Book Club Mom’s April, May and June recap

It’s no coincidence that I haven’t posted a monthly recap since this pandemic started. I haven’t felt like there was much to say or report. But now that three months have passed, I thought I’d better get the recaps back on schedule.

I’m sure we are all doing many of the same things. The empty shelves were really frightening to me in the beginning, but now the grocery store seems to be much better stocked. I missed out on the mad paper products run back in March, but we made it through without running out just the same.

I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. Have you?

I’ve mentioned our bird feeder in other posts. It has been a major form of entertainment for us and the subject of many conversations. Here a woodpecker is pretending no one will notice that he’s way too big to be on the feeder. He doesn’t care and jams his beak in there to get whatever he can get.

Last week we had a summer rain right before dinner and soon we had a pretty rainbow. Rainbows never get old, do they?

So, on to the blog. Here are links to my posts in April, May and June, in case you missed them.

Book Reviews

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
The Tenant by Katrine Engberg
A Hero of France by Alan Furst
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey
Yellow Door by C. Faherty Brown
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
Outsider by Linda Castillo

Marian Longenecker Beaman
Jason R. Koivu
Matthew Arnold Stern
Eileen Stephenson
Christy Cooper-Burnett
Cendrine Marrouat
Alice Benson
Lillian McCloy
John W. Howell
Darlene Foster
Dorothy A. Winsor
C. Faherty Brown
Graeme Cumming

Miscellaneous book and blog talk

Short reviews from 2013: The Cay, The Giver and Orphan Train
Blog views and other obsessions – coping with the coronavirus part 2
On animals, nature, books and live feeds
On YouTube today – books coming up and what I’ve been doing
Pretty, colorful and unique book covers
On audiobooks and coloring
Blog views and other obsessions – switching to new WordPress Block Editor on June 1
On virtual book hauling
Book talk – epistolary novels
Celebrating 7 years of blogging!

How are you doing? Did you settle in to this new way of life? Are you now adjusting to re-openings? Leave a comment and tell me how it’s been.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Graeme Cumming

Author name: Graeme Cumming

Genre: Where do I start? Seriously, I’d say I write thrillers, but they often cross genres.

Books: Ravens Gathering; Carrion

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I live in Robin Hood country, so there’s plenty of atmosphere to soak up here. Not that I’ve needed it especially. I’ve enjoyed making up and telling stories since I was a child, though it wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I started taking it more seriously. I have wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction, which is reflected in my writing.

How do you balance your work with other demands? With difficulty, if I’m honest. I’m not the most disciplined person in the world and find it very easy to get side-tracked on to less important things. But I’m getting better as I get older. Mortality is a big motivator.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: There are so many to choose from but, bearing in mind this is about my writing life, I’ll pick out selling my business a few years ago. As an event, it happened with very little fanfare, but it allowed me to take five years off work so I could focus on my writing. I’m near the end of year three, so I’ve got even more motivation now!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? Planner. My latest book, Carrion, was written without a plan, and it’s taken over a decade to get it how it should have been in the first place. From start to publication, Ravens Gathering took just over eighteen months. That’s still a long time, but it went a lot faster because it was planned.

Could you write in a café with people around? I doubt it. I need a lot of space and quietness around me.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Short answer: no.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? A favourite book would be hard to pin down. There are so many good ones, and often in different ways. I suppose the closest I can get to that would be to say that I’ve read Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith more often than any other. Some of it feels dated now, but the closing pages always leave me with a tear in my eye.

Right now, I’m reading The Last Will of Sven Andersen by fellow Indie author Geoff Le Pard. His books always entertain.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  eReader – though I took some convincing in the early days.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. In spite of my preference, I do still enjoy picking up and reading a paperback now and again, and I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of touching an eReader. There’s also the fact that you can’t get an author to sign an eReader – well, you could, but it wouldn’t be as long lasting!

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have done, though probably not the whole thing. Usually it’s because I’ve suddenly found myself at a loose end and don’t have anything else to read from.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Android, I suppose, but really – in spite of what I’ve said about reading on it – I try not to be too attached to it.

How long could you go without checking your phone? The answer to that varies depending on how engaged I am in what I’m doing. If I’m sailing, for example, I can go for hours without touching it. At the other extreme, there are times when I check it every five minutes.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? It’s not something I’ve done in a while. When I did it was usually while I was driving.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Does anyone actually like using social media to promote themselves? Clearly, I do use it, but I don’t feel I’m very good at it. At the moment, aside from my blog, I’m only active on Twitter and Facebook. Of those, I seem to get the better interaction with Facebook.

