Category Archives: bioigraphy

Re-Post of My Guest Blog With Mark!

I recently guest blogged with wordrefiner.com Mark, and figured it would be great to share what I wrote to my own blog!  Feel free to share! Have a blessed week!

 

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Aimée Marie Bejarano Indie Author of multi-genre novels such as: “The Gateway Series” “The Angelica Series” and “Possessions of the Human Kind” Saga Chapter One. www.amazon.com/author/aimeebejarano
Owner of Dead Man Walking Publications- website coming soon!

Recently I began really praying what I can bring to the table with the blog. I began thinking of my journey as a writer, beginning at age 16. Well, then I zoomed to the present. There are many things I can indeed help bring to the table in regards to what I did wrong. Publishing isn’t easy, the same goes for writing. I’m sure Mark can tell you it’s certainly a lot of work to proofread because you are trying to polish up every author’s novel. Hours of hard work goes into every word read, and every word circled in red. Then the difficult task of: reading over all of the editor’s notes, proofreader’s, and or the beta reader’s notes- Mark feel free to fix any typos I may have as well lol.

So, this publishing thing is difficult work!  Some of us don’t have the luxury of hiring an editor from the start, and that is precisely what I’d like to delve into.

I’m sick with several diseases and on an extremely fixed income. At the time I wanted to publish, I had no author friends, neither family or friends who could spare the time to proofread for me at all.  I reached out to Createspace. It was a small loan which killed the pocketbook. I completely turned to them for everything minus editing, it was far too much and I simply didn’t have it. Once they took over, I was disheartened when they couldn’t seem to find a cover fitting to my needs and the vision I had.  Especially, the Biblical times. Then, it would cost around $200 more for access to additional photos which they can use. But the problem still rested, that no matter how often I spoke to them on the phone, their pictures were just not up to the vision I saw for my first book, “Angelica.”- Now re-titled, “Angelica, You Have Chosen Well”- Part One of the Angelica Series. I finally settled on an extremely dark cover with a candle lit. Not throwing someone under the bus, but it seemed I had someone working on my novel who barely began illustration. The front cover was in quotation marks. Embarrassing. And because I was so new to everything, did I know? Not at all. It took others asking me why it was there to even consider.

It released without so much as a bang for anything including the hard work put into it. My family did buy a copy here or there but as for gathering a readership, it was a far cry to have any. The front cover was disappointing. I figured this is what all indie authors must go through when first starting out.

So, I worked on my next book. This time, I bumped into someone who was willing to help. Unfortunately, this person is a menace to the publishing world, and I saw evidence posted in dozens of places to this person’s insanity. So guess what happened to me? I was suddenly dragged into it. I was even being called names on Twitter for my involvement with this person. I had no idea who they were, I was a newbie. But afterwards realized this person was dragging my Twitter handle into all of their insane rants. I finally blocked them.  I took everything they worked on and learned how to redo it on my own.  I even received a one star review for the book simply because I worked with this person. They made it clear they did not read the book and hated this other person and pretty much me- Amazon refused to remove it even if they mentioned they didn’t read it. Then later, this person decided to give it a chance and amended the review, but still bashed me pretty well. It must have bothered them because shortly after, I received a message on Facebook apologizing for throwing me under the bus. I have completely forgiven this person but it wasn’t enough to remove anything about that review lol.  And all the while, a lot of self-righteous authors were telling me they were going to help me and send me a list of all my mistakes- yep it does happen. D.M’s still hit me up from time to time thinking their editing is better than what I hired. It happens all the time in the publishing world- I even take peeks at best-selling book reviews or indie author book reviews and it’s almost the same case. Authors criticizing or critiquing the other author’s editors.  When will it end? Problem is it lowers who you are as a writer, as an author to what you shouldn’t be.  Most were trying to take away and strip me of my original writing style. It puts some sort of distaste as if something is wrong with you and your writing, so then the question sits, “Why write at all?” Promises from author’s to aid, and it became where I was growing irritated by it. Of course, I know we can learn new things and God knows I love to, but for this to occur with things such as, “I liked the book BUT I’m going to send you papers of all the mistakes you’ve done.” “I like the book a lot BUT you shouldn’t write it in the present tense but in the first person. Like from the main character’s point of view.” “I like the story but the editing stinks.”- of course this was nitpicking my most recent review lol. ETC.  And quite frankly, I don’t like being beholden to anyone.  Promises come and go. People giving insights on how they think I should write the book was all I needed to say, “Enough. I’m doing it as the Lord tells me to write it, and not because others declare it or push me around. And I will redo it better than before including a new cover and an editor.” The Lord knew all I needed was Him in all of this mess.  Did I change the POV as directed? No way!
I had had enough. The only good thing coming from what’s happened is I slowly began connecting with genuine, kind author’s and I listened and read all I could and learned new programs to help me along this journey.  Most of it I learned alone. The only One beside me was the Lord.

I didn’t have all my ducks in a row years ago, but was learning how to format on my own for paperbacks etc., found my own illustrator, and finally recently at the beginning of this year, all my novels were redone with brand new covers, in 2nd Editions, and edited!

The mistakes I made seem to haunt me still since there are copies of my books floating around that I know are not professionally edited, and thus the reviews that occasionally trickle in reflect that. Presently, I have issued a disclaimer to the readers that since March or April of 2017, my books are redone and edited and the reader can now update to a new version.

Am I sorry that I didn’t wait? You know, I’m sorry to the Lord for my hastiness, however I’m not sorry things turned out the way they have. I’m fully dependent on the Lord and He has used me to be able to push through each novel where I can format and do all myself, including book trailers.  The only thing I need help with is editing and illustration. But, for something good coming out of it is definitely the price I’ve paid for it. I believe even now, that there are readers out there for all of my books who will love them and stick with me as I publish. I know I’ll get another chance for these books to make it to someone’s kindle or into someone’s hands. I believe and have faith I’ll get that chance again. Mistakes are made but it isn’t a life sentence, which is why I love this meme!  I saw it on Twitter and had to share it. Whoever came up with the phrase, thank you because it is so true!

Another great thing is I’ve started my own self-publishing house in 2015 which Lord willing next year, I plan on having other authors underneath. I know God has some great things in store for me and for all of us if we simply ask and believe He can. It has been worth all of the: stress, tears, doubts, discouragements, bad reviews, name calling (Cyber bullying), belittling, and anything else that I’ve gone through. If this is what I’ve had to do to get on my feet, then I would go through it again to understand all that I should for what the Lord has called me to do.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 KJV.

What are some things He has called you to do? Just because something is hindered or bad things happen, doesn’t necessarily mean He is not in it. Get on it! Time is short and we should be about our Father’s business.  Maybe you are a writer, author, poet, illustrator, digital specialist, or artist who loves the Lord. Don’t let those things fall by the wayside.  I often hear many indie authors say, “You know my first book was a train wreck.” Or “My first book was horrible it didn’t do very well.” Or “I hate my covers.” Or “I’m a much better writer now than I was then.” I can relate with all of it.  Funny thing is, currently a ton of indie author’s I know are publishing 2nd Editions with new covers as well!  The great thing about indie authors who publish is you control everything about your book!  In five years, you can release a 3rd Edition for all you want! See? Not alone! Sure there are a lot of people doing what we do every day. But if He has called us, then no one can do it like us!

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New Author Spotlight with Sharon K Connell!

I’m so thrilled to have an author we’ve had grace our presence before. She’s super duper talented, and one of the kindest people I have met. I’m talking about Author Sharon K. Connell.  Sharon thanks for joining us today!  I’m so glad you’ve agreed to chat again so let’s get going!

Sharon

 

 

What drives you to continue writing?

There seems to be a never quenchable thirst to tell a story. I don’t know how to explain it any other way. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

                                                                                                                     

Tell us your series genre?

I don’t write series. All of my books stand alone as stories, although they may have characters in them that have appeared in one or two of my other novels.

 

Tell us about your new book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback or hardcovers)

My newest novel is His Perfect Love. Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

 

This is one of the most stunning covers I’ve seen. I’m so impressed you painted it! Tell us how long have you been a painter?

The painting on my cover is not actually my painting. My book cover was done by Miriam Rue, the daughter of missionaries to the Ukraine. Her parents and I attended The Pensacola Bible Institute together. Miriam took the picture that I sent her and created the beautiful book cover you see on His Perfect Love. However, I am also an artist and created a painting using her finished book cover as the subject.

 

How long did it take you to complete this painting?

The painting I started took a few months to create. I believe Miriam worked on my book cover for about the same length of time.

 

What inspiration did you hold onto while painting this cover?

As I said, my painting is not actually the cover for the book, but what I did was think long and hard about the story I wrote and tried to decide what inspirational message within the story would be best represented by the cover of the book.

 

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

The instruction you receive from other authors, whether it is in their style of writing or the words they use or don’t use, is all gleaned from reading other author’s works. Sometimes you will read a book and think to yourself, I would have written it this way, or I wouldn’t have said that. Other times you read a story and think to yourself, that’s exactly the right way to say that, or I wish I had written that. All the books you read by other authors can help you develop your own style of writing and teach you what to do or not to do.

