Category Archives: Interviews

VBT – Jay Got Married

TourBanner_JayGotMarried

Jay Got Married

by James Robinson Jr.

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GENRE: Non-Fiction Humor

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BLURB:

Jay Got Married consists of 9 humorous and, at times, poignant essays chronicling the ironies of everyday life in word and picture. Take for example the lead essay, aptly titled, “Jay got Married,” where I find myself mired in a horrendous dream.


In the fantasy, my aging father–dressed in his favorite Champion t-shirt with stains covering the front–marries my wife and I like he did 42 years ago but, this time around, the my 92-year-old ex-clergy dad forgets his lines causing me to coach him through the event with hints like: “ask for the rings, ask for the rings.” All the while, my best man sings Sonny and Cher’s, “I Got You Babe.”


Finally married, my wife and I end the ceremony with a kiss. But as I turn to exit, my eyes catch a glimpse of the bridesmaid who is no longer my wife’s best friend but now Gal Gadot from Dell Comics and Wonder Woman Fame. She is dressed in full Wonder Women regalia and looks totally shocked by the whole affair.


My mother turns to my father (now in the audience) with a quizzical look and says, “Dad, look at that bridesmaid. Isn’t that Superman?” She doesn’t get out much.


As we exit the church, and the bubbles fill the air–no one uses rice anymore—my wife ignores the limo and takes off on a sleek motorcycle, leaving me in the lurch—hence the cover. 
Sure, it’s sounds crazy. But, in truth, isn’t the world of marriage crazy these days? In my case, what would one do when faced with the prospect of losing their beloved wife after 42 years? At age 67, would they remarry? Would they even want to remarry? These and other marital tidbits are discussed with humor and as much reverence as I could muster.


P.S. The author pairs up with Wonder Woman again in a final bit of photo wizardry Why? How? How are tricky copyright infringement laws avoided? Read Jay Got Married and find out.

Cover_Jay Got Married

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EXCERPT

You’re like, “What’s the big deal? Sure, it’s a sad thing, but don’t be too hasty. People fill that void in their lives all the time. It can happen. Sure, you’ve lost someone near and dear to you. But you could get over it. Even at your age. Time heals all wounds.” (Boy, you could’ve done better than that.) “People are living longer now. You’ll have more time to think this through. I see couples remarrying in their 70s and 80s.”

And I say, “While that may be true, I have to ask myself how I could find someone after a tragic death, when married people can’t seem to decide who they want while they’re both still among the living. I see people divorce and remarry two, three, four, and even five times. Amongst the marital shrapnel, some have their next spouses all picked out before the split.

Switch partners in the middle of a dance four or five times? Really? After a few shots at it, I would have to practice a little self-examination. I think I’d ask myself, “Am I missing something? Shouldn’t I be wondering if a pattern is developing?” Before I jump a fifth set of bristles, I’d be thinking, Why do I keep marrying people and divorcing them? Could it be… could it be… could it be… me?

Well, the difference is, you can count these cast-offs in the still among the living category. You can always figure on those exes to be around to torture for alimony, child support, and just general purposes. But once they’re gone, you’d have to feel some kind of grief. Even if you only see their name in the obituary and suck your teeth.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Robinson, Jr. is an award-wining author who has written 6 books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His first book Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life, was an Indie Award winner for nonfiction. His first foray into fiction, Book of Samuel, was a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner. His latest book—Jay Got Married—is a collection of 9 humorous, sometimes poignant essays.

Mr. Robinson resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife of 43 years. He is the father of three daughters ages 37, 38, and 40 and has six grandchildren

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/James-Robinson-Jr./e/B0074O0QLI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJRobinsonJr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesrobinsonj1

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

James Robinson Jr. will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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James, thanks for being my guest. Tell us about you as a person.

I was born in 1952 and endured the tempestuous 60’s which included flower power, Black Power, the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Joan Baez music. I recently wrote a book about my father’s (a minister’s) life which included his exploits as a civil rights advocate during the sixties. Attended Carnegie Mellon University (an English major in an Engineering College, go figure).

