Patrick McMillan Has a Plan– Nick Wale Interviews Self-Help Author Patrick McMillan

Patrick McMillan is a single parent. In his efforts to be a better parent he devised new lessons and activities to teach his sons. Now he finds himself coaching, writing and promoting his own tips for parenting success. I wanted to meet him– and here is what happened when I did! I present an interview with A-1 dad, Law of Attraction advocate and self-help author Patrick McMillan…

pat

Q) Hi, Patrick! So tell me– why did you write a book?

A) Well, it started off as just a little book of lessons and activities I put together for my two sons and I to do at home together. I was an “at home” parent for just over seven years. It obviously had an impact on them because I was asked by my son’s teacher (following a bullying incident) what I was teaching him and is it something I could teach her whole class? Then the school principal got word of it and asked me to teach the whole school. Then the “light went on” and I realized this is something ALL children need, not just my own, and I felt compelled to share it.

Q) Do you think the American school system fails kids?

A) To a large degree, yes! But where I believe it can be turned around is by making “Character Education” or Social and Emotional Learning a mandatory part of the curriculum in ALL schools.

Q) Tell me about your book. What are you teaching kids?

A) It’s called Discover Your Happiness: A Guide Just For Kids and it teaches children through both reading and experience the true “science of happiness.” The lessons and activities are based upon research in positive psychology and “subjective well-being” and the activities have been proven to boost emotional well-being. It’s designed to help kids develop habits of thinking that lead to lasting happiness.

Q) How are people taking to it? Is it growing daily? What has the public been saying about your work?

A) Well, I just self-published it and I’m working on the “getting the word out” part.

The feedback I’ve received thus far has been amazing! It has been endorsed by some of the biggest names in personal development and parenting/self-esteem.

Q) Your endorsements are impressive! How did you manage to gain such credibility so quickly?

A) I conducted a huge on-line parenting event in 2010 and interviewed twenty-four of some of the world’s leading experts in the field and made some fantastic connections, so I sent the book off to them. In fact, after interviewing Marci Shimoff (Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul, Happy for No Reason, The Secret) she called me at home to find out more about my book and asked me if she could endorse it!!

Q) I noticed that you are a natural at making connections with people. Would you say that statement is true?

A) I certainly don’t struggle with it! I’ve been on my own since I was fifteen years old so I learned at a young age how important connections with others really are!

Q) Who would you say has been your biggest supporter so far?

A) Hmmm! That’s a tough one… I would have to say Shelly Lefkoe who I met about six or seven years ago. She and her husband are remarkable at what they do and she was a personal coach and mentor of mine since we met. (http://www.thelefkoeway.com/) Additionally, because of the old adage…”It’s not about who you know, but who they know.” Shelly and her husband are founding members of The Transformational Leadership Counsel– a very select group of some of the most influential and powerful transformational leaders in the world.

Q) You’ve also moved into a new career as a personal coach, correct? How are you taking to that new role?

A) Well, it seems like something I’ve done all of my life, but as a career it developed after sharing my own personal story at several parenting/divorced parenting events  and on radio interviews. Then I started getting contacted about personal coaching, so its turned into more than just “life coaching” because much of it revolves around parenting and raising self-confident and happy kids, but that starts with the parent getting their “happy on” first.

Patrick-McMillan-tiny

Q) Like me, you are, I believe, a great believer in “Law of Attraction,” right?

A) Very much so!

Q) Tell me, how has the “Law of Attraction” changed your life?

A) Understanding it gave me answers as to how I’ve created my life up to this point, and from this moment forward I get to use that knowledge to create for myself the life I want most.

Q) Do you believe people meet for a reason?

A) Energy and Attraction!! I believe these are the reasons people meet.

Q) From our talks you seem to be such a positive, forward-thinking guy. Do you have those dark moments of despair?

A) Certainly! But I’ve noticed clearly how being “positive on purpose” becomes a way of being after a while and it allows me to look at situations differently. I can pull myself out of a bummer mood much sooner than before and with much less effort.

Q) So what would your advice be to people struggling with problems right now?

A) That there is always a different way to look at what seems to be a problem, and intentionally trying to see other ways of looking at things makes them change. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great saying: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Also, a problem cannot be solved by focusing on the problem, it just makes more of it. Recognize it, yes, but then its about getting to a better way of thinking and feeling to open up the mind to receiving a solution. Don’t ask “How do I make the problem go away?” because that will come to you when you are in a mindset to receive it.

With our interview over I began to think about the words Patrick had spoken. What good is negativity to life? I think he has the right idea– stay positive and things will indeed get better. If you have been looking down, change your perspective and look up!

To paraphrase from Patrick’s new book– I have this to share with you all…

Discover Your Happiness is a guide for kids filled with lessons and activities to boost emotional intelligence and overall happiness. Research in the “Science of Happiness” proves we can live the happiest we deserve to live if we understand where true lasting happiness comes from…Inside each and every one of us! Discover Your Happiness gives kids the tools and strategies to create for themselves the life every parent wants most for their child…A Happy Life!”

What more could anyone ask for?

