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Wilbur – Author Interview

Author Interview
Wilbur Author Interview

Journey of 200 is an adventure thriller with some dark themes. What were some driving ideals behind Guillaume’s character’s development?

The people who were on his side, like his sisters, or friends. They treated him well. His enemies impacted his character, by abuse and mistreatment. New events also changed his character.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The important themes were companionship and hope. It was hope that drove Guillaume on this journey, along with companionship that helped Guillaume succeed.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Currently I’m not writing a second book, until this book succeeds.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

This book is about a boy named Guillaume and his two sisters Catherine and Madeline. The sisters are also his companions, and they are there for him. This book is about a long dangerous and intense journey on a path from India to China. The journey transforms the group’s hopes and dreams, and they acquire allies and enemies along the journey.

Changemakers Of The Future

Tara Anderson
Tara Anderson Author Interview

You Belong Too follows a young girl as she navigates being the new kid in school. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the set up to this story was to teach children the importance of including others and accepting one another despite differences.

The art in this engaging picture book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with Carrisa Harris?

The art collaboration process with my illustrator, Carissa Harris, was phenomenal. She is extremely talented. We worked well together as a team and she was very open to and patient with all of my suggestions, changes or additions I wanted.

What made you decide to write a children’s book on empathy and kindness?

I decided to write a children’s book on empathy and kindness because I believe these qualities will empower todays children to become impactful leaders and changemakers of the future. As well, there is always room for more kindness in our world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book I am working on is about two boys and their adventures sailing the North Channel, but it is still in progress while I enjoy sharing this one.

Author Links: Instagram | Website | GoodReads

To everyone else at Meadowbrook Public School, it’s just an ordinary Monday.
But to Annie, it’s so much more.
Today is her first day at a brand-new school. She can feel the butterflies fluttering in her tummy.
Even though Annie’s Mom reminds her that she can do hard things, she wonders if it’s really true.
As she sits alone at recess, she begins to lose hope.
Maybe I can’t do hard things.
…. Or can she?
Join Annie as she overcomes her fears and takes a brave step towards kindness and friendship that leaves a positive effect on her entire class.

Poetry for hUmaNITY

Lali A. Love
Lali A Love Author Interview

Organic eMotions provides readers with a powerfully emotional collection of poetry. What inspires you to write poetry?

Thank you for reading Organic eMotions, Poetry for hUmaNITY. This collection was a work of passion as I reflected on my emotional intelligence during the pandemic events during the summer of 2021. The creative surge flowed through me as I tapped into the collective energy vortex. I permitted myself to dive deep into all the feelings of melancholy, the anger over human atrocities, the sadness over the blame and division within the spiritual community, the cognitive dissonance, the tyranny experienced around the world, feeling unsafe, afraid of the future, and being misaligned. I wrote over three hundred verses consisting of ballads, free verse, villanelle, ekphrastic, haiku, and limerick poems divided into four parts. The book takes the reader through the journey of state of mind, emotional vortex, clarity, and purity as it guides back into personal truths, deep resonance and understanding of the gift provided by the catalytic events transforming humanity into a state of empowerment, purity and bliss.

This anthology provides activating poems with elements of a nostalgic, narrative, lyrical form of healing philosophies that aim to increase awareness within the deeper layers of the human psyche and emotional body, the vortex of autonomy. The verses capture both the transient and the prevailing feelings through a vulnerable lens, using a powerful and electrifying nuanced artistic expression. It is a rejuvenating, poignant reflection of trauma liberation and quantum healing during humanity’s evolution. These verses are a culmination of my lived experience of self-actualization, awareness, and profound presence. Within me, I have found the unlimited space of peace, wholeness, validation, belonging, joy, home, and true freedom. This emotional freedom is a continuous journey inward through the turbulence of duality, emancipation from fear, anxiety, and the programmed narratives of the past as I released all judgemental views and guilt.

These poetic sonatas creatively guide the resonance of self-healing modalities. By feeling and healing our individual childhood wounding, we alchemize the density and rise as collective energy in motion while hUmaNITY exposes the collective shadows, past traumas, and our combined density through the process of transmutation, illuminating our organic global light on its existence.

Your book is currently the #1 new release in Amazon’s Epic Poetry category. How do you feel about this accomplishment?

