Author Spotlight – Renee Schuls-Jacobson

During this year’s BOAW Blogfest I discovered your blog and took a peek. I was interested about what you had to write and like your style. I also like your art and read about your life a bit.

 

I know there’s much more, and I’d like to hear about this.

 

When did you start writing?

I started pounding on my parents’ typewriter when I was in kindergarten, and I just loved the way the keys felt under my fingertips. I loved putting my thoughts down on paper and receiving such positive feedback from everyone around me. In 2nd grade, I had a wonderful teacher  — Mrs. Church — who dragged me down the hall to read a book I had written about robins and their nests to the 5th graders. I couldn’t believe they would want to hear anything that I’d written, but they seemed to enjoy my words. I’ve been writing ever since.

 

What motivates you to write? 

Writing is my way of processing the world, all its beauty and pain. Simple as that. I feel a pull to write whenever something is troubling me. That may not appeal to everyone, but it works for me. Writing is a coping mechanism for me.

 

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

I remember reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder Series of Little House on the Prairie in 3rd grade, and I thought to myself, I want to write a book like this. And while my audience might not be adolescent female readers, I suspect that most of my writing appeals to a predominantly female readership.

 

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

Right now, I’m working on finishing my STATE OF UNDRESS PROJECT, which is a combined art/writing project featuring figure studies of women representing every age, color, and social class who have self-identified as living with invisible obstacles. Participants were asked to write about their insecurities/obstacles and frame these challenges as strengths. They also had to be willing to pose in some state of undress — and have their likeness painted as an impressionistic piece of art. I feel fortunate that these women trusted me with their stories and allowed me into their lives in this most intimate way. I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD as a result of a brain injury, which occurred in 2013 after being improperly weaned off a prescription medication. After 3.5 years, I’m nearly back to where I was prior to the injury, and yet I am no longer the same person I once was. People who meet me now can’t tell, but I know how I feel inside my body. Collecting the stories these women shared made me realize that there are so many of us going thru something at any given time, and collecting these stories made me feel less alone. 

 

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

I only write when I feel moved to do so. I’m fortunate to be able to alternate my writing and my visual art, and I need to be able to do both. When I finish a lengthy piece of writing, I generally move to a painting next. When that paint is drying, I go and write. It is a process that works for me.

 

What state is your writing in now and do you already have an agenda on publishing? 

I’m mid-way thru the first draft of my memoir –a cautionary tale about what happens when trauma is treated with psychiatric drugs rather than therapy and understanding. In the meantime, I’m still posting on my blog –  http://rasjacobson.store/blog.

 

Thank you so much for being my guest, Renee.

__________________________________________________________________

Connect with Renee Schuls-Jacobson

 

I’m on Twitter at @rasjacobson

On Facebook Rasjacobson Originals or https://www.facebook.com/rasjacobsonart/

On Instagram @rasjacobson

My blog http://rasjacobson.stre/blog

My shop http://rasjacobson.store

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Renee’s art:

(I have to admit I picked one of my favorites to show here. A.J. Alexander)

http://www.rasjacobson.store/product-category/art-squares/

Author Spotlight – Bob Van Laerhoven

Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

I am a Belgian/Flemish professional author – and have been for 23 years – who has published more than 35 books in Holland and in Belgium, and who has been translated in English, French, Italian, and Russian. I specialize in the cross-over between literature and the suspense novel. With “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” (Pegasus Books) I won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best suspense novel of the year in the LowLands in 2007 and the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category mystery/suspense. My short story collection “Dangerous Obsessions” was voted “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

I published my first book in 1971, at the tender age of eighteen. In retrospect, I realize that it was way too early, but, bubbling with youthful bravado, I took the first chance I got. Because I was so young, reviewers were lenient with me, and the novel became a modest success in Belgium. I plunged head-on in writing and tried to accomplish an oeuvre with a consistent theme: the bottomless pit of aggression in humans, and the consequences of war. Also in real life, I did what I could to understand the shadows in the human soul. From 1990 to 2003, I visited, as a travel writer, conflict zones all over the world (Somalia, Bosnia, Liberia, Iraq, Iran, Burma(Myanmar),Burundi, Sudan, and so on). I was in the Bosnian town of Tuzla when the first survivors of the mass-murder in the Muslim-enclave of Srebrenica  arrived, and the sight of these wretched, exhausted, malnourished, and hopeless people made a lasting impact on me. I wrote a book about the massacre – more than 7000 Muslims killed – that the Serbian General Mladic’s troops inflicted upon the local population: “Srebrenica. A Testimony Of Mass Murder.”

