Author Spotlight – Welcome Back Darlene Foster

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

1. Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

If you mean where I do my writing, it is usually in my office in my home in Spain. It’s the spare bedroom which we have turned into my office with a desk, computer and comfy office chair. I’m surrounded by books, magazines, a dictionary, thesaurus and other writer’s aids. Pictures of my family grace the walls. It is not a neat and tidy place but it works for me. I also hand write in the car (while hubby is driving, of course) on airplanes and sitting on my sunny terrace.

2. Is there a particular plan or schedule you follow with your writing?

I am a usually very organized person who loves to plan. But with my writing, I don’t have a plan or schedule, I’m a genuine panster. I write when I get time and when I get ideas. I create a mind map, basically with locations and characters, to help me stay on track but it doesn’t always help. It gets very messy by the time I’ve finished the book. I sound totally disorganized, it’s a wonder I ever get anything written!

3. Do you think writers often are ‘introverted’ people, preferring to be alone rather than in company?

Some writers are introverted I’m sure, but not me. I love being around people, am energized by them and get my ideas by being around a variety of folks. Meeting new people is always a treat for me. You learn so much from others. I find it difficult to be alone and get bored quickly.

4. Do you publicly speak or have readings, and if yes, do you have any advice for beginners?

This is my favourite part of being an author. It’s a great way to connect with readers. I write books for middle-grade children so I contact schools and libraries and ask if I can do a presentation and reading. Kids love being read to, especially by a real live author. I always leave time for questions and answers. It is amazing how clever the readers are and the great questions they ask. If I’m unable to answer the question, I’m honest and say I don’t know or would rather not answer the question. (Like “How old are you?”) I sometimes get an email address and offer to get back to them later. Besides schools and libraries, I’ve done presentations at senior’s homes, coffee shops, hospitals, service groups and whoever will listen to me. Interaction with readers is a good way to increase sales and get ideas. And it is fun!

5. There are so many scams out there for writers and upcoming authors. Did you ever have experience with any of it and do you have advice on how to not get trapped?

I have not been caught up in any scams but I know they are out there. Like everything, one needs to be vigilant.

6. Do you have a particular marketing strategy for your books?

I do some pre-publishing promotion through guest posts and other social media. Around publication time I always do a physical launch at a bookstore and then book other bookstores, library and school visits. I continue to market the series all year long. Networking, on social media or in person, is still the best way to market any product, including books.

7. Did you publish more of your work since your last visit here? If yes, please tell us about it.

I haven’t published another book since Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind. I have however completed Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action which will be released September 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L9LVK4J/

In this book, Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah, travelling the canals of Amsterdam, visiting Anne Frank House, checking out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and taking pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. While she’s there, she is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald.

Readers can follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than can be imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

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

Thank you for having me as a guest once again. Your questions are always thought-provoking and fun to answer.


Darlene Bio:

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between western Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.


Connect with Darlene:

website http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/darlenefoster
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/


Darlene’s Books:

Author Spotlight – Ann Harrison-Barnes

 

Welcome!
Thanks for having me.

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Ann Harrison Barnes. I love writing fiction and have also written for many professional websites and freelance clients. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, spending time with my family and crocheting.

1. When did you start writing?
I started getting serious about my writing in 2003, although I dabbled in it since I was in about the fifth or sixth grade.

