Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Felicia Denise

 

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Felicia Denise. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Felicia Denise is my real name, and I’m a southern girl by birth—Ole Miss—but grew up in Michigan, got married and started a family in California, moved back to Michigan and now I live in Arizona.

Watch out traveler. Always wanted to visit Cali. Now, you know I have to ask. Since Friday came out, how many times have someone said to you “Bye Felicia?”

LOL! Actually, I’ve probably said it to other people more than it’s been said to me! I also have half a dozen t-shirts, a coffee mug, a keychain and a cap that say, “Bye Felicia!” Both my sons have it as my ringtone. LOL!

Lollll.

How many siblings do you have?

I am one of nine—six girls and three boys. We lost our youngest brother twenty-five years ago to AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of twenty-nine. I don’t believe the eight remaining of us have all been in the same place at the same time since his funeral. There’s always one missing.

Awwue. I am so sorry to hear that. How long have you been married Felicia?  

We’ll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in mid-September!

Whoop! Yass. Do you have children?

Yes, three. Our oldest son lives a couple of hours away and works for a major medical corporation; the younger son is a member of the National Guard and works in security, and our daughter is an Army wife who works on base. Notice there was no mention of grandchildren… but I have four grand-dogs!

In the Best Interest of the Child (September 30, 2016)

Amazon US http://bit.ly/BestInt

Amazon UK http://bit.ly/BestIntUK

Amazon CA http://bit.ly/BestIntCA

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/BestIntAU

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/BestIntGR

 

Not grand-dogs loll. I understand that you write, are you employed outside of writing?

No. I had to leave the workforce almost twenty years ago because of chronic illnesses—osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia.

What was your childhood dream?

To sing with Up with People! LOL! They were a group of young men and women who toured the country regularly…singing in schools, on college campuses, at sporting events, etc. And I loved to sing when I was a kid! My parents’ friends would pay me a quarter to sing at BBQs and picnics LOL! And I sang it all—Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson—just give me room!

When I was thirteen, a large mass grew over my thyroid and larynx. Fortunately, it was benign. It took a year of surgeries and rehab, but I did go back to singing. Only instead of standing with the girls and singing soprano, I had to stand with the boys and sing bass!

Cool! You gonna have to sing for us one day. So sorry about that mass, glad you everything went well.

You named some artists and I know you be jamming out with us on Throwback Thursdays! So, please tell us more about the kind of music you like.

I love music… end of story! My playlists are so eclectic—60s folk and Motown, 70s funk and disco, 80s Soul, R&B, and boy bands, 90s power females… all mixed in with Classical and Country! The only music that annoys me is gangsta rap and grunge.

Yea, the music today irks my nerves. I don’t even know what to call it but it’s not music. What skill would you like to master?

Playing the piano! Always wanted to learn and even owned a piano at one time. My children were young and involved in every group and club imaginable and there just was never enough time for lessons and practice.

I’d love to learn to play the piano too. Let’s talk about writing, what’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?

Finding your audience.

The most exciting thing?

The emails from readers when they make a real connection with characters and plot. There’s truth even in fiction.

Indeed it is. What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Bible. Some believe it’s just a book of rules on things you can’t do, but think about it. Nearly every existing trope or genre can be found in the Bible. There’s a lot going on the pages of the Good Book, which is why it takes at least a year to read and comprehend it properly.

Probably the best answer to that question I’ve had here yet. You KNOW I agree. I think people will be surprised at how much information is in the bible. Giants? Bible. Demons? Bible. Righteous and fallen angels?Bible. Black History? Bible. It’s all there.

Felicia, religious?

Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor and I was raised in church, but I am not a fan of church doctrine. To me, it’s the underlying problem of ANY religion. Man interjecting his rules and wills where they don’t belong and for non-religious reasons.

I knew we connected for a reason. I gotta share some information with you! Who is your favorite writer?

Two-way tie between Toni Morrison and Jonathon Kellerman. They couldn’t be more different in genre and style, but before I finish the first chapter of any of their books, I’ve crossed into another world.

Family Matters (In the Best Interest of the Child #2) (August 2017)

Goodreads http://bit.ly/FamilyMattersGR

 

Nice. What do you hate most about writing advice?

