Tag Archives: writer

Interview with Anthony S. Author of Paradise and the Pandemic

Good morning,

I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Anthony S, author of Paradise and the Pandemic.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

#1 What is your author name? Author Anthony S (Texas)

#2 What is the title of your book and the genre? “Paradise and the Pandemic” (Genre) children’s book

#3 What is the book about? A female character named “Paradise” who entertains and educates our youth. (virtual learning book series)

#4 Where did you get the idea for it? I was inspired by my niece

#5 How long did it take you to write it? It took me six weeks to write it… not including editing

#6 Did you learn anything from it? I learned quite a bit from the project… as always, taking things into consideration.

#7 Do you have website? I have a website www.booksbyanthonyS.com I am currently working on the animation I anticipate launching in three to four weeks.

#8 Do you have any tips for authors? Yes, (use) editors and cover artists. 

#9 What genres do you like to read? I like drama, suspense, spirituality, and fiction with a message.

#10 What is your favorite book or author? Rick Warren…Inspiring, compassionate, empowering, encouraging, hopeful…keeps me well rounded.

#11 Do you have any pets? Used too…K-9

#12 Do you use an electric reading device? No…but I’m open! 

___

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Interview with Richard Messinger, Author of The Man with the Jagged Red Scar

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Richard Messinger, author of The Man with the Jagged Red Scar.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1.Author Name and Location:

Richard Messinger / Long Island New York, Palm Beach County Florida

2.Title of Book:

The Man With The Jagged Red Scar, Historical thriller/bio-fiction

3.What is the book about?

It’s not every day that a Nazi U-Boat surfaces off the coast of Long Island as it does in this historical work of bio-fiction. Follow the saga of an illustrious legal family as they encounter escaped Nazis living in post WWII America. From the Nuremberg Trials to the Warren Commission, from Giverny and Paris to the darkest days of the death camps of Nazi Germany to peace and calm of the East End of Long Island that is shattered when a small band of Nazi saboteurs land on the shores of Amagansett in 1942 taking the reader on a roller coaster ride as the story of “The Man With The Jagged Red Scar” enfolds.
Based on the true story known as the Amagansett Incident of 1942, the only time in American History that an enemy force actually succeeded in landing on our shores, Forrest and Ellie Mills confront escaped Nazis from Nuremberg Prison living side by side with them in the “cottages” that dot the coast of the Hamptons as well as on the Upper West Side of Manhattan including a crazed Nazi Psychiatrist, who after having facial reconstruction, ends up treating a young Lee Harvey Oswald in NYC in the mid 1950’s. Several other story lines all converge during the July 4, 1942 Independence Day Celebration and Regatta at the Mills family compound, when the U-Boat surfaces and rams the Esmeralda, the family’s schooner, creating untold havoc and panic for years to come.

4. Where did you come up with the story?

Having had a military history in our family over several generations including my dad, a WWII gunner in the Army Air Corp who was shot down by the Nazis over Northern Italy, saved by local partisans and then spending years in VA Hospitals, coupled with losing many family members to the ravages of Nazi Concentration Camps probably percolated in my head as I wrote the book over several years.

5. How long did it take you to write it?

3-4 years. I am currently working on a sequel or book 2 of THE CRYING KANGLING OF GOD series. By the way, a Kangling is an ancient Tibetan instrument made from a human femur and plays a pivotal part of another storyline in The Man With The Jagged Red Scar. More specifically, Adolph Hitler, or Adi, as he is described in the book had sent Himmler, his Vice-Fuhrer to Tibet in the late 1930’s in search of the perfect Kangling, which ends up serving as a “death” symbol throughout the book.

6. Did you learn anything from the project?

Having grown upon the 1950’s reading THE GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD, I didn’t think that after having completed the book that I would be so enamored with the world of the Far East including it’s history and religious thought. Also, perseverance.

7. What is your website:

Web-site under development…THEMANWITHTHEJAGGEDREDSCAR.COM. Also active, Twitter:The Man With The Jagged Red Scar and Face Book page under same name.

8. What advice do you have for authors?

Keep reading. Maintain detailed note file.

9. What genre do you like to read?

I read everything. FIction/non fiction, thrillers, biographies, science fiction, mythology, religion, natural history and art.

10. What is your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book. However, I am currently re-reading THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES by Edmund De Waal. A tremendous complex work that uses a certain Japanese object, the Netsuke, or “prop” as a story telling device. In my novel, I used several literary props, including the Kangling, the missing fragments of the Bayeux Tapestry, and a Michel Bouvier Vitrine as mechanisms or props to carry the reader through several centuries of European and American history.

11. Do you have any pets?

I am a dog person. We have had many dogs over 45 years of marriage. Now that we split our time between Florida and Long island we no longer have a dog. But if I could I would like either a Wheaten Terrier or a Bouncin’ Bearded Collie.

12. Do own an e-device for reading?

Everything Apple/imac/ipads/macbookairiphones -my book is on APPLEBOOKS

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Interview with Genni Gunn, Author of Permanent Tourists

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Genni Gunn, author of Permanent Tourists.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Genni Gunn. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My latest book is Permanent Tourists, a collection of linked short stories.    

3) What is the book about? 
The stories in Permanent Tourists feature protagonists connected through a support group, all dealing with loss precipitated by elusive fathers, husbands and lovers, by a wife’s death, a lost child, sibling rivalries.. Tourists in their own lives and paralyzed by emotional inertia, they flee to evade responsibilities, failed relationships, their own shortcomings. Although the stories take place in Canada, the USA, Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico and Italy, my characters are less thrill-seeking tourists on vacation than they are P.K. Page’s “terrible tourists with their empty eyes longing to be filled with monuments.” What they’re looking for cannot be not found in any postcard destination.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I am an avid traveller, and often write while travelling. One of these stories, and perhaps the origin of them all, was a story commissioned by Danel Olson for his Exotic Gothic anthology series. Two of my stories ended up in Exotic Gothic Volume 2 and volume 4. Those two stories became one combined story in this collection, entitled “Solitudes.”

5) How long did it take you to write it?
I wrote some of the stories some years ago, and five of them over about 18 months. I am not a quick writer.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I found that the more I edited, and the more I connected the stories, the more I found connections that were already embedded in the text, which surprised me somewhat, because it was as if my subconscious knew more than I did in my conscious writing state. So all that was a thrill. I strongly believe in the subconscious, and in the fact that when we write, often we’re not even sure why we’re writing a particular thing. Yet later, we can see that it makes perfect sense, that we have intuited the connection between things.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?My author website is www.gennigunn.com, and you can click here for my Permanent Tourist book trailer.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 
I have taught creative writing for many years, and have always encouraged young authors to read, read, read. Every author I know reads constantly. It is one of the most illuminating pastimes one can have. And it is ultimately the best teacher for writers. Every time I read a fabulous book, I am inspired to go further in my own work. This does not mean imitation, but rather that great writing makes one strive harder to make great writing.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I read widely. When I was in the 30s, I made a new years’ resolution that I would read a book a week for the rest of my life, and I have striven to do this every year since. I manage most years. I read literary fiction, historical fiction, probably most of the prize-winning books in English Language, such as the Booker Prize winner, the Pulitzer, the National Book Awards, the International Dublin Literary Award, etc. It keeps one pretty busy!

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
This really changes as time passes. Right now, a book that has really stayed in my mind, despite having read it several years ago is Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of things. This book was published in Australia in 2015, and haunts me still. It is a Kafkaesque story of ten young women who awaken from a drugged sleep to discover they have been abducted and taken to the Australian outback. They have no contact with the outside world, and only slowly begin to discover why they have been abducted and taken there. I will give nothing away here, but to say that this is one of the most affecting and haunting books I have ever read.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Oh yes, I have one polydactyl white cat, who in a couple of weeks, will turn 21! It’s the oldest cat I have ever had. She is, unfortunately, not too well at the moment, but hanging in there. She has been a joy in my life, affectionate and sweet as can be. She had a little sister, NuNu – a Siamese – who died a couple of years ago at the age of 17. Cats have always been an important part of my life.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I have a kindle, but actually, I download a massive amount of books and read them all on my phone. In the past couple of days, I have downloaded, The Friend by Sigrid Nunez, Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connelly (because I saw a fabulous review of this old book in The New Yorker), Virgin Wander by Leif Enger and Here the Dark by David Bergen. Because I travel a lot – though not right now during Covid times – reading on my phone has been my primary reading mode.

