A Perfect 10 with Anna Dobritt

A Perfect 10 with Anna Dobritt

This week I have the distinct pleasure of featuring blogger and author Anna Dobritt. Anna is one of the most supportive people in the blogosphere. Her blog is a combination of helpful tips, inspiring quotes and good storytelling. She is also very generous with reblogging helpful posts from others.

I hope you enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 with Anna Dobritt.

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

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


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  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It does both. Sometimes I get into a zone and write for several hours straight, and after that all I want to do is rest.

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

No. I use my own name. If I were to switch to a different genre like westerns or historical novels, I would use a pseudonym.

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

I think it hurts having a big ego since that sets you apart from your readers and potential readers.  These are the people you are trying to connect with through your writing.

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

Three editing programs and Scrivener.

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

People asking to read more of your work. I haven’t quite achieved that.

  • 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 first trilogy, I used the interest for research since I just needed to look up some information I needed. So there trilogy I am working on,  I have about fifty eBooks on my Kindle for research purposes.

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

Why? I like unusual names for my main character like Ravyn Wyng and Lenara Lenquil. I have never regretted any names I have used.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Emotional scenes. I still struggle writing those.

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

Nikola Tesla,  Edgar Cayce, Edward Leedskalnin, and Plato. I would ask them about Atlantis and where they think it was located and what were the people like.

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

Using the various Facebook groups for promoting my books.

Find Anna’s Book:

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Book Link: HERE.

Connect with Anna:

https://amdobritt.com

https://www.facebook.com/authoramdobritt/

A Perfect 10 with Tracey Pagana

A Perfect 10 with Tracey Pagana

Today we sit down with Tracey Pagana to talk about her work and her inspiration. 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

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


Tracey 1

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I think I would have to say both words apply to that question for me.  The energizing part is the healing and journey and the ability to have had the opportunity to write about it. The exhausting part was the personal story and life lessons. Hanging out my laundry and being exposed was exhausting during the process.

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

No my book is a personal healing story and journey so I thought best for the type of book it is to use my identity.  However in saying this of course I have changed names to protect the identity of people who share in the book.

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

I think that ego is imperative for an author; healthy ego creates positive attitude and healthy self-esteem.  In my case I check my ego at the door and write from my soul’s perspective and then pick my ego up and check on its perspective. When the two agree I am satisfied with the message of my writing.

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

Without a doubt my editor and the publishing company who completed the project.

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

I think success for me is in the moments I live my life.  So the fact that I wrote a book was successful all on its own merit.  Writing a book has never been a dream or a long unfulfilled desire. The success has already happened in the process of the writing and in the testimonials I am receiving.  My message is one of self-love staring from your own innerspace.

  • What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before

I did not do very much research on the book.  The bit of research that I did do was on explaining the origin of Reiki a form of hands on healing. The only other research was on the Chackra system that Reiki works in conjunction with when practicing. The other research was to explain senses used from a soul’s perspective called cog-nonsense

  • When you are beginning a book, what sources do you use?

My life experiences and the two worlds I am familiar with worldly education, soul education

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

This question does not apply to my writing

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Probably the personal experiences and the truth leaving me somewhat naked and vulnerable!

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

Dr.-Wayne-Dryer-520

Dr. Wayne Dyer – How can I continue to love the masses of people with the same passion, consistency, and vitality! I have asked you to write through me in spirit form and I miss your presence but still feel you as strong as ever!

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Elvis – Can you explain why you had so much more than most and why you seemed so sad at the end of your life? Did you really die or were you just too tired and gave it all up for peace and lived a very long time incognito?

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Mother Teresa – How hard was it to witness what you did day in and day out? Did you ever feel like you were having a day that the heavens opened up and your heart was just for the day full of joy pain free?

Madonna

Madonna– I just think you were and still probably misunderstood?  Maybe even judged. You intrigue people you have a way about you that connects to all, not all good, not all bad ….just connections   very powerful tool to reach many if you wanted too!

