An Interview with Author Leslie Graham

The Protector by [Leslie Graham]
The Protector

Leslie C. Graham, born 14 June 1962, is an American author who writes fiction short ebooks, and he is best known for his latest book The Protector. The book follows the adventure of head surgeon Dr Michael Fitzpatrick who investigates a terrorist organization.

  • Where are you from?
    Louisville kentucky
  • Why do you write? 
    I have a good imagination
  • What do you write about? 
    The book is call the protector it is about Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick a head surgeon at a hospital after one night his life is thrown into turmoil when a patient is rush into the ER with symptoms of a unknown virus, his investigation pulled him into a deadly terrorist organization encounter.
  • Do you have a specific writing style?
    Yes, I write the scene first then the story
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
    Keeping focus
  • What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
    My book kept the reader wanted more
  • How long have you been writing?
    4 years
  • When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
    When I was in middle school
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
    I write best at night when everyone at my house is sleep
  • How long does it take to write a book?
    2 months
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
    Read other books and have a good imagination
  • What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
    Making sure the story run smooth together
  • What do you think makes a good story?
    When you start reading the story it pulled you in
  • Do you see writing as a career?
    Yes
  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
    Check out my book the protector by leslie graham on amazon
The Protector

An Interview with Author Chandra A. Clements

After completing her tertiary studies and an early career in mining, Chandra became Group General Manager of an AUD$140m, 400-person distribution business at the age of 28. Continuing to climb the ranks of the corporate world, she went on to lead a global psychology and neuroscience-based consultancy firm. Turning entrepreneur in 2013, she established One Legacy Pty Ltd, which consults to companies on leadership excellence, turnaround strategy, improving human performance, innovation, and organizational change.

Chandra has worked across 28 countries, nine languages, ten industries, and has spoken on more than 90 stages around the globe. Chandra is the 2014 Gold Stevie Woman of the Year for Australia, the 2014 Silver Stevie International Executive of the Year, holds a 2013 Gold Stevie for Female Entrepreneur of the Year (Asia, Australia, and New Zealand), a Silver Stevie for International Woman of the Year, a 2013 Silver Stevie for Most Innovative Company for One Legacy and a 2013 Bronze Stevie for Women Helping Women. She was inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2013 she was named the Newcastle University Young Alumni Medalist for her work across the globe.

Chandra won the Gold Stevie Award for Best Female Executive (Asia, Australia & New Zealand) in 2012, a Bronze Stevie Award for Best Management Team in 2012, a Gold Stevie for Most Innovative Company for Sentis in 2012, and the marie claire Australian Young Business Woman of the Year Award in 2012. Chandra also holds an Australia Day Young Citizen Award for her community and charitable contributions.

Chandra holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business (Human Resources and Industrial Relations), and a Bachelor of Commerce. She has been a Non-Executive Director on two Boards, supported numerous charities across the globe, and was recognized with a Miss Australia Award of Excellence in 1998. She is regarded as an engaging Master of Ceremonies and Key-Note Speaker having fulfilled such roles for more than 40 largescale not-for-profit and corporate functions. However, perhaps her greatest passion and love is found in her role as a mum. Turning author in 2020, Chandra has loved the publishing journey alongside her daughter, Tara, who is the illustrator of her first book, Rona Stole My Fun – The Four Year Old vs The Virus.

