A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘author interview’ Category

Get Caught Reading with Bette A. Stevens


YOU’RE INVITED

Friday, May 20th at 1:30 p.m. It’s GET CAUGHT READING MONTH and Annette Rochelle Aben will be interviewing me on The Magic Happens Radio Network. Come join us! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Annette Rochelle Aben

GetCaughtTMASBette

Friday, May 20th, 1:30pm EDT~ As we continue our celebration of Get Caught Reading month at The Magic Happens Radio Network, we welcome retired teacher and author, Bette A. Stevens as our guest today on Tell Me a Story.  Bette is the author of Amazing Matilda, an award-winning picture book; as well as The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing. Pure Trash, is Bette’s short story prequel to her debut novel, Dog Bone Soup, a Boomer’s coming of age novel. You can connect with Bette on her website http://www.4writersandreaders.com. We direct you to http://www.getcaughtreading.org for more information on the Get Caught Reading movement! And of course, our website is http://www.themagichappens.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2016/05/20/get-caught-reading-with-bette-a-stevens

View original post

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Christina Steiner (children’s literature)


CHRISTINA STEINER author picChristina Steiner is an award-winning writer of two illustrated children’s books The Sad Tree and Pronuba and The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly (Outskirts Press 2013, 2015). As a nature enthusiast, she likes to introduce children to the wonders of the living world around them. Steiner writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Other accomplishments include being featured in the Moorpark Review 2013, the West Winds Centennial, California Writers Club 100 year anthology in 2010, and an honorable mentioning in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition 2008.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Christina made Southern California her home and raised two daughters. When not writing or reading, she hikes with her dogs, rides her horse, makes wine with her partner and enjoys the beauty that nature offers.

It’s wonderful to have Christina Steiner with us today. I’ve fallen in love with both of her children’s books (outstanding children’s literature inspired by nature) and can’t wait to send copies to my youngest grandson to read and enjoy. Now it’s time to meet the author. Tell us more about yourself, Christina.

If I can be outdoors, I usually am. I prefer mountains to the ocean but living in California offers both. Nature in its bounty always amazes and enthralls me. A bad day gets whisked away after a walk on the beach or in the local hills.

How about your family?

My roots are in Switzerland. Growing up as the youngest of five, I learned from my siblings what was accepted and what not. Small town living has advantages and perils. Any misbehaving in the town usually reached my parent’s ear before I could make it home.

Living in America and raising my two daughters was different, everything seemed larger than life. I had the big advantage to live in a semi-rural area of Los Angeles at the time so I could instill the wonders of nature by exposing my children to the local wildlife and our domestic animals which included horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats and even a llama. Now I live with my partner and four dogs in Ventura, California.

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

I always loved to write. My earliest competition was an essay for a newspaper in third grade. I did win second place. Later I wrote journals all through my teenage years which included poetry, at that time in German. My dream of writing my own book didn’t happen until much later when my children were grown. English became the language of choice as a writer. I joined local writing communities and profited a lot through critique groups and encouragements of follow writers. The dream became a passion.

SYNOPSIS OF BOOKS (Click cover images to find Christina’s books on Amazon  and take a look inside these beautifully written and illustrated children’s books.)

cover (1)The Sad Tree and Pronuba tells the story of the symbiotic relationship between the Joshua tree and the Pronuba moth.

The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly is a chapter book. A North Dakota boy rides along with Anka, an eastern, fourth-generation Monarch butterfly to central Mexico and back. During the journey William learns the intricate life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, survival and friendship

What prompted you to write The Sad Tree and Pronuba

I visited the Mojave Desert and climbed Malapai Hill in Joshua Tree National Park. Fascinated by one of these strange Joshua trees, I wanted to know everything about them. The relationship of two different species, The Joshua tree and the Pronuba moth, show how exquisite and unique nature presents itself.

Favorite line: I must go—I’m so busy, I’ve got to blow. (Reminds me of our busy lives.)

Favorite character: Pronuba moth, she’s so upbeat and joyful.

