Author Interview with Roy T Martin

Roy T Martin’s journey into the literary world started in the third grade where he’d compete against his brother to see who could create better storlines. From there he would continue to conjure up countless stories from historical fiction to romances. It wasn’t until his junior year in high school he decided to pick up poetry where he could better process and express his person feelings and thoughts. After publishing some of his works through Wattpad and Instagram he would go on to publish his first official piece of literature “Poetic Signature”. Currently he’s in the process of writing his first ever light novel. Get in touch if you’ve got any comments, questions, suggestions, or just want to say hello. He would be more than happy to hear from you.

Describe yourself in five words.

I’d have to say resilient, optimistic, expressive, adventurous, and talented. 

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

Mainly that I am a man of many faces. Different people know me for completely different ways of being, but oddly enough they’re all me. I’m a bit of a walking contradiction, but in a good way.

How do you work through self-doubt and fear? 

Honestly, I get so anxious that I force myself to just get whatever is scaring me over with. I’m big on embracing my fear while also facing it head on.

What scares you the most? 

I feel that the answer to this question changes a lot throughout life for most people but for me personally, it’s that I disappoint myself. At the end of the day I hold myself to a high standard because when we go to whatever is after this life, I just want to know I lived it “correctly”.

What makes you happiest?

As corny as it may be…love. 

Why do you write? 

I actually have several reasons for why I write. I do this to express my inner thoughts, to give readers another point of view or perspective that may change how they see their reality, and lastly because this is my dream.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Oddly enough, no. As a kid I loved making stories but actually writing them felt too tedious. Although it was different for me when I got into poetry. I started in either my sophomore or junior year of highschool in hopes that it would impress a girl I liked. Ultimately it worked, but when things went south the poetry kept me together.  

What motivates you to write?

Usually when I’m going through a rough patch the poems just flow for me. 

What writing are you most proud of?

Pretty much all the stories and poems of my youth. I love to look back and see how far I’ve come creatively.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

I’m most proud of the fact that I in live my truth, I’m just unapologetically me.

What books did you love growing up? 

Going all the way back to grade school I loved anything that taught me about animals and different time periods. I was also a big fan of biology and Greek mythology.

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

I come from Reading, Pennsylvania. Pretty much I grew up around a bunch of tallent, but also a major shortage of hope. It pushed me to want more from life and to believe in myself despite the odds. As for where I live now, I reside in Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Reading but the slower pace out here suits me just fine.

How did you develop your writing?

I just stared young and always prioritized that I felt my emotions. I was never one to numb myself and that helped to get the most out of my imagination.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

Even now I’m still a little shy about sharing my poems, but that’s changing rather quickly.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

Of course, my family is my rock when it comes to my career. As for friends, a handful of my old classmates still show love when it comes to my writing, but I’ve found more support amongst the local groups in my area. They gave me everything from words of experience to supplies and connections. One author even helped me to get my first book signing opportunity that’s coming up in December.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I like to practice martial arts and even though it’s been awhile, I used to play the saxophone.

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

I like to draft out ideas with a paper and pencil, then finalize everything on either my chromebook or my phone. As for where, it’s really wherever inspiration strikes.

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

As long as I’ve made a positive impact in the lives of my readers and I can afford to live comfortably and support my loved ones, I’d say that’s all the success I need.

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

I’m glad you asked about it. My latest book “Poetic Signature: The Deluxe Edition” is a more complete version of my first ever published work “Poetic Signature”. I was going through a rough time mentally and felt like I had to channel those feelings and then boom. I think the best part is that it brings together two separate stages in my life and shows how I’ve matured.

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

These days, when I’m not typing away I’m either playing basketball or binge watching shows like there’s no tomorrow.

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

From what I’ve been told, my works inspire self reflection. I’m hoping readers use that introspection to see life differently and that they strive to be their most happy and authentic selves.

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

You can find more of me at my website https://www.rtmpublishing.com/ and my latest book “Poetic Signature: The Deluxe Edition” is out now on Amazon too.

Author Interview with Spencer Russell Smith

Spencer Russell Smith is a graduate of Boston University, where he studied music composition, and the author of the breakout Awakening the Lightforged Trilogy. He is an avid reader of the Sci-fi and Fantasy genres. When he is not reading, writing, or composing music, he is probably being dragged down the street on a “walk” (full sprint) by his stumpy rescue dog, Cabo. He makes his online home at www.spencerrussellsmith.com. You can connect with Spencer on Twitter @SRSmithAuthor, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/spencerrussellsmithauthor, find his music at spencerrussellsmith.com/music, and you should send him an email at mail at spencerrussellsmith.com if the mood strikes you!

Where are you from?

  • I grew up just outside Los Angeles, CA, but now I live in Massachusetts with my wife.

Why do you write? 

  • Mainly because I just have stories inside me that I need to tell. I also write because reading has always helped me see the world and the people in it from new perspectives and helped make me a much more open-minded person. I hope that my writing will do the same for others.

What do you write about? 

  • The main genre I write in is Epic Fantasy, but within that, I write about characters, cultures and topics that interest me, or that I want to learn more about. I find the process of getting into a character’s head (especially if they are nothing like me) fascinating, and I love researching history, language, and different cultures to draw from in my writing.

Do you have a specific writing style?

  • I try to be as deep in the character’s head as I can, but never write in first person. Though I do aim to give my prose beauty in certain spots, I tend to write in a very simplistic manner. My goal is to effectively convey what is going on to the reader, and though more flowery prose has its place, I often find that it gets in the way, especially if, for example, I wanted to highlight just how gruesome certain aspects of war or even isolated violence can be.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

  • My day job is the biggest obstacle. When I wake up at 4 or 5am in the morning, I get astounding amounts of writing done. When I wake up at a more normal time, it’s a bit harder. Research is also a big obstacle, as I want to make sure that whether I am drawing from a particular culture, or writing about specific social issues or a type of mental illness, I don’t want the end result to be surface-level or reduced to a stereotype.

