Category Archives: Author Interviews

Author Interview: Shidorr Myirck-Gayer

One of the pleasures of the author interview series on No Wasted Ink is the chance to meet and learn about new authors and what motivated them to begin writing. I hope you’ll find Shidorr’s story as interesting as I did.

Author Shidorr Myirck-GayerHello, my name is Shidorr Myirck-Gayer. I currently live in the North Suburbs of the Chicago land area. I grew up in Chicago with the
dream of becoming an actress. I performed in a few plays and was an extra in a few movies, one such as Spiderman 2. It was an amazing experience. Sadly I never made it any further; life got in the way… I guess. In the middle of pursuing my dream as an actress, I wrote poetry and stories. At the time, I didn’t realize that writing is where my true journey rests. I have always been interested in the world of creating tales. Pulling people in my fictional fantasies.

When and why did you begin writing?

The tragedy that consumed me ultimately pushed me into the society of published authors. Depression made me write my first novel. Her Name
is Grace
. In 2010 I had lost another child in the early months of my pregnancy. Writing was my way of dealing with my sadness.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself as a writer, when I became published. I didn’t think the work I created counted until now.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I must say, I had to laugh a little bit at this question. Every time someone asks me what my book is about. I can never shorten it enough,
for a quick answer. Okay, here goes…

My story is about a young girl named Grace, who grows up on a planet that’s inhabited by angels. Her and her best friend, Max, is being
trained to one day become angels themselves. The angels on the planet Mahlai hope that increasing their numbers can end the slavery war on
Earth. They also have to defend their planet against the dark angels who seek to kidnap the trainees and destroy the world of men. In this
tale Grace and Max finds discovers a powerful tool that the angels use to watch over the humans. This tool changes Grace and Max
personalities. Grace falls in love with a human and Max takes a turn for the worst.

What inspired you to write this book?

My husband’s support helped me achieve my goal of finishing the first book, of a 3 book series.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t really have a writing style. I can confirm that no matter how hard I try. I can’t write the book in order. I always start on a mid
chapter first.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I just love the name, Grace. I had a cat named that once.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is no message; I just want my readers to live in a world unlike their own.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I must say, I create my characters based on people that I know and books that I have read. For example, I have quotes from the bible and
my angels are lightly based on angels of the bible. Author Kristin Cashore depicts strong female characters in her novels and I love
that. The backdrop of my stories comes from my travels and my daydreams.

What authors have most influenced your life?

My favorite Authors are, Kristin Cashore, Suzanne Collins and John of the bible.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

If I had to choose a mentor, it would be Kristin Cashore. Meeting her
in person confirms that.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

My cover designer is John Konecny. He is an amazing artist, easy to work with and he understands what you want.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The advice that I would give is the advice that is said over and over
again to writers, KEEP WRITING! This really does help you when you
think your work is not good enough. When you get writers block and
especially when you began to doubt yourself.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

To all my readers, Thank You for your support and I’ll try my best to
make the next book an even better adventure!

Her Name is Grace - book coverShidoor Myinck-Gayer
Her Name is Grace

Book Cover by John Konecny.

Author Interview: Rosemary Lynch

Sometimes the cover art of a book catches the eye and it was certainly the case with me when I first saw Rose’s novel. After we chatted for a time on twitter, I invited her here to No Wasted Ink for an interview.

Author Rosemary LynchHi my name is Rosemary Lynch (Rose). I was born on 14th August 1970 in Merton, England. I am married to Paul, have three lovely children. Charlotte, Melissa and Jake. Two dogs, Max and Arweyn, one cat Maggie, three chickens Bluebell, Lavender and Meadow. I write epic fantasy. My first book Kainan, is a magical romantic adventure. The first book in the Deragan Sword Trilogy. The second book, ‘Meladrom’ is out on the 14th August this year and the conclusion book three, ‘Annalise’ is due out Decemer 2012. I love to write and I love art, especially painting in acrylic. I love to paint dragons!

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in May 2009, whilst off work due to an injury.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When Kainan was read for the first time last year. Up to then it had been my private hobby. I was nagged by colleagues at work to let them read it, so I had ten proof books printed. I was overwhelmed by the response so I decided I would have Kainan published.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Kainan is a magical romantic adventure fantasy. It is the story of a young man whose life is dramatically changed overnight when his village is attacked by the evil Gozars. He is forced into stealing a magical crystal from the world of Malgar, which unbenown to him, is the lifeforce of their world. Left for dead by the Gorzars, his life is saved by a young groundling woman, Arweyn. Together they discover the truth about his heritage and set in play an ancient prophecy. They head out on a quest to return the Ardor Crystal to the world of Malgar and stop the return of the Gorzar Empire. Along the way they face treachery, many mystical creatures, and fall in love.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had a dream and that dream was my first book ‘Kainan’. It all started from there and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write quite fast paced with lots of action.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

This book had many titles before I settled on Kainan, as did the hero’s name. I wanted a strong, stand alone title. I discovered the name Kainan and as soon as I heard it, I knew immediately that it fitted his character perfectly.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Never to give up hope. Even when life is at rock bottom.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think there is probably some of my husband within Kainan’s character! His querky sense of humour and practical jokes for a start!

What authors have most influenced your life?

When I was young it was Enid Blyton, I spent hours in one of her books, sat up a tree in the garden. Now I love Terry Brooks, and Terry Goodkind.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Terry Brooks

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Aidana Willow Raven. I sent out a tweet saying I was looking for an illustrator. She contacted me and the minute I saw her work I new she was the one to produce my cover. Her work is amazing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just follow your heart and enjoy what you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Firstly I want to thank them for buying my book! I love Kainan, even though I have written it, I still enjoy reading it! It is an easy book to read, and it takes you right into their world. You feel their pain, their passion, their drive. You find yourself wanting to turn the next page to see what happens to them.

Deragan Sword Prophecy - Kainan book coverRosemary Lynch
Wiltshire, England. UK

Illustrator: Aidana Willow Raven

SMASHWORDS
AMAZON USA
AMAZON UK

Author Interview: Patrice Sarath

There are times when you meet a fellow author and things just click. I had that experience when I met this author. Like Patrice, I am a fan of Jane Austen fan fiction and of fantasy, so I was tickled to see that she has published in both of these genres. Please give a welcome to Patrice Sarath here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Patrice SarathMy name is Patrice Sarath. I am a writer from Austin, Texas. My fantasy series, Books of the Gordath, includes Gordath Wood, Red Gold Bridge, and The Crow God’s Girl. My sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, called The Unexpected Miss Bennet, came out of my great fondness for Austen’s works. I also write short stories, which have appeared in Weird Tales, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Gate, and Realms of Fantasy, and other magazines and anthologies. When I’m not writing I’m mucking around with horses or riding my bike or playing with my dogs.

When and why did you begin writing?

I was five years old when I wrote my first book. Maybe younger, because I couldn’t actually write. But I wrote the best monster story ever and then threw it dramatically into the fire, because it didn’t measure up to the ideas and images in my head.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

The Crow God’s Girl is the third book in my Gordath cycle, but it is not the conclusion of the trilogy; in fact, it can be read as the starting point. In The Crow God’s Girl, Kate Mossland, a 21st century teenager from North Salem, New York, is trapped in an alternate fantasy world. Everything is going to be okay, though, because she is betrothed to a noble young man and she is going to be quite wealthy and well-protected and respected. Of course, the best laid plans are the ones that an author loves to gleefully upturn, so naturally things happen to upset that apple cart. Kate discovers that she has hidden strengths that carry her through to a new life far from the one she originally thought she was destined for.

What inspired you to write this book?

The entire Gordath cycle came out of my experiences growing up in Connecticut. I rode horses there — it’s some of the prettiest horse country in the world — and riding on the trails you could be a few miles away from the highway but it felt like the middle of nowhere. What would it be like if you could ride your horse straight into another world? I brought that idea into the Gordath cycle and it continues in The Crow God’s Girl.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure how to describe my style — I think that’s best left up to my readers. However, when I was writing The Unexpected Miss Bennet, I adopted a modified Austenesque style. Austen was a busy writer but she can also be very modern and stripped down, even if we don’t always see that. My Miss Bennet tends toward Austen’s stripped down style with I hope something of her wit. It begins, “It is a comforting belief among much of society, that a plain girl with a small fortune has no more interest in matrimony than matrimony has in her.”

How did you come up with the title of this book?

