Authursday – Cheryl Cheatham

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a grandmother of 3 little girls. I love reading books to them that are silly, full of adventure, and make them smile. I have written and illustrated 2 books and a matching coloring book. I have zero education in writing or illustrating. I started drawing pictures to my grandchildren during covid to stay connected and my stories and pictures took on a life of their own. That was 18 months, 2 books, a coloring book, and another in the works ago.
How do you make time to write?
I work on my books first thing in the morning or late at night.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Children’s adventure. With 3 little grandchildren in my house A LOT, books are a favorite way to entertain, teach, and have fun. I enjoy the stories and enjoy seeing smiles on their faces when reading to them.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I have used a publisher, I have self-published, and moving forward I will never use a publisher again. Being a control freak I want my books to be my vision. I don’t think I was appropriately represented either because I wasn’t willing to spend many thousands of dollars on their marketing. I was told by my publisher I used too many colors in my illustrations – one of the things all the kids love about my books.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert definitely! It has taken me some time to gain the confidence to put myself out there. It can be intimidating, someone always scrutinizing your work. I do this for the kids, and they love Yaya The Sheep, Perry, and Polly.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (Maya Angelou)
Every day matters!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
You better LOVE what you are writing about. You are going to be thinking, breathing, and sleeping about the topic for years! Do your research on publishing, printing, and selling, and know who your audience is.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
and on Facebook – Yaya The Sheep
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Yaya is an adorable sheep who loves her animal friends. Yaya and her super silly, furry, friends go on 17 adventures discovering what the world has to offer. They explore amazing, exciting, fun, jobs – a hot air balloon pilot, a pastry chef, a superhero, a butterfly catcher, and many more. Along the way, they learn about the value of love and kindness. The book is educational, inspiring, silly, and will put a smile on your face.

AuThursday – Abbey Franer

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Abbey and I’m a mom with a degree in English currently living in Ohio. I’ve been writing creatively since I was in second grade, but started writing original stories more seriously in high school. I just published my debut novel, YA/NA Fantasy titled Dragonhearted.
How do you make time to write?
I try to carve out time in the mornings while the kids are in school or at night once they’ve gone to bed. It can be a challenge to have dedicated time, but I try to keep things moving in any little way I can (sometimes that means jotting down scene ideas in the Notes app on my phone at red lights or in the school pick up line).
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes and no. We all have moments when we feel stagnated and words aren’t flowing but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are blocked. Actively putting words on a page aren’t the only way we can be creative! Part of the creative process is taking in inspiration and that can come from reading, watching movies and tv shows, listening to music, or being in nature or people watching.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write YA/NA Fantasy mostly because it’s the genre I most enjoy to read. I enjoy suspending disbelief to immerse myself in a fantasy world. Unique world building and story lines especially appeal to me!
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I just self published my debut novel with KDP. After talking to published writers in my writing groups, doing a lot of publishing market research, and taking time to evaluate what my goals were, I decided self publishing was the best option for this book. I am happy I still maintain all my rights and could let go of the stress of the query and submission process while I “dip my toes in the water” so to speak. I do plan to consider the traditional publishing route for my current work in progress.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert! I think it can make marketing my work a little harder because actively putting myself and my work out there is not my strong suit. I also think being introverted has helped me develop a knack for reading people and that can translate to writing realistically fleshed out characters.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
It may not sound like a typical motivational phrase, but I particularly love this quote from Victor Hugo:
“A writer is a world trapped in a person.”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read and write as much as you can! Join writing groups and engage with other writers. And don’t be afraid to be harsh in your editing. If it feels too painful to cut a scene, save it in a separate document so it’s never really gone.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m on Twitter, TikTok, and Goodreads @abbey_author.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
One defining moment from Dragonhearted comes to mind:
Tori laughed and threw open her arms, lifting her face to the kiss of the stars. Free. No longer bound to the earth. Something stirred in her, some wild awakening, like she’d been waiting for wings all her life.

AuThursday – Katherine Brown

 
20190129172706_IMG_3246_polarrTell us a little about yourself and your background?
 
I’m a Texas girl whol could survive on chocolate and books. I’ve loved both reading and writing since early childhood. It’s an absolute joy to bring new stories to life in hopes to fuel the love of reading in others.
 
How do you make time to write?
 
I currently write while my 18 month old takes her nap in the mornings. Occasionally, I squeeze in a few extra words at night while my husband has the hockey game on.
 
