Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Theresa Van Spankeren

Today's interview is with Theresa Van Spankeren, a paranormal and historical fiction author based near Chicago, Illinois. 

Thanks Theresa for participating in this interview!

1.      When did you first start writing? 
I have been writing since I was a little girl. I remember writing my first stories when I was eight years old, based off The Babysitter’s Club.

2.      What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid? 
I write about vampires mostly, although I dabble in short stories and other writing. I am self-published.

3.      What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors? 
My love for literature comes from my late grandparents and parents who all loved to read. I have too many favorite books to list them all here, but they include Christopher Pike’s Thirst series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series as well. I had some great teachers throughout my life, but I owe a shout out to Mrs. Nilan – my favorite, Mr. Pavliga who was remarkably tolerant when I was writing instead of paying attention in class, and my professors at Elmhurst College who pushed me to strive harder with my writing.

4.      What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?  
I make some notes about the story and where it is going, but I don’t outline the traditional way. I play out the story in my head like a movie. The first drafts of all of my books were written by hand. I then type them into the computer and revise and edit from there.

5.      What's your editing process? 
I do most of my own editing, which consists of reading and re-reading drafts over and over again. I also utilize a local writer’s group to help me out.

6.      Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas? 
I sometimes get inspiration when places and people around me, but often the ideas just come to me.

7.      When in the day do you usually write? For how long? 
I often write at night, but I will write at any time of the day or night the mood strikes me. Often I write for an hour but it varies.

8.      Where do you feel most inspired to write? 
I am most inspired around water, whether it is a lake or a fountain.

9.      Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music? 
I listen to music a lot when I write. It is usually some kind of soundtrack, but what it is varies by mood or the type of scene I am writing. It can be anything from the soundtrack of “Inuyasha” to “Pocahontas”.

10.    Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it? 
I get writer’s block from time to time. I have used various techniques to get around it including meditation, brainstorming with other writers, and listening to music.

11.    How much research do you do? What kind? 
I have done a great deal of research for different books in my series. It tends to be historical research of various places and people, but occasionally I have had to look up medical thing or other information.

12.    How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on?  
I am fairly new to the marketing part of this process. I do a limited amount of marketing with limited funds. I am most active on Facebook and Goodreads, but I am also active on Booksie.

13.    What project are you working on now?  
I am currently revising Book 3 of the War of Destiny series. I expect the process to take me at least a year, maybe more. When I am not working on that, I experiment with short stories and essays if the mood strikes me.

14.    What books do you like to read? What are you reading now? 
I enjoy a variety of books, although I really like to read paranormal and horror books. I have just finished reading Fire’s Love by Alex E. Carey. I am looking forward to reading more of the Dresden Files along with several other books.

Theresa Van Spankeren lives in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She has been writing since an early age and wrote the first draft of Book 1 of the War of Destiny series back in high school. After several unsuccessful attempts at publishing through major publishing houses, she seized the opportunity to bring her story to the public through self-publishing. She has recently published Book 2 of the series, Pursuit into Darkness. There are at least 6 books planned in the series at this time. When she isn't writing she enjoys hiking and swimming, and also loves checking out local haunted places. 

Pursuit into Darkness (War of Destiny Book 2)

Seventy years have passed since Julia took Samuel’s deal and agreed to help the Resistance overthrow the Vampire King. She and the rest of her ka-tet have lived in relative peace as her strength and abilities develop.
Her tranquil life is shattered with the arrival of Valentino, who seeks to destroy the rising threat to his power. Samuel knows his fledgling is still too young to defeat the King and intends to flee before the enemy gets too close.
When the plan fails, Julia has no choice but to fight.  However, the danger is unlike any she has faced before, and the perils to her ka-tet’s safety are everywhere, including her own mind. Can she find a way to stop Valentino, or will he destroy everything she holds dear? 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Guest Post: How A Holiday In Egypt Resulted In My Becoming An Author!

