Introducing Author Michael Murphy

Posted on May 6, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

005 What a treat we have in store for us this week.  My guest is Michael Murphy, author of Goodbye Emily.  This is a sometimes nostalgic, sometimes sad and downright funny book about returning to Woodstock and reliving the days of youth.  If you’d like to read my review click here.

Interview with Michael Murphy

By L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?  

I used to write glued to my home office computer, but in the past year I’ve added a wireless keyboard to my tablet and now write in the backyard with my chickens, Michael bonds with the girls 005around the pool or patio. Freedom via technology!

What is your favorite writing tool?

As I mentioned, my tablet is a fabulous tool. In addition to writing, I can pause and check something on the internet and since my current work in process is historical fiction, that comes in handy when checking slang words in the 1930s for example.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why? I’ve been asked this more for my return to Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily, than any of my previous books. I think it’s because readers often comment that it would make a great movie. Since it focuses on three baby boomers reliving their roadtrip to Woodstock, I envision Tom Hanks as Sparky, Billy Bob Thornton or Sam Elliott as Buck and William H. Macy as Josh.

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an author. I read Gone with the Wind when I was nine. I was a geek even then, still am.

Did you realize that dream?

Just about.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

I’ve always been a seat of the pants author, but I’ve become more formalized as I’ve become more experienced. For example. I write details biographical histories for my main characters so I know how they’ll act or what they might say in a given situation or scene.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

I’m not much for either, but my wife and I have a tandem bike that we dust off now and then. She still looks sweet, upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.

Do you dream about your stories?

Absolutely. Ever written about a dream? Dreaming is the most important part of my creative process. I use it as a tool. If I envision a character or scene before falling asleep, I often wake up with a vivid dream. I also tap into my subconscious on a treadmill.

What’s your favorite theme park?

Definitely Disneyland.

Why?

It’s the happiest place on earth!

Are you a reader?  I’m an avid reader.

I write the type of books I love reading, mostly (but not limited to) mystery/suspense with a lot of humor. The master being Nelson DeMille.

Michael says:

My goal in writing Goodbye Emily was to portray sixty-somethings in a realistic manner instead of “get off my lawn” clichés. By realistic, I mean, funny, talented, sexually active and optimistic about the future. From the reviews so far, I think I’ve succeeded.

IMG_0http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Emily-ebook/dp/B00A8IYL2C

www.mjmurphy.com

www.goodbyeemily.com

http://blog.mjmurphy.com/

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Introducing Author David D’Aguanno

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

SAMSUNGIf you love a comedic, witty mystery you’ll love this week’s author, David D’Aguanno.  You may know him best for his Brett character in Don’t Mess With Brett but do you know he has also penned a book that is very different and serious titled Why She Left Us?  I think you’ll enjoy learning about this writer and you’ll be glad you took the time to follow his interview. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett.  If you’d like to see my review of Brett Aerobicizes, the second book in the series, click here.

Interview with Author David D’Aguanno

by L.Leander

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

When I’m not writing (or reading), I’m usually listening to classical music. I have a huge CD collection, and because there are only so many hours in the day, there are many CDs I’ve heard only once and don’t even remember what they sound like!

Who are you as a writer?

As a writer – and particularly as a writer of the Brett Cornell series of comedy-mysteries – I view my role to be that of a person whose aim is merely to entertain. In other words, I sincerely doubt that anyone would want to read a “Brett book” in order to gain any kind of spiritual enlightenment. Escapism, a few laughs – That’s about it!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think it’s wonderful, since it gives so many tremendously talented writers an opportunity to have their works read, instead of having to spend so much valuable time, simply trying to find an agent and/or a publisher in such a competitive area.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No, I haven’t, and I probably wouldn’t. As it is, I have so many various ideas floating around in my head that I need to get “on paper” that I probably wouldn’t have the time for it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Well, I probably have several favorites,  but one that stands out in my mind is “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite” by Anthony Trollope. I recall how, when reading it, I said to myself,” I know where this story is heading,” only to find myself completely surprised by a tragic ending that left me emotionally devastated. Often, in a single phrase or a single sentence, Trollope was able to pull me into the minds and emotional states of his main characters. Amazing!

