Author Interview with Kristine Raymond

Q: Tell us about yourself! What is your experience with writing?

Aside from a few angsty poems when I was a teen, I didn’t begin writing until September 2013 when I decided, pretty much spur of the moment, to self-publish a book. I’ve been writing ever since.

Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! There’ve been times when I’ve danced around the room after writing a particularly amusing scene and others where I’ve stumbled into bed hours past my bedtime emotionally exhausted. With each story I write I live out a lifetime (figuratively speaking, of course) in the span of a few weeks or months while experiencing all of the highs and lows that go with it.

Q: What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Thinking they’re not good enough or that no one will read their work. There’s an audience out there for everyone, and if you believe in yourself enough, you’ll find yours.

Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I’m definitely an original. Of course, I want readers to love my stories, but I want to love them, too, and I’m not sure I would if I was writing to formula. And the few times I’ve attempted to write something ‘scripted’, even if it was only a paragraph or two, my creativity shriveled up. I’ve learned to trust my authentic self when I write.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to take chances. Just go for it!

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Well, since I hadn’t really written anything before that first book, every step I took was a learning experience. I will say that with each book I write, my style improves. I truly think each story is better than the one before it.

Q: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Anything by James Herriot. His All Creatures series is fabulous! I read those books when I was a kid, and they sit proudly on my bookshelf today.

Q: If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

I haven’t a clue. Until I began writing, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Q: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Trusting myself. I’m very critical of my work and tend to obsess that everything isn’t perfect. I’ve learned, not without a lot of inner struggle and more than a few tears, to just let it go and let it be, and have faith that I did my best.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?

Pretty much everything about me can be found on my website – www.kristineraymond.com.

Thanks for having me. I enjoyed the interview.

 

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Interview with Marianne Rice

Q: Introduce yourself! What experience do you have with writing?

First, thank you for having me on your blog today! So, a little about me. I’m married to my college sweetheart (he was the sexy linebacker on the football team!), I teach high school English (22 years!!), and have three children. My daughters are in 12th and 9th grade, and my son is in 7th. I’ve been writing for twelve years but didn’t actively pursue publishing until 2013. I signed with a publisher in 2014 and published my first book in February of 2015. My fourteenth book, What Makes Us Stronger, comes out October 9th, and my fifeenth book (I should throw a party, shouldn’t I?), Marshmallows & Mistletoe, comes out November 1st. It’s a Christmas book. My first!

Q: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I don’t think any book as made me think differently, but I definitely learn from my favorite authors–and new to me authors!

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Funny. I think writing men is actually EASIER than writing women. I absolutely love male banter. So much fun! Men can be sarcastic and it’s funny. Make your heronie too sarcastic and she gets a reputation for being bitchy. It’s challenging to write a woman who speaks her mind without her coming across as too abrasive.

Q: How many hours a day do you write?

Since I’m a teacher, I have more time to write in the summer. But since I’m a mom, I don’t ever own my time. My writing time ranges from fourteen seconds to a seven-hour stint. I make yearly writing goals instead of weekly or even monthly. My schedule is too hectic to have a regular writing schedule. I love writing in sprints. Thirty minute sit downs with no distractions; I can usually write between 1,000-1,400 words.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?

This is tricky. Sometimes they just come to me, other times I go through baby name searches on the Internet. The name needs to fit my character’s personality. Since I write series, sometimes a minor character in one book ends up having his or her own book later on in the series. I’ve been known to go back and change the name based on his/her story. This is one of the many reasons why I like to have my series almost completely written before pitching the first book to my publisher.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write?

Love scenes. But they’re getting easier.

Q: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

My day job. Ha ha!

Q: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Believing in myself. I love when my author friends have success. It makes me SO incredibly happy for them. But, because I’m human, I sometimes wallow in my self-pity wondering why my book didn’t make the Best Seller list.

Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Three months from Chapter 1 to The End, but I usually “sit” on the book for a few months (while I write the next one or two) before revisiting. I’ll then edit it to death and then send it to my editor.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?

Everywhere! I love social media.

https://www.facebook.com/mariannericeauthor/

https://www.amazon.com/Marianne-Rice/e/B00SICUIRM

http://www.facebook.com/MarianneRiceaut

http://www.mariannerice.com

https://www.goodreads.com/MarianneRice

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marianne-rice

https://bookandmainbites.com/search?q=Marianne%20Rice

 

 

Interview with London Michelle

Q: Introduce yourself! What is your experience with writing?

London Michelle is a housewife and mother of four. She spends her days looking after her family. But after dark, with the curtains pulled and the lights down low, she writes stories that will ignite your fantasies and pull you into amazing new world.

She currently has six books out (Available through Amazon) and has several WIPs. She writes Romantica and several sub-genres in that category such as Contemporary, BDSM, Dystopians, and Supernatural/Paranormal.

Her experience with writing has been a wild journey. It began as strictly therapeutic, but soon, she wrote for the pleasure of it.

Q: If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

If she didn’t write, she would probably be driven mad by all the characters in her mind. Seriously though, she would probably hold down a regular 9 to 5 like any other person.

Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Currently she has about five unpublished/half-written books that she’s working very hard on.

Q: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I discovered the power of words later than most. I hated reading books in school. I knew that I had so much more to do than sit back and read. I got stuck on a 9 hour car ride with my friends family when I was sixteen. Bored out of my mind, I asked my friend what she was reading. That’s when I discovered Tolkien! The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy completely opened my eyes to a world that I never knew existed. I had no idea that books could help me “see” all the things I encountered in those stories!

Q: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

My writing program, it completely changed the way I do things.

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I’ve learned so many things after publishing my first book, Sweet Summer Wine. In fact, I’ve learned so much, that I am now going back through the entire Wine Tasting Series. I’m adding deleted scenes and sometimes even entire chapters. It seems that when you accomplish your first published book, you’re so relieved from all of the pressure, you are just happy it’s over. I encourage every author to go back to their first works and do this!!! You’ll be happy you did!

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Brick and Mortar Publishing companies are a thing of the past. And…… Don’t get caught up in other peoples drama!

Q: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Feeling emotions strongly, in my opinion, is not what makes a good writer. If you are emotionally constipated and can still make your readers laugh, cry, or fall in love, you’ve done your job beautifully!

Q: Do you believe in writer’s block?

I absolutely do believe in writer’s block! There are times when I can’t hear the voices of my characters and I have to work on something different. If the voices in your head are speaking to you at the time… try listening for someone else.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?

I am on just about every social media platform. Here’s a list of my links:

Youtube Channel : http://bit.ly/2qHpk4v

Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/londonmichelle01/

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

London’s Lip Service : (Reader/Fan Group) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1961428957448282/

London’s Luscious Legion : (Street Team) https://www.facebook.com/groups/188360611795796/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/londonmichelle0

MeWe : https://mewe.com/i/london.michelle

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/londonmichelle01/

Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomlondonmichelle

Website : https://londonmichelleblog.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B071HP7FWP

Book+Main: https://bookandmainbites.com/LondonMichelle

Interview with Nicole Strycharz

  1. Introduce yourself! What is your experience with writing?

Hello everyone! I’m a multi-genre author of modern, paranormal, and historical romance. I live in Virginia with my three crazy, wild, feral children, and our nanny Pitbull. We are surrounded by my incredible parents and I’ve been writing and/or telling stories since I was capable. I’ve always had an intense love of history and research, so my work began as mostly historical, but I’ve branched out over the last few years. I have twelve published works plus, one co-written book, and an anthology I was honored to be part of. A few more will be re-released by next year, along with other anthologies and some new stuff.

  1. How many hours a day do you write?

Well, hahaha, it’s never a consistent amount. With three little ones running around, I must work around their time. Some days I might get lucky with cave time in abundance, while others, I might get ten minutes or nothing. It just depends.

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Actually, I love writing about the opposite sex. Men are far less complicated to write and whenever I do stumble upon uncertainty, I interview the many men in my life like an avid journalist!

  1. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do. After I lost my guy in a car accident a few years ago, I threw myself into my writing to cope and it became a kind of therapy. He supported my stories and after he passed on, my words became uninhibited, raw. I started to trust myself, and in doing so, I found a lot of spiritual serenity in my characters.

  1. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Every book I’ve ever read has left me with something special. All the stories have shown me another side of history, religion, politics, ethics, traditions… I’ve discovered more cultures, more insights… Nothing has made me think differently about fiction, but each book has made me more aware of how important a break from reality can be.

  1. What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I could never repay my mother for the never-ending fountain of inspiration she has been. From situations and escapades, she shared with me from before I was born, to things she has accomplished while I could stand witness, she has become the main source of clay for every one of my characters.

Otherwise, almost everyone who has passed through my life has left some sort of impression; something I could mold a protagonist or even just a side character from. I have friends that completely embodied the type of personality or appearance I needed to envision. That’s always a lucky feeling, but I owe them so much just for existing.

  1. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

That’s not something I overthink, and yes, that has gotten me into trouble. My only goal is to tell the story that needs and wants to be told. I enjoy offering conflict. Going by a rule that a hero should have a little villain, and a villain should have a little hero. I like to feel that I’m making myself and readers feel something. Anything. Because that’s what books are supposed to do. So, I never write for shock value, I don’t do things to deliberately make readers cringe, I write them because that’s how the story goes.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I have a huge author family that I network with daily all over the world. Their books have carried me away from any troubles or struggles. I’ve spent sleepless nights needing to turn pages, going on journeys and finding new perspectives on life. A couple years ago, I could have given you quite a few underappreciated names, but honestly, my author family’s careers have skyrocketed since then. They deliver epic stories, smart business sense, warm personalities, and they thrive from it. 

