Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Erie Canal Cousins" and author Dorothy Stacy

Those who've listened to my show have heard this amazing woman live. Dorothy Stacy has been on my show several times, and I'd have her on every month if I could. Her books are as amazing as she is. I was pleased and honored that she agreed to a blog interview.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 8 years old. I wrote little stories in a 10 cent notepad called, “The Adventures of Rosemary” Each chapter was 3 pages long and the stories were based on what I was doing at the time. If I went to my grandmother's for a visit, Rosemary went to her grandmother's. Then in grade school, a friend and I sat in the double desks we had in our school, in the back seat since we were so well behaved and we wrote soap operas during class. Then after each chapter we put the notebooks on the seat between us and read each others stories. We had 59 kids in the class and, by the way, we never got caught. I have been writing off and on all my life.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

I took my first grade class on a field trip to the Erie Canal Village in Rome, New York, watched a movie on how the Canal was built, and immediately wanted to write a story about a girl traveling down it in 1840. I was so impressed by the way the canal came about that I wanted to spread the word to children in a fun and interesting way so that they might become interested in history the way I am.

What genre do you write?

I write historical fiction for young teens to adults.

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

I try to set a schedule for writing… 2 months for research, maybe a chapter a week when I am ready to begin the book.

What inspires you?

Do you mean to write? I just love to write, play around with words, and express myself that way. If you mean in general…history, the lives of great people, books I’ve read and people.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

I stay with one project, trying to get one book published a year.

What is your writing process?

I spread it out over a year. As I said before, I spend about 2 months for research, 2 months to write the book, 1 month for illustrations, another month for revising and editing, 2 months for the printing, and a couple of months for book signings and then I get some time off for relaxing. HOWEVER, in between all this I do Author Visits to schools, historical societies, libraries, or anyone that wants me.

What is the theme of your novel?

The theme of my novels is that you can overcome your fears by doing the thing you fear and the more you do it the less afraid you will be.

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?

I do because it is a good way to help someone picture what I mean. But not too much of it as my books are mainly for children.

What is your latest release?

My latest release is, Canal Town Christmas, which is Book 4 in my Erie Canal Cousins Series.

What other books do you have published?

The other books I have published in the Series are: Erie Canal Cousins, Three Weeks in Utica-Book 2, and Albany Homecoming-Book 3. They all take place in New York State and the Erie Canal in 1840.

Where are your books available?

My books are available at Barnes and Noble, from my distributor (North Country Books), or from me at my website:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Interview with Fran Lewis

Fran Lewis is another of the Red River Writers Live hosts and will be on my show, Wednesday, April 27th at 1:00 PM (Eastern). Fran is an amazing and fascinating lady. Take a few minutes to get to know her better.

Interview Questions for Blog

When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was about 4. I do not remember a time when I was not writing stories, poems or passing notes to my sister under the blanket at night. My mom would say lights out but never knew we had flashlights under our blankets and note pads so that we could send each other messages whenever we wanted. Writing short stories, poems for cards and longer stories was always something that I loved doing. Writing my first children’s book was my Aunt Tova’s idea. She made me promise her before she passed away that I would do something with my writing skills other than write lesson plans and help some of the teachers in my schools with their observation lessons. She encouraged me to write short stories, articles and post them on which I did and then my first book. Little did I ever know that I would be writing book reviews, online interviews, blogs, endorsements, intros to books and much more.

What gave you the idea for your first book?
My nephew Jake was laughing at the way I was sitting in a restaurant. I was pouting because I had just started my diet. My sister looked at me and said that I reminded her of my grandma Bertha who sat the same way. I told her she reminded me of my spoiled Aunt Tillie. My nephew Jake cracked up and just started to chant: You are Bertha and she is Tillie and that would be great as the characters in a book. Thinking about some of the wild things my sister and I did as kids I decided to write my first book which were 6 short stories. Each story is another real life and true adventure that my sister and I had growing up.

What genre do you write?: children’s books, non-fiction/self-help
And hopefully a murder/mystery

What do you do to keep yourself focused?
My sense of responsibility to the promises that I make to myself and others. When I promise an author to complete a review I tend to make sure it is done way before they expect it. My mom would always make sure that homework was done the very minute we walked through the door even on Fridays. I enjoy reviewing books, and working with authors and I think since I have had so much sadness in my life working and helping others keeps me focused and centered and allows me to put the sadness aside.

What inspires you?
It is not what but who that inspires me. My sister was my biggest fan and she kept me motivated, on task and was always there to present and give her constructive criticism to my stories, reviews and more. I really miss her. She really thought that what I am doing was great and enjoyed being part of it especially at signings, readings and other events.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?
I can focus on at least three or four projects at once.

What is your writing process?
I never really think about a process I just write. What comes to mind and what I feel like writing about is what comes out on my computer. One day it could be a review the next a short story. I tend to write down all of the my projects on a notepad and prioritize them and go from there.

What is the theme of your novel?
If and when I decide to write one it will be a murder based on a true story.
Do you consciously use symbolism in your book? N/A
What is your latest release?
Because We Care: Coming out this month

What other books do you have published?
My Name is Bertha
Bertha Speaks Out
Bertha Fights Back
Memories are Precious
Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain?

Where are your books available?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome Authors!

Hello Authors! I invite you to post here. Please write a little bit about yourself & your book(s) as comments. Also, if you'd like to be a guest on one of my Blog Talk Radio shows through Red River Writers Live, please indicate in your post. Welcome and good luck with sales! ~ Dellani Oakes

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Coming Up on Blog Talk Radio!

As many of you know, I do two shows on Blog Talk Radio. On Dellani's Tea Time on Monday, April 11th at 4:00 PM (Eastern), my guests will be the fabulously talented artist/ illustrators - Russ Cox and Kinsy McVay. Don't miss this colorful conversation!

On Wednesday, April 27th, I'm hosting a very special show. Six of my fellow Red River Writers Live hosts have agreed to join me for a candid discussion about our shows and our work as authors. Having this many hosts in one show is going to be a lot of fun, so be sure to tune in at 1:00 PM (Eastern) for What's Write for Me. My guests will be: Meg Collins, Marsha Casper Cook, Nancy Denofio, Barbara Ehrentreau, Bethany Halle and Fran Lewis.

Other Shows on Red River Writers Live - Blog Talk Radio

Every Monday evening at 9:00 PM (Eastern) A Good Story is a Good Story with host Marsha Casper Cook

Every Tuesday evening at 9:00 PM (Eastern) Speak Out America Now with Peter J. Dawson

Thursday April 14 at 6:00 PM L(Eastern) RRW - No Limits

Wednesday April 20 at 3:00 PM (Eastern) Book Discussion with Fran Lewis

Monday May 2 - Good Story is a Good Story - Marsha Casper Cook

Tuesday May 3 - Speak Out America Now with Peter J. Dawson

Friday May 6 - The Write Step with host R. Jeffreys

To learn more about our shows and our hosts, check out

Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 5

"This is Ms. Whitley. Her mother's a parishioner at St. Blase. I'm filling in for Father Charlie today." "Yeah, I h...