A Belated Trick or Treat: Interview with David Lee Ross

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I hope you have enjoyed your Halloween Trick or Treats, and are ready for a last minute treat. I had the chance to talk to David Lee Ross, the author of the book, Clayton’s Mackintosh. It’s a magical fantasy adventure available on Amazon. I talked to Mr. Ross about his favorite authors, subjects he’d like to take on, and his writing process.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

David Lee Ross: My favorite author by rights is Shaun Hutson. Although I am a children’s writer, I have always been a great fan of horror, funnily enough.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

David Lee Ross: Well, I have written other genres, but what works for me with my children’s books is picking images and writing them. I find it easier to extend upon an already baked idea.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

David Lee Ross: Well, I have already written what I want in a few genres including horror, a cocktail book, and a cookery book, but my favorite is children’s books and Clayton’s Mackintosh is one of my favourites. It reminds me of the stories I used to tell my children, nephews and nieces when they were small, which one of the reasons I started to write children’s books.

Clayton's MackintoshClayton’s Mackintosh is a magical adventure in which Clayton challenges demons with nothing but his trusty Mac. With the help of football and basketball stars, Clayton must win at several sports challenges against the evil demon to save the day. It is available on Amazon.

For more information on David Lee Ross, visit his Amazon Author Page.

 

 

 

 

 

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Write Your Own Spooky Story For Halloween

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Write your own Spooky Story this weekend, Oct. 26-31.

Each year, I would teach a unit on how to write you’re own spooky story to my class. Since my semi-retirement, I’ve posted the whole process over a 6 day period. Now, you can follow the same plan and create you’re own spooky story.

Here are the links to each step in the process. You can write your story over the next 6 days ending on Halloween, or take each step faster.

Day 1: Write Your Own Spooky Story, Create Your Main Character

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting Or Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revising and Proofreading Your Story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

If you’re a teacher and would like this entire unit to teach your class, here is the link for the Spooky Story Unit on TeachersPayTeachers.

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner

Also, I have a Halloween Picture Book, Pumper the Pumpkin, that is available on Amazon that was my own spooky story when I was a kid. It is only $0.99! Check it out start out your Halloween weekend. Great for young kids that are going to be carving pumpkins this weekend. 😉

This was my own spooky story that I wrote at the age of 10 in 5th grade, back in the day. I have since updated it and drew my own illustrations, but the core and idea was written when I was ten. I enjoyed creating my own Pumper the Pumpkin carvings and designs for several years after I wrote the story. In fact, I still do. 😉

Have fun and stay safe this Halloween! -Mrs. Turner

 

 

Interview with Daniel Rappaport, Author of The Spellbook

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Daniel Rappaport is the author of the multi-media interactive children’s book, The Spellbook.

I am pleased to introduce the author Daniel Rappaport. He has come up with an inspiring new book, The Spellbook. It combines multi-media with a children’s story so the reader can experience a collection of “spells” thought of by the wizards in the world of two other books, The Legend of Rose and Spark the Flying Frog.

Daniel Rappaport has over twenty-five years working in the multimedia industry and has worked for companies such as Disney, MGM and Fox. He has received the Lieca Photographie International Master Shot Gallery Acceptance. He recently has worked on the film “Wild” that received two Academy Award nominations.

I had the chance to talk with Daniel about his childhood memories and inspiration, a shared appreciation for the role model Walt Disney, and what he has planned as future projects.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Daniel Rappaport: My favorite memory is being totally caught up and swept away in the book The Neverending Story.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Daniel Rappaport: Walt Disney. While not a traditional book author, he has influenced me more than anybody else. His boundless imagination and forward thinking perspective are very close to my heart.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Daniel Rappaport: Not really. I am not one of those who is constantly writing . I tend to think of my work on a more project by project basis.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Daniel Rappaport: I am going to do a rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. This will not be a book, but a way to tell the tale, utilizing technology, in a new and fresh format.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Daniel Rappaport: It’s the process of taking imaginative thoughts, organizing them and putting them down on paper, in a compelling way.

  • What are some of your hobbies or what you like to do in your spare time?

Daniel Rappaport: I am a really big foodie, actually. I enjoy cooking. I love keeping up with the food world, and seeing what the latest and greatest is. My favorite kind of food is French haute cuisine. I really appreciate the time, dedication and craft that goes into those detailed, fabulous meals.

