Author Spotlight – Phillip T. Stephens

pts-portraitWelcome! 

Glad to be here.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

The first story I remember writing was a parody of Miles Standish for a fifth-grade assignment. It went over well enough to encourage me to finish the parody of the entire book. I was inspired by a stage-based spoof of Gun Smoke called Pistol Mist that my dad wrote for the church youth group. He repeated it at every church he ministered so it had a great impression on me.

The long version was terrible, which taught me some projects have a limited span. Before that, however, I wrote comedy sketches for my tape recorder and tried to convince my sisters and friends to perform.

No one cooperated.

I wrote seriously in high school, including a novel (75 pages). My creative writing teacher hated everything I wrote. She wanted flowery prose sprinkled liberally with Latinate words. I preferred a Hemingway style—shorter, Anglo-Saxon words and direct sentences. (She also heaped praise on her son, who was in my class, as a model for our writing.)

I began to read writers like Anthony Burgess, Terry Southern, Philip Roth, John Fowles and John Le Carré. I reread Catch-22, which I first read in eighth grade (it took the entire summer). The second reading convinced me my writing was juvenile, so I threw it away.  I didn’t discover I could write well until I took my first college creative writing class.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

I can’t not write. I write daily, whether it be a series of posts for a Twitter novel, a blog post, or articles for Medium. Perhaps as a child no one paid the attention I wanted so I knew I could preserve my thoughts on paper for a time they would. Perhaps, like the Hebrew prophets I’m compelled to speak and writing is my platform. I know I never wrote to be cool or admired because when I first shared my writing, I received little positive feedback. Most of my friends thought it was stupid.

I might go a day every two or three weeks where I finally say, rest. But it’s hard.

 

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

I call my genre “wry noir.” Dark novels with a sardonic twist. My first published novel, Raising Hell, was a dark fantasy novel about an optimist who drives Lucifer crazy, (as was the follow up novella, The Worst Noel). My second, Cigerets, Guns & Beer, was a Western mystery/suspense novel. Ironically, my latest novel Seeing Jesus is a light-hearted YA novel (although bullying by adults and peers is a major theme).

I know not settling on a genre hurts my brand marketing. Wit and wry observation defines my brand, which is much harder to market. But I read every genre growing up, and personally enjoy writing in several.

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
  • I want to create intelligent books that any reader will enjoy.

 

  • I want to change readers’ perceptions of the world in some small way: to help them recognize that the world is not about us and it never was. Because of this we have a responsibility to leave something of value in this world and not take from it.

 

  • I also hope to help them recognize that other people don’t see the world in the same way that we do, they process information differently, form different values. We’re responsible for our own actions and not for theirs.

 

I was raised a Baptist Preacher’s Kid and everyone expected me to follow my father, grandfather and every uncle into the ministry. Fooled them. I took one message from my faith—Life is about service, not self-fulfillment, a message that seems sorely lacking in Christianity (not to mention the current political climate). I wouldn’t write if I didn’t think my writing served the world at large in some small way.

In grad school, studying literature, art and philosophy, the reigning aesthetic theory proclaimed, “Art for art’s sake.” I still adhere to that, especially given the current beliefs that art should be profit-making and reflect a narrowly-defined set of values. I also believe artists share a responsibility to make our work transformative. Our art should stand on its own; our vocation requires us to put our work in the larger frame of cultural revolution.

 

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

Not really, although I will confess to procrastination. When I sit down to write, even if it’s two in the morning, I write. My first college fiction teacher John Vandezande (who wrote the book Night Driving, now out of print) said to write anything, no matter how bad. Start at the middle of your story, the end, at whatever point you can put words on paper.

I agree. You can fix bad prose. You can’t fix what isn’t written. Write paragraphs stream-of-conscience, outline, jot down notes and impressions. Anything to get your thoughts moving through the pipe. This is the only advice I ever give writers that I believe will benefit everyone.

I’ve thrown away entire chapters, sometimes as many as three or four. I stopped novels after ten or twelve chapters. I never thought they were failures. They got me to the chapters I needed and I wouldn’t have written the books I finished without them.

