Author Interview: Haley Belinda

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
Born in Bradford West Yorkshire UK. My Late Mother was from Bronte country and My Late Dad from Castleford area.
During my lifetime I have been a nurse, done fitness, been a beauty therapist until I was overcome by fibromyalgia. I always wanted to be an Author I love reading! The good old procrastination and direction just sent me in a different direction when I was younger…
I read to my children every night I could and when I couldn’t, I would take a turn at each of their bedsides and make up a quick story.
Whilst I ran my beauty business I wrote a memoir in verse but developed fibromyalgia and undergoing tests etc hindered the marketing, It got put on the back burner. I have accepted the ‘fibro’ now or I am more determined it is not gonna stop me, LOL. I, therefore, contemplated and thought I am going to turn those stories into books so here I am… I enjoy children’s story writing which I can do around my condition. I do still write poetry for my blog and will organise a book of poetry too at some point.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I have answered, gosh I do yakker. Ha! Ha! Children’s genre and poetry. Picture and chapter books mainly. I haven’t done Young Adult fiction, mostly, because the fibro affects Memory at times.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
The truth is I have been writing books since 2005. I haven’t been marketing books until July This year. That’s when I launched my mini-series ‘Through the Window’ Amy Books.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I had a business that I started from scratch. It was a success, and I had to close it due to illness. I did move it and work from home before having to give up altogether. Hence, I have never been traditionally published. I went straight to the self-publishing option.
I have ambition and faith. I am waiting for the day of success…

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
I tend to race, fall and step back. Step back first. Keep writing, but gather your audience and support network. This is reviewers and proofreaders. Alway’s get your work edited. Be prepared, but the best achievements are the ones worked at for self-satisfaction.
Keep going…

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I write something every day. Whether prayer, poem or idea. I am slowly building a network and I am improving every day… writing wise and health wise. It is coming together nicely. The condition won’t go away but neither will the books.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
Hope, humour, vocabulary, morals and bonding.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
Children are like little sponges. They absorb so much at their young ages. They also, like to watch or read their favourites again and again.
The stories are pleasant with familiar situations children see every day. Weather, seasons, occasions, animals and more. I believe they help to look at the funny side of life, like in my first book where lots of items were flying off in the wind.
They will learn new words and help them develop a good vocabulary.
Most importantly will enjoy while learning.

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Author Interview: Thomas L. Hay

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
Most of my life I have had an inspiration to write a novel, because I though being an author was ‘cool’. Unfortunately, I never found the time to fulfill that inspiration. After retiring, time was no longer an excuse. The subject became the obstacle. To get me motivated, my wife suggested I write my memoirs. “You have had an interesting and complicated life,” she commented. “It would make an intriguing story.”
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. After all, I am the only person who knows all my memories. When I pass into the hereafter, those memories will be lost forever. Recording them would mean that I could live forever. An added bonus would be that my descendants would have a history book to learn where their idiocy originated. Behold, in Nov. 2011, I got ‘cool’ and published “The Comeback Kid, Memoirs of Thomas L. Hay”.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
After publishing my memoirs, it occurred to me that I might have had some mysterious phenomena buried within my subconscious. Shortly after our divorce, my first wife claimed that we had been abducted by ‘beings not of this world’ during our short marriage. She divorced me because her spirit had persuaded her to become a vegetarian, fast, and abstain from sexual activity. According to her, this ascetic lifestyle melted the memory blocks instilled by the ‘beings’ and exposed traumatic experiences that had been buried within her subconscious. I didn’t believe her. Like most people who claimed to be abductees, I assumed she had a fertile imagination or maybe had a few loose marbles.

However, after writing my memoirs, I became tormented to investigate the probability of her claim. Since I could stand to lose a few pounds and age had diminished by sex drive, I adopted her ascetic lifestyle for awhile. O-M-G… I had to rewrite my memoirs. Behold: “An Abduction Revelation: The Comeback Kid Returns” was published in October 2012.
Determining the book genre was a nightmare. Was it a memoir or a science fiction story? Can’t be both or can it? I don’t try to convince readers one way or the other. I let them decide whether it was reality, a dream, a hallucination, a fermentation of my imagination gone wild, or perhaps an insane reality. The story just popped out of my head like it had been there all along and I hadn’t been aware of it. Whether these memories are reality or my imagination is debatable. There is also the probability that something or someone could be jacking with my mind and memories.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
The answer to this question is answered in question one. But I can add that I started writing my memories in a big paper notebook. After fifty pages with arrows pointing every which way and notes scribbled everywhere, I had a complete genuine mess on my hands. Again, my wife came to the rescue. “Why don’t you get a computer?” Duh! Brilliant idea, honey! But then the computer and I had issues. Lots of issues! Until we finally came to an agreement that I take a class and learn a little more about it. We still had issues, but they can usually be resolved. It still took me two years to complete the memoir.

The process was both an invigorating whirlwind of self-enlightenment and an intense emotional trip. To jog my memory I used song titles. A song would remind me of a person, a place, or a time in my life events. Example: “Heartbreak Hotel,” when my first wife informed me that she wanted a divorce. When I looked at my life, I recognized that it was but a series of events, much like an assorted box of chocolates, never knowing what would come next. I chose the title ‘The Comeback Kid” because of the many peaks and valleys I had during my life’s journey. Somehow I had always found a way to comeback from the valleys.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I self published with CreateSpace twice and Balboa Press, A Div. of Hay House twice. I didn’t have the patience to wait to be discovered.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Marketing your story is much more difficult than writing it. With approx. 10,000 new books hitting the market every month, you might want to consider not quitting your day job.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
A wild and crazy dream waking me up at night. Got to get up immediately and write it down, because if I don’t, by morning it would be gone. My wife would say, “What the matter honey?” I’d respond, “Just a little gas or have a cramp honey.”
In the morning I’d take my notes down to my ‘Man Cave’ and start pecking away.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
Reading my memoir would let them know that one doesn’t have to be rich and famous to have an interesting and intriguing life.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
As for my supposedly sci-fi story, everyone likes solving a big mystery or discover deep dark secrets. Who are the Abductors and where are they hiding? But there is another reason, as they might want to check out if my story is just a figment of my wild imagination or am I living in an insane reality.

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Author Interview: Thomas L. Hay

Thomas L HayQuestion #1: What made you want to become an author?
Most of my life I felt it would be ‘cool’ to be an author. However, I never found the motivation or time. But after I retired and became a senior citizen, I couldn’t use those excuses any longer. The subject became my obstacle. Then one day my wife put a bug in my ear, “Why don’t you write your memoirs,” she suggested. “You have had an interesting and complicated life that would make for a intriguing story.”
The more I thought about it, the more it made since. After all, I am the only one who knows all my memories. Once I past into the here after, all those memories will evaporate with me. Recording them would mean I could live forever.
Behold, I published “The Comeback Kid, The Memoirs of Thomas L. Hay” in Nov. 2011.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
After my memoirs, it occurred to me that I had some mysterious phenomena in my life. Shortly after our divorce, my first wife claimed we had been abducted by aliens. I brushed off her claims because she was known to have had some mental issues. Thinking about her claims made my imagination go wild. That’s when I turned to writing sci-fi. At least I think it’s sci-fi. There is always that small doubt that if her claims are true, than maybe my imagination could be my reality.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Since I published my memoirs in Nov. 2011.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Self-published, because I didn’t have the patience to wait and wait to be discovered.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Don’t quite your day job. Always have your work edited and proofread.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
When I started writing my memoirs, I did it on a thick notepad. After several pages with arrows pointing every which direction and notes scribbled everywhere, I had a complete mess on my hands. Again, my wife can to the rescue, “Why don’t you get a computer?” But then, the computer and I didn’t become best of friends. Not until I finally agreed to take a computer class. Even now, we still have our issues.
I do most of my writing in my ‘Man Cave’. However, many times I will get inspired in my sleep and wake up with these brilliant scenes. If I don’t get up immediately and write them down, they get lost forever. So I keep a note pad by the bed. Sometimes it wakes my wife and she asks, “What’s wrong honey?” I say, “Nothing honey. Just had a cramp or some gas.”

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
After reading my books, most of my readers are scratching their heads wondering if I have a wild imagination or maybe there really are abductions by beings not of this world.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
I’ve been told there are no other books out there that are quite like mine. They are one of a kind. They are written in a rollicked conversational style, which has the reader sitting right beside me and interacting with me as I am telling them my story.

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Author Interview: Barbara Goss

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
When I became a born again Christian, I asked God… “What can I do for You?” Since I’d run out of Christian books to read (over 100 by Grace Livingston Hill) I decided to write my own. My first book was bid on by three large Christian publishers. I went with Fleming Revell (later Baker Book House) where I received two 2-book contracts. I wrote for them: Forbidden Legacy, Captured Heart, Dangerous Illusions, and Stolen Heritage.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
31 of my books are Christian historical westerns. One book is a 1900 romance.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Thirty years, but with a twenty two year hiatus. My first book was published in 1988 last was 1993. I then took 22 years off, in order to work full time. After retirement I wrote 28 more books from 2015 to 2017. I’m still writing.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Both. My first 4 books were traditionally published, and since 2015 self-published, which I prefer. Self publishing enables me to put books out quicker, freedom of content, and I can better promote them. I enjoy complete control over content and cover.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
If you want to be traditionally published go to a writer’s convention and meet the publishers, that’s how I sold my first book. I sent my first book to every Christian publisher and they all were returned with rejection slips. I went to a Christian Writer’s convention and three of the same publishers who sent rejection slips, bid for the book. When you mail a manuscript to a publisher it goes into a slosh pile that generates rejections. The only way around it is to have your manuscript passed through the slosh pile by writing to the publisher, telling them about the book, and get a special address to send the manuscript. It is then a solicited manuscript.

Best tips for self-publishing: Join a lot of FB groups, start a FB group, get a professional cover artist, hire an editor and proofreader, upload to Amazon.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I manage my fan group, edit, and work on my audiobook versions during the day. I can’t write during the day because there is too much going on around me. I write from 8 pm to about 1 am. I write on Word, on a Mini Mac. I don’t have a specific number of words I write a day…I go with the flow. When the flow is good I can write several 7 page chapters. Some night the flow is not as good and I just write as much as I can. I never force it. When it’s there, write it; when it’s not…don’t.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
One reviewer said they’ve started to think more about God after reading Shadow of Storm, that’s a great review. Another who read that book said she’d come back to God and church since she’d been harboring guilt for past sins but now, knowing God can wipe her slate clean, came back. Reviews like that make my day. Not all my books have a distinct Christian message like my Shadow Series, some just have people who pray and go to church–but all have romance. My Shadow series is probably the most inspirational of all my books. I’ve had great feedback on them. Even the books without as much inspiration give the same message: sex before marriage is sinful, and sex after marriage will be blessed.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
If a reader wants to escape reality, travel to the old west, experience the thrill of a clean romance, edged with morals and inspiration as well as adventure, my books will please. Experience, bank robberies, kidnapping, gunfights, and riveting but clean romantic situations.

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John-Manuel Andriote Author Interview

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I have been a journalist for 31 years, since earning a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University in 1986, so I have been writing professionally for a LONG time. I naturally gravitated toward longer-form, feature story writing because I like to be able to “stretch out” a bit and tell stories with color and detail. I also enjoy the challenge and creativity of synthesizing information–from background reading, research, and firsthand interviews–into an interesting, engaging narrative. Writing books seemed the natural progression, and after writing my first one I was hooked!

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I mainly write nonfiction, and have focused mainly on health and medical subjects. I have authored an award-winning history of the HIV-AIDS epidemic in the United States (VICTORY DEFERRED) and my newest book (debuting on October 8, 2017) STONEWALL STRONG is the first book by a health journalist to examine gay men’s amazing resilience. I call it the “bookend” of VICTORY DEFERRED in that it shows what gay men learned about themselves by finding their courage, resilience, and strength in the HIV-AIDS epidemic and from the traumas that disproportionately affect gay men. Because I have a whole range of interests (and I’d like to think a well-developed sense of humor and fun), I have also authored a “brief history of disco/dance music” called HOT STUFF, and a collection of my newspaper columns and feature articles focused on eastern Connecticut (sometimes nicknamed “the other”–poorer, working-class, more rural and typically “New England”–Connecticut) called TOUGH LOVE. My one foray into fiction that has been published so far is WILHELMINA GOES WANDERING, a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book based on the true story of a runaway cow in Connecticut. I have written three more stories–a prequel and two sequels of WILHELMINA GOES WANDERING–that will become part of a “Betty’s Farm” series.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I published my first book, THE ART OF FINE CIGARS, in 1996. My first “big” book was in 1999, my history of the HIV-AIDS epidemic in the U.S. called VICTORY DEFERRED.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Several of my books have been traditionally published, including my newest/forthcoming book STONEWALL STRONG (Rowman & Littlefield), VICTORY DEFERRED (University of Chicago Press), HOT STUFF (HarperCollins), and my first book, THE ART OF FINE CIGARS (Bulfinch/Little Brown). In 2011 I self-published a revised and expanded second edition of VICTORY DEFERRED, followed by WILHELMINA GOES WANDERING in 2014, and in 2015 by my collection of newspaper columns and feature articles about eastern Connecticut called TOUGH LOVE. I prefer the term “indie-published” because it avoids the taint of the “vanity press” that people associate with self-publishing.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Read lots of books and magazines, talk with people and listen to their voices and words, and of course write. I also find it very helpful to try out words and styles by writing poetry. There is no better way to become precise in your word choice and learning to write clearly and with brevity.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I can’t honestly say I have a writing “routine” except when I am working under deadline on an article or book. Then I become a bit obsessive-compulsive, my mind filled with the material I’m working with and molding into the framework of the article or book. I would point out that I always begin writing with an outline, what I call a skeleton, and then slowly put “meat on the bones” as I “flesh out” the story. An outline lets me know where I’m going in the story, where I want to wind up. It’s also useful for letting me skip around from one section to another if I feel more inclined to work on one over the other.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope my readers take away knowledge–whether of something historic or something they will discover that they didn’t know before–and a sense of being more fully engaged with the world. I approach people I write about from a place of respect and genuine interest, and I hope I convey the fact that everyone has an amazing story to tell if we ask them the right questions to draw them out and if we’re willing to listen.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
Readers will not feel they have wasted their time reading my books. I offer valuable insights–my own and from those I interview and quote in the books–and information to enrich their lives. I would like to believe they will become better able to be kind and compassionate to themselves and to those around them as a result of reading my books.

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