#INTERVIEW & #GIVEAWAY ~ Meet Tina Ann Forkner and enter her Giveaway!!!

Meet Tina Ann Forkner, Author of the 3 wonderful novels, including, “Waking Up Joy”.  I will be posting that review on Sunday. She is giving away ONE signed copy of the book, “Waking Up Joy”. (US and CAN residents only) 

I met this author because another author I adore, Steena Holmes suggested we read Tina’s book when it was out for sale. Great word of mouth. That is definitely a great way to meet other authors and hear about other books! Thanks, Steena!

Please comment below to be entered for a chance to win this awesome book!

Tina Ann Forkner2Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist? 

I don’t remember not wanting to write books, but except for some unfinished romance novels I started in high school, I mainly wrote poetry and short stories. During my freshman year in college, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but after taking a break for a few years I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do. My love had always been fiction. I was in my mid-twenties when I went back to college and decided to focus on literature and creative writing. I focused mainly on poetry, memoir, and some fiction. I feel like those things helped lay the groundwork for my becoming a novelist, as well as the required reading and discussion of quality writing. I always wanted to write a novel, but it wasn’t until my early thirties that I finally finished writing my first book, Ruby Among Us. I think that sometimes we feel the call to write very early in our lives, and maybe we even have talent, but we still have to learn the art of story and work to sharpen our skills before our writing can really take its true form.  

Annie: I need to read your other books, too…I am already loving ‘Waking up Joy’.

Q:  As you geared up for your Book Releases, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?  Waking Up Joy

The most exciting part of any book release for me is getting to share my story with readers. The second most exciting part is getting to see my name on the cover of a book. I have to admit that the day I lay my eyes on the published book and see my name on the cover makes me want to dance around the room. (I’ll be honest. When no one is looking, that’s what I do.)

 Happy DanceAnnie: Look, it is your name on a book! 🙂 Do the happy dance!

Q:  Where do you get the inspirations for your stories?  

My best ideas come from real life. I don’t usually go out looking for inspiration, but sometimes I’ll witness or see something that won’t leave my mind until I write about it. Places I’ve lived or visited, especially small town regions, often find their way into my novels.  The same goes for people. Once I write the idea out, the story and characters will probably have little or nothing to do with the original idea, but that’s the fun part. I love creating small towns and characters that readers will fall in love with.  

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style? 

I always have a difficult time answering this question because I don’t want to be the one to compare somebody else’s work to mine, especially when theirs is more amazing than I feel mine could ever be. Some novelists I admire include Cathy Lamb, Chris Fabry, Fannie Flagg, Sarah Addison Allen, and Sue Monk Kidd. 

Q:  When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us… 

Tina Ann Forkner office spaceCurrently I wake up at 5 am, see my daughter off to swim practice, and have about 45 minutes to write or edit before others wake up. Lately I’ve been writing in the kitchen or living room rather than my office. I like the view and the openness. When it’s warm I write outside. I am also a substitute teacher, so I generally take a couple of days a week to do some extra writing or to work on the business side of things. All of this could change next month, of course depending on my family’s schedule. I think that many women writers, definitely myself included, have to flex our writing routine to our personal lives based on the season of life we are in.  I used to get frustrated about this, but now I try to embrace it. Life flies by anyway, and I don’t want to be sitting in my office all day missing out. This is another reason I currently write in the kitchen. I complain about getting interrupted, but I love it when my husband or one of the kids (all teens and driving) burst in for a surprise lunch break at home.

 

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

I am more of a favorite book person. When I was a kid it was The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. When I learned the author was from Oklahoma, it inspired me as a writer. I also loved Gone With the Wind, which I loved discussing with my grandma because we both agreed the book was better than the movie. The Time Traveler’s Wife was one of the most creative and captivating novels I have ever read. I also loved Charlotte Bronte’s  Jane Eyre, and speaking of Janes, I love anything by Jane Austen. There are so many more, but those are a few. 

Annie: Gotta love the Janes!!! I need to read “Gone with the Wind”, again. I have it in my library..

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author? Tina Ann Forkner (2)

Creating a story, of course! Waking Up Joy was the most fun to write because I took ideas from the area I grew up and then changed them into something new and, I hope, imaginative. I had such a blast that I wanted to move to Spavinaw Junction as I was writing. I love all the adventures I get to go on as an author, and I love the characters. I am guilty of thinking about my characters as if they are real people and if I lose track of what you are trying to say to me, I’m probably lost in some small town somewhere talking to a character about what comes next. I can sympathize with Alexander Rover in Nim’s Island. My daughter used to love that movie and told all her friends that I was just like that. (Maybe not just like that, but I can definitely relate.)

 Annie This is a very original story! That is what I love about it. 

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? 

I have a new book due out in the Summer of 2016. I can’t talk about it yet, but will be able to soon.

Annie: SUSPENSE!! LOVE IT…be sure to contact me to review…  

Q: Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

I cannot choose! It depends on the situation. I will always love plain old books. I love the way they feel in my hand when I’m reading them, and I just love looking at them, but I also love ebooks. I love the versatility of an ereader and how I can carry more than one book in my purse at a time. I love the immediacy of it. I used to be doubtful about ebooks, but I’ve realized over the years that it doesn’t matter how the story is delivered to the reader. It’s only the story itself that is important.

Annie: Good point, it is only the story that is important..

Tina Ann Forkner

About Tina:

Tina Ann Forkner lives in Wyoming, but she grew up in Northeastern Oklahoma and has a Southern heart. She writes women’s fiction, is a substitute teacher, and lives in Cheyenne with her husband and their three teens. Her novel Waking Up Joy was an Award of Merit recipient in the 2015 Holt Medallion contest. She is also the author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House. Learn more: www.tinaannforkner.com

 

#INTERVIEW & #GIVEAWAY ~ Award Winning Author, Bette Lee Crosby answers a few questions, and she is offering an eBook copy of “The Memory House” to one lucky winner!! You must enter, this is one of my favorite stories!

For a chance to win an eCopy of “The Memory House”, please leave a comment below.  Winner to be announced on Monday, September 14th, 2015, after 5pm. 

I can honestly say that most of my friends and family will ADORE this book, and get on board with all of Bette Lee Crosby’s writing after reading this! She is stunning!

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DIRECTLY FROM THE DESK OF BETTE LEE CROSBY!!  AN INSIDERS LOOK!!

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

About a year after I finished 4 years of college studying to be an artist. Haha. I started out as a packaging designer and when one of the salesmen asked me to make up some copy to fill the empty space on the back of a pantyhose package I got hooked on words. It is a form of painting – but instead of a brush you use letters.

red brushstroke

Annie: This explains why your writing is so “fluid”, like a brushstroke.  I love getting to ask these questions.  I learn so much about the author, and it explains a lot.

Q:  With “The Loft” being released on September 15th, 2015, have you started your next big story?

I am getting very close to completing Book 3 in the Memory House Series – which will be called “Flawed Memories” – and I must say I am loving this series. It is sort of a mix of mystery, magic and a bit of romance. A bit different than some of my other books – more contemporary and with a magical realism sort of twist.

Annie:  So excited for your next book! I was drawn in by “The Memory House”, I need to catch up! As a book reviewer, it is hard to find the time to read all of the books that you want to…but, I have purchase ALL of your books, and plan to read them while on vacation next month.  I get a lot of books in exchange for an honest review, but I have to say that I just had to have your books in my library!!!!

Q:  As you gear up for a Book Release, what is the most exciting part(s) for you?

By far it is hearing the comments from early readers and reviewers.  I spend all this time writing a book and worry right up to the very last minute of release day wondering whether or not readers will like it. When someone writes to me and says something like “I fell in love with this look, Annie is so like me…etc.” My heart melts. Reader acceptance, this is what it is all about. When readers enjoy my books, I do a happy dance.Happy Dance

Annie:  I did a happy dance too! As a reviewer, it is always great to read a book that you love, and I surely devoured yours!    My tagline is “Devour Books”, so that is awesome!!

Here is a Link to my review of “The Memory House” THE GIVEAWAY BOOK:

https://thewritereview.com/2015/06/02/may-book-club-choice-memory-house-by-bette-lee-crosby/

 

Q:  I always enjoy your book covers, especially the one for your new book!  Are they hard to choose, design? The Loft

Some are very difficult, some are easier. The key is finding the right image to portray what you want people to see in the story. It is always a bit more difficult when you have a story set in the 1940’s or 50’s because a lot of the images are too contemporary for that time frame.  I was extremely pleased with the job the designer did on Passing through Perfect.  That cover is perfect for the story and it was one of the first ones he did.  However on The Loft, the final cover was the 12th design submitted.  Having come from an art background I am probably way too nit-picky, but I want my readers to feel the same magic I feel when I finally see the right cover.

Annie: I love a great cover, and you certainly offer several!  I love looking at your authors page on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write? Set the scene for us….

I am by nature a night owl, but the funny thing is my best writing time is in the early part of the day. That is mostly because I think about my story before I go to sleep, often include it in my dreams and wake up anxious to get back to it.  I try not to get online until late afternoon because once I start that, I go back to being me and lose the personality of the character I am writing about. I have an office in the front of our house. It is a very serene spot that looks out onto the lawn and a HUGE oak tree. My office has double doors and when they are closed hubby knows not to disturb me.  My writing buddy is Sugar. She sits in my lap a good part of the day and when she isn’t in my lap she is under my desk. Her toy basket is in my office and if she gets bored, she rummages through the basket and hauls out a toy for me to throw. We play for five minutes, then it is back to work.

Annie: Sounds like me with my dog, Simon!! Aren’t they the best!  He is always with me when I read and write the reviews.



HERE IS BETTE WITH HER DOG, SUGAR!

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Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Or, Books?

Favorite books more than authors, and my taste is somewhat eclectic. To kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites; s fairly new favorite is The Night Circus and an even more recent favorite is The Nightingale. All of these are very different. I loved Mockingbird for the strength and authenticity of the characters, I loved Night Circus for the beauty of its prose and I loved The Nightingale for the way it captured the heartache of a war-torn country.

Annie:  Ok, Now I know I must check out Nightingale, are you speaking of the book by Kristin Hannah? I have heard great things about this book! 

Let me add, “You are one of my favorite authors, Bette Lee Crosby!” I can see how you have earned so many awards and being on best sellers lists!

I am lucky to know you!  You are not only a great author, but a wonderful person!

Lastly, Book or eBook?

E-books. I love the instant gratification of hearing someone talk about a great book or seeing it online and then having it in my hot little hands in less than a minute. Also, as an author I am very appreciative of the fact that e-readers enable me to offer my books to readers for far less than I would pay if I had to pay for paper, printing, storage, and distribution. Is it sad to see less print books in circulation? Yes, perhaps it is, but I believe the good far outweighs the bad.

Annie: Great take on this.  I love having the book in hand and being able to share the book with others.  But, while traveling, eBooks are certainly wonderful.

Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you…My mission is to inspire others to read, and your books are definitely inspiring!  I love spreading the word!!

To purchase Bette Lee Crosby Books, please go here:

http://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1441912463&sr=1-2-ent