Showing posts with label Writers' inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writers' inspiration. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

An Interview with Author Linda Wilson, by Kathy Wagoner


 

Recently, I joined Southwest Writers, an organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that serves writers of fiction and nonfiction in every genre worldwide. It is an honor to get to know the esteemed members and to be the fortunate recipient of the myriad of online webinars offered by the organization. As a welcome, Kathy Wagoner, a Board member and website facilitator, published this interview in the latest issue of the SWW's newsletter. If you would like to learn more about the organization, please visit https://www.southwestwriters.com/.

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LINDA WILSON

Former elementary school teacher Linda Wilson has written over 150 articles for children and adults, along with short stories and books for children. Her dream to be a children’s book author came true in 2020 with the publication of Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, the first book of a ghost/mystery trilogy. You’ll find Linda on her website LindaWilsonAuthor.com and her Amazon author page. Visit the Writers on the Move blog where she’s a contributing author.


What would you like readers to know about the story you tell in Secret in the Stars.
My fondest desire is to create entertaining stories for young children about nature and the great outdoors. I would like readers to get swept away with the story and come away with a desire for adventure and exploring sports and outdoor activities.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
My biggest challenge in attempting to write a novel was living in a small town with no critique partners. I was a member of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), but because of distance, couldn’t be involved. It took about eight years to finish Stars. The biggest help was moving to Albuquerque and finding critique partners. Thanks to my connection with the New Mexico chapter of SCBWI here in Albuquerque, I finally learned enough to publish the book. I have since finished Secret in the Mist and two picture books.

Who are your main characters, and why will readers connect with them?
In the beginning of Stars, eleven-year-old Abi is anxious to get home from a camping trip with her grandfather. The first day of Summer Art Camp starts that afternoon. But her plans are dashed when her grandpa’s car breaks down and she becomes stranded at an old country inn. Abi, who lives in an apartment two hours away and is not athletic, meets eleven-year-old Jess, who lives in the country and is good at sports. A friendship blossoms based on the girls’ interest in solving the mystery in the story, and also on how much they admire each other. As a budding artist, Abi is aware of the world around her and uses her memory to create sketches of all that interests her. By Secret in the Mist, book two, she has awakened an interest in art in Jess. Jess is a fast runner, a good swimmer, and in Mist she takes Abi horseback riding. By the end of Stars, Abi finds that she can run faster than ever before. In Mist, she finds that she’s good at horseback riding, too. My hope is that Abi and Jess become role models for my readers.

Why did you decide to use the particular setting you chose?
I love this question because Stars and Mist both take place in fictional Pine Hill, a town based on Purcellville, Virginia, a beautiful town where we lived in the heart of horse country near where Jackie Onassis rode horses. In book three, Secrets of the Heart, we go to Abi’s apartment, which I think many readers will be able to connect with.

The country setting is deliberate, written for children who know and love the country, and also for children who do not have the opportunity to spend time in the country. There are personal reasons, too, which include the inn in Stars (based on an 18th century B & B a mile down the road from our house), and in Mist, horseback riders trotting their horses on our road and a marsh across the road where a bullfrog lived.

Where did the story idea come from?
We had so many guests for a wedding once that some needed to stay at the B & B down the road. Before our guests arrived, I paid the B & B a visit. The 18th century white-washed stone building loomed high on a hill, down a long, winding dirt road. Along the way, cows grazed on lush green grass and flowers bloomed in gardens, completing the Virginia country charm.

The proprietress sat me down in the old-fashioned parlor and regaled me with tales of the many renovations her husband had recently completed. On our way upstairs to see the bedrooms, I thought she said, “Oh, here’s my husband now.” I turned, expecting to see her husband climbing the stairs behind us. But I saw no one. Her eyes fell on a silhouette stenciled on the wall. I followed her gaze of a man in overalls and straw hat, lantern in hand, appearing to hurry up the stairs. Without another word, she continued to the second-floor landing. I followed, perplexed.

Where was her husband, I wondered? I asked her, still expecting to see him. She looked surprised and said, “Oh, he died a year ago.” Died? But he’s here. I can feel his presence. He hadn’t yet left her side. I knew that, though how I’ll never know. But I felt the truth of his presence in my bones. She tilted her head in the oddest way and added, “Why, I lost my Herbert a year ago, to the day!” She added, “I painted Herbert’s silhouette on the wall, as he so often looked on his way to bed.” Color rose to her cheeks. “I suppose it’s silly, but it’s my way of keeping him close.” I went home with the idea of her husband’s ghost dancing in my head and then finding his way into my heart. I still get goose bumps every time I think of that eerie encounter.

What was it like working with a cover designer and Tiffany Tutti, the illustrator for the book?
I gave Tiffany my vision of what my characters looked like and the scenes I wanted to see portrayed. I used two to three traditionally published model books because I wanted Star to look professional. I think we succeeded. As a self-published author, I was able to find two terrific companies to format Stars and create the cover using the manuscript and illustrations by Tiffany Tutti, Formatted Books, and 100 Covers. In addition to the book cover,100 Covers also created a beautiful media image, which I’m very proud of.

Tell us how the book came together.
By the time I retired, I had written many articles for adults and children, had been editor of a newsletter, and helped a fellow author interview and write biographies of people who grew up in Westford, Massachusetts where my family lived at the time. I had always wanted to write fictional stories for children. I began by writing and publishing short stories. Stars is my first book. Though like many writers, I have partially-written manuscripts stashed away in my drawer.

The illustrations for Secret in the Stars, and the completed book, were accomplished with what is known as a “vanity publisher.” I worked with a terrific editor, staff, and illustrator while the book was in production. Just days before the book was to be published, I read 10 Publishing Myths by W. Terry Whalin, a fellow contributor to www.writersonthemove.com. From the get-go Whalin advises googling any company you’re about to do business with to check for complaints: “company name + complaints.” Was I in for a shock. I was directed to a private Facebook page of authors numbering forty-nine at the time, who had not received any royalties for their books for over two, sometimes, three years. I was lucky. When I cancelled my account, I was able to retrieve my files right away, both the illustrations and the interior, and was able to publish the book on Amazon. Other authors weren’t so lucky. Today there are many more authors involved and some were never able to retrieve their files. We have retained an attorney who has been helping the authors as well as finding ways to put this company (one man) out of business.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you began your writing/publishing journey?

  • How much revision is needed to create a polished manuscript.
  • How important knowledgeable critique partners are in editing things I can’t see, and also how much I’ve learned and enjoyed by critiquing their works.
  • How long it would take to feel competent in writing fiction. I knew it would be difficult and I had read that an overnight success takes fifteen years. I suppose I’m about at that mark, fifteen years! However, I wouldn’t change my experience as a writer for anything in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift is available in eBook, and the September 2021 paperback copy is available in full color on Amazon. Discounted and signed copies of Packrat’s Holiday and Secret in the Stars are available by ordering from LindaWilsonAuthor.com. Chris Eboch, prolific author and editor from Socorro, New Mexico, says of Packrat’s Holiday, “Children will love this story, where the littlest creatures have adventures and become heroes. Fun language and cowboy slang make for a great read aloud.” My next picture book, Tall Boots, features a 4-H Horse Show complete with the official 4-H name and emblem. Tall Boots will be available soon. You can read about the books on my SWW author page.


Source: https://www.southwestwriters.com/an-interview-with-author-linda-wilson/


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nurturing a Writer

Summer is winding down in Chicago.  Schools are beginning to welcome back their students.  Street festivals and concerts in the park are dwindling.  I’m gearing up for the numerous activities that kick into my life in the fall, but wait…what happened to summer vacation?  What happen to rest, relaxation and a little fun?  Somehow, I let life get in the way. Fortunately, it’s never too late for a little self-pampering.  While I’m at it, I’m going to nurture the writer in me.



Here’s what I’m putting on my list…

·         A day at the beach with a chair, sunscreen and a trashy novel
·         An evening talking with an old friend
·         A Sunday afternoon with a good book
·         An hour with a notebook to write nothing in particular and see what happens
·         Good coffee and chocolate
·         A picnic in the park with a jazz concert
·         A visit with the Jellies at the aquarium
·         Hmmm…I think I could go on and on.

