Meet Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas, Author [Interview]

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It’s my pleasure to welcome Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas to my blog!

Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas | Author Interview | Creative Writing | Historical Writing | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas and am a Ph.D. history student attending the University of California, Davis.  My research centers on Asian American women’s history.  I particularly am interested in intergenerational experiences and their contributions to history and American culture.  As a second generation Asian American woman growing up in the Bay Area during the nineties, I noticed my generation didn’t have Asian American female role models or historical figures visible in mainstream American textbooks and curriculum.  I hope to produce readable historical material that showcases Asian Americans, or minorities for that matter, as active, present, and influential so that younger generations of Asian Americans have a history to fall back on, reference, and find role models in.

How long have you been writing for?

I believe professionally, I have been writing history for five years.  If we count how long I have been writing as a hobby I would probably say since I was six years old.

What is your writing process like?

My writing process really is to first read secondary sources.  For example grabbing history books off the shelves written by both trained historians, Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Asian American Studies scholars.  I tend to write down topics of interest to me from those resources and begin to write summaries or annotated bibliographies on those resources.  Through this process, I have made a grand collection of important scholarly material readily available to me as a reference that can help guide me through defining subject material for my own research.

The other more fun process is simply reading historical fiction, the news, or even English literature and finding stories that might interest me that way.  I jot down notes in a journal or Google Document for safe keeping as to the topics I want to write on from interests I find from these less conventional resources.  When I am ready, I return to those topics, sit down, write, and basically “word vomit” as much as I can because I know that proofreading is an inevitable painstaking process I have to commit to later on.  Therefore getting all my ideas and notes down without worrying about the way it sounds helps ease the anxiety that comes with professional writing.

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

As a Ph.D. student, it really is hard to maintain a writing routine.  If we aren’t reading for research, we are writing furious notes for our own seminar papers, or we are working as Teacher’s Assistants or writing papers/articles with deadlines.  I feel as if on a whole, my daily routine is really reading and writing for 8 to 10 hours.  The nature of graduate school really forces you to be on top of reading and writing, not just for your classes but towards the research you hope to produce.  My writing routine therefore is, whenever I can squeeze in writing, I try to write a page or two a day, that way by the end of the week I would have at least 8 pages of a rough draft ready.  Procrastination is a scary habit, and this routine helps me to avoid that.

What motivates you to write?

What motivates me to write include my family and friends who believe in my scholarly aims, my own family’s fascinating and complicated ethnic history, and teaching young students.  As a second generation Asian American woman, I am exposed to two very different cultures and always found those two worlds of identity both fascinating and complicated.   Especially as  a woman of color, I believe marginalized communities have less of a voice, if any, in traditional histories taught in both public and  private school curriculum.  Thus I really strive to write narratives of minorities who have been made to feel less important, or even secondary because traditional histories, news, and even film often lack variety and speak to only the majority perspective.  But really overall, I love reading and how the written word can transport you to other worlds, times, or places.  Stories, if written well and with heart, can make more visible the perspectives of other people from both the past and present. I want to create literature that can serve as a necessary medium that teaches empathy and compassion.

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

I was, and still am, so grateful to Pacific Atrocities Education head and editor, Jenny Chan, and those I had collaborated with (Klytie Xu, guerrilla veteran Lourdes Poblete) to make that dream possible.  I think the first thing I did besides tell my immediate family was to write in my journal that I had fulfilled a lifelong dream.  I wanted to document it and write down all my emotions and essentially scrapbook that moment so that when I  was older, I could still feel how happy I was because my writing would still pour those emotions out.  Also, the historian in me finds documentation as evidence of the lived experience and I’m sure a part of that professional training made me want to jot it down.  Of course, after I received the news, I celebrated with a trip to the coffee/boba cafe with my older sister to get myself the chubbiest cup of milk tea I felt I deserved.

Are you currently working on anything new?

As a second-year graduate student, I am working on a paper discussing the roles of Asian American women during the Yellow Power/Asian American Movement (1968-1970s).  I am trying to tease out the barriers that Asian American women faced as women of color during both the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement.  They weren’t allowed to fully participate in both because gender and racial prejudices, unfortunately, plagued both movements respectively.  I also have in mind writing historical fiction stories that reflect the personal struggles that my family, friends, and peers have faced as women of color with long immigrant family histories.

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

I would be a Humanities teacher (History, Language Composition, English Literature).   I have teaching experience and always feel safe and energetic in the classroom.  As a history graduate student, we are allowed the opportunities to lead classroom discussions with undergraduates as Teacher’s  Assistants and I have found working with youth as a mentor to be very fun, rewarding, and another way to understand history by seeing how younger generations interpret the past.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part of writing for me is the outline, formulating and making arguments/narratives, finding primary resources, and creating resource guides like the bibliography or footnotes.  The hardest part is getting the time to sit down, relax, and actually write a full introduction especially if there is a deadline looming over you.  The introductions are still to this day very nerve-wracking.

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

Honestly that you won’t know how to do it until you go through it.  Always be open to constructive criticism and recognize that writing is a continuous process;  you’re always learning how to improve.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

That is really a  tough question.  I would feel terribly ungrateful if I only mentioned one.   If I had to narrow it down it would have to include genres like Children’s Literature, Fiction, History, and Asian American Studies.

  1. Corduroy by Don Freeman.
  2. Asian American Women & Men: Labor, Laws, & Love by Yen Le Espiritu
  3. Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America by Mary Paik Lee
  4. On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
  5. Anne of Green Gables by M. Montgomery

My favorite Authors:

1. Yen Le Espiritu
2. Susan Johnson
3. A. Milne
4. Huping Ling
5. Yoshiko Uchida

Books that really inspired me to write early on was Paul Zindel’s novel, The Pigman, and Scott O’Dell’s  Carlota.  They center on young women, teenagers even, who are struggling with their identity, culture, and what it means to be an adult.  Not only were their dilemmas relatable, Scott O’Dell especially had a knack for transporting his audiences to another time and engaging historical narratives.  I fell in love with literature the moment I understood the personalities of their characters.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Getting that first sentence on paper is the first obstacle and I know how nerve-wracking a blank Word or Google Document can be.  Writing and telling yourself you can write is much easier said than done.  But honestly, my advice is simply to just write, and really I mean to write, write, write.  Always be open to practice.  Write short stories, practice oral histories and writing out interview questions, immerse yourself in the secondary sources on the topic you really connect with or find interesting.  Always ask yourself “Do you love to read?  Do you still love to write?” If the answers are still YES after heaps of constructive criticisms from mentors, peers, and editors, you really can’t lose.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I hope that those who do get a chance to read my work will be inspired to read more history or at least become a history enthusiast; the Humanities always needs more fans.

Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas | Author Interview | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comAbout Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas

Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas is a history Ph.D. student currently attending the University of California, Davis.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and received her Master’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, both in American History.  Her research focus is on Asian American History centering on the roles of Asian American women and their impact on America’s Civil Rights Movement(s) and contributions to the diversity of the American woman’s experience.

When not focusing on dreary graduate coursework, Stacey Anne enjoys binge reading historical fiction, English literature, and manga with the background noise of old Hollywood, or Disney, films playing on the TV as she reads.  A native of the Bay Area, Stacey Anne hopes to one day write a history of the diverse cultures and peoples that contributed to the unique and positive atmosphere of the area.

Connect with Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas

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Meet Sacha Black [Author Interview]

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Sacha Black to my blog!

Meet Sacha Black, An Author Interview | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m predominantly a Young Adult fantasy author but I’ve also got some dystopian, science fiction and contemporary YA in me too. With my other writing hat on, I pen non-fiction writing craft books, the first of which was about creating better villains.

How long have you been writing for?

With a view to publishing, I’d say five years. But I’ve always loved writing. Nine was when Eden East, the character for my first book, Keepers came to me. I wrote on and off at school, but nothing serious until I started blogging almost six years ago.

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

I absolutely love creating new worlds and seeing how characters develop. The process of creation boggles me a bit. Where do the characters come from? How are they so whole and life-like in our consciousness?

Part of me NEEDS to write. I find it a real positive point in my day, I guess it’s therapeutic in some ways, but it’s when I’m at my happiest.

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

I write at every spare opportunity I can. Whether it be sentence fragments in corridors between meetings or on the toilet!! Mostly, I write from 7pm to midnight every night after my son has gone to bed.

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

Good question. I wanted to be traditionally published at first. But then I looked at both processes and realized there was no way on earth I’d a) give up control of everything and b) earn a tuppence for my books.

I had a clear vision for my book cover and I didn’t want to be told what I could and couldn’t have on it. Nor did I want them to change my plot in any way and I also didn’t really fancy having my confidence knocked by years of rejections.

Last, and one of the biggest drivers was the money. I really want to write full time and the traditional route was far too much of a gamble. You only earn between 10% and 15% of a books sale price, and of that 10/15% you have to give your agent 15%. So, for every $3.99 eBook I’d be lucky to take home 30c. Whereas with indie publishing I can earn $2.69 on that same eBook sale. I know that you get bigger visibility with trad, but I had faith that this was the right way forward. And so far, it has been. I’m well on my way to reducing my hours at work in favor of writing time.

