Tag Archive | books

Shannon Thompson, Follower of the Week

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Shannon is a 22-year old author, poet, and blogger. So, take some time out of your not-so-busy Friday (nobody really works on a Friday) and see what she has to say over on her blog, especially her guest blog posts written by talented authors.

Thanks, Shannon, for the follow!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and stay out of trouble. I’ll be breaking out of this joint [work] in less than 3 hours!

 

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Andrew Toy, Follower of the Week

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Trust me. You have got to follow this guy’s blog. He is a published author and an editor, but the main focus of his blog isn’t even on the world of writing but on the process of adopting their (he and his wife) first child, whom they hope to name “James” one day. It’s filled with inspiration, optimism, and anticipation. I couldn’t be more grateful that Andrew and his wife decided to share a part of their lives with the world and remind us that we are all blessed in some way. 🙂 Thank you, Andrew and Sarabeth!

 

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New Topics Underway

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:: singing :: Wherrrrrrre have you beeeeen…all my li-i-i-i-fe?

Yes, yes, yes. I have been MIA for quite some months. But see…what had happened was…{insert some fantastical, convoluted story that even elves and unicorns wouldn’t believe}. Truly, I have been so wrapped up into work and family that I haven’t taken the time to invest in one of my other favorite loves—writing.

I need to keep this blog going, and not just with author interviews. Of course I love them more than I love cake…


(For those who don’t know, Rasputia is a character you’d never want to meet in real life.)

The interviews allow me to pay it forward and bring awareness to hidden talents within the writing community. Even if I don’t write another thing on this blog about myself, just giving back to another author gives this blog purpose.

However, this blog was created for me after all, so I’m going to give my followers and those on the fence (just go ahead and press the button; I don’t bite…all the time :)) more of that while still offering support to my fellow writers.

Now…on to the meat of this post. I would like to introduce…five consecutive days weekly of blog topics! :: does the hustle dance :: If you look to the right at the top of this page, you’ll see that I already have them mapped out, starting next Monday. I know, some of you are like…

…but really, let me explain.

SILENT SUNDAY
No description needed, I don’t think. In other words, there will be no blog posts on this day. Sad? Aw, don’t be. I’ll have enough material for you during the week to make up for it. Happy? Screw you. Don’t care? Eh, many won’t. You’ll be in honest company. BUT…I love you regardless. 🙂

MUSIC MONDAY
No, I don’t and can’t sing, and I don’t write lyrics. My talent lies strictly with writing fiction only. This is where I will share a song that I listen to when writing certain themes or scenes and how the song motivates me to keep writing. (Get ready for some weirdoisms.)

TITILLATING TUESDAY
Oh, pull your fingers out of the gutter and back onto the keyboard. (Just nasty minds in you people. I kinda like it.hehe) Instead of teasing your freaky bones, I’ll be teasing your curiosities with snippets of my works (past, present, and future).

WISH WEDNESDAY
I figured you all would need another way to learn more about me. So, I’ll share some of the things I wish for most, whether it’s work, publishing, family, or personal. It would be great to learn those things about you as well. Feel free to post your wishes as well in the comments. I don’t care if you wish to land an agent, travel to hell for the day, or be Peter Pan. I share, you share.  🙂

THINK THURSDAY
This will just serve as a day when I share my most random thoughts. Writers usually have to develop several (not just 2) personalities to write the most creative stories. You won’t believe the craziness we conjure up. (One day, I created a wrestler character who pirouettes while emptying trash bins for the Town of Bulls.)

FOLLOW FRIDAY
What better way to show appreciation to my followers than to recognize them? Every Friday, I will select a follower at random and post their name titanic style with starbursts, flashing signs, dollar bills and roaring tigers. (Okay, maybe just the starbursts and flashing signs.) Who knows, that follower may have a blog, own an online store, write scripts for a cable network show, or just need a few people to say “hi” to him/her.

SILENT SATURDAY
(See “Silent Sunday”. Yes, I really mean it.)

