New Author Interview With Shawna James. She is The Award-Winning Writer of Her Two Book “They Loved Collection”. . .



An Intimate Author Interview: Shawna James ~ Courtesy of “My Book Place.”


Shawna James is an award-winning Canadian author & writer. Her debut novel “Despite the Devil,” released in November of 2020, as part of her “They Loved Collection” book series that hit #2 on Amazon Canada. Shawna has received 5-Star awarded book reviews, including a Readers Favorite, and is a winner of the Canada Book Awards, as she quickly began gaining reader fans from around the world.

Shawna has just released book two of this series and is offering both e-books at a special price in celebration of the title “As It Should Be,” which released in late July 2021 for all her reader fans on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks. Both books are available in paperback and e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many fine online bookstores.

James, a Canadian Author, earned her Masters degree in Education and works as a university instructor, fueling the bright minds of her students. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop or instructing, she enjoys the great outdoors and loves hiking with her puppies. Shawna also travels abroad, is an avid reader, and enjoys watching her favorite football games on Sunday afternoons. She continues to reside in the Vancouver, Canada, area.

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Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?:
Growing up in Canada has influenced both novels in the ‘They Loved Collection’ as the setting of each ‘Despite the Devil’ and ‘As It Should Be’ is primarily in Canada.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Coffee and apples fuel my writing hours.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write what you love … and, keep the readers’ attention.


What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Put your pants on before shoes. (LOL)

What are you reading now?
Phil Collins autobiography … such a talented musician!


What’s your biggest weakness?
Belgian chocolate!


What is your favorite book of all time?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.


When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not writing I spend most of my time reading, hiking, traveling abroad, and catching my favorite football games on Sunday afternoons.


Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? Inside, Outside, Upside Down.


What has inspired you and your writing style?
Margaret Atwood is an inspiration. Her writing is unique, unconventional, sincere and holds the readers’ attention.


Despite the Devil by Shawna James | Audiobook | Audible.com



What are you working on now?
I have just finished and published ‘As It Should Be’, the sequel to ‘Despite the Devil’, to be released in July 2021, and now working on a new project.


What is your favorite method for promoting your work?
Author signings … the opportunity to actually meet the readers and hear directly from them.


What’s next for you as a writer?
Have a childrens’ series that is currently under consideration.


How well do you work under pressure?
What pressure? No pressure when you are doing what is your PASSION.


How do you decide what tone to use with a particular piece of writing?
The tone is based on the message that needs to be conveyed.


If you could share one thing with your fans, what would that be?
Be You.
Events happen around us, not to us. Despite imperfect people and broken systems, stay true to yourself and love with all your heart.



Shawna James, Award-Winning Author (@Shawna_James_) | Twitter
Romance Women’s Fiction At It’s BEST.


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Welcome, John Tracy and His New CD Release Titled “Quintessential.”

I am so thrilled and honored to once again have my dear friend and a fantastic musician and recording artist, John Tracy back with us. Now, your most likely wondering why Cat is spotlighting a musician since most of my spotlights are with authors and about books. Well, musicians are writers too!

Writing music I am sure can have a whole different set of challenges and be very rewarding when a new CD is finished like John’s new one titled “Quintessential.” So this time I am including a little interview with John on just how this new CD came about. Besides, Cat loves listening to music and I enjoy John’s sound of a little it soft rock with a dash of country twang … He makes a difference in the lives of the people who listen to and love his music on our “Journey of Life!” ~Catherine Lyon

 

My Interview With John Tracy

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Where were you born and raised? 

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. I actually lived there most of my life until we moved to Virginia six years ago. It was just time for a change. Actually, I think my soul was crying out for a change, but that’s a whole other story. Our daughters moved to the East Coastand Virginia just seemed to be calling our name.

We spent some time in Charlottesville and last year moved to Richmond to put down new roots. I love the vibe in this community – it’s a big city without being pretentious. 

 

What inspired your writing and the new release of Quintessential?

This album is mostly an accumulation of the most recent songs I’ve written. It’s always exciting to get the new stuff out into the world. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of “Quintessential” is “of the pure and essential essence of something” and “of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something.” When we started out working on this album, I don’t think we had an overall theme in mind. Like I said, these were just the newest songs written and I think they are my best to date.

However, once we got started, I think the overall theme of the songs we put together is the quest to find that pure and essential essence. Perhaps that’s in the love and peace in “Home,” or in the comfort of listening to the “Midnight Moon.” Maybe it is in finding the joy in “Blue Sunny Skies,” or the longing for that healthy relationship in “The Shallow Game.”

