Thursday, October 31, 2019

Interview with writer Beth Ruggiero York

Writer Beth Ruggiero York joins me today to chat about her memoir Flying Alone.

Beth is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth originally wrote Flying Alone in the early 1990s, shortly after her career as a pilot ended and the memories were fresh. She is now a Chinese translator and a professional photography instructor for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes. She has published a popular instructional book on night photography, Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography, which has worldwide sales, and she has co-written a book entitled, Everglades National Park: A Photographic Destination. Beth and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.

Welcome, Beth. Please tell us about your current release.
Flying Alone is a memoir of my years after college learning to fly with the ultimate goal of flying for a major airline in the 1980s. It was a rough-and-tumble man’s world, but I was determined to make through, no matter what. A dysfunctional love affair with my flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky, and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all played roles on my road to the airlines. It reads like a novel and moves at a fast pace. Readers and reviewers are consistently saying they couldn’t put it down and read it all the way through in one or two days.

What inspired you to write this book?
After my turbulent career in aviation ended abruptly when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I had time to reflect on the events of those years. It was so plain to see that I needed to write it all down, both for myself and to show others that they, too, can surmount difficult times.

Excerpt from Flying Alone:
“Three more rows of airplanes, eight per row, needed to be checked along with the ones behind the maintenance hangar. When I finished with that, I had to scrub the bellies of Rod’s own airplanes. I swung the truck around, fighting as always with the manual steering, and began the next row with another Cessna.
These were my first impressions of the world of aviation: Rod, bottles of Canadian whiskey, working the line…and my flight instructor, Steve. “I had started as the official lineperson at New England Flyers on April 27, 1985, my twenty-third birthday, four months into flight lessons with Steve for my private license. Aviation had already swallowed me whole.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m considering several ideas but haven’t decided yet. Because of my history traveling to and study China, it will probably be about the changes I have witnessed over the past almost 40 years.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was about 11 years old, I remember looking out of my bedroom window and making three life commitments to myself. One was to write a book.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time. Because I have what you could call a ‘multi-faceted’ career, each work day (and night) is a combination of marketing my book, writing blog posts for my author website, translating Chinese documents (I’m a freelance Chinese translator), and organizing and preparing for upcoming photography workshops that I will be teaching. It all keeps me very busy, and I need to remind myself to stop and smell the roses.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My greatest creative inspirations come to me when I am half asleep waking up in the morning.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Before the notion of becoming a pilot came into my head at the age of 13, I wanted to be an archaeologist.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Never give up, even when it just doesn’t seem worth the effort anymore. Don’t ever plant the seeds for later regrets.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Interview with romance novelist Krysten Lindsay Hager

The author spotlight turns to Krysten Lindsay Hager today. She’s here to chat about her new YA contemporary rom-com, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety.

During her virtual book tour, Krysten will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist. Landry in Like is a Literary Classics Gold Medal recipient.

Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.

Welcome, Krysten. Please share a little bit about your current release.
In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety is a romantic comedy about a high school girl who has started dating her favorite singer and all the challenges that come with that. Cecily gets the chance to achieve her dreams as well as an opportunity comes up to help her get exposure for her acting career. Who wouldn’t want to see what it was like to live the life of your dreams and date the singer you love?

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to take a regular teen and give her the chance to have her dreams come true, but in a realistic way with all the thoughts you’d have if you had these opportunities present themselves.

Excerpt from In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety:
One day I had the career and the guy of my dreams. Then Danielle King came along. If people could be trusted, maybe it would have been okay, but they can’t. They suck. And now my dream relationship was gone and no one would ever know what had actually been in my grasp.

How can a person go from having a whole life with someone, and then it ends like you were never even together? No wonder people talk about how awful divorces are. That must hurt a million times more. Sure, I don’t have to see Andrew every day at school like I did Zach, but it seems like Andrew was everywhere. I went to the grocery store with my mom and they were playing one of his songs because he’s technically a local.

Andrew’s music was always what I listened to when I was sad. His heartache music got me through the worst times and now, not only could I not stand to listen to it, there was now the chance I could end up hearing music about our breakup. Actually, I didn’t know which was worse: the possibility he’d use our relationship as inspiration for a song, or finding out I was barely a blip on his radar and not even warranting a mention.

What was I supposed to do now?

