Author Interview: Lonna Enox

Lonna Enox is a former high school and college English instructor. She grew up on a ranch in New Mexico, where she learned to love critters, reading, and “wide open” spaces. She is a wife, mom, and grandmother, as well as the proud owner of 4 rescue pets–3 cats and a dog. Aside from an early stint as a newspaper reporter, she also spent 10 years as a freelance magazine writer. She is happiest exploring a wildlife refuge, cuddling little ones and critters, or snuggled up reading a good mystery.

We are glad to be interviewing her on our blog. We hope that you’d enjoy reading this interview. 

Describe yourself in five words:

Sensitive   Sentimental   Reserved   Kind   Hardworking

How do you work through self-doubts and fear:

I jump into the project, telling myself that I can only fail.  And failure will never define me.  Because when I fail at something, I keep working a different way until I get there—or I try something else.

What scares you the most?:

Some of the same things that scare my characters—dark corners, things that go bump in the night, losing those I love,  storms…

What makes you happiest?:

An evening at home with a good book, a kitty snuggled beside me, the dog at my feet, the sounds of little ones giggling, and…chocolate.

Why do you write?:

I write because write.  When not writing novels, I’m writing to a variety of pen pals, I’m writing lists of ideas for writing, I’m writing love notes, I’m writing in my journals…..

Have you always enjoyed writing?:

I not only cannot remember when I began writing, but it would be like not breathing to stop.

What motivates you to write?:

The greatest motivation for writing is that my mind is always busy and people tire of listening.  I see something in passing, and it inspires me.  I would be an insatiable chatterbox…and chatterboxes interrupt the lives of those around them.  So my “chatter” is written.

What writing are you most proud of? :

I am proud of anything I write that is enjoyed by the readers I am targeting.  Before writing my novels, I wrote and published a variety of magazine articles.  They had first held a place in my journals, and I labelled them “Reflections”.  When someone commented, “I have felt like that!  But I didn’t know someone else had!” I was proud to have shared that moment with them. 

What are you most proud of in your personal life?:

Besides my children and grandchildren?  I am proud of the students I taught who tell me I made a small difference in their education.  I am proud to be an American.  I am proud of the parents who not only taught my brothers and myself to value our lives but also to love.  And as I’m now writing novels, I am proud to have a husband who is a computer person.  When he hears me cry, “Oh no!”, he appears, touches something, and the chapter that had just disappeared magically returns.

What books did you love growing up?:

I love the Louisa Mae Alcott books (Little Women, Little Men), the Nancy Drew mystery books, books set during historical periods like the Civil War or the American Revolution, and books where animals were main characters.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?:

Besides that I’d died writing my latest book at 102 while writing my next book?  Seriously, I hope it will say that I believed in education, love, and read as many books as possible.

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

I grew up on a cattle ranch that my great grandmother had homesteaded (widowed and mother of 6 kids) in west Texas…only 6 miles from the New Mexico border.  Except for the years I attended college in southeast Missouri, I have lived in New Mexico or Texas.  At this moment, it is in Roswell, NM.

How did you develop your writing? 

By doing it until it felt “right”.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?:

Marketing is—by far—hardest.  Writing takes tremendous energy and time, but marketing takes creativity, opportunity, courage, and luck.

What marketing works for you?:

My facebook page helps tremendously, scheduling book signings or fair booths or book club talks—anywhere I can speak to people about writing, and having a large family to buy them.

Do you find it hard to share your work? :

My articles are difficult because they are so personal.  My books are difficult because they’re like children—you adore them and know they’re the best…but you realize there may be some ‘uninformed’ people out there who may not have yet realized that.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?:

Oh, wow, yes!!  My father’s sister’s whole church ladies’ group reads them, my brothers read them, my children promote them among their friends and come up with innovative places for me to appear, my granddaughter’s teachers read them, my pastor not only advises me on police procedure but also reads them…

What else do you do, other than write? :

I read voraciously, I love to decorate anything…everything…anywhere…everywhere…J  A blank wall is a challenge waiting to be taken.  I love to travel to the beach, to wildlife refuges, to anywhere that I don’t have to be “on water”.  I love to bake at Christmas.  I’m a past leader for Girl Scouts, I lead various children’s activities in church, and survived countless slumber parties at my house.  Now, I decorate for adult activities at church, rope my husband into decorating projects, knit, bake, spoil the numerous critters I add to the pet menagerie, go to concerts, and walk.

