Friday, October 19, 2018

Interview with Wendy May Andrews Author of The Orphan Train Series





Let's welcome Wendy May Andrews to the blog today. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love J I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.

I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.



Those sound like my kind of books. I can handle some sadness in the book but I want someone to get their happy ending when it is all over.  Will you share a short excerpt from your novel?

She was just pinning what she hoped was a gracious smile back onto her face while scanning the gathering crowd, looking for the rest of her group, when her gaze collided with that of the most handsome man she had ever seen. His blue eyes were so clear and bright, they reminded her of the Atlantic on a sunny day. His dark hair was almost black and was clipped short. It looked as though it would have a tendency to curl if he had not controlled its length. His square jaw and high cheekbones should have looked fierce, but his lips quirked up in the corners as though he had a propensity for smiling or laughing. Sophie’s breath caught as she tried to take it all in and once again found herself hoping her mouth wasn’t hanging open.

He strode toward her, as she was frozen in place. There wasn’t much space separating them, so he was beside her in a few paces.

“Good evening, miss. I haven’t had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. I just saw you talking with my mother.”

Sophie blinked and almost turned to look behind her before she remembered that she had just been speaking with Mrs. Rexford. Feeling a blush stain her cheeks, Sophie tried to achieve coherent speech, but nothing intelligent came to mind so she merely offered him a slight curtsy like she had done with his mother.

Wendy, what brought about the idea for this book?

I started planning this series after friends of mine adopted a little boy. I was fascinated with the history of adoption. While there are plenty of horror stories, my research brought me to Mr. Charles Brace, one of the founders of the Children’s Aid Society and his efforts to send orphans from New York City out to farms in the Midwest on the train. He had a noble goal and accomplished much good.



It sounds like an intriguing story. Adoptions stories always pull at my heartstrings. Where do you see yourself in five years?


With my bookcase groaning under the weight of the books I’ve written J



Currently, what are you working on?

I’m writing a series with nine other authors centered around one theme – Proxy Brides. Proxy brides are much like Mail Order brides except that they’ve already married their new husbands by proxy before they even meet. What could go wrong?? ;-)



Wow nine other authors, that sounds like quite the undertaking.  Good Luck! What has been the best compliment you have received?

“I lost sleep because of your book – I stayed up all night reading.”



Wendy, what kind of research do you do before you start a new story?

I’m lucky in that there is tons of information online for both my time periods – Regency era England and American Westerns – 1855-1875. So I can start online with my research. I also like to visit the places I write about even though I write in the past. And I study old maps to figure out which roads or routes would have been used by my characters.



Do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?

Yes, I have four beta readers that read all my books before they go to the editor. They are familiar with the genres I’m writing so they know when something is “off”. They look for plot holes for me. My beta readers are avid readers that I trust.



I don't think I could live without beta readers. I have a couple of really good ones, but I hope to find one or two more. Four seems like a great number. Who designed the artwork for your cover?  Or did you design it yourself?

My covers are done by a lovely person I met on Fiverr.



How do you handle criticism when it comes to your writing?

I try to avoid criticism :-D I make sure I have supplies of chocolate before I go onto any sites containing reviews of my books. But I appreciate constructive feedback, especially BEFORE the book is published. Afterward it’s a bit of a pain since it’s already out there in the world.



I totally get it. Is there something you learned from writing your first book?

I learned so much from writing my first book! For one thing, I learned that I CAN stick to it and actually finish writing a book if I put my mind to it. I also learned that I needed to learn a whole lot more than that. Character arcs, show don’t tell, goal/motivation/conflict… There are so many things to learn in order to be able to craft a good story. But there are also tons of good resources to learn and other authors are usually kind and generous with their knowledge, willing to share some of what they know with those still learning.



I have been amazed at how helpful other authors have been. Its nice to be in a business with so many generous and giving people. How many times do you think you read your book before going to print?

It feels like a million but it’s probably about ten times.


Wendy, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us today. Be sure to check out more from Wendy at the links below. Happy Reading!!









Link to my series on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HKK4TML






Monday, October 15, 2018

Interview with Roger Kenworthy, Phd author of Fly on the Wall





Today I'd like to welcome Dr. Roger Kenworthy to the blog.

Thanks Sarah for having me here and answering a few of your questions.


