Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, and Sisters, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina’s accolades include two Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Her newest graphic novel is Ghosts. Raina lives and works in San Francisco, CA.
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.
Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.
Tanya Sands is the pseudonym of a stay-at-home mom who, having written but not published short stories for years, finally took the leap and published her passion. When she’s not writing she’s raising her 2 young boys and 3 furbabies while her husband supports them all by driving all over the country as a long haul truck driver. She is the youngest of 6 and a proud vet of the US Air Force. She’s also the granny to a beautiful boy and has another grandbaby on the way.
She was born on a military base in Hawaii and grew up in Upstate NY. Living in the Dallas, TX area she is proud to call her new state home!
Q. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who writes only when they feel inspired?
I don’t have a set schedule. However, the document I happen to be working on at the time is open on my laptop pretty much 24/7. That way when something comes to me, I can write.
Q. Do your novels carry a message?
In my Chasers series and the upcoming Inked Chasers trilogy, all my female heroines are curvy women. The only message my books carry is that it shouldn’t matter your size, color or sex. Love is up for grabs for everyone.
Q. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I see myself in every one of my heroines, even if in a small way. My husband has read my 1st book and he said my Randa Michaels is so much like me it’s uncanny.
Q. You write using a pseudonym can you tell us why you chose to write under a pseudonym?
While I’m sure some authors might worry about an unsavory fan, I guess it never occurred to me. My reasoning was merely because I didn’t think my real name was very interesting.
Q. You’re a veteran of the US Air Force how have you incorporated that into your writing?
Through my parents, I learned that being the best person you could be (to yourself and to others) is very important. This carried over into my military life. I took a lot of pride in how I acted, how I treated others as I saw it a reflection of my branch of service and didn’t want to dishonor it. I guess I try and make my characters the same, the best THEY can be. Now, that’s not to say that I and THEY don’t have flaws, but generally speaking I try to keep them to behaving like good people.
Q. Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
My Chasers series is about ½ written and I’m hoping to continue it in a different city. However, I do have a couple of standalone stories that I’m working on. One is a younger woman/older man idea and the other is an MC with a mafia feel to it.
(Chasers BBW Series) Book 5 (The Chasers)
by Tanya Sands (Author)
**All royalties from the sales of this book to be donated to Honor the Sacrifice, an organization that aids military veterans and their families.**
Bradley Michaels moves to the west coast to be closer to his family. Through a military commitment he meets a young woman who immediately grabs his interest. Thinking they have a connection, he is shocked when he sees her with someone from his past.
Kellee Drake snags a great opportunity to not only be part of a great charity fundraiser for Honor the Sacrifice but a chance to get her name out there. Through this gig she meets two guys and is instantly attracted to both. Thinking the worst of herself, it isn’t until the three of them are together that things get curiously interesting.
Ayden Jones lost his best friend in high school over a relationship. Or rather a lack thereof. But the suggestion freaked his friend out. Years later a simple photo shoot brings them together.
Can Bradley and Ayden mend their friendship and find love with Kellee? Can Kellee come to terms with her feelings for both men?
While living a charmed life, Eva Pasco’s summer employment during college served her well for learning how to relate with all kinds of folks and roll with the punches whether gluing eyes on pairs of lion slippers at Capitol Heel Lining, collating booklets at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding, or getting down and dirty at H & H Screw Products. Eva attributes her youthfulness and resilience to a 29-year teaching career in the trenches at Northern Lincoln Elementary. Midlife restlessness prompted her to revive a dormant flair for writing.
Q. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Actually, I not only conduct research before beginning a book, but throughout the process of writing as the need arises to provide information for blurring the demarcation line between fiction and nonfiction.
Since my author signature is that of incorporating local setting—my native state of Rhode Island—my research delves into historic events, geographic entities, and regional culture as it fits into the parameters of my work in progress. For ‘An Enlightening Quiche,’ which features an impoverished mill, my research chased such topics as: The Industrial Revolution and Slater Mill of Pawtucket, RI; the Blackstone River; French-Canadian immigration to northern Rhode Island; colloquial expressions and cuisine.
For authenticating my protagonist’s introspective narratives, my research swerved to the Eighties, and then backpedaled to D-Day during WWII in conjunction with a minor character. I also meticulously looked up the weather for specific days in the year 2011, the year I have envisioned my story taking place.
Q. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
My first 100 Memoirs relate incidents which occurred during my childhood and teenage years during the Sixties, and are featured at The Sixties Official Site where I have my own Web page. However, my novels feature women forty and older.
Q. What are the ethics of writing Women’s Fiction?
For me, it is about writing stories that dispel the clichés that accompany the genre of Women’s Fiction by the coined term, “Chick Lit.” The label conjures an image of frivolous, lighthearted fare with book cover images of cocktail glasses, designer handbags, and high heels. Whereas, Women’s Fiction taps into the hopes, fears, and dreams of females.
I like to bill my novels as “Lit with Grit” because they embrace realism and portray women over forty who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better. My novels are descriptive, introspective, and explore the gamut of inner conflicts: convention vs. rebellion; fate vs. free will; loyalty vs. betrayal; unbridled love vs. sacrifice; death–inevitable or tragic?
Q. It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. It’s the belief that propels a writer from start to finish despite frustrations along the way such as being at a loss for words on any given day, or not being satisfied with the quality of your output during a writing session.
Q. What does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do writers ever retire?
After retiring from a teaching career, I revived my dormant flair for writing, and put in even longer hours than before! Though I often struggle with the notion of walking away, resenting all the time an Indie author must invest in marketing one’s published work, I can’t do it just yet.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
I welcome the change of pace that running errands affords. I enjoy the simple pleasures of going out for breakfast or lunch. Since Rhode Island has 400 miles of coastline and over 100 accessible beaches, I walk the shore throughout our four seasons. I also take great pleasure in driving along scenic routes listening to the radio. By the end of the day, I take comfort in reading and solving challenging crossword puzzles.
Q. Describe your creative process from start to finish.
No outline. No rigid plot to hem me in. You might say the windmills of my mind propel the story, whereby the end justifies the means to get there. From past practice, my characters sabotage the ending I have in mind. Believe me, I know better than to question their judgment!
Usually bursts of brilliance for how to best articulate an idea or parlay snatches of dialog overtake me when I’m away from the keyboard doing housework. I immediately turn off the vacuum or abandon my dust cloth to heed my inner voice by scribbling the message on a notebook kept on my desk for this purpose. Another quirk of mine is to play music conducive for plying my mood to write a scene. For example, listening to “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak provided the heat I needed to better convey one of my protagonists’ thoughts on the subject of a certain male.
Q. What makes your latest book stand out from the crowd?
An excerpt from Joel R. Dennstedt’s 5-Star review for Readers’ Favorite indicates how my book stands out from the crowd—“As a stylistic practice in relating the story behind An Enlightening Quiche, Eva Pasco accomplishes a most difficult task for a writer, and she accomplishes it to perfection: not only using alternating voices, but having each voice alternate between the present and a remembered, expository past. The effect of such stylistic mastery is to create – breaking from the culinary theme – a sensationally intricate and complex tapestry as pleasing to the reader’s mind as such artwork is to expert eyes. And though this work has been labeled simplistically as “contemporary women’s fiction,” make no mistake: this is a psychological, literary novel, and a wonderful, highly challenging masterpiece of writing.”
Share a poignant excerpt from your novel, ‘An Enlightening Quiche’:
From Chapter 15:
Augusta – An inconvenient truth lay in the acquisition of a whiskey-soured premonition of a lost soul past her prime groping in the darkness through the thicket of another decade, then another, ravished by the winds of change. A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried-dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.