First Book Chat Finale

If anybody knows me well enough, they will know that I’m always inspired to help and uplift people. I am also known to have random ideas. Over a month ago, I had an idea to interview five people at random about their first book. I was going to put all five interviews in one blog to highlight how each one was different. I even wrote out five questions to ask them.

Two things happened. I got a remarkable response and I no longer wanted to pick just five. I also realized that five interviews in one blog would be a very long blog. So I posted all the responses as their own blog. They are listed here for anybody who wants to read them:

Author’s First Book Chats:

  1. Delta James
  2. H. Gorlitz Scott
  3. P.S Bartlett
  4. Laura Hawks
  5. Gryffyn Pheonix
  6. Kyra Dune
  7. Golden Angel
  8. Casey Hays
  9. Christina Lanier
  10. Evelyn Lederman
  11. Artemis Milchon
  12. Cheryllynn Dyess
  13. D.L Pitchford
  14. Lannie Sheridan
  15. Amber Anthony
  16. Lily Wallis
  17. MK Mancos

Writing a book is hard. Publishing and marketing is harder. Feeling under pressure because you think it has to be a certain way or you have to do it a certain way makes things even worse. So seeing the responses and how different they were is a comfort to me. And I hope others find comfort in it as well.

In the end, if nothing else is taken from this experiment, I hope that you realize there is no time line. If you get it done in a week, great. If it takes you years, awesome. Go at your own pace. If you need to put it down for awhile, do so.

There is no amount of drafts you have to write. If you find it perfect after the first draft, good. If it takes you many drafts, that’s fine too. In the end, if you can’t be happy with your work, nobody else can either.

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Olive Ann Burns started her career out as a journalist. She never expected to write fiction, but that changed when she was diagnosed with cancer in 1975. She had begun writing notes about her family history in 1971 that helped fuel her book Cold Sassy Tree. The book was released in 1984. Olive Ann Burns was sixty years old.

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Olive Ann Burns was already working on the sequel to Cold Sassy Tree when her cancer relapsed in 1987. Through her treatments, she kept attempting to finish the book. She passed away in 1990 with the novel unfinished.

If you stick with it and you put your passions into it, it will show. Sometimes great work takes longer to come out than others. Never feel discouraged or overwhelmed. If you do, please take a break. That way you can come back with a clear head. Remember, the power is in your hands and in your mind.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. I hope that it’s inspired the writers to go on. I also hope that readers have found new authors through this. There will always be hope and inspiration everywhere you look.

*I found the images and quotes on Google Image Search*

Interview With Gary Roen

Where do you get your inspiration?

From people I meet or come in contact with or news stories that prompt me to write something.  For instance, my story S Mode began when I sat in a restaurant and overheard a woman talking about how over tired, she was. Or in my collection Slotski’s World I saw on the news a report about a husband and wife who returned home to find their house completely gone thus the story Traces

Can you tell me a little about each book?

Journey is a series of short stories of science fiction I have written through the years that are in the mode of the Twilight Zone with many twists of endings.  Slotski’s World is a second set of stories with my teddy bear character who has special abilities that help people in unique situations.   

What inspires you to write?

I get an idea and work it through to become a story.  I am influenced by many different things but feel I can tell a story because I have been a book critic for so long that I always said. I can do my own

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

I wrote poetry for many publications back in the 1970’s then branched out to short stories.  I published a book of poetry Look At Me World that sold very well.  Later I worked for several publishing companies learning the business from many different angles.  I later became a book critic then went back to college at UCF with a bachelors in writing.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

My first book was 1976 Look At Me World and I felt fantastic like I had delivered a child.  I have to say I get the same felling every time I see the hard copy edition. 

What advice can you give future authors?

Keep writing, take courses, get involved in writing groups, go to writer events and conventions of all genres in your area.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

Look At Me World because, I wrote all of them in a class of logic I had at Valencia Community College when I had a very boring professor who otherwise would have put me to sleep. 

What was the hardest?

The Forgotten Father Coping With Grief because of the subject matter of the death of a child and what happens to a father

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

To not use the same words throughout the work.  The example I use is And But and Suddenly too many times on a page like Danielle Steel. 

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

I love promoting my work to gain new readers and I have no problem partially because I was a book salesman promotions director for several publishing companies for so long

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

I have been told by readers my short stories read like Twilight Zone, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson which I take as a compliment.  The poetry has been compared to E E Cummings. I believe because I do not capitalize, punctuate, or I have words that are combined.  

How supportive is your family of your books?

My family is other writers and they are very supportive in many different ways. 

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

Yes Mrs. Cox at Boone High School.  I think it was a good thing because I was more determined to be a writer after being in her class

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

Yes, Gabriel Vaughn and the staff of Legacy Book Publishing and other writers who give me feedback

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

I know it is too many to count because there are plenty of pages in the trash can.  I like to see it in print not just on the computer.

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Not in audio at this time but would love to have it as I was on Ron’s Amazing Stories where it was done and it sounded fantastic

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

Richard Matheson, Button Button short story and others Donald E. Westlake, The Hot Rock Ian Fleming, James Bond novels Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fredrick Brown, Martians Go Home, Robert B. Parker, Spenser Novels

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

Another collection of science fiction short stories so far one day I may try to do a novel but for now am happy as a clam doing the short fiction.  Maybe in the future another collection of poetry.  I am also working on a children’s book.  Have to wait and see how that one turns out.

Where can we find you on social media?

I am on Face Book, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Readers can contact me at any of those places or my e mail address of gsroen@aol.com thank you for this interview. 

First Book Chat With Delta James

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first novel began the night I recognized that somewhere along the way, I had lost the part of myself that lived without fear.  I got up off the couch, fired up my computer and opened myself up to the possibilities.  My first heroine stepped forward and said, “I have a story to tell.”  Two weeks later I submitted that story for publication.  Within two months, I saw my first novel appear for sale on Amazon.

What inspired you to start writing?

The recognition that as a younger woman I had adopted the creed that fortune favors the bold, but that somewhere along the way, fear had dulled that edge.  I made a decision to banish fear-based decisions from my life.  That thought was almost immediately followed by the abandoned dream of becoming an author.  I let go of the fear and embraced the possibility of living a dream.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

One of the ways I’m kind of an odd-ball is that I edit as I write.  Each day when I begin to start to write, I re-read at least the previous chapter and edit.  Once I have completed the first full manuscript, I re-read the entire thing and send it to my beta reader who sends me suggested edits.  I make those and then re-read it before sending it to an editor.  I get those edits back, make them, re-read the entire manuscript and then return to the editor who either has additional suggestions or forwards to the line-editor.  Once the line-editor is done, I re-send to my beta reader and then I will re-read a final time once she is through.  A long-winded way of saying five to eight times … and still once it’s published you find things!

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

My first book went live about 11:30 PM the night before it was scheduled to be released.  Seeing it appear on Amazon was a thrill.  I squealed loud enough to wake up my three basset girls who were napping in the office.  I was beside myself … they just thought if I was going to be excited and wake them up, I needed to get them a cookie!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

The writing process is about the same, although I believe I’m a better writer. The publishing process is far different.  I changed publishers. The second/current publisher has a far more extensive and involved editing process, which I just love.  That’s another odd-ball thing about me – I love the editing process.  I always learn things and new skills to improve my writing and my process.

How many books have you published since then?

This Friday, August 2nd, I will release Warlord:  A Dark Shifter Romance, which will be my twenty-first novel (under two pen names) since my debut novel in January 2018.  I published six novels under the pen name Willa Bradley with Blushing Books.  In July 2018, I published my first novel (Brought to Heel) under the pen name Delta James (which I now use exclusively) with Stormy Night Publications.

