Celebrity Guest Author – Melody Carlson

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Celebrity Melody Carlson

Title: I’ll Be Seeing You (The Mulligan Sisters Book 1)

Genre: Romance/Historical

Synopsis: December 7, 1941, San Francisco is on high alert following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Mulligan family is grappling with the news that Peter, beloved son and brother, is among the missing.

Each of the Mulligan sisters Bridget, Margaret, Colleen and Molly strives to find her place in the rapidly changing world in these early days of World War II. With their father ailing, Margaret takes over management of the family’s grocery store trying to keep hoarders at bay while daydreaming of a June wedding. Meanwhile Bridget focuses on her board exams and hopes to be accepted as an Army nurse. Beautiful Colleen, the “family flibbertigibbet” just wants to have fun despite the dire news of the war. But it’s the “baby” fifteen-year-old Molly who seems to be the glue that holds the family together.

With siblings, friends, and beaus being shipped out weekly, the remaining Mulligans quickly realize that this war will be fought on two fronts at home and overseas.

Each of the strong, hopeful Mulligan sisters will do their part if they hope to see victory and the end of the war.

Melody Carlson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Melody Carlson, who has written over 200 books. Welcome to my blog Melody.

 CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

 MC: I’ll Be Seeing You is set in the World War 2 era and will transport you to an important, unforgettable, and exciting time in history.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

MC: Ideas come randomly to me—and in all shapes and forms. Sometimes, a character with a distinct voice and an interesting problem will show up in my head. Occasionally, a great location or intriguing era will call out to me. I’ve even written books that were inspired by dreams. Usually, the story is only partially there when I start to write—and I’m compelled to go looking for the rest of it. That’s my favorite way to create a book, not knowing what’s around the next corner and being surprised along the way. It’s what keeps me going back to my computer, after more than 200 books.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

MC: My World War 2 trilogy (The Mulligan Sisters) is partially inspired by family stories that I heard as a child. Whenever older relatives spoke about the ‘war era,’ I could tell that it had played a huge part in all their lives. My uncles both served overseas—one in the European front and one in the Pacific. And my mother’s family, like the Mulligan’s, had owned a small grocery store on the home front. The women dealt with things like rationing, volunteering . . . and even painting “nylon seams” on the backs of their legs, when shortages called for creativity.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

MC: I think I secretly envied my older relatives for getting to live out the challenges and rewards of the World War 2 era. And I must admit to an ongoing fascination with 1940’s fashions. But writing about the war from the perspectives of four sisters living in San Francisco (which is my birthplace) was hugely appealing. Plus, it felt like a story that was too big to be told in just one book—thus The Mulligan Sisters series was born.

CH: Since this is the first book in the series, have you decided on how many books will be in this series?

MC: I only planned on three books. Each one is titled after a popular song during WW2. I’m about to start the third (and I think final book) but there is still a lot of story to tell. I hope I can fit it all into one book. Or maybe I can talk my publisher into adding a fourth. 🙂

CH: A reader said that the book is full of rich history, family drama, and war-time romance. How did you decide to write about World War 2?

MC: World War 2 is so full of story potential. And the idea of writing about young women serving (for the most part) on the home front intrigued me. I probably wanted to live vicariously through them. Plus, it’s a great way to learn history—the research has been interesting and fun. And so many stories have surfaced (thanks to the internet) in recent years that it’s not hard to find inspiration.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

MC: Some pieces of the characters are extracted from people in my life. Some that have passed, and some that are living. Bridget Mulligan is similar to a niece whose name is also Bridget and she’s a nurse too. Margaret is a bit like an aunt who’s passed on. Colleen is a morph of a couple of glamorous people. And Molly, the youngest, is a sweetheart that you can’t help but fall in love with.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

MC: Margaret is probably the hardest to write. She’s simple, but complicated in that she only seems interested in becoming a wife and mother—and at the same time, she struggles with feeling a bit jealous of her sisters for wanting more than that. Plus, she’s saddled with a lot of responsibility in running the store, when her dad gets sick. Colleen is fun to write because she’s somewhat unpredictable. She’s the glamour girl and family “flibbertigibbet” but she actually has some surprising layers and strengths that show up later—when she’s faced with some severe trials.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

MC: I hope readers will feel like they’ve been on a journey with me—going back in time and seeing up close how lives were changed, strengthened and challenged during World War 2. I hope these women’s stories will remind each of us how sacrifices were made . . . and how many rewards followed. Life wasn’t easy for them and yet, it was fulfilling.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of research on World War 2?

MC: I’m constantly researching as I write. I keep maps and timelines handy, and I’m always pulling up true stories from the internet. Sometimes they’re so interesting, that it’s a distraction (although a good one!). And fashion research gives me a good excuse to watch classic movies from that era—something I love to do anyway. All in all, it’s given me even more respect for the people who lived through that time.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

MC: The biggest challenge is keeping it true to the era—and yet, relevant to contemporary readers. I hope that I’ve managed to do that. So far, the comments I’ve received from all age groups is encouraging.

CH: You’ve written over 200 books. What contributes to your success as a writer?

MC: I’m not sure how you define “success.” But I’ll admit that I’ve written a LOT of books and I like to think I’ve improved over time. I never meant to be this prolific, but I write extremely fast—it’s just the way I work—and that’s resulted in many stories, which translates into many readers (about 7.5 million) . . . as well as some nice awards. So, if that adds up to success, well, then I’m very grateful!

CH: Is there a message in this book that you want the readers to grasp?

MC: If there’s a specific message . . . it’s probably simply to encourage all of us to remember that good things come out of hard times. The WW 2 era was an extremely dark time in history for most of the world. Horrific things happened. Millions of lives were lost. It could’ve felt utterly hopeless . . . and yet, good people rolled up their sleeves and worked hard to get through it victoriously. This encourages me a lot.

CH: You seem to have quite a following. What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

MC: So far, the response to the start of this new series has been positive. I’ve been hearing “when’s the next book coming?” a lot. And it will be released this spring. And the third book in the upcoming fall.

CH: How to Find Melody Carlson:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold? 

MC: Print and e-books are available on Amazon and several other online bookstores.

CH: Any closing remarks?

MC: Thanks for taking time to ‘visit with me’ today. If you get a chance to ‘meet’ my Mulligan Sisters, I hope you’ll like them as much as I do. They really feel like family members to me. I think we can all learn a thing or two from them.

CH: Thank you so much, Melody Carlson, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Melody Carlson.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway is Featured on Jan Romes’ Blog

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Cheryl Holloway is Featured on Jan Romes’ Blog

Today, I am Featured on Jan Romes, the Romance Writer, Author Spotlight on her Blog.

Here is the link: http://jantheromancewriter.blogspot.com/2017/01/cheryl-holloway-is-my-guest.html

I’d love for you to read the information about me and my books. Please Enjoy the blog post and gather a little insight into my writing life and the featured book, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life.

Cheryl Holloway

A Special Thanks to Jan Romes, Author at www.jantheromancewriter.blogspot.com

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Kevin T. Craig

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 Title: Burn Baby, Burn Baby

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent, since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil, as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

Kevin T. Craig, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Kevin T. Craig, a Canadian author, poet and playwright. Welcome to my blog, Kevin.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

KTC: Sure, I’ll give it a shot. Francis Fripp is badly scarred by fire. He attempts to navigate school life, while being bullied and falling in love.

CH: The topic is unique. Where did you get the idea for this book? 

