Featured Author Laurie E. Boris

Today’s featured author is the lovely Laurie E. Boris.

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Hi Laurie, how nice of you to join me on my blog today and that you are willing to shed some light on what drives you to write these great books, but for that I need to ask you some questions. Brace yourself, for here they come …

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

If I’m in public, I keep it clean. “Woo hoo!” Yeah. That’s generally me.

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

Anything that gets the blood moving. I think I started using it when my husband introduced me to NASCAR and football. (Not sports I ever would have sat down to watch on my own.) And about the muse? I don’t muse much about my muse. I’m a writer. I sit down and write. The times it flows and the times it doesn’t, I attribute more to my physical and emotional state. For instance, when I can do little more than stare at the same sentence, it’s generally because I’m tired or need to eat or get some exercise.

Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Don’t Tell Anyone.

Is that a joke Laurie? Are you trying to wiggle your way out of this?

No, I’m not kidding. That’s the title. Yes, you can tell people.

Okay. 🙂 In that case, I’ll show the cover too.

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AMAZON | B & N | Smashwords

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Yes and no. Actually, it was excruciating. The working title had been The C Word since I started the first draft, because among the older generations of my family, nobody said “cancer.” It was the C Word, or never mentioned. Jewish superstitions, I think. But when I prepped the manuscript for publishing, the title was in use on at least six cancer memoirs. [This is not one, by the way, although a character in the book has cancer.] So I immediately thought of Don’t Tell Anyone, because nearly all the characters in the book have a secret and at some point ask their confidantes not to tell. Idismissed it initially, brainstormed about 250 new titles, and came back to Don’t Tell Anyone because my writing group and my husband really liked it.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

Of this book, or in my writing in general? For this book, I toyed with making it a full-out, Coen brothers style dark comedy. But it didn’t work.

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I love writing. I love editing. Constructive criticism, bring it on. Marketing, not so much. I’m an introvert. We’d rather talk to one or two people at a time. I’m working on that.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

What drives the writing flow away for me is fatigue. Or if I’m doing something contrary to what my gut is telling me. That often means I’m off-track.

What does your muse look like?

The closest thing I’ve had to an actual muse is my late mother-in-law. She was one of my biggest fans. Sometimes she haunts my writing room and I can smell her perfume. I can almost hear her voice: “Finish that book already; I need something good to read.”

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I frequently speak with them. We usually get along. If there’s a disagreement, it’s usually because I’m trying to make them do something they wouldn’t really do, or because they’re not ready to spill their secrets yet. You can’t rush a recalcitrant character.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Coffee or tea. Holding a hot mug centers me and helps me drift into the writing.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

I don’t write every day. I mark my progress by the week. Some I write more, some I write less. My excuse? I was editing a client’s manuscript. Or there was a good episode of The Big Bang Theory on.

Hahaha, those are actually very good reasons to procrastinate.

But why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Because I don’t really like doing anything else.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

No problem, because I have no cats, dogs, or children. Although we have a lot of mice in our house, so one or more of the three would come in handy. I hear kids are really great at catching mice. Secrets? I always wanted to play second base for the New York Mets. Or be an umpire. I’m annoyed that I failed the height requirement to become a Radio City Hall Rockette. It took me five years to write my first novel (never published), and received 138 literary agent rejections, including one by an agent who also writes romance novels. In the book I make fun of romance novels. She was not amused.

Right, now let’s give out something about the writer. You know, some facts the fans would love to know.

Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She is the author of three novels:

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and Don’t Tell Anyone, of which you’ve seen the cover above.

When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for IndiesUnlimited.com. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

And finally we can we stalk, I mean follow, friend or find  Laurie on social media such as her websiteAmazon author pageFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

Guest Blogger Day – Adele Symonds on Editing

Adele Symonds – Editor with a vision

I do not profess to be an expert at writing novels as I do not have one to my name. I do feel qualified as a reader to know whether a book has what it takes to hold an audiences interest, and keep them turning those pages.

