Darlene Foster is back! Welcome!

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

We want to find out today, what new sides we will unveil:

  1. Is there something on your desk, or in your bag, that you consider a ‘mascot’, or a lucky charm that’s supposed to help you with your writing? What is it, and why?

On the wall above my desk is a collection of pictures of my family that I consider my lucky charm. My family has always been there for me, motivating and encouraging me along the way. Without them, I would probably not have accomplished any writing goals. I live far away from them now, so having their pictures where I can see them as I write lets me know they are watching over me and whispering, keep going!

  • Imagine you wrote your first draft of your book and in the middle, you discover a major plot flaw. What is the first reaction? And how are you going to face the problem and solve it?

My first reaction is to just forget it and start a new story. I find these problems overwhelming initially. After a good cry, I would close the computer and leave it for a few days. Then I would look at the problem with fresh eyes and rework it. There is nothing that can’t be fixed. What doesn’t kill you makes your writing stronger!

  • Some writers are phenomenal storytellers, but they have problems with their networking. What would you recommend they should do?

I love networking but realize not everyone does. I would recommend starting a blog first and foremost. It is the best way to connect with other writers and readers. I know not everyone likes social media but I think it is important that writers have some presence. So pick one or two that you feel comfortable with. Without social media these past two years, I´m not sure what writers would have done to network and sell their work. Of course, face-to-face networking is always the best and in non-pandemic times I would suggest attending writers’ conferences, workshops, and book fairs. Connect with local libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, and arrange a reading and book signing. Always carry a book with you or at least a bookmark or postcard describing your book. I sold books to the person sitting beside me on an airplane because I had a book with me!  

  • What do you think about writer’s contests? Do you participate? If yes, what’s the challenge for you there?

I do submit to writer´s contests but only if there is no cost or a low cost. I have won prizes and have been included in some anthologies because of contests. I like them as they motivate me to come up with new ideas. And working to a deadline is good for a writer.  I must say I entered more of these when I was starting out and needed the motivation. It looks good on your writer’s resume and in your cover letter to a publisher if you have won some prizes. It also gives you validation as a writer that others like your work well enough to give you a prize. The stories that didn´t win a prize can be reworked and submitted elsewhere. I now have enough short stories to compile a collection. I look at entering contests as good practice. I would just stay away from those that ask for a high fee.

  • There are many warnings when it comes to Book Awards. In many cases, you pay a lot for the submission, but it doesn’t really help the marketing or the sales. What do you think about that?

If you win a book award, it does help sales. But the competition is tough. My publisher has submitted my books to a few reputable Book Awards but nothing has come of it. I have not submitted on my own as the cost seems too high. If I did, I would only consider submitting if it was a reputable award.

  • I personally wanted to participate in a ‘Writer’s Conference’ two years ago and lost the money I had paid because the organizer made a major mistake. Do you participate in ‘Writer’s Conferences’? If yes, what’s the excitement for you there? Are there conferences you would recommend?

It´s sad that you were not able to get your money back. I love Writer´s Conferences and have attended many over the years. My favourite is The Surrey International Writer´s Conference in Vancouver BC. Writers from all over the world attend and I have met some amazing people there, including Diana Gabaldon, who writes the Outlander series. A few years back, I had an opportunity to share the first three pages of my first Amanda Travels book to Meg Tilley (author and academy award winning actor) at SIWC. She gave me some suggestions and encouraged me to continue sending out the manuscript. It was just what I needed as I was about to give up on ever being published. The next year I found a publisher willing to publish my books. I have just signed my ninth contract with the same publisher. Every time I attend a conference I leave with new knowledge and great connections. It is a good way to keep abreast of the writing industry as things change all the time. I also attended the Winchester Writer’s Festival in Winchester, England which was great. Once this pandemic is over, I will be attending more conferences.

  • What’s the biggest excitement for you, when you introduce a new book to the public? Please, tell us about it.

