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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: author interviews, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Player Profile: Alexandra Cameron, author of Rachael’s Gift

Alexandra Cameron, author of Rachael’s Gift Tell us about your latest creation: Rachael’s Gift begins when talented artist, fourteen-year-old Rachael, accuses her teacher of sexual misconduct, but the principal has suspicions that she is lying. Her father, Wolfe, is worried about his daughter’s odd behaviour but her mother, Camille, will not hear a bad word against […]

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2. Starry Night Blog Tour-Isabel Gillies Interview PLUS Giveaway






About the Book: (From Goodreads) Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wondering is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren's heart beats. In Isabel Gillie's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep? 




What inspired you to write for teens?

I ADORE teenagers! No joke. First of all, I loved being a teenager. It's so big. The highs and lows are clearly defined, but at the same time life is bewildering. All the unbelievable growing invigorated me. I fell in love for the first time, followed the grateful dead, did badly in school and then got my act together and did well, I got myself in to messes and got out of them (thankfully), made big decisions, went on adventures (in my mind sometimes), etc. It's an explosive time and I remember liking it even when it was happening to me. Second of all, I have three tweens in my house and I really love it. So far it's the best time I have ever had as a parent. They are interesting and funny and infuriating all in good ways. So I wanted to write about it. 

-You've previously written a memoir. Was it different to write a novel? Was it harder or easier?

HARDER! I wanted to try it, and I want to try it again, but man was it hard. It took me three 400+ page drafts and the first two stank pretty badly. I learned a ton. Everyday there was a new challenge that I had never met before. And the thing is, I am not a trained writer! I mean, my teachers in high school did the best they could, but I was a trained actress and never took a writing class. So I was in the dark for a lot of this process. But sometimes while I was writing, I felt swept away by the story and the emotions in the book. And the characters, I sort of fell in love with them. That stuff is magical. I adore writing memoir because it's all about getting what is inside out so someone else can feel it and hopefully identify, and there is a natural structure. You have to make your own structure in a novel and that is HARD. But it's fun. 


-What were some of your favorite books as a teen?

Well here is the deal with that. I was not a "reader". I was so dyslexic that I was traumatized by books until I was in my early twenties. I was not one of those kids that loved to curl up with a book. Infact that was my idea of cruel toucher. But one book I read in school really stuck with me and is popping into my head now. It's called Go Down Moses by William Faulkner. That book hit me like a ton of bricks. At it's core it's about a family, but it's also about slavery, and getting through hard times. It's not a light read by any means, and maybe it's good to read it in English class like I did --  but it's awesome. I might even read it again. 

Follow the tour to Paper Cuts and Love Is Not a Triangle

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  • Learn more about Isabel Gillies and Starry Night.
  • Add Starry Night to your to-read list on Goodreads.
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  • Check out Isabel’s website, follow her on Twitter, ‘like’ her on Facebook, and follow her on Tumblr.
  • 0 Comments on Starry Night Blog Tour-Isabel Gillies Interview PLUS Giveaway as of 8/28/2014 8:13:00 AM
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    3. Susan Whitfield

    Award-winning, multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is the author of five published mysteries and Killer Recipes, a real cookbook with mysterious names featuring recipes from mystery writers across the country. Her first women’s fiction novel, Slightly Cracked, was published in 2012.

    Please tell everyone a little about yourself, Susan.

    SusanWhitfieldSusan: A life-long native of North Carolina, I’ve lived in both the eastern and western parts of the state. I taught high school English for thirteen years before moving in high school administration for the remainder of my career. I retired and began my second career, writing. I have five published mystery novels: Genesis Beach, set along NC’s Crystal Coast;  Just North of Luck, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hell Swamp, set along Black River in Pender County, Sin Creek in Wilmington, and Sticking Point in Beaufort. I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, and North Carolina Writers Network. My husband and I live in Wayne County just a few miles from our two sons and their families.

    Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

    slightlycrackedSusan: I’ve been writing the Logan Hunter Mysteries, publishing the first novel back in 2007. As much as I have loved Logan, I knew as an author I wanted to write other stories and perhaps other genres. When I wrote Slightly Cracked, women’s fiction, I knew I wanted to write more in that genre, so I ended the Logan Hunter Mysteries with Sticking Point, published in February of this year. I think I left Logan in a good place after putting her through some horrible ordeals in Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, and especially Sin Creek. While I did enjoy the series, I also have a fondness for stand-alones like Slightly Cracked. I am currently trying my hand at historical fiction. More on that later.

    What’s the hook for the book?

    Susan: Tying this into the last question, in Sticking Point, Logan investigates the death of a fifteen-year-old bully whose death was ruled natural causes.

    Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

    sticking pointSusan: In Sticking Point, Logan must work with another investigator whom she thinks she despises. They are uncomfortable and it shows, but as the investigations rolls along, they begin to understand and appreciate how the tragic past has affected each of them. My favorite character in this book is the bed and breakfast owner, a British lady with strict rules and secrets of her own, but the novel moves from a mystery into a love story that I’m quite proud to have written.

    Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

    Susan: I hate outlines so I start without one and then at some point I reach a roadblock and build an outline to get me straightened out. As much as I hate them, I have to admit they’ve fixed a multitude of problems for me.

    Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

    Susan: I call my own writing “elementary” because I don’t use big words. It’s just easy everyday writing. I prefer first person but I wrote the women’s fiction in third person because it’s important for the reader to get into the heads of four characters.

    How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

    Susan: I grew up in North Carolina and have lived here all my life. It makes sense to set the books here. While I don’t exaggerate my Southern background, I try to use local and regional dialects and showcase different areas of the state. Setting is almost always a feature in my books.

    Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

    Susan: 

    “Sin Creek by Susan Whitfield, is an eye-opener and a heart-breaker, but with the sweetest redeeming ending.

    Having had a long-standing friendship with a detective, when reading Sin Creek, I felt a sense of déjà vu about events I know to be true. These foul crimes do exist and are proliferating all over the world, both promoted by and brought to law enforcement attention by the Internet. Whitfield portrays the underpinnings of one man’s vile world of pornography with researched accuracy.

