Tag Archives: author interview

Castro Valley Book Fair: Meet Your Local Authors on Saturday, May 21st!

The second Castro Valley Book Fair will be held this Saturday, May 21st, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library located at 3600 Norbridge Ave. in Castro Valley, California. More than 30 local authors will be in attendance. Bay Area residents, come on down and meet your fellow literature lovers!

In addition to signing books, a number of authors (me included) will also be participating in one of the following three panel discussions in the Learning Center:

1 pm to 1:45 pm: A Many-Splendored Thing: Romance Writing in All Its Variety

2 pm to 2:45 pm: The Independent Path: Lessons in Self-Publishing from Local Authors

3 pm to 3:45 pm: Creating Your Self-Help Book with Passion and Purpose

I will be speaking in the first panel, Romance Writing in All Its Variety. I look forward to seeing you there!

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My Interview with Charlene Diane Jones at SoulSciences.net

The podcast of my interview with Charlene Diane Jones about my memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened is now available on her website here:

http://www.soulsciences.net/2015/10/podcast-interviews.html

There’s some distortion in the first few minutes, but it clears up after that.

Charlene is a terrific interviewer and a wonderful speaker as well. You may also enjoy her discussion of Meditation and Writing with Aurelia Maria Casey on The Writing Well:

http://www.soulsciences.net/search?updated-max=2099-01-03T09:55:00-08:00&max-results=1

Charlene Diane Jones Header

 

 

My Interview with Dorit Sasson on Giving Voice to Your Story!

Well, here it is – my first live interview and my first radio show!

As those of you who saw my post last week already know, last Thursday I had an interview with Dorit Sasson on her BlogTalkRadio program “Giving Voice to Your Story.” Dorit is a freelance writer, coach, and memoirist whose memoir Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love will be published by She Writes Press in 2016.

I considered myself lucky to have such a good host, and I thought Dorit did a great job of making our talk sound more like a conversation than an interview. I also felt fortunate in being somewhat familiar with the BlogTalkRadio setup, which made me considerably less apprehensive. I knew, for example, that I needed to keep quiet once I heard the “Blog Talk Radio” intro, and also that the program would cut off promptly at the thirty-minute mark, so I was prepared for that. And although I tend to worry about technical issues, it went quite smoothly (on my end, anyway!) as all I had to do was call in at the appointed time and hang up when it was over.

As for the interview itself, I think it went pretty well. It was interesting discussing my memoir with someone who had her own distinct perspective on it. Dorit’s focus tended to be more on the mother-daughter relationship than on the illness, which is something that few people have emphasized, although it is, of course, a vital part of the story, and also a vital part of Dorit’s own forthcoming memoir. I really felt as though I learned something about my own book in the process, and I hope you will, too.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory/2015/06/04/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-lori-schafer

Dorit Sasson, host of Giving Voice to Your Story and author of Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me About Faith, Courage, and Love

Dorit Sasson, host of Giving Voice to Your Story and author of Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me About Faith, Courage, and Love

In Which She Talks About Herself in the Third Person

So here it is – two firsts. My very first radio interview, which I’ve announced in my very first press release:

Award-winning memoirist Lori Schafer to appear on BlogTalkRadio show “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th

Author Lori Schafer will give her first live interview concerning her award-winning memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened on “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th at 11 am EDT. Schafer, whose memoir recounts her terrifying adolescent experience of her mother’s psychosis, won a spot on Dorit Sasson’s BlogTalkRadio program through a contest on the popular writer’s blog “The Write Life” earlier this year.

“I’m excited, but also a bit nervous,” Schafer admitted. “Dorit and I only met through the contest, so we don’t know each other at all. I have no idea what she’s going to ask me. It’s like a job interview – I’ll mostly be winging it and hoping to make a good impression on listeners.”

Schafer has high hopes for the interview, however. In fact, it was Sasson’s program that inspired her to begin a BlogTalkRadio show of her own.

“I’m currently looking at a fall start date,” she affirmed. “I had hoped to begin sooner, but my schedule has been so full this year that I had to postpone it.”

Schafer is planning an eclectic program featuring readings from her own work, discussion panels on topics of interest to readers and writers, and interviews like the one Sasson will be conducting with the author.

“I’m truly appreciative of this opportunity to interview with Dorit. Radio is a very different way of interacting with an audience, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that. But the format feels strange to me – it isn’t like writing, where you get the chance to edit and re-edit your words if they come out wrong the first or second or twentieth time. Live is live – you only get one shot at getting it right.”

Schafer’s memoir has recently been the subject of critical acclaim. It was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2015 eLit Book Awards and was a finalist in both the National Indie Excellence and International Book Awards competitions.

“It’s a fascinating book, not only because of its subject matter, but because of its non-linear narrative structure. It will be interesting to discuss from both a literary and a psychological perspective.”

Listeners can tune in to the thirty-minute program live or listen to the podcast, which will be archived after the show airs at the following link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory/2015/06/04/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-lori-schafer

Listeners are also encouraged to call in with questions and comments.

“I’ve really enjoyed discussing my book with readers on social media,” Schafer says. “But it can be hard to have a real conversation in 140 characters or less!”

Schafer, who originally intended to shy away from requests for live interviews, now welcomes them.

“Reader response to my memoir has been simply amazing. People have been incredibly supportive, but what’s really moved me have been the number of folks who have come forward to share their stories with me. It’s as if they, too, have been keeping this dark family secret and are glad to have someone finally reveal it.”

Schafer’s memoir is available in paperback at retailers worldwide and in eBook exclusively on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N0WYHDQ/). Interested parties may visit her website at https://lorilschafer.com/ for further information.

Dorit Sasson Interview

What Are People’s Reactions When They Find Out You Write Erotica?

I Write Erotica

My author interview with Guy Hogan of The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette is online at the following link. (Note: As always when visiting The Gazette, expect to see pictures of naked ladies. Lots of naked ladies.)

http://pittsburghflashfictiongazette.net/lori-schafer-write-erotica/

You can also read my interview in my recently released collection of erotic short short stories To All the Penises I’ve Ever Known: Erotic Shorts by Lori Schafer, only $0.99 in digital formats on Amazon (Universal Link), Barnes and NobleSmashwords, ITunes, and Lulu. Large print paperback is only $5.99!

white underwear on a string against cloudy blue sky

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Questions for Writers

Recently I read the following Q & A on Sarah Brentyn’s blog Lemon Shark. She, in turn, had found it on Little Lodestar, where writer Kristen had posted a series of questions entitled Nine Things I Wonder About Other Writers. Well, Sarah asked her readers to post their answers, and as mine, I thought, were too long to leave in the comments, here are my responses:

Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet?

Very, very rarely. Every once in a while, I feel as though I need an opinion from a non-writer, usually pre-publication. My boyfriend will read my work if I specially ask him to, and he generally offers some pretty solid opinions. But he isn’t really a reader – his idea of compelling literature is homebrew magazines – so it’s unlikely that he’ll ever read any of my novels. To me, this is probably just as well. Some of my work might raise questions that I’m not sure I want to answer!

How much of your family and/or closest “friends in real life first” read your stuff…let alone give you feedback about it?

I somehow manage never to tell anyone when I’ve had something published, so it’s rare that this happens. In fact, up until a few months ago, when I formally announced that I was releasing a memoir, most of my friends didn’t even know I was writing. Somehow it just never came up. Again, to me, this is just as well, because some of my work might raise questions that I’m not sure I want to answer!

What do you do with the pieces that continually get rejected–post on your blog? Trash? When do you know it’s time to let it go?

So far, I only have a few pieces that I’ve given up on all together. For the most part, I believe that getting work published is mostly a matter of finding the right market. However, for those that repeatedly get rejected, I do reconsider whether they’re just difficult to place because of their subject matter or nature, or whether they actually stink. Stories that I still think are good I might post on my blog or story-sharing sites. Those that I suspect are completely unusable I would like to one day post on my blog, and solicit opinions as to why they stink.

Are there pieces you write for one very specific place that, once rejected, you just let go of, or do you rework into something else?

This has only happened to me once so far. Very early in my writing career, before I even had any publishing credits, I wrote a very long article – nearly a paper, if you will – analyzing the marriage penalty as it applies to taxation in the United States. It was a subject in which I was interested, anyway, and I had hoped to be able to get it published in one of a handful of financial magazines. However, I never received a response to my first query, and in the meantime, I had moved on to other things. Well, in the interim, a new year rolled around and there were tax law changes that affected some of my numbers. I would have had to rerun numerous scenarios in order to update the article – which was heavy on figures – and by then, I was having work published regularly and was no longer so desperate to garner credits. However, I still wouldn’t say I’ve given up on the idea. I may still revisit it two or three or five years from now, when I feel like sinking my teeth into something more academic again.

What is your main source of reading-based inspiration (especially you essayists)? Blogs? Magazines? Journals? Anthologies? Book of essays by one writer?

That’s an interesting question. Reading it, I realize that I very rarely – if ever – read magazines or journals or anthologies or books of essays by one writer. Nowadays, I do read blogs with a fair amount of regularity, but I still wouldn’t say that those are my main source of reading-based inspiration. In fact, if I had to identify one, I would probably say that more of my ideas come from nonfiction. I very much enjoy reading history, and it’s actually quite rare for me to read a whole book of it without getting at least one new idea.

What tends to spark ideas more for you: what you see/hear in daily life or what you read?

It depends on the type of work. Most of my novels contain characters inspired by people I know in real life, and the settings in which I place them often mirror my own life scenarios. This is why my books’ pivotal events tend to transpire at beer festivals or while camping, because, evidently, I write what I know. However, for the other half of my writing life, in which I blog, write flash fiction and short stories, even essays, I tend to find more inspiration from what I read.

Who have you read in the past year or two that you feel is completely brilliant but so underappreciated?

Winston Churchill. Seriously, that guy was brilliant, and his writing is amazing. I’m very grateful that he played such an important role in history, and at a time in which voice recording existed. YouTube will keep Churchill’s words alive long after his written work has fallen deep into oblivion.

Without listing anything written by Dani Shapiro, Anne Lamott, Lee Gutkind, or Natalie Goldberg, what craft books are “must haves”?

Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. I also find the American Heritage Guide to English Usage to be extremely useful.

Have you ever regretted having something published? Was it because of the content or the actual writing style/syntax?

Not yet. I did, however, have a rather unpleasant moment a while back, when I first began having erotic work published. Most of my erotica is more humorous than dirty – or at least half-and-half. However, there was one piece in particular that surpassed the bounds of my usual work – the kind of story you would never admit to your mother or even your third cousin twice removed that you’d written it. Well, as it happened, I discovered around that time that my boss was reading my blog! Suddenly I felt very awkward about publicizing this particular publication. It wasn’t that I was ashamed or embarrassed about it, exactly – I was simply afraid of being subjected to questions. Somehow I just did not want to have that conversation with my employer – not to mention the fact that it probably would have changed how he looked at me from then on. Kind of a weird feeling. I still took ownership of the piece – in fact, it’s in my collection To All the Penises I’ve Ever Known – but even there, I didn’t want to comment on it extensively. That was when I first realized that I’m perfectly comfortable writing about things that I would never, ever say. So please, no follow-up questions – at least not if you meet me!

How about you? What kinds of things do you wonder about other writers? I know of one question that I’d add to the list.

What is your lifetime goal for your writing? You know, not the hard-headed, realistic version that you tell other people, but the starry-eyed, big dream scenario that you’re too scared to share?

 

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

When Characters Mutiny: Guest Post by L.F. Falconer

Today I am pleased to introduce L. F. Falconer, author of the historical coming-of-age fiction novels Hope Rises from the Ashes and Hope Flies on Broken WingsHer latest book, a fantasy prequel entitled The Vagabond’s Son: Prelude to a Legacy was just released in September. You can find out more about Leanna on her website or on her author page on Amazon, where you can read an impressive array of book reviews for her work, most of which average 4.7 stars or higher!

Leanna’s guest post “When Characters Mutiny” is below, as is an excerpt from The Vagabond’s Son, but first I’d like to present this brief author interview. It took me a fair amount of thought to come up with these two questions, but I think Leanna’s answers provide a lot of insight into her and her work.

If you were throwing a party for the characters in your books, who among them would you refuse to invite and why?

If everyone showed up this would be a fairly good-sized party, but I doubt it’d be much fun. Other than a handful of characters who could actually let their hair down and have a good time, what I really picture here is a room full of people keeping to themselves, or at the most, only associating with those of the same social standing. One character I would definitely leave off the guest list is Harlo, Dugan’s father from Hope Flies on Broken Wings. Because of his profane nature and mob-style clout, his presence would put a damper upon any frivolity the party might be able to muster. For similar reasons, I would try to exclude Laramato, from The Vagabond’s Son, as well. I doubt anyone would want to deal with either one of those sadistic creeps at a party and they would not be missed.

Suppose that you were suddenly transported into the world of one of your books. Which character would you be and why?

There are a good many characters in my books who are well-adjusted, upstanding, personable folk that one might think would be fine to embody. However, as their creator, I’m privy to all their ugly little secrets. I’m well aware of any less than enviable life experiences as well as the ultimate fates that await them. This insider knowledge can make selecting a character I might like to become a genuine challenge! Yet one does stand out above all others—that being Gabriel Hunter from Exit Strategy. I’ve chosen Gabe because, unlike me, he is definitely a piece of eye-candy and can play a mean ocarina. He’s also well-traveled, can adapt to any situation, and even though his strong inner self-discipline makes him appear cold and unfeeling, underneath that façade beats the heart of an angel.

When Characters Mutiny

In literature, not all characters are created equal, and some just naturally emerge stronger than others. Such was the case with Adalanto.

A handsome young piskie with beautiful blue eyes, Adalanto began his life as a secondary character in a supporting role. Yet the more scenes he appeared in, the stronger he became until he finally usurped the entire plot and foisted himself into a position of high importance

I could have put an end to this uprising with a sweep of the pen, but instead, I decided to let him go, just to see where he might take things. After all, he and his friend Tulemar, had already come to my rescue when I was suffering a severe case of writer’s block. Much to my surprise, he brought about a wonderful turn of events which led to a more satisfactory conclusion than I had originally planned.

But, perhaps I should start at the beginning:

Twenty-six years ago I wrote a poem—a medieval ballad of a young warrior who sought a treasure upon a mountaintop. Along his trek, he defeated several mythical beings who sought to end his quest, losing all his weapons in the process. And when he finally reached the peak, he came to learn the treasure was simply lore. It did not exist. Left disheartened and unarmed, he still had to face the menace of a dragon that stood in his way of retreat.

The poem sparked the interested of a couple of magazine editors but, at over four pages, its length prohibited publication. Several years later I began to convert that poem into a story. That one story grew into two, then into four, and continued to grow exponentially until it finally reached the epic proportions it is today. Over half a million words in length, The Legacy of Skur is finally nearing the publication stage. And out of this work, Adalanto of The Vagabond’s Son was born.

As I previously stated, Adalanto began his life as a secondary character, but he was having none of that! He demanded the lead. In the full development of his character, it dawned upon me that instead of just a paragraph or two of background now and then, his entire story needed to be told, for it is definitely one of “courage under fire.”

A child reared in insolation by his abusive, drunken father, Adalanto escapes at age twelve and is taken in by a kindly, deeply religious family. Being suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar society, Adalanto struggles, often unsuccessfully, to fit in.

The Vagabond’s Son follows this journey into adulthood as Adalanto learns to build relationships with others while trying to overcome the ever-present burden of his childhood scars. For as strong as his character is, he does have many weaknesses and flaws, and will forever do battle within himself. Each chapter in the book begins a new chapter in his life, until his story finally merges with his entrance into [as yet, unpublished] The Legacy of Skur.

Much of the writing of The Vagabond’s Son was painful to do. Often, during my research into the psychological problems usually endured by children raised in (a) isolation, and (b) abusive homes, I was left enraged and in tears. I had to walk a fine line in presenting the types of abuse young Adalanto goes through. I had to deal out enough to cause him a number of issues to overcome, but not so much as to leave him broken. And while at times it may have seemed none existed, I had to consistently provide him a thread of hope as well as the strength of spirit to succeed.

The Vagabond’s Son is a psychological, character based story set in a realm of fantasy, and deals with some hard social issues, including scenes of abuse, sexual situations, and violence. While not necessary to read in order to delve into the upcoming The Legacy of Skur series, its purpose is to give the reader a deeper understanding of his character. As with most of my works, it is recommended for a mature audience.

For more information please visit http://www.lffalconer.com

LFFalconer

Now, please allow me to present a short excerpt from The Vagabond’s Son, Prelude to a Legacy. [From Chapter Three, where Adalanto, at age fifteen and employed in the palace kitchen, is unexpectedly summoned before the Piskitian king.]

The following morning Adalanto was carving the fresh venison Thegn Peppolin’s company had just delivered, when a young boy in a green tunic and cap entered the kitchen.

“King Jaspidian wishes an immediate audience with Adalanto,” the page announced.

Gondofor and Ashirina shared a look of surprise while Adalanto’s own face was stricken pale. What had he done that would cause the king to demand him? Did it have something to do with Donamara, who used to be a royal’s favorite?

“Right now?” he squeaked.

“I am to escort you,” the page informed him.

“But I’m a bloody mess.”

“It’s not wise to keep the king waiting,” Gondofor said grimly. “Go at once.”

Adalanto quickly cleansed the blood from his hands and face in the wash bucket, cursing himself for having chosen this morning to wash his other set of clothes. He’d been in the palace over two years now and had yet to lay eyes upon the king. His stomach began to constrict in tight knots. His father’s drunken voice rumbled through his memory, “Did I ever tell you ‘bout the time I met the king?” With a trepid heart, he followed the page out the door.

They stopped before the double doors of the throne room and a guard with a brown leather cap announced him before ushering Adalanto inside.

He tried to control his queasiness and followed the guard over the woven reed mat across the expansive room, approaching the throne. Upon reaching the dais, he and the guard both dropped to one knee and bowed in genuflection.

“Rise,” the king commanded.

Taking a deep breath, Adalanto rose to await whatever punishment he had unwittingly been deemed to merit and dared to look upon the face of his king. He was younger than Adalanto expected, older than he, but not as old as Markaset, probably closer in age to Leandervon, with eyes so dark they were nearly the same shade as the black of his hair. A shiny, spiked, silver crown gleamed brightly above similarly spiked ears. He was dressed in tall black boots, black pants, and a flouncy white linen shirt beneath a black beaver fur vest. Two silver chains adorned with gold and silver medallions encircled his neck.

“You are the boy who has been aiding my cook?” the king asked, idly fingering one of the medallions.

“Yes, Your Majesty.” His voice sounded as tiny as he felt.

King Jaspidian rose from his mahogany throne and stepped off the dais. He stood beside him and Adalanto noted he was not as tall as he appeared on the throne. Chin cupped in his hand, Jaspidian circled around him studiously.

How Adalanto wished he’d had some clean clothes available. Such a disgrace to be clad so unkempt before the king. His sweat gathered. His heart beat hard against his breast, and he wished nothing more than to just crawl away and hide.

The Vagabond’s Son, Prelude to a Legacy by L.F. Falconer, is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Outskirts Press.