author interview

Author Interview: Ulff Lehmann

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 

 

  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • Being the stereotypical underachiever, and with no one to challenge my intellect, I was an outsider for most of my life. Only I didn't realize that until decades later.
    English is a second language for me, what with being German and all, and for the most of my time at school I was slightly above failing grade. Then again, I was that for most classes. That changed, however, when I went to the US for a year as an exchange student. After that I kind of excelled at English.
    There should have been several Aha moments in my life, and maybe there were, but I was too confined in my own misery to actually recognize them. The final, all deciding moment came during therapy, when I realized I would never be truly happy, if I did not write. So write I did!

  • What have you written?

  • My first novel, Shattered Dreams, has been out on Kindle and via CreateSpace for 2 months now.
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • The sequel to Shattered Dreams, Shattered Hopes, is currently in beta-read, and I am working on the first draft of Shattered Bonds, the trilogy's finale.
    More for the kick of it than anything else, I have submitted a short story for an anthology. I suck at short stories, too confined for my taste, we'll see how that goes.
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • That depends. I've always been interested in history, so my knowledge there has helped me wing many things in the past, but nowadays I do a tad more research to supplement already existing insight into various topics.

  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I've developed a sort of ritual on the days that I write: get up at around 8-8:30, watch one episode of a TV drama and 2 episodes of a sitcom while having my breakfast. During that time I select the music I will listen to while showering. Shower with music loud enough to piss of my neighbors and incidentally reach me in the bathroom. Once dressed (I listen to The Blood of Cu Chulainn whilst getting into my clothes) I grab the novel I am currently reading, and head out to my favorite café. There I clear my mind by having a large cappuccino and reading and chatting with the staff. Then home, fire up my writing computer, put in my writing soundtrack, and go. (The first two novels, Shattered Dreams and Shattered Hopes(in beta-read) were written this way)

  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • I leave the manuscript alone for a month or so. Then I print it out with two pages beside each other so as to simulate the typical book-reading experience. Armed with that pile of papers, I head to my café and stay there for 5-8 hours a day, reading, making notes etc, for as long as it takes to get through the novel. Then I return to the computer and put in the changes.
    I repeat this process two more times, each with a specific goal: 1) plot and 2) deleting useless, superfluous words.
 
 
  • Tell us about your work space.

  • An old dining room table, situated in front of a window overlooking the roofs of my hometown. Next to the monitor are several dictionaries and thesauri on one side, and a pile of papers with various notes and such relevant to specific minutiae.

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • Let go of the problem, let the subconscious deal with it, when it's done, I know and will write down whatever insight I've gained.

  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I self publish. I tried to find an agent, but with the current fluctuations in the market, finding someone bold enough to not only sign a German author who writes in English, but also one whose sample chapters are meant to be disturbing is kind of tough.
    The process is fairly easy, kdp and CreateSpace offer enough instructions. Since the manuscript has been lying about fully edited for several years now, it was primarily a matter of fitting pages and adjusting the layout.

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1534803254
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1534803254
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ralchanh/

Author Interview: Chelcie Cotton

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • In school, I was the ultimate wallflower! I've always been creative, though, and I am grateful for this, as writing was exactly the outlet I needed. I never said much out loud to anyone, but there was always plenty going on in my head! Being creative, of course, English and Art were my 'passion subjects' and I didn't care that I failed miserably at everything else! Creativity was the one thing that fueled those teenage-angst years and kept me sane.
    When I look back, I can't really say that there was ever a 'jolt' moment where I thought, 'I need to be a writer!' I think this is because writing has always just been such a natural part of me that whenever I do sit down to write, it just feels like it's something that I was born to do! Cliche, I know, but that's the hopeless romance I have for writing, I'm afraid!

  • What have you written?

  • As I love to read a variety of genres, I don't really limit myself to one genre when it comes to writing. I wrote and published my debut novel, Baby Blue, back in June 2016 and I would class it as Contemporary Fiction. However, this wasn't the first novel I ever started writing. I started writing my first novel when I was nineteen and unemployed! It is a Historical Adventure targeted primarily towards Young Adults and I am still editing and re-writing to this day! I am actually in between projects at the moment and it can be hard sometimes to put one story to rest while working on another! It's all part of why I love writing, though! I love the challenge of it.
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • Yes, I am currently working on a series of novels for Young Adults entitled The Good Pirate. It is a Historical Adventure based in the 18th century and so I am currently immersed in trying to get all the little details just right. Researching is one of my favorite parts of the writing process! The first in the series is scheduled to release on March 1st!

  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the writing process! For my current project, there is a lot of research I am having to do as it is a historical novel. I spend time on researching different clothing of that particular era, what the village where they lived would have looked like back then, how they would have spoken, their accent or dialect, etc. Details that would make the story more believable for the reader and more authentic. 
    As an independent author, I only have so many pennies in the bank, so it's not that feasible to go out into the world and visit these places, as much as I would like to!
    So, of course, libraries and Google are my most reliable sources at the moment for research!