    Though this story is fiction, the very same types of exploitation continue to happen and escalate. If you never understood how lewd and dangerous the world of porn is, read Sin Creek. It’s fiction but true to life. It’ll make you shudder.”

    What are your current projects?

    Susan: I am currently writing an historical mystery, titled Sprig of Broom, about an ancestor who was a Knight of the Bath. This is by far the most challenging project I’ve ever done because I’m traveling back to medieval times. Research is on-going and I want to represent my ancestor as accurately as possible while filling in the gaps with fiction that seems to be true. It’s a slow process and I anticipate a lengthy amount of time before it’s complete.

    Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

    Susan:  I blog at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com
    My web site is www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
    I’m also on Facebook and a member of Booktown at www.booktown.ning.

    Thanks for joining us today, Susan.

    Susan: Thank you for the interview.

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    0 Comments on Susan Whitfield as of 8/27/2014 9:21:00 AM
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    4. Player Profile: Kimberley Freeman, author of Evergreen Falls

    Kimberley Freeman, author of Evergreen Falls Tell us about your latest creation: Evergreen Falls is set at a luxury hotel in the Blue Mountains in the 1920s. A forbidden love affair sets off a chain of events with tragic consequences, and it all gets covered up. In the present, a young woman arrives at the same hotel and stumbles […]

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    5. Author Spotlight on: Laurisa White Reyes

    Today I’m really excited to welcome Laurisa White Reyes to the blog. I met Laurisa a few years back at a writing retreat, soon after her first novel, The Rock of Ivanore, had been picked up for publication by Tanglewood Press. Of course she was pulsing with excitement and we all wanted to sit next […]

    0 Comments on Author Spotlight on: Laurisa White Reyes as of 1/1/1900
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    6. An Interview with Author Marlena Zapf: Part I

    Earlier this month I attended the annual summer conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), where I   so enjoyed hearing a variety of publication success stories, especially those of debut picture book authors and illustrators like Pat Zietlow Millerand Aaron BeckerToday another debut picture book author   -- Marlena Zapf -- is joining us to tell us about her own unique journey to publication. Marlena's book Underpants Dance, with exuberant illustrations by Lynne Avril, was published by Dial in April of this year. It is the story of Lily McBloom, who loves her brand-new underpants so much that she makes up a special dance to show them off. As it turns outs, she loves her underpants so much that she even takes her fancy new dance on the road -- with both hilarious and heartwarming consequences.

    Congratulations on your picture book debut! Can you tell us a little bit about how Underpants Dance came to be?

    Of course! When I wrote Underpants Dance and chose not to include an ending in which the protagonist “learns her lesson” in the traditional way, I knew not every editor would be jumping to publish it. So what did I do? Research  -- just like SCBWI and every children’s book editor will tell you to do. And it paid off.

    Here is what I did. I found out that Steve Meltzer was the Dutton editor for Walter the Farting Dog, and I figured if he likes farting dogs he might be okay with underpants, too. So I followed Dutton’s submission guidelines and sent him a query. He sent back a note asking me to email the manuscript, which I did. Then I waited…almost a whole year. Now, I’ve worked in publishing and know how busy things get. I had a good hunch that the email with my manuscript was lost for good. I also knew that Steve probably had an assistant who read all his mail. So I decided to send a hard copy with a letter politely explaining the situation. Lo and behold, the assistant did find my manuscript, and after some further editorial gymnastics, I ended up with editor Liz Waniewski at Dial and a book contract with my name on it.

    Wow. That’s a great story of research and persistence paying off! If we go back in time a little further, what initially inspired you to write Underpants Dance?

    I used to be a reading editor at a big school publisher. One thing you need to understand about school publishers is that they put lots of money into developing textbooks that they hope to sell all across the country. And because they need to appeal to a broad market in order to make their sales and not go bankrupt, they can’t offend anybody. So, if a state such as, oh, Texas for instance, declares it won’t acquire any textbooks that include stories about children who defy authority, well then a publisher sure as heck isn’t going to include that kind of story in its program. (Never mind that LOTS can be learned and enjoyed from stories about protagonists who misbehave and make mistakes. Luckily we have awesome librarians to direct kids to those books.) This corporate culture of self-censorship ran counter to my often contrary, somewhat rebellious, nature. And that is where the story of my story begins...


    As it happened, I was in this big important publishing meeting where experts were discussing the kinds of stories we should commission. I recall something about well-behaved children who always wear their bicycle helmets and gleefully eat peas…no kidding. Two thoughts went through my mind:

    1. What if a REAL child walked into this room right now? These people wouldn’t know what to do with her (especially if she were my cousin’s three-year-old daughter, who was going through her eschewing-any-and-all-clothing phase).

    2. What if I jumped up onto the conference table right now and danced in my underpants?

    But neither of these things happened. What happened was that I quietly nibbled a dried-up lemon danish and nodded politely while a little girl named Lily McBloom wandered into my thoughts. And she started doing everything that the children in the textbook stories weren’t supposed to do. Then, when the meeting was over, I went back to my desk and wrote the story’s first lines.

    Way to go for following your heart! What was the most exciting part of the publication process for you after that?

    I guess for me it was when Underpants Dance was finally released. The publication of my first book was a LOOOOOOOOONG process. It was delayed a bunch of times. I think it took about a decade from beginning to end. I’m hoping the publication of my next books won’t take quite so long.

    Speaking of your next books, do you have any projects in the works that you can tell us about? I hope they will be in print soon, too!

    I’ve written more stories about Lily and Lily’s sister Marigold, but my publisher is waiting to see how Underpants Dance sells before committing to something like a series. This is how publishing works now. So, if you like Underpants Dance and want to see more of Lily, please spread the word!

    I’m also working on a middle grade fantasy series inspired by a quote from Joseph Campbell: “There are no models in our mythology for an individual woman’s quest.” Actually, I believe that a new mythology is being created right now, in our time, by authors, storytellers, filmmakers, and especially girls and women themselves. That’s a party I can’t help but join.

