Author Spotlight Gilda Evans

Welcome Gilda Evans!

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve written my whole life – it’s always been a very natural form of expression for me. I remember winning my first writing contest for poetry when I was nine years old.

2. What motivates you to write?

It can be any number of things. Usually the more passionate I feel about a particular subject, whether fiction or non-fiction, the more easily the writing flows. In the case of my upcoming book, S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens, I was motivated by the need for and dearth of this type material I perceived for my target age group of 13-17 year olds. I wanted to create a comprehensive and vetted resource for teens that addresses many of the salient issues they face every day in a way that would keep my audience engaged and inspired.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write both fiction and non-fiction. My interest in children’s relationships, particularly those between teens and their peers and parents, began years ago when I associate produced a television documentary titled, What Are We Doing to Our Children? S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens was created to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. I believe that the no-nonsense style the book is written in appeals to teens because it was developed with teens’ involvement, instead of authoritatively isolating and alienating them.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Whether it helps someone gain a new perspective and insight about themselves or life in general, or simply gives them a needed, enjoyable break from their daily routine, my goal is that my writing be a source of inspiration and entertainment.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Of course! Any writer who says that it never happens isn’t being honest. The most effective method I’ve found to get beyond it when it occurs is to have a change of scenery. Usually getting out into nature to clear my head is the best.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

It sounds cliché, but just keep writing! Focus on what you know or things that inspire you and create a fire inside that just won’t go out unless you get it down on paper or into a computer file!

7. Please, tell us about your work.

S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens is a concise, accessible and humorous book covering just about every major topic of concern in a teen’s life. It gently, yet boldly guides the reader through the various issues and scenarios in an educational and inspirational manner. It is written in a format that speaks with both the adult and teen voices to the teen and parent reader alike. This book’s appeal is universal and it teaches its audience to approach their challenges in a realistic, positive and constructive way. It is also intended to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. It is unique in its format and approach, as it incorporates feedback from clinical psychologists, academicians from the field of education and the target teen audience itself. When finished, the reader will feel energized, enthusiastic and far more insightful about growing up on one hand, raising a teen on the other and life in general on both sides. Not only will they want to read and refer to this book time and again, but they will also look forward to the other books that follow in the series.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Gilda:

www.gildaevans.com
www.facebook.com/gildaevansauthor
www.twitter.com/gildaevans
www.linkedin.com/in/gildaevans

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Author Spotlight Ari Meghlen

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

Firstly, thank you so much for having me on your blog.

I’ve been writing since I was given unsupervised access to pens. 🙂 I believe it was around the age of 8 years old. I loved making up stories and a teacher gave us an assignment to describe a friendly monster under the bed. I wrote not only a description but a story about him. And I haven’t stopped writing since 🙂

2. What motivates you to write?

I don’t really need motivation to write. It’s just what I was born to do. I am forever caught by scenes, character or plots that just fill my head until I need to get them down. It’s like writing relieves pressure in my mind and gives space to all the new ideas slipping in.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write Preternatural Urban Fantasy, more traditional Fantasy though I’ve also written sci-fi and some crime as well as Police Procedural stories. I have always been drawn to fantasy and sci-fi. It’s what I love to read and watch as movies. But I never like being tied to just one genre. Mainly because the ideas I get stretch over multiple genres.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

My dream is to write full-time. I don’t care for great success or wealth (the latter would be nice if it happened). I just want to do what I love full-time.

I would love to see my work published, but I have no interest in rushing that just to see something I wrote in print. I have a specific level I want to get my writing to before I publish.

I want someone to read my stories and escape within my worlds, to connect with my characters and the ultimate… would be for someone to love my characters the way I love my favourite author’s characters.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I call it Creative Constipation and yes, I’ve suffered badly. I will often take a step back from writing as it can come on due to burn-out. I will watch movies in the same genre I am currently writing and when I’m ready to go back, I will do writing exercises.

This usually involves trawling the internet for random photos or pictures and then writing about them. It can be something as simple as just literally writing out exactly what I see in the photo, to describing a mood, coming up with what happens next etc. I think of it like greasing the wheels in my head.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Advice? Let’s see:

1 – Never refer to yourself as “aspiring”. If you write, you’re a writer. Own it.

2 – Writing is hard but that’s okay. It’s awesome and worth it, but don’t think it’s a cake-walk because it’s not.

3 – Never stop writing – there will be a lot of people who want to tear you down. This can even include friends and family. If you want to write, then let nothing stop you.

4 – Work at it. Writing gets better with practice. Don’t just write something fast and publish. There is already too much rough, unedited, barely-polished stuff out there. Take pride in your work and make it the best it can be. Better that it takes time and be great, than you rush and it be lacking.

5 – Learn to take criticism. It’s hard and we all hate it. But suck it up, Buttercup it’s part of the process. Learn to distinguish between good, solid critiquing and random, unhelpful criticism. Don’t lash out when someone offers feedback. Take a breath, step back and see what they say. They might just help your story grow. And remember, in the end, you’re the writer – you don’t have to use the feedback if you really don’t want to.

6 – Lastly, understand that if you want to be a writer and sell your work, that there is a business side to it. So, start early and learn about things like networking, marketing, branding etc. The more you learn the better position you will be in.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

My Preternatural Urban Fantasy is in it’s 2nd draft and with my Alpha Reader at the moment.

I am currently working on a new, more traditional fantasy set in a world called Ly’rium. The first book focuses mostly on Thea, one of the long-living Imorie. Having been kept hidden in her family estate for years, she is finally reaching the age where she can take control of her own life.

However, that freedom is suddenly snatched away when she marked as a Potential. Now Thea is forced to fulfil a gruelling, mentally and physically-challenging trial to test her inner power. If she passes, she will become one of the Blessed. If not, her mind will broken in the maelstrom leaving her a shell of herself.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Ari:

Website – https://arimeghlen.co.uk/
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/writerarimeghlen/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AriMeghlen
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ari_meghlen/

DSM Publications – With Don Massenzio


Welcome back, Don Massenzio! It’s good to have you here again. Let’s talk about your new business and how it is part of the writing world.

 

 

 

 


1. With your blog you are helping so many aspiring authors. What made you decide to do more than that?

There were a few factors. I wanted to be sure that I enjoyed editing and formatting the work of author authors. I’ve worked with a few authors and find that I still enjoy helping them bring their work to life. Another factor was the stigma (perceived or actual) that independently published authors face. Traditional publishing purists will tell you that our work is substandard due to the lack of professionalism and quality. I wanted to help the independent author community, as a whole, improve the quality of their work with professional editing and formatting at a price that won’t break the bank. If we can bring each other up, it will improve the entire community. Finally, I have always thought about launching this type of business as a retirement thing, but I lost my day job a few months ago and I accelerated the launch as a way to bring in some income.

2. Did you always plan on offering author services or did this idea just occur?

My author blog started about three years ago. I was very prolific with posts designed to help indie authors improve their quality. After a year or so of doing this, I collected them all into a book. (You can now get that book for free if you sign up for my newsletter). These author services are a way to help authors with the things they typically shouldn’t do for themselves.

3. Does your service include more than just editing?

Beyond proofreading and line editing, I offer developmental editing which encompasses looking for things like redundancies, continuity errors and other elements of writing that are apart from just making sure spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. Additionally, I offer supplemental and complete ghost writing for writers that have an idea or an outline that they just can’t complete as a finished work. I’ve done some ghost writing in the past and it is gratifying to help someone realize their vision. I also offer formatting services for both print and eBook. The two formats are very different and it’s important to devote some time to formatting so that a book can look as professional and polished as possible.

4. How do you work cooperatively with authors?

Once I begin the editing process, I like to work closely with the author. I will edit their manuscript using Microsoft Word in twenty-page increments. This way, I can give and get feedback during the process and not wait until an entire book has been edited to uncover a problem. For instance, one book that I’ve edited recently involved characters that were from another time. It took a bit of back and forth with the author to land on exactly how old-fashioned spelling and phrases would be handled in a way that wouldn’t confuse or put off readers. Once we established the ground rules, it went very smoothly.

5. How does your editing process work exactly?

As I mentioned, I start by editing the manuscript in 20-page increments. Within the manuscript I use the ‘track changes’ feature in word and suggest edits, word substitutions and other modifications based on the level of editing desired. I then supply a ‘marked up’ copy showing every change and comment and a ‘clean’ copy with all the edits applied. The author can then make the choice of assessing each edit suggestion individually, but they can also read the manuscript from the clean copy with all the edits applied.
Once the manuscript is completely edited and the changes have been approved by the author, I will format the manuscript for print and/or eBook if that is desired. I provide discounts to authors that wish to have both editing and formatting services.

6. Who can contact you for your services?

While I am targeting my services for independent authors, any author that needs these services is welcome to reach out to me.

7. Do you have a website for your services?

I do. You can find it at https://dsm-publications.com/

 

8. Is there anything else you want to tell us about your work?

The indie author community is full of wonderful writers with great stories to tell. My goal is to help those storytellers produce work with the best possible quality so that they can have their work stand toe-to-toe with traditionally published authors.

Thank you so much for this interview! Please come back any time!

The Grammatically Correct Way To Commit Suicide

A bit over a week ago I chatted with a friend of mine who I was going to have dinner with the same night. We’re always having a lot of fun. The lady is as smart as a tree full of owls and I’m proud to have her as a friend. She’s a librarian and a teacher and occasionally I’m very happy she can give me some advice.

