An Interview with Constanza Mayer

Constanza Mayer

Constanza Mayer

Constanza Mayer is a Chilean author. Born in Santiago, she spent most of her childhood living in different cities across Chile, until she finally settled down for many years in a small town in the state of Illinois. There, she began her true journey into the realm of fantasy and all things magical—Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, fed her imaginative mind. This is when she began to write her first fantasy novel, but it was sadly lost due to a computer virus.

After many years passed, having moved back to Santiago, Chile, she was finally able to write again. This is where “The Battle of the Erathiel” truly began to develop. After almost two years of hard work, and living for a time in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, she finishes the first novel of her series in Santiago on October 29th, 2016.

Constanza is an avid reader, a lover of the arts, and a devoted piano player and composer. Among her dreams, she hopes to continue traveling across the world to fill herself with more experiences to write from, as she typically says:

“Hay que vivir para poder escribir.”
“You must live so that you may write.”

The Battle of the Erathiel

The ancient elven race of the Erathiel embark on a journey across the Enchanted Sea to find a new home. With them travel the only remaining dwarves and humans from their land. They are struck by a terrible storm that leads them to a land they are not keen to call their own. Soon they will find that there is more to this new land than they had ever expected. Friends and foes, hope and loss will be their constant companions in this adventure where wizards and shape-shifting adversaries will cross their path.

It’s a pleasure for us to be interviewing Constanza and we hope that you’d enjoy reading this post while getting to know him better.

Describe yourself in five words

Determined, creative, stubborn, compassionate and a dreamer.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

Maybe that I’m the daughter of a pastor. I grew up in a Christian home and always being ‘the pastor’s daughter’, so it was interesting as I grew up. I also have two tattoos.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

To be honest, it’s a process. First, I feel it all caving in, I tend to give into the anxiety and frustration it generates but then I use all that negative energy and I transform it into something useful; for example, I end up composing a song or writing something with it. Sometimes I need a little reminder from my loved ones that things are not as hopeless as they seem.

What scares you the most?

Death. The idea of never being with my loved ones again.

What makes you happiest?

Love in all its forms: friendship, with a partner, self-love, moments that fill up your heart. Music, reading, art in general, in my opinion, are connected with this great and amazing emotion.

Why do you write?

I write because I can’t help myself. It’s funny sometimes when I find myself on a bus crossing the city, the subway, or anywhere at all and I just need to write. I’m pretty sure more than one writer has felt that it’s almost as if something ‘possesses’ you and you just need to write, to tell a story. I think that’s it, it’s about tell a story that’s more important than anything, in that moment.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Oh, yes. Ever since I could write I’d write down my dreams, both from the night before or the ones I had awake. I think the written word, speech, being to express yourself, is one of the greatest gifts we have. I couldn’t live without being able to express myself, I think.

What motivates you to write?

The story, the characters, they become so real to me that I feel I need to share their stories. I just can’t help myself. I also write because I want to touch others with ideas, with ideas of changing the world and realizing there are so many options out there, that we can live in peace—for example—and that we are all not so different from each other. We are all human in the end.

What writing are you most proud of?

My first book “The Battle of the Erathiel: Across the Enchanted Sea”. It was a milestone for me and also what I’ve poured most of my soul into, although it is only the beginning because the story itself is huge, so there’s a lot left for all to read.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

Listening to my heart and leaving fear aside. I think most of the times that I’ve given into fear, things have not gone well, but when I’ve listened to myself, to my heart, and have acted from this true feeling, things have gone well, at least in the end. Some experiences can be hard once you choose them, but you can always learn from them, which is what matters in the end, in my opinion.

What books did you love growing up?

Oh, so many! I loved Roald Dahl, his work is just so amazing. Also, the Harry Potter series was fun, The Lord of the Rings, Narnia (haven’t read them all yet!), the Animorphs series was fun as well, Wishbone, some Star Wars books here and there, and of course, Goosebumps!

 What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

“She loved, she lived, she did” or something like that, I hope.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

Wow, good question. It’s true. I mean, I was born in Santiago, Chile and from that moment I was inserted into a life similar to that of a nomad. Since my dad was, well is, a pastor, the church would send him and my family from one city or congregation to another so by the time I was 8, I had already lived in 5 cities in Chile, both north and south, and then we moved to the US. We lived for about a year in a small town in Illinois, waiting for my dad to get his church assigned and then we moved to a small town in the south of Illinois that I grew to consider, and still consider, my home.

