New Interview With the Fantastic Traci Sanders!

I am thrilled to have with us again, the lovely and talented Traci Sanders. Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Today, we’ll be talking about her newest novels which aids the author in the editing process. But! Are also encouraging and helpful to the aspiring author.

Traci, we’re so glad you’re here again. There’s a lot of questions I’d like to ask you, so let’s get started!

1. There is so much to know and learn about editing. How long did it take you to write these novels regarding editing?
This entire book series is based on a year-long blog segment where I offered tips on all aspects of the writing and publishing industry. So, you could say it took me a year to conduct the research and write these books. 😊

2. How important is it for writers to get that editor?
Professional editing is a crucial aspect of producing a high quality book. I would even say it’s more important than formatting or cover design, in some cases. Many readers judge a book by its cover, but some just want what’s inside.

3. What are some mistakes editors make?
It’s important to realize that NO editor is perfect. They all miss things, usually small things like an extra space, or a common word like “quite” being mistaken for “quiet”. That’s one of my faux pas, anyway. As humans, we are fallible and we miss common things that we’re used to hearing all the time. Our brains don’t always register the difference when we’re reading or editing. That’s why it’s crucial that you, as the author, read over your editor’s comments carefully, and be proactive. Try to catch anything he or she misses. You both have the same goal in mind: to produce the best story possible. As long as you learn something, you’re always becoming better at your craft.

4. What awards have you won?
My romance novella Unsevered won Best Second Chance Romance from Bottles and Books Readers’ Favorite Awards and Bronze from eLit Awards. My debut novella When Darkness Breaks won Best Romance Novella from Bottles and Book Readers’ Favorite Awards. They were both nominated for other awards, but didn’t place. I haven’t taken the time to enter any of my other titles in competitions.

5. Tell us if you can, how can an author identify a true writing contest among the false, on the internet?
First, it’s important to know that writing contests and award contests cost money. There is always a fee.
In my opinion, the ones that are quality are those such as Readers’ Favorite and local awards’ programs and contests, especially the ones that offer true feedback on your stories, not just prizes.

6. Okay, since you are an author and an editor, I’ve always wondered, do you edit in your mind while reading a book?
Oh my gosh, yes! And it’s a blessing and a curse. Every book I read, I want to send the author a note to let them know what tiny errors I found in their books, not to insult them or make them feel bad, but because I would want to know about my errors. I want my work to be as close to perfect as possible. Most authors appreciate that I do this. Now that I’ve learned all the editing tricks that I’ve acquired so far, I find it extremely difficult to take off my editor hat and simply enjoy a story. Like I said, a blessing and a curse.

7. Is it a desire to see writers succeed and improve in their craft?
I’ve been a people pleaser, and an advocate for the underdog, for my entire life. So, yes, I’m always willing to help others succeed, even to the detriment of my own success. It’s just the way I was raised. It brings me great joy to help others.

8. In your opinion, what percentage of writers can actually edit their own work?
Most writers can PRE-edit their work, and should, but every author is usually too close to his or her own work to edit objectively. An extra set of “trained” eyes always makes a difference. I even hire professional editors for my books.

9. As an editor, what do you typically notice a writer has problems with? i.e. Spelling, tense, dialogue, sentence structure…
The biggest two issues I see involve tense change and sentence structure. Spelling and grammar issues are easy to fix, and most experienced writers have learned the basic grammar rules. But, things like hanging modifiers and overwriting are not as easy to recognize for some.

10. How many novels do you typically edit within a month?
I just started editing full-time this year, but I’d say I can get at least three edits done per month.

11. Will we be seeing another editing book collection in the future?
Probably not. I covered a plethora of topics in this series, that go above and beyond what most will find on their own, without searching a multitude of sources, which is quite time consuming. Unless the grammar rules change dramatically, this is THE go-to set that every author can use to improve his or her writing dramatically.

12. What education have you had to aid in your editing?
I’m self-taught, but I’ve trained under some extremely talented editors, who’ve shown me the ropes. Plus, I’ve always had a firm grasp on grammar and a love of word play, so this feels like a natural progression in my career.

13. If someone has a desire to edit, what sort of tips can you relay to them?
Read, read, read. Books, blog posts, and tutorial guides. Learn the mechanics of writing, then practice them. Do reworks of your own writing. Pay attention to pauses in writing and structure of dialogue.

14. In your book, “Beyond the Book”, what are a few marketing details readers can expect to learn?
Oh my goodness. There aren’t a few. It’s over 300 pages of out-of-the-box ideas for marketing your books, networking with other authors to build your brand, and tips on producing high quality books. It’s truly a great resource. Even I refer back to my tips!

15. “Before You Publish” is a wonderful tool-since I’ve read about half of it- I see it’s a great aid for those who are aspiring authors. What are a few tips readers may learn in this helpful book?
This is more of a “let me look this up” type of reference book, rather than a “read cover to cover” title. I incorporate a ton of grammar topics – common spelling errors and word-usage errors, and even creative-writing tips. Basically, this book covers all aspects of the writing portion of publishing.

16. In “Living the Write Life”, what are a few tips authors can learn from this book?
Even though this is my shortest book, I’m probably most proud of this one because it’s a guide for life as an author. It includes answers and suggestions for things like: how to be inspired to write, 7 stretches for writers, and how to respond to the dreaded question – “How much do you make with your books?”

17. I love to play a fun game on my blog so readers and fellow authors can learn more about you, and what sorts of things you enjoy and love. So, let’s begin! Writing or editing??
Writing is more fun, for sure. But, editing makes me feel more accomplished.

18. Coffee or espresso?
Coffee

19. Reading in the morning, afternoon or evening?
Evening

20. Playing with your kids, or taking a nap?-no we won’t hold it against you if you pick a nap! HA!
I don’t take naps.

21. Beta reading or editing?
Editing

22. Writing or marketing?
Writing

23. Lake or the ocean?
Ocean

24. Swimming or sun bathing?
Sun bathing

25. Thunderstorms or snow storm?
Thunderstorms

26. Spring or summer?
Spring. I hate sweating.

27. Texting or talking on the phone?
Texting, unless I have a good bit of time to spare. I do love hearing people’s voices.

28. What’s your favorite color?
Purple

29. What is your favorite comfort food?
Strawberry short cake, which isn’t easy to find around here, so if I want it, I have to make it. My mama used to make me one every year on my birthday.

30. Chocolate or white chocolate?
Chocolate

31. How many kids do you have?

Three – 19, 17, and 11

32. Tell your readers one of the funniest things your kids have done?
Wasn’t funny at the time, but, my boys painted my entire house with chocolate syrup while I was working at home one day. They were two and four … and hungry, apparently. This story actually turned into a children’s book for me.

33. I’m excited to hear of your blog tour and we wish you only the best. Give us the details of where you will be heading so readers may join you and snatch one or ALL of these books?
You can always check my blog http://www.awordwithtraci.com. I’ll be announcing each stop there each day.

34. Where can we find a list of all of your novels, including these three “new” releases-which I’m dying to own in paperback?
My Amazon page:
https://www.amazon.com/Traci-M.-Sanders/e/B00BA9VUUY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490804598&sr=8-1

35. Is there anything you’d love to relay to your readers, before we say goodbye?
My ultimate advice would be DON’T SETTLE FOR STATUS QUO. Sure, you can produce a so-so book and maybe get a few 3-4-star reviews, OR, you can take the time learn the rules of grammar and mechanics, and produce an outstanding story that readers won’t be able to forget.

Even though I wrote short romance novellas, and some of the reviews from my readers mentioned that fact, NONE of them really said they felt cheated, because I offered a compelling story. You won’t be remembered for your book’s page count, but you will be remembered for the emotions you brought about for that reader who “needed” that book at that very moment, even if this person didn’t know it.

This has been a fun and one of the most helpful interviews I’ve had. I’m so thankful you stopped by Traci! I and everyone else congratulate you on these new releases and I’m so grateful you’ve written them. I’ll be purchasing all in paperback!

Guys, this has been another AMAZING interview with a wonderful and talented author. Stay tuned for more interviews and give this blog a follow to stay connected.

New Author Spotlight WITH…

I’m so blessed to have a new author spotlight with Author Gigi Sedlmayer author of The Talon Series.

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Gigi welcome!  I’m excited to have this time to pick your brain so let’s get started!

 

What made you want to be a writer?

Surviving cancer and finding myself still alive after two years of just sitting around, (but caring for our adopted twin-girls and my husband Albert) waiting to die, I finally came to my senses. Since I couldn’t work at a traditional job any longer. I couldn’t stand or sit too long, had too much damage through the radiation and it’s still very painful, and having bad feet, Albert, my husband, taught me how to use a computer.

Earlier, in my teen years, I wrote lots of little animal short stories by hand writing. Nothing came out of them, I just loved it.

I remembered this time and so I started to write, since there was nothing else for me to do.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure, in which language I should write. But then I decided to write in English, since my English became better and we live in an English-speaking country.

I wrote many short stories and entered them into competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave me confidence to go on writing and inspired me to go on.

One of the short stories was about Talon and Matica. Judges from the competition loved the story and so I thought, I could develop a series about Talon and Matica. And so, the TALON series came to life.

Tell us your series genre?

I actually thought, it would be a series for children, reading age, from 9 to 13 years. But it turned out to be for all ages, as some reviewers tell me.

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

I let Matica, my main character, speaking in her own voice. It’s best to describe her and her books:

My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME. Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’ disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be really cured. It’s just a disorder of my body. But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. But after I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved. And I am the hero and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it and I felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away or something worse. But did it help me? Did it become better? Did I grow taller? No, nothing of that helped me. I didn’t have those questions when I was still in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished. One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air.  Here and now, I made up my mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over. And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series) And so, if you are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts.

http://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Gigi-Sedlmayer?store=book&keyword=Gigi+Sedlmayer

 

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

I would say, very important. But again, I have med writers, they never read, they just write their book. I read a lot and review them as well.

What book genre do you enjoy reading the most?

I love reading sci-fi and fantasy. YA books.

What genre will you absolutely refuse to read?

Erotica and Romance. I never would read them.

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

Don’t dwell too long on it. It’s horrible, the first 5 seconds. I got one only with one star. I just couldn’t understand it, but it was there. Yes, I cried, but then I said, okay, it’s not my problem, it’s his/her problem. Next review.

Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

Live life the fullest, as much as you can. Smile as much as you can. As Crayn said in my book: Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile.

And: Smile – it’s the most beautiful attire.

And: “If you don’t know how to go on in life, whatever it might be, even if you have a disability, find a ‘condor’.” Not literally in your life, because that was for Matica, but something you can rely to, something you love doing, something to help others. Whatever it is, that makes you happy. The condors made Matica happy. You have to find yours.

What encouragement can you give to the aspiring author?

Never give up. Your book must have a good story line and a good message, as my books have, I believe.

 

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

To face myself. When I started to write the book, I never thought of the things they came out then. I wanted to write an adventure story for children and see what came out of that. Because, like Matica, I was rejected in school, not because of the growth handicap she has. I had other things. I had to face what Matica is facing, rejection, and learned, even from writing the book, more and more to cope with myself, to overcome my own rejection and to realise that I have survived a deadly disease.

In a sense, it changed my life as well. I have more confidence now as I never had before. I never thought I could write a story like that. But now? I can and I will write more stories about Matica and Talon and her adventure, her life.

 

What are some of the challenges that face Matica?

I wanted to let children and parents know, that they don’t need to suffer more than they already do. So:

Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with none curable afflictions, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.

Parents can read my books to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, if they have some type of affliction, but that they can overcome it in a positive way, not in a negative way.

I say:  Children with special needs or with disability, or are handicapped don’t have an illness, so there is no cure and it’s not contagious. They want what we all want, to be accepted.

My books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my books are for adults as well as for children.

 

What gave you the inspiration to write this Talon series?

“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

I hate to do the promotion. Mainly because I have no idea how to promote. My computer skill is not good enough for that anyway. So, why isn’t there anyone out there, who would love my books and so would take them and promote them for a fraction of the money the promoters are charging. I can’t do it myself, and I can’t give the books to someone and pay. I just don’t have the money.

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

I can’t listen to music and write, it has to be quiet. I am looking lots of times outside, to clear my head for a little while, then I go on.

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

Actually, no goodies. Sorry

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. 

After I finished writing the first novel in the Talon series about Matica and Talon, I wrote query letters and sent my manuscript to several conventional publishers here in Australia. And guess what? I always got that rejection letter back. I even lost count of them. I tried for many years. I failed.

Next I approached an editor and agent and she edited my book properly. She loved my book and she tried to place it with a conventional publisher. But she too failed.

So, I looked up all the self-publishers here in Australia and decided to let my book be published by BookPal in Brisbane. At that time, they were new here in Australia and weren’t as expensive as the rest. They did a very good job with the designing of the cover page, the outlaying of the book, the distribution, and making an eBook. They also wrote a press release.

When I finished the second book in the Talon series, I approached them again. They were a bit too expensive for me then. But a friend of ours offered me to pay, because he just loved the first book and thought, the books has to go out, people have to read them. And now in the meantime I finished the third as well and published with BookPal again.

But now, since I finished the fourth and the fifth book I had to look for another publisher, since BookPal became too expensive for me. I found Aurora House. http://aurorahouse.com.au/  She is doing now a very good job, even better. We re-published the first four books with new covers. Better. And she has published the fifth book as well. I am happy with them, they do editing as well.

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

Most of the time I go to my husband. We talk it through and all is well again.

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

Since I hate the promotion thing and marketing, I actually don’t do much. But I promote my books in Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. I have just entered a cover competition with Authorsdb with the first and fifth book. Ab to now I won the finals for both covers.  But now waiting for the GOLD, SILVER or BRONZE finals.

Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the BEST thing they’ve said to you.

When they read my book, they nearly always say, how wonderful the story is. But buying my books? They like to have a free copy. Okay, I give it to them. At least they do write a review then as well. Mostly 5 stars.

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

Didn’t had a negative yet. Not that I recall. Only one review with 1 star. That was bad enough.

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

I trust myself. So, sadly to say, no one likes reading my books from my family. All too busy to do other things or working too hard to have the time. But I give it to my editor, and she loves my stories.

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

Well, my first book signing was a very long time ago. But I have to say, it was great and I nearly sold all the books I had there. People were so friendly and asked what’s the story about. All in all, it was a good experience and I loved it. Did many more after that, until Angus & Robertson closed down their stores. Since then, sadly, I had no book signings anymore.

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

I like to relax, go for a drive with my husband with our 4×4 car, into the hinterland of Australia or even further, when going on a holiday, into the outback of Australia and hunting for fossils.

I also like gardening, watching good movies and DVD’s and, I am reading a lot, real books, paper backs, or kindle.

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

I love blue, like the sky. All my clothes are mostly blue and grey. Favorite food? Well, potatoes and tomatoes. More German food then the food the people are eating here in Australia. Hehehehe. Can’t describe them. Love them. You have to come and I cook for you and see and test it for yourself.

Tell us your favorite novel?

My favorite series is DUNE, from Frank Herbert. All Ben Bova novels. All Sci-fi. Hehehe. But I do love YA novels as well. Like Fairies, Fantasy

What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

Since I grew up in Germany, I loved Karl May. You can’t get his books here. They are a big series as well. They were a mixture of sci-fi, adventure. I still have some of his books.

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

Fantasy book or science fiction?

Actually, both. I love Fantasy and sci-fi, but sci-fi more. Love to read them anytime.

Singing Christmas carols or watching someone sing Christmas carols?

Watching someone sing Christmas carols. Don’t like singing. Well, can’t really sing. hehehe

Favorite side with your Thanksgiving turkey?

Sorry, we don’t have Thanksgiving here. Never ate a turkey. But with a chicken, it’s the leg. Hmm

Watching Christmas light shows on T.V. or driving around to see the Christmas lights?

Both again, love to see the Christmas lights in real, and watch them on TV

A kindle or a paperback?

I love reading books, real books as paperbacks, but it’s more economical reading kindle. My shelves in my house are full with books. Can’t fit any more on them. So, it has to be kindle.

Thanksgiving dinner before 3 pm. or after 3 pm.?

If we would have one, it would be after 3 pm.

Favorite pie during the holidays?

Pastry I like, but not so much pie, or yes, shepherd’s pie. Hmm

Pie or cake?

Definitely cake

Holiday flavored creamers or regular creamers?

Regular creamers

Espresso or regular coffee?

Regular coffee with milk

How many days do you eat your leftover Thanksgiving dinner?

Well, all leftovers, only a few days. No longer

Are there any mistakes you have made during the publishing process? How did you learn from them?

Not really, I only say, when you start writing, don’t give up. Go on, press on. The success maybe right around the corner. When you give up, you will never know. So, stick to it. And with writing you are becoming better each day.

And what I am doing is, reading, reading, reading other books and write reviews. That will help your writing. Well, it helps me.

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?

My trusted husband

What is one thing you’d like to address to your readers?

Never give up, success maybe is just around the corner, as I said earlier.

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 am writing on my sixed book in the Talon series. It is finish, but I am on the re-writing, and that I will do several times. I will call it: TALON, WINDSONG. So, it will be available, hopefully, early next year. With all the editing and publishing. It all takes time.

Book 1. TALON, COME FLY WITH ME

Book 2. TALON, ON THE WING

Book 3. TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE

Book 4. TALON, CONNECTED

Book 5. TALON, ENCOUNTER

All my books are available as paper back and kindle at amazon, B/N and all the other places.

 

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

My website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/

But my editor and publisher is just in the brink of doing for me a new and better website.

My website: http://www.gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/gisela.sedlmayer

https://www.facebook.com/gigisedlmayer

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GigiSedlmayer11/posts?cfem=1

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=83666990&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

https://twitter.com/GigiSedlmayer

https://www.pinterest.com/pucara/

YouTube animation clips for the Talon books:

First book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20

Second book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqayANo77x0&feature=youtu.be

 

Thank you, Aimee, for letting me express myself. Had fun answering all the questions.

You’re welcome!  We loved having you.  And I don’t know about anyone else but these novels need to be added to my reading list!  

TALON 1 Come fly with me.jpg

TALON 2 On the wing.jpg

TALON 4, Connected.jpg

TALON 5, Encounter.jpg

 

Ya’ all follow along for more author spotlight reviews!!

This Week We Have the Wonderful Author/Illustrator Victoria Woten!

Victoria

I’m so blessed this week we have author/illustrator Victoria Woten with us for our author interview!

Victoria, or Aunty as I call her lol, I’m so glad I finally am able to interview you. You have published your first children’s book and I’ve got so many fun and exciting questions for you, so let’s get started!

What made you want to be a writer?

I never thought about it at first. Sometimes I would journal or write little songs or snippets for personal use. I wrote a little piece on housekeeping and baking and another on some Bible verses, all unpublished. Then I decided to give it a try.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?

Currently for children but, possibly adults.

Tell us about your children’s book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
Mrs. Wonderland is the main character. She comes down from Heaven to help children, spreading love and happiness, and making dreams come true. She loves children. She’s a bit like a fairy godmother, nanny, angel all rolled in one. I also add my own recipe in every book. The first recipe is Mrs. Wonderland’s Chocolate Fudge Delights.

My book is available at Amazon Kindle and paperback, bookstores, and online retailers.

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

Reading is so good for you! Of course it’s educational. Reading opens your mind and unlocks the keys to creativity and imagination.

What made you want to write stories for kids?

I enjoyed making up stories to tell my granddaughter when she was young.

What message do you want to send to the children who read your book?

I want to show good character traits. I wish to inspire children to love one another, always have hope, believe in themselves and build confidence, to show kindness, sharing, friendship, and beauty within. I also want to show them God’s love without telling them so that anyone may read it.

How long did it take you to illustrate your book?

6-9 months working daily in my spare time.

Where did the inspiration for Mrs. Wonderland, the actual character, come from?

Through prayer and meditation she came to me one day. Her lovely world opened up in my imagination and from there I could see her in many examples and stories. Later I told a bedtime story to my granddaughter then wrote it down. I kept it and pondered for a long time until I decided to try writing a book. This is the first of the series.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?

The publishing process is exciting but very stressful, meeting the time table and everything coming together how you would like.

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

Quiet at home or driving.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?

A cup of tea or coffee is nice

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?

Fear of rejection. When you write and illustrate, it feels very personal coming from your heart.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

Family, God, friends.

How do you market your book?

Online through Amazon and a Face Book Page, plus word of mouth.

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

Family and friends

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

Very small, mostly just family.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when Victoria isn’t writing?

My favorite hobby is porcelain doll making. I enjoy making up characters and stories and design their costumes. I also like baking and spending time with family, friends, and God/Bible study.

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.

Chocolate and I like a rainbow of colors

What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

My favorite book was a fairy tale book my mom use to read to us.

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

Peanut M & M’s or Plain M & M’s?

Both

Christmas or Thanksgiving?

Christmas

Spring, Summer, or Winter?

Winter and spring

Spaghettios or Raviolis?

Raviolis

Romance movie or Disney movie?

Disney

Zoo or a Theme Park?

Disneyland

Morning, Afternoon or Night?

Morning and night

Kool-aid or Gatoraide?

neither

Coke or Pepsi?

neither

Is there any mistakes you made with your first book?

I made plenty of mistakes. My book was too long and a bit boring especially for younger children. My illustrations were all hand drawn but I should of used digital help to make them more professional looking.

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

Never give up. Always have hope. Follow your heart and your dreams. If you want to do something then keep persevering even if you don’t think you are good at it. It’s very hard to accomplish good things in life and, you will probably fail a few times but, the end results will be worth the fight to get there and the rewards so great!

When in doubt, who helps you out?

Family

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 am working on a second book in the Mrs. Wonderland series which I hope to finish for Christmas.

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

http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Woten/e/B016PNCLQ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

https://www.facebook.com/victoria.woten.mrswonderland/

Mrs. Wonderland Cover (Updated Drawing-ol)
Thanks so much for joining us this week, Victoria I mean Aunty lol. Everyone, you must grab a copy of Mrs. Wonderland. If you have children that love dolls, you can see the unique drawings of where her inspiration derives. They will positively love this little character. And I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see the next installment of Mrs. Wonderland in December. But you don’t have to wait for the first one! Grab it now and follow Victoria Woten to get updates on her upcoming children’s books. We wish her blessings.

Everyone, so glad you joined us as well this week. Please follow this blog for next week’s author interview! You never know who will surprise us!

This Week’s Author Spotlight We Have Sharon Lopez!

2016 Shar 1-10 (8)
Welcome Sharon Lopez! Thrilled you are with us for this fun and insightful interview. We have lots to talk about so let’s get started!

What made you want to be a writer?
I wrote a play when I was in elementary school. My teacher had me and some classmates put it on for the class. After that, I knew that I wanted to continue writing.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?
All of my books are multiple genre stories. Destiny’s Mark is a fantasy/supernatural, action, romance. The World Inside Stephanie’s Head and its sequel The World Beyond Stephanie’s Head, are drama, action, romance. Life is Funny That Way is a young adult, coming of age. Alright, Well I love you is crime, drama, with a bit of romance.

Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
Destiny’s Mark follows Danni, a very independent, well-liked, and respected freelance photographer. One day Danni learns a secret about her life and who she is and her world is forever changed.
Destiny’s Mark, as well as all of my other books can be found in E-book and Paperback format. They all can be found at Amazon, CreateSpace, Apple I-tunes store, Google Play store, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author and then become an author?
I feel that reading is a very important part of being an author. Reading can stimulate new story ideas and different writing styles. Reading can open your mind up to a creative state so that you can write.

What inspired you to write Destiny’s Mark?
Destiny’s Mark was inspired by a dream I had. I wrote down the dream and then built a story around it.

What audience do you want to reach and why?
I want to reach readers that enjoy a good story. There is so much talk about having great book covers, tons of reviews, etc. I don’t read based off of reviews or fancy covers. I read because something in the story description grabbed ahold of me, and that is the type of audience I strive to reach.
What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
My goal has always been to write stories that people can feel. I would like people to appreciate a good story, identify with or get emotional about a character. Maybe even see something in a new perspective.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Though it is true that I would rather write than market, I don’t think there is a part of publishing I don’t like. Each thing I do, either brings forth knowledge or brings really great people into my life.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
The best way for me to be able to write is a calm atmosphere. I have been using a sound cd developed by Tom Bird. It helps me focus on writing.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
Haha, I always appreciate large amounts of Skippy peanut butter and saltine crackers as well as a truckload of Fig Newtons.

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I like self- publishing. There are many reasons I self- publish my books. I like being able to revise things right away if I need to, as well as deciding where and how my books are sold.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?
I had been writing for many years before I was inspired to publish my first book. After the first one was published my love to write and publish books could not be deterred.

How can you relate to Danni?
Danni to me is a kind, genuine, strong, free spirit. I admire her strength and dedication to her friends as well as her craft.

