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An Interview with Andrew Jonathan Fine

 

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Welcome to Author Talk

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Jonathon Fine.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background

My name is Andrew Jonathan Fine. I am 52 years old, and I am a stay at home father disabled with autism and other inherited conditions. I don’t really consider the autism all that disabling. I even skipped grade to start high school at twelve, finishing with a master’s degree in computer science by my early twenties. Unfortunately, my career had been greatly limited due to discrimination. When I lost my final job in 2005 I was never able to recover my career. I have a beautiful wife and a brilliant eleven year old girl who loves me regardless, and they are what give me purpose in life these days. I became an author mostly by accident. Desperate for a sense of purpose I had even hospitalized myself for depression a couple years ago and found myself required to reveal my life in painstaking detail on page after page of forms. This made me realize that were I to transfer this experience into fictional characters I could express my experiences without fear of putting my family on display. There’s a little bit of my life and experience in all four of the main characters I re-imagined from the Depression-Era story I read at age 11, a copy which lapsed into the public domain and therefore I could use.

Wow Andrew, that is quite a summary of your life before you started writing. I am so glad that you decided to put your experiences into a novel. There is a great deal more awareness these days of depression. I can’t wait to read the answers to this interview and find out more about you.

About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    Just to be read, maybe to be popular. Money is not my primary focus. I simply want to leave a legacy for the live I have lived.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    Maybe about two years, but not full-time. This is a hobby for me.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    C. S. Lewis, Piers Anthony, Catherine Asaro. But there are entire anime series not ascribable to any single author which also inspire me, and there are even cartoons such as My Little Pony and Adventure Time which are serious dramatic fantasy fiction.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    I’d rather see unknowns play my lead characters. That way, a new generation of actors could have their own chance. I’m writing serious and heart-wrenching coming-of-age and first-love stuff which would nauseate me to see the likes of Disney sanitize and bowdlerized into a made-for-TV drama or comedy. This would make a poor movie outside of an art house.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Having the time.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    I’ve so far taken about two or three years to write this one, about half time. My primary duty these days is being a full-time homemaker.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    To me writer’s block means not having enough ideas to get my character from one point to another, so what I do instead is starting writing a different section of the book. Sometimes a different idea from a future section of the plot will justify the past part of a plot I want to complete.
  8. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    People with whom I am trading free reviews. I can’t afford to buy books anymore.
  9. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    That actually happened by accident. I was laid off by Honeywell Aerospace in 2005 and never was able to find a job since due to discrimination against my autism. Over a process of years I became slowly suicidal due to feelings of being useless. A couple of years ago I hospitalized myself for clinical depression. I was required to write reams of notes about my personal life in the course of therapy. When I was released I realized I had common themes in my notes which might make a good story in the right framework.
  10. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    Usually in the morning I take care of correspondence, in the afternoon I do my chores, in the evening I prepare dinner for my family, and at night when everyone else is asleep I try to write for a couple of hours before I turn in.
  11. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I like the LibreOffice suite as it can produce any output format needed by a publisher. For cover design I like using GIMP. Both are open source tools. It’s a lie that you need commercial ones to make good manuscripts or covers.
  12. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Finding a way to find a credible manner in which to advance the plot. Sometimes you wind up painting yourself into a corner.
  13. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I self-publish. I am 52 years old. I would be dead of old age by the time any brick-and-mortar publisher would accept my submissions. I also feel said people would discriminate against me for having autism. I’d rather trust the public to tell me why work sucks rather than keep getting rejected by editors who would give nothing but a standard form letter. I’ve been rejected by too many business owners when looking for software work to want to trust any of them any more for any other reason.
  14. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Don’t look at me for advice. I don’t know the first thing. All I can do is advertise on Facebook and Twitter because those are free.
  15. How do you relax?
    My favorite way is to just spend some quality time with my wife.
  16. What is your favourite movie and why?
    It’s an anime known as ‘Yamato 2199.’ A predecessor of it back in the 70’s gave me the courage to stand up to my parents and create my own life for myself. My mother, knowing I had autism, felt I was better off staying a child by her side forever. The themes in these movies help me defy her.
  17. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    In 5 years I plan to be 57 years old.

Here is a video made of Alouette’s Song.


