Saturday, May 25, 2013

Interview with the Lovely and Elegant Anna del C.


Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I didn’t actually ever think I would be an author. It was my husband who commanded it. He said I had to do it if he was going to live to 40. He believed my imagination would kill him.
Deirdra:  What makes you passionate about writing?
A love for things medieval and curiosity to see if I can do it. 
Deirdra: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
My husband took care of it after some rejection letters. He studied the self-publishing market and we choose the one we thought would be a good match for us. I was picky on what I wanted and stubbornly fought to get it. I was having too much fun writing to care who the publisher was.
Deirdra: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
 Yes, I reached my lowest when I realized that I really didn’t know anything about promoting my book. I spent hours trying one thing and another with little result. I have learned that promotion is a necessary evil and just continue to pluck away at it.
Deirdra: When did you write your first book?
 I wrote my first book eight years ago and two years later it was published
Deirdra: What books have most influenced your life?
 Lord of the Rings. It opened my mind so wide that all these stories started falling out.
Deirdra: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
I love the power I have to inspire, in a clean beautiful way, all the new generations of readers. I hope my books will inspire them to find their way safely. There are only two ways you go through life, one is happy and the other sad. I want them to be happy.
Deirdra:  Where do your ideas come from?  How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Well my elf series was inspired by Lord of the Rings.
One of the books in my princess romance series was inspired by the play Aida.
Emerine’s Nightmare was inspired by a challenge in a online writer’s group They suggested to write a Fairy story. I never read one before so I did, and then wrote my own.
My Sci-Fi series was inspired by a class I took in a writer’s symposium (LTUE) given by Librarians.
Also a retired librarian gave me an idea for a children’s series. The ideas come from any place or circumstance, you just have to see them.
Usually the stories come to me complete from beginning to end, and that is enough to know if it will work.
Deirdra:  Can you tell us a little about your book, Flying Elf?
It is book number six in my Elf Series. The series has seven books so I am almost done with it. Here is a back cover blurb:
What would you do if the world as you know it comes tumbling down? That is what happens to Shahira every time she tries to fly. You see she is an eagle and eagles fly…then why can she not?
The wizard Huzan has spent all his life under the shadow of his renowned brother Zanteon. But no more… He has discovered the book that is key to his brother’s secret. Now he is going to use it to destroy all the wizardry school.
Llorradinn’s life has been simple and peaceful in the land of the elfs. That is until the human caravan comes and he is caught by the claws of a giant eagle. What does he want with him? Elfs have not seen the giant eagles for many centuries; then why now, and why so hostile to the elf race?
You will find all the answers in Flying Elf the next epic book in Anna del C’s elf series. Writing in the line of Tolkien, Anna del C. has created another tale to take the reader to a new world, full of twists, secrets, and love.

You can find my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Deirdra, I am so thankful to you for having me visit your friends. If you would pick three commentators in this blog, I will send them a PDF of Flying Elf. I would love for them to do a review of it letter. Imagine the imaginable with Anna del C. Dye.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Interview with Paula Martin



Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.

Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist.She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her. This is the man who sets her soul on fire.

When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.

Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?








Deirdra: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Paula: I’ve written stories ever since I learnt to write, and wrote my first full-length novel when I was about twelve. It was all about a group of 10-12 year olds who had ponies, and went to ballet and acting lessons - all the things I longed for but never had the opportunity, so it was very much wishful thinking on my part! The same could be said for the romance stories I went on to write in my teens, and in fact my first published book, when I was twenty-five, was a full-length development of one of those teenage stories.

Deirdra: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Paula: I’m sure this will make a lot of people very jealous, but the very first romance novel I wrote was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to i.e. Mills and Boon. In those days (i.e. back in the good old 1960s) it had to be typed out and then parcelled up and mailed. I fully expected it to come back by return of post! But about a month later I had a letter, signed by THE Alan Boon himself, saying he liked my story, and if I was prepared to make a few minor changes, he would consider it for publication. IF I was prepared?? I sat straight down and made those changes, and then had to type the whole manuscript out again to re-submit it. Two weeks later, I got the acceptance, together with a contract for two more novels.
I wrote three novels for Mills and Boon, and one for Robert Hale, but then real life got in the way with my family and my teaching career. I came back to writing romances about 5 years ago, and have had five more books published since June 2011.

Deirdra: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Paula: Ideas come from many different places. ‘Her Only Option’ was first conceived when I was on a Nile cruise two years ago and idly started to wonder if it would be possible to vault the rails from the sundeck of one cruise ship to another when they were moored alongside each other at Aswan.
Another of my current ‘works in progress’ was partly inspired when I was in a village in Ireland where part of ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed (starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara). In the small cottage museum about the film, I saw Maureen O’Hara’s name in the visitors’ book and was told she often visited when she was in Ireland.
My other work in progress was inspired by a newspaper article about an apartment in Paris, abandoned since 1939, which turned out to have quite a history about the previous owner.
You simply never know when something you see or hear might strike the right chord in your mind, but when it does, you know you could develop or adapt it as part of a story.

Deirdra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Paula: I’m very much a ‘pantser’. I tend to begin with the hero and heroine and a ‘situation’ that brings them together, or into conflict. I have a vague idea about how I think it will end, but I let the characters run with the middle of the story. Sometimes I have to haul them back, but most times they know their story better than I do, and other characters make their way into the story that I hadn’t even thought about when I started the story.
One example of this was in ‘Her Only Option’ which is set in Egypt. The two main characters cross the Nile with a boatman who sings Elvis songs. I have no idea where he came from, he simply ‘appeared’ as I wrote the story, but I liked him so much, I gave him a bigger role to play later in the story. Or maybe he appeared because he knew he had a bigger role to play?

Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Paula: I love the way my characters come to life as I write the first draft. To begin with, they’re simply names, and maybe I know their hair and eye colour, and their occupations, but fairly soon they develop their own personalities and I get to know them better. By the time I’m about half way through they’ve definitely become ‘real’ to me – and that’s when they can surprise me by saying or doing something I hadn’t thought of.

Deirdra: Can you tell us a little about your book, Her Only Option?
Paula: While I was on my Nile cruise, I started thinking about the characters. The heroine would be a cruise ship tour guide, and the hero an archaeologist working in the Valley of the Kings. I had no idea when I wrote the first scene with these two meeting each other that it would develop into a story with mystery and intrigue as well as romance.
Here’s the blurb:
Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.
Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist.She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her. This is the man who sets her soul on fire.
When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.
Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?

Deirdra: What is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?
Paula: I get a thrill when someone says they couldn’t put the book down once they started, and I’m happy to say I’ve had a lot of comments like that in reviews. I’ve also loved comments like: “Neve is a very appealing character and I did not want to finish the book and leave her” and “This a great blend of strong, believable characters, a compelling storyline, bursting with mystery, intrigue, and romance.”

Deirdra: What are you working on now?
Paula: I’m working on a contemporary romance set in Ireland. I’ve been there several times in the last few years, and fallen in love so many different parts of the island, especially Connemara in the west. I decided to have my hero and heroine meeting when they jointly inherit a house on the west coast of Ireland from someone neither of them has ever heard of. It’s a ‘story within a story’ as the two characters try to solve the mystery of the unknown benefactress and why they are both considered as ‘family.’ They gradually work out the links to the past by exploring their family histories, and they discover a past love story, as well as (initially) battling against their mutual attraction to each other. The lovers in the past were destined not to have a ‘happy ending’ – and it seems the same thing will happen to their two descendants – or will it?

Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
Paula: Thank you so much for having me as your guest, Deirdra.
Readers can find me at my blog http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com, my website http://paulamartinromances.webs.com or on my Amazon page http://amzn.to/Y0HowL where you can find all my romance novels.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Interview with Diann Thornley Read




About Diann T. Read and Her Books
Originally from northern Utah, Diann Thornley wrote her first story at the age of five and never stopped writing. She taught herself to type—with two fingers—on her father’s ancient manual typewriter at the age of six because it was faster than pushing a pencil. After winning a statewide writing contest, junior high division, at the age of fourteen, she began her first novel, which was based on the Arthurian legends. This endeavor filled most of her high school years and freshman year of college, until a handful of friends introduced her to science fiction by “kidnapping” her to go see an obscure little movie called Star Wars. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ganwold’s Child, first book of the The Sergey Chronicles, took seven years to complete, due to completing college and entering the U.S. Air Force. Following a year-long tour of duty in the Republic of Korea, Diann finished Ganwold’s Child while stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Echoes of Issel and Dominion’s Reach, the second and third books in the Sergey trilogy, were also written in Ohio.
Diann transitioned into the Air Force Reserves following Desert Storm, but her military career spanned 23 years and included deployments to Bosnia and Iraq. In December 2000 she married Jon Read, NASA rocket scientist and martial artist, and moved to Texas. Diann retired from the Air Force in June 2009 to return to her writing career and spend more time with Jon.
Check out Diann’s website at www.diannthornleyread.com, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Diann-T-Read/291193624316145?ref=hl, follow her blog, “Hero Journeys,” at www.diannread.wordpress.com and on Twitter @DiannTRead.  You can find her books on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/diann.t.read.





Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Diann: I wrote my first story when I was five, on wide-lined paper with a fat pencil. I wrote stories mostly for fun, for vicarious adventure, and shared them with friends. Even after winning the junior high division of a statewide writing contest at age 14, I didn't seriously think I could become an author until high school, when several of my friends decided the novel I was writing then needed to be published.

Deirdra: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Diann: Oh, yes, I got discouraged! I pressed on. I had enough faith in myself and my budding talent to keep working at it. I still get discouraged sometimes, but I'm still pressing on.

Deirdra: What is your writing schedule like?
Diann: I was active duty in the Air Force while writing Ganwold's Child, first book in the Sergey trilogy. It took me seven years because I had to write in whatever off-duty time I could grab. These days I work from about 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (or later) Mondays through Fridays, and on Saturdays if I don't have other obligations. I guard that time like a treasure!

Deirdra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Diann: I outline, but I allow myself to digress as better ideas come along in the actual writing. I highly recommend David Farland's "Million Dollar Outlines" and Les Edgerton's "Hooked" for outlining guidance.

Deirdra: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
Diann: Music is good! I prefer movie music soundtracks like 13th Warrior, Last Samurai, all of the Lord of the Rings, things like that--as long as there aren't lyrics or I'd start singing along! I listen to Celtic music when I'm writing from my Scottish character's POV, and Navajo flute, drum, and chanting when writing in my protagonist's shamanic culture.

Deirdra: What's your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?
Diann: I get into their heads and hearts. I like writing in 1st person POV for that reason. When I switched from 3rd person to 1st person I discovered that my current protagonist is kinda snarky, and that's fun!

Deirdra: How do you come up with your characters' names?
Diann: I collect names. I've collected lists of names from around the world and I give my characters names that reflect their culture. For example, my current protagonist's name is Akuleh, an American Indian name that means "Looks Up," which he has to learn to do on a few levels.  

Deirdra: What are you working on now?
Diann: A YA series called The Seventh Shaman. It's about a boy in a shamanic culture whose abusive stepmother has led him to believe he's destined to become Death Bringer, the incarnation of his people's Satan figure. So he runs away from home, lies about his age, enters the military, and becomes a fighter pilot. He has these latent abilities to work the elements, which come into play at critical times. Eventually his true destiny will catch up with him and he'll discover that his life has an overwhelming but magnificent purpose.

Deirdra: What do you hope readers will get from your books?
Diann: I hope they'll realize that in spite of where they may be coming from, no matter what horrors or challenges they've been through, that their lives DO have divine worth and meaning and purpose, and they're never really alone. I feel a great sense of urgency about these books; they're sort of a mission for me. 
 
Deirdra: What is the greatest compliment you could receive from a reader?
Diann: That my books changed their life, inspired, uplifted, encouraged them, or motivated them to pursue their own dreams with confidence, knowing they can achieve great things.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It Comes Out Today!


The Buttersmiths' Gold
BATTLES. BLUEBERRIES. BOVINES.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.

Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all. 
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

About The Buttersmiths' Gold
The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing. 







Evertaster, Book #1:
A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.

Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.





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