Today's post is about the journey into writing by Rita Chapman, author of three books. 

I had always enjoyed writing – in school I wrote long essays and even made up a couple of little books for my youngest brother. Over my working life I started a few chapters – but with no computer at home it was all done on a typewriter and I never finished a whole book. When I retired I decided I was finally going to write that book that is in all of us!

The challenge then was to choose a topic to write about. I knew I wanted to write a mystery but that was all. Then I remembered our holiday in Egypt - it had made quite an impression. Egypt is a mysterious and intriguing country. Vast deserts and uninhabited areas, crowded cities, towering pyramids and ancient tombs are all found in Egypt. Even today new tombs are being discovered, many still containing the sarcophagus and a myriad of valuable jewellery and antiques to sustain the deceased on their journey to the after-life. What better place to set a mystery? And so Missing in Egypt was born.

Since then I have written Winston – A Horse’s Tale, one for horse lovers and Dangerous Associations, a crime mystery. As you will see, they are all different genres. Some authors prefer to stay with one genre to build up a readership, I prefer to write about different subjects that interest me.

I don’t have a strict writing regime – I’m retired! I tend to write best when it’s raining and I’m confined indoors. I don’t have a preferred time to write either, but I do like peace and quiet – no music, no interruptions – and I’m fortunate to live in a very quiet area.

With Dangerous Associations I wanted to finish it before Christmas, so towards the end I set myself a goal of writing a page a day. That’s easily achievable and some days, if I was struggling with the plot, that was all I would write. Most days though, once you get going, you find you have written a whole chapter.

When I finished my first book I let out a big sigh of relief and thought “good, that’s done.” Little did I know!  I duly submitted my manuscript to a few publishing companies and sat back and waited. When no-one came knocking at my door I took a look at Amazon and made the decision to self-publish. I love the control and freedom that self-publishing provides (control freak?). I worked my way through the Kindle process and then went on to CreateSpace and finally saw my book in print.  What a feeling!  However, then came the promotion and marketing and that is probably the hardest part of all. It is constant, time-consuming and takes me away from writing the next book. However the friends I have made along the way, on websites like Goodreads and with local bookshop owners makes it all worthwhile.

My advise to any budding authors? Do it – you can self-publish and see your work in print! It’s an amazing journey.


Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties.  It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel, Missing in Egypt, a romantic travel mystery. 

Winston – A Horse’s Tale followed, written for horse lovers like herself.  “It was the book I had to write.” 

Her latest book, Dangerous Associations, is her first foray into crime mystery.

Missing in Egypt

Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure as well as its insights into Australian and Egyptian cultures. Australian Anna Davies travels to Egypt with her lover to help him search for his brother, who disappeared whilst on holiday. The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and the Temple of Karnak are amongst the settings for their search. Will they be able to track him down and find him alive - or is Ramy already dead? What tragedies await Anna and Kareem as they come closer to retracing his footsteps? This fast-paced action plot will keep you guessing until the end.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Brenda Mohammed

Today's author interview is with Brenda Mohammed, who is based in Trinidad. Interesting coincidence, my dad was actually born in Trinidad and grew up there, before moving to India with his parents. That's what is so great about being able to connect with people from all over the world online!

Welcome Brenda and thanks for sharing your work with us.

1.     When did you first start writing?
My name is Brenda Mohammed and I live In Trinidad in the Caribbean. I am a former Bank Manager and Insurance Professional. I wrote my first book, Memoirs of Dr. Andrew Moonir Khan in 1989, while I was still employed at the bank. I did that book out of love for my deceased father who was a great educator. However, I did not publish the book at that time. I revised it in 2014 and published it on Amazon and CreateSpace.

