Posted in reviews

Interview with Authors Noelle Ihli and Jeanne Allen

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Both Jeanne and I studied English and editing in college. When we started working together on Fourth Wave (our Etsy shop), we were both taking on freelance editing and writing assignments as well. Basically, we’ve both been writing for a very long time. But this is our first foray into publishing! 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Jeanne and I are avid readers. We essentially had an hours-long book club every week while we printed our orders. Naturally, we were interested in reading about e-commerce (specifically e-commerce related to Etsy’s platform). We quickly realized that the available resources were slim. We determined (much later than we should have) that there was a hole in the market, and we had the experience and the expertise to fill that hole. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Sometimes how-to books (especially business how-to books) feel very coy to me. They’re full of hooks and big promises that don’t necessarily translate to real, actionable advice. When we set out to write “The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy,” we wanted to write a book full of down-to-earth, ACTIONABLE advice: the kind of advice you’d get from a good friend, giving you the inside scoop about how to succeed on Etsy. I hope our readers come away with a sense of direction and confidence. Etsy is a truly incredible, unique e-commerce platform. It’s growing like crazy. People crave the handmade, one-of-a-kind vibe that Etsy offers in a world full of cheap, fast, bulk products.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

While Jeanne and I started our careers in publishing, life sometimes has other ideas in mind! We got sucked into the world of ecommerce (and couldn’t be happier!). After learning a LOT and successfully growing our shop, we decided to tap back into our roots in writing and publishing to create a book that could help other Etsy sellers.

5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Etsy is an evolving platform with new changes rolling out often. Facebook has allowed us to quickly and easily share short- and long-form updates and new tips with readers to keep them updated on changes that may affect their shop. 

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Spend twenty minutes writing every day. You don’t have to get a particular amount accomplished. You just need to carve out the time and do it. Some people are really prolific and enjoy pumping out books. But for most people, slow and consistent wins the day. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Definitely. Expect a screen printing reference! We’ve learned that the way we create our t-shirts is both unconventional and ideal for beginners. There’s so much we wish we had known before diving headlong into our specific niche (T-shirts!) on Etsy.

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About the Authors

Etsy is an incredible platform. And if you know what works, you can be successful. We know because we did it. Our Etsy shop started with a single listing in 2013. We’re proud to say that it ranks in the top 1% and brings in 6 figures.

If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering if you have what it takes to be successful on Etsy. If your product is good enough. And even if you’ve seen some success, you may still think of your Etsy shop as your “little hobby.” And we want you to knock that off right now. We’ve found that the people who run Etsy shops are some of the most creative, tenacious people we know. And we have no doubt that you are one of them. You can do this. You DO have what it takes.

And that’s why we wrote this book. Because we’ve figured out what actually works, and we love helping other women (and the occasional awesome dude) take their fledgling Etsy shop, and make it into something that gives back to them what they’re putting into it.

About Us:

Noelle is a boy mom to Luke and Max, and a cat mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows. The two things she loves most (in addition to Etsy and the aforementioned children and husband) are murder and horses. (Separately, never together.)

Jeanne is also a mom—to Kaylee, Eileen, and Tober. (Yes, Tober. The short story is that she let Kaylee name her baby brother when she was five. She swears she would have stepped in if Kaylee had added too many Xs or Zs, but luckily, she hadn’t learned those letters yet). Her husband Bryan is, like Noelle’s Nate, pretty dang awesome and supportive. Especially when she decided to veer off a more standard career in technical editing and jumped headfirst into the world of Etsy selling.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/758496595078762

https://www.etsy.com/shop/fourthwaveapparel/

Posted in reviews

Interview with Author Tyler Wittkofsky

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am a multi-genre author, poet, and mental health advocate from Leland, North Carolina. I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I currently work in communications and public relations.

Growing up, my grandmother was a high school English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and later my elementary school principal. She encouraged my creative writing style and helped me to grow into the writer I am today.

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What inspired you to write your book?

I had never written a romance novel before and wanted to give it a go, drawing inspiration from some real-life events.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The goal of his book is for people to understand what a long-distance relationship is, the amount of work that goes into making it a successful relationship. There is also the underlying theme of how mental illness can affect a relationship and how two people can work together to overcome those struggles. 

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always seen myself as a hopeless romantic. I love romance movies and shows and rom-coms especially.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would sit down with Kenney and simply ask him ‘Why?’ I don’t want to say too much more and give away the book.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I would say Twitter has connected me with the most readers, and friends.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t give up. It’s hard in the beginning, it really is. The struggle to find out what marketing tools work best, how to write a blurb, transitions, there is a lot that goes into writing. In the beginning, it is easy to get discouraged and feel like it isn’t going anywhere but stick with it. Write for yourself first and foremost and the rest will come.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

“The Seeds of Love” was book one in a five-part series called “Sunflower Kisses”. I’m really excited about that. I also have another work in progress that is for my grandmother. I just started writing for InTheCrescent.com, an online magazine focused on the supernatural. 

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About the Author

Tyler Wittkofsky was born and raised in Leland, North Carolina, mere minutes from Historic Wilmington and Southport. He graduated from South Brunswick High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Growing up, his grandmother was a high school English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and later his elementary school principal. She encouraged his creative writing style and helped him to grow into the writer he is today.

He spends much of his time volunteering for nonprofits and giving his time back to the youth in his community. He was named one of Brunswick County’s Future 10 in 2017, the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional of the Year in 2018, and one of the StarNews 40 Under 40 in 2019 for his passion for helping others discover the jewel that is Northern Brunswick County.

He currently resides in Leland, North Carolina with his fiancé Grace and dogs Dutch and Belle.

https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Noor Ashour

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Well, I’m a 19-year-old girl majoring in Computer Science. I would say that I liked writing since I was little. English is not my first language, so back then it was hard writing stories in English. But after coming to America and reading countless books from my school’s library, I was able to improve my English well enough to write properly.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

 I actually wrote it when I was 15, titled Eorthe at the time (Old-English for Earth, don’t ask why I chose such an obscure name because I honestly don’t know). But shortly after publishing it, I felt kind of ashamed of it. Most of the reviews (no more than 10, all received review requests from me) averaged three stars, with the common critique being jarring dialogue, confusing plot-line, too many characters, etc. But during quarantine, my mother commented about how it was a shame for me to just abandon my book like that and pretend it doesn’t exist. Thus, I decided to rewrite and improve it as best as I can. I renamed it Myosotis, too, because I felt like Eorthe doesn’t fit.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Hmm, I wrote this book with a theme of “being forgotten” in mind, it was mainly created to explain why the world in the book was called Land of the Forgotten. As the characters described, it was made for those that were forgotten or abandoned by their society and home, and thus this Land would allow them to start a new life with others that have shared their pain in one way or another. It gives them a community when the previous had failed them. This also explains why it has such a diverse and unique population, because everyone has roots from thousands of different dimensions.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always gravitated to fantasy novels. I know that Heroes of Olympus inspired me when I made the first version of this book. I also liked The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland, particularly its illustrations. I wished I could draw some for my book had it not been for my lack of drawing skills. But maybe I will be able to one day!

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

That’s a tough question. I would probably ask them questions that I was unable to answer properly when I was developing them, such as the backstory of Ellina, or the true goals/motivations of Justus. I would want to ask non-appearing or non-important characters, such as the citizens of Land of the Forgotten, about their day-to-day lives in both the current era and the previous. This would help me cultivate the world’s lore better, just generally interviewing the “average” bystander in the Land.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Actually, I don’t think I have any readership at the moment! I’m not interested in marketing this book, you see. I want unsuspecting people to stumble upon it instead, I think that would make it more valuable or interesting. But I am looking for honest reviews around the web and emailing book blogs if they’re interested, mostly to just get feedback and know what I did well or could improve on.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

You’ve probably heard of this already, but the “Show, Don’t Tell” rule is pretty important. Of course, there are times where you should tell, but try to show your characters’ fears, quirks, values, etc. There’s also Chekov’s Gun, a rule where every element/event/character in the story should have some purpose or meaning, such as foreshadowing. Of course, you can have some red herrings that deceive the reader, especially with detective or mystery novels, but it’s also a good idea to foreshadow events to let the reader go “I knew it!”

Also, this is more towards fanfic writers, but please proofread your work and add spacing between paragraphs, there’s too many fanfics out there where the whole thing is just a big block of text due to no spacing between paragraphs. More importantly, do NOT describe eyes as orbs, that’s just weird! This also applies to a lot of things, don’t use weird adjectives or names too much just for the sake of sounding fancy. Make sure there is some purpose or meaning behind it, like purposely using gross adjectives to gross out the reader and show how grotesque the scene is.

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8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I would say I’m pretty much done with books, it’s just torture I don’t want to bear anymore. However, another kind of torture I am bearing right now is a point-and-click game I’m working on by myself. The progress is very slow, but once I’m done with the first part of the game out of four, I will hopefully start doing devlog updates and announce it somewhere on my Itchio page. I’ve attached a little sneak peek of the main character.

Posted in reviews

Interview with Author Anna J. Walner

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Anna began her journey to becoming an Author at a young age, escaping into the world of books. Visiting far away places and going on thrilling adventures, while dealing with Social Anxiety.

Over time her own voice as an Author began to take shape.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

My own adoption. Amelia is quite honestly . . . me. There’s a lot of my self in her character and her dialogue. Growing up I only knew that my heritage was of an Australian descent. I took my adoption and my story, and I set the story in Australia as a nod to my own background a culture.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Amelia is brave, fearless, and strong. She knows her own mind, and doesn’t stray from what she believes is right. I wrote her as a strong female lead to inspire young readers. It’s the kind of character I want my daughter to look up to.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always had a fascination with the unknown, the paranormal, and vampires. The mythos surrounding them, the origin of the stories, and why they’ve persisted throughout time. Garkain was a way for me to explore those curiosities, and weave a believable blend of Fantasy with reality.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would love to sit down with Anatole, the eldest of the core characters and ask him what is was like to grow up in 18th century, to make the trip to New Holland, and what the land of Australia looked like then.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

It varies honestly. I’ve researched Aboriginal Culture, European History, Celtic and Druid Ceremonies, and even the Gaelic language. I’ve drawn inspiration and accuracy from many different places throughout the series.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

To believe in yourself and your voice as an Author. To set realistic goals for themselves and grow a supportive community of other writers.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

LarougoBook Two of The Uluru Legacy will be releasing November 2nd, 2021, and is available for preorder now. The series will contain four books, and as of yet, I have not set a date for Book Three. But The Legacy will continue . . . .

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About the Author

Anna is the author of two fantasy series, The Enrovia Series, and The Uluru Legacy. She is the author of five books, which range from fantasy to memoir.

A mother and a published author, she finds time for her passion in the evenings. Growing up as an introvert she gravitated to the classics, and fantastic worlds as a means of escape.

Over time the urge to create her own stories took control.

https://annajwalner.com/

https://www.instagram.com/annajwalner/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE4ybn-YRrDMytAUKN9Bu9g

https://www.bookbub.com/books/garkain-book-one-of-the-uluru-legacy-series-by-anna-j-walner

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Shaheen Chishti

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?


I was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, and saw at close quarters how women’s lives were in traditional
Hindu and Muslim cultures, having interacted with many families and seen many villages. I
came across many women’s issues, which moved me. I then moved to England at a young age
and saw the socially liberated society where they were making efforts to move up the chain, so
to speak. That being said, I noticed that both sides were suffering in different ways and came to realize that society has been unfair to our mothers, sisters, daughters and partners for
centuries. This set my mind up to write a book highlighting the issues faced by women from
various cultures and arguing for the advancement of women in all societies.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?


I wanted to help young women find their voices and power, and to make the most for
themselves – not for their society. So many young women now are the living legacies of strong
women who came before them, able to live their lives and enjoy their freedoms and identities
because of the sacrifices made by their grandmothers.


3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?


This book is written for anyone with daughters, granddaughters or young women in their lives,
who want the very best for them and all the daughters who follow. I have two beautiful
daughters of my own and want to make sure that they know that they are just as important as
anyone else – regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion or creed. We are all humans and
must support one another.


4) What drew you into this particular genre?


I would hope that my daughters and future granddaughters get to live in a society that fully
respects women; a society in which they would not have to face the same injustices and lead
their lives in fear of what could happen to them just because of their gender. We have certainly
made progress as a society but there is still such a long way to go to ensure that all our
granddaughters live without fear of men and are not held back to reach their full potential.
Since my childhood, I read about the Bengal famine of 1943 which no one covered – or at least
not as much as I have done in this book. The Holocaust was something that I was aware of from
an early age in India. I think that I was six when I saw a documentary about Adolf Hitler and
then, as I grew up, I read about it several times. I was also lucky to have a number of amazing
Jewish friends and noticed many similarities within our cultures. Finally, Notting Hill was on my
way to school when we moved to London, so it was also something close to my heart and I saw
first-hand the discrimination against black people, in particular.


5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and
why?

One of my favourite characters is Ingrid. The strength and courage that she showed in helping
Helga’s family, when no one else would, is so inspirational. It is unimaginable to think about
what it must have taken to defy the law and society to do what is morally right. I would ask her
how she found the courage to stand up to a regime alone and why she showed such courage
and morality when so few did.
Many people talk about moral courage, but it is not always easy to do the right thing or to even
know what the right thing is. Sometimes, it is easiest to do nothing. Perhaps if more people
demonstrated such qualities, we would have more tolerance and acceptance for those around
us.


6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?


I have found LinkedIn to be particularly effective at sparking interesting debates around these
important issues.

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7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?


Just start to write because it is the hardest thing to get words on paper. Keep re-reading your
work and re-working your ideas and it will work out. You must also write from the heart and let it flow naturally, making sure that historical events are duly cited if they are to be included.


8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?


Yes, I have another book planned and am extremely excited to share more details when the
time is right!

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About the Author

Shaheen Chishti is an Indian-British author, world peace advocate and thought leader. Shaheen is a member of the London Literary Society and Muslim-Jewish Forum in London. He is also the founder of the Jewish Islamic International Peace Society. Shaheen’s writings – fiction and non-fiction – primarily focus on the upliftment of women and the emancipation of Muslim women in particular. He believes that the “empowerment of women is at the root of Muslin teaching”. An ardent believer in the Sufi philosophy of “Love towards all, malice towards none”, Shaheen endeavours to promote the message of peace and solidarity of the Chishti Order of Sufism. Shaheen was born into the Syed Chishti family in India which traces its ancestry directly to Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet.

http://shaheenchishti.in/

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Rich Marcello

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing now for ten years. When I started, I had a goal to write ten books before all was said and done. Cenotaphs is my fifth novel and sixth book, so I still have a ways to go before I reach the goal, but I remain committed to getting there. Before I became a professional writer, I worked for a number of technology companies.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I was interested in writing a book about platonic love between a man and  woman. In particular, I was interested in how that kind of love has the power to heal the deepest wounds, maybe even more so than other kinds of love. Not many written books are written on this topic, and I thought it was a fascinating one to explore. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they experience the power of redemptive love.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I tend to be interested in big topics and I think literary fiction, with its emphasis on characterization, is a great way to explore these topics. It’s given me the tools to write books on polarization in America, aging with meaning, the long term impacts of violence, and on being a good man. Plus, all my favorite writers like Walker Percy and Milan Kundera write literary fiction.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would sit down with both Ben and Samantha and ask them how they felt loving each other in such a non-traditional way, and why that kind of love allowed them to move forward with their lives separately and together.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook.  Many of my Facebook friends engage on a regular basis with me and my books.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Just keep going. Learn as much as you can about your craft and remember good art doesn’t always find an audience right away. If you have a need to create, as I do, there’s nothing more powerful and generative emotionally than putting a piece out into the world.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m working on two novels now, The Means of Keeping, about the climate crisis, and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow on to The Latecomers.

About the Author

Rich is the author of five novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers, and Cenotaphs, and the poetry collection, The Long Body That Connects Us All. He also teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, self-discovery and forgiveness. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet. For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts with his wife and Newfoundland Shaman. He is currently working on his sixth and seventh novels, The Means of Keeping and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow-on to The Latecomers.

http://www.richmarcello.com/

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Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Natalie Hanson

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

For many years I concentrated on being a screenplay writer. I had mild success optioning scripts, selling scripts and being hired to write, but never felt the joy of seeing something I wrote on the big screen. Scripts are rarely considered a ‘finished product’. There’s always another producer who wants changes.So my angst for having a completed project led me to pursue writing novels. There is something very satisfying when you are truly done.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I wanted to write a female character that can do anything a man can. Traditionally women are judged for making choices a man does every day. Who they can sleep with, how they speak, having children. I wanted to create a protagonist that was ashamed to be who she was.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

In all things, chaos prevails. So just accept it now. The more control you try to have over life the more you will be disappointed.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

In recent years I’ve had a number of folks who have given me the feedback “Your writing is so disturbing. Everyone is so evil!” And I always think “Really, I thought that was just Tuesday!” I guess I live in the dark places where most people just visit. For me, my creative work has always been on the gritty side.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d be interested in asking Zalla about her life choices. One seemingly small choice can change your entire life. I’d love to explore how her life might have turned out differently had she zigged instead of zagged.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership? Oh, this one’s a tough one. I will fully admit I am not good at social media. It’s a real skill that requires time and dedication. I strive to improve in the future.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Your writing is going to suck, and it’s OK. It takes thousands of hours to start pumping out good material. So in the beginning, be open to feedback and adjust. Edit out your favorite thing from a story if it’s not working. Be prepared to do anything to make the material better.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

The Zalla series includes five novels. They are all complete and book 4 & 5 are being edited now. I wanted to get all the heavy lifting of writing out of the way so I’d have more time to devote to promotion and the logistics of self-publishing. I am looking forward to getting them all out there into the world!

About the Author

Natalie Hanson is an author and screenplay writer born and raised in Seattle, WA.

‘The Unknown Man’ is the first of five novels chronicling the hunt for serial killers and criminals by FBI agent Zalla Bennbett. This dark series examines the worst criminals humanity has to offer through the eyes of a jaded agent, struggling to keep optimism alive and fight for the voiceless.

Book two in the series, ‘The Butcher’, is an upcoming release.

Her novel ‘Every Moment and Not a Second More’ was published on Amazon in 2018.

Currently she is collaborating on a horror genre comic series based on her screenplay “Dociles.” It tells the story of a teen runaway, kidnapped by a medical examiner who turns the dead into zombies. It’s a fight to not end up as one of the herd!

https://nataliehardy9.wixsite.com/author/books

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Tom Kreffer

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

When I was twenty-one, I watched Dead Man’s Shoes by Shane Meadows. I thought the film was excellent, and I could tell it had been shot on a low budget. I was studying film at university at the time, and I thought that perhaps my way into the film industry could be to write a really good self-contained story that was set in only a handful of locations – low, low budget stuff, like Dead Man’s Shoes. So, I wrote my first screenplay and called it Sophisticated Gangsters. It got picked up by a couple of local producers, but we never completed shooting owing to a complete lack of experience and expertise (not to mention money). Looking back, it’s almost certainly a good thing that film never came out, as my script was terrible. But that was my first crack at writing. I wrote more screenplays in my twenties, but I’ve still yet to do anything with them. 

It wasn’t until my partner fell pregnant that I began writing my first book. Doctors told us that it was highly unlikely we would conceive naturally, and I had all but accepted that I might never become a parent. But then she fell pregnant. I started writing a journal about my experience of discovering I was about to become a father and what it was like to live with a pregnant woman. At some point, I began to wonder if other soon-to-be dads would find the story of pregnancy told from a first-time dad’s perspective to be valuable, or at the very least entertaining. So that became my first book, Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time Dad.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Becoming a father and having the journey documented in journal format.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I love it when readers tell me that they responded to the book’s blend of humour and honesty, and I love it even more when they tell me that my take on pregnancy is unique and not something they’ve come across before. 

But ultimately, I want readers to feel as if they are the ones who have got the better end of the deal from buying my books and taking the time to read them. When I read a book, my world view and my life experience – billions of interactions with my environment on both a conscious and a subconscious level – shape how I interpret and connect with the material. And so I find it hard to list anything specific that I want readers to take away, as every response is unique to the individual reader. But as long as they take away something positive, whatever it is, I’m happy because I feel as if I’ve done my job correctly. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

As mentioned in the earlier question, it was a fluke. If you had asked me before I became a writer what genre I would begin my career in and make money from, non-fiction parenting memoirs from a dad’s perspective would have been very far down the list.

5) Which social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m still at the very beginning of my career, so I’m still figuring a lot of that stuff out, but Facebook and Instagram seem to be the platforms that I benefit from most. My favourite thing to do is build up relationships with my readers and rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth. I’m now experimenting with advertising, but it’s not an overnight process. Just like writing a book, it takes time to do it well.

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just-starting authors out there?

Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Writing is a tough gig. I’m on my third book now, and it feels the same every time – hard work. Another thing I would say is that there’s this uncertainty about what you’re doing and whether your story will work. And that doesn’t go away until you’ve reached the end of your first draft, at the very minimum. In my case, I don’t really know if I’ve got anything good until the third or fourth draft. But that’s OK; I just keep at it every day. And that’s what you need to do. Don’t worry about looking up and trying to see the end; just focus on looking down and taking the next step. Then the next day, do the same thing; take one more step. Commit to giving that one step everything you’ve got. Pour your heart and soul into it. And on the following day – do the same thing again. And then again the next day, and the next. And when you get to the end, and you look up and see how far you’ve come and what you’ve got, you never know; you might just have something beautiful to share with the world. 

Amazon Music: Six Months of Disney+

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

So many projects! First is the sequel to Dear Dory, which is called Dear Arlo: Adventures in Dadding. It tackles the first year of parenthood. The manuscript is locked, and it’s now with the formatting team. I think it’s due out in early September (2021). I’m over halfway through the first draft of book three in the Adventures in Dadding series. I also have plans for other non-fiction books that are related to parenthood.

Finally, I’m desperate to dive into fiction, and I have a ton of notes on two different ideas. Both of them are huge. I can see myself staying in those worlds for a very long time. I would love to do something with my screenplays as well. I’m never at a loss for ideas, and I’m deeply passionate about all of my writing projects, but I can only fully commit to one of them at a time.

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About the Author

Tom Kreffer has a degree in film and television and has worked in finance for over ten years. Dear Dory is his first book.

He lives in Northampton, England with his family, whom he intends to exploit for many more story opportunities in the years to come.

Amazon: Say Hi

Facebook: Say Hi

Instagram: Say Hi

https://www.bookbub.com/books/dear-dory-journal-of-a-soon-to-be-first-time-dad-adventures-in-dadding-1-by-tom-kreffer

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Authors Scott & Ashley Roepel

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?


Ashley has been writing stories her entire life. In her late teen and early adult years she published a lot of fanfiction that won community awards. It’s always been a passion for her and she has been able to write for some websites prior to publishing her books. For Scott, he was a local journalist for many years before writing for pop culture and car websites. We both mesh well in writing a book series together! 

Amazon Music: Six Months of Disney+
  1. What inspired you to write your book?


This book series is based off our D&D campaign. We both love the game so much and it has inspired so much creativity in our lives. It felt only right to turn these adventures into a book series. We had developed a world rich in lore and history with complex characters. Since our entire campaign was homebrewed, it made it really easy to translate into a book series. 

  1. What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?


Many of the characters come from places or situations where they were told they have no value. We hope readers that struggle with the same message may find inspiration in these characters. Characters that find their own worth internally, and are able to discover their own strengths and confidence despite others telling them to the contrary. 

  1. What drew you into this particular genre?


We both have always loved fantasy. Especially from our early experiences with the Fellowship of the Ring film. What we like best is there are no limits. You can create your own world and put what you want in it. It is full creativity. 

  1. If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?


Actually, we can! One of the best things about having this story start as a D&D game is we get to roleplay these characters. We get to do a deep dive into each character and learn all about them. All about their childhood and memories, and all about their future hopes and dreams. We get to explore their motivation and pain and what keeps them going each day. It’s one of the purest ways to learn a character. 

  1. What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?


Twitter for sure. It’s so much more social and we are able to connect with other writers and D&D players and indie creators. Being able to have many conversations and post multiple times a day has been helpful. Our Twitter is @TalAndRu 

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?


Write the story you want to tell. Don’t worry about what other people say you should be writing or doing with your book. Don’t worry about a big following, that will come in time. Just tell the story that is inside you and that is important to you. At the end of the day, you should write something you want to read. 

  1. What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?


Book III of Thread of Souls is currently undergoing its final edits and will be published on August 27th this year! It’s part of an eight-book series, so we have a release planned for each year. As we are currently playing the story’s D&D campaign at the table, we are playing through what will end being book seven and having a blast! 

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About the Authors

Scott and Ashley Roepel are a husband and wife team of writers, creators, and travelers. They are co-founders of Tal & Ru Travels LLC which is focused on entertaining and engaging content. Deep lovers of fantasy, the two of them are avid D&D players and content creators.

https://talandrudungeonloot.com/

https://www.instagram.com/talandrutravels/