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ESTABLISHING A WRITER’S PLATFORM by Nonnie Jules


It’s my delight to have author Nonnie Jules here today to celebrate her Blog’s (WATCH NONNIE WRITE!) Birthday. Nonnie is also the founder and president of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. Readers and writers, if you’re not a member of this amazing book club yet, it’s time to jump on board. Nonnie Jules is here today to talk about Establishing a Writer’s Platform. Take us away, Nonnie…

New Book Club & You're Invited!

Today is the first day of my 15 day “HAPPY BIRTHDAY: ARE YOU WATCHING NONNIE WRITE?” Blog Tour and I’m kicking it off with a very supportive lady whose passion for children is equal to mine. Bette, thank you for having me and I hope that you and your guest enjoy me sharing the happy birthday.

This month marks the one year anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books, and have learned so very much about the industry. Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013. Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot! “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge. “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry. “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I share with you tips on writing, publishing and support, all topics equally important to the writing industry. I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

With that being said, here is…

ESTABLISHING A WRITER’S PLATFORM

We, as writers, write and blog about many different things. We blog about our family and friends, exercise, politics and even the food we eat. But, unless you’re a family therapist, a fitness guru, a politician or a foodie, none of these are your platforms UNLESS they are all you speak about, the majority of the time.

Many writers pop onto the scene and want the world to know them as being “good in everything” and although there is a strong possibility that they are, readers don’t care to know this. Readers want to think that they are reading material from EXPERTS, and in the minds of most, we can’t be EXPERTS at everything. So then, you need to establish a writing platform.

I actually have two main platforms and they are CHILDREN & SUPPORT (although I must admit that I’m pretty good at writing about a multitude of things). If you were to mention my name to any number of people and ask: “What is her platform?” They would, nine times out of ten, give you the two that I’ve just mentioned, and in the exact order that I mentioned them. WHY? Because these two areas are what I write about, talk about and live the most.

So, if you’re not already, I’d like for you to watch me write as I will continue to offer more tips to help you begin establishing your writer’s platform. (My blog links are listed below). What is it that you’re most passionate about? What is the one thing you’re actually KNOWN for? That could very easily serve as the medium you need to establish your credibility with your new-found platform.

Bette, thanks so much again for having me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nonnie Jules BookNONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection.

NJ Cover Design-1-1

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniewrites@yahoo.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.
BUY LINKS:

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!amazon.com/dp/B00CP62056createspace.com/4355124
“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend”amazon.com/dp/B00GLM2VVMcreatespace.com/4386308

“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4

 

 

 

 

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Angelia Vernon Menchan shines brightly in THE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!


It is a pleasure to host author Angelia Vernon Menchan as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR at 4writersandreaders blog this week. Angelia is currently featuring two books from her SOUL TIES DUO. You’ll find out more about them at the end of her post. So, sit back, relax and travel along with the author as she shares how her writing journey began. Welcome Angelia Vernon Menchan!

Angelia Vernon Menchan’s Publishing Journey, The Beginning Chapters

Angelia Mechan

Angelia Vernon Menchan, author of THE SOUL TIES DUO: “Soul Ties are real and life lasting so choose ‘who’ carefully.”

My journey to publishing has been an interesting blessing. My goals in life were always to be a counselor and author. By age 36 I had accomplished the counseling, however, the author journey would not begin until almost fourteen years later unless you count the yearbook articles.

My early adult years were filled with traveling with my military husband, raising our sons and creating careers for myself. Writing at that time would not have worked for me because I knew it would have taken my focus off things that were more important, my family. That is only indicative of my life and everyone must choose what works best for them and how.

However in 2004 when my youngest started college I started writing and the stories flowed like lava from a busted volcano. Many I gave away, others I entered in online contests and got favorable reviews. But actually publishing did not occur to me until I wrote an eighteen page short story that really excited people, that story has spawned eight full length books and as many short story spinoffs. The writing journey began by simply writing and deciding without any advice to publish. (This isn’t recommended for the faint of heart.)

