Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, Mysteries

Author Spotlight: Matt Ferraz

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Matt Ferraz from Brazil 
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Thanks for joining me, Matt.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. 

I don’t believe I’ve had any authors from Brazil in my Author Spotlight before. Can you tell me more about your background?

I live in Contagem, an industrial town in central Brazil. Contagem is a nice place but it lacks cultural spots, so I spent a lot of time traveling to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state, where there are more libraries and theaters.

I have spent the last year living in Buckingham, UK, taking my masters in biography at the town’s university. Whenever I had the chance, I would take the train to London and spend the day on bookshops and museums, or go to the theatre to see a play. It was an amazing experience, and I hope to come back there in the future.

That sounds very exciting. 

How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first book was Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) a Portuguese-written novella about a young girl named Mabel who gets a job as a typist for her favorite writer. However, when Mabel meets her new boss, she finds out he cannot write anything, so she decides to write the book herself, knowing that he will get the credit. I wrote this book due to my passion for typewriters, and am still very proud of it. It was self published, and I got to appear on local TV and newspapers with it.

After that I published Killing Dr. Watson, a thriller about a geek who teams up with an actor who played Sherlock Holmes on BBC to find out who’s the killer who’s eliminating actors who played Watson on TV. This book was released by MX Publishing, which only deals with Sherlock Holmes related material. It was later released as an audiobook, and it was an amazing thing to listen to it for the first time.

I’m now venturing into cozy mystery with the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series. I always loved the genre, and decided to give it a try. The first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, was released on March 7 through Amazon.

Very nice. I’m hoping to review that book soon. It looks wonderful and is in a genre that I write.

Tell us a little more about your books.

I consider myself a crime writer, but like to venture into other genres once in a while. I created the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series based on my experiences with my grandmothers Edite and Eva and with a elder friend named Silvia. My idea was to write about elderly people but not in a bitter way. Having an old person living with you can be harsh, but it can also be a wonderful and funny experience, and I wanted to write a book showing that.

Grandma Bertha is an old lady who loves horror movies and her dogs. Afraid that she’ll be lonely living by herself, her son Todd decides to make a bedroom for her on his garden shed so she can spend more time with the family. Todd’s wife Lydia doesn’t get along very well with Grandma Bertha, but their son Stu loves having his granny by his side.

One day, while they’re getting ready for a party, Lydia finds a dead body on the alley at the back of their house: a beautiful young woman shot three times on the back. They call the police immediately, but Grandma Bertha decides she’s going to find out who the killer is. You see, Grandma Bertha had an experience like that on the past, when she solved a murder but didn’t report to the police for not believing in her own deductions, and that haunted her for life. Now she wants to redeem herself by catching this one.

Sounds like great characters and a fun plot.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I want to entertain people and tell stories they can relate to. I do my best to be funny and endearing and clever and all that good stuff. My goal is to release at least three more books in this series in the next two years, and I believe people will love what I have in mind for Grandma Bertha’s next cases.

I’m also working in a completely different project at the moment, a sci-fi book called Know Thy Enemy. I always wanted to co-write a book with another author, and I met a wonderful writer named Dawn Chapman with whom I got along like we were old buddies. We are now halfway through this book, and as soon as we finished with it I’ll go back to Grandma Bertha.

Excellent. I’m also working on another project at the moment and taking a break before I continue my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series with #4.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Anyone who likes a good mystery with touches of humor can enjoy The Convenient Cadaver, but I think that people who has had a strong relationship with their grandparents will find this book special.

Unfortunately, I never knew my grandparents, but I do enjoy mysteries that include a bit of comedy.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

You have to learn how the publishing industry works. That’s vital. Spend your money in books and courses about this industry. You can write the most amazing novel in the world, but if you’re clueless about how a book gets published, the odds are other people will make money out of your work. Sure, money is not the most important thing, but if you can write a good book and want to make an honest buck out of it, you should be informed about how to do it.

That’s an interesting insight. Although writing is an art, the business side of it is the publishing aspect.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Publishing a  book in Brazil is a nightmare! I submited Teorema de Mabel to a Brazilian publishing house that took two years to answer me, and when they did, they wanted me to pay the equivalent of 5,000 dollars to publish my book. That’s more than a year of minimum wage in here, so I politely declined. These publishers don’t believe that your books is going to be successful, so they want you to pay in advance so if the book is a failure, only the author will lose money.

I only got to become a published author after I started writing in English and Italian. It’s much more effort to write a book in another tongue, but it’s amazingly easier to get it published in the UK or in Italy. Most publishers in Brazil are vanity presses, which is a shame, for that harms our own literature.

I agree. I paid to have my first book published, but I used an established self-publisher. I would not pay to publish a book with a vanity press, and I believe there aren’t too many still around in the U.S. for good reason.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I took an online workshop of How to Get Published at Gotham Writers, and a live workshop called How to Make a Living (and a Life) out of your Writing when I was in London. They were vital for my career, and I advise every writer who wants to become a professional to take these kind of courses.

I’ve taken some online writing and publishing courses and also found them very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I mostly watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books. I also have a collection of porcelain penguins I’m really proud of. I also collect Italian comics and old VHS’s.

Interesting. I used to collect cat figurines and other collectibles. 

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

The best thing by far is that I can write about anything I want to. That’s the most powerful feeling in the world, knowing that I can write any story that comes to my mind, and all it takes is the effort of sitting down and writing. The worst part is when people ask for free copies, not to read it but just to show their friends that they know a writer. The toughest challenge is that I’m building a career at a very long distance. My books are written in English and I’m living in Brazil, which feels very strange at times.

That must be challenging. 

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Official site: https://mattferraz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matheus.b.ferraz

Goodreads Links:

The Convenient Cadaver: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34728968-the-convenient-cadaver?ac=1&from_search=true

Killing Dr. Watson: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26760441-killing-dr-watson

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14405163.Matt_Ferraz

Amazon Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Convenient-Cadaver-Grandma-Solving-Murders-ebook/dp/B06XYSQ1W8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491144570&sr=8-1&keywords=the+convenient+cadaver

Thank you so much for the interview, Matt. I wish you the best with your mystery series as well as your co-authored science fiction title. I will keep an eye out for them. 

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, Solstice Publishing

Author Spotlight: Chad McClendon

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with  Chad McClendon from Ohio.

chad

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Thanks for joining me, Chad.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

Well, I have been published since October of 2015. My very first publication was a short story entitled “Borris.” It is a Gothic Satire about a Vampire Raccoon who continues to live by targeting stock boys in Grocery stores late at night. I say it is Gothic because it contains classical elements of gothic stories, such as fire, a brooding hero, and castles, to name a few. 

One of my most recent publications is called “Die.xlsx” and is published by Fun Dead Publications, and it is a dark comedy.

I have several other online publications for my short stories & flash fiction tales. To name a few, “Just One More” appears in Bewildering Stories, and is the story of a Campfire Legend come to life (careful, it’s a chiller!) I’m pleased to say that my first poem will be published in The Voices Project in early 2018.

chad2And of course, my first title to appear in a book all my own was Lipstick Trace, published by Solstice Publishing. It is a story of two boys becoming unlikely friends, and falling in love with the same music, women, and in some ways each other.

Congratulations on all those publications.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

I have a tendency to write horror when it comes to my shorter works, whereas most of my novels tend to be Fantasy or Young Adult. Lipstick Trace is Young Adult, but my next project is called “Natalsa of the Brim”, and it is set to be a series.

Natalsa is about a witch struggling to reveal evil in the world, all the while trying to restore her own robbed powers. It is a tale of romance, adventure, deception, and most importantly, Magic.

Sounds very interesting.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goal for the longest time was to simply be published. This was accomplished in 2015. My next goal was to appear in print. This happened with “The Accident” in the “Tales From The Grave” anthology. My next goal was to be published in a book all my own and collect a profit, and this happened in Lipstick Trace in May of 2016!

