Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Title: Take Me with You

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his nineteen-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go.

What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip—and the bonds that develop between them—would prove, driving each to create a new destiny together.

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Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

CH: Catherine Ryan Hyde has graced me with the pleasure of a Celebrity Author Interview. You may know her as the Pay-It-Forward author. Welcome, Catherine Ryan Hyde.  

CRH: Thank you, Cheryl.

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

CRH: Sometimes the people who become most important in our lives are no blood relation to us—they are a surprise.

CH: This book has an unusual theme. Why did you decide to write this book?

CRH: I don’t know if it’s unusual. It has similarities to everything I write, in that it’s about relationships, love—but not the romantic kind. The kind that transcends differences and ages. I guess it’s unusual for a guy to take two of somebody else’s kids on a summer-long road trip with him. I hope that was a twist that my other novels don’t have.

I have my own little RV, and I’ve been to all of the places I write about in the book. I guess it was just a matter of time until an RV trip came up in my work.

CH: What do you want readers to take from this novel?

CRH: That we can be there for each other. That we can matter to each other. That we can help and save each other, just because we’re all human and we’re all in this together, not because of some logical indication that we “should.” And that we won’t go far wrong following our hearts.

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

CRH: I guess it depends on what you call exciting. I don’t write thrillers or intrigue or potboilers or page-turners. I don’t write heavily plotted novels. Some people think my books are too “deliberately paced.” They are about what it means to be human. Not that we don’t all know that. But I think, fiction can shed light on the human condition in a very beneficial way. It can make us feel more human, but in a good sense. It can make us feel more connected, more hopeful, and less alone. If that’s the kind of feeling you’re seeking in a book, then you might find my work exciting and different.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

CRH: I write very fast. I always have. I suppose, I always will. I’m not hurrying, or suggesting anyone else write at my speed. It’s just the way I work. On average, it’s about 4-7 months from the time I start a novel until the time I’m ready to show it to my agent or editor.

CH: You had 122 rejections before getting published. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

CRH: Yes. Expect rejection. Accept it as part of the experience of being a writer. Know that all writers go through it. Make up your mind going in that you won’t let it stop you. I can’t tell you not to let it hurt you, because you’re human, so it will hurt. Feel however you need to about it, just don’t let it stop you.

CH: Years ago, you said that you were an under published author. Now, that you have 25 books written and forthcoming, do you think you have accomplished your writing goals?

CRH: I feel I’ve exceeded them many times over. Because my goals weren’t all that lofty. I wrote “small” literary books, or so everybody told me. And we all know, they don’t make it big. (Actually, no one really knows what will happen in this business, but, anyway, that’s what they tell us.) So, I just wanted to make enough money with my writing that I could keep writing. Just enough that I wouldn’t have to get a full-time day job. And I had this dream that maybe just enough people would read my work that once, on a plane or at a cocktail party, I’d be talking to someone and find out they’d actually read me. The rest of this was unexpected, to say the least.

CH: What is your current opinion on celebrity books v. good books?

CRH: I don’t know that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. But they tend not to overlap much, I guess. I think the book business has become more and more like the movie business, in that it wants “guaranteed” successes only. I’m talking about traditional New York publishing, of course. So, I think for years what they’re willing to publish has been contracting as publishers tell people, often incorrectly, what they should want to read. But this never entirely works. First, there was the small press rebellion, now there is an absolute revolution in self-publishing. So, what I think about good books is that you can’t keep them down. They will get out there, these days more readily than ever. And like cream, they will rise to the top.

Saddlebag-Lake-Photo by CRH

One of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s other passions is photography. Here is a one of her stunning photos of Saddlebag Lake.

CH: Your mother was a writer and your two siblings are writers. Did this have any influence on you also becoming a writer?        

CRH: I think my mother did. When I was in the first or second grade, she came to my school for one of those “career day show and tell” things. She brought her published books and talked to my class. And later, I was able to see that the other kids were very impressed. To be a writer, they felt, made you a big deal. Not that my goal at this point is to impress anyone. But I think, a thing like that gets under your skin and shapes your world view.

Of course, there’s the old “nature vs. nurture” debate. Could be I was simply born with the right kind of brain for this work. God knows I’ve yet to figure out what else it’s good for.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

CRH: Well, I’ve never done any kind of collaborative fiction, but as this is hypothetical… Kurt Vonnegut springs to mind. I grew up on his work, and I think he had a fascinating mind. He was someone who struck me as fiercely intelligent; yet, full of heart. I just would have enjoyed knowing more about what made him tick.

CH: What book are you currently reading?

CRH: I’m reading my friend Holly Schindler’s middle-grade novel, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky.