Patrick front page

 

Check out Patrick’s book Discover Your Happiness- A Guide For Just Kids

Check out Patrick’s YouTube videos here

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

Stuart Yates is Back! Nick Wale Heralds the Return of Stuart Yates

This will be my third interview with Stuart Yates–a writer’s writer and a man who seems to have endless ideas for books. I was impressed with our last interview. Stuart is a writer and he writes almost every day. It matters not if he has sales, and over our conversations I have realised how wonderful it must be to just write for the joy of writing. When you see a guy like Stuart who has sometimes sold only one or two copies of a book, you wonder why he keeps doing it? He has his fans and he has a deep love for his work. He might be writing for a select audience, but those people sit up and love his work. That is the best part of anything– knowing that your work is appreciated by someone. I present to you my third outing with Stuart Yates.

Stuart Yates

Q) Tell me, have you enjoyed our interviews so far?

A) Yes, very much so.

Q) How many interviews have you done over your writing career?

A) About writing? Quite a few, but yours have been my favourites.

Q) You had an accident on your bike recently, right? Tell me what happened!

A) Ah…well…it was raining, very hard, and it hadn’t rained for a while, so the road was very slippery. I just lost control. Simple as that.

Q) How long till you recover?

A) Well…not sure. Perhaps a week. I’ve torn the ligaments in my arm, busted up both knees. Very painful, but I’m okay. Nothing is broken! My arm is in a sling, so it is hard to do very much at all, really.

Q) Have you managed to fit some writing time in?

A) Well, funnily enough, I had a sudden spurt of inspiration! So, yes, I’ve managed it, but very slowly with one finger of my right hand. My left one is incapacitated. I’m working on a new thriller, which is coming along very nicely. Once I start thinking of scenarios, it is difficult to stop.

Q) You’re a creative powerhouse!

A) A creative powerhouse? Well…when an idea takes hold, it does tend to take over.

Q) Tell me more about your latest thriller.

A) This one is set in the near future, when the world is massively over-populated. The sea-levels are rising and the politicians decide to take somewhat drastic action.

Q) What do they do?

A) They create a smoke screen– they get a real duffer of a policeman to investigate a murder, so that the world will focus in on that. Meanwhile, they put together an elaborate plan to end everybody’s problems. It’s a simple fact that in a generation the population of the planet will be 10 billion people and we cannot sustain those numbers! That’s the thread of the story. It’s not nice, and it has no happy ending– but it is good fun!

Q) How has the world changed since you started writing?

A) In so many ways! I used to type on an old Olivetti portable, using masses of correction fluid and carbon paper. I longed to be like Dashiel Hammett, writing well into the night! Then, of course, you send it away with return postage and wait for half a lifetime for it to be returned. Not like today, of course! Everything is so much faster! [The writing process is] still tinged with frustration and disappointment though. That much hasn’t changed! The rejection slips still mount up, only this time they are in the form of e-mails.

Q) How often do you get rejected?

A) A lot! I have written what I think is a wonderful story, and it has gone to maybe thirty agents, all of whom have rejected it. A publisher liked it, read it all, but decided not to go ahead because my hero was too weak. Poor man. So now my latest manuscript is with Harper Collins and some agents in the States. We will see.

Q) Have you been rejected by Harper Collins before?

A) Yes!!! Years and years ago, when you could submit directly to them. Nowadays, they won’t look at you without an agent, but late last year they threw open their doors to ‘open submissions’. They received 4500 of them!!! Mine hasn’t been rejected YET…

Q) What is so important about a signing with Harper Collins?

A) Because they are HUGE!!! They assign an editor to you, do the marketing, publicity, arrange interviews (wink wink) and press-releases. They are a major international publishing house and are fully equipped to take you forward in your career. When the opportunity came to submit, I simply had to. I had made some changes after the feedback from the publisher who had rejected me, so I feel it’s a better product. It is the first part of a trilogy. I’ve already written the second, and the third is planned.

Q) What would you deem a hit?

A) A hit? For me? Anything over ten copies sold makes me happy. I just got my royalty cheque for Burnt Offerings. I made a whopping five pounds!

Q) You’ve had a book that didn’t sell even one copy?

A) Yes!!! Of course. Death’s Dark Design has sold NIL and my trilogy of animal tales set on Alderney have sold NIL. Now I find that Interlopers From Hell, which I expected to do better, hasn’t sold a single copy. Do I care? Not really. You write for the love of it. Not for the royalty checks or the fame. I don’t worry! I am a published author and that’s what counts.

Q) How do you cope with such a lack of success?

A) How do I cope? What a question. I have a wonderful capacity to simply shut out bad vibes, bad news, setbacks, etc., unless, of course, they are personal. I simply just get on with the next one. What more can you do? They have been edited professionally, they are well produced, the covers are good… AND, the stories are good, too. So, I simply carry on.

Q) Do you ever get fan mail?

A) What is fan mail? I have had some lovely comments from people, yes. Some people have done reviews on my books, people I don’t know, and that is tremendous. I have seen people make comments about my blogs. Nobody then goes and buys a book. Well, not enough to make any kind of difference. I keep telling myself ‘this is the one’ after I have finished a book. So far, it isn’t!!! Still, what does it matter? I’ve thought about opening up a little Bed and Breakfast in northern France or working in a museum, telling visitors about the exhibits– anything to keep me going artistically. I could put some of my books on the counter.

