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An Interview with S M Spencer

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Welcome To Author Talk. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author S. M. Spencer

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background
I’m originally from California, but now live in the outskirts of Melbourne with my husband, horses, cats and dogs.

I’ve always loved to write, and consider myself extremely fortunate to be in a position to dedicate the time needed to make it happen.

I’ve also always had a soft spot for all things paranormal. And while I certainly maintain a healthy scepticism about many aspects of the unknown, I also know there are lots of things that science can’t currently, and may never be able to, explain. 

Thank you S.M. You sound like my kind of person. Now let’s jump in and learn more About You as a Writer 

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    I enjoy reading many different genres and look forward to trying my hand at a variety of them.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I’ve been writing off and on for many years, but have taken it much more seriously over the past five years.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    There are many writers who have inspired me … Daphne du Maurier, Ray Bradbury, J R R Tolkien … the list goes on and on with examples from a wide variety of genres.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    I suspect if my trilogy were to be made into movies, the actors would be new actors. I would love to see the series picked up by a boutique Australian film company
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Letting my imagination run wild.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    The first draft doesn’t take too long—perhaps three to six months—maybe less. But it is the editing and fine tuning that takes more time. Rereading the story to make sure every sentence says what it should and that all aspects of the story remain consistent throughout. Absent Shadows was my first serious book, and I’ve learned a great deal through the process so I suspect each new book will be a little bit easier.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I don’t think I get writer’s block in the traditional sense of that expression. I sometimes lose interest in writing due to other things I’m interested in, but I don’t consider that writer’s block. When I’m in the mood to write, I write, and when I’m not I simply don’t beat myself up about it.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I go through various genre moods. I devoured Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia (didn’t everyone?) but also enjoy finding an author with a continuing series, like Patricia Cornwell, John Lescroart and Janet Evanovich. I particularly enjoy a good mystery/thriller with a romantic element. At this very moment I’m reading fellow indie authors, from both the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and indieBRAG Medallion website. 
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Now that I’ve gotten used to them, I really do prefer e-books. Paperbacks would be next for me. I think hard backs look great on the book shelf, but I read in bed a lot and find them too heavy.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    Right now I’m reading a book called Dear Maude by a fellow indie author named Denise Liebig. I’m trying to mostly support other indie authors, from both the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC), and indieBRAG. 
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I have friends read them and that helps a great deal, but then I edit and re-edit them myself.
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Definitely. Probably a bit longer than that in actual fact—the longer the better.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? 
    I think the desire to be a writer started in my teens. I read a lot and would often get caught up in the characters, living their stories long after I’d finished the books. I had a great deal of respect for authors that could do that, and I wanted to be like them.
  14. Why do you write?
    Because I love doing it!
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    I write when the mood strikes me—generally during the day, but sometimes I get inspiration at night and have to write for a time. There is certainly nothing structured or disciplined in the way I write.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    No—I might write five thousand one day, then nothing for the next two or three or whatever.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I write on my lap-top, but I also write on scraps of paper or a notebook if I just have a few ideas I want to jot down.
  18. Where do your ideas come from?
    For the Absent Shadows trilogy, I was working around the corner from Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, up near the Flagstaff Gardens. Walking around at lunchtime, I started sensing that I was smack dab in the middle of the perfect setting for ghosts and vampires—and the story just developed from there. Of course, the late night ghost tour I’d done in the area, where I’d learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark, really helped. And like many, I was caught up in the resurgence in popularity of vampires.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I do a bit of both—I have a general plot in mind, but am not afraid to let the characters take me in other directions either.
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have found that the more I write, the more I notice the subtle things happening around me. Ever since I decided to take my writing more seriously, I’ve  seen possible scenes in everyday happenings—the lady at the post office, the girl behind the counter at the chemist, the couple walking down the street—I just view things from a different perspective now.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Nothing. I don’t find it hard, because I enjoy it so much.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Waiting to hear back from the agents/publishers that I’d contacted.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? So far, it has been through word of mouth, Facebook, book blogs like yours, Sandy, and taking advantage of the promotions that Amazon offers.
  24. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    I’m just learning myself so I guess the only advice is to be open to new ideas.
  25. How do you relax?
    I think riding my horse is my favourite way to relax—that’s when I feel in touch with nature. And of course, reading a good book is always a great way to relax.
  26. What is your favourite motivational phrase?
    Every cloud has a silver lining.
  27. What is your favourite book and why?
    One of my favourites is Peter Straub’s Floating Dragon. That book was so scary—I remember thinking I could see things moving just on the edge of my peripheral vision. Scary stuff! But there are many, many more that I would call favourites.
  28. What is your favourite quote?
    That is something up with which they will not put.” Unfortunately, I can’t recall who said it (and Google isn’t helping me), but I doubt I’ll ever forget that sentence!
  29. What is your favourite movie and why?
    There are lots that I would call favourites, like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and anything with Sandra Bullock in it—but if I had to pick one it might be Gladiator. A lot of the reason Gladiator is up there is the music—it is a wonderful story, but Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack and the beautiful tones of Lisa Gerrard, really made the movie special for me.
  30. Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
    Helping the aforementioned boutique Australian film company turn my books into movies. [Symbol]
  31. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Trust your intuition.

Thank you S. M. I love your favourite quote. It rather sounds like a Churchill quote to me. he was a great lover of language as well as an author in his own right.

Now, to read About Your Books 

What genre are your books?
The Absent Shadows Trilogy is a paranormal romance. I call it YA because it has no overt sex or violence and the main character is only nineteen.

What draws you to this genre?
I grew up watching the eerie television shows of the 60’s: Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, The Invaders and Outer Limits being among those I remember best. What imaginations those writers had! So science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories have generally been my favourite. Throw in a romantic element, and you have the perfect story!

How much research do you do?
Enough to be sure anything purporting to be a fact is correct, but that’s the beauty of fiction—most of it comes from the imagination.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The major advantage of self-publishing is being in complete control, and the only deadlines are those that are self-imposed. But the disadvantage is you don’t have a publishing house’s marketing teams and expertise to help you make a big splash. Some self-published books have made it to the big time, but I have no doubt that there are many really great self-published books that will never go far simply because the authors don’t have the time, experience or inclination to push them along.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I’m just getting started with this, so check back in twelve months and I’ll give you an answer.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I’d rather have a bad review than no review, but of course all authors like the good ones!

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I didn’t do any sort of pre-launch and that seems to be something that works for others. This is something I might consider next time I’m ready to launch a new book.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes, to some extent. Word of mouth can be a big tool, and no better way to get this than to have lots of readers talking about your book.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Firstly, ignore the negative commentary about there being too many books out there. If you have a story to tell, and you believe in it, tell it. There will be people who will be glad you did. But having said that, before you submit it anywhere, make sure your book is the best you can make it. Read books or articles about self-editing.  When you think your story is as good as you can get it, set it aside, then sometime later re-read it and edit it again.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I think there is a fantastic future for well-written self-published books, particularly with the help of organisations such as indieBRAG (which, if you’re not familiar with it stands for indie, or independent author, Book Readers Appreciation Group and can be found at www.bragmedallion.com ). These organisations rate self-published books to help give readers confidence that the books they are buying are well written, and worth purchasing.

Thank you S. M. I really appreciate your detailed answers. I am looking forward to hearing something About Your Current Book 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Lili is a typical nineteen year old girl who wants to make a difference with her life, but isn’t sure how she’s going to do it. When Lili is given a wonderful opportunity to visit her aunt in Australia, the land where her father was born, she discovers what she wants to do with her life. Sounds pretty simple, right? But then again, can anything to do with vampires and ghosts really be simple?

What are you working on at the minute?
Right now I’m in the midst of a rural romance

Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
I’m hoping to make it a series, but given I haven’t finished the first book yet, I’m not entirely sure where the rest of the series will head. 

Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
At this time, the Absent Shadows Trilogy is only available as Kindle books, on Amazon.  

How are you publishing this book and why?
I’m an indie author. I canvassed a number of agents and a couple of e-book publishers and got responses that varied from cold to lukewarm. The main message coming through was that the genre was very crowded, so I figured I was wasting my time trying to get a publisher to put their money into the series. But with encouragement from friends and family I decided to simply bite the bullet and do it myself.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Follow me on Facebook—and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any!

Please list all of your published books here.  
Book Title: Absent Shadows Trilogy:  Destiny—Book One, Sacrifice—Book Two  &  Deception—Book Three
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance

Links:
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/SMSpencer.writer
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/S-M-Spencer/e/B00PGE0G9U

Book Links: 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com.au/Destiny-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00O6WL9IA

http://www.amazon.com.au/Sacrifice-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q2AVXUI

http://www.amazon.com.au/Deception-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00QKRNJQ4

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00O6WL9IA

http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q2AVXUI

http://www.amazon.com/Deception-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00QKRNJQ4

IndieBrag  http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2015-brag-medallion-books/destiny-absent-shadows-trilogy

 

Lastly, I would just like to thank you, Sandy, for this wonderful opportunity to share a little about me, and my books, with your readers.

 

 

 

You’re very welcome S.M. I look forward to following your books, and your Facebook Page. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

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An Interview with Leanne Wood

 

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Hello and welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Leanne Wood.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My Name is Leanne Wood and I am originally from Sydney. I moved to Orange which is located in Central Western NSW in 2000. Faced with a life shattering ordeal I struggled with PTSD and depression. Hospitalized, I retreated from the world and was forced to reassess everything. Writing assisted greatly through this period. I would class myself as a freelance writer and a poet, a research enthusiast who possesses a love for creativity and a keen interest in trivia and historical events. I have a gorgeous partner, I appreciate good friends, I enjoy great food and wine and I love to travel and write. I believe we should try to live our life to its fullest and follow our dreams.

