Monday, December 29, 2014

Miral Sattar, You’re Done Now What? A Self-Publishing Guide, plus #giveaway


  

Special Giveaway a VIP membership to Bibliocrunch.com. VIP members are promoted through our social media network (14,000 FB fans, 5000 Twitter fans). We also guide VIPs through the self-pub process. VIPs also have access to our resources section. Be sure to leave contact information in your comments to be considered for this opportunity

AUTHOR: Miral Sattar
BOOK TITLE:  You’re Done Now What? A Self-Publishing Guide
GENRE: non-fiction
PUBLISHER: Bibliocrunch
BUY LINK: http://nano.bibliocrunch.com (it’s free)
Please tell us about yourself.
I am a writer, computer programmer, and entrepreneur. I am the CEO of Bibliocrunch (a marketplace for authors to connect with trusted book publishing professionals). I came up with the idea for the platform three and half years ago while I was working at TIME magazine and wrapping up my MS in Publishing at NYU. I have been a bookworm since I could read. My writing and I have been featured in numerous media outlets including BusinessWeek, BBC, TIME, Forbes, Money Magazine, Consumer Reports, PBS, and other media publications. I have a MS in Publishing (NYU) and a BS in Computer Engineering (Columbia). You can find me on Twitter at (@miralsattar). 
Please tell us your latest news.
I just published a self-publishing guide (http://nano.bibliocrunch.com) which is a compilation of my learnings as a self-published author and as a person who helps self-published authors reach their publishing goals.  The book has advice from me and best-selling authors CJ Lyons and Hugh Howey. 
My company was featured in the cover story of Money Magazine and we also had a nice feature in Consumer Reports. We’ve also been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Publishers Weekly and a whole slew of media outlets.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Part-time. I love writing, run a company in NYC, and also am a mother to my beautiful daughter Zara. Having to do so many things has really taught me to be more efficient with my time. I usually set aside a particular time of day to write (for me it’s usually right before lunchtime, then I can reward myself with lunch).
When and why did you begin writing?
Since college.  I have two unpublished novels and several short stories. One is about the South Asian American experience and the other is a dystopian novel.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Running Bibliocrunch and hanging out with my daughter.
What are your thoughts about promotion?
It needs to be done elegantly. Don’t over promote, and it should be something done about 1/3 of the time.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?
When I first started out no one wanted anything to do with Bibliocrunch because self-publishing had a stigma back then. I had pitched it to investors and one guy told me he would never invest in self-publishing. Now we get approached all the time for potential acquisition and investors like to keep up with our progress. But we are doing great on our own.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
It’s a lot of work and you need to reread it so many times. You also need to give it to beta readers and get every single word edited. 
What do you plan for the future?
We’re also rolling out a facelift for Bibliocrunch which is going to be a cleaner design and mobile responsive. The new site will also give authors some really great free marketing tools. So it’s all very very exciting.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/pub/miral-sattar/1/356/a24


Tell me a little about your book. 
My free guide has all the information you need to plunge into your self-publishing adventure, plus advice from best-selling authors and NaNoWriMo veterans, Hugh Howey and CJ Lyons. In our book we give you a roadmap to fulfill your self-publishing dream:
* Forward with advice from best-selling authors CJ Lyons and Hugh Howey
* Getting Started (goals, vendor research, retailers, print on demand, copyright, ISBNs)
* Marketing (title & book description, beta readers, marketing plan)
* Editing
* Design, Formatting, Conversion
What gave you the idea for this particular type of book?
Writers at conferences always ask me for recommendations for primers on how to get started that they can read in one sitting. So, I finally decided to write one.
How do you classify a “resource book?”
A book that helps guide a particular demographic with a specific topic or skill. In my case, it's self-publishing. 
What “expert” credentials do you bring to this book?
I have worked with so many authors and also self-published my books. I also blog about self-publishing for MediaShift. I have taught self-publishing sessions at MediaBistro and at universities.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? The easiest?
Just finding the time to sit down and write and organizing my thoughts. I’m so used to giving advice, but it was tough to organize the book into digestible pieces. The easiest thing was that the contest was in my head J
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I really want them to not feel overwhelmed by the process of self-publishing. A lot of times people get afraid because they just don’t know how to do something. My book sums up everything without overwhelming them with too much information.
Any tips for new authors interested in this type of writing?
Establish yourself as an expert and then write the book.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Coding, coming up with new tool ideas that writers can really use and hanging out with my daughter.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
It really bothers me when there are no diverse characters in a novel.
What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?
When I published my first book I had a typo in my bio. I had gotten the whole book edited except my bio! Of course a reader found it. 