  • Where are you from?
    The beautiful Gold Coast of Australia.
  • Why do you write?
    I have always, always, wanted to. I just never had the time. Social distancing gave me the time suddenly and now my dream of writing a series of “Books for Purpose” is coming true. And with each book, I am just so happy that I have finally done this. I believe my books can change lives and that gives me a feeling I cannot put into words. It makes all the mistakes, all the study, all the global travel, all the late nights, all the issues, all the roadblocks in my career, all lead to this point. And I’m very grateful.
  • What do you write about? 
    The overarching banner is to write “Books for Purpose”. At present I am writing a series of six books targeting the impact of coronavirus on different groups of people and trying to alleviate the associated issues. However, I have another couple in the pipeline that have been lifelong goals which relate to women’s empowerment and self-esteem, domestic violence, and leadership. I have released two of the coronavirus books so far, with a third due out next week.
  • Do you have a specific writing style?
    I prefer expressive and humor filled, colloquial style work but with some of my upcoming pieces, I will showcase my serious and touching format of writing. I want to move people and make them feel like it is just them and the character in the room, and not another care in the world. I want people to feel they are being heard and seen through the books. I have always been a very emotional person who feels others pain and I wanted to tap into that and use that for the benefit of others. I have been a trainer and an executive coach for a long period of my life and so I am relying on my many years on the stage and traveling the globe writing training and coaching material, and putting this in to my books so everyone can access the information in a much more economical fashion.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
    I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old ha ha. Trying to write with the chaos of little people around calls on a whole new level of talent ha ha. It is hard not having time to think but I do leverage the late hours of the night to find that space I need to write. I want to show mums it can be done, even with young ones around demanding your constant attention. My kids are my world so writing will always come second.
  • Whats the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
    I received an email recently from a grandmother who wrote of the impact my first book (which is totally illustrated by my four-year-old daughter Tara) has had on her family. It is called Rona Stole My Fun : The Four Year Old Vs The Virus and is a book about social distancing and working from home through the eyes of a four-year-old. It was designed to help little people feel safe that their fun would not be lost and that everything would be ok. The grandmother wrote that the book brought her family together across Australia and America despite Covid 19 and made them feel like they weren’t missing out on family time. It thanked my daughter extensively for her beautiful pictures and went on to say that our book has “shared our family with her family”. If we can help make big and little people feel better in this uncertain period of Covid 19 then both Tara and I are absolutely thrilled.
  • How long have you been writing?
    Since March 2020
  •  When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
    I have always wanted to write ever since high school.
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
    It is simply crazy. Picture a two year old on your knee, macaroni cheese everywhere, mummy typing with one hand, a four-year-old wanting you to play lego, an email or two from Ingram Spark or Amazon, a call from a local distributor which you are trying to answer without the two year old saying she needs to do a wee down the phone line and that about sums it up. It is just crazy.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    My choice of words and my ability to convey emotion. As previously indicated, I am a very emotional person so I like to be very expressive and hit the raw nerves that others may avoid. I like to take readers in to space in their minds and to keep them focused on the depth of emotion that they may otherwise ignore within themselves. I like to speak to something really deep in the reader. I like to be real. And I really do care. This isn’t about money. This is about impact.
  • How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
    At the moment about two weeks. It is full on.
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
    It would be remiss of me to advise when I am only so new. But what I could say is be raw with your writing and write about whatever makes you come alive.
  • What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
    Time is a big issue. It has also been literally impossible to get books published with the words Coronavirus or Covid 19 in them up until very recently. Many rejection letters have resulted due to this. Yet I have seen this as a challenge and not an insurmountable obstacle. And we have made it over!!
  • What do you think makes a good story?
    That is easy. Connection, purpose and care. If an author really cares about their readers, it has to be a good book doesn’t it? Well I think so anyway.
  • What does your family think of your writing? 
    My family and my community have been incredibly supportive. I have been blown away by people promoting and buying the book and sending amazing emails and messages of support. My local channel 9 news covered the first book. My local channel 7 news covered the first book. Tara was on the front page of the regional newspaper as an Amazon best seller at age four (best selling illustrator!!- which she actually calls an Imastrator!! So so cute). The local Gold Coast paper is doing a write up on Wednesday of this coming week and That’s Life magazine are covering the first book in an article due out on the 4th June. Tara has been blown away by the attention and support.
  • Do you see writing as a career?
    Yes, I guess I do now. It is just making me come alive and feel a sense of real purpose that had perhaps died down in me some time ago. I feel like this is where I was meant to be doing what I was meant to do.
  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
    Rona Stole My Grades: A Senior Student’s Story is my second book and it has a real function in the broader community. It is for final year / senior year / year 12 students with concern, anxiety or frustration over what coronavirus has done to their perceived “Most Important Year of School”. It is a self help book disguised as a fiction story and is designed to be read in no more than two hours. It calls on my own experience as a straight A student, Dux/Valedictorian of every school year and the University of Newcastle (Australia) Young Alumni Medalist. I didn’t find my final years of high school very easy and feel for all the students around the globe coping now with not only a very challenging and changing time, but also a time affected by Covid 19. I have written this book after 20 years as a student and executive coach based on the basic neuroscience principles of performance enhancement. It is a performance enhancing tool for any senior year or even any high school student worried about how to achieve the best grades and find the best version of themselves. I am very passionate about this book after reading of a UK student who committed suicide after feeling overwhelmed from the impact of Covid 19 on his already stressful teenage life.
  • When did you first consider yourself a writer?
    Im not sure I do yet but Im getting there. Maybe after another four or so books.

