Wednesday, October 18, 2017

@AlexisSDuran joins the Global Dig #amreading #amjoy

Alexis Duran is joining me today. Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She's worked in museums, finance, film production and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several stand-alone romances. Her fiction has won awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is currently working on the next Masters and Mages novel and always has several new ideas brewing.
is with me today to talk about herself and her writing career.  

What motivates you to write?  
Short answer—survival. Seriously, this is a hard question for me because I’ve felt compelled to write since I was a kid. For me, writing is kind of like breathing- I just have to do it. I guess it’s a bit of an obsession. To not write would be akin to giving up an essential part of myself. It’s not like I have a burning message I need to get out there, I just love to write and immerse myself in story. This quote from Ray Bradbury pretty much sums it up for me:  You must stay drunk on writing so reality does not destroy you.

If you could talk to any famous writer, what would you say?  
I’d love to have a conversation with Tom Robbins. I’d like to tell him he saved my life by showing me it was okay to be silly, outrageous, weird and wild on the page. In other words, it was okay to be me. I didn’t have to copy “great” writers. I didn’t have to craft perfectly elegant sentences or profoundly deep, earth-shattering prose. As a matter of fact, the less I tried to do those things the better writer I became. Reading Jitterbug Perfume was a profoundly liberating experience for me as a creative person.

What have you learned the most about feedback from your work this past year?  
I've learned that characters I love are not necessarily beloved by readers! I think this might mean I have a thing for villainous heroes, or possibly my idea of a flawed hero is a bit more of a bad boy than a knight in shining armor. I do love my knights too. I think the takeaway from this for me is to be more aware of the all the different perspectives readers bring to the story. Not that a writer can make everyone happy, nor should we even try, but it doesn't hurt to really think about my characters actions from several view points, not just my own. That's another thing I love about writing. It always encourages me to grow and understand more about the people I share this world with.

What do you think of “trailers” for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work?  
I honestly don’t think about them. I’m not saying they’re not cool or effective, I just don’t have the time or resources to branch out into that area of marketing yet, and I have to say, I’ve personally never been swayed by one. I'm the kind of person who doesn’t have much patience with watching ad videos, so there's that.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?  
Free books, as part of a larger strategy, can be an effective means of getting your name out there and drawing in new readers. People will take a chance on an unknown (to them) writer if it’s a freebie, and lots of book promotion sites are out there to help promote giveaways. But you have to be careful—you don’t want to devalue your work for no return.  So while it makes perfect sense to offer a tie-in short story or the first book in a series for free in order to kick-start interest, I wouldn’t  recommend just putting your first stand-alone novel up for free and hoping it generates interest. Sure, people will download it, but they might not read it! Try to wait until you have a backlist so the people who do read it and enjoy it will be able to find something else by you to spend their money on. Or, you could try putting up some free flash fiction or short stories to build interest in an upcoming release.

 If you could drop in on a book you read as a kid which book would it be?  
No doubt about it—The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I remember crying when I finished the Narnia books. I wanted to live there so badly. I still do, which might sort of explain the writing addiction.

What have you written?

Lots! I currently have eight books out in the gay romance/fantasy genre. I have two series going; The Masters and Mages books, which are high fantasy, and Edge of Night, which are contemporary fantasies set in Seattle. I recently participated in a multi-author project called Order of The Black Knights released by Dreamspinner Press. I’m currently working on a new series of gay shifter romance mysteries, which is a total kick in the pants to write, and a twisted fairy tale set in the same world as Gryffon Hall, a fantasy of mine that has been very popular.

Find Alexis at:

Readers, if you have any comments please write them below.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Missouri Writer @WilliamReyland #amreading

Writer, William Reyland is joining me today.  William is the author of Sons of Isan, Taking Refuge in a Thai Temple. He is a former Buddhist monk, and also a full time professional musician, and photographer. While living abroad he worked as a ACE and contributing writer for various publications, such as Gwangju News International Magazine, S. Korea, and EXPAT Magazine, Taiwan. His best work compels one to consider their humanness and the beauty of living a full and purposeful life.

So William, what have you written?

Sons of Isan, Taking Refuge in a Thai Temple, is my first book. It is a true story of my experience while living a rural Thai Buddhist temple. After raising my son as a single parent on a musician's income, I basically had two choices. I could continue onward with the status quo, which was actually quite fine, or I could clear the decks to roam freely into the unknown.

I choose the latter, trading my possessions, my comfort, and my western tinged and conditioned view of the world, for the robes of a monk, to live in a dusty Buddhist temple in Northeastern Thailand. Amid the warm and at times mysterious smiles of the Thai people, scary temple bathrooms and the equally mysterious rural Thai diet of two meals a day, which filled my alms bowl each morning, I eventually began to uncover certain truths, as well as the many falsehoods that had informed my life, and despite the stupefying heat, feral temple dogs, and one bout of dysentery, I found tremendous joy and some indication of my true self.

I'm tremendously interested in your book and your experience living as an American with Thai monks. In Minneapolis, we have a large Tibetan Buddhist community. I have had the privilege of working among these people and I'm sure they would be interested in your novel as well.

Many of my readers have commented that “Sons” is a brutally honest, humorous, and vivid account of a spiritual struggle and cultural immersion, and while this is certainly true to a great extent, the story continues to unfold, and even though my eyebrows have grown back and my robes have been replaced with blue jeans and Birkenstocks,  those days remain steadfast in my heart, and even if it is the only book I ever write, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to share it with others.  

Wow! Living as a monk must have been hard. Some of your experiences may be similar to those of Nikolai Grozni, a Boston Jazz prodigy who abandoned 15 years of music study to seek out the Dalia Lama's university in India and eventually learn many concepts of monkhood.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Good question. As I strive to promote Sons Of Isan, I am sometimes filed with anxiety over not having enough reviews or ones that may or may not pull any actual weight with my audience. In either case, consider the source carefully. I am fortunate to have some favorable reviews from both professional editorial sources, as well from my readers. That said, I've had a few tankers as well. In the case of a negative review, I try and set aside my ego in favor of using that negative criticism as an opportunity to improve and grow as a writer.

Can you describe one of the best writing compliments you received?

I attempt to create a vivid and stirring experience for my readers that is both moving, and informative. When a reviewer or one of my readers experiences my writing in light of these factors, I consider it a major success.

Where do you see the future of social media and publishing in ten years?

This is a tough question and I think it depends in large part on technology. With the advent of self publishing and our ever changing social media habits, it is becoming increasingly difficult for writers to find traction, and exposure in a market saturated by millions of other competing titles. In terms of social media, where we must exist, the challenge to be seen and read is a daunting task. Based on these factors, I think it will continue to be very difficult to find success. The best solution, no matter the genre, is to only put forth your best work, and stay on top of marketing trends and techniques.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?

I've probably read a million pages of advice on, “How to write the perfect book.” I've narrowed it down to three main points that are fairly simple to follow.  

1.) Find your voice.
2.) Understand your readers.
3.) Draft, draft, draft.

What motivates you to write?

I'm motivated when a topic or storyline speaks to me on a personal level. The difficult and crucially important part is turning that into something that speaks to you.

More about William can be found at the links below.

That's all the time we have today folks.  Readers if you have any comments please list them below.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Turkey Comes to Trin Carl's Blog

Here is another expat blog, This woman is writing from Turkey. She has a montage of beautiful city pictures of Turkey in her cover page and she has a post called Ex-Pats the TV show.  I like how she describes herself in her blog A married girl married and living in Turkey for 3 years, sadness to happiness. Here you will hear about the struggles and high points of living in another culture, learning the new ways to cook, speak, make friends along with many more.  Now I really thought I heard it all when it comes to reality shows but here we go folks another show to add to your list.  She posts a link of where you can find the show on her page .

Here is another Blog from Turkey called Post Cards from Istanbul.  But the actual site can be found at and she has a cloud a list of words related to Turkey.  One phrase  caught my mind Night Life in Istanbul.  Okay readers, what do we think we'll find here? Yes, of course clubs and more clubs  One of the clubs called Quick China looks very modern and romantic, dark and cavernous.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Interview with Jenifer Ruff

Jenifer Ruff is with me today to answer questions about herself and her book.

Jenifer, what have you written? My fourth book, Only Wrong Once, is a psychological suspense story about a bio-terror attack on the United States.

Give us an insight into your main characters. What does he/she do that is so special? Only Wrong Once is told through the point of view of several characters, those perpetrating the attack and those trying to stop it. Seeing the story through different perspectives gives the reader a solid understanding of the motivations driving the story, even when those motivations appear reprehensible.

What drew you to write in these genre?
I read books from every genre, but I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and psychological thrillers.  With psychological suspense, I love having the inside scoop when the characters do not, worrying about how they will react, and seeing the decisions they will make. If a story has a dark edge and an unexpected twist that give me chills, all the better!

 Would you hire someone else to format, edit, or create artwork for your novel, how would you select them and how much weight do you put on reviews?

