Tag Archives: book giveaway

Author generosity … book giveaway extended!

As I continue on this adventure of reviewing books, I am finding most authors and/or their publishers to be generous souls. If they want to promote their books, and have the budget to offer a few for free to my readers, they will do so. It all helps with image of both author and publisher, and also puts more books out there. It’s not easy selling books, promotion is hard work. That’s one reason I enjoy helping in my own small way.  But …

Things don’t always go as planned.

Storms happen. Internet connections drop. Books aren’t scooped up for reasons we don’t understand … because … did you mean to enter the draw but forgot?

If you wanted your own copy of the adult mystery thriller The Tipping Point by Walter Danley, but you missed the deadline, don’t be discouraged. Even though the giveaway dates have passed, Walter has generously offered a copy of his book to be given to YOU if you are among the first five persons to leave a comment. (click HEREto read about Walter) How generous is that! Five e-books being given away.The Tipping Point. Walter DanleyPlease don’t delay, leave your comment today! Walter will be happy to respond because he wants to give you an e-copy of his book – The Tipping Point – a thrilling crime story filled with mystery, action, suspense, and interesting characters.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!   :)

About these ads

Interview with Walter Danley, & 5 books to give away!

WalterDanley400x600It is my pleasure to welcome and introduce to you author Walter Danley. Read my review of his first novel, The Tipping Point,hereWalter Danley has been living an interesting life, highlights of which you can read on his website noted at the end of this post. Even so, Walter claims his proudest accomplishments are his five grown sons. He credits the wonderful influence of their stepmother, Christopher Norris, Broadway, film, and television actress. Walter and Christopher were married for eighteen years during the boys’ formative years. 

Walter kindly obliged me with an interview and offered five books to give away, so don’t be shy about leaving him questions or comments. He looks forward to it. Now, let’s move on with the interview.

Walter, I appreciate your agreeing to this interview. To start things off, please tell us a little about yourself.

Lynn, that could take all the time you have scheduled for this interview because I spent more than four decades in the business of commercial real estate investments. Now, I have the ability to write suspense thrillers rather than to live them! My home is in the Lone Star State of Texas. I love it there and, maybe it’s the air, I write better there. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I didn’t mean to say that my writing is better in Texas, what I intended to say is that my demeanor is more inclined to the craft of writing in the Texas Hill Country.

It’s good you have a place that positively affects your writing. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? or discouraged you?

The first time I tried retirement, back in ’86, was a great opportunity to start to write. Speaking of conducive atmospheres to write, that was one of the best. My partners and I had just sold our investment business, (there were forty (40) different businesses under the firm’s banner that we sold in 1986), CBS had just green-lighted my wife’s TV series, TRAPPER JOHN, M.D., for another year and we had a lovely home on the beach in Malibu. It was then I decided to write The Great American Novel, walk our Golden Retrievers on the sand and fully enjoy the good life. The euphoria only lasted for two weeks, then a pal called me to help on an apartment acquisition … and I went back to work. Sorry for that long first question answer.

On inspiration, I’ve always been a voracious reader. Five-hour plane trips across country and hours waiting in airports make reading a necessity. But my inspiration comes primarily from the great writers of suspense and thrillers I like to read. A good story, told by a great story-teller, will always been inspiring to me.

Fortunately, no one has discouraged me from writing. Friends and family, even ex-wives have all been super supportive, and I really do appreciate that.

As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

As I said earlier, I’ve always been a voracious reader. On my list of authors whose books I will stand in line to buy, the DLG’s are some of the best, the Double Letter Guys. You know them better as Michael Connelly, Nelson DeMille, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Clive Cussler, and the never to be forgotten, Dean Koontz. I’m thinking that to boost my writing career I might change the spelling of my name to Waltter Dannlley one day soon. All of my favorites were penned by the DLG’s.

Interesting idea! I am considering a pen name myself, but haven’t settled on anything yet. I already have the double n’s. Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer” or “I can do this”?

Several weeks ago an interviewer asked me your question with a little bit of a twist. She said, “What made you think you could write a novel?” The question was one I’ve never been asked before, so it took a few beats to sink in. What I told her, and bless her heart for publishing the answer, was, “I never considered that I couldn’t write a novel.” Enough, already. Let’s get to your next question, Lynn.

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you on track?

My grandmother, Pearl Danley, will turn over in her grave that I don’t have a favorite Bible verse, but I do try to live by a quote from Mark Twain. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

Yes, that is a good quote to remember. Have you ever written or published anything before your novel, The Tipping Point? If so, what do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen?

Lynn, not in the sense of your question, but yes I did author a Continuing Education Course for the University of California. It was called, CREATIVE AND UNCONVENTIONAL FINANCE and I taught that course to real estate agents and brokers on several of the UC campuses for many years. Not the same as having your novel published, but close to that feeling to have 70 – 80 professionals in your audience for eight hours.

That’s surely a confidence builder! What inspired you to write The Tipping Point?

Annie Six, my Golden, did. In Malibu, walking the dogs on the beach I would be outlining in my head the book that twenty years later would become THE TIPPING POINT. I’d speak to myself, a line or describe a scene, and Annie would bark twice if she liked it. That was one really smart dog. Some of the characters and situations are modeled after events that actually happened over my career. What I was trying to figure out on the beach with Annie and Sun Dance was how to knit together the different stories so there would be a logical arc for the characters and the story.

Everyone’s a critic, so they say. ;) How long did it take you to write The Tipping Point? What, if any, research did you have to do? And how did you come up with that title?

Interesting questions you have there, Lynn. How long. The process of writing took about six months, but I had to interrupt the writing for the research. The story takes place during the year 1978 and ends in January of the next year. I had to rewrite many sections because things that today we all take for granted didn’t exist. Things like cell phones, for example. Originally, I had the FBI agent using a Glock 22 pistol. That particular weapon wasn’t invented until 1979 and the FBI adopted it as an issue weapon in the early 80’s. I had a wonderful section on DNA and it worked so well in the story arc. The problem is that DNA and the tests to identify it came about years after the story time.

What I didn’t do in picking the title was to research it. It turns out that Amazon has several books with THE TIPPING POINT title or sub-title. That was a mistake. On the other hand, I heard from one reader that bought my book, thinking it was the (slightly more famous) one by Malcolm Gladwell. He said that he was going to return it, but started to read it and liked the story very much and kept my book. Now, to answer the specific questions. Garth Wainwright, speaking with Tommy Shaw about the “why” of fraud and murder, calls the introduction of mind-altering drugs into the company the tipping point. He goes on to describe the dictionary definition (which I wish I’d not included verbatim) of a tipping point. I used that as the title as it denotes the arc of the story and the changes that take place with Wainwright.

It’s good you are paying attention to details for accuracy and the timeline. Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

I’m sure that some of the real me slipped into a few of the characters. After all, I was there when some of these events took place. It is like your children, you don’t have a favorite one over the others, but in the sequel, the character of Lacey Kinkaid, now Wainwright, will be my favorite for reasons that I cannot reveal here.

Now, that peaks one’s curiosity! Since The Tipping Point is book one of The Wainright Mysteries, how may books do you plan to include in this series? Or are there going to be only this one and its sequel?

I don’t have “a number” in mind for the series. After the sequel, I am going to try a different genre. A historical western with a fantasy twist is the untitled work which I am researching. 

I understand The Tipping Point is being released in print, but can you tell us a little about your experience with releasing The Tipping Point as an E-book first?

In hindsight, I think that both editions should have been released at the same time. Just suppose you read print versions only. Maybe you don’t even have an E-Reader, but a friend tells you about THE TIPPING POINT and how much she enjoyed it. You check with your book store, and they don’t have it. They check and tell you that it is available in electronic format, but not in print. A potential reader is lost. What positive value that review may have generated is lost on all the readers who want a print book. A simultaneous release of both versions will avoid that mistake.

If you will allow me the courtesy of a small digression, Lynn, as you know, I’m about to publish the 2nd edition of THE TIPPING POINT, and the way that came about may be of interest to your readers. I was fairly deep into the sequel, INSIDE MOVES, when it dawned on me that for the sequel to work properly, a few things would need to be changed in the original story. Of course, I might have changed the direction of the sequel, but it made both books better stories to stay with the sequel storyline. My writer friends all told me not to go back and change the original story. After all, it was already published. It had already gotten some great reviews. It was already out there. What convinced me to rewrite the 1st edition was that I could use this opportunity to change something that was confusing to some readers.

In the 1st edition, when a new character appears in the story, I had them introduce themselves in the first person. When that scene concludes, the narrator takes over again in a third person point-of-view narrative. Each new character appears and speaks in first person. I stole this technique from F. Scott Fitzgerald. It worked really well for him, for me, not so much. The problem with having the POV moving back and forth is that I have many characters in the story. So now I had two reasons to ignore my friends’ advice and go ahead with the 2nd edition.

That is helpful to know. What is your writing time like? How do you find time to write?

I write best in the early morning hours. My Muse wakes me up before dawn when it’s still and quiet. On cool days (yes, we have some of those in Texas!) I take my laptop out to the deck where I can feel the breeze and smell the wild flowers. And I write. As the day gets warmer, I move back into my home office and write as long as the Muse will sit on my shoulder and the words flow. I’m trying to break a very bad habit I have during the first draft. My inclination is to correct and edit as I write. It slows the pace and interrupts the flow of the prose. My preferred method is to put the draft out as fast as I can type, don’t stop for spelling, or editing or anything, just keep pumping out the words. I’m getting better at that and I think that it helps with other aspects of the craft.

Yes, I agree. Solid editing time can follow that instead of interrupting the actual writing. What other interests do you have aside from writing?

That would be wood working as the number one interest. My brother lived in Hawaii and I in Laguna Beach, CA. We both had woodworking hobbies, although Bobby was a far better craftsman than I. We had seen each other only four times in the forty years he lived on the island. When Bobby retired, he and Mary moved to Boerne, Texas. Four years ago, so did I and we were able to reconnect in this small town in the Texas Hill Country. We combined our shops into one of the best equipped and organized woodshops anywhere.

When the Muse abandoned me, I’d go to the shop over at Bobby’s house and build something, anything. It was an enjoyable diversion and usually would focus my mind on the work left in my computer. And I’d have a new table or cabinet or box. My brother passed away last year and his daughters sold his house. I had to move all the equipment and tools into a storage unit. My woodworking days are over, but I had three great years with Bobby that would never have happened if not for a woodshop we shared.
 
Now, in order to distract the Muse, I shoot trap and skeet. Breaking clay disks with a shotgun isn’t the same kind of relaxation, but it seems to work for me.

I’m sorry, Walter, about the loss of your brother. It’s so good you had those three years to share an interest.

How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals – daily? weekly? monthly? long-range?

I know that you are supposed to have specific writing goals and write them down, keep track of how you are doing the goals, etc. No, I don’t do that. It just isn’t the way my head works, I guess. I write as long as the words flow, sometimes without interruption. My record to date was one session of over 36 hours. Of course, the writing from the last few hours did require some very heavy editing.

Wow! That’s true binge writing. Do you have another project in the works? Any hints you can share with our readers about that?   

Now that the editors have the 2nd edition, I can go back to finish the sequel, INSIDE MOVES.  My publisher hopes to have that out for the holidays. I hope that a miracle happens and I can get the work done in time for that. I have also been working on a different kind of novel. The story intrigues me and the genre is new. It is not titled yet, and that is going to be an issue for the marketing department, but I describe it as a historical western with a fantasy twist. Most of what I have is a ton of research and file folders full of dialog and scene descriptions, but I know the story and am very excited about it. If I hadn’t promised a sequel in the WAINWRIGHT MYSTERY series to so many of my readers, I’d be writing it now. In the story, the Santa Monica (CA) Mounted Police unit agree to participate in the Bandera (TX) parade and rodeo roundup, 1,500 miles away. While in Bandera, the self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World, an accident to the Capitan of SMMP puts him into post-civil war Texas. The juxtaposition of  a 2014 law man in 1873 lawless frontier town just sounds like so much fun!

Almost like time travelling, sounds interesting. I believe it will be written in its time. :) Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls? 

Writing is a hoot! I love it and after retiring I have the time and resources to do it. From those walks with Annie Six and Sun Dance on the Malibu beach, I’ve wanted to do this, but advice, no I don’t give advice. It would be presumptuous of me to do that. But I do have a suggestion for young writers. Read as much as you can, both literary works and about what is happening to the publishing industry. Stay on top of that news because it changes almost daily. Know about the business that you want to join. It is the only way to avoid drastic mistakes.

That is a very good suggestion. Thank you, Walter, for this interview and for offering copies of The Tipping Point.

Lynn, thank you for the opportunity to chat with you. If your readers would like to contact me, here is a list of places they can easily find me.

WalterDanley.com                                    
Facebook 1 and Facebook 2                  WalterMysterious400x600           
LibraryThing                 
Twitter                           
LinkedIn                            
Google Plus               
Pinterest:                      
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads                      
Smashwords–With publication of 2nd Edition, Smashwords will distribute this title
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)  All of Amazon foreign stores

The Tipping Point. Walter DanleyNow, Readers, if you would like a chance to win a 1st edition copy of The Tipping Point (which is an adult novel) leave a question or comment here for the author. Tell your friends, too. Walter Danley has offered not one, not two, but FIVE e-copies of the 1st edition of The Tipping Point! Using the “random name picker” tool, at 6:00 PM EST on July 6, 2014, one name will be selected; July 7 one more name will be selected; July 8 the final three winners will be selected. An entrant can only win once, but one comment puts that person’s name into each draw if not selected. I will notify all winners and an e-copy will be sent to them directly from Walter after they reply to me for verification.

