Ellwyn’s Blog

Interview With Author/Publisher: Ms. Tee

Ms. Tee has been around the block a few times and has the scars to prove it. Born and raised in Harlem, she has firsthand experience with 7th Avenue’s rough and tumble reputation.

She has endured and overcome life’s hardships, earning two college degrees while raising her child alone. She is a single mother, an author, a publisher, a realtor, and an inspiration to women who never give up.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Ms. Tee, let’s get to know her a little better.

Hello, Ms. Tee, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I began writing five years after someone killed my brother. I needed to get what I was thinking out. Once I went over all the events that happened in my life I knew I had a story to tell.

Is writing your full-time profession?

No. I am a Licensed NY Realtor. I own my publishing company and have another published author under my company. Right now I work for ABC studios in Production. A good friend of mine sold a story to the EPIX network. So I’m working in Production learning the craft.

How long have you been writing?

I only began back in 2005. My book was published in 2015. I am in the process of writing another book. My schedule is just crazy.

How many books have you written?

one

 

Harlem Heroine
Photo courtesy of: Ms. Tee

Which genres do you write?

Urban Novels, Non- Fiction, and Erotica.

What do you find most challenging about writing for these genres?

When I write I don’t want to sound like every other book out there. I am a very descriptive writer. I want the reader to see and feel my emotions. I don’t like books that are predictable.

What are you working on now?

An Erotica book.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

The reviews from everyone have been great. Whether or not they agree with my past lifestyle people liked the story. Some of my readers say it should be made into a movie (I got an offer 2 years ago). They say they can visualize the story while reading and that I make them feel as though they are right there. That was my intention.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

I tell people to just write or record their work. When your mind is set on “I’m writing a book”, you get stuck with how to write it. I tell people to write and then hire a professional proofreader and editor and allow them to format it.

What message are you sharing in your books?

I share a message about life in the urban areas. I grew up in a two-parent household with strict rules and still got myself into situations where I was shot and tied up for money. I share a story about choices and consequences.

What are your favorite books?

I like urban novels and suspense. I like Sister Souljah and James Patterson books.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I like an urban classic called Claudine. I like dramas and comedies.

When you aren’t writing where can we find you?

I take part in a lot of book fairs and vending events.

What inspires you?

My daughter inspires me. She’s always looking for ways to make money. She teaches me about stocks and bonds. She’s always studying to make herself better.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing company?

Royal-T Publishing is my company. My dad came up with Royal-T. It is both our names scrambled. My dad died in 2003, which is ironic because I never thought I would be a writer let alone own a publishing company.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

My website is www.msteebooks.net or www.royal-tpublishing.com

My Instagram and FB are harlem_heorine, harlem heroine

Where can we find your books?

You can find my books on Amazon. Kindle, ibooks, goodreads and other sites.

Thank you, Ms. Tee, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck.

 

Interview With Author Matt Brunnabend


Matt Brunnabend is a man who writes his dreams into reality. He works a regular 9 to 5 job but longs for the day when he can write full time. He and his Cockatoo live in a house that Matt is painstakingly remodeling into the ideal home.

Matt loves science fiction, Stephen King novels, spending time with family and friends, and honing his craft.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Matt let’s get to know him a little better.

Hello, Matt, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

In my last job, I did a fair bit of flying. When I would fly, I would take a Stephen King book with me. I loved to read his compilations of short stories.

One day, sitting on the tarmac in a plane while a storm passed by, I finished reading one of his stories and thought to myself, “Hey, I think I can do this.”

Now, the definition of a professional, is someone who makes it look easy. But that’s what inspired me to try and I must say, I love the art of writing.   It’s fun to play God, therapeutic to touch on subjects and topics that trouble me, and in the process entertain and excite others.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Not yet. But I fantasize about bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m. and hopping on the computer so I can write. I have no shortage of ideas for novels just the painful reality that I never have enough time to dedicate to my art.

Have you won any awards?

No, and here’s why. Fear. I have written five novels, but published one. After I wrote my very first novel I thought, “If I only have one chance of making it as a writer, I want that first novel to be a huge hit”.

My first novel, Life’s Dream is a fun story but I wasn’t feeling that it would that big hit. That’s when I came upon the idea of The Amant Chronicles.   It’s a four part sci-fi adventure series with romance and mystery. It’s my baby.

So I focused on writing that first volume, but after I wrote it, I was nervous about getting it published. It’s all me in those pages and I wasn’t ready to stand tall against any potential criticism.

It took me finishing five novels ( Life’s Dream, Amant Chronicles Volumes 1-3, and Bright Future ) to find the courage to push ahead and publish that first novel. So there hasn’t been enough time yet to garner any praise or awards, but there’s always tomorrow.

How long have you been writing?

It’s been about five years now. I know I can write more novels, but like any art form, they take time and that’s the most precious of commodities.

Balancing a regular 9 to 5 job, spending time with friends, remodeling my house by myself, working out in the gym, and spending time with my very needy Cockatoo, leaves only a scant bit of time to write…

Photo courtesy of: Matt Brunnabend

How many books have you written?

Five so far, ( Bright Future, Life’s Dream, The Amant Chronicles Volumes 1, 2, and 3.) Trying to finish the final volume of the Amant Chronicles.

Which genre do you write for?

Yes. Ha!   Well, my love is for Science Fiction, but I don’t hold strictly to it. I love Sci Fi, because I’m a Star Trek, Star Wars, and many others fan..

I enjoy astronomy and the thought that there is so much more out there. It fires the creativity in me and it also works well with my lazy side that doesn’t enjoy research.

Fiction allows me to just ‘create’ what I need. I also enjoy an adventure with some romance sprinkled in. What’s life without some romance?

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

Oddly enough, I don’t really have much of a challenge.   Instead of writer’s block, I have the opposite.

I have two other novels in my head right now that I’d love to be writing. And I know that once I start one of those two, another idea will sprout and grow, tormenting me while I write. That’s actually what happened while I was writing my first novel, Life’s Dream.

Just three chapters in, I had the idea for The Amant Chronicles and I would have spurts of ideas on scenes, dialog, and growing plot line every day. It got to the point where it was nagging me to drop everything and write it.

I’m one chapter shy of finishing Life’s Dream because I had to get the first volume of The Amant Chronicles down on paper.

What are you working on now?

I am currently 8 chapters into the fourth and final volume of The Amant Chronicles.

I put out a poll on the internet, asking reader’s that if they were looking at a four part series, would they buy the first volume and wait for the next three or wait until all four volumes were out so they could buy and binge read. Binge reading won by a landslide. So I’m busy trying to finish the fourth volume.

Release of Volume 2 should be by the end of November with publication of the 3rd volume soon after.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Speaking to a fan who read and loved my novel. She got everything I wrote, from the subtle humor to the romantic aspects and the building mystery. It was so enjoyable seeing my work appreciated so much.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

One, ask as many questions as you can. In publishing my first novel, it was an extremely costly and aggravating experience.

The vanity publisher I used made mistakes at every single point along the way. Even when it was all done and I received my first copy of my novel, it was actually someone else’s novel with my cover on it. I was floored.

I wish I had asked other authors more questions.   It was only through book events, where I had plenty of time to converse with fellow authors that I learned about the process of self-publishing, which is both a huge money saver and allows complete control of your novel.

Second, don’t listen to anyone but you when it comes to your writing. Write what you want, what makes you feel good, what gives you therapy. No matter the topic, fans will find you and success will follow.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Hmm, not really. If there’s anything they’re curious about, I’d say just ask. One of my favorite comedians goes by the nickname, Fluffy. I’m sure you know his name.

He gave a closing statement to the crowd at one of his concerts.

He said, “You folks make me. You enjoy my craft and pay me for the privilege of doing comedy. So don’t feel shy about asking for an autograph, or just saying hi.”

Granted, I don’t have that fame or success, but I’m always open to talk with anyone who has questions about me or my work.

What message are you sharing in your books?

One aspect I love about every volume of The Amant Chronicles, is that each volume is two stories. Of course, one is about the continuing adventure and mystery of Amant’s life.

But the reader is treated to a second storyline about another person in Amant’s lineage. So I can and do, have two themes in each novel. I speak out against racism, I reinforce the importance of duty and honor. I also champion the challenge of the fights in life.

What are your favorite books?

I never used to think about that. But when I reflect on the books I’ve read, I can say that I truly enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, The Stand, and several of Stephen King’s short stories.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

My top 3 all time movies: Field of Dreams, Shawshank Redemption, The Unforgiven.

TV shows.. hmm… I guess the newest Star Trek, Rick and Morty, and The Venture Brothers.

When you aren’t writing where can we find you?

Some place in my house, remodeling. I’m hoping to have the house done in the next year. I am a firm believer in making a house a home.

So I take a few years to redo every room and add my touch in one way or another.. My current house, well, it’s been a huge project, including removing load-bearing walls and remodeling the entire kitchen.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Absolutely. www.mjbrun.com
MJ Brunnabend on Facebook and Instagram.
I will be putting more time and effort into my website, and upcoming novel releases so please stop by.

Where can we find your books?

You can find them on Amanzon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.
But I highly suggest buying your soft-copy from my website, www.mjbrun.com, since you’ll save $5.00 off the price, get a free short story, and have it personalized for you and the author’s signature.

Thank you, Matt, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck!

 

Interview With Author Thomas Minder

Thomas Minder is a genuine guy. He’s witty, smart, and insightful. If you ask for his opinion he’ll tell you the truth in a way that is helpful not hurtful. He enjoys a good joke, a good cup of coffee, and good Russian novel.

Currently, he lives with his wife, Paula, in New Jersey.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Tom let’s get to know him a little better.

Hello, Tom, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

The works of Graham Greene, and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment impressed me. I liked the approach and message of both writers and decided I wanted to develop a story along those lines.

This idea rattled in my brain for at least twenty years. I’d muse on it while mowing the lawn, taking long walks, and in down time. After a year of claiming to family and friends, I would retire and finally write my novel, I gave it a go.

I outlined The Long Harbor Testament in the fall of 2011.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Yes. Now that I’m retired I spend 20-25 hours a week on writing or related activities such as promotion, book signings, etc.

Have you won any awards?

The South Jersey Writers’ Group awarded me Writer of The Year in 2017.

This meetup group is an assembly of writers in various stages of their journey. There’s a lot of collaboration and mentoring among the members, and it was an honor to receive the award.

Congratulations!

How long have you been writing?

I started my first novel in the fall of 2011.

Photo courtesy of: Thomas Minder

How many books have you written?

I just finished my third novel, The House Always Wins, which is the sequel to The Long Harbor Testament.

In between these two books, I wrote a series of short stories published in online journals. I put the best of these into my anthology called Chronicles of Sam.

Photo courtesy of: Thomas Minder

Which genres do you write?

Mystery, humor, suspense. Is fast food a genre?

What are you working on now?

I’m in the early stages of planning the third novel in the Long Harbor trilogy. I know who I want to have as the protagonists, just not sure about the plot points yet.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Conducting book signing at various Barnes and Nobles in the tristate area. I’m normally low key, but enjoy engaging with booksellers and customers about my books.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Follow your idea throughout the process and don’t be swayed by the preferences of others. Only you can tell the story that interests you enough to bring it to life.

Photo courtesy of: Thomas MInder

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I live in South Jersey and am influenced by the characters and situations I encounter, whether at a diner, casino, deep in the Pines, or pouring dark-roasted Columbian at the local Wawa.

What message are you sharing in your books?

That people face personal and moral challenges which influence their actions. There are a lot of grey areas, which make it difficult sometimes to tell the good guys from the bad.

What are your favorite books?

Anything by Terry Pratchett, Graham Greene, Tim Dorsey, or Douglas Adams. Throw in Crime and Punishment and the other novels of the Russian greats, and you have stories that draw you in by the characters as well as the plots.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

For movies: Casablanca, The Third Man, Young Frankenstein, and Halloween. Different conflicts, but still delving into personal motivation.
For TV: I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If I was just a foot shorter, I could be the next Danny DeVito.
I also like British comedy and mysteries. Basil Fawlty is a personal hero. Vera, a PBS show about a British investigator who has a unique way of delving into crime, satisfies my need for intricate plot.

When you aren’t writing where can we find you?

Visiting my daughter and family, including our granddaughter Lydia. Also spending too much time at the casinos, convinced that I’m one spin away from untold riches.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

My Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads are below:

https://www.facebook.com/tom.minder.author/

https://twitter.com/tom_minder

https://tomminder.weebly.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16026652.Tom_Minder

Where can we find your books?

My books are on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Black Rose Writing

https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Minder/e/B01MZ6T4FN

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-long-harbor-testament-tom-minder/1125252875?ean=9781612968001

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-house-always-wins-tom-minder/1128945696?ean=9781684331222

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/mysterydetective/thehousealwayswins

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/thelongharbortestament

Thank you, Tom, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck!

Thomas Minder
Photo courtesy of: Thomas Minder