It was a town of 500 people, so it was very small and everyone knew each other. To be honest, our first years were quite ‘interesting’. Although some people were very welcoming, there were some that clearly did not want us there. We were the only latinos in the town and there were and still are very racist and close-minded people there. So I must admit that the whole experience has marked my life forever. Maybe I’ll write a book about it. I’m sure there are many people who will be able to relate to all that hate, sadly. I think all these things have definitely influenced my writing. If you read “The Battle of the Erathiel”, you’ll find that we do talk about racism, we talk about immigration, about finding a new home and accepting it as your own and wanting to defend it, these are all feelings that I have grown up with, so in a way I do see myself reflected in my writing, at least my experiences and the things I’ve lived.

I now live in Santiago, Chile. It’s a long story but in summary, I never wanted to be here, I’m now here, but am happy to be independently building my home, making my nest, fighting my demons, and allowing myself to discover new things and write about it all.

How did you develop your writing?

I’m not sure how I’ve “developed” my writing but I usually write whatever I feel and if I wanna make it public, I check if it’s well-written. I guess I guide myself using the books I read as a reference. As far as “The Battle of the Erathiel” goes, I had two beta readers critique my work, so that helped me very much.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Oh wow, when you’re doing all of that by yourself, like I am, they’re all hard. I believe finding a literary agent is the hardest part. There are so many writers out there, talented and all that, especially in the Fantasy genre.

What marketing works for you?

I believe getting reviews is the best marketing tool I have so far, so I try to promote my book through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and ask to please review my work. I can only hope the reviews will be positive, which as has been the result to far, but I am always aware that my first book might not be for everyone. Either way, reviews help catch the eye of readers.

Do you find it hard to share your work?

At first, yes. Of course! You kind of stand naked before the world when you publish your writing. I firmly believe that when you share your art, whether it be music, paintings, poetry, etc., you expose part of your soul. So, yes, it is a bit scary but that’s when you’ve got to remember to be brave, you’ve got to remember what inspired you write in the first place and how the work of someone else who dared, inspired you, even changed you.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?

Yes, very. My closest family (mom, dad, sister, brother) have been there for me. They haven’t really read my first entire book, just bits and pieces because they’re not into Fantasy, but they have pushed me and that’s a lot of help. My friends also, they are the best and some of them very good readers, good at critiquing, and that has helped me grow as an author. I think the biggest support has come from my friends, especially those that also write. We compare notes and give each other ideas, it’s the best. We’re actually considering making up a writer’s club.

What else do you do, other than write?

I like to play the piano, compose, and sing. I’ve recently started a band, Corvus, with a friend so I hope to be able to share our songs soon. I also enjoy travelling and discovering different cafes across the city, walking around Santiago late at night. I try to go to the theater as much as I can to the opera, piano concerts, ballet, I live for that. I’m also very sociable, so I love hanging out with friends and making new ones. Dancing is lots of fun, as well.

What other jobs have you had in your life?

I’m an English teacher, so I’m currently doing that, but I’ve also taught piano before, sold jewelry at the mall, and I’ve also sold cosmetics. All sorts of thing. Oh, and last year I moved to Buenos Aires for a while and worked at reception at a hostel, I loved it!

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?

Probably something like Literature? Or perhaps Ancient History, but I love learning so much that I might even try to get into Astronomy or all sorts of things. I’m sorry, can’t choose!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

That’s a tough one. I think I still need to visit more countries and cities to be able to answer truthfully but I’m guessing maybe… New Zealand or somewhere in the UK.

Tell us about your family?

I have an older sister and nephew, my little brother, mom and dad. Well, my parents are divorced and my dad lives in the US so I only see him for a few days during my summer vacations, he comes to visit. I get along really well with my siblings that live here, we’re close but we don’t always see each other. My brothers are also artistic, my sister sings and dances really well and my brother’s a musician and I would also dare to say quite a writer, even though he sometimes doesn’t dedicate much time to it, and my mom’s also a good singer and dancer, but she dedicates her life to education, we actually work together! I love my family, I couldn’t be luckier.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

All of the above! Also, sometimes on the floor of a subway train (when it doesn’t bother anyone), on a bus, on a bench, in the toilet, you name it! When it takes over, it takes over.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

Oh, I don’t think I’ll ever truly know but at least 7 hours and hopefully no more than 9 ish. I am only guessing.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?

Well, my friends and family, really.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

For me, success would be reflected on having many readers and to be able to publish about 7 books of “The Battle of the Erathiel” since the story is quite long and I would love that my book be turned into a TV series, a movie, maybe a board game or video game, a comic book, you name it. I would just love that.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

Well, so far, I’ve had some help marketing my book by having professionals share it with their social network, but I’ve also done my share through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, just putting up pics or extracts, recommending they read it. Also, my friends and family have shared my posts, but everything else is far too expensive for me to afford.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?