A great plot with believable characters who can be identified with by the target audience. Or all key aspects of writing a winning novel, but no matter how good these are with poor editing the book will be more likely to fail.

This is when I decided to step in and offer editing services to indie authors who were trying to break into the market with some excellent books which just weren’t hitting the mark.

Don’t you give her that look, author! She is right you know?

my book

Editing is an area which many new authors cannot afford to pay and they will edit their books heart out. I do not believe it is possible for any author to edit their own work and catch every error as our brains are made in such a way that we read what we know should be there rather than what is.

I keep my editing prices as low as possible to facilitate the indie authors being able to pay for this valuable service and I am setting up a fund which will help those authors who are in even more difficult financial positions.

I work on an hourly basis with an individual contract made with each author, but provision is made within the contract for the author to donate to the fund if they wish to do so. This money will then in future be used to be an agreed number of my hours service for an author who cannot afford the full price for their whole book. My hope is that over time, as authors I have helped earn more money, I will be able to help more authors and so on and so forth.

My aim is to facilitate the work of indiependent authors to produce the best work they can.

Adele can be contacted for editorial services through mail 

I would like to thank Adele for sharing her thoughts on editing and funds. What do you do when your budget doesn’t allow for a professional editor?

Featured Special Person! Kriss Morton aka The CabinGoddess

About this author

Today Kris Morton, better known to most people as The Cabin Goddess, features on my blog. She often says, “I’m not a proper author like you guys.” But I dare to disagree with her. She writes great content on her blog as well as poetry and stories.

Let me tell you a bit about her before I tie her down and grill her. 🙂 (No, not with bacon!) Sorry about that, but she just luvs her bacon.

Kriss Morton currently lives in a small cabin on the outskirts of Fairbanks, AK with a wonderful man and an overbearing cat. She is a medievalist, new media journalist, photographer, author and social media expert by trade, as well as being well known at her Zen approach to cooking and recipe creation.

Like I mentioned above she loves bacon and it is a re-occuring ingredient. See this recipe, it allows you to put bacon on everything from now on.

Her main focus of writing is a collection of poetry which has been published in two different Literary Journals including an English Honors program Sigma Tau Delta Society Collection and Permafrost, the farthest north literary journal for writing and the arts.

Her first open published work not related to academia or her blogging content is a whimsical fantasy tale based in Alaska full of zombies and other mystical creatures rich with delight.

Currently she is a full time author imaging publicist and marketing executive with The Finishing Fairies, a co-owned multi-platform business, for several independent authors and projects. She also is working diligently on getting her own personal publications finished and launched including a collection of poetry and short stories influenced by her life in Alaska, a graphic novel cookbook, and a post-catalyst alternate futuristic novel. All while continuing to write poetry daily.

Be it humor, poems, tales of wanderlust, her heart is pure Alaskan and her pocket is always full of snowflakes.

She is warmly known as Cabin Goddess, a 21st Century Mona Lisa on her way to a rave in the Indie Publishing world, fondly calling many books her best of friends.

At the moment she is in the race to be awarded as most creative blogger by the Bloggy Awards.

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I think she is just that and deserves to win. Take a look at her blog and if you agree–how can you not?–jump over to the contest site to vote for our very own Cabin Goddess who brings us wonderful, creative post day in day out.

 If you are as impressed with this busy bee and her relentless, creative promoting of authors and books, why not follow her and show her the love she deserves? Let her know you found her through me and she’s be happy to have you among her friends. This is where you can find her online.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Folllowgram | Feedburner |Google+ | BlogLovin’

And now for some serious questioning

Hi Kriss! How are you today? Busy? How could I have thought you’d be anything but. Always working on something for one or the other author. But now it’s about you! Take a seat, have a bacon sarnie (blt) and something to drink, because it’s Goddess grilling time. 🙂

Can you tell me how you celebrate when a tour you’ve organized does extremely well and book sales fly up after it?

