‘Gentlemen Robbers’ Make for Great Characters’ – an Interview with Vanessa Liebe – Author of The Highwayman’s Proposal

Hannah Jenkins

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself! 

I have Otosclerosis and have two hearing aids.

 

How did you get into writing?

I genuinely did write stories all the time as a child and I think it’s always been a dream of mine to write and publish a book. Sadly, I only started doing something to achieve it three years ago. I wish I had believed in myself sooner.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

I have always wanted to write about a highwayman. I’m sure the reality of being held up by one was far from romantic, but the fact remains ‘gentlemen robbers’ make for great characters.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

Two months actually sitting down researching and writing it. Then there was typing it up, editing etc.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Not a strict one. I do the research and plan the chapters for a novel, but write whenever I can – mostly while the kids are at school. For an anthology I go where each story takes me. There isn’t so much planning involved.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Very important. However, I’m still finding my way and like most authors I have a budget. I’m always finding new and interesting ways to promote though.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Research the genre you want to write in thoroughly and what publishers are actually looking for, not what you think they are. Develop a marketing plan. Build your brand long before you release your first book.

 

What are you reading now?

A trilogy by Christie Kelly about wise women.

 

What’s your next step?

Finish my quartet of the ‘Blakeney Brothers’, release an anthology of erotic short stories and finish the two series I have out.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

For me, all three books are the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. They are truly amazing and I recommend them to absolutely everyone.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Yes and I’m grateful for all of them, although I have a long way to go in developing a thick skin 🙂

 

Follow Vanessa on Twitter: @author_vanessa

 

Taking Inspiration from Ireland – an Interview with Author of ‘The Missing Ones’ Patricia Gibney

Hannah Jenkins


Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

In July 2016 I signed a four book deal for the Lottie Parker series with Bookouture Digital Publishers, London.

 

 

How did you get into writing?

I always loved writing but after a life changing event in 2009, which rocked my world, I began writing seriously with the view to completing a crime novel. I never believed that one day I would be a published author, though I always dreamed it would be so.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

Life and people around me, and the country in which I live – Ireland.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

I was writing The Missing Ones, on and off for about four years.

The Stolen Girls (Book 2) was written in twelve months.

I can now write a novel in six months (nothing like a dealine!).

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Early morning is my best time for writing. For me, headspace is more important than physical space.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

As my book is published by Bookouture, a digital publisher, marketing and social media are essential tools.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

  1. Set yourself goals – short, medium and long term.
  2. Persevere – don’t give up.
  3. Enjoy the experience.

 

What are you reading now?

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

 

What’s your next step?

To keep writing for as long as I can.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

 

Do you read your book reviews?

I read as many reviews as I can but I’m busy proof reading book two at the moment and I have an imminent deadline for book 3 so I’m trying to concentrate on my writing. I am astounded by how many people have taken the time to post a review. Between Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk there are almost 600 reviews for The Missing Ones and it is just over a month since publication. Plenty of five and four stars so I am very happy. And the amount of people who have contacted me personally is brilliant for my confidence as a writer.

 

 

Follow on Twitter: @trisha460

 

An Interview with Carol James Marshall, Author of the Women of the Grey Series

Hannah Jenkins

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I love watching owl GIF’s on my phone. Whenever I need to check out that’s what I go to.

 

How did you get into writing?

There was never a moment that I decided to get into writing. I have always written stories, poems, etc. It was in the last two years that I decided to take my writing seriously and do something productive with it.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

The Women of the Grey series came from an odd idea when I saw a ying yang symbol. I wondered if one was chaos and the other peace, what was in between? Grey, of course. The idea for my women who are not very nice or extremely wicked was born.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

Writing the book is easy, it’s everything else that requires patience. Starburst book 1 took 4 months to write and a year to perfect. Red Drug book 2 took 6 months to write and 5 months to polish up.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I am unable to sit still for long. I am guessing many authors write for hours at a time. I am incapable of that. I write in spurts throughout my day. I might sit and write for 40 minutes, then get up and do something. It might be 10 minutes then I get up and do something. I write when the urge is there telling me to.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

It is vital and everything to the indie author.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

There are 1000’s of people in the universe trying to give you writing advice .99% of it is bologna.

 

What are you reading now?

The Third Choice by Kira Tynan I’m not sure if it’s out yet. I only read fellow indie authors. I stay clear of the big names, bestsellers all of that. I like to stick to my people. Help out other new indie authors, that need reviews.

 

What’s your next step?

In writing, I am writing an independent horror novel The Demon Dealer. While I am doing that I will also start a rough draft of Stainless Steel book 3 in my Women of the Grey series. Along with that I am taking marketing classes, soaking up all the info I can on book and audiobook marketing. Along with that I have plans on starting my own podcast that I will write a series for.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

My first answer might shock you. I came from a strict household where certain subjects were not explained. This book saved me, by allowing me to view puberty from a young girls perspective.

  1. Are you there God? It’s me Margaret Judy Blume

I was an unhappy, grumbling, confused teenager. The Catcher in the Rye let me know I wasn’t the only weirdo out there.

  1. The Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger

As I grew into young adulthood, trying to find my voice as a writer Suicide Blonde hit every note on my keyboard. There is a flow to this story, a rhythm that I related to.

  1. Suicide Blonde Darcey Steinke

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Oh yes, I consume them like a good steak or chocolate.

Follow Carol James Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallJCarol

Forging A Man: A Collection Of True Tales – An Interview with Author Alf Herigstad

Hannah Jenkins

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I used to have an Ostrich farm

 

How did you get into writing?

It’s just something I’ve always done. It started out with poems I would write when I was 7, from there it went to stories and writing has always been a part of my life.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

It came as a result of the Wednesday stories that I tell on my podcast, it is a compilation of those stories.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

About a year

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Just to make sure I work on it every day

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Extremely…it seems like that is the difference between success and not success.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

I have found the most important thing is to start. Once you start you can always improve what you have written…but you have to start putting down words.

 

What are you reading now?

Nothing, I have been too busy writing.

 

What’s your next step?

To use every means possible to get my book in front of as many people as I can.

What are your top 3 books of all time?

The Poetic edda, Where the red fern grows, and all of the Icelandic Saga’s

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Every one

 

Follow Alf Herigstad on Twitter: @Alfbeingbetter

The Story Behind the Book That Took 10 Years to Write – an Interview with Yorker Keith

Hannah Jenkins

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I am a so-called Renaissance man. I like classical music, opera, Greek/Roman art, Renaissance art, Impressionist art, Classical literature (e.g., Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Ovid, Virgil), English Renaissance literature (e.g., Shakespeare, Marlowe), and Victorian literature (e.g., Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot). My novels reflect that in the present-day setting.

 

How did you get into writing?

It seems I was born to it. I wrote my first novella at age seventeen, which was published in the high school literature club magazine.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

Opera has been my passion since my adolescent years. I have sung operas in workshops, at private lessons, and with opera companies, both in concert versions, and, on many occasions, performing on stage with full costume and make up. I know how challenging life is for opera singers, musicians, artists, actors, writers, and poets in Manhattan, New York City, as I have lived among them. They are the present-day Bohemians. I wanted to write about their lives and loves. My wish has culminated into the current book, “The Other La Bohème.”  

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

I wrote it, rewrote it, workshoped at the MFA program, then completely revised it, and polished it … so in total I spent more than ten years to complete this book.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Each writer has his/her own style (or rituals) in writing a novel. In my case, I foster the idea in my mind for a long, long time. At one point I feel I have to spit it out, otherwise I go crazy. Then I write it down in the morning, afternoon, evening, like a madman.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

I love writing, and I am a very private person. So I do not really enjoy book promotion as an author. However, I was told that regardless whether we like it or not, these days all authors must do it. In this sense, social media is an excellent marketing tool at the present time, when the Internet has made the physical distance virtually non-existent.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

I received an MFA in creative writing at The New School in New York City. As always the case, at the school we workshopped the works of students in the class. Most of them were young. As MFA students, they wrote well (how to write). But what they wrote were immature and not so inspiring. So I usually tell young writers this: In order to write an inspiring novel, you have to live your life first. When I visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC some time ago, I saw a war veteran (a masculine ex-soldier), placing one of his hands at one part of the names curved on the wall, bowing, meditating, and almost crying. He must have been honoring his dead friend-in-arms. He had gone through the horror of the war. Then he can write a novel. — It’s the same. If you live through your life, you experience despair, sorrow, joy, and happiness. Then you can write an inspiring novel (what to write). You can learn the technique (how to write) later. So again, live your life first if you want to become a writer.   

 

What are you reading now?

My new novel, “The Other La Bohème.” It’s a great novel; I cannot stop reading. 🙂  

 

What’s your next step?

 

Last year, I published my debut novel (Remembrance of Blue Roses). This year I published my second novel (The Other La Bohème). Next year I am going to publish my third novel. The title? You’ll see.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

This is impossible to answer. May I answer by three writers? — Homer, Shakespeare, Dickens.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, every one of them. Some are completely out of picture (i.e., the reviewer did not get the essence of my novel), while other reviewers caught what I was trying to express in my novel. For the former, I feel awful, but for the latter I feel grateful. A friend of mine (who happens to be an artist) told me that once we place our art work (novel, painting, sculpture, song album, etc.) in the public, no matter how great the work is, some people do not like it, and bush about it; the artists (including writers) must endure it. I think this is absolutely true.

 

Follow Yorker Keith on Twitter: @ykrh00101

Accounts of Furlasia: Kunklestick’s Prophecy – An Interview with the Author M.P VanderLoon

Hannah Jenkins

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I think part of my creativity comes from having internal conflict about life and my ever long battle with depression. I strive to give people the same escape i so often seek through movies, books or tv shows.

 

How did you get into writing?

I realized one day i had fallen into a ritual of settling for jobs just because they pay, it didn’t seem to matter if i was happy. That’s when i decided it was time to put my talents to work. I have so many stories to tell and i was letting them collect dust in my mental library.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

Kunklestick is a character I imagined as a little kid, I used to pretend to be him. Of course, back when I was a kid, Kunklestick wasn’t nearly as fleshed out as he is in my current books.

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

Kunklestick’s Prophecy took me a year, but the sequel went far faster.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I often like to have some kind of scent in the air, a candle or maybe an essential oil. I also frequently listen to epic music scores on spotify. The music really helps me form scenes in my head.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Marketing is very important and I do tend to do most of it on social media, that being said, its an area I could improve on. Booksgosocial has already given me some neat ideas.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Do not let yourself get discouraged by the many nights of writers block you are bound to have. If you are not feeling it, put it away and try again later.

 

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Firefight by Branden Sanderson.

 

What’s your next step?

Currently I am in the process of finishing up my Accounts of Furlasia trilogy, after that who knows.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

Truth be told, growing up I was never a heavy reader, but I will say i thoroughly enjoy To Kill A Mockingbird. Two other books I really enjoyed are, Steelheart and The Hunger Games

 

Do you read your book reviews?
Yes i do, even the bad ones.

 

Follow MP Vanderloon on Twitter: @Mpvanderloon

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