Beyond the Wood by Michael J. Roueche

“A book of treachery, peril, slackening resolve and thwarted love . . . and a little Southern Rebellion.

Romance has faded, and shame has weakened resolve. Mystery has shrouded the truth, and pride has matured into a world enveloped by rage and war. And the only constant is betrayal–and at times he is your sole companion. Yet, hope lingers . . .

Hank, a soldier for the Union, refuses retreat from his first bloodied action without proof he has been there, and he takes it from a dying enemy. Fed by the compassion he finds in the Confederate’s last letter and his own unsettled dreams and troubling memories, Hank imagines a romance that drives him relentlessly toward an impossible rendezvous. All the while, Elizabeth, the widow, struggles with burdens left by her husband, even as neighbors conspire against her. And what is she to make of this Union soldier, this enemy, so set on coming to her?”

Review:

As I first begun reading Beyond the wood I wasn’t sure what to expect, due to the fact that this story is not only a love story, but a story about the civil War and families divided. But as I continued and read further on, I was enthralled with the authors rendering of the characters, and the richness of the culture of the time the story was written in.

The character I admired most was Reid. Although, he plays a small role, his journey to discover his families past and the mystery of a small artifact that has been passed down to him is intriguing and inspiring to the story.

I recommend this book to those who would enjoy a love story during the American Civil War and to those who are intrigued with Southern History.

Stephanie
Layered Pages

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Interview with Author Martin Crosbie

I would like to introduce Author Martin Crosbie the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion

Please tell us about your book, My Temporary Life.

Thanks, Stephanie, I’d love to, and thanks for the opportunity to do this, too, I really appreciate it.

My Temporary Life is a story told in two parts. The first section is a coming of age story about young lad who never has anything permanent in his life. He’s shipped between his parents, his father who lives in Scotland and his mother who lives in Canada. Throughout his childhood, he’s faced with not only two very different cultures but also bullying and poverty.

The second part of the book picks up twenty years later where the boy, now a young man, is stuck in a major life rut. He meets a girl who had her own traumatic childhood, and through a series of circumstances, the most important being that he falls in love with her, he’s given the opportunity to help her recapture something from her childhood.

It’s been called a coming of age/suspense/romance, and I know that sounds confusing, but hopefully it sounds intriguing too.


Was there any challenges you faced writing this story?

This story is fiction but most of the events told in the novel did indeed happen. If they didn’t happen to me, they happened around me. So, I was either a participant or an observer for all of them
In writing the story I had to go back there, and sometimes that was okay, and other times it wasn’t so okay. When you’re writing a story, you reach a point where the story, the characters, everything, takes on a life of it’s own. And, for me, it doesn’t stop when I close my laptop. That world that I’m creating, or re-living, is with me all the time. So, although I was disappointed to leave the characters behind when I finished writing, I was also glad to have the closure too, and when I uploaded that manuscript, and hit the publish button, it was quite an emotional experience for a lot of reasons.

Is there a message in your story you want readers to grasp?

Yes, there is, there’s more than one message that I’d like them to grasp, but I’m not going to tell you what it is. My favourite novels are the ones that take twists and turns that I don’t expect, and quite honestly, I just don’t want to give anything away. I had a reviewer describe My Temporary Life but saying that it was a “good story that touched on difficult subjects”.
That’s an accurate description and from the comments that have been made to me from readers, the theme of the novel does come through. So, with my apologies for evading your question, I’m afraid I’m not going to elaborate any further.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

The aforementioned twists and turns. I love to be surprised and not see things coming. I hate when I can figure out the ending before I’m even at the middle. I think I manage to do that.
I hope you read My Temporary Life, and don’t figure out what’s going to happen next. Life can be stranger than fiction, for sure, but believable fiction can be stranger than life, and I think I manage to involve the reader in the story so much that they don’t figure out what’s going to happen next. I hope I manage to do that anyway.

What is your next book project?

My Temporary Life is the first of a series of three books. The second book, my work in progress, is called My Name Is Hardly. It’s the story of one of the characters from My Temporary Life. We don’t see Hardly for twenty years in the first novel. This is his story. It’s the story of what happens to him. I’m having such an incredible time writing it. Part of it takes place in Ireland during the eighties and nineties, and Hardly is in the British Army. So, it’s very important to me that all of the little details are accurate. I know how irritating it can be, as a reader, if the author is wrong about something, and I don’t want that. I want my readers to be able to lose themselves in the story and enjoy it.

So, yes, I’m having a great time writing it and hopefully it will be published this December (gulp).

What do you think contributes to making a writer successful in self-publishing?

I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve had some very generous mentors. The first was Robert Bidinotto, the author of Hunter. Robert is a true self-publishing success story, and he’s done very well. I contacted him early this year when I first self-published and had only sold a couple of hundred copies. He was kind enough to offer me some great suggestions and when I put them into practice, and did the work, I started to sell some books. Currently, five months later with free and paid downloads, I have over 120,000 ebooks out there in the hands of readers.
Having said that, there was no secret formula that Robert gave me, it was more of a philosophy, and I try to operate the same way myself. I have a “pay it forward” mentality. I’ve been very lucky to have had some major media coverage because of the success of My Temporary Life, and because of that coverage, I get contacted by other authors who want to self-publish. I try to help all of them. I tell them what I did that worked and what I did that didn’t work. I answer emails, phone calls, whatever it takes, and it’s a privilege to be able to do that. A year ago, all I wanted was for someone to read my book. Now, I have all these folks who have read it and other writers asking me how I managed to get it out there. What an incredible opportunity.

I believe, that as independent authors, the only way we can compete with established publishers and their marketing budgets is to help each other, and work together. Yes, we’re competing against each other too, but I can tell you absolutely that all the help that I’ve given other writers has come back and rewarded me many times over.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I enjoy Philip Roth. He has the ability to get me inside the heads of his characters. I just love his novels. There are some great new independent authors who recently published too. I read some of the work of authors who have published through Amazon, on their own, and it blows my mind. There are just so many talented writers out there.

You know, I hear it said all the time right now that it’s a great time to be a writer, and it is, but you know what, it’s a great time to be a reader too. With the advent of Kindles and other ereaders, and the affordability of ebooks, and the amount of great writing out there, it’s a truly a fantastic time to be a lover of good writing.

What is your favorite quote?

I used to like two John Irving lines.

“Invite a lion to your home and he’ll stay for dinner.”

And,

“Keep passing the open windows.”
Today, my favourite one probably is, “God didn’t bring you this far to drop you now.”
It changes all the time though. Ask me next week and it’ll probably have changed again.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

I spent the first part of my life growing up in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and one of my primary school teachers was a gentleman by the name of John White. Mr White would read Charles Dickens to us. He had us try to read A Tale Of Two Cities and David Copperfield and then he’d read it back to us and explain it all. He would have that class of ten-year olds awestruck. I remember thinking, that’s what I want to do. I want to write something that will have people waiting for the next word with such a look of intent that they can hardly wait.
So, I keep writing, and trying to become a better writer, so that I can get that same look from readers that Mr White and Mr Dickens managed to get from my primary school class.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Listen to every bit of advice that you’re given, but at the end of the day, listen to the little voice inside your head, and if it makes more sense to you, follow it.

Right now, there are fewer rules than there ever have been. The only real rule is to write something that readers want to read. So, if you feel that the advice you are getting doesn’t make sense, don’t do it. Listen to the little voice inside your head. Nobody knows your story better than you do and sometimes you just have to follow your instinct, and run with it.

Author Bio and Links:

My Temporary Life is Martin Crosbie’s first published novel. It’s been called a Coming of Age/Romance/Suspense story. He claims that it was never his intention to cover so many different genres, it’s just the way the story unfolded.

