Category Archives: brief words

[Brief Words] 2015 Throwback Interview of Annalisa Nicole

Bachman: I spotted you doing events in person, what’s your favorite part of doing an event like that?

Nicole: I love doing events! I absolutely love getting to know people! This past year I’ve met so many amazing people!

Bachman: Take us through, if you don’t mind, your writing process? Do you do an outline or freestyle it letting your characters tell you where they want to go?

Nicole: I’ve done both and they both seem to work well for me. My first book I just sat down and wrote. But since I’ve been working in a series I find now that I need to have an outline. I have bios on each of my characters too, just to keep them straight. I know the general idea of where the book is going but a lot of the book comes from just letting the words come as I type. The characters in my head are pretty loud and usually take me to places I never imagined the story to go. And I love it that way.

Bachman: What has inspired Unavoidable Chance?

Nicole: Unavoidable Chance is so special to me! The female main character, Ava, is so like me. She’s an over-thinker and her brain goes fifty different directions in a minute. That’s so me! I had so much fun writing this book!! This book for me was a ten on the Kleenex scale to write too! I love when people contact me and tell me how their husband had to come into the room just to check on them because they were balling while reading my book! To be able to put so much emotion in words in a book is just so amazing!

Bachman: Unavoidable Chance is the fifth installment in your Running into Love Series, please, if you don’t mind, what inspired this series?

Nicole: I’m not sure what inspired it, exactly. It just kind of hit me one day. A family who each sibling would in one way or another physically run into someone and begins this powerful, magical, journey together and ends up soul-mates. I didn’t even know each siblings story yet until the end of the previous book. All of them were sort of this freight trail idea that literally hit me and my brain just ran with it.

Bachman: When you begin writing a story, what helps you get into the mindset of one of your characters? What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?

Nicole: I have a set goal for each day. I have to reread what I wrote the previous day before I can get going again. I love rereading to see where I was yesterday and I usually add in additional emotion or thoughts too. Something I hope everyone takes away from my books and this is what is in each of the stories…true love, no matter who you are or where you are in your life is possible. I honestly believe there is someone for everyone just waiting out there for that perfect moment. I’m a true romantic! I love happily ever afters!

Bachman: Through my digging, I realized you’re a loving wife and mother. I always enjoy asking and learning how writers balance a family life and their writing lifestyle. Please, share with us how you do this? Is it hard for you?

Nicole: I’m so blessed to be a stay at home mom. My boys are older teenagers now, so I’m home alone during school days. I love to write in a quiet house, when no one is home. I usually don’t do author related business after I pick up my boys from school or on the weekends. I feel like I wear multiple hats and it depends on what time of day it is which one I wear.

Bachman: On your Amazon profile, it says that you were curious to write in romance because you’d fallen in love with the romance books you’d become a fan of. Are there any other genres you find yourself wanting to write in?

Nicole: So far, no, I’m pretty stuck on romance. I’m a mushy gushy hearts and flowers kind of girl.

Bachman: If you could collaborate on a book with another writer, who and why?

Nicole: I’d love to collaborate on a book with other authors. I couldn’t say who…that would be hard!

Find her online:
Website
Facebook
Amazon Author Profile

Buy her work:
Take a Chance – Amazon
I’ll Take A Chance – Amazon
Second Chance – Amazon
A Fighting Chance – Amazon
Unavoidable Chance – Amazon

Some links in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older interview being re-posted.

[Brief Words] 2015 Throwback: When Lindy Spencer Took Over

Once again, my ninja skills have served me well. Another unmanned blog to take over! Muahahaha!

Hi, my name is Lindy Spencer, and I’m an author. I write everything karmic, psychologically thrilling, and – breaking news – I even write children’s books! Who knew, right? I know! Spinne the Spider is a story I came up with recently, and I’m excited for it to come out for the kids in my life to read. Heck, the kids in your life might even enjoy an adventure with Spinne the six-legged spider.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m here because the door was unlocked, and, well, I do takeovers when bloggers aren’t looking, and today I’m focused on where we are with where we thought we’d be when we were asked that question in high school.

Me, personally, well, I’m so far removed from where I thought I’d planned well enough to be… I can’t even see the white picket fence from here. That’s okay, though. The white picket fence wasn’t my destiny. I can totally work with that! I planned to be married (that happened, didn’t work) with children (check, check) and live in a cute little cottage home (yeah, no) with a white picket fence (splinters are my enemies) and a yappy little dog (the neighbor has several, glad I dodged that particular bullet!). Instead, I am now re-married (to Amazing Husband, who is awesome), have the two children (lights of my life) who have given me a horde of grands (which I lovingly refer to collectively as ‘Skittles’), a home that is my refuge, and Super Smart Dog (who is bigger than a yappy puppy).

Way back when they asked where we thought we’d be in ten years I am not sure I would have made it to where I am now had I known then what was coming. Life is funny that way, isn’t it? It’s like someone in the Planning Department has a twisted sense of humor. Probably why I have one as well!

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind. If you want to drop me a line and let me know how life has turned out for you compared to how you thought it would turn out, I’m pretty easy to find. Either through my website, www.LindySpencer.com, or over on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LindySpencer.Author. Oh, and I’m easily stalk-able on Twitter, though not as prevalent there… http://twitter.com/_Lindy_Spencer.

Thanks for hanging out with me for a minute! I just heard a car door slam, which means they’re probably back… I’m going to use my ninja skills to sneak out the back door – don’t mention my name, okay? Later, Lovelies! *waves*


Some links in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have become broken over the years as well for some interviews and older content. This is an older interview being re-posted.

[Brief Words] 2017 Throwback Interview/WiHM Special – Lindsey Goddard

In honor of Women in Horror Month so much is going on! I just had to do a 15 for 15 to interview one woman in horror right now and I was lucky enough to snag the wonderful Lindsey Goddard!

Bachman: Tell us a bit about yourself, your work, what genre(s) you write in, and something you’d like to share about yourself that maybe isn’t well known.

Goddard: I am 33, and I’m not getting any younger, so I’m trying to get my name out there. My fiction is dark and somewhat depraved, but with an emotional twist. I’m currently working on a novel that I hope will knock your socks off.

Bachman: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Goddard: Well, my life as a writer has been great, during the times when I was able to write. Other times, I don’t get much writing done at all and beat myself up over it.So I’ll answer with a direct quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Forrest Gump: “Maybe both is happening at the same time.”

Bachman: What’s your writing process look like? What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Goddard: I tend to obsess over topics I find interesting, so research is an enjoyable part of writing for me. I can spend hours reading and watching about a topic, even for a three-thousand-word story. Days and days for the longer stuff.

Bachman: If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why? Criteria:One fictional character from your book, one fictional character from any other book, and one famous person that is not a family member or friend.

Goddard: Casey Wendell, the social worker from my novella Ashes of Another Life, because she is a strong woman Peter Pan, ‘cause I would ask him to fly me away from the deserted island (is that cheating?)Jonny Craig, lead singer of the band Slaves, because I’m currently obsessed with his vocals and would make him sing to me.

Bachman: What about the genre(s) you write in attracted you to them?

Goddard: I’ve always loved horror. I’m not sure why. Some people just do. We’re a misunderstood group of people. You’d think the obsession with darkness, with blood and would indicate somebody is a psychopath, but I find the opposite is true. Horror fans tend to be fun, laid-back and open-minded. Maybe it’s an effective form of therapy to read, watch, and write horror.

Bachman: What’s your latest release about?

Goddard: When Tara Jane Brewer leaves her polygamous community behind after her family dies in a tragic house fire, she is plagued by ghastly images of death. Hunted by a member of the church who plans to bring her home to Sweet Springs at any cost, Tara Jane must fight to keep her freedom. But everywhere she goes, she sees the charred faces of her burned family, watching her, following her, all thirty-four of them, waiting for her to come home and resume her place in the family. From Ashes of Another Life.

Bachman: Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?

Goddard: Honestly, no, I don’t feel successful yet. I know the more humble or likable answer would be to say, “Yes, I feel successful because people are reading my work.” But I don’t feel that way. I haven’t produced enough work, haven’t reached enough goals. Maybe the upcoming release of my new collection, Secrets of the Slain, will bring some new fans my way.

Bachman: A brilliant idea hits you, what do you do first?

Goddard: Text it to myself! I have a song I sing for my muse: “I don’t want anybody else. When I think about you, I text myself.”

Bachman: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Goddard: Sleep. I wish I could stay up all night like I used to when I was younger. These days, even coffee won’t keep me up after 11. I would trade sleep to become a better writer, if I could control the Zzzzz’s when they hit me!

Bachman: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Goddard: I believe that some writers believe in writer’s block, which is a good way to get it. Therefore, I try not to believe in it. Take that, writer’s block!

Bachman: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Goddard: I’m still waiting for a really, really bad one. I know it will come. I’m almost eager to get it over with. So far, there have been reviews from readers who weren’t thrilled or didn’t fully connect, but nothing too terrible.  *knock on wood*  *gulp* The good ones… they always make me smile.

Bachman: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Goddard: I saw how the editing process can rip things to shreds and form an entirely new, polished product, so I try not to dwell on the small stuff.

Bachman: Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Goddard: Well, it can surely be said that some of the biggest jerks in the world are the most successful, but personally, that depends on how you measure success. If nobody really likes you as a person, how successful are you as a human being? Big egos kill personal relationships, no matter if the book sales are rolling in. Best to avoid that.

Bachman: What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Goddard: Publishers asking authors to pay for a book deal. That is not a book deal. Don’t ever do that.

Bachman: Does your family support your career as a writer?

Goddard: Yes. Quite supportive.

Bachman: How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

Goddard: As a person reads my work, I like to make them think and figure things out along the way, but I promise, I’ll always explain what’s happening in the end. None of these “and then they woke up and none of it mattered” endings. Read my fiction, and I’ll reward you, I promise.

 

lbg-author-2

Links to check out:

Purchase Links for Ashes of Another Life

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Social Media: 

Facebook

Twitter

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Some links in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have become broken over the years as well for some interviews and older content. This is an older interview being re-posted.

[The Word] Interview of the Amazing USA Today Bestselling Author Rue Volley

Rue Volley has become one of the biggest names of the independent publishing industry. Being one of the bestselling authors and creator of many of the covers you see coming out of the small press and independent graphics field. These are just a few of the reasons I wanted to interview her for the website and bring her to the front of the page for you my readers. So let me waste no more of your time. Here is the interview of Rue Volley.


Bachman: As a writer, have you ever had an unbelievable moment?

Volley: My unbelievable moments have always been with fans of my work. The first time I did a book signing really stunned me. I couldn’t believe that people would stand in line to meet me and have me sign their books. I’m always humbled when I meet people who buy my books and love them. Knowing that something I created made such a huge impact on another human being is probably one of the best feelings in the world. Fans are incredibly loyal and grateful to have a few moments with you. Every author should appreciate that.

Bachman: Is there anything you’ve seen in the industry you wish would change?