Do you have links that you’d like to share for others to read?

Rona Stole My Grades on Amazon
Rona Stole My Fun on Kindle
Rona Stole My Fun on YouTube
Rona stole My Grades on YouTube

An Interview with Author SY Asad

Sy Asad, born in Philadelphia and raised in Houston, is a published author, freelance writer, songwriter as well as entrepreneur. As a child she escaped through books and reading was one of her favorite things to do. She wrote her first song at seven years old and she also won many awards performing poetry. Seeing the impact words, hers and others, had on people; she knew writing was something she wanted to be involved in heavily.

● Where are you from?
Born in Philadelphia, Raised in Houston and
Reside in GA

● Why do you write?
It’s part of my mission in life.

● What do you write about?
I’ve written two self-help books, a how-to
book, and a fictional children story.

● Do you have a specific writing style?
I just write from the heart

● What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
Of course life can have it’s own challenges so authors must stay focused and motivated enough to finish their book.

● Whats the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your
work?
That she read excerpts of my book to her daughters.

● How long have you been writing?
Since I was a young girl. I wrote my first song at 7 years old.

● When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
When I was young and realized how my words could affect people’s emotions.

● What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I plan my writing according to my daily schedule and keep a digital notepad near me so if I get randomly inspired I can type the words to myself and edit it later.

● What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write like I’m talking to a close friend.

● How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or
non)
It truly depends. I have a book called, “ How to Write A Book in 24 Hours.”

● Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
Worry less and Write More.

● What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your
story?
Any writer can come across writer’s block. If that is an issue for you check out my book “ Write Your Book in 24 Hours” or my webinar www.WriteABookThatSells.com

● What do you think makes a good story?
Something written that readers from different backgrounds, age groups and genders can read and appreciate.

● What does your family think of your writing?
They’re not surprised. They are supportive.

● Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. I see it as a passion and a career.

● Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
I am creating a non-profit called Books For Betterment and I have a webinar called “How To Write A Book That Sells” available at
http://www.WriteABookThatSells.com.

● When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I wrote my first
song and performed it at my mom’s wedding reception.

Saying “Yes” To (NO): : Learning the Power of (No)

Amazon website: www.amazon.com/author/syasad
All Author site : syasad.allauthor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/iamsyasad
Twitter: www.twitter.com/aswanamongducks

An Interview with Nadean Barton

Nadean Barton
Nadean Barton

Nadean Barton was born on the small island of Jamaica, and grew up in Bronx, New York. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1995 and completed basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. Her first assignment after training was Helicopter Squadron One in Jacksonville, Florida, followed by Dental Assistant Class “A” school in San Diego, California. Then, she Bon Voyage on the USS Kitty Hawk homeported in Yokosuka Japan. While stationed in Japan, she visited countries such as Australia, Singapore, Jebel Ali, Thailand, Dubai, Middle East, and Korea.
Barton then went to Naples, Italy, where she pursued her dream in track and field while still working as a Dental Assistant. After she left Italy, she continued to Bethesda, Maryland. She then transferred to Navy Recruiting District Miami, Florida, where she switched Careers to Recruiting and after seven years, she transferred to Navy Recruiting District Dallas, Texas and then Navy Recruiting District Seattle, Washington where she advanced to Chief Petty Officer. After that tour, she transferred to Navy Recruiting District Atlanta, Georgia from which she will be retire.
Her personal decorations include Nine Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and various unit awards. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ashford University.
Nadean’s book “Can A Girl Catch A Break” was birthed from tragedy to triumph while enduring a miscarriage. She turned my pain, hurt, and grief into motivation and courage to push herself forward to positively impact others through her story. She wrote Can A Girl Catch A Break? in just 6 days and published it 30 days after. Writing was her healing outlet and was the first step in sorting out her emotions. She loved the idea of being able to share her experiences with the world to help others going through the same or similar circumstances.
After seeking therapy after her miscarriage, she got the opportunity to be a co-author on the best-selling book, “The Voices Behind Mental Illness, The Life of a Veteran” she utilized that book for the Map to Mental Wellness Success. Following that she wrote her other book, “The Love She Never Had.”
Nadean is also a co-author on the best-selling book, “There is No Health Without Mental Health Anthology.

