-

There was a boy

Posted on

Source: There was a boy

Advertisements

Interview with Author Brittany Nicole Lewis

Posted on

Good morning everyone, I am especially happy to have our special author of the day, Brittany Nicole Lewis with me. Brittany is an accomplished author that has many different hats, wife, mother, freelance writer, ghost writer, blogger, indie author, and poet. Please welcome Brittany.

Brittany: Hello, everyone. I’m excited to be talking with you all today.

Good morning Brittany. Let’s start with you explaining a little about all the different hats you wear.

Brittany: It can definitely be overwhelming at times, especially since I still have one child who is not in school and I feel like I need to stop what I’m doing every twenty minutes or so to help my son or stop him from doing something he shouldn’t be doing. Managing my time can be tricky, and I find it hard to take off my “writer” hat at times and put on my “mother” or “wife” hat, or vice versa.

In spite of what has been thrown at you, you have persevered with the tag line ‘Using Adversary to Grow’. You have been published in Hektoen International Journal, published poems, essays, and now novels. Could you tell us how each came about?

Brittany: I’ve been writing poems since middle school, it has always been a love of mine. I didn’t first try to publish anything, however, until I was 28. I went through a lot as a teenager and as part of my healing process I felt I needed to publish Shine Through the Darkness, which is compiled of some of the poems I wrote in middle school and high school. I was terrified about putting something so personal out there for the world to see, and was stunned by all of the positive feedback I got from it. A year later, when I released the second edition, I actually had strangers contacting me and thanking me for writing it! After I published the first edition of Shine Through the Darkness in March 2016, I started looking around for contests I might enjoy partaking in and I found one that the Hektoen International Journal was doing. I wrote an essay entitled “The Psychological Effects of Warfare on Veterans and their Families.” I didn’t win the contest, but they published it in their August 2016 issue. After I got the email that it would be published, it motivated me to keep writing. I wrote a short story called “The Oppressed” and published it on Amazon. Again, I was surprised by how many people enjoyed it. One person contacted me and said “I hate reading, but you make me want to read.” This person asked me to write more, something longer, and that’s when I started writing my novel Finding Freedom, the first book in the Zion Series.

Your new novel is titled ‘Finding Freedom’. It has in the upper right hand corner of the cover a handprint with the words ‘The Edge Books’ on it. Could you tell the audience how it came to be there?

Brittany: The Edge Books is a group of Christian authors that work together to market and promote their books. I stumbled upon them one day while I was looking for an author marketing group to join. I applied and after they read part of Finding Freedom, they accepted.

Please tell us where you get your ideas from for your stories?

Brittany: A lot of my stories and poems have to do with how I’m feeling. I get inspiration from things that I’ve been through and then I turn it into fictional stories and add more to it to make it more captivating.

Finding Freedom is about leaving a very tight knit religious community, Zion. Would you please explain how you were able to get your research for the story?

Brittany: I have read a lot of fictional books about young Amish women leaving their communities. I have also watched a lot of documentaries on various cults and how they are formed, the steps someone often needs to take in order to leave successfully, etc. It’s something I’ve always been interested in.

Please give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

Brittany: She has the ability to let go of everything while still holding on at the same time. She can distance herself while still keeping her heart close. An ability I wish I had.

What was the hardest thing about writing ‘Finding Freedom’?

Brittany: The emotions. It was my first novel and I never imagined becoming so emotionally involved with these characters. I love them. It sounds strange to those who don’t write, I know, but if I’m not emotionally involved with my characters, I would think that there is a very slim chance my readers will be.

If your book were to be made into a movie, whom would you cast and why?

Brittany: I actually plan on making Finding Freedom into a movie, and I’m very excited about it. I have someone I’m working with now to create the screenplay and I am supposed to be having a meeting with an independent film producer within the next few months. I’m not really sure who I would cast if I could chose anyone… I would want whoever it was to really be able to become the people, though.

I know you are in the process of writing a new story. How about a teaser?

Brittany: That new story has actually been finished. I’ve done three drafts so far and I’ waiting for the final edits to come back now. It’s called Heir of Zion, the second book in the Zion Series. In this book, Katie’s twin brother Michael is the main character. Here is an excerpt:

Suddenly, all that was left of his family was a cloud of dust. As he stood there facing the spot where his family had just been, for a moment he felt nothing. Then, a wave of hallow emptiness swept over him, taking his breath away. He inhaled deeply and tried to regain control. He couldn’t let the Statlers see him like this. He had to remain strong. He was a child of God after all, walking in complete obedience; there was nothing to be upset about, nothing to fear. 

Mr. Statler walked up to where he stood and put his hand on Michael’s shoulder. “Come on Michael, let’s go home.”

 In a daze Michael began walking back to the Statlers dwelling. He felt like he was dreaming. They’re gone. They just … left. What will the Elders do? Surely people will notice they’re gone, and probably much sooner rather than later.

“This has never happened before,” he heard himself say aloud. He was startled by the huskiness of the voice he heard. It didn’t sound like him at all. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe he really was dreaming.

 

Brittany, where can the audience go to find out more about you and your wonderful work?

(website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Goodreads, Pinerest, Amazon author page, Createspace, Draft 2 Digital, Smashword, Book Trailer, Instagram, You Tube, Google+)

Brittany: They can find out more about me and my work on my Facebook author page (www.facebook.com/BLewis2008), my website (www.brittanynicolelewisblog.wordpress.com) and my twitter @BLewis2008

Why, hello, everyone we have a surprise guest with us. Katie Martin, the main character in ‘Finding Freedom’ has joined us. Welcome Katie.

Katie: Hi.

I have read ‘Finding Freedom’. Katie, you have overcome some very tough adversities in your young life. I applaud your accomplishments. To fill in our audience a bit, Katie was raised in the very religious tight knit community of Zion. Katie, please explain to our audience what a normal day of a child is in Zion.

Katie: Well, we didn’t start at the school cabin until we reached the age of accountability at eleven. So, up until then we stayed home with our mothers and they taught us simple things, letters, numbers, a little bit of reading and adding and subtracting, things like that. We weren’t allowed to go to visitation until we were eleven either and needed to stay with the Zion Mother until then.

Katie, could you please tell us about several things that is different from the outside world, the male and female role, visitation night, Elders choosing younglings’ soul mates, and the meaning of lost in the shadows?

Katie: That’s a lot to explain, haha. Well… being lost in the shadows is when somone is banished from the community. It’s extremely sad for everyone and has only happened a few times that I know of. The soul mates are chosen by the Elders to help the marriages be more compatible. The roles of the males and females are the way that they are because… well, I suppose for the same reason, to make every family unit run smoothly, to make the community run smoothly. The father is the head of the family and the mother is the helper. Visitation night… I would really rather not talk about visitation night.

When did you start to realize that things were not as rosy in Zion as it portrays itself to the outside world?

Katie: *Deep sigh* I realized slowly, over time… as I got older. But things really clicked for me the day Patty and I spoke with Kevin and he told us about the pills and the leaves.

The statement ‘Freedom through Relationship’ played an important part in you leaving Zion, and your twin brother, Michael. Could you tell our audience what you were thinking and feeling during this time?

Katie: Actually, I didn’t first “hear” that statement until I had already left Zion. I was at the library reading to some young- I mean…kids *ahem* and I sort of heard…or maybe felt that statement in my head. I thought I was going crazy, but I know now that it was God talking to me. For a long time, months, I felt I was losing my mind, my emotions were all over the place. It was an extremely difficult time for me.

How hard was it to adapt to the outside world from a sheltered life of Zion?

Katie: It was hard. It was even harder for my parents and my mama often questioned if we did the right thing or not. The hardest part was not having Michael….but I’m so thankful for Purple Haven. I don’t know what would have happened to us if we hadn’t found that place.

What is the most important thing you would like the reader of ‘Finding Freedom’ to take away from the story?

Katie: That community is important. We need community. We need to be part of the body and serve one another and lift one another up. We need to not shut people out, we need to be truthful about the pain we feel and when we feel isolated, speak up. Most importantly, that we can have a real relationship with Christ. It’s Christ that saves you, not your works or what you wear or how long your hair is… none of that matters. We are free from all of that. We don’t need to be perfect and we aren’t expected to be perfect. Christ is perfect and we are saved through Him. There is freedom through a relationship with Christ and there is freedom through having a relationship with others.

Well the time is up for our interview. I want to thank both Author Brittany Nicole Lewis and Katie Martin for coming and sharing their extremely exciting lives with us. Please do not forget to buy ‘Finding Freedom’ in whatever format you like to read and share your comments on it with the online world. Thank you for coming and until next time, may the Lord watch over you and shower you with His mercy and grace.

Mercedes Fox’s Interview of Author Sue Raymond

Posted on

Mercedes Fox ~ Author

Meet Author Sue Raymond

Hallo, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Sue Raymond

Sue Raymond was born and raised in the Midwest along with her siblings. Sue was trained in the Commercial art field before marrying her husband. After raising two sons and having five grandchildren Sue started a new avenue in her life, writing. She is an inspiration author and has eight published novels as she works on four other novels and children stories.

Book Title: Window Pane

Genre: Suspense / mystery

Synopsis:  The rain streaming down the window pane entices her to join it in its run. Why does it have such pull on her soul? Does the rain truly have the answers of her past? Why does no one help her find out why she cannot remember who she is and where this place is that she finds herself? Who is the young female dancing in the rain, which only she can seem to see? Why is there such an allure to join her in the rain? She is lost with only the rain consoling her soul. How can this be real? Why can’t she wake from this nightmare, back to the life she knows is hidden somewhere deep within the recesses of the ever presence darkness at edges of this horrible world?

What have you written? I have published a crime murder mystery series that has five books so far. The titles are ‘The Perfect Witness, Hidden Secrets, Rendezvous with the Past, Death Plummet, and Blizzard Terror’. I have a fantasy with the Pen Name Lady Laindora, ‘Healer of Surflex’. I have a drama, ‘Resin La Rock’, a suspense / mystery ‘Window Pane’ and I am in an anthology ‘Iowa’s Original Writers Anthology 2015’.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? I use the Pen Name Lady Laindora for my fantasy ‘Healer of Surflex’ because it sounded more magical than Sue Raymond.

Do you design your own cover or have someone else? If you use someone else would tell who/website: I decide what the cover should look like then between Matthew Davenport and myself, have it done. Matthew can be found at: davenportwrites.com.

What is the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I am currently writing an urban fantasy ‘Will-O-Wisp’. The hardest thing is that I have to make sure to keep an element of realism since it is an urban fantasy instead of just allowing my imagination run wild.

What made you sit down and actually start something? My family was grown and I decided to write down the stories I had stored up in my mind that had been writing themselves since I was small living on an acreage with my family.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I usually write late at night after everyone is asleep. I wrote the first three novels of my crime murder mystery series by flashlight with pencil and paper, sitting in bed beside my sleeping husband so I did not wake him.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? It is to allow the characters to write the story with me riding the reins to make sure things are believable so the story flows and does not seem forced.

You mentioned writing a new story. How about a teaser? The fog was a deep gray swirling mass which shrouded the Maid of the Mist 3. Ongwaterohiathe Whitehorse coiled the rope before he stored it in the stern aft locker. He left the pilot tower and headed down the stairs toward the gang plank He was glad this day was finally over If he hurried, Ongwaterohiathe would be in time for the first reading by the Iowa Indie Author Group at the Theater Loft in the heart of Elmwood Village before the play of ‘Because of Me’ by J.C. Hamm.

The clean deck lay empty after being flooded with blue plastic poncho covered bodies as they crowded the railing for the premier spot to capture the special moment on a photograph to commemorate their visit to the falls.

Ongwaterohiathe glanced over at the roaring falls as he was about to leave the ship. The fog blanketed the falls but failed to cover the growl of the falls drumming in his head. He turned to wave goodnight to the pilot when Ongwaterohiathe caught a glimpse of a slim Kanyenkehaha woman at the bow railing.

Her long raven hair darkened by the heavy mist was braided in a waterfall twist into a mermaid braid. His sister had tried for months to master that particular braiding technique without success. The woman turned her head toward Ongwaterohiatha as the mist swallowed her.

Ongwaterohiathe ran back to the bow searching for her. She was nowhere to be seen. He snatched the life preserver as he searched the turbulent water for any sign of her. She appeared thirty feet down river for a mere moment.

Ongwaterohiathe launched over the railing using it for an extra foot boost. As the torrent river closed over his head he heard, “Ongie No! She’s not real!”

Ongwaterohiathe’s temples hammered as he tried to rise. A gentle hand pushed him back down on the pillow as a cool cloth was placed over his broad forehead and eyes Ongie could hear the distant falls roar as it rumbled along. It vibrated all around him. He pulled the cloth off his eyes and focused dimly on the ornate glass dome over him holding back the tumultuous water of the Niagara River.

“No, no it can’t be,” he struggled against the gentle embrace.

“Sh-sh everything is all right. She can’t find you here.”

“Can’t find me, who is she? Last thing I remember, I jumped in the river to rescue a young Kanyenkehaha woman that fell overboard. Is she safe? Did someone rescue her?” Ongie mumbled as his strength depleted and sank once again against the pillow.

“There is no need for concern over that one. She can never die.” The cloth covered his eyes once more.

Ongie woke to the stench of a hospital room. His eyes crossed under the harsh light making hazy shadows of the hospital personal. A shadow glided to the end of his bed. Ongie focused harder as he cleared his throat to gain the shadow’s attention.

“Well Mr. Whitehorse, it is nice to finally meet you. I have been waiting for so long to do so.” Mesa Soyok Wuhti appeared at the foot of the hospital bed. “I do not know how you escaped me at the falls however; there will be no escaping from me here.” She brushed back the long straggling black hair with the jagged edge knife covered with blood. Her wide eyes stared as fangs appeared at the corners of thin lips.

The knife drew back over her head ready to be plunged in Ongie’s neck as Mesa Soyoka climbed over the foot of the bed.

Ongie could not move. His eyes were riveted on the snarled face shining with glee over her apparent victory.

Mesa Soyok Wuhti crawled over his body scratching and clawing the thin cover over Ongie. Her body twitched as she came up his chest. Her foul breath gagged the air out of Ongie’s lungs. She drew herself erect upon Ongie’s chest. The knife held high above her head then it plunged down toward his throat, “Soyoka-u-u-u!”

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?  Yes, there is a stigma being indie published by traditional publishers and authors along with readers. The publishers and traditional authors feel that all indie authors’ work is substandard and not worth their time. Some readers think that since the novel is self-published it should be 99 cents or free. What they do not take into consideration is an indie author cannot afford to put out inferior work and expect to have readers come back for future works of the author. The indie author does everything a traditional publisher does to get a novel ready for publishing; the only difference is the indie author pays for everything out of their own pocket. (Okay rant’s over.)

What book are you currently reading or just finished? I just finished reading ‘Finding Freedom, Book One, Zion Series by Brittany Nicole Lewis.

There ya have it folks! For more about Sue and getting your own copy of her work, follow the links below:

Website / Amazon / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / LinkedIn / Pinterest / CreateSpace / Books2Read / Google

UPDATE ON IOWA AUTHOR FEST HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ SHORT STORY CONTEST

Posted on

Iow aut fest logo
First of all, we apologize for the long period of time it took us to process the contest entries. Some already know some of this information; we received a whopping 93 entries this year. Out of these, we narrowed them down by the rules; high school student, font size and style, word count, and double spacing.
We then split those that were left into two groups; closest to the word count and alternatives that was slightly under the word count. The judges looked at the story content, grammar, and continuity. Each judge picked the top three and honorable mentions. Each story was rated and the numbers tallied. The highest tally was the first place and so on.
Letters are going out to all of the students this week to let them know their standing in the contest. The work on the anthology is in progress and the available date will be posted for the contestants and their family.
We want to thank all the students, teachers, and parents for the great participation in the contest.
Side notes about the participates: there were 35 boys and 55 girls, from over 26 high schools represented from around Iowa. We did have one seventh grader send a very good story, meeting the other criteria, but was not eligible because she was not in high school, bummer. We invite her to enter the contest when she becomes a high school student.

Createspace Preview of ‘Window Pane’

Posted on

Want to have a preview of Window Pane? Just go to the following link for your free preview of Window Pane.
https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1212844

Stack of books window pane

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1212844

%d bloggers like this: