Adaptable, Adventurous, Sensitive, Ferocious & Extroverted Author: An Interview with Jennifer G. Edelson

Jennifer G. Edelson

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law, and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people–if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.

Describe yourself in five words

Adaptable.  Adventurous.  Sensitive.  Ferocious.  Extroverted. 

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I think because I come from a highly educated family and have a BFA and a law degree, people are often really to surprised to find out I didn’t have a traditional education. I dropped out of high school in tenth grade after being kicked out of a few to many high schools and really floundered for a few years.  I was a difficult teenager.  As in really, really, really difficult.  I was also super sensitive.  Like many teens, I felt misunderstood, and alienated, and just really lonely in this ‘who am I really, what’s the meaning of life’ way. Because of that, I spent way too much time looking for ‘answers’ and ignoring consequences. There’s this quote by Albert Camus that goes: “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Though I take it with a grain of salt, I’ve also taken it to heart, so though I still spend a good amount of time thinking about meaning, I don’t let it interfere with having a productive meaningful existence. Still, the stuff that’s lingered really informs my writing. It’s also why I love writing in the YA genre. Most adults don’t give kids and teens enough credit for being the smart, savvy, sensitive, and super creative people they truly are. I acknowledge that, and like writing stories that both resonates with them AND respects those feelings.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

In the past I’ve tried everything from hard-core psychoanalysis to psychotropic and psychiatric meds.  But I find overall, that time, lots of magical thinking, exercise and a bit of journaling seems to do the trick.  Perspective is also really helpful. 

What scares you the most? 

My super personal answer would require me to dig deep, and that would take pages to answer, so how about I just stick with something little less philosophical . . . .

drowning, suffocating, or being buried alive top my list.

What makes you happiest? 

Spending time with family, writing, traveling, feeling unbound and being outdoors.

 Why do you write? 

Other than that I love it?  I wish I had some deep answer for you, but the truth is, for me writing is mostly about escapism. I can’t live the thousand different lives I’d love to, or travel the world, or be an astrophysicist or spy, so I write to get away and appease my own curiosity and wanderlust. I get lost in myself when I write, so it also satisfies all that romantic and adventurous yearning. Though I also get A LOT out of imagining that my writing touches other people. I love humans and am all about connecting on fundamental levels.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

I have.  I don’t remember I time when I didn’t write.  I wrote tons of poems and stories in elementary school, and even (very bad) screenplays.  During high school, I wrote music and film reviews for my high school paper.  Throughout lower school, college, and law school I wrote poems, commentary, policy and review articles, and short stories.  I’ve always written, and I’ve always loved writing, but until the last few years or so, I never really thought of myself as a ‘real’ writer. ‘Real’ writers were like unicorns or UFO’s; I suspected they existed but also knew I’d never be invited to the party.  I guess you could say it took some time for me to start taking myself as a writer seriously.

What motivates you to write? 

Sheer unadulterated love and a driving need to escape myself and reality once in a while 😉

What writing are you most proud of? 

I won first place in our city paper’s fiction contest (The Santa Fe Reporter) the last two years in a row.  I was both embarrassed and proud of that.  Mostly because the first year I entered I’d never written a short story before.  I’m long winded, so writing books have always been more of my thing.  But I really enjoyed the challenge the contest presented and winning reinforced this idea I have that sometimes, when in doubt, I just have to leap.

What books did you love growing up? 

As a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss and Judy Blume and Lois Lowry, and anything that dealt with the paranormal.  I remember really loving books like ‘Island of The Blue Dolphins’ and ‘Clan of the Cavebear.’  In my teens I read a lot of classics by authors like Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Austin, and the Brontes, but I also adored Stephen King.  I’m such a reader it’s hard to pinpoint what I loved best though, because I pretty much read everything.  I’m a little more selective now, and much shorter on time, so as an adult I have distinct favorites; but when I was a kid, the sky was the limit!