Where are you from? I was born in Jamaica and grew up in Bronx New York

Why do you write? I write to ease the pain of my miscarriage

What do you write about? I write about the love I never had growing up with my dad and the love I lost in my miscarriage from my first child.

Do you have a specific writing style? I am a new author so I do not have a specific style.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work? Why did I start writing at this age.

How long have you been writing? I started writing Oct 2019 during the miscarriage of my first child, where my boyfriend left me bleeding.

 When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer? During my miscarriage, I needed an outlet

What is your work schedule like when you are writing? I don’t have a specific schedule since I have a fulltime job.  I wake up early and go to bed late so that I have enough time to work on my writing or my online store http://www.cangirlcatchabreakchicboutique.com, which came about after my miscarriage.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I find myself staying home more since I started writing and just thinking of new ideas to write about.

How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non) My first book that I have written during my miscarriage, “Can A Girl Catch A Break?” I wrote in 6 days and published it in 30 days, I just needed an outlet of all the bottled up emotions I had from not getting the love I needed from my dad, from my boyfriend who left me and from bad treatment from some co-workers, hence the reason my first book was generated, “Can A Girl Catch A break?’’

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer? I would love to be a better writer, and I am learning as I go, so my suggestion is to just jot down any thoughts that you have and put them together at a later date.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? Sometimes I hit a wall and just have to think my way out and let it flow naturally, going back to my own experiences.

What do you think makes a good story? I think a good story is different from everyone’s my good story may not be somebody else’s good story.

What does your family think of your writing? Some or ok and some doesn’t support because I write about my dad.

Do you see writing as a career? I would love for it to be a career or 2nd career

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers? You can get to know me through my book and a lot of people that knows me though I had it all together until they read my story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? After my book was published and people kept telling me you’re an author now.

I am also a co author on 2 other books:

The Voices Behind Mental Illness Series 5: “The Life of a Veteran”

The Voices Behind Mental Illness – “There is No Health Without Mental Health Anthology”: No Silence. No Shame. No Stigma. No Suicide

The links are:
http://www.canagirlcatchabreak.com
www.facebook.com/nadeanbarton

The Love She Never Had


Can A Girl Catch A Break? https://www.amazon.com/CAN-GIRL-CATCH-BREAK-miscarriage/dp/1693262576/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=nadean+barton&qid=1588130797&sr=8-2

An Interview with Instapoet R.R. Noall

www.rrnoall.com-denver-poet-poems-for-people-about-headshot
R.R. Noall

A native of Cleveland, R.R. Noall penned her college essay on her love affair with words. Since then, writing has permeated her career aspirations and pastimes.

Beginning in the summer of 2016, Rachel dedicated herself to writing. Since then, her creative work has been published in books, journals, and on blogs.

For Rachel, writing was a natural segue into the field of marketing. To supplement her writing experience, Rachel has earned marketing certificates from reputable journals and universities. Under the name R.R. Noall, Rachel currently works with numerous clients as a copywriter, marketing strategist, and SEO specialist.

You can find Rachel teaching English classes at Red Rocks Community College, where she aims to try to convert everyone to the dark side (to be English majors). She teaches English Composition and pushes her students to find their voice through each and every writing assignment.

Noall is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of an arts and literary magazine called From Whispers to Roars. The magazine was founded on the idea that artists should have communities for exchange and growth; From Whispers to Roars hosts weekly writing prompts, a blog, and published its first issue in April of 2018. After only a year in existence, the magazine has a readership of over 25,000 globally.

R.R. Noall is a Denver typewriter poet, and works weddings, events, and parties. Her love of typewriter poetry ultimately led to podcasting. She recently started a poetry podcast called Poems for People. The new poetry podcast, which releases new episodes every Wednesday, focuses on amazing humans, their stories, and how each story can be turned into a poem. She also earned her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Denver in 2019.

Yes. Rachel does A LOT of things. But, in her free time, she continues to fall in love with Colorado, explores national parks, spoils her dog (named Potato), writes poetry, and drinks adult beverages alongside good company. 

