From the Ashes by Alyssa Louttit

Author Spotlight for this amazing young lady, Alyssa Louttit and her debut novel From the Ashes. Alyssa is a teenage Author who started writing fantasy fiction as a hobby, and one day chose to turn it into a profession. She currently lives in Tempe with big plans for the future.

Alyssa Louttit

Interview

Q. How was your journey as a writer to a published author? How long did it take you to get published?
A.  My journey to writing as a mere hobby to being an author is hard to explain in a few words. It’s been a long one. That might not mean much considering I was seventeen when my book was published, but I was always remember being a six-year-old child sitting in grandma’s house thinking about what it would be like to fly. Which is where my journey started. I decided to write the manuscript when I was fifteen and it got published two years later. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m incredibly lucky that I found someone like Carol Farabee, someone willing to give a young author with no credentials a chance.
Q. What inspired you to write your first book?
A. “Inspired” Isn’t really the right word. Nothing planted the idea in my head, it was always there, it was more of a matter of deciding to put the pieces together. It’s more of a matter of who/what I had in mind when writing the book. The Journals of Fire is being written for a particular audience in mind. The story is about a girl who can turn into a phoenix. It’s equally about the girl and her ability to turn into a phoenix. Anyone who that resonates with is who the story is written for. That’s the closest thing to inspiration, the desire and push to make another people happy and to give them an experience.
Q. Writing can be a difficult job, what inspires you to keep going?
A. I remember that everyone who has met any kind of success has been rejected, brought down, or have had bad reviews.
Q. What’s your writing process, schedule, or routine?
A. My writing process starts with a character, I flesh them out and think about who they are, what they’re goals in life are, what they can do. Then I pick an emotion, something to drive the character and to give the story a focus. Next comes a conflict, give the character something to do. After that I fill in the roles so the story makes sense and flesh out those characters. This process serves as the outline for the story. When it comes to the actual writing I think of 4-5 key events/ moments and use those as a map for how the story unfolds.
Q. Tell us a bit about the series? How did you come up with the concept and how many books will the entire series consist of?
A. The series is about a young teenager named Alicara Lerose, who can turn into a phoenix. The main series will consist of four book with one or two other titles depending on the demand/popularity.
Q. Are your books available on Amazon or other digital retailers as e-books?
A. Currently my book is on Amazon in ebook format.
Q. What is your marketing strategy for your books?
A. The story is character focused, so that’s been how I’ve approached the marketing so far. Here are people you can root for/people who are relatable, and the world they live in.
Q. What is your opinion on self-publishing? Would you prefer to self-publish your books as opposed to publishing with online publishers?
A. I have no problems with self-publishing. However, to make a god self-published book requires a level of skill in editing that few have or they have to know a really good editor willing to help.
Q. What are you working on now? What’s next?
A. Right now I am working on finishing the series and keeping my next project in mind.
Q. What is your advice to a new writer who is trying to get a publishing contract or thinking of self-publishing?
A. The best advice I can is this: good luck and stay patient if you’re aiming for a contract, and if you want to self-publish keep polishing it until it shines.
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Excerpt 1
It is odd looking back on everything. I always believed in destiny. Now that I look back, that belief has only been supported. Al calls me a sap when I comment on it. I didn’t know that day just what that girl would mean to me or the events that will be set in motion. She’s changed all our lives, she’s a living version of the Rosetta Stone; and the bridge between two worlds we never thought would be one again. I try to think where I would be without her and have yet to find an answer I like. She changed the world, but first I had to tear hers apart. I will always remember what she said when someone asked her if the world would ever be like it was.
“Change is like a volcanic eruption, enough time passes on and sure it can be similar, but never quite the same afterwards. Mankind isn’t just going to forget that magic is real, and now the two are far too interconnected to ever be apart again and thrive. Humanity needs magic and magic needs humanity. That will never change.”
And of course who will ever forget when she was asked if she could change the way things happened.
“My world has shattered a few times and there were moments when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I wouldn’t change the path I took for the world. I would like to go back and tell my younger self, ‘Hey just hang in there a little longer. It will get better soon.’ But then again wouldn’t we all like to do that?”
Excerpt 2
The trek through the forest was quick, a couple hundred feet to the waterfall where Marcus placed his hand on the weathered and exposed rock face and whispered, “Movere deflectatis.”
“There’s something you don’t see every day,” I whispered to myself, and it certainly wasn’t; the left side of the water moved making a doorway that lead to a cave enveloped in darkness. Marcus went in first and gestured for me to follow.
“Speak for yourself,” Marcus teased and then called out into the darkness “Kortara? I’m back.”
There was a roar from inside the cave that made me back up a little, “Kortara?” I asked wondering what was waiting in the cave. That I couldn’t see.
“Relax, she’s friendly,” Marcus told me smirking a little as Kortara walked calmly towards us. I looked at Marcus and my eyes widened in fear. She had a long serpentine neck which was most of her roughly four foot height. Golden eyes that seemed to sparkle with amusement, her horns and claws were a pristine white that seemed to glow like pearls and her scales were light blue that reflected light like the ocean at its calmest. A two foot tail attached to a close to the ground body. Kortara was a dragon.
“Hi there,” I greeted. I stepped back a little in fear.
Kortara let out a sound that can only be described as a chuckle, Marcus pinched the bridge of his nose, “there’s no need to laugh at her.” Kortara let out a cross between a growl and a bark, “What?” Marcus asked confused, Kortara looked back and forth between us and did what looked like the equivalent of raising an eyebrow, “No, you are wrong there is nothing there.” Kortara snorted.
I watched what to me appeared to be a one-sided exchange with both confusion and fascination, “Okay what am I missing?”
“Familiars can talk to you. While each little movement can be hard to decipher you get used to it. Fortunately only a magic can hear the voice of their familiar,” he gave Kortara a look and she walked back into the cave.
“So what did I miss just now?”
“Nothing you need to worry about,” he said just a little too quickly, and walked farther into the cave with a brisk pace.
I raised an eyebrow and shook my head, “If it’s nothing then why are you acting embarrassed and defensive?” I called as I ran after him. I stopped when he did. He touched his hand to a barely visible symbol on the wall. He whispered something and blue light emerged from everywhere in the cave. The walls, back, ceiling and floor were covered in swirls of pale blue light. In the very back of the cave carved out of and into the rock was a make-shift two story house.“What is this place?”
“Back during the time of the witch hunts this was a safe haven for witches on the run. It was abandoned until Adrianna and I discovered it during a storm,” Marcus told me. He began to pet Kortara’s neck as he spoke.
Check out her books at Farabee Publishing

Author Spotlight: Shelley Holt

An interview with Shelley Holt, author of Ready.Set.Connect 10 Easy Ways to Create Joy in Your Life Today

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What inspired you to write your first book?

I always felt in my spirit, since college, that I would write a book. When I tried to come up with what it would be, I failed. Out of the blue, at the age of 45, I was led to type the words out and tell my story to help lead others to fulfilling and joyful lives.

Who would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? (Dead or alive)

            Explain… 

I would like to have a cup of coffee with my grandmother. Her name was Dot, but I called her “Nan” and she died when I was about 12. I never got to know her deeply and I would love that opportunity. I know she didn’t try to learn to drive until she was in her 50’s… and she never did get the hang of it. She preferred others to take her.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I like the bed to be made when I crawl into it at night, so I expect the last person out in the am to make it J

Tell us something quirky about you.

I have a super sniffer nose! I am a total smell person.   It can sometimes be a curse!

Favorite comfort food?

French Fries.

Five books that inspire you.

Funny enough, I’m not a book reader! I find my attention span won’t allow it. So I stick with magazine articles and online stories. That is why you will find my book written in a concise and “to the point” way…to keep readers engaged and hooked to want to get through the short 80+ pages.

Tell us the one most important thing about your novels. The one thing that makes them different from all other books out there.

The content is raw, the truth, and meant to inspire people to realize they are in control of creating their own JOY… through all of the ups and downs life brings.

Are your books available on Amazon or other digital retailers as e-books?

Yes, it is available on Amazon as an e-book.

What is your marketing strategy for your books?

We are diverse in our strategy. We are in some local bookstores and do social media to promote through it our business Best Life.   The majority has been grass roots – sending to radio personalities that cover certain topics and local 211 organizations; we often give out books to people we meet in every day life who would seem to benefit from finding more JOY in their lives. The goal of the book is to find it’s way into the hands of those who need the message within it. I am confident it will find it’s way to that one person who will propel it to a Best Seller.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

The next book is going to be Ready.Set.Connect BS Love – 5 Tricks to Have True Love (or something to that effect) – it will be the deeper story of the love my husband (Brandon) and I share (hence BS) and encourage people that they too can find and have their true love.

What is your advice to a new writer who is trying to get a publishing contract or thinking of self-publishing?

Research all of your options thoroughly and work with someone who can help publish and promote the book successfully.

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Author Website

Excerpts from the Book Ready.Set.Connect 10 Easy Ways to Create Joy in Your Life Today

It took a long time to uncover the truths in my life. I want to save you this truth-seeking time, so you can have true and pure joy now. It is simple, free and it feels great. It is awesome. As I unveil my life, you might now relate to my upbringing, my friendships, my triumphs or my mishaps. In fact, you may not agree with some of my choices and decisions and that is ok. It will not matter how much alike or different my life experiences or choices are from yours.

***

I felt anger, but a good anger. I was going to advocate for my husband! I took the white board off the fridge and started writing, “Today, 8/8/14 I declare joy, happiness, peace, financial security and the everlasting love we deserve. Once again, God stepped in and brought me an angel.

***

I cannot predict what will get thrown your at you but I can assure you that all of us will walk through peaks and valleys throughout our lives. It is how you walk, how you think, and how you speak at each point that will determine how well, how quickly, how successfully you move forward.

Author Bio

Shelley knew she had faith but when that faith was tested repeatedly she found herself questioning why her? Why did she continue to receive joy in her life she did not feel she deserved? What was she doing that was so different from other people around her?

Ready.Set.Connect is a story of faith, love and joy. Through her candid and personal stories Shelley hopes others can see how they can create joy in their own lives. Some ways include have faith no matter what happens, find passion in everything, mean what you say, and be intentional.

For many years Shelley knew she would write a book. It wasn’t because she set this goal, but because of a feeling in her spirit. To her surprise the words and content came in June of 2013 in the midst of a frightening mental health scare for her husband. During this she heard God tell her multiple times that his health issue would be scary but over very quickly. During this time her fingers flew across the keyboard to create the book with the intent to share her experiences with others. Her goal is to help people understand how to walk through peaks and valleys of life, to experience joy, abundance and fulfillment at every turn.

It’s a choice. A part of the book is a Joy Journal and a 7-day challenge to start creating YOUR happiness and JOY today.

Shelley has more than 24 years of corporate business experience. For over a decade she has combined her business and aging expertise in a unique role as a Corporate Gerontologist and Director of Education at The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence. Shelley and her husband, Brandon, also co-founded Best Life – Life Coaching, LLC.   They are following their passion to elevate others by sharing their knowledge and experiences to promote others success in business, health, finances and spiritual growth. They want everyone to live their best life today.

 

Exciting Changes on the Horizon

Arizona-Beer-Tours-LogoFarabee PublishingThis is my author website because I’m an author and this is supposed to be about my books, etc. However, I am not just an author. I am a mother, a friend, and a small business owner. I own a small marketing firm that started out as J.A.K. Inc. in Indiana with only two clients and handled only digital marketing. Since then it has grown into J.A.K. Ink, Marketing Firm, Inc. that has expanded into print media and now represents Farabee Publishing, The Young Writers Foundation, The Arizona Beer Book, and The Great Arizona Beer Tours, along with several authors. Plus I have meetings set up next week with the West Coast Operations Manager of a very large construction company and a meeting this Thursday with The Entertainer Magazine….the biggest entertainment magazine in the Southwest about possibly creating a partnership for The Great Arizona Beer Tours.

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My small little business is growing daily and finally sustaining itself. Plus, I admit that I rather enjoy the minor perks of being my own boss…small things like being able to roll out of bed and work in my pajamas, or throw on my bikini for lunch and float around in the pool for an hour. I love that I only have to get dolled up for meetings and have the opportunity to meet some amazing business owners.

The downside of owning your own business…when something goes wrong I have no one to blame. I have the most nontraditional hours of any working mother known to man. Some days my day begins at 6am and ends at 3pm, others it starts at noon and goes until 2am. It all depends on what is going on and what deadlines I’m under. And I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck coming on me on Friday. All the pressure of success or failure depends on me.

While it is truly terrifying to branch out on my own without a safety net, I feel like I am finally being successful on my own merits and no one can stand there and take credit for my accomplishments. I work hard every day and a lot of late nights. I love marketing and my true passion lies with writing. There’s something magical and mystical about being creative and pushing your imagination to places where the dark recesses of your mind never dared to venture. It’s an adrenaline rush that compares to few other things in life.

Now as I move forward another step I am both terrified and exhilarated to see what tomorrow has in store for me and my little company. The journey has been interesting, exciting, nerve-wracking, and never boring. One thing for sure, starting over and leaving behind everything for a chance at finding happiness was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it was also the smartest and something I have never regretted.