Volley: I’ve been in this industry for thirteen years and I’ve watched a lot of things change. I’m not a fan of the low price point that’s attached to Indie books, or quick fire novels pushed into the market by ghostwriting teams. I’m also not a fan of how over-saturated specific tropes become when one idea makes money. It tips the boat and makes it nearly impossible to navigate without spending extreme amounts of money on marketing. Facebook has also changed over the years. It used to be much easier to reach your fans (and new fans) on Facebook by using your business page, or posting in groups. Now Facebook hides most of your posts if you don’t pay them. It’s really unfortunate.

Bachman: They say if you’re a writer you must also be a reader, do you agree? Any book recommendations?

Volley: I do agree that you have to keep reading. It’s inspiring to read new books, but you have to be careful and not allow it to influence the book, or books, that you’re working on. I tend to avoid whatever genre I’m writing in at the moment. I’m very eclectic when it comes to reading. I do have some preferences though. I tend to read first person POV in present tense, mostly.

Some recent recommendations:

  • Courtney Summers—The Project
  • Amy Poehler—Yes Please
  • Colleen Hover—Heartbones
  • Rory Power—Wilder Girls
  • Stephenie Meyer–Midnight Sun
  • Nicola Yoon—Everything Everything
  • Michelle Obama—Becoming

Bachman: Any advice to those just now coming into the industry?

Volley: Save up your money for marketing before you release the book and do your homework on what ads really work. Hire a GREAT editor. Have a professional, shelf-ready, book cover made. Hire someone to write your blurb if you can’t come up with something dynamic. I’ll also add that it’s up to you to set the pace and schedule with your book releases. Consistency is key. Branding is key. Think about these things when it comes to your image and each book release that you do. Think professionally. Treat it like a small business and don’t neglect it. No one will ever care about your book as much as you do.

Bachman: You produce some beautiful book covers, have you always done graphic design?

Volley: Thank you, I appreciate that. I’ve been a graphic designer for fourteen years and I’ve created over four hundred book covers.I recently left the publishing company that I was with, and I do freelance work now.

I think the book cover is one of the most important selling points when it comes to marketing your books. A great story can be snuffed out with bad wrapping paper.
I think authors should employ cover artists who are not only talented, but understand the market and how competitive it can be. Making covers that mimic other artists is detrimental to not only the original artist, but to the publishing world as a whole. I’d also like to add that it’s best to let the cover artist edit your vision so the cover doesn’t become a jumbled mess with no real message. It’s so easy to want to toss everything onto a cover, but just like the story itself, it has to be edited with a sharp instrument.

Bachman: Is writing something that you always wanted to do?

Volley: No, but it seems to have always wanted me to do it.

When I was young, I wrote elaborate screenplays to entertain my siblings. When I was in high school, I lucked into taking a creative writing class with a mentor who taught at Stanford University. When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I was in a band signed with Time Warner and I wrote all of the lyrics to our songs. Then when I turned forty, I decided to write my first novel. When I turned forty-five, I wrote my first screenplay and helped produce and direct my first movie. So, writing is just a part of who I am. I never thought about doing it for a living, but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to make a career out of it.


Bachman: Do you have a plan to stay on task during deadlines or do you ‘wing it’?

Volley: I’m a panster, so winging it is exactly how I write my novels, but as far as staying on deadline—I write every single day, even if it’s only a chapter or two. I’m very strict on myself when it comes to writing because it’s very easy to slack in this profession, and you can’t do that when you’ve invested time and money, and made announcements.

Bachman: Some writers do literary pilgrimages, is this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Volley: I’d love to take a few months off and just hike some mountains, bike some trails, meet new people, eat new food, listen to new music—live without a schedule or expectations. I think it would be a great experience after going through a pandemic and navigating a volatile political landscape for the last couple of years.

I think we all deserve a reboot.

Her Social Media:

The Interview of Voice Actor Sean Rhead

Audiobooks are the next level in reaching your readers. Paperback, hardback, and even digital formats are other common ways, but its a dream for any novelist to get their work into audio. Audible is the most common way, the biggest as well, and for me I wanted this like everyone else. For those that have followed along with me, you know I’ve had struggles in this department. I’ve had narrators quits and others not be able to continue with the projects. This made me want to give up, but the passion for my work continued and eventually I found a man named Sean Rhead.

I wanted to introduce you to him with an interview. Here is how that interview went.


Bachman: You’re a voice actor and narrator. How did you get into that line of work?

Rhead: I’ve always been more of an auditory and hands-on learner, so audiobooks are my preferred way of experiencing literature. I grew up listening to Jim Dale narrate the Harry Potter series, and I loved the way he voiced all of the characters and brought that world to life. I love the idea of giving that same experience to someone else who absorbs content the same way.

Bachman: What do you do when you’re not recording?

Rhead: I teach general music (preK-8) during the day. When I come home, I love to sing and play guitar, duet sea shanties on TikTok, and end the night watching a movie with my girlfriend. 

Bachman: Have you ever thought about writing a book of your own? Why or Why not?

Rhead: Writing has never been at the forefront of my mind; I’ve always been a performer first. But I’ll never say never.

Bachman: What are your favorite genres to narrate?

Rhead: Fantasy. I love getting acquainted with an entire ensemble of characters, besides creative world-building.

Bachman: What was your favorite book to narrate so far?

Rhead: Far too many to name, but I will always be grateful to Sarah K. L. Wilson for giving me my start with “Dragon Chameleon.” Not only did I love getting to know her characters and her world, but I definitely grew over the course of that series (both on the creative AND technical side of audiobook production).

Bachman: We met through ACX, what made you want to narrate The Blasphemer Series?