  • When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

The first time I said it out loud – I think I was about 15. I had just travelled to Italy for the first time, and was so inspired by the beauty. I remember wanting so badly to capture it with words, and feeling frustrated that I couldn’t.

When I look back, however, I have been writing for much longer. I used to write little quotes and tid bits into a journal. I even used to write song lyrics. I suppose that I knew, but had no idea what that would actually look like as a career.

  • Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes and no.

In terms of length, I love short form, which Instagram is great for. In my next book, readers will see many more longer pieces, however. I think that books give more room for further explanation, whereas social media is more about brevity. 

When and how I write also differs. Sometimes, I write in chunks of time, but I am always happy to allow the inspiration to strike when it comes along throughout the day. 

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

Great question. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I also went to college in the Rust Belt – In eastern Pennsylvania. Midwest people and communities have a grit I can’t quite describe. I think it’s in their blood, and maybe in part due to the harsh winters. Being from there, I learn a lot about resilience, hard-work, and focus.

After college, I moved to Denver. What attracted me to Colorado was the nature – I love getting lost in the trees, camping, and exploring small and quirky mountain towns. Additionally, Denver is a city of transplants, which means that everyone is just really nice, but also bring their unique perspectives to the city. It really is a global place. 

I feel constantly inspired. The people I surround myself with are hustlers in every way – I feel so fueled creatively by them and by the adventures we go on. It definitely impacts my writing. 

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

Actually, I write a lot on my typewriter! I am an Denver typewriter poet, which is a really fun side gig, but it also means I’m just writing a lot on there every day. I also host a poetry podcast, where I interview inspiring humans, and then turn their stories into typewriter poetry on-the-spot. 

When I’m out an about, and the typewriter isn’t with me, I usually write in the Notes section on my phone. It allows for real-time writing when I feel inspired.

  • Most writers have a day job. What’s yours? 

I am the founder and CEO of a marketing firm, RN Marketing Collective. We exclusively serve creative entrepreneurs. Most creatives think that “traditional marketing” is out of their budget, and that just isn’t true. I feel so thankful that I get to help people grow their creative businesses. I am constantly inspired, and feel so lucky that I get to do so many things that I love.

Find Instapoet R.R. Noall on Instagram and Twitter.

An Interview with Author Alayna Hallward

Author Alayna Hallward

Alayna Hallward is an author who enjoys pushing the limit. She is still considered new to the writing community, but she prides herself on creating chilling stories. In her stories, she tries to pay homage to other things that she finds interesting. While she enjoys entertaining readers, she believes it is important to challenge a person’s wit.

Describe yourself in five words

If I had to pick five words then they would be mysterious, compassionate, childish, headstrong, and sarcastic. All of which bundle together for good memories and fun times.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I love nature and while I love animals, I am big on gardening. It was something that my great grandfather loved doing. When he passed away, I found myself keeping his memory alive. When you plant a lovely garden, it attracts different creatures. On top of seeing different animals, a garden gives a backyard personality. I love coming up with a new personality each year.

 How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

While I have my family and they are very supportive, sometimes it is not enough. I tend to talk to my friends. They tend to give me the swift kick in the backside that I really need. If I am struggling with plots, they offer advice. If I am truly struggling with a certain matter, then I have a group of friends that help me with writing. After working with them I find the strength I need to go back and tackle a certain problem.

What scares you the most? 

While it may sound a bit cliché, I actually fear letting people down. I don’t like when people put a lot of faith in me and I am unable to deliver. It is not about making a name for yourself. It is about doing what you set out for yourself. I feel that if I don’t give my all then I have wasted the time and effort that they put into me. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel as if they have wasted their time.

What makes you happiest? 

I am the happiest when I am with my friends or family. I wish I could say that we are doing something cool, but that is not the case. It can be as simple as eating dinner together or playing a card game. As long as I am with the people that make me smile, I tend to be rather happy. When it comes to my friends, if I am not playing games with them, I am actually happy when we write together. There is something about coming up with a story together, that just makes my day.

Why do you write? 

