#AuthorInterview : Neveah Hor, Author of Love Machine, The Revolution @Neveah92926470 #Romance #fantasy #Historicalromance

Hello Readers! I’m happy to welcome Neveah Hor Author of two romance novels- Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else, The Revolution- for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Read more about author and her books in this post.

Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else…
Publication Date : February 19th 2020
Genre: fantasy / Romance

Synopsis:

In this year, 2050, among the humans on the streets, there are these very few others. Others who are made in the biggest technology company, AITA (artificial intelligence and technological advancements), what humans call, the guardians. They were crossbreeds of humans and animals which had the highest Intelligent Quotient (IQ)they were created to protect all citizens with their special abilities. However, they had one enemy. The citizens called them the poachers. They are from another company, The Royal AI. This company was the second most advanced company and they wanted all the glory of AITA. To win them over, The Royal AI had to prove themselves worthy and they resolved to hunting down the guardians to kill them all off. They have decided to start off with the head of the guardians, 7 different crossbreeds – Aurelia, Jiwon, Hye Kyo, Lena, Darren, Justin and lastly Richard. Aurelia, the chairwoman and Jiwon, the vice chairwoman. Hye Kyo and Lena, the advisors and the three males, heads of defense. Humans just did not understand one thing… These guardians they so often talk about did not want fame. They wanted something else…

The Revolution
Publication Date : March 28th 2020
Genre : Historical romance

Synopsis:

China invaded London and the twins had to escape with their mother he was with them. They headed for their secret hide out but was found and sent to the concentration camp in China. But just when the emperor wanted to do so, his heart melted when he saw the twins’ beauty. That was when they met their true loves which were adopted by the emperor. But who knew Gump—the emperor’s real son seek his greatest revenge in jealousy, separating the twins from their true loves. Years later, the twins graduated in London and participated in a figure skating competition… 

Neveah Hor, born and raised in Singapore, is the author of Love Machine. She published her first book at the age of thirteen. She likes to write, read and enjoys Ballet. She writes mainly under the genres of Young Adult, Romance and Fantasy. She won several writing contests at the age of nine. She is currently receiving her education in Singapore and lives with her parents and an elder sister. She is just an ordinary teenager who holds a pen and paper as she enters the world of stories. She hopes she could be someone’s favourite author one day. Her passion for writing never fades.

Can you tell readers a little about your books, The Revolution and Love Machine?

Love Machine is a romantic fantasy. It has characters who are crossbreeds who have special abilities. They were in search of a normal life and true love. Love Machine delivers life lessons, a sense of morality and a unique concept of magic and love.

The Revolution is a historical romance. Two twins—Odile and Odette were in London when China invaded London. The twins won several beauty pageants since young and were talented in many things. But everything changed when the war occured. These did not happen in history, it was all made up because I felt that making up history will enable my imagination to go wild. The twins were caught when they did not report at the occupation camp, shipped to China and brought to the emperor and empress of China. However, their looks made the emperor surprised and they became part of the royal family. They met two adopted brothers there—Darren and Justin and soon fell head over heels with each other. The real princess and prince were jealous and planned to make the twins’ lives a living hell. Being part of the royal family wasn’t that easy after all!

Both books are romance. What draws you to that particular genre?

I know it’s definitely shocking to see a thirteen-year-old write romance but hey, here I am writing it! I read many romance novels since young and was inspired to write one. After writing one of them, I realised how I loved to write romance novels. To talk about romantic kisses, sunsets, love triangles, friends to lovers and true love is very intriguing! To me, writing romance is about understanding each partner’s feelings when they fall in love. I haven’t experienced any crushes or anything, because I’m obviously too young for any, but I think romance is not just about dirty stuff, it encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. 

How did you come up with the idea for your books? 

I get my inspiration from many images from the internet. My favourite app to get inspiration is Pinterest. For example, the idea of making my characters in Love Machine crossbreeds was from images from Pinterest showing anime characters who are hybrids. I also use my writers notebook to store all my writing inspirations.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing The Revolution and Love Machine?

I had difficulties to start a chapter. Many professional writers say you need a captivating starting line and I was asking myself ‘How?’. It was difficult but I had to get over it. Writing kissing scenes were hard for me too. I have never experienced a kiss so I wouldn’t know how it feels like. The only think I can do is to imagine how my character feels and also learn from other romance authors. It is tough to write a novel because I constantly find myself getting distracted with things around me—my phone, my parents’ voice, my sister’s voice, the volume of the television outside. However, each time I see the progress of my manuscript, I would take a deep breath and start writing again. Additionally, my parents are not supportive of my writing career. You will often hear ‘do not waste your time writing’. I can understand that they feel being an author is a tough job but I love writing, so I write. Writing is a tool for me to get away from my stressful school life.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Has anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

I like to write about my protagonist and antagonist. I like to put myself in the protagonist’s shoes. I like to write bad things about my antagonist and try to give her some good qualities. In most of my stories, there is a side protagonist. I don’t like to write about my side protagonist because sometimes, I feel like it’s taking over the main lead. Funny… but that’s how I feel. I like protagonists who are sacrificial and loyal, protagonist who face moral dilemmas, protagonists who are hopeless romantic but in the end, finds a true love and protagonists who are relatable. When I write my antagonist, I think of my nemesis in school and use the traits she has to put into my antagonist.