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

  • There are three that really stick with me. The first is: “You can’t make this free.” I was writing a companion novella (at least, it was supposed to be a novella) to my debut trilogy Awakening the Lightforged, to give to my mailing-list for free as an exclusive “Thank you” for signing up. My wife is wonderful enough to help me with my initial review process when writing, and at a few different points while reading it, she told me it was too good to give away for free. By that point, it was long enough to be considered a novel, so I agreed with her.

The second and third were from my editor’s feedback.

  • “Awakening the Lightforged…is reminiscent of the works of Brandon Sanderson in its well realised magic system and well-structured worldbuilding.”
  • “The sensitivity with which you handle the same-sex relationship…is a credit to your story. That the same-sex relationships are as strong as any of the heterosexual relationships we encounter…show a depth of understanding and a desire to have wider representation within fiction itself.”

How long have you been writing?

  • I started writing little fictional stories for myself when I was 12, but I didn’t seriously start writing until I was about 14, attempting to publish my first book when I was 16. I didn’t publish it, but I learned a lot from the process. I took a break from writing in college to focus on school, but after that, came back with renewed focus, and a drive to constantly improve my writing ever since.

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

  • I will always cite my first viewing of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as what put me on this path. Christopher Paolini’s publishing of Eragon also helped me see that it was possible to start writing and write something people wanted to read at such a young age, but seeing something as amazing as “The Lord of the Rings” sent me diving into Tolkien’s work and the world of writing. I even wrote my college essay on how “The Lord of the Rings” changed my life.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

  • It varies. I have a day job, so I try to get most of my writing done before my work day starts. If I can’t, I’ll use my lunch break to get a bit of writing done. Sometimes I’ll do a bit of editing or admin work after I’m done with my day job, but usually I’m a bit mentally exhausted by that point, so I try not to do anything then to make sure I can trust the quality. When I’m writing, I’m usually working on 3 different projects at a given time, with one or two of those being prep work for a future project. That way, I can switch between projects if I get a bit fatigued on one. I aim for about 3 hours of writing per day, and track my word counts. 2 of those hours are usually devoted to prose, with the remaining one devoted to outlining. On a good day, a full three hours usually means about 4000 words of prose and 3000 words of outlining. I usually average just over two hours of writing a day, as sometimes I won’t be as focused as I would like, or life gets in the way, but I wrote 1 million words last year, and I’m hoping to do the same or better this year.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

  • That I over-outline and plan WAY in advance. Seriously. My outlines are sometimes as long as my actual novels, but it’s something that works for me. Also, planning things so far out in advance. Though I can “force” a story if needed, I don’t like the process, and it leaves me a bit exhausted and less excited to write. If I plan things out in advance, I can work on them bit by bit over time to help keep myself from burning out, I can make sure I know where my story or series is going before I start writing the first words of the draft, and I have more time to refine the story, characters, and world. Because of this, I have more outlines for books than I will be able to write in a lifetime, and I know how many books I should have done in five years’ time (A LOT) and what I should be working on at that time.

How long does it take to write a book?

  • That’s a complicated question. I tried pantsing or discovery writing when I was younger. It didn’t work that well, and I spent a year writing a fifteen-chapter book, with incredible amounts of “writer’s block” popping up to halt my progress. Mild outlining after that resulted in a lot of editing, which was not a process I enjoyed.

    Now, I am a heavy outliner. For one book I wrote that ended up being about 90,000 words, the full outline was about 86,000 words. So about 45 hours of writing prose, and about 29 hours of outlining. However, that outlining was done at a leisurely pace, getting a little bit in over the course of a few months, which really gave me time to think about the story and the characters and make some significant changes each time I revisited it that improved the story. The last 19,000 words of the outline were my scene drafts, which I did in a week, and because of all that outlining, I knew my story so well that I completed the first draft in two weeks of writing. After that, I took a few days to go through it, write out the questions for my wife to review, and then once she gave me her feedback, it took another three or four days to incorporate that, and once I got my editor’s feedback, it took only a few hours to review and incorporate his advice. That resulted in a 90,000 word novel I was proud of, written in less than a month. It honestly has taken me more time to format the book and produce some of the art to go with it than it did to edit that novel.

    At the other end of the spectrum: I needed a new reader-magnet after I decided I would sell the companion novel rather than giving it away for free. That reader-magnet ended up being a 21,000 word novella. It took me a month to outline, write, and edit it. Maybe that’s still pretty fast, but it didn’t seem so at the time for a work of that size.

    After all that rambling, it probably takes me about two months to write a novel that is around 100,000 words, though I stretch that first month out to make sure I don’t get burned out, and that I have more time to think about the story and the characters.

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

  • Write. Do it every day. For at least five minutes. The more you write, the better and the faster you will become. Watch YouTube videos on writing and story analysis. Not the ones that say “Writing tips” or “How to write a book” but the ones like SavageBooks and Lessons From the Screenplay and Hello Future Me that examine why stories work or didn’t work, and learn from those. Study the craft of story and writing. Prose deserves some study, but not as much as most people give it. You need to learn structure, what tropes are and how to use them, the beats of your chosen genre, and how to market your book. That last one will make you a better writer even if you choose to traditionally publish, as it makes you think about your story in a different way than you’re used to.

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

  • Research, making sure I get enough/good enough sleep to wake up early and write, narrowing down the scope and focus of my writing, the tiny setting details, ensuring that I don’t just write the same characters and arcs over and over again, and ensuring that I can keep everything focused and consistent through the longer works like I’m writing now.