2. What motivates you to write?
Motivation and inspiration come in various ways, from something as simple as a snippet from a podcast or part of an episode from an old TV show to the windchimes out on my front porch and conversations with my characters.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you choose this particular genre?
I write mostly Christian mysteries, although my mysteries are turning into Christian thrillers. However, there are times when I throw in a romantic twist. I have published one children’s book and have two more that I’m working on.
The reason I write in genres like this is because I love to read Christian fiction and I love a good mystery. I often like to drift back to a time when life was simple by reading children’s books, so what better way to do this by writing them as well.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal in writing is to share the message of God’s love through a simple, yet deep story. If I can touch the life of one person through my stories, then I know I’ve done my job.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Though I hate to admit it, I do have those moments when the muse refuses to talk to me. When I can’t think of what to write, I go outside and sit in the porch swing, if it’s warm enough, and let the windchimes, melodies within me and often times my characters talk to me. Sometimes, I have to do something else for awhile in order for the muse to take me by surprise.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
If you have a story idea that’s been bugging you for a while, especially while you’re trying to sleep, don’t be afraid to put your butt in the chair and your hands on your keyboard and start typing whatever comes to mind onto the blank document before you. If handwriting is your thing, keep a notebook close by, so you can jot down little tidbits or story ideas that come to you. I don’t care what you write, just write something to start with. The more you write, the better you can hone your craft. I’m not saying you should write every day, although this process works for many authors, but write as often as you can. I also advise new authors to join writers’ groups or connect with other writers either online or locally. The support you get from your writing friends is valuable as your own writing improves.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
My full-length novel entitled A Journey of Faith, is about a young girl who has been plagued by vivid nightmares and a voice crying for help for the last sixteen years of her life. She takes a journey to discover what tragic accident she witnessed at the innocent age of twelve, so she can conquer her fear of climbing. Was this incident an accident or was it murder?
Stories Outside the Box is a collection of tails ranging from mystery, to stories filled with a bit of heavenly magic and more. One of the mysteries will take you into a twisted digital glitch.
Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure, An Electric Eclectic Book is a charming little Fairy tail with a bit of mystery and adventure as you ride along with Maggie and her friends on a fun and exciting gravy train journey. The biscuit wheels roll seamlessly down a cookie track.
Inner Vision, An Electric Eclectic Book, is a Christian fiction novelette, with a bit of mystery, adventure and a little sweet romance thrown into the mix. Kelly wakes up in a strange hospital after what she’s been told is an operation. However, when she tries to get some information about the operation, no one can tell her anything, except for one doctor who searches through her medical history to find out why she lost her sight. She and her best friend Anna must go back to the scene of the accident, in order for her to learn how to use her Inner Vision.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
It was a pleasure being here, thanks again for having me.


Ann’s bio:

Ann Harrison-Barnes is the author of four books: A Journey of Faith, A Stepping Stones Mystery, Stories Outside the Box, Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure, an Electric Eclectic Book, and Inner Vision, an Electric Eclectic Book. She has also been published in several anthologies. Aside from her work as a Christian fiction author, Ann is a professional writer and she also crochets bookmarks and book covers to promote her books. To learn more about Ann and her work, visit her website at www.annwritesinspiration.com


Connect with Ann:

https://annwritesinspiration.com

http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

https://www.facebook.com/ElectricEclecticBooks/

https://www.twitter.com/annwrites75


Ann’s books:

Stories Outside the Box:

 

 

 

 

 

Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Vision: An Electric Eclectic book

 

 

 

 

 


A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery
(Kindle)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7SCQNM
(Paperback)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720213240

Author Spotlight – Susan A. Royal

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hi I’m Susan A. Royal. I live in a cute little farmhouse in the country with all kinds of birds and furry critters for neighbors.

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My first book was written on notebook paper, illustrate and bound with red ribbon. I still have it.

2. What motivates you to write?

I love words and the feelings they can invoke. Nothing inspires me more than a good book, a good movie or a good song.

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

Any kind of scifi or fantasy. I love to escape to other worlds.

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

I just want to keep getting better. My next book is always my best book.

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

I published a book a year until my husband died. I lost my words. It took me three years to find them, and while some days are still difficult, I won’t let myself give up.

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

Write, rewrite, edit, learn things, and never ever give.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I love taking readers through all kinds of adventures. I’ve written two books in my It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and am working on book three. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy Romance/Adventure, and Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA Fantasy. Look for my books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.
Want to know more? Check back from time to time for updates and a peek inside this writer’s mind to see what I’m up to. You never know what new world I’m going to visit next.

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


Susan’s Bio:

A native of Texas, Susan raised her kids in a 100-year-old farmhouse in the piney woods, sharing it with a music-loving ghost who harmonized with her son when he sang and played guitar.

She comes from a family rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories about farm life in Oklahoma Territory and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. She learned about the depression and growing up during WWII from her parents.

Susan loves taking her readers through all kinds of adventures. She’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and is working on book three. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy Romance/Adventure, and Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA Fantasy. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.

Want to know more? Check back from time to time for updates and a peek inside this writer’s mind to see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.


Connect with Susan:

Not Long Ago book trailer

http://susanaroyal.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/susanaroyalauthor/


Feisty Character Lara: (interview)

My name is Lara, and I work downtown in the Metropolitan Building. I’m not really all that good at talking about myself. You can ask my good friend, Carrie. She calls me an introvert, but the bitter truth is I’m socially awkward. Sometimes I give in and let her drag me to a party, just so she’ll get off my case. While she flits from one group to another, laughing and having a great time, I lurk around the edges of the crowd, looking for a place to hide.

Carrie and I have been BFFs for a long time. Even though we’re total opposites. She’s cheerful. I’m sarcastic. She’s outgoing. I’m a loner. But she’s always there for me. Mom died when I was born, and I just lost my dad. Now there’s only me. Carrie’s the best. I just wish she’d quit trying to fix me up with some guy she thinks is my Mr. Right.

Don’t see that happening any time soon. Even though I’m almost six foot tall and have the kind of red hair everyone wants. Something about me seems to intimidate guys. Maybe it’s my sarcastic attitude.

Not Rhys, though. Even though we stood eye to eye it didn’t bother him a bit. That’s one of the first things I noticed. And then there was his great body, rugged good looks, and intense green eyes. He definitely got my attention.

Honestly, everything happened so fast after that, it’s mostly a blur. It wasn’t until after Rhys dragged me through a portal into another dimension that I realized he wasn’t the blind date Carrie had set me up with after all. And he really was out of this world.

Yeah, I know…you’re probably thinking this sounds like your typical ‘guy rescues girl from danger and takes her to another world, where they fall in love’ scenario, but you’re wrong. Rhys treats me like an unwanted responsibility, nothing more. Every time I try to be nice, he clams up and starts acting like commando man. And it goes downhill from there when I open my mouth and out comes the sarcasm. I let him get under my skin. Why? Because even though I refuse to admit it, I have feelings for the guy.

There’s something about the quiet way he claims responsibility for our little group of travelers. He takes his job seriously…even to the point of blaming himself when things go wrong, the way I did when Dad died. If only he would open up…

The bad thing is we’ve got to work together so we can locate the book of secrets before it falls into the wrong hands and his world falls apart. That is, if we don’t kill each other in the process.


Susan’s Books:

In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)

 

 

 

 

 

Xander’s Tangled Web (fantasy, mystery)

 

 

 

 

 

Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)

 

 

 

 

 

All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Author Spotlight Phyllis Campbell

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I won a short story contest when I was eleven.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

Several things motivate me to write. I write two bi-monthly columns for National Braille Press, and a monthly for the Blind Post. For these, I’m motivated to offer information. For fiction, many things influence me, an item in the news, a happening in the community, or in my own world. I try to keep a list of things that strike my interest.

 

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

My short pieces have ranged from romance to The Virginia Psychiatric Journal. My books have included my memoir, a mystery, Young Adult Inspirational, supernatural, and Christian (family) I think of a plot, and if I keep thinking about it, I write. As with what motivates me described earlier, many things may influence my choice of plot. For instance, some years ago, I was doing a short piece on the lot of women in the 1800s. At dinner, I wondered what it must have been for blind women, especially those who had ambition. “Like you,” a friend said. “They probably did even stay dead,” he further commented. “Out of the Night” supernatural was born.

 

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

I think we all secretly want a bestseller, but I would be content with steady sales, bringing a reasonable income, and that perhaps, leave something meaningful with the readers.

 

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

I seldom suffer from that dread condition. My husband has been dead for almost six years, but I can still hear him saying, “Leave it alone for a while. It will come.” I do, and it does.

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

Try to start small. Unless you’re a JK Rowling, likely you won’t have an immediate bestseller. Be happy with that small sale, more likely small sales. Get a feel for the market, and raise the bar. Study the markets, and follow guidelines carefully. They may seem silly to us, but they’re what the editors want, and there are plenty of writers out there, who don’t care how silly they sound. Look carefully at your dreams. Be sure they are practical, and go for them. Try not to get discouraged. Look at your work, just to be sure that you haven’t missed something important. Pick yourself up, and try again.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

As I stated earlier, I write in many genre. If it interests me, I write about it. I have written six books, published by both traditional and self-publishers. My latest book is “Where Sheep May Safely graze” Westbow Press, available from
http://www.amazon.com/author/psc-books-all
available both in print and digital formats.
You will find a listing of my books there, along with the link to purchase. I have also written a true-crime book under contract with the family of the victim, rights belonging to them.

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


About Phyllis:

Phyllis Staton Campbell, who was born blind, writes about the world she knows best. She calls on her experience as teacher of the blind, peer counselor and youth transition coordinator. She says that she lives the lives of her characters: lives of sorrow and joy; triumph and failure; hope and despair. That she and her characters sometimes see the world in a different way, adds depth to the story. She sees color in the warmth of the sun on her face, the smell of rain, the call of a cardinal, and God, in a rainbow of love and grace.
Although she was born in Amherst County, Virginia, she has lived most of her life in Staunton, Virginia, where she serves as organist at historic Faith Lutheran church, not far from the home she shared with her husband, Chuck, who waits beyond that door called death.


Connect with Phyllis:

Emails: Pcampbell16@verizon.net 
campbellphyllis17@gmail.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Campbell/e/B001KC40ZI/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Phyllis-Staton-Campbell-361675114286715/


Books by Phyllis Campbell:

Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 Where Sheep May Safely Graze This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page …
ByAFBon February 24, 2018
This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page until the end and I did not want it to end. I hope a second book will be forth coming. Kudos to you Phyllis for the best book I have read in a long time.

Other books by Phyllis Campbell…

COME HOME MY HEART, 1985.
REPRINTED IN 2001

 

 

 

 

 

FRIENDSHIPS IN THE DARK, 1996 Reprint 1997

 

 

 

 

 

The Evil Men Do 2006, true crime, written under contract for the family of the victim.

A Place To Belong August, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will hear Them Cry, April, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Night February, 2014

 

 

Author Spotlight – Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve known I was destined to write from the time I was a little girl, not yet able to read by myself. I remember cuddling with my dad on our living room sofa, feeling safe and loved, while he read aloud a story about Osceola, the brave Seminole Indian chief who fought the brutal attempts by the U.S. government to remove his people from Florida during the early 1800’s.

When my dad finished the book, I said sadly, “It’s all gone.”

“It’s not gone,” he told me, putting the book in my hands. “We can turn it around and start again at the beginning. Not tonight, though.”

From that moment on, when I discovered that words could be written down in books, captured and stored to be enjoyed over and over again, I knew I wanted to write stories of my own. Many times in school, when I was supposed to be solving math problems or studying spelling words, I’d be busy composing poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing. My first poem was printed in “Jack and Jill”—a popular magazine for kids—when I was eleven or twelve years old—and after that, I caught an incurable case of author fever.

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the characters who came to life in my imagination.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, in order to learn how to use a word processor, I dragged out that old short story and typed it into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years as life happened. I took advice and editing from countless people. I attended writing workshops and joined critique groups to hone my craft, and I never gave up on my dream. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

I write for the sheer joy of it. I write because I have tales inside me that need to bust loose. Beyond that, I write because I have a burning desire to leave the world a little better than I found it, to let people know that change starts with them—with me—that there’s hope for humanity, and it begins with one thought, one decision, one action—now.

 

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

My novel is a crossover of coming-of-age urban inspirational fiction. The topic chose itself, based on my life experience. Early in my marriage, my first husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since we were both home and going through tough times financially, our run-down travel trailer became a hang-out spot for kids and teens who needed Band-Aids for their skinned knees and patches for their bike tires, cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, help with homework and advice about a little of everything. Those memories inspired me to write about a population that is seldom heard from.

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

Not really. I write to speak for Kids who need to be heard, and I write for the love of writing. Not that I don’t love an audience, and not that I wouldn’t love to support myself from writing—but I’m contented with my life the way it is.

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

I sometimes have a difficult time getting started with the first seed of an idea. I love a good writing prompt to get me going. Some of my best short stories have come from writing prompts. I also believe in writing about almost anything. A trip to the convenience store, a recipe, a lighthearted piece meant to make people laugh—any of these will do to get my creative words flowing. I try to compose at least a Facebook post for my followers every few days so I stay in the habit of writing.

 

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

In junior high, I interviewed a local author as part of an independent study project. Her advice has stuck with me for 35 years.

“When you write, think of yourself as a bird building a nest,” she said. “Your life gives you the materials for your stories. You take a twig from here, a tuft of grass from there, a bit of string from somewhere else. Keep living a life full of experiences so you never run out of building materials.”

I usually write fiction, so my characters and what happens to them is all made up. But some of the experiences and a whole lot of the underlying emotions come from what I know, what I’ve lived through, like that bird making a nest.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

What is a family? For Rick Myers, a despondent seventeen-year-old who has just lost his parents in a car wreck, it’s the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, the “crew” is all he has.
At least, he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.
But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is touched by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually, through him, to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges. “The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.

Thank you for your visit!


Bio:

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.

The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.


Connect with Jo Elizabeth:

To see guest blog posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
https://blindmotherhood.com/author/jopinto/

To see guest posts from me on a variety of topics, please click here:
https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com

To see author page on Facebook, please click here:
https://m.facebook.com/authorjepinto/?ref=Footer

To see Goodreads blog, please click here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14120336.J_E_Pinto/blog


Book Links:

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is an  award-winning novel, available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

The paperback version of the novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bright-side-of-darkness-j-e-pinto/1122183259?ean=9781512344943

 

Author Spotlight – June Foster

Hello, welcome to ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’

Please introduce yourself.

Hello! I’m June N. Foster and reside in Arizona. Currently, I spend the majority of the year in the yachting industry as a deckhand and yoga instructor. This affords me the amazing opportunity to discover new destinations, experience new cultures, and develop lasting friendships with diverse people from around the world. When I’m not working, I love to volunteer for a wide-variety of children’s non-profit organizations through writing, visiting orphanages, fund raising, and getting involved with conservation initiatives.

1. When did you start writing?

I have been writing through journal entries ever since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” as my Papa used to say. Reflected within these dusty journals are my deepest secrets, thoughts, fears, poems, hopes, dreams, questions, and observations regarding the world around me.

2. What motivates you to write, What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

After two years of quietly writing my story and keeping it close to my vest, I smiled. Strange really – – the journey I traveled – – the journey that led me to this moment. As I thought about these questions, I considered: How much do I share?

I navigated my cursor to YouTube and clicked on my “go-to” song, “Fly Me to the Moon,” written by Bart Howard, and beautifully sung by Frank Sinatra. This masterful rendition will always be held close to my heart as Papa’s and my song.

I listened carefully to each word, wishing he were beside me, providing me guidance to my question. As the song reached the end, these simple, yet powerful words floated in the air:

In other words, please be true,
In other words, In other words,
I love you

Hearing this answer; I smiled again.

I was born into a middle-class American family and we moved around the US seven times. I grew up loved and lucky to have had healthy food to eat, an early education, attend college, and follow my dreams. We attended Catholic mass every Sunday, prayed before every meal and before bedtime, and donated time and money towards those in need. Yet, for me, these acts were more of an obligation, perhaps even a tradition, similar to cooking the turkey or decorating the Christmas tree – something to look forward to, yet to shrug off until the following season. I was more concerned about what I would wear to school the next week, what others said about me on Facebook, or whether or not I had the latest cell phone. Admittedly, I lived in a tiny, one-dimensional bubble. Now at twenty-four-years old, I can honestly say that I was the poster child of the stereotypical mantra of the entitled millennial.

After we moved back to Arizona from Ohio, I started college. Through my studies in global sociology I became impassioned to help the hungry, poorest, and most vulnerable population in the world ¬ – our children in need. Learning about their living conditions and survival stories brought me to tears. I immersed myself further into research, study, and talking with non-profit organizations whose mission it is to help those in need. After graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree in Organizational Management, I enrolled in Film Production at Grand Canyon University. I was in the middle of a screenwriting course, when my Papa passed away. I emotionally collapsed and over the course of many months, I fell deeper and deeper into despair. My anger turned into hope after praying to our Lord and asking Him to guide me. Soon after, I picked up my yet to be completed screenplay and as I read it with fresh eyes, I felt my characters, plot, settings . . . well, everything lacked depth and substance. I was determined to bring the story to life, and in doing so, my screenplay evolved into my debut novel.

Truth be told, I lack the financial means and wide-spreading influence to make a large impact. I chose the best vehicle I could to bring awareness to others through suspense and adventure story telling. It is my hope that readers will love my stories, yet at the same time become more aware of the world around them through passive insertions of global issues. It would be ideal for one or more of my stories to transform into a screenplay and subsequently, a movie production. The hope would be to take any profits I receive and direct them to help those in need. This is my dream. The Girl and the Golden Leaf is the first book in a series dedicated to humanitarian efforts and the preservation of the world’s nature resources for future generations.

