Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Catelyn Critchfield-Wilson, Author of Finding Eleanor

Regency Romance, Romance, peerage, British aristocracy, gender roles, cultural prohibition, catelyn critchfield-wilson, regency romance novel, finding eleanor book
Today we are interviewing Catelyn Critchfield-Wilson, author of the regency romance / historical fiction novel "Finding Eleanor."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
 I'm 21 years old I'm married and live in San Antonio, Texas with my husband, Taylor,  and my dog. I'm studying English and creative writing and I have one year left before  I graduate. Finding Eleanor is my 1st book I've published but I've been writing since I was in 4th grade. I'm a triplet, the youngest of 5 children, and I grew up mostly in Australia.

Describe the plot of your new book, “Finding Eleanor,” in a few sentences.
Eleanor is a young woman who loves poetry and writing, but her father does not approve. When her father unexpectedly inherits a title, she is unable to pursue her dreams. She meets her neighbor, Martin, who seems to understand her like no one else. When her family discovers something she has been hiding, the pair must decide what to do.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
I feel that most women would appreciate this book because it looks at things that women had to deal with in the past, but we get to see how far we've come, and to appreciate all the choices that we have now. Plus, a little bit of romance never hurt anybody.

Overcoming oppressive cultural realities is a major theme in your book. Was this something you always knew you wanted to incorporate into your story? Or was it something that evolved as you wrote?
The day to day reality for women in the regency era was a lot harsher than what we experience now. While books like Pride and Prejudice obviously show part of the struggles women had and how they had to get married, have a male relative support them, or they would have to be begging on the streets; I wanted to show this with a more relatable character who has a little bit of a more modern feel. 

I didn't just want to write a romance I wanted to include what it would have really been like for a woman back then and how if you didn't get married, especially if your parents didn't provide a dowry, you would have been In deep trouble. Also wanted to show how Eleanor doesn't just accept what's handed to her.

Tell us about your protagonist, Eleanor.
Eleanor is a 19 year old woman who grew up, not necessarily in poverty, but definitely without a lot of comforts. She always loved poetry and was able to study more than a woman would have usually been able to, because her father wanted to provide a way for her to make money either as a governess or a school teacher.

Eleanor also speaks her mind, perhaps a little bit more than other people would like. She isn't afraid to tell people when they've done something wrong, and at times that can get under some someone’s skin.

Eleanor’s life changes dramatically when her father becomes the Earl of Bowland. Tell us about what this transition is like for her.
Eleanor's transition from being the daughter of someone who was little more than a farmer, to being the daughter of an Earl was really hard for her. She knew she wouldn’t be able to pursue her passions because everybody was watching, and that was the hardest part for her; dealing with people who were in the higher circles of society, who paid attention to every little mistake, particularly the ones women could make, and use it against her and her family.

Martin is an interesting character who must make complicated decisions. Can you share with us a bit about his challenges? 
Martin's challenges arise chiefly from his brother. He was never supposed to inherit the title from his father, but when his brother was disowned, he’s forced to pick up the slack and care for his mother, two younger sisters, and a younger brother all of whom completely depend on him. He has to protect his sister's reputations, especially because of how his older brothers immoral actions reflect badly on them, and could affect them in the future, leading to little or no prospects of marriage. This leaves him a bit jaded. He’s quick to believe the worst in people as you're able to see in the story when it comes to Eleanor.

Eleanor is torn between her own desires and her duty to her family. Can you elaborate on Eleanor’s societal obligations and how she feels about them?
A woman's social obligation, especially a woman who is the daughter of someone with a title such as an Earl, is expected to make a marriage that will reflect well on the family, especially because dowries are involved. That means money is involved and women are expected to marry above their station in order to have a comfortable life and provide for their children. So as the daughter of an Earl, she needs to marry someone who at least matches him in rank or is at least rich enough to make rank matter a little less.

Her actions also reflect directly on her sister Lucy, as she is unmarried, and if she were to make a poor match, or do something that is deemed unacceptable by society, her sister would suffer by it, simply by being related to her.

What drew you to the regency romance / historical fiction genre?
I've always love the genre. I started reading Pride and Prejudice when I was I think 12. So when I found that people wrote about the era as modern writers, I thought it was really wonderful to include things that and are familiar to us now, while still remaining true to the era, and using it as a good setting, as well as a way to discuss pertinent problems.

What inspirations contributed to “Finding Eleanor”?
I usually draw inspiration from the people around me. It's hard to make a person seem realistic from scratch, without real character flaws, funny habits, or things like that. Also, just things like Pride and Prejudice, the idea of daughters needing to make suitable marriages was a big influence to me because it is so important.

Is there an author that had a major influence on your writing style?
I have to say Jane Austen because she's the master of the genre, obviously,  and I especially like the way she uses irony and wit with her characters to make certain situations stand out more and help you pay attention to them.

Who was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write would have to be Albert who is Martin's best friend from childhood. He’s just a very genuine person who's gone through similar things as Martin, but has perhaps learned to handle them, without allowing himself to feel like the universe is punishing him.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
I'd like to think I changed a lot since my elementary school days when I first learned about creative writing and how to write a story. Being a creative writing major has also helped a lot, to learn more about my skills and to improve them, I think I've gotten better at making characters more realistic and using them to drive the story forward.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
I've been practicing a lot with my characters, making them feel like real people. I never want a reader to question why a character did what they did, and not understand the motivation. It’s one of the things a teacher told me to work on, and I've been doing my best to make 3 dimensional characters.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To write more books of course! I've been writing for so long I can’t imagine stopping now. I'd love to write more historical fiction novels, as well as dabble in other genres such as young adult.

How have your readers responded to “Finding Eleanor” so far?
The initial response to reading my book has been very positive so far. Many readers say that they like Eleanor, and can relate to the situation she's in, especially with her family, and that the struggles she faces with pleasing everyone around her, speaks to them.

 One of my friends said she really like the romance aspect because it felt real and not forced.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I used to hate editing because it used to hurt my feelings, because I'd spend so many hours working on a book only to have it ripped to shreds. but now I understand how important it is and no one can write a very good book the 1st time around. As long as you have an open mind when you're editing and making changes you'll be able to have a much better finished product than what you could have done by yourself.

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?

The only time I've ever had writer's block is when I'm told I have to write something, either for a class or whatever it may be, because I'm used to choosing what I want to a write, and working on it. So I'd have to say the only time I've struggled is when I'm told to write a short story, because I can never condense a plot into less than a 100 pages.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I've already started writing my next book it's another historical fiction, regency romance novel, and is based around an artist who wants a grand tour and a former soldier returned from the East Indies.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Just a fun little fact is I set the story in Lancaster in Lancashire, England and that is a real place. I've used a couple of landmarks and if you ever want to visit where I set the story, you can!

Book Description for "Findign Eleanor":
A Regency Romance to take you to another place and time, overcoming oppressive cultural realities, finding love and watching it dwindle away, out of reach but never out of mind, or out of heart. Maybe it is your turn to Find Eleanor!!! Maybe it will help someone find You.  
Catelyn paints a brilliant picture from an era near the Bronte's and from a world of customs and etiquette not far enough removed to be unseen. Look at a love story from within the numbers of the Ton.
More Information
Buy "Finding Eleanor" on Amazon.
Like the author on Facebook.
Follow the author on Instagram.

Monday, July 29, 2019


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Today we are interviewing SERAPHIM INN about her non-fiction book, titled “THE MOST HATED GIRL IN THE WORLD.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am honest, truthful, passionate and conscious. I love to write, listen to music and converse.

Describe your book, “THE MOST HATED GIRL IN THE WORLD,” In a few sentences.
My book is based on some of the everyday struggles that have helped me grow. It is a perfect representation of what many people have to deal with and how they survive. In the book, I document many highly stressful situations that would have me appear to be the most hated girl in the world due to the nature of the aggression coming from the other parties involved.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
I believe this book is ideal for anyone that feels like an outcast or the “black sheep of a family.” These groups would definitely be able to relate to the mistreatment that I have received in many ways.