William & the Monarch Butterfly CHRISTINA STEINERThe Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly was prompted by a suggestion from my partner. We live close to a grove that western Monarch butterflies choose for their winter quarters. Sadly the population of butterflies greatly diminished. After extensive research I decided to set the story for an eastern Monarch butterfly. For a small creature to fly the distance to the Oyamel fir forest and survive the winter in this unique environment to assure the continuation of the species is another example of the incredible natural world.

Favorite line: Anka speaking to William . . . “You and I share this world. We all have our purpose. I know mine from the get-go. You will have to figure yours out as you grow. But there is a reason why we’re here, why we’re alive.”

Favorite character: Anka, the Monarch butterfly. As she matures, she becomes incredibly sage.

What was the hardest part of writing your children’s books?

To write the stories so the readers, young or old, can see the grandeur of nature and be entertained while adhering to the facts.

Do you do anything in addition to writing books?

I assist my partner in making wine, two to four varietal per year. Together we take care of our dogs. In our household we have four large dogs, three champion Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Betsy, Harvard Girl and Boomer and Sentry, a 180 lbs. Hungarian Kuvasz. Every morning we take them to a leash-free park close by for training and exercise. Several times a week I ride my horse Xena, stabled in Moorpark. These outdoor activities balance out the time spent on the computer.

My two grandchildren, twins—a boy and a girl, spent most Sundays with me while my daughter is at work.

I attend a tutor-training workshop at the local library to become a volunteer tutor and help adults to achieve better reading and life skills.

My books are available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, outskirtspress.com and some local independent book stores.

What’s next for author Christina Steiner?

I finished a series of articles called Predators in the Backyard. Each talks about the intricate lives of insects or spiders commonly found in the backyard and the significance they have in mythology.

The first draft of a new novel is nearly completed. Untitled as of now. The middle-grade fiction deals with coming of age, loss, adjustment to inner city life and forming new friendships.

It’s been wonderful to have you with us today, Christina. I highly recommend both of your beautifully written and illustrated children’s books to our readers.

Visit author Christina Steiner and find out more about her books

Readers, thanks so much for visiting today. In invite you to join the conversation (comments below). Happy reading! ~ Bette A. Stevens 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Barbara Ann Mojica & “The Little Miss History” series


Barbara Ann Mojica author pic

Barbara Ann Mojica, author of The Little Miss HISTORY series

After reading, thoroughly enjoying and recommending several books in Barbara Ann Mojica’s Little Miss History series to friends, I was delighted when the author provided me with a copy of her latest book. As a retired teacher, I love to spread the word about wonderful new children’s books and Mojica’s series is sure to get kids hooked on history. In her latest book, Little Miss History travels to Ellis Island, the main character takes readers through the museum where we find intriguing facts, photos and illustrations encapsulating the history of Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty while uncovering the plight of many of the immigrants who entered America through its gates. Although I had the opportunity to visit Ellis Island as a teen, I discovered aspects of my maternal ancestors’ entry into the USA that I plan to research further. The Little Miss History series by Barbara Ann Mojica is a valuable collection I highly recommend to teachers and parents as a wonderful way to explore US history and excite young readers to want learn more. And, today I’m honored to have the series’ talented author here with us. ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Welcome Barbara. To start off, tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Queens. Proud to say that I worked my way through college and was the first in my family to graduate with a degree at age twenty. Receiving a scholarship, I went on to graduate school. After college, I worked as an administrative assistant for a short time before embarking on a teaching career. I taught in elementary school, then moved to special education, and later principal and special education administrator. In addition I taught dyslexic children using the Wilson Reading Program and Applied Behavioral Analysis with autistic children. Now that I am retired, I am loving my new career as a writer for a local news magazine, children’s book writer and book reviewer.

I can see you’re a busy gal with little time for boredom to set in. How about an update on your family and community?

Barbara's granddaughter, a big fan of Little Miss History, dresses up as her favorite character.

Barbara’s granddaughter, a big fan of Little Miss History, dresses up as her favorite book character for author day at school.

