Posts Tagged ‘Yolanda RenEe’

Quitting is never an option, but detours are part of the journey

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Author Yolanda Renee, when did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 

I was in elementary school when I discovered my love of reading and writing, but I was in my thirties when I met my first author and became hooked on the possibility.

What makes you passionate about writing?

When a story idea hits, it unfolds like a movie in my mind. The ending is always a surprise, and the accomplishment immensely gratifying, made more so via the feedback of readers.

What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

After receiving hundreds of rejections, I chose self-publishing because I finally wanted to share my story with family. I only planned to print a few books, but the response from non-family was so positive I decided to try traditional publishing again. I worked hard to go the conventional route, and I achieved that goal via a small publisher. But after a dispute over royalties and the realization that self-publishing was no longer a stigma, I decided to publish my books via Y R Publishing. I enjoy being in charge of my own destiny.

Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Yes, there’s were several moments when I wondered if I could write a trilogy, but I soon found that reading brought back the inspiration and drive. Quitting is never an option, but detours are part of the journey.

What books have most influenced your life?

            I was in the fourth grade when I first got a library card, I read Nancy Drew, then Judy Bolton, and from there every book I could get my hands on. Gone with the Wind is one of my all-time favorites. I have to say that romance novels, westerns, science fiction, even autobiographies have all influenced my love of reading and writing. My greatest desire is to own a bookstore or at least a massive library filled with first editions.

Please tell us about your book, Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime & my story is Cypress, Like the Tree.

 

            Cypress, Like the Tree, is a story about the murder of a young airman. His wife is the first suspect, but Detective Cypress soon learns multiple suspects wanted the man dead.

What genre is it?

Mystery

Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

An idea or story usually comes to me so fast that I must write it down immediately. It’s like listening to a Dictaphone or watching a movie. The first draft is usually written in a notebook, using my own style of shorthand. Then comes the computer version. Outlines are done for my novels but only after the first draft is completed. I use one sentence descriptions of the chapters. This helps me coordinate the timelines, red-herrings, and characters.

I will admit that when I’m looking for a subject, I do steal from my life. I use the what if scenario. Cypress, Like the Tree, is one of those instances.

Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

            All the authors I’ve had the pleasure reading have been an influence, but primarily Margaret Mitchell. Her determination and talent for sure, but it was also the obstacles she overcame to succeed.

But more recently, Denise Covey a writing friend from Australia, she and I host a writing challenge every other month called WEP: Write…Edit…Publish, but before I joined her, her challenges via RFW, where she and Donna Hole took the time to teach via their critiques.

I was amazed and honored when she asked me to join the team as a co-host. Denise has been an enormous influence, and now I learn from all the writers who participate.

What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?

I rely on the people I know or have met to create my characters. Their traits, looks, and idiosyncrasies all come into play, but I mix it up, so no one recognizes themselves.

Besides writing what other talents or hobbies do you have?

I’m a very organized individual, a place for everything and everything in its place. It must be so, or my muse doesn’t come out to play. I’ve also always enjoyed working with numbers (I’m a former accountant) I even enjoy doing taxes. I enjoy photography, even though my pictures are less than amateur, I keep trying.  And hiking has always been my go-to for relaxation and rejuvenation.

How do you come up with your character’s names?

I’ve used family names, and I’ve taken the names from the obituaries in the newspaper, mixing them up for something new or unusual. But I’ll steal from whatever is handy, even inanimate objects in a pinch.

What is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?

When they write, “I can’t wait for the next book!”

Where can readers go to find your books?

            Amazon Author Page

            My Blog: Defending the Pen

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime – Cypress, Like the Tree

            The Snowman

            Murder, Madness & Love

            Memories of Murder

            Murder & Obsession

 

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime -The clock is ticking…

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Gwen Gardner, Welcome to my blog. Tell us how long have you been writing?

 

Since 2010. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, but when it comes to writing, I’m a late bloomer. To me, there is definitely a correlation between the two, although I didn’t connect them until much later in life. But once the writing bug bit me, there was no turning back.

I know what you mean. Tell us where you were born and where do you live now.

 

I grew up a Navy brat and then married a gypsy, so travel runs in my veins. I love it! Although technically I’m a Southern California girl, I love the beach and the mountains with equal vigor. I love traveling through Europe, and I’m a complete anglophile. In fact, my story, A Stitch in Crime, takes place in the fictional village of Sabrina Shores in England. The architecture is older than you see here in the States, so you know that anything that old must hold secrets…and ghosts. I love telling their stories.

 

Secrets, Ghost…Wow. How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

 

When an idea won’t go away, I’ll jot the idea down and revisit it a few times. If it still nags me, I’ll rough out an outline, to include the ending. If it still interests me, then I’ll write about it.

 

It makes sense. Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

 

First and foremost, my husband. If not for him telling me it was okay to have dreams and chase after them, I doubt I would have ever pursued writing. Inspiration-wise, I admire J.K. Rowling with her fantastic world-building and storytelling ability. Her first Harry Potter book was turned down fifteen times! She didn’t give up. And surprisingly, Stephen King has inspired me. I don’t read horror, but his autobiographical book, On Writing, contains some very real lessons on the craft and the writing journey. He threw away his first draft of Carrie! Luckily his wife fetched it out of the bin. It helps to have someone who believes in you.

 

Hubbies, are awesome when they believe in you. What is the name of your book?

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime is the name of the anthology to be published by Dancing Lemur Press on May 1, 2018. My story, A Stitch in Crime is the feature piece.

 

Sounds intriguing. Tell us more about it.

 

Perhaps a backcover blurb. A Stitch in Crime: Seasoned ghost whisperer Indigo Eady hoped for an easy haunting this time, but when she’s called out to the local Candy Cupboard, those hopes are dashed. A death spot appears where no one has recently died. She discovers that a child died in that very spot—sixty years ago. Why wait sixty years to return to the spot where you died?  It’s up to Indigo and her sidekick Franny to find out before it’s too late.

 

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime

The clock is ticking…

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda RenEe, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting…

 

Is there a book trailer for your book?

 

I would love Dancing Lemur Press to make a trailer, but as of yet, there isn’t one.

 

Do you have a favorite character, why?

 

I love the interaction between Indigo and Franny. It couldn’t be a story without both of them. Sweet and funny, Indigo Eady is a young woman just trying to get by in the world, but her ghost whispering abilities play havoc with her life. Normality would be a true luxury. Her ghostly sidekick, Franny, is a former Victorian madam of some repute. Her well-meaning but interfering ways adds to the chaos in Indigo’s life—especially when she insists on finding a man for Indigo.

 

That is awesome. What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s lives?

 

The world is so chaotic these days. All you have to do is turn on the TV or fire up the internet to get a massive dose of reality. For some, the everyday bombardment can be overwhelming. My lighthearted cozy mysteries will appeal to those people who want a break from the stress of real life. In my stories, there is no overt violence or sex. The bad guy is always caught and justice is always served. And of course, add a splash of mayhem, a dash of humor and a bit of pot stirring to make things more interesting, and the result is very satisfying!

 

I bet they are…. Do you have any advice for authors trying to break into the industry?

 

Every successful author’s advice I’ve read says to write, write, write. It’s true. There are no shortcuts to becoming a successful writer. You must write and study every craft book you can get your hands on. Success comes with practice. Forget how bad the first draft is. It’s through editing that your work begins to unfold properly.

 

What are this year’s goals?

 

I am in the process of editing another Indigo and Franny novel called, A Scandal in Boohemia, as well as a short story called, Lady Sings the Boos. I plan to publish them by the end of the year.

 

I can’t wait to read your work. Where can we find your book?

Amazon –

https://www.amazon.com/Tick-Tock-Stitch-Gwen-Gardner/dp/1939844541/

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tick-tock-gwen-gardner/1127886068?ean=9781939844545

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tick-tock-a-stitch-in-crime

ITunes – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/tick-tock-a-stitch-in-crime/id1341413711?mt=11

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