"Bullheaded Black Remembers, Alexander"Author:
J.L. TaylorPublished By:
Trafford Publishing, Inc.Age Recommended:
14 +Reviewed By:
Kitty BullardRaven Rating:
Roman history has always been interesting and exciting for me, though I have to say, J.L. Taylor has succeeded in making me enjoy it all the more. His tale incorporates one of the most beloved Greek Myths, Pegasus the winged horse; as he shares an adventure and much interesting conversation with Bullheaded Black.
Bullheaded Black is the horse that once belonged to Alexander the Great. Now having ended his time on Earth he has ascended to the Heavens where he and Pegasus being to argue over religion, racism, and just about everything else, while bringing to life the amazing past of our ancestors and how it all began.
I found this book both interesting and intriguing. If you like history, especially Roman history you may definitely enjoy this book.
"Bedtime Stories for Cats (Dogs)"Author:
Amy NeftzgerPublished By:
Fields of Gold, Inc.Age Recommended:
10 +Reviewed By:
Kitty BullardRaven Rating:
This is a very cute book geared toward dogs and cats. What I liked most about it was the way the author made the stories sound as if they were to be read to your pet. The stories ranged in variety and the cat edition mirrors that of the dog edition telling both sides of the same story from the viewpoint of the animals themselves.
This is definitely a well-written and humorous book and one that many pet lovers would enjoy.
"The Wish Trilogy"Author:
Deby AdairPublished By:
Unicorn Kisses, Inc.Age Recommended:
8 +Reviewed By:
Kitty BullardRaven Rating:
Deby Adair’s “Wish Trilogy” is a fantastically beautiful series that not only provides a one of a kind adventure, but also contains many great messages for the younger generation. The adventures of Rielle, her dog Pud, and Benny the Unicorn are heart-warming, exciting, entertaining, and full of wonderment and surprise. As a child I often dreamed of Unicorns, the land they lived in, what it would be like to meet one, and the innocent purity they symbolized. Deby Adair has succeeded in bringing all of this and more to life in this series. She has created a land where children can see their dreams come true.
Be sure and buy a copy of this series for your young child and find your own delight as a parent by watching their faces light up as they read each of these colorful tales.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "MOUCH AND COMPANY", BOB DIXONResearching you on the internet is not easy! I had a hard time finding information about you, just you alone, so can you give us some insight into the life of Bob Dixon?
Yeah, I have that same problem; my name seems to be pretty common. I did most of my early writing in the comic book field for Pocket Change Comics. At one point, I set 2 Guinness World records for the World’s Longest cartoon strip in addition to my current writing projects that are under contract with Wandering Sage PublicationsNow looking over your works it seems you are a very diverse author. I noticed there were two children's books out by you, can you give us more information on those?
My two children books are Rooty the Tree Troll and Holiday Bunny. Rooty I wrote and drew and is a book teaching children to value their environment after all we only have one world and need to protect it. Holiday Bunny is a story basically about Santa Claus getting injured a few days before Christmas and is about to have to cancel Christmas because he can’t make the flight and then Mrs. Claus comes up with a wonderful idea to ask the Easter bunny to help save Christmas since he already knows the routeHow old were you when you first started writing and what led you to this creative path?
I started writing when I was 19 or 20. Honestly, I never thought myself as a writer before then. I was in college on an athletic scholarship and I injured an ankle and a knee. That kind of put an end to the sports but it opened up new doors that I never knew existed.Tell us a little about your other book "A Tough Call."
A Tough Call is a memoir I co-authored with Will Jones. In A Tough Call, Will tells how he went to Delaware State on a football scholarship. Things were going good until two of his teammates had an off-campus incident that he ended up in the middle of, one of those teammates was also a gang member at the end of the night Will was shot nine times and his teamte that was the gang member as in jail. A Tough Calls tells about how Will delat with the situation his recovery both physically and emotional and his response when he discovers that his teammate that went to prison for the shooting got out in six months on a plea deal and has a book deal with a major publisher as well as a soon to be released movieWho are some of the authors you enjoy most and do they have any bearing on what you write?
I enjoy Rick Riordan, Janet Evanovich, Chris Moore, Eoin Colfer, Douglas Adams, Suzanne Collins, C.S. Lewis and Carl Hiaasen just to name a few.Tell us about your family, what role if any do they play in your creativity?
