Tag Archives: author

A visit with Lorelei

I got up fairly early this morning. No particular reason today, I guess I was done sleeping.

The dogs needed to wait an extra minute while I opened a new bag of food for them. Typical morning chores, dogs, coffee, then it was time to start checking social media.

That’s when the faintest whiff of sandalwood caught my attention. I stifled a smile, but didn’t do it very well. It’s a signature scent, and can only mean one thing.

The slow clack of high heels is a sound that always makes me focus, and it was coming across my hard surface flooring. Lorelei, and she looked like an image from a magazine. She wore jeans that looked like they were painted on, with a loose fitting summer top. Then there was that huge shock of brunette hair, one befitting a minor goddess.

“What brings the Muse out today?” I asked.

“I’ve been meaning to stop by, but since you’ve been writing a little. I decided to leave you alone. When I spoke with Lisa, she said you haven’t visited the writing cabin in weeks. Your creativity feeds me, you know that. I’m feeling a little neglected.”

“Don’t be like that. I’m editing, no thanks to your damned raven. I’ve been arranging artwork, and scheduling things around publication. I even got a chance to read a couple of books.”

“That’s all lovely, but you need to keep writing. I’ve told you before, publishing is your choice. I only care that you create.”

“And I’ve told you, it would be nice to cover expenses. Book covers and promotional art costs more than I make on some books. Besides, aren’t you supposed to be sending me ideas?”

“What about all those characters you’ve parked on the island? Those were some wonderful characters, and maybe it’s time to tell their stories. There is that couple from Colonial Africa, the cops in the science fiction piece, several others.”

“I don’t know, geez. Summer is a time for more than writing. Besides, getting everything ready to publish is almost a full time job. Then I have to come up with blog tour posts, get the artwork, contact my street team…”

“Yes. You’ve already whined about that. You should try to keep focus. I think you’re a wonderful writer, or I wouldn’t waste my time with you. But… writers have to write.”

“I’ll think about it. Maybe something fun will come to me.”

“That’s all I ask. Maybe one of those storyboards you’re always talking about. Those seem to lead to a test chapter or two.”

“I’ll try. I have all day today and tomorrow.”

“There’s a good writer.” She turned and walked away, wiggling her fingers over her shoulder. “I I I I.”

“What was that you said?”

“I said, goodbye.”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks for stopping by.”

“What about you? Do you have any ideas?”

“Na, mate. Ya gotta come up with this stuff on your own.”

“Well, that was singularly unhelpful.”

“I’m just a prop, mate. But I have faith in you. I feel like you’re on the verge of one o’ them epiphanies.”

“Big words for such a little head.”

“Dun gotta get personal about it. I’m trying to help here.”

“Sorry. Maybe a ghost story or something will make her happy. I feel like I’m close, but don’t quite have it.”

“I got faith in ya, and so does the lady. Maybe that keyboard thing will put some wind in your sails.”

“You’re probably right.”

Advertisements

39 Comments

Filed under Muse

Meet Michele Jones

Quantum Wanderlust
Michele Jones is one of the masterminds behind AIW Press, and the two anthologies I’ve been invited to participate in. She’s also the author of one of the stories inside Quantum Wanderlust. She’s here to give us a behind the scenes of putting an anthology together. Let’s make her feel welcome and use those sharing buttons today. Thanks.

***

Hey Craig, thanks for having me. By the way, I love Lisa’s radio show. You have very interesting guests. If you don’t mind, I thought we could talk about putting together our newest anthology, Quantum Wanderlust.

I believe there are some similarities between producing an anthology and writing a successful story or novel, or producing a live radio show. It all comes down to planning.

Our team meets and discusses ideas and themes for upcoming anthologies. We’ve done holiday, westerns, and wanted something different. Thus, Quantum Wanderlust was born. Of course, the ideas that didn’t make the cut were filed for future use.

Once we have chosen the theme, we develop the concept that all submissions must adhere to. All of our anthologies have guidelines the selected authors must abide by, theme, word count, and of course they must not be offensive to the readers or the participating authors, therefore, we stay away from political and religious topics when producing the anthology.

After hashing out the details, we have a call for submissions. This includes reaching out to the authors that participated in previous anthologies. We provide the details of the anthology, such as theme, word count, deadline, editing process, and marketing.

After we have commitments from the authors, we create an online forum for information pertaining to the anthology. This is where we discuss the progress of the stories and the marketing we will be doing.

While that is happening in the forefront, we work behind the scenes producing the marketing material. We gather the author bio, and any links they provide for their work. As the stories come in we start the editing process. We review all content to make sure it adheres to our rules, and edit for grammar. Once completed, all edits are returned to the author for approval. Don’t be alarmed, any edit that we do will not change the author’s voice or the plot of the story.

Once we have all the finished pieces, we start the layout for the compilation. We come up with a one or two line short synopsis for marketing and we pull a quote to introduce the story.

I’ve read all the stories in Quantum Wanderlust. Craig chose to travel back in time and came up with a great plot twist in his story, Swift Wings. I chose to travel to the future in my story, The Fabric of Time, where one snag in the fabric can alter the future.

Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Quantum Wanderlust at all the major sites. These thirteen authors will take you on some interesting time travel adventures. Oh, and if you don’t mind, please leave a review.

***

Quantum WanderlustWhat if you had all the time in the world?

Thirteen authors answer that question with short stories about time travel. Go back in time to right a wrong, forward to see the future. No jump is too large, no method unfeasible, no lesson beyond learning.

• Visit the past to learn a family secret.

• See the formation of a future dictatorship.

• Assume responsibility for weaving the fabric of time.

• Travel back in time to WWII.

• Use a family heirloom to solve problems.

• Wear an inheritance to visit ancestors.

• Leave a dystopian future for the hope of something better.

• Make history come true in an unexpected way.

• Fight evil fairies to protect a chosen angel.

• Live with the childhood memory of visitors until the day they arrive.

• Seek medical help for a memory issue and get way more than bargained for.

• Discover that with great power comes great responsibility.

• Uncover the secrets of a pharaoh’s tomb and curse.

Do the characters observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline? Read these stories to learn how far they go, how they get there, and what happens when they return.

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Pick up your free copy here

Michele JonesBio:

Michele Jones lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and two spoiled dogs.

Along with her writing, family, cooking, and sports are her passions. She is a diehard Penguin, Steeler, and Pirate fan… really, a diehard anything-Pittsburgh fan.

Michele writes memoirs, short stories, romance, and poetry, but her passion lies in writing paranormal, suspense, and thrillers.

You can follow her online at www.michele-jones.com

Connect online:

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Published Works | Goodreads

39 Comments

Filed under Writing

Welcome Author, Marlena Smith #RRBC

One of the benefits of membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club is the ability to host other authors. Today it’s my turn to bring you Marlena Smith, one of the hardest working members in the club. Please give her a warm welcome in the comments and with the sharing buttons.

***

Hi, there!

Welcome to Day 1 of my RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour! I am so excited to have you join me! A huge THANKS to RRBC and to my awesome host!!

To kick this tour off, I thought some Q&A would be fun, your chance to get to know the author!

1. You have been writing for a long time now, since you were a child. What were some of your first story ideas?

Yes, my earliest memory of writing comes from 2nd grade. I wrote a story about my mother and received the honor of attending the Young Author’s Conference in my state. At 8 years old, it seemed like a big deal!

I still have all of the things I wrote as a child/teenager. One story was about princesses who had magical powers. Another was about a family on a ranch that go through some hardships. Looking back, the ideas were kind of all over the place!

2. What influenced you to take a career path in writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, putting my thoughts and ideas on paper. It has always been an escape for me, even to this day. I’ve tried other jobs, other ideas, but I’ve always came back to writing. It’s my home, where I belong. When you continuously come back to a certain thing, you realize maybe you should just stick to it.

3. What inspires your writing?

Nature, people I see or speak to, the world… Inspiration can be found in so many places if you simply open your eyes or your ears. Life, itself, can be inspiring.

I’ve also had a few ideas come from my dreams. It’s funny, I rarely remember my dreams. But when I do, it’s usually something to write about.

4. What part of writing do you find most exhilarating?

Putting the idea onto paper. You take a simple idea, and turn it into a book. You create a world, characters, meaning, drama, romance… all from an idea. That’s an amazing thing to me.

5. What part is most difficult?

Actually publishing it. Putting your book, your work in someone else’s hands. It’s in the public eye for all to see. Some will love it, others may hate it. It can be a scary thing. I think that’s why I’ve always procrastinated with my own writing. What if all that hard work that you put into your book isn’t received well? I suppose, though, that’s a risk we take in a lot of things. You just never know.