Rhead: I LOVE a good redemption story, and Maxwell’s journey drew me in right from the start. I was compelled by where he began, and in the end, his resolution was as satisfying as I knew it would be.

Bachman: Has there ever been a scene or book you couldn’t finish? Why or why not?

Rhead: Not that I can think of. I do have a lot of books on my TBR list (that I’m NOT narrating) that I will finish eventually. Such titles include “The Lies of Locke Lamora,” “Mistborn,” “The Fires of Vengeance,” and “Six of Crows,” just to name a few.

Bachman: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can share with readers?

Rhead: In addition to my continued work on “The Blasphemer Series,” I’m also currently working on a YA fantasy mystery novel entitled “The Other Side” by Justin Jay Gladstone. Anticipated release for that one is sometime mid to late spring.

Bachman: You must be very organized with the amount of work you do, how do you stay on track?

Rhead: I appreciate that you think I am organized. Hahaha! In all seriousness though, on my recording and editing days, I like to set specific goals in place (I would like to record this page to that page, or I would like to edit this much time of audio). I have gotten a better understanding of how much time it takes me to meet those goals, so I always like to make sure I have ample time to meet them.

Bachman: If you could have a dream book to narrate, what would it be?

Rhead: It would be a daunting task, but I would LOVE to narrate anything by Brandon Sanderson.

Bachman: Is there anything you’d like readers to know about you?

Rhead: I love Disney and musical theatre, and I am a proud ally of the POC/LGBTQ+ communities.


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[Brief Words] Interview of Ramona Mainstrom

Ramona Mainstrom is one fantastic writer covering several genres and bringing forward a multitude of books. This interesting author gave me some of her time earlier this year. I gathered a list of questions and she was kind enough to answer them, below is the interaction. This is not a interview to skip over!


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a full-time author and solo parent of two kids, ages 7 & 8. I enjoy acting and singing. I’m often dancing around the house and enjoy puttering around the garden with my neighbour.

What genre (s) do you write in?

Fantasy (Urban, Epic, and Dark), Thriller, and Horror.

For most, they began writing at a young age, taking writing more seriously later in life. Is this a sentiment that can apply to you? What was it like for you?

I was discouraged from writing or reading for pleasure, so becoming a writer wasn’t an option in my reality for a while. It was rough. I don’t know how to explain how having a part of your Self forbidden.

I was a story-teller as a child and as soon as I learned how to write words, I started writing stories. In high school, I wrote short stories, poems, scripts and started a few longer stories.

I didn’t consider writing as a career option until I was an adult and only because of peer pressure. Friends got a hold of some of my scenes and short stories and insisted I finish them. That’s how I started writing the Touch of Insanity series, but Eyes of the Hunter was the first stand alone book I completed.

How much time do you spend writing?

No clue. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but I’m also a multi-tasker. So, I’ll be at my desk for hours, but I’ll be writing a book, answering messages, homeschooling my kids, doing groceries online, and editing a different book.

 I just flow. If I start to stress about when, how long, or how many words, it kills the joy and creativity. I don’t put pressure on myself for deadlines or word counts. I need writing to be enjoyable. I need the words to flow naturally, so I let it happen when and how it wants while I go about taking care of the rest of my day.

What has been the most eye-opening part of publishing for you?

At the beginning, it was learning how traditional publishing works. It was very discouraging. Being an indie author taught me so much, but I think it also made me a better client once I was with a publisher.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

Hands down; Santa in Sleigh Ride. Taking this epitome of kindness and generosity and giving him a hard edge made him more lovable to me. He’s avenging the benign creatures under his care who were injured or killed by dark forces. He’s racing, for not just his own life, but to preserve the beauty of Christmas and everyone who works with him.

Pitting him against the older, harsher Christmas representations in a death race let me show a dark and ruthless side of Santa. There’s a point in the story where his co-pilot, Jack Frost says, “People will get hurt” and Santa replies, “I’m counting on it.”

That gives me the chills. Every. Time. Santa is going to mess folk up to protect his people and keep the spirit of Christmas alive. He’s selling his soul for others to have that magic.

Do you ever write traits or characters inspired by people you know?

Always! It’s how I keep my characters real. Would so-and-so do this? How would they react? What’s their speech pattern like?

Where do your ideas come from?

Everything. Everywhere. There are a million stories in my world every day. People are lovely inspirations. Beautiful, complex, predictable yet chaotically unpredictable in all their messy glory.

 Real life is a non-stop Plot Bunny that just keeps popping out babies. For years, I was told I should write about my life because it’s so wild. But, as fiction because no one would believe it really happened. So I’ve started using bits of my personal life into my stories. The Crossroad is actually a journal entry from my life. It was intended to be part of a non-fiction series, but . . . Well, a good paranormal story is fun to read.

 And, my other big inspiration is dreams. My dreams and nightmares are detailed and emotion-filled. They stay with me long after I wake and often inspire my stories. The Greatest of Books is a story based on my dreams.

What is your current writing about?

I’m currently releasing the Touch of Insanity series. It’s a 10 book fantasy series about a Half-Elf named Kharee, who was created to heal a goddess who is going mad and is spreading insanity via her connection to the people of the world, Besamie. Unfortunately, her parents withheld the ability for her to actually use her powers until they knew she’d grown up to be a decent, sane person.

The series follows Kharee as she discovers her powers, her mission, and her own truth. I’ve tried to keep the story as PG as possible, but she goes through some dark and gruesome experiences as she wades through the madness. For example, there are winged monsters called karpa that impregnate their prey and werewolves which are called Hydan Kin in their world, named after Hydan Speargood, the Elven Mage-Master who first contracted the magical disease. Oh, and of course a vampire lord, because no dark fantasy is complete without one.

