First Free Book Friday of 2022 / The Return of the Interview: In (a new) Conversation With . . . Me!

I haven’t done a self interview in a while, and since I have a new book out, I thought it was time.

Whatcha doin’?
Not much, you?
Same. Working on anymore interviews?
I have two scheduled in January, but nothing right now.
We haven’t done one for a while either. Maybe we should?
Who will interview whom?
Rock, paper, scissors?
You’re on!

[in unison] Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Rock
Rock
[in unison] Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Rock
Rock. Why do you always pick rock?
Nothing beats rock.
Paper does.
Does it now …? Again.

[in unison] Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Paper
Paper
This isn’t going to work, is it?
Not if we keep picking the same thing.
What if we pick the one who has done something interesting?
Sounds fair.
What did you do?
I read a book. You?
I wrote a book.
Well, well. Aren’t you fancy . . .

In Conversation With: Leon Stevens

I’m hanging out with author Leon Stevens. I just heard you wrote a book.
[whispering] You are supposed to offer me a beverage.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Would you like a beverage?
No thanks, I’m good.
[silence] . . . Sigh, really? . . . Why don’t you tell me about your book?
Well, it’s a continuation of one of my short stories from—
The Knot at the End of the Rope. Yeah, I read it.
I know you read it—wait . . . How did you do that?
Do what?
Speak in italics.
I don’t reveal my secrets. Please, continue. Why continue a story?
Many of my stories, like a good short story, tend to end leaving the reader to think or to ponder about what may or may not happen.
Like a cliff hanger?
No, more like an open ending. Some readers commented that some stories left them wanting more, which was my intent, but the more I thought about it, the more ideas came to me.
So why continue The View from Here?
You have to teach me how to do that.
Later. Go on.
Anyway, I never felt I wrapped that story up effectively. Sure, I created a natur—
Hey, no spoilers!
I don’t think I’m giving anything away. Anyway, I changed the ending of the short story to allow it to continue.
You can do that?
Sure. I’m the writer.
Cool. So . . . not a short story then?
Nope. It’s my longest yet, 30 000+ words. So, it’s a novella.
Do people read novellas? Doesn’t that just make you a lazy novelist?
Books don’t have to be long epics to be good. Some of the greatest books are novellas.
Right. Name five.
Umm, sure. Be right back.

[silence]

Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men, Slaughterhouse Five, A Clockwork Orange, and The Call of the Wild.
Did you just Google that?
Maybe. But you have to admit, those is some fine readin’.
Yeah. You’re right. Are you happy with it?
Yeah. I think I wrote a pretty good story. And a cool cover. Want to see?
Sure!


Nice. Have you stopped writing poetry then?
Stopped? No. Slowed down? Definitely. I think poetry comes from many places but is always sparked by an intense emotion. Maybe I’m in a level emotional state right now. I’m working on putting all my latest poems into a collection called, A Wonder of Words.
You mean, A Wonder of Words.
Show off.
Care to share a poem?
Sure. Here’s the title poem:

A Wonder of Words
 
A collision of ideas
A contusion of thoughts
A confusion of viewpoints
A disregard of refuse
A shelter of dwellings
A marathon of runners
A density of swimmers
A pollution of cars
A wonderment of stars
A desire of hopes
An obsolesce of pennies
A press of books
An obscurity of poets
A collision of ideas
A contusion of thoughts
A wonder of words

Very nice. Reminds me when as a child I learned that a bunch of crows was called a ‘murder’. I thought that was pretty cool.
And a parliament of owls. Yeah, that was the catalyst for it.
Got a cover yet?
Tentatively. Here it is:

[Ding]
Pizza’s ready.
That’s good because I was getting hungry and bored. Let’s eat.
I thought you were going to show me how to do that italics thing?
It’s all in the control. i will show you later.
What’s with the lower case—oh, I get it! Nice!
Nice.
Now let’s eat before it gets cold.


See (and hear) my first two self interviews, plus many other authors.

https://linesbyleon.com/the-interviews/

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Free Books

There are few opportunities for poets on both platforms so I decided to try a year long page for the free offerings. I’ll try to add more throughout the year.

Ongoing in 2022: BookFunnel
Ongoing in 2022: StoryOrigin

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Nov 19 – Free Book Friday / Interview: In Conversation With Author Dani Hoots

Thank you, WordPress, for making the editing screen font really big after months of being really small. A warning or heads-up would have been nice.

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 13 209 words, 18 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum & Coke, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.

About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.

In Conversation With Author Dani Hoots



Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author Dani Hoots. Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you for having me! I am excited to be here.