Do you believe in writer’s block?
 
Yes and no. I believe I personally have times extremely lacking in creativity and productivity AKA writer’s block. Sometimes that spurs from exhaustion, or self-doubt. It is hard to write when you are barely functioning as a mom and human lol. Other times I’m guilty of not showing up and sitting down to my writing as the job it is.
 
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
 
I write primarily cozy mysteries, typically with a subplot of romantic interest. I love it because whether reading or writing mystery, it is a fun and twisty path to keep your brain engaged and questioning things. I prefer cozy and clean because I find there is already enough “junk” in the real world. I prefer fiction to be an escape from that, plus I want to create books I’m happy to let my children read one day.
 
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
 
Indie because I like the way it puts authors in the driver’s seat of the process. Also, let’s be honest, I do not have the patience trying for an agent or publisher requires.
 
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
 
Introvert! I literally forced myself to get Facebook and eventually Instagram just to try and build relationships with readers. I was pleasantly surprised to discover author connections that are absolutely precious to me, and encouraging in a way I never expected.
 
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
 
If you finish, you get chocolate. Oh, wait….that’s just a bribe I use on myself.
 
Psalm 46:5 is on my mousepad:
God is within her, she will not fail.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
Do NOT stop writing. Even if you have to follow a different career path, get the words down. Also…bite the bullet, hire an editor.
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
Gingerbread&Gravediggers Charity Basham Book 3 (1)“Note to self: uninvite all family from future holidays.” ~ MC Charity Basham’s internal thoughts; Gingerbread & Gravediggers coming November 2021
 
 

AuThursday – Paris Wynters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a multi-racial author who lives in NY. I have been a Pitch Wars mentor for four years. I am also a search and rescue canine handler.
How do you make time to write?
I make time to write to write by planning my days. Life always gets in the way but when I have things planned out I am more able to adjust then when I don’t.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. For me it can be due to stress, health, and even trying to hard.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I mostly write contemporary romance. I absolutely love it because I get to explore bits of the human condition, explore and represent the mixed race experience as well as some of the struggles with being disabled. And I absolutely love having happily ever afters.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Most of my books are traditionally published. I am currently working on a novel that will be self published because it falls into a series where my rights were reverted back to me. But I do have another new story I am working on that I hope will be going on submission soon.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert. It becomes hard to interact with people and ask for help. I find that it ends up being tougher for me to get that writer support group bc I feel awkward. But when I’m comfortable around people I do become more extroverted.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Do what works for you.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Everyone works differently. No one way is correct, so don’t force yourself to do something that doesn’t work for you even if 90% of everyone else is doing it. If writing every day doesn’t work for you, that’s fine.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
on IG and Twitter: @pariswynters
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
“Get your stuff,” Qara called over her shoulder, looking back at her grandmother and sister while grabbing for the door handle…only to hit something else. She spun her head forward, her gaze jerking down to see her gloved hand sitting atop another glove. A much larger one and suddenly felt the presence of a large body to her left.
She yelped, jumped, and slipped on an icy patch of sidewalk. A pair of strong hands landed on her shoulders. Steadying her. She lifted her gaze to meet a pair of dazzling blue eyes. Then, the rest of him registered. Tall. Broad shouldered. Cheekbones for days.
Qara blinked and tried to regain her focus, while her heart gave an unsteady thump. “I’m sorry, I thought the cab was pulling over for me.” The man smiled at her before releasing her shoulders and stepping back. He rubbed his chin, a motion that brought Qara’s attention to his sandy-blond beard. Her pulse fluttered again. She’d always been a sucker for a rugged man with facial hair. Apparently that appreciation extended even to taxi thieves.
The man turned up the collar of his wool coat and yanked his knit hat over his ears. “It’s okay. I can hail another one.”
Great. Now she felt bad for accusing him of being a thief. Even if she had done it silently. Qara fiddled with her purse strap and nodded, still feeling a little dazed. Was it just her, or did this guy look like Charlie Hunnam’s younger brother?
While she debated that very important fact, a familiar voice cut through the air. “Nonsense. Where are you heading?” Emee said.
The man turned to face her grandmother. “The Shangri-La Hotel.”
“What a coincidence,” Rose said. She lifted her eyebrows at Qara, and the corners of her mouth tipped up.
Qara’s eyes widened. Oh, no. She knew that look on her sister’s face all too well. Now was not the time for Rose to get involved in her dating life—or lack of one. Enough was said a few days ago at their grandmother’s birthday dinner, and she needed to put an end to this before her sister got any bright ideas. Like playing matchmaker.
Before she could protest, though, her sister piped up again. “That’s where we’re heading. Why not join us? We can all squeeze in.”

