Author Interview: Barry Andrews

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

After I retired in 2010, I was sixty years old at the time

 

Who are your favorite authors?

Joseph Wambaugh, John Grisham

 

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Personal experiences, experiences of others, the evening news

 

What genre(s) do you write?

Crime

 

Do you have an author website?

The Other Side of the Blue Line

Amazon Author Central

Facebook: Barry Andrews

 

Do you have any blogs?

Linkedin

Barry Andrews: Blog

 

Where can people find your work?

Amazon, The Book Loft of Gernan Village

 

If you could feature one title, what would it be?

My first novel, THE NEW RECRUIT

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

No

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Golf, chess

 

Tell us something about yourself?

I spent twenty-one years as the Executive Director of Police Training Institute, Inc., a national non-profit, advanced law enforcement training organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to that, I was a police officer.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Being an author is the most challenging experience I have ever faced. The single biggest issue I have tried to resolve is getting readers to write reviews. I will have attended fifteen book shows in six states with little or no success in marketing my three novels. Being an author is definitely a “work in progress.”

Advertisements

Author Interview: Truant D. Memphis

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Twenty-two. It was the summer before I was about to graduate college when I “realized” I wanted to do something I had not prepared myself for at all.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, and Stephen King to name a few. I don’t read King much anymore, but the Dark Tower Series is one of my favorite stories, so King makes the list. Also a big fan of the writing style of both Hemmingway and Agatha Christie, specifically their sentence structure and use of brevity. Vonnegut and Robbins are by far my two favorite when it comes to the style of stories they tell.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Humanity and the unknown.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

Mostly comedic science fiction/fantasy with a literary fiction bent, and sometimes the comedy is fairly dark.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I am doing a final read through of a proof for a new release, Daffodil. The next project appears to be a story titled Down From the Mountain – The Apocrypha of Jericho. It’s a comedy about a supposed prophet who believes he has come to save the human race. I also have a sequel to my first release (Littlethumb Sneezed) in mind called Saving Maria

 

Do you have an author website?

Yes: Truant Memphis Writer

 

Do you have any blogs?

Yes, at my website. I’ve not had the site up long, so I am slowly but surely filling out the blog with reading material. Some of the blog posts are essays about current events, others are general pseudo-philosophical gobbledygook, and some are simply jokes I write that I’m too chicken to tired to go tell at open mic nights (they’re always so damn late at night…).

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

My books are currently on Smashwords and Amazon (and all the sites they feed out to) for retail purchase. There are links on my website and Facebook page as well. For retailers, my books can be purchased on Ingram Spark as well. I intend to directly upload my stories to as my retail sites as possible in the coming months, then remove them from Amazon, because Amazon is the devil.

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

Daffodil, but simply because it is the most recent to be brought to completion, and the most fresh on my mind.

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

No. Truant Memphis is my superhero writer/character/alter-ego. I have a secret identity.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Yes, many. To name a few: I trained in Tae Kwon Do for many years and maintain a regimen to keep those abilities in place as long as an aging body will let me. I play guitar, rather poorly, but with a genuine fervor. I paint and create mixed-media art projects when time allows and inspiration hits.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I trained in improv comedy for four years at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan, NY, of which Amy Poehler is a founding member.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I make a hell of a meatloaf. Folks around these parts call me the Loafmaster. You hand me a meat, I can loaf it.

Author Interview and Feature: Sara Fitzgerald

I am very pleased to include an author interview and feature with Sara Fitzgerald, whose book, A Miracle for Ann, makes a great holiday gift. Please read more about Sara and her featured title below:

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
My greatest sources of inspiration come from my real life.

Do you have an author website?
sarafitzgeraldbooks.com

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

A Miracle for Ann
My other seven published works are also on Amazon.

If you could feature just one title, what would it be?
A Miracle for Ann

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I wrote A Miracle for Ann because of my daughter. Savanna has autism. When she was first diagnosed, our private insurance did not cover treatment for autism. My husband and I struggled to pay for the expensive treatments she needed. We had many miracles from God to help us along this journey.

