RHONDA PATTON CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE MONTH”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

RHONDA PATTON

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a chicken salad sandwich and a raspberry walnut scone. We have Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 I live in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I am a mother of two beautiful children, a girl 11 and a boy 2.  I am married to my best friend, my illustrator, and my co-writer.  We love camping, anything outdoors with the kids, we love to go to the diamond mine (digging in the dirt).  I have always had the love of writing.  I love kids so it was easy to make my kids’ books.

 

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am self-published.  With low funds and year and a half of research what companies fit my budget, I decided to self-publish.

 

What are your hobbies?

 I love writing, photography (anything with butterflies or nature), face booking, and social networking.

 

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My current book is “Searching for the Unknown”.  It is a story about a couple who moved to a small town after the husband was transferred for his job.  They bought a nice house they had to fix up.  They loved the property, the fishing, and everything but there was something they didn’t like, the other people who lived in the house.  They have passed and started haunting them. The inspiration for this story was some happenings that has happened to my husband and I.  And then our imaginations ran.

 

How did you become a writer? When did you start? 

I have always loved writing poetry.  When I was in high school and had a crush I would write.  I could not express my feelings aloud like I could on paper.  I am not a good talker.  So if I had a feeling deep within me I would write.  I divorced in 1999 and lost someone dear to me in the split, he was my stepson.  He had many difficult situations in his life that I wanted to write something positive for kids.  Now with my own two kids I write things that I would want them to read instead of all the fake stories out there.  These are based on our lives only where children can relate. 

 

How long did it take you to finish your first book? 

My first story did not take long at all.  It is a kid’s short story so not many pages.  For “Searching for the Unknown” it took a couple of months.  It is also a short story for teens to adults.

 

Where do you like to write?  

With two kids it is hard to find a nice quiet place to relax and write.  So I have to take time when my husband gets off from work and go to our room and write.  I either write when our two year old is taking a nap (like now), or late at night while he is sleeping.

 

Favorite author(s)? 

I can’t really say I have a favorite.  Every author out here is putting so much work together to strive for a good book.  The work an author does to research everything for their book to publishing, editing, etc. is very hard work.  Once published then you have to find your audience and then put a lot of time into social networking.  I respect every author out there.

 

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more? 

I have written over 11 books.  I have put my Ted and Raymond Series together as 3 books in one.  The projects are coming, more Ted and Raymond Series books.  We have another paranormal book almost finished “The Spirits of ChesterVille General Store”.  They all will be great reads.

 

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

 http://www.amazon.com/Rhonda-Patton/e/B008QX4XO2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Barnes and noble, books-a-million, amazon, CreateSpace, and many more sites.

What about a link to your website?

www.rhondapattonauthor.weebly.com

Rhonda, thank you so much for joining us and allowing us to get to know you better. May you continue to enjoy success in your writing endeavors.

Our winner for Micki Peluso’s book “And the Whippoorwill Sang” is Deirdre Tolhurst. Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

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C.L. RAGSDALE CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

C.L.RAGSDALE

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Royale tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tart and a finger sandwich. The tart is a recipe from Tea Party Girl, a cute site I’ve subscribed to recently. We’re having your wonderful Cherry Topped Cheesecake Pie for dessert. I’ve included the recipe at the end.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a California girl. I’m not married and I have no children, although nephews and nieces, and great-nephews and nieces (yes I am that old) make up for it. I have a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced my writing style of telling a story through the dialogue between my characters. My work experience is in the clerical field in a lot of different industries, which is convenient for plot lines. Long story short, I’m boring.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an Indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Embroidery, knitting, and walking.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book is called “The Wrong Ghost.” The inspiration actually came from an assignment I had in a Spanish class. One assignment was to ask different people about the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) a variation of “The White Lady” legend. What fascinated me was the number of variations I heard on the theme, no two stories were alike. Which fits into the plot line of “The Wrong Ghost.”

