Author Spotlight – Susan A. Royal

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hi I’m Susan A. Royal. I live in a cute little farmhouse in the country with all kinds of birds and furry critters for neighbors.

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My first book was written on notebook paper, illustrate and bound with red ribbon. I still have it.

2. What motivates you to write?

I love words and the feelings they can invoke. Nothing inspires me more than a good book, a good movie or a good song.

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

Any kind of scifi or fantasy. I love to escape to other worlds.

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

I just want to keep getting better. My next book is always my best book.

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

I published a book a year until my husband died. I lost my words. It took me three years to find them, and while some days are still difficult, I won’t let myself give up.

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

Write, rewrite, edit, learn things, and never ever give.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I love taking readers through all kinds of adventures. I’ve written two books in my It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and am working on book three. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy Romance/Adventure, and Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA Fantasy. Look for my books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.
Want to know more? Check back from time to time for updates and a peek inside this writer’s mind to see what I’m up to. You never know what new world I’m going to visit next.

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


Susan’s Bio:

A native of Texas, Susan raised her kids in a 100-year-old farmhouse in the piney woods, sharing it with a music-loving ghost who harmonized with her son when he sang and played guitar.

She comes from a family rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories about farm life in Oklahoma Territory and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. She learned about the depression and growing up during WWII from her parents.

Susan loves taking her readers through all kinds of adventures. She’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and is working on book three. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy Romance/Adventure, and Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA Fantasy. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.

Want to know more? Check back from time to time for updates and a peek inside this writer’s mind to see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.


Connect with Susan:

Not Long Ago book trailer

http://susanaroyal.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/susanaroyalauthor/


Feisty Character Lara: (interview)

My name is Lara, and I work downtown in the Metropolitan Building. I’m not really all that good at talking about myself. You can ask my good friend, Carrie. She calls me an introvert, but the bitter truth is I’m socially awkward. Sometimes I give in and let her drag me to a party, just so she’ll get off my case. While she flits from one group to another, laughing and having a great time, I lurk around the edges of the crowd, looking for a place to hide.

Carrie and I have been BFFs for a long time. Even though we’re total opposites. She’s cheerful. I’m sarcastic. She’s outgoing. I’m a loner. But she’s always there for me. Mom died when I was born, and I just lost my dad. Now there’s only me. Carrie’s the best. I just wish she’d quit trying to fix me up with some guy she thinks is my Mr. Right.

Don’t see that happening any time soon. Even though I’m almost six foot tall and have the kind of red hair everyone wants. Something about me seems to intimidate guys. Maybe it’s my sarcastic attitude.

Not Rhys, though. Even though we stood eye to eye it didn’t bother him a bit. That’s one of the first things I noticed. And then there was his great body, rugged good looks, and intense green eyes. He definitely got my attention.

Honestly, everything happened so fast after that, it’s mostly a blur. It wasn’t until after Rhys dragged me through a portal into another dimension that I realized he wasn’t the blind date Carrie had set me up with after all. And he really was out of this world.

Yeah, I know…you’re probably thinking this sounds like your typical ‘guy rescues girl from danger and takes her to another world, where they fall in love’ scenario, but you’re wrong. Rhys treats me like an unwanted responsibility, nothing more. Every time I try to be nice, he clams up and starts acting like commando man. And it goes downhill from there when I open my mouth and out comes the sarcasm. I let him get under my skin. Why? Because even though I refuse to admit it, I have feelings for the guy.

There’s something about the quiet way he claims responsibility for our little group of travelers. He takes his job seriously…even to the point of blaming himself when things go wrong, the way I did when Dad died. If only he would open up…

The bad thing is we’ve got to work together so we can locate the book of secrets before it falls into the wrong hands and his world falls apart. That is, if we don’t kill each other in the process.