What inspired you to write down your story?
Frustration. I wanted to release some anxiety and I also wanted to vent. Considering that I am what you would consider a “loner,” there is really no one else for me to talk to so writing became my therapist, my friend, and my outlet.

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before? Absolutely. While writing this book, I was forced to face some real emotions and even some inner demons that I myself have never truly admitted to having. I also had to realize that it was time to also mature and see the struggles of others in order to be at peace with my own.

Do you have any advice for people who feel isolated and depressed?
If I could say anything, I would tell them to find the source. There is a source to all of the confusion and pain. Something is hiding within and it is time to dig into yourself and reveal it. Do not let this hidden piece of you take over your life and prevent you from being happy, while it sits back and hides. Claim your life and start off by discovering the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself and then accept it while understanding it and working with it in order to alter it to work for you.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
Revealing parts of my private life. I am a very private person and I gave away some of my privacy while writing this book. I put my heart on my sleeve to a certain extent.
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What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I hope readers will see that there are so many different people in the world and we all want to be loved and accepted. We are all different and there is a certain beauty in those differences and we all deserve an opportunity to just be ourselves and accepted as who we are without having to pretend to be something that we are not.

How have readers responded to your book so far?
I have been told that my book is unhappy and to stay out of happy circles! So this kind of proves that I am “THE MOST HATED GIRL IN THE WORLD.” LOL.

Are they any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Nancy Willard, Oscar Wilde, Renina Newton, and so so many more.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I am currently finishing a children's book.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
If you are feeling depressed, stressed, isolated or even confused about this life, my book would be a book that can show you that this struggle is one that we all face and that together we can tackle some of these issues in order to work on a better and brighter future for tomorrow. 

More Information
Buy the book on Amazon.
Visit the author’s website.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Charity Rose, Author of Never The Same Love Twice

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Today we are interviewing Charity Rose about her young adult / new adult romance novel, titled “Never The Same Love Twice.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Charity Rose and I am originally from Norfolk, England but have lived in sunny San Diego for nearly 10 years. I live my high school sweetheart turned husband and our two cats (Mal and Jayne). When I’m not writing I’m attending lectures at UCSD.  

Describe the plot of your new book, “Never The Same Love Twice,” in a few sentences.
“Never The Same Love Twice” follows the developing romance between two high schoolers, Vidya and Keith, whom both have haunted pasts that they haven’t quite worked out yet. As they relive these incidences with each other they are forced to face their pasts in order to even begin to think of a future together.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
I think the people who would most appreciate this book are those who, like me, had a rocky past relationship that ended up turning out for the better. It’s a reminder that with understanding and acceptance of ones past you can heal yourself and learn to move onto better things. 

What inspired you to write a novel about a second-chance romance?
My own life experience of course! When I met my husband, I had just come out of a bad relationship and I let things that happened in the past cloud my opinions of our new relationship. Sometimes if he said a word, or did an action that reminded me of my ex I just couldn’t take it. I’d get irrational. It took us a long while to realize the stem of my issues was PTSD from the abuse I had endured. The process of rebuilding my security was long but we both came out of in the end. 

Tell us about the protagonist Vidya Fletcher.
Vidya is newly 17 at the beginning of our story and around 21 at the end. Most of the story revolves around her last year in high school.

Vidya is conflicted about her thoughts on Bradley and Keith. What attracts her to each one? What are her hesitations about them? 
Initially Vidya is attracted to Bradley because he is very kind, very polite, and he enjoys most of the same things she does however, Vidya soon realizes that his antics are a bit too juvenile for her tastes and, as most relationships go when your young, she grew distant from him. Her attraction to Keith is more animalistic at first. He’s good looking, he has a bad boy air about him, and has a hidden past. But despite his looks he is also actually very caring but cautious. This aspect of the mystery is what attracts her to him the most, I think. 