Is there a message in your books that you hope readers will grasp?

I hope that readers who wants to believe in true love, would believe in it. For those who believe in it, I hope they will continue to. 

When writing, do you plot or go with the flow?

I ask myself what is the genre I want to write under. I usually choose romance as the primary genre and then add in another genre as a sub-genre. I write what I want to happen at the start, middle and end in my writer’s notebook. I then start to write and go with the flow. 

How long does it take you to write a book?

It took me about 10 months to finish writing Love Machine and another 2 months to edit, get a book cover, and publish it. 

It was slightly shorter for The Revolution since it’s a shorter story. 

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

At first, I set my mind on finding a publisher to publish my novel. I sent out many query letters. Countless letters. I got about ten rejection letters and some of them just left me on the lurch. Of course, I was upset and it took me a week to get over each rejection letter. I then decided that I should get away with traditional publishing and self-published with KDP. Sure, most bestselling authors are traditional published. But guess what? I don’t need to be one, I don’t need the title of being a bestseller, I have the title of being passionate in writing. 

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

My favourite thing about being an author is to see my book live on Amazon. However, when being a self-published author, many reviewers spam you with emails—they want to charge you fees for a review. I feel that authors like me should never ever pay for a review unless it’s a kirkus review!

Do you have any writing rituals?

I have my writer’s notebook next to me, a cup of water and my computer ready. I also have a secret spot in the room next to my seat where I can just place all my writing-related things when I hear my parent’s footsteps nearing my door.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I would give up my education. I don’t mind actually. If I could focus only on writing, I would. 

What are your favorite literary journals?

Oh many—One Story, Tin House, The Newyorker, A Public Space, What’sUp, The Lowa Review and many more.

What is your favorite childhood book?

To be honest, I did not read when I was younger and I’m guilty of that. However, I like to read the Magic Ballerina series by Darcey Bussel. It’s related to Ballet and it has magic in it. I like Ballet and currently dance it too! 

What is the next project you’re working on?

As Love Machine is book 1 of a trilogy, I’m currently working on Book 2 and is really excited to see the end product—I hope you are too.

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

Other than writing, I blog, dance and go on social media. I have a bookish blog and I recommend books there. I love to dance ballet, as well as, the currently trending tiktok dances! I love Instagram really much and get a little too excited when I receive likes, direct messages, comments and follows! 

Can you describe Love Machine in five words?

Futuristic, historical, magical, romantic, relatable

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

Although I’m not an expert, I had love to tell aspiring authors these three things. Believe in yourself, don’t let the title ‘Bestselling’ or ‘Award-winning’ affect you, and write everyday.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest |

Purchase Links:(Amazon) Love Machine , The Revolution

What do you think about the post? Have you read these book? Are you going to add it to TBR?

Happy Reading!

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#AuthorInterview : Iván Brave, Author of They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach #TLTW #Contemporary #Fiction @ivan_brave #BooksTeacupnReviews

Hello Readers! I’m happy to welcome ván Brave, Author of They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach, for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Read more about author and his book about Coming of age and artist struggle.

They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach by Iván Brave
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: June 16, 2020 (ebook and paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Themes: Coming of age, artist struggle

Synopsis:

Amid loss, hope, and despair, They Lived They Were . . . is a story about the power to move on.

It begins with a show at Brighton Beach, New York, where Ilya Gagarin performs a set of original dance music to a crowd of loyal fans. They know him as a rising internet star, only 22 years old, and the resident DJ at one of Brooklyn’s sauciest nightclubs. And yet, at the apex of this performance, a text comes in from his girlfriend who just happened to find his stash of coke and crushed prescription pills. Feeling betrayed for the last time, she leaves him. Deletes him. And goes on to have her own successful career as a blues guitarist.

The rest of the summer becomes a struggle to get her back.

The best way, and the only way Ilya knows how, is to launch the debut EP he has been putting off. Unfortunately for the DJ, the club where he works at teeters on fiscal collapse, plus the security manager is a jerk, blocking his every chance for a release party. Only a has-been, mentor-type DJ, encourages Ilya to finish the project, and share it with the world.

As he works towards his dream, the pressure to succeed, paired with the growing pains of a professional artist, reveals a dark truth: the loss of his mother. Soon, recurring nightmares haunt the DJ, alongside distant childhood memories. Only the power of music, together with an urge to regain his abandoned Russian heritage, both of which are described passionately in his journal, keep him afloat week after week.

