A Perfect 10 with Sherry Rentschler

A Perfect 10 with Sherry Rentschler

This week we sit down with author Sherry Rentschler to discuss her work and what motivates her to write.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster, Robert Rayner, C.C. Naughton

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


Sherry_Rentschler__014smDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

I write every day whether I feel like it or not, always beginning with a few exercises to wake the muse. Some days I can’t get the material out of my head fast enough. Other days I feel as though I’m trying to create the world from scratch. Those hard days I wonder what I’m doing but they pass. In the end, I am better when I write and miserable when I don’t. I’m exhausted only when I don’t.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

Yes, I have. Currently my name Sherry is a nickname so technically it qualifies as a pseudonym. I’ve also published as a few other names, small works. I think a secondary name works best if you are in a profession where you don’t want your real name to cross with your writing (say a lawyer who writes about serial killers or vampires), or if you write childrens books and perhaps also erotica, you need different names. Otherwise, some do it trying to pick a memorable name. I think if you are Mr. Mxyzptlk that’s original. But the only thing that makes you memorable, no matter the name, is the story. So, write good stories and worry less about the name.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

My dad used to say that having a big ego wasn’t conceit if you really were as good as you said (or thought) you were. But that most of us were just full of hubris. I think the more successful you are, the more humble you should be. Because fame is fleeting. Let your fans swell with pride. You just keep on doing good work and remember where you came from.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

In a cover for a book. First impressions are critical. Pay for the best and stand out from a crowd.

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

On any given day, I may answer this differently. One day success is being a best seller (which I am not). One day it is getting lots of reviews (which I need). One day it might be praise by another author (which makes me geek out). One day it may be winning an award (which I have). But the biggest success to me was realizing my dream of being published. Now I have six books. I don’t have a national best seller or a huge following but I voice is clear and out there. And my books are in the Library of Congress. I am immortal. Can you beat that for success?

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

Poetry requires little research. It is the wellspring of the heart and mind and our environment. It simply is. For my fictional memoir, it was spending time going back and examining the popular culture, politics, music, fashion, morals, world events – it was daunting sometimes. It took me years. For my fiction, because the best fiction is rooted in fact (when you write urban fantasy), it is easier to lock in on a time period and then simply recreate the style and idea of the time. A few weeks, or a month or two. Historical fiction is probably the most daunting and I am avoiding it because I fear I would get lost in the research and you’d have to send a posse out for me!

How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

Characters usually find me. When I have to create a new one, I sometimes troll baby names or famous persons in ancient history. I try very hard to avoid cliché names. For example, when introducing a new, male vampire I run away from names like Vlad, Stephen, Dimitri, Nicholas, Xavier, Marius, Ambrose, Greggario, because they’ve been overdone and make my stories seem trite. I try to pick a name that reflects heritage. Sometimes when developing traits, a name will jump out to me. I try it and it feel comfortable (and my character doesn’t change it midway through the story) then it’s golden. I have regretted names in some short stories. Those tales await the rewrite!

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Lovemaking or dying. Both can get you into trouble with overworked actions or stereotypical descriptions. I read a vampire book where every time the woman had sex with her vampire lover (about every 30 pages in a 400-page book), “his velvet touch and black eyes seduced her.” Ugh. No matter the scene always go for the unexpected. Be real, even in fiction, be genuine. Readers will respond to you when you give them honesty and originality. And use a variety in your language. Language is a beautiful thing that waits the deft hand of the writer to paint a picture. Diversify the colors and let language do the work it was intended to do.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

1-John-WayneJohn Wayne. When I was young, he was my idol because I knew he was a patriot. His movies embodied the standards I believed in. I know he was a gun-toting, chain smoking fella with narrow views but he still holds sway in my memories.

2-Katharine-Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn. A ground breaker for working women. She was ahead of her time and I would love to talk to her about the world today and get her advice.

3-Abraham-Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln. to ask him how he overcame one of the harshest prejudices this country ever faced and how he dealt with a divergent country.

4-maya angelou

Maya Angelou. a poet, an educator, and civil rights activist. She wrote with logic and humor and her insights into people are invaluable. I would love to sit down and listen to her philosophy about women today and how to capture it in my writing.

