Author Spotlight – Amanda Forry-Fino

1.            When did you start writing?

Since I was thirteen years old and homeschooled, my writing has been one of my forms of relief. When I self-published my first book when I was 23, everything fell together. 

2.            What motivates you to write?

Throughout my life, many people have asked me to write about my life, as well as how I coped with my Cerebral Palsy and conquered it. To me, having CP means that I have to overcome it each day. Writing it was very challenging for me because I knew I never wanted to return to what I had experienced in my past. I was also inspired because I would like to see people without disabilities treat people with disabilities like them.

other than that…

Because of Cerebral Palsy, I have a speech impairment, which is why I write. It’s my way of expressing myself.

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

I tend to write in the romance genre. I always have been a hopeless romantic daydreamer when I was younger but now I’m older, adding true crime, forbidden love to my romantic storyline mix. Hey, who says that evil bad guy doesn’t have soul-mates. LOL

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

When I started out, my goal was to become a best-selling author with movies and TV shows based on my work. Life had happened and I decided to go and became a Certified Disability Self Advocate,  I’m trying my best to become one of the voices of those who, through disability, cannot speak for themselves. I am not out for myself; I’m out for that friend who went into an institution for life because of her CP. And that friend who can’t talk or walk, who uses a wheelchair and his iPad to communicate. I hope to make a positive impact through my new book “Living Strong With Cerebral Palsy,” and continue writing under a pseudonym, Sasha Fino- “Getting My Sexy On.”

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

Several years ago, I suffered from writer’s block. I dropped the ball with my pen name of Alexandra Forry. During that time, I was in a dark place. Yet, I met another author, and with their help, I wrote ‘Blue Bell’ and published it.

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

There is a sorry inside of you. Don’t let anyone stop you from writing. Nothing or no one ever gets in your way to publishing your book.

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

In total, there are eight books that I have written, Living Strong with Cerebral Palsy and Cerebral Palsy Gal, my first attempt at a children’s book by me, Amanda. Under my pseudonym, Sasha Fino, Omerta: Journey to the Past, Kingpin, My Vega Confessions, Sedona’s Heart, and Blue Bell; a Dark Academy Romance. One is a short story in Witchy Wonders anthology that was out for a limited time. Each book is special to me for different reasons, so I can’t choose my favorite.

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

No thank you for having me here!


Learn more about Amanda

Greetings, my name is Amanda Forry-Fino, and I’m a Disability Self Advocate. The book entitled Cerebral Palsy Gal is part of the Living Strong with CP series and is the second book in the series. This is my first attempt at a children’s book. Also, being an active member of the Training Alumni Association (T.A.A.)—an association of graduates of the Partners in Policymaking program and the Youth Leadership Academy supported by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities to facilitate grassroots advocacy. Being a proud graduate of this year’s class of 2020.

While writing under a pen name, I have published numerous novels and short stories. I enjoy spending time with my mom and our dog Mila while watching good films noir with my dad.


Find Amanda Here

cpgal.com


Amandas Books

Returning Author Aurora Jean Alexander of Southern California – By Allan Hudson

In December 2018, I was lucky to be a guest on the ‘South Branch Scribbler’, author Allan Hudson’s blog. Back then, I introduced ‘Soul Taker’, the first book in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. Today Allan Hudson allows me to talk about the series, books two and three, Sundance and Demon Tracker, and of course, book four, Bounty Hunter. Thank you very much, Allan!


Aurora visited us last in December of 2018 when she published the first book in The Council of Twelve series – Soul Taker. We chatted about the book, the series, childhood memory, and her exceptional website/blog – The Writer’s Treasure Chest, and she shared an excerpt from Soul Taker. If you missed it, please go HERE.

A lot has happened since then, and we are beyond happy to have Aurora back. She is kind enough to answer a few more questions and share an excerpt from Bounty Hunter.

Aurora Jean Alexander grew up in a family involved in politics and was blessed with an excellent education in several countries. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in BA. Currently, she lives in Southern California, all by herself, with three cats. A. J. Alexander is the author of ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, with three published books. The fourth book will be published soon.