First Book Chat With H. Gorlitz Scott

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

So, this can get a little complicated to answer, so I’ll preface this with the fact that I started off doing independent comics. My first was a web-comic, which took about a week for each “page.” After that I went to doing printed comic issues, which took me about a year to produce (scriptwriting, then drawing takes a lot of time, ya know?).  My first words-only/no pictures novel took me about 3 years to write.

What inspired you to start writing?

My husband got me into comics with his weird concepts, but the overall story of Sivoa came about because of long-lost childhood days of playing “pretend” at my parent’s house.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About a million. Then I went crying to a wonderful freelance editor because I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I was doing everything wrong. There were about three more rounds of edits before we felt it was ready to send off.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

This question is why I brought up the comic stuff before, as that gave me prior experience with releasing my works into the world. “Hitting the publish button” wasn’t really anything new to me by that point.

Marketing it for the first time as a new author wound up being a whole different story and, frankly, I was terrified. Honestly, I never got  over that; marketing still scares me.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I take a little bit more care with the outline and the first draft now. No more “[insert name here]” or blanks as I write anymore. Filling those in later was practically impossible due to my not being able to recall my thoughts when I went back to them. It really bogged things down.

How many books have you published since then?

I only published one book since then – an anthology of shorts about the characters that do not transition from the first book to the second. It’s thin, but it has also been illustrated and made into a functional calendar. 😉

First Book Chat With P.S. Bartlett

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

If I remember correctly, all in all about three months. The actual writing took about a month but add in all the research, editing, rewrites etc. and three months sounds about right.

What inspired you to start writing?

The voices!

Yes, the voices is what I tell people but as writers, we know what that means. It isn’t like we hear actual voices but more like our imagination is speaking to us in the voice of a character. Mine was Ennis, a little boy who had a story he wants me to tell about his life. I was on a treadmill at Planet Fitness and he wouldn’t stop “telling” me his story. I finally agreed and FIREFLIES was born.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About three—four if you count the professional editor’s suggestions and changes.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I felt so accomplished. I’ve always been the type of person who commits 100%. When I decide to do something, I dig in my heels and don’t stop until it’s done. With writing, to see your book right in front of you, your name on the cover, your beautiful cover design that you chose from the artist, then to open it and see your dream come true is something like a miracle. It’s like Christmas morning when you’re a child.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

It’s ten times easier. Back then, I was with a boutique publisher and granted, she did all the heavy lifting for me but even now that I self-publish, the hardest part is writing the story, editing and finding a good professional editor and beta readers. The best part about now is I have learned so much. All I want to do is top myself with every book. Getting better with every line is all that matters.

How many books have you published since then?

At the moment, I have a total of seven published. My eighth book is complete and currently going through the editing process. I’m hoping for a Christmas release, but things are going so well that is might be Halloween!

I’d also like to thank bloggers like you for being such a wonderful support system to independent authors like me. We definitely couldn’t get our work out there without you!

Interview With K.B. Wheelock

Where do you get your inspiration?

                Everywhere. A book, a conversation, a movie, or a dream

Can you tell me a little about each book?

                The Guardian Series is a complete series that is dark and twisted. I had no clue where it was going to when I wrote it, or how twisted it would be.

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What inspires you to write?

                My family, my need for creative outlet

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

                I always have been better expressing myself in writing, but never thought I could write a book until a few authors convinced me to try. I was sick with strep, bored out of my mind, so I started writing.

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When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

                March 23, 2018. Amazing the idea that people actually wanted to read what I wrote.

What advice can you give future authors?

                Stay true to yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with what you are writing, or sharing it. Then don’t write it.

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What was the easiest book for you to write?

                Xistrosie’s Law. I just had so much fun with it.

What was the hardest?

                Hmmm Cherish. I didn’t want the story to end.

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What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

                Time! I am like a dog after a squirrel. Too many ideas and not enough time. Add in 6 kids, yeah time.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

                I hate promoting. If you ask me I don’t mind talking about it, but I never know who to compare my work to or if it fits into various genres

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How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

                First person present with a tendency to irreverent characters. I like to write cleaner stories with closed doors.

