Authors' Chat

BOLDER AND WISER-SARAH DALE

Author Interview with Sarah Dale Sarah Dale is a practicing occupational psychologist and coach. She is the author of Keeping Your Spirits Up, a guide to facing the challenges of modern life. She lives in Nottingham, UK, with her husband, two daughters and step-son. Her moments of leisure are spent Nordic walking, reading fiction and frequenting coffee shops, the more independent the better. She secretly loves a good jigsaw. Stephanie: Hello, Sarah! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion and thank you for chatting with me today about your book, Bolder and Wiser. Please tell me a little about your story? Sarah: Hello there, and thank you for having me on your site. I am approaching my fiftieth birthday, and, along with many of my friends, it is provoking some mixed feelings. My 'day job' is occupational psychology and coaching (I run my own business on Creating Focus), so I also hear similar reflections from some of my clients about the experience of mid-life and everything that comes with it. It is common of course to experience quite some turmoil about ageing as well as what that means for our careers, our family responsibilities, our appearance, our health and – in short…

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MY LIFE- RICH SAMUELS

Author Interview with Rich Smauels Stephanie: Hello Rich! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me a little about your book, "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain." Rich: "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain," is the story of 13 year-old Alexander and his outrageous (and unfounded) fears about everyday life in middle school. He sees danger everywhere – and bullies around every corner. He thinks of himself as "prey in a sea of predators." He even wrote a smartphone app, BullyTrack, to share his bully-avoiding skills with other kids. Though his fears are entirely in his imagination, they spiral out of control, and he's convinced an evil bully plot is unfolding. He sets up what he imagines to be a huge public showdown with a boy he perceives to be his arch-enemy. Alexander thinks he's on the way to a great victory, but the reality is something else. Stephanie: Bullying is a constant problem in our children's schools and your premise is really interesting and different from other books I have read on bullying. Alexander's fears and anxiety of being bullied has made him paranoid it…

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TO VENICE WITH LOVE- JANE BECK

Author Interview with Jane Beck Stephanie: Thank you for chatting with me today, Janet and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your story, To Venice with Love. Tell me a little about your story. Jane: My heroine Isobel is free for the first time in her life from a philandering ex-husband, the necessity to work and the demands of the family. She decides to take herself to Venice, a place she's longed to visit. She leaves everything behind in an uncharacteristic bid for time on her own, time to be self-indulgent. She meets Rupert, a widower, half-Italian and an architect, before she has left Heathrow, and they discover a mutual love of Venice, which crystallizes into love for each other as he shows her around the city where he lives for half the year. If I were to sum up the story I would say that it is a combination of wishful thinking and an over-active imagination! Venice is a city designed for lovers and it is easy to create an ambiance against which the love story can play out. There would be no novel without tension however and I've used various members of both Isobel and Rupert's families to…

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THE SLEEPY STAR -ADRIENNE AUSTERMANN

Author Interview with Adrienne Austerman Stephanie: I would like to introduce B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, Author Adrienne Austermann. She is an accomplished artist, writer and art educator. As a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC, her career has crossed multiple disciplines which include graphic design, advertising, art direction, writing, and photography. She is an independent blogger for the Huffington Post, and now adds author/illustrator to her resume with the release of her new children's book The Sleepy Star. Please tell me about, The Sleepy Star and what genre it falls under? Adrienne: The Sleepy Star is a hardcover children's bedtime book. It is about a little star who stays asleep while all his friends are playing and has an incredible underwater "dream" adventure. The book was written to promote a positive bedtime routine while maximizing parent/child interaction. The Sleepy Star is as educational as it is entertaining. It is written in rhyming verse with text to visual connections which help to promote word recognition for early reading readiness. The nice surprise in all my feedback to date is how much a book which is categorized as the Juvenile fiction is being enjoyed equally by adults. Stephanie: Is this…

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LANTAMYRA- SUSAN WATERWYK

Author Interview with Susan Waterwyk Stephanie: Hello, Susan! Thank you for chatting with me today and congratulations on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me about your story, "Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy." Susan: Lantamyra is a sanctuary world terraformed by Keepers of Akosh (alien caretakers) to give refuge to endangered sentient beings from two nearby worlds, dragons from Lanluong and humans from Eadlan or Earth as we call her. The dragons are giants, carnivorous, and because they learned the secrets of Akoshic crystal power, they are more intelligent than the human population. However, a few select humans are allowed to learn the secrets of crystal powers and link their minds with the myra crystal. They become keepers or wards of the dragons and serve the three great Houses that rule Lantamyra. Tylya Lansing is the main character (pronounced Ty-lee-ah) a nineteen-year-old that lives in a small town in California. Her grandmother Lenora is a keeper of dragons that was stranded on Earth. After learning her grandmother's secret, Tylya becomes obsessed with finding the crystal scepter lost in a rugged Sierra Nevada canyon. She enlists her boyfriend, Josh Hamilton. and together they find it. Now Lenora can return to Lantamyra, and…

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A BEAUTIFUL GLITTERING LIE-J.D.R. HAWKINS

Author Interview Part II with J.D.R.Hawkins Stephanie: I would like to welcome back J.D.R. Hawkins for a follow up interview about her B.R.A.G. Medallion book, "A Beautiful Glittering Lie.". She is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women's Writing Guild, the Mississippi Writers Guild, Rocky Mountain Writers and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Her two previous novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, have received numerous honors and awards. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War, as well as a Young Adult historical fiction and a memoir. Learn more about J.D.R. here Hello, J.D.R.! Thank you for visiting with me again to talk about your B.R.A.G. Medallion book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Please bring readers up to speed about the premise of your story. J.D.R.: The novel is the first in a four-book series, which I call "The Renegade Series." It's a saga about the Summers family…

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THE CLOCK OF LIFE- NANCY KANN-MOREN

Author Interview with Nancy Klann-Moren   Stephanie: Hello, Nancy! It is a pleasure to be able to talk with you today about your book, The Clock of Life. What a beautiful and profound title for your story. And I would like to say congratulations on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your story. Please tell your audience a little about the premise of your book. Nancy: Stephanie, thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to talk with you. The Clock Of Life is a period piece set in the late 70′s and 80′s. It's a coming-of-age story about Jason Lee Rainey, a boy whose father was killed in Vietnam. The boy has been told very little about the man, but finds ways to seek out more information. He longs to become the kind of man his father was, but alas, doesn't believe he has the backbone to do so. Stephanie: Mississippi is an old southern state with deeply rooted attitudes and a way of life for many. Why did you chose the 1980's for your period? Nancy: In the past fifty years, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement were our greatest catalysts for social protest. This book explores how…

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THE SANDOVAL SISTERS-Sandra Ramos O’Briant

Author Interview with Sandra Ramos O'Briant Stephanie: I would like to introduce B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Sandra Ramos O'Briant. She is the author of The Sandoval Sisters' Secret of Old Blood, winner of Best Historical Fiction and Best First Book at the ILBA, 2013. Over 20 of her short stories and creative nonfiction have been published. Go to www.sramosobriant.com for links to some of her work. In addition, her work has been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories of 2004, What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press, Spring 2007), Latinos in Lotus Land: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, (Bilingual Press, 2008), and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (Arte Publico, 2009). Please tell me about your story, The Sandoval Sister's Secret of Old Blood. Sandra: When Alma flees with her young lover to Texas to escape an arranged marriage with a much older man, she sets in motion a drama that will put the sisters and their legacy at risk. Pilar, a 14-year-old tomboy, is offered as a replacement bride, and what follows is a sensuous courtship and marriage clouded by the curses of her husband's former lover, Consuelo. She will stop…

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THE HOUSE OF CLOSED DOORS-JANE STEEN

Author Interview with Jane Steen Jane Steen was born in England and, despite having spent more years out of the British Isles than in, still has a British Accent according to just about every American she meets. Her long and undistinguished career has included a three-year stint as the English version of a Belgian aerospace magazine, an interesting interlude as an editor in a very large law firm, and several hectic years in real estate marketing at the height of the property boom. This tendency to switch directions every few years did nothing for her resume but gave her ample opportunity to sharpen her writing skills and develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Around the edges of her professional occupation and raising children, she struck her nose in a book at every available opportunity and at one time seemed on course to become the proverbial eternal student. Common sense prevailed, though, and eventually she has the bright idea of putting her passion for books together with her love of business and writing to become a self-published author. She has lived in three countries and is currently to be found in the Chicago suburbs with her long-suffering husband and two adult daughters. Stephanie:…

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JANE ACTUALLY-JENNIFER PETKUS

  Author Interview with Jennifer Petkus With the invention of the AfterNet, death isn't quite the end to a literary career it once was, and Jane Austen, the grande dame of English literature, is poised for a comeback with the publication of Sanditon, the book she was writing upon her death in 1817. But how does a disembodied author sign autographs and appear on talk shows? With the aid of Mary Crawford, a struggling acting student who plays the role of the Regency author who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Emma and Sense and Sensibility. But Austen discovers her second chance at a literary career also gives her a second chance at happiness and possibly even ... love. Stephanie: Hello Jennifer! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on receiving the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your book, "Jane, Actually." What an interesting premise for your story? First off please tell me what the "AfterNet" is exactly. Jennifer: Thanks very much, Stephanie, for the opportunity to be interviewed at Layered Pages. It's very much appreciated, as was the BRAG medallion. As an indie author, I rely on the kindness of many people on the Internet I've never met. The AfterNet…

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