Hanging out with Melissa Banczak

Hi Readers,

You know what I like just as much as reading?  It’s spending time with great authors like Melissa Banczak.  Recently, I was able to catch up with her for an interview.  Let me share my experience with you.

Melissa Banczak_Author Image

Melissa, thank you so much for the opportunity to steal you away from your busy life to answer some questions for my readers.  So, let’s begin.

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

I was a screenwriter for ten years so there were a lot of great characters that I created and still think about. Some produced, some not. I switched to novels a couple of years ago when I’d had enough of that life. So far, I’ve only written one full length book and a prequel, so I’m going with the novel, How to Sex Your Snake. It started as a nanowrimo back in 2004 with a place holder title of, The Aha Moment – A woman falls in love with a guy who collects snakes and then gets caught up in a murder mystery, all while trying to figure out what she wants out of life. I hit the word count but the story was only 2/3rds of the way done and I had no idea how to end it. So I set it aside. Then a couple of years later, my husband left me in charge of his 100 or so snakes (most were babies) while he was out of the country for a year.

One of the first days, I walked into the bathroom and found myself nose to nose with a 9 foot boa hanging from the bathroom light. My daughter had put the snake in the shower and when she’d been done, the snake had climbed up on the light to dry. Everyday was something new and by the time my husband got back, I had the changes I needed for my book, a great new title, and a heroine who had no one to blame for her misery but herself thanks to her bad choices. Maybe because June is completely my creation, she is my favorite. There won’t be an actress to make choices and change how she interacts with the world. She’s all mine.

2.  Writing is a difficult endeavor.  What makes you continue to write?

I have no idea! I’m horribly lazy. Notes from my readers help. People asking for the next in the series or what else I’m working on. Seeing sales on my amazon dashboard and knowing I have no idea who those people are. I’m a tiny bit ambitious so that helps me pop my computer in the case and head out to the coffee house. I hate the idea of my characters being stuck in limbo. (my head)

 

  1. What do you look forward to every day?

Chocolate cake! Some days, one of the only ways to get out the door, is to tell myself I’ll get a slice of chocolate cake and eat it while I write. I never do, though. I look at the cake in the case and think about how great it would taste. And then at the last minute, I change my mind. I think about how crappy I’ll feel with all that sugar in my system. And I just get tea. But, I absolutely love chocolate cake, so on some days, the very idea of it is the only way to get me on my way. I never write at home. Too many distractions.

 

  1. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

Selling books! As long as people are buying I’m a happy camper. I have enough sales on Amazon to suggest that I’m building an audience. Hopefully, they want more. As I write the sequel to How to Sex Your Snake, I’m world building two additional series. I plan on holding back both until they’re complete then rapid releasing. Probably one every month. When readers find a series they like they want to binge. I know I do.

 

  1. Any tips for a newbie writer?

You know your story. Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of telling it. Yeah, an editor will help you shape it but if there’s something that you really don’t want to change, fight for it. But understand why you want to keep whatever it is. And be able to explain the reason. If you can’t, you don’t need whatever it was.

 

How to sex your snake is available on Amazon!

 

Follow Melissa:

A monkey was wearing my bra

https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Banczak/e/B01N7UG4ZW

https://www.facebook.com/melissabanczakauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7103263.Melissa_Banczak

 

Join Melissa’s Newsletter:

A pool of blood…A missing body…A famous brother accused of murder. June Nash has the worst luck. Get the first 56 pages of my new book, How to Sex Your Snake, free! https://melissabanczak.com/mailing-list/

 

A Halloween Horror Treat!

Hi Readers,

Love Halloween?  How about some thrilling, heartbeat racing, horror?  Well that’s what you will find with this scream-worthy author Steven Evans.  Check out my interview with him:

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.
  • I’d have to say that the fairytale retellings have been my favorite.

Just trying to continue and add to a story that is already known

world wide and keep the integrity of I intact even if you’ve changed

the basis of it, it’s an adventure in itself.

