Interview with Simon Marshland

When did you start your writing career?

I suppose I’ve been writing most of my life. Even as a child I would get bursts of literary energy, scribbling short stories and recording events that lasted a week to a month before spluttering away to doze somewhere at the back of my mind. Then for no particular reason some subject or event would set me thinking again and the urge to write would surface once more for another brief period. As I grew older the periods grew longer and I wrote an increasing number of articles, commentaries, odes and better short stories, which eventually led to my first book.

You’ve moved around a lot over the years visiting many countries. How has this affected your writing?

All writers need imagination, the more vivid the better and the ability to observe even subconsciously, but they also need as much life experience as possible. Here I have been very fortunate in spending a lot of my life travelling around the World, meeting different peoples, taking part in their customs, seeing and merging into their way of life has been immensely valuable to me as an individual as well as a writer.

What genre do you write and why?

I don’t have a particular genre, which is a mistake. Most successful writers find their literary niche and stick with it.  Building a growing market of readers addicted to their books be they who dunnits, thrillers, historical romances or sagas. While I let an admittedly undisciplined mind find subjects that intrigue me at the time then feel compelled to write about them.

Tell us a bit about your latest book.

It was the age-old question, why am I here; what is the purpose of my life and where if anywhere will it lead that caused me to write Private Lives. Those interested in the subject can find my article Viewpoint at but a book needs a story and hopefully Private Lives provides a good one. Below is a brief synopsis

From an ordinary childhood Charlie Parker rises almost accidentally to become chairman of one of the worlds biggest banking conglomerates. Private Lives tells Charlie’s extraordinary story on the way to success, his meeting with his great love Samantha and their lives together, along with continual flashbacks to two previous lives he refuses to acknowledge, dismissing them as mental aberrations. But try as he might to ignore them he finds himself living more and more in the past first as a rifleman fighting Napoleon’s armies in Spain, then later as a young 1939 Oxford undergraduate forced to leave his studies to become a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain until the final dramatic climax of his own life draws the book to conclusion. This is a story of love and laughter, heartache and sorrow that transcends centuries to a joining of the many threads in final understanding. 

You’ve also experimented with children fiction in the past. Do you think you’ll change genre again in the future?

As I explained in my previous answer, a change of genre is always on the cards for me.

How do you promote your writing?

Those who have been fortunate enough to be published by one of the large publishing companies can leave the promotion details to them, confining themselves to book signing and whatever activities their publisher suggests.  But like most authors who lack this luxury I have to find my own way, relying largely on the Internet to get my book across to the public. I think it essential to be listed on Amazon, Barns& Noble and Books-a-Million and to become a member of the many writers sites such as Book Marketing, Bookplace, Bookblogs Published Authors etc as possible. To join Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, AuthorsNet, Goodreads and to try to write at least two Blogs a week. I also used Premium Promotional Services who do a very good job at a reasonable price.

Have you ever had writers block? How did you overcome it?

Most writes suffer from this dread disease every once in a while and I’ve found the one golden rule is never to sit around waiting for inspiration. Forget about the problem, go away and write something else, be it an article, a letter or a shopping list. Anything to take your mind off the piece you have the block about. Don’t worry, your subconscious will continue working for you so that when you sit down a couple of hours or a day or even a week later to try again, nine times out of ten the words will flow easily once more.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

My home site is and you’ll find me at writer’s sites some of which I’ve mentioned before I’ve also been around a while now and the spiders have done their work so whatever gaps are left you’ll probably find on Google.

Anything else you would like to add?

I hope some of the tips above will prove useful to new authors and if I can be of any further help writers are welcome to contact me at

Books by Simon Marshland:

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Site of interest: Library of clean reads is a nice site dedicated to book reviews. As the title indicates, it's a review of books that are free of explicit sex, profanity, graphic violence and paranormal themes.

The site is run by Laura Fabiani.
Author, writer, entrepreneur, workshop leader and founder of, an online resource for new and aspiring writers. My reading tastes vary greatly and I read both fiction and non-fiction. I review adult, YA and children's books, since I love reading to my children. I review books for pleasure and learning. I have a degree in Special Care Counseling and have worked as a psychiatric child counselor and as a special education technician at various institutions. I hold a diploma in Writing for Children and Teenagers and an advanced certificate in TESOL from the Canadian Institute of English. I also own a translation business, mainly translating medical documents from French to English. I am currently teaching Creative Writing Workshops in English and French and writing my second novel. It's a busy life!

Would you like your book to be reviewed? Please read the submission guidelines and review policy. I offer several services to promote your book, including author interviews, and giveaways. I do not receive compensation for book reviews.
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Interview with Lauren Harvey

Tell us a bit about your books Loving Her (released 2008) and Unbreakable Hostage (released 2009)
Loving Her was my first attempt at any form of fiction since I was a teenager.  It's a group of intertwined short stories about a group of friends and lovers.  It discusses their daily battles, as well as larger issues such as gay bashings.
Unbreakable Hostage is my first suspense novel ever!  I didn't even think I could write it, to be perfectly honest.  It's about a woman named Lareina Oliveira, who is working towards her Ph. D. in algebra.  One of her classmates is obssessed with her and eventually kidnaps her.  Lareina uses her wit and knowledge of algebra to help her friends, family and the LAPD try to find her.  She is tortured and greatly abused while she is held hostage, and her chances of being rescued in time are slim.

Your latest book Imperfect will be out in June 2010. How are you preparing for it's release?
Right now, I'm actually just holding my breath.  Imperfect is my first full-length novel, and it's really quite tragic so I'm not sure how it will be received.  Thus far, I've been discussing it in my blog and on my website.  I'll be making the rounds in the north eastern United States this fall promoting it along with the other two books.

You were nationally (US) published for the first time at age 14. Do you think starting your writing career at such a young age has helped you in the long run?
Perhaps it's egotistical of me to say, but I do think it helped me.  It was an amazing honor then (and still is now).  It also really gave me the confidence to pursue other writing ventures.  I think that if I came into the industry as an adult with no previous publications or history of fiction work (or even non-fiction work), I may not have challenged myself to write books like Unbreakable Hostage or Imperfect or pursue their publication.
As well as being a writer, you're also an activist for human rights, animal rights, women's rights, and gay rights. Do these other passions affect your writing?
They absolutely  affect my writing.  It's easy for me to admit that if I didn't have a passion for animals, Jen (a character from Loving Her) would not have been a cat shelter director.  If gay rights weren't important to me, neither Loving Her nor Imperfect would be in existence.  So yes, undoubtedly, my passions are deeply woven into my books.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Persistence is key.  A good writer persists in making their story the strongest, most polished work possible.  They're also persistent in becoming published.  This is a tough industry, and in order to see your dream become a reality you have to be persistent and diligent in making it happen.
What has been the best moment in your writing career so far?
That's a tough one.  I'm extremely proud of having been published at age 14, and of the fact that Loving Her was published (I never thought it would be seen by anyone other than myself). 
In looking at everything I have done, though, I take exceptional pride in Unbreakable Hostage.  I have never considered myself a suspense writer, and yet Unbreakable Hostage was not only published, it has been very well received so far.  To see something like that come to fruition and to receive positive accolades is astounding.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I'm on several websites. 
The first is my own website,
I have profiles on Facebook and Myspace: and
I also tweet on Twitter at
Lastly, I have a blog at
Anything else you'd like to add?
I'd just to let to take this opportunity to let everyone know that I love to hear from them!  All e-mails and comments are more than welcome!  I like to be approachable and available to my readers.  I think that a good writer needs to truly listen to their readers, so I don't want people to ever hesitate to contact me on any of my websites, or via my e-mail at
And of course, I want to thank you for this interview!  Thank you so very much for this opportunity!  I greatly appreciate it!  :)
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Script Frenzy

"Let's write a movie. Or a play. Or a graphic novel. And let's do it in April. For Script Frenzy.
Script Frenzy is the other global writing escapade we put on every year. The goal: writing a 100-page script in 30 days. Partnering is encouraged. All kinds of scripts are allowed, including adaptations of your NaNoWriMo novel! The t-shirts are stunning! No experience is necessary! Script Frenzy's Writer's Resources page will teach you everything you need to know before you begin.
I think you're going to love it.

If you're a parent with concerns about abandoning your family for a month, fear not. Your children will be penning their own movies or plays right alongside you (when they're not making you dinner and giving you wrist massages, of course). Script Frenzy's Young Writers Program will transport your kid or teen from FADE IN to the closing credits in 30 days.

We're expecting 20,000 people to write with us this year.  We'd love to have you on board. Come on by and give our plot machine a whirl! 

I'll see you in the Frenzy!"


What is Script Frenzy?

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or "best" scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner's Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.

Even those who fall short of the word goal will be applauded for making a heroic attempt. Really, you have nothing to lose—except that nagging feeling that there's a script inside you that may never get out.

Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.

What: 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels are all welcome.)
When: April 1 - 30. Every year. Mark your calendars.
Where: Online and in person (if you want!). Hang out in the forums, join your fellow participants at write-ins, and make friends by adding writing buddies online.
Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be disappointed if you missed out on the adventure. Because you need to make time for you.
How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. (US participants: Get your taxes done now!) Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!

The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy

    1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy winner, you must write a script (or multiple scripts) of at least 100 total pages and verify this tally on
    2) You may write individually or with a partner. Writing teams will have a 100-page total goal for their co-written script or scripts.
    3) Script writing may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.
    4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires.
    5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.
 Related books:

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Video: JACK WAKES UP: online promotion for authors

The story behind Seth Harwood's rise to publication with Random House for his first novel, JACK WAKES UP. Includes: how he made free audio podcasts of his novel and built a huge fanbase...

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Review of The Kite Runner

Title:  The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Riverhead Books (The Berkley Publishing Group)
ISBN: 1-59448-000-1  
Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.   
The first novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner is one of those stories that is hard to forget. Not surprisingly, the book has received huge praise from both the industry and readers around the world and has won many awards including to name a  few; San Francisco Chronicle Best book of the year, #1 New York Times Bestseller and Top Ten Fiction Pick of the Year by Entertainment Weekly.
Two young boys, Amir and Hassen, living in Afghanistan in the 1970’s have a strange kind of friendship marked by their different social class, life style and personalities. It turns out however that the boys have more in common than they could ever have imagined. The journey to adulthood is not an easy one for either.
A powerful, yet haunting tale of friendship, honour, guilt and fear, that gives a look into an Afghanistan often overlooked by it’s more modern reputation. Afghan culture jumps from the pages as the raw and moving story hits hard on the emotional cords. 
When I was given this book to read I wasn’t convinced that I’d like it. My first thought was that it was another of those over-rated books that wouldn’t live up to all the hype. I was wrong. This book is a must read. I highly recommend it.  
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Site fo Interest: Book Start

This weeks site of interest is Book Start ( This is a fantastic programme that encourages children to read. The site also contains some great resources for parents.

About us
Bookstart is a national programme that encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books with their children from as early an age as possible.  
Bookstart aims to provide a free pack of books to every baby in the UK, to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life. But most of all we want to show that books are fun.

Bookstart is administered by the national independent charity Booktrust. It is a public and private partnership and is sponsored by over 25 children's publishers as well as Red House Books. Central funding is provided through the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and, the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department for Children, Schools and Families in England.
Bookstart began in 1992 in Birmingham with a pilot project involving 300 babies. Booktrust commissioned Prof. Barrie Wade and Dr Maggie Moore to undertake research into the effects of early book-sharing on child development. Wade and Moore found that Bookstart children began school with significant advantages and with higher attainment in all aspects of the pre-school, nine baseline assessments.

Research findings
Wade & Moore undertook an observational study, where parents shared a book with their children, of two to three years, and compared Bookstart families with a non-Bookstart sample.
  • 83% of Bookstart parents read the whole text compared with 34% of non-Bookstart parents
  • 64% talked about the story, compared with only 24%
  • 43% encouraged the child to join in, compared with 17%
  • 68% encouraged the child to make predictions, compared with 38%
  • 68% of Bookstart children looked at books as one of their favourite activities 21% for children who had not received Bookstart
  • 75% of Bookstart parents said they usually bought books as presents for their children compared with 10% for parents who had not received Bookstart
  • 43% of Bookstart parents took their children to the library at least once a month compared with 17% for parents who had not received Bookstart.
Click here for more information on research


How are packs delivered?

Bookstart Baby packs are usually delivered to families by health professionals at health contacts before the baby's first birthday. Bookstart+ packs are also usually delivered by health professionals at a health contact when the baby is between 18-30 months old. My Bookstart Treasure Chest is gifted to 3- to 4-year-olds at early years settings such as nurseries and playgroups. Parents and carers can also obtain all three packs from their local library.

Where does funding come from?

Central funding is provided through the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and, the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department for Children, Schools and Families in England. We have sponsorship support from a range of children's book publishers and booksellers and Bookstart is delivered via libraries, health professionals and early years professionals who give the packs to the parents and carers.

What are the benefits accrued from Booktrust being an independent charity?

As a charity Booktrust does not make a profit so materials are sourced at very competitive prices and this keeps our costs very low. For instance, central funding from the taxpayer is only 25% of the retail cost of delivering Bookstart. This is thanks to our sponsors and to our charitable status.

Are books sourced locally?

Booktrust does not publish books. Publishers in the UK are invited to submit books for consideration of inclusion in the packs. These books are produced in a number of countries. Bookstart packs contain a number of printed items eg guidance books and these components are produced in the UK.

How are the books chosen?

There is a Bookstart book panel made up of book experts librarians, health professionals and early years professionals.

How many publishers are involved and how are they chosen?

All publishers, however small, are invited to submit books for consideration.

Are books available in other languages?

Bookstart provides dual language books and guidance materials that are available in 28 languages.

Does Bookstart offer anything in between the three packs?

The three Bookstart packs all contain invitations to join the library and many libraries offer Bookstart Rhymetimes and the Bookstart Book Crawl. Babies just one day old can join a library! So if parents join their children to the library, there are plenty of opportunities and activities available to parents and children between the packs.

I have received the Bookstart pack for my baby, but the book token was missing. Please advise how I can obtain one.

The £1 Bookstart book token is available in the Bookstart+ pack for children aged 18-30 months and the My Bookstart Treasure Chest for children in their pre-school year. Please ask at your local library for further information or click here to learn more about the book token scheme

Are these book tokens accepted in all bookshops?

Waterstones, Borders, W H Smith and Blackwells all accept the tokens, as do hundreds of independent shops.

I am a childminder and would like to obtain the packs for my own use at home. Is this possible?

Yes, the Bookstart packs are available to purchase as resources in your own home. The cost of each pack is: £8 for Pack A and Booktouch; £10 for Bookstart+; and £15 for Treasure Chest. All prices include VAT and postage and packing. Click here to download the Bookstart purchase order form
Remember that if you're actually seeking packs for children in your care, please ask the local library or health visitors for them. As these packs are for the child, there is no charge.

What is the difference between Bookstart and Bookstart in Scotland?

Bookstart in Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and sponsored by 25 publishers to gift free packs of books to children aged birth to three. Bookstart in Scotland is administered by Scottish Book Trust, working in partnership with the independent charity Booktrust which began Bookstart in 1992 and which manages the programme in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Visit the website for more information about this great project. 

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Interview with Rebbie Macintyre

  • You recently released 'A Corner of Universe'. Tell us a bit about it.
Most women today would agree that their lives are complicated.
Adult stepchildren. Late-in-life pregnancies. Consuming careers.
Navigating the hazards of blended families.
These are the issues that face my heroine, Zoe Sterling.
In hopes of reclaiming her husband’s waning attention, Zoe welcomes her self-indulgent twenty-one-year-old stepson, Seth, into her Chicago home on Universe Street. But her benevolent intentions backfire when young Neva Reckart, a troubled outcast Zoe has befriended, becomes obsessed with Seth. Neva’s attention-seeking antics move from desperate to dangerous, and as Zoe’s marriage disintegrates, she is forced into jeopardizing everything she holds dear—including the life of her unborn child.

  • How much of your real life enters your books?
Quite a lot of my own experiences shaped this book. My heroine has to deal with blending a family. Like any woman who has had to deal with step-children, Zoe faces challenges in defining her role in that environment. Like my heroine, I have step-children and am constantly dealing with the challenges, and the wonderful rewards, of dealing with an extensive family.

