Authors Talk About It

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[Author Interview] Mercedes Samudio | Shame-Proof Parenting

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Mercedes Samudio

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Mercedes Samudio: I am a licensed clinical social worker and parent coach on a mission to end parent shaming. I work primarily with parents (with children of all ages) to help them feel confident on their parenting journey. A lot of the work I know focuses not just on a child’s behavior and the parenting strategies used to help raise healthy children, but also on the journey a human takes while becoming a parent. I have found that while we know that children need love and support to grow, we often forget that parents need the same to grow and become the parent they really want to be. As a writer, my first book expands on the idea of ending parent shame and supporting parents as they develop a healthy parenting identity.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Mercedes Samudio: I have been writing for over 20 years in various arenas. I started my professional writing in 2013 with a blog for my business and wrote a short ebook in 2015. But, to be honest, writing has been a huge part of my identity since writing my first poem in junior high school and then my first full length book in 2017.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Mercedes Samudio: My most recent release is Shame-Proof Parenting: Find Your Voice, Feel Empowered, and Raise Healthy Children released in April 2017. This book is a culmination of a 2 year campaign to end parent shaming, and introduces the idea that parent’s are humans who need space to develop a healthy parenting identity. I explore the effects of shame on parenting and the parent-child relationship and lay the foundation for parents to manage this shame on their parenting journey.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Mercedes Samudio: What I’ve always loved about writing is the ability to get all the ideas out of my head and on to paper (or the computer). We all have so much for say and writing has allowed me the space to share my thoughts and explore ideas with others in healthy discussions. I truly believe that writing has the power to change the world.

Along the notion of changing the world, I believe that when we write we can heal people, help them see ideas from new perspectives, and even move them into changing aspects of the identity that need to evolve. Writing has such an ability to move others and to help others not feel alone on their journey.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Mercedes Samudio: I find it the most challenging to bring ideas from inside your head into a cohesive narrative or perspective. While writing my first book, I found that I think a lot. Although that’s a good thing, it can be a hurdle to overcome when trying to share a complete idea or teach a new concept. The struggle for me was being able to keep my voice while also being clear and concise in my writing.

Another challenge has been being disciplined in writing. While writing my first book, I was working with a coach to help me stay focused and hit my word count each week. I didn’t realize the amount of stamina and perseverance needed to not only write but stay invested in the topic you are writing about. After working with a coach, I found some great strategies on writing that can help me organize my ideas and stay focused on my end goals.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Mercedes Samudio: My ideas come from the work that I do with clients, the current trends in my niche/field, and from ideas that I want to contribute to the niche/field. When I first starting writing blogs, I began to write articles that answered common parenting concerns I was hearing in the field and with my clients. As I got more prolific in my writing, I began to also include my own ideas about supporting parents and commentary on current trends on parenting. Since my aim is to address the shame that surrounds parents and child-rearing, I don’t offer lots of steps nor do I bash other parenting experts who do so. Instead, I focus on sharing my voice in the areas that we are not formally and consistently talking about. I also tend to get ideas from people sharing their parenting stories with me and asking me how they can be more effective in their parenting.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Mercedes Samudio: Before writing my first book, my writing process consisted of: idea generation, writing blog/article, proofreading, and then publishing online. This was how I became a consistent blogger and was able to produce a lot of content to enhance my branding and my voice. After writing a book, the process has changed a bit: idea generation, free-writing, organizing, planning, writing draft, proofreading, editing, re-wrtiting draft, and then publishing. There may be a period where between planning and writing I let me ideas simmer and/or another bout of free-writing to get more of my actual voice in the piece, but this is not often. I know also think about other publications where my writing can be featured since I have a longer process that includes editing the piece.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Mercedes Samudio: I write non-fiction. I feel that one of the best ways that helped me hone my message and voice was blogging. I’ve been writing content for my blog on my professional website for 5 years. In this process, I have learned to be more concise, clear, and honest in how I discuss concepts and opinions. That set a good foundation for writing my first book – and I know it will be a great basis for future books that I write. Now, I don’t feel like my messages gets away from me because I know what I want to say, I have proven writing process that helps me organize my thoughts, and I know how to get support when I need another pair of eyes on my content. I will say that going through several rounds of editing (both developmental and copyediting) taught me a lot about how our ideas are experienced by others. There were times when I really hit the nail on the head in how I presented an idea, and others where I spend too much time explaining that I lost the editor. This editing process made me more aware of the journey you want your reader to go on and where you want them to be by the end of reading your work. That revelation has helped me be more streamlined in how I share non-fiction concepts.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Mercedes Samudio: If I had to pick just one part of the book that’s my favorite, I’d have to say it’s the discussion on parenting defense mechanisms. In this part of the book I share a concept that had been brewing in my mind for a while, and one that I would bring up in sessions with my clients. However, this was the first time that I wrote about them in a concise and clear way so that others can also learn how parents protect their parenting identity. I have since talked about this idea in trainings and workshops where it has been well received and even used by other colleagues. That’s the best feeling ever: to know that a concept you created is helping others understand aspects of their life and their experiences.