CH: The Pay-It-Forward (PIF) book was a national best seller in 2000 and it was adapted into a movie. When you wrote the book, did you ever think it would change the world? 

CRH: Oh, goodness no. I didn’t even imagine it would get published. I was barely breaking into publishing at the time. Just the idea of ever seeing it in a bookstore was mental hurdle enough.

CH: The PIF experience is the power of giving. What keeps PIF going all of these years?

CRH: That’s one of those answers in which I honestly think your theory is as good as mine. The book and movie publicity is clearly no longer driving it, so the only explanation is that it somehow planted its own roots. But the “why” of it is a big one. There are more and more scientific studies being published that seem to corroborate my idea that receiving an act of kindness predisposes us to giving acts of kindness. So, maybe we really are kind at heart. You know, underneath our fears and defenses. Underneath all the armor we put on to live safely in this world. Maybe, the news really is good.

CH: I Pay-It-Forward on my blog to any author and it does make a difference from debut authors to celebrity authors. Is this what you had in mind when you said, “Why don’t we as humans just be kinder”?

CRH: I can’t honestly say what I had in mind with that, because it was something of a rhetorical question. It wasn’t a suggestion of how we should behave, because I never dreamed the world was open to taking any suggestions from me. It was said, I believe, in the context of the question that drove me to write the book. Which was: If we all say we want to live in a kinder world, and it’s easy enough to be kinder, then why don’t we just do it? Why doesn’t somebody just… start?

But the stories I see playing out in real life, yes. They’re the kind of thing I had in mind when I wrote the book. But that was fiction. I never really imagined it wouldn’t stay on the page.

CH: Take Me with You was just released earlier this week. You can find her book anywhere fine books are sold and online. Her website is www.Catherineryanhyde.com. Thank you so much, Catherine for joining us today!

Note: Photos are compliments of Catherine Ryan Hyde and the Internet.

CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!

 

K. S. Oliver – Guest Author Interview

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Title: Flatlined: Almost Doesn’t Count

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Inspired by a True Story – Life was all fun and games until the day 25 year old Kai Davis walked into a UK hospital passing out from an unknown disease that threatens her life. Just moving from Japan to England, not knowing many people and her military husband in Iraq on a 6-month deployment. Kai must learn to live with the cards she was dealt. Will she embrace the challenge or give up without a fight?

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Author: K. S. Oliver

CH: Hello K. S., welcome to my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

KSO: It’s inspired by my life…unfiltered.

CH: What inspired you to write this novel?

KSO: When I was diagnosed with Lupus the depression was taking over.

CH: Was it painful to revisit that the situations that are connected to your illness?

KSO: Extremely, I didn’t realize how angry I was.

CH: Did you leave out any stories that you wanted to include?

KSO: You never know what’s next.

CH: What are you doing to raise awareness for Lupus? Do you have a website to refer people to for Lupus?

KSO: I focus on my story, hoping it will inspire someone to tell theirs. I have a lupus group on facebook, and I promote my books through the National Lupus Foundation in Washington (DC).  They are supportive and it reaches more survivors. I have done multiple speaking engagements and fashion shows, including Lupus Support Groups. I always promote lupus awareness through #LHandSign #LupusAwareness          .

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

KSO: Part-time. I’m a Mother, Event Planner, Co-owner of a Publishing Company, Model, Public Speaker, Poet and Author.

CH: Since you’re a self-published author, do you plan on finding an agent or a publisher?

KSO: I have a Marketing Representative and I plan to remain self-published. No one works harder than I do for me.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

KSO: I have always been a writer. I write in diaries, etc. It was an escape.

CH: Do you have any writing rituals or do you listen to “mood music” when you write?

KSO: A good tv show and I go writing.

CH: Your cover is very descriptive of the content. Who designed the cover?

KSO: Aija Butler of AMB Branding designed my cover. She is a great designer, sister and friend. She understood my vision.

CH: Since this is an eBook, do you plan on having a paperback or hardback in the future?

KSO: It is currently in both eBook and Paperback.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

KSO: I am currently working on a novel with the Literary Ladies of Atlanta.

CH: Do you have a website?

KSO: www.authoressksoliver.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

KSO: Amazon, Google Play and my website.

CH: Any closing remarks

KSO: I have been to hell and back and it didn’t stop me from doing anything I wanted to do as a person or a businesswoman. It was just a bump in the road.

CH: Thank you, K. S.,  and thank you for sharing your novel and creating awareness about Lupus disease with my audience.  

 

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

 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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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Eric Jerome Dickey – Celebrity Guest Author Interview

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A Wanted Woman

Title: A Wanted Woman

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: The twenty-first novel from New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey, a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados.

Reaper is a woman of a thousand faces, an assassin who could be anyone, anywhere. 

The Trinidad contract was supposed to be simple: to make a living man become a dead man. When the job goes bad under the watchful eye of a bank security camera, there is nowhere for agent MX-401, known as Reaper, to hide from the fearsome local warlords, the Laventille Killers.

Her employers, the Barbarians, send her to Barbados, the next island over, barely two hundred miles away, with the LK’s in hot pursuit of the woman who took many of their own. With the scant protection of a dank safe house, no passport, and no access to funds, an island paradise becomes her prison.

While she trawls for low-profile assignments to keep her skills sharp and a few dollars in her pocket, Reaper discovers that family ties run deep, on both sides of the fight. Will the woman everyone wants, who has lived countless lives in the service of others, finally discover who she really is?

In A Wanted Woman, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers an adrenaline-pumping rush of a read.

Eric Jerome Dickey credit Joseph Jones Photography

Author: Eric Jerome Dickey

CH: I am so pleased to present to you today, our Celebrity Guest Author, Eric Jerome Dickey, who is best known for his novels about contemporary African-American life.

CH: Eric, thank you for joining us and welcome! Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

EJD: Reaper rocks.

CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for the story? 

EJD: So far as the premise, I was plot-shopping in Premises R Us, turned down aisle 6, saw that one under AWESOME THRILLERS, picked it up, paid for it.  The rest is history.

CH: You have created a page-turning thriller of murder and romance set in tropical Barbados. Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

EJD: Ideas come from letting the imagination run free and playing “What if?”  No formula.  No standard plots.

CH: A lot of your readers have been following you for years. Is it hard to create believable situations and new issues for your followers? Do you take situations from real life?

EJD: I just write, but I don’t think of what I am doing as being about “issues,” only as storytelling.  You’re only limited by your imagination and so I try to never let the cart lead the horse.  I keep away from real life, so far as what’s going on in the lives of the people I know.  It’s a great way to avoid lawsuits.

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

EJD: No messages.  Never a message.  Just enjoy being a fly on a wall.

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

EJD: Every book is a challenge.  This isn’t as easy as it looks.  It takes a lot of discipline, dedication, and green tea during the midnight hours.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

EJD: I research everything.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EJD: That would be a five-way tie between Nia, Gideon, Drive, James Thicke, and Reaper, everyone else coming in a very close second.  And this “favorite character” goes by the storyline, not just the description of a fictional character.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

EJD: I have no idea what inspiration means.  It’s a proactive occupation.  You get up, you work, no matter your disposition.  We all have to find a way to pay for food, clothing, and shelter.  I’m lucky to be able to do something that I enjoy doing between my alpha and omega.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EJD: The challenge is the plot, making it move in its own way, at its own pace, not being retentive or predictable, the proper dissemination of information, not the character, and each storyline has presented its own challenge. 

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

EJD: It varies and depends on the novel.  Some are shorter, like Genevieve, and others are more complicated and require travel and being out of my comfort zone for a season or two, like A Wanted Woman and the Gideon series.

CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel?

EJD: Twenty years.  LOL.  I have no idea.  I don’t keep up with the time.  Less than a year, months of rewriting, but I had a full-time job and many other interests at that time.  Still I set a deadline at some point, a great habit I picked from when I worked in aerospace.  Every project needs to have an end-date.

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Eric reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

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Cheryl Holloway and Eric Jerome Dickey at Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival in May 2014.

CH: I enjoyed meeting you at the Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival. You’ve had an impeccable publishing journey, along with many followers. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

EJD: Years.  It took years.  Missteps, bad contracts, lawsuits, and the show goes on. People tend to focus on being published, but the journey is about learning the craft. Everyone who owns a knife isn’t qualified to be a surgeon.  The journey was the transition from engineering to getting back into UCLA to try and reinvent myself, with no guarantee.  It’s a labor of love, not an easy money occupation.  Nothing is guaranteed.  You can write your heart out and never sell more than a handful of books.  It’s a long road, and will be a different journey for all, but the thing all have in common is discipline and determination.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

EJD: Well, nothing compares to completing the first novel.  Completing the novel, and not necessarily getting published. When you have done it and are holding it like it’s a newborn child.

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites? 

EJD: I read across the board.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I never name names.

CH: What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write? If you had to give them a blueprint for success, what would that be?

EJD: Study the craft.  It’s an occupation. Think of it as an engineering job.  You have to study the basics and work your way up to the advanced level.  But you have to rely on your imagination.  Follow the trends or become a trailblazer, it’s all up to you.

CH: As a NY Times bestselling author, you’ve written twenty-one novels, which book was hardest to write?

EJD: No idea.  Again, they all have their own challenges.  I made it to #30 on all of them, so that’s the thing that makes me smile.

CH: Please tell my audience where they can find your website.