 

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

Most writers never make a living writing fiction. (Few make a living selling books at all.) You need to seriously evaluate the role of writing in your life. If you want to write for self-fulfillment, recognize that, but be honest about your talent. If you don’t spend your free time thinking about your work, how to improve your work and studying other writers to see how they make their art, you probably aren’t ready to be a professional.

If, however, you’re determined to sell your work to the world, show your work to writers and readers who won’t pat you on the back and say, “this is good.” Find readers who will find the flaws and recommend improvement.

When you think you’re ready to publish, hire an editor and proofreader.

Most of all, don’t blindly follow the advice of every blog post. Most advice contradicts a blog posted the week before. Good writers take any number of approaches to writing—some from the seat of their pants, others with outlines and notes; some write 500-2000 words a day no matter the circumstances, others try to find a quiet space to concentrate when time permits; some write rough drafts by hand, others word process everything. Explore different approaches until you find techniques that work and stick to them. It’s okay to try something new, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t trade it for something that works on that writer’s say so.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

I just finished a Twitter Novel, Doublemint Gumshoe (which I’m still Tweeting #TweetNovel), about a hapless, hopeless detective who stumbles onto a missing persons case that’s way over his head. I wanted the challenge of composing a story 144 characters at a time. When the last Tweet is posted, it will run more than 800 installments. I may rewrite it and re-release it as a real novel. I haven’t decided yet.

My biggest seller (which is like saying the biggest ant in the hill)—Cigerets, Guns & Beer—features an ex-con whose car breaks down in a small Texas town and ends up neck deep in the fallout from a thirty-year-old bank heist and murder. To make the novel more fun, I threw in a UFO and back story that connects the murder to Roswell.

During the seventies and early eighties, gas stations would sell Texas drivers beer from oil barrels next to the pump. They’d pack the barrels with ice, singles and six-packs. Drivers fill their tanks, grabbed their six-pack and popped a top as soon as they hit the highway. I joked to a friend that all we needed was guns and we’d hit the Texas Holy Trinity.* That line planted the seed for the novel. I’d been kicking around the idea of a stranger and thirty-year-old crime since grad school but couldn’t find an angle into the story that I liked.

I lived Raising Hell. I escaped from the worst job in the world, with a micromanager from hell, only to walk into a situation with four different managers with four competing agendas and every one expecting me to jump to their beck and call in a second.

From that came the idea of an optimist sent to hell by accident and Lucifer trying to find a way to destroy his optimism. Unfortunately, the hero, Pilgrim, believes that he’s already in hell so it can’t get any worse. He might as well make his punishment the most enjoyable form of eternal damnation that he can.

An agent suggested I write Seeing Jesus. We spent some time discussing my desire to write a non-fiction book about the way metaphoric thinking unconsciously drives our belief systems. She recommended that I read Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, and write something similar. (She rejected it, of course.) In the novel Sara Love learns to cope with bullying by adults and children through lessons provided by a homeless man no one else can see.

I plan to release an extended adult version this year, with a different ending, appendices and discussion questions.

 

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

How could I resist? Sharing on a great blog like this? I’d be a fool not to.

*Readers have just witnessed the joy of fiction writing. I’ve shared this anecdote dozens of times, but I just now made up the line, “Texas Holy Trinity.” I intend to use it with the anecdote from here on out, but that’s what all fiction writers should do—strive to improve your story at every opportunity.


Contact Phillip T. Stephens:

 

Twitter: @stephens_pt

cigeret-coverPhillip T. Stephens’ books:
on kindle
Cigerets, Guns & Beer http://amzn.to/1QG7t4m
The Worst Noel http://amzn.to/239NCNF
paperback
Cigerets, Guns & Beer https://t.co/7kTafuZEGp
The Worst Noel http://bit.ly/1mmJQAn
.
.
Doublemint Gumshoe #TweetNovel

 .

seeing-jesus-medal-cover

Seeing Jesus also recently won three Human Relations Indie Book Awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phillip T. Stephens will be one of the writers featured at this month’s #MysteryThrillerWeek, this month Feb. 12-17. Join him and others for advice, blogs, networking, reviews and links to hundreds of novels.


