Friday, January 11, 2019

My Interview with Franca B Lawrence

What is your name and/or pen name? 

Franca B Lawrence (Fiction books)

Franca Lawrence (Non-Fiction books) 

What genre do you write? 

My first two books are Narrative non-fiction (The first one is an inspirational book while the second one is a motivational book) 

My third book is a children’s book, a fictional novel for middle-grade age 8 - 12. 

My fourth book is a creative non-fiction book. 

I like to make people laugh. I think it comes across in all my books, no matter what genre I write. I write about things I am passionate about and they are quite serious topics, but my strategy for getting people to read my books is to make it funny and entertaining. That is who l am as a writer. l guess you can say that is MY THING. 

What made you want to be a writer? 

My dad was a lecturer of English language and Literature. Books were a big deal in our home. I was an avid reader as a kid. I had a difficult childhood because I lost my beloved mother at the tender age of 9. I was put in boarding school a few years later, and was often very sad and lonely. All I did was bury my head in books. BOOKS SAVED ME. It was my escape from the pain of losing my mum. An escape into a wonderful imaginary world.

My love for books never went away and after my first degree (B.A - English) I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was taught poetry, drama, and playwriting. We wrote plays and staged them. It was amazing and I loved it. My imaginative and creative mind expanded and I knew I would never be fulfilled if I do not write books.

Another reason I became a writer was that I learnt a lot from books, which has helped me through many challenges in my life. I decided to write books that could help others in one way or another. This explains the didacticism in most of my books.

What do you use to keep yourself inspired while writing?

My passion and love for writing keeps me motivated. The desire to see my work in print usually keeps me going. I would gladly do it as a full time job if it paid my bills. 😃 I love writing and it gives me the utmost fulfilment. I am also a blogger so when I’m not writing books; l would be blogging about something.

Oddly, my inspiration seems to come from motion, either when I am driving or on public transport. Most of my book ideas come to me at such moments. Sometimes I have to stop my car by the side of the road to text the ideas to myself. I wrote all my books on the notepad on my iphone during my commute on the train. Odd isn’t it, that l need chaos or motion to write.😃 

I certainly would not be one of those authors who stay in a remote cabin in the woods so they can write a book. Gosh! I will not be able to write a thing. What a shame! I would have loved that. I guess the good thing about this is I can write anywhere. 

How do you feel about the writing community as a whole? 

I think the best thing that happened to my writing career was joining a writers group because l found a very good one. It is called WRITERS IN THE WOOD and it is right in my neighbourhood. How lucky is that!  They are supportive and l have learnt a lot from them. We support each other to be better writers. I have attended many book events, being photographed with local celebrities and appearing in newspapers just because of my writers group. It is the best decision I took in 2018 and I highly recommend it to any writer.

I must admit that not all writers groups are good, so finding a good one like WRITERS IN THE WOOD is priceless. Another good writers group I belong to is DR GRAHAM CLINGBINE’S BOOK, AUTHOR & READING GROUP. 

Have you or will you be willing to collaborate with other authors in the future? 

Collaboration with other authors is a great idea but it depends on how you do it. My preference would be a collection of short stories. I would like to do that. 

Tell us about your book and if it’s upcoming or already published? 

I have published four books so far. 

OVERCOMING LIFE’S CHALLENGES (Published January 2017) 

This book is a discourse of various challenges we pass through in life, viewed from different perspectives and illustrated with various personal experiences, including mine. The challenges covered include love, relationships, family, marriage, health, grief, work, religion and career.

It is filled with human triumphs and mistakes. I have been told the narratives are funny and interesting. It is fluid, entertaining and informative all at once. 

ENRICHING ALL WOMEN,A guide to creating income streams (Published December 2017) 

This is a motivational book and it has been described as a business book as well because it is about creating additional streams of income. I am very passionate about women's causes. Majority of the world's poor are women and the statistics is alleged to be about 70%. I have been unemployed, self-employed, in low-paid jobs and in a good job. I have also been able to achieve my dreams and aspirations while working full-time as a parent.

Therefore, I wrote this book for people in similar situations who desperately want a change but do not know how to go about it. The book also covers the likely obstacles one could face and possible solutions to overcome them. Since publishing ENRICHING ALL WOMEN, l have been asked to present an online TV programme for women on BarnetTV. The programme is called ALL THINGS WOMAN. The videos are available on YouTube and on BarnetTV website. 

THE ZEANN GANG, Bully Busters (Published September 2018) 

This is a fictional children’s novel. My daughter was bullied in school and I helped her through it. Therefore, I wrote this book about bullying to teach children how to avoid it, what to do when it happens and how to help each other. The feedback from my young readers is that they find it funny and they have learned a lot about bullying. The book is the story of five 10-year-old primary school kids, Zoe, Elise, Andrea, Nnena and Nnadi. Despite their fears and limitations, they protected their friend, Elise from bullies. Then together, they decided to tackle bullying in their school, GreenAge Academy. They became the ZEANN gang and took on the school bullies, the 2TOFS.

The book has been bought by schools in the UK and Canada for their library. This happened because parents and kids like it so much they recommended it to their schools. It is an amazing outcome that l hoped for and cannot believe is actually happening. 

A CARRIAGE FULL OF LAUGHS, Funny Adventures of a London Commuter. (Published December 2018) 

This book is about my funny adventures as a commuter on London trains and buses. It exposed me to an incredible world of the unexpected. There is the shocking, the beautiful and even those that tug at your heartstrings. Some have left me speechless. I blogged about my daily commute for two years, to share the experience with my readers in a funny narrative. They loved it and asked for more. They suggested a book version of the blogs. This is it. You will be laughing aloud as you look forward to page after page of very funny and entertaining narratives. It is unique. You will not find another book like it out there. It is special. 

Is your book or upcoming book an eBook, paperback, or both? 

My books are already published. 

My first two books are in both paperback and eBook formats.

My third and fourth book are only in paperback format for now but they will published in eBook format soon. 

Are you planning to write more? 

Oh definitely! I do not think l will ever stop. I always tell my friends that my retirement is taken care of. I will be that old pensioner, publishing book after book.😀 

I have two more books to publish in 2019. My head is full of book ideas. 

Is there anything you would say to other writers, that want to write and publish a book? 

Many potential authors give up and never follow up on their dream of being published. It is usually due to self-doubt or a lack of confidence to share their thoughts and ideas with the world for fear of being criticized. Do not let that stop you. Join a writers group and do not be afraid to ask for help because you will get it. Do a writing course if you have to and make use of a good editor. There are also many good editing apps out there, which are more affordable. Its 2019, so the possibilities are endless.  Just do what you have to do to get your book out there. Otherwise, you may be depriving the world of a very good author and many wonderful books. 

Where can my readers find your books and how they can follow you on social media? Leave only links that you want open to the public. 

My books are available to order on the following websites: 

Please find below my author website. It provides information on all my books and reviews. There are also direct links to order my books. The site is not just an author website; it is also my blog, where my writing journey started. You will find some interesting blogs and articles to keep you entertained. I like doing things differently. 😀 Enjoy browsing.

This is a link to my facebook page. It is my social media of choice. I am very active on facebook and I use it regularly to discuss topical issues, my TV show and book events. 

Thank you so much Franca for sharing with us today. I really enjoyed learning about your creative process and how you use your cell phone in it. I can barely send text messages, so I find it very impressive that you can use your cell phone to help you in your writing. 
I invite everyone to check out Franca’s books and follow her on social media by using the links above. 
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone, 
G. D. Talbot

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Back to the Writing in 2019

So the holidays are over, the treats are eaten, and the presents have been opened. So now it’s time to get back to writing my next book. First I hope everyone had wonderful and blessed holidays. Second, I want to tell you where I am at with the process of my next novel.

As many of you know I wrote about my creative process called, ‘The Inspirational Creative Loop’ on this blog. If you need or want to read it, use the link here? 

I want to show everyone how I used this process for the novel I’m working on now. I prepared for, by doing these parts of my process, Inspiration, Ideas, Story Outline or in my case a Partial Story Outline, before November 1st.

Then during the month of November with the support and resources from, I went from a Partial Story Outline to a full First Rough Draft. Thank you, you guys rock.

I have pointed out in the past that a lot of authors get their steps mixed up, or in an order that seems to slow them down or even stop them from publishing, and/or even finishing their book. A lot of the time I see and hear authors messing up this next step the most. And that is the, ‘Do I want to publish this book?’ Or as I ask myself in this step, ‘Do I want to share this book with the world?’ As I said above, I got to a full first rough draft by the end of November. Then I took a month to, wonder if I should share my book, and I even ask close friends and relatives, “Should I publish this story?” I have come to the conclusion that I will eventually publish this story, either by traditional or self. But my point here is to show the importance of this small but crucial step as a writer. That this step should not just take time in doing but also that it is important, when, in the process that this decision is made. You notice that I have a full story before asking this question. So if I decide yes, I can easily go into the publishing process, ‘The Publishing Process’ post coming soon. Also, I made sure that this question never comes up during the creative process. To make sure that it in no way hinders my creativity.
I hope this post was helpful or inspired a few of you out there. I will be trying to get back to my normal work schedule and will be posting one to two author interviews a week. Unless of course I have some posts about writing, inspiration, or book reviews instead.

Happy Reading and Writing Everyone

G. D. Talbot

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

G. D.'s Holiday Book Pick

My review of this book 
1 Star for writing and publishing
1 Star for cover
1 Star for formatting interior
½ Star for preview
1 Star for book as a whole 

First, I have to give a huge thank you to Lorraine. For not only being the first author to send me a physical book but also the first person to send me any correspondence from another country. So thank you Lorraine, my children and I looked forward to your package coming from the UK. It gave me a reason to teach them about other countries and where the UK is.

Seeing that this was an educational book for small children probably around 3rd grade, I decided to read a little of the book a day to my kids. My kids are going into 3rd, 1st, and Pre-K this year. I also based most of this review on their responses from the book.

As always I gave one star for simply writing and publishing a book. At first I was going to give a half star for the cover, because I didn’t understand the concept of the bubbles and how it relates to the book. Then on the second and third day of reading, my daughter going into 1st grade kept talking about the bubbles and then into parts of the stories she liked when describing it to her mother. It was then I realized that the bubbles on the cover were not for me but for the target audience. It was well done at capturing her attention so I gave one star for the cover. The book has been obviously professionally prepared and I could not find any errors on the interior formatting, so I gave 1 star for that. I’m sorry to say that I could only give a ½ star for the preview or intro of the book. It was interesting but not attention grabbing and a little dry. Finally I gave the book 1 star for the book as a whole. It kept my children entertained, interested and looking forward to me reading the next part. In fact, one day I forgot about us reading because we were busy. One of my daughters reminded me and asked for me to read the next part. As we did my other daughter joyfully joined us. Even my son, who is going into his second year of Pre-k, sat down for one of the readings and listened intently. If you knew my son you would be very impressed with that.

4 ½ out of 5 stars total

I would recommend this book to anyone with small children, children about to learn their times tables, and especially to parents that have a child having trouble with memorizing them. The idea of combining story time with poetry, while reinforcing times tables, was inspiring. It’s too soon to tell if any of the information stuck but what was clear was that my kids enjoyed the book. That means I can always go back and reread the book to help them in the future with their times tables, or just to enjoy the stories again. I would also add that I have recommended this book to my local school district to see if they would like to use in our schools here. I really hope they will consider it because anything that can help kids learn is worth having.

If you would like to get a copy of this book for yourself, use the link below.

If you would like to read my interview with author Lorraine Reed use this link

Remember, books make great gifts for the holidays and
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone
G. D. Talbot

Monday, November 26, 2018

G. D.’s Holiday Book Pick

My review of this book.

1 star - For writing and publishing.
1 star - For book cover.
½ star - Interior Formatting.
½ star - For Intro.
½ star - Book as a whole. 

As with all my reviews, I always give 1 star for simply writing and publishing a book. Usually I only give ½ stars for covers, because I always find some kind of formatting problem. But I really liked this one. It’s simple and eye catching at the same time. The only thing I would change is the placement of the author’s name on the front, but that isn’t enough for me to give less than a star. The interior formatting has some little problems here and there, but not enough to take away from reading the book for me. But as I have stated on other reviews, one or more formatting problems is a half star, and I will not go into details over them. 

This book is full of information on Jesus, stories and people in the bible, and people in modern times. Unfortunately just like most books that are more about teaching the reader, rather than entertaining them. The book comes off dry, slow moving, and doesn’t seem to flow well in some places. So for that I could only give ½ stars for the intro and the book as a whole. 

I would recommend anyone and everyone to read this book, it’s informative and educational but I would suggest doing two things before reading it. One, don’t binge read it like I did. Set aside time where you can read a little at a time. I wish I had done that and spaced out my reading to let the information sink in. Also, I think this book would do great with Christian book clubs. Doing one part a week and then having discussions before moving onto the next section.

3 ½ stars out of 5

If you would like to buy a copy of this book for yourself Click Here

Also if you would like to see my interview with the author use the Link Here

Remember, books make great holiday gifts and
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone 
G. D. Talbot

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

G. D.'s Holiday, Birthday, and Black Friday Book Pick

Being that today November 20 is my birthday and this Friday is Black Friday. I have decided to give away my first bundle pack Alien Racism With Bonus Companion Story The Legend of Sword Robert for kindle. It will be free from November 20 till November 24, 2018.

Below is a post I wrote about this bundle pack for my blog a few months ago.

About 6 years ago I decided to start writing and because I’m not just in an interracial marriage but an international one as well. I have seen racism from many different kinds of people in my life and discovered that the most common racism is what I call situational racism. I wanted to share my views on this learned behavior but when I did research on how to start. I found that most books on racism fail because readers feel that the author is trying to be preachy or dictate how to feel on the subject. So I took my views and put them in a Science Fiction story about first contact with an alien race of beings. After finishing the book I realized that I had accomplished my goal but that I had also done something else. That I had written basically a Good Samaritan story with aliens. This led me down the path I am on now, writing Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. 
Also when I first wrote Alien Racism it included a chapter on Sword Robert and what he does to help Tom. I felt that his part in the story didn’t really fit with the way I wanted the story to feel to the reader. So I cut it out and left a brief interaction between Tom and Sword Robert. But everyone that was reading Alien Racism kept asking the question, “Who is Sword Robert?” So I wrote the short story, The Legend of Sword Robert to be a companion story to Alien Racism. Then the reader could fully understand who Sword Robert was and who he is to Tom in Alien Racism. I was very happy with the mash up because while Alien Racism is about human behavior and racism. The Legend of Sword Robert is about friendships and how sometimes moments in our lives can bind us together. Both of these stories also show how the decisions we make from our experiences make us who we are.

If you would like to get a copy of these book for free click the ling below and remember be kind and leave a review. It is the best way to tell the writer what you think of their work.

Remember, books make great gifts for the Holidays. And,
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone

G. D. Talbot

Friday, November 16, 2018

G. D.'s Holiday Book Picks

RISE: Expand your Horizon

My Review of – Rise: Expand your Horizon 
1 Star as always for writing and publishing a book
½ Star for cover
½ Star for interior formatting
½ Star for intro
½ Star for book as a whole

I found the poetry to be very full of positivity and read it twice for just that reason. But like I have said in other reviews, the book cover and interior had formatting errors, so I could only give a half star for those. Also the intro did not grab me and pull me in, and even with liking the positivity of the book, it did not flow well. It was only after reading the entire book that I came to like it.

3 out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for a quick read that is filled with positive vibes, than this book is a must read for you. 
If you would like to get a copy for yourself, use the link here. 

Also if you would like to read my interview with Dwaylon, use this link.

Remember, books make great gifts for the Holidays and
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone 
G. D. Talbot

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

G. D.'s Holiday Book Picks

My Review of this book

1 Star for writing and publishing a book, and putting yourself out there.

½ Star for book cover. The cover was ok, but I think it could have been set up better.

½ Star for interior formatting. The formatting was fine but some small issues.

1 Star for intro; it got me interested.

1 Star for the book as a whole, I enjoyed subject matter and wanted to get to the end of the book. 

As a Christian I am a little bias because the subject matter is based on bible verses. The author is also Christian and puts his faith into his writing. That also made me, as a Christian to pay attention to his work.  Just like most books I read, there’s always seems to be a little problem with the cover and the interior formatting. As I have said before I will not focus on these little mistakes for as an author myself, I have made the same ones. But I do give ½ stars for both, whether there are one or one million mistakes made, and will not sit and point them out. Just like other books I have read with these mistakes, they do not take away from the book as a whole, at least in my opinion.

As I said above, that I am bias because of being a Christian on the subject matter of this book. But I have to point out that I enjoyed reading a book on self help through Christian faith, bible verses and how they affected the author; Instead of long nonfiction stories giving the same ideas. Over all I would recommend the book to anyone, whether you are a Christian or just looking for some inspirational words for you daily life. 

4 out of 5 stars

If you want to read my interview with the author Clifton Pettyjohn, use this link.

Remember, books make great gifts for the holidays.

As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone

G. D. Talbot