Who’s That Indie Author? Jonathan Pongratz

Author Name: Jonathan Pongratz

Genre: Horror/Scifi/ Fantasy

Books: Conscience, Reaper: A Horror Novella

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I wish! During the week I do finance work for a legal firm. It may be a bit boring, but it certainly pays the bills!

Favorite author/books: Shutter by Courtney Alameda, Scythe by Neal Shusterman, and Battlecry by Emerald Dodge.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? Hard to say exactly. My need to read has probably influenced me the most. Reading fuels my inspiration to write.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? Nope.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: Nope.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Definitely an early bird. During the week I sometimes get up as early as 4am! Do I like it? Not really, but it’s how I get things done.

How do you get over a writing slump? Honestly, I just keep writing. If I feel a writing slump coming, I write even more to try and beat it. It will pass eventually.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Both are intrinsically linked to a balanced story, so I would say both. Sometimes you need dialogue to move the story, other times you need the setting to do the work for you.

What are you working on now? I’m working on the sequel to Reaper: A Horror Novella. I’m chiseling out the first draft and hoping to get this baby published by end of year or early 2021.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Keep at it. Set aside time for writing and force yourself to commit to it.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Yes! I prefer true crime, anything paranormal, and a little bit of comedy.

Favorite escape: A book or somewhere rural and scenic.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No, but a friend let me smell Kombucha once and that pretty much sealed my disdain for it.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? What is life without pillows, tons and tons of pillows?

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I very much enjoy raking leaves. No idea why. Sign me up!

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Plain fabric. I have some black ones that are great.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Keeping up with life and wellness. Things have somehow gotten much busier than they were pre-Covid.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.jonathanpongratz.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanpongratz
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/jonathanpongratz
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jonathan-pongratz
Tumblr: https://jonathanpongratz.tumblr.com/


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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.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Berthold Gambrel

Author name:  Berthold Gambrel

Genre:  Science-Fiction, Horror, Fantasy

BooksThe Directorate, The House of Teufelvelt, 1NG4, Vespasian Moon’s Fabulous Autumn Carnival.

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? When I was in college, I read a lot of horror fiction while hanging out between classes, and at some point I started thinking, I could write something better than this. As it turned out, I really couldn’t—looking back, most of my early horror stories were pretty weak—but I got better at writing in other genres, in particular science fiction. More significantly, I discovered I really enjoyed doing it.

How do you balance your work with other demands? It’s a struggle. Sometimes, when I have an idea I really like, I’ll stay up late at night on weeknights writing to get it all down as fast as I can. Other times, I feel like I can’t write a word even when I have the whole day to myself. The main thing is forcing myself to refrain from time-wasting activities and focusing on writing whenever I have the free time.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Getting my first job. I was over the moon.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a pantser” or a planner?  Some combination of both. I usually come up with a general outline of points I want to hit, but I take a very loose approach about getting to them. Sometimes as I’m “filling in” my outline, I’ll come up with a new idea that I want to work in to the story that changes the whole thing.

Could you write in a café with people around?  The people, I could ignore. The food and the coffee could be harder. 🙂

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I’ve never written in another language. I have written one (unpublished) novella that features a character who speaks entirely in Shakespearean iambic pentameter. At first, it was brutal and I wondered why I was even doing it. By the end, it felt incredibly natural, and unconsciously / I found my pen did lapse with greatest ease / into that arcane, forbidding style.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  My favorite book! Oh, that’s a hard question. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is certainly a contender, but it’s a collection of short stories. A Confederacy of Dunces is a great novel, as are most of Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels. Currently, I’m reading Hyperlink from Hell by Lindy Moone. It’s a very unique book; I can’t wait to write a review.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  eReader every day of the week!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Probably not—come the year 3000 they’ll likely have been replaced by something else.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have a flip-phone, so it would be impractical. That said, if a book somehow could somehow be put on it, and I had nothing else to read, I’d probably try.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My ancient iPad 2.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  An hour and a half. I know this because I don’t take my phone when I work out, and that’s how long it takes.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I love audiobooks. I listen to them sometimes while playing video games or working on mindless computer tasks.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I do use it for self-promotion, although I feel dirty whenever I do. More fun is using it to discover and promote other indie authors. I’ve met so many wonderful, talented people this way! Twitter is my favorite platform for discovering other authors, WordPress is my favorite for posting reviews and other writings.

