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 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

 

Interview With Author Meghan Holloway

Meghan Holloway has worn many hats in her lifetime: student, pilot, international traveler, crime fighter, information scientist, author, and has every intention to add more to her repertoire.

She can be reserved with newcomers, but once you get to know her, you’ll discover she’s a great conversationalist on a wide variety of topics. She loves dogs, food, and reading a good mystery snuggled up on her couch.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Meghan let’s get to know a little more about her.

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

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

Writing and telling stories, has always been a compulsion for me. My love of stories began with sitting on my grandfather’s knee begging for tales from his boyhood.

As soon as my hands learned to fashion letters into words, I’ve written. I don‘t know if there was ever a conscious choice to write. Storytelling is simply part of what it has meant to be me.

If I had to pinpoint a source, I would say it‘s the Celtic blood in me, and I inherited the tendency from my grandfather, who spins tales with as much talent and care as a master weaver.

Is writing your full-time profession?

At this point in my life, I balance writing with working full time.

I am an information scientist, which involves a lot of data gathering and analysis, content   management, building databases, etc. I love what I do and I work in an exciting, cutting-edge field.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but nine years ago I set out intentionally to write a novel.

 

Once More Unto The Breach
Photo courtesy of: Meghan Holloway

How many books have you written?

ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, releasing in May 2019 from Polis Books,will be my third published novel.

My first two books were published under a pseudonym with a publishing house that went out of business. Both were suspense novels with romantic elements and are now out of print.

I have already written my fourth novel, which will release in 2020. I am currently working on the rewrites for it before I put pen to paper and write my fifth book.

Which genre do you write for?

I write suspense thrillers, both contemporary and historical.

My upcoming May release, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, is a historical thriller set during WWII, in the wake of the liberation of Paris in 1944.

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

I think the most challenging part of being an author is the business side of things.

Being an author is very much a small business endeavor.

The product is my book, but there is a lot of marketing involved in selling that product. I am an introvert by nature, as I think many writers are, and it is hard work putting yourself out there, building a following, and putting in the legwork to sell your product.

What are you working on now?

I am going through the editing process with my upcoming release, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH. I am thrilled to share this story with everyone.

The protagonist is an ordinary man drawn into extraordinary circumstances, and I think the tale will appeal to fans of historical dramas, literary fiction, war and military fiction, and mystery thrillers.

Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran and Welsh sheep farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city’s liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late.

As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two.

Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her own, Rhys discovers that even as liberation sweeps across France, the war is far from over.

And his personal war has only begun as he is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son’s trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps.

But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. In a race of his own, a relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first. 

The country is in tatters, no one is trustworthy, and Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son’s wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it’s too late. Too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive.

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

I love the connection with readers that being an author facilitates. I have made so many friends through social media in the reading and writing community.

I am planning on attending conferences in the next year to carry those friendships over face to face.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Keep writing and be willing to accept criticism, especially when it is constructive.

Writing a story is hard work, but it is not until the editing process that it becomes a novel and you cannot edit a blank page.

When it comes down to it, treat writing like it is a job. Make the time every day to put words on paper. You are often too close to your story to recognize its weaknesses and where it needs bolstering.

Listen when others make suggestions. And realize that once your story is out there, not everyone will love it. The reader’s opinion is his or her prerogative.

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

I found my first Nancy Drew mystery in a sun-dappled attic at the age of eight and subsequently fell in love with the grip and tautness of a well-told mystery.

I flew an airplane before I learned how to drive a car, did my undergrad work in Creative Writing in the sweltering south, and finished a Masters of Library and Information Science in the blustery north.

I spent a summer and fall in Maine picking peaches and apples, traveled the world for a few years, and did a stint fighting crime in the records section of a police department.

I now live in the foothills of the Appalachians with Aidan, my standard poodle, and spend my days as a scientist with the requisite glasses but minus the lab coat.

What message are you sharing in your books?

I think regardless of the era or setting in which I write, I am always exploring the human condition, the labyrinth of the mind, and the grittier side of our existence.

ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is a tale of war and loss, but also one of family and hope. It is about the love we have for those closest to us, the ease with which we can wound the people we care for the most, and the lengths to which we will go to seek atonement.

What are your favorite books?

I tend to read what I write. I love the thriller genre, and my “To Be Read” pile is constantly growing.

Currently, my favorite authors are Peter Swanson, A.J. Flynn, Jane Harper, Harlan Coben, Tana French, and Mark Sullivan.

I also love authors who bring the past alive with a poet’s touch, authors like Michael Ondaatje, Eoin Dempsey, and Anthony Doerr.

I love Mary Stewart’s novels, and she will forever hold the place of my all-time favorite author. I reread her mysteries annually. I love her keen eye for setting detail, her witty dialogue, and her classy heroines.

I am also a big fan of nonfiction, particularly survival narratives and exploration stories.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I love suspense and action thrillers. The Bourne series, Body of Lies, The LastLegion, Open Range, and Robin Hood are some of my favorites.

I am also a bit of a documentary junky. I love nature, anthropology, archaeology, and history documentaries. There are great ones available on Netflix.

As for TV shows, I love several grittier mystery series like Shetland, Hinterland, and Happy Valley, along with some lighter ones like Midsomer Murders and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

I am also drawn to the shows that combine travel with something that interests me, e.g. Andrew Zimmern’s Delicious Destinations because I love good food and Josh Gates’s Expedition Unknown because archaeology never ceases to fascinate me.

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

When I am not writing and working the day job, I can be found hanging out with my standard poodle sidekick, swimming, hiking, alpine and cross-country skiing, cooking and baking, or crocheting.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

I do, and I would love for you to join me on social media. My website is www.meghanholloway.com, and you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the handle @AMeghanHolloway.

Where can we find your books?

ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and The Book Depository in paperback with the e-book pre-orders coming soon.

Thank you so much for the invitation to interview, Ellwyn. I had a lovely time chatting with you.

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

Meghan Holloway
Photo courtesy of: Meghan Holloway

Interview With Children’s Author Dianna Wyles

I recently had the good fortune of interviewing author Dianna Wyles.  A native of Northern California, Dianna is a Christian writer with two book publishing credits to her name: Heart Blessings: A Children’s Seek and Find and Beautiful Blessings & Babbling Brooks. Through her books, Dianna hopes to inspire a positive attitude and a gratefulness for life.

When she isn’t writing, Diana teaches, actively participates in the worldwide online ministry, Refreshing Hope Ministries, blogs, meditates, pursues her passion for photography, and spends time outdoors. Diana has a powerful belief in God that has nurtured her creative spirit.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Dianna, let’s get to know a little bit more about this busy woman.

Hello, Diana. Welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.


Hi, Ellwyn. Thank you for having me.


In addition to being a published author, you are also a teacher.  Why did you pursue a career in education?

I became an early educator years ago. When my own children were old enough for school I loved helping in their kindergarten classes so much that I started taking classes to become a teacher.


What grade do you currently teach?


I teach Preschool. This year I’m teaching three and four-year olds, but I have experience with ages ranging from birth to 12 years.

How has your teaching experience influenced your writing?


Well, since I am a Preschool teacher, it seemed easiest to format a children’s book. As a teacher I understand how important it is for children to have a high self-esteem, as well as, to be trained in coping skills and healthy life choices.

Inviting children to find the good in their daily lives is a wonderful way to cultivate the important attribute of gratitude. My intent was to create something that is simple and childlike in format, yet ageless in content and inspiration. I think both of my books deliver powerful inspiration in a way all ages can understand and appreciate.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I was going through a season of struggle with multiple family illnesses, eventual loss, grief and into healing. I meditated and prayed my way through that time! In one particular meditation (I always meditate on God’s Goodness, Love, Peace, and Healing for all) when I was done, everywhere I looked I saw hearts…in the sky, in the trees, on the rocks…everywhere!

I felt like I had just been hugged by God and a sense of peace beyond understanding came over me.  I still see those hearts each day.

Tell me a little about how you wrote your first book?

Heart Blessings: A Children’s Seek and Find came to me after praying a lot about the writer’s block I was having. I was trying to write an adult inspirational book describing my experiences and how blessed it all leaves me feeling.

It took about an hour to put together and then about three to four months to format and perfect.

I my opinion, it was a gift from our loving Heavenly Father for me to share with the world; to teach from a very young age, that if you search out His blessings daily, He will not disappoint you.

Your books have a strong spiritual theme. Can you tell us how your beliefs have impacted your writing?

I am a Preschool teacher and a photographer in search of God’s blessing in everything. I enjoy spending time hiking, birding, mining and taking pictures in the great outdoors. I use this time to reconnect with our Lord through his beauty and wonder.

Humbled and amazed by the beautiful signs and gifts given by God, I have a unique gift of seeing heart blessings in nature and my surroundings. I love to capture these heart blessings with my camera and share them with others to strengthen faith and give hope where needed.

I am a naturalist by nature. I love God, family, kids, hearts, wildlife, and all things related to these subjects.

It is my heart’s desire for my books to somehow show God’s beauty and wonder to a world that has yet to meet our awesome creator, and to touch the hearts of those who already call him Father.

What are you working on now?

I have a third children’s book in the works. It’s a counting book where we count heart rocks, but I must admit to writer’s block with the formatting section of this project. I promise I will get past my block and publish, Counting Blessings 1, 2, 3, Rock Hearts, Rock Hearts, Can You See?

Can you tell us about this upcoming book?


In the book my grandchildren and husband go on an adventure to find and count heart rocks. It’s a fun rhyming book where counting your blessings is the name of the game. Look for it in the near future!

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


I think giving my books to people in need has been my most rewarding experience. My vision is to take my books to hospitals in my area like Shriner’s and UC Davis Children’s Hospital, to read and gift to children battling serious illnesses.

I’m still working on that vision, but I have sent copies to of my books to people battling cancer and other serious health concerns.

That my books can bring peace and hope has been a great blessing.

What advice would you give to writer’s just starting out?

Just write! Write about things that have meaning to you. Write about your passions. Write because you have something to say! Write because you can. Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself and your dreams! Just write!

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

I am an active member of Refreshing Hope Ministries, a worldwide online ministry system where I lead a photography group called, “Creation Photographers”, a private group for victims of abuse called, “Haven of Hope”, and I write a blog now and then. Our wonderful Pastor Dion Todd leads a live interactive service each week, as well as, daily devotions, a prayer team, and so much more! Come check out our ministry at https://www.refreshinghope.org/.


Do you have a website/facebook page?


You can find my books on Amazon.