Featured Author – Interview – The return of Darlene Foster

Welcome 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?

I am still writing travel adventure stories for middle grade readers and probably will for some time. I enjoy writing for this age group. Tweens are no longer little kids and not yet young adults. They are just discovering life outside their comfort zone and are eager to learn more. I like to think my books will broaden their horizons and spark an interest in traveling.

I have, however, written short stories – memoirs, about growing up on the Canadian prairies, and plan to publish them in a collection soon. It´s always good to try different genres to stretch your writing muscles.

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

It´s not a terribly organized process and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but it works for me. I get an idea, usually based on a location, and start scribbling. Once I get the first draft of the first chapter completed, I create a mind map. This mind map is divided into chapters and a location is allotted to each chapter. Then I add characters to the chapters. I use different coloured gel pens to do this. I add ideas and action as I progress with the story. I am very much a panster writer. This is a living map and gets changed a lot. It gets very messy and colourful. No one could ever make sense out of it except me. It’s as messy and confusing as my mind. Once I’m finished writing the first draft, which I edit and share with critique partners as I proceed, I then review the complete story and do some rewrites before sending out to beta readers. After more rewrites based on the beta readers feedback, I send it to my publisher who does a thorough edit. After a few more changes and rewrites, it is ready for publication and I have the book memorized. There is probably an easier way to do this but I don´t know it!

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

There is no right or wrong way to write a book. You find a way, usually by trial and error, and then you make it right for you. You can spend way too much time worrying about doing it right. Just write it down and polish it later. There will always be edits and rewrites. (see above)

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

Yes and no. I am astonished to have six books published in the series and more to come. I also have a bilingual book published and short stories in anthologies. So I am pleased with my production, especially since I started writing seriously later in life. I am happy to have a following and some devoted Amanda fans. So in some ways I have exceeded where I wanted to go. I would however like to be better at marketing and have my books more well-read internationally. I’m the sort of person who always raises the bar so I don’t think I will ever be completely satisfied.

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

I am both. I have heard that a writer is someone who writes (that’s me) and an author is someone who is published (that’s me too). Perhaps the difference is that an author is someone who is in the business of writing. To be somewhat successful, you need to look at it as a business.

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

Since my last interview on Writer’s Treasure Chest, I have completed and published the sixth book in my Amanda Travels series, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind. In this book, intrepid traveler Amanda is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico where she visits many incredible sites including an ancient pueblo, a traditional hacienda and a haunted hotel. She learns about the wild and violent past of this rugged but beautiful landscape. Her classmate claims to see ghosts everywhere they go and Amanda can’t escape an eerie wind that follows her. This book is a bit spookier than the others but everyone seems to like it. One reviewer said it is fast-paced, spooky, and enough cultural reference to delight both readers and parents.

I am now working on book seven, Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action and have ideas for Amanda in Malta. Amanda has a more places to visit and interesting people to meet. If only she could mind her own business and keep out of trouble.

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

Thank you so much for inviting me back to your wonderful blog!


Darlene’s bio:

Darlene Foster has dreamt of writing books, travelling the world and meeting interesting people for as long as she can remember. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old Canadian girl who loves to travel. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes it is never too late to make your dreams come true.


Links

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog
Goodreads
Twitter@supermegawoman


Find Darlene’s new book ‘Amanda in New Mexico’ here: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

All other books can be found on her Amazon Author Page

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Featured Author – Interview – The return of Renee Scattergood

Welcome 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?

Yes, I am, but I’m dabbling more with other speculative fiction genres as well. All dark, of course. I think my stories will always have that element of darkness to them.

 

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

All my stories begin with a character. Most of the time it’s the main character, but with Shadow Stalker, Kado was the first character I created and the world and everything else was built around him even though he wasn’t the main character. Once I have a character in mind, I just place them in situations in my mind and I let the world and everything else come together in my imagination around that character.

Once it’s cemented in my mind, I begin writing down the ideas in no particular order. From there, I plan basic details about other characters, the plot and the world. I don’t go into too much detail because I like to let most of the details develop with the story. From there I create a simple world map and timeline so I get everything in order and other minute details (such as distance and direction) right.

Then I start creating the scenes, write an outline from that and begin writing. The actual writing has many step, and I suppose you can say some of those steps would count as editing, but for me it’s still writing. My first draft is nothing more than a skeleton. It reads more like screenplay. When the first draft is finished, I go back and fill in details. That’s where I change the telling to showing and bring the story to life.

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

No matter what, don’t ever give up. Even when it seems hopeless, just keep writing. No one who has ever kept at it has ever failed. It might take years, but eventually you’ll get there.

 

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

I’m still in the middle of my journey. Honestly, it’s a journey I hope never ends. When I reach one goal, I’ll set another so I always have something to strive for. Right now, I’m aiming to reach a point where my income from book sales is enough to support my family. From there… who knows?

 

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

I’m both. A writer is someone who writes. It’s that simple. An author is someone who has written and published a story, essay, article, etc. So, really, even someone who has a blog is an author. I’ve always had a hard time understanding why people complicate those terms.

 

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

Well, my Shadow Stalker serial is ending soon. The last episode will be released in September and the Bundle will be released in November. I’ve begun work on my next serial, which will be about the origin of the shadow stalkers. The episodes in that one will be shorter (about 3k to 4k words), but I’ll be releasing a new one every two weeks. Each season will have 22 episodes and at the end of each year, I’ll release a bundle of all the episodes from that season.

I’m also publishing short stories more regularly now and working on my first novel series.