Soon, Ilya meets a real life guardian angel. Someone twice his age, and Russian, too: the ethereal yet grounded Julia Levina, a celebrated news anchor with her own troubled past. She inspires him to finish the album and land a date for the launch. By midsummer, her pity turns to empathy, which itself turns into something more. An affair ensues. A smart one, they convince themselves, since it doesn’t implicate her 6 year old child, nor pull Ilya astray from the path he believes will win back his ex-girlfriend’s heart.

Close to the date of the show, however, the DJ suffers a relapse, this time with dire consequences. He isn’t able to finish the album in time for the launch party, which comes and goes, and culminates in even more tragedy. Though things look gloomy, it does serve as the reality check that concludes the misguided affair and ends his substance abuse. But not before one final twist.

“Do you know how Russians say Once Upon a Time?” explains a mysterious meta-character, who has been inserting footnotes the entire story. “. . . Жили были. It translates to They Lived They Were.” Suggesting Ilya might just get his fairy tale ending. Or at least move on.

Iván Brave lives in Bucharest, Romania, where he writes poetry, reviews and novels, as well as promotes language learning in multinational corporations. He graduated from The New School in NYC with an MFA in Creative Writing, after earning a Bachelor in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin. Language, multiculturalism, and love, or anything that connects, are the themes dearest to his heart. In addition to winning prizes, such as the Writing Award from The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, his writings have appeared in literary publications like The American Scholar and The Acentos Review. Iván’s second novel, They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach, is out June 16th 2020.

Can you tell readers a little about your book, They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach? What they can expect from it?

If you’ve ever been dumped, if you’ve ever danced all night to pop music, if you’ve ever tried to create something amazing, or if you’ve ever wanted to make sense of your origin, then this is the book for you. Expect inserts of the protagonist’s journal entries, as well as cuts from his recurring nightmares, as he sails through a summer of loss, hope, and despair. A modern retelling of the Greek tragedy between Orpheus and Eurydice, but set in New York City, the year 2018, and a twist.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The first inkling of this novel came to me in a very nebulous and vague form, but one I felt was worth pursuing. For years I had written stories that mixed my native Spanish and English, where the characters resembled those closest to me, and whose stories echoed those in real life. So on January 1st, 2018, driving home from a wild night in Austin, it dawned on me that I should try to write a story unlike anything I had ever done (or lived) before. Rather than factual details, I drew from my interests: electronic music, the Russian language, and Greek Mythology. Thus the first chapter, of a strung-out DJ ambling through Brooklyn boardwalk, was born.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach?

Probably my own frustrations, and limitations, as a writer. It occurred to me the other day that if you want to bake a chocolate cake, the first place to look is the internet. Or better, you call on an experienced family member. Most likely you do both, just to get started, and then see what happens in the mix. For a novel however, you must set out to create something completely new. By definition it should be unlike anything that came before. So that’s a challenge in and of itself. Naturally there are some rules, some worth breaking, yet others unbreakable. And I don’t even mean some magical sequence of plot points, I mean the fact that the novel you work on has to be the best possible book you can create. In other words, you have to go all the way. So this book contains all the tricks, all the ingredients, all the fascinations that I could think of which would take this book from a collection of scattered chapters, to a resounding symphony of ideas. Nevertheless, pertaining to my key challenge, it is this: I aimed high, yet for the majority of writing this book, I felt like what I had to give wasn’t enough. The ending wasn’t coming out right, because I didn’t have a clear idea of it. The middle for a long time felt boring, because I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting. And of course, the beginning was full of typos and begged for endless rewrites, because . . . who knows. After two years, however, what’s done is done. In your hands is something worth sharing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Because I don’t edit as I write, I can fill 100 pages in a week, and in about a month have a book. That’s usually writing like mad, as they say. If you mean how long did it take to write this book, from start to publish, then it actually took two years. That includes working a job, gradation from school, moving to another country, getting married! But also multiple drafts, and rewrites, each reviewed for feedback. Plus time to set the book aside, and come back to it fresh. Finally, one last go at the manuscript. So two years . . . probably I could have finished it in one year, if I hadn’t stopped, or if I didn’t have a life. But there is something romantic to me about taking a while to really nail a book down, and doing other things with your time. My favorite books took 6-10 years to write, by people who were really passionate about stories, but also had other things to do. My next book, for example, I completed a rough draft in three months but over six years ago, then never touched it again. Once I get back into it, it will probably take me a couple months to rewrite, polish, and then publish . . . will I brag about it taking seven years? You bet! But does it take that long? Technically no, but realistically yes.

Did you outline your book beforehand? Why or why not?