I write to express myself and as a way to relax. There is something about coming up with a world of my own that keeps me going. I could never draw and there were dreams like becoming a veterinarian that I did not achieve. I realized with writing, I could make a character that could do what I could never do.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

That is actually a tough and somewhat tricky question to answer. I tended to write and read a lot when I was growing up. I did not come to enjoy it until high school. Before that, I mostly wrote for a grade and nothing more. I guess what stopped me from realizing my love was getting over grammar issues. The constant corrections and feedback made me think that writing was not fun. After doing lots of reading, I realized that writing is more than papers. You can express yourself in ways that some people may never understand.

What motivates you to write? 

Most of my writing is done with my friends. If they come to me with a storyline and it has a great plot, I cannot resist bringing that story to life. When I am working on a story alone, it all comes down to an idea. If it has grown to a point that cannot be ignored, then I am all for creating the story. When I am creating the story, I want to ensure that I am not the only person that is going to enjoy it.

What writing are you most proud of? .

I am proud of the short story that motivated me to actually write “Deviously Sincere”. It was something that I made in my creative writing class. If it was not for the positive feedback from my classmates, I doubt that I would have kept it going. When I came up with the second draft, I fell in love with the story.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

When it comes to my personal life, I will have to say I am proud of my own personal growth. I am comfortable with who I am. Since I know who I am, I am finally able to be the friend that I have always wanted to be. While I am still flawed, I like to think that diamonds are flawed as well. Regardless of my flaws, I still strive to make my friends happy.

What books did you love growing up? 

I loved “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. I remember seeing the posters for that book in the hallway for a few years. Each year that I saw it, I wanted the series more and more. Then one day I was given the set as a gift and I could not put it down. I also loved Shel Silverstein’s poems. There was something about his poems and books that just made me smile. Other books that I could relate to were “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and a few Beverly Cleary stories.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

That is something that I have not even thought about. It is actually something I don’t place much thought in. I just hope that it makes people smile and is honest at the same time. Since my family will be the ones writing it, I am sure it will capture my personality in some way. In all honesty, that is one piece that I want to have no connection with.

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

Since I don’t want my life to have much sway over my work, I will give a few things. I spent enough time in the city and in the country. I am open to living in the country or city. While it may be slower, you can actually appreciate nature in rural areas.

How did you develop your writing?

I discovered online roleplaying and fell in love with it. I learned how to develop characters, plots, and many other things. Without roleplaying, I don’t think I would have gotten this far. Working with other people is a good way to develop yourself as a writer. Since roleplaying has a lot of different genres, like fantasy, fan fiction, etc, you can grow in many ways. This also helped me to see that I was not limited to just one thing.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

They are all hard. I would say marketing takes the cake for sure. Once you create the story and then save up the money you think it would be easy. That is far from true. There is no promise when it comes to marketing, especially if you self-publish. I remember sitting down and thinking that I had to have missed a step. I felt like I was some kind of baker that forgot to add eggs or sugar to the batter. There is no set plan that you have to follow. There are a lot of suggestions out there, but nothing that is for sure. While people can help you, in the end, it all falls on your lap. If you honestly want to see results it all comes down to you. You cannot be shy about things. You have to get out there and promote your baby, because no one else understands everything that went into your masterpiece. There are times when you will get discouraged, because the market is not a stable place. In the end, it is all about determination and going even when you want to sit down. You don’t fully realize the struggle until you have to market your work.

What marketing works for you? 

I discovered the Writing Community on Twitter. I tend to promote through there. Like I said, nothing is perfect. I am sure I am not fully using my platform properly. I am sure I could reach more if I had my own website or book trailer. For now, those are projects that I need to start. Word of mouth, via tweets is what truly works for me.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

While I bite my nails over reviews, it is not that hard. The fact that I took a creative writing class truly helped with that. The teacher of the class, I remember tore my work apart and my classmates enjoyed it. At that moment I realized, you cannot make everyone happy. Some people are going to hate it and others are not. As long as someone likes my work then I can keep going. If I didn’t share it, then I would never know where people stand.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

My family and friends are very supportive. Without them I doubt I would have made it this far. They keep me going and for that I am very grateful.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I love playing video games. For the most part I enjoy playing alone, but there are few games that I will play with friends. When I am not playing video games, I enjoy card or board games. I used to play Star Wars: Imperial Assault and Catan. I love games like that and I love learning new games. Outside of gaming, I am big on sports. There are some sporting events that I have not attended, but in time I will check them off.

