Tag Archives: Nonnie Jules

ROBERT FEAR in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” W/NONNIE JULES – #RRBC @FredsDiary1981

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us,  member, ROBERT FEAR.  Robert is our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of July and we are celebrating him all month long.  This week, he gets to sit on the shelf with me!

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NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf? We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf? So, comfy?

RF:  Yes, thanks Nonnie. I’m a little nervous, but thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your new, very comfortable shelf. It’s a real honour!

NJ:  Thank you, Mr. FEAR…what a perfect name when you’re sitting up here with me.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

RF:  Robert Fear is my birth name.

NJ:  And I love it each time you say it!  Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

RF:  I was born in a city called Leicester in England. My family left there when I was 11 and moved south to a village in Surrey called South Nutfield. My teenage years were spent growing up there. I now live in a town called Eastbourne on the south coast.

NJ:  Married or single, Robert?

RF:  Married.

NJ:  Any kids? What kind?

RF:  No, although I have two grown-up nephews and a niece. Also a 5 year-old great-nephew.

NJ:  Those will do just fine, too!  Aren’t nieces and nephews grand?  If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one (if they had to) would keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one would immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?

RF:  I will be 62 this year so not old and cranky yet, or I don’t think so! I haven’t really considered the rest of your question, maybe I should.

NJ:  I think you should.  When your mind starts to leave you, you never know which family member is going to draw that short straw (aka YOU) and what they’ll do with you (or to you) when it happens, so if I were you…I’d start pondering.  Any pets? What kind?

RF:  We are cat people. Over the years we have looked after a succession of rescue cats and enjoy their company. At the moment we have three: Floyd, Hazell and Jet.

How Nonnie feels about cats…

NJ:  Uh, yea.  OK, so what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?

RF:  I can’t say that I’ve ever felt that way about food to be honest.

Whaaaaattttt????

NJ:  WOW!  OK.  #Shocking.  What’s your favorite color, Robert?

RF:  Blue

NJ:  Yea, I think blue’s kinda boring, but OK.  Live and let live.  How about your favorite sport.  Have one of those?

RF:  Soccer

NJ:  Yeeeeeessssss, I can totally see you in a soccer game!  So, any favorite TV Shows?

RF:  ‘Have I Got News For You’ – it is a satirical panel quiz show on UK television. Very funny!

NJ:  You’ll have to tell me more about it after the show.  As you can see, I LOVE funny/humor!  So, who’s your favorite Actress or Actor?

RF:  I think it would have to be Tom Hanks. He is such a versatile actor and I’ve enjoyed many of his films.

NJ:  I just hung up the phone with Tom (yes, we’re on a first name basis), and he told me to tell you…

I know, you didn’t know that I knew him. Oh, stop…I see that you’re gushing all over yourself.   I know tons of folks.  I know folks in high places …

…and low places, too

So, Robert, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

RF:  I enjoy walking to stay fit. Eastbourne is a great place for that, with a 4 mile promenade and it’s close to the South Downs National Park as well.

NJ:  I love walking and running, too!  Your place sounds like heaven! Robert, what’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads. Hey, just being honest. It’s the only way I roll).

RF:  Readers who leave 1 star reviews and get very personal and cruel about the author. I don’t think there is any need for that and it can be very upsetting.

NJ:  Robert, here is where you need to become really tuned in to your last name.  You see, I have no problem with a reader who has taken the time to read a book, who has spent their hard-earned money on said book, to give that book a 1-star review if they feel that it deserves it.  I don’t believe in attacking an author or getting personal in reviews, EVER,  it should always be about the book, but I believe in total honesty in reviews and regarding writing, for that matter.  So, you might be upset with me one day when I post a 1-star review.  But, that’s OK.  So, are you neat or messy?

RF:  Neat.

NJ:  Yayyyyy!  I like you again!  Facebook or Twitter?

RF:  Both.

NJ:  We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

RF:  This would have to be Frank Kusy, the well-known travel memoir author. Frank has been incredibly supportive and is always there when I need advice. He also introduced me to a Facebook group which has helped me tremendously.

NJ:  Who do you favor most: Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest.

RF:  I thought they were one and the same person!

Oh, shucks…you’re such a flatterer!

NJ:  We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here, too.

RF:  It would have to be WonderWoman Nonnie Jules!

Robert, stop it! You are tickling me pink!

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

RF:  Kevin and I in India by Frank Kusy and That Bear Ate My Pants by Tony James Slater

NJ:  OK, can’t say that I’ve heard of either.  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

RF:  One of its Legs are Both the Same by Mike Cavanagh

NJ:  What was so great about it?

RF:  This is probably best summarized by my 5* review:
Engrossing memoir

I had the privilege of being able to beta read this wonderful book. It is a treasure trove of memories, woven together in a vividly descriptive life tapestry.

With the knowledge of a recent diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, Mike Cavanagh shares his innermost feelings, reflecting on his younger years and why he was so ‘different’. Things he knows now make these reflections even more poignant and provide an additional layer to his many weird and wonderful recollections.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an engrossing memoir and highly recommended.

NJ:

Yea, uhhhhh, never had that happen here before, you know, someone just ‘reading’ a review like that.  For a minute, I thought this was SPOTLIGHT HONORS with John Howell.

So, Robert, after you read books, do you post reviews?

RF:  I always mean to and do so more often than not, especially if I know that the author does not have many reviews for the book yet.

NJ:  Good for you, but I’m going to need you to do better and go beyond “meaning to.”  Let’s get those reviews posted!  Robert, what do you think readers should base their reviews on?

RF:  Quality and content of the book.

NJ:  OK.  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

RF:  No, not at all, although all my reviews are 4 or 5 stars for one reason – I tend to be very choosy as to which books I read. If I start reading a book and am not getting on with it, then I would leave it and not review it. My time is too precious!

NJ:  OK.  Read any poorly written books lately?

RF:  No. Well, not beyond the first twenty pages anyway.

NJ:  Are you an author? Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here.

RF:  I am not a particularly good author. This may come as a bit of a shock as I am in the ‘Author Spotlight’ this month, Nonnie, but I do not see myself as a ‘proper’ author. I am more of a diarist or memoirist. My other skills include proof-reading and editing. It is only with my new book that I am aspiring to become an accomplished author.

NJ:  You have the write attitude, Robert, which means you are going to go far…and, as a good/great author!  How long have you been writing?

RF:  I have had an interest in writing and editing since my early teens. My earliest endeavor was the ‘Library Times’ which I laboriously wrote out by hand and distributed amongst family and school friends. Next came the ‘Crusader Comet’ which lasted for over twenty monthly editions. This was for a local Crusaders group that I attended. As this was in the early 70’s, before word processors, I used a typewriter and produced stencils for use with a duplicator. In the sixth form, when I was 17-18, I studied English Literature for one of my Advanced Level exams. My dream at that time was to become a journalist. I was also appointed as Editor of the school magazine, ‘The Pilgrim’, and I helped produce four editions of this professionally produced periodical. After that my writing lapsed as I took a different career path and then went off on my travels. It was not until 1981 that I embarked on my Asian trip and recorded everything I did in a handwritten diary. This formed the basis of ‘Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia’, which was published in 2013.

NJ:  WOW!  Interesting.  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

RF:  I like to think I can. What I find difficult to accept is negative and unreasonable criticism.

NJ:  That’s good to know, Robert, as so many can’t take any type of critiques regarding their writing.  I literally beg for folks to point out any mistakes they find in my writing, because I want to be able to hold my own against the best.  You can’t grow unless you learn to listen and take in those things that you may perceive to be negative…take notes and learn so that you can turn them into positives.