I live in upstate New York in a rural area with my wonderful husband, who is also the illustrator and publisher of my book series. We write and draw from a cozy studio in our home overlooking a pretty lake. Together we have six children and seven grandchildren, including two sets of twins. I love to keep up with our grandchildren through social media. My oldest grandchild, six-year-old Ava, is a big Little Miss HISTORY fan. She made me proud when she dressed up as Little Miss HISTORY on favorite author day in school.

We live in a community filled with historic sites, which we enjoy visiting. Victor and I support local events like the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, library events, and fundraisers for literacy in and around our community. One of my goals for this year is to increase Little Miss HISTORY’s presence in school communities by doing more classroom visits.

Your books are so well researched and designed, Barbara. And the illustrations are marvelous. How long have you been writing?

I have been doing lots of writing since by college days. Majoring in History and minoring in English and the classics involved lots of term papers and research. Pursuing graduate degrees in History sharpened my focus, but I have always been drawn to children so I found myself entering the education field. As a college freshman, one of my professors told me my research was impeccable, but that my writing style was “turgid and bombastic.” I guess that helped me to learn how to be concise. I now write one page historical articles for a local news magazine, concise blog book reviews, and children’s nonfiction picture books that generally fall within the 500 to 700 word range. Aside from an article or two for a scholarly journal, most of my published works appeared in the last five years. Ninety percent of my work is nonfiction focusing on history.

Can you give us a synopsis of The Little Miss HISTORY series and tell us what inspired you to write these wonderful books?

Get the kids hooked on history!

Get the kids hooked on history!

The Little Miss HISTORY Travel s to….. is a series of books using the Little Miss HISTORY character as a guide. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. The aim of these books is to whet your child’s appetite for visiting these landmarks while having fun learning history. My objective in writing these books is to make learning about history something other than a series of facts, but instead the story of the people and places who have formed the heritage of America.

Do you have a favorite line to share from the series?

My favorite line does not come from a particular book. Little Miss HISTORYs motto, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” sums it up for me. I believe that history is our story, not a random series of events, but a process that involves the people of the past, their successes and failures, and their connections to us in the present. How we use what we learn and preserve these treasures will have an impact on what the future holds for our descendants.

How about a favorite character?

Little Miss HISTORY is the only character contained in each of the books of the series. She is a cartoon-like character based on a younger version of myself. Like Little Miss I hiked in my local area and trekked across the globe. I have visited more than fifty countries and a good number of states in America. Lately, I have been spending more time researching, revisiting and writing rather than traveling.

If I had to pick one favorite character in my series, it is Abraham Lincoln. I love the complexity of Lincoln’s character. He was a devoted father who grieved at the loss of two sons before his own death. While known as Honest Abe, he was a pragmatist who did not hesitate to use bribery to achieve his goals. Lincoln loved life; he educated himself and became a practicing lawyer. This president opened the doors of the White House to the people and listened sincerely to their ideas. He embraced technology, using the telegraph for the first time and inventing a device to move landlocked steamboats. I admire his persistence and resolve. He is a role model for me.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing your books?

For me, the most difficult part of writing is the rewrite and editing. There is so much that I would like to include in my books. While my targeted audience is children, most of the adults who use my books in the classroom or read them to children, tell me how many new things they have learned. So I do a careful research and try to bring to light information not commonly known about the historical personages, sites and events about which I write. For example, the Native American story important to Mount Rushmore, the pollution problems in Sequoia National Park, and the bravery of Alonzo Swann and his battery serving aboard The Intrepid. These things are all a part of history. The illustrations and photographs become an important part of that story and allow me to be as succinct as possible in the final word count, presenting as much information as possible in a suitable, appealing format for any age reader.

When not writing bi-weekly historical articles, researching, marketing or writing my own books, you will often find me reading other family friendly books. I post reviews twice weekly on my blog as well as review books on Amazon and Goodreads. As a retired educator and administrator, I share advice and expertise in developments occurring in elementary and special education with parents and educators.

In the evening I enjoy catching up on current events or watching movies with my husband. During the warmer months, I spend time gardening and boating. Of course I always find time to enjoy my grandchildren .

Where can readers find you and your books?

You can read about my books or contact me through my website: http://LittleMissHISTORY.COM At that site you can find reviews of my books, buying links, merchandise and more. All the books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent book stores.

Here are my social media sites where you can connect, join my mailing list or arrange a school visit.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES:

What’s next for author Barbara Ann Mojica?

MTVcvr New Book Little Miss History

                 Coming soon!

The next book in the Little Miss HISTORY Travels to series will be stopping by George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, where readers will learn about a side of America’s first president that few know much about. I have already begun working on three other books for the series, and will leave those a mystery for now….

It’s been wonderful having you with us today, Barbara—I can’t wait to follow Little Miss HISTORY as her journey through American history continues.

Readers:

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. I invite you to join the conversation (comments below) and share this post with your friends and family. Barbara and I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Aside

Come join us #RRBC WAVE RAVE RADIO SHOW on Thursday, June 18th at 12 noon


Radio Interview with Author Bette A. Stevens this Thursday at Noon

DOG BONE SOUP Struggling to survive

  • Maine author Bette A. Stevens talks about her debut novel DOG BONE SOUP live on #RRBC WAVE RAVE “Spotlight Honors” with Rave Reviews Book Club’s radio host Nancy Bell…
  • WHEN? Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 12 noon EST
  • WHERE? Right here on BlogTalkRadio
  • COME JOIN US!

Call in, Tweet us or just listen in live or later#RRBC WAVE RAVE host chats with author Bette A. Stevens about her debut novel DOG BONE SOUP. You’re invited to join the conversation right here! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub/2015/06/18/rrbc-rave-wave-spotlight-honors-with-guest-bette-a-stevens

  • DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens discounted for 5 days, June 18th through June 22nd. ONLY 99¢ (Retail kindle version $3.99). Grab a copy at YOUR AMAZON and tell your friends.

DOG BONE SOUP on kindle 2Thanks for all of your support, Friends. HAPPY READING! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Sharon K. Connell (Christian Fiction)


Sharon K. Connell is the author of Christian/romance/drama fiction and it’s a pleasure to have her with us today at 4writersandreaders.

What readers are saying

SHARON K Connell BOOKS cropped

Christian/romance (fiction) novels by Sharon K. Connell

A Very Present Help by Sharon K. Connell

This book is artfully written and creatively weaves the plot from beginning to end. It is a great reminder that God is still involved in our lives. This is a must read and leaves the reader filled with hope! ~ Jennifer

It’s wonderful to have you with us today, Sharon. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your books. First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

I was born in Wisconsin, grew up and went to school through College in Illinois.  In 1988, I moved to Florida and graduated from Bible School in 1995.  For most of my adult life, I have worked full-time in the clerical field.  In December 2012, I decided to retire, and in March of 2013 moved to Houston, Texas.  Since then I have been enjoying every minute of retirement from the clerical/business world and I have been writing full-time.

Today, I spend my time doing many things, which I never had the time to do before retiring.  This includes at least one or two hours daily writing stories about people who discover (as I have) that God will only allow those things into your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith.

At the age of twelve years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  There has not been a day that has gone by where I have been disappointed in that decision.  Many trials have crossed my path, most of which I brought on myself.  Nonetheless, God has been with me every step of the way.  I have never once felt that He deserted me or does not love me. 

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

The genre in which I write is Christian/Romance/Drama.  I could possibly add Mystery to the end of that list with the publishing of my fourth novel sometime this year.

While still working full-time, I began my first book around the year 2000—A Very Present Help.

In my stories, I try to bring out some promises in the Bible.  Humor always is added for entertainment, along with a good love story.  Then there is the villain who adds drama and sometimes mystery to the lives of my hero and heroine.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book? 

My latest book published in December of 2014—There Abideth Hope deals with the life of a former Navy nurse, Lieutenant JG Lynne Temple and the man she meets in Florida, a youth pastor by the name of Nick Livingston.  They run into a treacherous villain who recognizes Miss Temple from a murder trial during her college days, one in which she was the prime witness.  While the couple is trying to get to know each other, they wind up dealing with kidnaped teens from a local Rave gone bad, drugs and human trafficking, not to mention attempted murder.  The story goes from Chicago, Illinois to the war in Afghanistan to Pensacola, Florida.

