Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interview with Olutosin Ogunkolade






http://olutosinogunkolade.blogspot.com  It’s called the dreamer’s blog
When I’m not working or spending time with my young and growing family, I write articles or  add  to works I intend to publish. I can be very busy.



Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?

I like spending time with my beautiful wife and my new born son.
I enjoy movies, visiting beautiful or historical sites and of course reading.
Whenever I can I find time to do all these things.


Deirdra:  Can you tell us a little about your book, Great Words For Great Living?

Great Words for Great Living is a book of over four hundred pages that has attracted a lot of praise. It’s  meant  to  be a manual that you work with by reading words  that  inspire and writing  out  your  thoughts  in the  note section.
It’s a way of learning from those who have gone ahead of us, those who are still here and those who have achieved something substantial in life. It’s a compilation of wisdom words and thoughts that have the potential to inspire to greatness. Where would  we  be  without the knowledge  of  others? Knowledge  is  the wheels on which greatness and exploits ride.
You will find the words and wisdom of men like Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, James Dyson, King Cyrus the great, Winston Churchill, Elvis Presley, my humble self and many others in this inspiring and educative volume.


Deirdra:  What  do  you  hope  readers  will  get from  your  books?

I hope readers will be inspired to greater things after reading my books.
I hope that through my books they will be entertained to some degree.
I trust that they will contact insight that would have made my books worth reading.


Deirdra: What is your process of  brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

I don’t outline my work when I start writing. I believe more in flowing with the idea or inspiration as it comes. I sit down and write, I wait to see what happens next and build up the story or work with each phase of the book.


Deirdra: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

I prefer absolute quietness when I am writing. I focus better that way, and it works for me. I tend to get distracted when music is playing as I try to write [within a noisy environment].


Deirdra:  What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?

I guess  putting  myself into the character I am writing about is a good way to go. You have to  feel  the characters you are writing about, that way it makes the characters more real.
If  the author who created them can feel a connection to them, it’s most likely the readers will feel connected to the authors character(s) as well.


Deirdra:  What  authors  do you  admire, and  why?

Wendy  Alec, Salman  Rushdie, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Jonathan Cahn, JK Rowling and Francine Rivers. There is a Nigerian author based in the United Kingdom called Ben Okri, he also writes very well.
Their works have had an impact, they are creative, and their writing styles are unique.
I have enjoyed Barack Obama’s books as well.




Deirdra:  What  is  your  favorite  snack  to  have  while  you  are  writing?

I’ll  snack on  pretty  much  anything. I like my  food.


Deirdra:  Besides  writing  what other  talents  or  hobbies do  you  have?

I like calligraphy, I find it relaxing. I’ve taken a short course in it and I hope to go further  with  it  in the near future.
Why can’t I be a calligraphic scribe?
I enjoy drawing, I still draw occasionally, it’s something I have always liked since I was young.
I have perceptive and discerning skills. I think I have good business acumen.
Running, swimming, word puzzles and board games like chess, draught, monopoly are some of  my hobbies.



Deirdra:  What are you working on now?

I’m working on a Christian fiction book, it will be rather voluminous.
It’s titled ‘The Sword Of Goliath’
It’s my hope that it will be out this year. God willing.
I’m also working on an idea to help and promote the work of self published authors. It’s still a project under wraps, but any self publisher who is interested in knowing more can reach me at supertosin2002@yahoo.com


Deirdra:  What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
Accepting  criticism. Having to accept that your work won’t be everybody’s cup  of  tea.


Deirdra:  What is the best thing about being an author?
Knowing that there are people out there who value your thoughts and effort so much that they are willing to spend time reading a piece of my work. Knowing that I am influencing someone, somewhere in a positive way through my books is very rewarding.