 

 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Up till now, my motivation was the desire to understand who we are, and why we are such strange creatures, capable to create so much beauty, but also to commit such horrendous acts.  I would have liked to write about the light in our soul, but Fate chose me to pursue the nature of darkness. I consoled myself with the fact that there is no light without darkness. Still, after more than 35 books, traditionally published, I feel that I have reached a cross-road. I’m currently working on “The Feuerhand Files,” a novel set in Berlin in 1921, and I feel in the marrow of my bones that it will be my last cross-over novel between literature and the suspense genre. It will be my final attempt to dissect the nature of our innate violence.

 

 

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

I write in the cross-over genre between literature and the suspense novels. In other words: I write literature with a certain degree of suspense. I didn’t choose that particular genre. It chose me. My first ten novels in Flanders and Holland were literary, but even then reviewers noticed a tendency to incorporate “thriller-effects” in them. When I was 42, I felt that my literary pen had become blunt, and, in order to satisfy my ongoing need to write, I decided to write a hard-boiled thriller series. The series, with the South-African/Flemish half-breed commissioner Peter Declerq and the Brussels inspector Samantha “Sammy” Duchène, started as a pure thriller series, but, along the way, the old elements of style and elegance that I tried to portray in my literary work, sneaked also in this “new direction.” Gradually, the Declerq-Duchène series evolved again in the direction of literature, but it still retained a healthy dose of suspense via a thrilling plot and a polished style. Afterwards came the even more literary mystery-novels like “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” and “Return to Hiroshima, “Black Water,” “The Woman Who Loved Dante,” “Alejandro’s Lie,” “The Shadow Of The Mole,”etc…

 

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

Coming from a working class family, I dreamed of becoming a famous writer. I’m glad that, rather soon in my, eh, “career,” I understood that a famous writer isn’t necessarily a good writer. So, I changed my goal and wanted to become the best writer that I can be. Instead of trying to be better than other authors, I tried to be the best “me.” I’m still trying, and I still find it a goal very much worth fighting for. I should like to end my writing years with my memoires, having lived a rather unusual life for a novelist.  I don’t know if I have the skills to do that, but I do know that the string of cross-over novels, wherein the individual is set against societies in uproar and unrest, has now dried up in me. When “The Firehand Files” is finished, I’ll start making notes for my memoires. It may take years, it may take forever, Fate will have its will.

 

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

No, I never experienced a complete writer’s block, but some books were harder to write than others, and sometimes I stopped after hundred, or more, pages, feeling that the soul of the novel just wasn’t there. But even then, I “recycled” some of the chapters of these unfinished novels to short stories that did well over here, and even international. For instance, I published the short story “Checkmate in Chimbote” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and that was originally a part of an unfinished novel…

 

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

Write write write…Edit edit edit….Edit again Edit again Edit again. Don’t sell your soul for profit; try to find it in your themes, your style, and your passion.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

I haven’t fulfilled my dreams (yet), and, like every artist, I suppose, I had hoped for more and better. But I covered a long distance from the working class boy of eighteen without a formal education to the author I have become, who still tries to hone his craft, and who had some nice successes along the way. Nearing 64, I look back more often than I used to, and when I count my successes and my failures, I realize that I have been a lucky man. Now comes the time to end all these years of writing in beauty, in acceptance, and with grace….

 

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

________________________________________________________________________

Contact Bob:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NMz1poUVmUw 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605987002 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605985893 (Nook)

https://niume.com/profile/45450#!/posts (Niume)

https://www.facebook.com/bob.vanlaerhoven (FB)

http://www.thebingbing.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (BingBing) 

https://twitter.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (Twitter)

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Some Bob’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/160598700X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1389641492&sr=1-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-%D0%91%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0-Russian/dp/1681143089/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven-ebook/dp/B00VU96036  (Kindle edition)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/168114087X/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven (paperback)

March/April 2017 Writing Contests

Thank you so much Rachel Poli for the March & April 2017 Writing Contests.

Rachel Poli

march-april-2017-writing-contestsMarch 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: Food
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: March 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10 for up 6 poems or $15 for up to 12 poems
Prize: First place – $500

Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction
Theme: None
Website: Narrative Magazine
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: First place – $2,500

Genre: Fiction
Theme: None
Website: Colorado Review
Deadline: March 14, 2017
Entry Fee: $15 – snail mail, $17 – online submission
Prize: First – $2,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: None
Website: Fabula Press
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First – $250

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: My Kind of America
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

April 2017

Genre: Fiction or poetry
Theme: None
Website:

View original post 117 more words

Author Spotlight – Hugh Roberts

img_4261Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Hugh W. Roberts. I live in the city of Swansea, in South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

Around the age of 12 although, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to write. Being dyslexic stopped me from writing for many years. Back then, it was a condition not recognised, so there was little if any help for those who were dyslexic. 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Life! I love to people watch. New characters are born in my head and a new short story developes. Writing prompts/challenges also motivate me to write. I love a challenge, although some have beaten me in producing a short story. As an early bird, rather than a night owl, I do most of my writing in the mornings.  

 

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

As a writer of short stories, I write in many genres but, if I had to choose a favourite, Science fiction would be the genre I enjoy writing the most. I particularly enjoy time-travel. In fact, it fascinates me and I’d love to have the ability to time travel. Time Traveller would be my ideal occupation (after author, of course). 

 

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

I fulfilled my dream of becoming a publish author when I published my first book, Glimpses, in December 2016. My next goal is to write and publish the next volume of short stories for Glimpses. I’m hoping to publish them in December 2017. My biggest dream is to now have one (or more) of my short stories made into a movie or T.V. show. 

 

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

Writer’s block has never affected me. I always seem to be full of ideas. In times when the idea cupboard is running low, I’ll turn to writing prompts/challenges. Looking at photographs also helps get my creative writing juices flowing. 

 

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

Believe in yourself and your writing. We all get self-doubt, but never let it, or anybody, stop you from writing. If you are a blogger, then ensure you connect with other writers and authors by reading and commenting on their blogs. I’ve built up many great online friendships through blogging. Many bloggers offer free help and advice on writing and publishing books, so get on out there and make some friends in the writing and blogging world. If you don’t have a blog, but want to write and publish a book, start writing a blog straight away. 

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

I started blogging in February 2014. I wrote and published many of my short stories on my blog, but I also use the blog to write about everyday life, music, bloggings tips, and for my photography. I always wanted to be a storyteller and blogging gave me the chance to write and publish my work for the outside world. Most of my short stories come with twists and turns that many readers never guess are coming. My current book, Glimpses, contains short stories covering the genres of science fiction, LGBT, drama, supernatural, horror, thriller, comedy and fantasy. Hopefully there is something for everyone in the book.

  

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


Connect with Hugh Roberts:

 

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Google+ 

LinkedIn

 


Hugh Roberts’ book:

glimpses-kdp-cover

 

http://hyperurl.co/42ou22

Author Spotlight – Mackenzie Flohr

authorphotoWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself. 

Thank you for the invitation! I’m happy to be here. My name is Mackenzie Flohr and I am a fantasy author through BHC Press.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

I have always dreamed of writing a book and being an author, but seeing it actually get published? That part I wasn’t sure would ever happen. It’s one thing to start a book, but it’s another thing to actually finish it!

My parents nurtured a love for the creative arts from a very young age. From the time I could hold a pencil, I was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, a childhood friend and I were authors and reviewers of our own picture books.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

What motivates me is being told I won’t succeed. I know that sounds odd, but I’ll elaborate. Back in 2006, I was at the airport in Orlando waiting for the plane to arrive to take my Dad and I back to Cleveland, OH. I was working on a scene, which happens in a later book in the series. There was a young girl who looked about my age with her Dad sitting across from us. They asked what I was writing about, so I mentioned a little bit about it. Afterward, my Dad smiled and told them that I was writing a fantasy series, and that I would never finish it. I was shocked, embarrassed and hurt by the outburst. Even as I am recalling that moment now, it still angers me! But that’s where he went wrong. Not only did I write it, not only did I finish it, I found a company to PUBLISH it!

 

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

Fantasy. I admit I have a strong fascination, or maybe even obsession, with swords and sword fighting. I also admire the elaborate fashion from that time. And of course, who doesn’t like a wee bit of magic?

 

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

I really hope someday The Rite of Wands will become popular enough to either inspire a movie trilogy or a television series by the BBC. In particular, I’d like to see Matt Smith in the role of Mierta McKinnon and David Tennant in the role of Orlynd O’Brien.

 

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

As author Rachel Caine said during a writing panel at Wizard World Chicago in 2015, there is no such thing as writer’s block. There is nothing preventing you from writing, YOU are preventing yourself from writing by allowing this ‘block’ become an excuse.

That being said, I usually look for what inspires me to help rejuvenate my muse. When I writing the first book of The Rite of Wands, for example, I would often play the video game Bloodborne because my series kind of has a bit of that same hopeless atmosphere minus the beasts. I would also watch something with actor Matt Smith in it because my MC was written for him. That particular habit has become so effective that people often joke and say Matt Smith IS my muse.

 

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

Writing is A LOT harder than it looks. If someone tells you that writing is easy, don’t believe them. It’s one thing to write a story, it’s another thing to actually finish it. There are so many people out there who falsely believe they will write the next bestseller on the first try. But don’t let that discourage you. Don’t give up, keep pressing on, and if someone tells you can’t do something, don’t believe it. As one of my dear friends has said, sometimes in order for something to happen, you have to give to the universe, and the universe in turn, gives back.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

The Rite of Wands is the first in a new YA fantasy series, coming out on March 10th in both paperback and eBook through BHC Press/Indigo. It will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even Doctor Who (specifically fans of the Eleventh Doctor).

 

Here’s a little teaser: 

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever 

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s. 

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves. 

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

 

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


Keep in touch with Mackenzie Flohr:

 

Website: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com

WordPress: https://mackenzieflohrblog.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mackenzieflohr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16247559.Mackenzie_Flohr

 


Mackenzie Flohr’s publisher’s page and book:

 

bhc_press_final_blue_small_no_tm

 

 

 

 

riteofwandscoverPublisher’s Page:

http://www.bhcauthors.com/Author_Mackenzie_Flohr.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

August McLaughlin’s BOAW Blogfest is only one week away

For years already, the founder of Girl Boner, writer and radio host August McLaughlin has organized her famous BOAW (Beauty of a woman) Blogfest. This year it will start in one week from now!

August_McLaughlin_headshot_2014

There are more and more participants in two categories: The ‘original’ version and the ‘Girl Boner’ version.

The more the merrier, as she reminded us participants just lately. Please register on the registration page:

http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/boaw2017reg/

 

You still got time to register. August is amazing. Her deadline for registration is March 1, 2017, but she as well accepts registrations that come in with a slight delay!

There are prizes to win – please register and be part of the fun!

 


 

Author Spotlight – Jill Sammut

jill-head-1Welcome! 

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

I wrote my first books at the kitchen table around the age of six.  Constructed with paper, crayons, and random staples, I even managed to design advertisements for future “books” in my series on the back of each creation.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

My current work is a series of chapter books for tweens.  The books celebrate children living with issues such as anxiety and cerebral palsy while encompassing a diverse set of characters.  Someone needs to tell the story of kids who are not typically well-represented in traditional literature.  Every time I hear from a reader who saw themselves reflected in my work, it motivates me.

 

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

I am currently writing books that target tweens.  A particular child with anxiety who couldn’t find a book with a main character that mirrored her own experiences led to my choice of genre.  I could see myself expanding to other age ranges in the future.  However, the characters in my current series still have many more adventures ahead of them.

 

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

I want my books to help kids see that they are not alone in their experiences.  I would love to write from a warm, tropical island at some point in the future.

 

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

I usually worry at the start of each new book that I won’t have enough to say.  Somehow, the story falls into place and I have the words to tell the tale.

 

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

Don’t write a book trying to impress a certain market or follow a trend.  Write a book you truly love and others will feel your passion.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

As a teacher in Flint, a mother, and a foster parent, I have seen many kids who struggle to find themselves represented in popular culture.

A child I have known and loved has battled anxiety from an early age.  As she struggled through a difficult time period, I looked for ways to help.  I wanted to find a kid’s chapter book for her where the main character worked through similar issues in a compassionate manner.  I wanted a series where the main characters were a little different, and lived in a neighborhood where everyone didn’t look the same.  When I was unable to find what I needed, I decided to write it myself.

The Cloud at the End of My Rainbow follows a young girl named Elliot McIntire.  Elliot lives on a horse farm with her family, including her nearly famous little sister Daisy.  The only problem is Elliot is terrified of horses and is fearful in other areas of her life too.  A new friend, Em, who lives with cerebral palsy, makes a bet with her that involves Elliot riding a horse for the first time in years.  Their newfound friendship is tested.

The series continues with my second novel, When the Rain Falls, due out this summer. 

 

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

  

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 Connect with Jill:

 

My website:  www.jillsammut.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecloudattheendofmyrainbow/

You Tube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC2o-Kbks8NFBfhijjAnaeOg


Jill Sammut’s book:

 

50554131_kindle-ready-front-cover__-jpeg_6193413Amazon paperback: www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Jill+Sammut

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-End-My-Rainbow-ebook/dp/B01KAOUKJ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486244381&sr=8-1&keywords=jill+sammut+kindle