What do you think makes a good story?

  • For me, it’s all about the characters, which I think is true for a lot of people. Most plots have been done before in one way or another, and when someone can come up with a really good plot twist or a new spin on an old trope, that is fantastic, but it’s the character and the character’s journey that really does it for me. At the end of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, there are incredible battles and some truly epic moments. But one of the scenes that brought me to tears was a man learning to laugh and to hope again after all he’s been through, rather than a character doing something really cool with magic or snapping victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • Also, structure. I know a lot of people think structure is “cheating” or “formulaic”, but they need to get over that. Structure won’t make a good story by itself, but it can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Learn structure inside and out. Once you’ve written a few books following the structure to a T and know it inside and out, then you can start breaking the “rules” and playing around with the structure of your story.

What does your family think of your writing? 

  • None of them read fantasy, and my mom has dyslexia so the names are hard for her, but she and my grandma have both read my short story and love it, and my dad and my uncle have started on my novella and novel and like them a lot. My mom and my sister are probably my best marketers, and take the book with them everywhere, telling everyone about it. My wife and I get calls from my father-in-law daily asking “What’s the name of Spencer’s book again? Throne of (something)? Throne of Darkness? Thanks, bye.” Both my own and my wife’s side of the family have been nothing but supportive, and my wife is my biggest supporter. She challenges me to be better and interrupts her own reading schedule to read my books and essentially acts as an editor for them. (After my wife goes through the book and I incorporate her feedback, my editor has had very few remarks to give).

Do you see writing as a career?

  • Yes. Most artistic careers like writing that a lot of people see as a pipe dream seem to favor those who stick it out and put in the work. While I would love to have Brandon Sanderson or George R. R. Martin-levels of success, a successful career as an author to me just means that I make enough from writing that I can quit my day job and have more time to write. I do hope I hit that point soon, though, because I have so many stories I want to write that I’m genuinely uncertain if I will be able to finish them all in my lifetime.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

  • Book 2 comes out on October 31st, 2022, and there are many, many more to come! If you enjoy my work, please leave a review, post about it on social media, tell everyone you know who you think might like my writing, etc. so that I have more time to write, and can get you more books even faster!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

  • I first considered myself a writer after I completed my first book in 2009. It wasn’t a good book, but it was a finished project that I had completed, and I felt like writing was something I could really do. I first felt like an author back in 2017 when I posted some short stories online under a pen name and people wanted more.

Links:

Author Interview with M. Declan Morris

M. Declan Morris is the author of the Afterlife Quest novels. Fantasy books where your favorite characters are already dead! No need to lose sleep fretting about when the author will kill them off.

Declan has a passion for helping people and a heart for people who are struggling with mental wellness.

Before he started writing novels, he earned a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership which is where he picked up his love of psychological safety and wellness in the workplace. This naturally broadened into all facets of mental wellness outside of the office and sparked his passion.

Declan’s novels have an undercurrent of helping people process their trauma and know that they are not alone. As an example, the Theodore Saga in the Afterlife Quest series of novels will each cover one of the stages of grief.

His best advice, besides have fun reading his books, is to always know that there is help available and you don’t have to go it alone.

Why do you write?

I started writing because I had an idea to write a series of fantasy novels where each book in the series was based on one of the stages of grief. I have a passion for people’s mental wellness and I think that easy-to-read stories with ways to help process grief and trauma might help people.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

I had never attempted writing fiction before, but over the last year, I have fallen in love with writing fiction. My creativity really has an outlet and anything can happen.

What motivates you to write?

I want to continue writing because I love people and if one of my books can help even one person through a tough time, it was all worth it.

What writing are you most proud of?

I absolutely love my first two novels, but I am really proud of the third novel in the Theodore Saga. He is on a pirate ship and battling pirates almost the whole book and I have had a lot of fun and made myself laugh a few times while writing it.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

Probably of how much my young kids care for others. They don’t just say they care, they show that they care with their actions.

What books did you love growing up?

I have always loved reading about psychology, philosophy, and history as far back as I can remember.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

I just want people to know how much I loved them.

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

I grew up in Indiana and Arizona. My family moved around quite a lot. I now live in Idaho and plan on staying here until I die.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Marketing is the most difficult for me. The other two were easy by comparison.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?

Everyone has been very supportive. I think it is because they know I am trying to help people who are struggling.

What else do you do, other than write?

I am the Administrator of a retirement village in Boise, Idaho and I love work. I get to help people all day long and it never gets old.

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

If I could go back and do it all over again I think I would’ve studied psychology from the start. I love helping people and mental wellness is at an all-time low because of the pandemic

Tell us about your family?

I have been married for over sixteen years and have three kids ranging in age from eight to thirteen.

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

Pretty much all laptop, but all of my outlines are handwritten.

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

If my work can help even one person work through some form of trauma or grief, or helps their mental wellness at all, it has been a success.

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

The Stain of Guilt is the second book in my Theodore Saga. The main character dies in the first book and processes through the denial stage of grief while going on a fantasy adventure. This second book continues the story as he deals with the guilt of leaving his new bride behind. I wrote it because I still have stages of grief for him to process and because I think a great number of people are dealing with grief right now.

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

I hope people feel encouraged that they can process their trauma and grief and I hope they understand that someone cares about them. I never want anyone to feel alone in their struggle and I think connecting with a main character that is also working through things could be helpful.

An Interview with Author Dr. Ganesh Narine

Describe yourself in five words

Philosophical, thoughtful, serious-minded, focused, analytical

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

Funny

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

Look inward and staying calm

What scares you the most? 

Failure and not making a positive contribution to society

What makes you happiest? 

Being a leader of and an agent for and of positive change

Why do you write? 

I just love encouraging people to do their best at whatever they do.

 Have you always enjoyed writing? 

Yes

What motivates you to write? 

The opportunity to share experiences and to help people to remain safe.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

How my wife and I have made ourselves as accomplished and successful professionals. That journey was never an easy one.

What books did you love growing up? 

West Indian Novels especially those by V.S. Naipaul

 What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

Jeez he is dead

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

I am from Trinidad and Tobago and now live in Canada

How did you develop your writing?

My writing developed over a long 40-year career in the electric utility industry

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Marketing

 Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

My wife is my rock. Before that it was my mother. My mother was my true foundation. Everything else was with my wife as the real support.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I love driving long distances and visiting places that way.

 What other jobs have you had in your life? 

I am a career (over 40 years) Engineer/Manager/Executive in the electric power industry. I led all major divisions and some of the largest teams in this business leading and managing major and complex projects and mitigating problems.

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

I have a Ph.D. (Leadership), MPhil (Management), MSc (Engineering), BSc (Engineering).

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

USA

 Tell us about your family? 

My Wife and I are married for nearly 40 years now. She has a PH.D. in Education and works at a University in the Education Faculty. My son is an Electrical Engineer with a decade of working experience in the electric power industry. My daughter-in-law also has a budding career in the same industry. My sister is an MBA graduate from a university in the UK and operated as a manager for an international company in the Caribbean. She is now working in payroll management in Canada.

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

Laptop

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

4 to 5 hours nightly

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

Your inner self will lead your writing

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

This book (Electric Power Industry Accidents: We Can Learn from Them & We Can Prevent Them) contains a detailed discussion on actual workplace accidents in the electric power industry. I explore the reasons for these accidents and compares similar accidents from different places and times. The work involves an exploration of the electric power industry, the people who work there, and the work strategies, plans, and standards. It is a rare compilation of challenging issues that, if not managed, can lead to future accidents, worker injuries, and possibly deaths. I want to prevent workplace accidents and to always keep workers injury free.

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

My Mother

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

Driving long distances and listening to seventies pop and soul, Trinidad and Tobago local music, and a Bollywood classics

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

To learn how to prevent mishaps, always keep safe and injury free

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ganesh-narine-ph-d-77882b103/

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ganesh-Narine

An Interview with Author T. G. Bryant

T. G. Bryant found his love for writing when he was eight years old. He discovered the idea for “The Canvas Adventures” while looking at a gorgeous painting at a friend’s house. He felt a deep longing to help combat bullying, especially in children and teens. His book’s mission is to help others find their self-worth and purpose.

Bryant has written several other books and comedic scripts for the stage. He considers writing a cathartic hobby. His favorite authors are C. S. Lewis and Lois Lowry.

Outside of writing, Bryant enjoys performing in community theatre, particularly comedies. He and his wife live in the heart of Georgia.

Contact the author: tg.bryant at cox.net

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Houston County, Georgia.

Why do you write? 

I write because it’s truly my favorite thing to do! I’m passionate about storytelling and creating something that is my own. I find that writing is a good escape.

What do you write about? 

The Canvas Adventures tells the story of Gabriel, an introvert, on an unexpected journey, when he is literally pushed into a magical oil canvas painting and transported into an unfamiliar world.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am in my mid-thirties, but I still believe in longhand writing. I write out a list of ideas. That list becomes sentences, and those sentences become paragraphs, and so on. I find that writing it out with a pen and paper is part of the style that makes my writing unique. I then take those notes (which are often, very messy) and type them up. It’s also a chance to fix things that may not make sense.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

Any writer will tell you – writers block is the first thing that always gets in the way of finishing a good story. The trick is to not force yourself to finish. You sometimes need to take a break. That may be an hour, a week, a month, or longer. Don’t’ rush the process just to finish. You want to provide the best product. You readers deserve your best.

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

I never sought out to write a book for children with autism. However, I have found that several of my readers are on the spectrum. It’s a blessing to hear “My child loved your book. He couldn’t put it down.” I’ve also heard, “My child felt different until he realized that being different isn’t a bad thing. Your book showed him that he’s loved and capable of loving.” I love those moments! 

How long have you been writing?

For as long as I can remember. I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling.

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

My love for writing first came about when I was in second grade. More on that later…

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

I firmly believe that writing should be done strictly based around the ideas and notes you have at that time. You shouldn’t write just to write. We all have writers block or get backed into a corner from time to time. Take a break. Come back later. Don’t rush the process. The end result will be well worth it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I will often have an idea in my head and immediately write it down. Truly. Immediately. This means if I’m in bed, I grab a notebook and scribble it down before I forget. I’m sure my wife wishes I’d wait until the next morning to write something down.

How long does it take to write a book?

It took me a few years to finish my debut novel, The Canvas Adventures. I wanted to write something that was both timely and timeless. Meaning, I wanted to write about bullying, as I feel we’ve seen a recent rise through social media harassment. However, bullying isn’t new. I also wanted to write a book that helped someone overcome that type of abuse. Writing a book like that takes time-and in my case, about three years!

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

Network with other writers and learn their process. Learn what works for them and explain what works for you, too. Talk to others. Grow. Share. Don’t be afraid to change your mind. I had an ending figured out for The Canvas Adventures, but guess what? I ended up going a completely different route!

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

Writing evil characters is somehow easier than writing your protagonist. You want your protagonist to have flaws. Gabriel, in my novel, has plenty. But he’s also someone you want to root for in the end. My antagonists, on the other hand, seem a bit easier. I like to write the character of Marge Canton. She’s evil but you learn through her backstory why she became that way. It’s challenging to make your protagonists likeable but also find a way to make your antagonists’ motives understood.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is one you can’t put down. A good story is one that is relatable. Once your story is too far outside the realm of reality, you’ve lost your audience. It’s important when writing fiction/fantasy stories that your reader can picture themselves in those situations.

What does your family think of your writing? 

My family, particularly my wife, Shannon, have been tremendously supportive. They are also honest to a fault. So, if I’ve written something that isn’t the best-they will tell me straight out. I love the fact that they have all read my book and given me the ‘seal of approval,’ figuratively speaking.

Do you see writing as a career?

I see writing as a hobby. I love it. I’d love to turn it into a career, but I love my day job.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

I like to encourage those who feel like they have a book inside them to go for it! It’s never too late to accomplish one of your dreams. It’s okay to be different. We were all made by our loving creator for a purpose. Find that purpose and go for it!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My love for writing first came about when I was in second grade. My teacher had us write daily in ‘reading logs,’ and encouraged us to write freely. I loved this part of the school day. I remember one day, she touched my shoulder, looked at what I wrote and said, “You’ll be a writer one day.” That has always stuck with me!

***

Visit the author’s website on www.tgbryant.com

Buy the book on Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-canvas-adventures-t-g-bryant/1130371545?ean=9781976716492

Author Interview with P. Anthony Michael

Michael received a creative writing certificate from the University of West Virginia in the late 90s. He’s been running a successful writer’s group called For The Love Of Words for almost two decades. When he has time, he teaches in the local library Story 101 – How to create a story. He has won in every category over a five-year period in a state-funded wordsmith competition in Poetry, Essay, Short Story, and One-Act Play.

  • Why do you write? 

Why do you breathe?  It is a part of life essentials, for me.  I have to create and tell the stories no one is writing.

  • Have you always enjoyed writing? 

No.  When I was in 8th grade, I thought it was a lot of work.  When I went to college, I rediscovered that part of me that I ignored and I have been writing ever since.

  • What do you write about? 

Everything and anything.  I won in every category in the NJ wordsmith competition over a five-year period.  That is to include Short Story, One Act Play, Essay, and Poetry.

  • How long have you been writing? 

Since the late ’90s.

  • What motivates you to write? 

The what if question.  What if something challenges you in a way you have never been tested?  Do you meet the challenge or run from it?  What if you do nothing? What would happen?  It opens the door to infinite possibilities.

  • What do you think makes a good story? 

Characters, one person once said people will forget the plot, but people will never forget the characters.   It’s how relatable and likable the created characters are.  Sometimes, you want the audience to see themselves in their shoes.

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

Making everything plausible takes lots of research.  In some cases, you have to suspend disbelief to follow a story but in most cases, I try to anchor the story in reality.

  • How do you write – Laptop, paper, pen, pencil, in bed or at a desk? 

Everybody’s process is different from what I see and hear.  I’m old-fashioned and like a pencil with a pad of paper.  Once I get a chuck down, I head to my desktop and transcribe my notes, adding in settings, movements, etc.  The bulk of the work is on paper.

  • What is your work schedule like when writing? 

I make time to write when I write.  Usually late mornings or early evening, at least an hour or until I get the scene or thought done.

  • What are the obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

I need alone time to be creative.  I can do it almost anywhere as long I’m not being interrupted.  The worst thing to happen is to have that idea, that dialogue or conversation in your head and as you write it down, someone calls your name or interrupts the thought process and that idea is lost.

  • How long does it take to write a book? 

That depends on what I’m writing.  I have some manuscripts that took years to complete, while others took a month or two.  It really comes down to how complex the story is.  The more subplots, the longer the piece.  It all depends on the story idea.  I wish I had a more precise answer than that.

  • What is the hardest – writing, getting published, or marketing

I can tell you it goes in steps.  Writing would be the easiest part of the equation.  You create the content and have your peers/beta readers give you feedback to tighten up the story before you polish the piece.  Getting published is the next hard step to take.  Why. Because there are so many ways to do it. But for sake of time, let me run it down to you.  First – get an agent.  No go on that, then submit to the publisher (Traditional publishing) No go on that, then submit to Hybrid/vanity press.  The difference between the two is Hybrids are supposed to be selective while Vanity is not.  Either way, it will cost you anywhere between $3000 to $6000 to produce the book.  Don’t like those odds. Lastly, go self-publishing, where you have to do everything and the cost will be around four grand.  Third and last, which I think is the hardest because I’m doing this right now, Marketing.  This is hard because you have to make yourself stand out from all the other voices out there.  The good thing is places like Fiverr has influencers that can help you out – for a price.  The main issue is finding the right combination of noise you make to get people’s attention and invest in your product.

  • Tell us about your new novella and why did you write it

It started out as a short story that I wrote in an evening and tossed aside.  I was going through my short story collection when I saw it and read it.  Thought I could add some more meat to the bones and ask myself questions like:  Why would they go to a mountain?  I answer that question, write that scene and continue writing and asking until I had the whole story. 

If Gail knew Uncle Perkins’ stories were true, she wouldn’t have taken her friends up that mountain.  The plan was simple. Hike, camp, and ride the zip line back down the mountain. But Uncle Perkins’ stories are true, and the horrors are real. Now the simple plan is the only plan they have to get off that mountain or disappear, remaining there forever.

  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers? 

This is one of those stories you sit back read, laugh, surprise, wonder, and try to figure out how are they going to get out of this until the very end.  I’ll tip my hat and say, everyone loves the character Sam.

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

Oh yeah, Just write the damn story.  You can’t edit a blank page.  There is so much to learn about storytelling.  You don’t need to waste money on classes, seminars, and the like.  What you do is go to YouTube and look up Film Courage.  They have everything you need to know on how to craft stories from the core wound of the protagonist to the three-act structure and everything in-between.  I know a lot about the craft and yet I’m still surprised by the information that comes my way that helps me craft a better story.

  • Any last thoughts?

My first published book is a novella called Zip Line available on Amazon, Barnes and noble as well as other sites.  You can reach me at my website P. Anthony Michael.com if you want to purchase the book or interact with me.  Starting September 1st you can blog with me on Thursdays evening and Sunday night.  I’m doing YouTube video about the craft of writing. 

An Interview with Author Eric Cominski Jr.

Writing his first book “Da Grustle 1 Million in the Making” Cominski wants everyone to know being an entrepreneur is not easy. Growing up seeing all the videos with the cars, girls, and flashy jewels. He knew that no one really knows what it takes. Writing this book he gives a little background information on where he grew up. Putting some family events in the book to also let the readers know he had a basic life and came across real life situations that he had to fight thru.

With his new book, Entrepreneurial Mindset he talks about what it takes to do what he does as a husband father and entrepreneur.

Get your copy of the book everywhere books are sold or here on the website. https://www.cominski.com/

1) Describe yourself in five words.
A- Kind of a Big Deal

2) Why do you write?
A- I write to share my experience and to build my build. Writing for me is a tool I use to reach people.

3)What do you write about?
A- At this moment just what I know. I write about what I get asked the most. Like with my first book people was asking me how I started my business or how did I make it through the tuff times, so I wrote Da Grustle: 1 million in the making. Now with this book Entrepreneurial Mindset I talk about what it takes to do what I do as a husband father and entrepreneur.

4) How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
A- One day at a time. Everyone has them so it’s not like it’s not normal but for the most part I take my time working through them.

5) Have you always enjoyed writing?
A- Not really, it’s funny because I really never looked at writing a book as something that I would do but when you understand how life works you want to try new things to grow as a person and writing was one of them things for me.

6) What writing are you most proud of? 
A- I’m proud of all my writing but if I had to pick one it would be my book “Entrepreneurial Mindset” because I applied all points of my life in this book and created the blueprint for the person who is trying to be a husband, father, and entrepreneur.

7) What motivates you to write?
A- The world, just the people around me and my brand. Writing is just a small step, but I do it because I know the impact it has.

8) When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
A- When I realize I have to expand my brand. When I say my brand, I mean me. As an entrepreneur I knew what every I was doing I had to find ways to build my brand and writing a book was what I saw.

9) What else do you do, other than write?
A- O man, what I don’t do would be easier to answer. Short answer, I am a content creator. Anything dealing with content creation and every aspect of that I do.

10) Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
A- My mom, she played a big part in who I am now. She helped me believe I can do whatever I want, and she supported me through it all. Also, anyone that helped me with the smallest thing. There are many people that I learn things from that they do not even know they have help me. I want to thank all of you guys, you know who you are.

https://www.cominski.com/

Author Interview with Raven Coyne

Raven Coyne: Is a trained historian and writer. A Denver Colorado native, when encountered Raven can be found spending time writing, racing bicycles too fast everywhere, and catering to Ares the Cat!

Describe yourself in five words: 

Curious, Quiet, Funny (I hope), Determined (read stubborn), Observant.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I’ve lived around the world, including Ireland, Turkey, and Germany.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

That’s the writers natural state of existence I think. Doubting your talents. The only cure is to write and keep putting yourself out there.
What scares you the most? 

Being alone I think is the worst fate anyone can bear. We are social creatures and telling people about you is a basic need in humans.

What makes you happiest? 

Writing.  I know, I know, I’m supposed to say that. But it’s true. I write at night and the ideas flow the story unfolds as it should. That’s a natural high that cannot be beat.

Why do you write?

Writers are natural spies. They see the world then scuttle home and form what they see into a new reality. That’s why I write I think to make sense of all that is around me.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

No, when I was younger I wrote very little. I never seemed able to finish anything.  Only later was I able to realize what a pure act of creation writing is.
What motivates you to write? 

What I see, what goes on around and within me. I live mostly in my head, so what is inside there just has to come out.

What writing are you most proud of? 

Anything I finish? LOLOL There are times when what I write is better than myself.  Those plots, dialog, or clever scenes I cherish.  I can’t make them happen.  Only the muses can grant you that perfect moment.

What books did you love growing up? 

The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov, The Memorial War Book (American Civil War written in 1882), There are more but those two always come to mind.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

I did my best and lived my life to its fullest using every moment.

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

I grew up here in Colorado in the mountains.  I live in Denver both those environments play a big part in my staging of some stories.  I don’t use Colorado per se but I use the environment.

How did you develop your writing?

I sat down and started writing and I never gave up. I write every day.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

I’d say getting known in a sea of faces. That’s hard. You have to have something worth shouting about, and then you have to shout the right way to attract attention. There are so many options and many of them are useless. So, it’s hunt and peck until you find what works.

What marketing works for you? 

My books. The best marketing you can do is to write and publish write and publish until the can no longer ignore you.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

No, I know I’m going to get knocked.  Hey, it happens.  I wear my one stars proudly, usually I earned them. I also earned all my five stars as well.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

I have few friends and most do not know I write.  My family can take it or leave it.  Mostly they think I’m crazy.  Of course they’d think I’m crazy even if I didn’t write.  But there are times when I release a book that does well and I get atta-boys.  Those are wonderful.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I race bikes, climb, travel, and run my businesses outside of writing.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

I was a soldier in the US Army, a dishwasher, cleaned houses, fix computers.  I’m easily bored so I like to do lots of things. LOLOL

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

My focus was on History and I would still pick that.  If you want to make sense of the world learn what happened before you.

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

Colorado and I’m lucky I am there.

Tell us about your family? 

