PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Danielle Harrington, Teacher & Author.

Danielle Harrington for “Time for Storytelling.”

Danielle Harrington is a high school chemistry teacher and young adult fiction author. She got her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Biola University, and although she’s a hardcore science nerd, she’s always been a lover of the arts. Danielle grew up acting and singing and has turned her love for drama into writing. She is working on a four books young adult dystopian series called The Hollis Timewire Series.

Ana: First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Danielle, how did you get your start as an author?

Danielle:

I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old, but I finally got serious with my author career in 2018. When I attended my first writing conference. It opened my eyes to the industry and I learned a ton! I got to meet agents, editors, and publishers, and I also had the opportunity to take a bunch of amazing workshops geared at storytelling, editing, and pitching. After that, I pitched my project, The Diseased Ones, for a little over a year before signing with Acorn Publishing.  

Ana: Where do you get your ideas? What and Who inspires you?

Danielle:

There were a few books that inspired me to write my dystopian debut. I loved The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling. Those stories defined my childhood, and I knew I wanted to write a book that felt as fast-paced and exciting as those books made me feel. 

Ana: What message do you want to get across?

Danielle:

The best thing I could do with my author career is provide a meaningful escape for readers. I want people to feel something.

Ana: What do you feel are the most relevant aspects of a successful story?

Danielle:

I call them the three pillars: Firstly, who is your main character? Secondly, what do they want more than anything? Thirdly, how can I (as the author) prevent them from getting what they want?

Essentially, you need to define the stakes. Why should the reader care about the main character and what they are trying to achieve? It’s all about the humanity of the situation. If you write a story with stakes readers can connect to, then you have a story that’s worth its chops. (Also, I highly recommend taking editing workshops or reading editing books – especially ones geared toward the craft of constructing a full story arc. It’s a great way to learn!) 

Ana: In your opinion, what is most challenging about writing?

Danielle:

First draft to second draft is a challenge. I typically have to rewrite every scene in the book. It’s time-consuming, but worth it! It’s mainly to fill in the details that I couldn’t do with a first pass. I tend to underwrite, which means every revision brings me to a higher word count.

The other scary (and great) thing is getting feedback. It’s so important to find a solid editor who believes in your project and is good at their job. Implementing feedback and being willing to change portions of your story is an important skill. Ultimately, it makes a manuscript better.  

Ana: How did you find your writing style? Has it changed over time?

Danielle:

It takes persistence and a willingness to learn to find your writing style. Before attending my first writing conference, I would’ve considered myself to be a great writer, but I was wrong! I didn’t know much about editing or the do’s and don’ts of crafting a manuscript. And before 2018, I’d never worked with an editor. That changed really quick. Writing, even as a solitary discipline, is a team sport. A book passes through many hands before it’s ready for the world.

Has my writing changed over time? Absolutely! I can tell how much I’ve grown with each project (even from book 1 to book 2 of my series). I learn more and improve my craft every day. 

Ana: Do you remember your first writing?

Danielle:

I do! I found this old word document with a short story on my parent’s computer. It must have been written when I was little, because it had 36-point font and no punctuation. These three unicorn friends were playing tag when a dragon kidnapped one of them. Then the other two had to rescue their friend from the dragon’s keep during an earthquake! That story was a precious find, and it proves I’ve always had writing in my blood. 

Ana: If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?

Danielle:

If I wasn’t an author, I’d still be acting. One of the reasons I dedicated more of my time to writing is because I missed being on stage. In a book I get to play all the characters. I get to be the bully, the heroine, the bad guy, and more! It’s really fun. And I think that understanding scene dynamics as an actress really helped me craft the scenes in my story.

Ana: Think about a character that demanded total self-control in your novels. What made him or her difficult or special? How did you successfully interact with them?

Danielle:

Hollis Timewire, my protagonist, was especially difficult to write. It was challenging writing a severely brainwashed 16-year-old. She grew up in a society that demanded perfection and absolute emotional control. In addition, she was indoctrinated with propaganda, lies, and a false version of history. Then she was forced to hide underground with the Diseased Ones and they allowed her to cultivate her emotions – and on top of that, they presented her with a new version of history to consider. 

The Diseased Ones is a tale of growth that recognizes that people don’t change their entire worldview in a day. With that said, Hollis is near and dear to my heart. Sometimes she makes the wrong choice, but she’s a character you can root for despite her failings. Her story arc (over the four-book series) takes you from a scared and confused young girl to a strong woman who understands her power and takes ownership of her mistakes. 

Ana: Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

Danielle:

Sometimes I will listen to intense instrumental music if I’m writing a highly emotional scene, but I typically just sit my butt down (alone, of course) and get to work. I love the quote that says: “Some people dream of success while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” And it’s so true! The book isn’t going to write itself. I’ve learned an important skill – mostly because I have writing deadlines now. You’re not going to feel creative all the time, but the work still needs to happen. So, on the creative days, I feel inspired, and on the non-creative days, it feels like a job, but I still crank it out.   

Ana: What could you not live without?

Danielle:

My laptop and Wi-Fi. It sounds silly, but my whole life is on my laptop – my teaching stuff and my writing stuff. And I’m typically a worker bee, so I’m either lesson planning, writing, or watching Netflix. I also couldn’t live without books, because “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” 

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Danielle:

I’m a nerd – like, hands down, goggles on, Bunsen burner flamin’ science queen with a lab coat that has too many holes. I teach Chemistry and I’m always looking for another cool demo to show in class. I also love MythBusters! It’s one of my all-time favorite shows. I’m all about learning more neat things about how this world works. 

Ana: Which of the elements -time, love or death- would be the most difficult to deal with in your writing? Why?

Danielle:

Love is tricky for me, but only because time and death aren’t. With time, I can fix any issues with a full read through. With death, killing a character isn’t difficult (emotionally it is, but logistically it isn’t – you just pick a method and then kill the character. I sound like I have no soul, but I promise you, I do!) With love, there’s a fine line between believable and cheesy/forced. I desperately hate it when two characters go from ‘we just met’ to ‘I love you’ in half a book. It’s just not the way love works. But I am a fan of all the cute and exciting moments a character experiences at the start of a new relationship. I think a love arc has to be well-paced, or it falls into the realm of me having to suspend my disbelief a little too much.

Ana: For you, who are the real heroes of life?

Danielle:

My parents have been such incredible role models to me. They’ve raised me to be strong and go after what I want in this life. They’ve always supported me in my endeavors. I’m really grateful to them and their dedication in raising me to be strong in my faith and love Jesus with all of my heart. They are my heroes, and I love them a lot.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans. 

Danielle:

My debut, The Diseased Ones, is a young adult dystopian novel that brings together action, suspense, a touch of romance, and a dark secret with a twist you won’t suspect. I had so much fun with it! My current project is book 2 of the series, The Unseen Ones. It picks up right where The Diseased Ones leaves off. The second installment is more exciting than the first – which is a good thing! And I feel like I’m a better writer with more experience this time around. I can’t wait for it! It’s releasing near the end of 2020. 

Ana: Thank you, Danielle, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Danielle Harrington and her work, check out these links:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Steven Arnett, Author.

Steven Arnett for “Time for Storytelling.”

Novelist Steven Arnett writes in many different genres, including mystery, suspense, comedy, and literary. A graduate of Michigan State University, he was born in Detroit, Michigan, and lived most of his life in Michigan. He now resides in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne.

Ana: First, thank you for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Steven, how did you find your calling to become an author? 

Steven:

After I first started reading literature seriously during my first couple of years in college. I developed a passionate love for all types of literature and that led to want to be a writer myself. 

Ana: I read your book, The Labyrinth. It hooked me from the very start, and I remember that I was more interested in finding out the actual identity of the protagonist than the motif of his sudden death. Where did you get the idea? How did you get the reader focused on the person itself and forget that fact?

I wrote the first draft of The Labyrinth a long time ago, and I can’t remember what led me to the original idea of the story. I can tell you that the protagonist is more like me than any of the other protagonists in my stories and novels. Also, more of the scenes and characters in that novel are taken from my life than those of anything else of written.

That said, the story is far from being autobiographical, and even the scenes and characters that are taken from my life have been dressed up a lot from the actual events.  

Ana: What skill do you think is always the best policy in writing and life? 

Steven:

To believe in yourself and never give up. 

Ana: Imagine that today you met yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Steven:

To always think for yourself, not follow the crowd or the easiest path in life, and to let your dreams come true. 

Ana: Good advice! And now, what makes a great story for you? 

Steven:

Great characters and dialog and a compelling plot. 

Ana: How did you find your writing style? Has it changed over time? 

Steven:

It just developed as I began to write fiction. I didn’t consciously look for a style: It just developed on its own. Surely, though, it has been influenced by writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, whose writing styles I really admire. On the other hand, it has even been influenced by writers whose style is very different than my own, like Faulkner: I really admire the beauty of his poetic prose. I would say my style of writing hasn’t change significantly over time. 

Ana: What does it mean to be an author for you?

Steven:

It means the enjoyment of being able to express myself in writing and to be able to invent stories and characters and places from my imagination. Also, I felt great satisfaction from publishing my books and getting great feedback from readers. 

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your books…

Steven:

This isn’t such a big deal really, but last year I was featured on the front page of our local newspaper for a story in it about my writing and my books. Obviously, it’s not quite up there with winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, but it was nice for me.

Also, one of my novels, Winners and Losers, reached #1 in its category on Amazon!

Ana: Whom do you admire? And why? 

Steven:

In terms of writers, my favorites are the great American authors of the post-World War I era, including Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald. They are the writers who inspired me the most to become a writer myself, and also, I admire them because they were at the forefront of the greatest era in the history of American literature. 

Ana: Think about a character that demanded total self-control in your novels. What made him or her difficult or special? How did you successfully interact with them? 

Steven:

Mike O’Brien from Death on Lake Michigan. It took great self-control for him to pursue the case of who murdered Rich Mallon, despite many discouragements and distractions. He needed a lot of self-control both to pursue the case and to stay emotionally detached enough to make sure he ended up with the right answer. I don’t consider myself as interacting with my characters: I think of them instead as my creations, but there’s always a wall between them and me that would prevent what I would call interaction.

Ana: What’s your favorite character and what did you learn about him or her? 

Steven:

Robert Byron from The Summer of Robert Byron. I did a lot of research about the Vietnam War for this novel because the lead character, Robert Byron, has just returned from Vietnam and the army when the story begins, and what happened to him in Vietnam is central to the story line. So, I tried hard to get a sense of what it would be like to have served in the infantry there and to come back home, shattered, afterwards. 

Ana: If you had to choose one current character of a TV show, whom would you choose and why? Have you ever attempted to emulate her or him somehow?

Steven:

Before the coronavirus put a stop to most normal activities, I didn’t really watch much TV. However, in the last two months I’ve watched quite a bit of it. My favorite show lately is Babylon Berlin. I quickly devoured all 28 episodes!

I really came to admire the lead character, Gereon Rath, and the interaction between him and Charlotte Ritter, who becomes his detective assistant and eventually his lover. The way he manages to keep his integrity despite all the corruption going on around him during the Weimar Republic era of German history hooked me. He’s definitely far from perfect, though, and that’s what makes the character interesting: Perfect heroes tend to be dull! I have never tried to emulate Gereon, though. 

Ana: Imagine you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why? 

Steven:

Tough question because there are many times and places from the past I would like to visit! However, one that really intrigues me is 1920s America, when everything changed, and the modern world was created. I would also love to have lived during the time of Jesus and his apostles, just to see what he was really like and what really happened. If I can sneak a third time in, I would also love to go back to the Golden Age of ancient Greece. 

Ana: What could you not live without?

Steven:

Without question, that would be my wife, Delphine, and my daughter, Vivienne. 

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Steven:

I can’t think of any: The passions I have I don’t keep a secret at all. 

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Steven:

In terms of my writing life, I had some really inspiring professors in college who passed on to me their love of literature, which has stayed with me ever since. 

Ana: What’s the most rewarding at the end of the day? Why?

Steven:

Being happy with my family and friends and continuing to stay healthy. Health is a big deal when you get to be my age (68). I know so many people my age who didn’t make it this far or who have terrible health problems. 

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

Steven:

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything new, but I have been running some ideas through my head about possible new novels. I really enjoy mystery novels, and they are from one of the most popular genres, so my thoughts have been leaning in that direction. If I do write another mystery novel, it would probably be set in the 1960s/1970s era that my other books are set in. That’s the era I really feel I know the best and represents my life better than any other I’ve lived in. To some extent, as you get older, you become an observer of the world, rather than a participant, as new generations come along, and to me that makes it harder to write about them convincingly. 