I remember once I was at a fair here in Spain. I had a little stall with my books on and I was giving away bookmarks–really cool they were– however, they didn’t have my face on them, which is always a good selling point. I handed one to some guy and he looked at it and said, ‘No, I’m not interested.’ I smiled, ‘But you do read, don’t you, sir? You could use that, it’s absolutely free.’ ‘No’, he said, and gave it me back. I was so downhearted. I haven’t been there since– I’ve even tried to give my books away at work! Nobody wants them. Maybe three or four of the forty-odd staff have read my books, and they have all liked them. Two of them wrote stonking (that means “good” for the American readers) reviews on Amazon.

One girl loved the book I gave to her, and she wanted to read more, so she has. Another good friend has helped me with editing. She’s a brilliant teacher, and literacy is her strong point. But another I had to virtually beg to read it. It was FREE for crying out loud. She just looked at me and shook her head.

Q) Tell me Stuart, do you know that your work is good?

A) Yes, I know my work is good, even though I rarely admit to that. I’m naturally very modest. I hate putting myself forward, that is why I find all this marketing and promotion business so difficult!

People find that extraordinary when they find out about my background in acting. But, like I try to tell them, that was not ME up there on that stage. That was a character. Being ME is extremely difficult.

Q) Tell me about your acting career.

A) Well, I sort of stumbled into it really. I was unemployed – AGAIN – and went on a government sponsored scheme as a youth-worker in a local rep theatre. Wow, the people I met there. So talented! Outstanding musicians and actors. I had a great time. We used to go around local special schools and put on plays for the kids. It was brilliant. I used to help out in the theatre in the evenings and got into acting properly that way. I went down to London for an audition and I got in !!!

I’ve always wanted to be an actor, perhaps for longer than I’ve wanted to be a writer. I started up my own theatre group with some friends. We won lots of competitions. I was voted best actor twice in one of the most prestigious acting competitions on Merseyside. Then I went to university, and did Drama as part of my degree. All of that taught me a lot about good dialogue pacing, tension, all of that. It was a great time in my life and I still keep in touch with some of my old friends.

Q) So your acting indirectly shaped your writing?

A) Definitely! I was always very intuitive as an actor, and I am as a writer. I just go with it, I don’t think about it too much. Sometimes, thinking gets in the way. I’m like that as a teacher, too. I can’t be doing with following plans, even though in my writing I do have a very loose plan but, it is a plan that develops as the story unfolds.

Q) How would you describe your writing?

A) Pacey, spicey, with lots of twists

Q) Do you enjoy writing sex scenes?

A) Wow!!! Dear me…er…well…Mm, what do I say to that? Yes, in short! As long as they have place in the story, why not?

Q) Has writing sex scenes made you a better lover?

A) Er…mm…they’ve certainly made me more thoughtful. The research is great !!! I don’t want you to get the wrong idea! Hey, James Bond wouldn’t be who is is without all that spice!!! I don’t write erotica…just a little sprinkling of good, wholesome fun ! And besides, writing about vicious gangsters who blow people’s legs off hasn’t made me a better killer! I deal with story-making which is fiction and fantasy. None of it is real. Although I have met some pretty gruesome characters and they populate the pages of my books quite a lot!

Q) So what was the last great book you read?

A) The last ‘great’ book I read…I re-read Of Mice and Men just before Christmas, and it blew me away as usual. That is what I would class a ‘great’ book! The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas left me feeling dazed by its brilliance. I read that a few months ago and No Country for Old Men. Now there was a book and a half. Wow. I was in awe of that. I’ve read lots of others, but none that I would term ‘great’. At the moment, I’m reading about William II as part of the research for a historical novel I’ll be getting down to in the summer

Q) What’s this new historical novel called?

A) My book has a working title of ‘Arrow From the Mist’ or something like that, but that might change.

Q) What’s the historical book about?

A) William II was killed in a hunting ‘accident’ in the New Forest in 1100. He had become separated from the main group. He was found dead, with an arrow sticking out of him. The arrow belonged to a knight called Walter Tyrel who promptly disappeared. Henry, William’s brother, quickly seized the throne…and here’s the interesting bit! He never ordered any investigation into his brother’s death; Tyrel was allowed to leave the country, and his family were awarded top jobs in the government so, was it an accident, or was he murdered on the orders of his brother? It’s a real mystery, that will never be solved. BUT, my story puts a nice little twist on it because it wasn’t Tyrel OR Henry…it was somebody else…or maybe two people… or three… who knows!!! You’ll have to read it and see! I just can’t wait to start it!

With our interview over, I left Stuart to his work. He loves his work and it shows through with every ounce of his being. I think you will discover him one day. Perhaps today? You will go and pick up a Stuart G. Yates novel and read until you are satisfied. Stuart will be satisfied, too– he will have gained another new reader. Adios till we meet again!

Stu YatesSee my other inerviews with Mr Yates here and here!