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the next book in the Cecily Taylor Series which has Cecily back in New York and this time in a music video for another singer. I’m working on another YA book as well as some adult rom-coms as well.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I was in college when the column I wrote for the university newspaper started getting attention. It was when my dad said I was becoming more of who I was and he liked seeing the confidence I was building by sharing my work. I wrote about my thoughts on popular culture and it was a lot of fun. Sometimes it would be a tribute to someone who passed, worries about the future (after college), or just fun observations.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t have a typical work day, but basically I do something writing related every day even if I’m not actually at my desk typing or writing away. I try to get a handle on my emails which is a losing battle and there’s so much writing admin stuff that takes up a lot of time. I do little mini blogs on my Instagram page which I enjoy. I might write about things that have inspired certain books or where certain themes came from. You can find those here:

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I put humor in everything I write because it’s how I deal with things. I had several family members pass away suddenly in a short amount of time and it makes you realize you need to do what you can to get through life. For me humor helps me get through a lot.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer, screenwriter (particularly for soap operas and comedies), or reporter. I was always making up stories.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I watched a lot of music biographies while working on this book and I was really surprised to see how many big music stars past and present dealt with anxiety issues. It was something I felt needed to be addressed in the rock star character, Andrew Holiday, and how he would find relief from his overwhelming life.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Interview with novelist R. Douglas Clark

Novelist R. Douglas Clark joins me today and we’re chatting about his new sci-fi, Welcome to Maravilla (pronounced Mara-VEE-yah).

R. Douglas Clark was born in Vermont, grew up in Colorado, attended college in Chicago, and received a Master degree from Brown University. Seeing no future for himself in academia, he spent a year in the Oregon woods, living in a primitive cabin, writing music reviews and cultural commentary for magazines and newspapers. Next stop, Eugene, Oregon where he spent 20 damp years as a bootstrap businessman, father and musician. On a vacation trip, he and his wife, Shelley, fell in love with northern New Mexico and subsequently moved there. After four years running a Boys and Girls Club in Chimayo and Abiquiu, he retired to write full time.

Welcome, Doug. Please tell us about your current release.
Welcome to Maravilla tells the intertwined stories of the citizens of Maravilla, a small village in northern New Mexico. As they strive to keep their identity despite the pressures of commercialism and modernization, the characters find themselves in a variety of predicaments—sometimes hilarious, sometimes grave. At the same time, in an alternative story, a space adventurer seeks to fulfill a mission to deliver a secret formula that can save humankind. In the end, the two stories link up in a surprising ending.

What inspired you to write this book?
I live in a village much like Maravilla. The characters in the book are very much inspired by my experience here.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next book could be “ripped from the headlines.” It is about today’s problems on our southern border. At first it looks like a simple case of blackmail, but when a prize-winning journalist investigates, he finds himself in a thicket of drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal sports betting in the treacherous borderline of south Texas. Caught in a web of greed, lies and deceit, the journalist must find his way out.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first wanted to be a writer when I started reading novels in high school. But as to when I first considered myself a writer, well, I’m still working at it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, I write full-time, although that doesn’t mean I am always typing away on my computer. For me, writing also means researching, reading other writers books and thinking about things like plot, characterization and mood as it relates to sentence structure.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Even though I write on a computer, I must always have half a dozen sharp pencils at hand, just in case the electricity goes off.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A comic sportscaster.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My current book, Welcome to Maravilla, is fairly short (200 pages). I think of it in comparison to other short novels such as Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.


Thanks for joining my blog.

--- Blog Tour Dates
October 14th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us as we celebrate the launch the blog tour for author R. Douglas Clark’s book Welcome to Maravilla. Read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book. 

October 15th @ Book Santa Fe with Crystal Otto
Crystal Otto shares her thoughts about the sci-fi book Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark. 

October 16th @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto
Middle Schooler Carmen Otto reviews R. Douglas Clark’s Welcome to Maravilla and explains to her friends why this is a great book for even young readers.

October 17th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark and delights readers at World of My Imagination with an opportunity to learn more about this fast-paced sci-fi novel! 

October 17th @ Selling Books
Don’t miss today’s author interview with R. Douglas Clark as Cathy Stucker finds out more about his latest release Welcome to Maravilla.

October 21st @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Today’s guest author at Memoir Writer’s Journey is R. Douglas Clark with an article about _________. Join Kathleen Pooler’s audience as they learn more about Clark and his latest book Welcome to Maravilla. 

October 22nd @ To Write or Not To Write
Sreevarsha reviews Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clarks and delights readers at To Write or Not To Write with her thoughts about this excellent novel!

October 23rd @ World of My Imagination
Learn more about R. Douglas Clark and his new book Welcome to Maravilla as he shares a few thoughts in an interesting interview with Nicole Pyles at World of My Imagination.

October 24th @ Look to the Western Sky
Visit Margo's blog today where you can catch today's author spotlight and learn more about R. Douglas Clark and his latest book Welcome to Maravilla. 

October 25th @ A StoryBook World

Don’t miss today’s publicity post at A Storybook World as readers at Dierdra’s blog are introduced to “Welcome to Maravilla” by R. Douglas Clark.

October 28th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s Book Spotlight at Breakeven Books is Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark – don’t miss this great opportunity to add this lovely new novel to your collection!

October 28th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews
Lisa Haselton interviews R. Douglas Clark about his latest novel Welcome to Maravilla . Readers will delight in learning more about this science fiction story with it’s courageous characters!

November 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina interview R. Douglas Clark about his latest novel Welcome to Maravilla

November 12th @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina shares his thoughts after reading Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark – don’t miss this review!

November 13th @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsin mother and book lover shares her review of R. Douglas Clark's latest Welcome to Maravilla with readers at Bring on Lemons.