indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."


Author Interview with Janet Stafford It is a pleasure and honor to have Author Janet Stafford as my guest today. I met Janet through social media and she has won the B.R.A.G. Medallion for her book, Saint Maggie. Today I have asked her to talk about her writing and I have asked her some questions.... Why Do You Write? I write because I have to. It's that simple. It's been a part of me ever since I can remember. I loved stories when I was a child. My parents read to me and when I could read I got books from the library and through the book club at school. Childhood was also when I started telling stories to my friends. When I was eight or nine I realized that I could put my stories down on paper. So I wrote and illustrated my own book (in pencil!) about the Wizard of Oz. At the same time I began to imagine that someday my books would be published. As a teen I wrote stories that featured my favorite pop stars. I also shared a continuing story in the oral tradition with a good friend, and I learned to make up…

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  Author Interview with Loretta Proctor Dying Phoenix is set against a background of fear and torture, under a military dictatorship in Greece. Max and Nina Hammett struggle to preserve a marriage that has become fraught with jealousy and despair. In April 1967, a totally unexpected military coup throws Greece into turmoil. People vanish amid terrified rumours of torture and murder. As these events unravel, so does Nina and Max's marriage. Nina doesn't trust Max, and leaves him in a jealous rage. But the truth of the matter is that Max was trying to help an abused woman escape her tormentor, not taking her to his bed as Nina imagines. Young, flighty Zoe's angst puts Max in terrible danger from a ruthless murderer. At the same time, he must also try to find Nina, who has disappeared into the shadowy depths of Athens. He knows that her willful nature, along with her refusal to cater to the military, could get her killed. Hearing that she is in danger, he sets off on a journey across Greece to find her and to escape his own past. Dying Phoenix is a thrilling historical romance that covers an interesting, little-known period of Modern…

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Author Interview with Joseph Krygier Victor Breitburg is a survivor of the Lódz Ghetto, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Rhemsdorf and Theresienstadt concentration camps. He was liberated with a group known as "The Boys". Their experiences have been documented in Sir Martin Gilbert's Book, The Boys:Triumph Over Adversity. Victor and many of "The Boys" are still in contact with one another, although as it is with WWII veterans, their numbers are slowly diminishing. Victor's journey from Lódz, to the camps in Europe, to England, Scotland and the United States and his new life in America is the story told in this volume. Victor completed studies in America, became a successful businessman and an accomplished lecturer on the Holocaust, having received numerous awards and citations for his role as an educator. He is a widower, having been married to his beloved wife Lucille for sixty years. He currently lives in Coconut Creek Florida, and at 84 years old, occasionally speaks on Yom HaShoa. He has written some poems, short stories and is considering a novel based on the early days of the Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service. Victor has two daughters, Denise and Myra. Denise is married to Mark and they have two children,…

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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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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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How do you make your book a best seller?

    A question for the ages and one we have asked many successful authors. The answer we consistently heard was write a good book and the readers will come. But with so much competition for their attention, how do you get your book noticed in the first place? Having a B.R.A.G.Medallion is a great first step. It lets readers know your work is worth their time. Here are just a few other great ways that can help build momentum and get readers interested: • Find your audience in creative ways by aligning with local businesses. Is your book about travel? Take it to your local travel agent and ask them to display it. Did you write a romance novel? Ask a lingerie store to exhibit your book in their window. Did you write about beauty or baking? You know where to go. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless! If John Grisham sold books out of the back of his car at fairs, you can certainly find a creative way to build your audience also. • Book clubs are a fantastic way to spread the word and get noticed. Ask if you can come to a club and…

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I’m so BORED!

  Bored- feeling impatient or dissatisfied, because you are not interested in something or because you have nothing to do. If you want to say you are extremely bored, you can say you are bored stiff/rigid/silly or bored to tears/to death Oh, I'm so bored! What parent hasn't heard her child say "I'm so bored!"? I have a solution – hand your child a book. When I was a child, my mother answered that statement by telling us that being bored only meant your mind had nowhere to go. So, send your brain on an adventure. Once we learned about all the wonderful places we could go, we were never without a book. We all know how busy parents are today - the interesting thing is that giving your child a book doesn't really take so much time! Wouldn't it be wonderful if the only time your child gives you that "Look" is when you tell him or her to shut their book? Kids aren't the only victims of boredom. How many people do you hear lamenting how they couldn't find anything to watch on TV last night? How many of us watch things we don't even have an interest…

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How to Be a Better Writer #5: Master Your Phrases

More recently than I'd like to admit, I'd hear "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band and sing along at the top of my lungs: "Some people call me Maurice (woo woo!) / 'cause I speak to the prophetess of love." That is, until a friend gently pointed out that the line is "'cause I speak of the pompitous of love." Whatever that means... Belt out whatever lyrics you want on karaoke night, but when it comes to your writing, you've gotta get your phrases right. Today, I'm sharing 15 of the top misconstrued phrases, plus the correct ones you should slate in their place. 1) Instead of: Flush outIt's actually: Flesh outTrick: Think of giving an idea more body, fattening it up, making it fleshier. 2) Instead of: Hone inIt's actually: Home inTrick: Picture a homing pigeon returning to its place of origin -- getting to the point. This one's contentious, actually, but linguists generally agree that "home in" came first. If you can't stand that idea, try using another phrase altogether: "zero in." 3) Instead of: For all intensive purposesIt's actually: For all intents and purposesTrick: Just remember you're including all your reasons -- intents and purposes. 4)…

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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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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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