  • When you were a child, what would spark your imagination?

Daniel Rappaport: Wow. That was a really, really long time ago, lol! I suppose, many things. So, I think that I got into the industry that I am in, because I totally (and still do) enjoyed watching those wonderful “making of” videos, as they related to film. I always marveled at how special effects were and are created. That also led me into studying magic (which took up a tremendous amount of my childhood). I performed stage illusions, and still do magic today.

  • What were the things that attracted you to Walt Disney as a role model?

Daniel Rappaport: Oh gosh. Countless things. I’ve only more recently discovered this, but he was actually homeless three times. His extraordinary and vastly far reaching imagination, I have always been drawn towards. He never settled for less than the absolute best, and always hired the best.

He instinctively knew what people wanted to go and see, and he just have it to them. He moved every industry he ever touched (weather directly or indirectly) light years forward. Another strong point was diversity. Did you know that he played an extremely valuable role in ending WWII? There was hardly an industry that the man didn’t touch.

I wish that, for today, the company would’ve continued to follow his lead, as it related to the future. Walt was interested in rocketry, outer space, the betterment of humanity through technology, etc. Disney hardly does any of that today.

Well…

More for Pazzaria Productions to do!

  • Tell me about the “The Spellbook”. What gave you the idea to do a book with the multimedia tie-ins?

Daniel Rappaport: So, while the Spellbook is the first in the series, it was actually the last to be written. There are two more. Part 2 is called Spark the Flying Frog and part 3 is called The Legend of the Lost Rose. They get progressively longer. TLOTLR was actually the first to be written. Then, STFF and finally TSB. STFF, at the time, was written because prequels were very popular.

When it was tie to write TSB, when looking at my array of products, I really wanted to come up with a solid, core foundation for the company. This led to writing TSB. The full, touch screen animations are inspired by the other two works. I thought that it would be interesting to have the text from the iBook appear as one progressively touches the screen (as opposed to the animated images that are in the other two works).

In terms of the music, I have ever only seen a soundtrack for a book one time in my life, and this was before the internet. It was on CD.

I love to write music, and it is such an important part of entertainment. Also, Pazzaria Productions was lacking any musical soundtrack of any kind. This was the perfect opportunity to write one. It would introduce my guests to what we can do, musically. It’s in 5.1 surround sound also, and also adds to our core product line.

There wasn’t really one thing that gave me this idea, other than the fact that I love to constantly experiment and do things in a new and fresh way.

  • What advice can you offer aspiring young writers and artists?

Daniel Rappaport: Practice your craft until you feel that you have mastered it. Never stop learning. Be extremely curious about everything. Curiosity is what led me to learn about so many different arenas of entertainment.

Unless you have an extraordinary deal form a publishing company brought over to you on a silver platter, I actually wouldn’t go through the traditional query letter + agent route, to get a book published?

Why?

Within the same amount of time that you would be doing that, you could be reaching out to your own audience, directly. Later on, after you have built up a solid foundation and legacy, and can show an audience who will even purchase your work, THEN, you MIGHT have some bargaining power.

Do your absolute best to not have people take advantage of you. If you are gifted enough to showcase many different skills, and utilize many of them in a job situation, tactfully mention that you are different than the other artists around, and perhaps might command a different rate in pay/salary.

Good luck out there, and all the best!

The_Spellbook_Cover _A_HubDaniel Rappaport’s book The Spellbook is part one of the innovative, epic fantasy entertainment iBook series that revolves around the book, The Legend of the Lost Rose. The Spellbook is a collection of spells created by wizards in the world of Light. It has an integrated sound track, a tie-in to the books “The Legend of the Lost Rose” and “Spark the Flying Frog”. It extends the world experience by connecting the reader to what they buy, see, wear, eat or touch in the World of Light. It also connects you to other people in the realm.

The Spellbook is available at this link HERE.

For more information on Daniel Rappaport and Pazzaria Productions, visit his website HERE.

 

 

 

First Review for The Lost Secret of Time on Reader Views for Kids

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The Lost Secret of Time is available as an ebook or paperback on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

I’m very pleased to see the first review for the Lost Secret of Time on Reader Views for Kids. I have always liked this review website’s approach of having kids review children’s books. I always gain more insight having a child’s perspective on what I’ve written.

Here is the a link to the full review:

https://readerviewskids.com/2018/09/20/the-lost-secret-of-time-crystal-keeper-chronicles-book-4-by-tiffany-turner/

Alyvia, the child reviewer, really seemed to like my approach of having a girl main character as the time traveler. Plus, Brewford is a hit as always. So, I will give you a spoiler of what I plan next. It is hinted in the series that Brewford is VERY old, and has a history with the Fairy World. I’m planning a book of Brewford fairy tales, his history with the fairies, and explanations to some of the stories eluded to in the series, like how he lost his whiskers, will be told in this prequel book of Brewford and his life in the World of Fairy as a cat sorcerer. So far, this is all just ideas and prewriting, but hopefully, I’ll be typing up something to start this new book. I will be sure to let you know and give updates on the blog.

Meanwhile, enjoy my latest release, The Lost Secret of Time, as it wraps up the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

The Lost Secret of Time

Ebook: at Amazon.com , Barnes and Noble.com, iBook or Kobo.

Paperback: at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com.

-Tiffany Turner

YA Fantasy Author: Interview with Rae Miles

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perf5.000x8.000.inddAs we start the last week of September, I have a book to recommend for your fall reading list. Successor is the debut novel by Rae Miles. She has spent her life thinking of amazing characters and finally has given them a new home in her debut novel. With creative writing degree in hand, she has written a memorable first YA Fantasy.

I had time to talk with Rae Miles about her love for fantasy, her writing routine, and what she is working on next.

1) Do you have a writing routine?

Rae Miles: I wouldn’t say I have a routine, per se, but usually when I’m working on a scene and can’t quite figure out how to describe something, I’ll act out what’s supposed to happen. I’m able to get a natural response, just based on how I would react in that situation. I even use my cats as character substitutes if I’m working on dialogue! I might even slip into an accent or two in the process.

2) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Rae Miles: I like writing fantasy because it allows me to make my own rules as to how the world works. There are a couple of other projects I have in mind to work on that have darker material, but getting in the right mindset for them is going to take some work. I love reading romance and would love to try my hand at it some day, but I don’t know if I could pull it off! Only time will tell.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Rae Miles: To me, writing is creation in its rawest form, where words alone can create a more vivid universe than any other art form ever could.

Successor is a YA Fantasy that is Rae Miles debut novel. For seventeen-year-old Evan, graduation means freedom. She just never imagined she would find it in another world. She discovers a hidden heritage from her mother, and with it comes magic, power, and responsibility. But claiming her birthright will be dangerous, and could endanger her newfound family and the man she loves.

Successor is available for preorder at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

For more information on Rae Miles, visit her website at: https://raemiles.com.

After Back to School Blog Tour Interview: Belle Green

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Belle Green is the author of the picture book, I Am Good In My Heart.

I have another special After Back to School Blog Tour Interview. I’d like to introduce you to Belle Green. She is a lifelong writer that specializes in inspirational fiction and children’s books. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son. I had a chance to find out about her wish to help inspire children, her book I Am Good In My Heart, childhood reading memories, and what writing means to her.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Belle Green: Before I could read I would memorize books word for word and then “read” them to my mom or myself. But that wasn’t enough for me. I started to write by scribbling lines on a piece of paper. Then, I’d run to my mom to ask her if it said anything. I guess writing has always been in my heart, even before I knew my letters!

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Belle Green: My son, Will, is four years old. So, most of my inspiration is coming from him. There are two more projects currently in the works for this series to follow I Am Good In My Heart. They are I Am A Good Friend: Helping Kids Understand Friendship and I am Bigger: Helping Kids Understand Growing Up. I love writing books that help preschoolers understand the world, but we need to have fun too! So I am also working on two entertaining stories about robots. My son is obsessed with robots!

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Belle Green: Writing is the act of pouring your heart out onto paper in an endless attempt to translate feelings into words.

goodatheartcvrHer book, I Am Good In My Heart, is designed for children at the preschool age to help them feel self-confidence while knowing that making mistakes is okay. It helps them realize that choices can be made better the next time. They are always good at heart and can improve with each new life lesson they accomplish.

I Am Good In My Heart is available at Amazon.com. It is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on Belle Green, visit her website at: https://authorbellegreen.com/.

Post Back to School Blog Tour: Interview with G. Lee

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G. Lee is the author of the picture book, Anxious Annie: First Day of School.

