Author Interview – Cynthia Christakis

I would like to give a warm welcome to Cynthia Christakis (aka Cynthia Seasons), Author of No Such Thing: The Committee as she shares her experiences as an author and some insightful advice to new writers.

CindyShopped spotlight 5-30-2014

  • What is your name and where do you call home?

Cynthia Christakis. I now call Northern Baja California (B.C) Mexico home for the past 10 months.

 

  • Do you have a pen name?

Yes. I am Cynthia Seasons as I figured it would roll off the eyes and mouth EASIER than figuring out how to pronounce that Greek (formerly married) last name.

 

  • What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

 No Such Thing: The Committee is the title of my non-fiction eBook. The healing of Multiple Personality Disorder true story of my 45 years of psychotic splits and then healing set in a single 365-day occult and spiritual event; only by the Love, that conquers all.

 

  • Is the above book part of a series?

Yes, the 2nd novel Come Away With Me  is next to be indie published expanding the story to tell the finishing next 365-days and what happens to both psychotherapist and patient.

 

  • What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

The astounding experiences themselves inspired both therapist and me as this story begged to be told in hopes that even one other person would read and be given hope and understanding that this seemingly incurable disorder can be healed with a normal wonderful life ahead for the victims. I believe I was born with a keyboard in my hands.

 

  • How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?

Based on Smashword.com founder Marc Corker’s recommendations of credible book cover designers I contacted Dane Low at http://www.ebooklaunch.com  and he guided me through expressing my vision of what the ‘feel’ of a cover would look like.  Within days, Dane created two choices for the cover, either of which would have been great. For $99, I had a cover that fulfilled my vision.

 No Such Thing

  • Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?

Strange that you should ask that question. YES I did. I even received permission from Jazz Diva Diane Reeves to include that one song as a planned supplement attached to the planned paperback editions donating some royalty to her per book we’d eventually work out once publication actually became realized.  The song is attached.  I Remember as a cut off her 2002 CD.  The song tells the entire novel story in 2-3 minutes of song. Link to the album: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bridges/id724937214

 

  • How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

The chorus is the name of my book. ”There is no such thing as being too far gone.”

 

  • Do you have a book trailer? If so where can we watch it?

Not yet. However I just discovered Google+ free YouTube live Hangout videos and plan to figure out how to create a trailer soon.

 

  • Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

I still prefer the feel and smell of old-fashioned book reading in paperback, but since E-publishing and being a book reviewer, I’ve grown quite partial to e-books.

 

  • Are you a self-published/Indie author?

Yes, all the way!

 

  • If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?

After attempting to attract any kind of interest in the traditional route for a good 5 years, by then relocating to a suburb of Las Vegas from Austin/San Antonia area, I developed a kinship with a fellow author also attempting to learn how in the heck to become an indie author of his 7 romance heroine novel series Sisters of Destiny by Dwight W. Hunter.  We pooled our knowledge, energy, and mutual encouragement.  Within 2 months we simultaneous became indie published authors. I would have never been able to wade through the ‘simple’ Smashwords.com instructions without his engineering type mindset.

 

  • Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?

‘Ever’ is a long time, Nina. Especially with me at 65 jam-packed Life of adventures and situations. Let me think… Secret Garden is the first book I recall reading in childhood and just now received it again from Amazon to read again. Since I seem to have a type of photographic style mind, most everything is stored upstairs in imaginary computer files I can pull out when need. So no is the answer.  Seldom do I re-read a book or re-watch a movie.

 

  • What is your opinion of novellas?

Unfortunately not much. I say this because generally for me, novellas don’t flesh out characters enough for me to ‘join’ a character to develop a relationship with them. Perhaps I just haven’t read a great novella yet.

 

  • Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

Yes. Color choice and LACK of busy-ness (I call noise) will grab me first and then title second.

 

  • What is your favorite film based on a book?

The Pelican Brief was IT for me.  Luckily I saw it first as a movie that I do indeed re watch often. I say lucky because had I read the book first…I would’ve never understood what the heck was going on.  Experience both landed me as a die-hard Grisham fan for life. (at least when Grisham sticks to what he knows best, legal stories)

 

  • What is your favorite book genre at the moment?

Either ‘based on a true story’ fiction or non-fiction or actual biographies.

 

  • What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?