The subjectivity! Everyone wants you to buy their book or enroll in their class because they have the sure-fire method for becoming a bestselling author and selling truckloads of books. But that just isn’t true. What works for you may not work for me. And it isn’t because I did anything ‘wrong’. An author must put in the time—hit a few and miss a few—to find what works for them… and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Say THAT. What do you love about writing advice?

I love the common-sense advice. It removes all the mystery and double-talk and explains in two or three paragraphs the information you need to know.

Indeed. Now, I met you through the blog so let me ask you, does blogging help you to write?

Actually, for me, it’s the opposite. Writing helps me blog.

I like it. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

JRR Tolkien Network! “All Hobbits, All the time!” I’d never change the station!

What? Lol. Felicia girl you got me rolling.

What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

TRUtv…ugh! It was nice when it was CourtTV, now it’s just desperate reality shows and people saying, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

Free, a Novella (May 30, 2017)

Amazon US  http://bit.ly/LindenLane

Amazon UK  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneUK

Amazon CA  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneCA

Amazon AU  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneAU

Goodreads   http://bit.ly/FreeANovella

 

What do you think of the world we live in?

I grew up in the 60s and came of age in the 70s and would give anything to have those days back. They were not perfect times, by any means, but the movement for change was a positive one and shared among the masses. Today, pick any ten people and you could get ten different agendas. Diversity was once our strength, now it’s the focus for oppression. It saddens me to look into the eyes of children and the elderly when they realize how little their lives matter with the changes taking place.

Hmm. Right. In your own words, what is love?

To understand and accept someone into your heart, regardless of their shortcomings or differences, without expecting anything in return.

We enjoyed you lady! Thanks for spending this time with us today. Now, bye Felicia :-).


Author Photo. Felicia Denise

Bio

Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.

Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, in summer 2017.

Be Sure to Follow Felicia online!

Links

Author Websitehttps://feliciadenise.com

Blog (Nesie’s Place)https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Felicia-Denise/e/B01M03R54B/

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/authorfeliciadenise

Bookbub Author Page https://www.bookbub.com/authors/felicia-denise

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/FeliciaDenise

Twitterhttps://www.twitter.com/MsFelicia

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fle_d/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/fdreevers/

Google+https://plus.google.com/u/0/110467680823101573705

Monthly Newsletterhttp://eepurl.com/cklOKL


Are you a new (or not so new) author looking for more exposure? Introduce Yourself! CLICK HERE to learn more and to sign up.

Vacation and Author Interviews

The summer is pretty much over but I have not exactly taken a vacation or a break. That’s about to change.

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In about two weeks I will be going on a vacation of sorts and taking some extensive time off. I’ll be away from social media, and the blog. I am going completely offline from August 27th through September.

This means that I will not be here to share your posts and that all Introduce Yourself Interviews will be scheduled to go live ahead of time. Authors, this means it will be YOUR responsibility to promote your posts if your interview is scheduled when I am gone.

About scheduling…

For those of you who are interested in being interviewed on this blog between now through September, you will need to get your questions in to me before Wednesday, August 23, 2017 so that they can be scheduled to go out. Anything coming into me after August 23rd (even Aug 24th) will be scheduled for October through the end of the year.

August 28th and the entire September is open. If you want to be interviewed before October, email me ASAP so that I can schedule you for an open slot. I am dedicating this week and next to scheduling interviews. I will literally be on a plane on August 27th so don’t wait until the last minute. The deadline is 8/23. No exceptions.

 

If you are an author and new to this blog and are not sure what “Introduce Yourself” is, GO HERE. Read through the post, choose your questions and send them into yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com before August 23, 2017 if you want to be scheduled in September.

 

Keep In Mind

I am not an editor and will not edit your questions. If you are extremely sensitive about this please be sure your questions are edited before you send them into me. Introduce Yourself is a free service and only covers very light, basic editing using Grammarly.

 

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Catch ya later

3 Rejection Letters Indie Authors Receive

I didn’t intend on posting again today but one of my favorite authors posted something to her IG that sparked something I had to share. As you see above, this author is Bernice McFadden and this is her sharing the rejection letters she received for her novel Sugar. I have this book as well as her novels This Bitter Earth, Glorious and I’d like to get my hands on Nowhere is a Place and The Book of Harlan but I digress. Needless to say, the writing is on point. Long story short, you all know that Sugar has gone on to do very well despite the 75 (yes, seventy-five…let that settle) rejection letters. For Indie Authors, we may not be looking for publishers, but we have rejection letters too. I want to encourage you not to give up when you get one:

Negative Reviews – One of our most obvious rejection letters is the negative review. While all authors, no matter how they are published, get negative reviews, for the Indie Author it can feel like the ultimate rejection. Not from a publisher or agent but from the people who we slave so hard for, Readers. When a reader rejects a book it can really put a damper (who says that?) on an author’s mood. But, think about being rejected 75 times. Would you have tried for the 76th? The next time you get a bad review, think of McFadden and how important it is not to quit on the vision. If McFadden had given up, there would be no Sugar.

