Chatting with Authors: Meet Juanita Kees.

Hi Juanita,

Thanks for joining us and as you are such a prolific author, we have lots to talk about. For those who don’t know, Juanita writes across several genres: rural romance /rural suspense/ small town USA NASCAR /paranormal (Greek gods.) She is also a contributor to the popular Bindarra Creek series as well as Country Shadows, Country Whispers and Country Suspense (3-in-1 paperbacks from Harlequin Mira with various other authors).

Headshot
Juanita busy signing a book for a reader

 

Can you tell us how many books are in each series?

In the first Bindarra Creek series published in 2015 and 2016, A Bindarra Creek Romance, there are thirteen wonderful stories that introduce readers to the town and the characters. Nine of the authors then produced a short and sweet anthology. These stories are now slowly being released as separate titles. In this latest series, A Town Reborn, readers can return to the lovely town of Bindarra Creek for their best reading adventure yet with the return of some of the lovely, colourful characters of the original series. And, of course, meet some new ones too. My book, Promise Me Forever is the eighth (and last) book in this latest series.

Here is a list of series I have written:

  • Wongan Creek: Whispers at Wongan Creek, Secrets at Wongan Creek and Shadows over Wongan Creek
  • Under the Law: Under Shadow of Doubt, Under the Hood, Under Cover of Dark
  • Bindarra Creek: Home to Bindarra Creek, Promise Me Forever
  • The Calhouns of Montana: Montana Baby (previously published as Overdrive), Montana Daughter (previously Fast Lane) and Montana Son (release date 2 June 2020)
  • The Gods of Oakleigh: Finding Paradise
  • FindingParadise_Credit J Kees

 

My goodness, you have been busy I hadn’t realized that you were so prolific.

Let’s start with some ‘getting to know you’ questions

Are you a lark (a morning person) or an owl (late night)? That depends entirely on the muse and what mood she’s in 😊.

What is your best time to write? When I’m alone, the house is quiet and there is nothing to distract me.

What do you like to do when you are not writing? Anything except housework! I’m a keen car enthusiast, terrible gardener, average wine drinker, unenthusiastic exerciser who loves reading, writing and music.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer so I could put all the bad guys in jail.Under the Law Series_Credit Nas Dean

What was your dream job when you were younger? I once had a job offer to assist in running a holiday resort by the sea. I thought that would be the ideal job.

What will you do for Valentine’s Day? Is Valentine’s something to like to celebrate? This Valentine’s Day I’ll be celebrating the release of Promise Me Forever. Jack and Meg are my favourite characters so far.HomeToBC_Credit J Kees

QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING

Have you always wanted to be a writer? Even as a little girl, I loved writing, reading and telling stories.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out? Learn absolutely everything you can about your craft and keep learning. A good writer never stops learning.

What comes first, the plot or characters? The characters. I’m a total pantser. 

Explanation from Sonia – the term ‘pantser’ means someone who does not plot their stories as in ‘flying by the seat of your pants’.

This is in contrast to the other writers who often have an outline and plot everything meticulously

How do you develop your plot and characters? I give my characters free reign to tell the story chapter by chapter and then I edit it.

How do you come up with the titles to your books? I’ll give it a random working title and then as the story develops, I’ll brainstorm a title to suit.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you? Editing the story. By the time I’ve been through it two or three times, I’m convinced its rubbish, lol.

How do you do research for your books? I read a lot, travel, Google, stalk a few people (kidding!) and ask for help from willing professionals.

On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing? As much time as I can juggling a hectic day job, family and real-life commitments.

Calhouns of Montana_Credit Nas Dean

 

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? Yes! I love to hear from readers. You can email me via my website contact form https://juanitakees.com/meet-and-greet/ On the same page, you will find links to all the places I am on social media. I’d love to see you in my book club at https://www.facebook.com/groups/607880523038543/ .

How many unfinished manuscripts do you have? Way too many! I have many new ideas floating around in my head at any given time, so I’ll write the first chapter or two, then let it rest a while. In comparison to many authors out there, I am a slow writer. I only manage to write two books a year because I like to let them breathe a little before editing them too.

   QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BOOKS

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? I’ve published twelve books to date but have written many more. Picking a favourite is always hard. I’d have to say Whispers at Wongan Creek, because that has been an outstanding favourite with readers.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)? That I have a serial killer mean streak when I write suspense. Sometimes I scare myself 😊.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special? Choosing a favourite character is like choosing a favourite child. I love Jack from Promise Me Forever but I also adore Travis from Whispers at Wongan Creek. Both men are strong characters but they have a softer, fun side too

Wongan Creek Series_Credit Nas Dean
Travis captured my heart too.

You’ve written rural suspense/romance genre and small-town USA genre. Do you have a preference? I love writing my Australian stories best. That’s where my heart is.

Do you find writing heroes or heroines easier? It depends on who is ‘talking’ to me on the day 😊.

What gives a hero personality, and do you fall a little in love with them as you write? How he reacts to the heroine defines his personality. I do fall in love with my heroes all the time. I need to love them to make them real on the page.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books? Pop onto my website at https://juanitakees.com/

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write? The Wongan Creek series and the Bindarra Creek books.PromiseMe_Credit Patti Roberts

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Promise Me Forever is more than just a romance between Meg and Jack. It’s a story about community, loyalty, faith and trust. Between the pages, you’ll find a connection within the Bindarra Creek community borne out of the trials that have strengthened the town rather than broken it down.

Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers? Jack has another love in his life, but it’s not necessarily a flesh and blood woman.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? Yes! Meg’s aunty, Phyllis, is colourful character.

If so, what is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? Aunty Phyllis may have her own love story one day, who knows?

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? I’d love Chris Hemsworth to star in all movies made from my books 😊. I think for Meg, I’d cast Bella Heathcote (Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice)

 

Sonia adds  who wouldn’t want Chris Hemsworth ?

Thank you so much for chatting with us and good luck with the new book

 

Photo Credits – Graphics by Nas Dean, Paradox Book Covers & Formatting and J Kees.

Buy links:

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4N9Gz9

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0843CKWKM/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0843CKWKM/

Blurb:

News correspondent, Jack Hughes, is sent to sleepy Bindarra Creek to escape the spotlight after a scandalous fake video goes viral. He’s in the fight of his life to save his reputation. In a town only determination has kept from dying, the last thing Jack is looking for is love.

The Bindarra Creek Museum is Meg Moonie’s life. But with her granny dead, a murder suspect on the run and the police asking questions, she struggles to keep the museum and Mary Moonie’s dream alive. Jack is a handsome distraction, but Meg has been hurt by a roving reporter before. Men who couldn’t put down roots never promised forever. If only he wasn’t so easy to fall in love with…

Bio:

Finding love and hope in small towns with dark secrets …

Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing Australian Rural Romance novels with elements of suspense, Australian Fantasy Paranormal and Small Town USA stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey:

Amazonhttp://amazon.com/author/juanitakees

BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/juanita-kees

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6454477.Juanita_Kees

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/kees2write/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/juanitakeesauthor/

Books2Readhttps://books2read.com/author/juanita-kees/subscribe/1/24801/

Newsletterhttp://eepurl.com/bij79b

Book Love Book Clubhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/607880523038543/

 

 

 

 

 

Chatting with Authors-Meet Juanita Kees

Hi Juanita,

Thanks for joining us and as you are such a prolific author,  we have lots to talk about. For those who don’t know, Juanita writes across several genres: rural romance /rural suspense/ small town USA NASCAR /paranormal (Greek gods.) She is also a contributor to the popular Bindarra Creek series as well as Country Shadows, Country Whispers and Country Suspense (3-in-1 paperbacks from Harlequin Mira with various other authors).

 

Headshot
Juanita happily signing a book for a reader

Can you tell us how many books are in each series?

In the first Bindarra Creek series published in 2015 and 2016, A Bindarra Creek Romance, there are thirteen wonderful stories that introduce readers to the town and the characters. Nine of the authors then produced a short and sweet anthology. These stories are now slowly being released as separate titles. In this latest series, A Town Reborn, readers can return to the lovely town of Bindarra Creek for their best reading adventure yet with the return of some of the lovely, colourful characters of the original series. And, of course, meet some new ones too. My book, Promise Me Forever is the eighth (and last) book in this latest series.

Here is a list of series I have written:

  • Wongan Creek: Whispers at Wongan Creek, Secrets at Wongan Creek and Shadows over Wongan Creek
  • Under the Law: Under Shadow of Doubt, Under the Hood, Under Cover of Dark
  • Bindarra Creek: Home to Bindarra Creek, Promise Me Forever
  • The Calhouns of Montana: Montana Baby (previously published as Overdrive), Montana Daughter (previously Fast Lane) and Montana Son (release date 2 June 2020)
  • The Gods of Oakleigh: Finding Paradise

FindingParadise_Credit J Kees

 

Let’s start with some ‘getting to know you’ questions

Are you a lark (a morning person) or an owl (late night)? That depends entirely on the muse and what mood she’s in 😊.

What is your best time to write? When I’m alone, the house is quiet and there is nothing to distract me.

What do you like to do when you are not writing? Anything except housework! I’m a keen car enthusiast, terrible gardener, average wine drinker, unenthusiastic exerciser who loves reading, writing and music.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer so I could put all the bad guys in jail.

What was your dream job when you were younger? I once had a job offer to assist in running a holiday resort by the sea. I thought that would be the ideal job.

 

What will you do for Valentine’s Day? Is Valentine’s something to like to celebrate? This Valentine’s Day I’ll be celebrating the release of Promise Me Forever. Jack and Meg are my favourite characters so far.

 

PromiseMe_Credit Patti Roberts

QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Even as a little girl, I loved writing, reading and telling stories.
  2. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out? Learn absolutely everything you can about your craft and keep learning. A good writer never stops learning.
  3. What comes first, the plot or characters? The characters. I’m a total pantser.
  4. How do you develop your plot and characters? I give my characters free reign to tell the story chapter by chapter and then I edit it.
  5. How do you come up with the titles to your books? I’ll give it a random working title and then as the story develops, I’ll brainstorm a title to suit.
  6. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? Editing the story. By the time I’ve been through it two or three times, I’m convinced its rubbish, lol.
  7. How do you do research for your books? I read a lot, travel, Google, stalk a few people (kidding!) and ask for help from willing professionals.
  8. On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing? As much time as I can juggling a hectic day job, family and real-life commitments.
  9. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? Yes! I love to hear from readers. You can email me via my website contact form https://juanitakees.com/meet-and-greet/ On the same page, you will find links to all the places I am on social media. I’d love to see you in my book club at https://www.facebook.com/groups/607880523038543/ .
  10. How many unfinished manuscripts do you have? Way too many! I have many new ideas floating around in my head at any given time, so I’ll write the first chapter or two, then let it rest a while. In comparison to many authors out there, I am a slow writer. I only manage to write two books a year because I like to let them breathe a little before editing them too.

 

 QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BOOKS

 

Wongan Creek Series_Credit Nas Dean

  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? I’ve published twelve books to date but have written many more. Picking a favourite is always hard. I’d have to say Whispers at Wongan Creek, because that has been an outstanding favourite with readers.
  2. What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)? That I have a serial killer mean streak when I write suspense. Sometimes I scare myself 😊.
  3. Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special? Choosing a favourite character is like choosing a favourite child. I love Jack from Promise Me Forever but I also adore Travis from Whispers at Wongan Creek. Both men are strong characters but they have a softer, fun side too.

Sonia says- Yes, Travis won my heart too.

  1. You’ve written rural suspense/romance genre and small-town USA genre. Do you have a preference? I love writing my Australian stories best. That’s where my heart is.
  2. Do you find writing heroes or heroines easier? It depends on who is ‘talking’ to me on the day 😊.
  3. What gives a hero personality, and do you fall a little in love with them as you write? How he reacts to the heroine defines his personality. I do fall in love with my heroes all the time. I need to love them to make them real on the page.
  4. Where can readers find out more about you and your books? Pop onto my website at https://juanitakees.com/
  5. Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write? The Wongan Creek series and the Bindarra Creek books.
  6. HomeToBC_Credit J Kees

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK

  1. Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Promise Me Forever is more than just a romance between Meg and Jack. It’s a story about community, loyalty, faith and trust. Between the pages, you’ll find a connection within the Bindarra Creek community borne out of the trials that have strengthened the town rather than broken it down.
  2. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers? Jack has another love in his life, but it’s not necessarily a flesh and blood woman.
  3. Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? Yes! Meg’s aunty, Phyllis, is colourful character.
  4. If so, what is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? Aunty Phyllis may have her own love story one day, who knows?
  5. If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? I’d love Chris Hemsworth to star in all movies made from my books 😊. I think for Meg, I’d cast Bella Heathcote (Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice)

 

Sonia says – I’d pretty much cast Chris Hemsworth in anything!

Thank you so much for chatting with us.

 

Photo Credits – Graphics by Nas Dean, Paradox Book Covers & Formatting and J Kees.

Buy links:

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4N9Gz9

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0843CKWKM/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0843CKWKM/

Blurb:

News correspondent, Jack Hughes, is sent to sleepy Bindarra Creek to escape the spotlight after a scandalous fake video goes viral. He’s in the fight of his life to save his reputation. In a town only determination has kept from dying, the last thing Jack is looking for is love.

The Bindarra Creek Museum is Meg Moonie’s life. But with her granny dead, a murder suspect on the run and the police asking questions, she struggles to keep the museum and Mary Moonie’s dream alive. Jack is a handsome distraction, but Meg has been hurt by a roving reporter before. Men who couldn’t put down roots never promised forever. If only he wasn’t so easy to fall in love with…

Bio:

Finding love and hope in small towns with dark secrets …

Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing Australian Rural Romance novels with elements of suspense, Australian Fantasy Paranormal and Small Town USA stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

 

Calhouns of Montana_Credit Nas Dean

Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey:

Amazonhttp://amazon.com/author/juanitakees

BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/juanita-kees

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6454477.Juanita_Kees

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/kees2write/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/juanitakeesauthor/

Books2Readhttps://books2read.com/author/juanita-kees/subscribe/1/24801/

Newsletterhttp://eepurl.com/bij79b

Book Love Book Clubhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/607880523038543/

 

Under the Law Series_Credit Nas Dean

 

 

 

 

Chatting with Authors- Meet Teena Raffa- Mulligan.

It’s always a  pleasure for me to be chatting with authors.  Today my guest is talented author Teena Raff Mulligan. Teena changes easily between writing for children( picture books,  and mid-grade books) as well as writing for adults. I had fun learning about her writing and her non- writing life and I hope you will enjoy this interview.

Teenanew2b (5)
Teena Raffa-Mulligan.

Finding out a little bit about Teena I asked her

What do you like to do when you are not writing? Watch TV. Walk the dog along the beach path. Dabble in art and photography.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A ballerina novelist.

Wow!What an awesome idea!

Blerina skitter photos
Skitter photo on  Pixababy

What was your dream job when you were younger? I had fantasies of dancing my way around the world and writing novels in the dressing room between performances.  Film star was my back up option. 

That sounds like a great plan!

What’s for dinner tonight? What would you rather be eating? I’m on a low-calorie meal plan at the moment so dinner today is a child-size serve of chargrilled chicken, potato bake and steamed veggies with gravy. I’m happy with that, though I wouldn’t mind baked ricotta cheesecake for dessert or a fruit and custard flan.

What’s your favourite food? That’s easy. Fish and chips. Preferably liberally sprinkled with salt and vinegar and eaten from the paper while parked in the car at the beach watching the sun go down over the ocean.

Daria Shevisoav
Photo by Daria Shevisoav

Your hero? My cousin Gypsy is an inspiration. She is wise, insightful, creative, intelligent, resilient, and has a wonderful sense of humour. Muscular dystrophy has increasingly limited Gypsy’s physical mobility over the years but her focus is always on what she can do rather than on what she can’t.

If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why? Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and other inspirational books for creatives; Eckhart Tolle, who wrote Stillness Speaks and The Power of Now; and Paul McCartney, who needs no introduction to people of my generation. I’m sure we’d have an intellectually stimulating discussion about living a spiritual life in our time, fulfilling our creative potential and finding a way to be authentically ourselves.

What’s your writing space like?

david Cassolato

The main writing space is inside my head and I shudder to think what that looks like! I carry my stories around with me mentally so a lot of the sentences first take shape while I’m away from my desk. I have an office with my desktop computer, printer, filing cabinet, bookshelf etc and that’s where the manuscripts get knocked into shape for submission. I also do a lot of scribbling in notepads at the kitchen bench, in a recliner chair at the lounge room window, propped up in bed, on the back patio or the sun deck.

What time of the day do you usually write? Anytime!

Is there a typical writing day? I don’t have a typical writing day. Sometimes weeks pass without me producing the next chapter of my WIP, though I do work on writing-related activities every day. This might be freelance proofing or copy editing, formatting my next indie publication, looking for covers, doing admin/promotions/ marketing or organising submissions, talks or workshops. I also do the monthly newsletter for the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators WA (SCBWI West), and I’m volunteer coordinator of Rockingham Writers Centre. Most days I head into my office after breakfast, work till lunchtime, take an hour or two break, then maybe do another couple of hours before dinner – or maybe not!

54798518_1104191853116905_6362209079326146560_n
A beautiful story for children who are missing a parent.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you? Completing novels. The level of focus required to sustain a long-term project doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m a bit of a butterfly and there are so many bright shiny new ideas and creative interests to attract my attention.

 

gray and black butterfly sniffing white flower
Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

What is your work schedule like when you are writing? I don’t have one. Of course, I apply myself and work steadily on a manuscript if there is an anthology or competition deadline or a publisher is waiting on rewrites. Basically, I work on priorities and do the job that needs to be done that day.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I have a stand-up desk and to introduce some exercise into my day I do a few dance steps, aerobic moves or on-the-spot marching as I work at the computer. I also try out various actions to see how they work and have conversations with myself to make sure the dialogue in my scenes sounds natural and in character. Fortunately, I don’t have an audience.christa's choice jpeg

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? I don’t often hear from readers. Those who comment usually tell me my stories are charming and warm-hearted, with characters that come alive on the page. The nicest thing anyone ever said was that I must have “bottles of delight and whimsy in your office and sprinkle them on your stories because your stories are always delightful and whimsical.” That made me feel warm and fuzzy.

shallow focus photo of mail envelope on newspaper
These days we get fan mail by email or text.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood? A lot of my stories are light-hearted so I need to feel at peace with my world. I can’t write those stories if I am upset or worried about something. Having said that, I had a publisher deadline on a major rewrite of my quirky MG novel Mad Dad for Sale at the time my dad was dying of cancer and somehow I managed to do that. The fantasy was a wonderful distraction from the reality of being about to lose my father.

photo of a person leaning on wooden window
Photo by Dương Nhân. We need time to process our emotions

 

How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story? I’m more likely to be smiling or giggling at the computer because so much of what I write is light and quirky. However, I still get weepy when I read the final lines of my picture book Who Dresses God? and I was surprised the other day to find myself shedding a few tears as I proofread a scene in my forthcoming YA novel, Monelli & Me. Two of my unpublished picture books did stir up a lot of emotion because they are inspired by experiences which had a big impact on my life – the loss of a baby and losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s – so I let the tears flow as I wrote them. When they are published I might not be able to read them in schools!

 

adult alone anxious black and white
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special. I love Joshua Jones in The Seven Day Dragon. He has a lively curiosity and a unique perspective on the world.

You’ve written adult genre and children’s picture books and mid-grade fiction genre. Do you have a preference?

Picture books. I love the challenge of sifting and shifting words to tell a story as succinctly as possible, yet in a way that allows the illustrator plenty of scope to be creative. I also like playing around with rhyme and rhythm. I’m obviously still learning because I have quite a few unpublished picture book manuscripts. I’m much more successful with short stories and poems.

How different do you find the writing? I don’t really think about it. I focus on the story I’m telling at the time and the voice for that age group or genre seems to come naturally without conscious effort.

Who is your favourite author and why? That’s like asking me if I have a favourite child!

What are you reading now? I just finished reading I’m Your Venus: A Sylvia Stryker Space Mystery by Dianne Vallere.

What book is currently on your bedside table? Only one? My next read will be In Good Hands, a Georgie B Goode Vintage Trailer Mystery by Marg McAlister.

I’m reading light at the moment because it was quite intense doing the copy edits and proofreading of my women’s fiction and YA novels, which are both coming out in March.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way, The Sound of Paper, The Right to Write); Natalie Goldberg (Long Quiet Highway); and Dani Shapiro (Still Writing).

Who is the author you most admire in your genre? Meg McKinlay. She has a wonderful way of writing for children and young adults.

Favourite quote (doesn’t matter the source)

ancient architecture asia bench
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Before enlightenment

Chopping wood

Carrying water.

After enlightenment

Chopping wood

Carrying water.

-Zen proverb

Favourite book/story you have read as an adult. It’s impossible for me to choose one.

Favourite books when you were a kid. Nesbitt’s Five Children and It and The Railway Children and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. What Katy Did also struck a chord, as did books by Elizabeth Goudge.

What famous author do you wish would be your mentor? I wish I’d been mentored by the amazing Jen Storer when I first started writing for children. Jen runs the Scribbles Academy and started The Duck Pond FB group. She has a wealth of industry knowledge and is an inspiration.

Website

http://www.teenaraffamulligan.com

Blog

https://intheirownwrite.wordpress.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/TeenaRaffaMulligan

After Goodbye, Christa’s Choice and When the Moon is a Smile are available from https://www.daisylanepublishing.com/bookshop

Friends, The Seven Day Dragon and Risking Mr Wrong are available from https://www.serenitypress.org/

Most of my titles are available from Amazon.com and other online retailers.

Thank you so much, Teena, for a fascinating interview and good luck with your new releases.

 

Chatting with Authors- Meet Diana Smith

Hi Diana,

Thanks for joining us- can you tell us a little about yourself please? What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing I like to run my gratitude workshops where I read my book and we do some activities on the benefits of Gratitude and resilience.

Diana-230x300
Diana Smith.

Diana, what did you want to be when you grew up? As I grew up, I wanted to be a flight assistant and travel the world, or a train driver and I always loved my writing.  I wrote my grateful book when I was around 15 but only illustrated it and published it a couple of years ago. An editor friend of mine introduced me to Sarah and she had the same picture ideas as what I did, and it just grew from there and became a reality it was so amazing to watch.

What was your dream job when you were younger? My dream job when I was younger was to write books.

What’s for dinner tonight? What would you rather be eating? Dinner tonight is chicken wings.  I wouldn’t rather be eating anything they are my Favourite!  The hotter the better!

Do you have a hero? My hero here in Australia is Maggie Dent

Imagine that you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why? Maggie Dent  Michelle Obama and Oprah.

photo of people doing cheers
A toast to strong women.

Why? Because they are amazingly strong women who have made amazing changes to many lives young and old and I would love to listen to how they got where they are today.

              QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING

 What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Just start to write don’t be scared there are editors and other people who can help you make it great just start!  Don’t be like me and put it off for years because you don’t think you’re good enough.

Which comes first, the plot or characters?  The plot.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Panster,  ( I had to Google what that meant)

How do you come up with the titles to your books? The titles are usually the theme of the book.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Um most probably the rhyming

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?  I do hear from my readers.  The teachers say they love reading my books to the classroom.

On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?  I try to write for a couple of hours at least a day,  I am writing a book about my daughters’ journey at the moment so a completely different Genre.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

I am on social media;  my Facebook page is Bookstoinspire. My Instagram is bookstoinspirebydiana and my website is dianasmithbookstoinspire.com.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I think my favourite is the first one My grateful book.  I have written four that are being published and writing the other one about my daughter and one about my puppy.

Grateful-Book-Web-Product

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?   The most surprising thing I learnt was these are lesson’s I needed to learn later in life that I want children to learn earlier on.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special? The favourite character would be the one I am writing about my red cloud puppy Bruiser he’s just so cute.

 

animal dog puppy pug
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?   My key messages are all about gratitude, kindness it’s ok to be anxious it will soon pass

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers?#

I am working on the puppy book at the moment and a book about my daughter and me and I have also just finished one about a clamshell being washed up on the beach.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

I feel there may be a few more in the gratitude series.

Do you have any new series planned? I think the puppy book may have a few books in there we had adopted a parrot so he can be in some as well

We’ve just started a new year and I’ve seen lots of posts about new years’ resolutions. Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year?    I haven’t made any resolutions this year, but I will be focusing more on my writing and my gratitude workshops

Grateful-Book-Web-Product

QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER WRITERs AND BOOKS.

What are you reading now?   I am reading happier than God by Neil  Donald Walsh

What book is currently on your bedside table? There is a pile of about 4 books on my bedside table

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Authors who have influenced me  Dr Seuss,  Roald Dahl,  Winnie the Pooh

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?  Roald Dahl

Favourite quote (doesn’t matter the source) You are good enough

Favourite book/story you have read as an adult?  Me before you by Jojo Moy

Favourite book when you were a kid? Winnie the Pooh

Diana-Conscious-Living
Diana presents workshops

Which famous author do you wish would be your mentor? :  Dr Seuss or Roald Dahl

 

person holding whiteboard
Photo by KML on Pexels.com

Can you tell us any fun facts about yourself? I was in New Zealand and I did the gap year in the army.  I was 16.  While I was in there, I buckled a wheel track on an APC which is a small army tank.

I love camping around Australia with my husband and our dogs in our camping trailer.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?   Writing lol

Favourite Movies:  Labyrinth and Me Before You.

Last Great book I read:  Blue Moon by Lee Child

Favourite Book as a teenager:  Nancy Drew!  Now that is showing my age !!

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed, Diana. s

Chatting with Authors- Teniele Arnold.

IMG_1970 (5).JPGToday I am pleased to welcome author Teniele Arnold. She is one very busy lady and I appreciate that she took the time to talk out to us.

 

From Tenniele’s  Good Reads profile

Teniele Arnold free spirit, blazing her path in life, never afraid to fail to reach her dreams and goals, creating her reality, always going with the flow on life’s journey. Photographer, Author, Bookkeeper are just some of her professions in life, you will find her enjoying a yoga flow or reading a good book or being a loving parent of two strong-willed children Elliana & Kaden, she raises together with her soulmate Ashley. “Life is always going to have bumps but when we become present to the moment we can truly connect with ourselves and get clear on our truth, the bump no longer becomes a bump”. Writing a children’s book has been a lifelong dream, she truly hopes that this book connects to you and your family, that you can go forth and together with presence, mindfulness and find the inner voice “Your Happy Voice”.

 

Tell us a bit about your background

 I started my entrepreneur journey quite young from 7 years old my brother and I potted up my parent’s succulents and made a roadside stall to sell them, from there followed on through the years coming up with ideas to make money. At 10 years old my best friend and I would create felt cards for birthdays, get wells etc and sell them to the neighbours.

Around 12 years old we would create our own comic books and magazines, the magazines were the most fun, writing articles, having fun photoshoots with our film cameras back then and then placing it all together. Just shy of 13 I had my first job in a video store, I loved being able to pick and choose any movie I wanted to watch, I just loved the amazing stories and we always got advance copies of the new movies coming out which was always fantastic at that age. Around 14 I began writing all the time, short stories, instead of doing maths, I was secretly writing my erotic fictions, but once I was out of high school and in the real world I stopped writing for quite a while and it wasn’t until three years ago that I began writing again and the first story I wrote was my first published children’s book, quite a ways from erotic fiction! and all my little entrepreneur jobs along the way have given me the skills to develop my own businesses including my book brand and business.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I would say my first thoughts of how wonderful it would be to be a writer was when I was 8 years old reading Enid Blyton – The faraway tree.

I thought I could be a writer around high school years, whilst scribbling in my erotic fiction notebook.

But I did not seriously think I could be a writer until Finding Your Happy Voice idea came to me, as I was not good at English and my grammar was terrible, but I thought that’s what an editor is for!

FYHV FB Banner-01 (1).png

 

Tell us about your book or books.

Finding your happy voice is a children’s story that follows a little boys journey to finding his happy voice, the story speaks of emotions and how to utilise the breath to listen to our inner voice, here is where we can find our happy voice.

 

FYHV Cover Hi Res (2).jpg

 Is there a typical writing day?

Not now coming into school holidays, just when I am feeling the creative urge, prior to that I was allocating a Tuesday to write, but only if it felt right on the day.

The dreaded question- where do you get your ideas?

The Idea for finding your happy voice came from real-life experience and meditation, and inner knowing that this was a book and I had to share it.

What is the best thing about being a writer? And the worst?

The best is I find it exciting; I love talking with parents and listening to their pain points, offering the odd hug for those not coping that day. The worst is your pretty much a business owner and you need to know a lot of things to sell your book, luckily, I have learnt many areas over the years but the one that I have not and learning now is marketing!

What are you working on now?

My next children’s book is written and edited and currently, in illustration, I can not wait for this one to come out in 2020

Do you work on more than one thing at once?

Not writing, I have been doing one at a time, but I do have several projects on the go at once.

What is the best writing advice you received and the worst?

Start from the heart and the worst you can’t be an author if you’re not good at grammar.

Any advice for other writers?

If you are called to write something and that calling won’t go away, then just write it. If you are called to share that work, then just take one step at a time and go for it!

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What do you wish you’d known when you were beginning?

I should have taken a marketing degree ha-ha, no I have done well myself with this, but it’s definitely an advantage to learn as much as possible about marketing.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?

Unusual hobby hmmm not really, I enjoy going to sound healings, I guess that’s unusual for some, but the rest are pretty normal yoga, reading, sewing and photography.

What do you like to read?

My favourite Genre is Psychological thrillers, along with anything based on a true story and I guess action some of my favourite authors are Patricia Cornwell, Jane Harper, Vince Flynn, Simon Becket, Tess Gerritsen, Lee Child to name a few. My other favourite genre is spirituality & self-development so many great books here authors like Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Paulo Coelho, Caroline Myss PH. D, Michael Singer, Deepak Chopra and Brandon Bays

I do have a variety of genres on my shelf including romance and comedy and a very long reading list for this holidays 😊

What is the oddest thing you have researched OR What would people be surprised to know about you?

Hmm, people may be surprised to know that I run a couple of business and work part-time.

I have a photography business that has been running for over 5 years now

Partnership with my husband in a plumbing company

I work two days a week in the family Company for painting/graffiti removal looking after the accounts and anything else administration wise.

And now my books to add into the mix, oh and I used to drive haul packs aka dump trucks for some time in 2008 with my husband in Newman.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us at this very busy time of year and best wishes for the future success of all your enterprises but especially your books!

Here are all the links for Teniele and her books

AUTHOR PUBLISHER SELF PUBLISHED

Teniele Arnold

Phone Number: 0404 143 023

Email: peacockpressaustralia@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/findingyourhappyvoice

Instagram: www.instagram.com/findingyourhappyvoice.com

Website: www.findingyourhappyvoice.com

Publisher:

Peacock Press Australia

Email: Peacockpressaustralia@gmail.com

Finding Your Happy Voice is available to purchase from

Hardbacks: www.findingyourhappyvoice.com

Softcover:  Worldwide most popular online stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookmate, Booktopia, Kobo, Redshelf, etc

E-Book: www.amazon.com

 

 

Chatting with Authors: Meet Lisa Wolstenholme.

Its always exciting to be able to meet a fellow author and I was sad to miss the launch of Lisa Wolstenholme’s book The Sunrise Girl which was held on December 7th at Katharine  Sussanah Pritchard Writers Centre. By all accounts, it was a lively fun event  Luckily Lisa has kindly answered some questions from me about the book and her writing process.

Lisa Wolstenholme
Lisa Wolstenholme launching her book The Sunrise girl.

The Book is on my To Be Read List. When you read the description you can see why!

The Sunrise Girl By Lisa Wolstenholme

The Sunrise Girl

Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 7th 2019 by MMH Press
ISBN
0648728005 (ISBN13: 9780648728009)
Edition Language
English
QUESTIONS.

Lisa, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’m from the UK and grew up travelling a fair bit due to my dad being in the Royal Air Force. I gained a degree in computing and spent a good ten years in the industry, but always felt drawn to healing modalities so studied counselling. I ended up working in a crisis service in Leeds, which I loved, but when I came to Perth, I found I couldn’t use my qualifications to work here as a counsellor. I twiddled my thumbs for several years as my daughter went through primary school, and finally joined KSP Writers’ Centre back in 2014.

Have you always wanted to write?

Absolutely. I’ve always loved reading and have a very active imagination, so writing was the outlet I needed to tie those things together.

You have just released a book, tell us a bit about that.

It’s my debut novel, The Sunrise Girl, about Lucy Fraser, a thirty-something woman who, along with her best friend Em, has spent her twenties partying hard. When she eventually gets married to Joe Morris, she soon realises that settling down is not what she wants. Joe dies, and it’s Lucy’s fault, and the desire to escape her woes is so strong that when Em suggests they go on holiday to the party island of Ibiza, Lucy can’t resist. But Ibiza fuels her hedonistic desires further, so Lucy must figure out what makes her tick and what she truly wants. The key themes in the story are conquering guilt, escapism, addiction, authenticity, and doing what we ‘want rather than what we ‘should’ do.

What inspired it?

I’ve supported many people who struggled with a variety of issues such as addiction and escapist tendencies, so I wanted a character who was heavily flawed and struggling with things that people could relate to. I’ve also witnessed several of my friends go through rocky relationships and marriage breakdowns, so I wondered what made the relationships fail, and how much each person gives up being part of a couple. I wanted to write something relatable in terms of everyday issue and vices, such as drinking heavily and smoking, and what purposes those addictions fulfilled, to make the characters more authentic.

How long did it take to write?

The ideas and ‘scenes’ have been floating around in my head since around 2011, but I didn’t start writing it until 2014. By that time, it was like a movie playing in my mind, so writing it was pretty quick. The rewriting, on the other hand, well-thank God I joined a writing group and learnt how to write properly! And here we are, eight years later!

How do you capture your ideas?

I’m a visual person, so I’ll see something that then sets off a chain of events in my head and images start popping left, right and centre. It can take a while to get them organised, but once an idea comes, it takes hold until I’ve got it out of my system.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished going through the second round of edits on my Paw Prints of Love anthology story for Gumnut Press, and after a short writing break over the summer, I plan to get back into writing The Sunset Girl to tell Em’s story.

Do you work on more than one thing at once?

For sure. I’m easily distracted! What is the best and worst advice you received as a writer?

The best advice is to just write regardless of your level of expertise. Chloe Higgins held a workshop at KSP entitled, ‘How to Vomit a Novella’. It was basically telling us to get over ourselves and our hang-ups and just get stuff written. It doesn’t matter how badly written it is-rewrites and edits can help with that-it’s vital to get those creative ideas down on paper.

The worst advice I’ve been given is to ‘show don’t tell’ all the time. I agree with showing not telling in general, but too much of it can stifle the pace of a story and make it way too descriptive, leaving little room for the reader’s imagination to come into play.

Comment by Sonia- that kind of advice re-show don’t tell can leave a beginner quite baffled!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write as often as you can, and it doesn’t matter if you think it’s shit. Join a writing group to meet like-minded souls. Read. Read. Read.

Favourite authors?

Paulo Coehlo, Gillian Flynn and Elizabeth Gilbert are a few.

Thank you and congratulations  on  your book

Thank you for interviewing me. 😊

I hope that I  asked Lisa the questions that you would have asked .

You can find her on Facebook  Lisa Wolstenholme Author.