It’s About Living

We are excited to announce that It’s About Living, the 2014 Durham Editing and E-books Memoir Anthology is now available in print and digital edition.

Its About Living Final Cover

You can grab a free copy on Smashwords now through October 5, 2014.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/477466
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: VR93H
Expires: October 5, 2014

You can also find a print edition on Createspace:

https://www.createspace.com/5005286

If you prefer Amazon,, the book is available in Kindle format now, and the print version will be available within the week.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NOEGKEE

 

You can also check out the great book trailer on YouTube for this collection.

Thanks for all your support for the great authors that made this collection possible!

 

Our September Featured Author – Queen of Spades

Durham Editing and E-books is proud to introduce our featured author for September, Queen of Spades. Originally hailing from Summit, Mississippi, but now calling Trenton, New Jersey, her hometown, this award-winning writer has produced collections of both poems and short stories. As a contributor to two DEE anthologies, Words of Fire and Ice and Summer Shorts II: Best Kept Secrets, her poems and stories speak to life from the depths of her soul. Queen of Spades is also a reviewer on The Review Board and featured columnist/editor-in-chief of All Authors Magazine, as well as a volunteer editor on ReadWave.

seeingmicfoley

Writing since the age of 11, Queen of Spades began to showcase her poetry in the mid-1990’s on Fireseek (later renamed Urban Poetic), an Internet website. Queen of Spades continued her online run in Vocalized Ink, House of Ra, and International House of Poets, among others. As member-turned-administrator of the International House of Poets, she hosted Soulful Branches: Simply Words and the accompanying CD, Soulful Branches: Words and Sounds.

After a publishing hiatus, Reflections of Soul and Eclectic were both released in 2013. Older works were recollected in new editions in Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations and Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Private Pain was an Amazon bestseller in Contemporary Poetry, Women’s Poetry, and Biographical Fiction. Two short stories, “Taint on Religion” and “Mr. Bradley’s Garden” (first debuting in Summer Shorts II) have been released independently.

Future projects include a short story collective, Continuous Drips (winter 2014), and a short story anthology, Concordant Vibrancy, presented by All Authors Publishing House (anticipated release: January 2015).

earringsandpendant

We were able to catch up with Queen of Spades, and she graciously gave us a few answers on indie books, pen names, and the happiness of petting her cat Ma Maow.

When did you first start writing?

I first started writing at the age of eleven. At first, it was strictly journal entries. Along the way, the composition turned into mostly poetry. At the age of thirteen, prose and short story writing were added to poetry. During my high school years, I experimented with playwriting and, at the end of my senior year, was invited to write articles for my school newspaper. Everything just blossomed from there.

Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your writing?

I grew up in a small town called Summit, located in the southwestern part of Mississippi. The rural community that surrounded me was closely knit—in the sense that it wasn’t strange for neighbors to stop by for small talk or to yell across the street, “Hey, how are you doing?” Some of my writings may have a conversational type feel to them, as if you and I were sitting on an outside porch catching up. Yet the influences in my writing stem more from what I’ve experienced rather than being equivalent to my origins.

Where do you pull the inspiration for your works?

Inspiration comes from many different places. It would take quite a few pages to talk about the inspiration from my poetry collections, but I can cover some of the short stories.

• “Taint on Religion”: I wanted to explore the fine line between spirituality vs. religion and acceptance vs. redemption.
• “Mr. Bradley’s Garden”: I woke up in the middle of the night and smelled crowder peas. Since I’m living up North, one can’t find crowder peas in this area. My late grandfather grew a vegetable garden, and one of my favorite things to eat (which he grew) was crowder peas. A few hours after that, I started writing the story.
• “When Summer Lingers”: I stopped by the dollar store to pick up a few things and noticed this lady spending the longest time mulling over nail polish. When I was at the checkout counter, out of the corner of my eye she was still there. The image stuck with me.

When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your time?

