Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kindlegraph

Doing a book signing if your a Kindle author can be pretty hard if your book is not yet in paperback. Actually, it's not possible, or it wasn't until Kindlegraph. I found this a few days ago and I really enjoy it. It gives you the ability to autograph Kindles, without really autographing Kindles. You sign up at the bottom of the page and enter your Kindle ASIN number. It enrolls your book within seconds as you get a request from the founder, Evan Jacobs. You fill out an inscription, and then you pick a variety of fonts to post your signature. Once you're done, the person can recieve this "autograph" on their Kindle. Depending on what Kindle you have, Amazon might charge you for recieving the document. This is only via 3gs that they'll charge you, if you're connected to wi-fi, they will not charge you.. You don't recieve the entire book, you just get the cover, inscription and signature. It sends as a separate document, just like if you would send a word file to your Kindle. There are a few settings you'll have to go to in order to recieve signatures, but it is worth it.

You can request an autograph from me here: http://kindlegraph.com/authors/spencerbrokaw

If you enroll your book, or have, let me know in the comments, I would love to get a signature from you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interview with K. Sean Jennkrist (Kathryn Long)

What is Cinderella Geek about? Teen, Delores Chimayo, thinks of herself as a geek and decides to create a 10-step plan to redefine her life to become one of the popular kids. She thinks this change will make her happy. The plan hits several bumps in the road when mean girls like Sheila Thompson bully her and rattle her self-confidence. Also, her step-mom whom she secretly calls Cruella and her younger sister Eileen who is Miss Popularity in middle school tend to make Delores’ life miserable. But there are those who give her encouragement, like her aunt Gloria – a fairy godmother of sorts – and her friends, Trey, Penelope, and Lucy. Delores finds an even better reason to move on with her plan when she meets and falls for hottie, Griffin Montgomery. But of course, Sheila wants him, too. It's a duel between the geeks and the populars. Eventually, Delores has to decide what is important enough to fight for and manage to find a happily-ever-after ending.

Where is your book available?  Amazon, Smashwords, and other online retailers.

Where did you get the idea for your book?  It came from several places. I remember as a teenager, I had a lot of anxiety and fear about what it meant to be popular and fit in. Like a lot of teens, I had this mixed-up idea that being popular meant all your problems would disappear! How crazy is that? Anyway, I teach now. High school kids are not much different today than when I was in school many years ago. They have many of the same hang-ups, the same fears, the same problems. I see it daily. So, even though I mainly write mysteries under my real name, Kathryn Long, I came up with the idea about writing a series of books about teens who face those problems. But I wanted to keep it light and entertaining. The modern fairytale format seemed like it would work. So far, I have written two – Cinderella Geek and Not So Snow White. The second one takes a different direction in that it has some fantasy/magical elements in it, but it still addresses the teen issues that the first one does.

How did you come up with the title? It sort of evolved. I knew I wanted this series to be based on fairytales and that each title should include the character name. After coming up with the main idea for the story, Cinderella seemed like a perfect match. And since Delores would be considered a geek. Cinderella Geek worked.

Who designed the cover? I did. This was done with Amazon’s CreateSpace software but I found and obtained rights to the photo image from Fotolio.com.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Only in my mind.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? Hmm ... that’s a tough one. I started writing short stories when I was in my teens. Actually, my first book, Oklahoma’s Gold, wasn’t tackled until I was in my forties! I never thought I would be able to complete such a huge task. Oddly enough, once I did, it became so much easier to write novel-length works after that.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? Another tough question! How about Abigail Breslin as Delores, Alexander Gould as Trey, Ashley Benson as Sheila, Eden Sher as either Penelope or Lucy, Justin Bieber or his lookalike from Glee, Chord Overstreet as Griffin, Sean Young as the step-mom, and I think Julia Roberts as Aunt Gloria because she’s so compassionate. I will stop there.

Do you plan on writing sequels? Not a sequel, just similar stories. I’ve already written and published Not So Snow White, but I’m thinking my next in the series will be Alice in Realityland where a girl lands in a coma from a freak softball game accident and then instead of coming out of the coma, she keeps having these reality-show moments where she is a part of each show. And all she is trying to do is get back home. It’s a work in progress, but still inside my head! Any suggestions from your readers would be welcome.

How long did it take you to complete Cinderella Geek? Not nearly as long as I usually take to complete a novel. Probably about 3 months. It is shorter than what I normally write at around 43,000 words. Most of the time, I’m pretty wordy! 70,000 words is norm for me.

What is your favorite book? I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. I love too many of them! I could say which genre is my favorite, and that would be mysteries. That would explain why Not So Snow White managed to turn out part mystery! I can’t seem to stay away from them – both reading and writing. As far as authors of teen novels, my favorite so far has to be Alex Flinn. The first book I read was Breathing Under Water as part of my junior language arts curriculum. That led me to read Beastly, which of course I’m sure every teen knows about from the movie. Flinn hits on some tough issues and doesn’t hold back on the details. That’s probably because she once worked as a counselor for troubled teens. As for fantasy, I enjoy those about witchcraft and not so much about the vampire craze going on. Harry Potter was my friend last summer. I read through all seven books in a two month period. I barely came up for air!

About K. Sean Jennkrist: Jennkrist is the alter-ego of me, Kathryn Long. I started writing when I was in my teens. I have currently two mysteries in print under my real name and two teen novels in print under Jennkrist. I have also written a couple of short stories published in the ezine, The Piker’s Press. I teach high school language arts during the school year and write full-time during the summers, although I do manage to sneak in a little writing when I’m not too busy teaching. It’s like a compulsive desire and so hard to do without! I am married and have three grown children, one who married just this summer, and two dogs, both maltese-poodles. We live in a quiet, little community in Green, Ohio. Writing and reading are my two favorite pastimes, but I also enjoy playing the guitar and traveling (though I don’t get to do nearly enough of it). I still have that dream of one day being on the best-seller list, and I encourage all young writers to dream the same. It’s something I’ve always agreed with ... if you have a desire to be a writer, don’t just talk about it, do it! That’s how authors are created.