 

What book genre do you enjoy reading the most?

My reading preference is Historical novels set in what is now the United Kingdom but originally different countries.

 

What genre will you absolutely refuse to read and why?

I don’t read horror or paranormal. Sorry. I know that’s what you write, Aimee, but that’s not my interest. I also do not read anything other than what we call “clean reads.” SciFi is another genre that I’m really not interested in.

 

Share with your readers, what’s the best way to handle a less than outstanding book review?

Everyone has their own idea of what a good read is, and we are all different in our likes and dislikes. Some people love J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m one of those people. While others don’t care for his writing at all. It’s all a matter of perspective. One cannot take a bad review to heart, no matter how much it may hurt when you first read it. The best way to get over that hurt is to look at what was said, and decide if there is anything you can learn from that.

 

What message do you want to send through your book?

My books are all about God’s love and mercy. The message I want people to walk away with is that God is in control. He will allow things into your life to either teach you a lesson, something you have yet to learn, or to help you grow as a Christian.

 

What age range of readers is for your new novel?

I’d say that my novel is for anyone who is old enough to read an entire novel all the way up to senior citizen. Because my works are clean reads, they are suitable for anyone. A young person will not find anything in the stories that they wouldn’t hear on the daily news. They would more likely hear something offensive there, whereas the only offensive thing they would read in my stories would be the unlawful act of a stalker, and even those actions are not explicit, only hinted, such as attacking a woman with a knife, or looking at her in an uncomfortable way.

 

What encouragement can you give to the aspiring author?

The best encouragement I can give is to read all you can about writing, take classes (there are many free classes online today), and get started writing. Read what other authors have written. Learn what you do and don’t like. And most of all, if you know you are called to write, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

Have you ever had writers block? If so, how did you handle it? What are some tips to others who may experience a terrible case of writers block?

I think I have the opposite of Writers’ Block. As I mentioned before, once I decided to write, I couldn’t stop. I may a few moments when I don’t know what is coming next in a scene, but it doesn’t last long, so I can’t call it a block. I know. I’m an oddity. All I can tell others is that if you do get writer’s block, walk away from the manuscript. Take some time off. Read a book. Go online and enjoy someone’s writing prompt (especially on my group forum LOL). Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated. That would only make it worse. Go shopping. Take a trip. But always keep a notepad handy for when the ideas start up again. You’re a writer. Eventually, you’ll start writing again.

 

What characteristics do you relate to with your main character Patricia and why?

With Patricia, I believe the only characteristic I would relate to is her being of Celtic decent and the fact that she has doubts, fears, and desires love. But then, we all do.

 

What are some of the challenges that face Patricia?

I’m not going to go into much of that because I don’t want to give a spoiler. I will say that one of the biggest challenges Patricia faces in the story is fear and doubt.

 

What gave you the idea to write this new novel “His Perfect Love?”

When I first wrote about this character, it was in my first book, A Very Present Help. She wasn’t a nice person in that story. She shows up again in Paths of Righteousness in a situation with the hero, and still isn’t very nice. When I wrote my third book, There Abideth Hope, Patricia wasn’t in it at all, but I kept thinking about this poor girl. I decided that she had to have a story all her own.

 

I see there are three men pursuing Patricia. Be honest lol. Which one did you crush on and why?

Not telling. No spoilers. It would give it away. Hee hee hee

 

In publishing your novel, which part do you absolutely love?

Holding the finished product in my hands.

 

Tell your readers yet again, how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write? Example, music on or quiet etc.

You may not believe this, but I can write in almost any atmosphere. I have my own office, which is wonderful. I often play music, and I have a window at my side where I can watch the birds coming to my little birdbath (they often sit at the window and look in at me), and look out at the varying skies of Texas. But, I can also writing in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, sitting in the car waiting for someone, stretched out on the loveseat in the living room. At the kitchen table while I’m cooking, on the screened in back porch while Sheila (the dog) is checking out the yard and chasing squirrels. I’m flexible as a writer.

 

What is one special goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?

COFFEE!

 

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can. 

The worst thing was lack of funds. I thought that was going to stop me for good. Then a fellow author I had been confiding in told me about CreateSpace and that I could self-publish. It made a world of difference.

 

When you need some extra encouragement when going through your manuscript, who do you turn to?

I do a lot of praying. I also talk to friends who I’ve found are all so supportive.

 

How do you market your book? If it’s a marketing service, please give the name.

I do my own marketing online. There will be some opportunities to have book signings coming up, thanks to my local American Christian Fiction Writers group, Writers on the Storm, but mostly marketing is a job of making posts about my writing in every possible outlet I can find where readers are likely to show an interest.

 

What is the worst thing someone has said to your regarding your work? How did you respond or overcome the criticism?

The worst thing was when I first started out writing and joined a writers’ group where the members had no idea how to critique someone else’s writing. Most of the comments were negative, and probably well-deserved since I had no idea what I was doing. My background was good as far as grammar and language, but I needed to learn a lot about story structure. All they knew how to do was tell me what they didn’t like. Only on a rare occasion was a comment made which was constructive criticism. Being a Christian for so many years helped in this area, as I’ve run into many people who criticism my faith. You just step back, evaluate what was said, and if there’s any truth in it, you fix it. If it’s not true, you let it roll off of you like water off a duck (I know, cliché…but it’s true and it fits).

 

Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication? 

No one read the entire book from beginning to end when I’ve done the last tweak except for my editor. Before I send it to my editor, I have already send one chapter at a time to my critique partners in the Scribes Loop of ACFW. After that I go through the entire story myself. This process isn’t for everyone. Many writers I know have Alpha and Beta readers who read the story first, but I do it this way.

What are some of your hobbies when you’re not writing?   

When I’m not writing, I’m painting, gardening, bird watching, moon-gazing, and reading (of course).

 

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. Let them in to just who the wonderful Sharon is.

Don’t know about that “wonderful” part, I’m just like everyone else. But, my favorite food is ice cream. I can’t resist it. And, I have three favorite colors: white, emerald green, and royal purple.

 

Tell us your favorite novel?

Lord of the Rings, with The Hobbit a close second.

 

What is your favorite classic movie?

McLintock with John Wayne. Or if you mean older, I guess it would be White Christmas.

 

I know you have pizza Fridays. What’s your favorite kind of pizza? What drink do you always have to go along with it?

My favorite is Spinach with Marinara Sauce instead of Alfredo. I also have Coke, sometimes Vanilla, sometimes Cherry.

 

Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you love.  

Crime or mystery novel? Mystery

Singing Christmas carols or watching someone sing Christmas carols? Singing them.

Lighting New Year’s fireworks or watching it outside?

 

Neither. I don’t like fireworks except on the 4th of July and then I like watching.

 

A kindle or a paperback? Paperback only.

I want a real book, although I do appreciate my Kindle readers.

 

Paperback or hardcover? Hardcover

Favorite pie during the holidays? Pecan

Pie or cake? Pie

Holiday flavored creamers or regular creamers? I like both.

Espresso or regular coffee? Both

Name some of the delicious things you like to eat during New Year’s Eve and day? My own fruit cake, made using my grandmother’s recipe for raison cake.  And DARK CHOCOLATE covered cherries.

Are there any mistakes you have made during the publishing process? How did you learn from them? Yes, publishing the first three books before I really knew how to write.

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out? My writer friends, if you’re referring to doubt about my writing.

What is one thing you’d like to address to your faithful readers? I appreciate every one of you, and hope that I will always write stories that you will love to read.

Do you have a mailing list? Give us the address to sign up!

If you go to my website, http://sharonkconnell.com/ you will see a signup box for my monthly newsletter. If you need to get in touch with me for something, you can always reach me at any of the links below.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.

I have no deadline to meet for my next new novel and I’ll be working on my first three novels before I start that one. I do not write series, mainly because I don’t enjoy series myself. I like all my stories to stand alone so no one has the fear of reading one of my books and feeling like they should have read the one before it. My genre is Christian Romance Suspense with a bit of mystery. My first three novels are on Amazon, but I would prefer that my readers wait until I have rewritten them before they read them, so they can enjoy the stories the way they should have been written. I will be keeping everyone up to date on my progress in my newsletters.

 

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome books?

Following are my links:

Website: http://sharonkconnell.com/

 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell

 

Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1

 

Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell

 

Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/

 

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

 

Blogging on Niume: https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=52569

 

His Perfect Love on Amazon http://amzn.to/2iCMALI

 

And my book video:

His Perfect Love – New novel by Sharon K. Connell https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk

perfect-love

Thanks so much, Sharon for your inspiration and your time and this wonderful new novel!  It’s sitting on my writing desk and going to be devoured soon. Ya’ all need to get online and grab one of her novels!

 

Join us next time for our all new Author Spotlight!

Interview With Author Sharon K. Connell!!!

Sharon
Welcome and thank you so much for joining me for this interview Sharon!