What other jobs have you had in your life?:

To get through college, I cooked in a Dairy Queen, worked as a secretary in the college offices, babysat, cleaned houses, and even worked one summer for a weekly newspaper writing obituaries and church news.

After I graduated, I worked as a reporter on a newspaper.  After that, I taught high school English and Sp-anish.

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

I picked it.  I studied English and American literature and Spanish.

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

I’d live right where I was “planted”—in the American Southwest.  I love to visit other places, then come home to the forever skies, sandy plains, and people who say “yawl” and help when you need it.  But I’d go back to Hawaii at least once a year to the beach!

Tell us about your family?:

Mama was a nurse and Dad was a cowboy.   Both taught us to love what we did, to love each other, to dream, and to work to make them come true.  My mother’s dream was 3 college graduates.  People laughed at her…until she had 3.  My brother Russ is a natural born artist whose sketches and paintings are real enough to talk.  He also is a rancher and does ranch work all over the Southwest with his helicopter.  My young brother Ben spent his younger life teaching kids to play band instruments.  Now he volunteers in his community in musical activities and is a happy “grandpa”.

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

I write with a laptop anywhere…even outdoors.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?:

I’m not sure, as I find I sleep less with the years.  Maybe I am afraid I won’t get everything written if I sleep too much.

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

My family—the parents who gave tirelessly to ensure I would be educated, the grandparents who told stories to make me realize there is more than the written word, my children who are never embarrassed by my writing, my grandchildren who have read my first book even as they are still quite young.  My husband tirelessly tramps through the wilderness, takes photos, help with the computer, and discusses all sorts of technical problems with me.  But most of all, I’d thank Mrs. Sloman, my first grade teacher, who said, “Write?  That’s easy.  I can show you.  Then you can write for always.”

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

Success is when a complete stranger spends their money on your book, or takes the time to send you a note to say they enjoyed it, or shows to a book signing.  Success is the joy deep inside when you hold each new one in your hands.  Success is the warm spot inside when you know you’ve touched a dream and snuggled it into your heart.

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

I blog on my facebook page, I book numerous appearances including fairs, book signings, talks to book clubs, talks to civic groups, talks to schools, etc.  In all of it, I focus on why this book, these characters, this story will appeal to them.

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

My new book is a sequel to the first two.  Currently, I am writing book four, which may or may not be the end of this series.  I’m writing it because they are still “talking” to me…and they still have a part of their story that hasn’t been told.

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

I read, watch a movie or television, walk the dog (Maggie), tramp through wilderness, browse through a book store, go to a concert or play.

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

I hope they will enjoy the characters—smile at their humor, cheer for their success—and appreciate my Southwest culture and beauty.

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

Lonnaenox.org – Website

www.facebook.com/lonnaenoxauthor – fan page

Check out her books at http://amzn.to/2wqfKR4 

Thank you for reading and do connect with her on Facebook.

Advertisements

Author Needing Votes for Publishing Opportunity

wind-shear-interim-cover1-page-001-232x300

Hello everyone! I’m Bruce Henderson. I am married with two adult children. Next week I will celebrate my 30th anniversary.  I work by day as a Real Estate Broker, Business Consultant, and Controller.   I have toyed with writing a book for 17 years before I finally got serious with trying to publish. My years of work have kept me mired in consultative details.  I have lots of ideas and I’ve found that putting them on paper is something that I enjoy doing. A lot of my inspiration comes from reading about history.