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

Live, in person sales. Online publicity is good but for me, so far, I sell more in person than on any other platform. It is difficult to pitch online when you are not a bestseller. I wish more successful authors would mentor and put forth others. I try to do that for as many as I can but this isn’t a shared philosophy (especially between traditionally published vs Indie published). But I recommend every writer use every medium available, and concentrate on three to five online areas where you have the most visibility. Remember that social media is about being social first, and pushy about you last. Authors tend to forget that.

Sherry’s Books:

BreakingTheGlassSlipper-2My newest release is a fictional memoir, Breaking the Glass Slipper. The true story of how I broke down my fairy-tale ideas about sex and love, went a little crazy, and finally discovered that happily ever after really can happen to you once you find yourself. The story is haunting, funny, insightful, and honest plus appeals to baby boomers or today’s young women.

TheGypsyThorn

And check out the new Gothic urban fantasy novella with the same vampire from my first novella, Midnight Assassin – A Tale of Lust and Revenge. The new book, released in May 2017, is a prequel to a vampire series (anticipated to begin Nov 2017).

 You can find information about all my books on my website:

http://www.sherryrentschler.com

While there, you can read my blog, sign up for my newletter, click links to purchase books, request a signed, print copy, find out where I’ll be signing, or send me a personal message.

Or purchase my books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/author/sherryrentschler

Barnes and Noble (includes Nook for Paper Bones and By Light Betrayed)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Sherry+Rentschler%22?_requestid=482621

Connect with Sherry:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSherryRentschler

Twitter:  @poetphoenix

 

 

 

A Perfect 10 With C.C. Naughton

A Perfect 10 With C.C. Naughton

This week we sit down with author C.C. Naughton to discuss her work and what motivates her to write.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster, Robert Rayner

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


viking profileDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

A bit of both. I have medical issues that make the physical process taxing, but mentally, it’s exciting to make up worlds and talk to imaginary people.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

C.C. Naughton is a pen name. I decided to use one for a few reasons, the primary one being that my legal surname is very common (especially in my genre), and I didn’t want my work to be hidden in an author search.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

I would imagine it might help in the marketing process, but could impede the critique/editing process, especially if the writer was not able to respond appropriately to constructive criticism.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I self-publish, and the best investment I have made is to pay an independent artist (Kayla Matt, who was interviewed previously) to draw my book covers. We worked together to get them right, so they really reflect the feel of my world and story.

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

Financially, it would be nice to be self-sustaining via writing, and that has not yet happened. More importantly to me, I want people to enjoy what I write, to be inspired or amused by it, and that’s been achieved, if my fans are to be believed. 😉

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

I am currently writing two series. The first is set in a fairyland of my own creation – there is no research involved per se, but I have long been interested in fairy-tales, folklore, and mythology, so some of my previous reading has been incorporated into my stories in various forms. My other series consists of fairy-tale retellings set in a fictionalized version of Viking-age Iceland, so I am constantly researching the era and finding new things to add into my stories. It’s an on-going love, and has been for about 15 years. I use sources of all sorts: re-enactment groups, archeological finds, language videos, folklore books, the Sagas, and I have personally tried some of the crafts of the era to get a feel for how they actually were done.

How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

My fairy names are just two words mashed together, and I play with combinations until I find something I like. My Viking-era names are primarily sourced from a Nordic names wiki, using Old Norse names when possible, and Icelandic when I can’t find one I like in the Old Norse. I try to choose a name that has a meaning which reflects some aspect of the character’s personality or role in the story. I don’t have any naming regrets, although some of my early drafts have characters named differently than what they finally ended up with.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I don’t like to write sex scenes or “battle” scenes, but they are also not a part of the stories I am interested in writing, so it works out.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

1-leif

Leif Eiríksson (or a contemporary). I’d want to know everything he could tell me about Iceland during his lifetime, such as daily life, what the clothing was like, etc. Very little is definitively known, and it’s mostly via grave finds, extrapolation, or from accounts written by people outside the culture or in a much later time period.

2-grimm

The Brothers Grimm. I’m curious about their process — the stories they compiled started out very dark (I have a recent reprint of the original stories), while later editions of their works ended up being closer to the “fluffy” fairy tales we read now. I’d love to hear from them why they made the changes they did, and how the culture of the time encouraged these changes.

3-Jane

Jane Yolen. Not only is she a fantastic author, but she’s an inspirational human being as well. I would love to hear her opinion on pretty much anything, honestly, so I’d leave the topic of conversation up to her.

4-astrid

Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking (both the book and the character) is one of my fundamental influences. I don’t have any specific questions, I would just love to hang out and get into mischief  (and also get Pippi’s pancake recipe).

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

My facebook author page has gotten me the most exposure, but I have sold most of my books via word-of-mouth.

C.C.’s Books:

FairiesFrontCoverDon’t Piss Off The Fairies

First in the ‘Tales of Twinkle Dingle’, Don’t Piss Off The Fairies tells the story of Nellie, a human girl who unexpectedly finds an adventure she didn’t want when her Gran is kidnapped by a bunch of creepy yet adorable fairies. It’s a light, quirky novella.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Piss-Off-Fairies-grandmother/dp/1536950653/

NefariousTrousersCover

Bud Mushroom and the Nefarious Trousers

A novelette told from the point of view of Bud Mushroom, Useful Fairy to the Queen of Twinkle Dingle. Bud relates the time he was Captured by Pixies, and forced by them to wear Trousers.

FREE ebook on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/684466

Connect with C.C.

Blog: https://ccnaughtonblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccnaughton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nordrkona

A Perfect 10 with Robert Rayner

A Perfect 10 with Robert Rayner

This week, A Perfect 10 features author Robert Rayner. His thoughtful answers give insight into his thoughts on writing, promotion and other aspects of his work.

Please enjoy this installment of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


008 - CopyDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. When a project is going well and the words are flowing I find progress feeds progress. When I’m struggling with a project the opposite happens, lack of progress fueling continued lack of progress, which is both tiresome and tiring.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

I’ve never used a pseudonym. Sometimes think it might be fun to try one – become a new person! – but I fear I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons, i.e. I could enjoy praise for the writing (just supposing there was any), and deny all knowledge of it if someone criticized it.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

I think you need a big ego only in the sense that you write with the assumption that what you write is worth reading. You have to believe that in order to carry on.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I think the only money I’ve spent on writing is in providing basic necessities like computer and printer (which I’d have anyway), notebooks, a few favorite types of pens, and bookmarks to give away at readings and signings. I’m not sure these count as ‘expenses’ because they’re compensated by royalties. (Just about.) (In a good year.) The bookmarks are probably my most worthwhile expense.

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

I think of writing ‘success’ as a kind of graduated scale, from ‘bottom up’, 1) getting a book published (check); 2) having someone praise it (family doesn’t count) (check); 3) encountering a member of the public reading one of your books (not yet); 4) having a best seller (yeah, right); 5) selling movie rights (ha ha). In a less material, more personal, sense, my own judgement of my writing ‘success’ is to ask if my books entertain, and move, and resonate. If I’m satisfied that they do (and I am – there’s that ego thing again), then I believe I’ve achieved a modest but valid form of ‘success’.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

I read several books for historical background on the ‘30s for The Ragged Believers. Consulted a couple of manuals and web sources on wilderness survival for Colorland. Consulted my own doctor about strokes and their aftermath for Defiant Island. Consulted my ophthalmologist about Lieber’s Disease for Out of Sight. Browsed soccer training manuals for the Brunswick Valley series. I don’t spend much time researching because of the nature of the stories I write.

How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name?

Why? I look for ‘neutral’ names that carry no baggage (anyone reading this who is also a teacher will know what I mean). I often use place names in order to achieve this (Ridge, Birmingham, Wenden, Meru). I don’t want a name to influence how a character develops; rather, I try to find a name that somehow ‘reflects’ the character.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Sex! I’ve tried and failed. (Writing about it, I mean.) It’s always a bad sign when you cringe, or laugh, or both, at your own efforts. I find literary sex scenes are usually unintentionally funny, maybe unavoidably, because the act itself has so many elements of comedy. Anything beyond a hug and a kiss I find is best hinted at, then left to the imagination.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

Can’t answer this. I don’t – can’t – do dinner parties, even in imagination and fantasy.

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

At the risk of sounding as if I’m having an attack of sour grapes, I believe success comes from good promotion, having a name somehow ‘known’ (not necessarily as a writer), notoriety (of topic or author), and – finally! – the quality of the book itself. Readings and signings work best for me, but I have to admit I’m a poor self-promoter.