It's my pleasure, why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself.  



I have been teaching English (all skills and all levels, but writing is my favorite) for twenty years in five different countries. My first degree is Ancient Art and Archeology which really helped me when writing my Nathanial Kenworthy series (he’s a time traveler). I have a PhD in Applied Linguistics and this has been a plus for me in doing the research required for writing my stories. Being a teacher allows me to have the summers off to dig into my writing, and having a home in Northern Thailand, is a relaxing environment to work away the hours upon a novel.   


I've heard it's beautiful over there. I would love to go there sometime. Currently, what are you working on?

At the moment, I’m working on a new series about a strong female character who is a trained assassin. I’ve never written a novel with a female as the main character-let alone an alpha female -so, this was a stretch for me. However, that’s how I approach my work; I question how can I break the boundaries that confined me in my previous book(s). It’s exciting and keeps things fresh. 

I think that's how we become better writers too, is to constantly challenge ourselves. Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

My initial idea was just a single book, but it soon grew from one to an additional three more in the series. Book One is written, Book 2 is almost finished, and for Book 3 and 4, I have an outline of the main idea for each one. 

The series and Book 1 is: The Muse: Assassination and release date is December 2018. Book 2: The Muse: Retribution and it should be out late Spring, 2019.   

To date, I have twenty of my books on Amazon. It’s an eclectic mix of genres; dystopian, self-help/motivational, and adventure. Hence, some are standalone while others as part of a series.


When it comes to what project I’ll write about, it’s whatever is interesting to me and I also consider whether can I learn something new when researching the topic. For example, I read a few articles about Neanderthal man and their burial customs and technology. Being curious, I wanted to know more so I wrote a book about a Neanderthal family after doing a lot of research. It’s called, CLAN: Birth of the Chosen One, out in October or November 2018. 

Twenty books is quite an accomplishment.  How did you decide on what to title each book?

There are a number of ways that I arrive at a title for my books. I could decide beforehand or if I’m lost for an appropriate title, it usually happens organically. I’m writing and a memorable sentence or a phrase stands out, one that grabs my attention, or seems to fit the text, and then I use it for my title.  

Dr. Kenworthy, will you share something with us not a lot of people know about you?


Most don’t know that I work in the Middle East (for twelve years) and live in Thailand. Our family home is 3,697 miles from work, and as a result, I manage to spend only about three months together with my family each year. It’s good and bad. I’m not at home with them. But, this provides me with lots of time to write my books since I don’t watch television (it’s been about four years now) or go to the movies, rather, I spend my hours writing after work and on the week-ends.

That would be hard to be away from your family that much. What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?

I enjoy painting and photography. My painting is abstract, with thick brush strokes and colorful patterns - I can’t draw, so throwing paint on a canvas is my avenue for those creative urges. As for photography, a gallery in Canada had a fifteen-picture exhibition of my photos taken while in Kunming, China. I felt as if I was on a National Geographic assignment – just exploring the city and taking pictures for an entire week…heaven! 

I love photography, but even with all the new technological advances, I still don't have that talent. Which are your favorite books?


That’s a very difficult question. If I was stranded on an island I wouldn’t want just one, it would have to be an armful. These would include The Prophet (Khalil Gibran), This Thing Called You (Ernest Holmes), The Book of Mirdad (Mikhail Naimy), and The Mahabharata.

I’d also bring along a copy of my own book, The Ascent. It’s not about ego or that I think I’m Osho or Rumi. I’m not. It’s much more personal. A very special person read this book, and she said her life was changed by the message it contained. Sadly, she passed at 36 years of age…we lost her too early, so, this is my reminder of how C.L. influenced my life. 

What is your writing process like?  Do you have a routine?

The process starts with my “Books To Write” folder on my Desktop. As I read some information about a topic, I may come-up with an idea to write about it. After making a summary of the idea, it stays there until I’m ready or inspired to research/write it. There’s usually around ten books waiting to be completed. So, as one is done, I scan the folder and decide what’s next. Then the writing begins.

I do have a routine, however, at times it must be flexible due to my full-time job. During the summer break, I usually get up around 4 am and write a few hours or until I’m tired. When I’m at my job, there’s a window of opportunity of an hour or so to write during the evenings. Most of my writing is completed on the week-ends when I get up early and write until noon or until I drop.  