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Interview with Carol Orange, Author of A Discerning Eye

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Carol Orange, author of A Discerning Eye.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)? Carol Orange. I live in Chicago, Illinois.


2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre? A Discerning Eye


3) What is the book about? The novel takes off from the real theft of 13 precious pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. My protagonist, Portia Malatesta, is an art dealer and a docent at the Museum. She analyzes the paintings that were stolen – why this and not that – and constructs a psychological profile of the thief. She is introduced to someone in the FBI and they discover her profile matches someone in their database. They hire her to work with them in Medellin, Colombia where she has worked before and has contacts. She accompanies them on a high stakes sting. Portia’s role is to befriend Maria Alfonso the married daughter of the local drug lord. It is a dangerous time there with drive-by shootings, but she does go with the FBI and Interpol. 


4) Where did you come up with the idea? I was an art dealer in Boston and was very angry about the stolen paintings.  This robbery happened over thirty years ago and they have not yet been found. The intricate suspense novels of John Le Carre inspired my premise, although nothing like is in his novels. 

5) How long did it take you to write it? 10 years

6) Did you learn anything from the project? Yes, it is hard to write a novel.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? My web site is www.carolorange.com How about a book video? No. But an audio version will be completed soon.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? Be persistent and believe in yourself. How about any great editors/cover artists? Elizabeth Rosner is a good editor. I met her at a Writer’s Conference in Kauai.

9) What genres do you like to read? Literary fiction, suspense, memoirs.  Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work? Yes

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?  Madame Bovary. I read it in both English and French. I think Flaubert captured the voice of a woman who was stuck in a stultifying environment. 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?  No. I love English bull dogs.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it? No, I like real books.

_____

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Interview with Amelia Marriette, Author of Walking into Alchemy – The Transformative Power of Nature

Hello,

Today I’m very pleased to bring you this interview with Amelia Marriette, author of Walking into Alchemy – The Transformative Power of Nature.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or
country if not in the US)?

My name is Amelia Marriette and although I am British I
live in a small town called Bad Sankt Leonhard in
Southern Austria.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Walking into Alchemy: The Transformative Power of
Nature is a Non-fiction book: a memoir, a story about
relocation, love and finding one’s path in life. It has
passages about nature and the landscape. It includes
some Shakespeare and a bit of Art History too. 

3) What is the book about?
The central theme of the book is my personal journey
following redundancy, financial problems, depression and
ill health and my fortunate relocation to Austria. The
book has three other main areas of interest: a love story;
a nature story and a book about art, culture and the
wider world. The love story is one concerning my
chance encounter with my now partner Katie which led
to our relocation to her home town in Austria. I was
surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Carinthian
region, and my love of nature was rekindled. I sought repair and rejuvenation through the completion of fifty-
two, thirteen-mile walks in the span of one calendar
year. This act of repetitive walking enabled me to study
the changing seasons and explore the flora and fauna
of the area; I was able to return myself to health by
considering and reconsidering personal experiences,
emotions, ideas and memories. I also returned to my love
of photography. As the weeks passed, I began to find my
sense of place and my new path in life. I realised that I
was walking into alchemy, mining for gold as I went. It
was then, as a former curator and Shakespeare scholar
that I began to see connections everywhere, and I was able
to invest my walks with meaning from paintings,
musical passages and lines of verse.
I hope that my book Walking into Alchemy will inspire
readers to find their own paths in life, wherever that
might take them.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea after I had completed my first few
walks; it was going to be a blog, but I believe in the
written word and the power of printed books. I also
wanted to work on something over a period of time,
editing and polishing it and include images. I approached
the project without a clear idea of the outcome – which
was deliberate on my part; I wanted literally to take
the idea for a walk and allow my ideas to ferment and
develop.

5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took me exactly a year to walk fifty-two walks in fifty-
two weeks and a further two years to write the book –
much longer than I expected. I also completed one extra
walk and included it at the end of the book to give the
book a sense of closure.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I learnt so much! I learnt a great deal about the changing
of the seasons, especially in a climate that is much colder
than I am used to. I learnt about local customs and met
local people I otherwise would never have met. I learnt
that as an author “taking one’s story for a walk” really
does open up new and unexpected possibilities. I also
learnt to be calmer, more content and happier with
myself. At the beginning of my journey I found it hard to
recognise beauty in life, by the end of the year I was
looking for and finding beauty in both the minute and the
epic – mining for gold as I went. I also can now appreciate
that there is such a thing as a nature cure.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a
book video?

I have a website – (I am also a playwright, radio
presenter and a Shakespeare lecturer):
http://www.ameliamarriette.com

I also have a blog and I blog about once a month on
average.
http://www.ameliamarriette.com/blog

I am currently recording a series of four Zoom talks about
my book. I think that using how technology is helping
authors and I am embracing this idea. I also provide more
information about why I wrote my book and expand on
some of my themes.
My latest Zoom Blog about my book, and authors and how
Zoom can technology is helping to bring new audiences.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6da9wDRkQpY&t=45s

Here is the link to the first YouTube video about my book
using the images that I took on the walk.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEUnw4n5Heg

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors?
How about any great editors?
 
My friend, who is also a writer, began the editing process
for me with great tact and kindness. Later, my editor at
Mereo Books, a small publisher in Cirencester, very kindly
made helpful suggestions or pointed out errors again very
gently. We all need editors, but I believe that we also
need to protect ourselves from having our confidence
shattered. I also think that it’s vital that an editor respects
and retains the authorial voice.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading
new authors and reviewing their work?

I like biographies, books about trees and nature. Anything
Shakespeare related – modern re-workings of
Shakespeare’s plays for example: Ewan’s Nutshell, Jane
Smiley, A Thousand Acres) and I also loved Headlong by
Michael Frayn – any book that looks at paintings in a
tangential and new way appeals to me and Frayn is also
an excellent comic writer.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
My favourite book of all time is the Complete Memoirs of
George Sherston – George Sherston is the pen-name of
Siegfried Sassoon. I first read The Memoirs of A Fox-
Hunting Man, followed by The Memoirs of an Infantry
Officer when I was in my twenties. I am against fox
hunting, and I am a pacifist, yet both these books opened
up worlds to me which I then inhabited, roamed about in
and explored. My mind was expanded and opened. I didn’t
change my views, but I did understand much more and
could see both issues from another point of view.  

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
My partner and I have a pet snail called Brian who lives in
the garden; we put a dab of nail varnish on his shell and
he has been hanging around for over two years – I think
he likes us! We see him once or twice a year – he is no

trouble. We have several hedgehogs, but we rarely see
them.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device?
If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I am so old school when it comes to books! I spend a
great deal of time at my laptop and in my study, so I like
to take a book and be away from technology. Maybe one
day I will buy a Kindle – because I do like e-books as I
like to search for words and ideas and the search facility is
great for that!

_____

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Interview with JT Milford, Author of Evocation (To Love, To Hope, To Dream)

Hello,

I’m pleased to bring you today’s interview with JT Milford, author of Evocation (To Love, To Hope, To Dream)!

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

J T Milford, Louisiana

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

Evocation, Inspirational and religious.

3) What is the book about? 

These poems express certain times, feelings and moments in the life of J T Milford. They touch on light, music, nature and things often hidden. Five sections divide the book. Some sections wander through images and places in the authors past. Some are feelings from two previous marriages, others are meditations on war, violence and peace. “Evocation” is a potpourri of thoughts, images and feelings. It will make the reader feel nostalgic for
moments past and wonder for the moments to come.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

This is very strange, no one particular idea. All of a sudden a poem would appear and demand to be written. Understand, I was a terrible student in school. In fact, one of my poems is titled School Days in which I write about 70 years of school nightmares.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

30 years. I previously wrote a chap book, but did not like my writing, so I threw the poems away and started over.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

A lot. What I did not know about writing poems, grammar, punctuation, putting together a book, work on formatting and a hundred other things. In fact I knew nothing. I also, know little about computer software.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

My son is working on a web site. No video. Web site-evocationbook.com -password evocation!20

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 

Read BEFORE you start, How to read poetry like a professor. By Thomas C. Foster   I was very happy with Bookbaby’s work.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I stopped reading novels a few years ago, but now at my age I prefer poetry. Yes I am open to reading new authors. I am not really qualified to review an author’s work.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 

No one book, but every book I read greatly enhanced my life.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

One cat, Name White Cat, A large male stray.  We get along because I follow White Cat rules.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

Lap top computer, that is it.