KTC: I often write about abuse and bullying. For this book, I wanted to give the main character a noticeable, undeniable physical scar. I often have characters flawed on the inside, with no noticeable scars but plenty of unseen ones in their souls. The idea just took off from there. I knew that if Francis had to deal with heavy scarring from an abusive incident (his father set him on fire in his childhood), he would be set up for the less sympathetic kids in high school to make fun of him and cast him aside. I have this thing with flawed characters scraping their way through life attempting to survive. This story, with a visibly scarred hero, was just a natural progression.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

KTC: I am always attempting to write young adult books that would have somehow saved me, were the teen me to pick them up. Teen-life is a struggle at the best of times. When you’re struggling with not fitting in, feeling like a freak or a cast out, it feels like it will never get better. I like to put characters into the thick of horrendous circumstances and give them a glimmer of hope, either in a love interest, a friend, or their own perseverance. I want to show readers that challenges, destruction and despair can be overcome, if they just hold on to that one shining glimmer of hope. I decided to write this book, in particular, because I wanted to see if I could give one of the most marginalized people—the deformed, scarred cast-out—a good life. I wanted to try to write my main character into happiness.

CH: A few of your books are about fires. Is there a reason this topic is high priority on your writing list?

KTC: This is actually the only one with an actual burn victim, but fire played a huge role in my first novel, Summer on Fire. A barn fire was the impetus to the whole novel, but the kids escaped burning…although, one of them ended up with an awful leg break. I do, however, tend to discover themes in my novels. Usually, at times like this, when they are pointed out to me. Most of my novels have twins. Something, I didn’t even realize.

CH: The main character had low self-esteem due to burn scars and was being bullied at school. Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

KTC: I was bullied my entire school life. The bully just has to see one thing out of place on his victim in order to zone in on them and choose them as the object of their scorn. It was easy writing about bullying, coming from the place I came from. What I worried about was people thinking the bully would consider someone like Francis off-limits because his deformity was so horrendous that the reader couldn’t imagine a bully choosing Francis as his victim. But I knew, a bully would declare open season on such a deformity…because they are often incapable of empathy. Making Francis a target was both difficult and easy.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

KTC: They kind of just appear. Whoever speaks the loudest is heard. They are probably all amalgamations of people I have known. I think most writers do that, borrow from real life. My supporting character, Trig, was modeled after one of my own childhood friends. He was a guy who could move between the hierarchy of school cliques with ease. I always admired the magic of people like that. I wanted to honor that by creating a character with the same trait. The cliques, camaraderie and detestable behavior of high school figures inspire my characters. High school is like a microcosm of the people you will meet in life.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

KTC: In this novel, the bully—Brandon. I sometimes think, I could have explored him more, explained the impetus surrounding his anger. But I held back from doing that on purpose. I found it difficult to hold back, but I was afraid in doing so, that I would put him in too much of a position to be empathized with. I didn’t want the reader to feel empathy towards him. I wanted it all to take place from Francis’s viewpoint. He wasn’t getting insight into Brandon’s anger and hateful behavior, so I felt the reader shouldn’t get insight either. But it was difficult for me not to elaborate on Brandon’s character.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

KTC: Trig was my favorite to write. Basically, because of what I said earlier about him. He was one of those magical beings who either don’t see the constructs of the high school hierarchy or don’t care about them. He was heroic, but oblivious. He was there for Francis at every turn and managed to be the one person in his life, who shined and refused to acknowledge his deformity in a negative way. I just loved Trig for being able to accept people for who they were. There ARE people in the world like him.

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

KTC: That seems like it could be a loaded question, where are you from? Geographically, I am from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m also ‘from’ the 80s. Being born in the mid-60s, my coming-of-age occurred in the 80s. Those were times of blatant bullying and ostracizing anything and everything that was different, whether that be intentionally different, or different in ways like Francis, who had to carry the burden of his scars for everyone to see. I suppose growing up struggling to fit in and then, later, being okay with not fitting in, has given me a context from which to write the books I write. So, I write for the young adult who struggles in the miasma of their own blistering zeitgeist. I tend to believe that, although, on the surface, things seem to change, but they don’t really. Teens still struggle with the hierarchy that existed 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago. The Breakfast Club…it’s as relevant today, as it was when it came out. The nerd, the punk, the jock, the cast-out, the beauty queen…these groups still exist. They still influence my writing. I like to explore the belief that LIFE GETS BETTER after high school.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

KTC: Actually, I wrote it over the course of a three-day weekend. Every year I take part in the Muskoka Novel Marathon. It’s a three day novel writing marathon. 40 writers are put into the same room for 72-hours. We each attempt to write a novel in that time. We break bread together, we laugh, we talk, we cry, we write frantically into the night, into the morning, and into the night…We also collect money in the form of sponsorships for literacy programs in the community in Northern Ontario, Canada, in which it takes place. This year, we collected $36,000.00. Of course, I tweak my books after the weekend, expand upon what I come out with, edit, edit, edit…but the most of the novel is written in the 72-hours. I finished Burn Baby, Burn Baby at the marathon, actually. I didn’t add to it after the weekend…it was edited, but it came out completed.

CH: This book is a couple of years old. What kind of feedback are you getting from readers?

 KTC: For the most part, the reviews have been incredible! I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. I’m thrilled with most of what I’ve heard. It actually was awarded a place of honor on the American Library Services for Youth in Custody’s 2016 In The Margins Book Award List. Titles are chosen for this list that are by, for, and about kids living in the margins.

CH: Wow, that is a nice award/honor. This book starts with him making a movie of his life. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

KTC: I started the book that way because I wanted to show that Francis dreams of being a director. He sort of held the camera and took us through the opening scenes that way. I wanted my writing style for this particular book to be as close to the POV character, as possible. I wanted the reader to slip into Francis’s body and feel his pain. The fade-out at the end of the book is written in this same style, as Francis imagines the end of the movie of his life. I wanted that style to frame the story, and I wanted to attempt to remain tight in the camera’s eye throughout…without depending too much on the movie metaphor. I suppose I was attempting a cinematic viewpoint for the reader. I hope it worked!

CH: You have won several awards for your writing and briefly told us about one award. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

KTC: I wrote when I was a child. But somewhere along the road, I came to believe that I didn’t deserve to write, that I wasn’t a ‘writer.’ I didn’t have the schooling to be a writer, or the wherewithal. I put myself into this box of Not-Writer and disallowed myself the joy. But I kept writing lines of poetry on cash register receipts, slips of paper, notepads. It bled through and eventually I couldn’t contain it any longer. In 2003, I began to write things. I found a local writing group and I joined it and then I feared attending their meetings for several months, knowing that they would discover I was a fraud…that I was not a card-carrying member of the writing elite. When I finally cracked and attended a meeting, my real writing journey took off. The first real piece I wrote, a memoir, was accepted for Canada’s National newspaper, the Globe & Mail. That gave me confidence to chase the dream of writing. I have since had 10 short plays produced for the stage, poetry published internationally, 5 novels published, articles, and the memoir published. The passion stuck.

CH: How to find Kevin T. Craig:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

KTC: Burn Baby, Burn Baby can be found at Amazon, both as a paperback and as a Kindle. It’s also at Barnes & Noble, and Chapters here in Canada. It’s basically found wherever books are sold…but they might have to order in the paperback.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KTC: I just want to thank you so much for inviting me to blather on about my book and my writing. I really appreciate it! If any of your readers happen to pick up a copy of Burn Baby, Burn Baby, or any other of my books, I certainly hope they enjoy it! Thank you!

CH: Thank you so much, Kevin T. Craig, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Kevin T. Craig.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway’s Giveaway Celebrating 500 Blog Posts

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January 17-27, 2017

Three Lucky Winners

Win Two eBooks by Author Cheryl Holloway and $10 Starbucks Gift Card

To Celebrate this milestone of 500 Blog Posts and 500 Tweets, I am going to giveaway these prizes to three lucky winners! All you have to do to enter this amazing giveaway is to:

  1. leave a comment below to win and email me your email address;
  2. after you win, review the books on Amazon

It’s just that simple!

Rules:

  • No Purchase Necessary
  • Provide an email address
  • Limit One entry daily
  • Void where Prohibited by Law
  • US, Canada, and Worldwide, 18+ years of age

Winners will be randomly selected on Jan 28. Winners will be announced and prize delivered on Jan 31.

Thank you for helping me to celebrate this accomplishment.

Cheryl Holloway, Author

Disclaimer: Your email will be submitted to the subscription list upon entering this giveaway.

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday and Remembering Others

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Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday 

Every year, I want to celebrate MLK’s birthday by doing something different. So, this year is no different. I thought about his question, “What are you doing for others?”  Of course, I pay it forward to other authors, but I thought, What else can I do?

I thought about his March on Washington and I decided to join the 2017 Women’s March on Washington on January 21. You already know what the march is about and I don’t need to add anything.

I have been an activist for many years, and I presume I will always be one-it’s part of me and my legacy.

Please enjoy your holiday and remember others in history—past and present.

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence SundayOnce Upon a Time

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. This year is no different.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. Last night, as the TV was watching me write, I was inspired to write these stories. Of course, they are inspired by true incidents on the news. 

 

Title: I Told You So…

She had been physically abused by her husband for over ten years and she just couldn’t take it any longer.

He always showered her with gifts of love and apologized for hurting her.

She had prayed and prayed that God would intervene, but she finally had to call the police and file charges against him.

He came to court in his work uniform and always convinced the judges to let him go on some technicality.

She had taken enough and decided to get a restraining order.

She quickly and happily moved to safer quarters.

A week later, the police found her dead and next to her body was a note from her husband—the minister.

The End

 

Title: The Ball                    

The children were so happy, Santa had bought them a ball for Christmas.

It had snowed, but now in January the snow was melting and the weather was much warmer.

The boys begged their mother to go outside and play with their new ball in the yard.

She finally agreed after she had explained that they had to be safe and not let the ball roll into the street.

She carefully watched the children play from the front door and smiled as they enjoyed throwing the ball to each other.

The mother turned and ran into the kitchen for a split second to check on the dinner, when she heard a car’s tires screech.

Her sons ran into the house, and the older boy said, “Mom, we didn’t go after our ball in the street like you told us and the nice man stopped his car and got our ball for us!”

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading these stories. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like them or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Celebrity Guest Author – Keith Thomas Walker

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Keith Thomas Walker

Title: Brick House 3

Genre: African A

merican/Romance

Synopsis: After graduating college, Korah’s daughter Stephanie is eager to take the helm of her family’s legacy. She also has her sights set on Baron Grant, a lead foreman at the company. Korah fears this reckless pursuit of prominence and love could spell trouble. When the dust settles, will Texas Builders still be on the rise, or will Stephanie’s office romance cost them their rising star?

Keith Thomas Walker, Author

CH: Today’s Celebrity Guest Author is Keith Thomas Walker. He is known as the Master of Romantic Suspense and Urban Fiction. Welcome to my blog, Keith.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

KTW: I write real stories about real people.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

KTW: No, it wasn’t hard to create believable situations and issues in Brick House 3.  All of my books have believable plots with down to earth people.  That’s important to me.  I do sometimes take stories from real life and embellish them, but not for this book.  Nothing I’ve heard about is as interesting as Korah and Brick’s stories.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

KTW: With the Brick House series, I wanted an alpha female; a strong, black business owner.  I liked the idea of a woman in charge on a major level.  That’s something I’d never written about before.  I’m not sure why I focused on construction, but it fit perfectly. Once I created Korah, I needed to pair her with a hero, and I hit a homeroom with Brick.  He’s as confident and powerful as the heroine.  Brick adds that sexy testosterone every romance novel needs.  I love that he’s so cocky and caring.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

KTW: Yes.  I generally write stand-alones, but this time I knew I wanted to write a series.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

KTW: For Korah, I wanted a beautiful, successful, family-oriented mother, like Michelle Obama.  Michelle gave America a new vision of a prominent black woman.  Her class, grace and style has been wonderful to watch for the past eight years.  The way she loves Barack and raises their children makes my heart sigh.  I will truly miss them in the White House!  For Brick, I don’t believe there was any inspiration.  I’ve never met or heard of anyone quite like him.  He’s all kinds of special.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

KTW: In Brick House 3, Stephanie was probably the hardest character for me to write, because she made a few decisions I wouldn’t have advised.  The drama definitely added intrigue to the story.  But there are certain characters I love so much, it’s actually hard for me to treat them a certain way.  Lol.  Sorry, if I’m being vague.  I’m trying to avoid any spoilers.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

KTW: I really enjoyed writing Baron’s character.  He has a lot of characteristics I identify with, such as his work ethics, his family values and his maturity level.  I enjoy his strength and wisdom.  Baron suffered a number of setbacks in his lifetime, but he pushed forward and is successful.  I enjoyed his interactions with Stephanie.  The couple has many differences, but they fit together surprisingly well.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

KTW: Lol.  I don’t get asked that question very often.  I’m gonna flake on the answer, because I write so zealously, I can put out five to eight thousand words a day.  A full-length novel has between 60,000 and 80,000 words.  With that math, I can write a book in a month.  Unfortunately, some readers think the work is rushed and subpar if you tell them that.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

KTW: I bring a lot of suspense to my romance novels, and I do my best to avoid predictability.  I know the romance novel formula—boy meets girl, they fall in love, they break up, they get back together and live happily ever after—is fairly concrete.  Because of the formula, a lot of readers know how a book will end within the first few chapters.  I work outside of the romance formula, as often as possible, and I like to add unconventional plots and storylines within the formula.

CH: Since you have many awards and nominations, what has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

KTW: The most exciting thing will always be my first book deal with a major publisher.  Like most writers, I accumulated a lot of rejection letters before I got one that said they were excited about my book and wanted to publish it.  Fixin’ Tyrone was my first published novel in 2009.  That experience will always hold a special place in my heart.

CH: How much of your leading man is based on you?

KTW: I touched on this a little already, but in Brick House 3, Baron and I have quite a few things in common.  He’s honest, loyal and devoted to his family, as I am.  He experienced major setbacks in life, and I have as well.  He was determined to do whatever he could to get back on his feet after those setbacks.  And of course, Baron is a hit with the ladies, and I’m, um… married.  Lol.

CH: Is there another book in this series?

KTW: The Brick House series has part one, part two and part three.

CH: You’ve won numerous awards and have been nominated for various titles and awards. If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

KTW: I’d love to work with Stephen King and Walter Dean Myers.  I have fond memories of both of those authors from my childhood.  Stephen King is the first author I fell in love with.  Evidence of his influence appears in some of my novels, like Sleeping With the Strangler, Blood for Isaiah and Colored Rags.  Later in my writing career, when I started the Finley High series, I thought back to the things I learned from Walter Dean Myers.  I’ve always appreciated that he writes about today’s urban youth, rather than witchcraft and sorcery, which has taken over the teen/young adult genre.

CH: You seem to have quite a following. What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

KTW: My readers have always been very supportive.  They’re encouraging.  They post reviews loyally—which is the best thing they can do to help promote my books.  Sometimes they send me sweets!  The feedback I receive from them has always been one of my most motivating forces.  I love my readers!  They mean the world to me.

CH: How to Find Keith Thomas Walker:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your books are sold?

KTW: My eBooks are sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  My paperbacks are available on those sites, as well as, any site that sells paperbacks.  You can find my books in public libraries and of course, on my website.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KTW: Thank you for having me!  I had a lot of fun with this interview.  I look forward to interacting with anyone who reads it!

CH: Thank you so much, Keith Thomas Walker, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Keith Thomas Walker.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Ruth E. Walker

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Title: Living Underground

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: A woman’s lover from her youth resurfaces in her adult life, and she is drawn into the turmoil surrounding disturbing accusations about his Nazi past. From pre WWI Dresden, Germany to contemporary urban Toronto, the dual point of view narrative crosses continents and moves through time as it explores the ambiguity of human emotion, how our natures can embody both the ideals and delights of love alongside the most base and dispassionate sensibilities.

Ruth E. Walker, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ruth E. Walker. A Canadian author and Ruth’s work has been published in the US, Canada and the UK. Welcome to my blog Ruth.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

REW: Plot: A long-lost childhood mentor resurfaces in Sheila’s life. But is Sigmund a hunted Nazi war criminal or a resistance fighter? Theme: Memory, desire and loss unite two hearts in a story that crosses oceans, generations and unforgivable guilt.

