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Interview with angel expert & children’s book author Michelle Beber

Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned “angel lady,” Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen’s son, Charles Michelle BeberVirtue.

In 2008, Michelle’s life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as “angel numbers.” Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.

Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.

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About the Book:

Angels Angels Everywhere 2Title: Angels, Angels, Everywhere
Author: Michelle Beber
Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 30
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Michelle Beber. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is my first published book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to self-publish with vanity publisher, Balboa Press, the self-publishing division of Hay House Publishing, because I wanted to align myself with a company who had the same spiritual and metaphysical philosophy as mine. There are many options available to writers, and I recommend that authors do a lot of research to determine which choice is best for their particular circumstances.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It took nine months, just like having a baby! This was definitely “the birth of my first child.” It would’ve taken less time if I wasn’t such a perfectionist, but I was more interested in having a quality product versus rushing it into the marketplace.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was amazing! I’ll never forget holding the book in my hands for the first time. It was an incredible feeling to see all the hard work that I’d put into something become a reality. I danced around the living room with my book in my hands, saying, “I did it! It’s real!”

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

It seemed like I did so many things at once, it’s hard to recall, but it was probably setting up my Amazon Author Central page. Setting up that page was highly recommended since Amazon is the largest retailer of books in the world.

At that time, I was also looking into website development and setting up my social media accounts. Needless to say, you must have an online presence.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I have a much better understanding of what it takes to put a book together and have learned that the production of the book was the easy part. The hardest part begins after the book is printed. Whether you publish traditionally or independently, you will need to do your own marketing and promotion, so be prepared to put in the necessary time and effort because your book will only be as successful as you make it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

What has amazed me is the vast amount of supportive organizations out there to help authors learn and grow. I’m a member of the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and have found their workshops very helpful. If you do a Google search, you can find lots of beneficial networking groups, seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The most rewarding thing about being a published author is reading the beautiful reviews that people have left about my book. It’s so heartwarming to know that I’ve had a positive impact on people’s lives, especially children.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up! If you’re passionate about writing, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dream. It’s what you were meant to do. Stay positive, work hard, and have patience. It can take a long time to put your book into the marketplace, but once you do, it’s the most gratifying feeling you’ll ever have. And finally, don’t forget to ask the angels for help!

 

Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness Book Blitz – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title of Book # 1: Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness
ISBN:  978-1-105-46980-0
Genre: Spiritual Maturity, Christianity, Discipleship Training
Publisher: LuLu Enterprises, Inc.
Publication Date: 2005, 2011
Just like there are specific physical exercises that are good for physical conditioning, there are specific spiritual exercises that are good, in fact, essential for our spiritual conditioning and growth. If you want to grow spiritually, you have to do spiritual exercises. (1Timothy 4:8)
This book looks to Jesus for “duplicate-able” activities for the model for our growth. For years Christian writers have identified specific activities regularly evidenced in his earthly life and called them Spiritual or Christian Disciplines. I believe that if it was useful for Jesus to be disciplined in his worship and praise to God, then it is useful for us as well. Further, I believe that the inclusion of Christian Disciplines in our lives, or what I call the Disciplined Training Approach places us in obedient submission to God and that is where we are supposed to be. 
Book excerpt:
God has outlined a plan for living that when followed will bring us into a closer fellowship with Him. All the treasure in the world will not purchase it, but God will provide it for free to whosoever really wants it. No matter how worthless you may think you are, you can become one of the greatest treasures in the world.  You can become the person God wants you to be, equipped with all the supernatural power for the Kingdom work He wants you to do!  
Simply put, if you hear what God tells you, trust that He will not lead you astray and do what you’re told to do, you will experience the peace God planned for you. More than that, the consequences of ignoring God can be anxiety, frustration, depression and even eternal separation from Him.
People, however, are not simple.  In fact, we go to great lengths to take something simple and complicate it.  Our relationship with God should be personal, based on the time we spend with Him.  We can’t manufacture a relationship with Him, but we can come to know him based on our personal experiences.
If you want to be blessed, comforted or reassured in a small way, then exercise a small amount of faith.  If however, you need your life changed… it may take more. It starts with regular prayer, regular meditation and regular listening. It continues when we do things outside our comfort zone and that’s exactly where faith begins.
Your life will change when you realize God’s ability
zone is greater than your comfort zone.
Purchase at
Title of Book #2   God’s Answer, Praying the Scriptures Back to God
God gave us the Bible as a constant reminder of His love and plan for us. More than a historical document, it is truly alive. As we read His Word and become heart-linked with Him, a supernatural transformation begins to take place in us.  God’s Word is alive and we can’t comprehend it all at once. That explains why you can read a passage several times over weeks or months and receive a different message from the same verses.
God gave us prayer as an avenue or vehicle that He designed for us so we could be in constant communication with Him. God’s Answer seeks to bring you to His Throne of Grace, where prayers are answered, (Hebrews 4:16) so that you can claim the promises God makes about today’s problems. That’s a tall order, so let’s look at what He said about prayer in His Living Word, the Bible.
Several times He promises us that He will hear and in fact, answer our prayers. It would be great to think that we always get what we want or that we could just name it and claim it, but that simply is not the case. What we can claim is the promises God makes and we will be exploring those. Let’s examine a few passages and see what they reveal beyond God hearing us and answering our prayers.
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Title of Book #3        A Place of Faith, When There is No Place Else to Go
What or where is the place of faith?  Is it a physical location? No, it is where we are when we step out into the unknown in a blind, yet obedient faith because that is all we have left.  Our Christian vocabulary is filled with ideas, quotes and even promises from God that are meant for comfort and reassurance. As real as God’s Word is, what happens when all has been recalled and rehearsed and we still find ourselves alone at the place of faith. A Place of Faith defines faith from a real and practical viewpoint, then develops it’s progression from a measure of faith, to a step and then a leap of faith.  Most importantly, time is spent on the Enemy of Faith and the Trial of Faith and finally, The Results of Faith. Each chapter concludes with a hymn that reinforces the points made in the chapter and a few reflection questions.
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Title of Book #4  Living on the Dark Side of Faith
While faith has two sides, they are both sides of the same thing. The word faith cannot be substituted for the word belief or theology. It is more than a collection of thoughts about religion. It is more than simply believing in the existence of God, the demons in Hell do that. The faith we speak of is in God and how, though we may not see how, He will provide for His beloved. The faith we have is certain; it is the evidence of things to come. It begins with a measure and increases with experience and that often means a trial or test of our faith.
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About the author:

 

Jim Greene makes his home in Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. An avid backpacker, his countless hours in the outdoors have often blessed him with many topics to write about.
As a layman Sunday School teacher, he challenges himself and his class to strive for and enjoy a closer relationship with God. Each of his books look to God as the ultimate authority in our lives. He is the author of Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness, God’s Answer, A Place of Faith, When There is Nowhere Else to Go, and Living on the Dark Side of Faith. His next book is entitled, When Waiting isn’t Working.
Jim feels God speaks to him personally through journaling and his books primarily came to answer a question in his life. They may just help you too.
Pump Up Your Book and Jim are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
§  By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
§  One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
§  This giveaway begins September 2 and ends on September 26, 2014.
§  Winner will be contacted via email on October 1, 2014.
§  Winner has 72 hours to reply.
§  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

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Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness Book Blitz Schedule
September 2
September 3
September 4
September 5
September 8
September 9
September 10
September 11
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Character Interview: Arkas from K. Madill’s YA Fantasy Novel ‘The Stolen Herd’ – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

We’re thrilled to be talking to Arkas from Green Forest, Deep Forest, The Silver City, Harshlands, Azure Caves, Elphinstone Mountains…hey, he has wings – he gets around.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]Thank you so much for this interview, Arkas.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Arkas: It was moderately accurate. She (the author) missed how utterly terrified Mandamus and Luco were when we first met. It was their own fault. They blundered into my territory, so I attacked them. It was written a little more comically than it actually was. Those two were scared out of their minds.  I thought that human, Luco, was going to cry and Mandamus may look like a big, tough horse but he was shaking in his hooves.  

