Meet Devon Ellington [Author Interview]

Meet Devon Ellington | Author Interview | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I publish under multiple names in fiction and non-fiction, and am an internationally-produced playwright and radio writer. I spent the bulk of my career working backstage on Broadway, and a little bit in film and television production.

How long have you been writing for?

I started writing when I was six; I was published in school literary magazines, and, in high school, published in local papers when I handled publicity for the music department.  I started working professionally in theatre when I was 18. In college, my major was film and television production, and I veered away from the writing and more into technical aspects. Working off-Broadway, I started writing monologues for actresses looking for good material; that grew into plays, and then back into short stories and novels. So I’ve been writing for A Very Long Time.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

Writing is how I make sense of the world. How I explore other lives from the inside and the outside.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

I do my first 1K of the day on what I call my  “Primary Project” (whatever’s being drafted) early in the day. Feed the cats, do my yoga/meditation practice, write my first 1K of the day.

The rest of the day shapes up depending on if I’m doing only my own work, or a mix of my own work and client work and other freelance writing gigs. It’s shaped by what’s on the tightest deadline and the highest paycheck. I prefer to write in the morning and edit in the afternoons. Since I’m always juggling multiple projects, there are usually a handful of projects in various draft stages, and then some more in editing or galleys.  Scriptwriting usually requires a much tighter turnaround than books, so when those jobs come in, they take priority. Sometimes, I just have to stay up later or get up earlier to get it all done.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

Cried. Tears of joy, but I cried.

What was the publishing process like? How long did it take?

Months, of course. For me, there’s generally been one major edit from the editor’s initial notes and discussion, and then one to two more rounds of edits with the editor, with a tighter turnaround. Then, the copyeditor is brought in, and we have those edits and galleys. When I have unusual people names or place names or phrases in other languages, I submit that with the draft that goes to the editor and the copyeditor, so they can help me stay consistent.

For the series I write, keeping the Series Bibles updated is vital, too. As soon as a book is out of final galleys and headed for release, I update the Series Bible. I use tracking sheets for details that may change within drafts, but once it’s finalized, I update the Series Bible. That way, an inconsistency is a plot or character choice, not a mistake.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Always! The radio plays are getting a lot of traction right now, and I have four stage plays to finish this year: one on the painter Canaletto’s sisters; one on the gun violence epidemic; a collection of monologues called WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST that’s a follow-up to one of my most popular plays, WOMEN WITH AN EDGE; and a play about two famous women authors. Plus, I have to keep up with the series I’m writing — The Gwen Finnegan Mysteries, The Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense Series, the lighter Nautical Namaste Mysteries, and a few one-offs. Plus client work. So I’m always, always working on something new. This is my passion, but it is also my business, not my hobby. It’s how I keep a roof over my head.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

Still working on Broadway, as a dresser. Or, if I hadn’t gone down the theatre/writing path at all, probably an archaeologist.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

Don’t let others define you. Define yourself. And realize that your life and your career are always a work in process.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

I don’t have just one of any of them! My favorite, favorite book, the one I’d need on a desert island, is THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE. I never get tired of Shakespeare. I also love POSSESSION, by AS Byatt.  Genre would probably be mystery. I find it often the most satisfying, although, as a writer, I like to mix it with other elements of other genres. Author? I don’t have a single favorite. Again, I always go back to Shakespeare. But it was Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe who were the big inspirations for me to write. And Mildred Wirt Benson, the original writer of the Nancy Drew books as “Carolyn Keene.” She did another series, under her own name, with a heroine named Penny Parker. Penny is such a brat, but she’s hilarious.

I collect juvenile series mysteries from the early twentieth century: Beverly Gray, Vicki Barr, Judy Bolton, all of those. The racism in them is shocking, but it’s also a good snapshot of what was considered “normal” at the time and why we should know better now (but far too often don’t). You get a heroine like Ruth Fielding, a turn-of-the-twentieth-century heroine, who did all these great, adventurous things solving her mysteries, and then went on to a career writing in Hollywood, in a happy marriage. A lot of these heroines showed girls that there was more than one definition of “good” — and that it wasn’t a terrible thing to be smart, and show it.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Put your butt in the chair every day and do the work. Books don’t write themselves. Plan time off as you want/need it. Don’t let the writing slide. And don’t blow first rights posting material from your drafts online or on social media if you want to sell the polished/finished work. There’s a world of difference between throwing out a rough draft and sharing an excerpt of a piece that’s contracted.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Find your tribe. Find other writers you like to hang out with and talk to. Read each other’s work. Support each other. Every time one succeeds, it helps everybody. Jealousy and envy are a waste of energy. Learn the craft — craft is as important as art. Do the work, build the community, and you’ll start to see results.