What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?



If you are considering publishing, do it. The entire process is easy to research and learn about accessing writing templates, buying book covers, and editing professionals. There are so many services that have sprung-up over the past few years to help us. In the end, write it and then figure out how you’ll get on Amazon or elsewhere. 

I think that self-publishing is the path to take for many reasons. However, the main reason to self-publish is that as a writer, you have control, from start to finish, for any book you write. That’s empowering to me – no form letters saying, “Great idea, but not my genre” or “Well written, but I have too many clients at the moment.”

So…Write it. Edit it. Get a cover. Download it. Promote it.  


Thanks for the advice. Are there any last words you'd like to leave us with?


For me, the motivation to be an author has always been the intrinsic benefits from creating new worlds, characters, and adventures. If I would have had money as my goal to be a writer, I would have quit after the first book (I finished my first book in 2007, and self-published it a few years later).



In my mind, nothing can equal the thrill of sitting down to a blank computer screen and after weeks and months of work, produce a finished product that is the result of your ideas and inspiration. It’s truly a spiritual experience for me.   



The process is what drives me to write the next one, I guess I’m addicted to creativity and it just happens to be this form. Perhaps, others who aspire to be writers should consider the process and the long path itself as the goal…before the money.

Dr. Kenworthy, thank you so much for sharing with us today. Before to check out more about Dr. Kenworthy's books at the links below. Happy Reading !!




Amazon
Website 1
Website 2
FB Page
Twitter

Friday, October 12, 2018

Interview with Michelle Lowe author of The Legacy Underground



Today I'd like to welcome author Michelle Lowe. Thanks for taking time the time to share with us today. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Georgia born native who has spent most my life near the Atlanta area before pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country with my husband, Ben, and our two daughters. History piques my interests, especially European history. I’m a big nerd at heart. I love reading science-fiction and fantasy stories, and I enjoy old B horror films. I also get a kick out of playing classic Atari video games.
I’m a daydreamer and animal lover. I have two young kitties, Nico and Max, and one demanding guinea pig. I took up writing as a serious career choice twenty years ago, learning a lot and sharpening my skills along the way. 
My works include several published novels such as The Warning, Cherished Thief, Atlantic Pyramidand Children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour, and The Hex Hunt series. My latest published escapade is the third installment to my steampunk/fantasy series, titled Legacy-The Underground, released on the 20th of September.  Legacy and Legacy-The Reunion, are the first two out of this six-part series.


A six part series. That's too ambitious for me. I think that's so amazing. Michelle will you share a short excerpt from your new novel with us?

The morning fog was heavy and moist. When Pierce opened his eyes, he found he had to wipe dew off his face with his coat sleeve. The campsite was empty.
“Taisia?”
He rose and scanned the area. The mist prevented him from seeing much.
“I’m over here,” she called from within the fog
He followed the direction of her voice and soon, poles appeared. They were tall timber posts jutting up nearly as high as Stonehenge just over yonder. They weren’t perfectly shaped poles. Most of them stuck up like thick fingers pointing crookedly toward the sky.  
But the beams hadn’t been there before, right?
A small gathering of men, women, and children, stood inside the circle. They were dressed in robes and holding crackling torches. The firelight blended into the dull, misty morning. Some of these people wore masks made of leaves, while others had tattoos on their faces. Their hair was lengthy, matted, and braided. They appeared not as ghosts, but more like echoes of a population long gone. They were worshipers of nature who praised the gifts that the earth had provided them. Gifts that modern men and women took for granted.
They watched Pierce as he approached the place of his birth. No one uttered a word as he walked by. He had no fear of them, but they forced him to wonder, Why have they come?
Taisia stood in the center of the circle.
“Taisia,” he said. “What’s going on?”
As he drew near, he noticed gunshot wounds in her, and the blood that poured from them.
“Don’t believe it, Pierce,” she told him.

Throughout your writing career, have you been given any helpful advice?

I had a writing mentor years ago who had founded an online writer’s workshop called Wolf Pirate Projects. It’s no longer around, but while I participated in this program I learned so much about writing and character development that I otherwise may have never learned on my own. I owe the people at Wolf Pirate a great deal of gratitude. Also, I’m not sure if this qualifies as advice and it wasn’t said to me personally, but there’s this lovely quote by Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
I like this quote a lot because if an author writes what he or she wants to read, the story will be more enriched by the care and devotion the writer is willing to put into it.