Celebrate? Ummm uhhh, oh wait I can party? I can celebrate? OH I usually yell all over the net and social media and say “yaaaaaa you guys rock!” Because it is NEVER an effort that I alone do! It is a group effort! Sure I have come up with some pretty awesome ideas, I can admit it, but it takes more than just me to implement it!

You want to know my dirty little secret? I indulge in … reading a book of my choice! Yep, one I am not suppose to be reading that is in my TBR but a book of my own choice! Usually a zombie one or a cozy mystery! (LOVE my zombies and my cozies and my cozy zombies!)

Okay, sounds like you know how to pick the good ones. But how do you work around those moments when the energy is just drained from you but you have to work anyway?

I shove food down my throat, perhaps take a 30 minutes break or nap (if I can slow my Brian down) and start again.

Brian? Don’t you mean brain? Oh, you don’t and I should just click on Brian to see what you mean? Okay, 🙂 *scurries off to do that* Hahahaha, great! If you, my dear friends and readers, want to know too, click and find out for yourselves.

Anyway, sorry for the interruption. Go on.

I have to force myself to get up and use the little girls outhouse half the time! I keep saying, “just one more tweak or one more edit!”. Or I rant online and call authors assholes, yes I know that is a bit over the top but usually when I get drained it is like I am an ABB magnet! So … I react and swear a lot and then I feel better, clean the blood off and move right along, occasionally saying I am sorry!

And we love you for those honest rants and swearing sessions, because you do it to make us be better promotors of our own stuff.

Right, you might just have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you are working on? Come on, don’t be shy or hide away behind the Goddess front. I know you are working on something. 🙂

I am debating if I am putting in any shorts or anecdotes to my Alaskan Dreams – a pocketful of snowflakes. It is a collection of dark poetry and stuff I have published in the past in a literary magazine. Also since I write haiku daily I throw some of that in too. 50% of it is flash to go with the theme of snowflakes. Beautiful moments in time.

I also have Gargoyle Hunters which is a YA adventure/mystery based on my time in Germany as a teen.

Synopsis

A personal exchange with a family in Germany. Not only does it start off wrong, it just seems to get worse, until she meets someone even more interesting than herself and with the same obsession, the gargoyles which adorned every church in Europe.

Oh, sounds intriguing. Can you share a bit more? An excerpt? That would be great!

Excerpt

What the hell, why not.

“Can I get coffee or something then, because obviously no one gives a shit, and sorry this American is beyond caring if she offends tonight, I will apologize in the morning!”

I was done, wrapped up in a bow of bitch, and was glad I was wearing my jeans and my boots. Right now for the first time ever, I really appreciated my jerk of a little brother. He would never pull this stunt, was this normal? Did they hate Americans this much? While everyone else was getting their perfect little parts in order and paying the bill, I made sure my camera was loaded for bear, at least I could do something productive that did not involve pushing anyone off a ledge or tripping them down stairs when we got to this castle. Wait, did they say castle? Maybe I could push through.

Now I want to read more, but I guess I’ll have to wait for that to happen, eh? Do you have more?

My pandemic is called The Darkness

Synopsis

“They say home is where the heart is but my heart stopped beating with any emotion since The Darkness came.”

When The Darkness came it tore apart families, communities, cities and lives. Now the world lays in tatters and only a few small groups survive. Celeste lost everyone and now her family is a group of survivors she never would have called friends before. There is no blood ties in this family, but it is a family none the less. Each day is a struggle of survival. A struggle to fight against The Darkness which consumes everything, and everyone. Home is now a place that can be safe another night. A place to find solace in those who still survive.

Come on give us an excerpt of this one too!

