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Sunday, August 30, 2015

AFTER: AR Neal



Andreé Robinson-Neal got bit by the writing bug in the 1970s and despite a career in education has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. Find her at http://starvingactivist.com She writes under the name AR Neal, who will hopefully one day be identified as a famous NaNoWriMo participant.

Welcome to the blog, Andree'.

How many books have you written?

I have published one novella, one collection of short stories, and one novel. I also write flash fiction on my blog and have a flash fiction novel written and awaiting review/editing, which should happen sometime in August of this year.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

I think there is some of my attitude in every character in the book. I think if I could be one character in After, it would be Uncle Vern – he’s the most feisty.

Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?

Since I work in education, I am all about the research. I typically have the internet open, along with tons of books and articles as I write. I would love to travel, but work and other responsibilities don’t allow.

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?

The greatest lesson about writing is one that I knew when I first started as a child, but forgot as life got in the way: keep writing. No matter what, it is important for writers to write regularly, even if it’s not on a major work like a book. The action of writing is important – just like working out is important to keep physical muscles in shape, writing keeps the related mental muscles working.

Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?

I keep story ideas just about everywhere. I have multiple notebooks, sticky notes, pads, and electronic documents. I use Scrivener for more detailed organization of my stories and books because it allows me to keep a running log of research materials (articles, links to appropriate websites, and such). I try keeping story ideas in my head, but they get lost in there.


Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?

I have a flash fiction novel awaiting editing and I have a number of partially completed possible novels. My next goal is to connect with a literary agent. I am also developing a sequel to After.


Are your books available in print and ebook formats? (please provide the buy link for easy reader accessibility)


Yes! All my books are available. My novella, Adventures in Cargo City (http://goo.gl/BFIvsi) and novel, After (http://goo.gl/VKGyBg) are available at Amazon in print and eBook formats and the collection of short stories, From Reality’s Edge Volume One (http://goo.gl/1rJNve), is available on FastPencil.

Good luck with all endeavors, Andree'!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stacey Marcus: from struggle and abuse to a beacon of light for others

I seldom have poets as guests on the blog, but I am delighted to have Stacey Marcus share her courageous story with you. 


Stacey Marcus is the product of a lifelong struggle with obstacles, battles and turmoil and has spent her life trying to find solutions and a spiritual connection that helps explain the things she has gone through.  She brings the sense of desire and adventure to her writing.  Stacey is mom, a wife and a survivor of practically every abuse imaginable.  She has become a beacon of light to others.  

Stacey is a humanitarian, a champion for women, children, elders and animals. She believes in a higher power and finds solace in its presence. Beyond sharing the poetry of her life, Stacey has written two children’s books, both teaching children about the idea of love and the love a parent feels for a child while teaching them the A.B.C.’s.

Welcome, Stacey. 
How many books have you written?
          Three and I am working on my fourth one now.

Give a short synopsis of your most recently published book.
After hiding in the garage on a dusty shelf for nearly 20 years, Stacey Marcus has finally found the courage to reveal her painful truth with the release of her first book of poetry, Revelations Of The Anonymous.   In transcendent, simple words, Stacey has found a way to tell the story of her dark journey through tragedy into triumph.  Written over a twenty-five year period, this collection of poems and thoughts is the voice of one anonymous woman’s genuine power to stir, inspire and provoke one’s peace of mind.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I don’t think much of myself is hidden.  I reveal a very personal look into the journey of my life through my poems.

What challenges did you face while writing this book?
          Fear of exposing my authentic self.

Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?
I usually write in the park, on a hike or on the beach.  I like to find places where I can actually hear my honest thoughts.

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?
The first thing I have to say is never give up writing.  Use it as an outlet for your dreams, hopes, thoughts and ideas.  I believe the most important thing for a writer to do is just write!  Even if it’s a journal entry to start, at least it’s something.  And as you begin writing on a daily basis, you will find that the words just pour out onto the paper and your fingers can’t stop hitting the keys on the computer!

Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?
I usually keep a small journal with me so I can jot thoughts down as they occur to me.

We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
I must say that I have been blessed in the promoting department.  Many people have come upon my poetry book and then found themselves buying the children’s books on-line.  People like you are kind enough to allow me to spread the word on their websites.

Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?
I am working on “Kosher Crack,” a memoir and story of one nice, Jewish girl’s fall into the pit of hell and her journey into the light.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
My website is where I write my short stories.  You can find me at www.staceyinsideout.com.  Also, here are a couple of links to my current books.

“The ABC’s Of I Love You”

“Mommie, What Does Love Mean?

“Revelations Of The Anonymous”


Are your books available in print and e-book formats? (please provide the buy link for easy reader accessibility) 
          You can purchase Stacey’s books on e-book format on her website, www.staceyinsideout.com.


Stacey, thanks for coming over. I wish you great success!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

American novelist and screenwriter Marti Melville answers questions

Marti Melville is an American novelist and screenwriter known for her debut novel series, The Deja vu Chronicles.  Marti has expanded her writing to include screenwriting with each of her books adapted for film.
Before Marti found her true calling as a successful author, she had long established her career in the medical field, specializing in Emergency and Trauma nursing. Marti spent several years working between Utah and California in various ER's, as a Mobile Intensive Care Nurse and medical personnel for the 2002 Winter Olympics, all the while raising her five children as a single mother.

She has a background in dance, music and acting as well. She continues to write novels, introducing the idea of fictional probability linked to historical events. Marti currently resides in Southern California.
 
Welcome, Marti. It's great to have you on the blog.
Thanks for having me, Susan.

How many books have you written?

I have written three of four in the Déjà vu Chronicles.  I’ve been a co-writer for several others that have been published under a different author’s name.  My writing also includes several screenplays that have been taken to Hollywood for consideration.
  
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

People who know me state that Kathryn’s story is really my own.  That was never my intention writing the novel series.  However, I write what I know and so much of what happens (particularly in the ER) is from my experience.  Kathryn is a combination of my daughters – their feistiness and beauty.
  
Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?

I travel extensively to do research for my novels.  This series takes place in the Caribbean, which is a great place to do research.  My favorite island is Grenada, which had many interesting and fun cultural and natural elements I would not have been able to use in the books.  Did you know Grenada has tree frogs that whistle at night?  I’ve used these frogs in Onyx Rising to make it more authentic – as well as other interesting elements exclusive to the Caribbean islands.

 What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?

I’ve learned that my ideas and imagination has value – to myself and now to others.  Doubting my ability to write would have stifled the opportunity to share it with others.  I never aspired to write novels (or screenplays) but taking the risk has made for a wonderful career.  My advise to anyone who aspires to write is to simply do it.  Wherever the impression hits and whenever you can, — write.  Don’t’ doubt yourself and certainly don’t stop.  Every single day, write something — whether it be a chapter, a page or just a sentence – write!
  
Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?

I am currently writing the fourth (and final) book in The Déjà vu Chronicles series.  I am also co-writing a medical thriller, as well as a horror novel.  I find that writing several projects at once keeps my creativity from becoming stagnant and keeps me interested in the stories.  In addition, I co-write screenplays with my writing partner – the first in the series, Midnight Omen, recently won the Life Fest Film Festival 2015 in Hollywood, CA. 

 Congratulations! That's super!

 Give a short synopsis of your most recently published book, Onyx Rising.
  
Obscurity conceals the moon and the black omen rises.  Maelstrom and dark deeds follow those who sail Caribbean waters.  Their captain is presumed dead, which leaves the crew of the Revenge to seek other ways to survive and fresh ships to plunder.

Kathryn must also find her way through the darkness and discovers a hidden treasure lay buried in secrets hidden within the dead.  Magic and mysticism weaves through the Caribbean Sea as the Onyx Moon hovers.

Set in 1723, the third novel in The Déjà vu Chronicles, Onyx Rising continues the paranormal adventures of Kathryn, Seth, Archer and Calico Jack Rackham – as well as Captain John Phillips – an actual pirate known for his ruthless history pirating the Spanish Main from 1721-1724.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Purebred Murder by Kathleen Delaney

Kathleen Delaney lived most of her life in California, both southern and the central coast. To date, all of her books have been set there and that is where she set her Ellen McKenzie real estate mystery series.
Kathleen has five grown children and eight grandchildren. They kept her quite busy for many years, and were involved in many different activities, including 4H. Her first published article was about their adventures in 4H.

Retired from a long career as a real estate broker, she now resides in Georgia with two dogs and a cranky diabetic cat. She writes, and reads full time. 

