Come Meet Aspiring Author Sarah Allan

NUT AND BOLTS:

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?  This is your chance to tell us about the person behind the writing.  What do you do when you’re not writing?  Where are you from?  Think of this as your bio.

Hi, Liz! Thanks for having me.  Hmm, a little about me?  I’m in my late twenties, and a proud military wife.  My husband and I are actually high school sweethearts, both grew up in Connecticut but have lived in a few different states, and we have two cute-but-evil cats.  When I’m not writing, I love to cook, spend time with friends and family, and see movies and shop.  I try to have a pretty regular work-out schedule, but I can’t say that I enjoy doing it – I guess I enjoy the feeling I get from having worked out.  I’ve also heard that I’m funny, but that could be hearsay. 

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?
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Interview with Dominique Weldon- aspiring author

 NUT AND BOLTS:

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

Nowhere special, just from a small town in Iowa! I’m a regular teen, who does regular teen things-high school, working, countless hours in front of the T.V, with a controller in my hand. When I’m not writing you can definitely catch me playing games online with all the boys!

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?

I think it was an odd mixture of both to be honest. I’ve been writing all my life, which is also known as age five, and I didn’t even realize that until around the age of 13! It was during junior high when that ‘ah ha’ moment came to me.
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Dark matter- bubbly personality! Interveiw with Sarah Ann Jukes

Dark matters – Bubbly Character.

Sarah Ann Jukes has some straight forward advice for shopping for an agent.  It is a good interview for those who are in that wonderfully awful experience!

Nuts and Bolts

My name is Sarah Ann Juckes. I grew up in Leicestershire, UK inside a bubble made by my wonderful family. As I write about such dark issues as an adult, I often get asked about my childhood. There’s nothing much to say other than it was what every childhood should be – fantastic and ever so slightly boring. I graduated from Loughborough University last summer and it was here, whilst studying literature, that I discovered that I wanted to write novels.

As a kid I would make up great imaginary games with multiple characters and plot lines. As I grew older, I began to write them down. I could do anything on the page. That excited me. University allowed me to see that writing isn’t just a pastime for me. It’s my life.

After working in a public library for a couple of years, I now live in Brighton, UK with my boyfriend, Joe. Although Brighton is quite far away from my family in the midlands, I love the creativity and energy of ‘London-by-the-sea’. I currently work full-time in a small self-publishing house and am learning all I can about the publishing world.

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Interview with Kathleen Doyle – aspiring author

Kathleen Doyle was a pleasure to talk to.  Her writing process makes a lot of sense.  You should check it out!

BIO:

I’m a stay at home mom of two. I write, I clean, and I take care of my family. That about sums me up!

When did you know that you were a writer?

I knew I was a writer when I stopped writing in my journal and noticed I was getting very cranky. Once I picked the journal back up, writing my daily life wasn’t enough for me anymore. I had always had crazy adventures in my daydreams and they were aching to get out.

CURRENT PROJECT:

Jane is a seventeen year old girl who decides to visit her grandmother during summer break. After falling asleep in the woods surrounding her grandmother’s house she wakes up to find herself in a different world than the one she grew up in, and her life is in danger.

Upon learning of a prophecy declaring her this world’s savior, she and her new found friends must find a way to stop Greggory – a man bent on dominating both worlds.

With multiple attempts on her life and facing a possible betrayal by one of her friends, Jane wonders if she is the girl from the prophecy or a mistake that will get everyone killed.

What other books does it compare to and how is it different?

I suppose you could compare it to Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series since reading that is where I got the idea. The differences are in the world-building. While there is magic in both, my magic system differs from his series. There is also travel between different worlds in both our series, but his is a more “Dream World” whereas mine is the “real” world.

WRITING:

What does your writing process look like?

The first thing I do when I come up with an idea is write down the idea as it occurs to me.  I’ll mull it over for a while and then start taking notes on what I want to add to the story. I eventually write a synopsis and from there I do an outline in three acts. Once I’ve done that I use note cards to detail the important parts while leaving enough room for my story to grow organically in places.

How do your characters come alive?

My characters are always fully shaped and ready as soon as I imagine them. They are as real to me the second I think of them as my children are and my husband is. It makes it easier for me to get them right when putting them on paper.

How do you make your world believable?

By showing the human side of the world. While my main character is in a different world than the one she grew up in, she sees similarities in the people. Not the way they look, though both worlds are “human”, but in the way people act and react to situations.

How do you deal with writers block?

