Tag Archives: author interview

Interview: Dr. A’ndrea Wilson

I have ranted and raved for almost all of 2012 about Wife 101 by A’ndrea Wilson. It was by far the best book that I read this year. And, when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Husband 101 was released a few weeks ago. Both of these books are works of fiction but can be very beneficial to both sexes, whether married or single. I am so excited that the author of Wife 101 and Husband 101, Dr. A’ndrea Wilson stopped by for a little chat!

Dr. A’ndrea J. Wilson

Thank you so much for agreeing to do this Q&A!

1. What message do you hope to convey through Wife 101 and Husband 101?
I hope to help men and women begin to perceive their relationships and marriages in a manner that is more conducive to lifetime commitments. I hope that readers will see themselves in the characters, causing them to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and roles. And if nothing else, I hope that the message received is that love can still truly conquer all if we are willing to believe in God, ourselves, and each other.
                  2. Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…
Get off of Facebook! (LOL) No really, I need quiet. No music, no TV, no barking dogs outside. I need it completely quiet so that I can clearly hear the characters in my mind, telling me what to write next.
3. What is your main reason for writing: to educate, inspire, entertain, or all three?
Definitely all three. Inspiring is most important to me. I would love for readers to close the book feeling a greater sense of hope and faith. Education is second in importance. I want readers to not only feel encouraged, but have the tools to move forward and make the necessary changes in their own lives. And finally, I do want readers to be entertained. Laughing, cheering, crying, screaming, and every other reaction connected with enjoying the book is certainly welcomed.
4. What has been the most surprising and upsetting part about your literary journey?
Surprising? The reaction to Wife 101. I thought it was a good book, but I had no clue that it was going to be a life changing book for my readers. That was very surprising, but also very awesome.
                Upsetting? I wish I would have given into my gift/calling much earlier in                  life. I wouldn’t have had to endure so many jobs that I loathed just to get to the one thing I will always find peace in doing. 
                 5. When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?
I have several favorite authors, but to name a few, JD Mason, Bernice McFadden, and Francine Rivers. Right now I am reading Sly, Slick, & Wicked by Angela Henry which is a part of the Kendra Clayton Mystery Series.
6. If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?
Crazy Faith. People have always told me that they could never take some of the risks that I’ve taken or gone some of the the places I have been. They think that I have courage. I tell them I have faith. I believe in myself and when myself isn’t enough, I believe that God is all that I am not.
7. What is a normal day like for you?
I hate structure so there isn’t a “typical day” for me. Some days I take a walk in the morning to exercise and think, other days I hop on Facebook and see what I’ve missed while sleeping. I teach college courses online so I usually check on my classes daily. If it is a good day, I get some writing done, and if it is a great day, I also get to read. If it is a weekend that I have a book event (which is about 2 weekends per month), I might be traveling to my destination or connecting with the public. Outside of that, I do what everyone else does: sleep, eat, social media, pray, spend time with loved ones, etc.
8. What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?  
 1. I am self-diagnosed ADHD. 2. I am very economical (basically, I’m cheap). 3. I don’t attend church on a regular basis (I know, I write Christian Fiction! I blame it on being a Preacher’s Kid.)
9. What can your fans look forward to next?
Couples 101 comes out in October 2013. The Wife 101 Series also has two more novels that are scheduled for release in 2014. I have a romance anthology titled Four Seasons of Love that comes out in April 2013. I also have begun writing Christian Thrillers under the pen name Janell. Right now, Janell has two short stories on ebook, Grave (Available Now) and Vanity (Available 1/1/13), and her first novel, Spell, comes out in June 2013.
10. Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Read It All Book Reviews. Any last words for those who are reading this interview?
I feel so honored to have Wife 101 selected as your favorite read of the year. I would like to offer my gratitude for the interview and for supporting my work. For those reading this interview, I hope that you take a chance on Wife 101 and/or Husband 101. And if you do, please make sure to reach out to me and let me know your thoughts on the book. Happy Reading!
*** Please provide contact information:
Twitter: @drawilson

 

Meet Karen Fisher-Alaniz and Enter to Win a Book!

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1.When did you fall in love with books?

I was in my 30’s. I guess you could say I’m a really late bloomer. But the truth is, I was so busy with life until then, that books other than Dr. Seuss just weren’t on my radar. I remember reading a comment from someone in a magazine article or something; the woman said that she loved to visit bookstores when she traveled. She went on to speak about reading as if it was something really cool to do. And I thought, I want that. So, I made a conscious effort to become that kind of person.

