Thursday, May 25, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/25

 In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have authors L.D. Carroll and Anna Brentwood!

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Name: L.D. Carroll 

Tentative date for first publication? As soon as I get signed by an agent, hopefully! 

Will you self-publish or go through a traditional publisher? I am going to try the traditional route first. 

*Why? Was making that decision a difficult one for you to make? For now, it’s all about the marketing – marketing is expensive and very time-consuming. But I will consider self-publishing too. 

What is the name of your book(s)? “The Door to Anloriath” 

Was it/were they an easy write for you? The first draft was easy, but it was a bit all over the place (!) 

What's the hardest part about writing a book? Revising and trying to figure out what to keep and what to throw out. I threw out six chapters and added two, plus a parallel plotline. The current book I’m writing is harder for me, it’s in the first person from the viewpoint of two different people. It didn’t seem to work in the third person. Also, the first book was a YA fantasy and this is a YA Sci-Fi novel (I’m not that familiar with Sci-Fi writing).

What's the easiest part about writing a book? It’s easy for me to come up with fantastic things because I have a vivid imagination, ha ha. If I get stuck, I just think, “What is the craziest thing that can happen?” and then I write that down. 

Where will future readers be able to purchase their copy of your book(s)? I can’t say yet, as I need to get an agent first. But I’ve had a few TV writers, a script reader plus a producer say that my work is very good and that I write like Ernest Hemingway (only in a more positive, upbeat way!). 

Do you have any other projects in the works? Yes, a YA Sci-Fi novel – the protagonist is a girl and she’s pretty funny. It takes place on two different worlds, it’s a bit film noir with some romance. 

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Facebook

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Name: Anna Brentwood

How long have you been published? Since 2013

What's the worst part about being published? The need to continually market yourself & the pressure to produce more books faster.

What's the best part about being published? Having people read your books and like them. The writing, reading community.

Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? Self but also through an author cooperative. 

*What are the highs, if any? Control over your work, more money in your pocket, knowledge. 

*What are the lows, if any? Must learn the ropes and be active in many areas aside from writing.

What is the name of your book(s)? Sapphire Songbird Series; The Songbird With Sapphire Eyes, Mermaid’s Treasure. Windtree Press Anthology, The Gift of Christmas.

Was it/were they an easy write for you? Would never say easy though my second book Mermaid’s Treasure was created and produced in 6 months.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? The discipline to commit to the daily, weekly time it takes to finish it through all its many stages.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? Again, I’d never say easy, each aspect of the process takes work but launching a finished book is a great pare of the process.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? My books are available in print and digital on almost any on-line venue; Amazon, D2D, Barnes and Noble, etc. Also, carried in many local shops and indie bookstores.

Do you have any future projects in the works? Yes, I am diligently working on the sequel to the other two books, entitled Anthony’s Angel.

*Is there a tentative release date? Summer 2017.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Sure. Would love likes to my page and/or to connect on Facebook or Twitter.

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Join me next week as I bring you more authors!

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/23

In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have author Merci McKinley!

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Name: Merci McKinley

How long have you been published? I became a published author when my first collaboration as a Contributing Author in Silent No More Camouflaged Sisters was released in November 2016. I have been a part of other collaborations with Coach Stacy Bryant in Her Story II that was released February 2017. I am a newly Indie Author of my first Solo Project, The Harvest under my own imprint of I2E Inspiration2Empower Press.

What's the worst part about being published? I believe that becoming a published Author is a gift within itself. It is a gift the author gives to themselves to take on becoming published. It is also a gift to the readers they will eventually acquire. So, given this gift, I don’t think being published is truly a negative aspect of being a writer.

What's the best part about being published? The best part about being published is the person you grow into becoming, and enhancing your skills as a writer. Many ask themselves do I have what it take? When you become published you no longer have this weight upon you of the what if. You can proudly say, I did it, I am an Author, and I put my goal into action. When that product, which is an extension of the Author themselves, is released, the accomplishment is astounding. The ability to grow and network with others is the best part about being published.

Are you self-published or did you go through a publishing company? As of right now I am a self-published and I do not regret it not one bit. There is a lot that goes into trying to acquire an Agent or querying to Publishing Companies. Can you imagine all of the writers whom had outstanding literary works rejected, and given up? Their words; their craft of being a writer becomes lost in rejection. So rather than allow “The Harvest” to die in a rejection pile, I went after it and became self-published under my own imprint of Inspiration2Empower Press. 