    If you’d like to hear more from Marlena, stay tuned for Part II of our interview. Next week we’ll be chatting about Marlena's background in movement and how she’ll be incorporating it into her author visits for Underpants Dance!

    0 Comments on An Interview with Author Marlena Zapf: Part I as of 8/25/2014 2:11:00 AM
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    7. Meet Jared Thomas, author of Calypso Summer

    Jared Thomas, thanks for talking to Boomerang Books.  Calypso Summer (Magabala Books) gave me a break-through insight into a young Aboriginal man. Calypso is a brilliant character. He tries so hard to make his life, and the lives of those around him, work, but it’s tough. Could you tell us about him and his cousin, Run? Calypso […]

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    8. Player Profile: James Carol, author of Watch Me

    James Carol, author of Watch Me Tell us about your latest creation: The next book in the Jefferson Winter series is WATCH ME. This time Winter is heading to northern Louisiana to investigate the murder of lawyer, Sam Galloway. All he has to go on is a video of Galloway being burnt alive… Where are you from / where […]

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    9. Brendan Reichs: Confessions of a Dynamic YA Author

    Brendan Reichs, co-writer of the YA Fiction Virals series, shares with us some insights, favorites, and confessions of his dynamic author life.

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    10. Zeus the Great Dane (And a BRANDED Giveaway) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

    BRANDED (Sinners #1) Abi Ketner and Missy KalicickiPublisher: Month9Books Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Goodreads Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a

    0 Comments on Zeus the Great Dane (And a BRANDED Giveaway) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki as of 8/21/2014 12:53:00 AM
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    11. Awesome Author Interview: Adam Wallace

    I recently had the pleasure of meeting funny man and children’s book author, Adam Wallace, creator of titles including Mac O’Beasty, The Negatees, The Pete McGee series, Jamie Brown is Not Rich, and Better Out Than In. I am even more fortunate that he has agreed to answer some of my questions! Firstly, congratulations on being […]

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    12. Interview with Author Susan Gloss on VINTAGE

    Vintage

    Susan Gloss is the author of the debut novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins), a charming story about friendship set in a vintage clothing shop. Each item of clothing has a story behind it and so do the women who find themselves drawn together in this emotionally complex and beautiful novel. Gloss let us into the world she created for VINTAGE and all the “what ifs” she found along the way.

    Tell us the story behind the story. How did VINTAGE come to be?

    The idea for the novel grew from many hours spent in thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets. At first, I was buying a lot of items from those places, simply because they fascinated me–a box of baby clothes from the 1950s, a pair of Ferragamo shoes in a size I could never wear. At some point, my storage space and my cash flow couldn’t take this “fascination” anymore. So instead of compiling items, I began compiling the stories I imagined they contained. My husband and I joke that, if I hadn’t written VINTAGE, I would have ended up on the TV show Hoarders.

    What was the most challenging aspect of writing VINTAGE?

    Writing from multiple points of view. Each shift in viewpoint is also a shift in generation and background. There’s Violet, a divorced shop owner in her late thirties; April, a pregnant teenager; and Amithi, an Indian-American woman facing an empty nest. Getting each of these characters’ voices right, without letting one story drown out the others, was a balancing act.

    What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

    At its heart, Vintage is a story about second chances. In our consumer culture, there’s an emphasis on whatever is new and flashy and unblemished. We use things up and throw them away. The same “use and toss” attitude ends up getting applied to people, too. With this novel, I wanted to explore the idea that a person’s history and imperfections make her beautiful, just like with a vintage gown.

    Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

    My only true writing habit is coffee, and lots of it. I write whenever I can, wherever I can—early mornings, late nights, and weekends. I have a toddler at home, so I often have to get out of the house to make any real progress on a manuscript. I spend a lot of time at coffee shops and know what time all the ones in my neighborhood close.

    What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

    Right now I’m reading Bread & Butter by Michelle Wildgen, a novel about three brothers, two restaurants, and all the back of the house drama that unfolds when customers are out of earshot. I have to make sure I don’t pick it up on an empty stomach, though. The food descriptions are incredibly vivid.

    Next up is Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck, a historical novel about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’m a sucker for stories about the lives of writers.

    Which authors inspire you?

    Emma Donoghue for her incomparable ability to keep readers turning the pages, Jhumpa Lahiri for her heartbreakingly beautiful prose, Isabel Allende for the magical worlds she creates, and Helen Fielding for laugh-out-loud humor.

    What have you learned from this experience?

    Writing a novel is a solitary experience, but the process of launching it out into the world shouldn’t be. I’ve been lucky to be part of a group blog for first-time authors called The Debutante Ball. The blog is in its seventh year, and past members include bestselling authors Sarah Jio, Eleanor Brown, and Sarah Pekkanen. Every September the torch gets passed to a new batch of five debut authors. The group has been a lifeline for me while riding the ups and downs of publishing a first book. Each of the five “debs” posts once a week on the blog, but the real value takes place behind the scenes, where we have daily sanity checks via email.

    What is your advice for aspiring writers?

    My advice for writers comes from a Wallace Stevens quote I have framed next to my desk: “After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends.”

    What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

    My grandfather told me that the most important skill is learning how to listen. He was right. And I’m still learning.

    What are you working on now?

    I’m working on a second novel, a standalone title set in the wine country of Spain. It’s slated to come out in summer of 2015.

    Joan Didion famously explained that she writes “entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Why do you write?

    I write because I have a very busy mind. I’m constantly asking “what if?” On the page, I can explore the “what ifs” in a productive way, rather than simply letting them spin around, gerbil-wheel style, in my head.

    Susan Gloss

    This interview originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

    0 Comments on Interview with Author Susan Gloss on VINTAGE as of 8/13/2014 6:44:00 AM
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    13. My Writing and Reading Life: Mary G. Thompson

    Evil Fairies Love Hair is Mary G. Thompson's third novel. She was a practicing attorney for more than seven years, before she moved to New York to write.