The Publishing Company I am working with includes a process where the Author starts building they’re Platform by acquiring 1000 votes in order to receive

A publishing contract. Once the 1000 votes and a contract agreement is reached, another 1000 votes is acquired during the editing phase after contracts are agreed upon. We are 170 votes away from the first 1000 votes. http://tinyurl.com/wind-shear1

Book Synopsis
John and Benny had known each other since elementary school. John became the quiet dependable family man while Benny continued his childlike life of adventure. While they kept in contact, their interaction diminished a little more as each year passed. One day everything changed. John, his wife, and grandmother had traveled to Missouri to meet his new boss and look for housing to go with his new job. They were finishing up visiting the last house with the realtor when a gust of wind split a tree in half and blocked the road. John quickly pulled the car to a complete stop. He started to get out of the car, but something changed his mind. All of a sudden a huge face appeared at the front of the car. It moved over to where it was directly in front of the driver’s side of the car and paused as if it was trying to look at John face to face. What he saw was not
flesh and blood, but it was floating in the air as if it was riding the wind.
The speckled gray hair it had looked almost human, but its face looked like it was part man and part beast. Suddenly, its mouth opened and out if it came winds that felt like it was ripping the car apart. John yelled,“Does
anyone see what I’m seeing”, but no one answered. He was directed to back up to find an alternate route when he found a side road that took them around the tree. As soon as they took the road the face disappeared and the winds died. The next day John arrived back at his office from his trip intent on at least working the remaining half of the day. He was surprised to find out that Benny had called and left a message
about a major discovery he wanted to share with him during an impromptu visit tomorrow. Neither of them knew how the two events would shape their lives.

Guest Post: Does Sex Sell by Samuel Alexander

Samuel Alexander

Samuel Alexander

About Samuel:

Local to the island of bermuda. Likes to write, think I can sing and have a poetry blog with a few actual blog posts that aren’t poems. Samuel Alexander is my middle name. So it’s not a pen name in it’s true form. Just Wrote the first of a trilogy ‘Salinor: The Beginnings, it’s awesome. Best book i’ve ever written. I love to read and usually think myself to sleep thinking about the books I have to write that I havent’ begun yet. That’s about me in a nutshell, when something more ingenius comes to mind, i’ll share it here.

Check out his books at http://www.amazon.com/Samuel-Alexander/e/B005VCVE8Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Does Sex Sell

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about the obvious.  Of course sex sells. Still, it isn’t as simple as it may sound.  The problem with sex is where it is.  Sex doesn’t actually sell it’s the genres that sex is in that sell.  People expect erotica, and romance, and chick-lit and even some comedies to have steamy sex.  Suspense novels and mysteries even get away with it because of their darker adult nature.  Sex in places people aren’t used to seeing it, not as successful.

Lets take my own books for example.  My first three horribly written.  The sex, hardcore to the bone.  There were problems on both ends of the scale, not enough, or it’s all about the sex.  There wasn’t a lot of sex, but when there I didn’t get all ‘tone it down because it’s not about the sex’.  In my head adults have sex.  We know what it is.  We’ve done it.  It’s not going to distract me from the plot.  I was of course very, very wrong.  Apparently it’s all the way erotica or soft-core.  There is no middle ground.

So did I tone down the hardcore.  Hell no.  I went on this journey to prove you can have hardcore sex in a standard none-erotica book and it could work. Have the story be about the plot but just happen to have real not-so-dumbed-down sex.  Book one, fail.  Two was better, better sex, more plot, sales… zip.  Book three, I finally got into my steamy stride, the sex was great, and I got my plot to almost make sense.  It wasn’t a good book to be fair but the balance was finally on it’s way. The sex, didn’t sell them.  People clearly want sex to be in the box/book they want it in. So it could be the best sex ever and that shit would be totally irrelevant.