It is my plan to switch, replace, or reorder these every few months or quarter to give some variety, but mostly because I’m pretty sure I’ll run out of shit to say about the same topic every week. I’m looking forward to a fresh start w/ this baby!

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Interview with Author Sara Stinson

Please join me in welcoming first-time author Sara Stinson to the TPTW lounge. Sara is married with two wonderful children and is a retired teacher. She enjoys teaching  and continues to substitute and tutor. She is also a laptop addict, loves to read, and enjoys animals. Her debut novel is entitled Finger Bones and is available today on Amazon.

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Hey, Sara! Tell us more about you. Where are you from? When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?

I am from Elba, Alabama.  My degree is still active; however, I am a retired Speech-Language Pathologist.  I continue to substitute.  For Now, I have the pleasure of teaching some energetic Kindergarten students.  They keep me young!  I have taught language and reading classes through the years and writing was one of the many skills we worked on in the classes.  Students enjoyed creating and using their imagination.  Many homemade books were made.  I started writing seriously after my retirement.

I see that you were inspired by the history of your hometown, particularly a lonely townsman, to write Finger Bones. Care to elaborate on that for us?

In my hometown there was a man named Charlie Porter.   Some claim he lived to be 113 and others say he was 122 when he passed away.  We called him “Uncle Charlie”.  He is who gave me the idea to write about the book.

Yes, he lived alone, but I never have attached the word ‘lonely’ with him.  He was always happy and talking to people in town.   He was an African American.  He was born a slave and took the name of his owner.  There were several interviews about Charlie.  He claimed he was treated well.  He did have a wife.  The paper did not write about how long he was married.  There were no children.

“Uncle Charlie” is a big part of history in our town.

You went the self-publishing route—a publishing option that is becoming more embraced by the day—for this novel. How was the process? Any pros/cons you wish to share?

I did decide to self-publish.  So far, this method of publishing has been a positive decision for me.  There is a lot of work to be done when self-publishing.   You have to prepare the book yourself to be edited and loaded for publication.  I suggest researching and finding the best publisher who will meet what you want to gain from your book.  Some offer online reading and others offer publishing your book in paperback.

As a retired teacher and current tutor, does your love for teaching children influence your writing and drive your art for writing young adult fiction?

Yes, I believe being a teacher and working primarily with the younger students has influenced me to write for this age group.  I taught reading for several years.  Middle grade to young adult was my area of expertise.

What is your favorite genre to read? Would you consider writing in that genre one day, if it’s different than the genre you currently write?

I am an eclectic reader.  I do have an idea for an adult themed book about five children being raised in a foster home.  I do hope to pursue this idea one day.

If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?

I would be strictly teaching.  I do enjoy taking pictures and painting.

Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?

I am happy to say I am starting the second book on Finger Bones.  This book will include a ghost dog named Max.

For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?

I have a weebly account under The Finger Bones Series.  I am also found on Facebook under Sara Stinson and The Finger Bones Series.

Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about Sara Stinson, the author?

Finger Bones has been on the market for a little over a month.  Already the support which Finger Bones has received is remarkable!  Finger Bones gains new family members each week. Thank you to all who have supported and read the book.

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Thank you, Sara, for doing this interview. It’s always a pleasure getting inside an author’s head and knowing what inspires their work. Congratulations on your new release, and I wish you GREAT success on it and your future projects.

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NaNo—What in THE hell was I thinking?!

In case some of you haven’t noticed, look over there to the right. Yeah, where it says Na No Wri Mo in those little colorful circles, and underneath it you’ll see a calendar with how many words I have written so far in November.

Just totally unacceptable and darn right shameful. (Quick reminder: The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words by Nov. 30. Um…yeah…it’s Nov. 26.) I had high hopes and determination [for like the first 24 hours] b/c I know that I am a MAJOR…like the chief…procrastinator. I was hoping that participating in something like NaNo would force me to crank my butt into gear. But nope…even my butt is stubborn.

Most of my procrastination stems from lack of motivation. Yeah, yeah…I know…

Well…damn that! No amount of pep talking is going to recharge my energy levels. I’m also too involved in the querying process of We’re Family…Right?. It was only a few months ago when I slapped the “Finished” seal on it. How others just jump right into writing another book is nothing short of miraculous and commendable.

At first, I thought that perhaps I had no motivation b/c I didn’t particularly like what I was writing. But then…more ideas and a more scandalous plot just hit me, and I continued typing away. That, however, didn’t last long. 😦  I once again became engulfed in my 9 to 5 workload, and the typing stopped. I still wholeheartedly believe in my new story, but right now, my creative mind needs to rest. Once enough agents tell my current novel in submission to Go straight to hell; do not pass Go; do not collect $200, then I’ll happily shelve it and move on to nurture my latest baby.

So yeah…ignore that calendar over there. It should depress me, but it doesn’t. It’s just a reminder that it’s okay to be exhausted; it’s okay to take a break. And the great news is…I actually started a new work-in-progress! :: drops it low :: :: break dances :: :: springs to my knees :: :: pirouettes :: :: death drops ::

Oh…I also have another author interview coming soon. So, be on the lookout for that! 🙂

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Greetings!

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a few moments out of my not-so-but-more-times-than-not busy life to…

…my new followers and to thank all of you for supporting me and for at least tolerating my rants and nonsense. I tell ya…having you guys backing me makes me feel so…

Oh…ok…not quite, huh? Ok…then how about…

Yeah!! There we go! Nothing like having a support system to encourage and to give me a swift kick in the ass to tell me to get on the ball.

So, tomorrow is the start of NaNoWriMo, and I need you guys more than ever to keep me on my game. Hmkay?!?! I’m not going to reveal too much about the new novel right now, but after having an epiphany to slap me during rush hour traffic yesterday, I’m stoked! So…

Don’t worry; I won’t let your literary thirsts linger too long. 🙂 I’ll pop in a few times a week to update you guys on how the writing is going, if I’m close to meeting that 50,000-word count goal, and even share a few snippets from the novel. I must warn you that the writing will be as raw as sand paper on bare ass, but keep in mind…no editors’ pick or bestseller you read is ever a writer’s first draft. The “real” writing comes in edit #2,873…and that’s before it even makes it to an editor’s desk. :: sigh :: Stay strong for me, my friends. 🙂

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I have a migraine!

This was me just one month ago.

And you know, I’d be lying if I said that since my second novel is “done” (I’ll explain in a minute why that is in quotes), I have time to free up space on the DVR and play a round of Parcheesi. Oh no! Now that “The End” has been typed on my manuscript, I have the great pleasure of seeking an agent.

Great, right? Yeah…ok…listen up. It’s great once a writer snags an agent, but the process to get there is 20x worse than writing the book itself. That process is called QUERYING.


Yup! Even cats hate that ish! It would be so much easier just to shoot an agent (or 200 of them) an email that says, “Hey, you. My novel is about a blind, one-legged man who wants to run across the country before he dies in a week. Are you interested?” But oh nooo! There is an actual formula to writing a query, one that requires hours of creative thinking and intensive labor. You have to be smart and witty and crafty…and fit it all onto ONE PAGE. In 350 pages, sure, I can do that. But on one page? Agents have made it the “survival of the fittest”! Certainly, it’s a quick way to weed out of the weak and flippant.

But like any goal, success, and achievement, obtaining an agent isn’t easy. It’s a heavily-traveled road, and many do not make it to their destinations. Some don’t even bother to take the road to Agentville but choose the road to Self-Publishhood instead (like I did for book #1). I want to go the agent route this time, putting in more time and effort into book #2. Yes, it’s costing me sleep, quality time, and migraines, but I trust that the benefits are worth it.

In the meantime, while I’m waiting for my inbox to chime w/ rejections (and boy, have I gotten plenty) and manuscript requests, I’m working on a short story that I will expand into book #3. I’m on fire, babyyy! Writing has always provided me with an outlet when I can’t/won’t share my deepest thoughts and emotions; writing always listens. I might as well keep writing until I produce something great. Maybe then, the whole world will listen.

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