What prompted you to write your novels, Sharon?

This is an easy one to answer.  My dear friend, Alan J. O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, talked me into it.  I call him my adopted brother.  We have known each other since shortly after 1990.  Through the years, we have corresponded, although never met.  When I would relay a story about something that had happened, he would always tell me, “You need to write a story about that.”  After Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, Florida and I went through it all alone, I told him every detail.  Again, he told me that I should write about it.  This time I took him seriously.  However, I did not write about the hurricane.  A story about a girl being lonely came to mind and I was off and running.  That story actually became my second book, Paths of Righteousness, but stemmed the writing of the first, A Very Present Help.

Do you have a favorite line from one of your books? 

“You came within a gnat’s eyebrow of going for a swim with those dolphins, and you’re worried about your heel?” from There Abideth Hope.
(The heel is a high heel and the line is spoken by the hero to the heroine, after she almost fell into the water trying to get a better look at her first live Florida dolphins).  

Who is your favorite character and why? 

I guess my favorite character from my books is Kathryn Kendall from Paths of Righteousness.  She is the heroine I first thought up and started writing about.  She is honest, faithful, gentle, beautiful, and sensitive; yet with an air of pride that gets the better of her at times.

What was the hardest part about writing your books?

Keeping all the events in the lives of my characters in order and consistent.

Do you do anything besides write?  

Yes, besides all my normal house duties, I paint, sketch, blog, take pictures of nature, am a spectator at RC racetracks, I am an active birder (amateur), exercise (mostly by walking the Houston Bayous viewing the many birds that live there) and do some moon and star gazing.

How can readers get copies of your books? 

My books are sold on Amazon and Kindle.  If you look up my Author Page on Amazon, you will find all three novels.

What’s next for author Sharon K. Connell?   

Currently, I am working on my fourth novel—His Perfect Love— about a young woman who has lived a self-centered life, to the point that her family has all but given up on her.  God starts dealing with her by allowing things from her past to catch up with her causing fear and doubt.  She bounces from Illinois to Minnesota, back to Illinois and winds up in Houston, Texas.  You will have to read the book to find out the rest.

After I finish this story and it is ready for all of you readers, I will be begin my next book about a young woman trying to keep her family’s farm in Nebraska from winding up in the wrong hands after her parents pass away.

Where to find author Sharon K. Connell

Sharon also has a Group she’s created on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/

Video Trailers for each book

Sharon, it has been wonderful having you with us today. I’ve already checked out your books and videos. I’ve purchased and downloaded “A Very Present Help” to my kindle and can’t wait to read it. I’m a fan of Christian fiction and your books all sound great. Happy writing!

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Sharon and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to join the conversation (comments below) and be sure to take a look inside Sharon’s great books on Amazon. I think you’ll want to grab a novel or two.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Fia Essen


I’m delighted to have Fia Essen here at 4writersandreaders today and can’t wait to find out more about the author and her latest book:

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.

 

Nicholas Blomfield talks about Fia Essen’s latest novel

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fia’s work about Ariel and her struggle to find and develop herself.

Fia has a staggeringly strong descriptive style that I personally loved. It felt as though she had spent a great deal of time considering the characters, their lives, history and personal ups and downs. The vivid and life like descriptions of things gave the story a fantastic atmosphere helping to shape Ariel and her eventual triumph over life’s obstacles. I shall not spoil the plot or give too much away, I strongly advise reading it!

A truly wonderful piece of literature and well worth immersing yourself into Fia’s creative work. I have no doubt this is the start of a long and fruitful writing career – watch this space! Nicholas Blomfield

To begin our interview, tell us a little about yourself, Fia.

I was born in Sweden in 1983. My passport claims I’m still Swedish even though I left Sweden more than twenty-five years ago. I grew up in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And I spent my teenage years living in a stable. Literally. Horses were my next door neighbors. When other girls my age were perfecting the art of applying makeup and discussing boys, I was either mucking out stalls or on horseback, having the time of my life. Now I live in Athens, Greece with Taxi Driver, my Yorkshire Terrier.

How about your family life?