I think that's great advice. Michelle, if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

For years I’ve been wanting to go to England. As I mentioned before, I have a fondness for European history, and naturally, England has loads of it. I’d like to travel around the island and visit various locations, including (because I’m a nerd for the Robin Hood story) Nottingham and then go for a long stroll through Sherwood Forest. Also, I wrote one nonfictional book, Cherished Thief, about legendary highwayman, Claude Du Vall, and I’d like to go to some of the places and hotels he frequently visited such as The Holt Hotel in Oxfordshire where it’s said that he haunts Room 3.

I loved Robin Hood, I would enjoy visiting those places too, but you'd be on your own for The Holt Hotel. I am a big chicken. Nothing scary for me. Currently, what are you working on?

I’ve finished with Legacy, i.e, I have written all the books and they are ready for editing once I have the money up to do so. Now I’m working on the next series, The Age of the Machine. It will be more steampunk than Legacy, and I aim for it to be four books, but we’ll see. 😉

Michelle, tell us a little bit about your main characters.

First off, I have to say that Pierce Landcross is downright my favorite character I’ve ever created. He has made all these stories I’ve written so much fun and readers have taken a shine to him. Pierce was born into a family of rovers in England, 1817. He and his older brother, Joaquin, were separated from their troupe at Abney Park in London and spent years searching for them. Along the way, they became common criminals, thieving to stay alive. Pierce is highly intelligent, charming, crafty, and despite being a thief, he’s very loyal to his good friends and loved ones. Trouble always finds him at every turn, which keeps his life a continuous adventure.

Taisia Kuzentsov is a remarkable woman who is also Pierce’s love interest. She is very brave and kind-hearted, who will do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves. Taisia had grown up, performing as an acrobat in a Russian circus, but her heart yearned for more, and so she left to find her own way. She is as bright as she is beautiful, and her captivating personality has a way to draw people to her. 

Sometimes her passion runs away with her, and she can, at times, jump to conclusions in an instant. All in all, Taisia is a strong-willed, compassionate woman who takes no flak from anyone.   

Pierce and Joaquin became estranged when Joaquin tried killing him by slitting his throat. Pierce later finds out it was a witch named Freya who cursed Joaquin by tricking him into drinking demon’s blood that prompted him to attack his little brother.


Freya Bates has very big plans which involve the Landcross family and with the assistance of a Trickster god, she’s getting closer and closer to achievement.    

Promoting books is one of the challenges most authors struggle with. How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?

I’ve tried a lot of things, mainly asking for reviews. It’s hard work and takes up a lot of time, which sadly most is wasted due to the fact that you can send out 400 review requests, received maybe 50 responses offering to read your work and only get a handful of reviews—if you’re lucky. And therein lies the kicker because gathering reviews and having a lot of them IS the greatest asset in terms for selling books. I’m pleased to say that most reviews for my novels have been positive ones, and readers are enjoying my stories and style of writing, but I haven’t yet accumulated enough attention to get more readers buying my books on a regular basis. I do book signings at shows, such as Gaslight Steampunk Expo in San Diego and WonderCon in Anaheim, California, with plans to attend more shows in the future. It’s a great way to meet actual people and build relationships with readers. My tip is to send out as many review requests as possible and work to build your fan base, get a mailing list going and keep those on that list informed about your work(s). Set up book signings so to meet people face to face. 

Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

I do have a standalone story for Legacy and it’s also written out and ready for editing when the time comes. It’s a dieselpunk tale, titled Boom Time. I don’t wanna dish out any real details about the it because it’ll ruin the surprise for readers as they read on through the Legacy series. I will say this, I’m very pleased with this story and can’t wait to share it to the world!


That sounds so exciting. With all your novels what has been is the easiest part of the writing process?  What is the hardest?

The most fun is coming up with all these new ideas and getting them down on paper. The most challenging part is coming up with all these new ideas and getting them down on paper. Some days the story will just swim blissfully out of your head, and before you know it, you’ve got thousands of words written. Most days, though, the ideas don’t swim but rather drift lazily in a pool, not really doing much else. You find yourself staring blankly at your monitor screen or notebook pad, struggling to get one damn sentence down. It’s tough pulling an entire story out of thin air, but when storytellers do so, it’s truly magical. 