EJD: My website is www.ericjeromedickey.com and from there you can link me on social media.

CH: Where are your books sold?

EJD: In all bookstores and online.  Pick your favorite book-buying spot and/or format and the novels/audio should be there waiting on you.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EJD: Enjoy Reaper!

CH: Eric Jerome Dickey, thank you so much for sharing your literary journey and your latest book with my audience. 

EJD: You are welcome, Cheryl.

Note: Photos are compliments of Eric Jerome Dickey and the Internet.

CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!

Wanda B. Campbell – Guest Author Interview

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Title: Doin’ Me

Genre: Christian Fiction

Synopsis: Desiring to be accepted and loved, Reyna Mills patterned her life after those claiming to have her best interest at heart: an unassuming mother, a controlling pastor, and an elusive God. After “godly” advice leaves her beaten, humiliated, and handcuffed in the backseat of a police car, Reyna rebels and decides to do things her way.

etermined she doesn’t need anyone, especially God, Reyna is led down a delusional path of love and belonging that just might lead to her destruction.

Will the relationship Reyna once had with God be enough to pluck out the root of bitterness and resentment before the enemy totally consumes her? What will it take for Reyna to realize that the love and acceptance she is longing for is right in front of her?

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Author: Wanda B. Campbell

CH: Hello Wanda, welcome to my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

WBC: Doin’ Me will help you discover your value, so you can effectively ‘do you’.

CH: Tell our readers what genre you write in, and why? Have you ever considered writing in any other genre? If so, what? 

WBC: My genre is Christian Fiction, also known as Inspirational Fiction. I chose Christian Fiction because I am a Christ-follower, and the real-life struggles Christians face are both traumatic and entertaining.  I enjoy crafting characters and storylines that teach powerful life changing lessons. Someday, I would love to write a Romance novel.

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

WBC: My characters are real and relatable. I don’t write about perfect people, or tell people how to become perfect. My characters do not use God, or the church to hide their flaws. Instead, I demonstrate how their flaws actually draw them closer to God.

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

WBC: My storylines are conceived from real-life situations. I have personally experienced many of the traumas and heartaches my characters have, or I know someone who personally has.

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

WBC: Reyna, the leading lady in Doin’ Me, is about 60% me and 40% imagination. You’ll have to read the book and guess what is real.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or themes?

WBC: My ideas come from multiple places. I might hear a song, or read a news segment and an idea will develop. The idea for my fourth novel came from observing a quadriplegic man work out with his wife at the gym.

CH: Do stories come to you as a whole concept?

WBC: Yes. When I begin writing, I pretty much know how the story will end. I just have to work the middle. Once the plot forms, the voices in my head begin conversing.

CH: When did you realize that you were meant to be a writer?

WBC: I realized writing was my passion after I completed the first story, and the stories wouldn’t stop coming. Before I could finish one manuscript, the plot for the next one would form. During the first year, I completed eight manuscripts.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

WBC: I began writing on December 13, 2005, on a dare with myself. I have been an avid reader since childhood. One day, after finishing a novel, I picked up a notepad and challenged myself to write a story. At the time, I didn’t have any intention of publishing the story.  However, the story became my first novel, First Sunday in October.

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

WBC: I was born in Chicago, but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I consider myself a California native, since I have lived here since early childhood.

My novels are strongly influenced by my background, family dynamics and career.

CH: What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?

WBC: The best advice I can offer a new author is to learn the business and have realistic expectations. Many new authors become discouraged when their first “baby” doesn’t become an overnight success.  Some new authors lack a clear understanding of how money is made and the amount of effort it takes to successfully promote a book. Despite popular belief, the publisher doesn’t work for the author, and it’s not the publisher’s job to promote your book.

CH: Do you have a website?

WBC: Yes. My website is www.WandaBCampbell.com Readers can also follow me on Facebook at Wanda B. Campbell Readers & Supporters.

CH: Where is your book sold?

WBC: My novels are available in both print and electronic formats. The titles are nationally distributed, and can be purchased at all major retail book stores; including Wal-Mart. E-books are available on all major online retail book sites.

CH: Any closing remarks?

WBC: Thank you, Cheryl, for exposing me to your readers.  Much success in your literary endeavors.

CH: Thank you, Wanda,  and thank you for sharing your Christian novel and your writing journey with my audience.  

 

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

 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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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Happy 4th of July – Independence Day Trivia

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INDEPENDENCE DAY TRIVIA

Can you name three cities with names that are related to Independence Day?

Independence, Freedom and Patriot

How many places can you name that are related to Independence Day?