Author Spotlight – Mick Canning

portraitWelcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

Hi Aurora. I’m Mick Canning, an English writer living in England, who writes and blogs especially about India.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

During my childhood I used to write short stories and poems that I would read aloud to my parents, and then submit to my junior school magazine. They were kind enough to publish a few of these, possibly to keep me quiet. And then I never stopped.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

As the cliché goes, I write because I have to! There are so many stories and ideas milling around in my head that I want to share with other people. And now that I finally have a novel published, and can therefore claim to be an author, this urge seems to have increased rather than diminished.

 

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

I tend to write what is usually called ‘literature’, which sounds awfully grand and pompous, but really means no more than that it does not fit into any of the usual categories of fantasy or crime or what-have-you. It is probably due more than a little to my reading habits, which are frequently also ‘literature’. Not that I don’t read plenty of other genres, of course. Some crime, some fantasy, horror, humour, and plenty of non-fiction; mainly travel and history. I will write short stories in these other genres occasionally, too, but I feel my best work is usually ‘literature’. This probably sounds dreadfully pretentious!

 

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

My goal? Always to finish the current work in progress, and to make as good a job of it as I am able. I have no particular wish to publish dozens of books, but I’d like the few that I do publish to be good! My dreams, well, if my writing can take me to India or Nepal, that would be good! I suspect that is not quite what the question means, though.

 

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

Oh, yes. I‘m sure every writer does. My method is to go for a walk, preferably on my own, in the countryside. Whatever the problem I have with my writing, be it not knowing where the plot is going, or how my characters will act in a situation, or even something about the geography or history of the setting, a walk will infallibly enable me to sort it out.

 

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

Write! Write! Write! And read! Read! Read! The more you read, and the more widely, the more you learn how writing works. And the more you write, the better you get at it. It really helps to get feedback from someone you trust, too.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

So far, I have one self-published novel, ‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’. The title comes from an Indian proverb, and the story deals with the attitudes to and treatment of women in society, in this case specifically Rural India. It is told through the relationship between a mother and her daughter-in-law, and how a violent incident impacts upon them and the rest of the family. I wrote it in the first person, through the eyes of the older woman. And if that is not a real cheek coming from a western male writer, I don’t know what is! The book has been well received, though, even by Indian female reviewers, so perhaps I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do.

Otherwise, I have a large number of finished short stories, quite a few of them set in India, and am working on a couple of novels – one set in an Indian hill station, the other a rather over-ambitious one set in a time-scale of some four hundred years up until late Victorian times, and in England, India and Persia. I must be mad.

 

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

It’s been my pleasure to be here, Aurora. Thank you very much for having me!

 

__________________________________________________________________

 Contact Mick:

 

My blog is www.mickcanning.co

 


making-friends-with-the__-crocodileMick Canning Book:

 

My author’s link:  http://author.to/mickclink

 

The book is available as Kindle and Print-On-Demand Paperback on Amazon (the link takes you to the author page there), and also on Kobo as well as, in India, Pothi and Flipkart

Author Spotlight – Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

profile-picAbout the Author:

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky is an Australian indie writer and the debut author of “Resistance (Divided Elements #1)”, a dark dystopian tale set in post-apocalyptic Paris.

Mikhaeyla loves writing about complex and flawed characters in stories that explore philosophy, sociology and politics. She holds degrees in International Relations, Journalism, and Environmental Science.

She is currently working on Book 2 of the Divided Elements series and looking forward to the online launch of Resistance, which takes place this weekend at https://resistancedividedelementsbooklaunch.wordpress.com/

Readers can catch up on the events of the launch and add to the ongoing discussions at  https://resistancedividedelementsbooklaunch.wordpress.com/


Welcome!

When did you start writing?

I started writing my debut novel in late 2013. I was gearing up to participate in my first NaNaWriMo (a cataclysmic failure which I went on to blog about) and was excited about finally committing to starting AND finishing a novel. Looking back at that post brings back a lot of memories and feelings. I am so proud of how much I have learned in the years since, how much I have persevered, and how much I have grown as a writer and author!