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

Perhaps it’s due to my age, but my characters, narrative, and perspectives are tailored to the younger adult. However, due to some horrific, (but not overly graphic) scenes in the story, the genre of The Girl and the Golden Leaf would be appropriate for 18-years-old and above. It is my goal for the following sequels in the series, to reach all young adults to 100+.

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

On occasion, I do suffer from writer’s block, but I believe my biggest obstacle is my predisposition that I need a dedicated “time slot” for creative writing. If I am distracted by other commitments on a given day, I lose that day completely. For me, I need to carve out a dedicated block of days for the words to flow. Perhaps this is why it took me two years to complete my first story, as life happens, and dedicated days are few and far between. I realize this is a major weakness that I need to overcome as I begin my next story.

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

As a twenty-four-year old new author, I hesitate to give advice as I have so much to learn, understand and experience. However, if I were to give one nugget, I would say, “Don’t be afraid — find your passion and write with love and conviction. Don’t overthink each word, or each step in the process as I did. And have faith that, “For the Lord will be your confidence and keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (ESV)

6. Please, tell us about your work.

The Girl and the Golden Leaf will be published in January 2019. Please visit: www.junenfoster.com to learn more information about the book and to order your copy.

• 9781982216993 Softcover
• 9781982217006 E-Book
• 9781982216986 Hardcover

About the Book

As whitewater rafting guides down the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia, sixteen-year-old Tia and her twin brother, Finn, hope to find a way to escape poverty after the recent deaths of their parents. When a Hollywood film producer offers the siblings acting roles in his movie, Tia sees the vision of her golden ticket she has prayed for God to provide. How can she refuse?

From Chile’s exotic Río Futaleufú, to her captivity in the Amazon Rainforest and the slums of Buenos Aires, Tia’s deep faith touches everyone she meets . . .

. . . but will her faith be enough to survive the darkest pits of humanity?

This heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel is unblinking in the horrors faced by children stolen from their lives — however, it does not sensationalize nor over-dramatize the truth. Vividly written, The Girl and the Golden Leaf examines the tormenting events in an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage and survival.

Praise for The Girl and the Golden Leaf
“An unforgettable journey, full of adventure, suspense, mystery, and despair to triumph, The Girl and the Golden Leaf, will forever touch your heart.”
CBM Christian Book Reviews (10/10 stars)

“Combining an intriguing, engrossing story with a salutary message of hope and charity for deprived innocents, The Girl and the Golden Leaf by June N. Foster is both riveting and revelatory.” — Chanticleer Reviews

“Foster’s deft writing can generate tension by mere suggestion.” “…rewarding tale of a kidnapped teenager’s resilience.” — Kirkus Reviews

Thank you June, it’s been a pleasure to have here as my guest.


Connect with June:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/junefoster/

https://www.instagram.com/june__foster/

http://www.junenfoster.com

 

 

Author Spotlight – Colin Guest

Welcome!

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1. When did you start writing?
After my late wife died in 2007

2. What motivates you to write?
I get pleasure from writing and hope that readers enjoy reading my books

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I write in both fiction and non-fiction. By doing so I get the best of both worlds related to writing

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I like to think that I have what it takes to write a best seller, and that one of my books will be used as the basis for a film or television series.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
No

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
When you’re writing and get stuck on how to proceed, take a break. Leave your writing then go back to it the next day with a clear head. Also, once you have completed your work, it is essential that you have it professionally edited. Don’t think for a minute that as you have used an online editing program it is not worth the cost. If you do, most likely you will be disappointed at what readers say when they read what you wrote.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
I have written and self-published seven books. I did pay for my memoir Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps to be published by a company I thought good. I found out to my cost it was a big mistake. This company is now listed as one not to use. As is over twelve other sites connected to them. Four of my books are now available as audiobooks, a fifth will be shortly, and my novel A Dangerous Love Affair now in the process of being made into an audiobook. In conjunction with Voyage Media, based on my memoir, I wrote a pilot episode for what they think could be used as a television series. I also write poems with several in the final four in competitions. One was made into a film.