What made you want to be a writer?
I never thought about being a writer but my dear friend Alan O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, along with many non-fiction publications kept after me about putting my experiences in a book. After going through Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola, Florida, he started in on me again and this time I took him up on it. However, what came out was not a thriller, as you would think someone would write going through an experience like that one. It would up being a love story. Yes, I did touch on the results of the hurricane in the novel, but nothing more.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?
My genre is Romantic/Suspense or Drama. I’ve also written some short pieces in the Fantasy genre, which someday will be published in a short story collection.

Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
My current work in progress is His Perfect Love. A story about a bad girl (woman) who realizes that the choices she’s made in life have done nothing but cause her trouble. She’s on the run, hiding from the villain. This character shows up in previous books published before I took any classes in writing. One other character (pulled from my previous novels) shows up in the story but my readers don’t have to worry about not having read the first three novels. All my books stand alone. Some of the characters are simply too good not to mention or have make an encore.
His Perfect Love is in the editing stage right now. I wish I could give you a date when it will be available, but I don’t like setting a deadline. I want to make sure the story is right, a good read, and therefore I don’t rush it. I will keep everyone posted, and you can always check on my website and group forum page on Facebook for updates. It will be offered on Amazon.

How important is it to read when you want and then are an author?
If you mean, how important is it for me to read while I work, I read as often as I can find the time, usually when I can’t write, doctor’s offices, etc. It helps me to see how others do it. I glean what I like.

Is it necessary to take classes to help learn how to creatively write?
I’m not really sure how necessary it is. It has helped me to learn how others in the field create their stories. In times past, people wrote great novels without the benefit of having gone to school to learn the trade. Also, one can read books to learn the various techniques of writing. I think that’s a very personal question for the writer to decide upon.

Tell us about your first three novels.
As I’ve mentioned before, my first three novels were written before I learned so much more about writing, how to attract the reader, how to keep the reader involved in the characters and story, etc. I plan to go back and edit each of those stories, although everyone who has read them thought they were wonderful tales. When I do go back, I won’t change the plot or the basic story, all I’ll do is make the reading of it better.
A Very Present Help is about a young teacher, Shannon, engaged to her childhood sweetheart. They grew up across the street from one another. He breaks off the engagement while serving in the Marines and then brings his new love home for the holidays. In the meantime, an older man decides that he must have the young teacher for his own. Shannon cannot get her mind off another Marine she only met once. She’s going through a time of having to trust God and being tested to the limit. This book was originally a short story, which wound up being made into a novel.
Paths of Righteousness was actually the first story I wrote but was not published until after A Very Present Help. The story is about a young woman, Kathryn, who has lost her entire family. It’s also about a young doctor who had a very trying childhood. They work in the same office and take a dislike to each other immediately. Another man from Kathryn’s past, someone she would rather never see again, shows up and life becomes a tangled web.
There Abideth Hope takes place in Pensacola, Florida where a young nurse, Lynne, formerly serving in the U.S. Navy has decided to settle after leaving the Corp. A killer whom she had testified against in the past shows up and things get stormy. This story touches on human trafficking, drugs and murder.

What about your first three novels do you struggle with?
I struggle with the fact that I wrote them before I knew a lot about writing technique. Therefore, I want to go back and make them better.

What audience do you want to reach and why?
My target audience is wide. The subjects are definitely for adults, however I believe that older teens would find them interesting. I do not believe in writing explicit details of worldly lives. Nor do I use language that cannot be read by anyone. If I refer to expletives, I use that word in my current work. In the previous three novels, I use symbols, such as @%#*@#. These will be changed to read “expletive” when I redo the first three books. My main goal is to show God’s grace and mercy in my tales. I believe any age and any group of people need to learn about that. Christian’s need to learn that they can trust God. The lost need to learn that there is a God who loves them and wants to be there for them.

What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
The next generation needs to know the consequences of not following a loving God. They need to know that they can trust a loving God. They need to know that there are people who can testify to the fact that God is and has always been there for them, if they will simply look to Him.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Easy question, easy answer. Marketing. I am not a salesperson. If you’re talking strictly about the publishing end, making sure all the formatting is done correctly.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write.
I’m very fortunate in that I have a separate office from the rest of the house. It is set up with everything at my fingertips. I need all my little writing tips that I refer to almost daily right in front of me (such as the difference between Lay and Lie, the words I should avoid using, and my synonym book). I need to have a cup of coffee nearby, my ongoing outline, character traits notebook and my event in the story calendar at my right side. I really don’t need music, although I do put some on from time to time. But I really love having a window next to me where I can look out and see the front yard, birds in the birdbath and flowering plants when I need to rest my mind. Quiet helps too. LOL A vace of white roses on the end of the desk does a lot for my spirit.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
I wouldn’t say I need them, but I sure do like them. Preferably Mind Chocolate Cookies. Hee hee

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I am self-published. The reason for that is simple. I tried for two years to get someone, a publisher, or agent, to even look at my manuscript when I wrote my first book. It was a very disappointing experience. Afterward, I heard from many that because there are so many writers today, it is extremely hard to break into the traditional route of publishing. I know some who did but they are now changing over to self-publishing as well. I am self-published, and very content with it.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?
The worst part of publishing my book was worrying that it would not be something anyone would want to read. Those fears are gone now.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Most of all, I pray. Secondly, I go to those I know have given me encouragement in the past. Most are listed in the acknowledgements in my books.