Independence, California           Freedom, California
Independence, Iowa                   Freedom, Idaho/Wyoming
Independence, Kansas              Freedom, Indiana
Independence, Kentucky            Freedom, Maine
Independence, Louisiana           (Dr. Thomas) Freedom, Maryland
Independence, Michigan            Freedom (Township), Michigan
Independence, Minnesota           Freedom, New Hampshire
Independence, Mississippi         Freedom, New York
Independence, Missouri             Freedom, Oklahoma
Independence, Ohio                   Freedom, Pennsylvania
Independence, Oregon               Freedom, Wisconsin
Independence, Pennsylvania
Independence, Texas                  Patriot, Indiana,
Independence, Virginia                 Patriot, Ohio
Independence, West Virginia
Independence, Wisconsin

Which states have at least two patriotic cities?

Independence, California              Patriot, Indiana
Freedom, California                      Freedom, Indiana

Independence, Ohio                      Independence, Michigan                                             Patriot, Ohio.                                 Freedom, Michigan

Independence, Pennsylvania        Independence, Wisconsin
Freedom, Pennsylvania                 Freedom, Wisconsin

Do you know what is my favorite Independence Day Song?                                     Hint: I’m from a military family.

I’m Proud to be An American/God Bless the USA

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J. E. Thompson – Guest Author Interview

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Title: Phantoms of Rockwood

Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis: Ghosts, who were young basketball players that died too early, are given an opportunity to return to life. They inhabit the bodies of living basketball players to inspire, motivate the starters to the coveted State Championship. As they themselves continue to learn life’s obstacles that can only be overcome in growing up.

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Author: J. E. Thompson

CH: J. E., welcome to my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

JET: In my novels, I want the reader to experience places that are filled with hopes, dreams, challenges and fears that make us human…I want readers to intensely feel these emotions.

CH: Your characters are ghosts, who were young basketball players that died too early, and they are given an opportunity to return to life. Where these characters hard to write?

JET: These Characters were not hard to write…just an emotional experience. Sometimes, you meet people who affect you and encounter experiences that change your life. When that encounter is with a young person, it is more intense and emotional.  As a high school varsity basketball coach, I experienced the death of several basketball players.

A dramatic example was my ninth-grade rising basketball star. He had a tremendous future and was killed at fifteen. He was riding with an older cousin, going to a pickup basketball game, and when the cousin passed a car and a cement truck was barreling down the two-lane high way. They were killed instantly!

This tragic event and several others affected my life as a coach, a teacher and a person. For years, I kept these events in the back of my mind.

When I finished writing the J. E. Thompson Trilogy: A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile and the National Award-winning Ghost of Atlanta, I knew it was time to tackle Phantoms of Rockwood. The death of young athletes was the genesis of Phantoms of Rockwood.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about ghosts?

JET: What if these young players could return for just one basketball season? The emotions of those tragic moments created a desire to make this book happen. As I was writing Phantoms of Rockwood, I could sense a presence in my home office as I was typing the words, creating vivid scenes and watching the evolution of the carnival of characters come alive on the pages of this young adult novel.

My former players lived again, played basketball on the hardwood again, sweated in games again and pulled readers in the moment. In my dedication, I wrote, “Phantoms of Rockwood is dedicated to all the young athletes who died too young. May God keep you close to Him.”  Now…I could feel their presence again in the writing of this novel.

CH: Why do you think it is important to have interesting stories for the young adult audience?

JET: As authors, we have to write stories to pull young readers into the experience of a novel. There have been few books, with lead characters for young males and especially, young black males…excluding Harry Potter. I wanted to write something for the American audience and the American young black male. This was not intended to exclude young females and young black females, but there are a plethora of books for that audience.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

JET: I’m a late-night writer…I mean late night! I can work all day, feel tired in the early evenings and then around 11:00 p.m., my body feels as if a pint of adrenalin has been shot into my veins. The words on the screen come alive as the visual images just flow. The bad thing is I have to shut down around midnight. I have to be up at 5:45 a.m. to get ready to face my high school language classes. My inspiration comes from relationships with people.

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

JET: I grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. The sixties in Brooklyn was an era that had a personality, a feel, and a life-force that changed a generation. I felt this energy and experienced these fires of social change. My parents were lower middle class, but believed in exposure to different things. We loved to travel, and we always took family vacations. I most enjoyed our cross country tours in our station wagon. The experience of the opera, ballet and symphony was incredible. One of my favorite places was Lincoln Center in New York City and of course, Broadway.

This upbringing was very unique for the sixties and early seventies in black families. My neighborhood had clean streets, family-owned stores and shops, good friends and camaraderie in this Brooklyn Community.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

JET: In 1965, I started writing at Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, New York. I was afraid and very insecure about becoming a writer. I asked my English teacher, Ms. Egan, “Can I be a writer?” She looked at me and said, “Do it!” I’ve never looked back. So, I’ve been a copy boy with the New York Times, and a full-time sportswriter with the Philadelphia Bulletin.