Do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?

Asking people on Goodreads and even Facebook is a good way to find betas, but it’s also a lot like trying to get those precious reviews. More often than not, you’ll get people offering to read over your work and then hear back from them no more. It’s frustrating because you, the author, are waiting for their input only to receive radio silence. It drives writers mad, which is why so many of us, (among other reasons that come with being a writer) we become alcoholics. Lol. I’ve decided to cut all that noise out, for I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who has been beta reading my work before I have my books professionally edited, and then she proofreads it before publication. And she hasn’t let me down yet! It is important to have your work looked over by someone other than you, and if you find a good and trustworthy beta reader, even if you pay for one, you’re a very lucky person.

I have had similar struggles with sending manuscripts to interested readers only never to hear back. Gratefully I have a few go to readers I can count on. Who designed the artwork for your cover?  Or did you design it yourself?

With Legacy, my publisher designed the cover for volume one. I broke away from them, however, and so created my own covers for Legacy two, three, and four (which I aim to have released sometime this year.) As long as I can make them eye-catching and not cheesy, I’ll continue designing my own covers.


What was your writing process like?

Once I have enough snippets of a story to write out an outline—as I mentioned before—I try to put as much detail into the framework as possible. With characters, I’m too lazy to pan out their personalities, hobbies, or appearance. Instead, I let them tell me themselves as I continue to write about them. Once my outline is solid enough, I take out my notebook and pen. Yip, I write all my first drafts in longhand. The reason is that I don’t enjoy sitting in front of a computer screen trying to figure out where the story needs to go next, and also, I can bring a notebook anywhere and write, write, write! I wrote out a whole chapter once while camping. And when I do type it all in, the second draft is so much better because basically, I’m writing the story out all over again. It does take a lot longer to complete a full manuscript this way, but for me, it’s well worth it.  

I have done that a few chapters at a time. It can be hard to find time to write and I don't always have my computer on me. But a whole manuscript handwritten, wow, that is a lot of work. It's great though to find what works for you. What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?

I like to oil paint and sometimes I enjoy doing arts & crafts, especially when I make a new steampunk hat or anything that has to do with Halloween!

Any last words you'd like to share with us, Michelle?

I’d like to reach out to the aspiring writers out there. I once read that you can make anything by writing. And it’s true! Writing opens minds, introduces new perspectives and brings people into worlds they’d never knew existed before. Writing is an art form that is beautiful, tragic, complex, stunning and horrifying. My best advice is to develop a thick skin, learn from constructive criticism and read! Read! Read! Read! Because when a writer is reading, it’s different from non-writers. We’re not just reading, we’re studying. We’re finding out new ways to describe things, broadening our vocabulary, and learning how these other authors thread their stories together. Whatever genre you write, reading will help significantly when you put your own pen to paper. And write what you want to write about no matter what the market says because writing is also supposed to be enjoyable. 😊
Thanks for sharing with us. Be sure to check out all of Michelle's books. Happy Reading!!
Links:
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2fWq6BV 
Instagram: michelle_lowe6
Twitter: @michellelowe_7
Author Amazon page: http://amzn.to/2bNh8WQ
Author Goodreads page: http://bit.ly/2nJZae7

Monday, October 8, 2018

Interview with Raven Howell Author of My Community





Today let's welcome Author Raven Howell to the blog.

Hi Sarah, and thanks for having me!



My name is Raven Howell. I’m a children’s author and poet. My sixth and brand new picture book titled My Community celebrates diversity within our communities, and I’m excited to share it. Besides writing kids’ books, I also write poetry for various children’s magazines such as Ladybug, Highlights for Children and Jack and Jill.



I enjoy presenting poetry writing workshops in elementary schools and libraries, and am the Creative and Publishing Advisor with Red Clover Reader.



I’m a mom to two grown sons, a lover of dawn and everything whimsical, and enjoy nothing more than warm sunshine and the seashore.



Raven, what brought about the idea for your new book?