For four months I wrote fast and furiously and decided to vanity publish after some research. I know, I know, but seeking a publisher never crossed my mind. I started my first business at thirteen so “do it myself” worked for me. Anyway I plunked down my five hundred dollars and my baby, Black’s Obsession was born. I was an author! Ha, hold up, wait a minute. No I wasn’t, I was a writer who had thrown together a book and gotten it in print. I joined yahoo groups and it didn’t take long before I was disabused of my notions of being a real author. I actually received 3s and 4s as reviews but it was clear it was sloppy and many made no bones about saying it, not necessarily to me but I heard it loud and clear. Instead of being offended, I listened and made some changes. But before that could fully occur a strange thing happened, local readers paid their fifteen dollars and loved the book. There were components that they especially loved, such as an African-American man who completely loved a woman and didn’t care who knew it and was as flawed as could be but loved his community and was about positive growth. That heartened me enough to continue because with all of its flaws the books were selling, I was being invited to book clubs and events and was having conversations with readers about my work. I just knew I had work to do and was willing to do it.

I incorporated my company, MAMM Productions, started surrounding myself with those who were honest and supportive at the same time. By that I mean, they assisted me but didn’t fool me into thinking I had all the answers. I hired a publicist and those who could whip my books into shape and I was on my way. I also have an aside, which is probably most helpful to new authors, once you accept that not everyone is going to support your work and that every book isn’t for every reader, you have covered a major hurdle in your life. Please accept that if nothing else.

For the next several months while working on my second book I had to make changes. Online was not working for me, it was too much talking and pontificating, so I decided there was no way I would spend my time like that. I was an African-American writer with African-American stories living in a city with 350 thousand African-Americans! It was time to take my show on the road. From 2007 to 2010 I published eight books and traveled my state and the surrounding states selling my work and gaining readers and relationships. I barely went online during that time, that wasn’t my focus or my concern. When I first knew this was working for me was going to The Zora Neale Hurston festival, people bought my second book, Love Stories of People I Have Known and they also took my card and soon after started calling me. It was rejuvenating and encouraging.

Of my travels another mission was born, many found me a storyteller and funny and soon I was being asked to not only show up and sell books but people were actually asking me to talk about the things I was writing about, including teen issues, mentoring, marriage, community involvement and the list goes on. I was no longer a writing publisher, I had become something else that continues to bless my life and my writing work. While on the road, I sold a lot of books but I grew weary. It was exhausting considering I still had a very demanding career as a Budget Analyst. In my next segment of my publishing journey I would like to talk about bringing my career back online and learning to change when change is needed.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR and her many books at Angelia’s Amazon Author Page

THE SOUL TIES DUO  “Sex is not qualified to do the work of love, it just isn’t.”

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Visit Angelia’s blogs:

 

Follow Angelia Vernon Menchan’s RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT TOUR all week at http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

 

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Author Spotlight: Margo Bond Collins


Bette A. Stevens:

Listen LIVE on Tuesday 2/13/2014

Find out about author Margo Bond Collins and join Reviews Book Club! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Cultural Cocktails:

MBC

(Please join me in welcoming Rave Reviews Book Club, Author SPOTLIGHT Margo Bond Collins.)

The Joy of Online Book Clubs

by Margo Bond Collins

In addition to writing novels, I teach online courses in college English—primarily writing classes. This means that almost all of my work is done from home. I tend to be more introverted than extraverted, so generally, I’m happy with my current job situation.

But I used to teach traditional college classes, and I miss discussing books. I miss discussing the characters and their motivations, the way a plot moves, the wording an author chooses. I miss interacting with other people about the novels that I love to read.

And this is why I love belonging to online book clubs like Rave Reviews: it allows me to talk books with other people who love to read! And in this case, I love discussing books with other…

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Oh Crap She’s Famous!


Oh Crap She’s Famous!.

Darlene Craviotto

Darlene Craviotto, author of “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood – How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House” and so much more!

Meet Darlene Craviotto… She’s one amazing woman! ~ Bette A. Stevens

MEET THE AUTHOR: Sheila Deeth


Author Sheila Deeth:  Mongrel Christian Mathematician

Sheila Deeth: author of The Five-Minute Bible Story Series & self-proclaimed ‘Mongrel Christian Mathematician’

“Tell me a bedtime Bible story…”

Author Sheila Deeth has a whole series of bedtime Bible stories for us and she’s working on more!

GENESIS PEOPLE from her Five-Minute Bible Story Series is FREE on Amazon until January 14th; and, you won’t want to miss out on BETHLEHEM’S BABY. READERS: Here’s a sneak preview in Sheila’s own words from the interview—:

With forty individual tales based on the first Christmas story, Bethlehem’s Baby brings the real world where Jesus was born to life, peopling it with characters children can relate to, and inviting readers to imagine themselves in the scene.

Hi, Sheila. It’s great to have you with us today. I can’t wait to share what you’re doing to bring the stories of old to the latest generation. 

Draws readers and listeners into the scenes.

Sheila’s stories draw readers and listeners right into the scenes.

That is exciting, Sheila. Tell us a little about you and about your life …

Well… I was meant to complete this interview before Christmas, and I completely forgot until January. I guess that tells you I’m fairly disorganized. But I try to read, write, and write some more, in between networking and doing the everyday stuff of shopping, cleaning, washing… I used to write computer programs. Then I got paid to break them. Then I lost my job and wrote books instead.

How about your family?

We have three sons, two of whom came home for Christmas, effectively distracting me and making my life even more disorganized than usual. Can I use the fact that they hijacked my computer to kill aliens as my excuse for failing to get back in touch with you? The third son is a doctor and had to work over Christmas, but we’ll see him soon, so we’re keeping the lights on and extending our Christmas celebration to the middle of January.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

I learned to write, eventually, in elementary school, and I’ve been writing stories ever since. I tried my hand at novels before I lost my job, but never had time for such a concentrated relationship with my characters. When the job went away, I wrote to keep my spirits up—fiction being so much more fun to write than job applications. Some of the stories grew into novellas and novels. Others stayed short and simple because I wanted to tell them to children.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

Bethlehem’s Baby came out as an ebook just before Christmas, but it’s going to be released as a real, physical book soon! I’m seriously excited, and so looking forward to holding it in my hands. My Mum’s excited too—she’s visiting from England and hopes to take some copies back with her. But you asked for a synopsis. Sorry…

With forty individual tales based on the first Christmas story, Bethlehem’s Baby brings the real world where Jesus was born to life, peopling it with characters children can relate to, and inviting readers to imagine themselves in the scene. Meet the shepherd boy whose grandfather keeps complaining about the noise until angels sing. Meet the Babylonian research student who discovers the meaning of the star but never gets the credit. A girl on the road from Jerusalem to Egypt keeps asking, “Are we nearly there?” And a baby boy grows into a small child on the streets of Nazareth.

What prompted you to write…

I’ve always told stories, as long ago as I can remember. But I took forever to learn to read or write. Then, one day, the elementary school principal brought a reel to reel tape recorder into class. She said if I wouldn’t write my stories she’d have to tape them. I decided the pencil was considerably less scary (and smaller) than the microphone, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

Hmm. That’s an interesting question. I think my favorite line from Bethlehem’s Baby is:God didn’t hang the world on a wall when he’d finished. He didn’t leave the Bible on a bookshelf to look nice. And he didn’t sell his program to people who wanted to play humans on their computer.”

Who is your favorite character and why?

I’m rather fond of the wise research student because he likes to play with numbers, and I’m a mathematician.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I did quite a lot of research to learn what life would have been like in Israel when Jesus was born. That was probably the hardest part of writing the book, but it was also great fun.

Do you do anything besides write?

I cook, clean, wash… I used to walk the dog (I really miss her!)… And I read, a lot. I’m a very fast reader. Then I write book reviews, but I guess that’s writing again.

How can my readers get copies of your books?

Soon you’ll be able to get print copies from Amazon and other sites as well, but at the moment you’d have to get an eCopy, from:

Amazon kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EY172MA/

Barnes and Noble nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=allproducts&keyword=Bethlehem%27s+Baby+by+Sheila+Deeth

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/bethlehem-s-baby

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357261

What’s next for you, …?

Bethlehem’s Baby is the sixth book in the Five Minute Bible StoryTM Series. Nazareth Neighbors, the seventh book, was released at the end of December, by Cape Arago Press. And I’m working on Galilee’s Gift and Jerusalem Journey which should come out later this year. I’ve also signed contracts with Second Wind Publishing for three novels which are scheduled for 2014, so there’ll be lots of last-minute editing and rewriting taking place on my computer. It’s just as well the sons removed the computer aliens, I suppose.

5 minute covers Sheila Deeth

Sheila Deeth’s Five-Minute Bible Stories… Click the photok to download your copy of GENESIS PEOPLE for FREE before January 14th! Take a look inside her other books too.