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    14. Player Profile: K.T. Medina, author of White Crocodile

    Katie Medina, author of White Crocodile Tell us about your latest creation: The name of this novel, my debut, is White Crocodile.White Crocodile is a thriller set in the land mine fields of northern Cambodia.  Teenaged mothers are disappearing from villages around the minefields, while others are being found mutilated and murdered, their babies abandoned.  And there are whispers about […]

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    15. Interview with Author Allison Winn Scotch on The Theory of Opposites

    2014-02-24-Theorycoverfinaljpg-thumb

    Allison Winn Scotch‘s debut novel, The Department of Lost and Found, put her on the map as a smart and talented addition to the women’s fiction genre. She then followed up her stellar success with hits like Time of My Life and The One That I Want. Her high-concept novels take compelling plots (“What if you could go back in time and fix your mistakes? What if you woke up one day and all of your dreams had come true?”) and mixes them with well-drawn-out characters and realistic settings. In our interview, Allison talks about her latest novel, The Theory of Opposites. She discusses her decision to self-publish, the need for risk taking and the importance of finding your own voice.

    Where did the idea or spark of inspiration come from for ‘The Theory of Opposites’?

    I think it started by, well, just getting a little older and taking a look around and seeing some random, very difficult things happen to friends or people I know. Illness, accidents… things that none of us can prepare for and seem to happen at random. Parenthood certainly also played a role in my inspiration: As a mother, I like to think I can control everything that happens to my family, to me, in terms of keeping us safe and sound and happy and protected. But sometimes, life just happens… and whether that is fate or bad luck… that’s what I hoped to explore.

    What was the most challenging aspect of writing ‘The Theory of Opposites?’

    I took about a six-month break between writing the first few chapters and returning to the manuscript. I had almost lost my passion for writing due to outside pressures of the industry, and I sincerely thought that I was done with novel-writing completely. It was a hard time for me professionally: I really had to consider who I would be if I weren’t writing fiction, and I also had to decide how much my career contributed (or not) to my personal happiness. So this was certainly the most challenging aspect of the book: Do I write it at all? Did I want to put myself out there again? Slowly, over those six months, I gained some perspective and sort of re-strengthened my backbone, and eventually, I remembered this little book that I had started and left dwindling on my computer. I sat down and reread it, and it made me laugh and relit my passion. From there, honestly, the rest was pretty easy. I fell completely in love with these characters and just wanted to spend time with them every day. So I wrote almost daily and had a finished first draft (which then went through lengthy revisions!) within a few months.

    What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

    That finding your own voice matters. That choice matters. That there is always an option to be your own best advocate. It’s probably not coincidence that this is the message of the book when I had to reteach myself that too.

    You have been very public about your decision to go the independent publishing route. What has been the best and worst part of your journey?

    Gosh, to be honest, and I’m not trying to be all Pollyanna-ish about this, but from start to finish, the experience has been almost entirely amazing. I was truly terrified of taking this route, but I also knew that, much like my answer above, if I didn’t, if I didn’t try to fix a system that had broken for me (traditional publishing), and I just sat around and complained about said broken system, that I’d be selling myself short. But to answer your question: I guess the best part of the journey has been the control that I now have over the book. Everything about this book was mine. The cover, the pricing, who I hired to work with me — the editors, the designers, all of that. It doesn’t mean that it has been perfect — I found some typos in the finished book and freaked out! (and corrected them) — but that ownership and the pride of ownership — is HUGE. In the past, I’ve filed a manuscript, and then it’s sort of ushered downstream by a team of people, some of whom are fantastic at their jobs, some of whom are not. But I just had to sit back and watch it go. No longer. I suppose the downside of indie publishing is that it is still very difficult to break into store space. In the past, I’ve had a presence at places like Target and Costco (and of course Barnes and Noble), and while we’ve had some initial conversations with these outlets, they are still unlikely to carry an indie book. So that stinks. Because of the low price point of Theory ($2.99), most of the book sales are e-books, which is totally fine, but it would be great to get the paperback out there in stores as well, not just via online outlets.

    Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

    I don’t outline. I’ve tried that in the past, and it just does NOT work for me because I find myself backed into a corner with where I thought my characters should go… when in fact, they should go somewhere else entirely. I usually start with an idea — forTheory, it was: how much control do we have over our own lives — and then I develop my protagonist: who is she, how has she found herself in her current circumstances. And then, I just write. It sounds almost crazy, but this method works for me. When I’m writing a manuscript, I write every day except for weekends, though sometimes, I write then too. I like to take a long walk in the morning or go for a run, which always helps settle my brain and also fuel my creativity, and then by about 10 a.m., I sit down and just write, write, write for a few hours. If I’ve reached my designated word count for the day (somewhere between 1000 – 2000), I give myself permission to quit. Sometimes I do, sometimes, I don’t. But writing every day gets you in the habit of it, much like exercising every day. And then it doesn’t feel like a chore. And when I’m not working a manuscript, I surf a lot of gossip blogs. :)

    What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

    I have so many books that I’m dying to get to! I just bought Golden State by Michelle Richmond, The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, and Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse. Oh, and The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh — just finished that, and it’s fantastic.

    Which authors inspire you?

    I have a long list of authors whose work has helped me over the years — everyone from Stephen King to Judy Blume to Jonathan Tropper to Nick Hornby to Laura Dave. But right now, authors who inspire me are those who are trying to challenge themselves a bit in their writing and their work: I love reading an author who surprises me. It doesn’t matter if they’ve written one book or 20. If I’m surprised by what happens and what I’m reading on the pages, it’s a home run.

    What have you learned from this experience?

    That taking a risk is worth it. In fact, this is really another big theme of the book too. There are so many times in our lives when it is just easier to accept the status-quo, to give into inertia, but for me, that wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t making me happy. If you want to make yourself happier, you have to work for it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    What is your advice for aspiring writers?

    Keep writing; don’t think that your first draft is good enough… in fact, don’t think your fourth draft is good enough. Be open to constructive criticism: It works for a reason. Take your ego out of the equation: The best writers know that there is always room for improvement.

    What are you working on now?