Robert, name two books that you’ve written?
RF:  The first is an edited version of the diary I referred to previously:
Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia

The second was mostly written by my father when he was alive. I wrote the forward and did most of the editing, while my younger brother, Alastair, wrote the final three chapters:
Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

RF:  They are both very different types of books. Mine is in a diary format and covers the 158 days of my travels around Asia – this style and the drug use throughout is not appreciated by some. My father’s memoirs cover a much longer period and are written very well. They cover various aspects of his being both inside and outside the Exclusive Brethren religious sect, while holding true to his faith in God. I think Exclusive Pedigree is the better book because of its wider appeal and the way it is written. My father was a very good writer and worked as a journalist in his later years.

NJ:  I can’t wait to read  both!  Do you have a blog or website? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

RF:  My blog site fd81.net has been around for over two years. It is different to most blogs and is very travel-orientated. The earlier sections contain the daily serialization of my diary, during the time it was being prepared for its second edition. Since then I have featured many travel stories and travel highlights that have been entered in the annual competitions. In addition there are guest blogs from fellow travel writers and bloggers. I think you would have to check it out but hopefully you will find it interesting and enjoy reading it.

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
This would definitely be the Facebook group.

Really, Rob?  (Where’s my beyhive?  Oh, I forgot, I’m not Beyonce so I don’t have a Beyhive to sting him.  Darnit!  Gotta get me one of those!)

NJ:  Robert, I’m a journalist so I’m going to remain professional here.  (Mumbling) How were you helped by this group?

RF:  It is a very supportive group of authors and readers…

NJ:  I changed my mind.  I can’t do it…I can’t remain professional and sit thru this!!!!!  You answered the question wrong above and so, we don’t want to hear your response!  Right, Nonnie-hive?

(Birds chirping)

NJ:  *Sigh*  Robert, since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

RF:  I have only been a member since late last year. Although I felt a little overwhelmed at first, I am slowly getting more and more involved. There are so many great activities and the club is very supportive of members when they actively participate in the club.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

RF:  No, not really

Guess you forgot about your Facebook group then…

NJ:  Would you recommend us to your friends and family?

RF:  Yes, definitely.

NJ:  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

RF:  I wish that I had the time to participate more in all the different programs organized by RRBC. The area I have used the most is the BOOK CLUB SELECTIONS page and I am always interested in the BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions. In addition I check out the #RRBC Twitter hashtag on a daily basis, re-tweeting and liking posts where I can.

NJ:  Well, good for you, Robert!  Those are great areas to participate in.  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our guests today?

RF:  Thank you very much for having me as your guest ON THE SHELF today. It came as a real surprise to be invited and I hope that my answers have been of interest to you and all your guests.

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Robert!  You have definitely entertained us all and made this one memorable interview, right gang?

To my guests, please  pick up a copy of one of Robert’s books or both of them.

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Robert was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends…or not.  The choice is all yours!   We’ll see you next month, right here on the SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

@WendyJayneScott in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” WITH NONNIE JULES – #RRBC

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us,  member, WENDY SCOTT.  Wendy is our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of June and we are celebrating her all month long.  This week, she gets to sit on the shelf with me!

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(Now that looks just like Wendy, doesn’t it?)

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf.  So, comfy?

Wendy:  I don’t have a great sense of balance so I appreciate the addition of the padded stirrups. Wonderful view of the RRBC book shelves, filled with highly acclaimed authors like John W. Howell, Gwendolyn Plano, Harmony Kent, Beem Weeks, and a few signed copies by Nonnie Jules.

NJ:  WOW!  Impressive!  (That’s a sure way not to ‘almost’ have an ‘accident.’ … throw my name in there, too).  

English bulldog funny face

Wendy, Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Wendy:  I use different versions of my name for various genres. Wendy Scott for Fantasy, WJ Scott for Children’s, and Wendy Jayne for Romance. So I suppose that makes me a split personality.

Dog rolling his eyes

(A split personality?  Really, Wendy…don’t you think I get enough of dealing with ‘personalities’ on a daily basis, as it is?  I’m gonna need you to keep that in check during this interview, OK?)

NJ:  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Wendy:  I was born in Invercargill, (the frozen bottom of the South Island), New Zealand. When I was nine we moved to the tropics: Blenheim, (top of the South Island). In 1999, I crossed the ditch and lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for five years (wine country). Currently, residing in Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand on our 3 ½ acres of paradise.

NJ:  Married or single?

Wendy:  My partner and I have been best buddies for over 25 years. One day we may wed on a Hawaiian beach or a Vegas Elvis Chapel, but hey you can’t rush these things.

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind?

Wendy:  Two kids; the one with hooves, horns, and startling blue eyes is Iron the goat (mother’s name Maden, sister’s name China). The human kid, our preteen birth child is Layk, named after our favourite lake: Lake Kaniere.

NJ:  If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?

Wendy:  Layk has All Black (NZ rugby team) aspirations so here’s hoping he can keep us in the style we wish to become accustomed to. He has offered to build us our own shack.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?

Wendy:  Many four-pawed friends. Two dogs, Boss (SPCA well behaved dog) he’s the size of pony with the heart of a teddy bear, and we inherited Zuki, a Bichon Frise, the size of a teddy bear, with the mentality of a Rottweiler (who barks when people are leaving???). Two SPCA rescue cats (reject Russian Blue brothers), Zippy and Zappy.

NJ:  Zippy & Zappy…Hahahaha!  I love those names.  So, Wendy, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?  I expect that this is also the food you’ll be sharing in our upcoming RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITERS’ SOUL “Good Eats” Cookbook, right?

Wendy:  Raspberries and chocolate. Mmmmmmm.

NJ:  OK.  That, you will never have to worry about coming up missing out of the board member lounge fridge.  So, what’s your favorite color:

Wendy:  Purple, of course.

NJ:  Of course?  That one went over my head, Wendy, but let’s move on to your favorite sport.  I hope there’s not an ‘of course’ attached to that, too.

Wendy:  Watching my son’s rugby. I still don’t understand all the rules, I’ve been barred from running onto the field, but I can wear the team’s hoodie and yell from the sidelines. Go Kiwis!

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Wendy:  SciFi Geek: Firefly /Stargate (yes, I’ve watched all 10 seasons more than once, and Stargate Atlantis).

NJ:  Yep, you won’t have to worry about me calling to talk about that show with ya!  So, how about your favorite Actress and Actor…

Wendy:  Morgan Freeman and Jodie Foster.

NJ:  I like Jodie Foster, too.  She is such a star!  I used to like Morgan until he did that ‘thing’… now, I don’t care to watch him in anything anymore.  But, anyway, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

Wendy:  I believe you lose it if you don’t use it. I hike, bike, and hit the gym for Body Combat and Box Fit (something very satisfying about putting on boxing gloves and smacking things).

NJ:  Wendy, I so agree.  My pink ones keep me out of the slammer, for sure!

Boxing gloves

Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Wendy:  Some people’s inability to master the engineering feat of changing a toilet roll. Seriously, it’s not that difficult, and it’s just plain good manners.

Puppy and tissue

NJ:  Uh, is this how you do it?  Wendy, be careful who you ask to change the toilet roll, OK?  So, are you neat or messy?

Wendy:  I’m a writer not a domestic goddess. I thrive in chaos.

 NJ:  OOOOOOOOK, so you weren’t at all bothered by the puppy and the mess above?  Got it.  Facebook or Twitter?

Wendy:  Twitter, I love the randomness.

NJ:  We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

Wendy:  I’ve reconnected with a girl friend from our teenage years and it’s like the missing years never occurred.

NJ:  Well, good for you!  Wendy, here’s the most serious question of the entire interview…who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest, now.  You don’t have to worry about Wonder Woman…she’s at the movies right now.

Wendy:  Is this a trick question?  I was under the impression they are one and the same. Wonder Jules!

NJ:  Hahaha, Wonder Jules!  I love it!  I like that one better, let’s start using it instead!  We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Wendy:  I suspect Nonnie’s truth lasso is like an electric dog collar. Wander too far from the truth and you get zapped!

NJ:  I love it! And you’re so right.  I do like to remind folks when they act as if they’ve forgotten.   Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Wendy:  Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks, and Finding Katie by Harmony Kent.

NJ:  OK.  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

Wendy:  Silvana The Greening by Belinda Mellor.

NJ:  Great!  Written  by an RRBC member, too!  What was so great about it?

Wendy:  I wish I’d written it! Fantasy literary story telling at its finest.

NJ:  Oh, my!  I may have to pick that one up!  Wendy, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Wendy:  Yes, for those books I read through to the end.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Wendy:  Their reading experience of how the story and the characters engaged them. I expect well edited books with believable 3 dimensional characters, a gripping storyline, and a satisfying ending.

 NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Wendy:  I choose books to read that I expect to enjoy, and I’ll often check out the opening sample to review the writing style. I believe you can tactfully state improvement suggestions. I don’t award 5* lightly, to gain my 5 stars the story has to be exceptional. My reputation as an author is on the line.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Wendy:  My time’s too precious to waste on poorly written or edited books, I abandon them, and read books that capture and hold my attention.

NJ:  So you see, people, some of us don’t even waste our time reading books all the way through if it’s clear that they haven’t been properly edited or, they’re not reads worthy of even having been published in the first place…because there was no care given to how important those issues would be to a reader.  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they were horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Wendy:  I don’t review them as I didn’t read them past the opening pages. If it was a specific request by an author I will send them a summary of the issues I encountered that stopped me continuing i.e. POV lapses. telling rather than showing, repetition, information dumps, too much backstory, pace, dialogue tags ,lack of character development etc. Usually this is obvious within the first chapter.

NJ:  There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

Wendy:  Texas author, Jan Sikes, as Marketing Director of RRBC, is actively out there continually promoting RRBC books online and she and Nonnie are working to get RRBC books into bookstores.

Nonnie Jules created RRBC from scratch and within a few short years has steered RRBC into a dynamic and thriving author support network where honest reviews are encouraged.

NJ:  Well, thank you, Wendy.  It’s not every day we get to hear that folks think so highly of us.  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Wendy:  I’m a multi-award winning author who strives to lift the bar with each successive book.

NJ:  Well, good for you!  How long have you been writing?

Wendy:  My writing journey began in 2003 when I attended a six week course on ‘How to write a novel’.

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Wendy:  Yes, it’s part of the editing process, and with reviews I look for common themes to address with future works. I’ll always be a student of writing, continuing to grow my literary skills.

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written?

Lodestone, Book 1,

Lodestone by Wendy Scott

Hieroglyph, TC’s Adventures Book 1

ws

 

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Wendy:  Hieroglyph has won multiple international book awards.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Wendy:  I have several websites and blogs catering to my different readerships.

My main website: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog

Fantasy: http://www.authorfantasy.com/fantasy-author-blog

Children’s: http://www.authorchildrens.com/childrens-author-blog

http://www.hieroglyph.ws/

http://www.tails-wjscott.com/

Please come and visit you are always welcome.

NJ:  Thanks for that open invitation.  I think I will drop by each one.  Wendy, which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Wendy:  Drum roll …… and the winner is …..RRBC!

NJ:  Noooooooo!  I never would’ve ‘thunk’ it!  LOL! How were you helped by this amazing club that I keep hearing so many great things about?

Blushing dog

Wendy:  So many different ways. At first I was blown away by all the features – there’s always something new on the go (interviews, tweets, awards, blog parties, trailer parties, book conference, RWISA, anthology etc). But the best part is the people, real authors, real stories, and real connections. This is a community I’m proud to support.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Wendy:  No, RRBC is a unique global community.

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

Wendy:  Absolutely! I’m always encouraging authors to join RRBC.

NJ:  Wendy, but we’re not just for authors.  You should encourage readers to join, as well!  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Wendy:  How can I choose? I do love listening to all the RAVE WAVES shows and I’m honoured to join in as a host for BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our guests today?

Wendy:  Thanks RRBC, Nonnie Jules, and the RRBC Board for befriending me!

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Wendy!  You are one of RRBC’s finest!  If you all haven’t, you should take notice of how Wendy shares all the pages of our online catalog onto social media.  I mean, there may be others doing it, but I’ve not seen anyone else doing it, so, we should all thank Wendy for sharing our books (and also, follow in her footsteps).

To my guests, please  pick up a copy of one of Wendy’s  books or all of them (you will not be  disappointed!).

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Wendy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends…or not.  The choice is all yours!   We’ll see you next month, right here on the SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

#RRBC, It’s Lonely at the Top …

You know, GOD has a way of making us take stock of our lives – even our time and how we are spending it.  Just today, I thought to myself, “Just as soon as Mar gets back from her vacation, I need to take a little hiatus myself.”  Well, just as soon as that thought entered my mind, it left…quickly.

How will the club manage without me?  How will ALL the million and one things that I do every day, get done?  Who’s going to make those hard and very important decisions that I have to make on a daily basis?  If not me, who?

Then, I opened my phone (to my Twitter account) and there was this article that was meant just for me to see.

Please, read on…

‘IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP – OR, IT SHOULD BE’

Man on top of mountain. Element of design.

Leaders need time for reflection and hard analytical work, just like everyone else.

***

Solitude has been instrumental to the effectiveness of leaders throughout history, but now, they (as with everyone else) are losing it with hardly any awareness of the fact. Before the Information Age – which one could call the Input Age – leaders naturally found solitude anytime they were physically alone, or walking from one place to another, or standing in a line.

Like a great wave that saturates everything in its path, hand-held devices deliver immeasurable quantities of information and entertainment, that now have virtually all of us instead staring down at our phones.  Society did not make a considered choice to surrender the bulk of its time for reflection in favor of time spent reading tweets or texts.

Yet, with an awareness of what we have lost, each of us can choose to reclaim it.  And leaders in particular – whose actions by definition affect not only themselves – have more than a choice.  They have an obligation.  A leader has a responsibility to seek out periods of solitude.

The assumption, unless the leader says otherwise, is that he is constantly accessible – if not in person, then electronically.  But the task of changing that assumption requires only an act of will.  A leader can designate a certain number of workdays each month as no-meeting days, as Endgame CEO, Nate Fick does.  A leader can mark off 60 or 90 minutes each day for time to think.  A leader can make it known that he does not text or check his email only intermittently or at certain points in the day.  (One has to wonder what leaders who make a point of responding to email within minutes, are otherwise doing with their time.)  A leader can declare weekends off-limits for work email, as Wendy Kopp did at Teach for America.

There is a price to be paid for changes like these. Email will go unanswered for hours rather than minutes, subordinates might have to wait 60 minutes to speak to the boss, and meetings might get pushed back a day.

So be it.  Scheduling a leader’s time is a zero-sum game, and fundamentally a manager must decide whether reflection and hard analytical work are important enough to warrant perhaps a third of his time.