*What are the highs, if any? The highs of being a self-published author is not being constrained, or subjecting yourself to Vanity Publishers. The high is simply being in control of your intellectual property in which you’ve written, and not be taken advantage of by others whom only see an opportunity to benefit themselves, without giving much thought to you, the writer, or your future readers that have been waiting for what you have written. 

*What are the lows, if any? The lows are definitely the cost, and trying to develop ways to be cost efficient and conservative. Editing alone which is a valid and worthy investment can be quite expensive.

What is the name of your book(s)? The name of my first Solo Project is entitled “The Harvest”. The Harvest is about helping women become empowered through developing a self-love and building self-worth for themselves. I find that sometimes we seek validation in others that are just as broken as we are, if not more. So, internally, I decided to share my testimony of trials and tribulations, but to show how I overcame them through my faith in God. I am a survivor of many things, but at the age of nine, I was given the Bible as a gift from my mother. I said to myself, this gift that I was given and how it sustained me in my valley of trials and tribulations, must be shared. It is simply my way of guiding women through my testimony of how to obtain this very same gift for themselves by allowing the love God has for them to be what they use to build the love they should have for themselves.

Was it/were they an easy write for you? It was easy to write because it is sincere and what I ultimately desired to give my future readers. It was easy because I though there is a woman out there whom is struggling to live life moving forward in the aftermath of trauma, and I wanted to reach her. What did make it hard was being transparent and opening myself up to future judgment. However, once I got over this way of thinking, it became easier as the words flowed.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? The hardest part about writing a book is getting yourself organized, finding the time to do it, and make that commitment to seeing it through. We all have a story within us that is waiting to brought to life within a book. The hardest part is recognizing this, and following through with it in action. The hardest part is developing an outline to help guide the literary work you ultimately want to unfold as a writer.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? The easiest part about writing a book is to write your thoughts and allowing those thoughts to take shape in the words that will be written. This, when the passion is truly there, will be the easiest part about writing a book.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? “The Harvest” will be released here shortly on Amazon. They can also visit my website, connect with myself on Facebook also and hashtag of #inspiration2empower or send an email to mercimckinley.author@gmail.com. I will most definitely respond because I desire to connect with my future readers.

Do you have any future projects in the works? Yes, I do actually which are “She Speaks” and Lyrical Intervention, Poetic Nourishment for The Soul. She Speaks is designed as positive self talk towards future Survivors of Domestic Violence. Lyrical Intervention is my way of providing much needed intervention by way of poetic prose. 

*Is there a tentative release date? The tentative release dates will be November 2017.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Yes, I am on Facebook, LinkedIn and will eventually venture into twitter as well under I2E. I can easily be searched for via my name of Merci McKinley.

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Join me Thursday as I bring you authors L.D. Carroll and Anna Brentwood!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/18

In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have author T.L. Norman!

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Name: T. L. Norman

How long have you been published? Since 2011. First short story published was “Think Tank” in the Freedom Forge Press anthology ‘Forging Freedom’ 

What's the worst part about being published? The publicity, marketing etc. It can take so much time away from what a writer loves to do. 

What's the best part about being published? Sharing the stories that I have worked so hard on is the best part. Getting the feedback from people who don’t even know you, and seeing how your affected them. 

Are you self-published or did you go through a publishing company? All my short stories have been published traditionally through small press publisher, and coincidentally all in first Volumes. 
*What are the highs, if any? When the ideas in your head come together and lay out on the page they way you want them to. 

*What are the lows, if any? Editing, rewrites, and the occasional lost saves or crashed computers. I recently moved, and had to downsize. The move was a rushed one and I lost a lot of hard copies of my printed drafts, one that I had been working on for over 15 years and no copies had been electronically saved. That is the lowest low I think.