ATAI: What are you working on next?


Mercedes Samudio: Currently I am working on speaking and taking the concepts of my recent book to the masses. I enjoy sharing the book’s concepts with parents and professionals so that we can get to work on ending parent shaming. I am also working on gathering content for the next book I want to write, which will introduce the idea of having a parenting renaissance in our culture.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Mercedes Samudio: I’m all over the internet. Hahaha. But, you can get started on my site: http://shameproofparenting.com. From there you can find all my social media links and a contact form to reach out.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Mercedes Samudio: Thanks so much for allowing me to share my process with your audience. If you’re reading this and wondering if your ideas or concepts would make a good book, don’t worry about that yet. Just start writing and let the ideas flow. You never know who might need to hear your ideas with your voice to help them move into a healthier part of their life.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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[Author Interview] Joe Ferguson | Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Joe Ferguson

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Joe Ferguson: Before self publishing, I was in a variety of small press, regional, and national publications I also wrote propaganda for a living for some 25 years. My latest book is Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard, a collection of poems. My previous works include two short story collections – Southbound, and Shillelagh Law, and a spoof of “how-to-get-a-job” books, Dave Doolittle’s Resumes That Work, So You Don’t Have To.

I’m a former editor and critic for Hudson Valley, ran the Fiction Workshop for the Poughkeepsie Library District, and have reviewed books and videos for Climbing, The American Book Review, Kirkus, and a number of other publications.

I also sell rock climbing t-shirts through my website: http://www.bumluckhome.com/

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Joseph Ferguson: Long as I can remember. As a child, I specialized in comic books (laminated with Scotch Tape) that usually involved Godzilla-like creatures wreaking havoc on major municipalities.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Joseph Ferguson:
A collection of poems entitled, Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Joseph Ferguson: The initial inspiration and finishing. The rest is hell.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Joseph Ferguson: Trying to get what you want to say from your head onto the page.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Joseph Ferguson: Mostly my life. I practice the old saw, “write what you know,” with extreme predjudice.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Joseph Ferguson: Basically, since I retired three years ago, I am finishing all the unfinished stuff I started over the years. Usually have a few in-progress things that I fiddle with while watching TV. Eventually, after enough fiddling, one or the other takes off; and I run with that.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Joseph Ferguson: Always. In fact, I’d venture to say, that if a character doesn’t take over at some point, I might question their validity. Nearly all my non-fiction writing was in my role in either public relations or as a freelance journalist. I’ve never had a press release get the best of me; though some of the more featurey stuff might have dealt a surprise or two.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Joseph Ferguson: My books so far are short story and poetry collections and a parody, so my favorites vary depending on mood. Of course, when self publishing you have to be your own editor, so by the time I release a book, I’ve reread it so many times, I utterly despise every word of it.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Joseph Ferguson: I’m trying to write enough new stories to fill out another fiction collection; and if that fails, I have enough poetry for two or three more collections. During my working life, poems were pretty much the only things I managed to finish.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Joseph Ferguson:

On Amazon

On Twitter

On Facebook

www.bumluckhome.com

On Goodreads

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Joseph Ferguson: Thank you, Janelle, for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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[Author Interview] Anthony Custode Jr. | Vanity’s Price Tag

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Anthony Custode Jr.

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Anthony Custode Jr: I’m a graduate of Buffalo State College, where I received my bachelor’s in journalism. I’ve covered sports and soft feature stories for local newspapers, and now I decided to venture off into the world of fictional writing. I also have a son, who is 11 and really keeps me on my toes.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Anthony Custode Jr: I’ve been writing my entire life, really. I remember in grade school, one of my teachers called my writing “a riot” and it drove me crazy because I wasn’t sure if she meant it as a compliment or not. Years later, I’m still considering it a complement.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Anthony Custode Jr: My most recent release is titled, Vanity’s Price Tag, which is a realistic story about moral vision. The main character finds his girlfriend cheating on him, and decides to do something about his body image. Unfortunately, he becomes obsessed with his appearance, which leads him down a road of bad decisions. I wanted to write this book because I personally have had weight issues, so I can relate the main character in a sense. Jackson, the main character, is faced with a choice to make about HGH, and eventually gives in to the temptation and I really wanted to point out the dangers of using supplements like that because it’s far more common than people may realize.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Anthony Custode Jr: I really love just building a story. If I get gripped into the story while writing it, I feel like I can grip the reader as well. I also love the freedom to convey the message in any manner that I want. It’s not like journalism, where you have to be aware of your audience and have to worry about what the general public may find offensive. My books so far have some language to them that some may find offensive, but to me, that’s OK. I like writing on the edge and I kind of enjoy the “shock” factor with certain words or situations.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Anthony Custode Jr: Time, to me is the biggest challenge. I have an 11-year-old son who takes up a lot of my time. I coach his hockey team and I’m very involved in everything that he has going on, so finding time between work and home to write something substantial is difficult.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Anthony Custode Jr: My ideas come from anywhere, really. Vanity’s Price Tag was inspired by a generic personal experience of weight loss and people watching at the gym, which I was able to mold a fictional story around. I think anyone can relate to it because it really focusses on a person’s insecurities, which we all have. Andrew’s Journal, which is my first book, was really just free-writing that was indirectly inspired by a book I read in high school titled Chinese Handcuffs.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Anthony Custode Jr: Well, that’s an interesting question because when I wrote Andrew’s Journal, I really didn’t have a process. I was really just trying to get something I could be proud of on paper and get it published. But, after doing that, I found a process that really worked for me with Vanity’s Price Tag. I like to know the ending of the book, very specifically. With Vanity’s Price Tag, I had a series of events that I wanted to make sure that I covered in chronological order. So really just mapping out the story in my head and hitting certain checkpoints, I guess you could call them, on the way to the destination. I like to develop characters loosely in my head as well, but I won’t stick to that strictly if the story dictates otherwise. I try to keep an open mind and let the story kind of flow on its own.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Anthony Custode Jr: My characters always take a life of their own. Sometimes, they are based on actual people, or a mix of people. Other times they are based off of characteristics that I try to form a character off of. But as I said prior, I try not to stick to a specific parameter for a character. I think that would be narrow-minded and would hurt the overall development of the character. Just as I like to let the story flow on its own, I do the same with the characters. I think it allows a certain unpredictability to the characters because now they’re becoming real people in a sense.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Anthony Custode Jr: I would have to say the suspense portion of both Andrew’s Journal and Vanity’s Price Tag. I had a friend tell me that when she was reading Andrew’s Journal, that she felt like she didn’t breathe a single breath while reading the final few chapters. That to me was one of the biggest compliments I could get. Just knowing someone was so dialed into something I’ve written like that is so gratifying. When I’m writing the story, and I’m building the suspense to something, I often wonder if the suspense is real for the reader, because I know where I’m going with it, so there’s no true shock value for me as a writer. But if I can put that shock and suspense in the mind of the reader, there’s really no better feeling.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Anthony Custode Jr: Well, I released Andrew’s Journal in February and Vanity’s Price Tag in June, so I’ve been pretty busy. I’d like to market these two for a bit before I really decide my next work. But, I will say that I have it narrowed down between a thriller about domestic violence, or a comedy that revolves around a call center. I’m sure I’ll end up publishing both eventually though, because once I get an idea I can’t help but expand upon it.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Anthony Custode Jr: I’m on Twitter as @Uncensored_ant and Facebook as Anthony Custode Jr. I also just launched a website, anthonycustodejr.wordpress.com. I will say that I’m still trying to find my presence on social media and I don’t particularly care for Twitter. But, by all means, if anyone feels the need or want to Tweet me, go for it! I will certainly respond.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Anthony Custode Jr: I really do appreciate you giving me this opportunity to talk about my book and I hope that if anyone in the audience does check out one or both of my books, that they at least take something positive from them. Also, I just want to say to anyone accessing this interview that you are in control of your own life, so if there is something that you want to do, find a way, and do it. Thank you so much for your time!


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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Damn Mind – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Jacqui Letran

Jacqui Letran’s second book in her Words of Wisdom for Teens series is another shining light for young adults. I would but my DAMN MIND won’t let me!: A teen’s guide to controlling their thoughts and feelings is a book written to help teenagers break patterns and gain a better understanding of how their mind works. Coming from the view point of clinical psychology and science, Damn Mind is an excellent secular resource. Letran not only breaks down technical scientific and psychological concepts into understandable chunks of information, but she wraps up the educational chapters with what she calls 60-Second Readers, which are bullet-poined summaries of the content from each chapter. In the last third of the book, she offers case studies. At the end of each of those chapters, she offers a tip and a self-reflection exercise. She also offers “free stuff” including the audiobook through a link on her website. Therefore, she gives readers the opportunity to explore further once they’ve read Damn Mind.

Written in language that is relatable to teens, Damn Mind is a quick and fairly easy read. Occasionally, some of the chapter sections are a bit heavy or complex in their wording, but Jacqui Letran quickly offers simpler language within the text. Throughout the the educational sections of the book she shares interesting information and unique ways of looking at things. For example, Letran shared and pulled out in a highlighted section that the conscious mind can only take in 1% of the information that it is being fed at any given moment. She also compared the importance of thinking in positive terms to doing a Google search – the mind nor Google pays attention to words such as “don’t”. Jacqui Letran asks deep and powerful questions in I would but my DAMN MIND won’t let me! I highly recommend Letran’s Damn Mind for teens everywhere.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Click here to learn more and enter!

[Author Interview] Kari Holloway | Cry of Gold

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Kari Holloway

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

I’m Kari Holloway, and I’m from Leesburg, Georgia. The most notable accomplishment of this little town is celebrities like Luke Bryan, Buster Posey and Phillip Phillips who graduated from Lee County High School. But while they were the cool kids, I was the bookworm. That label followed me my entire school life, including college. The first in AR points for the class, if not the entire grade, I devoured stories. Growing up in the country, the closest neighbor’s kid was over a mile away, and books were the greatest way of learning about a world that didn’t evolve gnats. They weren’t a trend I had to keep up with to fit in. They accepted me no matter if I had the latest trends in clothes, watched the hottest shows, or knew who belted out lyrics on the radio.


I haven’t changed that much from then. I still hate gnats. I still don’t care about the hottest things on t.v. or radio. But instead of just gobbling up books, I’m writing them now.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Kari Holloway: I remember writing in school, but it was frowned upon if it wasn’t class related, but as far as professionally goes, I started writing Cracked But Never Broken on a whim in July 2015.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Kari Holloway: Cry of Gold, the second book in the Devil’s Playground series adds its weight to this paranormal mystery. What can phase through solid concrete and steel walls, leave nothing but golden blurs on the newest security systems, and lead sane men to their deaths? That’s the newest mission assigned Alex and Mira.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Kari Holloway: pantsing it. I don’t write with an outline, so watching the story unfold with each new word and sentence is better than Christmas.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Kari Holloway: Marketing has been a unique problem. It isn’t like working retail where you have the chance of impressing people in person, most people are going to find you by luck within their comfort zone and understanding how to get into that zone is challenging at times.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Kari Holloway: An overactive imagination, I guess.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Kari Holloway: I pour a glass of sweet tea, set at the computer, turn the internet off, and start with a scene. From there, my characters have to tell me where to go.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Kari Holloway: Oh wow. I have to pick just one? Is that even possible? In Never too Late, coming out in August, there’s a scene where Maw-Payne is getting ready to leave for the neighbors place and she holds Darien’s hands in hers. She tells him to go wash up because she sees paint. Darien looks at his hands, and there isn’t paint, but he sees these rough, callused hands that tell what type of man he is. The whole scene is beautiful for so many things.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Kari Holloway: With my Laughing P series wrapping up in August, I’m currently working on book 3, Mark of Cain, in my Devil’s Playground series. I’m about 3 chapters from finishing it.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Kari Holloway: The best place is kariholloway.com.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Kari Holloway: Thanks for opportunity. This has been a blast, and I hope to do another one in the future.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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[Author Interview] Dwight BoNey | The Other Side of the Velvet Rope

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Dwight BoNey

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Dwight BoNey: I am an educator, clothing designer, and a writer.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Dwight BoNey: I have been writing off and on for years. It started with poetry and then short stories. My first published book was released on June 1, 2017.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Dwight BoNey: My first release is a novel called, The Other Side of the Velvet Rope. The novel focuses on the life of a young man as he transitions into adult hood while in college. He earns money working in a local club as a bartender/bouncer to obtain finical independence. The story focuses on the seedier side of the nightlife.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Dwight BoNey: In many ways it is a release for me. The characters I have created all have a small piece of myself within them.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Dwight BoNey: Creating a sequence of events that leaves the reader with questions and makes the ability for them to predict what will happen next difficult.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Dwight BoNey: My ideas come from living life. Inspiration is all around us. I can sit on a bench at the local mall and see a unique person walk by and create an eccentric but believable story. Most of the time my ideas come from social issues. For example, The Other Side of the Velvet Rope is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of over indulging in the nightlife.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Dwight BoNey: I start with the ending most of the time. Other times I focus on a concept or message that I want to convey. This was the process for The Other Side of the Velvet Rope. Then build the types of characters needed to tell the story. At this point the character backstory becomes monumental for the process of telling the story.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Dwight BoNey: I believe the best characters create a life of their own. A great character will transcend the words on the page. I feel I have done this with my first novel. You can go to any local watering hole and see someone I have described in my book.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Dwight BoNey: The preface and the epilogue are my favorite parts of my book. I feel the preface sets the stage for this novel by creating an expectation that this piece of work exemplifies with the journey of the protagonist. The epilogue provides reflection that follows a somber ending to say the least.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Dwight BoNey: I’m working on a novel that takes place during the early 1800’s and focuses on the lives of three different women. All of them will experience severe forms of trauma as victims and this will fuel their desire to become the perpetrator.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Dwight BoNey: The Other Side of the Velvet Rope is available on Amazon in print and on Amazon kindle.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Dwight BoNey: Thank you for this feature. Get your copy of The Other Side of the Velvet Rope today at amazon. Follow my Facebook page @TheOtherSideoftheVelvetrope for upcoming events.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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Stage 3 – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Ken Stark

Stage 3 by Ken Stark is a classic zombie apocalypse novel that follows cynical Hank Mason as he tries to survive the aftermaths of a mysterious virus that is spreading through the world. Packed with battles, escape plans and fears of infection, readers are given a chance to follow Mason as he fights for his survival.

Stark has written a book that fits well into the zombie genre. There are action packed sequences and a real sweetness in the relationship between Mason and ten-year-old Mackenzie, a girl he teams up with. Together they successfully fight off zombie hordes as they start to understand what has happened to the world and where their survival lies. The inclusion of the quest for Mackenzie’s aunt Sarah also adds something to this very simple plot. The writing style is simple, allowing Stage 3 to be a perfect quick read.

However, while true to the classics, Stage 3 offers nothing new to the genre. It is predictable, full of rehashed tropes. There are also stylistic problems with the novel ranging from the overly descriptive prose, which becomes tedious to read, repetitive dialogue and whole passages that do nothing but give Mason and Mackenzie another set of zombies to fight. These problems weigh down the novel, and even die-hard fans of zombie fiction may not be won over by the simple story.

Overall, Stage 3 is a very simple story. It fits into the zombie genre but does not offer anything new. This is a real pity as Stark’s simple writing style, when not bogged down by descriptions, makes for easy reading and would be great with a better suited to a plot with more depth.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Rainbow Bud – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Steven A. Moore

The Rainbow Bud by Steven.A.Moore is a highly imaginative work of fiction that follows a washed up rock star, Sonny Adams and his adventures at the Rainbow Falls, a community full of quirky characters who have stumbled upon time travel. There is romance, family discord and a love of music that runs through the novel.

Moore has created a world full of eccentric characters that are well thought out and fit into his aesthetic of the late 60s and 70s. The story itself is fun and readers will enjoy following Sonny Adams as he learns about rainbows that transport past serial killers and rock stars and the antics that ensue. There are well-developed characters, plot twists and Moore’s easy writing style makes this book a pleasure to read.

However, the repetitive dialogue between Sonny and his lover Dandy becomes predictable, and there are parts of the dialogue that read unrealistic and static. Another criticism would be the length of the novel. As very little happens, this novel could have very easily been a short story without having lost any of its charms. The inclusion of song lyrics, written by Sonny Adams, also does little to push the plot and feels like space fillers at the beginning of chapters.

Overall, Rainbow Bud by Steven A. Moore is a story that takes its readers into a surreal world where weed fields, washed up rock stars and ghosts are the norm. Rainbow Bud is a unique story that needs to clean up some of its stylistic issues if it wants to be taken seriously, even for a book that has very little seriousness between its pages.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] Cendrine Marrouat | Life’s Little Things

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Cendrine Marrouat

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Cendrine Marrouat: Hello everyone! Thank you for having me today.

My name is Cendrine Marrouat and I’m a Frenchy living in Winnipeg, Canada. I have been here for 14 years.

I am a photographer with a passion for nature, the black-and-white format, and closeups, as well as a blogger, social media coach, French instructor, and author. I have self-released ten books and wrote two plays.

I fell in love with the English language in high school and decided to continue studying it at university. For six years, I had a blast with subjects like linguistics, translation and phonetics. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English-to-French translation.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Cendrine Marrouat: All my life. However, I do not think the awful poems I penned before reaching adulthood really count as writing. lol

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Cendrine Marrouat: My third photography collection and tenth book overall.

Life’s Little Things: The Quotes is a little book with a twist. It pairs 25 of my photos, which readers of my blog selected last year, and quotes or words of wisdom that I wrote myself. They are all based on life lessons. I am a “walk the talk” kind of gal.

The goal of the book is to help readers reconnect with themselves and think more positively.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Cendrine Marrouat: The ability to share part of my soul with the world, and help others in the process.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Cendrine Marrouat: I am a very slow writer. It is not always easy to have to work in spurts of inspiration. But it also gives me a good excuse to take breaks during the day. 😉

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Cendrine Marrouat: They always come from my experiences and the things around me. A discussion with friends, a beautiful sight, the night sky, etc.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Cendrine Marrouat: Of all the writers I know, I am the only one who cannot start anything without a title. Usually, this title pops up more or less at the same time as the idea. And believe it or not, nine times out of ten, the whole thing will happen while I am taking a shower.

The next step for me is to flesh out the idea with a quick outline. Then, I will usually go with the flow. I actually find it empowering to let my mind wander and decide what will happen.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

I do not feel that the message has ever taken over. Even if the content often takes detours, I will land on my feet because I write with a specific audience in mind.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Cendrine Marrouat: Right now, I would say that it’s the last page of Life’s Little Things: The Quotes.

It is one of the fastest sentences I have ever written in my life. It also made so much sense that I felt a huge sense of achievement.

Quote: “Only in solitude will you find your bliss.”

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Cendrine Marrouat: I am too busy promoting Life’s Little Things: The Quotes. But I will take a break in a few weeks.

Afterwards, I want to start working on a fourth photography collection, which would be part 3 of my Life Little Things series. This time, I will go back to my roots — haiku. Not only is it my favorite poetic form, but it also works perfectly with photography.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Cendrine Marrouat: I stalk the internet and have a unique name. So, people should not have a problem finding me.

More seriously, here are the most important links:

- Social Media Slant, my social media blog – ​http://socialmediaslant.com

Cendrine Marrouat Photography – ​http://creativeramblings.com

Link to all my books (poetry, social media and photography):
http://creativeramblings.com/cendrines-books/

Twitter: ​http://twitter.com/cendrinemedia

Instagram: ​http://instagram.com/cendrinemedia

YouTube: ​https://www.youtube.com/user/cendrinemarrouat

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Cendrine Marrouat: Very interesting questions, thank you! Thank you again for featuring me. I had a blast.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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[Author Interview] Kate Sander | Force: Book Two of the Zoya Chronicles

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Kate Sander

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Kate: My name is Kate Sander. I’m 27 years old and work as a Primary Care Paramedic in my home city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. It’s a small city in northern Saskatchewan. I’m married and we have two dogs, a 5 year-old Labradoodle named Sammi (she’s the queen of the house) and a 2 year-old Goldendoodle name Pippin (yes, they are named after hobbits). I also have my Firefighting training and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. The combination makes for a very different and interesting take on plot and story-telling.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Kate: Not very long! I started writing in 2015 while I was working in the oil patch in Alberta as a medic. I’m not sure if anyone knows what that job entails, but it’s usually about 2 hours of paperwork and 10 hours a day of doing nothing by yourself. So I started writing. Never looked back.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Kate: Force: Book Two of the Zoya Chronicles was just released! It follows Senka through her newest adventure in our world and The Other Place. It’s a thrill, it’s fast-paced and in my opinion it’s better than the first.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Kate: My job can be very stressful at times and I find that there’s a lot of situations that I can’t control. When I write, I’m in control of the entire world (unless my character refuses to behave). I find that it’s therapeutic and can really help me out.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Kate: Finding time! Between work and life I find it hard to just sit down and write. I also find myself getting obsessive when writing a novel. That’s all I think about, all day, every day, until it’s done. So I try to take breaks between novels to try to keep everything fresh and to stop from burning out. Unfortunately for my readers it means long gaps between novels. However I think the break helps me deliver a better product.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Kate: No idea. I’ve always had a really over-active imagination, so I guess it comes from that. Now, instead of standing in the shower and “winning” the argument I had with someone 5 months ago, I’m thinking of plot and character development.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Kate: I use a solid mix of pre-plotting and writing by the seat of my pants. I pre-plot main ideas loosely. My chapter and book outlines are very fluid and I’ll change them a hundred times before I finish the book. I find that this allows me to follow the creative process. It also allows for plot changes when my character makes a really stupid decision.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Kate: Yes! I try to write my characters as being flawed and human. So sometimes they make really stupid, life-altering decisions. And once they are on paper, in my mind they’ve occurred so I can’t change it. It leads to really interesting plot points, but sometimes really annoying character flaws that I have to work through.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Kate: My books tend to focus on female characters. I LOVE it when they kick ass against all odds. I work really hard to make the fighting believable, and as I have a black belt in karate I understand a little on how to use a smaller frame against a bigger body. This makes my women ultimate badasses and I absolutely love when they let loose and kick ass.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Kate: Currently on a bit of a break. Next will be the next two Zoya Chronicles. I have plans for 2 more books, and I don’t write in order. So hopefully book 3 finishes before book 4 but no guarantees.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Kate: My website is www.zoyabooks.com. You can get signed paperbacks and merchandise on that site, and also get in contact with me about anything you need. My facebook is www.facebook.com/katesander. My twitter handle is @K_Sander10. My author email is katesander.author@gmail.com. I try to answer everyone.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Kate: Thanks for the interview! I really appreciate the opportunity to be featured on your site.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

Would you like to have a featured author interview on ATAI?  

Click here.

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