Indie Shine – Michael Lackey

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author Michael Lackey!

Bio:

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©Mike Lackey used with permission

A believer in things most found silly, Michael Lackey (1973-) has always been a dreamer. He loved to pretend as a child in the forests of Alabama. Michael would find himself in a land of monsters where he was the only one who could save the world from utter destruction. In his free time, Michael would map out bike courses and fantasize about becoming the next big Hollywood stuntman. With the stunts complete, Michael would raise his sword high and proclaim himself the slayer of the mystical beasts plaguing his land. Like most over imaginative children, real life set in for Michael. Work. Adulthood. Family. He never really grew out of his imagination, but rather suppressed it to the point of monotony. Now in his forties, Michael’s stories and love for fantasy come alive on the pages of The Bad Seed. Join Michael on his fantasy-filled quest to tell the story of the brave Zachery Morely and his adventures on Amundiss. Michael is now signed by The Polyetnic Publishing Company, LLC. Find them at www.thepolyetnic.com

Q&A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
I am a playground builder by day and fantasy/sci-fi author by night. I love taking pen and paper and creating worlds and bringing my stories to life.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
I am currently working on a steampunk inspired novel titled The Key of Knowledge. It is the first in my Keys of Lazarus series. We all know the story of Lazarus from the bible, died and brought back to life four days later by Jesus. Do you know what happened after that? The death angel was inside the body of Lazarus claiming his prize when the breath of life was breathed back into him. A battle ensued for poor Lazarus. Of course, Christ won and kicked out the death angel, but not before a piece of the angel was left inside him.
This piece, this Shadow Gem can grant power over death… immortality. The priests that were there for the family witnessed the Resurrection, and they were worried the people would start to believe in Jesus with Lazarus being a walking example of his power. they set out to have Lazarus killed, get rid of the evidence. This infuriated the death angel, Lazarus was his prize and they had no right to kill him. The angel placed a curse on the five priests and sentenced them to watch over the keys that will unlock the power left behind inside the body of Lazarus.
Flash forward to the year 1854 when Ruina Baxter and her husband were on an archaeologist dig site in Constantinople when they find the body of Lazarus. When Ruina pulled the Shadow Gem from his corpse it granted her the power of immortality and to control the dead. The year is now 2058 and Ruina, who now demands to be called the Countess, is in full control of the world and all its citizens. The only way to stop her is to collect the five keys of Lazarus and make her mortal once more.
Who inspires you? 
J.R.R Tolkien of course, C.S. Lewis and Rick Riordan
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?optopn1ebook 
My first book, The Bad Seed: Battle for the Heavens
What is your motto in life? 
Work smart, not hard.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
To retire and be able to write full time.
Michael Lackey QuoteWhat is your favorite quote?
Mine- “The Light shines brightest, when the world is at its darkest.”
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
My storytelling.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
The Key of Knowledge will be available fall of 2017
Where can fans purchase your work? 
Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com, audible.com, iTunes, book depository, and a lot of Barnes and Noble local stores

Social Media

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©Mike Lackey used with permission

Instagram: @mikelackey23

Twitter: @supes23

Amazon Author Page: Michael Lackey

Couch Convos w/ Lisa W. Tetting – Joslyn Westbrook

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Welcome to another episode of Couch Convos! Today we welcome new author Joslyn Westbrook to talk about her book The 52 Week Chronicles! Let’s get started.

Part I

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©Joslyn Westbrook used with permission

LWT: This being your first novel, what inspired you to start writing?

JW: I’ve always had a desire to write, since grade school. English and Journalism were my majors in college, but “life” took me in a totally different path. It was not until I lost my mom, that I realized life is too short to not live out your dreams, and I began writing as a mere hobby.

LWT: I totally understand that. I lost my mom recently and it is a wake up call. Why did you choose the “Chick Lit” style?

 JW: I was on a business trip several years ago, when I picked up a novel by Sophie Kinsella, called Can You Keep A Secret? It was then that I fell in love with the Chick Lit genre. When I started writing, I felt Chick Lit was such a natural way for me to bring my characters to life.

LWT: What is your favorite “Chick Lit” book? Is it safe to say you’re a fan of Sophie Kinsella?

JW: Anything by Sophie Kinsella would be my favorite in the Chick Lit genre. I am a total fangirl!

LWT: Your main character in your book “The Fifty-Two Week Chronicles”, Penelope is a bona fide foodie. Do you have any experience with food?

JW: Actually I do have a ton of experience with food. For the last twenty years, I have been a Business Consultant to restaurant owners, helping them operate successful restaurants.

LWT: Wow, that sounds like a fun job. I’m sure you run into some interesting people. Who was your muse for Penelope?

JW: The initial inspiration for Penelope was based on the fact that in real life, I would have loved being a Food Critic. I am a crazy foodie and what could be better than combining a love for food and a love for writing?

LWT: If this book was made into a movie, who would play Jonathan? I absolutely adored him.

JW: Without a doubt, Jonathan’s role would be played by Taylor Kinney (with dark hair) from the TV show Chicago Fire. I think he would play the perfect Jonathan Knight.

LWT: Yum! Speaking of yummy, how did you come up with the menu for the pop-up restaurant, and do you have the recipes?

JW: The Pop-up restaurant menu came to life by watching many Food Network shows. I 52 weeks artmade notes of the type of food I envisioned Jonathan to be an expert at and was lucky enough to finalize the menu over the course of a weekend of Food Network binge watching. I do have the recipes and am strongly considering adding them to the back of the novel…or maybe as a novel bonus.

LWT: Do you put a little of yourself in any of your characters?

JW: That’s a great question. I do believe parts of my personality are sprinkled here and there…especially in some of the dialogue.

LWT: I am dying to know if Sebastian will get his own book.

JW: I love Sebastian! He was a fun character to write and many readers want more of him. I am not sure if he will get his very own book, but he is making a return in the next book in the series called A Cupcake and a Gentleman, which is set in San Francisco, CA. I am happy I was able to bring him back as he helps in sister Hannah with her bakery business.

LWT:  Who is your favorite writer?