I started writing my first novel in 1995 and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

CH: Are there any books that influence you as an author?

JET: The last book I read was Degrees of Separation by Sue Henry. It’s a Jessie Arnold Mystery.  The author has a strong grasp of intense storytelling and strong characterization. The setting is a small town in Alaska that has been shaken with a murder that disrupts the tranquility of a winter in the land of snow and ice. It’s a fascinating ‘Who done it’ that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  Or what is the next clue to be uncovered?

CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentor?

JET: Walter Mosely is a big influence on my writing. I love his sense of place and his superb development of characters. He is most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective, Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran. 

CH: I understand that you have another book coming out soon. So, what’s next on the agenda in your writing career?

JET: My fifth novel, Stormy Winds, will be published in March 2015. I’m a big William Shakespeare fan for the last forty years. This novel is my Macbeth. It’s dark and moody, but very entertaining with a vital message about overcoming any problem. Short Synopsis: Stormy Winds explores former sports writer Justin Fleming’s perseverance over destructive themes and events in his life.

CH: You are an award-winning author. You won the 2011 Readers Favorite National Gold Medal Award in General Fiction for Ghost of Atlanta. You also received the Georgia Author of the Year nomination for Philly Style and Philly Profile, from the Georgia Writers Association, and Ghost of AtlantaCongratulations! Did you ever think your books would win awards when you wrote them?

 JET: I’m Blessed! I’m honored!  I’m humble!

I love to write and just to have someone read my words is a blessing. I’ve had readers buy my books from Tel Aviv, Isreal; Isle-of-Man in England; Montana; Los Angeles and all points in between.

My novels are in the Philadelphia Libraries, Brooklyn Libraries, Chicago Libraries, Atlanta Libraries and many more Public Libraries across the country. This is a Blessing. And to win a National Gold Medal for Fiction Award is an awesome feeling. Praise God!

These are experiences I dreamed about, but never thought would become  reality.

CH: To carry on the tradition, last month you were nominated for the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the “Young Adult” Category for Phantoms of Rockwood.  How did you place?

JET:When you are nominated in Georgia out of the hundreds of books published in the state, you are a winner.  I did not win the title of Georgia Author of The Year, but was one of only seven books nominated out of hundreds published. Maybe, next time (smile).

CH: Do you have a website?

JET: I have two websites, and please leave a message in the guestbook or contact me: www.jetthompson.info and www.jethompsonnovels.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

JET: My books can be purchased at: www.amazon.com www.bn.com, www.smashwords.com 

I’m blessed that Ghost of Atlanta and A Brownstone in Brooklyn are on the shelves of the Brick and Mortar Barnes & Noble stores. Just Google A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile, Ghost of Atlanta and Phantoms of Rockwood and you can find a place close to you to purchase the books.

CH: Any closing remarks?

JET:This is my motto for writing: “Keep Writing, Keep Believing, and Never Give Up On Your Dreams!”

CH: Thank you, J. E. Thompson,  and thank you for sharing your young adult novel, your writing experience and your awards with my audience.  

 

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

 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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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Linder A. Hunn – Guest Author Interview

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Author: Snapshots of a Woman’s Heart: Developing A Healthy Relationship with You

Synopsis: “Sometimes all a woman needs to see is a snapshot of her heart”
Are you a woman who has given up her dreams for a man? Are you a woman who is “sick and tired” of being on an emotional rollercoaster? Or are you a woman desperately searching for answers?

Snapshots of a Woman’s Heart will compel you to come into a healthy relationship with yourself as you discover the “truth” of your life. Linder revisits early life as she discusses childhood matters while examining the snapshots and portraits that make you the woman you are.

This book deals with “silent” issues that many women don’t want to face; yet, it encourages women to come to a place of inner healing that enables them to take their rightful place in life.

Snapshots of a Woman’s deals with:
• Married life                          • Childhood matters
• Single life                             • Rejection
• Spiritual life                          • Betrayal
• Motherhood                          • Neglect
• Mentoring                             • Low self-esteem
And, so much more!

Linder Hunn

Author: Linder A. Hunn

Genre: Inspirational

CH: Linder, welcome to my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

LAH: This is a book of inward reflection which can bring healing, wholeness and celebration to your life.

CH: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

LAH: I want my readers to take away that you can’t enjoy life hanging on to a hurtful past or depending on someone else for your happiness.

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

LAH: I like to think it’s my transparency and simplicity.  There are no Greek or Hebrew words to decipher or deep interpretations—just realness.  I believe people are looking for realness.  And, it’s always exciting to know that someone can identify and relate to what you are going through and give you hope.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

LAH: My main inspiration comes from God, the Bible and my life experiences. I can get ideas from almost anything; it’s a matter of paying attention to your surroundings and details for me.