Sheila, it’s been wonderful having you here at 4writersandreaders today. I can hardly wait for your series to come out in paperback for my grandson. Meanwhile, I’m ordering copies of Bethlehem’s Baby and GENESIS PEOPLE for my kindle today. Thanks so much for stopping by and keep those great stories coming our way! ~ Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

A Letter to Fourth Grade Fans


Dear Mrs. Glynn & Fourth Grade Students,

How exciting it was to check my mailbox last week and find all of your wonderful Thank You Letters. They really made my day. Your notes and illustrations are fantastic. There is nothing that makes an author happier than hearing from her fans. I’m so glad that you enjoyed AMAZING MATILDA. I definitely enjoyed meeting all of you, reading my book and having a book talk. You had so many great questions to ask me about writing and you offered excellent insights into the book’s messages.

I took a picture of your letters and thought you’d like to see it. So, here it is!

Letters from fourth grade fans in Hartland, Maine. ~ MAINE Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens

Letters from fourth grade fans in Hartland, Maine. ~ Photo by MAINE Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens   (November 1013)

I keep a file called MY SMILE FILE and all of your amazing letters waiting for me there. That way, on gloomy days when I need a smile, I can read your letters and think of ALL OF YOU—Mrs. Gynn and her amazing fourth grade students!

I included both of my children’s books in the photo. You’ll find copies in your school library. Yes, I will be back to read to you again. My favorite genre is historical fiction. Nature and human nature (people) are the things that inspire me to write my books. I’ll be posting this letter on my web/blog http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Happy reading, writing and all of those other amazing things that you all do,

Bette A. Stevens, MAINE AUTHOR ILLUSTRATOR

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Woman Of Purpose Spotlight: Author & Retired Teacher – Bette A. Stevens


Spotlight Interview with author and retired teacher

Bette A. Stevens by Winsome Campbell-Green

Author BAS White Text

Read all about it at http://womenbeautypurposeandempowerment.blogspot.com/2013/10/woman-of-purpose-spotlight-author.html

MEET THE AUTHORS: D.C. Rush


 

D.C. Rush~Don and Cathy Rush, writers and creators of the Robby's Quest children's storybook series

D.C. Rush~Don and Cathy Rush, writers and creators of the Robby’s Quest children’s storybook series

Meet the writing team of D.C. Rush

What are reviewers saying about one of the books in D.C. Rush’s children’s storybook series?

“Robby’s Quest for Seed by D.C. Rush is an entertaining tale filled with humor and adventure which are cleverly used to teach children about friendship and teamwork.”

“This could easily be a five-star best seller and a future children’s classic.”

Welcome, Don. It’s great to have you with us at 4writersandreaders blog. Tell us a little about D.C. Rush. 

My wife Cathy and I wrote and published the Robby’s Quest children’s storybook series. We write under the name D.C. Rush, short for Don and Cathy Rush. I was born in Cleveland and Cathy was born in Chicago. I spent most of my working life, over forty years, in the manufacturing sector, working my way up from machinist to plant manager. I’ve spent most of those years working in aerospace at AlliedSignal then in the recreational vehicle industry in Minnesota producing hardware for ATVs, Snowmobiles and Motorcycles. Cathy is a pharmacy tech, retired and currently a homemaker. We met and were married in Phoenix back in 1985.

Tell us about your family.

Cathy and I have been married 27 years. we have two daughters, Becky and Tiffany, both new mothers. So that means we are new grandparents. Becky’s three month old daughter is named Abygail and Tiffany has two children, Rylie her two year old son and her two month old daughter Aubree, the newest addition to the family. Becky lives close by so we see her often and we babysit for Abby once a week. Unfortunately Tiffany lives in Minnesota and we don’t get to see her often enough. I also have a brother who lives close to us but most of my family lives in Ohio.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you do?

Cathy and I retired and moved back to Arizona in 2009. We began playing with the idea of writing a children’s book in 2010.

Our books are fictional stories about a group of birds, life-long friends, who travel across America searching for new adventures and making new friends. Written for early readers, they also make excellent bedtime stories for the little ones.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of Robby’s Quest for Seed

cover one

Robby the robin, his brother Ricky and their flock of feathery friends decide to fly south for the winter. Also in the flock are three mourning doves, a family of six sparrows and one lone blackbird. Robby is the group leader; however, he believes in and promotes democracy. The birds vote on most major issues. During the trip south, Joy the youngest sparrow wanders from the flock and lands in the backyard of a very determined and hungry cat named Hershey. The other birds must form a search party and save the little bird. When the group arrives in Florida, they discover their winter homes were destroyed by a hurricane. The birds face a dilemma. Should they stay in Florida until the waters subside or travel west to Arizona? Robby’s Quest for Seed is a story about teamwork, leadership and friendship that children are sure to enjoy.