There is another price for changes like these, namely the usual social levy upon nonconformity.  Left unexplained, these changes will lead others to say the leader is arrogant, aloof, unapproachable.  But there is a reason to leave the reasons for solitude unexplained.  The leader can simply make clear, in as much or as little detail as he sees fit, that doing the organization’s work requires time to think.

And he can bear out that explanation during the times when he is accessible – by providing subordinates with clear comments on their work rather than vague ones, thoughtful answers rather than platitudes, and otherwise performing like a leader who has thought through his guiding principles rather than made them up on the fly.

(This article taken from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

***

RRBC, if we are to continue to grow as we have in years past, I need time away.  My job is a HUGE one here, and although I am not complaining, I’d like the time away to regroup so that I can do my job better (just as you all get time away to regroup)…and when I’m doing my job better, when I’m at the top of my game, we all benefit from that.

So, it won’t be today, maybe not even tomorrow, but sometime soon, I will be taking a much-needed rest or mini vacation.  It will only be for a week, and, I’ll probably still work during that time, but at least I won’t feel so bad when I turn on my computer to write and ignore the hundreds of email that have popped into my email box within minutes of my waking.

I also hope that during my short time away, that all of my wonderful RRBC family members will continue to do what they would normally do when I’m present – supporting each other, lifting each other up, recruiting, engaging, welcoming, and don’t forget, leaving honest reviews…all in all, just playing nice, so that those standing in my stead won’t have so much to deal with in my absence.

I hope you all have enjoyed this “peace.”  I sure did. 😉

#Motivational & Inspirational Friday! #RRBC

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Today is our Motivational & Inspirational Friday and we want all of you to help us lift someone up!  But, today it’s more than just leaving an inspirational comment.  Today, we want you to share with us how you handle a specific situation, because maybe, we’re not handling it as well as we could or even should be.

TODAY’S TOPIC:  THE ‘OLDER’ GENERATION

(Before we get started, let me make one thing clear, I’m not speaking of members of the older generation who are suffering from mental illnesses or dementia.  They are definitely not apart of this discussion.  I’m speaking of the ornery class of the older generation).

Yes, leave it to me to touch on topics that others shy away from.  Sorry, folks (not sorry, really), but, today we are going to discuss (honestly, I hope) the older generation.  We spend copious amounts of time talking about the younger generation…and most of that conversation always leans in the direction of their failings…their wrongs.  Well, you know what, the older generation isn’t all that grand at times, either.  Now, I’m going to say that I fall somewhere in between both groups, so my opinion won’t be biased at all.

Pug dog face

(That’s the most neutral looking face if I ever did see one!)

In honor of full disclosure, though, I must own up to the fact that I’m closer to 60 than I am 50.  I’ll let your minds wander from there.

I have a general saying that goes:  “I have zero tolerance for poor behavior.  Doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or if you’re 73…I can’t and I won’t deal with it.”  I’ve heard people say so many times, “Well, she’s older…she gets a pass” OR “At 75, they don’t know what they’re saying.”  I don’t believe that’s true.

My dad’s mom was 90 years old when she passed away and NOT ONCE did I ever see her misbehave or hear her speak in such a way that she might have to be forgiven, for not knowing what she was saying.  The same applied to my beloved grandmother who just left me, at the tender age of 89.  Because of this, I give no passes for poor behavior when it comes to age.  If my dear old grannies, at their ages and wisdom level, could behave as women whose ages and wisdom levels dictated that they should behave, then, again, I will give no passes for poor behavior, or, for not knowing what you’re saying because you’re in your 60’s, your 70’s, or your 80’s.

In my opinion, I feel that some of the older generation feel entitled to misbehave and be rude.  I’ve heard some say that “At my age, I just don’t care what comes out of my mouth.” I’ve also heard others say this in regards to those of the older generation.  And to that I say, “I hope you care when you’re speaking around me.”  

My friend’s dad is 75 years old and she often asks him: “Should I charge this to your head or charge it to your age because if I charge it to your age, you’re gonna get a pass,” she says with a smile.  The response she always gets is “charge it to my head.”  I know why she gets this response, too.  Her dad doesn’t want to be perceived as “old” (for falling asleep with the door wide open, or leaving the keys in the car ignition at night, or forgetting to take care of his personal hygiene) so, he would rather she thinks he just made simple mistakes.

Some of you might not agree with me here and that’s fine.  This is my opinion of this situation and I am entitled, just as you are.  This is also why this topic is being brought up because I want to know how others feel about the subject.

I am no walk in the park, and although my husband lives that reality but would never say it, my daughters would give you an earful.  Knowing how I am now, I can only imagine the horror that I will be as I get older, and in true-Nonnie fashion, I have said to both my daughters, “If mommy EVER behaves that poorly, you do not have to put up with it.  Throw me in a home with a nice television for my Lifetime movies, a slew of books, and a nice young aid with good eyes to read them to me, and I’ll be just fine.”  And you know what, I mean every word of that from the bottom of my heart.  Do I think they’ll oblige me?  NO, but I have put it out there that they do not have to put up with my poor behavior (which I know is coming in my older age).

Our club is filled to the brim with those of the older generation and they’re all loved dearly!  I’m not going to go so far as to say that they are all always on their best behavior, but, they are still loved.  So, whether you are 23 or 93, let’s hear your (honest) thoughts on this subject.  I mean, we all share one very important other thing aside from us all bleeding red…we all have our very own opinions about things.

Remember, we want our community to get inspired and feel uplifted by simply reading the comments left by YOU.  This is our year of better, and maybe your take on a situation will help someone else to see it more clearly, and also cause them to think and grow from what you have shared.  The person who leaves the most inspiring and motivational words of wisdom in the comments section below, wins our SURPRISE OF THE WEEK!

Listen, you never know just how impactful your words are, until a life has changed because of them. – NJ

#Motivational & #Inspirational Wednesday! #RRBC

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WINNER OF THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL AND UPLIFTING COMMENT:

KAREN INGALLS!!!

Karen has won a $10 Amazon gift card and a FREE book of choice from the Kathryn C. Treat Treasure Chest!

Everyone goes through storms at times.  The rich, the poor, the powerful, the President;  doesn’t matter what or who you are, you are not immune to the struggles and trials of life.  During this time of storm, what’s needed is support and encouragement from everyone around.  Truth be told, some even find it hard to get out of bed and get dressed, and it’s at those times, when motivational words help to lift them right up.

Today is our Motivational & Inspirational Wednesday and we want all of you to help us lift someone up!  You never know what your neighbor is going through, so, we want our community to drop by here, get inspired and feel uplifted by simply reading the comments left by YOU.  The person who leaves the most inspiring and motivational words of wisdom in the comments section below, wins our SURPRISE OF THE WEEK!

Listen, you never know just how impactful your words are, until a life has changed because of them. – NJ

Rhani D’Chae in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?” #RRBC

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today, we have our current “SPOTLIGHT”Author with us:  “A totally lost Rhani D’Chae. (this is the way Rhani describes herself when she phones me.  It is hilarious!).

(Throwback Thursday!)

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NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf?  So, comfy?

Rhani:  Yes, it’s actually very comfy. I especially like the cushion, and the way it cradles my tired old tookus.

NJ:  Hmmmm, I didn’t know that we were cradling tired, old tookuses, but OK!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Rhani:  Rhani D’Chae isn’t the name on my birth certificate, but it’s not a pen name, either.

NJ:  Scandalous!  So, Rhani-who’s-not-really-Rhani, tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Rhani:  I was born in Tacoma Washington, and though I spent many years running around the country, I’ve been living here for the past few decades.