My folks are deceased now.  But my family was a crazy collection of misanthropes and individualists.  I like people so I really was the odd man out.  But I got good parents who encouraged my every ambition.

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

Desktop and at a desk.  When it’s time to work I work.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?  

Ummmm about six hours I think.  I love mornings to get things done in so I am up early.

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

Lea and Diane who both believed I could write and encouraged me to sit down write, finish, and publish dammit.

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

Pay my bills with my writing.  Bottom line that is a successful writer when you don’t have to moonlight.  But it’s not given to very many writers.  I dream about the day when someone asks me “what do you do?”  And I answer “I’m a writer.”  Instead of something like “I clean houses but what I really want is to be a writer.

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

I use many Fiverr gigs, but also I advertise on Amazon and Apple.  I write to specific subjects several books so I keep coming up on the searches. 

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

Vampire of Paris, I thought that gay Paris in the 1890 would make a great setting for a Vampire accused of murder. 

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

Shelby Foote, Robert Heinlein, Einstein, U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth the first.  What a line up huh?  There’s others but I’m out of room around the table.  LOLOLOLOL

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

I like to read and ride my bike to places I’ve never seen.

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

I want them to have enjoyed the story, to let go of their cares and just immerse themselves in the world I’ve written.  That’s what good writing does for you.

http://www.ravencoyne.com

ravencoyne at ravencoyne.com

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ravencoyne

Author Interview with Jevon White

Fessasion aka Sadiki-I, was born Jevon White on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in the West Indies. Jevon later immigrated to the United States, settling in Boston where his father co-founded the annual Caribbean Carnival. Growing up in Boston, Jevon was deeply influenced by the hip-hop movement and became fascinated with the art of emceeing. After his father’s sudden passing in 1984, he returned to Montserrat and attended Montserrat Secondary School where he continued to develop his talents as a performer and emcee.

Jevon enrolled in university at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Soon after college, he discovered the RasTafari faith, and returned to Montserrat once again. After some time later, he returned to the states again, and Sadiki-I made a successful debut on the Reggae/Dancehall scene with his album, I Man See Judgments. Over the next several years, he recorded songs with Reggae legends such as Junior Reid, Terry Ganzie, and Mr. Eazy, and performed live on many stages throughout USA.

Driven by a deep desire to pray at the site of the Ark of the Covenant, and thus be closer to God, Sadiki-I set forth on a pilgrimage to Axum, Ethiopia, where, by a stroke of divine intervention he had the exquisitely rare privilege of meeting the monk who guards the Ark of the Covenant.

To learn more about his journey, be sure to order a copy of his book today!

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I am shy sometimes

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

I pray and turn to God

What scares you the most?

Not living up to the full expectation of Almighty God

What makes you happiest?

Helping people

Why do you write?

I write to record my thoughts and also to entertain and educate others. I am also a singer songwriter as well.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes

What motivates you to write?

Don’t need motivation to write.

What writing are you most proud of?

My latest book… “12 Lessons I learned From the Guardian Monk of the Ark of Covenant.”
What are you most proud of in your personal life?

Finishing the new Temple for the Ark of Covenant and restoration of the old one.

What books did you love growing up?

The Bible

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

He did his best!

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

Montserrat, Boston

How did you develop your writing?

My high school teachers used to always tell me that I write well. So I guess from a young age.

Do you find it hard to share your work?

No!

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?

Yes!

What else do you do, other than write?

Real Estate Investor

What other jobs have you had in your life?

Acquisitions Manager, Construction, Car Dealership Manager, Auto Technician

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

Artificial Intelligence

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

Africa

Tell us about your family?

Not married / no children

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

All of the above

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

6 hours

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

The Creator

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

Getting paid to speak and selling lots of books.

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

My new book “12 Lessons I leaned from the Guardian Monk of the Ark of Covenant” is a book about my experiences in Ethiopia and my interactions with the Guardian Monk. T

An Interview with Author Frank Wayne Mottl

Frank enjoys writing prose and poetry. He believes that a good base in poetry significantly improves the writing of prose. His debut novel, “The Cumberland Tales” is a collection of connected stories. He’s recently published his second, “Mother’s Keep”, and has sent off his third, “Cumberland Gold” to his editor. Frank publishes all his work through Mythmoulder Publishing.

There are two quotes which are important to Frank. The first, by John Keats, to paraphrase: “That which is creative, must itself create”; the second by William Blake, again, to paraphrase: “My job is not to reason and compare, my job is to create.”

Frank is interested in developing unreliable narrators. He also leans toward “stream-of-consciousness” narratives and is currently reading William Faulkner’s “Abolsom, Absolom.” “The writers we read,” he says,” influence what we write, read the good ones.”

Frank has been published by the Poetry Institute of Canada twice for his poetry, and twice for his prose. He has also been published by numerous publishers in the U.S. and Australia, and has been interviewed on radio shows in the U.K.

https://www.frankwayne.net/

Describe myself in 5 words: hard-working, worldly, steadfast, confident, and smart.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I like all kinds of fine art and baroque music.

How do I work through self-doubts and fear?

I talk to my wife about any self-doubts, also, I understand that lack of confidence is a killer to being successful.

What scares me most?

The environmental disaster that the world is heading towards, and the lack of kindness in the world today.

What makes me happiest?

Being comfortable in my own skin, and encouraging my students to be confident and moral individuals.

Why do I write?

The 3 books I have written were about things I wanted to write. I wouldn’t spend the enormous amount of time to write a book about something that I don’t feel worthwhile about the time and effort. For example, my first book, ‘The Cumberland Tales’ is about the small coal mining/logging town I grew up in as a kid, and ‘Mother’s Keep’ is based on my Granny who lived during the depression years in the small town of Gibsons on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Have I always enjoyed writing?

Yes, I wrote long fantastical outer space stories when I was a youngster.

