Guest Author Interview – Ashley Borodin

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Title: The Jealous Flock

Genre: LGBT/Political/Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: The Abridged Jealous Flock – A novella that dares to peek behind the curtain of 2017. Forced from their collective comfort zone, all three members of Martin’s family come face to face with the realities that underpin their urbane way of life. Each is faced with a paradox that will test their belief in themselves and their image of the tolerant, liberal society they believe they inhabit. A Literary Epic in Miniature, The Jealous Flock takes readers from the cloistered air of Professional London through the harsh realities of the Middle East and on to the culture war simmering beneath the surface in Australia. Through their interwoven narratives each character tries to grapple with change as they question their authenticity and value as individuals amidst The Jealous Flock.

Ashley Borodin, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ashley Borodin, an author of poetry, novellas and short stories from Australia. Welcome to my blog, Ashley.

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

AB: The one that no-one wants to read.

CH: This book deals with political issues. Where did you get the idea for this book?

AB: These are ideas I’ve had bumping around in my head for a long time. World events over the last 4–5 years gave me some context for articulating them. The increase in terrorism, but more so, the insidious grooming by terrorists of Westerners and empathetic people through the internet.

The rising racial and religious fracturing going on around the world as left and right fly to the extreme ends of the spectrum.

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

AB: (Spoiler Alert) Funny story about that. The start of the book has a story about a Public Relations guy who meets with some small-time terrorists/tribal warriors in Afghanistan to discuss their advertising campaign. That sounds quite funny to me, and it is, but I try not to play up the absurdity of it because I wanted it to feel entirely normal.

My wife, when she first read it, said no-one is going to buy into this scenario, it’s completely unrealistic.

Three years later a Canadian journalist returned from Syria and began to relate a story eerily similar to my own. Her name was Vanessa Beeley, and you can find her speech with Q & A to the United Nations on YouTube.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

AB: Well, I had these disparate stories inside me, and as I started to write them down a web of connections was forming between them. So I just joined the dots. But also in part, I wanted to finish something. And in a sense this book is incomplete—it needs more character development and I can accept that criticism, but it is finished.

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

AB: I’ve always watched a lot of documentaries and had a keen interest in foreign cultures and perspectives in the world. As I write this I’m wondering what the reader will make of it. I’m really no good at selling or relating to people, but I feel like this is a book that could appeal broadly, though so far feedback has proven me wrong.

I did internet research and based a lot of the book on direct experience. Also, as with docos, a lot of it was passive research—watching films and interviews from the regions and demographics I cover in the book.

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

AB: Hmmm…Did I mention I’m not good at selling or relating to people? But to try to answer your question, I hope I bring intellect and poetry.

CH: How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

AB: A bit of both. Part of it is putting myself in their shoes, dimming the lights and recording—literally recording my voice—what I experience. I put myself in Afghanistan, and I feel what it’s like to be there, what I’m afraid of, what I’d hope to achieve if I were this person. Method acting, I suppose.

Over time the character emerges through interaction with the environment, the same way yours and my own character has been shaped by our interactions and experiences.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AB: Martin, the PR man, because he’s the hero out there in the world effecting change. And Randall, because he’s just like me, so it was really easy.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

AB: John, the son of Martin and Doris, and Doris, and Martin. So, all of the successful middle-class characters basically. I can’t relate to that at all. I wish I’d never tried to aim for characters so remote from my own experience.

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

AB: It’s a kind of nuanced response to Ayn Rand. I’ve never read a decent response to her work, so I tried to write it to some degree. The message is varied but it’s about the need for new ways of bringing people together across social, racial, political—across all divides. About empathy and what I’ve called Gelato Centrism—the many-flavoured middle ground where black, white, Muslim, gay, conservative, whatever can all agree to discuss, collaborate without sacrificing what we hold most dear—our sense of self.

Ayn Rand spoke of ‘selfishness’ as a positive, but she really meant Identity.

Identitarians and Social Justice Warriors talk of Identity, but they really mean Collectivism—fitting in with the group.

I preach a middle path, a constant flux between the two. The flux matters, just like conversation matters. We are all amorphous—shifting, cloudlike. Trying to pin yourself down doesn’t just limit you, it ruins you.

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

AB: Love/hate. Getting people to read it in the first place has proved pretty difficult.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what inspired you to write it?

AB: Wanting to give voice to all these stories that no-one else was.

CH: What is your next writing project?

AB: Not sure. I’ve started a novel from a child’s perspective about a boy who escapes a farm-school in the 1930’s. But I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

I also wanted an excuse to buy a camera I can’t afford, and that excuse is a coffee-table book of the poems that I post on Twitter.

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

AB: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, for your readers/fans, I can do one better, it’s free here: http://books.noisetrade.com/ashleyborodin/the-jealous-flock

CH: How to Find Ashley Borodin:

 CH: Any closing remarks?

AB: Well, Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity, it’s probably not your reader’s cup of tea, but then I get that a lot.

CH: Thank you so much, Ashley Borodin 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, Ashley Borodin 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 – Sara Prater

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Title: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Synopsis: On the run from a death sentence. Forced to hide among violent barbarians. Vacen Horsetrader is hounded by enemies that want his head. Raised in the nonviolent Consortium Lands, he faces Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit both at home and in exile. His crime? Determination to uphold the Oath that the mages of the Consortium hold sacred. Now, he must rely on his friends to survive, in the hopes of eventually returning home again.

Sara Prater, Author

 

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Sara Prater. Sara Prater is a longtime fan of fantasy literature, currently pursuing her dream of publishing her own stories. Welcome to my blog, Sara.

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

SP: My book is clean fantasy, full of exciting characters and interesting
adventures.

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?

SP: My stories usually come from a scene that gets stuck in my head. For
example, I started out with the image of Vacen and Anne facing down a
magical ghost in a setting where they weren’t supposed to use their own
magic.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look
at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

SP: I prefer to write a story that I’d want to read over and over again.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

SP: I started writing short scenes with Vacen and Anne in a creative writing
class in college, and the story just expanded into a novel over the course
of a decade.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

SP: They usually just show up in my imagination, starting with a strong female character, whose more forceful in certain aspects than I am in real life. In the case of Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, Anne was the central
character until I started expanding the story and realized I needed
someone else to introduce the story.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SP: Vacen was a difficult character, trying to put his reactions in the
perspective of his upbringing and not in the perspective of the writer.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SP: Old Looney, without a doubt. I really like the ‘mysterious mentor’ type of character.

CH: Since you’re a debut author, what other genre that you haven’t
written in would you like to write a book?

SP: I have plans to write several books for children.

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

SP: Words should not get in the way of telling the story. I prefer to describe
things simply, but without restricting vocabulary or resorting to vulgarity.

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

SP: The continuity was challenging. In a book this length, there are many
details that I created to explain this world and its magic that had to stay the same from beginning to end.

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

SP: Not really. My novel is pure escapist fiction intended to entertain.

CH: Did your position as a former teacher enhance the writing of this
book?

SP: In the first part, certainly. I always admired the students who could pull
off a prank that surprised me, so I enjoyed having Vacen and his friends
get away with pranks.

CH: Who would you consider a great author in your genre?

SP: My favorite author during my formative years was Mercedes Lackey. I
enjoyed tracking down all of her published writing and seeing how her
style evolved over the years. Her story of her first novel going through
numerous rewrites and being rejected multiple times was also encouraging.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

SP: I’m currently working on a sequel to Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, as well as a serial novel format to be published in a magazine.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can find you on social media?

SP: I can be found on my website. You can also find me on Facebook at Consortium Lands—Sara Prater.

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

SP: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions or by request from your local bookstore.

CH: How to Find Sara Prater:

CH: Any closing remarks?

SP: Many thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway for your invitation to be featured on your blog. For the readers, whether you’re a longtime fantasy fan or never read fantasy, today is a good day to try something new!

CH: Thank you so much, Sara Prater, 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, Sara Prater 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 – Nicholas Bridgman

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Title: A Character in Reality

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: One of the narrator’s fictional characters, Detective Gladstone, has gained consciousness and stepped out of a novel into reality. He gradually adjusts to the real world with the narrator’s help, picking up insights along the way about what it means to be human. But an anti-illegal immigrant group does not want him in reality, and he must face down its leader to self-actualize as a real person.

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Nicholas Bridgman, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nicholas Bridgman. He has written over fifty short stories and this is his debut novel. Welcome to my blog, Nicholas.

CH: The plot of this book is quite different than your average book, since the character steps out of the novel into reality. So, can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

NB: By having the character enter reality, the book could make readers think differently about what it means to be alive, to be human, and to immigrate from one environment to another.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book?

NB: I just sat down and wrote the first scene, having a vague idea that I would like my character to suddenly grasp the fact that he was a character in a novel.  Once I had written it, I found the premise lent itself significantly to development, so much that I ended up writing the whole novel around it.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

NB: I wrote this book because I felt the concept was consequential enough to fill a novel.  Prior to writing it, I had only written short stories of around 5,000 words, but I really wanted to write a novel.  So when I had the idea that my character could enter reality, and I played with his transitioning back and forth between reality and fiction, I realized this material was interesting enough to write a book.

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?

NB: My ideas usually just come from inspiration that strikes me randomly throughout my life.  I might see an interesting person on the street, witness an event, hear a line of conversation, or have an idea about something.  If it is interesting enough, I can usually craft the idea into a full story.  I do not have a formula for plots, I usually just write what I feel is appropriate to the characters and setting.  I do usually write outlines, at least brief ones, that allow me to keep in mind where I want the story to go, and help to make sure I put everything in that I intended.  But nevertheless, my stories usually just unfold naturally on the page.

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

NB: I bring the unique concept of a character immigrating to reality.  This kind of story has been rarely if ever told.  It is exciting because becoming real opens up a whole new world for the character, and the adjustment process shines some bright light on what it means to be human, how we cope, survive, and relate to one another.

CH: Your novel covers various moral issues. Did you have to do any special research to write this book from this perspective?

NB: I did research regarding the issue of illegal immigration.  I looked up what common arguments are for people opposed to illegal immigration, versus those who show more tolerance towards immigrants.  I used this research to show what the anti-illegal immigrant protesters and terrorist organization were thinking and feeling in regards to the character, as well as, to present ideas that hopefully enlighten and encourage tolerance of other people.

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

NB: Agai, I found that the premise lent itself easily to coming up with interesting situations and issues.  While sometimes writing stories can be tricky, it can be hard to envision what you want your characters to do; this character made it easy to write a scene around him.  Due to the unusual, almost psychotic nature of his experience, nearly anywhere he went was guaranteed to be new and exciting, since by definition he was seeing through new eyes and constantly learning things, not to mention the excitement of running and hiding from those who would not tolerate him.

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

NB: It was a pleasure to write, so the most challenging thing was probably just making sure I wrote enough for a full-length 40,000 word novel.  But fortunately, when I outlined what I wanted to say and elaborated on key points, this too went smoothly.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

NB: My favorite character to write was definitely Detective Robert Gladstone, the main character, who enters reality.  I never quite knew what he was going to do or how he was going to respond when I placed him in a new situation.  But his unique perspective made writing for him fun, and the plot usually turned out good regardless of where he was.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

NB: The hardest character to write was probably Billy Mann, the leader of an anti-immigration terrorist group.  I had to have him be Gladstone’s nemesis, wanting him out of reality or dead, but in a realistic way.  I had to explain why Mann was so opposed to Gladstone, and have his attacks on Gladstone and society seem believable.

CH: Do you have anything to share about the supporting characters?

NB: The narrator is the most significant supporting character, as he guides and directs Gladstone in his transition from fiction to reality.  The narrator adds an element of the surreal, as narrators are not usually also characters.

CH: You’ve written many short stories and articles. So, why did you decide to write a fictional debut novel?

NB: I decided to write this novel, because I felt the premise was strong.  I really wanted to have written a full-length novel, and the concept provided me with enough creativity and interest to do that.

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

NB: So far, feedback has been positive.  People have grasped the idea that I am espousing tolerance towards all humanity, no matter what their background.  People have also been entertained by the novel concept.