My latest books, both for teens, are:

Riot School

  • Riot School (Lorimer). Teenagers occupy their school when the local education authority votes to close it.
  • Black water CoverMAY2
  • Black Water Rising (Nimbus). Small town versus big business as a dam providing hydroelectric power threatens to flood.

Both are available in print or e-form from bookstores as well as Amazon, etc.

Connect with Robert:

Blog/website: www.raggedbeliever.wordpress.com

Book trailers: www.youtube.com/raggedbeliever

Twitter: @raggedbeliever

A Perfect 10 with Ed Duncan

A Perfect 10 with Ed Duncan

This week’s edition of A Perfect 10 features author Ed Duncan. He does a great job of handling the usual 10 questions.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


ED DUNCAN

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends.  Sometimes when I’m writing a scene or even a whole chapter, the words just flow in a torrent like water rushing out of a fire hydrant.  There’s no rhyme or reason as to why.  It’s like a basketball player with a hot hand.  He just can’t seem to miss.  I do a fair amount of writing late at night, and when the words are pouring out like that, I can’t sleep until I’ve finished.  So I’m obviously energized when that happens.  At other times, though, writing does exhaust me.  That typically happens when I can’t seem to find the words to describe what I want to say in the way I want to say it.  Again, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why this happens or when.  It just does and when it does, writing — or the attempt to write — is exhausting.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym?  If not have you considered it?  Why or why not?

I’ve never written under a pseudonym and nor have I ever considered it.  I write crime fiction.  I’ve only published the first in a trilogy, but I think if I wrote under another name, I might run the risk of fracturing my audience.  They might like reading crime novels more that they like reading me.  On the other hand, if I were fortunate enough to become well-known for novels in the crime genre, I might consider using a pseudonym for a novel in another genre.  That might avoid confusing my audience and might even increase it.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?  Why or why not?

A big ego is certainly not necessary and I think it may hurt more than it helps, since it implies a reluctance to accept constructive criticism or, indeed, to grow as a writer.  A big ego might also cause a writer to resist doing the number of drafts necessary to produce a polished product.  A writer should, however, have a healthy amount of self-confidence, which is, of course, different from having an inflated ego.

What is the best money you’ve ever spent on your writing?

The best money I ever spent as a writer was hiring a publicist.  I needed help promoting my work because I was published by a small publisher (no longer in business) that had no money for promotion.  Some writers can write well and also do a good job publicizing their work.  I suspect that most can’t.  If you can’t do both well, you should hire someone to promote your work — unless, of course, your publisher is doing a great job or you’re lucky enough not to need publicity.

What does writing success look like to you?  Have you achieved it?

Writing success for me would be finishing the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red by 2018 and generating a respectable audience for the three novels.  I can’t say how many sales are needed to equal a “respectable” number, but I think I’ll know the number if I achieve it.  And, obviously, I want all three novels to be well-written and positively reviewed.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?  What sources do you use?

The Internet has changed everything and has made research much easier.  For instance, for someone who writes crime fiction, my knowledge of firearms is very rudimentary.  And my knowledge of pigeon-blood red rubies, the subject of my first novel, was non-existent.  Almost everything I now know about both subjects was gleaned from research on the internet.  That said, I like to visit (or to have visited) cities and neighborhoods that appear in my novels.  This I think adds an air of authenticity.  Pigeon-Blood Red takes place in Chicago and Honolulu.  I went to law school in Chicago and the idea for the novel occurred to me while I was attending a seminar in Honolulu.  The foregoing notwithstanding, my subject matter, crime, is familiar to me from popular culture, so extensive research is not generally necessary.  Also, much of the novel revolves around relationships between the characters, with the criminal activities of some of them serving as the backdrop.

How do you select the names of your characters?  Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name?  Why?

I used my high school year book to come up with the names of a few of the black characters and the phone book (incidentally, no longer being produced) for some of the white characters.  Other names simply came to me and sounded right for a particular character.  “Rico,” one of the two main characters, is one such name.  Another name (“Litvak”) is a derivation of the last name of a man (“Rybak”) I worked with in a steel mill during a summer vacation while I was in college.  So far, I’ve not regretted choosing any names, although I’ve changed a few before the final draft.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I find descriptions of place and atmosphere to be most challenging.  As a result, I spend comparatively more time on dialogue and action sequences and sometimes shortchange setting.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

  1. William Shakespeare.  I’d want to ask him whether in fact he wrote all the plays attributed to him.  I’d also want to know which play was his favorite and which was hardest to write.  Finally, I’d like to ask him where his inspiration came from.
  2. Abraham Lincoln.  I’d want to ask him how he was able to cope with the stress and strain of the Civil War while at the same time having to endure the turmoil caused by a well-meaning but emotional and temperamental wife.  I’d also like to ask him what he would have done differently with regard to Reconstruction.  Finally, I’d like to ask him how he learned to write so beautifully, given his limited formal education.
  3. Albert Einstein.  I’d want to ask him when he first recognized his own brilliance.  I’d also like to ask him how he would address today’s climate change.  Finally, I’d like to ask him what advice he has for scientists contemplating colonization of Mars.
  4. Barack Obama.  I’d want to ask him how he was able to cope with the weight of being the nation’s first African American President during the worst recession since the Depression.  I’d like to ask him what he would like to have accomplished if he had no political opposition.  Finally, I like to ask him who his favorite authors are.

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your book?

It is a little difficult to say but my strong suspicion is that no one thing stands out among all the others and that a combination of factors has contributed.  For instance, positive reviews and interviews like this one are excellent tools, but they have the potential of being effective only if they are seen, or if they are linked to, on social media sites such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Linked In.  I will say, however, that appearances at bookstore signings so far have not generated as much interest as I would have liked.


About Ed’s Book:

Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller by Ed Duncan.

Duncan says, “It’s always been said that you should write what you know. I am a lawyer – as is a pivotal character in the novel who is being pursued by a hit man – and I’m excited to be able to use my legal training creatively as well as professionally.”

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Praise for Pigeon-Blood Red

 “Pigeon Blood Red has a dramatic and satisfying conclusion, leaving the reader nodding his head with approval.” Readers’ Favorite

“In a novel with as much action as love, it is sure to be a story that will fulfill the desires of readers of all ages, genders, and areas of interest.”Red City Review

“This charming, classically-told crime thriller is a must for noir fans…refreshingly old-school pulp, inhabited by a familiar cast of gamblers, con men and hustlers found in Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard novels”Best Thrillers

About Ed Duncan:

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

Connect with Ed:

Readers can connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

A Perfect 10 With Darlene Foster

A Perfect 10 With Darlene Foster

Today, I’m very excited to feature Darlene Foster as she sits down for this weeks edition of a Perfect 10. Please enjoy.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


_MG_0164-Edit-sm

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. I believe tapping into your creative side is so good for you. I wrote my first four books while working full time. I would come home from work exhausted, make dinner and then sit down to write. It was amazing how quickly I perked up and wrote well into the evening.

  • Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

When I was twelve I wrote under the pseudonym of Shirley Dale which I thought was so cool at the time. Not sure if that counts. As an adult writer I never considered it. I want people to know who I am and to be able to find me. Now if I started to write erotica, I may rethink it!

  • Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

A big ego could be an asset while promoting yourself. It didn´t seem to hurt Ernest Hemmingway.

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I ever spent as a writer was taking trips to interesting places, which later became settings for my novels. It helps to have been there.

  • What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

Writing success for me is having people read my books and enjoy them. I feel I have achieved that. Now I would like more people to read my books. Success is a moving target.

  • What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

I use the Internet for my research and sometimes the library. I tend to do my research as I write. I also do some research while I am travelling, keep notes and take pictures to help me remember things.

  • How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

I have always been happy with the names of my characters. In many cases they chose the names themselves.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I find it hard to write scary scenes. I don´t read a lot of scary novels or watch scary movies, perhaps I should. I am never sure if the scene is scary enough or maybe too scary for kids.

  • If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

I love this question. I would chose Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood and Lucy Maude Montgomery. I would have so many questions. One I would ask is how they came up with the amazing characters in their stories. I would have a separate list for each of them. It would be a long dinner.

  • What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

I think blogging has brought me the most marketing success. It is such a great way to build relationships with readers and other writers.

Darlene’s Book:

9781771681025smallAmanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music, the fifth book in the Amanda Travels series.

Book Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her.

Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.

Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.