I have a Post Back to School Blog Tour treat. I have an author interview with the fabulous G. Lee, author of the book Anxious Annie: First Day of School. I managed to sit down and talk to her about her favorite books and authors, writing routine, and future projects. Enjoy one more author to kick off the school year.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

G. Lee: The absolute magic of a book to transport us into the lives of other people and sometimes other worlds.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

G. Lee: I loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. They made the seemingly impossible possible and goodness always prevailed.

3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

G. Lee: I am more of a night owl. So, I tend to do all my writing in the evening at least four times a week.

4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

G. Lee: I am doing another children’s book and it will be ready for purchase soon. It is about making friends.

5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

G. Lee: The ability to create and inspire.

anxiousanniecvrLee’s featured book is Anxious Annie: First Day of School. Join Anxious Annie as she overcomes her anxiety to fast her fears about her first day, and grows in strength and understanding how school can be fun while building her confidence to face the world.

Thank you for stopping by this week. Teachers, Students and Parents, have a fabulous Back to School!

-Tiffany Turner

2018 Back To School Blog Tour Day 5

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Back2SchoolBanner2Today is the last day of the Back to School Blog Tour. I want to thank all of the participating authors for making this year such a success. I hope you, all my loyal readers of my blog, have enjoyed the featured books and stories of Back to School memories from the authors.

Plus, This is also your last chance to enter the giveaways and pick up your freebie copies.

 

 

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Our first author for today is Lenora Rodriquez, the author of her debut children’s book “Circle’s Search”. She has been a special education teacher and in the field of education for over nineteen years. She has worked with children throughout her career, developing a passion for creating educational materials and stories to help guide children in their development. Lenora shares her favorite school memories such as meeting Shel Silverstein, her writing routine, and information about her upcoming projects.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Lenora Rodriquez: When I was a little girl, we used to live down the block from the public library in Queens, NY. I used to get excited when my mom took my brother and I to the library twice a week. “Check out what you can carry” was the only rule she had for us. A new book’s adventure I found so exciting.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Lenora Rodriquez: At a young age, I seemed to be drawn to poetry. My parents bought me several books of poetry for children and I absorbed each one. My Third grade teacher was a friend of the infamous Shel Silverstein. She invited him to our classroom one day, and ever since then, I asked my parents for his books. His poignant stories/poems I found compelling even as a little girl. There is a quote that could not be more relevant and inspires even more so today- “If there is a book you want to read but isn’t written yet, write it.”

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Lenora Rodriquez: During my collage years of paper writing, I usually needed a quiet space to collect my thoughts. I usually had a notebook and pen on hand to write my papers. My friends and peers usually wrote their papers on their laptops/computers. I find comfort to continue to write my books the “old school” way by paper and pen.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Lenora Rodriquez: As a current special education teacher, I found myself hunting for books for related subjects I want to teach in a fun and simple way. I began creating materials, games and a few short stories to help my students in their academics. I want to continue to create books that will help stimulate our young readers in a fun and creative way.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Lenora Rodriquez: Writing is an expressive art that all should explore.

https://www.amazon.com/Circles-Search-Lenora-Rodriquez-ebook/dp/B07FXCB4BWLenora Rodriquez’s book, Circle’s Search, is a happy shape that feels content with his little home. But, Circle feels there is something missing. Circle searches and meets new shapes throughout a journey while meeting new friends. It’s a creative and educational way to introduce basic shapes, math and social skills. Plus, bonus activities included!

Circle’s Search can be found on Amazon and is available as a Kindle Unlimited title.

Our second author for today is Simon Haynes. Simon was born in England and grew up in Spain. His family moved to Australia when he was sixteen. When not writing his novels, Simon writes computer software which helps him write his novels faster. I had the opportunity to talk to Simon Haynes about his school childhood memories, inspirations, and his writing process.

simonhaynesbiopic1)   Who was your favorite children’s author and how did they influence you?

Simon Haynes: Arthur Ransome, of Swallows and Amazons fame. Don’t get me wrong, the Famous Five were cool but the Swallows and Amazons took things a few steps further. Sailing boats at night, all the pirate and nautical info and know-how, and real competition with other kids, not dastardly adults.

2)   What is your most memorable school moment?

Simon Haynes: When I was in year four, the headmaster used to invite me into the staff room to watch him play chess against a fellow teacher. I was allowed to sit there every lunchtime, eating my sandwich and keeping as quiet as a mouse. (I was on the school chess team and we used to do okay, so I guess it was a reward!)

3)   Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Simon Haynes: 2000 words per day or else. Write until 2 or 3 or 4am, collapse into bed, get up at midday/1pm, start writing around 7pm and repeat.

4)   Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Simon Haynes: We moved around a lot (emigrated twice) and I attended 12 or 13 schools. I got used to meeting new people, but I rarely have more than one good friend at a time. I don’t do acquaintances.

5)   What is writing to you in one sentence?

Simon Haynes: My job!

6)   What projects are you working on right now?

Simon Haynes: I just finished my sixth novel for the year before embarking on this interview. Now I have nine more lined up on my desktop waiting to go:

The third in my fantasy comedy series.

A science fiction short

Book nine in my science fiction series

Book four in my middle grade SF series

three pen-name novels

A new space opera/murder mystery title.

I may leave one or two until next year.

7)   What advice would you give young writers?

Simon Haynes: Read my book ‘How to Write a Novel’ – and use Scrivener or y Writer.

8)   What is your typical day as a writer?

Simon Haynes: I start by re-reading yesterday’s work, then I read my notes for today’s work. After that it’s music on and type until done.

9)   What inspired you when you were younger?

Simon Haynes: Science fiction, definitely. I loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but science fiction opens so many broad horizons in the mind.

10) What was your favorite book growing up and why?

Simon Haynes: Martin Magnus, Planet Rover. He’s a troubleshooter, at home in space or the ocean depths, but he’s also lazy and cantankerous. Wonderful character who will do anything to get out of work, but once he has his teeth into something he never lets go. Sounds like my life!

haljrsecretsigcvrSimon Hayne’s book, Hal Junior Secret Signal, is one of the blog tours free downloads to start your school year. Here is the link again in case you missed it. Ten year old Hal Junior lives on a space station with his chef scientist mom and station maintenance man dad. Unfortunately, Hal discovers a secret that can destroy the space station, and he has to find a way to save it. This humorous adventure will be a great way to start your school year reading.

For more information on Simon Haynes’s and his books, visit his website at:

http://www.spacejock.com.au/.

Lost Secret - High Resolution (1)Thank you for stopping by each day during the blog tour. It has been a fabulous group of authors. Please visit their websites and look over their books even when the blog tour is over. The giveaways and free books will be ending later tonight at midnight. So, enter before they are over.

And for more information about my new release, The Lost Secret of Time: Bk 4 in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles, please check out its listing on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Take care, and I’ll see you next year. Happy Back to School! To all teacher, students and parents stopping by, have a great school year!

-Tiffany Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Back To School Blog Tour Day 4

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Back2SchoolBanner2Welcome to day four of the Back to School Blog Tour. First up, still time to enter the giveaways and pick up your free children’s book. Just a couple more days to enter or pick up your book!

Our first featured author for today is Patrice Shavone Brown. Patrice is a mental health counselor, small business owner, mother, speaker and life coach along with being a children’s author. She has counseled and coached many lives for twelve years and operated her own mental health facility for over six years. She likes to transform people that feel stuck and unable to move forward in their lives, relationships or business.

patrice2I had the chance to talk to Patrice about what inspires her, the stories behind her books, and what children can learn from them.

  • What inspired you to write your first children’s book?

Patrice Shavone Brown: I was inspired to write my first children’s book based on my life experience and the world around me. I was a girl that continuously did the wrong thing rather than the right thing. My daughter currently is always into different things and I find myself always redirecting her. So this book is a representative of her and she loved reading it.

  • Do you feel that your own childhood influenced the stories behind your books?

Patrice Shavone Brown: Yes. My childhood and environment are what shaped me into becoming a storyteller and writer. If it were not for my experience and looking at the world around me, my books would have never been birthed.

  • weblendwellcvr.jpgWhat would you like children to learn from your books?

Patrice Shavone Brown: Children will learn lessons about misbehaving in the book “The Day Momma Made Me Dance”. In “We Blend Well Together”, children will be able to learn the importance of a blended family dynamic. Children will be able to relate to both books depending on their environment and background.

  • Do you think parents can learn from your books as well?

Patrice Shavone Brown: Parent’s will be able to laugh and learn some of the thoughts and emotions their child could potentially experience.

  • Are you planning on writing any more children’s books?

Patrice Shavone Brown: Yes, I have three more children’s books in the works. These books focus on family, relationship and parenting issues. In each one of my books, they will all focus on these matters of the heart.

mommadancecvrPatrice Shavone Brown’s books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Her first book, The Day Momma Made Me Dance, is a story of a little girl who is defiant in school and her home life. One day, her mother decides to teach her to dance as a way to show her discipline and how to follow the rules. In her second book, We Blend Well Together, Caleb goes on a journey to understand why his parents are not still together. Living in two different homes in North Carolina, he feels frustrated by his parent’s divorce and having two homes. Should he voice his feelings about being trapped? Join Caleb on his search to understand why they a new normal of blending families can be something special.

The Day Momma Made Me Dance

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Momma-Made-Dance-Unstoppable-ebook/dp/B075KLRNLQ

Barnes and Noble Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-day-momma-made-me-dance-patrice-s-brown/1127162033

We Blend Well Together

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0578203375

Barnes and Noble Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-blend-well-together-patrice-shavone-brown/1128433423

For more information on Patrice Shavone Brown and her books, visit her Amazon Author Page.

headshotOur second featured author is Jacquelyn Simone. She is the author of a fabulous YA book called Outlier. Her debut novel has recently been released, and Jacquelyn goes into the details of her journey to writing her novel HERE ON HER BLOG. Jacquelyn was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy growing up, and loves to watch anime and googling pictures of cats when not writing.

I had the chance to find out about her childhood memories, writing process, and what are some of her exciting new projects ahead.

  • Who was your favorite children’s author and how did they influence you?

Jacquelyn Simone: My favorite author when I was younger would have to Madeleine L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time was highly influential to me when I first read it at age eleven, both because of the rich, exciting worlds L’Engle painted, and because of its strong female protagonist. A Wrinkle in Time was the first book that really got me interested in Science Fiction as a genre. I became enthralled by this idea that I could re-write the laws of science and the universe to fit my imagination.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Jacquelyn Simone: Since I work full time in a demanding engineering job, it can be difficult for me to find time to make progress writing. However, I’ve recently begun to prioritize getting writing in each day by setting a word count. Currently, I’m sticking to 500 words per day. Even with my hectic schedule, I find it’s fairly easy to manage on even the busiest of days. It can actually be a therapeutic exercise to take a break during work, bring my laptop outside for a while, and escape from the stressful realities of the day-to-day. I hope to soon work my way up to 1000 words per day once I better learn how to fit my writing goals into my daily schedule.

  • Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Jacquelyn Simone: In school, though I always did well academically, the hardest struggle for me was making friends and fitting in with my peers. I was shy, awkward, and nerdy, so I wasn’t exactly welcomed into the popular cliques with open arms. During recess and lunch, I spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching others and reading alone. It took a few years for me to feel comfortable enough in my own skin and confident in who I was before I could begin to open myself to others. Still, to this day I feel I made the right choice in never pretending to be something I wasn’t just to fit in. If I couldn’t be accepted as the fantasy-loving geek that I was, then I didn’t want to be accepted by anyone but myself.

4)   What is writing to you in one sentence?

Jacquelyn Simone: Opening doors to the unknown and painting new realities

5)   What advice would you give young writers?

Jacquelyn Simone: Start writing as soon as you can, even if you don’t think you’re good enough. I knew I wanted to be a writer ever since I was ten years old, but I never really pursued it until I was a bit older. At a young age, I was well aware that I wasn’t nearly as skilled a writer as my favorite authors, so I would often get discouraged and stop trying. Even when I was a little older and started submitting my work for review, I would interpret rejection as a sign that I wasn’t meant to be a writer.

It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I realized that no one else’s opinion was going to matter more than my own. No one was going to hold my hand and teach me the secrets of becoming a great writer, so my only option was to write and keep writing, and stop worrying whether or not I was creating the next great American novel. So while ultimately I think there’s nothing wrong with having high standards, it’s important to remember that even the greatest authors had to start somewhere.

outliercvrJacquelyn Simone’s debut novel, Outlier, is a Science Fiction/Fantasy Young Adult novel. Elle Varlette’s life is less than perfect. Her family has been torn apart by tragedy, and all she wants to do is escape her mundane world. But when she starts to discover her new mental powers that open her up to new Outer Spheres of our universe, the mystery starts to unfold about her family. She has to look to herself to save her brother and find out the mystery that tore them all apart in the first place.