CH: What’s next for you as an author? Can we expect another fantasy fictional novel?

NB: Next, I am continuing to write short stories and submit them for publication.  Depending on how my novel is received, I may write a sequel.  Or I may try writing a different type of novel entirely.

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

NB: My book is sold on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  It is available as either an e-book or a paperback.

CH: How to find Nicholas Bridgman:

CH: Any closing remarks?

NB: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview, and I hope readers have the chance to experience Gladstone discovering his new world—reality.

CH: Thank you so much, Nicholas Bridgman, 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 Nicholas Bridgman.

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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 – Charlene Bolden

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Title: Moments of Surrender: Revealing The Missing Pieces

Genre: Self-Help/Motivational/Christian Inspirational

Synopsis: Moments of Surrender is a heartfelt book of inspiration that will guide you through the steps to surrendering your life to God. Bolden uses her own journey through pain, abandonment, fear, abuse, and isolation experienced through years of being in foster care, to illustrate that not only are paths different, but they are the same on so many levels. Beautifully explained for all to understand, Ms. Bolden shows how critical a personal relationship with the Creator is in order to achieve understanding love, and peace through His divine will. There is something to be gained by any reader in this inspirational guide to surrendering.

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Charlene Bolden, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Charlene Bolden. She writes Christian Inspirational books to help others overcome adversity and fear. Welcome to my blog, Charlene.

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

CB: Moments of Surrender is a Christian inspirational book for aged out or foster care youth. The moments of my life in Foster care is where I learned to appreciate my path that was chosen for my life and it ultimately drew me closer to God. While many would look upon my situation as negative, I quickly learned to trust God’s plan for my life, and as I surrendered everything, I felt I began to see the blessing it was to live through it.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for writing this deeply personal book about young adults in foster care?

CB: As I began to write this book, I experienced great travail as the Holy Spirit began to “reveal and birth” these chapters. This book will breathe a message of unconditional surrender that is a work of the Holy Spirit. This spiritual journey has been difficult, sometimes painful and frustrating; and took years to work through.  Life in foster-care was one of the greatest experiences that led me to embrace this idea of surrender.  I remember it so well because the experience became one of the most pivotal parts of my life, driving me for years to come.

CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the situations that changed your life?  

CB: Yes, I experienced conflicting emotions warring within me. I relived what I felt when I first got into care. How hopeless and heartbroken I felt.

CH: What time period does the book span? Did you leave out any stories that you wanted to include?

CB: The book spans my life in care from age 13-to present and the process of surrendering my life to God. It’s a book filled with insight and things that youth can carry throughout their lives in care. It’s a book to encourage youth to look at their situation from a Godly perspective, while providing healing, understanding and hope.

CH: Do you have any siblings? Were they also in foster care?

CB: It is seven of us. When we first got in care we were placed in the same family and then eventually two of my sisters got adopted and the rest of us aged out. I have one bother and 5 sisters including an identical twin.

CH: So many memoir writers work on their book for years and years. What made you decide to write your story now and how long did it take you to write it?

CB: I wanted to provide hope to those in foster care, who are seeking something greater and more. It took me almost 2 years to write the book.

CH: You have experience in overcoming adversity in foster care and overcoming issues in relationships. Is this what inspired you to want to help teens and young adult foster care children and give them inspiration?

CB: Yes, I want to provide hope to those that have lived through this. I want to be the voice to provide healing and inspiration. I understand what it takes to release things that have the potential to destroy your life, relationships and even your mind. I embraced this idea of surrender; it was one concept that changed my life and gave me strength to move forward.

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

CB: The only challenge was finding the time to write what kept coming to me.

CH: Since you are a debut author, when you wrote this book, did you anticipate the vulnerability of putting your life out there?  

CB: Yes, but I am encouraged to release and share this part of my life in hope that someone’s life can be changed.

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

CB: Readers say that it is truly an inspiration.

CH: Is there something that you want the readers to grasp?

CB: Every day that we wake up, we are all confronted with what is going on in our world. Every situation that we live through creates a reality of our world. If this reality is not aligned properly to God’s will, then we ultimately, undermine who we are. God always meets us where we are and knows where you are in your heart and mind; whether you are at the peak of success or experiencing hurt, betrayal, anger, frustration, abandonment, or family break-up. It is during those times that one must summon the inner strength and courage to press through the pain of it all; and seek to embrace and fully release the pain to the Creator. Our truths are the lessons we learn from the moments we experience. This process of surrendering will not take place overnight, but the process builds gradually and promotes appreciation, peace, happiness, love and contentment.

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

CB: I referenced the bible.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

CB: I am working on another book around self-worth for youth in foster care.

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

CB: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram Booksellers, and Baker & Taylor.

CH: How to find Charlene Bolden:

  • Charlene’s website: http://bit.ly/2ePWo0e
  • Charlene’s Author Page: http://amzn.to/2f0IPf0
  • Charlene’s Amazon Link:http://amzn.to/2eYRzm6

CH: Any closing remarks?

CB: I welcome the opportunity to share this book. Whether you give it as a gift to lift someone’s spirit or buy it to lift your own, surrendering completely to Gods will in every moment of your life as they pass, allows you to release your life into the hands of the Creator. In doing so, you have access to a position of victory and peace that comes from aligning oneself. Thanks, Cheryl for allowing me to be on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Charlene Bolden, 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 Charlene Bolden.

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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 – Lashonda Beauregard

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Title: The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: West Barrington, a musician from 1926 Harlem, seems to have everything going for him. A job at the most popular nightclub in Harlem, a music career that is taking off, and a girlfriend, Lanna Gold, who’s the lead singer of the group Crystal Dream. But when West awakens after falling asleep on the eve of 1927, he realizes that he has been thrown into a world far beyond 1927 after he discovers that he has awakened in 2016 Harlem.

Filled with suspense, you with find The HarlemRenaissance Time Traveler’s Diary hard to stop reading as you follow West into the future as he discovers why he has been given a second chance to go back and change the past.

This compelling story about a man’s journey into the future will keep you on the edge of your seat. The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary is a story that will stay with you far beyond the last page.

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Lashonda Beauregard, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Lashonda Beauregard. Writing and music are her passion. Welcome to my blog, Lashonda.

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

LB: The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary, is a historical fiction story that will take you on a time travel journey with West Barrington, the main character.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for writing this story?

LB: Well, I am always interested in the Harlem Renaissance. I was drawn to this period of time because it was such an important time for African Americans—in music. In addition to being a writer, I also love music and the love of music caused me to be curious about this period of time. I thought it would be interesting to make my book a time travel story to connect the past to the present. I feel blessed to have a book based on the Harlem Renaissance.

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?

LB: I don’t really have a standard formula and an idea can come at any time. I like to write about what interests me and paint a picture of the story with my words, so the readers can connect.

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

LB: I’m thankful to say I didn’t find it hard while writing this book. Even though my book is fiction, I think that the readers will still relate to the situations in the book and to the characters. They’ll think it’s something that could really have happened in real life.

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

LB: I like to write in the first person narrative through the main character. I like for the readers to feel like the main character is a real person who is opening their diary or journal to let them read what’s inside.

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

LB: Although this book is fiction, it’s still based on a real time period, so I felt that a little research was important. Since I’ve always been interested in the Harlem Renaissance, I was already knowledgeable of this time period.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

LB: West Barrington, was my favorite character to write. I really enjoyed writing this book, because I have always loved music and the Harlem Renaissance. It was fun walking in the shoes of a musician.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LB: My favorite character to write was also the hardest to write. Mainly, because he has to connect to the audience, but he has to also connect the readers to the other characters in the book.

CH: Since this book is about the Harlem Renaissance time period, who is the book aimed at, or who is your target audience?

LB: It is aimed at fans of historical mystery, possibly even science fiction, since it is a time travel story.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences? And why?

LB: I feel that there are so many talented writers. I’m definitely influenced by all the talented writers who were writing before I even started, including the writers and poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

LB: I like to read historical, science fiction, mystery, Christian and inspirational books. I like a book that grabs my attention and that I can’t stop reading.

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

LB: Yes, this is my first published book. I started writing at any early age. Since I have always liked music, I wrote song lyrics. While I was in college, I started writing poetry. Music really helped me appreciate poetry so much more, because song lyrics are really just like poetry.

CH: What pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

LB: The challenging part of being a new author, especially if your indie or self-published is having to do more of the marketing. Also getting reviews, but I’m thankful to be published.

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

LB: The message I would like the readers to grasp is to be grateful for second chances and that doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Also, how precious time is and to use your time wisely.

CH: What can we expect next from you next?

LB: I just released a new book, The Mirror In My Dorm Room (A Time Travel Story). 

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

LB: My eBook is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

CH: How to find Lashonda Beauregard:

CH: Any closing remarks?

 LB: Readers, be sure to read my book The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary. Thanks to everyone who bought my book. Thanks, Cheryl, have a good day!

CH: Thank you so much, Lashonda Beauregard, 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. 

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Guest Author Interview – Eddie Jose Morales

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Title: Fright Tales: A Collection of Short Horror Stories

Genre: Horror

Synopsis: In this, his first collection of thirteen short horror stories you will find everything from creatures, zombies, a sexy vampire, psychos and illogical fears, to ghosts and freaky ghouls:- The Hunched Monkey – Jennifer and Henry discover that lab experiments can be deadly. Bite of the Female Vampire – Whether dreaming or not, men cannot resist her striking appeal. Funeral Plans –Don learns that planning a funeral can be damaging to his mental health. The Burning Sorceress –The people of Willow Creek get more than they bargained for when Rebecca moves into town. Zombiefest –Bob and his son Joey get entangle in the middle of a zombie outbreak. A Shopaholic Killer –Linda loves to shop, but she is not your typical neighborhood mom. Haunted Cabin by the Cemetery – Jordan encounters a cabin’s ghostly past. The Lady is a Bug – A hybrid creature seeks revenge. East Coast Zombie Virus – A man-made virus quickly spreads and threatens the East Coast of the United States. Ghost in the House –A teenage boy and his mom are haunted by a ghost when they move to the suburbs. The House of Death –Finding shelter in an abandoned Victorian house has its disadvantages. The Last Camping Trip –A weekend trip turns into a nightmare as a psychotic killer is on the loose. The Wedding Dead – A newlywed couple battle with their wedding zombie guests to stay alive. This collection of Fright Tales are perfectly tailored for the enthusiastic horror fan, although not for the faint-hearted!

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Eddie Jose Morales, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Eddie Jose Morales, who writes blood curdling horror stories. Welcome to my blog, Eddie.

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

EJM: Fright Tales is a collection of short horror stories for the ultimate horror fan featuring zombies, paranormal, slasher, and more.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about a collection of horror short stories?

EJM: I decided to write this book because ever since I was a teenager I’ve always been fascinated with the topic of horror, whether on television, going to the movies, and many spooky stories being told to me by family members. As time passed, the enthusiasm of writing stories involving horror followed, and I started to write as a hobby. Throughout the years, I dreamed one day of becoming a published author and as a result, I decided to put together a collection of horror short stories for horror fans to read and enjoy.

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?

EJM: My ideas usually come from two ways. Some come from dreams, and others originate from actual life events, which I elaborate and make them more frightening for entertainment purposes.

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

EJM: My inspiration and ideas come from the love of the horror genre. I read scary books and watch many supernatural television shows and horror movies. I also have a creative mind, which is constantly thinking of concepts that I can turn into frightening stories.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor?

EJM: I think that the universal scare factor is bioterrorism in which society can be vulnerable in the hands of corrupt individuals releasing bacterial agents and disease into the general population.

CH: Who, in your opinion, is a great horror author and why?

EJM: A great horror author would be the incomparable Stephen King. He has an incredible talent for creating horror and scary supernatural situations that people can relate to in everyday life. Accordingly, Mr. King has the skill of haunting readers of all ages.