Since I still feel like a novice, I impose a rule on myself of always trying new ways to write. So I’ve done both: written a book with and without an outline beforehand. But the thing is, after a book has been on my desk for so long, when my screws start to come loose a little bit, I will write an outline if there hadn’t been one, or I will completely scratch an earlier outline just to start afresh. I do think outlines are useful, and certainly if a great book didn’t have one to start with, we could write one for it after the fact – because good books follow an internal logic which could be detailed in hierarchy. In any case, I’m a big fan of mind-maps and timelines. So at any given moment there will be scattered sheets of paper with lines going up and down and crisscross on my desk.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Has anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

Your question is making me think I should start writing characters I hate, if only as a literary practice, to add spice! Usually the characters I write I have a soft spot for. I want my protagonist to succeed. I want my bad guys to have good reasons for what they do. What type of characters do I love to write in general: goofy, witty, imperfect people with something to prove. My favorite quality in a protagonist is someone who against all odds will stand up for what he or she believes in, even at the risk of losing, although I prefer it when they win. As for real life inspiration, almost everyone in my close circle has fallen prey to the pen, #sorrynotsorry. But there is one gentleman in particular, one of the most genuinely weird profound goofy loveable persons I have ever met, who I could write a whole book about.

So the main character is a troubled DJ. Which playlist you think he likes most?

What a great question! I know this might sound a bit freaky . . . surely other writers do the same . . . but I recently saw a commercial by one of the biggest producers of all time, DeadMau5, for an online MasterClass. In it, seeing the artist take off his helmet and give some insights to his technique, I thought, wow, this is something Ilya would go crazy about. Maybe I should pay the $XXX just to learn something! Plus it probably comes with an amazing new mix of experimental, never before heard music. Now, if it’s straight playlist you’re asking about, on YouTube there’s a really good DJ (name: f1rstpers0n) who mixes obscure yet great electronic music, and Ilya would like that the most these days, especially to build his own mixes.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through writing They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach?

That people don’t fall in love with words, they fall in love with ideas. This hit me hard a few months ago. I was someone obsessed with language (heck, I still am!). To put it metaphorically, language is only the skin of a story. Seductive, sensual, sensitive. But ultimately shallow, superficial, and . . . just one element. To be specific, when I started writing TLTW the story of a DJ, my focus was on language, so I ignored the DJ and only listened to what he said, not so much what he did. Until I realized this, I couldn’t figure out what was not working with the story . . . it was missing action! And actions speak louder than words, as we know. Put another way, it’s like asking a hundred people to tell you the first line of Anna Karenina. You will roughly get the same sentence, although told a little differently. And that’s ok. Because what really matters is the concept, the idea, the truth – which words do best to point at. That’s why my next book has a central idea, and capturing that will be the central aim, while playing with language will be the fun, sexy part of writing, and not so much the focus.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

With the next book, I would like to try the traditional path again. It didn’t work with my first novel published, after four years of trying. So that’s why I went self-publishing. That time so many things went wrong (a few right) however that I decided to give self-publishing one more shot with TLTW. Thus, the journey here has been through Kindle Direct Publishing again. It’s pretty DIY and not that complicated. Once on your KDP account, you click create new book. You fill in the details. You upload the manuscript, checking that all the odd little letters (if you’re using Cyrillic like me) look good, as well as margins. Then you upload the cover, emailing your artist if the bleed doesn’t look good. Then you publish! Or in my case, hit presale. This is the first time doing a presale, meaning the ebook is available for order, but it won’t reach your kindle until the launch date. In a sense it’s strange since my audience prefers paperback, and that cannot be up for presale; but in another sense it’s awesome because I can build the book page in these weeks, before the hard launch in June. <Cough, cough> For example I reach out to awesome blogs like the Teacup and we connect before the launch! 😁

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

My favorite thing has to do with feeling like I am accomplishing a deep, earnest desire. The inner most part of me wants to connect and entertain and make others think of things in new ways. It’s like a voice inside of me telling me to speak up. So it’s nice, and fulfilling to show that inner side of me. On the other hand, my least favorite thing about being an author is always feeling like I’m in the early stage of my career. I do not feel like I have improved at all! Yet maybe I should heed that nagging voice, and keep pushing forward, you know? Of course, while being grateful: just the other day I fixed up my website and counted all the blog posts I had. There were so many! Later I went through my old stories on my laptop, and I literally found a story I didn’t remember writing! Meaning, I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t even remember all the things I’ve written. That’s a good thing I guess, if what I want is to feel like I am improving. But anyway . . .

Do you have any writing rituals?

I’m an ardent follower of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. So I write three pages long-hand every morning when I first wake up. Also, I like to light tea candles (those small round ones, scent-less) when I am in real need of flow. Often accompanied by incense. Anything that simulates the senses. Food and writing don’t really go well for me, nor does drink. Those I prefer to do, and celebrate, on their own—before or after. Like, I used to write with a glass of wine, or with a cup of tea (sometimes a whole bottle of wine, or a whole pot of tea) but then I realized that if I want to write my hands need to be on the keyboard. Go figure. So, no drinks as part of my ritual. Just consistency.

What is the next project you’re working on?

