Laura Antonelli, originally from Algonac, Michigan is an author, mother and a survivor. Excelling in writing at an early age, even though Laura lives with Bi-Polar Disorder which has been a personal struggle since the age of 14. Having endured medical dilemmas requiring five major surgeries in 7 years (during which time she wrote her first book), she still managed to raise her daughter and obtain a college degree. Life has given Laura an untold wealth of unusual experiences upon which she draws in her writing.
About the book:
The mind processes the highs and the lows of life that pass through our conscious and our unconscious thoughts.
That process becomes a balancing game canceling out the extreme highs with extreme lows or sometimes by throwing us into a state of denial. When that happens we simply retreat from our reality or make one up.
Faith was on a high.
One of the highest- All consuming love.
She had a vision of how life would be.
It didn’t happen.
The Mind in its infinite wisdom will always protect itself first. Faith McKinney and those who dwell within her mind go on a murderous rampage and intrigue in this Erotic-Psychological Thriller trilogy.
Upcoming Authors Appearances:
About the book: Broken Vows: book 6 in the Cowboys of Whisper, Colorado series. Also available in the box set: Cowboy Six Pack for a limited time.
Upcoming Authors Appearances: Blue Water Event (June 24, 2017), Once Upon a Book (Frankenmuth- August 11,12 2017), Great Lakes Book Bash (Kalamazoo, Oct. 27,28 2017)
Janice was born in Royal Oak, raised in Madison Heights and spent her childhood and teen years in the downstate area. Janice married and received her bachelor’s degree and was then offered a teaching position in Gaylord. She was surprised by the snowy, cold winters compared to the southeastern part of the Mitten! After 13 years in Gaylord, Janice got hired by Baker College in Cadillac, so she and her husband decided to make the move, and they’ve been in Cadillac ever since. Janice dreams of moving south someday (trust me Janice, it’s way too hot down there:), because she hasn’t learned to like winter yet. But she still thinks Michigan is beautiful- April through November! So happy to have you here today Janice. Now let’s get started on your writer story. . .
Where are you from?
Central Michigan, currently living in Mt. Pleasant.
Tell us your latest news?
Well, I’ve got my novel up on Amazon and my website set up and ready, so that’s the big thing. I was never a huge social media person before, but I’m getting accustomed to using it more.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve enjoyed writing since childhood, and I wrote a lot of unconnected scenes all through college for my own amusement, thinking that maybe one day I would start connecting them. I can’t really give much better a reason than that I wanted to.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 5 or 6, I believe I had series of picture books concerning cats. Then I took a rather long hiatus.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the very basic idea for the premise for several years, and then one night, in December of 2012, with no motive except boredom and the vague idea of doing a late, unofficial Nanowrimo novel, I sat down and wrote what became the third chapter of The Foreigner.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure there is a specific writing style that I aspire to, but I have noticed that I tend towards a certain briskness and that, compared to a lot of what I read, I tend to stay a bit external to the characters (focusing on what they’re physically doing rather than what they’re feeling or thinking, and trying to convey the latter by way of the former).
How did you come up with the title?
I tried to think of something pithier and cleverer for the longest time, and I have a suspicion that one day, when I am very old, the perfect title will finally hit me. Ultimately, The Foreigner was the shortest and simplest way to say what I wanted in the title, so I went with that.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
First, I should clarify that I never write with the intent of lecturing readers about what they should do or changing their behavior in any way. That’s just not the part of writing that interests me. I’m not even judgmental about my characters. I’m telling a story, that’s all. That being said, there can be many layers and themes buried in any given story (don’t think your story has some kind of theme or hidden message? Read back over what you’ve written, you might be surprised). If I had to sum up The Foreigner, I would say that it is ultimately about a young woman who decides she would rather take the chance of becoming a monster than remain a victim. There’s also a running theme dealing with power of words-how words that are only slightly different can change the message’s meaning, and the transformation of the protagonist from a passive reader of narratives to a writer of them.
How much of the book is realistic?
I suppose that depends on just how much we’re willing to stretch the definition of “realism.” I do try to make everything I write “realistic” in the sense of feeling real—the situations may not be real, but they should seem like they would be if they were real.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think most writers bring something of their own lives into what they write, and I think they really should do this, even if it’s something subtle and not obvious to the reader. Obviously, The Foreigner is far from autobiographical (thank goodness), but there are certainly moments that resonate. For instance, I think that many of us, myself included, can relate to the scenes in the early part of the novel when Adeline is working as a tutor, knowing she can’t survive without her position, at everyone’s mercy and with no safe place to go.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I’m sure I’ll be leaving some out, but Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, and the novels of Victor Hugo have been huge influences. I should also cite several non-fictional history books, too. History itself can be a great inspiration for writing.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I remember being very influenced and encouraged by Hilary Mantel’s writing advice (She’s the author of A Place of Greater Safety, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies). She was one of the authors who told writers to write the book they want to read.
What book are you reading now?
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m absolutely certain that there are new authors who will grasp my interest. I can’t wait to find some time to read their work.
What are your current projects?
I’ve got several that I’m toying with at the moment, and whichever one shows the most potential first will likely be the next one anyone sees.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My editor, Julie Gilbert, has been extremely helpful and supportive ever since she agreed to take a look at my first draft.
Do you see writing as a career?
Given the success of best-selling authors, it’s inarguable that writing can be a career (keeping in mind that these stories are not the norm). I think it helps to treat writing with the same discipline and professionalism you would put into a career, while keeping the realities in mind. Short answer: keep a writing schedule and don’t quit your day job.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, probably. I try not to worry too much about the content of a book after the book is done though. Now is the time to make changes to current projects, not past ones.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always loved books and stories, and it always seemed natural to make up stories of my own, even if they were just nonsensical things I told myself.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
As soon as I have something I’m sure will be included in my next project, I’ll post an excerpt on my website.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I tend to start out a story idea with scenes and images that are, at first, disconnected with each other. Then my job is to fit as many as these scenes as I can into a coherent narrative, and that, my friends, is the tricky part.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have several favorite authors, or to put it better, I have several favorite books that are written by different people. If I had to choose one thing they had in common, I would say that nothing is wasted in their books. Even the sections where there is no action or direct forward movement of the plot serve some purpose. The less I want to skip or feel like I could skip, the better. This does not mean that I don’t want any build-up, description, or sub-plots. Quite the opposite actually. I love these elements as long as it feels like the author really cared about them and wanted them in the book.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Who designed the covers?
My cover was designed by the fine folks at Ebook Launch
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Probably the organization of plot points, which I referred to above, and learning to simply write, trust my instincts, and then write some more rather than forcing the story to go in any one direction at first.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Many things, yes. One is that it really is a lot of work to write a book (which I already knew, but knowing is different than actually experiencing it first hand). Another thing that changed is I read differently now—I’ve started trying to think like the writer even when I read something, and I’m finding the man behind the curtain as fascinating as anything happening in front of it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I’m going to repeat what I say on my website, and what many other writers have said: For one, keep writing. It’s a bit like that old tabloid newspaper adage, “slander, slander, and something will stick. Keep writing, and you fill find something you can work with. Secondly, write the story you want to read and don’t waste time writing something in which you have no interest.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Yes. I want to thank my readers for their interest in my book. I hope we can continue this relationship in which I make things up and you enjoy reading them.
More From The Author: http://www. catscoffeeconspiracy.com/
Purchase The Foreigner @: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B01MG59X3Y
About the Author
C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)
Where are you from? Troy, MI
Tell us your latest news? This past year I have published four books. Two are books of poetry for children, Today I Wore a Clown to School and I Dreamt I Was a Waffle, and two are picture books, Everything’s Better with Ketchup and Please Keep Your Feet OFF the Book.
When and why did you begin writing? I began writing fiction in the fifth grade, but it took me another 33 years (and five kids of my own) before I decided what I liked best was writing poems and books for children. I began writing because it was one of the few things besides drawing that I thought I was good at. I enjoy entertaining people and making them laugh and writing is a great way to accomplish both.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? In college when my first article was published in the student newspaper. It was a small community college so I had pretty much unlimited artistic freedom as long as I didn’t write something offensive or pornographic. I wrote several record and book reviews of records and books that didn’t actually exist, mostly to amuse myself.
What inspired you to write your first book? I started writing poems to entertain my youngest children because I enjoyed making them laugh and wanted to prove I could write as good as Shel Silverstein, one of my idols. I took as inspiration my experiences as a father and memories of my own childhood. I’m sure one day my kids will look back and insist that none of the mischief attributed to them was accurate.