No Reviews – I came into the game (for lack of a better term though I hate using it. This ain’t a game lol) late because I did not start publishing my books with Amazon in the beginning. I also did not have much insight or people around who could help me to understand this growing industry. That said, reviews weren’t very important to me (neither was Amazon for that matter). However, we are all aware by now how important book reviews are to Indie Authors. But what if you don’t have any? Or very little? This can feel like a real let down and crush an Indie Author’s mood. Especially when their peers have over one hundred and they only have one or two. I am not saying to look at what every one else is doing, not at all. But I’d be lying if I said no reviews on a book doesn’t feel bad. We’ve all been there so let’s just keep it all the way real. No reviews can feel like the ultimate rejection. Honest reviews help to prove that an author’s work is worth reading which means that none can be a real let down. A real rejection. I tell you to think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters and ask yourself if you were her, would you try again? Would you still want to write if you had 75 bad reviews? Sheesh. That can make one depressed! Lol. But, I am showing you that it’s the same thing for Indie Authors who are their own publishers and thus rely on the social proof of readers to help people to see that they really aren’t bragging about themselves.

No Sales – And of course, need I not leave out the ultimate rejection letter for Indies, no sales! Nothing screams rejection like no one buying your book. Does that mean you should stop writing? Of course not. My first novel is full of mistakes (which is why I took it off market for now lol) but if I had not published the first book, mediocre as it was, there would not have been a tenth. My point is, just keep writing and keep trying. You know you are close to the mountaintop when everyone starts to fall off. When people start giving up, that’s when you’re close. When you feel like giving up, that is when you should push the hardest. It means you are almost there. I am not saying this to sound all “cliche”. I am saying it because it’s real. My husband was just telling me I am too hard on myself and I’d like to extend the encouragement your way. Especially since we didn’t have a “No Whining Wednesday” today 🙂

So, there you have it. Three Rejection Letters Indie Authors receive. When you get one, think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters. That had to be depressing at some point but she kept at it and so should you.

Do you know of any more “rejection letters?” Tell us about them! What was the most heartbreaking of your rejection letters? How did you recover from it?


Don’t forget that there are tons of people willing to help to spread the word about your awesome authorness! Including me. My Introduce Yourself Interviews for authors will pick back up next week. However, I am in need of authors for August! It’s a free opportunity to let us get to know more about you and your books. Click Here to learn more. Again, it’s FREE and I must say, the Introduce Yourself features do very well in views. Many of them are the top viewed on this blog which means these authors get a lot of shine! All genres welcomed. (Those of you who have already been featured, if you have updates, new books coming out, let me know so we can do an update post).

Part 2: My Author Interview/Convo. w/ Nadine Tomlinson

I haven’t the chance to inform you that part two of my 2-Part interview with Nadine is now available. Check out the transcript to our convo at the link below.

Nadine says: “The second and final part of my conversation with @yecheilyah. I learned so much from this amazing writer. And she’s hella funny, too. Thanks, EC, for sharing your wisdom and experiences with insight and humour. You’ve inspired me to tell the undiluted truth through my stories.”

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR CONVO. Or click on the link below.

https://www.nadinetomlinson.com/yecheilyah-storytellers-interview-part-2/


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

Thunderclap Results

First, launch weekend was amazing. Though I did not make it to Tampa, I did make it to Sanford and, for a brief moment, Orlando.  I really needed the trip and can’t thank the ladies enough for sharing this special moment with me. They treated us like royalty and the food was the bomb dot com. We had a feast of curry chicken, oxtails, red beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, plantains, the works. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. The meat fell off the bone ya’ll.

My favorite weekend pic. The shy one, the glamorous one, the silly one (those glasses loll)

Thunderclap

I won’t spend a lot of time explaining what Thunderclap is since there’s so much to share already about the experience. Briefly, it is a way to spread a single message online in a digital word of mouth type format. Learn more about Thunderclap in a previous post HERE.