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

EJM: Through my scary horror writing, I bring the ability to create characters and stories that are easy to follow taking my readers on a journey that has a beginning, middle, and an end. My stories are vivid creating a visual image in the reader’s mind almost like they are watching a short story movie unfold in front of their eyes. I also like to incorporate humor in some of my stories as to not be entirely doom and gloom. Lastly, I tend to include the title of my stories within the manuscript to give the stories a sense of validity.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

EJM: The editing process of the short horror stories to be compiled for the book was a pitfall that I ran into as a new author. No matter how many times I read and edited the stories, there was always room for additional changes and enhancement.

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

EJM: I started to write back in high school in 1977 when I wrote my first horror story for English class, which I still have the original manuscript called, The House of Death. My teacher enjoyed it so much that she asked me to read it in front of the class, and I received praise from my classmates. However, it wasn’t until 2004 when I became more serious about writing short horror stories as part of pursuing a college degree in English Creative Writing.

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

EJM: The titles of my stories come in two ways. Sometimes an idea for a title just comes to mind and then I develop a story around that particular title. Other times, as I am writing the story, the title jumps out at me at a certain point in the story.

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

EJM: I would love to work with author Dean Koontz. His style of writing horror fiction, suspense thrillers, and science fiction fascinate me as he creates stories that are not only believable but also frightening in nature.

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

EJM: In actuality, the stories in this book range from 1977 to 2016. However, earlier stories were currently rewritten and extended with the purpose of being included in this collection. Accordingly, the writing and editing process to compile the collection of stories and complete this book took me approximately fourteen months.

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

EJM: It wasn’t hard creating believable situations and issues because most of the stories are loosely influenced by actual life events, which I elaborated and made them into horror fiction. Other ideas came from dreams, and as soon as I woke up, I wrote the outline recollecting the dreams. Regarding the subject matter of zombies, the stories were written as a result of my continued interest in the zombie phenomena on how people would react to a real life apocalypse situation.

CH: Which horror story was hardest to write?

EJM: The horror story which was the most challenging to write was Ghost in the House because it was based on actual life events that happened to my dearly departed Mom and me when I was a teenager. The story gave me chills as I wrote it and throughout the editing process. Thus, I experienced an eerie feeling during the entire journey of writing this particular story.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

EJM: I am currently writing brand new short horror stories to be included in a follow-up book to Fright Tales. I plan to have it completed by the end of next year.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EJM: Currently, I am listed within the Woodrow Publishing website under

 http://www.woodrowpublishing.com/fiction-horror

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

EJM: Fright Tales is currently available at your local Amazon website. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/25ggNmu

CH: Any closing remarks?

EJM: Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed and to discuss my book with you and your readers. I look forward to continuing my journey writing horror fiction with the purpose of entertaining the horror community.

CH: Thank you, Eddie Jose Morales, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Cheryl M. Robinson

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Title: And, Not Only That

Genre: Christian/Inspirational

Synopsis: Three friends. Three incredible journeys. Janole, Jenn and Tam meet in college and forge a lifelong friendship. Janole makes a decision as a young adult that exposes the true character of her family and ignites a chain of unpredictable events. Later, her world is torn apart when her beloved husband of 24 years mysteriously disappears under scandalous circumstances. She questions everything that she believed in especially her husband and their marriage. Jenn, wealthy and privileged, witnesses a childhood tragedy that instantly changes her family and haunts her into adulthood. She, and everyone she loves, are being destroyed by events that occurred years ago. Unless something changes, she is on the brink of losing everything including her sobriety and her husband. Tam’s mother dies from a lengthy illness while Tam is in college. As a result, Tam decides to become a doctor and is committed to helping others. However, she must face her own medical crisis and a possible change in lifestyle that she finds difficult to accept. This is a gripping story of love, faith, family, marriage, pain, tragedy, triumph, restoration and spiritual growth that transcends time, age, race and gender. It contains a message of God’s unwavering and uncompromising love and how He reveals Himself in the most unusual and unexpected ways.

Cheryl M Robinson

Cheryl M. Robinson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Cheryl M. Robinson, a debut author with a unique writing style. Welcome to my blog, Cheryl.

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

CMR: The reader will take an unforgettable and real journey, experience a wide range of emotions, applaud the experience, and long for more.

CH: Why did you decide to write a Christian novel covering so many topics?

CMR: My novel is a book about life–a multifaceted journey of many experiences—and my belief that God is the core of our existence.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

CMR: I do not look at the market for trends to generate ideas. I simply write what I hope will be an engaging, intriguing and inspiring story.

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

CMR: My goal is to make the characters so “real” that the reader identifies with them, perhaps even recognizes him or herself. Inspirational suspense is the genre that best describes And, Not Only That though—to my knowledge–no such genre exists. My intent is to captivate and surprise the reader throughout the reading experience just as life captivates and, at times, surprises us.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls or challenges have you run into as a new author?

CMR: The biggest challenge, by far, is marketing and publicizing the novel. Not only is this my debut novel, but it is also self-published. The challenge is how best to expose the book to a wider audience, nationally and internationally.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your self-publishing journey?

CMR: Many exciting things occurred. Writing a novel—especially the first time—is a unique and gratifying experience. As I review the entire writing and self-publishing journey, one of the most exciting things was the day my book arrived in the mail, when I actually held it in my hands for the first time, which was quite exciting and humbling. In my hand, I held the result of countless hours of writing, re-writing, editing, reviewing and praying. Ultimately, the writing journey was an incredible spiritual journey for me.

CH: In reference to the friendship of the women, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CMR: Yes. Friends—true friends—are a gift. I believe God reveals Himself to us in many, many ways. One of the ways in which He reveals Himself and His love—and allows us to demonstrate that love—is through friendships. I’m so incredibly thankful for the “unique treasures” who have blessed my life.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

CMR: I am an avid reader and have been since I was very young. Surprisingly, I don’t have a specific writing influence. I am indebted, however, to all of the incredible published writers/authors.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you? (outline, draft, edit, write)

CMR: The hardest part for me is time, believe it or not. I enjoy writing and while I have an outline of the story, the characters sometimes refuse to follow the outline. The joys of writing fiction.

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

CMR: The situations and issues in And, Not Only That are real life occurrences: young love, abuse, marital and family discord, tough decisions, and other painful situations, such as death/loss and betrayal. All of which can be challenges to our faith. It was not difficult creating believable situations.

CH: Which one of the characters was hardest to write?

CMR: Tough question. Perhaps Tam, one of the main characters.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

CMR: There are some parallels of my personal experiences in the book.

CH: Does this make you feel like you have accomplished your goal as an author?

CMR: Yes, the reviews are extremely gratifying. Those posted on Amazon, along with the many I’ve received via e-mail or in person, are encouraging and validating. I’m so thankful! One of the measures of a good book, in my opinion, is when the reader doesn’t want it to end. Many have expressed just that to me and that they are eagerly anticipating book #2.

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

CMR: The overwhelming consensus from most readers is that it is a “5-star” reading experience. Readers seem to love this book, because there are 24 out of 25 reviews that are five stars. The reviews have been astounding!

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

CMR: And, Not Only That was my debut novel. I am currently working on my second novel, a sequel to And, Not Only That. So, yes, I am in the process of writing the sequel and excited about the direction of this book.  I’m targeting a release date of September/October 2016.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

CMR: www.cherylmrobinson.com  And my e-mail: cherylmrob@yahoo.com

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

CMR: My book is available via Amazon, including Amazon Kindle. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1qkWgKd

CH: Any closing remarks?

CMR: To Readers: I am able to write because God gave me a “measure of a gift” that was nurtured by many. I’m honored—and humbled—that God chose me as the vessel for this literary work. God has given to each of us a gift. Yes, each person is uniquely blessed with at least one gift. What is yours?

Cheryl, thank you for allowing me to share information about And, Not Only That. I am deeply appreciative. Best wishes for your continued success.

CH: Thank you, Cheryl M. Robinson, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Ralph Thompson, Jr.

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Title: None of Our Hands Are Clean

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Christian

Synopsis: Juan Smith is a young man looking for love, in a world where the concept of romance has lost much of its luster. Darlene Brown is a young lady trying to understand God’s purpose for her future. Surrounded by a world that sees romance as old-fashioned, can these two make “it” work? How do people address the question “who’s the right one for you?” The wreckage of failed relationships is everywhere. Darlene and Juan face near-impossible odds. How do they get to know each other, and how will they learn whether or not they should be a couple?

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Ralph Thompson, Jr., Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ralph Thompson, Jr., who is retired military and a debut author. Welcome to my blog, Ralph.

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

RT: It’s an interesting take on the standard “boy meets girl” genre.

CH: Why did you decide to write a Christian romance novel?

RT: I wanted to write something hopeful for folks who’d had little success doing relationships—based on pop culture expectations. I wanted to express how God’s direction can make a profound difference in how men and women deal with one another.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

RT: I write my own stories, based on what interests me. It’s a bit of a risk, not knowing for sure if my work will resonate with others. I do hope others see something in my work that is familiar to their own experiences.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story? 

RT: The sources are all around. Many folks in church and out of church express frustration in their searches for lasting love. I’ve had my own share of mishaps in dating and relationships. I’ve caused a few of those mishaps. To me, today it appears so many people base their desires on what they see on television, in movies, or others places in pop culture. Those unrealistic perspectives adversely impact how people interact in the real world.

CH: Very few men write romance novels. What made you decide to write in this genre?

RT: I wanted to share a man’s perspective, while also respecting what women seek to understand about men regarding relationships. To me, generally, we don’t communicate well enough to help relationships grow. Furthermore, men do have the capacity to understand and embrace romanticism. Acknowledging that could be another part of people understanding each other more deeply.

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

RT: I look to share a sense of men and women seeking God’s direction during the “get to know one another” stage. Rather than the Western standard of “let’s go to bed first, then, see if we get along.” I wanted to look at a couple trying the opposite.

I wanted my female and male leads to actually converse, even to the point of expressing differing views, as they try to figure out if they’re meant to be a couple. I wanted to also show how “listening” is so much more than waiting for the other person to stop talking. In addition, I wanted to show how listening was so much more than forming your response, while the other person spoke.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

RT: I have not run into any pitfalls, so far. My editor, Shelia Bell, has been an endless source of wisdom and support as I go forward. She shared frank constructive criticism, walked me through the publishing process and helped me manage my expectations. She’s an outstanding editor and a gifted writer in her own right.

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?

RT: Generally, I start with a question. As I grow older, I realize more and more how little I actually know (chuckles). I seek understanding through these characters, and offer stories to see if others have similar questions in these scenarios.

I try to work with realistic characters, and let them walk through realistic situations. I imagine how they would react or respond, and let their characteristics drive their responses. In my head, I see and hear them as real people. I let them act as such.

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

RT: I worked on the initial draft sporadically for two years. Going forward, I will strive to work faster.

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

RT: I took these situations from real life. Whether it was my life, the lives of friends and acquaintances, or stories I saw in the media, I kept seeing and hearing about folks dissatisfied with their romantic lives. I wanted to offer a useful alternative.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RT: Grant’s daughter Grace. I struggled to capture the voice of a pre-teen girl. Shelia had to do some heavy coaching to guide me through that issue.

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

RT: Nelson Mandela. I read his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and got a sense of the man’s depth. He admitted some of his flaws, described the challenges as he matured, and expressed uncommon strength and grace during his incarceration.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

RT: In hindsight, I’d say yes. For a long time, I’ve appreciated the power of the written word. When wielded by someone with skill and passion, words have inspired nations.

For years, I’ve had the desire to express my feelings and concerns about what I see around me. So many of us see society’s ills and want to see changes. I want to be a part of the groups who want to effect positive change.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

RT: My next novel, Revenger, is drafted. It needs heavy editing. Hopefully, I can have that one out on the market this fall. After that, I have a third novel started. They’re all Christian fiction, but different sub-genres under that main banner.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RT: Yes. It’s www.somerandomeolddude.blogspot.com

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

RT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million. I also sell paperback copies. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1YskpKK  

CH: Any closing remarks? 