I may have rushed through summer, but it’s never too late to rest, recharge and become inspired.  What about you?  Do you have some end of the season pampering for the writer in you?


Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach who helps clients live their true north.  For more information check out  www.donorth.biz   or folllow her at:

http://facebook.com/DoNorth.biz  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Spotlight: Bible Bites and Guest Post with Shirley Kufeldt


An interesting twist to learning the Bible and great way to preserve family history!

I'm not here to share my view points on religion, however, there are many Christians in my family so when I meet author Shirley Kufeldt and she shared her little booklets with me, I was intrigued. I had never seen anything done like this and really liked the idea. I know a lot of people who would love these personal journals/devotions. So I asked her to share a bit about her books and inspiration for putting them together.

 
Albert Einstein stated:  God always takes the simplest way.


BIBLE BITES booklets are small pocket-sized monthly journals that include current prayer requests and focused daily Scripture for journaling and reflection. This is a simple solution to a situation many would like to resolve. Through BIBLE BITES people can easily learn, memorize or meditate on Scripture as they journal regularly with direction and purpose.




TREASURE IS IN THE BIBLE with SHIRLEY KUFELDT

I’ve learned to use what God gives me and to praise Him for what He takes away because both attitudes bring glory to Him

My working years were spent as the admin in offices where I excelled in organizing, editing and simplifying the work process. Now retired, becoming an author is a total career change for me and a chance to start something new.

While attending a Christian-based support group at my church for a number of years, I realized recovery from codependency is hard work. Too many attendees just showed up without doing the homework and missed out on what God could do for them and through them. They didn’t invest time in their own recovery from codependency. It was my desire to develop a simple method for those folks who, for whatever reason, are unable to complete homework assignments but have a sincere desire to examine God’s Word and develop a personal relationship with Him. 

Many of us have received greeting cards with a Bible verse specific to the card’s sentiment. I now enjoy reading my Bible as History, using my admin skills to look for treasure, to find familiar verses in context and discover the author’s original intent. The Bible is the story of real people who lived, believed in God, disobeyed Him, experienced consequences for sin, and then amazingly found redemption in His all-consuming love for them. 

In 30 years of Bible studies, I’d been encouraged to journal my personal faith walk but was never successful. For the past three years, I journaled in small booklets developed as devotionals, which include pages for prayer requests and topical verses for each title in the series.

In prayer, God gave me the name BIBLE BITES and the cover photo for the first book, Meet God and His SonBIBLE BITES records an individual’s faith walk and connects the writer to their descendants with a record of hopes, dreams, aspirations and answered prayers. BIBLE BITES will become a treasured family legacy similar to family photo albums and heirloom items passed on to future generations.

Albert Einstein stated that Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler. Beginning the habit of regular devotions while developing a personal relationship with God can hardly be simpler than responding to His Word in BIBLE BITES.
I continue to use my admin skills compiling verses for future titles. I’m learning to promote my books and have been gratified when friends enthusiastically appreciate my efforts to make Bible verses so much more user friendly. Now I can praise God for taking something away from me—my fears because BIBLE BITES deepens my relationship with Christ and brings glory to God.


Book Titles:
MEET GOD AND HIS SON
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-099-6

GOALS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS
Paperback ISBN:  978-1-61244-100-9

AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-101-6

THE WOW FACTOR
Paperback ISBN:  978-1-61244-102-3

Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.


Places where your book(s) are available for sale:

Note: Verses come from the New Living Translation

 



BIO:
Shirley Kufeldt is a wife, mother, grandmother and tea party activist who helped raise their two daughters with prayers that ended by Thanking God for giving us our daughters. She now searches for Bible verses for her BIBLE BITES Legacy Series so others will easily find the one verse that will cause them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for salvation. Check out her posts at www.BibleBites.net and on Facebook.


You can find out more about Shirley Kufeldt and her Bible Bites series at http://tinyurl.com/bb3ofxd
 

Techniques for Cultivating Creative Writing Ideas by Deborah Lyn

Make cultivating ideas part of your writing process. Creative writing needs inspiration—motivation will follow quickly to get that personal ...