Thursday, February 27, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - Annette Burrell

Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! Today I am excited to introduce you to a fellow children's author. Her name is Annette Burrell and I have to say I am already excited to read her series for kiddos! Hey I am a kid at heart! Let's take a peek into this writer's imagination!

Tiffany: What is the title of your book and what message does it convey to readers?
Annette: I have one book and then a 5 book series. :He Gave Me a Song – the message is one of encouragement. The Adventures of Danny Cricket – is an educational and Christian based 5 book series.

Tiffany: Give a short synopsis of your book.

Annette: He Gave Me a Song  -God woke me up in the wee morning hours with a song in my head (the words and tune). The book is about the story behind the song.  God speaks to us every day. But we have to be willing to listen in order to hear what He tells us to do. Everyone has a story to tell.
The Adventures of Danny Cricket -Danny Cricket is based on the frontiersman Davy Crockett.  He lives at the Alamo (where the story begins and is where Davy Crockett lost his life in the Battle of the Alamo. Danny decides he wants to leave the Alamo and go down to the River Walk where his adventure begins.  There are 5 bugs (including Danny Cricket) in each of the 5 books. All character names are based on historical figures or events, and each bug is common in the book’s setting. Each has some diversity, and presents a spiritual message to the reader.  The next four books are set in Stone Mountain, Georgia; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC and St. Augustine, FL.

Tiffany: Why did you write this particular story?

Annette:  My “story” starts with the “song”.  I was getting impatient because the song was not progressing as quickly as I had hoped.  So I began writing a book about the experience. I felt a little like Moses when God told him to go to Pharaoh and tell him to set His people free.  Moses immediately said, “Who am I to do this?”  God pretty much told Moses that he wasn’t about who Moses was, but it was about who He was.  I had never written a song before and didn’t know where to begin to get the song put to music and I questioned why He was using me.  But it wasn’t about me.  It was about Him and the message He wanted to come through in the song.  That’s why I wrote He Gave Me a Song  .
I wrote the children’s books, The Adventures of Danny Cricket, while I was waiting.  I didn’t intend on the books to be Christian.  I thought that I would write something fun and that would help children remember parts of American history.  I wrote the first book and after I read it, there it was in black and white.  So, I knew the rest in the series would also need to have a spiritual message to keep the theme going.

Tiffany: Many writer's like to put real people in their stories. Are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?

Annette: Yes, in my book He Gave Me a Song  all the characters are people in my life because it is a true story. In Danny Cricket , none of the characters are modeled from people in my daily life. They are modeled after events or people from history.  For example:  The 3rd book in the series, “Danny Cricket Visits Independence Hall” has the following characters:  a bumble bee named “Benjamin Buzz (Benjamin Franklin); a lady bug named “Lady B (Betsy Ross); a wolf spider named “Ranger Hal” (represents the tour guides in Philadelphia who are all called “Ranger . . .”; and a firefly named “Mr. Washington (George Washington)

Tiffany: Annette , You seem to have two very diverse stories! How do you come up with your story lines?

Annette: He Gave Me a Song  is a true story so I just wrote what happened and what I felt like prepared me for it. The Adventures of Danny Cricket   came as a result of a trip to San Antonio a few years back; that’s when I got the idea of a Cricket based on Davy Crockett.  When I wrote the first line, the story just flowed out of me.  I can’t really explain it. I decided that the other four books would be based in cities where I had visited to limit the research I had to do.

Tiffany: What was the point you realized that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

Annette: The day I opened the mail and saw the proof of the “He Gave Me a Song” book.

Tiffany: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Annette: If you have a desire to write . . . go for it!  And, write something every day.

Tiffany:  What warning(s) would you give them?

Annette: Learn who your cheerleaders are and keep them close.  Be willing to take constructive feedback to make your work better, but make sure the feedback is from reliable sources. The world is filled with critics. 

Tiffany: What do you enjoy the most about the writing process?

Annette: The writing itself!  I’d hire someone to do all the marketing and administrative stuff if had the money to do so.

Tiffany: How did you go about getting your book published?

Annette: After months of research I decided to self-publish.  I know myself and decided that I might get discouraged if I went the traditional route. 

Tiffany: If you were given one day to live, what would you do that day?

Annette: Wow! That’s tough one.  I think I would take my kids and grand kids on a ski trip so that I would watch them learn how to ski (the grand kids that is).  Then sit around the fireplace in the evening drinking hot chocolate and tell each one of them why each one of them are special to me.

Tiffany: If you could meet one of your favorite authors, who would it be and why?

Annette: Frank Peretti.  I love his books “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness”.  I love the way he is able to create a story depicting spiritual warfare.

Tiffany: Who inspires you?

Annette: Beth Moore.  I could listen to her talk (preach) for hours.

Tiffany: If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self?

Annette: Don’t be afraid to follow your dream; and do what it takes to get there.

Tiffany: What’s next for you?

 Annette: I am currently drafting a novel.  I know that writing is what I need to do.  I just want to solidify what type writing I am best at.  I will also be doing some volunteer work with non-profit organizations in my community.  I’ll also be speaking at various places to promote my children’s books, and encourage others to listen to God.

Thank you for stopping by today Annette! I wish you luck in your future writing endeavors! God Bless!
If you wish to learn more about Annette and her books you can find them here:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Morning is whats for breakfast

I had heard of morning sickness prior to my first pregnancy, although the facts about it were often carefully tripped over in delicate conversation by most of the women present. It seemed to me that it was something that was either A.) a passing sensation or B.) Such a horrible experience that selective amnesia was put into play. I soon found out with my first pregnancy that the answer was most definitely B.  Morning sickness is like the anvil that continually drops (like in looney toons) on the very unaware head of the preggo - it happens without warning and often in the most awkward of circumstances. Another little beautiful factoid is that morning sickness likes to hang around for weeks, months, or sometimes an entire pregnancy. Marvelous!  Also, I have a bone to pick with the IDIOT who decided to deceive all of us by laughably naming it "Morning Sickness." Contrary to it's name "the plague of unwanted heaving and retching" most assuredly happens all day...and doesn't just look at it's watch and say "Oh NOON time, I will now cease and see you in the morning." No, no pull up a piece of tile honey, cause the toilet is now your newest frienemy.

I find myself in the season of life where I once again have been gifted the joy of a second child. I also have found myself hugging the cold, unfeeling side of the toilet for several weeks, and I have drug myself out long enough to say - To all the women out there suffering with "morning sickness" you are not alone! I stand with you, holding my emergency bucket, and proclaim loudly that there is no shame in dry heaving at a stoplight! Who cares that the people in the vehicle next to you think you are possessed.  I humbly admit to praying for someone to knock me out as I sit on the floor, hair pulled back, listening to my toddler echo my guttural sounds, braced for the next wave of fun. The hope that a belch is just a belch often consumes my very being! Unashamed I announce that I talk to the toilet water, pleading for mercy, only to find that water is not a good listener. I admit that I have imagined bopping on the head, like a whack a mole, the woman who says "my pregnancies were WONDERFUL, I was never sick..EVER." I have contemplated the thought that food will never be a pleasant experience again. And let the record show that I have at one time retched so violently that my bladder decided to get in on the action...there is no shame ladies...No MORE...Unite and proudly showcase that green glow! You are NOT ALONE!

Many may find this post to be frivolous or just downright unappealing...well this is what I have to say to you...tough cookies girl scout! Too many of us suffer in silence because, well, morning sickness is scary, and let's be honest not too many people want to hang around the girl who is re-examining her latest meal. I want us all to remember that thankfully it doesn't last forever, and at the end of the journey something beautiful happens! Hold on to that thought, wipe your eyes, and brush those teeth...nobody said becoming a mother was easy...but I can say that it is definitely worth it!

Side Note: I have found that cutting back on my dairy, and large amounts of iron ( like in beef and pork) help some of the symptoms. Also cut that vitamin in half...take one piece at breakfast and another at lunch...way easier on the tummy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - K.N. Lee

Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! Today we have the pleasure of K.N. Lee's company! Amateur artist, traveling enthusiast, and wannabe rock star, K.N. Lee is an American author who resides in North Carolina. She enjoys writing fantasy, poetry, horror, and twisted short stories. When she is not cooking traditional Asian meals for her friends, she travels the world and practices foreign languages.

