Sunday, July 21, 2019

Iva Schubart, Author of Sanguine-Love

Today we are interviewing Iva Schubart about her new self-help/biography book, titled, “Sanguine-love.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Iva motivates and inspires by sharing her own story in a straightforward style together with reflections and exercises. 
Today she knows that the Law of Attraction really exists and operates in every moment of our lives, but most importantly, she knows how it works and she knows how to use it. She also knows the steps that are needed to use it, so she could create the life of her dreams.
She is the mother of two daughters, born in Egypt, of Czech origin and has been living in the Netherlands for about 26 years. She has worked in different management areas such as sales, export and procurement. She is an example of a single mother living abroad who has achieved a career in higher management in a masculine technical world. She studied mechanical engineering and after enduring a lot of challenges in her life, finally found her purpose to motivate and inspire people all over the world.

Describe the purpose of your book, “sanguine-love,” in a few sentences.
The purpose of my book is to show people it doesn’t matter your age and challenges you have come through, you can change and heal your life. My biggest reason to write this book was my mother, who passed away in summer 2017. She died with her trauma even though she was a very talented and inspiring spiritual teacher. She never wanted to share her personal story in public.
During my speech at her funeral I knew she wanted me to spread the message.

Who do you think would most benefit from reading your book?
I’ve got lot of positive reactions and reviews on my book. Most of the people rely on many of the reflections that I describe. It is not only a reflection of my own life journey but also includes exercises, practices and reflections. I write in a very simple and easy way. You learn more about how you can improve your attraction, your health, your wealth and your happiness. People can apply what they read and learn directly to their own actions.

You’ve lived in a number of countries. Tell us a bit about what compelled you to move around the world.
I was born in Egypt as a daughter of Czech expats living there. My father was one of the European experts in mechanical engineering. 1968 was, what I also describe as the worst scenario not only for my family (politically) but for the whole Czech nation. In 1969 we had to move back to communistic Czechoslovakia. My father started a trial against the Czech government because of the political dismissal of his position in Egypt.  Many high educated people emigrated at that time to western Europe; my father didn’t because my mother wanted to take care of her mother who hated her. I was always different, not one who fits in a box and live in communism in former Czechoslovakia.  In 1993 I joined my former Dutch husband to live with him in the Netherlands. I stayed even after our marriage collapsed after 13 years of marriage.

On a similar note, is there a favorite country that you’ve lived in?
As I think globally I believe there are so many beautiful countries to live and is quite personal. The most important at all is to have purpose in life, neighborhood, people and somebody around you who really take care of you and loves you. 

You write about your transformation when you turned 50. How did your perspective change as you grew older?
My mother always said the life starts at 50, I say the huge internal shift starts at 50. Some people learn, some people get depressed. It’s all about the choice that we choose. Everything starts within our mind and our thoughts create our reality. A lot of people cannot believe I am already in my 50s but believe me everything is about our thoughts, head and heart connection, mental and physical health, and reconnection with who you really are as the journey of a hero from Joseph Campbell, which I recap in my book as well.

The universal laws play a big role in your book. Tell us a bit about the benefits of understanding them and how they can help us in our day-to-day lives.
As I describe them in a very easy way you start to understand the universal laws are everywhere in our daily life. Next to the law of attraction ( this works like a boomerang, what we give out, we get back ), we have to understand the other laws to “ have it all “ in our life. These laws have been already described in the Bible.

What inspired you to write down your story and share it with the world?
My mother who passed away in 2017 ( actually my why as well ) and never wanted to understand how powerful self-love healing is.

When revisiting some of your memories as you wrote, did you learn anything new?
I am an everlasting student of my life and I will never stop learning ( one of my secrets on how to stay and look young ).

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
My writing process started in 2009. After a couple of years I wanted to continue and I never did. After the funeral of my mother in the summer 2017 I had a laser focus to finish my book within one year. And I did.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
I set an end goal as Steven Covey says: Begin with the end in mind. But next to it I had a lot of private challenges such as my relationship and I almost gave up finishing. I first realized how this toxic behavior influenced my physical and mental health. I was teaching self-love but didn’t understand I have to get rid of co-dependency and heal myself first before I can help others. After the finishing of my book, I almost had a mental break down even though my book launch was a big success. 

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
Inspiration and motivation to create your best life and be who you really are; it doesn’t matter your background, gender, religion or age.

Are they any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Not my writing style, I write out of my heart, but there were lot of spiritual teachers who I recommend in my acknowledgments.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
Definitely about relationships, co-dependency and recovery. Next to it I love food and cooking. So there are some ideas too.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Through my story I already have touched many hearts. Stand up, speak up and start to be yourself. Happiness is within yourself and your inner peace is the biggest achievement you can ever have.
Read, learn, know, be inspired and take the nuggets that inspire you to take an action. It will be your destiny. The choices we make, not the chances we take, determine our destiny.


More Information
Visit the book website. 
Check out the author’s website. 
Buy the book on Amazon.
Like the author on Facebook. 
Follow the author on Instagram.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Simon Emery, Author of Fallen World

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Today we are interviewing Simon Emery about his new science fiction book, titled “Fallen World: Book 1 of the Dark Enemy Saga.” 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a literature and creative writing teacher for over 10 years now. Before that I worked as an editor and wrote for a few different fiction magazines. More recently I’ve been living in Timor-Leste, volunteering my time teaching literacy, mathematics and geography. Some of the people and places in Timor have served as inspirations for this book!

