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L.K. Watts first decided to write this book when she spent a year on a Working Holiday visa travelling Australia. Throughout the twelve months, she kept a detailed diary where she recorded every adventure she experienced. These adventures ranged from the hilarious, the saucy, the crazy to the downright dangerous. She thought these experiences combined would make the ideal read for anyone interested in backpacking a country, or for those who were just too nervous to board an aircraft to get them there in the first place.
She wanted to write a book that came from the backpackers’ heart; she didn’t want to write another Lonely Planet guide. For those people who expect this of my book they are going to be disappointed.
When she first started travelling–she has travelled most of the world, by the way– she wanted to read a book that came from solely the traveller’s perspective. At the time she couldn’t find any books like this so this is why she was inspired to write her own.
To find out more about Laura, visit her blog: http://lkwattsconfessions.blogspot.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lkwatts
Gary Nelson enjoys teaching and telling stories - usually at the same time. Graduating with a Major in Computing and a Minor in English, he was a bit of an anomaly - a nerd who could write well. Although embarrassed by the poem the University chose to be his first publication, Gary continued writing. For many years this was “work” writing - technical manuals, requirements, etc. However, it was through training - writing materials and delivering them in class - that Gary realized the magic of stories in teaching. Incorporating stories into his teaching - and later, Gazza’s Corner Blog, Gary uses stories to convey complex concepts in simple ways to a variety of audiences. Following the publication of his first book, Gazza’s Guide to Practical Project Management, Gary was asked if he could do something even more challenging. Could he write book on Project Management for 8-12 year old children? Oh, and it had to be fun, engaging, easy to read but still teach important life skills. With his 9 and 10 year olds as his toughest critics, the result is The Ultimate Tree House Project - which has won the hearts and minds of children around the world.
To Buy Book (The Ultimate Tree House Project): http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-Tree-House-Project/dp/1482558130
Gazza’s Guide to Practical Project Management: http://www.amazon.com/Gazzas-Guide-Practical-Project-Management/dp/1478345047
Al Eufrasio and his alleged natural creativity grew up in suburban New Jersey (exit 136 off the Parkway, thanks for asking). Among numerous interests sparking his imagination were the many offbeat local legends, bits of history, and sights throughout his home state. Al eventually studied art and began contributing illustrations and articles to Weird N.J. This twice-annual publication is dedicated to the same kinds of Garden State oddities that fascinated him as a youth. The magazine’s popularity snowballed into a book series covering other states, to which Al also contributed. By now residing in Washington state, Al was asked to partner with local ghost hunter and author, Jeff Davis, to write both Weird Washington and Weird Oregon. Braving treacherous mountain passes, supernatural chills, and angry old ladies (“Keep out of our family cemetery!”), the duo spent nearly two years researching and penning the books. They became local bestsellers, attracting media attention and standing room-only crowds at readings. Since then, among other assorted writing projects, Al has been authoring an ever-growing stash of similar material to eventually unleash on the reading public. Apparently, some of his writing has been used in classrooms to help educate impressionable young minds. For this, he apologizes profusely.
To Buy the Book: http://www.eufrasio.com/purchase.html
What was the publishing process like for you? How were you able to bring your book to life?
These are two very related questions and I’ll answer the second one first for the simple reason that it took a second edition of my book to really bring it to life. There’s no getting around the gamble inherent in any new book—big publishers put lots of money and muscle behind books that end up with disappointing sales. Small publishers operating on shoestring budgets sometimes hit the proverbial jackpot with a book. Either way, a writer starts out with a lot of hope, and anticipation. I went with a small, indie press for my short story collection, SHOES HAIR NAILS. Within months of publishing it, Uccelli Press went under, unfortunately not an uncommon scenario in the world of independent publishers. Even if it’s a given these days that, as authors, we do so much of our own marketing, public relations, etc., I liked the feeling of partnership with an editor/publisher. Now I was on my own: I took over the rights and remainder of the print run, and decided to ride the wave of the e-book revolution, just making inroads at the time. I jumped into social networking, discovered a whole new world of online writers’ networks/reviewers/publishers, which resulted in interviews and some pretty wonderful reviews. So it really was the digital edition of SHOES HAIR NAILS that brought attention to my work—proof positive, I like to think, that a book can have a second life.
What was the impetus or inspiration to write your stories?
Often it’s an image—something from the everyday world that touches me. The genesis of “Shoes,” for example, was seeing pairs of shoes lined up on the floor of my parents’ bedroom, each with its own story to tell, collectively a narrative about a relationship. Another story in my collection, “Hair,” began with a line that popped into my head – “The last time I saw my mother I was propped on a phone book in a red leather chair at Jeanie’s Hair Salon.” Hair is nothing if not a symbol of identity, which became the theme underscoring the story of a girl abandoned by her mother. Stories in a collection are not necessarily linked but there are connecting threads to them. What holds SHOES HAIR NAILS together is my exploration of everyday symbols in our world, too often trivialized, in the hope of getting to their deeper resonance.
What is the role of social media in your publishing process? Who are your greatest fans, what are their demographics, and what social media platform do you find most useful in communicating with them?
Funny you should ask about my fans. I came across an article just today suggesting that an artist needs 1,000 ‘True Fans’ to make a living. It’s a fascinating premise, and I’m hardly there, but the fans I do attract tend to be women in their fifties and up, often mothers, who have a particular affinity for the way I write and what I write about. In the words of one reviewer: “She articulates instinctive, feminine sensitivities, fears, and concerns we will all recognize and yet struggle to put into words ourselves, and why bother when one can sit back with this gentle, funny and considerate collection of stories which take us to those places without the struggle to explain ourselves and may even help us feel better about facing similar issues.” As far as how I use social media, I’m on Facebook and Twitter mostly, but also LinkedIn and Pinterest. Each offers a different type of interaction and sharing. One friend of mine described Facebook as a kind of town square, and I think she’s right. Sharing things that catch your attention allows for a conversation that says a great deal about who you are when you’re not writing.
If you had to describe yourself in three words only, what would they be?
Tenacious. Patient. Grateful.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
I’ve been to a lot of wonderful places, but Bhutan is high on my list of places not yet visited.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? Do you have any exciting plans or projects coming up?
Well there is the novel I’m shopping around to agents/publishers, which touches on the changing nature of family. And I’m pulling together a book of essays that picks up where my digltal chapbook, Because my name is mother, left off. The six essays in that e-book, timed to Mother’s Day, are linked by the reminder that every mother is a daughter, too. The expanded version I have in mind brings together my most popular blog posts, threaded by the theme of motherhood in the modern world.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.batterman