Like having a baby, I am always so excited to show off a new book. My publisher does such a fabulous job of the covers too. It just never gets old, that feeling of accomplishment. When readers tell me they are so happy to see there is a new book out, that makes my heart sing. Good reviews get me excited as well. After all the work that goes into writing and publishing a book, it is so satisfying to be able to show it off.

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

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About Darlene:

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/

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Darlene’s Books:

Amanda in Holland https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Holland-Missing-Action-Travels/dp/1771681713/

Amanda in Malta https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Malta-Sleeping-Travels-Adventure/dp/177168237X/

Amanda in New Mexico https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels/dp/1771681209/

Amanda on The Danube  https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Danube-Sounds-Music-Travels/dp/1771681020/

Amanda in Alberta https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Alberta-Writing-Stone-Travels/dp/1771680199/

Amanda in England https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-England-Missing-Novel-Travels/dp/1926760778/

Amanda in Spain https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Spain-Girl-Painting-Travels/dp/1926760557/

Amanda in Arabia https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Arabia-Perfume-Flask-Travels/dp/1926760360/

Amanda in France: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-France-Cathedral-Travels-Adventure-ebook/dp/B09R2JJTN5/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Amanda+in+Malta%2C+Darlene+Foster&qid=1662666031&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Author Spotlight – Marjorie Mallon

Questionnaire for authors:

Welcome!

Thank you so much Aurora for the kind invitation to visit your blog.

Please introduce yourself.

I am a YA paranormal fantasy author who also writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories in multiple genres. I blog about a variety of topics, and review books at my blog: https://mjmallon.com

1.            When did you start writing?

I published my first book about four years ago but have been blogging for about seven years. I think… I lose touch! Lol. I need that reminder from WordPress when they say Congratulations you have been blogging for …. years.

2.            What motivates you to write?

Writing takes you out of yourself. It makes you a much more perceptive person. I like that, I like to see the world in a new light and that fascinates me.

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

I am primarily a YA Fantasy author but I write in multiple genres including horror and ghost short stories, poetry (all types,) and flash fiction (In which I’ve even tried a touch of murder! )

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

To entertain and my goal at the moment is to grow and develop and hopefully get some accolades along the way. Recently, I was delighted to receive two awards from Amazon Influencer and book reviewer N. N. Light who awarded the first book in my Curse of Time series Bloodstone with a finalist in the Fantasy category. She also awarded me finalist in International Author, which was a nice surprise and a welcome one.

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

Rarely, if anything it’s more of a case of trying to stem the flow of ideas from getting too out of hand! But I reckon a good brisk walk using mindfulness techniques – being in the moment – and a touch of eavesdropping does wonders for writer’s block.

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

Stick with it! It is easy to be disheartened and overwhelmed by it all. There’s so much to learn and not just writing wise. Marketing is the worst part for me but with the help of my friends I hope to overcome that. Word of mouth goes a long way, as it does in any marketplace, books are no different. So, big piece of advice make lots of author/blogger and book reviewing friends!

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

My most recent release is the 2nd in The Curse of Time series published by Next Chapter Publishing. 

Golden Healer is The 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

It is a two part series but I may write a third… I’ve left the ending open for that possibility.

Next Chapter Publishing

Golden Healer (The Curse of Time Book 2)

Buying Link:

https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1)

 Buying Link:

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

 

Kyrosmagica Publishing

Mr Sagittarius (Poetry, prose and photography)

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

This Is Lockdown (Anthology/Compilation

Kindle: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity (Poetry Collection)

http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Contributor to:

Writing Skills Anthology

100 Ways to Write A Book compiled by Alex Pearl: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09PHHC2YX/

Chasing Driftwood’s A Year of Writing Through Lockdown: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown/dp/B09JF88YHW/

 

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilations

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre

Scrabble Boy (short story)

Spellbound edited by Dan Alatorre

The Twisted Sisters (short story)

Wings & Fire  edited by Dan Alatorre

The Great Pottoo (short story)

 


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

M J’s motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favourite genre to write is fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!