Buy links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Danube-Sounds-Music-Travels-ebook/dp/B01J4KULPU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1467057798&sr=1-1

 Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/amanda-on-the-danube

 Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amanda-on-the-danube-darlene-foster/1123486689?ean=9781771681025

 Book Deposiotry http://www.bookdepository.com/Amand-on-the-Danube-Darlene-Foster/9781771681025

 Connect with Darlene:

Website www.darlenefoster.ca

 Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/

 Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

A Perfect 10 with Teri Polen

A Perfect 10 with Teri Polen

Today we sit down with author and blogger Teri Polen. She is going to tell us a bit about her work and inspiration.

Please enjoy her responses to these 10 questions and check out her work in this edition of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


author photo

 

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends on the day.  Sometimes the words come faster than I can get them down – others, I’m slamming my head against a wall hoping something useful falls out.

  • Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

With only one book to my name so far, I’ve never used a pseudonym, but I’d definitely consider it.  I know some authors with strong fan bases in a certain genre have used pseudonyms when branching into other areas.

  • Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

You can look at that a couple of different ways.  If a big ego references someone who thinks they’ve written a Pulitzer Prize-worthy book after only one draft, yeah – you’re hurting yourself and need a serious reality check.  But you can also look at ego in the sense that you have strong self-confidence and self-esteem, which you most certainly need in this business – along with a thick skin – and be accepting and welcoming of constructive criticism.

cjredwine2.md

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

For the past couple of years, I’ve attended a writer’s retreat hosted by author C.J. Redwine.  I’ve become friends with many of the other writers and we support each other when there are doubts, questions, need for second opinions, etc.  C.J. also offers workshops and critiques during the retreat – and the food is outstanding!  I’m going again in September.

  • What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

Writing success to me means creating something I’m proud of, hearing that people have enjoyed reading my book, and constantly striving to improve my craft.  I’ve achieved the first two – always working on the third one.

  • What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

I haven’t had to do an extensive amount of research – which is a good thing, because I really don’t have the patience for it.  Luckily, I’ve never felt the urge to write historical fiction.  Any research I’ve done has been online and involved actual places – restaurants, movie theaters, shops – to include in my book.  I think it adds authenticity to the story.  With the current book I’m working on, I’ve looked into quantum physics.  Strange, but true.

  • How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

Some characters just tell me their names – which helps out a lot.  Sometimes I’ll come across a name I like and file it away for future use.  When I’ve been stumped for a character name, I’ve looked up baby name lists from the year the character would have been born.  So far, I haven’t regretted any names I’ve chosen.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

For me, it’s any kind of love scene.  The types of books I write don’t include many love scenes – there’s not a lot of bodice ripping with YA, but there’s usually at least a touch of a romantic subplot in the mix.  Romance isn’t a genre I read or watch, so I’m not as comfortable writing it.  On the other hand, writing about zombie killing, ways to hide bodies, or summoning spirits?  No problem whatsoever.

  • If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

I had to think about this one for a while, but I narrowed it down to J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Victoria Schwab, and Jeremy Renner.  I’d literally spend hours discussing world-building and craft with the writers – dinner wouldn’t be nearly enough time.  With Jeremy Renner, I’m a huge fan of his work and a total Marvel fangirl – maybe he could get me tickets to the next Comic-Con.

  • What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

I’d have to say my blog.  I began laying the groundwork for a platform a few years back, hoping to build a network of book lovers and authors.  Through blogging, I’ve met so many wonderful writers and bloggers who support each other and help spread the word with new releases, promotions, reviews, etc., and many of them have become friends.

About Teri’s book:

Sarah+eimageSeventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime.  Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death.  When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her.  But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy.  She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain.  With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

About Teri:

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Sarah, a YA horror/thiller, is her first novel.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Connect with Teri:

Website:  www.teripolen.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Buy Teri’s Book:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B01NBIFRF4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1484614921&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sarah-teri-polen/1125171739?ean=9781612967912

Black Rose Writing:  http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/sarah

A Perfect 10 with Deby Fredericks

A Perfect 10 with Deby Fredericks

Today we sit down with prolific author Deby Fredericks. She has published fiction under her own name and has produced work for children under the name Lucy D. Ford.

Please enjoy her responses to these 10 questions and check out her work in this edition of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


Deby Fredericks1) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

For me, it’s more a case of having fun vs. not having fun. I start stories with a framework, but then I start the writing without too much of a plan. It feels fresher and more interesting to discover the characters and events as I go along.