Susan’s Books:

In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)

 

 

 

 

 

Xander’s Tangled Web (fantasy, mystery)

 

 

 

 

 

Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)

 

 

 

 

 

All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

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Author Spotlight Phyllis Campbell

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I won a short story contest when I was eleven.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

Several things motivate me to write. I write two bi-monthly columns for National Braille Press, and a monthly for the Blind Post. For these, I’m motivated to offer information. For fiction, many things influence me, an item in the news, a happening in the community, or in my own world. I try to keep a list of things that strike my interest.

 

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

My short pieces have ranged from romance to The Virginia Psychiatric Journal. My books have included my memoir, a mystery, Young Adult Inspirational, supernatural, and Christian (family) I think of a plot, and if I keep thinking about it, I write. As with what motivates me described earlier, many things may influence my choice of plot. For instance, some years ago, I was doing a short piece on the lot of women in the 1800s. At dinner, I wondered what it must have been for blind women, especially those who had ambition. “Like you,” a friend said. “They probably did even stay dead,” he further commented. “Out of the Night” supernatural was born.

 

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

I think we all secretly want a bestseller, but I would be content with steady sales, bringing a reasonable income, and that perhaps, leave something meaningful with the readers.

 

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

I seldom suffer from that dread condition. My husband has been dead for almost six years, but I can still hear him saying, “Leave it alone for a while. It will come.” I do, and it does.

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

Try to start small. Unless you’re a JK Rowling, likely you won’t have an immediate bestseller. Be happy with that small sale, more likely small sales. Get a feel for the market, and raise the bar. Study the markets, and follow guidelines carefully. They may seem silly to us, but they’re what the editors want, and there are plenty of writers out there, who don’t care how silly they sound. Look carefully at your dreams. Be sure they are practical, and go for them. Try not to get discouraged. Look at your work, just to be sure that you haven’t missed something important. Pick yourself up, and try again.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

As I stated earlier, I write in many genre. If it interests me, I write about it. I have written six books, published by both traditional and self-publishers. My latest book is “Where Sheep May Safely graze” Westbow Press, available from
http://www.amazon.com/author/psc-books-all
available both in print and digital formats.
You will find a listing of my books there, along with the link to purchase. I have also written a true-crime book under contract with the family of the victim, rights belonging to them.

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


About Phyllis:

Phyllis Staton Campbell, who was born blind, writes about the world she knows best. She calls on her experience as teacher of the blind, peer counselor and youth transition coordinator. She says that she lives the lives of her characters: lives of sorrow and joy; triumph and failure; hope and despair. That she and her characters sometimes see the world in a different way, adds depth to the story. She sees color in the warmth of the sun on her face, the smell of rain, the call of a cardinal, and God, in a rainbow of love and grace.
Although she was born in Amherst County, Virginia, she has lived most of her life in Staunton, Virginia, where she serves as organist at historic Faith Lutheran church, not far from the home she shared with her husband, Chuck, who waits beyond that door called death.


Connect with Phyllis:

Emails: Pcampbell16@verizon.net 
campbellphyllis17@gmail.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Campbell/e/B001KC40ZI/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Phyllis-Staton-Campbell-361675114286715/


Books by Phyllis Campbell:

Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 Where Sheep May Safely Graze This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page …
ByAFBon February 24, 2018
This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page until the end and I did not want it to end. I hope a second book will be forth coming. Kudos to you Phyllis for the best book I have read in a long time.

Other books by Phyllis Campbell…

COME HOME MY HEART, 1985.
REPRINTED IN 2001

 

 

 

 

 

FRIENDSHIPS IN THE DARK, 1996 Reprint 1997

 

 

 

 

 

The Evil Men Do 2006, true crime, written under contract for the family of the victim.

A Place To Belong August, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will hear Them Cry, April, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Night February, 2014

 

 

Author Spotlight – Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve known I was destined to write from the time I was a little girl, not yet able to read by myself. I remember cuddling with my dad on our living room sofa, feeling safe and loved, while he read aloud a story about Osceola, the brave Seminole Indian chief who fought the brutal attempts by the U.S. government to remove his people from Florida during the early 1800’s.

When my dad finished the book, I said sadly, “It’s all gone.”