RT: I’m honored to be a part of the Black Writers And Book Club Literary Festival (BWABC) this fall on September 16-17, here in downtown Memphis. I’m excited for the chance to talk with other writers and readers who share the love of literature. And Thank you, Cheryl Holloway for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you, Ralph Thompson, Jr., it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Nadine Nettmann

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Title: Decanting A Murder (A Sommelier Mystery)

Genre: Mystery/Women Sleuths

Synopsis: Can Katie Solve a Case of Chateau Murdeaux?

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was sup- posed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party.

When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncovered—including her own.

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Nadine Nettmann, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier, who loves great wines and the mysteries around them. Welcome, Nadine.

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

NN: A wine themed murder mystery with a female sommelier, who uses her wine skills to solve a murder.

CH: Does your background in the winery business have a large influence on this book?

NN: Yes, definitely. It was a lot of fun to apply my wine knowledge, as well as my experiences with deductive tasting to the book.

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?

NN: They come to me as an overall concept, but then I break them down to make sure I’m hitting plot points at the right moments.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

NN: I love the mystery genre and the twists and turns it brings.

CH: What inspired you to begin writing this sommelier series?

NN: I wanted to write a book that involved wine and I thought it would be fun to have a sommelier as a protagonist who applies her wine skills to her everyday life. I started playing with this idea and soon, Decanting A Murder, was born.

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

NN: There’s a lot of wine knowledge to be learned in the book, but aside from that, I hope it’s just a fun read for everyone.

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

NN: The entire book is fiction, though I did take a little bit of the blind tasting group situations from my own experiences. That being said, the characters in the tasting group in the book are not based on the members of my actual tasting group.

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

NN: I find every book to be challenging in some way. There’s something to be said for writing a minimum of 60,000 words and at some point, it’s going to be challenging. For Decanting A Murder, I was stopped at around 40,000 words for a while.

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

NN: I’m always thinking of new ideas. They’re a constant flow and sometimes they only last a paragraph and sometimes they produce a whole book.

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

NN: I’m a huge fan of both wine and mysteries and I thought it would be a lot of fun to combine them together into a series.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, how did you decide it would be a series?

NN: Because there is so much information in the wine world, I liked the idea of following Katie on her sommelier journey and perhaps also through different wine regions.

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

NN: Yes, if there is something you want to achieve, keep trying. Even if you don’t succeed at first, don’t give up. Keep going.

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

NN: The book is just about to be released, but I’ve heard from early readers that they’ve enjoyed learning more about wine from reading the book and that makes me very happy!

CH: Since this is a series, what is the theme for the next book?

NN: The next book, currently titled Uncorking a Lie, takes place in Sonoma and follows Katie on another mystery.

CH: Is there anything in particular that you would like to add about sommelier mysteries?

NN: Every chapter in the book is paired with a wine.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

NN: Yes. www.nadinenettmann.com

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

NN: Decanting a Murder is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Y5PzaE

CH: Any closing remarks?

NN: Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog and thank you to everyone who reads my book!

CH: You are quite welcome. Thank you, Nadine Nettmann, it has been a real pleasure discussing such a unique book with my audience.  

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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 – JeDonna Mathis

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Title: When The Tables Turn

Genre: Urban

Synopsis: Jordan Mickens is a 29 year-old successful, black, married sister. She grew up in the hood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jordan didn’t let the hood take her down, but the man she married becomes her downfall. Jordan and her husband have a two year-old son named TaShunn. Her life takes a turn when her husband, Sincere, cheats on her and makes a baby. She has been with him a total of ten years, but has been married to him for four of those years. The woman he is seeing on the low is attractive, devious, and one crazy bitch. Her name is Cherish Montana. This woman almost makes Jordan lose her whole world. Welcome to When the Tables Turn.

J Mathis

JeDonna Mathis, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is JeDonna Mathis, a debut author. Welcome to my blog, JeDonna.

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

JM: Its gives me a chance to share reality on paper in different aspects and points of view.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

 JM: I got the ideal of this story from everyday situations. It’s always a man who thinks he can have his cake and eat it too, until the tables are turned.

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

JM: I always start a new story with a title first. I create the story around that. It actually brings the story together well for me. Like it allows a light bulb to pop on in my head.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? 

 JM: I would have to say Jordan. I say Jordan because throughout the story she is constantly faced with obstacles, but faces them with grace. She reaches a breaking point through some tragic times and she bounces back on top.

CH: Where did you get the inspiration for your characters?

JM: I just wrote about personalities I have encountered, as well as made up some characters. I mixed personalities with a little creative input.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

JM: I actually didn’t have too much of a hard time writing any. It was quite an adventure creating them.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your audience of urban fiction readers through your type of writing?

JM: I’ve always been the one to imagine and daydream all day. I would even shock myself sometimes at the things I would think of. I have seen and experienced enough to gain the attention of those who have gone through it. I’m going to be the one to bring it to readers from just my point of view.

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

JM: Yes! Writers block is real. There were a few times that I couldn’t think of anything to write. I had no ideas, even lost interest for a moment. So, I just kept re-reading what I already had. 

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

JM: It did have a few challenges from time to time. Once I thought of the issue I wanted to create, I then elaborated on some real life situations. Nothing personal, but random situations that happen in life around the world. Somewhere in the world, there is a Jordan Mickens going through the motions with her unfaithful man.

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

JM: I’m from and currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yes my background does have an influence on this book. I say this because I never intended to publish my book. You know how some people may use a journal or diary? Well, I wrote stories to ease my mind. It also shows my daughter that no matter what, you should follow your dreams. We only get one shot at bringing your purpose to light.

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

JM: Honestly, I haven’t read in a while to be familiar with a lot of great authors of today. But when I was younger, my favorite writers were Sistah Souljah and Nikki Turner. I really enjoyed reading their books. I think I need to start back though because there are so many creative people with big imaginations just like me and I love that.

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

JM: This is actually the second book I have written. I just decided to release this one first. I have been writing off and on for about ten years. I started when I was 16 years old, writing poems. I would write poems about any and everything. By the time I was 18 years old, I had written two urban fiction novels.

CH: Have you taken any writing classes to enhance your craft?

JM: No I haven’t yet, but I plan to one day. 

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

JM: Yes I do. I plan on releasing my second novel by the end of the summer. I’m also currently working on releasing a children’s book very soon, as well.

CH: Can you tell my audience your website address?

JM: My website is currently under construction. However, you can find me on Facebook.com/AuthorJeDonna Mathis and on Twitter at “Author JeDonna Mathis”

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

JM: Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It’s available in Kindle, Nook, or Paperback format. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1U0I6KJ

CH: Any closing remarks?

JM: I would like to continue to prosper in God’s eye to becoming a National Best Selling author, one day. Also, to create a better living sake for my daughter and I. Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Thank you, as well, Ms. Holloway for taking interest in my book, When The Tables Turn.

CH: Thank you so much, JeDonna Mathis, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and JeDonna Mathis.

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 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 – C. L. Ryan

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Title: Secret Demon

Genre: Biography/Memoir/Occult

Synopsis: Based on a true story, Secret Demon relates the astonishing, and often harrowing, childhood of a girl whose life is beset by abuse and demonic activity.

We follow Megan as her idyllic early years in rural Ireland are abruptly ended when she is taken from her grandmother’s care to live with her parents in England. While struggling to adapt to a new culture and being bullied at school, Megan’s life is dominated by the unpredictable behavior of her troubled mother, Patsy. When her much loved father moved away to work, Megan is left to look after her siblings, as Patsy’s life becomes engulfed by demonic possession and alcohol abuse.

Well-meaning social workers place Megan in an outwardly respectable home, only for her and her brother, to suffer horrific abuse at the hands of their foster caregiver.

Upon returning to Patsy, Megan becomes increasingly aware of the demonic presence in her home, which seems to be particularly focused on her. She learns to cope with the demon and embraces her true nature – finally harnessing it to take on her playground tormentors.

Secret Demon is a supernatural story of one little girl’s battle against abuse and neglect. It is the first of a series which follows Megan as her physical and spiritual lives unfold. 

C L Ryan

C. L. Ryan, Author

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is C. L. Ryan, who has written her memoir in her debut novel. Welcome to my blog, C. L.

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

CLR: My dealings with my beautiful angelical friends, and the dark side of either, which I can never escape from.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about abuse and demonic activity?

CLR: I have been trying to write this book for the last 20 years, it only came apparent to me when I cleared out a cupboard 3 years ago. I had saved all the A4-size writing pads.

I usually take them with me on holiday to scribble in when I get bored, there was one book dated 20th February 1996, again and again, everything I had been writing all pointed to a book, I knew then that I had to write it.

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?

CLR: I am actually writing other books at the moment, but Secret Demon, although written about a fictional family, is based on true-life experiences.

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

CLR: At the beginning of the book, it’s written through the eyes of a child, as she gets older, the writing gets stronger. My mentor and editor, Ben Smith, is telling me that it’s quite noticeable.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic of abuse and demons?

CLR: No, not at all, I have had to get used to these issues and situations. I write what I have experienced, what I see, and what I know. I know, I will have to deal with all this for the rest of my life.

CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the situations that changed your life?

CLR: VERY MUCH SO! At times, I was crying and laughing—at the same time—whilst I was writing.  Memories can be funny, and also very painful.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CLR: Arthur was a very evil character, and absolutely like that in real life. He will come back in book 4. I think, he was really even more evil than I have portrayed him—you’ll know in book 4.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

CLR: Daisy, the Donkey!  Our very much beloved pet—her and Margaret are having a book all of their own!

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so was it difficult to remain on course or do you credit it to your guardian angels?

CLR: The angels have most definitely kept me on track, keeping me focused, and constantly reminding me of things I had forgotten. This book would never have happened without them. Thank you, Angels!

CH: Do you think your near death experience provided additional insight to write this book?

CLR: Yes, absolutely, it let me see into a world where we go, when we pass. I don’t worry about death now! My beautiful friends are there, I miss them so much.  One day, we will all be back together.

CH: Since this is the first book in the series, how did you realize it would be a series of six books?

CLR: When I sat down with my editor and talked about my book, I showed him everything I had written, over 3 years, I had amassed about 300,000 words—books and books of writing.  So, we decided, then and there, that this should be a series. There will also be off shoots, as well, I am just finishing writing books 4, 5 and 6. They just have to be put together and polished.

CH: Is there anything in particular that you would like to add about your story of abuse?

CLR: I tried to blot it out for years, but it just would not go away, and definitely caused me mental and physical pain and anguish.  By writing it down on paper, I can actually deal with it now. I will never forget it—it’s part of my past! I would like to help others who have suffered like me, but I know my experiences have probably helped make me the person I am today! Eventually, there will be a cook book to accompany the series. I am working on that now.

CH: Since this book is based on real-life events, is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

CLR: Yes, the book is a message. Already people are contacting me that have suffered abuse in their early years, and are actually finding comfort by reading Secret Demon. They realize they are not alone, and it didn’t only happen to them. Actually talking about it helps. If I can get through it and survive; honestly, anyone can.

CH: Since this book is part of a series, what is the premise for the next book?

CLR: Book 2, Bad Demon, is a continuation. We follow Megan and the Murphy family through more mayhem, emotional and demonic challenges, through to a near house eviction, a rogue demon, a cooking exam, and the constant abuse of the family by the church and a nasty police officer, who knows the families secret. I loved writing this book. I hope my readers will love it, as well.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

CLR: www.angelicalskies.co.uk/

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

CLR: Amazon in paperback and Kindle. It will soon also be available as an audio book. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1S3Osto

CH: Any closing remarks?

CLR: Thank you for your interest in Secret Demon. It’s been a hard and harrowing story to tell, but I have loved every minute of it, and there is so much more going on in the rest of the books in the series.

CH: Thank you so much, C. L. Ryan, for bringing this topic to my audience. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and C. L. Ryan.

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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Guest Author Interview – Jeannie Hall

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Title: Violation of Faith (Cult Wife Series)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: Lynea Kreig has spent the past three years being invisible. After running with her little sister halfway across the country–away from her abusive cult leader husband–she seeks nothing but safety and anonymity.

