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An Interview with Emily Chantiri

Emily’s Bio

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background? About You as a Writer

Emily Chantiri is a Sydney journalist and author of five books including three best sellers.   She has interviewed many international and Australian successful identities, including Andrew Forrest, Napoleon Perdis, Simmone Logue and Geoff Huegill. Emily spent five years as reporter at Fairfax media working the Australian Financial Review and BRW. Today she is a contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and a number of magazines, including Marie Claire and Good Health Magazine and The News Daily.

Emily writes articles with a particular focus on work, money, finance, health and life balance. She also writes on travel, property and general business. She has appeared on numerous radio programs and on air in shows such as, A Current Affair, Channel 7 Sunrise morning show and has featured as a panel.

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?To continue writing always.
  2. How long have you been writing? For more than twenty five years.
  3. Which writers inspire you? There are too many to list. Writers of fiction inspire me by taking me to places where I would not normally go. Non-fiction writers inspire me when I learn something new or profound from their expertise.
  4. What is the easiest thing about writing? Anyone in the world can write. No matter where they come from, how old they are or what their belief.
  5. How long on average does it take you to write a book? I have published 5 books, 2 of them have been co-authored. On average, it takes a year. I write in between my journalism and freelance writing work.
  6. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Generally no, though it is a fear I have. When I am ready to write a book, I do find the words come, but not without some challenges. The biggest block for me is that I write everyday and for a living; this does lead to fatigue. The best thing I find is to take a short break or time out from writing.
  7. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors. Yes, I tend to go through genres and I do not have a favourite author. There are too many good books.
  8. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books? Easy, traditional.
  9. What & whose book/s are you reading at present? Second Life by
  10. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I always use a professional proofreader or when publishing via a publisher, they have their own.
  11. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? At times I have had time away, although only a few weeks. Most times I am on a deadline to deliver a book, so I always work towards that deadline.
  12. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? From a very young age, I knew I wanted to write. There were no writers or creative people in my family, this made it difficult to pursue a career as a writer. But, luck was on my side when I started working for an advertising agency, where I learned the ropes as a copywriter. The rest is history. I’ve written and continue to write for great publications such as, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Marie Claire Magazine, ABC Life etc, BRW magazine and many more.
  13. Why do you write? It is innate. I do not know what else I’d do.
  14. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I’m currently working part-time. I prefer to write in the earlier part of the day until lunch.
  15. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal? When I am working on a book, yes I do. It’s important to set goals. If you have a publisher, then you need to have goals to reach your deadlines.
  16. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away? Computer.
  17. Where do your ideas come from? Mainly from being around people and reading.
  18. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I believe I am getting better all the time. There is still a lot more room for improvement. This is what I love about writing; you are never done! There is always something to write about and to stretch your writing techniques. I’ve been fortunate to write across different areas, non-fiction, journalism and a memoir. This mean I challenge myself to adapt to that style of writing.
  19. What is the hardest thing about writing? Sometimes it is a lack of motivation and inspiration. When I’m on a roll, it’s great and the words come through.
  20.  What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I’m about to embark on the next in series of a book I wrote some years back called, The Savvy Girl’s Money Book. My book was published by Murdoch books and it became a best-seller. Murdoch books has been taken over by Allen and Unwin, this means introducing myself to a new team and new people who were not part of Savvy Girl’s Money book.
  21. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?  Thankfully, most of publicity has been done by my publishers. One book I wrote, The Voice of Intuition which I self-published, I was able to get a few articles/reviews in some magazines.
  22. Would you or do you use a PR agency? A PR agency could really add value, but they are incredibly expensive. I’d need a guarantee that I can get the money which I invested in PR firm back in book sales.
  23. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? If you want your book to be a success – you need to put as much time in marketing as you do in writing
  24. How do you relax? I start my mornings with a walk and coffee and most mornings I will also do a short meditation before work.
  25.  What is your favourite motivational phrase. Just do it
  26. What is your favourite quote? Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Meher Baba
  27. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time? In terms of writing, hopefully having another 2 books published.

 

About Your Books

  1.  What genre are your books? Women and Money. Although I have authored one book on Intuition
  2. What draws you to this genre? Women haven’t always been very savvy when it comes to money (this includes myself) I started exploring ways to help women and in turn I helped myself.
  3.  How much research do you do? Plenty. I do as much research as I do writing.
  4.  Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom? Yes, the first book, The Money Club was co-authored. I had the idea for the book. It became a best-seller. It’s a book I am very proud of.
  5. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around. I have had four books published through the main publishers, Random House, Wiley Books and Murdoch books. Publishers do earn their keep. They take care of the distribution, publicity, design etc. I’ve only self-published one book, The Voice of Intuition. While I was able to get publicity and distribution, it was a lot of work. Today, my preference is for a publisher to publish my books.
  6. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I send a press release to the direct person. It’s important to do homework and get the right emails. I find it’s important to send a lot of press-releases if you want to get a review.
  7. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Thankfully, most of the reviews have been very positive.
  8. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you? I’m still yet to really understand if social media works.
  9. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? My publishers have always sent the press release to the relevant media. However, I did write one for the The Voice of Intuition.
  10. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? No.
  11. Do you think that giving books away free works and why? I tried this with the Voice of Intuition. I can’t say I saw any benefit in giving books away for free. I do believe you have to send free books to media/social media representatives if you want to get a review.
  12. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Never lose site of your dream and why you’re writing the book.

 

About Your Current Book

  1. What are you working on at the minute? Another in the series of the Savvy Girl’s Money Book.
  2. How are you publishing this book and why? The Savvy Girl’s Money Book was originally published by Murdoch Books. Since that time, Murdoch books have been taken over by Allen and Unwin. I trust that Allen and Unwin will consider my next book proposal in the Savvy series. (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
  3. How can readers discover more about you and you work?  www.emilychantiri.com

Please list all of your published books here.

FIVE BOOKS.
Book Title:

  • The Money Club,
  • Financially Fit for Life,
  • The Savvy Girl’s Money Book,
  • Every Day is Mother’s Day
  • The Voice of Intuition.

Some examples of Emily’s work:

Graziarich list (2)     Declutter-WellBeing

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 Lewis Harrison

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Lewis Harrison of “Ask Lewis” fame.

  1.  What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To make a difference in the lives of others through motivation, inspiration and information.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    49 years
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    Lao Tzu, Suzuki Roshi, Alan Watts
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    Bruce Willis
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Writing
  6.  How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    30 days
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block?
    No
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    Mostly Wikipedia and online research. I.B. Singer
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Traditional
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    “Genius” about the physicist Richard Feynman By James Gleick
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    Someone else
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Sometimes
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I knew at 10 years old that that was what I wanted to be. My mother gave me a copy of “Writers Market” and that was it.
  14. Why do you write?
    I can’t help myself.
  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 12 hours a day
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I work on 20 books at a time. ½ hour daily per book.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    In dreams, epiphanies, debates with friends about ideas.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    All flow in fiction. From an outline for non-fiction
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have less faith in what people consider facts. And look for the contrarian view.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    For me…spelling and grammar
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Always being drawn to think out of the box.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Speaking and Social networking. Publishing is radically changing
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    I would
  25.  Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    FB, Twitter, study how to market books through social networking
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    I post what I write as blogs so there is not much division
  27. How do you relax?
    Writing, watch a movie each night, cook, argue about politics and economic with my wife
  28. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    “If you live in the material world the dark side is your agent and gets a 25% cut of everything.” This gets me through challenges
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    All you need is love
  30.  What is your favourite book and why?
    The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu. Pure mystic and practical wisdom
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    House of Games. It is all Game Theory and I love game theory
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Doing the same but wiser and richer
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Don’t change a thing.
  34. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Buckminster Fuller. He understood what was really going on
  35. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    The Bible. Too many contradictions. Jesus got it right. The Apostle didn’t

Well, thank you About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    Self Help, Personal Development, Human Potential, Alternative Medicine, Political Science, economics, World Affairs
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    My passion for ideas
  3.  How much research do you do?
    Large amounts
  4.  Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    Yes. D. B Lawrence, Laura Jones
  5.  Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
    One was my business partner, the other a student collaborator. No effect on sales
  6.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    Unless I get a large advance I can do what a publisher can do unless they have a strong private list of buyers
  7. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have people post reviews on Amazon
  8. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    Yes. I give free copies to those who will review the book
  9. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    They matter
  10.  Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? I often do free life coaching. Some of my students begin study groups in library book clubs and use my books
  11. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    The absolute future is in social media. I use it extensively
  12. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Face, Google plus, twitter, You Tube, Instagram
  13. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    No but I would
  14. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? Yes. I also have my own show on an NPR affiliated station WIOX 91.3 FM. It streams at WIOXRadio.org 4-6 on Thursdays (EST)
  15. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    Giving talks
  16. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    Giving away free copies to the wrong people
  17. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    They are good
  18. Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
    I will create one
  19.  Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Sometimes
  20. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Read great writers and your own writing will naturally improve
  21. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    On-line

