Q&A Interview with Diane Gardner

Today’s Q&A Interview is with Author Diane Gardner!

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Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
Writing was a huge comfort to me when I was a teenager. I was somewhat of an awkward child, taller than most of the kids in my class, heck, taller than most of the kids in my school. Back in those days bullying was just something you took for granted. Everyone got teased, or bullied. That’s not to say it didn’t hurt. Being the introvert that I was, I bottled up my feelings of inferiority, brought them home, and wrote them out in abstract poetic form. For me it was a great release. I’m not sure anyone else could decipher what my poems said, much less what they were about. But I knew, and they helped me through a very trying time of my life.
I continued writing poetry during different stages of my life. I don’t have half of what I wrote anymore. Once I started painting and pursuing a career with my artwork I wrote less and less. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I decided I wanted to write a novel. The first one was a fantasy about a little boy in a world of talking animals. Unfortunately I never did really find a plot for that book so it’s hidden away somewhere in the closet.
I’ve done some professional writing with a newspaper and worked closely with an editor helping her with some projects. When she invited me to the National League of America Pen Women’s meeting I felt the pull to be a professional writer. I think it might have been an inner dream of mine, I love getting lost in other worlds! I was then invited to a critique group and met some local authors. That’s when the I caught the bug. From there is was about attending writer’s workshops, critique groups and big conferences like SCBWI and PNCW that I decided to pursue what I love. My story came from my fulfilling the desire to one day paint a dragon!
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I’ve only written for young people, although my most zealous fan is a 90 year old lady. I think a good fantasy story an appeal to all ages if its written well. That’s what I try to do. I have in mind to write a dystopia series when the Realm comes to a conclusion.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I’ve read a few books while writing. Now that I’m an author and have met so many other authors it’s almost impossible not to be reading four or five books at once plus writing my own. The books I read are almost all fantasy although I’m the only fantasy writer in my critique group. And I have a pull towards books such as Gary Schmidt’s Wednesday Wars, or Matt de la Pena We Were Here. I love the books that make me both cry and laugh.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
I have to admit, pitches and queries were. I’m so fortunate to be with a publisher that wants everything I write, for the most part, that I don’t have to worry about those anymore. So for me, the most difficult part of writing is those few days just before publication when I just can’t stand to wait for the world to read my book!
Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest, Olalla Washington. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national maga­zines and newspapers and she is an award-winning artist.
Twitter @DianneGardner
Author Central on Amazon
The Dragon Shield on Amazon

Q&A Thursday with C.M. Michaels!

Q&A Interview with CM Michaels! 

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What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
I made my first serious attempt at writing a for publication novel my sophomore year in college. It was never finished, largely due to the initial feedback I received from a couple close friends and family members. While I’ve certainly learned a great deal about writing engaging prose, putting together well thought out plot arcs, using proper grammar, etc. since then, the biggest lesson I took from this was not to be so easily discouraged, and just how much time and effort I would need to invest in order to achieve my goal of becoming a published author. 
Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, mainly due to the outlet it provides for my overactive imagination. The first book I shared with anyone outside of friends and family was a children’s novella written when I was 14 called The Bat Boy, which I still have tucked away in my closet. I was one of five lucky students selected to read our short stories to local grade school children. Of course at the time I felt anything but lucky—I was so nervous reading in front of forty or so people that I could barely keep track of what page I was on.
I decided to pursue a career as a professional writer almost four years ago, while writing the first draft of what would ultimately become Dangerous Waters. The more people I shared sample chapters with, the more encouraged I became that I was crafting a novel with broad appeal, but I knew it would never be as good as it could and needed to be for publication if my writing remained only a hobby. 
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I enjoy writing in both the Urban Fantasy and Fantasy genres. I find Urban Fantasy writing to be a little easier. By being rooted in the “real” world, it provides the author and reader with an established foundation to tie the magical / supernatural elements into. If, on the other hand, your world is full of carnivorous jasperia vines, soul stealing mist clouds and all manner of unique creatures, you need to get the reader’s head around these elements in addition to introducing the main plot and your central characters. On the other hand, Fantasy writing provides a blank canvas for the author which is incredibly endearing to me. I hold Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight) in high regard as a Fantasy Author and have learned a great deal from her writing. 
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
Absolutely! I’ve found that continuing to read while I write helps keep the creative juices flowing and further hone my narrative voice. I read mostly in the same genres I write in. Some of my favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor, Tessa Dawn and Yasmine Galenorn.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
For me, while querying can be a bit of a bear for sure, the most challenging part is the editing. Changes I make that seem brilliant one day I often second guess the next, and while editing for grammar and word repetition, it’s all too easy to extract the life out of the text.
If you could have the same type of career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?

That’s a tough one! Can I select two? I’d choose Kelley Armstrong due to her wildly successful Otherworldseries, which is still my all time favorite, and Abbi Glines, who has achieved so much, including making it onto the New York Times best seller list, from a similar starting point as my own writing career. She has also never lost the intimate connection she fostered with her readers like so many authors do once they’ve had a taste of success.   

For Emily Waters, a nature loving small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend, whose family takes her in and prepares her for the unimaginable life she must now embrace. Clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister” and her new supe sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters. Not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey, one that ends with her leading a war against all humankind.

Chad Mcpherson
Author of Dangerous Waters
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/chad.mcpherson.142
http://www.facebook.com/UFAuthorCMMichaels
Twitter – https://twitter.com/UFAuthor
Blog – http://cmmichaels.blogspot.com/
Freya’s Bower – http://www.freyasbower.com/

Q&A With Carol Marvell!

Today’s Q&A Interview is with Wild Child Publishing Author Carol Marvell!

Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I began writing some twenty-five years ago, only because there weren’t many heroines around, in books or movies, which lead me to create my own – Detective Billie McCoy. I wrote a series of stories, all based around Billie and a few of my other main characters. My writing was strictly a hobby, one I enjoyed immensely. I never had any intention of publishing my stories and actually put them away for a few years. When computers became popular, or should I say affordable, I dug out my notes and began editing them in more detail. My daughter got hold of Slave Trader after I printed it out. She loved it and convinced me to publish it.
  
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I do read, but not as much as I’d like to. It takes me a while to get through a book, only because I find it hard to squeeze it in between my day job, writing, family, my music and other things that seem to pop up. I even work in a school library and still don’t get much time to read. I have to say though, since being published with Wild Child Publishing, I’m enjoying reading what my fellow authors are writing. Some of the genres are quite different to what I’d usually read but I’m finding them fun and entertaining. With the growing number of ebooks available, this new technology makes it much easier to search and find genres to suit. 
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
I would probably say hitting the delete button during editing is the most difficult task for me – but it is getting easier. It’s probably because I wrote Slave Trader so many years ago, having been over it many times, I knew it as I originally wrote it. So, when my publisher asked me to adjust scenes, take out scenes and rewrite new ones, I definitely found it hard to hit that little DEL button. But, times have changed and so have writing styles since I first put pen to paper. Biting the bullet, I lay trust in my publisher and went with her ideas and guidance.
If you could have the same type of career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?
J. K. Rowling. She is such a genuine person who doesn’t seem affected by fame and fortune. She has given pleasure to so many readers, both young and old. To have fans lined up to buy my book would be such a buzz, and then to see it hit the big screen would top it off.
Bio:   Carol lives on a small property in Queensland, Australia. She works in a local primary school as a School Officer / Librarian / Community Development Officer. Born in Childers, she grew up on a cane farm. Carol has been married for twenty-six years and has three children, two girls and a boy. She has traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting the US, Canada, UK, Europe, China, Japan, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand and of course, Australia. Her other passion is music. She plays bass guitar in a country rock band with her husband and two other guys, and is also a member of a symphony orchestra. With over fifty members, the orchestra is voluntary and visits retirement villages and small towns.
Slave Trader – In the Name of Freedom is Carol’s first novel. The action/adventure story follows Detective Billie McCoy in her fight for freedom after she is caught up in a modern day slavery trade run by a corrupt cop. The sequel, Providence Road – In the Name of Friendship is coming soon from Wild Child Publishing.
Blurb:
For the past three years, young prostitutes and destitute women have been vanishing without trace. Their fates unknown, the only common links to their disappearances are their good looks and prison records.
Never before has a cop been taken.
Detective Billie McCoy, a member of an elite undercover squad, is on assignment when she stumbles onto a slavery racket that goes deeper than she could ever have imagined. Plunged into a web of corruption and evil, not only does she have to contend with the slave traders, but her fellow prisoners – all who hate cops.
Stretching from the streets of Sydney to the rainforests in far north Queensland, it’s a race against time. Filled with determination, disappointment and twists, the story follows Billie’s fight for freedom and her greatest ever challenge. She will need all her cunning and skill to get out alive and see justice done.
Blood will be spilt, hopes will be destroyed – all to uncover a plot so unpredictable that only fate can decide . . . .
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