What prompted the team of Don and Cathy Rush to become writers?

We wanted to leave something behind for our children and their children. We really did not expect to publish our story. The manuscript sat on our hard drive for over a year before we were persuaded to self-publish. The birth of our grandson gave us some added incentive to publish and we dedicated the first book to Rylie. After we wrote and published the first story, it seemed natural to write a second story. We never expected to write four books , but it seemed we had more stories to tell.

Do you have a favorite line from the book? 

There are many passages I really like. This one is from the first book.

“Today was a very special day. Today was the day when all the birds would begin the journey south for the winter. Once arriving at their destination, it would be like spring break for birds.”

Look and listen…


Who is your favorite character and why?

I like Robby the robin. Over the years, I enjoyed being in management. Robby has my management style. He enjoys being the leader; but he also enjoys empowering others. Robby seeks agreement from the group for critical decisions and listens to others when they try to help. Robby is dedicated to the flock and would not let anything bad happen to anyone.

What was the hardest part about writing your book? The first book took a long time to write. We really struggled with the plot and how to actually form a story. By the third chapter we had an idea where we were going with the storyline so things began moving along. One problem was that we kept going back correcting our grammar and we weren’t really getting anywhere. We decided to just continue to write then we would go back later and check for grammar, punctuation, etc. It’s best to get your thoughts down on paper as soon as you can.

Do you do anything besides write?  I spend most of my time marketing our books. Social networking takes a great deal of effort. My first priority is our website www.dcrushbooks.com. This is our main advertising hub for all our social networking efforts. We also have a Facebook Page www.facebook.com/dcrushbooks and we are active on Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest. We also have a WordPress blog  that we are still tweaking. I enjoy surfing the internet and looking for new ways to promote our books. Cathy enjoys Facebook and she helps with ideas for the blog and website.  We also enjoy watching action-adventure movies and crime-drama television shows like Criminal Minds, CSI Miami and Law & Order.

How can our readers get copies of your books? 

Our first three books are available in eBook and paperback editions. The first and second books are also available on audio. We found a wonderful narrator from Los Angeles with voice-over experience on radio and television. Tracy does an amazing job. You can find all the links to every book and every format on our website www.dcrushbooks.com. On our website you can also watch any of three book trailers and listen to samples of the audio books.

Here are the eBook, Paperback and Audio Book links to Robby’s Quest for Seed

eBook on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V7GZ2K

Paperback on Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4257882

Audio Book on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B00D8HWUEG

What’s next for Don and Cathy—D.C. Rush?   

We are kicking around the idea of a picture book for the little ones, but we really need to get the Robby’s Quest series in front of more readers. We like to visit local hospitals and give the children a paperback to read; but again, we need to begin selling our books in order to continue doing this. We do have a new publicist who will begin a marketing campaign starting January 1st for Book One, February 1st for Book Two, etc.

It’s been a pleasure learning more about D.C. Rush and  Robby’s Quest for Seed. Thanks so much for joining us here today. — Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders blog

Where to find D.C. Rush:

Website: www.dcrushbooks.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dcrushbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dcrushbooks

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dcrushbooks/

Blog: http://dcrushbooks.wordpress.com/

Aside

PEACE IN TIME BOOK BLITZ!


MEET THE AUTHOR:  M.C.V. Egan

About The Author:picture087

M.C.V. Egan lives in South Florida. she is fluent in four languages; English, Spanish, French and Swedish. From a young age became determined to solve the ‘mystery’ of her grandfather’s death, she has researched this story for almost two decades. the story has taken her to Denmark, England and unconventional world of psychics.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Peace In Time Book Blitz

Genre: Historical Paranormal
Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Amazon

Author Interview with M.C. V. Egan by Bette A. Stevens

M.C.V. Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths, promotes world peace in a unique way.

M.C.V. Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths, promotes world peace in a unique way.

Welcome to 4writersandreaders, M.C.V. Egan.

Thank you, Bette, for inviting me today for an interview and for participating in the acknowledgement of the United Nations 33rd International Peace Day.

It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to have you with us today, Catalina, as people around the globe recognize September 21st as The International Day of Peace. Your novel, The Bridge of Deaths, promotes world peace in a unique way. I’m sure we’ll find out more about that from you today.

The Bridge of Deaths, opens with this quote:

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Carl Sagan

BOOK_FRONT_AND_BACK

Tell us a little about yourself, Catalina.

