Meet The Author Monday – Douglas L. Wilson

I know. I know. Our Meet The Author Monday feature has been a little MIA. But I have a great author for you to meet today, Douglas L. Wilson. His first published novel, Affinity’s Window, is available on Amazon. Let’s dive in shall we? Per the usual, my questions/comments will be in BLUE and Douglas will be in GREEN.

Thank you for stopping by Douglas. I always like to start off by asking my interviewees: What turned you into a reader or non-reader?
I’ve been reading for entertainment since grade school, and I am never NOT reading a novel. My earliest recollections are Dickens, and possibly Charlotte’s Web, but from then on I devoured everything I could get my hands on, from Sidney Sheldon to Stephen King. I love a good story, in any genre, and I can’t imagine a world without fiction.

A good story in any genre. I think we are cut from the same cloth. There is probably a favorite or two though. Tell us about them.
Horror and suspense thrillers. I eat em like candy. I’m also into fantasy, like Weiss and Hickman, and some sci-fi, but I’ll always come home to King and McCammon.

King is definitely King for a reason. At some point you crossed that line from reader into writer. What crossed you over?
I can remember a time, as a teenager, thinking about stories I’d read, and enjoyed, and trying to redesign the plots in my head. I’d even started jotting down story ideas, but my life took a turn down a much different path. I didn’t come back to writing until I was fifty years old. I missed a lot in those years, and I wish I could turn back time, but I’m writing now, and I’ll never stop.

I am sure your life experiences have helped you with your writing. Knowing your reading proclivities, do you have a specific genre you consider yourself a writer of?
Yes. My first love has always been horror. I’ve dabbled with a few ideas in other genres, but I always turn back to my one true love.

So, how did this journey begin for you?
I wrote my first novel five years ago. It was 330,000 words. I had no idea how this industry worked. My queries were deleted out of hand. While the story was good, the length was ridiculous. Then I had an agent take pity on me. She liked the story, so she told me what I’d been doing wrong. I was flabbergasted, and distraught. Taking her advice, and this wasn’t easy for me, I wrote another novel called Affinity’s Window. The agent loved it and signed me right away. She’s still my agent today, and my hero. Thanks to her kindness, and her belief in me, I’m a published author, but boy did I have a lot to learn.

That’s amazing. The world needs more agents like yours. Perhaps I will have to look her up someday myself. Outside of writing, how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I generally putter around the house. My wife and I live with our two cats, and together the four of us lead a quiet life. I’m retired now, so writing does consume most of my time, it’s what makes me happy. 

Affinity’s Window is my third novel. I’ve since turned my original novel, that 330,000 word monstrosity, into two separate novels which will be sequels to Affinity’s Window. I’m currently finishing up my fourth novel, a story unrelated to the first three, and I’ve already started a fifth. Sometimes I flit around between stories, I can’t help myself sometimes, but eventually I land on something I can finish. It’s weird, but once I get going on an idea, if it’s a good one, the story just kind of takes over and directs me where to go. I feel like a conduit sometimes, but that’s okay. The story’s being told one way or the other.

It’s great to have that time to do what makes you happy and I wish you the best of luck with your works. Sometimes we just have to let the muses do their thing.

If anyone would like to check out Douglas’s novel, Affinity’s Window, you can do so on Amazon at the link below the picture. You can also connect with him on Facebook or Goodreads.

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Affinity’s Window on Amazon

 

You too can be featured on Meet The Author Monday by clicking HERE and filling out the questionnaire.

Meet The Author – Denise Weldon-Siviy

Hello my Gentle Readers. I won’t call this a true Meet the Author Monday, because, well, it’s not Monday, is it? Today I am talking with Denise Weldon-Siviy, author of “Self-Publishing and Libraries” that I reviewed yesterday. Per the usual here, we will put my comments in BLUE and Denise in GREEN.