CH: The topic is unique. Where did you get the idea for this book?

REW: I was barely a teenager when I used to help my mom do housekeeping for our basement apartment renters. One of our tenants was quite unusual—he had no personal items beyond his toiletries and clothing. No books. No magazines. No papers. Not even a photograph or a simple knickknack. There was absolutely nothing that spoke of a life. I remember thinking at the time, Who lives like that?

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

REW: I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when I was eleven or twelve. I couldn’t believe what I read about the Holocaust. I continued to have a special interest in the subject, because I didn’t understand how a person can ignore compassion and kill others so efficiently and coldly. And I’m also interested in memory—how more than one person can see the same event, but remember it differently. Our ‘baggage’ influences our perception. The idea influenced a lot of how adult Sheila remembers (and doesn’t remember) things in her past.

In my research, I accessed some rarely seen footage of concentration camps and training films for the Gestapo. I continue to be haunted by what I saw.

But I also discovered the resistance movement in Germany…mostly young people who risked everything—many who died—to oppose and undermine the Nazi regime. It gave me hope.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

 REW: The character of Sigmund was based on the man who lived in our family’s basement apartment. But I had no interaction with him, so I had to make up his life, his dreams, his pain and his pleasures. I loved ‘discovering’ his past as I wrote his sections.

There’s a little bit of ‘Ruth’ in the character of Sheila, but overall she’s really quite different from me. I love music, but have no interest in running a big box music store. I have a pretty good relationship with my kids, but Sheila struggles to connect with her only child. And unlike Sheila, I’ve been happily married to my high school sweetheart for 43 years.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

REW: I have a secondary character, Robin, who is gay. I didn’t want to create a caricature—I wanted him to be real and believable. But it was also important that readers quickly recognize Robin’s sexuality. Happily, readers seem to feel that I’ve made him real and believable, and more importantly, they discover how his relationship with Sheila gives greater depth to her personality.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

REW: I loved writing Sigmund. He is such an enigma—complicated and complex. One minute I’m thinking, oh, good, he’s really a nice guy. And then I’m thinking, oh my God Sigmund, you can’t be serious…

I am a ‘pantser’…meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I’m not a ‘plotter’ when I write. I’m aware of the importance of plot, but I follow my characters, allow them to lead me through their lives. And they don’t always tell me where they are going. Sigmund delivered to me the most surprises. I miss the challenge of writing him.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

REW: Which time? 🙂  The first full draft was a semi-finalist in a novel competition. But even so, that first draft was rejected by many publishers. They were right to reject it. Living Underground is barely based on that first draft. I was a busy mom with four children and foster children, so my time to edit and work on the manuscript was limited. It took 12 years to become the novel that Seraphim Editions published in fall 2012.

CH: Most of your readers say that the story lingers in their mind after completing the book. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

REW: I think readers are challenged and intrigued by their uncertainty and the moral questions I suggest throughout the book. And I leave them with questions. Questions about what they would have done, if they were in the shoes of either of my two main characters. Questions about their own lives, about the choices they have had to make—perhaps to survive, perhaps to forget and move on, etc.

When I visit book clubs, readers tell me the story and the characters stick with them. There’s no greater validation for a writer than to have readers tell me they couldn’t put my book down. Of course, reading is a personal experience and not everyone loves my book. But it is very cool to hear from all readers, no matter how they felt about the book. I believe a book no longer belongs to the writer when it’s published—it belongs to the readers.

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

REW: I grew up in suburban Toronto, Canada, during the 1960s. We lived in east-end Scarborough in a mix of middle-class/working class, light industrial neighbourhoods. Many of our neighbours were European immigrants, who worked in those industries. I set my story there because it was a time and place I know very well.

But I’ve written a lot of work that is not influenced by my background. The book I’m working on now is a science fiction/fantasy in another world. I certainly didn’t grow up on that planet. 🙂

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

REW: That man who lived in my basement apartment, the one with no books, no photos, no magazines—nothing that spoke of a life lived—he haunted me. He only stayed a few months and, like many of our tenants, moved out with no forwarding address. Who lives like that? I asked myself that as an eleven-year-old. And I continued to ask myself that as an adult. When I first started to write just before turning 40, I thought I’d write a short story about him and get it out of my system.

The short story got longer. Eventually, it became the first draft of 55,000 words. As I developed my writing craft and honed my narrative voice, each draft got stronger. Eventually, it became Living Underground.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

REW: We are capable of doing horrific things. We are also capable of being compassionate humans, who have empathy for others. It is a matter of choice, but sometimes that choice is not so easy.

CH: Since you are a debut author, is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

REW: I admire many writers; among them, William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. I can only aspire to be the best writer I can be and hope to create stories that connect emotionally with readers.

CH: Do you write full-time or part-time?

REW: I write full-time. I’m a partner in Writescape, so I also teach workshops on a variety of writing-related topics, from craft to the business of writing. And I organize writing retreats for writers at all levels of the writing journey. It is so satisfying to watch writers explore their voice and develop stronger skills.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

REW: My novel was published in fall 2012. I thought, as a debut novelist, I’d have no more than 6 months interest and then that would be that. Remarkably, Living Underground continues to receive interest from North American readers. As a Canadian author, I am always delighted to hear from American readers, and I’ve visited book clubs in Virginia and Michigan, and even chatted via conference call with an international book club. I guess it shows that story is story, no matter where it’s set.

So far, I’ve never had to say ‘no’ to an invitation from readers. I believe readers honour me and my writing by expressing an interest, and I’m happy to respond as best I can.

CH: Where to find Ruth E. Walker:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

REW: Living Underground is available online in either trade paperback or Kindle edition through Amazon.com and through Amazon.ca. My publisher, Seraphim Editions, has an ebook edition at www.seraphimeditions.com. I also have a few copies available for $12 (plus $3.00 S&H); these copies I can sign and personalize, upon request. Contact me at: walkwrite@sympatico.ca

CH: Any closing remarks?

REW: Thanks very much, Cheryl, for the kind invitation to visit your blog. All the best to you and your readers for a 2017 that is filled with unforgettable characters that come to life in page-turning books.

CH: Thank you so much, Ruth E. Walker, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Ruth E. Walker.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts for the New Year

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Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts for the New Year

Some of my fans and readers are on the One Year Book Plan. If you are you are, you should have written 8 pages or 2,000 words. Yay!

Some of my fans and readers are on the Write When You Can Plan, who tend to write most on weekends.

My thoughts are this, “I don’t care when or how much you write, as long as you write and you recognize that ‘Writers write.’”

Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts

I firmly believe in My 3 P’s of Writing—passion, persistence, and practice. Here are my definitions:

Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

Persistence is firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Practice is repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

 

Writing can be a lonely situation.

 

My downfall of writing is that I am alone most of the time, but at least I’m in good company. Since I am an introvert, it doesn’t really matter to me. When I come up for air, I visit with my writer friends, family and others. I have a sign in my office that reads: I live in my own little world, but it’s okay…they know me here!

When all else fails…I am still a Writer!

 

 

Guest Author Interview – Chelle Ramsey

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Title: BeJeweled: Standing Strong (The House of BeJeweled Book 4)

Genre: African American/Romance

Synopsis: Olivia has overcome many challenges and disappointments in her life. Yet, when faced with an unexpected death of a family member, and witnessing the murder of someone she cares for, she isn’t sure she can survive. The losses incurred on this journey may cause her to pay the ultimate sacrifice.

The return of Black and Kianna means the puzzle pieces of Angel’s life are finally locking into place. The picture is different than she envisioned. Angel must determine if uncovering the truth of their past, is worth the sacrifice of her new relationship.

