Author Q and A: Maria Vermisoglou

Author Maria Vermisoglou smiling

“Magic is in our minds. Authors make that magic real.” – Maria Vermisoglou

The Cursed Girl Volume 1

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Maria Vermisoglou. Welcome!

Maria: Thanks so much for this opportunity.

Blaque: No problem at all. I’m just doing my part. Authors supporting other authors.

Maria: Yes, that is so nice of you.

Blaque: So Maria lets get started with your interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

Maria: Sure.

Blaque: Where are you from?

Maria: I’m from Greece, and yes, I wrote my book in English. I am the exception to the rule.

Blaque: That is quite fascinating! Your English is very good, if I do say so myself.

Maria: Thank you.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Maria: My goal as an author is to have my books loved by readers all over the world.

Blaque: So, tell me. What kind of child were you growing up?

Maria: I was shy and could be found always reading a book. Also, my mind was in the clouds, meaning I day-dreamed a lot. LOL.

Blaque: As authors, we all have those moments when story ideas won’t come to mind, or we are stuck on a particular part of a story for which we can’t see where to proceed. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Maria: I stare at the ceiling for ideas. I don’t get writer’s block often, but sometimes I just don’t want to write.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Maria: Christmastimes with the family are my fondest childhood memories. The entire family would gather around the table and there would be enough food to feed an army. We would talk together and have fun. We would also open presents. I guess that is why Christmas is still one of my favorite seasons of the year.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Maria: No, I am the only published author, but we do have some artists in the family.

Blaque: I’ve never really been into the stars, signs, and moons craze that people speak so highly of, but I have found that most of the characteristics of my zodiac sign fit me perfectly. What is your zodiac sign?

Maria: I am proud to be a Sagittarius.

Blaque: If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Maria: There isn’t one particular place I would visit. I would travel all over the world. I love traveling, and I think that every place has its own unique beauty and magic.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Maria: I prefer to write my first drafts on the computer, because I can erase them without leaving smudges. Sometimes though, I do write down my ideas on paper.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Maria: I don’t really have one in particular, but I do enjoy listening to soundtracks, pop, and rock music.

Blaque: We can find inspiration for a story anywhere. Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Maria: I get most of my story ideas from other books – a book can spark another idea, but also from places or movies.

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

Maria: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I wanted something related to books. I am a librarian, so the goal was achieved.

Blaque: Many of us have other gifts besides our gift of words, do you have any other talents besides writing?

Maria: If making handcrafted items is a talent, then yes, I suppose I do. I make handmade items like bracelets, key chains, and candles.

Blaque: Yes, homemade craft making is definitely a talent.

Maria: Well, then I do have another talent. LOL.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Maria: The list is very long, but I will only mention two this time. The first is the Harry Potter series, because it taught me to love books – I hated them before. The second is “The Mortal Instruments”, because this was the book that inspired my own series.

Blaque: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

Maria: Yes, some of my characters were inspired by people I know, or their character traits.

Blaque: Feedback from our readers are what makes writing so worthwhile. To know that someone enjoyed something that we produced, keeps the love of writing going. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Maria: I am overjoyed when a reader tells me they enjoyed my book, but when they tell me things like “When does the next one come out?” or “It should be a movie”, then I am over the moon.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Maria: Anything involving chocolate is my favorite type of dessert, but not always.

Blaque: We learn a lot in life as we grow and mature. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

Maria: I would tell her not to worry too much.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Maria: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I would like to co-write with an author who is just starting his/her career, because I want to help them develop, and we could learn from each other.

Blaque: What show did you enjoy watching as a child?

Maria: I enjoyed watching Pokemon. I always got up in time to see it. It was one of my favorite shows.

Blaque: When we’re starting our writing careers, we often find ourselves experiencing some difficulties. What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Maria: The most difficult thing for me was killing a character. This was my first book, so I made the mistake of getting too close with my characters. I didn’t want to kill one of the characters, so the book was delayed. One day, I said that I would do it. I couldn’t delay it any longer. I did it, and it was painful. After that, killing other characters was easy. Another difficulty was the whole publishing process, because English isn’t my first language, but I managed.

Blaque: I’m glad to see that you overcame your hurdles, and now you have a published book to show for it.

Maria: I’m glad of that also.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Maria: Eva. She is my main character, and the difficulties she has to face are great, but she does get over them and comes out stronger than ever. I also love her because her mind is set to save everyone, even if that is a stranger. She will walk through hell and fire to save the ones she loves. She is a storm.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

Maria: I am currently working on the second volume of the cursed girl series.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Maria: My latest book is my first. I am just starting out, but the words I have for it are: Love, friendship, twists and turns, backstabbing, thrilling, and amazing.

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of another insightful author interview. I just have one last question for you Maria. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Maria: My advice would be to write, write, and write! Write even if you think it’s pointless. You can see a tunnel right now, but in the end, you will see the light bright and shiny. Every successful author before you started small and everyone knows them now. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Blaque: Very good advice. You can do anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is do it. It was so nice speaking with you today Maria. I enjoyed getting to know just a bit more about the person behind the title of author, and I’m sure your readers did as well.

Maria: Thank you. I enjoyed sharing a bit more about myself so that my readers can know me more intimately.

Blaque: So, you know I can’t let you go without you leaving potential readers with your contact information, right?

Maria: Yes, of course not. Shall I go ahead?

Blaque: The floor is yours. Have at it.

Maria: Readers can like and follow my Facebook fan page here.
They can also follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my latest releases. If they would like to check out the book trailer for “The Cursed Girl Volume 1”, they can view it here.

“The Cursed Girl” can be purchased from Amazon by visiting this link.

Blaque: Thank you so much Maria for taking time out to visit with me today. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Author Q and A: Joseph D. Hayes

Author Joseph D. Hayes

Guardians of Salem book cover

Blaque: It has been a great month with all the wonderful authors I have had the pleasure of speaking with. For the last author spotlight of February, I am talking with Joseph D. Hayes, author of “Guardians of Salem”. Welcome Joseph.

Joseph: Thanks so much Miss Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. It’s nice to have you here. So, how many books have you published to date?

Joseph: I just published my first novel, “Guardians of Salem” last year.

Blaque: Ok, nice. You’re a first-time author. How does it feel to know that you have a book that millions of people will read out there?

Joseph: It feels amazing! It is such an indescribable feeling.

Blaque: Trust me, I know the feeling. LOL. What inspired your latest book?

Joseph: The children I look after at my day care center inspired my latest book.

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

Joseph: I’ve always been a story teller. Characters constantly live in my mind on a daily basis. However, my passion derives from inspiring children to read and write.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Joseph: I would have to say my bedroom is my favorite place to write. It’s my zone. I can truly bring my thoughts to life.

Blaque: We all have our own ways to help get the creative juices flowing, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Joseph: I put music on to help me in times of writer’s block. The music helps me get in the mindset of the story.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Joseph: I prefer writing my first drafts on paper, because I do a lot of marking. It just feels more natural to me.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Joseph: I am a big fan of superhero stories, anime, action, and Kung-fu movies. I also love to create the why in characters. What I mean by the why, is why does this character behave this way, or what motivates this character? I think character development is fun.

Blaque: Some authors are quite sneaky when they implement parts of their lives in their stories, and I am one of the guilty. LOL. Have you used people you know as characters in your books?

Joseph: Yes, I have. The cool thing about it was that I read the story to them, and they loved it.

Blaque: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

Joseph: Publishing my first novel is my biggest accomplishment as an author.

Blaque: Yes, having the courage to push that publish button proves your passion for the art of writing. It can be quite intimidating when you go through the process.

Joseph: You’re right about that.

Blaque: Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Joseph: Right now, writing is a second job, but I write as a goal to become a full-time writer.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Joseph: To touch as many lives as possible through my writing is my goal as an author. I would also love to see my writings on the big screens and television.

Blaque: How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Joseph: It brings my heart joy. I put a lot of heart in to my writing. Whenever I receive a compliment from a reader, I am overjoyed and humbled.

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Joseph: I would tell them to read and write! This will help them to find their writing voice.

Blaque: Now that readers know about you as an author, let’s learn more about you as a person.

Joseph: Sure.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Joseph: I love Christmas! Everything about Christmas! From the celebration of my Lord and Savior, all the way down to the Christmas music. I must admit that I get a head start on the Christmas music in November.

Blaque: If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Joseph: If I could change anything, it would be me.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

Joseph: I’m a sucker for Chinese food.

Blaque: As authors, we are also readers. How many books can you honestly say you’ve read in a single year?

Joseph: I would say a little over ten.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Joseph: My zodiac sign is Aquarius.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

Joseph: I was a kid with a very hyperactive imagination. I often acted out a lot of kung-fu and action movies on TV. I believe the most hilarious thing out of all this is the fact that I hated reading and writing when I was younger.