6. What is your process for creating characters?

For me, the story idea comes first. Then, I create the characters to make the story come alive.

When I do create my characters, I like to be thorough. Give them a personality and an appearance. From that, they develop throughout the story, almost on their own. I hear so many authors say that their characters often take over the story. This is so true. Sometimes, the story leads a completely different path than you planned… All because of the character.

7. What can we expect to find in your first book?

THE POWER OF LOVE is about a woman needing a fresh start. She has left the place she once called home, her husband, her family, and is now living in an abandoned apartment alone. She keeps to herself, never acknowledging anyone that crosses her path. That is, until she bumps into Lucas. Lucas forces her out of her shell. He has this way of waking Scarlet up, making her alive again. We see her grow and embrace the new path she is on. We also see her constantly battle with herself and her past. It’s a story of heartache and pain, but also of hope and love.

8. Will you give us an insight into your main character?

Scarlet is a strong woman that has been through a lot. Taking the first step of living on her own, helps her to find her independence again. She takes chances and goes against her fears. With Scarlet’s character, you see hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope that you can and will find your own path.

9. What do you hope readers experience from this debut book?

I simply want readers to enjoy the book. To take from it, what I put into it. I hope they laugh and cry, and feel the emotion as they walk Scarlet’s journey.

10. What part of the romance genre do you find most exciting?

I’m such a hopeless romantic! I’ve always believed in true love and love at first sight, and all of those other cliches. I like where the romance genre can take you. It can often open your eyes, give you hope, make you believe again.

I also like the never-knowing, the constant guessing game of wondering if love will win. Like I mentioned before, your character can truly take over your book and you may have no idea how it will end. The woman doesn’t always need a man to save the day. Sometimes, she saves herself.

11. What’s the best tool or resource you’ve found during your writing career?

Of course, I believe social media is a must. Twitter, Facebook, and all the other sites and apps can be great marketing tools. You also get to connect with readers and other authors. Networking at its finest!

I also am a strong believer in finding a group or organization of people that are on the same journey as you, people that you can relate to, people that can help you and inspire you. I found that with RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB – an organization that is all about supporting and promoting one another. This group has been the push I need to put my words out there. You don’t find support anywhere else like you do at RRBC.

12. Aside from writing, what are your passions in life? What can you be found doing when you’re not behind a pen or computer?

Writing and reading definitely take up a majority of my time, as does RRBC. Being the secretary for a book club can keep you busy, which I love. My other passion is cooking, specifically baking. This is another escape for me. I enjoy being in the kitchen, seeing what new recipe I can create.

I am also a horror-fanatic. I can watch scary movies all day, especially Indie ones. I’m actually fascinated by the paranormal world and enjoy doing my own research and “hunting.” There’s a lot of incredible places in my state, places I have yet to explore.

13. What can we expect next from you?

Aside from THE POWER OF LOVE being released in Spring 2017, I have a few other works-in-progress.

I’m hoping my YA Romance novel, A MOMENTARY GLANCE, will be released this year. Of course, it’s still in the first draft stage. This is a story idea I’ve had for a very long time and can’t wait to get finished. You can find some snippets and such about this one on my blog.

I also have a horror screenplay in the works. The outline is done and it’s played out in my head; I just need to get it all on paper.

Thanks for stopping by!! Hope you’ll join me and my hosts for the rest of the tour! 🙂

***

Book Blurb:

All she wanted was a fresh start.

Eight months ago, Scarlet made the choice to leave the prison she called home, and to escape the man that put her there. She had made a new home for herself in the small town of Belmont, Montana. The abandoned apartment was far from luxury, but she was better off, away from her past life.

She never expected to meet Lucas, the local hero and town’s only doctor. She didn’t expect to enjoy the small town life. She didn’t expect her past to catch up to her.

Will she risk it all? Risk revealing her secrets at a chance of love? Will she be forced back into the life she hated? Will she gain control of her own destiny?

Available Spring 2017!!

***

Author Bio:

Author Marlena Smith is a true Southern Belle at heart. Her home has always been in Alabama and she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Growing up as a preacher’s daughter, faith and family played a large part in her life.

Her earliest memory of writing was that of 2nd grade when she was selected to attend the Young Author’s Conference in her home state. Little did she know then that her future was being mapped out.