“It’s not gone,” he told me, putting the book in my hands. “We can turn it around and start again at the beginning. Not tonight, though.”

From that moment on, when I discovered that words could be written down in books, captured and stored to be enjoyed over and over again, I knew I wanted to write stories of my own. Many times in school, when I was supposed to be solving math problems or studying spelling words, I’d be busy composing poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing. My first poem was printed in “Jack and Jill”—a popular magazine for kids—when I was eleven or twelve years old—and after that, I caught an incurable case of author fever.

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the characters who came to life in my imagination.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, in order to learn how to use a word processor, I dragged out that old short story and typed it into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years as life happened. I took advice and editing from countless people. I attended writing workshops and joined critique groups to hone my craft, and I never gave up on my dream. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

I write for the sheer joy of it. I write because I have tales inside me that need to bust loose. Beyond that, I write because I have a burning desire to leave the world a little better than I found it, to let people know that change starts with them—with me—that there’s hope for humanity, and it begins with one thought, one decision, one action—now.

 

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

My novel is a crossover of coming-of-age urban inspirational fiction. The topic chose itself, based on my life experience. Early in my marriage, my first husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since we were both home and going through tough times financially, our run-down travel trailer became a hang-out spot for kids and teens who needed Band-Aids for their skinned knees and patches for their bike tires, cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, help with homework and advice about a little of everything. Those memories inspired me to write about a population that is seldom heard from.

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

Not really. I write to speak for Kids who need to be heard, and I write for the love of writing. Not that I don’t love an audience, and not that I wouldn’t love to support myself from writing—but I’m contented with my life the way it is.

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

I sometimes have a difficult time getting started with the first seed of an idea. I love a good writing prompt to get me going. Some of my best short stories have come from writing prompts. I also believe in writing about almost anything. A trip to the convenience store, a recipe, a lighthearted piece meant to make people laugh—any of these will do to get my creative words flowing. I try to compose at least a Facebook post for my followers every few days so I stay in the habit of writing.

 

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

In junior high, I interviewed a local author as part of an independent study project. Her advice has stuck with me for 35 years.

“When you write, think of yourself as a bird building a nest,” she said. “Your life gives you the materials for your stories. You take a twig from here, a tuft of grass from there, a bit of string from somewhere else. Keep living a life full of experiences so you never run out of building materials.”

I usually write fiction, so my characters and what happens to them is all made up. But some of the experiences and a whole lot of the underlying emotions come from what I know, what I’ve lived through, like that bird making a nest.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

What is a family? For Rick Myers, a despondent seventeen-year-old who has just lost his parents in a car wreck, it’s the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, the “crew” is all he has.
At least, he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.
But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is touched by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually, through him, to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges. “The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.

Thank you for your visit!


Bio:

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.

The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.


Connect with Jo Elizabeth:

To see guest blog posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:
https://blindmotherhood.com/author/jopinto/

To see guest posts from me on a variety of topics, please click here:
https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com

To see author page on Facebook, please click here:
https://m.facebook.com/authorjepinto/?ref=Footer

To see Goodreads blog, please click here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14120336.J_E_Pinto/blog


Book Links:

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is an  award-winning novel, available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

The paperback version of the novel is available at Barnes & Noble here:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bright-side-of-darkness-j-e-pinto/1122183259?ean=9781512344943

 

Author Spotlight – June Foster

Hello, welcome to ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’

Please introduce yourself.

Hello! I’m June N. Foster and reside in Arizona. Currently, I spend the majority of the year in the yachting industry as a deckhand and yoga instructor. This affords me the amazing opportunity to discover new destinations, experience new cultures, and develop lasting friendships with diverse people from around the world. When I’m not working, I love to volunteer for a wide-variety of children’s non-profit organizations through writing, visiting orphanages, fund raising, and getting involved with conservation initiatives.

1. When did you start writing?

I have been writing through journal entries ever since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” as my Papa used to say. Reflected within these dusty journals are my deepest secrets, thoughts, fears, poems, hopes, dreams, questions, and observations regarding the world around me.

