authors, books, children's literature, christian fiction, christian literature, interviews, kids books, poetry

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Sandi Smith

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I have followed two wonderful authors – Maeve Binchy and Fannie Flagg.

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Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Well, for my children’s books I would have to say A.R. Achnid is my favorite character. A.R. was the reason I started to write, and his character was so much fun. He thought he was human, and wanted to do everything with his human friend, Harold. Even though people thought of him as a scary spider, he didn’t let that get him down. He just went along with his life, enjoying all of his adventures.

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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I have been very lucky, and have not had any difficulties with any scenes I have written. My new novel that I am working on now, though, I am having a little bit of trouble getting past one particular scene. It is a little dark, and I am not sure in what direction I want to take the story.

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

I have found that finishing a story, especially a novel, is so rewarding. So much time and energy is invested in the writing of the story, and when it finally is finished and comes together to form the feelings you wanted to express, it is a tremendously gratifying experience.

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What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Well, I am basically just starting out myself, but I would advise anyone who is starting out to believe in what you are writing. In the beginning, when I wrote something, I was always looking for approval from a family member or a friend. One day when someone told me they didn’t care for my book, my husband told me that there are going to be people who love the book and people who don’t care for it at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad story. Believe in yourself is the advice my husband gave me, and continues to give me, so I would pass that on to anyone starting out.

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Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I do not. The words come to me, and I sit down and start typing away. The whole process for me has been very simple. The only ritual I would say I have is making sure I have cookies available for when I am awake and typing at night. They are soothing to the soul.

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Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not really. I used to write in high school, but never gave it too much thought after that. Actually, I always wanted to be an opera singer, but, occasionally, I always found myself writing poems or short stories.

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If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother, who has been gone for quite a few years now. We didn’t have a great relationship, and I would really love to sit and chat with her, getting to know her as a person. I believe, because of our volatile relationship, that I may have missed out on a wonderful friendship with a wonderful person. That breaks my heart.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

This is from one of my children’s books, Sarah Bella’s Gift of Gold:

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When Sarah Bella was a very young girl,

(let’s say, probably about six years old),

her parents gave her a small ball of yarn,

that they said was a “gift of gold”.

Sarah Bella was then told by her parents,

“A life of adventure is waiting ahead.

Wrap your favorite things in this ball of yarn,

and when you sleep, keep it close by your bed.”

They told Sarah Bella that when she grew old,

in her ball of yarn would be memories so dear.

There would be times and places to remember,

from all of her adventures throughout the years.

The following is from my first novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God:

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Andrew was gone, and Marianne should have been buried with him. There were two deaths on that day, but only one soul was taken. The other was left to slowly decay in the shell of a lonely woman.

For more information on this author, please, visit:


http://www.authorsandismith.com

http://amzn.to/2fdd1YJ


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authors, books, fiction, interviews, murder-mystery, mystery

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With Lonna Enox

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Lonna Enox, cozy mystery author.

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries, and I love Jonathan Kellerman, Robert Dugoni, Faye Kellerman, and Sue Grafton.

 

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

I think I have the most fun with Chris Reed, the local sheriff’s detective. I enjoy the banter between Reed and Sorrel. It was only during my most recent book, Striking Blind, that I realized much of his personality—not all of course—may emulate my own dad…or the cowboys around whom I grew up.

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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

Crime scenes as well as those building up to them are difficult. I do hours of research, talk to professionals, and then my husband and I walk the area where I have set it. We take photos, and I jot notes about how tiring it is, how hot or cold, the traffic, the effects of the area, etc. I want the scenes to give enough information to keep my readers “hungry” without giving too much away.

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The most rewarding part of being an author is when someone says, “I read your book and I couldn’t put it down!” or “I think Reed is so hot!” or “When’s the next one? Could you hurry?”

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What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

I would tell authors to never think they must write when they are ‘in the mood’. I just start, and it soon flows. Write routinely when you can. Research, talk to other writers, and get an editor. With a Master of Arts in English, I still need an editor—someone with fresh eyes who will see the “gaps”.

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please, explain.

I am an early riser, so I go to the computer in the upstairs small living room when I awake. I reread the last part I have written, look over my outline, and write. Sometimes it is great…sometimes not. But the characters speak to me best in the early morning quiet times. I seldom write on the book after lunch. That is when I handle the other ‘author stuff’—emails, requests, etc.

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Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

I think so, although I also wanted to be a teacher. My parents encouraged the second so I would “also eat regularly”.

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If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to talk to Dickens. He had such fascinating characters. I’ve always been curious whether or not he patterned them after real people. I would also like to tell my mama, “I am finally following the dream. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it happen before you left me.”