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

Having taught English in a public school for nearly 30 years, I find myself being somewhat finicky about spelling, punctuation, and the like. However, with a good editor and proper guidance, anyone should be able to produce a worthwhile piece of writing, even without having earned a degree.

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

Seeing as the mere suspicion that a spider or a snake may be nearby usually gets me nerved up, my imagination would go into over-drive at the sound of a loud roar, and I’d probably freak out completely!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My greatest asset as a person? Well, I’ve been told that I’m extremely compassionate, or “an old softie” (if you will). As a writer, I think that I have a knack for coming up with a story that moves along fairly quickly, for the most part.

What do you treasure most on earth?

It may sound like a stock answer, but I’d have to say: “My friends and family.”

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

Being non-athletic as a child, I enjoyed mostly board games and word games, and my love of classical music, even at any early age, meant that listening to records or music on the radio took up a lot of my time. Oh, and writing little stories, too, of course.

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

Finding out that there are so many ways of reaching potential readers with my writing has been an eye-opening experience for me.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Being successful as a writer is probably as important to me now as being successful as a teacher was, back in the days when I was doing that, assuming that “being successful” means being able to affect other people’s moods, attitudes, and lives in a positive way.

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

O.K., if I were to say that I’d wish I could feed all the hungry people in the world – or anything else along that line – I’d be lying. So, at the risk of sounding self-centered, I’d wish (1) that my Brett books could be turned into a TV series, preferably on HBO, Showtime, or Starz (I’m not too fussy, am I?),  (2) that my other novel “Why She Left Us” could be turned into a major motion picture, and (3) that I could live long enough to hear Brett’s quirky sayings become part of people’s everyday vocabulary. (You would have had to have read one of my Brett books in order to fully appreciate what I mean by that last “wish” of mine.)

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

Wow! I’m afraid I can’t really answer that, only because I’d want to be able to spend the day with people I miss the most, and sadly enough, it would be physically impossible to do that (you can guess the reason why).

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

A lot of my writing was originally done several years back, and it wasn’t until my cousin Darlene urged me to do something with the novels I had written that I actually decided to take on this so-called second career of mine. Without her show of confidence in my writing ability, I probably would be doing something else right now. Sad but true, now that I think about it.

Here’s a little more about books currently available from David D’Aguanno in his own words.

A little bit about my books:

Brett Cornell is meant to be taken more as a cartoonish type of character rather than a real person. In fact, if such a person really did exist, most people wouldn’t have anything to do with him, and any self-respecting woman would surely stay clear of him, despite his good looks. The novels themselves are over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, so that anyone expecting a serious and intricately plotted murder mystery (as in Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, for example) would be very disappointed. Provided you don’t take the character of Brett Cornell too seriously, though, you should probably find the novels engaging and amusing and totally unique.

My novel “Why She Left Us” is radically different, written in a somewhat experimental style, and involving characters who are meant to be viewed as real human beings who have sincere and deep emotions and several of whom suffer greatly through acts of betrayal, loss, and revenge. If I can move readers emotionally in this novel, then I will have succeeded in doing what I meant to do in writing this novel.

Here are some links to check out this author and his books.  Be sure to leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett by David D’Aguanno.

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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.

http://www.bookjunkiesjournal.com/jt-sather.html

howtosurvivehttp://www.amazon.com/Survive-When-Bottom-Drops-Volume/dp/1479152250/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364329421&sr=8-1&keywords=jt+sather

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286380

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Introducing Author LA Jones

Posted on March 11, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lajones_1I love Mondays because I get to meet some intriguing authors each week.  This week my guest is LA Jones, author of Tales of Aradia The Last Witch.  You can read my review of the book here.  Be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book!

Interview with LA Jones

by L.Leander

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

Shopping. I love shopping. Going out and checking the new imaginative styles. Hanging out at the book stores and talking with the clerks. It’s my favorite pastime.

Who are you as a writer?

In all honesty, I am a person who has ASD (autism spectrum disorder) who is trying to become a role model and inspiration to people who also have this disorder.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

My thought is like many new movements it takes to time to flower or flourish. I am actually happy about the indie author movement because it puts more power in to the author’s hands. Too long has the publisher held power in the relationship between writer and publisher. Publisher and their clients (writers) should be partners. This indie author movement is making sure of that.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with using someone else’s identity and idea to write a book.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Matilda by Roald Dahl because the story of a little girl over coming such impossible odds has always been so inspiring.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not? No. I believe degrees don’t guarantee or signify anything. In the end determination is what gets things done. I have always been a believer of self-education. What you learn on your own time is what you use in your life.  