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

I grew up in Los Angeles at a time when Los Angeles still felt really iconic.  There’s no doubt that the city’s vibe informed a lot of my earlier writing.  I had a lot of angst as a teen and L.A. definitely fed that; it’s absolutely  thematic in my earlier writing especially.  I live in New Mexico now after spending some years in the Tundra (aka Minnesota) and admit that New Mexico 100% affects my writing.  People call New Mexico the land of enchantment, which is pretty apt.  Everything about it makes me want to write these wild, whimsical and unbridled stories.  My latest book, Between Wild and Ruin initially came about because I fell in love with the Glorieta Pass and the Pecos Pueblo in Northern New Mexico — which are both magical places — after exploring the area.  I’m a place-centric person, and often fall for scenery, land, and the feel of a location, and end up wanting to write novels about an area long before I figure out the plot or story.  In that way, my story’s setting is often as much a character as the people, which is definitely the case in Between Wild and Ruin

 How did you develop your writing?

Lots of reading.  Lots of practice.  I just never stop writing.  Training and a passion for it really does make a difference.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

The writing part is usually the easiest part for me.  I love writing with a boundless passion so for the most part it comes easy.  Publishing takes perseverance but I hate the word ‘no’ so though the road at times has been bumpy, the fight usually motivates me.  Marketing though is a different beast.  It takes a lot of energy and I find it tends to suck up my creative mojo so that it’s harder to write and promote my work at the same time.  There’s a learning curve there I’m still trying to figure out.  The surprising thing about publishing that a lot of new writers don’t get, is that it’s really hard work.  Writing your book is only a 1/3 of the equation.  Publishing and promoting are entirely different beasts

 What else do you do, other than write? 

“What don’t I do? (she giggles nervously).”  I’m married to someone who’s out of town for work a lot and have two sons, one in college and one who’s a junior in high school, so they keep me pretty busy.  I also have a whole host of hobbies and legal editorial work to attend to.  I run a fairly large social group here in Santa Fe as well as a pretty awesome writing group, so I plan a lot of social events and outings.  And I love being outdoors, which means since I live in New Mexico, I get out a lot to hike and explore.  I’m all about adventure especially.  It fuels my writing.  In general, I also really enjoy cooking, history, research, nerdy sci-fi stuff, movies and people . . . honestly, it’s virtually impossible to bore me and I secretly sometimes wish I was just less interested in the world.  I really tire myself out sometimes.  Which is both a blessing and curse.

 What other jobs have you had in your life? 

My undergraduate major was a BFA in sculpture so I’m a trained artist.  Unfortunately, like a lot of artists, the paying gig part wasn’t that great, so I went on to law school afterwards.  I clerked for a judge for a few years out of law school and then practiced law for a few years after that, but still worked with glass and metal art on the side.  And I taught legal research and writing at the University of Minnesota Law school.  After I left my law practice altogether, I went back to art, predominately working with glass.  For a time I showed my art at shows and select galleries.  I also had a side business making and selling gourmet organic candy.  I still do a bit of legal editing and intend to go back to my glass work, but these days I mostly just write fulltime.

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

That’s a really hard question to answer because I love learning and find almost everything interesting.  My dream studies, I guess, would include astrophysics, marine biology, museum curator, intelligence work, forensics, and archeology.  But if I had to make a list, I could easily think of another twenty things I wouldn’t mind studying.

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

Santa Monica, Rome, Auckland, Tokyo, in any quiet tropical costal area, or here in Santa Fe.

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

I’m pretty boring.  I write when I want to (and I always want to) and lack any particular routines.  Unlike a lot of authors, I don’t outline, or have special rituals, or writing spaces.  I don’t feel married to any one method, space, or time, and write anywhere from 10 am to 3 am depending on my energy levels and mood.  I write on my laptop pretty much anywhere there’s room for me to open it.  I’m as likely to write sitting in my car in a parking lot while I’m waiting for my kid, as I am to write at my bike-desk at home, or at a coffee shop, or in bed at three in the morning.  Likewise, I can write almost anywhere as long as it’s not too noisy. 

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

About 8 hours.  If I don’t set an alarm, no matter when I go to bed, I usually wake up about 8 hours later.