  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I'd love to say I'm more of an outline-planning type of girl, but I'm really not! And to be totally honest, as much as I've tried to outline in the past - as in plan the story beginning-to-end, page-by-page - that technique really doesn't work for me!
    Those sudden bolts of inspiration that catch me unawares is what makes writing so exciting for me. I'll be in the middle of writing the opening scene, and then all of a sudden, my character will catapult forwards to the end and I'll have to write the last few chapters without even knowing what's going to happen in the middle! That's what's amazing about writing - you just never know what's around the corner! It's like the characters are controlling YOU, not the other way around! I love that feeling. It's what inspires me and keeps me invested in my characters and the stories I have to tell.
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • Fortunately, my brain is a little bit more organized once I have finished my first draft. 
    I'll go back to the beginning of the novel and then I will read it as if for the first time. This way, I can pick out any mistakes I was sure to have made when I started writing. I've also given several of my first drafts to family and friends who were willing to critique it objectively for me. 
    What I found really helped me in the editing process, though, was to take a step back from my work. 
    I would leave my writing locked away on my laptop for a few weeks, maybe months, and I would come back to it after not thinking about the story, or the characters for a long time. Sometimes, errors and plot holes would jump out at me in such a way that I would think, 'how on earth did I not see that before?!'
    And then after I've re-read my entire story, I'll go back over it and check for grammar, spelling and formatting issues. 
    When you're a self-published author doing everything off your own back, it's a long and arduous task, but, again, I love the challenge! 

  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • Movie soundtracks. 
    I don't know why but I love the backdrop it gives me when I'm writing. If I'm struggling with a particular scene, and I play the movie soundtrack from Gladiator, it can fuel me on to finish the scene or it can even give me the emotion I need to give my character a little more depth. 

  • Tell us about your work space.

  • My workspace is pretty much any solid surface on which I can place my laptop and my cup of tea!
 
 

 

  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I use Microsoft Word as it pretty much has everything built in that I need. Formatting, spell-check, the lot. 
    If I need to make some quick notes or I'm suddenly struck with an idea for a scene, I tend to jot down ideas in Pages, a built-in app I have on my iPad. 

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • If I lose focus on a project, then I HAVE to step back and take a break. Even if I don't get my writing mojo back until a week later, maybe more. 
    Once I step away and do something completely different - whether it's watching a bit of TV or taking a walk - I can come back to my writing with a fresh approach and renewed motivation for the stories I'm telling.

  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I self-published my debut novel, Baby Blue, through Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace (for the paperback edition).
    I didn't know anything about the publishing process when I finished Baby Blue. As a writer, obviously, all I wanted was to get my book out there! So, of course I had to do a bit of research. I considered contacting publishers/agents, but I knew how expensive they could be and I had heard that it can take several months to a year for a manuscript to be fully accepted!
    Well, I knew I was too impatient for that and so I decided to try the self-publish route. 
    I definitely still have a long way to go when it comes to marketing my books and I can fully understand why this field alone is a full time job!
    But, since self-publishing Baby Blue, I've learnt a lot and have been able to connect with like-minded indie authors who know my struggle all too well!

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • www.facebook.com/chelciecottonauthor
    www.goodreads.com/author/show/15499816.Chelcie_Cotton
    www.twitter.com/chelciecotton
    www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Blue-Chelcie-Cotton-ebook/dp/B01HDWXRSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470337023&sr=8-1&keywords=Baby+blue+Chelcie+cotton

Author Interview: Dr. Thomai Dion

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 

 

 

  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • Of course! I am excited to answer this question as I actually have this exact background available on both my GoodReads and Amazon author pages. I have copied it below for easier reading. With that said, this is a story that easily rolls off the tongue regardless of whether it has already been typed up or not. I do what I do for my toddler and their thirst to explore, discover, and learn. Anything above and beyond is an added bonus!
    I am pharmacist and mother to a very inquisitive, energetic, and hands-on analytical thinker. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Rhode Island and believe it is never too early to start learning.
    Inspired by being a mother, leveraging my clinical background, and being driven to both teach and learn at every opportunity, I have created my own educational children's books that focus on various scientific topics, the first of which I have engagingly tackled being biology. These books cover seemingly complicated scientific concepts that are typically thought of as being taught to "older kids" in school; however, they are purposefully geared towards babies, toddlers, and young children. The idea to finally put pen to paper all started with my own child, a drive to educate, and some imagination.
    Playfully pretending with my toddler on our living room floor, surrounded by colorful wooden blocks and various makes and models of miniature cars, I began brainstorming what the next topic should be that my little guy and I would discover. Thinking back to my own experiences in labs testing and recording while obtaining my doctorate, I had an "Ah ha!" moment: I would research where to find a microscope appropriate for my child's age. Before pursuing a new subject of learning though, my rule of thumb is always to read and talk about the topic first. So I began to look for books on cells that were geared for very young readers. And I looked. And looked. The only search result I was able to come to was the decision to create my own. It was then that my first book, "Think-A-Lot-Tots: The Animal Cell", was written, illustrated, edited, and self-published by the both artistic, science-loving, right-brain and left-brain mom (AKA, me!).

  • What have you written?

  • I have a total of four books available currently on Amazon. All of these books are part of the “Think-A-Lot-Tots” educational science series for babies and children (The Cell; The Neuron; My Science Lab Notebook; How Many Microorganisms?). Over the past several months I have also donated nearly 100 copies to Little Free Libraries across the United States and Canada to promote STEM learning, to which I’ve received excellent and very inspiring feedback.

 

  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • Yes! I have 2 more educational science books in the works that should be available within the next week or 2. One is similar to my currently available books in that it explores a subtopic of science, namely biology. The 2nd though is something different entirely. Still within the same vein of teaching our youngest budding scientists, but a bit more hands-on!
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • I suppose the short answer to this is: "Something every day." I draw on my medical background while simultaneously finding inspiration on what my child is interested in learning today, in the now. Do they like colors? Are they fascinated with rainbows? Why do things always fall to the ground when I drop them, anyway? Let's figure it out through science!


  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • Write, draw, review. Write, draw, review. Review, revise. Write and draw some more.
    I am both author and illustrator (and editor if we want to count that too), so the process is admittedly a fine line between what I can happily produce and what I am overly self-critical about. I take my work very seriously as I want it to be both educational and engaging. My work also focuses on fairly abstract concepts (e.g. a cell in your body), and teaching that to a toddler or other young child can add another layer of challenge (and opportunity!). 


  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • It is pretty similar to the above in that you could say I am constantly editing as I go. I also make sure to go through my work on separate occasions to focus on different aspects (Does the story flow well? Is everything grammatically OK? Do the illustrations appear as intended?).

  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • The container of dark chocolate chips on my desk beneath my monitor is an enticing motivator to keep me focused on the computer monitor and therefore my writing, although I would say the bigger and major drive for me doing what I do is my son. Will he learn from this? Will he enjoy it? If both answers to that are yes, then it is a simple decision -- I forge ahead.

  • Tell us about your work space.

  • I work at a desk tucked along one of the corners in my living room. It is a modest size, nothing too fancy, but it has a dark wood finish. So it looks nice and "grown up" amidst the trail of colorful wooden blocks, various makes and models of toy cars, and assortment of partially broken crayons scattered about (but they crayons are still perfectly OK to use! You just have more now! Look at all of these tiny crayons to color with!). My shih tzu is also snoring in the corner and behind me is a sketch pad surrounded by an army of colored pencils ready to pounce down onto the white paper once I decided to switch from writer to illustrator. So I'd say there are a lot of hats hanging around my workspace and dark wood desk, but I'm incredibly happy and grateful to be able to wear each and every one.
 
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  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • Good old Microsoft Word and a scanner / printer combo that was gifted to me many more years ago than I'd like to admit.

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • Just sleep on it. (And with raising a young child, sleep is a precious and prized commodity if one can obtain it). There is no race, no urgency, no deadline to get any of this done. So if it needs to wait until tomorrow when I have more coffee flowing through me and a few more hours of sleep under my belt, then so be it.


  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I have self-published my books, so the process starts and ends with me I guess you could say. I am a pharmacist by trade; my professional experience lies not only within the clinical arena though but also nearly half a decade in business corporate strategy. I was not intimidated by the possibility of having to come up with an idea, write it out, draw it out, edit it, review it, and ultimately tie it up in a bow to present to the world. If anything, it has been very fun!

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • A full list of available books can be found on my Amazon author page:
    http://www.amazon.com/author/thomaidion

  •  

Author Interview: Ginny Clyde

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I was put into the habit of reading by my mother since I was young. English was my favorite subject until I got introduced to Science. I have pursued a career in Science but have always stayed in touch with the side that loved to read and fantasize.
         I did not get into writing until I watched the movie Hellboy 2: The Golden Army where I just fell in love with the antagonist, Prince Nuada. His end was tragic and something I was unable to accept. So, I started writing fanfiction where he was the main character. My story has been read by thousands and received over a 100 reviews.
         This experience gave me the confidence that I could write.
     
  • What have you written?

  • Graveyard Rose- A Gothic Fantasy Romance
 
 
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • Yes, the second book in "The Rose Chronicles".

  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • I do background research for the history and culture of the places where the story is set. 

  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I try to write at least a 100 words each day. Sometimes, I would write over 3000. I try not to force myself because it will make it seem like a chore. I like to enjoy myself when I am writing.

  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • It is easier to be in the editing process. I am much more efficient at this stage and also get very excited as I polish each chapter.

  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • I love listening to music in the background. Also, tea helps!

  • Tell us about your work space.

  • I use a rather large table, almost the size of a dining table. I like my laptop, my journal, my cup of tea and everything else within reach. The big space also makes it appear less cluttered. 
 
 
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • No. Good old MS Word is what I use.

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • I try not to force it. If I am stuck in a plot, I would just relax and watch a movie or read a book. Worrying and obsessing never helps me. Sometimes, a chat with a friend helps clear my mind. 
     
  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I self-published through Amazon. I did all the formatting myself and quite proud of how well it turned out.
     
  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • My book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited. For purchasing, go to the Amazon Kindle Store. 

Author Interview: L.M. Nelson

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I have been writing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved creating stories and making up characters. During my youth, I received several awards for creative writing and research papers I wrote, and a love affair with poetry ignited. I began writing poetry around the age of ten and had several poems published in my high school’s literary magazine. I earned a college scholarship for a poem I published and it appeared in a national publication that same year. It was also during this time that I began playing around with writing novels. I started off just creating stories in a notebook, most of which I don’t even have anymore. After graduating from high school, I continued to write stories, that’s where the Scrubs series began. In graduate school, I took a few classes about Gifted and Talented Education. During that time, I co-wrote an article that was published in a statewide educational journal. I’ve been writing poetry and fiction ever since.
         When not writing, I teach full time. I love gardening, photography, nature walks, and listening to music from various genres. I currently reside in South Central Texas, but have lived in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California. I’m a Pacific Northwest girl and consider Seattle my home.

  • What have you written?

  • I have written several poems, one of which was published in World Treasury of Great Poems, Vol. II. I co-wrote an article, ‘Gifted and Talented Education at the Close of the Decade of the Brain’, which was published in the educational journal Perspectives: Idaho Association of School Administrators, Vol. XVI, No. 1. My first novel, Scrubs, was released in May 2015, and my second novel, Sand & Sutures, was released May 2016. The other two books in the series have already been written but are in the revising/ editing stage.
 
 
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • Currently, I'm revising and editing the third and fourth books in my Scrubs series. I also have two other works in progress, a Young Adult fantasy book and an adult crime novel.
     
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • The amount of research I do depends on what I'm writing. For my Scrubs series, I had to do quite a bit of research. The series is medical-themed, so I spent a lot of time researching the inner workings of the medical field. I also read through medical school forums and articles by resident doctors.

  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I'm a fly by the seat of your pants type of writer. I don't outline. I always start with characters and build my story around them. I have a general idea of where my story is heading, but as I write, my characters take over. They tell their story, they communicate with one another, I merely hold the pen. Once the story is written, I spend quite a bit of time polishing it up. 

  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • Revising and editing is the stage I spend the most time with. I'm very thorough. The entire process is actually a set of multiple stages I go through. I re-read my book several times. The first time, I add more details, change scenes, or delete unnecessary items/ chapters/ scenes. The second re-read, I check for flow. Does the story proceed forward without awkward pauses or long, drawn out descriptions? Is the pacing good? Once that's done, I check for word choice and alternative phrases. Then I examine my dialogue and either add what is needed to develop the characters more, combine dialogue to shorten the conversation, or delete dialogue if it doesn't fit. 
         Editing is the last thing I do, and I always take a break for a few weeks after I've done revisions before I start editing. Here, I check for consistency, grammatical issues, sentence structure, basically looking for anything and everything grammar and spelling related. I slowly read through my novel several times (I even read it backwards) and triple check everything before I have a second set of eyes look at it. Even with that, I still don't catch everything. Once you've looked at a manuscript a hundred times, you start to see double after a while.

  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • Not really. I just sit down and write. I work 50+ hours a week, so when I come home, writing is my stress relief. It's something I do everyday, and it relaxes me.

  • Tell us about your work space.

  • I write on my couch with a laptop, and usually a cat, sitting on my lap. I'm surrounded by writing reference materials, alternative word cheat sheets, phrase books, and notebooks full of ideas I jotted down. I have sticky notes and notepad sheets all over the place, each labeled with story title and put in some sort of chronological order so when I start writing, the ideas are right in front of me. My chaotic methods would drive a highly organized person crazy, but it works for me.
 
 
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I use Microsoft Word. That's it. I do have a PDF converter and editor so I can adjust and make changes to the actual print copy of my book as needed. But I don't use any other software or apps. My daughter designed my first book cover. I need to invest in Photoshop so she can create more covers.

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • I don't lose focus often, but when I do, I walk. I get out into nature, take photographs, and listen to music. I am inspired by music a lot. Certain songs I hear generate story ideas. I jot these ideas down for later use. Reading books gets the creative juices flowing. I read from all genres, and sitting down to enjoy a good story often helps me refocus. I have also been known to take a break and work on another project, like editing another piece or returning to a previous one. That is also a good time to work on my blog or do some social media marketing. 

  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I am an independent author. I chose this route because I want control of my work and don't want to have to worry about meeting deadlines. I prefer to work at my own pace and publish when I'm ready. I create and write my own work, which I own complete rights to. I have an editor I trust, although I do the majority of the editing myself. I have a general idea of what I want my cover to look like and have a professional graphic artist (or my daughter who's good at that sort of thing) design it for me. I'm published through a local small press publishing company. They do all of the e-book conversion, professional cover design, formatting, Amazon and Barnes and Nobel distribution, and paperback printing for me. Marketing, however, is up to me. Since I own all rights to my books, I have the option of uploading electronic copies to various sites, like Smashwords, and can schedule book signings, attend book fests, and set up giveaways whenever I want. I like that freedom. On the downside, self-promotion is extremely difficult, especially when I'm not well trained in marketing tactics and tend to be an introvert. It's been hard for me to throw myself out there and get noticed. 

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • Purchase information:
    Amazon: (Paperback and Kindle) https://www.amazon.com/L.-M.-Nelson/e/B00ZO1ZZ6Y
    Smashwords: (E-book only) https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lmnelson
    Texas Authors: (Paperback only) http://books.txauthors.com/category-s/2208.htm
    Barnes & Nobel: (Paperback and Nook) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sand-sutures-l-m-nelson/1123757871?ean=9780986128585
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scrubs-l-m-nelson/1121919243?ean=9780986128509
    Social Media:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlmnelson
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorlmnelson (@authorlmnelson)
    Website/ Blog: https://lmnelsonscorner.wordpress.com/
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lnelson71/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14100489.L_M_Nelson
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-m-nelson-610839a4
 
 

Author Interview: Jacob Peyton

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I was good at English but I was a slacker when it came to it. Because I knew that I could finish my assignments last minute. There really wasn't one "aha" moment for me, it was more like a lot of little moments over time that said this is what I should be doing.

  • What have you written?

  • I've written two short story collections The Cat Outside the Window & Other Tales of Terror and Haunted. I also wrote MINE-198, which is the first book in The Salvager's War series.

  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • I'm currently finishing my novel FLOAT, which, in a nutshell, is Moby Dick meets Jaws. 
 
 

 

  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • It varies on what I'm writing. For FLOAT I did a lot, but most of it was visual. One of the things I did was watch documentaries on sharks so I could describe who they swim and attack. I also watched movies like Jaws, which gave me a better understanding of how to make a shark attack scene scary. For everything else, I went back to books and maps to keep it as realistic as possible.

  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I plot first, I didn't always do this and because of that, I spent many hours staring at a blank page. My actual writing process contains more procrastination than I would like, intermingled with manic spurts of inspiration where I write a chapter or three. 

  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • I self-edit so for me I read the whole manuscript once, then fix anything I saw. Next, I run it through Grammarly and Hemingway editor. And once it's gone through all that I send it to beta readers just in case anything's been missed.

  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • I found that most things I write before my first cup of coffee tend to be terrible. Music also really helps the process as long as it fits the theme of the story I'm working on.

  • Tell us about your work space.

  • I have a writing desk in my office that is surrounded by my bookshelves, so whenever I hit a snag or get writers block I'll grab a book off the shelf and start reading to get that inspiration back.
 
 
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I use Scrivener for writing and formatting, I honestly don't know what I did without it. For editing, I use Hemingway editor and the free version of Grammarly. And I use Jotterpad on my phone for writing down any ideas I have throughout the day.

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • I read, usually a book within the genre I'm writing. I find this helps me to get my mind back on the project. I've also found researching helps I tend to find more stuff that I think would be interesting for the project and that rekindles the passion I had for it.

  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I self-publish so the process is pretty straightforward. Right now, I'm just doing Amazon, but I plan on going wide in the future.

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • They can find it here on my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jacob-Peyton/e/B01GP1NV3U/
    Or at my website: www.jacobpeyton.com
    I'm also on Twitter @jkylepeyton

Author Interview: Ceri Clark

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I've always wanted to be a writer. I wrote a full length book which was really an Enid Blyton knockoff at about 8 or 9 years old. It wasn't until I became a school librarian though that I had the time to write a novel. I had a ready supply of children to see if the book would appeal and it was really useful to see what they liked (or didn't like). 
  • What have you written?

  • Coming out in the next few months: Space Puzzles: Minkie Monster and The Birthday Surprise, Under the Sea Puzzles: Minkie Monster and the Lost Treasure. Already published: Children of the Elementi, A Simpler Guide to Gmail, A Simpler Guide to Google Drive, A Simpler Guide to Calibre, A Simpler Guide to Finding Free eBooks, Email Management using Gmail A Simpler Guide to Online Security and four disguised password books. 
 
 
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • 3 Minkie Monster books aimed at 3-5 year olds (2 are finished), Accidental Immortal, a sci-fi/fantasy novel and A Simpler Guide to Google Sheets
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • For my Simpler Guides I test the software, watch YouTube tutorials and look at other books. For my fantasy, I sometimes have to ask people or do my research on the Internet. For my puzzle books, I test them on my son and cousins. I am "forced" to watch a lot of children's tv and read a lot of children's books. :) 
     
  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I am most definitely a sprinter. I love NaNoWriMo. This is where I write the majority of my novels and then I spend years editing. Just going over and over the book before I put it away for a couple of months and then go over it again! 
     
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • I dislike editing but when I get into it, I do strangely enjoy it. I have friends who use spreadsheets but I just keep notes and plod through it, a paragraph at a time. 
     
  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • The only thing I can think of regarding quirks is that I do NaNoWriMo every year. I use my phone a lot of the time during that month so I can write while waiting to pick my son up from school or when I'm at the bus stop. It helps me get my 50,000 words done! 
     
  • Tell us about your work space.

  • Very cramped! I'm actually partially sighted so I have a 27" screen for design work and I have to have my type really large on screens. I'm sandwiched between the sofa and toy boxes in the living room. 
 
 
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I love Microsoft Word. This is because I can use web view and have the text at 330% which is perfect for me. 
     
  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • When I lose focus, I put the project down and start something else. This year I published four password books while I was prevaricating. I have nearly finished Accidental Immortal which I went back to after they were done. 
     
  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I am self-published but I am part of Myrddin Publishing which is an author cooperative. We give each other support and advice when it is needed. 
     
  • Where can people find you and your work?
  • http://minkiemonster.com 
    http://cericlark.com 

Author Interview: Christopher Lee

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Although my main area of study was in filmmaking, I had always had a mind to tell my own stories. That for me meant writing them and building them from the ground up. After a few years outside of the creative sphere, I decided it was time to get back to it! So here I am attempting to publish my first novel. 

  • What have you written?

  • I am currently unpublished and working on publishing my first novel through the crowd publishing company Inkshares.com 
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • My current work in progress is called Man's Damnation. It is part of a series that I have in mind which attempt to explain man's condition through a series of whimsical alternative histories. 
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • A boatload! I can't research enough. As a history buff it is honestly the most enjoyable part of the process for me. I often find myself lost in the research and forget that I need to actually start writing the darn novel!
     
  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • It is a bubbling cauldron of chaos to say the least. Overall the process could be best described as alchemy. I'm trying to create gold out of nothing, but really I am just tossing a million things into a mixture and hoping it comes out bronze. 
     
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • I try not to beat myself up too much. I use the Hemingway App to give myself a smoother style since I can be a little wordy. 
     
  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • Coffee, Coffee, oh and more Coffee. Café's are great, and I absolutely have to have instrumental music playing.
  • Tell us about your work space.

  • Usually a few open books in the research mode, and about a zillion tabs open on the netbook. Don't forget the iPad and the Cell Phone just in case I have to move. Mobility is what keeps me sane, I hate leaving a good idea behind. 
     
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I primarily use Google Docs as my writing platform, but Hemingway App and Thesaurus.com are my best friends.
     
  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • I take a walk to clear my head!
     
  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I am currently funding the novel through Inkshares.com. They give you a three month window to receive a certain number of pre-orders and then they publish your work. So far it has been an interesting journey. 
     
  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • https://www.inkshares.com/books/man-s-damnation-lore-of-the-aos-s-
 
 

Author Interview: Tahani Nelson

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I grew up as the only Gothic girl within 100 miles in rural Montana. I've always known that I was different--and that it was okay. 
        I also always loved reading fantasy, but had trouble finding females that were more than damsels in distress in the books I read. It didn't take me long to try and rectify that-- I've been writing fantasy novels with strong heroines since Junior High. 
        Today, I've switched out the black lipstick for a red pen and English degree, and use them to try to instill that love of being different into my high school students.
     
  • What have you written?

  • For published works, "Dreams and Ballet Slippers" and "Mortal Asphalt" in Soliloquy Magazine. Besides that, I'm currently marketing my first Fantasy novel.
     
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • I've recently finished my first dark fantasy novel, The Last Faoii. It took 4 years to write and edit it, and I'm still diving into the vast, complicated world of representation and publishing.
       My current WIP's include Faoii's sequel and a dystopian 1984-meets-Sabriel fantasy called Chained Mage.
     
 
 
  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • Everyone I talk to seems so amazed that I wrote a book. I don't think they realize that writing it is the easy part. The Last Faoii WANTED to be written-- every day it was the first thing I thought about upon waking and the last thing I worked on before bed. Since I have two jobs, a lot of my writing is done on napkins and scratch paper when I find a free moment, and the nights are crazy, sleepless things that have me pounding away at a keyboard until my next shift starts. But it's so exciting and energetic--I don't feel like I need to sleep while I'm creating an entire world and the people therein. 
        Usually I have a vague outline of events and my process starts with me writing everything that's in my head as it comes to me. I write a scene that needs to be shown, finish it, and then write whatever the next scene in my head is until I have all of them in a confused, jumbled Word document. It's not until after all of those are out of my head and on the computer that I go back and edit-- smooth them, fill in the holes, and make them fit together. If I try to polish anything before I get the majority on paper, I end up getting sidetracked as I slap down another scene.
     
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • Once the story is down, my first step is to make sure the events are in order. Since I just write entire paragraphs or chapters as they come to me, the first draft is usually a jumbled mess. So I copy/paste entire sections of the book to where they're supposed to be. 
        Once that's done I start over on page one and read the entire thing again-- this time making sure that the transitions between scenes are clean and make sense. This is also my best chance to make sure I'm not repeating things over and over, and that pacing is smooth. 
        The next step is to send it out to someone that I trust (usually my dad). He tells me if the story makes sense and whether or not I should pursue it. If he tells me it's not my best work it stops there and I write something new. If I get his approval, I look over the changes he suggests and start searching for beta readers. After I send it out to 3-4 betas, I wait until I hear their changes, decide which ones make it into the final product and which ones don't, and put them in. 
        Finally, I read through it one more time. If I'm happy with the end result, I start looking for agents or publication. I don't know what happens after that, but I'll let you know when I get there.
     
  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • I have three or four songs that help me concentrate. Depending on what type of scene I'm writing I put one of them on and repeat it over and over until the scene is complete. It drives my husband crazy, so he was nice and bought me a good set of headphones to use.
     
  • Tell us about your work space.

  • My computer sits on our kitchen table. To my right is a wall with character sketches, maps, and doodles. To my left is usually a pile of scratch paper and napkins with ideas written on them, a cup of tea that has probably gone cold, and a cat (who refuses to move no matter how many times I push him off). I almost always have one of three wordless songs playing on repeat. A lot people say they wouldn't be able to work in that environment-- I think it's the perfect storm.
     
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • Not really. I just write on Microsoft Word. I guess the most helpful thing I do there is make each chapter a new heading so that I can easily navigate the scenes, and Word's comment feature makes it easy for my beta's to point things out, but that's really all I do.
     
  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • The music thing really helps me out. I know a lot of people can't stand to listen to the same thing over and over and over again, but I've trained my brain to the point that if it hears one of those three songs--it's time to write. 
       It's also hard to lose focus when you jump-write like I do. The minute I'm not inspired to write a particular scene anymore, I jump to a different one. I can always come back and polish the first one up at a different time, but if I'm inspired to write something, I'm going to write it--continuity be damned.
     
  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I'm currently trying to publish through Inkshares-- a crowdsourced publisher. I really like it, because I get to offer a signed copy to everyone who pre-orders and word spreads that way. It is kind of hard, though-- you have to get a minimum of 250 pre-orders just to qualify for select publishing, but if you don't reach that goal everyone gets their money back, so it's not like anyone is out anything.
       I haven't succeeded in publishing The Last Faoii yet, but I'll keep working on it. It'll happen.
     
  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • inkshares.com/books/the-last-faoii
    twitter.com/tahaninelson
    facebook.com/thelastfaoii
    tahaninelson.wordpress.com

If you would like to be part of the Author Interview series, click here.

Author Interview: Dr. Don C. Kean

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I was a solid student but very impatient and easily distracted. I was okay at English but I always hated it. I cannot say I had any real aha moments.

  • What have you written?

  • An Historical Fiction entitled I Didn't Sign Up For This

 

  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • Right now I am only in the very early research stages for two different projects.
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • Quite a bit. I like to stay reasonably accurate on the real history contained in the story. I also like to keep the cultural aspects and geography in reasonable order.
  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I just let it play out. If I do not feel very creative I just lie it down for the day. I have found the writing aspect quite easy and natural for the most part. It is difficult for me to write a lot each day since I still hold a full time job.
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • Read, Reread, and reread. That is the only way I know to do it. That is the point in the process where things start to get less fun .
  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • I use Dragon for dictation although I sometimes still spend a great deal of time editing what is dictated.
  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • Just lie it down for a day or so.
  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I submitted my work to several smaller publishers. I was finally able to get one to take a chance. I am forever grateful.
  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • See photo album J.D.'s Trail.
  • On Amazon
 
 

If you would like to be part of the Author Interview series, click here.

Thank You, to all you authors out there!

 
 

Last month, a new series on the blog started, Author Interviews. I put out a call for participants to all the Indie/Self-Publishing/Traditionally Published authors out there and the response has been amazing!

I just wanted to say thank you, to all the authors who have answered my questions and sent in photos for their posts, and a HUGE thanks for being understanding with scheduling everyone well into 2017 due to the overwhelming response! 

I hope you find inspiration in these authors' words of wisdom and shared journeys as they go up, two (to three) times a month!

Again, A HUGE THANK YOU! to all the authors who have participated in this series, thus far!

This month, you'll be reading interviews from Dr. Don C. Kean, author of I Didn't Sign Up For This, and Tahani Nelson, author of The Last Faoii.

Author Interview: Natacha Guyot

 
NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE: THIS AUTHOR IS NOT AN LV BOOK DESIGN CLIENT AND ALL IMAGES WERE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR.

 
  • First, can you give us some background about yourself?

  • I have loved telling stories and creating imaginary worlds since I was a child, whether when I played with my toys or when I was old enough to write and put words on paper.
    I took a literary path even in high school, with a love of literature and foreign languages (French is my native one, and I learned English, Latin, German and Italian between middle and high school). 
    I wrote my first original fiction in my teen years, but took a break from it for about ten years, focusing on academic work (in Film, Media Studies and Humanities). 
    While struggling to find a paid job for several years, I focused on my writing, both fiction and nonfiction, and realized that it was my calling. Returning to it has been a worthy experience and I can't imagine myself not writing!

  • What have you written?

  • I have published articles, essays, short stories and novellas in the past years. Besides academic publishing, whether as author or editor, I have taken the self-publishing road for about four years now. My nonfiction focuses on Media Studies, Gender Studies, Fan Communities and Science Fiction. As for my original fiction, I always write Fantasy or Science Fiction. Last year I published the first volume in an ongoing series 'Clairvoyance Chronicles', made of a series of connected short stories with human, Fae, Were characters (but no vampire!)
  • Are you currently working on anything?

  • I always am. Keeping the muses in line and juggle between different projects can be challenging, but I prefer having too many ideas than none at all.
    I have several upcoming titles at different stages of revision and formatting, but the main project I am working on right now is the translation (from French to English) of the first novel I wrote when I was a teenager. It requires a lot of rewriting, but makes for an interesting experience. I have only written in English in the past years. It is more comfortable to me and makes it easier when it comes to reaching audiences.
  • How much research do you do for your writing?

  • When it comes to academic/nonfiction writing, I have an extended collection of books on the various topics I commonly work on. With my love to dissect movies and TV shows, I own several versions of some titles for better research too, and can play a video game multiple times to explore choices and storylines, if I write a paper about it.
    For fiction work, I love world building, but research mostly focuses on writing craft, whether genre oriented or not. I do specific research when I need to set a scene in a given city or country if I write in a "real world" setting, and not a completely created one.
  • What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?

  • I can't write more than one book at the same time. I am comfortable doing revision/formatting/marketing on other titles at the same time, but I can't do more than one book when I am doing the main "chunk" of writing.
    I normally type my stories or essays right away and like having a large monitor to have a better view (I use Word over software such as Scrivener, only using the latter for formatting). I am a rather slow writer. Doing 1,000 or 2,000 word a day is how I usually do things. 
    I have notes stored both on the computer and on notebooks, because I always get ideas when I'm not at the computer. 
    If my inspiration runs off after some writing, I commonly go write some roleplaying posts on a Star Wars forum where I have multiple characters. The shorter length of writing and not having to think about world building helps a lot to restart my original muse, whether fiction or nonfiction. 
  • What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?

  • Besides cringing at the stupid mistakes and bad wording, I always feel grateful to my editor to help point out things I can improve. 
    I am a slow writer and have a hard time doing my own editing, so I prefer taking my time and fidgeting with writing rather than revisit multiple times on my own.
    It took me a while to find the right editor, but she has been of tremendous help. Since she uses a lot of color codes, I normally do an overview of what she did, to have an idea of which parts will need the most work. Then, I tackle things in order, and take care of the easier items to fix, leaving the heavy rewriting/rewording for last.
  • Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?

  • I need a lot of Earl Grey tea. That's my fuel! 
    While I have no problem taking notes regardless of where I am or what time of the day it is, I prefer writing quietly at my desk, with or without music. 
    Some projects work much better when I listen to music (mostly instrumental, whether classical, soundtracks or celtic, and symphonic metal music); and some I prefer writing in silence.
Workspace January 2015.jpg
  • Tell us about your work space.

  • I love my desk to pieces. I have had this old and massive Swedish desk since I was nine years old. I am now in my thirties and still work on it. There is a lot of room for computer, monitor, notebooks, pile of research books, teapot and mug, and also cats.
    My beloved desk and a good monitor are really the core of my workspace. During summer 2016, I am moving overseas (from France to Texas), and my desk is definitely part of the few pieces of furniture I'm taking with me.

  • Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?

  • Give me Microsoft Word and Firefox and I am happy. Even when it comes to listening to music while writing, I'm often lazy and just search a good playlist on Youtube. 

  • What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?

  • Most of the time, just writing a few Star Wars roleplaying posts will be enough to get my focus back, but if I really feel too frustrated with my writing, I will either work out a bit (pilates and some yoga can do wonders) or go kill things in a video games (I like Fantasy and Science Fiction RPG games such as Mass Effect, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Diablo III).
    Every once in a while, I'll hit a mean writer's block time or earn myself a burn out. It took me several years to realize it was okay and could happen to me. In that case, I'll allow myself to walk away from the project I'm writing and focus on what I can revise, what I can take notes for, what I can market better, but take distance from the "writing" of writing. One week often fixes it.

  • Tell us about your publishing process.

  • I have published in some academic volumes, but have chosen the self-publishing road for my other work. I have never regretted it. I am far from being able to live thanks to my writing, but I love the creative control over what I do.
    I publish on Kindle through Amazon and print (if the volume is long enough) via Createspace/Amazon. The few free eBooks I have available are available on any e-formats on Smashwords.
    It is a lot of work to take care of everything on my own, or build the network that helps (I am very grateful to the amazing and talented people who help me whether for editing, cover design or marketing) but it is extremely rewarding. 
    I normally publish three titles a year, and since 2016, I start on International Women's Day with a free eBook collecting all interviews from the previous year of my monthly blog feature "Sci-Fi Women Interviews" and follow with a summer and a winter release.
    I offer pre-order on Amazon, start looking for marketing/advertising opportunities a few months prior to the release, and if I can organize a book blog tour. While I do 3 releases per year, I try to have a "main one" that benefits from more advertising.
    After I've released a title, I try to go back to it via blogging, tie it to a guest post elsewhere, do free or discount days on Amazon to keep spreading the word.

  • Where can people find you and your work?

  • Website: http://natachaguyot.org
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/natachaguyot
    Linkedin: http://fr.linkedin.com/in/natachaguyot/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natachaguyot
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7944812.Natacha_Guyot
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/guyotnatacha/
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NatachaGuyot/
    Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Natacha-Guyot/e/B00JAZS2CY/
    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Natacha-Guyot/e/B00JAZS2CY/
    Amazon France: http://www.amazon.fr/Natacha-Guyot/e/B00JAZS2CY/
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/aruna7
 
 

If you would like to be part of the Author Interview series, click here.