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Today we’ll be interview author Anika Joy as part of the blog tour for the release of her children’s story, Penny’s New Beginning.
Can they save Utopia?
Nine-year-old Penny Hearting has just moved to Nassau with her family, and is completely convinced that a mermaid rescued her from drowning, but no one believes her. So, she takes matters into her own hands and goes on a search for the mermaid that rescued her.
Ten-year-old Emmy is the princess of Utopia, an underwater city populated by mermaids. But, when her evil aunt, Cassandra, takes the city from her father, the King, her only option is to seek help from the girl who she rescued from drowning.
When these two lives collide, can they and another friend save their homes from disaster?
Anika Joy is a daughter, sister, and child of the one true King. She loves to write books, sing in choir, and bake treats for her family. At the age of 4 she taught herself to read and wrote her first short story when she was 8. That story was later published in a kid’s magazine when she was 11, which sparked her dream of becoming a published author. She is now very happy to see that dream come true.
Anika currently lives with her two sisters, two brothers, and parents in North Dakota, and feels very blessed to be awaiting the arrival of another little sister.
If you had to tell a complete stranger about Penny’s New Beginning in one sentence, what would you say?
Umm…probably this: “Three girls need to save a magical underwater kingdom full of mermaids.” I think that would give them the best idea about what’s going on. 😉
(Or you could say, “STOP ASKING ME STUPID QUESTIONS AND JUST BUY IT ALREADY!” 😛 Okay, yeah, I’m just kidding …)
What was your writing process for Penny’s New Beginning? How long have you had the idea, did you outline or just dive in, and how long did the writing take from start to finish?
I pretty much just wrote it. I was nine and had no idea of how to prepare and plot, I just started at chapter one and came up with everything else as I went on. It was a lot easier to do then than it is to do now that I know all the principals of writing and what you should and shouldn’t do. It took me about 2 months to write this book. I was nine then and wasn’t very good at writing fast. 😛
(Hey, it took me six months to write a short story when I was ten. So … yeah. Congratulate yourself!)
Is there anything in particular you want to teach people through Penny’s New Beginning?
I want to teach people that they can save mermaids from evil queens in underwater cities ( 😛 ) and that just because someone is different from you (say, like a mermaid) doesn’t mean that they are weird. It means they’re unique. 😀
(Ah, that’s a cool theme!)
What’s your favorite kind of candy?
Uhh…I really like chocolate. So, pretty much anything that’s chocolate. I am a proud and proclaimed chocoholic. (But, haha, I’m on a no sugar or dairy diet SO I CAN’T HAVE CHOCOLATE. *dies*)
(WHAT?! No chocolate!?!?!)
What’s next after Penny’s New Beginning for you, writing-wise?
Since we are coming upon the Camp NaNoWriMo April session, I will be working on…something. I know, I seriously only have, like, eleven days until NaNo starts, but (silly me) I have no idea what I’m doing. *dies at the thought of starting NaNo with no idea of what I’m doing*
All I know is three words: YA, Fantasy, and Magic (*gasp*).
(Ah, yes … starting Camp with no idea what you’re doing … I know this feeling well!)
Well, there you have it, folks! (That was incredibly cliché, but I admit I couldn’t think of anything else to say.) Thanks for joining us today and be sure to check out the other great posts in this blog tour.
Elle Stevens – Book Review
Grace (The Girl Upstairs) – Book Review, Spotlight, Author Interview
Sylvanian Universe Blog – Book Review, Spotlight, Author Interview
Kellyn Roth – Author Interview
Chloe – Author Interview
Sarah – Book Review, Spotlight, Author Interview
Savannah Grace – Author Interview
Josie – Book Review, Author Interview
Today we have an interview with Debra Sue Brice, author of Icing and Crossing Boarders, Christian contemporary romances, and the Danni Girl Mysteries, cozy detective stories.
Without further ado, interview! (That rhymed … quite by accident …)
Welcome to Reveries Reviews, Debra Sue Brice! First, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I absolutely love to write, but when I am not writing I am a first grade teacher, competitive equestrian, and business owner. I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen trying new dessert recipes.
Could you tell us a little about your latest novel, Icing?
Icing was a very fun and exciting story for me to write. It is all about living out your dreams and trusting God to take control of your life. He has so many blessings in store for all of us which is why Icing is so important to me. I want to encourage everyone that there is a plan for our lives. We just have to be patient and listen.
Where did you get your idea for Icing?
All of my characters are derived from real-life friends and family members, myself included. I love to bake so my main character, Denie, is a cupcake shop owner. I want my audience to be able to relate to at least one character throughout the storyline. I want them to be able to connect and feel like they are a part of the story. I am also a huge fan of our AHL hockey team, the Cleveland Monsters. Putting the two together and throwing in a little romance just seemed right!
What does your writing process look like?
I’m all over the place when it comes to my process. For larger novels, like Icing, I like to have a rough (very rough) outline so I have a general direction as to where I want to go. For the most part though, the story always changes by the time I get to the end. When writing my cozy mysteries, I just start with my main characters and let the story take over.
How long have you been writing for? Why did you start writing?
My very first novel was published in 2015 but I have been writing stories for fun ever since I was a little girl. I would write notes to my sister from her favorite actors and leave them in her locker at school. I also loved to write stories about adventures because so many ideas were always running around inside my head and I needed to let them out. My ultimate dream when I was little was to see my name on the front cover of a book. I have been very blessed to have a very encouraging family who continually tells me to never give up on my dreams.
Do you snack while writing? Do you listen to music?
I definitely listen to music, but it all depends on the type of novel I am writing. For Icing, I liked listening to my Etta James station on Pandora. As for snacking, I usually like to take breaks from writing to bake. But I will say, animal crackers (the vanilla kind) always seem to help with any mental blocks!
If you could go back a year and tell yourself anything (writing-related), what would that be?
There are many things you can learn through experience. Not all my experiences have been that great, but I am glad I was able to see the ups and downs of turning a manuscript into a final product. My advice to myself would be not to settle for the first person/publisher who is willing to take your book. Do your research and make sure you are putting your manuscript into the right hands to help you succeed.
What’s next for you as an author?
I want to inspire the world with more romance novels, both for adults and young adults as well. My main goal is to complete a dystopian YA novel.
Thanks for coming over to Reveries, Debra!
Horses, cupcakes, hockey, and murder. What can be better than that? In order to share my love of all these things I thought it would be best to write them down and put them in the form of a novel…or two, or more! When not living in my fictional world, I am a first grade teacher, avid baker, fanatic Cleveland Monster hockey fan, and successful equestrian. I was born and raised in Ohio which is where I continue to get inspiration and ideas for my stories. So stick around and enjoy the many journeys my characters will take you on in the wonderful world of READING!
What did you think of the interview? Are you ready to pick up a copy of Icing on Amazon? What about Crossing Borders or a Danni Girl Mystery? Ever read anything by the author? Are you a fan of hockey or cupcakes? Let me know in the comments!
Well, guys, today we’re doing something a little different … a blog tour! That’s right, I’m hosting the blog tour of my dear friend, Hanna Kraft! It’s a small blog tour (in length and participants), but Hanna and I hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂
~ About the Book ~
One Summer Sunday in 1930, Carol Ayers decides to keep a diary. She records many life changes over the days, weeks, and months. Can Carol and her family accept, and even like the changes, and at the same time continue their traditions?
The New Diary, a fictional account, contains actual excerpts from the real diary of Carol Ayers, the author’s great-grandmother.
~ About the Author ~
Hanna Kraft, an introverted Christian Homeschooler, is very grateful to have the opportunity to learn at home, and desires to spread her love of Jesus to others. Every day she sees new ways the Lord has provided, blessed, and cared for her and those she cares for. Hanna enjoys writing much more than any of her five siblings, and has enjoyed it for several years. When she realized her ability to publish The New Diary, she decided to pursue writing as a bit more than a mere hobby.
Besides reading and writing, Hanna lives in the country with her family, and enjoys playing the banjo, swimming, listening to much Southern Gospel music, and watching college basketball.
~ The Interview ~
Why did you decide to write your great-grandmother’s story over just some random fiction tale?
When you started writing The New Diary, did you ever think you’d share it with anyone other than family and close friends?
Do you have a favorite character?
If you could tell people one thing about The New Diary to interest them in reading it, what would that be?
What was the hardest thing about writing The New Diary?
About how much of The New Diary is fiction and how much is nonfiction?
Do you see writing as a hobby … or could it become a future career?
Do you snack while writing? Do you listen to music?
Is there a special place you go to write?
Not really. I like writing on my bed, but I can easily write anywhere.
What’s your next writing project going to be?
The next big, publish-able project will be Book #2 of The Heritage Diaries, which I plan on starting this Summer. (So excited!!)
Well, that was a fun interview, wasn’t it? Pumped for the blog tour? Well, I am! 😛
Over the next couple days, there will be some great posts. Here’s the schedule so you can find out where and when:
Wednesday the 1st
-Kellyn Roth @ Reveries Reviews (kick-off/author interview)
Friday the 3rd
-Megan @ A Barefoot Gal (author interview)
-Kellyn Roth @ Reveries Reviews (excerpt)
Saturday the 4th
-Kellyn Roth @ Reveries Reviews (review)
-Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger (review/author interview)
-Anika Joy @ Anika’s Avenue (review/author interview)
It’s a short blog tour, but hopefully it will be a really fun one! 🙂
Welcome to Reveries Reviews, T.M. Fairman. Could you tell the readers a little about yourself?
Hi Kellyn. I am a Christian father of four based in the South of England and am currently working as a Maths and Economics teacher in a secondary school, teaching 11 to 18 year olds.
Where did you get the idea for 3 Days: A Passion?
Within a few years of each other, my Grandma died from Alzheimer’s and my father-in-law succumbed to a variety of illness after a long struggle. Within their struggles, their partners’ strength, dignity and love really touched me. Then as I was preparing for Easter, I was struck by the similarities of their journeys and that of the Apostles during Jesus’ Passion; the sense of helplessness whilst the one you love suffers. The idea grew out of these two thoughts; that you can still love and hope in these situations and these situations are a part of all our lives.
Why did you decide not to name your main characters?
As a teacher, names are particularly tricky. Any teacher will tell you how difficult it is to name a child, given that they probably know at least one student with any name that is suggested! Also names automatically create an image in your head and I wanted the story to be a personal journey, one that makes the reader the centre of the story so they can answer the questions that the book poses for themselves. I know it seems a bit depressing, but the questions of death underpin all religious pursuit. To be alive is to know that death is inevitable. However I feel that it is a conversation that has been neglected recently and I wanted to get people to engage with it, preferably with hope rather than despair.
How long did 3 Days: A Passion take you to write?
I lived with the characters for about a year, before finally finding the thread that would hold the story together. The actual writing took about 6 months. Although the editing and revisions took another 6 months after that.
What was the hardest thing about writing 3 Days: A Passion?
The hardest thing about writing the book was probably the aftermath. The writing seemed to flow and I think I was quite fortunate in that respect. Whenever you create something, it becomes very precious and hearing people’s feedback, positive or negative, becomes a judgement about you. Trying to separate the opinions about the book from judgements about my self-worth was a particularly hard job.
If you could go back a year and tell yourself anything (writing-related), what would that be?
I would suggest that I approached writing in a more professional way. I started writing as I felt inspired and had something to say, but did not believe it would get this far where people who I did not know would be reading it! In particular, the release and the marketing lacked a coherent plan.
Thanks for being here with us today, Mr. Fairman!
Thanks Kellyn for the opportunity to share.
The main inspiration for his work comes from a Christian faith and the wide variety of people that being a teacher gives him the privilege of meeting. From a literary point of view, writers such as Dumas, Tolkien and Sterne feature highly on his bookshelf although he lays no claim to being anywhere near belonging on the same shelf!
Well, that’s it for today, everyone! Thanks for reading. 🙂
Welcome to an author interview Amanda Tero agreed to do with me on Reveries Reviews for the blog tour she’s doing to release her novella, Befriending the Beast. You can find it on Goodreads and Amazon now! 🙂
Welcome to Reveries Reviews, Amanda Tero! It’s great to have you today! Could you tell the readers a little bit about Befriending the Beast?
I’m glad to “be” here, Kellyn!
Befriending the Beast is a non-magical, Christian retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It has quite a drastic twist, though: what if, the beast was Belle’s father? She has returned home to gain favor with her father, and only has a few months in which to do it. When her father refuses to see her, she must hope against hope that something will happen to change his heart.
What is the main character, Belle, like?
Belle is spontaneous, warm, tender-hearted, and lovable (well, for me she’s lovable — guess my other readers will have to decide for themselves).
Definitely spontaneous! She reminded me a bit of myself in that …
Where did the idea for Befriending the Beast come from?
One night I was sitting with my sisters watching a random movie, and the single question came to mind: “What if the beast was Belle’s father?” I seriously wasn’t thinking about rewriting fairy-tales and we weren’t watching anything like it either.
God-inspired, perhaps? 🙂
At any point during the writing, did you have the soundtrack from the Disney movie running through your head?
Haha! You know, I’m not sure… if I did, it’s because one of my younger sisters loves playing “Beauty and the Beast” (the song) on the piano, and was definitely playing it the weeks that I wrote. 🙂
Tale as old as time …
What is the world Befriending the Beast is set in like?
It is a fictional medieval setting. You actually don’t see much of the outside world, because Belle has chosen to return to the castle — and in a way, has chosen confinement. There is a lot about her castle and garden, though!
Yes, I loved the descriptions of the garden! 🙂
How has Befriending the Beast changed since you started writing it, if at all?
Oh, it has definitely changed! My author friend, A.M. Heath (look her up, she writes amazing Civil War novels!) kept pushing me to “keep the time-bomb ticking.” What started out to be just a sweet story changed to be one that makes readers edgy to find out what happens next. I definitely went from putting Belle into a sad situation to making her downright stressed and uncomfortable (in a good way!).
Yep, there’s nothing more annoying than a sad character who just mopes about! I like to see them pacing! 😉
What takes up most of your days?
Wow… um… every day is different, so this one is hard to answer! On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I teach piano and violin all day (I have 23 students). On my “off” days, I am either arranging music, working on writing, doing graphics design, doing music with my family, and a collage of other things. Most recently, I’ve done some Louisiana flood relief work.
Wow, lots of work!
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Preferably iced. 😉
Pen or pencil?
Hmm… both! I love using a pencil, but I also like the colored G2 pens.
Handwritten or typed-up?
Typed. My fingers can fly about as fast as my brain on the keyboard… but not so much wrapped around a writing utensil.
I know what you mean; I feel the same way … only my computer is too slow for my fingers … 😛
Fiction or nonfiction?
Another hard one. I prefer a balance of both. 🙂
Is there anything you’d like to go back in time and tell yourself a year ago (writing-related or not-writing-related)?
Well, life-related: be sure that all you do is for the glory of God. It is very easy to let ulterior motives slip in, so stay on the guard!
Well, thanks for being here with us today, Amanda! God bless and happy writing! 🙂