AuThursday – Amelia Foster

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have been a lover of the written word for as long as I can remember as a reader and began crafting my own first story when I was five. My biggest love is romance and I will greedily devour practically all sub-genres.
How do you make time to write?
I don’t sleep! Okay, that’s only partially a joke. I work more than full-time in healthcare which is a nightmare on a good day and an absolute study in insanity since COVID-19 hit. But I get up early and try to write for a few hours in the morning.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I feel like I need something a little more emphatic than yes for this question.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]
I primarily write contemporary romance more on the sweet side, but I have forayed into a few spicier works.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
TILMy current series is my first indie journey which is both the greatest and most overwhelming decision of my life. But even when my brain feels incredibly full, I still believe it was the perfect choice for me.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I am an introvert who is forced to extrovert as part of my day job career. So because of that I am a little more exhausted than I would be otherwise and I think that it affects my ability to write as much as I’d like because I need the time to recuperate from peopling.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Breaks are okay and your mental health needs to come first, but just because your passion needs to be on the back burner at times doesn’t mean you need to give up on the overall dream.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

AuThursday – Brenda Billings Ridgley

Tour Banner_Lady and the Tribe copyTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a Colorado girl who spent a decade in corporate America as a human resources manager and then decades more as an entrepreneur with businesses ranging from brick-and-mortar retail to consulting and direct sales. I am an avid networker and connector.

How do you make time to write? 

I set a small daily goal that I can keep up with on a consistent basis. I don’t always get the daily goal done but it kept me on track enough to make up for it within each week. Don’t we all wish we could make more time? I made writing a priority and had to re-negotiate some other things.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I believe that it exists for writers when they are finding themselves less passionate about their work. I have yet to experience it but I am too superstitious to say that it doesn’t exist!

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

For much of my adult life I have been drawn to books that help be grow whether that be in business acumen, spirituality, learning something new or just be happier. I wrote Lady and the Tribe for women so they could rediscover themselves like I did through empowering friendships. I love this genre because I believe we should all choose to be life-long learners.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

I chose to self-publish Lady and the Tribe because I feel the information is timely, our disconnected world needs to remember that our relationships are really what bring joy and meaning to our lives. I didn’t want to wait years for a publisher to pick it up and make it their own.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?  How does this affect your work? 

I am an extraverted introvert. A friend told me she calls it an Ambivert. I love to get in front of people, even on stage and present, share, interact… but after I need to go into my little she-shed and re-fill my energy stores. Many are surprised when I tell them I am really an introvert.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I have two:

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. ~ Henry Ford 

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” ~ Glinda, Wizard of Oz

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t wait for the perfect time to get started because it may never come! Write about things that interest and excite you and you will never be at a loss for words.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is BrendaRidgley.com and on social media you can find me @BrendaRidgley

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Book Cover_Lady and the TribeQuest for Wholeness

We all want to be whole. At some point in time, we may find ourselves asking the universe, “What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? Why do I feel like something is missing?” I found myself asking these questions the year my son was a senior in high school and began planning for college. He had decided to go to a performing arts school in New York, far away from our home in Colorado. I was experiencing some inner turmoil as I realized my life, as I had come to know it, was about to undergo an unwelcome transformation. 

As many mothers do, I had spent the last 18 years focusing on my family and much of my identity revolved around that role. What purpose did I have beyond raising good kids? Oh, how I would miss my son . . . and then I would soon be losing my daughter too. Things were never going to be the same again. Our family of four, my world, was a ticking time bomb soon to implode. I struggled to hang on to every possible MOM-ent that school year.

I felt an unexplainable emptiness creep up on me. My life was great, but something was missing. I wasn’t motivated to do anything beyond clinging to the upcoming “lasts” of a child becoming a young man. I longed for a new goal, purpose, or intention to get excited about, but I was not finding the inspiration. In an attempt to find my way, I wrote this letter to the universe. 

Dear Universe,

I have heard the analogy that our energy stream is like a river; we should work with the current, rather than paddle upstream. We can be or do or have anything we want, believe, and allow. Everything we want is downstream. All we need to do is turn our boat around and paddle with the current, our inspired action, or let the oars go altogether and let the momentum take us to our best life. 