  • Who is your publisher and why did you choose them?
Actually, my former agent submitted the book to eleven publishers. Ten rejections, but one acceptance with Five Star/Cengage/Gale. For traditional publishing, that's really a pretty good result. My first book, CAST THE FIRST STONE, was submitted to nineteen publishers and rejected. The twentieth was Five Star, so this is my second book with them. When it comes to traditional publishing, rejection is the name of the game, and an author has to develop a pretty thick skin.

  • How much do you use social media to market your books?
I use Facebook, great blogs like yours, reading groups like Goodreads and Librarything and of course the online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

  • Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My website is and if readers google my name, there are all kinds of hits that will lead them to interviews etc. Of course, buying the book is always the best way to learn about an author, but if you don't want to spend the money on a hardcover, which in this economy is very understandable, I'd like to invite readers to request the book from their library. Librarians love to get patron requests, and once the library gets it in, the book will be in the system for other people to enjoy.

  • Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, I'd like to tell you the beginnings for A CORNER OF UNIVERSE. 
PBS ran a program a few years ago where they interviewed concentration camp survivors. All of them, of course, are elderly now and have unforgettable stories of their experiences. One was a woman who despite her terrible years in a concentration camp was absolutely bubbling with happiness and life. The interviewer asked her how she moved beyond her experience, how she recovered her zest for living. The old woman arced her hand through the air and said, “Forgive. Forgive everyone for everything.”
Most authors talk about a “seed” for a story, something they’ve picked up that simply must be written about. That interview stuck with me for months. I loved what she said and I used that woman as a basis for an important character in A CORNER OF UNIVERSE. The story was born from there.
Also, I'd like your readers to know that as a part of my launch for the book, I'm giving away five signed and personalized copies. To enter the contest, send an email to and put "writers and authors contest" in the subject line. Include your mailing address and any personal message you'd like inscribed, if you win. On March 30, five names will be chosen at random by my own private public relations manager: my hubby.
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Free resources for writers

Today I'm offering a collection of free resources for writers. Some are to help your writing others the marketing aspects of promoting your finished product. Enjoy...

Create a free promotinal banner to display on your websites:

Create a flippable cover for your book:

Novel writing Programme

A very witty eBook by Mark Twain that will get you thinking while it makes you laugh. 

Free software that allows you to enter all your books with author, category, publisher etc and print them out in a variety of formats. BookDB 2.1.75

A powerful, yet extremely easy-to-use FREE time management and customer billing application. Easy Time Tracking 3.0

Free program allows you to create ebooks with this comprehensive all-in-one tool, not just a compiler! Self install EXE ebooks with one click.EBooksWriter LITE 2007.16.206

This site is designed to help novel, short story, movie, television, play, and video game writers develop new plot ideas. Over 2000 scenarios ranging from the normal to the bizarre are provided as a spark for the imagination.
Hatch's Plot Bank

A great way to keep all of your thoughts, notes and projects organized on your computer in an easy to access and easy to search format.  
ReadyNotes 1.0

Free internet programmes

HTML Resources for Building a Web Site

If you know any others please add them in the comments section.  
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Review of A Century Turns by William J. Bennett

Title:  A Century Turns
Author: William J. Bennett
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-5955-5169-6
Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.

A Century Turns takes a look at events involving America between 1988 and 2008. It starts with the last year of the Presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan and goes on to cover both domestic and international issues faced by America over the following twenty years.

Due to William Bennett’s close friendship with George H.W. Bush the book tends to be very pro-Bush. He highlights personal memories of the events (many of which he was directly involved in) through out the book with insights and personal anecdotes. I found that these personal touches make the book lighter reading than many other history books on the market.

Before I carry on, I must state that I’m not American. I am in fact British born and live in Italy. I know little about American politics and what I have followed over the years was mainly the scandals which were shown on gossip programmes and magazines. Much of the content of this book was unknown to me prior to reading this book and it was interesting to see an American take on the events I was aware of over the years.

The book is broken down into easy to manage sections and contains a complete notes section of all reference materials used. I think it would make an excellent reference books for schools and those studying American history. It’s also an interesting and some what enlightening read for us non-Americans. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Site of Interest: Kikolani

The Kikolani site is full of great tips and advice about blogging.

About Kikolani

Kikolani is about the art of blogging – the technical aspects with blogging and social networking tips, the beauty with photography and poetry, and the benefits for writers and readers.

About the Author
kikolani - author bio photoI am a happily married, artistic girl geek from the Southwest. My interests range in everything from blogging, social media, photography, writing, poetry, psychology, personal growth, motivation, self improvement, pets, and more. I hope to share my interests on this site with the hopes that everyone who comes here can find something technically beautiful, artfully beneficial, and useful. I also hope to continue my path of self-discovery through blogging. I am also a freelance web designer focused on web optimization and WordPress customization. Visit Kristi Hines | Portfolio for more information.

Recent posts include:

Fetching Friday – Resources Mashup & a Viral Video

Why Every Blog Should Have a Marketing Plan

How to Write a Clearly Defined To Do List

What is Your Blog About?

3 LinkedIn Benefits for Bloggers





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Interview with Lisa Leibow

·         Tell us a bit about your novel 'Double Out and Back'.

I’d love to! Thanks for asking. Double Out and Back takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of infertility treatments as seen through the eyes of three women.
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women's lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients' dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents' deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
·         How did your legal experience help in the writing of this book?
I could focus on the easy answer to this question, and share that my career as an attorney helped me to imagine the world Summer Curtis lives in at the fictional law firm of Intiman Whalom & Cobb. While that’s true, I believe my legal experience has contributed so much more than that to my life as a fiction writer.
As a recovering attorney, my ability to find information is one of the remnants I can really use in fiction writing! I tend to get lost in the research as much as I get lost in the writing. For Double Out and Back, I needed to research not only locations and medical advances in treatments for infertility, but also the rich history of South Africa and the paths of Jewish immigrants. Of course, the internet is a valuable tool for uncovering information. However, living in the D.C. metropolitan area, I have access to a wealth of information and artifacts through the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and a multitude of superb university library collections.
·         You published with Red Rose Publishing. What made you choose them and are you happy with the results?
I embarked on my agent search – often the first hurdle to publication for a first-time, unknown author and a slow process. As I waited, an on-line colleague encouraged me to submit to small presses, too. I hesitated, wondering if any publisher would look at me without an agent. However, after investigating small publishers’ submission requirements, I tried and was glad. Red Rose Publishing wanted to expand their mainstream fiction line, loved my writing, and wanted to publish my book! While large presses are busy trying to reinvent themselves, there are innovative, entrepreneurial, small presses out there, like Red Rose.
I have no problem that I’m initially published in e-book format. E-reader manufacturers like Kindle, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and Apple, show increasing market penetration, and the younger generation already reads on iPhones and other handheld devices.
To me, my publisher’s business plan makes complete sense. The world is going digital, and the distribution of e-books is much more cost-effective than printing books. Think about it. The cost of a ream of paper averages around $6.00. Now, add costs of ink, binding, cover, shipping, shelf space, etc. Red Rose is smart. It’s rolling out distribution of my book in phases. Once the revenue from the e-book sales recoups enough of its up-front investment, Red Rose will release the trade paperback, too. So buy my e-book now! (shameless plug – wink).
I adore the complete, sensory experience of holding a print book – the smell of the pages, the way the paper feels between my fingers, and the look of the ink on the page. I love to dog-ear and highlight favorite passages as I lose myself in the fictive dream a good book conjures. I savor, devour, and love print books. Nothing could replace that love.
But e-books offer new ways to love literature. I can adjust font size of print as large or small as I like. I can keep a file of “clippings” of favorite passages. I can perform keyword searches, and gain quick access to material when I’m on deadline. More than that, e-books are great for impatient people, like me. The ability to download a book within seconds of deciding I want to read it is fantastic.
I’m thrilled to make my publishing debut in the best of both worlds!
·         You have three children. Do you have any tips for other mum writers?
My advice to other mum writers is, don’t wait for big blocks of time and perfect quiet retreats to write. Learn to write in snippets, in moments here and there. That, and forgive yourself when life gets too busy to focus on fiction. Your creative work will be waiting. It’s not going anywhere without you!
My life with a husband, three boys, a dog, and two turtles is a happy chaos that doesn’t lend itself to a strict, daily, writing schedule. However, I do set aside at least two, full days each week to write. I have organized a writer’s commitment group at my local library where area writers get together once a week to work on their own projects, then break for lunch together at a nearby, local dive. The other writing day is spent meeting a friend to write together and have lunch. I hope you don’t find my mention of lunching with other writers odd. It’s actually an important part of my writing life. Writing can be isolating and it’s nice to find colleagues with whom to take a break in the middle of the day.
Other than these two structured times, I fit in bonus writing-time where my schedule allows, in between carpools to sporting events, music lessons, play dates, religious school, etc.
Every once in a while I get to a point in a manuscript where I need a huge chunk of time to take a look at the big picture, to see where there are pacing issues, and to discover plot holes, inconsistencies, and redundancies. That’s when I take-off for a weekend (allowing the kids some 3-on-1 Dad-time!), immerse myself in the manuscript, and come home with a concrete list of improvements, additions, chapters to edit, descriptions to hone, opportunities to delve deeper into character. Then I can take that list and work through it using the fifteen-minutes-here, twenty-minutes-there approach that real life allows.
·         What is operation ebook drop and how did you get involved?

Operation e-book drop is a program for authors to donate their ebooks to for deployed coalition troops to enjoy while they’re overseas as a special thank you for serving the country – and in a way, it makes me feel like a member of the USO because I’m doing my part to entertain the troops! Indie authors and soldiers who want to participate, should contact
·         Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Please visit my website at There you’ll find all kinds of information about me and my writing, links to join me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, news about my upcoming events and booksignings, and more!
·         Anything else you'd like to add?
Sure! First, I love to participate in reading group discussions of Double Out and Back. Book Clubs should feel free to contact through my website to arrange for me to join you via telephone, skype, on-line chat, or live if you’re in the D.C. Metropolitan area.
Also, look for my latest success! My short story Forbidden Passion will appear in the 2010 issue of Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine.
Next, I encourage you to support small presses like Red Rose Publishing and buy Double Out and Back direct at
Double Out and Back is also available at the following:
Finally, Thank you so much for inviting me to visit at Writers and Authors. I enjoyed it so much!
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Read An E-Book Week

Read An E-Book Week

History - Read an E-Book Week was first registered with Chase's Calendar of Events in 2004. Chase's is a day by day directory of special days, weeks and months used by event planners or anyone looking for a reason to celebrate. By having the week officially recognized, e-book authors and publishers acquired a certain extra "legitimacy" during that week to promote the new technology of e-books. The public and media were initially wary of e-books and many doors were closed to promotion. With the week officially recognized by Chase's, authors reported they now had access to television morning chat shows and were allowed to set up library displays during the week-long event. 

Purpose - Read an E-Book Week educates and informs the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide are welcome to join in the effort. We encourage you to promote electronic reading with any event. These could include: public readings, library displays, reading challenges, school visits, newspaper and blog articles, chat show appearances, internet radio interviews, e-book give-ways, and banners on your website. 

The Read an E-Book Website is here to provide the latest information on e-books and to act as a collection point where you can list your event or give-away.
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Video: Beginners, Create a Website

Get your Free ebook on creating a website "The perfect site guide" and check out Lisa Irby's website

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Review of Leaving Home Discoveries and Reflections of a Once Sheltered Heart

Title: Leaving Home: Discoveries and Reflections of a Once-Sheltered Heart
Author: Randal A. Burd, Jr
Publisher: Aardvark Global Publishing, LTD
ISBN: 978-1-4276-3372-9

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell.

Missouri based teacher, Randal A. Burd offers a  selection of poems written between 1995 and 2005 in this e-book  published by Aardvark Global Publishing.
It contains many personal poems that cover family and loss but also deals with bigger topics like war. Many of the poems included contain references of a religious nature and in some cases are in fact prayers e.g. A Pretentious Poet’s Prayer

Burd has received numerous awards for his poetry over the years. My favourite poem from this collection is called Upon The Wall. Burd skilfully shows in this poem how even the littlest things, like a restroom, can inspire though provoking text about important subjects such as racism.

Despite it’s simple white pages, which I found bored a little, this e-book contains several well written poems worth reading.
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