A turning point in the book is when a game of Truth or Dare reveals a life-changing secret. Without giving too much away, what is Vidya’s reaction to the revelation? 
She’s horrified at first, and questions everything she knew about him while also beginning to examine some of his previous words and actions. It all begins to click together but there is still a lot more she doesn’t know at this point.

What attracted you to the upper-level young adult / new adult genre?
Life is a roller-coaster during these years of age, I wanted to reflect that in this story. Teens and new adults are still very much living in the “now” they are still experiencing big emotions that are expressed in big ways. This reliance on the emotion of the here and now is what I love about this age group, the heart pounding feeling of first everything.  

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Yes, I greatly enjoy Megan Tennant, she is also an Indie author. Her writing style is in the first person and her writes in a way that is very fast paced, you get right to the meat of the action and the emotions come on hard and fast. 

Who was your favorite character to write?
I’ll be honest, Keith. I loved to write Keith because for the longest time he was a mystery to me as well. I didn’t have his entire back story planned out – it came as I wrote it. Maybe this will bite me later but I like to think that his character is the most authentic one for it. 
Never the same love twice, charity rose, charity rose author, young adult romance, new adult romance, upper level young adult, upper young adult book
Author Charity Rose.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
I’m still evolving! This is my first full length novel but I hope to write many more. I used to write short stories so expanding past the quick one-shot action of a short story was a humbling experience – it’s hard! 

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
I have plans for another YA/NA book in the works, and also a collaboration with my editor. In the next ten years I plan to continue to publish as an Indie and I hope that everyone enjoys my stories! 

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
My ARC readers gave me positive reviews, a few felt that a few characters needed a bit more justice but that might be something I’ll have to take on in the future, *hint*. 

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Writing. I laugh when I say that because it’s true! I think every writer hates the actual writing part. I can think of a million idea, jot down notes on a hundred characters and worlds and then I can even get down a decent outline in less than an hour. But the actual writing, man that sucks but it is very much worth it once it is done. 

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 don’t believe that writers block is a real thing. I can always think of something to write, the real issue is whether I actually take the time I have to write. Often times I find that I’m on Facebook or Twitter or browsing the net when I could be writing. Its amazing how much free time you have if you cut social media in half for a few days. 

What do you have in mind for your next project?
My next project will also be another high school romance however, I’m wanting to add a little of the paranormal in. I’m thinking something with ghosts! 

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Yes, I would like to leave potential readers with a trigger warning. Some of the events in this book might not be suitable to those who have suffered various types of abuse in the past. I would like you to read with caution knowing this. 

An excerpt from “Never The Same Love Twice”:
I sat on the closed toilet lid, my knees pulled up to my chest, reading the notes and numbers left on the plastic walls of the stall. People calling each other out and gossiping about the teachers along with crude images, of course. But mostly I see people looking for love. Desperate to be accepted. To be held and cared for they leave their email addresses and Instagram tags in thick, black, ink in the hopes that some other lonely soul will find them. Reach out to them. And make them feel whole.
“Vee, where are you?” I don’t know if I should answer him. How did he know I was in here anyway? I see his shadow pass by the stall before I step down and answer,
“In here,” I say and open the booth. He steps inside with me, closing the door behind him. Looking down at me, he asks,
“What happened, are you hurt?” he scans my face, trying to read my emotions, but he wasn’t as good at doing that as I was. “Did somebody hurt you?” he says with a growl, slapping his hand on the wall. It echoes loudly, and I flinch.
I shake my head. I am hurt, but not physically. Kassie and her lies stabbed me deeper than I expected them to. But, are they lies or is it true? No, he would never spread rumours about me. Then again, do I really know Keith at all?