So, my next writing goal is to appear in the New York Times Bestseller list. This is more a long term project. The goal to get there is to get at least 10,000 people to read my books.

To get to that goal, I am attending Literary Conventions, speaking at Schools, soliciting local Book Stores to see if my work can be sold there.

Excellent. I am also hoping to attract a wider readership. I’ve been querying agents and also speaking where I can, mostly at libraries because I’m a librarian. I’ve also spoken at my local Barnes and Noble and am attending a writer’s conference in May and Book Expo in June.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

With Lipstick Trace, the 20-30 year old crowd. It was originally written 10 years ago, so it would deeply appeal to this demographic, as it contains pop culture references that they would most probably like. However, it is still a book centered around Teenagers going into Young Adulthood, I think they can still get a lot out of it.

Good luck with that.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Collect 100 Rejection letters over the course of 365 days. Let me know if you aren’t published by that time.

I like that suggestion. Persistence is of utmost importance to authors.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

My biggest hurdle, and my most frustrating complaint, was getting rejection after rejection with no exact reason for why it was being rejected other than ‘it’s just not right for us at this time.’ It was a cop-out answer then, and it still is. However, I will say that I learned to seek out opinions on my writing from local author groups, people that weren’t my close friends or family. They gave me unique critiques that was able to get my works to a more publishable state.

Beta readers and objective readers are always a big help to authors.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I went to college at Northern Kentucky University for Creative Writing. I took a lot of writing classes. I took the standards Grammar Class, Basic/Advanced College Writing, & Shakespeare. But once those dreadful things were out of the way, I got to take Creative Writing, Novel Writing, Fiction Writing, Gothic Literature & The Arts, so many others.

Writing is like learning to shoot a gun. Anyone can shoot a gun, but that guns gonna work a lot longer if you know how to clean it and keep it functioning right. The classes that provided me the most valuable lessons were Creative Writing & Novel Writing. These were groups that promoted constructive criticism, novel development, how to publish, and things to look out for when finding a publisher. If you’re local to NKU, I advise taking them.

They sound great. I was an English major but haven’t taken too many creative writing courses. However, I did take some online publishing courses from the Gale Courses database through my library. I thought they were very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I like playing with my kids, playing League of Legends with my wife, camping, and recently grilling out. It’s been 60 degrees this week, and we’ve grilled out twice so far. I love the smell of smoke and extinguished matches, so naturally this is a good hobby for me.

Family time is important, and it’s also good to enjoy the outdoors in good weather .

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I like that beautiful flash of creation that comes with the idea of a new novel. It is unlike any other experience in the creative process. You are filled with hope, plotlines, character arcs, and most of all potential. What I dislike least, rather what is most challenging, is finding the dang publisher for the thing. Publishing has gotten easier now that I have a few titles under my belt, but it’s still hard to break through!

I agree that writing is a wonderful creative process. I find marketing the hardest part of it because even when you find a publisher, you still need to find buyers for your book.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Website – www.cmcfiction.net

Facebook – www.facebook.com/cmcfiction

Twitter – www.twitter.com/cmc_fiction

Free Download for Lipstick Trace (Valid until March 1st 2017) – http://goo.gl/Z05Ckg

Thanks for the interview, Chad, and best wishes to you on your future books.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books

Author Spotlight: Women’s Fiction Author J. Schlenker

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with  J. Schlenker from Olive Hill, Kentucky.

jschlenker1

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Thanks for joining me, Jerri (I hope you don’t mind my using your first name here).  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

How long have you been published? What titles have you published? Please give details.

I don’t mind you calling me by my full first name at all. I’ve been published since December 2015. My three books are Jessica Lost Her Wobble, The Color of Cold and Ice, and  The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries (A Collection of Short Stories).  They are all Self-Published.

Congratulations. I have a small publisher, but I admire those who do it themselves.

Tell us a little bit about your books.

jschlenkerIn my short career I would say I write mainly women’s fiction.  I would categorize both “Jessica Lost Her Wobble” and “The Color of Cold and Ice” as women’s fiction, mainly. Both have women going through transitions in their lives. Although, “The Color of Cold and Ice” also has men going through transitional stages. “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories) is a hodgepodge. However, the stories, I think, would appeal to the middle-aged or older woman. Should I say ‘more mature’ woman?

