August 2012

On Being a Small Press Author – Abbie Williams

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I am proud to present Abbie Williams, our newest author and one of our authors published under our Everheart Books imprint. She has worked extensively with Meghan Tobin-O’Drowsky, the Editor for the imprint. Her recently released book, Forbidden, is doing very well and has been well received by reviewers and bloggers. While I don’t know Abbie all that well, I was sure happy to learn more about her from her interview. We found out about her via another one of our writers, proof that good things come from good people!

1. The first book I can remember reading is:  The Little House on the Prairie series was my favorite as a little kid, and my mom read all of the books to me.  The first books I remember reading on my own were the Betsy, Tacy and Tib series by Maud Hart Lovelace.  Then I got a little older and started sneaking my mom’s romance novels from under her bed…and my writing career was born!

2. The first book I ever wrote was: called The Great West, and featured a girl my age at the time (12) whose family was journeying along the Oregon Trail.  I wanted to live in that time period so badly that the only way I could really “be” there was to write about it and live it that way.  It started as an adventure story but then morphed into a romance.  I couldn’t help it.

3. An average day in my life goes like this: up at 6 to get ready for my day job, which includes caring for my family and teaching English lit at a local high school.  I fly to get everyone where they need to be before appearing in my classroom by 7:20 for 1st hour, coffee in hand.  I teach four sections of English and one of Speech, and am done by 3:30.  After that I make the rounds again, get homework going for my kids while making supper, supervising bedtime routines and then meeting up with my laptop like an elicit lover and maybe getting an hour or two of typing in before bed!

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from:  a wonderful friend whose sister-in-law is published with Central Avenue.  I decided to submit my book because:  I thought I would take a chance!

5. The last book I read was: called Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve, and it was exquisitely lovely.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: my kids to be occupied, whether with friends, television, or sleep!

7. My ‘day job’ is: teaching high school and serving as CEO of my household.

8. I carve out time to write by:  hiding in the laundry room and ignoring the guilt that suggests I should be lesson planning, or doing laundry, or sorting socks, or baking banana bread…or…

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: sleep!  But I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

10. I am currently working on: a story about a woman who returns to her hometown with her daughters after seventeen years away.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  Gus McCrae, Texas Ranger, from Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, and it was to the effect that you should appreciate the little things in your life, the details, because life is in those details.  He used a glass of buttermilk as a metaphor; it’s always stuck with me.  I would marry Gus McCrae.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: make yourself happy first, because only then will you be able to make others around you happy.

Thanks, Michelle, for the questions!  It is my pleasure to be associated with Central Avenue Publishing and a fine group of fellow writers.

On Being a Small Press Author – Molly Ringle

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m proud to present Molly Ringle, a Seattle author who has written several young adult books across a variety of genres. We have published Relatively Honest and What Scotland Taught Me, two fun books that capture the essence of what it’s like when you’re starting out on your own. What I love about Molly is her great sense of humor, and her affinity for pop culture and fragrances. She’s been a huge supporter of ours and I’m an even bigger fan of hers.

1. The first book I can remember reading is:  Since I can’t remember learning to read (it happened pretty early), I am not sure what the first book was, though I feel like it was perhaps a Richard Scarry book. I do remember my grandmother having me read aloud a paragraph from the encyclopedia to her friends, to show off how well I could read. I was maybe five at the time.

2. The first book I ever wrote was:  ‘This Is a Difficult World.’ It was a novella. And the title sucks, yes. But it accurately conveys the IT’S NOT FAIR feelings of my middle-school self at the time. It was about some lame arguments my sister and I had with our best neighborhood friends.

3. An average day in my life goes like this:
“Mom, I want cheese puffs.”
“That’s not breakfast. Hang on, I’m getting you cereal and fruit.”
“NOOOOO. CHEESE PUFFS.”
“Maybe after you eat your real breakfast.”
“MOM! HE HIT ME!”
“Guys, quiet, I’m trying to check email real fast.”
“MOM! WHERE IS THE GREEN CABOOSE?”
“I don’t know, guys, it isn’t my job to keep track of your toys. Please go play; Mommy’s working.”
“Toilet. Heheh. Poopy butt. Heheh.”
“Don’t be rude. Nice words please.”
“Mom, are you still working? Mom, when are we going to the park?”
“FIVE MINUTES. LEAVE ME ALONE.”
(*ignoring children wailing while I type an email about how fun my life as a writer is, and how pleasant people are to me*)
But eventually…
“Hi Mommy. I love you so much.”
“Thanks, buddy. I love you too.”

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: The Preditors and Editors poll, where it got high ranking from its writers and readers.  I decided to submit my book because:  Michelle wrote a great post on the company blog about how much she’d learned already and how great business was going. She sounded so professional and encouraging, I figured it would be a safe bet to try one of my books with her. Best publishing instinct I’ve had so far.

5. The last book I read was: This has been a busy summer with not nearly enough reading–I’m still in the middle of some very good books, including one from Central Ave (William Topek’s latest). But the best books I lately finished were Les Misérables (Victor Hugo) for fiction, and The Perfect Scent: a Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York (Chandler Burr) for nonfiction.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need:  A pretty good chance of not being interrupted. See my typical day, above, however.

7. My ‘day job’ is: Stay-at-home mom, currently.

8. I carve out time to write by:  Begging, borrowing, purchasing, and stealing it.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice:  Any sense of how to decorate a home or be a good hostess. Really, I can’t even remember to offer to take people’s coats when they visit. And that talent of making a room look pretty–yeah, I have no idea how people do that. But I’m trying to improve on both fronts.

10. I am currently working on: A fun and lengthy YA novel that plays with Greek mythology and reincarnation and other outlandish stuff.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was: For writing: Put your masterpiece away when it’s done, and don’t look at it for a month or so. When you come back to it, you’ll see a zillion new flaws. Then have someone else look at it too, because they’ll see a zillion more. Pretty much everyone says that, but one such person was Stephen King in ‘On Writing.’
For life in general: lately I like: “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” The web claims that’s from Regina Brett.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: For writing: Listen when people give you feedback on your story, even when the criticism makes you flinch. Thinking about their suggestions will almost certainly make you come up with a dozen new ways to improve your story that you would never have thought of before–maybe including their idea, maybe not, but you’ll love the improvements in the end.
For life in general: Figure out what makes you laugh immoderately, and seek out that trigger every day.

On Being a Small Press Author – Darlene Foster

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m proud to present Darlene Foster, a Canadian author who has written three young reader books all belonging to the Amanda series. Darlene’s books have been very well received both locally and internationally. Her newest book, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel has just been released. She is actually one of the few Canadian authors we have and she just happens to live about a 15 minute drive away from me. I met her in person, at a local writer’s group and I’m very glad I did.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: Goldilocks and The Three Bears

2. The first book I ever wrote was:  Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask

3. An average day in my life goes like this: Up at 5:45, read for one hour on the bus and Skytrain into Vancouver, deliver job search workshops to unemployed individuals as well as provide one to one employment coaching, take the Skytrain and bus back home (and read), have dinner with my best guy, pet the cat, call my mother, write for two hours, do some social media stuff and go to bed by 10:00.  Of course the weekends are much different but I still write for two hours each day.  Once a week I go to the yoga studio for an hour after dinner. (a treat I granted myself after Amanda in England was completed)

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from:  Michelle’s Dad  I decided to submit my book because: I felt a strong connection with Michelle and knew my book would be in good hands.  She showed genuine interest in the Amanda books.  I will be forever grateful for that meeting.

5. The last book I read was: Local Girls by Alice Hoffman

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: A computer.  That is why we have three in our house and only two people (and a cat of course but she isn’t into computers, yet)

7. My ‘day job’ is: Job Search Facilitator/Career Advisor

8. I carve out time to write by:   Not watching TV and doing minimal housework

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice:  Spending time with friends, but I do try to get together with them from time to time, just not as often as I used to. They understand, thankfully.  (I have amazing friends)

10. I am currently working on: Amanda in Alberta-The Writing on The Stone (working title)

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from: Jane Goodall and it was: Follow your heart. The other great piece of advice was from my Dad. He said, “Learn something from everyone you meet.”  It has served me well.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Never give up on your dreams!