2. Writing is a difficult endeavor. What makes you continue to write?

  • The stories keep speaking and demanding to take their place in the

world of published books. If even one person enjoys what I write, it

all becomes worthwhile.

3. What do you look forward to every day?

  • I’m kind of a boring person. Just like to have low stress and no big

worries. I really like no plans just seeing what comes my way.

4. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

  • Success, that’s just an oxymoron. Everyone has a different idea of

what success entails. I guess, I’d have to say, to me, success is more

if I can actually get the story out of my head the way it’s supposed to

be.

5.  Any tips for a newbie writer?

  • The only advice I’m really going to give is two things…

First: If you believe in yourself then you can never give up. Always

keep striving to improve your style.

Second: Don’t be afraid to ask your peers for help. Many indie authors

are happy to give advice. This is also a two part answer. Never believe

you are so talented or popular that you forget to be grateful. Remember,

no matter how hard you’ve worked to get to this point, you haven’t done

it alone. There have been people helping throughout your journey.

 

Daddy’s Angel (Weeping Willow Book 1)

 Written by Steven Evans

$0.99 on #Amazon OR #FREEonKU

https://amzn.to/2MW9Dh1

 

Check out Daddy’s Angel – Trailer 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=454101794937441&id=306536453027310

 

Blurb:

 

“For some, living is a daily struggle. Their loneliness guides them and their sadness isolates them.”

 

Tortured by his guilt, a man’s suffering allows an Evil force to enter his dreams.

 

his life becomes a living nightmare. Memories blurred by reality; he longs for a sweet release. “A release that can only be found in Death.”

 

To ease his pain, will he mingle with the Darkness and surrender his soul?

 

#NowLive #KindleUnlimited #UltimateLoss #Nightmares #Death #WeepingWillowSeries #DaddysAngel #StevenEvans #ParanormalActivity #Possessed #Darkness

How about some horror for Halloween- part 1

Hi amazing readers,

Who loves Halloween and things that go bump in the night?  How about a thrilling Sci-Fi/Fantasy during this phenomenal month?  That’s what this stellar author’s new book is all about.

Check out my latest interview with author Steve Soderquist. His latest book The Mor is available now!

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

I have to say my most recent book ‘The Mor’ has hit many soft spots regarding favorite characters and moments. I’ve always loved the sci-fi genre but never felt compelled to write anything of it myself, preferring to stay in fan-boy status. However, when I was helping to remove some dead shrubs from our front yard area to keep from strangling the live ones, I kept running across these little pod-like red blisters on the dead branches. They looked almost alien to me, which isn’t saying anything mind-blowing as I have a zero green thumb. Still, it was the catalyst to the idea that eventually made its way to becoming a book.

I had many intimidating factors, such as: Will I need to write about spaceships? Will I need people to visit different planets? Will there be gooey aliens or things that are so far-fetched I’ll find myself sorely out-matched by a lack of imagination or ability to explain my vision of what I see?

I am very much a character author. Meaning, I write about people responding to circumstances, not circumstances dictating what people will do. If you take three different personalities and put them in a stressful scene, they will all respond differently. This is the meat and potatoes to my writing style. I enjoy writing real people in unreal, or dangerous, or strange situations, then having them realistically and depending on their own talents and abilities, find a way out. ‘The Mor’ was able to do that as even though the two opposing alien races in the book were as night and day as we are, they still had to coexist in the same dynamics of our world. It allowed for some great setups and situations.

2. Writing is a difficult endeavor.  What makes you continue to write?

I love the challenge of figuring out how to get from point A to point B and beyond. If a writer can tell the story in a way that’s interesting and that clicks with the reader – so they’re along for the ride – so much the better. For me, writing is only difficult if nothing in the story is going on. I always need to remind myself to slow down at times and get a little back-story, in the story. If I don’t, I tend to 90-to-Nothing the whole book.

A good book should be like a roller coaster ride with building tension, followed by stomach-rolling drops and turns. It’s a writing process that can takes years (if ever) for a writer to get. I don’t know how many times I had to slow down ‘The Mor.’ Too many to count. Often it was like a car with no brakes on a steep hill. But, thanks to careful editing, re-writes, and beta-readers who are about as subtle as surgeons operating with baseball bats, I found a happy balance.