I am currently working on two new books: “The Innkeeper on the Edge of Paris” – A woman leaves her marriage and job in the US and travels to France and stays in an old inn where she has strange dreams and encounters a ghost, and meets a man. “Sally”  – Historical Fiction about a woman I met when I was 8. She was 103 at the time. She was born in 1858 into slavery.

All your books sound interesting. Women’s fiction is a very popular genre.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I’m not one of those people who put goals out there, but as a writer, I want to write something that I’m happy about, something that causes someone to think, or smile, or cry in a good way.  I would hope to see my books as book club pics and in every library.

Those are excellent goals; and, since I’m a librarian, I like your desire to have your book in libraries. One of my goals is also to touch readers and make them think and feel.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

The mature woman or mature male for that matter.

I think my Cobble Cove mystery series also appeals to mature readers because of the age of the characters. The main ones are 40+, although I’ve tried to introduce college-age characters as well as children into the series recently.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

First off, write what’s in your heart, what you are inspired to write.

I agree with that. Many writers are influenced by what they think the public wants to read. I believe you have to write what you feel or it won’t come across as genuine.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Finding the right words?  After that, there was beta reading (I’ve lucked out on that one – I’ve found some great people who give me the feedback I need) and editing (the editing takes more time than the writing, on my part. My editor goes through it quickly – I lucked out on finding a good editor, too.). What does that leave? Formatting, getting it ready for publication. I’m self-published. So, I had to figure out to get it out there. I’m technologically impaired. So, up until recently, as I’ve had lots of practice doing this now, the formatting was the hardest. Now, I’m back to finding the right words as being the hardest.

Yes, editing takes a lot more time than writing. I don’t think people realize that until they’ve published a book. The first draft is just that, a draft. You have to mold it into the final product and that takes a lot of work. Beta readers and editors can help, but only you know what you want your work to convey.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

Yes, and yes, they’ve helped a lot. I belong to several writing groups which is helpful. We use writing prompts and critique each other’s work. I’ve taken around ten online writing classes. They are available through my library. I’ve learned a lot through them. I also met one of my beta readers through one of them.

I think you are referring to the Gale Courses, Jerri, and I believe you took some of the ones I took through my library with Eva Shaw. Gale Courses is a database that is offered nationwide through libraries. They have wonderful writing and publishing classes but also many other courses.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Art, Yoga, being with my family

Very nice. Your covers definitely show your art talent.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

Making myself write, the self-doubt.

Self-doubt is a biggie for most authors including myself.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

https://www.facebook.com/J.SchlenkerAuthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14763892.J_Schlenker

https://athursdayschild.wordpress.com/

Thanks so much, Jerri. It was a pleasure having you here and learning more about you and your writing. Best wishes to you.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, New Releases

Author Spotlight: Stephen St. Clair

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Stephen St. Clair from Council Bluffs, Idaho.

sinclairphotoThanks for joining us, Stephen.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

How long have you been published?

I was first published last September with a short story. I now have a full-length book out.

Congratulations.

Please give details about both your published works.

sinclair1sinclair2Tales from the Wondrous Attic appeared in Realms of Fantastic Stories Vol. 1, and my own title- Kindred Souls: Voyage of the Scotsmen. Both are with Solstice Publishing

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.

So far,  I have written in fantasy and historical romance genres. A sequel is in the works for Kindred Souls: Voyage of the Scotsmen. No date set for release or completion at this point.

Very nice. I believe my short story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, was also in the same Solstice anthology as yours. I have a mystery series with Solstice, but I also like to write other genres. My short historical romance, The Seashell and the Stone, is being published in February in their Cupid’s Arrow anthology. Two of my Cobble Cove mysteries should also be published in the spring.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My interests are writing fantastic tales that take people out of their normal, everyday life and puts them in a world that grants them reprieve, dare I say a different adventure outside of their own normal life. I hope to continue to write and gain some sort of positive notoriety for what I write. I want to learn to write better and have a better marketing plan for everything I put out.