Kathleen, it's great to see you. It's been a long time since we were together at some events in North Carolina.

It has been, Susan. Can I offer you some syllabub?

Uh, no ... thanks, Kathy. I'll pass on that and right to the interview.
  
How many books have you written?

I have five books in the Ellen McKenzie series, and the first book in the Mary McGill canine mysteries, Purebred Dead, has just been released in England. It will be available in the US August 1 of this year. The second in that series, Curtains for Miss Plym, is in its final edit stage and will go to Severn House for final approval in June. I guess that makes it 6 ½.


Give us a brief synopsis of most recent book, Purebred Dead:

Mary McGill, retired home economics teacher, is a pillar of the community. A finger in every pie, a seat on every committee, it's Mary you go to if you want something done right. Only, the Christmas Extravaganza is about to start, the Posada is approaching the manger set up on the church lawn, and it’s not empty. A man is dead in it. Two of the town children found him, along with a black and white puppy, and may have seen the murderer.  Mary knows nothing about dogs, but she’s about to learn while she tries to protect the children and solve the murder before the killer strikes again.

What challenges did you face while writing this book?

It went more smoothly than some, but I needed to find something genetic that would identify a specific dog. I had several long chats with some dog breeders before I came up with the trait I needed. It was fun research, and I learned a lot that’s not in this book. Maybe the next one.

Do you travel to do research or for inspiration?

Yes, and no. The internet has changed the way I think a lot of us do research. I can travel into neighborhoods or through cities, or into bedrooms. I needed to know what a young girl’s bedroom would look like in the ’40’s and almost had too much information. But there is no substitute for being there.  In Murder by Syllabub I traveled to Colonial Williamsburg, interviewed several of the staff, took a notebook full of notes and a lot of pictures. I love Williamsburg, and thought I knew a lot about it. I was wrong. I still have lots to learn and will go back. In And Murder for Dessert I set much of the action in a winery. The central coast has some of the best small wineries anywhere, and I toured many of them. Very pleasant research.

How do you store ideas for later use: in your head, a notebook, or a spreadsheet?

The very idea of a spreadsheet makes me break out in hives. Lots of them roll around in my head, but the ones I want to actually work on go into a notebook.

My future writing goals/projects:
They’re not quite the same thing. My projects are to write several more books in the Mary McGill canine series. I love Mary, she is so down to earth, with a great sense of humor, a great cook, much more organized than I’ll ever be, and she loves her dog. Good qualities, all.

I have ideas for several stand-alone suspense books I want to write, and hope to get to at least one this year. As for a goal…I want to have a book on the NY Times best seller list, even if it’s for only one day.

Where you can learn more about me and the books:
My web site is a great place to start, go to www.kathleendelaney.net. You can read the 1st chapter of each of the books and there is a button that tells where I’ll be, and another if you want to contact me. I love to do events, and don’t worry if you don’t live in the south. I think I know how to work Skype.

That's great, Kathy. I wish you the best of luck with the new book and all the rest. I hope to see you again soon.


 



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hawaii's Frankie Bow talks murder


Like the fictional professor Molly Barda, author Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.Welcome to the blog, Frankie. Please enjoy a pineapple whip while we talk.

Thanks for the interview and the whip, Susan.


Congratulations on publishing your first book! I love the cover. Tell us what The Musubi Murder is about.

It’s a campus murder mystery set in the age of budget cuts and higher ed “disruption.” My protagonist and amateur sleuth, professor Molly Barda, longs for working air conditioning. She sits on a yoga ball because there is no budget for office furniture. Her dean, unwilling to lose paying customers, won’t let her report cheating students.

Having been in education for thirty years, this book speaks my language. Please tell us more.

Molly just wants to keep her head down and stay out of trouble until she gets tenure, but there’s a problem. A grisly prank at a donor banquet pulls the introverted (and untenured) Molly Barda into a stew of corruption,revenge, and murder. Along the way, she finds herself drawn to the too-good-to-be-true Donnie Gonsalves, an enigmatic entrepreneur with a few secrets of his own.

Uh oh. Sounds like real trouble.

Frankie, how much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

Molly Barda is supposed to be a complete invention, a character so comically obsessive and neurotic that she couldn’t possibly exist in real life. So of course everyone who has read the book thinks she’s me. I actually identify with Dan Watanabe, Molly’s beleaguered department chair, who keeps a jumbo-sized jar of antacid tablets on his desk and downs them by the handful.

Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?

Definitely not in my head. I have to write things down. I have several documents full of leftover bits of text, research, and random ideas. They are labeled, creatively enough, “leftovers.”

Have another pineapple whip and tell us what you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far. What advice can you give new writers?

Listen with an open mind and don’t take anything personally. Easier said than done, I know. But paying attention to others’ opinions can help you to improve your writing. Rejection letters can be very helpful.

I agree, Frankie.

Compared to academic reviewers, I have found that literary agents and editors are absolute sweethearts. Publishing is very subjective, they will say in their gently worded rejection letters. What doesn’t work for us might work for someone else. Don’t give up! I have never seen a literary agent use the adjective “retarded” to describe someone’s work. I can’t say the same for academic reviewers.

How did you come up with the title "The Musubi Murder" ?

I was hoping that writing a book would be something like the way I imagine writing a country song, where once you come up with a catchy title, (“Eighteen wheels and a dozen roses.”) the thing almost writes itself. I wanted a title with alliteration, a clear Hawaii connection, and a signal to the reader that it was a murder mystery. Unfortunately the book did not write itself, but I do like the title.

I do believe that creating a title can drive the direction of the book, though, even if the title changes later (either by my own decision or my publishers).

Who should read your book? 

If you’re looking for an entertaining murder mystery involving small town life, big academic egos, corruption, revenge, and Spam musubis, The Musubi Murder is for you. (Even if you don’t know what a musubi is). It’s the first campus crime novel set in Hawaii, and the perfect gift for mystery lovers, Hawaii expatriates, disillusioned academics, and anyone who fancies Spam (the meat).

Okay. I gotta ask. Just what is musubi?

The  Spam musubi is a neat little chunk of rice with a slice of Spam either on top or in the middle. It's wrapped in nori (seaweed) and seasoned with soy or teryaki sauce. We love Spam in Hawaii--in fact, Hawaii has the highest per capita Spam consumption in the nation. 

Here is a photo (source: Wikimedia Commons), and here is my stylized musubi-with-crossed-chopsticks logo (thanks to the always-excellent Freepik.com for the graphic elements). 

What’s next?

The next Molly Barda mystery is The Cursed Canoe, which moves between the dimly-lit halls of academia (they removed half the fluorescent tubing in the building to save on energy costs) and the competitive world of Hawaiian canoe paddling.

Molly investigates a mysterious paddling accident, and realizes that it isn’t just business majors who cheat to get what they want. Whether it’s moving up in the college rankings, getting a seat in the big canoe race, or just looking out for themselves, some people will do whatever it takes-including murder.

A new series! YIPPEE!

Where can people find The Musubi Murder?

Audiobook:

Hardcover:


Where can people find you?

Follow me on Tumblr
or visit my blog  


I have certainly enjoyed interviewing you, Frankie, and I'm going to pick up a copy of the book. Let me know when the second novel is released. I wish you the best.

Thank you again for having me over, Susan. I can never resist a pineapple whip or a chance to promote my book.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Weight of Emptiness



Born and raised in the rural hills of East Tennessee, Bronson L. “Bo” Parker began cobbling words together for money at the age of sixteen. The ensuing years included an internship with the Wall Street Journal, work as both a news reporter and sports writer for several newspapers, and along the way, work was mixed with study to earn a degree in journalism from UT-Knoxville,
          After thirteen years in the newspaper world, Parker moved to a management position with Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia where he spent four and a half years before accepting an appointed position as a public official with his adopted City of Hampton, Virginia.

When he left the newspaper business, he did not abandon word cobbling. Historical non-fiction articles and books on events in his adopted city and state satisfied his word-cobbling addiction until he turned to fiction after his retirement. THE WEIGHT OF EMPTINESS is the second installment in the life of Joe McKibben. The first one, THE PROVIDENCE OF DEATH was published in 2010.
I met Bronson a few years back at Cape Fear Crime Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina and instantly loved his dry wit and cuteness.

It's nice to have you on the blog at last, Bronson.

Good to be here, Susan.
          

How has your environment affected your writing?

