Interview with David Rashleigh

I had the pleasure of dialoguing with accidental author David Rashleigh. David wrote “Sciron,” an interesting tale of history and mystery. Though it’s different than “Core,” Sciron seems like it’s a fantastic read!

About Sciron:

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How can a ghost haunt the top floor of a new building?

A murder victim’s spirit cannot escape the former railway line where he worked and was killed. Other victims of the same incident haunt a young Yorkshire man. A former soldier is researching his father’s disappearance when he stumbles across a wartime act of sabotage. A young couple and their son, unaware of the history of the huge stone wall that faces their flat, receive terrifying visitations. But who was the spy, codenamed Sciron, who was responsible for destruction, betrayal and death?

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Here’s how my talk with David went!

1.      You’re an accidental author, David, which no one will argue is a pretty cool concept. But now that it’s happened, can you tell us how authorship has changed your life?

It might sound like a cliché, but it has opened up a whole new world. I had no idea just how many indie authors there are out there, and how friendly they all are! It has also swept away my avowed intention never to get involved with social media, especially Twitter. It also led to me being invited to speak at a community history event (now that was scary). On top of that, I have made a whole new circle of friends, both online and in person. My family are, of course, totally unimpressed with the whole thing.

 

2.      Your novel, Sciron, seems to be a paranormal tale drenched in history. Can you tell us what the concept of “history” means to you? How did your love of history lead to your accidental authorship?

Technically, yesterday is history. I think that to any individual, the definition of history is itself defined by their own experiences. For anybody under the age of thirty, for instance, the moon landings happened in a different age. For me, they were a time of great excitement; I was six years old when Neil Armstrong uttered that immortal line.

I’ve explained in one of my own blog posts how the original idea for Sciron came about. Essentially, close to where I live are many remnants of a railway line that was closed nearly fifty years ago, and I couldn’t help wondering if the people who live near them, or drive past them, had any notion of what they might be.

3.      Tell us about your upcoming book. Genre? Do you have a potential release date? What should readers expect?

The next book, “Mindblower: Assassin”, is the first of a trilogy. I’ve stuck with a paranormal theme, but it’s a political thriller rather than a ghost story. It’s currently with the editor, but I’m hoping to get it out by the end of July. You can read the prologue on my website.

It is different to Sciron in that it is more graphic. I wrote my first book on the basis that I might want an elderly aunt to read it: the result of that is that it is entirely suitable for almost any age. The Mindblower trilogy is definitely adults only, though.

4.      If you could be one character in Sciron, who would you choose to be and why?

Now, that’s a hard one. I’m torn between the two older protagonists, Jack Rimmer and Cedric Morgan, who have led the most interesting lives. I don’t really want to say beyond that, because the book is a bit of a whodunit and I don’t want to give any of the story away!

5.      Give the writing world one bit of advice, David. What is the one thing you want a hopeful author, accidental or not, to remember?

Get an editor! They are expensive and annoying (no offence, Dea) and seem to delight in taking the outpourings of your soul and ripping them to shreds. But, and it’s an important but, they will have a different perspective on the story and will point out any flaws in the plot. They will also correct your spelling, punctuation and grammar. It’s so exasperating to read a great story that’s badly written.

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Thank you, David! It was a pleasure interviewing you. Good luck with Sciron and your future endeavors!

And please check out my debut novel, “Core,” before you say goodbye!

Interview with Michele M. Reynolds – Wilderness Girl

I had the pleasure of interviewing author Michele M. Reynolds, self-proclaimed Wilderness Girl. Michele graciously answered questions about her adventures, her views on gender biases in the writing world, and info on her books, including her crowning jewel, Trail Swap.

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1. Tell us about an adventure you had, Michele–one that affected your writing.

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To put it down to one adventure would be hard. I think my mid-twenties traveling, moving, and having unique jobs has helped a lot to influence my writing. I also wear my heart on my sleeve and love hard and fall hard. Deep love and heartbreak lend to some powerful writing. I have surrounded myself with some unique characters and that helps too.

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Oh the mid-twenties… that’s right where I am in my life (I can’t believe I’m saying this; in my head I swear I’m still 17 half of the time). On to the next question!

 2. What’s it like being both a mommy and an author? Can you give us an example of how mommyhood has affected your authorship?

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I have read several articles about women authors. How some have thrown out their names and changed them to initials to be non-gender specific. I thought about that, but then reclaimed my name immediately when I read such articles. There are also questions like this one, that I swore I would not answer. I am not trying to be a witch here. I am glad you asked this question because it raises awareness. I love being a step-mom. It is the best job ever, but I am not sure this question would come up if I was a dad.

I guess my answer to this question is . . . for my kids, I refuse to bow to the male-dominated world.

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As for the name, I decided to keep mine as it is because I love it. To be fair though, I often go by the nickname Tess, which gives me a little separation from my author-self. And I truly didn’t expect that answer regarding your parenthood! I suppose some (not all) gentleman authors either don’t have kids or don’t mention them in their profiles, which I never noticed before now… words for thought, Michele, words for thought. 