Please encourage a new author – LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS for him and you could win a book! And remember to check your inbox July 6, 7, and 8.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

We have a winner of Flying with a Broken Wing by Laura Best!

It’s always fun to give away a book, especially when I have had the privilege of interviewing the author. This time I am delighted to be mailing a copy of

Flying with a Broken Wing – by Laura Best

to one of the people who left a comment after the interview.

If you missed the chance to enter the draw, you can still read my review of Flying with a Broken Wing here and my interview with Laura Best here.

drum roll please ….

snare-drum-th

Using the Random Name Picker tool …

The Winner Is ….

a very fortunate person …

who will be receiving the book given by Nimbus Publishing as soon as the Post Office can deliver it … after I can get it into the mail, probably on Friday, April 25.

and that person … is ….

Barb!

Congratulations, Barb! Please send me your mailing address so I can get this copy of Flying with a Broken Wing on its way to you! 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been visiting, leaving comments, and who entered the draw. I hope you make it a habit to visit again. And thanks again, Laura Best!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Easter weekend busyness; reminder of a book giveaway

The Lord is risen!  He is risen indeed! 

In the truth of those words my hope is anchored and my life is secure.  :)

What a busy Easter weekend we had. On Saturday morning my daughter #3 who lives in Alberta arrived home to surprise her oldest sister on her birthday. Although dd#3 (dd stands for dear daughter) was quite tired when she got here, she got busy adding the finishing touches to a video she had prepared of the many photos we had gathered of dd #1 through her life, from when I was expecting her right up to the present.

Dd #1’s lakehouse had been beautifully decorated inside with lots of birthday bling by dd#2 and dd #4, and pink balloons along the road marked the way there. Eventually, twenty-three of us were gathered in her large living/dining area, and the table was loaded with food for the “potluck” dinner. Once all were settled, in walked dd#3. When the birthday girl looked up and saw her sister standing there she yelled, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!” and ran to her for a long tight hug. Only six of us knew dd#3 would be there, so it was a delightful surprise to everyone else. The meal, some gifts, and then the video – which was enjoyable and entertaining, but it was the clip at the very end of it, from her good friend in Egypt, that really made her cry. Well worth the wait. :)

The next day was dd#1’s husband’s birthday, our son-in-law, so we had another little party. Since his birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year, we enjoyed our family dinner first – fourteen of us at Dad’s – and then followed that with blue balloons, birthday cake and a surprise gift we’d all ‘gone in on’ for him. It was another fun family event.

I know not everyone celebrates family the way we do. Some do more, some do less, but this is the way it has always been in my family. I remember as a child going up the road to my grandparents’ large farmhouse for celebration dinners. There would usually be somewhere between two and three dozen of us there (if not more), three generations. And everyone got along, except maybe there would be the odd spat among children that would be quickly settled, nothing major.

It has been surprising, and disappointing, to me over the years when my girls have invited friends to join us who weren’t used to that dynamic, but more used to squabbles when their family members got together. Their friends would express amazement to my daughters later and I would feel such regret for them. I hoped they saw in us something to strive for in their own lives and future.

Yes, we have much for which to be thankful. And when things don’t go smoothly, I have found the Lord can do wonders in hearts.

How do you celebrate family events?

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: Tuesday April 22 at 6 PM EST … book giveaway! Laura Best’s Flying with a Broken Wing. Be sure to leave a comment on our interview.

Interview with Laura Best, and book giveaway!

Laura BestIt is my pleasure to welcome author Laura Best to my interview chair for a second time as she was the first author I interviewed here.  Laura, who has lived in a small Nova Scotia community all her life, is the author of the award nominated “Bitter, Sweet“, and more recently “Flying with a Broken Wing” – my review of which you can read here.  Laura has been published in literary magazines across Canada, and in 2003 her short story “Alexander the Great” was nominated for the Journey Prize. Now on with the interview!

I am very pleased you agreed to this interview, Laura, especially since it provides a great excuse to give away a copy of your new book … and to pick your brain a little … and to give someone a copy of your new book, which I already said.  :) 
 
Near the end of our interview back in January 2011, which was after your first novel – “Bitter, Sweet” –  you said, “I’m working on another novel at the moment. I don’t often discuss my work with others. All I will say is that it is young adult and set in a fictitious community in Nova Scotia.” 

Flying with a Broken Wing Now we can discuss that project since it has come out into the spotlight as the young adult novel “Flying with a Broken Wing”

First, to address the obvious, you seem to enjoy writing fiction based in Nova Scotia. Why Nova Scotia?

Often, we tend to think that books happen in other, more exotic places, and not in our own back yard. When I was growing up, I never read a story set in Nova Scotia. I wouldn’t have even thought that was a possibility. I might even have thought it would be boring. I’m happy to know that is changing and there are many wonderful books out there that are set right here in Nova Scotia. For those of us living here, I think it gives us a sense of pride to have our home province as a setting for a book. And while Nova Scotia might not be exotic to me it might be for people living in other places. I love this province! It’s what I know best, that and rural life. Most everything I write also has a rural flavour to it. It’s a large part of my identity.

I love this province, too, Laura, and it makes me glad to find books that are set here. Your writing is doing Nova Scotia justice, for sure.

I’m always impressed and fascinated with the ideas that come together to create well-rounded characters, their life stories, communities, even worlds. Where did the idea come from for “Flying with a Broken Wing”, and how long did it take you to fit this novel together?

The book started out with the idea that I wanted to write a story with a visually impaired protagonist. My writing usually begins with the idea of a character first. While I begin with a broad idea of what will happen most times the character leads me through the story. Situations crop up as I write. In the beginning, I didn’t know for instance, that my main character’s caregiver would be a bootlegger or she’d make friends with a boy whose father was a “drunk and a bully.” These things emerged along the way as Cammie told her story.

I’d say it took about a year to write the book if I were to add it all up. A few months into the writing of this book, I stopped because I wasn’t sure that I was happy with the way it was going. After taking a break for a few months I went back to it, decided I liked what I’d written, and continued on until I finally was able to write, “the end.”

You’ve given a good example of what a little time away from a manuscript can do for an author to finish the story. I’m very glad you continued it. Did you have to do any research to make this story believable?

There was very little research required for the book, just a few small facts to check out to make the story more authentic since it’s set in 1949.When writing a story with a historic setting it’s important to know what was going on in the world at that time. In one place, Cammie makes mention of a movie star whose legs were insured for a million dollars. I love these little details and find them quite interesting. For instance, the Standard magazines, that were mentioned several times, are magazines I actually have from when the queen and king toured Canada right before the Second World War. I’ve always loved looking though those magazines and knew it would fit into a story one day.

While Tanner is a fictitious community, the story could have been set in any number of rural communities in Nova Scotia. There’s this common bond in rural communities, things that are passed down from one generation to the next. It’s a part of the fabric, an inner knowing, if you will, of the people and the lifestyle. Cammie’s whole way of speaking, the sayings she used, are all things I grew up hearing, and still hear today. No research required in that department. :)

You are a fine example of ‘write what you know’. :)Flying with a Broken Wing” is an intriguing title, and very suitable. How did you come up with it, and was that always the title you had in mind?

The title came from a line that appears several times in the book and also makes up the very last lines in the book. “‘They say birds can’t fly with broken wings, Evelyn Merry,’ I whisper. ‘But that doesn’t mean that we can’t. I promise you we will.’”

More importantly, the title suggests that we can fly in the face of adversity, just as the main character, Cammie, does. We all face hardships in life. We’re either born into it or we encounter it along the way. We can allow these things to define us, and accept our limitations for what they are, or we can do what some might say is the impossible regardless of our life’s circumstances. I think it’s an important message.

The title originally began as “Fly with a Broken Wing” and slowly progressed to “Flying with a Broken Wing.” 

Flying with a Broken Wing” works so much better! Who or what inspired you to make your main character visually impaired? 

Writing a visually impaired protagonist was challenging because I knew I’d be entering a world that’s totally foreign to me. Not only did I have to let the reader know what Cammie could see (or couldn’t see) her other senses had to come into play as well. I had to make sure the reader understood Cammie’s visual impairment and I had to do it in a believable way. My mother is visually impaired and has been since birth. I decided that Cammie would experience the world the same way my mother does. When Cammie takes her glasses off to read up close, or her ability to read Aunt Millie’s moods by listening to the sound in her voice and her body language, these are things I borrowed from my mother. Several times through the writing of this book I’d call and ask her to explain what her range of vision was with and without her glasses on.

You did an excellent job of portraying that; your mother must be proud of the results of your work. In this book you have several very interesting and spunky characters. Do you have a favourite, and why?

I do love Cammie, but her aunt Millie might just be my favourite. Many people have expressed their strong dislike for Millie, and she’s certainly a hard nut, there’s no denying that. She’s self-centered, tough, and a known liar. But she’s more than that. She’s a product of her environment, someone who does love but doesn’t know how to love very well. Her toughness is a matter of self-preservation. She’s a bootlegger. She has to be tough. Perhaps Millie’s my favourite because I don’t judge my characters. I simply observe their actions. I don’t become upset by what they do or don’t do. And then, of course, I know a bit more about Millie than everyone else. She comes off as cruel, not only because she’s physically abusive, but because of the lies she’s told Cammie over the years. But we can take heart in knowing that Millie didn’t simply invent these lies to be cruel. There are reasons for the things she’s told Cammie. We just don’t know what they are. I think that’s the way it is with the people in our lives. How many times do we pass judgment on others without stopping to consider what personal challenges they might have faced in the past or are facing at this very moment? Everyone has a story. We don’t always know what it is, but we’re often quick to pass judgment.

Excellent points! I’m learning we must know our characters well in order to portray them effectively to others. Which of your characters gave you the most trouble, and in what way?

That’s a tough question. I’m not sure I’d say any of the characters gave me trouble. But if I had to choose one I might say Cammie because her visual impairment was challenging to write. Still, I didn’t want this to be just a story about a visually impaired girl. More importantly, I wanted it to be about a girl with hopes and dreams, a girl who isn’t about to sit back and let life happen to her, a girl who decides to change her life, someone who isn’t defined by the things that make her different, a girl who just happens to be visually impaired. I’ve come to have such respect for the blind and visually impaired. I’ve heard so many stories from my mother about some of the people she went to school with and some of the remarkable things they went on to accomplish. If my readers gain anything from this book, I hope it’s a better understanding about people who are living with physical challenges and the things they are capable of achieving. 

I believe readers of “Flying with a Broken Wing” will hear Cammie’s heart and root for her as I did. This is a book that should be encouraging to girls in whatever their situation. Which of your characters is the most like you in attitude and/or approach to life?

I’m probably most like Evelyn Merry. I’m the person who offers support to others, who cheers for the underdog, and holds other people’s secrets close to my heart.  

There are names which can be considered unisex, my name being one of those, and you created a male character with a female name that is very unusual for a man, at least not one I had ever heard a man called. Why did you choose to do that? And why that name?

I like unusual names. They tend to be the ones we remember, and I wanted Evelyn to be a memorable character, not simply Cammie’s sidekick. I’m really bad at choosing names for my characters but, thankfully, I have a book to look through. When I came across the name Evelyn, the book said that at one time it was a popular name in England for a man. I wasn’t sure in the beginning just how I felt about the name, but as time went on it really grew on me. I can’t imagine it being anything else. I love his name. 

It was really odd to me at first, but the more I got to know Evelyn the more I liked his name. Do you have another novel in the works since this one really leaves the reader hoping for a sequel?

 I’m working on several different stories at the moment. I didn’t plan for it to happen that way but it did. And while I am planning on a sequel to “Flying with a Broken Wing” my heart is pointing me in a totally different direction these days. I’m the type of writer who is led by the characters and the story. When a story demands that I work on it, and I try to ignore those demands, I’ll encounter all sorts of problems until I give in. While my logical mind might tell me to write one thing, I need to listen to the quiet whispers inside me. If I don’t pay attention I end up losing the joy in writing because I’m looking off into the future at the end result instead of enjoying the process along the way. So, for now, I’m working on a story that makes me truly happy and the sequel, I’m in the midst of writing, has been put on the back burner for a little while longer.  

I am so glad there will be a sequel! I think because you follow your heart is why your writing is so good. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that I may have left out? 

I can’t think of anything I’d like to add only that it’s been fun, and some of your questions were quite challenging. I think that’s a good thing. Thank you so much, Lynn, for interviewing me about my latest book.

Thank you, Laura, for agreeing to share your writing wisdom and experience with us again. I am learning from you. Now let’s give away a copy of your new book!

Readers, if you would like to have a chance to win a SIGNED copy of “Flying with a Broken Wing” by Laura Best, please leave a comment about anything you found especially interesting in the above interview. On April 22 at 6:00 PM EST one name will be selected using the “random name picker” tool. At Laura’s book launch, Nimbus Publishing gave me an extra copy just for this event! So … remember to check your inbox in case you are the winner because I will be contacting you for a mailing address. :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

We have a winner of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – by Erik Weibel!

Just a quick post to let everyone know ….

This evening, the name of each person who commented on my interview with Erik Weibel was placed in the random name picker tool I got for free online. (http://www.miniwebtool.com/random-name-picker/)  It’s the first time I’ve used it for this and it works so well I will probably use it for future draws.

I contacted the winner and already received her mailing info. So, with no further delay …

The winner of a copy of      The Adventures of Tomato and Pea

by Erik Weibel -      

is …

drum roll   …

snare-drum-th

Patricia Tilton!  

Congratulations, Patricia!  You will be receiving your book soon.

Patricia replied very quickly to my email, saying, “Thank you Lynn.  I’ve been wanting to read Erik’s book.”

Thank you, everyone, for participating in the draw to win a book. I know Erik appreciates your support. You can find his book on Amazon.

Stay tuned for more reviews, interviews, book giveaways as I am able to conduct them. I have loads of books to lose myself in!  :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Interview with young author Erik Weibel, and book giveaway!

This Kid Reviews BooksI am very pleased to introduce to you the youngest author I have interviewed so far. Erik Weibel is the author of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, book 1: A Bad Idea. If you missed my review of his book you can read it here. I hope you enjoy our interview and then participate in the giveaway.

Hello, Erik. Welcome to my interview chair; it’s my pleasure to interview you before you become famous. :) Please tell us a little 
about yourself.

Thank you for having me here Mrs. Davidson! I am 12 years old and I am in 6th grade. I run the blog This Kid Reviews Books that I started when I was 9. I also write a monthly book column for The Upper Bucks Free Press.

You are a very ambitious pre-teen! Now that you have a book out, do you consider yourself to be “a writer”? If so, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?

I guess I am a writer. I blog, I have a newspaper column and I am trying to write books.

I have always liked to write, but it was my uncle, Dave Costella, who got me interested in writing Tomato & Pea. Uncle Dave made two stuffed toys and told me they were named Tomato and Pea (I think he named them after the color of the fabric he made them out of). Dave gave me the toys and asked me if I could write a story about them (I am always making up stories). I was nine years old at the time. Dave told me he didn’t care what the story was about, to just use my imagination. That was my original prompt to write an entire story for the first time.

Your Uncle Dave must be delighted. :) I know you are a voracious reader. Do you read every day? How many books do you think you read in a month?

I actually get into trouble at school and at home because I read so much. I read every day, no exceptions. I can’t remember ever not reading something on any day. I started keeping a list of the books I read every month. I read about 20-30 books per month. This past February I have 30 books listed.

You read three times as many books as I did in February. Do you have any favourite authors, genres, or books so far?

Brian Jacques, Rick Riordan, Roland Smith, Jude Watson, Nick Bruel, Michael Buckley, James Patterson, Tom Angleberger, Brandon Mull, Matt Phelan, Chris Grabentstein, Matt Myklusch… I can go on and on… my list is too big. Brian Jacques is one of my top 3 favorite authors, and I wish to be more like him in his writing. I love Fantasy and Sci-Fi and Action Adventure books. A specific book? Impossible. ;)

Would you read less so you can write more? Or would you write less so you can read more?

I write when I get in the mood (an average of 2-3 hours a week), so I don’t think I would change much. I think I have a good balance of both. I enjoy both so I wouldn’t give one up for the other.

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you motivated?

I will quote Master Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.” I also try to live by the Golden Rule: To treat others as you wish to be treated.

I like that quote, too. I may have to post it somewhere on my blog (and near my desk) as a reminder to keep moving forward. As for the Golden Rule, if everyone would keep it in mind we would live in a happier world. What is your biggest dream for your life, Erik?

Besides a world-famous author and a government agent (AKA secret agent AKA spy!), I want to try to make the world a better place somehow. Maybe help people through whatever work I will be doing.

Interesting choices! It’s always good to strive to be a good influence. What can you tell us about your very first time to be published (before your book), how did that happen?

I wrote a poem called “One Kid” for Dr. Niamh Clune of Plumb Tree Books. It was published in an anthology called “The Song of Sahel.” It was a charity event to help the people of Sahel Africa. My sister Josie painted a picture that was published in the same book. We were very happy to be published in the book and that it was for such a good cause.

What have you had published thus far? What do you most enjoy writing?

The poem for “The Song of Sahel”, my book The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, and the articles I write for the Upper Bucks Free Press are things that have been officially published. I compete a lot in writing contests too. Sometimes they get posted on other people’s blogs.

I really like writing funny stories. I like to make people (and myself) laugh. I also like to write fantasy. It’s cool to get lost in another world.

I appreciate good humour and enjoy reading fantasy, so I look forward to your future books. What helps you with writing and perfecting a book or article?

I read a lot of articles and took classes on how to make your writing better. I also ask for help from other people to critique my work. I think it helps to have others cheer you on and give you good advice (not necessarily what you want to hear, but honest advice). That helps keep you motivated.

Sometimes it is hard to accept what you don’t want to hear, but your writing will keep improving with your good attitude. How do you keep track of your writing ideas?

I have tons of journals and idea books. I carry one with me at all times (my idea journal).

That’s a good habit. How long did it take you to write The Adventures of Tomato and Pea?

My uncle, Dave, gave me the inspiration – actually he challenged me, to write a whole story. I kept telling him bits and pieces of different stories and he wanted me to write a whole one down. That’s why I wrote Tomato and Pea.

It took me about one year to write, and another to edit. About 6 months were spent looking for agents and publishers.

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? 

I wrote some of the things I love to do into all of the characters. I like to cook (Skew), spout random facts (Poppy Lobster), I am good with tech-y things (Pea), and I like to lead (Tomato). I also like to laugh in a maniacal way (Wintergreen). MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Why did you decide to publish your book in the non-traditional way?

Well I tried to get an agent and that didn’t work. I couldn’t even get a rejection letter. Then I tried sending my MS directly to publishers and I finally got what I wanted – my first rejection letter! It started off “Dear Author” – and I thought, “Hey! That’s me! Author!”

So, I figured that either no one was going to take an 11-year-old seriously or maybe my MS really wasn’t that great or there are so many other awesome books out there that I’d never get anyone to look at it. So I figured I’d try to self-publish it. I’m happy I did. I got some people to read it and mostly everyone who reads it likes it. That makes me happy.

It is a great start, Erik. What do you most enjoy about writing?

The freedom. The notebooks. The pens (have you seen how many different types there are?). The fact that I get my ideas down (I have a lot of ideas, and they all get cluttered). I like that I get to write out my thoughts and feelings and write a story no one has thought of.

I have lots of pens, too. What other interests do you have for a change from reading and writing?

I study 3 different martial arts (TaeKwon-Do (black belt), Karate (green belt), and Jujitsu (blue belt)). I also study 3 foreign languages (Latin, French and Russian). I like to cook and do things outdoors (like hike and camp). I also just started to train to run in 5ks. I like to run (makes sense, because I’m 5’7″ and wear men’s size 11 wide shoes, so I can cover a lot of ground. :) ).

Impressive! How do you find time to write when you are busy with school and everything else in your life?

I write when I have the urge to do it. It seems like I can write (or type) things down faster when I get inspired to do it. I also work well if I put goals or deadlines on myself. If I didn’t do that I would just probably read all the time. :)

I also *barely* watch TV, and we don’t even have cable, actually we don’t have a TV hooked up at all right now. If I do watch “TV” it’s usually movies or old TV shows we stream on the computer. I don’t play video games that much either (2 hours a week, on average).

I try to keep organized. My mom helps me with that too.

I bet you keep your mom busy with that task. ;) What are your writing goals?

To have 10 best-selling novels. To be world-wide famous. :D

I expect you will do it, too! Do you have another book in the works? If so, can you share anything about that with our readers?

I am working on the next book in the Tomato and Pea series. To give you a hint, Wintergreen (the villain), is up to no good and is loose on EAR-TH (Earth). Tomato and the gang have to ask for help from some locals to get Wintergreen under control.

I am also working on several picture book drafts. One I wrote while taking Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class and a couple of others that I am writing during Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge.

I also have several novels I am working on (waiting for the inspiration to hit).

Good for you, you’re a novelist in the making! Finally, do you have any advice for hopefuls?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be able to take criticism. There are a lot of really nice people out there who really want to help you.

That is wise advice, Erik, thanks! And thank you for this wonderful interview. I wish you much success which I am sure you will achieve. 

Thank you Ms. Davidson for interviewing me! :)

Now, dear readers, how would you like to win a copy of Erik Weibel’s first book, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, book 1: A Bad Idea? Erik’s mom has kindly offered to send a copy to one person who leaves a comment. Just tell us what most impressed you or helped you in this interview. One name will be drawn on Tuesday, March 11, at 6:00 PM EST.  I will contact the winner for a mailing address.

Be sure to check your email; you could be the one to win a copy of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea by Erik Weibel!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)