I’m on the fence, you know. Maybe answering this question will help, or perhaps you might nudge me in the right direction . . . but originally my plan was to pick up that old story from six years ago. That’s because since its conception I feel like I’ve learned a lot about storytelling, plus I want to put some new tricks to use on the page. But another part of me, the part that’s been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, wants to revive a memoir project that’s been collecting dust. The reason for that is I want to write it as a gift to my wife: the story of why I believe we are meant to be. Why would a husband have to write this for this wife? Ask any husband, ask any wife.

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I love to read! Lol. Honestly, it’s so nice to catch up on my pile of books which never seems to get smaller. Aside from books, I really, really, really like YouTube. It could be a certain channel, or just random recommendations. Finally, I really enjoy conversation. Whether it’s over Facetime, or over dinner, I like talking and listening and sharing and learning through conversation. It’s relaxing.

Can you describe They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach in five words?

Artist struggle meets modern love.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Accept that life is chaos.
  2. Pay attention.
  3. Go all the way.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

A brilliant question! The easiest way is on Amazon. But the deepest way, since that’s where I put everything, including bad, awkward, personal writing, is my blog. In the summer I will revamp my Instagram—and then that will be the most fun way to connect.

Website | Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon (author page)

Purchase Link:

The Summer Abroad:

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview? Have you read this book or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR?

HAPPY READING!!

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#AuthorInterview : Janet LoSole, Author of Adventure by Chicken Bus #AdventurebyChickenBus #memoir @JanetLoSole

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Janet LoSole, Author of Adventure by Chicken Bus for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out this interesting travel adventure memoir and author in this post.

Adventure by Chicken Bus: An Unschooling Odyssey through Central America by Janet LoSole
Publication Date: December 11th 2019
Publisher: Resource Publications (CA)
Genre: Memoir / Travel Adventure

Sunopsis:

Embarking on a homeschooling field trip to Central America is stressful enough, but add in perilous bridge crossings, trips to the hospital, and a lack of women’s underwear, and you have the makings of an Adventure by Chicken Bus…a tale of one family, buckling under a mountain of debt, who sells all worldly possessions and hits the road.

Adventure by Chicken Bus demonstrates how to travel sustainably, but more importantly, how to nurture the next generation of environmentalists and social justice activists by exposing them to the conditions faced by those in the developing world.

From a remote monkey sanctuary tucked into an enclave on the Panama-Costa Rica frontier to the overdeveloped beaches of the Mayan Riviera, we endure chaotic border crossings, infections and injuries, learn about the history of the civil war in Nicaragua, visit UNESCO heritage sites, and hike the ancient Mayan temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

For the sake of safety, we plan our route down to the kilometer, navigating the region by chicken bus, an eye-opening mode of public transportation ubiquitous in the developing world. Along the way we re-connect with each other, re-kindle our commitment to the environment, recognize the privilege into which we were born, and become compassionate global citizens.

Janet LoSole is the author of Adventure by Chicken Bus: An Unschooling Odyssey through Central America. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French Linguistics from York University in Toronto and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Nipissing University. She is a certified TESOL instructor and has taught ESL internationally since 1994. She began homeschooling her daughters in 1997. She writes about traveling with children and homeschooling. Her work has been published in: Canada’s Education Magazine, Natural Parent Magazine, The Alliance for Self-Directed Education, Outdoor Families Online, Unravel, and elsewhere.

Can you tell readers a little about your book, Adventure by Chicken Bus? What they can expect from it?

Adventure by Chicken Bus demonstrates how to travel sustainably, but more importantly, how to nurture the next generation of environmentalists and social justice activists by exposing them to the conditions faced by those in the developing world.

From a remote monkey sanctuary tucked into an enclave on the Panama-Costa Rica frontier to the overdeveloped beaches of the Mayan Riviera, we endure chaotic border crossings, infections and injuries, learn about the history of the civil war in Nicaragua, visit UNESCO heritage sites, and hike the ancient Mayan temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

For the sake of safety, we plan our route down to the kilometer, navigating the region by chicken bus, an eye-opening mode of public transportation ubiquitous in the developing world. Along the way we re-connect with each other, re-kindle our commitment to the environment, recognize the privilege into which we were born, and become compassionate global citizens.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

I first decided to write a book so my daughters would have a record of our adventure. I’d written a blog while we were on the road and once we returned home, I compiled all the blog entries into chapters. Then, I researched the market and found that although there are scads of blogs about traveling with kids, there are not that many memoirs about that.

The book is unique because most families homeschool temporarily because they are taking their kids on a trip. We were traveling because our kids were homeschooled. So the homeschoolers and worldschoolers out there needed a story by someone from their community. The book is also for people longing to travel with their kids, people who like adventure memoirs, and also expats who can relate to settling into a foreign community.

At the end of the day however, I wrote the book to answer the incessant questions from people who were curious about what we had done.

So you mentioned this is about a homeschooling field trip in this memoir. What are your thoughts on homeschooling?

