Arnold Fanning – Screenwriter and Playwrite

Our next stop is Dublin, Ireland.  We are honored to have Arnold Fanning join us today.  A warm welcome to you Arnold!  Tell us about yourself.

Arnold: I live in Dublin, Ireland. I started writing when I was a teenager then kind of abandoned it when I went to college – University College, Dublin where I studied English. After college I worked in theatre and film production. I started writing short stories around then and got some published. Through my film contacts I got interested in film and adapted one of my short stories into a screenplay that got made into a short film (Still Rain, 2000). I also worked in literary management in a theater that got me motivated to write for the stage, and I later had a play produced in the Dublin Fringe Festival (Those Powerful Machines, 2008). These days I mainly write plays and screenplays, although I also have written a novel which I am currently sending out to publishers and agents. I unwind by listening to music and cooking, I go to the theater and cinema a lot, and read voraciously.
Carla: What is your genre? Tell us about your short stories and other projects you’ve worked on.

Arnold: I don’t have a particular genre as such, although most of my work addresses sexual politics to a certain degree, and psychological power plays between individuals. My works whether scripts or fiction are generally dramatic in intent, but I do have a tendency towards black humor. My short stories have appeared in the American journal Crazyhorse, in The Irish Times, in The Phoenix Anthology of New Irish Writing, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 amongst other places. I’ve also had three plays produced in various venues in Ireland, and had two short films that have screened at festivals. Current projects include a novel which has yet to find a home, and a feature script which is in development.

From ‘Climb’: Crazyhorse Magazine, Fall 1997:

He’d went around to the other side of the tree. It was time to climb, to climb it to the top, the first and last time. He stood there facing it and touched the hard old bark with his palm like he had done that morning. It had dried since and was warm. The younger boughs at the top, he thought, would be smooth and cool when he got to them.

The first boughs were the hardest to reach, so he stood well back and took a run at them. The first try his fingers hit the hard bark and couldn’t make a grip and he fell back to the earth again. His fingertips buzzed with stinging pain then numbed. He went at it again. This time he made a good clean punt and made it to the knothole at the base of the first big branch. He dangled by one hand a moment and then swung his leg up. For a moment the strain made him grunt as he felt the earth pulling him back. He clenched his teeth and, unable to breathe, pulled his body weight up and then pushed himself against the knothole into a sitting position on the lowest bough of the tree. His hands beginning to sting again, he took deep breaths and sat there a moment before going on. He had started to climb.
Carla: Genre you’d like to tackle but haven’t.

Carla: I would really like to be able to write an out-and-out comedy; something along the lines of a Neil Simon or Woody Allen film, as I admire these writers immensely. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at horror also, but this is a genre I am less familiar with. But I have always loved comedy everything from Harold Lloyd to screwball comedies to Allen and Simon, so that is what I’d most like to try.
Carla: Most unusual place you’ve found inspiration for your writings.

Arnold: I was at a play once on Broadway and stepped out on to the sidewalk during the interval for a cigarette. I had this idea: what if someone I really didn’t want to talk to now approached me and demanded my attention? How would that work with the time requirement set be the duration of the interval? And I immediately wrote – on the play’s program- a scenario based around this idea: a play set during the interval of a play. This later became my play Shafted, which ran for a week as part of The New Theatre Dublin’s New Writing Week.
Carla: What are your literary goals for the future?

Arnold: I am currently working on getting a couple of theater projects off the ground, working with directors and actors towards that goal. I am actively seeking an agent or publisher for my unpublished novel. And I am working with a director and producer on a feature script. Meanwhile, next year the Focus Theatre, Dublin, is going to stage a revival of my first play, Those Powerful Machines.

Carla: What does a traditional Irishman’s dinner look like?

Arnold: Generally speaking it is ‘meat and two veg’. However I like to cook, so my dinner is seldom traditional…at the moment I am particularly keen on cooking Chinese food.
Carla: Cats or dogs?

Arnold: I’m a sucker for both.
Carla: Best U2 Story:

Arnold: Nope, I’m one of the few Irish people who is not a U2 fan. But I did live near the pub where various U2 members used to go and drink and saw the Edge having a pint there now and then… but I wasn’t that impressed. I’m a Bob Dylan fan.
Author’s Biography:

Arnold’s first play Those Powerful Machines ran in the New Theatre as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival 2008. His other plays are Shafted (New Theatre New Writing Week 2009) and Dumped (Red Door Theatre, 2009). His short stories have been published in Ireland and America and broadcast on radio in England. He wrote the screenplay for the short film  Still Rain which was shown at the Cork Film Festival. He co-write the script for the one hour TV film Making Ends Meet  which was broadcast on Irish national broadcaster RTÉ and seen in film festivals in Ireland, England, and Canada. He has been a resident at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co. Monaghan, Ireland, The Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts, USA, and the Edward Albee Foundation Residency in Montauk, Long Island, USA as well as a Work-Study Scholar in the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont, USA. He has participated in writer’s workshops in Dublin and Prague, participated in the Sources 2 script development programme in Germany and Norway, and received several grants from the Irish Arts Council.

Carla: Thank you for stopping by, Arnold.  Best wishes to you!

Contact Arnold Fanning on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/l2MKpL

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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

Tom Schafer: Author – Horror

Please welcome our most wonderful guest, Tom Schafer.  So glad you could join us today!

Carla: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Tom: I’ll give it a shot…I’m thirty-eight, weird and sometimes pretty smart. And I basically just believe that reading and writing is good for the soul.

Carla: What is your genre?  Tell us about your book?

Tom: Horror, for the most part. Not so much blood and guts, but psychological.  Shadow of the Ripper is a book about the ghost of Jack the Ripper haunting a small town in Ohio. It was inspired by an Arby’s commercial, believe it or not. It gave me a thought about what if Jack the Ripper had become obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe and, voila.

Tom: My book, Away from the Hourglass is pretty much a ghost story based on the loss of a girlfriend, that I went all crazy with. Curse of the Pharaoh is more of a drama than Horror. It deals with the death of King Tut. It’s more of a political conspiracy theory type story. Thoughts of The Damned was my first book; It was written when I was still pretty young. It’s one of those…not quite there books, but it has it’s moments.

Carla: Who is your favorite character and why?

Tom: Jared Drake. He was the first character that I ever wrote. Most of my friends think that he’s really my “dark side.” Maybe he is. Now, I try to give him “cameos” in my newer books. He’s pretty much the negative side of the world.

Carla: What do you think makes your book unique from other horror / vampire books?

I read a lot of books or stories where the plot and story development are the same. Or similar. I try to avoid that. I also try to avoid being too descriptive. I’m a firm believer in that vague is clearer. Sort of like a forced-perspective thing. I may say that a character is tall, has long, messy hair, and that’s usually about it. I like the reader to make a connection to someone that they already know.

I also don’t mess around with “fluff.”  Some of my chapters are only a page or two.  I’d rather have a 200 page book that is all story and dialogue, than a 500 page book that is overly descriptive. That usually bores me as a reader.

Carla: Your all-time favorite author?

Tom: I’m going to have to go with Poe. He wrote short stories. He really had a grasp on how to scare you.

Carla: The genre you’d like to try but haven’t done yet.

Tom: A straight up, Comedy. Every comedy I write seems to end up taking horrifically, terrible turns. Or it delves off into weird, Sci-fi.

 Carla: What did you have for dinner tonight?  

Lasagna

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

Tom:  Purple…dark, but there’s a little light in there.

Carla: Thanks for stopping by, Tom!


To purchase one of Tom’s books click on:  http://amzn.to/lsIgPO

Tom Schafer is a 38 year-old writer from Fremont, Ohio. He has four published books: “Thoughts of the Damned” (2001) “Curse of the Pharaoh” (2006) “Away from the Hourglass” (2007) “Shadow of the Ripper” (2008) He is currently working on screenplays as well as several other books, including “Lukas Nevland and the Seas of Aquataine,” an adaptation from screenplay to novel, based on the screenplay written by Owen Jennings.


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/

The Write Stuff Conference

First and foremost, I had a chance to hang with my publisher Karen Syed.  She’s fun and clever.   Her latest innovation is a coupon eBook with Smashwords.  The title and dollar amount are printed on to the hand-sized paper.  Since the product is paper, it can be signed.  The many people made the event a wonderful experience: Kathryn Kraft of The Lehigh Valley Writer’s Guild was the chairperson and did a detailed job of handling the event.  Met other Echelon Authors, Kieryn Nicolas,  Nicole Zoltack and Jon Gibbs.    Two stand out presenters: Keith Strunk and Jonathan Maberry.   Keith’s class, “The Author as a Storyteller” was a basic overview of outline and timing when presenting one’s story.  ( Taking in his theatrical presentation and book reading was a bit like being in the audience of  a play.  No secret he’s an actor.)  The night before, he reassured me that it was totally fine to be at the event later than 7:30 a.m. Nothing beats having your laziness affirmed.   I had a chance to chat with Jonathan Maberry.   I was impressed with this self-effacing, gentle man.  After my lunch of pasta and iced tea, I sat in one of Jonathan’s classes.  He suggests that you pay yourself everyday you write.  He recommends a dollar.  At the end of the week, spend it on yourself.  If a day comes and goes and you’ve written nothing, you take your days, “wages” out of the cookie jar.     His bio is so large that I could never list his many books / talents.  Jonathan writes a new book every three months!  Here is his respectable bio: http://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Maberry/e/B001JSF8TK Last but surely not least, I sat next to a writer / professor from The Steel City, Clay Morgan.  He is presently working on his book, “Matthew, Mark, Luke and Zombies”.  The title alone will sell the book.  His dry, crooked sense of humor kept my sanity when the,”Social Networking” session unexpectedly shifted into the, “extra-lengthy mode”.   At the Book Fair, Karen and I manned the tables and enjoyed interacting with a some of the attendees.   After two brownies, (and a cookie that Karen successfully refused), I grabbed my black trench and found my way back to the highway – completely revived.