More Information
Buy the book on Amazon.
Visit the author's website.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

John Klymshyn | Deeper Dialogue: Conversations That Inspire

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Today we are interviewing John Klymshyn about his new self-help audiobook, titled "Deeper Dialogue; Conversations That Inspire." 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in language.
My interest in languages began when I was a young man and was interested in traveling the world. I ended up joining the Navy and being sent to both Korea and Spain. I found that it is impossible to learn basic conversational rules or words or statements in any foreign language and not learn a little bit about the culture. Language shapes how we view the world. Language connects us. Many years later, as a father and had pre teenage children, my wife and I decided that the entire family should go to Europe. I sat down with both of my kids and explained to them that we were going to two countries where the native language was not English. I told them that a requirement of going was that each of them needed to be able to say:  “yes”, “No”,  “Please”, “Thank you.”, “How much is this…?” and “Where is the toilet?” in both of the languages of the countries we were going to visit. 
I wanted them to discover at their own pace that speaking a foreign language would open doors for them. We were not disappointed. People in both countries, upon hearing my kids attempting to pronounce words correctly in the language of the host country, were incredibly gracious to us. I'm convinced that both of my kids are more worldly, more aware, and more relational as a result of that trip. And, because they learned a little bit about the power of language.

Describe the purpose of your audiobook, “"Deeper Dialogue; Conversations That Inspire,” in a few sentences.
I wrote this book because I have been on a 20-year journey to connect language, music, inspiration, connection, creativity and the higher functioning of our minds. After years of conducting training in corporations, I found it deeper connections can be made by crafting informed and inspiring language. In addition, when I had the epiphany that language - at its core - is music… that realization opened a whole new arena of creativity, coaching, and training work that I deliver to corporations and organizations. 
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Who do you think would most appreciate this audiobook?
People who want to connect with others more consistently. People who want to lead, inspire, collaborate. I believe that this book is useful to creatives, leaders… people who are interested in personal development and need to work with others. One of the things I point out in the Audio Book is that nothing GREAT has ever been achieved by one person – all alone. Even the great artists in history had guidance, collaborators… and competitors. Most of all… this book is for people who want to do the BEST work they possibly can. It dovetails into my previous Audio Book: STREAM; Hack Your Consciousness. 

What inspired you to create this audiobook?
The work that I do with people who lead large teams. “It’s all about the language.” That statement has been my mantra for years. Now, in this Audio Book, I give deeper insight into how I view language, and what it can help us achieve. 

The concept of Deeper Dialogue is the major theme of this audiobook. Can you share with us what Deeper Dialogue entails?
Deeper Dialogue refers to the impactful, resonant conversations that we all crave. When we rush through our day, we miss subtleties, indicators and opportunities to learn more about others, because we are simply not paying attention. Another failing is a lack of awareness. People want to tell us stuff. They want to let us into their hearts. Yet we miss the indicators.
Deeper Dialogue is about DEPTH of relationship, DEPTH of connection, and how DEEP language can take us. Life is short. Let’s find more ways to connect with the people we spend the most time with. 
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John Klymshyn.

One of the strengths of Deeper Dialogue is that it is beneficial in so many different settings. Why do you think it is applicable across settings?
Because human nature is reliable. We, regardless of where we are from, how we were raised, or how much money we make… crave intimacy, truth and satisfying emotional experiences. 
This is true in Amsterdam and Atlanta, New Zealand and Nigeria.

After years of studying language, you’ve concluded that, at its core, language is music. Can you elaborate on what led you to this conclusion?
I think it was a slowly developing mental connection. It occurred to me in studying multiple languages how the nuances really boiled down to how things sounded. When I studied French i was fascinated with the slight subtle differences in vowel pronunciations and how they impacted the message. Over the years, i have studied Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, German and of course I'm still struggling with English. My first study of a foreign language was when i was in 7th grade. I was identified as someone with an ear for languages. Russian was so far and in so fascinating to me. So, the core connection boils down to the fact that the first musical instrument is the human voice. It follows, then, that language is made up of tone, tempo, accents, emotion, resonance, dynamics…and all of these are musical terms. My musical life began when I was nine years old. Music was big part of the curriculum where I went to Elementary School on Long Island. I started in concert band, playing snare drum, bass drum, and various percussion. My music teacher identified that I had an ear, and he put me on the Drumset for the Jazz band. I had a solo at a winter concert. I was twelve. 
My teacher then challenged me to learn to play the Baritone Horn. I studied, practiced, practiced more, and now… fifty years later, I have learned to play multiple instruments.
The language of music is the language of language.
What are we hoping people will think or feel when listening to us play? That question could just as easily end with the word “SAY.”

Did creating this audiobook take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
It did. I found that more of my life was centered around and inspired by music than I ever had before. 

What was the most challenging aspect of creating your audiobook?
Maintaining the energy level while recording. This audio book has an immediacy and enthusiasm that my producer believes will capture people’s attention. 

What do you hope readers will gain from listening to your audiobook?
Insight into how more effective they can be… how they can say less and accomplish more. How regardless of their involvement in music, to view language through the lens of the statement: “Language – at its core – is music” that their minds might be opened. And opening the mind makes the world a better place. 

How have listeners responded to your work so far?
This book will raise and help to answer one of the most important questions – What do I want to accomplish with my language?
Few things in life are accomplished by working alone. That is why communication is key to your success. 
John writes that communication requires collaboration and contribution from each participant and this is when his ideas on deeper dialogue come to light.

- Tomas Malcius., Sales Director, RNDV Group Lithuania

When you are given information to make your life better, easier or more exciting, it is generally things that are either too expensive or out of reach.  John Klymshyn shares his "real-life" list of 10 things to aspire to...every day.  I found myself doing many of those things that help me to communicate better with others.  I will be adding the ones I don't do and can't wait to see the differences they make.  I love being able to implement ideas immediately. – 

With companies like Audible gaining more and more subscribers, it’s apparent audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular. In your opinion, what are some advantages of audiobooks compared to traditional print books?
The ability to change the pace of delivery.
The portability. YOU can listen while driving. You can listen in your happy place.
AND… because I narrate my own work, you immediately get a sense of my passion for this material.

What do you have in mind for your next audiobook project?
MY friends and I have been talking about a book on what it takes to be a great Father… because we have been struggling with that assignment for years.
I am also speaking to former professional athletes who have found considerable success in the business world after their playing career, and they have some wisdom to share with younger athletes.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your audiobook?
It is my passion project. I believe in it with all my heart and soul. I hope it speaks to them in a deep and meaningful way. 

About "Deeper Dialogue: Conversations That Inspire":
"Deeper Dialogue; Conversations That Inspire" is the next Audio Book you want to listen to. This is a powerful tool for people who work with others.
Leaders, future leaders, anyone interested in being an inspiration to others must understand The Power of Language. Learning and practicing a n approach to language called "Deeper Dialogue" helps you to connect, collaborate, and communicate ... BETTER.
John Klymshyn has spent many years studying and exploring language - how it works, where it comes from... and whether what we say (or ask!) RESONATES with others.
John Klymshyn (the author and narrator of this fascinating Audio Book) believes that language - at its core - is music. While listening to this Audio Book, you will learn about the intersections between language and music. You will learn key phrases that help you craft and deliver inspiring language. No matter what you do, if you work with, volunteer for, parent or support other people, you want to learn and practice Deeper Dialogue.
Go to Audible.com or iTunes and search "DEEPER DIALOGUE; CONVERSATIONS THAT INSPIRE"
Visit www.klymshyn.com (that's K L Y M S H Y N dot com) for more information.
John regularly conducts free webinars on this topic, so when you visit his website, click "Learn More" and fill in your information to be part of his community of followers and listeners.
"Deeper Dialogue: Conversations That Inspire."
The new, inspiring and insightful Audio Book by John Klymshyn
Available NOW on Audible and iTunes!

More Information
Visit John Klymshyn's website. 
Follow John on Twitter.
Connect with John on LinkedIn.
Check out John’s Amazon Author Page.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Brad Livengood, Author of Liberty Man

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Today we are interviewing Brad Livengood about his historical fiction novel, “Liberty Man.” 

Tell us a bit about yourself. 
I am a 59 year old husband, father and grandfather with a passion for history and a love of the English language.

Describe the plot of your new book, “Liberty Man,” in a few sentences. 
“Liberty Man” involves a character named Gabriel Brower, living in Vietnam era North Carolina, and how he is confronted one night by William Kinney, who claims he was a soldier in the American Revolution. Once he gets over the initial shock of these events, Gabriel listens as William begins to tell him the often profound and harrowing story of his life, and his enduring search for his great, lost love, Sallie, through years of struggle and sadness, war and death.

Tell us about the protagonist, Gabriel Brower. 
Gabriel is what one might call an everyman type of character, who lives in rural North Carolina in 1971. He is a blue collar construction worker who struggles with alcoholism and a failing marriage. His identity is wrapped up in folk music, and the tragedy of loss, the death of his parents and of his best friend in Vietnam.

Who do you think would most appreciate “Liberty Man”? 
Anyone with an appreciation of history and a love of a great story.

How does Gabriel Brower deal with being thrust into the time of the American Revolution? 
At first, Gabriel reacts in disbelief and balks at the idea. But gradually, he senses that William’s stories are helping him somehow, not so much by imparting some great wisdom so he can deal with his own problems in the present, but by, in effect, holding up a mirror to Gabriel, so that he can see his own humanity in those people from the past, that people in every time and epoch are the same, with the same longings and desires, hardships and tragedies.

What can you tell us about William Kinney? 
William Kinney is a character based upon an ancestor of mine. The story I tell is loosely based on his life. He was born in 1733 in Scotland and grows to manhood with deep concern about the injustice of his homeland. He is a lover of books and learning, but has no sense of himself until he meets Sallie. He finds himself immediately enthralled and haunted by her beauty and grace. When he finds that she has been kidnapped by Major Carnavon, he begins a long, agonizing search for her. This consumes his life and leads him to the wilderness of North America and the often bitterly contested battlefields of the American Revolution.

What made you decide to set the story during the American Revolution?
William Kinney actually did fight in the American Revolution, so that decision was made for me. What was interesting for me was to bookend that time period with life in Gabriel’s Vietnam era. There are several historical parallels between the Revolution and Vietnam, most obviously the fact that the largest, most powerful side lost the war in each case, the British in the Revolution and America in Vietnam. But also there is the guerilla tactics employed by the upstart victors and the intense unpopularity and expense of each war on the home front of the losers.

Tell us about how your interest in historical fiction developed.
Fiction is an imagined reality. It is not just a creative arrangement of facts. There are so many things you can do with fiction. You’re telling a story on the surface, but you can layer it with all kinds of thematic elements below the surface. “Liberty Man,” for instance, is not just about individual liberty, it also concerns Christian liberty. It functions as a sort of oblique commentary on the Gospel, which, without being preachy at all, teaches us that all of Creation, human beings included, are longing for redemption. 

One of the strengths of your writing is that, although your book has an American Revolution theme, you touch on aspects of humanity that transcend time period, such as friendship and love and war and death. Was this something you set out to do before starting the book? Or is it something that evolved as you wrote?
Creating the humanity in a character, even a deeply flawed, unlikable character, is one of the challenges to writing fiction. The best literature achieves this. It shows us a universal expression of our own humanity that, as you put it, “transcends time period.” So yes, that was something I consciously set out to do and is always one of the goals of my writing.

What inspirations contributed to this book? 
The novel was inspired, in part by a box of original family letters I discovered, along with some very distinct conversations I had with my father and my uncle about family history and storytelling.

Can you share with us a bit about your writing process? Do you outline extensively before you start on the manuscript? 
I use a threefold process in writing. 1.) Define the parameters. Create basic plot outlines and characters. 2.) Advance the narrative. I try to write 1000 words a day when I work on a project in order to move the story forward each day. 3.) Polish the result. This is the hardest part, the endless revisions and editing, making sure everything makes sense.

