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!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Author Fridays Presents...Bonnie Carlson!

Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays!  Sit back, relax and read about this week's featured author, Bonnie Carlson!


Bonnie Carlson is currently the author of two books, one in print and the other one on Kindle on


The first book, the one in print is called "Time for Reflection and Healing".  It is based on a true story about a young girl who at a young age came with her mother from Germany to America. Inga not only had to learn a new language, but had to adjust to a new country and leaving her family behind to never see them again.  Her life is filled with loneliness, abandonment, and physical and sexual abuse. This story was created to help the public gain insight of how abuse truly affects the life of the victim, but how it lives as a skeleton in the closet and impacts one's life into their adulthood. This particular young girl lost her virginity and her life at the age of eleven.


"I knew this girl personally," Carlson says,  "and I gained such insight of how that abuse even if

it had stopped continues to trail along with bad choices. Her strength to survive

surpassed my ability to understand how that was possible."

"Time For Reflection and Healing" can be found at


Bonnie's second story is called "Macronni Green".  It is a children's story of a young boy

who loved the color green. He was truly addicted to the color green. While his mother

is reading him a bed time story, he in visions what his world would look like if

it was green. As he imagines his life, he problem solves with pros and cons of why it would or would not be a good idea, for everything to be green.

"Working with disabled children for a while," says Bonnie, "I found that most boys liked the color green and so it inspired me to come up with a story about it." The book is available at

on their kindle downloads, and she says she has future plans of putting it into print as well.


Bonnie Carlson has been writing since she was in her early teens, including writing for a county paper, a few years ago, featuring stories for a couple of years. She has always enjoyed writing, reading and painting.  "I think I came from a time period that was not filled with all the electronic entertainment and had to make my own," she tells me. "I turned to painting and writing instead. It allowed me to exercise my creativity and like my late mother would often tell me that I lived in my own world. In many ways I guess I did.


Born in Germany, brought to the States with her mother at the age of five, Bonnie now lives in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota..  She has five children, one stepson and three grandchildren.  She doesn't get to read as much as she would like to, but her interests really vary.  "I really

have gotten into some history stories," she says, "especially if they are personal memories of

the "Good Ole Days".


Besides writing, and painting, she is going to school to be a medical assistant.  She will graduate in December.  She tells me that she decided to go in to the medical field, after nursing a son who suffered from Leukemia at an early age.  Also, she truely loves working with people.  Her many experiences with thos people are what give her the ideas for her stories.


When I asked Ms. Carlson if she had any advice for someone who wishes to become a published author, she said, "I would tell them that if they have a desire for it, do not let anyone stand in their way.  Keep trying!"


For more information about Bonnie and her books, visit her website at


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, Christian writer, J. Curt Haney!