Did you develop a secret crush on Miles vying for Danni’s love? Be honest lol.
Hahaha Who could not fall for Miles? He is a very loving and loyal man. The fact that he can speak French is an added bonus.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My friends, family, and God are all great sources of encouragement for me.

How do you market your novels?
I use a social media presence mostly. I am on Twitter and Face Book as well as having my own website. I also do interviews such as this one. Thank you by the way. I appreciate it!

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
My family mostly.

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.
Actually yes I do.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan??
Yes, I do.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
I enjoy reading, spending time with family, music, movies, and video games.

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.
I like Italian food as well as enchiladas and beef chimichangas. I have a few favorite colors black, purple, and blue.
Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you enjoy. Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry ice cream? Coffee Ice cream
Go to the movies or prefer the blu-ray? Redbox
Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Frozen yogurt
Mounds bars or Almond Joy? Baby Ruth and Snickers
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Christmas. I love giving gifts.

What are some mistakes you see author’s make?
Some authors treat the business as a competition. I believe there is room for everyone. I like to let everyone know about any good books I read.

What are some mistakes you wish you didn’t make when you were a new author?
While writing and publishing I am constantly learning. I think you have to be open to learning everything you can.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
Don’t stop writing. You will get frustrated that things are not going the way you want them to. Don’t give up.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
Yes, I think everyone does. You just have to find a new way to view things. Sometimes you have to pray or take a breath, see a movie, take a drive, or call a friend whatever it is that can give you a new perspective.

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.
My new book just came out the 14th of April. It is a crime drama called Alright, Well I love you.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? (Please include a jpg of your book cover) My website has all the links to my books as well as links to other books I have enjoyed reading. http://azteddie.wix.com/sharon-lopez I also have an Amazon author page. http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Lopez/e/B00HTK4KQO

This was soooo much fun Sharon. Thanks for stopping by. And ya all go on and grab one of her fabulous novels. I’d begin with Destiny’s Mark since I’ve read it lol. And follow this blog for wonderful info coming every week!
Destinys Mark ebook

In the Author’s Spotlight We Have CG Blade!

CG Blade

Please welcome humorous, sci-fi author CG Blade!  Readers and authors feel free to ask him any questions, he will respond as only he can!

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

I have read books snice I was little and read quite a bit when I was in the Navy so books have made a huge impact on my life. My dream has always been to write my own series so when I became disabled I took advantage of the spare time I had and started honing my writing skills. I loved writing in college and excelled in creative writing classes. It taught me to be humble and gave me the tools I needed.

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

There would not be enough time left in our lives to tell you why I love science fiction/horror so much. It has always been my staple diet and my go-to genre in times of need. The very first movie I ever saw was the Hammer (Bray) Studios production of ‘Five Million Years to Earth’ (Quartermass and the Pit). I was so enamored with this film and it started my sci-fi train rolling. I grabbed every fiction book I could get my hands on and never stopped reading. I swore to myself if I ever began writing, I would make it a science-fiction story that I would have loved to read. It means so much to me that I was able to see this dream through and that lovers of the genre are very accepting of this series.

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

The first two novels of the Trinity Series (Cobalt & Crimson) are now available on eBook at Amazon KDP Select, Lulu for the paperback/hardcase editions and Barnes and Nobles in paperback. Cobalt is a look at America in the future from the eyes of a ‘regrown’ wounded warrior. She attempts to stop the tyranny and subjugation of the American people. Cobalt is actually two twisting parallel stories that intersect at the end and is homage to several science fiction writers and movies.

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

I wrote this series for the eighteen and over crowd and anyone who loves a great binary conspiracy. Anyone who loves puzzles and pop-culture will relate to the references throughout the novel.

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

I want to leave a legacy for my grandkids and future generations to look back and me and say, “He was thinker, a very sarcastic one but a deep thinker”.

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

Marketing and promotion. It is an unavoidable evil and I wish I had a secretary to take care of it for me. A social media sage would be nice.

7.) Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc. White noise and/or music with no words.

The words in music distract me from writing so it is a lot of electronica and instrumental music at very low volume. No distractions in a room by myself.

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

Cobalt revolved around Twinkies so I ate them while I wrote. Crimson, the following novel, was Skittles and Heliotrope, the third novel in the series, is Peeps so you kinda get the picture. I am a fructose addict and it shows in my writing. The main character is addicted to Twinkies.

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

I enjoy self-publishing because I am in control and can write with freedom and honesty. I would like to see what would happen one day if I did not have to worry about marketing and be under the umbrella of a publishing company.

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. Pain. After ten back surgeries it is sometimes so painful I cannot set a laptop on my legs. I have to try to get a lot of writing done on bad days. I have bad days and worse days now. I have to deal with trips to the doctors quite a bit so I take a journal with me and take notes on stories or chapters.

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

Music and a shower. I know it’s not a who but a what. Music relaxes me and a shower helps me work through problems.

12.) How do you market your novel?

Mostly social media and websites for readers and authors. I try to find author and reader sites that have great interactive media and links and promote there.

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

First and foremost is my wife Jackie. She is my biggest cheerleader and gets the blunt end of my “hey you’re home from work sit down and listen to this cool story!” stick most of the time. She is the ultimate trooper. My editor Cindy Calloway gets it next; she is a wonderful grammar Nazi.

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

It was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had I was so proud. It was in a comic book store in our town and I sold quite a few books at Halloween. We dressed up in costumes and sold books. We brought doughnuts for everyone and auctioned off all of our Cobalt merchandise. It was a lot of fun talking to readers and getting their thoughts on Cobalt.

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.

Yes, yes I do, but if I were to choose a supernatural being to evolve into it would have to be Dracula. He gets all the ladies in the movies.

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

Yes but not in the way you would think. I believe if you are a good moral person inside with good intentions and help others in life you will be rewarded in the end. I think if you are a nefarious sort with bad intentions in this life you are going to be invited to a giant bar-b-q with Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

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

I enjoy reading science fiction novels and watching science fiction movies and action movies genres of all types. I also pick out one brand new author to read between novels and review the book for them. That is very important to me and to them.

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.

Cobalt is my favorite color and this is why I started this series out with this color. I have been drinking out of the same Cobalt colored coffee mug every morning for the past twenty-five years. I just love the color. To me it screams balance and ‘cool’. Pizza is my favorite food. ANY type of pizza any night of the week.

19.) What genre of books do you read on a regular basis?

Sci-fi and fantasy books without a doubt.

20.) What is it about sci-fi that drives you to write about it?

 

Science fiction allows you the freedom to write what you want without bars or restrictions. It allows you the freedom to expound on social issues and scientific discoveries and twist them to fit your thoughts. When it comes to this genre you are only limited by your own boundaries and imagination. Science fiction is an escape from life and in a lot of cases life follows fiction. The old adage “life imitates art” is very true when it comes to science and science fiction. If you can dream it, you can write it.

 

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

Never ever never ever give up! Never say die! If you have a story in your brain and it sits there stewing repeatedly in the back of your subconscious saying, “I’m not going anywhere, why aren’t you writing me down?” Do it! Write it down! Even if it is in a journal, paper napkins, your arm, write it down. You will forget bits and pieces of a story if you do not write it down. A writers mind flutters like the wind. Carry a journal. Carry a pen. Carry a smirk on your face, because one day you will be great. One day you will be proud to call yourself a writer. Don’t let others sway you away from writing or a story that you know will work. You are your own worst critic and your best cheerleader. Just let it happen.

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

Writing is sometimes hard, arduous, tedious, and time-consuming. If you want instant gratification, do not become a writer. You need to be in it for the long haul. On the flip side you become ‘one’ of the proud, the few, an author. It is very rewarding but humbling and you must have two things to write, gratitude and persistence. Say thank you often and keep plugging away. Don’t let anyone sway you and if you doubt yourself take notes and become your characters. The more you know your characters the less doubt you will incur and the less writers block you will have.

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

Heliotrope is the third and last novel in the Trinity Series. I hope to have it out on eBook by July. The paperback will follow shortly thereafter. Then Emerald will appear in August. The notes have already begun on that series.

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/CG-Blade/e/B0195SESHS

Pseudosynth Press Website: http://www.cgblade.com

Amazon Cobalt Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cobalt-Trinity-Novels-CG-Blade-ebook/dp/B014LN4QNI

Amazon Crimson Page: http://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Second-Trinity-CG-Blade-ebook/dp/B0192LHL5E

Cobalt

Check out the teaser for his sci-fi novel!

Don’t forget to ask him anything you’d like. AND follow this blog for new author’s interviews!