Dust blooms across the rays of sun breaking through the boards crisscrossing the windows. The smell of urine drifts over from the corner.. Chantal must have wet herself again last night. She’s surprised she didn’t herself, the Darkness was especially brutal. Thankfully she won the pool; five direct hits and no missed shots which means she gets the cup of coffee today. Matt had two hits and missed four times, which means he has retrieval duty. Considering he lost his brother right before dawn broke it will be a very solemn morning for him. Heck who was she kidding, for everyone.

It had been weeks since anyone had been lost and no one person can be held to blame but Matt’s brother who was showing off for Chantal again. Matt’s brother … she could not even bring herself to think his name. He had no name anymore, he was just part of the Darkness. Part of the blight which erased everyone’s lives and replaced them with this nightmare.

She glanced back at Chantal who was still sleeping and noticed the window above her now sported a broken pane. Mentally she added boarding it up to her to-do list. The scent of coffee began to overpower the outcome of Chantal s nightmares as she sat up on the grungy re-purposed yoga mat. Standing up she noticed a clump of dust settling in the shadows beneath the window and she and wondered who it used to be part of.

Again, Kriss, this read like a ‘I want to read more of it’. So what’s triggered this one?

This came to me because I really wanted to write something based on Flash Fiction exercise. I still dream this book and I have deleted it three times after writing it. I am back up to 25K and working through it, but I do not like my own writing.

No one does, at least no sane author(isn’t that an oxymoron?) does. We doubt and that is good, it makes us work to get it better.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Titles are easy for me because those take marketing skills. I can sell a book with a tweet, I can write kick ass titles!

Maybe I should hire you to come up with a title for my next project. 🙂

Do you have a deadline?

muwahhaha, other than when the next bacon shipment is coming? Only in my publicist work do I deal with deadlines. For my own work, only if I schedule tours and posts and interviews otherwise I am pantsing it, BABY!

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing.

My writing. Seriously, I can’t get everything from Brian down onto the page. I know I can weave a good tale, I KNOW I can but it sounds like a 12 year old wrote it. And my Grammar SUCKS, (see all I have written above).

That’s what we have editors for my dear. 🙂 Just write the dang book, have it read by betas you trust to be relatively good writers themselves and then hire an editor for the SPaG and left-over plot and continuity issues. But why would you think your grammar SUCKS?

WHY? Because I am a medievalist! I studied medieval literature, as in it was written down in old French or Old English (which is frightening to the ‘nth degree to translate) and heck they used seven different spelling for many words! Forget Grammar. So I am most afraid of writing something and have folks read it and go “And she has the NERVE to tell me I don’t know how to write?” Ya, it will bite me in the ass, big time I am sure!

Hahahaha, you are just another author afraid to fail. Doesn’t matter we’ll get you to finish that book and you know what? I want to be one of your betas!

Now, what do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to books?

Engage … ENGAGE … engage … location, location … location and PERFECT TIMING to create the perfect storm. It is all about timing, engaging the right audience that you have to pay attention too and putting it out to the RIGHT PLACES!! Create it with an event and you have the perfect storm. NO one approach will work with every book!

In your professional opinion what do most indie author do ‘wrong’ when marketing their work?

Act like they deserve it, think short term and ignore their audience. Read those one, two and three stars. Be OPEN to criticism, no matter how much it hurts, because it will. Separate yourself from the crowd and not engage. Have no current blog, because you are a writer but you cannot find an extra hour or two a week? Bullshit, get your ass off your self-entitled high horse and write about writing, about books, about anything! People want to know you as a person, not just a book cover … Oh ya, not have an author image, SHAME! I could go on but like I said earlier, this is one thing I use for target practice. I don’t want to give all my good rants away!

What do you do to try and keep your authors (the ones you work with) on the right track?

Repetition, repeating stuff, making sure they are told things over and over … Oh wait, you get that part? Yes, this is necessary! Authors are doing (if I am doing my job right) what hey need to be doing, writing and tend to be so hyper-focused they forget they have to avoid doing the above and continute to step out of their world and head a bit and go into marketing mode and say hey once in a while  … do your cheerleader/beauty queen wave and move along. Make sure you get involved in groups or other places and support other authors, this is a big deal. It shows you are thinking about more than just yourself. I know you can do it, come on … that is it!! RETWEET! SHARE, and show the love! *grin*

Do you ever feel like you’re shouting to the wind?

Buwahahaha … No comment *shoving the gun back under the couch*

Now for a little lighter Q&A.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in your life? (I kind of know what her answer will be, can you guess?) And can I have the recipe?

Seriously? Ummmmmmmmmmmm BACON? I own baconporn.org for crying out loud! Easiest recipe I am going to give ya right off the top of my head, candied bacon of which I use in many a recipe!

  1. Cut bacon in half and lay in a large frying pan, fry a couple steps lower than you usually do, this is because you are going to candy it and sugar burns.
  2. Turn it right before it is crispy in the edges, so NOT drain the oil.
  3. Cook for a few more minutes till the other side is done and pour pure maple syrup over the top.

krisspy bacon
Nom! Krisspy bacon!

How do I use it? May a way! Great in salads, especially if you are adding fruit. I love it in a spinach salad with walnuts and strawberries. It is pretty yummey! Or you can make your own Maple Bacon Donut!

bacon dougnut

Me? Recipes? I am writing a bloody cookbook too … oh ya, cook book – one title

DUCT TAPE and KETCHUP PACKETS – second title – THE BACON WALKER ( a graphic novel cookbook)

So you actually have another project on the go. Were you trying to hold out on me? Hahaha, you’ve just blown your cover woman. You are a proper writer!

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day on your own WIP? Remember, I have to believe it!

Asrielle Catnapped me

Kriss and cat

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Because I am getting fat … LOL Seriously I want to be back outside more again and walking more and living Alaska again instead of stuck inside. I miss my photo walks and my skiing. My eyesight (I am going blind) has caused me to be stuck at home unless my partner, Geoff, walks me. Asrielle sucks, she keeps chasing dogs! *shaking head* and leading me into trees!

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I love peanut butter and mustard sandwhiches? No wait I have admitted that before … ummm, I kissed Phil and Steve Maher before? (Alpine Olympic gold and silver medalists) … blah that ages me, Peekaboo used to ride on my shoulders … Oh, to esoteric …. I like tentacle porn? SHIT … Ummm, HELL I am pretty much an open book! I have a tender soft spot for orphaned goldfish … there my dirty secret is out!

Wheeeeheeee! I knew you are a softy! Kriss, thank you for showing us the woman behind the Goddess.  And when you have finished either one of those projects you are working on, you must let me play a part in promoting it!

Featured Author – Alana Munro

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Today an author of a different kind of book features on my blog. You’ll find out later what I mean with different, but first we’ll get to know Alana a bit better.

Alana Munro lives in Australia with her husband, 3 kids and their puppy. Born in Scotland, she acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree from an Edinburgh university before jumping head first into motherhood. Alana spends much of her days trying to ignore the ever expanding pile of dirty washing, trying to write, counting down the hours till it is ‘wine o’clock’ (5pm is a respectable hour for a shiraz?) and sipping on camomile tea that’s went cold – again.

Hi! Glad you could make it. Let’s not waste any time, because I know with all those wonderful things happening you have a full schedule.

Like that Google+ community for all writers, bloggers and poets she runs. Support-a-Writer offers support and encouragement to all new writers. The members share marketing tips, discuss their writing ideas and cheer each other on. It is a very active and friendly community, do consider joining if you hope to discover new talent or you are a writer looking to connect. You will be sure to receive a warm welcome!

Alana also writes articles for STEEL Magazine. It’s an American multi-cultural life style publication ran by ZAE Publishing. Alana is open to new writing jobs. If you have a blog or magazine and you need a writer to contribute – contact Alana Munro today.

And Alana was recently interviewed by ABC Radio. You can listen to Alana’s full studio interview here.

(I will send you the live studio recording)

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

I pour myself a glass of red wine. Cheers!

Okay, sounds like you know how to party. But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?

I usually have a warm shower. For some reason letting the water wash over me helps to clear my mind. I come up with lots of new ideas when washing my hair or shaving my legs! It really works for me. Or do you know what else works – sleep. Just closing my eyes and taking time out. Giving my brain a chance to catch up and figure out a new way forward.

Right, you might just have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Women Behaving Badly – Exposing the Truth about Female Friendship.

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Available at Amazon US and UK

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not too difficult thankfully. I did consider ‘Wifie Wars’, my husband’s creative input. He’s funny! But I smiled and stayed with Women Behaving Badly.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

No, I don’t think I am someone who conforms with much ease. If anything I fight against conformity. For example, I decided I wanted to self-publish. I wanted to have full freedom with my words. I don’t believe there is any shame in self-publishing. It shows enormous motivation and self-reliance!

Right, with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing?

I don’t enjoy how square and red my eyes get after eight hours of trying to edit a chapter. After a while I just have to give it a rest or I end up going a little bit stir crazy!

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on other blogs. Getting my voice out there and really trying my hardest to connect with people. It’s not easy. I also spend a lot of my time building relationships online with readers and writers. How do I do this? I offer interviews to creative people (writers, poets, bloggers, and artists) – I find this works very well as I get to interesting people, lots of new people visit my website and we share each other’s work.

I think it is vital for writers to support other writers. I also run an online support community on Google+, I do get a lot of traffic from google+ but social media only works if you really connect with people. Just dropping links to your book and dashing off is not going to do much. There is too much competition. We need to become a person, not just a link. I think we need to treat it as real life. Networking is not enough these days. We need to focus on connecting with people online. So yeah I guess you could say my marketing campaign is mostly focused on making positive connections.

I think you’re right when making positive connections and show you are a person and not just another virtual entity trying to plug a book.

Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Tiredness dries up my inspiration. I am someone who must rest.

What does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?

She’s very sweet and attentive. I’ve got a good one on my side. She whispers ideas to me. She’s an older lady, with more life experience than me. She’s patient and understands I am still trying to figure it all out.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

n/a as I mostly write non-fiction.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Endless cups of sweet tea, chocolate… I need the sugar high. Well, that’s my excuse!

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

All three of my kids were at home with flu, even the puppy was sick!

That sounds like it could be true!

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I have no idea. I must be insane! (ha ha) I guess it is deeply rewarding to pull words together. To be able to communicate, move a person to tears, make a person really consider something or make them laugh with just the words I have wrote down. It is rather powerful don’t you think?

Alana, like they say, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words will always win over anything else.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I can sing my butt off. I’ve won many dodgy free t-shirts from karaoke competitions. I still wear some to bed! I love learning lyrics. It’s magical to be able to entertain and connect with an audience. Even if I did need a few red wines to get up on the stage!

I usually have a warm shower. For some reason letting the water wash over me helps to clear my mind. I come up with lots of new ideas when washing my hair or shaving my legs! It really works for me. Or do you know what else works – sleep. Just closing my eyes and taking time out. Giving my brain a chance to catch up and figure out a new way forward.

I’d like to give some more background info about you Alana and the book, if that’s okay? You like the idea? Cool!

Initially Alana started writing articles and blogging. Through her early work she reconnected with her love of words. After two  L-O-N-G years, two house moves and new baby added to the mix – Alana’s debut book, Women Behaving Badly was finally published.

In the first week alone, 500 books were downloaded from Amazon and with lots of pleasant reviews doing the rounds, Alana has been encouraged to write her second book. Here is a recent newspaper article about Alana’s debut book. Watch this space for more media coverage and new book releases.

Online links where to find the author

http://alanamunroauthor.com/ – Alana’s official website/blog

https://plus.google.com/communities/104309611203675402853 – the active support group she runs.

https://twitter.com/AMauthor

Synopsis: 

Have you ever been hurt by a woman? Are you fed up with the constant bitching, gossiping and manipulation between the females in your life? Do you want happier and healthier relationships with females? Do you wish to weed out the toxic women and seek out only positive women?

If you have ever wondered why some women are complicated creatures this book will offer you straight talking answers. This book will highlight all the strange, controlling and spiteful behaviours that some females specialise in. This book attempts to understand what actually drives women to be cruel or bitchy to each other. It attempts to make sense of the huge expectations women place on each other. How can we avoid toxic women? What bad behaviours should we be looking out for? This book explores every cruel behaviour possible and attempts to understand what is really going on between the females in our life.

 More about ‘Women Behaving Badly’,

Alana Munro takes us deep into the unnerving yet compelling reality of being a woman, revealing a world where females don’t nurture other females. Sharing many deeply personal and shocking tales about bullying, bitching, gossiping, power games, jealousy and much more – Alana explains what each hurtful episode taught her about females.

Women Behaving Badly shatters our assumption that all women are loving. It ruptures the delusion of sisterhood. It heightens our awareness of what goes on behind the sweet smiles. It liberates women from the emotional and often difficult prison that is womanhood. It exposes the harsh and fickle reality of friendship between women.

This book offers us nothing but the truth. Alana argues that the bonds between women are most often too fragile. She also argues that the ideology of sisterhood is optimistic but unrealistic. Women are human beings with profound emotional short comings.

Alana also looks at how we can weed out the negative women, pin point suspect behaviours and most importantly how to protect yourself from future hurt.

“The easiest thing to do is for me to feel upset and retreat to my bed, never trying to make another friend. Or I can dust myself off and learn from my stupid mistakes. I can even try to make sense of the ridiculous injustices thrown in my direction. My goal for this book? Simply to allow other women a chance to become more aware of the cruel games played by some females, allow women the opportunity to pin point hurtful (and often invisible) behaviours and find healthy friendships again”. Alana Munro.

 

Buy links

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Behaving-Badly-ebook/dp/B00BM5LEUW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367127666&sr=8-1&keywords=alana+munro#_

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Women-Behaving-Badly-ebook/dp/B00BM5LEUW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368962422&sr=8-1&keywords=Alana+Munro

 

Featured Author – Glen Solosky

Glen Solosky’s love of Science Fiction and Fantasy inspired him to write his first book, The Abominable Sruvius. Apparent in his writing is his sense of adventure, his enthusiasm for puzzles, and his fascination with the strange and bizarre. He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his wife and two sons and today he visits me on my blog to tell us about it.

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Hi Glen, glad you took the time and effort to come on over to my side and share some tidbits about you and your work. Let’s not keep the readers waiting.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or paragraph) right?

I lean back, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and sigh, “Finally!”

Okay, it seems to me that is a perfect way to express your content. But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? 

A long walk is great for clearing the cobwebs out of your head. Also, I find it hard to conger up my muse right away when I sit at my keyboard. I’ve got to get into the swing of things first, and I do that by editing what I’d previously written. After a few minutes of editing I’m ready to take on a new chapter, scene or whatever.

Right, sounds like you have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

The Abominable Sruvius, a middle-grade science fiction/fantasy novel.

Sruvius cover sm

Great artwork! I’m not a kid, but it even entices me to pick up the book. 

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Definitely. Especially since Bergey Fenwick, not Sruvius, is the main character. I’d thought of calling it Bergey Fenwick and the Abominable Sruvius, but that seemed a bit too much like Harry Potter and the (insert magical item here). And even though Sruvius isn’t the main character, he’s certainly key (and interesting), so I had no qualms about naming the book after him. So, after throwing around titles like, The Abominable Dr. Sruvius (too much like The Abominable Dr. Phibes, for all you Vincent Price fans), and The Abominable Ravma Sruvius (I liked it, but one hard-to-pronounce name is enough), I finally settled on The Abominable Sruvius.

Wonderful choice.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

The story could easily be converted to adult science fiction. It tends to lean more toward science fiction than fantasy anyway. The only reason it falls under middle-grade fiction is the main character is a thirteen year old boy. Aside from that, there’s no reason adults wouldn’t like it. (Don’t let the fishbowl on the king’s head fool you!)

Well, the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling star a young boy too and these have captured millions of adults, no reason The Abominable Sruvius couldn’t. Right?

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing.

When my muse leaves me entirely, and I’m stuck looking at a computer screen like it’s the first time I’ve ever seen one. Or when I think I’m on a roll and the words are pouring out like someone released a dam, only to look over what I had just spent the last hour writing and realize it’s pure garbage.

I think that’s something all authors go through every now and then, it’s how you handle those moments what’s really important and from what I’ve heard from you up till now it seems you cope well enough. 🙂

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I’m pretty much a newbie, so I don’t have a lot of sage advice to give. Word of mouth has helped me a little, as have social network sites.

Ah, yes. Word to mouth, the best marketing tool ever.

Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

When I get to the end of a scene or am approaching a tough transition and am not sure where to go from there. I never seem to get it into my head that I can always go back and edit later.

What does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?

He’s a fidgety little Danny DeVito sort of guy. As long as I’m walking or doing something repetitive, he’s happy to hang around, but as soon I sit down to do some work, he’s gone. I really have to be at my keyboard a long time before he’ll come back.

Bugger!

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

Oh, yes, I talk to them often (and they to me). Many of my characters are modeled after people I know or actors I can picture playing the role. For example, Lord Westring, a king’s advisor, is based on actor Patrick Stewart. I can actually hear his voice when I’m writing Lord Westring’s dialogue. Sruvius has a voice as well. I even got to the point where I would speak his lines out loud in a voice borrowed from Julius Sumner Miller. You can actually hear it on my Sruvius.com website.

Oh, I must hop over there and listen to him. 🙂 Come on peeps, here’s the action. ===> Site

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

No, I can’t say there is. But I do like a cup of tea when I’m writing.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I go days and days without writing. The thing is, I’m busy throwing ideas around in my head and just haven’t gotten to the point of committing them to paper.

But you must! Or carry a memo recorder around and blurt out those ideas.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

It sure beats working for someone else. Most of my life I’ve used my creativity to make money for a corporation. I’d much rather put that amount of time and energy to use doing something for myself.

A very sensible thing to do I must say. 😉

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cats, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I’m an illustrator as well as a writer. I did the cover artwork and illustrations for The Abominable Sruvius, as well as design book covers for other writers.  Being an artist gives me the advantage of being able to draw the characters directly from my imagination. You can see some of my work on my portfolio site

Oh, I love your work. You Mr Solosky are a true artist!

Geocaching is one of my favorite pastimes. In case you’re not familiar with the game, it involves using a GPS-enabled device to find hidden containers called geocaches. There are all different kinds, but my favorites are the ones where you have to solve a puzzle in order to get the coordinates.

I love puzzles, especially logic problems. I’ve written dozens of them for a popular puzzle magazine. You know that cozy feeling you get when you curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea (or coffee)? That’s the way I feel sitting down to a good logic puzzle.

Yes! I know that feeling and to know you might be responsible for some fun puzzling I did … Well, that is just great! I know a puzzlemaker! Wheeeeheeee!

Well, Glen that kind of wraps up the interview. Thanks again for coming over and share all this with me and the readers. If you ever have more news to share, you know where to find me. 🙂

Leave me only to give the readers directions as to where your book can be purchased. Digital copies as well as in paperback.

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Smashwords

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Lulu (paperback edition)