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Interview with Visionary and Author, Tal Gur (part 2)

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?  (continued)

TG. It was my mom who first told me I should write seriously 🙂 That was almost 20 years ago when I still wrote in Hebrew. I just arrived to Australia and I was lonely, so for a few months I wrote a series of emails about life in a new country. Writing was my refuge, my way to rip all the loneliness out of me. The topic was Australia, but underneath all that it was just a way to make sense of the world inside of me. My second “serious” attempt with writing was in English. Same as my first attempt, I used writing as a way to share and reflect upon life’s journeys. Whether it be a trip overseas, my Ironman journey, or simply a random weekend escape, I played with the words like a new toy.

Q. How long after that were you published?

TG: I published my first book 20 years later. In between I blogged at http://fullylived.com/blog

Estonia

Q. What makes a writer great?

TG: Skills + Passion + Dedication. I think it’s a winning formula.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

TG.  mmm… I wish I had a linear step-by-step process… In my case, the process looked more like me sitting at my desk and letting inspiration take over. Whatever felt right at the moment.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

TG. I’d say A LOT. My life experiences as well as my challenges provided me with valuable lessons that I couldn’t learn otherwise.

Somehow, in our society, we’ve decided that struggling is the enemy.But if you’ve ever or embarked on a big and meaningful journey, you know that discomfort and pain are simply part of our growth.Struggling is not the enemy. Hopelessness is;When we feel hopeful about our journey ahead, when we move in a meaningful direction, then struggling is not the problem.On the contrary, it can be part of our joy. Because the struggle is for our dream. And we know that we are giving it our all.

Trek in the Himalayan mountains

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

TG. Consistent action in the direction of your dreams. It may take a month, it might take a year, it might take a decade. but you will eventually make it if you take consistent action.

To purchase: The Art of Fully Living

Did you miss part I yesterday? Click here 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  
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Interview with World Traveler & Adventurer, Tal Gur

I first met Tal when he requested a review of his new work, The Art of Fully Living. His back story intrigued me so much that I asked and he consented to an interview. A person buys a one-way ticket to Napal, India? Who does that? Tal did.

 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provide a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….)  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

TG: I usually write at coffee places. Also, I wear earphones when I’m at my computer. Otherwise I can be easily distracted.

Gulf of Finland

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

TG. Yes, I usually put my favorite music and almost instantly feel at ease.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

A pathway in Nepal

TG: A few years back, I sold everything I had, packed a small backpack, and left on a one way ticket to Nepal. I thought I’ll spend 3-4 months but that trip turned to be a fateful encounter, eventually leading me to become a blogger, an entrepreneur, and travel and live abroad in various countries for more than than five years. In a nutshell, after a few months I felt the urge to experience freedom on a whole new level. I purposefully did not set an ending date and traveled on one-way tickets, which meant that I stayed in places as long as I wanted and moved to wherever I felt like going. The wealth of time and the richness of places provided me with a unique opportunity to look deeper and gain broader insights into life. 

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

TG: Usually first thing in the morning.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

TG. Do it first thing in the morning, before you get distracted by life 🙂

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

TG. Rarely. My writing is pretty slow. Mainly because I think about it while doing it.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

Tune in tomorrow for Part II of this wonderful visit with Tal. 

To purchase: The Art of Fully Living

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  
To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

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Interview with author, Larry D. Sweazy (conclusion)

Larry with wife, Rose

   Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

 LS. Yes, See Also Proof, the third book in the Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series releases May 1, 2018. Marjorie is mourning the loss of her husband. It’s winter in North Dakota. Cold. Snowy. A neighbor’s fourteen year-old disabled daughter disappears, and Marjorie joins the search. I think it’s my most personal Marjorie book to date.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

LS. I wrote poetry and short stories in high school, and beyond, but I was close to thirty when I started sending out short stories to be published. I sold my first short story in 1993 to a little magazine called Hardboiled for five bucks. That was a great day.

Q. How long after that were you published?

Kassi and Sunny meet a new friend

LS. I realized early on that if I wanted to really make it as writer that I needed to write novels. It took me a long time. I published my first novel in 2009. It was the seventh novel I’d written. I promised myself that I would write ten novels. If I didn’t get published by then, I could quit with my head held up high, knowing that I’d given the dream to be a writer everything I had. Luckily, I didn’t have to quit. Not that I would have anyway…

Q. What makes a writer great?

LS. Always being a student.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

LS. A year of butt in the chair. Write, revise, walk the dogs a lot, revise more, rewrite more. Let it go when it’s ready, and not until. Writing is a job. I show up every day and write a thousand words, or revise a thousand words a day, or rewrite a thousand words a day, no matter what. I wrote the day of my mother’s funeral. On Christmas. On my birthday. At midnight, and every hour in between. Writing a book is an obsession. If it’s not that way for the writer, then how could the story be and obsession for the reader?

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

LS. Here’s the thing I learned early on: Life’s not fair. You’ve got a choice to learn from a bad experience or to be bitter about it. One or the other is going to dictate the direction your life takes, how you handle the bad days and the great days. Publishing is a tough business. Being bitter just kills the spirit and the desire to make a go of it, especially when it looks like things are never going to work out…Don’t be bitter no matter what. That will destroy your dreams faster than anything.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

LS. I write westerns and mysteries at the moment. I’m not married to any genre, really. I think the story determines the genre, not the other way around.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

LS. I know every day that I’m a lucky guy when I sit down to write. I’ve published fourteen novels, and spent half my life as a published writer all because readers have read my work and liked it. I’m humbled and grateful.

 

Did you miss part 1 or 2: Click here 

SEE ALSO PROOF will be released for sale May 1st. 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    January: Sue Grafton ~ In Memory  March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: in60Learning ~ A unique, non-fiction mini-book read in 60 minutes.
                        
To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

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Larry D. Sweazy, Author….Interview (part 2)

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

LS. As a kid I played with Hot Wheels cars like a lot of little boys. I liked making up stories about where the cars were going and why. It started there. On the floor as a six year old boy, under the feet of adults, listening to their stories, and to the voices in my head.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

LS. Characters. Always.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

LS. Yes. Those are the good days. When the world and time disappears. I hope the writing does the same thing for readers.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

LS. My muse has always been my desire to become a better writer.

Q. Tell us about writing westerns.

LS. I have always loved westerns. I grew in the 1960s and there were a lot westerns on television. Bonanza, The Wild, Wild West, The Rifleman,

cowboy larry 1968

etc. And we could only get three channels on our little black and white TV in small town in Indiana. Add in that I grew up in a house without a father, those cowboys became my heroes, the good guys who stood up to the bad guys, and showed me who the bad guys were. I needed that. I learned a lot from those westerns.
Time went by, and westerns kind of fell out of favor. Detective stories took over. I grew up and went about my life. After I started writing seriously, an editor asked me to write a mystery short story with a modern-day Texas Ranger as the main character. I’d published in the small press, and this was my first chance to publish professionally in an anthology, Texas Rangers, to be published by Berkley (Penguin Random House). The editor, the venerable Ed Gorman, liked the story, “The Promotion,” and bought it. What I didn’t know was that story was going to be published in a western anthology, not a mystery anthology. And then the magic happened. My first professionally published short story went on to win the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur Award that year. I was floored. I went to the convention in Spokane, Washington and met a lot of great writers; Elmer Kelton, Don Coldsmith,

Larry is part of ‘and others’

Robert Conley, and Loren Estleman to name a few. Westerns felt like home. I knew the stories and the characters, so I started writing westerns in hopes of getting one published. Three years later, my agent, who I met at that first WWA convention, sold the first two books in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series. I went on to write six books in that series, and I’m happy to say the series is still gaining readers today, almost ten years after the first book, The Rattlesnake Season, was published.

The demise of the western has long been forecast, but I don’t believe it. Westerns are mortality tales, crime stories, and the only all-American genre we have. Westerns are like jazz, an American contribution to world of literature. Hollywood still makes westerns and they seem surprised when one of them draws a big audience. But I’m not surprised. Western characters are our people. We know their struggles of their stories. All readers ask is that westerns are authentic and honest. And that’s the kind of novels, and stories in general, that I try to write.

The conclusion to this Interview with Larry will appear March 16th.

Did you miss Part 1? Click here 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    January: Sue Grafton ~ In Memory.  March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: in60Learning ~ A unique, non-fiction mini-book read in 60 minutes.
                                                                                   
                                        
To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
To Purchase  

 

 

Interview with Western & Mystery Writer, Larry D. Sweazy

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

LS. I have a dedicated office that I’ve worked in for the last seventeen years. It has a desk, books, and comfy places for my dogs (two Rhodesian ridgebacks) to hang out with me. For years, though, I had a little desk in the bedroom, and wrote wherever I could. I’m not sure a space creates any magic, but it can’t hurt to be surrounded by books and dogs…

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

LS. No, not really. I usually grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and start writing where I left off the day before. That’s boring, but it’s the truth.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

LS. I’ve nearly died twice in my life…third time is a charm has me a little worried.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

LS. I usually write in the morning, first thing. I try to stay as close to the dream state as I can. But when I’m really in a story, I’ll write whenever I get a chance.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

Kassi and Sunny

LS. Just write the story. Don’t worry about agents, or publishing, or getting famous. Just write. You can’t edit a blank page. Quit coming up with excuses. If your dream is to be a writer, then sit down and write only the story that you can write. If what you write sucks, edit it, or delete it, then keep on writing. Writing is a craft. You have to be willing to put in the time into reading and writing over everything else.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

LS. Characters are everything for me. I usually get a glimpse of them at the start of a story, and my curiosity drives me to find out more about them. Most of my characters are wounded in some way, looking for a way to prevail over their current circumstances. Marjorie Trumaine, the main character in my amateur sleuth mystery series, is a North Dakota farm wife with a quadriplegic husband. She’s trying her best not to lose the farm, and the local extension agent encourages her to take a correspondence course in back-of-the-book indexing to make extra money. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) used to offer courses like this to farmers to generate extra income. Anyway, Marjorie’s well read, so when a murder happens close by, the sheriff asks her for help. But she still has to figure out how to run the farm and take care of her husband. She has a lot of challenges to overcome. I also wrote a stand-alone a few years ago about an aging Texas Ranger who gets into a shoot-out with Bonnie and Clyde and loses his right arm. That novel, A Thousand Falling Crows, concerns the character’s fight to go on living regardless of the difficulty of his new circumstance. What a character goes through and how they come out of it shows who they are as far as I’m concerned. We all have our battles. Characters that have something to fight for are a big draw to me.

Don’t miss Part 2 of this fascinating Interview March 9th

Marjorie Trumaine’s latest mystery, SEE ALSO PROOF will be released May 1st.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    January: Sue Grafton ~ In Memory
March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: in60Learning ~ A unique, non-fiction mini-book read in 60 minutes.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Sue Grafton ~ Interview ~ In Memory

           writers, best selling authors, best sellers, fiction for women  ~~   In Memory ~~      An Interview with Mystery Writer, Sue Grafton  (Part 1)

                      Author,  John D. McDonald died suddenly back in 1986 and took Travis McGee with him.  I owned and had read every book of McDonald’s…..Now what was I supposed to do??  I didn’t read many mysteries (back then) but I was especially fond of Travis and his bear-of-a-man friend, Meyer.   So back in the eighties, (when you shopped at a real bookstore), I looked through the aisles for someone worthy of replacing John McDonald.   There I found “A is for Alibi” with the formidable and quirky, Kinsey Milhone.  I’ve been reading Sue Grafton ever since. 

Now, with Sue’s passing, we have to say goodbye to another great writer who gave us Kinsey Milhone and so many hours of entertainment in reading. In August, 2013, Sue gave me an interview and I thought, as a way of sharing it with my readers, I would post it again in loving memory.  We will miss you, Sue!  TS
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this entry from Sue’s journals;

Dear Shadow . . . Self . . . and Right Brain, Doing everything I can here to make life possible. I’ve abandoned the old story . . . cleaned out my computer . . . sorted and tossed and filed away old notes and articles. Now I need help in launching myself again. Please speak to me. Please let me know where the new book is coming from. I really need your assistance and I’m hoping you’ll spark something so I can get to work.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Love & kisses,

Sue

Response from Shadow Self:   How about an old-fashioned unsolved murder case?  Parents are angry because nothing’s been done.    Case is old & cold, with no new leads coming in.
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Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

best sellers, Sue Grafton,

Sue Grafton’s work space

SG. I have an office in both my homes; Montecito, California and Louisville Kentucky.  The two are different in terms of size and style but I can’t tell you that I’m more productive in one than in the other.  I like lots of light.  I like tidiness.  I like space.  I like quiet.  When I’m working my desk is usually a mess, but I do make an effort from time to time to restore order. The creative process is messy enough. I don’t need to look at chaos as well.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

SG.  Often I do a short stint of self-hypnosis which helps quiet the chatter in my head and helps me focus and concentrate.  I learned the technique from a book on the subject that I got at a book store and it’s been a wonderful way to keep ‘centered’ if you’ll forgive the term.

Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer? Etc.)

SG. A computer, of course. Which I claim has greatly improved my skills.  In the ‘olden’ days of white out and cutting and pasting, I got hung up on whether the page ‘looked right’. I hated adding anything that forced me to repaginate because I didn’t like all the extra work.  If I deleted 11 lines, I got so I could exactly replace the missing lines with something that would work as well so that I didn’t have to retype everything.  To my way of thinking, this is not the key to writing well. On a computer I can and do write every line over and over until it suits me.  The tinkering is infinite.  I when a line is right and when it’s not, I revise and refine and cut and amend until it sounds right to my inner ear.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

SG. I’m usually at my desk at 8:00.  I check emails and make a brief visit to my Face Book page where I chat with readers.  I never feel truly creative.  I work until lunch time when I take a short break.  go back until mid-afternoon when I usually take a walk with one of a number of friends.  I work seven days a week because it’s easier to stay connected to the writing.  In completing “W” I worked double-sessions, returning to my desk after dinner.  I cut out our social life.  I nixed all the walks which I found interrupted the work too often.  I didn’t run errands.  I didn’t stop to get my hair cut.

Part 2 of this Interview  Click here

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    December: British writer, J.G. Dow.  January: In Memory, Sue Grafton.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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This Author/Blogger has tried her hand at true crime mysteries. There are now seven in the series

Book #7

Interview (part 2) with British Author, J. G. Dow

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

JG. I suppose you can get lost to the extent that you forget what time it is and write for longer than planned. Sometimes you really get caught up in things and laugh at an idea you’ve had or get annoyed at a character for doing a certain thing and so yes, you do get lost in it if you’re properly invested in the book. This is all good I suppose, as you care about what you are coming up with.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

JG. I don’t really have a muse as such but I like lots of different writers like Bukowski, Hemingway, Salinger and Brautigan for instance and so they inspire me to try and improve all the time I suppose and keep at it!

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

JG.I have a sequel to Jane of Manchester out now which is called Jane Once More and it furthers the adventures of Jane as well as developing her life and those of her friends as well and I’m also writing a fantasy type thing but that’s a long way off being finished!

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JG. In my late twenties I think when I started to write poetry and entered a few competitions (I didn’t win any) That’s when it all got started as far as I can recall.

Q. How long after that were you published?

JG. I am self-published and that is only something I’ve done in recent years. I haven’t been picked up by the traditional publishers.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JG. The ability to have his/her own unique voice and to be able to effect a writer in a way that moves them in some way whether that be laughter or the shedding of a few tears or something else. As long as you can provoke something from people and hopefully tell a good tale along the way.

me and my Mum at Christmas

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

JG. It’s all just a matter of bashing away at the keyboard or typewriter until it’s all done and you are happy with the completed work. It creeps up on you and then one day…wow, I finished it!

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JG. Living in Manchester gave me a feel for that particular city and so I could write about it confidently, knowing bars and restaurants etc. Reading helps you know how to write I think and just the process of getting older and learning from mistakes colours what you do quite significantly. All experience helps!

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

JG. I have done some science fiction and fantasy type stuff so I do write in a few different genres and I am enjoying writing in the chick-lit/humour genre as well.

at a friend’s home in Yorkshire

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

JG. I can juggle a bit but I don’t think it will serve me well anywhere down the line! I can’t think of anything else really so I suppose I’ll end there!

 

Did you miss Part 1? Click here

Purchase J.G.Dow’s books

 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   October’s author was Donna Kauffman. November: Rita Avaud a Najm. December: English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
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Interview with British Writer, J.G. Dow

TS.   A ‘cozy’ writer from the UK and new to the scene.  James lived for a few years in the North of England and spent a while living in Manchester. He says that’s why he is fairly comfortable writing about the city. He went to University in Manchester many years ago and “still miss the place sometimes now and have good memories!”  When not writing fiction he enjoys walks in the country and indulging in a spot of cooking now and then. He has been known to pen the occasional poem.  Jane of Manchester is his debut novel. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provide a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….)

JG. I write in my bedroom, sit in an easy chair surrounded by books and cd’s and pictures on the walls. It’s comfortable and warm and a good place to settle into a bit of writing. It’s nice to be cosy when being creative!

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JG. I like to have a bottle of Berocca vitamin drink sometimes or a cup of tea but water is fine as well. I think a Brandy would make the creative process a bit hazy although some famous writers like Bukowski obviously liked a tipple while at the typewriter I suppose…each to their own!

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JG. I play the guitar and like reading and also listen to a wide variety of music and tend to enjoy going out for a few drinks on a weekend followed by a nice hot curry! The North of England is a good place for spicy food!

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JG. I write in the evening mainly as it can be noisy where I live in the daytime. I used to write through the night but I find I get too tired to do that nowadays and it can be a bit exhausting so sometime between 5pm and 8pm is a decent period to get on with it.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JG. I suppose just keep at it and try not to get stressed out…maybe do something else for a while till the mood returns and remember to make writing enjoyable otherwise it won’t flow. If you feel too tired one day, don’t bother and try again the next day when you feel more energized!

with Dad at family wedding

Q.Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JG. I used to live in Manchester and so that was the inspiration for the setting of the Jane books but in terms of characters, I just made them up and tried to make them as realistic as possible.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

JG. I wrote poetry for a while and then decided to try stories and after a while of short stories and the odd mini plays that weren’t very good, I thought novel writing may be a different way to go. I think I like writing longer prose more to be honest as you can get really stuck into it and be immersed in the whole thing.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

me at family home in Yorkshire

JG. Characters I suppose as they drive what happens next but the situation soon follows and is integral of course. But the characters and their motivations tend to lead the way otherwise it can all feel a bit flat if they aren’t paramount.

Join us December 15th for Part 2 of the Interview with J.G. Dow

To Purchase, click here 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
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Interview with Childrens Book Author, Rita Avaud Najm (part 2)

Continuing my interview with author, Rita Avaud Najm. ‘Poursuivant mon interview avec l’auteur, Rita Avaud Najm’

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

RN. Each situation needs a character that goes with it and fit its plot. I cannot create a character without giving it a role. Just like movies! The scenarios come first and then finding the right actors for every scene you have created.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

RN. I never get lost, maybe because I write for children and my stories are usually short.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

RN. I don’t have a Muse, but I hope my “Petite Rita” stories will become as famous as “Martine,” “Madeline” and “Dora the explorer.” All of my other stories, even the fictional ones, teach children about the importance of virtue, honesty and love. They all have a message and teach life-long lessons while entertaining the readers.    