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

Probably, at this point, myself and own driving passion, energy, the mission I feel called to… reaching people with a message of love.  Same message just a different messenger. We do however have; thanks to the people who believed in me, a very professional package and product.  We are almost ready to use our web domain and have had a videographer work with a trailer. I have new clients based on the messages as well as new people reading the book and listening to the CD (music I recorded years ago related to the story in the book) The marketing will continue as we will have hard copies and CD for purchase in book stores as well as pay pal and on line purchases.

Check out Tracey’s Book: Innerspace cover PRINT

Purchase Link

A Perfect 10 with Armand Rosamilia

A Perfect 10 with Armand Rosamilia

This week, A Perfect 10 features author Armand Rosamilia. Armand is living proof that you can write in multiple genres and have success. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person at a mini comic book convention in Jacksonville, Florida just by chance. My daughter made A/B honor roll and her chosen reward is to go to the comic book store. There happened to be vendor booths with artists, authors and gamers on the day we chose to go and Armand was among them. It was a pleasure meeting him and I hope you enjoy his thoughts as he answers the usual 10 questions.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10.

Side note: I wasn’t able to travel back to Jacksonville this past weekend due to thousands of flights cancelled and rescheduled in Atlanta. I would have ended up getting home and turning around to leave within a day and a half. I opted to stay in Albuquerque. All of my interview files are in Florida. Armand was gracious enough to resend his interview questionnaire to me along with his materials. You might notice a different header image on this week’s post. I don’t have my usual picture, but I kind of like this one better. (I know, TMI)

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

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


armand rosamilia

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! It can beat you up some days when you’re struggling to find the next word to write, when the deadlines are looming and you’re really behind, and when you’re just not feeling it. Then you get the days where you skip lunch because you’re so in the zone or you look up and you’ve burned six straight hours working and it feels like six minutes. The ideas are flowing and you never want it to end.

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

I’ve written some erotica in the past I used a pen-name for since I didn’t want it associated with my catalog of books to confuse anyone. I’ve also done some ghostwriting of novels and my name was not used. Most of my work is written under my name, though.

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

You need an ego and believing in yourself to succeed… but too much of an ego is a bad thing and a turnoff for potential readers and your peers. I absolutely believe I am a great writer and I will succeed, but I know I’m not the best and need to keep working at this.

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

First date dinner with the woman who became my wife. In the four years we’ve known each other she has helped me so much with the business end of this career. I’m creative and disorganized and uncaring when it comes to the money part of this but she’s really taken control and helped me with shortcuts and strategies to let me grow as an author and not stress about the little stuff.

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

I have. I’ve been a full-time author for the past six years. I’m able to travel and not stress over money anymore. I can write and promote and do what I love and never put pants on unless someone is coming over for dinner. This is living the dream.

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

I don’t do a ton of research. I just start writing a story and if it needs something specific I’ll Google it right then but give myself only 20-30 minutes to research so I don’t fall into the trap of spending the day on the internet reading about everything and anything. I’d rather go back in edits and add to it but most of the time I’ve given enough or know enough about a subject I can get by. I never want a reader to be drawn out of a story because they question some fact or have to look it up, or there is so much info-dump about it the story is compromised.

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

I’m not someone who bangs my head against the wall, looking for the perfect name. I think the best ones are those you don’t have to think about too long. Sometimes I’ll have a few names in my head waiting for some personality. I try not to use like-sounding names if possible but I’ve written a couple hundred stories in my life so it gets hard to remember which names were ever used. I did use the name of a woman once and after the story was published we had a falling out… so I killed her, I mean the character, in the sequel.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

For me it is something that is taken out of my real life. A scene that is personal for me. Sometimes, as I’m working on a story, the scene calls for an emotion or imagery I know is close to something I’ve experienced. I’ve accepted I can’t fight it and just roll with it, but at times it really knocks you for a loop because it brings up painful memories.

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

I’d want to have dinner with Dean Koontz, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft and Brian Lumley. Four authors who changed everything for me as a kid growing up with great stories that made me want to become an author. I’d pick their brains about how they started and the mistakes and triumphs in their careers.