Monday, December 22, 2014

Cheryl Carpinello, Sons of the Sphinx



Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Title: Sons of the Sphinx
Genre: PreTeen/YA Time Travel Adventure
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator
Buy Links:
Tattered Cover Bookstores: http://www.tatteredcover.com/book/9781500554934

Please tell us about yourself:  I’m a twice-retired high school English teacher. I taught for 25 years and would gladly have taught for another 25 if I could have figured out how to teach writing without grading any more freshman first essays and senior research papers! I easily graded close to 900 final essays/papers each year not including at least 2 rough drafts per each! I’m also a retired airline employee. Currently, I’m an Ambassador for Denver International Airport.

I’m a Colorado native, and my husband and I have two children, two grandsons, and a grand-daughter due later this month.

Please tell us your latest news.

In September 2014, Sons of the Sphinx received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval for Recommended Reading. Then in October 2014, Sons of the Sphinx was awarded the Silver Medal by Literary Classics in PreTeen Fiction. I am so excited for it!

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I consider myself a full-time writer even though I’m not always putting words on paper. During my college years and my teaching years, I didn’t always have an opportunity to sit down and write. I do a lot of my writing in my head. It sounds crazy, I know, but I’ve found it an effective way to write every day. When I put pen to paper—Yes, I still handwrite all my first drafts!—the words and the story come easy.

My writer’s block comes when my brain keeps throwing out ideas that don’t work. For Sons of the Sphinx, I threw out ideas for a couple of months until I found the way to tell the story. Writing the first draft went fairly quickly after that.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

I love traveling. In September 2014, my husband and I spent three weeks driving through England, Wales, and Scotland.

Spending time with our growing family is a must and always a treat.

I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction, and I’m usually reading 4 or 5 books at a time. This is a habit left over from teaching five literature classes each year and keeping up on the reading.

What is your marketing plan?

While my stories appeal to readers aged 9-15, my target audience falls into two categories. My Arthurian Legend stories are aimed at reluctant readers in grades 3-6/7. My Ancient Egyptian stories are aimed at reluctant readers in grades 7-12. And while Medieval times and the Ancient Egyptians appeal to a wider audience, my specific readers do not buy on the Internet.

Attending holiday/craft marts allows me to meet a number of young readers including the reluctant readers. Medieval Writing Workshops in the schools and with the Girl Scouts is another avenue to reach readers. I’m also the storyteller for the Colorado Medieval Festival each June.

What is your current project?

I’m writing the sequel to my first story, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. This tells the tale of the Princess Guinevere at the age of 12 and her friend Cedwyn who is seven. The second book continues the story, but the characters are older. Guinevere is 15 and Cedwyn is nearly 11. My readers wanted to hear more of what happened to Guinevere after her betrothal to Arthur and to see if Cedwyn becomes a knight. Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend—Cedwyn’s Story takes place during Arthur’s struggle to unite all of Britain. The dangers to Guinevere and Cedwyn allow me to show the growth of Cedwyn and the role he will play in the future.

What do you plan for the future?
I’ve a list of projects on my website Beyond Today Educator. My next scheduled project is the adventure trilogy The Feather of the Phoenix. Books include The Atlantean Horse, The Ashes of Pompeii, and The Norse Star.

Where can we find you?
Website:  http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com
Website  http://www.adventurequestbooks.com
Writing Blog:    http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/







Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1
Independent Author Network:  http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/cheryl-carpinello.html

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
Sons of the Sphinx is a dangerous time travel adventure set in Ancient Egypt. Here’s a brief look at it:
Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3000 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

What is your experience working or being around children or teens?
I spent 25 years teaching English at the high school. Teaching grades 9-12 gives me a unique perspective on the growth (mental, emotional, and physical) of teens. Since my retirement from teaching, I conduct writing workshops at the other end of the age spectrum: Kindergarten through 8th grade. I been doing this for 7 years.

What influences your writing?
Aside from my work with students of all ages, I would have to cite Joseph Campbell’s books The Hero With A Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth. Both of these works deal with the Hero’s Journey as defined by Campbell. The basic idea revolves around the individual’s search for self and meaning and the recurring myths in this world that connect all of us. My books all deal with the Hero’s Journey, and each of my characters is a hero in some form, as are my readers.

What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
Embedded within all of my characters’ adventures is their quest to find themselves. This is for them the first time they’ve really been able to explore their place in the world. My readers are also experiencing this in their lives. However, my books don’t preach or shout this out loud; instead, this journey is couched in an exciting and often dangerous adventure. This type of story offers readers a type of catharsis the old Greek playwrights used: Letting the audience experience the emotions of the characters, while remaining somewhat safe. Those plays also carried individual meaning for each of the audience members and were very popular.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Figuring out how to tell this story. I thought I had it several times. One of those times resulted in the short historical Tutankhamen Speaks. Then one day I discovered Rosa—the main character—and found the story I had really wanted to tell.

Where would we find you when youre totally relaxing?
 Sitting on the beach in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico!

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
 My writing cave is supposed to be the bedroom off the living room, but this is also my oldest grandsons room and the toy room for both grandsons! I usually do my writing on the couch or on the patio in the summer.



Excerpt from Chapter 16 of Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

Well, here we are again. Tut, several yards ahead of me, moves with ease over the sand along a faint path. Me, once more I find myself plowing through the sand, stopping frequently to empty the desert from my shoes. If that’s not enough, water’s pouring down my entire body. The bottom of my t-shirt tied over the top of my head is soaked and only keeps the sun from searing my brain. If nothing else, I have to get home in time to shower before my parents get there. Unless, of course, the time wrap cleans me up. Now that would be something.
We have been climbing steadily for a while now. Somewhere ahead of us lies the Western Valley in this field of tombs and Ay’s resting place. Hopefully, the answers we need are there too. Time is running out for us and for her. Since bringing us to this time, I have felt nothing inside. I shudder to think what will happen if she is gone; I mean really gone. Will Tut disappear also? Will he forget to take me home? I laugh softly. Not likely. After all, how can he forget about me after all the complaining I’ve done? Between you and me, that’s the only way I can deal with the frustrations I know we both feel and with my fears. Fear of not going home, fear of General Horemheb, fear for Tut, and fear for her.
I wonder at times if my feelings for Tut have weakened her. I don’t know if he’s aware of them, but she must know. Hesena can’t approve, but she hasn’t punished me. I mean, it’s not like I wanted this to happen. We have been together for almost four straight days here.
It wouldn’t work between us. I know that. I’m not an idiot. He loves Hesena, and she him. I can feel that.
Sighing, I shake my head. I can just hear the conversation with my mother if I told her of my feelings for Tut.
“Rosa. You can’t love this boy. You’re too young to know what love is. And he just wouldn’t be right for you. I mean, he’s so much older.”
Older! Only by about three thousand years!
“It’s your first experience with boys. It’s called a crush. You’ll see. You’ll outgrow it and will thank me later.”
Well, this may be a crush, but just try to tell my insides that when he looks at me with those dark eyes and touches me. Why does growing up have to be so complicated?
“Roosa.”
I come out of my daydreams to see Tut stopped ahead. I hurry up to him.
“There,” he points.
The path leads down to a small valley. At the far edge is a tall cliff wall. From this distance, it is easy to see a disturbance in the natural contours of the valley. Rocks and sand are strewn around in unnatural patterns.
“That’s it?”
“Yes. That is where Ay waits.” He takes off at a fast pace.
Following, I silently wonder if someone else also waits. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Horemheb. Maybe his magic, like Tut’s powers, can’t work in this valley. Or, maybe he’s just been waiting to get us all together. Either way, I can feel those footsteps my grandmother talked about approaching my grave again.


Author Bio

Cheryl Carpinello is a retired high school English teacher who loves the ancient and medieval worlds. It is because of her teaching career that she has chosen to write stories to encourage reluctant young readers to pick up a book more often. She found that in the classroom, students would read the Arthurian Legend literature when they would read nothing else. This experience led to her Arthurian tales that have now expanded into the ancient worlds.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Kathy Bennett, A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series





AUTHOR: Kathy Bennett           
BOOK TITLE: A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
PUBLISHER: Kathy Bennett
BUY LINK:





Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Southern California and, after high school, went to work for the LAPD as a civilian employee. Years later I became a sworn police officer and served twenty-one years as an officer. While most of my time was spent working patrol, I was also a firearms instructor at the LAPD Academy, a crime analyst in the 'War Room', a Field Training Officer, a Senior Lead Officer, and I worked undercover in various assignments. In 1997 I was honored to be named Officer of the Year. I retired about 3 ½ years ago and my husband (who was also an LAPD officer) retired earlier this year.

I've been writing all my life, but seriously sat down to write a novel eighteen years ago. My first novel will never see the light of day, but I self-published my second novel, a stand alone Romantic Suspense titled, A Dozen Deadly Roses. That book and my second book, A Deadly Blessing, became bestselling e-books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In fact, A Deadly Blessing was selected by Barnes & Noble as a Best Book of 2012. I released my third book, A Deadly Justice about a year ago.

Please tell us your latest news.

A Deadly Blessing was the first book in the LAPD Maddie Divine series, and in August of this year I released the third book in the series, A Deadly Denial. All the Maddie Divine books are selling well, and my fans are anxiously awaiting the next Maddie story.

In my personal life, two weeks ago, my husband and I moved to Idaho. I think we can open a box store in our garage!

What was the toughest criticism given to you?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Blessing): Probably the worst written book I have ever read. I only kept reading because I had nothing else to read and didn't want to waste my money…

What was the biggest compliment?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Denial): WOW! I couldn't put this book down! All of her books have been great, but she knocked this one out of the ballpark. This book had a non-stop onslaught of twists and turns and startling events. I particularly appreciate that she kept all the characters on the reader's radar screen; not once did I have to turn back the pages to be reminded of who a particular character was. Then, just when I thought the book was about over, POW - another startling event!...Her skills, creativity, and LAPD experience has served to elevate her to the absolute top of my list of favorite authors.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

Actually, it wasn't either of those reviews that had me change things. It was a different reviewer who pointed out a weakness in A Deadly Blessing. He was right. I took care of the situation in the next book, A Deadly Justice. Sadly, the reader probably doesn't realize it, because he indicated he'd never read any of my books again.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Lots of wine? Just kidding! When I get into a story and I'm writing at a fast and furious pace, I don't usually suffer from writer's block. However, if I do hit a snag, I take a day or two off and just think about the story and how I can fix whatever is wrong.  

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

I've self-published all my books, however, A Deadly Blessing attracted one of the best agents in the business, Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. He's been extremely helpful to me.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently working on book 4 of the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. I started before we moved, and I can't wait to get back to it.

I've also agreed to write a short story in an anthology where all the proceeds will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. This is a new project and the details are still being worked out.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?



Twitter: @KathywritesLAPD

Pinterest: You can find me at Kathy Bennett Author
  
Any other news you’d like to share?
My agent brokered a deal with German publisher Verlag Berlin and they picked up the German rights to the first two books in the series, A Deadly Blessing and A Deadly Justice. They will be publishing them as paperbacks in the German language…pretty darn cool!


Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

A Deadly Denial is the third book in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. This story is very true-to-life. Someone is murdering LAPD officers and Maddie is assigned as part of a large task force find the killer. With dead cops turning up every couple of days, the pressure is on. As the investigation continues Maddie realizes there are a lot of secrets, deceptions, and lies in the LAPD, and the killer she's looking for might wear an LAPD uniform.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

This initial idea for this book came from a recent manhunt that ensued after a former LAPD officer went on a rampage killing cops in several jurisdictions in Southern California.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

Each book I've written has come about differently. However, one thing that is pretty consistent is that I come up with the title and an idea for the cover very early in the process. Then I write the story to go with them.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Because I write suspense, I know the main crime and usually I know who did it. I may not know much more than that, and sometimes the characters surprise me and the person I've pegged as being the guilty party isn't the bad guy (or gal).
  
How did you decide how your characters should look?

As I write, I see each scene like a movie. My character's looks are usually a figment of my imagination. Except for Maddie. She kind of resembles a younger me…only taller. Some of the more memorable characters I've created are Harley in A Deadly Justice, and Edison in A Deadly Denial. Those two characters were a hoot to write.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

I write authentic crime while telling arresting stories. As an LAPD officer I had to know that I'd be willing to take someone's life if their actions dictated I do so. The world is a violent place. Many people never have to face that violence, but they certainly should be aware it exists and think about 'what if'…

I don't consider my sex scenes highly sexual. I give the reader clues as to what is going on, but tend to leave it to their imagination what exactly takes place.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?

Generally, it takes me a year to write a book. My novels are generally about 270 – 300 pages…or about 95,000 words. I'm trying to cut the time down to produce a book, my readers are anxious to see what mess Maddie gets into next. However, I won't sacrifice speed for quality of story.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

I have four books published. My first book, A Dozen Deadly Roses is a Romantic Suspense and was written as a stand-alone book. However, readers begged for me to bring back the main character, Jade Donovan, and she appears at the end of A Deadly Blessing, and partners with Maddie in A Deadly Justice. My fourth book is my latest release, A Deadly Denial.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

Wife, Mother, Grandmother, kind, detail-oriented, responsible, honest.

Describe your writing space.

Ha ha! My husband and I just moved from Southern California to Idaho. I have a lovely room for my office…filled with cardboard boxes. When I get it set up properly it's going to be the best office ever!


Thank you, Penny for allowing me to be part of your blog. These questions were a lot of fun! 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Ryan Hartung, Lightning World’s Divide: Book 1






AUTHOR: Ryan Hartung
BOOK TITLE:  Lightning  World’s Divide:  Book 1
GENRE:  Science Fiction
PUBLISHER: Self


Please tell us about yourself.  I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska where I was pretty much raised for most of my childhood.  I went to the University of Nebraska where I graduated in 2000 with a B.S. of Science.  I then moved to Columbus, OH where I pursued a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry.  In 2005 my wife and I moved to N.J. for three years and then transferred with my company to Tucson, Arizona and we’ve been here ever since.  We have two little girls, a dog and a highly untamed hamster.

Please tell us your latest news.  I just finished putting up my novel Spurious on all major ebook platforms and have finished World’s Divide Book 4 –Strength and I’m maybe halfway through writing Book 5.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?  I am a part time writer.  As of now my main job is paying the bills, but hopefully that’ll not always be so.  I try to write a portion in the morning and the afternoon during the week, but on the weekend I’m a little more relaxed.  I normally get some writing in on the weekends, but definitely not as much during the week.

When and why did you begin writing?   I just feel like I have a bunch of good stories that I want to tell.  I wrote a book around 2006, but it was horrible.  I tried finding it again to maybe redo it, but it seems to have vanished with my transfer from N.J. to A.Z.  So seriously I began writing two years ago and I haven’t looked back.

What inspired you to write your first book?  I know it might sound a bit cliché, but I really had a dream one night that I thought would make a fantastic series.  The first book is complete and I’m halfway done with the next one, but I really feel this series is the crown jewel of what I have right now and I’m sitting on it for the time being.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?  When I’m not writing, with two little girls that really consumes a large part of my time, but I enjoy working out and riding my bike to work.  I’ve been fiddling around with the guitar for the past 4 months and I lead a few songs here and there in church.  I’m also trying to finish a hutch I started before the Tucson summer began, but that won’t be finished until we get out of the 90’s.

What are your thoughts about promotion? Great question.  That’s exactly where I am now.  Some books are lucky enough to thrive on word of mouth alone or are just excellent stories, but not enough can be said about promoting your works.  Even if a small to medium publisher agrees to publish your book, you have to do a tremendous amount of promoting.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?  Writer’s block is really something people say when they aren’t fully inspired.  If you find writing at the moment to be hard, take a break for an hour or so, but you have to eventually just sit down and start typing.  Eventually it’ll start flowing again.  You can’t write if you don’t write.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?  The first unreleased book that I wrote, I wrote with a friend who has a professional job writing for a technical magazine.  I learned more about him from grammar and sentence structure than I would have ever imagined.

What are your current projects?  Like I said above, I’m still working through the World’s Divide series, which is getting more and more complicated as more characters and subplots are being added.  The second project is The Purger Chronicles, which is a series of YA books following Kara Calderon as she finds herself marooned on a planet her very people doomed (I’m really excited about this one!)

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?  I’m on twitter and Facebook, but my main website is ryanhartung.com.  Pretty easy to remember and all of my other accounts can be reached through there.  Plus there are free chapters of every book to preview. 

What genre do you write in and why? I write general and science fiction stories.  I grew up reading Stephen King and Fred Saberhagen and most of those are completely SciFi, but there are also so many good stories that are out there that take place in the real world.  So for both of those reasons I like to dabble in both genres to an extent.



Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.  The book series I’m currently promoting is my World’s Divide series of novellas.  Each one is around 25k words, so they are longer novellas than many others.  The series takes place in the present and follows three different teams set up by their governments to try and find ancient relics from the Greek gods of lore.  An American team of archeologists unwittingly finds Zeus’ Lightning Staff, which leads to clues to finding many more of these powerful artifacts.  At the same time, certain countries are preparing to go to war against other countries, with each set wanting to possess as many of the powerful artifacts as possible.  I’ve made the first book (Lightning) available for free while putting the others out there for 99 cents.  First of all I think they’re great for the price I’m offering them at and each book builds towards the next!

What gave you the idea for this particular book? I was actually inspired somewhat by a few Clive Cussler books I was reading at the time.  I absolutely love the intro to all of his books, where in the past some random event hundreds of years ago is the basis for the story.  Although I’ve taken a different approach to this series of books that was where my initial inspiration came from.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?   Outlining is a must!  I feel that if I don’t outline later on I want to introduce something and then I have to go back and rewrite portions of the books that would otherwise be good to go.  I still add parts in here and there, but outlining really gives me a sense of direction of where I want to go when I’m writing my chapters.

What comes first: the plot or characters? For me it’s always plot.  The how’s and the why’s are what really intrigue me.  Then I start to find characters that can bring those thoughts to fruition.  I’ve always loved plot-driven stories so that’s probably why I like to write that way.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Well, I ride my bike to and work at least three times a week to keep in shape.  I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar lately, which has been taking more time than I thought it would and I make rustic furniture as a hobby.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?  Endings, it’s always the endings.  Like TV shows; you invest so much time into them and then the ending is absolutely horrible.  There’s nothing worse than when a writer ends the story in some funky way maybe only five percent of their readership will enjoy.  I could go on about that for a long time.

Describe your writing space. My writing space is either my desk at work, where I can have some quiet time on the weekends or is usually on a pad of paper.  I don’t mind writing on the computer, but a lot of my writing is by the pen with either Daft Punk or some other music playing in the background that allows me to focus.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
My favorite thing about being an author is getting to write what I want to write about.  It’s great to have a story and want to share it with other people.  I’m not sure what my least favorite is, but it’s hard putting yourself and your work out there and trying to drum up support.  Sometime it can seem so daunting you wonder if it’s worth it.