I am so thrilled that the metaphysical poems resonate with so many incredible souls. I feel humbled, grateful, and fulfilled to be in the company of other incredible poets. It is an honor to contribute to the rhythmical art of harmonics created with words. If my poems inspire more people to read the classic creations of EE Cummings, Maya Angelou, or Walt Whitman, we will bring poetry back into the mainstream. Some of my favorite verses that inspired me growing up were “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, “Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, “A Dream Within A Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe, “Among School Children” by W. B. Yeats regarding mortality and worth of life, and quite recently, any Spoken Word poetry by Amanda Gorman, to name a few.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

My intention behind every publication, be it fiction or nonfiction, is that if my words inspire and empower even one person on their healing and transformative journey, I have fulfilled my objective. The messages and energy of self-realization poems in Organic eMotions aim to assist the reader to reflect within themselves rather than depending on external forces for emancipation. It is my belief that each of us has the power, strength, and capability to connect to our higher self and to remember that we are an aspect of the Divine’s expression, experiencing life through the human form. We don’t need a third party to commune with a higher presence of Source, or to identify with our thoughts, emotions, fears, or past traumas, when we realize that our consciousness is indestructible when we flow in pure wholeness and aligned with our sovereignty. We are all powerful alchemists born with free will and the ability to choose our every present moment when we are fully aware of our personal truths. If we can rise above the negative polarity and duality of the matrix, come together with respect, honor, and inclusivity, we realize that when we choose organic love, kindness, compassion, and autonomy, we contribute to the magnetic energy of the quantum field of existence. This is how we transform our planet and choose a unified world that doesn’t focus on perpetuating the separation consciousness of divide and conquer. We advocate for innocent children, the vulnerable, our planet, and all living creatures, with radical accountability, intentions, integrity, freedom, and hope for utopia.

Do you have plans to publish more works of poetry?

Since I work full time, I try to balance my publications and self-actualization priorities. I am currently writing the third and final book in The De-Coding of Jo, Ascending Angel Academy YA SFF series, to be released in late 2022. I have another work in progress that I will also like to devote my time to writing, a psychological thriller that is part of the Heart of a Warrior Angel trilogy. When the creative flow strikes me to write more poetry, I will focus all my energy to transmit the healing and uplifting sonnets much like my hardcover, full color art and poetry anthology, The Joy of I.T. (Infinite Transcendence). Thank you so much for this opportunity to share, I’m very grateful. Many blessings of peace, joy, and harmony for all.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The inspiring poems are an introspective portrayal of deeper feelings of melancholy, confusion, hope, self-love, healing, wholeness, and empowerment. The verses capture both the transient and the prevailing emotions through a vulnerable lens, using a powerful and electrifying nuanced artistic expression. A rejuvenating, poignant, lyrical reflection of trauma liberation during humanity’s evolution.

The Choices We Make Aren’t Mistakes

Diana Smith
Diana Smith Author Interview

My Awareness Book follows a boy and girl as they encounter strong emotions and learn how to work through what they are feeling. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The set up for My Awareness Book is: I had already written My Grateful Book and My Welcome Book talking about the importance of gratitude and self esteem and to start with this was going to be My Choices Book, but then My Awareness Book seemed more appropriate as it talks about how it is ok to have feelings and talk about them. Big or small. The choices we make aren’t mistakes they are all learning experiences.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with the illustrator Sarah Jane Marchant?

Sarah had illustrated my first two books so it was just a given she would illustrate the third. I just give her the story and she creates these amazing pictures. I don’t have to change anything usually it is exactly what I was thinking as well. We work very well together.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The important themes in this book for me was to tell children, we do have some strong emotions growing up and it’s ok to talk about them. That the choices we make are ok for us individually. We are all different but can still all get along.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book in this series I think will be My Brave Book with what is happening in the world, vaccinations etc., masks and social distancing. Just letting kids know its ok to be scared but moving through the fear and doing it anyway will make you feel like a hero!

Author Links: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Childhood can be tough. Navigating feelings and figuring out your place in the world can be even tougher.
With simple rhyming prose, My Awareness Book follows the journey of a little boy and a girl, steering through their struggles toward a positive mindset and learning the skills for mental resilience.
My Awareness Book teaches your child how to have a growth mindset, build mental resilience and identify and regulate their emotions, all important skills for a young mind to master. Beautifully illustrated with simple rhyming prose, this book is the perfect story to help a child feel supported and understood as they grow and learn. An easy read, My Awareness Book invites broader and deeper discussions with your child, enabling them to continue to move confidently towards adulthood, with empathetic direction and positive guidance.
This delightful book is part of the Feel Good series.
About the author
Diana Smith is the author of My Grateful Book, My Welcome Book and My Awareness Book (the celebrated children’s Feel Good series). Her other early childhood books include Bruiser’s G’day at the Park, Bruiser’s G’day at the Beach, Bruiser’s G’day Camping and The Adventures of Clive.

It Saves My Soul

Caroline Allen
Caroline Allen Author Interview

Water follows a young woman that has felt unfilled throughout her life and doesn’t understand why. Learning about her spiritual abilities puts her on a path that will help her find her true self and heal. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Water is the fourth novel in a five-book series called The Elemental Journey Series (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Ether). The first four books are published and are semi-autobiographical, loosely following my journey of growing up in Missouri, living abroad for a decade in Tokyo and London, and finally in WATER repatriating to the U.S. and coming to terms with my mysticism. WATER is based in Seattle and explores my years reading tarot there. The novel isn’t memoir, though, and as fiction, I created characters and scenes to illustrate my main theme of fully owning who you are. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” In reality and in the novel, I am a mystic. I had to learn to channel my visions and did so using the tool of tarot. During the time period of the novel, I read for hundreds of people in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. (Today, that number is in the thousands.) I love the idea of showing in the novel how tarot brings forward higher spiritual truths to apply to the daily tribulations all of us undergo. There are so many unseen forces at work directing our lives in a good way, even when times are difficult. My protagonist Pearl was a journalist and was being called to give it up to become a metaphysical healer. She doesn’t go willingly. Even though the path was difficult, it really was the universe guiding her to a better, more fulfilling life, and one where she could be of greater services to the world. This echoes my own path, and the path of many of the people I now coach as a book coach and a metaphysical healer. So, I wanted the novel to convey this — the path to spiritual awakening may be difficult but ultimately it’s fulfilling especially with the direction the world is going now with pandemics and climate change.

I fictionalized it for two reasons, to help the real people in my life have privacy, and to give me more freedom to explore my themes. I have an active imagination and characters and scenes come to me by the hundreds daily.

I am compelled to write to understand my own life, without writing I don’t know where I’d be. It saves my soul. I hope my writing also informs, entertains and heals the reader.

What were some driving ideals behind Pearl’s character development?

I wanted to show, really show, how much despair we suffer when we don’t accept who we truly are. I show step by step my protagonist coming out of that despair into the light. I demonstrate the resistance and the difficulties involved with being profoundly alternative in mainstream society. I hope I show how owning our power transforms our lives and the lives of others. Pearl, my protagonist, owns her mysticism and takes her second sight — a gift that would have historically gotten her persecuted — and turns it around to help heal herself and others.

I didn’t want to pull the punches on how she resists her path. So, I have Pearl reject everything she builds again and again (this actually happens throughout the series). I wanted to show how long and arduous this path to finding purpose really is.

Gem, her nextdoor neighbor, is a radical on-the-edge artist who helps Pearl accept her radical self. I’m interested in developing characters who don’t fit into the mainstream. I’m interested in a mainstream that is crumbling, and how outsiders might be the wisest people of all.

What are some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Self-acceptance and self-love are the primary themes. As a coach for nearly 30 years now, I’ve found the single biggest stumbling block people have is that they simply don’t want to accept who and what they truly are. The ego drives them to be what society defines as successful, instead of what their soul is calling them to do. This is my life’s work — through writing, visual art (I’m also a visual artist), and coaching, I assist people in owning, living, and loving their authentic selves. It can be a long journey.

To me, the diversity of the human soul is like a tropical rainforest. Each of us is a unique and wild entity in this vast forest of the human experience, and we’re losing that diversity. Our eccentric alternative selves are needed now more than ever. Our creative cores are necessary so that we can come up with radical solutions to today’s problems.

Mysticism is another theme. I wanted to show how the mystical works for those many people who are unfamiliar with it or scared of it. Throughout religious traditions, there have been famous mystics. A mystic is simply someone who has a direct channel to the divine. I wanted to demystify mysticism in WATER.

Water also plays as a theme as the title of the book suggests. Set in the Pacific Northwest, rain and bodies of water permeate the book. More importantly, I’m interested in the notion of water in Jungian psychology. To Jung, water represents the depths of our untapped subconscious. How can we deep dive into our souls and stop skipping the rock over the surface of our lives? That is a profound theme in my work.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on three books now.

ETHER is the fifth book in the Elemental Journey Series. It’s actually a memoir. I’m calling the entire series “Four novels and a memoir.” I was called so strongly to go from semi-autobiographical writing to direct autobiography in this final book in the series. I write in my yurt studio in the woods, and the work is exploding. ETHER explores my further awakening as a healer, my veganism, and my coming full circle back to the earth when I gave up living in cities and moved back to nature. I now live on many acres in the woods in Oregon (after decades living in Tokyo, London, Seattle, and Boston). The memoir process is quite a bit different than writing a novel. As a book coach over the past 20 years, I’ve mentored lots of memoirists, but this is my first time writing the genre. I’m having profound epiphanies and just loving the process. ETHER will be available in 2024.

BLUE is a middle grade novel about a mystical 11-year-old girl named Maisie-Grace whose best friend is an old growth Douglas Fir named Blue. The characters include a Japanese American girl in a wheelchair named Jack who’s an artist, and Macon, a farm girl who’s bullied. The three girls come together to try to save Blue and the forest. This novel is finished and I’m shopping it around to publishers now.

And finally, I’m working on RED, a young adult novel that follows Maisie-Grace, Jack, and Macon as they become teenagers. Maise-Grace loses her magic and becomes embittered. Slowly, she finds her spirit back again through a horse named Red. This is slated for completion in three years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal for Visionary Fiction. Pearl Swinton is drowning in a dark night of the soul. In the depths, she hears a cry to purpose, but to what? A former journalist who has spent years trying to outrun her psychic visions, Pearl meets a mentor in an urban mystic named Rayne, who introduces her to the concept of the Divine Feminine and sets her afloat on the turbulent waters of healing and self-acceptance. On a spiritual journey, Pearl finds herself navigating Seattle’s metaphysical scene, studying tarot, shamanism, and past-life regression. As a journalist, she gave voice to the voiceless, and in the transformative journey she’s now on, she is being asked to find her own voice. Accepting her new mystical calling finds her at the helm of a rickety folding table in the back of a bookstore reading tarot for the public. Daily she dives deep into the psyches of many, finding inside each person a lushness and a rootlessness, a poetry and a thirst. Still Pearl resists this life. Still she runs away. It will take a national tragedy to break through the walls of her resistance and show Pearl how desperately the world needs women to step into her power, to own the divinity of their feminine voices.

This Ancient Parable Has A Modern-Day Twist

Beverley Rayner
Beverley Rayner Author Interview

Barclay & Berk Builders retells the parable of the wise and foolish builders with charming illustrations and easy to understand language. What inspired you to retell this specific parable from the Bible?

As a children’s school librarian I am always on the lookout for good, read-aloud stories.

This ancient parable has a modern-day twist. The story is about working together, caring for one another, helping each other and primarily life’s choices. I wrote this story to appeal to a wider non-Christian audience but the sounds of a busy worksite will especially appeal to boys.

I enjoyed the art in the book. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator James Hensman?

James is a professional artist who has his own colorful style and humor. This is his first illustrated picture book, and his seagull character, Gulliver S Gull, is now showing up in his most recent paintings. View and purchase his art at www.jameshensman.net.

What do you hope young children take away from your story?

Stories are always multileveled, so whatever a child takes away from the reading experience is good. I hope children will enjoy the characters, and the art while perhaps discovering what a parable is. If a child remembers to help others–that’s a bonus! and on a deeper level to comprehend that this story that Jesus told is about our everyday choices and building a firm life-foundation by following God.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next two projects are a historical Canadian novel for grade five, and a gift/picture book for children and adults, on the Promises of God. Possibly both published in 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Award-winning children’s author Beverley Rayner and artist illustrator James Hensman have teamed together to produce a cleverly-told and colorfully-illustrated children’s adaption of the well-known parable of the wise and foolish builders. Based on Jesus’ parable in Matthew, chapter seven the book teaches with a narrative that will appeal to a young audience ages five-eight, without diminishing the integrity and intent of Jesus’ words.

Sanctum Is Coming For You Once Again!

Tony Fuentes
Tony Fuentes Author Interview

Sanctum: Forests of Avalon follows a knight and his companion on a quest to save the dying world of Avalon. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In our first book when we had Isolde come to Setesh, and she was a stranger in a strange land. For the readers – we wanted them to experience the “newness” of the world through her eyes. With Forest of Avalon – we wanted to create context for the audience to understand what kind of world she came from and how VASTLY different it was to Setesh in both culture & environment. Both CS & I are fans of Arthurian Fantasy so the concept of the land dying and being poisoned at its heart was our nod to those stories of old, as well as giving us an opportunity to put a spin on it.

How long did it take you to imagine, draft, and write the world your characters live in?

For Avalon – CS began in November of 2020, but then holidays and the world going politically crazy – we really started the engines again in early 2021 and finished officially in September/October. So basically 10 months to create new characters/creatures, personalities, as well as give the land of Avalon substance.

What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?

While I can’t answer for CS – personally, it isn’t so much as a specific character – but the back and forth verbal sparring between the main & side characters. My goal is to always make sure that the characters you meet are more than two-dimensional cameos. I want them to seem like they have lives and responsibilities beyond their interaction with the main characters.

While both CS & I write for both Isolde & Tulok – the most challenging thing is ensuring that there isn’t any character bleed. If I write the actions of one character one way – I want to be sure that the attitudes and actions are consistent when I write. This way, when CS takes up the pen for her sessions – she can look back at that consistency, and know where she can go with her take. Since we don’t occupy the same living space, and have our own lives – we end up sending messages and DMs to one another asking why the other did this or complimenting the direction that was taken. Writing solo is one thing – but writing as a partnership is challenging but extremely satisfying when we’re in tune.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

We are currently working on the third book of the series (to be named) and ideally we are also aiming at completing it by the end of the year. So come December – watch out! Sanctum is coming for you once again!

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Avalon was dying …

Or at least that was what the dreams said. Charged by Faith and Justice, Knight Wanderer Isolde and the Radiant Priest Tulok must abandon the arid Realm of Setesh and travel across the sea to a land of ancient magics and even stranger customs. A place where the Fae and Morpheum creatures hold court, and the Gods themselves walk alongside mortals! Racing to end the machinations of a rogue Vidria, and the growing corruption of a crazed ancient of untold power, can the knight and her priestly companion reach them in time, or will the land be forever severed from its magic?

Tread lightly in Avalon, for the land is alive, and watching …

C.S. Kading and Tony Fuentes return to the World of Sanctum with the second installment in this epic sword and sorcery series.

A Powerful Story To Tell

Author Interview
Forest Hutter Author Interview

The Prodigal Father follows a man who lost his wife and his faith and slowly learns that God can do anything and no one is past saving. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My primary inspiration for the redemption story is from my own life and my struggles with God. There have been times in my own life where I have strayed and felt as though I had wondered beyond a place of being found. My childhood with an abusive parent fed into many life problems that I faced including my own struggles with alcohol and feelings of abandonment. I realized no matter how far I felt I had run or how unworthy I felt I had become, God had never left my side and waited patiently for me through it all.

Tom is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

When I originally started writing the story I thought that Eli was going to be my main character. Within only 2 chapters of the original version I realized that Tom had a powerful story to tell because it was real and raw and I knew people would connect with a lot of the complex feelings and changes he faced. I wanted to be honest with myself and readers about how we can start out with the greatest intentions and life can twist us up. I wanted to show that even though we can travel a dark path it doesn’t mean we have to be a bad person forever. Oftentimes who we have been can cast such a large shadow over what we can become that we feel like we don’t deserve to change. I wanted to write about Tom in a way that showed all his flaws and showed he was aware of them, then I wanted to show the struggle of overcoming the flaws and CHOOSING to accept them and ask forgiveness and truly move forward for the sake of others and not ourselves.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Something that was very important for me was to show what happens behind closed doors in families. Often what we see in public can be drastically different from what goes on in private. My own childhood seemed to be split into public life and family life and keeping the secrets of what happens when no one can see. While my siblings and I had a drastically harsher upbringing compared to what I wrote in the book I wanted people to feel some of the feelings from both the perspective of the abused child as well as from the abusive parent. I did not want to write Tom as a complete villain so I did not make some of the harder chapters nearly as intense as my own experiences, but I did want people to feel uncomfortable and dissect how it made them feel about his actions.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am not currently writing another book. I have a few ideas but I do not start writing until the idea hasn’t left my head for several months. I had the idea for this book in my head for almost a year before I started writing because I wanted to see if the idea would be good enough to stay with me. I often write poetry or short stories but I do not publish them.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Kirkus

When his oldest son was born, Tom had stopped drinking completely. Now with two children and his wife, he had closed the chapter on that part of his story.

Life was never simple or easy for Tom, but he had all he needed to get him through it. Until he didn’t.

In the blink of an eye, he lost the person he loved more than anything… the one thing that always made him a better man, and his reason for everything that he did in life. His wife and soulmate, Emily. Along with her went his faith in a caring God.

The pain of losing Emily was too much to bear, and he found himself consumed by more darkness than he could handle on his own. He became unrecognizable as a father and a man, and each day continued down a path that there was no coming back from, or so he thought.

Even though Tom believed God had truly abandoned him and there was no way to make it Home, Tom learned that we are never alone and there is nothing God cannot do.

In an amazing and emotional story of hope, heartbreak and redemption, Tom’s story shows us that there is always a way back Home and nobody is ever past saving…
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