Describe the plot of your new book, “Fallen World,” in a few sentences.
Fallen World follows the journey of Xavier who watched as his world burned, swearing vengeance on the race that did it. But he soon realizes that the war is far more complex than he first thought. Betrayal, deceit and lies reveal hidden factions and buried truths.

In the middle of this great war, trapped between two empires Xavier finds himself with an unlikely crew. With them he must fight to keep alive his family, who are caught on all sides of the conflict. But with powerful figures pulling strings and even his allies chasing their own agendas, the odds truly are against Xavier and his crew as they seek to prevent two races from annihilating one another.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Sci-fi fans first and foremost. Anybody who loves epic space action. But I take inspiration from everywhere. Any fans of video games such as Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic, or the Warhammer series would love this book. I also draw ideas from a variety of different genres and authors. 

This book is very character led, with a truly compelling and unique story. 

Tell us about the protagonist, Xavier.
Xavier is a young man who has always dreamt of leaving his sleepy planet and finding adventure. That all changes the day his world is invaded and the action he craved comes to him instead. Beaten, betrayed, grieving and bitter he finds himself at the center of a web of lies and deceit that could destroy the universe. 

The loss of his world and death of loved ones causes Xavier to realize his flaws, but also discover his strengths. He becomes a warrior and a leader of men, but close beneath the surface simmer doubts and uncertainties. Xavier is a man who must find himself soon; or lose himself forever.

In your book, the survival of two races is at stake. What are the two races?
Humanity and a race called the Vruhr. The Vruhr are a thoroughly unique race andthe only sentient species mankind has made contact with… for now.

Your book is set in an imaginative world. Was it difficult coming up with this world?
It’s set in more than one! It wasn’t difficult. There is so much inspiration available to authors these days. I think the beautiful thing about science fiction is the freedom you have with creating. Sci-fi is unrivalled in genre fiction in that regard.

What is your writing process like?
It’s not as complex as the process of many authors I know. I plan it and store it all almost entirely in my head. I love writing, and when you put me in front of a computer all I want to do is get into the story. I set out the book’s skeleton, but much of the story and characters only find their flesh and bones when I’m writing. I lose myself in my work quite easily and when I’m typing away and ‘in the zone’ I’m constantly building the story in my head as I go. 

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
So, so many. The author who really flamed my love of books was David Gemmell. He was a fantasy writer, and I’ve read everything by him countless times. My style has certainly changed since I first started though, and I now draw influences from people like Neal Asher, Alastair Reynolds, Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett and John Scalzi. As well as a lot of smaller authors who are still trying to make their name.

What is your favorite thing about the sci-fi genre?
World and character building. I love to create and sci-fi offers a huge blank space for a writer to build upon. 

Who was your favorite character to write?
Kjeld. Kjeld is an old grumpy brooder. He reminds me a lot of my dog! But he has a history and a mystery about him, and he carries a love that is forcing him to go against his nature. I think it results in great interaction and dialogue with some of the more blithe characters such as Canisio.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
This is a tricky one as I have evolved so much. If I’m honest, I used to be too blunt when writing emotion, too forthcoming with character. Now I love to play with subtlety, which I think results in a much more engaging story. I also love experimenting with paragraph construction. I think you can build atmosphere and convey so much with simple manipulation of sentence length.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
I practice everything, every day. As an unknown author I think you have to. You owe it to those few people who take a chance on you and your book. I don’t have a publisher and I know I’m going to have to fight for every single sale, so it’s up to me to ensure my writing is deserving. I love to experiment with different styles, which I release into short stories. You can view them on my website— they’re free!

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To build a world and characters that people love. You know that book you pick up on a rainy night? The one you sit back with after a stressful day, or relax with a cup of tea and a warm blanket? I would love for that book to be mine for somebody one day. I want to receive a tweet from a fan telling me to hurry up and write the next book as they need to know what’s going to happen. I know it’s not the biggest dream, but it’s mine and it keeps me going.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Not the writing, but the post-writing stage. As an independent it’s so difficult to get yourself noticed. I’m starting to appreciate that writing a book is the easy part. Finding someone to read it is the difficulty.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
Often. I think it’s important to step away from your writing every now and again. Writers tend to live, breathe and sleep their books. You carry your current novel with you everywhere and having writer’s block only adds more pressure. But that is not, in my experience, conductive of good writing. Step back, take a time-out and find a fresh perspective. Personally I like to bounce ideas and complaints off my dog. He is a very good listener.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
Oh, I have a lot in mind for this current series. It’s going to be amazing; I really think that. But after this saga? Well, I have something equally special but very different planned. However, for that you’ll just have to wait and see!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Just give it a shot. It’s free, you have nothing to lose. What I have planned for this series is special. If you’re still hesitant (which I totally understand) you can go to my website and read some samples of my work. 

More Information
Find the book on SmashWords.
Get the book on Amazon.
Follow the author on Twitter.
Visit the author’s website.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Ryan Carriere, Author of A Tale of the Eternal Stones: Firestone

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Today we are interviewing Ryan Carriere, author of the middle grade / young adult epic fantasy novel “A Tale of the Eternal Stones: Firestone.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
 I am Ryan Carriere and Firestone is my debut novel. Before my recent plunge into writing I toiled away in the corporate world as a Parks Planning Manager for my local municipality. One day I thought to myself, ‘what am I doing here? And do I really want to do this the rest of my life?’ I quickly answered those questions, found my passion and here I am about to publish my first novel.

Describe the plot of your new book, “A Tale of the Eternal Stones: Firestone,” in a few sentences.
The story is set in prehistory, 12,000 years ago when the world as we know it was not always so tame. The land was filled with mystic creatures, an advanced civilization, ancient clans and magical eternal stones that connected it all.

Two very different groups race for a hidden eternal stone, one led by a mystic vision and the other by blood magic. Unaware of the others' existence: when will their stories intertwine?  

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone who loves monsters, magic and misfits. The story is full of action and adventure, colorful characters and a wild fantastical world to get lost in. 

Tell us about the protagonists, Roeg Stonehold’r and Sephonei.
The story has two protagonists: Roeg Stonehold’r and Sephonei. Roeg is from the Great Spirit Clan but he is different than the other clan members and is trying to find out his heritage. His clan father Unn, had a mystic vision about a Great Sadness that sets Roeg’s adventure in motion. 

Sephonei was drafted, against her will, into the League of Crystal Hunters and is sent on a dangerous quest to find the most powerful, eternal stone: The Bloodstone.

The main characters are searching for the Bloodstone. What is special about the Bloodstone?
The Bloodstone, is one of three eternal stones (the Firestone, the Bloodstone and the Waterstone) that exist in the Tale of the Eternal Stones world. This stone is coveted by the High Priest of Atlantea for its special life extension properties.

Tell us about the island of Atlantea.
The island of Atlantea is the fabled ‘island of Atlantis’ reimagined. Located off the eastern shores of the mainland (north Africa) are two concentric land rings circling an island. This engineering marvel is the center of the Atlantean empire and showcases its wealth, power and technology. It is home of the Citadel where the High Priest of Atlantea resides.

Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about the High Priest of Atlantea?
The High Priest of Atlantea is on a mission to create a utopian world for the Atlantean civilization. His hunger for wealth, power and technology is insatiable… it is only matched by his distaste for the mystical creatures of the world. What will happen to one man who covets supreme power but is so filled with hate?

What interests you in the middle grade / young adult epic fantasy genre?
This genre is fun to write because it can be filled with action and adventure, a mix of light and heavier themes but still allows the writer weave in humor for all ages.

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Author Ryan Carriere.
Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Whatever I read influences my writing. I can’t pinpoint one author over the other but for me I believe I have a unique style that is my own. When I write I become the characters and see through their eyes—they influence me more than other authors.


How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
This is my first novel so my writing style is still evolving. But I can say that from my first draft to the finished product it is like night and day. I was told that a new author should never write a full-length novel nevermind a four-part series as their first attempt into the field and it would be better to start with short stories or a novella. But, since I was young I have never fit into traditional convention.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
I wanted to bring each character to life and have them be unique in their own way. I don’t rely on stereotypes and try to avoid bland dialogue or clich├ęs. As for the world building, I wanted to create a wild world filled with mystical creatures that was also believable set in a time where humans were first emerging and the fabled ‘island of Atlantis’ was in its prime.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
My goals as a writer right now are to finish my four book series – A Tale of the Eternal Stones, then go from there. I quit my job to write so it is important for me to bring forward the best story I can.

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
Everyone who has read it said it was a rollercoaster ride of emotion, action and adventure. They responded very well to my characters, the humor and the setting of the story. They told me how my style of writing immerses them right into the story and the fantasy aspects are believable.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I don’t like how long editing takes. I am a big picture thinker and when I have to get into the nitty-gritty details, that is too much like work for me.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
I have not experienced writers' block, per se. I am fortunate that before I started to write, I drew, a lot. So whenever the words aren’t flowing like water, I change it up and start drawing and listen to music. After a while the words always pour out of me again.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I just hit the halfway mark of the first draft of Book 2 of the Eternal Stones series. So whoo hoo!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Give it a chance and I promise it will grip you from the beginning to the end!

More Information
Visit the author’s website. 
Buy the book on Amazon.  
Follow the author on Facebook.
Check out the author on Twitter.
Find the author on YouTube.
 Check out the author on GoodReads.  
Find the author on BookBub.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Andrew J Brandt, Author of The Abduction of Sarah Philips

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Today we are interviewing Andrew J Brandt about his thriller novel The Abduction of Sarah Philips.

Describe the plot of your new book, The Abduction of Sarah Phillips, in a few sentences.
It’s a thriller, a kidnapping mystery set in a small Texas town. This young man, kind of in his own world and dealing with his own problems, rescues a girl from her kidnappers, and he quickly finds himself in the crosshairs of men who will stop at nothing to take her back. And, really, the book explores what happens when doing the right thing goes wrong. 

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone looking for an adventure! There’s a place for quiet, contemplative books, and then there’s room on the shelf for these fast-paced, adventurous reads that leave you wanting more and more at the end of every page. 

Tell us about the protagonist, Cameron Davis.
Cameron is a loner, kind of retracted into his shell a little bit. He’s reeling from his parents’ divorce and the life change that goes with that. He’s bullied at school and he has a few friends who really do care about him, but he’s sort of isolated himself from them. It’s only when he finds and rescues Sarah Phillips that he begins to come out of that shell. 

Cameron is a loner and a victim of bullying, but must rise to the occasion when he finds Sarah Phillips. How does he find the strength to do what is right?
When we meet Cameron, he’s having a rough day. And even though he’s this loner, isolated kid, he’s still a good kid at heart. When he inadvertently rescues Sarah, he doesn’t hesitate to get help for her. That’s just who he is—the kind of person who, even when dealing with his own problems, still has this desire to help those around him. However, Cameron is not equipped or trained to help in this kind of situation, and things turn south rather quickly for him and Sarah.

Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about the kidnappers?
They’re human traffickers, and they have a rather grim method of taking their victims. We hear all the time about missing children, and with a constant news cycle, it’s easy to forget the details of that. The bad guys in this novel have got their system down to a science and it’s really disheartening. 

What interests you about the thriller genre?
I like page-turning action. I like feeling my heart race when I’m reading a good book, and I want my reader to feel the same thing. When you’re reading an Andrew J Brandt novel, I want you to immediately know that you’re in for a ride. 
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Author Andrew J Brandt.

Is there an author that had a major influence on your writing style?

I don’t think I could pin down one specific author, but growing up, I read a lot of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, so I think that definitely influenced my desire to tell a heart-stopping story. Right now, I really enjoy Chuck Hogan and Dennis Lehane. Lehane is a master of the English language and creates these turns of phrase that leave my jaw slack. 

How long have you been writing?
A long time. I have more stop-start stories on my laptop than I’d care to admit. My very first stories were Goosebumps knock-offs when I was around 10 years old. But, I’ve been writing seriously for about two years. I finished my first novel The Treehouse at the start of the year and The Abduction came quick on the heels of that one. I’m taking my time on my next book, but it’s coming together really nicely. 

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
As I’ve worked on more projects, they’ve gotten more and more mature with each story. The Treehouse can be read by kids and adults alike. It’s a lighthearted adventure. But with each subsequent release and story, that lightheartedness has kind of dissolved. At the end of the day, I want to leave my readers breathless. 

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
Oh, you know, a couple of New York Times Bestsellers, a movie option, a series on Netflix. *laughs*

In all seriousness, I want to write compelling stories that stand the test of time. I want readers who discover me ten years from now to be able to enjoy my books just as much as the readers who follow every release. 

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
The advance readers who have read The Abduction so far have really, really enjoyed it! It’s a more mature read than The Treehouse and really explores the negative consequences that our actions can have. Readers, so far, have really responded positively to that.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I have a couple of things in mind, and a couple of projects I’m actively working on. I like to be two or three projects ahead of release, and I like to work fast. I can’t tell you much, but the one I’m really excited about is another story of mystery about a young woman who vanishes without a trace while hiking. 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Not every story has a happy ending. 

More Information
Visit the author’s website. 
Check out the author’s Amazon page.
Buy the book on Amazon. 
Like the author on Facebook. 
Follow the author on Instagram. 
Follow the author on Twitter. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kristen Burnham, Author of Hart & Seoul

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Today we are interviewing Kristen Burnham, author of the young adult / contemporary romance novel, titled “Hart & Seoul.” 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Bibliophile, bubble tea enthusiast, drama binge watcher—take your pick! When not hunched over my laptop writing, I keep busy working as a librarian in a public library system, and love nothing more than to connect people with books that I just know they are going to love. And now, hopefully, my own book will be recommended to someone! 

Describe the plot of your new book, "Hart & Seoul," in a few sentences.
Girl meets boy. Boy falls for girl. Girl discovers boy is a runaway K-pop idol in hiding. Let the drama begin! Merilee Hart has been doing her best to keep things together since her mother left, with little success. And things get even stranger when the mysterious and utterly infuriating Lee Hyung-kim moves in next door…because Lee is none other than a runaway member of the K-pop mega-group Thunder, and his fans are about to find him again. 

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys contemporary young adult, romance, comedy, and drama. Lots and lots of drama, K-drama style.

What inspirations contributed to this book?
The idea for “Hart & Seoul” literally hit me out of nowhere—I was at a book festival, moderating a panel, and nearly fell off my seat—and it took me a month to write the first draft. Really, I was just throwing random ideas onto the page and seeing what worked. But, I knew from the very beginning that one of the main things I wanted to show was cultural diversity. Living in the States, most people are surrounded by diverse cultures, but we don’t necessarily understand them. I wanted Merilee to experience learning a new culture first-hand, while at the same time showing the reaction of someone living in the States for the first time. I had one fantastic beta reader who had lived over in South Korea for a year, and she had excellent insights, as well as friends who helped contribute. I even went to South Korea last fall on an amazing research trip—what an experience!

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Merri.
Merri is, in a word, a fighter. She has a dream, one that her father doesn’t support, and is struggling to find a way to follow her own path while at the same time respecting him. She tends to look at things with a sense of humor, and is completely and utterly oblivious of K-pop; I really wanted to introduce it to the readers through the eyes of someone who didn’t know anything about it, to amp up the drama and tension between Merri and Lee. And I also wanted to show, though Merri, the consequences of choices; she makes a mistake that has an impact on several people, and it all started with one choice that at first seemed so innocent. Does she learn from it? Well, of course you have to read it to find out!
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Author Kristen Burnham.

The K-pop culture plays a major role in your book. For people unfamiliar with K-pop, what can you tell us about it?
It’s addicting, I’ll be honest with you. The music videos alone are a visual eye candy that I just can’t look away from, no matter how hard I try. And the dancing! Most K-pop performers are in groups (boy bands and girl bands), and to see them all dancing is really impressive. They train for years before they actually begin performing. For those that remember the British Invasion, brought on by the Beatles, this is the Korean Invasion, also known as the Hallyu Wave. And I am happily surfing it!

What can you tell us about the mysterious Lee?
Oh, Lee. Well, first off, I guess I should say that Lee is actually his surname; Koreans always say their surname first, followed by their first name. But of course, Merri doesn’t know this, so she just assumes that she’s to call him Lee, and the name sticks.
Lee is, according to a friend, a punk: he’s moody and cocky, is firmly convinced that eating kimchi will solve most problems, and is not afraid to say what he’s thinking. But there’s another side to him, a vulnerability that he is desperately trying to hide from both his family and fans. Not to give too much away, but I tapped into my own experiences with anxiety to develop that side of him, so the emotion that he is feeling is very real to me, and adds a depth to his character that you might not expect.

Merri and Lee’s relationship is unique for a variety of reasons. What are some of the challenges they face?
Him being a mega-star is a huge one, for sure, especially when his fans, the Chasers, find out where he is. Just the sheer magnitude of what it means to be a K-pop star—the training, dictated schedule, and pressure of maintaining the perfect image—is overwhelming for them both. And that serves to also subtly highlight cultural differences, and just what kind of impact they can have on a relationship.

Is there an author that had a major influence on you while you were growing up?
Oh gosh, where to start? I love Jennifer Armentrout; she can build the most satisfying romantic tension between characters. My favorite author is Shannon Messenger, who wrote a YA trilogy but is most famous for her Middle Grade series. She does a fantastic job of balancing characters in a complicated plot, and making you be 110% emotionally invested in them.

Who was your favorite character to write?
It’s a toss up between Lee and Merri’s friend Ema. Ema is enthusiastic, confident, and unflaggingly loyal…and also a Chaser. And Lee? I loved finding the balance between his almost child-like arrogance and unreserved sweetness.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
I finished writing a book, for starters! Laughs. There are two kinds of writers: plotters and pantsers. I am most definitely a pantser; I throw myself into the story without doing any major research ahead of time, unlike plotters, and kind of learn as I go along. My writing has most definitely improved over this journey, which really has just begun. I look at pacing and character development more closely, and show things versus just tell them, something that I’ve always struggled with in my writing.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
There’s this amazing book called “Save the Cat Writes a Novel”, which essentially is a pacing guide for authors. AMAZING book; I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve been using it for book number two to help me with developing the different themes and plot arches, and absolutely love it.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To keep on writing! I want to finish book two, and then develop a Middle Grade fantasy idea that’s been bothering me for years. I actually had a series of breakthrough ideas come to me while in Asia researching my current book, which surprised me. The more you write, the better you’ll become, and if you write consistently for ten years? Better than any master class you could take in college, in my opinion.

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
I have a rule that I avoid reviews; it’s so easy to get caught up in them, and obsess over what people are saying. That being said, my publicist and some family members have had no problem in reading them, and the overall reaction is that people enjoy it! It’s fun, quirky, and a quick read that has a surprisingly emotional impact. Both K-pop fans and people who don’t listen to K-pop at all seem to like it, which just makes my debut author heart sing.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Oooooh, good question. I’d say that I really struggle with plot development. I know where I want the characters to go, and have a few key scenes that are as clear as a movie scene playing in my head, but connecting those scenes? That’s what the first draft is for…and the second draft…and sometimes even the third draft. You just keep going, and revising, and getting feedback until it’s just right. No book is perfect, and ultimately you have to acknowledge that and know when it’s time to let the book go out into the world.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
Someone once told me—or I read it somewhere, I can’t remember—that there’s no such thing as writer’s block, only perfectionist’s block. And I totally agree. It’s so easy to get hung up on the fact that what you are writing is not perfect, nowhere near ready to be published, and get bogged down by self-doubt. You just have to tell yourself that of course it’s not going to be perfect, and keep on plugging away at it.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
“Hart & Seoul” was never meant to be a stand alone work, and I’ve started working on the sequel. I won’t say much, only that Lee came to the States, and I think it’s Merri’s turn to visit Lee’s home.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
This is a story that is meant to make you laugh, dream, maybe get a little teary-eyed along the way—it’s a contemporary YA reminiscent of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot, complete with crazy adventures and growing pains. It celebrates the magic of teenage love while it tackles the pressure of living up to others’ expectations while trying to be true to yourself, and will leave you wanting more. And I promise, I’m working on it!

An excerpt from “Hart & Seoul”:
There have been rumors that K-pop boy band Thunder has broken up, but the managers at Seoul Music want to assure fans that this is not the case. Updates will be coming soon. Press release of Seoul Music, posted by kthunderfangirl.com 
There were not enough sparkles in the picture. 
I glared at the offending image in question. No matter how hard I tried, the blasted thing didn’t do him justice. Perfect jawline? Check. Sexily tussled hair? Check. Fuzzy sweater and bedazzling wrist cuffs? It would be a challenge to get the right shade of Oscar-the-Grouch green for the sweater when I filled it in with pens, but check. 
But there’s just no way to capture his sparkliness.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dipa Sanatani, Author of The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family

reincarnation fiction, spiritual fiction, astrology fiction, vedic astrology, young adult humorous fiction, young adult mythology, folklore fiction, the little light, Dipa Sanatani
Today we are interviewing Dipa Sanatani author of the spirituality/young adult/fantasy novel “The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I enjoy travelling, stargazing and spending time with owls... I’ve lived, worked and studied in Singapore, Australia, Israel, Japan and China. My background’s in business and education. I have extensive experience in the public-school system as well as in the private, government and corporate sectors. 

Describe the plot of your new book, "The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family," in a few sentences.
The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu - Celestial Beings from world mythology - bicker and squabble, just like any family. But they’re going to have to put their differences aside to help the Little Light - a wise soul, imbued with insight and curiosity - prepare for its birth on Planet Earth, where it has a great and far-reaching destiny...

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Readers with an interest in spirituality, mythology, and fairy tales will enjoy The Little Light’s adventures in the Cosmic Womb. 

Tell us about the story’s protagonist, the Little Light.
The Little Light is a wise and curious soul that’s destined for greatness. 

In your story, you have Celestial Beings from world mythology bicker and squabble like a normal family. Was it difficult capturing this family dynamic in mythical characters?
Not at all… In Vedic Mythology, the Celestial Beings are personified as a family that have a relationship with each other - some complementary, others highly dysfunctional. What I’ve done with The Little Light is reinterpreted and reimagined those myths for the modern era.
reincarnation fiction, spiritual fiction, astrology fiction, vedic astrology, young adult humorous fiction, young adult mythology, folklore fiction, the little light, Dipa Sanatani
Author Dipa Sanatani.

Is there an author that had a major influence on you while you were growing up?
Of course! I’m from that generation of readers that went through the Harry Potter craze. JK Rowling’s been a tremendous influence… especially during my early to late teens. 

As a kid, I was a big Roald Dahl fan. I can still remember an indescribable sense of wonderment whenever I immersed myself in the pages of one of his books. His words fired my imagination and perfumed my world. 

Your book contains influences from Spirituality, Young Adult, and Fantasy. Did you always know you wanted to blend elements from different genres or is it something that evolved as you wrote?
I never thought that I would write in the Young Adult genre, but I wound up working in the education sector for over 4 years…  Those experiences groomed me to communicate with a younger demographic. 

In my late teens and 20s, I saw books as a creative endeavour. But these days, I see books as an educational and commercial venture. This shift in thinking has influenced my current writing style more than any literary genre or school of thought. 

How long have you been writing?
Do my ‘Dear Diary’ days count? If so, the answer is for as long as I can remember… 

Who was your favorite character to write?
The Little Light, of course. The incessant questions. The curiosity. The innocence. The wisdom. The fear. The apprehension. The courage. The Little Light is every one of us in our most primal form. 

What genre do you read most frequently?
I mostly read non-fiction these days. Currently, my favourite topics are: mythology, world religions and ancient civilisations. In terms of fiction, I’ve been relishing Haruki Murakami’s work for years. I recently read ‘Men Without Women’ and it blew my mind. 

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
I no longer begin with ‘Dear Diary’. 

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
My career as a novelist was 12 years in the making. And I’m still growing. I’m still learning. I don’t believe I’ll ever stop. 

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
I’ve started my own publishing business, Mith Books. In the short-term I’m focused on establishing myself as a novelist. For the long run… let’s just say that I have other plans. 

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
Many of my readers have said that The Little Light is a unique book in the spirituality genre. My novel handles themes like reincarnation, mythology, cosmology and folklore. There’s nothing else like it available in the market. Titles in the spirituality genre are typically non-fiction and intended for an adult audiences. I’ve written The Little Light with younger readers in mind. My goal is to inspire their curiosity in these topics in a fun and accessible way. 

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
What kind of crazy person would spend 12 years of their life working away at something they don’t like? Not me, I can tell you that much. 

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
I’ve never had writer's block. I write because I want to… and because I have to. Not everything I write needs to be coherent or even legible. I’ve written lots of stuff that I would never let anyone read. Heck, sometimes even I don’t even want to read it.

But writing for the purpose of publication is a whole different ballgame. 

What do you have in mind for your next project?
The Little Light is the first book in The Guardians of the Lore series. I’m currently working on the sequel. If you’d like to know what happens to The Little Light once it’s born on planet earth… stay tuned. 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Read it. 

An excerpt from “The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family”:
“Stop calling me, ‘my son’,” Mercury says haughtily. “I have a name, you know.” 
“Must you always talk back?” the Sun says in anger. 
“Must you always treat me like an extension of you?” 
“I am your father…” 
Oh no, the F word again. Like clockwork, Mercury immediately stops listening. He mischievously puts on a smile and nods, politely saying 'umm hmm' now and then… 
“Is he always this way?” the Little Light whispers in Mercury’s ear. 
“Believe it or not, he’s mellowed,” Mercury whispers back. “He used to be even worse. Thankfully, the humans stopped building temples for him. His ego was even bigger back then." 
“What are you two talking about?” the Sun barks.  
“Nothing important,” Mercury says, quickly changing the topic. “Enough with our father-son squabbles. We must begin manifestation.” 
“Ah, of course,” the Sun says. “My apologies, Little Light. Please give me your hand.” 
The Little Light stretches its silhouette-like hand towards the Sun. The Sun tenderly takes the Little Light’s hand in his. The Sun is so large that the Little Light's adult astral body looks like a three-year old child next to his. 
"Ah...," the Sun says, sensing the Little Light's soul mission. "Your light is far warmer and brighter than what I've seen in generations... In fact, since…."
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Monday, July 15, 2019

Kweilin Wofford, Author of Thou Shall Not Break: Business Codes You Must Follow

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Today we are interviewing Kweilin Wofford, author of the non-fiction / business motivational “Thou Shall Not Break: Business Codes You Must Follow.”

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience with the business world.
I am 40 years old, a single mother of 3 daughters and a grandmother from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; I possess a degree in Child Development and Human Services. I have been in the entrepreneurial world since 2001 with various business ventures ranging from freelance writing, to childcare facilities, to cleaning companies, both successful and not so successful.

Describe your book, “Thou Shall Not Break: Business Codes You Must Follow,” in a few sentences.
"Thou Shall Not Break: Business Codes You Must Follow" is a no nonsense, straight to the point guide to finding success in life and business through consistently applying principles and steps that assist with reaching any goal, with an emphasis on business development. The first section of the book explores 5 principles that get your mind focused and shape a progressive prospective, while taking the business ownership journey. The second section focuses on 10 codes that will assist anyone with enhancing their business practices and overall business health.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Anyone who has reached a mental block or has experienced a lack of motivation when accomplishing goals in their business or personal lives. Those who desire to take fearless action and make change for their desired results in their business. Those who are serious about shifting their mindset to focus on growth and positive progress.

What inspired you to write a book about finding success in the business and professional world?
To send the message that temporary defeat should not overshadow your desire to win. I have had many temporary defeats over the past decade. Defeats that have left me nearly homeless, without food, and bankrupt however, the joy comes from being able to sing a song of survival. This was accomplished through my faith, changing my mindset, and applying principles to my personal life that helped shift me into the paradigm of affirmations and manifestations so fast my senses couldn’t catch up. I then used this mindset to help enhance my business practices and I have not swayed from these codes for they have never let me down. Learning is lifelong and is meant to be shared.

One of the things you write about is the need for a business to have definite principles and a set of codes to apply when making changes to help an ailing business. Why is this so important?
It is been proven in this world that when anything is performed consistently, it is very easy to predict the outcome based on the pattern displayed through actions. The business world has its own culture and like any culture there are rules, law, and/or codes to live by. The only way to know what works for your business to develop a routine so repetitive that it becomes a culture in which all involve operate. Like any culture, there are changes and shift that effect the environment and its inhabitants. 

It is vitally important to have a culture-based set of codes on which your business abides by that are created according to your mission for your business and the goals you want to reach. Your codes should be used as reminders and motivation to stick to your plan of action to ensure that you see the most benefits from your efforts.

You draw from your personal experience of hitting a low in your personal and professional and life. What did you learn from your experience?
I learned that no matter what sticking to your plan of action is a must for it shapes your desired results. I learned that you must speak life into your vision for this helps manifest your goals. I have also learned that you must not allow temporary defeat to cause you to make decisions that could be permanent.

What some common mistakes that people make when setting professional goals?
Not being realistic with your limitations, haphazard plans of action, inconsistent practices, lack of desire, not taking action on your plan of action

You talk a lot about the interplay between professional goals and personal goals. How are these two related?
Setting personal goals through planning and applying can be used professionally and personally. Then only determining factor in whether one’s desires outcome is reached is tenacity, patience, and action. Nothing will happen if you are not motivated with a sense of urgency, like you would be if your lights were getting turned off, or you were being evicted out of your home. This is the same sense of urgency you need to possess in your professional life as well. Grind like you life depends on it and you are guaranteed to reap fruits from your labor.

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
Absolutely. Writing this book challenged me and forced me to receive criticism that I hadn’t experienced before. I have been writing poetry since I was 12 years old and I always loved to express myself through words however, when writing a non-fiction book, you must make sure you are appealing to the reader and touching their hearts have to be priority. Your opinions and feelings may motivate you to write the book however, research, valid data, and relevant experience is what drives this book although there are some personal references included.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I actually did research for about a year on the writing process and wasn’t sure if I wanted to get published traditionally of self-publish. During my research, II discovered a book entitled “APE” by Guy Kawasaki and that book let me tell you helped me with the entire writing process. I highly recommend that book to anyone who is serious about writing, publishing, and making money from their works.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Actually sticking to a writing schedule in order to finish writing a book.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
Inspiration to take fearless action when working to accomplish any goal

How have readers responded to your book so far?
This book is new to the public however I conducted a beta-testing prior to its official publication and the beta-testers have expressed how they have been able to apply the exercises, codes, and principles in their lives. They also express how the book is a short enough read to not get bored and not too long that the book loses its effectiveness.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I am in the process of writing a second edition to the book, this edition will have more in-depth stories relating to the codes and principles within the book to deliver a relatable message from people of diverse backgrounds.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
This book comes from a real place and I hope it inspires you to take fearless action towards positive change and shifts in your personal and business lives.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Dr. Kristy Taylor, Author of Ace the Medical Job Interview and Prevent a Code Blue

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Today we are interviewing Dr. Kristy Taylor, Certified Career Coach, about her new book, “Ace the Medical Job Interview and Prevent a Code Blue: Proven Strategies for Healthcare Job Interview Success.”

Tell us a bit about yourself and the background in the healthcare industry.
I began my career in healthcare in the United States Air Force, serving as a Healthcare Manager or better known as a 4A0 about 17 years ago.  I built my career in education and healthcare based on my military experience.  I have had the opportunity to serve in a variety of roles in healthcare, education, military, and leadership.  I founded Heka Healthcare Consulting in 2016 and have spent the past few years supporting clients with career coaching, resume writing, and job search support services.

What inspired you to write a book about seeking a job in the healthcare industry?
I am a Certified Career Coach who works with clients in the healthcare industry.  I have worked with clients from diverse backgrounds and felt that a book like this was necessary help medical professionals interview more confidently by developing a targeted job search strategy and knowing how to answer questions.  

Describe the purpose of your book in a few sentences.
Ace the Medical Job Interview and Prevent a Code Blue was written to help medical professional better prepare for job interviews.  It provides an overview of everything you should know about interviewing in the healthcare field.  

What healthcare careers does your book prepare readers for?
The book is for anyone seeking job opportunities within the healthcare field to include nurses, doctors, administrators, ancillary support, and IT professionals.  Ace the Medical Job Interview and Prevent a Code Blue is not a book for individuals seeking medical school admissions or scholarship opportunities.  This book is for experienced healthcare professionals, new graduates, and individuals transitioning into healthcare who are actively seeking employment or would like to refresh their interviewing skills.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write the book by the clients who I have had an opportunity to support over the past few years.  This book is a culmination of research, coaching sessions, and input from healthcare hiring managers about what they look for in potential employees. There is an ongoing shortage of qualified healthcare professionals, which can result in burnout for those who are often overworked.  As a Career Coach, my goal is to ensure that clients are matched with the right healthcare employers to reduce turnover and burnout.  My clients are my number one priority, and this book provides some basic tips to help healthcare professionals better prepare for job interviews.

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Author Dr. Kristy Taylor.
One of the features of the book is that it teaches the reader how to research healthcare companies before the interview. How important is research prior to the interview?
Many of my clients may not have previously identified the type of facility that they are interested in working for.  Its very important to know where you would like the work, the type of culture, and experiences that you would like to have.  We spend most of our time at work, and if you are unhappy with your job, it not only affects you, but it also affects the quality of care provided to patients.

Another strength of your book is teaches how to use emotional intelligence. Can you tell readers who are unfamiliar with emotional intelligence what this is and why it is important? 
Healthcare professionals should be able to maintain emotional control, because we often work in high demand, stressful settings.  We should be able to adapt quickly in any environment to include when being interviewed for job positions.  The book describes several types of interview formats and includes over 100 various types of interview questions.  

What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while doing research for the book?
I had done some research previously on burnout, and it was great to be able to link my prior research with this new current information.  Additionally, I also learned a lot about the history behind body language and how nonverbal cues may be interpreted.  I enjoyed putting together the reflective exercises to help the readers develop their job search strategy.

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
The book is a culmination of work, but it will also help me to improve how I work with my clients in the future.  I believe in life-long learning and that coaches should be continuously looking for ways to enhance their practice.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I did a lot of research for this book, and it took some time to narrow it down to exactly what I wanted to include based on feedback that I was receiving.  I also did not hesitate to write notes on my phone and scraps of paper that I would organize during writing sessions.   

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Although the book is short, it was still difficult to find the time to write it.  My schedule is busy between my full time job and resume writing business, but I was determined to complete this goal.  

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I hope that everyone who reads to book develops a targeted search strategy and feels more confident about the interviewing process.

How have readers responded to your book so far?
I have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the book.  What people appreciate the most is that I understand the industry and focus on the most important aspects of the interview process.  The book also is available in several formats to include print & ebook; it will also be available as an audiobook soon.  
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Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
I enjoy reading books about leadership, and one of my favorite books is Lead Yourself First:  Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude was written by Michael Erwin and Raymond Kethledge.  I also enjoy books written by Malcolm Gladwell and James Collins.  I read a lot of articles and review books on career and professional development, but my goal with any of the books that I publish is to provide concise guides that equip readers with the necessary information they need achieve their goal.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I made a commitment to publishing four books over the next few months, one has been released, two were previously written, and the final book will focus on emotional intelligence.  The books that are currently being edited are about leading teams and managing change within the healthcare industry.     

More Information
Visit the website for "Ace the Medical Job Interview."
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