ABLL would like to welcome author Tom Barry. Sit back with a cool drink and enjoy.What is the biggest challenge writing?
Editing your own work. As Hemmingway said, the first draft is always crap, or similar expletive. On a good day I can crash out 5,000 reasonably coherent words. If I could sustain that pace, I could write a book in 3 weeks or less. And Stephen King believes 3 months is the longest a writer should allow for writing his manuscript. But every page, every paragraph, every line of a manuscript can be strengthened. Delivering the best work you possibly can is all about the re-writes and the editing, taking
out all the bits that are not key to the story, and making every word carry it’s own weight. That is tough duty, and takes time. When it’s the best I can make it, I pass it to an editor, and the cycle starts again.Do you get to write as much as you’d like to?
No. Marketing, particularly maintaining an online presence and building and nurturing a fan base can be
a full time job for an independent author. There’s always more that can be done. A big challenge for me
in 2013 is letting go of the marketing of WTSC, and focusing on delivering book two in the trilogy.How did your family and friends react when you said you were going to be a writer?
If I had told them, they would have dismissed it as just another crazy idea of mine that would go away.
Talking about what you are going to do and actually doing it are two different things. I prefer to get
on with things, deliver something, and then talk about what I’ve delivered. The first milestone on my
journey to publication was publishing a 7,000 word ‘prequel’ to WTSC. When I’d achieved that, then I
started to talk about being a writer. Most of my friends know me as someone creative, so the fact that
I reinvented myself as a writer did not surprise them; what did cause some puzzlement was that I had
chosen to write in the romantic suspense genre, and from a woman’s POV.
When you were working with big corporations, did that prepare you to network for your book?
Not particularly. Business networking has always been something I’ve been good at, which simply means
I took the time to do it, which most don’t. My established business network has played little or no part
in my journey to author. What has helped me is my sales and marketing training from a big corporation;
many of those skills are transferable to book promotion. But as far as networking is concerned, I
still have 1,000 or so LinkedIn connections, but the network that now helps me is the network I’ve
specifically thrust myself into around writing, such as the Alliance of Independent Authors, and the
network of build in the reader community, particularly on goodreads, where I have 3,000 friends and
twitter, where I have 4,000 followers. I communicate most every day to those networks, averaging more
than an hour a day.What do you like to do in your free time?
I read of course, but that comes with the territory. I like to get out of the house and do active things. I
play tennis 4 times a week, and once or twice a year I go off sailing. I normally eat out every day, most
often breakfast, and that’s all about getting out of the house as well.What is your writing process like?
I do little planning and plotting. I start with an idea, and follow it where it takes me. With WTSC I started
with the idea of a master persuader – Jay - who uses his skills in the boardroom and the bedroom to
get what he wants. As the story evolved and the characters emerged, the wealthy but neglected Isobel
became the protagonist, who falls in love with Jay, and the story became about Isobel and whether
Jay is her saviour, or her nemesis. Some people say my character led process entails more revision and
re-writing, and they’re probably right. On the other hand I’m in the Stephen King camp, who believes
plotting, or writing by numbers, is for dullards. Having said that I do pay attention to the so-called rules
of commercial fiction, without being bound by them. So I made a point of starting with a dramatic
opening sequence where the heroine is in danger. But I also made Isobel a complex flawed character,
rather than a Bridget Jones style character we all love.What kind of books would I find on your bookshelf?
A variety. I’m in a book club so my reading choices are only partly my choice, and I think that’s good. IT
introduces me to styles and genres I wouldn’t normally select. In the past year I’ve re-read some of the
classics, including Dickens and D.H Lawrence, I’ve read books by Grisham and Larry McMurty, and on
non-fiction I often dip in and out of Military History. I also read books by fellow Indie authors, normally
eBooks, that’s often because they’ve asked me to do a review or something. It’s all about Indie authors
helping each other. I’ve read most of Ben Elton because I can read it in as much time as he took to write
it, and I like Tom Wolfe’s books, which I think have influenced the satirical side of When the Siren Calls.
If I think about his books like Bonfire of the Vanities or I am Charlotte Simmons, all the characters are
flawed and are people we don’t necessarily fall in love with, but are fascinating nevertheless. A fan of
WTSC might say that about the characters in WTSC (although I did fall in love with Isobel and Lucy.)
What is your favorite movie?
It’s the films I watch over again and again. I love the end to Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, and if The
Last Picture Show comes on late at night I’m normally up to 1am. And One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
moved me. But if I had to go for one movie, I’d go with The Shawshank Redemption. I think the last
two movies leave you with a sense of injustice, and that’s the thing that probably gets to me more than
anything else.Have you ever read a book more than once?
Yes, the classics, like Dickens, but that’s an exception. I don’t hang on to books; I give them away after
I’ve read them. The exception would be non-fiction. Books on writing like King’s and Robert McKee’s
stay on the shelf, and I may dip in to them time and again to refresh myself about something I’m doing
wrong.What is in the works now with your writing?
I’m committed to completing the Siren Calls trilogy. Book two is at an advanced stage and will be out
this year, book three probably next. The reader response to WTSC has been tremendous; nearly 1,000
reviewers have requested a copy, and around 3,000 goodreads members have added it to their shelves
since launch. As the reviews trickle in I look for patterns, in particular what my readers want more of.