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

RN. Publishing my third volume of “La Petite Rita” is my next step, as well as finding an illustrator for my other pictures books that need a lot of colorful, joyful and eye-catching drawings.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

RN. My first serious book was a guide for teachers and parents to encourage students to read more poetry and non-fiction books. That guide was my graduation project in 2013, while I was working at one of Houston’s public schools libraries. Since then I’ve been seriously writing with a goal of publishing my works. 

Q. How long after that were you published?

RN. I’d been looking for a publisher for a year and a half. It’s not easy to make your dream come true.

Q. What makes a writer great?

Creativity, imagination, a unique style make a great writer, as well as knowing their audience’s interest, and expressing their ideas clearly and be passionate about the subject or story they are writing about.

Q. And the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

RN. It’s just time. “No book” is the starting point that needs a push to make the invisible visible, and to put thoughts into sentences. The “keep on” is the key to finally typing the joyful two words of mine, “The End.” It’s not a hard process; it’s a plan or a goal that one should enjoy achieving and seeing it in hand.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

RN. “Memories are special moments that tell our story” My childhood memories are the basic of most of my stories. They flash through my mind and give me ideas to write more and more.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

RN. I am a Children’s book author who writes fiction and non-fiction stories and I love it.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

RN. Writing is more than putting sentences on a page; it’s a gift that any reader might have. If you are a good reader, love books, have plenty of feelings that you would like to express, why don’t you let them be heard? I never thought that I would be an author one day and that I would bring my characters to life!


Did you miss Part I of my Interview
with this children’s author? Click here.

To purchase Rita’s books: click here
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Interview with Children’s Book Author, Rita Avaud Najm

A new author, raised in Lebanon and France, writing children’s chapter books with a quirky twist.  Some of her dialogue is in simple French phrases with definitions as a footnote. Introducing youngsters to French. These are charming little stories about Rita coming to America as a child. T.S. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?   Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

RN. I don’t have a specific place. But I always keep a note book next to my living room seat to write any idea that comes to my mind. Once I gather my thoughts, typing and saving them on my laptop will be my next step. I usually keep it on my dining table where the lights are bright.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

RN. My note book should always be handy to look through my thoughts or my simple scribbles as a reference. My cup of tea is always there on my right side, yet many times I drink it cold since once I start writing, I don’t stop and keep on until I am tired, or hungry. 

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

RN. Other than writing Arabic poetry and French stories, writing plays and song lyrics since I was 7 years old, I am a painter. This hobby helped with illustrating my two books. I also do crochet and knitting. All of my storylines have to do with something I’ve been through in my childhood or things I do or did. My memories make my stories alive. 

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

RN. I prefer evenings. I know by then that my children did their homework, had dinner and the house is clean and the housework is done, for the day!

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

RN. Some people procrastinate because they are lazy. Others are afraid of change and the heavy success, or they just fear failure and risk. “Someday I will,” keeps those writers who might have plenty of amazing stories to tell and a vivid imagination never known, and always living in the past. Go ahead! Start that project! Celebrate your success and live the moment when your hard work pays off!

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

RN. Besides my “Petite Rita,” the little French girl who represents me, I was shy when I came to The USA because of my French-Lebanese accent, anything can be my character when I have the story.  I can make a story about my cup of tea or my toothbrush… When you are creative with imagination, you can create and make any object or animal talk your talk.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

RN. French Dual immersion programs in many public and private schools are the reason behind my main character to be a French girl, as well as the love of students to learn a foreign language. I decided to publish those two volumes first, before any of my other stories, because of their passion to read and to learn some common French words.

Join us for Part 2 of this interview. ‘Rejoignez-nous pour la partie 2 de cette interview.’  November 24th.

To Purchase Rita’s books: click here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
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To purchase