Blaque: Who is your favorite author? Why?

Joseph: I would have to say Mary “Honey B” Morrison. Her story telling skills are so vivid. She is the very reason why I started and got in to reading.

Blaque: I love her writing as well. I have read tons of her books and loved every one of them. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Joseph: I can draw as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Joseph: I would have to say Gospel is my absolute favorite genre of music.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Joseph: I’m either reading or drawing when I’m not writing.

Blaque: I am not a fan of sports at all, but are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Joseph: I’m a big football fan. Dallas Cowboys is my favorite football team.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Joseph: It would definitely be an honor to co-write with J.K. Rowling. She created a universe of characters that will be remembered forever. Enough said.

Blaque: Well, that looks like that just about does it for today’s spotlight interview. Thank you so much for sharing just a small bit of yourself with me and the readers today Joseph.

Joseph: You’re welcome. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share.

Blaque: Make sure to leave your social media contact information so that readers can follow your writing journey.

Joseph: Sure thing. I am on Facebook, and I can also be found on Twitter. Thanks again for having me.

Blaque: No problem. Keep encouraging the youth of today to read and write.

Joseph: I definitely will.

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, please visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview.

Author Q and A: Dr. Theresa Snell

 

“Choose  Your Mood” – Dr. Theresa Snell

 

Blaque: On today’s author spotlight, I have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Theresa Snell. Welcome.

 

Dr. Snell: Thank you so much for having me Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: It’s always great to have another author to spotlight on my blog. There are so many authors out there just waiting to be discovered. It looks like you write children’s books. Is that correct?

 

Dr. Snell: Yes, that is correct.

 

Blaque: Well, you are the first children’s author I’ve ever featured so far.

 

Dr. Snell: Wow! I feel honored.

 

Blaque: I also write children’s stories, but I don’t consider myself a children’s author. I just like to make sure that children are included in the wonderful world of books.

 

Dr. Snell: Yes, reading is important for any age. The younger the better.

 

Blaque: I agree. Let’s jump right into it. What inspires you to write?

 

Dr. Snell: I began writing in response to my eldest child’s need for “one more story” before nap time. I noticed that my stories became his most frequent requests, and he was quite adamant that I not change the details. Writing them became a defense mechanism. After finishing my doctoral research on stress and coping skills, I felt compelled to offer a small trick or technique for kids dealing with frustration, worry, and low self-esteem.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

 

Dr. Snell: Despite this year’s massive ragweed invasion, Fall remains my favorite. Though we are turning toward the darkest time of the year, humans choose to fill that time celebrating the past, expressing gratitude for the present, and hoping for the future. There is a magic to the ending of a year and brilliant colors against an otherwise barren landscape.

 

Blaque: We all have things that rub us the wrong way, so what is your biggest pet peeve?

 

Dr. Snell: Tardiness. I consider promptness to be a sign of respect and worry when those I care for are late. It is incredibly frustrating to me to make a commitment, to honor it, and then not to have that courtesy reciprocated. As a mother of champion dawdlers, I understand delays, but a text takes only a moment and saves me from looking up at every sound for the person I am counting on.

 

Blaque: Hmm . . . That is one of my biggest pet peeves as well. What is your favorite holiday, and why?

 

Dr. Snell: I love Halloween. In my home we explore the history and traditions behind every holiday we celebrate. There is so much hope in Halloween, that the light will chase away the dark. There is a history to the holiday that stretches back the the Celts, which still influences us today. The frivolity of costume shopping and trick or treating is fun and something . . . other than the daily routine. It doesn’t hurt that it is also one holiday without cooking requirements.

 

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Dr. Snell: A writer writes. I hope in five years, I still call myself a writer, a storyteller, a teacher, a less terrible piano player, and a collector of hobbies. There is always a new adventure- even in the mundane.

 

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter on your writing journey?

 

Dr. Snell: I am imagining my mother and husband battling it out for the title of “biggest supporter” even now with my friends encircling them. I am so blessed in my friendships and family. Once I learned to ask for help, a floodgate opened to me.

 

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

 

Dr. Snell: I was a girl of moods. I was an introvert, lost to the written word and a bubbly cheerleader for ten years. My family had an informal list of movies they recommended I avoid to save themselves from the wracking sobs. They probably experienced whiplash when my excitement overflowed and I began speaking too fast to follow. I loved every holiday except Easter, and I only hated that because I am truly dreadful at finding hidden things. I was drawn to theatre-to its drama and its discipline and considered studying it in college before the lure of anthropology, sociology, and psychology drew me in a different direction. I always needed to understand the why behind every action.

 

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

 

Dr. Snell: My notes are always handwritten in a notebook. From there I begin scratching out a rough draft. The rough draft is most often translated to computer until I am frustrated by not being able to hold the pages. I print the pages and, sometimes, my first draft.

 

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

 

Dr. Snell: I am an Aquarius. And boy, am I.

 

Blaque: I love to hear people’s answers to this question. If you were trapped on a desert island and could bring only one person, who would it be, and why?

 

Dr. Snell: I would bring my husband on any misadventure. I am the idea lady and he is the get-it-done man. My practical skills are seriously lacking. I can learn anything, but why not bring someone who already knows what to do?

 

Blaque: LOL. I see your point. If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

 

Dr. Snell: How long do I get to stay?! For a quick trip, I would love to visit Alaska. It is something so foreign from my norm. For an expedition, I would want to trek again through Europe. I would love to have more time in Budapest, or the area surrounding Prague.

 

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

Dr. Snell: I draw a little, sing a little, and play a little piano.

 

Blaque: Is there anything you do a lot of? LOL.

 

Dr. Snell: I crochet a great deal. I am a collector of hobbies. Last year I had a wood burning kit and a driving, yet unrealized desire to learn to sew. This month I signed up for piano lessons.

 

Blaque: I see. LOL. I have always wanted to learn to crochet. I used to weave when I was younger, but I have never got the hang of crocheting. As authors, we all have made mistakes that we are not so proud of, what is the worst writing mistake you’ve ever made?

 

Dr. Snell: The worst writing mistake I have ever made is to stop writing.

 

Blaque: Wow! That’s a new one. No one has ever said that in response to that question. It’s usually marketing or editing related.

 

Dr. Snell: I’m sure, but that was definitely my biggest mistake.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

 

Dr. Snell: I lose cool points all the time for questions about music. I jam out to country and like to listen to the stories of blue grass. I dance to  anything. Kidz bop plays out of my speakers a little too often for my sanity, but I did have my six year old rocking out to Les Miserables this week, so, score!

 

Blaque: LOL. You still have your cool points with me. My music taste is all over the place. I just like music in general. My IPod is full of everything from Frank Sinatra to Chris Brown. I listen to it all. Music is therapy. If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

Dr. Snell: I hope my friend would describe me as accepting. I value my friends’ differences and enjoy discussing their passions. I suspect, however, that my sarcastic best friend would describe me as organized since my schedules are a source of much teasing.

 

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

Dr. Snell: Enjoy is a weak word for my need to read. I enjoy field trips with my kiddos and other homeschooling families, traveling, movies with magic and wonder, crocheting, dancing, comedy clubs, and local events in my community.

 

Blaque: It is always an amazing feeling to learn that someone has purchased a book you have written, but how does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

 

Dr. Snell: A compliment, genuinely given, makes me blush still. I feel thrilled when I hear my stories helped get an idea across.

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

Dr. Snell: My goal as an author is to continue to write. I would like to write words worthy of reading and find an audience who wants to share it with me.

 

Blaque: If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

 

Dr. Snell: I want to tell my younger self not to worry and not to doubt. I look back and see a girl searching rather than seeing; running rather than being. I am enough as I am, and knowing that has been a gift of adulthood.

 

Blaque: What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

 

Dr. Snell: As a writer, a huge hurdle has been that I tend to become lost in the big ideas and forget the details, or so lost in the details that I delay the writing.

 

Blaque: That was such an informative interview. I enjoyed getting to know you, and I’m sure your readers will enjoy it as well.

 

Dr. Snell: I Thank you so much for having me. I hope they enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me as well.

 

Blaque: It’s always nice to get to know the person behind the books. Even though we are authors, we are still people all the same.

 

Dr. Snell: That’s true.

 

Blaque: So, before we wrap up this session, leave the readers with your contact information so that they can reach out to you.

 

Dr. Snell: Sure. Readers can visit my website here.

Both of my books are available on Amazon, so purchase your copy. Be sure to leave a review! It is greatly appreciated.

 

I can be found on Twitter and Facebook if you would like to keep in contact.

 

Blaque: Well, I think that just about does it for me today. Until next time. Happy writing!

 

*Note*

 

If you are an author, and you would like to be featured on my blog, visit Author Spotlight, and follow the directions to submit your interview.

Breathe Deep Dear Dragon Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

Look Deep Dear Dragon Book Cover