    I’m actually working on some film stuff, which is fun because it’s a totally different experience and muscle. And I do celeb interviews for a few magazines, so I have a few of those in the pot. Oh my gosh, I moved to L.A. last year. How L.A. is this answer? :)

    Find out more about Allison at her website and don’t forget to check out her blog for compelling information on the publishing industry.

    2014-02-24-SRTSheadshotfinal-thumb

    This interview originally appeared on The Huffington Post

    0 Comments on Interview with Author Allison Winn Scotch on The Theory of Opposites as of 8/6/2014 8:34:00 AM
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    16. A writer’s journey

    On WritingWriters have a tendency to gather in groups, large and small (I wonder what the collective noun would be? A scribble?). They conglomerate at festivals, frequent bookstores and go to each other’s book launches. So, as an author, I know lots of other established authors. I also know lots of aspiring and emerging authors. People always want to know about the writer’s journey of established authors. There are blogs and articles and books full of these journeys. But aspiring and emerging authors also have interesting and inspiring stories to tell. Yes, they are still in the early part of their journeys — but sharing those journeys can be wonderfully inspiring for other writers who are at a similar stage. So I asked friend and emerging author Karen Carlisle to share her story on this blog. Take it away Karen…

    When George asked me to write a post for his blog, I thought: Me? What can I say that would be of any use to other writers? I am just starting out on my own writing journey? I think that was the point. There are many people who want to be writers but they do not do the one thing that a writer should do — write. Thank you for asking me to share your space, George.

    Here is the thinking behind my journey…

    When I grow up, I want to be a writer
    By Karen J Carlisle

    I love stories. I used to collect the Target Doctor Who books in the 70s and 80s. I read every Star Wars book I could afford. I wrote my own adventures. I longed to travel to different worlds and accompany The Doctor on his travels through time.

    I longed to grow up and become an astronaut, a Time Lady or a writer. Though I excelled at both English and Physics at school, I did not have the advanced maths skills to be an astronaut. (Sadly I was not born a Time Lady).

    Both halves of my brain — the Logical Left and the Creative Right — fought for control. I was encouraged to follow a stable career path. My urge to write was shelved (for a few decades); I finished my Bachelor of Applied Science and became an optometrist. I never had the courage to follow my dream. Not practical.

    Now I have all grown up. I have a career. I have a family. I have a home. Sometimes life has a way of throwing things at me — circumstances have rekindled my dream. I still want to be a writer — more than ever!

    But what did I need to do to achieve my dream goal of becoming a writer (dare I say — possibly a published writer)?

    The Logical Left side of my brain went into full gear: You used to get 95% for essays in high school. You can do this!

    My plan of attack was:
    1. Posit the question
    2. Research
    3. Practical work
    4. Discuss conclusions. (There was no escaping the university scientific training.)

    1. The Question: What was the secret to successful writing?

    2. The Research: Writing is a skill. Like many skills, training is required. I devoured books and followed blogs by authors and publishers to learn their secrets. The following points kept popping up:

    9781599631400Read or write every day.

    The most influential piece of advice I have read was: Write (or read) 1000-1500 words a day (not always achievable, mind you). In 2009, Malcolm Gladwell proposed the 10,000-hour rule — to become an expert at anything, requires 10,000 hours of practice. Though not a guarantee, it was obvious that I would need to practice writing every day.

    Finish and Submit the Work.

    Anything can be proven by manipulating statistics but any way you spin the following, it is scary. Maybe 3-5% of writers finish their work. Of these, 3-10% might submit their story. (Stats vary but it is safe to say it is a very small percentage.) To have any chance at success, I would have to finish and submit my work.

    In my final year of high school, I wrote a science fiction/comedy novel. It is in our shed… somewhere… unread by more than two people. So I had finished one book. Surely I could write another? This time round, I resolved to improve on the ‘submitting’ phase.

    Learn to handle rejection.

    Very few writers succeed with their first book. Even JK Rowling got rejected a dozen times before being published. Rather than discouraging, the statistical reality actually consoled me. If I finished and submitted my work, then I would be ahead of 95-99% of other writers. This increased my chances of success significantly. Game on!

    3. Practical Work: Time to put my research into action.

    Reading was the easy bit. Regular writing required some organisation. My plan would begin with writing short stories and a personal blog. This would get me into the habit of the good ‘work practice’ of writing daily.

    Both short stories and my blog exploit my obsession with completing things to a deadline. A blog is public. If I don’t write, there is a vacant space on the Internet. I can’t fake it. My readers will know. Though less public, short story competitions have a deadline and the added incentive of prizes.

    A year of competition entry rejections has been beneficial. I have adopted an excellent piece of advice — wallpaper my room with the rejection letters! Each one is proof that I am a writer who can (at least) finish in that 1-5%!

    4. Conclusion/Discussion: Statistically I have come out on top.

    Of my twenty short stories submitted for competition, I achieved one short listing. (I am told this is good.) This year, I joined NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo (online incentives to finish up to 50,000 words in a month). I completed my goal for ‘Camp’ in April (10,000 words) which then grew to become my first completed novella of 35,000 words (now in rewrites and edits). I have completed 30% of a novel length manuscript and have a rough outline for a first draft of another steampunk novella length story (for NaNoWriMo in November). I am happy with this progress.

    Currently I am preparing to publish a series of short stories in the steampunk-alternative history genre — my current passion. Without it I would not have been inspired to begin my writing journey… all over again.

    9781599632124George’s bit at the end

    Thank you Karen, for sharing your journey. I’m sure that other writers will find it inspiring. I certainly did. To find out more about Karen and her writing, check out her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

    For those of you who are interested in reading more about writing, Karen supplied me with a list of some of the instructional books she has read…

    Happy reading… and writing.

    Catch ya later,  George

    PS. Follow me on Twitter

     

    AltantisCheck out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.

    Latest Post: Blu-ray Giveaway  — Altantis

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    17. Seize the Tuesday!! Post by Adi Alsaid, Author of LET'S GET LOST {+Giveaway}

    Adi Alsaid, author of the new contemporary YA novel Let’s Get Lost, is touring the web with ‘’Seize the Tuesday” posts to celebrate the publication of his new novel! Each piece focuses on a different, fun example of how Adi was able to "Seize the Tuesday" in his own life and how that can inspire others to make a change in their lives too! Seize the Tuesday not only gives readers a glimpse

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    18. Interview with Jack Heath

    Jack's latest novel Replica is a thrilling and thought-provoking sci-fi novel (with a super creepy cover - check it out) about a robotic replica assuming a teenage girl's life. My review is forthcoming! In the meantime, I had a chat with Jack about writing Replica, potential sequels, writerly regrets and the benefits/pitfalls of having a replica (I'm currently manufacturing Clone Steph/Steph 2.0 to write my novels for me while I eat cheese toasties and read sci-fi novels*).

    I'm interested in the process of writing Replica, which is science fiction in a way that's very much based in our reality. What were your sources of inspiration? Was there a lengthy research process before you started writing? Was it difficult to decide what real-life technology to include, and where to embellish? (It seems a novel weighted towards real-life technology, but then that's the magic of fiction: things that sound real versus things that exist are often entirely different.)
    Jack: I usually start with something preposterous – time travel, thief who can walk through walls, et cetera – and then try to include as much real-life science as possible to make it convincing. In this instance, I didn't even have to set the book in the future. It is possible, today, for a teenager to build a mechanical duplicate of herself, thanks to 3D-printing, open source artificial intelligence software and other real-world developments. But fooling her friends and family with the duplicate is another story. I think in real life, Chloe 2's cover would be blown as soon as she opened her mouth. Still, in ten years, who knows?

    Your first novel was published when you were a teenager, so you've been writing professionally for almost a decade. Has your writing process or style evolved with subsequent novels? Is there anything you wish you could go back and change about earlier novels?
    Jack: I used to structure my books around action scenes – the plot was just a series of flimsy excuses to get Ashley Arthur from one explosion to the next. These days I usually focus on realisations; each chapter reveals a little more of the truth to the main character, and plants some more misleading clues for later revelations. (If that sounds dull, rest assured that I still cram in as falls-from-great-heights as I can.) I also focus much less on how things look, and much more on how they feel. But the only thing I'd change about my earlier books – leaving aside the fact that some were not profitable and arguably shouldn't have been written – is that Agent Six has a slightly preachy monologue at the end of The Lab which now makes me wince.

    Replica features lesbian characters without that being the central focus of the plot, which I think is awesome - and realistic (as realistic as a novel about robotic replicas can be). Was that a conscious choice you made, and what inspired it?
    Jack: The lesbian element actually started out as a plot consideration. If one of the characters had been a boy and the other a girl, readers would immediately suspect they had a romantic past. (In the immortal words of Avril Lavigne, "Can I make it any more obvious?") Making both characters female kept the suspense going a little longer. At first, that was my only goal, but later a copy editor mentioned how thrilled she was to see such a positive gay relationship in a sci-fi YA novel. It hadn't occurred to me that for most LGBT protagonists in YA books, the main conflict was a struggle with identity and acceptance, rather than a struggle with, for example, teams of ruthless soldiers with high-tech weaponry. (Of course, Replica is all about identity too, but Chloe's sexual orientation is the least of her worries.) After that, I tried to make her relationship even more prevalent and positive, so readers would get something which was otherwise missing from the genre.

    You've written two series and a couple of stand-alone novels: Do you prefer one over the other? It is easier to write novels with characters and settings already established, a familiar world? Is there any possibility of a follow-up to Replica?Jack: I spend so much time on plot and sensation that world-building and character development are usually left by the wayside in the first draft. They're often still pretty bare in the published version. I love writing sequels, because I know the characters better, and I have a more solid sense of the world they inhabit. I don't have to spend so long wondering, "What would Chloe do in this situation?" because I've seen how she coped with similar ones. Having said all that, I'm not good at writing series – just sequels. I always take it one book at a time. I'm really keen to write Replica 2: The Replicationing – I have a new story for Chloe to find her way through, a new cast of characters for her to meet and a new setting for her to get lost in – but I can only do it if Replica 1 is a success. You could argue that a book has value even if no-one reads it (a tree falling in the woods type debate) but as I mentioned, I've spent too much of my life writing sequels to books which didn't sell.

    Replica is set in Canberra, and I'm not familiar with particularly many YA novels set there: Is there any particular reason you chose Canberra? What do you think it offers as a setting that makes it unique to other Australian cities?
    Jack: I've travelled extensively, but Canberra is the city I know best. I went to primary school, high school and university in this town. Setting a book here feels natural to me, but with Replica, I thought it would feel natural to other people, too. Canberra is a small town, so characters can bump into one another unexpectedly without the coincidence feeling forced. The political/espionage side of the plot, meanwhile, would feel forced if it took place anywhere else in Australia. Having said all that, the language has been sanitised for the UK market and then resanitised for the USA market. In the construction site scene, a UK copy editor circled "bobcat" and wrote in the margin, "Is that an Australian native animal?" So while Canberrans will find a few familiar landmarks, no-one from outside the ACT will feel like they've had a holiday here after reading the book.

    Imagining if a replica of yourself was created. Would you be able to peacefully coexist with a robot walking around with your face? Would that be an awesome prospect or a terrifying one? (I imagine a replica of myself would be a great friend, but maybe that's the sort of thinking that would result in my replica killing me and assuming my identity.)
    Jack: How easily I could coexist with a replica would depend entirely on his temperament. If it were much like mine, we wouldn't get on. I'd think he was a selfish, lazy nincompoop. But if he were happy to go out and do school visits, TV appearances, radio interviews, book signings and so on – while I stayed home and wrote – it would be a beautiful friendship. Jackbot could be my public face, while I became a recluse. (In fact, Replica came about partly because I was overwhelmed with my life, and I wished I had someone to take over for a while.)

    --

    You can read a preview of Replica and find out more about the novel at jackheath.com.au.

    *The first Jack Heath novel I read was Third Transmission five years ago (here's the review, as written by baby fifteen-year-old Steph - I have been keeping this blog a long time, it seems) which was stellar but sadly seems to be no longer in print. THIS OFFENDS ME. In keeping with the themes of Third Transmission, I should perhaps travel back in time and prevent it from going out of print. Maybe I should just send the clone through time, instead, in case all my atoms are destroyed or something. Time travel: it's pretty dangerous.

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    19. Interview with Kate Gordon: Writing Clementine Blog Tour

    So thrilled to be interviewing Kate Gordon for the blog tour for her newly released novel Writing Clementine! It's a beautifully endearing and very charming contemporary YA novel about Clementine, trying to figure out who she is and negotiate life at school and with her family (My review is coming shortly; I'm still trying to decide which synonyms of splendid to use).

    Here's Kate's bio, because it is fabulous:
    Kate Gordon lives in Hobart, in a mint-green cottage, with her husband, her very strange cat, Mephy Danger Gordon, and a wonderful little girl who goes by the name of Tiger. Kate dreams that one day she and her little family will live in another cottage, by the beach, with goats and chickens. In the meantime, she fills her house with books, perfects her gluten-free baking technique, has marvellous adventures with Tiger, and she writes. 

    And onto the interview!

    You've written both paranormal fiction (Thyla and Vulpi) and contemporary YA fiction (Three Things About Daisy Blue and now Writing Clementine) - are there any significant differences in your process when writing in these two different genres? Do you prefer one or the other?
    Kate: I think I feel more comfortable writing contemporary YA – not that it’s not as hard, and not that I don’t love writing spec fic, it just feels as if it comes more naturally. And I guess that informs my process, too. I tend to write much more stream-of-consciously (is that even a word?), when I’m writing realistic YA. It’s much more structured when I write spec fic, and I actually do some planning (NOT like me).

    Clementine gets involved in a Steampunk Society in Writing Clementine, which is just terribly cool - have you considered writing a steampunk novel?
    Kate: Ah, egad, no. And not because I don’t adore steampunk. It’s one of my favourite genres – that’s why I sneakily worked it into Clementine. I just feel woefully inadequate as a writer when I even consider writing it. It’s the same with high fantasy. I love it, but then I read Tansy Rayner Roberts and I think, nope, I could never do that. I read Michael Pryor or Gail Carriger or Ben Chandler and I just feel like I’ll never have a millionth of their talent. I’ll leave it to the masters. Doesn’t stop me spending hours Googling pretty steampunky things, though!

    You live in Tasmania and often write novels set there: What do you enjoy about writing Tasmanian settings? Do you think they offer something different to stories set in mainland Australia?
    Kate: I do. I’m ferociously proud of my island, and I think it makes the best setting for stories, purely because of its uniqueness. There’s nowhere on Earth quite like Tassie, and it’s largely unknown in much of the world. I’ll never forget being on a bus between Launceston and Burnie when I was a teenager and hearing an American say that they were surprised there were people in Tasmania – they thought it was uninhabited. I write about Tasmania so people can learn about it and love it like I do, and because I want teenagers here to see their own world reflected in art. There was almost no literature set here when I was young. I want young people of Tasmania to know that the place they’re growing up in is awesome.

    In Writing Clementine, Chelsea-Grace and Cleo are the most hilariously horrific friends (and Sam from Grade 10 is the worst), but Clementine tolerates them - do you find it easy to channel the feelings and motivations of being fourteen? Do you use real-life experiences?
    Kate: I do. And it’s funny that you say that Chelsea-Grace and Cleo are horrific. They’re two of my favourite ever characters. Chelsea-Grace is, I think, my favourite character from all my books. I don’t think they’re horrific friends. I think they’re just working out how to be, same as the rest of us. Sam, on the other hand, is a total wally. I loved writing him because I hated him so much, and also because it allowed me to take revenge on so many boys from high school who were exactly like him! Some of his lines are verbatim from things boys said to me and my friends in school. I know I won’t get in trouble, though. I doubt those boys read (*cue evil laugh*).

    What inspired you to become a novelist? Any particular books, teachers, experiences?
    Kate: Two words: Steven Herrick. I’d always loved writing and creating stories – I made up stories long before I had the ability to write them down. But when Steven Herrick visited my school, it was the first time I’d ever met a real-life author. And he seemed so normal. He was very encouraging to me and made me believe I could do this thing. Also, I had a phenomenal English teacher, Mr Wilson, in high school. He challenged me and never allowed me to accept second-best for myself. He instilled a work ethic in me that I’ve never lost. Also, I worked for a few years in a high school. I’d never considered writing for teenagers before that, but it made me want to write books that they would want to read!

    You're a really prolific novelist - practically a book a year - and I'm wondering: Are you super disciplined? Do you have a writing routine? Do you advice for other writers who would like to be similarly productive (i.e. me)?
    Kate: I have a two-year-old who only sometimes naps during the day, and often not for very long. I have to be disciplined, otherwise nothing happens. I also had a full-time job before becoming a mum. I forced myself to get up at 5am each day to write. Now, I write 1500 words a day, no matter what, no excuses. If Tiger doesn’t nap, I write when she goes to bed. If she goes to bed late, I write first thing in the morning. It happens, one way or another. And they might not be good words – they probably aren’t. but they’re words and once they’re there I can make them better later. A story doesn’t exist if it’s just inside my head. At least once it’s there, on the page, it exists.

    Imagining you could travel back in time to visit your younger self without tearing the fabric of space-time and imploding the universe, what advice would you give your sixteen-year-old self about writing and life?
    Kate: I’d tell her that she’s doing just fine. I’d tell her that her best is good enough, and not to strive to be perfect all the time. I’d tell her that life is for living, to laugh often, and to never stop believing in fairies.

    --

    Here's Writing Clementine on the publisher's website.

    Kate's lovely website and blog.

    Some great guest posts by Kate here on my blog: on inner ages, being raised by books and her editing secrets!

    0 Comments on Interview with Kate Gordon: Writing Clementine Blog Tour as of 7/13/2014 8:45:00 PM
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    20. Illustration Inspiration: Bob Shea

    Bob Shea has written and illustrated over a dozen picture books including the popular Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and the cult favorite Big Plans illustrated by Lane Smith.

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    21. THE SOUND OF LETTING GO {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

    <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt;

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    22. Lucas A. Dyer

    As a US Marine, Lucas A. Dyer engaged in combat with the Taliban in Afghanistan’s heroin capital of Helmand. As a small unit leader and platoon commander leading Marines in battle, he fought terrorists and their allies on their home turf, witnessing unspeakable violence in the process. He and his fellow Marines realized that an eye for an eye would not accomplish their objectives so, relying on counterinsurgency operations, they began shaking hands one at a time and ultimately drove the Taliban away. Day by day and week by week, they proved that a small fighting force could work together with Afghans to become brothers-in-arms.

    In his memoir, Lucas recalls the events of his time in Afghanistan, sharing true stories from the front lines of how his company was able to win their battles through handshakes.

    Hi Lucas, please  tell everyone a little about yourself.

    Lucas croppedLucas: I was born in Randolph, Vermont where I grew up a pretty normal life for being raised by a single mother of two. I was an athlete my whole life and achieved honors earning my way into a private school where I was a star hockey player. I then graduated heading off to college where I made a last minute decision in August of 2000 to join the United States Marine Corps and become an Infantry Marine. I deployed four times and served thirteen years on active duty and transferred to the reserves in the summer of 2013. I started writing professionally in 2012 where I was picked up by Jiu-Jitsu Magazine and wrote monthly articles on nutrition for the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)/Jiu-Jitsu community. My current book, A Battle Won by Handshakes, was a project I started in 2010 after returning from combat in Afghanistan. It was completed and published in June of 2014. It currently is the number 1 best seller iUniverse.

    When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

    Lucas: I first got into writing in early 2010 when I started working on my recently published book A Battle Won by Handshakes. The genre is non-fiction/military/bio. Along the side of working on this book, I wrote weekly blogs on nutrition for athletes and later got picked up by a popular MMA magazine called Jiu-Jitsu Magazine. Jiu-Jitsu Magazine has become the second most sold magazine under UFC for MMA.

    When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

    Lucas: When I got the idea to write this book, I wanted to finish it as soon as possible. I felt that that book should come out sooner than later so it would be relevant to the current war in Afghanistan at that time. However I realized that it wasn’t that easy. There were a lot of details and facts to check on. Names of places, people and events that I had to research to make sure I was correct on all accounts. I wanted it to be perfect so not to upset anyone by quoting someone incorrectly. After talking to several other authors, they all shared one final thought in common, to take my time and don’t rush. They told me to write a little, take a break, and to write some more, then take a break. It ended up being the best advice I had received.

    Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

    ABattleWonLucas: My recent book is titled A Battle Won by Handshakes and as of now it is a stand-alone. I do have ideas for another one to follow but I will keep them to myself. The book is about my experiences as a United States Marine fighting against the Taliban in Helmand Afghanistan. What was unique about this battle was that after a short period of time we realized that fighting the Taliban with weapons was a very challenging task so we utilized a tactic called counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. The idea was to get the Local Nationals on our side, and gain their trust. In turn they would help provide information free of fear instilled by the Taliban. Our unit was very successful in doing so and it makes for a great story. It gives amazing insight to what goes on in combat for those who have always wondered.

    Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

    Lucas: Although I don’t really have characters so-to-speak. There are stories about Marines in this book that I feel have the reader cheering for them to survive. There were some close encounters with death and several of us were lucky at times. On the opposite end there are also some who were not so lucky and did not make it back. One in particular that has grabbed the hearts of many was one of my Marines Lance Corporal Donald Hogan who was killed August 26, 2009 protecting his Marines. His story is remarkable and has earned him the second highest medal under the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

    Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

    Lucas: I found it very helpful to write a little bit, then turn away for a week or so to collect my thoughts. It helped me feel more organized to write several pages, and then walk away. This technique was useful.

    How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

    Lucas: The most influential aspect that helped my writing was being a Marine and having first-hand experience on the subject being written about. My upbringing only added to the drive and determination to be able to say “I am a published author”.

    Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

    Lucas: The reviews are amazing. I have been blessed with so many fans. However the ones that really get to me are the ones from fellow Marines that I served with, who have had a hard time dealing with some of the losses on this deployment. When they tell me the book heals, or helps them, I really tear up. Here is a recent one:

    So today I decided to open your book and it brought back a lot of emotions that I knew would resurface. It took me many years to accept what happened and I tried to live a better life for Swanson. As the pages started turning, an old life style, and brotherhood I miss so much came to life. I have not finished reading your book yet, and to be honest I don’t want the book to end. Your book has brought back many memories of the brotherhood I miss so much. I still have many memories of good times we have shared. I want to thank you for sharing your story. I hope all is we’ll and I look forward to seeing your book at #1. Semper Fi brother.

    What are your current projects?

    Lucas: I am currently working on a Sports Nutrition book for the MMA/Jiu-Jitsu athlete. I have a years’ worth of nutritional articles that I am slowly turning them into a nutritional guide.

    Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

    Lucas: It can be purchased online at iUniverse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indigo book stores. I have copied the links in for easier assistance. Also my facebook page keeps everyone in the loop with what’s happening.
    Facebook: A Battle Won by Handshakes The Story of Alpha Company
    iUniverse: A Battle Won by Handshakes
    Amazon: A Battle Won by Handshakes
    Barnes and Noble: A Battle Won by Handshakes

    Thanks for joining us today, Lucas.

    Lucas: Thank you for your time.

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    23. My Writing and Reading Life: Chris Grabenstein

    Chris Grabenstein is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, he is also the co-author with James Patterson of The New York Times bestseller I FUNNY.

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    24. OCEANBORN by Amile Howard {Giveaway & Blog Tour}

    Check out the tour page HERE The coronation is over. But the battle has just begun. Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the

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    25. CINDER & ELLA {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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