Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Eritrean writer, @TesMekonnen, joins TheGlobalDig #crowdfunding

Illustration from Mekonnen's book:Happyland
Tes Mekonnen is with me to discuss the books he's written and his process as a writer. Tes came to America in 1990 at the age of four. He was born in Sudan, but considers himself Eritrean (a country on the horn of Africa) because his parents are Eritrean. They fled Eritrea because of war and trekked to a refugee camp in Sudan where they started a temporary life there then eventually came to America.













Sunday, December 17, 2017

#Sunday Post #amwriting @CaffeinatedBookReviewer



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

December


I went to Chaska, Minnesota. Nothing like seeing christmas lights set to trap music.

Also, people have been so giving to me lately.  I received a holiday card with an overdue candy cane from a woman who was going door to door giving them out.  And I live on the 10th floor so she realllllly made her rounds this year.  I also got a picture frame with one of those candid models inside that looked strikingly like my cousin Heather.  
I found out I have a certain likeness towards practical joker, Jack Jones.  Not only do we share the same exaggerated laugh but we also love to go up to people and ask them if they will kiss us.  Check him out sometime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uApD6VVcnYY

CURRENTLY

Reading: Hot Milk by Levy, DeborahAmericanah


AmericanahListening: Scrappy Little Nobody By Kendrick, AnnaAlmost Interesting
The Andy Cohen DiariesThe Memoir By Spade, DavidThe Andy Cohen Diaries:
A Deep Look at A Shallow Year By Cohen, Andy, Elon MuskTesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for A Fantastic FutureBy Vance, Ashlee

Watching:  The Good Doctor on Xfinity.

  


ON THE BLOG

What Happened:

Writer, Robert Walton was interviewed

Posted a snippet from my novella for Weekend Warriors.  Shout-out to Diane Burton who also posts for #wewriwa



Up Coming:
Wednesday:Wordless Wednesday
Sunday:Weekend Warriors 


Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.

Weekend Warriors #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."

Last week's


Ms. Ames-”
“Miss? Now, that’s a new way to say it.”
“Look, I’m here-” she coughed, “Because I’m looking for your foster sister, Tracey.” She seemed frustrated that the introduction was taking so long.
My face fell. “Oh gosh, what has Tracey done now?”
The screen door screeched as Ms. Not-a-reporter opened it wider and looked under my arm inside the house as if she’d find Tracey somewhere behind me.
She straightened herself and then put her hand into her coat pocket and took out a card, “This is my business card.”

This week


“This is my business card,” the woman said.
On the front it said, Ms. Patty’s handbags in curly letters with a big cat in the right hand corner. On the back it said nothing.
“Ms. Patty?” I said in amusement.
She patted her hair. “Why yes?”
“Um, you may want to meet my Uncle Roger. He has a little printing business and he may be able to help you out with your little business cards.”
She stared at me smug and said, “Shouldn’t you be in school or something?”

Readers, feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

#California #Writer Robert Walton #amreading #amjoy

Writer Robert Walton joins me today to discuss his current writing. Walton is a life-long rock-climber and mountaineer.  He's made numerous ascents in the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite. 










Saturday, December 9, 2017

Weekend Warriors, #amwriting


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

#WewriWa #amwriting #amediting


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

#California @Writer_MDNeu #amreading #amjoy

MD Neu is with me today to discuss his writing and love for books. Neu is a Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel.  Living in the heart of Silicon
Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be.
Read more

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Midwest writer:Jessica Fishman @amreading @amjoy

Writer, Jessica Fishman is here with us to talk about her writing and her newest novel Chutzpah and High Heels. 

 Having grown up in calm, dreary, and cold Minnesota, Jessica decided to give up the comforts of American life in the Midwest and move to a land in the Middle East that is full of idiosyncrasies, terrorists, and beautiful, olive-skinned men.