Martin was born in the highlands of Scotland and manages to travel back there every few years. His current home is another rainy location-just outside Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada. When he’s not writing he enjoys long-distance running, and has competed in several half-marathons. In between writing his next book, he’s training for a full marathon which he hopes to participate in this October.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Temporary-Life-ebook/dp/B006O2P13O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340766008&sr=1-1&keywords=my+temporary+life
This is my website
http://martincrosbie.com/
This is the Facebook page for My Temporary Life
https://www.facebook.com/MyTemporaryLife
And, on Twitter, I’m @Martinthewriter



We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Martin Crosbie who is the author of My Temporary Life one of our medallion honorees at http://www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, My Temporary Life merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.



IndieBRAG

Thank you Martin and IndieBRAG for the pleasure of this wonderful interview!

Stephanie
Layered Pages









Sunday Tip for Self-Publishing Authors: Cover Designs

The design of a book cover is so important for first impressions.It tells me the author cares for a strong presentation of their book. It also shows the author took the time and energy, before rushing to publish. A good cover invites one to open it and to explore it’s pages.

When a reader is in a bookstore, browsing the shelves, the first things they see is the cover. I have to admit I have come across some horrid book covers that turned me off completely to buying the book. I suggest finding a graphic designer who designs covers for writers. I know many of you complain about the cost and such. But if you are going to write a book and want to have it published and do well….you’re going to have to be willing to spend the money. It’s a tough business out there, so you might as well do it right the first time.

Stephanie
Layered Pages

Interview with Author Douglas Carlyle

I would like to introduce Douglas Carlyle, the winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion.
Douglas please tell us about your book, In Search of the Fuller Brush Man.
The novel is highly biographical, yet “fictionalized.” It has very little to do with the Fuller Brush Man per se. My mother died of cancer in 1987. She kept a journal while she was dying. Her last written words were “Fuller Brush Man”.
The plot centers around Sean Marcum who searches for the meaning of his mother’s last words. She used to teach him all of life’s lessons via riddles, and he is certain this is her swan song she intended for him to decipher. There is a problem. Sean is lousy at riddles and puzzles. His search turns into an obsession that leads him year after year from one dead end to the next.
Add to this Sean’s mid-life crisis, then the death of his first true love, Kim, and Sean is in real trouble. But wait! Kim and Sean remained close all their adult lives, and it turns out she never let go of him. In fact, she penned a novel about their failed relationship. She was extremely close to Sean’s mother, she is a master at riddles, and she knows what Sean’s mother meant by her last words. The answer is contained within her novel.
Is there a message in this story you want readers to grasp?
There is nothing more important than a long-term relationship with a person you love.
Where there any research challenges for this story?
Since it was largely biographical, facts about persons, places, settings were easy. The most difficult part about that is this. I know these persons, places, and settings intimately, yet the reader does not. I have to translate the detail I know so well into meaningful narrative and conversation, yet not go overboard in word count.
What is the most surprising thing you learned in creating your story?
This novel really molded my way of writing. First, I need to have some idea of a plot. Next, I create characters. I have to find images of my characters. Those I select, I put in an album of sorts. I am a visual person, so I have to know hair color, body type, facial hair, bust size, eye color, facial expressions, style of clothing, the type of vehicle they drive, and so forth. All of this is cataloged. After this, I write the conversation. This is what moves the story along. Finally, I develop the narrative that intermingles with the conversation, and pulls the entire novel together. It’s not an exact science, but this is more or less my recipe. When I write in this manner, I can be very productive.
What is your next book project?
It is titled, Vinegarone. The manuscript is complete and my editor has returned it to me for correction. It will be on the market within the next few months, no later than October 1st.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
My editor says I am excellent at conversation. I agree wholeheartedly. My greatest strength after that is modesty.
What do you think contributes to make a writer successful?
There is a distinction between an indie-author like me, and those who are “mainstream” published. I write what I want to write, the way I want to write it. Agents don’t like me because I won’t bow to their rules, set by the major publishers. For example, the sage advice I’ve been given includes, but is not limited to:
a)    A first-time novel can be no longer than 80,000 words.
b)    Subsequent novels cannot be more than 100,000 words.
c)    You can only write in one genre.
d)    Take that story you’ve been dying to write, finish it, then put it on a shelf. Nobody wants to hear it.
e)    Write what is selling.
f)     Don’t write conversation using colloquial speech.
g)    Don’t turn your hero into a villain at the end.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been able to write well. I am an electrical engineer by degree and vocation. I got an “A” in college, freshman rhetoric! I learned a lot from that man.
The catalyst to publish was in some ways selfish, in other ways it my way to deal with sorrow. As I mentioned, my mother passed more than away 20 years prior to publishing this novel. The character “Kim” in my novel is based upon my high school girlfriend who in fact succumbed to breast cancer. She began writing a novel back when we dated 40+ years ago. A few years before her death, she still had yet to finish. It remained unfinished at the time of her death. It helped me heal to write the end of her novel for her within my novel. True, I made it all up, but that worked for me, and it made a hell of a good story.
I had hoped to complete it before she died. Unfortunately, she passed away a six months before I was able to get the book on the market. I dedicated the book to my mother and my old girlfriend.
What is your favorite quote?
I could be trite and pick a short one. Sean and his wife Dixie are arguing. She says,
“Could you obsess over computers or cars or golf or women in lingerie or something half-way normal? No! You obsess over a company everybody over the age of 50 has forgotten, and nobody under 50 has ever frickin’ heard of!”
But, more importantly, I want to stress what I say inside the rear cover. It reads,
My mother died of pancreatic cancer on March 12, 1987. She kept a journal. In it, her last written words really were Fuller Brush Man. As far as I am concerned, I know what she was talking about.
I was fortunate to have had a relationship with a truly wonderful woman during high school and my first years of college. She died of breast cancer on June 30, 2010. Though we parted ways many years ago, I can’t help but think of how she, along with my mother, perhaps unknowingly, helped shape me to be the decent man, father, and husband that I am today. She married a better man than me, and raised a lovely family. Their life together will be a lesson of love in and of itself for all time.
I will never be able to thank these two women enough. And I can never again embrace them. But as a tribute to them, I hope all who read this book come to understand, as I have, the beauty of a long-term relationship.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
a)    Write what you want to write. If you chase what you think will sell, your writing will reflect that.
b)    Inspiration comes when it comes. Don’t go looking for it.
c)    You have to hone your writing skills.
Author Bio:

Doug Carlyle grew up in Urbana, Illinois where he graduated from the University of Illinois with, of all things for a novelist, a degree in electrical engineering. After a circuitous journey that took him through 26 glorious years in the semiconductor industry, he began writing great fiction. He also married, raised a family, and relocated to the Central Texas Hill Country.

Never being able to choose just one pastime, today he continues to practice his 30-year long medical ministry as a paramedic, while filling in the gaps in his calendar writing, signing, or selling his books.

You can read more about Doug Carlyle at http://www.dbcarlyle.com/

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Douglas Carlyle who is the author of  In Search of the Fuller Brush Man, one of our medallion honorees at http://www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as,   In Search of the Fuller Brush Man merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

IndieBRAG

Thank you Douglas and IndieBRAG for the pleasure of this wonderful Interview.

Stephanie
Layered Pages

Interview with Author Darcie Chan

I would like to intruduce Author Darcie Chan the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.
Darcie, please tell us about your book, The Mill River Recluse.
The Mill River Recluse is the story of Mary McAllister, a woman who has suffered from severe social anxiety disorder her entire life. As a result of certain events that occur in her youth, Mary’s condition worsens until she becomes a virtual prisoner in her marble mansion that overlooks the tiny town of Mill River, Vermont. The townspeople are completely unaware that she keeps a secret, one which will change all of their lives.
Were there any challenges you faced writing this story?

I wrote The Mill River Recluse in the evenings, after work, and it took more than two years to finish. The hardest thing for me, other than the fact that it was my first novel and I was learning a lot writing-wise through trial and error, was just finding the time to write at all. My day job at the time was very demanding and often required substantial overtime.

What is the most surprising thing you learned while creating your book and the mystery of the story?

I guess the most surprising thing I learned is that sometimes, a character “decides” to do something that you do not expect. A prime example of this is that when I started writing The Mill River Recluse, I had not planned for Mary McAllister to take her own life. I was writing late one night and that scene just flew onto the page, and I thought, “Oh, no,” and “Of course!” at the same time.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

I’m not sure how to answer this exactly, but what I tried to do with my first novel was to use ordinary characters with which many people could identify to tell an extraordinary story. Based on the way readers have responded to The Mill River Recluse, I think I succeeded in doing that.

What do you think contributes to make a writer successful?

It’s really important to read as much as you can and write often. Also, even though it’s difficult sometimes, being willing to seek and accept constructive criticism is so necessary if you want to improve your writing. Finally, you’ve got to be determined…to be able to handle a lot of rejection…and to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed eventually.

What books or events have most influenced your life the most?

I don’t think I’ve been heavily influenced by any one book or writer, but I read widely and love books of many genres — thrillers, literary fiction, historical fiction, some nonfiction, etc. As a writer, I try to learn something from each book that I read. My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It is timeless, and such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, uplifting story. I read it every few years, and I learn something new every time I do.

In college, I took a poetry class taught by Yusef Komunyakaa, and the graduate assistant who taught my small section was Khaled Mattawa. During one session, the graduate assistants gave readings of their own work for all of the undergraduate students in the lecture hall. Khaled read a poem he had composed about looking through the Sears catalog when he was a boy. (The poem is online and can be read here: http://www.webdelsol.com/mattawa/km-part2.htm) The entire lecture hall listened, spellbound, and Khaled received a huge round of applause. I learned something that day that I’ve often remembered: a talented writer can transform something as ordinary as the old Sears catalog into a thing of wonder and beauty.

What is your next book project?

Currently, I’m working on my second novel, which (along with my third novel) will be set in the fictional world of Mill River, Vermont, and will involve many of the characters from my first novel. The second book involves a new story and some new characters as well. Both of these new novels will be published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

My parents taught me to read and write when I was very young, so I credit them for my having loved books and writing all of my life. I remember winning a school-district-wide writing contest when I was in seventh grade…I was only 11, but I came home with my little trophy and announced to my parents that I wanted to be a writer. My English teacher mother immediately said “Great! You can do anything you set your mind to. Follow your dreams!” My very practical and honest father, who worked in special education administration for much of his career, told me that writers have a hard time earning a living and that I should think about doing something else as a career to provide financial security. In the end, I decided to do what each suggested – i.e., I would go to law school but follow the dream (i.e., write fiction) in my spare time.

I didn’t have much time to write for pleasure in college and law school. I might have written a short story here and there, but I never attempted to get them published. My intention was always to focus on book-length fiction. After I’d finished my education and had been working as an attorney for a few years, I finally felt as if I had enough time to try to write a novel.

What is your favorite quote?

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

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#yiv664479466 #yiv664479466 table.yiv664479466MsoNormalTable {line-height:115%;font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”sans-serif”;} Read as much as you can, including books that you might not typically choose. Write as much as you can, and try to write at least a little bit each day. Seek out and take to heart constructive criticism. Prepare yourself for rejection, and don’t be afraid to take an alternative path to get your work out there, once you’re confident that it’s ready. #yiv664479466 #yiv664479466 table.yiv664479466MsoNormalTable {line-height:115%;font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”sans-serif”;}

Read your writing aloud to yourself to hear how it flows, how realistic the dialogue sounds, etc. Research your subjects carefully, because there will almost always be readers out there who know more (much more!) than you do about them.

Come up with a story that you feel passionate about telling – a story that moves you emotionally – and then put your heart into the telling of it. Hopefully, your emotion will carry through and move your readers. I’m convinced that if you don’t have a story that touches readers in some way, nothing else you do to try to make your book a success will matter.

Above all, believe in yourself and never give up!
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Author Links:
Link to novel:
It’s also available in the iBookstore.



We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Darcie Chan who is the author of The Mill River Recluse, one of our medallion honorees at http://www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as The Mill River Recluse  merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

IndieBRAG

Thank you Darcie Chan and IndieBRAG for the pleasure of this wonderful interview.

Stephanie
Layered Pages

Sunday Tip for Self-Publishing Authors/Writers

I would like to make a suggestion for all newly self-published authors that I would hope you would follow through. I highly recommend, when you publish your book, have book reviewers review your story other than just family and friends. You need someone objective and who could give you their honest opinion. I also give the same advice for your book that has yet to be published. Many reviewers will gladly read manuscripts and give advice on what they think needs further work.

Stephanie
Layeres Pages

Interview with Author Cindi Crane

It is my pleasure to introduce Author Cindi Crane winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.
Cindi please tell us about your book, Roswell Redemption.

Roswell Redemption is a story of two women whose stories come together in Greyson Manor, a plantation home in Roswell, Georgia.
In 1838, Jade Hawkins is the thirteen year old daughter of a prominent Cherokee family who own one of the most successful plantations in the Cherokee Nation. But the Hawkins plantation is taken over by force as a result of the Georgia Land Lottery and Andrew Jackson’s insistence on the Cherokee removal to the west. Jade’s family is destroyed and she is forced to stay with the new white owner. Her strength and sacrifices change the history of several families for many years to come.
In 2010, Carolyn Kane searches for a property where she can open a restaurant and event facility in Roswell, Georgia. Carolyn finds Greyson Manor, one of the only original plantations remaining. The owners are unwilling to renovate or sell. As Carolyn strives to persuade the Greyson clan, she uncovers the story of an Indian girl that will change the town of Roswell forever.


What inspired you to write this story?

I was inspired to write this story after struggling with uncovering my husband’s genealogy. My husband’s grandparents died very young (39 and 42) and their 6 children were orphaned – the family records were lost. However, I was fascinated by my husband’s grandmother’s Cherokee background. I discovered that it was difficult to prove. In my research I learned that many Cherokee would note on the census that they were white or black in fear that the government would take their land – even still today. I realized that I didn’t know as much about Georgia as I had thought and my mother bought me the book, The Trail of Tears, by John Ehle. My heart broke reading about the tales of the Cherokees’ attempts to integrate into the white man’s world. They dressed like the white men and women. They learned to speak, read and write the English language. They worked farms and even married into the white race. It wasn’t enough. When gold was discovered in Northwest Georgia, part of the Cherokee Nation, Andrew Jackson stepped in. He defied the Supreme Court, who had ruled that the land should remain with the Cherokee, and asked Governor Lumpkin to conduct the Land Lottery of 1832. And in 1838 the Cherokee were removed to the west along the Trail of Tears.

What fascinates you the most of the time period this story takes place in?

At the same time I was working through my husband’s genealogy, I became fascinated with the beautiful historical plantation homes and quant shops and restaurants in Roswell, Georgia.
I absolutely love that town! I even toyed with the idea of opening a plantation home as an events facility and looked into what it would take. I decided I was better suited staying in the technology industry I have worked in for over 25 years, but again it was a time of my life that really opened my eyes to the history and the culture of this area. The idea came to me one day that I should write about what I had learned. I wanted it to be a novel versus a non-fiction book hoping to capture the hearts and minds of the many fiction readers and book club members. I think historical novels are a great way to educate readers and I hope that I portrayed the beauty and sorrows of the area and events. Roswell King and the other “Founding Fathers” began building their homes in the late 1830’s – shortly after the removal. Apparently, Roswell has more plantation homes and other historical buildings still standing than almost any other town in the South. Some of the homes were spared because they had Mason symbols on them (Sherman was a Mason himself) so the Union used them for hospitals and to rest in prior to taking over Atlanta. I take my story from The Trail of Tears (1838) through the Civil War (1865).
Were there any research challenges you faced?

I had to do my research and write on the weekends because I work full time during the week. Some places I would have liked to go in person to see and research, I was unable to because of the timing. Most of my research was done through reading many books about the Cherokee, Roswell, and the Civil War. One of the fun and fascinating books I read was Dianna Avena’s book, Roswell, History, Haunts and Legends. Dianna runs the Ghost Tour in Roswell – she really knows the history of the homes!

How long did it take you to write Roswell Redemption?

I wrote my first draft of Roswell Redemption in 21 Sundays! That’s not really something to brag about – whipping out a novel isn’t really the best way to go about it, but I was on a mission! I of course then edited it 16 times and had my book club read it and edit it as well as many family and friends. At the same time I was learning about the publishing business. After writing a bunch of query letters to agents, I decided to go with Outskirts Press. They are a hybrid type of publisher. You pay a little up front, but then they take it from there just like a traditional publisher. It’s exciting to see all of the book stores and on line retailers pick it up. It’s even available in Australia and Croatia! It’s really exciting to see the finished product. It’s also available in Kindle and Nook and within a few weeks it will be available on the iPad Bookstore.

What is your next book project?

I have gotten emails and letters from people all over the country telling me how they loved the story; that they either have Cherokee ancestry or learned something about the area they were unaware of. Most people really like Jade, my protagonist in the 1800’s. Some have asked for a sequel so I decided to start one! I can’t wait to see where this story takes me. I’ll be writing about the 1860’s through the 1920’s – can’t wait to learn all about that era and will of course intertwine Jade’s fictitious family into the historical facts. I love going from current day back to the past. It’s almost like getting two books in one!
My most exciting project however is that I am working with the City of Roswell, the Roswell Historical Society, the Trail of Tears Association and the Cherokee to build a monument to the Cherokee in Roswell. We hope to unveil it in 2013, the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. When I approached the mayor, Jere Wood, about the idea, he was all for it and has been supportive as well as the organizations that I will be working with to build a memorial to the Cherokee – to honor those who came before us.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

My college English professors used to tell me they liked my style of writing and I should try to work it into my career. I do write technical papers, proposals, etc. with my job – but truly, my husband inspired me to write what I had learned. He had the faith in me that it would get done. He even helped me rewrite the last chapter and gave me feedback as I worked through the story line. His support, as well as my family and friends’ support, helped bring this story to reality.

What is your favorite quote?

I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin – If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Just Start! I found that you have to pick a day and time that you will write and make it a priority. The good news is, once you start, it will flow! I found writing my novel was like reading a book that you can’t put down. Once the story starts to flow, you just go! And it doesn’t have to be perfect out of the gate – just start – you can always change it later – but not until you start! The other very helpful activity for me was to join the Georgia Writers Association and the Atlanta Writers Club. I am sure most towns have writers groups. You meet other people that are at different stages of the publishing process and I learned a lot from them. Another tip – find out who your local authors are, recommend their books to your book club and invite them to attend your meeting. Most authors really appreciate your support and love to attend the book club meetings to talk about their stories and what inspired them. They will then be great mentors for you. I did that with Wendy Wax, Karen White and Sandy Weaver Carmen and they have been so inspiring and supportive of me!

Author Bio:

Cindi Crane is a member of the Georgia Writers Association, the Atlanta Writers Club, the Roswell Historical Society, the Trail of Tears Association and the Georgia Trust. She has a BS degree in Marketing and has worked for 25 years in the technology industry. She is the Southeast Consulting Sales Director for Oracle Corporation. Cindi is a Georgia Author of the Year, First Novel Nominee for 2012 and is an IndieB.R.A.G. Medallion recipient. Visit her website at http://outskirtspress.com/roswellredemption.

 
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Cindi Crane who is the author of Roswell Redemption, one of our medallion honorees at http://www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as Roswell Redemption merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

IndieBRAG

Thank you Cindi for this wonderful interview and to IndieBRAG.

Stephanie
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