4Q: Let’s start off with your newest book, Aurora. Demon Tracker has a fantastic cover. It’s generating a lot of excitement. What can a reader expect when they pick up your novel?

AJ: Demon Tracker is the third book in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series and introduces Zepheira to the reader. Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the good side. She is hired by ‘The Big 7’ to find a lost demon and angel and find them quickly before the angel will be lost forever. During her assignment, she meets Archangel Uriel, the ‘Fire-Angel,’ and gets involved in the eternal fight Good versus Evil.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Author Spotlight – Chiara Talluto

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

“I’m not a bestselling author, I’m just a ‘nobody’ who uses storytelling to encourage others to find their purpose and save their souls.”

 Hello, my name is Chiara Talluto. I’m a wife, busy mom, author, and a woman after God’s heart. As I ponder this declaration, I find it more appropriate to claim that I am a woman after God’s heart first. He has given me a gift of writing, and I honor Him through my written works.

People often ask what kind of writing I do. I tell them… I write Inspirational/Christian drama empowering women to discover their faith, use perseverance to overcome adversity, and become heroes of their own destinies. I also write middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales to encourage girls in developing strong morals and values, and to always stand up for what is right.

My family often tells me that I am the Master Storyteller in our household because I have a passion for writing about people who struggle with decisions and conflicts that arise in their lives.

In the last six years, I’ve been blessed to have published four books:  A Christian Romance, Love’s Perfect Surrender, two middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales: Petrella, the Gillian Princess and A Tribute to Tulipia, and an Inspirational fiction, She Made It Matter.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

 During my pre-teens, I began reading. I loved the Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys books. The library was a couple miles away and I rode my bike to and from almost every day, I couldn’t get enough of the stories. I began keeping a journal at the age of eleven, and soon enough, I began writing poems. My love for the written word was sparked by all that reading. It wasn’t until my late teens that I discovered Danielle Steele novels and began to pen stories of my own. I continued writing longer prose as much as I could during a prosperous career as a Human Resources Recruiter, and then as an Instructional Designer. I received many awards and accolades for my accomplishments, and my work responsibilities grew, but there was something missing. I began to devote less and less time to my joy of writing. And soon, my creativity began to suffer. It wasn’t until after much soul-searching and some tough decision-making that I finally left the corporate world to start writing full-time. That was fifteen years ago. You could say I had a “premature midlife crisis”. Today, I am the CEO of my home, practicing wife to my husband, mommy to our two daughters, and writer of all things that need to be put on paper.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

 I often tell people I have two addictions: reading and writing. I feel restless and empty when I can’t read fiction, write my deepest thoughts in my journal, or even write down story ideas. Writing calms me, centers me, and provides a healthy outlet for my communication with imaginary friends.

I write for the euphoric desire and need to transfer spiraling thoughts into words that move people emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I love taking everyday life situations and circumstances that people encounter, struggle and conquer, and turn it into creative storylines.

I balance my writing by doing one project at a time. That is, completing that “one” particular project. I can be writing, reading, editing many things at the same time, but once I know what I’m going to do with a writing project, I set a goal to complete it to the end.

 

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

Sometimes this is a hard topic to answer. You see, I don’t want to be stuck in any particular genre, but I know my strong Catholic-Christian faith is what drives my writing. God has given me a talent to write and I write what He desires of me.

I never set out to be a writer, or a Christian writer for that matter, it just happened. It’s who I am and who I was meant to be. Writing is my outlet, a spilling of emotions, random thoughts, and imaginary characters that consume my mind twenty-four hours a day. I need to write, just like I need to eat, exercise, and breathe.

 

 

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

 I enjoy stories about human complexities. I like real-life stories, and have been drawn to writings that have a biblical theme, are motivational, and encouraging. I tell honest and compelling stories. I write relatable tales about ordinary people struggling with extraordinary challenges.