Connect with Marjorie:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms): https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon – https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

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

Thank you so much Aurora, I really appreciate it.

5 Essential Book Promotion Tools For Every Author – Written By Derek Haines…

Derek Haines informs us about five essential book promotion tools for authors. Thank you so much for your helpful blog post, Derek!


on Just Publishing Advice:

For self-published authors, book promotion is always a challenge.

It takes time to plan your book marketing ideas before your book launch. Then you need to keep the buzz going after you publish a book.

There are many ways to market a book, yet for an indie author, the most critical factor is your time.

You want to get your book noticed by potential readers, but you don’t want to spend all your waking hours trying to sell your book.

In This Article

Time-saving book promotion tools

1. Publisher Rocket
2. Canva
3. SNAP Auto Poster
4. MailChimp
5. Kindlepreneur Book Description Generator

Continue reading HERE

 

kongo.com – Now available – Written By Don Massenzio

Finally it’s available: Kongo.com, the new book by Don Massenzio. From what I read and saw it’s another great book by Don. Read more below.


It’s been a week since my new book, kongo.com, was released. This was an interesting book to write. It contains three novellas that started as serials on my blog. The fourth novella is from an original story that has never been published. The intent of this story is to pull the other three together to show the ultimate goal of this corporation and the truth behind its technology.

In this post, I’m sharing the first part of this story. It’s called 3D life.

3D Life

Continue reading here

Cover Reveal and New Book Announcement – Written By Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio presents us the cover and an excerpt of his new book Kongo.com. I love the cover and the announcement, Don! Well done!


Well, after a great deal of time, effort and procrastination, I am happy to announce my new book, kongo.com, that will be released on

March 29, 2019.

 

Find the entire blog post here:

https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/cover-reveal-and-new-book-announcement/

Best Marketing Strategies for a Long-Tail Book Promotion – Written By Amy Maroney

Amy Maroney provides us with an informative blog post about ‘Long-Tail’ book promotion. Thank you very much for sharing your experience Amy.


Wondering how to build a long-tail book promotion rather than triggering a short-term spike in sales of your self-published books? Non-fiction writer/editor turned historical novelist Amy Maroney asked veteran indie authors for advice on successful book promotions that bring a more lasting effect and shares summary of her findings.

Not long after I published my first novel in 2016, I noticed people in various author groups on Facebook discussing long tails and sell-through.

– As I soon discovered, a long tail is a period of increased sales following a book promotion.

– And sell-through is what happens when readers go on to buy other titles in the author’s backlist.

To continue reading the entire post go to:

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/long-tail-book-promotion/

How to Sell More Books: A Tale of Fishing & Catfishing – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a new educational post about how to sell more books. Thank you very much for all your efforts, Kristen!


How do we sell more books? This is the big question all authors ask (myself included). Obviously, there are countless opinions about how to sell more books, but not all opinions are created equally.

Thus, before we hop onto the latest marketing/promotion fad we’re wise to understand why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. Books are not like cups of coffee or breakfast cereal, and thus require a different approach.

Yes, ads, marketing and promotion campaigns sell toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste because seriously…who is NOT USING this stuff? When it comes to influencing what folks do with their free time, however, it’s a whole other game.

Writers are unique as well. Yes, we really are special unique starfish. And, since we are responsible for producing the product, we need a social media approach that leaves time to write great books.

This said, what’s the critical element that makes a book a mega success? Is it lightning in a bottle? Black magic? Voodoo? Can we buy it on Amazon? Is it banned in Georgia?

To continue reading Kristen’s blog, go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2019/02/how-to-sell-more-books-a-tale-of-fishing-catfishing/

Time Travel – A Recurring Theme in Science Fiction

Read what Author Don Massenzio has to say about time travel. As a successful author this subject is quite familiar to him. Thank you very much for your very educational blog post, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented in fiction:

Watercolor dreamcatcher with beads and feathers. Illustration fo

  1. Precognition – This is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through…

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