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Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I’m not sure I would say I am a born writer as much as I have always felt called to write. It’s important to me to make sure of my God-given talents. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed.

What was your inspiration for Amos Faces His Bully?

Like my first book, Little Shepherd, this story places fictional characters in a Biblical setting. My first inspiration was to continue with the format of my first book—make it a series of unrelated, yet similar, stories. There are others planned.

My primary reason for writing Amos Faces His Bully, however, is very personal. I was bullied as a child; teased from the day I entered elementary until the day I graduated high school. Yet, with all the awareness of bullying and the anti-bullying programs that exist in our cities and towns today, bullying still exists. As I’ve worked hard to prevent my own child from being bullied, I wanted her to know God could provide her—and other victims of bullying—with peace and strength.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Faith often plays a role in my books. Whether it be a young shepherd boy who must trust that God will keep his sheep safe while he visits the newborn King, or a bullied child seeking courage to deal with his tormenters, reaching out in faith has many rewards. A Christmas Kindness, while not faith-based, has themes in it that some might consider Christian values. Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and A Christmas Kindness show young people as problem solvers.

How long did it take you to complete this picture book?

The first draft of Amos Faces His Bully took a few days…but that’s the easy part. It’s the editing process that takes a while. You’re not only looking for typographical or grammar errors. You’re looking to trim away the unnecessary words. You’re clarifying your meaning. You’re seeking out repetitive words or phrases. Even after a book is published, it’s not uncommon to wish you had done something differently.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Um…no. Total panster who waits until there is a fair amount of time to sit down uninterrupted to write. Usually that means once a month at writing group, but I’ll take what I can get.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Writing a book about a youngster being bullied when you were bullied and friendless for most of your childhood tends to bring up bad memories. Thankfully, as many of us discover, the years after high school bring with them a level of maturity the bullies—and you—didn’t have in school.

What do you love most about being an author?

It’s amazing to be able to go to Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com or other online retailers and find my books there. Have to admit that is a special feeling.

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?

All my books are published by independent publishers. After the manuscripts were accepted, the process—while not exactly short—was fairly painless. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful people at both publishing houses. That’s why I keep going back with each new book.

Where can we find you on the web?

My friends say I am all over the Internet. Having worked in online book promotion and using social media for my current job means they probably aren’t too far off. I am out there a lot. The best places to find me are:

Website: http://ccmalandrinos.com

Blog: https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos-170542359697682

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccmalandrinos

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4341623.Cheryl_C_Malandrinos

 

About the Book:

Title: AMOS FACES HIS BULLY
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children’s picture book

 

BOOK BLURB:

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

 

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Author Hill Kemp is a former Texas State Representative. Though his first novel, Capitol Offense, is a political thriller, he recently teamed up with his 9-year old granddaughter to write a children's chapter book, Lucky Penny. In this interview, Kemp talks about his books, writing habits and offers some writing advice. 

Did you always want to be a writer?

I wish. I didn’t start writing until I was 55! Now I can’t get enough. Where was this almost compulsive writer all those years?? I’ve gain, grown and taken flight since I opened up to writing.

Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Lucky Penny from Guardian Angel Publishing is the joint work of me and my 7th grade granddaughter, Siena. The conflict in this tweener novel came right out of her experience in 4th grade. But Siena was truly the inspiration for Lucky Penny. She’s an avid reader and wanted to read my first novel, Capitol Offense, but we decided against that for a 9-year-old. So Siena and I built characters, used her experience and Lucky Penny is the result. The book highlights both the importance of friends and friendship and how it takes investment to sustain.

Are you a disciplined writer? What is your working style? Do you like to outline and plot ahead, or are you more of a stream-of-consciousness writer?

I write in bursts, stream-of-consciousness style. My books play out in my head like movies. My outline for a 100,000 word novel might have 12 or 15 major nodes with nothing listed under them. Only the major flow. Before any fiction, I write pages and pages on the main character(s) to get them fully three dimensional – almost a life history. Then I put them on the stage at the first ‘node’ and away we go. My characters are rich enough that they added 5 chapters in the first 40 in a novel I just completed. Writing a page or so each day doesn’t work for me. I try to block out a whole day (and night??) and get inside my story and go. Probably 5 – 7,000 words in a burst.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?

My website is www.capitoloffense.com

What are you working on now?

I am working with my publisher to get the final shaping of A Lone Star Special , the sequel to my first novel Capitol Offense . I am part way through ghostwriting the memoir of a person who wants her whole story out now that the Statutes of Limitation have expired. People from 5 other states want me to do their state legislature the way I did Texas in Capitol Offense. I have my native Louisiana already framed and that will be my next project barring other interventions.

Where are your books available?

Amazon, B&T, etc., my website.

Any special marketing strategies you’d like to share?

Most of the money I’ve made selling books has been to impulse buyers at the entry of Kroger grocery stores. Over $20K. I have the option to sell in Kroger stores anywhere in the 105 cities where they are the dominant grocer. I just need writers in those cities. Anybody in Cincinnati?

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Read, read, read any and everything you can find even close to your planned work. That old saw about write about what you know is mostly on target. Read the foundational book The Writer’s Journey. Try to remember that persistence stands almost equally with talent in actually getting a book into print. 80% of all books published are non-fiction. The average sales per published book is 200!(so don’t quit your day-job) Be open to let the writing process teach you, open you, scare you and inspire you.

Who are your favorite authors?

Grisham, Dick Fancis, Maeve Binchy

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

NEVER send out anything that has not been edited by an EDITOR (not you).

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

My inspiration quote by C. D. Lewis: “Do not write to be understood. Write to understand.” I gained a father I’d totally lost out of my fledgling writing effort.

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Hi all,

The special publishing issue of Voice in the Dark Ezine is out for your reading pleasure.

In this issue…

Editor’s Note
Fictional Character Interview
Special Publisher Interviews
–Meet Lida Quillen, Publisher, Twilight Times Books
–Meet Kathryn Struck, Publisher, Awe-Struck E-Books
Featured Interviews
–Meet Lida Quillen, Publisher, Twilight Times Books, Interview by Mayra Calvani
–Meet Lynda S. Burch, Publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing, Interview by Mayra Calvani
–Meet Elizabeth Burton, Publisher, Zumaya Books, Interview by Mayra Calvani Book Excerpt — Tremolo by Aaron Paul Lazar
Gladiator’s Arena–by Mayra Calvani
Short Fiction
Articles
–It’s my Book! Right? by Ghost Writer
–Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing and Subsidy Publishing by Barbara Hudgins
–The Perils and Pitfalls of Publishing: Who Can an Author Trust by Dee Power and Brian Hill
–How Do Books Get on Book Store Shelves by Dee Power
Sanctuary — Columnist Mayra Calvani
Whodunit? — Columnist Billie A. Williams
Pam’s Pen — Columnist Pamela James
Seedlings — Aaron Paul Lazar
This & That — Columnist Dana Reed
Reviews
Notes
Events
Resources

Just go to www.MysteryFiction.net and click on Voice in the Dark on the left sidebar.

Enjoy!

Best,
Mayra

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magic_violin-cvr6x150.jpg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Person: Lynda S. Burch, Publisher
Company Name: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Telephone Number: 314 276 8482
Email Address: publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com
Website: www.guardianangelpublishing.com

New Christmas Children’s Book Focuses on Violin Playing

THE MAGIC VIOLIN

SAINT LOUIS, MO – Mayra Calvani’s first children’s picture book, THE MAGIC VIOLIN, has just been released in ebook and paperback by Guardian Angel Publishing, becoming one of the few picture books in the market today focusing on violin playing.

Book’s Blurb:

More than anything, 8-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self esteem. A mysterious, old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the plaza, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea?

The message of The Magic Violin is that real magic lies in believing in oneself, and that if we trust ourselves, we can accomplish anything. The story, written for 4 to 8 year olds, shows how being compassionate and generous can have its rewards. It also introduces children to the violin and other countries–Belgium, in this case.

“The story combines violin music, magic, Christmas, and the charm of 19th Century Europe,” says Calvani, whose passion for the violin has led to several stories and novels since she began playing four years ago. “This is a book that little girls who are learning to play the violin will be able to identify with. The violin is an extremely difficult instrument to learn—probably the most difficult instrument there is, and sometimes learning a new piece can be quite disheartening. Hopefully my book will motivate young players to persevere and have self trust. Above all, I want my love for the violin to come through the pages and inspire children to try this incredible instrument.”

Author’s Bio:

Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author whose short fiction, articles, and reviews have appeared on many print and online publications in the States, England, and Puerto Rico. She hails from San Juan, P.R., but now resides in Brussels, Belgium. Visit her children’s book website at www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com. Her official website is www.MayraCalvani.com.

THE MAGIC VIOLIN is distributed by Follett, the largest distributor of ebooks to schools and libraries. The paperback version is available from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardners and Bertrams in the UK, most online retailers, and on order from any brick and mortar bookstore.

For review copies and/or interview requests, please contact the publisher, Lynda Burch, at publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com.

Title: The Magic Violin
Author: Mayra Calvani
Format: Paperback
Reading Level: 5-8 years old
ISBN-13: 978-1-933090-49-8
Publication Date: November 2007
Pages: 32
Price: Ebook $5.00, Paperback $10.95
To Order: 314 276 8482, or publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com

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