I’ve been told from others…” delve into challenging, emotional topics like miscarriage, adoption, challenged/physical disfigurements, alcoholism, bullying, going against family authority, etc.

My editor says…”tone-setting and picture-perfect.”

I’d like to use my stories to encourage female readers to explore their faith and believe they are worthy of this life to make a difference. Those readers who aren’t afraid to be challenged in everyday life. Those willing to sacrifice for the good of others, those readers who are struggling with life decisions and want to be inspired to change, grow, and leave tire marks. After all, we have just one life to live.

 

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

 Yes, writer’s block has happened on more than several occasions. Sometimes it lasts for days, other times it lasts for months. What I do is not fret, but immerse myself in other projects, like blog writing, or short stories, writing prompts, and I try to read more. I also carry a notebook wherever I go, you never know when inspiration hits and you have to write it down.

 

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

Keep on reading. Read many different types of books and authors.  See how others weave a tale. Write all the time too. Hone your craft. Make your words and story, yours, and yours alone.  Practice does make progress. And give yourself Grace to stumble because that will make you a better human.

  

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

 Straight from my Press Release:

From the three-time Five Star Readers’ Favorite REVIEW RECIPIENT, Chiara Talluto, author of Love’s Perfect  Surrender, Petrella, the Gillian Princess, and A Tribute To Tulipia, comes the highly anticipated release of She Made It Matter, an inspirational drama.

She Made It Matter is a compelling tale of one woman’s fight to regain sobriety, find salvation, and earn forgiveness after years of guilt from being abandoned by her mother and then losing her brother to cancer, a struggle to vanquish the demons of her past and make her life right again.

This story tackles the difficult subjects of family abandonment, alcohol abuse, and food dependencies; compulsions and addictions caused by the trauma of one’s past.

Amanda Reynolds is vulnerable. Like most humans we err and make mistakes, and harbor grudges and secrets that can create huge reservoirs of pain if not addressed. Amanda is stuck in the past, and stuck in the pain, and the only way to cope with it is alcohol.

WHILE WRITING the story, Chiara thought about her own idols and addictions and how she could break them. She thought about how a person with a perfect life is able to throw it all away over something that consumes their mind and body. She thought about a person who cannot move forward because of horrible past experiences. She pondered the ongoing domestic abuse and abandonment of children in our society. Most importantly, Ms. Talluto thought about the human condition, and the temptations that can lure one in the wrong direction.

Ms. Reynolds has to face her fears and QUASH the demons of her past so that she can live again. It is a daring attempt to confront things head on. But, we are encouraged to know that tough situations don’t last long; BUT tough people do.

… The work ABOUT addiction is heart-breakingly accurate, delivering a realistic emotional quality which both endears Amanda to us as a character and also teaches important real life lessons about the judgments we often place on people who are alcohol dependent… (K.C. Finn from Readers’ Favorite)

… Author Chiara Talluto gives the reader a realistic tale of someone searching for a purpose, for validation that they mean something, that they are worth more than just being left or abandoned… (Michelle Randall from Readers’ Favorite)

She Made It Matter is available in print and electronic editions everywhere books are sold. More information on the author and all her writings can be found at www.chiaratalluto.com.

She Made It Matter Book Jacket Synopsis

 Don’t turn back. Begin anew.

Thirty-six-year-old Amanda Reynolds has it all. She has a loving, successful husband, two beautiful daughters and a perfect, manicured home in a quaint suburb of Chicago.

But demons hide where no one looks and Amanda’s past is full of them—she’s addicted to alcohol. The reasons for her addiction have been buried for years.

One horrifying day, suppressed memories resurface and Amanda drinks herself into a stupor in front of her daughters. Waking up in the hospital, the realization is clear: get clean or lose everything.

Amanda sets off on a daring journey taking her across the US in an attempt to vanquish the demons that have plagued her life.

Will Amanda defeat her alcohol addiction?

Will her family forgive her?

Can she break away from her past, find her self-worth, and restart again?

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


Connect with the author: 

Website: www.chiaratalluto.com

amazon.com/author/chiaratalluto

http://www.facebook.com/ChiaraTallutoAuthor

Twitter: @ChiaraTalluto

#ReadLocalAuthor –https://hometownreads.com

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Chiara+Talluto

Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/rfreviews/search?search=chiara+talluto

Authorsden: http://www.authorsden.com/chiaratalluto


Chiara’s Book:

Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/she-made-it-matter-chiara-talluto/1137747331?ean=9781734823707

 

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/She-Made-Matter-Chiara-Talluto/dp/1734823704/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1602518270&sr=1-1

 

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1044555

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Kevin Morris

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself.

I was born in the city of Liverpool on 6 January 1969.

Having attended Saint Vincents School for the Blind in Liverpool, and the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, I went on to read history and politics at University College of Swansea.

Having graduated with a BA (joint honours) in history and politics, and an MA in political theory, I moved to London in 1994 where I now live and work.

Being blind and unable to read print, I use software called Job Access with Speech (JAWS) which converts text into speech and braille, enabling me to use a Windows laptop. All of my poems are written using JAWS.

When did you start writing?

I began writing seriously in 2012-2013, although I do remember composing a poem entitled “The Snake” whilst at school in Liverpool. I recollect that it began, “slithering through the wet grass comes the snake”.

What motivates you to write?

I enjoy the act of writing (the creation of poems). Indeed I sometimes believe that I have an itch which must be scratched, for when I do not write for a few days I feel a compulsion to put virtual pen to virtual paper.

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

Most of my writing falls within the genre of poetry. I recollect with great pleasure leafing through works of poetry such as “Palgrave’s Golden Treasury” and “The Oxford Book of English Verse” in the school library. Reading these anthologies kindled in me a love of poetry which has stayed with me ever since, and has grown over the years.

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

I write for the joy of the craft. I hope also that my poetry gives pleasure to others and perhaps encourages those unfamiliar with poetry to read more poetry. As for dreams, I am delighted that a number of my poems will be published in a forthcoming anthology of verse. Whilst I have, myself published several poetry collections, it is wonderful to know that my poems will appear alongside the work of other poets in an anthology.

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

Fortunately I rarely suffer from writer’s block (he says touching wood)! However, when tired I turn off my computer as I know that if I do manage to write, what is written is likely to be of inferior quality.

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

I would say to new authors “believe in yourself. By all means listen to what others have to say about your work and learn from that. But, ultimately you have to rely on your own judgement. If someone tells you to change something (and you believe that it works as written) then trust your own judgement. Also read widely”.

Please, tell us about your work.

Many of my poems (perhaps the majority) are written in my home which overlooks an historic park in the Upper Norwood area of Greater London. Norwood derives it’s name from The Great North Wood, and is still possessed of many fine trees.

I have written many poems inspired by the area in which I live, including the below poem which is entitled “The Path Through the Woods”:

 

“The path taken less often than I should,

This tranquil place through a nearby wood.

A spot with trees for walls

Where sunlight through the branches falls.

An oasis from the urban din

I find a quiet place within.

An inner space where the heart can be still,

A peaceful spot on this wooded hill.

The path to the road ascends.

A cloud of gloom on me descends.

I must return to this rented land

Where advertising hordings stand.

A world where empty vessels make most noise,

And people play with broken toys.”

—–

(Copyright Kevin Morris – Please respect the author’s right on his own word)


Kevin Morris’ Books:

“The Selected Poems of K Morris”, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WW8WXPP/.

 

 

 

 

 

“Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems”, https://www.amazon.com/Light-Shade-serious-not-poems-ebook/dp/B08B4X3GVX/


Connect with Kevin Morris:

Author website, https://kmorrispoet.com/

Twitter, https://twitter.com/drewdog2060_

Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879063.K_Morris

Author Spotlight – Steve Anderson

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

I’m Steve Anderson, a ten year veteran of the US Navy, a world traveler, and lately, a teller of tales.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

At age twelve, my father gave me a manual typewriter.  I wrote my first fantasy story with it to go with a map I had drawn of a magical world.  I wrote on and off while on active duty, and as a personal past time after leaving the service, but I didn’t get serious about writing until 2017.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

The sheer joy of creating a compelling story.  Having an immersive world is nice for the reader to escape their daily life.  Connecting to characters, living through their struggles, and their victories reaches deeper into what makes us human than escapism in general.  I like to provide both.

 

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

Both Science Fiction and Fantasy, but my focus for the past year has been exclusively Fantasy.  Specifically, the contemporary fantasy world I’ve been building.

 

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

It may sound anachronistic, but I want to spread hope.  My stories involve perseverance despite overwhelming odds.  My protagonists exude hope the way Lady Liberty holds her torch.  I’d like my writing to reach a broad audience, but mostly, I just want to share my stories with like-minded readers who seek a little bit of awe and wonder in their reading.

 

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

I don’t believe in writer’s block.  I can always write; it may not always be great and may throw a night’s work away after I’m done.  I still believe it’s essential for this author to write every day.  I wrote over a million words in the past two years because I believe that a writer’s job is to write.  When I got serious about the novel I wrote I finished it in five weeks.  For me, writer’s block is a sign that I’m struggling to overcome how to present an idea or a scene in a story, not that I can’t write at all.

  

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? Write.  Don’t focus on craft to the exclusion of your voice.  If you write enough, your voice will come through, and you can learn the craft as you go.  The most important thing is to put words on the page.  You can make them pretty, or horrifying, or technically correct after they are out, but until then, they are just ideas in your mind.  The world needs to hear those ideas, and you alone hold the key to their freedom.

  

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

My work is expansive.  I have six short stories set in the same world as my first novel, Fantastic America.  The premise is that magic has always existed, but was largely absent throughout recorded human history.  It came back on December 21st, 2012.  The world didn’t end, but it changed forever.

Fantastic America looks at how people react to the return of magic, through the lens of a reporter caught up in those changes.  She doesn’t believe everything about magic is evil, despite prevailing wisdom to the contrary.  Her antagonist is a federal agent willing to do anything to prevent the miracles, monsters, and magic representing those changes from tearing apart the world he knew before the solstice.  He’s like a modern-day little Dutch boy trying to hold back the ocean with his finger.  What neither of them know, is that a dark and deranged killer has learned to harness magic to unleash a killing spree that will affect both of them and the world at large.

That’s just the first book.  It gets weirder from there!

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


Steve’s Books:

 


Meet the Author:

I’m originally from Raleigh, NC, but now live in Ottumwa, Iowa.  I’ve traveled all over the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  My hobbies include sharing drinks and good food with friends, gaming, studying history, and collecting comic books since age five.  I’ve been a sailor, a security guard, a tax preparer, an insurance salesman, a telemarketer, a DJ, and a bar manager.  Traveling and doing, I’ve seen a lot and love telling stories, some true, some not.  Which is which?  You decide!


Connect with the Author:

www.renegade-galaxy.com  And soon: www.thesorcerersrealm.com

https://www.facebook.com/ReneGalaxy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-anderson-1b371810/

https://www.pinterest.com/sea52501/

Interview With One Of My Characters V

Hello Zepheira. It’s so great to have you here.

Hi AJ. It’s nice of you to invite me. I love your little office. And the kitties, of course. *laughs*

 

Now, Zye. You met your husband, a while ago. We all read how you two fell in love and got married. How is married life?

Well, it’s more or less what Katie told me it would be. Of course, I’m still a Demon Tracker, working for the ‘Council Of Twelve’. I love what I do and I’m very proud they haven’t ‘reduced’ me to be a ‘housewife’ at this point. But additionally my regular work I had to take over quite a part of my work as a consort. And these tasks are specific.

 

Can you tell us what is expected of an Archangel consort?

Consorts aren’t just glorified Archangel groupies. We ladies are a part of our husbands. We are their connection to their troops, to their commanders, and their subordinates. We are expected to take care of them, look out for their wellbeing, function as their point of contact if there is a problem. And we aren’t talking about a military strategic flaw, we are talking about personal problems. Often we function as psychologists, we help, advice, comfort and they know they can count on us. Of course, there has been the one or other case when a subordinate has tried to befriend us, hoping he’s getting chances to be promoted. But that’s not what we are there for. Often we organize our husband’s meetings, training, calendars, management, guards, and many more things…

 

We can read about you and your husband’s romance in the ‘Demon Tracker’ book. Will you tell us just a little about it?

Of course. My hubby’s Big Seven have demanded my services as a Demon Tracker after one of them has been killed and disappeared. They needed to save her soul, otherwise, it would be lost to the evil side. I helped them to find her, and during that process, I met Archangel Uriel. He is an enormously strong Archangel, one of the oldest Archangels in existence. The case was quite difficult to solve and during my research, another problem came up. I took a great risk to finish my assessment and solve that problem…

 

Do you recommend reading the book?

*laughs* I definitely do. It’s an interesting adventure and also, Uriel and I meeting is quite romantic, actually. Read the book. And keep in mind – there’s more to come!

 

Get Demon Tracker here:

Amazon US Ebook
Amazon US Paperback
Amazon UK Ebook
Amazon UK Paperback
Amazon DE Ebook
Amazon DE Paperback
Smashwords
Apple Books
Barnes & Noble 
Kobo

 

 

 

Demon Tracker Blog Tour – DAY 1 – The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

The Story Reading Ape starts by posting a little interview with me on his blog, then he shows ‘Demon Tracker’ with description and excerpt. Thank you very much, Story Reading Ape! Your ongoing support means a lot to me!


 

 

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I’m reading on a Kindle Paperwhite

Describe your desk
I have a computer desk with a laptop and an extra monitor, a multifunctional printer device and books, papers, paper sketchbooks and pens, pens, pens.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My upbringing does not have any influence on my writing. I’m writing fantasy and paranormal romance.

When did you first start writing?
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.

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

I’m The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Featured Author Today

Lately, I was interviewed for the website of the Paranormal Romance Guild and was informed that the interview would be on the website today. Thank you very much for the great feature, Paranormal Romance Guild! I’m very excited!


Interview with AJ Alexander
by Sherry Perkins

AJ Alexander — author, poet, lover of Maine coon cats. Don’t know what a Maine coon cat is? It’s a ball of fur with attitude. But I digress…I met AJ through the Paranormal Romance Guild and an incidental Facebook encounter where she was holding the Halloween poetry contest she sponsors every year. She was looking for contest judges. I volunteered.
To be honest, I’d also been following her blog, “Writer’s Treasure Chest,” for quite a while as well. AJ’s blogs are filled with goodies such as writing and marketing advice, the occasional bit of comedic relief and even pictures of Maine coon cats. But more than that, she’s a writer who loves what she does — whether it’s novellas, poetry or paranormal romance and fantasy — and it shows.

She took a minute away from promoting her newest book, “Demon Tracker,” to answer a few questions.

1. Short stories, poetry, and novels–which is your favorite to write, and why?

I love writing novels (and novellas, in my case), and also, I write poetry, some of which I published on my blog “Writer’s Treasure Chest.” I enjoy the flow of the words and the rhymes when I write poetry. I could get carried away within the verses. The novel writing is my true passion. I have a straight plot; then I start knitting the “side-stories,” put my pen on the paper and start writing. Often there is even another one or two more side stories or unexpected characters coming up. I love the creating of worlds, weaving my imagination with the characters, and see how they develop.
All this is rarely possible with short stories. I’m not saying they’re a terrible thing, but they need a lot of planning to get one entire story inside of around 7,500 words. I love it to be carried away by the story, and it is almost a punishment to limit my fantasy into a word-frame.