Her Website:  http://www.kathrynlong.webs.com/  

Social Media sites:  Her blog: http://www.kjlong-teacherwriter.blogspot.com/ ;  Facebook page:  Author Kathryn Long ; and Twitter: @klteacherwriter

Links to where her book is available:

Amazon -- 



Smashwords --



Also available at bn.com, Sony and Apple, all in eBook format   

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blogger Vs. Wordpress

Which free blogging site is better, Wordpress, or Blogger? I have spent a lot of time with both. Neither website is better, there are just different factors you have to consider when picking a website to create your blog from. Another thing to consider is that Wordpress consists of two sites to create your blog from, Wordpress.org, and Wordpress.com. Personally, I think Wordpress is more complicated than Blogger, but the quality of the blogs you can make are at a draw. Most of the information is mine, but I found some on other debates.

Wordpress

Pros:

-Lots of options

-Tons of FREE templates

-Shows up more in search results

-More control over blog authors than blogger

Cons:

-If you want to use a custom domain name, you have to pay an additional amount of money on top of what you are already paying for your domain.

-You can't upload your own theme/template

-Google ads may occasionally be displayed on your blog

-Not many widgets to choose from


Blogger

Pros:

-No fees

-There is a template designer to edit the layout, fonts, and colors of your blog without knowing any HTML or CSS

-Tons of widgets to choose from that can easily be arranged and organized

-Blogger will never display ads on your blog unless you choose to monetize

Cons:

-Not very many templates to choose from, but you can download and use templates found on FREE template sites

-You can only create ten stand alone pages

On a side note, I am excited to announce that I will have a YA corner on the website Unruly Guides soon. More details soon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interview with Tarrin P. Lupo

Pirates of Savannah: The Birth of Freedom in the Low CountryWhat is Pirates of Savannah about?
Pirates of Savannah is a historical fiction novel about the birth of liberty in the south. It takes place during pre-Revolutionary War age, truly a fascinating time in history that has been greatly ignored by other authors. At its heart, it is a tale of prisoners, refugees and society’s casts offs all joining together to escape from government tyranny and discover a path to liberty. Find out how a group of oppressed colonists gain the courage to start defying authority and begin planning a revolution from British control. It is a gritty, vivid account of what life was like in the 1700's and is loaded with real, obscure historical events that time erased and buried. Follow the group of freedom seekers as their adventure takes them through Savannah, the Florida Keys, St. Augustine, Charles Towne and Cape Fear, as well as many other towns of the Low Country. Most importantly it is a fun read loaded with action.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
I am a history nerd and I wanted to write something that was a Historical about Savannah.  I realized almost nobody had written about the time period before the the revolution.  I thought a historical fiction would be a lot more fun then history.

How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to keep the title as simple as I could and keep it marketable.  The word Pirates and Savannah are both excellent words to market with.

Who designed the cover?
My illustrators are Ruby Hilliard and Scott Motley http://www.samandrubyart.com/ 

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book but it was highly plagiarized from the Hobbit and made zero sense.
Although I have been writing non fiction for five years to sell, I did not write fiction until last year.

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams was just so wonderfully quirky and clever.

Image of Tarrin P. LupoAbout Tarrin P. Lupo:
Tarrin P. Lupo is best known for being the author the historical fiction novel "Pirates of Savannah" and his children's book "Catch that Collie". He is also a full time liberty activist who runs a news service called The Low Country Liberty Report. He is also nationally known for co-hosting the wildly popular Wheels off Liberty show and guest hosting other acclaimed national podcasts. Tarrin has successfully written two eBooks titled Stash Your Swag: 100+ Secret Hiding Places Under $50 and How to Make a Living Outside the System. He currently resides in Savannah Georgia and is a member of the Free State Project, spending time in New Hampshire promoting the ideas of Freedom and Liberty. Please visit www.LupoLit.com for more information.

Email: Luporeport@gmail.com

Blog: http://tarrinlupo.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tarrinplupo
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4870497.Tarrin_P_Lupo

My Kindle and Paperback books: http://www.amazon.com/Tarrin-P.-Lupo/e/B005CDUB3Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

All other eBook readers go to Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tarrinlupo

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/TarrinLupo
IAN link http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/tarrin-p-lupo.html
Website: http://www.lupolit.com/
My Free Audio Books http://lclreport.podomatic.com/
Youtube LCLreport http://www.youtube.com/user/LCLREPORT
Twitter: @TarrinLupo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Actual Interview

I had the pleasure of being interviewed over the phone with Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott, founder of First Steps Publishing and Unruly Guides. It was a lot of fun, and my dad got to join in. We discuss me publishing my book at an early age, my book, how I've marketed myself, and books to come. Here is the link:
http://www.unrulyguides.com/2011/08/spencer-brokaw-author-the-impenetrable-spy/#axzz1WEPmUM00

Tell me what you think in the comments :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview with Megan Wilson

What is The Funky Tales of Oooka Chewobie about? It is a series of short stories that feature parodies of actors and actresses. Funny stories about how ordinary people fall in love with these parodies of their favorite celebrities.

Where is your book available? It available online via the publishers website ( www.publishamerica.net/product42174.html ) or you can find it on Amazon or major book companies. However, it is only available to be bought online - NOT in bookstores. It is a paperback book.

Where did you get the idea for your book? The idea came from how much our online friends were crazy about certain celebrities (Robert Pattinson to be the main one). We decided it could be fun to write some short stories for each of them and it just took on a life of its own. What started out as only a few stories soon became over 75 stories, so we figured we might as well make it into a book series.

How did you come up with the title? Halita came up with the title. She just came up with it out of nowhere. We were throwing around titles and nothing was sounding perfect, then she looked at me and said "How about The Funky Tales of Oooka Chewobie?" Instantly, I loved it so we decided that would be the title.

Who designed the cover? My father came up with the idea of the cover so we submitted the idea to the publisher and they are the ones who actually made the cover.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Only to Oooka Chewobie. We take frequent trips there. ;)

When did you write your first book and how old were you? We started it about three years ago which would make me (Megan) 20 at the time and my sister (Halita) 24.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? Oh, this is a fun question! Since the characters are based on celebrities we have a whole list of who would play which character. We actually list them at the beginning of the book, but for the sort of main characters (which we don't really have main characters as they are short stories) it would be - Robert Pattinson as Rabbi Polar, Kaleb Nation as Kalevin Normal, Zac Efron as Zummer Earlobes, and Robin Williams as Uomongi. Like I said, we don't really have main characters, but those are a few that appear frequently.

Do you plan on writing sequels? Yes, we are actually nearly done with the second book. We plan to make it into a 5 book series, so if you enjoy the first one be on the lookout for more.

How long did it take you to complete The Funky Tales of Oooka Chewobie? It took us about two 1/2 years to finish the first volume and a little less than a year to do the second one.

What is your favorite book? Megan - I love a lot of books... here are a few favorites: Bunnicula by James Howe. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. The Seer Series by Linda Joy Singleton.    Halita - Nothing Hurts But My Heart by Linda Barr.
About the authors: Co-authors and sisters, Halita and Megan Wilson enjoy writing and being random. The Funky Tales of Oooka Chewobie was inspired by lack of sleep.

Social Media sites:

Twitter- www.twitter.com/Irelandcallsme7 (Megan) and www.twitter.com/DaydreamerGurl (Halita)





Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4937123.Megan_Wilson and http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4937122.Halita_Wilson

Links to where there book is available: http://www.publishamerica.net/product42174.html     

http://www.amazon.com/Funky-Tales-Oooka-Chewobie/dp/1462601022/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313872011&sr=1-1   

 http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Funky-Tales-Oooka-Chewobie/Halita-Wilson/9781462601028?id=4944348279047     

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/funky-tales-of-oooka-chewobie-halita-wilson/1102385533

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Rush to Publush

  Reading your work several times is one of the most important things you can do before publishing. You can find spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, fix dull sentences, elaborate on something, and even delete some sentences. I have read several books by fantastic authors, yet they still have spelling mistakes. Maybe not that many, but some self-published authors leave a trail of mistakes behind. I was on an interviewing site one day, and was reading self-pubbed authors interviews. One of the required things was to post an excerpt of your book. I was reading one, and was actually horrified at all the mistakes I was finding. Almost every sentence had misspelled words, grammar mistakes, and messed up quotations.
  I read The Impenetrable Spy at least 15 times before publishing, once out loud to my dad. Reading your book to someone is VERY important. You can find mistakes that you normally wouldn't find this way. I liked reading my book because it was entertaining, and I got to laugh at myself for some of my sentences. Like this one, "Two men stood in the center of the room terrorizing a blindfolded man with torn up clothing." What, were the terrorists holding up torn up clothing as a form of torture? Read your work before publishing, it will help a lot. Remember, Don't Rush to Publush.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview with Tarek Refaat

What is Ruptured about? Ruptured is my first published novel and it basically discusses the a common issue that I believe despite it taking place more often in eastern societies but I believe it might be all over the world but in different grades, and it is how do societies deal with rape victims. Basically I want to voice out that people who pass through such situations or even similar or slightly different still have the right to live as a decent normal human being , they cannot be simply marked or labeled as expired goods.
Where is your book available?Ruptured is available in printed form in Egypt only at the moment, however it exists in soft copy formats online both on amazon kindle and on lulu.com in PDF form

Where did you get the idea for your book?Well the book’s idea itself that I wanted to write something related to such an incident but wanted a different flavor to it was hanging in the back of my mind for almost 3-4 months before I actually began to write the story. And then one day on my way to work it just struck me and I began to write.
How did you come up with the title?The original title was "Ruptured to hope" I wanted it to represent the force needed by the heroine to break out of her silence.. And then it turned into Ruptured.. I was looking for something that's as strong as torn but more violent.

Who designed the cover?The publisher designed the cover
When did you write your first book and how old were you?Ruptured is my first book, I am 30 however I did begin to write stories maybe 3-4 years ago
If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?Well , I definitely didn't see this coming, but I think I would recommend Julia Roberts and George Clooney
Do you plan on writing sequels?I don't technically plan what I write or try to put plans, but if it comes it will.

How long did it take you to complete Ruptured? Ruptured took me about a month to write
What is your favorite book?My favourite book is a biography called : Reach for the sky
About Tarek Refaat:I'm an Egyptian author who works in the field of information technology, not exactly the closest job to writing! I've been into writing since I was thirteen.. But I never really gave it serious thought until a few years back.. I am currently working in the field of Information Technology but that doesn't hold me from pursuing my passion for writing!

Blog: http://energizre.wordpress.com/

Facebook page:  Group for Ruptured : http://www.facebook.com/groups/ruptured/
Author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tarek-Refaat/142437057778Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4919674.Tarek_Refaat

Social Media sites:
Twitter: @energizre
Facebook: tarek hassan refaat


Links to where his book is available:

Amazon in kindle format:  http://amzn.to/mqa7dv 

Lulu.com in PDF format: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/ruptured/15822957?productTrackingContext=author_spotlight_128678168_

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Blog Look

If you haven't noticed, my blog's look has completely been revamped. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Unruly Guides

Without the help from Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott, the founder of Unruly Guides and First Steps Publishing, my book and book cover wouldn't look nearly as good. She formatted my book and helped me design a book cover! I was so excited when I saw what she had done to the simple drawing I had as my book cover. I literally ran outside to show my dad. The formatting she did is outstanding! I am now able to read my book on my Kindle without it looking like a mess. I am so happy with what was done. Check out her websites.

Unruly Guides: http://www.unrulyguides.com/#axzz1SwYi3Qsk

First Steps Publishing: http://www.firststepspublishing.com/

In other news, a podcast of her interviewing me will be posted on her website Friday, August 26th.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Interview with Vered Ehsani

What is Diary of a Part-Time Ghost about?Ash has to get his body back, save his ancestor, return to the 21st century, and still do his homework.  In the first book of the ‘Ghost & Shadows’ series, fifteen-year old Ash wants nothing more than to be a normal kid and avoid trouble. And then his birthday gift transforms him into a ghost and zaps him back in time to the beginning of the American Revolution, where he must rescue his ancestor from one danger after another, including an implacable enemy who controls the very shadows. What starts out as a brief experiment in time travel rapidly changes into a race for his very survival, and Ash is running out of time.