There’s three of us—me and my parents. We’re a small group of nomads. I’m an only child and Taxi Driver is my only child.

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

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I have an active imagination. But I didn’t get serious about writing until 2010. What I write now fits into the Contemporary Fiction genre.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

ARIEL by Fia Essen BOOK COVERAriel is about a half-English, half-American, lifelong expatriate who was born in Hong Kong and now lives in Singapore. At the age of thirty-four, Ariel is in debt and out of luck. She used to have a career, a penthouse, and a group of fun friends. Now she has a dead-end job, a rented hovel of a home, and a rising stack of unpaid bills to keep her company. Just when she is starting to fear she will never be able to get her life back on track, she is contacted by the mysterious Muse Agency. And, suddenly, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself and those around her.

What prompted you to write Ariel?

Every writer has heard the phrase “write what you know” at some point. So that’s exactly what I did. I wrote what I knew. On a personal level, I know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut.

One reader called Ariel “self-help turned fiction”… That’s a genre you don’t see a lot of but it describes Ariel well. What most self-help books fail to mention is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to self-help. Every person on the planet is a unique individual. So I began picking bits and pieces of self-help that helped me, advice that suited my personality. And then I put that into Ariel, hoping readers of the story would find something that could help them in their own lives.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

“Think big, start small, and keep going.”

Who is your favorite character and why?

Ariel is my favorite character. The story is told from her point of view. So, as peculiar as it sounds, she and I became very close while I worked on the manuscript.

What was the hardest part about writing?

I love writing. Writing isn’t hard. The only hard part about being an author is gaining an audience. I’m working on it! I have a long road ahead of me but I’m committed to giving it my all. It’s all part of being an author.

Do you do anything besides write?

I’m the Company Administrator at Essen & Essen, which is a family owned company with interest and ownership in various companies and organizations. We specialize in activities related to business & personal growth, management consulting and interim management services.

How can our readers get a copy of ARIEL?

Ariel is available on Amazon, B&N, and from my publisher’s website.

What’s next for Fia Essen?  

More writing! Solstice Publishing will release Anna this summer. And I’m currently working on a story called Amanda, which will come out in time for Christmas. Ariel, Anna, Amanda… I have a thing for As.

GET SOCIAL with author Fia Essen:

Fia, thanks so much for joining us  today. ARIEL, the story of a young woman caught in a rut, has me tap-tap-tapping my kindle to turn the pages to find out just how she’s going to climb out!

Readers, thanks so much for joining us today. Fia and I would love to hear from you. You’re invited to chat with us (comments below). Be sure to take a look inside Ariel on Amazon and dive right into the pages of a great new book. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso


Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

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

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation🙂. Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: MARGARET MUIR


MEET MARGARET MUIR: Novelist and children's book author

MARGARET MUIR: Novelist & Children’s Book Author

 

 

 

“There is an edge to Margaret’s writing that is terrific. Rarely do I see such confidence on the page.” —Glyn Parry

 

 

Welcome to 4writersandreaders, Margaret. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. To begin, tell us a little about yourself and your lifestyle.

MARGARET rcd more pix 3d feb 2011 006

I was born in England but moved to Australia in 1970. I now live on the island of Tasmania—it is called the island of inspiration and home to many creative people. I live alone in a beautiful location overlooking the Tamar Valley and find that the peace and quiet suits my lifestyle.

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

I have been writing in one form or another for fifteen years but the type, genre and target readership have varied considerably over the years.

In the late 1990s, I was made redundant and decided it was time to do the things I had always wanted to, namely, sail on a tall ship, farm goats and write a book. Though they were very different pursuits they all contributed to my writing career.

MARGARET at seaGoat farming was first and with it the role as editor of a goat newsletter. I also wrote articles for various magazines. Because I enjoyed writing, I wanted to improve and undertook a course in freelance journalism. From there I studied Writing for Children, however, I soon discovered that competition for publication of children’s books via a traditional publisher was huge and I had no success. About this time I sailed on my first tall ship.

But, I still wanted to succeed as a writer and enrolled at University. I completed the course in 2004 and my first historical novel was published in 2005. At the time, I thought I was very fortunate to be accepted by a London publishing house and wrote four historical novels under their umbrella, but I slowly realized that writing for a small publisher is very constricting—I had no control over my work—and the royalties returned very little financial reward.

MC Muir Cover 2As a result, in 2009, I self-published my first nautical fiction novel. The series has been well accepted and, a few weeks ago, I released Book 4 – The Unfortunate Isles. Visit M. C. Muir at Amazon.com to take a look inside the novel.

Yet, despite a growing readership, my wish to publish children’s stories had never left me. Having mastered the art of self-publishing adult books, I recently discovered it was possible to add illustrations to e-books and I decided I could apply them to children’s stories. After resurrecting the stories that had been gathering dust for a decade or more, I revised them and added pictures. Because I lack artistic talent and could not afford to commission an artist to illustrate my work, I used photo images purchased from Bigstock Photos. In early February, I released my first children’s book—The Bear that had No Fur—containing three short stories.

Slide1 resized for KindleWindmills and worms resize for KDP

Children’s books from Margaret Muir

FREE March 5th & 6th!

What is the title of your latest book and what prompted you to write it?

Grandma’s Windmills and Wild Worms is the latest book. It reflects the times I took my grandson to the Royal Easter Show. Like Bette’s “Amazing Matilda” the story carries an informative message for young children. It introduces them to various forms of wind power. Wild Worms is about recycling household waste, but when things get out of hand a fantasy solution comes into play.

What do you do besides write, Margaret?

Apart from books, I write a blog on various topics and once a year I take a long holiday—usually a cruise. I love the sea and enjoy visiting exotic locations. Often the inspiration for future stories comes from my travels.

How can readers get a copy of your books?

My books are all published as e-books and available on Amazon. I write my children’s books and English historical fiction under my full name but write my nautical fiction (for a male readership) under the by-line M.C. Muir.

What’s next for author Margaret Muir?

I have a few more children’s stories to share, then I would like to publish a collection of goat articles. After that I will write Book 5 in my nautical fiction series and that will take care of 2015.

In conclusion, I would like to extend a big thank you to Bette, not only for inviting me to appear on her blog, but for encouraging me to participate in the wonderful world of writing for children.

It’s been a pleasure having you stop by for a visit, Margaret. I’ve taken a ‘Look Inside’ your novels on Amazon and have added them to my “Want to Read” list. Your children’s stories are not only fun to read with little ones, they’re perfect for teaching character building lessons and for structuring a child’s awareness about the importance of taking care of the environment as well.

Margaret and I would love to hear from you and invite you to leave a comment below. You’re also invited to find out more about Margaret (M.C. Muir) and her books:

Children’s Books by Margaret Muir
(FREE on Amazon March 5th & 6th only):

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Andrews Davis


Kathleen Davis, author of the EMERSON'S ATTIC series.

MEET Kathleen Andrews Dave, author of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series, middle-grade fiction. Kathleen began writing stories so that she could leave her grandchildren a legacy.

 

 

“When an adult can read a young person’s book and find it entertaining, adventurous and cool, you know you have found a treasure.”
— Sandra F. Geimer

 

Welcome, Kathleen. I’m so excited to have you as a guest author at 4writersandreaders today to share your writer’s journey and tell us more about your fantastic middle-grade fiction series, EMERSON’S ATTIC. I’ve just finished reading The Blue Velvet and I loved it.

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, author and now a blogger. I came to writing late in life after a long and varied working career. I was a math and science student so it never dawned on me that I would be interested in writing. I remember breaking into a cold sweat every time I entered my English class in high school.

I’m not one of those people who can say they were born to write. I was always a big reader but never thought about writing until I became a grandmother and decided I wanted to leave my grandchildren a legacy. I can’t leave them a million dollars but I can leave them a million words. After much thought, the light bulb came on and I realized I had been writing for the last 17 years. It was commercial writing, everything from inter-company memos to developing marketing materials. My favorite assignment was as managing editor for an in-house newspaper that required, writing, photography, and layout. If I liked business writing, surely I would like creative writing.