That’s a great question! I have a wonderful writer’s group called Cryptopolis. I put several title ideas out to them — the working title of the book was Lady of Temia — and then one of my friends came up with something completely different. And it stuck. So if you need a title, call Patrick. He’s good at this kind of thing. My first book, Gordath Wood, was my title — Red Gold Bridge was suggested by my editor at Penguin, Susan Allison. And I am proud to say that I came up with The Unexpected Miss Bennet, which I think really suits my book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t really do messages. That’s for readers to come up with. I want readers to enjoy my books, re-read them, find different nuances they missed the first time, etc. But messages should never be a writer’s mission. Well, that’s of course for every writer to decide. But messages are not my mission anyway.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The inciting event in the Gordath cycle is getting lost in the woods. When I was 12 years old, I got lost in the woods and went missing for a very long day. I use some of that in the first book when Lynn Romano first disappears in Gordath Wood. It was a scary, exhausting day, and I know I put a lot of my experience into her experience. And of course, the opportunity to ride in some of the prettiest countryside also made it in the book.

What authors have most influenced your life?

Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien. Stephen King. Robert Louis Stevenson. Georgette Heyer. The Brontes. Barbara Kingsolver. There are others, but these are the authors who come to mind first.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

I am friends with and fans of several writers, but none who I would consider a mentor. That said, I learn from all of them.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Aleta Rafton did the cover art for The Crow God’s Girl. I selected her because I love the covers she did for Gordath Wood and Red Gold Bridge and it was important that this book to have the same look and feel. The cover designer is David Chang, who is in my writer’s group, Cryptopolis. He did a fantastic job.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

At this point, if you are a writer, aspiring or otherwise, you’ve heard it all. Everyone has said the same thing, and there are only so many ways to say, write every day, persevere, always learn, always seek to hone your craft, and develop a thick skin so you can withstand rejection but also learn from criticism. So there’s no point in saying it all again, really. That’s the only formula I have.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

If you like fantasy, romance, and adventure, you will like The Crow God’s Girl. So please, take a look and check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Crow God's Girl Book CoverPatrice Sarath
Austin, Texas.

Covert art by Aleta Rafton

Purchase The Crow God’s Girl:
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Author Interview: Marva Washington

I’m always honored to feature a fellow GLAWS (Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society) member here on No Wasted Ink. Marva has published only one book, but I’m certain that it will not be her last.

I am Marva Washington, a proud member of a whimsical national club called Marvalous Marva. Don’t worry-I don’t take that description seriously. Our name simply lends itself to that word of course with one changed letter. I am originally from South Carolina but for the past thirty plus years, I have resided in the Los Angeles, CA area. My work, however is Carolina based because I have lots of childhood memories and unique stories. Bid Whist at Midnight is my first comprehensive and published work, but I hope it will not be my last.

When and why did you begin writing?

I fell in love with the written word after my eighth grade teacher discovered that even though I could read well, I did not comprehend and mentally process what I read. She worked with me for one full year and the light went on. During the summer break following that year, I “discovered” the public library and began to lose myself in great works. In ninth grade, another teacher discovered not only did I read well, but I could write as well. Thus began my limited writing “career”. My genre at that time was science fiction. I loved the Twilight Zone and that influenced my writing style. I wrote a short story a month. Most were only four pages of long hand, but my “fan” club eagerly awaited each new episode. I think they really liked the little romantic interludes thrown in with the science.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As stated above, my teachers always played an encouraging part and when I began to get “A”s on written assignments and when some of them were chosen because of their originality to be read aloud for the class, I began to believe in my talent.

Share a little about the book, please.

The social changes of the 1960s wouldn’t have been possible without the support of college students and grassroots activists taking up the charge. Bid Whist at Midnight delivers a coming-of-age story of four young women caught up in the enormity of the Civil Rights Movement. It takes readers on a trip through time, back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and forward in time 20 years when three of the four women reunite and revisit one of the worse nights of their lives-the night of the Orangeburg massacre. What they find is that they are still haunted by guilt, but their reunion reminds them of the power of their friendship, allowing them to come to a place of forgiveness, love and a long-awaited farewell to a friend.

Bid Whist at Midnight is a strong romance novel in its own right, but it gains its legs in its social commentary looking back at the ‘60s and the cultural concerns facing black people at the time. It is a historical and sociological study of a volatile period in American history that provides a view and a voice not previously written.

What inspired you to write the book?

In February 1968, a significant year because of the instability in the United States, a civil rights demonstration led by black college students attending South Carolina State College and neighboring Claflin College, turned deadly and resulted in what is known as the Orangeburg Massacre. Two years later, a similar demonstration erupted in Ohio that simply became known as Kent State. To this day, a lot is known about Kent State while the Orangeburg Massacre still occupies an obscure branch in history. Since writing the book, there has been increased awareness and interest in the massacre. Making this incident known was a great part of what inspired me to write the book. We learn from the past so that we will hopefully not repeat mistakes in the future. If the Orangeburg Massacre was not covered up, Kent State may not have happened.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My goal is to write with clarity so that the reader will have a wonderful experience following the story and complexities such as time shifts and multiple story lines which is characteristic of this book. Characters sometimes create unplanned paradigm shifts, but those simply challenge the author to delve more deeply into character development and enrich their stories.

How did you come up with the book title?

That was the easiest part. Bid Whist is a card game that was extremely popular at State. As explained in the book, entire social cliques were created around the game and it bonded the characters originally during their school days. So their reunion is built around the game. It had to begin at midnight because of extenuating factors which are revealed in the book as they play.

Is there a message in the novel?

As alluded to previously, many readers expressed great surprise upon learning about the Orangeburg Massacre. Others are learning about unique sociological and cultural complexities surrounding Afro-Americans. The book transcends racial lines in that readers of all ethnicities have recognized universal traits that have no racial boundaries. Similar to what the Bill Cosby Show did.

Are the book experiences based on actual people or events?

I am a “product” of the 1960s so have personal knowledge of events and a real feeling for the era to include prominent social movements and of Viet Nam from a military perspective. The characters are composites of people I have known over the years. Places are real but the circumstances are purely fiction. The massacre is a historical event, but the stories and interactions of the characters on that evening are fictional.

What authors have most influenced your life?

My school teachers including my mother and my faith had the most influences on my life. As far as my writing, I love works by certain authors and hope to emulate their talents. I enjoy and admire James Michener, Sheldon Leonard, Earl Stanley Gardner, Margaret Mitchell, Toni Morrison and Rod Serling.

What writer would you have chosen as a mentor?

I wish I could have been mentored by James Michener. He was a prolific writer and I have read most of his fictional epics. He incorporated history into all of his works and did a massive amount of research prior to writing. He included lots of background information and grew into his stories slowly while pulling the reader along as he built each plot and scenario.

Who designed the book cover?

The publisher has an in-house graphic arts department, so they designed the cover and did the art work.

Do you have any advice to other writers?

Do your homework first. Either read books or take classes that can guide you through the entire writing process. Before you begin consult outside sources which can help you make wise decisions on everything from the genre to your choice in a publisher. It does not mean that you will not make mistakes; it just means that you may make less expensive ones. You must be self-motivated because there is no “boss” looking over your shoulders urging you to fill those empty pages. Commit to it and take it seriously. This is your profession and it reflects you even if you are writing at the behest of family members who simply want a history or for the public at large because you have something bigger to relate. Do not insult your reader with shoddy work. Believe in your work as you face nay-sayers and non-supporters. Tell yourself that others have undergone this process, so can I. Most of all have fun. Holding your bound completed copy provides the greatest satisfaction on Earth.

Are there any final words you’d like to express to your readers?

These two simple words cover a lot of ground-Thank You!! You gave me the confidence to move forward and put the work out to the public. You have given me countless referrals to readers and book clubs who are now beginning to read the book and you continue to stick by me giving me the inspiration to attempt another future publication. Thank you for all of it.


Bid Whist at Midnight Book coverMarva Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Publisher: iUniverse

You may purchase Ms. Washington’s book at:
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Author Interview: Bobbi A. Chukran

I first met Bobbi A. Chukran over fifteen years ago as a fellow member of an online think tank for artisans learning to market themselves on the internet. This was back before there was a facebook, a myspace or even before the world wide web was generally established. (Okay. Now I’m feeling old!) We all worked in different mediums from writing, to painting, to making handmade jewelry. I credit this group for making me a successful artist and launching my art business. I’ve watched Bobbi grow as an artist down through the years: as a gardener, a painter, an author and everything in between. I was proud for her when her first play won an award and went on to be performed by students in various high schools here in America. Now it is my honor and pleasure to introduce Bobbi and her newly launched book here on No Wasted Ink.

author bobbie a chukranMy name is Bobbi A. Chukran, although I recently published a mystery novel under the name B.A. Neal. I thought using a pseudonym would make it easier for me to branch out into different genres. I’m the author of LONE STAR DEATH, a new historical mystery novel, an award-winning playwright and an author of previous non-fiction books and magazine articles. Right now I’m focusing on the novel and short story writing.

