Friday, November 17, 2017

Interview with writer Will Craig

Writer Will Craig joins me today to chat about his self-help personal growth book, Living the Hero's Journey: Exploring Your Role in the Action-Adventure of a Lifetime.

Will Craig is a writer-photographer traveling the world on the journey of a lifetime. He is the founder and former dean of Coach Training Alliance, an international coaching and mentoring company based in Boulder, CO. 

He holds a master’s degree in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Will Craig’s purpose and passion is helping people discover their life’s path by charting new adventures in personal growth and lifelong learning.

Welcome, Will. Please tell us about your current release.
Living the Hero’s Journey guides the reader on an epic quest of self-discovery. Explore the legends behind today’s action-adventure films and yesterday’s mythic tales. Experience personal growth and development through the lens of movies and mythology. In an age where people look outward for direction and upward for inspiration, Living the Hero’s Journey provides a time-honored template for looking inward and going deep for the answers we seek.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book because I needed to take the journey myself and thought it might be nice company to have the reader join me. I wanted to understand what is happening in my life. I wanted to acknowledge and appreciate the ongoing tests and trials I face instead of resenting them for being disruptive and inconvenient.

Excerpt from Living the Hero’s Journey:
The Studio of the Universe is making a motion picture about your life, and guess who’s playing the lead role? You!

You are the hero of your life. Who else could be? Sure, there are those leading men and women in films, books, and television whom you might like to emulate. But in the movie that is your life, you’re it. You are responsible for what happens—and what doesn’t. You decide who gets cast in which roles and even the lines you speak. Ultimately, you determine how well you do at the box office of life.

It may seem odd that we need to explore our role in our own life, but there is more here than meets the eye. How many times have you been someone for someone else and knew you were not being the real you? How many times have you done something for someone else that you knew wasn’t congruent behavior for you? Maybe you are in that position right now.

You get to write your own script while immersing yourself in this book. Truth be told, you’ve been writing it all along. You get to be the you who is inside kicking and screaming to get out. The you who has always been there without a voice and finally gets to step up to the call. The you seeking your date with destiny. Life will never be fulfilling until this happens. Somehow, this doesn’t come as a shocking news bulletin to you. You’ve known this subconsciously for some time now. Today you begin a new journey—a Hero’s Journey.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently studying and researching individuals who have made the leap from success to significance.

Success is a measure of control one has over the outside world that then quantifies a person’s inner value. The flow of energy and value comes from outside the individual and is internalized.

Significance flows from the inside out. Significance is what we give back, pay forward, and bestow upon others. It is the gift of experience and wisdom that radiates out from people who know what to do with their achievement.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing this book almost a decade ago. At a certain point, I abandoned it only to come back years later to finish what I had started. I first considered myself a writer when I reread what I had written and thought, “Did I write this? Are we sure?” I rarely get full of myself but I must admit I immersed myself in the moment. Maybe I could be an author after all.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a writer and photographer. I split my time between these two creative passions. I think the diversity keeps my brain malleable and open to seeing familiar views with new eyes.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I don’t have all the answers, and Living the Hero’s Journey is not a “how to” book. In other words, you’re not going to receive a to-do list on how to live your life. There are no “shoulds” and “musts” here. I only hope to transform some knowledge and information into experience—an experience that enables you to bypass many of the obstacles while developing and honing your own guidance system.

I encourage you to combine the passages that resonate with you and what you already know to be true in your heart. Build your knowledge base, as I’m attempting to do, and gain experience that will garner you wisdom. We’re in this together. I am your adventure guide and loyal ally for the entire quest.

Thanks for being here today, Will.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Interview with writer Shelly Campbell-Harley

Author Shelly Campbell-Harley joins me today to chat about her parenting books, 50 Things Your Kids DON’T Want to Tell You; and 50 Things Your Parents Want You to Know.

Single parent, author, speaker, consultant. Live in Southern California and love spending time with family, outdoors, crafting, and reading.

Welcome, Shelly. Please tell us about your current releases.
Wrote both books in hopes to build healthy positive relationships between parents and their children. Both books were written to be informative and as reflective journals for the reader.

What inspired you to write these books?
The lack of communication and close positive relationships in families.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on an adult political suspense/thriller involving a fictional terrorist group.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a teenager, I used to write ‘episodes’ of my favorite tv series’. Stopped writing for a while, and then started again about seven years ago.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m a teacher so I don’t get to spend a lot of time writing but I try to fit it in during the evenings and in spare moments on the weekends/holidays. I have to schedule it in as I do the other things in my life or it doesn’t happen.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write better and more if I’m in my living room on the couch. I spread things out (research, notes, etc.) and I just seem more relaxed and creative there. Of course, no one else can be in there doing anything except reading!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young, I wanted to be a cowgirl or a veterinarian.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope that my books will help many families become closer and improve their relationships. I also hope readers will send me their comments on amazon and on my blog and Facebook! Thanks for everything!


Thank you for being here today!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Interview with YA author Susan Badaracco

Author Susan Badaracco is here today and we’re talking about her new young adult fantasy adventure, The Oath: Maddy and Silenus.

During her virtual book tour, Susan will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Susan Badaracco is the author and independent publisher of “The Oath: Maddy and Silenus”.

In her real life, she is a pediatrician at Kids First Pediatrics where she routinely consoles anxious moms, retrieves interesting objects hidden in ears and laughs at made up knock-knock jokes.

She lives with her husband, a dog (ADHD is not limited to humans) and a cat. Her daughter and son both made the unfortunate decision to grow up which means she travels more than she used to.

Welcome, Susan. Please share a little bit about your current release.
When her past merges with her present, Maddy is not sure what to think. Was that really an abduction she witnessed? Does she have the courage to find out?

Silenus is a unicorn haunted by his past failure to protect his charge. He trains relentlessly but is he fierce enough to protect this innocent? Will she even trust him?

Can a mortal and immortal pursue the truth together or will Maddy pay the ultimate price?

Set in midtown Tulsa, “The Oath: Maddy and Silenus” explores the love that wraps around a family, the fear that often comes with doing the right thing and the fantasy that all children should have a fearless protector.

What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie, Touched by an Angel and The Walton’s. I read Nancy Drew mysteries and The Chronicles of Narnia series.

The common thread among these stories is that they were all promoting wonderful virtues. They demonstrated the power of kindness, honor, responsibility and courage.

If we can gently nudge children, through reading, towards having traits that build character…all while getting wrapped up in a magical fantasy….that would be extraordinary.

Excerpt from The Oath: Maddy and Silenus:
Searing pain spread across her belly and she caught her breath. Her vision darkened on the edges, advancing to where it shimmered in the center. She tightened her hand against her side and the pain elevated another notch. Maddy looked up at Silenus, her tears collecting and then trailing down her cheeks.

He met her gaze and held it.

Maddy’s back crashed into the steel door behind her when her legs gave out.

Silenus’ soft brown eyes were like beacons and she locked onto his gaze with the desperation of a swimmer going under for the last time.
Save me.

What exciting story are you working on next?
“The Oath” series continues with a new girl, a younger unicorn… and a world of trouble.

Ashton thought life would be perfect once she got that new handbag.

Fashionable clothes, trendy shoes…she had everything a girl could dream about. Until that morning…when she has lost everything.

Now, Ashton desires only one thing….Revenge.

Egorn had his own reasons for vengeance.

He wants to punish those responsible for the annihilation of his family.

Orphaned when he was young, he trains relentlessly to become a unicorn warrior. Nothing else matters. Until that morning….when he realized that protecting her was more important than anything else.

Can a unicorn who has no fighting experience protect an innocent who has no concern for her own safety?

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I believe that if you write, you are allowed to call yourself a writer. The problem is that we don’t have a term for what you mean. We can describe different writers… biographer, blogger, reporter, and poet. But what I think you mean is when did you really feel like you ‘arrived’? That you had become a master of the written word. I’m not there yet- but what a beautiful adventure it has been so far.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m a pediatrician so I don’t write full time. I get up early, as this seems to be the best time for a lot of writers, and do my best to put some words down. I used to set a goal of an hour per day. Now I find I crave the escape of it and there’s no sense putting pressure on yourself to be creative.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I suppose I drank more tea than normal when I started writing, it was those early mornings! It turns out that my characters suffered the same problem. My editor ran a program that pointed out how many times I used the word ‘tea’ in writing my novel. Good heavens. Some of those characters had to quit drinking…but not me.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A doctor, always. And I love my career but after years and years of exercising my left brain, it has been fascinating to see my right brain kick into gear.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Explore different genres. Develop your own bucket list of different books. Grow.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Amazon

NOTE: The book will be FREE during the tour.

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Interview with mystery author Wendy Tyson

Mystery author Wendy Tyson is here today and we’re going to chat about her new cozy novel, Seeds of Revenge: A Greenhouse Mystery.

Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives on a micro-farm with her husband, sons, and two dogs. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.

Tell us about your new release.
Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs. And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road. It’s Becca Fox, and she’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events. Or so Becca thinks.

Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead. Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.

Now it’s personal. Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.

What inspired you to write this book?
My husband and I are passionate organic gardeners. A few years ago, we started our own small vegetable farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with the intention of developing it into an organic CSA (community supported agriculture). Unfortunately, things fell through with the land we were leasing and the farm never made it past its first season. During a book signing in a small town in North Carolina about a year later, I was moved by the interactions I witnessed between the shop owners, their children, and the townspeople. It dawned on me that a version of our small farm could live on in a fictional small town. Thereafter, Washington Acres Farm and the fictional town of Winsome, Pennsylvania were born.

Excerpt from Seeds of Revenge:
Merry Chance’s statuesque four square was alit with white Christmas lights—Colonial candles in the windows, braids of lights outlining the window sills and doorways, blinking lights woven into wreaths, and miniscule bulbs incorporated into a doe and two fawns that adorned the front lawn. As Megan pulled up alongside the road in front of the home, she saw with relief that Merry was home. In fact, she was standing on her porch talking with a man.

Becca gave Megan a quick hug. “Thank you,” she sang. “You saved me quite a trek.”

Megan climbed out of the truck and pulled Becca’s suitcase from the bed while Becca unloaded her boxes of love potions. Merry had noticed them, and she turned her attention toward her niece.

“Aunt Merry!” Becca called. “Hello!”

She hurried toward her aunt and stopped short just feet from the landing, Megan trailing behind. The man had turned to look at them so that his face was visible. He was older, mid- to late-sixties, but his resemblance to Becca was unmistakable. Strong features: a square chin, a broad nose, unnaturally black hair receding ever-so-slightly into his scalp line. He wore a tailored coat and carried an expensive bag. His bearing screamed money and privilege.

The man regarded Becca with an evenness that seemed unnerving, while Becca’s whole body shook with emotion.

No one acknowledged Megan. She watched the scene unfold the way a bystander witnesses a car crash. Helpless and transfixed.

“No! Why is he here? Aunt Merry, why the hell is he here?” To him, “I told you I never want to see you again. Never. Do you know what that means? You brought him here on purpose.”

“Rebecca, calm down,” Merry snapped. “You’re jumping to conclusions.”

“He’s here, I’m here. What conclusions am I jumping to?”

The man said, “Actually, I was just leaving.”

“That might be best, Paul.” Merry glanced at her niece, lips pursed into a frown. “Let’s give Becca some time to calm down.”

Paul nodded curtly. “Very well. Thank you, Merry. You know where I’ll be.” He walked down the steps, past Becca, without so much as another glance in her direction. Becca placed her bags on the ground. With a sudden rush, she darted toward the man in the slippery snow, hands outstretched. She would have pushed him had he not reacted with laser speed. He grabbed her wrists and held them out in front of her. Merry took a step forward. Megan dropped the suitcase, ready to intervene.

But Paul and Becca just stood there, staring at one another. Finally, Becca said, “You’re hurting me.”

He looked down at his hands, wrapped like bindings around her wrists, and let go. “I’m sorry.” He backed away, his eyes unwavering in their focus on Becca’s face.

He climbed into his car—a silver Mercedes—and Becca spat at the ground near his tire. She rubbed her wrists, shoulders hunched.

Becca watched as he pulled away, his rear tires slipping in the deep snow. “Why would you invite him here, Aunt Merry?”

“I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow.”

“He’s staying here. He made that pretty clear.”

“He wanted to see you. He wants to make amends.”

“I will never forgive him. You of all people should understand that.”

Merry regarded her niece with a long, sad stare. Finally she said, “Megan, I assume Becca’s car had some difficulty in the snow?” When Megan nodded, she said, “Thank you for bringing her.”

It was a dismissal, at odds with Merry’s normally saccharine insistence on hospitality. Megan placed Becca’s suitcase on her porch and and returned to her truck. She watched as Becca followed her aunt obediently inside. With the front door shut, the visage of the house returned to its festive façade.

A façade, indeed, Megan thought as she pulled away. That was all it seemed to be. She wondered what conversation was going on inside.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The fourth Greenhouse mystery, Rooted in Deceit, comes out September 4, 2018, and I’m developing the storyline for the fifth book in that series now. I love writing this series. Right now, I’m under contract for six books. It’s my hope that Megan and the townsfolk of Winsome will appear in many books to come.

In addition, I’m honored to have a story (“Soap”) in a fantastic new fiction anthology, Betrayed, which was released on October 16. Betrayed is the brain child of Pam Stack from Authors on Air and features a novella from Allison Brennan and stories from some of today's bestselling crime authors. Every author has donated her/his time and fiction, and profits from Betrayed are being donated to programs and organizations that help victims of domestic violence reclaim their lives.

I also have a story coming out in another fiction anthology, The Night of the Flood, on March 5, 2018. This anthology is sort of a novel in short stories, and a majority of the authors are my fellow Murderers’ Row columnists for ITW’s online magazine, THE THRILL BEGINS. An incredibly fun project.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, wow—that’s a tough question. I still pinch myself; it all feels so surreal. I suppose I’m just starting to feel like a writer now. I’m about to release my eighth book—I guess it’s about time!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time; I work full-time as a legal consultant for a mutual fund company (I’m an ERISA attorney). I also have three kids and two dogs and a husband, so my schedule is tight.

I try to write every morning for at least an hour. I created the habit of writing first thing when I wrote my first novel, more than a decade ago. As my writing commitments have increased, I’ve needed to expand that time, and now I take vacation days to write and/or I write on weekends. I know when my books are due, so I try to schedule down time in the weeks before a deadline.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I tend to be a binge writer. I do a lot of prep in my head and through freewriting and daily writing practice, sometimes over the course of months or years, but when I finally sit down to finish a book, I prefer to do it for hours at a time, as though I’m recording the movie in my head.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. A writer. A dolphin trainer. An archeologist. A cliff diver. The one constant was a writer, though—I always knew I would write.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I write another mystery series, The Allison Campbell Mystery Series, also from Henery Press. It stars Allison Campbell, a Philadelphia Main Line image consultant who is a dissertation shy of a PhD in psychology. Allison helps people reinvent themselves—when she’s not busy solving crimes.


Buy links:

Thanks for being here today, Wendy!