When she’s offered a job which would keep her close to her sister, Lynea can’t refuse. But the job puts her in close quarters with Professor Brennan Gage, a man bent on exposing cult leaders to the public. If he discovers her secret, he could destroy the life she’s worked so hard to build. Over time, she finds herself drawn to Brennan’s klutzy kindness. He tells her he loves her, but happiness for Lynea could never be so simple–especially once her husband appears at the front door…

Jeannie Hall

Jeannie Hall, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jeannie Hall, who loves the joy of reading and writing. Welcome to my blog, Jeannie.

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

JH: Violation of Faith is about a woman who overcomes the fear and programming of her cult upbringing to ultimately pursue her happily ever after.

CH: Why did you decide to write this dark book about a cult?

JH: I love the dark side of writing. People who know me are always shocked at how far I go in torturing my characters to tell a story, but to me, characters are far more interesting when they’ve got something or someone attacking them—whether internal or external.

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?

JH: I love stories where there’s an underdog who ends up being stronger than everyone thinks. I would say that is where Lynea came from. I wanted to see how a heroine with a painful back story would fare in a romance.

My plots come to me piecemeal. I’ll have a general idea of how I want the story to go. I know how I want to start and finish, but the rest comes to me as I write.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic of good vs. evil?

JH: The good vs. evil theme actually made creating believable situations easy. The more intense the confrontation, the faster my writing flows. In this story, Lynea has grown up abused and in fear. She suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I think it rings true because there really are people who’ve been in situations like this. Part of the reason I don’t shy away from those gritty and torturous scenes is so I can then provide the ending to the story I want.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your thriller/suspense type of writing?

JH: Suspense lends itself to a faster-paced storyline. I love taking the hand of my readers and racing them to the finish line. Combining those thriller elements with an intense romance is even more fun. Basically, I wrote this book because it is exactly the kind of story I like to read.

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

JH: Oh, yes! Lol! Originally I started this story as a simple standalone contemporary, but after five hundred pages, my story was going nowhere. Luckily, another writer friend suggested I turn it into a romantic suspense. Everything began to work after that. I was happy to take her advice.

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

JH: I researched cults and several different forms of chemicals used to knock someone out. Think that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

JH: I love all my characterswell, except for the reverend. However, I really loved writing the Winbournes. Patrice is so warm and maternal, while Geoffrey is just a hoot. He’s so cantankerous. I loved revealing some really important information through his character.

CH: Was the cult leader husband the hardest character to write?

JH: As I’ve mentioned before, the dark scenes are the easiest for me to write, so no. However, I hated his guts. One thing that’s awesome about writing is I had complete control of his fate.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor with cults?

JH: I think it has to do with how often people are misled. We see it all the time in real life. Sometimes, stories reported as the truth are nothing but lies. Cults promise people a family, the ability to fit in and be cared for. If someone has never had that, they could fall prey to a cult. We’ve also seen a lot of death—especially suicides and murders—involving cults. The whole idea of them is unsettling, if not downright frightening.

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

JH: I always knew my story would be about Lynea escaping her cult upbringing. I once attended a church which used to be a nursing home. Once, when we were cleaning the building, we opened up some of the old wings of the structure. What used to be patient rooms were then being used as storage, and I remember looking at those empty derelict rooms and feeling disturbed by the sight.

CH: Since this is the first book in the series, how did you decide it would be a series?

JH: The same friend who suggested I turn it into a romantic suspense also mentioned Lynea and Brennan going on adventures together. I thought that was a brilliant idea and went with it. I’ve now completed part of book 2 and have plans for book 3.

CH: Since you are a debut author, how did you start writing?

JH: I owe a massive debt to Jo Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Because of the wait between the fifth and sixth Harry Potter books, I decided to try my hand at telling the story myself in the form of fan fiction. The second I did, I became addicted to writing. It was a wonderful eye-opener, and the catalyst that changed the rest of my life.

CH: What type of feedback are you getting from your readers?

JH: I’ve been very fortunate to have such positive feedback for my first novel. Violation of Faith is dark and gritty enough to not be for everyone, but I’ve gotten kind reviews stating even though they don’t tend to read suspense, they like my suspense. It made me dance inside! 🙂

CH: Since this is a series, can you give us a brief synopsis of the next book in the series?

JH: Let’s just say that not all is as it seems at the end of Violation of Faith. I purposely left some threads dangling in that book, and one of those threads gets pulled in book 2.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JH: www.JeannieHallSuspense.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn under Jeannie Hall Author.

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

JH: It is available through TheWildRosePress.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, and Bookstrand. All those sites carry the eBook, but WRP and Amazon also carry the paperback version. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1PBNjBm

CH: Any closing remarks?

JH: Thank you so much, Cheryl, for taking the time to feature me on your blog! It’s been a pleasure to share with you. 🙂

CH: Thank you, Jeannie Hall, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Jeannie Hall.

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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Guest Author Interview – Jerry Summers

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Title: Uncontrolled Spin (Unmissable Series Book One)

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Sean Green, the spin doctor for many multimillion-dollar companies, becomes infatuated with the idea of helping a beautiful woman take her apparel business to the next level. During the process, his best friend, biggest client, and mentor is murdered at one of Sean’s homes.

Jerry Summers

Jerry Summers, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jerry Summers. He has a unique and unusual background and has recently become an author. Welcome to my blog Jerry.

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

JS: Uncontrolled Spin is the first book in a series of suspense thrillers that blend many different genres; incorporating elements of romance, mystery, and murder into a thrilling page turner, it will keep you guessing until the end of the book and beyond.

CH: Can you explain what is a spin doctor?

JS: The term ‘spin doctor’ is a generic term that describes an individual who, by way of profession (usually with a public relations or marketing background), controls the way an event is described to the public in order to influence what people think about it.  This person is responsible for ensuring others interpret an event from a particular perspective or point of view.

CH: Does your extensive background in law enforcement have great influence on this book?

JS: Yes, in several different ways, not only in this book, but also all the books in the series. I have loosely attempted to demonstrate proper police protocol during crime scene reconstruction, interviews, press conferences and follow-up investigations.  For instance, when interviews occur and are then followed-up by a press conference, some of the same information will be repeated and to the reader may appear redundant, but as the reader you get an inside glimpse into the investigation process one normally would not be privy to.  Additionally, in every crime scene, I have purposely left out at least one major component of the reconstruction in order to keep the readers guessing; thereby, allowing me to connect loose ends later in the series.

CH: Is this your debut novel? How long have you been writing?

JS: Uncontrolled Spin is my debut novel.  Writing has always been a passion of mine, but one I never felt comfortable enough pursuing professionally until recently.  Ever since I can remember, others have discouraged my writing; my parents felt it wasn’t a wise idea economically because very few make a living at full-time writing. There are also time constraints with raising a family and pursuing career advancement opportunities, and I put my writing on the back burner. I am now in a position to pursue my passion full-time, which excites me beyond belief.

CH: How did you begin your writing career?

JS: In January 1997, I published my first article, Miscarriage – From a Male Perspective, in the Pentecostal Evangel, and in April of 1997, I published my second article, “I have Friends to Cry With Me” in Decision Magazine.

In 2006, I wrote a non-fiction book entitled, Divorce – The Modern Churches’ Leprosy, only to find publishers weren’t interested in publishing work dealing with Christian divorce.  When I was told by a literary agent that there wasn’t a market for this type of work, even if I were a nationally known writer, so I abandoned my editing along with the entire book project.

I didn’t start writing again until 2015, when I decided to write this current series.

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

JS: There were and continue to be multiple challenges. The first challenge was recognizing if this book were published in a single work it would consist of approximately 300,000 words and some 800 pages or more.  As a new author, that task seemed extremely daunting, so I decided to break it into a four part series.  Time will tell if this was an appropriate decision from a sales and marketing opportunity or if it would have been better to combine the first two books and combine the last two, making this a two part series rather than a four part series.

The second major challenge was getting my head around the publishing process as it pertains to print advertisement, social media, and online sales versus traditional book store distribution channels. Quite honestly, I’m still not sure I understand most of the dynamics involved, even now.  What I do know is there are a lot of people and organizations claiming to offer beneficial services, when in reality they actually offer little benefit for the author.

Finally, it is essential as an author to appropriately manage your time.  As writers, we all want to write when the creative juices are flowing, but the reality remains that writing is hard work and must be worked at on a daily basis.  I try to write between 1,500 and 2,500 well-crafted words a day. On good days, I succeed and on fantastic days, I write somewhere between 2,500 and 3,300 words.  But I have found I have to actually set time aside to write because the longer I go without writing the harder it becomes to begin again.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

JS: Actually, I concentrate on telling a good story rather than worrying about ups and downs or twists and turns.  I have discovered if I concentrate on telling the story, plot twists take care of themselves.  However, this approach isn’t without its flaws and problems. The major issue I have found with this approach is the series doesn’t fit neatly into one specific genre and this can be frustrating to some readers. It’s not uncommon for their reviews to reflect this frustration.

CH: Reviews have said that you have great character development.  How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

JS: I am not one for writing outlines or following them, so for the most part, I prefer to develop the character as I write the story.  I may have a general idea of the type of person this character will be, but the true personality doesn’t emerge until I begin creating interactions with other characters within the story.  For example, in the first paragraph of Uncontrolled Spin, the reader sees Sean’s general character, but it isn’t until the second paragraph on page two that his personality begins to develop.  Once the persona emerges, I continue it throughout the rest of the story, with a little growth as well.

CH: Your readers are asking for a sequel to this book.  Do you have plans for a new book?

JS: Yes.  The second book in this series, Unmerited Favor, is completed and undergoing final edits and cover design with the publisher.  I anticipate a release date that could be as early as this month.  I am currently about one-quarter of the way through book three entitled Unrestrained Behavior. I hope to have it released in the summer with the final book, Unanticipated Circumstances scheduled for a 2016 winter release.  For the next project, I plan on writing a fiction book involving political and police corruption to be released in the fall 2017.

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

JS: I am passionate about the absolute destructive components of domestic violence and sexual assault in the lives of victim’s at all socio-economic levels and genders. Abuse can be found everywhere in all its hideous forms, physical, emotional, even financial.  We are all susceptible to becoming entangled in unhealthy and even destructive relationships. In highlighting some of these elements, like physical control and emotional manipulation, isolation, and even financial dependency within intimate relationships, I hope to raise social consciousness and support for those caught in this vicious cycle by demonstrating how far the human psyche can stretch to justify actions and even criminal behavior.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

JS: No, I have not based any of the characters or incidences in this book on any specific individual or investigation. I was a part of conducting, although certain elements of individual human personalities are reflected based upon life experiences and observations.  This is truly a work of fiction and imagination.

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

JS: I believe, I bring a unique perspective to criminal investigations with realistic crime scenes given my extensive law enforcement experience as an investigator and crime scene reconstructionist.  The view I portray is from an experienced set of eyes when it comes to domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide and even murder.  This perspective is something lacking in others who haven’t conducted these types of in-depth investigations or who don’t fully understand the protocols involved.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

JS: Without a doubt, it is the importance of critical self-editing and then final editing. I have a tendency to read what I wanted to write and not what I actually wrote.  Every book goes through my edits and at least three other major edits.  There are times, I simply have to rely on my editors because they all know better than I, when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation.

CH: Have you taken any writing classes to hone your craft?

JS: Not particularly, other than a few college courses and a few writers’ conferences. At least, not yet.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

JS: Personal observations on human behavior and my imagination is the foundation.

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

JS: The majority, approximately 77% of the feedback is positive, which is encouraging; approximately 18% are neutral (3 Stars); and approximately 5% were negative.

Some of the reviews have been helpful, while others didn’t give much insight as to what made the book truly enjoyable or what really wasn’t appreciated. When I distill everything down, I find 95% of the reviews were either neutral or positive and 5% percent were actually negative.  Some of the criticism has been taken to heart and changes have been implemented in Unmerited Favor while other input has been ignored because of the voice I wished to portray in the writing.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JS: It is www.jerrysummersauthor.comPlease feel free to visit and like my webpage and author page at Amazon.com.

