Monday, December 28, 2009

Thanks for the Advice

Wow, what responses I'm getting. :) Let's me know someone really is reading this blog. Thanks, y'all for all the wonderful advice. Yes, getting away from Publish America has been one of my good ideas; I just wish I had known, when searching out a publisher for 'Wild Heart". But, we all have to live and learn. Right? So, I self published my children's book, "Gold! A Tall Tale", and while i found the company very accommodating, friendly, and wonderful to work with, I honestly don't want to put another pile of money in to it. Yes, I think my book I just finished is worth it, but I don't have hundreds of dollars just lying around waiting to be spent. :) Like i said, though, AG Press was heavenly, especially after dealing with PA. If someone is going to self publish, I would reccomend them any day. They were and still are willing to talk with me any time I call, and if they don't get to the phone, they have always called me back. However, I'll say it again, I don't have the money to pay to publish that way.
So, the other night, while searching for free books to read online, I came across another publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.
They were offering a free book, so I downloaded it. It was an ebook in html format, and guess what? After downloading, I could actually read it on my computer. I was so suprised and delighted. So, I looked over their site, thoroughly, searching out their authors' websites and books. What I found was this: decent books, authors who seem to have experience, paperbacks for $14.99, which isn't $7.99 but is more afordable than Publish America's $19.95 or $24.95, ebooks for $5.99 and cheaper. I looked up the company on Absolute Write and found mostly good. I found the same info on Predators & Editors. I've asked my friends on FaceBook if they've heard anything good or bad about them, and so far I'm still waiting to hear.
I really do appreciate the input about buying books. Whoever you are, i think you speak for many when you say you wouldn't pay anymore for a paperback in a store than $7.99, and if you would, then you would need to read some, first. Due to the fact that I am blind and unable to read print paperbacks, I have accepted the fact that I must pay more and buy audio books, so to me, paying $19.95 is nothing, but this is too much, if you are buying a printed book.  Now, would I pay $5.99 to purchase an ebook? Yes i would. In fact, I found a book published by Whiskey Creek Press that I'm considering purchasing today.
Since I have your attention, let me ask something else. is having a contest in 2010. It's their BreakThrough novel Award. The winner gets to publish their book with Penguin Group and wins $15,000. I have thought about submitting my book as an entry. While it is the sequel to "Wild Heart", I really think it could stand alone. Hopefully, I wrote it as a stand alone book that just happens to have characters from "Wild Heart" in it. What do you think?
Speaking of main stream publishers, I have searched the internet for a literary agent. I do hope there are services out there to show a person how to write cover letters, marketing plans and how to write a 300 to 500 word summary of the books, because that is what they want, and I don't know how to do that.
Well, to sum up this post, thanks again for reading, and many thanks for your comments. Would y'all like an excerpt of "Wild Heart" posted here? Would that entice you to want a copy? How about a give away just in time for Valentine's Day?
Well, until next time, y'all keep safe, keep warm and keep the faith. Remember, another author interview is coming up this Friday, Jan. 1. This time, Alsondrina Learner is the featured author. Hope y'all will come back, then.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Before Christmas!