I was born in Mexico City, Mexico 54 years ago. Through the twists, turns and opportunities in life, I have lived in Mexico, France, Sweden and various parts of the USA. Consequently I have managed to acquire four languages and a variety of cultural influences. I now live in South Florida with my husband and teenage son.

How about your family and community life?

I am a mother and a wife. I am also a step mother and a step grandmother. I live in an area where the sense of community is very mixed as the brunt of the population only lives here for part of the year; they are known as snow-birds and flock from various northern parts of the USA, Canada and Europe. This has enriched our area in so many ways. Exposure to cultural diversity and great restaurants are only a small part.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I have been writing since I was a young child. My writing varies with the exception that I have never dipped into Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I dabble and test just about any other genre.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your novel? 

It is a well-documented historical journey with a touch of fiction and a metaphysical twist. The story revolves around the 1939 crash of airliner G-AESY and it is explored from the perspective of a modern-day couple researching their past lives.

What prompted you to become a writer?

In general what prompted me to write was an innate need to communicate. It is not that easy to be heard when you are one of eight kids in a family of very loud voices.

Do you have a favorite line or brief selection to share from The Bridge of Deaths

I do have one, but it would make no matter of sense at all to anyone who has not read the book.

“It wasn’t the best copy. It was from an old microfilm machine. The resemblance was unmistakable. She found herself out the door, in her car, and heading back to where she’d promised herself she would never go again―to the accountant’s office”

Who is your favorite character and why? 

Maggie is my favorite character for a number of reasons. She is the only primary character who is absolutely fictional, and that granted an amazing freedom to me as a writer. I could make her as fearless and lovely as I chose. Also, I made her a young woman of great convictions, especially in regards to striving for WORLD PEACE.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

In the case of The Bridge of Deaths, acquiring the information―research was the hardest part.

Do you do anything besides write? 

I am trying to devote myself to writing and parenting these days. I have worked in the past and I enjoy it. I feel at this stage in my son’s life it is very important to be a very hands-on parent.

How can readers get a copy of The Bridge of Deaths

What’s next for you, M.C.V. Egan?   

I am writing, working on a series in more of a Chick Lit genre. Also, through a local writers group, I am dabbling in short stories and one-act plays. Next year when new files pertinent to the crash of the G-AESY ―because of the 75-year disclosure rule in Europe―I do hope to uncover much more or all of the facts surrounding the crash.

But the next four years in parenting will be pivotal, so my projects may well go slowly.

Thank you, M.C.V. Egan, for including 4writersandreaders in your PEACE IN TIME Book Blitz & Blog Hop presented by The Bridge of Deaths and VBT Cafe.  It’s been wonderful having you featured here on September 21st United Nations 33rd International Peace Day―a day designated to promote world peace.

Readers, come join the Blitz―enter the contest to win some fantastic prizes; then, stop back to visit the great blogs promoting world peace with M.C.V. Egan. And, don’t forget to get your copy of The Bridge of Deaths, if you haven’t already had a chance to read it. Find out how Maggie shares M.C.V. Egan’s message of Word Peace. I highly recommend this novel to readers around the globe.

Readers can get my personal perspective on world peace in my article Let’s Paint the World with Peace. http://4writersandreaders.com/2013/09/19/lets-paint-the-world-with-peace/  ~ I invite you to stop by to read my post and leave me your perspective on how we can attain world peace. I would love to hear what you think about World Peace.

~ Bette A. Stevens at 4writersandreaders.com

The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “One of those mysteries that never get solved” is based on true events and real people, it is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through sources in Denmark, England and the United States, it finds a way to help the reader feel that he /she is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.

The journey takes the reader to well-known and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. The journey also takes the reader to the possibility of finding oneself in this lifetime by exploring past lives.

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY (simply click the link below) RIGHT HERE!

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Victoria C. Ames


I Can Dance, Too!

by Victoria C. Ames and Lynette Toma

homebook

goldPraise  from a  Happy Mom

“Victoria and Lynette,

Thank you for the book. I can do lots of things too! The book the two of you wrote couldn’t have come at a better time. Our daughter had experienced exclusion during an activity and her self-esteem was greatly affected. Although all of us close to her were trying our best to make her feel good about herself, nothing was really working. The book really made a difference; it prompted her to think about all of the things that she can do.

Thank you!”

 

Hi, Victoria. Welcome to 4writersandreaders—It’s great to have you with us today.Tell us about how you came to co-author your wonderful children’s book.

