author interview, Behind the scenes, new release, Publishing

Interview with Author Maggie Friedenberg

c-dangelo-author-interview

This month I’m featuring another outstanding author friend, Maggie Friedenberg, who has her first novel coming out on June 3, Holding Pattern! Yes, June is huge for both her and I, as The Visitor is coming out June 1! She’s been such a support in the writing community online and I’m thrilled to read her words, both here and in her book. Anyone facing challenges will benefit from her answers below. I know they made me feel as if I’m not alone in my thinking at times.

What would you tell yourself 5 years ago about facing the challenge of publishing?

I would tell myself: expect everything to take at least twice as long as you think it will. Setbacks, frustrations, rejections, self-doubt, and wanting to give up are all part of the process. But keep believing in your story. And remember little 5-year-old you, sitting in front of the stacks in the library, falling in love with books. She would be so proud of you now.

How do you cope with disappointment or setbacks?

I give myself time and space to be upset, but I try not to let myself wallow in it alone. I have a fantastic group of writing friends who have supported me along my publishing journey, listened to me cry, held space for me, and helped me when I needed it. I wouldn’t have made it this far without them.

What gives you energy and joy?

My biggest creative energy boost happens when I’m able to really get into the zone with my writing, where it feels like the story is telling itself through me (instead of me making it up as I go). Also, having some time alone. Reading a good book, or watching a good series or movie. And, of course, coffee. I get joy from spending time with my family, being near the water – especially the ocean, traveling, delicious food, and all my favorite nerdy things, like Star Wars.

How do you quiet your inner critic? (the voice of internal negativity)

It’s definitely not easy. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and my inner critic can be very loud. I have to remind myself that nobody’s perfect and that almost everyone struggles with feeling not good enough. I wrote a book! Many people say they want to write a book someday, or have one they never finish. I thought I’d be working on mine forever. But I finished it, and that’s a huge accomplishment. So I remind myself of that, and of all the things in my life I’ve worked hard on and am proud of.

What is your next project or goal? If it is a book, tell us about it and when you hope to publish it.

Right now I’m working on a new book. I just started writing it a few weeks ago, so the idea is very fresh, but I’m writing about two of the minor characters from my first novel and what happens to them several years after the events of that book. I’d always thought of Holding Pattern as a standalone, but it turns out these characters have a story that needs to be told, too. I’m hoping to publish it in 2023. Additionally, two of my short fiction works are being published in an anthology called The Courageous Creative, published by Indie It Press, due out later this year.

Don’t you also feel heard? I especially love the term “recovering perfectionist.” No wonder we are friends! Now, see below for preordering Holding Pattern. You will want it immediately on June 3!

Click on picture to preorder on Amazon

More ways to preorder:

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holding-pattern-maggie-friedenberg/1141377386?ean=9798985754506

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/holding-pattern-9798985754506/9798985754506

How to connect with Maggie:

Website: http://www.maggiefriedenberg.com

Instagram: @maggiefriedenberg

***

Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more!    

Copyright © 2022 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.

author interview, community, Publishing

Interview with Author Leah Dobrinska

c-dangelo-behind-the-scenes-blog-author-interview-with-leah-dobrinska

This month’s blog features author Leah Dobrinska, a Small Town Romance and Cozy Mystery writer. She’s releasing her second book in her Mapleton series on Tuesday, April 5, named Good To Be Home. I loved the first book, Love at On Deck Café, so I’m first in line to read her next one.

The answers to my questions about her writing world are ones I need to keep reading for a reminder of keeping perspective at times. She shares such spot-on advice that she’s learned from publishing and shows her ability to remain centered and true to herself. We can all admire that in a person.

What gives you energy and joy?

My kids! Well, I guess they both give and take away my energy. Ha! But seriously, I’m so inspired by them and their resiliency and willingness to forgive and laugh and have fun. They are the reason I write. I want them to know that their words—their stories—are important, and the world needs who they are. We have a blast together, and not only are they my “why” but they’ve also given me some great one-liners for my books.

Let’s see…other things that bring me joy and revitalize me are reading and running. Going to my book club is the highlight of my month. I love reading in community, and discussing books is good for my soul. I firmly believe that to be a decent writer I need to also be an active reader. Many times, when I’m feeling drained with my own creative projects, I’ll slip into the pages of someone else’s work and find inspiration there.