Her works include, The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld, the dark poetry collection, Wicked Webs, Empty Your Heart, and the paranormal collection of short stories, Thicker Than Blood. She lives with her two dog, Raven.

Let's Take a peek into this writer's imagination!
Tiffany: What is the title of your book and what message does it convey to readers?

K.N. Lee: The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld is a fantasy novel set in modern times yet utilizes high-fantasy weapons, alchemy, science, and magic. The message that I like to convey is that even the smallest, least intimidating, person in the room can indeed be the most dangerous. My heroine is Koa Ryeo-won. She’s small, cute, and silly…but if you cross her or threaten her loved ones, she’ll activate her enchanted sword and make you pay!


Tiffany: Give a short synopsis of your book.

K.N. Lee: What would you do if a demon threatened your mother's life? If you're like Koa, you'd sharpen your enchanted sword and go after him...

Our world is threatened by the creatures of an alternate land called the Netherworld. Good thing Koa and the Netherworld division are there to keep the vampire population in check. Koa is a powerful half-blood with a mysterious past. Her best friend is her boss, she has a cursed mother, an enchanted sword, and an attractive human pet.

Koa also has a problem. A Netherworld serial killer, with a taste for little girls, threatens everything Koa has worked hard to protect. Not even Koa's boss, Halston can stop him. But he knows one prisoner that can. Too bad that prison is in the Netherworld.

Is Koa ready to journey to the Netherworld to release the one creature that can break her mother's curse and protect all that she holds dear?


Tiffany:Why did you write this particular story?

K.N. Lee: This story actually began as a dream. It then became a weekly experiment on my blog and before I knew it, I had a pretty cool story and a few characters that I’d fallen in love with. I wanted a strong female protagonist with incredible power and the ability to fight evil.


Tiffany: Are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?

K.N. Lee: You know what, I never really realized it, but I think Koa may be modeled after my best friend. They’re both small, Asian, and feisty! You wouldn’t want to test either of them!


How do you come up with your storylines?

K.N. Lee: The first chapter came completely from a dream that I had. Then, I sat down and let Koa take control. She surprised me at every turn! I had a clear vision of what I wanted the end result to be and who the characters were. I did use an outline towards the end, just to keep the plot from straying.


Tiffany:  What was the point you realized that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

K.N. Lee: I’ve always know. From the first story I wrote when I was a child, I knew that being an author was what I wanted more than anything. Nothing gives me more joy than retreating to the deepest depths of my imagination and creating magical worlds and heroic characters. I think validation that I’d chosen the correct path came when I finally let someone other than family read my work. Their overwhelmingly positive feedback ignited something within me. I decided to stop hiding pursue publication.


Tiffany:    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

K.N. Lee: Never give up. Rejection is part of being a writer. Write every day. Read. Never let your writing become a chore.


Tiffany: What warning(s) would you give them?

K.N. Lee: Don’t let that inevitable self-doubt hinder your progress. Push forward despite that little voice that tells you that your work is not good. Prove to yourself that your words are worthy.


Tiffany: What do you enjoy the most about the writing process?

K.N. Lee: I enjoy sitting at my desk and shutting out the world. Talk about therapy for the soul! It’s like dreaming while awake, except you have all of the control. I like the excitement of a new idea. Those first lines are magical, and your heart soars with the joy that comes from starting something new. The possibilities are endless!


Tiffany:  How did you go about getting your book published?

K.N. Lee: I actually have a fantasy trilogy called Rise of the Flame that took me years to write, and I always wanted to go the traditional route with that one. But I quickly learned that the road to finding an agent or a publisher is a long one. So, being somewhat impatient, I decided to self-publish The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld on Amazon. I figured that I’d at least get my writer platform established, gain a fan base, and have something on my resume. It’s been incredibly rewarding!


Tiffany:   If you were given one day to live, what would you do that day?

K.N. Lee: I’d spend it with my family in a Swiss Family Robinson style tree house. We’d have yummy food, relax, and enjoy our last time together.

Tiffany:   If you could meet one of your favorite authors, who would it be and why?

K.N. Lee: Stephen King!!!! I’ve been reading his work since I was a child! He’s an incredible, prolific, author that I consider a mentor.


Tiffany:    Who inspires you?

K.N. Lee: My mother! She’s an incredible woman. I’d love to write her story someday.


Tiffany:   Most embarrassing childhood or adult moment?

K.N. Lee: Getting lost in South Korea was pretty mortifying. I was new to the country and my Korean was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I walked around begging for help, stopping strangers, and pointing to the phrase “I am lost” in my Korean-English phrasebook. Oh boy, that was embarrassing, but the Korean people were amongst the friendliest I’ve ever met. A girl actually called her friend that spoke English and got her to translate, and she bought me a cab home! Incredible!


Tiffany:    If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self?


K.N. Lee: Do not dwell on your failures. There is a bright future ahead of you. Do everything within your power to reach your goals.



Tiffany:   What’s next for you?

K.N. Lee: The sequel to The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld is called Lyrinian Blade, and will be released early February! I’ll also have a story, Last of the Jinn, in the fantasy anthology A World of Worlds coming soon!
Thank you for stopping by today and letting us learn more about your book and you as an author! If you wish to learn more about K.N. Lee and her books you can find her here:



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - Casey Clipper

     Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! It's the day before Valentine's Day, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Casey Clipper who is a contemporary romance author. She's a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Three Rivers Romance Writers, ASMSG, IAN, and IBPA. Casey was born and raised in Pittsburgh therefore she's naturally a football, hockey, and baseball fan. Everybody loves a little bit of romance, so let's take a peek into the alluring mind of Casey Clipper!
     Tiffany:  What is the title of your book and what  message does it convey to readers?

Casey -The titles of my 3 prequels are Darren - a prequel to The Boss's Love; Derrick - a prequel to The Boss's Love; and Courtney - a prequel to The Boss's Love

The prequels convey the message you never know what life has in store for you. That a simple, seemingly inconsequential meeting can change your fate.


Tiffany:   Give a short synopsis of your book.

Casey - The 3 prequels are back stories of the three main characters of The Boss's Love. They give a more in-depth insight into their lives before you meet them in the novel. Readers get to see the characters struggle with love before their worlds come together in the novel.

Darren's story is his struggle with finding the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Courtney's story is her struggle with being sheltered her entire life by those closest to her, which unknowingly helps lead her into a relationship she can't break free from.

Derrick's story is his realization that he's actually fallen in love with a woman who he'll spend the rest of his life trying to protect and shelter from all that's harmful in the world.

All of their back stories leave off at a particular scene in The Boss's Love.

Tiffany: Your stories are about love and relationships. Is there any particular reason you wrote these stories? 

Casey - To be honest, I can't tell you why I wrote this particular story. The best way I can answer this question is to say that I wanted to write a story that was a twist on the happily-ever-after.


   Tiffany:  I would guess that it would be easier to write Romance if some of the characters were familiar to you. So tell me, are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?

Casey - Every character is modeled in some manner after everyone in my life. Maybe not 100% personality wise. None of my friends or family are able to say, "Hey, that's me or that's my husband." But I do take a trait I love or even can't stand and place them into my characters. I tend to borrow the first names of those I know for my characters. My friends get a kick out of finding out if I've used their children's names. They've even petitioned me to use their kids' names. Lol. As for the male characters' physical traits, I always envision Hollywood actors and throw together what I would want in the perfect guy.

Tiffany:  How do you come up with your storylines?

Casey - I'm a pantser. So a story comes to mind and I immediately sit at my laptop and start to write. Or at least record my ideas until I'm finished with my current project. I go to where my mind takes me and the story leads.



Tiffany: What was the point you realized that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

Casey - When I self published my first novel. After that, I got the bug. Up until then my writing was a way to lose myself from the daily grind. Now, I want my stories out there for others to enjoy and get lost in. I love to tell a story. You see, I, myself, absolutely love to read. Losing yourself in a book and characters is a way for all of us to escape for that brief period of time. When I find a story I fall in love with, that author has a new fan. I want to bring that connection to readers.


Tiffany: All of us could use a little advice when starting off. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Casey - If you're passionate about what you're writing, no matter what the subject or genre is, keep at it. But write within your means. In other words, find and use your own voice. You don't have to put pressure on yourself to write the next Gone with the Wind, Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, or Pride and Prejudice. The Boss's Love is my third release and it wasn't until then that I truly found my voice. My editor is championing me to stick with that sub-genre and continue down that path. Find an editor who will help and inspire that voice. A good editor will. Entertain your readers, and yes, make it a good read by finding a proofreader and editor, but entertain with your voice. That's what will make you unique and gain you a following.    


Tiffany: I have heard a lot of people say that the writing world is like shark infested waters. It can be daunting and frightening. If you could give young writers a warning, what would it be? 
Casey - Always, always, always keep this in mind. We're in the entertainment industry. Since we've chosen this path, it opens us up for ridicule and wickedness. That's the price we pay. Just like the movie, television, and music industry opens themselves up for review, so do we. It's hard to say to develop thick skin, that's impossible. Your work is your sweat and tears. When someone tries to demean that, it stings. Badly. Find yourself a group of writers/authors and friends that are supportive and will help you through those times. Because every single one of us will experience those moments.  


Tiffany: What do you enjoy the most about the writing process?

Casey - What I enjoy most is when I hand my manuscript over to my betas and my editor and they come back to me excited over the story. Especially when my editor is pleased. I love my betas, who are close friends, because they give me honest reviews from a reader standpoint.


Tiffany: How did you go about getting your book published?

Casey - I self publish. After completing my first novel, I researched on how to get published. After a handful of rejections from agents and publishers I looked into self publishing. One of my defaults is I'm extremely impatient. I refused to sit around and wait for the many "no's" that are guaranteed to come my way because the industry is so saturated. I've kept submitting and pitching to agents and publishers, but found myself losing focus. So part of my 2014 New Years resolution was to go full throttle, committing 100% into self publishing. 


Tiffany: If you were given one day to live, what would you do that day?

Casey - I would definitely spend it with my family. Give my husband and two boys the reassurance of how much I love them. Then my three crazy Irish sisters and father would help bring the entertainment with their witty banter and in-family fighting.

    Tiffany: Who inspires you?

Casey - All authors. I'm inspired by their drive, determination, creativity, and dedication.


Tiffany: Most embarrassing childhood or adult moment?

Casey - To be honest, I can't really come up with one off hand. I'm sure I do have one, but in my early twenties I grew into myself and now don't really become embarrassed. I shrug and take each event or occurrence in my life as a learning tool. Plus, I'm the oldest of four Irish sisters. We tend to battle before submit to embarrassment.


Tiffany:  If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self?

Casey - Take creative writing classes and marketing classes!  You'll need them.


Tiffany: What’s next for you?

Casey - I'll be writing a spin off novella from The Boss's Love (at my editor's suggestion). I have a stand alone novel that's waiting to go through my first rewrite that I'll be releasing this year. A series I have notes and ideas on I'm also going to get underway. Along with all this, I'm going to start on marketing, which is a new, terrifying undertaking.


Thank You so much Casey for dropping by today and teaching us about your books! If you wish to learn more about Casey and her contemporary romance novels you can find them here:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - Sally Ember

Writer's Window Thursday - Sally Ember, Ed.D
Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! Today we will meet author Sally Ember, Ed.D. and learn about  This Changes Everything - Volume 1 of The Spanners Series (sci-fi/romance/speculative fiction/paranormal/multiverse/utopian ebooks for YA, New Adults and Adults). Sally is a published nonfiction author and produced playwright. Sally has also worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits for over thirty-five years in New England (every state), New Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she now lives). Sally has a BA in Elementary Education, a Master's (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.). Let's take a peek into this writer's imagination.
Tiffany -What is the title of your book and what  message does it convey to readers?
Sally - This Changes Everything is Volume I of The Spanners Series. Most of the Volumes have the word "change" in them to convey ways to publicize the presence of life on many other planets and orbs in the multiverse. As well as, a new understanding of other species right here on Earth, simultaneous time and many other topics are a catalyst of change for humans on Earth.
Tiffany -Give a short synopsis of your book.
Sally -Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., 58, is having the first of many home visits from holographic representations of five beings from the Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, over a thirty-year, increasingly Utopian period. Earth is being invited to join, formally, and the December, 2012, visit is the first one allowed to be made public. Making the existence of the MWC public means many Earthers have to adjust our beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and, well, everything we think and are. Clara becomes the liaison for Earth, the Chief Communicator, between Earth and the MWC. This Changes Everything relates the events partly from her point of view, partly from records of meetings of varying groups of the MWC governing bodies, and partly from her Media Contact, Esperanza Enlaces, employing humor, poignancy, a love story, family issues, MWC’s mistakes and blunders, history, politics, paranormalcy and hope.


Tiffany -Many authors claim that their stories come to them in dreams. How did you come up with and write this particular story?
Sally - One night in February, 2012, I was awakened by a very clear voice that said: WRITE. I went to the computer, hearing sentences and seeing scenes in my mind. Five hours later, most of the first Chapter, all of the summaries for all the Volumes, and the Chapter outline for Volume I were drafted. I kept going from there and finished the first draft of Volume one in 8 weeks. TCE( This Changes Everything) went through 19 other drafts via my own ideas, consults with friends and family, and letting it "sit," over an 18-month period to reach the final version. During that time I started Volumes II, IV, and V and sketched out parts of the others as well. I feel very driven. Part of the reason is that I identify a lot with Clara.


Tiffany - I find it hard to write in the genres of science fiction or fantasy. It takes ability to artfully create a world and all that lies within it. How have you set your story up?
Sally - The line between fiction and nonfiction is very blurred in these Volumes, intentionally, and my life seems that way sometimes as well. I'm curious as to what the readers will decide is "real." Writing from any point in time and timeline means that the love story, which spans about 35 years, and other aspects are depicted in multiple versions. In the novel, after the MWC educational resources and information become widely available, in 2013, all time is now known to be simultaneous. I like that the readers will have to decide: do Clara and her Future or Fictional Husband, Epifanio Dang, get to be together? Which Re-set of the Transition After Public Contact prevails? The tone is humorous/serious; the mode is utopian. I really dislike reading the endless stream of dystopian futuristic sci fi. I decided to write the books I want to be reading! My book has many facets to it, for example: This Changes Everything contains dialogue/communications and scenes of the relationships among the CC (chief commander), her mother, siblings, her adult son, and friends. I also provide info about the selection and identity of the chosen media contact for the CC, with excerpts from her journal. News stories about the CC and the MWC events from Earth media as well as MWC media are also a part of the storyline. Background about the CC and the reasons for her being selected is provided; as are excepts from minutes of meetings of the InterGalactic Council of the MWC.


Tiffany- Sally when did your love of writing start?
Sally - I've been writing since I was in 2nd grade: stories, songs, articles, plays, in my journal, letters, emails, posts online; nonfiction and fiction. My first story, "Princess Why," was published in the school newspaper and I believed I would be world famous from that. I sat on the couch by our picture window that overlooked our busy street and had a view of the school parking lot day after day for months, reading, looking out the window regularly. I was waiting for the news trucks and reporters to arrive. They never did.... I gave it to Clara as "her" story in Volume II!


Tiffany - Are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?
Sally - Almost all of them are based, at least loosely, on people I know/have known or am related to! Some are composites and all have been fictionalized after the initial base character was determined, so none of the main or minor characters is an actual person. However, there are many historic and actual public figures, writers, politicians, etc., referred to briefly in my Volumes. They are quite real, even though the situations and activities I attribute to them may not be entirely true (but some of the stories I relate are true for each of them, and if I make a reference to their written or public work, those are accurate). 

Tiffany - How do you come up with your storylines?
Sally - I strongly believe that Earth is in serious trouble, politically, economically, environmentally, and socially. I do wish we could be rescued by stronger, more intelligent, compassionate, and capable beings! I wanted to show how things would change, and especially, how things would improve, if Earthers could be certain that we are not "alone." I am fascinated by physics, multiple timelines/multiverse concepts, alien life, psi phenomena, family relationships, world affairs and the environment, and unrequited/requited love. My erstwhile love is not with me, just as Clara's is sometimes not with her, so I empathize with that situation. I also firmly believe in the inherent intelligence and value of all species, so interspecies communication among equals, both on Earth and off-planet, becomes central to the Series. I am also very interested in the Excellent Skills Program aspects. I look forward to and have enjoyed writing the parts about each character's ESP training and experiences, uses of the Excellent Skills and the ways having access to these Skills changes Earthers. I have incorporated all of these themes and topics into my sci-fi novels. I have and continue to do extensive research for each Volume. The parts that are scientific and authentic are the most fun to fictionalize.

Tiffany -How did you go about getting your book published?
Sally - I researched the possibilities and spent about a year sending queries and letters as well as samples to various agents and publishers. After no one optioned Volume I, I kept writing and researching the next Volumes , polishing Volume I as well as researching self-publishing. That is the way I found Smashwords. Mark Coker is great (the founder of SW) and provides a lot of webinars/videos that help authors format, market and upload our ebooks, all for free. SW takes a cut, but not as large a cut as other distributors and they are now the largest distributor because their model works so well.

I also researched artists online and via Twitter to find a cover artist. I vetted several and then decided on Willowraven (found her through Twitter). I plan to have her do all ten covers.


Tiffany -If you could meet one of your favorite authors, who would it be and why?
Sally - If I could meet and speak with any female author, I'd pick Ursula K. LeGuin or Marge Piercy. Spider Robinson (Jeanne is deceased, but I wish I could meet/speak with them both) for men. Also, I wish I could talk with others who are no longer here: Zenna Henderson, Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, to name a few.


Tiffany - Who inspires you?
Sally - You can find answers to this question and many other questions about me on Pinterest! For photos, images, music, bios, and other memes relevant to me as an author and directly to The Spanner Series, please visit my Boards on Pinterest: "The Spanners Series includes..."; "Inspirations for the Earth locations in The Spanners Series"; "Music of The Spanners Series." I also have boards about my inspirations, visually, textually and conceptually: "Flora and Fauna that amaze me"; "Space Shots I like"; "Books that changed my life"; "TV shows and movies I actually like"; "Writers I Love"; "Resonating Pins" (from others' boards). One board has links to each of my own Blog Posts. I post a Board to highlight Musicians and Artists I Support. I put up promos for my own and other authors' books on occasion via Book Billboards. Please follow and repin from my Boards:


Tiffany -What’s next for you?

Sally - I plan to continue with that schedule, releasing two Volumes per year until all ten are out.

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, told from the perspectives of the New Adult and Young Adult narrators as well as by Clara (the main character) and Espe (the Chief Media Contact and major supporting character) is being revised to final draft form after comments from Beta readers this winter. I plan to release Vol. II for pre-orders via Smashwords in April and release to all retailers in early June, 2014. Check on The Spanners Series pages on Google + or Facebook: and my website (see links) to find out when the next Volumes will be available, read excerpts from the current and latest Volumes, and get other news and reviews.

Coming Soon in the Spanners Series:

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Thought Things Would Change

 Volume IV, Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude

Volumes VIII and IX - Seeking collaboration from other authors! 2017

Volume X in 2018.
**Sally also is experimenting with CROWDCREATING sections or entire upcoming Volumes of The Spanners Series. She seek teens and young adults/new adults particularly for Volume VIII and adults over forty for Volume IX. If you'd like to participate, please email: or and tell her your age and a little about what Volume or portion you'd like to help create! Put "CROWDCREATOR" in the subject line.

Good luck Sally with your work! Thank you for stopping by today.

If you wish to know more  about Sally and The Spanners Series visit the links below.

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