Introducing Author Winslow Eliot

Posted on June 3, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Winslow EliotIt’s my great pleasure to introduce author Winslow Eliot this week.  I stumbled across this author’s site as I was doing research and  I was very interested in what she offers.   Ms. Eliot runs a series of workshops for writers called WriteSpa-An Oasis for Writers: Writing Through the Year based on faith and daily exercises.  I joined and have thoroughly enjoyed the process.  Immediately I contacted Ms. Eliot and asked if she would like to be featured on this blog and she agreed.  I’m glad I could interview her and share her work with my readers.  If you’d like to read my review of her book The Happiness Cure click here.  Please leave a comment and let us know you visited!

Interview with Winslow Eliot

by L.Leander

What is the favorite character you have written and why? Probably Tess HeavenFallsCoverDuncan – she was my heroine in Heaven Falls. I just loved how she entered into an entirely new situation with such grace and humor, and I found her as lovable and interesting as the hero did!

Are you self-published or traditionally published and why? I’ve been published traditionally (NAL/Signet and St. Martin’s Press) in the past, but since 2010 I’ve been self-published. I MUCH prefer the freedom, adventure, thrill of investing in my creative projects. I love owning 100% of my work, and receiving 100% of my profits. In addition to being able to thoroughly enjoy writing my stories the way I want to, I also love the covers that my designers have created.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream? I always wanted to be a writer. Even before I knew how to write I’d fill up notebooks with arcane scribbles, pretending that I was writing a book. So, yes, writing has been my dream, and I HAVE realized it. Dreams do continue, though, so it’s not over… there’s always more to realize within the dream of writing. We’ll see what unfolds.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? Hmm. It’s hard to say. A story sweeps me away, scenes sweep me away, and I follow my beloved characters through those events. My stories are very twisty-turny, unexpected, so once the first draft is completed I do find I spend many months—sometimes years—making sure that all the twists, turns, and unexpected surprises are 100% explained and tied up by the end.

How do you come up with ideas for your writing projects? That’s just one of those things. They pour out—I can’t really keep up with them, because I do like to take my time with my stories.

Who is your biggest supporter?  Why? I’d have to say my mother has always been my biggest supporter. She was a fantastic editor of every single one of my first drafts of every book I wrote. She was one of the most enthusiastic fans. She admired my talent, my determination, my courage in pursuing my dream. She died recently and I sometimes don’t know how I’ll write and get my next book to press without her editorial skills and her unstinting encouragement.

Explain a day in the life of a writer (you). I wake up around six a.m. and lean over the edge of my bed, pick up and turn on my laptop, and begin to write. I start with writing down my dreams and some other things, and then always write my “daily happinesses” which I then share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. During this time, my handsome husband has brought me coffee in bed, without interrupting my flow. Once my happinesses are posted, I check mail, but unless it’s really important I don’t respond until later in the morning. I devote the rest of the morning to working on my writing project—whichever book is currently absorbing me. In the afternoon, we’ll walk, or I’ll do yoga, answer emails, or indulge in various other hobbies I have: like meditative sufi dance and tarot. Then in the evening I’ll join my husband for a glass of wine and some light entertainment—currently our favorite is watching old Perry Mason mysteries. I do teach high school students twice a week during the school year, and have other things I do. But basically that’s my ideal “day in the life.”

What is your wildest dream for your writing? To be a beloved household name—and the income to show for it LOL.

What types of books do you like to read/authors that have inspired you? So many! I love the classics like Jane Austen; love Graham Greene and Anne Douglas Sedwick. Contemporary novelists…I just read Karen Engelmann’s The Stockholm Octavo which is fabulous. I also recently discovered Robert MacLean, who’s a sort of modern-day P.G.Wodehouse. I love an author (like him) who can make me laugh out loud. Most of all I love my grandmother’s books. Her grown-up novels are all out of print, but they definitely inspired me growing up. Her name is Ethel Cook Eliot.
belly dancing 2
What is your favorite hobby?  Does it enhance your writing? As I mentioned earlier, I love dancing. I used to do a lot of belly dancing, and that has morphed into a sufi dance meditation practice. I also enjoy using the tarot—those cards are like my friends. We sit around telling each other stories! Also, I sing and play guitar, and we have friends who come over and play with us on occasion. My husband is a musician too. Yes, I think singing and dancing definitely enhances my writing! It keeps me light-hearted. I can get much too serious otherwise.

Happiness-cover-ebookSHORT AUTHOR BIO: Winslow Eliot is the award-winning author of the novels Heaven Falls, Bright Face of Danger, A Perfect Gem, and Pursued, as well as the inspirational books: What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do and WriteSpa-An Oasis for Writers: Writing Through the Year. Every morning she writes and shares her daily happinesses before turning to her work of the day: writing more books and mentoring writers.


Author site:

The Happiness Cure on Amazon:

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Introducing Author JT Sather

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7685942This week it’s my pleasure to share a writer with you who is very unique.  While many of us whine and moan when the bottom drops out of our lives, this author used a very different tactic.  I think JT Sather has had just about everything happen that can go wrong but he chose to face adversity with humor and optimism.  We’ve had a couple of good chats about my home state of Michigan and its beautiful upper peninsula, as well!  So, without further ado, let me introduce JT Sather and his book How to Survive When the Bottom Drops Out.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview with JT Sather

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

I love to build sandcastles, or at least my version of sandcastles.  Time on the beach is very relaxing for me.  I like to find a secluded spot so I can work undisturbed.  It takes anywhere from two to four hours to make a masterpiece, and it’s tough when there’s a bunch of kiddies running about.

Who are you as a writer?

I’m the same man that I am in regular life.  What I write about is non-fiction.  I don’t have to immerse myself into a fantasy world, my reality is crazy enough!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think much of it’s terribly disorganized.  I’m happy to be a part of it, but I wish someone would have held my hand when I started.  When I first published, the book was terribly riddled with spelling mistakes.  When I finally realized this (two months later) I felt awful.  If people are going to pay their hard-earned money for a product, I want it to be quality.  Thankfully I have a publisher now, and it’s been edited by a professional.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have been approached to ghost write a memoir for a friend of mine.  I’m happy to do it, but it’s very slow go.  He’s 2000 miles away from me, and he’s a very busy guy.  It’s difficult to pin him down to answer the many questions I have for him.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

I’ve only read a handful in my life.  One that stuck in my head was Fear and Loathing. I really enjoyed Hunter’s story telling skills.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

A degree? Absolutely not.  What they need to possess is story telling skills.  Everyone has an imagination, but it takes a skill to transfer it to paper.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I would scream like a ten year old girl, they hate that!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

I’d have to say my experience.  I’ve been through more than most,  and the lessons that I’ve learned have served me well.

What do you treasure most on earth?

My freedom.  I lost it for a while, and I missed it terribly.  I have no plans to let it out of my sight again.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

I was one of those tree climbers.  Not your ordinary tree climber, I was that kid who would climb to the top of a fifty foot pine tree and cling to the very top, swaying in the breeze, and survey the landscape.  That was my first taste of real freedom, and set me on the path of daredevil mayhem.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Getting a contract from Inknbeans Press to publish my work.  I’m out of my realm in the writing business, and it’s nice to have someone at my side, finally.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

It’s become the single most important thing to my future.  As an unemployed construction worker, I have no desire to go back to it.  My body getting tired, as well as damaged.  I hope to continue this for the rest of my days.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

Peace, love, and happiness.  Anything else that I could ask for would only bring me to these conclusions anyway.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want. Describe the day (money is no object)

I want to take my mother out for a boat ride on Lake Mead.  I’ve done it a thousand times, and never had the chance to take her out there.  She lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and doesn’t get out much.  I’ve had some really great times on that lake.  We’d start the day off at nine in the morning, and depart from the southern part of Boulder Basin.  Lake Mead Marina is filled with beautiful boats of all kinds.  Speedboats, sailboats and yachts are lined up like toys in a pond.  Then it’s off to Sandy cove, where I can light the bbq and have a dandy lunch.  A relaxing day spent cruising on the water is just what my mother needs.  At seventy-four years old, she never seems to have enough time to just enjoy herself.  When the day is done, I’ll tie the boat up in the slip and we can have a cocktail in the Captain’s lounge.  That would be a great day.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.  It’s the highlight of my night, whoever I’m hanging out with.  I’ve had a lot of friends over the years tell me “You need to write a book!”  Well, I finally did.  If the economy hadn’t crashed when it did, I probably would never had done it.  I never had the time before.  When things were good, I worked 80 hrs a day, and then some.  Time was a commodity that I never had.  Now, I have far too much!  Oh well, better finish the next one, before time runs out.

Thank you, JT for being my guest this week.  Readers, be sure to leave a comment to show JT you have enjoyed his featured spot.  And, if you’d like to find out more about author J.T. Sather check out the links below.  The Book Junkies page includes many pictures, including those of his sand sculptures.


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