Monday, July 25, 2011

Q&A with Patti Roberts

Patti Roberts, author of the young adult series Paradox, has been featured on my blog before. She is an author that my daughter really enjoys, so Patti and Shannon completed an interview for Patti's blog. I wanted to post it here as well. I hope you enjoy!

Shannon asks: Thank you Patti for answering my questions. Can I start with how long have you been writing? 

Patti: I have been writing since 2009.

Shannon: Do you write full-time now? If so, what did you do before you started writing?
Patti: I don't write full time yet but would very much like to.   That is my wish.  I have to sell a lot more books though before that happens :)

Shannon: I know what you mean! Where did you come up with the idea for the Paradox series? Were you inspired? 

Patti: I was inspired by what I didn't know.  By the questions we as humans have asked ourselves since the beginning of time.  Where did we come from, is there more after death?  Is there a heaven?  Do our souls live on?

Shannon: How long did it take you to write? 

Patti: Book 1 in the Paradox Series took me 2 years to write but at the same time I was also doing research for the entire series.

Shannon: Do you ever base your scenes on real-life? 

Patti: Some are loosely based on real-life.  For example Grace's experience during the storm when she felt like her body was being taken over.  The emotion Grace and her mother felt following the death of..... Should I say?

Shannon: Considering the use of angels, how did you prevent religion from getting too involved with the story? 

Patti: I actually really like religious stories.  I don't necessarily believe them.  I think a lot of the Bible and religious scriptures in general is the work of a number of excellent fictional storytellers.  I bet they wish they were around today to receive the royalties.

Shannon: Who is your favorite character? 

Patti: That is too hard to answer.  I love writing for them all.  Some characters though, like Abaddon and Theria, are more enjoyable to write for because they have such overinflated egos.

Shannon: Who is your least favorite character? Why? 

Patti: None - they all belong, all have their part to play.  Who is your least favorite or most favorite and which one would you like to know more about?

Shannon: I don't really have a least favorite character... My favorite was Angela. I loved how she acted around Grace. It made me laugh sometimes :). I would like to know more about Angela and where she came from, but also the characters from the beginning and how they fit in with the story.

Shannon: Are any of your characters based on real-life people? 

Patti: Not at all.  Some of the characters traits are though.

Shannon: I found the extent of your research incredible. Where did you look to come up with your ideas? 

Patti: Google, Wikipedia, Google...  Can I ask you which parts of the story you were thinking about when you asked this question?

Shannon says: I was thinking about Grace's visions and such. They all take place in different time periods and countries, but they were all factual and true.

Shannon: What is your writing process? How do you incorporate your research without making it sound like a textbook? 

Patti: That can be hard for me.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the facts.  I have to allow myself to step away from the facts at times and let myself bend them a little so they can become part of the fictional side of the story.  I am bent on using as much fact as I can.  Even down to the little things like making sure a character’s name in Grace's flashbacks are relevant to that period of time in history.  What the weather, clothing would have been like, what day of the week it would have been…  I think I do this because whenever I read a book, even a fiction book, I like to have learned something real that I didn’t know before.  For me it gives even the most diehard fantasy story more plausible.

Shannon: Do you plan to incorporate Abaddon, Siena, Theria, Pandora and Cerberus into the remaining series? 

Patti: Most certainly.  They are all main characters in the entire series along with a host of characters you are yet to meet.  A lot of book 2 (Progeny Of Innocence) is in Altair - where the Angels reside - including the surrounding areas and the ancient civilizations that reside there.  Lots of legend and myth in the following books.

Shannon: Thank you for letting me do this with you! I hope you don’t mind my questions. 

Patti: Thank you!  I LOVE your questions.  Especially the ones about the story.  It helps me focus on what is important to the reader.  I really like to know the readers thoughts on the characters - right down to what the reader thinks the various characters would look like.  If you check out my blog -  (which is where I am going now to post your questions) you will see a few pics of the faces I had in mind when I was writing some of the characters.

One of my questions to the reader would have to be - which part of the story made you think/feel the most.  What one question would you like to know the answer to?

Shannon says: I definitely thought that right after Grace's dad died was the most emotional part of the story. I thought/felt about that part the most. I would like to know, though, how Wade is going to fit into the story :). I'm looking forward to reading your net book to find out more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Art Show at Applebee's in Surprise, Arizona!

