Interview with John Calicchia, Author of Mirror World

John Calicchia

John Calicchia writes stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 his book Mirror World was released! It’s a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It’s a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades Dr. C. felt his writing was not helping the young people he loves to work with. So, he took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plots in Mirror World to help with real life issues. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the tale!

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

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Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story in sixth grade, and the class loved it and laughed so hard, I was asked to be the first one to read my stories for the rest of the year – motivation for an aspiring writer?

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Usually mornings are best, but when I am in the flow it can go on all day long. The rest of the time I’m writing this story in my head endlessly.

What is this book about?

What would you do if you saw the future apocalypse of the world in a mirror? Would you try to save the world and those you love, or die trying?
Welcome to my life, this is the vision of the future I’ve been cursed to see.
– Cailyssa Larkin

Cailyssa hates mirrors because someone evil is staring back at her from the other side.  One day, she gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

What inspired you to write it?

I was always disappointed in science fiction and fantasy books because of a lack of strong female lead characters. Before Katniss Everdean and Tris Prior, few books or movies ever featured a strong female in the lead role.  I love the fact that my book is told from the first-person perspective and has two exceptionally strong female lead characters, who of course also have their vulnerabilities. I also have two wonderful daughters that are exceptionally inspiring as I watch them continue on their way to developing into strong, young, and capable women.Mirror World

Who is your favorite character from the book?

It depends on what day you ask me, but for today it’s Terry. She’s Cailyssa’s sister and a ton of crazy fun, with wings like an angel and 12 inch razor-sharp blades that come out of her knuckles she takes on any evil foe! But like all superheroes,  she has hidden weaknesses.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Both.  I was able to dictate the whole book using Dragon Naturally Speaking so the first draft went remarkably quickly.  The revision process and the multiple levels of editing took a long time!

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Use as many beta readers as possible, and get ARC’s out earlier.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Follow me and you can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website www.johncalicchia.com

twitter: @jacalicchia

youtube: https://youtu.be/8ezO9nWm9UY

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Time will tell.  I’m hoping it’s the current book tour!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write what you love and you will love what you write ( and some other people will too)

What is up next for you?

The Users Guide for Mirror World is almost finished.  It has the secrets to where the psychology  studies are hidden in the book. You can get more information at my website or my blog.

There will be two more books in the Mirror World series. The next book Angelus starts literally in Hell with a dark angel being tortured for failing to destroy Cailyssa Larkin. Cailyssa has returned from Mirror World and is trying to finish her senior year in high school, when she discovers the war of the Angels she became involved in has followed her home. The Angels in this book are not what you think of in pictures or the Bible.  Angels have been living among us and walking the earth for thousands of years – you probably even know a couple – hopefully they’re not the evil ones.

Here’s a biblical quote that starts off the book:

His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And Lucifer stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

After the Mirror World Series I have plans for a psychological thriller PSYOPS which is a dystopian world in which the government and the military control dreams through neuroscience and psychology.

I better get writing!!!!!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I hope my book is a somewhat unique stamp. First of all I hope it’s a fun and exciting story that entertains you. But I know as a  professor that the psychology studies hidden in the plot are very helpful for people’s lives. So I really hope it’s a wonderful tale, that has a free self-help book hidden in the narrative. Please get a copy of the users guide at my website after you read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the meantime, read the book and keep guessing about the psychology behind it!

Warm Regards,

John

For More Information

  • Mirror World is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours by Dorothy Thompson, Founder of Pump Up Your Book


10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours
By Dorothy Thompson, CEO & Founder of
 Pump Up Your Book

By now, most authors know what virtual book tours are or at least have heard of them.  They’re that wonderful marketing tool that should be a must have in every new book’s campaign.  With each new book I write, I’m making a game plan before the book is even published, and a virtual book tour is the first promotional venue on that list.

While most of us know what they are, there are still a few authors who might have heard of them but have no idea what they involve.  I give you my top 10 things you need to know about virtual book tours so you know what to expect.

  1. Virtual book tours are the BEST way to get the MOST online exposure for your book. Not only are you presenting your book–and yourself–to thousands of people, all of your interviews, guest posts and reviews are archived, which means months down the road you’re still selling your book because of that one tour.
  2. Virtual book tours ARE a lot of work. Not only are you searching for the perfect blogs to host you, you are acting as the middle man between you and the blogger unless you are using a paid service, such as Pump Up Your Book, who will do all that work for you.  Even if you do sign up with Pump Up Your Book, there is still work to do–filling out interviews and writing guest posts (unless you choose an all review tour).  Even though it requires a little bit of your time to fill out interviews and write guest posts, it’s well worth it.
  3. You will learn more about your book than you ever did. I had an author tell me that through the interviews and guest posts she had to complete she learned so much about her book, which caught her off guard.  Now, when she is interviewed on radio shows and makes television appearances she is better prepared.
  4. Virtual book tours will build up your author platform.  No matter if you’re a fiction author or a nonfiction author, virtual book tours will build up your author platform using your key search words.
  5. Your reviews are guaranteed. Offline publicists, while they mean well, do it all wrong.  They query a book blogger, make arrangements to send the book, then that’s where it stops.  The review is not a guaranteed thing.  The reviewer can post the review anytime they see fit.  With virtual book tours, your review is guaranteed on a certain date unless the reviewer jumps ship, which rarely happens.  I had an author tell me she signed up with an offline publicist who sent out tons of books, but only one or two reviewers actually came through for them.  That was money lost for the author.  Books don’t come cheap these days, so scheduling a date the reviewer can agree upon guarantees that review will happen.
  6. Many reviewers now take eBooks, which save you money. Thank goodness someone was smart enough to invent a device that automatically loads a book in a few seconds (no waiting to go to the book store anymore, my friend) and makes it fun to read.  When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle, sales soared and book lovers started talking about getting one.  It opened up a wonderful way to get these books to the book reviewers quickly and less expensively.  Have you noticed how much books are and how much it takes to ship them?  Not saying all reviewers will take eBooks, but as time goes on, most will have an e-reader and might prefer an eBook.
  7. More website hits, more blog hits, more Twitter hits and more Facebook Fan Page hits. All authors should have a website or blog and accounts at Twitter and Facebook.  No matter if you think they’re all a waste of time.  A virtual book tour will definitely give you more hits at all places–as long as your links are in your bio.
  8. Going on a virtual book tour raises your Alexa rankings. What is Alexa?  Alexa measures how well you are doing in the search engines.  When you go on a virtual book tour, your website and blog links are included in every bio (or should be!) whether it be an interview or guest post.  Those are incoming links that Alexa uses to measure your ranking.  The more your website or blog link shows up on other sites, the more valuable your site is to them, and thus, your rankings soar.
  9. You will learn how to sell your book through media exposure. Not all authors take advantage of their interviews and guest posts by gearing them toward their audience, thus luring them to their book and/or website/blog.  I’ve had many authors on tour. The ones who really take the time to make their interviews and guest posts effective selling tools are the ones who profit the most.  The key thing here is to make your audience curious.  One liners, in the case of interviews, may not cut it.  Of course, there are only so many ways you can answer “What’s your book about?” but take your time and get your audience’s curiosity piqued so that they make their way over to your website or your book’s buying link.
  10. Virtual book tours teach you how to connect well with others. There is no better way to learn how to network.  All these wonderful book bloggers who agree to host you are your new friends in your extended network, and they will be there for you the next time you have a book to promote (unless they completely panned it of course).  You’ll also learn how to use the social networks effectively as you study how to get people over to your tour stops with persuasive wording.  Remember to talk to your audience, not at them.

There you have it.  Ten things you need to know about virtual book tours in a nutshell.  If you have a tour coordinator as opposed to setting one up yourself, she will walk you through it so that your tour will be a fun experience for all.  Your book will thank you for it.

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an award-winning public relations company specializing in online book publicity.  You can visit her website at www.PumpUpYourBook.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pumpupyourbook and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumpupyourbook.

Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine

Hockey-Agony

Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine displays the importance of honesty and integrity.

In this sports-themed chapter book for tweens, Larry is disappointed that his recent injury has sidelined him from the big game. His coach asking him to be time keeper alongside a member of the opposing team is little consolation. When one of his teammates asks him to cheat, Larry needs to decide if honesty can beat out his bad attitude and habit of bending the rules.

As someone who writes message-driven fiction, I always enjoy a book where a reader has a take away they can ponder long after they finish. Such is the case with Hockey Agony. McDine created a character whose bad attitude and habit of bending the rules finally puts him at odds with doing the right thing. Peer pressure is huge at this age, so the author taps into that dilemma and helps tweens realize honesty and integrity are essential to making us successful in life.

Julie Hammond provided the artwork for Hockey Agony. She has a perfect style to complement this story. I also enjoyed the many background details that I felt relayed the message of the story in a subtle way.

While this award-winning book is sure to be popular with hockey players everywhere, Larry’s story is a great read for any tween looking for a bit of excitement and characters they can easily relate to.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (March 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161633360X
ISBN-13: 978-1616333607

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed by Leslie Josel

What's the Deal with Teens and Time Management 2

Tired of rushing to get your teen out of the door on time each morning? Frustrated by last-minute trips to the store to buy supplies for that school project your child has known about for months? Concerned that your teen is simply overwhelmed by all she has to manage? Let What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed by Leslie Josel help.

In less than 100 pages, Josel is able to guide you on how to help your teenage son or daughter get organized and develop the time management skills that will carry them through life. Not only did this book help me to understand how to phrase questions in ways that hone these lifelong skills; it also made me realize that my actions could either encourage or impede my children’s progress.

What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management will provide you with the information you need to make a change in your family’s lives. From insight into learning styles, to homework strategies, to dealing with procrastination, to managing distractions and more, Josel offers realistic expert advice and achievable goals for your teen. I firmly believe every family with teens or soon to be teens can benefit from reading this book.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

ISBN-13:9780990889151
Publisher:People Tested Books
Publication date: 01/29/2015
Pages:88

Purchase at: Amazon/Barnes & Noble

I received a digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed by Leslie Josel

What's the Deal with Teens and Time Management 2Title: What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed
Author: Leslie Josel
Publisher: People Tested Media
Pages: 88
Genre: Nonfiction/Parenting

Time management is a challenge for everyone, but it is a particularly daunting challenge for teens. More than 70% of teens in the US struggle with time management and the numbers are growing. Teens are busier than ever and they lack the necessary tools to manage their time.

Nationally recognized time management expert, Leslie Josel, in her new book, What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management, takes parents step-by-step through the basics of teaching teens the time management skills they need to succeed-at school, at work and in life. Says Josel, “Time management is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone-but it can be learned.  This guide opens the door to the world of time management, what it really means, why it is important and why teens probably don’t ‘get it’.”

This is a user-friendly guide full of best practice solutions for helping teens stay on top of their homework, avoid procrastination traps, get out the door in the morning with minimal conflict and manage the use of their electronics. “Throughout the book I offer up my ‘Triple Ts’ – my tried and true Tips, Tools and Techniques- to provide support and guidance for parents looking to help their teens understand, develop and implement time management skills.”

In this book, parents will learn the FIVE mindsets needed to start their teen on the journey of time management awareness; how to create a “Personal Homework Profile” to better understand how their teen tackles homework; how to help their teen create a time sense and develop “future awareness”; what FOMO is and how to manage it at home; how to kick procrastination to the curb; and so much more!

For More Information

  • What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch the book trailer here.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Time management is a challenge for everyone, but it is a particularly daunting challenge for middle and high school students.  There is an expectation that at their age they should be independent and know how to get things done on their own.  But teens are busier than ever. Between homework, school, afterschool activities, family, friends, jobs, and more, teens often find that their time is truly NOT their own.  Add in the fact that they often lack the tools to manage their time; maybe it’s a little unrealistic for parents to expect their teenagers to instinctively know how to manage time.

“What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management” takes parents step-by-step through the basics of teaching their teens the time management skills they need to succeed—at school, at work and in life!

This is a user-friendly guide full of best practice solutions for helping teens stay on top of their homework, avoid procrastination traps, get out the door in the morning with minimal conflict and manage the use of their electronics.  In a readable, breezy and witty fashion, Josel opens the door to the world of time management, what it really means, why it’s important and why your teen probably doesn’t “get it.”  And throughout the book, Josel offers up the “Triple Ts” – her tried and true Tips, Tools and Techniques – to provide support and guidance for parents looking to help their teens understand, develop and implement time management skills.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • The FIVE mindsets parents need to start their teen on the journey of time management awareness.
  • How to create a “Personal Homework Profile” to better understand how your teen tackles homework.
  • How to help your teen create a time sense and develop “future awareness”.
  • How to pick an appropriate paper or electronic academic planner and how to properly plan their time.
  • How to create a peaceful and calm morning routine to get your teen out the door in the morning without anxiety and frustration.
  • Case studies, useful resources, Leslie’s straight talk and much, much more!

Time Management is a Life Skill that Doesn’t Come Naturally to Everyone. It Can be Learned.

Leslie Josel

Leslie Josel is the Principal of Order Out of Chaos®, an organizing consulting firm specializing in student organizing and chronic disorganization.  Launched in 2004, Order Out of Chaos® offers organizing, time management and coaching services; provides family education and ADHD resources as well as teleclasses, webinars, videos, and products to hundreds of families.

Leslie is a graduate of the JST Coach Training Program for teens and college students with ADHD. She is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and earned her Chronic Disorganization and Hoarding Specialist certificates from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD).

In 2015, Leslie’s second book, What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management, a parents’ step-by-step guide to help teach their teens the time management skills they need to succeed in school, home and in life, was published. Leslie is also the creator of the award winning Academic Planner: A Tool for Time Management,” a student planner that helps middle and high schoolers develop and master time management skills.

A respected resource on ADHD and Executive Functioning in students, Leslie speaks and conducts workshops nationally to parent and educator groups on a variety of issues and topics facing students today, including The Matan Institute, National Ramah Camping Commission, and Morgan Stanley.  Leslie has also been featured in national broadcast and print media such as the Hallmark Channel’s “The Better Show”, “Conversations in Care” radio, The Associated Press, Family Circle Magazine, and Educational Dealer Magazine.

Also known nationally as an expert on chronic disorganization and hoarding issues, Leslie has appeared on many episodes of TLC’s hit television show, “Hoarding: Buried Alive”,  and the Cooking Channel’s television special, “Stuffed: Food Hoarders”. In 2014, Leslie received a Telly Award, the Internet/Online programming’s highest honor for her work on dLifeTV.

She is also the co-author of the award winning “The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life” (Spry, 2013).

To sign up for Order Out of Chaos’ monthly newsletter, read their weekly blog, access free videos, resources and information or learn more about Leslie, visit their website at www.orderoochaos.com.

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Look for my review coming later this week. It was supposed to be posted today, but I am away for a couple of days and haven’t finished it yet.

 

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The Search for Primary Emotions by Peggy Kruger Tietz, Author of Yell and Shout Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings

Yell and Shout 2Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke.  When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable.  Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

For More Information

  • Yell and Shout Cry and Pout is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

The Search for Primary Emotions by Peggy Kruger Tietz

As a psychologist, I have seen, over the years, a lot of families and children.  For many years I did play therapy, where children could act out the things that were bothering them.   I was often struck by the intensity of their feelings, and of their enthusiasm to express them in that setting.  Often their play mirrored what was happening in their lives.  As I got to know the kids, I could share with their parents ways that they could help their kids express themselves at home.   Often this meant helping parents get comfortable with their own emotions and become more aware of what attitudes about emotions they were sending to their kids.  It was not uncommon to find that parents had certain emotions they really didn’t want their kids to express.   Not surprisingly these disallowed emotions were exactly the ones being expressed in the play room.

Wanting to be more helpful to parents, I often recommended books, but not infrequently had trouble finding exactly what I was looking for.  There were good books about a specific feeling, or books about a day filled with many feelings, but none about all our primary feelings.  And none really explained the purpose of each of those primary feelings.   I was disappointed because I had a clear idea of what I wanted and what might be helpful to the parents I was working with.

So I was prompted to start researching and thinking seriously about creating the book I was envisioning.  I wanted the book to be simple and educational.  I wanted it to be fun and full of stories and illustrations that kids could relate to.  I wanted it to include interactive questions so kids could talk about their own emotions while reading the book.

None of this was as simple as I thought.  First there was no common agreement about which emotions were primary.  I ended us using Paul Ekman’s research which was exactly what Peter Docter, artistic director of Inside Out did.  For artistic reasons Docter only used five emotions and I ended up with eight: the six Paul Ekman found to be cross-culturally valid, and two more that his student, Dacher Keltner considered primary.

I was also surprised at how much work it took to be clear about the description of each emotion.  Initially Fear and Anger looked a lot alike, and I had to go back and do more research until I understood how they were different.

I also had to pull together a lot of information to create the examples of situations that most commonly trigger each emotion.  I initially created shapes for each emotion, but found that cumbersome; instead, I chose a color to identify and express each emotion.  All in all, I’m very pleased that the book turned out to be packed with useful information, and that parents and kids have found it fun and useful.Peggy Kruger Tietz

Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas.  She sees a wide range of children with normal developmental problems as well as children who have experienced trauma.  Her Ph.D is in developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College.  Before entering private practice Dr. Tietz treated children in multiple settings, such as family service agencies and foster care.  Dr. Tietz, trained at the Family Institute of Philadelphia, and then taught there.   She specializes in seeing children individually, as well as, with their families.   She has advanced training in Play Therapy as well as being a certified practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for children and adults).   She has conducted workshops on parenting, sibling relationships, and emotional literacy. 

Her latest book is Yell and Shout Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings.

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Interview with J. L. Clark, Author of The Avalon Relics: Lilith Links

J.L. ClarkDr. Jennifer Yen Clark, or J.L. Clark, began her writing career in the fourth grade, when her teacher took the detective story she wrote and turned it into a short printed book as a gift to her. The encouragement of her teacher, as well as her love for reading and telling stories, kept her writing about the worlds that existed in her imagination. In her young adult years, J.L. began writing short stories, poetry, and fan-fiction starring strong and intelligent girls and women. J.L. was recently inspired to write The Avalon Relics after being introduced to several young adult series that depicted weak heroines and unhealthy relationships. Recalling her own young adult reading experience and the dearth of relatable heroines, she set out to create a series of books that would not only engage and entertain, but offer a refreshing and empowering take on fictional heroines.

J.L. Clark resides in Houston, Texas with her family. She splits her time between academia and private practice, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Health Medical School, and a clinical assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Outside of work, she is continually contributing to her body of work, posting short stories and fan-fiction on social media outlets for enjoyment.

Her latest book is the YA fantasy, The Avalon Relics: Lilith Links.

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Where did you grow up?

I moved a lot as a child.  I was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and lived there with my family and extended relatives until I was just shy of eight.  I then immigrated to the United States with my parents, and lived briefly in Chicago, Richardson, and finally, Plano, Texas.

When did you begin writing? 

I started writing in the fourth grade, after a wonderful teacher of mine began encouraging me to express my imagination through words.  After I had gifted her a short mystery story to show my appreciation, she came back with a printed copy for me to keep, and read it to the class.  

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I have a full time job as a doctor, so I do pretty much write at night, or on the weekends when I have downtime.  Sometimes if the story is begging to be told, I will sneak in some sentences between patients!

What is this book about? 

This book follows the life of Sophia Bennett, a young woman who discovers on her eighteenth birthday that there is a hidden world inhabited by half-fairy, half-human beings called faeids.  She is quickly drawn into an ancient battle between good and evil through a series of shocking events, and ends up joining forces with a group of faeids trying to save their realm from the Dark Ones.  Along the way, Sophia discovers that everything she thought she knew about her life was wrong, and must come to terms with who she really is. 

What inspired you to write it?Lilith Links 2 

I love to read, and when the surge in YA books began several years ago, I read them just like everyone else.  Although the stories were very entertaining, it bothered me that there were so many lead female characters that were one-dimensional, flat, and helpless.  For those that started out the story with a perfect life, they make poor decisions that jeopardize themselves.  For those who start out struggling, they found their happy ending only after getting involved with someone.  Very few of these characters were realistic, like the teenagers that I see every day at work, and rarely did any of them grow without the help of someone else.  I really wanted to write a story that resonated with my readers, with characters that were fundamentally flawed but real, and take them on a journey that would allow them to come into their own and become empowered and confident.  I especially wanted to make sure that I had strong female leads who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, but at the same time fall on their face and have to pick themselves back up.  Strength comes from being able to recognize what you’ve done wrong and learning from it, and I want my readers to know that it’s okay to make a mistake without being a bad person. 

Who is your favorite character from the book? 

I would have to say Sophia, because she is the girl I would have loved to have been when I was a teenager.  She might not start out as the person she wants to be, but she overcomes challenges and learns from her mistakes as she grows into her own. 

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

I self-published these two books, but I am now working with an agent to get them into the hands of traditional publishers.  It’s definitely been quite a learning experience, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  If nothing else, I can say that I scratched off a bucket list item and have books to show for it!

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I think the only thing I would consider changing is to possibly split Lailan Crown into two books.  It is already quite long as is, but I feel like I left out so much rich backstory behind the characters that you meet along the way.  Maybe one day in the future, I’ll rework it and give my readers a peek into their lives.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book? 

The first two books in The Avalon Relics series, Lilith Links and Lailan Crown, are available in print or eBook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (online store only).  You can also get the eBooks from Google Play. 

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book?  If yes, where can readers find it?

We will be working on that soon!  If you want to know about it first, make sure you connect with me via a social media outlet!

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I have to say that investing in my agent has been the best decision in promoting my book.  It is a tough situation to be a self-published author, and having someone who knows the ropes and can make the connections really helps.  Having an agent who genuinely believes in you and your work gives you a powerful ally who will advocate for you.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

I get asked a lot about how to start writing your own book.  I find that it’s really helpful to start with a character.  Imagine what you want that character to be like: their appearance, their personality, and their quirks.  Once you have that character in mind, think about where they came from, what their family is like, who are their friends, and what is going on in their lives.  Once you start thinking about those things, a story may unfold in front of your eyes and take you to down the path to your book!

What is up next for you?

I have a lot going on!  I am about to start work on book three, entitled Amulet of Morgana, which will pick up where Lailan Crown left off.  I am so excited for my readers to see the final product, which I promise will be just as exciting, if not more, than the last two books.  I also am collaborating with a local gaming company here in Houston to author a series of origin storybooks for their newest tabletop game, Fairytale Games: Battle Royale.  I will be providing all the backstories for their characters, as well as providing the dialogue and storyboarding for the mobile RPG they will be developing from the same game.  As a sneak peek, I am also toying with a dystopian science fiction YA series idea that has been banging around in my head recently.  So much to do, so little time, and I can’t wait for all of you to be part of it!

 

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