DA Kentner writes the column THE READERS' WRITERS for the (Freeport) Journal-Standard and GateHouse News Service. My alter ego KevaD lives under a stairway of dreams where he writes stories and grumbles about everything. Click the pic to visit KevaD's blog.
Drop me a line at dakentner@yahoo.com

I invite you to read my award-winning short story posted on Calliope Magazine's web site.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Judith Leger's New Paranormal Romance "Micah's Heart"


My friend Judith Leger, whose interview can be found at DA's Interview with Judith Leger, has another great new book out. She's shy about having her picture displayed, so I reached into the archives and....
Okay. No, I didn't. That's not Judith, or at least not that I'll admit to anyway.
 
Oh! By the way, Judith's from Louisiana. Her name isn't pronounced "ledger." It's a lot more exotic than the obvious - kind of like her writing.
 
 
 
If you’re a fan of sexy paranormal romances, then be sure and check out Micah’s Heart. It's by Judith Leger, a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series author.

                                              Amazon Buy Link

Dark clouds soar in the skies above Sabre Nichols the first time she meets Micah McGregor. Still the gloom doesn’t detract from the overwhelming hunger she feels for the sexy half native American with his lean body, long dark hair and captivating blue eyes. She wants him. 

After attending her great grandmother’s funeral, Sabre assumes she’ll stay a week at the old homestead on Witch Mountain, and then return to her job as a paranormal researcher. But strange events on the mountain and Micah’s sexy charisma wreak havoc with her plans. Micah seems to hide something eerie behind his brilliant blue gaze... 

Can she trust him to help find the source of the spectral activities? Or can she believe the tales of her witch heritage? If she puts her faith in Micah, will she find answers... and lose her heart?

 


Happy Reading!

Judith Leger

2012 CAPA Nominee from The Romance Studio

2009 Stella Cameron Scarlet Boa Winner




Friday, July 26, 2013

NYT & Essence Bestselling Author Mary B. Morrison


Mary Morrison, who also writes under the name HoneyB (one word), walked away from a six-figure government job to publish her first novel, “Soulmates Dissipate.” That gamble, along with Mary’s incredible talent and drive to succeed, led to a series of novels and the optioning of the film rights. “Soulmates Dissipate” is being made into a feature film this year. HoneyB’s novel “Single Husbands” was developed into a stage play. Mary served as playwright and executive producer for that project. 

Needless to say, when Mary Morrison makes up her mind to do something, the only choices people around her have are ‘lead, follow, or get out of the way.’ And yet, though an immense talent, a driven woman who knows no limits to her abilities, she remains a kind, generous lady and mother. When elementary school teacher Lou Richie approached Mary with an idea that would allow Richie’s students to write stories and see those stories published, Mary readily sponsored the project and “Diverse Stories: From the Imaginations of Sixth Graders” transformed from dream to reality. She also formed the non-profit Lift Every Voice and Write, an organization established to increase literacy and support students interested in pursuing writing careers. 

To date, Mary has eighteen novels to her credit. Her latest, “I’d Rather Be With You,” the second book in the ‘If I Can’t Have You’ series, continues the author’s expertly blended mix of steamy fiction with situations and characters that readers many times feel could well be a chapter in their own lives. “I’d Rather Be With You” is a prime example of the author’s expertise at providing readers sensuality amidst page-turning suspense. 

Born in Aurora, IL, raised in New Orleans, Mary resides in Oakland, CA with her son Jesse Byrd, Jr., an author, business owner, and film producer. For readers seeking intensity, strong women not afraid to take no prisoners, and yet, happy endings, Mary Morrison’s books should definitely be a ‘must buy, must read’ addition to your collection.

Q) Writing a book does not guarantee wealth and success – quite the contrary. Most authors are
rarely able to quit their day job. So, why, what, and how did you walk away from a salary many of us can only dream about to risk everything at becoming a novelist? 

A) Faith. I believe no matter what I do or what happens to me, God will always take care of me. I’m not afraid to fail. Eddie Murphy said, “If you want to achieve success, you must let go of something and never look back.” For me, that something was my good GS-14/15 federal government job. Living in this space we call earth, more specifically being an American, I want to make the world a better place one word at a time. 

Q) You have to be proud of your son. What advice did you give him when you learned he wanted to become a writer and film producer besides own a clothing line? 

A) I told my son, “You never have to work a day in your life for anyone else. But you must know what you want to do with your life.” When Jesse suffered a basketball career ending knee injury at UC Santa Barbara, unbeknownst to me he’d already started writing his first novel, “Oiseau.” After he graduated with a degree in Sociology, he started Oiseau Clothing. He applied to graduate school at USC for their film program and did not get in. When we signed our film deal, I included Jesse as a producer on the project. This brings me back to the word faith. When we know what we want, the universe gives us the opportunity to succeed.  

Q) “I’d Rather Be With You” is about a woman who has to tackle competition, a stalker, a philandering husband, and somehow find happiness. That’s quite a combination. What sent you down that path? 

A) Deception is deeper than love. It’s easy for people to identify when someone has wronged them. This is not the case when we mistreat others. Experiencing karma can help a person find happiness. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I enjoy penning characters that allow the readers to interpret the significance of each situation. Like my dad used to say; “Don’t read a medical book for cures because you’ll think you have every symptom in the book.” 

Q) My own curiosity: Originally, you weren’t interested in turning one of your books into a stage play. Yet, you did. What ultimately changed your mind? 

A) Wow, you’re good! I always envisioned seeing my novels on the big screen never on the stage. My bags were virtually packed. I was preparing to move to Hollywood to network for getting a film deal. One day I received a call from someone at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley asking me to produce a play. A few days later I got a call from a person at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland asking me to do the same. I chose Oakland because that’s where I live. My son Jesse co-wrote the play and co-executive produced the stage play. Single Husbands was amazing. The greatest reward in addition to meeting film director/producer Leslie Small was working with thespians. I’m hooked on theater and can’t wait to do a national tour.  

Q) To promote yourself and your books, you started an online boutique, created a radio show about relationships, and conduct relationship seminars. Through hard work, you built your own ladder to success. Any regrets? I mean, was there a personal cost that you didn’t expect? 

A) I have no regrets in building my brand. I’m more than an author. I’m an artist. From financing the publication of my first novel to investing $50,000 in my stage play, I would risk everything I have to live my dreams. I’m fortunate to have received dividends. But I’m not done yet! Now that the films are underway, I want to host a talk show for authors, write for a television series, open a social media restaurant for adult networking, and complete my non-fiction relationship book. I’d better get busy finishing my next novel first. FYI, my next series is entitled Single Moms.  

Q) Any parting comments for fans and readers not yet familiar with your work?
 

A) One of the main reasons director/producer Leslie Small wants to do films based on my books is, I write strong female characters. No matter what obstacles the woman encounters, she always overcome. I hold this value high in real life. Women are the lifeline to our existence. Men should never abuse women and little girls. As a child that was molested by my great-grandfather, a teenager that was raped on the street of my hometown in New Orleans, a wife that was battered my ex-husband . . . well this is my story for another day.  Thanks for the interview.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net

 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The International Rainbow Awards Writing Competition



 
Italy’s Elisa Rolle had an idea. On her own, she transformed that idea into what is now the fifth edition of an international and highly respected writing competition called The Rainbow Awards. Designed to celebrate and honor the best stories featuring LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) characters, fiction and non-fiction, the Rainbow Awards has quickly gained global recognition. Hundreds of entries are judged by an international, volunteer, panel of judges consisting of all walks of life. I’ve been honored to be a judge for the past two contests. 

Due to the competition’s steady growth, this year Elisa accepted help from the Rainbow Romance Writers group, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America organization. Still, the Rainbow Awards maintains its original concept of being open to any and all writers who wish to enter their LGBT stories. The author’s sexuality is irrelevant – the competition is about the story, about superb storytelling, and the entries thus far have held true to Elisa’s dream. 

Writers still have an opportunity to submit their work for consideration as this year’s contest closes August 31st, 2013. Finalists will be announced after October 15th, and the winner announcements will take place in December, 2013. 

The categories range from literary, to historical, to romance, to mystery, to science fiction, and everything in between. Past winners include multi-award-winning and bestselling authors as well as self-published and novice authors. As I said, the Rainbow Awards is about the story, not who wrote it. 

For details on how you may enter your story, please go to: http://www.rainbowromancewriters.com/rainbowawards 

Q) Elisa, why did you begin this huge undertaking of an international competition? 

A) At the time, around 2008, the only LGBT Awards were more mainstream literature, and the genre categories like Romance, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance were suffering from it, most of the time confined in one only category. Moreover, the ebooks industry was becoming more and more prominent, and those awards didn’t consider them as eligible submissions. The first Rainbow Awards, in 2008/2009 were more a safe haven for those authors and books that couldn’t compete with the big boys. But after only 1 year, the distance shortened, and now we have mainstream authors along with self-published authors, but as you said, it’s the story that counts, not who wrote it. 

Q) What has been the most difficult aspect of making, and keeping, the Rainbow Awards a continuing competition open to any and all writers? 

A) Finding the judges to read all entries, and trying to adapt the categories to the continuing changes of the market; the past 5 years saw a huge development of the LGBT market, and the Rainbow Awards had to adapt. We still don’t have many submissions in the Non Fiction categories, we are huge in the Fiction one, but still, I want to maintain them, to allow to all authors to find their right space. 

Q) Organizing this by yourself, I’m sure there were times you wanted to quit, so, what kept your dream alive? 

A) The response from the readership and the good work that the Jury did year after year; the winners of the past years are according to me, among the best authors of LGBT fiction, even when they weren’t the most famous names; the Jury is able to not be influenced by a big name, and they have always awarded the best stories. 

Q) Will there come a day when you believe the Rainbow Awards is self-sufficient and you can relax and just enjoy what you founded, and how will you know if that point is reached? 

A) I was hoping this was the year, but indeed it was not yet time; the Awards are still very linked to my blog, that is an all-inclusive LGBTQ container; I still think an organization can help give the Rainbow Awards a more official window, maybe next year I can try to step back a little.
 

RED CAPES, A New Fund Raising Site


RED CAPES, a new fund raising site, has been created for not-for-profit causes and organizations. Red Capes is about making dreams come true by bringing people together through crowdfunding and fully accepts that sometimes it takes personal involvement to make that happen. To that end, Red Capes throws open the door to questions by providing a direct email address and, when necessary, customer service telephone contact for one-on-one assistance. 

Wendy Robbins, CEO, says, "Red Capes is a power to the people, paying it forward fundraising platform where a large group gives small donations in exchange for unique gifts so everyone gets to be a superhero." 

Karen Paull, COO, comments, "We have a cool, hip pay it forward model attracting progressive, educational, and sustainable businesses to fund. With Red Capes you are never alone. We will help you with your campaigns!" 

In addition to fund raisers such as those for Elaine Sutton, battling cancer, http://www.redcapes.com/projectDetails.aspx?pid=46 and award-winning cinematographer Steve Wargo seeking funding to complete his film “Poison Sky” which researches the ChemTrail phenomenon, RED Capes has also started a reality TV show designed for innovators and inventors. Learn more how you can be a TV star at www.redcapes.info.
 
If you want to raise money, have a good cause, business, invention, or an idea to nurture, post your campaign at www.redcapes.com. And, while you’re there, don’t be shy about donning your own red cape and helping fund someone else’s dream. 

Q) You are both, individually, business successes. What was the final straw that said you should turn your combined attentions to creating Red Capes? 