NJ:  Married or single?

Rhani:  I got married at 16, but it lasted only a minute or two. It was a case of being young and stupid, in that I was young, and he was stupid. I’ve had a few long-term relationships since then, but am currently single.

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind?

Rhani:  Let’s see, at the top of the list is my seeing-eye-son, James. Then, in order, my heathen kids are: Jon, Timothy, Jeremey, Ann, and Joyce. Jon and Timothy have both passed on, but the rest of my kids are alive and making me old before my time.

NJ:  Rhani, you, yourself are a book just waiting to be written.  #OneInterestingPerson.  If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?

Rhani:  That’s an easy question to answer. James is already searching for the cheapest home he can throw me into, and he’s said many times that if it costs more than $4.95 a month he’s going to put a pillow on my face and lay on it. On the other hand, Ann or Jeremey would gladly take me in and make sure that I was well taken care of. Joyce would too, but hers is not a cat friendly household, so it wouldn’t really work for me.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?

Rhani:  My roomies and I are currently staff to 10 rescued cats. Nine of them are indoor boys, while one streetwise panfur has taken up residence in my carport, which was modified for his comfort.

NJ:  Rhani, your cat background is the reason I tried to unfollow you on Twitter. Wierd, the unfollow button is stuck on your page.  Dang cat-curse!  What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?

Rhani:  That’s a really tough question. I think I would have to say meatballs.

NJ:  WOW!  I just made meatballs tonight for dinner!  What’s your favorite color, Rhani?

Rhani:  Black

NJ:  Favorite sport:

Rhani:  Football

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Rhani:  The Walking Dead

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Rhani:  I would have to say Joe Manganiello. I’ve been a fan of his ever since True Blood, but I’m even more of one since a friend told me that he would make a great on-screen Decker.

NJ:  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

Rhani:  I had to gain quite a bit of weight a few years ago in an effort to save what was left of my eyes. I hate being overweight, and am doing my best to get back in shape.

NJ:  Good luck with that, Rhani.  Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Rhani:  Cruelty to animals on-screen or in books. I despise any type of animal cruelty, and even though it’s not actually happening to the animal on-screen or in the book, I just don’t think it’s necessary. It throws me out of the story and I will often leave the theater or toss the book.

  dog shocked

NJ:  Uhhhh, OK.  I still don’t like cats, so, there!  Are you neat or messy?

Rhani:  I’m a mix of both. I hate a dirty house but I do get distracted, especially when I’m writing, so things slip by me.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Rhani:  Absolutely Twitter.

NJ:  LOL, yes, for me, too!  We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

Rhani:  That would be you. LOL. You’re always there when I need input or advice, and it doesn’t matter how stupid my question is. You’ve gone out of your way to help my work be the best that it can be, and you’ve encouraged me in so many ways.

NJ:  Awwww, Rhani…that’s so sweet of you to say.  🙂  Thank you and I’m humbled and honored.  Now, since you feel that way, I know WW isn’t your internet BFF, but I must ask anyway…Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest

Rhani:  Nonnie Jules, without question.

NJ:  We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Rhani:  That would be NJ. Wonder Woman isn’t as accessible to us every day people, whereas Nonnie is only a phone call away.

NJ:  LOL!  Yes, that is true.  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Rhani:  Only two? Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens is one of my favorites, and so is Jazz Baby, by Beem Weeks.

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:

Rhani:  Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Rhani:  The character development was great, and it was very well written. It was so authentic it actually took me back in time so that I felt as if I was there with the characters.

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Rhani:  Yes, I usually do.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Rhani:  Speaking for myself, I base my reviews on my enjoyment of the read. I will give a lower rating if there are glaring spelling or editing issues, but I don’t get too hung up on the technical stuff. One of my favorite authors is really not a great writer, but his books are so much fun to read that it just doesn’t matter. I’ve loved his work since the 70s, and I’m a fan of his newer work as well.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Rhani:  Honesty is absolutely the best policy, but I do believe in using tact. If I have to say something that is less than complementary, I try to make sure to mention the positive things as well.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Rhani:  Yes, I have, but I can honestly say that none of them were written by RRBC authors.

NJ:  That’s good to hear!  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave a high mark to in your review, when you know it was horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Rhani:  Only one. But I am not a member of the genre it was intended for, so I tried to read/review it as if it had been written with me in mind. As an adult, I knew it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t written for adults. Had I been a member of the age group it was intended for, I would have enjoyed it a great deal.

NJ:  There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

Rhani:  Suzanne Burke, for one. I read many books that contain vicious characters or brutal acts, but often times it seems that the authors are afraid to take us too far in. It’s almost as if their mothers are standing next to them and telling them that “nice” writers don’t write stuff like that. In Acts Beyond Redemption, Suzanne Burke crosses that “nice” line without hesitation. The result is a gripping piece of work that might not be for everyone, but it sure works for those of us who like our thrillers to be graphic and realistic. It’s a refreshing change from the writers who tap dance around non-gratuitous violence.

Another is Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. Her book, Mirror Of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women, tells the stories of four Nigerian women. Their lives are hard, brutal, and fairly typical of what it is to be a woman in that culture. The Indie playing field gives authors the opportunity to write and publish books that contain what some would feel is “delicate” subject matter. Authors who write so openly about the kind of things that are often discounted or completely ignored are finding a home in the world of Indie. And Indie is much better for it.

NJ:  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Rhani:  Yes, I am an author. I’m not a great author, but I think I’m a good one.

NJ:  Rhani, you’re an amazing writer.  Trust me!  How long have you been writing?

Rhani:  I’ve been writing, off and on, since my early teens, so…a really long time.

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Rhani:  Yes, I am. Constructive criticism can be a great friend to a writer, and I think my work has improved due to some of the constructive criticism that I’ve received over the years.

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written?

“SHADOW OF THE DRILL”

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D'Chae 1

 

A PERILOUS THIRST”

A PERILOUS THIRST BY RHANI D'CHAE

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Rhani:   think that Shadow is the better read. It’s a full-length novel, as opposed to a short story like Thirst, so I was able to get much more character depth and development onto its pages.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Rhani:  I have a blog, and I also have a website. Sadly, the last year has been rough for me, and I’ve been very distracted from all things writing. Little by little, I’m getting things back on track but at this point, you would probably find my blog to be totally tragic.

NJ:  OK, in that case, we won’t show up unexpectedly.  Will wait for invite.  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Rhani:  I’ve tried several in my quest to be a successful writer but most of them were disappointments. So the only answer I can give to that question is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Rhani:  The fact that #RRBC members are willing to read and review my books is a huge help in building a reputation as an author. Also, the “word-of-mouth” that they provide on Twitter really helps to bring attention to my work. More importantly, their encouragement and emotional support is both limitless and freely given.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Rhani:  I think the club is the best thing out there for Indie authors, regardless of how long they’ve been writing or how many books they have published.

NJ:  WOW!  What an amazing response!  Have you come across any other online entities like us, Rhani?

Rhani:  No, I haven’t. I mean, there are many groups out there that were formed for the purpose of helping Indie authors to succeed, but they don’t provide the same level of support, encouragement, and input that this club does.

NJ:  Would you recommend the club to your friends and family?

Rhani:  Most of my family doesn’t do the whole computer thing, and an online book club is something they have no interest in. I do recommend it to my friends, though.

NJ:  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Rhani:  I love the “On The Shelf” interviews. They’re light, they’re funny, and they give a great behind the scenes look at our friends and fellow authors in the club.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our guests today?

