If you'd like your (newest) book and URL link added to this HALL OF FAME, I would be honored to feature you in an upcoming edition of Inspiration Station. I would send you the following questions that Lois and I have answered below and I would feature you...just like this.
I will ask all my friends to share the word far and wide on our social media sites - this 'word of mouth' is so valuable and doesn't have to take much time out of our day- and it's a way for our readers to get to know what's going on with our writing:
Newest book for Lois W. Stern, Tales2Inspire ~ The Ruby Collection
Newest book for Maria Jordan, The Rain and Everything - A Compilation of Writing
Q&A for The Next Best Thing
What is your working title of your book (or story)?
Lois: My Tales2Inspire series of books are titled: Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection, (Beyond Coincidence stories) Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection (Stories of Awakenings and Aha Moments), Tales2Inspire ~ The Sapphire Collection (Stories that Echo In the Mind) and Tales2Inspire ~ The Ruby Collection (Gifts of Compassion). Each book is filled with inspiring stories so they are somewhat related despite the theme differences.
Maria: The Rain and Everything -- the rain is an eternal reminder of my mother, a symbol of good luck in her view. As such, it seemed the perfect introduction to everything else in my collection of writings.
Where did the idea come from for these books?
Lois: To begin with, I simply enjoyed inspirational stories and believe the world needs more of them to counteract all the gloom and doom news we are bombarded with daily. But I also know there are many talented authors out there who never get the recognition they deserve. This has become my personal “Authors Helping Authors” project. I help give my Tales2Inspire winners quite a boost in establishing themselves as authors of talent. That feels really good on two accounts: I am spreading motivational stories around the world and I am helping other authors.
Maria: In healing from Mom's death and surviving an incident of workplace violence in 1999, I learned many life lessons. My life took on a totally different perspective - my mind had a kind of clarity and ideas for writing came rather easily. My style of writing in this compilation ranges from poetic ponderings to inspirational reflections to fictional shorts with transcendental themes.
What genre do your books fall under?
Lois: Motivational stories, inspiring stories.
Maria: My compilation has a collection of poetry, short fictional works and inspirational reflections.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Lois: Each book is filled with about fourteen different short stories, so there is no one actor to play all those parts. In some cases, I could only see the subject of the story playing that role. Who but Jen Bricker could play the role of the gymnast in No Such Word As Can’t? Who but Winter Vinecki could play the role of the runner in Seven Marathons ~ Seven Continents.Then there are other stories that could be played by many Hollywood types. For example, I could see Cuba Gooding type cast as the Karate champ in A Hard Hitting Lesson.
Maria: As Mom is ever present in my heart and the thread of my stories, my mind wanders to my alter-ego character of Jo March (played by June Allyson) and her Marmee (played by Mary Astor) in the 1949 version of Little Women.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Lois: Stories of people (and even animals) who follow their hearts to better their lives and the lives of others, reverse damaging patterns of personal behavior and move on to more fulfilling, productive ways of giving and receiving.
Maria: To quote Louisa May Alcott's character, Jo March, “I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle--something heroic, or wonderful--that won't be forgotten after I'm dead."
Will your book(s) be self-published or represented by an agency?
Lois: I published all four of these Tales2Inspire books through Create Space.
Maria: I published this book with the assistance of Michael Friedman, of Mockingbird Books, through Create Space. We are putting the finishing touches on it now and it should be available for purchase soon. I'm also grateful to Shauna L. Bowling, of Bravewarrior's Feathered Pen, who served as my eagle-eyed editor.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Lois: The first book in this series, The Emerald Collection, took about one and one half years from start to finish. The others came a bit more quickly--3 ½ years total for the first four books in this collection.
Maria: Some of the pieces of my compilation have been in draft form for over four years, which other contributions are a couple years later in the writing. This has been a slow building of work since Mom's death in 2010.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Lois: That’s the easiest question for me to answer, because almost everyone says it for me: Chicken Soup For the Soul. The big difference is that each Tales2Inspire story contains original photos, which certainly add power and interest.
Maria: Hmmm, at this time, I think I'll compare and compete with myself. That seems best. I plan to write a novel next.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Lois: I wrote a few blog postings, actually about inspiring animals at first, and saw that they had generated a lot of interest. That’s how I began. The rest, as they say, is history.
Maria: My mother - between each and every line, she is my inspiration, my motivation and my heart.
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I'm hopeful that this double interview will inspire other authors to contact me via the website to be featured on Inspiration Station in a similar manner.
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