I’ve been releasing a new book every 20th. Book 4, Each According Their Worth, releases on April 20th and I’m hoping to have a completed collection of all 10 books in one out in time for Christmas. If readers want to know when each book releases, they can sign up for Books2Read notifications .

It’s been very exciting to write and I’m so proud of the finish products.

Do you have any new series planned?

After the Touch of Insanity series, Three Furies Press will be releasing the Harper series. It’s a paranormal thriller about a psychic named Hannah Harper who has PTSD. She’s very quirky. Edges frighten her, so everything in her home is rounded. Going out is challenging because there are edges everywhere. She gets dragged into an investigation of serial killings and finds the guy, but ends up as his next target. As the series progresses, they discover the killer from the first book isn’t the only threat they have to worry about. I’m very excited about this series because it sneaks from “okay this is a paranormal story” to “OhEmGee! This is mind-bending paranormal and I’m scared now”. Or, it will be if I do it right.

What has being signed to a publisher meant for you as a writer, since many self-publish nowadays?

It was surprisingly cathartic. I’d given up on the idea of being picked up by a publisher and was content self-publishing. I really respect the women running Three Furies Press, so when I saw they were accepting submission and I actually had something in a genre they publish, I just had to submit Gifted, the first book of the Harper series.

Reading that I’d been accepted . . . I cried. Happy, ugly cry because people I respect  found value in my work.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading really interesting urban fantasy by Yvette Bostic, called Call of the Elements, which is the first book of her Magister’s Bane series. It’s really good.

About Rosa

Rosa Marchisella is a prolific author and the creator of the animated series, Zomb-Eh? Rosa also writes non-fiction under the name Rosa Arcade. She has written and co-authored over 50 publications, stories, screenplays, and scripts. Her poetry has been featured in anthologies and websites. Her other written works include 200+ articles, marketing and media projects, as well as promotional and educational tools.

Social Media Links

Website:                     www.RosaMarchisella.com

Facebook:                  www.facebook.com/iamrosa.fanpage

BookBub:                   www.bookbub.com/authors/rosa-marchisella

Books2Read:             https://books2read.com/ap/8Z2MY8/Rosa-Marchisella


Interesting Reads and Related Content

[Brief Words] Interview of Samantha LaFantasie

I’ve credited this author in the past with helping me along my own career. Teaching me things that I should’ve known, but wasn’t aware. For example, until she got a hold of my own book, Maxwell Demon, I had no idea I was writing in the horror genre because the things I was writing didn’t scare me. Silly, I know. She gave me one of my earliest attempts of podcasting when I was a fresh-face.

Beyond all that she has helped me learn along the way she is a great writer and editor. She is usually a busy person, but she gave me some of her time and I got some answers to some things I had been wondering over the years.


For those that may not be familiar with you or your work, what can you tell us about yourself?

I’m the author of Heart Song and the Nepherium Novella Series and founder of Sunshine Editing.

You have been a part of the writing business for a long time now, how did that begin for you?

A very long time ago. I’ve always been fascinated with writing, but never really took it seriously until I was an adult and had children of my own, though I don’t write children’s books. Still, writing, in essence, has always been apart of me. Whether it’s poetry, songwriting, fan fic, or just my own imaginative musings, it’s engrained in my soul.

Is there anything about the business that gets you excited? Perhaps the convention going or meeting new people? Maybe just writing the story?

Always the new idea, first. That’s the most exciting of all. Then, the writing. That’s the delicious part. Finally, publishing. There’s just something about freeing my stories into the world for others to enjoy that gets my heart pumping a little harder.

I am always interested in how fellow parents manage work and family, what is the balancing act like for you? How do you find the time?

What balancing act? I don’t know of this. Please tell me more…

Seriously though, I have what about two to three hours in the very early morning I keep to myself for just writing. Lately, with all the virus stuff going around, that’s been a bit difficult, plus I wanted to revamp my brand and my business, so I took a little break off writing to get that finished. But mostly, the first few hours in the morning is what I use for the writing part. Once the kids are up, the show is over for the most part.

Being a mom of special needs kiddos, even older ones, still comes with its fair share of challenges, and one of them is being needed for EVERYTHING. I’m trying to teach them to be somewhat autonomous, but it has yet to really stick. For example, just responding to this interview, I have been interrupted THREE times. But it’s not always bad.

I just invested in desktop so that while the kids are working on their schoolwork (my youngest has to use my laptop), I can still get some work done and maximize the time I have available. Sometimes, that means I get a few extra hours to work, and so long as I have YouTube (I don’t get the obsession with Minecraft vids) or the Xbox running for them after their school stuff is done, I am at peace and can work.

Essentially, at the end of it all, it’s taking every moment I can and using it to my full advantage. It doesn’t always work the way I hope, but that’s okay. Flexibility is the key here. And always knowing I can come back when they are watching a show or playing a game helps as well.

Every author has their favorite program or must-have for their desk to help them either organize or just get in ‘the zone’. Do you have anything like that?

Yes, and no. It really depends on the mood. Here lately, I’ve been more productive with the peace of the mornings. But sometimes, I play either a favorite music list of Pandora or Spotify. Sometimes, I even have my favorite game playing in the background. GuildWars2 has incredible music, btw.

Coffee is definitely a must. I can’t do anything without it.

I’ve recently been using outlines to keep my stories on track and avoid the numerous rewrites to fill in plot holes that I used to do. So far so good. The program I use is Plottr, and once it’s finished on there, I import it to Word and copy and paste into my document for writing on a chapter by chapter basis. A lot of steps for sure, but it’s something that I recently learned really works for me.