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

I stay very still and try not to irritate whatever the hell it is that made that noise. I also try to hide a weapon under my pillow just in case.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My creativity and my ability to be so open-minded. I welcome criticism and suggestions because they help me to be a better writer. My creativity because it helps me think of new things to write and develop.

What do you treasure most on earth? My family and my friends.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pasttimes, friends, etc. I like to make up games and watch TV. Most of all, I loved to read.

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

I think what has helped me most of all was meeting my editor Harrison R. Bradlow. He has helped my series reach its true potential and opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

How important is being successful as a writer to you? Very. I want to be able to live off my writing and help entertain people with my stories. In addition to inspiring others.

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

One) my book series to become the next big franchise. Two) to be able to live off my writing. Three) to be able to become the next J.K. Rowling. Meaning an inspiration to my fellow authors and such.

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

Meeting some of the authors who helped inspire me to reach my potential. Namely, buying plane tickets to visit RJ Palmer and her husband and taking her family out to Disneyland or something. Traveling to Florida to meet L.A. Sherman another author who has inspired me. Most of all, traveling to Las Vegas and taking my editor and his family to Disney World.

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

My family mostly. They have always loved the fact that I am an author and are very proud of me for being able to publish my books. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without their help.

Editor and partner in my series: Harrison R. Bradlow.la_1

http://www.harrisonbradlow.com/index.html

Readers: Thanks for coming and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section for a chance to win an autographed copy of the first book in the series.  Winner will be notified on Monday, March 18.

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Introducing Author Tarah Scott

Posted on March 4, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

tarahjpg

What a pleasure to have author Tarah Scott on the blog this week.  You’ll see in her bio below that she and I share a favorite author we both read as youngsters – Zane Grey.  You’ll definitely enjoy her candid answers to my questions.  Be sure to tell her what you think – Tarah is offering a free digital copy of  My Highland Love to one lucky person who leaves a comment.  If you’d like to read my review of My Highland Love click here.

Interview with Author Tarah Scott

by L.Leander

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

I love to bake!

Who are you as a writer?

ROFL. I honestly don’t know how to answer that. I have my regular life, a daughter, all of which comes with the day to day work of housecleaning, cooking, errands, helping with homework (who knew I would be going back to high school?) But writing is just a part of me. It’s pretty hard to separate that from any other part of my psyche.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think the Indie Publishing movement is a natural evolution of the industry, and like any other new phase of any industry there are plenty of growing pains. The opportunities are endless. A professional, serious author can shine. There’s plenty of less-than-stellar fiction being published but, again, that’s the same in any industry. I love indie publishing.

Have you ever ghostwritten? Would you?  Why?

I haven’t ghostwritten. I haven’t given the idea much thought, but my first reaction is no, I wouldn’t ghostwrite. I don’t think I would care for the having to take orders from someone in my writing.

What is your favorite book of all time? Why?

A Tale of Two Cities! The characterization in this book is as masterful as it gets. A Tale of Two Cities isn’t just a love story, it’s a story of redemption. Dickens is the man.

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

ROFL. They better not, because I don’t have one. Doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers must learn medicine, science, and law. These are specifics that can’t diverge. We writers must study our craft, but our mistakes won’t jeopardize a life or set free a criminal.

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

I always was a fool. I peek through the flap to see what’s happened.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My sense of humor. Because I am a never ending source of amusement for my friends, which makes it easy for them forgive me—a lot!

What do you treasure most on earth?

I’m corny; my daughter.

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

You’ll laugh, my favorite thing to do as a child was read. I was a total geek. Favorite games: basketball, pool, and ping pong. I was good at all three. I had some very nice friends. If the teenager years count, my first serious boyfriend at age 16 (if serious can be associated with that age), was a doppelganger for Patrick Swayze. Of course, Patrick wasn’t known then, but years later I actually had to look up the old boyfriend to be sure they weren’t the same. Heh heh. I should be so lucky—though my boyfriend was a pretty good guy.