Thunderclap is not as easy as it looks! Because the program is still relatively new (launching April 28, 2009, but just now getting real notoriety), there are still questions about it and understanding the best way to promote a campaign was pretty much trial and error for me. A lot of time was spent explaining to people just what this was and how to use it. Because of this, I’ve tried both right ways and wrong ways of promoting it.

Week One

I did not look at Thunderclap until the end of each day. I did this because checking back every three minutes does not help move anything forward. It also wrecks my nerves. I also did it this way because it added more to the excitement and made me feel accomplished and encouraged before getting back to it the next day. Here’s how to read my notes:

EOD = End of Day

Number =  The number of supporters I had by the end of the day

Action = What I did that day to help promote the campaign

EOD 1- 26

Action – On day one, I sent out an email blast to my email list, posted it to this blog, and on my social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and IG). This resulted in 26 supporters, not bad for day one. This may look like a small number in the grand scheme of things, but keep in mind that the number of people following you online and on the blog (as you will see at the end of this post) has nothing to do with the number of people who will actually support you. Judge the pulse of your blog by engagement more so than numbers.

EOD 2 – 37

Action – Contacted someone who sent a mass email on my behalf. Also changed headline on blog post and tags. When I published the blog post on day one I didn’t really think it through. The headline was:

“Let’s Make Some Noise!”

Shy EC: “Umm…hi. That’s not very inviting. Sounds kinda arrogant.”

I had to check myself because that’s not the impression I want to give at all because it’s not who I am. I went back and changed it to “I Need Your Social Media Support”.  This simple change resulted in more people willing to support. On Day Two, I also changed the tags to the original post.

I am not going to get deep into why tags are so important. Just know that they help people to discover your blog. There’s more to it but that’s the short version. I always include tags specific to certain days on my blog posts along with my regular tags (for instance, this post includes #Tuesdayshares because it’s Tuesday).

Since it was a Thursday, I initially used: #ThrowbackThursday #ThankfulThursday

Day two was on a Friday so I changed it to: #LinkYourLife and #BluSkyFriday

Photo Break – We were photo bombed. Check the sista in the back loll

EOD 3 – 49

Action – I didn’t do anything on Saturday. Listening to Shy EC, I put some space between the promotions to give people a chance to support it without thinking I am spamming them.

EOD 4 – 53

Action – I sneaked a peek at the page Sunday morning and saw that I was still at 49. Needless to say, business EC kicked it. Doing nothing didn’t really help my Campaign. I thought about my networks and decided to call my big sister. After talking with her about it I decided to do another Facebook shout. This time my focus was on family members and genetic relatives. I specifically tagged those of blood relation on purpose. I knew others would support me but this was to reach out to relatives to see if they would. Well, we all know relatives. Of everyone, I tagged only a few took action. However, the post did bump it up four points which was good. Every little bit helps.

EOD 5 – 59

Action – Day five was a busy day so I didn’t get to check my results until late. On this day, I sent individual emails to contacts, not on my email list. These are individuals who are great supportive influences in the blogging / Indie Author community but also very busy people. I was nervous to reach out to them at first but remembered that if this was to be successful I should step outside my comfort zone. So, on Day 5, I decided to email influencers personally and ask them a favor. To my excitement, they were happy to oblige. This taught me something about how important it is that we don’t make assumptions about anyone’s intentions. People are busy. Sometimes the best way to reach out is personally. Sending an email is like visiting them at their front door. You are more likely to get a response if you just talk to people.

EOD 6 – 62 *Passed the 100,000-social reach mark *

Back to my regular checking time of about 6 pm (that is when I close for the day….mostly), I didn’t do anything to promote the Campaign on this day, giving people time to put in their support organically and again, it didn’t increase by much but I did pass the 100,000-social reach mark with 100,222. I did a little happy dance but restrained my excitement. It wasn’t over. I sent more personal emails before I went to bed as well as thank you’s.

EOD 7 –  65

Action – By now I am seeing a trend. We are jumping 3 points on days where there is little to no promotion. At the end of Day 7, I complained spoke to my husband about it.

Moshe – “So why don’t you just get on your grind?”

EC – (*Laughs inwardly. He something else*) – “I don’t know what else to do. I can’t keep posting to social media. People will get tired of seeing me. I don’t want to spam them.”