Do you have a specific writing style? Most everything I write rhymes. I try to be silly and clever without being pretentious. It is also important to me not to insult the intelligence of my readers. They know what’s good and what’s not without having to be told.
How did you come up with the title? The title of my latest book, I Dreamt I Was a Waffle is the title of my favorite poem in the book. The poem itself is told from the perspective of a child who had a dream that he is a waffle in danger of being eaten. Fortunately the poem is not drawn from personal experience. It’s a suspenseful poem but also a good one to read at breakfast time.
How much of the book is realistic? 85% of the poems are based on real experiences that I had growing up or those of my children. Of course, some of the facts are exaggerated for comedic effect. Some are exaggerated to embarrass my children.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? My own primarily as a child and as a man child.
What books have most influenced your life most? Without question, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. I loved those books as a child and I still love reading them today, which says a lot about the timeless quality of his work. I also loved Dr. Seuss books and the poetry of A.A Milne.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Shel Silverstein. I learned a great deal about the different forms and shapes a poem can take, the importance of rhythm and cadence and also that we are only limited by our imagination. Some of his poems just defy everything I was taught about writing poetry and I love that.
What book are you reading now? You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett about the breakup of the Beatles. I like biographies when I’m reading for pleasure.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Hailey Leithauser is new to me, but I think she is beyond brilliant. Her poetry is so lyrical and playful and inventive. I almost gave up writing after reading her because I thought I’ll never write anything half as good as this. I’m sure it is the same reaction most musicians have after hearing the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” for the first time.
What are your current projects? I am currently writing a collection of poems based on emotions. It’s tentatively going to be called Happy (and other feelings).
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Teachers have been incredibly supportive. I have been invited to speak at schools across the state of Michigan and actually read to several schools in the Chicago area this past winter. Teachers are one of the greatest and most influential endorsements I could ask for since they have important influence with my target demographic.
Do you see writing as a career? I do, even though it is at the moment a side career. I spend a significant amount of time either writing or thinking about ideas for future books or poems. I hope one day to retire and do nothing but write but that seems to be many years in the future.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Always. Sometimes it’s a word here or there, sometimes an entire poem. But I tend to be highly critical of my own work. Eventually I make peace with it.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My interest in writing was definitely inspired by Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. I remember reading the poems in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and thinking, “I can do that!” Of course, it’s not as easy as it looks, but that’s the fun and the challenge of writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’d be happy to.
My shirt is striped,
My pants are plaid,
It said “subtract,”
So why’d I add?
My best friend since the second grade
Today with some brand new kids played.
I’d ask to join, but I’m afraid.
I lost the birthday check I had.
And now my mother’s really mad.
I got a D + on my test,
I studied hard and tried my best,
But still too many questions guessed,
I want to sit and cry a spell,
I wish I had someone to tell,
Although I may have lost a friend,
And have no birthday funds to spend,
At least the day is near its end.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Having a really great idea for a poem but being unable to wrestle it into shape. I have an entire folder of half-finished poems that I had to abandon because I just wasn’t satisfied with how it was turning out. Sometimes I have to concede that the idea I had maybe wasn’t so great in the first place and move on to something else.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? My favorite author is A.A Milne. Most readers only know him from his Winnie the Pooh books but he was a gifted poet as well. There is an innocence, beauty and purity to his poetry that I really admire. He can take the most ordinary image (two raindrops sliding down a window pane) and turn it into something magical and extraordinary in just a few lines.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? In the springtime during school reading months I travel a couple times a month to different schools around the state. I also travel to arts and crafts shows to market and sell my books. Anything that will put me in touch with the readers I am trying to reach I am game for.
Who designed the covers? I designed the cover based on artwork from the poem the title of the book is based on. I draw all the illustrations for my books.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Having the self-confidence to put something out there for other people to read knowing there are invariably going to be people who don’t like it. It can be hard to take criticism and most of the time I’m my harshest critic.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? The learning moments for me come from interacting with my audience and finding out what they like and maybe don’t like. Having the opportunity to read the books to a large group of kids is a great way to learn if the poems are resonating with and entertaining your audience or missing the mark.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Feedback is very important so ask as many people as you know (and trust) to read your work and offer their honest opinions. It takes a thick skin sometimes but there is something to take away from even the harshest critique.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you for taking the time to read my work and I appreciate the opportunity to entertain you!