What motivates me to write?

As stated above in question 6, usually it’s something that is close to my life experience, something that I want to share with others, and, the idea that after I’m dead and gone my books will live on so give me a semblance of immortality.

What writing am I most proud of?

My poetry and prose have been published by numerous online and print magazines, so that’s a feather in my cap, so keeps me motivated, but the work I’m most proud of, probably because I feel it’s my best work so far, would be “Cumberland Gold” soon to come out within the next 2 months or so.

What am I most proud of in my personal life?

Overcoming demons that all people must overcome regardless of their lifestyles. Also, I’m proud of the ability to keep my ‘ego’ in check.

What books did I love growing up?

I’m an avid reader of classics; Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, Hemingway, Laurence, et al.. Also, I’ve studied and read books on all facets of philosophy: Kant, Russel, et. al..  In my very early years I always read sci-fi because it sparked my imagination.

What do I hope my obituary will say about me?

Well, in a way, I just want to fade into the sunset, unannounced because that’s what happens to all of us anyway. But if I had to have an obit, I’d want it to say: One has gone, and we’ll all be the poorer for it.

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

OK, so, my first book, ‘The Cumberland Tales’ gives the whole town where I grew up in a voice, that’s why I wrote it, to share what it was like to grow up in this unique town during the 1960s. Now, Cumberland is an artsy type town full of young artists and mountain bikers from all over the world, but in the 60’s it was a rough, red-neck town full of bar fights, and a separate Chinatown who helped work the mines, a small Japanese community, and a small black community. The town has come 180 degrees from what it was like when I was a kid.

How did I develop my writing?

When I retired from the mill, about 15 years ago, I returned to university and obtained an English Major. It wasn’t long before I discovered that I wanted more than to study the masters of literature, I wanted to create my own stuff. My last years in university were courses on creative writing, encouraged by my instructors who said I had talent in writing poetry and prose. Since that time, I’ve been encouraged by other successful and well-known writers who all tell me I have talent.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

OK, so getting published is not a big deal because I don’t deal with agents, I self-publish. The actual writing isn’t that bad because I don’t have to make money at writing, I already have money. The marketing wouldn’t be so bad if I was interested in it, and even though I took marketing in university (to round out my education), it’s hard for me to get my head around it because I find it boring (but I did OK in university on it).

What marketing works for me?

I sell locally at Impressions Art Gallery (my wife is a painter), Coho Books, Save- On- Foods and other local bookstores. I also sell on Amazon. I also do readings if asked to, but should focus more on promoting myself.

Do I find it hard to share my work?

Absolutely not, I’m open to sharing my work, to discuss how other writers about their work, no, in fact, when I was on Facebook (years ago), I always shared my work publically no problem. Why write it, if you don’t want to share it? I understand others may be wary of others stealing their work, but you’ve got to share otherwise what’s the point?

Is my family supportive?

Yes, everyone supports me in my writing because everyone says, ‘I have a way with words.’

What else do I do?

Well, I’m retired, but since retirement, have taught English in Jiaxing, China for a period of one year in a public school, an unforgettable experience and have many good teacher friends in China. Currently, I teach English and Math at a private school in Canada . . . all grades in English and up to grade 10 in Math.

What other jobs have I had?

OMG . . . lots: Biological technician at Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo (worked with top Rockfish scientist in the world, a kind man named, Jergen Westerheim), worked on paving crews, worked in archaic chemical plants, worked in pulp and paper mills, in film developing with 35mm and 110mm film, gardener, and chartered my sailboat in Desolation Sound. And, as mentioned above, spent a glorious year teaching in a Chinese public school with over 5,000 students and 200 teachers.

If I could study any subject at university what would it be?

I lean towards ‘fine arts’ so perhaps painting or more writing courses, but I also like philosophy.

If I could live anywhere, where?

I like seasons, so someplace that has 4 of them but that’s seems rare these days. I’d like to teach English and Math in a less developed country, but if I had only one place, it’d probably be a place with kind people with a democratic government, or at least where people can live free.

Tell you about my family. 

OK, my mom and dad passed away years ago. I have a strong work ethic from both parents, I have an estranged brother who fell by the wayside when my dad passed away. I have a strong, independent son and daughter, grandson, and step son and step daughter. My extensive family is long, I myself was adopted, but know my birth mother passed away some time ago.

How do I write?

When writing poetry, always pencil and paper, then go to laptop after that. When doing prose outlines, pencil and paper in combination with laptop. My go-to writing device is Word 2007 on my laptop.

How much sleep do I need?

Well, I worked shiftwork for 30 years so can get away with 4 hours, but to be my best 7-8 hours.

Anyone I’d like to thanks for support?

First my wife Linda, who paints the covers for my books and supports me always, secondly my friend Jim who always reads my lousy first drafts meticulously, giving advice and telling me how to may the book better, thirdly, my new found editor Racheal, who does her absolute best when editing my work.

Success for me is completing a work that I’m satisfied with. I strive for perfection, but know I will never achieve perfection because no man or woman is perfect in art or life. Perfection is relative, like so many things in the world.

You are a big part of my marketing campaign! I’m going to attempt more marketing because I want to make more money by selling more books, but it has nothing to do with creativity.

My lastest book, ‘Cumberland Gold’ is again situated in my home town of Cumberland, but it’s a work of fiction. The reason I wrote it is because of Chinese characters I knew as a kid growing up there. Characters like ‘Sam Yik’, ‘Brokenback’ and other flashes of memory that stick with you as a child. ‘Cumberland Gold’ is a murder mystery, but is much more, yet is only about 40,000 words. It’s a confluence of characters from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and their offspring who migrated to Canada to work the Cumberland coal mines during the 19th. Century.