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Wednesday Author Interview – Joanne Clancy

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The Detective’s Wife by Joanne Clancy

Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome mystery writer, Joanne Clancy, to Bookin’ It. Joanne, it’s so nice to have you here this morning. Tell us a bit about how you became a writer. When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career?

JC: I’ve always been passionate about reading–my mother started reading to me when I was just a few weeks old– and for me, reading and writing have always gone together. I started writing stories for my younger sisters and brother when I was about seven years old, so I’ve always been interested in writing. However, I never really saw writing as a viable career option; it was always a hobby, until I decided to take the plunge and become a full-time writer in April, 2010. I’d been made redundant from my job, and it was the height of the recession in Ireland, so jobs were hard to find. I applied for hundreds of jobs, without success, which was when I decided to dedicate myself to a career in writing.

I did an online creative writing course with a correspondence college here in Ireland–Kilroy’s College–and that gave me the fundamentals and the confidence to continue. 

BI: Wow. It looks like a bad stroke of luck turned into a blessing in disguise. That’s great. Were you inspired by any particular authors, past or present, and what is it about their work that impresses you, or moves you?

JC: I have read so many amazing books that it’s difficult to choose just one. The book that greatly influenced how I view the world is Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I read it when I was fourteen, and it helped me realise the importance of empathy and understanding towards others. 

The book that most influenced my writing style is Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I dropped the book when I reached the twist, and that book introduced me to psychological thrillers and inspired me to write books with lots of twists and turns.  

BI: I’m guessing it also had an impact on what you read, too, but let’s find out. What genres do you gravitate toward the minute you walk into a bookstore?

JC: I used to really enjoy contemporary romance novels, but after reading Gone Girl, I have become a huge crime fan, especially of psychological thrillers. I still read the occasional romance novel for some light relief. 

BI: Aha. I suspected that was coming. I’d like to know a bit about your writing habits. Do you have a dedicated workspace, and are you consistent with the amount of time you spend writing each day?

JC: Yes, I do have a dedicated workspace. There’s a large alcove window at the top of my house, overlooking the bay, and the views are inspirational. I’ve attached a photo, if you’d like to include it.

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I try to be consistent with the amount of time I write each day, and usually set aside about three hours for writing. 

BI: Wow! That’s inspirational, all right. Thanks for sharing.  Do you use visual aids, other than your fantastic view, like inspiration boards, photos, or maps of your book’s setting? What reference books or other material do you consult most frequently as you write?

JC: I’ve recently started using Pinterest boards when I’m writing, where I pin actors and actresses who I imagine look like my characters, and where I pin maps and settings. Pinterest really helps to bring the characters to life for me.

The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors: The Essential A-Z Guide to the Written Word is my constant writing companion. I find it invaluable for ensuring accuracy and consistency.

 BI: I’m a great fan of Pinterest, too. I have to set a timer so I’m not on there for hours and hours. I’m going to check out your boards, too. Tell me, Joanne, When you have an idea for a new book, do you sit down and start typing, or do you start with an outline, and figure out all the major plot points first? In other words, is your working style structured and organized, or more organic and free flowing?

JC: My writing style is definitely more organic and free flowing or what is generally termed a “Pantser”! I like to sit down and write the story as it comes into my head. I’ll take notes as I write, and when I’m writing a book, it’s pretty much all I think about; the characters are constantly floating around in my head. In my last book, the male protagonist was called “Shane”, and I kept calling my boyfriend “Shane”; needless to say, he was not impressed!

BI: Ha! I love it. The hero in my last novel looked just like Thor, but so far, I’ve managed not to get him mixed up with my husband. (I won’t say why.) On to reading habits. Do you prefer reading eBooks, or print? Why?

JC: When the first Kindle was released, I promised myself that I would never buy an e-reader.  I was given a Kindle in December 2012, and I shoved it in a drawer for months before using it. My sister ended up downloading some books onto it for me, and out of curiosity, I finally decided to give it a try, and I’ve been addicted ever since. I love the fact that if I hear about a good book on the radio or someone recommends a books to me that I can have it on my Kindle within minutes. I also like the fact that it’s so light, and perfect for reading in bed. So for me, it’s ebooks all the way.

BI: I love my Kindle, too, and find it much more comfortable for reading. But I still collect print books for my library. Sometimes, I even read them. *grin* Okay, time to learn about the books you’ve published, and where we can buy them.

JC: I’ve written nineteen books, which are all available on Amazon. I’ve written nine contemporary romance novels, including the romantic suspense trilogy “Secrets and Lies Trilogy”, which was a quarter-finalist at the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards in 2013. 

BI: Congratulations! That’s lovely.

In September, I published my eighth crime novel, The Detective’s Wife.

BI: Wow! All of that in four years? You are a busy woman! Are you currently working on a new book? When do you expect it to be available?

JC: I’ve just finished a Christmas novella, The Gift: A Christmas Miracle, which was published on November 6th at Amazon. 

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BI: I downloaded that one last week, and plan to read it as it gets closer to Christmas. Joanne, can you tell us what you think is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

JC: The best thing about being a writer is the creative freedom. I love being my own boss, and being completely responsible for every aspect of my books, from writing, editing, and cover design to marketing. The only slight negative is the unpredictability of the writing business, but I also see that as a positive because it drives me to work even harder to make my books a success.

BI: Bonus Question: Are you self-published, and if so, what have you learned from the process, overall? Positives and negatives?

Yes, I am self-published.  I’ve learned to to be completely focused and dedicated. I’ve learned the importance of embracing change, and accepting full responsibility for my work. As a self-publisher I have to be every bit as, if not more, professional than traditionally published writers, who have a whole team behind them. I am constantly learning and evolving as a writer, and I have learned the importance of adapting. Time management is crucial; it’s amazing the amount of hours that can be spent on social media, which should be spent writing.

The only negative for me was that some readers and indeed writers used to look on self-published books as sub-standard, but with more and more writers turning down traditional publishing deals to go it alone and self-publish their books, that mentality is quickly becoming a thing of the past. 

The biggest positive for me is that the sky’s the limit, and with enough hard work and dedication I could wake up one morning and be a number one Amazon bestseller!

BI: I couldn’t agree more!

JC: Thanks a million for featuring me on your blog, Marcia! 

BI: You are very welcome, Joanne. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about you and your work. I’m looking forward to checking out more of your books, too. And please keep us posted when you have new books coming out.

Folks, if you enjoyed learning about Joanne Clancy and her writing, please remember to share this interview on Facebook, Twitter, or via reblogging. Joanne and I will both thank you for it.

me

I am an Irish mystery writer from County Cork, Ireland. I’m an avid reader, a self-confessed Kindle addict, and a tea fiend! My books combine murder, mystery and suspense, with a twist of psychological drama, and some romantic suspense for good measure.

Buy Joanne’s Latest Books Here:
The Detective’s Wife
The Christmas Gift  
 

Find Joanne on Social Media Here:
Joanne Clancy’s Blog 
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Pinterest

Check out My Fun Interview on PJ Fiala’s Blog

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

My thanks to Patty for having me as a guest author today. Hope some of you will enjoy the interview. It was great fun!

Marcia Meara Tells Us About Her Perfect Hero

NOTE: It isn’t who you think! :)

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And INSTEAD of Thor’s Day Joke #2…

…we have..tada!…THOR, himself!
And m
ay I add, I never doubted this for a MINUTE!
Take THAT, Ned Hickson! :D

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Thor’s Day Joke #1

We See What You’ve Done There!

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Wednesday Author Interview: Karen Yankosky

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Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to humor writer, Karen Yankosky. Welcome to Bookin’ It, Karen.  Let’s start by finding out a bit about how you became a writer. When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

KY: The only two things I ever really did to become a writer were read voraciously and write constantly. I’ve been doing both for my whole life. Sometimes my writing took the form of long, story-filled letters and emails to friends, and I still write with that same voice. I’m not fortunate enough to call writing a career –yet—but it is a passion. I didn’t attempt anything formal with my writing until 2012, when my divorce led me to go bald. No wait, that’s not quite what happened. I only tore out some of my hair. And I also enrolled in a writing class called “Getting Started,” which, thankfully, lived up to its name and led to the creation of my humor blog at Splat-ospheric .  That, in turn, led me to write Good Luck With That Thing You’re Doing  Read more…

Clarification

Hi, everyone. Sorry if I was unclear yesterday. My problem was not whether my followers are being alerted when I post something new. It’s that *I* wasn’t being alerted when you respond to my posts. I’m supposed to get an email saying “Betty Jo just commented on your post.” (Although I really haven’t heard from anyone named Betty Jo that I’m aware of. :) )

At any rate, I did get alerts yesterday for every response to my post, so I guess my tweaks have finally started to work. Thank you to all who took the time to comment and help me test things out. I appreciate it!

As you were, folks. Enjoy your day!

Testing – Please Help!

Since setting up my latest blog, The Write Stuff, I’ve stopped receiving email notices when new comments appear on my blogs. I believe my settings are all correct, but I did tweak one thing on this blog. Could a few of you please leave a brief comment here, so I can see if it is working properly again? Just a hello will do. Thanks so much!

TGI…Freya’s Day!

Another week gone by, another list of things done, things undone, things I wish I hadn’t done, and things that will likely never get done. Pretty typical for a Freya’s Day, all in all. I have a new review coming up later today, if things go well with my editing this morning, and I get a bit more work on my 4th novel, the sequel to Swamp Ghosts.
Hunter is turning out to be far more romantic than anything I’ve done before, which may or may not translate to far more sexy, depending on your personal definitions of that. But whatever you call it, it’s fun to write so many love scenes right from the start of the book. (Breaking the rules and doing this one backwards by letting the couple find each other right off the bat, and then throwing trouble at them. I think I like how it’s working, so far.)
WordPress is causing me grief again, first by not sending me any notices of new comments, so I have to scroll around hunting for them, in order to respond appropriately. And second, by changing the fonts in my posts, and not giving me any way…that I can find…to reset them. Not so happy about that, but in the grand scheme of things, a minor annoyance, to be sure.
And just because you’ve been so good things morning (you have been good this morning, haven’t you?) here’s something to make you smile. No punchline. Just so dang adorable, I defy anyone to look at it and NOT go “Awwwww,” even if only using your tiny, innermost voice, so you won’t spoil your curmudgeonly reputation. So…TADA…I present the first of my new Terminally Cute series. Behold!

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Thor’s Day Joke #2

Please! Not Before I’ve Had My Coffee!

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Thor’s Day Joke #1

Somebody’s Been Watching Too Many Cartoons!

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Ghost in the Canteen by Jen Rasmussen

ghostsinthecanteenMy Review: 5 of 5 Stars
This is a difficult review to write. How can I tell you how terrific Ghost in the Canteen is, without giving away anything of importance? Should be easy, but the trouble is, everything in this story is of importance. Nothing is a throw-away, and it all ties together so very nicely, I’m left floundering for something to say. (Alert the media! She has nothing to say!)
Okay, I do have a few things to say. First, Jen Rasmussen’s writing is first-rate. The story pulled me in immediately, and the characters were interesting and engaging, especially the snarky heroine, ghost hunter Lydia Trinket. Lydia’s been doing her job of sending recalcitrant spirits through to the Other Side for years. Or so she thinks. Turns out, Lydia has been somewhat misled about what she’s actually doing, and therein lies a tale. A really scary tale.
The canteen referred to in the title is a switchel ring–a clay container designed to slide over one’s arm to hold switchel, a very unusual drink you’ll learn more about when you read this book. Which I hope will be soon, because…did I mention?…it’s good. Lydia’s switchel ring is a portal through which ghosts can move on to their next stop. (Heaven or hell, presumably.) Or is it? Sometimes things are not what they seem. “A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh”…but a switchel ring might be more than a container for a cooling drink. And a portal…well, I think you should find out about that for yourself. Personally, I’ll never look at even a Thermos bottle the same way again. :shock:
Along Lydia’s journey, you’ll meet all sorts of interesting and creepy…and downright terrifying…characters. I loved every single word of this book, and I suspect most of you will, as well. Go get it. But maybe leave all the lights on while you’re reading. And definitely be sure you’re not alone in the house.
I can’t wait for the next Lydia Trinket book, Peak of the Devil. (You gotta love the title.) And what are you waiting for? Click on the Buy Link below, and start reading Ghost in the Canteen today. You’ll be glad you did.
Ghost in the Canteen

Wednesday Author Interview: Paty Jager

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Today, Bookin’ It would like to welcome versatile writer Paty Jager. Paty, it’s so nice to have you here with us. Let’s get started with you telling us a bit about about how you became a writer. When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career?  Read more…

What Are You Reading?

 

ghostsinthecanteen

It’s not Friday…I missed that, sadly…but I figure it’s never too late to let you know what I’m reading, especially when it’s something really, really good. So, here it is. This week, I’m reading Jen Rasmussen’s Ghost in the Canteen, and it’s brilliant! Jen’s writing is strong, sharp, funny, and engaging. And great goobley-oobley! This story is scary! Horror fans will love it, for sure, and anyone who likes ghost stories, tales of the supernatural, and unique world building will, as well. Plus, you might learn a thing or two you didn’t know before. Like…what is a switchel ring? In fact, what is switchel? Do you know? I didn’t. But now I do!

Ghost in the Canteen is so good, I’m going to recommend you go right ahead and buy your copy today, even before my full review comes out next week. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Now, it’s your turn. What are YOU reading this week? Inquiring minds wanna know!

Weekend Recap

Marcia:

Weekend Recap featuring some of last week’s most helpful posts on The Write Stuff. You writers out there might want to check them out, and think about following us at TWS: Writers Helping Writers

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

tnw_weekly_recap

Some great posts this week you really shouldn’t miss. Here’s a recap of a few that were very helpful to me.

What Are Your Writing Rewards by Aimee Easterling
BookBub Explained – Reblogged from Nancy’s Notes from Florida, by Nancy Cohen
Keeping Your Story Focused is a Lot Like Taking an Eye Exam by Ned Hickson
Things I Learned About Keywords by Jen Rasmussen
What I Learned From Erotica Writers by Aimee Easterling

There were also some posts about new releases, including:

My New Release, A Sweet Billionaire Romance by Aimee Easterling
Release Day for Amy’s Choice by Marcia Strykowski

If you missed any of these posts, this is your chance to check them out now. PLEASE remember to share them with your peeps, via Facebook, Twitter, or reblogging. They’ll be ever so grateful, and will do the same for you.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Thor’s Day Joke #2

WAIT! You Missed A Couple in the Bottom Corner

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Thor’s Day Joke #1

I Will Get You For This, If It Takes Every Single One of My Nine Lives

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A Boy Named Rabbit Cover Reveal!

Marcia:

So Excited to Share This!!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Woohoo! I’m so excited to share the cover of my next book in the Wake-Robin Ridge series, A Boy Named Rabbit. As always, my cover GODDESS, Nicki Forde, has done exactly what I wanted with this one. All I had to do was say “waterfall” and “silhouette,” and she nailed it.

A Boy Named Rabbit_kindle cover1

For those who aren’t familiar with Book 1 in this series, Wake-Robin Ridge, here’s a shot of that one, so you can see our intent with the series is to keep the same basic layout, and just change the middle image to something appropriate for each book. And thus, a bit of branding occurs. Hopefully. So what do you think? Do you like the new cover? Are we on the right track when you see the old one? (Oh, and for those who aren’t familiar with North Carolina wildflowers, a wake-robin is the red trillium on the…

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Writers Wanted!

writing

Are you a writer? Would you like a few more people to find out about you and your books…for FREE? I’d love to interview you for my Wednesday Author Interview series. Just email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com, and I’ll give you the full details. It’s easy and fun, and you might pick up a few more readers, too. And I have an opening tomorrow! Act fast and it could be YOURS.

Release Day for Amy’s Choice!

Marcia:

Congratulations to Marcia Strykowski, and please help spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, or reblogging. You can make a difference! Thanks.

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Strykowski Author PhotoHi fellow readers and writers! I’m so happy to be able to pop on here during my book’s birthday celebration. Amy’s Choice, a coming-of-age tween novel, is the sequel to Call Me Amy, which was selected for Bankstreet College of Education’s list of Best Children’s Books for 2014.

double coversAmy finds more than an abandoned seal pup in her tiny fishing village on the coast of Maine during 1973. Both of these books are published by Luminis Books and today marks the official release of Amy’s Choice. I’ll be signing hot-off-the-press copies at the Salem, NH Barnes & Noble (2-4) and I’m also giving away prizes today on my own blog: www.marciastrykowski.com.

Meanwhile, I’d love to share this interview Marcia Meara posted on her popular Bookin’ It blog a while back. Here are the first questions followed by a link to the original post:

Wednesday Author Interview: Meet Marcia Strykowski

Bookin’ It is…

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Happy Halloween!

halloween

October Siege

October.
The siege begins.
Enemies among us
Everywhere!
With evil grins,
They lurk,
They skulk,
They glare,
Sharp fangs bared.

October.
Hide inside.
Nighttime danger
Everywhere!
With shining eyes,
They menace,
They taunt,
They torment,
Mouths opened wide.

See how they glow!
Deadly, gap-toothed grins
Midst curves of vivid orange!
Silently screaming with devilish glee,
They lounge on nighttime porches,
And march up darkened drives.
Casting yellow light from watchful eyes,
They search for unwary victims,
For slow and easy prey.

Big ones, tall ones,
Skinny ones, or round.
Colored like the fiery sun,
Or the moonlight pallor of alien visitors.
They line up on fence posts,
Stair steps, and windowsills.
Peering out . . . or peering in?
Looking for who?
You!

October.
Watch your step.
They’re back again,
Everywhere!
With wicked intent,
They scheme,
They hunger,
They haunt,
Pumpkins on patrol!

Boo!

   – Marcia Meara

Thor’s Day Joke #2

I know just how she feels!

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Thors Day Joke #1

Hey…it’s still Thor’s Day here. Barely. So here goes!

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Wednesday Author Interview: Callum McLaughlin

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Today, I’d like to welcome poet and suspense writer Callum McLaughlin to Bookin’ It. Callum, can you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career?  Read more…

Book Covers?

Marcia:

Penguin’s Wonderful Drop-Cap series for lovers of great cover art!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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Do you love them? I do! Even though I read a lot of books on my Kindle, I always check out the covers, and sometimes, I buy a print copy of the book, just to display it on my shelves. I am crazy for good covers, in a wide variety of styles. If you love them, too, check out this article on Penguin’s “Drop Cap” series. I love the article, not only because it displays large pictures of each book in the series (all 26 alphabet letters), but it also includes comments from the artist, and her favorite quotes from each book. But wait! There’s more!

The books represent the spectrum, starting with bright red, and working through orange, yellow, green and blue. Imagine the whole set displayed on your shelves! I’m going to try to collect them all. I might even READ some of them! :D

Seriously, there…

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Making indie audiobooks

Marcia:

Check out Aimee’s free samples and short story. And you writers out there, this is a great post to help you learn more about producing an audible book.

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Shiftless AudiobookWhen Kindle Unlimited was rolled out, I read the fine print and realized that subscribers can download audiobooks as well as ebooks for free (with the author receiving about $1.50 per borrow and possibly gaining new fans).  Since there are about 700,000 ebooks enrolled in Amazon’s lending library but only about 2,300 audiobooks, I decided I wanted to swim in that much smaller pool.  Was it possible for an unknown indie?

The answer is a resounding yes, but like most aspects of self-publishing you’ll need to spend some time and possibly money on the endeavor.  ACX is Amazon’s audio wing, where authors hook up with narrators to make independent audiobooks happen.  You can choose to pay up front for your narration (a process that will likely cost $1,000 to $5,000), or you can opt for the revenue-sharing possibility as I did.  Revenue-sharing costs the author nothing up front, but you…

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