How do you market your novel?
Being retired, I’m on a fixed income. There is not budget for expensive marketing. My marketing is done on social media and word of mouth. So far it’s served me modestly. I wish I had the money to hired a good marketing group, but it’s not there. Interviews like this one are a great help to get word out about my books. And I thank you for that, Aimee.

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
The very first person is me. I also have critiquers who have been reading along as I finish editing my chapters and I have my proofreader/editor as well. I tried to go the route of a Beta Reader but found that they always want to change my style of writing. Perhaps I haven’t found the right one yet, but I think those who read along with me right now are doing a good job.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
I have never had a book signing. With this current book, I have toyed with the idea but I read so much from other writers who say they were either disappointed in them or don’t think they really add much to getting your books out there that I’m not really sure I will do it. Time will tell.

Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
I do believe there is supernatural realm. I’m a Christian. God, angels, and the devil are part of that realm. I do not believe in paranormal; however, it does make for interesting stories of fiction. I’ve written about Fairies, and that would fit into that kind of fantasy in a way.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan?
I do believe in both. I choose not to dwell on the later or bring any attention to that being. Jesus, on the other hand is Someone I am very eager and willing to talk about.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
Generally, I finish my writing day at dinner time, although there are occasions when I go back to it before bedtime. After dinner I relax and do my Bible reading for the evening. Then I either watch NCIS (depending on the night) or put in a DVD, have coffee and maybe a cookie and stretch my legs. I love gardening and cooking, birdwatching and painting. The last activities are not as often as I’d like because my focus right now is on getting my current story finished.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
Not silly at all. My favorite food, oh dear, I have so many. LOL I guess my very favorite of all types is ice cream (and there I have many favorites as well). Too many ethnic foods to mention. My favorite color is emerald green, followed by royal purple and snow white. I’m complicated.

If you aren’t writing, what is your idea of a perfect day for Sharon?
A perfect non-writing day for me would be to visit a museum, followed by dinner in a quiet restaurant and a walk in a botanical garden.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
The best advice I can give to any of you is, don’t let anyone discourage you. If you have a story in you, get it out and on paper (in our case today, the PC). Don’t worry about the grammar, if you’ve made mistakes, or if all your ducks are in a row. Get it down. Do it. When you have the complete story written out, go back and in a relaxed manner, read it to yourself (preferably aloud). That’s when you can change things to sound right, correct your spelling and grammar errors (thank God for grammar check and spellcheck), and put in all the little details you were overlooking while trying to get your ideas down. After that, the critiquers and proofreaders and editors can spiffy it up for you.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
It may seem strange to you, but I don’t think I’ve ever doubted myself as a writer. Yes, I’ve wondered if I’m doing it right at times but doubting being a writer has never come into play. I’ve never had writers’ block either. Not really sure why. If I did get it or start to doubt myself, I think I would simply walk away from it for a while and then come back.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.
I mentioned this above. I do not have a date but try to keep my readers posted in my Facebook group forum, on my author page, and on my website. The genre will be as before, Romance/Suspense. No it is not part of a series. I tend to shy away from series, even in my reading. It’s not my thing.

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
Right now, I do not have a picture of my book. The cover is still in the making, although the artwork has been completed for the cover (it is a secret and will not be released until the book is published, but I can give you a mock up picture. The finished product will be spectacular). The books pictures below are my first three. I’m not sure that I will change the covers of these book, but perhaps tweak them a bit.
Below are all my links:
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/rosecastleplace
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell (PenandPaperWorld)
Facebook Page: sharonk.connell@facebook.com
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell
Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/
And for my book videos:
A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/aRGooJjxaHU
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/w2JkmYqhFyE
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/16G7IZaZB9Y

Again, I’m so pleased to have you stop by and interview with us. It was so touching to hear more about you and your wonderful work. Everyone be sure to grab a copy of her novels and follow Sharon for updates of her upcoming novel!!
Sharon Pics

Thank you everyone for following along. Feel free to follow this blog for next week’s spotlight!

Author Spotlight! Author Carmina Edwards!

222938_1045001648055_1316040273_30132258_9921_n[1] Welcome to the spotlight Carmina Edwards! Below is her wonderful interview. Readers feel free to post any questions and Carmina Edwards will answer them for you. You want to get to know this wonderful author!

1.) What made you want to be a writer?

Hi Aimee, thank you for inviting me for an interview. I began to read at a very young age and was an avid bookworm by the time I started school at the age of four. I had a vivid imagination even then and used to love English class assignments by the time I was ten or eleven and even more so once I started secondary school at the age of twelve. My essays became novellas.

2.) What genre’s do you write or delve into?

My first book is a biography. (An undisclosed person)…… My second is a continuation of the first one and a third for sure will follow, maybe even a fourth one. However, I used to write a lot of fiction mystery stories, though never published any of them…….Yet! I have more books rattling round my head trying to get out. They are mostly fiction, one devotional and testimonial. I also love to write Science fiction, but with Christian overtones.

3.) Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)

Okay, so my first novel, “A Door Cracked Open” is available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle formats. It can also be ordered through any bookstore worldwide. It tells of the struggles of a young girl brought up in an atheist home and yet despite that, she found God and determined to make something of her life, following God’s call, she persevered against the odds to break free from what she’d always known and kept going. Her “ordinary” life becomes an “extraordinary” one in terms of experiences and blessings along with many obstacles to contend with. 

4.) What audience do you want to reach and why?

My audience is mixed. It’s biographical but also a Christian tale. It’s not written specifically for Christian readers though many of my readers are. One of my readers left me a 5 star review on Amazon saying she only ever reads the likes of Stephen King, yet tried my book and couldn’t put it down! It’s a pretty versatile kind of read. 

5.) What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?

I doubt that my writing will have ANY impact on the next generation, but especially with the first book, many teenagers may be able to relate with what I wrote. I would love for it to help them in some way. I particularly hope that through reading it, they will see how God had His hand on me all through this and the next 2 books and give hope to many.

6.) Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

Oh that’s kinda funny. I am the most computer illiterate person on the planet. I just about get my manuscript typed up and sent to my editor. When she returns it edited…..well I got lost. She talked me through how to do it. I guess I’d have to say that the editing is my least favorite part. My first book went through so many edits while I was working with a different editor. Then I found the one I have now and it went much more quickly and smoothly. This second book is being edited as I write and she has made the whole process a painless one.

7.) Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

Oh, I need total silence in order to write. Having said that, if I go out and have to wait for a bus for a couple of hours, I pull out my paper and pencil from my bag and I somehow write and type it up when I get back to my laptop. I couldn’t write out too often though. If music is playing, I can’t write at all.

8.) Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?

Lovely question, this one. Well……owing to my current situation, money to buy treats and goodies does not exist, so no, right now I don’t have any to assist me in my writing. I crave those goodies all the time though. Coffee….I do have that and I will drink it from the moment I wake, to the moment I go to sleep. I have to have my coffee or I don’t function…..simple as that. What I NEED too, is chocolate and bags of hard candy! I can’t get those two items though so this book is being written on “fumes” so to speak.

9.) Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?

I always thought I would prefer traditional publishing. However, over the last couple of years, finding how actually, there is very little difference in terms of what the author has to do. An agent (traditionally finds a deal with a publisher for the author), but the author still has to do most of the marketing and PR stuff, so I decided not to go that way. As a traditionally published author, you lose (in many cases), most of your rights, you pay a big percentage to the agent/publisher and then still have to do most of the work yourself. I can’t see the point. I opted for self publishing in the end. Having said that…….remember how I said I am totally illiterate on the computer? Dealing with the formatting and publishers etc…………in came my wonderful editor who did it for me! I will have to learn how to do it if I continue to be self-published. I’m not totally against traditional publishing, but I’d need to be offered a pretty good deal to be interested, I think. 

10.) What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.

I made the mistake of not finding the right editor in the beginning. I had no idea of how any of this writing thing worked before. I’d only written for myself and never tried to publish until last year, so was unaware of the process and believed all the delaying tactics my first editor used. My current editor stepped in at a moment’s notice and began to work with me.  The difference was like night and day. I am happy now, but I think finding the right person to work with is the hardest thing in the whole process.

11.) When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

Ah. That’d be my editor and a handful of amazing friends.

12.) How do you market your novel?

Marketing is no easy feat. Since November, I have used Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise it. Now remember I am no good with computers so…….still finding my way around the land of tweeting and linking! My book was published in November 2015 and in the first month, I had four book signings in Oregon, USA. I am hoping to do more of those here in the UK. Contacting the newspapers and radio stations, yet to hear from them. One major bookstore in the UK is now stocking my book, but that’s as far as I have gotten with the marketing thing.