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

JS: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and Xlibris. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TsWQlT

CH: Any closing remarks?

JS: Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time to interview me and for this opportunity to address your readers.  The questions posed were thought provoking and forced me to ponder many things about my writing and future endeavors. I hope all of your readers take the time to read my books and enjoy them, as much as I enjoy writing them.

CH: Thank you Jerry Summers, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

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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 – Aja Taylor

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Title: Covered Deep

Genre: Urban Life

Synopsis: Dex had it all—a wife, family, and best friend. Not to mention, all the luxuries that the street life puts forth. And in the blink of an eye, it was all on the line. Facing at least fifteen years to life, Dex is struggling from behind bars to find out who set him up. While at the same time, trying to keep his business maintained. With his crew doubting each other’s loyalty, they have to make sure that their respect on the streets remains in tact. Is it a longtime rival, an upcoming hustler hungry for all that the streets have to offer, or is Dex set up by someone who has been there all along?

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Aja Taylor, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Aja Taylor. She is a debut author who wants to explore various genres. Welcome to my blog, Aja.               

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

AT: A reader should buy my work to tap into my literary world and see how Aja Taylor creates greatness, not only in Urban fiction, but in multiple genres.

CH: Urban Life books are currently trending. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends?

AT: When looking at the market for book ideas, I do look for what’s trending. But with that being said, I don’t always follow the trend. Trends tend to die off after a while. So, that’s when another one needs to be set. Maybe, I will set some new ones!

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

AT: What I bring different to Urban writing is originality. And I always try to make sure that things aren’t predictable with my writing. I, myself, hate reading a book and by the end of chapter 2, I know how the book will turn out.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AT: Let’s see, the hardest character to write was Chante. She was hard because I didn’t know how I was going to make her blossom from a timid woman into a “boss lady.”

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AT: (Smiling) Jazz was my favorite to bring to life because we are a lot alike. We have that feistiness and hot temper, but at the same time will take you under our wing.

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

AT: It wasn’t too hard creating believable situations, but when it did become difficult, I used quite a bit of real life incorporated into the story.

CH: Do you have a book trailer? What are your thoughts on book trailers?

AT: For this book, Covered Deep, I didn’t do a book trailer. I think I’m going to open up to that idea for future releases though.

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

AT: It took me about 9 months to write Covered Deep.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

AT: Yes, I do read Urban fiction, as well. I pretty much will read anything that will grasp my attention. And I’m challenging myself to write in other genres, as well.

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

AT: Some other authors that I would love to collaborate with are my husband, Author King, Alice Walker, Donald Goines, Walter Mosley, Robert Frost and Raquel Williams to name a few. Those are a few that I admire.

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

AT: Writing has always been an outlet for me, but I started with poetry. That was more my thing, but when my husband released his book, Deceitful Betrayal, last year, I told him that I wanted to write a book and he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did it!

CH: Since you are a debut author, what’s next on the agenda in your writing career?    

AT: Next on my agenda is putting out some more books and establishing my own publishing company. I have learned a great deal with being self-published and I want to share what I’ve learned with others. I still have a lot to learn, but there is growth from these past 7 months, since my release and you all will see that in my coming releases.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

AT: My website is currently unavailable at the moment. It is under construction.

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

AT: Covered Deep is sold online at Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Barnes and Noble. I am working on getting into other places, as well. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/23VUak1 

CH: Any closing remarks?

AT: In closing, I would like to thank you for reaching out and showing Aja some love. I appreciate that. And I most definitely want to thank everyone that has supported me on this journey—God, my husband and my loving son. All the readers out there that have read Covered Deep, much love to you and you will love what I have coming out this year. God bless!

CH: Thank you Aja Taylor, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Aja Taylor.

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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Guest Author Interview – Emily Kendricks

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Title: The Fantasy Maker

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Synopsis: Emma loves her husband and is excited by his political rise to mayor of their small town, but behind closed doors, she’s a frustrated young wife and mother, driven beyond her limits by her husband’s indifference to her needs. When a friend introduces her to a high-priced ‘members only’ club where the wives of the rich and powerful secretly visit, Emma finds an erotic world of mani-pedi’s, full-body massages and tantalizing pleasures limited only by her own inhibitions. No fantasy is denied, but what follows not only threatens to expose the existence of ‘The Ranch’ and its prominent members, but destroy her marriage and the career of one of the most promising young politicians in the state.

Emily Kendricks

Avatar for Emily Kendricks, Author

CH: Today’s guest author is Emily Kendricks.  She is a debut author, who writes stories with strong female character development and compelling storylines. Welcome to my blog, Emily.  

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

EK: It’s an erotic escape about the everyday woman, finally giving in to her inhibitions—with some twists and turns along the way.

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a fantasy “Ranch” for rich, bored wives?

EK: In today’s competitive world, some women may find themselves alone much of the time, while their husbands are caught up in trying to grow or manage a budding, or existing, career.  It does not change the fact that these women have needs—emotional and physical.  A fantasy ranch…wow!  The perfect form of escapism!

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?

EK: Being the only girl in a family with five brothers I found myself alone a lot, growing up.  I used to fantasize about places that I’d like to see some day…people I’d like to meet.  Many times, these fantasies would turn into story plots in my mind.  I still find myself daydreaming and fantasizing.  Only now, I grab my laptop and start making notes.

CH: Since you are a debut author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romantic/thriller fiction writing?

EK: My writing process continues to evolve as I become more confident with my ability to complete an entire story.  I’m learning to trust my writing instincts, go with my gut and move with the flow of the story.  Sometimes, it takes all kinds of twists and turns, but I think that’s what keeps the reader’s interest.  I don’t want my stories to be ‘predictable.’  I want them to have totally unexpected events and endings.  I want it to be remembered by the reader, long after the story is finished.

CH: Emma’s best friend, Jen, seems to lead her into exciting situations.  Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic?

EK: It was a bit challenging at times trying to keep it sexy and erotic while at the same time being believable, but that’s what keeps it interesting—maintaining a good balance.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EK: Without a doubt, Dante!  Gorgeous, sexy, erotic, talented…a fantasy god on one side….quiet, easy-going, emotional and totally human on the other!

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EK: Emma.  Her theme song would be ‘I’m Every Woman!’  She was innocent, dedicated, patient…but inside she was a vixen screaming to come out!  She had feelings and, in spite of her marital disappointments, she was determined to remain committed to her role as wife and mother.

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

EK: I will usually play with titles along the way.  Sometimes, I will change a title several times before the manuscript is sent to my publisher.  I like to try and find something in the story and create a title from that.    

CH: With politics and a business, Emma’s husband, Steve, seems to be “too” busy for a wife and family, which seems to be a trend. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? 

EK: No, definitely not.  I try to ‘zig’ when everyone else is ‘zagging’.  I like to create my own new trend.  That’s just my personality.  I can’t remember a time in my life when I was any other way.

CH: Does this fantasy borderline with erotica?

EK: Yes!  Isn’t it exciting?  One of my reviewers described it as “sexy and steamy and smart!”  I like that description.  It’s hot and erotic, but it also has a powerful storyline, as well.  Not just fantasy sex, but something that the reader can sometimes relate to. That’s what makes it interesting.

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

EK: No.  It’s a fantasy.  I don’t feel that fantasies necessarily have messages.  You just, inhale…exhale…and enjoy it!

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

EK: Oh, my gosh, I am blown away by the reviews!  I have 5 stars on both Amazon and Goodreads and The Fantasy Maker has earned me second place in the Best Paranormal Romance Suspense category for 2015!  I’m excited and so grateful for the feedback and for my growing number of fans!

CH: Who is your favorite author? Why?

EK: Why, Emily Kendricks, of course! J  Sandra Brown and James Patterson.  Sandra Brown is my ‘go-to’ author.  I love her eloquent style.  Her stories never disappoint.  She is definitely a ‘wow’ in my book!

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book, or was it strictly fantasy? 

EK: No special research, just complete fantasy and heat.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EK: I am currently working on a website and hopefully it will be up and running soon.

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

EK: The Fantasy Maker can be purchased on Amazon (both Kindle and paperback), and on Barnes and Noble online (Nook). Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Pj50sU

CH: Any closing remarks?

EK: Some people think that women who read erotic romance books are somehow trying to fill a void in their lives.  Not the case, at all.  We love reading sexy romances, simply because they are awesome to read!  Sara Wendell said it best, “It’s one of the few genres that reflect the varying experiences of being a woman.” Also, my next book is due to be released this spring.  Breakfast in Brooklyn is a Romance Thriller with an amazingly unique love situation and an ending that will knock your socks off!  Keep an eye out for it!

CH: Thank you Emily Kendricks, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Emily Kendricks.

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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Guest Author Interview – Richard M. Awe

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Title: Cry for Me

Genre: Thrillers/Suspense/Serial Killers

Synopsis: A community is shocked when a mutilated body turns up in a park in their quiet town. Police work to identify the first victim and a possible motive in this hideous discovery. It’s not long before the bodies begin to stack up. A serial killer has set up shop in the small town of South Elgin, Illinois and it is up to Detective Sergeant, Rick Miller, to put a stop to it. But he can’t do it alone. With his partner out of town he has to rely on rookie investigator, Danny Keyes. Ride along with Miller and Keyes as they work with the county Coroner and local law enforcement agencies exploring the chilling details of the unimaginable crime scenes. Take a unique step inside the mind of a serial killer and his macabre motives that compel him to kill in this fast paced hard core crime thriller.

Richard Awe

Richard M. Awe, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Richard M. Awe. He is a blue collar family man, who rides a Harley and loves to tell a good story.  Welcome to my blog, Richard.

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

RMA: A serial killer is injecting his victims with Curare and it is up to Detective Miller to stop him. (Curare is a potent arrow poison.)

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a serial killer?

RMA: I love murder mystery books, as well as, police procedural books and I am also fascinated by studying human behavior. I thought it would be fun combining all three and a serial killer was a perfect fit.

CH: Does it disturb you as a person to write about gruesome situations?

RMA: Yes. In fact, that is how I came up with the gruesome scene and the heinous murders. I just thought about things or situations that I found despicable and wrote about them.

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?

RMA: My ideas often hit me out of nowhere. I could be eating dinner, cutting the grass, driving, etc. and an idea or concept will hit me. I jot it down and then build an outline from there.

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

RMA: I am a story teller. I love to tell stories. I offer a unique style of writing that keeps the reader interested and turning the pages from the first page. I am often told by my readers that they feel like they’re being told a story not reading a book.

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

RMA: I have done both, but typically I come up with an idea or concept first, and then a title will emerge during the outline process.

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

RMA: It was not difficult at all. I have a very vivid imagination and would couple that with some real life experiences and situations to achieve a more believable story.

CH: Did you have any challenges as a debut author?

RMA: Yes. Several! Too many to list, but I stuck with it, and persevered.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RMA: Samantha Anderson. I wanted her to come off like a regular person, “the girl next door” without it sounding contrived. I think I achieved that.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

RMA: Gene Harrison. Looking through the eyes of a killer was both exciting and scary at the same time.

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

RMA: No. It is a fictional murder mystery written purely for entertainment—for both myself and the reader.

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

RMA: By far, very positive feedback. When I wrote Cry for Me, I never intended for it to be a series. But after an overwhelming response from readers, I have decided to continue on with the Detective Rick Miller series and I am currently writing two more books in this series.

CH: How did you start writing?

RMA: In my early twenties, I began to write short stories to pass time. My co-workers began reading them and urged me to write more. They were very short. Often 2-3 pages long, banged out on an IBM Wheelwriter (electric typewriter), in a short time.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

RMA: Todd M. Thiede (He is a murder mystery author.)

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

RMA: Yes. I just finished a novella titled, Legend of Crooked Hollow Cemetery. I have three other book concepts outlined and currently in the writing stage now. Felony Murder and Mother, May I, are book 2 and 3 in the Detective Rick Miller murder mystery series and one other book.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RMA: http://www.richardawe.com

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

RMA: Amazon and where ever fine books are sold. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1S9RHyC

CH: Any closing remarks?