Boyd Lemon Makes Sweet Lemonade– An Interview With Nick Wale

The truth is a state of mind. Boyd Lemon has been interviewed many times before and I could have just asked the same stale old questions about his life. I knew I had to do something different and I had to ask questions that would give you an insight into the man. So, who is Boyd Lemon? Well, there are several Boyd Lemons. The first is the nationally recognised lawyer who lived the excessive lifestyle of the seventies to its fullest. The second is the writer, the man who sits in a coffee shop, tapping away at a new manuscript, deep in thought. The third is a family man who adores his children and grandchildren. The fourth Boyd is one who paints and paints until his heart is content. The fifth is the world traveller who has been to lands far flung around the world. Boyd is as multi-faceted as any human being can be. I tried to ask the questions that would give me the answers to the questions his biography asked me.

 

As a writer, Boyd has written a biography called “Digging Deep” that tells a revealing tale about the failure of his three marriages. Additionally, he has written travel memoirs and short stories. He is currently working on a fiction book. The interview happened as follows:

Boyd L

Q) Hi, Boyd, I’m pleased to meet you. So why did you become an author? With such an illustrious career as a lawyer behind you, what drove you to become a writer?

A) I never felt fulfilled as a lawyer, despite forty years of practicing law–sad but true–so I knew I had to retire as soon as I was financially able. I really wanted to do something fulfilling, but I didn’t know what that could be. Then, when I was sixty-five, a publisher asked me to write a law book on the subject of malpractice by attorneys. I wrote that book, and it was published in 2006. I enjoyed the writing and publication process, but I knew I wanted to write something outside of legal topics. A writer friend of mine suggested I try writing short fiction. I told her that I didn’t think I had any creative ability, and she said, “Baloney, everyone has creative ability; it is just a matter of developing it.” So I took a stab at it and wrote a short story, and then another one and another one, and so on. Eventually, I was hooked on writing. I knew what I had to do in retirement.

Q) So you write to fulfil yourself and to live your dream. Do sales matter to you? Do you worry about the next royalty check?

A) I invested my savings and cut back on my lifestyle so that I had enough income, along with Social Security, to live the modest way that I wanted. I learned that I didn’t need a big house, a fancy car, etc. So I am in the envious position of not needing to earn a living from writing. I love that I can write whatever I want without regard to whether it will bring in a paycheck. The only reason I care at all about sales is that I do want people to read what I write and hopefully benefit from it in some way, so I have to sell books.
boyd

Q) Of all your books, the one that stood out to me loudest was “Digging Deep.” I thought it took great courage to analyse yourself in that way. What was the writing experience like? You must have learnt so much about yourself.

A) Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages is still the book that has meant the most to me. To try to understand my role in the destruction of my three marriages was excruciatingly painful emotionally. I learned a lot of things about myself that I did not particularly like. However, in the end it was tremendously healing. I had no idea how damaging it was to hold all that in under the surface. The process of writing the book brought me a peace that I had not known, and, I believe, has helped people understand themselves and their spouses or ex-spouses or partners better. I am not the only one that had the faults and human frailties that I uncovered about myself.

Q) How have readers taken to that book?

A) I have had a lot of varied reactions. Many people have told me that it helped them understand things about their own relationships that they were not aware of. Some people chastised me for disclosing private information about my ex-wives, especially acquaintances who knew one or more of my ex-wives. I received a lot of compliments for having the courage to open up and expose myself and my human weaknesses and issues. Virtually all people praised the quality and depth of my writing, except for one guy who, when I had a special promotion of the e-book for a limited time for 99 cents, wrote on Barnes and Noble that it wasn’t worth 99 cents. Oh well. Fortunately, he was in the small minority.

Q) You can’t please everyone in this world. So changing the tempo, tell me about your book “Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior’s Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany.” You sound like a guy who loves culture and travel.

Eat-Walk-Write

A) Travel is my second passion, something I have known for many years, but was not able to pursue (except for business trips) until I retired. By 2010 I had been to Paris twice for short periods, and I loved the art, history and architecture there, as well as the café culture. People actually talk to each other in Paris–endlessly, it seems. So I decided to move to Paris, originally, I thought for two years. I ended up staying a year, and I lived in a working class neighborhood away from the tourist areas, although I visited the tourists areas. There were challenges, to say the least– the primary one being the language. I did not speak a word of French when I got there, and I found it a very difficult language for a seventy year-old to learn. Dealing with the French bureaucracy as a resident alien was also difficult, was finding an apartment, opening a bank account, etc. But all of that was superseded by the magic and glory that is Paris. it was the experience of a lifetime. I kept a journal daily, and when I got home to California, I decided to turn it into a book. I miss Paris.

Q) If you could live anywhere in the world, would you choose Paris?

A) That is a tough question. My answer is, no, but I can’t think of any single place that I would want to live indefinitely. That is probably why in the past six years I have lived in California, Boston, Paris and now rural southeast Georgia.

Q) Tell me about Boyd Lemon the man. What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies, interests, etc.

A) Well, we have covered some of it. I love to travel, and not just to far away places. I enjoy St. Augustine, Florida, which is about an hour and a half drive from my home. Next month I’ll spend a few days in Savannah, Georgia, about the same distance in the other direction. I love to explore new places, learn about the history of different areas of the this country and the world. For example, I learned that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S., settled in 1540. I love good food and wine, and I emphasize that it doesn’t have to be expensive food. There are some places around here that serve amazing catfish and hush puppies. I am a fanatic baseball fan and always have been, a long suffering Dodger fan. Last summer my best friend and I took an eleven stadium baseball tour across the country starting in Anaheim, California and ending in Atlanta, Georgia. We saw eleven major league baseball games in sixteen days. I also love and am close to my four children and four grandchildren.

Q) Would be right to describe you as a family man, then?

A) I think so, despite the fact that I didn’t make a success of my marriages. I have always been close to my children, especially as they became teenagers and adults and had the freedom to make their own choices.

Q) So how do you write? What is the writing process for you? Do you write in silence? With music? Long periods of writing? How does Boyd Lemon write?

A) I write some almost every day, although it can vary from a half hour to six hours–generally around three, I would say. I find that I write best and most enjoyably if I vary the places where I write. Sometimes I write at my desk at home, but I also write in cafés, parks when the weather allows, libraries occasionally, planes and trains. I do not need silence, as long as something interesting to me is not going on, like a baseball game on TV. I do not play music while I write, because I like to be listening to music when it is playing, and I can’t write and listen at the same time. But I can write in a crowded, noisy café and just tune out the noise. The main thing is that I need to vary the place. I can’t just stay holed up at home for a long time, day after day. I have been known to get on a train, ride it for a few hours, stop and turn around and ride it back home.

Q) You strike me as a jazz fan, Boyd. Am I right?

A) Ha! Yes, jazz, folk and classical, even a little blue grass when I’m in the mood.

Q) I knew it! I grew up with bluegrass– Bill Monroe should be known better.

A) Oh, yes, absolutely. Around “these parts,” as they say here in Georgia, he is.

Q) The closest the English really get to country music is some of the Elvis stuff and Slim Whitman.

A) Yes, I am not very familiar with English music, except, of course, the pop from the ’60s and ’70’s and the later punk, etc. One of my favorite country singers is an unknown that I just happened to meet. She is from Denmark– Jessica Lynne.

Q) I will check her out! Anyway, I digress– you write fiction, too, am I right? Tell me about your fiction work.

A) So far the only fiction I have written is short, and I have published a book of ten of my short stories, and a small book of five. Several have been published in small literary magazines. My short stories tend to be about relationships, family and otherwise, and the conflicts that occur, as well as the challenges that life brings to us all. After a few short stories, I really wanted to write a novel, but felt that I wasn’t ready yet, so that is when I wrote Digging Deep. But now I am ready, and I just started on a novel two weeks ago. I’m having a lot of fun with it so far. I love writing the first draft; it is so thrilling to just let it flow, let my imagination run wild. The comes the editing process, which as it moves along gets more and more tedious. I hate proofreading, but it has to be done.

games-boyd-lemon-paperback-cover-art

Q) You do the whole process yourself? Most writers use proofreaders and editors. I’m surprised you go through the pain.

A) I use editors and proofreaders, too. I think it is a necessity to have a polished product, but I want it to be the absolute best I can make it before I submit it to somebody else, because I think that gives the work the best chance of being something worthwhile. Why should I submit something less than my best to somebody else?

Q) I agree, that’s a very responsible attitude. I must admit, Boyd, you have won a new fan here. So tell me, who are your favourite authors?

A) Oh, that is really a difficult one. There are so many. I will name a few, but understand I am leaving out many. Hemingway, McMurtry, Marilynne Robinson, Wally Lamb, Tolstoy, John Irving, Stephen King, James Baldwin, Austin, Vivian Gornick, to name a few. And I’m showing my provincialism. Most are Americans. I should have included the Brit, Franzen. He is wonderful.

Q) If you had to pick one of your books for a reader who didn’t know your work, which would it be?

A) Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages, unless a reader just has no interest in the subject matter of marriage and divorce. Then, Eat, Walk, Write. Of course, the Retirement book is directed toward a specific audience, people who are near or in retirement.

Q) Any last words you’d like to say before we wrap up?

A) Well, first thank you for an interesting interview. I really enjoyed it, and you asked more than just the standard questions. And I want to say to readers that my greatest reward as a writer is that the reader is learning something helpful to him or her from my books. That is what I have in mind when I am going through the writing process. Finally, for other writers: I know it is a struggle, and it is highly unlikely that you will become rich and famous, but keep at it; just grab that pen and notebook or computer, and sit down and write every chance that you get. It is a noble undertaking, in my opinion. We, as human beings, are the only species who can write.

Boyd Lemon

So what do I think of Mr Boyd Lemon? Well I think he is a genuine and decent man who has uncovered much truth about himself and exposed it to the world. He loves his new careers and his family and as Mr James Fant said to me the other day, “Love’s alright. Isn’t it?” Yes, I would say it is.

Links to Boyd Lemon:

Check out Boyds Amazon Author Page for more information regarding his work.

For excerpts, reviews, interviews and information about all of Boyds books see the official website here.

