Author Interview, Brian Whitney

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Interview #80, with writer/editor, Brian Whitney!

Hi Brian! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Aware of who I am.

Cool! Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):

am_pleasing

Nate used to deal crack and be naked. Sometimes he wouldn’t put on clothes for weeks and people would come over and buy crack and Nate would just sit there, naked, dealing it out and sucking on a pipe. I mean, let’s face it, that sounds awesome, but how long does the story of a happy naked crack dealer last? Dealing crack and using it is like a monkey trying to sell bananas.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

It wasn’t until a few weeks of living with her that I learned about her hooking business. When I was gone she would take men into our place and give them head for ten to twenty dollars apiece. According to her she never had real sex with them and I’m inclined to believe this because I have been in whorehouses before and they have a certain electricity to them. It’s in the air. I never felt this electric feeling when I walked into my home. ~ Arthur Bradford

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

I am published with three different independents right now and all of them are cool. Of course I am broke as a joke, but I have been lucky to work with people that appreciate the work that I do without either of us having a lot of commercial expectations. [Note from Jess — have you met Cliff Burns? :)]

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I feel it and I know it when I see it.

Well-said. Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Just do what you do. Don’t think for a minute about whether people will like it. Sit down and write.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

https://www.facebook.com/37stories37women

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Much thanks to Brian for stopping by — do visit his website!

BRIAN’S SHORT BIO (in his own words):

I might possibly be the best author ever — and I am managing editor of a new mag. It has national distribution although it is at the grassroots stage. If your work gets in the mag we also do an ad for your biz.

It is an erotic-lit mag for the sexually entertained. So if you send me a photo of a kid and a dog, I am gonna turn you in to the cops.

~ Brian Whitney | December 11, 2013 at 9:11pm

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Author Interview, K.C. Finn

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Interview #75, with “compulsive, convoluted, and complex” writer, Kimberley Finn!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Compulsive, Convoluted, Complex, Consistent and Complicated!

Share a short blurb of your work (10-100 words):

kimberley finn

The Atomic Circus: A Futuristic Mystery

A story is never a good story unless it starts with a murder. The more unusual the murder, the better the story, generally speaking. Meet Caecilius (KAI-KILL-EE-USS) Rex, a young detective in the not-too-distant future, a smog-filled post apocalyptic world riddled with crime and conspiracy.

When a new case quite literally falls at Rex’s feet, he teams up with his neighbour and associate Kendra Nai, an ex-army sergeant recently dismissed, to investigate. Little do they know that the events of The Atomic Circus will be the first step to solving the case of a lifetime.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

– Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

The writing process is easily the more enjoyable of the two for me. Words flow like blood when I cut open the proverbial vein of imagination, and there’s nothing better than seeing the page fill up with your newly crafted ideas, even if they don’t all get used.

As a self-published author the publication process is a double-edged sword, because it’s very easy to put your work out there and be excited by seeing your books in print, but you can often feel swallowed up in the sea with the thousands of other people worldwide trying to get their work noticed. I believe that perseverance and networking are the true keys to success here, just as they would be if I was trying to secure a big time publisher, but I would rather be connecting directly to my audience and keeping my artistic freedom to write exactly as I wish.

Nicely said! What is your definition of “good writing”?

It keeps you reading, it gives you an emotional reaction (be it good or bad!), and most importantly it never inhibits your ability to understand or enjoy the story being told, because to me the story is far more important than the writing.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

As a teacher of writing I have five top tips that I give to my
classes, so I’ll share them all here:

* Keep going, even if you don’t think anyone cares.

* If you like what you’re writing, then there’ll be at least one other
person out there who will too, so write for them if not yourself.

* Write every day. And that’s not every day that you feel like it. I
mean every single day.

* Don’t be afraid to big yourself up and make a big deal of your work.

* Take every opportunity that comes at you to show off your work and
your personality.

Cool tips! Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.theproverbialraven.blogspot.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Atomic-Circus/148122065353125

www.goodreads.com/author/show/7145212.K_C_Finn

www.amazon.co.uk/K-C-Finn/e/B00DT76UEQ/

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Much thanks to K.C. Finn for stopping by — do visit Kimberley’s Website for more info on her projects!

K.C.’S BIO (in her own words):

finn

Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first two novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga.

As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

Her website is The Proverbial Raven.

NOTE: K.C. is launching a new magazine in August called Indie Book Buffet. Keep a lookout for it as there’s a cool giveaway with the debut issue!

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Interview with Joe Perrone Jr.

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* Interview #74, with mystery writer, Joe Perrone Jr.!