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

Honestly, just being myself. I learned a long time ago readers weren’t interested in a hard sell for a book. They wanted to find an author they could not only read but have a conversation with. I’ve always tried to be friendly and have some fun with this career. It really beats getting a ‘real’ job. The authors I looked up to on my way into this took the time to chat with me, offer suggestions and just be normal. I try to do the same and I think it works.

 Armand’s Books:

dirdty deeds 1Dirty Deeds

I get paid to erase problems.

Did your extramarital affair produce an unwanted complication? Family problems? Just want to enjoy your midlife crisis by yourself?

That’s where I come in. For a fee I’ll take care of it. A big fee.

Only, I’m not going to do what you think. I’m not going to save you from them, I’m going to save them from you.

 Find Dirty Deeds HERE

dirty deeds 2Dirty Deeds 2

Everything was going smoothly until my past caught up with me.

Now I’m being taunted by a madman who know more about me than I do.

He’s kidnapped the closest person in my life, and he is using it to get my attention.

Trust me… he has it. Now I just need to figure out where he is and when he’ll strike again.

Things were easier when I was only kidnapping children.

Find Dirty Deeds 2 HERE.

 Dirty Deeds by ARDirty Deeds 3

Philadelphia. City of Brotherly Love.

Unless you have the Philly mob trying to kill you and the FBI wanting to sit you down for an interview about your connections to organized crime.

Not to mention being wanted for your own illegal business ventures.

Did you guess I was in trouble?

Find Dirty Deeds 3 HERE.

About Armand:

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He not only runs two successful podcasts…

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing

But he owns the network they’re on, too! Project Entertainment Network

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:

armandrosamilia@gmail.com

 

 

A Perfect 10 with Charles Yallowitz

A Perfect 10 with Charles Yallowitz

Today we sit down with author of fantasy and real world action dystopia, Charles Yallowitz. Charles will tell us about his inspiration, his writing and a bit about himself.

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

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


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  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Yes.  I do get a big rush from writing, especially when I start or am doing some of the initial prep work like character creation.  I’ve found that I come out of the gate sprinting with energy and racking up the word count.  Then I start slowing down after 3 or 4 hours.  Lunch can leave me groggy and I end up being exhausted by mid-afternoon.  My second wind comes at night to get 2-3 more hours in, but it isn’t the same speed.  This is just physical though because the mind is always trying to go full speed.  Needless to say, I have moments where my brain is yelling at my fingers for not keeping up.

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

Charles E. Yallowitz is my real name.  I considered pseudonym at first, but I couldn’t come up with a good one.  My real name can be rather memorable too.  That and if Schwarzenegger can keep his name then Yallowitz shouldn’t pose a problem.  Besides, social media makes it a lot harder to keep your real identity a secret.  It’s possible, but takes a lot of work and energy that I’d rather put towards writing.  There’s also the issue of me being unable to maintain such an identity for long.  I’d put my real name on a blog post or email by accident at some point.

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

I don’t think it’s the size of the ego, but how you use it.  You can have a big ego that comes off as confidence while still accepting help and advice.  You can also have one that blinds you to flaws in your own work.  Personally, I think every author needs some humility to survive the edit stage and reviews.  An ego can harm you in that way if you take things too personally, but it can also shield you from some of it.  Ego helps you shrug off the arrows when you need to.

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

Tough call here.  I would have to go with cover art here.  My books wouldn’t get nearly as much traction without the beautiful covers.  People see that first and some don’t even bother with the blurb.  It’s putting my best, most eye-catching foot forward. So the money spent on great cover art definitely tops the list.  Followed closely by rewarding myself with pizza when I finish writing a book.