I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head, even though I know there is more.

Have you ever resuscitated a project you had shelved? What helped it work better the second time around?

I’m glad you asked! Yes! I had a story called Dark Ones, and it had it’s own cover and had spent over 1 grand having it edited only to realize that the story was just NOT right. So, I shelved it and had recently come back to it. I outlined (using the program I mentioned before) and fixed any issues within the original story and now it’s a lot better than it was. Maybe not perfect, just yet. But so much better. I’m loving it even more! It’s even got a brand new title: Darkness Rising.

Catchy, no?

Are you writing anything new? Can you tell us about it?

Just Darkness Rising! Since my accident, I can’t focus enough to work on multiple projects anymore. So, that’s it. I can’t share an excerpt just yet, but I can tell you a little about it!

The story centers around Georgianna Peterson who knows demons exist, but no one believes her. On Halloween, she’s attacked by another demon and saved by her best friend and the handsome asshole, Detective Elijah Delapsus. From there, she’s thrust into a world of daemons, magical worlds, and uncovering a secret that changes everything, including discovering what she truly is.

In the indie-world there is a struggle for many on what marketing strategy works best with the conclusion being it differs from author to author. What has worked best for you?

I’ll let you know when I find out. So far, being organic has shown much more interest and progression than mass, spammy posts that I was taught by a fellow author and had lived by for years with little to no result. I think being truly connected and showing that I’m a real person is what the readers really crave.

When not writing and editing for authors is there anything you enjoy doing when you have downtime?

Playing video games like GuildWars2, Skyrim, and Fallout, or watching shows like The Blacklist, Little Big Lies, and Vikings. I love doing my own nails and experimenting with new designs and taking long bubble baths. Showing myself just a little bit of that attention keeps me focused and centered.

Check her out more here:

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram

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[Brief Words] Interview of John G. Hartness

John Hartness is an award-winning author and publisher. As a brilliant and hard-working man I was surprised that he found the time to indulge my questions, but he did! This Fallstaff Books publisher has not only answered my questions, but gave me an inner look into his company and his life with every question he has answered for me. Known for his comedy horror books Bubba the Monster Hunter works and the Quincy Harker books his talents have brought him hardcore readerships and fans, even including well-known names.


I first learned of you as an author, but quickly learn thereafter you are the publisher at Falstaff. What came first for you? Where you an author first or a publisher that then continued as a writer?

I started out writing. I published my first novel, The Chosen, in 2009, followed by Hard Day’s Knight later that year. I self-published and worked with an indie press, Bell Bridge Books, until 2016, when I founded Falstaff Books. I still publish The Black Knight Chronicles through Bell Bridge, Tantor Audio publishes the audiobooks of several of my titles, and the rest come out currently through Falstaff. So I still write, something in the neighborhood of 3-4 novels and 4-6 novellas each year.

A shift is beginning within the indie world of more virtual attendance and appearances due to social distancing, how has it affected you? What are you doing different now, work wise, to keep moving forward?

At Falstaff, we typically appear at over twenty conventions in a year, so losing the entire spring and summer so far has been a big blow to our business. We’ve lost six conventions so far, and I expect more to follow. So I’ve shifted a lot of our focus to YouTube, creating author interview shows, doing video and audio readings, and as much other content as we can generate. I feel like YouTube and video is a largely unexplored space for authors, and the people who can plant their flag there first will have a marked advantage.

You have written so many things as a novelist and promoted so many of your Falstaff authors’ work, do you have anything new coming out? Any new work coming out of Falstaff?

I pretty much always have something new coming out. I released Snatched: Grandma Annie and the Cooter of Doom, a comedy horror parody novella on May 1. I’ll be releasing a new Bubba the Monster Hunter novella later in May. I have a new Black Knight Chronicles novel coming later this year, and there will be a new Quincy Harker novel coming in July.

As for Falstaff, we have new releases pretty much every week, if not multiple releases in a week. So people should pop over to our website at www.falstaffbooks.com and sign up for our newsletter to get notifications of all our new releases. Or they can join our Facebook Group, The Misfit Toys of Fiction.

One of the first things visitors can see when they go to your website is a really interesting quote; “Quincy Harker – demon killer, monster hunter & kin to Dracula. Yeah, this is who I want protecting the world! I love these books.” Whoopi Goldberg Academy Award Winner. I remember when you spoke about that happening on social media. How has life been after such a large endorsement? Has it changed at all?

It sells a few books when people see Whoopi’s name on the cover, and it makes for a great conversation starter, but nothing huge like a Netflix deal or anything. It’s very gratifying and surreal when someone like Whoopi, who I’ve grown up watching on stage and screen, reaches out to you out of the blue and endorses your work. That was a really cool moment.

On your blog you did something I have not seen done very much; you shared many chapters from a story entitled Raptor. What inspired you to share so much? What can you tell us about this story?

Raptor was a divergence from the norm for me. It is a military sci-fi novel, near-future, and the tone and style are pretty different from what I usually do. So I knew the book was a risk. So I put parts of it up on my blog to keep me accountable for continuing the book. Plus, I knew I wasn’t going to try to shop it around to other presses, and since I own the publishing company, I don’t have to worry about my publisher getting pissy about me sharing too much.

From YouTube to publishing and so much in between how did you get started? What was that moment like for you when you realized you were about to be published novelist?

I wrote my first novel just to see if I could write a novel, honestly. I’d been writing feature articles for websites for several years, and blogging, and I wanted to experiment with long-form storytelling. So I wrote a book. Then I put it in a drawer for about a year, and I studied the process of getting a book published. I still made plenty of mistakes, but since I self-published that book, there wasn’t really that moment of “I did it!” Now, when I sold The Black Knight Chronicles to Bell Bridge, that was pretty awesome. It was a vindication of the several years of hard work I’d put in up to that point, that someone saw something in me and my work that was worth the investment of time and effort.

Many writers are also heavy readers, when they have free time, to help them develop range and stay active with literature, is that something you do as well?

Of course. I read all the time. I joke that whatever I’m currently reading is “what’s on submission,” but that’s not true. I read all the time. I’m not as voracious as some folks, but I usually go through about a book every week. Writers who tell me they don’t read worry me. I don’t believe you can stay abreast of current trends and styles if you don’t read, and read current literature. How would you know that prologues are out of favor in urban fantasy right now if you don’t read urban fantasy? How would you know that head-hopping POVs is out of favor in high fantasy right now if the only high fantasy you read is 30+ years old? You have to read to stay current, and to stay creative.

One last question, a literary pilgrimage, ever thought of doing one?

No, it’s never occurred to me. I like to go places, but there’s no place that my books make me want to go, or that I feel like I need to go because Shakespeare wrote there, or because Anne Rice lived there. That’s cool if people get inspiration from trips like that, rock on. Take inspiration anywhere you can find it. Just not my thing personally.

Check him out more here:

Website: www.falstaffbooks.com
Website: https://johnhartness.com

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[Brief Words] Interview of Joshua Pantalleresco

I got the chance to interview the award-winning podcaster of Just Joshing. He happens to have a book coming out tomorrow called Cloud Diver. I welcome to the website Joshua Pantalleresco. Armed with a some questions. I asked him about podcasting, what fuels him, how he handles aspects of being an author, and more. I gained an insight into how his world.


Let’s begin with the writing side of your career. How did you get into the writing career?

By accident. I had an assignment in my 8th grade class. At the time I was in London, Ontario, Canada and there was this contest called the Lawson Literary Contest. I finished third writing that story and fell in love with the process. I’ve been making stuff up ever since.

Was writing a book something you always wanted to do or something that just began for you?

I wanted to be sure i could write a book, so that’s what I focused on in high school. I finished my first novel at 17.

As a published author, how do you handle reviews and criticism?

I cry in the corner at first. I mean, sometimes reviews hurt, especially if they are truth filled. Sometimes the criticism is constructive and brutal, and you have to take it in the chest.  When it’s not constructive I just ignore it.  I mean, if they care enough to try and tear you down, I kind of feel you already won.

Being that you’re a freelancer, is there any company or writer that you have wanted to work with, but haven’t gotten the chance yet?

In the world of comics I want to work with Beth Wagner on something someday.  It almost happened.  K. Lynn Smith, Colette Turner, Justin Shauf and Riley Rossmo are on my list too.
Writing wise? Adam Dreece. I think we could create beautiful chaos together.

To you, want makes for a pleasant story?

When I’m invested in the characters. You can write about anything you want, but unless there is that connection to the story and the character, it doesn’t work. Once I buy in to the characters, I’m in for the long haul.

Is there anything you can share with us about your upcoming book?

I had a blast doing it. I’m writing about unicorns that fart rainbows and zombie monsters. I write about serious stuff too, but it’s an adventure.  And Johnny, my main character, doesn’t like adventure one bit. 

What helped keep you motivated throughout the creation of this story?

I had so much fun writing Johnny and Gunblade.  Gunblade was a perfect straight woman for Johnny to roll off of.  He’s such a coward that I just enjoyed figuring out what kind of trouble I could get him into.

Was the book inspired by anything?

Another accident. My life is filled with them.  I was part of this writing group in Calgary called IFWA.  IFWA does a monthly critique and I volunteered…without a story.  So I wrote the first chapter in two days.  Beyond that, I’m fascinated that we record absolutely everything to share to the world.  It will paint a different history than the one we know.  We suspect Tutankhamen was who he said he was.  We don’t know for sure.  With us it will be different.  How will we be judged going forward?

You’re not only a writer but also a podcaster. When did podcasting enter your life?

By accident. I have been doing interviews for over twenty years. I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert J. Sawyer. Rob and I had a pretty good conversation that I was recording on the phone. When it was over, someone came up to Rob and asked what he was doing.  He replied, “That he was being interviewed for my podcast.” I didn’t have a podcast at the time, but something clicked. I just shrugged and said why not, and started interviewing people for the podcast.  I’m in my fifth year and just came out with my 363rd episode.

Between writing and podcasting, you must be a very busy person. What’s a typical day look like for you?

Depends. Right now my days are about working on material because my book is about to be launched.  I usually wake up and look for things to pitch to. Once that is done, I write something. A column for First Comics, an assignment, or maybe another bit of my novel. In my evenings I’ll interview people for the podcast. Every other night, I work on the podcast for release. That’s pretty much my routine. 

The Cloud Diver Pre-Order: https://www.amazon.ca/Cloud-Diver-Level-1-ebook/dp/B0881HR54T
Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/7d0583a98ffc/dangerousjustjoshing
Podcast: https://jpantalleresco.podomatic.com
Twitter/IG: @jpantalleresco


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[BRIEF WORDS] INTERVIEW OF Julie ‘JK’ Allen

She is a writer, an editor, and over all great human being. She has managed to find a balance with her busy schedule and even managed to give me some of her time. Thanks to her finding the time I then took this to prod and ask her several questions. Some about her daily life and some about her work, this was definitely an interesting experience for myself.


As the head editor for Three Furies Press, how do you manage your day-to-day schedule?