Well, it actually snowed before Christmas, something almost unheard of in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia. I don't mean it snowed, as in we got a dusting, but it snowed as in we got 6 to 8 inches, depending on where you live. I'm even told some areas to the south of us have over a foot! Many folks in Kanawha County are without power, but thankfully, we are not one of them. Our power was off at somepoint last night, but it was working just fine at 4:30 when I woke up this morning. My internet was down, however, and for a time, until my wonderful, blessed, most adoring husband got up out of bed and fixed it for me, I thought I might go in to fits. i mean, y'all, no google! No FaceBook! I thought I might not make it through this storm! :D
On a different note, I have finished the first rough draft of my next book! It's the sequel to "Wild Heart" and it's called, "To Tame A Heart". No idea when it will be out; I have yet to figure out how i'll get it published. I'm thinking about self publishing, like I did with my children's book, but honestly, it's so expensive. I do know one thing, however, I WILL NOT GO WITH PUBLISH AMERICA!!! Think I need to be more clear than that? haha! Seriously, Publish America treated me dirty, and from what i've seen on their author message boards, they are very rude. I mentioned their rudeness to them, and they promptly deleted my comment and kicked me off the message board. But, I'm doing good without them. I order books off their website, when I need to, but other than that, I don't have any contact with them, and it's ok that way. I had thought of becoming my own self know starting my own publishing company, but after talking with the hubby, it seems a bigger undertaking than i'm financially ready for. Y'all pray though, because people are being scammed, and there needs to be a decent company out there to spread God's word.
So, I was saying about the book, I have finished it and sent it along to three different reviewers for feedback. The first reviewer says it doesn't give her what she hoped it would, that it doesn't follow "Wild Heart". She seems bored with it, even though some parts are good. She made me doubt that it was even worth worrying about, making me think i needed a total make over. however, the second reviewer has a totally opposit opinion. She seems to think it's great, and likes it. So, I am anxiously awaiting the third reviewer's opinion.
For those of you who have read "Wild Heart", help me out here. If you can, leave a comment with the answers to these questions, so I'll know what you want to see happen in the second book.
1. Do you think the next book should have bad guys chasing good guys with gunfights, as it was in "Wild heart"?
2. Do you want Maggie to be a main character? should she have a new man in her life?
3. Do you want to hear more about Kenni and chase?
4. Do you think you could tolerate a slower book, focused more on personal journeys, rather than physical journeys?
5. What more are you looking for that I have not mentioned, yet?
Oh yeah, one more question, if y'all don't mind, would you rather have a paperback or an ebook, and how much would you pay? Of course, you don't have to answer, but it would be nice if you could.
Well, to wrap up this post, I first want to say, I hope you are enjoying the author interviews. I think i have enough authors lined up to keep you reading until the middle of February, but honestly, I don't think I'll take anymore. I'm getting tired of keeping up with them, but I do have to say, it seems to be paying off; authors are getting noticed. I just wish it would influence someone to purchase my books, as well. The second thing I want to say, is thank you for reading, and thank you for following my blog. It's nice to see I have so many followers. I am sorry that I don't write personal messages as often as i used to, so I will try to do better.
Well, I think the hubby is going to put in a dvd, and the girls are going to need baths real soon, so I'll close for now. Y'all have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of new years, and thanks again for reading. God bless!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Linda Sallee!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays! Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Christian writer, Linda Sallee!

Linda Sallee is a first time author. Her book, "Blue After Midnight" is a short story, a collection of poems about the loss of her granddaughter, Ashley, who died in 2003 due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. Sallee has dedicated this book to her. It is published by Publish America

A sixty-two- year- old retired nurse, Linda Sallee received her degree in Nursing at Bacone College in Muskogee Oklahoma. She is a mother of three, and a grandmother of seven. She lives in Stilwell Oklahoma with her husband.

Her hobbies include writing poetry, crocheting and cooking. She also enjoys spending time with her family. When it comes to reading, Sallee says, "To be honest I would rather write, but I do enjoy reading poetry."

Her favorite authors are her daughter, Barbie Sallee And Ron Hall.

"About three years after losing Ashley," Sallee says, "my daughter Barbara encouraged me often to write. I found that writing down my feelings helped me make it through the depression. My poems are written about life tragedy's and blessings. The main reason my book is special, is because Ashley was so special. She went through much pain and suffering in her short life but was always there to hold another child's hand and comfort them. My hope is that readers will understand that it is okay to love, laugh and smile again after losing a love one and that no matter how deep your valley, God is always there, you just have to reach out and take his hand."

To those who wish to become a published author, Sallee says, "Go with your heart, believe in your self and don't give up. Always keep a pen and paper on hand and write the words as they come to you. Never force your self to write. I take a tablet to bed with me at night and jot down things through the night, even though sometimes I have a hard time trying to figure out what I wrote in the morning. (lol)

Write from your heart and remember every book starts out with just a few words jotted down."

So, Linda, is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

"One thing I can say about my book is every word comes from my heart. Ashley wanted people to understand that Cystic Fibrosis is a devastating disease and without their help it will continue taking the lives of children and young adults."

To learn more about Linda Sallee and her book, visit her website at

To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, visit

To view Linda's trailer for her book, go to

Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays! Be sure to come back in two weeks on Friday, January 1, 2010 to read about our next featured author, Alessandrina Learner! See you then, and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Mark J. Roberts!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Mark J. Roberts!


Mark Roberts is the author of "Hawthorne Revelations book I" published by Publish America.

He is forty-one-years-old and lives in Plymouth, Michigan with his wife, Nancy, and step-daughter, Sabrina.  "I have always enjoyed playing baseball as well as watching the Detroit Tigers, but my favorite sport to watch is hockey and the Detroit Red Wings," he says.


"I read everyday," he continues, "and some of my favorite authors are Stephen King (love The Dark Tower series), Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Bentley Little, Peter Straub, Robert Jordan and others."


Roberts says that he started writing "Hawthorne Revelations" approximately seventeen or eighteen years ago.  He wanted it to be a comic book, but was unable to draw the illustrations, thus he gave up on it for a while.  However, the story he wanted to tell always stuck with him. When a friend of his published a book with Publish America, he encouraged Roberts to do the same. "So," Mark says, "I started writing again a couple of years ago and finished the first part of my story."


I always like to ask authors from where do they get their ideas, and to this question, Mark replied, "I used to read comic books pretty regular from childhood till my early twenties, and I came up with the idea of my character. I watch a lot of movies and read and just let my mind wander to come up with ideas. When I get an idea I run with it. The second book in the Hawthorne series has taken on a totally different course after I had another brainstorm on the story."


When I asked him what readers will get from reading his books, Mark told me, "Hopefully readers will just be entertained. I'm not the greatest writer on the planet, and I never will claim to be.  I just hope I can tell a good and entertaining story and let people escape from their everyday lives for a while."


"So Mark, what advice would you give to someone who wishes to become a published author?"


""I would tell anyone trying to write to just keep writing. I find the more I write the better I become, and I think this will be true for anyone. I gave up on my story for almost two decades, but a friend inspired me, and I now have a book published."


"And, is there anything else that you would like to share with us?"


"I am currently working on my second Hawthorne book titled "Hawthorne The Return". I am also working on a children's (or a book for the entire family) called "Feline Justice Team". This book deals with a family of cats who accidentally acquire super powers and decide to use their powers to fight crime in their small suburban town. Thanks for your time and you can visit me at



Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays!  Be sure to come back next week, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, Christian poetry writer, Linda Sallee!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Lynne Woodvail!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Lynne Woodvail!


Lynne Woodvail is a first time author.  Her book is "Untouchable Desire".  It is published by Publish America.


Born and raised in West Michigan, Lynne has been a resident of Charlotte since 2007.  She has three children who are very supportive.  She says she really doesn't have a favorite hobby, but she does like to create things out of nothing, such as making area rugs out of carpet pieces.


When it comes to reading, she says, "Unfortunately, I have not had a lot of leisure time to read…busy, busy, busy, but when I had the time, I read: romance novels, suspense, thriller and self help books.  Moreover, I enjoyed several of Danielle Steel books and a few others; whose names I can't remember.  In addition, I love writing; it takes me out to the real world…actually when I'm writing I am literally in the scene that I'm writing at the time."


Woodvail says she did not actually realize she was a writer until she went back to college.   It was during her extensive curriculum of English courses that she discovered there was a writer lying dormant in within her.  "And when I recognized this wonderful gift," she goes on to say, "I embraced it.  My major was Business Administration…can you believe?   Moving on, I am inspired by God he used English to birth the gift out of me."


Most authors of whom I have had the privilege to interview seem to get their ideas from just anywhere, and Woodvail is no different.  "My ideas come from life," she says, "movies, friends, books and just ideas from my mind.  I minister God's word through everyday life situations.  Christians are so timid about certain things… like dating and I use that shyness to say what they are afraid to say."


When I asked Lynne if she had any advice to share, she told me, "I would say to anyone who desires to write to GO FOR IT use their God given gift and expound on it.  Don't allow anyone or anything to stop them.  However, when it comes time to publish their work please, please do their homework.  Search all available publishing companies.  Make sure they are getting the best deal possible."


So, Lynne is there anything else that you would like to share with us?


"I just want to say; I thank God for giving me this gift; for I am undeserving.   We as writers have to recognize much power we hold and we need to use that power in positive ways.  I pray that we use our gift to encourage, uplift as well as entertain."


To learn more about Lynne Woodvail and her book, visit her blog at


Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Be sure to come back next week, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, Mark J. Roberts!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Chelynne Nicole!

Welcome to this week's edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about our featured author, Chelynne Nicole!


Chelynne Nicole is a first-time author.  Her first book is entitled "Carnival Mirror", and it is published by Publish America.


Besides being an author, Chelynne Nicole is a Speaker and Self Esteem Coach. Her kids are grown and she has a ten-year-old grandson. Her nineteen-year old son is in Army boot camp and will graduate soon.

Her daughter is in Security. She likes to spend time with her family when she can. When it comes to writing, she says she will jot down notes while in line or at an appointment. She also enjoys cooking, going to the beach, and entertaining. Photography is something she has started just recently. In addition to all that, she also fixes computers and trains people on their uses.  "I like to read books that inspire me," she says. "Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen have Written some of the best inspirational books with their "Chicken Soup For The Soul" Series. I enjoy self-help books. I like to read about other people and their journeys."


Chelynne says she has written poetry for years, but she always knew she had a story she needed to tell. "I just sat down and wrote it, and it took me 4 months. The words just flow when you

are inspired."


Chelynne's second book praises plus size women. It is based on her struggle with weight and how the media makes women feel bad about their bodies. It is about body acceptance and how a woman's self-esteem is affected by society..


"My first book is gripping and real," says Chelynne. "It is hard to put down. It is my story and it

Is unusual that any woman would be in 3 abusive marriages. However, when you have

low self-esteem, you make bad decisions. So my book is also a self help book for people with low self-esteem. My books will have more than one message."


When I asked Chelynne if she had any advice for someone who wishes to become a published author, she answered, "Sit down with your ideas and just start writing. I sat down with notebook paper and

Started writing and then later I put everything in order and typed it up. You do

Not have to be perfect in your writing at first. There is time to correct things

later. Write what you feel. A good author zones in on the potential inspiration of an every day situation."


To learn more about Chelynne Nicole and her books, please visit her website at


Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA, there will be no featured author next week, November 27, but be sure to come back in two weeks, Friday, December 4th to read about our next featured author, Lynne Woodvail!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Tracy Moody-Williams!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Tracy Moody-Williams!


Tracy Moody-Williams is the authr of "Ghetto to Godly", published by Xulon Press

and "Ghetto to Godly re-visited", currently in the editing stage with Publish America.


Tracy is married with one child.  It took her many years to find God's purpose in her life, and it took many detours down the wrong roads in order to get where she is now.  She loves to write poetry, but says that her passion is being a servant.  "I volunteer at a local shelter and try to instill purpose into the women there, who are facing some of the obstacles that I faced, once, and I get so much joy seeing a little hope in their eyes."


When it comes to reading, Tracy says she gets bored too easily, and the only reading she does is research or when reading her daily Scriptures.


As for writing, Tracy says, "I knew I had to be a writer when I woke up one day and looked at my life and did not like what I saw.  Growing up, friends would always ask me to write love letters, cards, poems, and even obituaries for them or their loved ones , and the way people responded to my writings, I knew I had the tools to change someone's' life and bring forth healing through my words.  The environment I grew up in, it was not such a good one, and writing took me away from that place, so I would have to say watching my single mother raise three kids on her own and not miss a beat, was what inspired me."


"My first book "Ghetto to Godly" was an autobiography, which was self published. Ignorant of self publishing the book was released prematurely with a great deal of formatting errors.  The sales were amazing, but my spirit grieved, because I was not representing the God I serve , so I had to revisit my book and get it out the second  time with a more hands on approach.  After submitting my manuscript, Publish America has signed me to Re-visit "Ghetto to Godly"."


When I asked Tracy what makes her book so special, she told me, "Honestly, my book is not for everyone. There are details in my book that some people in the church have called disgusting.  But, if you know anyone who has ever been raped, molested, abused, addicted to drugs or tried taking their own life, than this book is for them.  The truth about a part of society, is what they will get out of reading my book; that part of society people disregard, the broken, battered and the bruised, who have given up on themselves, and so have many in society."


"Be patient, be proactive, be thorough, and never leave your destiny in someone else's hands."  That is Tracy's advice to someone who wants to become published..


When I asked Tracy if there was anything else she would like to share, she answered, "I just want to thank you for this opportunity, for allowing myself and all the other authors your platform."


To learn more about Tracy Moody-Williams and her book, please visit her website


Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Come back next week, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, Chelynne Nicole!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Axelan Ziba!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Axelan Ziba!


Axelan Ziba is a first time published author.  The name of his book is "Journey to Unknown" and is published by Publish America


An entrepreneur, Ziba is thirty-four-years-old, and says that his personality is shaped around good service and good manners, because of his eleven year employment in the hospitality industry.  "I opened my own retail boutique store five years ago when I met my wife," he tells me.  "I have found the divinity and have drunk from a secret cup of serenity and since with the encouragement of my wife, Farnaz, I discovered the beauty of the world of writing and its magical effects.  I love to read as much as I enjoy writing.   I enjoy non-fictions and true-life stories, biographies and history.  I simply love to learn a new thing everyday and so reading does just that for me.  I have many favorite authors, but on the top of my list I should say Florence Scovel shinn who have inspired me to read her books repeatedly one after another."


When I asked Ziba who influenced him the most to write, he gives all credit to his wife.  "I was influenced by the calm character of my wife," he says.  "She introduced me to the world of meditation and getting to know my true self while recognizing the innocence of my inner self.  We both wanted to move to a new place far from where we lived and for that we had to take a big risk and play with the trick of mind.  As we were in the middle of this important life changing migration, it reminded me of my first big decision in life when I was seventeen years of age and decided to find freedom in another world.  The memories of my past and its challenges freshened up by undergoing our new adventure.  As I told her about my past and what I had to go through to get where I was, she encouraged me to start writing it in details.  Day by day as I wrote word by word, trying to remember all the details, they started to elevate my confidence in our new challenge and help us getting through our difficulties.  Writing about my journey to unknown not only changed all challenges into a blessed events but also, every word I wrote, it made me recognize how much joy I have as I write.  When I write I discover who I am and as each word covers the white blank pages, I see what I have as thoughts becoming reality of existence.  To me writing is like creation.  An author creates his thoughts and within them, it influences some one's life and touches the heart of another.  And that entire discovery I owe to my wife, Farnaz for her encouragement and support."


"As I mentioned earlier,"Ziba continues, "life is very similar to a fashion and design.  It never gets old and repeats itself periodically.  My wife and I decided to move from east-side to far west and doing so we had to go through many unpredictable challenges.  In midst of all these changes, I remembered my past where at age of seventeen I decided to leave all my family behind and fled illegally across the border from Iran, my birth place, to find freedom and independence in a new world.  Such thoughts with encouragement of my wife turned into a wonderful book that I am extremely proud of."


"Every person in life has a unique story to tell," Ziba believes, and his is no exception.  "In this life," he says, "challenges bring fear and doubt and to overcome this enemy from within, one needs determination and to see clearly right through his/her desires.  At a younger age, I was tormented and tortured by the Islamic regime of Iran because of the route of my family being connected to the past revolution.  I decided to find the meaning of a lost word of freedom and independence without humiliation, in another part of this unknown world.  Making this life altering decision at that age, I had to sacrifice many dear things in my life such as the love of my parents and my family and leave them behind.  In "Journey to Unknown" I have detailed every single dilemma and challenges that I have faced to find my destination.  The one valued dependable lesson that I learned is to see right through every challenge as at the end it is a blossom of a new experience."


When I asked Ziba what advice he would give someone who wishes to become a published author, his answer was, "To be patient and to never give up on their dream, no matter how difficult the challenges are.  Doubt and fear creates darkness and takes away the sparkle of a brilliant future.  Be resistant and see your desire of being published clearly right to the end."


I also asked Axelan Ziba if there was anything else he would like to share, and this is his reply.


"I want to share the message on my book with those who have given up on their desires and lost their hope in disappointment and want to remind them to read "Journey to Unknown" and re-evaluate their surrounding to recognize their blessed soul and discover beauty in everything as it is meant for such.  And my heart goes to all who had to sacrifice their loved ones and closest people around them to search for something greater in life.  I wish my book to become a bridge and a step stone for these lion-hearted souls and that it encourages them to share the story of their life and its hardship so the world know that no matter what the purpose of their immigration was, by overcoming those difficult challenges along the way, it brought them closer to what they always have desired and was in search for."


The official release date for "Journey to Unknown" is November 7th 2009.  The website for Axelan's book is

And in the website under Events, there are three links to his face book group and supporters, his YouTube video clip and the informative blogger.


Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Come back next week, same time same place to read about our next featured author, Tracy Moody-Williams!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Rosetta McHugh!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, Rosetta McHugh!


Rosetta McHugh is a first-time author.  Her book is "Poodiky Oglethorpe" and was released July 26th 2009 by Publish America.


McHugh's desire to be a writer actually began when she was a teenager.  "I had no idea how to get a book published and had very little self esteem," she says.  "There was no way I could ever think of myself as a writer so I dismissed the thoughts.  As I began teaching children in Sunday school and children's church, and even with my own children, I realized that a child that had difficulty enjoying reading didn't do as well in learning.  I wanted to make a difference by writing children's books that would hopefully be fun and interesting enough to catch a child's attention at a younger age to help develop the love for reading.  And so began my first story with Poodiky Oglethorpe.   The hate I had for reading is actually what inspired me to write.  Sort of like conquering your fears by facing what you fear.  I now catch myself stopping at the book isle in every store I go into wishing I had enough money to buy them to read and share them.   I just wish I hadn't waited so long to begin such an exciting journey."


Today, McHugh's hobbies include: writing, gardening, drawing and painting.  She is glad to not only be the author of her book, but the illustrator, as well.  "As I grow older," she tells me, "I am finding that I enjoy books and reading more than when I was a child.  My mother was always reading and although she wanted me to enjoy it too, I could never get past the first page because she was so engrossed in her stories, she would send me to handle the chores.  After a few months of not getting into a book, I began to hate reading.  I realized as a young adult that I needed to get past my hate for reading but it was a hard habit to break."


"My ideas for my book that is presently published and for the others I am working on have come from my everyday home life.  I have a Chocolate lab that listened very well in the city.  When he saw a rabbit and proceeded the chase, all I had to do is say the words "leave it".   He would immediately stop and turn around and leave the little rabbit alone.  A few years ago we moved to the country.  When this city dog got a sniff of all the country smells, his brain and nose connected and went into overdrive.  That's when his ears shut down and the words, "leave it" were erased from his vocabulary.  He is now grounded to a strong leash and supervision.  This is similar to the experience that Poodiky has.


Not only does McHugh have a chocolate lab, she also has two Bernese mountain dogs, a cat, and a super large garden that takes up a lot of her time.  "I have a wonderful husband that supports me in all areas of my life," she says.  "I have successfully raised three wonderful children, now in their adult years and also have one grandchild.  We are presently raising Alpacas."


When I asked Mrs. McHugh what she thought readers would get from reading her book, she answered, "I approached the story from the puppies point of view.  As the puppy learns his lesson about sneaking out without his owner's knowledge, children can relate to the things that happen to him.  No one wants to see a puppy get lost or hurt.  I hope by following that approach, children will remember the moral or lesson of the story a lot easier."


"If I could give anyone advice," McHugh says, "it would be to follow your desire to be a writer.  Don't put your dream on a shelf because you feel inadequate or don't have the resources.  With the technology we have in our world today, there are more opportunities than ever before.  So I would say to you, don't wait."


"So, Rosetta, is there anything else that you would like to share with us?"


"I would like to say "Thank You" to Publish America for giving me the chance to fulfill my dream, and to all the authors I have met that have encouraged and helped me along the way.  You are wonderful!"


To learn more about Rosetta McHugh and her book, "Poodiky Oglethorpe" visit her website


Thank you for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Come back next week, same time same place to read about our next featured author, Axelan Ziba!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Dawn Renae Rarick!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, relax and read about this week's featured author, poetry writer, Dawn Renae Rarick.


Dawn Renae Rarick is the author of two books of poetry, written over a period of seventeen years: "A Poet's Journal" published by Publish America and "A Journal in Verse", to be released sometime this fall, also by Publish America.


"I was actually 4 years old when I wrote my first two poems," Rarick says.  "They were published in our local newspaper.  I wrote the poems thanking my parents for adopting my sister and me.  My mom and dad always inspired me, and guided me, and pushed me to succeed.  My dear friend and treasured teacher Marsha Rogers, who made me write, and re-write, and re-write everything until it was to her standards, she is the one who made me publish, and Curstin, the beautiful foster child my mom and dad raised for five years, she is the inspiration for most of my child related poems."


A person who loves to read as much if not more than she loves to write, Dawn says she doesn't have many hobbies, accept for writing, traveling and reading.  She reads to relax and to be inspired.  She enjoys many authors, but some of her favorites include: Steven King, VC Andrews, Andrew M Greeley, Nora Roberts, and Marsha Scott Rogers.


Her ideas for poetry usually come from events that she has gone through, from being a foster child and being raised with foster kids, to falling in love and losing a child, to grieving over the loss of loved ones.  Her ideas for novels come from real life experiences and lives she would like to live.  Even though most of the books she has written are fiction, Rarick says they are all based on actual events.


When asked what readers will get from reading her books, Rarick said, "My books of poetry helped me to free all of the emotions that are inside of me, especially during times of loss, loss of love, loss of life, loss of innocence. I think that my experience, or at least my way of dealing with those losses, may someday help someone else who may have to go through what I did."


"I would say to anyone who wishes to become a published author, keep trying.  Don't settle.  The first publisher to accept your manuscript may not always be the best.  If your stuff is good, you should be paid for it up front, not have to pay to have it published.  That I was told by Marsha. I would also say, query, query, query!  Last but not least, sell yourself.  Not just to the publishers, but to the readers as well.  Publishing is a huge part of writing a book, but being read, now that's the most important part!!!"


I asked Dawn Renae Rarick if there was anything else she would like to share with us, and this is what she said.


"It took me a long time to write the first two books.  Even though most of the poems in them are fairly old, I was never ready to submit them.  When finally I did, it was because my dear friend Marsha passed away, but not before telling me that in order to get rid of the demons inside of me; I'd have to share them with someone else.  I am currently in the process of writing a full length novel, though I have five or six of them I have been working on for some time.  Though I one day hope to be as big as Nora Roberts in the whole romance field, I'd be happy to at least have my stuff read."


To learn more about Dawn Renae Rarick and her books, visit her website.


Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays!  Be sure to come again, same time same place to read about next weeks' featured author, children's author and illustrator, Rosetta McHugh!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...D. K. Caldwell!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable and read about this week's featured author, SciFi writer, D. K. Caldwell!


D. K. Caldwell is the author of three books, "GAMAONE", "Beneath the Waves of Altos", and "Revenge of the Androids".  They are all part of his "GAMAONE series", and they are all published by Publish America.

"I have one more book planned in this series," says Caldwell, "it will be titled "The Gathering".  I am currently completing the editing of a new book "DB-29" and have started a new book "Days of the Dragon" which will be a departure from my previous books which are all science fiction.  "Days of the Dragon" is a fantasy filled with magic and dragons."