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

I have no idea.  This has evolved over time and I keep having other people try to push their definitions on me.  Most people try to define writing success as how much money you get or how high your book gets on a Top 100 list.  Those are certainly victories, but I don’t think they’re the long-term success or that good of a definition.  Some terribly written books have made a fortune or topped lists because of promoting.  I’m spending all this time saying what it could be while I think about an answer. Longevity and entertainment is what I wanted at the beginning and I’m trying to get back to that.  I want my books to last long and continue to entertain people who read them.  The biggest smiles I’ve had on this trip were caused by people telling me which characters they loved or simply saying they enjoyed the story.

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

This is a tough one since I work in multiple genres:

Fantasy– I work with a world that is not Earth, so I don’t do a lot of research beyond my own imagination.  With fantasy, you really have to make sure you stay within your own rules and avoid inconsistencies.  The areas that I do research are names and monsters. I have books and various sites for both of them.  There are times where I run into something I need to look up like what an animal can do, weather effects, poisons, food, or any random question that comes up when writing a scene.

Real World Action Dystopia– This one requires a lot more research because it takes place on Earth.  With the Bedlam Series, I usually start by planning a route for my heroes that goes by state and then I use Google Earth to find a road.  After that, I look at towns along the way and research them to find one that has something unique I can use.  The setting is a collapsed United States of America that has been cut off from the world, so the odd quirks of a town can influence what I decide on.  This typically takes 1-2 weeks since I research guns, explosives, anatomy, vehicles, and other things as I move along.

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

Some come to me and others are chosen after I search a book or site.  I might pick an aspect of the character’s personality or life that will be integrated into the name.  Every name has a meaning, so that helps me with choosing.  A lot of my main characters came from college when I played Dungeons & Dragons, so those just come off the top of my head.  Never regretted a name before, but a friend of mine does get on my case about a villain whose real name is revealed to be Tyler.  It isn’t like parents name their children thinking they’ll be evil.  Not normally any way.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Sex scenes are definitely high on the list because I can never bring myself to go any further than the initial making out stage.  Thankfully, they aren’t a necessity when you’re writing anything other than erotica.  Beyond that, I find scenes where a character is being emotional injured hard to do.  Even if I know they’re going to come out of it and grow stronger, it’s really tough to put them through it in the first place.  There’s this temptation to coddle my heroes and I always fear that I overcompensate by being meaner than I should.  This might be why I’m having some doubts and worries about the next release for my Legends of Windemere series.  I do a lot of hero breaking in that one.

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

Marx bros

Wow.  One is difficult, but four are really a challenge.  I had this idea to pick a person from each of my influences like comedy, novels, television, and life in general.  Yet, I keep going back to a group from the first category.  I would want to have dinner with Grouch, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx. I grew up watching the Marx Brothers, so just to talk to them about comedy and their lives would be amazing.  Not even a specific question, but to get an idea of the people behind the laughs.

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

I’ve found that every author has their own system, so I always put a disclaimer that this is simply what worked for me.  I use a handful of promotional sites when my book first comes out to give it an initial boost.  The big ones are Goodkindles, AskDavid, and the Independent Author Network, which require some money.  When I started, I eased into these kinds of sites because I could only use them when I had royalty or birthday money.  These do help with starting off with a bang, but long term is something else.

For long term, you can’t do anything better than have a blog.  This is where I get a lot of my traffic and can show stuff from behind the curtain.  Think about how people like the behind the scenes stuff on DVD’s.  That is what your blog is as well as a vehicle for interacting with your audience.  You also meet other authors through your blog and get to talk shop while supporting each other.  Word of mouth is important and the blog-o-sphere is where you can be the one to give and receive. It is very important to reciprocate and never be afraid to ask for help in promoting something.  Indie authors are all in this together, which means we have to back each other up when it comes to marketing. So WordPress has been the keystone to my promotional work.

Find Charles’ Work:

The Spirit Well CoverLegends of Windemere: The Spirit Well- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2RQMA9/

Blurb:

Born from the light and darkness, Dariana can no longer avoid her fate.

The final corrupted temple stands between the champions and Baron Kernaghan having their great battle. Only one problem: the Compass Key refuses to work with Dariana, who long ago wiped all memories of the Spirit Well from her mind. Now, they are forced to follow a trail of clues that Dariana’s former self left behind centuries ago. It is a path that will lead the champions into a part of their friend’s past that could tear them all apart.