Where did you get the idea for your book?I wanted to write something for teen readers that would be a fun adventure with a character who wants to do the right thing but isn’t always sure he wants the hassle that comes with that. Ash, the main character, appeared in my mind one day while we were visiting family in Vancouver. I was standing in my mother-in-law’s living room, trying to round up my kids so we could go out somewhere. And then, in between chasing after them, Ash and the basic structure of this book popped into my mind. I immediately liked Ash. He’s just trying to be a normal kid and he would prefer if the world would just leave him alone. Unfortunately for him, the world has other ideas!
How did you come up with the title?I wanted the personal narrative aspect of the story reflected in the title (hence ‘Diary’ which sounded better than ‘Blog’). The ‘part time ghost’ was based on a comment made by Ash.

Who designed the cover? Createspace

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?No, but Ash does!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?I was 7 or 8. It was a short story about a unicorn.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?An unknown actor of South Asian background

Do you plan on writing sequels?Yes! I’m already working on them.

How long did it take you to complete Diary of a Part-Time Ghost?Hard to say, as I wrote it in between working and raising 2 kids.

What is your favorite book?One of my favourites is the entire Narnia series.
 

About Vered Ehsani: I’m South African, living in Kenya. More details on my website! Thanks.


Social Media sites:


Her Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4766550.Vered_Ehsani

Twitter: @VeredEhsani

Links to where her book is available:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peppermints and Murder- Part 2

Peppermints and Murder- Part 2
 
“Shh,” he whispers, “Don’t wanna wake the neighbors.”
  “Why?”
  “Shh,” he whispers again as he draws the knife across my other cheek.  I scream again, and he shoves a dirty rag that tastes like grease in my mouth.  I struggle against my restraints, but it’s to no avail.  I only succeed in rubbing my wrists raw.
                “You know,” he begins, “This could’ve gone so much easier.  But no.  Look what you’ve brought me to.”
                I don’t even try to speak.  There’s no point.  He grabs my face in his hands and squeezes my cheeks tight.  Tears fall.  His brown eyes are full of hatred.  This is a completely different man than the one I’ve known all along.  He pushes me backwards, and the chair topples to the group.  My head bounces on the hardwood floor and the light shining in from the doorway begins to dim. 
                I look around and see Bobby huddled in the corner rocking back and forth.  “I don’t wanna do this, Addie.”
                I mumble through the rag, “You don’t have to,” but I doubt he understands.  I think he cries, but I’m too worried with trying to figure my way out of this to be certain.  I don’t have many options.  The duct tape is strong, and it burns my wrists as I try to wiggle them free.  Bobby rocks back and forth on his knees arguing with himself. 
                My thoughts are foggy, and I can’t think properly.  I don’t know what to do.  It’s not the first time this has happened to me, and I never broke free from those restraints, but now, I’m a new person.  I’m not bound by my past.  I won’t die today, and I won’t die at the hands of a stranger. 
                Bobby doesn’t pay attention to me.  He’s still arguing with himself.  I use my feet to scoot across the floor.  Being bound to a chair isn’t going to keep me from surviving.  If I can get to some kind of tool, I can hopefully cut my restraints free.   
                I stop to see if Bobby has noticed me.  He’s still rocking.  I move some more, trying to be as quiet as possible.  I can’t see well, but something shines in the dim light.  I move faster, full of hope. 
There’s something about hope that sets you free.  You feel like you’re invincible; that you might be able to survive.  But there’s always that point when hope isn’t enough.  It’s the survival instinct that’ll keep you alive.  Lucky for me, the survival instinct is strong.  I have fought my entire life to survive.  I’m not going to give up now.
                I’m near the object that might save my life when Bobby lunges at me.  He cuts my restraints and pins me to the floor, holding me down by the neck.  I kick and try to push him away from me.  He’s almost too strong, but I won’t give up.  I can’t. 
               I pull the gag out of my mouth and try to scream.  He pushes down on my throat harder.  I try to speak his name, but it comes out mumbled.
               “I don’t want to do this.”  His tears roll down his cheeks and fall onto mine.                                     
                I reach out around me in search of something, anything to stop him.  My hands find something metallic and cold shaped like a cylinder.  I pick it up and hit him in the side.  He eases his grip on my throat, and I fight back harder, feeling that hope surge within me again.  I hit him on the head, and he falls back, screaming and crying.  I struggle to my feet fighting the wave of nausea and dizziness that threatens to overtake me. 
               “Run, Addie.  Run before I hurt you again.”
                I’m confused, but I heed his warning.  I run.  I run like I ran the first time I was nearly murdered on the night my mom died at the hands of my step-dad.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peppermints and Murder- A short story by Emerald Barnes

Emerald Barnes has written this excellent short story for my blog. She already has a published book out titled Piercing Through the Darkness available for download on Kindle , Smashwords , and Paperback on CreateSpace. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
This story will be in 2 installments. Please leave comments as they are much appreciated.

Peppermints and Murder
The wristwatch hits the floor with a loud clang.  “Dangit!”  Everyone in the coffee house stops to stare at me.  Ignoring them, I stoop and pick up the watch.  I tap it like it will somehow fix the large crack across the glass.
   A tall man wearing jeans, a green apron and a wrinkled black t-shirt stands next to my table.  He smells like peppermints.
  “You look pissed off at the world,” he says with a laugh.
  “It’s been one of those days.”
  He laughs again.  “Can I bring you somethin’?”
  “Decaf coffee.”
  “Comin’ right up.”
   He walks away, and I look back at the watch.  It’s made of sterling silver, and small diamonds encircle the face.  It’s the only thing I have left. 
The waiter brings back the cup of coffee and sets it in front of me.  “Thanks.”        
  “You sure you’re all right?”
  “I busted my watch.”
  “I know a guy who can fix it.”
  “It’s fine.”  I didn’t want to tell him that I didn’t have the money.  I barely had enough to buy this cup of coffee.
  He sits in the empty booth in front of me and says, “Obviously it isn’t.  You’re cryin’.”  I touch the corner of my eye and wipe away a tear.
  “What do you care anyway?”
  “I can’t see a pretty girl like you cry and walk away.”  He smiles at me radiantly, and I can’t help but smile back.  “Let me help.”
  “No.”
  “Please?”  I’m stupid for considering it.  He doesn’t need to help me.   I shake my head no.
  “If you’re certain.”
  “I am.”  I want my watch fixed, but I can’t take this money from him.  I don’t want him to think I’m some charity case. 
  “All right.  Well, coffee’s on the house.”
  “No.  I can’t –”
  He scoots out of the booth and walks back behind the counter.