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


Colin Guest Bio:

As an expat who worked in fifteen countries spread through the Middle, Far East and North Africa, Colin Guest has lived a life most only dream. He has self-published seven books. Two have been made into Audiobooks, with three more due to be completed early 2019.
A number of Colin’s articles have been published in online magazines and one in a UK expat magazine. A local newspaper in Colin’s hometown in England published an article about him. In conjunction with Voyage Media, Colin prepared a pilot episode based on his memoir that they think could be suitable for a television series. Colin has taken part in several online interviwes and once took part in a live online American radio show. Colin uses his website http://www.colinguestauthor and various social media accounts to help publise his books.


Connect with Colin:

Website: https://www.colinguestauthor.com

Blog: https://www.turkmed.wordpress.com

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tigerman55

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/colinguest9

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857414

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tigerman77

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tigerman105

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Colin-Guest/e/B00OM3VCLW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1547607613&sr=1-2-ent


Colin’s Books:

 

Author Spotlight – Alethea Kehas

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I was a closet writer for most of my life. When I was a child and teen I would journal my thoughts, dreams, and other musings. Then, I would rip them up and throw them away so no one could see them.

2. What motivates you to write?

When I wrote my first book, my memoir, my motivation was to heal myself. Now, I write to help others heal and find their inner truths.

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

I write fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. At the moment, my focus is on my visionary fantasy series written for the middle-grade to adult audience.

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

I did have a dream, a few years ago where I found myself on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show (which I confess I don’t watch) with Elizabeth Gilbert. That’s always lingering in the back of my mind, but seriously, my main goal is for my writing to reach the eyes of those who might benefit from my words.

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

Not so much writer’s block as writer’s motivation. When I give myself time sit down and open myself up to the stories that want to come forth, they most often make their way onto the page without too much difficulty. I let my characters take over and discover from them, which means I sometimes have to do my research after I write the words. It makes the process fun and exciting, giving up the reins, so to speak. It’s like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without ever looking at the picture on the box cover.

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

Write from the heart. Open yourself up to the stories tucked inside of you and write what wants to come forth. The rest can be figured out later.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I have two published books so far, a memoir called A Girl Named Truth and the first book in my visionary fantasy series, The Labyrinth. My memoir is a journey of healing my truth and reuniting with my estranged father. The Labyrinth is book 1 in the Warriors of Light series and is part of a larger endeavor of empowering youth to find and embrace their inner gifts and truths through a metaphysical adventure with six shapeshifting teens who are tasked to repair the broken lines of light in Earth. There is a companion website, warriorsoflight.club, and a monthly newsletter that allows kids and teens to deepen their exploration of self and life, while finding a safe and open community to be their authentic selves. I am starting to take it out into the word through workshops and events and hope to add some interactive games to the website in the future.

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


Alethea Bio:

Alethea Kehas is the author of A Girl Named Truth and The Labyrinth. She has an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and is the owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga. Once a year she follows her heart to the ancient lands of Albion and listens to the stories of the stones.


Connect with Alethea:

Author website: https://aletheakehas.com/
Warriors of Light Club website: https://warriorsoflight.club/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AletheaKehasAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warriorsoflightclub/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Aletheakehas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@AletheaKehas
Blog: https://nottomatoes.wordpress.com/


Alethea’s Books:

The Labyrinth: https://www.amazon.com/Labyrinth-Warriors-Light-Alethea-Kehas/dp/0692123571/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532298501&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Labyrinth+by+Alethea+Kehas

 

 

 

A Girl Named Truth: https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Named-Truth-Alethea-Kehas/dp/0692921575/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505436573&sr=8-1&keywords=a+girl+named+truth

Soul Taker On The ‘When Angels Fly’-Blog

This week I’m a guest on the ‘When Angels Fly’-Blog. Thank you so much for the great interview and the wonderful way you presented ‘Soul Taker’! I can’t thank you enough!

The post contains an interview, a book excerpt, the book description, the book links, and my social media links.


This week, we are pleased to feature on our blog, Aurora Jean Alexander, author of Soul Taker. Aurora – this blog is yours for now.

When did you start writing and how did that come about?
I doubt I can tell you one particular time or even time frame when I started writing. I felt that’s what I wanted to do. Since I lack a talent in painting and drawing I had to do something with my creativity and decided that’s the way to do it.
I’m not sure there ever was “a start”. I learned to write at the age of four and I remember developing little stories since I’m a Kindergarten kid. In school, when others complained about essays, mine were easily 6 – 10 pages long, I enjoyed it so much.

Tell us about you, what you want readers to know.

…..

Continue reading the post here:

https://whenangelsfly.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/soul-taker/

 

Author Spotlight – Jackie Goldman

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved to write. People talk about the “runner’s high” and while I’m not a jogger, I understand what they mean. When I start to write and everything comes together, it feels like flying. I think it’s the closest thing to a supernatural experience I have ever had. It feels like magic.

For many years I wrote “secretly.” I don’t know why, but for some reason telling people that I wrote elicited a negative reaction, almost like a scoff. I often thought; if I told them I was into pottery or sewing they would probably express interest and say positive things. I don’t think all writers get this response but that has been my experience, so I just learned not to share this piece of information about myself.

2. What motivates you to write?
Writing for me goes in waves. I find the process of editing a written piece to be emotionally exhausting. Whereas the creative portion of writing an article or a story energizes me, editing drains me. I have to take a lot of breaks while I’m doing it, then a long break afterwards where I think I never want to go through that again. But then I start reading good books and just thinking and reflecting on the world and the people around me, and before I know it another idea is taking shape and the motivation to write it down is really more of a compulsion. I feel like I have to do it.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
It’s funny because my favorite genre to read is young adult fiction. I find that YA fiction feels like it comes from the heart, whereas a lot of the adult general fiction I pick up seems to come from the mind. There is often a self-consciousness to it – a palpable effort to impress – that jars me and prevents me from enjoying the book. But I can’t write YA fiction! I’ve tried, but even I recognize that it’s forced and unnatural sounding. When I go to write, the story that is there is women’s fiction. But I like to think I do write from the heart, in the style of YA fiction. Just the story itself is women’s fiction.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I recently discovered ghostwriting. I had a few health issues that necessitated working from home, and I knew writing was the only thing I could do, given my work history. I started my book “Beautiful Minds,” as a way of trying out this new form of writing and seeing if I could capture different people’s voices and perspectives. What I discovered is this whole new gorgeous creative world that I never really considered before. It was like discovering a hidden treasure. Real people’s stories, experiences and insights are just fascinating, and I enjoyed thinking about each person’s life journey and discovering the ‘hook’ in their characters and personalities that led them to the place they are in now. I think the experience of writing “Beautiful Minds” enriched me personally and professionally.

My goal for “Beautiful Minds” is to create successive volumes, which I would then like to submit to a publisher to create a hardcover coffee-table book. In terms of writing, I am in the process of editing a previously published book called “Flat Earth Theory.” The new book will be called “Betrayal,” and will be an expanded version of the original, with a graphic novel component. I also hope to continue ghostwriting, something I really love and feel I have a knack for.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I wouldn’t say so…I never “push” myself to write. If a story isn’t there, it isn’t there. In my experience, you can’t manifest one out of thin air. When I’m between projects I journal and read. Sometimes journaling is painful because I force myself to write about ALL my experiences, even the bad ones, and I don’t cut myself any slack. But it’s good. Journaling takes me into that deep down place that good writing comes from.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
In terms of learning the craft, I’d say you pick up a little something from everyone. Some teachers will really resonate with you, others less so. Read, write, take writing classes, and have an open heart. If you keep at it, eventually it will click. But check your ego at the door. In a metaphorical sense, make sure you are writing, not typing.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
“Beautiful Minds is a six chapter book. Each chapter reads like a short story written in the first person, from the subject’s perspective. I intended this book to be a bridge-building initiative for New York City, so all the subjects are New Yorkers. They tell their life stories and how living in New York shaped them and played into their journey. The book shows how diverse and interesting people’s lives are, and how all those different experiences imbued each of them with special insights and wisdom that they probably take for granted, but that the world would be enriched for, if we all understood. Writing the book was an effort to impart that understanding.

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


Short Bio:

Jackie Goldman is a writer and ghostwriter living in Brooklyn, New York. Her previous works include “Flat Earth Theory,” and “El Pombero.”


Connect with Jackie:

Website: https://www.ghostwriterjackiegoldman.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieGoldman7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goldman1459/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.johnson.10236

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackie-goldman-432b36163/

Email: JackiegWrites4U@gmail.com


Jackie’s new book:

Beautiful Minds