S. Smith Book Signing – Earth Day Every Day Part Four

April 17, 2014 at 12:18 am (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The Half Price Books Clear Lake store was a lovely host today for S. Smith’s first signing of her Texas Earth Day Tour.

The weather was gorgeous, a little chilly for we Texans, but quite beautiful.  A great day for an author from Oregon to set up shop in Houston.

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Last night, in preparation, I made seedling cupcakes. Yet another great Pinterest idea that the Texas humidity took a toll on. The fondant sort of got floppy the warmer it got throughout the day, and the green sort of melted a bit. But over all, I’m pleased with my first try.

We met new readers today, and enjoyed chatting with the customers in the store. Of course, the first and most common questions was, “What are the books about?”

If you’re stumbling across my blog for the first time, Seed Savers is a young adult series about a dystopian society where growing your own fruits and vegetables is illegal.  So naturally, an underground organization is created to keep the art and know how of gardening alive.  It’s good garden sense mixed with the danger and adventure of kids on the run from the government entities hunting them down.

There are three books in publication that Sandy is signing and selling right now, but the series is set to be five volumes long.  The story is pretty epic, in my opinion, as you can tell if you read through all the past Seed Savers posts featured on this blog.  I adore this woman and all her work, and I hope that everyone who purchased her book today feels the same way when they’re done reading.

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S. Smith will be at Good Books in the Woods Friday night and then at Half Price Books Humble 1-3 pm and HPB Montrose 6-9 pm on Saturday.  If you missed today’s signing, please make time to see S. Smith at the other Houston stores before she flits off to Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.  The author is from Oregon so this very well might be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

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Meeting S. Smith – Earth Day Every Day Part Three

April 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I couldn’t have had a more perfect day.  It all started with an amarP1010596yllis bloom opening and an email.  S. Smith had arrived in Houston and was looking to hang out before her first Half Price Books signing tomorrow.

Today I finally had the pleasure of meeting S. Smith, the author of the Seed Savers series.  I never thought this day would actually come, as I am a book reviewer in Texas and she is a young adult fiction writer from Oregon.  But lo and behold! She had a reason to come down south and booked a Texas Earth Day tour starting with Houston.

I was delighted that she wanted to go for a walk in the woods by our house.  It was a joy picking along the trails, chatting, with my daughter and her husband in tow.  We talked about the difference in the woods of Texas from where she lives in the Northwest.

Below, kiddo, Sandy, and her husband stopped for a rest on a fallen log.

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Sandy will be at the Half Price Books in Clear Lake tomorrow from 1-4 pm, Good Books in the Woods on Friday evening, Half Price Books Humble on Saturday from 1-3 pm, and the Montrose HPB store that evening from 6-9 pm.  Her books are works of fiction for young adults about a dystopian society where growing your own fruits and vegetables is illegal, a fitting discussion topic for an Earth Day celebration.

 

 

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April Events 2014!

April 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The month of April is full of Earth Day celebrations. More specifically, S. Smith, author of a dystopian young adult series that I can’t seem to rave enough about, has planned a trip to Texas from Oregon!  I’m so excited!

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Earth Day 2014 revisedShe will also be at the Montrose HPB (hpb.com/011) on Saturday, April 19th, 6pm-9pm.

Then she’ll be making rounds in San Antonio, Austin, and finally Dallas!  Check out her website for more details on events in those cities: http://authorssmith.com/book-news-and-events/

seed savers book marketingAlso, although I am based out of Houston, this is a Dallas event that I support with all my heart and would love to attend if I were able:

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Interview with Jennifer Theriot

March 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm (Interviews) (, , , , , , )

P1010001Meet Jennifer Theriot, Texan, CFO, wife, grandmother, and AUTHOR!

1.  Describe your book and its inception. What was your muse so to speak

Out of the Box Awakening is a romance novel centered on middle aged lovers and stresses the importance of family and friends. I got the idea to write a book after reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I had to read it 3 times to actually get the core of the story.

I took two of my closest friends to dinner one night and over a glass of wine casually mentioned that I was thinking of writing a book about middle-aged lovers. The actually dared me to do it with enthusiasm.

We all agreed that there just weren’t romance novels out there about women like us; hence the dare was accepted and the writing began.

My muse would be Kevin Costner. As soon as I started writing the book, he was hands down Ash Harper in every sense of the word.

