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Interview with legal Thriller writer, Manning Wolfe (part 2)

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

MW. Next month, (July) Green Fees, the third legal thriller in the series will be published. It’s about a Russian money lender who uses an evil enforcer to extract repayment of illegal loans. Of course, Merit Bridges works to extricate a young golf pro from the Russian’s grip.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

MW. I’ve always taken writing seriously.

Q. How long after that were you published?

MW. I’ve had professional material published for years. As for fiction, the Merit Bridges Legal Thriller Series began in 2016.

Q. What makes a writer great?

MW. It’s hard to describe, but when I feel a certain emotion or tone as I write it, readers tend to feel it when they read it.

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

A Night at the Ballet

MW. I carried a mini bottle of champagne around for a year thinking I was going to finish the book any day. Finally, I got to pop it!

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

MW. I’ve practiced law for many years and use the legal aspects as well as my knowledge of people and their proclivities in my writing.

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

MW. Yes, I expect to publish a memoir at some point.

Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

MW. I have witnessed many times that a good person can do a bad thing and change their lives and those around them forever. Those good people deserve a second chance, and in my stories, they often get that chance.   As above, my main character, Merit Bridges talks to me about a situation. That said, all my stories are based on real life legal dilemmas that happened in my law firm. Of course, I take the facts only so far and then explode them into a thriller.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

MW. Often, but I am usually writing from a dual perspective. I can be the writer and the reader at the same time. That way, I can gauge what my audience may enjoy about the story I’m telling.

Did you miss the first part of this writer’s perspective? Click here 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  June: Manning Wolfe. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) !

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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.
                        
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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.
                                                                                   
                                        
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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.
                                                                                   
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This Author/Blogger has tried her hand at true crime mysteries with great success. There are now eight 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!

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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

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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!

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Interview with author, Donna Kauffman

TS. Fairly recently I discovered Donna.  I ordered one book (Blue Hollow Falls) and quickly ordered the rest of her books. That’s always a good sign from this Blogger!  Beautifully crafted stories!

 

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.

DK. I work any and everywhere. Have laptop, will travel! And I often do. I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia, and though I do have dedicated office space in my house, I don’t think I’ve ever actually gone in there to write. Working where you live can, at times, provide a wealth of distractions to help procrastinate getting any writing done. At least a few times a week, I hop in my car and head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is minutes from where I live, and find a quiet overlook, trail, picnic area, and work there. It’s inspiring and has the added benefit of no internet/cell/email/other distractions. I’ve written large portions of many books up there.

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.)

DK.  No rituals for me. I prefer it quiet (no tv, music, chatter) but I’ve written sitting in busy airport terminals and during my kids sports practices. I think sometimes you can get bogged down by placing too many “I have to have this in order to write” requirements. I’ve always been a “plant your backside somewhere and fall into the story already” type, mostly because I know if I started down the “I must have” path, I’d never get another book written.

Fox kits at Rescue Center

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

DK. I volunteer for a local wildlife center and a local wildlife sanctuary. I’m a dedicated hiker/outdoors person and photographer who loves animals, so it’s been a fascinating adjunct to that and I’ve learned so much about all the critters I’ve lived amongst for years. If I had the time, I’d love to get my wildlife rehabilitators’ license. Someday!

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

DK. No set time. My schedule and other obligations often create the blocks of time I write. Given a whole day with nothing else on the docket, I tend to get up and dive in before the world wakes up and gets in the way, and often times write all day until dinner. Then I’d likely sink back in again after the world goes to sleep. I’m both morning person and night owl, so that comes in handy!

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

DK. That’s the single biggest obstacle to all writers. I think I can safely say we all do it. (And if you don’t, please share your trick with me!) I guess I’ve learned how to remove temptation from my immediate surroundings (hence the my mobile office pod, as I call it, aka my car.) If I can’t stop myself from getting up and doing laundry instead of tackling the next scene, or from scrolling through social media, then I take myself off somewhere where I can’t do either of those things. It’s an ongoing battle. Deadlines and knowing you’ve got bills to pay also help immensely.

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

DK. I don’t know if I can pinpoint that. Story evolution is such an ephemeral thing for me. It comes at me from all sides, in all manners of unfolding. Some characters are part of the initial, ooh, this is a story I want to tell! And some come along as the story develops.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

DK. Wanting there to be more books in the world that I wanted to read. I have broad interests in fiction and I’m very picky all at the same time. I like what I like. I have my favorite authors and am always on the prowl for new ones. (The library is a wonderful treasure trove for finding new authors. No investment risk other than a little time to see if they can pull you into their worlds…) I was having a hard time finding more of what I loved and kept imagining what story I would want to read, and one thing led to another, and I started putting thoughts to paper. I’d always been a writer of some kind or other, so it was a natural combination of putting my thoughts down in writing, then steering those thoughts into the fictional realm. When I got serious about it, I joined a local writer’s organization and immersed myself in learning more about the craft of writing as well as the business of writing. I knew immediately I’d found my people. (Fictional and non.)

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

DK. Could be either one. It really depends on the story. The trigger could be location, occupation, setting, conflict, or any combination of those. I’ve been writing small town fiction for a while now and so location is often the first thing that intrigues me. I want to set my fictional world in this place or that, and then occupations, conflicts, plot ideas start to percolate, and along with them the perfect people to tell that story, both main characters and secondary. Research begins, story begins, and folks just up and introduce themselves in the process.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

Join us for Part II, October 27th of this fascinating Interview                  

To purchase Donna Kauffman’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 is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Purchase here

 

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quills       
A REVIEW
~~ On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service   

 

Delicious!  House parties full of the aristocracy just as war rumblings begin again in Europe.  Rhys Bowen’s series, A Royal Spyness Mystery delivers once again as Lady Georgiana is roped in by Her Majesty Queen Mary (Elizabeth’s mother) to spy on her son, the Prince of Wales and his oh-so-notorious lover, Wallis Simpson.

It seems that Darcy is always saying goodbye to our royal ‘Georgie’. Something always  thwarts our lovers and separates them.  Will they ever marry?  In this very fine tale, Georgie is off to Italy and Darcy is called  back to his mysterious job with the English government.

mysteries, best sellers, Rhys Bowen, author

It’s a good story but if the writing falls short, it diminishes the storytelling.  Rhys Bowen is a wonderful writer and one of my favorites. Her writing is crisp and her characters fully developed. The reader is fully engaged. While this is a series and I always tell my readers to begin at the beginning (for a fuller experience) all of Rhys’ stories stand on their own. 

I give this book my highest rating and recommend it to you!

To Purchase click here

Did you miss my Interview with Rhys Bowen?
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
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Interview with South African author, Johan Thompson (part 3)

Q. What makes a writer great?

JT. O boy… I’ll ask one when I see one, but will try and answer the question. It must be your passion in life as it will reflect in your writing.

Persistent writing, in order to create your unique writing style. The talent to envision and write that special story. When other writers read it and say, “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?” My exact words when reading George R. R. Martin’s work. Like Gary Player once said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” 

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

JT. In the beginning I feel like a sculptor, standing in front of a big rock, visualizing an image. I don’t know exactly how the sculpture will look but I have a rough idea. Then, I start chipping away, starting at the feet, laying the foundation. The most exciting time for me is that first few pages, the opening scene. I set the bar as high as possible in order for the momentum/story to carry me to the end. The moment I get bored writing, I know the reader will also get bored. So I write what I love, and I think with any writer it reflects in his work. It keeps the story alive, and it also helps with your rhythm and routine. It’s not that hard then to get your ass in the chair and start with the next chapter. I’m not one of those writers that pushes themselves to write a certain number of words each day. I work on a scene, maybe for two or three days until I’m satisfied.

It could be 500 words or 2000 words a day. For me creativity can’t be rushed. As my story unfolds, I make notes on discrepancies, plot twists I need to change in the beginning of the story etc. After I’m done with the first draft, I start from scratch, applying my notes and fix grammar mistakes. ONLY THEN do I give it to an editor friend to read and give feedback on. I never let anyone see it until I’m done with the story. Another rewrite follows. After that the sculpture is still far from done though. Next it’s the publishers turn: Usually three edits – continuity, content and grammar. Douglas Owen from DA Owen Publications is a brilliant editor and picks up on things that I’ve never thought about. So taking a book from “no book” to “finished book” takes bloody hard work, but when you hold that “finished book” in your hands… it’s all worth it.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JT. When writing an emotional scene, I draw from my own experiences. You have to in order to create an authentic character. With regards to storyline and plot twists, not much… my life, luckily, is not that chaotic. 

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

JT. I will definitely give it a go, but as soon as I get bored writing it, I will drop it. The reader will realize, because it will reflect in my writing.

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

JT. I’m not going to go away, so they might as well start reading my books. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Did you miss Part I of this Interview?
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    February’s author was Sheryl Steines.
Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in April.  May’s author will be Cheryl Hollon and in June: Mehreen Ahmed
  
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