I carry the broken watch in my pocket as I walk down the sidewalk searching for "help wanted" signs.  Most employers don’t want to hire a high school dropout.  They don’t care why I didn’t finish school.  They don’t even ask.  All they think is that I’m some emotional high school kid running away from home. I stick my hand in my pocket and feel the cold metal in my hand.  The cracked glass is rough against my thumb. 

The outside air is humid and thick, and breathing in the cool air of the diner is refreshing.  It’s nice to be inside instead of wandering around the streets.  I find an empty booth and sit.  My feet ache so I prop them on the booth in front of me.
                While I stare at the menu pretending like I’m going to buy some food, a mug of steaming coffee is set in front of me.   “Decaf.”
                I look up to see the waiter smiling back at me.  “Thank you.”
                “What can I do for ya?”
                “Can you help me get a job?”
                He smiles and says, “I’ll be right back.”
                
Three weeks later, I’ve made enough money to rent a small apartment.  It’s not fancy, but it beats the basement of a church by far.  Bobby has been great in helping me get situated.  I have explained my situation to him, and he’s been so understanding and helpful.  He’s even loaned me some money to buy furniture.  I don’t think I could’ve made it without him honestly.
                “Whatcha doin’ tonight?” Bobby asks as we wipe down the counters for the night.
                “Nothin’.  You?”
                “About the same.”
                I laugh, and we finish cleaning the diner before we head home for the night.  I hug him tightly outside before we part ways.  His hands find their way to my lower back, and I know he’s misread my intentions.  I pull away fast, and he shoves me.  I stumble back and run home, trying not to think about the awful look in his eyes. 

About two in the morning, I finally crawl into bed.  Sleep finds me soon, and I dream about my mom.  I scream as she’s repeatedly beat by my step-dad.  I wake from the dream and find myself sitting in a chair, hands duct taped behind my back.  I scream, hoping to wake myself from the nightmare I must be in, but I’m still here. I scream again and a door opens.  The light blinds me and all I see is the shadow of a man.  He walks closer to me, and I smell the distinct scent of peppermint.
                “Bobby?”
                He doesn’t speak but walks closer to me.  He runs a sharp knife across my cheek.  I scream as the knife slices my skin open.  Hot blood rolls down my cheek.

Interview with Tim Greaton

What is Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End about?  Zachary Pill is a Boston boy who has been picked on his whole life, mostly because his hair is green. It isn’t until his father disappears and he is forced to live with filthy Madame Koochie that he discovers someone wants him dead. Soon, danger and magic are everywhere. He either has to learn how to use the magical items his father left behind, or he will likely die.

Where is your book available? Ebooks are available at all the major online bookstores: Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Smashwords.

Where did you get the idea for your book? I’ve always been fascinated with fantasy wizards and dragons, and I wondered what it would be like if one boy became both right here in the real world (New Hampshire)

How did you come up with the title? I was striving for an original character name, and I kept looking for a last name that was believable but not common. Pill it turned out to be. The rest of the title is based on an imaginary neighborhood with an abandoned railroad station. It had no basis in the real world.

Who designed the cover? Wizards Prism Art & Media, a great company that his worked on several of my books. 

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Though I haven’t spent a lot of time touring before now, this fall I will be visiting schools and libraries up and down the east coast to promote both “Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End” and “Heroes With Fangs” a Zachary Pill book for younger readers.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote my first book when I was seven years old. I don’t remember much about it except it involved astronauts and that my mother insisted it was wonderful. I think that cemented my future career. 

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? I honestly hadn’t given it any thought. I hope your readers will send me a list, though, and I’ll get free signed books out to all those actors.

Do you plan on writing sequels? Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End is intended to be a decology. The broad story arc of all ten books has already been plotted.

How long did it take you to complete Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End? I have to admit the Zachary Pill story was the most difficult novel I have ever written. From development to final draft was almost five years. I completed at least 40 different drafts before I finally felt the story was right.

What is your favorite book? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s almost certainly the best science fiction book ever written, and it may well be one of the best character novels ever written.

About Tim Greaton: I was born in the middle of a domestic war zone.  My parents hated each other and their six children were often the weapons they used against each other. My younger brothers and sisters were fortunate because they were fairly young when our mother and father split. For me and my older sister, we got to experience fierce screaming arguments, furniture and dishes being thrown, and police arriving to calm the battles fairly regularly. I used to hide inside of books and block all that awful noise out. As far as I’m concerned, the hundreds of novels I read back then saved my sanity and maybe even my life. I always knew I had an obligation to create the same shelter for other people who needed protection or at least a vacation from life. Each and every day I’m thankful to be one of the lucky ones that writes for a living.

His Website: http://www.timgreaton.blogspot.com/          

Social Media sites: @TimGreaton (twitter), Tim Greaton (Facebook)  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Tim-Greaton-WriterAuthor/228528379610?ref=ts

Amazon Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Zachary-Pill-Dragon-Station-ebook/dp/B005F9YF20/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1312782604&sr=8-5http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zachary-pill-the-dragon-at-station-end-tim-greaton/1104578422?ean=2940013156739&itm=6&usri=tim%2bgreatonhttp://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77567

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding People Like You

Finding people that relate to you is important. Learning from people like yourself will help you. If you write espionage books, it is smart to find other people that write espionage books. You can discuss ideas, critique each other's books and have a good time. I wouldn't want someone who reads romance to critique my espionage book. They are used to romance books and they will point out things that have to do with romance books. They could still help you find spelling mistakes, but it is good to find people like you. If you want to self-publish your book, it is a good idea to find self-published authors and ask them what they think of different self-publishers. That way you could learn from their experiences. If you want an idea for a book, join a group of writers that cater to the genre you want to write and discuss your thoughts.

So, how do you find people like yourself? If you have joined Goodreads, search the group section and find groups that relate to what genre you write to help give you ideas and meet new people. If you have a Twitter account, search espionage to find people that write espionage. Finding people like you will help you learn and get new ideas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview with J.C. Allen

What is M.O.D. about?  A computer hacker from the '80s who’s been saving up his piracy proceeds for three decades, plans to take the government back in the name of the people and the constitution.

Where did you get the idea for your book?  Current events and rising distrust of our government led me to start thinking of ways to take back this country.  I had remembered a long friendship with a hacker I met over 30 years ago and lost touch with over a dozen years later, and the conversations we had about this very thing.  He was the basis for the title character in this book and the inspiration for the vast majority of the subject matter.  He was a person who made you really think about things and approach them from different angles - such was his business.

How did you come up with the title?  The person this character was based on was a high-ranking member of a hacker group called M.O.D. in the '80s.  This stood for "Masters of Destruction."  They were busted then and he evaded capture, reforming the group that lasted into the '90s called "Masters of Deception," which was busted again.  He again eluded the authorities and still, as far as I know, rules the Internet.  I lost contact with him after that second bust, but only after he announced that he was still alive and kicking and would never be caught.

Who designed the cover?  My mother, who I previously thought had no artistic abilities.  Perhaps she was unaware as well?

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?  No, only in my mind.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?  In 2007; I was 38 years old at the time.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?  I hadn't really thought about it, but I could envision Zoe Saldana as Sheelia Tanner and a young Val Kilmer as Scott Carver.  For Eric, someone like Tim Allen.

Do you plan on writing sequels?  Yes, I have a plan for one sequel, but I'm currently working on a YA sci-fi trilogy and a YA fantasy series that's currently on the fifth book, as well as the fourth of a vicious thriller series.

How long did it take you to complete M.O.D?  Less than two weeks to write, two years to edit and publish.

What is your favorite book?  I have so many favorites, perhaps the most favorite would be The Davinci Code, Pillars of the Earth, and The Devil's Code.

His Website:  http://jcallenbooks.weebly.com/

Social Media Sites:  No Facebook pages yet, but there is a video book trailer on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It9YGWR8W54

Links to where his book is available:

 Amazon (e-book and paperback):  http://www.amazon.com/M-O-D-ebook/dp/B004SUR5L0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1305138827&sr=1-1

Nook (e-book):  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mod-jc-allen/1100440109?ean=2940012279521&itm=1&usri=m%2bo%2bd%2bj%2bc%2ballen

Smashwords (e-book):  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65426

Book Review-Piercing Through the Darkness

Cover for 'Piercing Through the Darkness'I recently read Piercing Through the Darkness by Emerald Barnes. I love the book and I plan on reading more books by the author. It was a great read. It combined action with a little bit of romance. This is a book I plan on keeping in my Kindle collection. I liked the words that the author used. It didn't have a lot of description, but enough to where you could picture things the way you wanted to envision them.

It was the perfect amount. In a book I don't like too much description because I don't feel like I get to use my imagination. The characters were very believable. It was fun to read and I hated when I had to put the book down. It was one of those books where you could keep reading and not know you had read a second chapter. Its a real page turner. I give it ***** Stars!

Product Description: It's on the edge of her memory like a word on the tip of her tongue, but Kandi can't remember what it is to save her life.

Despite being a cop, Jimmy can't protect Kandi from the one thing that haunts her. She's in danger and doesn't even know it. After it happened, her brain repressed her memories of the accident, and now, she's taking a Biology class under a man who wants to see her dead. The memories have started coming back, and it feels like she's miles away from him. How can he protect her when she doesn't even know she needs protecting?

Can these characters pierce their way through the darkness?
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Piercing-Through-the-Darkness-ebook/dp/B004P1IYLW

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75834

CreateSpace (Paperback): https://www.createspace.com/3658289

YouTube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIeCI4_3ipc


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Interview with Patricia Puddle

What is Star Crossed Rascals about?
Star-Crossed Rascals was first written as my diary as a seven-year old. I turned it into a fictitious children’s story, but of course I changed the ending because I was banned from playing with my best friend because we were such a bad influence on each other. We weren’t mean kids, just mischievous. My friend would dare me to do something and I would do it. And yes, we really did collect used dirty bubble-gum from the pavement, chew it and make a giant ball. Of course my mother was horrified. Though there was no real aunt Mabel, I did have a mean teacher just like that character, so I modelled Aunt Mabel after her. I also did hide my dinner of cabbage and spaghetti in my suitcase when staying at an aunts house. I mean, what kid would eat cabbage with spaghetti with no sauce or cheese? I also flooded our kitchen and lounge room, but not on purpose. I was just a fickle child.

I’m writing the sequel Star-Crossed Rascals and it will be available soon. In this story, the MC breaks the school  bathroom wall and stinks out the classroom, but I can’t tell you with what. It would spoil the story for anyone reading it. Great aunt Mabel is back again to make Polly’s live a misery, but Polly always gives as much as she gets. In this sequel I also use my childhood memories and the things I did to the very cruel teacher I had. I was such a naughty little girl, but she deserved it as she stopped me from learning anything and I was just a kid. I had that mean woman as a teacher for four whole years – but she had me. LOL.


Where did you get the idea for your book? My childhood memories turned into fiction.

How did you come up with the title? I came up with the tittle because Polly and Gertie are inseparable, like my best friend and I were, but they are banned from playing together. However, they sneak off to play together and don’t let anyone stop them, just like star-crossed lovers sneak off together no matter what.

Who designed the cover? I designed the cover for Star-Crossed Rascals paperback with the help from CreateSpace template for book covers. I used my own illustrations, uploaded it and changed the colours and font. With the ebook I used the same illustrations and a friend of mine embedded the stars into the cover and we resized it for an eBook.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Hopefully one day, but not sot far. I mainly sell on line, but sell them myself too. I either post them out or deliver them if they’re not too far away. I do travel around to all the local libraries and schools where I donate my books and also to  markets. I also sell them in locale coffee shops and art shops. I’m working on getting them into book stores too.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? The first book I wrote was Star-Crossed Rascals. I wrote it as a child, but of course updated it as an adult. It was the antics of me as a child. I left school when I was fourteen and I couldn’t write properly. I didn’t know where commas went or how to spell. As I said, I had a bad teacher, who was fired long after I left school for being cruel. I had spent some time in hospital at the age of seven and I got behind with my school work, but she wouldn’t help me to catch up and told me I was too stupid to learn anything. I believes I was stupid and so instead of paying attention to her,  I used to draw in my books instead and I became the class clown. I spent many days outside the principals office  for laughing.

What is the process of writing a children’s book? Well, when I left school, I started work and I also married and had two children when I was still a teenager. As soon as the kids went to school, I went back to full time work, so it wasn't until I was in my early fifties and had more time on my hands that I began writing. First I had to learn grammar, so I went on an online critique forum called Absolute Write Water Cooler.  I posted my first chapters of Star-Crossed Rascals, but then my MC was called Molly. The wonderful  writers on there in the Children's Forum all helped me and I also bought a book on grammar. Í then joined Critique Circle and formed a private critique group with a number of other authors. I also studied hundred’s of children’s books and read other writer's and agents blogs. That all took me four years and I now have three published children’s books. I did study day and night with very little sleep. I’m also a member of a wildlife rescue charity in Australia and I use the knowledge of the animals I care for in some of my stories. My latest book is about a bandicoot I cared for when it was attacked by a cat. I wrote a fictitious children’s story about this and called it Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot. Molly doesn’t want to send the bandicoot back to the wild where it belongs, so she kidnaps him and takes him on a journey to find him a safer home. Of course she gets into all kinds of trouble.

Do you plan on writing sequels? Yes, all my three books have sequels, and probably a third book each too.

How long did it take you to complete Star Crossed Rascals? Not long because I already knew this story. I did edit it over and over. so I think it was about three months. However, Velvet Ball and the Broken Fairy took me about six months and Molly Gumnut took me a year as that was the first one I sent to publishers.  One publisher kept it for six months and nearly published it, but then said it was too long for a children’s book. So edited a couple of characters, added illustrations and self published it along with my other books. So far, it’s doing great and receiving five star reviews as are all my books so far.

What is your favourite book? Um, I think it would have to be Star-Crossed Rascals, though I love all my books. It’s just that that one even makes me laugh and I’m embarrassed to say that I read it over and over when I want a good laugh. How weird is that? I also Love Molly and the Bandicoot too as I fell in love with that baby bandicoot and I didn’t want to give him back when he was well. Molly is how I would have been if I was still eight year-old and had to give a bandicoot. She’s modelled after Polly because originally Polly’s name was Molly Gumnut, but Molly evolved into a girl who rescued animals, but Polly is a child who just want s to have fun and get up to mischief, so I separated the character into two people. I have already written two more books about each of them, but I’m editing them. Velvet is different altogether and is totally fictitious. She’s nine and has alopecia. she gets bullied at school until she finds a dysfunctional fairy in the forest. But Roseberry just brings more problems to Velvet until she learns a lesson. Funny, I never thought about it before, but it has just occurred to me that there is some of my traits in Roseberry. She can’t do magic because she didn’t pay attention in magic school and instead gets up to mischief and causes trouble. Gee, why hadn't I realised that before. How funny. See, Spencer, you've made me realise that with your questions. You’re a great interviewer. I hope you’ll let me do the same for you. I think it’s amazing that a boy of your age has published books. I wish I had paid attention at  school like you. I might be rich now if I had.  Good luck with your writing and thank you so much for a great interview.

Her Website:  http://www.patriciapuddle.com/
Her blog: http://trish-mollygumnut.blogspot.com/

Social Media sites: Goodreads; Facebook Twitter: YouTube. I have many movies and Book trailers. You can find the links on my websites here: http://www.patriciapuddle.com/pages/book-trailers.php

Links to where her books are available:
Star-Crossed-Rascals: https://www.createspace.com/3575463
Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot: https://www.createspace.com/3583202
Velvet Ball and The Broken Fairy: https://www.createspace.com/3505805

Amazon Kindle:
Star-Crossed Rascals: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Crossed-Rascals-Lovable-ebook/dp/B0051XSEC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312588881&sr=1-1
Molly Gumnut: http://www.amazon.com/Molly-Gumnut-Rescues-Bandicoot-ebook/dp/B004XMOI4K/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2
Velvet: http://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Broken-Fairy-Novel-ebook/dp/B004C05694/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TrishaPuddle

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Puddle/e/B004ICUA92

Barnes and Noble paperbacks: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/patricia-puddle
Barnes and Noble NookBooks: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/patricia-puddle?store=ebook&keyword=patricia+puddle

Goodreads

If you are reading this post and you are an author or reader, you need to join Goodreads if you already haven't.  It is a social media website for book lovers, authors and writers. It is great if you have a Kindle or nook book out too. You can create an author page with videos, biographies, and lots of other things.
Goodreads consists of several groups. You can join one and discuss books, your writing, or anything else book related. It is great because you can learn from other peoples experiences if you are not sure on something. Like if you didn't know a lot about Kindle Direct Publishing, you could find a HELP group and you could ask them questions.
You can also friend people, the site is like Facebook for readers. You can add books that you've read, ones that you're reading, and books you want to read. It is a great website to get opinions on books too. Goodreads is a website that I'll always keep updated on. I hope you join and have a good time!

You can friend me here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4984837.Spencer_Brokaw

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interview with Daniel Rasic

What is The Pirates of Aden about?  First, I just wanted to thank you Spencer for interviewing me.  I'm still in awe of what you've accomplished with the Impenetrable Spy.  Without question you're THE up-and-comer in the world of thriller fiction.  Would it be fair to call you the "Justin Bieber" of espionage thillers? 

The Pirates of Aden is a thriller about Paul Alban, a physician and undercover US operative working at a small clinic in Somalia.  When Somali pirates hijack a cargo ship carrying dangerous weapons, only for them fall into terrorist hands, Paul unwittingly becomes implicated in a dangerous web of terrorism where no one is what they seem and no one can be trusted.  

Where is your book available? The Pirates of Aden is available at Amazon, Fictionwise and direct from the Publisher, Wings ePress at the wholesale price. 

Where did you get the idea for your book?  I was stuck in Toronto International Airport and was browsing through the magazines in one of the book shops.  I came across a National Geographic article about piracy in Indonesia.  This was still a few years before Somali piracy hit the headlines, so what I read totally blew me away.  I couldn't believe this was happening.  Weren't pirates the stuff of legends and Disney movies?  So I started researching and I just took it from there. 

How did you come up with the title? I knew I wanted the word "pirates" in the title, because that was what initially drew me to the book.  The rest to be honest, just sounded good to me.  I hoped it would be intriguing.

Who designed the cover? An artist at my publisher by the name of Trisha Fitzgerald.  She did an amazing job! 

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Not for this one.  I've never been to Somalia, where much of the book takes place.  Most of my research was done through reading and meeting with friends of mine who had worked in medical clinics in East Africa to get the setting at least somewhat authentic.  For my work in progress, which takes place in Eastern Europe, I've done some travelling.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? Your question just jogged my memory!  I had completely forgotten about my first book.  I wrote it when I was in grade 4.  It was about two friends who go off searching for treasure in Australia in a hot air balloon.  Somehow a kangaroo ends up going with them.  I can't remember the other details.  I'll have to ask my mother if she still has it lying around somewhere. 

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? It would be so neat to see the book become a movie.  Thinking big, I think an actor like Daniel Craig could pull off Paul Alban the way that I envision him in my mind.   

Do you plan on writing sequels? I have an idea for a sequel, but I'm going to hold off for awhile.  I initially meant for The Pirates of Aden to be a stand alone thriller, so I really want to think it through before I write a sequel.  But I would love to work with those characters again.

How long did it take you to complete The Pirates of Aden?  Two and a half years.  I'm a major outliner, a planning kind of writer.  There are a number of conspiracies in the book, so I really needed to have them clear in my head before I got to writing.   

What is your favorite book?  It's always changing.  I'm a fan of Stephen King, John Le Carre, Ian Rankin, Tom Rob Smith but my current favorite is Olen Steinhauer's The Tourist.  It really has everything I love in books: suspense, spies, exotic settings, conspiracies and a sense of realism. 

About Daniel Rasic: I live near the Atlantic Ocean, in Nova Scotia, Canada with my wife and kids.  I'm a physician and I'm currently in my last year of specializing in psychiatry.  I also do research examining the relationships between social forces and mental illness.  I love travelling, reading, soccer and barbequing (amazingribs.com is my favorite site for learning bbq!).  The Pirates of Aden is my first novel and I'm typing away at the next one.  Hopefully I'll finish that one in under 2.5 years :) 

His Website: http://www.danielrasic.com/

Links to where his book is available

The Impenetrable Spy Book Trailer

I recently completed a book trailer with my uncle for The Impenetrable Spy. I am very happy with the way it turned out. We used Final Cut Express, iMovie, and GarageBand to create it. I hope you enjoy it!

You can find it on YouTube, Goodreads, Suzy Turners YA Trailer Park, Smashwords, and right here on my blog.

Link to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tdz9Em2moc
Or you can click on it to the right of the webpage.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Interview with Annelie Rozeboom

What is Waiting for the Dalai Lama about? It contains life stories of Tibetan people on all side of the issue. This means that some of them are pro-China and others are pro-independence. It explains the problems surrounding the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The book ends with an interview with the Dalai Lama himslef.

It contains life stories of Tibetan people on all side of the issue. This means that some of them are pro-China and others are pro-independence. It explains the problems surrounding the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The book ends with an interview with the Dalai Lama himslef.

Where is your book available? It's available worldwide through Amazon, and in bookshops in Asia and the US.

Where did you get the idea for your book? I lived in Beijing for ten years and met some very interesting Tibetans there. One of them asked my journalist flatmate to write down his life story. This got me the idea of collecting different life stories.

How did you come up with the title? I don't remember. It sounded really good, and the Tibetans really are still waiting for the Dalai Lama to come back to Tibet, so I guess it fits.

Who designed the cover? Someone at the publisher.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? I traveled to Tibet and to India, so yes, it was very intense. I would stay for about a week and do at least 3 interviews a day. Ad they lasted a few hours each, this was very, very tiring, but also interesting.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? My first book was about China, and I has already published many articles about this country before I wrote the book. I was about 30, I guess.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? It's non-fiction, so you can't really make it into a movie, but it would be a great documentary, with the original people playing themselves.

Do you plan on writing sequels? I'm currently working on a proposal for a similar book about South Africa, which is another fascinating country.

How long did it take you to complete your book? All together, it took about a year. The original book was in Dutch, so I spent about another year translating it into English.

What is your favorite book? I have many, many favorite books. I love historical fiction, like Diana Gaboldon's Voyager series, about a woman who gets to go back in time 200 years. As a teacher, I also read many young adult books, and I know my students and I really enjoy Jody Picoult. Of course, nothing beats Harry Potter.

About Annelie Rozeboom:After obtaining a degree in journalism, Annelie Rozeboom went to China for twelve months, and ended up staying eleven years. As the China correspondent for several national publications, she reported on the uprisings on Tiananmen Square, China's subsequent growth into an economic superpower, and the issue of Tibet. She is the author of three Dutch books about China, Tibet and Madagascar, and recently published 'Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from All Sides of the Tibetan Debate.' She also regularly contributes to Radio Netherlands, both in Dutch and English.
She now lives with her husband and their three children in Antananarivo, Madagascar, where she runs the only English-language newspaper in the country and teaches journalism and English at the American School of Antananarivo.