CONTINUE READING HERE

My Interview In Sharon K. Connell’s Newsletter

This week I got Sharon K. Connell’s Newsletter where she published my interview. I’m very grateful for that interview and I love how she showed me and my books. Thank you very much, Sharon!

To subscribe to Sharon’s Newsletter click HERE


A. J. Alexander is a talented classical musician who has won several music contests in her youth. She is an accomplished skier and loves to swim, amongst other sports.

She works for a global corporation as a part of the management team and travels a lot, also internationally.

A.J. Alexander lives in Southern California with her three beautiful active and demanding cats. In her rare free time, she loves to meet friends or go for long nature walks.

A. J. learned reading and writing at the age of four and realized quite early in her education that she loves painting pictures with words. During her school time, she won poetry as well as short story contests. Later on, she participated in writing and poetry workshops to learn the craft. During her time at university, her education as a writer turned toward creative as well as journalistic writing. A. J. published several poems and short stories under a pen name.

Currently, she is working on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, her first book in the series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018, the second book, ‘Sundance’ is on the market since August 2019 and the third book in the series will be published in spring 2020. Writing fantasy books has always been her dream, and she looks forward to sharing her work with her audience. The need to write a novel had been nesting in her head for quite some time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.J. Alexander descends from an internationally extended, politically and entrepreneurially active family and was privileged to enjoy an excellent international education. In her spare time she volunteers for charity events, fights for animal rights and when needed serves as an interpreter to help great causes.

So now, let’s get into my interview.

What is the first book that made you cry?
Oh, I remember that day as it was yesterday. In the book, I read there was this beautiful, strong black stallion supporting our hero, and the horse died. I cried hot tears.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If it would exhaust me, I’d not be a writer.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The ‘need’ to become published as quickly as possible. Within that process, they just ‘leave out’ a few steps and don’t have a book at the end but some amateurish, poor result of a sloppy but fast project.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
In a way both. I am working on a book series, ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. But I don’t want people to be ‘lost’ when they have the chance to buy book three in the series, I still want them to feel comfortable with the book and enjoy the read without the feeling of having missed something they should have read. I’d like each book to stand on its own as well as being part of the series. That’s my dream.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start networking earlier.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It did slow my process down since I had to take far more time for marketing now.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I think I was about ten years old when I realized how powerful words are. Ever since then I tried to use them wisely. As much as they hold – they also can kill.

Do you base your characters on real people?
Not entirely no. Some of my characters do have certain habits, speak in a particular manner of people I know or resemble them a bit. But my characters are fictional and that’s how I like it.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Six. Book 4 to 8 and an additional few stories in the series are either with the copyright lawyer, with the editor, I’m still working on them or are waiting until I pick up my work on them.

How many hours a day do you write?
That depends on what else I do. I cannot live off writing – I do have a job.

What did you edit out of your most recent work?
That was a part I like very much while I drafted the book. But during my work to type the draft into the computer, re-reading that paragraph, it just seems enormously awkward and does not really belong there anymore. I therefore deleted the entire paragraph.

Boy, have I been there, AJ. And it just kills you to have to do surgery on something that sounded so good when you write it, too.

How do you select the names of your characters?
First I pick names that I think match the character’s look. I search for them online, important to me is normally the meaning of the name and the origin. If I find the first names I like, normally I pick about 12 to 15 names, then I start doing the very same thing with the last names. After that, I start limiting the lists to the six or seven I like the most. I list the first names on the left, the last names on the right side, then I ‘connect’ the names that sound the best to me and combine the perfect meaning for my character. And that will be the name.

What are you working on now?
Currently, I work on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series and usually I work on several books at once. For example, I type in the drafted book seven right now – to the same time I write additional stories and book 8.

Who is your favorite author?
There are so many talented authors, it is very hard to pick one.

What is your all-time favorite novel?
Shogun

In what genre do you write?
Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

AJ, I’d like to thank you for being a part of my newsletter this month. I know my readers have enjoyed getting to know a little more about you.

Readers, if you’d like to contact AJ about her books, writing, or to find out even more about her, check out her links below.