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Ryan Reynolds. He seems like an interesting guy with a good sense of humor. #2—Gal Godot of Wonder Woman fame. No, I don’t care how hot she is; I need a picture with her for my book. Read it—or zip through the Jay Got Married Essay—and you’ll see why.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Jay Got Married is a collection of 9 humorous essays told in a tongue-in-cheek style. The book centers around my views on life sometimes touching upon real-life issues. I find that essays are the best vehicle for me because I can tell one story at a time.

What is your writing process?

Oddly enough, I took a psych course in college where I remember the professor saying that you shouldn’t listen to the TV or radio because they are distracting—they are, in fact, in business to get your attention. So the best thing to do is to use some kind of white noise (they didn’t use that term way back then) like a fan or something similar. So a fan serves me best. Once I began to have children and grandchildren, however, my concentration has improved greatly, I am much better at blocking out noise. I still can’t compete with Metallica.

Tell us about your main character.

N/A But in a book of essays where I rely on personal experiences, my friends, family, and casual acquaintances are the main characters. My wife wasn’t very happy at all to be a main character.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why?

If anyone turned this book into a movie they would need to be institutionalized. But I would have to play the lead; I’m the only one crazy enough.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a sequel to my first book, Fighting the Effects of Gravity: One Man’s Journey Into Middle Life. I was middle aged when I wrote that book but now, I’m 67 and staring into the face of old age. The new book is tentatively titled: Old Age Sucks.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

I always use promotions like KND (Kindle Nation Daily) and blog tours. KND promotions are great for a one-day blitz. Unfortunately, your sales numbers will take a precipitous drop the next day. There are blog tours that are very good for obtaining 7-8 reviews but aren’t meant to sell books. In theory, authors are supposed to twitter but I hate to do that. Libraries will also allow authors to use their facility to hold lectures and they will even post signs for upcoming author events.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

No, and thanks for making me feel insignificant.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

Sing like John Legend. I don’t want to fly and it seems like a superpower to me.


List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Learn how to play piano to impress my family and friends.
  2. Learn how to fly. Not like Superman. Fly a plane.
  3. Test drive the new, mid-engine Corvette
  4. Sell 100,000 books
  5. Take vacations in Hilton Head Island, SC like we used to before we started taking care of my 90-year-old parents.

Any final thoughts?

Buy my book; I’m poor.

VBT – FEAR JUSTICE

TourBanner_Fear Justice

Fear Justice

by C.C. Bolick

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GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Rena Mason counts the days until she can leave for college. Every night her father drinks himself to sleep, leaving her to care for her younger brother. When her father is kidnapped by terrorists, her dreams of freedom become a nightmare.

Stunned that her father has a history with these terrorists, Rena knows she must run or be their next victim. She learns the tough guy at school has a reason to look after her – he’s working for a government agency with the same goal as the terrorists: find a woman who disappeared eighteen years ago. Time is running out since only this woman’s special gift can save the world from a looming nuclear attack.

Rena can’t trust anyone, especially not the stone-cold agent she’s falling for. Can they save the world before Rena’s feelings trap her in an agent’s fight for justice?

Fear Justice contains elements of fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal, with a clean romance. It’s the first book in an exciting new series called The Fear Chronicles.

Cover _Fear Justice

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EXCERPT

He smiled and held out a hand. “I’m Tony and no, I’ve never thought of myself as a nice guy.”

Staring at his outstretched hand, I hesitated. “Rena.”

Tony moved his hand closer and his eyes took on a look of intensity, as if daring me to shake his hand.

What’s with the gloves?” I asked.

Skin allergies. What’s with the hesitation?”

Hesitation?” With defiance, I reached forward. “I’m not afraid of you.”

What are you afraid of?”

As his hand gripped mine, my breathing sped and I fought to control my voice. Our skin wasn’t even touching. Hiding my feelings with Robbie had been easy, but this was… weird. “Why are you worried about who I date? You don’t even know me.”

I know your name is Rena Mason. We’ve got physics together.”

A twinge of guilt caught me off-guard. “I haven’t noticed you before.”

My dad taught me to blend in with my surroundings, like camouflage.”

He was a hunter?”

Not exactly, but he did teach me how to shoot before he left.”

Left?” The instant his words were out, I felt a connection to him. It was a sadness that welled from deep inside, the knowledge that we were alike in a terrible way.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

C.C. Bolick grew up in south Alabama, where she’s happy to still reside. She’s an engineer by day and a writer by night—too bad she could never do one without the other.

Camping, fishing… she loves the outdoors and the warm Alabama weather. For years she thought up stories to write and finally started putting them on paper back in 2006. If you hear her talking with no one to answer, don’t think she’s crazy. Since talking through her stories works best, a library is her worst place to write… even though it’s her favorite!

C.C. loves to mix sci-fi and paranormal—throw in a little romance and adventure and you’ve got her kind of story. She’s written nine books including the Leftover Girl series, The Agency series, and The Fear Chronicles.

The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N53W6CK

Author Links:

www.ccbolick.com

https://www.facebook.com/CCBolick/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15857316.C_C_Bolick

https://www.instagram.com/cc_bolick/

https://twitter.com/ccbolick

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RAFFLECOPTER  GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3090

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INTERVIEW

Can you describe your dream home?

I have my dream home – my husband and I built it with the help of family and friends. It’s only about 1600 sq. ft. (I hate to clean), but the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all open at the center. We sacrificed some area for the dining room to make a huge living room for the kids to enjoy.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?

We have cookouts fairly often – my husband loves to grill. I’ll cook almost anything including venison, but it all comes with a southern flair.

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

Someone wrote to tell me she loved all of my books – not just the first series but she’d read all eight and bought print copies. And she wanted me to continue the stories. Readers are busy, but it really means so much to an author for someone to take a few moments and drop a line of encouragement.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.

Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?

Fiona Jayde Media. She does an amazing job and has made twelve covers for me thus far.

VBT – Flawed

TourBannerNBTM_Flawed

Flawed
by Vivian Kohlman

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

That guy—the one that most girls would run away from—captured Kara’s attention and wouldn’t let it go. As expected, he turned out to be a player. So she cut him off.

But he wasn’t done with her yet. He waited until the memory of their start would have been forgotten—at least, softened a bit. Then he returned to her life, and captured her heart.

Finally blissfully happy, they fall in love and decide to make it official…until his past catches up with him and he destroys her again. But this is it…this is the last time she’ll fall for him.

And she keeps telling herself that until she almost believes it.

This book is for mature audiences.

BookCover_Flawed -eBook (1)

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EXCERPT

Chapter 1

I picked up my phone to check for messages and, well, to be honest I was using it as a way to not have to speak to whatever guy Dania left me with.

“Hi Kara, I’m Naheed,” a deep, relaxed voice stated.

When my eyes met his, everything seemed to stop. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t hear the music anymore, and I felt like I was about to faint…I was mesmerized by him. He was gorgeous, but it was more than that. I felt his presence in my stomach.

He had naturally tan skin, dark brown thick and wavy hair, deep and large brown eyes with black eyelashes a mile long…and a slight under-bite that that instantly brought my attention to his full, perfect lips. He was so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him.

I looked down to stop myself from staring and noticed that my bare, crossed legs were nearly touching his leg; we were very close—and he was slightly leaning in towards me. I suddenly wished I wore jeans instead of this short skirt. I felt exposed…and had to fight to keep my leg from moving to touch his.

The four words he said to me were echoing through my head…and I still couldn’t respond. I could only look at him…and I saw nothing else. I sat there in silence for way too long…unable to do much more than barely smile through what probably looked to be an unimpressed expression (I was good at hiding my emotions). …sometimes that came back to haunt me.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPic_VKohlman

Vivian Kohlman writes romance novels based on stories of love and loss under the backdrop of Washington, DC. She grew up in Maryland just outside DC, but lived in Los Angeles on and off in her 20’s before returning to the Washington, DC area to live out her adult life.

