Monday, September 17, 2007

INTERVIEW FIVE

It is exciting to have another young adult author visit my site and share a little bit of herself with us. We have a lot in common and I am pleased to introduce this week's interviewee: young adult author, Grace E. Howell.

True Friends is Grace's latest YA novel and is available from Echelon Press at http://echelonpress.netfirms.com/Ech... or via e-book from Fictionwise at http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/m... .

Also, coming soon from Echelon Press is Grace's fiction e-book, Severed Bond, a short story for grown-ups.

Check out her website at http://www.graceehowell.com/ to find out all the latest on this wonderful YA author.

I am thrilled to welcome Grace to my website.

Check out our interview below:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, the genre you write, and about your latest project.

Answer:
I have loved reading and writing since my earliest school days and would curl up in the corner of the couch lost in a book until my mother said, "Get your nose out of that book and . . ." Naturally when I thought about writing for publication I knew I wanted to write for children and young adults because I want to share with young readers the same joy that I had reading a good book. As a classroom teacher and a school librarian nothing gave me greater pleasure than finding the right book for the right reader. My first published novel, is True Friends released in 2005 by Echelon Press. It is the story of 1918 Annie who must give up her tomboy days with the boys and become a proper girl. As she worries about her brother overseas in the army, Annie must deal with accusations and prejudice at home until the Spanish flu unites the neighborhood with tragedy and loss.

2. Did you choose your present genre; or did the genre choose you?

Answer:
In a way True Friends which is historical fiction chose me. I had heard many stories of World War I and the flu epidemic from people who had lived through it, or their parents had. This became a story I had to write. I don't think I prefer one particular genre because I like to read and write in various genres. I still have a number of historical stories in my head, but now I am working on a contemporary, realistic fiction series about three seventh grade misfits who reluctantly develop a friendship.

3. What would be a typical day for you, as a day in the life of a writer?

Answer:
I like to get to my computer early, after breakfast and exercises. I may get there on time, but then they start, the interruptions by phone, family, doorbell, etc. until all creative thoughts are battered and bruised trying to compete for my attention. What I would like to say is a typical day would begin with answering emails, then writing undisturbed for a couple of hours when I would break for a walk outside in my garden with a cup of coffee or tea. Back to the computer, writing until hunger pangs announced lunch time. After lunch would be another undisturbed time of writing. Is that a dream or what? That's my schedule, but it seldom happens that way.

4. Have you always wanted to write?

Answer:
Yes, since the day I learned to read.

5. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

Answer:
Ideas spring up from everywhere constantly, so many I can't begin to pursue them all. I get ideas from whatever I see, hear, read, experience in some way, a person, an animal, a newspaper article, an overheard conversation, on and on.

6. Are any of your characters based on real people?

Answer:
Most of my characters are strictly invented using bits and pieces of people I've seen or met combined with my imagination. But the Bolman family in True Friends is patterned after my grandparents and their children. My mother would have been Rose.

7. If you could be any one of your characters, which one would you be and why?

Answer:
I know and love all my characters, but I'm not sure I would want to be any one of them any more than I would want to be somebody else I know. I would like to meet and interact with the characters I write about. But invented characters as well as real people have problems and quirks that may be harder to handle than what I'm blessed with. So I guess I'll have to be my characters, and they are part of me, only as writer and reader.

8. Do you do research for your novels? What was the most interesting person, place or thing you have researched?

Answer:
I do a lot of research, especially for historical fiction, but a contemporary story also involves a great deal of research. Before writing True Friends, I pictured people listening to the radio for news of the war. A little research taught me that radios did not exist for the public during World War I. The story I'm working on now is a contemporary story, Unlikely Alliance—DOGS!, and I studied Siberian Huskies, phobias, dogfights, cerebral palsy, and many other topics for it. In Severed Bond, a short story with a touch of the supernatural soon to be released by Echelon Press as an e-book, I had to research mounted police and nursing homes. I may do more research than necessary, but I have a horror of a reader finding a mistake in one of my books and losing respect for me as a writer.

9. Have you ever had writer’s block? And what do you do to overcome it?

Answer:
Not really. If I start wondering how I should write a scene I can either take a walk or a shower and the ideas and words begin to flow.

10. Do you have any advice for the young writer just starting out?

Answer:
Write what you know and have fun with your writing.

11. And just for fun, if you could be a Transformer, which would you be? An Autobot (the good bots) or a Decepticon (the evil bots)?

Answer:
As I want nothing to do with machines smarter than I am, I would avoid Transformers with all my power. But since you asked, I'm always on the good side in the battle against evil so I'd have to be an Autobot.

Thx so much, Grace!

Stay tuned! And check back regularly for a new interview!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

WEEK FOUR

On to the fourth interview of many more to come of some really great Echelon authors.

This week's interviewee is romance author, Anne Carter, who also writes young adult fiction as Pam Ripling.

Point Surrender is Anne's latest paranormal romance from Echelon Press and is available at (http://www.amazon.com/Point-Surrende... ) in paperback or via e-book from (http://www.bebo.com/Link.jsp?Url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fictionwise.com%2FeBooks%2FeBook46043.htm%3Fcached ).

Anne is also the author of StarCrossed Lovers, and A Hero's Promise, and coming soon, the third installment of the Starcrossed series, The Gypsy in Me. Check out as well, Anne's e-book novellas Starfire and When Harry met Soli.

As Pam Ripling, coming soon is her new young adult novel, Locker Shocker, from Echelon Press.

Check out Anne/Pam's website at ( http://www.bebo.com/Link.jsp?Url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.beaconstreetbooks.com%2F ) for more information about all her novels!

I am very excited to welcome Anne/Pam to my blog!

Check out our interview below!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and the genre you write.

Answer:
I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt; I'm a bookkeeper, a photographer, an ordained celebrant; a Virgo, a procrastinator, a lover of Mexican food and chocolate. I am a PTA Treasurer, a driver, a movie nut. Oh, yeah, and I am a published author.

I started writing in what they now call middle school, and got serious about it as an adult. My first publishing credit was for a poem in a magazine, then a short story in Thema. I wrote a lot of short, literary stories, then started on a romance which ultimately became a novel and then a qualified tome. I was published electronically at first, then in print-on-demand, and eventually, small press trade paperback.

2. Did you choose your present genre; or did the genre choose you?

Answer:
I was chosen, I suppose. I have never given it much thought, which means I probably didn't do any choosing.

3. Have you always wanted to write?

Answer:
In a word, yes. More like, needed to write.

4. What would be a typical day for you, as a day in the life of a writer?

Answer:
There are no typical days in my life. In an ideal world, I would be like Nora Roberts, I'd get up, grab a cuppa joe, sit down and write until mid day, get up, stretch, take a walk in the garden or play with my lovey-dovey Golden Sandie. Then I'd sit back down and write until dinner time.As it is, I sit down late at night after all the chores are done, and "steal" a precious hour or so; I sneak away from accounting long enough to pen a chapter midday; I clear the calendar for a hookie day when I am hot on a story. It is, sadly, hit-and-miss.

5. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

Answer:
Don't know. They just arrive fully formed in my head. But I will say that I have always been the observant type; I am always watching people, imagining what they are about. I am always looking at the details of the setting I am in. I just returned from 6 days in London, and my brain was hurting from all the input I had to store away. I started thinking right away about how I could steer my WIP into Great Britain for a scene or two...

6. Are any of your characters based on real people?

Answer:
Yes-ish. Like many authors, I often pick a public figure or celebrity to be the base model for my character, then alter them as I go along. In the end they may not really resemble the model figure, but something entirely different as they seem to "grow" their own personality.In STARCROSSED HEARTS, one of my heroes was based on a young Paul Newman. My heroine started off as my favorite actress, Jane Seymour. I find when I don't start with a known, I have more trouble developing the character. Whom I choose might depend on who I've recently become familiar with.

In POINT SURRENDER, my hero, Case McKenna, would have been played by Lord of the Rings medieval hunk, Viggo Mortenson.

7. If you could be any one of your characters, which one would you be, and why?

Answer:
Amy Winslow in POINT SURRENDER, because I am already in love with Case McKenna. (see above!) LOL. Plus the fact that she gets to live in a lighthouse. What could be more fun?

8. Do you do research for your novels? What was the most interesting person, place or thing you have researched?

Answer:
Speaking of lighthouses... I was privileged to stay in a lighthouse while penning the last few chapters of POINT SURRENDER. Talk about inspiration! And yes, I do lots of research. It's part of the fun. I learn a lot, I want my readers to learn, too, without knowing they are being taught. My WIP, CAPE SEDUCTION, takes place in both 2008 and 1948. The research for this book is really involving and very interesting. 1948 was a fascinating time in California.

9. Have you ever had writer’s block? If yes, what have you done to overcome it?

Answer:
Writer's Block? What's that? Okay, once or twice I've been stymied (is that the word?) But I've come to realize that if it happens, to me, it's usually because my story has taken the wrong turn. I try to go back to where that happened and go in a different direction.

10. Do you have any advice for the young writer just starting out?

Answer:
As a matter of fact, yes. Aside from the usual advice, such as Read! Read! Read! and Write! Write! Write!, I have to also say, start working on promotion early. Name recognition. Even if you are unpublished, start building a readership in advance. This is something I wish I'd done. There are so many places on-line to get your name out there, for free, it's a shame to not utilize them. Blogs, reviews, articles, comments, websites, etc. I've been preaching this to new Echelon teen author Alyssa Montgomery.

11. And just for fun, if you could be a Transformer, which would you be? An Autobot (the good bots) or a Decepticon (the evil bots)? =D

Answer:
I would be an Autobot. I would be a Mazda Miata that turns into a giant photographer taking pictures of all the action... while writing down notes at the same time...

Thanks, K.C., for a terrific interview!

Thank you so much, Anne, and Pam too ! =D

Stay tuned! And check back each week for a new interview!