I think most readers enjoy immersing themselves in a good book to escape the daily routine. Improving one’s craft and planning marketing strategies are two important parts of being an author. I wish you luck with those goals.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

If I write in a specific genre, I hope to attract new readers to my book. It’s hard for the average reader to step outside of the author-comfort zone. I hope that most people that pick up my book are already into that kind of genre, but if not, I hope they will give my book a chance.

I hear you completely. It’s difficult for new writers to reach an audience initially; but, with persistence and more publications, a good author will eventually attract readers.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Don’t be afraid, learn to craft your stories with passion and a sense of adventure, and try your hand in different genres. you never know what might come from them.

I agree, as I like to experiment with different genres myself. I think it helps one grow as an author.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I blame April Erwin. She’s the one who got me in touch with Solstice. I also blame my wife, she’s the one who kicked me in the proverbial writing pants and said “You’re not done! You have more stories to tell!” My biggest challenges were staying put long enough to actually write something.

Lol. I think many writers can relate to that. We need motivation from our friends and relatives and belief in ourselves. For me, it was my husband’s suggestion to self-publish my first book and then a patron at the library where I work who continued to ask if I was writing anything else. Had it not been for her and a series of events that followed, I would never have published with two publishers and currently have several short stories and a mystery series.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I sat thru two college degrees and wrote paper after paper. Each one having their own praises and put-downs. You learn as you go.

Very true. I also have two degrees, one in English and the other in Library science. I also gained a lot of experience from writing for my college newspaper as well as taking several writing and publishing online classes.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I like to wood carve/wood burn(pyrography) I like to spend time with my wife and go hiking in the woods in hope of coming across some hidden city or alternate reality or dimension.

That sounds like fun especially the last part.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I like the most is seeing what I have created. The part I like the least is going over and fixing my errors. It’s a time-consuming monster that sucks the life out of you!

Yes, editing if very time-consuming. It usually takes even longer than the initial writing. I don’t mind it so much. It’s the Promoting and marketing of the book after and before that I think takes up the most time away from writing and that I least enjoy.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.

stephenstclairwriter@gmail.com

@craftedquill on Twitter

stephenstclairwrit.wixsite.com/craftedquill

stephenstclair.webs.com

stephenstclairwriter.blogspot.com

Thanks so much for the interview and reciprocating by having me on your website and Facebook page. I wish you the best in your future writing endeavors.

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Books, New Releases, Solstice Publishing

Author Spotlight: Cozy Mystery Author Lois Crockett

authorspotlighttoughlucklane2Welcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Lois Crockett from Coconut Creek, Florida.limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining us, Lois  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

I understand you have a new release coming out today, January 27, 2017. Congratulations! Please tell us a bit about it.

toughlucklane1Tough Luck Lane is my debut novel from Solstice Publishing. It is a Cozy Mystery, the first in a series about bartender and all-purpose drunk wrangler Stacey Jennifer Longacre and her quirky compadres in the Key West-style Compound where she lives in Pompano Beach, Florida. New to the area from her beginnings in Lake Okeechobee – she was born in a trailer off Tough Luck Lane – she lands a job as a cocktail waitress in a dubious nightclub where unsavory goings-on are happening to some of the young girls working there. They seem a little “too” young and when Stacey stumbles across one of their bodies on the beach she is determined to get to the bottom of things. Likeable, but with a touch of sand, Stacey is an ordinary gal you’ll root for as she untangles webs of deception and puts herself in the middle to do the right thing, in spite of her Tough Luck attitude.

Next in the series is Indigo Hour: there is never a right time for a wrong call and Stacey gets that wrong call at the indigo hour one morning that turns her world upside down and inside out. The indigo hour is that time just before dawn and just after dusk when the sky is a deep, indigo blue and babies are born, old people pass, and anything can, and does, happen.

The Third Persuasion is the third installment in the series. Stacey’s at a Memorial Day Beach Picnic when a shot rings out and all hell breaks loose. Stay tuned…

Wow! Those all sound wonderful. As you know, since you’re a fellow Solstice author, I also write a cozy mystery series, the Cobble Cove mysteries that feature a librarian who is a co-author of a mystery series. I have currently also written three in the series with the first being reprinted soon and the third following shortly after. The second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was published in October.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I’m hoping to dovetail a successful writing career with the close of my successful business career in about five years. I’ve been a radio disc jockey and the first female club DJ in the state of Florida. Also did a stint as an evening anchor radio journalist.  I held an FCC First Class Radiotelephone License with Radar Endorsement which allowed me to be a Chief Engineer for a Priority I broadcast facility at the end of my radio days.  I’ve been a bartender, waitress, secretary, executive secretary and an executive, up to and including a couple of corporate Vice-Presidencies. My favorite job is Customer Service and today I work for a medical company helping to onboard and serve our clientele.

You certainly have a wide variety of interesting work experience. I’ve been a librarian most of my life and have also worked as a secretary. I have experience in journalism, too, when I volunteered as an editor on my college newspaper.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

This is, clearly, a beach read. If you’re not at the beach already, Tough Luck Lane will take you there. I’m hoping for readers who love a good story with lots of action and adventure as well as a quirky, offbeat and funny look at life. The series is not at all formulaic and the sidekicks will change with each story.

Sounds like fun. My cozies are a bit more serious. Although they take place in a small town and also feature quirky characters and a library cat and golden retriever, they border a bit on traditional mysteries especially the first, A Stone’s Throw, that features a bit of romantic suspense.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Keep going. Enjoy the journey! Sure, the goal is to get published and achieve the recognition you dream your work deserves – but the friends and colleagues you’ll make along the way are amazing!

A goal is a dream with a plan. Keep dreaming. Keep planning. Keep writing. Try everything! Especially when bringing your work to the marketplace. You never know what’s going to work.

Inspiration can strike anywhere so keep an open mind to new experiences and fresh ideas.

I agree completely. It takes time to build an audience and fan base, but meeting other authors and readers is a very worthwhile party of the writing experience. It’s also important to experiment and challenge yourself. I am publishing a romantic comedy novella in February, Jack Trumps Ace, that is very different from my cozy mystery writing. I also enjoy writing other genres and have short stories in Fantasy and Horror anthologies, as well.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I was sidelined for a couple of years with a chronic illness that is now manageable although a bit of a pain-in-the-butt now and again. The support and encouragement I got from my husband and very dear friends got me through the worst of the struggle and kept me writing or, at least, editing until I was well enough to pick up the reins again.

I’m sure that helped strengthen your writing. I’ve also found that writing can be very therapeutic.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a kid. I’d make up stories to share in class and took every English and writing class I could get my hands on. To this day, I attend as many workshops and classes as time and money permit on everything from writing, dialog, and conflict, etc. to marketing and developing a brand/presence. Florida is very good to writers and there are workshops galore.

Excellent. I’ve also been writing since childhood. We currently have a writing group at my library that I helped establish that is run by a writing teacher. I’ve also taken many online writing and publishing courses.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Reading, of course! At the Beach! Or… At home with my husband, stretched out on our recliners with good books, warm blankets and Weeble our calico cat curled up between us.

My husband, John, is the bass guitarist for The Big City Dogs, a well-known local band. It’s fun to be a Rock Wife on weekends.  All the band mates and wives are friends so we’re like a little family.

Nature walks in Fern Forest, our local woods, canoeing down the Loxahatchee River and traveling. Our favorite trip was to Muir Woods in Northern California where we enjoyed the beautiful redwoods.

Sounds relaxing. While I’m not a beach person, I do enjoy walking and nature. I also have a cat, two of them in fact. One is Siamese and the other a tabby, but I’ve had cats most of my life but never a Calico. I think they’re beautiful and would love to have one in the future.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love it all. Especially telling a good story.  I’m all about the story actually, and will do anything it takes to make it entertaining and enjoyable.

