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Archive for February, 2018

Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.

Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

A born writer, but not a born fiction writer. I was a journalism major in college and worked as a TV news writer before becoming a lawyer. I published my first book, Every Reasonable Doubt, a month before my 48th birthday. So I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to becoming a novelist.

What was your inspiration for Abuse of Discretion?

I was talking to a law school classmate who was lamenting the fact that he had yet another teenage client facing life-altering consequences as a result of sexting. He’s a criminal defense attorney and he explained to me that children as young as 13 and 14 were being prosecuted for distributing child pornography after taking naked selfies and sending them to a classmates. I was floored when he told me that these children faced the possibility of having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives if convicted. I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller and Abuse of Discretion was the result.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I don’t explore themes as much as social issues. My books have discussed sexual harassment in the workplace (In Firm Pursuit), gender discrimination (Attorney-Client Privilege), the HIV epidemic among women (Murder on the Down Low), paternity issues (Lawful Deception) and child-sex trafficking (Anybody’s Daughter).

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It took me about a year to complete Abuse of Discretion, which is typical for me for a full-length novel. I just released my first erotic romance novella, Unlawful Desires, under the pen name Sassy Sinclair, which took me three months to write.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m pretty disciplined in the home stretch of the novel. Once I have a first draft and I’m three months or so away from my publication date, I’m pretty consistent.  The real writing is in the rewriting and I need about three months to tinker with the book. I’m a morning writer, so I like to get to the computer by 7 a.m. I typically write until about noon, then break for lunch. If the writing vibe is strong, I’ll start up again around 2 p.m. and write until about six or seven.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The research for sure. I’m a lawyer, but I’ve never practiced in juvenile court. It’s a totally different world from civil court and employment law, which is my expertise. Luckily, I had several juvenile criminal attorneys and a juvenile judge who helped me out quite a bit.

What do you love most about being an author?

The freedom to educate as well as entertain through my books. After reading Abuse of Discretion, I hope parents sit down and talk to their teens about sexting. Education and frank conversation are key to saving our children from very devastating legal consequences.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

My first two books were traditionally published. My third book, Murder on the Down Low, was rejected by nine publishing houses, which forced me to self-publish. I’m now a successful indie author with ten books to my credit. When two major publishers who rejected my earlier books later solicited me, it truly validated my decision to take charge of my own writing career. It was also quite validating when Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction against four traditionally published authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Terry McMillan. In the words of Tyler Perry, “We don’t have to wait for someone to green light our projects. We can create our own intersections.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung and

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung

 

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Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude: Brugh, Bouncer and Miss Jazzy. If not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Her latest book is Their Witch Wears Plaid.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Would you call yourself a born writer?  

Absolutely, my DNA is actually colourful scribbles and characters. I wrote plays and stories in the second and third grade which became productions in the backyard using the clothesline for the stage curtain. Dialogue then and now is my favorite part. My imagination knew no bounds in creating invisible people, animals and ideas. I would scare myself plotting out a dramatic scene when I should have been working on multiplication tables.

What was your inspiration for Their Witch Wears Plaid

I have been fascinated with psychics and palm readers most of my life. And being of Scottish descent, I’ve dreamed of living in the moors of Scotland. What better fun than to blend these two fantasies together in a magical realism storyline. Years ago I discovered a talented and incredible acquaintance who is a palm reader here in Olympia, Washington and she became the inspiration for Lady Nell.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing? 

Strong, independent women characters are a staple in my books. Despite what happens around them or to them, they struggle to remember who they are. Lightness, laughter, looking at the world with rose-tinted glasses are also important. Though I have written darker stories, I most enjoy romantic comedies.

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

This one took about nine months to complete as I suffer from Meniere’s Disease and find it difficult to stare at a computer screen for more than an hour or so without feeling seasick and dizzy. I take a notebook with me wherever I go and can write scenes or dialogue passages whenever I get the chance.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day. 

Um, somewhat. I am up before the dawn usually and those first quiet hours of the morning are my ideal time to write. The windows near my computer face west, unfortunately, so I don’t get the excitement of sun rises, but the general lightening of the world outside. However, I also use this time for social media and reading the headlines of the news.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book? 

Actually, giving the male lead enough script time – he probably could have used more. I see my novels as a movie playing out in my mind and many times during the early drafts I found myself asking, “What happened to Galen? Where is he?”

What do you love most about being an author? 

Creating characters, they can be much more rewarding and pliable than real people. Listening to their lives play out, knowing their dreams and wishes, is quite powerful. As an author you wear many hats: creator, director, producer and casting supervisor.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision? 

I’ve done all three throughout the list of my books. However, for Their Witch Wears Plaid, I first offered it to the Simon & Schuster imprint Crimson Romance who published the first two books in the series: Her Ghost Wears Kilts and His Lass Wears Tartan. They passed on the story and I ended up self-publishing. There are pros and cons to both traditionally publishing (whether a big sister house or small press) versus doing it yourself. And each attribute of the process has pros and cons: Cover design, editing, marketing. With DIY, you have control with the cover design. This is fulfilling but can be expensive, as you shouldn’t do the design yourself. It’s like your book is wearing a dress to the top awards ceremonies, would you rather it wear a professional designer gown or something you made from home?

Where can we find you on the web?

Blog Address: http://kathleenshaputis.com

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/NWAuthor

Facebook Address:  https://www.facebook.com/KathleenShaputisAuthor/

 

 

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Title: Fragments of Life
Author: Anita R. Gibbons
Publisher: XlibrisAU
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook

This story is in a sense a complex tale that commences at the end. It relates the tale of a developing “rocky” love affair between its two major characters as they each discover their capacity to fall in love with another woman, the charting of which is seen through the eyes of the survivor.

Maggie Cameron is a thirty-something single mother who has already established a moderately successful publishing business in Vancouver, Canada. She is also struggling to cope with the strain of a failing marriage and the needs of her growing daughter. Then into her life enters Carla Green as her young personal assistant.

Carla quickly becomes an invaluable player in Maggie’s business and family life. Then everything moves smoothly for a number of years until the confluence of two major events brings their developing relationship to a climax.

Carla is forced to confront the reemergence of her childhood demons on two fronts when a previous illness brings her mortality into question again. Maggie undertakes to publish a lesbian-focused story by a well-respected novelist under an assumed name. Maggie is deeply worried about the latter, even after Carla offers to play a role in addressing her major concerns. However, it is of even greater concern to both Maggie and her daughter, Stephanie, now in her teens, that Carla’s shattering prognosis will have severe repercussions on their developing comfortable family relationship.

By way of devising a coping strategy, Maggie and Stephanie begin plotting a way to make Carla’s impending death as happy as possible for all concerned. However, Carla seems to be rejecting all their efforts until an opportunity emerges for Stephanie to spend part of her upcoming school holiday in France. After considerable persuasion, Carla finally agrees to accompany them on their planned grand tour of Europe. Hence, although the story is set primarily in Vancouver, Canada, it also incorporates their travels across Europe.

As they all set about arranging for and planning their holiday itinerary, Carla is also trying to address her long-held concerns about her own sexuality. She eventually discloses her fears to Maggie, whose initial reaction is less than positive, particularly as Carla also soon expresses her deep feelings for her boss.

This unexpected development causes Maggie to also attempt an analysis her own deepening feelings for Carla, but before she is able to draw any conclusions, an event immediately preceding their departure seemingly dooms whatever future their relationship might hold.

The saga then proceeds as a mini travelogue covering their adventures in France. Indeed, it is only when Maggie and Carla, having deposited Stephanie with her troublesome father, set off on their own adventure to Italy that they begin to address the changing nature of their relationship.

It is only when they reach the idyllic setting of the small coastal village of Positano that Maggie finally gives in to the perceived pressure from Carla and finally admits to herself that she has irrevocably fallen totally ‘in love’ with Carla. However, more problems emerge as they grapple with the issue of Maggie’s willingness to share her newfound knowledge with Stephanie and the outside world in general.

PURCHASE HERE

 

MY THOUGHTS:
This book runs through all emotions that you might have while reading. The plot and characters are both extremely well developed, and even though there are hard topics addressed the author flows through these with ease as the relationships are forged and hold strong.
A very good book that I would recommend.
After she was born in the United Kingdom, Anitaís family moved to Australia when she was still quite young. She studied her BA (sociology/politics) and MA (womenís studies) at Victoriaís Monash University. She met her life partner at age twenty, and they spent thirty-seven years together in their small home in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. They both enjoyed traveling, sailing, and sharing their time with an array of pet cats. Her writing has consisted of short stories, poetry, and articles for professional journals. Following her partnerís death in 2007, this novel finally burst out of its shackles. Her other major pastimes include presenting a weekly program for Melbourne community radio and still traveling whenever possible.

 

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Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at http://www.sypherbooks.com.   

What’s inside the mind of a Bible book author?

My mind is full of a love of the word of God. I like to meditate and think about God’s word most of the day. I like to try and see how does the word of God work in my life.

What is so great about being an author?

People is impressed when you say you are an author, that is nice but the greatest thing is knowing that what I wrote can potentially help a lot of people get a closer walk with the Lord.

When do you hate it?

When I am tired and have writer’s block, and when I have a self imposed deadline or goal to reach.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

When I am thinking about a verse, I take the verse and just think about that one verse or setting from morning to night, sometimes for a few days and just let the Lord stir up scriptures. I try to always have a pen and paper with me so that when an idea comes I can write it down even if I discard the idea later. If I don’t write it down I tend to forget the idea. Then I transfer it to my rough draft that I am doing which I go over several times later on in the process.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I realize not everyone is going to like my books, I look at the star rating and read what they have to say about it. I try to see if there is anything positive said about my book and dwell on that. The negative part I try to use to see if I could have improve my book anyway, or my writing style so when I write another book it will be better.

How do you handle positive reviews?

I get real excited about positive reviews, they are like a pat on the back for a job well done.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

First response is usually surprise, you wrote a book? And then it gives me an opportunity to discuss my book with them, and to explain the wonderful things that are found in the word of God.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I usually take a break from writing, sometimes I waste my time playing a game on the computer. I had to force myself to write at the end because I had my own deadline of when I wanted the book done and published by, but this was in the finishing process.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

It is ok if they don’t take it seriously; I had to do it because it is what I felt like God wanted me to do. I did not get much encouragement or discouragement while writing my book people were just neutral on it until after it was written.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes I can the most beautiful thing about writing this book is that I feel like I have imparted some words of wisdom to this world that will help people.

The worst part about writing is that it can be very time consuming especially if you have a full time job also.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

No the true success is if you impart something of value into your readers lives to where they can improve or have a better life. Money is just a small part of the equation.

What has writing taught you?

The most important thing it has taught me is that I can start a long term project and finish it. This is important to me on a personal level; I grew out of writing this book.

It also taught me that I do have knowledge that I can pass on to future generations in the form of this book. Also that people wanted to hear what I had to say.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

That is a tall order to leave words of wisdom, but I will try.

Write about things you are passionate about, and describe it in your own way. Speak from the heart. Do your homework so you can be more detailed about what you are writing about.

Enjoy the process it will have it’s ups and downs but stay focus on your goal of finishing.

I have enjoyed writing this book.

God Bless

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Pixel Egypt DaveAfter a near death experience at age fifteen, Joseph Davida left his parents’ home and moved into Manhattan. Too young to get a “real” job, he started up what became one of the biggest weed delivery services in New York to support himself while he pursued his career as a musician and songwriter. For years he worked with some of the best musicians in the world, until a nervous breakdown brought his time in the music industry to an end. During this time he traveled the world before finally settling in Nashville, where he had two beautiful daughters and started a successful chain of retail stores. He now concentrates on being a good father, and actively plans for the coming revolution…while also working to get his many stories onto the page.

Q: What’s inside the mind of a travel memoir author?

A: Oh man… A lot of things! The kinds of things that would probably make my mother very worried. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out a way to save the world. I see the future that my daughters will be inheriting, and it’s starting to look pretty bleak. But I do have hope. I feel like the current political landscape has woken a lot of people up to the fact that if we don’t get our act together pretty soon, it may become too late.

THTH_final_4.jpg

Q: Tell us why readers should buy “Traveling High and Tripping Hard”.

A: Well, it won’t be for everyone…but for anyone who appreciates all of the things that can be learned from making bad decisions, I think they can enjoy it. It’s a chance to travel to exotic places, and experience some things that most people would probably never want to personally subject themselves to. Also, it will hopefully make some people laugh.

Q: What makes a good travel memoir?

A: Something where the reader really feels like they are there with you. Whether they become inspired to visit the same places, or make a conscious decision to never wind up there, you want the reader to feel like they’ve experienced it. You want something that can take you on a journey that captures all of the joy and suffering that life has to offer, without creating any of the actual scars that come with it.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

A: I’ve just started putting together a new website. Not sure of everything that will be on it yet, but the address is www.josephdavida.com .

Q: What has writing taught you?

A: That the process is hard. But if one person can read what I have written, and have a moment to escape from their own life—it will have all been worth it. After all of the years of debauchery and self-destruction, at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself!

 

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Jody Gehrman has authored eleven published novels and numerous plays for stage and screen. Her debut suspense novel, Watch Me, is published by St. Martin’s Press. Her Young Adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel. Jody’s plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, SanFrancisco, Chicago and L.A. Her newest full-length, TribalLife in America, won IMG_0408the Ebell Playwrights Prize and will receive a staged reading at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for theirone-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She holds a Masters Degree in ProfessionalWriting from the University of Southern California and is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Watch Me. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: Watch Me is a dark psychological suspense novel about a professor caught up in a dangerous relationship with her charming but psychotic student. Writing this book felt important and cathartic. “Watch Me” is a dare, a command, and a plea. I was trying to put into words an experience I think many women can relate to. We go from always being on display in our twenties and early thirties to suddenly feeling invisible. The minute we hit puberty we start to feel eyes on us; we get so used to that state, we unconsciously accept it as a law of nature. When all those eyes turn away from us, it’s as if we disappear. My protagonist is thirty-eight, divorced, emotionally bruised, and disappearing. That perfect storm makes her vulnerable to an obsessive sociopath. He may be dangerous, but at least he sees her.

Q: What do you think makes a good psychological suspense novel? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

Watch Me CoverA: I suppose this is painfully obvious, but it has to be suspenseful. The reader has to feel a sort of dread that’s at once scary and also weirdly pleasurable.

The second element is also somewhat obvious but worth mentioning: the nature of the suspense should be psychological. What that means to me is we’re drawn into each character’s secrets; we get to explore his or her dark side, and in doing so, we explore our own. The element of fear isn’t centered on the supernatural or jump-scares but rather the shadow side of human nature.

The third element I look for as a reader and strive to achieve as a writer is atmosphere. I love it when the world of the book is so palpable I can lose myself in it, no matter what’s going on in my real life.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: I’m a playwright and a screenwriter in addition to my work as a novelist, so I’ve learned a lot about plotting from the screenwriting community. I’m a huge fan of the late great Blake Snyder’s book on screenplay structure and storytelling, Save the Cat. Once I got the basic idea for Watch Me I ran it through Snyder’s fifteen story beats. The overall premise came to me in a heated rush, but I was able to refine the various plotting elements by looking at it through the lens Snyder explains so beautifully. If you struggle with plotting I highly recommend his book.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing? In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: The book bounces between two very different voices—a writing professor and her protégé. It’s funny; since I’ve worked as a writing professor for two decades, I assumed her voice would dominate the book. Nobody was more surprised than me when her unhinged student took on a voice that just exploded on the page. I guess we all have a bit of crazy in us. I’ve discovered that taking on the point of view of a sociopath is both fascinating and weirdly therapeutic.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: The great thing about fiction is we get to fast-forward through the boring parts. I try to find the most dramatic, tense moments that will tell the story best.

In early drafts, it’s natural to avoid conflict to some extent. We get our characters into a tight spot, but we love them, so we want to make it easy for them to escape. In later drafts, my focus is on cutting off those escape routes and forcing the characters to sweat it out. I try to lose anything that slows the pace too much. I’m learning to put my beloved characters into impossibly tense situations and then, just when I can barely stand it, I turn the screws just a little more.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: I love weather. It sounds cliché, but sprinkling a scene with just the right wind or rain or sun really can add to the tension. I’m also very olfactory. Smells play an important part in my books. It’s one of the most powerful senses when it comes to connecting with emotion. If I could write a novel with scratch-and-sniff pages that would awesome : )

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: The idea that people—especially women—feel invisible after a certain age is central to this book. It’s what makes my protagonist vulnerable to a dangerous stalker. This is something I’ve thought about for years, but wasn’t able to express until now.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: I do think that’s possible, especially if you’re working with an editor who doesn’t fully get your vision. Both my agent and my editor were so completely on board with this book, though, I never worried about that. They saw ways to make it better, but the fundamental bones of the book remained unchanged.

Many writers, myself included, want to please everyone. This can be dangerous. I caution my writing students to sift through the feedback they receive with an open mind, but only act on the notes that truly resonate. The longer you do this work, the clearer you get about which voices to listen to and which ones to ignore.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Perseverance, audacity, but most of all a deep love of the work itself.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: I guess that’s sort of true. I loved being a student, so I guess it makes sense that I’d want nonstop homework forever.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat is my Bible.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: It’s important to surround yourself with people who take your work as a writer seriously. Authors have enough rejection and ridicule to contend with in the public sphere; there’s no need to invite the same sort of energy into your home.

 

 

 

 

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