Today, Marlena is an Author, Freelancer, Book Reviewer, Researcher and Secretary of Rave Reviews Book Club. She may wear many hats, but her passion remains with writing. That’s where her heart is and that’s where she feels she belongs. She has several works in progress, including an upcoming short romance, THE POWER OF LOVE, expected to be out in Spring 2017.

Until then, you can check out some of Marlena’s writing in the RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL ANTHOLOGY, available on Amazon.

***

Find Marlena online:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Website

You can sample Marlena’s work in the anthology Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul, available at this handy link.

 

80 Comments

Filed under Writing

Fizzle the Drite, on Lisa Burton Radio

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're going to try something a little bit different today. There is a character I've been dying to interview, but he's kind of hard to catch up with.

Fizzle is a drite, and they can be kind of reclusive. If we don't find him, I may have to think on the fly here for something to broadcast. I have a secret weapon though. I bought a beautiful basket of organic apples the last time I was at Whole Foods.

<Pop>

“OH! You scared me. Are you Fizzle?”

“Fizzle is Fizzle. Told to speak of self here. Uh . . . Fizzle small dragon. Fizzle live in woods. Fizzle leave woods to help friends. Tradespeak hard. Fizzle learn from tiny human. Fizzle love apples. What organic?”

“Oh my gosh, you're so cute. For those listening, Fizzle looks like a dragonfly, in that he's a small dragon with dragonfly wings.”

“Fizzle called drite. Not like big dragons or fake dragons. Fizzle and kind dif . . diffe . . . other thing. Drites small with great magic. Fizzle hide easy and have spell called disin . . . dis . . . make bad things go poof. Friends like warning when Fizzle cast poof spell. Give time to be safe. Fizzle have great aim, so no worry. Oh, drites have long tails too.”

“Don't you guys usually protect a forest or something?”

“Many drites protect nature. Not all. Some lazy and some curious. Fizzle protect Visindor Forest and sword lady’s school. Fizzle there before school, but Betty make yummy apple pies. Betty not sword lady. She friend of sword lady. Fizzle leave home and job to cousin. Plimp odd, but strong and good. He planting pine trees. Says pinecones yummier than apples. Fizzle not agree.”

“So why would you leave that all behind? It must be pretty important.”

<smack, chomp, burp> “Fizzle’s friends need help. Luke get into trouble. He need guarding while part of prophecy. Other champions help, but Fizzle protect Luke first. Also, like Nyx smell and Delvin know how to make apple pie. Timoran fun to perch on too. Sari just fun. Fizzle like having friends. Fizzle make sure they stay safe. Gods tell Fizzle to keep them safe.”

“You're pretty small, what would you do if someone threatened your friends.”

“Fizzle say magic. Fizzle very fast and smart. Stay hidden until strike. Bad people never see Fizzle coming. Well, blue lady did once. Evil Man did too, but Fizzle smack him. Evil Man very scary. Fizzle friends all hurt by him. Fizzle too when caught by surprise. Fizzle no like Evil Man. Rather fight Lich, who is a rotting man. Make that one go poof, but he not stay poofed. Very frus . . . frustr . . . make Fizzle pout.”

“Sounds like they could use some protecting. Do you ever sleep?”

“Fizzle have regular sleep. Also have long sleep. Drites need growing sleep for month to get stronger. Fizzle do this and friends get in trouble. This why friends need Fizzle.”

“That has to be nerve wracking. Maybe they could get a fu dog or something to cover for that year.”

“Fizzle like dogs. Luke like dogs too. Fizzle think that hard topic. Luke miss big dog. Fizzle give many apples to cheer up. Fizzle not worry now. Nyx get stronger and other champions wiser. Only Luke and Sari cause trouble. Timoran say they too young for adult wisdom. Nyx say they need head smack. Fizzle think they hide hurt with fun. Oh! Maybe Fizzle take form of dog. Bad people not expect dog to cast poof spell. Can dogs fly?”

“You know what I think? If you protect the champions, that makes you a champion too.”

“Fizzle no champion. Fizzle protector of champions. Prophecy go on with or without Fizzle and other friends. Fizzle know champions need friends. Though champions do not know that champions need friends to win. Not sure how, but Fizzle feel that right. Old Evil have demons, so why not champions have friends?”