2.     What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid?
I am a self-published multi-genre author and I have written ten books to date:

Memoirs of Dr. A. M. Khan (2014) - This book is about the life of her father who was a great educator.
My Life as a Banker: A Life Worth Living (2014) - The author's autobiography.
Retirement is Fun: A New Chapter (2014) - Sequel to My Life as a Banker.
Stories People Love (2014) – Stories of Hope and Love
Adventures of Squeaky Doo (2014)- A Children’s series of stories.
Your Time Is Now: A Time to be Born and a Time to Die (2014) - A Book on Spirituality
I am Cancer Free (2013) - The author’s bout with ovarian cancer.
Heart-Warming Tales (2014) - Tales of mystery, love, and crime.
Travel Memoirs with Pictures: Exploring the world (2014)- A chronicle of the author’s travels around the world.
Revenge of Zeeka: Zeeka and the Zombies [2016]- A mystery thriller released on Feb 21st 2016.
I have written a series of Inspirational poems which are included in my publication Your Time is now.

3.     What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors?
Again, it was my father’s influence that drove me to love literature. He had a library full of every kind of books – even books for children, and I indulged a lot in these books. He was a great educator.

4.     What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?
I use my computer. When I have an idea for a story I start typing on my computer. I go back and make changes if the characters I come up with do not fit in with the plot, which I expand on as the ideas flow from my mind. So I have no prepared outline….only ideas.

5.     What's your editing process?
I read and re-read until I am sick of reading and then pass it on to a sister to do the final edits. My sister is a retired school principal and is good at editing.

6.     Any favorite apps / software / technology for writing?
I use Microsoft 2013.

7.     Any favorite apps / software / websites for marketing and promotion?
I believe in Amazon and CreateSpace. They not only publish my books free, but they advertise them. I also like as they promote all my books for a very small fee of $15.00.
Goodreads is also a reliable website with free promotions. and are two wonderful websites that I have recently discovered. They provide superb service and publish author interviews for free. I love them.

8.     What did you find most / least useful in learning to write?
I learnt that it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Writing takes up time and energy and one can get carried away and forget about other duties. To be a writer one has to balance time. We need the support of loved ones and they need us too.

9.     Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas?
My ideas just come to my head when I am in the bathroom or in the middle of the night. I just get a burning desire to write my thoughts and that is what spurs me on.

10.   When in the day do you usually write? For how long?
I am most productive at night…between 8.00pm to 11.00pm when there is quiet all around.

11.   Do you have a writing routine / schedule? Any specific rituals?
No. Whenever I get ideas I write.

12.   Where do you feel most inspired to write?
I have a small library at home with my desk and computer and that is where I do my writing.

13.   Describe your desk / writing corner / favorite writing spot.
As I said above, my writing spot is in my library.

14.   Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music?
No. I prefer quiet.

15.   Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it?
I had writer’s block in 2015. I joined several authors groups and interacted with other authors and bought their books, read and reviewed them, etc. In 2016 I read in the newspapers about the Zika virus and the problems it was causing internationally. I got my idea then to start a series Revenge of Zeeka.

The first story was published Feb 21st 2016 – Revenge of Zeeka: Zeeka and the Zombies. It was a hit.

16.    Do you now, or did you ever have any day jobs? Did they add to or detract from your writing?
No. I have no day jobs. [Editor's Note: Brenda worked in banking and insurance previously.]

17.    How do you make the time to write?
I have a very supportive husband who helps me a lot with grocery shopping and cooking.

18.    How much research do you do? What kind?
If I need to do research on a subject for a book I am doing I would check the Internet. However, they never have what I am looking for so I have to figure it out by myself or ask other relatives or friends who are qualified in that field.

19.    How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on? 
I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

20.    What’s the most fun aspect of marketing? The most challenging?
Facebook is fun because I get lots of friends and likes as well as comments. However, I get no sales for my books. With Twitter I get thousands of hits and wish I could get thousands of sales, but that certainly is not the case.

21.    What project are you working on now?
I am working on Series II of Revenge of Zeeka.

22.    What books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

I am reading books by other authors. I read all genres.