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

According to my mother I’ve been making up my own stories since before I could read. She said I would take sister’s comic books and sit under the kitchen table and make up the story to go with the picture. I thought Spiderman was the bad guy because he scared me. However I actually started writing in junior high when I got hooked on reading. However it wasn’t until I was in my forties that I actually sat down to the work of writing and try to put together an actual novel. Then it was a matter of trial and error.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

My first book in the series “The Mystery of Hurtleberry House,” took about six months to complete.

Where do you like to write?

On my laptop computer in front of the TV. Not that I’m actually watching the show, but I do like the background noise for some reason.

Favorite author(s)?

Do I have to pick? I love so many. However, C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Arthur Conan Doyle, R. Austin Freeman…Oh man there are just too many!

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

So far I have written four in The Reboot Files Series, and yes I plan on more. How many? Well that’s up to God who has to give me the ending.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

The Reboot Files #1 – The Mystery of Hurtleberry House

http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Hurtleberry-House-Reboot-ebook/dp/B004M8S850/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340072508&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mystery+of+hurtleberry+house

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mystery-of-hurtleberry-house-cl-ragsdale/1030801507?ean=2940012385727

The Reboot Files #2 – The Island of Living Trees

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Living-Trees-Reboot-ebook/dp/B00517425G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/island-of-living-trees-cl-ragsdale/1102283674?ean=2940012506092

The Reboot Files #3 – The Harbinger of Retribution

http://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-Retribution-Reboot-Files-ebook/dp/B005KYIYJU/ref=pd_rhf_dp_shvl1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-harbinger-of-retribution-cl-ragsdale/1105361392?ean=2940013094093

Reboot Files #4 – The Wrong Ghost:

http://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Ghost-Reboot-Files-ebook/dp/B008C9S5S0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340072275&sr=1-2&keywords=the+wrong+ghost

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wrong-ghost-cl-ragsdale/1111622289?ean=2940014706766

What about a link to your website?

My blog, called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales is located at http://www.shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com

Cindy, it’s been so much fun to have you come for tea. I’ve enjoyed reading the Reboot Files and wish you great success in all your upcoming endeavors. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations to last week’s contest winner Linneann! She will be receiving a copy of  “Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler” by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Cindy Ragsdale’s Reboot Files #1

“The Mystery of Hurtleberry House”:

1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can send a copy to you if you win).

2. Follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” (You must comment and Follow by Email to qualify for the drawing.)

Now here are the recipes!

CHERRY TOPPED CREAM CHEESE PIE

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

½ cup sugar

1 8 oz container thawed frozen whipped topping

1 9 inch unbaked graham cracker crust

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling

With electric beater combine cream cheese and sugar until integrated. Blend in cool whip.  Pour into graham cracker crust. Top with cherries. Chill before serving.

Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tarts

Ingredients:

1/2 pkg. puff pastry dough, thawed
1 tsp. water
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced smoked chicken, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 pkg. Cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
12 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, divided
2 T. olive oil
1 T. finely chopped parsley, divided
1 egg
1 T. finely minced scallion stems, divided

Preheat oven to 450*. Roll out pastry dough and flatten seams. Cut
pastry sheet into 9 sections and place sections on a greased baking
sheet. In a large pan over medium high heat, saute’ sliced onions,
minced garlic and chopped mushrooms in olive oil until softened.
Remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, beat egg with
water. Brush the borders of the pastry with egg mixture. Spread
mushroom mixture into the center of each pastry section. Fold up
1/2″ of each pastry side, pinching the corners together to hold the
filling. Bake for 10 minutes.

Top each tart with smoked chicken, shredded Montery Jack cheese
and chopped olives. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes,
until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle each tart
with chopped parsley and scallions. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

NATY MATOS CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

NATY MATOS

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. I made your favorite eggplant finger sandwiches. I’ve included your recipe at the end of the interview. Hope they turned out like yours! And we have custard pie for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in New York, but grew up in Puerto Rico. I moved to Atlanta 10 years ago. Although I miss the beach, I have made Atlanta my home.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Do writers have time for hobbies? LOL! Seriously, I like to read, I love to cook, and visit museums. I like all forms of art.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My last published book is The Road Home. When I was writing this book I was going through a transition of faith, from a believer to a committed relationship with Christ. The book is not my personal journey, but Desiree’s (my main character) journey to finding true love.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I started writing when I was 14 years old. I just had so many stories that would come into my head that I needed a way to get them out. I have always loved writing; it was the one thing that made me happy. After my college I stopped for a while because life took over, but God showed me my way back and I’m not leaving it this time.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Although I published a devotional in 2010 (Growth Lessons), my first book is The Road Home and it took me two years to get it ready for publication.

Where do you like to write?

I need a view to write. I have a chaise in my bedroom near a window. Recently I rearranged my office and now I have two windows, one in front of me and one next to me, so that has become my new favorite place, but as long as I have a window to look out of I can write anywhere.

Favorite authors?

I have a few, but I can think of Elizabeth Elliot, Precarious Yates, Nicholas Sparks.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have published two, but I have written a total of 12 some of which are in the process of being edited. Yes, I plan to write as long as God gives me the energy to do so.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

Here are all my books on

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Naty-Matos/e/B00657JDLE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Barnes & Nobles

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/naty-matos?keyword=naty+matos&store=allproducts

These are the links to the book

What about a link to your website?

http://therisingmuse.com

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Naty. It was a real pleasure to have you over for tea and we wish you great success with your books.

Naty Mattos’ EGGPLANT SANDWICH

2 slices of bread

1 Eggplant

1 egg or ½ cup of egg substitute

1 slice of Swiss cheese

Alfalfa Sprouts

Lettuce

Tomato

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Non-stick spray

 

Directions:

Peel and slice the eggplant. On a bowl beat the egg or place the egg substitute. I put salt and pepper to the egg mixture. (Sometimes I would also add garlic powder). Spray a skillet with the non-stick spray. Submerge the eggplant slices and cook on med-high until they are golden. Once the eggplant is cooked, build your sandwich with the bread, cheese, lettuce, tomato, eggplant slices and alfalfa sprouts. (1 eggplant is enough for 3-4 sandwiches depending on the size) Enjoy!

 

*

 

Nancy Jill’s Cozy Custard Pie

1 9″ unbaked pie shell

1  13 oz can evaporated milk                                       

7 oz milk

3 eggs

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 t salt

1 t vanilla

ground nutmeg 

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine evaporated milk and milk in a microwave safe container (such as large glass or plastic measuring cup) and microwave for 3 minutes until milk is scalded. (A film will form when it is.)


In a mixing bowl (or stand mixer if you have one) beat the eggs until lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Add salt and mix in. While mixing, slowly add the scalded milk until blended. Add vanilla and mix in. 


Slowly pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and dust with nutmeg to taste. (See picture.)


Bake at 400 degrees until firm or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 40 minutes.

 

DEIRDRE TOLHURST CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

DEIRDRE TOLHURST

             

Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of Honeybush Mandarin Orange tea and we’ll get started.

Please help yourself to an egg salad sandwich and a mini-empanada. I made your recipe for the egg salad. And thank you for bringing the Carrot Torte for dessert and providing the recipes at the end of our interview.

Hi there, Jill, nice to see you again!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Central Texas, about an hour north of Austin.  I was born in the Bronx, NY, but we moved across the GW Bridge to Northern NJ when I was three.  I am the middle of five children, one sister and three brothers.  My father (who is featured on the cover of my book) was a Crime Reporter for the NY Daily News for 38 years and then NBC until he died in 1987. 

I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man, who is my greatest supporter and the love of my life.  Before he retired from the US Army we lived in Germany for three years.  We have one daughter together, and I have a step-daughter as well.

I work as an editor for a government contractor on Fort Hood, the largest Army base in the free world.  I have been there for almost 23 years now.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am traditionally published through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.

What are your hobbies?

I like to make things for my husband to surprise him.  On his birthday two years ago I had people email me what he means to them.  What an amazing tribute with some going back 50 years!  I bound it and added pictures.  It was beautiful, and he just loves it.  I put together little books for him every now and then.  The surprise is the best part for me.  Other than that, writing is my main hobby.  I wish I could make it a full time job!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, A Christmas I Remember came about because my girlfriend asked me to write something for her for Christmas 2010.  She said she loved the way I wrote and wanted something, anything really so that she could frame it.  I agreed and later that evening (26 days before Christmas) I sat down and wrote “To Kindra with Love.”  That was as far as I got for weeks.  I wrote prayers asking God to help me find the words, or to bring me memories of Christmases past.  On the 17th of December the memories started coming, and the next day the poem that became a book was born.  I read it to another friend at work and she declared it was a book!  I told her no, it was a poem for Kindra.  She insisted, as did I a few times, and then she said, “No, it’s a book for children!” Then I looked for a Christian publisher, found Tate, and was accepted.

Deirdre Christmas 1963

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have always loved to write.  I really got into writing in high school.  Years later I took a course from Long Ridge Writer’s Group in Connecticut, but chickened out when the freelancing lesson came.  I dropped the course out of fear of rejection. I loved to read letters that my father wrote.  He had a unique style that I haven’t seen anyone else have.  Maybe it’s genetic.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Once my prayers were answered the book was written in just a few days, five, I think.  Of course it’s a children’s book, a poem, so it isn’t like writing a novel. But inspiration must still be there, and prayer is a good way to be inspired!

Where do you like to write?

I like to sit on the easy chair in my office.  My best writing seems to come first thing in the morning.  I also like my front porch, which faces east, but only when it is not terribly hot. I write everything long hand first and then type it later. I know doing it this way takes that much more time, but when I type first I don’t ‘feel’ anything. When I write with a pen (or pencil), I see the words come from God through me onto the page. It is then my inspired work. To me, typing is so impersonal, the words look the same no matter who wrote them. Do you know what I mean?

 

Favorite author(s)?

I don’t have a favorite author.  I enjoy different genres, it’s really what my mood happens to be when I start looking for a new book to read.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have only completed A Christmas I Remember.  I am in the process of writing another book, but not a children’s book (that was such a surprise to me).  I am compiling my thoughts and experiences into either a devotional or book of Christian encouragement.  I am covering topics like trust and things I wish I knew when I was younger.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

I certainly would!  People can purchase hardcover and Color Me coloring books as well as the standard soft cover book on my website.  Even my publisher doesn’t carry the hard cover or coloring book.  They sell quickly because children really love them!  I will list my website in the next question.  Also, they can purchase directly from my publisher at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61346-422-9, or Amazon or Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.. Just about any on-line book store has it.  One quick mention, my book (both hard and soft cover) come with a free audio download, so it is like getting two books for the price of one.  Once downloaded a child can listen to me read the book and they are prompted to turn the page when Christmas bells chime.  It frees up Mom to do other things, especially if the child wants to hear it again and again!

What about a link to your website?

My book is for sale at http://www.deirdretolhurst.com.  I also have a link to my blog in there (Thoughts and Prayers Page – http://www.deirdretolhurst.blogspot.com ), for anyone who needs a pick-me-up and to be reminded that God’s love is all around them.   I do not sell the ebook at my site, but the readers can purchase it at Tate – http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=christmas+i+remember

I hope that your readers will visit and come to love my book and my blog!  And thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, Jill!  I hope to meet up with you again one of these days and maybe go to lunch together!  God bless you for helping us authors out!

It’s been my pleasure Deirdre, and best success with your writing endeavors!

Deirdre Tolhurst’s Recipes

Good sandwich. I just like an egg salad sandwich made by smashing the eggs and then adding a little diced onion, diced celery, S&P, chives, mixed with a little Hellmann’s mayo and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Spread it on some fresh whole wheat or whole grain bread with a little romaine lettuce and voila!  Fabulous!

Favorite DessertMy mother used to make this and now I do, and it is absolutely my favorite dessert.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture; it gets eaten too fast to take one when it is still fresh!

Carrot Torte

4 eggs separated                                   grated rind of 1 lemon

1 C sugar                                                juice of ½ lemon

1 C  grated raw carrot                          ½ C  flour – sifted

1 t  baking powder                               ¼ t salt

1 C  heavy cream, whipped

 

Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually beat in sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  Add carrot, lemon rind, and juice.  Sift together dry ingredients and fold into yolk mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into first mixture.  Pour into 2 ungreased 8-inch layer pans. Bake in preheated moderate oven (350º) for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand in pan until cool.

Remove and spread sweetened whipped cream layers on top.  Sprinkle a little fresh grated carrot on top.

NOTE:  I usually double this recipe so that I can have 4 layers.

PAULETTE HARPER JOHNSON CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

PAULETTE HARPER JOHNSON

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of mango passion tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a finger sandwich – I made tuna today, one of my favorites and yours too, you said. For dessert, I’m serving a freshly baked, Chocolate Chunk cookie topped with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and served in its own deep dish which you’ve labeled as a “Pizookie.”

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello Everyone! I am originally from Northern California by way of the San Francisco Bay Area.  For the past year I’ve transplanted to sunny central Florida. My husband and I pastor Word of Faith Worship center in Bradenton and North Port Florida. I am the youngest of eight children, first published author and preacher. I am the mother of two adult daughters and two beautiful granddaughters. I am a radio host and owner of Write Now Literary (WNL) Virtual Book Tours.
Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?
My first book That Was Then, This Is Now was published by Tate Publishing and with my current book Completely Whole I’ve become an Indie author.

What are your hobbies?
Besides spending time on the beach, shopping and traveling, I absolutely love playing cards.
Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?
My current book is Completely Whole. The inspiration came from a nudge from God. I had gone through a bad ordeal, which left me broken and scared.  In order for me to write about becoming whole, I had to experience it myself.  There were areas in my own life that I needed to confront and deal with. Those areas that hindered me from moving forward needed to be addressed. Once God began to point out those areas and I accepted where I was spiritually, the healing and restoration began.  The process of becoming Completely Whole is continual for any believer desiring to live, walk, and pursue a life on purpose. Completely Whole is one of those books that will challenge the reader to do a self-examination of where they are as it relates to their own spirituality.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?
My publishing journey began in 2007 with my first non-fiction book That Was Then, This Is Now. In this book, I candidly share my own personal story of God’s power to heal and restore. A nudge from God to share my story opened up greater opportunities to write and speak to more women. From that year  I’ve gone on to pen several other books.
How long did it take you to finish your first book?
My first book took me all of three months; however with Completely Whole that took me about six months to complete.
Where do you like to write?
I have made my kitchen table my place of meditation and inspiration.
Favorite author(s)?
In the inspiration genre a few of my favorite authors are T.D Jakes, Miles Monroe and Joyce Meyers. I enjoy their writings because they are filled with the wisdom and knowledge that helps me to grow spiritually. And of course God, who has written the greatest book of all “The Bible”. In regards to Christian fiction I enjoy the writings of Michelle Stimpson and Wanda B. Campbell just to name a few but that list is growing.
How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?
Currently my library has three of my published books along with two non-fiction anthologies. Yes, Nancy I am working on two more books. My first Christian fiction book “The Sanctuary” will be out later this year. I’m also working on a young girl’s teen book “My Sista Girl, A guide to loving you, will be out early 2013. This year I released my first Write Now Author’s Manual which is a guide that I use to teach my seminars and workshops. Also available on Amazon.
Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?
I sure will, people can purchase copies of my books on Amazon using the following links
Completely Whole: http://tinyurl.com/425euh7
That Was Then, This Is Now: http://tinyurl.com/3lxa5au
Write Now Authors’ Manual: http://tinyurl.com/7krbwt4What about a link to your website?
I have two websites one for my ministry which is: http://pauletteharper.com and http://writenowlit.blogspot.com is used for my Virtual Tours.

Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your writing journey. It’s been such a pleasure! Blessings on your writing, Paulette.

For a delicious recipe click the picture for the link. Thanks, Mary!

MARY ANN BERNAL CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

MARY ANN BERNAL             

                                                          

Welcome! Let me pour you a nice cup of white peach tea and we’ll get started.                

Please help yourself to a finger sandwich – I’ve included smoked salmon and dill, too. I heard it was one of your favorites. And we have fruit tarts for dessert today.                                                                             

Where do you live?

I currently reside in Omaha, Nebraska, having moved from New York several years ago to be closer to my son and his family.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a very energetic senior citizen, having started my dream career as a published author upon my retirement from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010.  With years of experience in time management, it is not difficult to juggle writing, volunteering in various programs supporting the U.S. military and spending time with my children and grandchildren, especially cheering in the stands at sporting events and dance competitions.

 

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

 

My first novel was traditionally published, but my subsequent novels went the Indie route.  I prefer being an Indie author with its perks, specifically retaining all rights in addition to having complete control over content and the look of the book (cover design).  In today’s economy, the traditional publisher expects the author to provide a marketing plan to sell his/her book, and there are little, if any advertising funds available for unknown authors.  If the author is aggressively promoting/marketing his/her work, then he/she should receive higher royalties, which is only possible through self-publishing.

 

What are your hobbies?

 

Since retiring from the work force, I have been able to travel to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy, and am planning a trip to Greece later this year.  Reading and period movies are also favorite pastimes, but I also love science fiction, James Bond and solving murder mysteries.

 

Tell us about your current book.

 

“The Briton and the Dane: Legacy,” the final installment of the “The Briton and the Dane” trilogy, is an action-packed adventure, sprinkled with a dash of romance, where deception, treachery and betrayal impacts not only the reign of Alfred the Great, but also the lives of Lord Richard and his family in the ongoing struggle to keep the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex free from Viking rule.

 

What was your inspiration?

 

My inspiration comes from the Hollywood blockbusters of the sixties, when Vikings roamed the seas and King Arthur defended the realm, and from Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” which was required reading in my sophomore year of high school.

 

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

 

After reading numerous historical fiction novels over the years, I wanted to create my own characters in historical settings of my favorite century – the Dark Ages.  Erik, the Viking, found his way into my psyche, demanding a story, but it would take years before I could find the time to write his epic adventure.  In the meantime, I attended creative writing classes and workshops, and also completed online novel writing courses.

 

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

 

My first book took about ten months to complete, and subsequent novels have taken the same amount of time to write, edit, and publish.

 

Where do you like to write?

 

In my home office, which is a great commute, especially during inclement weather.

 

Favorite author(s)?

 

Stephen King, James Patterson, Josephine Tey, Frans G. Bengtsson, Jacob Abbott, Thomas Carlyle, Steven Saylor, Derek Wilson,

 

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

 

The third book of the “The Briton and the Dane” trilogy was launched earlier this year.  I am currently writing “The Briton and the Dane: Concordia,” which will be available in 2013.  My next project will be “The Briton and the Dane: Timeline,” which will be available in 2014.

 

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

 

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mary+ann+bernal

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mary+ann+bernal

The Literary Underground

http://www.litunderground.com/MaryAnnBernal.html

What about a link to your website?

http://www.maryannbernal.com

Book Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH1qSGHOSMA

Mary Ann, it was such a pleasure to meet you today. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I wish you wonderful success with your writing!

SANDRA McLEOD HUMPHREY CELEBRITY AUTHOR INTERVIEW

“QUEEN OF THE WEEK”

CELEBRITY AUTHOR

SANDRA McLEOD HUMPHREY

Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Zinger tea and we’ll  get started. Please help yourself to a zucchini bread and cream cheese sandwich and a raspberry scone and we’ll get started. We have one of your favorites – lemon meringue pie for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, Nancy, I live in a suburb of Minneapolis with my husband, one geriatric white German shepherd, one 6-month old Aussie puppy, and one cat who’s convinced he’s a dog. We used to have two horses and a pony, but as the kids grew older, we traded the horses in for a pool. I was a clinical psychologist for 31 years and worked primarily with young women with character disorders: borderline personalities, anorexics, bulimics, etc. and retired in ’92 to begin my second career as a writer. My writing career is what I refer to as “The dessert of My Life.”

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m traditionally published. My primary publisher is Prometheus Books, but I’ve also had two books published by CSS Publishing, and my newest book coming out later this year is published by Royal Fireworks Press.

What are your hobbies?

When I was younger, my favorite hobby was exhibiting at horse shows—English Pleasure Classes, Horsemanship Classes, and Hunter Classes. Now that I’m older, I prefer activities where I can keep both feet on the ground. During the summer, I swim half a mile every day and our Aussie puppy RAZZ (short for Razmatazz) and I have just begun her second set of obedience classes. She’s doing well and is obviously more “with it” than her owner. I finally had to give up using the clicker because I couldn’t coordinate all my body parts to click the clicker in sync with my verbal commands and reward her behavior all at the same time. As I already mentioned, she’s doing really well—me, not so much!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book They Stood Alone!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference is a collection of  brief biographies of  25 men and women who refused to conform to the societal beliefs and expectations of their time and, by stepping out and away from the crowd, they changed their world and ours as well.

While doing my school visits, I met so many students who had already given up their dreams and no longer had any personal aspirations. I wanted to restore their hopes and their dreams by showing them that one person can indeed make a difference. Each of  the 25 men and women in my book made a unique contribution which changed and shaped the course of history, and they were not afraid to take a risk even when it meant standing alone.
They Stood Alone!  received the 2011 Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Young Adult Nonfiction and was the 2011-2012 DIY Book Festival Winner for the Teenage category. The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) also selected it for their annual list of best selections for young adults in the nonfiction category.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I’ve always loved to write and back in college my Spenserian Stanza about Endymion won a national award. I was majoring in English at the time, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with a degree in English, so at the last minute, I switched my major to psychology. I did no more creative writing for 30 years, but I think I can safely say that I was the only psychologist who “enjoyed” writing up diagnostic assessments and court reports. When I retired in ’92, I began writing short stories for children’s magazines and also began writing the first book in my What Would You Do? series.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

It actually took two years because my first publisher asked me to rewrite it for a younger readership which I did. Then, as luck would have it, the editor retired and I had to begin looking for a publisher all over again.

Where do you like to write?

My husband and I share a study and my desk and computer are between his desk and the door, so every time he goes in or out of the office, I have to get up and let him by. If I had my druthers, I would have my own little office with plenty of windows (which someone else would wash)  and where my creative juices would just bubble over!

Favorite author(s)?

I have so many favorites, but some of my favorite favorites include C.S. Lewis, Og Mandino, Judy Blume, Joan Bauer, Jay Asher, and Jodi Picoult.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have eight books published so far and my tween problem-solving book Making Bad Stuff Good is scheduled for publication by Royal Fireworks Press later this year.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_9?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sandra+mcleod+humphrey&sprefix=Sandra+Mc%2Cstripbooks%2C207

What about a link to your website?

My website: http://www.kidscandoit.com

Sandra, it’s been such a pleasure to have you for tea. It was an honor to meet you and I wish you all the success with your books.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist, a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of eight middle-grade and young adult books.  She’s also the recipient of the National Character Education Center’s Award for Exemplary Leadership in Ethics Education (2000) and the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Literature. You can learn more about her books by visiting her Web site  at www.kidscandoit.com.
Connect with Sandy at:
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KidsCanDoIt/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sandra305
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SandraMHum/videos

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