One unintended consequence is that I need to change the emphasis of book two in the trilogy, because
it is very clear those who like the book were not ready for Isobel’s story to end where it did.Tom, thank you for http://www.facebook.com/WhentheSirenCalls
3 book links http://amzn.to/OhkKKp
You tube when the Siren calls : http://youtu.be/ynGLs7144Y8
Michael Parkinson interviews Tom Barry on You-tube : http://bit.ly/Rt1OK4 http://tombarrywrites.com/
We have a very talented author with us here today. Grab a mocha and sit back to enjoy this interview.
What prompted you to begin writing?
Writing (specifically, writing a novel) was something that, with the certainty of youth, I just knew I would do at some point – you know, when I had the time. But that was the catch. I always had the perfect excuse. I had my family, and I had a very busy law practice. So, instead of tackling the challenge as a younger man, many years (we won’t go into how many!) passed before I actually made myself sit down and try to write. I would say the impetus was a combination of a couple things. First, events over which I had no control gave me an unexpected opening. In late 2008, the economy went into recession. Suddenly, I had the free time that had for so many years eluded me – and provided my oh-so-convenient excuse. Second was what I’d have to call the embarrassment factor. How could I continue to assert (if only to myself) that I would be a writer if I never even tried? I hemmed and hawed (and I’ll freely admit, I was scared), but, in May 2009, I finally sat down and started to write.
Can you force yourself to write or does it come naturally?
I can, but I’ve found I don’t usually have to. There have, of course, been times when I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with the story (or even a scene in the story). But when that’s happened, I’ve occupied myself editing. There’s something completely natural about reading through what’s already been written and just following after. It almost always works. And, when it doesn’t, rinse and repeat!
What was the biggest resource you used for your book?
The internet. What an awesome resource! For Defiant Heart, I already had a pretty solid background for the most technical part of the story – the latter portion that takes place in the skies over war-torn Europe – because I’d read a lot on the subject. But I still needed details. I found incredible things on the internet. In fact, for my first novel, Sea of Crises (a third of which, believe it or not, takes place on the moon), I actually found on line the operating manual for the lunar module. It was a little hard to read, but still . . .
Tell us one thing you hate about writing?
Everything that doesn’t involve writing. Ok, I know that’s a little confusing. But here’s the thing: Except for a privileged few (who’ve so established their bona fides as writers they don’t need to get into the rest of what goes into publishing and promoting), there’s so much involved in putting out a novel and selling it these days. And, though I find it a bit of a challenge, and therefore something worthy, I would so much rather be writing my story. And, to be clear, when it comes to the writing part, there’s nothing I hate. Literally. Nothing. I absolutely love to write!
We have another great author here who took the time out to talk with us and answer our questions. Grab a glass of herbal iced tea and enjoy.
What is your favorite scene you have written?
I think the scene at the end of the DELECTABLE. It might not make anyone else cry, but it made me cry. In a heartwarming way.
Are there any authors that inspire you?
Oh, so many Big Name authors that also inspire others, I’m sure. But some maybe lesser known authors who really inspire me because I’ve watched them persevere and succeed in this tough business. Jami Davenport, Margaret Mallory, Cynthia L Moyer, Denise Grover Swank .
What is so sexy about your books?
Hopefully, it’s my heroes. I love sexy men. Don’t you? They don’t need to be the best looking guy in the room, a lot of sexy men aren’t. But there is something about a sexy man, the way he smiles, or listens, or just that indefinable something that touches your heart, yet makes you want to jump his bones.
Do you have a common trend in your writing that readers can find when they read your books?
Most of my books have family issues or dynamics in them. It’s something everyone can relate to and that I enjoy plotting and writing.
How much of Adrianne Lee is in your books?
According to my husband there is too much in YOU DON’T KNOW JACK on Kindle. It’s my first first person book and he had trouble reading it because he kept “hearing” me and “seeing” me in the character. I suppose if my readers want to know me better, then might read this book. More serious answer: A bit of me is in all of my books, my opinions, my voice, often my verbal expressions.
What is the most challenging scene you have ever written?
The toughest scene I recall writing was in NIGHT TERROR. My second book. I am currently revising and updating this book, btw, hoping to have it available in the new form sometime next year. But the scene was difficult because Creed and Celina were in a hospital waiting room awaiting news about her neighbor who had been attacked by the killer. The sense needed their concern over this dear man, the fear he would die, their trying to figure who had attacked this neighbor, Creed trying to comfort Celina, and her needing the comfort but not wanting to need it from Creed. Lots of sexual tension.
Describe the funniest thing that has ever happened to you as a writer.
I was doing a book signing at a mall for my first two books, ENDLESS FEAR and NIGHT TERROR. The publisher had given both horror covers, though the books were romantic suspense. Two women shoppers were walking past me, standing just far enough away they didn’t think I could hear them, but I could. One woman looked at my covers and shuddered, then said to the girlfriend, “And she looks like such a nice woman.” LOL. It was also a shame as they might have really loved the books. I’d had no control over the cover or the titles of those books.
What is the funniest or most bizarre comment made about your writing?
I once had a copy editor write on a manuscript “this author uses the word “way” way too much.
What other genres have appealed to you?
Thrillers and mysteries and funny mysteries and historical and romantic suspense.
Give me only adjectives and describe yourself.
Blond, brown-eyed, self-deprecating, generous, selfish, gabby, smiley, sensitive, curious, creative, drama queenish, friendly
DELECTABLE ~ book #1 in the Big Sky Pie pie shop series scheduled to be released electronically in Sept 2013
DELICIOUS ~ book #2 coming in Dec 2013
Thank you, Adrianne. It was great having you here.
Readers, do you want to stalk
Today we learn a little more about Bob O'Connor, author of The Return of Catesby
, in this author interview. Bob is currently on tour with Walker Author Tours
. Enjoy, and pick up your copy of the book at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-8206-1
Tell us about your book.
My book is the continuing story of Catesby – a real colored blacksmith who lived originally in Charlestown, VA as a slave to Colonel Lewis Washington, a descendant of George Washington. In the first book Catesby struggles to find his freedom. He runs away from the operation of a blacksmith shop under a cruel owner who permanently cripples him. He flees on the Underground Railroad to Pennsylvania.
This book follows Catesby’s new adventures leading up to his teaching position at Storer College, a new school to teach newly freed blacks to become teachers. Ironically, the students’ first day in the classroom was Catesby’s first day too, because he had been taught at home by his mother. Catesby’s vast experience is helpful in encouraging his students and helping them believe that if Catesby, a man with a bad leg who had been a slave could accomplish greatness, they could too.
Where can we find out more about you and buy your book? On my website at http://boboconnorbooks.com/synopsis.cfm#Return
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the publishing industry? Publishing is easy. Just make sure 1) that you own all the rights, 2) that you have final say on the cover design and written content, 3) they get books to you in a timely fashion when you order them, and 4) that there is someone at the company who you can talk to and speaks English if you have a problem.
What are your habits when you sit down to create? Do you have to be in a certain room? outside? Music playing? I like it to be totally quiet. I write in my office. I write on a computer and then print it out and edit it with a magic marker as an 8 ½ by 11 page. And then I make corrections into the computer. And go back and repeat the process again.
Where do you find inspiration for your books? My studies of the Civil War provide the inspiration. I find “treasures” in the pension and service record files, in letters and diaries, etc.
Did your writing career come from just a need to express yourself or a particular experience you had? I have always wanted to become an author. It is just in the past several years that I am at the right place in my life to make that happen.
What audience do you prefer writing to, and why? My audience is persons generally interested in the Civil War era. Those are men, women and children, who attend Civil War lectures and reenactments, and visit battlefields. They are generally not historical scholars. They generally do not know the particulars about a particular battle, the generals, or the strategy. They want to know what the private in the lines was thinking or telling his mother in his letters – and how the war affected their lives.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write? I read mostly courtroom drama and mystery. I write historical fiction.
I love to talk with readers and interview them. They can be more fun than many authors. (Authors, don't take offense. :) ) So, today we have Cath who loves to read and has a blog all about it. Sit back with some hot cider and enjoy. Describe your addiction to books and reading. Someone (I don’t know who) once said “books are the doorways to other worlds and it’s up to us to step through them” I just really love stepping through the door I guess. I love that I can be transported to different times and places, even different worlds. Worlds where sexy half naked men run around slaying dragons and saving damsels in distress, a Vampire queen needs to kill her one true love in order to continue to live her immortality or save his life but shrivel and die herself, or relive first love through the eyes of a 17yr old shy girl who’s caught the attention of the hottest boy at school. I just LOVE escaping into the imaginings of writers; I think I’d go quietly mad if I didn’t! What are your favorite genres? My favorite genres are paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA, and historical romance. Is there any particular genres or books that you didn’t think you’d like that you actually have fallen in love with? Books about Zombies! I’ve never really been in to the whole walking dead thing. Not movies, TV shows or books. But I recently read my first couple of Zombie romances and loved them. Perhaps it was just the talent of the writer to draw me in, but I’d be happy to try out a few more Zombie themed books.
What format of books do you prefer? I am a huge lover of print books. There’s just something about holding an actual book that I find very soothing. They smell great when you fan through the pages, they can feel warm or cold, smooth or rough beneath your fingertips - I’ve been known to hug a book or two… slightly weird I know!
Are you one that has to have quiet when you read or can you read anywhere? I much prefer to read when it’s quiet but living with three daughter’s means there very rarely is any so I mostly read at night when everyone is asleep. I do love to read in the park under the shade of a big tree or at the beach, but I do get distracted by the scenery sometimes. Describe your bookshelves. Organized clutter! My shelves are generally a mish-mash of sizes, genres, authors, some standing up, some lying down… but I know where pretty much everything is.
How many books do you read in a month? Anywhere between six and twelve, although I have had slumps where I’ve been lucky to get through two or three.
Have you ever been part of a book club? No, never.
As a reader, what would you like to see writers do better? I don’t know that I can answer that question without getting people’s backs up!
I know I’m sick of the love triangle – does the female always have to be torn over two guys?!
I know I’m tired of reading great stories with poor grammar – edit, edit, and edit again!!
Where are all the strong female leads, can the chick please save the guy for a change?!
I really don’t think I should complain too much, I am just the reader after all!!
Describe your ideal reading spot. In my dreams: Snuggled up on a comfy sofa in front of a crackling open fire in a small cabin while it snows outside (it doesn’t snow where I live!) In reality: Snuggled up anywhere where it’s quiet!Thank you so much, Cath, for stopping by. It's great to talk to a reader. Readers, want to discover more about Book Chatter Cath? Check o
My blog address is: http://mybookchatterchat.blogspot.com
ABLL would like to welcome Shah Wharton to our site. Grab a sweet tea and enjoy!
1 Describe yourself as a writer.
A work in progress. An evolving gene, a growing child. I write what I know sprinkled in fantasy, so there are elements of emotional pain, mental distress, solitude, loneliness, and humour. The contrast of dark and light has always fascinated me.
2 Besides a writer, how do others see you?
Fun, artistic, liberal, creative, and a tinsy-bit moody. I just asked my hubs :D
3 What is the quirkiest thing about you?
I cry alot, and not usually because I’m upset. I cry laughing, and at movies, soap opera’s, theatre, books, even at pictures and commercials. And once I start, I can’t stop. It means I wear waterproof makeup and carry lots of tissues.
4 What authors have inspired you the most?
Charlaine Harris writes in a wonderfully lightweight, jovial manner which feels like a warm quilt on a winters day. The fact that she does so with blood-thirsty vampires and fierce werewolves, spinning mysteries a plenty only adds to her allure. And I adore her feisty female characters. But then there are a growing number of indies, plus old favourites, such as Anne Rice and various classics. I also adore Bob Dylan’s lyrics, Woody Allen’s thoughts, and Maya Angelou’s poetry.
5 What have you had to overcome the most as a writer?
I struggle with organisation and time-management. I’m a panster at heart, but it just doesn’t work for novels like it did for short stories. Now I’ve learned how to outline and plan my novels before I start writing. It provides a sense of freedom, strangely. Of course, I don’t follow the outline rigidly, but having it there does help to focus my thoughts, which frees the imagination.
6 What did you want to be when you grew up?
The female equivalent of Bob Dylan.
I tried to play guitar but stopped when my fingers bled, and although I wrote hundreds of songs and poetry, none of them were very good. And lets not even talk about my singing voice!
7 If you could be any character in any book you’ve read, who and why?
Sookie Stackhouse in any True Blood novel. Why? Because she is such a great female character and some of the sexiest beings on the planet fall all over themselves for her. She is fun, feisty, and takes no nonsense, but is also incredibly feminine and good natured. I’m not a fan of the archetypal kick-ass heroine who becomes masculine to tackle the dangers of her world. Women have their own strengths and shouldn’t sacrifice what they are for different kind of strength. Sookie would blow you away with her grandma’s shot-gun, but guilt-ridden, she’d bury you and say a prayer. I’m not religious, but I do appreciate kindness and there’s no weakness in regret or pity or shame. These feelings make us human afterall! Charlaine allows Sokie to feel all of these is spades, while also highlighting Sookie’s strength of character.
8. Describe your work for our readers.
Finding Esta is my new adult, urban fantasy, which discusses the usual personal issues along with any supernatural challenges, and wraps them all up in an urban environment.
Julianne Snow (author/editor of Days with the Undead
) said, "Finding Esta is a superb tale of one woman’s struggling to define her identity, while the world she knew crumbles around her. It's thought provoking, heartfelt, and a wonderful debut novel for a talented author. Kudos to her!"
I used the above quote because Julianne really summed it up so well for me.
It all began three years ago with a short story about a fledgling journalist who investigates the haunting of a large, spooky house, but discovers something quite different to ghosts behind the crumbling walls. I fell in love with the main character, Luna, and before I knew it, I’d developed a story spanning three books.
Luna has not had a great life when we first meet her. She is cursed with psychic touch, sun sensitivity and extreme empathy – all of which exclude her from the world around her. She also hosts Shadows within her battered mind, and these are the only companions she’s ever had. Her parents are plain cruel and even at 23 years old, she reverts to a child in their presence.
When she’s given a lead about a cold case in Cornwall, featuring a kidnapped baby (Esta) and her disappearing parents bodies, she gets excited. Not only could it be an exciting story, but it could bring rewards for her career, and perhaps even pride from her parents.
No one, not even Luna with her over-intimate knowledge of the Shadow Lands, and the hearts and minds of humanity, could be prepared for what she finds in Cornwall. Luna begins the arduous journey of self-discovery, while the world she knew implodes.
I chose to set the action in Cornwall because I’m a quarter Cornish and love St Ives. I wanted to capture its magical quality, to set the scene. I had to research a few things, like names of streets, and about the train Luna takes to reach Esta’s house, where she finds much more than she expects. But the way it looked, the way Cornwall felt, is written from childhood memories.
9. It’s a cold and wet day. What is the first thing that comes to mind for you to do?
Write, read or snuggle up on the couch with my two boys (my husband and our huge German Shepherd: Bobby) and watch a movie. There must be strong hot tea or Merlot, according to the time of day.
10. What is next for you in the way of writing projects?
Well, Finding Esta is the first of the Supes Series so I need to get cracking on books two and three. I’m already getting stuck into the first rewrite of the first draft of Finding Luna, so watch this space.CONNECT To Shah Wharton WEBSITE/BLOG FB Page Twitter GOOGLE + ABOUT ME
Author of 'The Supes Series #1: Finding Esta.' AMAZON
& GOODREADS CLICK TO RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES
Do you love pirates, kidnappings, rescues, stubborn women, evil men bent on ruining a girl's reputation, and the story of redemption that only God can give? Believe it or not, you get all that and more with MaryLu Tyndall's work, The Blue Enchantress
When I read this book, I was amazed at the different adventures, characters, and plots were involved in a beautifully written Christian book. I think you would be, too. I just had to ask the author some questions. Believe it or not, she agreed to it listen to this new fan of hers.
The following is the interview Ms. Tyndall gave me.
The InterviewThe Blue Enchantress is a very adventurous book. Have you always liked stories of pirates?
Yes, since I was a wee mermaid swimming in the coral sea off the Florida coast! I spent many a summer lying in the sand, dreaming of tall ships and swashbuckling tales, and handsome pirates, of course. I also love any stories that are fast-paced and full of adventure, which you don’t often find in Romances these days.There are many characters in this book that add depth to it. Which one was your favorite?
I love all my characters. Yes, even the bad ones! However, I related most to Hope, the heroine, because I was very much like her as a young lady. Insecure, craving to be loved and cherished, leaping into relationships and situations without the slightest thought of right or wrong or my own safety. I see many girls like this today. They want so badly to be truly loved by a man that they’ll go to any lengths, even if it costs them their innocence and honor.I fell in love with Captain Poole. Was there a specific pirate or even actor you thought of when you wrote it? I know I kept picturing one in particular.
Did you picture Captain Jack? LOL. No, I really didn’t model him after any specific actor or pirate, but I had a blast with his character. You never know if he’s evil or good. He seems really bad one minute, and then the next you see a spark of goodness, or a yearning to be good, in his heart. He’s an atheist, a realist but then he fears a God he doesn’t know. Fascinating guy! At some point, I was hoping to write another book and give Captain Poole his own story.Was there any particular character that was the hardest for you to write?
Usually the hardest characters for me to write are the ones I can relate to the least. In this book, I’d say that was the hero, Nathaniel. Although he was a great guy, very honorable and courageous, it took me some time to warm up to him. He came across as a bit of a snob in the beginning, very intolerant of other people’s weaknesses and faults. He sort of looked down his religious nose at people, and that’s just not me at all. However, I had him all fixed up by the end!Of all the books you have written, which one do you love the best?
My very first novel, The Redemption
. It’s the first in a pirate trilogy called Legacy of the King’s Pirates, and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Not only because it was my first book to be published, but because it mirrors the story of my own abuse as a child and subsequent search for a father’s love.Does using pirates add more possibilities to your stories?
No, not really any more possibilities, but throwing in a pirate or two sure certainly makes my stories more interesting! As a writer, you can take any character type and create an infinite number of possibilities.. .but not all of them will be fascinating. Pirates have always intrigued me. I know many of them were evil, but there were also those who were forced into piracy against their will or those who took to piracy because of ill treatment by the navy or because they had no other way to feed themselves. Many pirates became privateers and came to the aid of their countries during war. Some were even educated and hailed from noble families. Interesting stuff, eh matie?Who is Hope? Is she anyone particular in your life?
Yes, Me! (Explained above) I was Hope when I was younger. My father was absent from my life and I grew up very insecure and craved to be loved and accepted. Like many girls these days I thought that the love of the right man would fill that need so I went from relationship to relationship until I had created one big mess of my life. Thankfully, unlike Hope, that didn’t entail me being sold as a white slave in the Caribbean! What Hope needed, and what I found, was that the unconditional love and acceptance of God is the only thing that will fill that hole.If you could sail the seas, where would you go and what would you write about?
The Mediterranean! It is so incredibly beautiful and there are so many interesting countries surrounding it, I could spend years exploring the coastal towns and islands. I have no idea what I would write about, although I love the history of the Roman and Greek empires. And Israel of course! I suppose in my explorations, I would discover all sorts of fascinating facts on which to base a story. But if I really had my way, I’d love to write historical suspense tales with strong themes of spiritual warfare. Curses and mermaids and giants and heroes of old. You never know!
Thank YouThank you so much for the time you took to answer my questions, Ms. Tyndall. I so enjoyed your book and reading your answers. As an avid reader and aspiring writer, you have inspired me. I'm wondering what I could do with a pirate set in Wisconsin? Oh, the creative possibilities. LOL
If you are interested in my review of The Blue Enchantress
, you can find it here.
If you are also interested in purchasing your own copy, the link is provided below.
Thank you again, Ms. TyndallOriginally Published on Hub Pages.
Reading a book can be such a pleasure. To me, it is an even greater pleasure when I know more about the author and the background behind the book. For some reason it makes it more interesting.
Have you read The Adventures of the Beat 5 Boys: The Swirling Waters? If you haven't, you are missing out on something. This book is about...... Well, to be honest, I just can't find the right words. Instead I'll let you read what the author has to say himself.
I had the pleasure to talk to Eugene Bradley, the author of the Beat 5 Boys. Here is what he had to say.
Meet Eugene BradleyHere is a conversation between me and Eugene Bradley about himself, his writing, and what he has planned for the future.
Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is C. Eugene Bradley and I was born on October 31, 1946. Yes, I was a Halloween baby. I grew up in and around an area in Henry County, Alabama that was known as Beat 5. I graduated from Abbeville High School in Abbeville, Aabama in 1965. I did not go to college because I didn't think I had the money to go and besides I needed to go to work to help my family out. My family consisted of my Mother and Daddy and 6 brothers and 2 sisters. All total 7 boys and 2 girls and our parents. I got a real good education in high school ---- I like to think that I got as good or better education in high school that most folks that went to college. I took the hardest subjects that they had to offer ---- Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry, Biology --- I am married to Dr. Kay Bradley and we live now in Milledgeville, Georgia.
After I graduated I started working with a land surveyor and in ten years time I had become registered as a Professional Land Surveyor in the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. This was no easy task to do then and it still is not easy today to become a registered land surveyor. Today there two (used to be three) different routes to take to become a land surveyor. You can go 2 years to a land surveying school and become a surveyor -in-training and then get 6 years experience under a licensed land surveyor. Then you can take the test to become licensed. The next way is the same as above but with 4 years college with at least two years of that in a survey related course and then get 4 years of training under a licensed land surveyor and then take the test to get your license. It takes 8 years no matter which route you take. The statistics show that after doing all this for 8 years that the passing rate on the tests to get licensed is only about 45 percent. For the other 55 percent it's 8 years down the drain.
When I came along they would let you take the test if you had a high school education with 8 years of experience under a registered land surveyor. That's the route I took and I passed all tests the very first time. They removed this option or route to the test a few years ago and now you must have at least 2 years of college education.
Your first book, The Adventures of the Beat 5 Boys: The Swirling Waters Adventure, is very unique. Could you give me a short summary of what it is about?
I like to think that it is unique also because I blended part fact, part fiction (mostly fiction) with a little bit of history thrown in to come up with a story that will not knock you off your feet right up front and then never gets any better. You know, you've read those kinds of books ---- all the action in the first chapter or two and then gets worse and worse as the story continues. Well mine is different. It starts off kind of laid back with a little action in the first few chapters and then gets better and better as the book continues right on up to the last word in the book. It leaves you with wanting more. That's good because this is a series of The Adventures of The Beat 5 Boys.
What made you think of the Beat 5 Boys?
Thinking of the name of the book came naturally. The two characters in the book grew up as best friends in the area of Henry County, Alabama called Beat 5. We went on fishing trips in the Big Abbey Creek every summer while school was out and yes we swam in the creek also and especially in the Norton Hole. We had many adventures during those growing up years so naturally the name of the book would be "The Adventures of The Beat 5 Boys.
How long did it take you to write the book?
I started on the book in the fall of 2007 but did not get serious with it until the the fall of 2011. During those first 4 years I had written only about one-third of the book. Finally in the fall of 2011 I got serious with my writing and wrote the other two-thirds of the book in about eight weeks.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The greatest challenge was finally deciding to get the book published and finding a way to do it. I had always heard and read about how much it cost to publish a book even if you could get it accepted to be published. I finally decided to find a way to publish it. That was the challenge. I overcame this challenge by finding that you could self-publish your own book for almost nothing. You can probably guess when I learned of this process. If you said the Fall of 2011 you would be right. That's the reason I could now feel good about writing because I could now see that I would be able to get the book published. That's the reason that it only took me 8 weeks to write the last two-thirds of the book.
What are your plans now?
My plans now are to continue writing the series of The Adventures of The Beat 5 Boys, working with other authors, maybe co-authoring with a selected author or two in one or two of the books in the series.
If you had to pick one non Beat 5 Boy character that you relate to the most, who would it be?
If I had to pick a character in the book other than the Beat 5 Boys that I most identify with would be the Big Abbey Creek itself, if you could call that a character. You might say,"Why?" Well, because the creek has a past, a presence and a future. It's kind of mysterious and so am I. It is continuous and I would like to think that I am also ---- at least leave something behind that will continue after I am gone. The creek is always there with it's cool waters to refresh you, make you feel better after you leave than when you came to it. I would like to think that I am always there for my neighbors and friends and that they will feel better after they leave than when they came. There's much more analogy here and I could just go on and on but I think you get the point.
What should readers expect to find in your books?
Readers of my books should expect to find adventure, humor, danger and some way out science fiction mixed with a little bit of fact and history. They should expect to find themselves sitting up all night reading it once they get really involved in the story. I don't expect everyone to like the books. People are different and they like different things. It takes a special person to enjoy the type of book I am writing and those are the people that I am trying to find and to make my books available to them.
Why did you self-publish?
As I explained earlier in the interview it was the amount of money involved to go with a traditional publisher that pushed me toward self-publishing ---- that and the worry of my book not being accepted by a traditional publisher in the first place ---- but mainly it was the money involved. With self-publishing you can get your book on the market for almost no money involved.
What advice would you give those that are thinking of self-publishing?
My advice to anyone thinking about publishing a book would be to self-publish the book unless you are rich and can afford a traditional publisher. Then again even if they are rich, I might would give them the same advice because they would have enough money to promote their books on their own, which is what they would have to do even with a traditional publisher. The author is the one that will have to make his book known to the public whether he or she goes with a traditional publisher or self publishes, so my advice right now would be to self-publish your books.
Originally Published on Hub Pages.
ABLL would like to welcome Fumi Hancock to your site. Grab a soft drink and enjoy. Describe your work for our readers.
It is a coming of age story of a young girl from a blended family, tossed in an unfamiliar setting. It shows resiliency, determination and hope even when all looks deem.
It tells us regardless of our age our resourceful and determined we are capable of, if we set our minds on whatever we want to accomplish. Above all, it reminds us that we are able to overcome circumstances; we just need to keep putting on feet after the other.
Our “promise land” is closer than we think.
A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!
Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.
The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest
magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.
As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones.
In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton
who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder.
As they say in Hollywood, the saga continues …http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/ Where in Africa are you from?
My family is a royal family, The Adumori Royal Family from the South western region of Nigeria. I was however born and raised in Lagos City….
Do pull any of your real life into your fiction writing?
You be the judge…
I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was home to me. Though father lived in the US too, he felt it was time to give back to Africa.
This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back for over 23 years! The trip was equally important because one of my cousins was being crowned a king in one of the provinces and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots.
The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety as I did not know what I was going to encounter. I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings. What was more important was the surprise which awaited me! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back.