Brenda Mohammed, a multi-genre author, lives in the beautiful tropical island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. A former banker and Insurance Professional, she turned to writing after she retired from the Corporate world. Brenda loves to travel and enjoys a game of Scrabble when she is not writing. She has written five memoirs, one children's book, two books of short stories, one book on spirituality, and one mystery thriller series.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Finding Inspiration From Diverse Sources

I never really listened to podcasts until a couple of weeks ago. I know that does sound strange, but I had a bad experience a few years ago when I tried to listen to lectures on iTunes on my phone, and found it really difficult - maybe it was the ambient noise (I tried listening while traveling on public transport) or maybe I just couldn’t get into the topic. Whatever it was, I gave up. It was a shame, because I believe in trying new methods for learning, and in my recent book Anyone Can Get An A+ I recommend adding videos and audio books and lectures to the set of learning materials when trying to master a subject. I felt slightly strange giving advice that I myself found it hard to follow, but I knew there would be students who would gain a lot more from those sort of materials than I do.

Somehow I stumbled on to listening to a popular podcast on self-publishing (Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn Podcast), and I found that I really loved listening to it and found it very useful. In fact, I started to listen to episodes I downloaded while on the treadmill at the gym, and I found myself getting motivated to work out more often, and for longer times, than I normally would, just because I wanted to listen more. I even began to listen while waiting in line at the grocery store, on the bus, and while cooking.

As soon as I discovered that I could actually listen to podcasts, I tried out a few others. I downloaded a test episode from a few shows - others on self-publishing, on writing, and even on productivity (readers will recognize that these are precisely the topics of this blog, and obviously subjects I am really interested in). I have found a few interesting shows, and even episodes that I didn’t enjoy as much because I didn’t quite connect to the host, I found some really useful tips.

The most important thing - I learnt a lot from the various shows, advice on marketing my books, knowledge of the industry, really useful productivity tips that I can’t wait to start to implement. And I got a lot of ideas while listening, which weren’t directly from the podcasts, but ideas triggered indirectly. I got the idea for four books (I am not kidding!) and many blog post ideas. I was actually joking to myself that I should probably start carrying my laptop to the gym, and start typing right there.

In fact, I think the most productive thing I have done this year so far is to start listening to these shows, because I feel like I am in a completely different head-space when I am listening. I love to read, I read a lot more than most (and certainly more than I post on my Goodreads page), and I never thought that anything could be better than learning from someone else’s wisdom and experiences through reading what they have to say. Except now I realize, that while I will always cherish the lessons from books, hearing someone talking and really walking you through their experiences really makes the knowledge much more accessible. This was even the case where I had read the transcript of the audio sometime back (yes, I hated listening to audio so much I would just look for the transcript where possible).

I also find listening to people who are successful in an area that I am trying to develop, makes me start thinking of myself differently about that area. That sounds complicated  - but what I really mean is that if I listen to someone who is really productive talking about improving productivity, I start to unconsciously model my thinking and behavior around what that person said. This is similar to the life advice I read somewhere that we are the sum-total of the five people we spend the most time with. I know that’s kind of scary (unless you happen to best friends with Oprah or JK Rowling or Richard Branson), and although we can’t always choose our environment (you’re stuck with your colleagues and your boss for instance), we can choose who we allow into our head-space (or who we choose to emulate our behavior on). By listening to people who are successful in an area that I want to improve in, I have already started to change the ticker tape of thoughts in my head from “how come nothing is changing” or “why is someone else succeeding and not me” to “have I done my writing today?” or “let’s try to implement these marketing suggestions”.

As you can tell, I am pretty excited about my discovery, and as usual, I am telling everyone within earshot - I already tried to convert my parents into podcast listeners, subtly dropping, “so I was listening to this podcast and it said...” into almost every conversation. Watch this space on an update on how successful I am in that regard, but in the meantime, I thought I would share here about my new method for finding inspiration. And my final parting piece of advice - branch out. If you are a business professional, by all means listen to HBR and The Economist podcasts, but also try out something on literature or history. If you are a writer, listen to some of the fabulous shows out there that interview writers and talk about marketing, and then check out something on science, or philosophy. Just sample something different, and you never know, you might get the idea for your next great project!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Travis Bughi

Today's interview is with an author who writes fantasy books filled with mythological creatures from all cultures. Travis Bughi is based in California, US.

Welcome to Creativity@Work Travis, and thanks for taking the time to do this interview!

1.           When did you first start writing?
I started off like most authors do, I imagine, by writing short stories as a kid. Then, at age 14 in high school, I finished reading Dune by Frank Herbert and was absolutely blown away. I decided I wanted to write something of my own one day, and seven years later, I completed that dream. I haven’t stopped since.

2.           What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid?
My books are self-published fantasy novels set in a world filled with all our mythological creatures across all cultures. Everything from angels to oni, rakshasas to manticores. The main character is an adventurous if somewhat naïve young girl named Emily Stout who grows from humble beginnings to legendary status in this world made so deadly by our nightmares.

3.           What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors?
My grandmother was a librarian before she retired and is solely responsible for my love of reading. Being in touch with the trends of the day, she knew what kids generally liked and introduced me to R.L. Stine, whose books I read voraciously. She would bring home stacks of his books for me to read, and I’d pour through them so quickly that she couldn’t keep up. My parents got me a library card of my own, and I’ve been expanding my list of books-read ever since.

4.           What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?
I write books in a fashion like I read books, which probably doesn’t make sense, so allow me to explain. When I read books, nothing interests me as much as driven characters in a detailed setting. I can get behind just about any plot just so long as I’m following a character(s) who wants it badly enough. This is the way I write books. I start first with a strong understanding of my setting and then add in deep, fully-fledged characters with hopes, goals, and dreams. I have a general understanding of where the story is headed, but I don’t write down an outline. For the most part, the story writes itself as I set all these characters loose to work independently towards their goals.

Unfortunately, every method has its problems, and mine is that the way I write leads to strong characters and detailed worlds, but doesn’t always lead to strong plots or big twists. Those I have to add in manually, thinking about how to hide the secret motives of my strongly driven characters from the reader. I also have to contemplate timing a lot. The What and Why of my characters comes easily, but the How and When are just as important, so I must concentrate on these parts to make sure that my books aren’t all about characters and settings, but also includes plots and twists. Admittedly, I don’t succeed every time.

5.           What's your editing process?
Cleaning up the mistakes of my writing process. Once again, because my characters mostly write themselves, a lot of what I write in the first draft is set in stone, so my editing process is almost entirely polish. Edit a long-winded sentence here, remove a spoiler detail from here, clean up some dialogue and add in a few lines of characterization. Compared to my writing process, my editing is rather quick as I’m just adding the skin onto the meat and bones.

6.           Any favorite apps / software / technology for writing?
I use Microsoft Word for everything. Any outline I do is kept within the same document as the book and then deleted once it has served its purpose. Sometimes I’ll use the Notepadd app in my phone to jot down a quick idea while I’m out, but I transcribe it to Word the moment I get the chance. Everything else is in my head, and it has seemed to work so far for me. I think I might have to use a wiki-type app, though, once I finish this fantasy series and make a jump to scifi.

7.           Any favorite apps / software / websites for marketing and promotion?
I use Reddit and Goodreads almost exclusively. I do this because I frequent these sights a lot for fun rather than marketing and promotion. I use reddit as a time-filler where I get my information and drama fix, while I use Goodreads to hunt for books to read. When I see an opportunity to plug my book, I try to be respectful when I do so, spreading goodwill and understanding that people don’t want to be spammed. I don’t do much promotion, honestly, because I like to interact with people one on one rather than blast my work through large websites and email lists.

8.           What did you find most / least useful in learning to write?
Most: Reading. There is little else to be said on this topic that hasn’t already been repeated by nearly every other author, including Stephen King who said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Least: Writing advice. Going online and asking for advice on how to write, or reading blogs that tell you what words to use and not use, is an absolute and complete waste of everyone’s time. Every single piece of writing advice can be countered and shown to be false by a successful piece of fiction or non-fiction. “Don’t use adverbs!” they’ll say, and then I point to Harry Potter. “Don’t use purple prose!” Really? Because according to the list over at, The Inheritance Cycle, HP Lovecraft, Conan the Barbarian, and George Orwell all wrote purple. To quote George Orwell, “I wanted to write enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of detailed descriptions and arresting similes, and also full of purple passages in which words were used partly for the sake of their own sound.” And let’s not forget the writing advice “Don’t write badly!” People who say this stuff will also say that Fifty Shades of Grey is the worst novel ever written, while somehow ignoring the fact that book is also the best selling book of all time. Although I don’t care for Fifty Shades, I won’t ignore the fact that it blasted apart every piece of writing advice I’ve ever come across.

9.           Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas?
There is no one source for me. I draw my inspiration from every media outlet available to me. When I watch movies, TV shows, documentaries; when I read books, blogs, comics; when I listen to music, go on trips, seeing pictures, experience things myself; they all contribute to my understanding of how people interact and how the world fits together. It all goes into a single pool that mixes and connects like a giant web, and when I pull one string, hundreds of others tag along. I couldn’t narrow my inspiration any more than I could sum up the whole entertainment industry. In a word, I don’t discriminate.

10.       When in the day do you usually write? For how long?
I have no set schedule, only a goal. I aim for 5,000 words a week, done at any pace, at any time, for as long or as little as I like. I typically write for about an hour either in the early morning or in the early afternoon, as this is when my free time comes up, but I don’t feel held to that time slot. I also carry all my work on a flash drive which comes along with me so I can write from any computer I find myself plopped in front of.

11.       Do you have a writing routine / schedule? Any specific rituals?
Beyond the 5,000-word-a-week goal, which is actually more of a guideline, the only other ritual I have is to read over the last one hundred I wrote or so. It gets me back into the mindset and allows me to pick up exactly where I left off.

12.       Where do you feel most inspired to write?
Dune by Frank Herbert. That book was such a joy and had such an effect on me at that age that I became determined to write something of my own with which to bring joy to others. A sort of pass-it-on mentality where my books provide joy to other readers the way other authors provide joy to me as a reader. This is probably why I don’t promote my books as much as I ought to. Income has always been secondary to making sure I’m providing something worth reading and that books land in the hands of those who want to read them.

13.       Describe your desk / writing corner / favorite writing spot.
I have a desk and a computer, but I wouldn’t call it my writing corner or my writing spot. My flash drive travels the world over with me, and any screen I find myself in front of becomes my writing spot. When I write, I get into the story and quickly lose track of whatever else is happening around me, so distractions don’t have much effect on me.

14.       Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music?
No. Never have, and probably never will.

15.       Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it?
At only 5,000-words a week, I don’t write enough to run out of ideas all that often. I find I have lots of time to think on events so writer’s block is a rarity. When I do hit a wall, it tends to happen when multiple characters meet in a large, book-altering event, which forces me to think from several different perspectives all at the same time. Other times, I have to find some justification for why a character needs to behave accordingly, and because I’m me, that justification needs to be rock solid and true to the character. When this happens, I find a long walk or a long drive works best for me, thinking idly like I’m feeling my way through a thick fog. I explore different options, like Nicholas Cage in Next, taking each action to its logical conclusion and seeing which results come up. I then pick the line that works best for storytelling entertainment and my writer’s block is gone. Depending on how badly I’m stopped up, this process can take anywhere from a day to a month to fix, and because I’m not a bigtime selling author, it doesn’t bother me to go a month without writing while I work out a large problem.

16.       Do you now, or did you ever have any day jobs? Did they add to or detract from your writing?
I do have a day job as an appraiser, and I probably always will. I would say it adds to my writing, because it is thanks to the stability and income from my day job that I can write carefree and have the money and funds to afford the entertainment that keeps me inspired. I was jobless when I wrote the first book in my World of Myth series, and I hated that time of my life.

17.       How do you make the time to write?
I would call it simple, conscious effort. Like working out or doing the dishes, it is simply something that needs to be done. I don’t argue with it or forget about it. Writing is always in the back of mind, pinging me like anything else that’s important to me. “Did I leave the stove on? Did I write today? Should I write today?”

18.       How much research do you do? What kind?
I’m an avid Wikipedia reader. I’ve even donated to them before, as I know how dependent I am on them for both knowledge and entertainment. Most of my research comes prior to any writing, where I spend a few weeks quietly fleshing out the world my characters are going to exist in. I determine governments, weather, landscapes, creatures, places, events, and anything else I deem important to the setting. Once that is done, I fill in the world with people, who actually require little research. They mostly speak for themselves.

19.        How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on? 
As I stated before, I spend most of my time on Reddit and Goodreads, as these are the places I like to visit for reasons other than marketing. I feel I know the crowd more (or at least those places I do visit) and feel more comfortable interacting with people and introducing them to my work. I always offer up my work free first, as I would hate to be spammed with something I had to buy by the author. It makes growth slow but steady, which is good enough for me.

20.       What's the most fun aspect of marketing? The most challenging?
Just figuring out how to do it in the first place. Starting from scratch is the hardest, I feel, as I prefer to run on accomplishments. I find marketing and promoting much easier now that I have over 100 review/ratings and a 4-star average on my series. When I had 0, I felt like I was going door-to-door peddling haircare products, begging anyone and everyone to give poor old me a chance. Now that I’ve proven myself a little, I feel more confident and less apprehensive. Now I can message people, saying “Hey, you’re looking for XYZ, I saw. I just happen to have XYZ right here for you to try out free, and here’s all these other people with no connection to me saying it’s a good deal.” So, in terms of it all, the most challenging and difficult part of marketing is behind me.

21.       What project are you working on now?
I’m finishing the professional editing of the first part of my 6-book World of Myth series. Meanwhile, I’m writing books 7 & 8 in that series, and then I intend to take a break and write something new just to test my writing skills, and possibly try and get something traditionally published for the experience of it all. As to what I will write, I’m still not sure. I’m not there yet.

22.       What books do you like to read? What are you reading now?
I’m a strong fan of scifi, history, and fantasy, possibly in that order though it’s a close call between scifi and history. I prefer strong, driven characters with deep motives, flaws, and skills. I especially love characters that grow and change, taking up challenges and arising new above the ashes. Plot twists are like cherries on top to me. Not necessary, not unpleasant, but if an author ever sacrifices character drives for plot, I’ll lose interest in a heartbeat and drop the book never to continue again. I find my time too precious to waste on books I don’t enjoy.

What I’m reading now is The Three Body Problem by Ken Liu, which I’m about 20% through and so far enjoying. It’s different in that it switches characters a lot and jumps through time, but I like the characters and I’m curious as to where this is headed. Also, the author is fantastic at descriptions, similes, and metaphors. It’s beautiful, really.


I’m a simple guy who likes to write. I grew up with a passion for books, particularly fiction, and enjoyed the thrill of getting pulled into a whole new world. My goal now is to pass that joy onto others, and get lost in my own world this time around.

Most Recent Novel: Juatwa

The time has come for Emily to make good on her vengeance. After chasing the traitor the world over, Emily has her cornered in Juatwa, a place of never-ending war, and must fight her way through creatures, assassins, and three armies, to defeat her nemesis. But Emily has an ally whose skills rival her own. With his help, a bit of determination, and perhaps some luck, they might just win the day.

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