Ana: Thank you, Steven, for this amazing interview.

The books referred to in this interview, and the other books written by Steven Arnett are available on Amazon. To learn more of Arnett, check out his Facebook Author Page. 

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Maya Galleas, Watercolor Artist & Writer

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Maya Galleas for “Time for Storytelling.”

Maya is a girl from a large industrial city who took art as therapy for herself. Tired of formulas and equations, she chose the path as an artist. Maya also loves to write stories, articles, and notes to inspire others with her story and experience.

Ana:First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Maya, How did you get your start as a writer and a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Firstly, I started to draw a long time ago. The drawing was really art therapy for me. It was a way to get away from negative thoughts and find harmony in myself. At that time, my husband was seriously ill and bedridden for several months in a row. He always did illustrations, and I was trying to make him feel better. I went to the shop and bought some acrylic paints. Coming home, we began to draw. So we got our first happiness at that time.

Moreover, paintings of superheroes and landscapes helped him recover, and I could see the power of art therapy. So for the first time, I felt my desire to be an artist. I started painting with watercolors almost recently. I always wanted to try it, but I never had the courage. I picked up a brush and paint, and I could not be stopped. Now I like to paint in a loose style and monochromatic works, galaxies and space, the night sky and cute leaves and flowers. All this gives the transparency of paint and the unique properties of watercolors that I have been looking for so long. Each painting is my mood and part of my story. Memories and feelings are reflected in my paintings. Each of them is unique and charged with a positive mood and joyful thoughts.

How did I start writing? I often ask myself this question, but I should always be honest. My husband wrote poems and short stories to me. I was always inspired by them and wrote something of my own, small and full of feelings. So I had a great interest in literature and creativity. Then I wrote articles and share my personal experience with other people on social networks and a blog. This was my greatest experience. Now I’m writing quotes and articles, creating designs for them. This experience makes me the happiest girl in the world.

Ana: And how do you combine writing with being a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Certainly, I take my ideas mainly from my life. That’s everything that surrounds me or is inside me. Also, ideas can be what I see in other people or what is happening just outside my window.

My message is you never need to give up, you need to fight your fears and laziness, be positive in any circumstances. In the simplest things, we can find inspiration for something new and unique. And live a happy life full of bright events and joy.

Ana:What 3 adjectives describe your art and writing style and why?

Maya:

Inspirational, supportive and educational. I always try to support people and inspire them to new discoveries and opportunities. I like to share my experience and knowledge with them, and show with my own examples of what solutions or opportunities exist in different situations. I like to write articles and analyze different aspects of life in them and give my support to other people. I’m still working on motivating and inspiring quotes, texts and illustrations. They can help to understand all the internal abilities of each person and his full potential.

Ana:What is most challenging about what you do?

Maya:

The hardest part is overcoming my own fears and limitations. Sometimes it’s even difficult for me to evaluate my own works and see their true value. For example, when I worked with mountain landscapes, it was difficult to overcome fears and make the first movement with a brush. But after several works, I welled understand their forms. Everything in our life begins with the first step and continues with practice to achieve the best possible results.

Ana:How do you define beauty in 280 characters or less?

Maya:

Beauty is an abstract understanding that doesn’t have clear edges and shapes. I see the beauty in simple things, in the stars and the night sky. Beauty is in the universe with its randomness and order, a variety of colors forming nebulae and constellations, planets and the sun.

Ana: What visual references do you draw upon in your work as an artist?

Maya:

My main reference is nature and a drop of imagination. I’m inspired by dangerous rocks and the old canyon, cute and strange clouds, big waves and a calm ocean. Flowers with their natural gradients and leaves with their different shapes. Its special beauty is even in the starry sky.

Ana:Do you interact with the digital world technology in your work as an artist?

Maya:

Absolutely. I also need to use a camera, scanner and Photoshop like any artist and writer who uses social networks.

To create quotes, for example, I have to use the skills of a designer and digital illustration. So it is simply impossible to imagine a modern artist in our time without such tools and skills.

Ana:Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Maya:

Never. Every successful person says so, but often we doubt literally everything. Put a period or comma here or there. Draw a line higher or lower. Doubts and fears are inevitable, but only by defeating them, we get stronger. So I often say, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fight with our doubts.

“If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.”