Kianna’s played dirty in the past, but this time the fight is deadly. She’s willing to go all in to expose the truth, which will cause everyone in the game to ante up. Will her sacrifice be more than she bargained for?
Black’s gambled several times in the past, but this time the stakes are high. With his life and those of his family serving as the bargaining chips, it isn’t that easy to fold. To protect those he loves the most, he may have to sacrifice his own life to save theirs.

Angel. Kianna. Black. In the end everyone must bear their cross. And the truth is so explosive, the House will never be the same. One will stand strong and walk away. One will stand strong and make the ultimate sacrifice. And one will stand strong and won’t survive!

Chelle Ramsey, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Chelle Ramsey. She wants readers to prepare for an emotional rollercoaster ride—one page at a time. Welcome to my blog, Chelle.  

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

CR: Not really, but here goes: The House of BeJeweled staff comes together against a truth so explosive, the House will never be the same again.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

CR: I’m a pantser! I fly by the seat of my pants and allow my creativity to take over when I write. There’s not a particular rhyme or reason to how I develop my concepts. It usually starts in the form of a dream, or a thought that may cross my mind. My desire to explore the “What-if” continuum drives me to the computer and I let my fingers fly, and my muse soars on the wings of creativity. Oftentimes, I have no idea of neither where the story will take me throughout its creation, nor how it will end.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

CR: It’s never hard to develop these situations or issues. I usually take them from a dream or thought that I will have, and allow it to flow from there. Every now and then, something in real life will inspire me. I work to ensure the concepts are as believable and close to real-life as possible. I want my works to engage, entertain, enthrall, minister to, and inspire readers.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

CR: This series started off as one large, very large book. My husband told me that I needed to do something different with it to pull it together. He was uncertain as to what that ‘something’ was. I sent it to a few Beta readers, and one of them happened to be another phenomenal author. She suggested that I had enough content to create a three to five book series.

Honestly, I was overwhelmed with that idea and initially rejected it. She suggested that I give each of my primary characters their own story. I went back and begin plugging in the back story to each of them, added some cream here and there, and a dash of puff, and ‘wala’! I had a series.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

CR: I had no clue the first book would be a series. I just knew it would be entitled BeJeweled. Once the series concept came into play, they became The House of BeJeweled, and each title starts with BeJeweled, followed by a sub-title.

CH: Which book in the BeJeweled series was hardest to write?

CR: Book three, BeJeweled: A Beautiful Blend. The entire series became a labor of love between my husband and myself. Yet, we disagreed on that particular book a lot. We finally arrived at the perfect agreement on the book.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

CR: Kianna was my favorite character to write, with all of her sassy attitude. Olivia was the most challenging character for me to write. As she watched the turmoil in the lives of others, as well asm her own life challenges. She had to remain faith-filled. Her character grew a lot as she embraced new opportunities, and grew to different stages of her walk in Christ.

CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?

CR: I would love to think that she’s based on me, but I doubt it. Most people tend to think that I share some of her qualities, but I’m not so certain. I aspire to be like her one day…when I grow up.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CR: Learning to believe in yourself, and that your life resolutions are oftentimes right in front of you. Simply open your heart to truly loving the Lord, accepting His love, and walking in faith to live the best life possible.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

CR: There is a lot of drama that’s always occurring. I’ve often been told that people become emotionally involved to the point they want to fight some of my characters. Then they leave inspired, or encouraged. I love to take my readers’ “…emotions on a roller coaster ride, one page at a time.”

CH: You’ve written several books. What contributes to your success as a writer?

CR: I believe it’s important to write from your heart, and what you believe in. If you don’t feel it, don’t fake it.

CH: Since this is the last book in this series, what can we expect next from you?

CR: I have three other books completed, two half-completed, and began a few different projects. I am currently tossing up the idea of either re-releasing my first two books that I pulled off sale a few years ago, or releasing a duology, entitled A Woman’s Design.

CH: What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

CR: The most exciting experience was when I released my first novel, Reflections of Promises, and saw it listed on Amazon. I think that will always be the most exciting, regardless of what happens next.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

CR: My readers seem to love my works, and they either love or hate the different characters. I have also heard that I need to release books more often. Hopefully, that will be happening in the near future.

CH: How to find Chelle Ramsey:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

CR: On Amazon and on my website at Chelles Book Café.

CH: Any closing remarks?

CR: Follow your dreams, hold onto your faith, and live life beautifully inspired!

CH: Thank you so much, Chelle Ramsey, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Chelle Ramsey.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Angela J. Ford

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Title: How to Plan An Epic Book Launch in 6 Steps

Genre: Education/Reference

Synopsis: So you want an epic book launch but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’ve launched a book before and it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped!

The question is what should you be doing? What are the steps to follow for a book launch?

I’ll lay it all out in this quick guide, along with a launch timeline and marketing ideas to keep the book buzz strong!

Angela J. Ford, Author

CH:  Today’s Guest Author is Angela J. Ford. She’s passionate about helping creatives achieve their dreams. Welcome to my blog, Angela.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

AJF: You are writing a book and you need ideas on how to have a successful book launch.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the book?

AJF: Since releasing the first book in my epic fantasy series, I’ve had several authors reach out to me with questions about book marketing and book launching strategy. I came up with the idea to write a blog post with those tips and from there it turned into a book.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book full of tips?

AJF: Writers were asking questions and I found it easier to put the answers in one place and provide it to them in the format of a book.

CH: Why is research the most important aspect of a book launch?

AJF: Research is huge because you want to make sales. In order to make sales, you have to know who you’re selling to. Research helps you find out the buying habits of the readers you’d like to sell do. During the research phase, you’ll be able to discover where they buy from, what kind of book format they prefer, where they hang out online, offline, and what their purchasing power is.

CH: Do you have any special advice for a book launch that is not included in the book?

AJF: Yes, it turns out I have so much to share that’s not in the book I turned it into a course. One of these is to put together your book budget, so you don’t overspend. I also recommend having different marketing campaigns for each month. If you execute all of your marketing plans at one time, you’ll become overwhelmed.

CH: How many book launches have you presented for yourself and others?

AJF: Oh, wow, I’ve been on several book launch teams and I have about 30 students in my course. Personally, my book, The Five Warriors, has been my biggest and most successful book launch.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?

AJF: Actually no, I did not do a lot of research for the book specifically. I did have to do a lot of research, while planning and implementing my book launch plan. I drew from that experience when writing the book.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

AJF: No, actually, because it was based on experience. It ended up being easy to write, although, it certainly took some time.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

AJF: I’m a very casual teacher and that comes out in my writing style. It’s like we’re sitting in my living room chatting over coffee.

CH: You’ve written several books. What contributes to your success as a writer?

AJF: While it’s hard to pinpoint what it is exactly, I think it comes down to two things: writing a great story; and being consistent with marketing it. As a writer, I’m always seeking advice and looking to improve my work. As a marketer, I’m looking for new opportunities and creative ways to get the word out and reach new audiences.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers of this book?

AJF: Oh, wow, readers have been so complimentary. I’ve had comments, reviews, and direct messages on social media; and even emails about it. It’s all very positive and encouraging.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

AJF: How to Plan an Epic Book Launch in 6 Steps is available as an eBook on Amazon.

CH: How to find Angela J. Ford:
  • Angela’s Website: http://angelajford.com
  • Angela’s Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2hWJcYJ
  • Angela’s Author Page: http://amzn.to/2iQZbvl

CH: Any closing remarks?

AJF: Once you publish a book, the key to success is to continue to reach new audiences. You can do this by consistently marketing your book. Great interview. Thank you!

CH: Thank you so much, Angela J. Ford, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Angela J. Ford.

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Wishes Everyone A Happy 2017 New Year

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My New Year Wishes for Everyone!

To My Writer Friends…A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a ‘Beautiful Story’ for you and others to read.

To My Reader Friends…May you read many books and may one of them be written by me.

To My Blog Friends…May you continue to read many blogs and remain a fan of my blog.

To All of My Friends…Have a Promising, Fulfilling and Blessed New Year!

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Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip and Best Writing Advice…Ever!

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Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip Ever!

If you write 1 page a day (approximately 250 words) for one year, you will have more than enough pages (365) and words (91,250) for a book.

How many days will you spend writing in 2017?

Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Advice Ever!

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. If you write 60 minutes (1 hour) a day for 365 days, you will have written for 21,900 minutes

How many minutes will you spend writing in 2017?

My 2017 Wish for You “is you will find the time to write the book you were meant to write during 2017. You can go from being a writer to being an author.

You can make 2017 your best writing year, EVER!”

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Suggests A 2016 Year-End Review of Your Writing

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Hi Creative Writers Everywhere,

The year is almost over and soon we will be thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and Writing Goals for 2017

Hey, Not so fast, I challenge you to do a 2016 year-end review of your writing and tell us about it?

I mean…Think about it… what great writing success did you have in 2016?

What went well for your writing in 2016? Did you do any great writing?

Made the Best Seller List…Sold 5,000 copies of your book…Started a Blog…Got a Contract…Got an Agent…Self-Published your Book

Let’s share it on my blog!

So, here’s how I review my year (the short version).

What went well for my writing in 2016:

I published two books: A Sisterhood of Women Living Life and The Proposal: A Leap of Faith.

Two of my books were considered for awards: Cougar Tales: Jamaican Love and A Sisterhood of Women Living Life.

I was chosen as an Author to Watch by Best Indie Book Awards.

I sold lots of books on Amazon.com.

I already started writing books for 2017!

My Advice to New Writers (Pay it Forward to others)

Write. Write. Read. Write. (Remember: This is the key to being successful.)

Learn your craft—take writing classes and workshops. (Remember: Before you can make it big, you have to learn the ropes.)

Get a website—it is your bill board to the world. (Remember: Readers have to be able to find you.)

Use professionals—editor, graphics designer, and formatter. (Remember: You have to look good to your readers.)

Pay it forward to another author/any author. (Remember: You have to share with others.)

My Writing Goals for 2017

Create/Recreate my Action Plan for my writing

Publish my book, The Lady in The Trunk.

Publish a full-length romance novel.

Take James Patterson’s Writing Workshop

Social Media Plan-Increase the number of subscribers on my blog, CherylHolloway.net/blog.

Continue writing more novels and short stories.

This is Important. So, here’s what I want you to do:

Today, I want you to take some time to think about what went well this year for your writing. Then, I want you to think about what advice you can give to other writers. And finally, I want you to think about what your big plans are for 2017.

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. How many minutes will you spend writing in 2017? My 2017 Wish for You “is you will find the time to write the book you were meant to write during 2017. And you can make 2017 your best writing year, EVER!”

Even better? I want you to tell my blog fans and readers.
I want you to leave a comment on this blog post. Write the comment like this:

Hi, My Name is __________________.

My website is __________________________________ (a little free publicity for you)

  1. My writing and What Went Well in 2016: [Insert What Went Well]
  2. My Advice for a New Writer: [Insert any advice, tips, books, etc.]
  3. My Writing for 2017: [Insert any goals, great events, New Books, etc.]   Go leave the comment now.
    Thanks for Participating.

Guest Author Interview – Terry Nicholetti

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Title: NoraLee’s Adventures on Planet Ifwee

Genre: Children/Multigenerational

Synopsis: NoraLee Johnson is a little girl, eight years old, who does not like doing her chores – and misses her grandparents. She gets invited by an interplanetary visitor, Loofi Mondel, who is nine, to take a voyage to Planet Ifwee , where the motto is, “If we care, it’s magic.”

NoraLee meets residents like Robinia Clarinda Gazaundry who helps her dad with the family laundry and Mather and Dunobi Schroom, who tell why they’re cleaning their room.

From her new friends, NoraLee learns to do something because she cares, give herself gold stars because she feels so proud, and tell her grandparents so they can be proud too. She learns how to strengthen her resilience, her self-esteem and her connection with loved ones by using GoldStar Magic!

The last page of the book is a series of questions for families to discuss how to make their own GoldStar Magic.

Includes a link to a Free download of the fun, energetic and very musical Ifwee Song.

Terry Nicholetti, Author

CH: Today’s Guest is the multi-talented Terry Nicholetti. Terry has connected with her creative source energy and writes entertaining children’s books. Welcome to my blog, Terry.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

TN: NoraLee’s Adventures on Planet Ifwee is a delightfully illustrated  rhyming book  encouraging children 4-8 years (and their families) to view doing chores as acts of caring and togetherness.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this delightful children’s book? 

TN: Thanks for the “delightful!” I used to really hate doing the chores of daily life, like paying bills and doing laundry. I explored with my therapist the idea of doing tasks because I cared about myself and my life. The first month that I paid all my bills on time, in 1999, my therapist said, “Good job, Terry. Give yourself a gold star!” What a concept! I wanted to share this idea with my three young granddaughters, whom I missed dearly after moving to DC.

CH: What inspired you to write this charming children’s book?

TN: Using plain heavy paper, I developed the Two-Way Postal Cards, so my granddaughters could share what they had done that they were proud of, give themselves gold stars and write to Nana, so I could be proud too. I called this process “GoldStar Magic!” Then, at the urging of friends, I decided to market the Two-way Postal Cards, and, with the inspiration of Annie Campbell’s delightful artwork, I wrote and self-published NoraLee’s story as an entertaining way to explain GoldStar Magic!

CH: This book helps children to understand the importance of cleaning up and putting their things away. How did you decide to use the interplanetary visitor to help explain the real-life chores?

TN: The character of NoraLee came first. I had no idea how to write a children’s book, so I did what I always do when I want inspiration.  I wrote ‘how do I write this children’s book’ on a piece of paper and put it under my pillow one night. Then, I woke up the next morning with the first two lines: NoraLee Jones was chlimbing her tree when she heard Mama calling, ‘Come here, NoraLee.’ NoraLee Jones was a delightful little girl that my sister had taught many years ago in Special Ed classes. Then, I changed her last name to Johnson, because it sounds better.

CH: Is this book a re-release? If so, why did you decide to release it again? Did you add anything new?

TN: We just released the Kindle version of the book, the book was first published in 2001. We improved the cover to reflect some things I learned in a course about publishing children’s books. We also changed the font inside to be more appropriate for kids.

CH: How did you find an illustrator? 

TN: Annie Campbell is a dear friend whose work I had long admired. I took out a home equity loan for the whole project because there was no publishing on demand for a kid’s book back then. She gave me a very good price, but it was still thousands of dollars. I’ll have to do the next books in the series differently. Annie no longer does illustrations and I’m going to look for an illustrator on Fiverr whose style is similar to hers.

CH: Could you tell us a little about the author/illustrator working relationship?

TN: It was glorious. I had the ideas but Annie gave them form and shape and color. She developed NoraLee and Loofi for me, before I even had the whole story just by my telling her how they appeared to me. We worked page by page through the text and then Annie did her thing.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style for children?

TN: I’ve been enjoying the reviews on Amazon. I guess, I took my rhyming talent and skills for granted. I loved the feedback, especially that it’s funny! Also, I love teaching through NoraLee’s discoveries, rather than giving some kind of lecture.

CH: Can you tell my audience a little about reading your book to small children?

TN: One thing I love to do is to read the second line of a rhyming couplet leaving off the last word and encouraging the children to call out the word— they get excited when they get it right, which is almost always!

CH: Does being an adult give you a different perspective on writing children’s literature? If so, how?  

TN: I’m not quite sure, but I do want to write for children without talking down to them.

CH: What was the book you loved as a child?   

TN: Blue Willow, about the experiences of Janey Larkin, the ten-year-old daughter of a migrant farm worker in the 1930s by Doris Gates. We lived in Hawaii, at the time, and I wanted to write a book, Green Palm Tree. I didn’t, but I’m catching up now!

CH: Where do you come up with ideas for children’s story? 

TN: I’ve always been someone who, once I’ve learned a life lesson, I want to share it with others. NoraLee’s stories give me an outlet for that.

CH: This book also includes a download of songs for children. How did you decide to add songs to the book?

TN: When I was writing NoraLee’s story of her journey to Planet Ifwee, I knew that, along with Annie Campbell’s gorgeous illustrations, I wanted a song that would capture the essence of Planet Ifwee’s motto, ‘If we care, it’s magic!’

So I turned to dear friend and brilliant children’s song writer, Jan Nigro, co-founder with his wife Janice of the Vitamin L Project. Since 1989, with Janice taking exquisite care of the business end as Project Director, Jan has been writing, producing and performing (with the Vitamin L Children’s chorus) award-winning character development songs that are uplifting and inspiring, as well as, musical and fun.

Jan took NoraLee’s story, set it to a dance-inspiring tune, and put together a delightful ensemble of singers to tell that story in character. He even enticed retired jazz singer, Peggy Haine, to give voice to Grandmother Graylea Thrishes. The result was a masterfully produced recording that has delighted children of all ages. A link to the recording is included in the Kindle edition of NoraLee’s story, and I offer it to you now as my gift to you and yours. You are welcome to download and share. (Right click on the play arrow, while you’re listening.)  http://goldstarmagic.com/ifweesong

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from children readers and their parents for this book?  

TN: I’m a little overwhelmed with the generosity and enthusiasm of the 38 reviews on Amazon.com. Readers love the ideas, as well as, the fun rhymes and delightful illustrations, and that makes me very happy.

CH: What is your next writing project?

TN: Finishing the content for my revised website, introducing my new product line and e-book, Encouraging YOU!, and at the same time, writing NoraLee’s Adventure Book 2 with my sister, a brilliant phychotherapist, who will add much richness to the project.

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

TN: On Amazon you can choose from among two versions: kindle, and paperback with the Family Pen-Pal kit.

CH: How to find Terry Nicholetti:

CH: Any closing remarks? 

TN: Cheryl, thanks for this opportunity to connect with you and your listeners. I hope NorLee’s story will make a difference in the lives of many children and families in an entertaining way. Blessings!

CH: Thank you so much, Terry Nicholetti, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Terry Nicholetti.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Rick Risemberg

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Title: Family Ties (The Lenny Strasser Stories Book 2)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

 Synopsis: A lakeside cabin in the Sierra foothills, a canyon village divided between old coots and laid-back hippies, and a bartender who’s as square as square can be. It’s just an all-too-rare escape from the hustle and bustle of L.A for Lenny and his ex-cop friend and landlord, Red Henshaw, when they arrive in Lake Helena for a weekend of rest and relaxation. Then they notice the couple in the battered van that dogs them everywhere they go…. Still, everything’s calm in the woods—till Red turns up missing. Lenny’s efforts to find his friend succeed in the worst way possible, and it’s up to a motley crew made up of a sex-crazed gallery owner, a squad of gay outlaw bikers, a cop turned short-order cook, and the suave and deadly Uncle Angie—Lenny’s future in-law—to set things straight. If they can. In this follow-up to The Dust Will Answer, Lenny Strasser, printshop production manager and accidental amateur sleuth, is tossed once more into the deep end of the off-beat to solve a double mystery.

Rick Risemberg, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rick Risemberg. A writer whose life changed when he began writing. Welcome to my blog, Rick.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read this book?

RR: Read it only if you want to be thrilled, confused, enlightened, and have a good laugh now and then.

CH: Since this book is a double mystery, how did you come up with the premise for it?

RR: I started with the plot-basis mystery, and developed the second-level mystery in elaborating the antagonist’s motivation.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

RR: No. My life has been varied and often peculiar, but much of this book—more than is the case for its predecessor—is invented. It all stays within the realm of plausibility, which in my life I have found is a pretty broad kingdom!

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

RR: I can blame real life for that. I lifted the first book’s major plot element from an actual incident, made up a character who was a little more believable than I am myself, and threw him into trouble to see what would happen. The last third of the first book wrote itself with little help from me; this one also went rogue, in a most delightful way.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

RR: Yes, I had intended it to become at least three books, maybe more.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RR: Alice, because she started off as a foil to mess up the plot, but insisted on becoming a major character herself.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

RR: That is hard to say. Denise Berthoud, perhaps, because her sense of humor was more subtle than the rest of the crew’s

CH: Since you have so many characters in this book, do you have anything to share about the main or supporting characters?

RR: They all share a hunger for love in its various forms, though in some it’s buried under desire for revenge. Everyone is building their own persona, and fumbling their way through life, often with a great deal of interference from a thoughtless world—Mae Belle, a black ex-cop with a tragic past, and several characters who are gay, especially. Everyone’s involved in trying to define or redefine what family means, and to reconcile that with the betrayals that have broken their lives in one way or another.

Then there’s “Family,” with a capital F, which dominates the last quarter of the story. A very different angle, which still ties in to the theme in the end.

Lenny’s purpose, as he comes to see it, is to bring all these wailing souls into something approximating harmony. Though he does throw Alice under the bus.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

RR: A powerful sense of place and a good ear for the way people speak as individuals, not types. My writing style is purposely sensual and subtly (I hope) musical in the narrative, and true to human vernacular in the dialog.

CH: How long have you been writing mysteries?

RR: Three years now.

CH: What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

RR: Getting good reviews from a wide variety of folks, literary sorts and everyday readers alike.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

RR: Yes. Don’t mistake vengeance for justice, and don’t hide from love.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

RR: So, far it’s been universally positive. I note that the early readers—including a woman who evaluates books for the LA Public Library—absolutely get the thematic core of the story. And they love the sense of place, and the comic relief.

CH: Have you ever considered writing in any other genre? If so, what? 

RR: Yes. I have plotting notes for a couple of spycraft stories, and also for straight-ahead literary novels. Though, I think the best mysteries are the equal of any literary novel.

CH: What is your next writing project?

RR: I am working on the third Lenny Strasser story. And I’m putting him through the wringer in this one.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RR: Website is till in progress, but I have a portfolio site at http://www.rickrise.com, and I have posted short stories and poems (as well, as an excerpt from the novel-in-progress) at https://medium.com/@richardrisemberg.

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

RR: Online at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboLulu, et al. It’s available to borrow at no cost in California libraries in the e-book collection. You’ll be able to order it into a local bookstore soon, as well.

CH: Where to find Rick Risemberg:

CH: Any closing remarks?

RR: If you have a hankering to write, start now. I waited too long—I mean, I wrote, but it was all articles and essays for many years. It’s a wonderful process, and, anyway, if you love to read, you owe it to literature to add a little back into the pool. Thanks, Cheryl for the interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Rick Risemberg, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Rick Risemberg.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

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Become a Subscriber_meme

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Merry Christmas 2016 from Cheryl Holloway, Author

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I want to wish my readers near and far a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.

Purple Xmas Tree  Purple Xmas Ornaments

Remember the Reason for the Season!

Celebrate with Friends and Your Loved Ones!

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Happy Holidays to All from Cheryl Holloway, Author

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As the excitement of the holidays fast approaches I want to take a moment to say Thank you for your support and commitment throughout 2016.  Both myself and small, but great, team have been working hard all year to ensure you read about the best books out there. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the best books available and wonderful writing info in 2017.

So, from the Cheryl Holloway Blog Family  to you and yours, Have A Very Merry Holiday!

Guest Author Interview – Kevin Moore

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Title: Christmas Stories: 7 Original Short Stories

Genre: Holidays/Christmas

Synopsis: Fans of short fiction will love Christmas Stories. Each tale in author Kevin Moore’s debut collection celebrates the hope, magic, and memories, so central to the true meaning of Christmas.

Celebrate the season of miracles with this collection of short stories about the lives of ordinary people and the lessons they learn during an extraordinary time of year.

You’ll meet a young boy who reevaluates his perceptions after he’s forced to spend Christmas with his stern grandfather, an attorney who seemingly has everything but really has very little; a burned-out homecoming queen who grows weary of her own excuses for failure; and many other memorable characters. As Moore’s protagonists face adversity and sadness, they learn important lessons, gain hope, and experience powerful transformations.

