Author Spotlight – Jessica Dorn

Jessica not only wrote 3 wonderful stories for our anthology series, but also volunteered as an editor on this project. Her wonderful edits and support have helped our author’s stories reach their full potential.

I loved reading her character insights and writing advice in this interview. Though I do wonder how one makes a dentist cry? Oh, and her children’s book looks delightful!

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

We are pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, Jessica Dorn

Jessica Dorn headshot.jpgPlease share a little about yourself and your background.

I am currently a freelance writer and copyeditor at Rare Bird Editing and Indie Books Gone Wild after several years in higher education communication. Things I like: speculative fiction, social justice, learning new crafts, dancing, insects, complicated heroines, the infinite variety of humanity. I live in awe of the creative and destructive potential of my two kids, and live in the sunny US south with aforementioned chillen and my co-progenitor.

 

 

Please share information on any published or upcoming books.

I am working on my first novel, which is in the fairy tale genre. I have published one short story, “Dirt Road,” in the Southern literature anthology Chinaberries and Crows (Click here!) and self-published a children’s picture book, The (Not Very) Scary and (Sometimes) Hairy Book of Monster Letters (Click here!), both as Jessica Nelson.

 

 

Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

 My three stories are in Underdogs, Hostile Takeover, and Secret Identity.

 

B2_UnderDogs-1Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

Underdogs: When Rona’s shapeshifting identity reignites old fears, she is forced to accept what she cannot change.

Hostile Takeover: The unwanted girls of Swizzlewyld Orphanage fight back when armed townsmen come looking for wives.

Secret Identity: After a childhood in hiding, a genetically anomalous teenager sneaks away to seek adventure and test her power in a world on the brink of upheaval.

 

B3_HostileTakeOver-1Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

Underdogs:

People tell you determination will get you anything you want in life, but sometimes our biology disagrees. That can be a tough lesson for someone used to getting their way. This character struggles with accepting what life hands her.

Hostile Takeover:

My main character here is someone who has very specific skills that could have gone unused in other circumstances, but she finds a place to shine. This story takes some small seeds of reality and pushes those ideas to extremes.

B4_SecretIdentity-1Secret Identity:

This character is driven by a sense of purpose. She’s different in ways that both separate her from others and bind her physically to her world. It’s a classic coming into your power story.

 

 

 

 

 

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

 I am most drawn to speculative genres – sci-fi and fantasy, and all their lovely varieties. Fiction is always about deeper truth, and I love the way these genres deal profoundly and imaginatively with what it means to be human. I read everything, but when I sit down to write, aliens and magic tend to be where my mind goes.

 

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I juggle freelancing with writing, so every day revolves around which deadline is most pressing. I write in the margins for now. My two awesome critique partners help keep me accountable. I use Word, but I’ve got Scrivener, and intend to one day finish its “Get Started” tutorial. I keep my notes handy, whatever form they are in, to keep me focused.

 

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

I always thought I’d be a pantser, but it turns out I’m more productive with a strong outline. I still want space for magical things I didn’t plan, but I write better and faster with structure.

 

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

Most of my reading these days is editing work, but my favorite person to recommend is Octavia Butler. She was a revelation, and cracked open my ideas about what science fiction and fantasy could be in the best way.

 

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

There is no passion in the world equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft. – H.G. Wells

 

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

1)   To a nearly pathological degree, I avoid conflict. But I love heroines who don’t.

2)   I love Lindy Hop.

3)   I once played Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, thanks to an all-female college experience.

4)   I am a terrible singer.

5)   Once, I made a dentist cry.

 

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts relates to my main characters in various ways. They either share a bit of her bravado, or wish they did. That song never fails to make me feel vicariously badass.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

Everything you read influences your writing. Choose those influences carefully.

This project has helped put me closer my lifelong goal of writing novels. Having these stories out in the world pushes me to get over my impostor syndrome and just write.

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website or Blog: http://www.jessicadornbooks.wordpress.com ; http://www.rarebirdediting.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicadorn; https://www.facebook.com/rarebirdediting

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaDorn1

Tumblr: http://rarebirdwords.tumblr.com

 

Thank you for participating! Look for more interviews with Debut Collective members next week!

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Author Spotlight – Ginny Gallagher

This may be the first interview that made me do a honest-to-goodness snort laugh! (Always attractive!) Be sure to read #5 of her five random facts.

Ginny is always quick to encourage and support her fellow authors. She also has an excellent eye for design! I may try a few of her tips on getting into writing mode myself. 🙂

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

We are pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, Ginny Gallagher!

 

G_G_blackPlease share a little about yourself and your background.

I graduated with a degree in business administration and dabbled in numerous careers on my journey back to my soul’s desire—writing. Along the way, I had a son who is now a member of the Coast Guard, married, and adopted many fur kids—currently six spoiled dogs and two snobby cats. In my spare time, I enjoy all types of crafts, reading across multiple genres, and spending Sunday evenings catching up on favorite TV series (Arrow, Flash, and Mysteries of Laura…just to name a few).

My stories will feature the elements that are close to my heart: Mystery, Magic, and Soul. Several titles in multiple genres are scheduled for release in 2016-2017. My short story, Clear Beginnings, introduces my paranormal mystery series, Maggie McGuire’s Psychic Adventures, and will appear in the Debut Collective Anthologies in June 2016. Clear Vision, book one of Maggie McGuire’s Psychic Adventures is scheduled for release in August 2016.  Book one of The Cauldron Chronicles, a young adult fantasy series, should release the first part of 2017 and I have a romantic suspense novel, Hope and Misery prepped for release in October 2016.

I love connecting with fans and fellow book lovers. You can sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive information on upcoming releases, exclusive sneak peeks, and subscriber only giveaways.

Maggie-McGuire-Book-1Please share information on any published or upcoming books.

Clear Beginnings is a short story prequel to the Maggie McGuire’s Psychic Adventures series. Book one, Clear Vision, is scheduled for release in August 2016.

Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

Underdog Anthology

Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

The unknown is a scary destination but often it’s the place where we discover who we really are.

When a mysterious stranger awakens Maggie McGuire’s repressed psychic abilities, she learns that maintaining her normal life comes with a higher price than she may be willing to pay. Can she learn to open her heart and mind to the new adventures that await her?

Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

I see a lot of myself in Maggie and relate to her yearning for more but allowing fears to hold her back. Clear Beginnings sets the stage for Maggie’s journey of self-actualization. Along the way there’s fabulous friendships, interesting romances, dangerous mysteries, and soul-filled magic.

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

I enjoy writing stories that feature character growth and paranormal aspects but am too much of a rebel to tie myself to one genre.

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I’ve tried everything to arrange a “typical” writing day (word counts, chapters, etc.) and it wasn’t until a month ago that I realized I had to find my own way of making this writing gig work. I now write 4 nights per week for three to four hours and leave the daytime hours for edit and design work. On writing nights I light a candle, begin with a 10-15 minute meditation and free writing session, open my writing playlist on Spotify, and start writing. I use Scrivener but sometimes I have to put away the technology and spend time with a pen and notebook to dig deep into what the characters are wanting to communicate.

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

I’m a plotter but I allow myself detours along the way.

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

I’m currently reading Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. It’s hilarious but if anyone is sensitive to bad language they might not enjoy it. Prior to starting it I binge read Liz Long’s DONAVAN CIRCUS SERIES and really enjoyed it.

Ginny - Too-Smart-Art

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way. —Jennifer J. Freeman

 

 

 

 

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

  1. I wrote my first story in 6th grade and wish I’d listened to my teacher when she told me writing was my calling.
  2. I have six dogs and two cats.
  3. I just finished a class that used oracle cards as a daily divine meditation and I loved it.
  4. I design book covers in my spare time.
  5. I once called a gynecologist office and although I thought it was odd that the doctor answered the phone I preceded with describing the problem I was having when he asked how he could help me. His response, “Ma’m this is Dr. Smith the Veterinarian.”

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

I have an eclectic taste in music—actually in everything—so my playlists span multiple genres. A few songs on my “Maggie” playlist are Dig by Incubus, Fix My Eyes by for King & Country, and Learning to Fly by Tom Petty.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

Finish your first draft and give yourself time to learn through the revision process. Participating in the collective anthology project has been amazing. Seeing how my story changed from the first draft to the final version has helped me see that the first draft is only the beginning so WRITE! Get that first draft done because no matter how much you worry and obsess over it it’s only the beginning.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website or Blog: ginnygallagher.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorGinnyGallagher

Twitter: @AuthorGinnyGal

Pinterest: pinterest.com/authorginnygal/

Instagram: instagram.com/ginny_gal/

 

Thank you for participating! Please join us on Friday, when the Debut Collective will feature Jessica Dorn!

 

Author Spotlight – N. L. Byers

This next author’s caring heart knows no limit and it shines through in her answers to these questions. Nancy is a constant supporter and kind presence in the Debut Collective. I remember her speech during the closing ceremony’s annual open keynote very well. She touched everyone in that room as she shared her fears of rejection, but her commitment to press on and publish her words anyway. 

I am honored that Nancy has chosen to make that pledge come true by participating in our anthology series. I have read both of her stories and can tell you she has a gift for channeling the underdogs and vulnerable characters you just cannot help rooting for. 

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

I am pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, N. L. Byers!

NancyPlease share a little about yourself and your background.

I was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Ms. I went to high school in at a small Christian school in northern Mississippi called French Camp. After high school, I return back home and completed my undergraduate degree in English at The University of Southern Mississippi. Fiction writing was my favorite class. My professor told me I would publish but I figured she was just being nice and put the idea in the back of my mind.

I stumbled across a book by Quinn Loftis titled Prince of Wolves (Book 1, Grey Wolves Series). I fell in love with her books and I looked her up on Facebook. Quinn would be the first of many indie authors that not only introduced me to the world of self-publishing but ignited the desire to write my own book.  There is one thing I have learned and that is the authors I love Quinn Loftis, Amy Bartol, Jennifer Armentrout, Raine Thomas, Mary Ting, Carol Kunz and many other amazing authors continue to inspire me make writing a book seem so easy.

When you sit down to write your first book if you aren’t looking at a blank document on your computer, if you actually get words down then you find you will face other challenges like self-doubt (Am I could enough, would anybody read what I have to say?), or Do I plot or do I write by the “seat of my pants?” (Pantser is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants), or if you do get words down and you find you aren’t happy with them so you hit the backspace key and delete them. It’s easy to be full of the passion to write a story, but if you get caught up in the cyclic thinking of these questions or whatever pertains to your writing journey you find yourself never getting off the “starting line.”

So when I came across the opportunity to write a short story or two for the Debut Anthologies Collective, I jumped at the chance. I could get my writing “feet” wet by starting small and if I had a crisis of faith my story would be bundled with over 40 other amazing authors so that any possible criticism might not sting that much or at least that was my initial thought. Writing the underdog story was really tough, but when I wrote it I found such an overwhelmingly supportive writing community with the Debut Collective. I found that writing and letting others read it might be scary, but that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way.

I continue to work on the first draft of my own book. I don’t have a title right now, but I can share that it will be in the Fantasy/Paranormal genre. My hope is to publish it later this year or by January of 2017.

 

B2_UnderDogs-1Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

I will be published in the Underdog anthology and the Love Against all odds anthology.

 

Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

Underdogs – A shy, intelligent girl is bulllied daily, but risks staying at school even longer for a tutoring job to help support her family.

When Dani’s assigned to tutor the hottest boy on the hockey team, she finds an unlikely ally but fears her bully’s torments will increase.

A school dance provides her with both a challenge and an opportunity, if she can find the courage within.

Love Against All Odds – A sensitive writer steps outside her comfort zone and attends a book event. While there, she has a heated exchange with a book cover model. Will she overcome longheld fears and find love? Or like the fictional characters he portays, is he too good to be true?

 

Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

Dani is a character that has lost her mom, and her dad works hard as a mechanic to put food on the table. So she is self-conscious because she doesn’t have the designer clothes are shoes and coupled with the fact that she is extremely smart she finds she doesn’t fit in anywhere. When she becomes a victim of the school bully, she hides because she doesn’t want to be a tattle tell and further ostracize herself from other students. She tutors a boy, with his help finds the courage to use her voice to stand up to the school bully.

I think sometimes when we are in a situation we don’t always see the way clear out of it or we don’t think we have the power to change our circumstances. Dani buries her head in the sand with the attitude, “If I don’t think about it or talk about it, then it doesn’t exist or it will all go away.” She finds the courage to use her voice not only to change her on circumstances, but to be an example for that one student who might feel trapped about their own problems.

There is amazing shirt that was created by Victoria Faye for the Utopia Con that says “Lift as you rise” and I think that is a key theme that I feel shines in this short story. We all have a voice, but sometimes we need a little encouragement to make our voices heard.

 

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

I am still at the beginning of my writing journey. Fantasy/Paranormal genre is a genre I have always loved to read, so it was no surprise to find that I love writing it. I like the idea that the “rules” of the everyday world and transform them into something that is beyond our senses.

 

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I work full time at The University of Southern Mississippi. so finding writing time isn’t always a daily activity and there are times when I have to make time to write.  I would love to write full time someday, but right now I fight to balance my day job with what I love to do and that is writing.

 

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

I have referred to this question in my background because it was Amy Bartol that first introduced the plotter and pantser style during a panel at Utopia con 2015.  Hearing the term pantser changed my life.  I have struggled with trying to outline but the idea that I would run with an idea left me with the doubt that I wasn’t a legit writer because I didn’t have a set plan. I prefer to run with an idea, but the more I write the more I feel the need to find a balance between plotting and being a pantser.

My goal is to be able to plot just enough to give me a rough idea of the overall structure of the story, but then to allow my imagination loose to run with its idea and see where it takes me.  So the answer to this question, at least for me, isn’t easy to answer because I feel like I need to be able to do a bit of both and right now the only thing I feel comfortable with is running with an idea.

 

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

Andre Norton, Half-blood series: Elven born, Elven Bred, anything by Quinn Loftis but the Grey Wolf series will always be my favorite, The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol, and the Lux Series by Jennifer Armentrout.

 

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

Writing is the vehicle that allows our imaginations to communicate with the world around us. N.B

 

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

I can sing and I used to play violin when I was in junior high school.

I try to work out 6 to 7 hours a week.

I have two masters’ degrees in Instructional Technology and Higher Education Administration

I have a ‘thing’ for blond headed guys.

I’m a dog person/lover

 

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

Music and nature sounds have inspired my writing, but there wasn’t a particular song that inspired my short story. I took inspiration from my days in high school where I was often bullied and it took a dear friend to help me find my voice to stand to the bullies.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

The advice I would give to inspiring writers is to let go of the pressure of “Hey, I’m writing a book! Oh crap, I’m writing a BOOK!” Many of my writer friends have said “You can’t edit a blank page.” But you might find you have trouble getting the story out when you are putting pressure on yourself.

Write because you need to, because the characters inside demand to be heard. Write because you want to escape the world you’re in so you create another. Write, not because someone will buy your book or give you a great review, write because it is as vital to you as the air you breathe.  If people like your book, that’s awesome but the reasons you write are uniquely your own.

Don’t compare your writing skill, experience or lack thereof. Your journey is uniquely your own so you decide where you go.

Robert Frost said it best. It’s not about the writing “road’ or the path you take to write your first book. It’s is fact that the choice that is yours alone so revel in the privilege it is to be able to make that choice.

 

 

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I have an author page under my name Nancy Byers where I post about myself and my work. Future plans include developing a street team and increasing my visibility on social networking sites.

Author Spotlight – Kristina Seek

Kristina is a shining example of the power of the Debut Collective’s community and support. Her two stories for the Debut Collective Anthologies will be her first published works. So exciting!

We are pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, Kristina Seek.

 

Please share a little about yourself and your background.

I am a Texan, but have lived in Charlotte, NC since the early 1990s.  I was a History major in college; ancient civilizations, medieval Europe, and Colonial America are my favorite periods.  I do Marketing & Promotions for a Design-Build firm, and I enjoy reading, writing, and travelling.

 

Please share information on any published or upcoming books.

My submissions to The Debut Collective will be my first published stories.  I have two works in progress, and plan to publish one or both in late 2016.

 

 

Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

Secret Identity and Underdogs

 

Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

Love in FX (Secret Identity): The President’s daughter goes to extreme measures to avoid the press during a rare night out with her boyfriend.

River Reeds (Underdogs):  Teenage villagers who fail a rite of passage are banished to life on the riverbank.  When the village is under attacked, will the outcasts do anything to help?

 

 

 

Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

Love in FX: Kinsey Matthews is the eldest daughter of the newly elected President of the United States.  Between the Secret Service and the paparazzi, she is not afforded the privacy needed to spend time with her boyfriend.  When deciding on an approach for a Secret Identity story, I thought a “hiding in plain sight” plot would be fun.  Politicians may want the limelight, but their children may not want the interruption into their lives.

 

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

Middle Grade/ Young Adult adventure and contemporary romance.  I enjoy books for kids and moms alike!

 

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I just open a Word document and go for it.  I start with an outline and write in stolen moments.  Don’t tell my boss, but sometimes inspiration strikes while I am on the clock & I fill up sticky notes with ideas.

 

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

Recovering pantser; converted to plotting recently.

 

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

Currently reading Stars Above by Marissa Meyer.  I am a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles series.

 

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

If there is a book you want to read. but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. – Toni Morrison

 

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

  1. I am an only child.
  2. My son is an only child.
  3. My husband was a college cheerleader.
  4. I am a huge Carolina Panthers fan.
  5. I work out about 5 days a week at a bootcamp.

 

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

The first draft is for your eyes only.  Write like nobody will see it; edit like everyone will.

 

How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

The accountability and deadlines forced me to follow through with my commitments.  Knowing I was supported by a generous team of professionals made the challenges easier to face, and I was encouraged by the friends and family who knew I was participating in such an incredible project.

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I have a book blog: www.thebookbeacon.com

Facebook: Kristina Seek, Author

Twitter: @krisseek

Pinterest: Kris Seek

Goodreads: Kris Seek

Thank you for participating! Please join us on Friday, when the Debut Collective will feature N. L. Byers. 

Author Spotlight – David Berger

Okay, trust me on this… You MUST scroll down and check out David’s fan-freaking-tastic office. What an amazing room for creativity & connecting with your inner superhero!

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

We are pleased to share the following interview with contributing author, David Berger.

 

Please share a little about yourself and your background.

Ever since I was a child, I was actively inspired by the Muses to write. Whether it was stories of the Smurfs when I was seven or Star-Trek-meets-Greek-myth short story in my senior year in high school, I have always desired to share adventures. Becoming an English teacher simply fueled my desire to write, and from this, as well as a love of fantasy and comic books (especially Wonder Woman), I created my Task Force: Gaea series. I go to various conventions across the country to meet fans, sign books, and just be a total geek.

 

 

 

Please share information on any published or upcoming books.

I am currently working on book four of the Task Force: Gaea series, The Archer’s Paradox, as well as an anthology of stories, Of Mortal Bonds, tied to the second book (Memory’s Curse) that will give the account of the Olympians living as mortals for one year. I’m also writing a Celtic myth-inspired series called The DragonHawk Cycle, with the first novel being The Quest of Wyndracer and Fyrehunter (2017 or 2018). In this series, two sixteen-year-old boys, Conall and Aedan, learn they are destined to stop a war between the Ancient Ones being fought in the mortal world.

 

Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

The Underdog anthology.

Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

Prince Aisling sat in the shadow of his three older brothers all his life, that is, until he needed to use his magic to help his father, but in the unlikeliest of ways.

Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

Prince Aisling was born the youngest of four, and his brothers have had the ability to conjure weapons ever since they were little. Aisling doesn’t follow his brothers’ path, and that has him tormented by the other three and even members of the kingdom. I was bullied as a child, and I didn’t realize my gifts until I needed to use them, namely my love of writing. I wanted to show that people have talents, but they don’t always look like everyone else’s.

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

I write in the fantasy genre, and this came from my love of comic books and fantasy novels. The escape I find in the fantasy realm grew from being a child of divorce and needing to lose myself in books. As an adult, I enjoy creating other worlds where the rules of this one don’t necessarily apply.

 

 

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I start by outlining a story, or a novel, and then I try to make time a few times a week to work on some aspect of it: a chapter, a scene, or a character. I find that aiming for word counts is counterproductive, and sometimes demoralizing, so I just write until I can’t write any further. Then, I pick it up another time. I use Microsoft Word mostly, but I start out with Google Docs.

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

I’m a “bi” writer, I do a bit of both. 😉

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

I just finished Slumberscythe by Vance Bastian and To Move Forward by Geoffrey Bauernfeind. I highly recommend them both!

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

One of my high school English teachers wrote in my yearbook, “In a blue Aegean night, after the gods and nymphs have said adieu, your muse will find new life.” That has been the core of my writing since I was a young man.

The view from David’s desk. Coolest office ever, right? More pics in his Facebook Album: Wonder Woman Shrine!

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

I have a Wonder Woman-themed home office, I’ve appeared in three different Wonder Woman comics, I use my middle name as my first name, I my first novel took 25 years to finish, and I watch comic book related movies for inspiration.

 

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

Music does not influence my writing. In fact, I write best with background noise at Starbucks than anything else. Or, perhaps a thunderstorm.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

With aspiring writers, I would say, everyone’s work has an audience, and they need to find theirs. Not all writers in the same genre attract the same readers. Knowing I was writing with others helped fuel me a bit, keeping my writing mojo moving through the rough spots we all have.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.davidbergerbooks.com

Facebook: facebook.com/david.berger

Twitter: twitter.com/MrDBerger

Instagram: instagram.com/inspiredgemini

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5625101.David_Berger

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/David-Berger/e/B0075O7YD0/

 

Thank you for participating! Please join us on Wednesday, when the Debut Collective will feature Kristina Seek.

 

Author Spotlight – Carol Kunz

There’s a reason Carol won the 2015 Utopian of the Year award. She exudes kindness and acceptance with every hug she so generously shares.  I had difficulty finding a photo on her Facebook page where she wasn’t hugging someone.

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

We are pleased to share the following interview with USA Today Bestselling author, Carol Kunz.

 

Please share a little about yourself and your background.

My Mum is English and my Dad is American. My Dad was in the Air Force and stationed in England when he met my Mum. I was born in an English maternity home and didn’t come to the United States until I was three. I spent 14 out of the first 19 years of my life, living in England. My Hubby and I have been married 40 years next month and we have two adult children. My Hubby retired from the Air Force and we moved to Florida in 1999. We have two fur babies that keep us busy. Our son lives a hour away and our daughter, thirty minutes away.

 

Please share information on any published or upcoming books.  I’m currently working on three books, yes, three.  Two are romantic comedies and the other is a paranormal romance.

Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?  Bravery

Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.  

Is she losing her mind or are her dreams real?

Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective? My character is an overworked medical intern.  I worked in the medical field for years so I love reading and watching books and shows that deal with medicine, like Code Black, Grey’s Anatomy and Robin Cook’s Coma.

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre? I write Middle Grade and Young Adult Paranormal and Dystopian with my son, Adam and I write Adult under the pen name Amanda Jason.

Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?  I have to be in the mood to write but when I am, the ideas flow. I scribble notes on a small notepad that I carry with me in my purse.

Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)? When I write with my son we have to use an outline. When writing by myself, I’m a pantser.

What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend? I’m reading The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner

What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

“There is no greater agony than hearing an untold story inside you.”  Maya Angelou

 

Had to include this beautiful photo of Carol being kissed by our own BJ Sheldon. Love her expression of love!

Tell us 5 random facts about you:

 

1.      My neck was broken 22 years ago.

2.      I have a broken titanium plate in my neck

3.      I’m left-handed.

4.      My pen name Amanda Jason is a tribute to my twins I lost 39 years ago this month.

5.      I never thought I would live beyond the age of 40. Three days after my 40th birthday, I died on the OR table.

Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story? No. I have to write in a quiet room.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?  Write what you love, never give up your dream and definitely don’t wait until my age to follow it.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarolKohnertKunz

Twitter: @amandaJason13

Pinterest: Carol Kunz

Amazon Author Page: Amazon

 

 Thank you for participating, Carol! I’m looking forward to another of your famous hugs at UTOPiA 2016. 🙂

 

Are you a Blogger?

Are you an avid blogger? Beginner? Just have one that you like to toss things up onto every once in a while?

Well, how would you like to be an official Debut Collective blogger?

We are looking for bloggers of all calibers to join our growing team of support blogs to announce as things come out.This isn’t a heavy load, but as we ramp up for release, we will have some things that we will shoot your way that we’re excited about.

And you’re just in time! We are in the process of releasing the front covers. So there’s a good amount of buzz going around! Before we know it, we will be sending our bloggers the full covers to do one big announcement!

Here’s how you join us:

Debut Collective Official Blogger Sign-up Form