2. You’ve written a romance.  Is this the genre you prefer to read? What are your favorite titles and authors?

Romance is my favorite genre. I love Maya Banks, Lisa Renee Jones, S.C. Stephens and Cherrie Lynn. I loved all of their books.

3. Writing romantic stories, I find, always invites quite an array of emotions from people in the real world.  How have your friends and family reacted to your story content?

For the most part, my friends and family are behind me one hundred percent. My friends have read the book of course but my immediate family (husband and kids) Ehhhh….out of the boxno.  And truth be known, I don’t think I want them to. There’s some things better left to the unknown.

4. Just like when I read, when I write I find myself drawn to certain characters more than others.  Did you have a favorite in your own work?

Oh goodness YES! Todd O’Malley is the tatted up, pierced good-looking rock star that resembles Adam Levine. In the book, he becomes best friends with the main character Olivia. Their relationship as he describes it: “Olivia is like having a mom and a best friend all rolled up into one smoking ass hot chick.” I have to say he’s by far the most colorful and fun character. Ash on the other hand is the Romeo every woman would want in her life. Those two are my dream guysJ

5. Many authors are heavily influenced by their environment when they write.  Where is your safe space? Do you have mood music?

My “space” consists of being curled up in my chair with my feet up on the ottoman, Mac Book Air in lap typing away with ear buds in listening to the playlist for my book. I find that I can still spend time with hubby that way and have the best of both worlds.

Music is a huge influence in my writing. I’d wanted to use lyrics from a particular recorded song in my book and quickly discovered the red tape and bureaucracy involved with permission to use. That being said, I wrote my own lyrics and I’m so proud to say, a dear musician friend wrote music to them and recorded it. It’s even on iTunes.

6. What do you find to be the easiest of the writing and editing process? What is the hardest for you?

The easiest is of course the writing. The hardest is during beta reads when the readers come back with their comments. It is probably the most intense part of the process for me. I have an incredible beta reader, who has also become a good friend. She knows my characters like the back of her hand and calls me out when she’s not feeling what she knows I’m trying to say. She and I have had many discussions and she pushes me to emotionally engage the readers with a scene. Her words are “Jen, you know what’s going on and how the characters are feeling….take us there in your words. Make us feel it with you.”

7. Did you learn anything about yourself or the world you live in by writing this book?

Funny you should ask that…. The answer is yes. This journey has made me much more confident about myself as a 59 year old woman who considers herself forever young. I’ve never felt better inside or out. If anything, my main character Olivia has given me the authority to express my feelings in the real world. I’ve talked to a lot of ladies in my age group who like me still enjoy sex, they like date nights with their husbands and significant others. They like to wear sexy lingerie and dress trendy. It’s an incredible feeling and I believe when you feel good about yourself, others can see that.

8. I’ve met a lot of authors with drastically differing views on this… would you ever be interested in a TV or movie deal for your series?  If so, how involved would you want to be? (There every step of the way? Or hand it over and let the film people do their thing?)

I could totally see the Out of the Box series being made into a movie…I’ve even got a dream cast put together. Probably every author visualizes his or her book getting made into a movie or TV series.

What a lot of authors probably don’t realize is how much of a long shot that is. A movie/TV series doesn’t just magically appear and the things that go into the making of a series or movie and moreover the likelihood of it actually coming to fruition is daunting. Finding investors to actually take a chance on financing a project like…very difficult!

I would definitely be a hands-on type. It’s my personality. I’ve got to have my hand in every detail which drives me crazy but that’s the way God made me.

P10009959. You’ve just started participating in book signings and are writing another book.  What direction do you see your writing career headed? Where would you like it to head?

I love doing the book signings. At first I was terrified!

I love interacting with people and meeting other authors.

I do plan to continue writing as long as people keep reading my books. I’ve finished the second book, Out of the Box Regifted. It’s currently in editing and I’ve started the 3rd and final book in the series, Out of the Box Everlasting. (The trilogy is called ARE. That way, readers will know what book is first and last in the series because it spells a word)

After Everlasting, I’ll do a book from Todd’s POV and then I’m on to a completely different series. I want to continue to write about middle-aged lovers. I feel there is a market for this. Women my age don’t always want to read about twenty-something characters…

10. Every reader or writer has a favorite bookstore (and if you don’t, please don’t spoil my delusion!).  Now is your chance for a shout out!  Tell us who you love and what you love about them.

I could sell my soul to Half Price Books! I’ve never gone into one and come out empty handed.

I also like Barnes and Noble.

Something about a good old bookstore just feels right. When you walk down an aisle, if you listen closely enough you can hear the characters in the books whispering “Buy me, buy me!”

Long live the bookstores!

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Book Signing with Jennifer Theriot

February 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , )

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Author Jennifer Theriot was at Half Price Books in Humble today.

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Interview with Science Fiction Author George Wright Padgett

July 20, 2013 at 2:12 am (Interviews) (, , , , , , , )

George_Inset_Photo_compactGeorge Wright Padgett is the author of the science fiction title Spindown .  He lives in the Houston area.

1. Describe your book and its inception. What was your muse, so to speak?

I tend to question things about the world and our place in it.  When I started writing Spindown I wanted to explore the age-old topic of nature vs. nurture – Are we born who we are to become, or are we only the byproducts of our experiences?  And what does it mean to be free?  Believe it or not, I leaned heavily on Golding’s The Lord of the Flies as a study of characters reacting individually and as a tribe with and against each other.  I freely admit that the Draad flashlight is a version of the conch shell of authority that is found on the island in his book.

My writing style is that I tend to reverse engineer my stories.  I start with the question and then work my way backwards filling in the holes until there’s a logic for why things are as they are.

For example, I decided to start with characters that were blank canvases that I could expose to extreme situations and watch how they reacted to each other and solve problems.

For it to work I had to answer to myself why would these people would not have any emotional experiences and yet be full grown adults?  The solution was make them have lives that were severely isolated – keeping them from each other as much as possible and when they were forced to interact with each other they would be drugged into a stupor.

Then the question arises how or who would do this – So by reverse engineering I realized that it must be an ore corporation behind it and to save money from sending people to Jupiter to mine, they use harvested clones to do the labor.  That’s just one example of how as I would walk through one door and answer a question, there’d be another waiting behind it.  When all of the doors were opened (save the final one) the story was over.

Spindown box

2. Your book has ‘classic science fiction’ all over it.  What authors do you read and do you consider them heavy influences on your writing?

I’ve read a tremendous amount from the classic authors Asimov, Clarke, etc.  (as a matter of fact, I recently finished Foundation again).

One thing that I’ve always appreciated about those writers is the level of authenticity in their stories.  I spent many months building and rebuilding on paper the vast mining compound on Ganymede before I wrote a single word.  It required a stupid amount of discipline to resist the urge to dive right in, but my deferred gratification paid off. When it came time to write the story, all that I had to do was to ‘activate’ the characters to run and follow them as if I were an imbedded reporter.

I didn’t set out to write a modern story in the classic sci-fi style; in fact I am humbled to have Spindown even compared to those great works.  All that I can attest the results to be my exposure to their styles must have seeped through into my story.  I feel like the character in The Amazing Colossal Man who accidentally wanders into a plutonium blast in the desert. The radiation transforms him due to his exposure to it, not through anything that he did.  I was exposed to the radiation of many great storytellers.

3. Just like when I read, when I write I find myself enjoying some characters more than others – regardless of their role in the story.  Did you have a favorite in Spindown? Who was it? Why?

Wow.  It’s too difficult for me to pick just one – so I won’t.  (I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers for the uninitiated.)  I enjoyed watching Prall 4167 develop throughout the piece.  Here’s a guy that is used to being in control, and is faced with his entire world being turned inside out.  Readers undoubtedly cast him as a villain, but when you clinically review what he does and why he does things, he sort of makes sense.  He’s the most practical one of the escaped clones and never displays a shred of self-doubt.  Don’t misunderstand, what he does/allows is reprehensible to say the least, but he doesn’t see himself that way- he is only about one thing: Survival of Prall 4167.  Can you blame him?  His Machiavellian approach to situations intrigued me to the point that when it was time to assign the characters their suffix numbers, I gave him 4167 (my birthdate of 4/1/67).

Another part that was fun to write was the interactions between Martin and Buck.  By the time we meet up with them again, they have been companions for a very long time.  They remind me of an old married couple; they bicker with each other, but there’s no mistaking the love that has developed between them over the years.

Ah… then there’s Fowler and Sholve.  I enjoyed how Fowler usually has his plans backfire on him or not go exactly how he thought things would work out.  Often Sholve has to bail him out in some way.  In all, they end up making a good team, with her problem-solving skills and his physical strength. One of my favorite exchanges between them is when they have opposing views on if they should ‘contaminate’ the Setter character with the knowledge of what is actually happening to clones on Marius 516.  They come at the situation with polar opposite philosophies, forcing the reader to pick a side- Do we let him go on, and live blindly?  Or do we confront him with the truth allowing him to decide for himself what to do?

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George and Grey Gecko Press at Half Price Books Humble

4. Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?

My inability to spell and use proper grammar is far worse than I could have ever imagined (even with spellcheck)

5. Exactly how much research was needed to pull off this level of scientific expertise? What was that process like?

As I mentioned before, I probably spent way too much time on this.  I found that my compulsiveness seems to require a ridiculous amount of backstory and detail for whatever I’m working on.  An example of this is how an early draft of Spindown had the clones speak a hyper-restrictive tongue called Chone. I developed the entire language removing any ‘hot words’ from their vocabulary.  The result would have made Orwell’s writers of NewSpeak blush it was so limiting.  It took a month of refining over and over.  It was beautiful- and every bit of it ended up on the ‘cutting room floor’.  While readers likely will notice the absence of the personal pronoun of ‘us/we’ from the first half of the book, that is the only thing that remained!  It became too cumbersome for the clones to speak – a month totally wasted!  I also know more about Ganymede than any non-Nasa personnel is allowed.

My habit is to completely immerse myself in the research and the world building of the story.  This is fine, but a good writer has to edit out the artifacts that do not advance the story – sorry, Chone language.

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Click to visit Grey Gecko Press

6.How did you come across Grey Gecko Press? How has that relationship been for you?

I encountered the owner, Jason Aydelotte at a social gathering of other Houston area writers.  He’s the author of the acclaimed Dying of the Light Zombie series.  He had just self-published his first novel in the trilogy and his enthusiasm about publishing was contagious.  He told the people at the table that he was considering helping others learn how to do what he had done for their stories.  Over time, his help and advice transformed into GGP.  He left his day job to start Grey Gecko Press for authors who wanted to ‘storm the castle’ of traditional publishing with him.  I was fortunate (and maybe crazy enough) to be counted among them.  That was ten-thousand books ago.  Since then, everyone there has been remarkable.  Without Grey Gecko, there would be no Spindown because I likely would not have finished it.  Jason’s team was the mid-wife to my book.

7. If Spindown were to be made into a movie, who would you want to tackle it? (JJ Abrams? Joss Whedon? Steven Moffat? Some unknown?)

Sid and Marty Krofft (Google it, kids).

Seriously, I am flattered that so many readers have said that they’d like to see Spindown on the big screen.  I love movies, especially sci-fi, and my writing has been influenced by dozens of classic flicks, but at the end of the day, I’m just a storyteller, not a movie producer.  It’s fun to think of, but what do I know about any of that?  I’d welcome it if someone felt they bring something to the story, but I’ll leave it to the experts.

8. Other than writing, what are your hobbies and talents?

I play jazz piano (under a different stage name), I do graphic design, and am neck-deep in writing the songs and script for a full-length musical.
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9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what were some of the musical influences you had while writing Spindown?

Music is a very important part of my life, so much a part of it that songs/genres that I listen to when not writing easily distract me when I’m ‘working’.  I do this kind of Pavlovian conditioning thing in which there are some classical and ambient selections that I ONLY listen to when writing. It helps to trigger my brain into knowing that ‘It’s time to write’ when this music is played:

Philip Glass – Symphony No. 9, Low Symphony, Heroes Symphony
The soundtrack to ‘Monster’s Ball’
Brian Eno – Music for Airports
Anything from the band Pauseland
and a minimalist band from Austin called ‘Stars of the Lid’

Listen to Philip Glass/No.9 and read any of the chase scenes from Spindown.  You’ll find that they match up perfectly.

10. If there was just one thing you would want your readers/ fans to know about you, what would it be?

I’m a big dork.  Really I am (my wife and kids will attest to the fact).  I don’t allow myself to take my self too seriously, and I will do anything for a laugh (anything).  I still feel and view myself as the 4th grader version of myself.  Sure, I get to drive a car, I can order wine in a restaurant, and do ‘big people’ stuff like that, but after you pull back all the layers, I am still just as silly, needy, and unreservedly amazed with the universe as I was way back then.  And for better or worse, if I haven’t grown up by now, I think that I’m probably stuck this way – and I’m okay with that.

Click to Visit George's Facebook Page

Click to Visit George’s Facebook Page

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L.B. Simmons to Release Second Novel

June 12, 2013 at 5:48 am (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The author of Running on Empty not only just got her first book trailer released into the ether, but tomorrow will start the publishing process of her second book. The release date for her next book is July 13th, 2013.

For those who loved L.B. Simmons’ Running on Empty, or merely want a small taste of her writing before diving into a full novel, comes the novella “Recovery.”

“It reads like a long epilogue to Running on Empty,” Simmons says about her latest book, “Let them know that they will need to read RoE to know what’s going on!”

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The back jacket reads…

I have the perfect life.

I’ve finally found my happy ending.

I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems.

What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?

Well…

This is our story.

Even though itL.B.Simmons is only 30,000 some odd words in length, both the author and her readers are excited about this new installment and her upcoming book signing tour.  Remember that you heard it here first… she will be in the Houston area signing copies of her books in early to mid August at two Half Price Books locations.

L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.
Contact her:
http://www.facebook.com/lbsimmonsauthor – Facebook
http://www.lbsimmons.wordpress.com – Blog
http://www.twitter.com/lbsimmons33 – Twitter
lbsimmons33@gmail.com – Email

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Coming of Age…

April 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

Coming of Age always references that adolescent stage.  But, the real coming of age, I have found, is when you’re creeping toward 30.  It’s when things really start happening.  It’s, apparently, the new 20.

I’m getting published.

And so are all my writerly friends my age.

Here’s one of them:

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I look forward to reading Missing Dad by Miranda Campbell.

So, maybe we’ve been grown up for awhile now, but now it finally feels that way.

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April 2013 Events

March 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In addition to Book Club (first Monday of the Month) and Poetry Night (first Thursday of the Month), this is what’s going on at Half Price Books Humble in April. Keep checking back, there may be more to come!
Journaling 2ndthurscoloring contest 2013Earth Day with MercerEarth Day 2013Chris RogersMary Reason Theriot April

Martin Epi Raffle

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Interview with Author Rhonda R. Dennis

January 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm (Interviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Author of the Green Bayou Novels

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Rhonda on the right at HPB Humble last year.

I met Rhonda R. Dennis while booking her and Melinda McGuire for A Southern Saturday – an event we put on at the Half Price Books in Humble. It featured southern authors, southern goodies, and all around a lot of southern hospitality. We had a blast. Rhonda was friendly, donated a lot of her own books to raffle off to customers, and kept a professional attitude.

Another signing is the works now, with details to follow later.  But since I can’t quite have her in the store again just yet, I’ve arranged an interview! (So exciting! As I’ve said before, interviews and guest blogs make me feel like Oprah.)

  1. Your books are set in Southern Louisiana, and you’re also from there.  What were your favorite things about the state when growing up? What are your favorite things about living there now?

First, I want to thank you for having me as a guest!  I absolutely love reading your posts.

While growing up, I never gave much thought to how different my culture is to others.  I assumed that everyone ate tons of seafood, celebrated Mardi Gras, and had the innate ability to pronounce French names.  I started traveling, and realized that was far from true!  I love visiting new places and I have a huge appreciation for their traditions, but South Louisiana will always be home to me.  It’s definitely a place that everyone should visit at least once.

  1. Your books are Romantic Suspense/ Mysteries.  Is this the genre you typically read as well? What authors or books are on your ‘favorites’ shelf?

a-confederacy-of-dunces-by-john-kennedy-tooleI enjoy most genres.  My favorite book is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  I read it at least once a year and I’m always amazed by his genius!  I also love Charlaine Harris’ The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series.  I appreciate the work of many Indie authors, although several of them are now being traditionally published.  Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless left me sobbing and Marie Coulson’s Bound Together was scorching!  L.B. Simmons’ Running on Empty—phenomenal!  I tend to gravitate toward books that let you feel a range of emotions.  I like to cry one minute then laugh the next.  To me, that’s the mark of a truly great author—being able to take your reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

  1. Do you have play lists of mood music you write to?  If so, which artists/songs generally make the cut?

writing-and-musicMy music choices are even more eclectic than my reading preferences.  Depending on the mood of the scene I’m writing, I will listen to anything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Bruno Mars.  I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s and 90’s music lately, as well as the Les Miserables soundtrack. A lot of times, I have to turn the music off because I spend more time belting out tunes than getting my story down!

  1. What do you find to be the easiest part of the writing and editing process? What is the hardest for you?

unforseenThe easiest part is coming up with the general direction I want to take the story.  Generally, I type a skeleton version then rework it until I’m happy with the manuscript.  The hardest part is when I actually put it out there for the public to read.  I believe in my stories, my beta readers are generally enthusiastic about the books, but until I get that feedback from the readers, I’m waiting with bated breath.  Please leave reviews people!!  You have no clue how important they are to authors, not for an ego boost, but for validation that we’re on the right track. J

  1. When you complete a book and it goes to print, how do you celebrate?

It’s generally a quiet, personal pat on the back kind of thing.  Although, the series will be wrapping with book six at the end of the year, so I anticipate a book launch/series finale party for that one.

  1. I’ve met a lot of authors with drastically differing views on this… would you ever be interested in a TV or movie deal for your series?  If so, how involved would you want to be? (There every step of the way? Or hand it over and let the film people do their thing?)

I have so many people tell me that they strongly feel the series needs to be made into a movie/movies.  I’m all for it!  I’d love to have lots of control over it, but I’m realistic enough to know that that probably won’t be likely.  My only wish is that they would do the series justice.

  1. I’ve read in other interviews that you’ll write this series as long as Emily has stories to tell. Do you have any other projects in mind at this time?

I do have some projects lined up after the last book of The Green Bayou Novels series is released.  I want to branch out a little bit.  I have plans for a couple of stand-alone novels, as well as a book about local ghost stories.

  1. You’ve been featured on Melinda McGuire’s Southern Creatives segment of her blog, been involved in joint book signings, and contributed to a project she edited (Rich Fabric) [I’ll link to Rich Fabric].  How did you meet?

facebook_like_icon_blogsThat is one of the wonderful things about technology!  We met online!  I want to say it was the Goodreads website?  Anyway, being that we are both writers of Southern fiction, we instantly bonded, even though our writing styles are quite different.  She writes from a historical perspective, whereas my novels are set in modern times.  I’m pretty sure she’ll agree that we have a mutual appreciation of each other’s enthusiasm for all things Southern.  I’m a definite fan of her work.

  1. Every reader or writer has a favorite bookstore (and if you don’t, please don’t spoil my delusion!).  Now is your chance for a shout out!  Tell us who you love and what you love about them.

While I could easily spend loads of time and money in any Barnes and Noble store (or any other major retailer for that matter), I prefer the feel of the small Mom and Pop bookstores.  I love walking into a place where you know the staff is there because it’s their passion, not just a job.  We had a quaint little bookstore in Morgan City, but unfortunately, it shut down.  I continually hope that someone will try to open another one.
I should also mention that we don’t have any Half Price Book branches in Louisiana, but based upon the reactions of my husband and son when I had my joint signing with Melinda McGuire in Humble, we’d be spending lots of time in there, too!

  1. Outside of writing and Southern Louisiana, what are your passions?

I am very passionate about giving back to others.  I’ve donated many copies of my books, t-shirts, and other prizes to raffles and auctions to raise funds for injured or ill persons.  My favorite charities revolve around cancer research/children’s charities:  St. Jude’s, the Shriner’s Hospitals, American Cancer Society…  At this moment, I’m in the process of working something out for our local Relay for Life.

I’m also passionate about treating others the way I would like to be treated, and doing all I can to help make this world a better place for my son to grow up in.  I love to promote the good things that are happening around us.  I feel that we often get bogged down in the bad news.  Just as many wonderful things occur in a day, however, it’s not often considered “newsworthy”.

Rhonda Dennis

Rhonda R. Dennis posing for the St.MaryNow Franklin Banner Tribune fifteen months ago. Click on the image to visit the article.

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