____

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Interview with Renee Garrison, Author of Anchored Together

Hello,

I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Renee Garrison, author of Anchored Together.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vince

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My name is Renee Garrison and I live in Central Florida.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
“Anchored Together” is a Young Adult book.

3) What is the book about? 
It is a sequel to my award-winning first book, “The Anchor Clankers.” Being the only girl in a private boys’ boarding school has its advantages: There’s not much competition for the cheer-leading squad. (And plenty of opportunities to flirt and fall in love.) But it has disadvantages,
too, especially if your father is an alcoholic. Sixteen-year-old Suzette LeBlanc moved into the Sanford Naval Academy when her father became the school Commandant. She’s gaining confidence, but her father’s drinking is on the rise, a fact her mother seems to ignore. She finds strength in her friends and finds love with the battalion commander (a.k.a. senior class president) who also must deal with an alcoholic parent. They share their pain, their coping strategies, but can they share a future?

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I grew up with a father who abused alcohol, yet it wasn’t until after college I realized the impact his drinking had on me. During bookstore and book club visits, many readers of my first book, “The Anchor Clankers,” confided they, too, had an alcoholic parent. We shared these traits:
Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation? Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments? Do you fear criticism? Do you overextend yourself? Do you have a need for perfection? Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
I decided to write about the issue in the hope that it might help others who are struggling. No one should feel they are alone if they grow up with an alcoholic dad or mom. As a teen, I wish I’d known that while I couldn’t control my parent’s drinking, I could talk about it. And I should have.


5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took nearly three years because I put the manuscript aside for a couple of months and then read it again with fresh eyes.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
The best way to beat writer’s block is to write something every day – even if it’s just a few paragraphs or lines. I interviewed author Andrew Gross for The Tampa Tribune. He told me his best work (and probably mine) comes on the second or third draft of a story. But you can’t edit a blank page…
You have to enjoy the process or you have chosen the wrong field. It is very solitary and very difficult work, and often slow to show results. It has become harder and harder to get work published, but unless you keep at the writing – and polish your words – you’ll never get to the
finish line. And once you do, and you are fortunate enough to be published, it’s a great thrill.
Read, read voraciously – because good storytelling is inspirational, and seeing how other writers use the language is hugely helpful. No more procrastinating!

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
My author website is http://www.reneegarrison.com and my blog is
http://www.reneewritesnow.wordpress.com I also have an author page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anchorclankers/

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 
Please don’t follow the advice of writers who think self-publishing or indie publishing means you don’t need outside professional help. To be perfectly candid, if you’re planning to publish, it’s going to cost money. It doesn’t matter that you majored in English or worked for a newspaper, you cannot edit or proof your own work. And the tragedy is that a reader who
catches your mistakes in those first pages or chapters will never buy another one of your books.
Working with Elizabeth Babski of Babski Creative Studios on the covers of both my books has been a joyful experience. I highly recommend her.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Young Adult, of course, but I’m also a fan of mystery books and I love discovering new authors!
All good storytellers influence my writing.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
Wow – that’s a tough one. One made an early impression on me – Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. At 11 years old, Harriet carefully observes others and writes her thoughts down in a
notebook as practice for her future career. (Maybe that’s why I chose to be a newspaper journalist?!)

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I adored my feisty, five-pound peke-a-poo (Pekinese mother + poodle father) who crossed the rainbow bridge one month shy of her 17th birthday. I’m currently filling the void she left in my life by dog sitting for lots of friends who travel.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

NO! I’m ridiculously old fashioned and I love to hold a book in my hands. I haunt my local library and love the smell and texture of paper pages. (I even collect book marks.)

______

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Interview with Carrie Hayes, Author of Naked Truth

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Carrie Hayes, author of Naked Truth.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)? 

My name is Carrie Hayes and I live in New Jersey.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre? 

The title of my book is Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit. It is historical fiction.

3) What is the book about?

Naked Truth is based on the true, but little known story of sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin who started out as spiritualists. Victoria was the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872, almost 50 years before women had the vote.

4) Where did you come up with the idea? 

I read a biography about them by Barbara Goldsmith, called OtherPowers. Then I read another one about Victoria called Mrs. Satan, and then another and another… I became obsessed. And part of what was so tantalizing, was that the story of these sisters, Victoria and Tennessee was outrageous…. at first, they were famous for being famous. Then the next thing you know, they are the darlings of incredibly influential thinkers and activists. By 1870, Victoria was making headlines as the face of the suffragist movement. By 1872, when she was running for President, on election night, she and Tennessee were in jail.

