Author Interview With Thomas Josef

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Thomas Josef, author of Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, for an author Interview.

About the author

Author Interview, Coffee n' Notes Thomas Josef is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. In his mid-twenties, he hiked the 2000+ mile epic Appalachian Train from Georgia to Maine and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa. He studied Spanish in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. With his passion for travel and adventure, he took a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. This is his story of that time and his first book.

Hello, Thomas. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. [This can be a quick blurb of the kinds of books you write, etc.]

 I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. I took a little time off between my sophomore and junior year of college to hike the epic 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

From 1989 to 1991, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa as a community service worker helping local farmers manage greenhouses. We were ordered out of the region by decree of the State Department because of the initial Iraq-Kuwait conflict that escalated to the Gulf War.

With my Peace Corps assignment cut short and the US being at the brink of war, I decided to travel to Mexico and Central America where tensions were much more subdued. I learned Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala. When I returned to the states, I endured my career with the State of Texas and continued to reside in Austin.

After nearly ten years of service to the state, I was looking for a change in my career and one that would offer a good compensation package and travel opportunities. I decided to take a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to help serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. During that time I started to write about daily accounts that became the premise of my book.

 Describe your book in 1-2 sentences.

My book is a memoir of true-life unique experiences under extraordinary circumstance. I talk about the everyday life as a military contractor in Afghanistan: the interesting people, libidinous love affairs, and fun events that helped me keep my sanity, perspective, and peace of mind while working in a war zone.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

I tend to write on the fly when the mood strikes and I want to share an interesting story or experience.

What is your writing process like?

I write when stories need to be told and I have the time to tell them. When I put the pen to paper – so to speak – I relive the moment with a detailed, step-by-step description of what’s taking place or about to take place. Sometimes I add comment, speculation or a bit of my dry sense of humor.

Where did you get your book idea from?

It’s a memoir and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and feelings of war that are not shared in newspapers or magazines, how I was able to find peace and happiness in a place that reminds us of dark and gloom almost every day, and that it’s more about the journey, not the destination.

What is your favorite place to write?

Because I am task-oriented, I like to write at a desk or table where I can stay focused.

Just for fun … pick your favorite color, animal, and food.

My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal would have to be a dog. And my favorite food is nicely seasoned and grilled ribeye steak with a glass of Argentine Malbec wine!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

If you want to do something, do it. Don’t wait for anyone to do it with you because you’ll probably still be waiting.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring author?

As a friend and fellow author told me, “Everyone has a story to share; share yours”. I pay that forward to the next aspiring author!

You can find his book Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan By Thomas Josef 

Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, Coffee n' Notes

On Amazon / On Goodreads

Thank you so much to Thomas for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having him here and I hope you enjoyed his interview, as much as I did 😀

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

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Author Interview: With M. J. Mallon

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome M. J. Mallon, author of The Curse Of Time (Bloodstone,#1), for an author Interview.

About the author

Author M. J. Mallon, Coffee n' Notes

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka.

 

 

I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o…

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Hello, Marjorie. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Cambridge, England with my husband, and youngest daughter Georgina. My eldest, Natasha is following in her grandfather’s footsteps, (my amazing dad had a serious case of wanderlust,) by working abroad. She is TEFL in South Korea and I miss her very much. Proud mum moment! Family is very important. Perhaps that’s why I wrote a family-centered YA novel. I love spending time with my two daughters, whether we are chatting, or gossiping! I’ve been with my hubby (who I like to call my black sheep,) since I was eighteen. I can say there has never been a dull moment, not when your husband is a Scot who plays guitar and listens to rock music every night. Welcome to the biggest teenager ever! My extended family: mum, dad, and elder brother plus my in-laws live in bonnie Edinburgh. I love visiting the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August. I adore the buzz and excitement of the book festival, the visiting theatre groups, dance performances, art exhibitions, street performers and comedy shows. You name it; I am there.

I am a member of several writing/reviewing/author collaborative groups: SCBWI, Cambridge Writers, RRBC, Sisters of the Fey. Founder of Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook.

A self-proclaimed hedonist and sponge for fun.

Describe your book in 1-2 sentences

This imaginative YA fantasy, coming of age novel will appeal to teens, young adults and those who hear the ticking clock but fight to stay young. If you adore stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and curious mysteries this novel is for you.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

Not really. But, I do sometimes wake up early in the morning with an idea and this overwhelming (almost manic,) desire to commit my words to the page. This is strange as I am not a morning person!

Where did you get your book idea from?

My initial book idea came from: The Light Pours Out Of Me at Juniper Artland Wilkieston, Scotland – A stunning crystal grotto designed by Anya Gallaccio: https://mjmallon.com/2014/06/15/jupiter-artland-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

Then I incorporated the magnificent Corpus Christi Chronopage Clock, which features on my book cover into my novel and the story became darker and more curse driven.This extraordinary time device invented by Dr John C Taylor OBE is situated on King’s Parade in Cambridge.

Author M. J. Mallon's cat, Coffee n' Notes

I had to have a muse and one came to visit me one fine day: a strange black cat who I called Shadow. Photo courtesy of Lily, Samantha Murdoch’s cat: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com

Art had to feature in the novel too. Art’s beautiful possibilities are too exquisite to ignore.

Mirrors sprung to mind and my resident mirror girl—Esme–brought a new, unexpected element to the narrative—one I feel passionate about: mental health and self-harm. Poor Esme can’t escape her mental health issues physically or metaphorically and this turmoil is represented by her imprisonment in the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

And last but not least. Where would this story be without a scary creature? Who is Eruterac? What does he want? And was Amelina wise to paint him bringing him to life?

Art, Coffee n' Notes Art, Coffee n' Notes

Esme portrait and portrait of Eruterac, The Creature designed by talented artist Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/

What is your favorite place to write?

A few years ago I enjoyed a writing break in Brighton. That was very memorable and so much fun. I wrote in cafes, eavesdropping on conversations and met lots of interesting people. I’d love to do it again one day. Brighton is such a friendly, vibrant, seaside town—the perfect place for a writer’s break.

Just for fun 😀 Pick your favorite color, animal, and food.

Favourite colour: Green. I’m drawn to the colour green. The first crystal I ever bought was a green malachite, a stone of transformation.

Favourite Animal: My first cat—a ginger tom cat called Chester. I adored him and so did everyone. He was such a friendly, adventurous cat. Chester featured in the first post I wrote on my blog and is still rocking the web with his beauty: https://mjmallon.com/2014/04/27/writers-journey-how-did-it-all-happen/

Favourite Food: A huge plate of spicy Noodles. I adore Asian food—my mum is Malaysian and the best cook ever.

What is your writing process like?

I plan little. Sometimes ideas come when I least expect them to. I’m working on Book Two in the Curse of Time Series and I realised that the ending I had envisioned wasn’t the ending at all. I added a little extra. It’s those unexpected inspirational moments that make writing so magical. Discovering a new direction that one of your characters can take is so liberating and exciting!

What is the latest book you’ve read that inspired you?

I’m reading Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I adore his writing. I devour each page saying to myself if only I could write like Jay! I am in danger of becoming a fangirl stalker! Ha Ha! He once chatted to me on twitter and I nearly fainted!

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?

I’m a debut author so there have been oodles of challenges. At the moment I’d say writing the second book is a huge hurdle and I’ve always been terrible at sports days! There are so many things to consider. It’s important to refer back to the first book to check details and to ensure that I am developing the full potential of the story. My ultimate aim is to make the second book in the series even better than the first book.

What is the best advice you’ve been giving?

Stay true to who you are. Believe in yourself, but remember to help and encourage others to fulfill their potential too. Never put anyone down.

Before we say goodbye… Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write for the love as few authors make masses of money! Read in all genres, and pay particular attention to how your favourite authors write dialogue, character, and plot. Write whenever and wherever you can. Try different forms of writing such as flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Never give up even if you feel that the journey is impossible. Accept helpful positive criticism with good grace but reject negative, unhelpful criticism with confidence.

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

You can find Marjorie here at:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Founder of #ABRSC – Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

Thank you so much to Marjorie for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having her here and I hope you enjoyed her interview, as much as I did 😀

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Author Interview: Emily Stroia

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Emily Stroia, author of Into The Light, for an author Interview.

About the author

Emily is an intuitive teacher, spiritual leader, author and artist. Emily first discovered her gifts of intuition and creativity as a child and was placed in a highly gifted program for children. She often explored her gifts through writing, art, and experienced frequent visions and dreams that would turn out to be accurate. Not understanding fully why or how she was able to do this, she decided to study.
She has always felt a strong attraction to the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of life and continues to delve deeper into each. Believing strongly in her intuitive gifts, as well as wanting to express her deep desire to help people, Emily decided to utilize her abilities to turn her passion into a profession. 
Her mission is to inspire people to find the gifts in their stories and live powerful transformed lives with ease and peace. Her life is a breathing expression of intuition, passion, spirituality and creativity.

Most days you can find her coaching clients, writing, practicing yoga and playing with her dog in Los Angeles.

Contact Details:

Website: www.emilystroia.com

Twitter: Emily Stroia

On Amazon: Emily Stroia

Hello, Emily. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an intuitive, spiritual teacher and author of several books including my latest book, Into the Light. I have an online metaphysical school where I mentor students on how to unlock their gifts, connect to their intuition and live a transformed fulfilled life.

Can you Tell us about your book?

The book shares parts of my life from a transformative perspective of being in a deep state of darkness to finding hope, miracles, and light. In the final part, there are notes to the reader and finding one’s inner peace after adversity.

This book explores trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, loss, healing, spirituality, meditation, inspiration, and empowerment.

What’s your writing process like?

It is very intuitive actually. Some days I write in the evenings and some days I like to write in the morning/afternoon. It may start with a word and then expand into a poetry piece or a chapter on healing and transformation. I usually start with music and creating a quiet space to reflect and see where I want to go with the writing process.

What are your favorite tools when writing?

Music, yoga, meditation, and nature. I love switching up an environment so I can experience something new in my book.

Which writers inspire you the most?

Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Brene Brown, Rupi Kaur, Rebecca Campbell.

What motivates you to keep writing when life gets in the way?

The response from readers and that it is imperative for my mental, spiritual and emotional health.

What are your 3 favorite books?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur, Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell.

When did you decide to be a writer?

Since I was a little girl I can remember having a fascination with reading, books, the smell of pages. I think I was always a writer and always an artist. It’s been a part of my journey ever since I can remember.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Be open to whatever comes up without judgment. Let the words guide you. They are the muse and you are the creator. Have a plan but don’t be attached to it. It is simply an outline for something magical to unfold.

What’s next for you?

I am working on two books, one is a poetry collection exploring healing, transformation, love, and self-love. The second book is a how-to book on healing and connecting to one’s spirituality and purpose.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

In my journey, I have discovered that I am a great free spirit. Before I used to think that meant going with the flow and living rebelliously. Yogananda said that being a free spirit requires great discipline. As I enter a new stage in my life I see that I can have my freedom while also having great discipline to share my light and work with the world. Be free and be disciplined beauties.

Thank you Emily, for visiting Coffee n’ Note  🙂

About The Book

Into The Light, Coffee n' Botes

Into the Light is a memoir-inspired poetry collection in seven parts. The book shares the author’s life from a transformative perspective of experiencing trauma & darkness to finding hope, miracles, and light.

In the final part, there are notes to the reader and finding
one’s inner peace after adversity and healing through brokenness.
This book explores trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, loss, healing, spirituality, meditation, inspiration, and empowerment.

This book is for anyone who has ever experienced loss, grief, brokenness, depression, abuse, trauma and heartbreak.

Book Links:

Amazon: Into The Light

Author’s Site: Into The Light

Goodreads: Into The Light

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Author Interview: Serina Adham

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Serina Adham, author of Lulu’s Balallam-Bam-Bam Grooves, for an author Interview.

About the author

Serina Adham drew on her experience as a dancer and dance instructor to give you this fun new adventure with Lulu and all her animal friends. She hopes that Lulu will teach children to enthusiastically follow their dreams but also consider the effects they have on others.

Adham lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to teaching dance, Adham has also worked as a jewelry and clothing designer and an interior designer. She has one fearless, dancing and singing daughter of her own.

Contact Details:

Website: Adham Books 
Goodreads: Serina Adham Goodreads

Hello, Serina. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. (This can be a quick blurb of the kinds of books you write, etc.)

My name is Serina Adham and I am a newly published author of a children’s book called, Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves, which by the way is the first edition of much more to follow.
I also have a young adult novel I have been working on that is on hold at the moment while I finish writing and publishing the children’s books.

How long have you been writing for?

Around ten years.

What is your writing process like?

It’s about picking the character I would like to work with and building up from there.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

I prefer writing in the mornings, with a nice cup of tea, at a sweet spot in a café.

What motivates you to write?

It’s like painting or creating a piece of jewelry. An idea hits me and I just have to create it.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

I actually had no patience for the whole process of submitting my book to a publishing house then wait for 6 months for a response or none at all, so I decided I would self-publish on Amazon.
I am very excited to see the outcome.

Are you currently working on anything new?

All the time. I always have a few different projects on the go.
But the next one in line is another children’s book about a giraffe.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I Have not yet completely switched over to a full-time writer just yet, I hope I will soon, I am optimistic. My other career or careers I should say were as a designer/artist and dance instructor.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest has always been coming up with an idea.
The hardest has always been the editing, although sometimes, I do enjoy doing that too because it might lead me in another direction.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

I wish I had started earlier.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

My favorite book has to be The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul, written by Douglas Adams. I realized I wanted to write when I felt I needed to express my creativity in a different way.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I would still call myself an aspiring writer, but I can say one thing, write every day, even if it’s nonsense.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to thank everyone that took the time to read this interview and for those of you who will give Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves a read.

Thank you, Serina for visiting Coffee n’ Note  🙂

About The Book

Lulu's Ballam-Bam-Bam Grooves, Coffee n' Notes

There is nothing Lulu loves more than dancing by herself. With each new song, she practices the “Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves.” She slides her feet, claps her hands, and bumps her hips against a tree trunk.
There is just one problem. Lulu is a gorilla! When she stamps her feet and shakes the trees, she ends up disturbing all the other animals in her jungle home. Poor Squin Squirrel cannot even sip his nut tea without Lulu’s dancing rattling his tree home. Squin and the other animals try to tell Lulu that her dancing is disruptive, but they cannot get through to the gorilla.
Then, Lulu’s loud music and dancing ends up waking up the mighty king of the jungle. The angry lion Jhawfors then confronts Lulu with the problem. Will the animals be able to find a compromise?
This rhyming children’s tale imparts valuable lessons to young readers. Lulu does not want to stop doing what she loves, but she needs to understand that her actions affect others. Through Lulu, children will learn the importance of respect, compassion, and compromise.

Book Links:

Amazon: Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves

Goodreads: Add Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves to your TBR list

My Review: Look what I thought about the book

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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