What is the name of your book(s)? Forging Freedom Anthology which contains my short story Think Tank, Cranial Leakage Anthology which contains my short story The Darkening, and my award winning short story The Waiting Room which placed in the top 20 of the NeoVerse writing competition and appears in ‘Threads – A NeoVerse Anthology

Was it/were they an easy write for you? Think tank went through 22 rewrites and editing changes over 6 years before it was published, The Darkening I wrote in about an hour and submitted it the next day after 3 hours of editing to make the publishing deadline, and The waiting room, which is part one of a serial, I wrote in an weekend, longhand, and typed up in my cell phone before editing on the computer. 

What's the hardest part about writing a book? There are a few things that are hard about writing. The first would be finding the time. Writing is not my primary source of income, so the day job, the night job and the parenting job fill my days. The other part that is hard is the editing process. Fighting with myself over phrasing and grammar, rewriting as needed can be time consuming and stressful at times.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? The ideas are the easiest. My brain is a free flowing mecca of ideas that have filled notebooks. I know the direction of the stories before I start writing and I think that’s what makes the process easier. 

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Amazon is the place for readers to go for all the anthologies. Some may be available on Kindle.

Do you have any future projects in the works? I am currently working on the other 3 parts of The Waiting room serial, which the publisher is interested in publishing as a complete novel later this year.

*Is there a tentative release date? At this point no, but I should know more by the end of summer. 

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Weebly, Facebook, Twitter.

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Join me next week as I bring you more authors!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/16

In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have authors Yvonne Wakefield, Victoria Ramsey, and Lily Raine!

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Name: Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield aka Yvonne Wakefield

How long have you been published? Since the 1980’s I’ve published everything from poetry to journal excerpts which have been included in anthologies or as stand alones. As a journalist I’ve published hundreds and hundreds of articles. As an educator I published numerous peer review articles and writing them was the least inspiring of any of my author endeavors.

What's the worst part about being published? The worst part of being published was the process of getting published. It is the Wild West out there and every snake oil sales person is out there with promises that their services will help you for a price. Believe me. I’ve paid a handful of people to help me on my publishing journey and they are the only ones who have made any money off my books. Also, Amazon Reviews…any crack head can post one whether they have read the book or not.

What's the best part about being published? For me the best part of being published is going around the country giving book readings and that unexpected fan letter which lets me know all those years I spent in solitary writing connected with someone.

Are you self-published or did you go through a publishing company? “Suitcase Filled with Nails: Lessons Learned from Teaching Art in Kuwait,” was first published by a company that provides all the services between manuscript and finished book. Prior to that I had worked with two editors to bring the book to a publishable standard. I did this so I could have a hard copy to use when I pitched at conferences or queried agents/publishers who could take the book to a more commercial level. It worked.

*What are the highs, if any? The highs are seeing all your years of work bound in a book.

*What are the lows, if any? The lows are being duped by unscrupulous people in the industry who take monetary advantage of fledgling authors and publishers who fail to honor a contract or marketing plan.

What is the name of your book(s)? “Suitcase Filled with Nails: Lessons Learned Teaching Art in Kuwait,” and “Babe in the Woods: Building a Life One Log at a Time,” the first of a three book series. 

Was it/were they an easy write for you? Actually, after I honed my discipline to get through the first few drafts of a book I could play with the words that previously had to be coaxed around.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? The hardest part about writing a book for me is self-doubt…I wonder if what I’m writing will appeal to readers.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? Leaving my desk after a writing session.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? As of this week May 15, 2017 my books are undergoing a publishing over haul. I do know a first edition of Suitcase Filled with Nails, is available through on-line book stores like Amazon or it can be purchased through my web site.

Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? The sequel to the first Babe in the Woods, is ready for an editor/agent/publisher and the third is in outline.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? My website, Facebook, Facebook Page, and Facebook Page

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Name: Victoria Ramsey

How long have you been published? I have been a published author since 2014. 
 
What's the worst part about being published? The worst part of being published for me has been finding marketing outlets for the book and at the same time your mind has already started the next book. Hahaha!

What's the best part about being published? The best part of being published for me has been meeting other authors and people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Are you self-published or did you go through a publishing company? I am not self published, I was referred to a wonderful publishing company and was very pleased with all their help and the end product. The ‘highs’ occur when everything is moving toward published date as originally planned. The ‘lows’ are when you realize you may not make the publishing date.

What is the name of your book(s)? My first book is titled, “It’s Not Okay, Babies Do Know” and the second is,“ Miawaka”.

Was it/were they an easy write for you? Neither of the books were difficult to write.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? The hardest part for me about writing a book is naming my characters and those moments when I don’t know what to write next to keep the story flowing.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? The easiest part for me is naming the title. LOL! I have to laugh because I am sure that is what most people would say, they have a title – just need the book to go with it! Hahaha!

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)?  Interested readers may purchase my books through Amazon, Authorhouse publishing, or Barnes and Noble.

Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? Right now I am attempting to compile years of poetry and publish them. Not sure when this may be ready to go to press.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers?  I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and my website.

Thank you La Kata for allowing me to share about my books on your blog. - Victoria Ramsey

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Name: Lily Raine

How long have you been published? I have been published since 2011 with my romance novel and 2015 with my young adult novel.

What's the worst part about being published? When writing a sequel that you know people are going to read, there is the fear readers and publishers won’t like the consequent novels as much as the original.

What's the best part about being published? Knowing there are readers out there of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life who might happen to pick up a copy of my book. They are reading words I wrote while living in my life and even though I write fantasy, much of what an author experiences comes out in their works.

Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? A publishing company. World Castle Publishing. 

*What are the highs, if any? The highs are feeling connected to other authors and having support.

*What are the lows, if any? The lows are that you have to work at the pace of your publisher, which includes edits and cover design to say the least.

What is the name of your book(s)? Destria Waves (Anastasia #1)

Was it/were they an easy write for you? Yes! I was holding onto the idea for a while, so when it came time to write, the words flowed very easily.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? Continuity. Every author already knows the entire story by heart, but it’s transferring thoughts to paper that proves challenging.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? Everything comes from your mind. Whatever rules you set in world building are the rules, no questions asked.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Do you have any future projects in the works? Yes, there will be two more in this YA paranormal series. I am also working on a stand alone novel that involves the theme of homelessness amongst LGBT youth.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Blogspot and Twitter

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Join me on Thursday as I bring you author T. L. Norman!

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/11

In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have author Amy Cancryn!

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Name: Amy Cancryn 
Pen Name: Kayanna Kirby 
Pen Name: Bambi Bellamy

How long have you been published? Since 2011. I cannot believe it's been over 6 years already.

What's the worst part about being published? I'm an introvert, so sharing a part of myself and hoping readers respond positively to it is the hardest part of being published. When you write, you are revealing a part of yourself that I have often hidden in my day to day life.

What's the best part about being published? Accomplishment. The sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a book and having it published and available for sale. That is such a great feeling. To push past all the things that can stop you from getting published feels great.

Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? I am self published then through a self publishing company.

*What are the highs, if any? Getting great reviews from readers feels amazing. Also, getting good royalties from distribution channels also feel good.

*What are the lows, if any? The opposite of the highs. Getting a bad review left me depressed for days, maybe weeks. I don't remember exactly. The feeling of despair is all encompassing. I think I even cried. LOL. It wasn't that bad, but it was after I published my first book and the thought that someone wouldn't like it never occurred to me. So, reading a neutral/semi-bad review as devastating. Lol.

I am over that now and I understand that my work is not for everyone and that's ok. I've developed a thick skin when it comes to criticism and truly don't take it personally. Also, I understand there are trolls out there that will write terrible things on the internet, just because they feel like it.

What is the name of your book(s)?
Pen Name: Kayanna Kirby - Title: Claimed By Desire
Author Name: Amy Cancryn - Title: Hope Learns to Jump Rope Title: Hope & Andy
Pen Name: Bambi Bellamy - Spark:An erotic novella

Was it/were they an easy write for you? No, they were not easy to write.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? The hardest part was making sure I wrote everyday until I finished. The dedication it takes to just keep writing.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? The end. LOL. When it was completed and fully edited.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)?
In Ebook and Paperback: Amy Cancryn - Amazon and Barnes & Noble

In Ebook and Paperback: KayAnna Kirby - Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Where books are sold. Order online.
Ebook Only: Google Play

Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? Yes, I have future projects in the works, but I do not have a tentative release date yet.

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers?
Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Amy Cancryn

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Join me next week as I bring you more authors!

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Authors in the Spotlight 5/9

In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have author Malinga Gerald!