The perfect length for reading before bed, on your daily commute, or during a quiet hour, these tales offer you the opportunity to step away from your own life and into a world where it’s always Christmas and where—despite the often painful realities of life—there is always a lesson to learn and a reason to celebrate.

Kevin Moore, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Kevin Moore with his debut book. He weaves a rich tapestry of life’s exquisitely complex journey into his book. Welcome to my blog, Kevin.

CH:  Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

KM: That’s a little difficult, since each story has its own life. But the theme would be raising your game, while lowering your judgments.

CH: Your Christmas book deals with the realities of life. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

KM: It was right after my brother died from a long illness, and I was extremely sad. Christmas is usually a festive time of year and one of the times of year that I have very happy memories. I like the contrast of having challenges, when the world around you is filled with beautiful lights, great music and wonderful food.

CH: There is a lesson to learn and a reason to celebrate. So, are most of these stories taken from real life?

KM: Some are, but some are pure fiction. “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree” is essentially a time travel story. “Angeles in the Midst” is an action adventure.

CH: Since this book involves different situations and issues, did you have to do any special research to write it?

KM: Well, some I lived and some – like “Comfort and Joy” which is about a lawyer had elements of cases that I looked at in the news.  However, the story itself was taken from people I may have known of.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

KM: I like to think I am more of a story teller, than a writer.

CH: How did you select the short stories that would be included in this book?

KM: I chose the ones that I liked and identified with and hoped the audience would recognize themselves in the characters or maybe wish they were like the character in someone way.

CH: What can readers expect in this book?

KM: Surprises. Not everyone or everything is what it seems and I like to think there is a little MAGIC in everyone.

CH: Which short story was hardest to write?

KM: “Comfort and Joy”

CH: Which short story was your favorite to write?

KM: “Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree”

CH: The premise is that these tales offer you the opportunity to step away from your own life and into a world where it’s always Christmas. Did you intend for this Christmas book to be read year round?

KM: Yes, because obstacles and challenges are a part of our lives—doing the right thing, rather than doing the easiest thing.  They just happened to be at Christmas, when for some people, emotions are heightened.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

KM: Each story has its own theme and quote to start the story. In “The Santa Suit,” the theme is judge not, lest you be judged. But I think maybe the overall theme is leave your expectations at the door, open your heart, and you may just surprise yourself in a very good way.

CH: You seem to have quite a following for your book. So, what kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

KM: Very favorable. I heard from a gal I went to grammar school with 40 years ago, she said, “I loved it!”  I’ve gotten a few people who stated that the characters gave them inspiration. Most comments were mainly that the stories were entertaining and very relatable.

CH: As a debut author, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

KM: Not while writing it, because I was very involved with the characters. I was really writing it for me. I didn’t think about the marketing.

CH: What is your next writing project?

KM: I am a lover of short stories; however, the market for short stories does not appear to be strong in this day and age, like it was when I first discovered wonderful writers as a kid. But that’s what I am working on.  However, this one is a thriller – other worldly!

CH: How to find Kevin Moore:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

KM: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Create Space and just about anywhere online.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KM: Yes, Cheryl, Thank You.

CH: Thank you so much, Kevin Moore, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Kevin Moore.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

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Become a Subscriber_meme

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Charles Lober

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Title: And the Bells Were Silent

Genre: Religious/Inspirational/Christian

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Gabrielle Appleton’s life is changing fast, and not for the better. Like the vase her younger brother broke, her family has shattered into pieces. And she has no clue why. Her father—an architect and part-time minister—unexpectedly quits both jobs and moves to the rural North Carolina town where he grew up. When Gabrielle visits him, she is dismayed to find the church where her grandfather preached for many years in disrepair. Its twin bells, the crown jewels of the town, sit silent in the church tower. A group of townspeople, joined by her father, work to restore the church, but run into opposition from an embittered, wealthy man. A talented artist, Gabrielle begins a painting of the church, envisioning it in its future splendor. But will her vision become a reality? When events seem to conspire to keep her parents apart and the church from reopening, her faith in God is tested.

Charles Lober, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Charles Lober. He is a good friend who writes Christian books with a message. Welcome to my blog, Charles.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read this book?

CL: And the Bells Were Silent is an uplifting coming-of-age story that will touch readers’ hearts.

CH: Since this book is a contemporary Christian novel and a young adult fiction, how did you come up with the premise for it?

CL: The idea of children coping with parental separation and possible divorce came from my life story. My son was around six years old when his mother and I divorced. I witnessed the pain and confusion he went through. And although, it was painful for me to relive this experience, I needed to do it.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

CL: On my daily walk around our neighborhood, I frequently stop at Marie Parkinson’s house. In her mid-eighties, she has led a fascinating life, which she delights in telling me about. I never tire of hearing it. When she told me about her father returning to his hometown to rebuild and pastor a church, the idea for this book was born. Around this nucleus, I built my own story.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your Christian writing style?

CL: I try to convey a message without being too preachy. This was difficult to do in this book, since Gabrielle’s father is a minister.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CL: The main character, Gabrielle—a female and a teenager.  Need I say more?!

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CL: Gabrielle! I was giving an author presentation to my daughter’s class several years ago and spoke with a girl named Elle (short for Gabrielle). I asked if anyone had ever teased her about her nickname and she said yes, that sometimes kids asked why her name was a letter. The character in my book wants to be called Gabrielle because, to her, it is a sign of her growing up. She is also an artist. It was fun mirroring Elle’s painting of the church with that on the book cover. I do the same for the sequel.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CL: That God is a God of restoration, if we let Him into our lives.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

CL: So far, the feedback has been very positive. Most of my readers tell me that they feel like they have experienced the scenes, as if they were actually there. When I write, it is like I am watching a movie, so I guess this comes across to my readers.

CH: What makes this genre so special to you?

CL: Maybe because my daughter is almost a teen. I also like the freshness of it.

CH: What is your favorite writing quote?

CL: A student once asked the author. Madeleine L’Engle. how to go about writing Christian fiction. This was her response: “I told her that if she is truly and deeply a Christian, what she writes is going to be Christian, whether she mentions Jesus or not. And if she is not, in the most profound sense, Christian, then what she writes is not going to be Christian, no matter how many times she invokes the name of the Lord.”…from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, 1972

CH: What is your favorite book? And why?

CL: My favorite in YA fiction would be I Lived on Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosín. Her writing is lyrical, which is no surprise, since she is a well-known poet.

CH: You’ve written several books, now. So, what has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

CL: Several years ago, I received the following letter from a friend:

“I was thinking today about the first time I heard one of your stories. You sent a large package to me at Johns Hopkins Hospital. My mom read them aloud to me and my roommate. My roommate was thirteen years old and had tumors wrapped around her spine and brain stem. She and her family were not Christians. They asked many questions about our faith, but we never made much headway. However, they would both listen intently as my mom read your stories. I just kept thinking, They’re getting to hear the gospel! Your work has been such a blessing in my life, and you have no idea how many you have truly touched. Praise God for such an awesome opportunity. I’m pretty sure my roommate didn’t survive. I mourn for her sometimes, but I know that I used every means possible to share the love of Christ with her, especially your stories. Thank you for this ministry.” Melissa Niven

When I shared the above letter with my editor, Kathy Ide, she replied, “This is what it’s all about, Charles. This is why God calls us to write: to touch lives and hearts for eternity.” If I have touched one life with my writing, then my dream has been fulfilled.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CL: Glad you asked! I’m working on the sequel entitled, And the Bells Were Silent, AGAIN in which the twin bells are stolen! It’s a mystery with fast-paced action.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

CL: My wife is working on it!

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

CL: On Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats or directly from me.

CH: How to find Charles Lober:

CH: Any closing remarks?

CL: To God be the glory! 

CH: Thank you so much, Charles Lober, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Charles Lober.

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