My new and first book is called “The Battle of the Erathiel: Across the Enchanted Sea”, it is an adventure, fantasy book where we find a group of elves, the Erathiel, dwarves and some humans, travelling across the sea to find a new home. At first, they encounter a terrible storm that results on one destroyed ship, one lost with the king’s daughter as captain, and the other one arrives at land. This story is about these survivors trying to find a new home as they enter Dôr Annon, the land that I’ve created for this story to take place. At first, they arrive at a desert so things don’t seem that promising but as they continue their journey things change. They face enemies, make friends, and love for this new land starts to grow in their hearts. We’ve also got some really dark villains and some good heroes starting to blossom, inside the story, and book one really leaves you with a cliffhanger at the end since there is still so much to tell in book two.

I wrote this story because it’s been inside me for quite some time, it’s just only about two years ago did I truly start to understand it and see what happened there. It’s a story about finding yourself, your home, about becoming a part of a new world and abandoning the old. I started this out way before all these conflicts in the Middle East started to appear everywhere on the news and I actually saw a connection with my story, with the story of immigrants as well, which is something that I’ve experience with. I guess, in a way, I am also telling my story, but mostly, the story of all those who have had to sacrifice to find peace, sacrifice to find safety and a future for themselves and their families. I also feel I’m writing this story for many other reasons, but you will have to find out what they are as you read the story, I’m sure you will.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?

Oh my goodness, J.R.R. Tolkien, of course! I would love to know what it’s like to talk with him, see what his mind was like. Wow. I’d also like to dine with Robin Williams, I believe he truly touched me as I grew up, his performances, his sweetness. Oh, this list could go on and on.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

I like to relax by sleeping, playing the piano, reading, singing, composing, travelling, taking nice showers, walking, listening to music, travelling and cuddling.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?

I hope that through my writing people can get to know themselves better or better understand those around them. I don’t want them to read and just be like “Well, that was fun!”, which is not bad either, but I’d love for them to see the messages that I’m trying to share: peace, friendship, tolerance, equality, freedom, just to name a few. I would like to help people dream and have hope for a better world and, hopefully, motivate them to participate in changing it, as well.

Thank you so much for your time,  Constanza Mayer ! 

This is where you can buy her book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Erathiel-Across-Enchanted-Sea/dp/1540328406

An Interview With Oliver Phipps

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Oliver Phipps

Oliver Phipps is an author, entrepreneur and adventurer. He served as a Paratrooper in the United States Army and studied at MSC.

In the late 1980’s through mid 90’s Oliver pursued his love of music. He enjoyed travelling, playing percussion and writing lyrics for popular bands. During this time Oliver also began writing short stories and articles.

After playing for thousands through the fall and winter of 1996 Oliver’s band abruptly disbanded. In early spring of 1997 Oliver, along with a good friend and guitarist got together with the intention to form a new group. But rather than form a new band the two put together an expedition plan for travelling to Northern Canada and Alaska in order to prospect for gold.

Leaving in April of 1997 Oliver and company travelled up the historic AL-CAN highway. After exploring the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada as well as the Arctic Circle the team travelled over the Top of the World highway to Alaska.

1999-2000 Oliver travelled through Asia, visiting Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan among other countries.

In 2004 Oliver published his first book and continues to write books, articles and short stories. Currently Oliver and family reside happily in the U.S.

It’s a pleasure for us to be interviewing Oliver and we hope that you’d enjoy reading this post while getting to know him better.

Describe yourself in five words.

Laid back, multi-tasking, adventurer.

How long have you been writing?

Well, my mother has a story that I wrote when I was around ten years old maybe, I’m not for certain on the age. Anyway, she tells me the story is great. I suspect it’s more of her being my mother than the story actually being that good. Nevertheless, it is a reference point for how long I’ve had an interest in writing and put forth an effort to do so.

As for the story, I’ve decided to take my mother’s word on it being great, rather than reading it again. I figure in this case, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.

Why do you write?

It’s a creative outlet for me. When I was younger I played drums and wrote lyrics in a number of bands. As I began to do that less and less, writing filled the void. I suspect we all have an artistic nature of some sort. For me, writing satisfies a need to be creative.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose it was after The House on Cooper Lane hit the best-seller list. Even then it took a while to sink in. But, to see it as a best-seller gave me a sense of confidence that I could write and that people were interested in my work. Up to that point, I felt that I was a writer, but perhaps without any external justification to base it on. After my first best-seller, I knew it was for real.

How long does it take to write a book?

Generally, I would say a year to complete the first draft. I seldom work on one story at a time though. I’ll move back and forth from one project to another. A reason for this is that it helps me resolve plot issues or improve storylines. If I get to a point that I need to think about something for a while, I’ll put that story aside and work on another one. As I’m working on it, I’m also considering what to do on the previous one. It’s a system that works well for me. But it can also stretch things out. For example, the first novel to be released in 2017 has been three years in the making.