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Originally, I was motivated by the burning desire to read a *good* story. I had hit a rough patch of reading, where everything was leaving me unsatisfied. Books I started failed to live up to expectations or failed to ignite my imagination or failed to challenge and inspire me. I wanted to write *those* kinds of stories. Since immersing myself more in the writing and literary world, I have been blessed to find a whole cavalcade of great books – which constantly motivate me to write better, to craft more interesting stories and to provide my readers with an unparalleled reading experience.

 

Now, I’m motivated by the tiny seeds of story ideas that are constantly bugging me to be planted! I have at least ten ideas for new books and series that will have to wait until the Divided Elements series is complete before they get their day in the sun. But the desire to explore these ideas and worlds and characters is incredibly tempting, so I am always pushing myself to finish the current project so that I can start on the next.

 

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

I tend to write in dystopian, post-apocalyptic and urban scifi/fantasy. I love stories set in gritty environments that challenge both the characters and the readers to reimagine the word they live in and confront complex sociological, political and philosophical ideas.

 

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

Like most authors, my dream is to be able to write full-time – to spend my days dreaming up new stories and wrestling with words to craft the perfect novel! Obviously, there are the pipe-dreams – to win acclaim and prestigious awards, to have a major Hollywood studio offer me a movie deal, to see gazillions of copies and never work again – but really, the major goal (and dream) is to connect with readers. Awards and movie deals and sales are nice, but there is something very special in reading a review of your book or getting an email from a reader and seeing how much they have been touched by something you have created.

 

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

Not so much writer’s block, but I’ve definitely found myself at points in the story where I needed an elegant and complex solution to a plot problem and twisted my mind inside-out for days (and weeks) trying to find it. I also usually baulk at writing difficult scenes – especially those that require a lot of emotional vulnerability. I typically leave these scenes unwritten for the first draft and come back to write them when I am well-rested and ready to really unleash the next level of myself into the book.

 

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

Learn your craft! There are great websites and books and blogs out there that give excellent advice and support to new writers. My favorites are:

 

Books:

“Save the Cat” Blake Snyder

“Story Engineering” Larry Brooks

“Plot and Structure” James Scott Bell

“Hooked” Les Edgerton

 

Websites:

Fiction University – http://blog.janicehardy.com/

Helping Writers Become Authors – https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/

Stand Out Books – https://www.standoutbooks.com/blog/

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

“Resistance” is the first book in my new dystopian series Divided Elements. Readers have described it as a “whirlwind cross between Fahrenheit 451 and Divergent” and as a “thought-provoking and subversive” addition to the dystopian genre.

 

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Paris and follows Anaiya 234, a Peacekeeper in the Fire Element. When forbidden murals start appearing on crumbling infrastructure around the city, Anaiya is selected to undergo a radical procedure to change her identity and go undercover in the unpredictable Air Element. Tasked with uncovering and dismantling this new Resistance, Anaiya must first overcome the internal conflict of her divided identity. But, when notions of self and truth become fluid, and concepts of obedience and loyalty shatter, will her new alignment bring success to the mission or place it in dire jeopardy?

 

This book will appeal to readers of classical dystopias like Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “1984” as well as to fans of YA dystopian novels like Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” and Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” who are looking for more challenging ideas and mature content.

 

See what other readers are saying about Resistance (Divided Elements #1) on its Goodreads page.

 

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

__________________________________________________________________

Contact Mikhaeyla:

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32719178-resistance

Website: http://www.kyrija.com/mikhaeyla-kopievsky

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikhaeylaK

 


Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Book Launch of Resistance:

 

resistance-kindleAmazon: http://mybook.to/DE1Resistance

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/resistance-45

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1168636508

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/resistance-mikhaeyla-kopievsky/1124987737

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Resistance-Mikhaeyl-Kopievsky/9780995421851

 

 

Also:

The official online launch for Resistance takes place on Saturday 4 February. There will be excerpt readings, an author Q&A, and special guests to talk about the development of the book’s cover art and discuss the themes of the book. I would love to invite your readers to attend – they can RSVP here (it’s an open invitation, so feel free to share with friends and family!)


 

 

Author Marketing Support 2017 – here on Writer’s Treasure Chest


Since this blog exists I hosted 40 fellow authors on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. I am very proud of this number, but I’d like to do more.

It’s January 2017 and I plan to publish further Author Spotlights here on my blog.

By now ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ has over 600 followers and I’d love to introduce you to them, either with a Blog Tour participation, a Guest Blog or an “Author Spotlight”, which was indeed the most used feature and includes an interview.

To me it is a pleasure and an honor to have had you all here as guests and I’d be delighted if you come back any time for promotion on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’

I had a returning interview guest last year and there is a chance for a second interview ANYTIME!

I’d love to continue giving a chance to authors and writers to promote on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. Therefore it’s a pleasure to announce the good news:

There are slots available now!

It’s free and can’t do any damage, right? Spread the word about your work, your books, your passion.

Whether you plan a blog tour, would like to be featured in an interview, or provide my blog with a guest post, please use the widget form on the right side of the page to contact me and leave me your message.

Unbenannt

Fill in the form and pick the subject: “Blog Tour”, “Author Interview”, “Guest Post” or “Feedback” – and let me know what I can do for you. I would like you to enjoy the spotlight and make your post a remarkable experience.

It will be a pleasure hearing from you!


Featured Author – Interview – The return of Sharon K Connell

back-book-cover-hplWelcome back! 

You were a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ before, where we learned about writing in your life and your projects. 

Let’s see what you can tell us today: 

 

  1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres? 

Christian Romance Suspense is still my genre, although I’ve decided to add a bit more mystery to my story in His Perfect Love, just released. I’ve also started a many themed collection of short stories that I will be publishing when I have enough of them. At some point in my writing career, I’d love to write an Historical Romance set in Ireland. I may try that after I finish with my current projects.

 

  1. Please, tell us a little about your writing process. 

This is the system that I came up with and developed through the writing of my last book:

  1. Come up with an idea for a story, decide what characters will be needed, the setting for the story, where I want my story to go and end, and what kind of a climax I will need.
  2. Start Chapter One in the computer, and get out a spiral notebook to keep next to me. As I finish each scene, I keep a short description of it in my notebook under chapter and scene headings (C1-A, C1-B, and so on). I don’t worry about my spelling or grammar, unless something obvious glares at me.
  3. After my first draft of the story is complete, I begin the self-editing process where I read the story and see what needs to be changed, moved, etc. With my last book, I used the index card system through this process. That way, when I needed to move a scene to another point in the story, it was easy to renumber the index card and move it as I cut and paste the scene in the computer.
  4. After a 1st self-edit, I read the story aloud to myself or use the translation feature on my computer (if I don’t feel like hearing myself speak). This catches many little problems.
  5. Then, I send one chapter at a time to my critique group in American Christian Fiction Writers and scrutinize every critique I get from the “Scribes.”
  6. I make my changes and then reread that chapter.
  7. After that, I send the chapter to my proofreader.
  8. When I’ve finished this process all the way through the last chapter of my story, I send it to the editor.
  9. When she sends it back to me with her first round of edits, we go through the last process of reading, making/accepting changes, and resubmitting it to her until the writing is as I think it should be.
  10. That’s when it is submitted to be published.

There’s still a proof to go through, but for the most part, that’s the whole of it. 

 

  1. What is important to know for young, new authors and writers? 

Never give up. If you think you have a story in you, write it. Never mind what others say, unless it’s in the form of encouragement. Also, take some classes in writing. You won’t be sorry. There are so many offered free now online that you can complete at your own pace, there’s no excuse not to. 

 

  1. Your experience in the writing world, do you think it has already taken you where you wanted to go?

Yes, I am content where I am today as an author. Yet, I will still keep working at furthering my writing career. I still have a lot to learn.

 

  1. In your opinion, are you a writer or an author – and what is the difference for you? 

I am both a writer and an author. A writer is someone who writes, period. Whether they’ve been published or not is beside the point. A writer writes stories, poems, news articles, periodicals, etc. 

