Author Spotlight – Lynda McKinney Lambert

Welcome on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

1. When did you start writing?

I was working on a BFA degree in Painting. One requirement for this degree is intensive writing courses in Art History. I quickly discovered that I loved doing research and writing papers. During the 4 years I took many intensive writing courses in a variety of other subjects in addition to taking every art history course that was offered at the university. When I began a course in poetry, I was hooked for life. I did not have the courage to enter my poetry in the English Department’s literary magazine, but my first publications were my photographs and art works.

When I began work on the MFA degree in Painting, I started getting my poetry published regularly in a variety of literary magazines. Each publication was like winning a prize. I was addicted to getting my work published. I’ve never stopped since that first publication in 1989.

2. What motivates you to write?

I am self-motivated to create art and writing. Creativity is my normal state of mind. I am always thinking about the act of making. I believe some people are makers, from birth. It is intuitive and subconscious in the early years of developing the practice of making.

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

Poetry is my primary focus. Excellent poetry is a work of art. It is visual and is an object on a page, just like a painting is on a canvas.
There is such an exquisite beauty I see when writing or reading a good poem! I write exactly how I create art, in layers. This is also how I write non-fiction essays. Non-fiction is my passion. I seldom read fiction. It is not in my wheelhouse.

In my poetry, I take away distractions such as
little words that take up space and are unnecessary. I also remove most punctuation. I want the reader to be a creator and be free to read as she chooses. I don’t put up road blocks and stop signs by using punctuation. The reader will create meaning and be creative in the reading of my poems.

I eliminate every possible word that is not crucial to the finished piece. But, at the same time, I use words that give strong visual pictures of what I am focused on in that piece. I want my reader to see pictures as they read.

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

My goal is to keep it simple, uncluttered, and unfettered.

When completed, I cast my bread upon the waters, and see what returns.

I create the work, and I send it out to editors for publication.
My work is not complete until it has a reader. The goal is always publication because I want to connect with readers.

I always have dreams and I set my intentions at the beginning of each year. I don’t set goals – I set intentions In January, I choose one word that will be reflective of what I want to do or achieve that year. This year, my One Word is “SHINE.” I’ve done this for the past 5 years, and it works far better than goal setting for me. I also believe and practice, “Dreaming Prayer,” which I talk about in my latest book.

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

I’ve never known what it would be like to have “writers block.” Creating work in writing or art is something I am compelled to do intuitively.
This phrase is not in my vocabulary.

I set my intentions and I follow them throughout the year. Writing is a matter of sitting down and beginning to scribble. The more I think about scribbling the more I like it. This is where it all begins for me as an artist and writer. I scribble my way to content and it is an adventure. Writing is a sport.
I show up for practice.

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

Become like a child again. You already know how to write you just may have forgotten what you already know. Begin to recapture what you knew as a little child. It is all there for you to discover.
Pick up your pen or pencil, or your keyboard, and let your hands begin to fly.
Scribble. Scribble. Scribble.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

My themes are: nature, literature, art, mythology, and the journey of life that we all experience. I am inspired by the creation story and in particular by Genesis 1:14 where God created humankind to be a reflection of Himself. This means, to me, that we humans are image bearers of the Divine, and I search for it when I am writing my stories & poems.

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems is a collection of stories that are a journey through a year from January through December. Each chapter is a month of the year. Each chapter opens with a poem that introduces the theme of that Month.

My stories are presentations of ordinary as well as supernatural events that happen in the lives of individuals. Intertwined into the stories is the historical context of the place, individual, or history of people such as:

_an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease, who is hosting her final Christmas Eve family party at her home
_two sisters who stop on their way home from school, along a rural road, to gather violets.
_a steelworker’s family with 4 children and preparations for their Christmas Day in the 1950s in western Pennsylvania
_a university art professor who taught an unforgettable drawing class

Through my stories and poems, I celebrate the beauty of individual lives

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


Who is Lynda?

Lynda McKinney Lambert is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities. She began writing full-time in 2008, after she retired due to profound sight loss. She has Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, and uses adaptive technologies for the blind to create her work. She has not allowed sight loss to define her life.