3. Tell us about your most recent release, “Tunnel W.” What inspired you to write it? What do you want readers to take away from it?

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Tunnel W. I have no idea how it was created. I think I started to do a writing exercise and liked where it was going so I went with it. I think it qualifies as a novella or novellette. Either way it is short, but the characters are likeable. I have no idea what the readers would take away from it other than a fun read.

My biggest work right now that I am proud of us Trail Swap. You have to check that out.

I am a 34% done with a wilderness residential camp in the year 2043. The best way I can describe it is Holes meets Dangerous Minds.

I then took a break to write a full-out romance. I usually creep some romance in this story, but this one is a love story. I am 200 pages into writing it. We will see what book gets finished first.

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Holes meets Dangerous Minds? Sounds stinkin’ awesome, Michele! You should definitely check that out, peeps! I too have favorite works, like “Core,” which is in my opinion my first publish-ready work. But to my surprise, I’ve heard from beta readers that my other works are also kind of awesome. So keep hyping Tunnel W, Michele! You never know who it will connect with, right?

4. Who is your greatest inspiration as an author?

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Life, love, adventure, and humor.

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5. Share your great wisdom, Michele. Give the up-and-comers one bit of advice?

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I was hoping you could share some with me. I am still new to this all, and have spent countless hours on websites, blogs, how-to’s, etc. Even though I don’t think it helped me sell books, it is a fun place to visit. Check out my blog.

I have learned out of all of that . . . just write, write, and write. I have so many books bubbling up in me that it is hard to go to work and to sleep, and to stay asleep. I wish I had harnessed my creativity earlier. I took too long of a vacation from it.

Write and my other advice is journal. I wish I had journaled more so that I could capture that raw emotion better.

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Write, write, write, write. You sound like my hubs: “Tess, are you working on that sequel? How much do you have so far? That’s all? Well, go write some more!” It really is amazing advice. A swimmer swims; a dancer dances. A writer…writes! So simple, so unnerving, and so true.

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Thanks for the interview.

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And thank you for your time and for giving us all something to think about, Michele! It was a pleasure having you. 

To learn more about Michele and her work, visit her blog, her amazon page, and her Barnes & Noble page! Or stop by and check out her Smahswords FREE!

 

Interview with the Amazing Jamie Ayres

I had the chance to interview novelist Jamie Ayres! That’s right… the Jamie Ayres! Besides being super funny and sweet (and a little crazy… in the best kind of way), she’s the talented author of her debut novel 18 Things. In this interview, you get a taste of the wonder that is Jamie. To learn more about her, her process, and her work, visit her blog or her author page.

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Okay, here we go!

1. Tell us your secret. What’s the Jamie Ayres writing process like? Walk us through from beginning to end.

Okay, I have a horrible confession to make. The Jamie Ayres writing process is a hot mess! I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I hide in dark corners of my room, listen for the muse to speak, then write down what ‘they’ tell me. I usually don’t even know the ending until I’m there! I don’t recommend this process as it’s highly unorganized. Do I get any points for filling in an outline after I’m done to make sure I don’t have any plot holes?

2. How have the people you’ve met and the places you’ve been influenced 18 Things? Is there anywhere or anything else you’ve drawn inspiration from?

There’s a quote by Emerson that sates, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn from him.” Pretty much every person I’ve met in my thirty-three years lives in the voices in my head and inspires me in some way. The greatest influence for the bucket list part of the story came from my cousin’s son and his battle with cancer, even though my MC doesn’t have cancer. She loses her best friend to a lightning strike and her therapist suggests she write a life list of 18 Things to do that year she’s turning 18. I really did have a friend struck by lightning when I was in middle school. He was in his driveway testing a fishing pole; thankfully, he lived!

3. What’s it like working on a sequel? Is it what you expected?

Working on a sequel has its ups and down. On the up side, I get to continue writing for the characters I absolutely love. On the downside, as I’ve already demonstrated, I’m not an organized person. My attention span is like a fruit fly on crack, so keeping track of everything for a trilogy has stretched me. If you write a sequel, I recommend reading your previous book again before starting and taking copious notes. Also, it’s a challenge to find time to market my first book while writing the next, since I also have a full-time teaching job and two kids of my own at home (three if you cant my hubs, and most of the time, I do!). If I write a series again, I will write them all before releasing any of them so I can devote more time to marketing. Marketing is an ugly, but very necessary beast, and it shows when you can’t do it. This would be why I sold hundreds of copies in the 90 days after 18 Things came out, then only 61 copies in the last month. I was just too busy with the last month of school to do much marketing.

