A Perfect 10 with Lizzie Chantree

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Lizzie Chantree on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah FordAndrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan, Marjorie Mallon, Marina Costa, Lynda Filler, Lorinda Taylor, Aidan Reid


chantree

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. It can be tiring when deadlines are looming, but writing a completely fresh story is very exciting and I can’t usually wait to start work each day.

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

I write under my own name. I paint landscapes and I use another name for that, which is Beth Juniper. I did this to keep my writing and art separate and not confuse anybody.

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

I don’t know many writers with a big ego. Most of us spend so many months and years writing a book and then wait nervously to see if anyone enjoys our work. When they do, it’s such a compliment. Getting good reviews is an empowering feeling, but ego doesn’t come in to it for me.  It makes me feel like someone has just handed me a rainbow.

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

After editing and proof reading, it would be images for cover design. Without good editing, it’s hard for a book to find the audience it deserves.

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

For me success was publishing my first book, Babe driven. I had left the manuscript in a drawer for five years and finally plucked up the courage to self-publish. I was offered a book contract, but decided to publish myself, as I was a bit scared about being offered a book deal and didn’t know any other writers to ask for advice! After two further books and two further book contract offers, I am now publishing my 4th novel with Crooked Cat Books in Jan 2018.

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 my years of running businesses as research. My books are modern romances that are full of friendship and relationships, but they all have slightly zany businesses in them run by entrepreneurs. I began my first business at the age of seventeen, so I use that experience in my writing.

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

I often pick quite unusual names. These are the names that come into my head as I’m writing, so I usually stick with them. I really like all of the names and they seem to fit the characters well.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Something with painful emotions can take time to write, as there are often so many thoughts going through a characters mind. Getting that onto paper and expressing it with feeling is so important.

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 Ed Sheeran,  Adele, Chris Martin and Beyonce to dinner. I am fascinated by the way they tell stories through their music. I would ask about their writing processes, what inspires them in life and if they feel that drive to create new ideas all of the time.

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

Twitter. I run a popular networking hour on Twitter every Monday evening called #CreativeBizHour 8-9pm (GMT). It’s an hour of networking and is a great way for creatives to support each other. Twitter is a great way to meet other people with similar interests.

Lizzie’s book:

A Perfect 10 with Aidan Reid

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Aidan Reid on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah FordAndrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan, Marjorie Mallon, Marina Costa, Lynda Filler, Lorinda Taylor


ajrDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

Somewhere in the middle. Some days, it can flow very easily. Hours go past and before I know it, I’ve forgotten dinner and it’s almost time for bed! Other days, it can be like pulling teeth. Nothing clicks. Sometimes you don’t really know until you sit down and open a vein on the page.

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

I don’t currently. I would consider trying it to test myself in another genre. I believe you need to have an interest in what you’re writing about though. Ultimately, it will be reflected in the finished product. The reader will know if your heart is in it or not. For example, would I write a rom-com novella? No way. I like mystery/thriller/sci-fi. However, lines blue between genres. I’d give anything a whirl if motivated.

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

You certainly need a thick skin and positive attitude to last the course if choosing the path of a writer. But you also need a degree or realism. Many authors have unrealistic expectations. They think they’ll write the next 50 Shades, or Harry Potter. For 99.9%, it won’t replace the salary of the day job.

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

Hiring an editor. It was a big expense. I didn’t think I would need it at the time. I was naïve. It was my first book, Pathfinders. Reviews from friends and family enjoyed the pre-edited version. I decided to seek external evaluation and as a result, it helped bring my game up a few notches and provided focus areas that I could work on for future novels.

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

If you can create something from thin air, package it in a way that is unique, compelling and of a high quality and THEN people are willing to pay, read and complement you on it…. then, that for me is success. By that definition, I’ve achieved it.

However, it’s a whole new challenge spreading that message to a wider audience. Now, writers need to have more tools in their toolbox to get noticed.

