Who’s That Indie Author? Kaitlyn Jain

Author Name: Kaitlyn Jain

Genre: Non-fiction, travel, memoir

Book: Passports and Pacifiers—Traveling the World, One Tantrum at a Time

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I spent fifteen years doing marketing and project management in corporate America. As of a few weeks ago, I’m taking a (short?) break to focus on writing, along with overseeing virtual learning.

Favorite author/books: Bill Bryson, Isabelle Allende, Malcolm Gladwell, To Kill a Mockingbird

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I’ve been blessed with great teachers and a fantastic college professor who encouraged my creativity. Traveling with the kids in Scandinavia inspired the book. I recognized the absurdity of what we were doing, but also the pure joy, and I wanted to encourage others to see the world.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I’m not the best at keeping it current, but I use it while traveling and write in it when I have time.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: Yes. We meet twice a month to review two pieces. Each of us brings diverse strengths and we’re all at different phases. It’s been a great learning experience—and I’ve read more sci-fi in the past year than I have in my entire life.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Neither. I love sleep so try to get in as much as I can while the kids are asleep.

How do you get over a writing slump? Reading a good book, writing in my journal, or just getting out there and experiencing new things. I come up with my best ideas when I’m running or putting my littlest down for a nap—and try to remember what I was thinking in case I fall asleep before she does!

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I usually start with descriptive passages and change to dialogue to improve the flow. Descriptive is easier for me but the dialogue balances it to make the reading less dense.

What are you working on now? Since I’m launching my first book February 2021, I’m focused on successfully getting this out the door! I have started a second book, similar in content, but with a different spin.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Go for it! It’s important to try new things and push yourself to do things you’re not quite sure you can do. I find that challenges are merely opportunities you haven’t succeeded at yet.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Not really.

Favorite escape: I love reading and travel. I’ve visited nearly every state and 25+ countries. This year, when we couldn’t travel, I read a lot and hiked with my family.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No. My mom loves it though so, based on my genes, perhaps I will at some point.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Pillows, for sure, though they’re always a mess in my house. They need to be put back or rearranged since they’re inevitably removed for some fort or turned wrong when the kids are pretending the floor is lava.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Not weeds. I got poison ivy this summer and it was MISERABLE. I like shoveling because that means there’s snow to play in and go sledding. You can take the girl out of Michigan, but can’t take the Michigan out of the girl.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Reusable and colorful. I usually wear a green mask bearing the name of my kids’ school since I’m PTA president and need to encourage sales.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Focus and time. Without childcare for three months (and my husband and I both working full-time), it was quite difficult to do much beyond put food on the table. Plus, for my genre, actually going anywhere! I can’t wait to travel with my kids again.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.kaitlynjain.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PassportsandPacifiers/
Twitter: @KaitlynJain
Instagram: kaitlyn.jain


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!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Michelle Cameron

Author Name: Michelle Cameron

Genre: Historical Fiction. Jewish historical fiction, to be more precise.

Books: In the Shadow of the Globe – a verse novel about the life and loves of William Shakespeare

The Fruit of Her Hands: the story of Shira of Ashkenaz – about my 13th Century rabbi ancestor

Beyond the Ghetto Gates  – about Napoleon’s freeing Italy’s Jews from their restrictive ghetto during his 1796-7 military campaign. Awarded a Silver Medal in Historical Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Awards.

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I wish I could be a full-time author! Maybe when I retire…. But my side gig complements my own writing – I am a director of The Writers Circle, a NJ-based organization that offers workshops and events in creative writing to children, teens, and adults. With the pandemic, we’ve gone completely virtual, so our instructors and students come from all over the world.

Favorite author/books: I read (and re-read) daily, so this is a tough question. I am the ultimate Jane Austen fan, however – with the t-shirt to prove it, bought during a Janeite pilgrimage to Bath! And since I wanted to immerse myself in that time period while writing Beyond the Ghetto Gates, I happily re-read every book she wrote while working on my own.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I learn something from every book I read ever since I began to “read like a writer.” And the fact that I attended high school in Israel means I received a far more in-depth education in Jewish history than I would have in the US, something that comes in handy while writing Jewish historical fiction!

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t keep a writing journal. My limited writing time goes to my current project.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I used to belong to a writer’s group when I was just getting serious about my writing and was very much encouraged by my fellow writers. Now that I’m working at The Writers Circle, I don’t have time for a writers’ group myself. However, I have many writer friends who are willing to beta read my work – and I’m happy to return the favor!

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Up with the sun, definitely! When I was still working a full-time job and had a young family, I would wake up at 4:30 am to write – and did that for some five years. These days, that’s not necessary, but I do try and fit in some writing first thing every morning.

How do you get over a writing slump? By sitting down anyway and writing terrible, terrible prose. I call these my “chipping rock” days. Whether I find a kernel of goodness inside that I can further develop or end up throwing the entire section out, I still keep my date with the muse.

This, by the way, is a phrase borrowed by my youngest son, who is himself a talented writer. He called his muse Angela and had a set time of day when he kept his own date with her. Sometimes she’d stand him up, but he always kept faith.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I’m definitely a dialogue girl – it comes naturally to me and I love when my characters speak to one another (and to me). Description comes harder and in fact, I always add a descriptive pass during revision, when I focus on more fully fleshing out the setting. As a historical novelist, getting the place right is critical.

What are you working on now? A sequel to Beyond the Ghetto Gates. Napoleon’s next adventure was a curious military and scientific expedition to Egypt and Israel, mainly undertaken to harm British interests in the region. He gathered some 126 savants – artists and scientists – and brought them along with his loyal troops. He triumphed until he reached Acre (Akko) when a combined Turkish and British force handed him his first defeat.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Find a community of like-minded writers to share the work with and get it into the best possible shape possible. Publication can be a hard and discouraging road these days, so it shouldn’t be the only goal. Loving to sit down and write (or, at the very least, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, loving have written) has to be any aspiring writer’s ultimate reward.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I love podcasts about books and craft in particular. And a dear friend, Susanne Dunlap, is recording an amazing series about historical novels, It’s Just Historical. I was honored to be one of her early guests.

Favorite escape: Reading. Best done while soaking in a tub.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I have not.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? With just enough pillows so I can recline comfortably. Not too many to prevent me from sitting up.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I used to love raking leaves on a sunny autumn day, but I don’t do it much anymore. I do still shovel snow out of sheer necessity, but I don’t enjoy it. And I never liked weeding.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I have all three and wear them interchangeably. I think my plain fabric masks feel the most comfortable and cover the nose and mouth most securely, but they do fog up my glasses, which the disposable paper is less inclined to do. So it depends on what I’m doing out in the world. But I’m fortunate that I’m an introvert anyway and all my work and promotion these days is done virtually. I don’t go out except for walks and to the supermarket.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Ironically, time to write. This is because a lot of planning went into moving all of The Writers Circle’s in-person workshops, summer programs, and events virtual all of a sudden in mid-March. TWC’s response to the pandemic was to offer even more writing programs – an entire new schedule of shorter-session virtual workshops to help combat isolation. Coordinating all of this took a great deal of planning and was complicated by the fact that my novel was published in April. So all of my promotional events had to be either offered via Zoom or rescheduled, and I had to invest much more time into my social media efforts.

Website and social media links:
Website: https://michelle-cameron.com
Facebook: @michellecameronauthor
Instagram: michellecameronwriter
Twitter: @mcameron_writer


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Who’s That Indie Author? Bill Moseley

Author Name: Bill Moseley

Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Adventure

Book: La Cuesta Encantada

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I’m not a full-time author. My side gig is working in higher education. I’m the Dean of Academic Technology at Bakersfield College, a community college in California. I’m just getting more serious about writing, and it’s an important creative outlet for me.

Favorite author/books: I really love books, and my taste in reading is really varied. As a child, I loved The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Lately, I lean a little more toward Neil Gaiman and I really love the sort of whimsical adventure that he creates in The Graveyard Book. Toni Morrison’s work, especially the Song of Solomon, is really powerful. I admire how she gives readers a glimpse into another culture in such a visceral way.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I think my writing is a combination of a wild imagination, the places I’ve been, and a childhood obsession with Indiana Jones movies and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, with a side interest in romantic comedies. This book, in particular, takes place in some of my favorite locations – places where I played and visited as a child. I think of it as a story that’s been woven together in my imagination for much of my life.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t. First, I’m not formally trained as a writer, so I’m guessing my approach is somewhat unconventional. Second, my work has been sort of project-oriented so far, and I spend a lot of time thinking about ideas and developing scenes in my head.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t, but I’d love to. I think community is one of the best ways to develop any skill.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I used to burn the midnight oil.  With age, I’ve shifted the other direction. I’m up early these days, to walk with my wife before we start the day. If I’m honest, I feel like my best time for writing is in the afternoon – I think some days I get tired of the grind, and my brain is looking for a way to get creative by that time.

How do you get over a writing slump? I don’t think I’ve had a real slump. I often write when I have enough pent up creative energy that I am anxious to sit down and get some words on the page. I think in the few times when I just haven’t been feeling it (writing my dissertation comes to mind), the trick is to just write something. Even if it isn’t your best, there are times when the forward movement of just doing it is what matters. Anne Lamott’s notion of a shitty first draft applies here, I think.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Descriptive, I think. I’m a visual person, and I often “see” the things that I write long before they hit the page. They play out in my mind like a movie. I hope one day to be able to describe them the way I see them in my mind, but I’m not there yet.

What are you working on now? I’ve started outlining the sequel to La Cuesta Encantada, because there is some more story there that I want to tell. I have another story in my mind that I’ve been thinking about for a while, as well, but I’ve decided to hold on to that for now. As an academic, I usually have another non-fiction project or two in the works as well. I’m also working on a non-fiction book on the topic of failure, and how failure can be used as a tool for growth and development. Reclaiming Failure is something I hope to have published in early to mid-2021.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? The world always needs more books. Stories are important to us as a society. Writing a book is hard, and the competition for the attention of agents and publishers is insane. However, if you want to write, and you enjoy writing, then you should do it. Honestly, I think that’s the best reason to do anything. Publishing – even self-publishing – is a nice way to celebrate the completion of your work, and to share your work with others. I think it’s probably natural to fantasize about dropping the next bestseller, but make sure you have the intrinsic motivation above all else.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I do listen to podcasts. The one writing-related podcast I listen to is called “Story Grid.” It’s an application of the book by the same title. This book and podcast were very helpful in guiding my thinking around how to put together an effective novel. I’m also a pretty regular listener of “Armchair Expert,” “The Tim Ferriss Show,” and “Up First.”

Favorite escape: Almost anything creative, from drawing and painting, to cooking, and even writing computer code (this is very creative, despite the reputation it has for being sort of stiff and mechanical). I also love to travel (pre-COVID) and get active with my family (we have seven kids, so there is always someone to do something with).

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? Nope. Can’t get past the smell for some reason.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? I’ll say no pillows, mostly because my ideal couch is long and wide enough for me, a fairly large human, to easily take a nap on without limbs hanging off onto the floor. Pillows just take up space that I would rather use for myself.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Hard stop on weeding. I will avoid that at all costs. Being a California native, I’ve never shoveled snow, and I’m not sad about that.  There is a certain satisfaction in raking leaves on a nice fall afternoon. When I was young, my grandparents had a house with three very large mulberry trees in the front yard. I remember raking those leaves, and how satisfying it was to make them into neat piles that I could jump into. The earthy smell of leaves in the fall still takes me right back to that place.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Plain black, but with straps that go around the back of my head. I must have an abnormally large head, because when I wear the kind with ear loops, my ears get pulled straight out to the sides.

Biggest writing challenge since COVID-19: In my day job, I’m in charge of distance education for a college of almost 40,000 students. As you can imagine, this has been a busy time. Fortunately for me, writing is something that I really want to be doing, so I find the time in between other things.

Website and social media links:
www.bmoseley.com – This is my personal site, and everything else links from there.  Thanks so much for this opportunity.  I’ve really enjoyed reading the other “Who’s that Indie Author?” entries.


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!

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Book Club Mom’s Author Update – Joanne Kukanza Easley

Author name: Joanne Kukanza Easley

Genre: Literary Fiction

Book: Sweet Jane

News: Joanne Kukanza Easley is pleased to announce that her second novel, Just One Look, will be released by Black Rose Writing on June 24, 2021. Her debut novel, Sweet Jane, was named a finalist in literary fiction in the 2020 International Book Awards and in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.

Website: https://www.sweetjanenovel.com/


Are you working on a new book? Have you won an award or a writing contest? Did you just update your website? Maybe you just want to tell readers about an experience you’ve had. Book Club Mom’s Author Update is a great way to share news and information about you and your books.

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Open to all authors – self-published, indie, big-time and anything in between. Author submissions are limited to one per author in a six-month period.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Grammar check – dos and don’ts or do’s and don’ts?

Image: Pixabay

How do you feel about adding that apostrophe to dos, even though it’s technically wrong and only there to make things look better?

I mean, if you add an apostrophe to do’s, to be consistent, you’d need to an extra apostrophe to don’ts so that it looks like:

do’s and don’t’s

That looks weird. And on this everyone seems to agree. But the grammar and style experts disagree about that extra apostrophe.

The AP Stylebook says do’s and don’ts. We happened to have a copy here, so I looked it up.

The Chicago Manual of Style recommends dos and don’ts (I don’t have a copy to check and you need an online subscription to access).

The rule across the board is whichever style you prefer, stick with it. If you need more info, here’s a post from vocabulary.com about the dos and don’ts on do’s and don’ts.

Which do you prefer? I prefer dos and don’ts. It seems more pure to me. And by the way, is it correct to say more pure or purer? I’ll tackle that on a different day!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

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.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Marian Longenecker Beaman

Author name:  Marian Longenecker Beaman

Genre:  Memoir

Book:  Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I am a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. My memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s.

Now in my Third Act, I have embraced blogging, which led to re-purposing blog posts to craft my memoir. I share my story to preserve early memories and to leave a legacy for future generations. I live with my artist/designer husband Cliff in Jacksonville, where my grown children and grandchildren also reside.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Just like everyone else, I have appointments and to-do’s: dentist, haircut, grocery shopping. Even so, I sit on my writing chair every day: It’s a habit now. Today is dreary, so I have white string lights glowing and a candle burning in my writing space.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Opening the box containing my Advanced Reader Copies. I made a video of it!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m generally a planner, but sometimes ideas for blog posts come to mind whimsically: walking in the woods, taking a bath. Usually, I make a messy draft on WORD and then copy it to WordPress where I tweak it.

Could you write in a café with people around?  NO! Silence is my friend. If I’m stuck, I turn on music – classical or country.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Dialogue, even in English, has been tricky for me. Scales fell from my eyes a while ago when I read somewhere that writers don’t need to be stuck with the clichéd “He said – She replied” formula. Let the reader know that your characters can be scratching their backs or opening mail while the dialogue is taking place. Just switch to a new paragraph when the speaker changes.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  When we moved over three years ago, I gave away so many books. A sampling of the remaining: Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Zora Neale Thurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Also: Anything by Dani Shapiro, most recently Inheritance. Now I’m reading Ann Napolitano’s A Good Hard Look, a fictional version of Flannery O’Connor’s life. I’d give it five stars!

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Hands down, paperback – lightweight with “turn-able” pages

Do you think print books will always be around?  Surely in my lifetime, but beyond that I don’t know. Most of the articles I’ve read say, “Yes.”

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Ha! Unless the phone is 4” by 6” probably not.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My smartphone has always been an iPhone.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  It depends on the day. Wednesdays my blog posts publish, so I check my phone often so see if there are comments needing response.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Although my husband listens to audiobooks exclusively, I never do. However, I listen to teleseminars while I’m doing something else. For instance, my friend Kathy Pooler promoted her book via Linda Joy Myers’ Virtual Book Club. I’ll probably listen to the hour-long broadcast while I’m making a salad today.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  Facebook, by far because most of my friends pick up my blog post on Wednesdays there, unless they find my feed elsewhere. I use Twitter too, but don’t really understand how it works: It’s easy to click LIKE and not actually read any content. Also, I opened my Twitter account years ago with a nickname @Martabeaman before I began writing seriously, so I would change my handle to my real name, but then I’d probably lose earlier connections.

I’m getting used to Instagram – quick and easy – but sometimes I forget to include hashtags. Remember: I’m a digital immigrant, not a native, like my children and grandchildren.

Website and social media links:
Website: marianbeaman.com
Facebook: Marian Beaman
Twitter: @MartaBeaman
Instagram: marianbeaman
Amazon: Marian Beaman

Awards/special recognition:  February 18, 2020, Amazon reviews (almost all 5 stars) hit the 30-mark. The review from Mee Mee was short and sweet: “Absolutely charming memoir! I can go back again and again and even skip around just for a lovely escape to a different world. So well crafted and readable. I love when you can fly through the chapters because the writing is so fluid.”


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!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Ritu Bhathal

Author name:  Ritu Bhathal

Genre:  Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit with an Indian Twist!

Books:  Marriage Unarranged, Poetic RITUals

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  What is my story, indeed. I am a British born Indian woman, born to Kenyan born Indian parents who moved to the UK in the seventies from Kenya. I was born in Birmingham, in the Midlands, and was raised with a massive extended family around me. After school, I went to university to study to become a teacher, my dream since I was seven. Along the way, I developed a passion for reading, thanks to my mother, and the urge to write stories came from the wonderful books I grew up reading. I would write short stories as a child and won a competition at school which definitely gave me more of an urge to write.

The beginnings of this novel started twenty years ago, as I was preparing for my own marriage. I would write little bits, then save and file away my installments. Life happened and with the addition of a husband, in-laws and then two children, there was precious little time to think about my book.

Almost fifteen years after I started writing it, I created my first blog, and realized that I had a story I really needed to finish, and hopefully publish. I also uncovered a hidden love of poetry by taking part in challenges and ended up with a poetry anthology out in the world too!

I have to say that blogging has been hugely instrumental in me getting this book out there.

From finding like-minded souls, to writers I have grown to love and admire, I have managed to learn so much about the writing and publishing process and have got an amazingly supportive team behind me.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Well that is a tough one! As a wife and mother, my hands are full. Add in being a full-time teacher, and you must be wondering where I find the time!

Writing and reading, for me, are a release. I find that when I write, or read, I sink into a world that is all mine, with no interruptions. So, during term time, I make time in the evenings, to do both. I get the kids settled, then I have my time. I’m not a huge television watcher, so that helps. In the holidays, I know my teen and tween will be sleeping late in the mornings, so those couple of hours are perfect, before they all wake up, to get creative. It’s all about making time to do what you love.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Oh my… just one? Finding out we were pregnant for the first time. I suffer from PCOS and had great difficulty in falling pregnant, so after a few years of disappointments, and upsets, seeing that little plus sign on a pregnancy test, then having it confirmed by the doctor was something else. Seeing the little heart beating inside our baby bean at that first scan brought tears to our eyes! Now, as that little bean gets older, the tears are caused by his attitude…but that’s teenagers for you.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I proudly call myself a plantser! I fall heavily in the middle. I usually start off as a true pantser. I get an idea and let it fly. Then I realize that without a skeleton plan, at least, I am going to trip up, so I create more of an outline. But I don’t over-plan. I know the gist of the story. I have an idea of where I’d like us to end up, then I let my characters take me there! It can make for a fun journey. I mean, with this new release of mine, I had no idea I’d end up with a homosexual character, who ends up crying out for a book of his own, with his antics!

Could you write in a café with people around?  Honestly, I have tried this, but I am too much of a people person, and I end up in conversations with everyone. I do like the idea though, so there have been countless times my computer and I have journeyed to a coffee shop, and a few words have been typed. But not many. In all honesty, I think I prefer to people watch, or talk. After all, there is inspiration in every situation, don’t you think?

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  The characters in my book are British born Indian Sikhs, with a home language of Punjabi. They tended to speak English, with a smattering of Punjabi words within. I tried to convey the meaning of the words through how they said things. Initially I had some whole sentences, but then translating was tedious, and the language glossary page count was rivaling that of the book, so I decided to lessen the second language, and use the power of inference instead!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I always stumble with this question of a favorite book. It is a tough one, as I have read and loved so many books! As a child, anything by Enid Blyton was my favorite, or A.A.Milne. Then I started Danielle Steele books. My mother had the Flowers in The Attic series by Virginia Andrews, which I absolutely loved, but there was one book of hers that I reread many times, My Sweet Audrina. I think I was captured by the twists and turns that Andrews would create in her writing. Right now, I am about to start the fourth book in the Cliffside Bay series, by Tess Thompson. It is a Small-Town Romance set of books, with a host of interwoven stories written from the perspective of the different residents of the town.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I am not as much a fan of hardbacks as others, because they can be cumbersome to hold when reading. I do love a paperback, but space doesn’t permit me to buy many, so for convenience, my Kindle Paperwhite is my faithful companion. And it has the added bonus of a back light, so I don’t have to disturb my Hubby Dearest at night, if I am engrossed in a book, and it is so light!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Oh, most definitely. How could the bookstagrammers of the world create such enticing book posts without the paperbacks to play with? Sure, you can get the photo of a cover on a screen but seeing the spine of a book on a bookshelf… there’s nothing to beat that! I know of many readers who will not read anything other than print books.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I try to keep my Kindle with me at all times, but I can forget, and this is why I have the Kindle app on my phone. I don’t do it often, but I have, on occasion, read on my phone, while sitting at the doctor’s surgery, or if I have a spare moment.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I currently own an Android phone and have never had an iPhone. Though, having said that, I recently bought a MacBook Air, so who knows… an iPhone might be on the cards!

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Hands up, I admit I am terrible. Unless I am at school, during the teaching day, my phone is near me and if I am bored, I will pick it up and check notifications. My Hubby Dearest has me down in his phone as #Valiyey, translation Girl of the Hashtag! But then, I have to keep on top of my Social Media for my Author brand… (see, I have an excuse!) I dread to think what one of those apps would tell me about my phone usage! But then again, my brother lives in Finland, and I have two Finndian (their mummy is Finnish, to their daddy’s Indian, hence, Finndian) nephews. So, we use the video call functions a lot so we can all stay in touch.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I have to confess to being a non-listener. I prefer to read my books, instead of listening. If I was a commuter, I might have got into listening to audiobooks, but my drive to work is short, and the kids are with me. They’d refuse to listen to a book in the car, favoring their latest music!

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  As I mentioned earlier, I do love social media. I am active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mainly.

Website and social media links:
WordPress Blog Website: But I Smile Anyway
Author Website: ritubhathal.com
Twitter: @RituBhathal
Instagram: ritubhathalwrites
Facebook: @butismileanyway (But I Smile Anyway) and @RituBhathal (Author, Poet and Storyteller)
Goodreads Author: Ritu Bhathal

Click here for more information about Ritu’s latest book, Marriage Unarranged.

Awards/special recognition:  Best Blogger at the Annual Bloggers Bash 2017 and Best Book Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash


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.

Do your dreams give you story ideas?

Image: Pixabay

Have you ever been inspired to write a story based on a dream you had? Was the dream so intense and were the details so vivid that when you woke up you just had to get the idea down on paper?

Yesterday morning, I woke up in a stressed out sweat, thinking about the near death experience I had in my dream, saved only because I had to get out of bed. First chance I got, I wrote it down and it spewed out on the paper. I hardly had to think. Who knows if it’s a good one or if it’s even original, but it felt good to get it out of me. I haven’t tried to analyze it or turn it into a story, any more than it already is:

Knowing nothing except to follow, I’m being led through a forest, holding some kind of rope or vine. I can’t see the person leading me, I can only feel the line’s pull. Then the forest suddenly darkens and starts to grow, fast. I see branches grow longer and leaves explode out of them, trees push up from the ground and their trunks grow wide and tall with astounding speed. And the brush becomes so shockingly thick that the space is too dense for me to go through, yet the person leading me keeps pulling hard on the line, as if he or she is having no trouble advancing, and leaves me no choice except to push myself through impossible openings that smother and scratch me. I worry that my leader has become impatient with me, so I push on. I’m paralyzed with fear when I realize that if the line slips through my hands, and I can feel it already doing so, I will be forever lost. I call to my leader, to slow down, that the growth is too thick for me to follow, but I get no encouragement or acknowledgement in return. My leader’s only answer is the yank of the line…

I was glad to wake up from that dream, but it stuck with me for most of the morning and made me think about famous stories that were inspired by dreams.

Here are 6, taken from #amreading.com. You can read the whole article, “6 Books That Were Inspired By Dreams,” here.

  1. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
  2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. Stuart Little by E.B. White

Have you ever been inspired by a fitful dream?

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Who’s That Blogger? Amy L. Sauder

whos-that-blogger

Blogmaster:  Amy L Sauder

Blog name:  Amy L. Sauder – Creations: from Creations: from “Once Upon” to “Ever After”  – AmyLSauder.wordpress.com

Type of blog: Creative living

Where in the world?  USA

Blogging since when?  2014

What’s your story? I started a blog to have my own place to document my creative journey “from ‘once upon’ to ‘ever after.’” Sharing my creative life, in mediums that I’m comfortable and confident in, and in mediums that I fumble through in my klutzy way.

What types of blogs do you follow?  Bloggers on creative living or with a creative voice. Some talk about their life, some about fashion, some about writing or reading or story, some share photography, and some share their heart.

Early bird or night owl?  Early bird, however I write in the evening. I get an early start to my day so I can have other obligations finished by evening for blogging. I usually schedule blogs in chunks so I can more readily devote my evenings to other creative endeavors.

Coffee or tea?  Heavily creamered coffee or most preferably a chai latte.

Most recent binge watch or other obsession:  My current guilty pleasure is Rizzoli and Isles – it’s my closest alternative to Gilmore Girls because I can’t get enough of the girl drama <3.

Check out these recent blog posts by Amy L. Sauder:


The first paid gig
Things I am Qualified to Write About
The “Guardian of Ever After” for the Outcasts


Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!