A Perfect 10 With Author Richard Ankers

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Richard Ankers. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


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Does writing energize or exhaust you?

That’s a tricky question to start with. I should say the act of writing is invigorating. But if you’re doing it right, putting in your heart and soul, by the time you’re finished for the day, you are exhausted. It’s only natural for hours of writing to tire you. Worth it for the smile on your face, though.

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

I don’t write under a pseudonym and wouldn’t. I was so shy — still am — about my writing for years that after finally getting it out there I wanted to be proud enough to claim it as my own.

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

I think it depends on the person. Just as in life, some folks are full of it (as we say here) but have the talent to back it up. It’s the ones that haven’t that grate. I prefer a quieter approach. Infiltrate your readers by stealth. You’re less likely to be repelled.

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

Purchasing the writing program Scrivener. I am useless with technicalities. If there is such a thing as formophobia, I have it. I can’t get beyond the first line of an instruction book. Owning writing software that takes care of all the intricacies of formatting etcetera is worth every penny spent, (or dime if you’re American.) Also, and I can thoroughly recommend it to any one reading this, ProWritingAid.com. I saved up the money from my first paid pieces and purchased a lifetime license. I check ‘everything,’ including this, with ProWritingAid. I hate looking stupid; it was used against me when I was young. It still rankles.

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

That’s another good question if you exclude happiness. Being happy in what you do is the most important thing of all. However, getting paid for a story was initial success. I once read that anyone can call them self a writer, but only someone who’s been paid for his/her work can call them self an author, (I wanted to be called an author.) Now, my aim is higher. I’ve had novels published and well received. I’ve been in anthologies and magazines from all around the world. But the one thing I would wish above all else is to walk into bookstores and see my work on their shelves. That is my next and only big goal, and I feel a big time publisher is the only way to achieve it. I have stuff in the works that I don’t care how long it takes to publish, it will be published by the best.

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

It depends what I’m working on especially as I’m a fast writer. The freedom offered by Fantasy and Science Fiction, in that both require imagination rather than exactitudes, has always appealed. I am, however, and have, written a lot of Steampunk and Victorian dates and history need to be right. I usually google whatever is on my mind and look at multiple sources. Wikipedia is good but you do have to take it with a pinch of salt.

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

Names come instantly. I’ve never had a problem with them. The only time I have ever changed one was in my published trilogy, The Eternals Series. Princess Aurora, an albino eternal, was originally called Oona and then Linna. I changed it from the former because of physical resemblances to another Sci/Fi character, and from the latter because her name referred to a blue Scandinavia flower and I thought this might be wasted on my readers and was too similar to Linka, another character. Aurora was more striking and recognizable.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

A boring one. But if it’s boring me, it should be changed because it will bore someone else.

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

moorcockI’m really not fussy when it comes to things like this. I can honestly say there’s no one. The only person that would interest me in the slightest would be Michael Moorcock, my author hero, even if it was just to bow a lot.

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

I’m not a good marketer. I don’t like social media, but that has probably done the most for me. I’m quiet, private and like it this way. Promoting myself has always been hard and I don’t think it will ever change until I have someone to take the reins from me. This might sound corny, and I don’t mean it to, but I put my work out there and hope my writing speaks for itself. Writing is a business these days, there’s no denying it, but if you’ve very little money in the first place, it isn’t easy to blast your way into the public eye.

Richard’s Books:

image4The Eternals: http://mybook.to/TheEternals

image3Hunter Hunted: http://mybook.to/HunterHunted

image2Into Eternity: http://mybook.to/IntoEternity

Connect with Richard:

WordPress Blog: https://richardankers.com

Amazon Author: http://author.to/RichardAnkers

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ankersrichard

Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/richardmankers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15271976.Richard_M_Ankers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richard_ankers/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/richard-m-ankers-928917128

Medium: https://medium.com/@Richard_Ankers

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/Richard_Ankers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Richard_Ankers

Creativia Landing Page: http://www.creativia.org/yorkshire-author-richard-m-ankers.html

A Perfect 10 With Author Renee Scattergood

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Renee Scattergood. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


Renee Scattergood's Bio Pic

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It really depends on the day. Most of the time it energizes me. I love writing. But I have an autoimmune disease that occasionally causes brain fog. On those days, writing is hard, especially when I push myself to write when my brain doesn’t want to focus.

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

I considered it, but then I changed my mind. I was mostly concerned with maintaining my privacy, but I’m not as worried about that now. Actually, I’m having a great time getting to know my readers and letting them get to know the real me.

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

I think it hurts writers. But then, I think a big ego hurts everyone. A big part of what helps with an author’s success is building a relationship with your readers. A big ego gets in the way of that.

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

Well, I’m hoping it’s the money I’m spending on the marketing course I’m taking. LOL

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

I’ll consider myself a success when I can support my family on my income as an author. I’d love to be able to tell people I make a living doing what I love. Who wouldn’t?

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 much research yet since my stories and the world’s I create come from my imagination. Most of the information I need I’ve been able to ask my husband (where using weapons and fighting are concerned) or just look it up on Wikipedia. It’s pretty basic stuff so it doesn’t require a lot of research.

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

I use a name generator on a site called Fantasy Name Generator. It’s got multiple generators for so many different things. Sometimes a name pops into my head, but when it doesn’t, that’s what I use. I’m very particular about naming my characters. I spend a lot of time on it, so I haven’t run into a situation where I’ve regretted the name I’ve given a character.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Action scenes are very difficult for me. I’m not sure why. The only way I can write them is by imagining the scene in my head as though I’m watching a movie, then write what I see. Sometimes it can take a while if the images pass too quickly and I have to keep going back to the start of the scene…kind of like restarting a song to write down all the lyrics. It can get a little tedious for me.

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

Wow…hmmm… Do they have to be real people?

1-yodaI’d really love to have dinner with Yoda if he was real. I’d want to ask him all about the Force and his life as a Jedi. We’d probably have to have multiple dinners to cover that though.

George LucasReal people I’d love to have dinner with: George Lucas – He created Star Wars! I’d love to ask him about world-building and the ins and outs of creating a story for the screen.

Tim Grahl – I’d love to pick his head on marketing books.

carlinGeorge Carlin – I’d want to just chat about everything with him. The man was comedic genius.

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

It’s hard to say. I use the funnel system, so I mainly use social media and my website to get people to download my free book. Then if they like that one, they can get the second free by subscribing to my newsletter. Then I use the newsletter to promote my other books. It’s worked well for me so far.

Renee’s Books:

Shadow Stalker Part 1 Resized Small 72 DPIShadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

The Hidden Truth (Episode 1)

A young shadow stalker is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles, and the Galvadi Empire want this child of prophecy dead. Auren Trasks perfectly normal life is disrupted when the Galvadi invade, and she learns a startling secret about her past. A secret that will change her life forever.

The Delohi-Saqu’s Fate (Episode 2)

Auren is being targeted by the Council of Elders, and the only one who could put an end to their corruption is her father. But leaving the Dark Isle would turn Kado against her.

Shadows’ Betrayal (Episode 3)

After seeing the monster she will become, Auren swears not to leave the Dark Isle. Despite that, the elders are conspiring against her. To escape their scheming, she and Kado decide to explore the Dark Isle. But worse things await them in the forests.

Forbidden Love (Episode 4)

Kado and Auren survive a deadly storm, but when Auren is forbidden from pursuing love with another young shadow stalker, will it be enough to drive a wedge between her and her foster father?

Destiny Reconciled Part 1 (Episode 5)

Auren and Kado accept that they may not be able to avoid her leaving the Dark Isle. Now they have to prepare for that eventuality. Will the training be more than Auren can handle?

Destiny Reconciled Part 2 (Episode 6)

Cathnor has been arrested and is facing a death sentence. The Dark Isle is out of control, and Kado is the only one who can help his people. So he prepares Auren for the possibility that she may have to leave the Dark Isle without him and face her destiny alone, but can she leave him and do what must be done?

Buy Links: http://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-part-1-episodes-1-6/

About Renee:

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

Connect with Renee:

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/ – a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

My Promotional Team Sign Up:

Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform

My Newsletter

Get a Free Book: http://www.subscribepage.com/ReneeWrites

Author Pages:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood

Social Media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100671337443224225702/posts

LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/pub/renee-scattergood/56/963/3

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rscatts/

Tumblr: https://reneescatts.tumblr.com/

A Perfect 10 With Blogger Tatyana Polyack

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Tatyana Polyack. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


my-photo

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I find writing very rewarding but exhaustive. But then again the level of satisfaction depends on the effort invested in the work. So, I don’t mind how hard it can be at times as long as I am content with the outcome.