The characters that readers will encounter in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “the conjured friends in my head.” These characters have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive. Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in the communities through my non-profit organization the Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers.
While there have been some popular fantasy books like Harry Potter, Amanda Hockings Trylle series and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, with settings in Europe and America, there has not been one to present the other part of the world. The characters urge me to fill this gap! What was the strangest thing you found when you moved to America?
Well, when I relocated… my first city was New York! I didn’t understand why people were so rude to each other. On one of my ferry rides in New York, two people were trying to seat down. One person reached out politely to the other and said “Good Morning”, the answer the other spitted out was “What was God about the morning?” I almost passed out. It was simply unacceptable from where I come from. Took me a while to get used to just tuning my ears out when I hear such remarks. What is the best thing about writing?
It allows me to dream and dream really large too. It also allows me the opportunity to take a look at some issues I may be dealing with secretly. More importantly, writing has given me the opportunity to share the “characters in my head” with book lovers like myself. I am so grateful for that.
Do you have a special place or time to write?
Early morning is just fine with me. If I don’t write between 3 am – 6am, I am done for that day. How often do you get to write?
I write at least 3 hours every other day. Lately, with the release of The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest I have been focusing mainly on the marketing aspect. No one warned me that, it could literally move you away from writing. Thank heavens, I have a publisher who is constantly reminding me it’s time to finish the sequel to The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell. What is your favorite time to read?
I am an early bird. I love waking up around 3 am. When I am not writing, then I pick up some other books to read, mostly inspirational books. My fantasy books allow me to escape and the inspirational books get me grounded.
8. What was home like in Africa?
I was raised in a royal home. I really enjoyed my childhood and sometimes wished the children today who live in Africa get to have that type of childhood. It was not about the money but the love that was shared by my parents. They were present…and taught me to be kind, generous and to treat people equally, regardless of my background.
9. What are you working on now?
I am currently finishing the sequel to the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell. I am hoping to get the 1st edition, the author’s edition out by March-April 2013. The Sorcerer’s Purgatory
will be the second in the Grimmlyn Series. Here, one of the characters, Kaya Darkling the Sorcerer’s daughter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell will be a main contender. Behind-the-scenes and Cover Reveal are already published at: http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/
I think the behind-the-scene and the cover reveal will titillate my readers and prepare them for a great saga. This adventures promises to kick the fun and magical encounters up more notches! Thank heavens; this will not take me another two years to finish!
In addition, I recently launched an online TV programming, called The Princess in Suburbia http://www.youtube.com/user/PrincessinSuburbia
, where I dish out spicy advice on Love, Life, Family, Relationship and Everything inbetween! Since its’ conception, it has garnered unto itself well over 1 million viewers! I am still tickled by this and grateful that people want to know more about me. You can also see me on facebook: www.facebook.com/ThePrincessinSuburbiaTV
and twitter: www.twitter.com/PrincessinSub BIO: Young Adult Fantasy & Paranormal Author, Fumi Hancock Unveils "The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest", set in a Unique & Thrilling Ambiance not Familiar to Many. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fumi "Stephanie" Hancock is a walking example of how an ordinary person from a shackled life of broken promises and shattered dreams can live a fulfilled destiny. After twenty years of dropping her pen, she picks it right back up again by releasing The Grimmlyn Series: The Adventures of Jewell Cardwell, Hydra's Nest.
Though having graduated with a postgraduate degree in communication arts, and undergraduate degrees in English studies and nursing, she ascribes her writing to her life experiences, which were many times challenging.
According to her, the protagonists and antagonists in her novels often come from the darkest moments of her life--a tribute to the fact that something good can come out of mysterious and difficult circumstances, if we choose to turn our challenges around. Age is merely a number where success is concerned.
She also pulls some of her characters from her travels around the world--in particular, exotic Africa--uniquely weaving her tales. Fumi loves to write for young adults, particularly urban fantasy, and paranormal nonfiction with a touch of romance. She aspires to one day write a mystery/detective novel for the adult audience. But for now, she is content with her young adult audience.
With her background in nursing, she gently nurses her unusual characters to life for her readers to enjoy.
Her second book in the Grimmlyn series: The Sorcerer's Purgatory is scheduled to be released April 2013--- Behind the scenes of this young adult fantasy novel is found at: www.worldoffumihancock.com
She has also written some inspirational eBooks: 2Respectmylife.com
She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Dr. David Hancock, and her two grown sons, Bola and Demola Thompson. She cherishes her two stepdaughters, who reside in Michigan.
Her websites are www.fumihancock.com.blogspot.com
. MY WISH LIST FOR READERS:
Trailer: http://youtu.be/AZTSaChQ77E Behind-the-Scenes: http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/
Purchase & Post Reviews at:
Click here to sample or buy (US) : Amazon.com
Click here to sample or buy: (UK): Amazon.com
Click here to sample or buy: Barnes & Nobles
Click here to sample or buy: Smashwords
I recently moved to South Dakota and fell in love with the whole area. Fate brought me the chance to read a book called, Dakota, or What's a Heaven For. I quickly accepted a copy of the book so that I could review it. I found a wonderful read. You can read my complete review at BellaOnline.com's history site
It is an historical fiction set in the Dakota Territory. One woman comes out to the rough land to fulfill a dream. In the course of her hunt for fulfillment, she introduces the reader to railroad executives,farmers, immigrants, and storekeepers. A great depiction of the settling of the Dakota Territory.
