Tuesday, October 15, 2013

St. George Book Festival Author Interview with VS Grenier

VS Grenier is an Award-winning Children's Author, Silver Mom's Choice Honoree, a League of Utah Writers Silver Quill Winner, an Award-winning editor and Blog Talk Radio Host for the Featured BTR World of Ink Network.

In 2007 & 2008, Grenier was voted one of the Top Ten Editors in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll, won 2nd place for her article on, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus" and 7th place for her article, “Dinosaur Tracks in My Backyard” in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Nonfiction.

Her works include: Babysitting SugarPaw, the Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 1 anthology, and over 50 short stories, articles and crafts for children, parents and writers.



What are three words that describe you? Reliable, Alpha and Driven. I guess not what you expected from a children's author. I agree and I'm seeking theropy from Santa, Easter Bunny and my local fairies. I'm hoping with a bit of help and some luck, I'll be able to give you new ones soon. One can only hope right?

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I'm both actually. I think I sleep an average of 4 hours a week. Okay, maybe not a week. However, there are days, weeks and even months it feels that way. If you know how to quite the voices in my head and in my home, I'm all ears.

What is your favorite food? That's a bit tough as it depends on what meal you're talking about. I don't eat breakfast, but I do love omelettes. Lunch is great time to eat anything Mexican. Dinnertime calls for Italian dishes. But the real question is the dessert. I'll take cheesecake any day.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why? I want to road trip across the great old United States. A bit boring maybe, but that's what I would like to do. But if I have to pick something a bit more exciting...a trip to Australia would be nice too.

Do you listen to music while writing? I do a lot actually. The music I listen to can set the mood of my scene or help me get into the writing mode. Of course, right now I'm listening to an eBook. The Derseden Files Book 8 Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher to be exact.

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer? I love Stephen King and in fact, we share the same birthday. We also feel the same about the Harry Potter series and Twilight series. Is that strange or what? My favorite book is The Shinning. I have a thing about books that explore the inner workings of the human psyche and King knows how to do exactly that with a lot of his writings.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest manuscript? I have more than one manuscript in the works, but I'll do my best. Two manuscripts I have sitting around and a waiting for me to finish are YA. One is based on true events from my senior year of high school. The other is based loosely on family members and my love of the supernatural. My family knows about this book and also the characters are just outlined on them to an extent.
My other projects are picture books. Two are part of the SugarPaw series. The other is a book my daughter wrote and I'm co-authoring with her.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started? So much that when I teach the basics, it takes two hour classes...ten in all for me to even relay all I've glimmed. I say glimmed as I'm always learning something. I think you never stop learning and writing has really taught me how true this saying is in life.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow? It depends on what I'm writing. If I'm working a short story or craft...I let it flow. Longer works need some planning. At times, I get an idea and I'll sit to let it flow and then look it over. If I see it has something, I will work on an outline to figure it out. I guess I do a little of both.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? Yes, and it usually happens in the shower. I don't know what my characters have with the bathroom, but they sure love to start bugging me once I enter. I'm thinking of putting an outhouse in. They may not like to visit me there.

Is there anything you would do differently? Nope because if I did, then I wouldn't be who I am today or where I'm at now. I also worry that if I go back in time to change things, something could go wrong and who knows if reality would loop back into the same timeline I'm in now. Or who is to say this isn't the split off reality from me doing just that. Have you seen the movie "Looper"?

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing? To name one person, Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been a very BIG influence to my writing life. I'm happy to see her at the St. George Book Festival this year. But everyone who has crossed my path has in one way or another influenced me and my writing. I'm excited to say that once a year I get to see most of them and it's always a real treat.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft? Focus on finishing what you start and when you finish, being again. Don't focus on the sales or what others are doing. Write and keep writing. That is the true trick to success. Learned this from Jack Remick, another author friend and influence on my writing.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon publication if any: I think I'll let you just wonder about this one. Of course you can always follow me at http://vsgrenier.com which links to most my social sites.
 
List of previous books if any: Babysitting SugarPaw - Mom's Choice Silver Award-winner! 2011 League of Utah Writers Silver Quill Winner!

About the book:A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As the story unfolds, SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship. Babysitting SugarPaw, with its child-centered plot on gettng to know others, is the perfect book for littel ones scared of being left alone with a babysitter for the first time. This book will delight three-to-eight-year-old-readers, especially those who like to create mischief.Illustrator: Keven Scott Collier
Available on Amazon, Kindle, B&N and any other major bookstore.

ISBN: 978-1-93526-806-2 (soft cover)

Best of Stories for Children Magazine: Volume 1 - A collection of Over 20 poems, short stories, articles and crafts published by leading children's authors.

Children take pleasure in having a story read tot them anytime or anywhere--whether it be around a campfire, under a starry night, in their beds wrapped up tight in snuggly blankets, beneath a shady tree on a hot summer's day, or in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter's day.

Available on Amazon, Kindle at Lulu.com

ISBN: 978-144217-207-4 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-557-02883-2 (eBook)


Any websites/places we can find you on the web? You can follow me at 
Twitter @VSGrenier
I'm also on LinkedIn, Pinterest and many more.

You can also listen to me monthly (sometimes weekly) at The World of Ink Network on blog talk radio.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork

Monday, October 14, 2013

St. George Book Festival Author Interview with Cheryl Carpinello



Although I’m a retired high school English teacher, I still have a passion for working with kids. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. It seems I'm not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns, and knights! It is my hope to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom.

What are three words that describe you?
Educator, Writer, Traveler

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night Owl

What is your favorite food?
Smothered Burritos

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
Anywhere in the World. I love to travel! Next on my travels will be England and Wales, home of the Arthurian Legend.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes. Right now I’m addicted to Mumford & Sons.

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer?
The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra. I read this at the right time before I started writing Guinevere. It reinforced my belief in what the Arthurian Legend means today and why it still endures.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest manuscript?
I’m in the rewrite/edit stage of my next novel, a MG/YA paranormal time-travel set in ancient Egypt. Although the setting has changed, the main character is still searching for herself as she helps a famous Pharaoh search for a lost queen and restore honor to his family.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
One lesson from my teaching days remains the same in the publishing world: No manuscript is ever perfect; No book is for everyone. Writing a story is not enough. Authors need to know who their intended audience is.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I plan out my stories in the broadest since. I define my beginning, middle, and end. Without these, no story works.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Thankfully, for me, that has not been the situation.

Is there anything you would do differently?
If I hadn’t chosen a teaching career, I would have started writing earlier. Most likely as a newspaper correspondent.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
While I dabbled in writing over the years, it was my teaching of writing and literature and my encounters with reluctant readers that fueled my journey to write my own Arthurian Tales. Joseph Campbell has been a big influence over my writing and my teaching. It is his idea of the hero’s journey that forms the backbone of each of my stories, as well as numerous other stories through out time.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Study the literature already out there. Study and interact with the age group you are targeting. Learn their likes, dislikes, mannerisms, etc. Find yourself a good craft book and a good mentor text. My craft book is Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and my mentor text is Avi’s Midnight Madness.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon publication if any:
Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Meet 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan. Each wants a future different from the others, but they all want to belong. They owe their friendship with each other to one man they call The Wild Man. When an advisor to Gavin’s dad King Wallace is murdered and the valuable jewell known as The King’s Ransom is stolen, The Wild Man is captured and proclaimed to be the culprit. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan bravely vow to clear their friend by taking the Knight’s Oath and embarking on individual quests to save The Wild Man. In the end, each one faces their fears and even death in their determination not to fail.

Ride along with these unlikely friends as they learn the importance of the cornerstones of Arthurian Legend: Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship. And, don’t miss the characters from the Legend who show up: King Arthur and his famous sword Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Table, and Sir Lancelot.

List of previous books if any:
Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
King Arthur’s Story from Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
Behind the Scenes of The King’s Ransom

Any websites/places we can find you on the web?
 Facebook          
 Twittter        

Sunday, October 13, 2013

St. George Book Festival Author Interview with J.L. Adams



J.L. Adams has enjoyed reading and writing fantasy since the third grade when he began writing short stories. He lives in St. George, Utah, with his wife, Rebecca, and their dog, Toby. When he’s not reading and writing, he enjoys hiking and watching movies. Flames of Alnara is his first published novel.

What are three words that describe you?
Creative, Shy, Curious

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person; definitely a morning person

What is your favorite food?
Chinese and American

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
New Zealand. I want to explore the lands of Middle Earth.

Do you listen to music while writing?
I occasionally listen to classical or new age music that helps to stimulate creative thought.

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer?
That is a difficult question to answer. There are a number of books and authors that are my favorite. My favorite authors include JK Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Robert Marcum, Gerald N. Lund; but if I had to choose, I’d say Lord of the Rings is my favorite book series.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest manuscript?
I am currently working on book 2 of the Alnara series. It is tentatively titled: Crossroads of Alnara. The story continues with Talen and Mr. Govun seeking out the others who have received the Mark; and facing Kogan and his efforts to conquer the world.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
It is more difficult and more rewarding than I ever imagined.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I do a little of both. I establish and re-establish a foundation for the story then let the finer details flow from there.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 
That was one of the surprising things that happened while I was writing Flames of Alnara. There were many times when I wanted something in particular to happen to a character, but the character said otherwise. It was as if the characters were telling me what to write about.

Is there anything you would do differently?
When I decided to self-publish, I and some trusted critical readers did so many edits that I didn’t think it was necessary to have Flames professionally edited. Since its publication, a number of readers have found errors that I am embarrassed to have missed. If I could go back, I would have a professional edit the manuscript.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I have studied the writings of my favorite writers and attempted to emulate the formulas they used to create a successful novel series. I do my best to write original stories, but also in the basic structure of those who have found success.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Keep writing. Even if you think your work is terrible, keep writing and re-writing. Every time you go back through your story, you will find better ways to tell the story. Also, have a few family members, friends, or even acquaintances, who you can trust will give you honest feedback, read your work. I often didn’t think my work was any good, but my readers did. Their positive feedback often kept me going when I wanted to quit.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon publication if any:
Crossroads of Alnara is still a ways out, but I am very excited about how the story is continuing. Talen is going to face new challenges and adventures that will put to the test everything he accomplished in Flames of Alnara. There are also new characters coming that will open a whole new side of Alnara that I hope will be very intriguing.

List of previous books if any:
My only published work currently available is Flames of Alnara.

Any websites/places we can find you on the web?
You can find me on facebook.com/flamesofalnara – and flamesofalnara.com. You can read reviews from readers at goodreads.com and amazon.com.