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

No. My writings are falling into a non-fiction category. You can see my posts at www.arts-ny.com. It is about artists and performers, artistic movements and historical events that influence them. Since my posts contain only facts and history I feel that there is no need to use a pseudonym.

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

A big ego does help in pushing forward an idea or a point of view. However, it’s good when an ego is complemented by a strong intellect, in fact, these two should be of comparable dimension. So, taken together they create a powerful force. The trick is not to overwhelm the readers. In my mind the writers who are skillful in controlling that force are more successful in reaching the hearts and minds of the readers.

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

It is sad to say but in my case, the best money was spent on my tool of trade – Mac Air. Ease of use, peace of mind, quality of media – it all makes a lot of difference for a creative person.

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

For me writing success means a dedicated following of like-minded readers. It takes time to master the style and to get in tune with the readers. As I am at the very beginning of the path to find my followers, I understand perfectly well how much hard work is still ahead of me.

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

My writings are a collection of short posts about NYC Culture Scene. My approach may look like Freudian analysis except that in my mind the environment takes a more prominent role than the maternal or familial ties. When I am taking on a new topic, I start with researching the main biographical facts about the artist so that I understand how he or she came to current career phase. The next layer of research is about the artistic winds of the time and historical events that inspired the artist.

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

As my writings are not fictional stories, I don’t need to worry about choosing the names.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

In my case, the hardest part of the work is when I am writing about a controversial or truly avant-garde performance or event that can be interpreted very differently by different viewers. My goal is to raise people’s interest in the subject regardless of whether a reader is in an agreement with the artistic style, or is discovering a new name, or is in full discord in the interpretation.

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

1-freud

Sigmund Freud – it’s pretty obvious why and what can be gained from the conversation.

2-kandel

Eric Kandel – to ask him about his childhood in Vienna between the wars and his tricks about charging the curiosity.

3-Lyudmila-Ulitskaya

Lyudmila Ulitskaya – to ask her about her next book, her sources of inspiration and support network.

4-leopre

Jill Lepore – to ask her how to interpret the present from the historical perspectives and what parallels can be drawn from the past.

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

I am publishing my blog on wordpress.org  https://www.arts-ny.com

I am also maintaining the following social media pages:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsMusicFun/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/arts-ny

Drop me a note at contact@arts-ny.com

A Perfect 10 With Author V.M. Sang

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author V.M. Sang. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


viv1

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It usually energizes me. Especially when I’m on a roll, knowing exactly where I’m going. However, when I get stuck I can get tired.

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

I have 1 book out under a pseudonym. I chose to do this for because it’s a different genre. I usually write Fantasy, but this story is Historical, so I thought I’d write it under a different name. I also decided to self-publish it rather than give it to my publisher. I have other Historical Novels in my head, so it won’t be a one-off.

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

I’m not sure of this. I think we need to be able to have the confidence to write and publish. This needs some ego, or one would never feel the work is good enough. Also, marketing needs an outgoing personality. On the other hand, writing is a solitary occupation, so a writer needs to be able to spend hours on his/her own.

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

I spend almost nothing. I do not have a budget for writing. I would say the many books I’ve bought over the last few years.

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

To me, success is having people read and enjoy my books. It does not matter if I make a load of money, or don’t get on one of the ‘best seller’ lists. If I get feedback from readers saying how they enjoyed my books, that is success.

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

For my fantasy novels, I did research on geology in order to make my world believable. I also look up things that are important. If, for example, someone wanted to make a sword, then I would research how it is done.

For my historical novels, I need much more research. I did a lot of searching about how to build Celtic roundhouses, and am now almost an expert on the Roman Army. (Not really. It just feels like it.) I also search out how long journeys would take, if my characters need to travel. For my current historical novel, I needed to find out about herbal medicine and the life of Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. What were their villages like? What about their religion? etc.

As to when I do it: well, I sometimes begin before starting to write, but often I find something I need to know during the writing process and have to go and look it up.

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

I don’t like fantasy books where the writer has used common Earth names. I either play about on my keyboard, typing letters until I come across some that seem to fit, or I take 2 ordinary names, split them and then stitch them together in a different order. An example is Davrael, a character in my Wolves of Vimar Series. I took the names of David and Michael, split them into Dav, Id. Mich, and Ael. Then I stitched Da to Ael. That didn’t work (Daael) so I inserted and ‘r’ to make Davrael.

For my Historical names, I looked up websites and chose names I liked from that era.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Death. It’s hard to make it so the reader is sad, (even cries, as I’ve done reading some books) but not too sentimental.