W: I had the idea for Red Capes ten years ago but the technology would not allow me to realize it. In January, 2013 the idea became unstoppable and I found the people to create the platform, look, and functionality so that it is very different from any other crowdfunding site out there.

Our customer service is like Nordstroms. Our look is like a retro comic book to share the hero's journey to make a difference on the planet. I have a successful track record at bringing products to market (The Tingler head massager, etc) and Karen is a marketing expert with long term relationships with top sponsors and advertisers so together we are the dynamic duo - wonder women who look fab in red capes :) 

K: Another "straw" for me is the high level of corruption in our banking system here, and around the world. Millions of Homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, and many innocent people have been taken advantage of by banks. I love that our platform provides an alternative means to grow a business, or idea, without the need for these corrupt institutions. It's a revolutionary idea whose time has come! 

Q) What is crowdfunding and how does it work? 

W: Crowdfunding was created in the 1700's and in the 1800's it was used to finish paying for the Statue Of Liberty. It's a perfect metaphor since crowdfunding avoids banks, loans, a need for good credit, balance sheets and a long track record. A large group of people donate small amounts of money in exchange for gifts so you reach your financial goal. You are able to raise money globally 24/7 using the internet, social networking and you get your own free fundraising site where you add your videos, pictures, documents, bio, team, budget, etc all in one place. 

Q) What motivation do you employ to urge clients to meet their financial goals? 

W: If someone meets their financial goal our fee is 5% if they don't it is 10%. Both are very reasonable. The extra 5% gets people to stay on target and they have identified they need to raise a certain amount so it makes sense to reach your goal. 

K: We have a system that works which involved a compelling video, excellent and original perks, and a launch announcement, coupled with regular email and social media blasts. As with any successful businesses, you have to have a plan, and those with the best plans, win! 

Q) Do you think Red Capes will become the business model for other fundraising sites to follow? 

K: I am sure we will influence the next generation of Crowdfunding sites with our comic-super hero theme and interactive media components, however I enjoy being unique. We created Red Capes by differentiating ourselves from the crowd, I hope others stay original too!
 

 

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Author, “Student of the Gun,” Paul G. Markel


Begin an Internet conversation on how to protect your family, and the topic will soon become lost in an argument about guns, and, inevitably, someone will most likely comment on how a loaded gun is all they need to keep their family safe. It is irrefutable that in the hands of a skilled and trained person firearms are an effective tool – one tool in what should be a diverse inventory of skills/knowledge to keep loved ones safe and alive. Case in point: I have yet to read an article on how to properly use a .357 magnum to extract a fish bone from a choking child’s throat. My point: family protection covers a wide spectrum of knowledge, aside from firearms, that we all need to know. And to that end, allow me to introduce Paul Markel. 

Paul Markel is a former Marine and police officer who now works fulltime as a small arms and tactics instructor. He has trained thousands of troops in preparation of their combat deployment. He also hosts the Student of the Gun web site and produces films about safety preparedness. Markel is a firm proponent of firearms and their proper use and role in self-defense, as well as advocating everyday people need to be familiar with the techniques and readily available equipment that can keep our families alive in emergencies.  

Markel recommends every vehicle and home contain at least a medical kit consisting of a ready-made tourniquet, gauze, duct tape (for sealing wounds), a plastic airway (an NPA - nasopharyngeal airway), and, that the owners know how to use the items. His web site includes tips and tools for breaking windows to reach people trapped in vehicles. CPR and the Heimlich maneuver are also lifesaving techniques we should become practiced in if we truly want to be prepared to protect our families in any situation. 

That all said, Markel is a “Student of the Gun.” Besides his TV and radio programs promoting
firearm use and education, he has written several books on the subject, including the acclaimed “Student of the Gun: A Beginner Once, A Student for Life.” To borrow from Markel: “Being a student of the gun represents a life’s journey toward education, enlightenment, and enjoyment of the use of firearms.” Most importantly, whether the reader is a first-time gun buyer, just curious, or a seasoned veteran, Markel reminds readers that when it comes to firearms, the learning never stops.

Q) Disagreement is in unavoidable when firearms are discussed. This interview alone will instantly inflame some readers before they even know what it’s about. Education is of primary importance to you. So, if it’s even possible, how can both sides of the issue become educated on the other side’s position? 

A) Education and experience are the goal. When it comes to education it must be on-going and continuous. Many folks who argue tactics and gear took a one-day class fifteen years ago and they are the local ‘expert’. Which surgeon do you want operating on you, the one whose last training was in 1982 or the surgeon who is current with all modern techniques? 

Q) You come under fire from a few gun enthusiasts for your beliefs. Why do you think some consider you controversial? 

A) Men tie their ownership and use of firearms directly to their egos. Any person who questions their choices or suggests something new or different is de facto attacking their ego. The knee-jerk reaction is often to lash out in an effort to protect a fragile self-image. 

Q) What inspired you to become as knowledgeable as possible about firearms and safety? 

A) I’ve always been a ‘gun guy’. When I was 11 years old my grandfather showed me how to use a Daisy BB gun and the die was cast. As a teenager I consumed every word I could from various gun magazines. When I was a US Marine I qualified ‘Expert’ with the rifle and pistol and my unit sent me to USMC Marksmanship Coaches School. That’s when I knew I loved to coach and instruct others. 

Q) Though you teach, as a student of your own mantra “the learning never stops,” you also continue to learn. Where do you go to continue your education? 

A) I’ve traveled literally from New England to California attending firearms training courses. I’ve attend Military, Law Enforcement, and Privately run academies. Most recently I completed an Instructor Development Course at a local college. 

Q) The Internet is rife with gun “experts” who can’t seem to agree on a variety of subjects. How can the average person sort out what’s accurate and what’s not? 

A) That is a difficult task. The first step is to take a live-training course. Get some experience under your belt. The more experience you have, the better able you will be to weed out the B.S. 

Q) Any parting comments for readers, regardless of their position on firearms? 

A) Reading stimulates thought, and thinking people are in desperately short supply in this day and age. Books and DVD are great ways to access information, but they aren’t training. Training is something you do under the watchful eye of an instructor.  You are a beginner once, you should be a student for life.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net
 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Joel Bauer & Mark Levy


“How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to Be Persuaded: Get What You Want – Every Time!” 

That’s the title of the book by Joel Bauer and Mark Levy, and it is exactly what the authors are teaching people and businesses to do. It is about human interaction and the art of persuasion, regardless of whether the interaction is business or life. 

Joel Bauer is a world prominent speaker and pitchman who has been seen on the major TV networks. His client list reads like a Who’s Who of business celebrities and corporations including Motorola, Disney, and IBM. His book isn’t the first in a series, nor does it suggest any further monetary investment by the consumer. As such, there isn’t any information inside “How to Persuade People” that cannot be implemented by the reader. “How to Persuade People” could easily be described as an educational tool designed for everyone. 

From the book’s description: “In this daring book, Joel Bauer teaches you how to persuade by making your messages entertaining. Learn the secrets behind "The Fright Challenge," "The Transformation Mechanism," and other persuasion tactics used by pitchmen, carneys, and conjurors to convince people to their way of thinking. Along with coauthor Mark Levy, Bauer has taken these ethical, entertainment-based techniques, and has made them practical for everyday use-capable of influencing one person or a thousand, in business and in life.

Joel Bauer (Los Angeles, CA) is an expert in performance-based live marketing who The Wall Street Journal online referred to as "undoubtedly the chairman of the board" of corporate tradeshow rain-making. Mark Levy (Chester, NJ) has written for the New York Times, has authored or coauthored three books, including “The Accidental Genius,” .
 