I sometimes feel like I turned the boat around and drifted into a large lake with little current, or my boat was dropped in the middle of the ocean, and I’m lost at sea. The only way out is to paddle. But, I don’t feel the inspirational current, and I don’t see the destination clearly. 

My question to the Universe is: “How long do I hang out in this boat adrift being content but not satisfied?” I love the peace I have found, but I am hungry for inspiration and passion to drive me into motivated action. “When will I hit the rapids again and find the current that makes the journey seem effortless and exciting?” I feel incomplete without a burning desire. 

There it is, Universe. “What do I do next?” I am so grateful for all of the blessings in my life. I have many. Life is beautiful. I want back in the game of contribution and creation . . . eagerness and excitement . . . joyfully making a difference. “Isn’t it okay to want it all?”

All my love,

Brenda

My letter was not immediately answered. It took some time, but months later, I did find my way out of this funk. Pick up a copy of Lady and the Tribe, How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles to learn what happened next.

Thank you Clog Blog for this great interview and opportunity!

author photoAUTHOR Bio and Links:

BRENDA RIDGLEY is an author, speaker, and girlfriend guru who loves helping women connect, find success, and discover joy through friendship.  Her mission is to start a movement: women coming together to build thousands of new Lady Tribes around the globe.  Through her workshops, vlogs, blogs, and book clubs, Brenda helps women connect and communicate with respect, love, and trust. She holds an MA in human resources and has spent decades cultivating her own Tribe.  A Colorado girl at heart, Brenda lives in the Carbon Valley area with her husband, Parker, two kids, Parker Jr. and Gillian, and pooch, Perry.  She enjoys hiking and has conquered Longs Peak and several other 14’ers.  

To connect with Brenda, visit her website at www.BrendaRidgley.com

Invite Brenda to speak at your next event: mailto:brenda@brendaridgley.com.

Order:  Lady and the Tribe  –  https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Tribe-Empowering-Friendship-Circles/dp/1737289709

Subscribe:

YouTube: @BrendaRidgley

Podcast: @TheConnectionConnoisseur   – https://www.podserve.fm/series/website/the-connection-connoisseur,3341/

Blog:  https://www.brendaridgley.com/blog

Follow:

Instagram: @BrendaRidgley —  https://www.instagram.com/brendaridgley/

Facebook: @BrendaRidgleyConnections – https://www.facebook.com/brendaridgleyconnections

Twitter: @BrendaRidgley

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Brenda Billings Ridgley will be awarding a Cape Diablo wrap bracelet and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3929/

Author Interview – Kelly Pawlik

TourBanner_Yesterday's Gone

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a mother of three, a mediocre gardener, and an avid RPG player. I live on Vancouver Island, BC with my husband, our three inquisitive children, and two lazy cats.

In addition to writing the Olympic Vista Chronicles novellas, I am a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) writer and have released multiple RPG supplements with my husband under our micro-publishing company, Dire Rugrat Publishing. I’ve also contributed to several best-selling works with Kobold Press.

How do you make time to write? 

It can be tricky at times for sure! I often set a timer, carving out twenty minutes here or there. If I’m on a roll with it, I might write longer.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Yes, and no. I think there can be a bit of a hurdle, but I think sometimes you just have to push through it. Or write something else! Sometimes, when I’m not feeling as inspired with the novellas, I work on short stories. They can be a fun change of pace and a good way to work around writer’s block. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I write YA sci-fi and YA horror. I’m not even sure how I stumbled into it, but I had this story and I started writing it. I love YA. I devoured YA books when I was younger, and at some point, I’m not sure when, I stopped reading YA. And then I hit a reading slump. I picked up some YA books again and it was like finding an old friend. I hope when people pick up my books, they get the same feeling. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

I published the books myself. Some people look down on self-published books, but many indie book authors hire professional editors and proofreaders. I did for these books. An upside to self-publishing is retaining more control over the books. Also, Yesterday’s Gone is the first book in a series of novellas and I feel novellas are more difficult to have traditionally published. I have a vision for the series that wouldn’t fit as well with a traditional publisher. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

Absolutely an introvert! I’m not sure how much it affects what I write, but it certainly affects my ability to promote the book. Being self-published means I do the marketing and promotion myself, and that isn’t as easy when you’re an introvert. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“The goal is not to live life perfectly, but to live it completely.”