I always believed an author had to be possessed with the unquenchable thirst to write and to have something vital to say, I had neither. After weeks of thinking about what I would write, I saw a hat on television, not an inspiring or significant hat, just a woman’s hat. That was the spark that ignited me, finally! Old hat led to old trunk, trunk led to attic, attic led to memories and a story.  And so, Emerson’s Attic was born. In my first book, Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet, I wove a story about a time-traveling, 14-year-old with some of my real family history to share with our grandchildren when they were older.

Emerson's Attic KATHLEEN DAVIS

My husband and I are empty-nesters with two beautiful daughters, two wonderful grandchildren and two Godchildren. We live in the mountains in Central Pennsylvania, five minutes from a beautiful lake and surrounded by beautiful forest. We’re greeted every day by wildlife of some sort; whitetail deer, wild turkey, a rare fox, and I’ve even had a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a very large black bear.

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

I have only been doing creative writing for about three years.  My favorite genre is middle-grade; hence, my Emerson’s Attic series. That age was one of my favorite growing up and I find it very easy to write about. I have also completed an adult manuscript and am working very slowly on a second. The characters in the first adult novel invaded my brain and refused to be ignored.  It’s a story about mature, smart women who are drawn into a 50-year-old mystery. I love these characters and loved writing the book. The second idea for an adult novel took me totally by surprise and I find this one a challenge with subject matter I never thought I would be interested in writing about.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series?

The Emerson’s Attic series is about a 14-year-old girl who unwillingly becomes a time traveler. The first book, The Blue Velvet, lays the groundwork with family history and takes “Emerson” back to Victorian England. She is guided through time by her grandfather in her dreams. There’s a purpose for her journey which she figures out only after she returns home.

EASmokeandMirrors Front Cover KATHLEEN DAVIS

In the second book, Smoke and Mirrors, Emerson’s best friend, Sarah, inadvertently joins her and they land in a 1905 Circus. When I did the research I was amazed at how interesting Circus trains were. There’s lots of fun and action in this book.

The third book takes Emerson to yet another location and a new adventure. I hope to keep writing this series until I can no longer hold a pen or more realistically, type!

What prompted you to write….

I wanted to leave something for our grandchildren that they will remember long after I’m gone.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?  

Not really. I like Emerson’s thoughts and realizations as she adjusts to each new situation.

Who is your favorite character and why?  

It has to be Emerson, the main character, because she is smart and brave. However, I really enjoy making up the other characters, each with their own distinct personality.

What was the hardest part about writing your book? 

The last chapter was probably the hardest. I wanted to end it with a mystery that the reader had to figure out on their own, however, teacher friends and my editor said I needed to tie up loose ends because readers at this age would probably not get it. I resisted at first but once it was done I had to admit they were right.

Do you do anything besides write?  

Yes, I still work part-time doing medical transcription (more time at the keyboard), I teach knitting, and coordinate a local charity project called Warm-Up America. I have tons of interests in addition to writing and find it hard to squeeze everything in.

How can our readers get copies of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series?  Amazon.com or ask your favorite bookstore to order it.

What’s next for Kathleen Andrews Davis?   More Emerson’s Attic, more blogging, and anything else that comes my way.

Readers are invited to visit author Kathleen Andrews Davis at her  website and her blog

It’s been wonderful having you visit today, Kathleen. I can’t wait to read more of the Emerson’s Attic series.

~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author/Illustrator

Aside

The Owl Lady Interviews: J.E Spina


MEET THE AUTHOR: Interview with J.E. Spina

The Owl Lady

jj

Interview questions:

  • Did you pick your genre or did it pick you?

I think it picked me. The story came out of nowhere and scared me but I just had to put it down to get it out of my head.

  • Do you write in multiple genres or just one?

I write in multiple genres and like to mix things up.

  • How much time do you devote to writing per day?

I try to write in some way every day either blogging, answering emails or working on my stories. I sometimes work on all the above for so many hours that I forget to eat. My husband has to remind me and even cooks dinner to ensure that I do eat. Bless him!

  • What have you published so far?

I have five children’s books published and one novel. I plan on publishing another children’s story this year and two more…

View original post 608 more words

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: