Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another Interview and my Villain's Shopping List

I have a couple fun things for you today! First, I want to pass along this great interview with a fellow author of mine. Head on over to Linda Rae Blair's blog and get to know author Debra Shiveley Welch, writer of fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. I hope you will check it out and look into the works of both Linda and Debra! Here's the link (click on the picture):


And for the other fun thing, yesterday in one of my writing groups we were playing a sort of game, listing the ten things our antagonist would buy if they went shopping. My good friend Caitlin Hensley, who you have heard about a lot on this blog, suggested that it would make a great blog post, and I agree, so here you go!

Character: Marina

Book: Lorn

Character Description: Marina is a Klygan, a bird that has taken on human characteristics. She was originally a basic type of hawk, but due to scientific experimentation she started becoming more and more human. Marina has progressed more than any other Klygan, so she looks very much like a human, and is the size of an average woman, but she has large and powerful wings and claw-like hands.

Marina's Shopping List (if she were somewhere that had a store, anyway!):

1. Wire
2. Latex
3. Human Clothing
4. Conveyor Belt
5. Metal
6. Sturdy Plastic
7. Suction Cups
8. Battery Acid
9. Iron Bars
10. Laser

So there you go! Got you wondering about Lorn yet? ;)

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Interview with G.Mitchell Baker

As you all know, I have been pressed for time lately, and I would not have had much content for you today had not this wonderful author volunteered to share an interview he had already done. Enjoy the interview, and check out the links!

  1. If you have published something, tell us about it.
 
LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS is intense Paranormal! Malachi Danta-Mercadel, retired INTERPOL/Secret Service rails against the Mantid Tranquil organization bent on vesting a form of paranormal revenge given Danta's handiwork for exposing Mantid's illicit operations. ‘Lethal Believers: The Innocents’ releases MARCH 23, 2013 from Master Koda Select Publishing and Shot to #22,772 paid sales Kindle ranking within a couple of hours.



THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON is an edgy novel in contemporary fiction, focusing on the choice of an estranged father, who, and despite the most challenging circumstances, chooses positive relationships, and to remain involved in his children’s lives. The Paperback release was MARCH 5, 2013 for the United States, and, since then ‘Involvement’ has released and is selling in Trade Paperback throughout the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, Japan, and India. The Kindle/iPad version released Global March 24, 2013. Look for the second novel in series “The Consistency of Emerson” is slated for release during the Holiday 2013 season.



ANNT: AXIOM is a Novellum in Science Fiction that has published in 2011. Two geniuses partner up to invent/create Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology that competes with Ald Mother Nature to determine what nature will be the default nature going into our near futures.   I pulled the first edition when I learned, and was not happy with the editing. It will be published in Second Edition (AXIOM: ANNT), along with TERRACA: ANNT, the second Novellum in series.



  1. What are you working on now?
At present, I am working on a project entitled ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’. I am very pleased to convey Master Koda Select Publishing and I recently contracted for the publication of “Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies” contemporary fiction for young adults. Forthcoming, Fall, 2013, this novel is about the Town of Abbottsville, Louisiana, post hurricane and with one playing field left for its champion soccer and baseball teams to use, the Soccer Mommies battle the Baseball Tommies for the home field advantage.



  1. What is your genre of choice? Why did you choose this genre?
Photo: Garrett Baker Copyright 2012
I have a choice of two genres to include Contemporary Fiction and Science Fiction. Within the Contemporary Fiction genre, I write for Young Adult and Adult Audiences all being for General/PG-13 Audiences.  Within the Science Fiction genre, I write Bio-Social Science Fiction and Paranormal/Supernatural (where ‘paranormal’ may be a subgenre of Sci-Fi).


  1. Who is your favorite author? Why?
I find myself often returning to Ralph Waldo Emerson. There is, to find in his work, consideration of values that include religion, the spirit, unabashed intellect, the philosophic, a consideration of issues regarding social responsibility, to include family matters ... I could go on... His approach, his themes, what he chooses to consider have attracted me for some time.  I would also make mention of a French Philosopher Jacques Ellul who also considered social values regarding, for example communication.  The writing of these fellows continue to intrigue me.

  1. How did you get started writing?
I took a sabbatical from the practice of law and decided to write a novel. That quickly turned into two novels and my interest for writing screenplays. I continue to enjoy the process, and to be creative with a happy heart and a full mind.

  1. What do you find hardest about writing? What do you find easiest?
Learning how to write fiction meant unlearning how to write like an attorney.

Moreover, I am still learning how to write and write fiction well.  By the way, thank you for a great job editing and being such a wonderful person to work with in the Lethal Believer’s project.

  1. Do you have a quote that keeps you going?
I have a number of quotes that may provide some insight as to the ‘me’ of ‘G. Mitchell Baker’.  I hope you enjoy...

“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
 - Plato

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.”
 - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

 “Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
                        - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all difference of intellect. The wisest know nothing.”
 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.”
 - Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)

                “Seeing things for what they are...” (Irish Aphorism)

 “The real things haven't changed...
            It is still best to be honest & truthful;
 To make the most of what we have;
 To be happy with simple pleasures
 and have;
 Courage when things go wrong.”
                        - Laura Ingalls Wilder

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.''
 - Dale Carnegie

 “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
 - Oscar Wilde

“A gentleman allows a lady to maintain her fiction.”
- 'Jack Sparrow'
                        Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 Johnny Depp

  1. Who are your biggest supporters?
Now this is an interesting question for these more than interesting times.  The Master Koda Select Publishing (MKSP) group, led by Kim Mutch-Emerson, is really like my publishing Family. Teamwork, Encouragement, Support, Professionalism, Respect... It is all there and more... I am very thankful. I would also have to say that support from my Family grows with each new release. Go figure ;-)

  1. What is the message you want people to get from your current work or work-in-progress?
If my readers come away from my work with a sense of having dealt with a complex social issue, or issues in an entertaining manner, then I guess we are connecting on an important level.  Some write to create a distraction that attracts a readership. I overheard an author describe one of my stories as ‘lame’.  I was interested to hear that from an author who was writing formula romance.  I like to think I am writing to engage (i.e., not distract) and I often hope that there is a readership attracted to my approach for creating entertainment with the purpose of engagement and sensitization. Perhaps bringing a different, albeit and entertaining way to look at vital matters.

  1. Do your stories come more from your own experiences or from observation of others?

Well, I can suggest with all sincerity I have not experienced any paranormal/mythic content. However, I sure enjoy working with the limitless subject matter.

With respect my writing in contemporary fiction, there are certain events, perhaps characters that inspire. For example, Kineta, or Kinny, a Border Collie that appears in some of my work was my companion for 17 years, until August 2012. She indeed was the inspiration for her own character and some of that written derives from some good times.

  1. Anything you would like to share with us about you and/or your writing?

There is a lot of material written in series, and various projects are always in the works. I would like my readers to know the well is deep and filling all the time with strong stories and characters who will continue to take on the tough social issues, while participating in strong stories.  

THE BOOKS

LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS

Please join Master Koda Select Publishing and me for the Book Release of LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS. Join us for fun, gifts, prizes, and to find ‘Lethal Believers: The Innocents’ to purchase and enjoy.


THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON

Selling in Paperback and Kindle/iPad at:

AMAZON – USA

AMAZON – CANADA



AMAZON - UK

        AMAZON – FRANCE

@G_MitchellBaker "THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON" Paperback – Now Selling in France #father #fam #family #Emerson http://tinyurl.com/bzfh99o

        AMAZON – GERMANY

@G_MitchellBaker "THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON" Paperback – Now Selling in Germany #father #fam #family #Emerson http://tinyurl.com/aw2dhp4

        BOOKADDA – INDIA

ITALY


            BRAZIL


            JAPAN


KINDLE U.S.



G. MITCHELL BAKER

BIO

G. Mitchell Baker enjoys living out west, from the southwest United States to western Canada. Having practiced law for more than twenty years, Baker enjoys researching and writing projects that draw him into the many genres, to include contemporary fiction, science fiction, and paranormal works of fiction.

In addition, a writer of feature length screenplays, G. Mitchell Baker enjoys adapting his novels to screenplay and, adapting his screenplays to novels. He has recently signed a family values kids adventure project to both publication, and, while agreeing to option the film rights for agreed to purchase terms. 

Baker has been fortunate to compete at the highest levels in sports to include baseball and karate.  This spirit leads to his also striving to compete at the highest levels to entertain his readership. It is in this spirit Baker invites you to visit and re-visit his anything but a 'Tired Barn' Website, and, to become familiar with his current and ongoing projects.  Please take the time to learn more about G. Mitchell Baker, his projects.

WEBSITE

GMITCHELLBAKERAUTHOR.COM

TWITTER:
@G_MITCHELLBAKER
       
        FACEBOOK:              

G. MITCHELL BAKER, AUTHOR:

LETHAL BELIEVERS:

THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Recommendation: "Trial by Journal"

Today I am lucky enough to have two job interviews and an audition to get ready for, so I am pretty short on time, but I wanted to at least get something to you guys today, so here is a book that I highly recommend: "Trial by Journal," by Kate Klise.

This book is an absolute delight to read. Thought it is a children's book, I highly recommend it for readers of all ages. Check it out:


Lily Watson is twelve. She's in sixth grade. She's about to serve on a jury for a murder trial-all because of a new law saying a child must serve on the jury when a trial concerns a child victim. She'll be out of school for a month, and that means she'll have to go to summer school. And That Is So Unfair.

Fortunately, the jury experience isn't all bad. The jury stays in the Menagerie Hotel, where every room is decorated like a different animal. They get a behind-the-scenes tour at a local zoo, home to Priscilla, the world-famous gorilla artist. Lily even makes friends with a glamorous movie star who happens to be on the jury. But nothing--even the fact that the hotel is part of the Tyle-0-Tropolis, an incredible entertainment complex-changes the fact that the jury is witnessing the trial of a man who has been accused of killing Perry Keet, an eleven-year-old boy who disappeared one day at the zoo. Lily has her own thoughts on what happened to Perry, and if the real story isn't revealed in court, she's going to find out for herself what happened.

Told through journals, memos, illustrations, newspaper articles, and court documents, Trial By Journal is both a funny mystery and an insider's look at the workings of a jury trial, by the author and illustrator of Regarding the Fountain and Letters From Camp.

A huge 5 stars from me! I hope you will try it out. I'm sure you will love it!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Ontario" Release Date, and Getting Motivated

Being a writer takes something special, something huge, and that thing is - motivation. 

Okay, so pretty much everything takes motivation, but in reality, a huge portion of what a writer does is based on how motivated they are and why they are motivated. What I want to tell you today is to STAY MOTIVATED! Find out what motivates you and hold to that thing like a kid follows Mickey in Disneyland. 

If you follow my blog you know that my motivation has been somewhat lacking lately. In my last post I presented you with a big list of writing-related things I was going to do. Yeah, guess how many of those things actually were accomplished on Friday . . . yeah, you're right. ZERO. Not because I didn't need to get them done, because I really do, but because I have been distracted lately. I haven't been very motivated. 

For six weeks I pushed and pushed myself and did nothing besides work on publishing Through the Paper Wall. Am I glad that process is over? Yes, I am. I was so excited to get working on publishing Ontario because it is very close to publishing quality, but I just haven't been feeling it. I haven't had that kick in the pants I need. For my first book I had a deadline that I had to make, because I told the world that was when the book would be available. I haven't had that luxury this time around. 

So, step one of getting myself back into the motivated world of serious writers: I am setting a release date for Ontario. Ready? Holding your breath? I know I am . . . 

APRIL 29!

Is that insane? Yes it is. But, it will also force me to get going! I want you to hold me to that date! I am going to do the best I can to be ready by then (certain things like cover art permissions may be out of my control), so send me lots of good vibes! And don't worry, I actually have worked on Ontario a bit. It's not like I am starting from scratch here. 

Another thing I haven't been motivated to do since I was caught up in publishing: Writing. I miss writing so much! Having a book published is totally awesome and I love the thought of having a second one published next month, but in all honestly, editing and formatting are really not my favorite things in the world. Writing is! So, I am getting back into writing. I have this amazing story called Lorn that just thrills me to death. I love it. I think it has huge potential. It's fantasy. It's young adult. It's edgy. It's also nearly complete. I wrote most of the story for Camp NaNoWriMo in August 2012 and it is so near the end I can't even believe that I stopped there. Well, it is finally going to end. For real.

Here's where I say a bit about knowing what motivates you. What motivates me more than anything in the world when I am writing? NaNoWriMo! Luckily, or unluckily, we will find out soon, Camp NaNoWriMo is making an appearance in April. That means I have only seven more days to finish Lorn. Wow, I am suddenly terrified ... This story is finally going to get finished, baby, and I have another fabulous one to work on in April, also one that I think has high potential. 

So, to sum up all of my ramblings today, I am jumping back on the motivation bandwagon, finishing a book, publishing another one, and starting yet another one, all within the next month or so. Yeah, I am totally insane, but whatever. It is gonna happen!

Here's to the lot of us getting motivated again!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Friday, March 22, 2013

Revamping Over the Weekend

Alright everybody, I'm tired of sitting around! This is going to be a quick post because I want to get back down to business. Things I am going to work on today, even if it totally wears me out:

  • Proofread more of Ontario
  • Go over others' edits of Ontario
  • Make a plan to finish Lorn before April
  • Decide what to write for Camp in April
  • Get blog back on track
Also, just because I feel like it, I have something special for all my blog, Facebook, and Twitter followers. I have been so happy about the wonderful reviews I've been receiving, and I wanted to give you all a little gift. Today only Through the Paper Wall is available for only $.99 on Smashwords! Sorry this doesn't really include those of you who already have a copy, but I appreciate you all so much, especially those who have written reviews. 

If you don't already have a copy of Through the Paper Wall, run out and get it today! Just head over to Smashwords and use this code: PP46B. Also, feel free to share this everywhere! I would love to get the word out and make the book available to as many people as possible. 

Thanks so much for all you do!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Slacker Time and "Ontario" update!

Wow guys, wow. Sorry! Holy cow I haven't posted since Thursday, which is insane. This little thing called life is sort of catching up with me! Some of the things I've been doing instead of blogging:

  • Going to basketball games
  • Reading
  • Surfing the web
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Boy drama
  • Choir rehearsals
  • Choir concerts
  • Choir party
  • Cleaning the house
  • Getting back to good eating habits
  • Job interviews
And. . . the list goes on. At least those aren't all bad things to be doing! I have also been selling more copies of Through the Paper Wall which is awesome, and I have received some more fabulous reviews as well! Since I've been doing all this other stuff I failed to look at my schedule, so the usual guest people, you know all the cool stuff, you'd normally get to see today and tomorrow just aren't gonna happen. Sorry about that! The least I can do it tell you about some exciting things that are coming up.

First, thanks to everybody who voted for Through the Paper Wall in the Goodreads Lucky '13 contest (you still can!). It was fun to run the contest and give away another free book, so thanks for participating. And speaking of contests *cough cough* see that thing over there in the right side bar? Yeah, that's something really cool courtesy of Rafflecopter. Surely lots of you know what that means. Let me just tell you, this contests is gonna be AWESOME and as you can see, the winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Ontario before it is actually released! Somebody is gonna be really lucky, and I can't wait to find out who! I'll be creating a Facebook even soon to get the word out, so make sure you share, share, share! We really want to get people involved in this!

Also, for the release of Ontario I am planning not only another blog tour, but also a launch party with even more prizes! So far I can think of three or four . . . woot! It's gonna be sweet! I am still in the process of doing final edits of my own and working on edits from my beta readers, as well as waiting to get permission to use the image I want for the cover! I'm planning on releasing the book in April, woohoo! I can't wait! 

So, there's a bit of an update for you. Really exciting things coming in the near future! As always, thanks so much for supporting me and hanging in there when I'm a slacker. Enjoy your first day of Spring!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guest Post from Linda Bowers Bolton!


What Are You Trying To Say

Ok, ok, I know this will freak you out...I know it did me, at first. I signed up on a dating sight.

I know, don't say it. I couldn't help myself. My writer/blogger friend, Aurora Morealist, mentioned it in the interview I did with her last month and I couldn't help myself. I was curious. Could I  really meet someone on that kind of site?

Well, let me just say, perusing the site is very entertaining. I know the site gives instructions on how to pick a good profile picture. We all know these sites are geared for looks first, personality second - if at all. So explain something to me guys...What are you thinking?

I'm flipping through the 200 men the site recommends I may have something in common with. The profile photos are surprising and, to be frank, quite scary in some cases. Guys, come on, in what planetary plane do you think a woman would find you attractive with a mouth full of food? Better yet, the photo where you cut out the ex-wife/girlfriend? Really? I still see her arm around you and her hand is on your shoulder with the hunk of diamond you bought her 15 years ago. Dudes, I am amazed! I know you may not want your friends knowing you're posting on a dating site but the pic in front of the bathroom mirror with your cell phone in your hand...wholly moly, have you no other photos? Could you just get someone to take a photo of you? Say its just 'cuz. Guys, guys (shaking my head in dispair), what are we going to do with you?

I love photos of scenery, but guys, I don't care how unfortunate you think you look, that will not get a woman to talk to you. We're just as afraid of how you look as you think you look. We don't like surprises. Have you noticed you can post more than one photo? That means, save the ones with your kids for those - not the profile. Yes, most women like kids and we know yours are important to you, but you are trying to get us to be attracted to you, not your 10 year old daughter or, for that matter, the small lap dog licking your face.

The photo doesn't have to be professional, just clear with enough light so we can see you, and close up enough we don't need a magnifying glass to see what you look like. Nothing fancy, unless you want to.
It would, also, be nice if you smiled a bit. Looking grumpy or a mug shot doesn't attract dates usually either.

Men, think about the photos of women you like to see. Do you realize we may take 40 photos to find just the right one? Granted, I don't see the profile pics of the women on the dating site, but I do know I tried to pick some of my best shots. I know my girlfriends on Facebook, also, take great pains to post the best photos.

Come on guys, get a clue. If you are looking for someone to spend some time with, attract her the right way...with your best foot forward.

-------

Take 2 is Linda Bolton’s first novel is available on Amazon. She is currently working on her second book to be released summer 2013. When she’s not writing, Linda is a GiGi, playing with her new granddaughter Z, and working full-time. While working on a future projects Linda can be found:







Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Author Interview: Jennifer Loiske

Today I am pleased to welcome Jennifer Loiske to my blog! She graciously agreed to answer some questions and I am excited for you all to get to know her! In this interview you'll learn about books and writers who have helped Jennifer, writers she admires, advice she has to give, and info about her writing!

Hi Jennifer, and welcome to my blog! Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast (mostly known as the Moomin Valley). I’m a pre-school teacher by profession but I stayed home when my youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. I guess that’s when I first considered starting writing again as I had to stay awake and monitor her whilst she was sleeping and it can be really sleepy and boring when the house is quiet… I’m a workaholic and I always have a lot of projects going on at the same time. I write articles to the magazines and I’m a part of the team that makes Epilepsy Finland Magazine. I love chips, cheesy teen movies (and series too!), books, animals and I have a soft spot for the ones in need of a helping hand. A huge part of my royalties go to charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals.


Wow, that is such a wonderful thing to do with your life! I hope someday to make enough money from my books that I can create a charity of my own. And Finland, I imagine that is a beautiful place! Now, to learn some more about you: I am one who thinks that it is vital for writers to read the works of others, so to start off with, what do you like to read?

I read mainly PNR but once in a while I try to jump out of my comfort zone and read something totally different.

Are there particular writers that you admire?
Many and with various reasons but just to mention a few I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s effortless way to write, Richelle Mead’s ability to keep up the suspension until the very last page and L.J. Smith’s versatility.

Those sounds like great writers to look up to. What have you learned about writing from reading the books that you love?

That one of the most important things is to create believable characters, end the chapters with a hook and make sure there are no mess ups in your plot.

Some really great advice! If there was one author you could meet with and learn from one on one, who would you choose?

Only one? Hmmm…maybe L.J. Smith as her imaginary worlds are beyond the others and also because she is one of the few writers whose books I like to read over and over again.

From your experience as a reader and writer, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Dare to dream and never give up! If you’re willing to work hard you will achieve your dream one day. But if you think the big publishers, movie producers and agents are gonna come knocking on your door while you just sit and wait…wake up! It takes a lot of hard work, sweat and tears before the success.

I love how you said that! Any advice for the editing process?

First advice: edit, edit, edit and then edit some more. And the second: Know when to quit editing!

I whole-heartedly agree. Editing is so important, but at some point you have to just let it go. If you could do everything over (writing your book, or publishing, etc.) would you change anything?

Yes. I think I did every possible mistake with my first book. So definitely yes. I would re-write some parts of the story and change the plot line a bit…

Yeah, I know what that feels like, haha. My first book is FAR from being anywhere near a publisher. Is there anything particularly helpful you have found as you have written/edited/published?

Gather an awesome writing team around you. You don’t have to do everything alone and it actually makes your writing better when you listen to what the others have to say about it.

You are just full of great advice today :) And now a for some more general questions, just for fun. To start off with, one of my favorite questions: What did you want to be when you were little?

Does Jane count? Although, I’m not sure I’d have been totally comfortable living in the jungle and jumping from tree to tree. But seriously (and don’t laugh) I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

Awesome! Do you plan on being a full time writer, or do you have other career plans?

Well, one can always dream, so yes, of course I wish I could be a full time writer and hopefully sooner than later.

How long have you been writing?

Since I knew what to do with a pen.

What do you write? Specific genres, ages groups, etc.

I write Paranormal and Paranormal Romance stories for young adults and new adults. I’ve also tried my wings with the children’s stories but somehow I always find myself in the middle of vampires, shape-shifters, witches and demons.

Why that particular genre/age group?

I have absolutely no idea. It could be something else too as the stories just pops into my mind and after that I’m like possessed. I simply have to write it down. Maybe it’s because I love PNR or maybe I’m not mature enough to write stories for adults, but either way I really love writing that genre.

Ebook, paperback, or hardcover?

Ebook and a paperback. I don’t care much about hardcovers. They’re not so easy to slip into the bag and besides they cost more than the other ones.

I completely agree. What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a sequel to my Immortal Blood series. I’m also part of the Authors For Charity, which is an association of writers who are willing to donate stories for charity (all profits go to charity!) and we just launched our first charity book TALES OF AN OLD WIZARD (age 9+ and up) and are organizing another charity book for young adults.

That sounds wonderful! I am lucky enough to have won a copy of Tales of an Old Wizard and I am excited to read it! What makes your writing unique?

That you have to ask from my readers.

Nice answer! Do you have any writing rituals? Treats you have to have, places you have to be, etc.?

I once answered this very same question saying no. But then I thought about it and I have to admit that every time I have a new story in mind I drive myself to a very dark place by exhausting both my mind and body before starting to write…I listen to a ‘dark music’, watch certain series, stay up all night and take a long walks whilst letting my brain work…

Sounds intense! What are some of your hobbies besides writing and reading?

I have two dogs and I try to train them whenever I have time. I also read a lot, sail, and try to drag myself to the gym.

You must have a lot of fun with those things! Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?

Actually no. But I always listen to music just before I start writing. I love Linkin Park, Evanescence, Adam Lambert, Bruno Mars, Disturbed, Pink, Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran and some I’m too ashamed to mention…

Haha, fair enough! And now, the big quesion: Where can people go to learn more about you and your work? 


Why would someone like your book(s)?

Hmm…well, most of them are fun and engaging (CLUB NUMBER FIVE, BLACK DIAMOND). A bit sassy and quite ‘easy’ to read. But if you’re looking for more serious PNR then my Shape Shifter series (IMMINENCE, SEDUCTION) are the ones to read. It’s a series full of possibilities, facts about epilepsy, wolves and of course some young paranormal love…

They sounds really interesting, and totally something Caitlin Hensley would be interested in. For a little bit of fun, how old were you when you finished your first book?

Twenty-ish. It was a children’s book but then life happened and I had to put my writing aside for a while. It took almost six years after that before I was able to start writing again.

How long did it take you to write it?
About one year. Yeah, I know I’m a slow writer…and yeah, it only had thirty-ish pages…

I think any pace of writing is great :) You mentioned some of your published books earlier, but can you tell us about everything you currently have available? 

Yes. I have two books from my Shape Shifter series out, IMMINENCE and SEDUCTION. Then I have a first book, CLUB NUMBER FIVE, from my Immortal Blood series and BLACK DIAMOND from McLean Twins out. I also have published a charity book, THE TALES OF AN OLD WIZARD, with four other writers and two of my short stories have been published in Little Acorn Press’s anthology.

And just because I have to ask everyone, because I am sort of obsessed, have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? 

Nope. Maybe some day but that would require me being a lot more organized and discipline than I am.

And one last question. So many writers, all of them I think, occasionally have problems being motivated. What do you do to keep yourself going when you aren’t motivated?
So far I’ve always been motivated. I have so many writing projects going on at the same time that if I get bored with one I always have another one waiting. So never a dull moment.

There you go writers, just be like Jennifer and always be motivated! That's my new goal, since I haven't been doing much lately. Jennifer, thank you so much for such a great interview! Thanks for stopping by today! Readers, I hope you learned a lot today, because I did! Don't forget to show some love and check out Jennifer's sites and books. Have a great day!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Special Post: Elementary School Career Day

Today I am doing a very special post instead of my usual Tuesday book review. My eleven-year-old brother Chad is my best buddy, so when he asked me to come to his school's career day I couldn't refuse, even though public speaking is the LAST thing I would normally volunteer for! I thought it would be cool and a great experience. Until last night. Then I started freaking out. But thanks to my Master Koda family I pulled some things together and created what I thought would be a good presentation. It was my job to present to the students the "tools of the trade" for an author, and tell them more about the career. I felt a little bit unqualified, considering I self published and that only happened less than a month ago, but it was a lot of fun to be able to answer the kids' questions. Most of them were really fascinated. One sixth grade class did what I expected and just didn't really care that I was there, but the others were fantastic. I was pretty much as famous as J.K. Rowling in Chad's class, thanks to all the talking up he has done about my book and I in his class, haha! Several of the kids wanted copies! So, when Chad gets home today I may have to place another order. Chad got to follow me around to the four classes I spoke in and so I had him take pictures :)


The props I chose to use: Notebook, tiny notebook, Kindle, my published book, my first finished book. I loved asking them what they thought the "tools of the trade" were for authors. Almost always the first answer was "a pancil." One kid said "a lot of erasers, because you can't just cross things out because that won't look good in a book," haha! That was from the second grade class. I talked to them about always having something to write down your thoughts (or a voice recorder like a phone), spelling, grammar, computer skills (I talked about formatting and ebooks here), people skills (a.k.a. networking with other authors), and imagination. Imagination was my big one. I read them an excerpt from Through the Paper Wall, which I will tell you more about in a couple of minutes. 

  

First I talked to some first graders. Holy cow, they were adorable, and their morning work just so happened to be writing full sentences and reading comprehension, woot! So I tied that in. My tiny notebook was a huge hit. They thought it was as adorable as I thought they were. Their favorite books were Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat!

 

These kids were awesome. A little timid, but awesome. Their teacher came up and showed me a book that one of the kids had made. She told me how they had been writing their own stories and that she typed them up, then they illustrated them. They were so cool! That's what I'm holding in that picture there with the teacher. 

 

The second class I went to was a sixth grade class, but they were the boring one, so there aren't any pictures, haha! They weren't totally boring though. Like, the teacher asked me how long the entire process of writing the book and editing and publishing took, too which I had to respond that my particular book was very out of the ordinary, since it only took me twelve days to write and I only spent six weeks on editing and everything until it was actually published. Very un-typical!

These pictures are from Chad's sixth grade class, so of course he took pictures of his classmates. I like that the one picture shows somebody asking a question. The girl in the pink asked me how I actually got my book published, so I told her about the traditional route, and then what I did.


 

 


That last picture is from my very favorite class! I LOVED THEM! They were second graders and they were spunky. I let them answer my questions for longer than the other classes and I let them ask more questions because they were just so great. See the kid in the green shirt? He's in front of the guy with the red sweater. This kid was totally my favorite. He made my day and validated my entire existence! To illustrate how I use my imagination as a writer, I read all the classes an excerpt from Through the Paper Wall. I read the part where I describe my character Blaze. Here is part of what I read:

"The boy's hair was very spiky-looking and it stuck straight up, except for every few seconds when the spikes did a sort of wave, as if a gust of wind had come by. Occasionally the spikes of hair just sort of quivered like someone standing out in the cold."

When I finished reading I looked up and saw that the little dude in the green shirt had his hands up by his hair and was, I don't know how to describe it, sort of waving his hands and fingers around the top of his hair. This huge grin broke across my face and...

Heidi: Can you picture what his hair looks like?
Kid: Yeah, and my hair is spiky today too!

Haha, it made me so happy! And then a bunch of the other kids started doing it too! I seriously loved this class. I got to tell them that one of my very favorite series was Horrible Harry and they freaked out and almost all of them had read those books or knew what I was talking about. One little girl asked me what "grammar" meant, which made me smile. The same little girl asked me if I had written any kids stories. At first I said no, but then I remembered! So I told them about a story that I started a while ago and sort of forgot about, Jerry the Dragon Slayer, to which one kid responded by swiftly cutting with his arm to one side like a dragon slayer! AMAZING! The other kids all ooh-ed and ah-ed over the title. That's it, I just decided. I'm gonna finish that story for them and give their class free copies because they were just so dang awesome! I can just see their faces...


When all was said and done I wished I could stay and be a second-grader for ever. No lie. I still wish that, actually. As I left a lady gave me this thank you gift, which I love and will totally use! I needed some more, and I love the tab-like ones!


Overall I had a great time, even though my worries were made real a little bit in that one class, but it was totally worth it for that second grade class. It was also worth it because Chad was, and is, so proud and he was totally beaming because he got to show me off, because his sister didn't have some ordinary job - she was an author! One last thing: Chad wanted to record me, so here's the bit that he recorded, in the second grader classroom! Not one of my better moments, but oh well, you'll get an idea. It is pretty quiet, so if you can't hear, I am telling them that it is really important for writers to read. Either way, it was awesome. 

video

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Tip and Update

Hi everybody, sorry today's post is gonna be short and hopefully sweet. Pretty sure I forgot to update you guys on Friday, yet again. I really need to knock that off! So, here's an update, and why I am being so quick today: I have begun reading through/editing Ontario and I plan to send it off to my beta readers by the end of the week. Tomorrow I have the privilege to speak at my little brother's elementary school about being an author. I am sort of excited, but mostly terrified. We'll see how that goes. My bro's pretty much made me famous in his class, so at least his class should be fun to present for.

For your writing tip today I want to refer you to this post by Elyce Gobat, who I have previously had on this blog. Her post today was fantastic and I'd like to pass it along. It talks about how travel can help your writing, and you can find it here. I hope you enjoy it and learn something!

Also, don't miss out on your chance to win a free book in my contest, which ends this Friday:

CONTEST!!! Please share this to get people involved! Head over to this link and vote for "Through the Paper Wall" then leave a comment or reply on my author page (Author Heidi Nicole Bird) letting me know that you did, and your name will be entered into a drawing to win a free paperback copy of "The Wardrobe" by Susan Elliston (will only be mailed inside the U.S.) or a free ebook of "Through the Paper Wall." Winner's choice! Check out the book trailer for "The Wardrobe" on Youtube. What are you waiting for? Vote, vote, vote! Winner will be drawn this Friday, March 15th. 

Note: To be entered you MUST tell me on my author page!
My page: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiNicoleBird
Where to Vote: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/29181.Lucky_13s
Simply find "Through the Paper Wall" and click "vote for this book"

- Heidi Nicole Bird