RMA: I would like to thank you and your readers for your time. I hope I have answered the interview questions in way that readers find interesting and have peaked their curiosity enough to read one or all my books.

CH: Thank you Richard M. Awe, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Richard M. Awe.

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

Guest Author Interview – Tanicia “Shamay” Currie and Cheneqa P. Rivers

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Title: Deep Within I Knew He Wasn’t For Me: Ignoring The Red Flags!

Genre:  Self Help

Synopsis: Deep Within I Knew He Wasn’t For Me: Ignoring The Red Flags, is a book that features the stories from women who come from different walks of life. These amazing women have all experienced RED FLAGS in their relationships, as many of us have.  Our experiences have led us to look within ourselves and change our dating styles to ensure that our core values are being fulfilled. We teach others how to treat us especially in relationships, but we must know our core values as to what we will and will not accept.  When you are removed from a relationship, you are able to gain clarity and come to the realization that deep within you had a feeling that he wasn’t the right one.  This book also explores different types of men who presented red flags that we as women may have failed to see.  My goal is to show women that we have all made mistakes, but we must build our self-awareness while learning from our past mistakes. I truly hope you enjoy the book as well as I hope it provides insight for you on your path to true love and self-discovery.

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Tanicia “Shamay Speaks” Currie, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Authors are Tanicia “Shamay Speaks” Currie and Cheneqa P. Rivers. Both authors have contributed to the book. Welcome Ladies.

CH: Let’s start with Tanicia. Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

TSC: A short story book that discusses the red flags we may miss in relationships, but most importantly, it discusses self-worth/love.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

TSC: I actually started the book over 8 years ago, but I only had a few pages and I thought about it over the years. After becoming a single mother and being given a life reality check, I was forced to look within myself. I feel that God wasn’t finished teaching me lessons during those 8 years, so in 2014, I decided now is the time. This book has been my therapy.

CH: Why do most women ignore the red flags in their relationships?

TSC: There are many reasons, but I truly feel that the less self-worth we have, they more red flags we overlook. Some of the reasons could be we are seeking something in someone else instead of ourselves, we have low self-worth/esteem, or we just want a man because we’re lonely, etc. We must know ourselves in order to see those flags ahead of time. On the other side of the coin, there are many men who live double lives and live them well. I have a section in the book that discusses the different types of men.

CH: How does building self-awareness help women to avoid the red flags?

TSC: I feel that building self-awareness is crucial to any successful relationship as our first relationship is with ourselves. We must love ourselves, know our worth, and know our deal breakers/values before we can expect anyone else to. When you have self-awareness issues, red flags start turning green. J

CH: What are the top 5 red flags that women ignore?

TSC: They are:

  1. When you find yourself making excuses for his odd behavior or blaming yourself for his mistreatment of you.
  2. Allowing him to always use the ‘I’m too busy,’ excuse. People make time for what they want period.
  3. When you call, he always texts and doesn’t return the call.
  4. He tells you he’s in a situation no matter what it is, and you still give him a chance.
  5. His actions do not follow his words.

CH: Are there women of all ages portrayed in the book?

TSC: Yes, the ages range from 33-79.

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

TSC: The overall message I want the readers to grasp is that you have to love yourself and know your worth before you can expect anyone else to. Its okay to make mistakes, but don’t lose your internal self love in relationships. Understand you have value and you deserve to be valued in any relationship. Also, remember you are not alone, because many women have dealt with failed relationships and poor choices in relationships; however, you can overcome these things and find the love you desire.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

TSC: www.shamayspeaks.com

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

TSC: It can be purchased on my website, Amazon, and the Avid Reader Bookstore at Tower in Sacramento (on Broadway). Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1SQsSqB

CH: Any closing remarks?

TSC: I definitely want to thank you for the opportunity, it’s amazing. I truly appreciate it. I want to leave by saying I can guarantee the book and the others I am featured in are life changing. I want all women to know that they deserve the best in life and relationships, so never settle for less than the best. Keep God first and take ownership over your life. Let those red flags start to turn green within. Lastly, I want to thank the amazing contributing authors: Cheneqa Rivers, Robin Myhand, Amanda Doss, and Aneitra Scott, and those who remain anonymous. Blessings to all!

Cheneqa Rivers

Cheneqa P. Rivers, Author

CH: Next, I would like to talk to Cheneqa. Her story is entitled, Single For A Reason. 

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

CPR: If you’re wondering whether or not the person you’re dealing with is for you or not this story should help and that’s why you should read my story!

CH: How do you think sharing your personal experience helps other women? 

CPR: I believe that we all go through things in life, not only to benefit ourselves personally, but to also be a lesson to others. It was once said that a wise person learns from other’s mistakes and I just hope that one woman who reads my story will be able to understand what it is life has to teach her through my experience. If we can learn how to accept what is before us, we will be much more valuable to ourselves. And it is my hope that someone will see her own value; and live and move in it freely.

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

CPR: The thing that I would hope that readers get the most from my story is to pay attention to the things that are happening around them. We often loose sight of what is before us because our judgment gets clouded with what we believe to be love, even though a lot of times what we feel is infatuation. We need not always have a ‘guard’ up, but we do need to be aware. I would hope that someone will understand that giving your heart to another person shouldn’t hurt and if that person truly loves you, they will protect you by telling you the truth and living the truth with you.

CH: Was it painful to revisit that the situation that changed your life? 

CPR: It wasn’t as hard as I anticipated it to be. I thought that it was going to be hard to tell the story, but because I had dealt with how I felt about the whole situation years ago, it was a freeing experience to share in a public platform to be a help to others. I feel like I went through that whole scenario not just for me, but for my girlfriends, my nieces, and my cousins. And to share it was a blessing—to release it and move on from it.

CH: What lesson have you learned from red flag self-awareness?

CPR: I’ve learned to appreciate the fact that red flags exist and that it’s my responsibility to act on them when they arise. I also learned that red flags are there for a reason and if I avoid them it will only lead to heartache for me and I don’t want that in my life.

CH: Any closing remarks? 

CPR: When I agreed to contribute to this book, I never imagined it would open a place in me to want to actually share more of my life story. I have yet to decide how I’m going to do that through either a novel or self-help book, but I do foresee more writing. I would also like to challenge the readers to open themselves up to seeing what’s in front of them in all of their relationships. From platonic, to family, to romantic, because sometimes we can and will hold onto people and situations in our lives, even though they no longer serve our lives in a positive way, just because they are familiar. Red flags come in all shapes and forms, so pay attention and prune those folks who obviously don’t have your best interest at heart, and yes, you know exactly who they are, so quit playing!

CH: Thank you Tanicia “Shamay” Currie and Cheneqa P. Rivers, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet, Tanicia Currie and Cheneqa Rivers.

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

Guest Author Interview – Latoya Brown

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Wanted Green Card

Title: Wanted Green Card: Marrying For Citizenship

Genre: Family Saga/Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: Marriage fraud is an international issue that is growing momentum. It can happen to anyone as everyone falls in love. Many hearts are broken as well as time, energy, and money. The women who fall for these romance scams set off to build a family unit, while the man they have married has a green card mission. Take a journey through one woman’s experiences of being married to an African man from Ghana who had an agenda to get to the U.S.A.

This book uses an experimental presentation featuring what a relationship of romance scam looks like starting online along with the blog presentation that must be read: http://www.wantedgreencard.wordpress.com. A proclamation of love follows quickly and it’s a whirlwind of emotions from there. Read along with chat conversations and emails of what it usually looks like; complete with courtship, abandonment, and divorce.

Latoya Brown

Latoya Brown. Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Latoya Brown, a debut author. Welcome to my blog Latoya.

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

LB: You should read this book because it not only happens to a lot of people, but it’s also entertaining—the ebb and flow of being used and the private conversations between a floundering couple.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

LB: I decided to write this book because it happened to me. It has also happened to many others—marriage fraud is a big little secret.

CH: Marriage fraud seems to be prevalent with men and women from third world countries. When did marriage fraud become an international issue?

LB: Marriage fraud became an international issue the first time a man or woman decided to connive in order to get to a “better” country in order for them to take a step up socially or economically.

CH: Why is a green card so Important to Non-Americans?

LB: Some dream and talk about America every day. Americans can’t fathom this because we are already living here. But some people really believe that they can conquer America by coming to make a lot of money in order to send it back to their families. Oftentimes, this is the only goal made instead of working or creating their own opportunities. Perhaps the mindset is that it’s easier to go through the motions of love and get there quicker on someone else’s back.

CH: Are there any percentages for the increase of marriage fraud?

LB: The number of cases that were found guilty: in 2006, there were only 716 cases, and in 2011, it had increased to 3,924 cases.

The increase will continue as the Internet brings us all closer with the ability to communicate and create confessions of fake love. And, of course, many will not be found to be guilty, nor found out because many women are told to get over it and move on. These silent victims are embarrassed and ashamed of their stories. The number of applications for marriage-based green cards in 2011 was 270,761.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in this book?

LB: Yes, the book and the blog are related to my personal experiences.

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

LB: It could happen to you, so empathy and understanding are needed.

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

LB: This is my first book.

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

LB: No. I did not.

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

LB: The organization, International Wives of African Men, has brought forward many women with their stories. There is, of course, a mix—there are some happy, healthy couples; and then there are those whom have been abandoned the day after he received his green card. The research has been through analyzing how these ladies were pursued—usually only online, then also how these ladies paid to help with the process of obtaining a green card. Many thought they were in a real relationship.

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

LB: The book took 1 year to produce.

CH: Are the people in the book all based on real people? Is the information based on real events?

LB: The information was not hard to write, nor share. This book is based upon real events and real people.

CH: Was it painful to revisit the situation that changed your life?

LB: It is no longer painful. Once my own ex-husband abandoned me, I woke up and realized that he indeed was a user and that is his issue. I felt like an idiot crying and begging to be with someone that I was carrying financially and even coaching him on how to be romantic. When I reflect on my blog, it feels hopeful—a therapy of sorts. I hope that I’m reaching someone who needs the message.

I notice that the misogyny oozes forward on the International Wives of African Men YouTube channel.  Some have stated how it’s African American women and how we are the problem. It’s really interesting to see how many men and women unknowingly practice misogyny. Even with evidence many feel that the African American woman must not voice her opinion or else she is the stereotype that they then use like a whip to try to keep her in place. I’ve noticed this a lot in the YouTube comments of the organization, in particular from African men and women as they boast about how it’s not white women who will come forward, but the supposed loud African American woman. Those that comment are African women, who agree and boast that yes, that African man will drop the foreign woman and send for her after he is settled. It is like a version of prostitution of the man in order for the whole family to be better off. From what I can see it’s all nationalities being used, but this does not negate the pain of any of the women coming forward.

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

LB: The book is an experimental presentation. The blog presents a straightforward release, while the book actually gives a ‘fly on the wall’ view of what happened.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

LB: Yes! The blog is www.wantedgreencard.wordpress.com

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

LB: As of today the book is only available as an eBook on Amazon. Follow the blog in order to learn about future available formats. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1YKTPeD

CH: Any closing remarks?

LB: Thanks for the interview.

CH: Thank you Latoya Brown, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Latoya Brown.

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

Guest Author Interview – Teresa Clyne

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

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Title: Cypathia: The Secret Princess

Genre: Fantasy & Magic

Synopsis: A children’s fantasy story that has it all, endurance through adversity, dragons, sorcery and magic, with inter realm portal travel and victory against evil.

Join Kaia on a magical journey of endurance through adversity, dragons, sorcery and magic, with inter realm portal travel and victory against evil.

Part One:  In the midst of a siege by the enemy King Mordor, Queen Theodora and King Alexander, make a heart-breaking decision. Their two children, Kaia and her brother Kolby, must leave Cypathia through a portal.

Catherine and Isadora, two magic guardians, have created it especially. Once through, the portal must be sealed and the children cannot return until they come of age on their thirteenth birthday.

As Isadora and Catherine take the babies through, they become separated. Whilst Catherine makes it through to Kaleseth with Kolby, Isadora ends up in a new world.

Landing among the dinner of a family, it quickly becomes clear that Isadora and Kaia are stuck in the realm of Herecia.

For thirteen years, Kaia and her guardian are slaves to the horrible Endora, her husband and their nasty children. Tormented and subjected to menial labor, Kaia grows up oblivious to her own roots.

In time, she discovers a tiny bundle in the forest which quickly is discovered to be a dragon who she names Billow.

On her thirteenth birthday, she discovers the shimmering portal which has re-opened. When Isadora reveals all, they are overheard and are held for ransom.

Teresa Clyne

Teresa Clyne, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Teresa Clyne, a debut author from Ireland. She has written the ultimate children’s fantasy novel. Welcome to my blog Teresa.

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

TC: My book is a fiction/fantasy stemming from a Medieval Realm called Cypathia—Cypathia is a beautiful and magical place where dragons and sorcery are in every town and village.

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

TC: The concept of Kaia comes from imagination.  Cypathia was borne when I was only 10 years old, and had a rambling imagination.

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

TC: Kaia starts life as royalty, she, however, is unaware of this. She lives a life of relative poverty until she is 13 and told of her true identity.  She returns to her Kingdom to claim victory over the evil King Mordor and crowned Queen of Cypathia.

CH: Since you have created a magical world with magical characters, what inspired you to write Cypathia: The Secret Princess?

TC: So many children love to revert to the imagination, victory over evil and the underdog coming up on top, I felt that Kaia and her situation was a perfect reference to this.

CH: Does it excite you that adults and children enjoy your book?

TC: Yes, I think many adults had a similar traumatic childhood as Kaia and how she endured so much and still came out a winner helps adults to find strength to face the things they need to in order to succeed.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues?

TC: No, it was so easy. I had a whole lifetime to perfect all of the characters, as I’ve known them all since I was 10.

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

TC: It takes approximately one year to write each one, but editing takes the majority of this time.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

TC: Isadora, such a kind hearted and pure friend, so protective and caring, even though she was not related to Kaia.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

TC: I wanted strong beautiful characters to contract the evil or weak ones, so that there was balance.

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

TC: I had this story in my head for years and decided to get it all down, to make the stories in my head more realistic and others could also enjoy them.

CH: What inspired you to begin writing for children? 

TC: The simplicity and pure goodness of the characters meant that I really wanted children to find strength from the strength of Kaia.

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

TC: I write as part of my job, this is all academic writing, so it is a great break to write about fantasy characters in Kingdoms where dragons, magic and princesses all live together. I have been writing academically since 2009 and I have been writing poems and articles since childhood.

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

TC: Ulysses, the flow of characters and personalities was so influential on my own stories.

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

TC: It did give a different perspective, mainly on how the characters behaviours are logical and also politically correct.

CH: You are currently writing Part 2, Reunited, did you know this would be a series when you started writing Part 1?

TC: It was only meant to be one part, then it got bigger by the day and part two was born, part three is now in the pipeline as is Billows Journey to Cypathia.  This short story tells Billows story, from being thrown from the nest to saving Kaia and Isadora to the coronation of Kaia in Cypathia.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

TC: Yes, it is http://cypathia.com

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

TC: My book is available in kindle on Amazon. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1QpKtWr Amazon.uk Link: http://amzn.to/1O60r7C

CH: Any closing remarks?

TC: I would like to thank the amazing support I have received from readers and reviewers. One small tidbit about me…I wear odd socks!!

CH: Thank you Teresa Clyne, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Teresa Clyne.

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

Guest Author Interview – Dan Buri

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Pieces Like Pottery_Cover

Title: Pieces Like Pottery: Stories of Loss and Redemption

Genre: Inspirational Short Stories

Synopsis: The first collection of short fiction from Dan Buri, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. In this distinct selection of stories marked by struggle and compassion, Pieces Like Pottery is a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love.

A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.

Dan Buri

Dan Buri, Author

CH: Today, I would like to welcome Dan Buri to my blog. Dan is a debut author who is definitely carving his spot in the literary world.

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

DB: An examination of life’s sorrows and redemptions reminding us how we all need kindness, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.

CH: What inspired you to write a book about the five sorrowful mysteries?

DB: Great question. I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked short stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and display that, despite how different our life experiences are, we are all connected as human beings. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize that and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book. Utilizing the thematic framework of each of the five sorrowful mysteries was simply a way to communicate that suffering and redemption.

CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

DB: There are hundreds of books, thousands even, that have influenced me and helped shape me. If I was forced to choose one, I would have to say The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I have read it a half dozen times or so, but the first time I read it was with my mother. I think I fell in love with storytelling hearing my mother read this book to me. It’s a beautiful fable. I can recall lying up at night before bed as she made the world of C.S. Lewis a reality for me.

CH: Losing a child is indeed a sorrowful mystery and I was certainly drawn into the book from the very first story. Was it hard choosing the situations and issues to be included in this book?

DB:  Yes, because of the emotional toll it took on me at times. I had to simultaneously tap into both a melancholic and a hopeful part of myself for this book, which made it difficult to write the stories in long stretches.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

DB: I really enjoy Mr. Smith, the teacher from Expect Dragons, (one of the stories in the book). He also pops up in a few other stories throughout the book, but those are little hidden clues for the reader to find. I think many of us have had inspirational teachers and mentors in our lives. It is so important to have these people during key moments in our development as young people. I have had some amazing teachers and mentors in my lifetime. Both of my parents are teachers, as well as my sister and my sister-in-law. Teachers give us so much of themselves and as a society, at least here in the United States, we tend to give them so little back. It’s really sad. Mr. Smith is an inspirational character and I enjoy hearing his thoughts on life.

CH: Who was your hardest character to write?   

DB: I found the dockworker from Twenty-Two very difficult. His story is so sad and it became exhausting emotionally to tell his story. 

CH: Take us through your writing process. When you get an idea, do you map out the short story beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

DB: Both. I typically have an idea or framework for a story before I begin. I also keep a journal of notes and ideas that strike me throughout the day. We all have what an old teacher of mine liked to call pristine moments of coherence—those moments when an idea strikes us so profoundly and clearly. I don’t want to lose those thoughts when I have them, so I try to write them down. Once I have the framework and I am writing the story, then I will let it develop where it wants to go. As I am writing, I will pull concepts from my journals or other notebooks. In one of the stories in Pieces Like Pottery, the ending I had planned just didn’t work. It felt dishonest to take the reader on the journey and then finish with the original ending. I just knew the reader would feel betrayed, so I had to rework it completely. So, sometimes the original plan just doesn’t work and the story unfolds on its own.

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

DB: This is a tough question. Very nice, Cheryl. I hope people see inspiration. Hope. Love. I remember a time years ago when I was going through some very difficult things. People were very supportive, but like anything in life, their lives continued and soon I was mostly on my own. I remember thinking, ‘How many times have I failed to recognize a friend’s sadness? How many times have they walked by me and I failed to realize how much they were struggling? It really stuck with me. My book, I hope, taps into a very real and raw side of our shared human experience. I hope it takes my readers on a journey that is common and accessible, but very powerful.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

DB: I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. One of the first poems I ever wrote was about my older brother and his basketball playing abilities. I still remember the opening lines and I wrote them as a kid nearly 30-years ago:

  • I’m Joe the King of Basketball,
  • I’m the king of the basketball court.
  • All my shots are always on target,  
  • None of them are ever short.

I didn’t say it was any good! I don’t remember any more than that. To be honest, I’m not sure how I even remember those lines. I share it, though, because your book The Italian Basketball Player  (Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1MqgxVQ) brought it to mind. The point, I guess, is that writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.

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

DB: Good question. After a writer completes his work, it becomes the reader’s, so I do want for each reader to understand the book in their own way. I will say that in Pieces Like Pottery most everything in the book is intentional. The names are not randomly chosen. The numbers used are intentional. Quotes, songs, artists, etc. Most everything referenced in the book has a purpose, sometimes within the context of that one story and often times within the context of the entire framework of the book. It is no accident that there are five Sorrowful Mysteries in the book and that there are four intermediate stories and poems that break up the five main stories—that all has meaning. There are a lot of Easter eggs in the book, so readers should look closely. Hopefully in addition to enjoying the stories on their own merits, your readers will enjoy searching for clues, almost like a mystery novel that challenges the reader to pick up the individual pieces of the story and piece them together into a grander whole.

CH: What advice would you have for aspiring writers and authors?

DB: Over the years I have been lucky enough to be offered abundant feedback and to hear excellent commentary from a few creative people that I admire greatly. There are three comments/ideas that have stuck with me throughout all my writing endeavors and I’d like to pass them along to anyone that explores (and struggles with) creative undertakings like writing. (Each of these is summarized in my own words.)

  1. When asked about the fears and doubts that she had with her writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love) said she finally had an epiphany that her “writing muse” was telling her that this isn’t her story. If she doesn’t tell it, she said, then the muse would move on to someone else who will. Ms. Gilbert discussed how freeing this was for her. She was no longer declaring to the reader: “Listen to me. I have something to say.” It was almost as if she had no other choice but to write. This opened her up to write every day without fear of the result.
  1. Ira Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. He has a great quote for young creatives. In short, he encourages that your work is not going to be good when you’re first starting out. You may have an excitement for your craft and a killer taste for what’s good, but your execution is poor. The only way to improve your work, the only way to close the gap so that your work is as good as your ambitions, is to do a lot of work. Write. Every day. Every week put yourself on a deadline to write something new. It’s going to take a while, but that’s normal. Good writing doesn’t come the first time you sit down.
  1. Louis C.K. is one of the most thoughtful and innovative comics alive right now. I once heard him speak about his HBO show, Lucky Louie, which was cancelled after one season in 2006. He was asked if he was disappointed and if he looked back at it as a failure. His answer was unequivocally: “No.” For him it was just another experience that taught him how to hone his craft, which was invaluable.

So those would be my three pieces of (long-winded) advice for young writers. One, don’t worry about whether you have anything important to say. If you are inspired, say it. Two, write constantly. You won’t become a good writer unless you’re writing all the time. Three, take every writing experience and use it to hone your craft. Something is not a failure simply because the public doesn’t receive it the way you would like.

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

DB: I have been lucky enough to have some very positive reviews. It seems to have been well received so far, for which I am grateful. There was one lovely woman in particular, though, that had some feedback that really touched me. In her review itself she had wonderful things to say, commenting how she wanted to give the book 10 stars instead of 5 and how people will want to read my book again and again; but she contacted me directly as well and shared a wonderful story. She told me that her husband was an Air Force helicopter pilot who died in 2012 in a mid-air collision. She had spoken to him one last time less than 2 hours before he passed away. His last words to her, she says, were nearly identical to the last words in my book. She was so moved and just cried. She told me that she could never thank me enough for bringing her that experience in my writing. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a more beautiful review than that. It was a gift to hear that.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

DB: I think every story that an author creates is at least slightly based on real events or an amalgamation of real events. I also think an author will drop a little piece of himself or herself into every character they create. It is just too difficult to not let experiences and biases seep into one’s writing. There is certainly a piece of me in each character throughout Pieces Like Pottery. That being said, I didn’t create any of the characters to represent me or to be a caricature of myself.

CH: Can you tell my audience your website address?

DB: I don’t presently have a website for a few reasons, but I would love to hear from your readers. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions about the book. You can reach me via email at danburi777 [at] gmail [dot] com, on twitter @DanBuri777, or on Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/1MVKxZY. I really do hope you and some of your readers will check out my book. I need the support of thoughtful and intelligent readers like your audience. The life of an indie author is not easy and every little bit counts!

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

DB: Currently at promotional pricing! It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1NFWalt

CH: Any closing remarks?

DB: I would like to first of all say thank you, Cheryl, for hosting me on your site. You have a wonderful blog! This is a great place for us all to indulge in our shared love isn’t it? Thank you for your excellent content. I am grateful to be here and hopefully I have the opportunity to get to know your audience better.

CH: Thank you Dan Buri, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Dan Buri.

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