The growing homeschooling movement points to large scale disillusionment in institutionalized education. Homeschooling has some drawbacks; a lack of resources for example (parents don’t have full science labs in their home or a regulation size soccer pitch).  However, it offers children a wide scope of opportunities to learn what they are interested in. This was the single driving force behind our decision to homeschool.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing Adventure by Chicken Bus?

I knew nothing about writing a long-form piece of prose. I’d only written short articles as a freelance writer. I spent a great deal of time learning how to write paragraphs that lead to chapters. I also learned about how to structure a memoir and how to pare down superfluous prose. In a nutshell, self-editing was the biggest challenge.

How long does it take you to write a book?

This is my first book. It took me years because I was homeschooling full-time while I was writing it. Full-time homeschooling, for those who are unaware, is 24/7. It’s a totally different system that traditional schooling.

Did you outline your book beforehand? Why or why not?

I did outline it in the sense that I wrote a blog on the trip and I used the blog entries as the skeleton for the book. I could not have done it otherwise; I would not have remembered as much if I had just written it without any outline to rely on.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through writing Adventure by Chicken Bus?

I’ve learned that anyone can write a book if they take the time to learn how to write. I attended workshops, I asked fellow authors lots of questions, I read tons of books on how to write, as well as books in my genre. Most importantly, I learned to never give up the dream of becoming published.

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

I took a mathematical approach to getting published. I created color-coded charts and developed lists. I discovered that a fellow travel memoirist had queried 150 publishers before getting her book accepted so I relied on that number to set my goals. I had a spread sheet that compartmentalized publishers by region, then by genre, then by response time. I queried the publishers whose response time was many months out, and then I went down the list, first to Canadian publishers who were interested in my genre (travel, memoir), then branding out to the US, the UK, etc. On the spreadsheet I noted who was looking for a full proposal and who just wanted a query letter. I forced myself to learn how to write synopses, pitches, and proposals. On the 67th query, my book was accepted.

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

There is a deep sense of accomplishment when you are a published author. For me personally, I feel that this has had a positive impact on my daughters who have their own dreams. I hope that my determination to get published will set an example of how to set goals and to never give up.

The least favorite thing about being an author is the pressure to write the next book.

Do you have any writing rituals?

As much as I chastise myself for going on social media, I learned to allow myself a bit of time during my morning tea to wake up and engage with others before settling in to write. I also have to take breaks. Often I just get in some laundry or start dinner on these breaks but in the nice weather I get out and walk or ride my bike to allow my brain a break.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Dr. Dolittle

What is the next project you’re working on?

I am currently working with my oldest daughter on a short film screenplay (she is an actor). 

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I love to read, but I also love to watch Netflix, primarily k-dramas.

Can you describe Adventure by Chicken Bus in five words?

Kids, monkeys, spiders, bananas, turtles

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Learn (the library has dozens of books on how to write)
  2. Patience (it takes a long time to get published)
  3. Never. Give. Up. Never.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Book Links: (Amazon)

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview?
Have you read this book?
Are you going to add it to TBR?

HAPPY READING!!

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#AuthorInterview : R. J. Garcia, Author of The Call of Death #TheCallofDeath @rj_dreamer

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome R. J. Garcia, Author of The Call of Death for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out more about this paranormal YA book and author in this post. I have already read this book. I enjoyed it and gave it 5 stars.If you haven’t read my review here is the ➡ LINK⬅ .

The Call of Death by R.J. Garcia
Publication Date: November 5th 2019
Publisher: Parliament House
Genre: Paranormal / YA Romance
Pages: 268

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Priestly crashes into a terrifying future. She wakes up in her dorm room now knowing the name of an infamous serial killer, Norman Biggs. He will attack her in the future unless she and her three male friends can change fate.

Hannah is an obsessive-compulsive California girl dropped off at an English boarding school by her celebrity mother. Hannah has difficulty understanding algebra, let alone her increasingly dark visions. Rory Veer is Hannah’s smart, easy-going and romantically challenged friend and school crush. When Norman Biggs unexpectedly appears in Rory’s reality, terror is set in motion. It is Rory who must acknowledge a past he has denied if the mystery is to be unraveled. 

R.J. Garcia is a wife, and proud mom of two smart kids. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!

Can you tell readers a little about your book, The Call of Death? What they can expect from it? 

Hannah Priestly is an obsessive-compulsive California girl attending an English boarding school with the usual teen problems. She doesn’t fit in at school and is falling in love with her best friend. But when she wakes up knowing the name of a notorious serial killer at large, Norman Biggs, her life goes from complicated to scary, and her visions only grow darker.  

Rory Veer is Hannah’s easy-going friend and school crush. When Norman Biggs unexpectedly appears in Rory’s reality, terror is set in motion. It is Rory who must acknowledge a past he has denied if the mystery is to be unraveled.

Expect young love and a lot of twists and turns.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

When I wrote the first draft, I had just finished reading the Harry Potter series with my daughter. It played a part in my decision to have the setting an English boarding school. I have also spent time in England and have cousins there. I am also fascinated with boarding schools, and love books like A Separate Peace.

The television show Medium, which I watched in the past, also inspired me to write this story. A nightmare I had about seeing a man behind me in the mirror catapulted the book’s first chapter.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing The Call of Death?

I think finding time is always a challenge. Also, because I have dyslexia and had only written short stories and didn’t know if I was up for the challenge of writing an entire novel. Although it was something, I always dreamt about doing. I had this story for The Call of Death in my head and pushed myself. My teenage daughter and brother kept wanting to read the next chapter, and it propelled me to keep going.  

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Does anyone in real life inspire you to write them?

I love to write about imperfect characters and the underdog. I hate that muscled bond, cocky leading man type that would probably help me sell books. Yes, my characters are based on composites of real people. My other novel, Nocturnal Meetings, is inspired by a real foster kid I admired. He had been through a lot but had a lot of heart and resiliency. Hannah was a composite of a girl I counseled and a movie stars daughter I read about. The character, Hannah, had boys as friends like I did in high school.

The main character had the gift to see in the future, to smooth it and make it less crazy she called it premonitions. Have you ever had premonitions or experienced deja vu?

When I was in fourth grade, I was very close to my grandmother. She came to me in a dream to play and tell me she was going away. When I woke up that next morning my parents told me she had died. I really believe she came to me to say goodbye.

Other times I have also experienced a sense of déjà vu. I believe there is much more than just this life.

When writing, do you plot or go with the flow?

I plan out the main plot but let conversations and scenes flow. I am open to changing things if they don’t feel right on paper.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It took me six months to complete the first draft of the Call of Death. My current WIP took a little longer. I go through a week here or there where I don’t write at all. I get busy with work and family stuff. On top of that, I suffer from writer’s block sometimes.

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

It took me many years to have the confidence to even write a novel. When I did, I queried The Call of Death to a dozen agents with no luck and focused on writing Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced instead. When I finished writing Nocturnal Meetings, I queried some small publishers and found a home for it at The Parliament House. So, it was my second novel, but the first I published.

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

My favorite thing about being an author is coming up with ideas and writing. Then having people actually read and connect with your stories is amazing! Seeing the cover for the first time and holding your book is incredible.

Since my mom passed and will never read my stories, it makes it bittersweet. On a lighter note, another of my least favorite things is letting go of the characters once the book is published. As weird as it sounds I kind of miss them.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I do like to drink coffee and have it quiet or music on. Hearing others talking or TV distracts me.

What is your favorite childhood book?

My mom read Charlotte’s Web to me, and I loved it. It made me have a thing for spiders and farm animals. She also made up stories, and that may be where I got my love of storytelling.

What is the next project you’re working on?

I have a short story available March 31st in The Masks Anthology alongside some fantastic authors from Filles Vertes Publishing. My story, The Axeman Among Us, is inspired by actual events. In 1918, Two young teen boys encounter The Axeman of New Orleans, the most infamous serial killer of their time. Fearing the killer will return, they implore the aid of a voodoo priestess.

I’m working on a new novel too. It is about a teenage boy who believes his new house is haunted until he discovers a strange girl living there. A girl who brings evil and supernatural beings into his life.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I like to hang out with my kids and play games, watch Netflix or movies, and snack. I watch true crime as well as HGTV. I also ride my bike now and then, and go to plays.

Can you describe The Call of Death in five words?

Visions, young love, and murder.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

1. Write the story you’re obsessed with.
2. Make sure you’re ready to query. (proofread and find beta readers.)
3. Most importantly never give up.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub
Book Links ( Amazon ) : Nocturnal Meetings | The Call of Death | Masks Anthology

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview?
Have you read this book or any other by the same author?
Are you going to add it to TBR?

HAPPY READING!!

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#AuthorInterview : Darryl A. Woods, Author of The Summoned Ones @DarrylAWoods #TheSummonedOnes #Fantasy

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Darryl A. Woods, Author of The Summoned Ones, newly released adult epic fantasy, for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out more about the book and author in this post.

The Summoned Ones: Book 1 Flight to Bericea by Darryl A. Woods
Publication Date: February 29th 2020
Publisher: Bresford Ridge Publishing
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Synopsis:

The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro’s control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea’s army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro’s methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.

This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.

Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.

Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

About Author:

Darryl A. Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting.

Interview:

Can you tell readers a little about your book, The Summoned Ones? What they can expect from the book?

The reader can expect friendship, betrayal, battles, leadership, love, an evil protagonist, swordplay, personal growth, self-reflection, greed, evil creatures, horsemanship, creativity, magic use, and a treacherous journey. 

Can a group of college-aged friends from a small Kentucky town actually be the Summoned Ones of prophecy, called to a strange world filled with magic and devastated by war? Can they save the lives of the desperate inhabitants and help them defeat a wicked tyrant? Their epic journey will push them to the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

During their journey, they will explore this new world, discover new talents and previously hidden abilities, develop friendships with people they couldn’t have dreamed possible, and will be forced to take actions they would have never considered in less dire circumstances.