5) How long did it take you to write it? 

It was almost five years.

6) Did you learn anything from the project? 

I learnt humility! I had to learn the lesson that not everyone thinks my ideas and my efforts at writing are the end all and be all which certainly set me back a little bit. I finished the book for the first time in 2016, and was pretty consistently ignored and/or rejected for about two years. By 2019, I still hadn’t landed the book deal in the sky, so I began working with an editor. It helped the manuscript ALOT…. but, while agents expressed mild interest, I just didn’t have any takers. Soooooo, I started to move forward with the idea of self publishing.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video? 

I do have a website, www.carriehayes.net and I sort of use Medium as my blog. I think I’m going to try and get a video together…

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 

Yes. If you feel that you’re going to be going it alone, really spend a minimum of 3 months, beforehand, deciding on how you’re going to market this thing. I didn’t plan it out properly at all. When the pandemic hit, I was pretty clueless on how to proceed. I really recommend Eva Natiello for coaching and marketing the book. I really recommend Nicole Bokat for editing. I really recommend Cherub at 100 covers. All of these people were so kind and professional and helpful. 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work? 

I love historical fiction, I love thrillers, so long as they’re not too gorey. Yes, I love reading new authors and yes, am open to reviewing.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 

My favorite book tends to change from year to year. This year, I was blown away by Fleishman is inTrouble by Taffy Brodesser Akner. 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? 

I have a super spoiled dog named Toby and an even more spoiled cat named Francois.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it? 

I have a clunky old paperwhite Kindle. I guess I’m ready for an upgrade. I do prefer books, because only in a book can you feel the geography of the experience, and quickly find anything you’ve forgotten or need to remind yourself of… I’m sometimes feel lost when I read on my kindle….

_____

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Interview with Eileen A. Bjorkman, Author of Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin: A Story of the U.S. Military’s Commitment to Leave No One Behind

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Eileen A. Bjorkman, author of Unforgotten in the Golf of Tonkin: A Story of the U.S. Military’s Commitment to Leave No One Behind.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Eileen A. Bjorkman, I split my time between Washington State and California. If you can only put one state, please put Washington!

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin: A Story of the U.S. Military’s Commitment to Leave No One Behind. It’s a narrative nonfiction book in the categories of military history and biography

3) What is the book about? 
The book is about the thrilling rescue of a Navy pilot whose aircraft was hit over North Vietnam. It also weaves in a short history of combat search and rescue, along with the continued search for the 80,000+ Americans still missing in action from previous wars.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was working on a magazine article about a Navy plane, the F-8, which I tripped over a YouTube video that provided a thumbnail sketch of the pilot’s ejection and rescue. Planning to write an additional article about the rescue, I tracked down the pilot. But it was too much material for an article and it turned into a book.

5) How long did it take you to write it?
From idea to turning in the manuscript was four years. The bulk of the actual research and writing once I had a contract was about a year.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Yes, I learned a lot about the history of combat search and rescue, and also the POW/MIA movement that began in the US in the late 1960s. I was aware of that movement since I was in high school at the time and some of my classmates had fathers who were POWs or MIA, but I didn’t really appreciate the full history until doing my research. 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
My author website is at https://eileenbjorkman.com
My book video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7sO_F_w20w&t=18s

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 
Get your writing out there! I started out with some freelance articles that gave me credibility when I went to pitch my first book to an academic press. That first book and my articles help me land an agent and then publisher for this book. And be persistent! I had a lot of rejection letters before I got my first publisher and then my agent. 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I read mostly nonfiction, although I do like a good detective novel or mystery at times. I am open to reading new authors and reviewing their work.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
This is a tough question because I like so many books for different reasons. But if the number of times I have read a book is an indication of favoritism, it would have to be Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.” The book is so gripping that it’s hard to put down. I’ve done a lot of hiking, but I’m fascinated by the tales of mountain climbers. His writing style inspires me as well.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? I have one cat, a black and white tuxedo.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it? I don’t own an electronic reading device, but I have the nook and kindle apps on my iPad mini. That works better for me since I travel a lot (although that has slowed down with the pandemic). I like the portable aspect of the iPad and it’s also great for books I’m using for research since the ebook version is usually less expensive. But overall, I prefer print copies of books because I like to take marginal notes, skim certain topics, and move back and forth at will (which I commonly do with nonfiction books).