Currently doesn’t apply in my case since I became an indie book reviewer for BookVetter.com, Readers In The Know.com, Rave Reviews by Nonnie Jules.com,  Rookie Writers Solutions.com Goodreads and a couple of others.  I do get to read indie authors in my preferred genres and sub-sections however many are books I would personally not read once I’ve read them with an impartial review hat on. Some have delightfully surprised me.

 

  • What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

For pleasure, I am currently reading Eye For An Eye a psychological/detective thriller by J.S. Vizzard.  Although it comes in all formats…I far prefer PDF mode on Kindle.  Also re-reading and re-proofing Mei-Ling and Kate by Dwight W. Hunter in preparation for new classic book cover roll outs.

 

  • If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?

Hmmm this Q? is asked often by interviewers and I still wonder why.  Maybe you will give me the answer or motivation that asks that Q?   ANSWER: Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Abraham Lincoln on his meds, and Jim Carey.   (yes I would have added Mya Angelo, but heck everybody wants her)  Answer 2:  I believe they are all deep, enlightened, brilliant thinkers and excellent communicators that most likely would love my cooking and be fascinating in discussions. I used to own a restaurant back in the day as my German/French/Irish/Mexican heritage combined with my deceased (thank God) ex-hubbies Greek-Polish heritage makes for one heck of a cook!

 

  • What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Be lucky enough to have obtained an excellent rounded education, and then don’t listen to anyone’s advice regarding my own voice and heart when writing.  The entire object of writing is to be your highest authentic transparent voice.  Bring the reader into your writing as if they were the only reader on earth you with whom you’re sharing the story.

 

  • Do you have any hobbies that are not related to reading & writing?

Umm, well I am the stereotypical cat woman as I find them the only suitable life companions to share a household.  I’m a triple Pisces, which in itself is near impossible to exist on this earth unless it is surrounded by water and the mist of the mountains, nature and not too many humans.  I was a grand swimmer until I became Titanium based spirit having a human experience. I.E. I’m more nuts, bolts, screws, baskets, implants and replacement parts than blood and bones.  However being blessed with the unlikely situation of living 2 mile from a mountain top, on a cliff-side rental house that is nothing but ¾ windows with a wrap around deck view of the Pacific ocean, whales, dolphins, seagulls, pelicans, ravens, egrets, falcons, hawks, heron, doves, desert or ravine foxes as they call them here, coyotes, free-ranging cattle, horses, goats, etc.  Nature is my hobby and inspirations.  I live on the cliff and view Stevenson’s famous Treasure Island, to boot.

 

  • Where can your readers follow you?

http://www.smashswords.com/books/view/292164

http://www.cynthiaseasons.com

http://rookiewriterssolutions.com/cynthia-seasons.html

http://www.LinkedIn.com-Cynthia.Seasons

http://www.Facebook.com-CynthiaSeasonsChristakis

http://www.cynthiaseasons.net  Coming soon whether or not I EVER fix the .com mess of a website!

http://www.BloodAngelSeries.com

 

What an exciting and interesting woman. I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I have. If you have any questions for Cynthia, please post them here so she can get back with you as soon as possible.

Author Interview – Garry Abbott

I would like to welcome Mr. Garry Abbott to my blog today and thank him for sharing his insite into being an author with us. He is the author of The Dimension Scales and Other Stories now available on Amazon!

Garry Abbott

  1. What is your name and where do you call home?

My name is Garry Abbott, and my home is in Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire, UK.

  1. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

‘The Dimension Scales and Other Stories.’  (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JW1KMUG)

Short stories based around themes of malevolent, secret authorities, metamorphosis, survival and projections of contemporary fears into near-future realities.

  1. Is the above book part of a series?

No. It is a self-contained collection, though there is always the chance that one of the most popular stories may be extended into a longer work.

  1. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

Reading made me start writing! Especially Tolkien, although I moved away from trying to write Fantasy as I got older and discovered Science Fiction authors, especially North American authors like Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick. I also love Roald Dahl’s adult short stories, and they inspired me to try to get the most out of the short format. I’ve been writing since I was 9 or 10 – I won an award for writing at primary school, so I think I must have been inspired by that in part!

  1. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?

My cover was designed by a friend and fantastic illustrator/creative Nicola Winstanley. She worked through a few ideas based on the themes of the book and together we settled on the best ones (though I wasn’t much help because I liked them all!).

DimensionScales_Abbott_apple

  1. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?

No. I can’t listen to music and work unfortunately. I’m also a musician so it puts me in the wrong head-space to concentrate.

  1. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

The title is based on the title story that binds all the others together (The Dimension Scales). It just seemed to make sense when I considered the collection as a whole.

  1. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

Different formats for different situations! I don’t see why they can’t all live side by side happily, and I think that’s how it will turn out when the dust has settled.

  1. Are you a self-published/Indie author?

I am self-published, but I am part of the Trident Media Group’s ‘ebook programme’ which means the book is represented by an agent and they have helped with formatting, sales and marketing to a degree. It’s been good to have a team on board, even though I’ve never met them face to face because they are based in New York!

      10.  If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?

I was happy to try all routes, but with self-publishing as a backup. However, when Trident offered to put me on the programme, I decided that would be a good place to start. I hope in the future to have the option of the different outlets available for different titles.

       11.  Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?

I’ve read Lord of the Rings about a dozen times! But other than that, and The Hobbit, no, not as I can remember. I’ve probably read a few Dahl short stories more than once.

       12. What is your opinion of novellas?

As long as it suits the length of the story, what’s the problem? A story should be as long as it needs to be, and if that means it comes in as a novella, I would prefer a shorter volume than a padded out, dawdling novel.

      13. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

No! I don’t access books that way. I go off recommendation.

     14. What is your favorite film based on a book?

That’s a hard one! There are so many. Maybe Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, just because it is so audacious that it needed someone like Terry Gilliam to make it!

     15. What is your favorite book genre at the moment?

Speculative fiction.

     16. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?

Agatha Christie! I want to read some light crime fiction because I’ve just finished studying philosophy for a degree, and I’m told they are quick fun reads. Not my usual genre choice, but just want a break from heavy texts for a while!

     17. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

I’ve been very slowly reading ‘Roald Dahl’s Ghost Stories’ in paperback. The stories aren’t by Dahl himself, they are a collection he compiled of the best in the genre. But because of studying, it’s taking me a while.

     18. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Show don’t tell.

     19. Do you have any hobbies that are not related to reading & writing?

I’m also a musician, both professionally as a composer and as a hobby. I sing and play guitar in an original band. I also keep an allotment and have a bit of an obsession with board games!

     20. Where can your readers follow you?

 

Thank you so much Garry for letting us have a small peek into your writing world. If anyone has questions for Garry, please post them below and he will answer them as quickly as possible.

Blood Angel Series – KickStarter Project

Hello to all my wonderful followers…

I am here seeking your help. I just launched a KICKSTARTER Project to help me fund the Blood Angel Series.

Please click on the following link to check out my video and the details of my project:

The Blood Angel Series KICKSTARTER Project

I hope that you will take the time to visit my KICKSTARTER project and maybe even donate a little to help me reach my goal. Every dollar counts and for your donation of $5 or more you’ll even receive a special reward directly from me!!! You’ll have to click on the link above to find out the details of all the available rewards.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Blood Angel Series Cover Poster

WHAT IS THE BLOOD ANGEL SERIES ABOUT?

The Blood Angel series is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood, it will take the death of her father for the truth of her bloodline to come out, even if it means losing her life or her identity. Watch as Alee struggles to understand her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world ,where the horror films she grew up watching have become her reality, the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline. Follow as Alee discovers herself and her purpose.

Camouflaged by the mundane happenings of a high school existence, Alee would never have guessed what was happening below the surface in, “The Underground”. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes one of the hunted?

Will Alee be able to survive her destiny, or will it prove to be more powerful than she is?

The Blood Angel Series by Nina Soden
The Blood Angel Series by Nina Soden

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nina Soden, Author
Nina Soden, Author

I have always been creative, be it art, theatre, film – anything but singing…trust me, you don’t want to hear that! I earned my bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Military Science from Eastern Michigan University where I spent most of my time either on stage, rappelling down buildings, or working one of three jobs. After college I moved to Los Angeles like so many other starry-eyed actors in pursuit of fame and fortune in tinseltown. While there, I worked to pay the bills but my love was always acting. I was able to achieve some level of success, mostly in commercials and independent films, and I consider those experiences as some of the best of my life.

After some major life changes, I self-published my first book entitled PRIVATE WORDS UNSPOKEN, a compilation of self poetry. Since then, my literary interest has grown and I would like to think my storytelling ability has improved. I have done everything from office administration, to business development, to being the Director of a private preschool. I have jumped out of a C130 aircraft, fired a M16 machine gun, and given birth – TWICE! But I always return to my art.

Though I’ll forever be a Michigan girl at heart, I now live in the South where I am married with two wonderful children. If I’m not working on my latest story you can find me lounging with a good book, playing with my kids, or indulging in my unhealthy addiction to Starbucks coffee.

To learn more about me and my books you can check out my website, or follow me on one or all of the various internet/social media sites.

Facebook / Twitter Goodreads Blog

MY KICKSTARTER PLANS

Although I have been writing for quite some time, the Kickstarter Project opportunity is very new to me. I am the author of the Blood Angel Series. Book 1: AWAKEN and Book 2: BEGINNINGS, have already been published and are available to the public. However, with the steady increase of positive feedback I have received of late, I realize that my books will need additional editing in order to have a significant impact in the world of Young Adult Supernatural Fiction.

With that in mind, I have put together this Kickstarter Project in order to raise money to do the following:

  • Professional Editing, formatting, print and re-release of Awaken (book 1 ~ the Blood Angel Series)
  • Professional Editing, formatting, print and re-release of Beginnings (book 2 ~ the Blood Angel Series)
  • Professional Editing, formatting, print and release of Revenge (book 3 ~ the Blood Angel Series)
  • Marketing for the Blood Angel Series

I have found some amazing editors and formatters on elance.com and plan to work closely with them to ensure that my books are properly edited and formatted in order to give my readers the most enjoyable reading experience possible.

HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?

Traditionally, published authors receive an advance from a publisher in exchange for the chance to publish their book. Unfortunately, I have not been afforded this luxury – I’m an Indie Author. So, Kickstarter is my advance. It is a way for me to fund my literary project and produce a much higher quality product.

Here is an estimated breakdown of where the money will go:

  • $1050 for professional editing fees ($350 per book)
  • $400 for print and e-book formatting
  • $400 for the first paperback print run
  • $150 for fees and shipping costs

Any/all excess funding will go towards marketing/promotion of the Blood Angle Series, as well as, investment into the future of the series.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T READ YOUNG ADULT (YA)?

That’s okay!!! Even if you don’t read or even like Young Adult Fiction or the Supernatural Genre, I can guarantee that you know or love someone who does! Every reward level of this project can be given as a gift to someone else. Just pledge the amount for the reward you’d like to gift to a friend, and when the surveys are sent to collect your information you can let me know whether or not it is a gift and who to send it to. I’d even be happy to write a special gift message for you as well.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

So, you’re convinced and want to be a part in making the BLOOD ANGEL SERIES a reality? Awesome! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! All you have to do is click the button that says “BACK THIS PROJECT” at the top right of this page and pledge any amount over $1.00. Then, choose your reward, follow the instructions to pay, and I’ll keep you updated on the project every step of the way!

Even if you can’t pledge today, I would like to personally thank you for stopping by and giving me your time. Please feel free to share this project with your friends and family!

SPECIAL THANKS

Special thanks to my wonderful husband, Eric and my beautiful children, Sydney and Ethan, for all of their love and support.

My Fingertips Are Bleeding!

There are days when I feel so creative that my fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts.

Today is one of those days!

I have a new book editor and she is awesome! Trust me… I hate to see my pages covered in red just as much as any author. However, I also can appreciate that all those edits, comments, deletions, additions, etc. etc. etc. are only going to make my manuscript better.

So I say, BRING IT ON!

Since I was getting some great feed back on my books AWAKEN and BEGINNINGS (with the exception of a reoccurring negative comment about some minor grammar issues) I decided to re-edit and re-release the books. I hired a wonderful editor out in California and am now doing a thorough edit (round 10+) of Awaken, Beginnings, and my soon to be released Revenge (book 3 ~ The Blood Angel Series).

I can’t wait to re-release Awaken and Beginnings and see what type of difference the new edits will make on their reviews.

MORE SO… I can’t wait to announce the release of REVENGE…

RELEASE DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!!!

Revenge ~ a Blood Angel novel (BOOK 3) by Nina Soden COMING SOON

Revenge ~ a Blood Angel novel (BOOK 3) by Nina Soden
COMING SOON

REVENGE: 

Having died in her father’s arms only to awaken in a pool of blood surrounded by the corpses of the mutilated, her true love among them, who could blame her for what she did next? Wouldn’t you seek REVENGE?

REVENGE ~ book 3 in the BLOOD ANGEL SERIES