Outlier is available on Amazon.com and is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information about Jacquelyn Simone, please visit her website at: https://jacquelynthezone.wordpress.com/.

Thank you for stopping by the Back to School Blog Tour Day 4. Please be sure to continue your tour by visiting the author’s websites and checking out their fabulous books!

**There is one fabulous day left! Please come back tomorrow for the last day of the blog tour.

Lost Secret - High Resolution (1)Check back for more author interviews and their featured books tomorrow. And for more information about my new release, The Lost Secret of Time: Bk 4 in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles, please check out its listing on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

-Tiffany Turner

2018 Back to School Blog Tour Day 3

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back2schoolbanner2018Welcome to day three of the Back to School Blog Tour. I’m proud to have our next author with us. Janet Hurst-Nicholson lives in South Africa and has been writing for 35 years. Her articles and stories have appeared in South African and other foreign magazines. Her Leon Chameleon PI children mystery series has won awards including the 2013 Kart Kids Book Award. I’ve had the chance to talk with Janet about her childhood memories, writing process, and her future projects.

  • Who was your favorite children’s author and how did they influence you?
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Janet Hurst-Nicholson is the author of the Leon Chameleon PI series.

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: My first recollection of reading a book was a Christmas gift of The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter given to me by a neighbour (a teacher). The hardcover book with its dust jacket was especially treasured as we had a visiting hedgehog in our garden.   Having read about Mrs Tiggy-Winkle I wanted more of the same and my collection of Beatrix Potter books slowly grew. I expect that these anthropomorphised animals were an unconscious inspiration for my Leon Chameleon PI books.

  • What is your most memorable school moment?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: Although I have some lovely memories of school the overriding ones are of primary school (5-7 yrs) and my dread of school dinners and being forced to drink luke-warm milk, which made me nauseous. These horrors only came to an end when my mother wrote a note excusing me from both. But I do remember getting a gold star for being the only one in class who knew that the word for animals that come out at night is nocturnal (I had just been on a visit to the zoo lol). I incorporated this bit of info into my Leon Chameleon stories when Leon discusses the animals that work night shift.

  • Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: Mental arithmetic tests spring to mind! I guess I’m numerically challenged as I much prefer words to numbers. My struggles with left-handedness – tying shoelaces, threading a belt, knitting, sewing, using scissors, pencil sharpeners, can openers, certain sports (but oddly, never writing) – followed me throughout my school life. When I discovered that even today parents and teachers don’t have a full understanding of the problems experienced by left-handers I wrote The Race (an inspiring story for left-handers) especially for left-handed children and to help parents and teachers appreciate the difficulties faced by left-handers.

4)   What advice would you give young writers?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: Get into the habit of reading a variety of stories/genres. Keep a diary or notebook to jot down your experiences and feelings. These will be useful references for your future writing. Don’t be over-eager to share your writing until you feel confident that you won’t be discouraged by criticism, which can be devastating for a new writer. For new writers of any age I would advise:

  • learn your craft (if you can master ‘show’ don’t ‘tell’ then you’ve made a good start)
  • be prepared to take advice
  • edit and re-edit, and be ready to ‘murder your darlings
  • don’t publish until you are quite sure the book is the best you can make it
  • persevere
  • develop a thick skin in preparation for rejections and poor reviews.

5) What was your favorite book growing up and why?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: I couldn’t get enough of the Enid Blyton Famous Five and Secret Seven series. I identified with Georgina (George) the tomboy. In the 1950s girls were expected to wear pretty dresses and play with dolls – and that wasn’t me. My friends and I had our own ‘gang’ and enjoyed playing in the woods and stream at the bottom of our lane and looking for ‘crimes’ and adventures to emulate our heroes in the books.

6)   What is your typical day as a writer?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: I wrote about this on my website in ‘diary of a writer’. https://just4kix.jimdo.com/diary-a-writer-s-day/

7)   What projects are you working on right now?

Janet Hurst-Nicholson: Trying to figure out ways of getting funding to illustrate the rest of my Leon Chameleon PI stories lol.

leonchameleoncvrThe first book, Leon Chameleon PI and the Case of the Missing Canary Eggs, is free for a limited time during this blog tour. Winner of 1993 Bookchat’s Magazine’s South African Books of the Year.