This afternoon we had following conversation, starting harmless, just as women talk sometimes:

(M=me – F=Friend)

M: “We still need to get ready.”

F: “I’m just in my work clothes.”

M: “Yeah, but you’re always chic.”

F: “Not today. Comfy. I’m wearing a moo moo. Just kidding!”

M: “In that case I’ll be overdressed.”

F: “Just wearing black pants and black shirt. I look like I’m going to a funeral.”

M: “Yes… my hope died.”

F: “LOL.”

M: “Maybe my hope hanged itself. Oops… is it hung? Wait! I’m a writer, I can do this!”

F: “Hanged is for humans.”

M: “My hope committed suicide.”

F: “Hope is being personified. So hanged is correct.”

M: “Wow. I’m proud of myself.”

F: “You had a 50/50 shot.”

M: “I should take this conversation and blog about it.”

F: “LOL”

And here it is. Let’s say, a ‘makes-no-sense-at-all’ conversation and still I learned something. I admit, sometimes life is amazing. And I’m once again realizing how grateful I am to have friends who support my writing, even in small things like this.

Thank you, my dear friend. (Does that conversation sound familiar to you?)

As for my hope: It is very much alive. If this wasn’t the case, I would not exist anymore.

Image result for hope

Author Spotlight Peter Castrillo

Welcome! Please introduce yourself.

Peter Costello, AKA, Peter Castrillo

1. When did you start writing? I liked to write as a child, no matter what it concerned,

for fun, school, or work. I started writing my story when I retired at age 65. But, had it in my head to do for fifty years. The actual writing took about two years, and I used Friesen Press for my Publisher.

2. What motivates you to write?

I have always had an opinion on most social political ideas, policy topics, and would write for my own understanding of subject, graduating in Political Science.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I wrote this story In True Crime and Memoirs, because that is the area the story falls within.

4. What is your goal in writing?

My goal is to tell a good story that the reader enjoys. Make the reader not be able to put the book down because they want to see what happens with either the characters, or the plot. I like to write relevant dialogue, that releases emotional feelings. But, my very main goal is to entertain myself with a passionate hobby.
Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? Yes, dreams are everything to a writer, thinker, or ordinary person. Then, you organize those dreams into a plan of action.

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes, I’ve had writer’s block, and stop writing for a while, I need the inspiration and passion to want to write.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Sit and write it for yourself. Paint the picture you see and feel, and hope others read and feel it the way you intended.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Vegas Vendetta is a story about my years from 18 to 25, after growing up in a period at the end of World War II among the Italian immigrants who came through Ellis Island and practiced their lifestyle here in America. The state of the World and especially America after winning World War II was monumental to this 50’s generation. People were beyond proud, deservingly boastful, and confident in living life, knowing it was a new world coming, and it brought in the sixties drug, sex, rock and roll which were formative years for me. Las Vegas was built and controlled by gangsters, thugs, and killers, and that’s who I hustled for a living, and never considered myself one of them. I thought of it as a ‘Huckleberry Finn 1960’ adventure.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


About Peter:

Author Bio

The author grew up in a very narrow time period of social change that was brought on when the war ended. The large influx of immigration that was happening at Ellis Island that allowed the criminal element to enter and flourish with the daily numbers games, parlays, horse racing, and other non-violent crimes was a boon to the economy. Everybody in my neighborhood gambled and betting was a sport that gave hope of winning cash. It was common and accepted to play games of chance, and it was sometimes a relative, neighbor, or trusted family friend who booked the bet for you. It didn’t matter that it was turned in to a fella who gave it to another fella, who drove it to Brooklyn to another fella. We trusted the source all the way up the line and felt they were family, after all they came from Calabria, Naples or Florence….

Website: https://pacostel3.wixsite.com/petercastrillo
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PeterCastrilloVegasVendetta/


Peter’s Book:

Book Description

IT’S THE 1960S. War is raging in Southeast Asia, and the draft board is looming over every young man’s shoulder, but recent high school graduate Peter Castrillo has a plan; enroll in college for as long as it takes to get a student deferment…and then head to Vegas! And Vegas is everything he dreamed it would be-parties at Sammy Davis’s place, hanging out at the bar with Elvis, and flirting with Mia Farrow in the elevators. It’s all bank-rolled lavishly by the clever cons that Peter and his pals devise, taking the casinos for a bundle in these low-tech security days. The drugs are plentiful, the girls are wild, and the glittery nights seem to go on forever. But when Peter makes the mistake of a romantic entanglement with the gorgeous trophy-wife of a venal Bulgarian mobster, his Vegas dream turns into a nightmare that he just might not survive. Based on true facts and dished out with equal portions of hilarity and horror, Vegas Vendetta tells one young man’s story of his quest to evade the draft, make money, meet women, and find excitement back in the days when Vegas truly was Sin City….

Buy it here

 

Author Spotlight Abbie Taylor

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I live in Sheridan, Wyoming. I was born in New York City in 1961. My family lived in Colorado and Arizona before settling here in 1973. After graduating from college, then completing two years of study and practicum and a six-month internship in music therapy, I worked for fifteen years in that field before becoming a full-time author.

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing in 2000. At the time, I was working, sometimes 40-hour weeks, as a registered music therapist, and it was often hard to find time to write. In 2005 when I married my late husband Bill, he persuaded me to quit my day job and write full time, and I’ve been a full-time author ever since.

2. What motivates you to write?

I’m inspired by current events, personal experiences, and what I observe in the world around me. My first book, We Shall Overcome, was inspired by a demonstration against the Iraq war in 2003. Many of the poems in my second book, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, were inspired by my experiences as a family caregiver to my late husband. Also, my fourth book, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, was inspired by those experiences. The title poem in my third book, That’s Life, was inspired by my niece’s reaction to being compelled to attend a performance of The Nutcracker with her family when she would have preferred to go to the mall with her friends. I’m currently working on a novel inspired by a story I heard from another participant in a writing workshop.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and I can’t say why I write what I write. The ideas just come to me.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

As I said before, I’m working on a fifth book, another novel. I’ve also put together a collection of short stories and several poetry collections that I hope to eventually publish. I don’t think about where I want my writing to take me. I just fly by the seat of my pants.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I rarely have this problem, but when I do, I put aside whatever I’m working on and return to it later.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Write every day, even if it’s for fifteen minutes. Read, especially books in your genre. Get involved in local, state, and national writing groups. Most important, submit your work when you feel it’s ready, and don’t let rejection stop you.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Besides the books I mentioned earlier, I’ve written many short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction pieces that have been published in various journals and anthologies. I have a blog which I update at least three days a week. I contribute twice-monthly posts to Writing Wranglers and Warriors at https://writingwranglersandwarriors.wordpress.com.


Contact Abbie:

Blog http://abbiescorner.wordpress.com

Facebook Page http://tinyurl.com/ybmouz5y

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com


Abbie’s books:
We Shall Overcome
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/Novels.htm

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/bettermousetrap.htm

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/thatslife.htm

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/memoir.htm

Author Spotlight Rebecca Tran

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.
I am a hybrid author, blogger and book reviewer with three award-winning novels. I am also a wife, mother, and pharmacist. I have two little girls and a Boston Terrier. I love reading, writing, sewing, and collecting teapots.

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 16 years old, but I didn’t have the courage to publish until I was 37.

2. What motivates you to write?
I originally started writing as a form of self prescribed therapy after my dad died. Then it became stress relief after a hard day. Now my main characters tell me when and what to write.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I primarily write fantasy and romance but also have a sci-fi novel as well. I prefer fantasy and romance over other genres because its what I love to read. Some of my favorite books are epic fantasies with romantic themes.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I want to entertain readers with the books I write. I hope they love my books as much as any big five author. My dreams are the same as a lot of authors. I would love a movie deal or to be a NY Times Bestselling author. My more realistic goal is to sell my books consistently and gain a consistent fan base. If I can please my fans I’ll consider myself a success.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I do suffer from writer’s block occasionally. When I do I set the project aside and move on to another. Eventually I will come back to it but it may take a while to figure out how to get past the problem.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
The best way to get better at writing is to just do it. Keep writing and keep reading. Try new things and explore. Be sure to reach out to other authors for advice and network for cross promotion. The indie community is an amazing resource.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
I have one epic fantasy series titled The Chronicles of the Coranydas. The Rashade’ and A Guardian Falls are books one and two in the series. Descendants Rising, the third book in the series is due out late February to early March. For Their Sins is a paranormal romance/action adventure about a 300 year old vampire. Unlike the Rest is a free short story that is a companion to For Their Sins. My paranormal romance Dragons of the North is a box set featuring four shifter novellas. Finally my only sci-fi novel is Neutral Space, a futuristic tale of war, conspiracy, and love.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Contact Rebecca: 

Website: http://rtranbooks.net
Blog: http://asmallgangofauthors.blogspot.com
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/Rtranbooks/
https://m.facebook.com/AGaurdianFalls/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rtranbooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rtranbooks/
email: rtranbooks.com@outlook.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16335980.R_Tran
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-hoelker-tran-3aaab3141
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105043491920055628616
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/r-tran.html


Rebecca’s books:

http://mybook.to/AGFalls

https://books2read.com/u/bOadr9

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/DragonPNR

https://books2read.com/u/mgr69q

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/nspace

https://books2read.com/u/m2oaLO

 

 

 

 

 

http://getbook.at/Rashade

https://books2read.com/u/bapZeL

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/FTSins

https://books2read.com/u/3yZeA6

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/1HZES