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

I think the single most important thing that has happened to me so far as a writer is meeting the people who are my teachers/critique partners, Kimberly Comeau and Evan Trevane. They’ve made me the writer I am. I was beyond lucky to meet them so early in my writing life.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Of all the things that belong to me and me only, being a successful writer is number one.

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

I am granted ownership of a Caribbean island. I can eat chocolate without gaining any weight! My internet connection quits bleeping out on me.

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

Oh boy, I would gather my daughter, my brother, and a couple of my very close friends and we would go to the Florida Keyes for the whole summer.

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

One huge inspiration was (and still is) Amanda Quick. I adore her work and could only hope to be as good as her someday. Of course, Charles Dickens, who I couldn’t hope to be as good as for at least ten lifetimes.

What else would you like us to know about you Tarah?

My latest release is My Highland Love, the first in the Highland Lords series.

How does a woman tell her betrothed that she murdered her first husband?

Elise Kingston is a wanted woman. Nothing, not even Highlander Marcus MacGregor, will stop her from returning home to ensure that the man responsible for her daughter’s death hangs.

Until she must choose between his life and her revenge.

My next release is My Highland Lord, the second in the Highland Lords series.

London Heiress kidnapped by the Marquess of Ashlund, read the headlines. Yet no one tried to save her.

You can find my books at all the major distributors. I have character wallpapers I offer free to my fans, so stop by my website or email me anytime to see what I have on hand.

Thank you for being my guest this week.  Readers, please don’t forget to leave Tarah a comment below for a chance to win a copy of her ebook My Highland Love.  If you’d like to find out more about Tarah Scott be sure to check out the links below her bio.

Thanks for having me, Linda! It’s been great being here at L. Leander’s Book Reviews and Interviews, and it’s been so nice visiting with everyone today.

Tarah Scott Bio

Award winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.

MyHighlandLovebyTarahScott200x300_96DPI_FINALWhere you can find me and my books

B&N

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/tarah-scott

Kobo

http://ptbr.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=%22Tarah+Scott%22&t=none&f=author&p=1&s=none&g=both

MyHighlandLordFINAL200x300_150DPIAmazon

http://www.amazon.com/Tarah-Scott/e/B004RBDUXM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1360006364&sr=8-2-ent

ARe

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Tarah+Scott

Website:

http://www.tarahscott.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TarahScottsRomanceNovels

Twitter:

@TarahScott

Blog:

http://tarahscott.tarahscott.com/

Email:

tscott@tarahscott.com

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Introducing Author Troy Lewis

Posted on January 28, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

book_photoThis week my guest is Troy Lewis.  Troy has written a remarkable book called Another Second Chance.  What would you do if you were faced with a disease that would be certain death unless you could find a donor?  What if that donor turned out not to be able to help you?  The author has gone through just such an experience and has chosen to share his journey with the world.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview of Troy Lewis

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I like writing in, what I call “my writing cave”! My finished basement.. As I walk.the kittysteps to my “Cave”, it’s as if I am entering a different world. There is a peacefulness down there that can’t be explained. You are surrounded by memories on the walls from moments in the past. And occasionally a furry feline will sunder onto your lap to see what you’re writing

What is your favorite writing tool?

I prefer my laptop to write with.. But I love to listen to Christian music for inspiration. It helps put me in the mood to inspire others when I am inspired myself. It lights a fire in my heart, then to my brain, which explodes out of my fingertips into the story.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

Since my book is an autobiography, it doesn’t seem appropriate to choose my character. So I will get my self in trouble with my better half and choose her character….  I would have to say Jenny Garth would play my wife, since she has been told there is a strong resemblance.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a Professional athlete. Uh… That didn’t work out.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

It starts out as an outline, then moves around a bit when the ideas start to roll. Pretty soon I’m flying by the seat of my pants. So I guess, a little of both.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

That would be a Bicycle since I’ve never ridden a horse. Except at the carnival, but I don’t think that counts… Plus I love riding bike and I don’t have to feed it.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

I have day dreamed about stories, but not had dreams at night about them. There have been moments where I have dreamed about people who I have met. Since I write nonfiction, that would probably be a “yes” on the “Ever written about a dream” question.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was just an average guy, I was quiet and shy to those I didn’t know well. To the ones I did, I was loud and out going. If you were my friend, you were a close friend.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Cedar Point!! The roller coaster capital of the world! Not because I love roller coasters, they scare me to death! (Except the smaller ones.) It’s because I live a half hour away from the park!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am not a big reader due to time. When I do read, it is typically for knowledge or inspiration. I love Max Lucado books!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Six months ago Jan. 28 on July 28, I commemorated my two year anniversary of my Second Chance at life! I wanted to share with you the most visited blog post I’ve written. http://wwwanothersecondchanceorg.blogspot.com/2012/07/walk-with-me-and-see-what-difference.html

On that day I ran my first 5k for team Ohio at the Transplant Games of America (on my 2 year anniversary!) When I arrived to the event and made my way to the starting line… There was my transplant surgeon and his wife ready to run with me…  One of the most memorable moments of my life! I found out a couple of days later that I had finished fourth in my age group (40-49) and just missed the bronze medal.

Thank you Troy for a very interesting interview.  Readers, be sure to leave comments here for the author.

3d_book_coverPurchase Another Second Chance by Troy Lewis at these links:

Amazon Kindle

http://smarturl.it/tj18ra

Nook

http://www.lulu.com/shop/troy-lewis/another-second-chance-gods-story/ebook/product-20256683.html

Signed copies from Troy’s website www.another2ndchance.org

Christianbook.com

http://www.christianbook.com/another-second-chance-gods-story/troy-lewis/9780983360773/pd/360772?item_code=WW&netp_id=1057927&event=ESRCG&view=details

Other places to find Troy Lewis:

Troy Lewis website 

Troy Lewis Blog 

Troy Lewis on Twitter 

Troy Lewis on Facebook

Troy Lewis Bio

Troy Lewis is a recent walking miracle (transplant recipient), speaker, and author.  He resides in Northwest Ohio with his lovely wife Stephanie and two beautiful daughters Corrine and Allison.
He loves sharing “Wow God stories” to inspire and encourage others.
For nine years Troy had played the part of Jesus Christ in a Passion drama, but that was only in preparation of what God had in store for him next. Since his near death experience, he now shares this amazing “Testimonial Message” of Hope at Churches all over! It has been called “God’s story”.
He has been interviewed on TV, Radio, and featured in media articles.
To learn more about Troy and his story, go to www.anothersecondchance.org
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Introducing Author Cherley Grogg

Posted on January 14, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

cherleyphoto_1I really enjoyed interviewing author Cherley Grogg this week.  I found out about a Facebook group Cherley runs called Writing Wrangler and Warriors.  I joined and have had a grand time interacting with the talented authors there.  Cherley heads up the group, and it’s a great place for blogging and sharing about our books (and our lives).  I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cherley’s novel Stamp Out Murder.  You can read my review here.  Come along while I ask Cherley some off the wall questions so you can get to know what really makes her tick!

Interview with Cherley Grogg

by L.Leander

1. Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I do a lot of writing on the move since I’m a trucker girl. At home I live to pull my rocking loveseat close to my roaring fire in the fireplace. And in the summer on my front porch in the swing

2. What is your favorite writing tool?

My little laptop, except for poetry and outlines I like to write long hand.

3. What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

The young man on suits. I think he had a charm about him.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a mother and later i wanted top be a school teacher. I an a mother and I taught Sunday School.

5. Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Both, I like to do a loose outline and then write as I go.

6. If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

Bicycle, because it costs lessee to maintain.

7. Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

My stories are with me day and mighty for about a year before I put them on paper. I don’t remember my dreams.

8. What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was a fighter, a defender of the weak and helpless. I’ve always loved top laugh and have fun. I made good grades, but I loved skipping school.

9. What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Dollywood, it’s geared more towards adults.

10. Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I read a lot. I like all kinds of genres. Westerns, history, cozies, suspense, mystery, true crime, children’s books, spiritual books and most of all the Bible. Jeffry Deavers, Sue Grafton, and we have some great writers on Writing Wranglers and Warriors, including you.

Thank you for a very interesting interview Cherley.  Readers, leave Cherley a comment to let her know you stopped by.  And be sure to pick up one of her books.  Here are other places you can find Cherley Grogg and her books.

stampoutmurder_1 Stamp Out Murder”.

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join Cherley on her Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of her most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

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Introducing Author Angella Graff

Posted on December 31, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

angella

It’s my pleasure to introduce author Angella Graff in this weeks feature.  She is definitely going places.  I think you’ll agree when you read her book “The Awakening (The Judas Curse)” that this author is cut from a different mold.  Not many are able or willing to tackle the subject matter she does.  She’s a mix of Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, and she makes the reader want more.  You can read my review of  Angella’s gripping novel, The Awakening (The Judas Curse) here.  The idea of using ancient gods and Biblical characters is not new, but in Ms. Graff’s capable hands they take on a life of their own and the reader is hooked from the first page.  This is urban fantasy at its best!

Interview of Angella Graff

by L.Leander

  1. Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I almost always write in my room.  I have a laptop, but I write more comfortably on my desktop computer.  I find myself envious of people who write long-hand, and I miss it from time to time, but my brain moves so quickly that when I attempt to write it out with pen and paper I get frustrated.  My room is quiet, though, and a place I consider my own space.

  1. What is your favorite writing tool?

Probably my computer!  That, and conversations with other people, if you want to call that a ‘tool’.  I find myself constantly inspired by the stories of people around me, and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate that into my story.  Whether it’s an event, a personality trait, or even someone’s habit.  I don’t think I would be able to write as much as I do without experiencing life and the people around me.

  1. What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I want to say Benedict Cumberbatch, because let’s face it, I’m mad for him.  It’s a problem, haha!  Honestly though, my husband and I have fun trying to “cast” actors into my book.  I did actually write a character after an actor, though.  The character of Greg/Asclepius was somewhat modeled after Harry Groener.  He played the Mayor in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I just adored the way he could swap between good-old-fashioned guy and evil trying-to-take-over-the-world guy.  I absolutely LOVE him.

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up.  Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Marine Biologist (until I learned it required biology, go figure haha!) but the one thing I always wanted to be, and the one thing I always came back to was writer.  And though I’m not famous or well-known (yet, haha) I have realized that dream.  I’m on my second published novel, and working myself into a series, so I’d say that if my dream hasn’t been officially “realized” yet, I’m definitely on my way!

  1. Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Truthfully I don’t have a specific process to speak of.  Outlines distract me from what I want to say.  I’m a big fan of letting my writing grow organically.  I feel that it makes for more realistic characterizations of people, at least for me.  When I try and outline someone or something, it sort of gets this forced feel to it, and so I rely heavily on beta-readers (and my husband) to make sure that I’m keeping the story in line.  I tend to write a few pages of the beginning, then I start with the meat of the story in the middle and write to the end.  When I get there, I head to the beginning and patch it up, bit like quilting, actually.  I find it works well for me.

  1. If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

Probably a bicycle.  I may get flamed for this, but I’m not really an animal person haha.  Although oddly, horses love my husband, and I have pictures of a horse giving him kisses to prove it!!  I had one pretty bad injury, a concussion, on a bicycle when I was young, so I was afraid to get on one for years.  Then last year while my husband and I were at the beach for our anniversary we rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk for hours.  I realized how much I missed biking and would love to get one… once we live in an area that isn’t hazardous to cyclists!

  1. Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Yes to both.  I’ve been inspired by dreams before, mainly for short stories.  When I’m in full on writing mode, when my characters and plot have a monopoly on my consciousness, I tend to dream about them.  It helps from time to time when I feel stuck.

  1. What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

Oh dear.  Hah.  Uh… well… I was more the Marilyn Manson type.  Eh heh.  I wore a huge black faux-fur coat, torn fishnets, black skirts, Doc Martin’s and my hair was usually some combo of blue, pink, bleach-white and black.  I did the crazy eye make-up and black lipstick.  The whole deal.  Please don’t tell my kids, haha, I want to have some leverage when I want to tell them they aren’t leaving the house dressed like THAT.

  1. What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I’m not a big theme park girl.  I don’t like rides, or carnival games much.  I used to, but it’s just not my favorite.  I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park because I’m a huge Potter nerd.  And last year my hubby and I went to Sea World which was fun, but not nearly as fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.

  1. Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am a reader.  I read literally anything for my book review blog, and have found some really fantastic books… like Miss Leander’s INZARED, which I plan to re-read here in the near future.  When I’m choosing for myself, I almost always go with non-fiction Theology.  I studied theology in school, and I always go back that route.  My favorite theology author is Elaine Pagels, who writes some fantastic pieces about the Gnostic Gospels and some of the other Gnostic traditions.  It’s part of what influences me in my series.