CH: Do you have any writing rituals or do you listen to “mood music” when you write?

LAH: I don’t listen to any “mood music” because music distracts me.  I want to dance instead of write. I love being by water for inspiration and creativity whether it’s an ocean, a pond, a pool, or a water fountain. My ritual for finishing a book may seem or sound a little crazy, but my favorite place when I’m finishing a book is Panera Bread.

CH: What inspired you to write an inspirational book for others to read?

LAH: I wanted to challenge and encourage women to heal from past hurts, love themselves and put a voice to those silent issues and secrets in their hearts; such as, neglect, rejection, betrayal, abandonment, abuse (any kind-verbal, emotional, physical), etc. These are the silent issues, which are sometimes introduced in childhood. These are issues that a lot of women bury in their hearts and pledge to take them to the grave; yet, they never live life to the fullest. We can only live life to the fullest when we take a good look at “snapshots of our hearts,” face the truth and confront it head on.  There is a lot of hope, encouragement and inspiration in the book.

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

LAH: Yes, balancing family and other obligations.  The writing process is very time consuming and sometimes family and others don’t understand the sacrifice of time required.  Being a stay-at-home mother when my family is used to having me at their disposal, for a lack of better words, when I was ready to finish the book and gave my little “everyone has to sacrifice” speech, they knew it meant long hours.  So, it was extremely challenging for them and me.

CH: Who is your favorite Christian author and Why?

LAH: I really love a lot of Christian authors, but since I must chose one, Joyce Meyer.  I have been reading her books for years.  I love her biblical; yet, personal and practical perspective for everyday life.  She is very inspirational.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

LAH: I began my publishing journey back in 2002 when I founded Victorious Moments Publications and published my first book, God Has Needs Too!  I decided to pursue the self-publishing route, rather than traditional.  It has had its advantages and disadvantages and I learned a lot through trial and error. But for me, my publishing journey, though trying at times, has also been rewarding. It’s still a journey.

CH: What book are you currently reading?

LAH: It’s funny you ask because I’m reading a couple of books by various authors. I love to read, and I could never read just one book at a time.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

LAH: I have plans for more than one new book—try three.  As a writer I’m always getting new ideas or messages I can’t wait to share with the world. However, I am currently working on a parenting book which is to share my experience of developing a healthy relationship through communication with my children. Since I was a stay at home mom for over 22 years and still maintain a healthy relationship with my four children (now three adult children and one teenager),  I feel pretty confident about this book. After the release of my parenting book, I plan to release another women’s book.

CH: Do you have a website?

LAH: Yes, www.itsyoursnapshot.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

LAH: If you want a hard copy, you can purchase from my website, www.itsyoursnapshot.com.  The eBook of Snapshots of a Woman’s Heart can be purchased from Amazon, Kindle, B&N Nook, iBook, Sony Reader, KoBo, and Scrobd.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LAH: Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.  I look forward to hearing from those who read my book.  God bless.

CH: Thank you, Linder,  and thank you for sharing your inspirational book with my audience.  

 

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

 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 Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Victoria Christopher Murray – Celebrity Guest Author Interview

 

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Title: Forever an Ex

Synopsis: Three Los Angeles women who’ve helped each other overcome heartbreak are reunited eight years later when their troublesome exes come back into the picture in this follow up to Victoria Christopher Murray’s bestselling novel The Ex Files.

Sheridan, Kendall, and Asia first bonded when they met seven years ago at a church prayer support group and now, their friendship has blossomed into a strong sisterhood. They’ve helped each other through the tragedies of their breakups and together, they’ve celebrated their triumphs. But now, their exes are back, wreaking havoc on lives they’ve work so hard to rebuild.

Sheridan has found love again after her ex-husband left her for a man. But old wounds are reopened when her ex-husband appears with his fiancée—a woman! And all of Sheridan’s insecurities and doubts come rushing back. Kendall’s former husband is now married to Kendall’s sister, Sabrina. And though Kendall has refused to interact with either one in the last seven years, she’s forced to reunite with Sabrina when their father is diagnosed with cancer. Asia has done her best to move away from her married boyfriend, a former star with the LA Lakers. But when they share a kiss, old desires are rekindled and Asia decides that it’s time for her and Bobby Johnson to get back together again.

With her trademark writing that “has the kind of momentum that prompts you to elbow disbelief aside and flip the pages in horrified enjoyment” (The Washington Post), Forever an Ex is Murray’s best novel yet.

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Author: Victoria Christopher Murray

I am so happy and blessed to present to you today, our Celebrity Guest Author, Victoria Christopher Murray. 

CH: Victoria, thank you for joining us and welcome! Please tell my audience why they should read your latest release, Forever an Ex.

VCM:  I hope people will read it because it’s an entertaining novel and readers love to be entertained.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book? 

VCM: Forever An Ex is the sequel to The Ex-Files. I decided to write it because The Ex-Files has been optioned for a movie and the producer requested more content.  So, it was fun to revisit these characters.

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?

 VCM: I always say that my writing is a gift from God and God never gives you an incomplete gift.  So, I have no challenge getting ideas for my stories. The ideas are already inside of me. I honestly believe they were there before I was born.

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

 VCM: No part of writing is difficult for me.  Again, it’s a gift and God has equipped me to do it all. The characters, the plots all come easily to me. It’s not hard creating believable situations because I write story lines about really flawed people who love God.

 CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters? Which character was hardest to write?

VCM: The inspiration for my characters are part of the story.  And again, no part of writing for me is difficult. I’ve never written a character, nor a story that was hard to write.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

 VCM: The majority of the time, my title comes after I’ve written the book and submitted it to my editor, because I may have a title, but my publisher makes the final decision.

 CH: Where is your favorite place to write?

VCM: My favorite place in the whole wide world to write is on the beach. But, since I don’t live near a beach, I write mostly in my office, my living room or at Starbucks.

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CH: What attracted you to writing in the first place?

VCM:I was born wanting to write.  Again, that’s what happens when it’s a gift from God.  I’ve always wanted to write.  And then, my second grade teacher really inspired me when I wrote a play and the entire second grade performed the play.  From that point, I was hooked.

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

VCM: I was born in New York City. Some of my books are set in New York City because I know so much about the city.

CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentor?

VCM: Nope, I don’t have any writing mentors.  There are writers who have helped me along the way. Eric Jerome Dickey has taught me a lot about the craft and Kimberla Lawson Roby has taught me so much about the business of writing.

CH: Which of your books was hardest to write?

VCM: Again, nothing has been difficult when it comes to writing.  I do try to challenge myself with different kinds of stories.  For example, with The Deal, the Dance and the Devil, I had to write about a character who was the devil.  So from a spiritual perspective, that was interesting.

CH: Is there a certain routine you implement when writing? What is it? 

VCM: I don’t have a routine. All I do is write daily—plain and simple. There are days when I write more than other days, but I don’t let a day go by without writing something.

CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And how long does it take you to write a novel now?

VCM: It took me three months to write my first novel. It takes me a year to write a novel now.

CH: What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?

VCM: The best piece of advice I would give, would be to not only write daily, but to also read daily. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write and you can’t be a writer if you don’t read.

CH: What is your next writing project?

VCM: Forever An Ex releases on June 17th nationwide. The fourth and final book in the Jasmine & Rachel series that I collaborated with  ReShonda Tate Billingsley will be released in February 2015.

CH: Where can we find your website?

VCM: My website is www.victoriachristophermurray.com 

CH: Where are your books sold?

VCM: My books are sold wherever fine books are sold nationwide.

CH:  Any closing remarks?

VCM: Just thank you for this opportunity.

CH: Victoria Christopher Murray, thank you so much for sharing your literary experiences and your book with my audience. 

VCM: You are quite welcome, Cheryl.

Why Should Anyone Visit My Blog?

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Why Should Anyone Visit My Blog?

It’s a place to learn new writing tips and ideas, to be inspired and to share. It’s a place where I pay-it-forward to a diverse group of  authors and ask them to do the same. www.CherylHolloway.net/blog

Who Am I As A Blogger?

I am an amateur blogger, who will someday be a professional blogger. I try to concentrate on what’s important in the literary world. I have something of value to say because I am a dedicated writer and author. The readers and followers that I do have are loyal and devoted fans.

What Do My Loyal Readers and Dedicated Fans Expect?

The loyal readers who have joined my email list deserve to hear about the best authors of today and the up-coming authors of tomorrow. Books that everyone’s talking about and books that no one’s heard about…just yet.

The devoted writers who have joined my email list want tips on making their literary world better and they want to keep up with their fellow authors.

What’s In It For You?

You can join me every week (sometimes twice a week) for new and exciting information in the literary world! (And we love to make new friends.)

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your family and 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 Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments?                                                                                           Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

“Forever An Ex” is Optioned to Become a Movie!

 

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Title: Forever An Ex

Forever An Ex has been optioned to become a movie. Yes, the adventures of Sheridan, Kendall and Asia will soon hit the big screen.  Film 2

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Author: Victoria Christopher Murray

“I’m so excited and I hope you are, too.  Please help me spread the word.”                                             ~Victoria Christopher Murray

We are helping to spread the word!

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