Wow Leanne, you had some early knocks. I’d like to know more
About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To simply write books that people enjoy
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I have been writing ever since I can remember, I have always found it enjoyable.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    All writers inspire me, I believe they all have something to offer
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    Noni Hazlehurst – “Pages Of your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming”
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    You get to set your own timetable, however, you must also be able to apply yourself as books don’t write themselves.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    The last one probably 12 months (give or take a little) from start to being published. I don’t think there is a need to rush.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    Yes, I think all writers get writer’s block from time to time. I always walk away, I never dwell on something that is not happening. You can’t force a square peg in a round hole, just as you can’t force writing. I go for a walk, have a chat with a friend, enjoy the company of my partner, play with my dog, enjoy a nice meal or glass of wine (or two).
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I don’t read as much as I should. My favourite authors are Bryce Courtenay and Stephen King. I also enjoy reading trivia and biographies.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books? I prefer traditional paperbacks.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    I am not reading a book at present as I am focusing on the launch of my second book.
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I do and I also have others as I believe a writer can be too close to their own work.
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Yes, I believe it is important to let it sit before editing
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    Several years ago I experienced great trauma, writing was an escape. The more I wrote, the better I felt, the more I loved writing. Writing is addictive, life experiences inspire my stories.
  14. Why do you write?
    I love writing, creating a story and developing characters
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    I do write full-time, however, I do not have a rigid writing schedule. I do prefer mornings for writing but I write whenever I have the urge as I believe writing should not be forced. Some days I will work on a novel for over 12 hours with only small breaks while on other days several hours is enough.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    Sometimes I set a word count, but believe it is more so about quality not quantity
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer, I also have ideas on post-it notes, in my mobile phone and on scraps of paper
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    Some of the ideas within my first book, “Pages Of Your Life- The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” are adaptations of real stories as told to me by my relatives. Other ideas came from extended hours of research and from within my imagination.Generally, my ideas can come from anywhere, observing others and listening, from reading, TV shows, movies and even sounds.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I do attempt to work out an outline, but I find my stories develop and change, so the story then takes me on a journey
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have evolved greatly…I do believe writing is one big learning experience. I still have so much to learn. Talking with other writers, learning about the industry and embracing what I love so much (writing) means that I have to evolve.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Like anything, there are always distractions and you must have self discipline. Research also takes up a lot of time and sometimes you can feel you are getting no where fast, but it is all worth it in the long run.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    As a writer I do get caught up emotionally, so if it is sad, I do feel for the characters. Writing is an emotional journey.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I market my books through social media and my blog; these methods have been extremely helpful.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    Possibly in the future
  25. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Exposing your books is one thing, but you should never inundate potential readers as this could dive them away.
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    Probably not as much as I should, however, I do post regular updates to social media
  27. How do you relax?
    I go for a walk, have a chat with a friend, enjoy the company of my partner, play with my dog, enjoy a nice meal or glass of wine (or two), go on a holiday and I write
  28. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    You can overcome everything, achieve anything and do everything.
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    Let your past make you better, not bitter
  30. What is your favourite book and why?
    A Map Of The World by Jane Hamilton. This a compelling story about life, consequences, regrets, friendship, marriage and endurance. It illustrates that a predictable life can change direction in the blink of an eye. It explores the most basic of human emotions. It is an excellent portrayal of human nature and serves as a reminder that life should not be taken for granted. Thought provoking.
  31. What is your favourite quote?
    Never underestimate your acts of kindness and how much you are appreciated and loved
  32. What is your favourite movie and why?
    Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor – what an amazing woman
  33. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Happily writing
  34. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Do what you love every day. A successful day of writing should not be determined by the number of words written but the content which has been created.
  35. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Elizabeth Taylor – she was talented, generous, inspiring, beautiful, successful, caring…a wonderful soul

Thank you for all of this Leanne, I too am a fan of the Late, Great Elizabeth Taylor. She would be one person I would definitely love to meet myself. Now on to read something About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    Historical Fiction / Women’s Fiction / Mystery / Life Drama / Suspense / Thriller / Crime
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    I love research and I love stories with a twist, books that keep the readers wanting to turn the next page. All of my books are about life and events that could happen to anyone.
  3. How much research do you do?
    For my first book; “Pages Of Your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” I completed many hours of research as the book spans many decades. I wanted to set the scene and correctly reflect the times with facts relating to historical events. Ensuring there was a balance of facts in which the story could take place without the reader feeling overwhelmed by these facts was imperative. My second book; “Travels Through My Mind” (which is the 2nd book in the “Secrets” trilogy did not involve as much research while the last book; “Where Secrets Lie” does involve more research.
  4. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    I believe you can maintain a greater control over your books. My books are like my children, I would never want to cast them asside and have someone else control them.
  5. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    I have not received a great deal of reviews since I am only relatively new, however they have been great and I appreciate all feedback.
  6. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    Not really, I do ask but I don’t want to be pushy.
  7. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    I think it is important to acknowledge that not everyone will agree on everything; as such we would be foolish to believe everyone will love what we write
  8. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    I think social media has its place, facebook has worked well for me.
  9. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    I wouldn’t bombard the same social media site with marketing details, otherwise people will switch off.
  10. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    I promoted my first book launch with the assistance of the local library and bookshops. I also used facebook and the local press. I am holding the book launch for my 2nd book on Tuesday 5th May 2015 and I will use the same strategy.
  11. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    Yes and they were wonderful
  12. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    I like trailors
  13. Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
    No, maybe one day
  14. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    Sometimes yes, however on a limited basis and only to those you know will appreciate it, not to companies who want to profit off your hard work.
  15. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    I would give them the same advice Bryce Courtenay gave to me; write, write and write some more. Also maintain an open mind, writing is a learning experience, be open to suggestions and critique.
  16. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    Hopefully onwards and upwards with indie writers achieving the recognition they deserve. You do not have to be published by one of the big 5 to be a good writer.

Thank you Leanne, I like your open hearted honesty. Finally we are ready to read something About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My trilogy spans 3 generations. “Pages Of Your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” starts with Shirley Rumming, born in Sydney in 1924, the first book is based on her life story. The second book; “Travels Through My Mind” picks up after Shirley has passed away. Claire her only child discovers her mothers book and is forced to question the truth and value of life. She doubts the platform on which she believed her life was built as she embarks on a journey to reveal the truth. Deceit, secrets and lies collide with preconceieved thoughts and more than one person winds up crushed. The third book; “Where Secrets Lie” highlights the impact of delving into the past and family secrets. While it is still a work in progress and without giving too much away it examines the destructiveness that secrets and lies can have on others.
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    Currently I am focusing on the book launch for “Travels Through My Mind” and looking at the 3rd book of my “Secrets” Trilogy; “Where Secrets Lie
  3. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    It is a trilogy and I love it. I never intended to create a trilogy. However, when I finished my first story there was so much more that needed saying. The story could not end when the character died, she had family and so the story continued.
  4. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    I had assistance with formatting. My books are available in paperback and as an e-book. I think it is important to cater to all readers.
  5. If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
    I looked at the work they had created previously. I watched how they interacted with others and I had a great experience.
  6. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    The cover of “Pages Of Your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” came from a collection of photos once owned by my grandfather (who is deceased). I was led to believe that he had taken the photo, however, I was shocked to discover although it was in his collection it was infact a photo he had taken of a photo. Having a great attachment to the photo I purchased the licensing rights to use the photo so as not to breach any copyright. For my second cover, “Travels Through My Mind” I took a photo of my partners eye.
  7. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? Definitely, if the cover looks interesting a potental reader is more likely to pick it up.
  8. How are you publishing this book and why (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    Indie. I think it’s the control factor plus I can try to keep the pricing of the book down. Reading should be enjoyable not expensive.

Please list all of your published books here
Book Title:
Pages Of Your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery / Family Sagas Australia / Life Drama
ISBN: 9781742844800
Publisher: Bookpal
Author:Leanne Wood
Paperback / Hardback: Paperback & Kindle
Distributor/Seller:  Amazon
Book Cover by: Leanne Wood

Book Title: Travels Through My Mind
Genre: Mystery / Family Sagas Australia / Life Drama / Paranormal
ISBN: 9780994302908
Publisher: Leanne Wood
Author: Leanne Wood
Paperback / Hardback: Paperback & Kindle
Distributor/Seller:  Amazon
Book Cover by: Leanne Wood

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
They can visit my
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LeanneWoodauthor
Blog https://leannewoodauthor.wordpress.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/LeanneWoodautho
Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Leanne-Wood/e/B00SM1OGW2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8558131.Leanne_Wood

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I can’t wait to see the third book out in this series.

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An Interview with Tia Mitsis

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the great pleasure in interviewing the wonderful Tia Mitsis.

Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your background as An Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    I hope to continue writing both fiction and non-fiction, build up a following of readers and enjoy the craft of writing.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I have been writing since I learned to write. I always remember coming up with little stories and writing them down. I would also ‘bind’ them into little books and sell them to my classmates! My first book was the first I wrote for publication – the others have just been for me.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    I don’t think I can choose just one. I am inspired by writers who have the gift of building strong imagery in my mind, by writers who aren’t afraid to reveal their innermost thoughts, by writers who can make me understand previously difficult concepts. If I have to choose one, I would choose my childhood favourite who taught me about fairies, wishing chairs and English boarding schools – Enid Blyton.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    N/A as my book is non-fiction.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Getting swept away in thoughts and ideas.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    I have published one book so far and it took me approximately 4 months to write the first draft and then about 3 more months to do the recommended re-writes/restructure and new content.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I don’t think it’s possible not to! I try not to get caught up in writer’s block and usually just leave it and come back to it with a fresh perspective. If I can skip ahead to something else, I do. This usually gets the creative juices flowing again.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I read more non-fiction than fiction currently. I love books by Bill Bryson about his travels. Enid Blyton of course remains a firm favourite. For a good dose of mystery and crime, I love Agatha Christie.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    I am old-fashioned, I prefer paperbacks. I like to feel the pages, flip through at my leisure and not be glued to a screen.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    I aim for my next book to be a travel book. I am reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’ to gain some ideas and am loving his injections of humour!
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    No, I feel far too close to my work to be able to do that and for me, it’s important to have someone else read your work. What makes sense to you may well not make sense to someone else. I had my book edited twice – by different editors and also proofread, again by someone else. In this way, three people other than myself read my manuscript in full before publication.
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    I let mine stew for much longer when I received the first edit back. I had some health issues going on and I just didn’t have the motivation to get stuck into rewrites at that stage. When I did go back to it though, it was with a fresh set of eyes through not having even looked at it for several months. Re-reading brought with it a new perspective, new ideas and a good grasp of the suggested structural changes.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I always wanted to be a writer. I think the moment I decided to write for publication was a long time coming. I’d been writing for myself for so long and in late 2013, I thought, it’s time to do this – for me but also for others.
  14. Why do you write?
    I write non-fiction to share my story, to share experiences, to let others know that they are not alone. I also write fiction to get away from reality, to experience the lives of my characters and although I control that world, I get lost in those characters too.
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    In between working full time, volunteering one night a week and completing a professional writing degree, I write very part-time! I don’t have a structure, though obviously I try to get as much work as possible done on weekends which are the biggest stretch of time I have for writing.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I don’t aim for a specific amount of words each day. I consider any amount, as long as it’s good quality writing a good outcome.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I write on my laptop. I use Word. I have tried Scrivener, but I think I need to play around with that one some more to get a good feel for it.
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    Real life situations, things I see and hear.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I outline an idea through to see where it might go but sometimes I start to write and just see where the idea takes me. It’s amazing how much can come from a single idea!
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I’ve evolved through doing the professional writing subjects, understanding more about the craft of writing. I have learned editing and proofreading also which I am happy to do for others but not for my own work. It’s too hard to see your own errors when you have written it. Your brain just skips over it! Although I have always written, that was for me and I could structure it any way I liked. For publication, I needed to focus on how to craft the writing towards an audience.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    I wish I had more time in my day to devote to writing. I hope to one day be able to take 6 months in a Greek village somewhere and focus on the writing. I can dream!
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    It brought up previous frustrations – it can be an emotive subject. I also needed to find enough case studies to make it worthwhile and that was a frustrating task also.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I am still learning this. So far I have been using social media, have approached a community radio station I was once affiliated with for an interview, have looked for bookstores which support independent authors and have created some promotional bookmarks/flyers to give out when the opportunity arises.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency
    No, I have not used or considered a PR agency.
  25. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    I have found word of mouth far more pervasive than social media actually, surprising in this age of social media reliance.
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    I start to market my book before publication once I have something tangible to share – the cover for example. I have shared quotes from the book, I have shared the foreword and I have tried making a book trailer. Then once it’s published, marketing seems to be like a full time job!
  27. How do you relax?
    Writing fiction, listening to music, reading a book.
  28. What is your favourite book and why?
    I don’t have just one favourite, my reading interests are so varied.
  29. What is your favourite movie and why?
    Too many to name.
  30. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Hopefully happy, healthy and still enjoying writing.
  31. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Don’t worry what others think. It only matters what you think. Be confident and stand proud.
  32. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    I’d like to meet Albert Einstein and talk about his discoveries and thoughts about the future.
  33. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    I would have written the Harry Potter series just to see it become an empire!

About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    Non-fiction
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    Sharing my own experiences
  3. How much research do you do?
    My book required quite a bit of research and analysis of data. If you want to present facts, the book has to be researched and as my name goes on the book – my real name – I needed to make sure what I presented was correct.
  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 advantage of self-publishing is that you control each part of the book – the writing, the cover, the timing, the distribution etc. You also control getting the chance to publish in the first place. I made no enquiries whatsoever with traditional publishers because the biggest lesson I have learned in life is not to let others control your opportunities.
  6. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    I haven’t got any other than one from a customer on Amazon. Five stars luckily! I have been looking at free review sites and have made a few enquiries.
  7. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    No, just looking online to see where reviewers can be found!
  8. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    A bad review should be a constructive review – one you can use and learn from. A good review is of course fabulous and will make you feel that your work is appreciated.
  9. Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
    Not yet.
  10. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    So far best results are from like-minded individuals on LinkedIn and WordPress.
  11. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Try not to become disappointed too quickly, particularly when friends don’t support your work as you expect. They are simply the wrong market.
  12. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    I haven’t yet worked out all the elements of Goodreads but I did have a book launch just for family and friends.
  13. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    No but I have a possible radio interview coming up.
  14. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    Not yet!
  15. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    I am still in the midst of putting my work out there and am very much in a learning phase.
  16. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    It’s a good idea, I wish I had more technological skills to be able to make them. I did make a promo trailer once but it was just simple with still photos and a voice over.
  17. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    It depends on who you are giving it to. People who helped you with the book – absolutely. People who will review your book – definitely. Running a free giveaway is also good.
  18. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Don’t give up. Don’t say you don’t have time – make time.
  19. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    I see the growth of the self-publishing industry – it seems to be growing. I hope to see paperbacks make a comeback, I’m just not a fan of reading digital books!

About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My book is non-fiction but there are many protagonists in the book. All the graduates interviewed have their own story to share.
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    I am working on marketing my book, ‘When Study Goes Wrong’, published on Amazon’s virtual shelves on 12 March 2015. I have also tentatively started work on a second book which is a travel book.
  3. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    When Study Goes Wrong is a unique exploration of graduate outcomes for graduates unable to find work in their field of study. It’s filled with my own story, case studies, relevant research, tips and coping mechanisms as well as discussions about retraining, career changes and study areas.
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    It’s not part of a series but it could be. I am certain I could find more people to discuss their situation as graduates unable to find work in their field for a second volume.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    No, I had downloaded Createspace’s template to use and while this was in book format, I wanted it to look more professional and I didn’t have the skills to make it look that way. I was pulling my hair out arguing with Word when I decided to just have CS format the book for me. Yes, it was expensive but it saved me hours of frustration. I certainly would not have been ready to publish my book when I did if I was still arguing with Word!  My book is available in paperback and I am currently in the process of having it converted to be available on Kindle.
  6. If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
    I selected CS because I was publishing my book through them and thought who better to adhere by all their specifications than CS formatters themselves.My experience was quite good. I did have an issue with the first digital proof – it must not have been checked properly as there were paragraph spacing issues. Once fixed though, it was perfect and I am very happy with it.
  7. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    My cover was originally drawn by my brother, who is very talented at drawing and art. I loved his drawing and was imagining using it for a bold black and white cover. I had tried doing the cover formatting myself but wasn’t having much luck – certainly not to create something that looked like it had been done by a professional. I then found Billington Media, I believe someone on AWR pointed me in her direction. Sarah did a great job giving me ideas about the cover and in the end I chose a different cover – bright and colourful and I used the drawing as an internal illustration. I love my cover, it looks fabulous.
  8. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    Of course, it’s the first thing a reader sees!
  9. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    I have published through CreateSpace. I chose that option because it gave me the freedom to control my work as well as the opportunity to have my work published in my own time.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
They can follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, check out my blog on WordPress and of course my Amazon author profile.

Your published books here.
Book Title: When Study Goes Wrong
Genre: Non-fiction
ISBN: 1494862875
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Author: Tia Mitsis
Paperback / Hardback: Paperback
Distributor/Seller: Amazon
Book Cover by: Billington Media

Blog: http://whenstudygoeswrong.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tiamitsis
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/in/tiamitsis
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/tiamitsis
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13632055.Tia_Mitsis
Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494862875

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

 

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An Interview with Steve Harrison

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful privilege interviewing Steve Harrison.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background Steve

My name is Steve Harrison and I live in Sydney with my wife and daughter, although I was born and grew up in England and spent a few years in New Zealand before arriving in Australia. I started writing some 25 years ago with the usual short stories and a few soccer articles, followed by a long running weekly newspaper humour column, Harriscope: a mix of ancient wisdom and modern nonsense. For the last 10 years I have been writing feature screenplays and although none were produced, I did have a couple of exciting Hollywood meetings and one of the scripts was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild (Awgie) Award. Through all those years I worked on various drafts of my novel, TimeStorm, and despite many, many rejections, decided it would one day be published. The final draft, which I completed nearly two years ago, received a High Commendation at the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ National Literary Awards in the same week the book was bought by Elsewhen Press, a UK publishing company. Who says persistence doesn’t pay off! Now the goal is to turn this success into a career…