An author, on the other hand, is someone who has had something published. They authored a written piece for others to read.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your projects again. Was there progress since the last interview or are there even completely new projects? 

Since my interview by you in June of 2015, I feel that I’ve come a long way in my writing career. During that interview, I had started writing my last novel, His Perfect Love. It was just about then that I decided to change my writing style into deep point of view. I began the writing process for that book all over again and finally published it in December 2016.

Now I’m in the process of rewriting my first three novels into my new writing style, which to me is so much better than what I had been doing. Those who read my first three novels said the stories were very good, and they enjoyed them. That’s why I decided redoing them would be worth the time. It will probably take me an entire year to finish all three books, but I know my readers will be happier with them. After I accomplish this, I’ll begin my fifth novel, of which I already have the plot, setting, and characters in mind. 

 

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

As always, Aurora. It is a privilege to be interviewed by you regarding my writing career and novels. God bless you.

 


  Sharon Connells’ current novel: 

his-perfect-love-9x6-print-11-28-16-final-jpg-copy            

Here is the link to my book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/His-Perfect-Love-Sharon-Connell/dp/1505782139/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480876539&sr=1-1

 

And here is the link to my book video for His Perfect Love: https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk 

 


Readers can contact Sharon K. Connell:

 

Sharon’s new Website: http://www.sharonkconnell.com/

I will be starting a newsletter in January, sent to subscribers once a month, so please keep checking the site for the subscribe button. I’d also be pleased if anyone would like to give me their email address so I can include them in the initial subscription. Be a “Chapter Subscriber.” 

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

Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1 

Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell 

Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SharonKConnell 

Blogging on Niume: https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=52569


 

Author Spotlight – Austin Crawley

AOCrawleyWelcome!

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Austin Crawley and I write supernatural Horror stories.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

In school. I was always writing stories when I should have been listening to what the teacher was lecturing about.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Anything and everything. It’s like a release valve for me. I have to write a little every day, even if it’s just a shopping list.

 

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

Specifically supernatural Horror. I have a fascination with worlds we can’t see and have grew up on Twilight Zone, Lovecraft and Stephen King. I like to look behind the curtain of reality and see what strangeness can be teased out of the human imagination.

 

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

The short term goal is to get 25 reviews on my current WIP, just to see if it’s true that Amazon starts recommending it after that. The longer term plan is to make a minor mark on history as a writer with some original ideas.

 

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

Never happens. Sometimes I have to stop and think about where I’m going with a chapter, but I’ve never had a block.

 

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

Get someone to edit for you. Putting out work with mistakes you just can’t see is embarrassing.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

My current work is about an American man who just lost his wife visiting a small English village because of a tabloid story about a black post box that the locals use to send letters to their dead relatives. It’s called Letters To The Damned. I have one other book in print called A Christmas Tale. This one is about three young women who think it would be fun to have a séance and invoke the Christmas ghosts from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. What could go wrong? It’s currently being recorded for audiobook release. I also have a Dystopian series in the works, but it will be a while for that one.

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

 


Contact Austin:

 

Blog: https://austincrawleyblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Austin-Crawley-687952104674224

Twitter: https://twitter.com/austinocrawley

 


Austin Crawley Books:

Front300_A_Christmas_Tale

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Tale-Austin-Crawley/dp/1522753516

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release, October 1, 2016Letters_to_the_damned

 

 

Author Spotlight – Cynthia Morgan

71idXB606lL__UX250_Welcome!

 

 

  1. When did you start writing?

I official began my writing career in June of 2013 when I created my blog, booknvolume.com.  In 2014 I dove into the Indie Author end of the pool when my first book, Dark Fey: The Reviled was published on Kindle, however, I have been writing since I was a child.  In fact, I recently discovered poems, which I wrote to my mother, that were written in crayon. 

 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Nearly anything can Inspire me, but most often it is a striking image/photograph, or a stirring piece of music, a moving scene in a movie/show, and of course the immortal Shakespeare.   Inspiration is a spark drifting on the breeze waiting to ignite the Imagination it touches.

 

 

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

My current WIP is Fantasy/speculative fiction/YA, because the Inspiration that set this particular flame burning began life as fantasy, but I have written in many other genres including Dystopian Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction/Romance, Childrens, and of course Poetry.

 

 

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

As far as a goal or where my writing should take me, I look forward to being able to quit the 9-5er and enjoy a lifelong career as an author, because words are my passion and writing is what I Believe I was meant to do.

 

 

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

Silence is a natural part of the writing process.  I believe writer’s block is simply the spirit of Inspiration recharging within us.  When the silence comes, I think the best thing to do is pause, refocus, and listen.  It may take days, it sometimes takes weeks, but the Spirit of Inspiration speaks loudest when we do not.

 

 

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

I would say be true to you. Write because you love words and you have something worthwhile to say.  Write because painting pictures with words is more intoxicating to you than wine and brings you as much joy.  Write because you long to with all your spirit, not because you think it will make you rich and famous.  15 minutes of fame isn’t very long in comparison to a lifetime of simple pleasures deeply enjoyed.

 

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

The story of Dark Fey is set in a Fantasy Realm, but the message is relative to our own reality.  That The Power of Hope, Acceptance and Forgiveness can change the world, if you take Positive Action to Create Change through doing what is Right.  Another way to look at it is to say:  The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.  This message came partially as a result of learning about the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in Uganda, where militant rebels have been abducting children for over 20 years, integrating them into their army through abuse and cruelty, and forcing them to endure lives of violence.  I was moved to my very spirit by such a horrifying truth and chose this medium to share a similar story. However, unlike our own reality where this atrocity continues even today, the Fey of Jyndari choose to change their world by taking Positive Action through Sacrifice, Acceptance and Forgiveness.   It is my Hope to be able to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Dark Fey to UNICEF’s work in Uganda where they actively rehabilitate the children affected by the LRA.

 

 

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

 


Author Bio:

Cynthia A. Morgan is the creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, which is based, in part, upon the true-life events surrounding the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and draws readers into a mystical realm of primordial forests, magic and the lives of Light-loving and Darkness-revering Feykind.  Not to be confused with pixies or “Tinkerbell” type fairies, the feyfolk of Jyndari are winged beings the size of any human who live in a realm where tradition, magic, and spirituality are fundamentals of everyday life.  Dark Fey has earned many 5 stars reviews, including one of the leading industry review organizations, Readers Favorite.  Compared to a fantasy version of a play by Shakespeare, Dark Fey is a brutally beautiful story of Love, Hope, and finding Peace in the Darkness.  Published by Creativia Publications in January 2015, Dark Fey is already among the top #50 in several Fantasy genre categories on Amazon.

 

Morgan is also the author of the popular blog “Booknvolume” where her ever-increasing number of followers are regularly treated to Morgan’s own brand of poetry, English Sonnets, and musings about life.  She is a current member of the Poetry Society of America; is ranked among the top authors on the Independent Author Network; has had poetry published on numerous poetry websites and is rapidly becoming an Author to keep your eye on.

 

Some of her other interests includes a deep love for animals and the environment.  She is passionate about music and theatre; is frequently heard laughing; finds the mysteries of ancient times, spirituality, and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the cosmos intriguing.  Morgan Believes in the power of Love, Hope and Forgiveness, all of which is reflected in her lyrically elegant writing style.

 

You can find Morgan through social media in the following places:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganBC728

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

Google Plus:

Blog / website: www.booknvolume.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cynthey728

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthia-morgan-7a68a774

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Morgan/e/B00JYJ0NEG

And my Website:  Website http://allthingsdarkfey.wix.com/feyandmusings 

 



Cynthia Morgan’s Books:

 

DF TrueDark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:    http://goo.gl/iRl5pZ
Dark Fey The Reviled on Barnes and Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-reviled-cynthia-a-morgan/1123608621

 

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon

Amazon US –  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018HF4HSA

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018HF4HSA

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/standing-in-shadows-cynthia-a-morgan/1123760716