Will the bonds of friendship be stronger than the call of blood?

Connect with Charles:

Legends of Windemere Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Tumblr
LinkedIn
Google+
Goodreads
Charles E. Yallowitz Website

A Perfect 10 with Susan Thatcher

A Perfect 10 with Susan Thatcher

Today we sit down with author Susan Thatcher to talk about her work, what inspires her and what motivates her.

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

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


Susan Thatcher

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends. If there are big, dramatic emotions, it’s draining. On the other hand, when it’s funny and light, I can go for hours.

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

I haven’t written under a pseudonym, but if was going to, it would be because I was writing in a different genre, perhaps, or because I was spilling the beans on what REALLY happens at an quorum signing event (psst: stick around after the wine comes out!)

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

That’s an interesting question. You need to believe in yourself to pursue this craft, but if you begin to believe your own press, that can cause laziness and complacency.

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

Another good question. The most fun was getting a specially made stuffed version of Beanie the cat from my books. Lots of people come to pet him at events. The best is the money spent on full tables at signing events. I meet potential readers, other authors, and I have plenty of space.

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

I have: one of my dearest friends was having dinner with her sister-in-law (whom I’ve never met) and the sister-in-law told her that her hairdresser had told her all about this great book she’d just read and that Annie, the sister-in-law, should read it. It was MY book. How about that?

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

I have a couple of boxes and a small file cabinet full of research material on books I’m not presently writing! Any excuse to get more books, right? To understand the experience of breast cancer and recovery, I have scholarly books to learn about the disease and treatment and I have books by survivors who are, if you will, at the other end of those scholarly books undergoing the disease and treatment.

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

In “These Foolish Things,” the names Gardner and Hadley are towns in Massachusetts. I did regret using the name of a (now) ex-friend. Luckily, it. Took so damned long to to get the book published, I could change the name before it went to print!

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Oh, boy. I can’t answer that without spoilers. Understand: while I may take scenes and incidents from my life, I do not write biographically. Some things bring up very painful memories, and back to your question about whether writing is exhausting or energizing, those scenes will drain me to the point where I want to stay in bed for 3 days.

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

Let’s see…

robin_williams_hbo-edit1Robin Williams. I wouldn’t ask him so much as tell him what his work and persona meant to me. Also, the man would liven up any dinner party.

Aaron Sorkin .jpg

Aaron Sorkin. I’d ask him about his research, etc. I have a small group of writers that I rate as F—ing Geniuses (Aaron Sorkin, Tom Stoppard, and Vince Gilligan). Believe me, I’d pick his brains.

George Pimentel

Laura Linney because I want to talk her into playing Liz Gardner in the movie version of my first two books.

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And Cher because I’ve been a fan since “The Beat Goes On” was on the radio (Yeah, I’m that old) and I’d like her to play Angie in the movie versions. And she’s just cool.

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

Signing events. I need to refine my elevator pitch (or actually remember it!. I get to talk to people, they see that if they buy both books, they get a little stuffed cat with them, and I make them laugh.

Find Susan’s Books and Connect With Her:

www.susanthatcher.com

 

 

A Perfect 10 with Kathleen Lopez

A Perfect 10 with Kathleen Lopez

Today we sit down with author Kathleen Lopez to learn about her work and the things that inspire and motivate her.

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

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


Site image Headshot

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I find writing to be very energizing.  There is something thrilling about creating events and stories from pure imagination.  There is some work involved, sure, and there are times that it may put a strain as a writer can struggle to get the right words.  My stories are not steeped in historical events, so constructing a world for my characters is quite fun.  It is a labor of love in essence.

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

When I started as a journalist back in the day, I did use a pseudonym for my by line.  Initially it was purely to be published.  I found that even in the early 90s, my work as a freelancer got its way to the editor’s desk and prepped for print if I used a male name, Charlie in my case.  As an author, I use my real name.  I prefer people to think of my work coming from me.  Not that there is anything wrong with using a pseudonym for works of fiction, it is just that everything else is crafted, I kind of want people to know that I crafted it.

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

I think whether a writer admits it or not, we do have an ego.  There is a desire to share what’s rattling around in our brains.  The need or desire to get your story out there is not purely a selfless act.  Otherwise, we would not charge for people to read it.  Having people enjoy your work is very satisfying.  It is trying to keep that ego in check when the person who does not like your work; that is the hard part.  I think the ego helps drive you to pursue your passion to write and publish, but can hinder you a bit when you get that bad review.

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

The best money ever spent as a writer is when I go to conventions or travel and get the chance to talk to young readers.  Granted my topics are not for the very young, but when you get in front of teenagers and get them excited about reading, it is a thrill.  Having kids ask you about the process and engage with something other than their cell phones is great.  I have done several events with schools – meet and greets, teach-ins, etc. – and each time it is exciting to me to watch young readers respond to you.  I am about to do an Authors in Schools event in February at an Amelia Island middle-high school.  It is very rewarding to be able to get the chance to talk to younger readers and get them to see that books are not just a homework assignment, but can introduce new worlds to them.

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

I once did an Author Meet and Greet for my old high school.  The school assembled several students from their English and Writing classes to attend a Q&A session with me.  One student was just overjoyed to meet me.  You would have thought I was at the level of Stephen King or something.  She brought me her composition notebooks to show me her own writings.  She was full on excited that I was there.  I had given her a signed copy of my first book and she was just thrilled.  It was the best feeling and all I did was show up.  It felt, if only for the day, that ‘I arrived’.

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

My stories are crafted from various collected ideas so there is some amounts of research done to ensure I am writing somewhere near the realm of reality.  I employ Google to get to a lot of credible research material.  I suffer from the ‘Please don’t look at my Internet history’ syndrome.  My murder-mystery/thriller topics lead me to look up some rather interesting searches.  Depending on what I am looking up, I could spend quite a bit of time searching and gathering background information.  My locations for my books are fictional, but I set them in areas that do exist in the real world, so to fully integrate them, I make sure I know the indigenous vegetation or landmarks etc.  I like to think it helps solidify my made up little world just a bit.

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

I try not to name my characters after people I know.  That can end in tears.  I hear a name or see a sign and that sometimes spurs the creation of a character’s name.  There was this tag on a little doll someone once gave me and it read the company name or something, Breden.  That became the last name of my character Ralph Breden in my first book.  Atterman, another character’s last name in that same book, was a word I saw on the side of a truck that drove by my window as was sitting typing up my story.  With regards to regretting a character’s name, in my first book, the main character’s name was originally Britney.  I had just liked the name.  However, Britney Spears was just coming popular at the time and you heard her on the radio every time you turned it on.  I got tired of hearing her name so much I changed the character’s name to Samantha.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I think the connecting pieces are hardest to write.  When there is an active scene, and the plot is moving, that can write itself practically.  Once you are at the height of the story, then you are typing like mad.  It is the quiet moments, the scenes between the scenes that are there to push the story along, that tend to be the hardest for me.  I do not like reading those stories that seem forced, so I hope not to write those types of moments.  Connecting the dots, getting the story told without having any major moments or bombshells, those tend to take some doing.  You want to make sure that you write in a way that it is not blatantly obvious you are just trying to get to the next moment.

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

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My first person would be Stephen King.  He has been my writing idol for so long.  It would be fascinating to hear how he imagines the stories and how the innocent day-to-day life events take a turn into these incredible scenarios.  When the world you are reading takes such a left turn and you are hooked to will believe anything that comes next is totally and utterly possible, that is a talent.  Anything that can start like a normal situation and turn so dire or invoke such unfathomable outcomes is awe inspiring to me.

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My second person would be Carrie Fisher.  When I started working on this interview, it was prior to the most recent events, so this one was a bit hard to put into words without jumping onto any bandwagons.  I have always been interested in her take on the world.  Her writing is what I had always loved.  While she may have been more associated with her film career, her frank and honest take on the world shone through her words.  I often wondered how she must have had to endure in order to get her version out there.  As outspoken as she was, I am sure there were some battles to be won to get her work out in the manner she wanted it.

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The third person would be Amelia Earhart.  Other than the fact that she pushed the boundaries in aviation and for her gender pushing those boundaries, there is the obvious question as to what happened.  I think talking to her about how she perceived the world and her place in it at the time.  I often think of those before us that will never know the everlasting impact and legacy they leave behind.

<> on June 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

The fourth person would be Queen Elizabeth.  I think having her take on the ever-changing world and her place in it would be almost the flip of my conversation with Amelia Earhart.  The Queen has seen the older ways ebb away and the controversy increase as the royalty tries to hold on.  There have been some evolution, but there is still a struggle.  It would prove interesting to hear how or if the older ways will or even should modernize.

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

I have had a hard time with the platforms to be honest.  While Facebook is popular, popularity can be fleeting.  The tide turns when a new format comes around and people become disinterested in what worked yesterday.  Twitter is good as well, but when you have people that follow hundreds and thousands of people, you get lost in the shuffle.  I have my own website, but to try to funnel people to it, the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter, the success is hit or miss.  Honestly, I have found that blogs are becoming my best interest driver.  People will follow blogs or vlogs and will actually invest their time in following up with the things they read or view. If someone is going to take the time to read something that is more than merely 140 characters, they are most likely going to invest time in you, if what they read peaks their interest.  It is all about word of mouth, the review that gets people.  Little to no reviews or bad reviews and people are not willing to waste their time.  That is where the marketing lives, getting other people talking about you for you, that has been the best platform for me.

Kathleen’s Books:

I currently have two releases published with a third on the way–

Between_the_Shades_o_Cover_for_KindleBetween the Shades of Light and Dark (Murder-Mystery)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]Prodigal Son (Thriller/Suspense)

Sweet Child of Mine (Paranormal; due out late spring)

Connect with Kathleen:

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Lopez/e/B00HCMFR4I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1414761153&sr=1-3

Author page: www.imkathleenlopez.com

Twitter: @imkathleenlopez

Facebook: www.facebook.com/imkathleenlopez

A Perfect 10 with Nick Davis

A Perfect 10 with Nick Davis

Hello,

This is a special mid-week edition of A Perfect 10 with my friend, author Nick Davis. Nick is going to tell us about his latest work and a bit about his inspiration.

Please enjoy this latest 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


Nick Davis

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

The more I write, the more I’m energized by what I write.

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

I’ve always used my real name. I’ve thought about a pseudonym, but as yet have decided. If I did, my first name would probably be something like Bartholomew.

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

I believe too big an ego can hurt an author, but you do need to at least be confident in your own work.

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

It would have to be the day at the NYS Fair, where I paid a small fee for a space, and tripled my investment for the day.

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

Success is creating a following. I have more followers on Twitter than any other social media. But real success to me is knowing that a complete stranger sent me an e-mail saying he loved my work, and expects to see more from 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 latest work required a different kind of research than my sci fi books. I make sure I research the topics well as I write about them, mostly online. My current book required some knowledge of nautical terms and research of weaponry. My previous novels were a lot of scientific terms.

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

Usually I make them up as I go. My current story, I created the names long ago, when I was just a preteen, and first wrote it. A couple of names were too similar, so I had to change them.

  • What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Although I write a lot of battle scenes, I find they are still the hardest to capture the actual atmosphere of the moment.

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

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Sean Connery- Have you ever regretted playing James Bond?

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William Shatner-What was the funniest thing you ever did on the set of Star Trek?

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JRR Tolkien- What inspired you to write about Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and Hobbits?

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Stephen King- What keeps your creative process flowing?

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

Word of mouth, and direct sales at fairs, festivals, and book signings.

Find Nick’s Books:

Bargo Lynden

Nick’s Amazon Page:

Nick’s Blog: