Bio: It took ten years working as an engineer on a landfill site, five years running a fashion boutique and one year lecturing in waste management and recycling before 39 year old Sheena Lambert from Dublin, Ireland, realised she was supposed to have been a writer all along.
She self-published her first novel, ALBERTA CLIPPER, in November 2012. The paperback was selected for distribution by Easons. Her short stories have been shortlisted in a number of prestigious competitions in Ireland.
Now, in addition to raising two boys and making the dinner every day, she writes feature articles for a living, and has just completed her second novel.
Sheena lives in Dublin, Ireland for the moment, but if she wins the lottery, you will find her in a little village somewhere in the south of France, making red wine.
Title: Alberta Clipper
Bio retrieved from sheenalambertauthor.com
Bio: Jessica Gordon is a Johns Hopkins University alumna for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the Writing Seminars program and her master’s degree in communications.
After working in the corporate world for several years, Jessica decided to return to her first love: creative writing. Jessica takes her readers to the prominent Washington, D.C. area where her characters navigate through the complex world of family, in-laws, and love.
Jessica lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
Title: Becoming Mrs. Walsh
Connect with Jessica!
Buy the Book!
Barnes & Noble:
Apple: Available in iBookstore accessed through iPad and iPhone
Smashwords includes (Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243474
From a very young age. My mum says even as a small toddler I was obsessed with books and the minute I could put pen to paper I was coming up with all sorts of stories. I used to bore my mum senseless making her listen to them. As I got older I started to pester teachers with marking extra stories, but then hit my teens and got a bit shy.
How would you describe your books?
I would say they are a portal for you to enter into another woman’s hilarious life. There are laugh out loud moments, but also serious, tender moments. There’s a romance (the amount of people that refer to Ryan as a real person is hysterical!), but really my book is centered around friendship. It shows with the right love and support you can get through and laugh about anything.
Why was The Debt and the Doormat a book you wanted to write?
A lot of my friends started struggling with debt and they’d always come to me embarrassed, as I’m normally so careful and organised with money. I would try to help them, but realize that unless you totally take control over someone there is no way you can change them. That’s where the idea came from. I still get phone calls from friends, frantically asking me ‘Am I Jazz???’ However, without these friends I would be a total bore! I’m such a Poppy! They’re the ones persuading me to get another bottle of wine in or treat myself to a new outfit. I think opposites suit each other as they can both bring out the best in the other.
The beginning! I have so many ideas, its sometimes hard to focus on just one. I like to have a rough idea of the story and then work on characters. I go so ridiculously in depth – I write interview questions for them, find similar looking celebrities, even find what sort of clothes they would wear and what kind of vocabulary they would use. Once I have a set of solid characters they seem to guide me on where the book goes and sometimes its in a totally different direction!
What are your favorite genres to read?
I love reading chic-lit and my favorite authors are Madeleine Wickham (writing as both herself and Sophie Kinsella) and Lindsay Kelk. However, while writing this I tried to broaden my tastes and wondered around my local library selecting books I wouldn’t normally bother with – crime thrillers, erotic and heavily romantic Mills and Boon books. It was strange going outside of my usual comfort zone but I loved them and feel each one taught me something different. I learnt how to write tense, edge of your seat scenes and I learnt how to write a love story the reader completely goes head over heels for.
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
Mainly I just want them to have a good laugh and when they finish the book feel like they’ve lost a friend. A great book is one you keep thinking about and wish was a bit longer. If you can remember a scene from it a few weeks later and have a giggle its a good one.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
I think its hugely important, especially for self-publishing. Before social media there was really no other way of mass-promoting your work on such a huge scale. You can also hear up to date information from reviewers and receive comments from the public. It’s like skipping the messenger and having everything to hand.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers
Keep writing! Sometimes it can feel like you are getting nowhere but if you carry on you’ll be surprised at how you can pull something together. The best advice given to me was by my college Tutor, Ian St Peters, who said ‘Writing is a craft. You have to perfect it over time, but if you don’t enjoy it don’t bother.’ I genuinely love writing and if only a handful of people also enjoy my story that really is enough satisfaction for me. If it isn’t maybe you’re in the wrong game.
Bio: Ellen Cardona wrote Brownie Fix to help deal with the postpartum depression she experienced after one of her pregnancies. Through her writing, she found that postpartum depression was real but conquerable, especially when one has the help of some dark chocolate and even darker humor.
When Ellen is not writing, she teaches literature to college freshmen and attempts to help them understand the writing process, though they think she’s crazy because of her love for literature and writing.
Ellen graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a PhD in Humanities with a specialization in Literature. Even though she has published several academic works on Ezra Pound, she could not ignore her true passion as a fiction writer.
Ellen lives in Richardson, Texas and continues to learn daily from her husband and two children. In good times and bad, she still enjoys her brownies.
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IC38EU/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=ellencardonac-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B005IC38EU&adid=1AR1GXZZAECEWZJEMZMT&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fellencardona.com%2F
Thanks to Chrissy Anderson for sharing this guest blog on the dreams of a novelist!
Buriiiiiing, buriiiiing, buriiiiing….
“Hi, is this Chrissy Anderson?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Hi, hunny, this is Rita Wilson. It’s an honor to speak to you.”
(Long dubious pause on my end of the receiver)
“Hunny…are you there?”
“Rita Wilson? The Rita Wilson…as in Mrs. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson?”
“Yep! Hey, listen, I read The Life List and I have to tell you I was blown away. It’s not your average chick-lit read and Chrissy’s not your average chick-lit heroine; she’s opinionated, judgmental…snarky. I found her personality hysterical, clever and totally relatable!”
“Are you surprised?”
“Well, no, not surprised with what you said. It was my intention to write about myself as an authentic person that women of all kinds-twenty-somethings, housewives and super woman wanna-bes- could relate to. I think all of us can connect to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. I guess…I’m surprised the book found its way to you. I’ve been trying to get a copy of it in your hands for over a year. I think the closest it got was to your agent’s assistant’s assistant.”
“Are you kidding? I found my way to your book! Everyone in Hollywood is reading it. You’ve created something really special and I want to help you take it to the next level. It’s got to be a movie.”
“That’s exactly what I think!”
“You know what I love the most about it…well, beside the fact that the role of Chrissy’s therapist, Dr. Maria, is made for me!”
“I love that The Life List is part I of a trilogy. This whole project has the shelf life of a can a soup! It’s going to last forever. And the whole love triangle thing happening between Kurt and Leo, and how you took two men who are polar opposites, sexy and compelling in their own right, and made them both these guys that Chrissy could easily fall in love with…it makes me giddy with excitement! I went to your website and voted for my choice. Love how you have the ability to do that there! It’s so cool to see how the votes are split between the two guys, isn’t it?”
(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD! Rita Wilson went to my website!)
“I go crazy thinking about the marketability of your work, Chrissy!”
“I know, right? Show me one woman who can’t identify with something I went through in this book, and I’ll show you a woman who is either very young, very much in denial, or the very luckiest woman on earth.”
“Well, hunny, I hope right now you feel like the luckiest woman on earth, because we’re about to make all of your dreams come true. Your convoluted and chaotic real life love story is about to become the American version of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Are you ready?”
Aaaaaaand this is where you hear a record scratch.
I’m chick-lit novelist Chrissy Anderson, and the pipe dream above has been my pipe dream ever since I wrote the first word of the first chapter of The Life List. Introduce me to one chick-lit novelist who says she doesn’t have a pipe dream like mine and I’ll slap her senseless for being a big fat liar! Isn’t world-wide recognition and critical acclaim for a story well-written why we stay up long after our day jobs are done, our families have been fed, the laundry folded and our kiddos have fallen asleep? Don’t we write with the hope that women everywhere will benefit in some way from the distinctive words we scour the thesaurus to find and fill our novels with? Every single time we hit CTRL-S before logging off of the computer don’t we let out a big sigh and say a little prayer that something huge will happen with our work? Don’t we all secretly wish that someone like Rita Wilson will stumble upon our books and be so moved by them that she insists on acting as a force accelerator, catapulting our work to Twilight-like proportions?
Well, poop on you. I do! In fact, most days it’s that pipe dream that keeps me going. It’s that pipe dream that pushes me to enroll in promo day after promo day on KDP select, pimping myself out to any book blogger and website that’ll help me get more downloads than the month before. It’s that pipe dream that eggs me on to spend countless hours (and dollars I don’t have) promoting those promo days on e-reader websites, knowing that half of them forget to plug me on the right day. It’s that pipe dream that gives me the courage to shamelessly promote myself to my 799 facebook fans. It gives me the strength to draft another blog for my website (www.askchrissy.net) and SEO the crap out of it. To spend my weekends doing book signings…scouring the internet for opportunities to advance my rankings on Amazon’s best sellers list…Oh, and let’s not forget about cramming in some time to write the last novel in The List Trilogy.
For me, my pipe dream is my lifeline. I mean, I’m certainly not failing (far from it actually), but if you’re a relatively un-known writer like me, you know the struggle I’m talking about here. You know how hard it is to beat last month’s downloads, to make a buck from a sale, get a 5 star review, get another facebook fan, pull off a higher ranking on Amazon….to get the time to write an actual book, let alone read one! My pipe dream is what makes me smile through all of the trials and tribulations of being a small fish in this big intimidating literary ocean. It’s what gets me excited and…hopeful- hopeful that all of my creativity, hard work, and wit will pay off. If you’re an ounce of the dreamer I am, you know the kind of motivation I’m talking about.
So I know I’m not alone, share your pipe dream with me in the comment section. Who knows…maybe one of us reading this has the ability to fulfill one! C’mon, let’s get silly and support each other. Anyone know Rita Wilson?
Bio: J. W. Bull lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Although she has worked as a sous chef for Lavande Restaurant, she currently is a private violin teacher and a member of The Georgia Symphony. She is also finishing another novel, Musical Chairs, a mystery involving Maggie’s cousin—Molly Malone, plucky part-time symphony player and fulltime Irish fiddler. It’s a hilarious spoof on symphonies, Irish fiddling, and mysteries that continues the Malone saga.
Connect with J.W.!
Bio: Paula Tiberius is an author, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician and mom living in North Hollywood, California with her musician husband Richard, their daughter Violet, and their German Shepherd, Jackson. Paula wrote and directed the award-winning feature film Goldirocks in Toronto, which came out theatrically in 2004, played on Pay TV and Cable in Canada and is currently available on Netflix, distributed by R Squared Films. To learn more about Goldirocks, visit www.goldirocks.com You can read more from Paula Tiberius at her website www.paulatiberius.com/blog, where you’ll find lots of thought-provoking blogs, vegetarian recipes and more. The Cowboy Singer is her first novel.
Bio: Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.
After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.
Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on Mommyish.com and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics.
She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.
Connect with Samantha!
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832614.Samantha_Stroh_Bailey
Goodreads Finding Lucas Page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13641194-finding-lucas
Buy the Book!
Bio: Tina L. Hook grew up in Orlando, Florida where she earned a Liberal Arts degree from Rollins College. After her early career in South Florida, she eventually settled into small town life near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two cats. When she is not daydreaming over a blinking cursor, she is blogging at GirlwithaNewLife2.com. This is her first novel.
Title: Enchanted by Starlight
Connect with Tina!
Thanks to Jessica Gordon for stopping by with a Q&A and guest post for her Becoming Mrs. Walsh tour for CLP Blog Tours! Please visit her tour page at CLP Blog Tours for more information and a giveaway!
Tell us about yourself?
Let’s see, about me. It is much easier to write about characters and think of their back story than tell your own! Long story short, I lived in New York and then moved down to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins University. I always thought I would move back north but I met my husband while living in DC and stayed ever since. I am now a full-fledged DC resident. I love living in DC and can not say enough positive things about living in this city.
How did you come up with this story?
I knew I wanted the setting to be in Washington. Once I knew that, the rest of the story came easily. My husband is the youngest of three boys, so when I first met his family I was introduced to many future brothers and sisters-in-law. Meeting so many new people and being a few years younger than the group inspired the idea for a story about a large family. Although the rest of course is fiction.
What are you working on now?
I’ve started a sequel, but I am hesitant to make it too official because it has to be worth reading. So many people have told me that they can’t wait for the sequel and need to know what happens, I really don’t want to disappoint! But, my goal is to put out something that people can feel excited about. I also don’t want to let the Walsh family down, they need to have a good path to continue on!
What character was the hardest to write and which one was the most fun?
I think Shoshana was the hardest to write because she is the main character. The issue with your main character as the narrator is that people really need to like her, to trust her opinions and be on board. If you decide you don’t like Shoshana early on, it will be hard to root for her or sympathize with what she goes through. It was really important to me that she is relatable and interesting. The easiest was Mark. Something about his voice flowed really naturally. It was fun to have such a charming character throughout the book.
Do you have a favorite comfort read?
I think chick lit in general comforts me. I love stories that are fun and make you think. There are so many good ones out there. It is the perfect type of book to curl up with when you just want an easy read with a great story. I think chick lit often gets labeled as a ‘summer read’ but I think it’s a great genre to read all year.
If you could live in any book what one would you choose and why?
I actually would love to live in the Walsh world. Writing about exotic places is one thing, but to live the lifestyle would be another! I think something about all of the Walsh family trips, glamorous events and parties has a mysterious Gatsby-like feel and it is very tempting to be part of that.
Selected Topic: What is the best advice you have ever received as a writer and how do you use it? What would you offer up as advice to aspiring authors?
The best advice I have ever received as a writer is to write clearly and concisely. You could have an amazing story that is covered up by pointless prose and irrelevant details. I think avoiding long, arduous sentences is really important, especially as a chick lit writer. The chick lit genre is so unique in that you can have colorful characters, vivid scenes, and an interesting premise all told in a fast-paced way. As writers, it is our responsibility to give readers a story that can be an escape whether for an hour or a day at the beach. But escapes have to be interesting and light. I want people to come away from reading one of my books with that feeling of not being able to put it down, or feeling excited to climb into bed and read it at night. There is something so special about connecting with the reader on that level.
I also love the idea of readers thinking about my characters even well after the book is over. Plots and characters that stay with you are so special. As a reader, I love when you can think about the characters long after you’ve put down your book and wonder where they are and what they are up to.
My advice to aspiring authors is to write often; the more you write the better you will get. I think it is important to remember writers are story tellers. So tell a great story! And tell it well!
**Everyone who leaves a comment on Jessica’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Becoming Mrs. Walsh before February 11 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**