AuThursday – V. Mull

Please welcome V. Mull to the Clog Blog.  Virginia, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Virginia, but I go by the pen name V. Mull. I’ve been telling stories since I was five and writing them since I was old enough to. Being a published author was my dream. I had to put it on hold because of life – I got married and had three amazing kids, but something was missing. I finally figured it out. I NEEDED to write, to create. And so I did.
How do you make time to write?
It’s so hard to write when you have the constant needs of those around you. The questions, the noise – it pulls you out of the world you’re creating. But there are ways around that. I use notebooks, of which I have multiple in every room, to jot down ideas that flash through my mind while folding laundry or making lunch. Then, when I do get an hour or two of quiet, I’m able to glue those ideas together.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I sure do! Writer’s block isn’t the lack of motivation or inspiration, it’s not even laziness. It’s when you have all the tools to write – you have the need – the want – to write, yet forming sentences, even words is difficult!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Fantasy romance. Oh, the magic, the creatures born of magic, the amazing relationships between characters – I live for it. Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted) was my first inspiration for creating such worlds. And I’m a sucker for a good Jane Austen love story, so I mix the two together.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
Indie. I was always against self-publishing, only because I didn’t understand it. But I knew how long the wait could be if I chose traditionally, so I decided to take the expensive fate into my own hands. It’s hard, so hard. But I’m happy.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I suppose introvert, though I’m not a fan of labeling myself as such. I have extrovert tendencies with certain people and in certain situations, but I need to recharge for at least half a week. I suppose, from the description of an extrovert, being an “introvert” helps me immensely because I really don’t mind being alone. I prefer it at least 80% of the time, which gives me the time to write and create (if I didn’t have the kids, of course)
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
JUST DO IT – Shia LaBeouf.  It was the first thing to come to mind, to be honest!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Practice makes perfect! Cliché, absolutely. But true! I could never understand the saying because in everything I tried I simply couldn’t do better. But with writing? You can physically SEE the progress. Write something. Write more and more. Then look back on your old work and I promise you will see a difference.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
World Wide Web sounds terrifying! And it is, for an author. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and my website (where you can find all social media links) authorvmull.org
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
The Secrets of Gelid Lake
Again, they laughed like angels. “We all get angry, Nathalia. It’s what you are angry for, and how you choose to react after making a mistake that makes you pure. Your sensitivity is not a weakness, no matter how many tears you shed. You feel to your very core, and that, my child is strength.”
~Excerpt from my upcoming novella, The Secrets of Gelid Lake

AuThursday – Lesanda Moore

20201126_141648Please welcome Lesanda Moore to the Clog Blog,  Lasanda, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a mother of 3, a lover of nature, and an avid reader. Oh and I love to travel. I’m a licensed educator as well.
How do you make time to write?
By making it a priority and scheduling writing time.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write romance, women’s fiction, and children’s picture books. I love telling stories about love and life lessons with relatable characters.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I’m an indie author. I’ve only been published since January 2021. I want to learn as much as I can about the industry before pitching to a traditional publisher.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I think I’m a bit of both. Sometimes I write alone and other times I participate in live sprints with other authors. It depends on my mood.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
It’s gotta work or it’s gotta work!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Start writing
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
what the heart wants ebook cover #1What the Heart Wants
Chapter 1: Cheers to Summer Break
Cirilla
June 2018
Sweat dripped down my forehead as the afternoon announcements blared through the loudspeaker. It was the last day of school before summer break, the last day in hell, both literally and physically. The air conditioning system conked out a week ago and the whole school was riddled with fans to combat the Virginia heat.
“Boys and girls, make sure to grab all of your belongings or else they’ll be going in the trash,” I said, fanning myself with a piece of folded construction paper.
As I watched the fifth graders interact with each other, I counted down the seconds until the final bell rang, until I was a free woman.
“We’re gonna miss you, Miss Matthews.”
“I’m gonna miss you guys, too.”
They lined up against the wall and waited for the principal to dismiss the bus riders. I walked to the front of the line and handed each student a bag of treats. After the last rider left, I escorted the remaining students to the front of the building for parent pickup. While waiting, I made small talk with the other members of the fifth-grade team.
“Are you ready for some fun in the sun?” I asked.
“Yep. Me and somebody’s son,” said Maddie.
“Girl, you are too much.”
“I’m tryna get like you. I want to go to South Beach and get my booty rubbed by that fine-ass boss of ours, too.”
“Shhh,” I said, looking around to see who else heard our conversation. “Are you tryna get me fired on the last day?”
“My bad,” she whispered.
The last two students dashed across the grass to meet their parents and I headed back to the classroom to gather my belongings. Looking around the room, I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I made it through another stressful, but successful school year and now it was time to go home and pack for my much-needed baecation to Miami. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach just thinking about how much fun, and sex, I was about to have.
“See you later,” I said, turning off the lights and closing the door behind me.

AuThursday – Emersyn Park

Please welcome Emersyn Park to The Clog Blog!  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve always loved to write: plays, poetry, and stories. Covid kept me from leaving the house so I decided to check something off of my bucket list. Turns out people liked my boredom buster.
How do you make time to write?
The best time of the day for my imagination is at night when the house is quiet and no one “needs” me.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I can’t force imagination or creativity. Some people can, but I work best with no pressure. Writer’s block for me happens when I push it.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
My first two books are Women’s Fiction, leaning toward family drama. I hate drama in my real life, but love to create it on paper.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Initially, I wrote “He Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” just for myself. No intention of sharing it with the world. But a good friend encouraged me to publish it- I did self-publishing because I had no idea that it would progress this far.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Before Covid, I would have said EXTROVERT for sure. But now I hate to make plans to leave the house. I would like to believe I am more selective of who I spend my time with.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write the book!!! Don’t make excuses.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

AuThursday – David Bridger

David Bridger author picPlease welcome my friend David Bridger to The Clog Blog!  David, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Twenty years in the Royal Navy until I got hurt and then caught a virus in hospital that left me housebound/bedbound with lifelong chronic illness. Cue: my second career as a novelist. Twelve written to date, nine of them still in print, with three more on the way in this next year or two plus my first non-fiction book.
How do you make time to write?
I have all the time in the world (Thanks, Louis) but very limited energy, so managing that to allow my writing is a job in itself.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
For me, thankfully, it hasn’t happened.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Science fiction and fantasy of a literary style.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Over the years, I’ve done traditional and then self-publishing. Enjoyed the creative freedom of the latter, but eventually had to admit that all the extra work was damaging my health. Fortunately, a friend introduced me to his small independent publisher, who turned out to be a treasure. She and I get on, personally and professionally. She asks no more of me than that I write my books then edit them with her, which is the perfect usage of my available energy. All my available books are now with her house, and I hope that all my future ones will be too.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m a contemplative. Extrovert in my younger days, growing less so as I age. This might perhaps affect my writing, although I’m probably not the best person to judge that.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I trust my intuition.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep going.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From my most recently released novel, Wild Times:
DavidBridger_WildTimes_1600x2400
Magic is a marriage of hope and rebellion.
It’s everywhere in the world. Always has been. But in most of the world, it’s unknown. People stopped using it, believing in it even, thousands of years ago, and hundreds of years ago, and tens of years ago. It seems that each culture and each generation rejects magic a bit more than the one before. Some cultures more or less than others, but the general trend is to ignore magic and eventually to forget it. In every culture, though, in every generation, there are people who don’t ignore it. Some of them stick around in the normal world, and they are often persecuted because of what they know, what they practise.
But many don’t stick around. They go into the Wild.

AuThursday – Karenna Colcroft

Kim Ramsey-Winkler headshot smPlease welcome Karenna Colcroft to the Clog Blog!  Karenna, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I live in Massachusetts with my husband and split time between the home he and I share and the home of my committed partner. I’m a nonbinary, polyamorous human, mother of two kids and a son-in-law, and grandmother of three. I’ve been writing since I was five years old, and I love stories that take place in “the real world” but have fantasy elements and things that (probably) would never happen in reality. Like werewolves.
How do you make time to write?
I’m partially disabled, so I don’t have a “real job.” Writing and holistic wellness practices are my full-time work, and I drive rideshare to support my writing habit. Since I set my own schedule, I can write whenever I want, and work the other things around it.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely, though I have a different take on it. For me, “writer’s block” means “my brain is occupied with mental health issues or other things, and I can’t spare the bandwidth to think about stories right now.” I just came off a nearly 7-year period where that was the case; my July book release is the first new romance I’ve written since 2016!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write paranormal romance (and occasionally contemporary); as I said above, I love stories that take place in “the real world” but have fantasy elements. Under other names, I also write contemporary fiction for preteens and teenagers, and metaphysical nonfiction.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
Indie publishing. The July release is a new book but is part of a series that was published previously. Those rights were reverted to me in 2016. Since the books were published before, and I’m a bit of a control freak, I chose to self-publish this time around, including a few new books that I’m working on that will be part of the series.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert. The biggest effect is in trying to connect with readers and other authors; I find that very difficult. It’s also reflected in my writing; my characters often have very little social life, because I simply don’t think about that kind of thing.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I don’t have one…
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you feel blocked, write something. Anything. It might not be part of what you’re “supposed to be” working on, but even a sentence is more than nothing. Also, if you plan to pursue publication, do your research on the companies you hope to work with.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
My website is karennacolcroft.com;

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?