I wanted to write a book that was not just an abstract idea of acceptance and lessons of tolerance to young kids, but to format it into the picture book with the type of real life characters of everyone in our communities – from the crossing guard to the town pizza maker and policeman. I also wanted to showcase various ethnic backgrounds and gender, shapes and sizes of all of us who make up our world in a loving, positive light of hope.



What a neat idea, can you tell us a little bit about the main character in the book?



The main character is a young girl, waking up in the morning and beginning her day, moving in synch with community members in the environment of her town. With gratitude she notices the sound of the distant trash trucks doing their job, happily peers at her pile of pancakes mom has stacked for her before she skips to the bus, meeting mailman Juan and the helpful crossing guard on her way. And so the day begins!



With gentle interaction, there’s a sense of thankfulness for the various roles, careers and jobs that provide a piece of the community’s whole, in addition to the community members themselves. I wrote a specific diversity themed surprise for the ending, and the message is one of peace, kindness, acceptance and love.



That's great, I think we need more of that in the world and what a better way to bring it about than teaching our children when they are young. How did the illustrations by Yeng Yang come about?



My publisher suggested several other illustrators but as soon as I saw Yeng’s work, I knew her art would be a perfect fit for this book. I desired a more modern approach, a more digital feel, while presenting simple images that provided positive reinforcement and reflected hope.



It’s interesting how Yeng’s main character morphed from a more traditional, conservative looking girl, to a fun and funky, bright red-haired elementary student -how she ended up!



What’s your favorite scene or page from the book?



The page before the very last one is beautiful, with a strong impact on the page-turner. It’s a full page illustration of both mom and dad and our main character, a multi-racial family.



Raven, what kind of research do you do before you start a book?



I usually research my own poetry files and see which poems are stand out, and which ones are tuck away-s for more revision, and which poems are best suited for magazine submissions. Often I find a clear large group of verse befitting of a single theme for a whole book of poetry. Then I research to see if there are books on the subject or poetry form I’m considering, how many, when they were published, how they sold, etc. to see if my own work could end up on a bookstore shelf next to those, if any.



What has been the most difficult thing you have struggled with in your writing career?



It’s definitely being patient and forgiving when you end up waiting for a response from an e-mail, a letter or correspondence of some type. There are times you never end up receiving just an affirmation of receipt. I would love it if when inquiring or reaching out for any reason to someone it would result in a response of some type within a few days. For instance, it would only take seconds to write back: “Sorry I don’t have time to respond properly now. I’m too busy. I’ll be in touch next month!” That would be great. But sometimes you just don’t hear anything at all –and it can be disheartening.



I know the feeling, and I completely agree. Raven, how do you handle criticism?



I enjoy reading criticism when it comes from someone who is clearly familiar with the exact line of work my book is stoked in. For instance, I was recently criticized for “always good rhyme, most of the time good rhythm”. Ok. That’s certainly not terrible criticism, but it’s someone who is unfamiliar with poetry writing the critique of my book. The same week, the infamous poetry anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins emails me and says – “Raven, stop right now and please remember your use of the word ‘the’ throughout this verse. You can pick it up a notch!” That criticism I enjoy examining and working on. Plus, I’m learning something by being open minded to someone who is experienced and familiar with poetry (in this case).



I agree, I enjoy getting helpful criticism. Anything that I can learn something from is great. Writing a book is a lot of work. How many times do you think you read your book before going to print?



That’s a good question! With poetry and rhyme, it’s important to read it out loud, whether just a stanza or a line, or the entire thing. It gives a musicality and dance you need to know is in tune or not. Having said that, I’d say I read my manuscripts easily about one hundred times before giving a final approval. I’m a stickler for edits!



That's a few more times than I do. Lol. Raven, where do you see yourself in five years?



I see more of my books in libraries and schools. It’s also where I present my poetry & writing workshops and enjoy making a special educational as well as entertaining contribution. I’m on a path toward traditional publishing, but will still be working with smaller, independent publishers as well I hope. In five years. Plus I will have found success with an a-typical genre: non-fiction for young children!



What are you working on now?



Besides getting out and about on my book tour for My Community, this year is about working closely with several illustrators who I’m collaborating with. In 2019 I have four new picture books scheduled for release! It’s a “fun busy” time!




 Congratulations on your newest book Raven! Be Sure to check out My Community and all of Raven's Books. Happy Reading!!