JW: I have so many favorites and I draw inspiration from all of them: Sophie Kinsella, Susan Mallery, Candace Bushnell, Plum Sykes, Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel…to name a few.

Part II

cover updated chroniclesLWT:  Who designed your book cover and how did you come up with the concept for it?

JW: Pro_ebookcovers designed the current cover, but that is not the original cover. The original cover was created by a lovely designer from 99Designs. I was prepared to use that cover, until I discovered the girl with the pink hat and instantly saw Penelope. So I had the entire concept redesigned and fell in love with the pink cover (which also matched my brand colors). I still have the rights to the original cover design, so I will use that in a limited edition paperback giveaway very soon.

LWT: We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the contest. Which social media platforms do you find most beneficial in getting the word out for your book?

JW: Social Media is a great way to reach potential readers and I have found FaceBook and Twitter to be the most effective way to get the word out about The Fifty-Two Week Chronicles.

LWT:  Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you work with music? Do you have a little drink while writing or is smoking your thing? Give us the skinny.

JW: I have a full-time job, and am a wife and a mom. I have to be super creative in how I squeeze in time to write. So my process usually consists of getting up at 4am to write before I have to get my daughter ready for school and myself ready for work. I also wrote all of The Fifty-Two Week Chronicles on my iPhone…using a writing app. This allowed me to write wherever and whenever I had free time, even if it was only 10 mins on line at the grocery store, on a lunch break, while sitting in traffic (lol), or late at night before bed. I do not typically drink, but I think I may have had a glass of wine when I wrote the sexy scenes in the book. 🙂

LWT:  Girl, you wrote that on your iPhone? Dang. Well, what does your writing nook look like? If you could make it into anything you wanted, what would that look like?

JW: I have a loft-style office that I created specifically for writing. It has a cozy fireplace, and is away from any distractions. But, I never use it for writing! If I had the opportunity, I would have a room with my desk facing a huge bay window, overlooking the ocean. That is my dream writer’s nook. Dreams do come true, right?

LWT: Oh yeah. I’m a big believer of dreams. What was your editing process like?

JW: I edit as I write. And I do not move on to the next chapter until I have chosen all of the “right” words. It can take a week for me to complete a single chapter, sometimes. I have two beta-readers who I send a chapter at a time to for feedback or suggested revisions to the storyline. After all of that, I send the completed MS to my editor who takes me through two rounds of edits before it’s sent to a proofreader. I love the editing process!

LWT: I can’t say I look forward to editing, but it is necessary. Please give other indie writers 3 tips/tricks that you learned and used during your first writing experience?

JW: Ooooh! Okay three tips:

1)Write what you love to read because it will come more naturally.

2) Do not get discouraged if your friends / family show little interest in your writing.

3) Join writer’s groups because you’ll find writer’s will become your biggest support system when you need it the most.

LWT: Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

JW: I created three book trailers for “fun”, while suffering through episodes of writer’s block. Those trailers had actually been viewed by so many more than I expected, giving the book a great deal of funky exposure.

 

LWT: Funny, I think that’s how I found your book. Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

JW: I can not live without my writing app, a thesaurus, and Google (haha).

LWT:  All great choices. Do you use an outline when writing and do you stick to it?

JW: I am in no way the type of a person who outlines. I do mentally plan the ending, but I just write and allow the characters to take me where I need to go. Sometimes they do surprise me. Take Jonathan for instance: I had no idea he rode a Harley until that chapter and I was like…what? A Harley? Um, okay.

LWT:  I love it when a character takes over. Do you belong to any writer’s groups or associations? If so, which ones?

JW: As a matter of fact, I just applied to Romance Writers of America and Alliance of Independent Authors. I’m really excited!

LWT: Will you be participating in any conferences this year? If so, which ones and when?

JW: Unfortunately, this year I am so tied up with my job as a Business Consultant, I will not be able to attend any writer’s conferences. However, I plan to attend at least one next year.

LWT:  I love the graphics on your author website. Who designed them for you?

JW: Thank you! I designed my website and most of the graphics are paid licenses of photos from Shutterstock.

LWT: Get out! We need to talk. What are you currently working on?

JW: I am happy to say I am currently working on the next novel in the series that should be released later this year as well as a short story that will be released in July. Yay!!

 

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©Joslyn Westbrook used with permission

Joslyn Westbrook has been creating stories since grade school. Her passion for writing often lead to teachers and college professors reading her stories to the class, showcasing her creativity. Putting her writing on hold, Joslyn pursued a career as a Business Consultant as she raised her children. While she enjoyed working with business owners, she craved what she believed to be her true calling—writing. During her free time, Joslyn began writing her romance novel and series of chick-lit style novels to curb her passion for writing. Her work as a Business Consultant has spawned the concept of several characters featured in her books. Joslyn is a self-proclaimed foodie, enjoys shopping, cooking, binge watching shows and movies on Netflix, and spending time with her husband and children at home in sunny California.

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Twitter: @Joslynauthor

Indie Shine – Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author Yecheilyah Ysrayl.

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©Yecheilyah Ysrayl used with permission

Bio:

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, Black American Literature, and Poetry. The author of eight books (most notably, The Stella Trilogy), Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two is due for release December of this year. Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
Thank you, Lisa, for having me. I am an Independent Author of Black American Literature, a Poet, Book Reviewer and Blogger. I do what I do because I believe my voice is important to the restoration of truth into the world. I do not write for me alone, but for the lost souls who cannot write. In other words, I speak for the lost sheep. I hope to shine a light on the so-called African American experience, his struggles not just in America but in the world in general and to shed light on why those struggles exist and how to overcome them. I write simply because it’s necessary. I write to restore love back into the hearts of mankind. I write to be unapologetically truthful and fair.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
WanderlustMy most recent work is Book Three in The Stella Trilogy, “The Road to Freedom – Joseph’s Story”. It’s sort of a prequel to Book Two and surrounds the son of Stella from Book Two (granddaughter of Stella from Book One) who passed for white and changed her name to Sidney McNair and raised her children as white. For this, Joseph McNair is unaware of his African American lineage and seeks to discover more about why blacks are treated the way they are in America. After a fight with his brother Edward in his mother’s living room in Book Two, Joseph leaves home. Book Three explores his adventures when he left. With a group of friends, Joseph attempts to travel to Atlanta for an SNCC conference but encounter many trials on the way. They think they are on the road to becoming part of the movement but they are discovering more about themselves. This self-awareness, unknown to them, is their freedom.
Who inspires you? 
I’m not much of an R. Kelly fan, but he is a great writer, lyricists if you will. He has a song, “The World’s Greatest”. In that song is a lyric: “I’m that little bit of hope with my back against the ropes.” I’m not the greatest, but I am inspired by the opportunity to instill hope into the lives of others. It motivates me to motivate others and to have some kind of influence over their lives, however small.
People ask me how I came to be so “put together”. They ask me because after hearing about my life and the things I’ve been through, it’s hard to believe I am the person I am today. I would say it’s not that I am put together, just that I know what it’s like to be broken and to want to cease from existing. I know pain. I also know love, and I believe my ability to still love and to open myself up to be loved has kept me sane. Love inspires me.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
I would consider “Beyond the Colored Line”, Book Two in The Stella Trilogy to be my masterpiece, because it challenged people’s concept of race and forced them to think about the role it’s played in our society. It lifted America’s skirt and showed us that her panties hadn’t changed much. She is still the same image of bigotry that she’s always been. But more so than this, it started conversations that surpass Jim Crow and digs deeper into the nationality and culture of a people.
What is your motto in life? 
My motto in life is to “Paint poetic justice against the backdrop of heavy keystrokes”. To paint poetic justice means to use my writing as an underground railroad to freedom. If people can’t be liberated in their own lives, I hope that my books can provide a road-map. Of course, this isn’t easy to do considering the heavy misinformation, deception, and religious ideologies that have enslaved us for so long. These are the heavy keystrokes.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
My wildest dream is to travel the world. I mean the whole world lol. I’d like to start in Egypt and then go on from there. I cannot imagine covering all land but I would love for this to come true.
What is your favorite quote? 
My favorite quote is by George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without changeGeorgeBernard Shaw 1 and those that cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. The mind is the most powerful organ in the human body. Over time it has the ability to correct and re-correct itself. Many people seek change around them, external. They seek to change their living conditions, seek to raise awareness about discrimination and racism. People seek to change all the time and in different forms. These attempts will always fail if a person does not first seek to correct his mind. It’s not always about race and politics. It’s about the way that people think. It reminds me of an African proverb that says “When there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside cannot hurt you.” It’s our perspective. Change the way that you think first and then everything around you changes.
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
I want to be remembered as a servant of the Almighty YAH who loved fiercely, and spoke truthfully for the purpose of changing lives and establishing hope for mankind.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
Book and E-Reader- Nora W.My next project is a two-part series (a duology), Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) and Revelation: The Nora White Story (Book Two). I intended for this to be one novel but I do not like my books to be extremely long so I broke it down into two books. The story is about a young woman who, like many of her time, is not interested in her family’s land and despite graduating High School is not interested in College either. Nora decides she wants to go to New York to be a writer and against her parents’ wishes, she does. She becomes part of The Harlem Renaissance Movement and learns the North is not all it’s cracked up to be. Nora must decide for herself about who she is and what she wants.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
Fans can purchase my work in paperback on my author website or in eBook through my Amazon author page.

Social Media

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Website: yecheilyahysrayl.com

Blog: www.thepbsblog.com

Amazon Author Page: Yecheilyah-Ysrayl

Goodreads Author Page: Yecheilyah_Ysrayl

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Twitter: @ahouseofpoetry

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Couch Convos – Colleen Chesebro

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Part I

LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos! Let’s get started. How did you get the idea to write about the swamp fairy?

CC: Thanks, Lisa. I’m happy to be here with you. I love this big comfy couch. Now hang on, because I am going to tell you how I met a real life fairy!

While on a walk during a warm, foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. At the time, we were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it has been carved into my memory; something I will never forget.

Road I took on my walk

©Colleen Chesebro used with permission

As I walked along the road, I heard a sound that instantly caught my attention. At first, I considered the possibility that the sound might be an injured bird rustling in the thick underbrush. I peered into the foliage and drew back in surprise. At first glance, I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird with brilliant green feathers. However, that was not so.

Instead, appearing in front of my eyes was a tiny green swamp fairy fluttering on delicate wings that looked like transparent leaves. She had hair the color and consistency of corn silk. Bottle green leaves adorned her small body. The heady fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood wafted on the air.

I stood there at the edge of the road transfixed by the vision. I realized then, I had witnessed a miracle. I had been given the gift of fairy vision.

The petite winged-being stared at me with eyes as green as the leaves she was hiding

Spot where I saw the Swamp Fairy

©Colleen Chesebro used with permission

in. I must tell you, this meeting felt something akin to a spiritual encounter. An overwhelming feeling of peace and love surrounded me and held me within its grasp. In an instant, she was gone. The swamp fairy vanished into the fog that swirled around me.

I shook my head and continued my walk. My feet felt lighter that day. I knew something had changed. The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination. I knew what this fairy encounter meant. I had been granted the ability to become a fairy whisperer.

Soon after, I started to write stories about the swamp fairies which I posted to my blog. The stories came in quick succession. Next, the dreams started. I began to channel the stories of the fairy nymphs that had inspired me that day long ago. Each day on my walks, I observed the real swamp as it was crowded out by the building of new homes. The natural wetlands were disappearing at a rapid rate. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind.

By the fall of 2015, we moved to Colorado. The dreams continued and grew even stronger. The stories changed. The fairy nymphs wanted me to tell their stories. And, that is exactly what I have done. The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy is that story, which I published this year.

LWT: Wow! What a great experience. Was Abby’s character based on someone you know or is she entirely imaginary?

CC: Abby Forester is a combination of myself, my daughters, and my granddaughters. I borrowed a little of something from each of us. I was a foster child as a teenager. Those emotions and memories never leave you. So, I decided to use those experiences for something good. Abby Forester is the outcome.