“The champion's mission sounds like a dangerous adventure, but Windemere sounds like it has beautiful places too. Do you ever think you might adopt a new forest once everything is sorted out?”

“Fizzle no know. May take Visindor back or stay with Nyx. Fizzle have strong bond with Nyx. Luke call her city rat. Not sure if Fizzle want stay in city. Depend on what around. Many forests without drites. Fizzle can make new home and new friends. Fizzle can travel and plant a forest of every apple tree in world. Call it Yummy Woods and protect it.”

“Thank you for being with is today, Fizzle. The sponsor of today's show is Charms of the Feykin, the newest entry in the Legends of Windemere series. Don't forget to tip your waitress by clicking on those sharing buttons at the end of the post.

***

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

 

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

84 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Calling all lovers of fantasy

Charles Yallowitz has a new entry into his long running Windemere series. This one promises tension galore. It sounds like there might be dissension amongst the troops. Here’s Charles to tell us about it.

 

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

.

.

.

.

.

.

Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Note from Craig: Come back Thursday and check out Lisa Burton’s special guest, on Lisa Burton Radio.

15 Comments

Filed under Writing

#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author, Micki Peluso!!

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I occasionally get to showcase some awesome authors here. Today Micki Peluso is here to talk about her personal journey, and her book The Whippoorwill Sang. Take it away, Micki.

Facing My Fear of Public Speaking

I have always had a fear of public speaking and being the center of attention. That said, while other authors may enjoy the thought of speaking in front of strangers, for me it was about as much fun as facing a firing squad. My local Red Hat Ladies Club cajoled (forcefully pushed) me into doing a speech and book signing at a local restaurant. Panic set in as all kinds of catastrophic phenomena settled in my gut like a bag of cement.

The day arrived way too quickly but I’d gathered a few helpful hints from other writers. One told me to picture the audience naked. Well, I tried that first and now have a fear of naked people. Red Hat Ladies are not in their youth. Another good idea was to speak while focusing on only one person. That seemed logical since the room full of faces made me dizzy. The woman I chose began to twitch after ten minutes or so, broke into a sweat and finally got up and rushed from the room. I survived and relaxed when sitting at a table and signing my books during the luncheon.

The president of the Red Hat Ladies Society, called to tell me we were going to do a local cable TV spot in a few days. I considered packing fast and heading out of town. But there was no way I could avoid it. They were trying to help promote my book, which was a generous thing that deserved my thanks, not my cowardice. The morning of the live interview, I awoke to an attack of allergies, body aches, a sick stomach and every other ailment my subconscious mind could conjure up. I put on a false bravado and drove off into my worst nightmare. My husband, daughter and I got lost finding the place, in spite of Tinkerbell, our sarcastic GPS system. I was sure I’d get a reprieve at that point. Then a kind man gave us directions and I soon walked up the steps into my personal ring of fire.

The TV host had invited three other women to sit at a table much like the television show, “The View.” All had suffered a criminal loss of some kind. As the camera man called out, “Three, two, one,” it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could see my husband and daughter in the small audience reserved for friends and family. That didn’t calm me as both can be my harshest critics. I avoided looking at the TV screen showing us live. God must have heard my morning prayers because I became completely detached from myself throughout the half hour program.

My family assured me that I gave a calm, cool and professional performance. I remember nothing, except for the blessed words, “Cut, we’re off the air.” Whew! I did it and my book was displayed on the screen, along with the interview. I’d helped fulfill my death bed promise to my dying daughter, Noelle, 26 years ago. I breathed a sigh of relief, quite proud that I’d faced my fears, thinking I’d never have to do this again. But no . . . .

The MADD organization I’d recently joined asked me to speak to one of the local school PTAs, as a victim of a DWI related death. I managed that due to the caring audience, many suffering losses of their own. I sold books at the PTA to interested parents, as we exchanged similar stories. Becoming involved in their losses changed my terror to empathy, making it a bittersweet evening. Will I ever get used to public speaking? I don’t think so, but I’ve learned to interact with my audience which helps make it an more enjoyable experience.

