabulary meaning, because they lacked sufficient vocabulary knowledge to read or to link the new text with their previous knowledge. They were looking for a single meaning for every word they read in their classes, a simple link between one word and one meaning. But that was not the real issue in their understanding difficulties, because it is one that appears to everyone. Instead, it was more than that. I realized that I wanted to help out students with these troubles, so at this point, I started to guide my thinking by putting down questions. I started with big questions. I will come to specifics of these questions soon, but for now, I first wish to discuss my vocabulary story. My experience with these students was the trigger of this strategy.

 

Why did you write this book?

I have been thinking of these steps as a language support strategy. What I am hoping to encourage are habits, since I found that my students often struggled with vocabulary knowledge expansion during their language development. What I noticed was that after ten years of teaching ESL and EFL students, my students’ language acquisition was, in almost all classes, very limited. In other words, it was neither their lack of learning motivation nor their style of communication that lowered their language proficiency. Rather, their troubles stemmed from a lack of using their own learning strategy to learn new vocabulary. In order to understand why this is important, a fundamental perspective on how our children begin their language with one word can be a good example, which they learn at an age between 18 and 22 months old. Then, as they get older, their capacity for words will eventually expand, as they have new life situations. This is the natural process of learning language. In contrast, for ESLs, learning vocabulary usually developed gradually through various ways among which, communication, conversation and strategic learning.

 

How do you keep the reader attention?

I approached different strategies to hook up my reader’s attention. For example, I used my own real stories that sparked this book and then draw on some studies that I did in this area. However, I kept the genre more reflective to attract students and teachers too by showing them how simple to use my vocabulary learning strategies. I used lots of visuals to make my theory simple to be understood and remembered. Also, I devoted some analytical questions to guide and build good trust between me and the readers of my book such as what, how, and why this book is important and more.

 

How did you come up with this book idea? 

It took me two semesters to build this book ideas. I am putting in your hand my passionate project that I have built from nothing. Since I first thought of writing this book, my goal has been to assist teachers and language learners of any language, because what I have gone through during my language learning has proven that the vocabulary learning strategy works better to develop your language, which is necessary for becoming successful in your academic life.

 

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

At the beginning, everything was so hard to do it and not able manage and control all the writing processes on time and right. However, since I published this book, I have gained very good amount of publishing strategies and marketing my own product myself. I felt it will be so hard to this kind of job, but then I completed most of the work by myself. However, I hated the formatting part because I was not good at it and every time I was doing it I kind of losing what I have done before. Also, I prefer to leave the formatting to a specialist who is more professional than me in this type of work. Other than that, I became very confident to control it myself such as designing book cover, marketing my book and reach out and grow my networks. I think it has been really a great year of personal development when I started to write this book and I consider it the most important development updates I gained during my career time.

 

What’s next on your writing journey?

I am writing a book about freedoms clashes called: Freedom to defend vs. Freedom to Offend. Hopefully I can finish it soon. But I am welcoming any coauthor to join me publish it.

 

Where would my audience find your book?

My book is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0776L1KNH

 

Meet Richard Paolinelli

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

My name is Richard Paolinelli and I am an author who writes across many genres. I retired as a sportswriter/editor back in 2010. As I had started out as a fiction writer back in the 1980s, I decided to get back into fiction writing.

Since then I’ve written two sports non-fiction books, seven novels and several short stories as standalones and in anthologies. In addition to an award for Best Sports Story in 2001, my fiction writing has earned several awards and nominations. Most notably in 2017 when my novel, Escaping Infinity, was a finalist for the Dragon Awards Best Sci-Fi Novel.

 

What’s the story behind the title?

With When The Gods Fell the human race has finally landed on Mars in the year 2041 – and they are greeted by a mysterious woman named Oracle. She has been waiting over 65 million of our years for the children of Olympus to return home so she can fulfill her last duty to her lord, Zeus. The story of treachery and deceit – a literal game of thrones played out on ancient Mars – that she has to tell will change our knowledge of the past for both Mars and Earth and will impact the future of humanity for all time.

Why did you write this book?

The book, and the entire series for that matter, is my Dune. Sci-fi fans of Frank Herbert will get that reference. I wanted to write an epic in my own style. I’d been trying to figure out exactly how to do that for some time when the idea for When the Gods Fell hit me.

How do you keep the reader attention?

I try to do that by creating characters that the readers can really connect with and then put them into a story that keeps the reader guessing as to where these events are leading them to. That balance helps keep the reader caring about what is happening and how it is affecting the characters in the story.

How did you come up with this book idea?

Oddly enough, I was watching an episode of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel one night when something clicked and I started jotting down the notes. Then after digging through all of the reference material I could find regarding as many of Earth’s current and ancient mythologies and religions I could find, it was just a matter of laying down the outline and getting started.

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I like doing the covers, although I had to call in some help from Barbara Beck on When The Gods Fell. I couldn’t quite get the look I wanted and she did a great job of taking the pound of ground chuck I handed here and turned it into a filet mignon.

I enjoy creating the ads for the books and doing the radio show appearance and blog interviews like this one. It gives me a chance to interact with the readers, not only to introduce them to my books, but myself as well.

I’d rather avoid the formatting for publication – print and layout – with Amazon and Createspace. Sometimes those platforms can be a pain to navigate your book through, especially when your book is released six weeks early because of a system fault as happened with When The Gods Fell.

What’s next on your writing journey?

Quite a lot actually. I should be releasing the first book in a six-book steampunk series, The Timeless, in late September. I’ve got an anthology I am editing for Superversive Press, I have three novels scheduled to be finished and released over the next nine months and then I have the sequels to both When The Gods Fell and Escaping Infinity to get started in on.

Where would my audience find your book?

You can find all of my books on Amazon or go to my website: www.scifiscribe.com . Scroll down the landing page and you will see descriptions and purchase links for all of my books. I have a blog and you can sign-up for my mailing list to get the latest updates on what’s coming out and when to expect to see it on the shelves.

 

Meet Susan Miura

Thank you for being with us. Please Introduce yourself.

Hi, I’m Susan Miura, blessed with wanderlust and slightly obsessed with nature photography. I’m a writer, photographer, travel presenter, PR professional, and author of Healer. I would love to connect with readers, so please look for me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I post a lot of nature and travel photos, along with quotes and info for readers and writers.

What’s the story behind the title?

The short answer is that I like one-word titles. The slightly longer answer is that my main character discovers she has the spiritual gift of healing, so…HEALER. When Shilo Giannelli heals an abused toddler just before her 17th birthday, “The Gift” is revealed and turns her fairly normal world inside out. Her summer plans go up in smoke, her relationship with her boyfriend, Kenji, begins a downward spiral, and she has to come to grips with the fact that she has no control over whom she heals. God provides and controls the power. She’ll gain a better understanding of this in the sequel.

Why did you write this book?

I’d been writing professionally for decades – first as a journalist, then in public relations – but really wanted to try fiction. After I attended a couple of classes on spiritual gifts, a scene from my childhood wouldn’t leave my head, and it kept expanding until the whole story was in there, bursting to come out. A dog had been hit by a car, and a small group of people had gathered around it. The dog was bleeding, nearly dead, and an old woman said “somebody should just shoot it.” I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, with tears running down my face, wishing I could heal it. That became the opening scene of Healer. It’s just a two-page chapter, with Shilo (one of my two main characters) only five-years-old. (The next chapter jumps twelve years.) A year later, I had a first draft. It needed work, but that’s what first drafts are for, right? There are a lot of dark YA books out in the world. I wanted to create something positive, but not rah-rah positive – it still had to contain enough drama, angst, and action to make it compelling, and reflect real teens – their fears, hopes, heartaches, triumphs, and flaws. And I wanted readers to know that each of us can use what God gives us to make a difference in the world. We’re not all going to have a phenomenal power like healing, but we all have something we can use to help others.

How do you keep the reader’s attention?

Drama, danger, romance problems, cliff-hangers at the ends of several chapters. The book is written from the perspectives of two main characters – Shilo and Misty – in alternating chapters. Shilo grew up in a middle-class neighborhood with a family who loves her, but suddenly has this amazing power that changes the course of her life. Misty’s past is much darker. Her dad left when she was a baby, her mom died of a drug overdose when she was a kid, and she was bounced around to foster families. When she became pregnant at 16, she moved in with her abusive boyfriend, thinking it was better than living on the streets with her baby. I think the combination of the plot and the two very different characters, who become friends, works to keep the reader’s attention.

How did you come up with this book idea?

See answer above under “why did you write this book?”

What publishing elements do you most enjoy and most like to avoid, and why? (e.g., design, marketing, formatting, etc.)

I don’t have much to do with design and formatting – Vinspire Publishing takes care of that, for which I’m grateful. And I couldn’t be happier with the artist who designed the cover. The first cover was beautiful, but contained a crystal ball, which didn’t fit the story at all. She was great about responding to my concerns with a new cover – just as beautiful – that really reflected the story. My biggest challenge is marketing, even though I’m in public relations. It just makes me crazy. Sometimes it feels like more than half an author’s job is book promotion. And it’s a challenge to find that fine line between doing enough and being obnoxious. No doubt I’ve crossed that line a time or two. Or three.

What’s next on your writing journey?

The sequel! I’m nearly done with the first draft, and I’m excited to see what my first-round readers think of it. The first half of the book takes place on Mt. Etna, in Sicily, so it’s been fun creating the setting based on my experiences there. It’s a beautiful part of Italy – very rural, with farms, orchards and vineyards. I can’t say much about the sequel, because that would be a spoiler for Book 1.

Where would my audience find your book?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL (or online), Breadloaf Bookshop in Lake Geneva, WI. Check out the trailer at Healer, by Susan Miura

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