Contact Links:

https://m.facebook.com/AuthorAJAlexander/
http://www.aurorajeanalexander.com/
https://www.instagram.com/aurorajeanalexander/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurorajeanalexander/
https://mobile.twitter.com/AuroraJean_A
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/authorajalexander
https://www.pinterest.com/authorauroraj/
https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Alexander/e/B07KVQCHVZ
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AJAlex
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-j-alexander-1051e4da-dbd9-4505-9423-a3a7bf9c88dc
aurorajean.alexander@aol.com

Books Links:
Link Soul Taker https://books2read.com/u/m2roOj
Link Sundance https://books2read.com/u/mgGGeX

Subscribe to A. J.’s Newsletter:

http://eepurl.com/bIOy-n

Soul Taker Secrets: Interview With Nathan – Who Is He And Do We Meet Him Again?

To the readers of ‘Soul Taker,’ Nathan is a known character. He only shows up briefly at the beginning of the story. He takes Katie’s spot when she accepts her new tasks as a Guardian.

If you haven’t read ‘Soul Taker’ yet, it is time to read: I added the universal link where the book is available.

https://books2read.com/u/m2roOj

 

Below you will find an interview with Nathan. Read it and find out more about an Angel we only know by name – and by a perfectly tailored suit.

Excerpt from ‘Soul Taker’:

He looked over my shoulder, and I turned around, watching two beautiful looking men walking toward us. One of them was dressed in a suit and tie and looked elegant and chic like a businessman. The other one wore old jeans, cowboy boots, and a long-worn leather coat.

Joseph smiled. He introduced me to the business-like guy. “This is Nathaniel. He’s your replacement and will take your job over from here.”

The Guy shook my hand. “Please, call me Nate,” he said with a laugh.


Hello Nathan. It is great seeing you again. How are you doing?

Hello AJ. Nice to see you too. I’m doing okay. Unfortunately, I’m far too busy. Sometimes I wish I had more time off.

 

We know you took over from Katie when she wanted to become a Guardian and met Raphael. 

Yes, I did. I was quite surprised to hear the two fell in love. I was invited to their wedding but unfortunately couldn’t go because of an emergency.

 

Why were you surprised? From what I hear, Katie is breathtakingly beautiful, and Raphael, from what I heard, has celebrated quite some success with the ladies.

Yes, but we were taught that it is almost impossible for an Archangel to find his consort.  Raphael found his consort, and now we all are curious to see who of the Council Of Twelve is going to be next.

 

How about you? Is there someone special in your life?

I admit, there is someone I love. But I am not permitted to talk more about all that, remember? You told me to keep my mouth shut about that.

(Oh, yes. *AJ laughs* I forgot)

 

But now, tell us a little bit about you. Who is Nathan?

I am a Soul Taker, as you know. I have been one for about a millennium. I pick up souls and take them to their respective final destinations. Usually, it is Heaven, but occasionally I have to take them to the gates of Hell. Rarely we Soul Takers are attacked by the other side who try to steal the soul we are working with.

 

Now, we know Katie got tired of doing this job for three hundred years. Aren’t you tired out by that job?

Well, Katie and I are two completely different personalities. She is younger than I am, for one thing. Also, she is quite emotionally sensitive. I could easily imagine that a soul she takes to the portals of the Underworld is trashing, crying, regretting, screaming, is almost breaking her heart.

And we shouldn’t forget: We are taking all kinds of souls… not only bad ones, not only good ones, and in particular, we do have to pick up innocent souls too. That was very hard on Katie.

I had to harden my emotions and heart against this kind of compassion, or I could never have done that job to my satisfaction and the satisfaction of my bosses.

 

We met you briefly in Katie’s story. And now we learned a bit more about who you are. Are we going to meet you again?

Yes, you will meet me again. You will learn more about me. Just be a bit patient. I’ll be back.

 

Thank you so much for dropping in as my guest today, Nathan. We really appreciate it.

Thanks for having me. It was my pleasure.


Picture courtesy of Pinterest.com