At the end of Day 7 I took a step back. While I managed to reach more than half of my goal in seven days, I wasn’t jumping around about it. Over half is not all. I needed to think of ways to keep the momentum going until the goal was met.

EOD 8 – 69

Action – After thinking over yesterday’s results, I realized I couldn’t count on ‘blasting’ the message out too much. What seemed to work best is reaching out to people individually so that’s what I did. I also did some research on the best way to promote a Thunderclap Campaign to see how others have done it and how they fared. In addition to reaching out individually, pictures of the campaign itself also helps. I have found the more transparent you are, the more people will support you. Updates with screenshots of the campaigns growth helps a lot.

Photo Break – I got to attend a graduation while I was in Florida. Congrats again on your Bachelor’s big baby. You did that.

2016 Thunderclap Results – 35%

2017 Thunderclap Results – 109%

I am humbled to see such tremendous growth between my network last year and this year. When I started my campaign my husband told me I would exceed 100 people even before I got my first supporter and I did. Still, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to everyone who shared and re-blogged my blog posts and shared it across social media when I promoted the campaign.

In the end, I reached 170 thousand people in ten countries and 59 cities in 44 days. On July 15th, when the book released, my message went out through the platform of these 109 people. This is when your Thunderclap Campaign “Tips”. It means that because you reached your goal, your message was shared.

Recommendation

I won’t bore you by going over every single day. After week one it was touch and go and doing a lot of reaching out. Toward the end, it was more and more challenging the closer I got to the goal. And then, eight days before the deadline, I got great support from genetic relatives on Facebook who pushed me over. With plenty of time left on the clock, I was able to sit back and chill, letting more support trickle in organically since by this time, whatever support I got was extra being I was already at my goal.

On the one hand Thunderclap is a great way to promote your book. However, it is best suited for those with large enough platforms. By this I don’t just mean your numbers but people who will act on your behalf. While I met my goal, I would not have had to work as hard if my network was bigger. Since I met over half of my goal in the first week maybe next time, as I grow, I can set a higher target and a shorter window.

My biggest suggestion for those of you who choose to use Thunderclap is to please be realistic with everything. The time-frame for your campaign and the goal you wish to reach must both be realistic.

  1. Give yourself enough time to promote and build support
  2. Choose a goal that is realistic for your network

Time

I chose a little over 30 days because my platforms are small. I found both positives and negatives about this:

It gave me enough time to gather the support I needed. I read somewhere that someone did a campaign for just eight days. Had I copied this I would not have made my goal. This is what I mean by the strength of your network. I was only striving for 100 supporters and that was hard (lol) but in the future, that will be easy as my network grows. Which leads me to the negatives.

Although 30 days gave me lots of time to build support, it also drained me. I discovered quickly that Thunderclap works best when there is something done to promote it every single day which means I’d recommend putting some kind of plan together. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something you can do everyday to move it forward. If your campaign is too long you may not be as committed to pushing it as you would on a shorter time-frame.

I would therefore not recommend Thunderclap for new authors with little to no platform. It will overwhelm you.

Choose a Realistic Target

Thunderclap gives you the option of 100, 250, or 500+ far as the number of people you can try to reach. Be realistic about this. If you are virtually unknown, have never used Thunderclap before or have a small platform don’t try to reach for a number that is not realistic for you. Think about your platforms. Look at it and break it down into realistic figures: How many of these people are going to put forth action vs. those who will just like your post?

While there are other programs similar to Thunderclap that will allow you to set smaller targets, Thunderclap carries the most weight because it is most known of crowd-sourcing. While running the campaign, I found that people will like your post and think they have supported the campaign. You will have to tell them that they must click on the link and follow through for it to work. When I told people this, I got more support. Again, most people won’t know what Thunderclap is. You will have to walk them through it or they won’t support because they don’t know how. Keep this in mind when promoting your campaign. Reach out to people and check on them. It may not be that they don’t want to support but that they don’t know how.

Thunderclap also asks for permission to post on your behalf and access to certain information which people aren’t comfortable with. This requires the host of the Campaign to reassure individuals that their information is not being shared and that the process is safe. I’d like to add here that most of the Apps we download to our phones request access to certain information as well. You’ll be surprised to what extent, from access to passwords and text messages to permission to record your conversation. Reassure your supporters that this is a one-time message posted to their page and that it is OK. They may not even notice it when it posts.

Photo break – The ladies and me trying not to look hungry as we wait for the food to be ready.

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Thunderclap Tips

When your campaign goal has been met and your message hits social media, this means your Campaign has tipped and is now being shared. I’m not feeling how the message is displayed once it tips. This is my second time working with Thunderclap but my first time tipping. I thought it would be just the message with the link to where to get the book. Instead, it shows on Facebook in a similar fashion to when you are promoting the campaign, with the Thunderclap link. To me, this doesn’t look very authentic or enticing. It looks, in fact, more like an Ad. I did not like this.

So, yes or no to Thunderclap?

Yes – If you have a platform

Yes – If you are willing to work it

Yes – If you schedule it ahead of time

Yes – If you think you can get at least 100 people to act

No – If you have little to no platform

No – If you don’t have time to promote it

No – If you can’t schedule it at least one month in advance

No – If you don’t think you can get at least 100 people to act


Be sure to check out my latest interview with the beautiful Nadine on her website HERE. It is part one with the second part coming tomorrow.

“Storytellers are responsible for telling the truth. For writing the shackles off history.”  ― Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Also, be sure to join me and fellow Rave Reviews Book Club Members Mary Carlomango, Jennifer Owenby, and Kerry Hall in another episode of Rave Waves “TAG TEAM 2* 4* 5*”, hosted by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano on Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 12:00p.

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Shaun M Jooste

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Shaun M Jooste. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Shaun M Jooste, and I am from Cape Town, South Africa

Alright now. Africa is in the house yall. Shaun, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

A large study / library in a large tower overlooking the lake. Cabin in the woods will do fine too.

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Besides writing novels and games? Screenwriting for movies.

Sadgi: Book 3 of the Celenic Earth Chronicles is Available now on Amazon

 

Ohh. Yess. What was your childhood dream?

Becoming a published author was one, so I guess I can check that one off my list. Becoming a Formula 1 racer was another, and I guess I can check that off my list for a very different reason (too late for that now).

OK. What skill would you like to master?

In an ideal world? Mastering the natural elements like in my epic fantasy series, the Celenic Earth Chronicles.

What skill do you think you’ve mastered?

I still have a long road ahead. Every time I think I’ve mastered something, I realize I’ve only scraped the dust off the top. I think I’m pretty good at storytelling though.

I feel you. In your own words, what is humility?

Knowing your absolute potential and ability, without having to scream it out to the whole wide world and using it only to improve yourself even further.

I like that. Shaun, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

Like my massive fortress and surrounding walls that I built on Minecraft. Castle on an island – bucket list item.

Not minecraft Lol. What’s your favorite drink?

Coffee to get the creative juices flowing, Sprite or Orange juice on a warm day, Shiraz for when the mood gets going.

What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Sadly, I only know South Africa. I don’t really know if all the other continents really exist.

Lol. What do you love most about living in Africa?

I love South Africa, specifically Cape Town, the most because of our wild diversity, not just in human culture, but also in fauna and flora. I love the landscapes and nature, it is just so wonderful.

Nice. I know you’re into music. What songs have you completely memorized?

Not so much songs as albums…Disturbed, Linkin Park, Evanescence, Bon Jovi, PVRIS, Skillet, Fall Out Boyz. I generally stick to an artist, get all their music and sing them to death.

Visit Shaun on the web at https://celenicearth.wordpress.com/

Does blogging help you to write?

Yes. When I wrote Celenic Earth Chronicles between 2002 and 2009, I was very much alone and isolated. No one knew what I was doing and what was going to be published. I was my own motivation. With Silent Hill: Betrayal in 2016, I started my blog and shared so many details while I developed the story and wrote the novel. It was so encouraging getting positive feedback and encouragement that it still motivates me to this day.

Who is your favorite writer?

I grew up with fantasy. Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Raymond E Feist’s Riftwar Saga… they were my mentors.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

My answer for this is twofold. I had Windfarer first published by a self-publishing company in 2007. It was really exciting to get my work out there, but the trust and fear that the publisher wasn’t conning me was huge.

Then in 2016, I established my own publishing label, Celenic Earth Publications, and republished my fantasy series and published Silent Hill: Betrayal. It was great having all the creative control and putting my own work out like I wanted it.

Congrats on your publishing label! If you could live in a movie, which would it be?

If they adapted my epic fantasy series to film, it would be on Celenic Earth. I created that world, and I dearly want to live in it myself.

For existing movies, I would live in Hogwarts. Not study, live there. Like in one of the towers (see question 10 again. lol)

Cool beans. Shaun, married? How long?

Yes, I’ve been married to Tammy 7 years this August.

Awwue. Hey Tammy! Children?

Yes, I have two wonderful children. Nathan, my six year old son, and Avril, my two year old daughter. They inspire everything I do now.

Double awwue! What do you wish you knew more about?

Effective marketing strategies and promotion of books that actually translates into sales. Real sales.

I heard that. What do you think of the world we live in?

It needs more magic, or divine energy, or something. We are so focused on this industrial and technological ages, we’re losing touch with our souls and the divine. And I’m not talking yoga and meditation. We need to ignite that spiritual spark that lifts us up to… something higher.

Are you religious?

No. I believe in God, and was brought up Catholic until something happened when I was 25 and my eyes started to open up. I’m not fond of religion, or what some religions have done to this world. However, I am close to God in my own way and am very spiritual, and still classify myself as Christian, although no one else ever will. To me, religion and spirituality are very different, the first one being a swear word to me. I believe religion to be the heart of all evil… or rather, the way we as humans use it.

I’m not fond of religion either. Speaking of spiritual matters, what is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult – getting my novels out there. The most exciting – getting my novels out there. lol

Lol. I know that’s right. Why is writing important to you?

I tried living without it for 3 years while I was doing my degree. It led to some severe depression when I thought about what I gave up. Clearly I cannot live without it.

What do you love about yourself?

My intellect that comes up with these amazing stories, and my mental endurance and perseverance through everything I have been through. Also, I have heard I have beautiful eyes.

Lol! Alright handsome, watch out now. What don’t you like about yourself?

That I run out of energy way too quickly.

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?

Again, mastering the elements. Pollution in the air, greenhouse effect, water crises, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis… all gone.

What genre do you write in, why?

I specialize in fantasy and horror, sometimes both at the same time. My epic fantasy novels have hints of horror, and my horror novels always have some fantasy elements in them. I grew up reading and watching fantasy, and I adore horror to the point where very few movies or games really scare me these days. So I immerse myself in those genres further with my writing.

Shaun, it was a pleasure. Thank you for spending this time with us!


Bio.

Shaun is the published author of the epic fantasy trilogy, the Celenic Earth Chronicles, and the horror novel, Silent Hill: Betrayal, which is based on the popular Silent Hill game franchise. He is also the screenwriter of the sci-fi space travelling screenplay, ‘The Space Drifter’, which was recommended by the 2015 Cinequest Screenwriting Festival.

Shaun is busy working on several writing projects, which includes the soon to be released romantic fantasy novel, ‘Dream Whispers’. He was appointed as an official Choice of Games author of text-based games, and expects to release an adventure novel in 2017. Silent Hill: Obversion is also to be expected to be released at the end of 2017, as well as his volume of almost 600 poems written over his adolescent years.

Under his publishing label, Celenic Earth Anthologies, several short story collections by various authors from around the world will be published. The Anthologies currently being edited and developed include ‘CEA Through the Dark’ (horror), ‘CEA No Boundaries’ (Cape Town NaNoWriMo collection), ‘CEA Into the Beyond’ (sci-fi) and CEA Past your Reality (fantasy).

Shaun has also been appointed as an online article writer for game reviews and announcements, namely for Pulse Entertainment U.K. and GameTyrant.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pulse Entertainment UK Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: https://thepulseentertainment.co.uk/author/shaunmjooste/
 
GameTyrant Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: http://gametyrant.com/?author=59003a0f440243b85ba72404

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE. (Now in need of authors for August. Click on this link and email me your questions.).

Interview with author Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Thank you Ari for having me.

eternal scribbler

This week’s guest post is the wonderful Yecheilyah Ysrayl, author of The Nora White Story who gave up her time to answer some interview questions! Enjoy.

EC pictureQ01 – Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Thank you, Ari, for having me and yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It’s one of those things for me that has always been constant in my life.

Sometimes as small children we dream of careers completely different than our ambitions as we age. Maybe we start off wanting to walk on the moon to see if it’s really made of cheese and then grow up and want to be a teacher. I was not that child. I have always wanted to be a writer in some form or another before anything else.

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