Thank you Lewis. I have seen your inspiring posts on both Facebook and

Finally, we’d all like to hear mAbout Your Current Book

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
He is a Trickster who can see things going on physically that everyone seems to miss.

 What are you working on at the minute?
Filling out this questionnaire.

The Official Barter Book

There is Hope (About mental illness)

Extraordinary Days in an Ordinary Life: Biographical Short Stories

 Book of Power and Influence

Make Choices, Not Excuses: Tools, Techniques and Strategies for Solving Your Problem: Done

 Healing Depression Naturally  (an update)

 The Trickster Project: (Alternative Title – “The Noble Trickster Guru’s Guide to Creating a Functional Reality” Done

Connecting the Dots: Conspiracy Theories and 1984: Is Orwell’s Reality Here?

 Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: Systematic Strategies for Prospering in a Chaotic World

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: 200 Visionaries, Heroes and Game Changers

The Visionary Project: Tools, Tips and Strategies for Thinking Like a Visionary

That was Zen, This is Tao: Teachings,  Stories, and Koans refitted for the 21st Century

Understanding the Middle East- DONE

Living the Good Life: How to Live Like the 1% When You Are Part of the 99% DONE

The Problem Solvers (A novel about anonymous eccentrics who belong to a secret society of problems solvers). Game Theory

 The Tao te Ching: A Micro Analysis on the Writings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu with additional

 Lucid Dreams: A Stream of Consciousness Novel 

Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
Some are. I have a series of e-books called“Ask Lewis”

Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
I use outside vendors

If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
Fiverr. I try many grogs before i find my prince

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
Fiverr

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Sometimes

How are you publishing this book and why?
Both

How can readers discover more about you and you work? www.asklewis.com, www.chihealer.com or just call me at 212-724-8782

Please list all of your published books here.

  • Massageworks – 1983 (Co-Authored with D. B. Lawrence (Putnam Books)
  • Helping Yourself with Natural Healing – 1987 (Prentice- Hall)
  • Making Fats and Oils Work for You -1990 (Avery Books)
  • 30-Day Body Purification – 1994 (Prentice-Hall)
  • The Complete Fats and Oils Book – 1996 (Avery Books)
  • Hands-on-Healing: Massage for Total Health the Shaman’s Way – 1998 (Kensington Books)
  • Master Your Metabolism – 2003 (Source Books)
  • Healing Depression Naturally – 2004 (Kensington Books)
  • Wealth Without Cash: Barter, Reciprocal Trade, and Alternative Economics – 2005 (Self Published Manual)
  • Live Like a Millionaire on $17,000 a Year – 2009 (Blooming Twig Books)
  • Harrison’s Massage Manual: A Book of Multicultural Approaches to Touch for Advanced Massage Practitioners and Mental Health Professionals – 2013 ((Self Published)
  • Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times (Self Published 2014)
  • Building Your Business in the New Digital Economy (Motivational Press 2014)
  • Gamification for Business (Motivational Press 2014)

Website: www.AskLewis.com
Blog:www.chihealer.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/realuguru/?ref=br_rs
https://www.facebook.com/askLewis
https://www.facebook.com/LewisHarrisonsNaturalHealingAcademy/?ref=br_rs
Twitter: Twitter@AskLewisH
Google: https://plus.google.com/100989044867743006979
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Harrison/e/B001H6W6Y4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1427990374&sr=8-2
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lewisharrison1

Do you have a Video link you would like included in this published interview? Please paste it here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY-dKQme7nZPDT2x-FMODsg

(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)

The second photo is with 100 year old “professor” Irwin Cory one of the great comedians of the 20th century and a mentor of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin

The third photo is what is use for media

The fourth photo is with Spaulding Grey a pioneer in Perfromance Art

The forth photo is with the great Talmudic scholar – Rabbi Mintz

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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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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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