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Name: Malinga Gerald

How long have you been published? Since August 2014

What's the worst part about being published? Over pricing my book and over 4500 critical views that would have been sales for my book had i priced it cheaply like now.

What's the best part about being published? My dream of becoming an author was made true

Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? I am self published

*What are the highs, if any? None yet but my works have publicized me and have created confidence in people about me and what I do.

*What are the lows, if any? My African community doesn't value reading.

What is the name of your book(s)? The Dead Man Roars and The Lost Marriage Rites

Was it/were they an easy write for you? It was not easy writing.

What's the hardest part about writing a book? Beginning was never easy.I procrastinated for ten years before starting to write.Creating the setting and characters has been the hardest.

What's the easiest part about writing a book? Making an outline or summary when the idea is still fresh.

Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Amazon

Do you have any future projects in the works? I have a lot of them. (I have a political satire and a play.)

*Is there a tentative release date? No

Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Facebook and Twitter

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Join me on Thursday as I bring you author Amy Cancryn/KayAnna Kirby!


Friday, May 5, 2017

When The Light At The End Of The Tunnel...

Becomes your only beacon in the dark.

Hello, Strangers. It's been a minute. Well, not really a minute but more like a minute since you've heard from me personally.

A lot of amazing things have been happening for me this year and I couldn't be happier. Like, I am living the dream that I have only been dreaming about FOREVER! If anyone told me that this life would actually be MY life, I don't think I would have honestly believed them.

There were multiple times on this journey when I simply wanted to give up. To throw in the towel and go on my merry way, in the opposite direction. But I didn't. Something deep within me kept pushing me forward. It kept telling me to keep going no matter how much I wanted to give up. Determination is what pushed me through the darkness and into the light.

At the beginning of the year, I began doing author interviews for my blog (with spots that have me currently booked until late November). In time, that whole thing has taken on a life of its own. I've created a FB page, a Pinterest board, an email account, an Instagram account, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and most recently, a cell phone application all to spotlight authors in the writing industry. I'm not complaining though because I am thoroughly enjoying learning about other authors.

So far, I've been to two author events; one was here in town and the other was in IL. I have 4 more events to attend this year; three out of town and one in town that I and another author are hosting. Going to each event has been such an exhilarating experience and I'm never nervous for the same reasons. The vibes from the other authors that I have had the pleasure of meeting have been so warm and amazing. I seriously enjoy the networking. Meeting readers is always a fun experience as well because they have such an energy that I can't help but to describe as contagious. I love it!

I'm currently wrapping up my 7th book and this book will be completely different from my usual. It's a pretty short book and it is a "how to" guide for future authors. I decided to take all of the advice that I keep giving authors that come to me for help and put it into a book. I want to be able to help so many people at once but I can only help so many. Publishing this book will be a way that I can help more people at one time!

In the last 3 months, I have read at someone's event! All of which I was personally invited to come to and read at. I feel very blessed that there are people out there who want to hear my work. Who reach out to me not knowing who I am but want to feature me at their event all the same. Like, I kind of feel a little special. Famous even. Dare I say that I have arrived? (Inside Joke)

The thing that I am most excited about is the fact that in September, I will be going to NC to shoot with a photographer to become a book cover model! Eeeek!! I've always wanted to do a little modeling and I have always envisioned myself on the cover on someone's book, so I'm sure you can imagine how giddy I am to be killing two birds with one stone. It's not often that someone can have TWO of their dreams come true at the same time!!

As an editor, I have picked up so many clients! Like, I noticed the other night that I actually have a queue! A queue, can you believe that.?! I know I can't! I've been busy for quite a few months now but I'm pleased to see that more authors are hearing about my work as an editor (yes, I am editor now, lol) and trusting me to make their book publishing ready.

Wow, what else has been going on with me in the book world? Nothing else that I can think of or remember anyway, but that doesn't mean that there won't be anything else coming up.

Know this, never stop chasing the dream. Never stop trying to accomplish a goal. All of the work, blood, sweat, and tears that go into it will be totally worth it in the end. You will honestly be able to look back and be proud of yourself for not giving up when things seemed the hardest. For not tucking your tail and running off when the monsters in your head manifested themselves into your reality. You are ultimately in control of your future, so make sure it's one that you will be more than happy living in.