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

I tend to write about things that I already know about. I don’t sit down in anticipation of writing a college text book. I’m telling a story. It’s a work of fiction. There are, of course, certain areas where I would need to swot up on. Locations, customs, etc. I leave those details blank and color them in at a later date. Worst thing you can do is stop your momentum, fact check and before you know it, your enthusiasm has left. Once you find the wave, you gotta surf it. You don’t know when the next one will come along.

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

I don’t have any difficulty coming up with names. They seem to step forward in my mind when I sit down at the laptop!

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Love scenes. Probably one of the reasons why those scenes don’t feature much in my books. I prefer the ‘less is more’ approach. Don’t need the details. Unless it’s erotica. That’s as far removed from my books as you can get though.

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

M

1-father

My father – he died ten years ago in November 2007. Apart from the obvious (how are you, etc), I’d pick his brain for some ideas from the other side!

1-mathesonRichard Matheson – he’s my favorite author of all time. I’d love to talk about what inspired him to write certain stories. He was a magician with words.

2-ickeDavid Icke – an incredible mind and researcher. Some of the topics he explores, I like to delve into in my books. We’d have an interesting chat.
3-ramsayGordon Ramsey – He’d be the one cooking the dinner. For obvious reasons.

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

I’ve been slow to build my email list. This year I’ve used Instafreebie and Bookfunnel to build a list of almost 3,000 engaged subscribers. all from giving away a couple of my free short stories.

Aidan’s Book:

Pathfinders - 3D Render - Size 1Pathfinders –

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Pathfinders-Aidan-J-Reid/dp/1523245727

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pathfinders-Aidan-J-Reid/dp/1523245727
Barnes and Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pathfinders-aidan-j-reid/1123423210?ean=9781523245727

Pathfinders is an action-packed, exciting rescue mission that explores our deepest fears, and what lies hidden in our subconscious.

A comatose man is trapped inside his nightmare. There, a dangerous enemy stalks him. His only hope of rescue is from his best friend Victor. Working with a mysterious librarian, Victor finds a way to enter the dream state and soon realizes the horror that lives there. A place where nightmares are born.

Connect with Aidan:

www.aidanjreid.com

www.Facebook.com/aidanjreidauthor

www.twitter.com/aidanjreid

 

 

A Perfect 10 with Lorinda Taylor

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Lorinda Taylor on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah FordAndrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan, Marjorie Mallon, Marina Costa, Lynda Filler


Blog PictureDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

I had plenty of energy when I first began to write at the age of 29. I had just read Tolkien and his books inspired me.  At that time I attempted to publish the old-fashioned way (submissions to publishers, etc.) but had no luck.  Then I had a long hiatus because of family concerns and didn’t begin writing again until the year 2000, when my time was finally my own.  Most of what I’ve published to this point was written between 2000 and 2010, and I can’t say I ever felt exhausted by it – rather, exhilarated!  In 2011 I decided to self-publish and now I’m mostly editing books I wrote earlier.  And as I get older, I can’t say that I’m quite as energized as I was previously.

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

I thought about it at one point.  I considered using the name “Jeanne Munday,” a combination of my middle name and my grandmother’s birth name.  However, it just didn’t feel like me, so I’ve kept my real name.  I never considered reducing my name to “L. J. Taylor,” which is hardly a distinctive moniker – I’m perfectly content to be recognized as a woman, following the lead of Ursula K. LeGuin, my favorite science fiction author.

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

I believe in moderation.  I think too strong an ego can produce a bully and perhaps reduce the empathy that a writer needs to create sympathetic characters.  Too weak an ego can result in a lack of confidence.

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

Buying my first computer in the year 2000.  It made writing so much easier!

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

For me, success means gaining as wide a readership as possible.  I’m not in it for the money – what I would like to see is more readers, more thoughtful reviews, and more recognition.  I think my books make absorbing reads, but they also have something to say to people.  I always end my biographical information with the line: “She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.”

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

For a writer of science fiction, the need for research is a given.  I was a librarian, so of course in pre-internet days, I did my research in libraries.  Since 2000, I have become pretty dependent on the internet for research – it’s a great resource.  I generally research as I write.  The Termite Queen and subsequent books about my giant intelligent extraterrestrial termite people required learning about entomology.  And then I also create conlangs for my extraterrestrials to speak, so that requires linguistics.  Physics and astronomy were important background for The Termite Queen, and especially for my long opus The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars,

which is a fictionalized biography of the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials.

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

My termite characters are named using my conlang version of their own language and they all have a meaning.  Some people find that too complicated, but others really enjoy that aspect.

I’ll mention here a couple of my human characters.  In The Termite Queen the female protagonist is named “Kaitrin Oliva.”  My mother’s middle name was Kathryn and I always liked the name, so I decided to adapt it into a form I hadn’t seen before.  Later, I discovered there was a current trend of naming female characters something related to Katherine, Katlyn, Kaitlin, etc.  I didn’t realize that at the time or I probably would have picked something else.

As to the surname “Oliva,” Kaitrin’s mother is half-Irish, half-Mexican, so I wanted a Spanish-sounding name that varied a little bit from the usual form, because this IS the 30th century and languages have evolved.

My main character in The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars is named “Robbin Nikalishin.”  I decided on a Russian surname for him because, again, by the 28th century lineages are quite mixed up.  Robbie was born “Roberto Vargas” in Argentina, but his mother was British, a descendant of Russians who emigrated to Britain in the 25th century.  When she divorced Robbie’s father, she changed her eight-year-old son’s surname to her own.  Her given name is “Sterling” and that was pure inspiration – it just came to me as the perfect name.  If I need a Russian name for a character, I look for it among hockey players.  I also get French-Canadian names from hockey players, e.g., Dr. Souray in Man Who Found Birds.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I have the most trouble with transitional parts, where facts need to be introduced but nothing much happens.  Love scenes are not easy either, but they’re fun!

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 enjoy a conversation with Ursula K. LeGuin, and I would like to have met Evangeline Walton, who wrote those wonderful retellings of Welsh myth, the Mabinogion Tetralogy (some of my absolutely favorite books of all times).  Then there is always J.R.R. Tolkien.  And Robert Graves would probably be in there, representing poetry and Greek myth.

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

Amazon, for sure.  Does any indie author try to publish these days without using Amazon?  I also continue to use Smashwords because it spreads the marketing around through many venues, but I don’t sell much through them.


Lorinda’s Books:

TSRA poster June 17, 2017

I’ve published 13 books so far, so I’ll cite just two, plus my Amazon page where you can see all my books.  http://amzn.to/1jRb7YV

Cover Art, TQ, v.1 corr for SmshwdsThe Termite Queen, v.1: The Speaking of the Dead http://amzn.to/Imh3kd (This a two-volume novel, not complete until you read v.2: The Wound That Has No Healing.)

In the 30th century, an off-world expedition brings back a giant termite with a behavior that suggests intelligence. During the planning for a first-contact expedition, Kaitrin Oliva, a linguistic anthropologist, falls in love with the entomologist-leader, a complex man hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, civil discord is brewing on the termite planet as the Queen’s Chamberlain plots a murder …

Cover, MWFB, Pt.1 - front, final

The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part One: Eagle Ascendant http://amzn.to/2iTNuUd

Robbin Haysus Nikalishin was born on 31 October of the year 2729 and ultimately became the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials. This fictionalized biography, composed 50 years after Nikalishin’s death, recounts the first 31 years of the life of a man who is hailed as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. During this portion of his life he enjoyed many triumphs, joys, and loves, but he was not immune to failure and tragedy. In 2761 a major space disaster completely changes the course of his life.

All heroes are human beings and all human beings are flawed, and the man the Earth came to know as “Capt. Robbie” was a very human man.

Connect with Lorinda:

Ruminations of a Remembrancer  http://termitewriter.blogspot.com

The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com

Twitter: @TermiteWriter

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Termitewriter

A Perfect 10 with Lynda Filler

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Lynda Filler on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah Ford, Andrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan, Marjorie Mallon, Marina Costa


fullsizeoutput_4bb4

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I’ve never really thought of writing in terms of whether it exhausts or energizes me. But I can say that when I’m in flow on a blog or chapter, it can be breathtaking. When my muse shares something insightful or emotional I feel blown away. In those moments, I feel closest to my calling.

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

I never write under a pseudonym. I write poetry, novellas, fast-paced edgy works of fiction, romantic suspense. I’ve recently written an extremely well received, Memoir. To date, I’ve not used a pen name. I’ve spent the last couple of years and the last few months building a following on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon and my blog. Using a different name seems unproductive to me. However, my next release will be a Contemporary novel called “Lie to Me an exposé on sex for money.” It borders on the edge of adult/somewhat erotic possibly. As I was editing, and rewriting, I wondered if this should be released under a pseudonym. But I decided not to do it

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

I think we have to believe in our work. An author needs a strong conviction that what he/she is writing or working towards, is worthy and will succeed. I find marketing and the organization of all sales oriented events takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. Ego comes into it in the sense that writing requires confidence in your talent. But if your ego is huge to the point that input from fans or editors is ignored, that could be a problem. I love to hear from my fans, both great reviews and critical comments. That’s how we learn and grow and improve the entertainment we provide for the reader.

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

The best money I ever spent as a writer was on my devices, especially my MacBook Air. I have two, so if one goes on the blink, I’m covered. The MBA is light enough and sized perfectly to fit into my tote bags. I love to travel for pleasure and can work anywhere, especially at Starbucks; and I rarely leave home without my laptop.

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

What does writing success look like to me? I have followers who have read everything I’ve written. That says a lot to me because I write in several genres. I have poetry, novellas— action and suspense/thrillers: JET Kindle World Series and LEI Crime Kindle World series, novels—romantic suspense, and contemporary. And this spring I published my first non-fiction memoir/self-help. If my readers are going from one to another, they must love my style of writing, the way I tell a story, and the way I look at the world. And that’s success for me. My memoir/self-help book is so personal. When I get emails on my FB page or messages on You Tube about LOVE The Beat Goes On, my fight to heal from incurable, it makes my heart sing. To know that thousands have been entertained and/or with my healing book, have felt a sense of “I am not alone,” that’s everything to me. That’s what success looks like in my world.

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 thriller/suspense/action books JET Kindle Worlds—I have 4, and my VANISHED in the Sun book, I did a lot of research. Topics covered were drug cartels (I live in Puerto Vallarta and often write books with a Mexican backdrop) trafficking, both human and drug, cyberwarfare, Triads, WMD, biological warfare, and most recently for JET Displaced, the refugee crisis. I love researching timely issues. I do it all online. Sometimes one news article can inspire an entire book. One Internet search takes me off in another direction. I use Google maps a lot for borders, boundaries, even for street scenes. I have a very vivid imagination so my ideas come from all over the place. A photograph can spark a direction for a book. My challenge is not ideas, it’s time to write them and form them into a cohesive and thrilling story.

As far as how much time do I spend researching before beginning a book, it depends. I do plot out all my books even non-fiction. I use an excel spreadsheet so I can cut and paste and move ideas around to suit the direction of my stories. That’s how I stay organized. I have a mentor, Russell Blake, and I use his system for plotting before I start to write the first chapter. The more I plot, the faster I write. And of course, there’s always a character or subplot that inserts itself in my story and makes me laugh out loud!

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

In my current WIP I had to come up with several Hispanic male names. Sometimes I will write and story and keep forgetting the name of a character. That’s when I know the name I’ve chosen doesn’t fit the person in my story. I change it. I think about my stories, immerse myself in the settings I create, so the characters names have to fit. In JET Displaced I have to work with several Arabic names both male and female. That was challenging. Again, the names had to ‘feel’ and ‘fit’ the character. Most names will come from sites online and occasionally, like in JET where I have a Navy SEAL, I use variations of names of people I know.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

The most difficult scenes to write have sex in them. I downloaded two books in the last few months, on how to write sex scenes. My writing style is definitely formed from the books that I read. Romance is not one of my genres. But when your Muse visits and takes you in a direction that might be awkward or unknown territory, you better start writing because she’s not going to leave until her story is written!