Is there an author that had a major influence on you while you were growing up? 
I grew up reading the great narrative historians such as Francis Parkman, Samuel Eliot Morrison, Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Foote and David McCullough. But along the way I found that great fiction could forever pull you deeper into the resounding mysteries of the human condition. I am a great enthusiast of “Moby Dick,” but also things like “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Crime and Punishment” and a host of other classics.

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Author Brad Livengood.
How long have you been writing? 
I have loved composition since I was a small child. My parents even kept of couple of my very embarrassing early stabs at writing from grade school.

Who was your favorite character to write? 
You generally fall in love with a lot of your characters since they are fragmented representations of some aspect of yourself. Probably my favorite is the villain of the story and William’s arch-antagonist, Major Carnavon. It has been noted that all villainy comes from Satan in the Bible, including John Milton’s version of Satan in “Paradise Lost.” Major Carnavon exhibits this same prideful nihilism as he applies himself to his mysterious, nefarious quest, which is at the heart of the narrative. The character represents the evil of the world’s system, which is traceable back to chapter five of the Book of Genesis. It is William’s final confrontation with the Major that is the climax of the novel.

What genre do you read most frequently? 
I still read mostly history, but also quite a few novels.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started? 
Writing prose can be a very musical thing. It has a cadence and a rhythm to it that is highly artistic and pleasing to the ear. It is in this area that I believe I have most improved. I have learned to listen to the sound of my own words. Are they clear and concise? Do they have a flow, a movement, a pattern? That is what I’m looking for.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years? 
I would like to continue the story of William’s family and write a series of novels based upon their experiences.

How have your readers responded to the book so far? 
The response to “Liberty Man” has been dramatic and overwhelmingly favorable. I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised at how well people have liked and related to the story, but also how many people have asked when my next book was coming out.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Nobody is particularly crazy about the editing and revision aspect of writing. But I take it as a necessary part of the discipline of writing, and think of it as another step toward the goal of a finished work.

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 don’t recall having writer’s block probably because I do certain disciplinary things to avoid it, to enhance my creative mode. I write at the same time every day. I have learned to just let my thoughts flow without editing, which can come later. I do not sit at a computer while writing, but write longhand in a composition book. I don’t know about anyone else, but these practices help me to stay on point.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
“Liberty Man” is at its core about the essence of storytelling, which is a part of every culture in every epoch on every corner of this planet. Everybody has a story to tell. Stories have this amazing power to heal and restore. We cannot maintain basic human community without stories. So if anyone is looking for an unforgettable story, then “Liberty Man” is worth your time. It is a good read.

An excerpt from "Liberty Man":
January 30, 1781
We march as silent practitioners in the eternal madness of war, slashing through a sea of Carolina mud. Willingly we profane the sanctity of life. Willingly we emerge from the dawn as objects of loathing, as we turn our backs on home and abundance to join in this miserable carnival of torment, this final eclipse of light. 
We are called to a halt, although still in formation. We rest our chins on the tompions of our weapons. General Davidson and his staff splash by us on their horses, directing us toward the Catawba. The British are upon us. I imagine the might of their tread like the rumblings of an earthquake coming toward us, sweeping all in their path. It is whispered that we are to hold them at the fords of the river. This is a preposterous assumption, for we have barely one hundred fifty souls in our column. The reality soon becomes clear. We are to be sacrificed. 
The men are nervously conversational. Some whisper of home and their families. Some speak quietly of death, as if they do not wish the fates to hear of their conversation. Andrew muses about honor, concerned, like many, of how he will meet the onslaught. Do we die ingloriously, crumpled in the mud? Or shall our bones be remembered, our memory admired? 
“Quiet in the ranks,” our captain shouts. “We are close enough to give away our position.” 
I am so weary that I stumble and lean against Scipio. I feel I am dying in small increments.
More Information
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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.
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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.