Angella Graff’s Bio: Angella Graff lives in sunny Tucson, Az with her husband, three kids, two cats and one beta fish.  When she’s not writing or book editing, she’s either at a kid scouting event, yoga class, or tearing through some BBC show on Netflix, and possibly simultaneously and repeatedly pinning pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston on her pinterest boards.

Thank you Angella for your candid interview and the nice words about  my book.  (I promise, readers, I didn’t pay her to say that!  lol).  If you haven’t read The Awakening it’s something you’ll definitely want to put on your list for 2013.  The book is very different, with memorable characters and a subject matter that not many people tackle today.  I found it engrossing – couldn’t put it down.  That, in my mind, is a great read!

If you’d like to find out more about Angella Graff here are some places you can find her.

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INTRODUCING AUTHOR LAURA SEEBER

Posted on December 10, 2012. Filed under: L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lauraThis week my author guest is Laura Seeber.  I have just finished reading her novel The Spring And Autumn Murders. You can read my review here. This was an interesting book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Seeber has done a great job of making the story personal and relevant to today’s readers.

I love getting to know authors and Laura is definitely not an exception.  How I yearn to be like her!  Read question #5 below and in Laura’s answer you’ll see why.  I am a total pantser, but Laura’s explanation of how she writes puts me to shame.  I just have to get used to outlining.

Enjoy our conversation and don’t forget to comment and show Laura Seeber some author love.

Interview with Author Laura Seeber

by: L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I work primarily in my living room in a great big pink chair with my laptop perched either on my knees or on a nearby coffee table.  The area around me changes depending on how much other work I have going on- but it usually consists of a notebook, a sketchbook and a few wads of crumpled up paper tossed around the table and floor.  I am definitely not an organized person.

pENPAP_1What is your favorite writing tool?

My favorite writing tool is probably my notebook and pen.  I know, sounds weird when I spend so much time on the computer, but being able to draw out plot lines, etc. with pen and paper feels much more real to me.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I would probably cast Jackie Chan as Lord Nianzu if I had the chance.  I’m a genuine fan of him, and his acting ability which goes way beyond what is shown in a lot of the kung fu action movies that you see him in.  It would be great to see him in a role that would highlight his acting ability without type-casting him as a kung fu master.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?scientist_1

Depends on when you would have asked me.  At one point I wanted to be a pilot, a tap dancer, a scientist, and a horse trainer.  To be honest, being a writer was never one of my dreams that I remember.  However, right now I also work as a geologist, so I guess I partially realized my dream of becoming a scientist.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Oh I’m almost obsessive in my outlining.  I’ll start with a subject matter or area I want to write about.  Then I’ll spend the next few months researching the setting, the people, the eras, and the subject matter until I feel that I can truly internalize what I have researched.  Then for the next few months I’ll “write” the story in my head, reworking things, changing point of view, altering characters until I get to the point where I don’t think it can be changed anymore.  Then I break out the lap top and write it down.  After that I’ll revise it a few more times until feel it’s good enough to submit.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

bike_1Unfortunately I would probably choose the bicycle.  Although I love riding horses, they can be quite expensive to fix and or replace when something goes wrong.  It’s much easier to fix a flat tire than it is to fix a broken leg.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Actually, dreaming of my stories is one of my steps in writing.  If I continuously dream of a story for a few nights I know that it’s near completion and it’s time to break out the computer.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

Actually in high school I was the quiet kid who sat in the back and didn’t say much.  The only time I came out of my shell was when I was around my friends- then I became a smiling goofball who wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time.HIGH_1

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Well, I guess my favorite theme park would be Kenny wood Park in Pennsylvania.  It’s the closest park to where I grew up, and it has a great nostalgia feel to it.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I’m a fairly avid reader, but I wouldn’t say that I read incessantly.  I prefer either mystery, non-fiction or the occasional romance if the heroine actually has half a brain on top of her shoulders.  Honestly if the story is well written, I’ll read just about anything.  As far as authors- Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, and Madeline L’Engle are a few that come to mind.