Lynda’s writings appear in literary magazines, anthologies, and books.
She is the published author of 2 full-length books.
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage ~ a collection of poems and journal entries, Kota Press, 2002.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017.


Connect with Lynda:

Visit my 2 Blogs:
Website & Blog: Walking by Inner Vision – my Author’s blog
Scan-A-Blog – A quiet Place of Inspiration. We love Art, Nature, Literature

On FaceBook:
My FaceBook Personal Page
River Road Studio Page
Walking by Inner Vision Page
My SCAN-A- BLOG Page
My Author’s Page

Contact Lynda:

riverwoman@zoominternet.net
Address: 104 River Road, Ellwood City, PA 16117


Lynda’s books:

Buy the Kindle book on Amazon – for $3.99
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the book on Amazon – Click Here!

 

Author Spotlight – Alethea Kehas

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

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

2. What motivates you to write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Please, tell us about your work.

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

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


Alethea Bio:

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


Connect with Alethea:

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


Alethea’s Books:

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 


 

How Much Should You Spend On Self-Publishing Your Book?

Jen Owenby, Author, has provided us with an interesting infographic on how much we should/could spend on a self-published book. In particular for new authors this is so valuable! Thank you very much Jen!!

Jens Thoughts

how_-much_to_chargeI received an article with this information and wanted to share. Although I didn’t use Reedsy for editing and my book cover, I found I fell within most of the pricing ranges.

One thing I didn’t see on this infographic was the Q&A time with the editor. I certainly had questions as I moved through the process and the last thing I wanted was to be left hanging if my editor said, “this doesn’t work in the plot.” I’ve worked with previous editors who would make a comment and instead of being able to ask a few questions you had to make the changes, submit, and pay again. I’m not clear what Reedsy offers, but if you’re looking for an editor, it’s an important topic to ask about.

By Maryann Yin on May. 2, 2016 Reedsy Self-Publishing Infographic (GalleyCat)

Until Next Time…

View original post

Author Spotlight – Melissa Grunow

Melissa Grunow author headshotWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

 

My name is Melissa Grunow, and I am the author of Realizing River City, a memoir that was published by Tumbleweed Books in February.

My writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, New Plains Review, Blue Lyra Review, Temenos, and Yemassee, among many others.

I have a Bachelor of Science in English-creative writing and journalism from Central Michigan University, a Master of Arts in English from New Mexico State University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with distinction from National University.

I live and write in Detroit, Michigan. Realizing River City is my first book. 

 

When did you start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed stories. There are pictures of me reading books to my little brother when I was around four or five years-old. I remember watching an episode of The Muppet Babies when I was in elementary school where they created a newspaper, and I was so fascinated by the idea that I tried to create my own. I discovered very quickly that it would be difficult for the first grade me to generate the amount of text needed to fill one page, let alone an entire newspaper.

As a teenager, I wrote a lot of clichéd, overly emotional poems would very obvious rhyme schemes. My friends and I read a lot of R.L. Stine books in those days, too, so we attempted to write our own teen murder mystery short stories where the protagonist always turns out to be a deranged serial killer. In high school, I wrote more than a hundred pages of a very bad novel during my summer break before my junior year.

As I got older, I knew I wanted to do something with writing, so I studied literature and journalism in college and continued writing in graduate school. I wrote short stories then, but I was always compelled to base them on something in my life: an experience, a character, an old apartment. There’s something true in all of my fiction.

After college, I took a ten-year break from writing. It wasn’t planned or intentional. I just didn’t have the compulsion to craft anything new. In 2012, I started to feel pulled by writing again, but this time, I was moved toward personal essays. I was out of practice, and so I took an online course from Creative Nonfiction magazine in writing different kinds of personal essays, which also exposed me to contemporary writers that I’ve since come to adore. I’ve been writing and publishing pretty consistently ever since.

 

What motivates you to write?

I believe I have a bad memory. All of us are fallible in what we remember, but sometimes I am amazed by the events that I have forgotten. As you can imagine, this is a problem for someone who writes about personal experiences. However, the more I write, the more I remember other events, and so writing keeps my mind sharp. 

