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Showing posts from July, 2019

Friday Interview: Artist Renee Graef

Happy Friday! Today I'm thrilled to share my conversation with award-winning artist Renée Graef, who is well known for illustrating the Little House picture books, the American Girl Kirsten books, and the Nordic alphabet series, as well as eighty other books.

Artist Interview: Renée Graef I am honestly so honored to be talking to you. Let's start at the beginning. How old were you when you first started drawing, or did you simply begin as a child and never stop?

Like most artists, I began drawing from a very early age. I recently found a teacher's note on my 2nd grade report card that said that my "artistic endeavors" were getting in the way of my academics. I thought that was too funny!

When you received your degree in art at the University of Wisconsin, did you know you wanted to be a children's illustrator? 

I wanted to be an illustrator although my degree was in fine art. I was fortunate to receive a work-study job as an in-house illustrator for the Univer…

How Do You Publish A Book?

How Do You Publish a Book? 
The main questions I have been asked all summer are “how did you get published?” and “Why did you decide to write a book?” The real answer is entirely too long to explain in passing. So today, I’m officially providing the answer in about 2,000 words.

Also, I can't tell you how you can get published. But I can tell you how I did.

So this whole process started in January of 2016, I believe. I decided to write a fantasy, because why not. I had never written it, and at this point I had basically only read Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter as far as fantasy books out on the market. None of this seemed like an issue to me.

(People ask me why I decided to write a book. I've actually been consistently writing a book since the age of 9. Just none of them have been remotely publishable.)

Since the fall of 2015 I had been toying with some new character ideas. In January, I threw them all into this scarcely-developed fantasy world that basically was medieval …

Friday Interview: Author Michelle Rene

Happy weekend! Today I invited Michelle Rene to speak with us. Ms. Rene writes books, created a video game, and dances at events like Renaissance Fairs (and you thought you had a cool resume). Her novel, Hour Glass, won Chanticleer Review's 2018 Best Book of the Year award. I am honored to have her here on the blog. 
Author Interview: Michelle Rene Hi, Michelle! To start, can you tell us about your creative ventures? How many books do you have and by what means were they published? 

I’ve had about ten pieces published throughout the years if you count shorter works like novelettes and novellas. Four novels in total. Most of them have been published by smaller independent publishers. A few I self published for the fun of it. One of my novelettes I wrote did get turned into a video game.

Your book Manufactured Witches is like fantasy meets the Dust Bowl, something I found totally original. Did anything in particular inspire it? 

I am a huge history buff. In fact, most of [my] work i…

Friday Interview: Author M.H. Elrich

Welcome to Friday Interviews! This is a new series I'm excited to kick off. Our very first interviewee is M.H. Elrich, whose Christian fantasy novel, Etania's Worth, I read last month.  Author Interview: M.H. Elrich Thank you Ms. Elrich for coming on the blog and providing great answers to my questions! 
When you started writing Etania's Worth, did you have intentions of publishing it?
Yes. From the very beginning, I wanted to publish it, I just wasn't sure how I wanted to publish it (Self or Traditional). I chose Self after seeing the success of other great Christian fantasy authors and after prayer. I also wanted more control over my work and its promotion.
What has been the most surprising response from readers?
I think what surprised me most was who is the favorite character of the book. Not many people chose Etania, which surprised me because she is the main character. I have had quite a few people like Jakin, who I felt wasn't my strongest character, but turne…

Book Review: Etania's Worth by M.H. Elrich

Etania's Worth by M.H. Elrich 
I don’t read Biblical fantasy or really any Biblical-based books, so this was new for me. M.H. Elrich and I did a book review trade and I always welcome the opportunity to read something new. 
For starters, there are many characters, races, and places in this book. It got hard for me to keep up with. Then I got to the end of the ebook and realized there was a glossary all along. If I had read the book in print, I would have seen it earlier and wouldn’t have had a problem. So I recommend reading this book in print. The glossary is well-organized and helpful, and I wish I could have utilized it. 
Many of the descriptions are well-done as is the climax. The climax is the strongest point of the book as you really feel all the events of the story connecting and reaching a peak. Etania does not drive the story as much as other characters do, but she still has some likable traits. I liked Keyel but my favorite character was Tala. I found her to have a stro…