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

Leonardo da Vinci, Tolkien, Michaelangelo, J.S. Bach

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

I really don’t know. I’m not very good at monitoring my marketing.

V.M.’s Books:

newcoverwolfpackThe Wolf Pack

To end his apprenticeship and be admitted to the ranks of the mages is all Carthinal wants, so he is excited to travel from Bluehaven to Hambara, where the tests will take place. He did not expect to end up travelling far beyond Hambara on a quest to find the long lost sword of the legendary King Sauvern.

Along with three strangers he met on his journey, the beautiful but headstrong elven cleric, Asphodel, Fero, a dark foreigner from lands far to the south, and a fearless dwarf, Basalt, Carthinal reluctantly sets out on this seemingly impossible quest.

Followed by Randa, the snooty aristocratic daughter of the Duke of Hambara and a very young runaway thief, known as Thad, Carthinal has to decide whether to send them back or allow them to continue on this dangerous quest. There will certainly be fireworks as Randa will try to take over the leadership of the group.

Faced with wolf attacks and near death in the mountains, Carthinal and his friends have to accept help from the least likely sources and face their innermost fears.

But this is more than a simple adventure. The fate of a nation hangs in the balance.

http://myBook.to/thewolfpack

earth-and-air

The Stones of Earth and Air

Pettic is the best friend of Torren, the Crown Prince of Ponderia. When Torric starts behaving out of character, Pettic sets about trying to find out why. He discovers that Torren has been kidnapped and a doppleganger put in his place.

He decides he cannot let his friend remain a prisoner, nor allow the cruel impostor to remain as  Crown Prince and ultimately King as he would no doubt become a tyrant.  Pettic therefore sets about rescuing his friend.

He discovers that Torren is imprisoned in a mini-plane created by a magician. The only way in is using four gems associated with the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

There is a problem, though. Each gem has been hidden on one of the four Elemental Worlds. Pettic resolves to enter each of these worlds and find the gem. How can he find a single gem in a whole world, though? And he can’t return without the gem.

On each world, he has to perform a task to help the inhabitants.

Can he discover the gems, or will he remain trapped on one of the worlds? What are the tasks he has to perform, and can he get back and then enter the mini-plane and rescue Torren before the false prince becomes king?

http://mybook.to/StonesOfFire

Other Books:

http://myBook.to/NeverDying
http://mybook.to/EarthAndAir

A Perfect 10 with Author Lucinda Clarke

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Lucinda Clarke. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


LUCINDA 10

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends on what I’m writing, a tense, fast action scene and I’m banging away on the keyboard fast and furiously making a million typos as my heart races. If it’s a sad bit then I have to stop to get the tissues out to dry my eyes and blow my nose several times.

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

All my books are written under a pen name as my first memoir contained sensitive material. Then it seemed too much trouble to go back o the real me and duplicate all those media sites. Since I write in so many different genres, I’m already schizophrenic and answer to a whole load of names.

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

I’m not sure I have an ego, honestly. It was all beaten out of me before I was 5 so I can’t answer this question. I think it might hurt them as they would not take criticism on board and try to improve. When I first started writing for a living I got plenty of this and hopefully learned from it. Now for marketing – that’s a whole different ball game.

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

Browbeating the bank manager into letting me pay for a Bookbub which twice has yielded amazing returns.

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

No, I’ve not achieved it, but I’m passionate about my work and want to share it with the whole world. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I want to pass on what I’ve learned about life, Africa and recovery from mental abuse. I also love to entertain and make people laugh. I’m not into the fame thing, it wasn’t fun when people you didn’t know slammed you up against the frozen pea counter in Pick n’ Pay to discuss your latest newspaper column. But I’d sure like a bigger bank balance! I also thing Amie would make a fabulous film.

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

A lot of what I write comes from experience, but I have three deficiencies – sex scenes I can’t write them without giggling – fight scenes I never know where to put all the arms and legs and how much damage you can inflict with a blow to a certain part of the body, and armaments. I use the internet and spend hours surfing bombs, guns, terrorists etc. They are probably on the way to arrest me right now.

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

I always try to choose names beginning with a different initial to make them less confusing. I deliberately chose Amie as my heroine as it comes up early in an SEO. I had to change the name of her boyfriend in book 3 at the last minute as I’d used that for another character in Book 1.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

As above, fight scenes and sex scenes. In the cold light of day do we pause to consider how ridiculous and undignified the whole mating procedure is? Of course, it’s different in candlelight after a couple of glasses of wine, but at the dining room table on a Monday morning with the trash collectors outside it … see what I mean?