13.) Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?

With my first book, I had several readers though they never read the final edited version, that was my editor. This second book…..everything has happened so quickly and it won’t be sat on shelves for years before rewriting so my editor is the first to see any of the writing on this one. She will be the first to read the edited version too.

14.) Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.

My first book signing took place in Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Black Friday was the day and I was privileged to be given a table in the middle of a shopping mall. I had bought white tablecloths and with my display of books and a glass dish (bought in a thrift store), a mixture of peppermint candy and striped candy canes to offer to those visiting the mall that day, I sat and waited. Unfortunately, with most of the shop units in the mall vacant, not many people frequent the place. It felt like a mini ghost town and the smell of toasted sandwiches not far from my table lured me over from time to time. They served coffee, that was the important thing for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am rarely seen without a cup of coffee in my hand! Because the large crowds I thought there might be out shopping there on that day failed to exist, it did mean that I got to talk a lot with those who did show up. Apart from talking about my book and signing some copies, I got to meet some interesting people willing to tell me their stories.

It was a learning curve for me though. and some new friends from Roseburg made the experience a great one. Their support and friendship on the day was amazing. I nickname my friend Carolyn my “American PR Manager.” As I sat talking with folk and signing, she stood a little way from the table calling out to people who thought they might get away without even looking at my display of books. She brought them into whichever conversation was going on at the time and most of them didn’t leave until they had purchased their signed copy. Now I’m a first time author, an unknown, was over 7,000 miles from home, not even from the USA, let-a-lone their town. Why would they want to read my book? After chatting, they wanted to know more.

I may not have sold a huge amount of books at my first book signing, but I got to meet some lovely people in a town I felt at home in. It was an occasion for storytelling and sharing with people who’s own stories touched me deeply. 

 

15.) Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.

Some years ago, I would have said that I don’t believe in the paranormal. I would be lying if I tried to claim that now though> Over the years, I have had a few experiences which I cannot dismiss as anything but. Supernatural for me…..that would be God moments.  I have had so many of those throughout my life.

16.) Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan??

Oh yes. Absolutely.

17.) What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to read, knit or spend time with my children and friends.

18.) Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.

My favorite color has always been blue. Now food….that’s a tricky thing. There are many dishes I love and I may not eat much, but I do love food. I think if I have to pick one dish, it has to be something a friend cooked for me when I visited Louisiana back in September. Cajun Gumbo dish……..Never had anything like it before. It totally hit the spot for me. Been craving it ever since!

19.) What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?

Oh that’s a tough one. Writing can be a very lonely road to travel, mine has been much of the time. I was blessed with a few friends and family (in-laws) and my children, who kept encouraging me to continue. I think the only piece of advise I can really offer is that no matter what, NEVER give up. It’s been your dream to write? Then write. Don’t quit. That’s been my motto in life with everything.

20.) Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?

Oh I doubt myself ALL the time. Much of this stems back from childhood maybe, I don’t know. I have never believed in me enough I guess. When I do have one of those slumps, a few of my friends talk me into continuing and if I am made to feel accountable, that gets me going again. The kind comments they make about my writing spurs me back on and I take off again for a while, a hermit, with my laptop!

21.) When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.

My next novel? I am currently writing that one now. My dead-line is the end of May and I hope to have it published in June. It is the second in the “World Cracked Open” series, so a continuation of the first one. (Biography).

22.) Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?

I have an Author Page on Facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/carminaedwards2/https://www.facebook.com/carminaedwards2/

My book “A Door Cracked Open” is available in paperback and Kindle, on Amazon.com and worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Door-Cracked-Open-World-Book-ebook/dp/B01A3O8I2O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460818217&sr=1-1&keywords=a+door+cracked+open+carmina+edwards

I am trying to get my website built too, but that may take a little while. (I am stuck, because it’s computer stuff)! I will have a Blog running on there when it’s finished, so that my readers can join me there.

door cracked front&back-3

 

Many thanks Aimee for interviewing me. It’s been fun.

I hope this interview helped and blessed you as it did me. We wish Carmina Edwards all the blessings in her novel and future novels. I encourage you to follow her author page and keep tabs on what she has!

She’s here so feel free to ask her any questions especially regarding the wonderful book that I definitely have to add to my reading list!

 

( Authors want to be in the spotlight and shared with near 12,000 people through channels
? Email spokenamos@aol.com) (CONTEST winner April 22nd. If you write a clean read, follow this blog and be entered to win a 20 second mini book trailer!)