2. What motivates you to write, What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

After two years of quietly writing my story and keeping it close to my vest, I smiled. Strange really – – the journey I traveled – – the journey that led me to this moment. As I thought about these questions, I considered: How much do I share?

I navigated my cursor to YouTube and clicked on my “go-to” song, “Fly Me to the Moon,” written by Bart Howard, and beautifully sung by Frank Sinatra. This masterful rendition will always be held close to my heart as Papa’s and my song.

I listened carefully to each word, wishing he were beside me, providing me guidance to my question. As the song reached the end, these simple, yet powerful words floated in the air:

In other words, please be true,
In other words, In other words,
I love you

Hearing this answer; I smiled again.

I was born into a middle-class American family and we moved around the US seven times. I grew up loved and lucky to have had healthy food to eat, an early education, attend college, and follow my dreams. We attended Catholic mass every Sunday, prayed before every meal and before bedtime, and donated time and money towards those in need. Yet, for me, these acts were more of an obligation, perhaps even a tradition, similar to cooking the turkey or decorating the Christmas tree – something to look forward to, yet to shrug off until the following season. I was more concerned about what I would wear to school the next week, what others said about me on Facebook, or whether or not I had the latest cell phone. Admittedly, I lived in a tiny, one-dimensional bubble. Now at twenty-four-years old, I can honestly say that I was the poster child of the stereotypical mantra of the entitled millennial.

After we moved back to Arizona from Ohio, I started college. Through my studies in global sociology I became impassioned to help the hungry, poorest, and most vulnerable population in the world ¬ – our children in need. Learning about their living conditions and survival stories brought me to tears. I immersed myself further into research, study, and talking with non-profit organizations whose mission it is to help those in need. After graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree in Organizational Management, I enrolled in Film Production at Grand Canyon University. I was in the middle of a screenwriting course, when my Papa passed away. I emotionally collapsed and over the course of many months, I fell deeper and deeper into despair. My anger turned into hope after praying to our Lord and asking Him to guide me. Soon after, I picked up my yet to be completed screenplay and as I read it with fresh eyes, I felt my characters, plot, settings . . . well, everything lacked depth and substance. I was determined to bring the story to life, and in doing so, my screenplay evolved into my debut novel.

Truth be told, I lack the financial means and wide-spreading influence to make a large impact. I chose the best vehicle I could to bring awareness to others through suspense and adventure story telling. It is my hope that readers will love my stories, yet at the same time become more aware of the world around them through passive insertions of global issues. It would be ideal for one or more of my stories to transform into a screenplay and subsequently, a movie production. The hope would be to take any profits I receive and direct them to help those in need. This is my dream. The Girl and the Golden Leaf is the first book in a series dedicated to humanitarian efforts and the preservation of the world’s nature resources for future generations.

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

Perhaps it’s due to my age, but my characters, narrative, and perspectives are tailored to the younger adult. However, due to some horrific, (but not overly graphic) scenes in the story, the genre of The Girl and the Golden Leaf would be appropriate for 18-years-old and above. It is my goal for the following sequels in the series, to reach all young adults to 100+.

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

On occasion, I do suffer from writer’s block, but I believe my biggest obstacle is my predisposition that I need a dedicated “time slot” for creative writing. If I am distracted by other commitments on a given day, I lose that day completely. For me, I need to carve out a dedicated block of days for the words to flow. Perhaps this is why it took me two years to complete my first story, as life happens, and dedicated days are few and far between. I realize this is a major weakness that I need to overcome as I begin my next story.

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

As a twenty-four-year old new author, I hesitate to give advice as I have so much to learn, understand and experience. However, if I were to give one nugget, I would say, “Don’t be afraid — find your passion and write with love and conviction. Don’t overthink each word, or each step in the process as I did. And have faith that, “For the Lord will be your confidence and keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (ESV)

6. Please, tell us about your work.

The Girl and the Golden Leaf will be published in January 2019. Please visit: www.junenfoster.com to learn more information about the book and to order your copy.