You want to know the harsh reality though? According to BEA, 92% of debut novels don’t sell more than 100 copies. It’s a tough business—you have to be determined and in it for the long haul to see any real sales, and you usually have to publish multiple copies to build your brand to write full-time. Only about 5 % of authors truly ‘make it.’ Right now, I’m faking it till I make it J

4. Describe to us your ‘aha moment.’ When did you know you were meant to be a writer?

In sixth grade, I had a teacher, Mrs. Williams, who really believed in me. She always read my work aloud as an example to the class and was the one to recommend me for Advanced Language Arts the following year. It was probably the first positive feedback from an adult in my life in a while, so that encouraged me. And I realized writing was a great outlet for everything going on with me. Man, I wish I still had my diaries from those days. How great would it be to use for a ‘My Retro Diary’ blog?! I’m sure I’d pee myself LOL at those entries now . . . not that it happens often, I mean, more after childbirth. *coughs* You’ll see what I mean soon enough, T!

5. What’s the one thing you’d want an up-and-comer to know? Have you used this advice in your own life?

Write from your heart. There’s a reason God puts certain things on our soul, and we need to listen to those promptings. I’ve had to take the profit motive off the table to keep writing. With the money I’ve made since the book debuted on January 24th, I still wouldn’t be able to scrap together one mortgage payment! Depressing, isn’t it? But because of the talents God has given me, I’m looking at my book as a gift to the world to empower people and see where God leads me. If I wanted more money, I could easily score a part-time job waiting tables at the Outback and make more money in a week than I have in the past 4 months. Instead, I’m being obedient with my talents and stepping out in faith. Jackie Robinson said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” In the beginning, unless you’re some freak of nature who has instant best-seller status (and keeping my fingers crossed that you are), you’ll have to gage your success on how your book has inspired others. My fan mail is what keeps me going right now. Even if I touched just one person with my message, then it’s worth it! Hopefully though, when the series is complete, the sales will follow.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions so insightfully, Ms. Author. We wish you luck and blessings with both 18 Things and the upcoming 18 Truths. Trust me, everyone, you don’t want to miss out on this inspiring story.

And if you haven’t taken a look at Core, you’re going to make me cry! So pick up both Jamie’s and my novels!! Make us both smile 🙂

Interview with Jennifer Snyder

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing the very kind Jennifer Snyder, NA/YA author of such works as Catalyst and the Marked Duology series.To learn more about her or how you can preview and purchase her work, visit her website! (Also, if you’re interested, please check out my debut novel, “Core!“).

Here goes my conversation with Jennifer:

1.      Why do you think you became a writer? How did you know?

Writing was just one of those things I’d always had a passion for. When I was little it was silly poems and short stories. As I grew older the stories became longer. I pulled away from it for a few years or so (think teenage years), but then dove right back in head first in my early twenties. At this point in my life, I can’t imagine myself not writing. It’s a part of who I am.

2.      Of all those you’ve created, who is your favorite character, and why? Can you describe that character’s birth story (how you thought them up)?

 This is a tough question! I really have to go with Seth from my debut novel Shattered Soul. He was the very first character to literally enter my mind via a talking voice in my head. Sounds nuts, but oh so true. I was folding laundry one day and this male voice popped in my head. It was a pivotal scene from near the end of the novel. His first word to me was ‘NO!’ and then the scene continued to unfold in my mind. It ended with him saying this to me “The girl I loved was becoming a stranger, and I knew this moment, the moment her soul first began to shatter, would haunt me forever.” From there I just had to know more about him and this girl he was so desperate to hold on to. This girl who was slipping through his fingers.

3.      Have you ever had an “I’m-A-Failure” moment in regards to your writing or your writing career? If yes, how did you cope? If no, how did you manage to stockpile that kind of self-esteem and where can we get some?

 With every novel one (sometimes more than one) occur  I think every author who has those moments are the ones who care most about their stories as well as their readers. As for coping, that’s where family and friends come into play. It also helps to have other author friends who ‘get it’ and can give you that extra pick me up to help dig you out of that funk.

4.      On your blog, you mention that chocolate may be a possible cure for writer’s block. What kind, quantity, and dosage of this antidote do you recommend?

 Ha,ha! Yes, chocolate. Some days it’s a handful those little Dove dark chocolates. Sometimes it’s Halloween chocolates from last year. And others it’s a warm mug of coco. Either way, I’ve come to learn chocolate in any form and any quantity is a necessity while writing.   

5.      In just two years, you’ve released six novels, two novellas, and a short story, quite an impressive feat. Can you offer a bit of advice to hopefuls? 

Thank you! Write what you want to write. I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that if a story isn’t coming…don’t push it. Set it aside and work on something else. Whether you’re just jotting down ideas for another novel or actually writing out scenes, nine times out of ten, the story you were stuck on will begin to flow again. Especially if you add in chocolate. 😉 Also, carve out time to write at least something everyday. Even if it’s only 100 words…at least it was something. 

Thank you for offering to have me on your blog! Best of luck with your novel (and future novels) as well as your author journey!

Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer my questions!

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