I think it's very nice when businesses in my area entertain the arts. For instance, Camelback Toyota hosted a book signing for me. Now a close friend of mine has told me that the Applebee's in Surprise, Arizona is hosting an art show. Go for a bite to eat and find a painting! How fun and exciting.

For those interested, my very close friend, Naomi Webster, will be showing off her talent next Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm. This is a big step for her, and I'm so proud that she's finally coming forward with her stunning and colorful creations. Naomi does not just make prints. Each one of her paintings are unique and original to what her subject desires. With her talented eye for beathtaking color schemes, and her long, elegant brush strokes that can fit any decor, Naomi is certainly skilled and imaginative. Check out a few samples below and you'll see what I mean.

13756 W. Bell Road
Surprise, AZ 85374
(623) 544-0368

If you would like more information about Naomi and her work, please feel free to contact her via Facebook.!/profile.php?id=100002655040845

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Forever Sunshine Book Trailer by Patti Roberts

Patti Roberts of the young adult Paradox series has been kind enough to put together this book trailer for Forever Sunshine. I love seeing images and music with the words, and I think Patti did a great job enhancing the growth and healing Cher goes through during the story. She is so talented. Let me know what you think!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Author Appearance: Saturday, July 16, 2011

Come and join me at Gecko Espresso tomorrow from 10 am to 2 pm.

Pick up a coffee and danish and chat with me about the emotionally powerful story, Forever Sunshine, plus a sneak peak at the lighthearted and fairytale-like Hannah's Blessing due out in August 2011.

When: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Gecko Espresso
             5301 Superstition Mountain Drive
             Gold Canyon, Az 85118-9119

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paradox - The Angels are Here by Patti Roberts Book Trailer

So I am completely new to book trailers. To be honest, I had not even thought about it until I saw Patti Roberts' trailer for Paradox - The Angels Are Here. Patti has done a remarkable job in putting this together. It's a beautiful presentation of a really good book! My teenage daughter read it and really enjoyed it. She called it 'fresh' and 'original' and plans to keep up with the series. With competition such as Harry Potter and Twilight, this new series is a breath of fresh air! It doesn't jump on the aforementioned coat tails; it stands alone. There is a lot of potential here, and I know my daughter is awaiting book two anxiously! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Chat With Author and Publicist Terry Callister


Terry Callister was born, raised and educated in Kent, England before moving to London when he was eighteen. He has done a variety of jobs from clearing tables in a restaurant to senior business manager in an offshore financial services company and a lot in between. He lived on the Isle of Man with his two sons for twelve years before settling in the beautiful mountains north of Malaga in southern Spain with his wife and three dogs.

Thank you so much for giving me a chance to talk about your work! I’m very excited to have a chance to spread the word about your new blog. Can you first tell me a little bit about how you began your writing career?
I wrote my first novel when I was 20, nearly forty years ago. It was called When? And was about race riots in Finsbury Park, an area of North London, England. I got the idea following race riots in Los Angeles. It was a great story, very poorly written but actually proved to be quite prophetic. I gave up writing then until about 20 years ago and began “The Catalytic Programme” a thriller set in the world of international finance with a bit of a cold war theme. I stopped writing half way through until my wife, Sandra, found the manuscript in the back of a cupboard and encouraged me to get it finished. Six months later it was completed. I then spent two years trying every known literary agent and publisher I could find, all to no avail, then I found out about Createspace and the rest is history.

Where do you get your inspiration to write?
Ideas for stories are always popping into my head, usually from things I see on the news or TV and sometimes Sandra sparks an idea. I get enthusiastic for a while then reality dawns that probably nobody would be interested in what I am considering.

Me: Haha, I say the same thing, except I call them my ‘voices’.

What are the titles of your books and where can we find them?
The Catalytic Programme is available as a paperback on Amazon and Createspace and an eBook version on Smashwords and Kindle.

My second book is completely different A Lucky Break is a time travelling romantic comedy and is available from Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. I intend to get a paperback version through Createspace sometime soon.
What genres do you prefer to write?

I read a lot of thrillers so I think I naturally gravitated in that direction for my first novel, The Catalytic Programme. A Lucky Break came about because I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of somebody from the past coming forward to our time. In the book Esmeralda a 20 something from 1647 (The time of King Charles 1 in England) comes forward from the past and her innocence and wonder really shine through, she grasps everything that the twenty first century has to offer. I think it is inspiring.

Me: You are very well-rounded, Terry!
Do you and your wife work on a writing schedule together?

I encouraged Sandra to start writing after I found a couple of pages of an idea she had for a novel that she had written from years before. The result is The Moorcroft trilogy. The three books cover three different periods in the life of Moorcroft, a sprawling Lancashire, England, mansion and its resident ghost Charlotte Worthington. The stories detail her interaction with the various residents and her search for love and companionship. All three are available on Smashwords and a print edition of the first one Moorcroft - The Possession will be out any day now. I know I am biased but I didn’t realise what a talent my wife has.
We both write when we have the urge, I use a desktop and Sandra a lap top.

On your website, you have lists of books by indie authors. Can you tell us why you started that site?

Everybody says an author needs a website, so a couple of years ago I started one for my work, I realised that one author with a website is a difficult proposition to get high up and noticed in the search engines. So I thought, why not work on a more appropriate title for a new website and put other authors work on there. With Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O) two things are guaranteed to boost your position on Google, Yahoo etc. A realistic repetition of your key search words, and regular addition of relevant material, so what can be better than adding new books and novels to every day.

Me: That’s very clever. Good thinking.

How does the site work?
Authors can approach me to put their Self-Published books on the site and I’m quite happy to do so, be it printed or an eBook. Sometimes I trawl Goodreads and Createspace for new books to add to the site. Otherwise I use the Smashwords affiliate link to select the very latest in Self-Published books. I am very surprised at how few authors have approached me for FREE ADVERTISING. Perhaps they think there is a catch, you can tell them different Collette.

How can other authors link to your site?
Just send me an email to with the book’s title, genre and the cover image, I will do the rest.

The new blog looks great! Can you tell us what you plan to post there?
I’ll post anything and everything to do with Self-Published writing and writers along with the latest news and gossip. Probably I’ll also, occasionally, put a few personal opinions in as well from world news items.

Mark Coker of recently sent out an email with the startling number of works they are publishing. So far this year, they have published over 58,000 books. Do you have any suggestions to make a writer’s individual novels stand out?

Yes, let me put your book on unlike most listing sites as more books get added so your entry gets lower and lower down the page or pages with little chance of getting seen by the book buying public. On my website your book gets listed onto the bottom page and when that fills up, 10 entries for speed of viewing, that moves up to become page number 1, the original page 1 becomes page 2 and so on. That way everybody’s book gets a chance of being seen on page 1 or 2.
Me: So it constantly refreshes. Again, very clever.

What has worked for you and Sandra in getting the word out about your work?
Being persistent with all our efforts, using social media, you must just keep trying.

Do you believe that the book publishing industry is necessary to become a well-known and respected author?
In the past that would have been the case, but now things are changing. I believe a good author will get to the front no matter what media their book is viewed in.

There has been a lot of discussion about Borders filing for bankruptcy. Do you see more authors going the self-published route to take control of their work?

Absolutely, barely a day goes past when you don’t hear about an established author going the eBook route. If you go in that direction do you need an agent and lose 15% or so? You have total control. The next year or so will be very interesting and should define what is going to happen in the publishing industry.

Quite simply to sell loads of Self-Published books and novels for as many authors as possible. They have put in the effort to write and publish their work, so deserve the reward that selling their books will achieve.

Will you continue to maintain both sites?
I will yes, the blog site is simply a support and advertising medium for the website.

Are there any gems of wisdom that you would like to add for our readers and friends?
When you have finished you book, edit, edit edit. You have a responsibility to every other Self-Published author to make your work as good as it possibly can be. If yours is the first Self-Published book somebody buys, and it is poorly edited with lots of typos, misspelling and poor grammar it could put that person off for life from buying more Self-Published books. Here is a tip for editing, read the book from back to front paragraph by paragraph. That way you don’t get involved in the story and can concentrate solely on looking for errors.

Me: I completely agree! That’s a very good point. There are so many good books out there, and so many new authors with excellent work. I can’t believe how many great books I’ve found at low prices on the sites we’ve mentioned. I will post links below. If you love to read, check them out!

Terry, thank you so much for this opportunity to help you spread the word. You have a fantastic site, and it’s a great idea for all new faces to take advantage of. Thank you for all of your hard work, and I hope it continues to grow and prosper along with your writing!

For More Information:
To have your book added to Terry’s website, please email Terry at:

More About Terry and Where to Find Him:!/terrycallister


And More About Sandra Callister:


Friday, July 8, 2011

My Author Interview with Australian author Patti Roberts!

Goodreads is a great place to meet and chat with fellow book lovers and authors. I have been lucky enough to meet young adult author, Patti Roberts, creator of the Paradox series, a great paranormal tale that my daughter enjoyed tremendously.

She invited me to complete an author interview on her blog, so of course I jumped at the chance. As soon as it arrived I began to work on it and sent it back to her almost immediately! I was so thrilled with the chance to share a little bit about myself.

She has just posted the interview, and it looks fantastic! She's so talented with her blog... I really have to start learning this stuff a little bit - LOL.

And if you love paranormal tales, you can view more of Paradox - The Angels Are Here Book 1 here:

More to come soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Little More on Domestic Violence

I had a friend shortly out of high school. She was probably one of the closest friends I had ever had. Beautiful, charming, honest and loyal – we got on very well. However, she had a boyfriend. They had been dating a long time, and I even had known this boy for years – I think since middle school. What I did not know was that he was controlling, verbally abusive, and aggressive. To see Stuart (not his real name) outside of school, yelling at Tanya (not her real name) was a shock to me as an eighteen-year-old kid. I had always known him as gawky, a little shy and sweet. What a surprise.

What makes me bring on this memory? Well, I did find Tanya, after years of falling out of touch, through Facebook. I live all the way across the country now, but when we spoke on the phone it was like nothing had changed. She was still the beautiful and charming friend I was so close to during our college days, and she has done so well for herself. Now happily married with four gorgeous children, Tanya has put those frightening years with Stuart behind her forever. But she will always bear the memories. They came back to her when she first read Forever Sunshine.

When I wrote Forever Sunshine I was not thinking of Tanya and Stuart, but apparently it resonated with her as a similar experience. Tanya became my Shelly. She was a survivor of a terrible relationship that became too difficult to handle. According to the CDC (July, 2000), one out of every four women have had some sort of exposure to domestic violence in their lifetime. Another frightening fact is that as many as one in five high school girls have reported being abused, either sexually or physically by someone they were dating (Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001). This is a frightening statistic, considering how young a confused these boys and girls are. I know that my friend, Tanya, thought for the longest time that she was the one who was doing things wrong.

At one of my book signings, a man approached me and told me that he had almost been fired from a job because he fought with a man who had pushed around his girlfriend. He continued on to say that he found it repulsive and shameful that men would hurt women. While I tend to agree, being a devil’s advocate I must say that perhaps this is part of the problem when men do not make any attempt to change. There are options for men to get counseling and attend anger management courses, but men are less likely to report or take any initiative. There is a lot of shame involved. Though not as quiet as in previous years, domestic violence is still a family’s dirty little secret.

In Forever Sunshine, Joe, Shelly and Jacob required treatment to move on with their lives. They were going to take the necessary steps to become productive and happy individuals. That is the first step of any problem – seeking out the necessary help. Many situations require outside assistance, and there is no shame in getting any support necessary to take those frightening first steps.

If you are one of the millions of men and women involved in a potentially dangerous situation, please try to get some help. There are so many options out there, and the dedicated individuals behind these organizations will do everything in their power to protect you.

1.800.799.SAFE (7233)    

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ebook Sale!

Exciting News

My ebook book publisher, Smashwords, is having their annual July Summer/Winter Sale. For the entire month of July, Forever Sunshine will be available for $1.50! How cool is that? That’s 75% off. So all ebook readers should take a look at and enter code SSW75 for the promotional price. Remember, Smashwords offers all formats. If you have Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Palm, BlackBerry, Android, iTunes, etc., you can download it. If you don’t have an e-reader, you can view it through your computer as well via PDF or HTML.  Anyone can set up an account at Smashwords. So check out the book that has been called ‘highly emotional’, ‘riveting’, and ‘a powerful read’ today!