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

EASY and super-fast. I’m not bashing the traditional route I am sure if the opportunity arose and it was the right one I would take a trad contract. But it’s kind of empowering doing it all yourself. The first book was a HUGE learning curve, it was hard trying to understand all the nuances of formatting and cover designers, but once I’d done the first, it was smooth sailing.

Everything is down to you – from finding and approving a cover designer to the formatting and physical uploading and publication to Amazon. But there’s a bunch of software out there that makes it easy for you. It took me 40 minutes to format the eBook and paperback for Keepers – and it was only that long because I couldn’t choose a template of what I wanted it to look like!

As soon as you have your edits back from your editor and you’ve completed them, you can format a book and have it live in the Amazon store in hours. No two-year waiting period like the trad industry – but even short timescales has it’s downsides, like less time to build an audience. But swings and roundabouts!

Are you currently working on anything new?

YES.

I’ve got an entire production schedule set up with dates and my designer and editor booked for next year. I’m currently working on the sequel to Keepers – I’ve got a freebie novella in that series and the third book in the series coming out next year. I’m also writing a non-fiction book on productivity and if I have time a creative writing prompts collection to bust the block. Oh, and if I get all that done then I will draft up the first book in my dystopian YA series!

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

There is no other career. I am going to make it happen. I know that’s a cop out. If you’d asked me a few years ago I’d have given you five different possibilities but now I know there is no other career for me!

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

To celebrate the small and big successes alike, celebrate as you go and give yourself a slap on the back. I’m terrible for not acknowledging achievements and that doesn’t help my mindset or imposter syndrome.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

Too many.

I read about 50/50 YA in any form, and non-fiction. I crave knowledge, so I read a lot of business, marketing and mindset books. Don’t get me wrong, I do read some other stuff too. But those are my predominant genres.

Three books I love this year:

Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

A Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Don’t let anyone tell you no.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

If you want writing to be your full-time job, or your business, then treat it like one. Don’t write in your PJs get up, get dressed for work. Your books are more than a string of words in a story, they’re products. You can iterate them in a million different ways. Never underestimate how much you know and how valuable that knowledge is to others.

About Sacha Black

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Connect with Sacha Black

Email: sachablack@sachablack.co.uk

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About Keepers

Title: Keepers – The Eden East Novels
Where is it published: Amazon
Release Date: 17th Nov
Formats: Paperback and eBook
Purchase from: Universal link to all bookstores is here

 

Book Blurb

Eden’s life is balanced…

…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.

Three boys.

Two murdered parents.

One deadly choice.

Book Excerpt

    Chapter One

‘Where there is Balance, there is Imbalance.’

First Law – The Book of Balance

* * *

Father always said not to trust a Fallon that can’t keep the Balance. I should have listened.

* * *

My mother and father are fidgeting. Perched, along with everyone else’s parents, on the front row of the lecture hall’s steep tiered seating. Someone must have opened a door because a ripple of air drifts through the auditorium and makes the stage’s velvety green curtains wrinkle. I close my eyes, letting it wash over my skin and take a deep breath. It doesn’t help. The wind is carrying everyone’s anxiety, and my Elemental power can’t help but seek out the anomaly and feed it into my system like a virus.

I snatch a glance at the Earth simulator door. It’s in the middle of the stage, entrance dark, exterior plain and cube-like; a solitary shape; a grim reaper ready to make me fail my exams. Behind me, the last couple of classmates are waiting their turn, chewing their nails and watching the current exam play out on the screen above the stage.

They’re useless, of course. A virtual sim is nothing like being on Earth. But the Council won’t allow anyone in the field until they’ve been Bound and passed their finals. Especially not if they’re me.

“You’re too precious,” Arden, the Council deputy said every time I begged him to let me go on the school field trips. “Your Fallon blood is too royal to risk injury or death before you’re properly qualified. You know that, Eden.”

I do know; I just wish I could change it. Frustrated, I scan the sea of parents in the theatre seats. But their faces are as strained as my classmates. I focus on Father instead. He sits up a little higher, and for a brief moment, we share a knowing look. Then it’s gone. Replaced with a poised expression and a smile befitting any Fallon. He broke the rules and smuggled me through the barrier into Earth to practice. Under normal circumstances, as a Fallon, I’d have an unfair advantage because I’m stronger than most Keepers. But today, Victor is on my team, and he’s more useless than the sims. Worse, his score impacts mine. And that is exactly why Father smuggled me out to practice.

Victor’s lanky figure slides into place next to mine. His white-blond hair is muted with grease that’s turned it a mousy shade of beige. The sloppy top knot is, I imagine, an attempt to hide the oil. I swear I can see the strands twitching and moving like bugs crawling over his scalp. I turn away to stop my nose wrinkling.

Victor might be my Potential, but it’s still a mystery to me why the Council of Trutinor think Victor is the most probable candidate to become my Balancer. How is he supposed to Balance my soul?

“Victor,” I say, struggling to hide the distaste in my voice.

His clawed index finger extends until it pokes me in my ribs.

“You better not mess this up for us, East,” he says.

You can’t practice with magic for long without it leaving a trace. I like to think of it as a magical signature. I’m lucky. My eyes, like Mother’s, are turning violet, like the bright glow of a lightning flash. Victor isn’t so lucky. As a Fallon and a Shifter, with the ability to shift into any animal he wants, he could have had any animal trace. But our traces reflect our truest selves, our magical essence, and his is a wolf. One of his hands is gnarling up and forming a mangled wolf paw. A paw that I’ll have to hold.

I knock his dog nail off my side and glare at him. Fire elements flicker in my belly, daring me to retaliate. But my parents are watching so I stay composed, stand a little straighter and under my breath say, “We both know I’ll carry your whimpering ass across the finish line, Dark. So why don’t you play nice and I’ll let you thank me after. Hmm?”

He bares his canines, and for a second, I think I hear a growl emanate from his chest. Before I can call him out, Professor Kemble signals the auditorium’s silence. Two students exit the sim door, they’re pale, eyes darting over the crowd as they weave their way stage right and down into the waiting room.

“Fallon Victor Dark? Fallon Eden East?” Kemble says and gestures for us to approach the Balance simulators.

Victor’s face pinches like he’s sniffing something sour. It takes all my willpower not to slap the expression off his face. Even though he’s never said it, I know he can’t stand the thought of being Bound to me any more than I can to him.

The stage stairs creak underfoot as we climb. I flash a final glance at the front row. Mother’s violet eyes are bright as she nods and urges me on. I look at Father and smile to myself. Physically, I am like him with the same stocky stature and dark, curly bird’s nest on top of my head. But behind Mother’s sparkling eyes I see the grit and determination that’s burning in my gut too. Her palms cross in her lap, an attempt to hide her tension. But even from the stage, I can sense the electricity sparking like hot static between her palms.

Victor doesn’t bother to look at his parents and it’s that ego that’ll catch us out in the sim if I’m not focused.

Professor Kemble moves center stage, his floor-length green Keeper robes a stark reminder of what’s at stake. If we mess up, we won’t secure a place at Stratera Academy, and we won’t keep the Balance or get a place on the Council.

Kemble opens the sim door. I take a deep breath. Then Victor and I step into the darkness.

 

Meet J.D. Oldenburg, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome author J.D. Oldenburg to my blog.

Author J.D. Oldenburg

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve always loved good stories about the human condition spiced up with magic, fantasy as the shell of a deeper story about being alive, and that’s what I aim to write and read.

How long have you been writing for?

I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember, and writing them since I was about 9.

What is your writing process like?

Most of it is cooking up an idea, imagining, telling it to friends and finding out new things about it each time I tell it. When I finally feel ready to write one, I get it out as fast as possible. If I abandon it for more than a day before a draft is ready, I have to read the whole thing again to keep going and some excitement gets lost with each break.I’ve learned to keep the first draft to myself, and come back to it a month or so later, detached

I’ve learned to keep the first draft to myself, and come back to it a month or so later, detached from it, so I can chop it up without feeling guilty.

My first drafts are usually rough as hell and make me wonder why I thought I was any good at this. Something happens after, though, like I’m being rewarded for sticking to it.Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

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

When I’m pushing for that first draft I try to get up really early, work out and go to a library or café. I find home distracting. I have to, and love to, dive into into the world I’m creating, play all of the characters in my head,
the faster I get that draft out the better.

What motivates you to write?

The power that main stream stories have to move masses and make them think of something they wouldn’t necessarily if it wasn’t hidden in entertainment really excites me. A good book can entertain me and inspire me to be a better person.

I also just simply love telling stories. It’s a good way to spend time.

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

Well, I published it myself. After a few encouraging rejection letters I decided a publisher was not some magical entity I needed to be picked by, they were simply businesses, and if I could learn how they did it, I could do it myself.

I also had a friend who was published by a big time publisher, and his experience with the process and how things panned out really turned me off to that system. Publishers care about authors who can sell books, new authors are mostly on their own. I embraced that and created my own team.

I love them, wouldn’t be here without them.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Yes, I’m working on a coming of age horror that explores growing up sexually confused in a world where werewolves (and any other creature of the kind) are real. It may be called The Feeder, or Narcissist, I’m still not sure. It’s inspired by a short film I directed coming out of a film program in Los Angeles a few years back. [YouTube]

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

I’m about to launch products on amazon. I have a line of greeting cards I’m really excited about because I give royalties to the artists who paint them for me. I’d like to continue to become some kind of patron of the arts. Selling products and paying royalties is a fun a way to do it.

I believe in passive income. When not writing, I like to create the most income with the least work and have time to enjoy the world and my family.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part is dialogue, I guess I have a gift for that. I’m really observant of people and how they talk.The hardest part would be waiting for a good idea to come through. It takes months of freewriting

The hardest part would be waiting for a good idea to come through. It takes months of freewriting thoughts and turning dreams into short stories, so I guess sleeping a lot and taking notes, until something that really excites me comes through.What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

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

The process is the gift, not the result. The result is just a reminder. That means you have to have fun doing it. It’s really not that serious, you are just writing stories, so have fun, and the final product will remind you that you did.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

It’s a bit odd I guess, but my all time favorite book is non fiction. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. The understanding of self I’ve gained through reading and re-reading this book over and over has made me a writer of better characters and relationships. Jim Henson, J.K Rowling and Neil Gaiman have done a lot for my writing as well.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write every day and have a job. A job will take the pressure off your stories.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for taking the time to read about my work. I hope you enjoy reading and listening to Horatio and the Fear of Dying as much as I enjoyed creating it. Remember the book comes out for pre-sale through Kickstarter on October 3rd.

About J.D. Oldenburg

J.D. Oldenburg is a Venezuelan author who lives in Los Angeles. He works in film as a camera operator and loves to write in the fantasy and magic realism genres. His stories are most often thoughtful and aim to leave the reader with a hopeful and inspired view of life. J.D. believes work is play and thrives to take nothing too seriously. He loves to travel and spend time with his family.

Connect with J.D. Oldenburg

Website | Booksite | Facebook | Book Facebook | Twitter | Book Twitter | Instagram | Bookstagram

Horatio and the Fear of Dying by J.D. Oldenburg

Meet Serina Adham, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Serina Adham to my blog!

Serina Adham, Author

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Serina Adham and I am a newly published author of a children’s book called Luu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves, which by the way is the first edition of many more to follow.

I also have a young adult novel I have been working on that is on hold at the moment while I finish writing and publishing the children’s books.

How long have you been writing for? 

Around ten years.

What is your writing process like?

It’s about picking the character I would like to work with and building up from there.

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

I prefer writing in the mornings, with a nice cup of tea, and a sweet spot in a café is usually my favorite. 

What motivates you to write?

It’s like painting or creating a piece of jewelry. An idea hits me and I just have to create it.

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

I actually had no patience for the whole process of submitting my book to a publishing house then wait for 6 months for a response or none at all, so I decided I would self-publish on Amazon.  

Are you currently working on anything new?

All the time. I always have a few different projects on the go. But the next one in line is another children’s book about a giraffe.

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

I have not yet completely switched over to a full-time writer just yet, I hope I will soon, I am optimistic. My other career or careers I should say were as a designer/artist and dance instructor. 

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest has always been coming up with an idea the idea.

The hardest has always been the editing, although sometimes, I do enjoy doing that too because it might lead me in another direction. 

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

I wish I had started earlier.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

My favourite book has to be The Long Dark Tea Time Of  The Soul, written by Douglas Adams.

I realized I wanted to write when I felt I needed to express my creativity in a different way.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? 

I would still call myself an aspiring writer, but I can say one thing, write every day, even if it’s nonsense.  

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to thank everyone that took the time to read this interview and for those of you who will give Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves a read.

About Serina Adham

Serina Adham drew on her experience as a dancer and dance instructor to give you this fun new adventure with Lulu and all her animal friends. She hopes that Lulu will teach children to enthusiastically follow their dreams but also consider the effects they have on others.

Adham lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to teaching dance, Adham has also worked as a jewelry and clothing designer and an interior designer. She has one fearless, dancing and singing daughter of her own.

Connect with Serina Adham

Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Lulu's Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham

Meet Tyfany Janee, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Tyfany Janee to my blog!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer and devoted mother of two. I continue to work full-time as a career professional in the field of membership retention and marketing for a non-profit association. Continuing my education to obtain a degree in business for the goals of becoming an entrepreneur in the literary and marketing industries.

I love to read fiction, poetry, non-fiction books. I’m just as much a movie junky as I am a reader. I like to see a vision come to life. Many great filmmakers that have taken a great spin on some of the classics. I aspire to be one of them. My writing style is descriptive, I’ve always had the ability and write to create a scene in the written form. Stay tuned for it, some production moves are in the works.

Finally, the equation of music in my life is like a daily dose required to function. LOL. Yes, it is that serious. I grew up with it with always around and being created by my Dad. I sung in choir and at home. I write with it probably fifty percent of the time to get into that undistracted place in my mind. I cook or clean with it in the background. When I’m feeling all those emotions from whatever the cause, and just need some sounds to work through.

How long have you been writing for?

I have been writing since the age of 13. It was something that I couldn’t help to do. I found that it allowed me to travel to places and reflect all while not ever physically moving. I used words to create or paint a picture that wasn’t easily translatable verbally. They empowered, embraced, drove and more. I was thirteen when I knew that being a creator was it for me, that the creative tool to do so was my pen.

What is your writing process like?

It’s focused but fun. I listen to music when writing. I reread sometimes to ensure clarity. I also at times have made act it out like a scene in my mind to give the description of the surrounding atmosphere. Bring out the things that are not said but you can envision by the word choice or the sentiment around the thought.

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

I don’t write daily. Mainly because right now there some promotion and marketing that as a self-published Author it’s all on you do this. I aim to write 2-3 times a week. However, there are times when an idea or a poem forms and now I’m in this flow of writing. I have to get it down. So, I keep my journal nearby or use the memo pad on my cell phone.

What motivates you to write?

People, current and past events of their daily lives inspire me to write stories that are a fiction upon those circumstances. I can use them for character or story development. For example, an angle from the epidemic of bullying and the increased suicides in our country. teenage pregnancy, divorce, social and criminal injustice, drunk driving, battles with cancer or other diseases, war and the Homefront etc. there are lots of situations that can provide a character or characters for a fictional story. I believe real issues give a background and a tone when writing. It provides a real sense to a fictional character and makes them come alive.

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

I self-published my book, on that note I knew it was coming, but it was still an awed moment for me to see the proof copy. It was the feeling of anxious, a little scared, and overwhelmed excitement at the same time. The day had come and I did. The world would be privy to read my words. That is an honored and fearful moment.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Yes, I am in the writing lab now, working on The Road Sometimes Traveled, a compilation novel. It’s going good so far. There are some stories in this one guys. Makes you think about the importance we place and just how hard it is to get past the past.

If you’re reading this and you’re a writer. That means the good sleep is gone for the moment. LOL. 2am is for the writers. But who am I kidding? I’m a Mom, that good sleep was sacrificed many times, and it won’t be the last.

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

This question would have been different had you asked me ten years ago. I would have said a singer or contemporary dancer. However, I’m not in my twenties anymore and I have some pretty important little people depending on me. Now, I’d say a Digital Marketer or a Life Coach.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

 The easiest part is coming up with the idea or vision for a story. The hardest part…let’s be honest, writing it. It sometimes takes a dedication to come home after a full-time job, kids, housework, and school work to do the writing work. But I do it because I’m at peace when I’m in it and I find value in it. I just hope whoever reads it does to.

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

That it is great to have a gift but when it’s this competitive you have to develop your brand and who you are to stand out. The earlier the better.

I say that to say that there are so many great authors and books that trying to gain an audience can be tricky. The consumer buying process has so many facets. As a developing Marketer on the professional side

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

My favorite genre is Contemporary Fiction. I love the modern techniques and the Authors of this genre are diverse.

I read, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou in the 7th grade. That’s when writing became this other world for me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

 Stay at it. Don’t quit. You can put off the ideas or goals that you want every day. That’s what they will be in 10 years, ideas. Figure out how you could accomplish them. It’s better to have waited because you were planning along the way step by step or day by day to do, rather than doing nothing and wait until then.

Write everyday even if it is not the best, until you become better or write a page a day of that manuscript until you can afford to get published. Don’t let kids or finances stop you, work to find ways in the meantime to overcome it, even if that means you can only do a little. You’re limited but you’re still striving for the day you are limitless.

Simply don’t wait until it’s too late. If you can’t actively be the one, mentor or teach one to do. And if the idea is bigger than what you can do by yourself, don’t be afraid to collaborate. The world could use your ideas, stories, to open the door for more.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

For each and every one of you to be awesome and find comfort in being yourselves. Know that I am truly grateful for you reading this interview and I hope that the introduction to me and to the work was inviting. I look forward to making great stories to share with you.