You have a great sense of humour Andrew, we’re moving right along to hear more About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    I prefer to have them called “cross-genre speculative fiction”
  2. How much research do you do?
    Fairly thorough. Online sources and some friends in the right places.
  3. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    Usually I either apply for them through review sites, or offer trades. Trades are actually more likely to happen. It’s slow, but sure.
  4. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    I usually have to be fairly persistent in finding review blogs. It’d say if you’re accepted by one out of every hundred you are doing good.
  5. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    My three through five stars are pretty fair. Occasionally I get the troll who just like to anonymously provide a one or two star with a gratuitous reason, just to ruin my potential for getting shown on amazon. I just can’t understand people like that.
  6. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    It’s not really a matter of best more than like only. Facebook is the only way I can communicate with potential readers at no cost. Twitter is hit or miss.
  7. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    Local newspaper, a couple years ago, for my first author signing. The sheer novelty of a first release in a small town of less than 2000 people made my book sell out. Sweet. But the bad news is you can easily saturate your local market that way.
  8. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    I’m still learning and making plenty of mistakes daily 🙂
  9. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    My current strategy is to give books away to a known affinity group, other people with autism like my self, in the hopes they will tell their own circle of friends and generate some word of mouth. It’s a great way to get immediate feedback. Only time will tell if that actually generates more sales.
  10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    There’s no such thing as aspiring. There’s only perspiring (grin). You have to be crazy to write a book because there really is no profit in it for the average person. Tell the story you have your all-consuming passion to tell, then move on with your life and do something else with it.
  11. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    Brick and mortar book-stores will be extinct in 20 years or less. As the cost of paper books increases to be priced out of reach to those who can’t find jobs that can sustain them and their families, the pages will be cut off their spines, scanned, and pirated by outraged anarchists. All novels will become free. No one will have the incentive to create quality text-books for schools, and you already see this happening from books being designed by committee to fit Common Core curriculum standards and religiously fundamentalist school boards. I pretty much see our future as being one where no one can earn a living of any kind being a writer. This will only accelerate the USA’s downward slide into economic neo-feudalism already being triggered by the off-shoring of high-paying professional jobs and the extinction of entire categories of high-paying occupations altogether.

Here is another video Andrew made of the background to Alouette’s Song.

Well Andrew, that certainly ended with a depth of feeling. I certainly hope you’re not right about all of that. For one thing, there is definitely an increase in people writing novels and being self published. Anyway, we will move on to read more About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
  2. The ‘main character’ is actually a team. I partially follow the sentai formula where each member of the teenaged team is special in some way, such as faith, ingenuity, valor, or compassion.
  3. What are you working on at the minute? 31. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    The sequel. It’s set a generation later. The new heroes are the teen sons and daughters of the older ones. The latter serve as mentors, teachers, and supporters for the new, who form the next sentai team.
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    I’m thinking that Alouette’s Song, and it’s sequel, Alouette’s Dream, will be dovetailed bookends. Dream answers a lot of questions which Song asks.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    Kindle and paperback. I use Sigil to format the precursor EPUB for the Kindle. I use LibreOffice and GIMP to create the proofs for the paperback.
  6. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    I created an abstract cover myself using Corel Draw and GIMP, of a logo, since I don’t know how to draw free-hand art. Nobody liked that cover because it didn’t tell enough about the story. A dear friend of mine drew a cover for a pivotal scene, and I used it for a while, but the trolls slammed that one as looking infantile. I now have a professional illustrator to donated a week of her time to create a truly creditable cover, and it contains all the important elements of the story.
  7. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    It seems people are incredibly fickle these days. What with the outrageous competition between self-published authors it seems that covers are now like resumes… if the resume can’t catch attention in under five seconds then forget it.
  8. How are you publishing this book and why?
    Print-on-Demand through Ingram Spark. I hope to have my book on bookstores someday, and that means I have to follow the rules the booksellers set.
  9. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
    Search Amazon and Barnes&Noble. I also have a Facebook novel page www.facebook.com/alouettesong

Please list all of your published books here. Book Title: Alouette’s Song Genre: Romantic Action/Adventure

ISBN: 9781942574125
(ISBN) B00V0YQPWC (ASIN)
Author: Andrew Jonathan Fine
Distributor/Seller: Ingram-Spark, Amazon

Website: http://wix.com/andrew-jonathan-fine
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alouettesong?fref=ts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eternalsquire
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iamextremelyuse
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/ANDREW-FINE/e/B00JIBHFLO
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8123913.Andrew_Jonathan_Fine

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alouettes-song-andrew-jonathan-fine/1119344642?ean=9781942574125

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An Interview with Author C. L. Moore

 

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Welcome to Author Talk

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing C L Moore.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your
background?

Hi, and thank you for the interview.
I am a Universal Channel, Psychic Consultant,
Reiki Master, Metaphysical Teacher and an Author!
I was born “awake” and I remembered many of
my past lives from a very young age. Sometimes it seemed that one life ran into another. They are so prominent in my present I sometimes have to check where I am!
In 2008 I was interviewed by a NSW Detective Constable in regards to my visions and precognitions.
Every one of which was reported on in the media, exactly as I foretold
For 10 years I ran a German Shepherd Dog breeding Kennel, Shepmore Kennels. Also showing and Obedience training my dogs. I am a qualified to Black class Obedience Trainer.
I am also a granny of 5, and waiting on another addition to the family. Oh, and I am a Supernatural “Dean” girl.

Thank you for that C L, Now some questions
About You as an Author

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    For my books to become Movies.
  2.  How long have you been writing?
    All my life, starting as soon as I could write.
  3.  Which writers inspire you?
    Stephen King, Margaret Mitchell, Cassandra Claire, Daphne De Maurie, Jane Austin and there are so many more.
  4.  Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    My most recent book was ‘Rosalie; I can’t actually pinpoint any actress that
    would suit her role, she is unique.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing? 
    Listening to the voices. They tell me what to write.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    Sometimes a month, some have taken a year.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block?
    If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

    No.
  8. For your own reading, do you prefer e­books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Books I can take to bed and hold, smelling the paper and ink.
  9. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    None at present, too busy writing!
  10. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or
    do you get someone to do that for you? 

    Some I get others to edit.
  11. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    No, that is pure torture.
  12. When did you decide to become a writer?
    What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

    I had no choice. The people in the story wouldn’t stop talking at me until
    I wrote down what they said.
    They are still just as persistent.
  13. Why do you write? 
    Because I have no option, I write because it possesses me.
  14. Do you write full­time or part­time?
    I write full time, in with my Spiritual work.
  15. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? No structured time, I like to sit up all night and write, then all day as well when my
    schedule allows.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? 
    No
  17. How successful are you at achieving that goal? What comes, is what is written. That can be a hundred words or 5 thousand.
  18. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
    Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?

    Just on the laptop, but I did used to use my great Aunts typewriter.
  19. Where do the your ideas come from?  
    Mostly from dreams. That is where the people who want their story told first contact me.
    Then they come and talk until the book is done.
  20. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    Never plot or outline, I like to see where the story goes.
  21. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? 
    Yes
  22. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Getting interrupted when I’m on a roll
  23. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Finding that I was at the end of the story.
  24. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    Mostly Facebook and I promote and sell on my travels
  25. How do you relax?
    Ridding houses of Ghosts, no joke, that is what I do to relax!
  26. What is your favourite book and why?  
    Stephen Kings Salems Lot. The only book that ever scared me silly
  27. What is your favourite quote?
    Do, or do not. There is no try” ~ Yoda
  28. What is your favourite movie and why? 
    Gone With the Wind. Who doesn’t love Rhett and Scarlet?
  29. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    In New York at the premier of a movie made from my books
  30. What advice would you give to your younger self? 
    You are on the right path, never doubt yourself
  31. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    William Wallace. What a man. I love his passion for Scotland and his staunch belief in Freedom,
    even in the face of his impending death.
  32. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    I wish I had written Wuthering Heights. Dark, foreboding, full of angst and
    hardship. Perfect

Wow! That is great C L. Now we’re going to move on to
Talking About Your Books.

  1. What genre are your books?
    They are mostly Paranormal, Time Travel, Erotic, Romance, with some Horror for good measure
  2. What draws you to this genre? 
    I am a hopeless romantic who loves a strong man. As long as he lets me have the sword or gun!
    Paranormal, because that’s just how I roll everyday, that’s my normal
  3. How much research do you do?
    I do when I want to check on facts or dates
  4. Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom? 
    No
  5. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-­publishing against being published or the other way around? 
    The main advantage I have found with self pub, is that you have total creative
    control. I dislike anyone changing my vision of how I see my work.
  6. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? 
    I write because I have to, Good reviews are nice to have, but good or bad they won’t change how I write.
  7. What do you think of “trailers” for books? I like them, Caryn at Watzbooks and Teasers makes mine for me
  8. Do you think that giving books away free works and why? 
    No, I don’t think it works.
  9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
    Never give up and never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.

You sound like a very independant author, C L. Thank you for sharing your opinions. We have the last section to discuss now.Talking About Your Current Book.

  1. What are you working on at the minute? 
    The Treasure ­ The Guardians Trilogy book 2
  2. What’s it about? (*if relevant) 
    It centres on the Henry Family and the Knights Templar. it has good, evil, angels, demons,angst, love.
  3. Is this book part of a series?
    Yes, its part of a Trilogy
  4. What are your thoughts on writing a book series. 
    I like seeing how the characters develop and getting to hear more of their story
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    Yes. epub, paperback and mobi
  6. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
    Who designed your book cover/s?

    I have had Artist Shane Deguara and Kate Robbins cover design for my books,
    but I created Rosalie myself.
  7. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 
    Yes, the reader has to be drawn to your book
  8. How are you publishing this book and why?
    Self Pub, cause I am a control freak. (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
  9. How can readers discover more about you and you work? 
    See my websites, call me, email me private message me!
  10. Please list all of your published books here. 

Book Titles:

  • The Healer
  • Rosalie
  • Louisiana Heat
  • Gettysburg
  • Belmont Falls
  • Working with the Archangels
  • Psychic and Spiritual Development for the New Age
  • Spiritual Development for the Golden Age
  • Traditional Usui Reiki (Shoden, Okuden and Shinpiden)
  • Celtic Wisdom Healing System
  • Unlocking the Tarot
  • Exploring Crystals
  • Angel Whispers Oracle
  • Spiritual Tranquility Oracle
  • Temple of Isis
  • Oracle and Healing system
  • Grail Legends Oracle
  • Writing and Publishing your own book.

Well, thankyou so much for your valuable time, C L. Moore, it is greatly appreciated. You certainly are a prolific writer. And many different genres as well.

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