More About The Author: www.WhatifBalloons.com
Connect With The Author On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffswhitcher/
Where are you from? Royal Oak, Michigan
Tell us your latest news? I sold out of Just try it Wyatt (100 books) in less than two weeks. I am currently working on book 2: Please be quiet Wyatt and expect it to come out December 1st. I am having a reading at the Funky Monkey in Oxford on November 12th and the book will be available for purchase at Toyology in Royal Oak.
When and why did you begin writing? As cliché as it sounds, I have always liked to write. It wasn’t until recently though that I decided to persue it as a career.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I don’t think it hit me that I was a writer until I had my first published piece in my hands. Sometimes still I don’t believe how far I have come.
What inspired you to write your first book? My husband Steve really inspired me to do it. I wrote my fist book Just try it Wyatt almost 4 years ago now but was apprehensive of it. I am very critical of my writing and get nervous that people won’t like it. It sometimes holds me back but after seeing the success of this book and having the support my husband gave me, it’s empowered me to want to write more!
Do you have a specific writing style? As a former kindergarten teacher I try to tailor my books to lower elementary levels. I write my books with words that younger children frequent often so they can be active in the reading process. I also like to introduce newer and more difficult words so their minds are stretched and challenged. I try to keep patterns in my book so they can develop a rhythm and read fluently.
How did you come up with the title? The title was the easy part! I actually started with the title and went from there. I knew I wanted to write a book with the concept of trying new things so I took the title and worked it into most of the pages in the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? For this first book, I want my readers to walk away wanting to try new things. I want children to understand that the world is full of endless possibilities and experiences and not to turn things down or away just because they are new or different.
How much of the book is realistic? Though my children’s book is fiction, in theory it’s 100% realistic. It’s a little fox that is apprehensive about experiencing new things. Something we can all relate to.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? My story was based upon a little boy I had in my first year teaching.
What books have most influenced your life most? I can’t narrow it down. I read so much that titles escape me at times. Some of my favorite books are children’s books. Pete the Cat, Little house on the Prairie, and the classics like Peter Rabbit are my top choices.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I would love to have met Laura Ingles Wilder. Not because I write like her, but because I loved her books as a kid.
What book are you reading now? Currently I am reading the “2015 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market” book! I also teach 4/5 grade reading so have about 4 books going at the moment to keep up with my student literacy circles.
What are your current projects? Currently I am working on “Please be quite Wyatt”. A story about how Wyatt learns when and where he can shout and when he needs to use an indoor voice at school.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My best friend Melanie. She is always willing to read my drafts and doesn’t make fun of me if I create silly mistakes or errors. She’s so supportive and has always wanted what’s best for me!
Do you see writing as a career? Yes. I am working very hard to get picked up by a publishing house so I can focus full time on just being creative and marketing my brand.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I think the only thing I would change would be little esthetic aspects like making the pictures bigger but other than that no, I am very pleased with my work!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? In school we had “free write journals” we could use if we finished our work. Sometimes our teacher would write us notes back in them and I just always thought that was really cool. I do that today with my students too. I try to foster writing in any form I can.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Of course. I would be happy to send a copy of my book to you. Please just let me know where to send it.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I find I can be lengthy. I want to describe in detail too much. I have to remember I am writing a children’s book not a novel.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I have not had the opportunity to travel yet, but if it comes around I would love to. My husband has already planned my book tour in his mind!
Who designed the covers? My illustrator captured my ideas perfectly! I was able to describe to her what I wanted and she delivered. We went back and forth many times until everything was exactly as I wanted it to be. I wanted simple yet colorful.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The wait for it to be made. Once my book was good to go, I wanted it the next day but had to wait over a week for the printer to finish!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I have learned that it’s very hard to stand out in the children’s book field. Especially as a self-published writer. Big box stores won’t carry your book without an agent. The marketing has been the hardest part.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Just do it! Save your pennies because it’s expensive, but if you have the opportunity to do what you love then make it happen!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Simply, thank you for the support!
More from the author: www.booksbykelseyfox.com
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