“How to Persuade People” is not just about selling product, but about selling yourself to your target audience. If you want to improve your ability to be heard, understood, and believed, you might want to check out this book.
Q) When, and how, did you realize you had a passion and gift for salesmanship?
 

A) At six Jack Chanin, a magician in Philadelphia, asked me how much money I had in my pocket, and I said five dollars. And he said “give me your money and I’ll show you what you bought!” That was the beginning of my passion for sales, negotiation and persuasion. I found out from Jack Chanin how to generate the results and then overwhelmingly over deliver. Because what he sold lasted me a lifetime and made me a small fortune. 

Q) “Pitchman” tends to conjure visions of sideshow barkers and fast talking infomercial salesmen. How would you define the term? 

A) A pitchman to me is someone who frames an idea so exquisitely that everyone that hears the proposition, the offer, or the opportunity wants to invest on it or takes specific action. And the thing that’s being offered is worth so much more than the investment being required. 

Q) You’re a father of three. Have your children ever tried to turn your own tools against you, and, did it work? 

A) Absolutely. My children have been to my seminars. One day I was with my daughter and she said to me, “I would love you to buy me that daddy”. I said, “But that’s too expensive”. And she said to me, “Compared to what?” I was shut down; she understood the correct languaging and that no was not an answer by saying ‘compared to what.’ I had to actually have a discussion with her about it. She ended up getting exactly what she wanted and she helped me get what I wanted as well. My children used my language skills, positioning skills, and branding skills in the pursuit of their passions for music dance and theater. 

Q) Why should an entrepreneur/small business owner buy this book?               

A) The reason you’d want to invest in my book is that it will enable you to present yourself in a way that is unforgettable from the first point of contact and to persuade people that normally would be shut down and wouldn’t give you the time of day, and to preserve those new relationships for a lifetime. 

Q) Any parting comments for those considering reading “How to Persuade People”? 

A) Yes. My final call to action for you in life by reading my book, “How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to Be Persuaded: Get What You Want – Every Time!” http://infotainer.com/infotainer/blog/ , is to realize that once they understand who you are as a friend, as a person who contributes in the world, as a person who makes a difference on the planet in the lives of others. Once they really understand you and believe in you they will invest in whatever opportunity, product or service that you offer.

You need to be understood, you need to be appreciated, and this book will enable you to frame yourself rather magically in a way that is unforgettable.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author. www.kevad.net

 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Young Adult Author Marni Bates


Marni Bates is young, vibrant, and an extremely talented writer of Young Adult (YA) fiction. If YA is the current rising star within literature, then Marni is a definite part of the comet’s sparkling trail drawing readers’ attention to what was once a genre believed to be exclusively for school aged readers. Through the writings of authors such as Marni, YA has broadened into a multi-aged following. And, rightfully so. 

Marni hit the ground running when she wrote her autobiography “Marni” at the ripe old age of nineteen. Her debut fiction novel “Awkward” soon followed and has been translated into several languages as well as optioned by Disney for a made for TV movie. The tale of a high school junior caught up in today’s world of internet videos, school drama, insecurity, and a desire to please, “Awkward” with its humorous overtones was an instant success. Simply put, Marni not only wrote a story readers could relate to, she made it fun to read. 

Next came “Decked with Holly,” in which a young woman accidentally stumbles into the wrong cabin on a cruise ship, only to learn the occupant is a rock star. When he escorts her out the door, the paparazzi is waiting, and life will never be the same. 

Returning to the school setting of “Awkward,” Marni has now released “Invisible.” Many students feel ‘invisible’ within their schools no matter what they do, no matter what they are capable of achieving. Where student Jane Smith differs from her peers is that she welcomes and seeks a low profile. That is, until her best friends start dating, and Jane suddenly learns being invisible is a lonely place. She’s talked into writing an exclusive for the school paper. But when Jane stumbles on a real exclusive, a story a renowned celebrity didn’t want told, Jane becomes anything but invisible. 

Regardless of the setting and situation, Marni Bates can’t help but inject her own humorous perspective. If you ask her, she’ll tell you how she lived some of what she writes. She knows firsthand how it feels to be awkward and invisible. But she also knows what it’s like to share her joy of life with the world, and that’s why readers should be sure to read her books.

Q) You avoid the trend of supernatural characters and opt to focus on stories that ‘could happen.’ What led you in that direction?
 

A) I never received my Hogwarts acceptance letter. It sounds funny now, but when I was in elementary school I was pretty crushed. I desperately wanted some kind of super power...and then I began reading novels with strong romantic elements. I don’t think there is anything more magical than being loved for both the person that you are and the person that you can be, especially because that kind of love really exists! By the time I reached middle school I knew I wanted to focus on compelling romantic and platonic relationships. 

Q) An avid fan of videos, you post many homemade videos in which you speak directly to readers. Do you see the use of videos becoming more important to the book industry as time goes on, and, why or why not? 

A) I think readers want their favorite authors to feel accessible. So whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, they are looking for a way to connect. I’m having a blast creating my videos and I hope my fans enjoy them as much as I do! I personally find fan interactions thrilling! I also know that I never would have made it this far in the business if I hadn’t scoured author websites for advice. I’m greatly indebted to Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries, for her insights on the publishing industry. 

Q) Many youthful readers are flocking to your web site, Twitter and Facebook pages where you make every attempt to answer each question. Writing takes a lot of time, so does responding to readers. Your following is growing. What changes do you foresee in your ability to communicate with fans? 

A) As long as my fans keep writing to me, I will keep responding. It may take me longer to get back to everyone, and I can guarantee you that I will accidentally overlook a few messages--but a concerted effort will be made. Here’s why: back in fifth grade I wrote a gushing fan letter to Canadian author Gordon Korman. I completely freaked out when I received his response. Sweaty palms, heavy breathing, flailing arms—the works. It didn’t feel like my chest could contain my heart anymore. I was too overwhelmed to maintain the correspondence, but that was the moment when Gordon Korman became my hero. That experience taught me how powerful even a short message can be when it comes from the right person. Gordon Korman’s letter made a huge difference in my life and I want to pay it forward. So, yes, time-management will always be a tricky balancing act, but this is one commitment that I refuse to let fall by the wayside. 

Q) Your stories are current, clean, fun, and quite frankly, a wonderful reminder that stories don’t
have to include darkness and supernatural beings to be successful. How did you feel when you got the news your books would be published? 

A) I was a bundle of nerves when I was hired to write my autobiography. I hadn’t planned on telling anyone in college about my hair-pulling, let alone revealing my most intimate fears to the whole freaking world. I didn’t experience that intense anxiety when my agent called to tell me that KensingtonTeen wanted “Awkward” to be the first book in a series. Although remember that whole can’t-catch-my-breath-my-heart-might-explode-from-my-chest sensation I mentioned earlier? Quadruple it. I was flooded with sheer joy. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. 

Q) “Notable,” the fourth in the series is due for release later this year. What can we expect after that? 

A) Notable is written from the perspective of Chelsea Halloway, the most popular girl at Smith High School. Each Smith High book has revealed a bit more of Chelsea’s inner turmoil and I had an absolute blast shoving her outside her comfort zone—all the way to Cambodia! I love that Chelsea is socially fearless, unlike my previous heroines, but that her insecurities run just as deep. I also wanted to continue working with the concept that the role you play (hero, sidekick, villain, etc.) depends on the person doing the talking. I’m lucky that Chelsea had a whole lot to say! 

Q) Any thoughts for your fans and those not yet familiar with your books? 

A) I write humorous stories about compelling teenage girls who are trying to figure out their lives. They make mistakes. They complain. They laugh. Sometimes they cry. And they do all of this—and so much more—while dealing with some incredibly frustrating boys. I’m willing to bet that you can relate to them.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net