I spend a lot of time reading. Even if I wasn’t doing reviews for The Review Board, I would read anyway because I love doing it. I also sketch from time to time. I listen to music and look at movies.

What inspires you to get out of bed each morning?

For me, it’s always the little things. Being able to pet Ma Maow the cat. The promise of a delectable cup of hot tea or coffee. Ideas for more stories dancing in my head. Interacting with my husband. All of those are just the icing on the cake. Overall, it’s a blessing to be able to even get up because there are so many who didn’t get the chance to.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

The best way for me to approach this question is to think of it in the following way: What are your five favorite indie books, and why? If we encompassed all, I’d be unable to narrow it down to five. These are in no particular order:

MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis by Y. Correa: I am very impressed with the accuracy of dialect and background. In this, she is able to convey passion without being overly blatant—a perfect balance between realistic and romantic.

Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks: Outstanding job with dialect, location, and characters! I actually felt like I was sitting on someone’s porch listening to the story. While reading it, I found myself speaking the accents aloud.

Glimmer and other stores by Nikki McDonagh: The originality and versatility of this collection is something one can rarely find. Each story is top notch, and all of the scenes are so vivid.

WORDPLAY: Damnation (Book Two of the WORDPLAY poetry series) by Andrew Boyd: This book has a darker feel than the rest of the collection, but it’s the “I can relate to that ambiance” which hits home. In quite a few ways, WORDPLAY: Damnation can run parallel to my work Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes in the arenas of intensity and relationship dysfunction.

As the Budda Flows by Angela “Lykebudda” White: A realistic view in poetic form of longing, loving, losing and learning. It is short but has maximum impact.

What is the best writing advice you can give another writer?

Wow! That is a tough one. If I had to place it into one statement, it would be: be at your most authentic but don’t let author blindness deter growth in the craft. Here is what I mean. With the vast amount of storylines recycled, one has to do something to catch the attention and stand out. As an author, one should do his/her best to present it in an original way (if one cannot come up with an original idea). Present what feels natural because authenticity sells better to the reader. On the same token, a writer can be so attached to his/her work that author blindness can develop—sometimes to the point where even when areas of improvement are pointed out by a reader or reviewer, the author may be a bit quick to chide that other person “just doesn’t understand the work” or is “being malicious”. The emotional reaction overtakes actually reading the comments to see if they have any merit. Being a writer isn’t for the thin-skinned. If one doesn’t want criticism, then he/she shouldn’t even press the publish button to make it public. To survive, one has to be open to improvement, even if he/she doesn’t like the delivery of the criticism.

new me

Do you feel that using a pen name is freeing when writing? Do you think that using a pen name puts a different set of expectations on the writer?

Yes, the use of a pen name is incredibly freeing. Queen of Spades actually started off as practically a separate person, a cathartic channel during my younger years more so than an actual pen name. I’m a different person now than I was back then, yet overall, Queen of Spades tends to fit. The second part of the question I’m not one hundred percent certain how to answer, simply because I don’t know what readers expect for a Queen of Spades publication to represent. All I can tell you is that I strive for material people can connect to—whether it is presented poetically or in the form of short stories.

What are you working on now?

(laughing to self) What aren’t I working on? I tend to keep very busy. Not sure to blame it on being a Virgo, workaholic tendencies, or both. My editing duties on Read Wave and for All Authors Magazine are pretty continuous. Reviewing for The Review Board (and individual review requests) keep me rather productive as well.
But wait, you meant writing, didn’t you?

Poetry wise: I’m broadening my horizons as it pertains to my writings so it will be bit of a wait before I come out with another poetry collection. With the exception of a possible part two to M.J. Holman’s project (and that may be more prose than anything), don’t expect to see anything until very late next year or possibly 2016.

Short stories: I am part of a collective entitled Continuous Drips, set to release in winter 2014. It will feature three short stories by me, three by author Synful Desire, and three by author Da’Kharta Rising. In addition, All Authors Publications and Promotions will debut its very first short story anthology, Concordant Vibrancy, for the start of 2015.

We wish to thank Queen of Spades for time away from her busy schedule and her insights into the world of the written word. You can find more information on Queen of Spades at the following resources.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorqueenofspades
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorqspades
Koobug (A Queen’s Ramblings): http://www.koobug.com/queenofspades
Blog (A Queen’s Ramblings): http://aqueensramblings.blogspot.com
Website: http://authorqueenofspades.com
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/queenspades
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/nolabels

Queen of Spades is also having a good many specials this month on her publications, and she shared the following information with us so we could share it with you. Hope you all enjoy her work!

In celebration of my upcoming (thirty something-ish) birthday, I am offering 30% off all of my paperback titles on CreateSpace. The titles must be purchased directly from CreateSpace. The discount code will not work on Amazon. The sale is from September 1st-30th. Discount Code: B8YB3TXS

On Smashwords only, the following electronic copies of these titles will be FREE for the entire month of September. Please key in the discount code in parenthesis to take advantage of the savings.

For Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes, keep your eyes on Amazon during the last week of September for a special offer!

 

Writing Process Blog Tour

Today we would like to say thank you to Chantal Bellehumeur, a very talented Canadian writer we have had the honor to work with several times this year. Chantal invited us to participate in a Writing Process Blog Tour. This is our first ever, and we are very excited to take part.

Here are the rules for all of you who would like to participate in this blog tour

Rules:
1. Introduce who referred the blog tour to you.
2. Answer the following four questions:

1) What am I working on?

2) How does my work differ from others in the genre?

3) Why do I write what I do?

4) How does my writing process work?

3. Introduce the people you are passing this on to who will then post on their blogs.

We met Chantal through Facebook. She joined us on our women writer’s anthology Aspiring to Inspire, a collection of works by women writers that stayed at the Smashwords #1 slot in its genre for over two months. She has also worked with us on Words of Fire and Ice, Summer Shorts II: Best Kept Secrets, and our upcoming It’s About Living, our 2014 memoir anthology. Chantal is a very talented mulit-genre author with numerous books available, including her recent memoir My Memoir of Motherhood, her feel-good book Not Alone, and Emily- A Compilation of Short Stories. You can find out more about her by visiting her website: http://author-chantal-bellehumeur.webnode.com/. You can also check her out on our Author Page.

Currently we are working on our memoir collection due out next month. This is turning into a really great collection, and we are really excited to see it come together. Submissions end on August 25, 2014, so there is still time to get a piece in for consideration if anyone is interested.

As far as how our anthologies differ from other anthologies, the best way to think about this would be in our overall approach. We feel that these collections are a group effort and that every writer is vital to the book’s success. We hope to help each writer involved by introducing new readers to new authors. We have a good many authors who write with us, and we are always looking for new authors to help. We offer unlimited e-book editions of the collection to all writers included via Smashwords to share with whomever they would like. This is really different from other places.

We create our anthologies for the express purpose of helping other writers. We have found that when authors team up and work together big things can happen. Five of our seven anthologies have hit #1 on Smashwords, and the other two have made it to the top ten. That is an amazing accomplishment, and each writer involved deserves the credit. Way to go!

When we plan a collection, we think of what we would like to incorporate. We focus on how we can involve and connect the collection without narrowing our focus to one set topic. We also try to find something that speaks to the heart.

 

We’ll be passing this on to April J. Durham at her personal blog: http://bewilderedwriter.blogspot.com. April formats and designs covers for our collections and is a writer with a recent book out.

Second, we will pass this on to Patrick Durham at http://patrickshanedurham.blogspot.com/. Patrick has several projects he is working on as well.

We will also pass this along to Mellissa Black, a writer who has worked with us numerous times–enough to be considered a “house writer.”  http://terminalsunshine.com/

Please feel free to join in by posting a link to our blog and following the rules laid out above. We hope you’ll join us!

Best wishes and God bless,

The Durhams

Our August Featured Author-Connie Langhorst

We are pleased to introduce Connie Langhorst as our Featured Author for the month of August. Connie’s essay, “The Age of Boxing and Bedwetting,” appeared in Aspiring to Inspire, an anthology of women writers that was released by Durham Editing and E-books in April 2014. Her memoir, Finding Happy, was published by AuthorHouse in 2006. Langhorst’s works have appeared in various publications and literary journals, including The Scarab and Eckerd Review. Her essay, “Lost and Found,” is slated to appear in the August issue of Animal, A Beast of a Literary Magazine, and an essay she wrote on teaching in a nontraditional setting is scheduled to appear in a pedagogy textbook (pending release by an international publisher in 2015).

Connie while visiting the Grand Canyon.

Connie while visiting the Grand Canyon.

Connie is a military veteran and currently resides in Tierra Verde, Florida. In addition to teaching and writing, Connie works as a realtor and has served the Pinellas Realtor Organization as a blogger and feature writer. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from the Red Earth Low-Residency Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma City University in January 2014 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Eckerd College in 2009. Connie has twice been invited to attend Writers in Paradise hosted by Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River). She is a member of/affiliated with Anarchist Writers Group of St. Petersburg at Eckerd College, Writers in Paradise Alumni Group, WordSmitten, Binders Full of Women, and is a Red Earth MFA in Creative Writing Alumni.

We were able to catch up with Connie this past month and talk with her about her personal inspirations for writing, her memoir, and how a dog can make a good lumbar pillow.

When did you first start writing?

In junior high school, I began submitting greeting card ideas, written by hand on index cards, to Gibson Greeting Card Company (now American Greeting). To my surprise; checks, in payment for my ideas, began arriving. For this, I was smitten (or maybe bitten by the writing bug).

Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your writing?

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was my home from 1955 to 2002. I was raised by my mother and maternal grandparents on the “West Side” of town, which means something to Cincinnatians.

Where do you write? Describe this area for us.

I write in my office, usually when I have time alone. I put my cellphone on mute for an hour or two (that is, after all, what voicemail is for). The space is organized. There is a big window to let my thoughts escape. I am surrounded by style books and, for inspiration, some of my favorite books. I keep the lighting subdued. To be truly inspired, however, our dog has to be “in position,” stretched out on a pillow behind my back on my desk chair. (He does not realize it, but he provides excellent lumbar support.)

Connie in her writing area holding her copy of Aspiring to Inspire.

Connie in her writing area holding her copy of Aspiring to Inspire.

When you are not writing, how do you spend your time?

My husband and I have the good fortune to live in a place that we refer to as “paradise found.” Tierra Verde is an island at the southernmost tip of Pinellas County, Florida. The community has a Key West vibe and is home to approximately 5,000 year-round and seasonal residents. We enjoy Tampa Bay sunrises to the east and Gulf of Mexico sunsets to the West. Tierra Verde is home to historic and pristine Ft. De Soto Park. Surrounded by white sand beaches, the park represents Mother Nature in all of her divine glory. My husband and I enjoy biking, kayaking, walking, bird watching, sunning, and sailing. We share a passion for photography, reading, and traveling. Aside from writing, I serve the South Gulf Beaches as a Realtor with Wave Realty of Tampa Bay and am a substitute adjunct professor at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School. A military veteran, I am a member of Veterans of Southern Pinellas County and serve as a member of the board of directors for Media Heritage, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of big band era music and history.

A photo Connie took going over the Tierra Verde Bridge at sunset.

A photo Connie took going over the Tierra Verde Bridge at sunset.

What inspires you to get out of bed each morning?

My husband, Thomas, and our shelter-adopted miniature Dachshund, Moby, tend to rally me with patronizing whines (intended to lure me out of bed to fetch breakfast). It is, however, great to wake up and see their faces. They are, in equal measure, my inspiration. Thanks to them, most days start with a laugh. Who could ask for more?

Thomas and Moby watching Dog TV. Connie says she doesn't know who is enjoying this more.

Thomas and Moby watching Dog TV. Connie says she doesn’t know who is enjoying this more.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

Wow. I am not sure that I can answer this. This question is akin to asking a mother to pick her favorite child! I became interested in words on the page and was inspired by children’s literature at an early age, so I have to start with two of Maurice Sendak’s books, Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. I absolutely adore Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man. Essays and stories by Jamaica Kincaid, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Barbara Kingsolver, as well as Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, are all favorites. I have a new appreciation for young adult literature, having read two stellar examples—John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (please be sure to read this book before seeing the movie) and Aryn Kyle’s The God of Animals. I could go on and on, across time and space and all genres, but will stop here. Tough question to ask a writer!

What is the best writing advice you can give another writer?

I am a short story writer and essayist. There is a quote, attributed to Brian Doyle, which resonates with me. “Bad personal essays are about the writer. Good personal essays are about all of us.” This is the headspace I like to be in when I begin writing something new. This quote reminds me that the process is as much about my readers as it is about me. Yes, of course, we write for ourselves to satiate our passion for the craft. It helps to remind ourselves that we are writing for our readers, too. Let your reader utilize their mind’s eye to see things. We do not necessarily have to tell them that the car is red or a BMW, if it is the action of the car that matters. Do not slow down your writing with unnecessary details. Be mindful of sensory details—and use all of your senses in your writing (just do not overdo it).

Beyond this, I wish to offer, as advice, the suggestion that any writer who is serious about writing needs to adopt a thick-skinned attitude about the critique process. I value it so much! My friends in writing catch things that I miss and offer ideas worth exploring. As writers, we are overall, gentle (if not fragile) souls. We do not take kindly to anyone who may wish to kill our darlings (which is a common literary term for assassinating our characters). In regards to the critique process, I like to say… take what you need and discard the rest. Generally, there is a positive takeaway from every critique, something useful. Hold onto it. Mull it over. Play with it. I instruct my students, when offering a critique, to begin by offering the writer something positive and specific that they liked about the piece. Bottom line, we all, each of us, own our writing. We should not be so egotistical as to believe it cannot be improved upon in some way. Remember, readers are our friends. They help share the “good word” about our writing. So, be kind to them!

My last bit of advice is to… read, read, and read!

Tell us a little about your memoir, Finding Happy.

After a devastating tragedy occurred in my life, I was paralyzed by anger and depression. My then-boyfriend (now husband) suggested I should write through it. His suggestion was the starting point for my memoir. Finding Happy, set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, is a coming-of-age story. The title is a play on words. Everyone, I portend, is on a journey to find happiness. More often than not, it is right in front of us, but we are unable to see the forest for the trees, so-to-speak. In addition, it is about finding a dog, which I named “Happy.” The book is dedicated to my niece, Julie Ann Crawford, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 21. It details the experiences of my childhood growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and features family photographs and local history. Finding Happy is a tribute, in part, to Midwestern culture and charm. The book is available online from Amazon and the publisher (www.AuthorHouse.com).

Cover for Finding Happy. Photo by Brad Smith

Cover for Finding Happy. Photo by Brad Smith

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a manuscript of stories and essays, entitled Amborella. Compiling it has been a journey, prompted by two polarizing life events. Getting married (for the first and, hopefully, only time) at age 50 to my husband (and best friend), Thomas, and being told, pretty much simultaneously, by my gynecologist that I was pre-menopausal. The ebb and flow of life, like the ocean tide, is unstoppable. I decided to write through the highs and lows I was experiencing. Thankfully, throughout, my husband saw me as nothing less than beautiful. I did not always see myself this way…  and this writing helped empower me to do so.

The collection features personal anecdotes and commentary on aging gracefully (and with good humor), in essay form, along with short stories. Each story features a female protagonist that “blooms and grows” around her life circumstances. Individually, these characters are varied and struggle in some way. They are each beautiful in their own way, and together, as a bouquet, they are radiant. This is the way, I believe, women are in real life, too.

The title was inspired by Charles Darwin’s “Abominable Mystery Theory,” which attempts to identify the world‘s first flowering plant. It was presumably found in New Guinea and named “Amborella.” I believe that women, at all ages of life, are beautiful. It has been fun to play with metaphor and simile with this collection. Beyond this, I am waiting to hear if my personal essay on teaching in a nontraditional environment has been accepted by an international publisher for a forthcoming pedagogical textbook, and I continue to write, blog, and post about issues and causes that are near and dear to my heart.

Upcoming Releases

“Lost & Found.” Essay. Animal Literary Magazine. animalliterarymagazine.com. August 2014.

“First-Timer’s Approach to Teaching in a Non-Traditional Setting.” Essay. Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing Instruction. Co-Editors, Lori A. May and Dr. Danita Berg. Editor approved for publication in pedagogy text. Pending Publication. 2015.

You can find out more about Connie and her works at the following links:

Website: www.FindingHappy.com
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Connie-Langhorst/e/B00J5W9LP4
REMFA Program (Accomplishments): www.okcu.edu/english/redearthmfa/student-accomplishments
Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=langhorst%2C+connie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ConnieLanghorst

 

 

Our July Featured Author–Kari Sayers

It’s July and time for our latest Featured Author. This month, we are featuring a very talented writer named Kari Sayers. We had the privilege to work with her on her novella The Gifted Souls, the first book in the Seventhdust Novella Series, earlier this year.

Kari Sayers Pic 2
Kari lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her husband of six years, Colwyn—a man Kari readily describes as one of her best friends and having the sexiest accent ever—and their twin three-year-old sons (Thing 1 and Thing 2, as Kari lightheartedly puts it). She considers herself a Midwest girl stuck in the South, but she enjoys the sunny weather and the overabundance of sweet tea.

Kari and Colwyn
Kari is an avid reader, and she loves a good love story, particularly romantic comedies. One of her guilty pleasures has always been young adult books. She also enjoys books about vampires, angels, and other supernatural creatures. Despite her fear of zombies, Kari can’t stop reading articles about the impending “zombie apocalypse” and watching zombie movies—even if she has to watch scary movies in the daytime, with someone else in the house, and then follow them up with a comedy in hopes of laughing until she forgets how scared she just was.

 

Kari was first published at age 17 in a local paper. Her first published book, A Toast to the Dummies Who Lost Us, is a break-up survival guide that was released when she was 25. The Gifted Souls was released in April, 2014.

kari sayers
We had the good fortune to catch up with Kari and ask her a few questions to get to know her a little better. She shared with us the poignant tale of when she started writing, her loves in life, and a little about the great stories she is currently working on.
When did you first start writing?

My uncle passed away when I was a kid in the early 90s. I wrote a poem as a way to express my grief. It’s the first meaningful piece of work that I can remember writing. I still remember the feeling of relief after I wrote out my emotions. I was hooked after that.

 

Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your writing?

I grew up in a small industrial city in northwest Indiana with my two sisters, my police officer father, and my bubbly mother. I get my sense of humor from my mom, a characteristic that is very evident in the self-improvement books I write. My love for science fiction was influenced by my dad. Growing up, I would sit with him and watch episodes of Star Trek. I was totally fascinated by the story lines. Today, I have an irreversible addiction to watching the SyFy channel and lots of science fiction movies. My husband thinks I watch way too many “low-budget” SyFy channel movies—I can’t help it… they’re interesting.

 

Where do you write? Describe this area for us.

Give me a cup of coffee with French vanilla creamer (hold the sugar), a little bit of sunshine, the low chatter of other people having interesting conversations, and POW! that’s my perfect writing spot. This often ends up being a local coffee spot, but sometimes it’s my own breakfast table at home.

 

When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your time?

I have two extremely active twin boys. They are three years old and quite possibly believe it’s their life mission to wear Mommy out each day. So when I’m not writing, I’m listening to my animated toddlers tell stories about purple monsters, forest trolls, lost princesses, and Power Rangers. According to one of them, I’m the troll (can’t argue with a three-year-old). My husband and I also like to think of ourselves as movie connoisseurs. We are the king and queen of matinee movies on Friday afternoons before we pick up the kids.

Boat Trip_Lake Hartwell

I also love WINE. I spend a good deal of time drinking it on the weekends.

 

What inspires you to get out of bed each morning?

Most mornings I wake up with one or both of my sons sleeping in our bed. As much as I would love no kids in my bed, there is a part of me that loves cuddling up next to them in the wee hours of the morning. Like a lot of parents, my children inspire me. My parents worked hard to provide a great life for my siblings and me. I want to do the same for my boys. I want to show them the importance of realizing your passions and life goals, then creating a plan to accomplish them.

 

 

What are your five favorite books, and why?

The Once and Future King by T.H. White—I’m totally fascinated by Merlin and the explanation that he lived his life backwards. I’ve read this book three times.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne—this book is just really positive and encouraging. I truly believe in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. The Secret really speaks to me.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella—I own this book on audio, and, no matter how many times I listen to it (which is at least once a year), I still find the main character Lexi extremely hilarious with her foul mouth and good intentions.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer—I don’t care what any of the critics may say, the first time I read Twilight, I fell in love with the writing style and the characters. Of course, I’m totally infatuated with vampires anyway, so this book and the other books in the series were pretty darn amazing to me.

A Divine Revelation of Hell —I read this book when I was a teenager. I don’t remember who the author was or where I even got the book from, but it has influenced some of the stories in my Seventhdust Novella Series. The book was supposedly based on the true story of a person who experienced visiting hell—kind of like Dante’s Inferno. The book gave me the creeps, but it had a huge impact on me as a teenager.

 

What is the best writing advice you can give another writer?

Just write. If you have a story inside you, get it out. Write it out. Don’t get all caught up in trying to perfect your story or editing each line you write two seconds after writing it. Just write. Point blank.

 

Tell our readers about your novella The Gifted Souls and the Seventhdust Novella Series.

The Seventhdust Novella Series was inspired by dreams I had when I was a teenager. I would dream (both at night and during daydreams) that something invisible was holding me down, trying to take control of me. These dreams helped build the storyline for this series.

The Gifted Souls is the first book in the series, and it introduces Liora, a teenager with a special gift that she keeps hidden, a white light that pools beneath her skin. She spends her summers at an academy in Ohio for gifted students. She and a few other students discover that the world is on the brink of a supernatural war and that reincarnated souls have returned to fulfill a task that was millennia in the making. The next book in the series will uncover the origins of these reincarnated souls and what sparked the war that actually began millennia ago.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000448_00034]
What are you working on now?

In addition to working on Book II of the Seventhdust Novella Series, I’m also working on launching a wine blog. I hope to share my love of wine and books through this project. WineandBabble.com is the name of it.

I’m also working on a variety of other writing projects, including a marriage guide with my friend Dr. Nicole Ausmer, as well as my first fantasy novel that outlines the second life of a character who must attempt to live and learn the Karmic Laws in order to maintain the balance of good vs. evil.

 

 

You can catch up with Kari online:

Website: http://www.karisayersbooks.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/karisayersbooks

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/karisayers

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/karisayers

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/karisayers

 

 

You can also grab your own copy of The Gifted Souls:

http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Souls-Seventhdust-Novellas-ebook/dp/B00JS8BZ2W

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430294

Thanks to Kari for sharing with us and working with us. We can’t wait to see what happens next in the Seventhdust Series. We know that once you read The Gifted Souls that you will be waiting as anxiously as we are. We have no doubt that you, too, will fall in love with this gifted writer and the wonderful stories she crafts.