My philosophy teacher in college said that in one of our classes and it really stuck with me. Sometimes, when I’m paralyzed with a fear of failure, I remember that quote and I push forward. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just do it. Write. Read. Edit. Practice. 

Read books in your genre, read books outside your genre, read books on writing. 

And just write.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

You can find my website here: http://olympicvistapublishing.com/

But you can also join me on Facebook and Instagram

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

BookCover_YesterdaysGoneLaughter and playful screams echoed across the lake. The light sparkled on the water as Adelaide floated on her back and kicked her feet gently back and forth. She closed her eyes and turned her face up toward the sun. The air was still. Combined with the clear sky and warm sun, it was the perfect summer day, which was a rare feat for Olympic Vista.

She needed to be here today. Rico, her mother’s latest boyfriend, was over. Adelaide hated being around Rico. She sighed in contentment as she stretched her limbs like a starfish and basked atop the water. 

Her eyes snapped open as something wrapped around her ankle. Adelaide tried to kick her leg free, but whatever it was held fast. She opened her mouth to call out, but only took in a mouthful of water as she was pulled below the surface. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

kellyKelly Pawlik dabbled with story writing from a young age. She spent her childhood reading, dressing her beloved cat, Midnight, up in doll clothes and hunting garter snakes in the backyard. Her childhood dream was to be a writer and she is proud to have made her fiction debut with the Olympic Vista Chronicles novellas.

Kelly is a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) writer and has released multiple RPG supplements with her husband under their micro-publishing company, Dire Rugrat Publishing. She has also contributed to several best-selling works with Kobold Press.

Kelly lives on Vancouver Island, BC with her husband, their three inquisitive children, and two lazy cats.

Yesterday’s Gone is available on Amazon.com

Songs from the Wood, book two in the Olympic Vista Chronicles series, will be available on Amazon in September 2021. 

You can follow Kelly on:

Facebook: kellypawlikauthor

Instagram: kellypawlikauthor

Twitter: @KellyPawlik84
Or visit her website at olympicvistapublishing.com

FREE SHORT STORY: Sign up to receive Kelly’s newsletter and get access to sneak peeks of upcoming novellas, behind the scenes information and other exclusive content. PLUS, you’ll get “Snow Day,” a short story set in the Olympic Vista Chronicles universe, right away!   Sign up now.

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Kelly Pawlik will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

AuThursday – KP Loundy

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I am a mom to two awesome little girls. I did not graduate college, as I really loved my job in the restaurant industry. I have been writing since I was in grade school, and had won a few writing contests, but always felt it was more of a hobby than a career. I finally took a chance to put my writing out there for the world and it was extremely liberating! I am now trying to fully commit to seeing if I can make turn my love of writing into my dream job. 

How do you make time to write? 

I write during bath time! The kids are happy and no one can grab my glass of wine. Other than that it’s just stealing time where I can. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

1000% 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I just published my first book a picture book, and am working on publishing a collection of fairy tale graphic novels. I am also working on a YA fairy tale. Fairy tales/fantasy are my jam, as that is what made me fall in love with reading as a child, though eventually I would love to write a good who-dun-it mystery. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

Self publishing! I didn’t have the patience for traditional publishing. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

I am an introverted extrovert. I like the idea of socializing and being the “life of the party”, but really deep in my soul I want seclusion and sweat pants. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

If you love your writing someone else will too. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

My website! www.KPPages.com 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

One monster was plenty! This many were scary.

The monsters as well seemed especially wary.

The silence was so loud you could hear a dropped pin, the quiet dragged on with no sight of an end.

They both were afraid what the other may do, so they stayed still until someone sneezed, ACHOO!

One monster giggled and another guffawed, all their cold feelings were thoroughly thawed. 

AuThursday – Floor Kist

TourBanner_Can Machines Bring Peace gifPlease welcome Floor Kist to the Clog Blog! 

Hi Tina, thank you so much for this interview and for taking the time off of your own writing. I’m really impressed by the diversity of worlds in your novels.

Floor, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I live in a town called Voorburg in the Netherlands. It’s near The Hague. Wife, two kids, two cats and a dog named Monty. And I’ve always been involved in public service. At the moment, I’m an alderman in my town. That’s a member of the city executive council, along with the mayor and three other aldermen.

I think I surprised a lot of people when I wrote and published a science fiction novel.

How do you make time to write?

Planning! Just like for the most of us, I can spend time on a lot of different things. So, just making an appointment with yourself to write can really be help. And is really a wonderful gift to yourself.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I can relate to the moments that I don’t know if the story works or how it continues. I know I can get distracted by all the other things happening in my life. And I’m especially susceptible to wanting to start all the other books I want to write.

So, for me, real writer’s block is the one when I don’t know what to do next in the story. And when that happens, I take a good look at my characters and what motivates them. Because if one of my characters wants something badly enough, they will start moving to get there. Well motivated characters will always keep the story going.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

For some reason I prefer science fiction over fantasy. Both genres allow you to imagine wonderful worlds, but I guess I like the believable world that may actually happen, intrigues me most.

Jules Verne wrote a story about traveling to the moon, and one hundred years later we did. He wrote a story about an electric submarine, and twenty years later it was built. Isaac Asimov, at an auto show in the 60s, predicted the robocar, and now we are actually building them.

This is why I like science fiction.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

My novel is self-published. But that wasn’t my first choice. I had found three publishing houses where I believed my novel would fit. And I’d done my homework on what my audience would be like, so we could target them better. And it also seems that the best time to launch science fiction books is before the summer.

None of them replied. Not even a ‘thank you for your interest’ or ‘thank you, but no thank you’. Nothing, nada, niente.

I can even understand why: because there are about one hundred thousand books being published in the USA alone.

And the idea of spending a year and a half trying to reach a publisher and not hear anything back didn’t sound that appealing. So, I found my way to the Amazon self-publishing service.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?

A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert. And one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is to go ‘out there’ – even when everything inside me said ‘just stay home, it’s nice and warm here’.

I didn’t mean to overcome being an introvert, because I didn’t like being one. It’s just the way you are. But I did want to experience more than just staying home.

How does this affect your work?

Local politics is probably not where you go to meet introverts. As an introvert, I’m comfortable being me. So, a lot of criticism I get doesn’t affect my self-worth. And being an introvert also helps me talk to everyone in an open and honest way.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Even the longest journey starts with the first step.”

I love this phrase. It kept me motivated when I started writing. It kept me motivated when I was trying to make a serious career switch.

It says that no matter how far you want to go in your life, you need the courage or the ambition or the passion to take that first step in what will undoubtedly be a wonderful journey.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish your book! Once you start writing nothing else matters. Plan to write, even if it’s just half an hour a day.

Don’t worry about if anyone will like it, or if it’s any good, because that only counts once the book is finished. Don’t worry about how to publish your book; it can only be published once it’s done.

And please don’t fuss about typos. There is no universe in which there will not be typos in the final edition of your novel.

And when your work is done and you don’t think it’s any good or even if others don’t think it’s any good, there is the sheer reward of making something out of nothing, of creating something that wasn’t there before. And no one can ever take that away from you.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Cover_Can Machines Bring PeaceCan Machines Bring Peace?

by Floor Kist

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

Can a machine bring peace? Or are humans built for war?

450 years after Earth was bombed back to the Stone Age, a young diplomat searches for lost human settlements. Kazimir Sakhalinsk narrowly escapes an exploration mission gone wrong and searches for ways to make future missions safer for his people. A festival introduces him to the Marvelous Thinking Machine.

A machine Kazimir believes can change everything

For his admiral it’s nothing more than a silly fairground gimmick. But Kazimir is convinced. Convinced enough to go against orders and build one of his own. Convinced enough to think he can bring peace. Convinced enough to think humanity is worth saving. What if he’s wrong?

He asks his hikikomori sister, a retired professor filling her empty days, the owner of the festival machine and the admiral’s daughter for help. Will that be enough?

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NOTE: The book is $0.99.

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Excerpt :

Kazimir hears the beep-beep response to his beacon. The plane is overhead! His breath shortens as he peers through the night. Standard protocol states the plane will land at a safe landing zone within a kilometer radius of ground zero. If Kazimir can find the right direction, he may actually have a chance. There! The shape of the plane against a clouded moon is a beautiful sight. He is afraid to smile, but can’t help himself.

He follows it, stumbling over the thick roots of the trees. Quickly, he looks up.

There she is again. No. ‘That’s… that’s… black flag.’ That means the others are dead.

Standing against the tree, he retches. Cold sweat forms on his forehead and his back. He shouldn’t have left the settlement. He could have saved them. No. He would be dead too. Kazimir gags and coughs. He spits out the sour taste, and wipes his chin. ‘Yuck.’

He looks up, trying to control his breath. The twin rudders and the nose turret machine gun nozzle give the Ki-2 light bomber away. Kazimir has only seen it in the hangar of the Ryūjō. He remembers the pilot telling him about the 500-kilogram maximum bomb load. All headed towards the settlement.

The ground trembles with the explosion. Kazimir sees the red and yellow clouds grow against the dark sky. Seconds later, he hears the wheezing sound of the dropping bombs, followed by the roar of a thousand dragons. Sound travels at three hundred meters per second, so he must be about 300 meters away.

The hot blast wave that follows knocks him down. He hits his head on the root of the tree. ‘Stupid tree.’ He feels a sharp pain. Warm blood dribbles into his hair. Its metallic scent reaches his nose.

Sounds of the explosion die down.

Author Image Floor_KistAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Floor Kist lives in a Dutch town called Voorburg with his wife, two sons, two cats and their dog Monty. He is currently deputy-mayor for the Green Party and an AI researcher. He’s concerned about current divisive public and political debates. But he’s also interested in how AI can be used to resolve society’s big issues.

This is his first novel. He’s been carrying the idea about a story about AI bringing peace for a long time. The Covid-19 lockdown in the Netherlands suddenly gave him time to actually write it.

Link to website:

www.floorkist.nl/author

Link to ebook:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XK42BMP

Link to paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/151368115X

Blog:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21225715.Floor_Kist/blog

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Floor Kist will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

RAFFLECOPTER:

Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

AuThursday – Tina Holland (yeah, it’s me)

So I wasn’t able to squeeze in a fellow author, today, so I thought I’d interview myself ahead of Valley Con which begins tomorrow in Fargo, ND. 

How do I make time to write? 

I’m pretty lucky – I’m almost a full-time writer, meaning it’s my day job.   I get up in the morning, eat breakfast and head to write.  I have an office in our guest-room where I write, blog, e-mail, go on Zoom Calls, Stream on Streamyard and craft on Saturdays.   I leave the office between 4 and 5 weekdays.   That’s not to say I don’t sneak writing in at other times, cuz I do.   I don’t write full-time June-August when I’m helping my husband with his crop-dusting business.  I take it easy the month of December because I’ve usually finished NaNoWriMo and also the publishing industry as a whole seems to be taking a break. 

Do I believe in Writer’s Block? 

Yes, but not in the sense there is this great muse that won’t give me words.  I think writer’s block is a manifestation of stress in your personal life or an indication there’s a problem with the story that needs to be fixed.   When I have too much going on, I will cut back on my word count goal for the week and manage self-care along with refilling my creative well.  I find small breaks are helpful in maintaining momentum.  If I step away from a project for more than a week, I have a very hard time getting back into story. So, I find if I at least open the page and stare at it or edit or write a few lines, I don’t lose my place, but I try not to pressure myself to write. 

How am I publishing my recent book and why?

alchemistsofarchangelCurrently my back-list and my most recent work, “Alchemists of Archangel” are published with Book Boutiques.  They are a small distributor that takes care of the copy-editing/line editing, provides a cover, does the formatting and distributes my book on digital platforms.    This removes a lot of components about self-publishing that scare me.   While they don’t do developmental editing, that was unnecessary when I released my back-list as those books were already edited.   I found editors for my two recent novels in the “Archangel Revolution” series to help fix issues with them so the editing was already completed.  

My current manuscript – “The Widow Spy” (this poor ms. has gone through about ten title changes), is being shopped around.  I’m hoping to get in traditionally published but I fear it may be too short for NY and will happily settle for a larger digital press.   I like small presses, but I really want more exposure.  I may Self-Publish it if I have a hard time finding a home, but I still have concerns about doing Indie publishing correctly. 

 

What is my favorite motivational phrase? 

“Just Do It!” 

It’s so cliche’ but when it comes to writing, you have to put butt in chair and muddle through until you reach the end.    

What advice would I give aspiring writers? 

There’s so much, but I think most important is find your tribe of writers.   There are so many out there and the connections can be invaluable.  I’ve found that my writing friends are supportive when you need to be lifted, ground you when you are floating away and commiserate with you through troubles.  It’s no surprise that many have become life-long friends.   

I hope you found this interesting and feel free to ask questions below.  I’ll be happy to answer them.  If you’d like to read some excerpts of my work feel free to hop over to my Books page.   You can find my social links on the About Tina page.