Wait till you get your parting gift… Beverage of choice?

Tea or scotch.

Nice. You have written a couple of books, like…about 50? Just a hobby for you, I guess?

Heh people like to call it a hobby but it is definitely a job. I spend about 8 hours a day writing or editings. I love creating worlds and characters and once they come alive in my head, I have to write them or they will nag me to no end.

I spend 8 hours a day trying to write…What was the first book that you wrote?

The first book I wrote was The Quest. I actually wrote it in high school, but of course edited a bunch before publishing.

When you are not writing, what are you doing?

Reading, watching anime, hiking, and making tea.

I saw that you have an apothecary. So that makes you… born 500 years too late?

Or perhaps I was alive 500 years ago and I am back now! Herbal tea is definitely big right now though, especially with Christmas coming…

If you could go back and be born at a different time, would you?

I think we romanticize the past a lot, but also the present isn’t that great so maybe? If I did, it would probably ancient Sweden. But thinking about it makes me cold…

Channeling your inner Viking?

I definitely have a full Viking Apron dress I wear at the Renaissance Faire.

Have you ever found any money?

I have found like $20 in a parking lot. I also watched $5 fly out my car window. Oh actually, I found a $200 giftcard to Safeway but I turned it in as it could have been someone’s food money. To be honest though, I sat in my car for a while before making that decision.

I think you made the right one. It would have been easy to take it, butthat choice would probably have always weighed on you.

Perhaps. But I am pretty sure that the guy we gave it to pocketed it since he didn’t write anything down.

Sigh…

What’s something you say that you think is funny, but no one else does?

Werewolf jokes

Care to share one?

How do you stop a werewolf from attacking you? Throw a stick and shout “fetch!”

Sigh…I always ask my guests about music. Any favorites?

I am really loving UNWELL/Matt Copley, Falling in Reverse, La Femme Pendu, and Melanie Martinez, but I love anime music, punk rock, and some metal. I have a western playlist going for my current series, but I claim it’s not country music.

Some country doesn’t sound like country these days. Some good stuff, though.

Care to partake in the lightning round?

Suuuurrrrreeee?

Desert or Dessert?
Desert
Rock or Roll?
Rock
Otters or Penguins?
Penguins most definitely
Favorite city?
Edinburgh
Shamrock shakes. Yea or Nae?
I have no idea
How many digits of Pi do you know?
I have dyslexia so I cannot for the life of me memorize numbers. So 3.14
At least you know the least you should know!

This has been fun, but we must wrap it up. Any links you wish to add?

My upcoming book REVENGE, which just won the Firebird Book Award, comes out November 16th and is an LGBT Sci-fi Western. Check it out here: https://danihoots.com/books/revenge/. And check out my other 8347243927 books here: https://danihoots.com/books/

8347243927 books? Touché.

New BookFunnel and StoryOrigin Promos

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday / My latest Interview: In Conversation With Author Cara Cilento

About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work (the interviews, not the authors). I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

Cara Cilento has been a speech therapist for over twenty years in various public schools. Currently, she lives in suburban North Jersey on her own terms. Cara defines her own personal success as living her truth and not what is expected of her. Snapshots: Say Cheese! is her first published book which has taken a lifetime of experiences—traumatic, joyful, abusive, healing and reaffirming—as her muse.

In Conversation With Author Cara Cilento

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author Cara Cilento. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me. 

I always begin with the offer of a beverage. Pick your poison. 

Thanks! I’ll have a Moscow Mule. It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? 

You bet! Tell us about the “Living Now” Award. Is that like the Nobel Prize or something?

Oh, if it was only that simple! The Living Now Book Awards aim to promote the year’s greatest lifestyle books and their authors. They pick books that help us learn how to live healthier, more meaningful, and more productive lives for ourselves and our loved ones. The Living Now Book Awards honor new books that may help us better our lives, from cooking and  entertaining to fitness and travel.

Did you have a love of reading and writing as a child? 

Absolutely! I would sit for hours on the porch and read. In elementary school, I would go to the library all the time. I would take out books like Encyclopedia Brown to Ramona The Brave. On vacations, my suitcases had at least three books packed. I must have been the only kid in High School that loved Summer Reading.  

It’s so easy for kids to forget school once summer rolls around and the ones who would benefit the most by doing it are the ones who do it the least.

Absolutely. Interestingly, I found that many children aren’t exposed to reading, especially with the onset of tablets and iPhones. Using a tablet to expose you to reading and phonics is just not the same. You would be surprised how many children I have taught that do not know simple nursery rhymes, but that’s a conversation for another day.

What was the first book that you wrote? 

Hiccup the Magic Elf. I think I was in fourth grade got gold star and a special pencil. Did you mean professionally? Oh, Snapshots was my first. 

No. The first book is the first book. That’s a great title, Hiccup the Magic Elf. Could be a book in the works?

I have thought about it. It’s on my to-do list along with my middle grade historical fiction.

When you are not writing, what are you doing? 

When I am not writing, I am doing things with my family and, get ready for it…I ghost hunt. I go once a month, at least.

I have never met a ghost hunter before. Care to share a quick story?

I’d love to. A few months ago, I was investigating a haunted bed and breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Historically, Gettysburg is a fascinating place to begin with, but it is known for having hauntings. So, as I was walking though a field, I decided to take pictures. I always set my camera to take shots in rapid succession and in the first picture, there is a picture of forest. In the second, there is a picture of the same forest with white mist around the base of the trees. The third picture the mist was gone. I can’t explain it but that’s the point, right? To see things you can’t explain.

44444912. sy475

Ohhhhh…goosebumps.

The blurb for your book, Snapshots, sounds like soul-searching and the revealing of your inner  feelings. Is this an apt description? 

It is actually. When it was being released, many friends asked me how I felt about putting my journey on the page for everyone to read because it puts your vulnerability on display, but I never thought there was anything revealing about it. I think everyone feels vulnerable when they are seeking autonomy and finding themselves. 

And not everyone is able to manifest those feeling into words—which is where us poets come in right?

Yes. I try to make the implicit explicit using the flexibility of language.

You mention on your blog “…being an award-winning author who writes with LGBTQ+ themes is hardest of all.” What I find hard is saying the acronym. I’ve seen several other  versions: LGBTQ2, LGBTQ2S, LGBTQ2s+, LGBTQIAPK, LGBTQIA+, LGBTQQIP2SAA. Any thoughts for  people who may be confused with this? 

There are a lot of versions and everything keeps changing. I even wrote a blog about how the gay flag has changed so I understand where people can become confused. I think we should all be focused on making the world a better place for the  straight and LGBT+ community. I think the time we spend on what we call ourselves could be better spent on people and not labels.  

I agree. You also have a love for photography. What catches your eye to say, “I need to capture that” ?

 I love street photography. I love taking pictures of people in their every day which captures a slice of life or a glimpse of their  human condition. Even if it’s the ugly truth I think there is beauty in it. I am actually having a showing in November. 

I have a few like that, I actually put together a short video with music of some places I have been.

I always ask my guests about music. Any favorites? 

I love jazz music. I was supposed to go to New Orleans for their poetry festival but due to travel restrictions, it was canceled. I’m a live music junkie though. I was driving to see Alanis Morissette in inclement weather when it was canceled due to a tornado. I  was determined to go.

New Orleans is definitely worth the trip for jazz and music lovers. Even during the slow season, there is music everywhere. Literally.

Care to give the lightning round a go? 

Absolutely— Wait—let me finish my drink…okay, go. 

Hidden talent? 
I manage to lose my mug of coffee daily. My kids bought me a Tile. You know that square you put on your keys so you can find them? Yea well they bought me one to put on my coffee mug. 
I hear you. Nickel or dime? 
Dime. Nickels are bulky. 
What is the oldest thing you own? 
I just actually found a doll I had as a child and it is not one of those cute little “aww put it in the crib” dolls. It’s one of those you  would see in a horror movie. I don’t know what my family was thinking when they gave it to me and now I have questions. 
Favorite city? 
Joplin, Missouri. That’s where my wife is from. 
Shamrock shakes. Yea or Nae? 
Oh yea. 
How many digits of Pi do you know? 
3.14159…and I usually round it up to 3.1416
Nice. It makes the circles more accurate that way.

This has been fun, but we need to wrap it up. Any links you wish to add? 

For latest news on my next book and works in progress you can find me at www.caracilento.com.

Cara’s Photographs:

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

New Promotions from StoryOrigin and BookFunnel

Paperbacks? Yeah. We still do those!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Time Machine Tuesday: My Very First Post

As I mentioned on Sunday, I will be scaling back my posts this month as I participate in NaNoWriMo, so I’ll offer up this little nugget in the meantime:

It’s been a year since I joined WordPress. I had a blog on my previous website, but it was getting very little traffic. I have enjoyed meeting other writers and reading their wide variety of creations. I have slowly grown my readership and have made meaningful connections with many other bloggers.

So, on this one year anniversary, here is the first post I offered up to WordPress readers:

Day one of NaNoWriMo Update: ~ 1000 words and two cups of coffee.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Free Book Friday / Inktober Day 29 (Patch): My latest Interview- In Conversation With Author Elizabeth O’Carroll

October 29: Patch (Don’t use Reggie’s All Purpose Econo-patch)

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

In Conversation With Author Elizabeth O’Carroll

Elizabeth O’Carroll is a world traveler, ESL Teacher, Rehabilitation Counselor and Minister of Metaphysics.
She is a native Californian and author of two book series of middle grade to young adult Realistic Fiction.

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author Elizabeth O’Carroll. Happy that you made it to this Word document. Such a warm and inviting atmosphere, isn’t it?  Can I offer you a hot or cold beverage?

Ooohh…I would love a cup of cyber “Almond Latte!”

You’ll have to give me a minute…

[Various sounds of a complicated coffee order.] Time elapsed: 3.56 minutes.

Here you go.

WOW! Who knew that cyber coffee could seem so…real!

You published your first book in 2019. Tell me about it.

Yes, “Tae Sung’s Peculiar Life” is now a series, and the first book’s title is “Tae Sung and the Flattened Snake.” I was inspired by my elementary students where I teach English, here in South Korea. They told me all about aninjured snake that the students found merciless enjoyment poking with sticks. They told me it had been run overby a car and was flattened in the middle. Hence the title of the first book evolved! As a teacher, mother, counselor, and mother, I never miss a golden opportunity to have a talk about ‘morals and ethical behaviors!”

The book teaches empathy and Tae Sung learns of his innate ability to connect energetically to other livingthings. There is a villain “Creeper” who bullies Tae’s best friend “Squeak.” Several of the events came from thestories my students shared with me. They are a never-ending source of creativity in writing!

Kids have quite the imagination, don’t they? For many people, creativity, and sense of wonderment wane as they get older.

Hmm…..I wonder. I feel it is on an individual basis. If a person has become complacent in their life, as in the ‘same old routine.’ Then there is no stimulation to the right brain where all those wonderous elements reside. Therefore, ‘change your thoughts, change your mind.” Choose to seek out the ‘little kid’ that still lives in our hearts and minds.

What prompted you to write your “Myloh” books?

The first book in the  series of “Myloh’s Ocean Adventures” is, “When Myloh met Sorry. ”It  was a daydream the Co-Author, Missy Richardson had while sitting on a beach. She saw a plastic bag floating on the ocean waves and the jelly fish washed up on the shore. That was all I needed to start an adventure! The book addresses environmental awareness of the hazards of helium balloon release. It’s a fun journey with Myloh and his ocean friends. “Sorry” is a balloon whose path crosses with Myloh, the handsome jellyfish.

The second book, “When Myloh met Professor Seamore” is another adventure to the depths of the ocean to seek out a wise old seaworm for answers about micro-plastics. Another ocean pollution awareness theme.

The third book is in the ‘Beta stage!” “ When Myloh met Dolly” and Myloh helps Dolly (dolphin) find her family. It is focused on seismic ocean blasting that affects the sonar ability of mammals to communicate with each other and the coral reefs dying. I am hoping to release this book in February 2022!

The ocean pollution problem isn’t new, but more people are raising awareness these days. Any new projects on the go?

Of course! I just need more time! “When Myloh met Dolly” and “180 Degrees” are in the works as additions in their respective series. I also have some movie -series pitch scripts that I trust will land in the right hands soon! 😊

Fingers crossed, right? In your bio, you said you like to travel. Bummer of a hobby to have these last two years, right? What did you do instead?

Geez….the past couple years have been a blessing and a barrier at the same time! Learning to be in this new ‘norm’ has allowed me to get back on track with my writing and allowing some dust to collect on my shoes. Fortunately, I was able to travel Europe for six months volunteering and writing Tae Sung before the barriers arrived. I feel now it is more about working with what we have, finding the gratitude in all things and doing our ‘inner’ work. Happiness is an ‘inside job!”

Any places in the world that you would define as magical?

I feel there is magic everywhere! It is inside of us and we reflect back what is ‘inside.’ I find magic out on my roof apartment here in Korea. The butterflies, birds, bees, new flowers blooming. That is magic to me! Although, I must say, Verona Italy was magical with all the purple wisteria everywhere, Romeo and Juliet balconies!

That sounds like a beautiful place to visit. Let’s dive into who Elizabeth is. What would you like the readers out there to know about you?

I have never been good talking about ME. All the educational degrees, life experiences and other labels that get tagged on through our life adventures….are just a reference. A little bit of ‘me’ is in Myloh and Tae Sung. Tae Sung’s abilities are similar to my own innate abilities (we all have them!) and his life experiences he endures in the second book resonate with my own past.

Well, I feel that everyone should know that there is a story inside of them waiting to be written. Reading is transformative and it expands our creativity and perspectives. Writing is very cathartic as well.

Isn’t it, though? My poetry started out as therapeutic before I decided to publish.

Poetry is so amazing in that it engages-heart, mind, body and soul. With all your innate abilities connected, it is therapeutic as well as creatively profound! As a counselor, suggesting a personal journal is our ‘go to’ tool that helps clients get in touch with themselves. Eliminate the disconnect!

Do you have any phobias?

Fortunately, I do not have any phobias! In my research (counseling) I have learned that phobias are rooted in fear and fear is a learned behavior. Fear is based on ignorance-the ‘unknown’. Therefore, to overcome phobias, we must educate ourselves and lean into the phobia and connect with why it is there and rise above it. Innately, as humans we create these behaviors as default survival mechanisms, and it prevents us from fully living. Only the individual as the ‘key’ to unlock themselves from their own mental prisons.

I’m always afraid that my ATM card will get stuck in the machine…

I enjoy music. Do you have any preferences?

Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Andre Bocelli, (it is my true nature—love—peace) I enjoy a large genre of music! My son recently introduced me to some controversial rappers that have brilliant content-opinions in their lyrics. “Hopsin”, Donald Glover, Tom MacDonald. I am not political, however, there are some profound concepts these musician’s address.

I saw Ed Sheeran open for Taylor Swift (yes, I went to a Taylor Swift concert, but I took my niece, so that’s my excuse). As a guitar player, I was blown away with what he could do as a solo act.

Ahh, yes! Musicians have mutual appreciation for each other, it’s a vibe.

Are you ready for the lightning round?

Yup!!

Great! Here we go.

Pumpkin Spice. Yea or Nay?
YEA!!
Favorite city?
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Summer or Winter?
Winter-hot chocolate
Rock & Roll or Smooth Jazz?
80’s soft rock!!
Turtles or Armadillos?
Turtles!
What number am I thinking of?
11
Close enough.

The producer (me) is telling me that we are out of time. Anything you want to plug?

Of course! You can find my books on Amazon and more information on the individual websites!

Both of my series have new books coming in 2022! I want to wish the world to find peace, love, and happiness in their own little bubbles in this big universe!! Also, know that we all make a difference one small step of kindness at a time!

https://mylohsadventures.com/

https://taesungspeculiarlife.com/


Read all previous interviews here: https://linesbyleon.com/the-interviews/

Reads From StoryOrigin and BookFunnel: 

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Featured Poetry Author

Free sample

Featured Sci-fi Author: Luke Davids

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Books on sale or under $2.99

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Monday Musings / Inktober Day 25 (Splat): How Slow Can You Go?

Inktober Day 25: Splat (Pestus Pancakus)

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/

Monday Musing: How Slow Can You Go?

I took out the first pizza from the 500-degree oven and set it aside to cool. As I proceeded to place the second one into the oven, the pan caught on the rack, jarring it from my hand. I watched as the toppings slowly—or so it seemed to be—sliding off the tomato sauce lubricated crust and landing on the bottom of the oven.

Five hundred degrees if hot enough to melt cheese on contact, caramelize onions, and crisp the edges of oily pepperoni, not to mention making a mess that’s nearly impossible to clean. I quickly scooped up the remains with a flipper before too much damage was done. Cleaning up is a whole other story.

Some things in life look great in slow-motion. The diving touchdown catch or the flapping wings of a hummingbird. Some things in life happen slowly but are not so great—the sliding of your vehicle on an icy road as it makes its way toward the rear end of the car in front of you.

Other things seem to happen in slow-motion. The pizza incident, for one. The closing of a locked car door after you realize that the keys are still in it and it’s after hours (and also a holiday). Falling of your bike gives you a chance to reminisce on the last ten minutes of fun you had before pondering how much it’s going to hurt when you make contact with the ground while trying to formulate a plan to do a stunt-like barrel roll ending in a quick leap to the feet, hands raised, looking around to the onlookers and crying out, “Superstar!”

In reality, you know it’s just going to hurt.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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C’mon, space stuff!

Inktober Day 24 (Extinct) and a Sunday Survey

Inktober Day 24: Extinct

Mistakes
We made a few
Then a few more
Consequences piling up
Identifying the tipping point much too late
Futility becomes the word de jour
We didn’t learn a thing
From the past
Mistakes

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/

Sunday Survey

When I started conducting my author interviews, it was a way to get to know the people that I was participating in my BookFunnel and StoryOrigin promos. I thought I would post them on Free Book Friday along with the promo information.

Well, I now have 7 in the queue, and In a bit of a quandary. I’m running out of Fridays!

Let me know if you want me to post two interviews/week.

Haven’t read any? http://linesbyleon.com/the-interviews/


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Oct 22 Free Book Friday, my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author George Horner

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

In Conversation With Author George Horner

Well, here we are again. I’m sitting with author George Horner. Can I offer you a hot or cold beverage? 

I’ll take a hot cup of tea please, milk with no sugar. I rely on my daily cuppas to help get through the busy days as a nurse and it helped keep my creative juices flowing when writing my books. 

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot?

I prefer the traditional English breakfast tea. Definitely hot.

You have two books, The Unplugged Summer: An Englishman’s Perspective of Life at an American Summer Camp, and your newest book, Hidden Heroes of our Community: Reflections of a Male Community Nurse During the Coronavirus Pandemic, both with long titles. Is that your calling card?

Both my self-published books have a similar layout with a pretty lengthy subtitle at the bottom of the cover page, but I wouldn’t say that would be an effective calling card to attract a reader’s attention, haha.  

Based on the title of my most recent book, I feel that the word ‘hidden’ is very meaningful. Community nursing seems to be quite hidden in the background of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). I don’t think many people know about the role of a community nurse, but this book is to make this field of nursing more recognisable. It goes into depth about the diverse range of qualities and clinical skills needed to be a community nurse. And it demonstrates how unpredictable the job is from one day to the next.  
 

Considering what the world has gone through, it is topical. What made you want to write it?

I agree that this book is very topical, because the coronavirus pandemic is still with us and it’s not something that will just go away overnight. It requires everyone to still do their part by taking the vaccines, having good hand-hygiene and social distancing when necessary. 

But one of the main reasons I wrote this book was to demonstrate how vitally important community nurses are, despite how undervalued I feel that ourselves and other medical professional have been over the years. The book celebrates the value of community nurses and how they’ve played an important part outside of the busy hospital settings throughout the pandemic. 

Everywhere, health care workers, from aids, nurses, doctor, as well as support staff have endured more than most people realize. I thank you for your hard work and dedication.

You’re very welcome. The thanks that we received was really noticeable during the tough times of the pandemic and the majority of households all around the UK were clapping every Thursday night during the ‘Clap for Carers’ movement. I found that very touching.

Why do you think people would want to read another story or memoir about the pandemic? Or maybe a better question is, why should they read yours? 

Well because I work in a very niche area of nursing, I feel that this book is like no other. The book captures the daily experiences of a community nurse, along with the emotional ups and downs nurses we go through. And for the most part, the lovely people we work so hard to help and support. The book was written at a time when the global pandemic was at its worst and when people were extremely reliant on healthcare professionals. The written visits with my patients have led to funny, emotional and heat-warming reads, which the readers and my colleagues have found enjoyable and impossible to put down. Overall, I feel that this book reflects a crazy, busy, diverse, black-humoured world, which is community nursing. 

Let’s get to know George Horner. Did you like to read and write at a young age?

I’ve always liked to write things down and get creative with my hands, and even at a young age you’d often see me holding a pencil, crayon, or a paintbrush, about to make some messy masterpiece on the paper below! 

What was the first book you remember reading? 

There were some classic novels that I read in secondary school, which was when I started taking reading more seriously. I think the book I enjoyed reading the most from school was Holes, by Louis Sachar. I found most of the storyline gripping and I used to put myself in the shoes of the main character, Stanley, who would have been of a similar age. The thought of being sent to Camp Green Lake gave me some nightmares though! 

Do you have a favorite book?

It would have to be This is Going to Hurt, by Adam Kay. Adam’s diary entries as a junior doctor leaves you laughing in parts, emotional in other parts and there is also a sprinkling of other diary entries that will leave you truly speechless. Like Adam, I have great admiration for the NHS I work under. The organisation does an amazing job across the board and like Adam says, “they delivered you when you were born and they will zip you up in a bag, but not until they do everything that medical science will allow to keep you on the road.” In echo of what Adam has written in the book, I feel privileged to do what I do as a medical professional, which I have noted in my recent book: Hidden Heroes of our Community. Knowing that I have made a difference to people’s lives makes the tiring shifts and overtime hours all the more worthwhile, and Mr. Kay demonstrates this too, sometimes in far greater scales. 

What are some things that made you want to get into the medical profession? 

Here’s a few reasons why I became a nurse. Essentially, I enjoy looking after and caring for people- I find it rewarding and satisfying. This all started in my first fulltime job as a carer and teaching assistant at a residential school for children with physical and learning disabilities. 

I applied to study in nursing because there are many development opportunities, which made it an interesting career path to start! And the fact that my postgraduate degree was NHS funded with a student bursary and that I didn’t need a student loan to pay off was another big factor for taking on the degree. 

I also wanted to make a positive difference in the NHS. It’s an organisation that’s extremely understaffed and with people like me adding to the workforce it can help stabilise and maintain the quality of this national treasure!

It’s not an easy job, I’m sure, with many ups and downs, but making a difference is the reward, I suppose.

That is correct. We don’t go into this profession for the money, but to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Did you know that you share you name with William George Horner who was a mathematician who developed Horner’s method, a means of continuous approximation to determine the solutions of algebraic equations of any degree? 

I’ve seen this gentleman’s name on Google, but I was not fully aware of his history. I can’t say I’ll follow in his footsteps. I was never that good at algebra, haha. 

I kinda enjoy doing it. As a music enthusiast, I need to have some music-related questions, so let’s segue into that, shall we? Any favorite genres? 

I’m not a musician myself but I have an appreciation for a range of music and love going to live concerts and festivals. My favourite genre has to be rock and Nu metal. My favourite artists over the years include: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Korn and Linkin Park. 

Some great choices there. Do you have a favorite meal or snack to eat that other people just think is weird? 

I don’t think I eat anything out of the ordinary. But my favourite meal has to be a nice, wholesome curry dish, which must include the rice, naan bread, samosas and the chutney! 

That is definitely a tasty meal. Let’s pick up the pace, shall we. Are you ready for the lightning round? 

Yes, go for it! 

Great! Here we go. What was the last book you read? 
When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi 
Favorite city?  
So far it would be Budapest. 
Name a country the begins and end with the same letter. 
Czech Republic 
Sports. Yea or Nea? 
Hell yea! 
What’s the best team in the world, then? 
Hopefully the England football team, once they win the world cup next summer! 
Are extra-terrestrials real?  
I’d like to think they are real. There can’t just be us in the whole of the universe! 

Well done. Unfortunately, we are out of time so no time to present prizes. Any links that you would like to share? 

Both my books are available on Amazon in E-book and paperback versions. You can find them on this link: relinks.me/GeorgeHorner . Also check out my very own author website https://george-horner-writer.mailchimpsites.com & follow me on my Instagram page too @georgehornerwriter 

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

This week’s other featured author: K. Leigh

K. Leigh is a 33-year-old once-painter, sometimes-freelancer, forever-artist living in Providence, RI. They write hopeful-tragic stories full of funny, horrible characters, in various genres. Enter the world of Constelis Voss: www.constelisvoss.ml

(There is a content warning in this book)

But wait, there’s more!

Beta Reading

I had some interest read my next poetry book in the works, and the offer still stands for both my books.

I have two books in the works. StoryOrigin has now added a beta-read feature which I would like to try out. So for the sci-fi fans:

The View Inside (Beta Copy)

I’m getting close to having my next poetry book ready to read. I would really like your opinion on it, but since poetry is subjective, and comes from the heart of an individual, it may or may not resonate to you. If you have read my first book then you know what to expect.

What I’m hoping for is a critical eye for spelling/grammar as well as how the sections are put together. Ultimately, I hope that if you like it, you will leave an advance review before it is published. 

A Wonder of Words (Beta Copy)

If you don’t want to use the StoryOrigin feature for either book, please use the contact form below.

Answer the following: 
Have you ever beta-read before?
What makes you a good beta-reader for this project?
What books of mine have you read?
If chosen, what will be the time for completion?
Are you willing to leave an advance review before it is published?

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday, Book Review and my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author T.J. Christoff

But first, Inktober day 14: Helmet

October 14: Helmet

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


In Conversation With Author/Poet T.J. Christoff

About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author TJ Christoff. Glad you could make it.

Hello Leon, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

Your poetry goes back all the way to 1983. What took you so long to publish?

That is an excellent question—

Thanks.

Actually, I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident. Everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to. I didn’t publish sooner because it just wasn’t the right time for me to do so.

Why did you decide to put all your collections into one volume?

I really think I did that more for myself than for anything else. I wanted to have a published book with all of the poems that I had written and maintained to that point in my life.

Is there a poem that you have written that you think best encapsulates you?

There have been many, but that changes over time as I change over time.

I know what you mean. Any new projects on the go?

I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree, so my writing projects are pretty much on hold for now. However, I have always said that I am merely the conduit for a much great source to use as He (or She) sees fit. I can’t write to save my soul. So, if I am inspired, I will write, but I am not consciously thinking about new projects at the present moment.

Inspiration sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? It’s not something that can be turned on or forced.

That’s a fact! I can’t tell you how many times I have “tried” to write a poem, only to be disappointed by the results. But then again, there have been countless times when I would be trying to fall asleep at night, tossing and turning, only to have to sit upright, turn on a light, and grab a pen and paper to scrawl the words that seemed to be pouring out of me from seemingly nowhere. Once penned, I would find that I was then able to drift off to sleep very peacefully.

When you are not writing, because we can’t do that all the time, what do you enjoy?

LOL…School has me writing quite a bit. In fact, I just had to write a 1- page paper for this week’s assignment. But, on those occasions when I do have a bit of free time, I usually spend it with my three dogs and my kitten, or with a few friends just making memories.

Music is a part of my life, what about yours?

Ah yes! For me, music is like air, I can’t imagine my life without it!

Care to share any of your favorites?

I love pretty much all music, with the exception of heavy metal. However, my favorite is Contemporary Christian music. I really appreciate how positive and uplifting the songs are. The thing about music, is that it can very quickly affect one’s emotional state. It has the ability to transport a person through time and space almost without effort. The way I see it, there is already plenty of negative going on in the world, so I like to find ways to funnel in as much positive into my life as possible. I get that through listening to Christian music.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like music or get some sort of emotional benefit from it. Are you ready for the lightning round?

Let’s do it!

Great! Here we go.

Favorite city?
Sedona
Pet Peeve?
Rudeness
Least favorite food?
Anything seafood
The Late Show or The Late Late Show?
Is there a difference??
If there is, it’s negligible…
Last binged show?
Grey’s Anatomy

Well, that all the time we have today, Thanks for participating. Anything you want to plug?

Feel free to check out my website at www.tjchristoff.com

I just did.


Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Have you read The Martian? Then you’ve read Project: Hail Mary. Kinda

It’s not verbatim, that would be…well, not a good idea for an author. Authors have their own unique writing style and trope preferences, and Andy Weir is no exception.

Spoilers after this point. Just sayin’.

Man stranded: Check
Man uses science to survive: Check
Man makes mistakes using science: Check
Man almost dies: Check
Man doesn’t die: Check
Man makes life or death decision: Check
Man becomes a teacher: Check

That last one was disappointing. In The Martian the main character ends up teaching at NASA (in the movie for sure, I don’t remember if the book ended that way). In Project: Hail Mary the final paragraph is him teaching a class of alien children. This would have been a great ending if I hadn’t read the previous book. It only made sense that Dr. Grace would go back to his chosen career.

Did I like it? The concept was well thought out and believable. Some of the science was confusing at times, but I find that with most sci-fi books. So yeah, I liked it. Kinda.


New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

New Authors: Poetry

Eight poets offer free samples of their work

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday / Inktober Day 8 (Watch): Looking out for #1? Right here.

Yeah, the book cover is a bit blurry in the thumbnail. I’ve updated the picture with the highest res and still…(thanks, Amazon). Looks OK on the book page.

Free books. Who doesn’t love ’em?

[murmuring]
“I do. Do you?”
“Yeah. Maybe that guy over there?”
“Maybe…”

So, if you have been following the ongoing saga of the not-so-free-perma-free poetry book, you’ll know I have had a great time chatting with the wonderful CSRs over there at Amazon. But as they say, “Fifth times the charm.”

I sent out the link on my blog and newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, and today, BINGO. #1.

Well, #1 in the free category, but #1 nevertheless. There is some correlation between the rank of the free vs. full collection, but the full collection hasn’t cracked the Top 100 yet.

Yet.

https://amazon.com/dp/B083Y6DPLY – Free Kindle version

https://amazon.com/dp/B083QPV6TQ – Not so free full collection

Well, onto Inktober and Free Book Friday:

October 8: Watch

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Free samples: Poetry, Memoirs, and Fiction


Sci-fi available on Amazon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!