It is a bit of a struggle for me to be super organized. I get hyper-focused and fixated on things, and sometimes my brain is a bit of a jumble. I do have a planner that I try to use, but it’s often more times than not pushed to the side. So at the beginning of each Sunday, I figure out what I need to work on for the week. And sort of what I will be working on each day of that week. I often work on two or more projects at once, so I can jump between editing different stories and/or writing (since I’m an author as well), and then my mind stays a little fresher while I’m working, and I feel I can work for longer. I also employ the pomodoro technique for writing especially. Where you work for twenty minutes hard and fast, then take a 5 or 10 minute break, then work again. After working for an hour, you can take a thirty minute to a 45 minute break. Repeat as much as you need to. 

I find it so interesting to learn how people get started in the publishing industry, how did you get started?

Well here I will tell you the full story. I have been writing since the day after I learned how to write. I learned and thought to myself, “what’s next?” And then I realized I could write a story. I never stopped after that. When I got to college and realized I could major in Creative Writing, I knew then that I wanted to be an author. So my writing career began.

As far as editing there were a couple of factors that came together. One was being the daughter of immigrants, specifically being second generation Asian American. English was very important and it had to be perfect, no matter what. It was instilled in me every time someone made fun of my mother’s accent or my sister forgot a comma. I had to have perfect English at school, there was no getting around that. And I got especially good at grammar. Then when I was in college, I started to tutor International students. Teaching them grammar only made my own understanding of it stronger and stronger. Then I got my dream job as a Writing Consultant at the Michigan State University Writing Center. And I began my love affair with helping others polish up and perfect their writing. Or learn what to write in the first place. So began also my editing career.

Out of college, I had one major goal, and that was to get published. But I started working with a small publisher doing a column for them. More and more responsibilities got handed to me or I took on until I was on the board of that publishing house. When it was time for it to come to an end, two of my colleagues and I decided to form a new partnership, taking what we had learned and done, and started our own small publishing house, Three Furies Press. And so another dream came true. One I didn’t even know I had until it was possible.

You’re not just an editor, but you also do marketing, what would you prefer marketing or editing?

I definitely prefer editing (as long as it’s not my own stories) for a couple of reasons. One, is that I get to work with other people in editing their stories, even though I get the peace of doing the actual work on my own. I get to have conversations with people about their stories and their choices versus what I would choose. It’s fascinating and oh so satisfying to polish up a story and make it shine for the author. Two, I am not a natural born marketer. So it is not something that makes me jump for joy. But it is important, so I learn about marketing, and I do my best.

With so much going on work-wise, what do you do in your downtime?

I need to unwind, so daily baths are a thing. But I usually spend a couple of hours watching something interesting on Netflix or a movie, it’s a way to consume media to feed the idea making machine in the brain. I also sometimes crochet while I consume media as a way to unwind but keep my hands busy and work out some of the restlessness. These days I am trying to finish a novel, so I don’t have a ton of free time. Otherwise, I read or play my ukelele.

Career-wise, what’s something you’ve not done, but would love to?

I would love to learn how to make good graphics. I think it is sadly not in the cards, however.

So many in the industry struggle with family not supporting them, is this something you have to deal with as well?

My family, especially my sissy, is very supportive of my writing. Sissy reads everything I write, even the bad short stories, and then goes to every event with me as my handler and helps me with scheduling. She’s my cheerleader and is always finding opportunities for me to promote. It’s amazing to have her support.

Tell us more about your books, please.

I usually write YA urban fantasy. So my Angelborn series are about the warrior descendants of the angel Grace, given a mandate to father children so that he and his descendants can protect humans from demonkind. Ginny thinks she’s just a normal teen until she gets a strange bruise that just won’t heal and starts having bizarre dreams. Turns out she’s not just angelborn, she is half-angel, and she’s the target of a powerful half-demon. She has to learn to keep herself and her loved ones safe while dealing with this new secret world she’s expected to be a part of.

What was your favorite part of the process? Character development? World building?

My favorite thing is characters. I love developing them, getting to know them, showing them off in my stories. and writing their adventures, and then it kills me to say goodbye to them. So definitely characters are my favorite part of the whole process.

Are you a planner or pantser?

I’m a plantser, a little bit of both. I started out as a pure pantser, and I never finished anything, since I never knew what was happening next. So I changed my method and started loose outlining. And then I turned to scene lists. And now I change my method each time to do as much, or as little, plotting as I need to to get started on my book and keep going. I highly recommend scene lists, as you can make them as loose or as detailed as necessary. So to write a scene you need to do a couple things. One, write the action that happens. Tom meets Daisy. Two, write the reaction that action causes. Jenny gets jealous and bullies Daisy. Three is optional, write down your goals for the scene (introduce weapon, plot device, foreshadow ending, etc.).

Do you plan on publishing any more books?

Yes, I am working on a new series in the same universe as Angelborn, but with a new generation of characters. So look forward to meeting Bree and her friends and her not friends, starting September 2020 with the Half Blood Alliance.

What’s something readers may not know about you?

The Half Blood Alliance is actually an own voices story as I am Korean (technically a halfie like Bree is).

Quick Bio and Links

JK Allen wrote her first story when she first learned how to write and hasn’t looked back since. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity, everyday magic, and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. She is the author of the Angelborn series and is currently working on a new series in the same universe, but with a new generation of characters. Her reading tastes are as varied as the genres she enjoys writing, from Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling. When she’s not writing, you can find her painting, drawing, or lost in another world between the pages of a book. Or on Facebook.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hijinkswriter

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hijinkswriter

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hijinkswriter

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/juliakyong 

Website: amazon.com/author/jkallen



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