About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To support myself and my family solely through writing.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    For about 25 years. Initially, I wrote short stories and a few articles. Then a newspaper column and the first draft of my novel.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    I’m a big fan of Bernard Cornwell for his historical works; Stephen King, character development, Lee Child, action and David Mitchell for his all-round brilliance. Many others, too.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    TimeStorm has been written over a long time and I initially thought Hugh Jackman would have made a terrific Kit Blaney, but now, years later, I’m thinking Henry Cavill (Superman) or Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) who has the right first name!
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    I don’t find anything easy about writing. I can’t even think about the least hard thing…
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    It took 25 years to write TimeStorm, with a new draft every four or five years, but the latest should be done within a year.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I have constant writers’ block interspersed with occasional bouts of writing. I have to force myself to write, which is very odd as I love writing.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I read all the time. In addition to those above, my favorites are CJ Sansom, CS Forrester, George Macdonald Fraser, JP Smith and many others.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    I’m hooked on my Kobo eReader, despite fighting it for a long time.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    I just finished The Swerve, a terrific non fiction work about the founding on the Renaissance by Stephen Greenblatt, and I’m now very much enjoying Lamentation, the latest Matthew Shardlake Tudor mystery by CJ Sansom.
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I try to proofread, then my wife has a go and then my publisher does the final polish, thank goodness! The publisher told me it is very difficult for the writer to proof read and edit, because he or she sees what was meant and not what was written. I couldn’t agree more!
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    No, I edit as a I go along. I start a session by editing the previous session. I print it all out at the end and go through with a pen to make notes.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I felt an urge to write suddenly in my early thirties and told a former friend I was going to write a book. He told me I never would, which gave me the drive to do it.
  14. Why do you write?
    Because I am incapable of not writing.
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    Part time. With work, I find it difficult to write regularly during the week, so I try to have at least one four hour session on the weekend
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I don’t set goals. It’s about the content for me and I can be equally happy with one page or ten in a session.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer. Word.
  18. Where do your ideas come from?
    I believe there is an invisible entity feeding me the words when I get into the ‘zone’ and I am just taking dictation. It’s a very odd feeling.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I outline in my head, as I’m a slave to any notes I write down and find it very hard to change anything. I find my writing is much more fluid if I have a general direction in mind.
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I don’t think my creativity has changed at all, only my ability to express it, which I think has improved dramatically.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Writing is by far the hardest thing about writing.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Finding enough time to write.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    My publisher is a very small company in the UK, so I do a lot of online marketing via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc. It took a while to realise I was marketing to other writers, but since I joined and interacted with readers groups in the genres covered by my novel, I have seen sales increase and also made a lot of new friends.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    No.
  25. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Be creative and look for opportunities. It’s very hard to poke your head above such a huge crowd of people competing for the same readers, so apply the same creativity to selling as you do to writing. It’s a lot of fun.
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    I market more than I write, I’m sad to admit.
  27. How do you relax?
    Long walks with my wife. Reading. Watching TV.
  28. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    “Be scared and do it anyway.”
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    See above!
  30. What is your favourite book and why?
    That’s a cruel question. One book only? I’ll have to say The Stand by Stephen King. The perfect epic!
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    Blues Brothers. The perfect comedy!
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Working as a professional writer.
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    None. Let him suffer like I did!
  34. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    The Stand. What an accomplishment!

Thanks Steve, an author with a great sense of humour! I also love your answer to “Where do you get your ideas from?” I think it is called Channelling. I know exactly what you mean, about it being an odd feeling. I do that all the time.

Now, let’s move on to learn About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    My only published book is TimeStorm, a thriller, action adventure, time travel, science fiction, historical romance novel.
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    I figured at one book every 25 years, I should include as many genres as possible. But seriously, I don’t have a genre preference. I wrote nine unproduced feature screenplays, each in a different genre dictated by the story idea.
  3. How much research do you do?
    For TimeStorm I did a great deal of research into Australia’s convict history. My current WIP, a YA science fiction story, is entirely made up, although it draws on my knowledge of and interest in history and alien conspiracy theories.
  4. Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    No books, though I do work with a writer/director partner on short films.
  5. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    Self-publishing looks too much like hard work, so I certainly prefer having a traditional publisher to take care of all the publishing details.
  6. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    My publisher sends out press releases and has organised a number of reviews and I have been fortunate to receive many unprompted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
  7. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    Fortunately, all my reviews have been good – so far – so I like them! I’ll let you know how I feel when a bad one comes along…
  8. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    Facebook has been the best, by far. And Goodreads is very good too, if you take the time to interact with readers.
  9. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Participate in discussions and not just about your own book. Promoting others is always well received. All my fellow authors at Elsehwne are very supportive and we promote each others’ books. Don’t just drop an ad for your book on readers’ boards and disappear. It will get ignored and annoy potential readers.
  10. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    The publisher’s initial press release prompted a lot of sales and they publicise any reviews or other news, which always provides a sales spike. I’ve done two Goodreads giveaways, which raised the profile of the book, but didn’t do much in terms of direct sales. They were great fun, though, and I got a few nice reviews.
  11. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    I couldn’t get much interest from the press and as I’m the UK publisher’s only Australian author, they don’t have the contacts here. It was a great pub launch, though, and I sold a bunch of copies.
  12. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    I’m not a fan of book trailers, mainly because they are books, not films.
  13. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    I can’t see the point of giving away books. Sure, a lot of people will obtain your book, but how many because it’s free and how many because they have to read it? There’s an incentive to download it because it’s free, but no incentive to read it. I prefer readers who have enough interest to actually buy the book.
  14. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Don’t listen to advice. Or rather, never forget advice is opinion and always question it. (you can question that, too).
  15. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    There will always be a place for books and reading, though the delivery methods will vary. Despite all the visual entertainment available, nothing can compare with the pictures conjured up by your imagination when you peruse the written word.

Oh yes, I hear you loud and clear Steve! Your last answer is so my opinion too. Our mind is the best visual creator we have!

Now to move on to hear About Your Current Book TimeStorm.

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My main character of TimeStorm is Kit Blaney, an officer on the 1795 convict transport ship, HMS Marlin. Transported through time to the present day, he must deal with the modern world, assist an ailing captain, command his panicked crew, fight rebelling convicts, evade police and the navy, battle an unscrupulous media baron and fall for a woman reporter. Believe me, he has his hands full!
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    A YA science fiction novel.
  3. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    It’s about an Earth girl who swaps places with an alien girl. What could possibly go wrong?
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    It the first of a proposed series.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    TimeStorm is available in paperback and all eBook formats. Thanks to the publisher, Elsewhen Press!
  6. If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
    I was fortunate that Elsewhen bought the book and they did a fabulous job in every aspect of the process.
  7. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    Elsewhen invited my input on the cover and I had a vague idea in mind. I sent them a couple of images I found on the internet, particularly some seventeenth century sailing ship paintings. The final cover was designed by Alison Buck of Elsewhen Press and it is a stunning image that really captures the flavour of the novel.
  8. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    Absolutely. It should attract the potential buyer and interest them enough to check what the book is about.
  9. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    TimeStorm is traditionally published. I never considered self-publishing and kept rewriting until I found a publisher.
  10. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
    The best place is my website. It has information of the book, buying links and several blog pieces related to TimeStorm and my writing process http://stormingtime.wordpress.com/

Published Books

Book Title: TimeStorm
Genre: Action adventure, time slip, thriller, history, romance
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-908168-44-3 – Ebook: 978-1-908168-54-2
Publisher: Elsewhen Press, UK
Author: Steve Harrison
Paperback / Hardback: Both!
Distributor/Seller: Paperback available in bookshops in the UK & US and Amazon, online in Australia via Gleebooks http://www.gleebooks.com.au/CatalogueRetrieve.aspx?ProductID=9519001 or via the publisher at http://elsewhen.alnpetepress.co.uk/index.php/catalogue/title/timestorm/
Ebook available from Amazon UK, AUS, CAN, US & elsewhere, Kobo, Nook, Apple iBooks, Google etc
Book Cover: Artwork by Alison Buck, based on photograph by http://shutterstock.com
Website/Blog: http://stormingtime.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StormingTime
Google: https://plus.google.com/102729375351451335150/posts?hl=en
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Harrison/e/B00MXY9BKQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Booklinks: Paperback https://stormingtime.wordpress.com/buy-paperback/
Ebook https://stormingtime.wordpress.com/buy-ebook/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/418568.Steve_Harrison

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I look forward to reading your Time Storm and hearing more about your current book. It sounds very intriguing.

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An Interview with Cathie Whitmore

 

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Welcome to Author Talk,

Today I have the distinguished privilege of interviewing Cathie Whitmore of Atom Children’s Books (A Touch Of Magic). So without further ado, we will jump right into our interview today and find out more about you and your background.

To begin with Cathie, please tell us a Little about Yourself and Your Background

I believe my story is one of fate, as becoming a writer had never entered my head, let alone delving into the world of self publishing. I have to wonder where life would have taken me if I hadn’t been asked to write a children’s story for a friend to market at University in 2006. Back then I had no idea I even had the ability to write – now I can’t imagine not writing.

Fate intervened for a second time in 2007, placing an amazing graphic artist right there in front of me at our local library. A friendly chat, followed by coffee the next morning and we were on our way to bringing my words to life with wonderful illustrations.

My husband Phil and I started Atom (A Touch of Magic) Children’s Books back in 2009, when we published our first book. Placing Twinkle the Christmas Star in over 150 bookstores around the country, resulting in many book signings and school visits, gave me the satisfaction of knowing I had created something to be proud of.

They say ‘three times proves it,’ and in my case it’s true. I had many stories ready to illustrate, but one in particular was my favourite and in my mind it had to be book number three. My illustrator wasn’t keen on my choice as she hates spiders and as luck would have it, I just happened to run into a young mum working at our local bank who had bought a copy of my first book for her son. As it turns out, she had been on maternity leave for twelve months and right when I needed another illustrator, there she was. We have now published three children’s picture books, a chapter book for older children and my first novel in the women’s fiction genre.

My motto is “Imagination Lives in Books” along with my heart and my passion for writing.