Vivian attended a private university in Washington, DC for undergraduate and graduate school, and lived a very active social life. During her teens and twenties she and her friends lived through a lot of ups and downs—these experiences have fed the stories of this series.

Currently, she loves to travel with her husband and reads or writes romance novels as often as she can. When she’s not writing, she works a fulltime job and enjoys all of the bars, restaurants, and other hot spots of the nation’s capital. Born and raised in the DC metro area, she adores the culture of the city and is passionate about highlighting the city’s attributes, lifestyles, and norms—not including politics.

Links
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013M8PJDE Flawed, Book 1 of the Y&P series (Kara’s story, part 1)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01801MRO2 Found, Book 2 of the Y&P series (Kara’s story, part 2)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GUDGQGW Let Go, Book 3 of the Y&P series (Billi’s story)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074ZN48CD Girls Like Me, Book 4 of the Y&P series (Ava’s story, part 1)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C1C5WSX Guys Like You, Book 5 of the Y&P series (Ava’s story, part 2)

www.viviankohlman.com
www.instagram.com/viviankohlman
www.facebook.com/viviankohlman
www.twitter.com/viviankohlman

Note from Author: The book, Flawed, is not erotica, but does include some steamy scenes, and contains adult situations (curse words, drinking alcohol, etc).

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Vivian Kohlman will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Vivian. Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you. 

I’m a very responsible and mature person, but really just a kid at heart. My husband and I decided to not have children, so the chaos of activities relating to kids isn’t a part of our life. We do happy hour every Friday, brunch just about every Sunday, and I go to my exercise classes four days a week. We have time to relax and watch movies…and write books.

I also wake up super early—like around 3am—but never to an alarm. My body’s clock just naturally starts to wake up around that time. It started when my husband and I came back from a trip a bit jet-lagged, and realized that we really enjoy having extra time in the morning to watch news and have coffee. So I slowly wake up to my days, and started to take advantage of that by going to work early, or going to barre class before work.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

It’s a little too late now, but I would love to hang out with Anthony Bordain for a day. He’s so interesting, and is knowledgeable about so many different cultures and countries. Plus, he knows how to have a good time, with great food and experiences. I’d love to just hear his stories and ask for his thoughts about our world.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The last book in the series is, right now, a continuation of Ava’s story. book 4, Girls Like Me, ended up with Ava and King finally getting together. Book 5, Guys Like You, the most recent book, is about their relationship maturing.

Book 5 is published, and I’ve started to kick around ideas for book 6, but it’s nowhere near complete yet.

What is your writing process?

My writing process starts after I come up with the idea of a story. The drive for the ideas varies. Some are true stories and one came to me in a dream. Another was a combination of a Game of Thrones character (Khal Drogo), combined with my favorite song at the time (Girls Like You by The Naked and Famous). Once the idea hits me, I kick off the writing process.

I put the core of the story into a Word doc by fervently writing during all of my free time. Once it’s done, I read it…and begin to change the story for clarity or whatever. Then I do a few rounds of fleshing out the characters, places, dialogue, etc. And finally, do an official edit.

After that edit, I print the book on paper and edit it in this format. Books on paper give me a different feel than e-books, so I tend to make fairly significant changes to the on-paper one. After that’s complete, I make the changes in the Word document, and read it end-to-end again for another round of editing.

Only recently have I learned of the positive impact professional editing can make! So my final process step is now to send the manuscript to a professional editing company.

Tell us about your main character.

The main character of the book featured in this tour, Flawed, is Kara. Her childhood was easy and close to perfect, and her life is pretty nice. She’s young and attractive and has a close group of friends. She’s a romantic at heart, but is strong as well, and very introverted. I think it’s easy to relate to her.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

I would absolutely love to see Flawed on the big screen! If I had the opportunity to cast it, I think I’d go for Zoey Deutch or Nina Dobrev for Kara. I haven’t seen an actress that really hits the mark for Kara—she’s basically a young Sophie Marceau look-alike, in my mind. For Naheed, I would pick either Çagatay Ulusoy or Gregg Sulkin…maybe Zayn Malik, if he decided to act. These choices cover the looks of the characters, but the most important thing to me would be their chemistry together.

What are you working on next?

In the next book, Ava’s ex-boyfriend is determined to get her back, challenging her current boyfriend to a mixed martial arts competition while doing what he can to undermine his business plans. I haven’t worked out the details yet, and the summary I just wrote may change before the book is released, but it will conclude Ava’s story.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Not much! I’m not good at promotion and don’t like to talk myself (or my writing) up, so the marketing side of being self-published has been a huge challenge. The only bit of advice I would give is to be sure to have a site (including a blog, if you have the time) to tell your readers all about your books, and have social media accounts that you can keep active.

Also, listing your book for free is a great way to get new readers to read your work, but you have to spread the message about the giveaway. Many companies out there provide this service, finding the right one for your work is the key.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I think I’m still hooked on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I love the books, and the movies. I’ve seen the movies and read the books multiple times. There’s just something to interesting about the characters and the storyline. I feel like I learn or see something new every time I read this book.

But I just downloaded Jessica Sorensen’s newest novel Breathing Lies…I’m super excited to read it. I love her books!

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

No! Unfortunately, my sister got all of the talent from our gene pool. When I was young, I used to ice skate pretty well, and I played lots of musical instruments (clarinet, flute, piccolo). But all of those activities were dropped before I hit high school. No other special talents stand out.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

Oh wow, this is a tough one! I think my superpower would be to read minds. It would be so cool to know what people were truly thinking. I have no idea what I’d do with that information, but it would be fun to have this as a superpower. I’d find a way to use it to protect the innocent!

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Drive an M car on the Nurburgring
  2. Visit the Kakslauttanen resort in Finland to see the Northern Lights
  3. Take an Alaskan cruise to see the whales
  4. Go on safari in Africa
  5. Learn a craft of some sort, like knitting, and do it well

Any final thoughts?

I know every reader has a style of romance novel that they like, and my novels may not be it. But if it is, I LOVE to hear from readers who can relate to, or just love, the stories and characters. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and will respond to my own site’s blog posts or messages sent. So please reach out and connect with me!

Interview With ….

One Summer Night Blog Tour banner

Youtube

Hi Caridad. Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you as a person. 
I am a Type AAA personality which means I am always going, going, going.  If I am not at my day job or writing, I am helping my daughter with her surf and skate shop, mentoring other writers at Liberty States Fiction Writers, or just hanging out on the beach (Okay, I do have to stop sometime! LOL).  I’d love to be a full-time writer and maybe have a bed and breakfast where I could whip up amazing meals and help other writers improve their craft.

Caridad Pineiro

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
That is a tough one!  I think it would have to be Queen Elizabeth.  I got hooked watching The Crown and the Queen is someone who has lived through some fascinating times and has such a unique and seemingly archaic role in a very modern world.  I would love to know how her vision has changed from when she first ascended to the throne to now and how she’s dealt with being a woman in such a high position of power.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
ONE SUMMER NIGHT, first book in the At the Shore series, is a Romeo and Juliet meets a marriage of convenience tale.  Yes, it sounds complicated and it is because the hero, Owen Pierce, is trying to do everything he can to make the heroine, Maggie Sinclair, love him, but to do so he has to defy his father who is intent on holding a decades old grudge against the heroine’s father.  As you can imagine, lies build upon lies shakily until it all comes crashing down and Owen has to prove to Maggie that his love for her was true.  I loved writing the complex emotions in both of the characters as well as the supporting cast of Maggie’s best friends and Owen’s younger brother (the hero of #2 in the series).

One Summer Night

What is your writing process? 
I write a lot on the train during my commute to and from NYC for my day job.  On the weekends I put in a solid stretch of 3 or so hours.  During winters I do that indoors while watching the TV, but my favorite time is in the spring and summer when I can go out on my little balcony and write with the sound of the nearby ocean.

Tell us about your main character.
I had just finished writing a dark paranormal novel when this character popped into my head and just wouldn’t leave me alone.  She was spunky, determined and fun and I knew she needed special story that would inspire people not to give up on their dreams.  That heroine was Maggie and when she brought along her friends, I just knew I had to write her story.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I would love to have someone like Nina Dobrev or Victoria Justice.  I think they both look the way I imagined Maggie Sinclair. Cool and elegant.  Beautiful.

What are you working on next?
I am currently working on #3 in the At the Shore series.  #2 – WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER – will be out in late spring 2018 and #3 will be out in late summer 2018.  I am hoping to write more stories set in Sea Kiss with some of the men and women you meet in #3.  I also will be rel-releasing some of my earlier contemporary romances and working on new stories in The Calling is Reborn Vampire Novel Series.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Social media is about being social.  I think people get turned off by having a constant cycle of “buy me buy me” all the time.  You need to engage people, make them laugh, share yourself and not just the book.  Another thing to remember is, You’re the brand.  The book is just a product.  Your brand is what’s most important.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
That’s a tough one.  I’d have to say Lois Winston’s latest release – Scrapbook of Murder.  I love Lois’s dry humor and the way she mixes up crafts in her cozy mysteries.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wish that I could say that I did, but I don’t.  But I try try try to improve what talents I have, whether it’s writing, cooking or doing crafts.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I think the power of speed since I could rush from place-to-place to help people and do more things in less time.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Sip wine in Tuscany.
  • Stand on the Great Wall of China
  • Orbit the Earth in the Space Station
  • Sing Do-Re-Mi while skipping through the streets of Salzburg
  • Visit where my family lived in Cuba

Where can readers find you on the web?
Readers can connect with me at www.caridad.com. You can also find me on:

Twitter at https://twitter.com/caridadpineiro
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Caridad.Author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caridadpineiro
Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/caridadpineiro/
Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/Caridad_Pineiro

If you want to receive my newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways, please visit http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw to sign up.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you so so much for sharing my new release and taking the time to interview me!

YW 🙂 

Max Sharam – Creatives On The Couch Promo

Get tickets to see Max Sharam in concert at The Toff In Town, Swanston, Street, Melbourne, February 16th

https://tinyurl.com/htt4n6b

Creatives On The Couch ~ Guest C.A.Milson

This week new episode is live on C31. Special guest is C.A.Milson

Interview With ….

MediaKit_BookCover_LeavingShangrila

Isabelle, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you. 
If I were an animal, I would be a mountain goat – minus the goat. I love the outdoors, and mountains in particular and whenever I have a chance, I am on one: hiking, biking and/or skiing. Despite now calling myself a writer, my first love was math and quantitative models. I used to love just working with my computer. But my life now could not be more different. I hardly even build a spreadsheet, and spend my time talking and managing. It is interesting how life evolves when you are open to it.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Whenever I get asked a question of who is my favorite person, or role model, or who I’d like to hang out, I could easily tell you that there isn’t one person in particular, but that there are a ton of people that I admire and that, them, collective, would give me the inspiration and all skill sets. But to properly answer the question, I’d have to say one of the players in the Warriors basketball team. I know they just lost… but I would like to be with them to feel the energy of their team, witness the camaraderie they built together, and have that feeling that only winning a sports game can give you.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
As it is usual with those who have early starts that are difficult, it becomes easier to just put it in the past and never truly revisit it. That is what I did. I creative a narrative for my life that did not include my childhood. I did not want to be defined by it, nor ever be labeled a “victim.” But when my first son was born, I felt this strong desire to tell my story. I wanted him to know who I was, what I overcame, and that all we had in our life was a result of a lot of effort to bring us to the fortune we currently we enjoy. And that desire never let up. I just kept writing and writing. Years after, I took a writing class on a whim and for the first time I shared my story, with total strangers. Their reaction astounded me. They wanted to know more, felt inspired by it and asked me to tell the rest. That is when I realized that a story of a girl who grew up within a dysfunctional family in the jungles of Brazil was actually relatable to many people. I believe it was the first time I truly realized that there was a common humanity to us all.

What is your writing process? 
I don’t really have a set process. As I usually have my computer nearby, whenever I have a block of free time, I open it up and start writing. In fact, I am writing this interview under the canopy of a redwood tree while my son is getting ready for a baseball game. My process is simply finding – and capturing – time.

Tell us about your main character
Leaving Shangrila is a memoir, so naturally, I am the protagonist of the story. It is challenging to write about oneself in a way that does not feel self-serving, self-critical, or its flip side, self-aggrandizing. I took great care to write about me, and all others in my story in the context of the facts that occurred. I did not want to portray myself as a victim, which I could easily have done. Nor did I want to portray myself as a hero, as I suppose I could have given how I was able to overcome the adversity in my life. But neither of those would be true. I had plenty of flaws, and not all of those because of how I grew up. I believe I owned them in the book. I believe they made me who I was and informed the decisions I made.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I am not sure I am aware of the teenage actress within the age range for the story, but I would like it to be someone like Tora Birch (who is definitely an adult now and would not the person) when she played My Girl years ago. Mostly because she was so tenacious, and unafraid, even though she was still vulnerable and scared.
What are you working on next?

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start early. I heard this advice myself, that is, to start promoting the book a year before it gets out. I did not pay heed at the time… so when I finally started focused on marketing, I felt completely overwhelmed. There were so many avenues, at all kinds of different price points, and I also have to say, a lot of predatory people who offered their services for thousands of dollars, without much of a guarantee of what would be the outcome. It is challenging to sift through all the information and make informed decisions that are right for your book. I enlisted friends who have published books as advisors, but also I relied heavily on the Book Acquisitions Editor because I felt that he was someone I could trust. So besides the starting early (a must), do find someone you can trust – and who is willing to help you – to sort through the maze.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I suppose what seems to be everyone’s favorite: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I find the book extraordinary in how she developed the characters, told the story. It is the only book I can remember that made me cry. And I related to one of the sisters, Isabelle (not only because we share a name). She was so strong, so wanting to become bigger than everybody’s expectations of her. She wanted (and did) to make a difference. She took risks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
It depends how you define that. I could brag about speaking multiple languages, or some prowess intellectually or professionally. But I don’t think at the end, life is about that. I just simply and actively try to be the best person I can be. I love deeply, I choose honesty, I persevere through adversity, I nurture my friendships and I try to help others. Is that special? I would hope not, because I wish all people lived like that.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
If I could have a superpower than I could impose on others, it would be to erase all lying from the world.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Travel in Iceland for at least a month
  • Complete the 10 day (or is it 11 day) hike around Mount Blanc through France, Switzerland and Italy with my family.
  • See my children achieve happiness in life, however they choose to get there.
  • Achieve professionally something makes a meaningful impact in the world. My job is important, Leaving Shangrila hopefully will inspire countless people. But I mean something larger, some that can tangible make the world a better place. I don’t know what the metric it is for that yet.
  • Retire at 55 (by retiring, I mean not needing to work, but choosing to work if I want to).

Where can readers find you on the web?
My website is www.isabellegecilsauthor.com

Any final thoughts?
If you read Leaving Shangrila and wonder what it is you can do, do the following:
1) Choose honestly, always. The only people who benefit from lies are no one.
2) When something seems amiss with others, just ask whether all is right in the world. Do something. And something other than think “that is none of my business.” Imagine the people you could help!

Provisionally Approved Episode 37 – Bogan Bachelor

This week some of us from Bogan Bachelor had the pleasure of being guests on Provisionally Approved, with host Maria Romas.

Some candid fun moments BTS, and more. Check it out peeps! 🙂

So many thanks to the crew of Provisionally Approved and RMITV.

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