Author Q&A- Virginia Franken

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Virginia Franken, the upcoming author of Life After Coffee, which comes out September 13th, 2016. Virginia has always loved writing, but it wasn’t until her first son was born that her writing turned into a serious goal. So, without any  further ado, I give you Virginia Franken’s interview!0311-Final(WEBonly)

Q: How long have you been writing?

A:  I loved writing stories and poems as a kid. I had a very supportive English teacher when I was about nine and she told me that if my dreams of making it as a prima ballerina fell to the wayside (ahem) then I should consider writing for a living! Not long after that, I wrote a poem about the time our fourth grade class had our underwear stolen from the local pool while we were swimming there (bizarre-but-true story) – it got published in the school paper and I was off.

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: It’s interesting that I only really started writing with any serious intention toward getting published after my first child was born. So I guess you could say that my son was/is my muse. I think I’d been expecting motherhood to define who I was as a person and cement my place on planet earth amongst the other humanoids. Didn’t work that way, and when I became a mother I was as grasping and confused about life as ever. So when my baby was about six weeks old, I start writing with one almighty burst – three books at once. One was a children’s novel that I showed to almost no one, another was a non-fiction book that I may well finish one day and the third was a memoir about dating in Los Angeles as a single mother. The dating book got a bit of interest from agents – but ultimately I’m glad it didn’t get published as it was too personal a book to be out in the public arena.

Q: Tell me about your upcoming book Life After Coffee! What was the original idea behind it?

A: Life After Coffee is about a globe-trotting coffee buyer, Amy, who loses her job, becomes a stay-at-home mom and finds out that it’s all much harder than it looks. There’s also a movie mogul ex-boyfriend of hers on the horizon, offering her an escape from the brutal reality of her life and she starts to find it’s all a bit tempting…

It’s essential a comic novel, but there are some very tough scenes when Amy’s leaving her kids behind in order to travel for work. This book was inspired by the difficulties I felt after I had my second child and I was dealing with the emotional turmoil of having to return to the office before I was anywhere near ready. I turned to the literary world for some comfort reading and couldn’t find any fiction written about the very specific heartache of my situation. After talking to friends who were going through the same ordeal, I came to realize that a woman can be smart, feminist and excellent at her job but still feel like the very fabric of her soul is being torn in two every morning when she leaves her baby behind for a day at work. There seems to be so little written about this very emotional topic–maybe because the women who are living it are far too busy to write about it as well!

Q: How do you hope Life After Coffee will affect people? How did writing it affect you?

A: I think it would be great if Life After Coffee could inspire some empathy for reluctant working moms. It’s not a PC thing to say, but nevertheless it is a fact that some women LAC coverfind it hard to leave their kids at home every day in order to go to work. Not all women get to choose whether to work or stay at home. And those women who have no choice but to put their kids in daycare and get to the office, haven’t always found their ways into fulfilling careers. More women are flying higher than ever – but for some women, the careers just never got going. Some jobs are just boring ass boring. Some women would prefer to stay at home and raise their kids themselves, some women would prefer to work part-time, some women would prefer not to return to work when their baby is 2 weeks/6 weeks/12 weeks old. But a lot of women in American get no choice. More so than ever women are the breadwinners and we are proud of what we are achieving. But we are also exhausted. We also wish we had more genuine choices about how we spend our day. Proper maternity leave, job-share opportunities, and reliable universal health care that’s not dependent upon employment status. We The Women wish our true voices could be heard, because all we hear right now is: do it harder, be it better, say it nicer, lean in further, but be careful not to lean in so far your forehead hits the floor cause it’s kinda dirty – everyone round here’s too busy working for The Man to have gotten round to mopping it…

Q: If you could sit down for a cup of tea with any author (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

A: Probably Mindy Kaling as she’s only down the street from me (well, we live in the same city anyway). But apart from the convenience of not having to travel through time or space to meet her – I think she’s just a truly brilliant comic writer. And besides, two minutes in we’d be laughing so hard that tea would suddenly seem way too formal so we’d just move onto a nice bottle of chilled white. And then after a couple of glasses of that we’d suddenly realize we were totally hungry and we’d probably get an Uber out to Malibu and go to this amazing fish and chips place I know. Then we’d strip down to our swimwear that would spontaneously appear under our cute outfits and run in and out of the waves all evening with the dolphins. I’ve no idea what specifics we’d talk about, but I know that whatever they were-they would be awesome. It really would be a magical day! Wanna come with?

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: That if you really close your eyes, open your heart and do your best to understand where someone else is coming from…there’s every chance they’ll try just as hard to understand you.


Thank you so much for being here, Virginia! I loved your answers and YES! Yes I want to come with you and Mindy!!!

Don’t forget to check out Life After Coffee and order it! It is not a book you are going to want to miss! See it on Amazon here.

 

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Author Q&A- K. M. Weiland

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely K. M. Weiland. She is the award-winning and internationally published author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. Read the interview below.

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Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?

A: Stories have always been my mode of interpreting and communicating with the world around me. I made up characters and told myself stories from a very young age, but I didn’t start writing them down until I was about twelve. During high school, I edited and published a small newsletter that featured short stories and informative articles. From there, it was a natural progression to novels.

Stories are like breathing. Life without a story in my head is one-dimensional, stagnant, vapid. I love the life God has given me, but I think I love it better because I’m able to live out so many other lives on the page. I’m more content to be who I am because I’m not trapped in that identity. When I sit down at my computer and put my fingers on the keys, I can be anyone or anything, at any time in history. I write because it’s freedom.

 Q: You have written many fictional books as well as non-fiction books. Tell me a little bit about what it is like writing in these different genres.

 A: Most of my stories fall into under the headings of historical and speculative fiction (and sometimes a combination of the two), but, in general, I dislike pigeonholing myself in a particular genre. As a reader, I enjoy many different types of fiction. If it’s a good story, I’ll love it, regardless of genre. And that’s pretty much how I feel about my writing. I’d love to write something in every genre before I’m finished!

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your books? Do you have a muse?

 A: I like to say that inspiration is everywhere—and it really is. I’ve picked ideas from such disparate places as the dust on my windowsill (I’m a terrible duster) to my pets to the grapefruit I had for breakfast. It’s really just a matter of being open to whatever you’re experiencing at the moment.

But I will say that most of my inspiration is usually the result of other people’s art. The three big ones are most definitely:

 

  1. Books
  2. Movies
  3. Musi

I feed off other people’s stories and glean little tidbits that inspire stories of my own. The characters and themes in books and movies and the half-answered questions in songs are endless sources of inspiration for me.

Q: What advice to you have for budding authors and bloggers?

 A: Write for the love of it, first and foremost. As Anne Lamott says, “Being published isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But writing is.” Write the stories of your heart, not the stories you think the market wants. Write the story you’d want to read if you were one of your own readers.

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: That sometimes starting is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. But it only takes five seconds of courage, and it only gets easier from there.

Find K. M Online:

K.M. Weiland’s Bio

Twitter

Website

Author Q&A- Kendare Blake

Today I had the honor of interviewing one of my favorite authors; Kendare Blake! When she agreed to let me interview her, I screamed with excitement. My brothers thought I was crazy (just kidding, they love Kendare too). She is the author of several amazing books, including Anna Dressed in blood, which I must have read at least ten times. But in all honestly, everything she writes is amazing.

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Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?

A: I’ve been writing with the hope of publication since I was about…twelve. I loved books so much, and really wanted to tell stories. The first book I wrote was about wild horses. Of course it was crap. I wrote several more crappy books after that before I found a good one.

 

Q: What inspires you to write? Do you have a muse?

A: Different things inspire me with every story. I never know where inspiration is going to come from. There are things I’m intensely interested in that never spark-off anything original. And there are things that I only notice in passing that end up spinning into the next thing I work on.

 

Q: What was the first novel you wrote? What inspired it?

A: I already talked a little about those wild horses, so I’ll talk instead about the first novel that was published: Sleepwalk Society. It’s a coming-of-age college story about three best friends and how they and their relationship changes after high school. Since I wrote it when I was going through a similar time, I imagine that’s what inspired it. Lots of confusion about the future and the desire to work it out on paper.

 

Q: If you could give advice to yourself before you became a published author, what would it be?

A: Don’t be hasty. When you’re trying to “break in” everything feels like a race. Like someone will beat you and take your place but that’s not true. Do good, thoughtful work, and do not waste time on anything you do not want to be writing.

 

Q: What is your favorite book? Why?

A: Can’t possibly answer this. Too many favorites. My favorite coming out soon is April Genevieve Tucholke’s WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. Favorite recent horror is Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. Favorite classic…. today I’ll say Jane Eyre. I just read The Sad and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton and that was great. Read I’m most looking forward to: The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera.

 

Q: If you could spend one day inside one of your books, which one would it be?

A: None of them! They’re fairly brutal places, and I’d probably get insta-killed. Plus, I spend so much time in them already, on the page and in my head, I feel like I practically live there.

 

Q: You have written books in several genres, including horror, contemporary, and mythology. Which is your favorite to write? Which is the hardest?

A: Still can’t pick a favorite. I love them all. The only genres I don’t think I’ll ever write are hard sci-fi (too lazy for the research) and mystery (not tricksy enough). So far, my fantasy book has been the hardest, but I probably only think that because I’m working on it right now. Everything seems easy in hindsight.

 

Q: What are some of your favorite things outside of writing?

A: Animals. Food. I like going to museums and learning new things, learning about wine and beer at tastings, learning about cheese in cheese flight tasting, hiking, playing bad tennis, seeing films and of course reading, reading, reading.

 

Q: What bad habits do you have that you want to get rid of?

A: None, actually. I like my bad habits. I embrace my bad habits.

 

Q: What is one thing you want the world to know about you?

A: Not anything in particular. Just what they can learn by reading my fiction. The work is what matters.

You can find Kendare Blake online:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Website