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

Arkas: My strength, agility, wingspan, and fighting skills.  Not to mention …I can breathe fire!

Worse trait?

Arkas: Well, I have been called short tempered. But I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Arkas: Probably… Christian Bale. He was a pretty darn good Batman…and seeing as I’m an actual bat, I feel the transition would go smoothly.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

Arkas: I must admit, I did get a little worried when we were attached by Aicha, that dirty slug of a water imp. I wasn’t sure I could take him by myself, he’s pretty quick.  Just in the nick of time, Gideon showed up and helped me out, thank goodness.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Arkas: I definitely would not want to be Luco.  Alright, granted, for a human he’s not that bad…but he has only two legs and can’t fly.  He also doesn’t have the nerve to tell that naiad, Lethe, that he likes her. Even after he built her that glass room at the Gates to the Underworld!  He just hangs around mooning over her until Mandamus’ hoof heals, then we leave. Pathetic, if you ask me. I might have to do a little matchmaking there.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Arkas: Hey, Luco may be complaining because he’s afraid of getting eaten, but I’m full on ready to journey to the Azure Caves to see King Farzad and the rest of the Snowbreth tribe.  They’re supposedly man-eating monsters, but Gideon wouldn’t have sent us there if that was the case. I will tell you this though – if they do try anything, they’ll be sorry!

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Arkas: If? I’m one of the three main characters of this story so she’d BETTER have me in it.  Hmm…words of wisdom….well, I would like to get back to Luco’s village for more cherry stars and fire whiskey though that’s more of a suggestion, I guess.

Thank you for this interview, Arkas. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Arkas: Of course. Those two (Mandamus and Luco) couldn’t last a day without me. Why, you should see what those dunderheads got themselves into just last week. Only, you’ll have to wait for the 2nd book to find out – ha!

Purchase on AMAZON

Karai MadillA chronic “head in the cloudser” K. Madill lives in a rickety house on a well treed street in British Columbia, Canada.  When she’s not hanging out with her best equine friend in the woods she can be found trying to stay upright on her roller skates or mediating the affairs of her various furred and feathered friends that rule the aforementioned rickety house. 

K. Madill’s website: kmadill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-Madill/161159890706088

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraiMadill1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643483-the-stolen-herd

Pump Up Your Book and K. Madill are teaming up to give away

a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms and conditions:

  • By entering, you confirm you are 18 years of age or older.
  • Raffle runs from 12:00 AM EST on June 2 through 12:00 AM EST on June 28, 2014.
  • Winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter.
  • Winner will be notified by email and has 72 hours to claim the prize before a new winner is selected.
  • Prize will be sent via email from the author’s representative.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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Character Interview: Mike Zorich from Ken Malovos’ Legal Thriller Contempt of Court

We’re thrilled to be talking to Mike Zorich, a trial lawyer from Sacramento, California whose story is told in Ken Malovos’ legal thriller, Contempt of Court.

Contempt of Court cover Thank you so for this interview, Mike.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I feel that I was accurately portrayed, although there is so much more to me than was stated in the book.  I realize that most of my life is pretty boring, so it was good that that not everything was included.  But I do love to cook and would love to have you and others over to my house to share a meal, a good glass of Chardonnay or Zinfandel and to talk about writing fiction.  I love the outdoors, as you might guess from my running.  I love reading books when I have the time. I really care about others, especially those in my life.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My strongest trait is my desire for justice.  I feel that I need to do my absolute very best for all of my clients, and I will fight for them and do whatever is needed.  This desire keeps me going when it is darkest or when I have suffered some setbacks.  When I was a kid, my father always encouraged me to be for the underdog.

Worse trait?

I get too personally involved in the sense that I sometimes lose my objectivity.  I identify with my clients.  As a result, I don’t do my best for them.  I constantly have to work on stepping back a bit and looking at the big picture.  This is true not just for my law career but for my relations with others in general.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Matthew McConaughey who played Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer (book by Michael Connolly), is like the lawyer I would want to be, but he doesn’t look like me at all.  Maybe, Richard Gere would be a better fit.  Anyway, I come out better on this deal.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I was nervous from day one.  When I got mugged on the bike trail when I was out for a morning jog, I was very concerned. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people in their normal lives.  When the mugger told me that I wasn’t such a big shot lawyer, I instantly knew that he knew who I was. That scared me.  Then when my car was stolen, my home was ransacked and my office was burglarized, I knew I was in big trouble.  As bad as that was, the order by the judge to hold me in contempt of court and to throw me in jail took the cake.  I was in way over my head.  Then everything got worse and I was really worried that I was going to be killed.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I don’t think I could be Robert Cannes, the opposing lawyer in the Darnoff case.  He went along with the system and took advantage of another lawyer.   That was just wrong and he knew it but did it anyway.   I don’t like to look at life or at the practice of law that way.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I liked the ending.  For me, it meant that I had no regrets and that I could live with myself and with those I love.  Maybe there was a bit too much excitement for my rather boring life.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Be true to my character and don’t make me out to be someone I am not.  I have my faults, for sure.  I am not perfect.  I still have not quite figured out how to resolve my feelings for my wife who died six years ago and I don’t quite know what to do with this new woman that I think I love.  I could probably learn how to handle alcohol a bit better.  I know that, but easier said than done.

Thank you for this interview, Mike.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Yes, I understand that I will be next appearing in Fatal Reunion.  I am asked to represent an innocent man, who is accused of killing his old girlfriend when they hook up at a 20-year high school reunion.   The evidence is weak and winning the case should not be a problem.  It makes it so much better that the man I am representing is a likable high school English teacher with no prior record, but I do hate the cases when the defendant is obviously innocent. They are the hardest and put a lot of pressure on me.  Oh well.

About the book: Sacramento trial lawyer, Mike Zorich, is finally coming to grips with the death of his wife from cancer five years ago. There is a new woman in his life.  His son is making his way in the business world. His law practice is going well. And he has a new case that promises to be very demanding.  Members of the Darnoff wine family are at odds with each other, amidst a divorce and partnership dissolution. Then things go wrong. Mike becomes the target of some unexplained personal attacks.  He is mugged on the bike trail and his house is ransacked. Is it someone connected to the Darnoff case?  Is it an old client from his years in the Public Defender’s Office?  Is it some disgruntled witness from a trial? To top it off, Mike is held in contempt of court and remanded to jail.  The attacks continue and only get worse. The authorities don’t have a clue. Can Mike figure it all out before someone is killed?

Purchase on AMAZON! Ken Malovos photo About the author: Ken Malovos is a mediator and arbitrator in Sacramento, CA. Previously, he was a trial lawyer, a public defender for 12 years and a business litigator for 25 years. He is a graduate of Stanford University (philosophy) and UC Hastings College of the Law. Ken is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association and Legal Services of Northern California. He is a panel member for the American Arbitration Association, a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a member of the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Contempt of Court is his first novel. He lives in Sacramento with his wife. You can visit Ken Malovos’ website at www.malovoslaw.com

Interview with Kim Hilton, Author of Closet Words

Kim Hilton photo

Kim Hilton, MCC, PCC, has a master’s degree in Christian counseling. Founder of Closet Words Ministries Foundation, Kim is a teacher on prayer and listening to God. An avid writer of several books, Closet Words was chosen as the first book to be published with the proceeds going to Closet Words Ministries Foundation. A sought-after speaker and Bible Study leader, Kim has spoken at both national and local events. She resides with her husband on their farm and enjoys spending time with their six grown children and grandchildren. You can find more information on Kim on her website www.KimHilton.org and also on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/KimHiltonAuthor.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kim. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Published for the first time.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: I had shared the manuscripts with several editors I had connections with but none picked it up. I made the decision then to self-publish.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: I continued to seek out other venues and educate myself on the book industry as a whole. I took matters into my own hands and chose to self-publish Closet Words.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: Westbow Press. Dec 2012. I chose them because they helped me choose an option that would accomplish my purpose with Closet Words.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: When I first saw the cover as I had described it, I had chills for over an hour. I celebrated, thanking God for the opportunity to share what He had given me.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: We held a book launch luncheon which was a lot of fun.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?Closet Words Cover

A: No.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: I have more understanding of the publishing process and book industry.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: I should have kept trying and pushed harder.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: Seeing lives changed of those who read Closet Words.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: A Teacher.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: I grew up saying I wanted to be a teacher. I am now a teacher of God’s word.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: The author of 10 books.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Don’t give up. Especially if you know God has given you the inspiration for what you’ve written.

Thy Will Be Done VBT with Ronald Kirk

TWBD larger cover

About the book:

The world cries out for an imaginative but realistic Biblical guide to the life foreshadowed in Christ’s model prayer. No foolish utopia, here is a powerful, comprehensive portrait of a sinful world redeemed and transformed by Christ—including the tools needed to hasten the day.

The author weaves a tapestry of possibility–Christ’s people growing as salt and light, putting flesh on the Bible’s vision of blessing in every aspect of human life and endeavor, bringing joy to all peoples and glory to the One who came to save the world.

“Ron Kirk comprehensively applies the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life” (Peter Hammond, The Reformation Society, South Africa).

Purchasing information:

Nordskog Publishing: http://www.nordskogpublishing.com/book-thy-will-be-done.shtml

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Thy-Will-Be-Done-Blessed/dp/0988297655/

 

Book excerpt:

 

Jesus said we know a tree by its fruit. What fruit might we expect when the world has fully given itself to Christ on His terms? How would the world then appear when Jesus Christ generally establishes in the highest degree His Gospel among a receptive mankind, and men systematically apply that Gospel to every area of life?….

Thy Will Be Done thus attempts to present a crafted approach to biblically directed living. In this, applied-faith thinking in each area of life uniquely expresses itself in real life upon Biblically defined life objectives. Everything builds upon a simple set of coherent Biblical principles that speak comprehensively to God’s goals for men in this life in anticipation of eternity….

Rather than seeing this present life as a mere holding tank for eternity, Thy Will Be Done views this life as the first fruits, the down payment on the promises of eternity with Christ.

About the author:

 RonKirk-photo-SAM_1429

Jesus Christ confronted Ron Kirk with His salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley. Graduating in 1974, he became a professional landscape architect. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book. Its principles have now long proven themselves in the curriculum and methods of pioneering day and home schools founded and administered by Ron. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish.  According to Jay and Vickie Dangers of New Hope Uganda Ministries, “Through what you have imparted to us, your lives have touched thousands of people on at least four continents, probably five, and the ripple effect is continuing.”[1] Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five beautiful children, five more beautiful sons- and daughters-in-law, and twelve beautiful grandchildren, all walking with Christ.  American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron as a minister of the Gospel in 1984. Ron has recently joined the foreign missionary staff of New Hope Uganda to assist in establishing a teachers college to supply the nation’s schools with a rigorously Biblical philosophy and practice of education.

Visit Ron online at www.getwisdom.us or like his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GetWisdomMakingChristianHeroesOfOrdinaryPeople

 


[1] From an inscription in a copy of Jennie Dangers, The Long Road to Hope: a day of small beginnings (El Cajon, CA: Christian Services Network, 2006).

 

 

Thy Will Be Done VBT Schedule

December 2

Interview at Blogcritics

December 3

First Chapter Reveal at Maureen’s Musings

December 4

Interview at The Book Connection

December 5

Guest post at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection

 

December 6

First chapter reveal at Read My First Chapter

 

December 9

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

December 10

Book club discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Book review and guest post at Read For Your Future

December 11

Book spotlight at The Writers Life eMagazine

Interview at Paperback Writer

December 12

Guest post and First chapter reveal at Lori’s Reading Corner

December 13

Book spotlight at Review from Here

December 16

Interview at Broowaha

 

December 17

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

December 18

Interview at As the Pages Turn

December 19

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

 

December 20

Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Guest post at Maureen’s Musings

December 26

Book review at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection

Book review at A Simple Life, Really?

December 27

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

Thy Will Be Done banner

 

Interview with Michael Bigham, Author of ‘Harkness’

Michael Bigham photo

Raised in the Central Oregon mill town of Prineville beneath deep blue skies and rim rock, Michael Bigham attended the University of Oregon and during his collegiate summers, fought range fires on the Oregon high desert for the Bureau of Land Management. He worked as a police officer with the Port of Portland and after leaving police work, obtained an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Michael lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, his daughter and a spunky Bichon Frise named Pumpkin. Harkness is Michael’s first novel. You can find him online at www.michaelbigham.com and http://blueparrot.blogspot.com/. His Twitter feed is @wassir.

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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Michael. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: Harkness is my first novel, but I have had two short stories published: “American Clipper” in the anthology Coming Home and “Siren” in the anthology Aftermath.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: My first book was called Springtime in Tunisia written 20 years ago. It was a spy parody, very rough, very much a first novel. I took it to a writer’s workshop with Jack Cady in Cannon Beach, Oregon. He said it was very funny and that I wouldn’t have any problem getting it published, but he also told me not to publish under my own name, to reserve that for my “serious work.” It sits patiently in a trunk in my basement waiting for me to return to it.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

At least fifty rejection slips are in my desk. Shopping around a novel isn’t for people with fragile egos.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: Yeah, so my ego is a little fragile. No one ever trashed my prose, but it is a difficult process, especially the form rejections that I got. I relied on the positive comments I got from other agents and editors to bolster my spirits.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: The publishing business is in a state of flux. Traditional publishers are in trouble, so it was time to try something different. A couple of writer friends and myself decided to start up a small publishing house, Muskrat Press. We’re going to publish our stuff first with an eye toward publishing other writers somewhere down the line.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: It felt great. I immediately sent copies to friends and family and set to work on promotion and the next novel.

Q: What was the first thing you did for promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: I’m still trying to figure out the promotion thing. The first thing I did was to announce my book on Facebook. Social media is great for self-promotion.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: I’m happy with this option, but for the next novel I’m going to have a self-promotion plan in place before publication. I’ve discovered that you need to make the publication of your book an event. That’s something I didn’t do and now I have to backtrack.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown asHarkness cover an author?

A: Harkness was published a couple of months ago, and I don’t have my next book finished yet. I hope I’ve grown as a writer. I have more confidence in my prose and in developing my characters. My main challenge right now is to plot before I write rather than winging it.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: There was a period when I stopped writing seriously. I had received some harsh criticism in a writing workshop and it shut me down for a couple of years. As a writer, you need to write constantly rather than suffer through long dry periods.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: I had a very successful reading in Portland a couple of months ago. Many of my friends and family were there, and I felt very proud of my book.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Tough question. I was a cop for 27 years. It was one of those love/hate things. Sometimes I loved my job, but at other times I didn’t. I seriously thought about going back to school for a degree in social work or psychology. Those interests reflect in the depth of my characters.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: I’m exactly where I want to be. After leaving police work, I got a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Vermont College. It’s the best move I could have made, and I’m content with my decision.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: Hopefully, I’ll have two series of mystery novels out in the world. I have an idea for a second series that will also take place in Eastern Oregon.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Keep plugging away and remember that the publishing business is being turned upside down. The traditional path of getting an agent and shopping your novel to the big publishing houses isn’t the only path to your success as an author.

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