They say that it can take up to twenty one days to form a habit, and equally long to break one depending on the person. I have found that the opposite is true for me. Forming something is the easy part, keeping it formed it the hard bit. Like baking, sometimes you rise to the occasion only to find the longer to you stay in the oven, the lower the middle of your cake is. So I think, it's less about the forming of the habit, and more about the preparation that will determine the final outcome of your cake. Or book, as the case may be. So I have been busy preparing hard this year, learning new skills and reading lots of other authors. Because, sometimes, its also about finding a recipe that works for you.
This month's authors: Kendall Bartels
Kendall is a Romance author with a hankering for Austin and a fervor of good drama.
What is your favourite part in the process of writing?
I love the period between an idea being born, whether that’s a character or dialogue or just a mental image of a setting, and actually fleshing that out on the page. Of course, finishing the first draft comes with a great sense of catharsis, but that developmental period is such a romantic time.
How do you get inspiration for your characters?
A lot of my characters come from “what if” moments in my own my life, not that any of them are exactly autobiographical, but I’ve been in funny situations and thought “how would someone else react to this.” “How much drama could I soak up here?” And start there.
If you could meet any author, who would you like to meet and why?
Jane Austen!!! Primarily to apologize for making modern adaptions of her characters do such naughty things to each other!
How has your experience in acting influenced your writing?
Acting was all about reacting, inhabiting a character’s mind and figuring out their emotional truth, and writing is much the same! The best part of acting was learning about people and world-building—believing I was on a Victorian London street, believing these false situations—writing is using the same techniques but getting to make a lot more of the decisions!
Josephine's favorite way of engaging with her readers is via bookstagram @bookish_always and Facebook @PrideandPassionBook. She also has a website kendallbartels.com where she updates her readers with blog posts! I hope you can take a moment to support her by liking her page, and I extend my thanks to her for being interviewed!
Helen is a master of the imagination, and her books are alive with vivid characters and locations. I took a moment to catch up with her and find out some of her secrets.
You are a prolific writer and author, what inspires you to write a story?
I’m not sure what inspires me to write, I’ve always written, and I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age. I think mostly I have stories in my head that demand to be shared. As a child, I read voraciously and consumed anything I could get my hands on, which seemed mostly to be Mills and Boons and historical romances from my mum and grandmother. Later I discovered fantasy and science fiction – I still read widely and will generally give anything a try. My own writing seems to cross genre from fantasy to paranormal and science fiction – but the common thread is romance. I love a happy ending!
Which character have you written about that you relate to the most and why?
I think that like most authors there is a little bit of me in every one of the heroines I write. But if I had to narrow one down, I would say I am a bit sarcastic, and a bit of a swear-bear, so I probably relate to Freely the heroine of my Gypsy Blood trilogy.
If you could give any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be and why?
My advice to any aspiring writer is to write what you love, don’t self-censor or follow the latest big thing. Also, connect with other authors and network.
What was your proudest moment as an author?
When I was a high school English teacher, I read the manuscript of my very first novel ‘Bilby’ to my year 8 class but did not reveal to them that I had written it. They were all 13, and many didn’t like reading, but when I asked after the first lesson if they wanted me to stop reading, none did. Every Friday I read to them for one hour. At the end of the year, I asked them to write a letter to the author telling ‘him or her’ the things they liked and didn’t like and ask any questions they had. The letters were wonderful, full of praise and beautiful pictures the children had drawn of the characters – I have kept them all. At the end of that year, I posted a personalised letter to their home addresses answering their questions and revealing my identity as the author. I moved to a different school the next year and never saw those kids again.Three years ago, I was attending a regional country show with my husband and daughter and a man came up to me and asked me if I was Mrs Allan. He was huge, hairy, scary and I reluctantly nodded. He said he wanted to tell me that he still remembered the book I had read him more than 15 years prior when he was a student of mine in first-year high school. He wanted me to know it was one of his favourite classes and favourite books and asked if I would mind if he gave me a hug. It was my proudest moment as an indie author.
Helen's favorite way of engaging with her readers is via her newsletter; she writes two emails a month to tell readers what she's working on, offer giveaways and promotes other authors who have released books. Many of her readers email questions and comments, and she answers them all. People can sign up to her newsletter at www.helenallan.com. I hope you can take a moment to support her by liking her page, and I extend my thanks to her for being interviewed!
This months book challenge - To win yourself a $10 Amazon gift card, this month I would like you to send in a review of a book you have read recently that you enjoyed. Each month our winner will have their review published in my next months blog and get the gift card information emailed to them. So send me your review - any book, any genre, let's see what you love to read! I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler