INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Olivia deBelle Byrd

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DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS  by the author. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by requirement of the Federal Trade Commission.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Tell us a little about yourself.

 

I was born and bred in Panama City, Florida, on the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. My grandfather, Wyatt Oates Byrd, moved to Panama City in 1930 to open a Nehi Bottling Company. I graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, am a former elementary school teacher and was a stay-at-home mom for my children, Tommy Jr and Elizabeth. My husband, Tommy, and I still reside in Panama City.

 

What was your favorite part of the writing process?

 

Being raised by a Southern father and grandmother of uncommon wit, humor flowed as freely as water from a faucet in our household. When I finally put pen to paper, the stories poured forth as though an age-old tap had been discovered and turned on. I loved the gush of warm and euphoric remembrances and seeing these memories transposed into the written word.

 

What are you currently reading?

 

The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan. It is a wonderful love story of two Harvard students who fall in love on the eve of World War I and face a world at war on opposing sides. At a recent trade show, I was on a war panel with Allegra. She is a delight and the book is brilliant. Now, why a Southern humorist and self-proclaimed Southern belle like myself was on a WAR panel is another story!

 

How many books do you normally read at a time?

 

I only read one book at a time from beginning to end and I read for details. I want it all! Once I start a good book, I am lost to the world. When my children were young, I did not dare start a book until they went to bed or they might end up playing in traffic!

 

Your new book, SAVE MY PLACE, is so very different from your first book, MISS HILDRETH WORE BROWN. How did this story begin to germinate?

 

My first book was what I like to call ‘real life’ fiction—things that really happened—but I embellished them with anecdotes.  With this first novel, Save My Place, I started with the main character, who actually began talking to me and telling me about her life.  Eventually, I had to get her story on paper, and that’s when I got up in the middle of the night and wrote about her first, with a lot of character development.

 

I don’t believe writers are ever sure as to how things actually come about in a story.  The college and teaching experiences contain some true stories, but with the introduction of Kincaid, it definitely becomes completely fiction.

 

In SAVE MY PLACE you wrote, very convincingly, about “Old Panama City Beach”, which is where you are from, and the Vietnam era.  Did you write from personal experience?

 

Panama City Beach is definitely part of my history.  We used to have house parties here, and my descriptions of the motels were spot on, because those experiences were really true.

 

Vietnam was very pivotal for me when I was in college.  The draft was unsettling for everyone, but men were able to get deferments in some cases.  Even though I lived through the war, I did a great deal of research, because the timeline was very important.  I researched battles and interviewed someone who served, twice, in Vietnam.  I also talked to a West Point graduate, because it’s the little details that made the story more true to life.

 

Along those same lines, in SAVE MY PLACE the experience of losing a child to leukemia was very sad, but eventually brought your characters to a deeper faith.  What was your motivation with this part of the story line?

 

A friend had a portrait of her daughter, who had died, and she talked so beautifully, and handled it with such grace, I never forget her, her story, and how she handled it.  Before I included this part in the book, I found my friend on the Internet; we renewed our friendship; and, she gave me permission to use her experience.  I also interviewed a physician from M.D. Anderson who was able to share the appropriate protocols, and walked me through what would have been done in the 70s. 

 

And, yes, the experience was what turned Kincaid to God.  I wanted to impart that it was a child who brought him to seek God and an understanding of faith.

 

There was also an extremely poignant chapter about a teacher.  Is that part of your history as well, or did you pick it out of the headlines?

 

Having the character shave her head was complete fiction.  However, I did teach school for seven years, and actually made the dress I mentioned and had the kids decorate it. We did make the newspaper!

 

Why the nom de plume?

 

I didn’t make it up, because it’s my actual maiden name, and was too good to waste! I really liked what Melinda Rainey Thompson, author of SWAG: SOUTHERN WOMEN AGING GRACEFULLY said about the name:  ‘The first thing I liked about SAVE MY PLACE was the author’s name:  Olivia deBelle Byrd.  If you can’t make it as a writer in the South with a name like that, well, you’re not really trying, are you?’

 

 

Learn more about Olivia at www.oliviadebellebyrd.com

 

 

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: AUTHOR INTERVIEW – J.G. Clay

DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by the author. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by requirement of the Federal Trade Commission.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

 

J.G Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem……

 

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

 

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

 

 

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told, the Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?

I’ve always been interested in writing ever since I was a child. In English classes, I used to pen my own ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Blakes 7’ adaptions. Once I
discovered horror through some older uncles my path to the Dark Side was pretty well set. I wrote for my amusement and to try and emulate what peope like Clive Barker, Stephen King and James Herbert were  doing. Eventualy, I found my own voice.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?

I just took the plunge. Being a published author had been on my mind for some time, but a combination of fear and life in general just got in the way. A couple
of years ago, I just thought ‘what the hell, let’s go for it’ and self published the original ‘Tales of Blood and Sulphur’. It was a case of ‘if I don’t do it now, I never will’, so I just did it.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

A few more fears than they already had, I hope. I want the reader to feel the way I normally do after reading a particularly good book or watching a great film –
a combination of fear, wonder, a little and asking how did he think that up?’

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Sculpting out believable characters, then putting them in an unbelievable situation and watching how they react. Quite often, the characters surprise me. That’s the fun of it.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Ending the story. Each of the ‘Tales of Blood and Sulphur’ have about four different endings. I go with the with one that fells best by the editing stage. Even
then, I’m not a hundred per cent sure of what I’ve done-
whether it was the right ending or not. I’ll leave that one up to the readers.

What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?

Read lots, write lots and grow the hide of a rhino. Bein an author these days requires a thick skin. It’s not for the faint hearted.
What ways can readers connect with you?

Readers can get me on social media on the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jgclay1973
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jgclay1

I also have a website which is being updated at the time of writing but should be up and running shortly – http://jgclayhorrorauthor.com/

Please feel free to pop along and say hello. I always respond and it’s always good to chat the readers. Plus, despite what you may have heard about horror
authors, I don’t bite. Most of the time, anyway.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J.G Clay is definitely a Man of Horror. There can be no doubt. Putting aside the reverence he has for the horror greats, such as King, Barker, Herbert, Carpenter, Romero and Argento, there is another fact that defines his claim for the title of the ‘Duke of Spook’. He was born on Halloween night. By a quirk fate, it was also a full moon that night. Co-incidence?

Here at Clay Towers, we don’t believe in coincidences.

 

The 41 year old hails from the Midlands in the United Kingdom, is married with one step child and two dogs that bear a strong resemblance to Ewoks. Beyond the page and the written word, he is music mad and can hold down a tune on a bass guitar pretty well. He is an avid reader and also has an enduring love of British sci-fi, from the pages of the ‘2000A.D’ comic to the televised wanderings of Gallifrey’s most famous physician. Clay is also a long-time fan of the mighty Birmingham City Football Club and endures a lot of flak from his friends for it.

AUTHOR LINKS

Social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jgclay1973

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JGClay1

 

Available from:

AMAZON

Kindle US : http://amzn.to/1TX8Jhu

Paperback US: http://amzn.to/1CZpm7F

Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1RYqLlM

Paperback UK: http://amzn.to/1KoFNKP

 

Nook (Barnes & Noble): http://bit.ly/1CUUYMd

 

And Apple iBooks

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS FLASHBACK: BLOG TOUR – Monday, Sunday

Monday Sunday Tour

Fenton GraceMonday, Sunday by Fenton Grace:

Publisher: Hanover Press (May 4, 2015)
Category: Women’s Fiction, Literary, Contemporary, with a Noir edge
ISBN: 978-0-9961534-0-9
Tour Date: August/September, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 287 Pages

Set in a small town in Colorado, Monday, Sunday tells the enthralling story of Laney Secord.  She is a 32-year-old single mother who finds herself attracted to a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, Christopher.  Unable to accept her feelings, Laney becomes involved with Christopher’s father, Bill.  In the course of a week, a romantic triangle envelops the trio and changes their lives in ways in which none of them could have imagined.

A gripping story of a complex woman at a crossroads in her life. A woman who is determined to rediscover herself.  She becomes powerfully aware that every decision she makes could mean life or.. death.

“In this beautifully written and compelling novel, author Fenton Grace explores the consequences of flawed choices, the nature of betrayal and forgiveness, and the boundaries of sexual attraction.” Noah, Book Reviewer

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

What initially got you interested in writing?

I’ve been interested in writing since high school.  Initially, I wrote poetry.  I quickly realized that you can’t make much of a living writing verse.  Over the years, I turned to writing novels.

 

How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?

I was inspired in part by the success that some indie authors have had self-publishing their work.  I heard the story of how E.L. James published “50 Shades of Grey” when the film was released, and I thought, Why not give it a chance?  The opportunities in self-publishing didn’t exist ten years ago.  It’s almost as if the major publishing houses of today are actually Amazon, Nook, and Lulu.  Previously, almost all writers were dependent on the New York literary machine for their work to reach an audience.  I think a revolution is afoot, and I’m happy to be part of it.

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

I’d like readers to learn to have a little more compassion for their fellow man.  I’d like them to realize that the world can be a better place.  The self-contained world that is embodied in a novel can pave the way for these opportunities.

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

I think the most rewarding aspect of writing is being able to create a living, breathing universe, replete with characters, places, things, ideas, and anything your imagination can conjure.  Novel writing in particular has no limits.  You can write a book like “Ulysses” or you can write “Valley of the Dolls”.  All have their merits.  Some are pure entertainment.  Some are chock full of ideas and offer a complete lack of entertainment.  Many are a blend.  Being able to express ideas and thoughts through your characters’ storylines is very exciting.  It enables me as an author to experience things that I couldn’t through an ordinary course of living.

 

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?

I think the hardest part is making what characters do and say be believable.  It’s interesting that you can take a completely factual incident, dramatize it exactly how it happened, and a reader won’t perceive it as being real.  That’s where the craft comes in.  You need to change things, heighten certain points, ignore others.  And most of all fib.  That’s what fiction is about – fibbing, all in the essence of creating “truth”.  What makes it especially hard is that the author often can’t see the missing points him or herself.  We need readers or editors to point things out so we can improve our scenes.

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

I’d tell anyone who wants to be a writer that a back-up career is needed.  Very few people actually make a good living writing full-time.  They usually have some other occupation that pays the bills.  I’d encourage young people to learn some trade or profession where they can make a living that will suit their needs.  They should find something that they like almost as much as writing because chances are, they’ll be spending most of their waking hours at that profession.  In their free time, they should write.  Write as if it’s a hobby, because essentially, that’s what it will be for most writers at the beginning.  Write every day, get feedback from as many professionals as you can, learn the craft from taking courses, participating in workshops, and most of all through practice.

 

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

 

I like to connect with people via Twitter.  It’s a great way to stay in touch on current activiites.  I welcome direct messages from readers and writers.  I have a website (www.FentonGrace.com), which I update with important news about my novel and my work.

 

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

As the water ran over her hands, Christopher placed his clipboard on the counter near the breakfast area.  He was fidgeting toward the kitchen island, closer to her, as if he were listening to music in his head.  When he noticed her watching, he stopped.

“You can have a seat if you’d like,” she said.

He smirked, angling around the stool and spinning the seat before spreading his legs and sitting down.

“You must be getting ready to go off to college soon?” she ventured.

“If my SAT’s are good, I hope to get into Boulder.”

“Boulder’s my alma mater.”

His eyes lit up.  “For real?”

‘For real’:  She was struck by the enthusiastic way he used the expression.  “What do you want to study?” she asked.

“Business.”

The confidence of his answer impressed her.  He would probably be quite successful in corporate America.

“For me, it was psychology.”

“Nice.”  He let his voice trail off in such a way that suggested he was referring not to psychology but to something else.

She turned off the faucet and watched the water flow down the drain, drying her hands on a towel propped against the granite backsplash.

His eyes darted about the room.  She put the towel on the counter, where a picture of Jay was set in a silver frame.  In it, he waved hello—or goodbye—while trekking up a trail.  It was the last photo she had taken of him.

Christopher’s feet tapped on the footrest of the stool, unsettling her.  She noticed him scratching or reaching for something in his pocket.  She cautiously filled a glass of water using the automatic dispenser on the refrigerator door.  Her twitching fingers cooled.  As she handed him the glass, he stood and pulled a stool from the island and offered it to her.

She tried to dispel the flush of her cheeks.  “Such a gentleman,” she said, half sarcastically, half flirtatiously.

“I try,” he said, picking up on her sarcasm, his eyes narrowing, suggesting that he enjoyed her tone.  “At sixteen, you have to keep up your image.”  He gave a quick wink.

The wink struck her as odd.  Perhaps he was trying to imitate what he saw older men do.  At the same time, she found the gesture charming.

Sixteen, she thought.

 

About Fenton Grace:Fenton Grace

Fenton Grace was born and raised in New England.  She graduated from Brown University with a degree in French.  She enjoys playing piano, tennis, and keeping in shape with Pilates.  She’s worked in the entertainment industry at several television and movie studios in a variety of business services roles.  Happily married for 17 years, she is the proud mother of two kids and currently lives in beautiful Southern California.  Monday, Sunday is her first novel.

Website: www.FentonGrace.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fentongraceus

Buy Monday, Sunday by Fenton Grace:

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
LuLu

Follow the Monday, Sunday by Fenton Grace Tour:

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BitchesbeWriten Aug 4 Excerpt

Mallory Heart Reviews Aug 5 Review

Infinite House of Books Aug 6 Interview & Excerpt

Books & Tales Aug 10 Interview

Pomegranate Radio Aug 11 Podcast Review

Mythical Books Aug 12 Interview

JBronder Book Reviews Aug 13 Review

The Book Rest Aug 14 Review

Two Children and a Migraine Aug 18 Review

Lisa’s Writopia Aug 19 Review & Interview

Eskimo Princess Book Reviews Aug 21 Excerpt  & Giveaway

Deal Sharing Aunt Aug 24 Review & Interview

Room With Books Sept 11 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Totally Addicted to Reading Sept 18 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Monday Sunday TourWriter In Progress Sept 24 Review & Giveaway