If only it was all free. Paying good editors is expensive, or I imagine every author would find and hire the best one in their genre, but it’s probably the best gift an author can give themselves. I had an editor with my first two books because they were released by a publisher. I wrote Only Wrong Once over two years submitting 25 pages per month to my wonderful writing critique group for feedback. When I’d rewritten the entire manuscript at least four times, I exchanged edits/critiques with three other experienced authors. Each one improved the book and some of their feedback resulted in substantial changes to the story line and many deleted chapters. After those critiques, I had MANY beta-readers who helped eliminate all remaining errors as well as provided comments and suggestions. The formatting I do myself. Most of it is easy, but there’s always a few unexpected glitches that take up most of the time and have me pulling my hair out for a bit. The cover is something I do not have the talent or the right tools to create as well as I would like.  I used an excellent designer for this cover and I think the design process and the result were well worth it.

As for reviews, well, I might be a little obsessed with getting them because it’s not possible to effectively promote a book without them. Stephen King and the other writing titans probably don’t know or care when he gets a new review now, but for most authors, each new review is opened with excitement and trepidation. Readers bring their own unique experiences and background to every book, so I’ve learned that what one person loves, another might hate. I’ve read books I LOVED, books I couldn’t put down, only to discover when I went to write my glowing review that others did not have the same experience, it was like they had read an entirely different book. So, I don’t put too much weight on reviews, but I do read a few when I am deciding whether to purchase a book.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
If you have the budget to hire someone to help you promote, go for it! Otherwise, keep at it, making time for a little bit every week, even doing one small thing every day, if you can. An abundance of information on marketing and promoting books is available on the internet, there are so many resources, courses, and ideas. In my opinion, it is absolutely the most challenging aspect of being an author, but it’s critical.  Most promoting is not actually talking about your book, or people will get sick of you pretty fast, but building mutually beneficial relationships and having a media presence so people know you exist.

What do your fans mean to you?
When someone contacts me through my website to interact because they read one of my books, or to say something kind, positive, or encouraging, it really makes my day. I’m so grateful to the people who reach out to me and those who leave comments and reviews. Before I started writing, I had no idea what a difference it makes, but now I get it. I try to leave positive feedback for people, not just authors, wherever I can.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Weekend Writing Warriors #Wewriwa

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.
This is a fictional snippet  on a piece I've been working on. The main character has an alcohol addiction and doesn't realize whether he's asleep or awake.

 It’s my sister calling. I should flick it to decline, but my sister cares and she’s the only one who will give me a ride to the store.
I pick up.
“Hey, where you at?” She asks.
“At home, why?”
“You gonna make it to work today? You gonna beg for your job back?”
“Wasn’t thinking of it, but okay...yeah.”
“Today’s the day!” My sister says.
Yeah the day I get real f#$%#d up.

Readers, please comment below.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

#Music #Playlist, #YouTube, @IMmusichart @MusicMixDaily

A list of some of my new go-to songs.  Check them out on Youtube if you have the chance.  Love listenin' to these songs at night on the way to work when it's so late:anything that keeps me awake will suit me.  The Highlighted ones are my big faves.

'Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai' FULL VIDEO Song | Khoobsurat | Badshah | Aastha

Badshah - DJ Waley Babu | feat Aastha Gill | Party Anthem Of 2015 | DJ Wale Babu

Kar Gayi Chull - Kapoor & Sons | Sidharth Malhotra | Alia Bhatt | Badshah | Amaal

 Mallik |Fazilpuria

Best Summer Dance Mix 2017 | New Club Dance Music Mashups Remixes Mix | Dance Megamix

Culture Code - Make Me Move (feat. Karra) [Tobu Remix] Vanze & Reunify - Angel (feat. Parker Polhill & Bibiane Z) Elektronomia - Sky High Jim Yosef - Forces (feat. Ivan Jamile & Kédo Rebelle) Tobu - Roots Different Heaven - Safe And Sound Waysons - Eternal Minds Elektronomia & JJD - Free Axol x Alex Skrindo - You Elektronomia - Limitless Mendum - Stay With Me (Krys Talk Remix) Axol & The Tech Thieves - Bleed Diviners feat. Contacreast - Tropic Love LFZ - Echoes Cartoon - On & On (feat. Daniel Levi) Unknown Brain - Saviour (feat. Chris Linton) Anikdote & Culture Code - Don’t Let It Go (feat. Brado Sanz) Kontinuum - Lost (feat. Savoi) [JJD Remix] Jim Yosef - Link Electro-Light & Jordan Kelvin James - Wait For You (feat. Anna Yvette) Uplink - Still Need You (feat. AWR)
Show less

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Interview with L.B.

Author L.B is with me today.  L.B.'s  second novel, STOLEN SECRETS (Boyds Mills Press) is published today.  Readers come and check it out!! Link

L.B is the author of two young adult books (and a few not-yet-discovered middle grade and young adult projects tucked safely away in a drawer somewhere.) 