About Tyfany Janee

Tyfany Janee is a devoted mother and a graduate of Strayer University in Virginia. She is a prolific writer, author and poet and she has an upcoming plan of releasing a debut novel in 2018 that she titles; “I Used to Love Him.” and another book titled “RSVP: To Be You Unapologetically.”

Tyfany Janee’s love for poetry has gained her several publications in Anthologies as a young adult for poetry. Her recent book is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a much needed element of humor when it comes to exposing the true nature of humankind. Tyfany devours inspiration wherever she can get it, from cult classics, to just about anything she can see.

Connect with Tyfany Janee

Website | Goodreads

Buy Tyfany Janee’s Books

Amazon | Goodreads

Meet Mike Prelee, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Mike Prelee to my blog!

Meet Mike Prelee, Author

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Michael Prelee and I am the author of the Milky Way Repo scifi series and the crime fiction novel, Murder in the Heart of It All.

How long have you been writing for?

My first novel, Milky Way Repo, was published in 2015.

What is your writing process like?

Once I have an idea for a plot, I research the subject matter as much as I can. This involves looking things up online and interviewing people who are knowledgeable in the field. Then I begin writing the first draft of the novel. Lots of writers use outlines or beat sheets but I’ve found a looser approach works best for me. I usually have a stack of notes that I work from.

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

I have a day job and a family, so both of those come before writing. I read as much as I can during the week for inspiration and to see how other writers put their stories together. I also use that time to plan out what I’m going to write during my next session. Most of my writing gets done on weekend mornings. I get up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings and work as hard as I can toward that week’s goal. Again, this goes against the advice most writers give but it works for me.

What motivates you to write?

I think that everyone has a creative outlet in them. It helps us find satisfaction with our work and in our private lives. Mine happens to be writing. I have stories I want to tell and I’ve been lucky enough to have some success in that regard.

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

I read the email from the submissions editor a dozen times then handed it off to my wife so she could read it and confirm what I was seeing. It was an amazing feeling.

Are you currently working on anything new?

I was fortunate enough to have two books published this year but there is a lot of work that goes along with that. Each required changes with and editor, proofing, promotion and marketing. Things have just slowed down to the point where I can begin writing another book so I just started another crime book. After that I’ll probably begin the third chapter of the Milky Way Repo series.

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

If I weren’t a writer I would probably do the same thing I do now, which is perform quality assurance testing on software.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

Coming up with the initial plot can be easy but following through on it is difficult. I kind of let a story idea roll around in my head and make a bunch of notes before I decide I want to write it and then once I start, it can be a slog to get it fully formed and finished. I have plenty of half-started manuscripts taking up space on my PC’s hard drive.

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

I wish I understood that marketing and promotion are probably more difficult than writing. It is satisfying to see readers enjoy your work and leave reviews but it  takes an immense amount of effort to make people aware of your work, to get them talking about it and create the buzz necessary to reach your goals.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

I enjoy books in many genres by many authors. I’ll read anything by Elmore Leonard or Stephen King and both authors inspire me in different ways. Elmore Leonard’s dialogue caries a story by keeping the reader interested in what the character is going to say next, Stephen King has a way of drawing the reader into the setting and story that makes you want to keep reading without putting the book down. After I close one of his novels I often find myself wondering what happened to those characters after the end of the story.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

In order to be successful, try to be as organized as possible before putting words on paper. Work hard to complete your first draft and once you do, remember that it’s only the beginning of the process. There is rewriting, beta readers and once you think you are ready, there is the submission process. If you are lucky enough to be published or self-publish, prepare yourself to work with an editor. They are going to dig in hard and make changes to your work. You’ll see whole chapters thrown out, character motivations questioned and changes you never imagined. It’s just part of what happens before the book makes its way to the shelf.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I write in two genres, scifi and crime fiction. If you are a fan of Firefly or Killjoys, check out the Milky Way Repo series. If you are a fan of Unsolved Mysteries and true crime, give Murder in the Heart of It All a try. If you like them, please leave a review.

Thank you for this interview.

About Mike Prelee

Michael Prelee is a graduate of Youngstown State University. He resides in Northeast Ohio with his family where he enjoys writing. His Milky Way Repo sci-fi crime series includes the novels “Milky Way Repo” and “Bad Rock Beat Down”. It is published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is also the author of “Murder in the Heart of it All”, a gripping mystery set in Ohio, published by North Star Press in 2017.

Connect with Mike

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy Mike’s Books

Murder in the Heart of It All

Milky Way Repo

Bad Rock Beat Down

Meet Jon Budd, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jon Budd to my blog!

Jon Budd, author interview

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a professional archeologist working for the state of Texas. Prior to that I worked in California for the Forest Service. I am also a singer, musician, and songwriter. I have released my own album of original songs entitled, “Musical Ontology”. I have also just released my first historical fiction novel entitled, “The Legend of the Washo Gold”. I have a Master of Art’s degree in anthropology specializing in archeology from a California State University. I like to write fiction based upon facts.

How long have you been writing for?

I basically write for a living in my job as an archeologist. I write a lot. However, it took nearly twenty years to write my first and only novel.

What is your writing process like?

I get an idea and work on it and let it grow organically. It’s like building a house. First you create the framework, which is the draft. Then, you refine it by adding the fixtures. Like polishing your draft. I rewrite like crazy. I must have gone through at least a dozen proofs.

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

Most days I work, so I come home and spend ninety minutes a day practicing my acoustic guitar and then I write as hard as I can for an hour. I rotate chapters every day, so the book gets created as whole, together. I also like to have friends read what I write to check for typos and nonsense.

What motivates you to write?

I think that everyone has an artist inside them. I can’t draw, paint, or sculpt, so I express my personal artist through music and literature.

I didn’t consciously make any decision to become a writer. I just had an idea for what I thought would be a good, entertaining story, so I began to write it. I do remember though, a long time ago, while looking for a decent movie to rent at the local Blockbuster Video, saying to myself, “I could come up with a better story for a movie then what I see here”!

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

I always felt that my novel would be published, so it wasn’t a big thing.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Artistically, this novel drained me. That’s the way it supposed to be isn’t it? I poured everything I had into it. It’s a little painful to think about what my next literary project may be. I’m sure there will be one and I have some ideas, but that’s what they are now, just ideas, nothing firm. However, I am returning to my musical writing and performing. My next artistic endeavor will be bringing forth more original musical compositions and performances.

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

I am already a successful archeologist and musician.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part is coming up with ideas for novels. That comes pretty natural. The hardest part is the hard work it takes, plodding on day after day shaping the details and characters into something that makes sense.

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

I naively thought that if you wrote a good book, you would be successful. But, that’s not the case. As often in other fields, you really need to know someone. So, being a successful writer includes networking and schmoozing.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

My genre, Native American Historical Fiction, is what I know. I have a Master’s Degree in Anthropology specializing in Archeology. I have well over twenty-five years working as a professional archeology for the United States Forest Service and the State of Texas where I work now. I have studied Native American Indian culture, religion, and history since I was a boy growing up in New Mexico.

I admire JRR Tolkien who wrote, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” because he took me to a faraway place. I also admire Richard Henry Dana Jr. who wrote, “Two Years before the Mast” because he revealed to me that good history is entertaining. Finally, I really admire Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) who wrote, “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” because of his earthy and ingenious ways of weaving humor into a story.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Take the first step and just begin. Commit, commit, commit. Write as hard as you can for an hour a day. Keep track of the days you write and try to set and break records for consecutive days. Write for an hour about each one of your characters. Who are they? What are they like? Who do they remind you of? That will help you develop deep, rich, memorable characters. Don’t be afraid of failing. You are only beaten when you give up. Never give up. Network, network, network. You can never have too many friends.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The title of my novel is, “The Legend of the Washo Gold”. It’s about Hank and Vince who are friends. They work together for the Forest Service near Lake Tahoe in California. Vince is an archeologist and Hank is a Native American Indian Hank is from a local tribe called, “the Washo”. They have an ancient, sacred, landmark known as “Cave Rock”. This place is located on the shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Precious tribal treasures are stored there. When one of Hank’s tribal elders learns that raiders have found their way into Cave Rock, he sends Hank down to San Francisco to retrieve what was stolen. Hank learns that there is a curse on Cave Rock and the strangers who have raided the cave may have set things in motion that could culminate in a terrible earthquake just like the one that destroyed San Francisco in 1906. Hank, Vince, and a War Party of Indians must travel to San Francisco and take back what was stolen from the cave before thousands of people perish or get injured from another devastating earthquake. This is their story.