The publishing business is new to me and I love the challenge of learning a new industry.  Solstice has played a huge part in making it easy and fun.

I love writing, too, as well as being a librarian. Books have always been important to me. I’ve also found the staff and authors at Solstice are very helpful and talented.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ToughLuckLounge?fref=ts

Blog:  http://toughlucklounge.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lois.crockett?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com.LoisCrockett @ LoisCrockett

Thanks, Lois. I enjoyed that interview and learning about you and your books very much and am sure the readers of this blog did, too. I wish you the best of luck on the release of  Tough Luck Lane (sorry for the pun).

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Solstice Publishing

Author Spotlight: Epic Fantasy Author Rival Gates

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with  Rival Gates from Omaha, Nebraska.100_0230limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining us, Rival.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

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abstract colorful sword cross heaven on dark background
abstract colorful sword cross heaven on dark background

I was originally published in 2013 by Solstice Publishing.  They put out my first two books, “Quest for the Red Sapphire” and “Sapphire Crucible.”  Then I went to Sarah Book Publishing for a change of pace.  They published “Mandrean Revenge” and “Repercussions Abound.”  I have at least two more books scheduled with them.

Very nice. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

 I write High or Epic Fantasy depending on your terminology.  My books are all part of my Sapphire Chronicles series.  I am just starting the fifth book called “The Thief Master of Ravensburg.”  I hope to be done with it by the end of the year as I write very slowly and constantly check my work for inconsistencies.

Editing is a time-consuming process, but it’s crucial to producing a quality book.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

 

cover-revenge ruebookMy first goal is to complete the series.  In between the books I will be promoting them to help add to their success.  My ultimate goal is to reach best-seller status and have them made into movies.

Excellent. I have a mystery series, but I also like to work on standalone titles of various genres. Some readers have suggested I try my cozy series with the Hallmark Channel. I wish you luck with trying for a movie.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I think any age bracket would be interested in these books.  Mostly I think they’re geared to Young Adults.

I’m a librarian, as well as an author, and I know that there’s quite a bit of crossover between YA and adult novels. For instance, the Harry Potter series is read by all ages.

 What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Agents are worth their weight in gold.  Keep applying to agents until you get one.  Once they are on the job, let them find you a publisher.  They can find you places you could never find on your own.  Otherwise,  you can try it on your own but it’s harder to get into a publisher without an introduction from an agent.

I agree completely and have been querying agents for several months now in the hope of finding a large publisher for my psychological thriller.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

It took me a year and a half to find an agent.  Then it took another year and a half to publish my first book.  Both problems I blame on having a 900-page manuscript.  It scared off both agents and publishers.  We finally decided to separate it into my first to books and it was picked up within a month.

Yes, many aspects of publishing are take longer than the writing itself.

 Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I took writing classes in high school but tested out of most of them in college.  The ones I did take honed my skills but I received excellent grades in at the time.  The biggest thing I learned was not to argue when someone just doesn’t like your writing style.  This helped me deal with editors who had a different style.

Good point.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I like to read and watch sports.  Whenever possible I spend time with my family.

I’m the same, but I don’t watch sports. I got into binge watching Bones and Castle (I love both shows probably because I write mysteries). I work full-time so, when I’m not working or writing, I also try to find time to spend with my husband and daughter.

 What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

What I Like most is seeing my dreams in print.  What I like least is promoting the book.  It takes me away from writing.  The toughest challenge is generating sales.

Most of the authors I’ve interviewed have expressed the same feeling about marketing their books. I also find it a challenge.

Please list your social media and book links for people who would like to connect with you and/or buy your books.

Web Site: http://www.rivalgates.com/

Blog: http://www.rivalgates.com/blog

         http://rivalgates.tumblr.com/

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1qqrjiB

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rivalgates1

Purchase “Quest for the Red Sapphire”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1npYd0S

Purchase “The Sapphire Crucible”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lGfOVN

Purchase “Mandrean Revenge”

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1L9c76S

Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/1QYOL2y

Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZL_knO95Tk

Purchase “Repercussions Abound”

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2cGyNmy

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2cGyNmy

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1f8PJNr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32194785-repercussions-abound

Thanks so much for the interview, Rival. It’s been a pleasure having you on the blog. Best wishes on finishing your series and landing a movie deal.