Deirdra:  What are your goals as an author for the next three years?
My goal as an author over the next three years is to have written a stellar work; a Christian fiction book that resonates so well with the public, glorifies God and is made into a film. A major motion picture people can go and watch in the cinemas






Deirdra: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

They  shouldn’t  give  up  on  their  dreams  even  if  it’s  not  working  out  as  fast  and  as  well  as  they  hope. Tomorrow   is  always  another  day.
It  seems  time  and  life  has  a  way  of  testing  us  to  see if  we  really mean  business  about  our  dreams.
They  should  also  ensure  that  the  waiting  period  before  their  manuscripts  are made  into  books  are  periods  they  use  to  research  deeply  and perfect  their  work.




Deirdra:  What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?

My  father telling me that my books are a worthy effort   is  and was enough complement for me.
Many  readers have said nice things about my work.


Deirdra: What  are  all  the different  ways  you  have promoted  your  book.

I have used   facebook advertisements, word of mouth publicity, email campaigns and many social networking sites and online interviews.
These   are  some  of  my  youtube  video links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBPklt0yJGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UeYaBBlneA




Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?

My books ‘GREAT WORDS FOR GREAT LIVING’ and ‘MAKAIRA: the double edged sword’ are available through www.authorhouse.co.uk, www.amazon.com or  www.amazon.co.uk
You can get them through most online book retailers.




Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
To new and aspiring writers, they should know that writing a book should be only one side of their dream. Marketing and advertising it is the second and equally important part. Every writer needs the public to get their book sales up, so its important they have an effective marketing strategy.
I am working on a project that can make this happen for new and aspiring author, particularly those who have self published. Anyone who wants to know more can get in touch with me through my email address.
Thank you




Thank you so much. It’s a real honor to get your insights.



Book Reviews

I have around 20 people who read and review books for me. They use anonymous names and are completely honest about your book. They will also rate your book from 1 - 5 STARS.

I post your synopsis/pitch along with a cover and they volunteer to read you book on a first come first serve basis. Hard cover copies and children's books get picked up right away, e-book versons are not as popular, but I will still post them for review.

I can't edit their reviews, but if you would like to see the review before I post it please let me know.

If you are interested in having a reader review your books please email a copy to EdenLiterary@gmail.com. To send a hard copy please email me for a mailing address to send it to.




Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Review Blackjack, Dreaming of a Morgan Horse


Reviewed by Lady K

Blackjack, Dreaming of a Morgan Horse
By Ellen F Feld
Overall I liked this book. My favorite part about it was how it immersed you in the world of horses and competitive horse shows. I also like how the author portrayed the different characters and the personalities of the different horses.
I will say that the beginning of the book both confused and disappointed me. I had no idea what was going on or why it was happening. I mean, stealing a horse without any apparent cause is not a good thing, so if the main character dreams this over and over, then that makes me question if she is someone that I want to like. It just seems a little senseless. The fact that it’s a dream that occurs over and over again makes the story predictable, but not in a good way. When parts of her dream occurred, it just felt so cliché. I think it make it hard for me to love this book. I will say that I liked the book, but it was despite the dream, not because of it.
I would recommend this book to children that love horses, children because anyone older would probably have a hard time with the obvious plot progression like I did, and since that seems to be the target audience, then I would say the author succeeded.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Interveiw With Author Monique Bucheger







Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
 In high school. I had an awesome creative writing teacher, Marion “Jo” Johnson. She was my first cheerleader. In fact, she objected to me marrying straight out of high school because she said I would have a bunch of kids and not write the books she thought I should. 22 years later I had the same husband, 12 kids, and no books, so I started writing again to keep my promise to her. And here we are 5 years later, loving almost every minute of rediscovering my passion for writing.

Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Believe it or not, I write. I have 12 kids, so I have very little uninterrupted time. When I can squeeze in a couple hours and just write, that is what I like to do. I used to scrapbook—and should again, but pretty much mothering: chauffeuring, cooking, helping with homework, etc, and writing make up my day.

Deirdra:  What are you working on now?
I am plotting Book 4 of the Ginnie West series as well as writing the first book of my Ryder series. I have written a novella to introduce the Ryder family and their predicament. It’s a little more tearjerker than my normal writing, but my beta readers tell me they are hooked.

Here’s the quick pitch for the Novella and Book 1:
When his parents return from their second honeymoon in mahogany caskets, nineteen year-old Cale Ryder not only inherits the family ranch, but his three teenage brothers and kid sister, Brandi. Thrust onto the fast track to fatherhood, Cale doesn’t have time for a lot of nonsense and quickly lets everyone know there’s only room for one alpha dog in the fight to keep the family together. Battling a busybody aunt, child protective services, and the rigors of ranch living to provide for his siblings, he tries not to wonder what life would be like if he could do what he wanted, instead of what everyone else needs.

Internationally best-selling author, David Farland read and edited the first 100 pages and suggested I break it into a novella and two books, (since the original book spanned 9 years), so that is what I am doing. I really like how the novella turned out. It’s a lot of fun to change up my writing style and situations since the Ryder series is aimed at YA/New Adult readers.

Deirdra:  What is the best thing about being an author?
Making a difference in a reader’s life through something I‘ve written. My series deals with dark subjects like child abuse and abandonment in a way that empowers people on all side of the issues. I’ve had several readers who were abused as children find hope and peace in Tillie’s story. That is very meaningful to me. I also have had several parents and grandparents tell me: “I know I can trust my kids with you.” That also means a lot to me and I take that seriously. I don’t shy away from tough issues, but I won’t subject my readers to gratuitous sex, violence, and profanity.

Deirdra:  How do you come up with your character’s names?
My Ginnie West series names were names I liked as a tween. I can’t remember why I chose Ginnie other than I had a friend in 7th grade who was very beautiful and went by Jinny even though her formal name was Virginia. I changed the nickname to Ginnie for my MC. Tillie’s name came about because Matilda sounded cool to me, (at 12), but we’ll learn in Book 4 that her mom named her for the book ‘Matilda’ because she admired Matilda’s perseverance and spirit. A lot of the other characters in the Ginnie West series have some version of my children’s names in them.

In the Ryder series, I picked the 4 brothers’ names from a list of  “Western names” on nameberry.com, one of my favorite naming resources, although Cale, Luke, and Jesse have been favorites of mine for years. In the Ryder series, I use a lot of my nieces’ and nephews’ names (or some version of them), but only for the “good” characters. I also “collect” names I hear in everyday life. Names fascinate me—I once did a 40-page thesis on names and got an “A”.

Deirdra:  What is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?
That something in my books helped them in some meaningful way. The funniest compliment to date I have received was from one of my friends who and told me: “I’m so mad at you!- I had to find out what happened in your book so I kept reading until I finished it—at THREE A.M.! I had to be up at 5:30 am. Thanks a lot!” We’re still friends and she’s a big fan, but that always makes me laugh.

Deirdra:  Can you tell us a little about your book, Simply West of Heaven?
This is the third book in my Ginnie West series and in some ways is my most powerful one. A lot happens and we go to a really dark place with Tillie. She is Ginnie’s best friend and future sister. Tillie is a quiet, sweet girl who is usually Ginnie’s cheerleader. Tillie’s world gets rocked in a hard way when Ginnie’s life takes an unexpected twist. The result is some raw emotion I tapped from 3 “Tillies” I knew as a tween/teen—girls who were abused and neglected in their own homes. There is no graphic violence, but the residual effects of being abused came out in unexpected ways.
On a lighter note, my books are pretty much standalone. The one unfinished thread from “The Secret Sister’s Club” is resolved in “Simply West of Heaven.” That twist, in turn, offers great fun and fodder for Book 4.

Deirdra: What are all the different ways you have promoted your book?
 I have just begun marketing my books with this blog tour. I have heard from several authors that it is best to wait until you have 3-4 quality books out before putting a lot of time, money and effort into marketing so that there is actually more than one book to buy. I just finished my third book and expect to have 3-4 more published in the 2013. I have done a few book signings and have started a blog: http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/. I am on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monique.bucheger but probably need to change to my author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monique-Bucheger/193789017310198?fref=ts Feel free to friend me on both until I figure out how to make the switch. I’m still a little (read: a lot!) confused about social media. I also have a twitter account: https://twitter.com/MoniqueBucheger I’m still figuring twitter out, but I follow most people who follow me.

Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?
 If you want signed copies of a print book, please check out my blog: http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/p/paypal-safer-easier-way-to-pay-online.html I sell them less expensively than amazon.com and will personalize them.
My e-books and print books can be found here for amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Monique%20Bucheger

And here for barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Monique-Bucheger?store=allproducts&keyword=Monique+Bucheger

Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
Yes, Simply West of Heaven will be available the first part of January in all forms. Thanks so much for having me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you so much. It’s a real honor to get your insights.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Interview with David R. Smith







About the Author: David R. Smith
David was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and spent most of his childhood on
a farm in Heber City, located in the Wasatch Mountains. He loved exploring
the mountains on his horse looking for adventures to follow. Growing up,
he wanted to be a movie director and used his own Super 8 camera to make
silent movies with his friends and brothers and sister. Instead he earned
a Bachelors in Engineering at the University of Utah. While there, he met
the love of his life, Jenelle, and they were blessed with three amazing
sons: Josh, Tate, and Porter. David later earned his Masters in Business
Administration from Northwestern University and pursued a path in the
corporate world. But his creative side continued to tug at him for years
until finally through the encouragement of his wife and boys, he realized
that it’s never too late to follow your dream. So David set off to write
an epic adventure of a boy and his horse and created a story of freedom,
adventure, love, courage and sacrifice. When he's not writing, David
enjoys outdoor activities with his family, and especially loves surfing
with his three boys in Southern California where he resides.





The Dark Eagles:First Flight
A Tale of Adventure and Freedom

Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his
best friend Tarc.  But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday,
left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an
adventure beyond even his imagination.
Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant
academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along
with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

 
 “Author David R. Smith does a fine job with his dialogue, which flows smoothly and wittily throughout. His interactions between characters are genuine, and the portrayals of his young female characters in particular are refreshing.”
The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT

“The book was wonderfully written. It is a book for all ages and gender. Boys may like that it is from a young man's point of view with all the adventure. I enjoyed the character development and the friendships formed from the adversity they faced.”
The Book Rack, Arcadia, CA





1. What was the most memorable adventure you had exploring the Wasatch Mountains as a kid? 

When I was 12 years old, I had just finished reading The Ash Staff by Paul Fisher.  My friend and I loved that story.  One day after school we saddled our horses and with our homemade swords (metal pipes smashed flat with a hammer on an anvil) we set off to explore the oak brush forests at the base of the mountains.  We galloped through the narrow passes between the trees, darting around them, fighting off imaginary goblins and monsters.  At one point we came upon a group of deer that scattered deeper in the forest.  Had we had bows, we were sure we could have killed our own dinner.  We continued exploring at a walking pace to give our horses and us a rest.  Then we darted off again.  I was in the lead and as I came around a bend there was a massive anthill.  My horse was spooked and jumped sharply to the left to avoid the mound.  My body, on the other hand continued in its straight course and landed directly on top of the anthill.  I rolled off and sprang to my feet brushing the red ants from my arms and clothes.  I felt myself a true warrior that I had skillfully avoided receiving a single ant bite.  My friend laughed so hard he almost fell of his horse.  For us, it had been a grand adventure.

2. What made you want to be a movie director growing up? And what was your most ambitious movie project?

As a kid, I saw Star Wars 17 times.  And that wasn’t on video, it was in the movie theatre.  And I think I came close to that number with The Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Those two movies had a huge impact on my childhood.  I wanted to be like Lucas and Spielberg and top what they had done.  I saved my money and bought a Super 8 movie camera.  I filmed a number of very short pieces and then set out to make my first full-length (4 minute) Super 8 movie (a roll of film had just over 4 minutes on it).  We opted for a cowboy movie since we had all the props.  It was the typical outlaws-robbing-the-bank-and-the-sheriff-finding-their-secret-camp-to-get-it-back movie.  All the outlaws died complete with bloody ketchup bags and one outlaw rolling six times across level ground until his bag of ketchup broke for the zoom-in blood frame.  I remember one scene where I told my younger brother “Okay, you are dead, you can’t move in the background on this next scene.”  He told me okay.  I soon as I started to roll the film, he stood up in the background, dusted off his hat, and walked off completely forgetting what I had said.  The movie ended with a panning of all the dead bad guys lined up like a Clint Eastwood movie.  One of my friends couldn’t hold it in and had a big ole grin on his face.  With no editing tools and no ability to reshoot (I had used up my only roll of film) that would have to do.         

3. What were some of the bumpy parts on your road to publication?

The biggest challenge for me, as probably for most first-time authors, was the need to be persistent.  You learn so much about yourself and your writing abilities with your first book.  The process is long and, at times, can feel hopeless.  It has taken five years for me to develop “The Dark Eagles” series and complete the first book.  You rewrite and revise over and over as you chip away the rough edges of your story or add details that you are missing.  I would say to myself, “That’s it, I have it!” and then a reviewer would point out something and I’d have to go back and make changes.  Don’t give up.  If you love writing just keep going, keep working at it, it will come.  And when you get your first genuine, unsolicited, praise from a fan it is the most amazing thing.  There’s nothing like it!    
  
4. Have you always liked fantasy? What's your favorite book?

I have always liked fantasy.  I love going on adventures and fantasy books are full of them.  I’m a big fan of the classic adventure stories and one of my favorites is “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  His descriptions of the pirates and their villainous yet endearing natures are so real you feel like you are on the journey with Jim Hawkins.  “The Hobbit” is another favorite of mine.  I also like more recent novels like “The Hunger Games.”  Fantasy can provide inspiration too.  Like Frodo walking up Mount Doom, fantasy can encourage us to push forward in our personal lives regardless of what challenges we face.  It strengthens us and gives us hope through the characters and events they experience.  Nothing seems to inspire us more than a great story!

5. What are your future writing plans?

The Dark Eagles – First Flight is just the beginning of The Dark Eagles series.  There are four more novels to come.  I’m nearing completion of the second one now, “The Dark Eagles – Wells in Desolation.”  Kief’s adventures take him across the seas to hostile and desolate lands filled with death and despair.  Seeking justice and driven by the raw will to survive, he encounters new friends that help him along his journey and reveal secrets about the past and his unfathomable destiny.  But a shocking truth threatens to doom the fate of The Dark Eagles forever.   
    
6. Any advice to aspiring writers?

As I mentioned earlier, I love the classic adventure stories: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, H. Ryder Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.  I love them for their adventures and I love them for the near poetic words of their dialogues and descriptions.  A part of me aspired to be like them.  But that wasn’t my gift.  We all have specific gifts and styles as writers.  We have to embrace who we are and then work to develop it, to stretch it.  With that, I say, be true to yourself as a writer.  The other night I was watching a movie about a writer who was apprenticing a young man.  At one point, the young man was sitting at his typewriter thinking.  The seasoned writer asked him what he was doing and then told him to stop thinking and start writing.  He told him there is no right or wrong in the first draft.  I have found that so very true in my own experience.  Just start typing the words.  You will be surprised where your own gift of writing will take you if you unleash it.  My wife, not a writer herself, encouraged me to do it years ago as she tried to help me let go and stop pretending to be some author I am not.  She told me to sit down and start writing about anything, especially something I hadn’t thought-to-death about.  She called it freewriting, or writing from the heart.  It was truly a liberating experience.      

7. Where and when do you do your best writing, and why do you think that is so? 

I have so often heard of writer’s block.  It is something that I have never yet experienced.  My imagination goes so fast that the problem I usually have is getting all that is in my head down on the paper.  I can write anywhere.  I have no problem blocking out the world.  I ride a motorcycle 140 miles roundtrip to work through northern Los Angeles.  I come up with many scenes as I ride.  Then, when I get to work early, I will spend time writing or I will stay up late in the evenings.  Saturday mornings and holidays are especially great as everyone usually sleeps in and I have a few hours to focus.  My wife often drives on longer road trips and I get a lot of writing done then as well.  With lovely California weather, I enjoy writing outside on our back patio whenever I can.