Mary Cunningham: Author – Non-fiction / YA – Tween

My last and most excellent writer, may I introduce to you…Mary Cunningham!


Carla: What would you like to share about yourself?

Mary:  I’m a wife, mother, and writer and live with my husband and newly adopted canine, Lucy, in the mountains of West Georgia. The location isn’t as remote as it sounds since I’m within walking distance of a grocery story—a requirement in every one of our nine moves!

I enjoy golf, swimming, a variety of sports (viewing), hate the summer heat and the winter chill, but haven’t found a way to purchase that vacation home in Maui.

On the professional side, I’m author of the award-winning, four book, ‘Tween fantasy/mystery series”,Cynthia’s Attic.  This series was inspired by a recurring dream about a mysterious attic where twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus (Augusta Lee), find a magic trunk that sends them through time solving mysteries with their ancestors. Their first adventure finds them traveling from 1964 back to 1914 where they meet their twelve-year-old grandmothers!

I’m also co-writer of the humorous women’s lifestyle book, WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, and Ebooks, Ghost Light, and Christmas With Daisy, a Cynthia’s Attic Christmas story.

Carla:  When did you feel the need to start getting your thoughts on paper?

Mary:  Oh, wow. That probably would’ve been when I was about six-years old! I thought I was the next Robert Frost (My dad used to recite poetry to me at bedtime, along with his own made-up stories). That’s about the time I started writing some really awful verses. But, in my defense, I was just six!

From there, I wrote family memoirs, but never considered writing fiction until the idea for Cynthia’s Attic emerged. Now, fantasy/fiction is my favorite genre.

Carla:  What is WOOF about?

Mary: Best way I can describe WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, is with the book blurb!

Over fifty? Or planning a trip to mid-life in the near future? Bags packed, but wondering about your destination? Well, you’re not alone. With no map to guide us through the “joys” of middle age, three witty, resourceful, savvy women chart our own course. And you’re invited!

Join us as we romp through issues of expanding waistlines, deepening wrinkles, empty nests and muddled memories. And, we even find some good things to bark about! So, don’t just use this book to fan a hot flash. Look inside. Find out if you’re a Springy Spaniel or a Moody Mutt. Discover over 50 reasons to wag your tail.

But, WOOF isn’t just about the book, we also have a great blog (WOOFers Club Blog) where women over fifty can visit, make comments and even contribute to our special posts on “Dog Tails” (stories about the special canine friend in your life) and “New Leash On Life” (stories on re-inventing yourself after age 50). We love guest posts!

Carla:  Genre you’d like to try but haven’t?

I’m working on a couple of adult mysteries and am especially excited about a mystery/satire. I love  dry humor and the MC and her “cast” embody dry wit. I simply love writing, however, and enjoy jumping from one genre to the next.

Carla:  What are your literary goals?

Mary:  Hmmm. Goals for the future. I’d like to make a comfortable living writing. My husband is retired and like many seniors, we’re concerned about the future. How nice it would be to make tons of money doing what I enjoy!

An added bonus is encouraging students to write. When I speak to elementary schools, I usually end the program by asking them to remember that old author who came to their school, and how she inspired them to write. If I motivate one student to start writing, then I’m happy, although a few dozen would be even better! Lol.

Carla:  What’s your advice for upcoming writer’s?

Mary:  A very generous and blunt NY editor gave me a critique years ago that probably led to getting the first two books  in my Cynthia’s Attic series published. “Too much telling—not enough showing.” I had no clue what that meant before researching various writing websites and blogs. But, then I had one of those “light-bulb” moments. I spent the next six months on rewrites that moved the storyline through dialog and action rather than simply “telling” the story.

The second bit of advice is, “Write what you know.” It’s easier to write about the familiar. Since the original setting for Cynthia’s Attic is my hometown, Corydon, Indiana, and takes in many childhood memories, much of the research was already in my head. Since I’m a very visual writer (It’s much easier to write when I can picture a scene or character), old family pictures and stories about ancestors also bring authenticity to the story-lines.

Unfortunately, in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, I know this subject matter inside-out! That’s why we decided to keep WOOF, for the most part, light and funny. We over-fifty women have enough to deal with when it comes to weight gain, hormones and hot flashes, so our objective is to provide a good laugh.

Carla: Favorite dessert?

I’ve always said anything chocolate, however, my maternal grandmother has been in my thoughts recently, and she made the best rhubarb pie in the world! Not to be confused with those fake strawberry/rhubarb pies! She made hers with rhubarb straight from her garden, along with a fantastic vinegar pie crust (the recipe is included in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty). One of my fondest memories is her teaching me to make crust. In fact, I got so good at it, I made the crust and she made the filling. So, at this moment, I’d have to say my grandmother’s rhubarb pie.

Carla: Pets at home?

Mary: So glad you asked! Years ago, we adopted a sweet terrier/mix. Molly died in 2008 and we were so heartbroken, another dog wasn’t in our thought process…until a few months ago when we spotted a little dog who had just been abandoned. A great rescue group, 1 Lucky Dog Rescue in Hialeah, FL, took her in, got her shots up to date and then posted her pic on Facebook. One look at her and we were hooked. Thanks to the help of many, and—I’m convinced, a guardian angel or two—we are now adopted parents to Lucy, a Chinese Crested/Maltese mix.

She livens up the house with her playfulness and keeps us laughing throughout the day. I feel so fortunate to have brought not one, but two amazing rescue dogs into our lives, and I encourage everyone to check out the shelters first! Don’t shop – adopt!

Carla:  So sorry about Molly!  Nice that Lucy is such great company.  Would you please share with us, a line ,from one of your books?

Mary:  Great question! This isn’t just a line, but one of my favorite paragraphs. My dad was a huge influence on my life and my writing, so this passage from Cynthia’s Attic: Curse of the Bayou, warms my heart whenever I read it.

I stared at the solid, radiant blanket of stars. “The Milky Way,” my dad would point out. “That’s our galaxy, Gus. Remember to always respect the beauty and vastness of the universe.” A tear slipped from my cheek. “Another night, Dad.” I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate much of anything at the moment. I pulled my knees in tight and lowered my head. Maybe tomorrow will look better.

Mary: Thanks, so much, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Carla! It’s been fun!

Carla:  You are so very welcome, Mary!  Thanks for coming along for the ride 😉   Wishing much success to you, as you travel on your writing journey!

Links:

Mary Cunningham Books

Cynthia’s Attic Blog

WOOFers Club Blog

Amazon

Echelon Press

OmniLit

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle – Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Magicians-Castle-Mary-Cunningham/dp/1590806565/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259331208&sr=1-3

YouTube code for video: Cynthia’s Attic Series

YouTube Cynthia’s Attic Series URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EtythWwg28&feature=related

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Kieryn Nicolas: Author – Young Adult

A big, warm welcome to our youngest featured author, Kieryn Nicolas!

Carla: Tell us a bit about yourself.  How old were you when did you had your first book published?

Kieryn: I was fourteen when I got the contract and fifteen when it came out in print. (The eBook was released a few days before my birthday.) I was so excited when I saw the first print copy of Rain—I started jumping up and down, flipping right through it; the works. I was excited to see the first copy of Flawless Ruins, too but I was at a book festival surrounded by boxes and tables so there wasn’t much space to jump up and down.

Carla: When you’re not at school or behind the keyboard, what’s your favorite thing to do to unwind?

Kieryn: Read! I also like to run, especially with my friends, or practice Taekwondo. (The sport takes a lot of concentration, though. Maybe beating up the punching bag in my basement is the part where I unwind. 🙂

Carla: Tell us about Flawless Ruins, your new book.

Kieryn: Flawless Ruins is different from Rain in that it’s set a few hundred years in the future, and I have chapters from two different points of view. Oh, and there are no men in the book!…Or, at least, there aren’t supposed to be. The book cover based on a design by my sister. She drew the background image!

Carla: What’s your advice for teens who want to write professionally?

Kieryn: Know what you’re writing. Make an outline or storyboard so you don’t get stuck. Get feedback from others, like your friends and family. Also, make sure you WRITE!

Carla: Name the most unusual place you’ve found inspirations for one of your books’ characters?

Kieryn: Before my trip to Disney World I was looking up information about the marathon weekend , and I saw a picture of Cinderella. I think she was running to her carriage at midnight, but in the picture she looked pretty freaked out, and that reminded me of a dream I had the night before. The dream and the Cinderella image fused together into an idea for a character (and plot). I haven’t finished this book, but I’m glad I saw the picture of Cinderella!

Carla: Favorite line from a favorite book.

Kieryn: “Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, history would have been different.” ~The Picture of Dorian Gray

Carla: When you are done sorting through all those college pamphlets, and decide on a school, what subject will you be majoring in?

Kieryn:  I HAVE NO IDEA. Recently I’ve been looking at anthropology and political science, but less than a year ago I wanted to study forensic science.  ( I’m still interested in English and creative writing.)  Who knows what I’ll think in a few months? (I wish I did.)

Carla: Where can my readers find your books?

Kieryn: Rain and Flawless Ruins are available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, OmniLit, Smashwords, and others—links are on my website

(www.kierynnicolas.com).

Fun Questions!

Carla: What did you have for dinner tonight?

Kieryn: Garden pizza—I picked the tomatoes off, of course.

Carla: If you were a color, what would it be?

Kieryn: Turquoise, probably.

Carla: Your favorite vacation spot?

Kieryn: Long Beach Island, NJ! I go there every summer. It’s fantastic.

Carla: Cats or Dogs?

Kieryn: Dogs. Definitely dogs. Large dogs.

Carla: What’s the nicest compliment you’ve ever received, personally or professionally?

Wow, I’m not sure. What jumps to mind are a few emails I’ve received from adults, telling they really hadn’t expected Rain to be very good (because of my age). But they were emailing to say they really enjoyed my writing—which I think is a great compliment for any author to hear!

Angela Roe: Author / Freelance Editor


A warm welcome to
Angela Roe!

Carla: So Angela, what should we know about you?

Angela: Oh sheesh…I’m a bit of a neat freak but my closets are usually messy. Not right now because I just finished cleaning them all out about a month ago! I’m addicted to television, it’s always on in the background. I get my story ideas from silly one-liners that stick in my head for some reason. Once I have that line, most of my books come to me in my dreams and I wake up and scribble them down, praying I can read the writing in the morning! I’m slightly crazy, slightly silly and hopefully a good person!

Carla: Being an editor, Mom and Grandma you must be so crazy busy!  What’s your favorite thing to do, to unwind? 

Angela: It gets crazy but we love it. My husband Phil and I have five kids and seven grand-kids. All of the big family events are at our house so it can be crazy but it’s our life and we wouldn’t change it a bit. How do I unwind? I read. I love to read, I read all the time. My family sometimes gets annoyed because when I read, I get so involved in the story that I forget where I am, or what I’m doing. I get lost in the world the author created and it takes me a moment to refocus on reality! I am also a shopping fool. My mom and I go on marathon shopping sprees. We often have to come home to unload the car and then we go back out…is that bad?? Phil thinks it’s bad but I think we’ve single-handedly reversed the recession!

Carla:  What is your genre?  Give us a description of your books. 

Angela: I write romance novels, children’s books and short stories of all kinds.  I love happy endings but I don’t always write them. It depends on my mood and what’s happening in the world!

I have a short story coming out soon called “The Bar Scene.” I co-wrote this with Stephen L. Brayton who is a good friend of mine and another Echelon Press author. I also have a romance novel coming out, hopefully toward the end of this year. It’s called “Stormy Encounters” and it’s also with Echelon Press.

A very good friend of mine named Dana Etzel is illustrating my children’s books and we’re considering various publishing methods for them, but haven’t settled on any specifics yet. Stay tuned, they’ll be popping up soon!

Angela: What’s the most effective promo you’ve ever done? What’s your advice for upcoming authors? 

Well…you asked…

AngelaKRoe.com

A Write of Passage

My promo experience is pretty slim since most of my published work is non-fiction and client based.  I think the promo style depends on your genre. I know a man who wrote history books that he sold at gun shows and he was wildly successful at it. I plan on hitting a lot of craft shows and art shows with my romance novel. I think it’ll hit the right audience.

Advice for upcoming authors is to learn. Listen and learn and read. Surround yourself with successful authors and editors and you’ll become successful as well. Don’t give up, don’t stop and don’t think this is a short-term gig because it’s not. It’s a long-term investment and if you keep working on the promotion of existing work while creating new work, you’ll be a successful writer.

Carla: Who’s your all-time favorite author?

Angela: Oh man, that’s tough. I love Andrew Greeley, I grew up reading his books. When we visited Chicago, I didn’t fantasize about seeing Oprah, I dreamed of seeing Andrew Greeley…I know, I’m a giant nerd! I also love Diana Gabaldon,  James Patterson, John Clancy, Nora Roberts…I love writers who paint pictures with words.

Carla: What genre you’d like to try but haven’t?

Angela: Good question…probably young adult. I think I’m intimidated by how every word had to count. You have a limited amount of words but you need to create a full story, it can’t be watered down at all. I actually just wrote a first chapter of a book that I think will probably turn into a YA novel…we’ll see how it goes!

Carla: What do you think makes your book unique? 

 Angela: My book,”Stormy Encounters” is unique in a couple of different ways. The characters find themselves in a setting I’ve not seen in any other book and I think my dialogue is unique. Dialogue is my strong suit, and I think it’s really works  in this story. While it is a romance novel, it comes from a place that’s totally new and I’m pretty proud of that.

Carla: If you were a color, what would it be?

Angela: Probably deep green. It’s my favorite color. It’s soothing and warm and wraps me in comfort.

Carla: Favorite dessert? 

Angela: Oh depends totally on my mood, mostly anything with chocolate in it. I love cheesecake and ice cream. I’m not so big on pie or cake…unless it’s strawberry/rhubarb, then I’ll eat it no matter what it is!

Carla: Are you a cat or dog person?  Both? 

Angela: Dog. Her name is Sophie, she’s a Welch Corgie and she’s sitting at my feet chewing her rawhide bone. She’s a tri-color so she looks like a tiny Lassie. She’s a beauty but she sheds like crazy!! Wanna come vacuum?  =)

Carla: Sure!  I’ll be over soon.  Thanks so much for joining us Angela!  Wish you the very best in your writings.

Website information:

Freelance Writer/Editor
Website: angelakroe.com
Blog: A Write of Passage
Twitter: @AngelaRoe
Echelon Press

Jen Wylie – YA Author

 
For the first stop on our blog tour, we will be trekking to the Great White North.   A very, special welcome to the fabulous Canadian author, Jen Wylie!   

                                                  

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in rural Ontario, Canada. I am a stay at home mom of two darling little boys. We also have an Australian shepherd and way too many birds. 🙂

Other than writing, I also love to read and do a variety of crafts. I’m an Internet addict, however computers hate me LOL.

How is your short electronic series coming along?  Who is your favorite character and why?

Tales of Ever is coming along great! I’ve finished the 4th of the six short stories and it will be coming out in early June. As to my favorite character, I of course love my main character Misha. However, out of all the side characters, I think Shade (Shadow Boy) is my favorite. He was introduced in the third installment.  I do so love the dark bad boy types!

What is your genre?  Tell us about your book.

I write most forms of fantasy, from paranormal to romantic to urban.  I also write for adults and young adults. Though I’ve a number of short stories out already, my debut novel is a romantic fantasy.

Sweet Light

When fate conspires against you and gives you three loves to choose from, what do you do?  When you do decide, what if you made the wrong choice?

Share is a Healer, raised and trained from childhood until her unique gift manifests itself. When she gains the rank Journeyman she is hired to serve as the court healer of the barbaric kingdom of Glendor.

Untrained for war she is thrust unmercifully into its bloody arms when the kingdom is invaded. Ordered by her king to the front lines to tend the wounded, she is forced to flee when their camp is attacked.  Happening upon a wounded soldier in the forest, every mile back to the capital is a struggle, and breaking the Healer’s code, she falls in love with her charge.

If Shara thought that to be the least of her troubles, the appearance of a fierce warrior captain who takes it upon himself to be her protector teaches her differently.  Trouble comes in threes at the appearance of her former love and fellow healer.  Faced with decisions of the heart and the sudden manifestation of her gift leave little room for anything else to go wrong.  Or at least that’s what Shara thought…

What’s the most effective promo you’ve ever done?

 In general using twitter has been the most effective. For a one shot promotion I would say my feature on Pixel of Ink. There are a number of places I haven’t been yet though, so that could change!

All-time favorite author?

Too many to count, and it changes as time goes on and depending on my mood. Always love Anne McCaffrey. Michelle Sagara has been one of my favorites for a number of years.

Genre you’d like to try but haven’t done yet.

I’d like to try horror. Maybe. I might scare myself. I can’t even watch scary movies.

 What do you think makes your book unique?

Well I wrote it 😀 Every book is unique, from the story to the characters. I’m a very emotional person, and that comes out in my writing.

 I noticed that you regularly give out great advice on making the most of social media.   Have you always been drawn to helping others.

Yes I have. I love helping others. I suck at asking for help, but that’s a whole other story. It brings me much joy to help others and make them happy too. Just please remember I’m not a doormat 😀

So tell me, what did you have for dinner tonight?

Meatloaf. Ya, our dinners aren’t all that exciting. I love baking, cooking not so much.

If you were a color, what would it be?

Probably yellow, which is strange because it’s not really one of my favorite colors, but I am rather sun shiny and bright 😀

Favorite dessert? (Do I have food on my mind?!)

Anything with chocolate 😀 I’m not really picky.

Cats or dogs?

 Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.

All of  Jens’  short stories are available in eBook formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and OmniLit.

Author’s Bio:

Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in June 2011.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

My website: www.jenniferwylie.ca

twitter: @jen_wylie

goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4499919.Jen_Wylie

facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wylie/151266004895266

My blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/

Sweet Light is now available as an eBook for 2.99 at

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62461

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Light-ebook/dp/B0052ZB0O8

B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sweet-Light/Jen-Wylie/e/2940012590046/

Press Release for Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

Laurel, MD—May 14, 2010—By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Three categories of AORC account for almost 80% of deaths: 22% of them are attributed to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Echelon Press, LLC announced today that Allentown, PA author Carla Jones’s eBook, Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis will be available for sale June 1, 2010. With very personal ties to this disease, Ms. Jones will be donating a portion of her royalties to the Arthritis Foundation.

For twelve years Jones worked in the Pharmacy industry with another four years in Mental Health. Ms. Jones mother, ultimately died from complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. After her mother’s death, she spent three years researching, Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“I hope this eBook will send a message to those afflicted with this incurable disease, to their caregivers and to the general public, warning them of the potential deadly complications associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis,” says Jones. “This disease is greatly underestimated in its power to devastate.”

Echelon Press hopes this eBook will offer useful information and comfort to others who face this affliction or who deal with the disease in their loved ones. “Every disease is horrible, but so many people don’t realize that this can kill, and does.”

Author Carla Jones is a fresh voice at Echelon Press. Her upcoming, non-fiction eBook, Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronicles her mother’s medical and personal experience fighting the disease. After many years living with RA, her mother manifested unusual physical symptoms. One specialist was able to correctly diagnose her with spinal cord syndrome, due to her eroded cervical spine.  When the diagnosis was revealed, corrective surgery was not a survivable option. Carla Jones attended Southeastern College and Pinebrook Jr. College.  Jones’s stories have appeared in the Morning Call, and numerous other publications.

For review copies, requests for interviews, and author events, please contact Carla Jones at cvj237@verizon.net.