I also write because I love language. I love controlling the cadence of a sentence with syntax and diction. I adore imagery and am fascinated by the way writers can play on denotative and connotative meanings of words to add new meaning to a descriptive paragraph.

 

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

I write creative nonfiction (personal essays, memoir) almost exclusively these days. I chose this genre because it’s the most natural for me. I like to joke that I’m not a very creative person, in that I struggle with the imaginative energy required to generate fiction and poetry. With creative nonfiction, the material is already there for me to choose from, and then I get to decide what I’m going to do with it.

 

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

Above anything else, I want to keep writing. I want to experiment with form and genre and break new ground in my field. I want people to connect with my work and feel moved by what I write. I want my writing to start a revolution. 

I would also love to learn how to be a funny writer. I adore the memoirs by Augusten Burroughs, who was named one of the top twenty-five people in America two years running. He writes about intense topics using humor, and it works. I can’t do that. I would like to, though.

 

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

Yes. But it’s not because I don’t have anything to say. It’s because I’m afraid that my writing is garbage. Now that I have a book out, I put even more pressure on myself to write amazing sentences, paragraphs, essays, every time I sit in the chair. I have notes and notes of ideas, but I often struggle with making sense of them. Sometimes my writer’s block is because of fatigue (I’m teaching ten college-level classes right now at three different institutions) and general disinterest. 

When I can’t make the words come, I walk away. I used to force myself to stay in the chair until something magical happened. But that’s punitive, and there was no reason that I should punish myself. I’ve learned over time to be more forgiving when I get stuck and do the thing that turned me on to writing in the first place: I read.

 

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

Read a lot. Read good literature both in your genre and elsewhere. Come to appreciate the importance of revision. Join a critique group or take an online course. The more you learn to give feedback to others, the more you will start to see the areas needing improvement in your own work. Edit out the clichés. Don’t let dialogue carry the narrative. Build your work around memorable characters, not flashy plot twists. Set goals and work toward them, but don’t be so rigid that you overlook unexpected ideas and opportunities.

 

Please, tell us about your work. 

Amina Cain, author of I Go to Some Hollow, described my work best when she said, “A deeply rich meditation on what it means to be a woman in a sometimes uncertain and complicated world, in relationship to men, but ultimately, and more importantly, to oneself. Melissa Grunow’s Realizing River City raises just as many questions as it answers, circling back always, in beautiful prose and a clear, honest voice, to what it means to be alive, to love, and to be present for all of it.”  

Furthermore, memoir mimics the ebbs and flows of a river in its structure and pacing to explore the facets of desire, loss, and, ultimately, survival.  Rivers and the notion “River City” as a imaginative place have a shape-shifting metaphorical role in the book. It’s written with a poetic, flowing prose (I hope!) and is committed to unrelenting honesty, no matter what the experience. It’s less about this happened, then this happened, then this happened, and more about how do we make sense of it all? 

Relationships are a central theme in a lot of my writing and that includes Realizing River City. I also write about personal loss, failure, travel, anxiety and depression, and family, all of which are represented in a small way in the book as well. If you like carefully crafted prose, you’ll like this book. It’s been met with positive reviews so far! I have nearly forty publications in literary journals as well, many of which are available online. All of my publications are listed at http://www.melissagrunow.com, so I encourage you to check it out.

 

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

Thank you for having me!  It was an honor.

_______________________________________________________________________________

 Contact Melissa:

 

Online platforms:

Author website: http://www.melissagrunow.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MelissaGrunowAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/melgrunow

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876253.Melissa_Grunow

 


 

Realizing River City book coverBuyer’s links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Realizing-River-City-Melissa-Grunow/dp/1928094155/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1454195597&sr=8-2&keywords=realizing+river+city

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/realizing-river-city-melissa-grunow/1123320146?ean=9781928094159

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781928094159

Tumbleweed Books (an imprint of DAOwen Publications): https://daowenpublications.ca/product/realizing-river-city-print/