Once I read it, I had to interview the author. We had a very pleasant conversation that made my entire week. So, without further ado, here is the interview between myself and Ms. Marshall.
The Interview Rebecca:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dakota. Your use of the English language is outstanding. You teach English at the University of Michigan. What drew you to that area of academics? Brenda:
I always enjoyed reading. In high school, English classes were the ones I most enjoyed. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties, however, that I began to think of writing fiction. But I have always been a writer. After receiving undergraduate and Master’s degrees in English I wrote as a journalist, a technical writer at a research institute for three years, and as a free-lance writer. After I received my PhD (in my mid-thirties), I realized I really didn’t want to be full time academic. My partner helped me make the decision to try writing fiction. She said, “You’re always telling stories. If you go to the grocery store, you make a story out of it.” The first fiction I wrote was my first novel, Mavis,
which was published in 1996. So I’d say that my path to becoming a novelist was through being a professional reader, which is what getting a PhD is.
Revising is my favorite part of writing. Rewriting is very important in developing the piece. Rebecca:
I know you are from North Dakota, but where did the story line of Dakota
come from? Brenda:
I have lived in 8 other states and have lived in Michigan for 15 years now, and still, I see myself as a North Dakotan. I discovered as I moved around the country that not many people know much about North Dakota. Most of us have a tendency to fill up the unknown with stereotype. I wanted to replace stereotypes with specificity, to fill in the unknown with specificity and make it come alive. Then I wanted to continue to fill in the unknown through the personal relationships in the novel. Of course there would have been same-sex desire in 19th-century Dakota Territory, but these stories were not told, like Francis’ relationship with Anna. I wanted to tell this unknown story, and how it drove Frances’ choices, her development, her progression. Rebecca:
I noticed throughout the story that there was a theme of secrets employed from those as high as the rich executives of the railroad all the way down to camp cook. Why did you use the theme of secrets? Brenda:
That’s a great question. I have been using the language of “the unknown,” but of course, that’s what a secret is. It has a lot to do with narrative and stories. A secret is a story we want to keep to ourselves. The characters keep a certain number of personal stories to themselves, but they also choose which stories they tell to others. What stories, for example, do we tell about ourselves to create a sense of identity? These stories are about how they, the characters, want to be known. Narratives drive the novel, just as certain narratives—about independence, for example—drove the settlement of the west.
A story doesn’t have to be true to be powerful. If you tell a story enough about yourself, you can convince yourself that it’s true.
Rebecca: How long did it take you to write this book from the idea seed to final edit?
Brenda: Right after 1995, after I sold Mavis,
I saw a postcard with a photograph of 16 young women from the late-nineteenth century. One of the women in the photograph stood out to me with her enigmatic smile. The story grew from there. I started to do research about Dakota Territory, but another project intervened. I came back to the Dakota Territory novel in 1999, and finished a “final” draft in 2006. Then there were revisions based on responses from my agent and readers. The final “final” draft was completed in 2009. The historical research continued throughout the project. If you go into my basement you will find ten to twelve different complete drafts of Dakota
on a shelf. Rebecca:
You touch on so many aspects of American life. There are the well-to-do families and the poor immigrants. And everyone in between. Did you find it difficult to move from one social class to another? Brenda:
No. It wasn’t difficult because of all the research and reading I had been doing. An earlier version of the novel was almost 200 pages longer than the final version. Those 200 pages may not be needed by the reader, but they were crucial to the final book, to help me know the time and the people better. Research happens in lots of different ways. Not all of it comes from historical documents. For example, I would visit the residence of railroad magnate James J. Hill in St. Paul to familiarize myself with living conditions of those in that social status. I would stand in a remnant of a sod hut on the prairie and imagine what it was like to live in those conditions. What would it have been like to always be dirty? What would it have been like to have dirt blowing through the windowsill and to find dirt on the butter in the icebox? Rebecca:
Of these various groups portrayed in the book, which one really appealed to you? Brenda:
Not any one group, but the young Norwegian girl, Kirsten Knudson, really grew and grew. She was supposed to be a small peripheral character. Transformation is one of the themes of the novel. The prairie was transformed. Yitzchok Chavinitz becomes Jack Shaw. There is Little Carl’s transformation. Kirsten was supposed to be an example of an immigrant girl transformed to an American woman. But I just loved spending time with her and she grew and grew in importance, to me and to the novel. Her own love of language is something that we get to watch grow. She becomes a moral compass in the book. Rebecca:
What surprised you the most as you wrote the book? Brenda:
Kirsten’s development. Rebecca:
If you learned one thing from writing the story, what was it? Brenda
: Patience and confidence. And believing that if I didn’t get very far with one day’s work that I could combine it with the next day’s work and the work in the next year to get to the dream I started with. We writers have to keep learning that over and over. Rebecca:
What inspires your writing? Brenda:
First of all, it’s a great privilege to have the time to write. Being aware of that privilege inspires me to get to work. I also read other books that I just find amazing. I will read a book and I think, “This is a miracle, how these words are put together.” And then I’ll think, “I want to do that, too.” Rebecca:
If you had one piece of advice to give those who would like to become an author, what would it be? Brenda:
Keep writing and learn patience. Remember that to write what you know doesn’t necessarily mean to write about yourself.. And what I said earlier: read, read, read. You really should check out Ms. Marshall's website and facebook page.
Want to purchase a book? Check out Amazon.com
This is a book I think you will really enjoy and pass on to your friends. Originally Published on Hub Pages