A childhood curiosity as to the why of things has never been outgrown. An early introduction to journalism with its five “Ws”¾who, what, when, where, and why¾heightened that curiosity. However, in the rush of daily publication, there was seldom time to dig deeply into the why behind many of the stories.


Turning to historical non-fiction did little to satisfy the hunger. Historical records can be long on facts. But beyond scholarly works that most often rely on supposition and speculation, the whys that led to decisions and events are an elusive element.

When turning to fiction—where everything is created from scratch— the freedom existed to create the whys behind Joe McKibben’s decisions and the actions he takes.


Give a short synop of your most recently published book.

Joe McKibben, retired chief of detectives in Hampton, Virginia, is wrestling with the emptiness of widowhood when, against his better judgment, he agrees to a friend’s request to look for a woman who has left town without telling anyone where she has gone, or why. Joe’s search becomes an odyssey that leads him to several small towns about the Virginia countryside. He ultimately meets the woman and learns why she left town without telling anyone. In the end, Joe realizes what he observed and heard during his odyssey has given him the resolve to get past his feeling of emptiness and move to the next stage in his life.


How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

Since making the choice, for the most part, to write in the first person POV, a lot of personal viewpoints are reflected in how Joe McKibben sees the world.

This ought to be interesting.

What challenges did you face while writing this book?

It was the continuing struggle to hone the skills of a different trade. Years of writing news/sports and historical non-fiction was the work of a mason, building walls out of stones of fact, held together with mortar. Fiction demands the skills of a carpenter, building wood-frame walls. Both types of walls have to be straight, plumb, and level. But there are far more different materials and methods of assembly in a wood-frame wall with which one has to become proficient. I am still serving my apprenticeship.

That's the best darn answer I've ever heard!
Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?

          Since my traveling days are over, I rely on my fifty plus years of living in historic Virginia and the many unique individuals I met during my working days. There’s always seems to be a place or individual that crawls out of a memory cell when needed for a setting or character in a scene.

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?

It is exactly what the late Bill Tapply said to me when I started writing fiction. “It is the hardest thing a person can attempt.” The first draft may be the result of inspiration. But rewriting, “getting the words right,” is the result of perseverance and perspiration. No better advice can be passed on than to emphasize the need to accept the truth of Bill’s comment and decide if the resolve to make the commitment is within. 

Wow! Another great answer and super advice to all of us. 
Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?

          Ideas are stored in my head where things are allowed to germinate and sprout like growth in the cracks of a sidewalk. As things progress, there’s a lot of weeding done to find the right ingredients to mix up an acceptable salad.

Great analogy, Bo.

We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?

          That is the big question. Since hitting the road is no longer possible, the Internet will be my only connection with the world. How that tool will be used is still to be determined. The best I can say at the moment is that if a reader likes the book, recommend it to a friend, or write a brief review on Amazon where the book is currently available for the Kindle  http://www.amazon.com/WEIGHT-EMPTINESS

Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?

          The idea in the beginning was that Joe McKibben’s story would be a three-book series. That is still the plan, but there is no time frame involved. Beyond that, something else will sprout up to grab my attention. I do know this. I’ll be writing something. “When something takes hold of your soul, it’s a part of you forever.”   

All writers understand that response. Thanks for letting me interview you. I wish you lots of success with both books. Hugs!

Enjoyed the questions, Susan. Take care.









Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bill Thompson needs no introduction in North Carolina

Bill Thompson and I are sitting on the front porch, rocking and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, washed down with sweet iced tea. Our conversations always contain tidbits and stories around the state we love and then turn to books and writing. It doesn't get any better than this!


 Bill Thompson is a North Carolina native who has been writing about The South and particularly North Carolina for nearly forty years.  He began writing a column for his local paper then expanded that into over thirty papers in North and South Carolina.  He wrote a regular column for Our State Magazine for over a decade.  Our State (Mann Media) published three of Bill’s books:   Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken and Lazy DogsPearls Pork Palace,(a collection of short stories) and Backyards, Bow Ties and Beauty Queens.  He is an active speaker for numerous events throughout The South. And an excellent one, I might add.

Bill, while we finish up lunch, let's talk some more about your personal writing. I know you love North Carolina as much as I do and I love to showcase the state in my writing too. How has your environment affected your writing?

The old axiom “Write about what you know.” certainly applies to me.  All of my books, columns, plays – everything I write—is taken from my experiences.  I grew up in the rural South so that’s what I write about.

And you write it in such a delightful and entertaining way.

Why, thank you, Susan.

How many books have you written?

I have written two books of essays/commentaries, one collection of short stories, and my first novel, Celia Whitfield’s Boy.

Give a short synopsis of your most recently published book.

Celia Whitfield’s Boy is historical fiction centered around a young man growing up during the lumber industry boom of the early part of the twentieth century in southeastern North Carolina.  He has to deal with personal relations with two women while confronting racism and politics connected with the governor's election of 1924. Of course, it’s much more complex than that but you said keep it short.

LOL. Yes, I've read the book and there's plenty going on. I hope historical fiction readers will pick up a copy.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book? 

The character of Jacob Whitfield is based on my Grandfather Council.  My grandfather and I were very close and, certainly, at least some of my grandfather’s characteristics were passed on to me. My personal slogan “Everything in the world is personal”  applies to my writing, including this novel.  Jacob and I share a lot of the same perspective on personal relationships and struggle with the cynical/realistic approach versus the more idealistic concepts of politics and the role we can play in that regard.

What challenges did you face while writing this book?

I had to do a lot of research.  Since, contrary to some observations, I wasn’t actually around during the 1920s I interviewed a lot of people who were around  as well as looking up historical material to make sure I was being authentic in my image of the time and place.  Jacob is a lawyer in the story and that necessitated my reliance on my friend and attorney, Marvin Tedder, to make sure the interpretation of the law during that time and place was authentic.  Of course, his caveat that covers all that is, “The law back then in rural areas like ours was whatever the sheriff and the judge said it was.”

Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?

I didn’t really have to travel much to do the research and since my inspiration was my grandfather I didn’t have to go away to remember him.

What advice can you give new writers?

 The best advice I would give to new writers is , “Don’t be in a hurry.  Take time to let whatever muse you have speak to you, then revise and revise and revise.  Don’t try to write like somebody else.  Develop your own style”.

Great advice, Bill!

Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?

Many years ago I used to carry a small tape recorder with me when I traveled, but now I just try to remember things I see and hear.  And sometimes I just make it up.

You can remember things? Wow! I have to write everything down ;-(
 We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?

I don’t understand internet marketing, so I leave that up to my publisher.  My most effective way of selling my books is through my speaking engagements around the country.  In my talks I talk about my life growing up in The South and those things that inspired my books.

And you sell lots of books. I've been there. I've sat beside you at signings and I've seen the lines. Your dynamic personality and that deep voice don't hurt either. You're a Southern gentleman and I'm proud to call you a friend.

Why, thank you, Susan.

Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?

I have a new book coming out in July 2015 that I am really excited about.  It’s called Listen to the South Wind and is the result of a collaboration with a fantastically talented photographer name Doug Sasser. He's also a superior court judge. 

When Doug Sasser and I first started discussing the possibility of putting together a book, we knew we didn’t want to do just another “coffee-table book” with pretty pictures and a text describing the photos to the reader.  We saw this as a collaboration of two people who come from very similar backgrounds and have a real appreciation for the geography and culture of our native Carolinas.  We wanted our readers to develop that same appreciation.

I like to think that I paint pictures as I write about the people, places and events that are a part of who we are and where we are.  As I looked at Doug’s pictures, I wrote down, not a description of the photos, but what I felt as I looked at the images.  It was sometimes a story, sometimes a commentary or sometimes a poem.  Occasionally, I would remember something I had written before and thought it worth restating.

Most of Doug’s photos are landscapes or still life.  I usually write about people.  By combining our perspectives, we hope the reader can see beyond our individual views, beyond what we absorbed during our lives, beyond what we write or record with the camera.  We want the reader to become a part of all that we have experienced, to absorb that unique sense of time and place that makes us Southerners and makes this land a special part of God’s creation.  And our home.

YAYY! I can hardly wait to get a copy!

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

They can buy them from their local bookstores or from Out State Magazine, Second Wind Publishing or they can contact me at billthompson28442@aol.com
Are your books available in print and ebook formats?
 Yes.


Thanks for dropping by, Bill. And don't forget to let us know when the new book is released. 

I hope to see you again soon, Susan, somewhere around North Carolina.