D. K. Caldwell is a retired Electrical Engineer, who uses his thirty years of experience and incorporates it in his books.  He has lived in Arkansas most of his life, but he lived and worked in several other states in the early part of his career.  He likes to hunt and fish when he has the time.  He also likes to bowl and play golf.  As a child he had to overcome dyslexia, and he didn't like to read.  It was his children who got him to read more, when they began reading the Star Wars books.  He has enjoyed the works of different authors including Author C. Clark's 2001 Space Odyssey  books, Jules Vern, and  Tom Clancy's Jack Rayne series.


"I never really thought about writing until after I retired," he says.  "I have always had a vivid imagination and could always make up stories, but I never really considered putting them on paper.  I wrote the original GAMAONE story in 1975 while I was finishing my Engineering degree as a diversion from my studies, but it was not published until 2007.  If someone had told me that I would enjoy writing when I retired I would have told them that they were crazy, but I have found that I enjoy writing.  Sitting down at my computer and my computer and letting my imagination take me on an adventure.  I take my inspiration from Star Trek and other science fiction works, as well as from the science of the day.  I believe that today's science fiction is tomorrows research projects and next year's reality.  In the 1960's who would have believed that Dick Tracy's wrist radio would become a reality as today's cellular devices."


When I asked D. K. Caldwell how he gets his ideas for his books, he answered, "Ideas for my books come from many different sources.  "GAMAONE" was born out of the idea of being able to join the speed of a computer with the logic of the human mind along with the possibility that there have been other technically advanced civilizations on Earth before our own.  The idea behind "DB-29" came from my son who works in the field of genetics in cancer research.  My daughter, who is an Engineer and into reading fantasy, gave me the idea for "Days of the Dragon".  I coupled these ideas with my imagination and let the story evolve.  I see ideas for other books in everyday life, from the cutting edge research being done to simple phrases used in our everyday conversations.  All of these have given me ideas for books I hope to write in the future."


"While my books are flights of fantasy I try to keep a touch of reality in them.  I try to take the reader on an adventure of the mind.  I try to put just enough detail in my books that the reader will become a part of the story and see the events in my books in his mind and go with my characters on their adventures.  I do not write to convey a message but to entertain the reader.  Too many of the books today spend too much time trying to put forth a message and the reader is no longer entertained.  If I can entertain the reader for a short time and take them on an adventure then I consider my book a success."


"The only advice I can give to someone who wishes to be published," Caldwell states, "is to not give up.  It took me thirty years to get "GAMAONE" published.  In the three years since Publish America took a chance on my book I have had two other additional books published.  It takes a lot of work to write a good book and even more to convince a publisher to put the book into print.  Once you have your book in print then the hardest part begins, trying to get publicity for your book to let people know it is available and getting them to buy it."


"I hope anyone who reads this interview will read one of my books and let me take them on an adventure that is out of this world.  I would like for anyone who reads my books to let me know what they think of them.  I can be contacted through my web site

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife for allowing me to continue to write while she works to pay the bills."


Thank you, D. K. Caldwell for allowing me to interview you, and thank you readers for joining me for another edition of Author Fridays!  Come back next week, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, poetry writer, Dawn Renae Rarick!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...J. Curt Haney!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, get comfortable, and read about this week's featured author, Christian writer, J. Curt Haney!


J. Curt Haney is the author of "Grace For The Prodigal, The Story of One Man's Journey back to the Cross", published by Publish America

"Having been raised most of his life as the son of a Southern Baptist preacher, it

is no wonder that Curt Haney knew the path to take to find peace and joy in his life.

But what is a wonder is how he finally arrived at that point, the point where only

hope could lead him back to that joy. In this true and incredibly frank story, Curt

takes you through all the twists, turns, struggles and pitfalls of a life that became

desperate, desperate to find inner peace and that ever-elusive joy. Searching everywhere

except where he already knew to look, Curt became a man in denial and bent on self-destruction.

Only when he reached his darkest moment did he allow the light of Jesus Christ to

illuminate his soul, finally giving him the hope, peace and joy he had so desired." Description taken from Publish America's website


"I'm a middle aged man who has been married to my best friend, Lindsey, for eighteen years," says Curt.  "We are blessed with two great teenage children, David and Alexandra.  We live in the beautiful gulf coast city of Mobile, Alabama where the skies are blue, the weather is warm and life moves at a nice easy pace.  I've traveled quite a bit, been to seven countries, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico; I've also been to thirty-five states and lived in seven of them.  My hobbies are writing, of course, but not just books, but poetry and songs as well.  Music is a big part of my life and the life of my entire family. In addition to song writing and playing, my wife and I also perform at local places as part of a small ministry I'm trying to get started.  I'm an assistant to the director of our youth choir Surrender and the current president of The Celebration Choir and Orchestra at my church.  I also like to create, write, direct, edit and produce movies and other video projects digitally on my computer.  But my favorite hobby of all, the one I've had since I was about eleven years old has to do with snakes.  I love snakes and lizards.  I love to go out and hunt snakes, catch them, study and document them in my database.  I should have been a herpetologist.  I currently have four snakes of my own as pets ranging in size from 2 1/2 feet to about 6 ft in length.  I guess it's just something that I've never grown out of from my childhood. Much to the chagrin of my wife!"


Curt freely admits he doesn't read as much as he  should or could, in fact he never really considered himself much of a reader like some people.  "I wish I could make time to do more reading, but I guess I'm just not disciplined enough," he says.


As for his love of writing, this is his first book.  He tells me that it was definitely a challenge to finish, But now that it's completed and published, he has this great sense of accomplishment and a thing he calls "the writing bug".   "I have already begun tossing around a couple of new ideas for my next book.  Hopefully I'll be able to get it published sometime in the near future."


When it comes to favorite authors, Curt says, "I used to read a good bit of Lawrence Sanders, but my favorite of all time is the late great Sidney Sheldon.  I've read most if not all of his novels and have never found a bad one.  I was really upset when he passed a couple of years ago, and truly believe the world lost one of the great masters."


"When I was a child," Curt told me in the interview, "I had this fantasy of becoming a famous author.  I even started writing my first novel in the sixth grade.  But as sixth graders are wanton to do, I became distracted and never completed it.  It wasn't very good anyway.  But as an adult, I thought that I had lived a somewhat interesting life and done some things that most people aren't lucky enough to get to do.  So I always thought that one day I'd write the "Memoirs of the regular guy".  Never in a million years did I ever think I would actually do it.  But after the great changes that I experienced in my life, I thought that I should write it down and share it with others.  And like I said earlier, now I've got the "writing bug."


In each interview, I like to ask authors, "Who or what inspired you?"  J. Curt Haney's answer to this is sure to bless you.  He says, and I quote, "I actually felt led by God to write my story.  I believe that if only one teenager, or adult for that matter, can read my story and make the necessary changes in their way of life to prevent them from going through some of the horrible things that I have been through and done, then that was my purpose.  Because, you see, this book isn't really about my life, I'm a nobody, but rather it's all about the grace of God and the hope that only He offers."  And, as for how he gets his ideas for stories, he says "by living them."


Haney believes his book is special, because it's honest, truthful and he says he doesn't hold anything back.  "I didn't try to write down every little detail of my life, that was not my goal, and that would be tedious and very boring.  But everything I have portrayed in my book, I've tried to portray in an honest and plain way.  I want others to be able to read it and understand it without me trying to be some kind of brilliant, fancy author.  I just want to tell my story in the hopes of helping someone else, I'm not doing this to impress anyone.  My wife and kids think it's pretty cool that I am the author of a published book, but to them, I'm still husband and dad.  After all, they're really the only ones I try to impress these days."


Curt hopes that by reading his book,  readers will get an understanding of how much God loves each one of them, despite where they come from, what they've done, or even who they've become.  "He loves us unconditionally," Haney says, "and He is the only way to find true joy and peace in life.  Andd that's what I want the readers to take from this book.  That they don't have to go through all that I went through just to find that peace and joy in life, it's available just for the asking; it's available to all who ask."


"So Curt, what advice would you give to someone who wishes to become a published author?"


"First, don't give up.  There will be times during the writing period that you will think that this is just too big of a task.  It's just too much for you and that you'll never, ever get it completed.  You may even do like I did and stop writing for a couple of months.  But whatever you do, finish the job.  It is well worth it.  The sense of accomplishment is fantastic, even if you only sell one or two books.  You've still done it!  And when it's completed and you feel really good about yourself and your accomplishment, be prepared for rejection after rejection by publisher after publisher.  When you finally do get a publisher to accept your manuscript, be prepared to wait.  It takes a long, long time to get through the publication process.  Sometimes as short as a few months and sometimes as long as a year.  Just keep your eye on the prize, your eye on the goal.  And eventually, when that book does hit the shelves, when you hold your completed book in your hands for the very first time, it will be well worth all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into it."


"Anything else that you would like to share with us?"


"I just want to say thank you for this interview.  We authors are starving for attention and publicity to promote our books, so thank you very much for this opportunity.  I hope everyone who reads this interview will go out and buy my book, read it and most importantly enjoy it.  And then go tell a friend.  If anyone would like to contact me for any questions or other information, they can visit my official website at

or I can also be found on

or just by Googling  "J.Curt Haney".   I also want to say that no matter what situation in which you find yourself in this life, there is still hope.  I know because I have found that hope, and you can learn all about that hope in my book. So please read it."


Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays!  Be sure to come back, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, SciFi writer, D. K. Caldwell!