 

Do you have training in music or attended music school?

I don’t have formal music training. I had a couple of guitar teachers early on that showed me the basics. As far as my fingerpicking style of playing guitar, I developed that on my own, playing by ear. I had a reel-to-reel (ok, I’m dating myself here) and I would record favorite songs onto tape and then play them back bar by bar, teaching myself to play every note.

 

What music and other musicians do listen to and inspire you?

Early on, I was inspired by all of my musical heroes from the 70s – singer/songwriters like Simon & Garfunkel, Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Jim Croce, etc. That was an era to me when music really said something, lyrics were meaningful, and melodies were intricate and interesting.

To be completely honest, I find it hard to be inspired by many mainstream artists in this current musical era. The music is either too electronic or to manufactured (meaning it all sounds the same) and it just doesn’t move me. There are artists that are fun to listen to of course, but I don’t find a lot of inspiration for my own songwriting.

The cool thing about working with Kevin is that he honors who I am as a singer and a songwriter, allowing me to be myself while adding in elements that are modern and current without destroying the integrity of the songs.

 

How long did this CD take and why?

It took almost a year from first recordings to the final product. We do things a bit differently perhaps than most. We record a scratch or demo of the song (just vocals and acoustic guitar) and send that to our producer, Kevin McNoldy at Cphonic Mastering.

He then lays down the framework for the song – a bass line, drums, maybe some piano or electric guitar. From there, we go back and re-record the vocal and acoustic guitar tracks. Once we’re finished with our parts, it’s back to Kevin for more instrumentation and background vocals. We kind of go back and forth like this, bouncing around ideas, adding or taking away parts until we’ve carved out the perfect song. This is why it takes a little while.

However, we don’t get in a rush. We work the song until all three of us (my wife Teri, who is the co-producer, Kevin and myself) are happy. I have that luxury because I am an independent artist not beholden to a label. It allows me to make good quality music, not music that has to be forced into a formula or rushed through.


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Your unique offer to do House Concerts is very different, how did this idea come about?

I’ll be really honest – these are the most fun and rewarding events for me. They are intimate, personal and the audience is really there to listen to what I bring. Unlike a bar or restaurant where there are tons of distractions and so much competing for the audience’s attention. Or like large venues where the audience is removed and separate that it’s harder to feel a connection with them.

My music is a bit more sophisticated than what is typically on the radio. So, it’s best appreciated when you can actually listen to and take in the lyrics and feel the melody move your soul. A house concert is the ideal setting for that. And the audience finds it ultimately more rewarding as well. Not only do they get to know the music, but they get to hear the stories behind the songs and get a glimpse into who I am not only as an artist but as a person.

If anyone out there is interested in learning more, just stop by my website
www.johntracymusic.com/houseconcerts.

 

Where in any state is your favorite place or venue to play and why?

That’s a tough one! I’ve had the opportunity to play all across the US and in Europe. Honestly, anywhere that I have an attentive audience is a favorite for me.

I will share this story talking about house concerts. About three years ago, I met a radio host from Sweden on Twitter. We hit it off in our conversations online. In 2016, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe, so I talked to him about hosting a house concert. It was something he had never heard about before but was intrigued by the idea. So, he set it up, inviting friends and family from all over Sweden. Some came from as far away as Norway. Everyone commented about how much fun it was to get together, have time to visit and then be able to enjoy live music together. They had so much fun, they keep asking when I’m coming back.

 

“I consider my style to be a blend of Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Country, and Adult Contemporary. Take a listen to “Mightnight Moon” one of Cat’s Favorites!”

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Tell us a little more about John Tracy, like, are you married? Have Kids? Pets? Hobbies?

I am married to my soulmate and my best friend Teri. Celebrating and coming up on 35 years together later this year. We have two grown girls, both out of college and on their own journey. We have a family pet – a Dachshund named Princess who has been in our family for 17 years now.

Aside from music, my biggest passions are food and movies. Favorite food is anything that doesn’t eat me first. We’re huge sci-fi fans in our family – Teri and I, our first date was watching “Return of the Jedi” and we indoctrinated our girls early in the way of the Force. Lol.

Lastly, what is one funny “Secret or Fedish” about your fans and new ones won’t read or find out about?

Well, funny and probably depends on who you are asking. I am a bit OCD and can drive my family crazy. I’m not sure if you remember the TV show “Monk” about a private investigator who was intensely OCD, making him a great detective. I’m not quite that bad, though my kids bought me the DVD set of the show for Christmas one year as an inside joke.


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Well, John, you are in good company as I too have OCD and a few other challenges in that department! Lol. I thank you kindly for allowing me to share you and your new CD! I hope readers you have enjoyed this interview and learning all about John Tracy Music. I urge you to take a visit to his amazing official website here at John Tracy Music to take a listen to a few more of his song and you can SHOP and purchase unique CD packages there too!

AND? John is a writer and author as well! Another wee-bit-of info you all didn’t know. Check out his book titled; Of Life, Love, and Famly – John Tracy Wilson.

Now that you know John, please connect with him on Social Media below and tell him “CAT” sent you.

Listen and Connect on YouTube!
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On Twitter

 


(What others say about John Tracy and his Music)

New Book Release and Author Interview With Nancy LaPointe,”Faith’s Illusions.”

“It is not every day you come across a person that is bursting with joy, faith, and kindness. This is what you will find within my new friend and Author, Nancy LaPointe. You will also read this throughout all of her wonderful books including her new release, “Faith’s Illusions.”  .   .  .  

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About The New Release:

Newspaper Reporter Laurel Kingston leaves everything behind to begin a new life in Phoenix, Arizona. Planning her wedding to fellow reporter Carter Bradley is exciting, but life in Phoenix is a big transition for this southern girl. The strong faith Carter shares in her bring’s hope and promise for wedded bliss.

But questionable practices in the church arise to cause tension and a blanket of darkness that seems unexplainable. Conflict builds as each examines their own personal beliefs and realizes how strongly they stick to their convictions. Can their love survive the conflict? As family crises, wedding plans and career stresses challenge the couple, God steps in with interesting and inspiring solutions. A story that will encourage readers to examine their own personal beliefs and foundation of faith.

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About The Author:

Nancy LaPointe is a pastoral counselor, certified life coach, and ordained pastor. She has written for newspapers, newsletters, blogs, and magazines for about twenty years, always with a focus on the power of God’s healing. Her books carry a central theme of spiritual growth, inspiring even through fiction. Leading women’s retreats and Bible studies, she is passionate about helping people find emotional healing and learning to walk in freedom. Nancy enjoys living with her family in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

 

 
NANCY LAPOINTE
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My Interview With Nancy .  .  .  .

1.) How did come to writing and publishing books?

I have always enjoyed writing, as far back as grade school. A few years ago I decided it was time to write more seriously. I had published magazine articles and newsletters with my different places of employment, including regular newspaper articles, but I wanted to write a book. I believe God was in it as He was continually putting ideas in my heart. Then I knew it was time to take the plunge and just go for it!

2.) Are there authors or books that have influenced you and your writing?

I have been strongly influenced in my writing life by Julia Cameron, whose books on creativity stir up the passion in me. Her book, “The Artist’s Way,” to me is a book all writers should experience. I’ve worked through the workbook portion several times. My spiritual life and writing are definitely influenced by Francis Frangipane and also Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” There are more, but these are probably the top contenders.


3.)  What is your “Motto about Life”?
“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. ”


4.) How many books you have written?

I have written three books. The first, “Living in God’s Rest…At Peace in a Chaotic World,” shares some valuable life lessons about slowing down and resting in God, which brings peace to all areas of life. My other two books are Christian novels which carry underlying themes regarding living the Christian life in a sometimes confusing world.


5.)  What are your Favorites:

Favorite Books: Bible , The Artist’s Way

Movie: Steel Magnolias

Foods: Green chile, pecans, coconut and of course, chocolate

Color:  Purple

Animal: Dogs


6.)  We know a little about you from your Amazon Author Page, but what are some hobbies and interests?

I enjoy oil painting, reading, playing with my puppy and spending time with friends and family. I’m a flea market junkie, and DIYer so enjoy refurbishing old furniture. HGTV is my inspiration.


7.) Lastly, how about family life? Do you have grown children? A grandma?

I have one daughter, a talented writer and website developer, who is building a tiny house right now. She has one daughter, my only grandchild, who of course, is gorgeous, brilliant and a gymnastics star. We lost my husband to cancer in April so our little family has had much to deal with, but we are blessed with a huge extended family who brings lots of joy and support to our lives.

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Now we all know a little more about Nancy. I hope you will do yourself a big favor and visit her wonderful Author Website and Blog called;  Nancy’s View
You may also connect with Author, Nancy LaPointe all over social media.

Let her know Catherine sent you!
Connect with Nancy  On Facebook  –  on Twitter –  on Google+  –  and on GoodReads
For a list of all Nancy’s books, visit her  Amazon Author Page.