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Interview with Carol Van Den Hende, Author of Goodbye Orchid

Hello,

Today I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Carol Van Den Hende, author of Goodbye Orchid.

Please enjoy!

Best,

Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1)    What is your author name?

Hi, I’m Carol Van Den Hende, which seems like a mouthful but is pronounced just the way it looks. Fun fact: if you meet me in person, you wouldn’t necessarily associate me with a Dutch last name (hint, I married into it!)

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

I’ve written a contemporary novel with romantic elements evocatively titled “Goodbye, Orchid.” True story: my editor and I brainstormed the name over cocktails and Zoom.

3) What is the book about? 

Just as successful entrepreneur Phoenix Walker is falling for beautiful half-Asian marketer Orchid Paige, he suffers a traumatic accident. When he wakes in the hospital, Phoenix longs for Orchid. Then, he remembers how much she’s already suffered. Alone, broken, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life…whether loving her means saying…Goodbye, Orchid.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

I was inspired by combat-wounded veterans. These soldiers leave for duty at the top of their game, then some come back from military tours with life-changing injuries. But Goodbye, Orchid isn’t a story of pity. Like many of these vets’ lives, my book is about human optimism and resilience.

5) How long did it take you to write it?

I penned the story during an intense, caffeine-fueled nine to twelve months. …And then the editing, marketing and publishing? Well, that took several times longer than the writing!

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I learned so much from writing and researching Goodbye, Orchid. I learned about empathy and the capacity to love no matter what. I can’t thank my sensitivity readers enough. Like Purple Heart-decorated Sgt Bryan Anderson who gave my writing high praise when he said “she gets my experience.” And Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott, who raises money for people injured by trauma, and loved Goodbye, Orchid.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Come hang out with me at www.carolvandenhende.com. There, you can sign up for my newsletter and learn that besides being a writer, I’m also a speaker and marketer (in chocolate, sweet!) You can see me in action through video clips of speaking engagements at writers’ conferences. For up-to-date author info, you can also follow me at fb.me/CarolVanDenHendeAuthor

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfd3hQ4FIY53zafnVOlM81Q

https://www.instagram.com/carolvandenhende/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54297964-goodbye-orchid

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? 

After twenty years in marketing, strategy and insights, I do have tips for authors. At the highest level, I always recommend starting with what you stand for (your personal brand), how that translates into your visual identity (design), and planning your objectives before jumping into tactics. If you’re hungry for more, check out the blog on my website, and note that I do take on select clients.

As far as professional recommendations, I’ve loved working with Ellie Davis at Pressque (she’s fun even without cocktails or zoom!), and the adorable husband-wife team at Chykalophia for my website design. Before I signed my publishing contract, I thought I might hire my own cover designer and fell in love with Lauren Harm’s work. Of course, always undertake your own due diligence, as each author’s needs and work style can differ.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

When I was a kid, I treasured my stacks of library books. Nowadays, I sneak time for fiction and business non-fiction, but my time’s fairly spoken for.

I feel lucky that life is so full, with work I love, my twins and humorous hubby, and serving on a non-profit Board. That means, though, while I’d love to read more new authors’ work, I simply won’t be able to. For now, I pay my good fortune forward to new authors in other ways, like sharing my knowledge at conferences and workshops.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 

The answer is so temporal. In my experience, a certain book is right for a certain time. When I was a child, “A Secret Garden” spirited me away to a lovely hidden place. As an edgy teen, Ayn Rand’s hyper-independence appealed to me. Now as an adult, I’m moved by a book’s truth. I recently recommended Mary Louise Parker’s book of essays entitled “Dear Mr. You,” but I could easily name dozens of others that have likewise touched me, expanded my world, and filled my heart.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

Our family dotes on our Siberian rescue cat. She alternates between skittish and lovey, which has trained us to coax sweetness from her with Shrimpy Shrimp Temptations. Note to self: buy more treats.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

I read books on my iphone late into the night. Take it from me, don’t try this at home. The blue light will screw up your circadian rhythm.

…Unless you’re using your iphone to sign up for my newsletter. In that case, hey, it’s always great to live a little!

Best,
Carol

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