3. What do you look forward to every day?

As I edit, format, review submissions, and handle other day to day operations for Foundations, I’ve been incredibly blessed that I still love what I do. I can work 12 or 14 hours in a day,

unplug, then sit up and read in bed for an hour…lol. I’m really in love with the written word that much. The more I read, the more I learn—both the good and the bad. I’ve learned just as much from a badly written book as I have from a great one. What I MOST look forward to, however, is spending some quiet time with Laura, my fiancé, business partner, and best friend. Not many people can take my level of intensity except in small doses, but she has a way of winding through those roads without needing any headlights. Catch us late at night, and you’ll most likely find us vegging and binge watching a Netflix or Hulu original. We have the same tastes in entertainment, so that’s one of our mutual happy places.

4. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

There was a time when success for me circled around monetary wealth and possessions. After being humbled time and again, I now gauge success by how much you enrich the lives of those you encounter. It’s the basis of how I live my life and how I treat others. The smallest pebble thrown in water makes ripples that spread all around it. I am a pebble.

5.  Any tips for a newbie writer?

Read and write, write and read. Do both every day. Push yourself to learn the mechanics. A mediocre story that’s well-written will sell, and often sell very well… a great story that’s badly written won’t. Proper English isn’t something anyone is born with. It’s a learned subject that needs to turn into a habit as natural as breathing. Take courses, go to classes, and study. Most of all, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wasting your time. No one can write like you. Not the trillions of people who lived before you or the trillions after. Just you.

And have fun!

Social Links:

Facebook:                                         https://www.facebook.com/steve.soderquist.3

Facebook Author Page:               https://www.facebook.com/SteveSoderquistAuthor/

Amazon Author Page:                  https://www.amazon.com/author/stevesoderquist

Goodreads:                                      https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6626657.Steve_Soderquist

Google+:                                           https://plus.google.com/116546158818053309346

Twitter:                                            https://twitter.com/skirascal – @skirascal

Linkedin:                                         https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevesoderquist/

Email:                                              https://steves@foundationsbooks.net

Website:                                         http://www.SteveSoderquist.com/

YouTube Channel:                     https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV55b1YWTrqw5ihuBMBfcnw

Foundations:                               https://www.FoundationsBooks.net

The amazing Judith Barrett

Hi Readers,

Recently I had the chance to interview a sweet, kind soul who also writes fabulous books.

Take a look at my interview with Judith A. Barrett:

 

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

“The Girl Who Saw Clouds” is my favorite of my published books. It’s a compilation of all my interests-children with autism, farming, self-sufficiency, Florida weather, dogs, running, chickens, ham radio, baking brownies, offbeat humor, unicorns, pizza, and adventure.  I just gave you a synopsis of the entire book!

  1. Writing is a difficult endeavor. What makes you continue to write?

I have stories inside my head and heart, and I would explode if I didn’t let them out. I’ve always been a great storyteller, and I love learning. It’s been a struggle and a joy to learn how to transform those stories into words that invite the reader into the story on the page. I certainly agree it’s difficult and a lot of work.

“The Girl Who Saw Clouds” underwent 108 revisions before it was published. One of the things that kept me going was the encouragement of my beta readers who helped me see the improvements from one version to the next.

  1. What do you look forward to every day?

Every day I wake up ready for the day’s adventure with my husband and dogs. I’m a retired project manager, and I plan. I have a list for everything I’m going to do that day, that week, and that month. I have a five–year plan. I am thrilled every time I mark something completed. God, of course, knows how much I love to plan and frequently flips my plans to the side and says, “Nice plan. We’re going to do this instead.” His plans are always much more interesting than mine.

  1. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

I’ve always had two criteria for success: 1. Am I learning? 2. Am I having fun? If it’s not fun and I’m not learning, then it’s time to move on to something else. Maybe there’s one more thing-Did I get to check something off my list?

  1. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Consider any feedback as a gift, even negative feedback. Join a critique group. I like the online groups because I don’t have to show up anywhere at a certain time wearing shoes. Learn from everybody. Develop an eye for what’s good and what’s not. Read blogs and articles. Join a writers’ association. Attend workshops and seminars. Never publish a book before you hire an editor to review your manuscript. (Don’t be that guy.) Learn, learn, learn. And have fun!

Check out Judith A. Barrett’s book, available on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Saw-Clouds-ebook/dp/B07DH12YS

and learn more about Judith on her Author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Judith-A.-Barrett/e/B074NCLYC2

 

 

 

The Fabulous Melissa Carty

Hi Readers,

I had the recent privilege to interview this amazing author~ Melissa Carty.  Check out my interview with her.

 

Melissa Carty_Author picture

  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

Soul Awakening will always be my first love. One of my main characters is Chance Wright and he was the first character to ever show himself to me. Letting his and Skye’s story grow into a full fledged book was also an opportunity for me to grow personally.

Skye is a girl who has a parent go missing. Everyone thinks he’s dead and her and her mom are coping the best they can. She has to leave her friends behind when she’s made to spend the summer in another country with family she barely knows. After she gets there, family secrets and supernatural beings collide, making this a summer she may not survive.

 

  1. Writing is a difficult endeavor. What makes you continue to write?

In the beginning, my characters wouldn’t shut up. After that, it was my need to finish the story. I also enjoy the problem solving that’s involved in creating worlds and lives. There is something so magical and addictive about making a world all your own.

 

  1. What do you look forward to every day?

Waking up and knowing I have another day to love on the people I love. Having more time to try to get this thing called life right. To tell the stories that play out in my head. Hearing a song that will make me think of a book and/or characters that I wrote. Someone telling me they loved or liked my book. So many things.

 

  1. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

Success for me is doing something you enjoy and it being able to sustain you financially (which is relative to your needs and situation) and/or emotionally.

I’m doing something I truly enjoy and it’s very fulfilling. I realize I’m just starting out, so I may not be the definition of success yet, but every author had to start somewhere.

 

  1. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Try to turn off your inner critic, at least until you’re done with the first draft. You may never finish your book if you give in to it. Also, finding a mentor can be really helpful and reaffirming that you’re on the right track.

 

BIO:

Melissa is a Young Adult writer with a passion for paranormal. She has been drawing and doing all things creative for as long as she can remember. She earned a degree in Graphic Arts and has spent many years as an artist. After falling in love with reading (thanks to two persistent friends), she started writing stories. The magic of creating her own worlds has been both exciting and overwhelming at times, and she couldn’t be happier about it. https://www.facebook.com/MelissaCartyArtistWriter/ or https://www.instagram.com/melissa_carty/

** Her book, Soul Awakening is available on Amazon! **

 

First Author Interview Live!

Hey Readers,

You know what’s great?  Being the very first author interviewed by a fellow blogger.  Wow!!

I am so honored and excited to share with you my Author Interview on Andrea’s site.  Go check it out and show her some love, too!!

http://254bookaholic.blogspot.com/2018/09/mwandishi-spotlight-my-first-interview.html?m=1#more

 

 

Grab this fabulous free read today!

Hi Readers,

Vespers by Author Elyse Reyes is free today!

Follow the adventures of Jasper and her initiation into a paranormal world of beings called The Order of Vespers.

Jasper Andrews is in over her head. God and the Devil have disappeared from Earth, leaving humanity without hope. Il Separatio, the Entity of Neutrality, tries to restore peace through the intervention of its children, the Order of Vespers. They are tasked with maintaining the balance between light and dark, ensuring that no faction becomes too powerful. They think Jasper is the key to harnessing the power of Il Separatio, protecting the Vespers and maintaining the balance.

 

Join the event on Facebook for more fun:

https://www.facebook.com/events/233066447359341

 

Elyse Reyes_Free Book_Vespers_Bk Cover

 

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