At such moments, I remember the words. “If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.” Diamonds and mountains collapse in that way and success are created.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Maya:

If I could meet myself in the past, I would say, belief in yourself always and in what you do. Appreciate your work and the work of other people. Life is a difficult thing, as people say. But only an optimistic attitude and positive thoughts will help to survive in this difficult place.

“In the future, your painted sky will be much more beautiful.”

Ana:Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your watercolor pictures .

Maya:

I remember more funny stories about art. I painted such small pine trees in a landscape of the mountains that I could not look at them without tears. I finished the landscape of the mountains, crying a lot of tears. And once I looked under my desk in search of my cat Ri and saw space covered with small dots of white gouache. I use it to make stars. But the stars are already all over the room, trying to fill it with unique patterns and colors.

Ana: LOL! Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

Maya:

I watch all kinds of educational series. I discuss different topics with my husband and look for answers to questions. So I keep my mind open, and it stimulates it to new ideas and thoughts. There are so many mysteries and unknown secrets in the world. It can charge with new ideas.

My favorite music, which allows me to dive into myself and find the right mood, can always help.

Ana:What would a perfect day for you involve?

Maya:

My best memory as a writer is when I first realized that I would be writing my first memoir. The events, words, and parts of the plans, like butterflies in my stomach, still give me a sense of enthusiasm for just thinking about it. It is difficult to imagine, but sometimes an idea begins with a thought and a book with a first word. This is the same case.

On the other hand, my best memory as an artist is the delight of working with paint. I remember the first time I covered the paper with water to work with the wet technique of painting. After making several movements and adding different colors, I saw how they mix and blend into new and unique colors. This feeling is so exciting that I remembered how I stood in a chemical laboratory and mixed two reagents, watching how they change colors and get other properties.

Ana:Your worst souvenir as artist and writer…

Maya:

The worst souvenirs in my life, probably this is when my laptop broke down and I could no longer type texts and work with a book. It was a difficult time and really unpleasant, not only a souvenir but also a surprise.

In art, these are moments when paint spoils things or furniture, sometimes leaving amazing spots on all this. One day, gouache hit me right in the eye. It was a frightening feeling, but it all ended well.

Ana:Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Maya: A few years ago, we lost one of the most fun and happy family member. We had another cat, Kawaii. She was curious, and like a ray of happiness and hope, gave us her love. Once we could not find her at home. We searched for her for a whole week. We asked neighbors and friends. But we had no result. A week later, we found her. Unfortunately, she was gone forever.

Most importantly, Kawaii has changed my understanding of life. From childhood, she was a sick kitten. But every day she enjoyed her life and lived her full life, delighting us every second. She taught me I need not focus on my negative aspects. More importantly, what I have now.

Ana: If you weren’t a writer /artist, what would you be doing?

Maya:

I’m sure I would become a teacher. I always liked to learn and help others understand new knowledge. Back in school, I discovered this superpower and now I try to develop it every day.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

Maya:

Now spring has come, I am attracted by monochrome works. I like to paint mountains and trees, to show beauty with minimalistic colors and shapes. This is my main inspiration, and I plan to create a series of monochrome works. I also plan to create a series of works related to space and the universe. These are my future plans as an artist.

Ana: Thank you, Maya, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Maya Galleas and her work, check out these links:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Celia Martin, Author.

Celia Martin for “Time for Storytelling.”

Celia loves history, always has, and she loves to tell stories. So intertwining history and stories just seems to come natural to her. Her 17th century adventure romances take place in England and colonial America. Each book is a stand alone story. Doesn’t matter what order they are read in, but major characters in one book may reappear as minor characters in another book. The three primary families are the D’Arcys, the Lotterbys, and the Haywards, but they have many friends who have their stories as well.

Celia loves multiple characters because for her, they round out a story. In real life, we know many people, are involved with many people. In her stories, her major characters are involved with many minor characters. Besides, for her, minor characters are so much fun to write. And they just appear out of nowhere. When Celia starts a book, she has no idea who some of the characters are going to be or what role they will play. Such fun! 

Ana: First, thank you for taking for letting me interviewing you today. I know how busy you are.

Celia, what do you do for a living? 

Celia:

I am a retired history teacher.

Ana: What was the trigger for choosing your job?

Celia:

I love history, and I also liked having summers off to be able to travel and work on research for my writing.

Ana: Where do you get your ideas? 

Celia:

I have always had a vivid imagination and my brother and I and neighborhood friends played many make-believe games together. When I had to give up playing make-believe, I continued to tell myself stories. Eventually, I started writing some down. I still have so many stories in my head. I never have writer’s block. I just don’t have enough time to write all the stories. Besides writing, which is great fun, a lot of time is spent on proofing, and even more time on promoting. 

Ana: What and Who inspires you? 

Celia:

If I had anyone inspiring me, it would be my mom who encouraged my reading, and my dad who was full of stories.

Ana: What message do you want to get across?

Celia:

In my books my characters are caring people. Besides just the love of history and what life was like in a different time period, as well as fun adventures and sweet love stories, I would say I try to make empathy a major theme.

Ana: What is most challenging about what you do?

Celia:

Book promoting. Because I am technologically challenged, I know I am not able to do as much promoting as I wish I knew how to do. Plus, right now, no book signings. That hurts. And I am having trouble getting people to do reviews.

Plus, I would dearly love to hear from readers, but none seem to contact me. I believe those who like history and like adventure and romance would really like my books, but I am having trouble reaching them.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Celia:

Try to learn to be more media-savvy.

Ana: For you, what makes a great story?

Celia:

I like history, but I like it to be accurate. 

I like romance, but I’m not particularly into erotica. Not that I don’t write some love scenes with some sex involved, but I would say they are more romantic that sexual.

I like adventure, and I think my action scenes are very vivid. I like to be able to see the action in my mind when I am reading as I do when I am writing. 

And I like mysteries, but not gory ones. Most of my villains are evil, but they are not necessarily evil just for the fun of it. I try to make them real and often with circumstances that have led them to their worst behavior.  

Ana: What do you feel are the most relevant aspects of a successful story?

Celia:

Holding the readers attention and having them care about the characters and what happens to them.

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your books (or whatever you would like to share).

Celia:

As a teacher, what I loved to get across to my students was not so much dates and battles and well-known men of history, but how people of the past lived and the problems they faced. Just ordinary people.

We took people on wagon trains west. We made farms and forts and villages. We made colonial signs for our colonial businesses explaining what the business was with a picture or something on a sign, like a boot to designate a shoemaker, because a lot of people in the past could not read.

Anyway, the kinds of fun that I wanted my students to have is the kind of fun I want my readers to have when they read my books.

Ana: How did you find your writing style? 

Celia:

I always had my stories, but what made the biggest difference for me was the terrific writing group I was with for a number of years. They taught me more than I ever learned in writing classes that I took. 

Ana: Has it changed over time?

Celia:

Yes, thanks to my writing group and what I learned from them. I learned to see, hear, taste, and smell in my character’s point of view. My readers should be able to experience what my characters are seeing, hearing, etc.

Ana: What does it mean to be an author for you?

Celia:

Having my first book, To Challenge Destiny, published was such a thrill. I carried it around with me and had to show it to everybody. Now, I have 5 published books, another due out in June, another hopefully in August, and more that I am working on. As I said, I have multiple stories in my head. Just have to get them out. Writing is so much fun.

So being an author means getting to share all my fun stories with other people.

Ana: Who do you admire? And why? 

Celia:

I admire a lot of people, but if you are asking about a specific author, I would say, Georgette Heyer. I loved her romances, her humor, her characters, and her multiple minor characters (which my books have). 

I also read her more historical works. Heyer was very knowledgeable. She knew her history, and she could read Old English. I suppose Georgette Heyer had more influence on my writing than anyone else, though I also like the way Joan Wolfe writes.

Ana: Imagine you have two teleportation devices to travel through time, where will you place them and why?

Celia:

I don’t know that I would want to leave the present. Diseases, lack of proper sanitation, poor transportation, no computers or electricity or good heating – I like to study the past and paint pictures of it with my words in my books, but I don’t want to go there. I am a cancer survivor. Wouldn’t be if I lived in the past. Nor do I want to go into the future. Right now, it is not looking too bright for the young people.

Ana: What could you not live without?

Celia:

My husband and electricity.

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Celia:

That’s an easy one, I want more readers to discover my books. If they like history and they like romance and adventure, they are bound to like them.

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Celia:

The most moving story in my life is when I married my husband. We are not only lovers, we are best friends. We love being together. I feel so blessed.

Ana: Finally, let us know about your last work. What’s new?

Celia:

As I said, I have 5 published books. 17th century adventure romances with strong women heroines, lots of fun characters, and sweet love stories. 

In June, my book, Fate Takes A Hand, will be released. It will be free on ebooks for the first two weeks it is out and then like my other books, it will be 99 cents throughout the summer. The story is a fun romance, with some cute kids, a terrific dog, and a lot of fun minor characters. 

Ana: Thank you, Celia, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Celia Martin and her books, check out the following link:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with ARMANDO LIUSSI DEPAOLI, Digital Consultant

Armando Liusi Depaoli for “Time for Storytelling.”

Skilled business developer, marketing strategy consultant, startup mentor, Marketing MBA Professor, Coauthor of “Mobile Communications”. Cofounder and CEO of Incúbame Startup Incubator. Business troubleshooter.

Ana: First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Armando (Mando), how did you get your start as a digital consultant?

Mando:

Little by little, as always occurs. First, was dealing with IT and Communications. Then, serving digital business and digital communications needs. After the dot-com bubble boomed, social media raised strong and I was in a top spot.

Ana: How do you define your work in 280 characters or less?

Mando:

I’m usually considered myself a cure for those leaders whose vision of digital business was the old-fashioned way of cried out loud instead of engage with social media, adore technology trends and gain reputation.

Ana: How has your life changed since becoming digital consultant?

Mando:

Like having a super exposition of your professional work and personal brand. As long as you have a “style-protocol”, everything is under control.

Ana: What do you love about digital consultant the most?

Mando:

It’s great for me, because is dealing between communications and telecommunications. Business-as-usual encountered with tech!

Ana: General words of wisdom you live by?

Mando:

Really? Maybe, just “define objectives before putting into action.”

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Mando:

“You know you deserve it but furthermore, you know you want it. Keep doing your way!”

Ana: Tell us about one secret passion.

Mando:

Opera. And say no more.

Ana: How do you like to encourage ideas for social media in others?

Mando:

Showing goals that can only be achieved by socializing content.

Ana: Tell us five ways social media can be good for teens.

Mando:

  • Great universe to find old content, new content, refreshed content.
  • It’s easy to make friends that share same passions.
  • Nice to relax time.
  • Fun to play creating stories.
  • Top knowledge to megatrends.

Ana: What do you think about applying social media in education as a way to learn at schools?

Mando:

It is not a good idea, IT’S A GREAT ONE! How else would it be possible to engage with teenagers although?

Ana: Is there any ethical or legal protocol for social media nowadays?

Mando:

Several. There are countries where you are not allowed to upload and share your minor child’s pictures. And I personally support that initiative, we need to stop kids’ photos to gain visibility.

Ana: Tell us about someone who had lost their reputation on social media and if they could restore it.

Mando:

Justine Sacco, for example. I wrote about her case at MM: “El bizzarro tweet de @JustineSacco.” Ask people for forgiveness, be honest, start changing, be transparent.

Ana: Think about a demanding client. What made him or her difficult? And how did you successfully interact with this person?

Mando:

I think that all my clients are demanding ones! 🙂 …but in the end, it’s easy: more demanding, more profitable. I can share a secret: I allow my clients to call be after 10PM. But my consultant hour then will cost 10x flat one.

Ana: Which of the elements -time, family or work- would you be the most difficult to deal with?

Mando:

We all have 24hs-a-day, then you need to make a bet: distribute your resources, as hard as it sounds. My wife, my son, my friends, my hobbies have a fixed number of hours per week.

Ana: What’s the most rewarding at the end of the day? And why?

Mando:

Have expectations, meet and overcome them. And recognize it on time. And know how to enjoy that moment.

Ana: What do you think is your gift?

Mando:

I have an infinite curiosity.

Ana: Do have any upcoming events or announcements you wish to share?

Mando:

A while ago I opened a Patreon channel and many of those who support me there are expats (the vast majority). So, soon I will create in it, a large English-only video content about digital marketing.

Ana: What’s next for you in the future?

Mando:

It’s great to teach and to design and to support, but that world is not enough. Back to decision-making position is in the future.

Ana: Thank you, Mando, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Allan Hudson and his books, check out these links:

Website: https://mandomando.com

Instagram: mandomandopro

Twitter: @mandomando