About Jon

Jon Budd is an author, musician, and an archeologist. He is also known by his formal name, Jonathan Budd. He grew up in Northern New Mexico playing music and studying ancient Indian ruins. Jon started playing professionally for school dances when he was fourteen years old. By the time he was sixteen, he was performing in nightclubs. When he came of age, he lived and performed in Albuquerque, Houston, and Denver. It was in Denver where he began his university training in archeology. He moved to Los Angeles and recorded his original music album entitled, “Musical Ontology”. This album consists of ten original songs that Jon composed as well as a drum solo he performs. Jon wrote and produced all of the music. He sang all of the songs, played drums, keyboards, most of the guitars, as well as some of the bass guitar. There are some really talented musicians who also recorded on Jon’s album including Andy West (bass), Cornelius Bumpus (saxophone), and Steve Richards and Mike Richards on Guitars. This album is available as a compact disc album as well as individual song downloads at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jonathanbudd3. Jon now performs in and around Austin, Texas – the Live Music Capitol of the World!

In 2017, Jon released his first historical-fiction novel entitled, “The Legend of the Washo Gold”. It is an adventure- fiction story about the struggle of the Washo American Indians during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush. It centers on the beautiful, pristine Lake Tahoe and reveals American Indians in a very positive light.  The novel uses ancient Washo mythology to tell a story of how these Indians persevered and eventually prospered during tumultuous Gold Rush era. The story travels in time to the initial gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and into modern times. The tale features Lake Tahoe, Cave Rock, Washo Cosmology, gold treasure, earthquakes and San Francisco.

Jon graduated with a Master of Art’s degree from California State University, Northridge. He worked for seven years for the United States Forest Service in California as an archeologist. It was while working around Lake Tahoe that he get inspired to write his novel. For the last 17 years, Jon has been working as a professional archeologist for the State of Texas.  He is currently performing as a solo guitarist and working on his next novel and his next music album. You can follow Jon and his art at www.jonbudd.org. You can reach Jon at jonbudd@yahoo.com.

Connect with Jon

Facebook | Website

Buy Jon’s Book

The Legend of the Washo Gold by Jon BuddThe Legend of the Washo Gold portrays Native Americans in a very favorable light. It reveal the way one tribe could have overcome the invasion of their precious homeland by the onslaught of white miners during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush. The Legend of the Washo Gold is a thrilling adventure! Thieves have broken into the Washo Tribe’s sacred cave. Hank, a modern day warrior, is assigned the task of recovering what was stolen before an ancient curse triggers a repeat of the devastaing 1906 Great San Fransico Earthquake. He must overcome hi doubt about his tribe’s ancient religion and lead a war party of his companions to recover a cursed Indian treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.

The Legend of the Washo Gold is available on Amazon as Kindle and paper back. It’s an excellent read.

Big News And An Interview

This is the first time in a long time that I haven’t had a book review for a Saturday. Normally this would bother me, but honestly, I think I just need a quick break from reading.

I know, I know. That sounds ridiculous.

Still, the past two weeks I’ve finished my books on Saturday morning before whipping up a quick review and posting it. I didn’t read at all this week and I wasn’t about to read a book in its entirety to get a review up on time.

I want to enjoy what I read, so I skipped it this week. My book reviews will be back next week though.

Instead, I have some interesting news to share with you all and to back it up, I have an interview on another blog.

First…

I quit my job.

I’ve decided to finally take this leap and try to write/blog full-time. My last day of work was three days ago and it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It was a tough decision, but I think I made the right decision.

At the end of the month, I’ll be talking more in depth about this in my newsletter.

So, if you’re interested in starting this new journey with me, please consider signing up for my newsletter. It’s free and I only email you twice a month with an occasional tidbit here and there.

Click here to subscribe: SUBSCRIBE

Or, if you’re still not sure, click here for more info: NEWSLETTER

Second…

I was interviewed on Jaime’s Chaotic and Caffeinated blog!

I’m excited and grateful she allowed me some blog space. She interviewed me about entrepreneurship and the new journey ahead of me.

Please head over to her blog and check out the interview here: INTERVIEW

Also, while you’re there, browse her blog. She has some pretty interesting things there. If you want to know more about Jaime, go here: JAIME

And lastly…

I want to apologize for the link-heavy post. I know I don’t normally do this kind of stuff, but I had to share this all with you.

I hope to enjoy my interview, along with exploring Jaime’s blog, and I hope you subscribe to my free newsletter if you haven’t already. I want to share this journey with as many people as possible!

Thanks, guys!

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Bookstagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump

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Meet Bridget Nash, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome Bridget Nash to my blog!

Bridget Nash, Author Interview

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! Thanks so much for allowing me to take up some of your online space!

I’m Bridget Nash. I’m just your average wife and mother who likes to make up stories when I get a few minutes alone. I like to write a lot of different things but I tend to lean toward speculative fiction which is just a fancy way of saying, “What if our world was different than what we know now?” Players began with the question, “What if we lived in a world where there were still traveling players like in the time of Shakespeare?

How long have you been writing for?

Except for those blurry memories from before I could hold a pencil, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t write stories to entertain myself. I was an only child for eight years and, as a kid, I was completely comfortable being alone with my imagination. I never grew out of that.

What is your writing process like?

It’s a bit like daydreaming. I don’t plot out a story before I write it. When I’m doing something mundane, I imagine scenes for my current work in progress, but I don’t really know a whole lot about my stories before I write them down. Sometimes I’m even surprised at what happens as I write it. When I started Players, I knew the beginning and the end. I had to write to book to see how the characters got there.

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

I have a seven-year-old and an infant which means I squeeze in writing whenever I can but it doesn’t happen every day. One thing that hasn’t changed in my adult life is that I tend to write at night. I was a night-writer even before I was married or had kids.

What motivates you to write?

There’s no grand answer here. I just write to get the stories out of my head and onto paper so I can see what happens.

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

Honestly, I’d had Players in my sole possession for so long that I was eager to hand it off for the process. Normally, I probably would have gone back through it with a fine-tooth comb to try and catch more idiotic mistakes before someone else did, but I’d been through it enough times that I knew it was way past due for fresh eyes.

Are you currently working on anything new?

There is a sequel to Players in the works. I wrote the entire first draft of Players by hand, and it looks like the sequel is going to come to life the same way. The sound of the keyboard tends to awaken the sleeping baby, so I am back to pen and paper.

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

I do a little portrait photography, so maybe I’d go that route. I was a newspaper reporter until my oldest child was eight-months old and I decided to stay home with her. So, writing was my career before then, but even if I had a non-writing career, I think I would still write as a hobby. It’s been my hobby my whole life.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part is the writing itself. If I didn’t have other responsibilities, I don’t know how I’d ever stop. But, the hardest part is getting started. After a long day, when the house is dark and quiet and the night noises are coming through the window, sometimes I just want to lay down and rest. Once I convince myself to start writing, however, sleep becomes completely unimportant and I don’t want to stop.

I think another hard part is allowing a piece to be finished. It’s difficult to let it go and say, “It’s done.” I don’t want to leave the little world I made. And I always want to go back and change one more thing…

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

One thing I’m still learning to be okay with is that nothing is going to please everyone. William Shakespeare’s average Goodreads rating is 3.8 stars and it’s no secret that I’m no Shakespeare. People are going to hate my work. People are going to love my work. People are going to shrug their shoulders and say, “It was alright.” And I’m going to try really hard not to care.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

There isn’t a certain book that made me want to write. I think the author that sparked my imagination the most was Madeleine L’Engle. She portrayed the most normal, mundane things in life as magical, mysterious and oh-so-important. I can never aspire to evoke even half the emotion and wonder as she did in her writings. If there was ever an author who changed me, it was Madeleine L’Engle.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

You just have to do it. You have to write. But you also have to read. Pay attention when you read. When you like a book, try to figure out why. It isn’t just the plotline that makes you enjoy a book; it’s something else. Try and put your finger on it.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Nothing but infinite thanks. Thanks to you for the interview. Thanks to anyone who gives me a chance as an author. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

About Bridget

Bridget Nash was a newspaper journalist who received several Associated Press/Oklahoma Press Association awards for both writing and photography, before starting her own small portrait photography business. She now stays home with her daughter, contributing to the news world on a freelance basis.

Players by Bridget NashPlayers is Bridget’s first novel but ever since she could hold a pencil, she has enjoyed writing as a recreational activity. As a child and a teen, she could often be found outdoors with a notebook and pen, listening to the birds and the wind while making up her own worlds on paper.

When she isn’t writing or taking photographs, Bridget enjoys reading and watching sitcoms simultaneously. Her favorite books are Frankenstein, Jane Eyre and A Ring of Endless Light. Bridget lives in a very small Oklahoma town, along with her husband; her daughter; two dogs, Trevor and Penny; a border collie named Taban; a cat named Taylor Swift; and a fancy rat named Sheldon.

Connect with Bridget

Facebook | Twitter

Meet Michael Lent, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome Michael Lent to my blog!

Michael Lent

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up on the mean streets of Stow, Massachusetts, population 6,502. Stow is a stone’s throw from Concord and Lexington, arguably the birthplace of the American Revolution. Legend has it that the area was first settled by Matthew Boon in the mid-17th century and that he traded the local native Americans a pocket knife for several hundred acres of land. In fairness, it was a cool pocket knife and had a spoon built-in. Apparently, the native Americans were satisfied with the deal until Boon decided that the area they had called “Pompocitticut” should be henceforth known as “Stow,” whereupon Boon was killed. That’s why it’s bad luck to give someone a
pocketknife on Pompocitticut Day.I write and produce in a variety of mediums and genres, the technical term being transmedia.

I write and produce in a variety of mediums and genres, the technical term being transmedia. My writing credits include the Prey series (Marvel), co-writer of Brimstone (Zenescope), writer of The Machine Stops (Alterna) and most recently the i, Holmes graphic novel, also for Alterna. I co-wrote four graphic bios of Keith Richards, JRR Tolkien, Steven King, and Stephen. The Steven King project also led to me adapting one of his short stories, The Reaper’s Image.

We just wrapped i, Holmes, a graphic novel that’s a gritty urban detective drama set in 2009. The story is about a brilliant loner, a streetwise 17-year old girl fresh out of juvenile detention now living in a rough group home who knows very little about her past except that someone wants to kill her and is willing to take out most of New York to accomplish their goal. Who she is, in fact, is pretty special, as is the identity of her would-be killer. About 300 panels of art for the graphic novel was drawn and colored by Marc Rene, who I most recently worked with on The Machine Stops series. Publisher is Peter Simeti at Alterna, which also published The Machine Stops.Recently, veteran TV producer David Rambo picked up

Recently, veteran TV producer David Rambo picked up i, Holmes to develop as a television series and has been instrumental in helping to shape the story. David has worked on EMPIRE, REVOLUTION and CSI, as well as the upcoming series on TNT, WILL based on the life of William Shakespeare. David is one of the most creative people I know.Outside of comics and graphic novels, I write and produce independent movies in Los Angeles.

Outside of comics and graphic novels, I write and produce independent movies in Los Angeles. I was executive producer on IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, shot in China in 2012. The film won several awards and was nominated for a sound design award by the National Academy of Sound Editors in 2014 and I was able to meet presenter George Lucas.In 2009/2010, I followed the Arctic ice road truckers made famous on the History Channel in

In 2009/2010, I followed the Arctic ice road truckers made famous on the History Channel in order to write the non-fiction book On Thin Ice for Disney Hyperion. The main staging area was out of Yellowknife, Canada and I experienced temperatures as cold as 45 below zero (F).

How long have you been writing for?

That would be since grade school when I used to enter essay contests. In high school, I cofounded a literary journal but I’m pretty sure I was a lousy writer until after college. After graduate school, I became a professional writer. My first project was writing a movie script about Muhammad Ali’s boxing coach Ben Becker. Unfortunately, the producer died and the story was never produced. At the time of his passing, we were concluding a contract to write the book, but for a time I was working with original documents and correspondence from Muhammad Ali.

What is your writing process like?

First, I’ll have an idea that’s only a sentence or two long, basically a premise or a startling image in my mind. I’ll try to figure why I’m drawn to this idea or image, as in “What is this really about?” That will usually give me my predominant themes. Next, I think of a charismatic but flawed character who is diametrically opposed to the theme I’ve just created. This protagonist doesn’t buy the theme and doesn’t live their lives by those values. This juxtaposition gives me both conflict and dynamic tension, as well as an arc for my main character since the theme and the hero are essentially locked in a death grip for the soul of the story. Once I have this basic structure down, I can structure the actual story beats while compiling material like research and images that I might find useful or inspirational. Sometimes I’ll make visual reference files but I don’t start the actual writing until I have the structure worked out.

I’m not the best at getting out a “quick & dirty” draft, but that’s my goal because so much of the writing process is in the structuring and later, the rewriting phases.

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

I have two routines: deadline and non-deadline. Deadline writing is all-consuming and starts as early as 4:30 in the morning. I roll out of bed and immediately start working. I might have coffee but usually I’m well underway by the time I stop for breakfast. During those days, I live as meagerly as possible, eating the same bland food and basically minimizing my existence. Sometimes I will do the cabin in the woods thing where all I do is write and sleep and maybe go for a walk to clear my head. Like a hermit or a cave troll. Besides grinding out pages, my goal is a sort of “method writing” whereby the world I’m writing feels more vivid and real than my own Spartan life. That immersion into a fictional realm is hard to pull off if in my real life I can stop to enjoy a nice lunch, see friends, go to the beach or whatever.Non-deadline writing is still every day but far less intense. I might start at 8 or 8:30 and wrap by

Non-deadline writing is still every day but far less intense. I might start at 8 or 8:30 and wrap by 4:00. I sometimes to write at night but we have three kids, so I’m usually exhausted by 9 or 10 o’clock, so mostly I use that time to read or see films mostly on Netflix. What motivates you to write?

What motivates you to write?

In the past, fear of personal failure motivated me – the sense that if I have a great idea for a story that never leaves my head was terrifying. It felt like a graveyard for lost potential that existed right behind my eyes. Nowadays, I get motivated knowing that my family is counting on me to finish what I started. Kids are a powerful, powerful motivation. They have tremendous needs that are balanced by their belief in you. Kids have brought me in balance. A little more, anyway.

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

I’ve written many books so if we’re talking about the very first book, the first thing I did was take a deep breath, exhale, and call my wife, Sonia. We are college sweethearts and she has been there every step of the way, so this was her moment as much as mine. My first book, Breakfast with Sharks, was published in 2004. My new agent sold the premise to Random House based on my proposal that included two sample chapters. Proposal and samples took three weeks to write. Later, I was told by many people that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen, but from that day on, I never worried about conventional wisdom. I think you have to be aware of the rules just enough so that you can break them.

Are you currently working on anything new?

We just spent more than two years finishing i, Holmes, the graphic novel. As I mentioned, the art is by Marc Rene, who I most recently worked with on The Machine Stops series, an adaptation of the classic E.M. Forster science fiction story. Marc is very, very talented and his style is ideal for this story. Our publisher is Peter Simeti at Alterna. Alterna also published The Machine Stops. I also have a few other writing projects in the works. One is a pre-Christian, pre-Viking Norse story that needs an artist. Another is a neo-noir graphic novel about a woman who witnesses a murder and seeks sanctuary in a church with the killers hot on her heels. We’re just beginning to draw this book. I’m also finishing a horror movie script about a boy who loses his family and must go to live with distant relatives who aren’t all that they seem. I also produce movies. MALEVOLENT is a horror film starring William Shatner, Marena Baccarin, Bill Mosely and Ray Wise, and TWIN CITIES is an ambitious independent drama coming out in festival.If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

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

Fantasy career would be professional athlete. A few years ago, kids were part of a pre-game gymnastics exhibition at Dodgers Stadium here in Los Angeles. I came along as a helper. Walking out onto that hallowed field where the players we rewarming up, seeing images of my kids on the Jumbotron and thousands of people cheering, it was heaven. Realistic alternate universe career would be lawyer or full-time college professor. I teach parttime so that one wouldn’t be a stretch and previously, I was a paralegal. Neither involved thousands of people cheering so maybe I should rethink this.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

Coming up with ideas is the easy part but grabbing enough hours in the day to execute and dothem justice is the challenging part. Time is always the hard for me.

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

Take chances because mediocre ideas are common and great ideas are as rare as diamonds in a stream. A legendary television writer once told me that good writers have a tough life in Hollywood because if you lose one on a show, either the others can pick up the slack, or there a dozen more good writers that can fill the space. Great writers, on the other hand, are indispensable because they are visionary and you can’t imagine the show without them. You only get to be a great writer by taking chances. It’s the difference between proficiency and vision.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you
wanted to write?

I love good fantasy and thought-provoking science fiction. Formative books for me would be the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings series, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and the The Road. Also Hamlet and A Tale of Two Cities. As a kid I tried my hand at Hobbit fan fiction because I wanted that world to continue on, so I guess that experience made me want to write.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read. A lot. Write. Every day. There’s a saying that good writing days can follow either good or bad days but they rarely come after days of not writing. Even the worst session can be cathartic and plant the seeds for a productive next day. Also, get your work out there any way you can. Take chances and be honest in your writing – own the “messes” of your life your message because people can relate… don’t judge the result, but keep getting your work out to readers. In between books and movies, I write on Quora.com where I am closing in on half a million reads. A friend of mine has 1.6 million and he isn’t even a professional writer. So the readers and the opportunities are out there waiting for you.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

People can reach out to me via Facebook and Twitter. This has been a wonderful, wonderful opportunity and I am very grateful. Thank you.

About Michael

Honored as a ‘Google Author’ in 2007, Michael Lent’s transmedia writing/experience spans films, fiction and nonfiction books, biographies, graphic novels, animation, video games, and reality television. He got his start in On-Air Promotions at MTV. More recently, Lent wrote the graphic novel i, Holmes (Alterna) adapted into a graphic novel E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” (Alterna) and Stephen King’s “The Reaper’s Image” for the Audio Theater for Our Troops radio. His credits include more than a dozen graphic novels and comics including Prey (Marvel), Brimstone (Zenescope), graphic novel bios for Orbit including Keith Richards, Stephen Hawking, Stephen King and JRR Tolkien. He has written eight books including On Thin Ice, published by Disney/Hyperion, based on the top-rated reality television series Ice Road Truckers. Research for this project entailed spending winter in the Arctic.

He was a writer on three video games including Vigilante 8: Arcade for Xbox 360 Live. Lent was a producer on five films including executive producer of IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, shot in Fenghuang, China and nominated in 2014 by the Academy of Sound Editors for the Verna Fields Golden Reel Award for Sound Editing. Lent has taught screenwriting at UCLA, University of Miami, Santa Barbara City College, as well as lectured at Chapman University. For 2 ½ years, Lent also taught creative writing at the Chino Mens’ Prison in the UCLA Extension/Artsreach Program. He has experienced a prison lockdown, which often comes in handy in a writers’ room.

Connect with Michael

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Meet Aditi Sharma, Writer

It’s my pleasure to welcome Aditi Sharma to my blog!

Aditi Sharma, Writer

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

If only I could tell about the books I write. Right now I can only tell about the books that I read written by others.
Anyhow, as this question is about me I would suffice its answers with a few adjectives and phrases about me as a person-
A loner by choice; dog-person; peace lover; morning and green-tea person; planner; moody (big time, and trying to get it removed from this list); simplicity-believer; stories over poems; inclined more towards mountains than beaches; stationery lover.

A quote I firmly believe in and always keep by my side-
“There is no short cut to success and there is no everlasting success achieved through short cuts.” 

How long have you been writing for?

If copying quotes, stories, and small messages in my diary can be considered writing then I had been doing that since I was a kid of around 12 (maybe). But if something serious, something new, something original is concerned, that I have started writing only in my late teens. I started when I was 19, but after a long break of two-three years (due to graduation, which by the way is in Engineering) I restarted when I turned 22.
It is after being 22 that my writing got down on the race track with no other pen to compete with but just with its own previous records-striving to create new ones. I am yet to turn 23 in July, so it’s been 9 (serious) months that I have taken my found passion to another level, a level of nurturing.

What is your writing process like?

It depends on the kind of content that I am writing.

If I have chosen to write on a political issue then I ought to do a sufficient amount of research. Once done with researching, I bookmark the pivotal pages or points and then I put my thoughts down on the screen. Even though I haven’t written much on political or social agendas, this I have understood that the deeper and accurate the research, the more impactful the end product would be.

If it is something fictional (which most of the times my writings are) or simply a self-help article, all I do is put down my story or article on paper. I prefer to (though still struggling) pen down my story the way it comes to me, without any pause or over-thinking. Then I rephrase the sentence structures, replace the almost-right words with the perfect words and the placement of paragraphs is rearranged.

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

Being a naïve, I am still struggling (like lot of other things) to have a routine, a decent writing routine. Having heard a lot about how a fixed time at a fixed place can help in creating and maintaining the writing flow, I still am trying to make such a routine my niche.

But if it comes down to a typical day for me then such day cannot be inclusive only of writing. My typical day involves sessions of writing, reading and studying about reading or writing.

What motivates you to write?

I have always been an artistic person. Since childhood I had been into many such fields like sketching, calligraphy, pottery, and music during school-time. After hopping from domain to domain, finally I have landed down on the art of writing and reading. If art cannot define me then nothing else can and if I cannot define art then I dread if there is anything else that I can ever define; that is the reason which motivates me to write and strive for betterment every day.

Also, immersing into the world of fiction allows me to be the creator of my new world, lets me decide what should and should not be happening, and that fun is what keeps me going.

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

When I will find out that my book is being published then like any paranoid person, I wouldn’t believe it first. Then my optimistic side would try to overpower the paranoid one and I will re-confirm the news from every source that is possible. I know this because this is what happens when I achieve anything huge.

Once everything is confirmed, I will share it with my dad and all my close ones.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Well, I have a lot going in my head but haven’t settled down on anything as of now. Though there is a project that has been offered to me and soon I am going to get started with it. The project is nothing like what I had thought but as a beginner I wouldn’t mind experimenting.

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

This question is bit weird for me to answer, *laugh* as by profession I am an engineer and writing is what I do before and after my office timings.

But there are plans, some major ones, in my head. Let’s see how the implementation goes.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

For me, the easiest part of writing is to have the crux of my story in my mind. Knowing what is the basic message or theme of my fictional work/ non-fictional article is almost always there in the back of my mind.

Hardest part (here I am talking about the content of my blog-posts) is definitely to be me in my short stories and still make them go along different paths from the ones my previous stories/articles had gone through. Knowing what I want to write about but how and what form of story would convey it in the best way becomes a daunting task for me.

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

As I am still in the inception stage of this art-Writing, I think I am yet to find/ learn about any such thing, if there would be any.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

Anything that pertains to fiction, be it fictional romance or suspense or thriller or anything, can be considered my favorite.
I won’t say that A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini made me realize that I wanted to write because I knew that writing is something that I should be doing long before reading them, but it was after I read them that something clicked and I started my serious writing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Myself being one of them, the only advice that I give to myself and would offer to others too is-Never give up on your dreams. And if you dare to dream, dare to work for it too.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I think I have already said enough in my answers above. The only thing I would like to add is to pay my gratitude to Rachel, the interviewer, to have my interview published on her blog even after me forgetting to send her my answers back on time. *giggle*

About Aditi

Aditi SharmaHaving relished the diversity of an as large nation as India, Aditi Sharma, a B.Tech graduate, has her home in New Delhi and is currently working in Bangalore. Having said about diversity, she has lived in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Bhubaneshwar during her course from schooling to graduation to her job in Bangalore.

Engineer by profession, her soul’s most cherishable moments are the ones around books. Reading and writing came naturally to her (though a bit late) when she had her first serious read-The Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, but now they are here to stay, for ever. Though she prefer to read and write more of fiction work, now-a-days she is having her hands and eyes on non-fiction too.

Through blogging she is trying to reach out to more and more like-minded people, who believe in the art of writing, in the hard work behind writing, in the qualitative writing.

Connect With Aditi

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Meet Jessica Dall, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jessica Dall to my blog.

Jessica Dall

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a history nerd turned writer who, I think, has finally worked out how to properly join the two. I’ve written a little bit of everything at this point, but most recently have been focusing on my historical fantasy and just plain historical fiction works for the last year or so. It takes a good deal of work when you’re writing things in historical settings (especially since I’m a stickler for accuracy. I spent much longer than I should have looking up the moon phases in 1755 to make sure I had the right moon on a particular date in the work I’m shopping at the moment…) but I find it incredibly enjoyable being able to marry my two passions so completely.

How long have you been writing for?

My mom will tell you that I’ve been writing since before I actually knew how to write. As a four-year-old I would take pieces of paper and do a bunch of loops on them pretending it was cursive (before leaving the scribbled papers around and driving my mother crazy, of course). I didn’t seriously get into writing until much later, though. I dabbled in fan fiction early on in high school because my friend was very much into it, which then led me back into writing original works (though I entirely admit my first novel is pretty much Harry Potter with the characters’ names changed…) By college, I was fully immersed in writing once again, and it’s been my life since!

What is your writing process like?

Since I have recently been focused on settings that take a fair bit of research these days, I start out with my trusty friend Scrivener (a writing software) and begin researching. Most of the time that ends up getting a relevant book on my Kindle and then taking notes from it so I have a good background in the time period I’m using. From there I work out who my main characters are and how they fit into the events playing out around them. Since I’ve never been able to fully stick to an outline, I try not to over plan, though. If I have my beginning worked out, I’ll start that and then stop and plan again when I hit a snag. This often means that there are times when I’ll have to stop and do some more research along the way, but as I said I’m a history nerd, so I like the researching almost as much as the writing some days.

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

I admit I’ve never been good at sticking to a routine. I work from home most of the time, so I tend to have whatever I’m writing open in one tab with whatever editing work I have open in another and then bounce back and forth throughout the day whenever I need a change of pace. Some days that means I get thousands of words written, some days nothing (especially if I’m up against an editing deadline and my focus is entirely on that other work), but everything always seems to get done in the end, and so the system works for me!

What motivates you to write?

I always joke and say I have self-diagnosed hypergraphia (the compulsive need to write). Whether or not I actually do, I do get rather tetchy if I go too long without being able to write something, so it’s often not what motivates me to write but what keeps me from writing the times that I’m not. If you run into me sitting alone somewhere, you’re very likely to find me scribbling away wherever I am.

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

The first time I got an acceptance, I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down then felt the need to tell everyone I know. Sadly I’m a little jaded at this point down the line, and so there hasn’t been jumping recently, but it’s still always an amazing feeling to hear that it isn’t just you who thinks your book is good and it really is going to get out there for the world to see.

Are you currently working on anything new?