My wife does a lot of my editing although she hates it lol, I talk over story ideas with both of my teenage children as well as my wife so my family is huge in the part they playWhat other genres have you thought about writing and what are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on an urban fiction book that I am co-authoring , it tells the story of 3 kids growing up in the gangs in Newark NJ. I have an adult humor book coming out that falls in line most with stuff thatJanet Evanovich writes as well as another young adult book that deal with a teenager that is half demonWhat genres are your favorite to read?
I like reading young adult books as well as any good books that include humor.What is a typical day in the life of Bob Dixon like?
My real job is a special ed. teacher working with children with severe emotional issues, I don’t have a normal day because it could be anything from calm and quiet to going into a room where a high school kid is flipping out throwing chairs and desk around the room as crazy as it sounds I love my job. Once I get off work it is usually family stuff with my wife and children weather its shopping or running the kid back and forth to band stuff. I try to sneak my writing in on days when my wife works nights or on the weekendsDo you have any advice you'd care to share with other aspiring authors?
Persevere! Most over night sensations have been at it for years but since no one has ever heard of them, people just assume they got lucky the first time out; rarely is that the case.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "GOD'S EYE", A.J. SCUDIEREHello A.J., thank you so much for allowing us to interview you! My first question is, how did you come up with the ideas for some of your novels, what were your inspirations?
So far, all four have come from different places. RESONANCE came to me when my Dad handed me a paper on magnetic pole reversal theories – I suddenly knew I had a story. VENGEANCE was born from seeing/reading more than one movie/book about people getting revenge, and how I always thought they did it wrong (they befriended the wrong people, or the revenge was too flashy to be real.) GOD’S EYE started from a dream I had where I chased a cat that kept disappearing. For PHOENIX (my fourth novel, currently in the editing stages) I have no idea where it came from. I don’t remember the origins of it at all, only that I wanted everything in the story to have a reason, no ‘deus ex machina’.Tell us about "God's Eye" and if you had to choose your favorite character from that book who would it be and why?
My favorite is definitely Katharine! She grows and takes control of her life even though she doesn’t want to. I think the world would be a better place if more people paid attention to what goes on around them the way Katharine learns to.Now I know Utukku has become quite popular already. He has his own twitter account which I love to visit daily. He is also getting ready to travel from what I hear. How did it come about that you decided to bring him to plush life and when can we expect to be able to grab him up for our very own?
Utukku is the brain child of Eli Jackson. We were looking for a collector’s item to go with the Special Edition versions of the book. (Resonance has a compass that points South, Vengeance has ninja throwing star push-pins!) Eli pointed at the cover of the book and said, ‘We need to make him the collector’s item, but he’s too scary.’ From there Griffyn Ink just ran with the idea. We even let the fans name him (‘Melvin’ was the runner up!)
(Utukku came to NC! Here are some pictures of him in some of NC's most awesome places and finally a pic of him as he ended up at my home!)What other novels do you have planned for the future and when is your newest going to be out?
I’ve already finished the first draft of my fourth novel. It’s called PHOENIX and is about a fire fighter who discovers his adoptive family lied to him and his past isn’t at all what he thought it was. His life is a mess and he’s just trying to sort everything out but he keeps finding out that what he thought was the truth wasn’t true at all. PHOENIX will be on pre-sale at Comic Con and at the book festivals and cons after that and will release officially in early fall.Who are some of your literary inspirations, authors that you have read over the years that you enjoy most?
I like Michael Crichton – I particularly love that he wasn’t afraid to go strange places with ‘Sphere’ and that he liked a good, scientifically plausible ending. He knew the mundane could be dramatic (“Andromeda Strain”). I love Orson Scott Card, particularly some of the lesser known of his books. “Enchantment” shows the importance of pre-building plausible reasons for everything to come together. And I love Nabokov for his writing style. I also love that he made us identify with a despicable character in “Lolita” – that’s my inspiration for ‘no one character is all good or all bad’.You have plans to go to Comic Con this year, what are you looking forward to the most?
I don’t even know what to look forward to the most! ComicCon is so big and there are so many great things to do. When I’m not in a panel or in my own booth, I plan to take breaks and visit other panels and maybe do some geeky shopping!When you have down time, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I read. I read like all the books will disappear tomorrow! But I have two kids and I like being out with them.You have degrees in science which I know have to be an inspiration in your writing. What are some of the most interesting things you learned while studying?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is not to take things at face value. The more science I study, the more I learn how things are interconnected – i.e. your immune system functions differently if you are the alpha male in your house than if you are the beta. If an atom was the size of a football field, you’d have (maybe) a backpack’s worth of stuff and the rest is space. Science opens up so many possibilities. I love that anyone from the past who time-traveled forward would try to kill us all for being witches and I try to think up where science might go in the next hundred years.If you could use your scientific knowledge to come up with a cure for something, anything, what would it be and why?
