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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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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



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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