Bookish Christmas Blog Hop

On the fourth day of blog hop some writers gave to me a fictional guest list for Christmas dinner!

Okay, it doesn’t rhyme. Sorry. So, I am participating in the Bookish Blog Hop’s Christmas hop.

You can check out the first three stops here:

A book you love so much you want everyone​ ​ to find under their Christmas tree​ this year so they can read ​​it too.

A book cover that has wonderfully Christmas feel to it.

A book you’d like to find in your Christmas ​​stocking this year.

Today’s question is: Which fiction character would you like to have spend Christmas with?

BelindaBekkers

Belinda Bekkers

www.BelindaBekkers.com

It would have to be Gatsby. Could you imagine the grandeur of it? I bet it would have a giant tree covered in fancy decorations.

Jo Linsdell
Jo Linsdell

www.JoLinsdell.com

I’m torn here. Either Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice or Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Elizabeth is clever, would no doubt make great conversation, and she can hold her own if discussions come up. Bridget Jones is so real all the time, and I think would be a fun and entertaining guest. She’s so wonderfully not-perfect.

Skye Hegyes

Skye Hegyes

www.skyehegyes.com

There are so many characters I wouldn’t mind spending time with any time of the year, but I think the one I’d like to spend Christmas with would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter world. She would be fun and entertaining, but I also feel like I could learn a lot from her too, and not just about magic.

 

And me?

I would like to spend Christmas at the Barrelhaven Tavern with Lucien and Grandma Ben. Perhaps Thorn will come down from the capital for a visit, and with a little luck the Bone boys will be around for a long visit, because once winter lands in the valley nothing goes in or out for months. There’s something about a warm rustic tavern full of savory smells and good friends that appeals to me.

What about you? Where would you spend Christmas? And who would you spend it with?

 

Be sure to continue on down the hop!

December 14th – A fictional character you’d​ like to kiss under the mistletoe.

December 15th – A fictional creature to replace Rudolph and meet on the roof.

December 16th – 5 fictional characters you’d invite to your New Year’s Eve party

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Book Lover’s Blog Hop

Today I am hosting the Book Lover’s Blog Hop. Each day of August a different author will be hosting the QUESTION OF THE DAY on their blog. I invite you to check out posts 1-8, and to head over to the rest of the blogs throughout the month. Here’s the schedule:

1st August http://www.JoLinsdell.com
2nd August http://www.skyehegyes.com
3rd August http://www.katherineapisana.com
4th August http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
5th August https://bookenthusiast2016.wordpress.com
6th August http://karaswanson.com
7th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
8th August http://www.BelindaBekkers.com
9th August http://www.casiaschreyer.wordpress.com
10th August http://www.katherineapisana.com
11th August http://www.virginialorijennings.com
12th August http://www.virginialorijennings.com
13th August http://www.cjbrightley.com
14th August http://www.JustBJordan.com
15th August http://www.saderena.com/blog
16th August http://www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk/blog
17th August http://www.tabithacaplinger.com
18th August http://www.skyehegyes.com
19th August http://www.landsuncharted.com
20th August kmcarrollblog.wordpress.com
21st August http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
22nd August http://www.JoLinsdell.com
23rd August http://www.belindabekkers.com
24th August http://www.fabianspace.com
25th August http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com
26th August http://www.JustBJordan.com
27th August http://www.jebraunclifford.com
28th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
29th August http://www.skyehegyes.com
30th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
31st August http://www.landsuncharted.com

My QUESTION OF THE DAY is
HOW DO YOU ARRANGE YOUR BOOKSHELF?

Jordan 300dpi
Just B. Jordan http://www.JustBJordan.com

I don’t do anything super cool. I just organize by genre and author, putting my favorites in the most accessible spots. 🙂

Brandy Potter
Brandy Potter http://www.brandypotterbooks.com

By collection really and then by height, tallest to largest. I have a library corner in my bedroom. I have very old books (one from 1834). Those and classics occupy the top shelves. Then I have my series authors, Eddings, Tolkein, Riordan, Rowlings, Graham, Doyle, Lewis, Snicket, Christy. Again by height. Next contemporary artists. Grouped by author then height. Last non-fiction grouped by category.

Jo Linsdell
Jo Linsdell http://www.JoLinsdell.com

I don’t really have a system as such. I tend to organise by size, and genre. Books from a series always go together, and I try to put books by the same author together too.

SkyeHegyes
Skye Hegyes http://www.skyehegyes.com

I have three different categories. All my non-fiction is on one shelf sorted by topic and then book size. Then I have mass market paperbacks sorted by author’s last name. The last is all tradeback books and hardcovers, again sorted by author’s last name. It works for me, but I need more shelves.

BelindaBekkers
Belinda Bekkers http://www.belindabekkers.com

I change them from time-to-time. Currently they’re organised by the book’s cover colour. Sometimes it’s by genre, height, or whether they’re read/to-be-read.

Laurie Lucking Author Headshot
Laurie Lucking http://www.landsuncharted.com

My top priority in organizing my bookshelves is to make them look pretty 🙂 I do try to group by genre a bit, but mostly I put books by the same publisher together and books that are the same size together so they line up nicely.

vljauthorpic.jpg
V.L. Jennings http://www.virginialorijennings.com

I sort my books by type, how much I like them, and then by size. It is absolute sacrilege to put books in a series separate from each other. The home improvement books never go next to the Fiction books. The books that are the prettiest or those that I love reading the most go near eye level. It’s sorta complicated.

Jebraun Clifford
Jebraun Clifford – http://www.jebraunclifford.com

We’ve got bookshelves in every room of the house except the kitchen and bathroom. Even boxes of books we’re storing in the attic for my daughter! (breaks my heart to keep them there, but we literally have no room for another bookshelf!) I try to keep everything tidy and in it’s approximate genre. That’s as much as I can manage.

Karina Fabian headshot Aug 2013
Karina Fabian http://fabianspace.com

The family bookshelves are organized by genre and author. I don’t have my personal ones up yet, since we just moved into our new house, but there will be a shelf for friends’ books, a shelf for mine, a shelf for writing, then a shelf for my favorites by author.

C. J. Brightley

The main bookshelves downstairs have all the fiction books organized alphabetically by author’s last name. The bottom shelves hold books to be read (in no particular order). The books in the arts and crafts area in the basement hold all the non-fiction books grouped by topic, and one shelf has young adult books we own that my daughter isn’t quite ready for yet.. The bookshelves in our bedroom hold library books, books I’ve borrowed from friends, and books next up on my TBR list. My children both have their own bookshelves, which are always disorganized, although we try to keep their library books on the bottom shelves.

And me?
My big bookshelf is organized by size first – books go on the shelves where they fit. Then each shelf is sorted by author and series. I have a second shelf that has my photo albums, oversized books and text books. There’s also a shelf in the basement with kids’ books which is sorted by reading level.

Thanks everyone for sharing! I hope you’ll take the time to visit some of the other blogs on the tour.

School Visits

Studies show that children learn best when they are fully engaged. More and more schools are inviting visitors to talk about different subjects. My daughter’s class had a visit from a former member of the school board. He taught them about ice fishing, the parts of the fish, and how to cook fish. He brought a freshly caught fish to school to show them. She talked about this for days.

During I Love To Read month they had a local radio announcer come and read to the school. Last year they had two football players from the Blue Bombers come down to read.

Math, Science, and Literacy are a lot harder to get excited about than Art or Music. That’s why these visitors are so important.

As a local author I love visiting schools to share my books, and my love of the written word. I offer different reading packages for different age groups and different needs.

Basic Readings: I have books for all grade levels from pre-4 to Grade 12 (Senior 4). At a reading I read. That simple! For younger kids I read all of one or even both of my picture books and let them ask questions and tell me stories as young kids love to do. With grade 3+ I read excerpts of a grade appropriate story and ask questions to get them engaged. What do they think will happen? Questions about setting and character. And I let them ask their questions. These last roughly 30-45 minutes, depending on how many questions they have.

Q&A Sessions: These focus a little less on the reading and more on the questions. I encourage teachers to brainstorm questions with their students ahead of time. I answer questions about the writing process (brainstorming, writing, editing, and publishing), my own creative process (where I get my ideas, where I find my covers, my writing schedule, etc), the marketing side of being a writer, and even some basic personal questions about myself. This can take 30-60 minutes depending on the questions, and the teacher’s needs.

Basic Writing Workshop: Teachers should schedule at least a full period for this (40-65 min) or more depending on the size of the class. I go over all the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, outlining, writing, editing, project length, publishing … I engage the students with short writing prompts and encourage them to share what they write. This is a great introduction to a creative writing unit.

In-Depth Writing Workshop: Teachers should schedule three-four full periods roughly a week apart for this workshop. In the first session I go over things like character, setting, plot, brainstorming, outlining, and the first draft. I go over some writing prompts and answer questions. The students then have a week to work on their project. In the second session we go over the editing process in detail. If teachers send the first drafts ahead to me I can return them to the students with a critique (don’t worry, I’m gentle!). The students then have a week to self and peer edit their projects. In the third session we have the chance to share our works in progress and we talk about polishing and publishing. I have a package of ideas for the teacher that goes over various options for putting the stories together in a book – anything from using the comb binding machine to duotangs to a professionally bound book. A fourth visit can be arranged a week or two later to reveal the finished project.

So far I have only done in class visits but I would love to expand to doing Skype visits as well. We have smart boards in the schools and this sounds like a great way to make use of them. I live in southern Manitoba in Canada and I’m willing to travel a little to visit schools in a wide area around me. Anyone interested in more information or booking a visit can contact me through the form on the blog or at my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/schreyerauthor.

 

Interview with Author Casia Schreyer

A recent author interview I did for Pieces.

Schreyer Ink Publishing

Schreyer Ink Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Pieces a young adult contemporary novel by author Casia Schreyer. We had some questions for the author and she was eager to answer.

So Casia, this is your third novel and your second in this genre. What inspired you to write a novel like Pieces?

CS: Actually, that’s a strange story. I was talking to a friend about Christmas lights and the varying opinions about whether people should be decorating for Christmas before Remembrance Day. That led to the idea of a girl who has these new neighbours who don’t put up lights for Christmas The boys in her neighbourhood egg the house. She’s wondering why they don’t have lights. From there grew the idea of a novel told in vignette style chapters about this girl and the things happening around her as she becomes more aware of her world…

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Radio Interview with Dahlia Kurtz

I had the opportunity to talk with the lovely Dahlia Kurtz as part of her Thanking Good People Friday program yesterday. We talked about my debut novel, Nothing Everything Nothing, and the fundraiser for Kids Help Phone.

Take a listen.

If you’re in southern Manitoba come say hello to me, I’ll be at 400 Spence Street in Winnipeg on Sunday May 3rd with the Kids Help Phone Walk so Kids Can Talk event from 10am until early afternoon.

As always, buying a copy of Nothing Everything Nothing from me will send $2 directly to Kids Help Phone. Buying a copy online sends $1 to this wonderful charity. THIS SUNDAY ONLY buy a copy of ReImagined and I’ll donate a dollar from that as well.

Interview with Author Grace Brooks

Grace Brooks writes under the pen names Heather Radford and Lynette Tamar Mark.
Books available are, The Asquinn Twins: Frontier Life, The Asquinn Twins: Where The Trail Forks and The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures.
Grace’s latest release is The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures. She also wrote A dog For Keeps(Lynette Tamar Mark)
Grace Brooks(Shortt) hails from Sesekinika, Ontario, but currently lives in The Pas, Manitoba with her husband and Papillion.

1/ What genres do you enjoy reading?
A: I enjoy Y/A, Mystery, and family type movies, and the odd romance.

2/What genres do you write? What age groups are your books for?
A: Really, my writing is without age limits. I write Christian/YA for ages twelve and up.

3/Tell us a little about your latest release. Where did you get the inspiration from?
A:My latest rlease is The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures. This book is a continuation of Book One in The Asquinn Twins Series. The boys, Ken Asquinn and Bradan Turehue are not living the Christian life as they did as boys. Their behaviour gets to be so unchristlike, both boys are expelled from Golden Ridge Baptist Church, the church Ken’s father, Obediah Asquinn, Pastors.The boys go onto police college and graduate.
By now Ken has married Bradan’s sister, Charlotte and Bradan has married Ken’s sister, Martha.
Ken’s behaviour gets so bad, Charlotte leaves Ken and returns to Forest Lake, their home town.
The inspiration came from an incident in my life when a little girl in Ontario. When I wrote the first book, other ideas for a series sprang into my mind.

4/What are you working on now?
A/ I’m working on a sequel to A Dog fro Keeps. This book was published as a grade three reader in 1987. I’m attempting to make an ebook sequel.

5/Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline, or just write wherever the story takes you? What does your workspace look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?
A/ I used to write wherever the story took me. Since a writer in residence took me through the writing process and taught me more about plot, I outline and research and make sure I know my characters by writing descriptions of each major, minor and in between character.

6/ What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
A/ I find writing the first page of the novel to be the hardest. So much has to be introduced to the reader here, especially in a series. Characters from the previous books need to be introduced early so the reader will know later on who this character is.

7/What about the wasiest? What part of the writing process just feels natural for you?
A/If there is an easy part of writing, I’d say from Chapter Two onwards to the last chapter. Sometimes bringing the book to a believable conclusion is an art in it’s self.

Thanks, Grace Brooks for sharing this information with us today.
Links to her books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Heather+Radford

Author Interview with Doreen Pchajek

With us today we have Doreen Pchajek a first-time writer from Ste. Anne, Manitoba. Doreen’s book, Ultimate Tragedy tells the story of her experiences after suffering the devastating loss of her only daughter in a car accident. Besides writing the book, Doreen also established the Stacey Pchajek Memorial Foundation, a registered Canadian Charity which gives scholarships, bursaries & prizes in her daughter’s memory. Thank you for joining us today, Doreen.

What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?

I used to really enjoy reading suspense thrillers and mystery novels. Since the accident though I find it very difficult to read as I have a great deal of difficulty with memory & concentration. There are so many great books out there right now that I’d love to read; if only I could read like I used to! My favorite authors are Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?

So far the only book that I have written is non-fiction and it is for age 16 and up.

Tell us a little about your book. Where did you get your inspiration?

I had always enjoyed writing and there were many people who told me that I had a talent for writing. My daughter Stacey told me often, “You should write a book mom.” The possibility of writing a book had always been somewhere in the back of my mind. However I always seemed to be so busy being a wife and mother so it was just something to think about down the road.

When Stacey died at the age of thirteen, our whole family’s lives were thrown into turmoil. After going through six very difficult years it occurred to me that by putting my experiences into a book it could help others who are going through a similar tragedy and at the same time help others to understand what bereaved parents go through.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’ve been kept busy raising money for my daughter’s memorial foundation which is very important to me. However, I am currently contemplating writing another book. I’m just not sure if it will be another non-fiction or something else.

Tell us about your creative process.

Since my book was based on my own actual experiences it didn’t really involve a lot of creativity. Writing non-fiction stories does involve some creativity though as you still have to tell the story in a way that captivates your audience.

Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you?

Yes, my story was definitely outlined and since I have difficulty with memory I had to rely on help from family members. Together we put everything in point form in chronologic order and I worked from there.

What does your workspace look like?

My workspace is usually quite messy with papers all over the place. Every so often I have to clean it up so I can find things.

Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?

As for quirks or odd habits most of the things I like to do while writing are pretty normal. Except that I like to write at night when everyone else is sleeping. Since the accident I don’t sleep well at night. I am usually ready to fall asleep about the time that everyone else is waking up. I think that I kind of like to be alone in my thoughts.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel? What about the easiest? What’s your favorite part?

Writing Ultimate Tragedy was extremely difficult for me; especially when I was reading Stacey’s hospital chart. The easiest part was knowing that it could help so many other people. My favorite part was seeing the actual finished product.

Thank you for sharing with us today Doreen Pchajek. You can find Doreen’s book on Amazon.

Author Interview with Celesta Thiessen

With us today we have Celesta Thiessen a writer hailing from Steinbach, Manitoba. Celesta is a published author of over 20 books. Her other achievements include currently raising two young kids and working with her husband on their iPad app creation business, Visions Encoded. Thank you for joining us today, Celesta.

What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?

I really enjoy reading clean science fiction and fantasy. Sometimes I read middle grade or young adult science fiction and fantasy. I also enjoy Christian speculative fiction, which is fantasy and science fiction from the Christian worldview. My favorite author is Kathy Tyers who wrote the Firebird trilogy.

What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?

I have written books for elementary age children, middle school readers, young adults, and adults. My books are mostly science fiction and fantasy. Prince Jade, a young adult fantasy, is my favorite fantasy book that I’ve written. The Dragon Warrior and the Princess, a space opera for adults, is my favorite science fiction book that I’ve written.

Tell us a little about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?

My most recent release is called, Whispers of a Faded Dreamer. I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time now. I get most of my story ideas from my daydreams and that’s where this one came from. The idea is that you can get paid to sleep because wouldn’t that be fantastic? I think I first started contemplating the story in high school or it may have even been in junior high. The story has evolved over time. Even from the time I started writing it to the completion of the story the plot changed significantly.

What are you working on now?

I’ve written a series for children called, The Super Seven. So far, there are five books in this series. I am now working on the next book, which doesn’t have a title yet. I want to write two more books to complete The Super Seven series.

Tell us about your creative process.

Most people assume that because I’m a writer and a published author that I find writing easy and fun. I don’t. I love the ideas in my head. I love holding my finished book in my hand. It’s everything in between that I find difficult. So my creative process looks like trying to figure out ways to get myself to actually write the story and then to edit it.

I have found joining different writing groups or participating in writing challenges to be helpful in getting myself inspired to write the story. I wrote my first novel during NaNoWriMo 2010. Now, I write a novel during this writing challenge each year. Also, participating in the 3 Day Novel Contest has been helpful for my productivity. I have written most of The Super Seven series during 3 Day Novel Contests.

Having accountability with writer friends has also been very beneficial. I meet with a local writers group in Steinbach where we read our stories to each other. It’s great hearing someone’s reaction to your story and looking at them to see their facial expression during the story. It really gives you a good idea about what kind of effect your story is having on people.

Recently I have bought the program Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance. This is a new part of my creative process, something that I’m starting to try out to help myself get excited about writing. With this program I can speak the story instead of having to type it. Some people say they have found Dragon Naturally Speaking to be very beneficial for their productivity. For me, that remains to be seen. So far, it is an interesting novelty. So the most important part of the creative process for me is feeling the inspiration and energy to be able to write.

Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you?

As for being either a pantser or a plotter, I am more of a pantser. A pantser is someone that basically flies by the seat of their pants as they write, meaning they don’t really have an outline that they’re following. I like to go where the story takes me. Most often, I do have a general idea before I start though. It’s important to have a setting and characters in mind. I also like to have a beginning for the story in my head as well the major problem and how that problem is addressed so I will know how to start and where I’m trying to go.

What does your workspace look like?

I’m very lucky I have my own office where I do my writing. I would like to say that my office is neat and organized with a place for everything and everything in its place. However, the reality is that my office is usually a mess. Sometimes even finding a spot on my desk for my laptop can be a challenge. On the wall in front of my desk I have dozens of sticky notes, small posters and cards from friends displaying motivational notes, phrases and Bible verses. I like having these words nearby. When I am feeling tired or discouraged I read these notes and verses and then the inspiration comes back.

Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?

As for quirks or odd habits most of the things I like to do while writing are pretty normal. I like to have a cup of tea, for instance. I guess some of the things I do are a little unusual. One thing that’s a little unusual is that I prefer wearing something red when I’m writing. I find the color red inspirational. And I guess I do have a weird thing that I do during the writing process. I like bouncing while I think about the story. Before I got a knee injury, I used to jump on my trampoline while I worked out the story in my head. Since I am unable to do that now I had to find a new way to bounce. So now I have what’s called a Bounce Back Fitness chair – it’s chair where I can sit and bounce. I wrote about my Bounce Back Fitness Chair on my blog. My Bounce Back Fitness chair not only helps me think through my stories but also helps my mood a lot!

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel? What about the easiest? What’s your favorite part?

As I mentioned earlier, I find the whole process of writing a novel difficult. I suppose the most difficult part of writing the story is the middle. At the start of the story I still have excitement and drive and also some knowledge of what will happen in the beginning. At the ending of the story I’m excited because I also usually know the ending and am excited to be almost done the story. The middle is kind of a no-man’s-land of I-don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen and despairing of ever getting the story done. My favorite part is when I open a box and see the physical copy of my book for the first time. I just love spinning nothing into stories – stories that can light the way to a different world.

Thank you for sharing with us today Celesta Thiessen. You can find Celesta’s books on Amazon and other e-book retailers such as Kobo, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

Author Interview with Robert Stermsheg

I’m pleased to introduce Robert Stermscheg, writer and translator.
Robert was born in Maribor, Yugoslavia, at a time when the Communist regime carried a powerful influence. His father, an electrical engineer, wished no part of the communist system and moved his family, initially to West Germany, and several years later, to Canada. Robert’s father ensured that he maintain his German language, an asset that would prove beneficial many years later.
Robert embarked on a career with the Winnipeg Police Service, spanning twenty eight years. It’s fair to say that he developed his craft writing reports, crown briefs and other documents, although his passion lay in translation and historical fiction.
Once retired, Robert took to the challenge by translating a prolific German author, Karl May, into modern English. He started with The Prussian Lieutenant, followed up with The Marabout’s Secret and just completed Buried Secrets.

Q1: What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
A1: I particularly enjoy murder mysteries, historical fiction and biographies. I’ve read PD James, Anne Perry, Dick Francis, and just recently finished Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Louis Zamperini, entitled Unbroken.

Q2. What genres do you write in?
A2. I’m partial to historical fiction, which is where I got my start. Karl May wrote extensively in the genre of historical fiction.

Q3. Tell us about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?
A3. My most recent release (translation), Buried Secrets, is the third installment in The Hussar’s Love series by Karl May. It takes place in the 1870s, and was penned by May in the late 1880s in serial format. Although I’ve written most of my adult life, I’ve recently discovered a skill for translating.

Q4. What are you working on now?
A4. I’ve spent the last two years researching and writing a WWII mystery/thriller, entitled, Stealth. It takes place in the last stages of the war. Although Hitler knows he’s lost the war, he is desperate to send the Allies one final message. Using a prototype aircraft, the Horten bomber, he intends on sending a ‘special’ package to London, one that Churchill won’t soon forget. The story has elements of history, but it also has that human element, pitting a ruthless Gestapo officer against an American pilot, determined to thwart their effort.

Q5. Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes place? What does your work space look like?
A5. I’m much more organized than I used to be. For example, I used to get an idea, make a few notes, and then simply run with it. That might work for small projects, but when it comes to working on a full-length novel, say 100,000 words or more, you have to have structure. Now I spend far more time outlining the plot, developing a comprehensive list of characters, complete with physical description, bio history and psyche profile.
This doesn’t mean that I confine myself to going from start to finish, with no inclusions or changes until I’ve completed the manuscript. As a writer, you have to have the freedom to jump back to a previous setting or scene, insert a new character (if that person enhances the story) or modify a scene, even deleting one.
In terms of habits or quirks, I really work on being open to new ideas, not limiting myself to what has worked in the past, or for other writers. In many aspects, I guess you could say I’m more traditional in my writing regiment. I write at home on my lap top, rarely in a coffee shop. I also find that I’m most productive in the morning. I also know of writers who start writing late at night until the wee hours. It might work for them, but not for me.

Q6. What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
A6. For me, the easiest is getting started. Once I’ve developed the story outline and list of characters, I get going with gusto. But then, when I run out of steam, or get side-tracked by the countless things around us (bills, maintaining a home, not feeling well, family commitments, not to mention work –most of us have day jobs), I find that I’ve lost the initial inspiration and it now becomes more like work. Uggh! (Robert grimaces)

Q7. What was the easiest? What parts of the writing process just feel natural for you?
A7. As I’ve already mentioned, getting started on a new project carries with it the excitement of a new work, exploring characters and how the story will unfold. All the drama is just waiting to happen. That’s the part that, in my opinion, all of us look forward to.

Q8. Any highlights?
A8. Of course. The first time your book is proudly displayed on a table in a bookstore. You gaze at the finished product in wonder, remembering all the hard work that went into it. But then, one or two weeks later, your pride and joy is relegated to a less prominent spot on a shelf, replaced by the latest New York Times bestseller. But at least you had your moment of fame. (laughs)
I should mention that one of my favourite accomplishments and fondest memories as a writer, was collaborating with my father on his memoir. I choose the title: POW #74324 (his actual number!) My father, John Stermscheg, was a prisoner of WWII, captured by the Germans and imprisoned in Stalag IIIC. Fortunately he survived, and I felt privileged to be able to write his biography. It was my way of honoring him. I was grinning from ear to ear when I presented him with the first copy, coinciding with his 90th birthday.
That’s great. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Robert Stermscheg lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can find his titles on Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo. A softcover version of his titles is available at Chapters, Indigo as well as McNally-Robinson.
For more information, visit his website. http://www.robertstermscheg.com

Author Interview with CJ Bolyne

Please welcome CJ Bolyne, author of the Trinity Trilogy the most recent release being ‘Guardians – Victory or Defeat’, the third and final book of the series. The first one is called ‘Trinity’, the second is ‘Anords – Tyranny’. She comes from rural Manitoba, just outside of Steinbach.

Question 1: What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
I like to read fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal and historical. I love fiction!

Question 2: What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?
I write fantasy, sci-fi, and ancient history. The age group range from mid teens-adult.

Question 3: Tell us a little about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?
My most recent release is the third book in a trilogy called ‘Guardians: Victory or Defeat. Although I have a new book soon to be released called Ancient Origins – Discovery. My inspiration comes from my imagination and my curiousness for all things mythical.

Question 4: What are you working on now?
I am working on three different books right now. One is about witches and warlocks, one is a second book to Ancient Origins series and one on a subject I won’t discuss at this time………..

Question 5: Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you? What does your work space look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?
An idea pops into my mind and I wonder….what if? Most of the time I start a story and write a chapter or two before I begin to write notes on what I want to write next on the story just to keep things straight.
I have, however, written by the seat of my pants, so to speak. In fact, Ancient Origins, book 1 was just that.
I like to keep a fairly neat and organized work space. Anything too chaotic and I can’t concentrate very well. In fact, I need to make sure my house is presentable also. I like to have a clear mind when I write.

Question 6: What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
I find that if writer’s block sets in, I’m very frustrated. It does pass though, but if it comes I panic a bit.

Question 7: What about the easiest? What parts of the writing process just feel natural for you?
The easiest part of writing is coming up with a story. My imagination is vast and writing just feels natural itself. I am glad I didn’t put off writing any longer than I did.

Thank you to CJ for joining us today. You can find the Trinity Trilogy on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Lulu and most recently, Createspace. For more information, please visit her website at cjbolyne.com.