What writing are you most proud of?

At this time, the story I’m most fond or proud of would be A Tempest Soul. The story is not an overly complex plot. The main character doesn’t save the world or defeat a master villain. Yet, in her small universe, she overcomes almost impossible odds, and rises to impressive heights.

A Tempest Soul has been a number one best-seller in its category for almost a year now. Its not dropped below the top ten all year. So, I feel it’s special for a lot of other people as well. And, it is, as of yet, the most organic novel that I’ve produced.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Third person omniscient. It’s likely the only style I’ll ever use. I’ve tried several other techniques, such as first person POV. But there seems to be no other method that enables the freedom of third person omniscient. Though it has its drawbacks, it’s my style of choice and I’ll stay with it unless I absolutely have to change in order to relay a story properly.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

I try to review the positive things in my life rather than negatives. It could be the idea of taking a look at how far we’ve come every once in a while, rather than always looking at how far we need to go.

What does your family think of your writing?

My family has been great in regards to my writing. My younger brother has given me a lot of valuable feedback over the years. Everyone in my family has been supportive on some level. My mother has expressed some concern about content. But she’s not what you would call a science fiction or paranormal fan either, so that is to be expected I suppose.

How do you write – lap-top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

Well, in the light of modern technology, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I wrote my first book by pen and paper. My wife then typed it up on the computer and began the editing process. I would also like to mention that was fourteen years ago. I could use a computer and word processor at the time, but the writing had more flow as I hand wrote it.

Since that first book, I’ve moved to a computer and would have difficulty considering any other way. I have several desktops as well as a laptop that I use to write. On occasions I will even use my tablet. I generally write at a desk or at times sitting at our dinning table with my laptop. I consider it a type of work so I don’t get too relaxed or I would end up falling asleep mid-sentence.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

I’ve found a place in my writing that success means enriching other people’s lives in some small way. Certainly, as writers we must have some form of financial success in order to continue in our art. But, I feel that setting the first goal as producing a quality work of art, intended to enrich the lives of others, is a pure and respectable endeavor for any artist. If I can achieve that on a broad level then I’ll consider my writing career successful.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

Some of my fans may not know this, but I’m a gamer. I do watch some movies and read, but I have a number of games that I play to help me relax. I’m telling ya, after killing a few dozen monsters in an alternate reality, I’m feeling pretty good! My oldest daughter is a gamer and we have a lot of fun watching each other play or discussing tactics for a certain game.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone, dead or alive, who would you ask?

Oh, I would certainly ask George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla would get an invite, though I would need to keep them in separate rooms…. 🙂 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien and Mark Twain without a doubt. And, to give it some class, I think Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker and Goldie Hawn.

Check out these links below to get to know more about Oliver or to buy his book.

Amazon author page:
https://www.amazon.com/Oliver-Phipps/e/B00IBF564G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Author website:
www.oliverphipps.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Oliver-Phipps-613242265417442/

An Interview With Lisa Loucks Christenson

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Lisa Loucks Christenson

Lisa Loucks Christenson is the second oldest of five children. Lisa’s love for books has been lifelong, with the earliest documented pictures of her with her books at around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. Lisa’s love for writing and illustrating stories began at age 4 and Lisa’s love for photography began by the time she turned eight. By age 14, Lisa began marketing and publishing her images, winning her first national photo contest.

Since her youth, Lisa’s spent most her time reading, writing, or exploring the great outdoors with her camera’s. In the mid 80s Lisa worked for some area publishers in various departments from: sales, design, distribution, tele-sales, advertising, reporting, journalism, and later as a traveling photographer for another publisher.

In the late 80s Lisa formed her own photo studio/stock and writing agency. She was hired to travel around the country shooting photos and covering assignments for most major publishers, books, text books, corporations. Later, Lisa expanded into broadcasting and started a talk radio show, and enlarged her studio/stock agency to form a new division: a publishing company featuring her books, wildlife art prints, paintings, and original art.

Lisa writes fictional Children’s books, Young Readers, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and New Adult and non-fiction wildlife documentaries, articles, and presentations, exhibits from her outdoor experiences in the wild. Over the last decade, Lisa’s developed a handful of Christian imprints for her select works, each with its own intended age group. All of Lisa’s story releases have achieved International Amazon Best Seller status on various lists.

January 1, 2016, Lisa began her 12th year on Lisa’s Bald Eagle Documentary™, he journey covering the lives of bald eagles and their offspring in their wild environment. 2015 marked the 10th year of Lisa’s Walk the Talk Show™, a radio show featuring entertainers, celebrities, authors, businesses and in 2016, Lisa has added a new show to Book Divas for authors to promote their books.

Some of Lisa’s credits: IBM, HyVee, Harcourt, Heinemann, Disney, Self, Esquire, Woman’s World, Perspectives, Career World, Rigby, more.

Lisa is a member of the ASMP, RWA, NATJA, and SCBWI.

Lisa’s work has won many national writing and photo competitions and her wildlife documentaries, exhibits have been featured in print, television, local news, and rotating exhibits between her galleries and the National Eagle Center.

Lisa Fiction: Children books, mysteries, romantic suspense, Inspirational, and YA. She’s the author of the following series: Bow Wow Detectives®, Meow Meow Detectives™, Wolves of Whitewater Falls, Wa Pu Ta Creek, Minnesota (Lisa’s first book in the series: Hawk of Wa Pu Ta Creek was a 2014 Harlequin® Love Inspired® Search for the Killer Voice Finalist), Owls of Huoulah, and more.

Lisa’s Nonfiction: Lisa’s Bald Eagle Documentary™ is still in progress, twelve years with a wild pair of eagles; Winter Bugs! 1st Edition sold out but a second expanded edition will soon be released, Struggling for Existence, Spirit Trees of Whitewater, Hapless Harry: The Minnesota Muscovy Duck Documentary, Walk the Burn, Blue Eyes, The Paper Wasp Documentary, Lions in the Blufflands, Canada Goose Documentary, and more.

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Winter Bugs

Winter Bugs: Ten Year Anniversary Edition is a documentary filmed in the Whitewater Management Area on the land where the former town of Beaver, Minnesota once stood. A real Minnesota ghost town now shrouded by insects and wildlife who live and die each year, but as this books shows, death doesn’t always come during winter.

It’s a pleasure for us to be interviewing Lisa and we hope that you’d enjoy reading this post while getting to know her better.

  • Where are you from? I’m a native resident of Rochester, Minnesota.
  • Why do you write? I enjoy writing as a way to share stories that inspire and lift others and teach them about our wildlife, or give them a reading escape, a new fictional world to travel to.
  • What do you write about? Most of my work, both fiction and non-fiction is in someway connected to Christian topics, lessons, God’s hand in our daily lives and in our beautiful world. I like writing in many genres: mystery, suspense, cozies, thrillers, sagas, fantasy, dystopian and in many age groups: Children, Young Readers, Middle Grade, Young Adult, all ages.
  • Do you have a specific writing style? I always try to add inspiration or encouragement, whether fiction or non-fiction, it’s always there in every story —it’s a matter of discovering how to pull it out.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? Time has always been a hard thing to navigate. I closely adhere to three priorities in only in this order: God, family, work. It’s amazing how when you stick to this, words I’ve been trying to find ten minutes to write, literally burst out from inside me and pour out so I don’t worry about having writing time any more, like the verse.…Though it Tarry wait for it…it will surely come.
  • What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work? I was at my gallery in Stockholm, Wisconsin. There were three brothers, the youngest was 6 and his older brothers were 11 and 12. The youngest boy had the most impressive ability to stand in front of my wildlife pictures and watch the pieces, almost like they might move if he paid careful attention. We started talking about my Bow Wow Detectives® books and what they liked to read. The youngest boy said, “I don’t like reading.” I couldn’t imagine my life without a book, so I asked him if I could read him a sample of my Bow Wow Detectives book I was working on. He listened as intently to the book sample as he did watching my art on the walls. I had 100% of his attention. After I finished, he said, “I don’t like reading but I’d read your books.” That’s when I realized art could be a hook, but our conversation gave us each a little movement that day.
  • How long have you been writing? All my life I’ve had opportunities to write different works: ads, copy, educational materials, fillers, short stories, scripts, articles, novellas, novels, and my documentaries. I thank god for such a garden of opportunities, and helping me change gates when I needed a different view.
  • When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?Writing fell into my life, through my photography, through my experiences, through opportunities that kept presenting themselves. I was in fifth grade when Wilson Rawls author of Where the Red Fern Grows came to our school. It’s still one of my favorite childhood memories, he changed my life that day and I knew in that moment I wanted to write stories and give others a story, whether fiction or non-fiction, and experience like he’d given me. To me it was the greatest gift I could offer without cost: photography was still costing me my allowance every week.
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing? We all have busy lives. My life, as my father-in-law and husband joke that “Lisa is always going up the backside of the mountain, but what a view she sees.” My paths up the mountain change every day, my climb really does affect and present what view and path I take next. When I’m doing house work, running errands, visiting a friend, driving, or out on a family outing I think about the scenes and words I want to write. I memorize key words that will help me remember my experiences and later in the day I pick an area (I have many writing spaces) I can put a couple thousand words down in about 45 minutes. Editing is something I block time out for, later.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Change. I like change and need a new writing environment, always. Sometimes I write in my woods, next time I’m in the woods by the river, my gazebo, my storage shed, my office, my kitchen table…I need loud music, no music, pets by my side, no pets, family near, family—I always need my family, even if we are a room a apart or a miles away.
  • How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)My documentaries can take years and I don’t rush them many are still in progress like my Struggling for Existence, one of my most important books in my life, showing how animals and nature struggle to exist, their battles, their losses. Winter Bugs! was written over one winter in Minnesota up to the very minute of spring. Now, I’m releasing the Winter Bugs: 10 Year Anniversary Edition, a complete book of the majority of my exhibit, the experiences, and how things have changed.
    A fiction book, like my Wolves of Whitewater Falls, I write those 50K-75K books during NaNoWriMo, each November, I’m just hitting 20,000 words now ten days in, for Book 7, For the Love of Termite Bridge. I had nothing outlined, nothing mapped, I didn’t even know what the story would be, but as I sat down to write it, every night a chapter comes to me. Other fiction stories, especially my children’s books are written in a few days, it’s the editing that takes so much time, and any illustrations.
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer? We can all learn from each other, read someones work you admire and re-read and read it again and then figure out what you liked, why you liked how the writer presented the words, then take your own experiences and do the same. We all have memorable experiences to pull from.
  • What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? I don’t have too many issues writing. If I get stuck on a chapter or concept, I skip to another scene or concept I want to write about, sometimes I change the point of view character. I don’t feel I need to write sequentially.
  • What do you think makes a good story? A good story to me is one that can get me thinking about the characters or the subject of the book and how they come out at the end. Whether the ending is good or bad I can usually find a gem inside the book.
  • What does your family think of your writing? Isn’t family remarkable? They can not only show you a path you can’t see on your own, but line it with every sort of expression that cheers you on to your finish line. My family has always supported me, I’m one of the lucky ones.
  • Do you see writing as a career? Yes, writing is in my soul. I use my both  fiction or non-fiction, with my art or my photography (documentaries) to create stories and document life as I experienced it.
  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers? I’d like to thank each and every person who has taken their time to write, email, or wave a hello, encouraged me onward. Truly, your support, your honest opinions of my work are always appreciated, good or bad reviews are always something I can learn from.
  • When did you first consider yourself a writer? When my first feedback started coming in. My first story, my first essay, my first competition, my first … I hope I never run out of “firsts” that’s what keeps me thinking of more stories.

We’re so delighted to have you on our page, Lisa! Thank you very much for the wonderful interview and we enjoyed getting to know more about you. I believe our readers too feel the same!

Check out these links below to get to know more about Lisa or to buy her book.

Winter Bugs: 10 Year Anniversary Trailer:

https://video214.com/play/yTTCl0OgGBpIduIoHHRkmA/s/dark

https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1478890655&f=yTTCl0OgGBpIduIoHHRkmA&d=0&m=p&r=360p+480p+720p&volume=100&start_res=480p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=loop

http://www.lisalouckschristensonpublishing.com/products/winter-bugs

http://lisalc.com

http://whitewolfcreek.com

Email: lisa@LisaLC.com

mailing address: Lisa Loucks Christenson, P.O. Box 9177, Rochester, MN 55903

www.LisaLC.com    Lisa@LisaLC.com

YouTube: https://youtu.be/eonvxEuzivE

EBook:https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Bugs-10-Year-Anniversary-ebook/dp/B01MQI8NQ4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1479356601&sr=8-2&keywords=winter+bugs+loucks

Hardcover:https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Bugs-Ten-Year-Anniversary/dp/1598191357/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479356601&sr=8-1&keywords=winter+bugs+loucks

 

An Interview with Xan Tucker

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Writings FROM THE SOUL

About the Author

Xan Tucker is a poetry and romance writer. She is from Hughes, Arkansas and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and dual Masters in Public Administration and Business Administration. She is a Business Analyst and entrepreneur by day. As lover of words, she is a writer by night. Xan’s creativity and ability to wordplay makes her a prolific writer. In addition to writing, she enjoys cooking, running, volunteering, and traveling.

 GettyImages-488260653.jpgWritings from the Soul – A Love Story is now available on Amazon.

Watch the Book Trailer for Writings from the Soul – A Love Story
An Interview with Xan Tucker

Describe yourself in five words: Reserved, adventurous, creative, ambitious, and loving

What do you write about? Love and romance

What do you think makes a good story? I think love, romance, and sex makes a good story.

Why do you write?  When I write poetry it is usually because I’m dealing with some type of emotion and that’s the best way I can communicate.  When I write romance novels it’s because I’ve been in a situation or heard of a situation that makes for a good story line.

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer? The best way to become a better writer is by reading and writing more. Having someone critique your work is very important as well.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? The most challenging aspect of writing is forgetting a really good idea.  I’m a spare of the moment kind of writer.  Sometimes, I see, hear, or read something that sparks an idea.  If I don’t write it down immediately, I will most likely forget it.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?  I face my fears and self-doubts head on.  It’s uncomfortable at first but I just like to take the plunge from time to time.  This isn’t to say I do it right away.  I usually ask myself, “What do you have to lose?”  This is after a couple of back and forths.

Have you always enjoyed writing?  I have always enjoyed creative writing.  Technical and academic writing not so much.  I don’t really like to follow grammar rules so creative writing works best me.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?   Marketing is definitely the hardest part for me.  I self-published and writing has always been fun for me.  Marketing my product has been hardest only because I never envisioned sharing my poetry.

 Do you find it hard to share your work? Sometimes, I do find it hard to share my work, especially with those who know me.  Because my work is some of my most personal experiences, I’m hesitant to share with those who know me for fear of judgement.

 What else do you do, other than write? Besides writing, I enjoy running.  I do a lot of running.  I also enjoy traveling.  Traveling contributes to some of my romance story lines as you will see in upcoming work.  I also like to cook, volunteer, and mentor.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? I usually get an idea out of the blue so most of my initial writing starts on my phone and I eventually transfer it over to my laptop.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?  My most recent work: Writings from the Soul – A Love Story is a compilation of poems that are a summation of my dating and relationship experiences over the last decade. I wrote it because I read some of my other poems and the newer ones I saw a transformation that I hadn’t realized had taken place.  My earlier poems revealed insecurities, self-doubt, and emotional instability.  My most recent poems show emotional growth, self-confidence, and a different mindset when it comes to relationships and dating.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?  I hope people will be able to relate to the poems in the book.  I hope they will be able to read the book in its entirety and witness the emotional growth and self-confidence.

Writings from the Soul – A Love Story is now available on Amazon.

 https://amzn.com/1537108441 

author’s website: www.xantucker.com and FB page: www.facebook.com/authorxantucker

Mirror, Mirror at 1600 D.C. by Edward Galluzzi

Mirror, Mirror at 1600 DC COVER

Mirror, Mirror at 1600 D.C.

IBP is releasing author Edward Galluzzi’s cinematic book trailer for his book ‘Mirror, Mirror at 1600 D.C.’

Join the event here https://www.facebook.com/events/1725960457676012/

Watch the trailer here https://youtu.be/CNixa-Jd02Y

The 5-star rated ‘Mirror, Mirror at 1600 D.C.’ book now ranks #11,406,008 in the overall Amazon best sellers category. The categorical rankings are as follow:

#17204 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Political
#24460 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Espionage
#268475 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary

Invite your friends to join this event.

Book blurb:

Under any circumstances, the role of the President of the United States is arduous and replete with challenges. The enduring patriarchy of presidents had ended with the first woman elected to this high office in America. This pioneering leader is delighting her supporters and readily converting her critics when she is kidnapped suddenly. But by whom? And for what reason? The unfolding plot is a matter of survival…not only personal survival, but also hanging in the balance is the endurance of the Presidency and the privilege of democracy in America. It will take a very special agent to expose this sinister plot. But whatever the costs, the President must be recovered . . . dead or alive.

https://www.amazon.com/Mirror-at-1600-D-C/dp/1594536260

Check out http://www.galluzzibooks.com/works.html to learn more about the author.

An Interview with A.S. King

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  1. What inspired you to write this book?

I love kids. I always have. I wanted to create a new kind of world that teaches lifelong lessons in a fun and adventurous way. In a way that they could understand and want to understand or understand without knowing it.

I’m not a big reader, and I wanted to create something that would pull others into it by just reading the first couple of pages, even the ones that, like me, don’t read that often.

  1. Summarize your book in one to three sentences as if you were speaking to someone unfamiliar with your book and its topic.

A young girl embarks upon a journey to find light and truth in a land filled with darkness.  Her quest brings her face to face with a shape-shifting apprentice and a master Knight.  She is also drawn into an ever-increasing awareness of both the visible and invisible elements of her world.

  1. What is the overall theme (central topic, subject or concept) of your book?

The search for truth and hope

  1. Where does this book take place?

The mythical land of Novus

  1. Who are the main characters and why are they important to the story?
  • Lady Aliatta is a spoiled young aristocrat whose life becomes entangled with the fate of Novus
  • Lavi is a young Transmogrif selected to embark on an important and dangerous mission which will affect the future of Novus
  • The High King is an unseen being who sees all that happens in the land.  The truth of who he is affects everything.
  • Erela are immortal, unseen crystalline beings who carry messages for the High King to the mortals on Novus. They act and speak only on his behalf
  • The Dark One was once as Erela. However, many years ago he left that life and now rules Novus with a dark and heavy tyranny.
  • Chashaks: Like the Erela, they too serve their master faithfully. Their master, however, is known as The Dark One
  1. Why do you think that this book will appeal to readers?

If you’re seeking Epic unique adventures that are clean, but also, action packed and well written. The Quest for Hope is for you.

  1. How is your book relevant in today’s society?

How is it not?  Many people continue to search for truth, light, meaning, hope in a world with headlines so full of the dark and ugly.  This book highlights the fact that even in the midst of the darkness, there is a light that can be obtained.

  1. What makes your book different from other books like it?

Well, these days’ fiction fantasy books all seem like they have the same core things. Magic, Evil characters, and Good characters, and the line between good and evil is often blurred.  Even so, you pretty much already know from the get-go who is going to win and who is going to lose.

The Invisibles Battles Series takes a different approach. We don’t have magic, there’s nothing that happens that can’t be explained. We draw clear lines between Darkness and Good. Yes, we do have the classic fantasy adventure core elements in there. Such as Evil characters and “Good” characters. And a unique world with different species and races wrapped up in an Epic twist that will leave you wanting more.

  1. What do you want readers to take away from your writing?

I want readers to be empowered, encouraged, uplifted, and realize that no matter what happens in their life, no matter where they are. There is a someone who is watching out for them and who loves them.

S. King is the pen name for a team of authors who collaborate and contribute to the Invisible Battles series. The Invisible Battles franchise expands beyond written works into video games and audio books.

Visit the author’s website and Amazon page to buy the book!

https://invisiblebattles.com

Find it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MskuN6

An Interview With J Matt

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  • What’s your name and where are you from?

I’m known to my friends and family as Joey or Joseph (as that’s my given name), but online I generally go by the username J Matt. Seeing as my debut memoir ‘Cam Boy’ is so closely linked to my online persona, and the username I perform under, it seemed only natural to publish it under this moniker.

  • What‘s your most recent book about?

It’s called ‘Cam Boy’ and is an exploration into the world of online camming through my time spent as an webcam performer for a primarily gay audience.

  • Do you have a specific writing style?

Straight to the point. Bold. Explicit. Controversial some might say…. My writing isn’t for everyone, but it’s honest and raw and it comes from the heart. I really do put my all into my work.

  • Whatare obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

I need to pretty much work in an environment that’s silent, or as close to silent as can be when I’m writing. Television, music and having other people around me in close proximity are big distractions for me.

  • Whatsthe most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?

‘I noticed when I was reading your book that the time just flew by – I couldn’t put it down!’ – I think that’s one of the biggest compliments that any writer can get. I’d hate for anyone to call my work boring or repetitive.

  • Howlong have you been writing?

Since before I could write! I used to dictate to my mum what it was that I wanted each page of my story to say then I’d go and add the illustrations later on.

  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Quirk? I’m not sure about that one, but I learned an awful lot about some of my not-so-good writing habits when it came to the editing process of my debut book (after sending out advance copies for feedback). I genuinely hadn’t noticed any until I’d had them pointed out to me! I know I’m a decent writer but I always strive to be the best I can be and any and all constructive feedback is truly invaluable to me.

  • Howlong does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)

‘Cam Boy’ took me about 2 or 3 months to complete in total. It started off as more of an autobiography than a memoir but I found myself going off on longwinded, fairly irrelevant tangents that added little to the story. I realised that I had to find a primary focus so I ended up cutting out a load of the crap and focused on following a rough timeline of events leading up to, and following, my first year working as a cam boy. That made things far easier. Then it was just a case of editing, re-writing, and editing some more till I got to a point I was happy with it.

  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?

Don’t be afraid to share your work with others – whether in the form of rough drafts, the odd snippet/chapter here and there or whatever it may be. Sometimes you need an outsiders perspective to pick up on things you were far too caught up in your own self to notice. Positive feedback is great for your ego, but there’s always room for improvement. Facing up to the fact that some chapters might need a rewrite, or might be better off scrapped altogether is never a bad thing.

  • Whatdo you think makes a good story?

It varies from genre to genre. In memoir, I think being upfront and honest with your readers about your life experiences, showing vulnerability and not being afraid to admit to your mistakes is what generally makes for the best story.

  • Finally, is there anything you’d like to share with the readers?

Shameless plug – ‘Cam Boy’, my debut memoir is available to purchase on Amazon from April 1st 2016 at the following link – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cam-Boy-debut-memoir-J-Matt-ebook/dp/B01D7Y1KX6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458562540&sr=1-2

You can also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/jmatt93 for updates 🙂