About Devon Ellington

Devon Ellington | Author Interview | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comDevon Ellington publishes under half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction and is an internationally-produced playwright and radio writer. She has eight novels published, several novellas, dozens of short stories, and hundreds of articles. She worked backstage on Broadway and in film and television production for years and teaches both online and in-person. Her main website, http://www.devonellingtonwork.com, will lead you to the websites for the different series, and her blog on the writing life, Ink in My Coffee, is at https://devonellington.wordpress.com

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Buy Devon’s Books

The Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense Series:
Playing the AnglesThe Spirit RepositoryRelics & Requiem

The Gwen Finnegan Paranormal Archaeological Mysteries:
Tracking Medusa | Myth & Interpretation

The Nautical Namaste Not-Quite-Cozy Mysteries (As Ava Dunne):
Savasana at Sea

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Meet I.L. Cruz, Author [Author Interview]

Author Interview: I.L. Cruz | Creative Writing | Self-Published Author | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me on your blog today! I’m I.L. Cruz, author of the epic fantasy A Smuggler’s Path: Book One of the Enchanted Path series. I’m originally from Brooklyn, but I now live in Maryland. My childhood surrounded by strong women and diverse people has influenced my writing. And my protagonists are usually Latinas because I didn’t see enough of that as a kid or even now.

How long have you been writing for?

Writing is something I’ve always done as a creative outlet and to work things out on paper. It was about 12 years ago I wanted to write an entire novel, but it took another five or six years before I decided that I wanted writing to be my career.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

The most random things motivate me write. A documentary about trees. A nursery rhyme. A strange noise in the middle of the night. That and so many other things trigger ideas (not all good) and if I can string enough of them together, a story emerges. For example, my current series started because I’d been reading fairy tales and nursery rhymes to my daughter and a combination of horror at the female protagonists (if you can call them that), the uptick of fairy tale retellings, and wanting to know what happened to the nursery rhyme characters after the rhyme led me to write my first novel.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

My routine is more a plan than a day-in, day-out fixture. I plan project by project. When it’s a first draft, I stick to pen and paper (made more high-tech by my Light Scribe smart pen, which lets me upload my notebooks to my computer) and write a chapter at a time. When I finish a chapter, I scribble notes about what should get done in the next chapter. I continue that way until the draft is done and then I take two weeks off before I read it back. I do this during school hours on the weekdays and it’s worked so far…

How did you decide to self-publish instead of going the traditional company?

It wasn’t just my choice. I’d been fiddling with my series for years and agents didn’t seem to know what to do with my book. Some said it was too whimsical for adults. When I tried making it YA, my MC was too close to her mother, which they said wouldn’t work for teens. I didn’t agree with blanket statements like that and my family kept urging me to publish my book, myself.

What was the self-publishing process like? How long did it take?

Indie publishing is such a process! I had to learn things like creating maps, blogging, formatting, hiring an editor, and hundreds of little things I never even thought of but learned along the way. But in reality it took longer to take the leap into indie publishing then getting down to the business of putting it out there.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Now that A Smuggler’s Path is out in the world, I’m working on editing the second book in that series. When I decided to write a series, I wrote the entire thing (all four books) so now I’m in what feels like permanent editing mode. It’s called A Noble’s Path and continues Inez’s story. I’m also putting out a separate novella series called The Cemetery Circle, which comes out Valentine’s Day.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I’ve become so immersed in books, I would still want to stay in that world. Ideally, I’d own a travel book store with a special section for “fantasy travel” containing speculative fiction books. Either that or work in a museum…I have an MA in history and since I can’t imagine being a teacher, it’s the next best option.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

I wish I had known how long it was going to take! Until you decide you want to be a writer, you have this vague notion of all the work that goes into it. Somehow, I’m imagined sitting with my notebook and pen and finishing novel after novel followed by publication a few weeks later. I assumed only the mythic great American novel took years. Now I have more realistic expectations.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

I have one for each. Although my favorite genre (lately) is fantasy, my favorite book is Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, a novel about the history of philosophy. My favorite authors are all over the map: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sharon Kay Penman, Edward Rutherford, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Hunter. There are more, but that could cover a separate interview!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

There’s too much advice out there and in the beginning, you’ll listen to all of it and even judge yourself by it. The day your able to take it all in and realize some of it isn’t for you, then you’re a writer.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

My superpower is research. I believe numbers and letter have a sex (for example 4 and A are female, but 1 and B are male). Rainy days are underrated, and I still remember lyrics to jingles and cartoons from the 80s.

Oh, and I tend to be random with my thoughts. Thanks again for letting me share!

About I.L. Cruz

IL Cruz, Author | Author Interview | Creative Writing | Self-Published Author | Writers | RachelPoli.comI.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

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A Smuggler's Path by IL Cruz | Author Interview | Self-Published Author | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com The Cemetery Circle by IL Cruz | Author Interview | Self-Published Author | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comBuy A Smuggler’s Path:

Ebook | Paperback

Meet Aurora Jean Alexander, Author [Author Interview]

It’s my pleasure to welcome AJ Alexander to my blog!

Aurora Jean Alexander | Author | Writer | Creative writing | author interview | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Aurora Jean Alexander. I grew up in a family involved into politics and was blessed with an excellent education in several countries, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in BA. I was very lucky. I’m living by myself with three cats, working a full time job and I am a new Paranormal Romance/Fantasy author. Currently I work on a series with 13 books. My first book is close to be published.

How long have you been writing for?

I doubt I can tell you one particular time or even time frame when I started writing. I felt that’s what I wanted to do. Since I lack a talent in painting and drawing I had to do something with my creativity and decided that’s the way to do it.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

I’m not sure there ever was “a start”. I learned to write at the age of four and I remember developing little stories since I’m a Kindergarten kid. In school, when others complained about essays, mine were easily 6 – 10 pages long, I enjoyed it so much.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

I still, after all these years write my first drafts by hand. When I type them into the computer it gives me the chance to go through the story and the plot again and catch flaws and mistakes within the story, even the characters.

Since I’m working a full time job there isn’t a particular daily routine. I write whenever I have the chance to. I usually have several books in different states of “completed”, which means, I either write by hand, type into the computer or edit existing manuscripts before they go to my editor.

Have you thought about self-publishing or traditional publishing? Are you leaning towards one over the other? If so, why?

I’m definitely going with self-publishing. The process of the traditional publishing is extremely long. The submitting, the rejections, the small exclusive circles of the ones deciding whether my work is “good enough” for them is grueling and even cruel and hurtful at times. I’d like to publish my books before my retirement.

Are you currently working on anything new?

I’m working on this particular series, which needs all my time and concentration. I love working on these books. Each character is very demanding and teaches me a lot. Right now I’m working on the seventh and eighth book in the series, which I’m drafting. Book six needs to be typed in. The first book is with my copyright lawyer, my editor is working on book 2 and book three to five are waiting in my editors inbox.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I’m as well a musician as also a Martial Arts expert. I figure I would have gone with one of these talents to build a career.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

The writing is the “smallest” part, so to speak. Networking, promotion, marketing, connections, these are the parts that sell the books and need a lot of time and even money. The ones telling that self-publishing is for free are definitely wrong.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

One of my favorite books is one of the best books ever written: James Clavell’s Shogun. It is absolutely fascinating, bases on extensive research and has not only what a good book needs, but much more.

Other than that I’m a big fan of fantasy and paranormal romance. Not Science Fiction so much because the technical explanations in these books are straining my simple, non-technical brain cells. LOL

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write your stories down. They will never see the light of the day as long as they only exist in your head. And never give up!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Networking is one of the main things to do for new writers. Start early enough. Starting with networking a few weeks before your book is published won’t do.

Additionally keep in mind that you don’t only find ‘helpful connections’ when networking. You have the chance to find amazing writers, supportive and encouraging authors and friends! Keep them in your heart and share your success with them. Let them be part of your life and help them as much as they help you!

About AJ

I’m a new paranormal romance author working on a fantasy/paranormal romance series. I have written short stories and poetry in the past and now am intensely working on a 13-book-series of novellas and novels.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

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Pre-order Soul Taker (The Council of Twelve 1) by A.J. Alexander

Soul Taker by AJ Alexander | Book blog | author interview | Preorder | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comAfter long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.
When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.
Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.
Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.
Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.
‘Soul Taker’, 1st book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series is available for pre-order right now and will be published December 15, 2018.

Meet Victoria Zigler, Author [Author Interview]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Victoria Zigler to my blog!

Victoria Zigler, Author | Author Interview | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Victoria, but I prefer to be called Tori.  I only published under “Victoria” instead of “Tori” because I promised my Mam I would, and I try to keep my promises.

I was born and raised in the Black Mountains in Wales, in the United Kingdom.  Later, I married my Canadian husband, lived in Canada with him for a few months, returned to Wales with him for a few years, and eventually settled on the English coast.  That’s where I now live, in a flat beside the sea, with my hubby and our furkids, which currently consist of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a degu named Joshua.

I’m completely blind, having lost my sight to Congenital Glaucoma.

To date I’ve published 53 books, and a story in a sci-fi and fantasy anthology.  Among those 53 books are nine poetry collections.  The rest are stories, which are officially aimed at children of various ages, but which have been enjoyed by adults too.

How long have you been writing for?

I’ve been writing since I was a young child; I’ve been writing my own stories and poems since I learned how.  I’m not just saying that because I’m a writer, and it goes with the whole writerly image.  I really have.

I spent a lot of my childhood either reading or writing.  Part of it was having older siblings and babysitters who were doing homework, and wanting to join in, so learning to read and write before I even started school, despite children hardly being out of babyhood before their thrown in to school here in the UK.  Part of it was that reading and writing are things you can do just about anywhere, even in hospital, and I spent a lot of time in hospital growing up, with my mind able to be much more active than my body.

Although, I’ve only been publishing my stories and poems for about six and a half years.  Well, you can double that if you count the stuff I posted on my blog.  I don’t though.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

I have to write.  There are stories and poems in my head, and I have to write them down, otherwise they won’t leave me alone.  Then I publish them, because I believe art in all its forms should be shared with the world.

As for how I began writing: I started writing poems and stories in school, and enjoyed it so much I wrote my own at home for fun.  I haven’t stopped since, though sometimes there might be a break between writing sessions, or I might make slow progress on a story I’m working on.  I always come back to it though.  Excuse the double negative, but I can’t not write.  Not for long anyhow.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

Routine? Nope.  I don’t know anything about that.  What is this routine you speak of? *wink*

Seriously though, I’m rubbish at sticking to routines.  I keep trying, and manage to get a routine started, but it never seems to stick.  Sometimes I end up writing in the afternoon, sometimes late at night, and other times early in the morning.  It depends how I’m sleeping at the time, how my health is, what else is going on in my life, etc.

In an ideal world, I’d get up nice and early, have a chunk of time to work on writing, eMails, and all those other authorly tasks, before hubby and the dog got up, or other things needed to be dealt with.  Unfortunately, things rarely work out that way, since my sleep schedule keeps changing itself, and the dog won’t always agree to the plan.  It’s a shame, because I always get most done when things do work out that way, which is why that would be my ideal writing routine.

How did you decide to self-publish instead of going the traditional company?

Despite wanting to be a published author since I was a child, I’d been dragging my feet about publishing, because I didn’t want to deal with jumping through hoops to get accepted by traditional publishers, and don’t like the idea of being told what to write and when.  I never like being told what to do, and only do as I’m told if I want to do it anyhow, or if I can see there’s a valid reason for listening.  Plus, my health issues mean I need flexibility in my schedule, and what if I couldn’t meet deadlines because of health issues?

Anyway, when I stumbled across Smashwords, after winning some books via a blog contest that were gifted to me via that site, it seemed like a great idea.  I asked my hubby what he thought, and he said he didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t do it, so I should do it if I wanted to.  I decided immediately that I did want to.

I had several of my old pieces of writing, so started working on rewrites and edits for those, all the while writing new stuff.  When each book was ready, and had a cover, I published it.  I knew little about publishing at that point, so sort of just figured things out as I went.  Six and a half years later, here we are.

What was the self-publishing process like? How long did it take?

With both my eBooks and paperbacks, the publishing process was simple, and took hardly any time at all.  What takes a lot of time is the actual writing, research, rewriting, editing, formatting, and cover creation.  Once you have a book written, edited, etc, it only takes a few minutes to get it uploaded.  Then you just have to wait for your manuscript to go through the reviews the sites do.

Audio book production is simple and straight forward too.  At least I think so.  But it takes longer.  You’ve got to get things uploaded, which doesn’t take long to do, and then you have to take auditions for a narrator, choose your narrator and hope they accept your offer for production (mostly they will if they auditioned for you in the first place, especially if you give them long deadlines to work with) and send them the manuscript to work from.  After that there’s a lot of waiting for audio samples from the narrator, listening to and either approving or requesting changes on them, etc.  The quality review from the site takes longer for audio books too.

Assuming you have everything you need to get things uploaded, you can publish an eBook within a few minutes (and have it distributed to multiple retailers within a few days) and publish a paperback within a couple of weeks (that includes time to get a physical proof, check it, and then approve the book for sale).  But you’ll be looking at a minimum of a month for audio book production, and that’s assuming you have a short book, and a narrator who works quickly and efficiently; you’ll need longer for a full length novel, and some narrators might take longer even with shorter titles.  Bearing in mind, those times are based on the assumption that there are no delays caused by problems that need to be fixed, which won’t be an issue often, as long as you pay proper attention to the requirements for the publishing platform you’re using.

Are you currently working on anything new?

I’m always working on something new.

I’m writing a middle grade pirate themed adventure story at the moment.  Between health issues, some real life events, and the fact I keep getting distracted by shiny new knowledge during research, it’s a slow process.  But it’s getting there.  This is a new genre for me.  I always write for children, but usually it’s animal stories, fairy tales, or something with a fantasy theme to it.  The only exceptions before now have been my “Toby’s Tales” books, which are about adapting to sight loss, “Vinnie The Vegetarian Zombie” (which sort of speaks for itself in terms of genre and subject matter) and a sci-fi story called “Jeffrey The Orange Alien” (my first, and so far only, science-fiction story).

Also, I start a new poetry collection pretty soon after publishing the last one.  So far I have a couple of dozen poems towards what will be my 10th poetry collection.  How many poems I put in each collection varies, so when I publish it will depend on when I feel like it has enough poems.  Right now, I don’t feel like it does.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I can’t imagine not writing.  But, if I absolutely had to do something else, I’d want to work with children or animals.  That, or be a journalist.  But you said no writing, so… *shrugs*

I’d either want to work in a nursery or reception class (pre-school or kindergarten, for those not in the UK) getting to be part of the little kids’ early experiences with reading, writing, and learning about the world.  Or I’d want to do something with animals, like work in a pet store, be a zoo keeper, or be a vet (though I know I’d find that last one hard at times).

Nursery assistant and vet were the careers I wanted when asked to pick something not writing-related while I was still in school.  I’d still pick those as potential career options.  But I could be happy doing a non-writing job if it involved children or animals.  Even if diaper duty or cage cleaning tasks were involved.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

I’m not sure how to answer this one.  I’m always learning new things, through my writing, through my reading, or through seeking answers to whatever random question pops in to my head.  Then there are the lessons life teaches.  I’m not sure I could pick just one, and sometimes I’m not sure where the writing lessons end, and the lessons from other aspects of my life begin.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

I’m never very good at these favourite things questions.  My favorites with most things vary depending on how I’m feeling, what I read last, etc.  However, “A Little Princess” and “Matilda” have been on my favorites list since childhood, and I’m more likely to be reading fantasy stories or fairy tales than any other genre, despite the fact I read most genres.

I have preferences with the different genres though.  For example: I enjoy the scientific side of science-fiction best, consider cosy mysteries to be the best kinds of mysteries, love a good zombie apocalypse story, and haven’t grown out of being won over by stories about cute little puppies getting in to mischief.  That’s by no means an exhaustive list of what I like to read, but I’m sure you get the idea.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write a lot, and read a lot.

You have to write if you ever want to become more than just an “aspiring” writer, and the more you do, the better you’ll get at it.  At least, as long as you’re also reading.

I’ve heard a lot of writers say they don’t read, because they don’t have time, want to focus on their own writing, or whatever.  Well, if you want to write, you have to read, especially in the genre you’re writing.  How can you learn to write if you don’t read books to see how others are doing it? No.  Not to copy them, but to learn what works and what doesn’t in your genre of choice, see how the rules of grammar and punctuation work when actually applied to a story, figure out how to make a poem flow well, etc.  You don’t have to read hundreds of books a year.  Although, if you can, that’s awesome.  But you should at least make some time for reading.

Also, please do your research properly, and check your facts.  Readers notice.  This applies when writing disabled characters too; talk to a person with a disability before writing about one, because not all myths surrounding a particular disability are true.  For example: being blind doesn’t give me super amazing hearing, I don’t own a guide dog, and correcting yourself when you go to use phrases usually associated with seeing – such as talking about watching movies – is more likely to annoy me than you using the phrases.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I can’t think of anything.  If you – or one of your readers – have anything else you want to know though, please don’t hesitate to ask.  I’ll do my best to answer, and will only refuse to do so if I have a good reason for not answering that particular question.

About Victoria Zigler

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids.  Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio.  She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Connect with Tori

Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Smashwords | Amazon

About Where’s Noodles

Where's Noodles by Victoria Zigler | Author Interview | RachelPoli.com

Narrator for audio version: Judith Bareham

Book blurb:

“Noodles is a strange red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, who just happens to be the favourite toy of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.  At least, he is now, since the bushytailed squirrel and cuddly triceratops fell apart while she was playing with them – totally not her fault, by the way!

Now noodles is missing.

Lilie’s sure she left Noodles on the living room floor when she went walkies.  But when she comes home and goes to fetch him so they can have a nap together, Noodles isn’t there.

Where’s Noodles? Is he somewhere else, or is he lost forever?”

Buy Where’s Noodles

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Meet Annette Rochelle Aben, Author [Author Interview]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Annette to my blog!

Annette Rochelle Aben, Author | Interview | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Tell us a little bit about yourself (a quick blurb of the kind of books you like to write)

I was born to be a poet. So, the majority of the books I have self-published are either pure poetry or heavily laced with poetry. As I have found self-help books to be useful in my life, I also enjoy writing books of that nature as well.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was a small child, being published in a literary magazine at the age of 14 gave me the encouragement to continue writing. Throughout my adult life, I have been lucky enough to hold many positions where writing was an integral part of the job.

What motivates you to write? How do you begin writing?

I set goals for myself on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Sometimes I am enticed to enter writing challenges and contests, and they are fun. Sometimes the idea of the piece sparks the beginning and other times it is the title of the piece that calls forth the content.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

At this time I do not have an established writing routine. I can turn anything into an excuse to NOT work on my writing. However, even if it is merely a poem I am posting on my blog or sending to someone as a gift, I DO write SOMETHING daily. If I am working on my monthly pieces for the magazine (The Magic Happens) I may work a bit, here and there on the several pieces I submit each month. Yet, there are other days, I bang everything out one right after another. Guess that qualifies me as a pantser.

How did you decide to self-publish instead of going to a traditional company?

Easy, I wanted it to look exactly as I wanted it to look, so when someone told me about self-publishing, I thought that would be the best route to take.

What was the self-publishing process like? How long did it take?

My first book was laid out rather “artsy-fartsy” because I had vision of creating a piece that not only shared my poetry, prose and photography, but in a way that was unique and original. My goodness, when I got the first proof copy, it was a train wreck. There was so much more I had to learn and I must admit I did a lot with gritted teeth. Eventually, I understood what was required of me and what their capabilities were and we met on common ground. That process took me a year. Then, I switched self-publishers and continued to learn from them. The biggest difference between that first time and those that followed, was I went into them with the attitude that I was learning and not like I knew everything.

Are you currently working on anything new?

YES! I am working on a sequel to BooKu: Halloween Haiku, titled Son of BooKu which is scheduled for released in autumn of 2019. Also, I have a book of Tanka poetry due out in February of 2019. I have titled this book Think Tanka: vision in verse. And there are at least 10 other ideas in various stages of development.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

Wow, I always imagined I would be a stage character actress. Actually, that is where I thought my life was headed for many years. There is nothing like being able to become a character and entertain audiences. It always lifted my spirits and helped me learn that I had worth, after growing up being told I was worthless. It has been many years since I have been in a show and who knows what the future holds. Maybe I’ll write a play in which I can perform!

Rachel, thank you for the invitation to connect with your audience. I appreciate you!

About Annette

Learning to read, opened up  world of acceptance and creativity, Annette found irresistible. Learning to write, made that world come alive inside Annette. Publishing books, allowed Annette to share herself with the world.

To date, Annette has self-published 12 books in the categories of poetry, self-help, spirituality and inspiration. A Haiku Perspective 2018 became a #1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller within 3 days of release. Her television commercial copy writing, garnered her an Emmy nomination and a children’s coloring book she designed, won a national marketing award for her, then, employer, United Artist’s Entertainment.

Currently, Annette is the Copy Editor for the digital magazine, The Magic Happens.

Blog | The Magic Happens | Amazon

A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben | Poetry | Author Interview | Blogging | RachelPoli.comTanka is a form of traditional Japanese lyric poetry that uses 31 syllables spread over 5 lines to convey it’s message. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” This book elevates what may be considered average, to a new level of appreciation by connecting imagination and emotion. Those wishing to be inspired, uplifted or who are curious about poetry, will LOVE A Tanka Picture Book.

Books by Annette Rochelle Aben | Author Interview | Blogging | RachelPoli.com