Denise, let’s start off with something my readers always want to know about, what started you as a reader and what genre(s) really grab you?
I’m not sure. I think I’ve always been a reader. Even as a child I would dive into a book and the rest of the world would disappear. My sisters would run in circles around me and I wouldn’t even notice! I remember maxing out my library card every week at the book mobile.
As for genres, I read a ton of books across the spectrum.  Having said that, there is nothing like an extensive fantasy series to lose yourself in. I really enjoy finding alternate worlds that I can spend some serious time in. 

I agree. There is little else like a great epic world to get lost in. What’s your favorite fantasy series to get lost in?
That would depend on what day it is! I’m usually reading several series at the same time. My all-time favorite would probably be Anne McCaffrey’s Crystal Singer series. More recently, I just finished the Earthcent Ambassador series by EM Foner on Kindle Unlimited. And I’m halfway through the Alien series by Gini Koch.  Oh, and I’m very impatiently waiting for Indie writer Tima Lacoba to finish writing the fourth book in the Dantonville Legacy series.

Anne definitely put out some great books. My readers can click the links above to the others on Amazon. Let’s get to your publishing history. What can readers find from you in the literary world?
What they’d find is probably a lot of things they wouldn’t read unless someone paid them
I spent 25 years as a Technical Writer and Editor specializing in systems level engineering documentation. At that point, I decided two things. One was that I wanted to do something other than technical writing. That was when I started library work and began work on the MLIS that I just finished. The second thing was that I wanted to write things that people would read voluntarily.  So far, I’ve put out a Kindle Single (part of their curated collection) in science fiction – The Betta Virus, under the pen name Jadzia Banks (https://www.amazon.com/Betta-Virus-Jadzia-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B00Z4RNHRW).  I also wrote some fun nonfiction as Charity Grant. Since I’d written tech manuals for so long, I picked topics that I found interesting. First I wrote a tongue-in-cheek fitness book for people tired of circling their dining room tables to get in those last steps. That was 20,000 Steps (https://www.amazon.com/20-000-Steps-Easy-Ways-ebook/dp/B0147MGKQO). And I wrote a clutter busting book for people who don’t really want to get rid of their stuff. It’s called Moving Clutter to the Cloud (https://www.amazon.com/Moving-Clutter-Cloud-Charity-Grant-ebook/dp/B018UPUNIA).
Now that the library degree that resulted in Self-Publishing and Libraries is out of the way, I’m working on finishing a longer novel – The Pacifist Assassin – which I plan to have completed by the end of the year. After that, who knows?
We can circle back to The Pacifist Assassin, let’s talk about your experience with this latest book, Self Publishing and Libraries. Being a self published author myself, I’m very curious about getting my book into public libraries. Are the waters a little less murky now when it comes to getting on a library’s radar as a self published author?
Very slightly, but it’s definitely not water clear enough to drink!

If you mean getting your book onto the shelves physically, if anything that’s becoming slightly more difficult. One of the things that I talk about in the book is how much it costs a library to accept even a free book. The cost of cataloging, physical processing, and staff time are easily 4 to 5 times the cost of most self published books. With budgets for public services being what they are, I don’t expect that to improve in the near future.
For e-books, however, things are definitely looking up. By understanding the market and knowing how to go about publishing their works, authors can now make their self published works available on the e-book platforms that libraries serve up to patrons. With SELF-e, that’s not a big deal because they require self published authors to donate their work to be included. Quite frankly, I find the idea that authors of Indie works should just give away their work to be insulting.    Overdrive on the other hand allows self-published authors to set library specific prices in the same way that traditional publishers do. The ability to get self-published books into public library book collections via Overdrive really is a game changer.
At the other end of the process, just making librarians aware of specific self-published works is still a struggle. Too many are still relying on discovery tools (like paid review services) that were designed for the traditional publishing industry and really don’t serve the self-publishing model very well. One of the things that I do in my book is to make librarians aware of where to learn about top quality self published works. 
And that brings up probably the most important thing about my book: it looks at the process from the perspectives of both self-published authors and librarians. I think the largest barrier to getting self published works into libraries right now is that those two groups — self-publishers and librarians — have no idea what the other group does or how and why they do it. What they do have is a lot of misinformation that gets in the way of effectively working together to present the best of self-published literature to library patrons. 

It’s a great, informative read. Readers can find my review on Amazon, Goodreads, and HERE.
Let’s move away from your professional life and learn a little about you the person. What keeps you occupied when you aren’t writing or diving into fantasy realms?
My great passion is traveling. Seeing and experiencing new things. New countries and cultures, fascinating places across the US, even day trips to explore all of the new and exciting things around my home.  Right now I’m getting ready to move to the Netherlands for five months and planning a visit to Africa where my youngest daughter is serving in the Peace Corps.

I also try to spend as much time as possible with my four children and two grandchildren. Since they’re spread out over several states and countries at this point, that usually involves travel as well.
Sounds like you have enough to keep you busy. Well, good luck with your launch and I hope when you have “The Pacifist Assassin” ready, which sounds like a great title by the way, you will stop by and visit us again.
My Gentle Readers you can find Denise over on her blog HERE.

Meet The Author Monday – Bracha Goetz

Today my Gentle Readers, we have Bracha Goetz, a children’s picture book author. In our usual style here we will put my questions/comments in BLUE, with Bracha’s responses in GREEN.

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Thanks for stopping by today, Bracha. I must say you are my first children’s book author. It’s not a genre I normally read myself, but as my daughter grows up I am sure I will have to become familiar with the genre so I have something to read to her. What brought you into the literary world?
I loved picture books as a child – and they are still my favorite books to read!

Picture books, huh. Well, I think you covered my usual next question of what genre excites you the most.
Picture books – the less words, the better! 🙂

So, what made you want to cross the line from reading to publishing your own?
When I won the Junior McCalls’ contest for McCall’s Magazine as a 12-year-old, and my poem appeared in the magazine, I understood that people all over could hopefully benefit from my writing.

Wow, winning awards and published at 12 years old? Impressive. Do you still write a lot of poetry or do you dabble in other genres now?
I write articles for magazines or for websites online on important issues when I feel “somebody’s got to do it” but I much prefer to write picture books.

So, we’ve established that picture books are your bread and butter. Tell us a little about your work in that arena.
I’m the author of 33 picture books that help children’s souls shine, with a whole bunch more under contract. I love making deep spiritual concepts clear to children in a delightfully simple way.

For years, I only had books for Jewish children accepted for publication, but now my books for the general public are just beginning to get published too.

33 picture books published? That’s quite the pedigree. It’s wonderful that you tackle such a potentially hot topic such as spirituality for an audience so young. When you aren’t trying to enliven children’s lives with your work, how do you spend your time?
I’m the mother of six children who are all now parents, and my husband and I are enjoying our many grandchildren. I coordinate a Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Baltimore, Maryland, and I love practicing yoga every wonderful day.

I’m not your typical Harvard grad ’cause chapter books are a bit much for me. I like expressing big ideas in little words.

Sounds like you keep a full plate, congratulations on your growing family and I hope you continue to bring light to children’s lives. If anyone would like to find more information on Bracha’s body of work, and connect with her, you can do so at the links below.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can get more information by Clicking Here.

Meet The Author Monday – Melissa Carrigee

Today my Gentle Readers, we have Melissa Carrigee, an editor and creative director for a small publishing company, who has her own debut book coming out this year. In our usual style here we will put my questions/comments in BLUE, with Melissa’s responses in GREEN.

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Melissa, thank you for stopping by to chat with us today. Let’s get the ball rolling with an easy one. How did you get your start as a reader?
I started off as an avid reader when I was young. The teenage years I was too busy with boys to be bothered with books. In my twenties I picked up Glory Lane by Alan Dean Foster and that was it. I knew my passion was books and reading.

Sounds like one I will have to check out when I get some free time. What genre, or genres, do you enjoy the most?
I love horror and thrillers but I read anything. I love children’s stories and have a huge collection.

Variety is the spice of life they say. What brought you to the other side of the page? From reading the stories of others to writing your own?
I think when I read Glory Lane I started becoming a writer. I had always written when I was young, poems and short stories as a way to deal with my crazy emotions but after I read Glory Lane I started putting all the components together and outlining bigger stories. That is when I became a writer.

Do have plans to stick with the genre your debut is in? Or do you have plans to expand your repertoire?
No. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into any one genre.

Varied reading and writing tastes, how exciting. I hope you will keep us informed of new releases as they become available. How did you get your start in the literary world?
I worked as a literary agent for almost two years trying to expand my knowledge of the business. I got to know a lot of people in the business. I started to attend conferences. I was then offered a job at an upcoming new, independent publisher over their children’s book line. I accepted that job and now I am involved in all aspects of getting a book published. Some people might think it would make it easier for me as a writer but it actually has made it tougher.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I work as the editor and creative director of a small publisher. I have one boy in the Air Force and another in junior high school. I also have a bulldog who keeps me busy.

Very exciting. I have a son in junior high as well. Busy time transitioning from elementary to a more grown up regimen of homework and studying. You had something else about your debut to tell us, correct?
My book is out for pre-sale right now but won’t be officially released until August 2017.

I wrote I Dream of Dragons when I was in college getting a graphic design degree. It was for an illustration class. I remember hating the illustrating part but I absolutely loved writing the story and the outcome. I wrote the story for my son, who is now in the Air Force.

Please thank your son for his service. And thank you again for stopping by to talk with me today. Keep us posted on your upcoming work. If anyone would like to find out more about Melissa’s book and even pre-order it, you can find her at the below links.

Website

Facebook Page

GoodReads

Pinterest

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can get more information by Clicking Here.

Meet The Author Monday – Angel M.B. Chadwick

This week on Meet The Author Monday, we have Angel M.B. Chadwick, a crime writer with two books currently on Amazon. I will pose my questions in BLUE while Angel’s responses will be in GREEN.

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Thank you for stopping by today, Angel. Let’s dive into how you got started in the literary world.
I started reading when I was four. I loved to absorb words and worlds which is still true today.

There is nothing like getting lost in world created in a book. What genre do you enjoy the most?
I love most genres, but mysteries are what I love the most.

Somewhere along the line you decided to cross over into writing your own worlds to get absorbed in. Tell us about that moment.
My seventh grade English teacher encouraged me to keep writing when she saw my potential during an English assignment when I wrote a short story.

That was a fortuitous moment. You had a great teacher. Do you concentrate on one genre or several?
No, I always mix several genres. I love lots of variety and diversity in my works, without it I get bored very quickly and very easily that also included in the books I read.

Nothing wrong with a little variety in the written word. How did you get started being a published author?
I’ve been an author/writer for 26 years. I was trad published in my teens and twenties. I was offered a publishing contract when I was fifteen years old by a major publisher and turned it down. I’ve always been indie/self-published and I think that’s why I never got along with the traditionally published world. One rejection if you can call it that by a publisher was “You have a unique insight into mankind.” But unfortunately they weren’t able to market that. So I took it as a compliment and decided to market my “Unique insight into mankind” for myself as an indie.

Good for you. Sometimes I don’t think the traditional publishing houses have any idea how silly it is to put all your eggs on one big name author. There are so many stories in the world to be told. When not writing, what do you enjoy? Do you have any family?
I don’t have any hobbies. I do ghostwriting and editing services, come up with business ideas for disabled/needy families. I have a ten year old son.

Sounds like you keep yourself busy. I know my son keeps me on my toes. Thank you again for stopping by. If anyone would like to check out Angel’s work, you can do so through the following links.

Facebook Page
GoodReads Author Page
GoodReads Author Blog
Amazon Author Page

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If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can find the submission form HERE.

Meet The Author Monday – Briana Michaels

This week’s featured author is Briana Michaels, author of the Paranormal Romance series, “Sins of the Sidhe”. Per our usual routine here, we will put her responses in GREEN while I will be BLUE.

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Briana, thank you for stopping by to visit with us today. Paranormal Romance isn’t necessarily something I read often, but it looks to be a thriving genre. Let’s begin with what brought you to the literary world?
I read a lot as a child, but when I went to college there was no time for reading something that wasn’t on a syllabus, so I sort of gave up on books for fun. Then, when Harry Potter came out, I gave it a try and couldn’t put it down. It sparked a new reading frenzy in me and I read anything and everything after that. So thanks, J.K. Rowling, for bringing back my passion for reading. 

I think we all can thank her for bringing in a whole generation of readers. I know my kid loves the books. So we have fantasy covered, but what genre really excites you?
It’s a toss between Paranormal Romance and Historical Romance. I love the darkness that is captured in paranormal reads. Give me danger, big fangs, big swords, and big… well… *ahem* you know, plots and stuff. It’s my true escape from reality.

I love historicals because when it’s done right, you can almost believe it really happened that way. Yes, Jamie Fraser is real. Right? RIGHT?
No matter what I read, it’s all about the romance for me. I can read about falling down the rabbit hole, casting a spell, meeting Benedict Arnold, or having dinner with Sir William Wallace, but there better be some steaminess in there somewhere. 

Romance is certainly not dead for you then. So from reading everything you could get your hands on, you went to writing your own. What prompted that shift?
There must have been a story brewing in me for quite a while although I had no intentions of ever becoming a writer. I love to be in everyone else’s worlds, and that was always good enough for me. 
At the time I was a mom, a preschool art teacher, and a wife. That kept me running all day and night. I’d gone from having a dream job and owning my own business, to being a wife and mother who stayed home (also a dream job), to getting out and teaching art classes with a friend of mine, which was a ton of fun… but something was missing for me. I didn’t know what it was, but something was out of whack. 
One night, on my way home from having dinner with my husband, I looked at him and said, “I’m going to write a book. I have so much in me that needs to get out.” I sat down the next morning in front of my laptop and started typing. Two weeks later, my first novel was complete. And now writing has become my new dream job. 

Two weeks huh? That is an impressive turnaround. I think I know what genre you settled into, but let’s hear you talk about it.
I’m all about the Paranormal Romance. I can’t imagine writing anything else. I love the dark side, it’s home to me. Throw in some danger, steamy scenes, and a kilt, and I’m a very happy woman.

A kilt huh? Well, so two weeks to write the first book, but how did it go from your laptop to the shelves of Amazon?
I’m self-published. As an Indie, it’s hard to get your name out there, to get people to notice you. You just sort of sprouted from the ground and you’re not in the sunshine yet like the big guys. But that’s okay. It all takes time: writing, editing, marketing, overall success. 
Writing my first book was the easy part. Hitting that publish button was terrifying. Getting that first bad review was nauseating. But then it just sort of smooths out. You get into a groove. Your skin gets a little thicker. You start to learn the dos and don’ts. You finally come to a point where you know what your goals are – and they are all within reach.
The more I write, the hotter I burn. The hotter I burn, the more ideas I have. As ideas grow, so does your talent. It’s a beautiful thing, really – the evolution of a writer.
Once someone in the publishing biz asked me, “How many books are in your series?” I replied, “I’m on my fifth one now.” She cooly said, “That’s a large series for someone who’s never even written a stand-alone book before.” My reply? “Well, I’ve just gotten started. I have six more ready to go after I’m finished writing the one I’m on now.”
By the way, this was a totally friendly, wonderful phone call. I didn’t take offense to what she was saying. She hadn’t meant it as an insult, I think I’d just surprised her. I knew jumping into a huge series might be a risky adventure and I didn’t care. I wanted it. Wanted it bad, baby. Very little in this world scares me more than regret. I knew I wanted to write a series and that’s just what I did. I went with my gut and couldn’t be happier with my decision.
The conversation with that lovely agent sealed my fate in so many ways and I am eternally grateful for that phone call. She was awesome, helpful, and memorable. 
Lesson learned: You do you.

Definitely sound advice for anyone considering putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys. So outside of writing steamy novels, what else drives your life?
Writing is an obsession. It’s hard to walk away from it, even to take a shower. However, when life calls, I have to answer, which means prying my boney fingers off the keyboard and joining civilization.
My husband and I love to garden, make a lot of things (like soap, wine, art), and we live on the side of a mountain that requires attention and hard work. If I’m not blissfully banging away on the keyboard, then I’m baking cakes, entertaining friends, chopping wood, plucking weeds, feeding chickens, canning food, sipping wine, catching crayfish, running kids to sports and dance, or doing laundry. Not necessarily in that order.

Busy woman. I hope you don’t leave your readers too long on that fifth book. Now, you have a funny story to share, so let’s hear it.
A book club had just read SHATTER (book 1 in my Sins of the Sidhe series) and invited me as their guest author to speak about the book. Walking into the kitchen and making introductions here’s how the convo went with one of the readers:

Her: “Oh, you’re the writer?” Disappointment was evident. 

Me: “Yup. I’m your girl.” *displays cheesy smile*

Her: “I just thought you’d look different.”

Me: “Well my picture is on the back of your book.”

Her: “I know, I just thought it wasn’t right.”
I still have no idea how to respond to that, but it makes me laugh every time I think about it. Should I have had horns? *Hmmm, makes mental note for next book club invite.*

Who knows what she was hoping for. Thank you again for stopping by Briana and I wish you success with all those books in your series. Maybe I will have to step outside my genre and pick up that first one myself.

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If anyone wants to find out more about Briana or keep tabs on her work, You can find her at the links below.
Website
Facebook Page
Twitter: @SinsoftheSidhe

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can find the submission form HERE.

Meet The Author Monday – MJL Evans

This week’s featured author is MJL Evans.  As usual we will have my comments/questions in BLUE with MJL in GREEN.
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Thank you for stopping by MJL. Let’s jump right in and talk about your first forays into the literary world.
I was read to growing up and I listened to audiobooks, so I believe this encouraged to be an avid reader from a young age.

What genre excites you the most? Any other favorites? 
I really enjoy horror, fantasy, literary fiction, and erotica, Basically if it sounds interesting to me, I’ll read it.

Sounds pretty eclectic. What made you decide to start writing your own stories?
I’ve been writing stories from a very young age, they were my favourite homework assignments. I was inspired by what I read. Books like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, and Little Women, they all fed my imagination.

Wonderful choices. Do you consider yourself a writer of a specific genre, or do you dabble in several?
Not really, I like dabbling. I mix genres in my stories. For example, No Quarter: Dominium is a mixture of historical fiction, romance, adventure, suspense and humour. LIfe isn’t just one genre, so my stories develop into whatever seems most natural.

Characters do tend to take on a life of their own sometimes. How did your publishing journey play out?
I became an Indie Author starting in 2013. At the time I hadn’t written in many years, it was always something I wanted to revisit. What pushed me back into writing was a routine surgery that went wrong and I almost bled to death (sounds melodramatic, I know!). But what it did was made me reevaluate what was important to me and I’ve been writing like hell ever since! 

Well, that is exciting. I’m glad you recovered to bring your stories to life. Do you have any other interests you’d like to share?
I am also a visual artist who dabbles in acrylics, oils and watercolours. Also, I read a lot and cater to my two senior cats, who spend a lot of their time trying to push their way onto my keyboard!

Cats and keyboards, a pretty common foil to getting any writing done. Now you’re situation is a bit different than my previous featured authors, as you have a partner. Can you tell us about that?
I like writing my own stories, however, I’ve found that having a co-author is a great way to challenge my story ideas. We don’t always agree and sometimes I want to throw a thesaurus at his head, but it keeps the story-line fresh and ultimately makes the story better.

Great perspective MJL. I’m glad you stopped by and chatted with us today. If anyone would like to find more information, or buy one of MJL’s books, you can find her at all the links below.

Website
Facebook

Twitter @noquarterseries
Twitter @artistmjlevans
Instagram mjlevans

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And for any authors looking to be our featured author of the week, you can get details and sign up HERE.