I got involved in helping get the “autism” bill passed so private insurances now cover autism. We were blessed to have her attend Pingree as a toddler and now Spectrum Academy.

Savanna is our miracle child. We prayed for her every day for seven years. She has blessed our lives with so much love and joy. I dedicated this story to my husband, Russ, and also to Savanna.

I think some of the best stories are written from the truth you know. Although A Miracle for Ann is fictional, the emotions are real.

Sara Fitzgerald

Reviews for A Miracle for Ann:
“A heart-warming story just in time for Christmas. Sara Fitzgerald writes from personal experience; the emotional is raw, real and relatable.” Amazon Customer

A Miracle for Ann is an intimate peek into a families response to receiving an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis. It highlights how this can affect people differently within each extended family system. I was touched deeply by the emotion, love, and dedication of the family for their daughter.” Marie Seoane, LCSW
“This is truly a heartwarming story. I loved how everyone grew as they learned to accept little Ann’s limitations. It definitely showed what wonderful things can be accomplished once you accept, have faith and work together.” K. R. Bailey

Miracle

Author Interview: Angela Dean

This issue’s featured author is Angela Dean, who has written two children’s books and is working on her third. Read more about Angela in the following interview:

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

During my senior year of high school, I had a teacher who got me thinking that I could write. Then, during my junior year in college, one of my professors read a story I wrote for his class and told me that I should be a writer.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Barbara Park, Lois Lowry

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

One of my greatest sources of inspiration is my daughter, Madeline, because of how she fights her disease with strength.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I write children’s fiction.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I just published my second book, and I’m currently working on the third title in my The Adventures of Maddie and Haider series.

 

Do you have an author website?

I have a Facebook page called The Adventures of Maddie and Haider.

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

People can find my work on Amazon and Pen It! Publications. My books are also promoted through Cold Coffee Press:

 

The Adventures of Maddie and Haider: First Mission

The Adventures of Maddie and Haider: New Beginnings

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

The Adventures of Maddie and Haider: New Beginnings

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I also enjoy reading and hiking.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The reason why I started to write this series of books is because I wanted to raise awareness for my daughter’s disease, juvenile dermatomyositis. Also, I wanted to give her, and children like her, a character they can relate to.

Author Interview: Sawyer Cloud

This issue’s featured author is Sawyer Cloud. Read all about her accomplishments below. Also, don’t forget to visit her social media pages for a glimpse of her beautiful artwork!

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I dont know exactly how old I was. Ive always loved inventing stories and creating my own world. I started making drawings with mud on the back of our house, and then I wrote comics and manga when I was a teenager. I stopped writing for few years, and then I went back to it after I was selected to study documentary filmmaking. After my studies, I started to consider living as a freelance artist and using my creative skills to create stories. I was finally strong enough to change my life by becoming a freelancer five months ago, and I think that was when I started to write stories for my childrens books and other creative projects.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

I think my favorite authors are Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss. I like their wonderful and curious universes. I also really appreciate the work of Paulo Coelho; his writings always help me feel better when life drags me down.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

My life. I am a very sensitive human being; I cannot help myself from getting emotional. I find humanity very fascinating; I like discovering new cultures, too. For example, it helps if you build a background for your stories when you create your characters.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I mostly write fictioninspirational or fantasy stories. I really love Narnia and Harry Potters universe. Somehow, its helped me to appreciate life and see the world differentlyin a more magical way.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

Yes, I have a few things. I have been working on a film project for three years now, and it will be finalized during the next years. I am also working on four childrens books at the same time. (Crazy!) I decided to embark on all these projects this year because I love the stories. I wish to permanently retain this positive mood regarding my art career. I would also like to travel more and work with other passionate people like myself.

 

Do you have an author website?

Not yet. I am more on social media, Facebook and Instagram at the present.

 

Do you have any blogs?

Yes, I have a blog on which I post my illustrations and the story behind each work. It is: Sawyer Cloud’s Blog

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

I am quite active on social media. People can find my artwork and read about my daily routines as a freelancer artist on Instagram. Followers can also find my artwork and my events on my Facebook page. They can read the story behind each of my pieces on my blog. I also have a webcomic page on Webtoon, on which anyone can read my webcomics for free.

Facebook

Instagram

Blog: Sawyer Cloud’s Blog

Webtoon: The Cactus fever

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

It would be Alice in Wonderland.

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

Yes, my artist name is Sawyer Cloud, but it has nothing to do with my full name. When I was younger, I was inspired by a character in the One Tree Hill series, Peyton Sawyer. She was an artist. In her, I found some of my personality, so I guess thats why I took her name few years later. I also studied English literature in college; I really love the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He was adventurous like me. All those stories made me want to become Sawyer Cloud.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Drawing, naturally. I also like collecting cactus plants and watching movies with my friends.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I live in Madagascaran island that contains the worlds last lemurs.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am also on Patreon, a platform in which you can support your favorite creators by pledging money from $1.00, or the amount you want. This money is like a monthly salary for me; I can pay my bills and buy art supplies with it. So, if you like my artwork, you can become a patron and help me create more illustrations. I also give rewards to my patrons.

Here is the link: Patreon

Sawyer

Author Interview: Linda M. White

*This issue’s featured author is Linda M. White. Her debut book, Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair was recently published by Pen It! Publications. Please read more about Linda below:

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Although I was a voracious reader as a kid, I never had any inclination to be a writer until one of my first visits to St. Augustine, Florida during my 20s. Being the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine is soaked with history and would spark my creativity. However, the demands of a full-time job and taking care of my family put my literary aspirations on hold for a couple of decades. Then, after I retired a few years ago, my husband pointed out that I no longer had any excuses to not start writing. So I did!

 

Who are your favorite authors?

The late, great Irish author, Maeve Binchy. I loved how she would tell a story in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner from different characters’ points of view. It adds much more depth to a narrative and makes it easier to read – something I tried to incorporate into my own novel.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

My lifelong struggle with racial identity was the driving force behind Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair. Like the story’s multi-racial protagonist, Birdie Fairfax, I also had problems identifying with one race or another. To this day, I still hesitate whenever I have to fill out the “race” field on a form!

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I like to write historical fiction, preferably stories which take place over a long period of time. Although I don’t consider myself a romance writer, there is definitely a romantic element in my book. But I prefer to refer to it as a period drama, as the story also involves many other characters and their respective situations.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

At the moment, I am having fun converting Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair into a screenplay. I also am working on a preliminary storyline and gathering research for a sequel based on one of the auxiliary characters.

 

Do you have an author website?

Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair

 

Do you have any blogs?

I have an author’s blog page on Goodreads under Linda M. White.

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair is currently available in both paperback and Kindle e-format on Amazon and from Pen It! Publications.

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

That’s easy, as I have just written one book so far! Yella Gal: Queen of the Montclair.

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

I create my visual art and graphic designs under the name “Chakkuri.” But I use my real name for my writing endeavors.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Crochet, baking, cake decorating, sketching, yoga, tai chi, nature walks, volunteer work

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Let’s see…I once co-piloted a small aircraft. I can still turn a halfway decent cartwheel at the age of 54, and I am currently involved in a prisoner correspondence ministry offering spiritual guidance to the incarcerated.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

It feels strange referring to myself as an author. I just see myself as a woman who finally wrote the story that had long laid dormant inside me.

Linda

 

Author Interview: Lizy J Campbell

*This edition’s featured author is Lizy J Campbell. Lizy is a self-taught artist and author. After you have finished reading her interview, please take a look at her social media pages and catch a glimpse of her beautiful artwork!

Who are your favorite authors?​

I have a wide variety of authors that I read, so to pinpoint it is difficult. But, if I had to choose​, I would say Harlan Coben, Mo Hayder, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dean Koontz, James Frey, Robert Munsch, John Grisham,​ and Stephen King. ​

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

For one, my kids. They motivate me to dream big and lead by ​example. ​Other sources of inspiration are my constant need to learn and grow as a human being. So anything that contains ​sources of information that will rewire the conditioned thought process to a positive way of thinking is amazing. Mindvalley is one of many sources I have studied. It helps me to focus on my goals and keep my focus. ​

Do you have any current or future projects?​

I do, actually; I have a few. ​One is another children’s book, and another is a fantasy novel that has been in the writing stages for a while. I write poetry all the time, however, and have a current collection that I am growing to possibly be turned into another book as well. ​

Do you have any blogs?

​I do, yes, it’s Liz Who the Funk, which has various articles about different subjects that I touch on. It also contains my​ artwork and price points for those who wish to become future clients. ​

Where can people find your work?

You can find me at a lot of different sites. My most common name to look for is, LizzywhothefunkC Creations.​ I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many other social media accounts. I also have an Etsy storefront where people can purchase artwork or custom art, such as pet portrait paintings, real estate watercolor artwork, and more. All are listed under the LizzywhothefunkC Creations name. My books, however, are available on Amazon under my Pen name, Lizy J Campbell. ​

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

I would say my latest book, My Forgetful Mom. ​It is a very relatable and significant book for me as it reflects the kind of work I am trying to convey. I want people to relate and have a connection with the book. I want it to be the go to book after a busy day with work for the kids so they know just how much we love them and why we do the things we do. It is important that kids know that even though our time is sometimes limited, we love them and we are doing our best to give them what they need—both Mom and/or Dad. ​

Do I have any other interests besides writing? ​

Yes, I am a writer, but I am an artist first. I love creating works of art that speaks to people. It fulfills my dream to know that my work makes people happy and heals them. My motto is, Making people smile, one creation at a time. And a little bit of me goes into each piece of artwork.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. ​

Well, everything up to this point, I have done completely on my own. I am a self-taught illustrator, artist, writer, etc.—all through reading and online courses. I learned Photoshop through trial and error and am constantly pushing myself to do better. I carved my way into this industry with hard work and a lot of dedication. I never gave up on my dreams of becoming an illustrator, author, or anything I have set out to do. It hasn’t always been easy but, at the end of the day, this is exactly what I wanted to become, and I have made it possible my own way. ​

Anything else you want to share?

Well, I am an advocate and extremely passionate about children with special needs and mental health care. I believe that we need to be more understanding and compassionate when it comes to this issue. With that being said, I think people need to stop looking at physical signs for what people might look like when they are suffering with something. They are not always sad, and they are not always non-verbal, so seeing beyond the physical is essential. We really need to take the time to listen to others closely. And everyday smiling at someone, just saying hi, or giving a compliment and validating someone could be a significant thing for them, and it takes nothing at all to do that. Judge less and love more. I try and do that as much as possible because we all deserve to smile and enjoy this life we live now.

 

 

Author Interview: Ronnie Strong

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing fiction for the last eight years. Before that I wrote a lot of academic and professional writing.

What inspired you to start writing?

I have always loved words and reading. I was looking for a break from serious writing when I was getting towards finalizing my PhD thesis. One evening, I went to a talk given by erotica writers. Hearing them speak about their craft led me to think: I can do that. I started the next day.

What is your novel’s title?

The first novel I wrote after my initial inspiration is The Laundromat. After that I published Kate Gets Marks and more recently, Dolphin Heat Tamed.

Is it part of a series?

I have wanted to return to the setting and characters of the Laundromat for a follow up, but that is still a future work.

When was it published?

The Laundromat was first published in 2011. Dolphin Heat Tamed has just been published in June 2018.

Was it self published?

I self publish all my books.

Why did you decide to publish the way you did?

Self-publishing is the only way to go for me. I like to have complete control over my story. I am a trained editor and desk-top publisher. I also believe that the disruption of traditional publishing is a good thing. It is messy in lots of ways, which is just a part of innovation.

Do you have any advice for new writers wanting to publish?

Listen to all the good advice that is out there. Then work out what works for you. Writing is a craft. Learn how you can best do it. I would not recommend slavishly copying another writer’s practices or recommendations. Having said that, do write plain. Do not tell the reader everything. Let them work it out from what you show them.

Are you working on any other projects?

Yes. I have been working on turning my PhD thesis into a book. It has taken me a while as I keep getting diverted. It must be time for another diversion.

Editor Interview: Jane’e Stanton

*It is my great pleasure to introduce Pen It! Publication’s new executive editor, Jane’e Stanton. Please read the following interview to find out more about Jane’e’s accomplishments and interests!

 

Please take a moment to introduce yourself.

I work as a buyer/project manager during the week. The rest of my time, I spend editing and finishing my Ph.D. in project management. I am newly married to my best friend, Joshua Holt. I have two German Shepherds, Apollo and Kenzie.

 

How long have you worked for Pen It! Publications?

I have worked with Pen It! for just over a year.

 

What made you decide that you wanted to become an editor for Pen It! Publications?

I came on as an editor for the more difficult books. I have a lot of experience with a fine attention to detail. I decided to do the editing for Pen It! because I wanted some challenging hobby to do in my spare time. Eventually, it turned into job that I love.

 

Have you had any prior experience in the field of editing?

I have been editing since high school. I started with tutoring and did a lot of paper editing in college. When you’re getting your Ph.D., you have to be a phenomenal self-editor; editing other works just comes with the territory now.

 

What kinds of hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to play with my dogs and take them to the park if I can. I swim as a hobby and exercise. I enjoy watching movies with my husband. I also love to cook and create recipes.

 

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I’m the youngest of six children. I have been in school for a long time. I love to learn. I am constantly doing research on best editing techniques because other than the standard rules, things are always changing. I love to spend time with my family and my in-laws. I love what I do, and I love the people I spend time with.

 

 

 

Author Interview: Brad Bott

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I had an idea writing was something I wanted to pursue shortly after high school, but the passion for it really kicked in during college, while I was in my mid-twenties.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Some of my favorite authors are: Neil Gaiman, Robert Jordan, R.A. Salvatore, Edgar Allan Poe (I actually have portrait of him tattooed on my leg.), Mark Twain, and J.R.R. Tolkien, just to name a few.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a lot of places. Sometimes, it stems from a snippet of a conversation or something I’ve observed during the day. Ideas can come from dreams, something I’ve read, or just sort of pop into my head. But they almost always start with a what if question and develop from there.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

Right now, I’m working in children’s books with fairytale elements. But I do a lot of dark fiction and science fiction. I also really enjoy spoken word poetry. I try not to be limited by a specific genre, though. If a story calls for suspense, fantasy, or romance, then I would certainly write it in the genre that fits, or at least give it my best effort.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I’m currently working on another story featuring the main character from Just One Wish, and I have a couple ideas for two more picture books with a different main character. Plus, I have the beginnings of a couple novels and a script that I work on sometimes. With me, there’s always some other project waiting in the wings.

 

Do you have an author website?

I have a public Facebook page, Brad Bott Books, that I use to keep people updated on book releases, signings, and events.

 

Do you have any blogs?

I have a blog, WRITEON48’SBLOG, that I post on from time to time.

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

My book can be purchased at penitpublications.com or on Amazon.  They can read some of my other work on my blog.

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be?

For the time being, I only have the one title, Just One Wish. So we’ll have to go with that.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I think it’s important to have other experiences besides writing. Where else are all those ideas going to come from? So, in my free time, I enjoy geocaching, traveling, watching movies, and reading, of course.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would encourage everyone to follow their passions, wherever they may lead. And, to my fellow writers: Stay Focused and Write On.