If I could cure ANYTHING, it would be the education system. If we could educate everyone – and do it well – we could fix everything else. People can be energy sources or energy sinks. An uneducated person can rarely contribute to a society the way an educated one can. And if everyone were educated, we could cure cancers and HIV and all manner of things.Do you have any advice for aspiring authors you'd like to share? Also please leave us your links so we can read more about you and keep up with your developments in the literary world!
Haha!! I learned a lot of things the hard way. Mostly, I learned that writing and getting published is usually a HUGE job, and it helps to have more than one person alone. Getting advice and trying different things helped me a lot.
My first piece of advice is this – decide who you are writing for. If it’s just for you, that’s great, but if you want to get published, you are writing for the public. You have to think about that while you are writing and you have to draw the line-you-won’t-cross way back from where you might want it if you are writing for others, you have to give them what they want!
I posted a lot of advice on the blog of my fourth book “PHOENIX” (www.PhoenixTheBook.com).Main websitewww.AJScudiere.comSnarky Blog/weekly podcast: Smart Chickenswww.SmartChickens.com
Smart Chickens is also available on iTunesFacebook
order your own: GodsEyeTheBook.com
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF "TOUCH" & "UNTOUCHED" JUS ACCARDO (ENTANGLED PUBLISHING)Well, well, well! Hello again Jus, how have you been? First I would just like to say I am both delighted and overwhelmed by your much deserved success. "Touch" was of course a huge success and I'm sure "Untouched" and "Toxic" will be even bigger! I have heard that your book is now going into distribution, so we'll be seeing copies on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and many other book retail stores. How does all this make you feel?
Hey Kitty! Thanks for having me back again. The whole thing has been surreal. Giddy doesn’t even cover it. I’m trying to imagine walking into a book store and seeing my book there on the shelves… I’m gonna be such a dork about it. I can see it now. Going into stores and taking pictures. Just call me Goober …When you first began writing "Touch" did you ever have moments of self-doubt, or feel as though it might not pan out to be this big?
This big? Um, yeah… I was hoping a few hundred people would read it… I never imagined it would turn out anything like it did. I kind of went back and forth. One second it was, This is awesome! The next it was like, Dude…what the hell is wrong with you? This sucks monkey trumpets! It all depended on the hour…and the caffeine intake.Tell us a few things we can look forward to in upcoming editions and if there's one hint you can give us about what to expect in these wonderful books without giving too much away what would it be?
Some characters are going to surprise you—I know they shocked the hell out of me! Good guys will turn bad. Bad guys will turn good. Betrayal, lies, tons more secrets…it’ll be total chaos—in a good way I have to say I'm hooked on the series and can't wait to read every single one. How have you felt about the fan base that you are gathering?
It’s awesome! To think there are people out there who love Dez and Kale as much as I do is more amazing than you can ever know. I got an email a week ago with fan art. Fan art! Talk about awesomeness!Can you tell us about some other characters that may be coming into play in the novels in the near future?
Well, we’ll be seeing more of Dax. And there’s a new character, Kiernan. We meet her in the first novella, Untouched. Then, in Toxic, there’s a set of twins that’ll really twist your mind… I know, I’m being vague—but there’s a good chance someone will send Kale after me if I say moreUsing one word to describe Kale, what would that word be and why?
There are so many words that come to mind, but since I can only pick one, I’m going to go with Strong. Kale went through a lot before he met Dez. To say his life wasn’t ideal would be like saying Spider One was simply cool—Dez’s analogy, not mine (although Spider does rock pretty hard). He went through hell and came out of it with his heart and soul more or less in one piece. He doesn’t always see it, but it takes a unique kind of person—a strong person—to do something like that. They tried to break him, and they failed.Do you have a set plan for how many novels will be in the series or are you going on with it and allowing your imagination to run free for as long as it takes?
At the moment, Dez and Kale’s story is three books. That’s not to say I wouldn’t take it further if the right plot came along… But, there are a lot of other Sixes. So providing things go well, it’s not a stretch to say we might see some of their stories, too.Is your character Dez based on any certain person in your life? Or is she completely made up?