When she arrived in Israel, at twenty-two years old, she was a wide-eyed immigrant hoping to survive on idealism, ideology, and optimism.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Oklahoma/Alabama #Comedian @AmandaCostner #minneapolis

Amanda Costner pictured above
Comedic Musician Amanda Costner,joins me today. Amanda spent her early childhood in Alabama and her teenage years in Oklahoma and bases out of the Twin Cities.  Amanda has performed at Second City, Brave New Workshop, Looney Bin Comedy Club and bars and theaters throughout the modest.  Her comedic songs range from acoustic pop ballads about being a gay preacher’s daughter, to soul-comedy pieces on the war of sexual frustration.

And onto the interview...





Amanda, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MATERIAL?
All the songs I write come from real life experiences either from my past, or things I'm going through in the present. One of my favorite songs to play is called "Are You Impressed?", it's always relevant for me to sing that song to audiences because I've always been someone constantly trying to impress the people around me. I spent most of my 20's roller blading in a Fedora through busy intersections of Chicago because I thought I looked cool (I look ridiculous in a fedora and I probably could have been killed without a helmet). That line is in the song because it's just something I did you know?





HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND-UP COMEDY?
About 5 or 6 years. I initially rejected stand-up to pursue improv in Chicago. Then after a few years immersing myself in improv I realized I really wanted to be a comedic musician. After I started getting more and more stage time I realized I needed to tell jokes in between songs to be a better performer. Now I do both standup and comedy music in my sets and I really enjoy the pace.

WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU RECENTLY?
A few days ago I was play-wrestling with my significant other on the couch because that's how lesbians roll. All the sudden I stand up, make some bold declaration like "Oh yeah, well watch this!" and then my brain just kind of goes blank.

I don't have anything to back up my declaration but I'm already standing and I feel my body getting into spring-motion position, like my knees bend and I prepare myself as if I'm going to do a back-flip off the couch and onto the floor. But I'm a chubby 31 year old and I've literally never back-flipped so instead my body sort of lifts itself in the air and then I just belly flopped onto the wooden floor in our living room. My girlfriend was possibly panicking and trying to examine my head and I'm pretty dizzy/hurt but about 10 seconds after I get my vision back I burst into laughter. What a stupid thing to do to your body-that was probably the stupidest thing I did that day.
Amanda Costner

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
I was a weird combination of jock, class-clown and the kid everyone asked to pray in public (if and when that sort of thing was needed). Other kids knew I was a preacher's daughter and I always felt like I had that label to live up to. Most of my time in high school was spent playing golf and focusing on getting good enough to get a college scholarship.

I won our division's individual title my junior year and then that pretty much became what people knew me for---golf. But high school was also where I began honing my comedy skills. I had very few real friends and considered my dad to be my best friend. At lunchtime I could sit with any of the tables (the popular kids, the jocks, the nerds, the skaters, whoever) and feel comfortable, but on the weekends I never saw anyone.

I think my senior year I got invited to one party but other than that I never hung out or associated with the kids in my school socially. I think that's why I was always clowning. In my head if I could make people laugh then that might mean they'd want to be my friend. I wasn't doing it in the right way though. It took me 4 years of college to realize the difference between people laughing at you and people laughing with you.

WHEN IS YOUR NEXT PERFORMANCE?
On November 1st I'm performing at Wild Mind Artisan Ales for their regular Wednesday night Comedy Night hosted by Zak Brown. November 19th I'll be performing in two shows. The first is Mother Goose's Bedtime Stories presents: Cirque du so Goose, taking place at Seward Community Cafe. Then later in the evening I'll be at Stand Up, Fight Back! : Minneapolis, a really cool charity show which will be held at The Terminal bar and feature a panel of activists along with the comedy.

Thanks for joining me Amanda.

Thanks for having me.

Contact Amanda at the links below:


 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Robert @gately1776 #amreading #amjoy


Robert Gately joins me today on TheGlobalDig.  Robert was was born in 1946 in Lynn, Massachusetts.

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.
s

Find Alexis at:




http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294

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.

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 website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

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