And I’ve always been a runner, but I got back into the regular habit last summer. I don’t go fast and I don’t run far, but it’s one of the best ways I know to clear my head and lift my spirits.

Talk about a life lesson you have learned while on the path to publishing your book(s).

Whoa boy. So many lessons. It has been a trip! I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to focus on the things I can control. So much of publishing a book is out of my control. Will my book land? Will it be overshadowed by another book releasing on the same day? Am I targeting the right group of readers? Will people leave reviews? Will they share my stuff on social? Who knows! I can’t force any of that. But what I can do is go back to the words. I can control what I’m putting on the page. That’s where I find deep joy and purpose, so I think the whole publishing process was a good lesson in remembering why I write. It’s not for accolades or popularity. I do it because I feel more like me when I’m creating. No publishing mishaps can take that away.

The publishing journey has also been a great reminder that comparison is a thief of joy. I’d much rather be celebrating fellow writers (and people in general, really) than pitting myself against them. In a similar vein, I’ve also learned that while writing and publishing is a solitary endeavor, it’s way more fun (and so necessary!) to do it as part of a greater community. I’ve met some amazing people who are fellow writers, and their encouragement and support has meant the world. We’re not meant to go through any aspect of life alone, and the publishing journey is no exception.

How do you quiet your inner critic? (the voice of internal negativity)

I pray. I remember that my worth is not tied up in what I do, but in who I am as a human being whom God created. I also take a step back. Usually my inner critic is being stoked by external things I’m consuming—social media, blogs, reviews. So, I’ve found it’s healthy and good for me to turn those things off every once in a while.

I’m also blessed with an amazing husband, family, and group of friends who serve as an incredible support system. They help me remember that life is bigger than books, that failure is okay, and that I’m loved. To be honest, I love that most of my real life people don’t know what an ISBN number is or what it means to get a Kirkus review. They keep me grounded and remind me that no matter what happens or how down and critical I’m feeling about my work, there’s more to life than that.

Share one meaningful aspect of you that appears in your writing. This can be personality, physical attributes, or anything else.

I write love stories, but in many ways, my books are also love letters to the communities I’ve been blessed to be a part of. I started writing novels while my husband was in the Marine Corps and we were living many states away from home. But I chose to set my stories in a place very reminiscent of where I grew up. They always say to write what you know, and I know small town living!

I think I was craving that feeling of belonging—of home—and I knew I wanted that to be an important theme for my characters. Everyone can relate to longing for home or longing for a soft place to land. We find that in many ways—through our actual families, or friends who become like families, or our romantic partners. In all of my books, you’ll see my characters undergoing that search for home and their place in the world.

In a really neat way, all the goodness and beauty of small town living that I tried to write out in my stories has been exemplified in real life in the way people from my community have supported me and my book. I’m so humbled and very grateful. I hope that anyone who picks up one of my stories will feel at home within the pages and will be encouraged to love on the people in their real lives, too.

Oh, and on a slightly less meaningful note, I’m a Taylor Swift lyric junkie, so I think I’ve managed to sneak in a TS lyric-inspired sentence somewhere in each of my books.

What is your next project or goal? If it is a book, tell us about it and when you hope to publish it.

I’ve got a lot of projects up in the air at the moment. Launching Good To Be Home this month has me itching to get back to Mapleton. I’m currently in the process of editing book three in that small town romance series. It’s set to be published this fall. It’s a holiday romance that will feature two minor characters from Good To Be Home. If you read that one, you should be able to figure out who I’m referring to!

I’m also drafting book four in the Mapleton series. It’s giving me a run for my money, mostly because I want to do these characters justice. Their love story is so gorgeous in my head. Now, I just have to make sure it translates to the page!

I also got a book deal! My debut cozy mystery will release on December 6, 2022 from Level Best Books! I’m putting the finishing touches on it now before I’ll turn it over to my editor. Then it’ll be all hands on deck to get that book out into the world. I can’t wait to share more about this project, but right now, my lips are sealed…

Okay, well maybe a *little* teaser wouldn’t hurt, right?! The setting for the cozy mystery was inspired by the northern Wisconsin resort town my family used to visit each year, and it features a protagonist whose job has a lot to do with books. Oh, and it’s tentatively titled Death Checked Out. More to come… 🙂

And I, for one, can’t wait, Leah! Thank you for imparting your sage views on the blog. I know my readers will be able to take your thoughts and apply them to their own lives in multiple ways.

Click on picture to preorder
Click on picture to purchase

More ways to connect with Leah:

Website: https://leahdobrinska.com/

Newsletter: https://leahdobrinska.com/newsletter

Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatleahwrote

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whatleahwrote

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leahdobrinska

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/whatleahwrote/

Blog: https://leahdobrinska.com/blog

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/leahdobrinska

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leah-dobrinska

***

NEWS: My next novel, The Visitor, is coming out in less than 2 months! You can preorder now for your Amazon Kindle. If you would like the paperback, June 1 is right around the corner.

Click on picture to preorder now!

Back cover info:

Fiercely independent Mary Pontrelli is blindsided when the New Orleans building housing her New Age store and upstairs apartment is listed for sale. Worse yet, a developer wants to destroy it and her high school ex-boyfriend—ahem, nemesis—is leading their charge. But this budding sweet spot for that weasel from the past can’t happen since traitors never change.

The best chance Mary has to save her cherished French Quarter building is to join forces with the other business owners whose livelihoods are also at risk. Too bad she avoids teamwork at all costs. Thankfully, a mystical new customer who shares Mary’s lost Italian heritage may be able to help alter her stubborn patterns. And, learning about the city’s history and her own Sicilian roots from the shopper may prove beyond merely engaging.

Even so, acquiring trust in strangers and accepting assistance requires more bravery than any societal expectation she’s challenged in her life. But if she doesn’t depend on her community and learn forgiveness, she may lose her career, home, and deeper relationships. No eccentric spirituality or heritage lessons can fix this…right?

***

Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more!    

Copyright © 2022 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.

author interview, Italian American Author, writing

Interview with Author Mario Dell’Olio

c-dangelo-Author-blog-with-mario-dellolio

I’m beyond excited to feature author Mario Dell’Olio this month on my Behind the Scenes blog. Not only is he an outstanding author, but he’s one of the most thoughtful and giving people I’ve met in the writing community. For years, he has supported writers almost daily with cheering them on and promoting their work. He truly cares about everyone’s success and drew me in with his sweet spirit and never ending work ethic from the start of our connection.

This month, he’s releasing a book I CANNOT WAIT to read, Letters from Italy. I’ve been a fan since his first book, Coming About, so I know this one will be another fabulous read, especially for this Italian loving woman. Read about his books in his interview below, along with words of wisdom for how passion can transport you into a new world.

How do you cope with disappointment or setbacks?

I have published four books and am querying my fifth. Each of my projects brought the excitement of publication along with disappointment and rejection. I sent scores of query letters. Some garnered a form letter rejecting the project. Some received no response at all. The form letters taught me not to take rejection personally. Each agent or publisher is looking for different things. Eventually, a publisher loved my book, and it found a home. I can’t let the industry determine my self-worth, nor should I alter my style hoping to attain best seller status. Ultimately, I must follow my muse and write what I enjoy. For me, that approach yields the most satisfying result. I can’t depend on outside validation for my creative process.

What motivated you to keep going on the major project of writing your book(s)?

After a harrowing sailing adventure during which I nearly lost my life, I felt compelled to tell the story and the lessons I learned from my struggle. After writing Coming About, I realized I enjoyed the process of writing. I also discovered that I had many more stories to tell. Each of my books is an extension of my teaching career. Through the exposition of the plot, the characters learn about themselves and become whole. Sharing their stories keeps me motivated.

Share one meaningful aspect of you that appears in your writing. This can be personality, physical attributes, or anything else.

All of my stories feature characters searching for deeper meaning in their life experiences. My life’s journey has been imbued with the lessons I’ve learned through the challenges I’ve overcome. Each significant person in my life has taught me more about myself and my ability to love and be loved. This theme is present in all my books, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. Reflecting on one’s life and experiences yields a profound understanding of self and can help guide the individual as they continue their journey. Ultimately, each of my main characters follow a path of self-discovery.

What is your next project or goal? If it is a book, tell us about it and when you hope to publish it.

Letters from Italy is a passion project. Over three years in the making, the book tells of my immigrant parents’ love story. Spanning nearly a century, the characters come alive in a tiny fishing village in southern Italy. The Second World War transforms their lives and they dream of a better future in a distant land. A new life sparkles before them and they risk everything for the American dream. Published by Black Rose Writing, Letters from Italy hits the stores on February 24, 2022.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with my blog readers, Mario. It’s a special double apostrophe author month for them! lol

c-dangelo-author-blog-with-mario-delloilio-letters-from-italy
Click on picture to pre-order

Other ways to find Mario:

Amazon Author page: https://amzn.to/3CWtOFa

Linktree Social Media links: https://linktr.ee/mdellolio

Website: https://mariodellolio.com

***

Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more!    

Copyright © 2022 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.

author interview, Behind the scenes, husband

Interview with Author Ashley R. King

Ashley-R-King-Author-Interview

It’s time for another author interview! This month’s blog is dedicated to an outstanding romance author, Ashley R. King. I never read romance before reading her first book, Painting the Lines (released 2020) and soon became a fan of hers and of the genre. Now she is releasing her second book, Forever After, this month (11-18-21)! I had the honor of reading it as an Advanced Reader Copy and loved every second. It’s the perfect mix of creepy and cute in a world of a vampire reality show where love, and murder, ensue. I cannot recommend this book enough, as well as everything this fabulous author writes. Read below to see her insights for you.

What motivated you to keep going on the major project of writing your book(s)?

My amazing husband has encouraged and motivated me the most. In 2011 I thought, hey I’ve always wanted to write a book, I should give it a shot and he encouraged me every step of the way. I self published that one and then went on to keep writing. For a while there I wondered if my writing could ever get published by an actual publisher. So I wrote more and kept getting rejected (as is the life of an author, am I right? Lol).

I thought about quitting, but my husband, oh my sweet husband, he would send me Rocky Balboa memes and gifs and play that scene from the Rocky Balboa movie where he gives the best motivational speech ever. Then he’d play Runnin’ from the Creed 2 soundtrack or he’d cue that scene up where Adonis Creed is in the desert training and getting ready to fight Viktor Drago again (okay, we’re clearly HUGE Rocky Balboa and Adonis Creed film fans here). That along with my husband’s sweet words and notes inspired me to keep going even when I wanted to give up, to dig deep, and do what I’d always dreamed I’d do—publish a novel with an actual publisher. This is exactly how Painting the Lines was born!

What gives you energy and joy?

What gives me the most energy and joy is spending time with my husband. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day I’ve had, being around him always makes me feel much better. I also get immense joy from reading a really good book, from having a great writing session, snuggling and playing with my sweet, spoiled cat child, Cleo. Traveling also gives me such energy and joy and never fails to inspire me to create.  

Share one meaningful aspect of you that appears in your writing. This can be personality, physical attributes, or anything else.

I include a lot of little pieces of myself in my writing for sure. Most of my heroines are snarky and awkward, just like I am. I’m slowly starting to integrate a few other deeper things that I deal with such as anxiety and overthinking. It was so meaningful to me when you did that, and you inspired to try and add more of that part of me into my own books. So thank you for that! 😊  (AWWWW- thanks so much. Ashley!)

What is your next project or goal? If it is a book, tell us about it and when you hope to publish it.

My very first paranormal romance novel, Forever After, will publish on November 18th and book 2 in the Ace of Hearts series, The Wilde Card, will publish February 15th of next year. I’m working on those two series, but also I’m working on a top secret rom-com project and hope to finish it by the end of the month. I have so many ideas but not enough time to write them all lol.

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me—it’s been a pleasure and I truly do appreciate it! 😊

The pleasure is all mine, Ashley! I can’t wait for more books from her. Keep them coming!

Forever-After
Click on picture to purchase- pre order eBook now, paperback available 11-18-21

Also, check out her first novel!

Painting-the-Lines
Click on picture to purchase

Social media links and website:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashleyrkingwrites/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashleyrkingwrites

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ashleyrkingdaydreamers

Twitter: @ashleyk628 (currently on hiatus)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19795783.Ashley_R_King

Website: https://ashleyrking.weebly.com/

***

Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more!    

Copyright © 2021 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.

author interview, Behind the scenes, inspirational, relatable

Interview with Author Heather E. F. Carter

author-blog-with-c-dangelo-and-heather-e-f-carter

Remember in last month’s post how I said I had a blog announcement? Well, here it is! I will be interviewing authors from all genres in this monthly blog but also will sometimes still write my posts that you know and love. I will keep you on your toes month-to-month because there won’t be a set pattern. Are you as excited as me?

I am continuing to offer behind the scenes inspirational and relatable topics for both writers and non-writers via these interviews. A goal of my blog is always to include gifts to you as my reader, such as a new task to try or words that touch your heart and help you to heal, grow, or change in a positive way. The interviewees are broadening my insights already as I know they will do for you as well.

In my first author interview below, you will have the pleasure of reading debut author Heather E. F. Carter’s thoughts on lessons learned, self-care, and upcoming projects. I can’t wait for more from her because The Black Unicorn is a beautifully written, emotion evoking historical romance novel that sticks with you far after you finish the last words on the page. Enjoy!

What would you tell yourself 5 years ago about facing the challenge of publishing?

If I were able to send a message to myself five years ago regarding the challenge of publishing, I’d first of all tell myself that the book is good. I wrote The Black Unicorn ten years ago while I was in graduate school, and then I let it sit on a shelf. I honestly didn’t think I had anything in it. I forgot about it; or, if I did happen to think about it, I’d tell people that it was no good. I’ve been, on occasion, very insulting to my story of Ashby and Elina.  So if I had words for Heather of five years ago, it would be first of all that the story is good. Secondly, I’d tell myself not to waste any time looking for an agent. I spent about three years in the query trenches, and alas traditional publishing wasn’t meant to be my path. If I hadn’t wasted so much time looking for an agent, I’d probably be on my third book by now. And as for the challenge of publishing? I’d tell myself exactly what I tell myself when tackling any big problem: Bird by bird. This is, of course, in reference to Anne Lamott’s wonderful book. Just take each new challenge or problem one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture.

What motivated you to keep going on the major project of writing your book(s)?

Once I had committed to Ashby and Elina’s story about three years ago, the one thing, or person I should say, that kept me going was my husband, Terry. He’s always been my #1 fan, and he’s always pushed me to publish my stories. He’s currently pushing me to publish my vampire story, and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to ignore him on that one, lol. But he’s always been very determined to see me in print.

What gives you energy and joy?

One thing, non-writing-related, that gives me energy and joy is music. I am a flautist; once upon a time, a very serious one.  And I do write to music, so I suppose that perhaps it’s writing-related after all. But it’s music for me. I married a professional musician, so music is a daily, sometimes hourly, part of my life. When I need inspiration for a scene, I’ll often choose a song and play it on a loop until I find what I need for that scene. All of my love scenes were written to music. That is significant, if you’ve read my story, because I’ve been known to write pretty decent love scenes.

Share one meaningful aspect of you that appears in your writing. This can be personality, physical attributes, or anything else.

There are a few meaningful aspects of me that have found their way in my work. For one, Elina is essentially me. Well, she is as far as personality goes. I am most certainly not a tall British redhead. But as far as her motivations go, that’s all me. Elina is also a flautist. That particular scene was cut in the final version, but Elina plays the flute very well. And the scenes involving dancing all come from my understanding of eighteenth-century music.

How do you reach your goals?

In the past, I have reached my goals by doing nothing else until that goal has been reached. I like to joke that I’m a terrible multi-tasker, which is totally true! I’m very good at focusing all my attention on one thing at a time, and then excelling at that one thing. That is how I wrote The Black Unicorn a decade ago. I took a year’s leave of absence from my doctoral program, and I wrote a book. Sadly, I cannot do that anymore. Adulting. And children. This isn’t really such a bad thing. So for my next project, The Golden Phoenix, I’ll write it by doing about two hours a day. But first I must research, because I honestly have no idea what happened in 1796! So I’ll research for about six to eight months, again by devoting about two hours a day to it. I go very deep with my research. It’s a holdover from my doctorial days when all my research would be subject to a peer review. I research like I’m writing a history book. Then it’s a question of finding the right balance, and not writing a history book. So I’m probably about two years out from the publication of The Black Unicorn’s sequel. But such is life when you write romantic historical fiction.  Diana Gabaldon takes four years to write her Outlander books, so I’ll take my two-year timeline and be happy about it. And The Golden Phoenix will be in many ways a very different story from The Black Unicorn. For one thing, Ashby and Elina are not in it. Many will find that disappointing, but never fear! Book three will be the continuation of their story. In The Golden Phoenix, I am rather continuing Tristan’s story line. Tristan deserves his happily ever after. Poor guy got a raw deal in The Black Unicorn. So you can expect to see that story come out in 2023… perhaps earlier, if I really get to work. In the meantime, I’ll be posting snippets of it, along with short stories from Ashby and Elina’s timeline, on Kindle Vella.

the-black-unicorn
Click on the picture to purchase

***

Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more!    

Copyright © 2021 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.