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    As a self published author of four children’s books and my first novel for adults, my ambition is to one day publish all of my work. I have a second women’s fiction novel in the pipeline and another sixteen children’s stories written, but not yet illustrated.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I won a poetry competition at school when I was eight, so I guess you could say my passion for writing started way back then.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    I have loved Roald Dahl for as long as I can remember and E.B. White is also up there amongst my favourite children’s authors. As a reader, I enjoy the work of Olivia Goldsmith, Cecelia Ahearn, Jodi Picoult and many other writers of women’s fiction. However, I guess I would have to say I haven’t actually been inspired by any one of them in particular, as I never had any aspirations to become a writer. It just happened.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    My most recent book is a women’s fiction novel, and I can imagine someone like Emily VanCamp, from Revenge, playing the lead role. My main character, Celeste, is in some ways similar to Emily– a beautiful, yet manipulative and demanding women, who will go to any length to get what see wants. The only difference is, my story is very humorous at times, so Celeste does have another side to her personality.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    The easiest thing about writing for me is the ease at which it flows. I have been a typist for almost fifty years and I find my fingers just seem to take over the keyboard, and the ideas are transferred straight from my brain to the laptop, without me really thinking too much about it.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    The initial draft of my first children’s story, titled Hammie Goes to School, which evolved into a 44 page hardcover picture book, took me approximately three hours. Then I decided to re-read Charlotte’s Web and that gave me a whole new insight into how much better a children’s story can be with the use of character dialogue. That technique probably took another week or so to perfect.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I have never really experienced writer’s block to any great degree as what I am writing, just seems to come to me and I just keeping typing, never knowing where it is likely to end.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I love to read, but these days I spend more time writing than reading. My favourite authors are the ones I mentioned in Question #3. However, I often read women’s fiction written by authors I have never heard of. The style of writing is more important to me than the actual author.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    I was totally against eBooks for my children’s stories, as I felt they were so impersonal and took away the wonderful one-on-one experience of a parent or grandparent reading to a child. However, now a few years down the track I have had all my books created as eBooks, and I think as authors, we either have to go with the flow or miss the boat. The ironic thing is, I vowed I would never read on a tablet and had no desire to own one. Then I relented, buying an iPad for the specific purpose of being able to see my children’s eBooks on the internet. Now, three years later and I am hooked. The convenience of the iPad outweighs my old fashioned values and I am now an avid eBook reader.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    I have joined an Amazon group called Write-On where authors put their work out there for comment. There is some wonderful work on this site and at present I am following a couple of authors as we read and review for each other. I am also a member of Australian Writer’s Rock, where I came across ‘The Dandelion,’ one of the best books I have read in a long time, as it’s basically a therapy session in book form.
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I do all my own proofreading and editing as I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it. It’s a slow and tedious process, but I have learnt a lot about writing and consequently changed things in my manuscript as I went along. I’m not sure an editor could have done a better job than I have done myself, as I have often come across errors in books professionally edited. From what I have heard from other authors, proofreaders and editors are not always what they are cracked up to be.
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    At the end of each chapter, I read through my work to check for errors. During that process, I often come across things I want to change. However, once the story is complete, I believe it’s important to reread the entire manuscript again. I made the mistake of rushing into an eBook with my first women’s fiction novel, as it reached quarter-final status in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Then twelve months down the track, after learning many more tricks of the trade, I have just finished revamping my novel to make it the best it can possibly be. My impulsive personality is a costly one as now I know I am capable of better, the original eBook is in the process of being replaced with the new you beaut version.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    Growing up I had written a few short rhyming poems and messages on greeting cards etc, but the idea of writing a book never actually entered my head. Then in 2006, I was asked by the daughter of a friend, if I could write a children’s story for her to market as a university project. Retirement certainly allowed me the time and my curiosity gave me the inclination to have a go. When I sat down to write my first story titled Hammie Goes to School, I had no real idea of what the story would be about. The only thing I knew for sure was I would base my story around a piglet named Hammie as when I was a child, Hammie was my mother’s Irish uncle’s name. This story unleashed a passion in me I never knew existed as once I started I couldn’t stop. Over the following eight weeks, I wrote nine more stories in the series titled The Adventures of Hammie.
  14. Why do you write?
    I have always been one for having a part-time hobby, such as silk screen printing, ceramics, leadlight, beading…and the list goes on. Yet I have never stuck to anything for all that long, as I tend to get bored doing the same old thing. Writing my first story changed all that and now I can’t imagine my life without my writing. Taking on the voices of my characters through their dialogue, embroiled me in their lives in a way I never thought possible. Suddenly they became a huge part of my life, allowing me to not only think and feel for them, but become the master of their destiny. A strong attachment to my characters has always been a rewarding part of my writing, as each and every one takes on a personality of their own, etching themselves in my imagination forever.
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    My day starts on my laptop first thing in the morning and I begrudgingly fit in the mundane household chores in between. I have no structure, just obsession, as once I have an idea in my head, it consumes me and I can’t rest until I have turned it into a sentence, a paragraph and often an entire chapter. I learnt to type at the age of fifteen and my speed certainly comes in handy now as I can punch a lot out in a relatively short period of time. As long as the ideas are flowing, I keep going, oblivious to anything else around me. Needless to say, my hubby is not always a happy chappy.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I never set goals, as that way of writing is way too structured for me. I write when I can and stop when I have other more pressing things to do. However, I am never away from my manuscript for an extended period of time, as my head is always bursting with ideas I am compelled to put into words.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I write on my laptop in Microsoft Word, but I normally set my manuscript out in a print format, to keep track of the number of pages and also to see what it will look like as a printed book.
  18. Where do your ideas come from?
    Well that is the weird thing with me. An idea just pops into my head and I run with it. When I start to write, I begin with a basic idea of what the first chapter will be about, and then it just seems to evolve from there without me really steering it in any direction. I have no idea where the ideas come from…but they just do. When I decided to write my first women’s fiction novel, I set the story in 1998. Then when I got a few chapters into it, it occurred to me I would need to go back to the previous generation to give the story some background and more substance. Consequently, my original first chapter, ended up as chapter nineteen of thirty.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I normally start with a vague idea of the initial plot and the rest just seems to evolve as I go. At times when I read back over my work, I can’t really remember even writing certain parts of it. I think my writing process is an automatic one between my brain and my fingers on the laptop keyboard, as it’s not something I nut out beforehand.
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    Other than winning a poetry competition at school at the age of eight, my creativity lay dormant for so many years, I had forgotten it ever existed. In fact I doubt I would ever have become a writer if I hadn’t been asked to write a children’s book for someone else. My reply to that request back in 2009 was “I’m not promising anything…I have no idea if I can do it, but I’ll give it a go.”
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    As we are retired, my husband perceives my writing as a hobby that shouldn’t interfere with our day to day lives. Boy have I got news for him…and it’s all bad. When my head is filled with ideas, I’m desperate to put them into words and I resent the interruptions. Consequently, walking away from my laptop in the middle of something I’m trying to put into words before it escapes me, is the height of frustration. My head won’t be quiet while I go about my daily chores and I am forever drawn back to my laptop to add something else I have just thought of. For me, that is the hardest thing about writing.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Having written twenty children’s stories, four of which I have self published, I decided to try my hand at writing for adults. Piece by Piece is my first adult novel and it took my imagination to another level, far removed from the childlike rhyming style I have become so accustomed to. The hardest thing for me was I worried that the adult content in my novel would shock my readers and my image as a children’s author and grandmother of eight would be shattered forever. I wrote those scenes as tastefully as I could, but I still felt I was stepping out of my comfort zone a little, and at the end of the day, my reputation as a children’s author may suffer for it.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I have an online presence, with two websites – one for my children’s books and another for my adult novel. I also have two Facebook pages – a personal and a business one. My books are available in both print and electronic format on iTunes, Amazon, Kobo etc. Writing my stories is the easy part, but marketing has always posed a big problem for me. I sell face-to-face at markets, fairs, book signings etc, but I need to spread my wings much further than that. I honestly don’t know what the answer is when it comes to marketing. All I know is, I have a good product to sell but how I get it out there to the masses is something I struggle with every day.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    My feelings on this are unless I have a huge amount of money to throw at it, I would be just throwing my money away. Therefore the answer for me is, under my present circumstances I wouldn’t use a PR agency, but if by chance I came into some money, it certainly would be food for thought.
  25. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    As yet I have not devoted a huge amount of time to marketing my books, as I really have no idea where to start, other than the market efforts I mentioned in Question 23. I have just paid for a course in Facebook marketing, which I can do at my own pace at home. I am hoping this will steer me in the right direction.
  26. How do you relax?
    I totally lose myself in my writing and find it the most relaxing thing I can do.
  27. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    Imagination lives in books,” is one I came up with in 2012. I write different messages to readers when I sign my books, but I think this is my favourite one.
  28. What is your favourite positive saying?
    “Life’s too short to sell yourself short.”
  29. What is your favourite book and why?
    It is too difficult to narrow it down to just one book, so I have chosen one I read recently titled “The Opposite of Maybe” written by Maddie Dawson. I love her no- nonsense way of writing. The story is not bogged down with overly descriptive text and moves at a pace that keeps me interested. Maddie makes me feel as though she is talking to me. I formed a strong connection with her characters and when I finished the book, I was sad it was over, as it left me with that feel good feeling I often experience at the end of a good movie and I didn’t want it to end.
  30. What is your favourite quote?
    “Every picture tells a story.”
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    That is another multiple choice question for me as I have enjoyed many movies. Being a romantic, I would have to say, Pretty Woman stands out amongst them as one of my all time favourites. Emotion and humour all bundled in together, gets me every time.
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    I have never really thought that far ahead in terms of my writing career. I would like to think by that stage of my life, I might have received the recognition I have been seeking for my work. However, writing is a pleasurable experience for me and something I can never imagine myself not doing. To be successful would be nice, but if it never happens I will just continue to write for the love of it.
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Life is not about having what we want…but more about wanting what we have. Contentment is the key to happiness and we all have to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
  34. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    I am going to go with the first person who popped into my head and that is John Lennon. As a writer, I could have said Beatrix Potter or Roald Dahl, but that would not be exactly truthful. As a twelve year old, back in 1964, John Lennon was my idol and as real to me as if I had known him personally. I was shattered when he died and even today at the age of 63, if it were possible, I would still jump at the chance to meet him.
  35. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    As a late bloomer when it comes to writing, knowing what I know today, I would have to say Fifty Shades of Grey would be high up there on my list of books with a difference. I am not saying I am in awe of the author or the calibre of her work, but she has managed to stumble upon overnight success due to the fact she was clever enough to come up with something different which appealed to millions of women around the world. There is no denying sex sells, but as an author, I would die of boredom writing it. I only made it through about 20 percent of the first fifty shades book, but I have to give E. L. James full marks for her ingenuity. The interesting thing is, I just had to go and look at the book cover to remind myself of the name of the author. What does that tell you?

Well, that is certainly a lot of information Cathie. I must say that I empathise with you regarding your writing and the need to get it down. It is rather addictive.

About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    With the help of two very talented illustrators, I have self published three hard cover picture books for children 3-8 and a chapter book for children 7-11. So far I have only written one novel for adults, I would class it as women’s fiction and I have a second one under way.
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    As I have mentioned earlier, my introduction to writing was purely accidental and led me to write my first children’s story. My natural talent for rhyming played a big part in my love of writing for children and from 2006 until 2013 I finished around twenty manuscripts. Four of which I self published. Towards the end of 2013 I decided to try my hand at writing for adults and I guess now I have achieved that, I feel I have written enough children’s story to last me a lifetime, but my future as a writer of women’s fiction has only just been born.
  3. How much research do you do?
    I did a lot of research on children’s books after I wrote the initial draft of my first story. Reading E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, taught me to give the characters a voice rather than just narrating the story myself. I have since learnt this is ‘showing rather than telling,’ and I have stuck with that style of writing ever since. I also spent a lot of time looking at successful children’s books as far as cover design etc goes. My adult novel is purely a work of fiction and came straight from my head and my heart, so little research was needed for most of that one. However, one of my characters was involved in the Vietnam war, which was a bit of a challenge for me as even though I lived through that era, I knew little about post traumatic stress disorder and the affect it could have on a relationship. Being predominately a children’s author, I tend to bury my head in the sand when it comes to the harsh realities of life and I certainly had to do my homework to gather the information I needed to make my story believable.
  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?
    Self publishing taught me a lot as I did it from scratch without the aid of a middle man. From start to finish the process only involved myself and my illustrator, who did the layout for me. Self publishing is easy and I will continue to do it, as it’s cost effective and a guarantee of getting my work out there, particularly with eBooks. However, I often think it would be wonderful to be picked up by a mainstream publisher who could put me on the map. And to be honest, that is the only real advantage I can see in having a publisher as opposed to self publishing.
  6. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    Joining author sites such as Goodreads, Book Country and Write-On etc. is a good way of getting book reviews, but when it comes to the sites that actually sell books, like Amazon and iTunes, I have not been at all successful in getting reviews for my work. It seems to me that if an author has a lot of computer savvy friends who read eBooks from these sites, they stand a good chance of getting reviews from them. However, whether those reviews can be relied upon as a truthful reflection of the author’s ability to write something worth reading is an unknown quantity. I am waiting in line for a review by April Wood, A Well Read Woman. I am still a long way down the‘coming reviews’ list, but fingers crossed when it happens, it will be a good one.
  7. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    If I could move my friends along into the twenty-first century and get them into reading eBooks, I might be in with a chance of getting reviews. However, I think a lot of women in my generation prefer to read printed books they buy from bookshops. Once the book is read, they are not likely to get onto an online bookshop to leave a comment on a book. Whereas with eBooks purchased through places like Amazon, they email to ask what you thought of the title, prompting the reader to leave a review. I think book reviews tend to narrow down the choices for a reader to a certain degree, as we can be easily swayed by those five star ratings and most of us will at least take the time to have a look. Samples are usually free to download, which makes the choice even easier.
  8. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    I think us authors have to be thick skinned and take whatever comes our way. I think any review, good or bad is worth having, as a particular book which might suit one person might not necessarily suit the next and the reviewer will no doubt point out the reasons why. We have to be open to criticism as we certainly cannot win them all.
  9. Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
    None that spring to mind, as mine are all fairly tragic.
  10. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    I am keeping an open mind on that one until I complete the FaceBook Marketing Course I mentioned earlier. I watched an hour and a half Webinar and that was interesting enough for to want to sign up. However, the thought of putting the theories into practice is a daunting one, as I find a lot of it overwhelming. Maybe it will be easier than I anticipate, but as long as I keep procrastinating over it, I will never know the answer to that.
  11. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Not at this stage, but that could change.
  12. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    Possibly if I had a clue how to do something like that on the internet, I probably would have, but my knowledge of these things is limited. However, in 2009 when my first children’s book was released, I was invited by internationally acclaimed author Peter Watt, who just happens to live in my area, to join him in the launch of his eleventh book published by Pan MacMillan titled To Touch the Clouds. Thanks to Peter and his crowd of fans, that worked extremely well for me at the time.
  13. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    I had another book launch in 2012 for my third children’s title, which was sponsored by the local newspaper and they gave me plenty of exposure. I also did an interview on local radio. We opened the launch to the public and had 130 adults and children in attendance. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from the local community and touched by their wonderful comments on my work.
  14. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    In 2009 with the release of my first title, I did around seventeen book signings, followed by another sixteen in 2010. These proved to be very successful, but the majority of them where with Angus and Robertson who had gone out of business by the time my third title was released in 2011.
  15. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    My biggest marketing mistake was spending $2,200 on a fifteen second TV ad that ran a few times a day for a month. The ad was appealing and covered a wide viewing area, but it was over before it begun. I think I would have been better off opting for half the amount of thirty second ads for the same price, as I never sold a single book. Very disappointing and something I would never do again in the future.
  16. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    Personally, I think they are a waste of money. That statement is backed up by a couple of authors I know personally who have gone down that road and felt the trailer made no difference to sales. It might be a good idea in theory, but I have to wonder how many people actually get to see it? They might work if it was possible to pay the movie theatres to run them.
  17. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    I have only tried it with my eBooks on iTunes, as in reality I am only giving away a piece of cyber space. As I had a total of 760 downloads I perceived this as a successful way to market my books. My logic behind this was if the people who read my book for free told their friends about it, then that would start a chain reaction, and once the ball was rolling I would slowly creep the price back up. Wrong again – I raised the price to $0.99 which is way below the normal price, and haven’t had a single sale since. I was doing much better when the books were priced at $4.99 and I’m not sure what to make of that.
  18. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    If you are happy to write for the love of writing, you are in for a wonderful creative experience. On the other hand, if you are pursuing it as a career and a way of making a lot of money, you could be sadly disappointed. It was once quoted to me by a very reliable source within the book industry, that only one in thirty thousand manuscripts gets picked up by a mainstream publisher. The odds are against us, but there is always an exception to the rule. Matthew Riley, started off as a self published author and his work certainly made a big impression on Pan MacMillan and they have been publishing his books ever since.
  19. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    From where I sit as a self published author, I see lots of bricks and mortar book stores closing down. It remains to be seen, whether eBooks will continue to keep readers happy, or will they eventually go back to reading the old fashioned way? Somehow, I doubt there is much chance of the latter happening as the convenience of reading on the tablet, far outweighs lugging print books around when travelling. I never believed I could be converted in the first place, but now I cannot imagine myself going back.
  20. You have certainly had some memorable experiences Cathie. I am still out on the ebooks Vs paperbacks myself, though many people are now opting for Kindles.

So now, some news About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My main character in my novel Piece by Piece is the bitch we all love to hate. Most of us have encountered this type of person in everyday life and consequently we can easily identify with her character. I thoroughly enjoyed writing Celeste’s dialogue and that of her Mother, Eleanor as they can be volatile at times, yet their one-on-one banter is often quite amusing. I have described them in the story as the master and apprentice of manipulation, which aptly describes their personalities.
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    I am around ten thousand words into a second novel in the women’s fiction genre. This one is a completely different storyline to my first novel and will probably take me into unfamiliar territory, as at times it is far more serious and a lot less humorous.
  3. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    It is a love story with an intriguing twist, but it is too early to comment on this one as yet. I had so much fun writing my first novel, I am not convinced this one appeals to me in the same way. I need my writing to be entertaining from my perspective and at the moment I am contemplating two totally different plots, so at this stage the story could go either way.
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    I have no plans to write a series in the women’s fiction genre. However, in 2006, after writing my first children’s story titled, Hammie Goes to School, I wrote ten consecutive rhyming stories in the series titled The Adventures of Hammie. Hammie Goes to School is currently available in hardcover and also an animated eBook. The other nine stories have never been illustrated, as I feel this is too big a project for a self published author to undertake.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    I have self published all my books with the help of my illustrator who did the layout. The books are available in print and also eBook versions.
  6. If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
    My eBooks were created by a company in India who were very professional and easy to work with.
  7. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    I have self published four children’s books working with two illustrators – both illustrating two books each for me. They also did the covers, and as I had a pre-conceived idea of what I wanted, we worked closely together to achieve an outcome we were both happy with.
  8. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    As it is the first point of impact from a prospective buyer’s point of view, I think the cover design is very important. They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and that is true, but for me the cover is what will make me pick up a book in the first place. Many a good story has probably been hiding behind a less than appealing cover and maybe missed the chance of being a best seller.
  9. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    I will continue to self publish my work as there is no point in writing if I never see my words in print. Maybe one day a mainstream publisher will take me on, but in the meantime I am not holding my breath until it happens.
  10. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
    Through my two websites at www.atomchildrensbooks.com and www.atomadultsbooks.com

There are samples of my work on these sites and also free samples of my eBooks are available to download from iTunes, Amazon etc.