2. When did you realize you wanted to write?

I liked writing when I was young. I wrote in journals, and I wrote poetry. When I was in High School, I was so excited when I got a babysitting job for a little boy who was disabled. He was four years old, but had a syndrome that stunted his growth and his mental abilities. He was like a baby just a few months old. When he died suddenly, I wrote about the experience, and the comfort I took in imagining him in heaven running, playing, and smiling. I entered the story in the Guideposts Youth Writing Contest and won a college scholarship for it. That was the first time I realized that I could write. But it was also the beginning of my love for working with kids with disabilities. I used my scholarship to get a degree in special education and taught for 14-years, before health issues forced me to finish that chapter of my life, and begin a new one. And when that happened, my love of writing moved up the list.

3. Tell us about yourself.

I have three adult children – no grandchildren yet (I hope my kids read this!). For the time being, I’ve replaced my future grandchildren with a dog – my first ever. Togo is a husky-retriever mix and I’ve become one of those crazy dog owners, who spends more time talking about her dog, than about her husband. (sorry, honey)

But on the serious side, I wanted nothing more in life than to be a mom and a teacher. I achieved both. I taught special education at the elementary school level for years. It was a career I loved. I would still be teaching, if I was able.

After leaving my beloved special kids, I floundered for a bit before going back to what my first grade teacher taught me – a love of writing. I started to write about the pain of losing my job, and about living with Multiple Sclerosis. My essays were published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and in Voices of Multiple Sclerosis. It was about that time that the subject for a book, landed in my lap, literally. My father, a WWII veteran began having symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at the age of 81, and a few months later put two notebooks full of letters he wrote during the war, in my lap. Slowly, he began telling me his story, and that story would become the basis for my first book, a memoir.

4. Who are your favorite authors?

It’s a long and varied list. I have loved memoir since I knew there was such a thing. The only memoirs I’ve yet to develop a love for are celebrity memoirs. Other than that, I just love reading about other people’s life experiences. It’s such a unique genre; a combination of following the author’s unique journey, and at the same time having those, “Oh, that’s just like me” experiences.

5. What are your favorite books?

Laura Hillenbrand’s, Unbroken, is amazing. She takes the life of an ordinary man, Louie Zamporini, and leads us through the making of a true hero.

The Color of Water, by James McBride is a fascinating look at a biracial man who seeks to find himself in his history.

I enjoy Anne Lamott’s nonfiction books because she’s just so real. I love that.

Brenda Ueland was fairly unknown when I discovered her book in a quaint bookstore on the Oregon Coast. First published in 1938, her book, If You Want to Write, is my favorite writing book. She was ahead of her time in so many ways. Her advice to aspiring creative is both timely and timeless.

My guilty pleasure is anything by crime novelist, James Patterson. The subject is so far from what I write that his books are just fun to read. But on the reader-writer connection, he is a master at ending his chapters in a way that makes you want to keep reading. What’s even more amazing about it is that his chapters are very short. I try to emulate that in my writing.

6. What would you like for readers to get out of Breaking the Code?

Everyone has a story. We all have someone in our life who has a story. Maybe it’s a family member or a close friend. Maybe it’s the guy who sits on the park bench every afternoon, or a neighbor. Maybe it’s someone we sit next to in our place of worship.

I could never have imagined the story my father had to tell. I knew he had been in the war. But he’d said so many times that he simply sat behind a desk during the war. So, when he started having nightmares and flashbacks, I knew it didn’t fit with that picture. It was only through time and lots of patience, that the true story was finally revealed.

We all have that “someone” in our lives. But people tell themselves that there will be a perfect time to get those stories written down, sometime in the future. We’ll wait until things aren’t so crazy at work, or until the kids are just a little older. Truth is – many of us will run out of time, while waiting for the perfect time. And when our loved one is gone, so are their stories. When you take the time to listen to someone’s story, you honor them in a way that is unique. It’s the most important thing you’ll ever do. I want my readers to catch the vision of a Story Sharing Revolution. My challenge: find the story in your life – and then tell that story.

7. What makes you unique as an author and what sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?

My book has two story lines. There is the story of a daughter trying to find the truth. There is also the story of a young man during the 1940’s who leaves his tiny hometown to serve in WWII. Somehow Naval Intelligence becomes aware that he has the skills to be a top secret code breaker. Unbeknownst to him, a plan is set in motion – one that will have devastating consequences.

A very unique aspect of Breaking the Code: a Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything, is that the letters my father wrote to his “folks” during the war are included. Very few changes were made to those letters, and there are a couple in most chapters. The letters serve to anchor the story in a time and place that most of us have only read about in history books. It’s a mini-history lesson of its own.

8. What is your writing process?

I am a project writer. What that means is that once I get going on a subject, whether it’s a freelance article, an essay, or a book, I just keep going. I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed. That’s only for the first draft though. After that, it’s just hard work. Real writers are successful because they write when they don’t feel like it.

I write in three-hour chunks of time. I find that it’s just enough time to get in the zone, but not so much that my brain is fatigued. Then I take a break, and usually do something physical like go for a walk. Some days that’s all I write; other times I might write two or three more three-hour periods.

Two of my kids are grown and on their own, so a bedroom was freed up. I made it into a writing room (office). But even though I have that dream space I always wanted, I find that if I really need to concentrate, I have to leave the house. At home, I run the risk of distracting myself with piles of laundry, scrubbing floors, or alphabetizing my spice rack. So, most days I spend at least part of my writing day at the library, a local university, or my favorite coffee shop.

9. Are you currently working on anything new? If so, please give a brief synopsis and when should we expect it?

Running in Circles is a memoir about raising a child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). My son is now 18, and it’s only in looking back, that I can laugh about all we went through. A mother will do some crazy things, when she has absolutely no idea how to be the mother her child needs. If I’d stopped at two children, I would have thought of myself as a pretty darned great mother. And then there was Caleb. I had a lot to learn. I’ve recently started a blog that is solely for the subject of raising an ADHD child: http://www.onadhd.blogspot.com . Tentative publication date is fall, 2013.

Drawing Me Home is a narrative nonfiction book about an incredible man. He is a talented artist in the Seattle, Washington area. He is also a Vietnam Veteran, who fought long and hard to carve out a life for himself after returning from the war. He was the official artist for the University of Washington, a talented artist who drew portraits of everyone from actors to presidents, from Playboy bunnies to Popes. His donations of artwork raised more than $10 million for charity. But in 2003, because of a desperate widow’s request, he gave it all up. He has dedicated his life to drawing portraits of fallen soldiers. He’s drawn more than 3,000 to date. Tentative publication date is fall 2014.

10. How can readers connect with you?

Website: http://www.storymatters2.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/breakingthecode
Twitter: @karenlalaniz
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Fisher-Alaniz/e/B0052UMUOW

Enter to Win a Double-Signed Copy of: Breaking the Code: A Father’s Journey And The Question That Changed Everything by visiting: www.storymatters2.com

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Meet Pamela King Cable

When did you fall in love with books?

 

My love affair with books began at a very early age while my mother read Mother Goose over and over until I knew each nursery rhyme by heart. I’m reminded of that as I read to my two-year-old granddaughter who would rather read than play with Elmo. I still have the book my mother read to me. It’s dog-eared, spotted, and appears as if one of my siblings chewed off a corner years ago. Later, when my friends were reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, I was reading my mother’s romance paperbacks, and my dad’s F. Scott Fitzgerald novels. There was no turning back.

 

When did you realize you wanted to write?

 

In the sixth grade I wrote a story, My Pal, Joey … about a dog. I’ll never forget the title, because it made every girl in the class cry. The art of storytelling pulses through my blood. In my father’s family, the gift of telling tall tales has been passed down through generations. I treasured the sound of my family’s voices as they gossiped during canning season, whispered in church, and sang their hearts out during revival week. Their stories became a part of me, and part of what flew out of my head and onto the page.

 

Tell us about yourself. 

 

I was born in the South, a coal miner’s granddaughter, but my father escaped the mines, went to college and moved his family to Ohio to work for the rubber companies in 1959. Raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers, I write about religion and spirituality with mystical twists unearthed from my family’s history. I spent every weekend as a little girl traveling back to the West Virginia Mountains.

 

My memories of my childhood run as strong as a steel-belted radial tire and as deep as an Appalachian swimming hole. As a little girl, I was a transplanted hick in a Yankee schoolroom. But the dust laden roads in the coal towns of the ‘sixties are where my career as a writer was born.

 

For me, it is within sanctuaries of brick and mortar; places of clapboard and canvas that characters hang ripe for picking. From the primitive church services of the mountain clans to the baptisms and sacraments in cathedrals and synagogues all over the world. From the hardworking men and women who testify in every run-down house of God in America to the charismatic high-dollar high-tech evangelicals televised in today’s megachurches, therein lie stories of unspeakable conflict, the forbidden, and often, the unexplained.

 

I have taught at many writing conferences, and speak to book clubs, women’s groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 

Pat Conroy, Diana Gabaldon, Barbara Kingsolver, Dorothy Allison, Kaye Gibbons, Lee Smith, Cassandra King, Hillary Jordan, Fannie Flagg, and Harper Lee.

 

What are your favorite books?

Beach Music, Outlander, Poisonwood Bible, Bastard out of Carolina, Ellen Foster, The Last Girls, Same Sweet Girls, When She Woke, Green Fried Tomatoes, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

Are you currently working on anything new? If so, please give a brief synopsis and when should we expect it?

 

I’m working on the final edits of my next book, The Sanctum.

 

Neeley McPherson accidentally killed her parents on her fifth birthday. Thrown into the care of her scheming and alcoholic grandfather, she is raised by his elderly farmhand, Gideon, a black man, whom she grows to love. Neeley turns thirteen during the winter of 1959, and when Gideon is accused of stealing a watch and using a Whites Only restroom, she determines to break him out of jail.

 

The infamous Catfish Cole, Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon of the Carolinas, pursues Neeley and Gideon in their courageous escape to the frozen Blue Ridge Mountains. After Gideon’s truck hits ice and careens down a steep slope, they travel on foot through a blizzard, and arrive at a farm of sorts—a wolf sanctuary where Neeley crosses the bridge between the real and the supernatural. It is here she discovers her grandfather’s deception, confronts the Klan, and uncovers the shocking secrets of the Cherokee family who befriends her. Giving sanctuary, the healing power of second chances, and overcoming prejudice entwine, leading Neeley to tragedy once again but also granting her the desire of her heart.

 

The Sanctum is a coming-of-age Southern tale dusted with a bit of magic, and set in a volatile time in America when the winds of change begin to blow.

 

I am also working on a sequel for Televenge.

 

What makes you unique as an author?

 

Born in the South and raised in the North, my influence comes naturally from both regions. I find that if you say you’re a Southern writer, people think you only write about the South. While most of my writing does gravitate to Southern states, folks everywhere identify with it. Working and living in both the North and South—it’s given me a broader view of both. A richer impact to my writing. Who I am influences me as a writer. Not where I live. I cannot deny the Northern part of me, any more than I can deny the Southern blood that runs through my veins.

 

Why should readers pick up your books?

 

Simply because once you do, you can’t put it down.

 

“Pamela King Cable’s debut novel breathes good and evil, frost and fire. You can finish it, but it won’t let you go.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard, NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of The Deep End of the Ocean

 

“It’s impossible to deny the magic of Pamela King Cable’s prose. Televenge is an extraordinary look at the evangelical church. A journey of love, pain, and redemption with the most heartbreaking heroine to come along in years. If you read only one book this year, this is it.”

Dena Harris, author of Who Moved My Mouse?

 

Televenge is “ … an emotional rollercoaster that ends as intensely as it begins  . . . those who commit to Cable’s tome will find themselves captivated and deeply devoted to Andie. Fans of Fannie Flagg and Janet Evanovich will be hooked on this saga of religion, romance, and crime.”

Library Journal Editor’s Pick BookExpo America 2012

Shannon Marie Robinson, Library Journal

 

“A captivating, beautifully rendered, unforgettable look at a world so few of us understand. Ms. Cable has courageously opened the door…and my eyes.”

Lesley Kagen, NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of Good Graces

 

How can readers connect with you?

 

Web site: http://www.pamelakingcable.com

Facebook Book page: https://www.facebook.com/southernfriedwomen

Twitter: @pamelakingcable

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-King-Cable/e/B001K8VUMS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343339600&sr=1-1

Book Trailer: http://www.televenge.com/trailer.html

Book Trailer: http://tinyurl.com/televenge-thestory

 

 

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