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

Paleontology since I love fossils and dinosaurs for sure. That is mainly something that was brought to life as a child when I watched “Jurassic Park” for the first time. If I had to pick a language to study, it would be Japanese. I was actually supposed to take that class, but it closed before I could join. I ended up studying another language for four semesters.

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

There are actually two places that I want to live. I would not mind living in England or in Japan. I love the rural areas for both places. The cities are nice as well. The weather would not hinder my choice. It would just mean that I get to grow a certain garden, depending on where I decided to live.

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

Most of my writing is now done on a laptop. If I am out or in bed, then I use a notebook and a pen. I have a lot of notebooks filled with different ideas or plots. If I am typing a story, I will use a notebook to help me track certain events or names. I tried writing at a desk, but I never liked looking ahead at a wall. I may get a desk again, but for now I don’t use one.

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

I need at least six hours of sleep to feel like I am at my best. Since I have issues sleeping at night, my sleep is all over the place. As long as I get over four or five hours of sleep, I can function and think. 

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

Success comes from having an active group of people that give you feedback on your work. They participate in questions and answers and want to know more about the story. I wish I could say I care more for the rewards and other things, but I am interested in what the readers have to say. Rewards to me are a second bonus.

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

I wish I could write for everyone, but I mostly target people that are in their early twenties. That is the starting age, since I encourage people that are older as well. If my book did not have some violent moments, then I am sure it would be something that possibly young adults would like as well.

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

It started as a short story that dealt with a serial killer giving his confession to a doctor. The feeling that I got while writing as Hyde was something I could not pass up on. It was actually the villain that encouraged me to keep writing the story. I had a vision that revolved around Hyde and his reasons for harming women. I was inspired by other ideas that added more fuel to Hyde’s development. While I created this interesting villain, I had to create someone that could go against him. The idea of a female agent was something that popped into my head. While I wish I could say more about the two, that would require me to spoil the ending of the book. This book pays respect to everyone in my creative writing class that told me to keep going and they wanted more of Hyde. I will admit that some aspects of the short story appear in the novel.

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

It would not be a party if I just invited one person. I will start with the people who are no longer with us. I would invite: Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle, Shel Silverstein, and Mary Shelly. For those that are living I would not just stick with authors or poets. I would invite: Lemony Snicket, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Ian Mckellen, Tom Hiddleston, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume. I like that my guests are all over the place since each has inspired me in their own way.

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

Depending on the season, I am either outside in my garden or doing something that allows me to be outside. I love going to sport events. When I feel like being lazy or it is too cold, then I enjoy playing video games or any type of indoor game.

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

I hope that people just get lost in the story. I hope they feel some type of chill run through their body while they are reading. I truly wish that they are able to picture the characters how they want. There is a reason why I never actually describe how my characters look. My story gives the reader the world they are in, but they come up with how the characters look. I may give minor hints, but for the most part it is on them to create their own view. I believe that doing that allows them to feel closer to the story. Also, I encourage my readers to read closely. Names are mentioned for a reason and it is important to track dates, names, and other important details. I may mention a name once or twice, but it has meaning. Meaning is something that is explained either right away or over time.

Author’s Twitter page
Deviously Sincere on Amazon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/alhallward

Author Interview with Michaela Renee

Michaela Renee
Michaela Renee

Michaela Renee Johnson is an award-winning author, licensed psychotherapist and host of the top iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy which encourages people to speak their truth with grace and live a courageous life of authenticity. Her initiative, Be You Find Happy, holds workshops and conversations on finding happiness in spite of life’s setbacks and has landed her speaking opportunities across the nation.

She is an avid adventurer, having traveled to over 20 countries, and self-proclaimed “Boho Mom” who loves all things metaphysical as well poetic quotes.

She is a Sagittarius and an ocean-lover who lives in Northern California with her husband and young son, and a homestead full of animals. In her spare time she’s often hiking, doing yoga, gardening, golfing or reading.

Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism Communications, Master’s of Arts in Psychology. California State Licensed Psychotherapist.

Connect with her at http://www.MichaelaRenee.com
On Instagram @UsJohnsons

Describe yourself in five words

Authentic, Inspiring, Adventurer, Boho Mom, Wordsmither

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I have sung the national anthem at major sporting events on five different occasions.

 How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

I recognize that self doubt and fear is a motivator for pushing through uncomfortability. Without it we would self limit our growth. I talk to self doubt like it’s a friend, ask why it’s there and explore ways to push through it.

What scares you the most? 

I mean, the obvious horror movie things like drowning in a car, but also not living life to the fullest.

 What makes you happiest?

Making memories makes me the happiest.

 Why do you write? 

It’s probably different each time I pick up the pen, at the end of the day I could summarize it to inspire myself or others.

 Have you always enjoyed writing? 

My first “journal” was in the third grade, so I’d say so.

What motivates you to write? 

Anything that pisses me off. It doesn’t take much, but if I feel flabbergasted by something you can bet I’m going to sit down and hammer it out with the pen.

 What writing are you most proud of?

That’s hard to say…I feel mixed emotions about my work often. If I had to pick something I would say Teetering on Disaster because it helped me process some of the toughest emotions I’ve had, and I think inspired a lot of people.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

This is where I feel like, as humans, we have to list all the tangible things we’ve done, marathons, Summitting Mountains, the birth of our children…but for me, I’m most proud of the fact that I am open to other perspectives.

What books did you love growing up? 

Let’s start with PD Eastman Are You My Mother, my all-time favorite when I was young…I was a huge Beverly Cleary fan as pre-teen.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

Is it sad to say that this is kind of a morbid question I live by? I hope they say she loved photography to a fault, laughed a lot, especially at herself and loved deeply. No one ever wondered what she was thinking or how she felt and she shared herself wholly with those around her.

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

I grew up in the rural Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the town shuts down with the sun. Creative writing was definitely inspired by my upbringing as it was something I could do with my spare time, and it was something that was heavily influenced by living a simpler life.

How did you develop your writing?

I have had a lot of great mentors along the way, but I believe just writing from the heart, without worry of what others would think inspired my greatest growth as a writer.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

The publishing world is by far the most difficult to keep up with. It’s sort of like trying to fling a shoe on a moving fan (which I don’t recommend trying).

 What marketing works for you?

I have found that my real life connections grow my business the most. It seems word of mouth is still a very powerful tool, whether it’s social media or otherwise.

Do you find it hard to share your work?

I’ve never been one to shy from sharing, I wish there was more transparency in the world in general.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?

My friends and family are incredibly supportive. My family has always been supportive in a very “tough love” type of way. They ground my crazy ideas and never let me forget where I’ve come from.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I wear a lot of hats, but primarily, psychotherapist, podcast host

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

In my prior life I was a marketing director, in marketing for 12 years.

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

If I were to go back I’d probably want to get into marine biology or astronomy.

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

I would want to live right where I am…but travel everywhere.

 Tell us about your family?

Loving, supportive, challenging and fun.

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

Yes, Yes, Yes, all of the above.

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

I’m a solid 8 hours a night, no negotiation. I take my sleep very seriously.

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

All of the people who have guided my journey.

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

My husband often jokes about my royalty checks being “bacon bits.” So I guess seeing the financial rewards from making the best sellers list. I say that because it’s easy to get on various best sellers lists these days…but when the royalty checks go from bacon bits to bacon, I guess I’ll know I’ve made it. Other than that, I feel like I’ve already achieved great success, just in inspiring others.

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

I’ve thought about this often…so it changes frequently. Probably Thich Naht Hahn.

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

Hiking, reading, sitting on the beach…anything outdoors really.

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

I hope people realize that happiness is a constant reset and is absolutely attainable in spite of life’s setbacks.

Where are you from?

California

Do you have a specific writing style?

Conversational.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?

Time.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?

That they laughed and cried at the same time. That’s a good emotion. I feel honored to have inspired that.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

I’m always juggling a lot of oranges. I try not to put pressure on myself to stick to a solid schedule, I look at the week, and lay out the days with a general sense of check list items and just work to tick them off.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

The ellipsis…

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

Depends on the book, children’s books verses self help verses fiction…anywhere from a week to a year.

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

Stop judging whether you are writing well enough and just write.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? 

In my newest fiction novel there are 4 main character (so James Patterson style) jumping between their personalities and staying in “character” has been a really fun challenge for me.

What do you think makes a good story?

Any story that encourages you to think about things differently.

What does your family think of your writing?

I think they’ll think a lot more of it if I make the New York Times Best Sellers List.