authors, interviews, poems, poetry, Uncategorized

In the Words of an Author: An Interview With Jennifer Juan

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Jennifer Juan is a cultural melting pot of an artist. She is a writer, a musician, a producer, a film maker and a podcast host, currently residing in the Kent countryside, but dreaming of the ocean. A tornado of darkness and delicacy, Juan creates engaging and powerful projects, using a variety of mediums and platforms, each dripping with her signature playful, yet powerful style of writing.

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

I’ve always been very inspired by Carol Ann Duffy. I’ve been reading her work since I was a little girl, and she has always been somebody I admired and was inspired by.

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

Probably Marina, who is featured in my upcoming media project “Drowning In Us”. The project uses music, film, and poetry to tell Marina’s story, as she tries to create a new life for herself, after screwing everything up. I think a lot of people have moments in their life where they wish they could just run away and start again, and Marina actually does it. It was a lot of fun to throw her into the worst time of her life, and then write her out of trouble.

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

I mainly write poetry, and a lot of what I create is based on my own life, so it can be difficult to relive some of the more tempestuous and troubling experiences, but it does feel freeing to create something from those moments.

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

I think for me, being able to reach out to other people, and share my experiences, and to be able to create something from the life I’ve lived is the most rewarding thing.

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

I think the best thing someone can do is learn to appreciate their own voice as a writer, and their own style. It can be tempting to copy what you see, and what is popular, but sooner or later, it becomes obvious that it isn’t authentic. Being yourself and discovering your own way of doing things is one of the most challenging but rewarding things any creator will do, but it will always be worth it.

The other thing I would advise is to build a base for yourself, like a website you regularly update, or a social media page that contains your information and content. Make it easy for people to find you, and your work, and see what you’re all about. It’s such a shame to see some writers creating amazing things, but barely sharing them, or making them accessible to an audience. If you don’t have the resources to create your own online spaces, there will be other creatives who can help. I recently launched a poetry contest on my own website for this reason, as part of the prize package is the winning and commended entries being read on my podcast, “Sincerely, Jennifer x” and hosted on my website, with biographies and further information about the writer. There are lots of other creatives who are doing similar things, and sharing their own platforms, so there is a lot of help out there for young writers who want to get more exposure for their work, or find a base for potential fans to find out more about them.

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

I like to dress up sometimes, when I write. I take bubble baths before, a lot, and just stay in the water for a little while, thinking about what I’ll write about, and then I get dressed, and make sure I feel good, before I get started. I like to listen to records while I’m writing. I have a lot of instrumental, ambient stuff, but I also like older things, like The Beach Boys or Bobby Vee, it depends on the kind of day I’m having.

I normally start with a stream of consciousness, so I can get down everything I’m thinking, and then I pick out the things I’m most struck by, the things I’m really in love with, and begin crafting them into something bigger.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

In a sense, yes. I was very interested in creating things in general, and dabbled in music and acting, but along the way, I ended up focusing mostly on writing.

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

Joan Crawford. I think she was a fascinating and talented woman, and I’d love to get some more insight into her life and who she was. I wrote a poem about how fascinated I was with her life, and how I see parts of her in myself sometimes, in my recent poetry collection “Kissing Boys, Just For The Thrill” so, it would also be interesting to ask her what she thought about that.

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

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This is a poem called “You’re A Crushing Bore (But I’ve Got A Crush On You)”, taken from my latest book “Kissing Boys, Just For The Thrill”.

 

You spent two hours,
telling me you’d never break my heart.
You spent two hours,
breaking my heart,
just from wrapping it,
so tightly,
that it suffocated.

I fantasised,
about your nights,
as a werewolf.
My fingers lost in your fur,
as you left me marked,
by bites you’d apologise for,
when the moon was put to bed,
and you awoke,
worried what I thought of you.

When the sun is in our eyes,
you’re a crushing bore,
but I’ve got a crush on you.
My hands speak a language that I know you understand,
but most days,
you pretend your whole body is deaf.
I play on the tracks,
hoping for a highspeed service,
to take me somewhere sublime,
but you’re still waiting at the station,
ignoring green light,
after green light.

You swing,
and you miss,
by not playing at all.
I stole your mind,
from your back pocket,
in some bar,
where you were so interesting,
insane,
a tornado.

Your destruction,
delicious,
lasted minutes,
before you shrank to the ground,
found naked in a field,
and I am marked,
missing the man you are,
when the moon comes out to make you a monster.


Make sure to check out Jennifer's work at http://jenniferjuan.com

 

 

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authors, books, poems, poetry

Spotlight & Review: The Long Body That Connects Us All by Rich Marcello

Synopsis

Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all.

Buy Links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-long-body-that-connects-us-all-rich-marcello/1127357860?ean=9781545611944

Porchwork
You come home from work
with metal pieces in need of straightening,
the result of an earlier errant production run.
For ten dollars, I spend my Saturday
on the front porch running thousands
of bent rods, of scrapworks,
through a straightening machine

On occasion, I gaze outward
into the woods, aware
that my increasing sense
of accomplishment
mirrors the rise of the sun.
Finally, when it’s dusk,
you come to the porch
to see me, your nine-year-old son,
to offer payment, but it’s the warmth
on your face that stirs me the most
I know you’re proud of me
for sticking with the cogs
and crooked metal.
I know you love me.
I know I’ve somehow taken
a step toward you

Today, building a Lego set on the floor
with my son, I realize I’ve been trying
to duplicate that moment on the porch
over thirty years now, my entire work life

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MY REVIEW

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Long Body That Connects Us All is a wonderful collection of poetry. Each poem is exceptionally well crafted, original, and personal- everything a great collection should entail. So, why only 4 stars? 

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, poetry is personal. It’s meant to be. That being said, not all poetry will touch everyone the same. The majority of the poems in this collection didn’t speak to me the way I’m sure it will speak to others, but I appreciate a well-written poem. I appreciate a poet who knows what they’re doing and isn’t afraid to put themselves and their experiences on the line. 

The poetry within this collection is full of vivid imagery. The Walking, In the rough patch, Stillness, and Blue Gears were some of the poems that stood out to me, but my favorite, without question, was Daughters and Sons.

I struggled with the rating. If my rating was based solely on the quality of the work, it would be an easy 5 stars. The placement of the poetry, the three different parts and the flow within each was incredible. However, a review isn’t just about the skill an author has; it’s also a reader’s opinion.

I would recommend this collection to poetry fans, for sure. Even if they don’t feel a connection to the poems, they will be better for having read The Long Body That Connects Us All.

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An Interview With the Poet

Rich Marcello is an author who creates both fiction and poetry. He’s been with us before to discuss his works of fiction ( https://sandraely770.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/445/ ). Now, he’s back discussing poetry.

You’ve been with us before to discuss your works of fiction. How would you say writing fiction differs from writing poetry?

I think they complement each other.  With a novel, I start with the story and go down to the chapters, the scenes, and the individual sentences.  When I reach the sentence level, I often think about certain sentences in a poetic sense, trying to make them as vivid and lyrical as possible. In a similar way, when I write a poem, I often start with a fragment or a phrase or even a single word, but when I’m done I make sure I’ve told a story.

Is the publishing process different? How so?

It was very much the same since the publisher of my novels, Langdon Street Press, also published this collection.  Clearly, the editors assigned were different, but otherwise it was a similar process.

Do you have a different writing process for poetry than you do for fiction?

Yes.  I tend to write poems when they come to me, and then hone them over time.  I also tend to work on them for shorter periods of time, maybe an hour at time, until they’re complete. Typically, I get an idea for a poem or a single image, and then I develop it from there.  If I started with the idea, I spend my time making the poem more physical and concrete.  If I start with an image, I spend my time working on the poem’s thematic payoff.

It takes quite a few poems to make a complete collection. How do you decide which poems to include, which to scrap?

I wrote over two hundred poems over two years for this collection and then honed it down to the 60 poems I liked best. I didn’t really use a process to decide on what poems to use. It was mostly what felt right given the theme of the book.

What is your favorite poem from this collection?

I love many of the poems, but if I had to name three,  I would say, “Passing,” “The Blue Line,” and “Belong to No One

What’s your favorite thing about poetry in general?

The ability the express a great deal of emotion on a single page.

What would you say to a fiction reader in order to get them to try to read poetry- more specifically your poetry?

My novels deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. My goal is to fill my novels with rich characters and ideas, to continually improve my craft as a storyteller, and to tell my stories with the eye and the ear of a poet. For me, writing and art-making are about connection and making a difference to a least one other person in the world. So, if a reader liked the style and theme of one of my novels, I think she would find the same elements in my poetry, only more emotional and focused.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry all my life. I also have written over sixty songs and my publisher, Langdon Street Press, has published three of my novels: The Color of HomeThe Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. I am currently working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers.

What would you like readers to take away from this collection?

I wanted to publish a collection about what it means to be a good man in the modern world. There are many great poets out there, but few these days are writing on this topic. With all the divisiveness in the world these days, much propagated by violent men, I wanted to show some of my own experiences about being open and vulnerable with the hope that some of my specific experiences would generalize.

If you could go back in time, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Take bigger artistic risks in your twenties and really go for it.

If you’d like to find out more about Rich Marcello visit his website: http://www.richmarcello.com

authors, books, interviews, young adult fiction

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With A J King

AJ

A J King, young adult author.
http://www.thepowervestedinme.com

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

Stephen King and David Baldacci

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

It varies from book to book. In The Power Vested in Me trilogy the main characters are the five teenagers collectively known as the Stardust. I can’t pick a favourite from these because as my own kids tell me you can’t have a favourite with your kids. In fact, when I write I feel guilty if I have given one more page time than the others.

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

In the last book saying goodbye to some of the characters was hard and I found writing these scenes emotionally difficult, probably because I had grown attached to them- however killing some of them off was scarily easy.

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

Without doubt it is when people give you positive feedback on the books, and speak to you sometimes quite passionately about scenes and characters they have enjoyed and loved. So much work goes into writing the books that knowing they are appreciated lightens your heart and your step.

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

On a disciplined day- I wake up mega early in the morning, convince myself I’m not going to go back to sleep, get up, put on my Rocky Balboa dressing gown, drink lots of coffee, listen to music on youtube and write. On an undisciplined day, I do all of the above minus the writing.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Always, from an early age at school my absolute favourite thing was when the teacher would tell the class ‘you need to write a story about….’ I just love stories- hearing them, reading them and of course writing them.

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

It would definitely be Billie Jean King- she has been my idol since as far back as I can remember, my first book is dedicated to her and I have a tattoo of her on my left shoulder. To meet her and speak to her would be an absolute dream come true for me- although I would possibly just open and close my mouth like a goldfish and find no words come out.

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

Then, as random as a dream, through the dimmed light, a figure appeared in the centre of the room. It was a man. His shirt, tie, trousers, shoes and ankle-length overcoat were all black. His body was almost camouflaged in the darkness, but his spiky white hair and vivid blue eyes made his expressionless face stand out like a beacon in the night. For a moment he stood there, moving only his head, glancing around the room at the sleeping babies. Then he placed the palms of his hands together in front of his chest, with his fingers pointing to the ceiling. He closed his eyes and took a deep, concentrated breath through his nose. As he exhaled, he stretched his arms out to either side of his body. On the palms of each hand were stars. They glowed blue at first, and then white – as white as the stranger’s hair. Suddenly beams of light erupted from these stars, and fell like rays of summer sunshine upon some of the sleeping babies. The babies stirred slightly as the beams of light hit them, but they didn’t cry. In fact, none of them made a sound. They just slept peacefully while the light fell upon them, like fairy dust sprinkled by Tinkerbell herself. The man remained there for no more than half a minute with his palms pointed outwards, keeping the light directed at the babies. His eyes remained closed, but his aim did not falter. Eventually the rays faded. It was as if they have been sucked back into the stars on the palms of his hands. The man opened his eyes, put his arms to his side and then, as silently and as suddenly as he had arrived, he disappeared, his visit gone completely unnoticed. His work was done. The gift was given. The die was cast.

authors, books, fiction, interviews, kids books, murder-mystery, mystery, New Release

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Robyn Washington

 

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Author Biography

Starting out in Seattle in a military family, Robyn’s family moved to North Carolina where she was raised in a family of six siblings. Being the oldest child, she had to learn how to make up stories to survive in a competitive family. Storytelling became easy for Robyn, and she started to pen romantic stories, children’s books and mystery novels at an early age. She progressed to writing journals and blogs, and later to novellas, plays, skits and her first published book. Graduating with a B.S. in Biology, an M.B.A in Business Administration, she has worked in the business world most of her life, but her passion is to excel in writing and brand her next series featuring stories on Children’s Books.

 

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

 

My favorite authors are the following: Nora Roberts, John Grisham, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Mark Twain, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steele. I can’t even mention all the authors I’ve read. Some are unknown, and I read just about anything to learn and for pleasure. I’ve been known just to get a biology book down and start reading From plays to history, science to romance novels, reading has been a favorite hobby of mine for years.

 

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

My favorite character was Jade, a CIA agent. Trying to write from a federal agent’s perspective and one who has been shafted was extremely hard. Penning emotions and fleshing out the character can be hard when tagging them with specific characteristics.

 

What are the most difficult scenes for you to write?

The most difficult scenes to write were the action scenes where confrontations occurred. I have two new books coming out soon in the month of February 2018, Deception, Love & Lies Part 2 and New Beginnings that have scenes that I had to rewrite so many times until it stressed me out. I had to teach myself how to write with continuity and make the topic interesting for readers. Romance novels are my favorite to read, but I don’t write steamy punk love scenes. Although I may read one occasionally, I like a story with a learning curve and a romance linked to the storyline.

New Beginnings - wrap (2) jpf

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

 

The most rewarding part of being an author is that I get to create, design, draw, imagine, deliver, and make-up stories as I go along. I have a very wild imagination and can step out of my mind at any time and write what I feel. The hardest part is when you come back and edit your words, change it around, and forget what you were trying to say. I want a reaction out of my readers, and I’ve got to master the art. I understand now why movie directors try to get a rise out of the audience, it makes sales.

 

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

A good story needs to be adequately researched, so the facts match what you’re writing about. Mysteries need to have a good twist, romance novels need to be unique, murder scenes need to be fleshed out, and the facts need to be as real as possible. Inadequate info can turn readers off. Don’t get trapped by criticism, learn from what others say about your work. Visit author’s groups and participate, create a blog, create and tweet, become friends with colleagues, and ask questions whenever you can. As a previous science teacher, asking questions always helps to increase the learning experience.

 

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

I have a room with crazy colors and designs to set the mood for me to write with a large desk, a comfortable chair, a tv, a bright light, and then I try to write every day. There is no set time, but when I enter my space, I spend time researching, reading, writing, or creating an outline for a book. I carry a notebook and pen in my pocketbook at all times, and sometimes use my iPhone to capture ideas or thoughts. Explosions can occur everywhere. The first process for me in writing a book is to create an outline, jot down thoughts, ideas, and create a plot for the story.

 

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No, I wanted to be a doctor, but I changed my major, so many times in college it was funny. I have worked in management and business most of my life and even taught school for a short while. My interest in science and animals has been a focal point in my life and lead me to start publishing my work.

 

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

My father. He died when I was a child and knowing him would have been the highlight of my life. People don’t know what they’re missing when they miss out on knowing their parents.

 

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

Coming soon a Pinterest link, but below are my Facebook and Twitter accounts for Robyn Washington.

https://twitter.com/RobynSeattle

https://www.facebook.com/RobynSeattle/

 

Deception Love and Lies - ebook (1) first book.jpg

Synopsis:

After a lifetime of a broken marriage, zoo owner, Barry Weinstein is persuaded by his longtime friend, Chad Everette, an MI6, to buy two Amur Leopards for the zoo. The Leopards become the featured attraction at the zoo and a baby cub, Malachi is born.

Life begins to change for Barry, and he must face his attraction to his new office administrator at his zoo, the curvy petite Gloria Peterson. But love is not that simple for Barry, and he runs. Tragedy strikes and Barry must face the battle from within himself to empty the darkness out of his soul.

Endowed with bad investments and massive debts, Chad falls in love with what he hates the most, an American CIA agent, the classy blonde Jade Ayers. Back in the USA, Jade is heading up an investigation involving six CIA agents that have been murdered in the last year in Afghanistan. When she finds out who’s involved, she becomes a suspect in her own investigation from London to all parts of the world. Love, adoption, greed, kidnapping, pain, torment, and endurance will be best experienced when everyone realizes what they’ve been chasing was right at their back door.

 

authors, books, interviews, nonfiction

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With Atif A K, PhD

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

Well I started my fascination of reading with Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming but with the passage I also recognized my fancy for non-fiction so I would say if you keep aside the marketing/strategy/branding on the more personal side I like Eckhart Tolle. He is definitely not only an author but his works amplified because of his books. I also like Dr. Daniel Amen whose works with brain rewiring has really mesmerized me. Of course, Shakespeare is always there to provide a framework to anyones comprehension. I also like the Lebanese great Khalil Jibran and his works Broken Wings and Madman very inspiring. There is also a Pakistani writer Ashfaq Ahmed- whose philosophical works transcend universalism into humanism.

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

My inspiration to writing particularly screen-writing because thats where I write most of my characters- is totally driven from the unusual faces that I see. They all tell me a story and their mental ambience. The environments from where they are hailing. I understand these faces make my task easier to dramatize both as a writer and director. So before I even met them when I use them on screen- I have a fatal portrait in my head with a reference point of someone that I saw in the train or at the bank or merely hanging at my favorite bar or local cinema. The inspire me to tell their metaphysical tales that they never told me.  

For instance, I saw a homeless guy who could have been a body double of Gregory Pack- I saw him talking to himself, he was probably unwell. But that drove me to write the street actor character on my short film Do You Know Me? where his acting rehearsal/monologue was considered talking-to-himself by many strangers around.

I find talking to ones self extremely romantic and I have used it in my upcoming film The Disowned where Kay Gamaldi (the female lead/central character) talks to herself about her affair and where she stands in the relationship. I may say that all these characters are my favorite and are inter-related to my innate fair of never talking to myself. They are linked with my inner obscurities and social phobias. In terms of writing technique in The Disowned our male protagonist (Gil Gilead) is also antagonist and it will lot of fun unleashing and cheating the audience with his character and histrionic role.  A small glimpse into it can be seen here.

https://youtu.be/4DX4xp-AM0E

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

I like to write scenes in which there are less dialogues and more non-verbal communication. The actors use their expressions, emotions and body language to communicate the sub-text of what’s being seen. It’s like a person who can’t hear or understands the language- even who cannot read closed captions would still understand where the scene is going.

Fortunately, we are writing in an age where new media and mainstream is too much reliant on independent artists- who take liberty to approaching subject matter from brand new angles. The other versions- so to say. Just last night I saw Shape of Water and I was fascinated how in a fantasy world Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor have tricked the audience while developing a plot by building it up. Fine lining the outcasts of the previous eras while legitimizing the beauty and beast concept in a distorted, spectacular and unusual way. Sort of breaking a taboo but at the same time leaving an untouched impression of a story strangely told by unusual characters.

So these kind of scenarios may be hard to depict by the book but surely leave a stellar impression and are easier to write- if you are immune to writing things from the unprecedented angles.

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

Clarity of thought is the most prized possession for any writer. The ability to think through the storm and to be able to come out survivor is so much gratifying at least for me being a writer. If I write good couple of pages every morning as I wake up- 50% of task has been achieved for me for the rest of the day. Writing is cathartic, it is therapeutic- and like Ozzy Osborne once said- he would actually pay his audience if he had to, just to let him perform. So thats the most rewarding part- I would write for free. It is sort of confessional, and letting it off your chest or sharing the fire in your belly. After that there is calm, like after a tempest. But thats not easy being able to find that poise in the way you compose your writing. Apart from commercial writing, self-indulgent writing needs lot of discourse, contemplation and self conflicts. Yes, all the questions have to be answered before they are put on paper- and sometimes, these answers dont come easy. And sometimes they take lot of time. Its like a secret watch-tower in the writers head that leads the sail in the dark. This phenomenon is much more gratifying than any other feeling. When the sail reaches the shore. And of course, financial and other accolades follow the suit. Because this is a diamond that the writer brings from a distant mine that no body knows as it exists in the clumsy minds.   

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

Get solitary confinement in a hotel and start dreaming without being buffered by anyone or anything. Of course when you read 100 pages, you are then able to write one good page. Our brains are receptive when we have lot of reference memory and observation material around. You have to be compulsive thinker. Free-thinking has always worked for me and to be able to avoid any intellectual conflict or cognitive dissonance so to say is the way out as an artist and as an author.

Unfortunately, writing prospered when it was the only mode of entertainment. In the cross media age- writing is done for various platforms. But having said that every product and entertainment starts and ends with good writing. It cannot begin without someone sitting down and composing the ideas. So in a way the scope of writing has even widened. Although there has been tremendous development in new wave media and platforms but the enhancement is not that remarkable when it comes to writing technique. We are hooked on Stephen Kings and Rowlings along with Grishams. There is more to it- in terms of substance beyond genre. And that is the reason we see some of very predictable stories emerging to be huge like Twilight and Shades of Grey. Although it is essentially recycled material in a new setting- much like Shakespeare in a standard format. But when Romeo and Juliet or Midsummer Nights Dream or even Tempest was written there was no sign of screen and a bunch of actors will play it out on theater. In that sense such intricate content was hard to be communicated so easily. So we as writers who are just started out- must start thinking out of the box while not forgetting that we are slave to the comprehension of others so whatever we may tell should not be safe but it must fit the meter as we call it when we rhyme or create an even flow in writing.

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

No writing comes to me instead of the other way around. When I feel desperate to put it on screen or note it in my iPhone pad that’s when the magic starts churning. I have no idea what I am about to write- unless it keeps lingering in my subconscious and just flushes out at a point where I cannot hold it anymore. Like a secret hard to carry around, or like being a witness to some crime. You need to tell, you can’t keep it to yourself. Because the self-contemplation and no being able to share the burden and experience will ultimately leave you with immense guilt. Which if not told on time and in time will stick like a dirty deed in my psychology forever.

So that’s how I write. I may be doing laundry, or swimming, or practicing Yoga, listening to a song or just searching on Google where I parked my car. While I might later realize that I took Uber instead of my car on the way back home- I have a great idea with me, that prompts me to write. So before I go back to the mall and find my lost car- I need to put it in Word. That’s my ritual- I need a solid excuse to prefer it over any other task in my life. And that has kept my flame alive and made people pay me for this dedication to this art form.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Absolutely. I wanted to be an astronaut but then I found writing, as I was stuck on an Executive Floor of Marriott for 8 months. It was like solitary confinement, I was left with nothing but weird life concepts buzzing through my day- in and out. I had this urge to reflect on things the way they are and the way they should or can be. I think solitude is the excellent time, when one can find their calling. This is the reason of all the prisons- around the world. To give people time to reflect and fix. I am sure without solitude; one cannot acquire a set of skills to offer the world. There is no contribution, if you are not by yourself. After that bout, I spent another couple of years as my creative pilgrimage in a downtown hotel. There I used to watch movies, sleep, eat and repeat. Strum guitar once in a while, work online and order food through room service. 

This kept on, until I was left with nothing else to do but write. I was also fortunate enough to be able to write couple of books as ghostwriter, to understand the challenges and review the process from inception to cover design. The research, statistics and reference studies all proved to be the honing ground for my creative maturity.

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

William Peter Bletty writer of Exorcist as to what was going through his mind when he wrote this. This has remained to be a timeless classic and masterpiece. Ahead of time and will always be- to the point when humans can develop the technology to reach out to another dimension and communicate with dead souls. I know there was some case in Germany little similar to what was depicted in the book. But the way it was written in a passive manner was both shocking, extremely dramatic and urges you to revisit your faith or school of thought. Thats the power of writing, its like a punch on your face. His later works didnt strike the right note with the masses but thats what writing is- once the world discovers you, you are lost as a writer.   

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

Couple of pages from the book that are published on EZine Articles. Feel free to check them out.

http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Atif_A_K/2465019  

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Curious to know more? Check out these links:

http://a.co/0d8IEBM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=1IHKY0Rv01g
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:

Sandi_Smith_gold_book_225

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


authors, books, fiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Thomas Lowrie

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

Yes, Lee Child and Nelson DeMille.

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

All of the characters I write about are very real to me so I really have no favorite.

Dont_judge_a_man_until_you_walk_a_mile_in_his_shoes_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

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

Scenes with death in them are difficult since I feel as though I was there as it happened.

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

The ability to expand someone’s imagination.

first_thought_we_were_under_attack_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

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

Don’t worry about what others think, just go for it.

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

Not that I know of.

he_was_whooped_military_book_author_thomas_lowrie

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No, I didn’t start writing until others asked me to do so. Now I very much enjoy it.

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

Anyone who has lost their mother knows the only answer to this question.

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

I looked across my crew. I was looking for John Wayne, he wasn’t there. I looked for Arnold, same thing. I also didn’t find Stalone, Clint nor Chuck Norris. The reality of it was none of my heroes were there, this was NOT the movies. I needed just one Badass and found none.What I found was a high school yearbook.I found fresh off the farm boys, children by most people’s standards. Some of these boys weren’t even getting to go to their senior prom. I feel safe in the notion that some of them have not even held a girls hand. That doesn’t sound like much unless you haven’t done it. Think about that for a minute. They haven’t lived yet and are prepared to die.

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For more information on the author, visit:

www.thomaslowrie.com

http://amzn.to/2wyUgS9

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/he-was-thomas-william-lowrie/1119687508?ean=9780990362616

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/He-Was-Ray-Lafayette-Novel/Thomas-William-Lowrie/9780990362616?id=6025076222321