Author Interview: Francis J. Shaw

Francis J. ShawQuestion #1: What made you want to become an author?
Unlike many who discovered a passion for reading and/or writing stories at an early age, my childhood was devoid of both. I remember my teachers contacting my parents because they were concerned I wasn’t reading enough. I struggled with English, but entering adulthood I discovered biographies. Looking back, it made sense as I had a passion for history and find people fascinating. Nothing happened for years, but it was my experience as a missionary that put a pen in my hand. The stories I heard. Of hardship and sorrow, but also of hope and triumph, called out to me. I didn’t discover writing – it discovered me.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I write about spirituality, philosophy, and well-being. My non-fiction presents thought-provoking insights into the mystical journey of life and his fictional writing bring together a unique blend of history and spiritual storytelling in the style of parables, where I encourage readers to find their truths hidden in plain sight.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I have been writing seriously for the last 4 years. I have focused on blogs to build up readership and I have just published my first non-fiction book. A completed fiction work will be published in the next few months.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I originally pursued the traditionally publishing route for a fiction work. Although I wasn’t successful it was a learning experience which I found helpful. I am now focused on self-publishing as it’s something I have control over and the timelines to publication are so much faster. Self-publishing takes responsibility to produce our best work and I have immersed myself in learning best practices.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
There is much advice and many resources to consider, but above all, follow your intuition and the voice that speaks to you from within.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I have a regular job and a family, so writing fits around these. I do not judge what I can accomplish each day and delays often produce the right ideas, with the right voice, at the right time.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope readers will feel encouraged. Problems can be overcome; fears driven away. Each of us has something to accomplish on our journey here and our mission is to pursue it with passion and hope. Find your power question. The one that keeps getting you out of bed and out seeking in the world every day. Let it be your guide. Mine is, ‘what I supposed to learn?’

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
We spend much of our lives feeling stuck and overwhelmed. We worry, self-judge, and need assurance that despite our differences and problems, we are more alike than different. Our shared experiences and connections give us the opportunity to grow and I hope my readers will find new perspectives in my stories. As the blurb for my book says…

Read any good stories lately? I am sure you have. They sent you on a journey—perhaps to another place, a different time…somewhere you have never been before. Tales, yarns, legends and fables fill our human history, and stories are as powerful today as they have always been. Have you ever wondered why you can’t resist going? It’s time to find out…

Breadcrumbs invites you to further adventures. Traveling across time, along crooked paths, wooded trails, and on mountain tops, you will discover:

  • Why stories are critical to well-being and the hidden mystery you are searching to uncover
  • How to interpret the twists and turns of life and find the meaning that makes all the difference
  • How to identify the breadcrumbs that reveal the most important story of them all

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Author Interview: Marcus Freestone

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I’ve loved books since I was four and decided when I was seven that I wanted to be a novelist. I worked in journalist , did stand up comedy, got distracted by making music, and finally finished a ‘proper’ novel aged thirty nine.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I write a series of novels about a futuristic counter terrorism agency, a novella series about mental illness, a sci-fi novella series, and non-fiction books on psychology and philosophy. I grew up reading thrillers and sci-fi so most of my fiction has those elements. I’ve had depression all my life and have always been fascinated by the human brain. I’ve studied a lot of psychology and philosophy and am interested in conveying useful information about mental illness without all the self-help nonsense.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I tried writing a novel when I was seven and gave up after four pages. I wrote a 20,000 word novella when I was eighteen and have been building up to novels ever since. I would say I’ve been a writer since I was 16, so that’s now 29 years.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I am entirely self-published. I had years of frustration with being told what I should and shouldn’t be writing by other people. As soon as it became feasible to self publish I began to do so. It is fantastic that this facility now exists as it allows me to set my own schedule and write exactly what I want without being told that it’s not zeitgeisty enough.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Get at least two people to read your first book before you publish it and then just keep on writing. Nobody makes a living from one book, and keeping up a steady output is one of the hardest parts of being an author. And don’t do what I do and do ten different things at once because it’s exhausting and dilutes your focus. Write what you genuinely feel is good and interesting, don’t emulate whatever is currently popular.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
Terrible. I have bursts of massive energy and then slump into inertia. I get bored very easily so I’m constantly switching between three or four books and several musical projects. But it all seems to get done in the end. In the last twelve months I have published seven books and about twenty albums of music, which isn’t bad going. One thing I’ve found useful for novels is writing a first draft by hand: it gets you away from the ubiquitous computer screen and means that you actually do a second draft, something that word processors have eliminated.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they buy all my other books! No, but seriously… I hope they find them entertaining or thought provoking depending on the genre. Books are wonderful and I hope people thing it was worth their time to read one of mine.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
The book I have featured is about Donald Trump and Brexit, not so much the politics but the psychology behind the decision making. I have linked it to conspiracy theories because I think it is the same way of thinking that leads people to vote in such a self-defeating manner as leads them to believe that the world is run by shape-shifting lizards. It is a short book that I hope is an antidote to all the anger and bile that these two topics usually provoke in people.

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Author Interview: Frank Chase Jr

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
Actually, as a young teen, I used to listen to radion show called mystery theatre. I like the show so much, it inspired me to write short stories to submit to the radio station. Later in life, pursued other ventures and left the writing behind for some year. It picked back up later in life based on some events in my life. After experiencing divorce, I discovered that there weren’t really that many books on divorce recovery for men. And so, I became inspired again to write a book to help other men emotionally by writing and publishing my first book titled, False Roads To Manhood; What Women Need To Know; What Men Need To Understand.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I write non-fiction books. Writing Non-fiction books, especially of a religious nature allows me to go deepers into the who, what when, where and why. I like to challenge the status quo by presenting information about subjects that most people don’t study or have never thought about. I think people tend to believe what they are told without challenging the information. My writing often puts people on edge becuase I ask questions and present facts based on history and scholastic evidence. You know it was once believed that the earth was flat and it took a scientist to proove the that the earth was round. Now at the time this truth was considered sacrilege.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Well, if you count my first book and my recent book, I would say sixteen years with all the writing and research involved. Not only that, I’ve written several published artticles along the way.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I started out wanting to be a traditional publisher. However, that world is dog eat dog. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get my book out to book agents and got rejected numerous times. So after reading lots of articles about self-publishing, I went in that direction and never looked backed. I choose self-publishing for two reasons, one so I could learn about publishing and two, it was easier to self-publish.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Based on the many mistatkes I made publishing my first book, I would say finding a good editor is not as simple as it seems. There are a lot of people and self-publishing companies on the web that hang out shingles about their editing prowess, but you better be like an investigative reporter when looking for an editor. Nowadays, you don’t have to go broke trying to publishing a book, as long as you know that it will take a lot of time if you decide to do things yourself.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
My writing routine has always been up and down. I tend to write when I am pricked about something that’s happening in my life. I don’t write everyday becuase I don’t have tons of projects that I’m working on.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I guess I would say that I want readers to take away from my second book, Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway that my book is well researched and filled with empirical evidence. For Kleptomaniac, readers will walk away saying, wow, amazing, unbelievable, shocking. I suspect readers will come away feeling they have been well educated and informed in a way that was never done in another book of the same topic.
Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
If money is important, then readers will want to read Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? Especially, religious readers who have a desire to want to know more about a biblical practice that’s been going on for centuries. My book uncovers the untwisted truth about the centuries old tithes and offering deception. Most readers should read this book because it is in their best financial interest to do so when it comes the practice of monetary tithing. The idea that ten percent of a person’s paycheck is a biblical mandate by God is what my book questions, and it also provides answers about the so-called tithe that many have never realized. My book is like a lamp that lights the way to truth about tithing. Readers will know all about the mis-information and properganda campaign that snows them into coughing up ten pecent when in reality the Bible never requires a tenth of income.

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Author Interview: Adam Dailey

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I wanted to share my story with other entrepreneurs, leaders and most importantly – leaders.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
My most recent book is about family travel and the idea of taking a one year long sabbatical. But typically I wrote more about business and leadership.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I just finished my first book, but it took me longer than a year to actually get the thing done!
Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I chose a hybrid. I didn’t have an established name, so I couldn’t go with a traditional publisher. But I also wanted to ensure that I could write the book I wanted to.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
It’s probably sacrilegious to most writers, but when you’re thinking of your book, you should be considering your target market. You shouldn’t write a book, then figure out who might like your book. The idea is try to create something that is unique — and that can sell a lot of copies.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I have five small children, so I try to write whenever they’re not hounding me! I usually get a block in the mid morning and at times I can get a little creative late at night after I’ve had my last beer.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope that people are inspired to stop talking about things and start doing them. I also hope that families start to think of travel as something they can think about doing now (instead of in the future or in the past).

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
Everyone who reads my book says they’ve never actually experienced anything like it. It flows different from a typical book. It’s some storytelling. It’s some advice. But it’s taking you through a journey of self discovery. And I have a lot of people who tell me that while they know they won’t ever have the guts to do a trip around the world with their family, they felt like they had by reading my book (which is the next best thing). I have also had people start that last sentence and tell me they were convinced they should do it by the end of the book.

If you’ve dreamed about traveling, experiencing and sharing the world with your family, you should pick this book up.

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Author Interview: Tameka Mullins

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I have been fascinated with words and stories since childhood. I wanted to become an author to engage in the wonder of words on a daily basis. Writing is truly a magical profession.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I write multicultural fiction that sometimes features romance and other literary elements. I like mixing writing genres together.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I have been writing books and pursuing a career as an author for 5-10 years.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I am self-published and will soon be traditionally published as well in an anthology later this year. I love the idea of being a hybrid author so I can have the best of both worlds. Being an indie-writer allows one to flex their creative muscles and make a lot of decisions for your project that you wouldn’t be able to if you were published traditionally. There are also many advantages of being supported by a traditional publisher that will help you reach more readers and build your writer brand. I think doing both will only help emerging and experienced authors.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
New authors should focus more on the craft of writing than on trying to get published right away. I think we make a lot of mistakes when we rush to get our work out into the marketplace. Join writer’s groups, participate in writing workshops. Read, read and read. Write, write and write some more!

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
If you are writing for pleasure, you can plot out time to do that leisurely. If you’re writing to complete a writing goal, you should be writing every day. Create goal dates and stick to them. Doing this has helped me complete all of my writing projects on time.

I love writing in the early light hours when my schedule allows it. Know the best times that your brain creates. My time is in the morning.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope that they are entertained or educated depending on the writing project. I also would like them to come away knowing that I love and respect the craft of writing.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
My current book, 12 Hours of Daylight – A Jason Jules Novella is set in an erotically charged atmosphere and puts modern young fatherhood under the microscope. It delves into the interpersonal workings of interracial relationships, sex work, family dynamics between mother and son, father and child and other extended family. The challenge for the reader will be to allow themselves to go on the journey of learning more about the lead character Jason even if they may not be comfortable what he does for a living.

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