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

Of all of your questions, this one might be the hardest for me to answer.  I’m not sure anymore.  I started writing just to do it; because I love it.  For the longest time I thought that was enough.  But after writing for so long I started to wonder what being a ‘real writer’ meant and whether I was one if I didn’t publish.  Once I got the ‘I can actually write’ part down, success started feeling more like it should also equal some kind of recognition.  But now that I’ve published and won awards, and still feel like a poser wrier at times, I think I’m reevaluating what success means once again.  It’s complicated.  And you’re right, I think it’s also very individual.  I can only speak for myself, but since I haven’t figured it out yet, I want to say check back in a few years.

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

On its face at least, Between Wild and Ruin is a bit of a Beauty and the Beast story. I initially came up with characters that played with that idea, but really, they came up with themselves.  I do not outline my book characters first or give them backstories before writing or map out my plot like some authors do.  I kind of just write and see what comes of it.  In that way, my writing process is more organic, allowing my characters and the story to figure out who and what they are for themselves.

Between Wild and Ruin’s actual plot though, the short answer is that it initially evolved over a sleepless night. I’m an insomniac, and like a lot of writers, tell myself stories about things that interest me in order to turn off my mind and fall asleep. I hate to being boring, but plot-wise, this was one of them. The longer answer is a little more mystical and would probably take a couple of blog posts to explain.

Over all though, Between Wild and Ruin is a paranormal romance seeped in local folklore.  Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, the story is really a young adult coming of age epic that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild and Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.”    

Here’s copy from the back of the book to sum it up:

Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

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

I would invite Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, and Amelia Earhart.  That would be the best most fascinating dinner party ever, but I’d also worry myself into a tailspin.  I’d be so tongue-tied with awe, I imagine I’d be tripping over myself just to say something witty and intelligible.   

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

What is this word ‘relax?’

Who are your writing influences

My writing influences vary. I read A LOT, especially in the genre I most often write in, which is Young Adult fiction. But I’ve been in love with Albert Camus since college. His work inspires me; his writing, both his prose and the subjects he writes about, challenge me to examine meaning, to dig deeper when I write and when I interact with people. Vladimir Nabokov, Brett Easton Ellis, Heidi Julavits, Phillip Roth, and Chuck Palahniuk are also big writing influences, for many diverse, weird, and divergent reasons. Deeply flawed characters that still manage to capture and hold a reader’s interest, and stories that challenge notions of identity particularly interest me.

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

I’m not sure I’m trying to communicate a message as much as a feeling.  That exciting, sometimes breathless moment that comes from experiencing ‘firsts’ and facing the unknown.  Of connecting over unexpected emotions, and backgrounds, and alliances, not to mention the rollercoaster that comes with being in love. A few reviewers mentioned how sensory and atmospheric Between Wild and Ruin’s writing is, that they could see, smell, and hear everything as they read, and that because of it, were right there in the Glorieta pass with Ruby throughout the story. I agree and hope readers find themselves immersed in a story that wholly transports them both emotionally and intellectually to the heart of La Luna, New Mexico and into Ruby’s unique world. But if people just walked away feeling like they’d spent a few fun hours reading something enjoyable — if all the book is for people is super effective escapism — I’d still be really happy.

Between Wild and Ruin

For more information, please visit Jennifer’s Author Page at:
http://www.JenniferGEdelsonauthor.com
You can also find Jennifer on:
Twitter: @JGEAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferGEdelsonAuthor/
Instagram: @JGEAuthor

An Author Interview with Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master’s degree in English Literature.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress, and a speech-language pathologist.  She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed numerous novels including The Other Side of SummerChristmas for JulietThe Christmas Eve Letter, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

Douglas grew up in a family where music and astrology were second and third languages.  He has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and equities trader.  He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years.

Elyse and Douglas live in New York City.

Describe yourself in five words:  A couple who write novels.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? Doug is a vegetarian and I am not.  Dinnertime is interesting in our house. We usually eat the same starch and vegetables, but Doug cooks a soy product or veggie burger and I eat chicken or fish.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? We support and encourage each other.  We meditate, acknowledge the self-doubts and fear and then replace those thoughts with more positive ones.
 
What scares you the most? For me it’s not being able to eat three times a day.  For Doug, it’s not having decent music available.

What makes you happiest? When we remember to live in the moment and appreciate what is around us.

Why do you write? Because we have to. It’s as simple as that.

Have you always enjoyed writing?  Yes and no.  It’s hard work, but it feels wonderful when you express well what you want to say, and when others like the work.

What motivates you to write?  The prospect of the end product… and having other people read our stories.

What writing are you most proud of?  Doug really loves “Wanting Rita.”  I especially love “Time Change.”

What are you most proud of in your personal life?  That we’ve sustained a good relationship for more than 30 years.

What books did you love growing up?  I loved “Little Women.”  Doug loved “Lad, a Dog” and “By Wagon Train to Oregon.” 

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?  That we lived ethical, loving and creative lives.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?  We live in New York City, where we met.  I originally came from Massachusetts and Doug from Ohio. 

How did you develop your writing?  We give each other honest and constructive criticism. Our readers often do too!

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? All three are difficult.  At this point, we don’t start a novel unless we know how we will market it.  And since we’ve gone the self-publishing route for many reasons, getting published is difficult only insofar as we have to do the mechanics of that process ourselves, working with designers, programmers, etc.  Writing remains refreshingly challenging!

What marketing works for you?  We have a mailing list.  Also, BookBub Featured Deals, Facebook ads and Amazon ads are helpful.

Do you find it hard to share your work?  Not at all.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?  Some do, some don’t.  We have friends and family members who have read every book, some who have read one, some who have read none.  People have their own taste and expectations for novels, so we don’t pressure anyone to read our books.

What else do you do, other than write?  We do some consulting work in other professions, but our main activity is writing and producing the books.  Doug walks and hangs out in cafes.  I swim and take Tai Chi and Pilates classes.

What other jobs have you had in your life?  Doug has been a musician and corporate manager.  I’ve been an actress, English teacher and speech-language pathologist.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?  Since I’ve spent my life reading, I would probably explore the opposite: sciences like geology or entomology.  Doug loves history.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  Right here, in NYC, with vacations in Montauk, NY and Maine.

Tell us about your family?  We have nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews and the siblings who produced those.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?  Doug usually writes at his desktop computer.  I often start with pen and paper, often outdoors or on a couch, then move to my desktop.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?  Seven to eight hours a night.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?  Doug’s father was a huge supporter of our writing.  The most avid reader of our books on my side of the family is my sister.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?   At this point, we measure success in sales and positive ratings.  We want readers to enjoy our books and spread the word about them.  Luckily, they have!

 Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?  Our readers expressed an interest in a sequel to Book 2, The Christmas Eve Daughter.  They wanted to series to continue.  This novel is another adventure for Eve and Patrick Gantly (characters we introduced in Book 1,The Christmas Eve Secret).  The themes are redemption, self-discovery, and love at first sight that grows and endures.

 If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?  We’d probably go for Shakespeare and Gandhi at the heads of the table, and then George Elliot, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Clara Schumann on one side.  On the other side?  John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens and Mary Shelley.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?  We read.  If our eyes are tired, we listen to recorded books.  We also love to take walks and travel.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?  We hope our readers have enjoyed the journey we’ve taken them on and end up feeling positive about themselves and the world. 

What do you write about?  Our books are basically about love and the power of love.  But it sometimes takes our characters a little time to have their hearts opened. 

Do you have a specific writing style?  We aim for a good, clean narrative style and dialogue that advances the plot and reveals character.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?  Nothing gets in the way.  We are quite disciplined.  It is a job, and we write six or seven days a week.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?  “This is a story of life; heartbreak, grief and finally peace and love.  A story to remind us to be good to ourselves and those around us, and that in life when doors close, windows open.”  A reader’s review about Christmas Ever After.

How long have you been writing?  I’ve written in a journal since I was eight years old and wrote my first novel in my thirties.  Doug started writing novels in his twenties.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?   It’s been my goal since I read about Jo in “Little Women.”  For Doug, it was a result of listening to his grandfather, a gifted storyteller from Kentucky. 

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?  We both work about five hours a day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?  Doug loves to have the cover designed before he begins to write a novel.  The cover might be changed, but having it visible keeps him focused on the plot he’s already worked out in his head.  I’m more exploratory and indirect in my approach.  I write scenes and then gradually understand where I’m going.

How long does it take to write a book?  At this point, it takes three to six months to write it and then at least another two for the rewrites, copyedits, and proofing.

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?  Write nearly every day.  Read every day.  Analyze the writing of writers you admire.  If you feel like your plot weighs 500 pounds and you’re struggling to keep it up, scrap it and try a different approach.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?  The greatest challenges are to create likeable characters and then keep the plot moving.  Subplots can also help to enhance the tension and keep the mystery alive.

What do you think makes a good story?  The best story is one that keeps the reader interested.  The characters must be likeable and real, even if their situations are fantastical (like time traveling to 1884 by way of the light from an old lantern).  Also important is to have a good antagonist.  They help drive the story.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?  Thank you for being readers, and thank you for reading our books!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?  We’ve always thought of ourselves as writers, but when your books start to sell and you’re making a steady income from them, then it’s easier to say it out loud with confidence.

Website: www.elysedouglas.com
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Facebook: 
www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

The Christmas Eve Secret – A Time Travel Novel: (Book 3) The Christmas Eve Series

Author Interview with Fazilla Shujaat

Fazilla Shujaat is a Children’s Book Author. She has had three children’s books published alreday which are available to buy on Amazon as an Digital Ebook and Paper back. Fazilla Shujaat is very creative and her books are full of adventure and magic. She has been in the writing field for over fifteen years and also have experince in other areas of media. She is full of passion and creativity. Watch this Space.

Where are you from?
United Kingdom

 Why do you write?
Writing is my passion and hobby

What do you write about?
I write Children’s Books

Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I like to add a little spark to all of my writing

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
Writers Block

Whats the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
Where do I get such amazing different ideas from

How long have you been writing?
15 years

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
When i was 12

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
It has to be quite and peaceful. I usually write at night time

How long does it take to write a book?
Usually it takes me 2-3 weeks to complete a manuscript

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
Keep going back to your work after a few days as you will make changes each time

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
When you can visualise the story but are finding it hard to put it into words

What do you think makes a good story?
The story has to be engaging from the first paragraph to keep the reader interested

What does your family think of your writing?
My family support me

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
Keep motivated and never give up on your dreams

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first book was published. My new book is called Milly Boo the Good Luck Cat.

The story is called Milly Boo, and it’s based on a black cat who’s beautiful and caring by nature; however, due to widespread superstition, she isn’t treated very nicely by the people around her. Milly Boo is a highly creative tale with an inspiring, positive ending. The aim of the story is to change the negative thinking we have about black cats, as well as encourage readers to treat all cats the same, regardless of their colour. Complete at 500 words, Milly Boo is perfect for 6-8-year-olds, who haven’t yet learned to discriminate or hold biases.

Facebook page of Fazilla Shujaat: https://www.facebook.com/Fazilla-Shujaat-Author-372560946238056/

Milly Boo: The Good Luck Cat

Letters to a Dead God: Author Interview with Alyssa Rauchel Love

Alyssa Rauchel Love

About the author:

Oh boy a biography! While I’m terrible at talking about myself, I’ll do my best to seem interesting. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, even if that writing was super cringe worthy, but it gave me a love to tell stories. I just enjoy writing stories that are entertaining; whether that be in fantasy, scifi, or horror. Even romance if the spirit moves me. Pretty much whatever I love to read, I love to write. I live with my cat and my husband, who’s known to give me good ideas from time to time. I suppose that’s it.

Describe yourself in five words

I’m funny, reliable, a good friend, and chill.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I’m not completely sure. I’m a pretty open book, but I think people are mostly surprised to learn I have ptsd.

 How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

Therapy has been a huge help. It’s given me the tools I need to ignore, and deal, with that little voice that tells me to just give up.

What scares you the most? 

Not completing my goals. I don’t mind failure, because that means I at least tried. A better way of putting it, is I’m afraid of not trying.

 What makes you happiest? 

My art, my cat, and my family and friends.

 Why do you write?

To tell stories that I’ve wanted to see, but never did growing up, and to entertain people.

 Have you always enjoyed writing? 

I have! I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but usually those stories never get finished.
What motivates you to write? 

I do if we’re being honest. Which is both a great and terrible thing, because sometimes I like to give myself too long of a break.

 What writing are you most proud of?.

The book I just published! It’s the first time I went through the whole spectrum of creating the story, writing the book, and editing then publishing.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

A lot of things. I’m happy I’m getting a hold on my mental health, which means I’m able to do more creative endeavors.

What books did you love growing up? 

How long do you have? Haha. I loved Interview with a Vampire, Someone Comes to Town Someone Leaves Town, and most anything by Stephen King. Twilight was in there somewhere as well, but we don’t talk about that.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

That I was fun.

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

I grew up, and still live, in Montana. Though, I tend to travel a lot. While I write fantasy, Montana is usually full of westerns. Most of my inspiration comes from Sedona, Az if we’re being honest.

How did you develop your writing?

Listening to author advice on youtube and lots of practice.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Marketing and editing! The writing part is easy, but getting a book to be up to par is difficult, and getting the name out there is even harder. Both of those are quite a bit of work, but worth ever moment.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

Not at all!  Whether the response is good or bad, I’m just happy when I complete something.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

Oh yes! Overly so sometimes, but that’s a good thing. My brother, especially. His constant pestering gave me a good push to finish this novel.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I do various styles of art ranging from horror to calming fluid paintings. I just like to try new things.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

Lots! I’ve worked as a post office delivery person, in retail, in management, running my own business, in the vending business, cleaning, and in food service.

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

I adore psychology and learning how the mind and body works.

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

Either in Spokane, Wa or in Arizona. Neither has snow and that’s all the selling point I need.

Tell us about your family? 

There’s my mom and dad and two brother’s. Who are both much older than I am. We’re a pretty close knit family, and see each other often. They’re very supportive in anything I want to do, and are just incredible people. Then, there’s my grandma and aunt who are the same way. I have my husband and his family as well whom I love dearly.

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

I write on a laptop on my work desk. Sometimes on my bed if I get sick. Which is how I wrote this book.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

At least eight hours. Anything less than that, and I’m useless.

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

Everyone in my life.

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

Finishing a book and getting it out there! That’s half the battle right there.

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

I’ve been promoting the book in facebook groups, by word or mouth, and am working on getting some signings set up.

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

It’s kind of a funny story. My husband came up with a dungeons and dragons campaign that we never got to play. I loved the concept so much, that I didn’t want it to go to waste. While on a business trip the bare bones of the story started to play out in my head. Then, I got the flu that turned into bronchitis. I was stuck in bed for a month with nothing else to do, but write. So, I did.

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

I enjoy throwing dinner parties, playing board games, or hanging out with friends. Either that, or I enjoy painting and video games.

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

I just want people to be entertained and feel represented.

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

Letters to a Dead God

26 Ingredients of Power Blogging: An Author Interview with Sunita Biddu

Sunitha Biddu

A social media and blogging coach by choice and an entrepreneur by accident, Sunita Biddu is making life large not just for herself but thousands of entrepreneurs by helping them with a powerful online presence. Been in the digital marketing industry for over 13 years, she knows how to put the Internet to work you and that’s what she coaches about – How to use social media, technology, and your own strengths to build an empire. She vacations 365 days a year and works from anywhere she wants. That’s the result of taming digital world to your advantage.

Check out her professional page here https://www.sunitabiddu.com/

Describe yourself in five words

Simple, Warm, Curious, Determined, Intelligent

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

The easiest thing for me is to make money, as much as I want to.

What do you write about?

I write about social media and blogging and how it can make a brand become trusted, popular and generate more revenues.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have more of a personalized writing style where the readers can feel as they are talking to me and getting answers to their questions.

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

Once a reader said, “You make the most complicated things look so simple. It’s an art.”

How long have you been writing?

For over 14 years.

What makes you happiest?

Plants, treess, flowers, money, great good, rains

Why do you write?

To empty my head, to put words into solutions for me or for others, to express.

What motivates you to write?

People’s questions

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

I am blessed with everything one needs to be happy and proud about. Great circle of friends, a loving partner, thriving business

What books did you love growing up?

Sydney Sheldon

How did you develop your writing?

By practicing writing every day. It gets better only by writing every day. No other way

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

My readers will take away ideas and clear action items on how to build a blog that make money for them. The book will make them feel it is all possible and they can certainly rely upon their blog to create a full-time luxury living.

Sunita Biddu’s book on Amazon

All my books are about my wife in one way or another: Author Interview with Stephen A. Adams

Hi there. My name is Stephen Adams.
I recently lost Sue, my wife of 40 years, to cancer. I miss her terribly.
While going through my albums, I found an envelope, inside of which was an old black and white photo of Sue when she was about 8 years old. I had never seen the picture before.
It reminded me that Sue used to talk about an old hut and hall where she and her friends would go to play in the school holidays.
A friend turned the photo into colour, I enlarged it to 10″x12″, and I put it in a nice frame.
I must have looked at it for days, until suddenly I was able to imagine a story about her.
That story became a book : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Wooden Hut.
While I was waiting for the illustrations to be done, I thought I’d catch up with a bit of reading. But I couldn’t find the books that I wanted to read. Anyway, after a little thought, an idea became : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Missing Books.
Totally delighted with these stories about my Sue as an eight year old, I thought it would be fun to add me as an eleven year old boy. (In real life I’m 3 years older than Sue).
So that idea became a third book : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Shy Boy.
n.b. I’ve been asked why the name ‘Special Susie’. Well, when Sue was at school, there were 6 or 7 other Susans in her class. The teacher gave them all nicknames, so she was never called by her correct name for years. She always looked sad at this. I used to give her a hug and say : “Don’t worry darling, you’ll always be My Special Susie”.
And that is what I called her for over 40 years. My beautiful special Susie.

  • Where are you from?
    Hi, my name is Stephen Adams, I live in the UK.
  • Why do you write? 
    I lost my wife to cancer 5 years ago. The absence and pain in my heart has driven me to write. It helps to fill the enormous hole in my life.
  • What do you write about? 
    I write romantic adventure novels, and also chapter books for children. All my books are about my wife in one way or another. Either romantic adventure novels about us, or chapter books about her as a girl.
  • Do you plan your writing?
    I don’t really plan anything when I write. I just picture myself in a certain situation, and take it from there. I guess it’s ‘real-time’ writing.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
    I guess we all fear the dreaded “writers’ block”. And most of us will get it at some stage. When it happens, I tend to take myself away for an hour or so. Choose something that has nothing to do with the writing. Then go back and re-read the last chapter or two. An idea will pop up. I find that works for me.
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
    Apart from essentials, I write each day from 10am to 5pm, taking a break for lunch from 1-2pm. I try to ensure nothing gets in the way of that. I tend to write at least 500 words a day. If I am really into it, it can be 1,000. But on average, I would say 700. A chapter book tends to go to 15,000 words, a novel to 75,000. You can do the maths.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    I think the best books are stories that do both ‘show’ and ‘tell’. By that I mean, describe the person, place or situation, then move the story along with it.
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
    As an encouragement to others, I would like to say that as funny as it may sound, the best way to be a great writer, is to be a great reader. Fill yourself with words, images, situations that will grow your mind and your imagination. And finally, if you have a thought or an idea for a story, push it up into your imagination and let it develop! Go and explore, let yourself fly!
  • What do you think makes a good story?
    I consider a novel to be in three main parts: the infrastructure; the characters; and the plot. We are told to ‘write about what you know about’. This is brilliant advice. The less time we have to discover and do research, the more time we have for developing characters and moving the plot along. And that is the most interesting and exciting bit.
  • Do you see writing as a career?
    For me, writing is not so much a career, but a very enjoyable way of being anyone, doing anything, and going anywhere.

You can get a copy of Stephen’s books here:

One of Stephen’s books

October and November Author Splice Up Challenge Titles

October Titles
November Titles

We’re a video enthusiast and our mission is to make you feel comfortable getting uncomfortable. And that means we’re encouraging you to embrace your fears to face the camera.

We came up with this fun-filled idea to splice-up short videos of authors answering questions briefly and posting it up on YouTube every week.

Author Video Splice Up Challenge Titles for October and November are as displayed in the images above. I’ll be joining in the fun too! ⠀

Record yourself answering this question within 10 seconds and send it to info@internationalbookpromotion.com with your name and website by the due date.⠀

Taking submissions from 12 authors only for each title. You can submit videos for every bi-weekly challenge, if you like.

Regards,

Jasveena, Founder of International Book Promotion