Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What An Amazing Guy!

Join me in saying hello to Nolan Carlson, a prolific writer, adventurer, who, like so many authors, finds himself retreating into his own world as he dreams up new stories. 

I grabbed hold of Nolan to see what we could learn about him. A very interesting man, indeed. 

SDC: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Nolan. Please tell us a little about yourself. 

Nolan: I started writing as a kid.  I wrote mysteries, sports, and animal stories.  I loved to write fiction and retreat into a "world of my own".  I wrote three manuscripts while I was in the military service.  When I got out of the service, I put my writing aside and went back to graduate school and raising our four kids with my wife, Lorena.  I taught special education and owned a restaurant at the same time. 

All our kids finally became college graduates.  When I was close to my 40th birthday, I decided to take up writing once again.  I sent excerpts of my writing to several New York literary agents and one day I got a telegram from the Glenn Cowley Agency.  He liked my writing and I went on to sell five titles to Berkeley Publishing of New York.

My agent told me that a new publishing house from Melbourne, Florida was looking for quality books for middle school boys.  He asked me if I had any interest. I wrote a book called "Summer and Shiner" depicting my boyhood in a small rural town in Kansas in the Flint Hills.  

SDC:  Then you were writing for middle school boys related to your own childhood. 

Nolan: Yes. We grew up much like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  It was wonderful.  When I sent the manuscript to the new publishing company, it was chosen to be their lead hardback book.  They received over 300 entries nation-wide so I felt very fortunate.  75% of the book and the series is fact and 25% is fiction.  

SDC:  Who was Shiner? Was he real? 

Nolan: Shiner was our pet raccoon that we released from a trap.  The book Summer and Shiner was held by Disney Studios for six months as a movie option.  From that point it won the Hearth Award and was presented first prize at an authors' banquet.  It also was favorably reviewed by Booklist in Chicago.  

SDC: Where did all this take you next? 

Nolan: This initial book became the first of a series: Summer and Shiner, Shiner's Return, Shiner and King, Shiner and Baseball, Shiner and Hobo Joe, and Super-kid vs. Super-bully

SDC:  It sounds like a wonderful series! Have you written anything else? 

Nolan: I've written many other books including: The Wizard of Halloween, Balbena's Grave, The Lopsided Angel, Vagabond Jack (wolf-dog), Lewis and Clark; Davey Hutchins and many more.  

SDC:  Those sound awesome, Nolan.  What specific book would you like to tell us about this week? 

Nolan: It's called Broken Vows. This book is a departure from my previous genres.  It seemed to fit better in Vinspire Publishing's list of genres. 
SDC: Before you tell us more about Broken Vows, what other interesting tidbit can you tell us about yourself?

Nolan: My wife and I have been married for 44 years.  She is a former Catholic nun and a retired algebra teacher and for the past 14 years she has worked full time volunteering at Community Health Ministry helping others. I obtained a Ph.D. some years back and now teach two college courses, counsel people, go to schools presenting programs on reading and writing, and of course have a book in the making at all times.  

SDC:  A busy life and an adventurous family for sure, and they must be an encouragement to you as an author. 

Nolan: We have four grown children and six grandchildren.  Currently, one of our daughters is courageously fighting 3rd stage brain cancer.  She has received love and support from many people as well as the fine folks at Vinspire Publishing.  The CEO of Vinspire is always helpful, creative and supportive as well as the authors.  I feel proud to be among these skilled and creative folks.

SDC: Nothing could be more encouraging than that. As we finish could you tell us a little about your newest book, Broken Vows?


One man's promise to God becomes his torment. 

When Fr. Dan, a charismatic priest starts his first assignment at St. Francis, he helps to transform a tired, complacent parish into one of renewed faith and hope. He’s loved by the parishioners and knows he is following the right path. Still, there is something missing from his life, something he can’t place until a beautiful war widow arrives from Alabama. 

Lucy captivates him and steals his heart. Though there’s been a hint from the Vatican for decades that someday priests will be allowed to marry, Fr. Dan doesn’t believe it will happen in his lifetime. So he’s left with a painful choice. Does he choose to love Lucy from afar or walk away from his commitment to God and the Catholic Church?

SDC: Thank you so much for coming to see us here at A Pen for Your Thoughts! Your books with the story of your life is a book in itself!

Here is an opportunity for you to pick up Nolan's book. Click on the link above. You will be glad you did! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Everyone Loves Christmas in Spring, Right?

I feel privileged to be able to share another author with you here on my bog. Please join me in saying hello to  Evelyn M Timidaiski, a South Carolina gal. 

SDC: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Evelyn. Please tell us a little about yourself. 

EMT: I am a widow with two grown children and one grandchild and have enjoyed taking to the task of writing after retiring from my profession as a Biology teacher. While I do still work with special students, I chose to start writing to fill the void I felt after leaving my teaching job. My home is in Lexington, S.C.where I also spend time with my two pups, Fancy and Bitsey.

SDC: When did you actually begin writing?

EMT: Back in 2010. I finished my first book in 2012 and published my first book last year.

SDC: How does it feel being a published author? 

EMT: I'm still trying to get used to the title, "author." My first book is called Holly and Snowflake Christmas.  I'm waiting anxiously to see how readers react to my novel and writing style. 

SDC:  What else inspires your writing days? 

EMT: I have a great sense of humor and incorporate this into my characters.  Writing has given me the opportunity to tell the stories that keep popping up inside me. Whether it's Romantic Suspense, Mystery, or Fantasy, I love to dive right in and explore the possibilities.

SDC: Tell us what you are working on right now.

EMT: I currently have several projects going, including the sequel  to Holly. It's called Return to Snowflake.

SDC: I wish you the best of luck on your new book. Before we go, please tell us a little more about yourself.

EMT: I taught both Biology and Science for twenty eight years. In my novels, I call upon that experience when writing vivid descriptions of nature. Writing is very similar to teaching. You need to make a plan, keep it interesting, and use discipline for everything to work.

I recently wrote an article about Native American Characters in novels. It can be found on Desert Breeze Publishing. I've had a fascination with Native Americans since childhood. I wanted to write a Christmas Book and I had just been to Arizona so I combined the two.

Snowflake is an actual town in Arizona. I used the name, but made up everything else about the town. Desert Breeze has asked me to make this a series. The series name is Snowflake and the next book comes out November first. It will be called, Return to Snowflake. Notah, the hero in Snowflake is a heart stopping, sizzling Navajo Police Chief. He falls hard for a California, biker girl who comes speeding through his town.

I try very hard to incorporate real Native American tradition and show the plight of the Native Americans who live on reservations.

SDC: Give us a glimpse of your new book. 

Holly Dunnell has always dreamed of the perfect family Christmas, but never experienced one. When her famous racer father is killed on the track, she steals a priceless prototype and tries to ride away her grief.

Proud Native American Police Chief Andrew Notah works hard to protect the people of Snowflake, AZ, and the nearby reservation. Burned by past experiences, he never expects to meet a woman who will love him and embrace his heritage.

After arresting Holly for speeding recklessly, Andrew is attacked by a cougar. Tending his wounds Holly discovers the real meaning of Christmas and love.

Christmas morning brings a warrant for Holly's arrest. Andrew must choose between love and duty.

SDC:  It sounds very inviting. It's been a pleasure sharing you with the guests who come by A Pen For Your Thoughts!  How can the readers reach you, Evelyn? 

For those of you who are interested, here is a link to where you can pick up your copy of Holly and Snowflake Christmas. 

What better way  to celebrate Christmas and love in spring?

Monday, March 2, 2015

All about Millie's Story with Pamela Woods-Jackson

Pamela Jackson is a former high school English teacher and author of "Confessions of a Teenage Psychic," which was a 2011 Epic Ebook Contest finalist. Her YA novel "Genius Summer" was released in November, 2014, by Vinspire Publishing. It was a finalist in the 2013 San Francisco Writers Contest and received high marks in the 2013 Pacific Northwest Writers Contest. She also has a contemporary romance "Certainly Sensible" inspired by Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" due to be released in 2015. Jackson lives in Carmel, Indiana with her two rescue cats, Molly and Phoebe, and works part time at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.

Genius Summer

Millie Olson would rather imagine life in the nineteenth century than face her 21st century life. She’s overwhelmed by peer and family expectations, since everyone assumes the sixteen-year old valedictorian of a private high school will naturally attend a top college. Millie wants to stay home in Indianapolis, take online courses and volunteer at the history museum. Her grandmother’s not having it.

Gran has a plan to help Millie overcome her fears during a summer visit to Oklahoma. First, Gran encourages Millie to renew her friendship with high school quarterback Zach MacMillan. Millie’s not interested, preferring to spend her time sorting through the antiques in Gran’s attic, where she finds a diary written in 1865 by Synthia Whitfield. Gran’s second ploy, convincing Millie to visit the small nearby college her father attended, works beautifully when she must take the journal to Zach’s professor father for evaluation. Millie admits she needs Zach’s help navigating the campus, and despite her reluctance, a friendship blossoms.
Millie and Synthia have parallel lives, albeit 147 years apart. They both have younger siblings, but orphaned Synthia must find a way to get all three of them from Missouri to join family in Texas. She signs on to travel with a wagon train, and then drives the covered wagon herself! Obstacles occur in Indian Territory, but Synthia is undaunted. She delivers them all safely, and reaching across two centuries, inspires Millie with the confidence she needs to face her future.

Q.  Where did you get your inspiration to write this particular story? 

A.  As a former high school English teacher, writing for and about teens felt natural to me. In 2001 my uncle asked me to write the story of our ancestor Synthia Whitfield Yeager, and the courageous journey she took as a teenager after her parents died. At the time I was teaching full time, and furthermore had never thought about writing a book. After he passed away a few years later and I'd already written a couple of novels, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, without my uncle, who was the family historian, I couldn't find enough information to flesh out an entire book about Synthia, so I decided to frame her story within a contemporary YA. The result was Millie's story of discovering Synthia's journal and the inspiration she derives from it.

Pamela Jackson's book is available for purchase at : 

Drop by and say hello to Pam at her Facebook page