Finally book four.  The magic has happened.  A plot that actually works, sex that blends in seamlessly without being too much or too little, and/or detracting from the plot.  Obviously I struck gold right.  No.  Regardless of the steamy sex, decent plot, and comedy, it didn’t quite make the cut.  And lastly my last book which is by far the steamiest, the first in a fantasy trilogy and apparently actually is good.  It’s the only book I’ve ever gotten a review for and I sold the most of it and… not a single drop of hardcore sex but as my characters are adults, sex oozes everywhere in conversations and flirtation.  The steam is at its pique without me even needing the sex.  So how did I finally actually go from Zero sales to sales.  Reviews.  Feed back.  That’s the key really.

What actually sells a book is word of mouth.  Reviews on online bookstores.  Book ratings.  It doesn’t matter how much or how little sex you have, if people don’t start talking about how awesome your book is, or how much it sucks ass, no one will buy it.  It appears that sex sells, and on a certain level it does, but it’s really the hype around a book that sells it.  So if the buyers don’t talk about it.  Then usually no more people will buy it.  The curse of the starving indie author is that good or bad, no one ever seems to want to talk about their books but they will gush all over a famous author, or equally hate them if they don’t like the book.

Sex can sell, but that is only after people talk about it.  Therefore in actually the sex doesn’t sell the book, the readers do.  So more people should speak up if only so the masses can also enjoy the passion oozing out the pages seeping into their minds and then sweating out their pores in sinful bliss.  Get to writing those reviews and telling the world about this book, whether you hate it or love it.  You have the power to sink or sail a book, and what small chances at ultimate power we have we should use.

Sex sells.  But it can’t sell, without you.

Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay?

Jasveena’s latest post on satire and Charlie Hebdo.

Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay? http://thoughtsandviewsthatmatter.blogspot.com/2015/05/charlie-hebdo-yay-or-nay.html

The Montreal Massacre 1989

International Book Promotion was founded by Jasveena, an aspiring young engineer entrepreneur who also writes on things that matter to you and me; for the betterment of all.

Here is the link to one of her posts if you’d like to know what are the things that matter to her and probably should matter to you as much as possible.

The Montreal Massacre 1989: Another Reason Why We Need Feminism http://thoughtsandviewsthatmatter.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-montreal-massacre-1989-another.html

Why I love Owls So Much

Peruvian Pygmy Owl

Peruvian Pygmy Owl

I have often been asked why I include owls in my books. It is because I have loved them since I can remember and had, at one time, a picture of me with my first owl. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find this picture though three of us worked frantically to find it in all the pictures we had.

The picture is me at 3 years old standing in front of the old console televisions. On top of it stood my prized owl; an electric alarm clock made from ivory colored plastic and stood 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide. The clock was in its belly and I couldn’t wait to be able to put it in my bedroom. Mom said I needed to be a little older and at the age of 10 I was allowed my treasure. The clock was used through high school when it decided it had ran its course.

eurasian eagle owl

My grandfather was always tinkering and I though he would be able to fix it for me. When I gave it to him I asked him to not throw it away if he couldn’t. He just looked at me as said he’d see what he could do. If he couldn’t get it working again I planned on taking the clock works out and putting artificial flowers in it and keep it forever. Grandpa threw it away as he never believed in keeping anything if it didn’t work. When I got home from school I was ready to go through the trash but it had already been collected.

I scoured the internet hoping to at least find a picture of it but had not.

That’s how I became infatuated with this marvelous birds.

Since then I’ve collected over 100 owls in statute and picture and some jewelry. I even still have a pencil holder and letter holder I received in 1970, and use to this day.

great horned owl

great horned owl

My first book, “The Angler and the Owl” features my favorite of all the owls, the barn owl, which has a heart-shaped face plate. After researching which owls were indigenous to South America I was delighted to find the barn owl was amongst them. The only difference in my story owl and the real barn owl is that my story owl has a light blue heart-shaped ring around its face that has an eerie glow in the dark.