  1. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I drop things about myself into books that I desire to share, therefore, I’m mostly open about that fact. I dedicate each book in The Relationship Quo Series to anonymous people of note in my life. People that either taught me something about the topic of the relationship the book will explore or people that directly inspired a protagonist in them. I won’t ever disclose their names because their legacy is the story, not their identity. They will likely know if they read the story or see the dedication, but otherwise, muses are sacred and should be somewhat a mystery to readers, in my opinion. My job is to use the muse to create something that only a reader can really claim. It’s like buying a house. It’s just a house until you start to live in it, decorate it…

Characters are created by authors but made alive by readers.

  1. Where can readers learn more about you?

Readers can follow me in the links below and on my website: http://www.nicolesbooks.wix.com/authorpage
FB: https://www.facebook.com/nicolestrycharz/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/nikkiwrites2/
GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12633370.Nicole_Strycharz?from_search=true
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rY9dw4

 

 

Author Interview with Rinna Ford

Q: Introduce yourself! What experience do you have with writing?

I live in St. Louis, MO with my husband and two daughters. Right now I stay at home with them and would love it if I could become a full-time author by the time they both start school. Rinna Ford is a pen name I created to help write the stories that I make up.

I made up and wrote down stories a lot when I was younger, and they always had fantasy elements. I’ve always loved fantasy and the paranormal so when I decided to take up writing again, that’s what I wanted to write. I have an education background so I use that to help with writing and creating stories.

Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I write what I would want to read and I hope that others will like it too. I’d like to think my stories are at least somewhat original, but I do like getting suggestions from people who have read something I’m working on for what they would like to see happen. It’s always nice to get fresh prospective on what you’re working on.

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It’s definitely streamlined the process. It took me almost 9 months to outline the first three books in my first series. Just outlining. It took me another almost 4 months to write, revise, edit, and publish my first book. I’m hoping to publish book 2 within 3 months, and I think I can definitely do it. Outlining has become less time consuming as well.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to never be afraid of using my imagination. I think somewhere along the way I lost that because I stopped writing and making up stories. It took me getting breast cancer and going through treatments and needing an escape from reality to realize that it was gone. That’s when I decided to start writing again.

Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Pinterest, Facebook, and pretty much the internet in general LOL would be my Kryptonite. I have to constantly make myself turn off all of those distractions to start writing.

Q: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Definitely! Stress creates writer’s block for me. Ugh! I hate it!

Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It took almost a month to write the first draft of Queen of the Fireflies, but start to finish it took a little over a year. I think the next books will go much quicker now that I have a better idea of what I need to do.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write?

The hardest scene to write was the first sex scene. I originally didn’t plan on including sex scenes, but I kind of felt like the book needed them. I needed a little liquid courage to get through it. That’s also when I created my pen name. Being someone else for a little while helped me write it. Sex scenes have gotten easier since then.

Q: Do you Google yourself?

No, not yet!

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?

FB Author page: www.facebook.com/rinnafordauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Rinna’s Reader Group: www.facebook.com/groups/rinnaford/

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/rinna-ford

Twitter: www.twitter.com/FordRinna

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rinnaford/

 

 

Interview with Eliza Ames

Q: Introduce yourself! What is your experience with writing?

I’m Eliza Ames. I write fantasy. I currently have one book out, a young adult deep fantasy called Something Special, which is number one of a tetralogy. I’ve been writing a long time but I haven’t been published very long at all. I’m about to hit the five month mark on that.

I’ve always been a writer. I was the little kid at camp that told stories that kept the other kids up all night. I was the little girl with the wild excuses that somehow made sense even if far-fetched. I became the adult that told true stories that actually made people laugh. Often, when someone on social media asks stuff like “How’d you meet your significant other,” my answer is the one that goes on for a couple paragraphs and draws you in anyway. I typically have a dozen likes and comments like, “Damn! That should be a book.” I off and on made a living writing (even though I didn’t fully realize it). I wrote commercials for radio (I even have a crystal award for one), I wrote letters for offices I worked in, and I wrote the content of the web page for the museum I worked at. In my head, I was always the office assistant or copy clerk or web designer and never took into account the sheer volume of writing that I did.

If I could write every interaction, my life would be easier. I write far more clearly than I speak.

Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Ten

Q: What does literary success look like to you?

Tricky question.