Boyd Lemon on Facebook

Boyd Lemon Facebook Fan Page

Follow Boyd onTwitter

Email Boyd directly at: Boyd (@) BoydLemon-Writer.com

Tom Blubaugh in 877 words

What can I say about Tom Blubaugh? Well he says a whole lot during this interview. I guess I can add a few things though. Tom is a man of few words– yet each word is thought out and methodical. Not a chatterbox– a thinker. Tom is one of those guys who has so much to say– but says only what he needs to. I think you will love this interview! Read on!

_________________________________________________________________________

Tom Blubaugh 2Q) Great to meet you Tom! How did you get into writing?

 

A) When I was fourteen I was very shy. If I liked a girl, I would write a poem expressing my feelings. When Elvis Presley and rock & roll came on the scene, I thought I might be able to convert my poems into song lyrics and make a fortune. Never happened, but I’ve been writing in some form since.


Q) As a writer– what inspires you? What gives you that energy to write everyday?

 

A) Lots of things. I am a spiritual person and I love nature. Astrology totally captures my mind. I can look at images from the Hubble telescope for hours. I have been told that I’m a serious person for as long as I can remember. All of these things get my mind into a creative mode and I start writing. I have a lot of things I want to share. 


Q) What are your writing goals? What is it that drives you towards publication?

 

A) I’m not sure I have any firm goals. I’m working on a sequel to my novel Night of the Cossack, but I have been dragging my feet. I don’t feel that Night of the Cossack has come anywhere close to meeting its potential. It was release in April, 2011 and I have been working at building my marketing platform since. Until I know I have a strong following, I won’t release the sequel. 


Q) Who are your personal favourite authors? 

 

A) This is a tough question. I have developed a very large circle of author connections and I’m reading more than I ever have. I wasn’t encouraged to read as a child. Now I feel like I’m catching up. I’ve read a large number of Louis L’Amour’s books so I guess I would say he’s my favorite at this time.

 

Q) Tell me about your books– what are they called and where can we buy them? I think people will be kept hooked by Night of the Cossack.

 

A) The only book that is still in print is Night of the Cossack. It’s a story about my maternal grandfather. He died before I was born and I missed knowing him. In fact, both grandfathers we deceased when I was born. I knew very little about either of them, but I did know my maternal grandfather was a Cossack soldier. This always fascinated me. I wanted my children and grandchildren to know him so I basically created him in this historical fiction. The history is 100% accurate, but he’s 95% fiction at this point. 


Q) How do you promote your work? What internet sites do you use?

 

A) Every possible way I can–blog and radio interviews, blog articles, speaking, book signings and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest and more. I’m working with a marketing consultant to pull all of my multiple thousands together and further develop my name and sales. 


Q) How do you feel about E-books? Are they going to overtake published works?

 

A) I love ebooks. I have a reader the size of a normal book that contains three hundred books. It’s like carrying around my own personal library. I was forty-two when PCs came on the scene. My grandchildren have more computer knowledge than I have after twenty-nine years. We still give them gift cards to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and they still read printed books, but I think in another generation printed books will probably be antiquated. 

 

Q) If you could have written one book– what would it be?

 

A) I don’t think I’ve read that book yet. I’m a movie nut. I especially like movies that are based on true stories. One I saw this past year was For Greater Glory with Andy Garcia. This is the kind of story I want to write.


Q) How do you relax? What are your hobbies?

 

A) Relax? I’m not sure I really know how to do this. I like macro photography, but this has gone by the wayside–replaced by writing. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, horseshoes, Bocce Ball, harassing our cat, Blacky and I have a handful of TV shows I like.

 

Q) Why should people choose to read Night of the Cossack?

 

A) It’s a fast moving story that will keep their interest to the very end. I’ve received communications from readers age twelve to eighty-six. Many have said it should be a movie. (In case some producers are reading.)

Tom Blubaugh 1

With that the questioning was over and Tom went back to his work. This is a man to watch. Check out Night of the CossackThis is one book surely heading towards the bestseller list!

Thank you for your time Tom– please feel free to drop in on my blog again for a chat!

Great article from hot selling author Alex Laybourne! Check it out and enjoy it!

Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author

When George Orwell penned his novel 1984, and created the character of Si; the man who, tells the reader about the Inner Party’s plan to reduce language further and further, issuing reduced dictionaries, eliminating words until there are only the absolute minimum of words remaining with which to communicate, I doubt even Orwell could have imagined how true that would be.

Putting aside the technology of flat screens, CCTV and webcams, all of which can be found within this wonderful work of fiction (?), it is the clear prediction of the destruction of language that strikes me as being the most accurate.

I may be biased because of my nationality, but I think that the English language is the best in the world. It is expressive and can be used to conjure images and scenes far more romantic that even the most dashing of Frenchmen could conceive, and whose poetic…

View original post 639 more words

Finding Inspiration and the Drive to Succeed by Vonnie Winslow Crist

I asked published author Vonnie Winslow Crist to write an article for my blog. I wanted all you authors who are working to build a dream to read her words. Here they are and I think her sentiment is just marvelous!

_________________________________________________________________________

VonnieFinding inspiration to write or paint is the easy part of being an author/illustrator. From the sound of rain to the appearance of evening’s first star to the scent of crushed pine needles under foot, our world is filled with places, people, and life experiences that inspire. The trick is to pay attention, then take the time and jot down (or sketch) your ideas while they’re still vivid.

If you’re looking for realistic dialogue, eavesdrop! Sit in a shopping mall, cafe, or coffee shop with a pad of paper and take notes. And while you’re there, people-watch. But don’t just write down the a physical description of some of the passersby, speculate on where they’ve come from, where they’re headed, and who will be meeting them there. Watch children playing, then write about a childhood experience. Sit in a garden or wooded lot and describe the location using all of your senses. Then, imagine the lives of the animals that live there. Look into the night sky and write about someone else who’s looking at those same stars. The chances for inspiration are endless.

And since I think the world is bursting with inspiration, I don’t believe in writer’s block! A writer can always write. Perhaps the next chapter in a novel won’t appear when you’d like it to. Instead of sitting before a computer screen pulling out your hair – look through your research and write an article, or read a book and write a review, or pull a dusty short story from the back of a drawer and revise it, or… Well, you get the idea. And before long, the ideas needed to pull together that next chapter will pop into your mind.

I think writers and artists are often driven by a desire to communicate. They tell a story through words or paint, and all they need is someone on the other end of the conversation to read their books or view their artwork. The creative process for most authors (and artists) is a lonely one. Hours and hours are spent hunched over a computer keyboard or drawing pad. When they eventually publish their writing or show their art, they’re really sending a message out into the darkness in the hopes that some one will look or listen and say, “I understand. I’ve felt that, too. I get your story. Tell me more.”

To me, success is creating new stories and sending them out to readers when they’re published. Therefore, the drive to succeed is also the drive to communicate. When a story, poem, or piece of my art is published, I hope that someone I haven’t reached before picks up that book or magazine and discovers my tales.

Those writers who see money and fame as success are likely to fall short of their goals. There are only a small number of authors (and illustrators) who are able to achieve great wealth and celebrity because of their books or illustrations. Most of us will publish a few books that will hopefully break even and be read by a small, but enthusiastic readership. And that should be enough – enough to make us smile, pick up a paintbrush or pen, and create the next story.

The Greener Forest

Vonnie Winslow Crist is author illustrator of The Greener Forest, River of Stars, Essential Fables, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, For the Good of the Settlement, Blame it on the Trees, and the soon-to-be-published Owl Light (fantasy stories) and The Enchanted Skean (young adult novel). Find out more about Vonnie at her website: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com ,blog: http://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com , Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/Fb-Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Author and Twitter: http://twitter.com/VonnieWCrist To buy her books: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-UK-Amazon or http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon

Interview With Nick Wale

Looking to the future

Looking to the future

Below is an interview Nick recently conducted for journalist Mac Miller.

When he arrived I did not know what to expect from him. Slowly, he looked around and noticed me. The first thing I noticed were his eyes, unlike any I’ve seen before. Nick Wale is handsome, rugged and a man completely away from his own generation. His size struck me more than anything– he’s working class– yet classically Roman. I was taken off guard as he smiled at my wife. Still, when we started the interview I was put at ease by his friendly and easy going nature.

Q Nice to meet you Nick– this is your first interview– correct?

A) Yes- my first for this book– I have been interviewed before.

Q) I won’t take it easy on you then.

A) Naw, now don’t be mean to me. I am new to this!

Q) First off, let me ask you what that record is under your arm?

A) Bobby Darin sings Ray Charles on Atlantic. I think Bobby Darin is just the end! Have you heard it?

Q) No– is it good? I’m a Darin fan too!

A) Get out of here! Well, it’s a swinging album, brother– here take this one and I’ll get another.

Q) Thank you– I will take it easy on you now– ready for the first question?”

A) Shoot

Q) So, you’ve finally finished “The Rose Amongst the Thorns”. How does it feel to be an author?

A) Pretty good, Mac! I guess it’s all down to good luck and blessings from God that we managed to finish it. I just follow the old adage– good luck brings forth more good luck and a little quicksand at times.

Q) How do you promote your work?

A) Well, I guess I use all the old carny tricks in the book. We make great use of Facebook and Twitter. I have a mailing list and of course the blog. I was recently telling Lori, my beautiful fiancee and co-author of “Rose”, about the importance of the blog– 1000 hits in two months is pleasing! I know we can do better.

Q) 1000 hits in two months? You don’t consider that a resounding success?

A) I consider it a beginning and I know we can do better. The way I see it is simple. There’s a 1000 hits now and perhaps 10,000 tomorrow and it’s all down to marketing and audience share.

Q) Do you believe “Rose Amongst the Thorns” is a hit?

A) I believe that it is not just a hit– I believe it is the hit of the decade. The book tells a dramatic true life story and tells it well. Lori is an excellent writer and I believe she has done some of her best work. This book isn’t just a book– it’s a movie and a series of books.

Q) Social commentary?

A) Indeed and a huge chunk of history to go with it. The original manuscript had more social commentary than this cut– but we gave up some story to make it more commercial– more viable for an audience.

Q) So it was rewritten?

A) Of course, who can write a book without rewrites and editing? We took it upon ourselves to do the first rewrite and the second was down to advice we were given from a great agent.

Q) So, an agent gave you some insight?

A) Yes, absolutely! Andrew Murray emailed me directly and read the first rewrite and loved it. He gave us invaluable advice and then we took his words and ran with them. The man was a guiding star to Lori and I!

Q) So, tell us about Nick Wale the man.

A) I’m a simple guy really– very easy going and devoted to my home life. I like to wake up slowly and get enough sleep. That’s one thing I loved about the process of writing “Rose”. It was one of those wonderful processes over a few months. I just worked hard and rested easy. Relaxing? I never relax in the day– I work and I catch up with my fellow writers and political buddies. I have a lot of friends in the business and some I would even like to represent as an agent.

Q) So, you want to become an agent?

Mac– I believe in doing as much as possible and I would become an agent in the time it takes to write my name. I have met some incredible authors who just don’t get the sales that they should. For example take Doug R Cobb– he is an excellent writer– yet he doesn’t get the sales he needs to give up the day job. I believe he could be the biggest thing since Steven King if given the chance.

Q) Douglas R Cobb? Author of “Crossing The Dead Line?”

A) Yes– I believe he has a film already written with that one.

Q) I’ll be sure to look out for it Nick– so what’s your home life like?

A) Bit personal, eh? Well it’s the same as everyone else’s– we don’t have any dinosaurs in the bath or anything. Lori and I like music and TV and we spend a lot of our time together. I believe in spending time with my family and nothing makes me happier.

Q) What does Lori think about the success you’ve had so far?

A) I think sometimes she worries that I’m a carny– she cringes a lot when she sees some of the things I do for promotion. I think she is proud though and happy– if she wasn’t happy I would give it up and get another job in an instant.

Q) Does Lori have any side projects?

A) She cross stitches and watches TV– she likes Mexican food and I think she has a new book in mind. It’s about a bored housewife running off to Greece and Turkey. I believe it’s a winner and it’s based on truth.

Q) Thank you for the heads up about her new work. Do you have any new projects on the go?

A) I have some news articles I’m currently working on and hope to sell to papers and I have two new books in mind. The first is a prequel to “Rose” and the second has the working title of “Poverty”. I will be previewing a few chapters soon on my blog.

Q) You seem to be pretty adult orientated for a 22 year old! What do you attribute such a strong work ethic to?

A) Well, Mac– I guess I’m not the same as other guys my age. I just see the world and look for the opportunities. Lori calls me a visionary at times. I believe it’s more down to the fact that I want to achieve. I like being me and that means that I want to be me for a long time. If I wasn’t writing or trying to write or be around writers, I wouldn’t be me.

Q) Back to “Rose” for a moment– can you tell us more about it?

A) Sure– “Rose” is the true story of my mother who suffered with depression. I guess the truth is that she went haywire for a time and things were hard until I met Lori. Mum and Lori were like oil and water to begin with and times were tough, but mum made the effort to fix herself and change her life. I am so proud of her for that– it’s a long and shocking tale– but it really does show the lows that depressives go to. Depression is a rampant disease, Mac, and it’s only by sharing experiences and making a positive change that we will fix it. There are lots of people out there suffering because of it.

Q) So, you want to help people?

A) Yes, sir, that’s one of my main goals and it will always be one of my main goals. I have been given a lot in this life and I would like to put back as much as I can. I believe that everyone should have opportunities and with this book I hope to give many, many people opportunities.

Q) How will you do this?

A) I want to start working with teenagers to get themselves into a profession and out of the jobcentre. I want to get people to write their stories and share their experiences. I would like as an agent to pick up books by writers who aren’t making enough money– and make them the money. I am not in this for myself– I’m in this business to make it happen for everyone I meet.

Q) Who is your personal hero?

A) Well, there’s a guy named Ed Powers who is one of my best friends. I really feel that he changes a lot of lives through his sermons and such. I have spent many hours talking to him and he just believes without question in things I do– that takes some guts because people say I’m crazy.

Q) Why crazy?

A) 22 and an author– ideas and marketing like mine– they say to me– Nick you are loopy– I just smile, hey Mac! Perhaps I am loopy.

Q) Not loopy– driven I would say Nick.

A) Well, thank you! I do realise that my age is against me in many ways. I guess people just don’t take guys my age seriously– they say “Hey, wait till you grow up a bit, boy.”

Q) What do you say to that?

A) I always just smile and say if I wait any longer — I’ll lose it!

Q) So when will “Rose Amongst the Thorns” hit the shelves and internet sites?

A) It’s with publishers right now and I’m waiting to hear back. There hasn’t been a single rejection yet of the new manuscript and I think they’re going to love it as much as we do. I guess it’s all a waiting game now.

Q) Well from what I’ve read– I love it and I hear the whole book has been described as Pulitzer worthy?

A) Aww, I don’t know about that! I just hope its book-binding worthy!

Mac) Thank you for your time Nick and I wish you every success.

Nick) Thank you, Mac!

We shook hands and with that it was over and he left. Nick Wale, a guy with drive and ambition, was gone and all I have to say is– good luck to him and thanks for the record. This is a guy to watch! We will be seeing a lot more of him, I’m sure!

Nick enjoying the Darin disc.

Nick enjoying the Darin disc.