Here is my author link to iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11

My Published books:

Book Title: Piece by Piece (only available in eBook format at this stage)
Genre: Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-9806617-8-1 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Adults Books
Author: Cathie Whitmore
Paperback: (Will be available approximately July/August 2015)
Distributor/Seller: eBook available through iTunes, Amazon, Kobo https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/piece-by-piece/id900424872?ls=1&mt=11
Book Cover by: Clarence Valley Review

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Book Title: Twinkle the Christmas Star (available in hardcover and eBook format with author narration.)
Genre: Children’s picture book
ISBN: 9780 980 661705 (Print version) and 9780 980 661767 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Children’s Books
Author: Cathie Whitmore
Illustrator: Cathy McCulloch Hardback:
eBook available through iTunes, Amazon, Kobo (iTunes version has author narration) https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11
Distributor/Seller: Through my website at www.atomchildrensbooks.com or my distributor Dennis Jones and Associates.
Book Cover by: Cathy McCulloch

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Book Title: Hammie Goes to School (available in hardcover and animated eBook format with narration.)
Genre: Children’s picture book
ISBN: 9780 980 661712 (Print version) and 9780 980 661750 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Children’s Books
Author: Cathie Whitmore
Illustrator: Cathy McCulloch Hardback eBook
Distributor/Seller: Through my website at www.atomchildrensbooks.com or my distributor Dennis Jones and Associates. eBook available through iTunes, Amazon, Kobo https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11
Book Cover by: Cathy McCulloch

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Book Title: Hammie’s Song (available only in eBook format)
Genre: Children’s sing-along picture book
ISBN: 9780 980 661743 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Children’s Books
Author: Song lyrics by Cathie Whitmore,
Illustrator: Cathy McCulloch
The song is performed by my nephew Liam Whan.
Distributor/Seller: Only available in eBook format through iTunes.
Book Cover by: Cathy McCulloch (adapted from the book Hammie Goes to School.)
Link to Hammie’s Song on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVvzNHv93HM

This is an overview of the story of Hammie Goes to School with song lyrics children can sing along to. Only available in eBook format from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11

The YouTube version is free to watch but cannot be downloaded. However, because the lyrics are not broken up over pages, I think this is a better format from the continuity of the song perspective.

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Book Title: Long Legs Daddy (available in hardcover and eBook format)
Genre: Children’s picture book
ISBN: 9780 980 661712 (Print version) and 9780 980 661736 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Children’s Books
Author: Cathie Whitmore
Illustrator: Sarajane Hinton
Hardback:eBook available through iTunes, Amazon, Kobo (iTunes version has author narration.) https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11 Distributor/Seller: Through my website at www.atomchildrensbooks.com or my distributor Dennis Jones and Associates.
Book Cover by: Sarajane Hinton

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Book Title: Pusshycat Tails (available in soft cover and eBook format)
Genre: Children’s chapter book
ISBN: 9780 980 661705 (Print version) and 9780 980 661774 (eBook)
Publisher: Atom Children’s Books
Author Cathie Whitmore
Illustrator: Sarajane Hinton Paperback
eBook available through iTunes, Amazon, Kobo https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11
Distributor/Seller: Through my website and my distributor Dennis Jones and Associates
Book Cover by: Sarajane Hinton

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Website: atomchildrensbooks.com and atomadultsbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cathie.whitmore https://www.facebook.com/atomchildrensbooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CathieWhitmore
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/atomchildrensbo/
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Cathie+Whitmore Amazon
Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B6KR7TK
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5397164.Cathie_Whitmore
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Cathie+Whitmore&rh=n%3A2490359051%2Ck%3ACathie+Whitmore
Author Link iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cathie-whitmore/id585982035?mt=11

This is the link to my TV ad which I put on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uIRIyBmyXk
Link to Hammie’s Song on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVvzNHv93HM

 

 

 

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An interview with Kerrie Wearing

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Welcome to Author Talk.

Today I have the wonderful honour of interviewing Kerrie Wearing whom I have known for many years. She has graciously taken time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions by me.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I am a soul coach, a medium and author of A New Kind of Normal: Unlock the Medium Within. I am passionate about helping people to live their Soul Purpose knowing they are One with Spirit and coaching Mediumship practitioners to achieve high levels of integrity, professionalism and accuracy of Mediumship through strong foundations with Spirit.

I am also founder and managing director of inSpirit Magazine and Publishing.  A high quality magazine offering Spiritual solutions for Soul centred living. With over 15 years of professional experience, I am highly regarded within the international spiritual community and am currently working on my second book, Wisdom of the Soul: How to live life created with love & inSpiration made simple, due for release in April 2015.

I live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, two young adult children, two dogs and live a secret life as a Country Music fan.

Oh Kerrie, I adore Country Music as well. Thank you for your introduction, now to find out more About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    I have a goal to help a million people to live knowing they are the Divine Spirit within.  My books serve that goal so I can provide education and help people come to new understandings about their mediumship, their Soul and how they can live from the Soul everyday. 
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I have owned and operated inSpirit Magazine for nine years, so my writing career really began then, though I began writing my first book, A New Kind of Normal; Unlock the Medium Within in 2010.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    Lorna Byrne, Neale Donald Walsch, John Holland.  For me though, its not just about their writing, it is about the work they contribute to this world and their truth which also inspires me when I see work from many not so well known authors and the contributors to inSpirit Magazine. 
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    My books are non-fiction so there really is no lead character, though I’d love to see Rhys Witherspoon or Rachel McAdams play me if the book was turned into a film. 
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    WOW, I have to think about this one.  Finishing, LOL.  Seriously though, for me its receiving the inspiration and life experience that comes about to support unfolding the book.  For example, I’ll have the perfect client come along at exactly the right time their story is needed for the book.  Or I’ll get a dream to begin the next chapter with.  This support from the Spirit world, is there for me without me seeking it out, yet I am so grateful for it and know that my job is to keep my awareness high, as I’m not the only one writing my books. 
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    About a year, and then another 4-6months for editing, design and publication.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    Yes.  When its an emotional block I will journal about how I’m feeling or why I’m resisting.  Other times I’ll leave it be for a little while and take time out to relax about it all.  Sometimes, you do need to recognise that its not actually a block, but a stop sign that says “hey, you need some life experience before you can continue”.  That happened for me writing A New Kind of Normal: Unlock the Medium Within.  I got help writing a few months before I was due to go overseas in 2011.  I felt that trip would provide some life experience needed to finish the book, which is exactly what happened.  Writing is a journey in itself and it does help to recognise that. 
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    Yes I do read a fair bit and I’m even kept busy with book reviews for inSpirit.  My favourite authors are generally my heroes in the self help and mediumship arena as I mentioned earlier, though outside this I enjoy an autobiography, Harry Potter, Twilight and I recently really enjoy the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. There are a couple of authors that I will buy any of their work and that’s John Holland, Peggy McColl and Tony Stockwell. Right now I am keen to discover some new books on business and spirituality.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Physical books for sure.  
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    Right this minute, I’m in between books having just finished reading Psychic Development, Basics of Working with Spirit by Leanne The Barefoot Medium. 
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I do have someone that edits my books.  This is something that you do need to outsource, if you want to maintain a high standard for your work. 
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Yes, I  let it stew but generally only if I’m trying to start a new chapter and only for a week or two.  Any longer than that, I run the risk of disconnecting from the project which is not ideal.  Unless of course, I sense the break is about needing more life experience which I mentioned earlier. 
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    Taking my writing to books really came about because I felt I had so much knowledge about Mediumship that needed to be out in the world, so the information could help others.  My work really offers different perspectives and thoughts compared to the general mainstream teachings of Mediumship and now living from the Soul with my new book Wisdom of the Soul, that it just felt like a natural progression of my work as a teacher. And I’ve since learnt, it’s a very Sagitarian thing to do.
  14. Why do you write?
    To educate, inform and help others by being of service in this way.  Secondly, I really do love writing and seeing myself create something from nothing. 
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    Part-time as I have many aspects to my work.  I prefer to write in the morning when my energy levels are optimum and it may only be 2-3 days a week.   
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    No, no goal such as this.  I’m ok with accepting however long it takes me to write a book.  There is no urgency to my process as long as it keeps moving forward.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    My process is a combination of longhand, which helps with my inspiration and channelling.  I then write maybe 3-4 pages and then retype these into the computer which then allows me to elaborate,  reword and improve the structure if needed.   
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    Because I write from a deep part of my Soul, I have found there is a soul purpose and plan to the books I am writing.  My new book which is out this month, Wisdom of the Soul: How to live life created with Love & inspiration made simple is the first in a series of 3 books.  I do have a sense of what the next 2 books are about, though I also know writing for book 2 doesn’t begin until late 2016/17. So my ideas really come from my own learning, soul evolution and how I live my life with the idea that other people need the knowledge I gain to help them.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
    I will generally work an outline starting with a Soul intention for the book and an outline of chapters.  I do however allow for the flow of synchronicity and inspiration as I move through the writing journey.  I see it as the book has its own Soul purpose for being, and it is my job to facilitate that into the world as best I can, so I often need to listen intuitively to what is needed and follow that path. 
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    Hugely!  When I encountered my spiritual awakening in 1996 I never dreamed I would end up writing books or own a magazine.  These days I know that the Soul is a creative energy, so we all are capable of evolving creatively in our own unique ways.  Mediumship, Writing and Publishing is my way.  I can wait to see where I am creatively in a year, two or even five years from now.  How exciting! 
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Definitely showing up to write.  If I don’t schedule it like any other appointment, it won’t happen. 
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Wisdom of the Soul: How to live life created with love & inspiration was an absolute JOY to write.  In fact, I learnt and evolved as I wrote this book and the preparation and writing of this book has changed my life, so I know it will help to change lives of all who read it.  Thank you for asking this question, because I am connecting with so much appreciation and gratitude for being the keeper of the wisdom within this book and I cannot tell you how much I am blessed and honoured to serve Spirit in this way.  Thank you.
    This book really just flowed with ease and grace, which really is a reflection of life once you attain the principles of the wisdom contained within the book.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    Generally I market myself as the brand and my books are part of the offering. Internet marketing is core to my marketing.  And now that I’m finished writing for a time, as is getting out to some personal appearances with the books.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    No I don’t, my financial resources currently do not extend this far.
  25. Would I use a PR agency?
    I’d certainly consider it though I’d make sure there was a strategic plan involved.
  26. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Marketing your book begins the minute you decide you are going to write a book.  If you don’t already then you need to work towards building your tribe, your platform so that when the time comes people will want your book and what you offer.  Secondly, any publishing house that you may submit your manuscript to including my own inSpirit Publishing will factor this in when considering publishing your book.  Every aspiring author needs to be creating the platform through which they sell their books and products as much as they need for writing.  To be honest, marketing is where you spend most of your time no matter what your business is. 
  27. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    No part of my writing time is dedicated to marketing.  Marketing has its own part of my schedule and this is a far larger portion of my time as your marketing needs to be consistent and for me I am marketing more than my books. 
  28. How do you relax?
    Country Music, reading, live concerts, the beach, walks and a cuppa. 
  29. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Ghandi 
  30. What is your favourite book and why?
    Besides my own of course, right now it is Angels in my Hair by Lorna Byrne.  Her story is fascinating, she has a psychic ability beyond what is commonly experienced and the energy that comes through the book is something all authors should aim for.  It is life changing. 
  31. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    With another book published, teaching and mentoring globally with a home base near the beach.  Continuing to support Mediums and their work as together we use Mediumship to help evolve world consciousness. 
  32. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Love yourself as much as you give and love others. 
  33. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Keith Urban, besides my love for Country Music he has been an inspiration with his career for over 20 years. 

Wow, all of that is a great deal to digest Kerrie. You sound so dedicated to your work, it is a great privilege to be able to interview you. Now, to move onto more About Your Books

  1. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    One of the main advantages is the freedom you have to keep the book true to the work and honour your truth.
  2. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    Absolute must and facebook has worked best in the past but that is changing.
  3. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Be sure to drive all Social Media traffic back to your website and remember your marketing is about building relationships, not selling.
  4. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    No, but I did reach out to contacts and people I know who can help in that way, such as Good Health Magazine and yes it all helps no matter how small.

Thank you, now, for the best part, About Your Current Book

  1. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    Wisdom of the Soul: How to live life created with love & inspiration made simple provides people with clear and simple daily tools to live life with greater soul awareness, while aligning their soul vibration to love.  It takes spirituality which can often be made more complicated than it needs to and makes it simple and easily integrate in your everyday life.
  2. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    Yes, available in paperback and will soon be available in ebook.
  3. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?Absolutely, it needs to be visually appealing to your market but also support what the books message is.
  4. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    I’m independently publishing this book through my publishing company inSpirit Publishing, which I established to also publish the work of other MBS authors who need support in this way.
  5. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
    Through my website and my blog at www.kerriewearing.com

Please list all of your published books here.
Book Title: A New Kind of Normal: Unlock the Medium Within
Genre: MBS
Publisher: inSpirit Publishing
Author: Kerrie Wearing
Paperback / Hardback:  Paperback and Ebook
Distributor/Seller: Amazon, ebook stores and soon available nationally through your local MBS shop
Book Cover by: Kerrie Wearing

Book Title: Wisdom of the Soul: How to live life created with love & inspiration made simple
Genre: MBS
Publisher: inSpirit Publishing
Author: Kerrie Wearing
Paperback / Hardback:  Paperback
Distributor/Seller: Amazon, Book depository and soon available nationally through your local MBS shop
Book Cover by: Kerrie Wearing

Other Details about You.

Website: www.kerriewearing.com
Blog: as above
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kerriewearingmedium
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KerrieWearing
Amazon Author Page: Kerrie Wearing

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

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She loves to escape and relax in her own books.

An Interview with Kellie Wallace

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful honour of interviewing Kellie Wallace

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My father used to read to me when I was a child so I guess that birthed my love of writing. I wrote my first ‘series’ when I was 12 and didn’t write again until I was 17. In 2015, I’ll have six books published. I’m aiming to release one or two every year. My ultimate dream is to find that one agent, sell that one book and catapult my writing career. I can only dream, right?

Wow! That is so inspirational Kellie. I wish you all the best for your dreams and aspirations! Now I want to find out more about you

About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    My ultimate dream is to find an agent, sell a book to the big six and live off my writing. I don’t want to be ‘famous’, but I would like to be well known.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I’ve been writing professionally for a few years, but I’ve been writing as a hobby since I was a child.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    Tami Hoag
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    That’s a good question. I have two books coming out in April. Only one I can envision actors. Garrett Hedlund would be perfect for my male MC for my dystopian.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    I don’t think there’s anything easy about writing but I think once the final proof is at the editor, I can breath a moment of relief.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    Lately its been taking me over 6 months, but I’m hoping to get that down to 3 months
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I get it all the time. My advice is to step back and a take a moment away from your work. This can be a few hours or a month. I go for walks, start other projects and back away for a little bit.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I don’t read as much as I should, but I’m very inspired by US author Tami Hoag.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    You can’t beat a paperback but for convenience e-books.
  10. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    Once I finish a book, I edit it about 3 times, then head it over to beta readers. They are amazing!
  11. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    I’m very impatient. As soon as I finish a book, I go straight to editing it.
  12. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I can’t really pinpoint it, but it’s always been my passion. A few years ago, I knew I really wanted to do this for a living.
  13. Why do you write?
    I don’t have an answer to that question! I guess I write to escape. I get to travel and live other lives in my books.
  14. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    I work full time, so I write during my spare time.
  15. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I write on a computer and rely on my phone to write down notes if I think of them when Im away from the computer.
  16. Where do the your ideas come from?
    This is probably my most asked question. I get ideas from the smallest things, from movies, tv shows, other books, an advertisement. Once I get an idea, I like to sit on it and then stem the book from there.
  17. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    A bit of both. I get the general plot and then write it. I usually come up with things as I go. If I haven’t thought of anything passed chapter three, I don’t panic yet. It will eventually come to me.
  18. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    My creativity has changed so much since my first book. I put it down to my getting older, reading other books, meeting writers and exposing myself to the industry.
  19. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Research!
  20. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Research.
  21. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I market my books through blog posts and social media. I find this is how readers search and locate possible books to read. This way they can find an author they like and become loyal to their work.
  22. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    Possibly.
  23. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Know your audience and don’t spam people. You will put them off.
  24. How do you relax?
    I write!
  25. What is your favourite book and why?
    Cry Wolf by Tami Hoag. It changed my life. Her writing is exceptional and it ignited my love for Southern America. I think I read it 40 times over ten years.
  26. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Hopefully with an agent and a great book deal with the big 6
  27. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Be positive and work hard
  28. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Rita Hayworth because she epitomes the 1940s and was a goddess.

I love your straight forward approach to your writing. You seem so unaffected by all the hype. You are a prolific reader, if you continue the way you want to be, you will have many books on the shelves. Now, moving on to learn more about

About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    I can’t stick to one genre, but the two I write most are historical fiction and fantasy.
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    I love anything to do with the 1940s and have a good knowledge on it so I like to express that passion and interest in my books.
  3. How much research do you do?
    Lots. My latest book was set during the London Blitz so I had to do a lot of research and read people’s accounts to ensure my book was relevant.
  4. Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    No
  5. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    I once read an article from an author who said if you get negative reviews, you’re officially a professional author.
  6. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    I use social media for promotion and I’ve found that has helped with sales. I use Facebook and my website. Being on social media allows my readers to interact with me and keep up to date with my published works.
  7. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    Post on a community site.
  8. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    Do not spam your readers, it will put them off.
  9. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    I have developed a good working relationship with a book store near me where I’ve given away a few copies of my books. I think it’s a good way to expand your brand and interact with your readers. I don’t do what I do to get paid – I do to write.
  10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Work hard and don’t let rejection dampen your spirit
  11. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    Digital seems to be the dominant medium nowadays and I think its here to stay.

Kellie, I can’t wait to find out more about your current book. I must look for your books in my bookshop.

About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My character Alex Locke from my New Adult dystopian Edge of Tomorrow is a leader with a good heart. He lives in a post apocalyptic world where tyranny rules. He loves his family and friends but only wants the best for them. I wanted to create a character who readers can relate to and root for when things go tough. I’m proud of how he turned out.
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    My first science fiction. Its a very fun medium to write. A lot of creativity freedom.
  3. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    The title is pending but my sci fi is about an assassin who begins to question his belief when he kills his latest target. Its a work in progress.
  4. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    I have very talented book cover designers!
  5. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    Definitely. If a cover is good quality, its like a beacon. It will draw potential readers to your work.
  6. How are you publishing this book and why?
    Traditional. I like having the support of a publisher and their tools to aid my writing career. (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
  7. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
    They can check out my website at http:///kelliewallacebooks.com

Thank you Kellie for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. I really appreciate it. I wish you all the best for the future.

Please list all of your published books here.

  • Darkness Before Dawn
  • Skylark
  • To Lean On Falling Men
  • EarthWalker
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Her Sweetest Downfall
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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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