L.B, what have you written?
I have two novels for young adults. My newest one, STOLEN
SECRETS, comes out today. It’s a contemporary story with a
historical mystery, and it’s got a fabulous ending that I wish I
could share, but can’t.
My debut, LEAGUE OF STRAYS, came out in 2012. It’s
available in ePub format.

Give us an insight into your main characters. What does he/she
do that is so special?
In STOLEN SECRETS, my two main characters are Livvy and
Franklin D. Livvy has a photographic memory-- both a blessing
and a curse. The typical brain can forget details that are either
unimportant or in some cases, disturbing. Livvy’s mind won’t let
her sift out any information. Franklin D. is an eccentric character,
who accepts everyone and appreciates uniqueness in himself
and others. He is funny and wonderful and warm, and I fell in
love with him from his first line of dialogue.

What drew you to write in this genre?
I was very connected to my life as a teen, through keeping a
journal and being “in the moment” during those years. I also love
the adventures teens have. They aren’t yet as risk-averse, or
bogged down with too many responsibilities (at least not in
Would you hire someone else to format, edit, or create artwork
for your novel, how would you select them and how much weight
do you put on reviews?

I have been traditionally published so those have not been my
concerns mostly. That being said, I have a middle grade novel
that I really want to be published, so I am considering hiring a
freelance editor to help me get it into better shape. If this book
never sells traditionally, I know a lot of people who used to work
for publishers that are now freelance, so it shouldn’t be too hard
to find qualified, talented helpers.
I love it when readers take the time to review, because it truly
helps spread the word about my book. As far as review content
goes, I understand that everyone has a different opinion, so I
don’t worry about that aspect. When a critique within a review
feels real to me, I do my best to learn from it and apply that
knowledge to future projects.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their
No one knows what works. All I can suggest is to come up with a
plan that utilizes your specific strengths. In my case, I like to talk,
so I am focusing on finding spots as a guest on podcasts, school
visits, and speaking at events that might support the subject
matter of my book.

What do your fans mean to you?
Sort answer: I love them! Long answer: I write to make a
difference, to reach people. Fans let me know that I’ve done that.
I have one fan, in particular, who’s become a friend. Fans are
well-read, so if they like my book, well, that just makes me
supremely, ecstatically happy, you know?

Contact L.B.:

Readers, please comment below. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekend Warriors #wewriwa #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.
This is a fictional snippet  on a piece I've been working on.

Everyone focuses their eyes and energy on the train doors almost like their telepathically willing the train to stop and make the doors open so they can get the hell out of here
I laugh cause I forgot to wear my purple.
"Purple pride," one bum says in the back.
Guess he’s missed the message that were all supposed quiet right now.
All of a sudden someone in the front of the car starts shouting "Go Vikings, run up the score.  You'll hear us yell for more."
Everyone on the train starts shouting "V-I-K-I-N-G-S, Skol, Vikings, let's go!"

Readers, please comment below and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Skye McNeil @Skye_McNeil7 #amreading #amjoy

Author Skye McNeil is joining me today. Skye writes RomCom and Romantic Suspense novels that are smart, flirty and sassy.

And onto the interview...

Skye, what have you written?
Appointed By Fate is my first book with Hot Tree Publishing and my third book in total to be published. I also have Timberline with Hartwood Publishing and Donuts, Diamonds and Assorted Details self-published.
Give us an insight into your main characters. What does he/she do that is so special?
Joci Dorous is a criminal attorney in Des Moines, Iowa. She has a knack for getting the best possible outcome for her clients. She also has a delicious love triangle throughout the book. Cameron Shearer is a man on trial for homicide, but the mystery surrounding the murder is why he came to Iowa in the first place. His association with the Del Rossi mob gets him into more trouble than he can handle, which is why he needs Joci, a long lost friend, to help him out. The two character together make an incredible team and the constant struggle to see if they end up together keeps readers engaged.

What drew you to write in these genre?
I love to read books and watch shows/movies that leave you guessing and wanting more. I always like romance to make the stakes that much higher when I read/watch. Romantic suspense really encompasses both for the reader.

 Would you hire someone else to format, edit, or create artwork for your novel, how would you select them and how much weight do you put on reviews?
When I look for a person or company to assist me in my novel adventures, I always want to feel as though I'm not only an author, but also a part of a family. My publisher, Hot Tree Publishing, does an excellent job with informing me of what's expected of me as well as guiding me to become the best author possible.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
The best advice I ever got for marketing was to be a go-getter and never stop. I'm more of an introvert, so it's difficult at times, but when you meet your readers who otherwise would never know about your books except from marketing, it is an amazing feeling.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me. Without them, I'm stuck reading my books alone. The support and interaction with my fans encourages me to continue my writing endeavors and often times offer new ideas.

Amazon Buy Link:


Readers, please comment below.        


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