Good Question! The way I deal with writers block is by figuring out what exactly I am afraid of, because, for me, it always comes back to fear. I’m afraid I’m writing a description wrong. I’m afraid I will mess up the next scene. I’m afraid my story is a pathetic attempt and worthless. Once I recognize the fear, I push it aside and tell it who’s boss!

How many backups do you have?  Have you ever lost any of your work?

I have two backups. I have been fortunate enough to have never lost my work… I will now knock on as much wood as possible!

Inspiration:

Where do you get your ideas?

IDEA BUBBLES!!  Sorry, I blogged about that recently and I couldn’t resist! Really, my ideas come from everywhere. There is no place I haven’t gotten an idea, good or bad. The most unusual place I’ve gotten an idea is from an email… And it had nothing to do with the short story I wrote!

What keeps you going?

My family, first and foremost. Without their support, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have. Next comes all my wonderful friends who accept just how “crazy” a writer I am. The third thing is just down right stubbornness!

What is one piece of advice that you have received that you thought was good?

Short and simple: Write everyday!

What advice do you have for others that are considering joining you on this rocky path?

Don’t ever give up! It’s hard. It’s REALLY hard. But that’s what makes it worth it!

EDITING:

Do you love it or hate it?

I have a love/hate relationship with editing.

What does your editing process look like?

I use a pen, books that I’ve purchased on grammar and character and plot, I submit to critique groups, and I spend the next several days going back and forth between my manuscript and the kitchen (which is never clean enough during the editing phase).

What is the best and worst part of editing?

Best part: the end result being better than when you started.

Worst part: the *facepalm* moments when you realize you left something out of your story that is essential to the progression of the plot.

MORE ABOUT YOU:

Do you ever surprise yourself when you write?

Hell yeah! Every word is a surprise! Seriously? There have been a couple of times when I’ve written something that made me ball my eyes out. I wasn’t expecting to do that even though I knew what was coming for the particular scene or story.

What have you learned about yourself through your writing?

I love exclamation points!

What strengths do you have that make you the next bestselling author and what weaknesses do have that make you human?

I’ve been told my dialogue is very good and very believable. I’m inclined to agree=)

As for weaknesses? My use of adverbs is horrible! I go back and read what I’ve written that day and end up deleting adverb after adverb. I know I’ve used some in this interview=)

Goals?  What short and long term goals do you have with your writing career?

Short term goal? Finish my novel and start the second in the series.

Long term goal? Publish as many books as I can write and hopefully (adverb!) make it to the NYT Bestseller List with every one!

Can’t get enough of Kathleen Doyle?  Here is how you can keep in touch!

Twitter- @Kathleen_Doyle

Blog- writingreadingandlife.blogspot.com

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Kathleen-Doyle/206845806025528 (Writer’s Page)

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Tamar Hela- aspiring author

 NUT AND BOLTS:

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

-My name is Tamar Hela and I am a junior high teacher in California. I think that pretty much speaks for how crazy I must be to deal with crazy kids every day =) I love reading some of my stories to my students and they tell me that they love hearing them (but maybe they’re just trying to get good grades).  Along with teaching, I’m also a student and that keeps my brain active. Though I HATE writing research papers, it’s great practice for improving my writing skills.

-Besides writing, I love to work out, swim, paint, sing and knit. I guess I consider myself a “Renaissance Woman” and I like having varied hobbies to keep myself entertained. I also volunteer once a month at a Sicilian Men’s Club (NOT what it sounds like) called “Sons of Sicily”. I’m a volunteer waitress and have been part of this gig for the past ten years. What’s not to love about free food and crazy Sicilian men proposing marriage every month?

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?

-I began to love writing creatively around the age of 10. I would often daydream in class, thinking of some place or character I made up. I loved having any writing assignments where I could be creative and write about whatever I chose. My fourth grade teacher once told my mom that I was too much of a daydreamer but had the potential to be a published author someday. The only thing I took to heart was the published writer part. Since then, I’ve always made up rhymes or short stories until I had a vivid dream about magical animals two years ago. When I woke up, I had this strong urge to write about what I saw and make a story out of it. I asked advice of my dad—who is a word genius—and he gave me some great feedback. That’s when I began writing my current novel-in-progress. The thoughts began to flow and a creative author was no longer caged.

Where are you at in your process? 

-This is my first novel. I’m about five chapters in…maybe a little less than half finished. I plan on finishing the novel by the summer’s end of THIS year. (And hopefully I make good on my plan!)

Who is your favorite author or what are your favorite books? =)

-Some of my favorite authors: C.S. Lewis, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jane Austen, Stephen R. Lawhead

-Some favorite books: Pride and Prejudice, The Great Divorce, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, The Count of Monte Cristo, Howl’s Moving Castle, Harry Potter series, The Pendragon Trilogy, The Princess Diaries

RAVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:

Tell us about your current projects. 

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Interview with Kirkus MacGowan – aspiring author

 

 

NUT AND BOLTS:

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

Hi there, my name is Kirkus MacGowan.  I was born and raised in Michigan and still reside there with my wife and two children.  I am a stay at home dad.  When I am not writing, I am playing games or wrestling with my little ones.  I am an ex-bartender and have a degree in Psychology.

Were you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?
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Classy and Determined! Brea Essex is the total package!

Brea Essex is a class act. Long story short…  I was a dunce and didn’t realize why her interview popped up ten times larger than it needed to be.  She was very calm and helpful, sending it to me again, and offering to do it once more before I realized the mistake was on my part (note:  Microsoft word likes to randomly chose the zoom level) 

NUTS AND BOLTS:

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

[Brea] I’m from a small town called Gilroy, CA, called “The Garlic Capital of the World”.  I consider San Jose, CA my hometown, though.  I’ve been married for three years.  No children yet, but we have 3 cats and a dog.  I’m a full-time student, studying English.  When I’m not writing (or working on homework!), I read a lot of YA and also epic fantasy.  I love to watch anime, and I draw manga characters.  I’m not that great at it yet, but I’m always improving!  I also like to crochet, sew, and make jewelry.

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?

[Brea] I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing.  I even before I could write, I would make up stories to tell my family.  When I was younger, I would write my dad a short story or poem every year for one of his Christmas presents.  I started writing my first novel in seventh grade.  Unfortunately, it got lost, so it remains unfinished.  Maybe I’ll find it someday.

RAVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:

What are you working on these days?

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16 and knows where she is going!

Nelle Horne is the total package.  She has ability.  She has drive.  She is only sixteen and has already self published her first book!

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

A)     Well, I’m sixteen years old and I live in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I went to a private school until the 5th grade when my mom took me out to homeschool me, which I am very grateful for. When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, eating, doing school work I’ve gotten behind on, playing tennis, or marketing my novel.

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?

A)     I’ve always enjoyed writing little stories but never thought anything of taking it any further. It wasn’t until I was fourteen and this great idea for a book series popped into my head that I knew that this was God’s plan for me.
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She’s so good she can tell stories with her hands

Becca Patterson  happens to be a writing buddy of mine.  We get together every Tuesday to fight with our muses, struggle with plot lines and visit (shhh…  don’t tell our husbands!)   I have been a beta for some of her work and I can tell you she is going places!

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

When I’m not writing I’m doing all kinds of things.  I am an ASL interpreter by trade (NIC certified if you really want to know).  I work in a program for students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  The program is housed in a school for students with behavior disorders – so work provides me with many interesting examples of things going wonky.  I also freelance interpret and get a peek at a lot of different ways of life.  In addition to that I am on the planning committee for CONvergence – science fiction convention and the newsletter editor for GPS – Geek Partnership Society (community center for geeks).  I just moved into a house with my husband and mother (wow that’s an interesting combination) and am trying my hand at vegetable gardening. 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in St. Paul, MN.  Specifically the Mac-Groveland neighborhood.  I spent 5 years in Morris, MN – first as a Geo-chemistry major then as a theatre major before transferring back to the Twin Cities.  There I took an ASL class to fill in a Gen-Ed and ended up falling head over heels in love with the language.  At the time I was working for HCMC as a secretary in a psychiatric program and met several interpreters (and other interesting characters). 

Where you born writing or was there an “ah ha” moment when you knew that writing is what you were meant to do?
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Writing with integrity

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Hi Liz. My name is Kara Lucas and I live in central California with my husband and kids. I am a social worker, and work in adoptions part-time.  Because of the busyness of life and my kids’ activities, I mainly find myself writing in the evenings, or when I can squeeze it in, in the mornings. When I don’t write, I do typical mom stuff, but I love to read, and garden, and go to the mountains.

Where are you at in your process?

I have finished two novels. My first novel I never really tried to get it published, and my second one I began querying in November. I wasn’t really serious about it (self-sabotage, maybe?), but after Christmas, I became committed to querying up to 100 agents. In the end, four agents requested fulls and I got two offers. I signed with an agent, but have recently changed agents.  

I didn’t know that was possible.  How did you change agents?

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