Lynette and I lived at the same apartment complex in San Diego, CA.  One day, Lynette walked over to me and asked if anyone was sitting on the pool lounge chair next to me. I invited her to sit down and I noticed that we each had a book in our hands, one describing the strengths and needs of an individual with a speech and language impairment and one guiding us through a woman’s journey to create a better life for herself.  An instant connection. We were both speech therapists, we both grew up far from California, we both loved books and we both said, “Why not?” Within an hour we had decided to write a book together to combine our dreams and passions.

That is so exciting, beginning a book project as a team. Give us a brief synopsis of “I Can Dance, Too!”

Mia would love to dance, but she cannot hear the music unless she wears her hearing aids. After questions by the other children, Mia proves that she can dance and that she is not different from the others.

Co-authors Lynette and Victoria attending the Orange County Book Festival.

Co-authors Lynette and Victoria attending the Orange County Book Festival.

What do  you enjoy most about being an author?

Every time I read the book to my students, or to any child, I get a rush of adrenaline. Whether it’s in front of a filled auditorium during a performance or the small setting of my office at school. It is incredible. The children have such a good time reading the words, commenting on the beautiful illustrations, and trying to find the dragonflies on every page. Many of the kindergartener through second graders can read the words or confidently attempt to read them with support as needed. Almost all of them did not know what a hearing aid was and most of them did not think Mia could dance with them in her ears. Both boys and girls get to share Mia’s enjoyment when she explains that she can hear the music and move her body to the song. Even the boys get up and stretch their legs, turn, leap and say, “Look at me—I’m dancing!”

Walking down the hallway at my schools I can hear, “Miss Ames, I can dance, too!” I was recently working with a student, who struggles with literacy and is getting to the point that when asked to read, she tears up. She noticed I Can Dance, Too! sitting on my desk. First, she flipped through the pages, discovered all the dragonflies and volunteered to read the book with me. Then, she asked if she could take it home and share it with her mom. I could not ask for a more thrilling and rewarding experience.

That is incredible, Victoria. Rewards don’t get better than that. What was the most challenging part of writing your book?

The most challenging part of writing the book was that very first step, overcoming the fear of rejection from potential publishers. Our thoughts and questions: The idea becoming words written in a notebook, sharing our Mia with someone else, making our vision vulnerable to the world, subjecting our selves to critics, will people love this as much as we do? Could this really happen? Deep breath in… Exhale. Send the manuscript and wait. The most challenging part of anything is waiting, isn’t it?

During this time I read my laminated, personal bound, photo-stock-imaged manuscript to my students. After all, they were the target audience. Their opinion was the most important one. What age group was best? Was it too difficult? Were they interested? Did the boys like it? I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback. Not only did they enjoy it, most young children could pronounce the name Mia, as we intended. (Try saying Mia without smiling, go ahead, try…) It was also very challenging to keep it so simple. It was a priority for us that the words were age-appropriate and the sentences were not too long. We wanted the concept to be direct and not overwhelming to little ones. The simplicity was with purpose.

What was your favorite part of writing your book?

Watching Mia come to life. Our illustrator is amazing and she created exactly what we envisioned. I still find it entertaining to flip through the pages of my writing journal (given to me by my co-author, Lynette) and read through the funny comments describing our journey to becoming published. The different ideas we had, how Mia had physically changed, every thought, different places we met to write.  Organizing our ideas at the park, coffee shops, restaurants and even at the beach. What was going on in our personal lives at that time. I wanted to make sure that I captured every step along the way because I knew how important this was to Lynette and to me.

What is your favorite line in the book?

“My ears may be different but I can still dance, let me show you!”

It is the moment that she wipes away the doubt of the other students and proves that she belongs in that group—her Mia Moment!

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Absolutely. Both reading and writing have been a significant part of my life from before I was born to the moment I was strong enough to sit up independently and hold a book in my hand, as reported to me by my mother. Literacy was always encouraged by all of my family. You could always find my mother, my sister and my grandmothers reading. I had very good role models growing up. Actually, let’s rewind to first grade. My teacher, with whom I still keep in touch very closely, has recently reminded me of how I loved reading so much and always loved to ‘perform’ and read out loud to my classmates.

I remember my fifth grade teacher giving us a writing assignment. Upon my initial review of her feedback, I noticed at the top of the paper it stated she wanted to see me. What is the first thought we have when the teacher requests to see us privately? Yikes! Standing outside her door, she handed me a brand new journal and asked that I not tell the other students because this was a special gift just for me. She told me that there was something very special about my writing and she hoped that I would continue throughout my life. I smile today, 20 years later, just thinking about how much that meant to me. The simple gesture of presenting me with that blank canvas was unforgettable and perhaps an incredible catalyst that ignited my passion for written expression.