Website and social media links:

Blog: https://ruinedchapel.com
Twitter: @BertholdGambrel


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kit Falbo

Author name: Kit Falbo

Genre: Science Fiction – Fantasy

Books: The Crafting of Chess, Intelligence Block

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? Books were my best friends during the entirety of my teenage years. They presented my first mental experiences of many ideas and concepts more than shows or television. How could I not want to write? It just takes a long time and a lot of thinking to get decent. I took college classes, read hundreds of books, dedicated hours and hours. Still, I had to be almost forty before I completed one.  Hard work and practice, how you master anything.

My youth consisted of studying people when I was not hiding in books. I’m autistic, though that wasn’t a thing at the time. To most I was just weird. A valuable tool, studying people, for writers. Then I continued that in college by getting a degree in psychology. I graduated and spent a hellish near decade in Texas, having stumbled out the gate during the post 9/11 recession. A rocky journey back to Oregon, two kids, trials and tribulations of life, and now I finally have books out. I’m currently juggling life and writing in the hopes of getting more works of fiction out for my small group of fans.

How do you balance your work with other demands? Poorly. I find myself sometimes being imperfect at everything, including writing, in order to get everything done. This makes me more of a generalist where people are dissatisfied with any aspect of my work, rather than an expert who gets things done with laser focus. I juggle kids, writing, housework, relationships, bills, etc. Often literally juggling, instead of balancing. Sometimes I drop things and break a few eggs.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Marrying my wife. Now I’m contractually obligated to not be alone. (kidding). Still going strong.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I’m a pantser with plans, and my pantsing changes my plans.  I can, and often go without a plan until I have one form. Then once I have one form, it can change if an odd line becomes a major plot thread.

Could you write in a café with people around? Certainly easier than trying to write at home with kids around and something like Super Monsters on in the background. Some noise you can filter out. Others drills into your soul and destroys your brain cells.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Fictional languages yes. Real languages no. When I’m in control of all the rules, I have as many cheats as I want. One of the things I love about fiction.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I don’t have a favorite book. I have many favorite books. No one is king. Diana Wynne Jones, maybe as the author of my youth. As for what I’m reading right now, I haven’t quite decided yet. I’m between books.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I have an ancient paperwhite e-reader that has been known to die and work again on and off at times. Just not as much of a fan of the new ones. I do enjoy a book paper book though.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. There was a big debate, but it is clearly settled. As long as there is reading, print books will be around. I just want more people to read. Sure, my books included, just in general as well.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Web novels generally. Things on Royal Road that appear every week or so. A whole book, not as much. Though by reading web novels, I know I’ve read more than most novel lengths of works on my phone.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Whichever one my wife buys me. Since I’m cost concerned, usually Android. I hardly see a point in paying for the Apple brand, unless they want to sponsor me.  I will take sponsorships, they are not beneath me. Product placements even if they pay is right.

How long could you go without checking your phone? Too many responsibilities to go too long without checking. Back before I had kids I could go a day or two. Now, every hour I should check. Just in case I’m needed for an emergency.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I actually don’t. I feel that puts me at a disadvantage with the audiobook aspect of my books. I am working on trying to get audiobook versions out. If I could do it myself I would, but no one wants to hear me speak for hours on end, let alone myself. One day they will be out.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? My favorite one is doing guest posts for blogs. I like to educate and inform. It is probably my least productive part of social media due to the fact that I doubt I get many new readers that way. It is still my favorite. I feel more productive doing an article on crafting believable characters or trauma in writing vs. tweeting out.

Website and social media links:  www.kitfalbo.com (mailing list actually doesn’t work, I need to go in and fix stuff but don’t have time)

Twitter: @WritesKit
Facebook: Kit Falbo, Author
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/KitFalbo

Awards/special recognition: https://www.levelup.pub/bestlitrpg  (#6)


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Who’s That Indie Author? Wendy L. Koenig

Author name:  Wendy L. Koenig

Genre:  Science Fiction, Young Adult Children’s, Fantasy Romance, Mystery

Books:  Sentient, Insurrection, One to Lose, The Last Griffin, Birthright, Boo and Oscar in the Fantastic Fudge Fiasco, Boo and Oscar in the Terrible Trouble on the Tobique, Frozen Fire, Under Twin Suns

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I was born in Colorado, but raised on a small homestead in Illinois. I served in the USAF right out of high school. After my stint in the military was finished, I returned home and had a horse stable. My first piece to be printed was a short children’s fiction, “Jet’s Stormy Adventure,” serialized in The Illinois Horse Network. It was a natural fit, given my business. Later, I attended University of Iowa’s famed workshops and writing programs. Since that time, I have authored and co-authored numerous books. Several of my novels and short stories have won international awards and have appeared in multiple venues. I write because I want to read the story.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I’m stubborn.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Seeing a fan show his friends my signature on his book

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Pantser until the main skeleton is written, then a planner for the subplots.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Often do.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I don’t. My husband is French Canadian. He translated my two French children’s books.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Favorite book of all time is Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre. Reading a Jack Reacher now.

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

Do you think print books will always be around?  Absolutely. It’s a comfort thing. You just don’t get that from an eBook.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have.

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

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I actually don’t text much, so probably a while.

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?  Facebook and Instagram.

Website and social media links:
Website:  wendylkoenig.com
Facebook:  @WendyLKoenig
Twitter:  @wlkoenig
Pinterest: pinterest.ca/wlkoenig

Awards/special recognition: Under Twin Suns – 2nd place Novel Abilene Writer’s guild International Competition 2005, 2nd Honorable Mention Novel Chapter CNW/FFWA International Writing Competition 2005

Searching for Sardan – 1st place Short fiction Abilene writers’ guild International Competition 2005

Sentient (Spinning the Tides) – 2nd Honorable Mention Sci-Fi/Horror Frontiers in Writing International Competition 2007

“I Will Remember You” (poem) – America’s Best Emerging Poets 2018


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Book Review: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon
by
Daniel Keyes

Rating:

Do scientists and doctors have the right to tamper with a person’s brain power?

In a return to the classics, here’s an excellent science fiction novel that looks at this important ethical question. The story is about Charlie Gordon, a thirty-two-year-old man with a low IQ. Committed to a state home as a teenager, now he is out. He’s living in a rooming house and working at a bakery in New York, all through the help of a family friend. He is happy, has friends at work and friends at his school, where he has worked hard to learn how to read and write.

Because of Charlie’s impressive motivation, Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss from Beekman University determine he is an excellent candidate for an experimental procedure to increase intelligence, one that has only been performed on mice. Algernon is their superstar mouse that has learned how to navigate through complicated mazes. Now Nemur and Strauss want to take it to the next level.

Charlie is willing. “After the operashun Im gonna try to be smart. Im gonna try awful hard,” he writes.

The surgery is a seeming success and Charlie’s intelligence increases, at first slowly, but later at a fantastic rate. Soon he is reading voraciously and learning ancient languages, complex theories, sciences, history, economics and classic literature and eventually surpassing Nemur and Strauss. But Charlie’s emotional intelligence is woefully behind and he doesn’t know what to do with the many new strong and complex feelings he experiences.

Through memory recall, Charlie begins to understand that the people in his life had been cruel to him, with their hurtful jokes and abuse, and that he had played a part in their jokes. “That hurts most of all,” he writes.

In addition, memories of his mother’s shame and embarrassment and her ultimate rejection make Charlie’s new knowledge painful. Even Nemur and Strauss treat him as an experiment and not as a human, forgetting that he was already a person with feelings before the surgery.

At his intellectual peak, Charlie detects a flaw in the theory and foresees his decline. How will it end as Algernon runs through his maze and Charlie navigates his own complicated path? With limited time, Charlie will try to figure it out. He writes, “I see now that the path I choose through that maze makes me what I am.”

Flowers for Algernon began as a short story in 1959. In 1960, it won the Hugo Award for best short story. The novel was published in 1966 and was the joint winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. No surprise that both forms won awards. Despite being an older story, Flowers for Algernon raises important points about human feelings and the ethics of scientific experimentation.

Charly is the 1968 film adaptation – I’ll be watching that soon as part of my library’s summer reading challenge to watch a movie based on a book!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? D. Wallace Peach

Author name:  D. Wallace Peach

Genre:  Fantasy/Science Fiction

Books:

The Shattered Sea duology – Soul Swallowers and Legacy of Souls; The Rose Shield series – Catling’s Bane, Oathbreakers’ Guild, Farlanders’ Law, and Kari’s Reckoning; The Dragon Soul Saga – Myths of the Mirror, Eye of Fire, Eye of Blind, and Eye of Sun; Stand-alones – The Sorcerer’s Garden, Sunwielder, The Bone Wall, The Melding of Aeris; Anthology – The Five Elements; Children’s Book – Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  Totally by accident!  I’d dabbled in writing for years but never considered it a real possibility. Then a temporary move for my husband’s work left me jobless with some rare free time to fill. The dear man suggested that I write a book. Well, the rest is history.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Balance is one of those things I don’t negotiate well. It’s one reason I never considered writing while raising kids or working outside the home. Now, I’m attempting to balance aging parents and grandchildren, and it’s not easy to make time for the laptop. When things get busy, what do I let slide? Housework!

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  That’s an easy one. The birth of my daughter. It was true love at first sight, and that’s never changed.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I started writing as a pantser and loved following my characters on the most circuitous tangents. My first book was a 190,000-word masterpiece – a horrible one, needless to say. I had to cut 63,000 words to entice a publisher to even glance at it. After two torturous years of flaying my manuscript, I became an enthusiastic planner.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Maybe. I like the romantic writerly idea of it. But I live a long, long way from a café, so I haven’t had the chance to try it. I write in big chunks of time and might feel awkward capitalizing a cafe table for seven hours.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  For Sunwielder, I wrote dialog in a made-up language! That was super fun, but very limited since other characters had to translate and I didn’t want to bog down the prose. I made up words and structural rules and learned to speak it. I would definitely do it again if a book called for it.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I love the book Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. My mom gave it to me years ago, and the beauty of the reflections spoke to me then and still do. Right now, I’m on an indie binge and just finished Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray. Prehistoric fiction!

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I love paperback books, but switched to Kindle about 5 years ago. That far, far away café is next door to the far, far away bookstore. And honestly, when I finish a book, I want to start the next one that moment!  And ebooks are less costly so I can buy more of them!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Yes, they’re treasures. If I love a kindle book, I’ll buy the print version so I can hug it.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have! Mostly when traveling, and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  A giant laptop at home, and an old cracked iPhone on the road. I used to rely on an old cracked iPad, but it’s so slow now that I can’t bear it. (I tend to drop my electronics).

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Could I go? Months. I’m a hermit and can survive without human contact for decades. But that would be rude, so I check email once every couple of hours on my laptop.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I don’t, but I want to! I just have to figure out all the new-fangled technology and cough up the bucks for Audible. What would I do while listening? Drive, exercise, garden, housework, you name it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I love WordPress, and it’s my go-to platform. I cherish the community, the kindness, the laughter and tears, all the fun that I share with this talented bunch of people. The rest of social media I could take or leave and don’t make much time for. Blogging takes a lot of time away from writing, but it’s worth it to this old hermit.

Website and social media links:
Blog: mythsofthemirror.com
Website: dwallacepeachbooks.com
Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

Awards/special recognition:  Stay tuned.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kristin Ward

Author name:  Kristin Ward

Genre:  YA SciFi/Dystopian

Books:  After the Green Withered and the sequel, Burden of Truth

When did you begin your writing career?  When my 7th grade English teacher likened my writing to Saki, the author of The Interlopers, I was hooked. That defining moment began my foray into mad scribblings of terrible poetry and story starters galore. From that point onward, writing has been a passion though not a profession. Three sons, a career, and many, many years later, the closest I had come to that pinnacle of achievement was writing a published curriculum piece for a zoo and a graduate course in science.

 My first book, a dystopian fiction titled After the Green Withered, was officially published in May 2018 and won the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in young adult fiction. This novel was truly a labor of love and a long time coming! Of course, they say that good things come to those who wait, so I suppose this was one of those things that needed more time. Following the release of my award-winning novel was the sequel, Burden of Truth, published in November of 2018. There are so many more stories swirling through my mind, aching to be put on a page and enjoyed (hopefully) by others.

As I make personal goals for 2019, I plan to publish two or three more books and hope to broaden my readership by connecting with readers from all walks of life!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a procrastinator. In fact, I’d wager that most authors are. Having that particular character trait, I find myself diving into a piece of writing with a skeletal plan and letting the story take me where it wills. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have an overarching vision. I do. I know exactly where and how the story will end, but I find that my characters take little side trips along the way that I didn’t originally anticipate. This is what makes me a classic pantser!

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  I would love to have a set time to write. The truth is, I write when I can. Being a mother of three sons and having a full-time career leaves little time to plant myself in my writing chair and craft my masterpiece (I’m trying that whole positive-self-fulfilling-prophecy-thing by talking myself up *wink, wink*). The truth is that I write when I can which is often at night or on the weekends when my crew is busy running amok.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  I cannot imagine having to write by hand. The very thought is rather horrifying considering my hand cramps after having to write multiple checks for scout dues, fieldtrips, and school fundraisers. If I didn’t have my wonderful, little laptop, there would be piles of balled up paper all over the house and the air would literally be clouded in profanity-laced thought bubbles.

So, the short answer is: computer. Yeah. That’s my medium.

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea?  Coffee and dark chocolate are my drugs of choice. I do like a good cup of tea laced with honey, but I typically enjoy that when I’m relaxing with a good book rather than writing one.

Favorite book:  I’m a classic re-reader. The true test of whether I love a book or just like it is if I will re-read it. One of my favorite books to read every couple of years is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. This epic saga is a rollercoaster of action, emotion, intrigue, corruption, and storytelling that takes me back to a world I love to visit every time I read it.

In my own young adult genre, my favorites are The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Favorite movie:  I’m a bit of a movie nut and I quote movies. A lot. My favorite movie to quotes come from The Princess Bride. If you were to come to my house and utter the phrase, “No more rhyming now, I mean it!” There would be a chorus of, “Anybody want a peanut?” Yep, from The Breakfast Club to The Karate Kid, my movie favorites come out in numerous quotes and references.

Favorite musician:  I have a rather eclectic taste in music. I grew up loving 80s pop and 90s alternative music. Depeche Mode to The Cure were my constant companions as a teenager and I went to many concerts, back when you could afford to attend. The music I listen to now is heavily influenced by my current mood. I’m apt to turn on anything from Twenty-One Pilots to Air Supply!

Social media links:
Website: writingandmythreesons.com
Twitter: @YA_Author
Facebook: @KristinWardAuthor
Instagram: kristin_ward_author
Amazon Author Page: Kristin Ward

Awards/special recognition: Winner of the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in the young adult fiction category


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Who’s That Indie Author? Brysen Mann

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Brysen Mann

Genre:  Psychological Thriller/Mystery/Suspense/Sci-fi

Book:  The Xeno Manifesto

Bio:  I am simply a person with a story tell. One that I hope will give the reader reason to pause, reflect, question, hopefully discuss, but most of all enjoy. My narrative has a lot of twists and turns and my tale does not end with this first book.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  The ability to write my story, my way.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  I find the biggest challenges are getting my narrative read and reviewed because, ultimately, it is the reviews that many will judge The Xeno Manifesto, not just the cover but…the cover does pique one’s interest as well. J

Favorite books:  My favorites are still my childhood ones such as Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and “Rikki Tikki Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling.

Contact Information:
Website:  brysenmann.com
Twitter: @brysen_mann
Instagram:  brysenmann
Email: brysenmann@gmail.com


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Who’s That Indie Author? Deanna Altomara

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Deanna Altomara

Genre:  Middle Grade Fantasy/Science Fiction

Books: Ageless, Pi

     

Bio:  Fascinated by reading and writing from a young age, Deanna Altomara has dreamed of publishing her own novel since the fourth grade. She is the published author of two middle-grade fantasy novels, Ageless and Pi. While she is working on a sequel to Pi, she takes frequent breaks to try new foods, go hiking, and embroider.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I love being able to create worlds and journey through them. I long to live all the lives I never got the chance to, and writing allows me to do that.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  The most difficult thing about self-publishing is self-promotion. Besides being slightly awkward, it’s very time-consuming. It’s very hard to balance a steady stream of advertising and outreach with work and daily life.

Favorite books:  I honestly have to pick Harry Potter! Those books filled my life with new color and potential, and that’s something I want to replicate in my own work. I also love the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books, as well as a few classics like Gone With the Wind and Dracula.

Contact Information:
Twitter: @DeannaAltomara
Instagram @deannaaltomara
Facebook: Deanna Altomara @authordeannaaltomara
Goodreads Author Deanna Altomara
Website: deannaaltomara.biz.ly

Awards/special recognition:  Future Problem Solving International, Best On-site Writer Award;

Future Problem Solving International, 2nd Place Scenario; Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Finalist; Outdoor Writers of America, 2nd Place Poem


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