“When Mrs Canary’s eggs mysteriously disappear, a frantic Mr Canary dashes straight off to the Pigeon Valley Police for help. Unfortunately, Sergeant Loerie and Constable Mole’s hasty attempts to make an arrest lead them to the wrong suspects. Leon Chameleon PI, who has quietly kept an eye on developments, decides it is time to step in and offer his services – after all, isn’t he the best Private Eye in Pigeon Valley? He puts all his skills to work and finds vital clues which Loerie had overlooked. Now a daring plan is needed to trap the suspects and bring them before Spotted Eagle Owl’s Court, where Leon springs his final surprise…”

Link here for study questions to go along with the book, Leon Chameleon P.I. and the Case of the Missing Canary Eggs.

For more information on Janet Hurst-Nicholson and her books, please visit her website at: https://just4kix.jimdo.com/.

Our second author for today is Laramie Sasseville. Laramie is a multiple-media artist and writer residing in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I had a chance to talk to Laramie about writing for children, some of her childhood school memories, and what she has in the works next.

1)   Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Laramie Sasseville: Nope, I was perfect at everything. Ha ha ha ha ha: cue hysterical laughter. Seriously, there were a few areas that caused problems – mostly because I just wasn’t interested in trying. In third grade, they introduced us to flutophones. I didn’t want to bother. I folded up a wad of paper and stuck it in the mouthpiece of the instrument and just pretended to play along with the rest of the class.

In ninth grade I had no interest in math – until an exceptional teacher, Miss Martin, sat down with me and got me to see how interesting it could be to play with the relationships between numbers. I went from nearly failing to getting As and Bs in the class. A great teacher makes all the difference – and engaging my interest is the main ingredient if I’m going to learn anything.

2)   What is writing to you in one sentence?

Laramie Sasseville: Writing is the magic that turns insubstantial thoughts, feelings and daydreams into something I can share with others.

3)   What projects are you working on right now?

Laramie Sasseville: I’ve got several projects in the work – including another in the Minnesota Strange series. Haley’s little sister, Tammy gets hold of the magic sigil that Sally created and winds up with the ability to speak and understand the language of birds!

I’m also working on drawings of flowers for a coloring book that combines realistic flowers with fanciful doodles.

4)   What advice would you give young writers?

Laramie Sasseville: Read. Notice what the writer is doing. Especially what you like. Does the world of the story feel real to you? What is the writer telling you about what how it looks? Sounds? Feels? Smells? Do you like the characters? What do you like about them? Are you dying to know what happens next? What does the writer tell you about events that piques your interest and curiosity?

Next: Write. Every day if possible, no matter how little.

5) What was your favorite book growing up and why?

Laramie Sasseville: It seemed like every book was my favorite while I was reading. If I loved one book by a writer, I’d try to read them all. I relied on my school library and couldn’t always find what I wanted, but I read many by Edward Eager, E. Nesbitt, CS Lewis – all the books of magic I could find, including folk lore and fairy tales. I read ‘the Blue Fairy Book’ and ‘the Red Fairy Book’ by Andrew Lang. (It wasn’t until I was grown up that I discovered there were ten more colors!) I also loved books about animals and read everything I could find by Jack Kjelgard and Walter Farley’s books about horses – starting with ‘The Black Stallion.’

OneofMe-blue-smLaramie Sasseville‘s featured book, One of Me is Missing, is the story of a girl getting her wish. To fourteen-year-old Sally Knox, the world is a buffet of fascinating things to do and learn. She wants it all: martial arts, theater, sculpture, cooking, robotics, music, computer science – you name it!

So, what happens when she gets her wish to be in enough places at once to take all the summer school classes she wants? Complications are just the beginning – before the end, one of her goes missing and the rest must come to the rescue or be trapped forever in their multitudinous state.

One of Me is Missing is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

**For more information on Laramie Sasseville, please visit her website: http://www.dreamspell.net.

Just two more days to go in the blog tour. Remember to check out the GIVEAWAYS and Freebies available until the end of the week.

***Please be sure to continue your tour by visiting the author’s websites and checking out their fabulous books!

Lost Secret - High Resolution (1)Check back for more author interviews and their featured books tomorrow. And for more information about my new release, The Lost Secret of Time: Bk 4 in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles, please check out its listing on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

-Tiffany Turner