LWT: Tell us about the area in Florida where you first came across the swamp fairy?

CC: We were about ten miles inland from the Gulf Coast. It was a rural setting with houses nestled in between fields and wooded areas. Much of the area was natural wetland swamps or sloughs. In fact, we had the best neighbors living in the field behind our house. The horses would visit and beg for carrots which I describe in the story. The photo below is depicted in the book. See the strange tree trunk? That was the magical portal between the fairy realm and our human existence that  Abby slipped through daily to visit her friend Savanna.

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©Colleen Chesebro used with permission

LWT: When I write, I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to look like. Who was the muse for Abby?

CC: I did a lot of research on female YA characters. Most of them had dark hair and wereAbby Forester drop dead gorgeous. I wanted Abby to be the image of the girl next door. She had to be kind and sweet but still, have the usual teenage angst. I imagined her with amber strawberry blond or red hair with fair skin. I found a picture on Pixabay.com that I have used to portray her.

LWT: I have to know, who was the muse for Rafe Cobb? I really wanted to hurt him.

CC: LOL! I couldn’t help it but, I used the 45th President as the physical image in my mind of Rafe Cobb. You know, the bad reddish comb over? Actually, years ago, I worked as a legal secretary in South Florida, and we had a client that was as evil and conniving as my character. Rafe Cobb is based loosely on that man.

You know his name was hard to come up with. Finally, I researched the names of deceased Civil War soldiers to find a name that would sound southern enough. I hope I haven’t disturbed the spirit of the real Rafe Cobb.

LWT: Let’s just hope the real Rafe Cobb was nothing like the one in the book or you’ll be in trouble. For such a young girl, Abby had a lot of spunk. Why was this an important part of her personality?

CC: I gave Abby my birthday (April 18). That meant she had to mirror some of my characteristics and faults. I used astrological research on the sign of Aires, to make her stubborn but also loyal to her family and friends. Abby had to have that sense of responsibility that she carried on her shoulders for her to help the fairies. The loyalty to her mother and her heritage were important to the story and to make Abby come across as a real person.

LWT: No wonder I liked her so much. In the book, it is said that “the wrath of God will bring about the destruction of humankind.” Explain why this is so relevant in the book and in today’s society?

CC: The main theme in the book is that humans and the expanding population were destroying precious wetlands. Rafe Cobb was building a housing area that backed right up to fairy swamp. If he could buy Abby’s land (or take it), he would have destroyed the swamp where the precious Pink Sundew plants grew. If that happened, the fairy nymphs and Abby would have failed in their responsibilities to preserve the plants which contained a “magical” substance found in all antibiotics. The gods (I used the Greek gods) would destroy us all for our folly. Of course, this is a fantasy novel… but you never know. This could be a fact. (wink, wink)

Climate change and how it is devastating our world is the central message the fairy nymphs want us, humans, to understand. It is up to us to save our world. Even though my novel is based on fantasy elements, the addition of current events gives credence to the message.

LWT: How long did it take to complete this masterpiece?

CC: Lisa, I think I’m a slow writer. It took about a year to create, write, edit, and format this book.

LWT: Sometimes slow is better. How important is Aunt Magnolia’s character in Abby’s development?

CC: Aunt Magnolia had to step into Abby’s mother’s shoes. She had no children of her

Aunt Magnolia

©Colleen Chesebro used with permission

own and wasn’t sure what to do with Abby. I created the aunt as a strong, educated woman who was not afraid to take on the responsibility of raising a teenager. Aunt Magnolia has quite a bit of my grandmother in her.

Besides, Aunt Magnolia had to accept Abby for what she was – a fairy whisperer. It was that link to the family that kept their relationship strong. Abby is different, just like many kids are. The fact that her aunt accepts her also gives her courage to meet her responsibilities.

LWT: Who are some of your influences in paranormal writing and why?

CC: I have always been attracted to the strange and unusual. I’ve had a few unique experiences. I don’t feel that my experience meeting the swamp fairy was paranormal. It was more of a spiritual encounter. I know I’m empathetic and more receptive to the vibrations of nature. I feel things many people can’t. Nature is the catalyst that really gets my imagination going.

Part II

LWT: How do you choose your book covers and who does them?

CC: I was lucky to have met my dear friend, Wendy Ann Darling, through the WordPress 2016-07-15 14.48.40blogging community. When I moved to Colorado, I found out she was only a couple hours away from me. Once we met, we became fast friends. Wendy is a graphic artist. I described the swamp fairy to her, and she drew the fairy. I gave her a photo of fairy swamp, and she added the calcite heart stone and the image of the hummingbird (since the fairy was a shapeshifter), to create a fantastic cover.

Wendy designs book covers for Bookxeedo Book covers. Her prices are reasonable, and she is easy to work with. She will be designing my future book covers.

LWT: Do you use social media and does it help with sales?

CC: I use social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. From what I can tell, I have not sold any books from those forums. It is the blog and interviews like this where I notice a spike in sales. It just goes to prove that we writers are also readers and buy each other’s books. Our blogs are a powerful marketing tool.

LWT: Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Spill the tea.

CC: I write with music playing, usually Pandora. I love Enya, Classical piano, and all new wave sounds. Sometimes I play nature sounds while I’m writing. I think I’m clairaudient like my character, Abby. No, I can’t function if I drink, let alone write! LOL! But I do love tea!

LWT: What challenges have you faced as an indie writer?

CC: As an indie writer, I’ve had to teach myself how to write YA fiction, how to edit, and how to format the book to CreateSpace.

I also had to learn to ask for help. I have an author friend that I asked to help me with the first edit. I learned more from her than I thought possible. She took me under wing and helped me with plot holes and sentence structure. The only way I could thank her was to do the same for another author. It is important that we help each other as beta readers and first draft editors.

LWT: What is your experience like with editing your work?

CC: Initially, I hated the editing process. It was tedious as all get out! I did purchase Grammarly, and that has helped to keep me in line. Eventually, I understood that the editing process is where you do the actual writing. Once I figured that out, I liked the editing because I was making the story better, and could see the results. I still have a lot to learn. I will be using an editor on future books. P. C. Zick from The Manuscript Doctor is my choice.

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips that you learned that help you to be successful?

CC: The first tip is to read every book in your genre you can get your hands on. The next is to keep learning about how to write. The last tip is to set a goal and keep working towards it. Don’t give up!

LWT: That is great advice! Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

CC: I contacted my friend and fellow blogger, Irene, from IreneDesign2011.com to design a calcite fairy pendant like the one Abby wears in the book so readers could feel the magic of the fairies. I sell the books, and Irene sells the necklaces. We both benefit from this relationship. By the way, Irene’s prices are the best!

Would you love to own your own calcite fairy stone pendant like Abby Forester wears in the book? Here’s how to get yours:

small calcite for sale IreneDesign2011

Here are the links to Irene’s Etsy site where you can buy your large calcite for sale IreneDesign2011own SMALL pendant or the LARGE pendant

LWT: Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

CC: My favorite resource is Thesaurus.com. I love that site! I use synonyms extensively in my writing, especially when I am editing.

LWT: What does success look like for you?

CC: Success for me is accomplishing my goals and reaching for the stars. I feel like a success because if I say I’m going to do something… I do it! It might take me awhile to get there, but I seldom give up. Success is gained with determination and perseverance.

LWT: That is a wonderful outlook. What’s up next for Colleen?

CC: Lisa, those fairy nymphs are whispering in my dreams every night. Currently, I am working on the second book of the series called, The Meadow Fairy. Here is a brief synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester journeys from Blackberry Ridge, Florida to Bent Grass, Colorado when her Aunt Magnolia accepts a job as a researcher working for an author who specializes in writing about myths and paranormal activity.

 Abby, along with her deceased mother’s most sacred possession, a calcite pendant, continues her legacy as a Fairy Whisperer to the primordial fairy nymphs who inhabit unique places scattered about the world.

 In Colorado, Abby meets two young friends, Crosby and Landon Miller, who along with their family are beekeepers on a small farm under the shadow of Pike’s Peak. Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who asks her to resolve the secret of why the bee population is disappearing from the prairie meadows. 

 With the help of Nate Bannock, a Native American Ute rancher, Abby learns the astonishing truths behind the decimation of the bee population.

Does Abby have what it takes to save the bees and the Meliae Meadow Nymphs before it is too late?

 Thank you for inviting me to Couch Convos. I loved getting together with you, Lisa. I appreciate your help in spreading the magic of the fairy nymphs! ❤

And I loved having you. Well folks, that’s another Couch Convos in the can. Until next month… In the meantime pick up Colleen’s book, The Heart Stone Chronicles on Amazon by clicking HERE!

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©Colleen Chesebro used with permission

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.

To connect with her please click the links for her Social Media.

Website: colleenchesebro.com

Facebook: @CMChesebro

Twitter: @colleenchesebro

Indie Shine – Dr. KE Garland

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome award winning author Dr. Katherin Garland.

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©Dr. Katherin Garland used with permission

Bio:

Dr. Katherin Garland is an award winning writer, whose work has been featured in the South Florida Times, Talking Soup, and For Harriet.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I write creative nonfiction in order to inspire social change.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
TUWcover2My most recent book is titled, The Unhappy Wife. It is a collection of short stories based on real women’s marriages. Though the stories are inspired by real events, I’ve fictionalized parts of the women’s stories in order to protect their anonymity.
Who inspires you? 
I’m very self-motivated. I’m not inspired by a person, but more so an idea, a concept. I believe that we are all connected and can do whatever we set our minds to. Therefore, my inspiration comes from listening to my inner voice and believing that what I need to actualize those dreams is always within reach.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
A story that I wrote about my father called, “The Transition” is my masterpiece. It is a short story that describes the softening of my heart for a father who, in a sense had abandoned me. I won first place at the Royal Palms Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction for this piece, so at this point, it validates my writing ability.
What is your motto in life?
Anything is possible.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
I honestly don’t have a wild dream that I cannot imagine achieving 🙂 I believe everything I can think of is possible.
What is your favorite quote? 

PHOTOGRAPHY

When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
My hope is that people will remember me for being inspirational, whether it is because of how I lived my life or because of something I wrote.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public? 
My next project is called Daddy. It is an edited collection of women writers who’ve opened their hearts to talk about their father-daughter relationships. It will be available June 2018.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Fans can buy my work from my website: www.kegarland.com and also Barnes & Noble online.

Social Media

Twitter: kegarland

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©Dr. Katherin Garland used with permission

Instagram: kegarland

Facebook: kegarlandwriter

Author Website: kegarland.com

Couch Convos Featuring Author Ronyea Thompson

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Welcome to April’s edition of Couch Convos! Today we welcome Ronyea Thompson, author of the popular novel “The Circle”. Let’s get started.

Part I

 LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos. Tell us, how did you get the idea to write “The Circle”?

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©Ronyea Thompson used with permission

RT: I have a circle of friends in real life (who are way more conservative than the characters LOL) and since I love to write and play around with characters, I thought it would be cool to draw inspiration from my friends.

LWT: Well, in this book you do have a unique group of friends. Can you take us through the process you went through to develop each character?

RT: Yes…as stated above, the characters were inspired by my circle of friends. And when I say inspired, I mean VERY LOOSELY inspired LOL. All of it is fiction, none of it is real…for example Chantal is inspired by a dear friend of mine. The ONLY similarities they share are that they both live in California and both are dancers. However, my friend in real life is a praise dance and worship leader at her church, and spends days teaching young girls the art of dance via Ballet and Jazz at the Chon Renee Dance Academy in the Bay Area. She has never stripped nor done drugs…but it was fun to play with her character, because there are women who strip, and I wanted to change the stigma a bit.

LWT: When I read the book, I felt as if each one of the main characters struggled with their moral compass. Why was this such an important element in the story line?

RT: Its important to me as a woman to express the struggles we may have in our everyday lives. No one is perfect and we often battle with right and wrong intentions and decisions. I wanted to reference issues like drug use as well as abortions, because those are touchy topics and many people tend to be on one side of the fence when it comes to that. However, no one situation is the same. Just because in real life my “inspired friends” don’t deal with these situations, doesn’t mean others aren’t out there dealing with it, I know a few.

Also, my book is a bit different from a lot of “Urban” novels in the since, I wanted to tell a story with a spiritual undertone. God can use you right where you are. I hope readers walk away with that as well. Being relatable was also very important to me…who can’t deal with feeling stuck in a “job” like Keisha, but really wanting more. Dealing with debt and marital issues are common…also who hasn’t been affected by cancer, be it themselves or a close friend or family member?

 

LWT: When I write, I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to look like. Who were the muses for the girls?

RT: My real friends…I took some of their physical similarities, and incorporated them into the characters.

 

LWT: What about the men? I know the readers are just salivating to find out who inspired each love interest.

RT: Honestly, the men were just made up, if you can believe that. Again, with the characters of Harvey and LD being not as good, I wanted to show good men too like John, Derrick, and even Big Cody who is a good father.

 

LWT: I have to know, do you identify with one character, more than the others in the book?

RT: Yes, Robin is loosely based on me, with her love of books and being married. However, I’ve never been with a woman.

 

LWT: How did you do your research for the characters, especially CC?

RT: For CC, believe it or not, I asked some of my men friends what happens in strip clubs, and just used my imagination from there.

 

LWT: The book focuses on a group of women who, in my opinion ride hard for each other. They may have a tiff or two, but in the end they know they can depend on each other. Why do you feel it is important, especially for black women to read about these types of relationships?

RT: The ultimate goal for this book is to show a strong, sincere bond of female friends. I believe in today’s world, so much attention is focused on women, especially black women, fighting one another. If you look at reality TV there is a strong presence of black women tearing each other down. We’re not always sleeping with each others man, or jealous, or gossiping about one another. Call me blessed, but I have some awesome friends in my life, that I have had for a very long time. Our friendships are healthy, positive, and supportive, and I feel there are a lot more out there…its just not often told.

 

LWT: Who are some of your favorite writers and why?

RT: It took me a few years (6 to be exact) to write and finalize The Circle. During that time I stopped reading other authors, just so my story would be true to me. I am excited to read some new authors, but I have also enjoyed Terry McMillan, Terri Woods, Mary Monroe, and Rashonda Tate Billingsley to name a few.

Part II

LWT: How do you choose your book covers and who does them?

The CircleRT: I knew I wanted sketch drawings. I searched for awhile, before I found @Nataliamadej on Instagram. I reached out to her to do the drawing, and the rest is history. I absolutely love my cover!

 

LWT: So do I. Speaking of Instagram,do you use social media for marketing and does it help with sales?

RT: Yes, I have Facebook and Instagram and I believe it has helped tremendously to get my name and the cover “out there”.

 

LWT: Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence, or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Inquiring minds want to know.

RT: LOL…no I don’t drink when writing. Sometimes I write with the TV or radio going, and sometimes quiet. Usually, in the evenings though is when I find my groove.

 

LWT: What challenges have you faced as an indie writer?

RT: Oh… where to start? LOL No, ummmm…I haven’t had any MAJOR challenges, other than trying to get the word out that I’m a new author, and receive reviews (hopefully positive ones).

 

LWT: Have you or do you plan to attend any book fairs, conventions or signings? If so, which ones?

RT: Yes, this is all very new for me. But I definitely plan to attend some fairs and conventions in the fall of 2017. I had my first book signing in Oklahoma City in January 2017 and it was a success.

 

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips you’ve learned, that help you to be successful?

  1. Stay focused on what you’re doing. What took 6 years for me should have taken 1 (if that) but I wasn’t focused.
  2. Be true to yourself. I don’t curse, so I didn’t want profanity in my book. Some people have said they wanted it or missed it when reading, but I had to be true for me. Not everyone will like your work and that okay.
  3. All you have to do is start, and the rest will work itself out. Its ok if you don’t know EVERYTHING you need to know about publishing a book. You will learn as you go. I am still learning.

 

LWT: Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

RT: I have done giveaways and book signings. But that’s not so unique…I’ll take ideas if you have any LOL

 

LWT: Keep reading our Couch Convos interviews. I’m sure you’ll learn some great tricks. Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

RT: My phone! I NEED it, because I can jot down a quick thought, or take a picture of something that might inspire me. I can also Google something real quick if needed.

 

LWT: Smart phones can be great sources of information. What does success look like for you?

RT: For me, success would be having more people reading and liking (and even taking something away) my writings, and one day being able to write as a full-time job.

 

LWT: What’s up next for you? A sequel perhaps?

RT: I have been toying with the idea of a sequel, but I am currently working on a book about 2 sisters. Its been really fun playing with it too.

We look forward to reading it too. Well, that’s it another Couch Convos in the can. ‘The Circle’ is available on Amazon  and Kindle. Click here to purchase. You’ll be glad you did.

Ronyea Thompson currently lives in Southaven, Mississippi with her husband and two

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©Ronyea Thompson used with permission

children. Originally from Oklahoma City, she attended Langston University. While there she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education. She has always had a love for reading and storytelling, and shortly after graduation she drew inspiration from her own circle of friends who loosely inspired The Circle, her debut novel.

To connect with her please click the links below to her Social Media sites.

Instagram: @itsme_ronyea or @thecirclenovel

Facebook: http://facebook.com/thecirclenovel

Indie Shine – Jennifer Robinson

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author and poet, Jennifer Robinson!

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©Jennifer Robinson used with permission

Bio:

Lover of food, music and words! I am a poet, aspiring author and blogger

Q&A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
I am a writer and I write because I have to. Writing is how my thoughts and feelings are manifested. If I could not share my heart, I would be lost. My sister told me that I have something to say that the world needs to hear so…I write!
Tell us about your most recent work.
I have written a book of poetry entitled “But…there’s love”. It was very difficult to publish because my poems aren’t just words thrown together; my poems are what I’m feeling. They are intimate. It became easier when I discovered I was not alone in my feelings and others could relate.
Who inspires you?
Jill Scott is quite possibly my biggest influence. The way she writes is just…it’s perfect. I am also a fan of Carolyn Malachi. I love her poetic, spoken word musical style.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
I wrote a poem entitled “Beauty” with someone else in mind. However, I found out the words came so easily because it was really for me. It’s about the struggle with low self-esteem. I’ve written probably about 200 poems but this one is easily my favorite.
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©Jennifer Robinson used with permission

What is your motto in life?

“Silver and gold, have I none, but SUCH AS I HAVE give I thee”. I live by the motto of such as I have. Whatever I have to give, be it money, a poem, words of encouragement, a shoulder to lean on, a smile, or a truth talk, then that is what I will give.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
I want to travel the country to eat. I love food, although I am somewhat of a picky eater. I want my best friend and I to leave our kids and just go around the country trying new foods.
What is your favorite quote?
“I don’t walk around, trying to be what I’m not. I don’t waste my time, trying to get what you got. I work at pleasing me, cause I can’t please you. And that’s why I do what I do”-Erykah Badu
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
That I cast fear to the side and shared what I love.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?cover
My next book “Conversations of the heart” will be available in March.
Where can fans purchase your work?
My book can be purchased on Authorhouse.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is available as a paperback and ebook.

Social Media

Facebook:  Author Jennifer Robinson

Instagram: AuthorJenniferRobinson

Twitter: @jennrobpoetry

Blog: myemeraldlife.wordpress.com

Indie Shine – Eliza David

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In this month’s edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author, womanist and creator of the popular Cougarette series Eliza David!

Bio:

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©Eliza David used with permission

Eliza David is the author of the five-star-rated, six-book Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in super quiet Iowa. When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries. Eliza is a blogger as well, having served as a contributing writer for Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, Good Men Project, and Thirty on Tap. She was a featured panelist at both the Iowa Soul Festival and Iowa City Book Festival in 2016. Eliza’s latest novel, Savage, dropped in September. She’s currently working on the sequel to Savage – Still Savage – for release in 2017. For additional information, including witty clapbacks from this author, visit www.elizadavidwrites.com

Q & A

 

What do you do and Why do you do it?
When I’m not working my day job or freelancing on lifestyle blogs like ‘Thirty On Tap’, I write modern romance novels about not-so-modern women. My characters are what I like to call ‘flawed but fabulous’. They are mothers, daughters, and sisters. They work hard at their careers and at love. And yes, they like to have sex quite a bit! I write because my hope is to broaden the spectrum of women characters in fiction. Women aren’t binary and there are levels to us that aren’t explored. I hope to unlock some of those traits.
Tell us about your most recent work.
 
Still Savage is a sequel to my last novel, Savage. Savage tells the story of fundraising guru LaneySavage1.1 Townes, a divorced lesbian whose personal and professional lives intersect into sexy circumstances. In the sequel, Laney reunites with her ex, A-list R&B pop singer Eva Reynolds, for business. Of course, things happen that find them entangled with each other…which is awkward for Eva, who is still dating her male songwriting partner. Yes honey – drama!
Who inspires you? 
First and foremost, my mother – who always wanted me to be a writer but I just had to find my lane (and I have!). My writing heroes include Erica Jong, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Jennifer Weiner.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
The Cougarette series, hands down. It’s based on Laney’s BFF, CeeCee Banks. Forty-something CeeCee is only divorced for hours when she meets Jay – a man a little over half her age. The series is a collection of six books (first one’s free on Amazon!) and takes you on a sexy ride with CeeCee.
What is your motto in life? 
I remind myself often that tomorrow is another day. I tend to hold on to memories of human error way longer than I should and it never does me any favors.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
FourBookProfilePic - Amanda Walker DesignI would love to see The Cougarette become a TV dramedy and (bonus!) I’d want a hand in creating the series – not just selling the rights off. That would make my life.
What is your favorite quote?
I am drawn to Alice Walker quotes and, if I had to select one as a motto for life, it would be…‘I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.’
 
I keep this ideal of the imagination being a free spirit when I write. I’m still a planner, but I use my plot outline as a road map. There are many ways to get to a destination – on the page and in real life!
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
Life is so hectic so if I’m remembered for anything, I’d want it to be giving my readers a sexy escape.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
I have three projects planned for 2017. In addition to ‘Still Savage’ hitting Amazon in the spring, I have two more novels I’d like to drop. First up is another Cougarette novel, tentatively titled ‘The Westons’. It will kick off a fresh book series, so I’m excited to step back into my fave character’s black stilettos. My third novel is a standalone tentatively titled ‘For The Fandom’, which I hope to drop around the holidays.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Amazon is the one-stop shop for all things me: http://amazon.com/author/elizadavid

Social Media Contact Information:

52feministsEliza

 

Facebook:  elizadwrites

Instagram: writegirlproblems

Blog: www.elizadavidwrites.com

You can also catch her on Twitter stirring up all types of trouble @elizadwrites.

 

 

Couch Convos featuring Author A. Renee Hunt

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Welcome to another episode of Couch Convos! Today we welcome A. Renee Hunt, author of ‘Puddle’ to the blog. Let’s get started.

Part I

LWT: How did you get into writing?

A. Renee Hunt

©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: I began writing back in elementary school. I was a military brat, so I was alone a lot. My thing was to hide in bathrooms and write stories. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with journals, so I used to buy them with my allowance. I would then calculate a story, with illustrations, and write so the tale fit perfectly inside. I would either keep them for myself or give them to my friends. Everyone loved them so I asked for a typewriter and the end result: me today!

LWT: In this book you take a silly childhood pastime and turn it into something sinister. How did you come up with this concept?

ARH: That’s a fun story I share; I’m a home school mom who believes in morning walks. When my son was in sixth grade, we took a walk on a rainy day. Normally we stomp puddles, but this storm snuck up on us unprepared. On the way home, I was struck with the idea of stomping a puddle, but instead of making a huge mess of a splash, we fell in. I could see the opening above me, while beneath the rainwater and everything! So we got home and I grabbed my umbrella and camera and snapped a bunch of photos. That day, I wrote the tale in about four hours. The current version has been revamped, but still the original story.

LWT: I read the 2nd Anniversary Edition of ‘Puddle’. Were there any significant changes to this edition?

ARH: Yes I’ve made some changes, that I felt were significant, but only to lend the urban legend more substance. At the time, I was living in DeSoto, MO, which carries a lot of history, both black and white. I wanted to add more into Puddle, without taking from the original myth. Some of the events mentioned are from true, but as far as which ones… I won’t say. “wink wink”

LWT: When I write I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to look like. Who were the muses for Quinn and Maxine?

ARH: When it came to Quinn, I saw my middle school self, because I was always new. Many times, I was the only black kid or one of a few, as well, so it just worked. I saw a friend of mine named Nicole as Maxine. She and I became besties, years after she’d beat me up for being new.  Another crazy story I may share in a novelette.

LWT: Did you allow your son to read this story or was it too scary for him?

ARH: Whenever I decide to write a short story on children, I always want it safe for my son to read. Reading is a huge deal for me, passed on by my engineer of a father, so if I’m writing on kids at a certain age, I want my son to be able to read it too.  Thankfully, this one wasn’t bad for him, but he’s not really in to horror… yet.

LWT: I see you have written a couple of Halloween tales. Do you only write short stories for children?

ARH: Those Halloween tales were actually written for my son. He was the inspiration- he’s even on the cover of the In The Walls short stories. I’ve had a lot of friends enjoy them but no, children are not my usual focus. I usually write with New Adults in mind. I guess because that’s how I still see myself.  And I’m not!

Part II

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LWT: How do you choose your book covers and who does them?

ARH: Ever since my first experience with traditional publishing and moved Indie, I’ve always done things backwards. When I get a story idea, I create my book cover. Either I will make it all from scratch myself, or I will reach out to a really fabulous artist I’d originally found on Fiverr.com. Now we’re friends and he’s my Go To man for artwork. I draw it, but he creates what I want to see, like a true visionary.

LWT:  Do you use social media and does it help with sales?

ARH: I love social media, but as far as it helping me, I can say about half. By no means do I feel I’m a big selling author, because that’s no why I write. I just love the idea of getting a story out of me and sharing. When I use social media, it helps but I mostly use it to help others.  Crazy I guess.

LWT:  Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Spill the tea.

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©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: LOL Spill the tea; I like that! My process is as such: I gain an idea and purchase a new journal. I then create my characters in such a way’ they practically come to life. When I can see them clearly, I have them drawn by my concept artist. I then add their pics to my journal and as I write, they’re either on my computer, beside my document, or open in my book so I can see them. To me, they’re real- conversations, quirks, jobs- I need to see them. I can write any place at any time, on my Mac, iPhone or iPads. I also take lots of notes and add them to the journal. By the time I’m done with the story, that journal is a wreck!

LWT: What challenges have you faced as an indie writer?

ARH: My worst challenge as an indie author was when I took my traditionally published, first novel back from the publisher. It was crazy, I was foolish and I didn’t have the control I was promised. Now, I can do what I wish when I want, and when it flops, I have myself to blame on my choices- not someone else’s.

LWT: How does your editing process work?

ARH: Oh my goodness, my editing process is very redundant. I run through it a few times, making changes. Then I read it again with changes. Then again, before passing it to someone to read. I make appropriate adjustments and read it again. Then I find a team of at least 6, then make adjustments and read again, before sending it to an editor. I then read it again. By the time it’s published, I’m sick of it!

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips that you learned that help you to be successful?

ARH: My three tips are: (1) Don’t ever pay to be published! (2) Make yourself sick of your story by reading it so many times, you can find nothing wrong. Then hand it to others for editing. My final tip, (3) Always keep a thesaurus on hand. It should become your best friend.

LWT: Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

ARH: I believe the most unique method of marketing I’ve ever had the pleasure was marketing inside a comic book. A friend of mine was releasing his first graphic novel, and he gave me a half page, FREE! Best move I ever agreed to.

LWT: Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

ARH: I’m not even going to lie- my best resource are other authors! I read more than 200 books a year (physical, ebook & audio), and because of their styles, I developed my own. As an author, the best thing you can do is glean successes and mistakes made by other authors.

LWT: We met on Instagram, where you are very active. How important is a site like Instagram for indie writers?

Author A. Renee Hunt

©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: I am just now easing up on how much I’m on media, but I LOVE Instagram more than any other site. People share and interact more there, than any other for me. Plus, there’s no drama.

LWT: What does success look like for you?

ARH: Oh that’s an easy one! Success is when my mom called me last week stating, my aunt had mentioned to some friends that her niece was an author and stated my name. They said they knew my name and title- even the story’s theme. They’re in Philly! Needless to say, I was elated. To me, that’s the best form of success; someone knew my name and my story. The sales can come later.

LWT: What’s up next for you?

ARH: I am currently writing my first serious novel, as an Indie Author. The Malignant Soul is my toughest project yet, because I have to go deeper than I’ve ever gone emotionally. With a novel of this capacity, I need more description, more personality and more of a plot. It’s a complex story, but I believe my research and imagery will push this novel to great heights.

A. Renee Hunt, Alyssa by those who know her, is a home school mother, London Lover, Book & Funko Pop Hoarder, Tea Drinker, Reader & Reviewer. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and son.To connect with A. Renee please click the links to her Social Media sites below. To purchase her e-book, Puddle, click here to go to Amazon

Author Website: http://www.areneehunt.com

Instagram: @bookzbookzbookz

Twitter: @AReneeHunt

Tumblr: areneehunt

Pinterest: @AReneeHunt

Google+: AReneeHunt

Linkedin: areneehunt

Facebook: AlyssaHunt40

Goodreads: Books_Books_Books_

Bookstr: BookzBookzBookz

Past Author Interview – Lit World Interviews

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Here’s another interview I did about ‘Zora’ on Lit World Interviews. I thank Colleen Chesebro for this wonderful interview. She was a huge supporter of my work then, and continues to be now. At the time she was working on her first book, The Swamp Fairy and now she is a published author too. I am so proud of her. Click here to read our interview.