Rhani:  The ability to write is a gift. Cherish it, explore it, open your mind and let it fly free. Allow it to develop and grow, even if it wanders in a direction that’s different from what you had planned. Most importantly, don’t ever tell it that it can’t, because it absolutely can. All it needs is your permission, your dedication, and open access to your heart.

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Rhani!  You are one of RRBC’s finest!  To my guests, please  pick up a copy of one of Rhani’s books or both (you will not be  disappointed, I can assure you!).

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Rhani was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends…or not.  The choice is all yours!   We’ll see you next month, right here on the SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

What Does a Good #RRBC Member Look Like?

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(Well, close…but not exactly.)

I receive so many email messages asking: “Nonnie, what does a good RRBC Member look like?  I want to know, because I want to ensure that I’m wearing that look.” Well, the words may not come out exactly that way, but in a gist, that’s what they’re trying to say.

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a book club unlike any other book club you’ve ever seen.  We’re different, and where I come from…different is a really good thing.  If you’re a new member, you might wonder how we’re different, OR, what separates us from the one million, five hundred thousand, thirty two and a half other book clubs out there. (Whew! Breathe).  Since I am the Founder of this club, I am the perfect person to answer that question, but, I’m going a step farther…I’m going to tell you just what an AMAZING RRBC Member looks like.  Cop a squat (as they say), and prepare to be enlightened.

An AMAZING RRBC Member…

*…takes the time to engage in the RRBC forums, introducing themselves and meeting as many of his/her fellow members as possible.  They want to know who is who, so they’ll know who to throw their extra-special support behind;

*…doesn’t join to see what we can do for him/her.  They join to see what they can offer to others;

*…doesn’t come into the club clueless, then take all that we have taught them and run off to try and start their own club to compete against us.  No, they take that knowledge that we have given them and they use it to help us grow and grow and grow.  You would be shocked at the sheer number of members who didn’t even know how to log onto Twitter, let alone send a tweet before they joined RRBC, but boy, once we got them up to speed, we never even see them anymore (because they’re off doing their own thing…I mean, who wouldn’t, though?  We’ve equipped them well!).  A perfect example of forgetting the hand that fed you…and, taught you to walk;

*…participates in as many club activities as their little heart can muster!  Block parties, contests, blog tours, book club discussions…you name it…they’re there!;

*…ensures that he/she is doing his/her part by remaining compliant within the club.  That entails supporting fellow members by reading and reviewing their books;

*…supports his/her fellow members when they are on blog tours, by following along each day, actually taking the time to read their posts, sharing on social media and then, leaving comments.  They don’t just leave comments when there are prizes to be given away;

*…takes the time to become familiar with our club calendar, so that they don’t miss out on any of our amazingly fun and supportive events;

*…can be found in the #RRBC #PeanutGallery during our RAVE WAVES BlogTalkRadio shows, sharing their comments and questions for the guests and the hosts;

*…doesn’t just pop up when there is something in it for them specifically…like when their books can be promoted or their blogs can be promoted.  Amazing RRBC members, are there all the time;

*…doesn’t only read the WCU (Weekly Club Updates) to ensure that the book promo info that they’ve submitted, is included .  They read it all the time because they’re truly interested in what’s going on in our club, as well as being genuinely interested in the good news shared by other members;

*…doesn’t re-tweet only the tweets with their own Twitter handle included.  They take the time to seek out their fellow member’s tweets to show their support of them.  (This is easily done by searching Twitter for #RRBC or #RaveReviewsBookClub);

*…doesn’t keep their name on our roster just to continue to sell their books;

*…continually helps us to spread the word of RRBC and all that it offers, so that we are always growing.  They realize that the greater our membership, the greater the support we give and receive;

*…is fiercely protective of RRBC and all that we stand for, and just might challenge you if you try to smear our good name;

…and lastly, an AMAZING RRBC MEMBER is here for the long haul.  The excitement that they felt about our club when they first joined, is the same excitement you will find them with today.  Look around, members like Beem Weeks, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Peggy Hattendorf, Rhani D’Chae, John Howell, Larry Hyatt, Karen Ingalls, Harmony Kent, Jan Hawke, Karl Morgan and so many more…these members have been here practically since the very beginning and they are still here, giving and giving and giving.  But, don’t be mistaken, their giving continually pays off for them.  Don’t believe me?  Well, why don’t you ask them.  I’m sure they’re somewhere wandering the halls of our AMAZING club!

Remember the crazy-faced dog above who looks so excited?  Well, we staunch supporters of RRBC and its members, tend to look like that on occasion, too, as we are so “loopy” for all things RRBC!

So, are you on the fast track to AMAZING within RRBC?  I sure hope so because that’s when all those AMAZING doors begin to open up for you!

Marlena Smith in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?” #RRBC

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, our Club Secretary, Marlena Smith.  Mar is our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of January and we are celebrating her all month long.  This week, she gets to sit on the shelf with me.  Typically, I tend to be pretty hard on my guests, but today…eh, I’ll go a little easy on this one.

(Throwback Thursday!)

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marlena-smith

NJ:  Before we get started, Mar, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice, neat one, and we also wanted the layout to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf?  So, comfy?

MS:  Oh, the shelf is very comfy, thank you!

NJ:  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

MS:  It’s my birth name.

NJ:  {Your real name?  Seriously?  Who does that?}  Oh, OK!  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

MS:  I was born and raised in Cullman, Alabama. It has always been my home and probably always will be.

NJ:  Why…because you’re so in love with the caves there?

Dog rolling his eyes

Anyway, are you hitched or unhitched?

MS:  I think you’re asking if I’m single, so I’ll just respond with “Yes.”

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind?

MS:  No.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?

MS:  Yes – a big lap dog, a black cat and two bell-ringing guinea pigs.

Many dogs

NJ:  {Guess she sent us photos of another family’s pets by accident, unless she doesn’t know that cat above isn’t black and the two jokers on the end aren’t guinea pigs…and, maybe she meant she had a dog that LAPPED up dogs, with that huge hanging tongue above!}  What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?

MS:  Anything Italian!

NJ:  I know!  We both love Olive Garden, don’t we?  LOL!  (The folks who eat “real” italian food are rolling their eyes right now!) Mar, what’s your favorite color?

MS:  Blue.

NJ:  Favorite sport?

MS:  If I have to choose, I guess baseball.

NJ:  Favorite TV Show?

MS:  I’ve recently become addicted to “Supernatural.” Also “The Blacklist”

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

MS:  Just naming one, I’ll say Jessica Biel. (This often changes, though. LOL)

NJ:  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

MS:  I enjoy exercising when it doesn’t feel like exercising… Like hiking or dancing.

NJ:  Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

MS:  Lying.

NJ:  Can the church say AMEN?  All lyers, head to the hills, because Mar is about to spit nails in the direction of your foreheads!  So, are you neat or messy?

MS:  I like to think of it as organized chaos.

NJ:  And I’d like to think that I won’t have to ban you to that special island where I send the not-so neat people!  And it ain’t Fantasy Island, either!  Facebook or Twitter?

MS:  Facebook to stay connected with family & friends, Twitter for my Writing/Reading family & networking.

NJ:  We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

MS:  Well, of course it’s you, Non!  😉

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest.

MS:  Trick question… NJ & WW are one and the same.

NJ:  We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just my truths, in the no-nonsense way I force us all to be honest and to simply, tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  Me or the WonderWoman who wears those provocative clothes? You can be honest here, too.

MS:  Please refer to the previous question/answer.

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read.

MS:  IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC by you Non and THE HEART’S JOURNEY HOME by Natalie Ducey. Both amazing books of poetry.

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:

MS:  It’s difficult to select just one. I’ve read several wonderful books of our RRBC Members. There are many talented writers among us, each having a unique way of writing. {Secretly, she wanted to name all my books, but she didn’t want to hurt y’all’s feelings…}

Blushing dog

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

MS:  Of course.

NJ:  Of course is a great answer!  That’s to say that if you’re a very supportive member of RRBC, posting reviews is a given and goes without saying.  Mar, what do you think readers should base their reviews on?

MS:  The story, the uniqueness, the writing, the characters. When I review, I look at different elements, different angles.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

MS:  I tend to sugar-coat sometimes, but I’m still honest about key points.

NJ:  You’ve…been…SUGARCOATIN’?!  MARLENA TRISHA DENISE MARIE-ANNE SMITH!  We don’t SUGARCOAT!  Now I’m almost afraid to ask this next question, but I will.  Read any poorly written books lately?

MS:  Nothing too terrible.

NJ:  If it looks like SUGARCOATIN’ and it smells like SUGARCOATIN’…then, you’re still SUGARCOATIN’!

angry dog

How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they were horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

MS:  I’m sure there are a couple I ranked incorrectly, especially when I was new to reviewing. I like to think I’ve improved in my reviewing and hope to continue to do so.

NJ:  {Wonder Woman has a truth serum…I just know how to ask the right questions!  Notice how she’s singing like a bird!}  Mar, you know, I never imagined in a million years that you might have an accident while visiting my shelf, but, the more you talk…the closer we get to hearing…

woman-being-pushed

SPLAT!!!

Now that I’m composed again (and Mar is falling over the cliff…I hope she can hear this next question), there are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

MS:  Well, you, Nonnie, are one that comes to mind. I like your tell-it-like-it-is philosophy. People should take lessons from your honesty. I must also refer back to RRBC, where our Members, our Board have made a new way for Indie Authors with one-of-a-kind support. That’s made a big difference in the literary world, I think. People see others doing good and receiving good in return.

*WOW!  All of a sudden, the spirit of saving someone’s life has come over me!  Get back up on this shelf, Mar!  Are you OK, honey?  {NJ brushes Mar’s hair}

wonderwoman-rescues

Mar, are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

MS:  I am an author and hope that I’m a good one, but I do believe there is always room for improvement.

NJ:  There is definitely always room for us to improve, that’s if we wish to continue getting better.  How long have you been writing?

MS:  My earliest memory of writing would be 2nd grade, when I wrote a story about my mom. So that puts my writing background at about 22 years.

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

MS:  Yes, it’s needed at times and is usually quite helpful.

NJ:  I can definitely vouch for you there…and you take it extremely well.  Name two books that you’ve written?

MS:  I have some short writings and poems in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL ANTHOLOGY and my debut book. THE POWER OF LOVE, will be available May 1st.

the-power

 

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

MS:  Of course! I do enjoy blogging, and have been doing so for a few years, just wish I could do it more often.

NJ:  {Uhhhhh, of course what?}  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

MS:  RRBC, hands down.

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

MS:  The members of RRBC have been the encouragement and support that I’ve needed for my writing. They often go all out to make one feel great about the words they’re putting out there. I say “one-of-a-kind” often, but that’s exactly what RRBC is.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

MS:   I adore everything about and everyone in RRBC. I am beyond grateful for the friendships I have created and can’t wait to see what’s in store for all of us, as Indie Authors and as a book club.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

MS:  Nope.

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

MS:  Of course, and I do.

NJ:  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

MS:  Oh, goodness, that’s impossible to answer! Each program has its own perks, its own awesomeness. Each one is unique. I can’t choose just one because each has something special to offer.

NJ:  OK, good answer.  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our guests today?

MS:  Just that I’m thankful for the continued support that I receive daily. And I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts when my debut book is released.   🙂

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Mar!  You are so appreciated for being my right hand.  Your interview was the first of 2017 to  be introduced with some fresh, new questions, so I hope you aren’t traumatized anymore than you usually are, after having had a chat with me.  To my guests, please  pick up a copy of Mar’s book when it hits virtual shelves in the Spring!

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Marlena was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends…or not.  The choice is all yours!   We’ll see you next month, right here on the SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

Focus on Better #1: Writing From Different Worlds -#RRBC

This year, we (the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB) are lending great focus to  getting better…improvement of our selves, improvement in our lives, and because we are a literary organization, improvement of our writing, has moved to the forefront of our mission. It is time that we ALL stand out.  Some of our members already do, but because it is not our goal to leave any of our RRBC family behind, we are going to push one another, until we are all standing on solid (equal) ground.  If you’re not there in the upper echelon of the writing club, then those who are, will not rest until you are planted firmly beside them.  Let’s become each others keepers.  As the great Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:  “I cannot be all that I can be, until you are all that you can be,” so on that premise, we won’t rest until each and every member of RRBC, has reached their highest pinnacle of success in all their written work.

This series, “FOCUS ON BETTER,” will empower and enlighten you.  They are lessons meant to open your eyes to all the possibilities that await you, once you seriously embark on the journey of becoming, not just an average, mediocre writer, but a phenomenal one, whose words are highly sought after by Connoisseurs of the written word. Yes, those are the folks I want to appraise my books…because they are the ones who know truly good writing when they read it.  They can discern junk from jewel and ultimately, their reviews are the ones that matter most to me, as they should to you.  This series is also meant to make you an even better book reviewer.

Today, our focus is on WRITING FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS.  As a book reviewer, I have come to the conclusion that writers from the US & Canada, write a tad bit differently from those writers in the UK and beyond.  You see, the United Kingdom writers tend to write without much punctuation, whereas, if you’re writing it properly in the US, there is a specific place for stop signs and red lights, for green lights that let you continue with the flow of traffic, and even the yellow ones that ask you to pause for a bit.  We already know that some of their (UK & even Canada) words are spelled differently than ours (US), as well;  organization (organisation), catalog (catalogue), centerpiece (centrepiece), and misbehavior (misbehaviour) are just a few of those words.  But, does any of this make their writing incorrect?  For a long time, I thought it did, and so I graded accordingly in my reviews of such work.

After a time of reading so much work by many writers from the UK, writers whose work I enjoyed, aside from the variations of country, I came to the conclusion that their writing wasn’t wrong, it was just the way it was done in their country.  It was at that time, that I decided to use a different scale for their writing, as opposed to my standard scale (my own) of those writers from the US.  I could no longer penalize writing, that for a few variations in spelling, was pretty good reading.  As far as the punctuation end of it, I still struggle, as some work that I have read from writers from the UK, never allow you to pause and take a breath before your eyes begin to cross.  That’s a huge problem for me and probably will continue to be so.  I ask those writers to have a little empathy for those of us who are accustomed to driving on the right side of the road.  I’m sure you wouldn’t want us to have a brain-crash, which is customary when we’re given the freedom to just go go go, without any regard to running into the other words in front of us.  I mean, run-on  sentences are against the law, aren’t they?  Maybe that’s just in Nonnie-land….hmmmm.

What I’d like for you all to take from this today, is to give the other side a chance, whether you’re a word-Connoisseur from the US or from the UK.  Recognize the differences in our writing that are there because of the side of the ocean we’re from, and not just blatant errors and mistakes that some would be quick to believe…are from a lack of knowledge in the field.  Maybe we, in the RRBC, should create a new scale of review to be used for books from the UK, which in all actuality, are well-written, aside from the variations of country that separate us in the area of writing.

Now, I’m not saying that all books, whether from the US or the UK, should be given a pass…just because.  Absolutely not!  No matter where you’re from, there is no arguing that good writing is still, good writing.  I’m merely suggesting that we dig a little deeper, to discern the real junk from the jewels, because no matter where you’re from, THAT should be standard!

We’ll see you next time on FOCUS ON BETTER, for another enlightening topic that can only help you to grow into the best version of you, as a writer.

there-will-al

What are your thoughts on this topic?  We’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

A. M. Manay in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today I have with me on the “SHELF,” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, A. M. MANAY!

ammanayphoto

NJ:  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

AM:  So comfy. It’s the fluffiest bookshelf I’ve ever seen.

NJ:  (NJ wonders:  “Is she referring to me, or the actual shelf?”  OK, don’t let your mind wonder there…it’s your first interview in months.  Give AM the benefit of the doubt.  She looks sweet.)  Why, thank you (I guess).  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

AM:  I write under my actual initials and real surname.  In real life, I go by Anne Margaret.  I decided that was too long and girly for a book cover.

NJ:  Well, Anne Margaret (that will be the last time I’m saying that, it is long!)…tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

AM:  I was born outside Philadelphia, grew up in Atlanta, and have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for about 12 years now.

NJ:  Married or single?

AM:  I’ve been married nearly 13 years.

NJ:  Awwww, you’re still a newly wed! (Says the old lady who’s been in this game for over 30 years now).  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

AM:  We have one son.  He is 6 years old.

NJ:  So, would you consider him your favorite child?  I ask because, being the only, does not necessarily make him the most favored.  Know what I mean?

AM:  It’s easy to pick when you only have the one. 🙂 We adopted him when he was a newborn, so we’re extra grateful to have him.

NJ:  Oh, well, I suppose he is the favored one, then!  Good for you!  Any pets?

AM:  Zero. I am not an animal person.

Many dogs

(Really?  And you’re brave enough to say that here?)  

NJ:  So, Ms-Zero-I’m-Not-An-Animal-Person, may we ask your favorite food?  Or, are you not into that, either?

AM:  Chocolate, of course.

NJ:  How about your favorite color?

AM:  I love red.

NJ:  OK.  Got a favorite sport?

AM:  Yoga. Does that count?  It’s more of a practice than a sport.

dog-doing-yoga

dog-doing-yoga-pose

NJ:  Uh, No.  Yoga is not a sport.  So, any favorite TV Shows?

AM:  Hmm . . .  Of shows currently airing, Marvel’s Agents of Shield is probably my favorite.  I think my favorite show of all time is Justified.

NJ:  Never heard of either.  Moving right along, then…Favorite Actress/Actor:

AM:  My favorite living actor is Benedict Cumberbatch.  My fave of all time is Alan Rickman, may he rest in peace.  I’ve loved him since I was a kid.

NJ:  Hmm, never heard of them, either.  Must’ve come from those TV shows you mentioned.  So, are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest

AM:  Sometimes Lupus keeps me on the couch, but I love yoga and walking.

NJ:  Good for you, then!  Keep yoga-ing and walking!  What’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

AM:  Irrationality.  I find it incredibly frustrating when people can’t see past their own feelings enough to make rational decisions about important things.

NJ:  Well, ok, then.  So, are you neat or messy?

AM:  I’m pretty messy, to be honest.  My husband could tell you.  He grew up in a very neat house.  I did not.

NJ:  Yea, I have a special place I’m building for you folk, where there are no boats or paddles.  Facebook or Twitter?

AM:  I like both, for different reasons. For me, Facebook is for friends and family, and Twitter is for work.

NJ:  OK.  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

AM:  Natalie Ducey is terrific, as is Lizzie Chantree.  The Club has so many supportive people. I could probably name dozens who’ve made a difference to me.

NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Feel free to be honest

AM:  Well, do you have an invisible plane?

NJ:  No, but I have a kick-butt  invisible hit man!

ninja-dog

So, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…

AM:  I have a lot of respect for Harmony Kent, and I’m quite impressed with Lincoln Cole.  It’s so hard to pick just two!

NJ:  Well, thankfully you did, or I would have had to pick for ya!  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

AM:  I recently read Lincoln’s Raven’s Peak, and it scared the daylights out of me! It’s engrossing and very well-executed.  It’s visceral but not gory in a distasteful way.

Harmony creates interesting characters, and she uses narrative tools really effectively.  Her descriptions are evocative without being fussy or pretentious.  I really like that in a writer.

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:

AM:  The Eternal Season by Tyler Bumpus.  It is probably the best indie book I’ve ever read, and better than many traditionally published ones.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

AM:  Tyler creates a world that is terrifying in its realism and plausibility, with deeply flawed characters that still tug at your heart.  I read it in one sitting.  I can’t praise it highly enough.

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

AM:  Yes, I always review.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

AM:  Personally, I consider my overall enjoyment, the level of creativity, and the skillfulness of execution.  If it has few errors and sticks with you, and you miss it when it’s done, that’s what I call a 6-star book.  I don’t think readers should penalize authors because something wasn’t their usual cup of tea.  I think readers should judge a book for what it is trying to be.  I’m normally not much for horror or romance, for example, but I can still appreciate when it is done well.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

AM:  I do feel bad when I say something critical, because I know from personal experience how that feels.  But I also know how enormously helpful critical feedback can be, and I want to be fair to the truly stellar books out there, so I suck it up and tell the truth.   I always make sure I start by emphasizing the good points, though.  There are almost always good points.  If I can’t give it at least 3 stars, I try to email privately rather than posting on Amazon.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

AM:  Unfortunately, yes.  There is such a wide range of quality in indie publishing, and in traditional publishing, for that matter.

NJ:  Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?  LOL  No, seriously.

AM:  Like I said, the really bad ones, I keep private. 😉  A lady never tells.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

AM:  I’ve written on and off for years, but I published my first book only about a year ago.

NJ:  What books have you written?

She Dies at the End (November Snow Book 1) 

She Sees in Her Sleep (Three November Snow Shorts)

She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2)

She Lights Up The Dark by A. M. Manay

 

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

AM:  This is way harder than the favorite kid question!   I think She Lights Up the Dark is my favorite so far.  I feel like I’ve improved as a writer as I go along.

NJ:  That’s what we tend to do, is grow as we keep going.  Grow and strive to always be better than the last time you hit PUBLISH.  Do you have a blog or website?

AM:  My website is www.ammanay.net and my blog is ammanaywrites.blogspot.com.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?

AM:  It has been immensely valuable to me. I’ve met great people and gotten tremendous opportunities.  My sales are much better, but more than that,  I’m learning so much from those with more experience in the publishing game. You’ve all inspired me and allowed me to discover in myself a love of graphic design that I had no idea was in there.  You’ve pushed me to improve as a writer, blogger, and designer.  It’s been a great experience, and I know it will continue to be.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

AM:  I really haven’t found anything with quite the personality and scope of RRBC.  It’s really a very complex organism!

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

AM:  I would, have, and continue to do so. 🙂

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words?

AM:  Just a tremendous, “Thank you,” to you and the Club.  And I encourage anyone reading this to keep on writing and participating in the RRBC!  Your work is worthwhile, even when the publishing world gets to be discouraging.

NJ:  Anne Margaret, thank you for you kind words, and an extra special thank you for joining us today!

To my guests, please support A.M. by picking up a copy of one of her books above.   You can also support her by visiting the blog stops along her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since A.M. was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next time, right here on the SHELF” with another VERY INTERESTING GUEST!!

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