For more information on Lonna Enox, check out these websites:


Amazon – search for Lonna Enox in books. All books are available in both print and kindle formats.

Barnes and Noble – search for Lonna Enox – books are available for both printed and nook format.

Website – lonnaenox.org – order author signed copies or use the links to go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/lonnaenoxauthor

authors, books, children's literature, fiction, interviews, kids books

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Margaret Segal

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Margaret Segal, Author of “The Adventures of Harry the Inside-Outside Cat”
Children’s Books

 

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Even though my writing isn’t remotely like his, I’ve always been inspired by William Shakespeare. His massive writing skill, and the sheer volume of what he’s created, are mind-boggling. His grasp on the vicissitudes of human nature and behavior, which comes through so well in the dialogue of his plays, is amazing. Perhaps because I enjoy writing about real life – the good, the evil, the pain and joy, the ugliness and the beauty – his writing sings to me.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

My favorite character is Harry the Cat, who isn’t completely my “creation”, because he is a real, live cat. He never fails to entertain me with his unique and sweet personality.

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Seeing your work in print, and hearing from readers that they really enjoyed your writing and/or were positively affected, touched, or moved by it.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Take your time, and try not to push yourself too hard. But at the same time, find a way to keep yourself motivated, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it. Writing, like, medicine or meteorology, isn’t an exact science, and it moves at its own pace sometimes. Try to go with it.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I work writing into my everyday life, so I don’t really have what you’d call a specific “ritual”. But I DO need silence in order to write.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not always, but it has come to the fore in recent years. Personal and family health challenges were a huge part of my life for many years – only now that those challenges have been overcome has writing become more a part of my life.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother. I would share with her the thoughts unsaid before her passing.

Where can readers go to find out about you and your books?

My website: http://www.harrytheinsideoutsidecat.com

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authors, books, ficiton, interviews, Uncategorized

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Curtis W. Jackson

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A little background on the other and his genre of choice…
My name is Curtis W. Jackson, my first novel is a youth drama and fictional memoir. I feel the book can be considered for general audiences. Waiting for Regina was told in a first person account, it is narrated by Mispha. As for genres, I have authored my memoir as a freelance artist, and a collection of social commentary cartoons.

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

For Waiting for Regina, it is no. Or I can not think of any writer who affected me. It is only been in recent years I am reading more often after writing blog posts.
As a young person, I was a poor reader having trouble pronuncing words and focusing on the content consistingly. The activity was often unpleasant. So, I did not follow any authors or have any favorites.
A principal influence might have been from motion pictures. It was one of the avenues I taken in information visually along with television, illustrations, and photographs. In fact, I wrote Waiting for Regina in a manner of viewing a feature film. I want the reading to be enjoyable to me and others.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

You asked a tough question, it is like who is your favorite relative, child, or student when there are multiple good examples. Each one have their special qualities and uniqueness.
Okay, I am going say Mrs. Hussung, Marylou the guidance counselor. She extended herself in assisting Mispha cope with grief and personal guilt.

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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

Yes, every scene involving Sally Anderson. There were wonderful moments of her association with Regina and Mispha. As an author, I had planned story ahead of time in awareness of what would happen to Sally.
It was also challenging to write the scenes of Mrs. Ombrom, the minister’s wife, who was brutal with her tongue and ill-mannerly blunt with her viewpoints. I was aware some would find her statements offensive. Although there are no profanity and explicit expressions in the book, Mrs. Ombrom’s saying can be cutting and disheartening, but were necessary for the story.
And I must admit, it was uneasy writing the one to one conversations Mispha had with Professor Douglas. There is a critical moment when Mispha confronted Cory on a sensitive manner. I don’t think there’s a man on earth who wish for a young woman to corner him in that way. If he was living with phony pretenses and wrong motives, Mispha is likely to shatter that false shell of identity. Mr. Douglas revealed his inner self replying to her, something he could not conceal from Mispha.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

It hits the core of me when people say how they benefited from reading Waiting for Regina. When they express from their hearts the lessons gained from it and recommending the novel to other individuals. It is a good feeling indicating your writing has value not a loss or waste of time.

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What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Please continue educating yourself about high standards writership and practice it, and keep reading and learning. Life have endless discoveries and knowledge to better ourselves as human beings and as professional authors.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I can not think of anything at the moment. Well, maybe so, I tend to outline the segments of the book and research my subjects as much possible.