* Note from Jess: Joe was AUTHOR #1 to be featured on this blog in Jan 2010. He’s back with another book in his “Matt Davis” mystery series! One of the books in the series was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion — you know you’d like to find out which one…

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joe_perrone

Describe your latest book in 5 words:

Victim, no suspects, no motives.

What inspired the plot?

For years, as a guide on the Beaverkill River in Upstate New York, I passed what appeared to be an old abandoned hotel. Finally, I got the idea for the plot from the thoughts of that old hotel.

Ooh, exciting! Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

* Joe’s Comments: In my new book, Broken Promises: A Matt Davis Mystery, an 86-year old woman is found shot to death on the grounds of an abandoned, burned-out old hotel. There are no witnesses, no suspects, and no apparent motive. Here’s an excerpt from when it happens:

broken_promises

“I’m here!” she shouts at last, a broad smile spreading across her face. “I’m so sorry I’m la–”

The man turns and starts toward her, but Maggie doesn’t recognize him. As he moves forward, he trips, and suddenly there is a flash of light and a loud crack like a tree being struck by lightning. Maggie feels a dull thud, then a burning pain in the center of her chest; and in just seconds, nothing.

Share some of your favorite quotations (10-100 words): 

“It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”
—Uncredited

“It was beauty that killed the beast.”
—Carl Denham, from the movie King Kong

“The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.”
—Carla Jean Moss, from the movie No Country for Old Men

“Shut the f**k up, Donny.”
—Walter Sobchak, from the movie The Big Lebowski

“Leave the gun, take the canoli.”
—Clemenza, from the movie The Godfather

What is your definition of “good characterization”?

Good characterization is when an author creates a character that is so three-dimensional and real that the reader actually cries when that character is killed in the book. Really great characterization is when you, the author, cry, too!

What is it about mystery that you find most appealing?

I guess I find writing mysteries appealing because they permit me to use my imagination to the fullest, and they genuinely challenge my inventiveness.

Neat :) What are some of your plans for the rest of the year?

I am putting the finishing touches on the print and Ebook versions of Broken Promises, so I can publish it as soon as possible (hopefully by the end of July). Then, I will be listening to auditions for the narration of the audio book version. Then, my wife, Becky, and I are going to take a two-week vacation through New England and out to Lake Ontario. Rest. More rest. Then I will resume work on a literary novel I began seven years ago while I was in Charlottesville, Virginia. Of course, I am constantly working with other authors, assisting them with editing, formatting, and book cover designs.

Jeez, I’m tired already!

Your websites/blogs/etc:

My website is: www.joeperronejr.com

My author email address is:
joetheauthorATjoeperronejrDOTcom

My Facebook pages are: Author Joe Perrone Jr. and The Matt Davis Mystery Series.

On Twitter, I am @catsklgd1

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Much thanks to Joe Perrone Jr. for stopping by — do visit Joe’s Website for more info on him and his projects!

JOE’S BIO (short bio):

Opening Day was recently awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion, and in 2011, As The Twig Is Bent was translated into Portuguese as Pau que nasce torto by Rafa Lombardino of Word Awareness, Inc. of Santee, CA. Plans are underway to translate Opening Day and Twice Bitten into Portuguese in the very near future.

All of Joe’s books are available in paperback or in Kindle editions on Amazon.com

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Author Interview, Kristopher Miller

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Interview #62, with unorthodox/quirky/persistent author: Kristopher Miller!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

kristopher miller

Unorthodox, quirky, persistent, morbid, and knowledgeable.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

mazes_amulet

From The Maze’s Amulet:

Elza shouted, “Vargas tull!”

Then the vagrant opened his eyes with a weak gasp. He turned from a tough guy to a scared urchin at the cloudy, bestial face that hissed at him with infernal green eyes. This creature was no longer the woman he and his friend planned to mug and rape. This was an animal with a phantasmagorical mane of hair and a twisted feline face belonging to a lion from hell.

The thug with the knife stumbled back and he dropped his weapon. Elza heard the knife hit the cement with a clatter ringing with the rain but she did not care as she stepped forward.

The thug shouted, “No! Get away from me!” He ran across the street, leaving his friend behind to face the shocking apparition Elza turned into. A car screeched to a stop in front of his friend as he fled the scene.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

This is from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere:

Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar were killing time. Mr. Vandemar had obtained a centipede — a reddish orange creature, almost eight inches long, with vicious, poisonous fangs — and was letting it run all over his hands, watching it as it twined over his fingers, vanishing up one sleeve, appeared a minute later after the other. Mr. Croup was playing with razor blades. He had found, in a corner, a whole box of fifty-year-old razor blades, wrapped in wax paper, and he had been trying to think of things to do with them.

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

For me, the writing process was challenging because I originally had one idea in mind, but the length of that idea needed to be expanded. That required several drafts, several readjustments, and several revisions to get it down to the “right” design and feel. The writing process is often made “easy” by some authors being interviewed, but it is a technical process that requires a lot of steps — and teamwork from editors — to succeed. At the same time, the writing process is rewarding once you realize that an element in the story, whether it be the plot, character development, or the in-story universe’s mechanics, turn out to work the way you want it to and the way that it is conveyed easily to the audience. The writing process is very rewarding because you are able to put your vision on paper. Sometimes it turns out differently than what you expect, but sometimes it is for the better!

As for the publication process, I can say that was easier because we live in an era where people can self-publish their work without having their work being dictated to what a publisher might think would be “marketable.” Self-publishing my work without a publisher would be challenging in that I would not have a lot of promotional resources but then I would also have full control of my work. I’m also a guy who cares more about writing as an art form as opposed to a commercial medium. My stuff is not everyone’s cup of tea, but all I care about is getting my work out there and continuing to make more material that I enjoy creating and what people enjoy reading. This is because writing is a difficult, frustrating, enjoyable, and a highly rewarding activity to partake in.

I love the full control “self-publishing” offers too ;) And it’s always nice to hear about people who aren’t solely motivated by “what $ell$.” What is your definition of “good writing”?

Good writing is writing that a reader can access without having to stumble upon mechanical mistakes and some logic issues that would otherwise ruin a good story. Yes, a good plot is needed, but moreover, the plot with a decent structure, character design and concepts are needed to mesh well in that the reader can access it. But moreover, I think good writing comes from how the author lets these plot and character elements run around before editing them for polish. Good writing is experimentation and taking chances with these elements, but good writing is also making sure that the experimentation works, especially on the readers’ part.

I reject other writers’ notions that the writer is the audience (Cough, Stephenie Meyer, Cough, Mary Sue…) because if it is only for the writer’s entertainment, then it is not really for the reader and this process of writing for the writer’s sake really hinders enjoyment on the reader’s part. I for one have read works in which authors have written for themselves that people have enjoyed but all I wanted to do was bash my head against a wall. One of the most rewarding things about the writing process is creating something that people enjoy and really getting a kick out of their reactions from the manuscript you spent many hours on.

It still takes time to do something worthwhile. In the greater scheme of things, I suppose it also depends on the writer’s motivations (and the type of audience they wish to target). Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Read, read, and read some more. Read stuff that you aren’t familiar with. Read stuff you don’t even agree with. Then write, write, and write some more. Write several drafts of that idea down. Overall: read and write. Rinse and repeat. You will understand how the writing mechanics work when you look at other people’s work.

Yes, it’s important not to stagnate (one of the deadly sins is “sloth,” after all…). Your websites/blogs/etc:

Kristopher Miller’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/catacombsbookshelf

The Catacomb’s Bookshelf, Kristopher Miller’s Official Writing Blog: http://catacombsbookshelf.blogspot.com/

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Much thanks to Kristopher for stopping by — do visit his website for more info about him, his views on writing/publishing, and his books.

Be sure to also check out his guest post for tips on Standing Out as a Self-Published Author!

Author Interview, Kevin Rau

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Interview #61, with obsessive/driven/optimistic author: Kevin Rau!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

kevin rau

Obsessive. Driven. Optimistic. Creative. Fluffy.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

hero_banner

From my book in progress: H.E.R.O. – Gene Front

“Winterfury knew the danger of the brick, but had been warned about the woman and her ability to telepathically control him. He threw the ball of cold at Psystar, who barely opened her mouth in reaction before the sphere hit her. When it struck, a thick mass of ice formed over the heroine. Her body froze in position on the chair. The brick, Mr. Drake, reacted faster than Winterfury expected. He closed on the master of ice in a few steps. Winterfury grew a thick shield of toughened ice over his left arm as the the large man moved in and swung.”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

By Laurel K. Hamilton:

“Come, Anita, join me on the stage.” His voice wasn’t as good as Jean-Claude’s, it just wasn’t. There was no texture to it, but the mind behind the voice was like nothing I had ever felt. It was ancient, terribly ancient. The force of his mind made my bones ache.

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Writing is a creative process. Working with the flow of the story and the plot(s). Ensuring each character’s voice is their own. Generally, it’s an enjoyable process.

Publication would depend on what you specifically mean in this context. If you mean the process of converting a book to e-book formats and prepping a book for sale, then for me it involves editing (often tedious reading and re-reading your work and tweaking it, and then sending it off to others to get their input, and then go back and make modifications). It also involves creation of art for the cover, which is a creative process as well, since I create 3D art for my superheroes, and then use that to render an extremely high detail image for use on the cover.

Next, we’ve got the creation of the “back cover text,” which I personally dislike. I write a story for the full story, not to shorten it into a few hundred words. Last are the details of converting the Word document into the right format for e-books, which is minor for me. The true hard part is the marketing afterward, which doesn’t come naturally to me.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

I don’t believe there is a single definition. To me, the point of any fiction is to make a story that someone can sit down and enjoy. Ideally, the characters will be identifiable, and the reader will be able to “put themselves” into the situations in the book. “Good writing” to me certainly aren’t the nitpicky things such as minor grammar issues and formatting. (I pay close attention to these in my work, but that’s an attempt to make my work as professional as possible. However, a “proper English” story can be entirely boring or unenjoyable, and that would fail the “good writing” test to me.)

Yes, that kind of story would fail the “good writing” test to me too (subjective as it is!). Please share your #1 tip for writers:

I only get to give one? Hmm. Since I’m assuming those reading this will be more interested in releasing a story for sale, I’ll advise them to have others edit their work. Few people are truly good at editing out our own stories, we know what to expect, and end up glossing over errors.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://www.kevinrau.com is my primary author website and blog.

http://www.facebook.com/herobooks is my facebook page, I put images up here on a regular basis of my superheroes and some villains.

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Much thanks to Kevin for stopping by — be sure to check out Kevin’s website for more info about him and his action-packed books ;)!

Author Interview, Danielle Bienvenu

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Author Interview #43, with the multi-talented Author, Photographer, Singer, French teacher: Danielle Bienvenu!

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danielle bienvenu

Hi Danielle! Please describe yourself in 5 words:

It isn’t as easy to describe myself as I thought so I enlisted the help of others. The consensus is I’m spontaneous, determined, a fire ball, quirky, and passionate about life.

Great (“fire ball” always reminds me of the song of the same title by Deep Purple!). Please share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

sarah_secret

From my latest book, “Sarah’s Secret”:

Elijah stilled himself. Once he had been eighteen years old. He was just a kid full of ideas and dreams, dreams of a peaceful world. Ideas of protecting home and making everyone he ever cared about proud. And they would have been proud if they were still alive. Elijah swallowed hard as the memory of home penetrated his senses. They were bittersweet memories of his father playing catch with him. His mother was gone, killed by a drunk driver when she and his father were bringing Elijah’s birthday cake home. Somehow his father managed to survive. Elijah was seven years old. Guilt engulfed him just for a moment and just like boot camp, Elijah pushed himself through the pain and focused on his dad. He’d been bound to a wheelchair as a result of the accident. There wasn’t happiness and smiles that day, no mother to share the birthday cake with. There was just emptiness. It didn’t matter how many years passed since the day he lost his mother. Elijah could still see the ache in his father’s eyes. He’d never forget the look of desperation, not as long as he lived. It was something Elijah grew accustomed to seeing in Afghanistan. Soldiers fighting for freedom, fighting to protect the country they honored and the family they loved while being racked with desperation to return to them. It was a desperation to survive. Everyone in the desert had something to live for. The terrorists had their dreams for murdering innocent lives in the name of their god. They were determined to bring down the “infidel.” Elijah’s buddies had their dreams to get the job done and return home to their wives and kids. But Elijah had no one to go home to. And so he fought.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

I have many favorites but I’ll quote from one of my favorite books of all time — Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson:

My body and mind seemed paralyzed. I could not believe it. I could not have moved or spoken if my life depended on it. Only one thought penetrated. Why was she, too, standing mutely staring at me? Then abruptly, unexpectedly, she spoke, the sound of her voice making me start.

‘Is it you?’ she asked.

Had some enchantment totally beyond my visions taken place so that she knew about me?

And Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt:

“Everywhere around us, things is moving and growing and changing. You, for instance. A child now, but someday a woman. And after that, moving on to make room for the new children.”

Winnie blinked, and all at once her mind was drowned with understanding of what he was saying. For she-yes, even she, would go out of the world willy-nilly someday. Just go out, like the flame of a candle, and no use protesting. It was a certainty. She would try very hard not to think of it, but sometimes, as now, it would be forced upon her. She raged against it, helpless and insulted, and blurted at last, “I don’t want to die.”

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

The writing process is so much easier to me than the publication process. I wish writing didn’t contain four jobs: writing, editing, publishing and publicist but it does. I’d be much happier leaving the dirty work to someone else so I could focus on simply writing. Writing is the best part.

Can’t say I disagree ;)! What is your definition of “good writing”?

In my opinion there is no good writing. If it is good it’s bland. I want to be captivated when I read and I want to captivate others with my writing. If my pulse isn’t quickening in a thriller or I’m not riveted by what the lead will say or do next it’s no good. That being said I am a much harsher judge on my own work than anyone else’s.

Agree on the last point too :) Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Do you feel compelled to write? Do you skip meals or sleep to write? If so, then you are a born writer. You won’t feel completely fulfilled until you write. Don’t let anything keep your from going after your dream. If you want to write, then write.

Please let us know your websites/blogs/etc:

My official site: www.daniellebienvenu.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Danielle-Nicole-Bienvenu-Dove-Photography/113907332022868

My e-books are found on Smashwords.com

My paperbacks can be found online at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Amazon and international vendors.

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Much thanks to Danielle for stopping by — be sure to check out her website for more info about her and the many artistic projects she is up to!

Author Interview, Cora Buhlert

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Author Interview #42, with Cora Buhlert of Pegasus Pulp!

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Hi Cora! Please describe yourself in 5 words:

Multi-genre writer, teacher, translator.

Please share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Executioner's Blade

The Kiss of the Executioner’s Blade

France 1516: The executioner Geoffrey de Bressac is called to the town of Charentes to put a traitor and assassin to death. But a shock awaits him. For the condemned is a woman, Angeline de Golon. But how can he save Angeline, when she is to die at sunrise?

And now a short excerpt:

The sun crossed the horizon, its rays striking the executioner’s blade. The Comte’s intestines were quivering with anticipation. With his left hand he was surreptitiously massaging his crotch. With his right he gave the final sign. The crowd held its collective breath. The priest crossed himself and averted his eyes. The executioner finally…did nothing.

“What are you waiting for?” the Comte demanded in irritation, “Do it!”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

This is a difficult question, because I have plenty of favourite authors. However, I’ll stick to indie authors here and offer you the following excerpt from Mardi Gras Was Over: Three Love Stories by Kathleen Valentine:

“The first thing Minerva Light noticed about Tristan Hancock was his hands. She fell in love with them and then began working her way up his arms to the rest of him.”

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Writing is the fun part, the burst of inspiration when the characters come alive and everything is possible. Though there are also times when writing becomes a slog, because the words just won’t flow.

Publishing, on the other hand, is work. A lot of it, like revising, editing, copyediting, proofreading, formatting, etc… is nitpicky work and not a lot of fun. Nonetheless, it is necessary and skimping on any of these steps of the process will result in a book that is not the best it can be. Though there also are parts of the publishing process that are fun. For example, I enjoy designing my own covers and have a lot of fun finding just the right images, fonts, etc…to illustrate the story.

Finally, there are few things more thrilling than seeing your own book on the virtual shelves and on the screen of your e-reader or holding a printed edition in your hands. So even if the publication process is hard work at times, the end result still gives me a thrill. And that’s what writing is all about, isn’t it?

Yes ;)! What is your definition of “good writing”?

Most of all, good writing is subjective. One person’s good writing is the next person’s clichéd and clunky crap. One person’s lyrical writing is the next guy’s purple prose. One person’s stark minimalism is the next person’s texting prose. That said, a writer should have a good grasp of spelling, grammar and punctuation and deviate from the rules in these areas only with good reason.

That’s a good point for all writers to take note of :) Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Read a lot, not just your genre but other genres, non-fiction and poetry as well, and write every day. Yes, I know it sounds clichéd. But if you write every day, you’ll get a lot of practice and that makes you a better writer. Plus, you’ll produce a lot of stories, novels, essays or whatever it is that you write. In my experience, it’s best to set yourself a certain minimum wordcount goal per day. However, keep it low enough that you can even meet that goal when you’re busy, tired, sick, etc…Personally, I shoot for 100 words of new fiction and 100 words of new non-fiction and academic writing per day. I mostly write more and my daily average is between 1000 and 1200 words. But those 200 words are the absolute minimum I make myself write.

A daily average is always good! Please let us know your websites/blogs/etc:

My personal website and blog is at http://corabuhlert.com. My publisher website and blog is at http://pegasus-pulp.com.

My Amazon Author Central page is at http://www.amazon.com/Cora-Buhlert/e/B005F04ZJW/

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Much thanks to Cora for stopping by — be sure to check out her website for more info about her and her (very) diverse writing projects!