 

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, New Releases, Solstice Publishing

Author Spotlight: K.A. Meng Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Author

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with K.A. Meng from Grand Forks, North Dakota that she claims is one of the coldest towns in America.profile1limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining us, K.A.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details

I was published for the first time at the end of September 2016, a little over three months ago. My only publication right now is Superior Species with Solstice Publishing.

Congratulations.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

superior-species-001Superior Species is about an eighteen-year-old girl who moves to a new town to start a better life. Ivory Ames has caught the attention of four gorgeous guys. At Los Roshano University this isn’t normal, even when all the upperclassmen have perfect physiques, flawless complexions, and hypnotic looks. That’s not even the weirdest part. The town has a strict sunset curfew because of wild animals attacking. To keep her friends and herself safe, Ivory must figure out the truth behind the town’s mysteries before it’s too late.

That sounds very interesting.

I write Paranormal and Urban Fantasy stories. Superior Species is planned for a series. I am editing the second book now. I don’t have a release date.

Good luck with that.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My main goal is to finish the Superior Species books which will take the next few years. I need to write them. My plan is to write the books, put it aside for a bit, and then edit it. My goal is to release two a year.

Nice. I write a series, too, although I enjoy writing short stories and standalones. I find it’s always good to put a first draft aside after you finish it and then go back and edit when it’s fresh to you again.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I hope to attract readers who are interested in the paranormal just like me. I believe those who are tired of monsters not being scary anymore will enjoy my books. My plan is to bring the fear back for them. My characters might be good-looking, but they’re still monsters.

Interesting point. I sometimes enjoy a touch of the paranormal in the books I read. My self-published book, Cloudy Rainbow, was a paranormal romance, and I also have another that I started and hope to finish one day.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Never give up. If you want to be an author, write the book, find a great writers group or friends to polish it, and then submit it. Keep submitting until you are published. I do recommend going with a publisher the first time. You need help. I’ve learned so much in the last few months. For those self-published and are making it, I applaud you.

I agree. You have to be persistent to get noticed in this competitive field. You’re also right about self-publishing. It’s not for everyone, although some people do well.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

My biggest struggle was trying to find a publisher. I had a lot of rejections, but I never gave up.

It’s very hard to break in; but like the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I’m currently querying agents for another title. No bites yet, but I’m not letting the rejections stop me from continuing to submit.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I’ve taken two writing classes in college. I’m also involved in critique groups. They helped me out and shaped me.

I’m involved in my library’s writing group now, and I also took some online writing and publishing courses. In addition, I had journalism experience from the work on my college newspaper.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

My hobbies are reading, watching TV and movies, and playing board games. I’m a homebody and I’m proud of it.

There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody. I think most of us authors are. I like to travel a little but mostly to conferences and with my family in the summer, but I don’t like to spend too much time away especially since I have cats.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I like being an author because it’s my dream job and I’m slowly building the career to do it. What I dislike is how long it is taking. I want to write every day only, but I like to eat. The toughest job so far is marketing my books. I’m still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Can’t I have a fairy godmother? *Twirls wand* The next day, I’m a best seller.

Lol. I feel very much the same. I work full-time, so I can’t devote much of the day to writing except the early morning. Marketing is tough. It can be frustrating and time consuming without much reward. However, I agree the best marketing tool for authors is to write more books. You have to prioritize all the rest including eating and sleeping, of course.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/KAMengAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KAMengAuthor

Website: http://www.kamengauthor.com/

Blog: http://www.kamengauthor.com/blog

Superior Species buy link Amazon: getBook.at/SuperiorSpecies

Superior Species trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOzCNL3irmg

Wonderful! Thanks for the interview, K.A. I wish you all the best on your series and future writings.