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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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!

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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.

 

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 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.