Dez is Dez. She’s one hundred percent fictional—which sucks. She’s totally the kind of girl I could hang with.I have seen the playlist for "Touch" on your site and I have to say I love all the songs, what would you say is the one thing that music does for you as far as creative flow?
The right music can help me picture the scene. I can really put myself in there. Get the right mood and attitude. If I’m stuck on something, all I need to do is listen to the music and all the snags just kind of untangle.Without giving away anything... if it came down to Kale or Dez, and one of them had to die, which do you think you could kill off easiest and why?
Wow… Um, wow. I’m not sure what to say. If we’re talking easiest as in doing the deed, then I think Kale is definitely harder to kill. He’s got the whole ninja badass thing going for him, and ya know, you can’t touch him. I’d say Dez would be easier to off.
Now if we’re talking easiest as in, for me, then…um… I plead the fifth?Finally, I'd love for you to give us your links and any other valuable information as to where we can find more about you, your wonderful novels, and especially where to buy! Thank you so much Jus, as always it's been a pleasure and I'll be waiting to do this again!
Thank you! This has been so much fun You can Pre-order TOXIC here. It’s on sale, too! Not sure how long the lower price will last, so gogogo!You can also pre-order the re-release version on TOUCH here. (It’s going to have some Kale POV bonus material!!)Then there are the usual places, Facebook, twitter, ect. The links are all below. Come visit or give me a shout. I love to chat with readers!Book Blurb
Untouched (A Denazen Novella 1.5)
Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.
But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.
When Dez sacrifices herself to save the new Six they’d rescued from falling into the corp’s hands, Kale is lost. Denazen has brought out its best to get the job done. Samsen, a nightmare from Kale’s past—the only person he’s ever truly feared—has come for them, and it soon becomes obvious he has his own twisted agenda.
Kale will need all his training to get Dez back and ensure they make it out, free—and alive. But will it be enough?Add Untouched to your TBR pile on Goodreads
Touch, the first novel in the Denazen series, is set to re-release in mass market on June 12th (Complete with additional scenes from Kale’s POV!). You can pre-order your copy here
Toxic (Denazen 2) hits shelves on September 11th 2012
Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book, Touch, is available now from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Give Jus a yell on Twitter, or visit her on Facebook, and her website.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF"NATASHA LANDS DOWN UNDER", KATHERINE MCCAUGHANHello Katherine, thank you for the opportunity to interview you and to review your novel, "Natasha Down Under" can you tell us more about your novel and the inspiration behind it?
Firstly, thank you for featuring me on your wonderful website.
My young adult novel, Natasha Lands Down Under, came about as a vehicle for my family’s real life stories. When I was young, I was mesmerized as my father discussed his early life at the dinner table. He painted pictures of life in Vladivostock and Shanghai in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and also described incidents involving my family during World War 11. Years later, I wrote down these stories for my children. To keep this family history alive, I created the character of Natasha to carry these stories in a book, but she ran away with the novel and the stories ended up just part of her background.Being a lover of history myself, this book seems to be a great learning tool for children and I can imagine a lot of teachers would love adding this to their reading lists. Have you been approached by schools interested in doing so?
I have made many presentations at schools and have a comprehensive Teacher’s Guide on my web site. The kids are very interested in the time period – World War 11, post war 1950’s and the Cold War. The history of China during the Japanese occupation and civil war afterwards is fascinating and not well known in the West. Kids relate to history when told to them by someone who has lived it and is passionate about it.Your own history is quite interesting being born in Shanghai, China to Russian parents right on the end of a World War with other wars and fighting yet to come. What are some of the stories that your parents told you about that time.
One of the most riveting stories happened to my father in Shanghai. During the tumultuous war years, he earned his living by buying appliances from Europeans who were leaving China, and, being able to speak Mandarin Chinese, selling these appliances to the Chinese. He used U.S. dollars, as the local currency was so unstable. Once, returning home after a sale, soldiers surrounded a group of men, including my father. The men were lined up and told to take out their wallets and then it was announced that anyone with U.S. dollars would be shot. My father stood there, with his wallet in his hands, knowing it contained U.S. dollars, waiting to be shot. Another story concerns my uncle, who was ‘displaced’ during the war. We still do not know what happened to him.What plans do you have for your next book and when might we see it in print?
As yet I have not started another book, although I have been asked many times for a sequel to Natasha Lands Down Under. I have begun to take notes that I add to from time to time, but that is a long way from a finished book.Who are some of your inspirations in the literary world, and what are some of your all time favorite books that you've ever read?
I love books, so I have so many favorites. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is one that comes immediately to mind. Just now I am reading Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje and I love the atmosphere that he creates. Margaret Atwood is another favorite author, although not all her books are equal in my eyes. Books that say something significant about the human condition are ones I enjoy, although I love a good mystery, and no one is better at that than P.D James. I belong to two book groups and love the challenge of reading something I would never have picked up on my own.Your novel has won the gold medal in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for Young Adults. How did this make you feel?
It was absolutely thrilling. Such a validation. When you write a book, you give it your all, but can never be sure if it measures up. Your family and friends tell you they love your book, but you feel, ‘Yeah, sure, they have to say that’. But when an outside body picks it out from a group of its peers, it is such a wonderful endorsement.What is some of the most important advice that you think parents can instill in their children today?
I think it is important to encourage kids, after they hit a roadblock, to continue doing something they love- be it a sport, or writing, or whatever. Perseverance is so important in any endeavor and we are always running into challenges, no matter what area we choose to work in.Do you feel that a lot of children today do not take enough interest in the history of the world?
When I give talks at schools, the kids are fascinated by the history. If it happens to be a small group, I open the discussion up to them, and kids get very involved. I think kids are interested in history, but not in a dry presentation of important dates or just reading from a textbook. If they can feel the tension of a conflict, the jubilation at its conclusion, if they can identify with a person there at that time, then they are involved and intrigued by what happened and how life was different.If so what do you think we can do as parents to make them take more notice?
Every family has a history and stories from its past. In the U.S. many families migrated here from somewhere else. These stories can form the basis for dinner time conversation when the kids are a captive audience. As they become more interested, they can check out facts and research Uncle’s John’s time in Korea or Aunt Susie who now lives in Italy. Hopefully this family interest will broaden out to more general world history.Do you have any advice for aspiring authors you'd like to share? Also please leave us your links so we can read more about you and keep up with your developments in the literary world!
The best advice I was given was to keep writing. That’s the only way to learn. When you have written something, put it aside for a few days and then look at it again. That’s when you see the flaws. Joining a writer’s group helps, too. My group insisted on cutting out all adverbs and using stronger verbs. They also felt that a cliché was an opportunity to write something fresh. I always keep these things in mind now. And, of course, keep reading.Links –www.katherinemccaughan.comwww.natashalandsdownunder.comAmazon:http://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Lands-Unde....257952 4&sr=1-1Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/groups/45630654706/Thank you again Katherine for this wonderful opportunity, I do hope we can do this again in the future!
"The Last Incarnation"Author:
J.A. GiuntaPublished By:
Brick Cave MediaAge Recommended:
14 +Reviewed By:
Kitty BullardRaven Rating:
If I had to choose an Indie Author that even remotely comes close to the writing style of the greats, such as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis I would choose J.A. Giunta. From beginning to end this book was a masterpiece. Every character had unique personalities, interesting back stories, and amazing individuality. The words flowed from the page making the story jump to life inside your mind.
You were there when Barr was found by the elf Tuvrin, you could smell the winter pines and feel the sting of cold upon your cheek. You watched Barr grow from child to man and the process was flawless and unrushed. J.A. Giunta is a master of fantasy, a weaver of storytelling magnificence. I only hope I will be lucky enough to coerce him to send me the rest of the trilogy, because I honestly do not believe I’ll be able to sleep a wink until I know how the story of Barr and his wonderful friends ends.
There is so much magic in this book that I can easily see it attracting both the young and old, so much amazing imagery and enticing adventure awaits you simply must pick up a copy of this book!
INTERVIEW WITH... ME! (KITTY BULLARD CREATOR OF GREAT MINDS THINK ALOUD LITERARY COMMUNITY & INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING TELLS ALL TO LEE-ANN VINSON GRAFF)
Publisher and Author, Kitty Bullard shares the secrets of a Great Mind.
Today, I have decided to take the road less travelled here on Author Sunday. It is the path of the Indie Publisher. Why taint the hallowed sanctity of the author realm with the words of a publisher? Well, because I want to, that’s why.
When I see someone working so incredibly hard to reach a goal, I stop and say, “Now, here is someone for Author Sunday!” This woman goes above and beyond in everything she puts her mind to – and, trust me, she puts her mind to many, many arenas of the writing world. She is dedicated to helping Indie Authors reach their goal of producing and publishing quality works, and will not rest until she is satisfied with the final product.
If you would like a little more information on how to get your work out there, scan through this interview and find what you are looking for. If you would like to meet a woman who wants to make your dreams come true, grab a coffee and get comfortable. Author Sunday welcomes Indie Publisher and Author, Kitty Bullard.You are currently working on your BA in Business Administration. What brought you to explore the literary realm?
First of all thank you so much Lee-Ann for allowing me to have a guest spot on your blog!
I have always been an avid book reader and lover of great literature. I can remember being quite young and writing down stories of my own, sadly none of which I have now. Books have always been a huge part of my life and I am in the midst of writing a novel with a dear friend of mine. I suppose you could say that my love of everything literary was the reason behind it all, but there is more to it than just a love of books.
When I began Great Minds, I started to realize a whole new realm of authors I'd never known existed. These authors are independent and struggling to make it on their own. Others are unable to get the attention of larger publishing houses. After reading several amazing books, ones which I could hardly put down, I began to realize I needed to do more than just form another book club. I wanted to help. I wanted to promote and get their names out there.
A year later, here I am trying my hand at Independent Publishing. I only hope I can do as much for these wonderful authors as they have all done for me over the past year. I have never known a group of more gracious, interesting, and delightful people than the Independent Authors I've had the good fortune of meeting.You are the visionary and creator of Great Minds Think Aloud Literary Community. Tell us about what you hope to accomplish with your company.
As a lot of people know, Great Minds was created with the vision of being another book club, though based majorly on the internet alone. I never expected it to grow into what it has. However, after meeting so many people that loved books and literature as much as I do, I began to expand my vision. Soon, I began doing interviews with Independent and Big House Published Authors, give aways - both themed and author based, and posting book cover reveals, book releases, and everything else I could to help get them noticed.
Since then, I have decided to try my hand at publishing and hope to expand even more. I guess you could say my vision is to give the Independent Authors as much support and encouragement as I can. We also offer services such as manuscript editing, book cover art and creation, advertisement, book trailers, and much more at very reasonable prices for authors and publishers outside of Great Minds Publishing. We intend to have our hand in as much as we can when dealing with Independent Authors, and will always have their best interests at heart.What are you most passionate about?
I think what I'm most passionate about is great literature and helping people. I have always been something of a philanthropist and truly enjoy being able to help others. The greatest feeling in the world is to see someone else succeed from what you have either taught them, helped them accomplish, or had a part in, even in the smallest way.
I can honestly say, having worked with numerous authors over the past year, I get a little thrill every time I see something great come from something I have done for them. Whether it’s a rise in the sale of their books or another publishing company showing interest in publishing their books, it simply makes me happy.How would you complete this statement, “If you can dream it . . .”?
It is possible! I have always been a believer in dreams. I tell everyone that if you visualize it, dream it, or if it even holds a spark in your mind, then your goal can be achieved if you set your mind to it. There is nothing a human being cannot do if they have the drive, the emotion, and the will. Yes, it takes hard work, perseverance, a sense of direction, and a lot of motivation, but it’s all well worth it in the end.Do you have a five-year plan?
Wow, great question. I can't say I haven't thought about where I'd like to be in five years. I guess it all goes back to the question before this one. In five years, I'd love to see myself in a position where I don't have to worry about things, such as: if I can afford to pay my child's college tuition, if I can pay the next light bill, whether or not we'll have a roof over our head. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I just want to be comfortable. I want to be self-sufficient and able to take care of my family. I want to not have to worry and, most of all, I want to be doing exactly what I'm doing now! Of course, it would be nice to have a little more help and be able to pay for that help.
I can honestly say, I work hard, day in and day out, but in light of it all, I'd never change what I have done or what I plan to do and I intend to keep going for just as long as I can.What advice can you give to authors who wish to market their works effectively?
First and foremost, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel passionate enough about getting your work out there, ask friends and family to read your manuscript. Take all constructive criticism to heart. Don't let it get you down if you get a few bad reviews or a few people that don't enjoy what you've written. What you have to remember is that not everyone has the same opinions. Your work will appeal to those that enjoy what you write. You will find your audience, but it's always a trial and error game.
Make sure, before you publish a book whether by yourself or even through a company, you are 100% satisfied with what you've written, the editing that's been done, the work your publisher has put into it, and the representation you are getting from them. Don't hang your hat in one spot too quickly, shop around and fine a place you know you and your work belong. If you decide to go it alone, it's still a great idea to find a good editor. You know your work. You know what you write, but a lot of times you won't see the errors, punctuation problems and other details. They will.
Marketing is hard, I've not only learned that through my endeavor with Great Minds, but also from the classes I take online. It's not an easy road and there are so many things an author needs to know before taking that big step. (By the way, thank you Doug Lucas for teaching me a heck of a lot along the way. I love you young man!)
What ideas are you currently working on for publication?
Right now I am working on (when I have the time, of course) the first book in what is hoped to be a series called "Seminole". This is a partnered work with a friend of mine, Amber Rendon. She and I met one another in the strangest of ways and realized that we had quite an unmatched talent in partnered writing. We are working at a snails pace to someday have a book out there you will all enjoy. I can say this, it is paranormal/supernatural, whatever it's called these days but before you groan and moan about, "oh no not another one" I can say that this will be a bit different than what you're use to. Some old favorites may make an appearance as far as supernatural beings are concerned, but there will be quite a lot of new and exciting ones making a debut... stay tuned!Where can we find you?
You can find us pretty much all over the web. Usually if you just Google, "Great Minds Think Aloud" you will pull something of ours up from somewhere. But for the benefit of those who would like a bit more detail, I'll list our links below:Great Minds Main Site:http://www.greatmindsliterarycommunity.comGreat Minds Publishing:http://www.greatmindspublishing.moonfruit.comGreat Minds Review Hub:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.comGreat Minds Blogger:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.blogspot.comGreat Minds on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/greatmindsthinkaloudliterarycommunityGreat Minds on Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/gmtabookclub/Great Minds Tumblr:http://greatmindsthinkaloud.tumblr.com/Great Minds Wordpress:http://greatmindsthinkaloudbookclub.wordpress.com/Great Minds Google +:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/108188503262756167529/postsGreat Minds Weebly:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.weebly.comGreat Minds Posterous:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.posterous.comGreat Minds Xanga:http://greatmindsthinkaloud.xanga.com/Great Minds LiveJournal:http://greatmindslit.livejournal.com/Great Minds Spruz:http://greatmindsthinkaloudliterarycommunity.spruz.com/Great Minds Library:http://www.librarything.com/profile/GreatMindsThinkAloudGreat Minds Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5208422-kitty-bullard-great-minds-think-aloudGreat Minds Shelfari:http://www.shelfari.com/profilesettings/profile(Remember you asked for it! I know it's a long list. Keep in mind this isn't anywhere near all the places the interviews, reviews, cover releases, book releases and everything are sent and do get posted!)How can authors contact you?
Luckily this isn't a long list. If you really want to contact me, you can find me at this email address. (Usually, I answer right away if I'm online... which most of the time I am.)Contact me here:
email@example.comThank you so much for taking time out of your incredibly, busy schedule to share your work with us today, Kitty. You are one amazing woman!
Thank you Lee-Ann! It was my pleasure. I am glad I was able to share all this information! I hope to hear from your readers very soon, even if it's just to say hi!For all you authors out there who would like to share your work and how you got there with the rest of us, please feel free to email me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a date.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF, "ALEXIOS, BEFORE DYING", CHANCE MAREEHello Chance, thank you so much for this great opportunity. It seems by reading your bio that you have done quite a bit of traveling. Can you tell us about some of the places you've been and the inspiration it has given you in regards to your writing?
Hi Kitty! Please allow me first to say how grateful I am for all your efforts towards providing an online literary community. I am in awe of the energy and enthusiasm you bring to reviewing books, and promoting authors! Thank you!
My novel, “Alexios, Before Dying” takes place in three locations that still hold vivid memories for me: New York City, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. My other excursions include parts of Europe, Australia, Morocco, and Mexico. I love experiencing new landscapes and cultures. A good novel should mimic physical travel by transporting the reader out of their immediate surroundings. Exploring a variety of places—both in the US and abroad—has helped me learn to walk in other people's shoes, which I believe animates the characters in my writing.Would you call yourself a spiritual person and do you still travel today?
I am interested in aspects of being that are delicately refined, but I also give due diligence to things mental and physical, as are required to survive and grow in this world. I've not traveled in quite a few years and hope to remedy that unfortunate condition very soon.Tell us about your book "Alexios Before Dying" and the inspiration behind it.
“Alexios, Before Dying” began as an exploration of a potential journey from Creation's diversity to the Oneness that is so often discussed in esoteric teachings. I've met many sincere and intelligent people from numerous spiritual paths and wondered how they could all be 'right'. The novel is really just my way of acting out a hypothesis about that place where all paths merge like spokes into a central hub.
My goal was to play the scenes out while adhering to rules of good writing—characterization, plot, show-don't-tell, etc. I wanted the characters to drive the show rather than move them like puppets to forward an agenda, or drag them to a particular end. That goal resulted in multiple rewrites and exciting directions that resulted from each character's flaws and desires. Inspiration came from many unexpected sources, such as the stage persona of mentalist, Derren Brown, and neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman (writer of “Sum”), the poetry of Rumi, and the discourses of Seth.What other novels do you have planned and when will your next one be available?
I'm currently working on a science fiction novel titled, “Undazzled”. Surprisingly, I came up with a tag line even before completion of the first draft: Sometimes a planet must die before our true faces are revealed.
Whereas “Alexios, Before Dying” explores diversity becoming one, “Undazzled” concentrates on the diversity that lies behind our common appearance. The ARC should be available this winter, with launch in spring 2013.Tell us about your writing process and what gets you in the mood to write.
I'm not very structured. A story or scene churns around in my head during intellectual downtime, such as walking the dogs, driving, showering, cooking, eating, and trying to sleep. I write when the idea grows full and I feel so enthusiastic that the words pour out on the page. And then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until I can't stand to think about the story any longer. The evolving standard is to give the story to some wonderful and tolerant folks who agree to be first readers. I wait to hear how much they love or hate it, after which the work may be revisited. At some point, I say, “Enough!” and send it away for editing. Continual polishing is a compulsion. I once read about an author who admitted to secretly marking corrections on a copy of his novel in a bookstore. I resonate with that.When did you first realize that you had stories that you needed to put on paper and share with others?
Since grade school, I think. My parents instilled a love of reading, so the natural course was to make up my own stories.What other genres have you thought about writing in?
Almost everything I write involves a fantastical element or two. I love to dwell where the imagination is unlimited, ideas are extraordinary, and something thoughtful and wonderful happens. I don't like to stay within the lines of genres, so it'll be difficult to meet readers' expectations. The best I can hope for is that readers will be surprised.Who are some of your favorite authors that have inspired you over the years?
So many come to mind. I'll spout off a few with multiple works I've enjoyed (not in any particular order): Shakespeare, Cormac McCarthy, Isaac Asimov, Milan Kundera, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, John Steinbeck, Margaret Atwood, Eco Umberto, Steven King, George R.R. Martin, John Irving, Tom Wolfe, Tom Robbins —I dislike making lists, so I'll stop there. Authors with single novels, or series that I admire and enjoy are Chris Wooding for his “Tales of the Ketty Jay”, Markus Zusak for “The Book Thief”, Genevieve Valentine for “Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti”, Clark Thomas Carlton for “Prophets of the Ghost Ants”, Laini Taylor for “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”, Wayne Barlowe for “God's Demon”, Sam Landstrom for “MetaGame”, and China Miéville for “Embassytown”. I'm certain to remember others and will kick myself later for neglecting to mention them.Do you have a specific genre you enjoy reading more than others?
I'll read anything that can spark interest, be it a concept or circumstance. I love books that spring from powerful imaginations and intellects—books written by masters. My least favorite genres are sermons disguised as literature, formula books typically seen in canned romance and thrillers, and sloppy, or hate-filled, or prejudicial work. Those aren't exactly genres, but they will make me throw the book across the room.Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors? Please give us your links as well, so we can learn more about you and your works.
I wish I could give sage advice, but don't assume that I have any. What I'll do is pass along personal Post-it notes that I try to write by: 1) Read great and talented writers and learn from them. 2) Write much, often, and for the love of it. 3) Shakespeare's dead, so don't take yourself too seriously.The best ways to keep in touch are through:Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002142846747
CM@ChanceMaree.com*Thank you again Chance for this wonderful opportunity, I do hope we can do this again in the future!*
Thank you, Kitty. I look forward to future participation in the Great Minds Think Aloud literary community.