• 9781982216993 Softcover
• 9781982217006 E-Book
• 9781982216986 Hardcover

About the Book

As whitewater rafting guides down the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia, sixteen-year-old Tia and her twin brother, Finn, hope to find a way to escape poverty after the recent deaths of their parents. When a Hollywood film producer offers the siblings acting roles in his movie, Tia sees the vision of her golden ticket she has prayed for God to provide. How can she refuse?

From Chile’s exotic Río Futaleufú, to her captivity in the Amazon Rainforest and the slums of Buenos Aires, Tia’s deep faith touches everyone she meets . . .

. . . but will her faith be enough to survive the darkest pits of humanity?

This heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel is unblinking in the horrors faced by children stolen from their lives — however, it does not sensationalize nor over-dramatize the truth. Vividly written, The Girl and the Golden Leaf examines the tormenting events in an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage and survival.

Praise for The Girl and the Golden Leaf
“An unforgettable journey, full of adventure, suspense, mystery, and despair to triumph, The Girl and the Golden Leaf, will forever touch your heart.”
CBM Christian Book Reviews (10/10 stars)

“Combining an intriguing, engrossing story with a salutary message of hope and charity for deprived innocents, The Girl and the Golden Leaf by June N. Foster is both riveting and revelatory.” — Chanticleer Reviews

“Foster’s deft writing can generate tension by mere suggestion.” “…rewarding tale of a kidnapped teenager’s resilience.” — Kirkus Reviews

Thank you June, it’s been a pleasure to have here as my guest.


Connect with June:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/junefoster/

https://www.instagram.com/june__foster/

http://www.junenfoster.com

 

 

Abbreviations We Use All The Time But Don’t Know The Meaning – By Derek Haines

We use abbreviations and acronyms all the time, but what do they mean?

The English language uses many forms of word abbreviation.

We use shortened forms increasingly for text messaging to reduce a word or phrase.

Very often these are acronyms using initial letters such as LOL, ROTFL and BRB.

Other forms also use a capital letter from the start of each word but are pronounced as words. A good example is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which forms the word, NATO.

Other examples are NASA, POTUS and SCUBA. If you didn’t know, SCUBA means self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Radar is also an acronym, derived from radio detection and ranging.

Many common abbreviations, however, are pronounced letter by letter. The United States of America is most commonly referred to as the US or the USA, the United Kingdom as the UK and the United Nations as the UN.

To read the entire blog post go to:

https://justpublishingadvice.com/abbreviations-we-use-all-the-time-but-dont-know-the-meaning/

Why Your Writing Matters—Even if You’re Not Making Any Money from It – By Ali Luke

Today I found an excellent encouraging and important guest post on C. S. Lakin’s ‘Live Write Thrive’ blog. The post is written by Ali Luke and she tells us why our writing matters. Thank you, Ali.


How important is your writing to you?

Is that importance reflected in how much time you spend on it?

Pretty much every writer starts out writing without being paid—often without any prospect of payment. This is particularly true for fiction writers, who might well hone their craft for years, even decades, before successfully selling their work.

In fact, for many writers it’s not just a case of “not making any money”—it’s a case of spending money. Books, courses, conferences, pens, notebooks, software—it all adds up.

Perhaps you worry that you’re wasting your time (and your money). That, ultimately, your writing doesn’t really matter. That you should be doing something else instead, whether that’s the housework or spending more time with your family.

I firmly believe that your writing does matter, though—regardless of whether you’re making any money from it.

Here’s why.

Writing Is an Important Creative Outlet

Do you feel better, generally, when you’re writing? Do you feel you’re accomplishing something? Do you enjoy spending time with imaginary people? Do you love coming up with invented worlds?

Read the full blog post here:

https://www.livewritethrive.com/2019/01/14/why-your-writing-matters-even-if-youre-not-making-any-money-from-it/