What does energize me is when I make appearances. For me that means either in-person signings or panel discussions at science fiction conventions. Conventions especially are an environment full of friends and exciting images or impressions. So those give me a kick to keep on writing.

2) Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not, have you considered it? Why or why not?

I write fantasy for both kids and adults. When potential readers look at my books I don’t want them to be confused about what sort of book it is. That’s why I use a pseudonym, Lucy D. Ford, for my children’s writing. My friends and family know me as Deby Fredericks, so that’s the name I use for my other writing.

3) Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

This business requires toughness and mental endurance. Having a strong sense of confidence helps a lot when rejections come in. Someone without an ego will find it really painful to go on.

At the same time, nobody likes to deal with a person who’s so egotistical that there’s no respect for the needs of others. The most successful writers are friendly and approachable with fans.

4) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

My first name, Deby, is spelled in an unusual way, so I had a nameplate made at a local trophy and engraving shop. It was the best $18 I ever spent. My name is always spelled correctly and my nameplate doesn’t get crumpled in my bag as I go from panel to panel at events.

5) What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

This is a really tricky question for me. I used to have the same vision everyone does, of being published in New York and writing book after book in a comfortable relationship with my editor. What I’ve learned is that almost nobody has that kind of relationship. Publishing is changing so quickly, and the market pressures seem to make everyone expendable. Very senior editors can be kicked to the curb, as can authors who sell well but just aren’t blockbusters.

All writers have to continually re-evaluate what success might look like, and I have to honestly confess that I don’t know what success will look like. I do know that I’m still writing, and still submitting, and I will keep on keeping on until something happens to make me stop.

6) What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

One reason that I usually do self-created fantasy settings is that I stops people saying “It wasn’t really that way!” Okay, sure, in the real world maybe orange trees are severely damaged by frost. In my own fantasy world, I can have special, magical orange trees that thrive on the icy tundra if I wish to. So there!

Seriously, I do most of the research as I build my fantasy world. Things will appear that I’m not sure of, like how Polynesian peoples built their boats, and I’ll glance at Wikipedia for enough information to build that into the world.

Once I have a rough idea of my setting, I tend to start writing. As I go, I make a list of questions that pop up. Before I do the second draft is when I get library books and follow up on those items.

7) How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

My personal obsession is to make sure all the names sound like they belong in the same place and time. It bugs me when you have Lizzie and Mike and Xoggorovbottch all in the same story. It also bugs me when an author gives their character a long, lovely name like Christalaina and then go through the whole thing calling them “Chris.”

I’ve never gotten all the way through to publication with a character whose name is wrong. If the name is off, I’ll usually realize that part way through, and I’ll change the name mid-stream. Then of course I have to warn my critique partners that the name changes!

8) What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I have a hard time with battle scenes. I tend to hem and haw before getting started. Not being a fighter myself, I always feel like there’s too much thinking in the middle of the action. The dividing line between concentrating on the action and fully describing the scene gets to me.

9) If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

I would invite Ursula LeGuin, Alice (Andre) Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Patricia McKillip over for coffee and just listen to their stories about the business and challenges they overcame during their careers.

10) What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

In terms of selling books and knowing I actually sold them, it’s been book signings where I greet customers and talk to them about the stories. Now that I’m self-publishing, it’s harder to gauge the success of online friendships and networking. Like my version of “success,” it’s a work in progress.

AuntUrsula'sAtlasAunt Ursula’s Atlas

On a high shelf, in a hidden library,
There is a book of unknown wonders.

Open its pages. Explore mysterious lands.
See for yourself what lies within
Aunt Ursula’s Atlas.

Purchase hub on Draft 2 Digital: HERE
Connects to Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, 24 Symbols, Inktera, Angus & Robertson

Amazon: HERE

About Deby Fredericks:

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. Her first sale, a children’s poem, was in 2000. She has six fantasy novels in print through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, from Sky Warrior Books. She also writes for children under the byline Lucy D. Ford. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Cricket, Spider, and Ladybug. Her middle-grade fantasy, Masters of Air & Fire, is available from Sky Warrior Books.

Connect with Deby:

Web Site: www.debyfredericks.com

Blog: wyrmflight.wordpress.com