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

                Yes I did in November. It was fun to see the goals met.

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How supportive is your family of your books?

                Not so much my earlier stories, but my kids books and more recent adult books that are closed door they are.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

                Not really discourage writing, but the time and the monetary aspect. I just tried to manage things better.

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Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

                I have a few beta readers who are great helping me flesh ideas out

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

                One draft that is highly edited

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Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

                Yes. Protecting Rose, Sanctifying Rose and A Taste of Dragonfire

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

                I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child. Now I love to read Orlando Sanchex, Shayne Silvers, and a couple other authors. Asking me to single them out is so mean!

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Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

                I will be finishing up the Lab Shifter Chronicles (formerly Prometheus Curse). Then I will be alternating Raven Wars with a new series, Twisted Kiss

Where can we find you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/443952596020308/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/KBWheelock

First Book Chat With Laura Hawks

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

Two months (I sorta cheated, as some of it was already written for a story on FB and I just reworked it)

What inspired you to start writing?

I run a FB role playing group and some members of my group were published and encouraged me to submit for an anthology. Long story short, it was refused by that company, but one of the authors showed it to another small press who wanted the short story turned into a novel. Readers seemed to like the book and asked for more and that has inspired me to keep writing. Now I have stories I just need to get on paper.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Five

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Shocked (that anyone liked it) excited. Thrilled.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

A complete 360. I started with a small time press who planned to do everything, marketing, editing, cover.. and now I do it all. I was unprepared for entering this world, but have had a lot of help from other authors. I admit I’m still floundering sometimes, especially with marketing and promoting, but the thing about writing and publishing it’s a never-ending learning experience.

How many books have you published since then?

11 books, one photo-souvenir booklet, one word-search with 28 other authors.

First Book Chat With Gryffyn Phoenix

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

Verity and the Haven/Helm kids were born when my parents dropped me off at college. I was 16. Verity and my journey were pretty much the same, learning to see things through my own eyes and not my friends or family. When I went to write down Verity’s tale, many many … many years later it took me 10 days.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was eleven years old before I found out everyone didn’t have a movie theater in their heads showing new stories. In other words, I don’t think I was inspired to be a writer, I just was one.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

My first book … I was lucky. I had a number of professional editors in my life who taught me by working on it with me. It was a great way to get started.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Euphoric. Anyone who does drugs or likes alcohol should try finishing a book they’ve written. Best feeling EVER.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

When I started it was just to help chill me out. Drain out some of the frustration I felt with my life. So basically a weird kind of hobby. After it was done, and in my hands, WOW! I mean, as a manuscript it feels like your baby. Once it’s published, you get this baby isn’t yours anymore.

How many books have you published since then?

There are three books in the Haven Awakening series, and one omnibus edition. Now I’m launching a new series based on the Aguane. Historically, the Aguane were fashion loving, kick ass fairies who lived for each other and avenging crime against women. The Roman legion recorded their existence warning their soldiers to not engage, how cool is that? So Rise of the Night Goddess will be the first installment in this girl power saga.

Interview With Ali Winters

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’ve always had an active imagination and for as long as I can remember I’ve always loved reading which fueled my desire to create and tell stories.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

The Reapers is book one of a now complete series (The Hunted) about Reapers and the only threat known to them and protecting the balance. Lies, betrayal, centuries of secrets to be revealed, and a slow burn romance.

Sound of Silence is a duology about aliens, zombies and a virus. It’s an apocalyptic YA Romeo and Juliet retelling

A Sky of Shattered Stars is the first of a series that is high fantasy set in space, if space was made of magic instead of science.

What inspires you to write?

All the ideas constantly coming to my mind. It’s like an addiction. I have all these ideas and stories and I want to get them out to share with the world and hold them in my hands.

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

Before I considered writing as a feasible path, I was a blogger who just wrote part of an idea down. I shared it with an author friend who told me she wanted me to finish the story, and so I threw myself head first into writing and haven’t looked back since.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

The middle of 2015 I published my first book. Publishing was scary then, and it’s still nerve wracking. But I love it and will keep doing it.

What advice can you give future authors?

Never stop trying to improve your craft. Never settle for “I write good enough” Always, always, keep trying to improve. Getting complacent will make your writing fall flat and it will lose the one thing readers love about your stories.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

The Moirai. Which is to say, it wasn’t actually easy, but rather with that book I discovered the writing process that works the best for me.

What was the hardest?

The Reapers. I had no idea what I was doing when I went into publishing. I learned a LOT from that book. And it was the one book that had the most incarnations as I learned.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

Staying focused. I adore the stories in my mind and want to get them all out, but I also struggle with keeping my mind focused.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It’s not my forte, but I still do my best and try to learn new ways to go about it.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Most of my books are Urban fantasy with strong fantasy elements and epic fantasy length books with complex plots. My Fantasy books are pure fantasy. Fantasy was what I grew up reading so it’s become a huge influence on how I plot and develop stories.

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

I have done NaNoWriMo every year since 2014, (and won! I’m super self-competitive.) I’ve also done two July camp NaNos, this year and last.

How supportive is your family of your books?

My parents are 10000% convinced I’ll be the next JK Rowling. I love their unwavering support.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

Yes. It’s pretty horrible, especially if it comes from someone you trusted. But you have to push that aside. Surround yourself with people who are positive and believe in you. You can’t let those people take away something you love and enjoy.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I have a wonderful editor and a great PA. Other than that my “team” is a support system of friends. I do try to do as much “in house” as possible, but only if I can get that particular skill up to market standards.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

It depends on the book, every one is different. It depends on how messy the first draft is. Sometimes A draft needs to be a dumpster fire so you have something to work with and build up and make pretty, other times a first draft can come out pretty clean(needing a lot less work.)

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Almost all of my books are on audio. Not only because I love them for their convince, but because it’s important for everyone to have access to books.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

The Last Unicorn, The Time Machine, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy are a few of my all time favorite books. I also enjoy more recent books such as The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the Kricket series by Amy A. Bartol, Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. Honestly there are a lot of books I love by many authors and I can’t name them all.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

The Vampire Debt is the first in a six book series that can be described as Vampires meet Beauty and the Beast meets Pride and Prejudice. It will be a NA/Adult series and I’m really excited for this series not only because of the story but also because of the covers!

You can sign up for early sneak peeks and be the first to know anything about this series by signing up here: http://www.thevampiredebt.com

Where can we find you on social media?

Website: http://www.aliwinters.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authoraliwinters
Twiter: http://www.twitter.com/aliwinters_
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authoraliwinters

Amazon: http://www.amazon/author/aliwinters

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/authoraliwinters

Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/ali-winters

Newsletter: http://www.aliwinters.com/newsletter

First Book Chat With Kyra Dune

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It took me about a year in total.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher let us sit quietly at our desk and do whatever if we finished our assignments early. Me, big old nerd that I am, always did, so I’d have a book to read. I’ve been a big reader since forever. One day, I finished my book, I didn’t have another one, so I just took out my notebook and started writing one. I’ve been writing ever since.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three. That always seems to be my magic number.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

When I opened the email and saw my book had been accepted for publication, I cried.  It was just the most amazing feeling ever.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I don’t have as much free time for writing these days, so it goes a bit slower. As far as publishing, I now self-publish all of my books. I like the control and, honestly, I’ve made more money off my self-published books than I ever did off the traditionally published ones. Granted, I’ve only worked with a few small press publishers, and not any real big houses, but I definitely like self-publishing better. Of course, if one of the big boys in New York ever came knocking on my door, I wouldn’t slam it in their face.

How many books have you published since then?

I have 40 published novels to date.

Links:

Amazon

Other retailers