My husband had purchased a book “Owls of the World” for me for my birthday two years ago and I spent the whole week reading about all the different owls. There are 254 species and 53 sub-species with some being considered to be added to the species list.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

I was amazed to find the size differences, also. From the smallest, 5 inches (the pygmy owl) to the largest, 33 inches (the Eurasian eagle owl) fascinated me. The book also goes into detail about how each species is designated but I won’t bore you with that.

In my second book, “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” I chose the Peruvian pygmy owl as it is indigenous to the Peru and used in the pottery of the Moche people. The Moche lived 200 CE to 600 CE and were the focus of the archaeologists in my story.

My WIP, “The Midnight Owl”, is graced with the great horned owl, or as most know it the hoot owl. I plan to have that book finished this year.

The magnificent birds will always be part of my stories whether they be harbingers of bad news or rescuers in a perilous situation, or anythin in between.

That’s the story of my obsession with owls. I have them in every room in my home. Though my husband teases me if I bring another one in he’s leaving, he’s still here.

Viv Drewa aka The Owl Lady

You can connect with The Owl Lady via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vivdrewa.author

Guest Post: ‘The Best Inspiration To Write A Fantasy Novel Comes From…’ by Andy Peloquin

A guest post by Andy Peloquin

The Best Inspiration To Write A Fantasy Novel Comes From…

Real life!

The inspiration for everything comes from life around you. That fantasy character that you love, he/she came from someone or someones that the author knew. Characters tend to be an amalgamation of all the people that an author knows or has met in their lives, or a collection of the traits that authors consider to be appropriate for the character in mind.

But where does this collection of traits come from? Real life, of course!

The reason I started writing fantasy is simple: it frees us from the limitations imposed upon us by the world of today.

Think about what you realistically can and can’t do in your life. There are certain rules, strictures, and regulations that you have to follow. If you step out of line, there are always things to slap you back in place–you end up getting fired, divorced, dumped, or arrested.

But in the world of fantasy, there are few of the limitations that exist in the world today. If you want to turn every character of your book into purple fairies, by the Seelie you turn them purple! If every character in your book  is going to have their sexual organs reversed so that the men have female parts and vice versa, you can go ahead and write it!

That doesn’t mean that fantasy works can exist without a structure or some semblance of real life threaded throughout. Books that are so alien as to be nearly unrecognizable tend to flop in terms of sales and readership, as it’s the humanity in a book that helps a reader to connect to the book.  Without that touch of humanity, it would be as abstract as an academic textbook.

And yet that blend of humanity with the fantastic is what makes fantasy the genre that continues to draw me back in time and again. No matter how many times I try to read something else, I’m always yanked back to fantasy simply because it’s a combination of the mundane and the supernatural that I can’t help but love.

Why did I choose to write fantasy? Simple: it frees me from the limitations that other genres impose upon my writing.

Were I to choose to write, say, a mystery novel set in Los Angeles, I would be bound by the laws of Los Angeles–traffic, time between destinations, locations, restaurants, etc. But by writing in fantasy, I can create my own laws, my own world.

World building is something that is complex and yet so simple at the same time. The world you build has to resemble real life, but you–as the author–have the freedom to thumb your nose at reality and say, “I want to make everyone an Orc that rides green-tailed lizards.” Those orcs will still suffer the same crap that we humans tend to suffer, but in a very Orc-like manner. The differences will intrigue readers, but the similarities will allow them to identify with a character that is so much like them.

If you can dream of it, you can write it in a fantasy (or sci-fi) setting. Your mind is free to roam the boundaries of your imagination, and you can go as totally crazy or as sane as you want.

Fantasy ranges from the nearly mundane (books with almost no fantasy elements, save for the fact that they’re set in a different world) to the completely fantastical (with magic, sorcery, gods, faeries, monsters, and all the rest). The only limitation is your imagination!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Andy! I believe the other fantasy writers could relate to your thoughts. 

If you are reading this and you find this post interesting, do comment and send your feedback. Don’t forget to reblog and share this post around! If you’d like your post to be featured next, please contact us and we’ll let you know what you should do next.