There are a bunch of pans in the fire at the moment. I’m in edits for the third book in my historical fantasy series (currently titled Shattered Tempests) which will be out sometime this year if all goes as planned. I’m also shopping my straight historical fiction novel, set in Age of Enlightenment Portugal, which is a really interesting time period I knew absolutely nothing about before writing the book. As for writing, I’m in the early stages of working on a book set a little closer to home—namely colonial Maryland.

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

I actually have a political science degree, since in high school I was planning on going to Law School after college. It was an internship junior year that turned me on to being a writer/editor full-time (with some teaching on the side). I love what I do so much that it’s difficult to imagine being as happy in another profession, but I have to imagine I would now be somewhere in the legal profession, had I not had that switch in college (lawyer, paralegal, wherever life would have had me end up).

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part of writing for me has always been dialogue. Once I develop my characters, they seem to take on a life of their own and writing dialogue becomes me trying to keep up with what they’re doing. Coincidentally, the hardest part is keeping everyone on track. I have a tendency to end up with conversations that don’t move the plot forward/add much that I know need to be cut but really like. I’ve started another document full of conversations that don’t add anything to the stories they were a part of but are too enjoyable to delete entirely.

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

While your first novel is always going to be your baby, it likely isn’t going to be very good. There are certainly people who are the literary equivalent of Mozart and the first thing they put down on paper will be brilliant, but for the rest of the world, you will finish your first novel, think it’s amazing, and then look at it five years later and go “What was I thinking?” Writing is a skill. One that gets better the more you practice, and that means while your first novel will always have a special place in your heart, it likely isn’t the first thing you’ll want readers to see—not unless you edit it several years down the line once you have gone from “beginner” to “professional.”

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

Unsurprisingly, my favorite genres are what I’ve ended up writing—namely historical fiction and fantasy. When it comes to a favorite book, I have plenty, but the one that I tend to come back to is The China Garden by Liz Berry. I first read it in high school, and the historical and fantastical combination really spoke to me, I suppose. I still have the beat up copy in my bookshelf now and I pull it out from time to time since it has a brilliant sense of nostalgia mixed into the storyline now.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? 

Write. No matter how good or bad you feel you are doing, you need to keep going and put words on the page. As said above, writing is a skill, and you can only get better if you practice. And remember, there’s always editing. You can’t compare your rough draft to a completely edited, published book. Editing fixes many sins; it just can’t fix an empty page.

About Jessica

Jessica Dall finished her first novel at the age of fifteen and has been hooked on writing ever since. In the past few years, she has published novels such as, Raining Embers and The Paper Masque, along with a number of short stories that have appeared in both magazines and anthologies.

In college, Jessica interned at a publishing house, where her “writing hobby” slowly turned into a variety of writing careers. She currently works as both as an editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.

Connect with Jessica

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Jessica’s Books

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Buy Links

Raining Embers
Graven Idols

Interview on Writer’s Treasure Chest

Happy Monday!

I don’t really have a post for you guys today, but I wanted to share something with you.

The lovely Aurora over at Writer’s Treasure Chest was kind enough to interview me and showcase me on her blog.

Aurora posts a wide variety of different things such as author spotlights, guest posts, her own creative pieces, articles about writing, and reblogs. She loves to share the work of others as well as her own work.

So, please, go check out her blog and give it a follow if you’re not already. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Aurora’s Blog | My Interview

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Character Spotlight: Xavier Barron

Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

One of the male characters in Detective Florence is Xavier Barron. He does not have any nicknames because he doesn’t like them.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Xavier has short, slick back hair. He has brown eyes.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Xavier doesn’t have too many friends. He used to be very good friends with George, but they lost touch when George lost his job at the police station. Ever since then Xavier has had a bad attitude and no one really wants to be around him. He’s kind of a loner and no one knows what changed him. No one knows anything about his family. He doesn’t like to talk about his personal life.

Where does your character live?

Again, Xavier doesn’t like to discuss his personal life. No one knows where Xavier lives, whether it’s an apartment or a house, if he lives alone or with roommates or even with pets.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Xavier’s biggest fear is not being a good detective. He always tries to do the best he can and he doesn’t like to receive help from anyway. He has big plans for his career and hopes he doesn’t mess it up.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Xavier has never been in love, but he has had a broken heart. As the author, that’s all I can say for now.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Xavier always wears suits. Even on his day off, he doesn’t like to dress down.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Xavier tries to constantly work. If he’s in the middle of a case and he has a few hours off at the end of the day, he still tries to figure it out. When he’s home, he tries to keep his mind sharp by doing puzzles or riddles. He can’t sit still and always has to be on the move.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Xavier has changed since George left the police station. He used to be friendly and laid back. Now he’s serious and tense which is a turn off for everyone else.

Questions for the Character:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“My greatest achievement is becoming a detective. George and I used to be partners, but when he got let go I was bumped up in the ranks. I learned a lot while working with George, but I think I’ve learned more without him. I’m happy I was able to continue doing my best without him.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate being wrong or being helped. George’s new agency is so annoying because he’s always trying to butt into our work. If there’s a case, I can handle. I don’t even need Barney to help me out.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I guess I feel a little bad for not being able to maintain my relationships with my co-workers. But it’s not my fault none of them work as hard as I do.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m great at what I do. I’m an awesome detective, I’ve solved a lot of crimes and I’ve helped a lot of people.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I’ll admit it, I’m not a people person. I’m able to help people when there’s a crime that needs to be solved, but I have a hard time when it comes to dealing with friends or family or anyone else. I don’t know what to do if there’s no evidence.”

What is your hobby?

“Puzzles and riddles. I don’t really enjoy watching TV. Occasionally I will read a book, but I don’t have much time to have a hobby. I work too much.”

Who do you most admire?

“It’s hard to pick someone I admire. There have been some pretty great detectives way back when. I can only hope I can be remembered just as great as those guys.”

Character Spotlight: Barney Florence

Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

One of the male characters in Detective Florence is Barney Florence, who is the main character’s older brother. He does not have any nicknames.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Barney looks similar to his little brother, George. He has light brown hair with brown eyes so dark you can barely see his pupils.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Barney has a large family as he is one child out of seven. He tries to keep in touch with all his siblings and even his mother, but it’s hard with his job as a police officer. It’s easier to stay in touch with some siblings over others because they work together in the law enforcement field.

Where does your character live?

Barney lives in a small studio apartment by himself. The apartment doesn’t have a lot of furniture and is pretty bland as he isn’t there very often. He’s usually working or he’s out with some friends.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Barney’s biggest fear is getting hurt in the line of duty… again. While chasing down a couple of robbers, Barney was shot in the leg. He had to take leave from work for a few months. When he came back, he started off staying in the office doing paperwork afraid to get back out onto the field. He has worked his way up yet again and is now a police officer once more.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Barney has never been in love or had a broken heart. He tries to go out as often as he can and meet new people. Being in his early 30s, he really hopes to someday get married and start a family.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Barney always dresses up. If he’s not in his police uniform, he’s most likely in a suit or slacks. It’s very rare to see Barney in jeans or sweats.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Barney enjoys watching criminal shows on TV. He enjoys watching the mystery and thriller movies in the dark with a big bowl of popcorn. However, he tends to rope others into watching these movies with him because, to him, it’s a lot more fun with other people.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Barney is serious at work and he gets stressed out easily. When he’s stuck on a case, he internally panics. He tries to hide it, but most people know by the look on his face. However, he does a good sense of humor and knows how to have fun with family and friends.

Questions for the Character:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I think my greatest achievement would be going to back to work. I know that might seem a bit odd, but when I got shot in my right leg, it was questionable if that leg was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. Thankfully, my leg healed nicely and even though I was nervous about going back to work, I stuck it out because it’s what I love to do. I climbed the ladder again and I’m back where I belong; out in the field.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate unfinished paperwork. Most people hate doing paperwork at work because it’s tedious and time consuming, but I actually don’t mind it. It really irks me when I’m delayed in finishing my paperwork. I’d rather fill it all out right away while the information is fresh in my mind.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I don’t have any regrets that I can think of. I’ve always done what I thought was right at the time, so I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. You can’t fix the past and worrying about the past certainly isn’t going to help improve your future.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m very efficient. If there is something that needs to get done whether it has to do with work or not, I’ll get it done right away and I’ll do it right the first time. That’s why my mother calls me all the time if she needs help with something because she knows that I’ll come help her right away.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I work too much. I can admit that. I’m barely home because I’m always putting in overtime at my job to solve a case, finish paperwork, or help someone else with something. The chief has actually had to tell me to go home on some nights because he would catch me sitting at my desk doing research for a case or something of the like.”

What is your hobby?

“I love watching mystery movies. I don’t know if watching movies can be considered a hobby, but I love solving mysteries. I try to find new mystery movies often for a fresh case.”

Who do you most admire?

“I admire my mother the most. She was the one who always encouraged me to go through with law enforcement. She took care of me when my leg was injured and she pushed me to go back to work when I was just about to give up. Plus, she took care of me and my six siblings all on her own. That alone deserves a gold medal.”