Thank you, Laura, for taking the time to join me today.  It’s been great chatting with you.  Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and do check out my review of The Spring And Autumn Murders – I’m sure you’d love to read it!

You can learn more about Laura Seeber by visiting these links:

Where to purchase The Spring and Autumn Murders:


Spring and Autumn murders coverWriters Thread

Emerald Musings

Biography:

Laura Seeber has worked as a geologist, an environmental consultant, and a freelance writer.  She currently divides her time between her own environmental consulting business, handling various ghostwriting and freelance writing projects, and her own fiction writing.  Her interests include history, outdoor activities, martial arts, mysteries, and non-fiction material.  The Spring and Autumn Murders is her first novel.   She currently lives in Illinois with her husband, Michael.

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INTRODUCING AUTHOR AMY METZ

Posted on November 26, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It is my pleasure to introduce you to author Amy Metz in this week’s interview.  Amy is a charming person and excellent writer who delights her readers with euphemisms of southern wit.  I thoroughly enjoyed her book Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction and you can read my review here.  Amy also does reviews and interviews, so when you’re done reading about her here go on over and visit her website – it’s well done and very interesting!

Interview with Amy Metz

by L.Leander

1.  What makes you stand out as a writer?

Goose Pimple Junction is a wacky town with quirky residents. I think those unique qualities and the goosepimpleisms throughout the book make Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction different from your average mystery.

2.  What is your favorite type of reading material?

Anything with a mystery, humor, or love story.  Combine all three and I’m there. I love mysteries, and I particularly love humorous mysteries. I also love romantic suspense or romantic mysteries.

3.  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

Yikes! I honestly have no idea!

4.  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

Everywhere. I’m always on the lookout for ideas, and sometimes reading, hearing, or seeing something sparks a new story. My imaginary friends also frequently give me ideas.

5.  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Both, depending on the story.

6.  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

I have fibromyalgia. It’s similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, and I have flares when I do too much or don’t get enough sleep. It’s another reason why writing is the ideal occupation for me.

7.  If I had a choice, every day would include:

Oh, so many things. The ocean. Cheesecake. Books. How about eating cheesecake on a beach, reading a book? But seriously, I’d have to say every day would include love.

8.  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens, which would you choose?

Definitely the Internet and a computer. I would go into severe withdrawal without them.

9.  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

Not really voices, but I do feel like I get strong suggestions about what to write from my characters. I tell them to have their way with me. I’m easy. But only with imaginary people.

10. What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

I love to get lost in my story and spend time with my characters. I hate promoting and marketing.

11. Where did you grow up?

Louisville, Kentucky.  I moved away for college and lived in Lexington for a few years after that, but mostly, Louisville has been home.

12. Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit.)

I would go to Boston and wander the streets for days, photographing that totally cool city. Then I would drive to Kennebunkport and stay at The Colony Hotel, where I would walk on the beach, take more pictures, and I’d sit on the veranda overlooking the beach and read a good book. Then, because the sky’s the limit, I would go to Ireland, Scotland, and England. And take lots of pictures.

13.  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

Definitely a dog.  To me, dogs are goofier, more loving, generally have a warmer, friendlier personality, and they’re more affectionate than most cats. Now, cat people, don’t yell at me. I know there are exceptions. But I would be a dog. I’d be a lab or a golden retriever or a mastiff.

14. You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

John Sandford. In fact, John—if you’re reading this, call me. I’d love to feature you on my blog!

15.  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Tess Tremaine is a forty-something Yankee who moved to the southern town of Goose Pimple Junction to start a new chapter in her life after getting a divorce. Because of her unhappy marriage and contentious divorce, she’s sworn off men. Until she meets Jackson Wright. As much as she tries to deny an attraction, she’s smitten. And as much as she tries to avoid him, he keeps popping up. They team up to investigate a seventy-five-year-old cold case murder, and he becomes her translator for southern speak and her saving grace in more ways than one.

Thank you for being here, Amy, and sharing a little bit about yourself.  Readers, check out the links below to buy Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction and visit Amy’s site where there are lots of featured Indie authors.  Leave a comment in the comments section below to give Amy some love.  Thanks!

Other places to find Amy Metz (click on the book cover to go to her Amazon book listing):

Amy Metz website

Amy Metz Blog

Amy Metz Amazon Author Page

Amy Metz Facebook Page

 

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