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

____________________________________________________________________________

Full Title: Shadow Stalker: Awakened (Episode 20)

Release Date: 21 June 2017

Description:

Appolia is once again under siege. Auren returns to find the Galvadi are using extremely inhumane tactics to demoralise the Coalition. She needs to help the Coalition before everything is lost. If Auren can use her newfound abilities to find the Galvadi’s greatest weakness, they might stand a chance in bringing the Galvadi down once and for all.

 

Buy links:

http://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-awakened-episode-20/

 

For those who have not read the serial: Get Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episode 1 – 6) and Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12) Free: http://reneescattergood.com/get-my-free-books/

*****************

 

Bio:

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

 

Contact URLs:

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/
Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/
Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100671337443224225702/posts

Newsletter:

Get a Free Book: http://www.subscribepage.com/ReneeWrites

 

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Excerpt #1:

Makari stirred the contents of the pot that held our evening meal. “Now is probably not the best time for exploring.”

“No. I know. I was just thinking that maybe one of these tunnels might lead to the camp.”

“They might, but we have no idea which ones, and we’re more likely to get lost.”

I was only partially listening to them. One of the tunnels seemed to stand out more than the others. It seemed brighter even though I knew it couldn’t have been. And voices whispered in my mind as if encouraging me to go there. “I can find the way, but it will take several hours of hiking.”

“You’ve been in these mountains?” Makari asked.

“Well, Kado and I did come up here a few times, but not this mountain specifically. We went further north.” I sighed. Now was just as good a time as any to tell him. “My powers have returned. I drank the water from the Black Lake and after that something happened. I can access the shadow world again, but it’s different now. Everything feels different.”

“Different how?”

I shook my head. “I can’t explain it.”

 

 

Excerpt #2:

“You’re sure you know what you’re doing?” Jade asked, nervously.

This had been her idea and now that she realized how narrow and dark the tunnels were, she didn’t feel as confident.

“Yes. I’m absolutely sure.”

It wasn’t long before we came to the first fork. I paused to examine both tunnels. Even with the torch light, one tunnel stood out brighter than the other. The voices seemed louder now too as I headed down the left tunnel. I was on the right path. Every time we came to a fork, it was the same.

“We seem to be going down. You’re positive this is the way?” Makari asked.

“Yes.” I closed my eyes a moment and I could see the tunnel laid out before me in my mind. “It starts going up again a short distance from here, but it’s going to be a pretty steep incline.”

After another twenty minutes of walking, I paused at the bottom of the incline.

Makari seemed stunned. “How are you doing this?”

“I have no idea. It’s as though something is guiding me.”

“I hope it’s something that wants to help and not something that wants to get us lost or killed,” Jade said.

 

Excerpt #3:

I didn’t have time to reflect on what just happened. Makari was still in danger. I moved closer to him, right on the edge of the veil. I felt the tingling of the beryllonium’s effects. Strangely, I suddenly felt stronger. I needed to get Makari back into the shadow world before that trooper came to his senses and returned. If I could wrap myself in the veil, maybe I could do the same for him.

In my mind, I imagined the veil like a blanket. I pushed it out and manipulated it so that it surrounded Makari.

He sat up, looking around. Are you doing this, Auren?

Yes, I sent back.

When he regained some of his strength he shifted and joined me in the shadow world. We returned to the cavern.

“What did you do? How did you do that?” Makari asked.

“I’m not sure. Somehow, I was able to affect the trooper’s thoughts. I convinced him that you weren’t a threat and he left. Then I wrapped you in the veil to nullify the beryllonium’s effects.”

Makari shook his head slowly then gazed at me. “Could you do that again?”

Featured Author – Interview – The return of Don Massenzio

don_massenzio_author_picWelcome 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?  

Interestingly enough, a couple of months before last year’s interview, I had released a terrorist thriller Blood Orange which, after writing three detective mystery novels, was a change in genre. I have since released another two detective mysteries, but I am writing a follow-up to that thriller as readers seemed to like the main character and his team. It will, however, crossover into the universe of my detective novels.

 

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

It’s chaotic. I work full-time in a 50-60 hour per week consulting job that has me traveling 45 weeks per year. I’m not a good hotel sleeper so I spend much of my travel and insomnia time writing. I write whenever I have free moments. This makes continuity a challenge sometimes, especially because I’m not a traditional outliner. But, hey, I was able to publish three books last year, so it works for me.

 

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

Great question. My advice would, just do it. My eight-year-old came to one of my book signings and said she wanted to write a book someday. With my help, she published her first children’s book a couple of months ago, and now she has the fever to do it again. If my writing accomplishes nothing else, I’m truly happy.

 

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

Writing takes me away from the real world and that is exactly where I want to go occasionally. In terms of success, I’m happy with where my sales place on Amazon for the moment. Would I like to take it to a higher level of success? Of course. I don’t know many authors that wouldn’t, but I am content when I look at my bookcase and see my name on a book.

 

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

I am both. A Writer puts word on the page. An author lets other people read those words.

 

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

I have published two more books in my Frank Rozzani detective series since the last interview on your blog. I have a follow-up to Blood Orange written and going through the polishing stage and ideas for more ‘Frank’ books on the way. There will always be new projects until I run out of time to complete them.

 

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

 

__________________________________________________________________

Contact Don:

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

Twitter: @dmassenzio

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Blog: http://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

Web Site: www.donmassenzio.com

 


Don Massenzio Books:

(click on the cover to be linked to the book page to get more information and buy it. Thank you)

 

frankly_speaking

let-me-be-frank

frank_inscensed

frank_immersed

 blood-orange

random-tales


 

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