When and why did you begin writing?

I always enjoyed writing in school, and was encouraged by my teachers to do more of it. I remember finding an old copy of The Writer magazine when I was in middle school, and entering a poetry-writing contest. I wrote a lot of poetry back then, most of which was dreck. I didn’t win the award, but it was the first time I came to the realization that writing was something that people got paid for and did as a job.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably when a high school teacher told me I was good and that I should pursue it. I wrote for the school newspaper and wrote little stories at home, but also considered myself an artist. My first article was published in a craft magazine back in 1976. I guess that’s when I first thought about doing more writing. I wrote non-fiction for years under the name Bobbi A. McRae, then decided to try my hand at fiction.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

It’s a historical mystery, set in 1880s central Texas. It features a feisty, headstrong young woman, Samantha Slater, who is 19 years old. She comes to town for a job as a typewriter operator, but ends up in the middle of a murder mystery that she can’t resist investigating. In the process, she gets into a lot of danger of her own, and learns a lot about herself.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had almost finished several romantic suspense novels and a contemporary mystery when the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman show came on TV. I was fascinated by the costumes, characters, small town, and decided to start a whole new book set during that time period, except in Texas. I researched it for a year, learned about a lot of the real people and events going on at that time, and eventually came up with a few characters. I had always been a fan of westerns, and it seems that there was always one on TV in our house, so I guess it’s no surprise how the book turned out.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I tend to write a lot of dialogue, since I also write plays. I start with a few characters talking to each other and before long, they take off. I do preliminary planning, a rough plot, but it always changes.

Can you tell us more about the plays you write?

In addition to writing short stories, I also write the plays for young people. They seem more like “me” than anything else I write. They are silly, use puns and plays-on-words and feature quirky characters. They are inspired by classic tales, but with a twist. My goal is to turn those into books for young readers. Unfortunately, writing plays is a long, hard road because in order to get anywhere, you must first have a production. Only then can you seek publication (unless you publish it yourself). Once it’s published, it’s liable to get more productions through schools, churches, etc.

December 2011 I published one of my plays, THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER, a comedy spoof of the classic DRACULA story, as an e-script for the Kindle. Getting people to read plays is a hard sell, but I’m glad I did it because it got my feet wet with publishing e-books.

How did you come up with the title of your novel?

I started out with LONE STAR STATE OF DEATH, because the titles of many of the mysteries at the time were based on puns. When I extensively revised the book and republished it in May 2012, I shortened the title to LONE STAR DEATH.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

First of all, I just want it to be a fun reading experience, a little escape from everyday life. Secondly, a theme emerged that I didn’t plan–that our family is not necessarily those we’re related to by blood.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really–it’s mostly fantasy.

What authors have most influenced your life?

With mysteries, it’s hard to say. I read a lot of Barbara Michaels’ books when I first started and I love the way she combined everyday stuff with fantasy stuff. Her newer books are much different. I love the sparse style of Robert B. Parker. I read a lot of books, all over the genres. Right now I’m obsessed with reading older short story collections, because I’m convinced I’m a better short story/novella writer than a long novel person. My next books will be novelizations of my fantasy/comedy plays. I’m excited about them, because they are a more cohesive collection than my other writing.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Not really. I’ve taken some good workshops from good authors, but basically am self-taught.

Who designed the cover of your book?

I did. I used the photo that was on the cover of the previous edition and redesigned it for this one. I bought rights to all the artwork, so it was easy to do. It helps that I have years and years of experience as a graphics designer, printshop experience, desktop publishing experience and an art degree. Those were my “real jobs” for many years. The Kindle cover and the printed cover are a bit different. I used the same photo on both, but the overall design is different.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

It takes a long time to get anywhere with writing. Don’t wait. Sit down and write. I’m developing a new product I call BUTT GLUE. You apply it, then sit down. Just kidding, but it is something we all need. Take a lot of notes, start with a short story or flash fiction story first. Those will boost your confidence. Don’t be afraid to write strange things. It took me years before I would “let myself loose” with my writing, and I’m still learning. If you like fantasy or science fiction, then write that! Don’t try to write a mystery just because you think they’ll sell. Your heart won’t be in it otherwise.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just, have fun with the book–don’t judge it too harshly because it’s just a story!

Lone Star Death Book CoverBobbi A. Chukran
Taylor, Texas
LONE STAR DEATH
Limestone Ledge Publishing
Cover artist: Bobbi A. Chukran
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