The Summoned Ones is a portal story that thrust an eclectic group of college-age friends into a chaotic world. How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

I have been a huge fan of fantasy for years, and I can’t remember a time I wasn’t a storyteller. So, when my wife encouraged me to write a book, the genre was a given. I often daydreamed about how I would react to situations in books I read, ones that led to modern-day people thrust into a world completely foreign to anything they could imagine. This let me explore their emotions and how their experiences would determine certain reactions to situations.

What inspired you to create a fantasy setting, a world filled with prophecy, magic, and war?

Once I had decided to set modern-day people in a world of magic, I needed a way for them to get there. The idea of being summoned by a magic administered from a fantasy world came about.  I then needed a reason for them to enact the ritual, and the prophecies of a desperate, war-weary people came to be. 

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in a protagonist? Does anyone in real life inspire you to write them?

I enjoyed all of the main college-aged characters, each for different reasons. They vary so much in personality and what motivates them that it kept things fresh as I moved from storyline to storyline. 

The most interesting aspect of the protagonist is his complete lack of empathy. Power and control of others are his only motivations, and he can never get enough of either.

I would say that there’s a bit of my brothers and me in the Renard brothers. My father was a machinist and we were all taught a great independence when making household repairs.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing The Summoned Ones? 

I guess I faced the same challenges that many authors do. Is this good enough or should I tweak it some more? Is the pace right for the situation? Will anyone like this? Should I react to the suggestion from an early reader that I really don’t agree with?

I had two situations that were not typical of a lot of authors. I have been a storyteller for many years, so plot, character development, and scene development that many authors struggle with came easier for me. I spent far more effort on the pace of the story, of balancing narrative and dialogue, getting the right mix of detail and the big picture. I suspect these come natural to other authors.

The other situation was that I had a relative and a good friend who was my editor. Her 30 years of experience, willingness to work with me, and quick turnaround made my work far better than it would have been otherwise.

What is the most interesting aspect of The Summoned Ones?

The portal aspect of showing modern-day people dealing with a fantasy world certainly allowed me to explore their emotional journey. I also liked the in-world characters dealing with the Summoned Ones. They treated them with a great deal of reverence, having heard stories of them all their lives but believing them only to exist in lore. But then I was able to show strong friendships develop between modern-day and fantasy-world characters.

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

That was a long journey filled with expensive mistakes and wasted time. I decided to pay a firm to help me publish so that I could continue to write. I spent a great deal of time researching a company that would just do the work, let me retain the material, and I would keep 100% of the royalties. The company started out well enough, but soon sold out to an entity that was simply a vanity publisher. It was an expensive lesson in terms of both money and a great deal of time. 

I was forced to research each step of the process to make certain that this new company was being honest with me. I eventually learned enough that I fired that company and recreated all material at far better quality, then published on my own.

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

My most favorite is having characters and scenes spring to life out of thin air as I write. One character in the last chapter came to life only as I developed a storyline that I had expected to write completely differently. It forced me to go back and add to already written scenes to set up this new character and the scenes he inspired. In the end, I felt his scenes and character were among the strongest, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing them.

My least favorite is the grind of editing and promoting. It is purely a rinse-and-repeat process that you must commit to doing every day. Even these have great moments of accomplishment, such as having advance readers really enjoy that latest scene, or spending 10 hours over a weekend sending out review requests and hearing back from several of them.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Very early on in my writing, I was in a restaurant when an idea struck me. I talked the waitress into a pen and jotted my ideas down on several napkins. When I got home and typed it into the story, I discovered that I edited the material far more thoroughly going from handwritten to the keyboard. I like the improved quality so much that I wrote in longhand every page of the book after that. 

I would even do a few handwritten edits. I would print the chapter and then make corrections with a pencil. I think the left-brain, right-brain thing kicks in and you see clearly things you miss editing on the screen.

What is the next project you’re working on?

The Summoned Ones is the first book of a two-book series. My next book, Perilous Path, is the conclusion to the Flight to Bericea story and is about 70% complete. By complete, I mean written, professionally edited, and read by 20 advanced readers. I’m planning on being done by the end of summer with a release in November 2020.

I have the overall plot of the next two book series in Bericea thought through. I have also written the rough drafts of two scenes I had to get out of my head.

Can you describe The Summoned Ones in five words?

Epic war and magic journey

And the last one, top three tips for aspiring authors.

  • Make time to write.
  • Don’t be afraid to publish.
  • Believe that your work will be enjoyed by many.
  • And a fourth tip I’m stealing from a good friend. Never feed chili to the dog.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website | Newsletter (short story every 15 days) | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Book Links

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview?
Have you read this book?
Are you going to add it to TBR?

HAPPY READING!!

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