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

Four people”

1-silvaDaniel Silva, I want to know if there is a real live Gabriel Allon (my favorite book series)

1-oprahOprah, I want to be inspired and motivated by her wisdom and success. And of course, I want her to select my books for Oprah’s Book Club—I know she will love my memoir/healing book!

3-fatherMy father, who is dead—I want him to fill in the blanks of all my lost years as a child. Were they so painful that I’ve blocked them? What went on? Why do I feel he didn’t love me?

4-motherAnd the fourth person has no name. But she would have been in her forties now, a grown-up woman—my only daughter. I hope she has forgiven me. She is always with me in my heart.

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

I don’t know what platform has brought me the most success in marketing my books. I can say I write exclusively on Amazon. And they definitely promote my JET series, I can tell from the constant sales flow. Facebook, writing groups, Twitter, especially RRBC on Twitter, receiving awards, being nominated TOP Contemporary Novel 2017 TARGET in the SUN, Book of the Month RRBC October 2017 for LOVE The Beat Goes On. BTRC2017 nominated LOVE the Beat Goes On, for Best Cover 2017. All these things have helped me tremendously. Networking in general. Of course, 5 Star reviews and word of mouth has worked well also.

About Lynda’s Books:

 Love front with quotes

LOVE The Beat Goes On

https://goo.gl/uQqPF2

target

TARGET in the SUN

https://goo.gl/PPLaF9

 

Connect with Lynda:

https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Filler/e/B00JNP2CS6

https://www.facebook.com/Lynda-Filler-Author-188513257895/

https://www.facebook.com/LOVETheBeatGoesOn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4770598

https://www.instagram.com/lyndafillerauthor/

https://lyndafiller.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/LyndaMFiller

A Perfect 10 with Marina Costa

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring Romanian author Marina Costa on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah Ford, Andrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan, Marjorie Mallon


foto lansare

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing usually energizes me. I am an economist, and working with words instead of numbers, and especially writing about times and places less known for the modern Romanian reader, matter a lot.

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

Marina Costa is a pseudonym. My real name is Lelia-Elena Vasilescu. I have published on my maiden name (because I wasn’t married yet in 1999) a project management book, the first one in Romanian at that time. I have also other specialized publications under my real name, as I have a PhD in World Economics. The dissertation wasn’t published though.

My publisher said that a writer needs to have a short name, with something unusual and easy to remember. He suggested me something I didn’t like, and I chose Marina Costa instead, the name of a character I had written in my youth, which complied with his requirements and I loved it. Furthermore, I had already my social media on this pseudonym.

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

A big ego always hurts, because it comes in the path of self-improvement, and it affects taking criticism too.

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

Money spent on books needed for research.

If saying about my youth, I’d recommend the aspiring writers (and better if they can read Italian, as I don’t know if that was translated into English) “The Grammar of Fantasy” by Gianni Rodari. It is helpful for writing children’s stories, but teaches an aspiring writer how to think, how to find subjects… Ultimately, his advice can be adapted for fan fiction and for fantasy and world building too. In English I’d recommend Holly Lisle’s books, but I had what I could online, without paying, so it is not the reply to THIS question.

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

I haven’t achieved yet writing success. Besides plenty of books sold and read, it would mean also interacting with the readers.

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 before and during writing the book, because besides researching for the basic things before beginning it (historical setting, specific names, clothing, traditions, buildings, culture, wars, etc.) one never knows beforehand that some more specific details will be needed to research later. I use books, movies and Internet sources alike. The fact that I can read in English, French, Spanish and Italian besides my mother tongue helps a lot in finding information. From Renaissance fencing manuals to how to treat a wound in a certain time period and place, and to specific music and holiday traditions, I have researched lots of things. My novels are historical fiction and adventure, but they are historically documented and the curious ones can read the footnotes as well (not sources like in academic papers, but explanations, summaries of historical characters and important places, such as the ones to hold battles or sign treaties, etc.)

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

I like some names and it shows, being recurrent in my stories. You can find a Marina, an Andrea, an Alexandro and a few others in several stories I have written. If I had children, they might have got the Romanian versions of these names. But I choose other names based on names lists specific for the time period and nationality the characters are. Some are chosen based on my friends, relatives’ or acquaintances’ names, but it doesn’t mean that the character as a whole is inspired from them. In several instances, I took a name or a diminutive from a person I knew, parts of the personality of someone else – real person or character of a book or a movie – and I added my original touch too, so the resulting character might be a villain with a good person’s name, so the part with “be nice with the writer, otherwise she puts you in a novel and she kills you” isn’t valid for me. You can be nice and I still would use your name for a villain or for a secondary character who dies heroically in a battle.

I remember that I chose a secondary character’s name after a four years old girl with a blue dress, a blue balloon and blue eyes, running on the falaise on a holiday afternoon, hearing how her parents called her.

If I regretted choosing a particular name in an instance, I changed the name after having written the novel. For example, in a novel I haven’t published yet, I used the name Vanessa because I had been told it means Venetian, and it was appropriate, in that case, for the daughter of an estranged Venetian. But I learnt later that it wasn’t true, it had been invented by Jonathan Swift. It is not Italian and not appropriate for the time period the story happened. So, at the end of the novel, replace all and turn her into Vittoria.

I also did it for a Mary Ann which didn’t seem right for a foreign girl… and at the end she became Marion, slightly more exotic. Again, select all and replace.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I’d say a sex scene, and one of the reasons why I merely suggest them when it is the case. I write for young adults mostly, and I am surveying my language. I liked the most when I suggested a wedding night with a few verses from the “Song of Songs”.

But in historical novels, any scene is difficult to write if you haven’t done enough research. I can write only if I can see first the scene in my mind in order to describe it. And sometimes I was stopped by not seeing well, yet, what they had on their tables at the feast or what work the sailors were doing during the storm. The answer was back to research, then back to writing with the image fresh in your mind.

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

My preferences would change from a day to another. One day they would involve people who had changed the world, among which young Malala Yousafzai, Indira Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Toussaint L’Ouverture.

Another day they would involve some of my favorite writers, and I would ask them advice for literary success. Those would be Sir Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas Sr., Victor Hugo and Karl May.

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

The publishing house’s periodic magazine, “Literary Arena”, the semestrial book fairs and the reviews other writers published in various literary magazines. I would say also the Facebook page helped some. Not having e-books (because they aren’t sought in my country, here paperbacks are important) the most usual advice found online about book promotions don’t apply to me, being mostly focused on e-books.

About Marina’s Books:

I don’t have purchase links, as my books aren’t available online (and my books aren’t in English anyway, but in Romanian, my mother tongue), but the link to my social media are:

https://www.facebook.com/Marina-Costa-779203492216758/

https://solpicador.wordpress.com/

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My debut novel’s title can be translated as “The Wanderers of the Seas“. It was launched in June 2016 and it happens in the Viking Era. It is based also on one historical theory of the years 1950s-1980s that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent who had taught them a lot of things, described as blonde and bearded, with whom the Conquistadors had been mistaken, might have been Viking. So my characters, after a whole saga (a Byzantine young woman happening to be in a convent in Venice while her father was travelling, gets kidnapped by the Vikings, follows them on an island in now Norway, then, as her master gets killed in a local political intrigue and his defenders get banned, she follows them in their quest for a new homeland), end in now Mexico, with the Nahuatl. Sigurd, the ship captain, turns to become there Quetzalcoatl.

The second novel, launched in March 2017, in two volumes, can be translated as “Lives in turmoil” (Part 1 – “Bloodied lands“, Part 2 – “The New World“). It starts in the Napoleonic Era, in Italy under the Jacobine revolutions – “Liberty, equality, fraternity, democratic republic” (therefore the title of the first volume – the lands are bloodied by the wars). For my character, the fights stop with the battle of Novi, in the summer of 1799, when she is taken prisoner. She succeeds to escape, but she has to lay low ever since.

When the Revolutionary Wars turn into dictature with the self-appointment of Napoleon as first consul, she and her fiance decide to emigrate to the US, the only country who had preserved the democratic values. (hence the second volume’s title). There they go west, with a convoy of Venetians, and settle on the shores of the Mississippi river (Venice, IL exists now too, and it is a part of Greater St. Louis, being just across the river from St. Louis). They make new friends there and they erect their village, with the name of the Serenissima Reppubblica they are deploring (The Republic of Venice being given by Napoleon to the Austrians in Campo Formio Treaty in 1797). They witness the Purchase of Louisiana, the development of Saint Louis (in parallel, but in quicker rhythm than their village). The second volume ends with Lafayette’s visit in 1825, making Roxana and Luigi, now Mayor of Venice, Illinois, reminisce their lives and fights in Italy, and with their firstborn son, now a young man in his early 20s, returning to Italy, together with other sons of settlers of Venice, to fight on the side of the Carbonari, exactly how their revolutionary parents had fought in their youth for the same ideals.

There will be a third volume too, a sequel with its own conflict, which can be read also separately, titled “Other turmoils of life“, that I am working at during this NaNoWriMo season.

A Perfect 10 with Marjorie Mallon

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Marjorie Mallon on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah Ford, Andrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay, Robin Leigh Morgan


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Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me but editing or formatting exhaust me! Anything remotely computer intensive that isn’t creative is exhausting and frustrating.

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

No, I never have written under a pseudonym. But having said that I decided to make my author name M J Mallon rather than Marjorie Mallon. I liked the MJ part of it – it reminded me of spider man’s Mary Jane!

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

I don’t have a big ego. If anything, I’m taming my ego with Tai Chi! Lol. So it’s difficult to say whether it helps or hurts writers. I write because I love to. For me, it’s for the love rather than the fame. Lol. But, of course it is wonderful to receive positive reviews and feedback from people who enjoy my books. That is the best most amazing feeling.

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

I haven’t made much money yet as a writer. I published my kindle book The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone at the end of August this year. The paperback will hopefully be coming out before Christmas. Recently, I made a nice little unexpected amount from blogging and I spent this on an intended trip up to Scotland to see my parents, and my extended family after Christmas.

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

Recently, I received two five star and a four star review. It was such a great feeling. It’s a bit early days for a long list of my successes – only time will tell!

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 as I go along. My main focuses were:  the Corpus Christ Chronopage clock on King’s Parade in Cambridge. (Just recently I met the inventor of the clock – Dr John C Taylor, OBE and that was just amazing.)  I also researched about crystals and their properties. And Greek myths, and shadows!  Google helped a lot!

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

My youngest daughter Georgina came up with some of the names. I changed the name of the dog in my book as I originally called him Clarence but that’s the name of one of my friend’s sons so the doggie became Toby! I think he suits it better. Other than that I love all of my characters’ names.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I don’t find it difficult to write scenes. I never seem to suffer from writer’s block. My one flaw is I am terrible at plotting so I end up doing a huge amount of editing and moving scenes around which isn’t the best idea!

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 love to meet David Bowie, love his music. Oscar Wilde as well, I’d love to talk to him about Dorian Gray. J K Rowling as I love Harry Potter! Oh, and somebody terribly handsome like the lead singer of Steriophonics, Kelly Jones!

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

Bit difficult to say as I’m a new writer but my blog has been helpful in generating interest and blog tours have been a really great idea too.  I have been very fortunate as so many of my fellow authors have invited me to do author spots on their blogs. Hugh at Hugh’s Views and News has featured me as his author of the month this October which has been fantastic. Other than that I suppose having my book on Amazon helps! And perhaps being a founding member of #ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club doesn’t go amiss too. I forgot to say I entered my cover in the AuthorsDB cover contest and it is currently in the semi-finals! It’s a cumulative effect, a bit of this, a bit of that, and hopefully this approach will attract readers. It takes time and patience! Other than that my marketing plan is to make everything as visually appealing as possible. With that in mind I asked Carolina Russo to create a wonderful portrait of one of my characters, Esme for me.

Esme©Copyright Carolina Russo

Here’s the link to find out more about that: https://yesterdayafter.com/2017/09/06/new-release-esme-bringing-alive-a-character-with-a-painting-collaboration-with-author-mj-mallon/

About Marjorie:

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumored that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practice Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Connect with Marjorie:

My Amazon UK Author Page

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon Canada Author Page

My blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com

My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Instagram: Instagram

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author

Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor

I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.

 

If you’d like to vote for me in the WritersDB first line and cover contest here’s the link to my blog post about that: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/08/please-vote-for-me-in-authorsdb-first-line-contest/

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Marjorie’s Book:

Two years have passed since Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, on that fateful day her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humor.

A Perfect 10 with Robin Leigh Morgan

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Robin Leigh Morgan on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10

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

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick RolandMary CarlomagnoKathleen JowittMichele JonesJ. BlissMaline CarrollAlethea KehasAngelique CongerColin GuestRebekkah Ford, Andrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal, Deborah Jay


RLM image

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

As a retired NY City employee, my writing definitely tends to energize me by giving me something to do to keep my mind active each day. Otherwise, I’d become bored out of my head with nothing to do and fatter than I am already, which is totally not good for my health.

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

I write under a pen name right now. The reason is quite simple regardless of what my is I like my privacy. I don’t want to be bothered my friends, neighbors, co-workers [when I was working] relatives and the like pestering continuously for free copies of any of my endeavors. I didn’t want to have an on-going barrage of questions as to when my next book would be published, etc. I’ve already got two books published under the name I’m using now, and am in the process of writing two more.

I’ve got a second pen name which I’m writing all of erotic endeavors, and I’ve already got one book published under it. And as my other pen name, I’m in the midst of writing two GLBT/BDSM erotic novellas; with a third still in the thought stage,

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

Big egos, I feel, tend to hurt writers far more than they do in helping them. No one really wants to hear someone tooting their own horns of how great they are or how wonderful their stories are. If you’re good people will recognize you for who you are on their own.

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

The most money I’ve ever spent as a writer has been quite recently. It went for revising my debut novel and consisted of a line-edit which goes into the structure of the storyline for the book instead of merely the grammar and spelling correctness of the manuscript. The cost was over $1,000.00

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

Becoming a successful writer would mean I’ve got readers who are eagerly waiting to read my next endeavor, without my having to promote it.  Unfortunately, I’m still waiting to achieve this level 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?

Romance writing, which is my chosen genre to write in, doesn’t really require any research at all since it’s all fiction. That is, unless an author decides to write regency or historical romances where research is definitely required. The reason being, while spelling and grammar can be forgiven, factual errors can’t.

For “I Kissed a Ghost” I used the Social Security website [www.ssa.gov] to find what had been the most popular names for boys/girls 100 years ago.

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

I had essentially used the most popular names of boys/girls for the ages of my characters. No regrets here

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

Since the writing of my primary pen name is essentially sweet and mundane in terms of language and sex scenes I’ve had no difficulty in writing any kind of scene. This is far from the difficulties my erotic pen name has in writing hot steamy erotic sex scene with the explicitly raw language which goes along with them.

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

I’m finding myself having problems answering this question as there far too many I’d love to meet and ask questions of. And if I had even one author I wouldn’t be able to think of the one question I’d most like the answer to.

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

I can’t really put my finger on which platform has been the most successful as I’ve never reached that level of sales.

Robin’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/e/B00BWXT4VU

If anyone is interested in learning more about Robin, or what her social media links are, you’re invited to check out:

http://www.about.me/rlmorgan51