***

Micki Peluso began writing after a personal tragedy. This lead to a first time publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a career in Journalism. She’s freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper, written for two more and has published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges, magazines and e-zine editions. Her first book was published in 2012; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . . And THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC Silver Award for ‘Writing That Builds Character’, won third place in the Predators and Editors Contest and first place for People’s Choice Monthly Award. This book is close to her heart since it’s a deathbed promise to her dying child. It has the humor of ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ with the heart of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Some reviewers liken her writing to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Harper lee. She has over a dozen short stories in ‘Women’s Memoirs’, ‘Tales2inspire’, and ‘Creature Features’. Two of her short horror stories were recently published in an International Award winning anthology called “Speed of Dark.” She is presently working on a collection of short fiction, and slice of life stories in a book collection called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck’, due to be released in late 2017. Her first children’s story, ‘The Cat Who Wanted a Dog’ will be released in June of 2017. Author Peluso is a multi-genre and speculative writer who plans to tackle novels next.

 

To learn more about Micki Peluso, or to purchase her book, …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG,

please visit:

Twitter: @mickipeluso

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang

Website: http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/

Email: mallie1025@aol.com

52 Comments

Filed under Writing

Meet Author Lincoln Cole

Lincoln is coming to us today via 4-Wills Publishing. So let's all meet Lincoln:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was about ten I realized I wanted to tell stories. I loved reading books, especially by Stephen King, and I knew I wanted to do that when I grew up.

How long does it take you to write a book?


It depends on the book. Sometimes it takes about a month, and other times it can take as much as a year to put it all together. I’ve gotten better at writing a first draft, but I have a lot less time to write now as well.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?


I like to outline my stories, but then I completely abandon the outline after only a few stories. It doesn’t make me like doing it any less, though, I just accept that my outline is going to change completely every time I write.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?


It’s hard to say, really. I usually think of characters and imagine action scenes for them, and then the story sort of unfolds around that.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?


I was fourteen when I published my first book (it was terrible) and then seventeen for the second (equally as bad). I never really went back to those stories and didn’t even manage to write the third book in the series. One day I would like to go back to it, but not yet.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?


I work as a software developer, and I like to go for walks, watch tv, and listen to music when I’m not writing.

What does your family think of your writing?


They are kind of supportive of it and help as much as they can. I think in general they view it as a hobby and not a profession and they assume I’ll never really ‘make it’.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?


How many different jobs a writer needs to do to really sell books: you have to write, edit, market, promote, solicit reviews, and do everything else on your own. They aren’t kidding when they say writing the book is the easy part.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?


I’ve written six books, and I’ve been lucky so far in that every book I’ve written has been better than the one before. I think Raven’s Peak is my best, but each book is different, and I like to write in different styles. My favorite changes based on what I’m working on at the moment.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?


Get the first draft done, put the book down for a while, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. It’ll help you clean up your manuscript so much more when you give it time to rest. Also, start promoting early. Marketing is a long tem process, and if you wait until your book is established to start, you’re going to be months and months behind.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?


Not really. I occasionally get emails from people or feedback. People have mixed feelings about my books, which makes sense. For example, with Second Chances I wanted to make it kind of like the real world, but also tremendously different. I wanted the language and dialogue to be jarring and challenge prejudices. For some people this is off-putting and they have a strong reaction to it. I can fully sympathize with their reactions, but in many cases they just aren’t the right audience.

What do you think makes a good story?


If it’s something people can’t put down because it holds their attention, it’s good. There is a phrase thrown around: ‘write to market’ which basically means write a book that will sell to a particular audience. I think it’s entirely true, and also a cop-out. Write the book you want to write, don’t be afraid to be different and bend the rules. If your only goal is to make money, then there are better ways to do it than writing books, so if you’re only writing to market then I don’t know why you even bother.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?


Depends on when you asked me. I wanted to be basically everything at one time or another. I love technology, so I guess that’s why I ended up working with software and computers.


***


A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven's Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to find out what is happening. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she's ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

She rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she's forced to protect him, which is easy, and also trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven's Peak. Trust, however, is considerably more difficult for someone who grew up living on the knife's edge of danger.

Can they discover the cause of the town's insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?





 

Contact Information for Lincoln Cole:

LincolnJCole@gmail.com

Links:

Website: http://www.LincolnCole.net

Raven’s Peak: http://www.LincolnCole.net/ravens-peak

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LincolnJCole

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LincolnJCole

Newsletter: http://www.LincolnCole.net/signup

Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Cole/e/B00AUIOU3A

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7MhpGIAWkU

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com

31 Comments

Filed under Writing