Victoria E. Ames reading "I CAN DANCE TOO!" with one of her students.

Victoria E. Ames reading “I CAN DANCE TOO!” with one of her students.

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

I am a Speech Language Pathologist. Throughout my career I have worked with both children and adults. I genuinely enjoy my profession. How do I spend my time when I am not working? Quite frankly, it depends on where I am. Living on the East Coast, I competed in and taught all types of dancing, including ballroom, jazz, tap and acrobatics. I always found myself outside somehow enjoying the beach and the fresh air or watching the sunset. On the West Coast, I was a Zumba instructor at a hip hop cultural center as well as a tap and ballet teacher at a performing arts academy. I have also been known to choreograph my friends’ wedding dances or give piano lessons to colleagues. Free moments in San Diego, California were spent at the beach lying on my towel, listening to the waves, reading or writing until the sun set over the Pacific. In my new state, I hike, run up and down trails, rock climb, snowboard, mountain bike, and basically look for any reason to be outside and up in the mountains. And yes, watching the sunset over the Rockies reminds me everyday that life is beautiful here in Colorado.

Who is your favorite character?

Of course I love Mia! However, after reading and presenting my book to numerous audiences, I am starting to become fond of the little boy who questions her. He changes his mind after a bit of social education and then welcomes her to the group. Simply put, that’s the point, educate and hopefully elicit a positive response.

What originally inspired you to write your book?

In my profession as a speech and language pathologist, I can provide services to children or adults in a one-on-one setting, a small group of two to four, or a whole classroom of approximately 20 children. After a few years of experience in the field, I wanted to figure out a way to help more people, as many as possible. What can I do to reach children and their families that I have never even had the pleasure of meeting? I will never forget the first email I received from a mother who had purchased I Can Dance, Too! from our website. This woman had written a message describing how the book had helped her little girl overcome feelings of rejection from classmates and encouraged her to think about all of the things that she can do! My reaction? Tears dropped, goose bumps appeared and my heart jumped! That one email, the first of many, was confirmation that my dream and vision had become a reality.

What is next for you, Victoria?

  • I am in the process of converting the book to an eBook that will be available on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble, in addition to the paperback copies that are currently available online.
  • I am working towards creating interactive technology that will assist the children and their reading partners.  It will increase their communication and creativity and help them get practice answering comprehension questions to encourage their overall success.
  • We will be publishing the remaining stories so we can introduce the rest of Mia’s friends.
  • It was the original vision to have I Can Dance, Too! in the preschool or elementary curriculum to promote literacy and acceptance while meeting academic requirements.
  • I hope to continue our involvement in dance productions or dance studios. Please stop by our  I Can Dance, Too! Facebook Page for pictures. https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Can-Dance-Too/211393855603764?fref=ts
  • I will be speaking at the 2014 conference for Zonta Professional Women’s Service Club.

You sure do have a full schedule, Victoria. Is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?

Our book is more than just pages bound together, more than illustrations and words presented on a kindle and more than a tangible product to sell. It is a mission to encourage literacy, respect, acceptance, connections, passions, discoveries, self-esteem, self-worth, belonging, and trusting yourself when those around you are doubtful. Face challenges with confidence, overcome obstacles, and realize that you can… Always believe that anything is possible!

homebook

I highly recommend “I Can Dance, Too!” to all of our readers who have young children. Where can they find a copy of your book?

They can purchase it directly from our website or through Amazon and Barnes & Noble:

www.amesandtomabooks.com

Thanks so much for  joining us today, Victoria. It’s been a pleasure learning more about you and your most amazingly co-authored book for young children.

RELATED SITES:

Mom’s Choice Gold Award Recipient-Inspirational and Motivational
http://www.momschoiceawards.com/search-winners/1/?p_search=I%20Can%20Dance%2C%20Too&cat=all&scat=all#

Social and Emotional Encouragement Book Set: Kaplan Early Learning Companyhttp://www.kaplanco.com/store/trans/productDetailForm.asp?CatID=6%7CCB1070%7C0&PID=51187&WT.mc_id=KAFB

American Speech and Hearing Association; Books About Communication: Hearing Disorders
http://www.asha.org/public/books_hd.htm

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