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Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Yes, even as a youth when I did not like to read much. For decades, It was challenging for me to imagine publishing a book, more so a novel.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

You ask incredible questions, there are so many people I welcome a discussion with if they come back to life! Jesus’ adoptive father, Joesph, he is a model family man. Who accepted the responsibility with his wife to care for Jesus.
He protected his child and worked hard to provide for his family. Joesph was one of the examples I thought of when developing the character of Mispha’s father.
You also inquired of those alive, This is far-fetch so to say, I would like to have a conversation with each individual who reads my book. Each person experiences the novel differently, I believe a good reader mentally adds to the content as he or she turn the pages.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Yes, here it is.

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There are also extended previews of my novel on its book product pages online like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I request also people request their local public and school libraries purchase copies of the novel. Patrons would access more than a preview, it would be something they could hold in their hands.

Want more of Curtis W. Jackson?

Goodreads Author's Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14740181.Curtis_W_Jackson

Lulu Book Page: http://www.lulu.com/shop/curtis-w-jackson/waiting-for-regina/hardcover/product-23264293.html

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/waiting-for-regina-curtis-jackson/1125420442?ean=9781538008201



author advice, authors, erotic romance, erotica, fiction, interviews, romance

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With Melissa Bender

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Not really. As much as I love to read, there hasn’t really been anyone who’s stuck out influenced me. I think many writers are talented, but I have always followed my own writing style.

 

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

This is the hardest question ever! All of them have some crazy hold over me. There isn’t just one who is my favorite, but if I had to choose then maybe Oliver.. His wife was absolutely insane and he came out stronger on the other side!

 

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

Work scenes! Why do they need to have jobs? It’s fun to a part, but studying different careers to make sure you have it written correct is a bit time consuming, although, you learn something along the way.

 

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Hearing feedback. I love to hear what people think of my stories, and if they love them and tell me, then that’s just amazing. If they feel the emotion I put into the book, then I am very happy.

 

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Keep writing. Don’t give up. Just write! Write! Write! I wish someone would have told me I wasn’t wasting my time when I first began to write novels. That’s why I kept it a secret!

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Oh yes! I have an outline of what my story will be about and then I character plan. I search the internet for photos and information regarding my story, then plot out each chapter, writing next to each what will happen in each chapter. It’s the one thing I do with each story

 

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

I wanted to be a beauty therapist… Then I wanted to be a forensic investigator like on Bones and Criminal Minds! I worked in retail for around 10 years before I had kids and then focused on writing and having a novel published as my first goal.

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I don’t really know who I would want to speak to. It would probably be my grandma who passed away a year ago. I’d like to tell her all about the exciting things that have been happening to me since she’s been gone.

Want more from Melissa Bender? Check out these links!

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MelissaBenderFB
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/MelissaBenderGR
Grab goodies on her website: http://bit.ly/MelissaBenderWEB

authors, books, horror, interviews

In the Words of an Author: An Interview With Ellie Douglas

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Stephen King is my biggest influence, having grown up reading his books and being inspired by horror.

 

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Dr Felix Bloom from my latest novel just released Fear Inducer. Why? Because he is pure evil, exactly how I imagined him to be. He’ll be hated by everyone, which is what I wanted.
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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

The in-between scenes. I find that the most difficult. Not really sure why, perhaps since the character is between murdering it’s difficult for me to give them something interesting. So I work a lot harder on those scenes to perfect them 🙂

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Great question, the most rewarding part of being an author is finishing the book.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Research. It is so important to research whatever topic you are writing about, even if you think you know all there is to know about it. Learn more. Be the master of that topic so you can write better about it. Professionally better.

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Not really, I don’t have any kind of writing ritual. Some days I feel like writing and other days I don’t. I go with the flow 🙂

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Yes, as early as the age of five. I have always wanted to be an author 🙂

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Michael Landon, why because I grew up watching him on the telly and he instantly become the father figure I didn’t have. He was the dad I wanted, he inspired me, he was so wholesome and delightfully amazingly talented. He would be the one person I’d love to chat with if I could bring him back to life I totally would 🙂

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Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Ethan could feel hot, then cold venomous liquid shooting inside his leg. He bit his bottom lip and kicked the cobra in the face, but it refused to let go. Using the bat, he bashed it hard on the top of its head twice, before it finally let go. Holding the bat tightly, so tight that his knuckles turn white, he raised it high and slammed it across the cobra’s head. Then he quickly swung it into the side of its face. The cobra’s face jutted sideways and Ethan heard the wet crackling sound, as it made contact with the bat.
He hit it again and again. Each time he made contact, Ethan’s ears wished he could drown out the chilling, blood-curdling, cringing sound of each bone breaking, like snapping chicken legs with pliers, echoing in the pit. The cobra’s face was pulverised. Its blood spurted like a fountain, hitting Ethan in the chest and neck. The flesh on the cobra’s face had split, exposing its smashed in skull. The mouth had separated from its jaw. Its two fangs just dangled outward, bent at an awkward angle.

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Like what you’ve seen here? Find more information and connect with Ellie Douglas:

www.authorellie.com
http://bit.ly/LinkedIn-Ellie
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http://bit.ly/Ellie-Instagram
https://twitter.com/AuthorEllie
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amazon.com/author/ellie

authors, books, ficiton, interviews, Uncategorized, urban fiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Koffi Hallman

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Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Yes. Walter Mosely, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, among others too long to list here

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Max BLAKK from my 6 Degrees Of Hustle Series, because he is absolutely pure steel nothing gets the best of him.
But Koffi Majors, in Death Of A Thug, has this adaptability to him that is to be envied.
Donna McCafferty is a pit bull in a skirt as an attorney.

Bob Staks & Lisa Woodman, in Body Count, are both opposite ends of a spectrum who’s lives are forced together for survival.

I actually have relationships with all my characters, even minor ones, so they’re actually like my kids.

I try to make sure I’m worth the price of admission to my readers so I give them people they can relate to & root for & against so it’s actually difficult to pick just one.

 

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

No, because I follow the story line and whatever it calls for in order to bring the best out of each particular scene so they are one- not separate, so there is no difficulty only a clear picture of what I want to convey to my audience and how I want them to feel about that .
Many writers tell me they experience writers block or can sit for an entire weekend and draw blanks. I don’t have that issue (knock on wood).

Because I actually have relationships with my characters. As a writer I Am The God Of my Universe.
My stories and characters all live within that universe.
So I don’t have to invent them just have to stop that lady on the street; she will tell me her name, her story, and a lay out of the town so by visiting different areas I can change story dynamics. A long time ago a teacher, Mrs. Troy, who taught English convinced me I wasn’t crazy when she told me I was a writer the voices I was hearing where characters introducing themselves to me and I needed to listen! Worked wonders for me! Shout out to Mrs. Troy!

I guess that’s why my writings are so descriptive

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

People who’s lives I touch that share my talent and allow me to provide an escape from their world to mine if only until they close the pages. I try to ensure that ride is as great as I can make it.

And when your fortunate enough for someone to purchase your book and they really enjoy it!!!

And they say they’ve read multiple times and it’s like a new experience each time and they find things they missed initially.

THAT MAKES ME WRITE!!!

With Series like 6 Degrees Of Hustle Series
I throw you curve balls for multiple titles

The Suspicion Series (Takes Of Max BLAKK)
I do it for 47 titles each will have the word Suspicion somewhere in the title there are 47 books in the series the 1st is Deadly Suspicions

 

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Write write write ! Don’t obsess over Small details (character name, setting, etc…)

Concentrate on the story!

The better the story the bigger the fan!

Believe that each time you write and write for fans of your work and if your looking for a publisher check out the folks at
492 Publishing House Inc they’re all inclusive packages put Authors First 492pubhseinc.com

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

None to speak of other than my Characters talk to me. I actually let my characters explain their stories to me as they see them happening! So I actually become the narrator to my audience and they can feel the emotion because it’s genuine

This is actually how it affected this particular character

That’s why the emotions in my book are real they are told from a place of a character this actually happened to.

I have a novel I’m writing now I’m 2 chapters in and the main character who is telling the story still hasn’t told me her name ,yet with the things that have happened to her in these two chapters makes me excited to know who she is… hopefully that feeling translates to my audience

That’s what allows them to not put it down. Especially if it’s based on true events as with the 2017 Winner of the Walter Mosely Award for African American Fiction, Death Of A Thug.

 

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Well, I’ve always been a writer of sorts. Poems, short stories, plays, raps, what have you. I wrote a poem and my English teacher submitted it to a contest and I won.

I then realized I needed to write on a larger scale. It wouldn’t be till years later when I would actually be in a position to put paper to pad and I actually got to tell an Amazing story that actually happened and I got to Fictionalize it without incriminating the innocent or further incriminating the guilty. To do such with an artistic flare that allows people from all walks of life to actually be able to take an in depth look into a world many didn’t know existed and to paint a picture they could understand and enjoy.

I feel that fully expresses my talent as a Author.

So Far I’ve won (2) awards including
the Walter Mosely Award for African American Fiction for my Current novel Death Of A Thug.
I’m Extremely Proud of that one

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Jesus

Ask him where we went wrong what we can do to fix it to the benefit of all mankind.

 

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

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I can provide the link so you can look inside and read excerpt for free on Amazon

But I have to warn you once they cut you off

Your going to one click it because it’s a must read that is hard to tear away from

https://t.co/0JgZFga5fc