I’d like my books to pay for themselves. There’s a lot of little stuff to writing. Honestly, the writing part is the easiest for me. Even editing is a fairly easy process for me. No, I don’t edit my own books, but because I’m an editor I’m less likely to make grammatical or punctuation errors than some writers. I’m a great speller; I even won a spelling bee a gajillion years ago. (Yes, before you say it, gajillion is not a word.) Anyway, those little things add up. More than that, marketing can actually be expensive. There are a bunch of PAs (Promotional Assistants) that I think the world of. I have three officially earning a little off of me. I’d like it to be more. I’d also like the signings and trips to actually be covered. Right now, they aren’t.       I would consider that some success as a writer.

Ultimately, literary success isn’t measured in dollars though. I’d like some stranger to come up to me and say, “Your book helped me. I felt alone – like I didn’t fit in anywhere and you gave me a world where I did. That’s success.

Q: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I research everything. Sometimes I’m looking up weaponry for an era I consider the technological equivalent to my made-up world. Sometimes I’m learning a process for something I don’t actually know how to do. Sometimes I’m actually using google maps to understand an area that will actually appear in my books (I have an urban fantasy underway). I research words sometimes, too. Even the most versed word-smith can’t know everything. I was always amazed at hearing stories of readers who noticed anachronisms in works. I figure if I don’t do it right, someone out there will notice, so research is necessary.

Q: How many hours a day do you write?

I know there are writers that have a set number. I cannot. I have two special needs children. I have a sideline editing job. Sometimes I get a whole ten minutes to myself. I spend it all on research.

Q: What is the first book that made you cry?

I’m not sure. It might have been Deenie by Judy Blume, but I don’t really remember.

Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Sex scenes. I can’t write them. I’m never happy with them. I generally avoid them. For books, for movies, sex is often unreal. You don’t have that moment where things get a little awkward or one of you is really sweaty. I don’t find certain industry standard words very appealing either. Body parts as animals doesn’t do it for me. I can’t say if that will change in the future, but right now, that’s my kryptonite. Everything else I can handle.

Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Ha! The truth is very little is absolutely original any more. Just yesterday I thought I had a brilliant idea when helping my friend flesh out a few town quirks – not only was the idea already in print, she knew exactly who had written it (someone I’ve never read, by the way).

I suppose I try for originality, but also do try to write something marketable. My readers are always under consideration, but I also try to stay true to myself.

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Prior to that, I didn’t worry about marketing. I tinkered with the books at leisure. Then I was signed briefly by Kingston Publishing but decided I wanted to be even more independent. How the stories develop hasn’t changed. I have a weird mind. I invite people inside it, but I also have messages, things I want to say buried in action and adventure.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?
My webpage elizaames.com or on my facebook pages: Elizaames7, https://www.facebook.com/groups/406809263135879/ , fb.me/elizaames.somethingspecial, fb.me/ElizaAmesAuthorPage. One of these days I’ll probably do more with mewe (mewe.com/i/eliza.ames), Goodreads, Instagram (eliza.ames), Bookbub (@elizaamesauthor), and Twitter (@elizaamesauthor). Right now, I barely touch them, though I have stuff out there. You can also find bits of me on the pages of my books. I’m all over them.

Author Interview with Sondra Hicks

Q: Introduce yourself! What is your experience with writing?

Well I am a paranormal thriller writer for the most part. I am a mother, daughter, wife and a reader just like everyone else. I grew up with my nose in a book and a stack of them next to me. I wanted to be published ever since I was a kid about 12 or 13.

Q: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Honestly the list is a vast one and they deserve their privacy and I will admit we are all quite busy but there are quite a few who answer questions and give me solid advice that I trust.

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I have books right now that are connected in the paranormal thrillers but I also have written poetry and humor. I love to write about vampires but I tend to humanize the stories. However, I am creating a new series that I am thinking of being not connecting to the other books.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Your writing is who you are and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s a fad. Believe in yourself even when others don’t. Write your heart out and find a real publisher and not a scam artist like 1st books (Author House)

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first book was a disaster and I didn’t publisher after that for 10-11 years because 1st Books never gave the services they promise and I lost over $600 dollars and in 2002 a couple with 2 kids that is a lot of money.

Q: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I have read so many books recently and I have new authors I am just astounded by. I have the pleasure of telling them that but Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine (Fear Street) really changed me.

Q: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes, I do I love feedback from my readers its helpful and even the negative ones I read between the lines and find helpful insight.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write?

I had to let one of my characters die in the hospital that was based on my mom but it was recently after I just lost my father and I was ugly crying playing “Say Something” It took a long time to write and every time I read it I cried. I hated having to do it but the story needed it to move forward.

Q: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Finding time to write and also my husband and I a lot of the time come up with ideas together so he is my muse. With him around I am never lost.

Q: Where can readers learn more about you?