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

1-dalai

The Dalai Lama – I would ask him about wisdom and inner peace.

2-hardy

Thomas Hardy – where did he find the courage to write amazing books about subjects that lifted the lid on social issues.

3-spielberg

Steven Spielberg – so I could shove my books under his nose and refuse to serve him food and drink until he’d glanced through them.

4-mother

My mother – why couldn’t she love me and the truth about her life.

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

Bookbub – again! But Facebook has also helped a lot, apart from the fact I have made some amazing friends some of whom I’ve met in real life. And winning a couple of awards may have helped as well.

Lucinda’s Books:

I’ve written 3 memoirs, a comedy, 4 adventure books and had stories in 4 other recent publications.  But if I had to highlight one genre, it would be Amie.

The quickest and easiest way to explain my Amie series is probably this graphic.

AMIE OVERVIEWI’ve been quite ruthless with my heroine giving her all kinds of challenges, heartbreak and life-threatening situations yet she still bounces back. We have this love hate relationship. It’s not Chick Lit in any form as she’s morphed from a shy, retiring, naïve housewife into a rather reluctant and incompetent spy.

  myBook.to/Amie1   myBook.to/AmiemyBook.to/Amie3 myBook.to/Amie4

Connect with Lucinda

Blog link  http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

Zon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/

Web page – http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Goodreads url  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke

A Perfect 10 With Author Mary Clark

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Mary Clark. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


MaryClarkSept2010

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing brings my energy to a new level, as I’m coordinating various thoughts, emotions, memories, points of view, and attention to detail as well as a feeling for authenticity. There’s an emotional background music playing all the time I’m writing. In other words, writing isn’t only a mental exercise, it’s a visceral experience. I’m not fully conscious of the emotional background while I’m writing, but those emotions and feelings act as a sounding board for being as accurate and honest as possible in what I’m trying to convey with my words. Because these emotions affect the human body, sending hormones and neurochemicals racing through the blood, after writing I’ll often feel tired. Again, I’m not usually aware of this until I try to take on another task. Then, phew! Besides the physical effect, I believe there’s a depletion of mental energy as well. At the same time, sometimes this calmer state leads to new ideas. So I guess the answer to your question is both.

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

I have written under the pseudonym of Erin Yes. It’s a play on the name of the Greek Furies: erinyes. Others have thought of this as well but I don’t know if any used it as a pseudonym. I was beguiled by the idea of Nemesis at the time. I don’t believe in predestination, but I have experienced forces in my life bringing me back when I’ve gone too far off the path, and this path is both chosen for me by my few talents and skills, and by my own willful choices. But there are always sirens to call one away for a while. I used the name in my book Tally: An Intuitive Life. My twitter handle today reflects this name: @mceyes. And my blog as well which is called Literary Eyes.

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

A big ego is necessary to even consider pulling everything together to create what amounts to a world defined and described by oneself. On the other side of that, a writer has to keep in mind the readers and endeavor to communicate with them as equals. A writer has to intrude into others’ lives without being too overbearing. But I’d rather err on the side of being too intrusive rather than timid and lacking conviction. A writer has to have self-confidence. The psychological definition of ego is of a mediator between the self and the world, a reality tester, which plays a vital role in self-identity. So a healthy ego makes sense for an artist of any sort. Being an egotist is a different matter, one of dominance and self-aggrandizement. I doubt that egotism would be helpful to a writer.

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

I’d say probably my most recent purchase of print copies of Racing The Sun from CreateSpace. I was amazed at how inexpensive the copies were. The quality was good too. Amazon can do this at such a large volume I’m afraid it will put many traditional printers out of business. I haven’t spent much on promotion.

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

Success would be having readers respond to my work in person or online. I welcome discussion and exchanging thoughts, in a positive and unprejudiced way. I’m still working on how to open up that dialogue. Reviews are a good way for readers to engage with authors – because we do read them!

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

I research names, places, songs, historical events, anything that is relevant to the story. When I feel I know something well, I only check details I think I might have misremembered or misunderstood. Great sources I’ve found are online videos and personal blogs, along with Google Earth and Pinterest. A Youtube video of a cabdriver going through Soweto gave me a great feel for that area. Personal blogs contain interesting bits of information. Official websites have maps and data that can be important for improving my understanding of a town, park, or event. Wikipedia is also helpful as a starting point. For flora and fauna of a region I check botany and geography sites. Local towns have websites too. I follow blogs by authors, artists, travelers, and photographers as these have added to my understanding of places I know and don’t know. I do most of my research during the writing process when that subject and its role in the book are fresh in my mind.

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

I admit to trying to find names with hidden or obvious meanings. When choosing a foreign name, I research until I find one whose meaning fits my character. I like them to have some musicality as well. Another way I choose names is to use ones similar to people I know, even to use middle names. One name, Dov, is the middle name of a friend’s pseudonym. I’m pretty happy with the names I’ve chosen.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I think ones that are about people misunderstanding one another, accidentally or on purpose, and the resulting pain and violence that almost comes afterward. The separations and betrayals and cruelty.

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

Colette, Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), Anais Nin, and Violette LeDuc. I’d ask them if they could put me up at their homes or pay for a hotel room for three days and nights so I could afford to visit Paris for twelve days. Then after that mostly chit-chat. No, seriously, we’d talk about writing and what it takes to be an open-minded, open-hearted human being in this world. Nothing less. Hopefully, Emily Dickinson would drop by.

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

I’d have to say my blog, followed by Twitter. Facebook has been a disappointment. I’ve paid for boosted posts and the results are a lot of views but no click throughs. ASMSG and IAN haven’t helped much. I looked at BookDaily but was put off by the cost. Other sites require a lot of work for which I don’t have the time.

Mary’s Books:

Racing The Sun Book Cover SmallMy latest book is Racing The Sun, Volume 2 of the Leila Payson Series.

Accidents, intersections, collisions, mixed signals of modern life. Did Cran do something that caused the accident that left him paralyzed? Is Dov chasing an illusion of love – all the way to Cuba? What impelled Maria to leave a good job in the city to work as a volunteer at an organic farm? And why is Mrs. Grisjun on Leila’s case, what makes her so angry? Secret lives, self-aggrandizement, throwing stones. Family disruption and a friend’s unexplained absence. Lies and loss. Big tent meetings, bringing people of varying abilities together, bridging gaps. Is there hope we can find ways to constructively live together?

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Racing-Sun-Leila-Payson-2/dp/1974440435/

Smashwords buy link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/741961

Connect with Mary:

My blog: http://literaryeyes.wordpress.com

Website: http://maryclarkauthor.weebly.com

Facebook Author Page: http://facebook.com/maryclarkbooks

A Perfect 10 With Author Lisa Reynolds

Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Lisa Reynolds. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.


Writer Picture

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. I have always been introverted and writing has always being my creative outlet in which to express myself and how I feel about the world. I think writing becomes exhausting for a lot of writers when they overthink what they are writing and are worried what people reading it or publishers will think. Because I have always let my heart flow out what it wants to say without restraint I find the process easy and not a chore. But there’s different ways people work so as well as there being writers who love the process like me there’s many who find it painstaking. As long as the product is created at the end it makes no difference. But I love it and I miss my characters when I’m no longer writing them.

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

Not very often. But I did write two of my eight short stories for Woman’s Way in Ireland under the pseudonym of Violet Norval. Mainly because I love Agatha Christie and she wrote her romance stories under Mary Westmacott so I thought it’d be fun to give it a try. But the majority of the time I write under my own name. I’m not sure why. I just do. At the start I did toy with the idea of writing as L J Reynolds as I’m Lisa Jane Reynolds but then I just left it simple. I’m so forgetful I’d probably get mixed up with pseudonyms so it’s probably for the best that I use my own name.

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

I think it hurts writers. At the end of the day, though we love what we do, we aren’t saving lives or anything massively worthwhile like that. Sometimes, especially in high-brow writing, some writers really think what they do is super important and that it means more than what writers do in low brow writing. And that can leak into the writing to the detriment of the work. What draws most readers, including myself as a reader, to a story is the plot and the characters. All that is lost when a writer’s main aim is to regurgitate the dictionary.

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

My computer and my monthly access to the internet. As a writer I’d be lost without both these things to write my stories up and to do research for my work on the internet. I have also spent money on courses and workshops to improve my writing. I did a course with The Open University in connection with FutureLearn where you pay for the certificate and many years ago I did a Creative Writing course with Kilroy’s College where my tutor was Irish writer Eileen Casey. Recently I also did two workshops that were organised as part of the Bray Literary Festival this year with Irish writers Siobhan Campbell and Breda Wall Ryan. All of these things have been very valuable to my writing and have helped me to grow as a writer.

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

It can mean a few different things. In the obvious sense it would be nice to be like Agatha Christie and be third in line to The Bible and William Shakespeare in sales. I wouldn’t say no to that obviously. But it is also a sense of being content with what you put out there. I don’t believe in playing it safe as a writer and writing the same story that’s being written before. I try not to do that. I also think a very important part of being a writer is that you write about people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Not consciously. Just simply because a writer is supposed to write about real life and that’s real life. We’re not all the same so characters shouldn’t be all the same. And sometimes a writer needs to be brave to do that because it’s not always appreciated. But it is our job. Doing these things is writing success to me and I do achieve that in my work. The Agatha Christie status not so much but I certainly try to get to that. But if it doesn’t happen I’m fine with that too because I love doing what I do.

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

It depends. There is two books I’m putting together at the moment which require a lot of research. One is set in the world of ballroom dancing and outside of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars, I didn’t know a lot about the ballroom world prior to starting research for the book so it’s being fun learning how the steps work to put the dances together. I usually only work on one book at one time but the other book I’m writing is about terrorist attacks so it’s very heavy and the ballroom book takes my mind away from it when I need to write something lighter. Obviously for the latter book there is extensive research needed. It’s a very delicate and sensitive topic so I’d never put a book on that topic out without being very sure of what I was writing. I also research extensively when I’m writing characters with very different experiences to my own. For example, when I write characters who are cisgender and pansexual it’s easy and no research is needed because in these regards it’s my own experiences but if a character was transgender or any other sexuality to pansexual I have to research how people experience these aspects of who they are to write the characters authentically. Obviously, my writing operation is very small. It’s me and my spouse the computer but if it was a bigger operation I’d have people from all backgrounds and walks of life working on the piece like Dustin Lance Black does for When We Rise. As I am a small-time writer my resources are YouTube, Google searches for articles and good old-fashioned library books. I try my best with the resources available to me.

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

To be honest I usually don’t think too much about their names. I think more about their personalities. But occasionally I have picked the names of characters for reasons. There is times I pick names based on the character’s nationality or their parents’ nationalities such as a lot of my Irish characters have surnames like Murphy and Hennessy. But I don’t think very much about names in general.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

The hardest type of scene to write is very emotional scenes. Very often the story is leading up to the emotional scene so it’s like a singer with a ‘money note’, the story depends on it for the reader to understand this character who often is very complex up to this point. Another very hard scene to write is the reveal in a murder. Again, this is the ‘money note’ in a thriller so you need to very careful of your timing in mystery reveals.

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

There are about a million people popping into my head but ok, let’s narrow this down to four. I think on the writing side of things I would love Agatha Christie and Oscar Wilde to be there. I love both of their work and I suppose I’d love to know how they managed to be so amazing at their craft. Because I’m female and part of the LGBTQ+ community, I would like to know from Agatha how her journey as a female writer was and from Oscar how his journey as an LGBTQ+ writer was. Outside of writing, it would be amazing if Harvey Milk was there just because he’s Harvey Milk and I’d probably be censored and stopped from writing if he hadn’t been so instrumental in fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. I’d love to know about his experiences in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. That’d be very interesting. It would also be great if Andreja Pejic was there. She is very interesting talking about social issues, so we could have a good chat about social issues in the modern age we live in. I also have a huge crush on her, so I would probably ask her out and probably be turned down.

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

I have ten books up on Amazon, so I would say Amazon. It’s a difficult market because there’s so much choice available for readers. But it is also a great opportunity for writers to get their work out there too and I’m very grateful for that opportunity. It is a wonderful feeling when a sale happens of one of your books. I also promote my books on my blog on WordPress and on my Facebook writer’s page, my Twitter page and on Google+.

Lisa’s Books:

one step closer

One Step Closer & One Step Closer 2

https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Step-Closer-2-Book/dp/B074DYQ9G6/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1507248727&sr=1-5

rory

Rory Murphy Mysteries: The Church Murders:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rory-Murphy-Mysteries-Church-Murders-ebook/dp/B073WN7S8W/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1507248727&sr=1-4

Connect with Lisa:

Blog:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LisaReynoldsWriting/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LisaJRReynolds