Website and social media links:
Website: graemecumming.co.uk
Facebook: @GraemeCummingAuthor
Twitter: @GraemeCumming63

Awards/special recognition: Sadly, none I can think of – though I have had some excellent reviews from well-respected book bloggers.


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? C. Faherty Brown

Author name: C. Faherty Brown

Genre: Fiction

Books: Yellow Door; The Sentinel; When I Go; When I Was Little; I Live, When; When You’re Not A Poet; Bring Me Christmas; Make Life Better

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I am number 4 of 8 children. There was nothing extraordinary about my childhood, other than the worlds I lived in when I read books, or the worlds I thought of writing about. I believe I could read and write before I could think. I do not remember not being able to read and write. I remember holding pencils, pens and books. I think I was born to write.

How do you balance your work with other demands? It’s not always easy. But I write, or create, something every day. I work full time as a court investigator. I’ve had a career based in other people’s lives for a very long time. I need to make it a focus to create positive words, vibes, to keep me from focusing on the negative.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Aside from amazing moments of marriage, births, etc., I would have to say when I earned my first black belt. It was a culmination of perseverance on my part, of determination, of empowerment (mental and emotional being more important than the physical). It was a process when I realized I had ability and value.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I don’t plan anything. I write things out as they come to life in my head.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could. I prefer to write alone, undistracted.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have not written dialogue in another language but I have written dialogue based off of other ‘times’ and other cultures.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I am currently reading an older book, My Village, My World. I don’t have a favorite book. But my favorite kind of book is one that lets me become immersed and makes me sad when I am nearing the end of it.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? Paperback.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. Even if only in my house.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Yes. And I have. It has been convenient to have on my phone when I am stuck somewhere unexpectedly. Not my preference though.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? iPhone.

How long could you go without checking your phone? If my brain is occupied, or I am physically active I can go longer than if I am sitting or being bored by something I ‘have’ to do.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have not, yet.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I am not good/great at self-promotion. I ‘do’ it but would prefer to be successful enough to have a team do it for me. 😉 I have used my blog and Instagram to promote.

Website and social media links:
Blog: bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com
Instagram: cfahertyb

Awards/special recognition: For writing, I was ‘fresh pressed’ on WordPress three times.


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

 

Who’s That Indie Author? Dorothy A. Winsor

Author name: Dorothy A. Winsor

Genre: Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy

Books: The Wysman (Inspired Quill, June 2020), The Wind Reader (Inspired Quill, 2018), Deep as a Tomb (Loose Leaves, 2016), Finders Keepers (Zharmae, 2015)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I’m a former English professor who decided that writing YA and MG fantasy was more fun. My first ventures into writing fiction came in the form of Tolkien fanfiction. I didn’t want the story to end, so I wrote more of it myself. I’d read that writers produce a million words of bad stuff before they write well. One of the sites I posted on kept track of your word count and when I hit a million, I figured I was there! So I switched to writing my own stuff.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I schedule my writing time and usually leave my house to do it so I’m not tempted to do something else.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  The birth of my son

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a planner. Having a plan is reassuring, though I feel free to change it once I get to know my characters better and see if my plan will work.

Could you write in a café with people around?  That’s where I usually write. As long as the music isn’t too loud, I’m good.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  No. Sounds tricky.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I’m currently reading Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, which came highly recommended. My favorite book varies. Right now it’s probably Turner’s Queen’s Thief series.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  It really makes no difference to me. Whatever’s at hand.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Absolutely.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No. The screen is too small.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  Android

How long could you go without checking your phone?  An hour or two, probably.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I listen while I drive.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I use both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is mostly old friends and family. Twitter is where I make connections and meet new people.

Website and social media links:
Facebook: Dorothy Winsor
Twitter: @dorothywinsor
Blog: dawinsor.com


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Darlene Foster

Author name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle-Grade Travel/Adventure/Mystery

Books: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask; Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting; Amanda in England: The Missing Novel; Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone; Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music; Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind; Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action; Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady to be released Spring 2021

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I am a Canadian author who has written the Amanda Travels series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves travelling to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. I’ve won prizes for my short stories and have been published in various anthologies. I have also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.

I grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where I dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. I come from a long line of storytellers and have been telling tales for as long as I can remember. My grade three teacher encouraged me to write my stories down, and when I was twelve I had a short story published in a local paper. It was about an amusing experience two young girls have while shopping in a department store. Little did I know, all those years later, I would publish a series of books about two girls having adventures in various countries.

I believe in working hard to make my dreams come true. Over the years, I have had wonderful jobs such as being an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter and retail manager. I would write whenever I had a few spare minutes. I am now retired and write full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people and collecting ideas for my books, I enjoy spending time with my husband and entertaining dog, Dot. Dreams do come true.

How do you balance your work with other demands? When I worked full time, I made sure I wrote two hours every day, usually in the evening after dinner. Now that I´m retired I´m not as organized, but I write every day. I could be at my computer all day, but my dog makes sure I get up and take her for walks and my husband makes sure we eat something together.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: There are many, but the one that comes to mind is the first time I got on an airplane, at age 27, and travelled to the UK. It was a dream come true, and I was so happy and excited. It was the start of my love for travel which eventually launched my writing career.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am a dedicated panster. I have tried planning and it just doesn´t work for me. The only thing I do is create a mind map with the locations that will be in the story. These mind maps are very messy and wouldn´t make sense to anyone else.

Could you write in a café with people around? I haven´t done this but I think I could. Once I get into a story, nothing distracts me. I’ve made notes in cafés as I people watch and listen in on conversations. The thought of sitting in a coffee shop in Spain or France writing away appeals to me.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Because Amanda travels to a different country in each book, I always include some words in the language of the country she is in, which readers say they enjoy. Amanda isn´t fluent in other languages, so I make sure the other characters can speak English and sprinkle in the odd word in their first language.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? That is such a difficult question as I have many favorite books. As a child, one of my favorite books was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and as an adult, I guess it would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. But there are many other books I love. Right now I am reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, and I am loving every word.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I love to read, in any format. I alternate between printed books, both hardcover and paperback, and books on my eReader. Holding an actual book in my hands is still a great feeling.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes, I do. Many folks still like to hold a book in their hands. A funny thing, I found that kids, even in this digital age, still prefer a print book.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I don´t think so as it would be too small for me.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? I love my Android tablet.

How long could you go without checking your phone? I don´t use my phone much as it has limited data and it´s a pay as you go plan so I don´t want to run out of minutes. But, I check my emails and social media constantly on my tablet or laptop, which is distracting while writing. I couldn´t go more than half a day without checking my social media sites.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I don´t listen to audiobooks but I think they are wonderful, especially for the elderly who can no longer read or for someone who does a lot of driving.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I love using social media to market my books. My favorite platform is my WordPress blog.

Website and social media links:
Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog 
Goodreads
Twitter@supermegawoman


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? John W. Howell

Author name: John W. Howell

Genre: Thrillers mostly

Books: My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice, Circumstances of Childhood, The Contract

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I was held prisoner of organized commerce for over forty years. Once I broke out, I started doing what I had wanted to do for all those forty years and that’s write. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So far, I have five books published and have finished the sixth which should be ready in June. I live in Lakeway, Texas with my wife and our spoiled rescue pets.

How do you balance your work with other demands? My writing comes first and then after it is done, I spend no less than three hours on other than writing projects. So, my day really breaks down into writing and non-writing. I never spend a whole day doing one or the other exclusively. I think balance is achieved by doing a little of both every day.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: I have to say one of the happiest moments of my life was the birth of my daughter. The labor was long and hard, and she was born breach. I was so worried and when I finally held her in my arms and looked into her face, I could almost not contain my joy.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am a dyed in the wool pantser. Most of the time I allow the characters and the story to carry themselves. I do have a rough idea of where I want the story to go but do rely heavily on going with the seat of my pants. One thing I do is lay out the last three lines of the story. In this way I at least know where all this “pantsering” will need to end up.

Could you write in a café with people around? I can write anywhere. I don’t need silence to concentrate. Right now, I’m writing outside while Twiggy my French Bulldog is having a shouting match with the neighbor’s dog.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have only done a couple of lines of dialog in German. The way I did it was to Google ‘English to German translation,’ and up popped a neat translation engine. I typed in the English phrase and out came the German.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? My favorite book caused me to want to become a writer. It was On the Beach by Neville Shute. What fascinated me was how the characters all dealt with the fact they were going to die. Right now, I am reading one of Mae Clair’s Hodes Hill thrillers, Eventide.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I was about to say “propped up in bed” but then re-read the question carefully. I used to be a purist in only reading hardcovers. Then I got a Kindle about seven years ago and as they say, my life changed. The idea of being able to get any book I want in ten seconds convinced me that the Kindle was my reading device of choice.

Do you think print books will always be around? I think there will always be a demand for printed books. There is something to be said for holding an actual book in your hands that the Kindle does not replicate.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I suppose I would if there was no other way. Call me crazy but I don’t see my phone and me reading books together.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? iPhone

How long could you go without checking your phone? I never check my phone anymore. I have it on silent and totally ignore it. I have to confess I also have an Apple Watch. It constantly looks at my phone and then tells me everything I need to know instantly. (I know it’s cheating.)

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have not gotten into audiobooks. I do want to convert mine but am trying to figure the best way to do it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I like Twitter, my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Website and social media links:
Blog – Fiction Favorites with John W. Howell: johnwhowell.com
Facebook: John Howell
Twitter: @HowellWave
Authorsdb: John W. Howell
LinkedIn: John W. Howell
Goodreads Author: John W. Howell
Amazon Author: John W. Howell

Awards/special recognition: Honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition. Circumstances of Childhood – Finalist Top Shelf Indie Awards. The Contract – Finalist Indie Book Awards. Winner American Fiction Awards. Semi-Finalist Chanticleer International Book Awards. Finalist IAN Book of the Year Awards


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Lillian McCloy

Author name:  Lillian McCloy

Genre:  Memoir / Travel Literature / Espionage

Book:  Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover and Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I was always a writer, since I was six years old. I wrote stories on the middle pages of my notebooks in school. Sometimes I would add pictures to go with the stories. Genius.

I grew up in Canada. I became a big band jazz singer and also worked as a secretary and a paralegal.  After I moved to San Francisco, I became Melvin Belli’s secretary. That’s when I met my husband Frank.

I write for pleasure, but I don’t really know the answer to how I came to write my memoir. I may have felt the need to write my story down after my house and everything burned in the 1991 Oakland hills fire. I wrote my manuscript a year later.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Well, I am 94 years old, so this isn’t an issue for me. I’m blind from macular degeneration. I have no other demands.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Hmmm. I couldn’t answer that succinctly. I’d have to think about that for a while.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a planner. I’m a Capricorn and I’m very organized.

Could you write in a café with people around?  No, I like solitude and quiet.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? No, I haven’t.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  My favorite book is Little Women, which I read when I was seventeen. And it’s still my favorite book. I am not reading now at all, because I am disabled, but I’ve always loved reading and having stacks of books from the library. Unfortunately, I am not able to read anymore. I miss it terribly.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I don’t even know what an eReader is. That was after my time. I prefer a hardcover. I like the smell of a book.

Do you think print books will always be around?  No. Sadly, I don’t think so. I think it won’t be very long before they just don’t bother anymore.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No, I wouldn’t.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  A standard phone (landline) does me just fine.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Always. I never check my phone. I wouldn’t know how to check a phone. Mine just rings.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I don’t listen to audiobooks because I don’t enjoy it. I think there’s too much acting going on with the voice. If everyone read books in a plain reading voice, I probably would enjoy it. They’re always trying too much to dramatize, and I don’t like that.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  My daughter Johanna has done all of my promotion. She says she does it on a dedicated Facebook page.

Website and social media links:
Website: bordertownpublishing.com
Facebook: bordertownpublishing

Awards/special recognition:  Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly 2017


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Alice Benson

Author name:  Alice Benson

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Books:  A Year in Her Life (2019), Her Life is Showing (2014)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I’m a writer, a reader, a spouse, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, and a dog lover. I recently retired from a job in the human service field, but I have part-time work to help me make the transition. Spending time with family and friends is a constant priority. I also belong to a number of social action groups, focused on ending violence and promoting racial justice.

I’ve always loved to read. Some of my happiest childhood memories are days spent lying in the shade of a walnut tree with a bag of cherries and a book. I love words and I dreamed of writing something that other people would find meaningful.  I’ve written for the majority of my life, but mostly I wrote pieces of things: rough drafts of stories, half an essay, one act of a play, and small pieces of a novel. When my children grew to adults and moved away from home, I decided to get serious. I found a class and a teacher, and I took pieces I’d written and strung them together into the cohesive story I wanted to tell for my first novel. After that, I just kept writing.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I’m not as disciplined as I could be. I do my best writing in the morning, so I try to get up early and write for an hour or two every morning before I jump into the day.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Not to be a cliché, but giving birth to my three children was amazing. Receiving that first book contract from my publisher was a close second.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m definitely a “pantser.” I don’t outline or plan ahead. I just start writing and see where it takes me. Often, I start with one idea in mind and end up in a completely different place, because the writing takes on a life of its own.  I once wrote a story about a stripper who gets bitten by a monkey. I started it as a light, humorous piece, but it changed into a darker, more intense story about sexual abuse and lost dreams.

Could you write in a café with people around?  I write in cafés fairly often. I have a writing group I get together with in a coffee shop twice a month. It’s great motivation to just write for two hours.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I wish I knew another language well enough to write dialogue in it, but I don’t.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I don’t have a favorite book, but I’ve been touched by the writing of Roxane Gay, Therese Mailhot, Celeste Ng, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, and Kathie Giorgio, among many others. I recently read Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and loved it. I enjoy a variety of genres, and reading great writers inspires my writing to be better. At least, I hope so.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Paperbacks are my favorite.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I believe we will always have print books. There’s nothing to take the place of the feeling of the pages.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I read on my phone now and then. It’s nice to have a book always available.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I have an iPhone.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I love movies and always turn off my phone, so I can go at least 2 hours.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I listen to audiobooks while walking my dogs. I’ve been able to increase the number of books I read in a year by listening to audiobooks.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  As many writers do, I find marketing and self-promotion challenging. I think Twitter is my favorite platform, because I’ve found so many supportive writers in the Twitter community.

Website and social media links:
Website: alicebensonauthor.com
Twitter: @Alice19Benson
Facebook: Author Alice Benson
Instagram: abenson59


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Cendrine Marrouat

Author name:  Cendrine Marrouat

Genre:  Poetry, photography, theatre, humor, guides for authors and writers

Books: Click here for a full list of Cendrine’s books. Below is a list of 2020 titles:

Blog Your Way to Success: 35+ No-Nonsense Tips for Authors and Writers (upcoming); Songs in Our Paths: Haiku & Photography (Vol. 1 upcoming); Bad. Pitches. Period. 30 Flavors of Spammy Emails; My Positivity Journal: 100 Action Verbs and Affirmations for Daily Inspiration – co-authored with David Ellis; My Twitter Workbook: 20 Tips to Get Noticed and Followed – co-authored with David Ellis; The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It & Win (2nd Ed.); My Poetry Workbook: 20 Tips to Write Great Poems– co-authored with David Ellis; My Marketing Workbook: Promotional Tips For Poets – co-authored with David Ellis; My Creative Journal: 40 Prompts to Take Your Writing to the Next Level! – co-authored with David Ellis; The Heart of Space

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I was born and raised in Toulouse, France, and have lived in Winnipeg, Canada, since 2003. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English-to-French translation.

In my 17-year career, I have acquired a vast experience in several fields: translation, language instruction, social media coaching and training, content creation and curation, photography, poetry, theatre, art reviews, blogging, and journalism. I am the author of 23 books in different genres.

Last year, I co-founded Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal with fellow author and poet David Ellis. Our magazine focuses exclusively on positive, inspirational and uplifting poetry. We have also co-authored a series of mini-guides for authors and writers.

In 2019, photographer Isabel Nolasco and I co-founded FPoint Collective, a collective of photographers. There are currently three members.

I am the creator of the Sixku (poetry form) and the Reminigram (photography genre). As a photographer, I specialize in nature, closeup, and black-and-white images. I also teach French to adults and occasionally advise clients on social media strategy.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Very early in my career, I learnt how to prioritize tasks and organize myself accordingly. It makes everything easier

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  The day when someone compared the style in one of my books to Kahlil Gibran’s!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I always start with a title. Then, I take the time I need to complete a project. The only planning I ever did was for my play, titled In the Silence of Words.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Yes, I occasionally do. But solitude is my jam.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  French is my mother tongue but I have always prefererd writing in English. I worked hard and practiced a lot. Also, I have only expected the best from myself.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. This book saved my life. I have just finished reading Robert Harms’ The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds Of The Slave Trade and am about to start Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  It’s hard for me to concentrate on a screen. I only use my Kindle Fire when I am on a trip or for short books. Nothing beats print books. Paperbacks are great!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Of course! Actually, they have never been threatened.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Nope!

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My computer.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I was born and raised in an era when smartphones didn’t exist. My first “cellphone” was a pager and I heard of the internet for the first time when I was 17 or 18. I sent my first email a year later.

Smartphones can be useful but they are useless when you mostly work from home. I have everything I need on my computer. Some days, I do not even look at my phone.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I don’t listen to audiobooks.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  As a social media coach, I love social media! I have used Twitter, Facebook, Linked, and LinkedIn for a very long time. Instagram is also a decent platform.

My favorite network has always been Twitter. There are many authors and readers there!

Website and social media links:
Website: cendrinemedia.com
Blog: creativeramblings.com
Twitter: @cendrinemedia
Facebook: @cendrinephotography
Instagram: cendrinemedia
YouTube: Cendrine Marrouat

Awards/special recognition:  Canadian Geographic: Photo shortlisted to appear in the 2021 Canadian Parks calendar; 2015 SMALL BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS: Community Choice vote winner in the Social Media Category (The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win); BUZZHUMM: Top 100 Business Blogger; FIT SMALL BUSINESS: Best Small Business Blogs of 2015 and 2016 lists (Social Media Slant, my former social media blog)


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Christy Cooper-Burnett

Author name:  Christy Cooper-Burnett

Genre:  Adventure, Light Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Book:  No Way Home

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I spent many years in the corporate world and began writing my novel on lunch hours and weekends. Although I began my writing career later in life, I found it a wonderful source of stress relief, and stuck with it. After completing my book, I took a chance and sent it out to small publishers to see if there was any interest. No one was more surprised than me when I received four contract offers.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I am lucky that I was able to retire early so I can write full-time now. While still in the workforce, it was difficult to find time to write more than a few hours a week. However, I always made sure to carve out a few hours of ‘me’ time to do so. I think it is important for women to take time for themselves and do something they enjoy, something that is all theirs. Between work and family, it is easy to neglect our own needs at times.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Hands down, the day my son was born was the happiest of my life. However, receiving a publishing offer was a close second! It was a validation that my writing was good enough to share with the world, and that was a defining moment for me.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m definitely a planner. While I do not need to have a formal outline for a book, I do need to have a complete storyline mapped out in my head. Subplots will materialize as I write, but I find that once I have the basic storyline settled it is far easier and faster to move forward. I do take notes on research though as organization is a must for me.

Could you write in a café with people around?  I could, yes. Because I began writing in my office during lunch hours, there was constant noise and activity around me. I think I trained myself to shut out the distractions as I do not need quiet in order to write.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I have not. I’m not sure how successful I would be at that as I am not bilingual. I would require an online translator and that may be a train wreck waiting to happen!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I don’t think I can choose just one book. There are several books I thought were so well written and entertaining that I have read them twice. For instance, Justin Cronin’s The Passage and City of Mirrors. I have also read William R. Forstchen’s One Second After series twice. I just finished a wonderful book, Dear Dad, A Novel by John Hazen.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I have always thought that holding a print book, whether hardcover or paperback, is part of the experience for me. However, I am beginning to come around to the eReader. My last few books have been on Kindle.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I hope so! I know the trend and forecast is that eBooks will eventually take over. But there is something so magical about the weight of a book in your hands, the smell of a new book, the weathering and history of an old book that will always draw me in.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Yes, I have read books on my phone in the past but given the choice I would always opt for an actual book.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? iPhone.  It’s easy to navigate for people in my age group. LOL

How long could you go without checking your phone?  The only reason my phone is typically with me is because my son lives eight hundred miles away and I never want to miss a call from him. If that were out of the equation, I could go all day and be happy without my phone.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I have never been able to get into audiobooks. I enjoy reading the words and building the story in my mind. When I read dialogue, I like to imagine the tone and inflection in the characters voice. There is something exciting about turning the pages and anticipating what is coming next that I can’t get with an audiobook.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  Yes, I do. I think social media is vital to an emerging author such as myself. My favorite platform is Facebook, because it is more personal than twitter in my experience. Twitter tends to be a quick post and then people move on. I think Facebook is more relationship centric.

Website and social media links:
Website: christycooperburnett.com
Facebook: Christy Cooper-Burnett Author
Instagram: christycooperburnett
Goodreads Author: Christy Cooper-Burnett

Awards/special recognition:  I do not have any awards as of yet, however, my publisher will enter my book into the Pencraft and Maxy Awards this year.


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.