Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#WEP Debut Author Déjà vu

WEP CHALLENGE FOR OCTOBER 2018 DEJA VU OR VOODOO #WEPFF Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

This WEP challenge seemed like a great reason for a
Debut Author Déjà vu post.

Here are a few blasts from our past.

Kristin Bartley Lenz

1- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

If writing a novel feels overwhelming, tell yourself to write a short story. Maybe you’ll actually end up with a short story, but good chance it’ll grow into more. #WriteTip

When trying to Show Not Tell, have your character look around her – what does she notice? What does she see, hear, smell, touch? #WriteTip

2- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

Forever Young Adult ( ) is one of my favorite book bloggers because they have an interesting format (, and I almost always agree with their reviews. They even have a special series of reviews on Kirkus.

3- What's the best book marketing strategy you've come across?

Show up to support others – in whatever form that takes: sharing good news, going to events, reviewing/recommending other books, encouraging and sharing resources with writers at all stages.

4- What is one question you would like the readers of this to answer in the comments?

What books are on your night-stand at the moment?

5- Have you, or one of your characters, ever experienced déjà vu?

I ‘ve experienced déjà vu several times, but of course I can’t think of the specific situations right now! But just as fascinating to me is the idea of premonitions, ie. sometimes I will get a feeling or a thought about something before it happens.

A couple years ago, I entered a writing contest and the winner was being announced at a large conference. I was in the audience, did not think I had a chance of winning, was totally calm and relaxed and curious as the contest coordinator was speaking on stage, when all of the sudden my heart started racing wildly – and then they called my name as the winner!

Another time, I was driving on my way to speak at a book club out of town and one of my old high school teachers popped into my head. We’d had an altercation my senior year, but I hadn’t seen or hardly thought of her in 30 years. When I arrived at the book club, she was there! She was new to the group, her first time attending, an aspiring author, and she didn’t even remember me. It was so weird.

And then there are a lot of stories of people having a “bad feeling” about something. I really believe in this intuitive energy. Thanks for asking this question – it sent me off to read more about it. Here’s a Psychology Today article about déjà vu that was interesting:

Thanks for having me back on your blog, Operation Awesome team!

Angela Kay

Angela Kay #WEP Debut Author Déjà vu

1- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Whenever you have a dream, never give up because you’ll never know where it’ll take you. I never imagined in my wildest dreams I’d be publishing my books, let along publishing for others.

2- You've put out two books since your last interview. Is there another in the works?

I’ve finished the first draft of a cold case thriller, I’m in the middle of a psychological thriller with human trafficking being the center subject, and I just started the second book in my FBI thrillers (“I Can Kill” being the first, which was named awards finalist by American Book Fest.)

3- What is one question you would like the readers of this to answer in the comments?

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

4- Have you, or one of your characters, ever experienced déjà vu?

I’ve experienced Deja vu quite often.

Cath Schaff-Stump

Cath Schaff-Stump #WEP Debut Author Déjà vu

1- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Writing words is more important than anything else you need to do as an author.

2- Given your Tweet thread, what's your opinion on the Nike Kaepernick ad?

I applaud Nike for the Kaepernick ad. A real hero is one who stands up for their principles. It is sad that this is such a controversial stance. A United States so flagrantly in disregard for the human rights of all peoples, regardless of their origins, should not censure protest against its government. As a white person, I know we are a privileged group who take a lot for granted. Okay, everything. One of the best ways we can ally and make change is to support such efforts, and try to speak about them with other, especially to those who don't see the privilege. So, go Nike. You're doing your job. And go, Mr. Kaepernick. Way to get out there and hope for a time when we are all on the same enlightened page you are on.

3- What is one question you would like the readers of this to answer in the comments?

Can you tell me all about your favorite character from a book or movie? I'd love to hear about them.

4- Have you, or one of your characters, ever experienced déjà vu?

I experience deja vu all the time. I used to think I'd dream things in advance, and then experience them. So, it's a real thing, even though I don't think it has a prophetic cause.

Jason Disley

1- How do you like your coffee? Have you ever had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and did you like it?

I like a flat white these days. Haven't had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, might wait for Halloween before I do.

2- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

The New Yorker I like the broad spectrum of books covered by this site

3- What have you been up to since your interview?

Where do I start?

Well after my novel Seven Day Fool, I have been writing its sequel Take It Or Leave It. Which sees my private detective Jake Brody drawn into a case spread through Manchester, London and Paris. It sees some character development and his immersion into a much more espionage filled tale as he becomes a person of interest to MI5 - the British Secret Service. The tale is set a mere few months after Seven Day Fool and is set in 1966. England is getting ready to host The World Cup. The Jules Rimet trophy has been stolen, and a mysterious "Pole" is implicated as being involved in what looks like an opportunistic theft. Jake Brody believes that this individual has something to do with Kinga's father who was deported back to Poland at the end of Seven Day Fool. He is offered the task to investigate by the one man in England that he dare not refuse. It is a job offer. Does he "Take It Or Leave It?" I should hopefully have this book finished by the end of 2018.

I still write a lot of poetry and have been performing at spoken word events. I have recorded an album of spoken word called Speakeasy, which is going to be released by Heavy Soul Records. There will be a seven inch vinyl record of two of my poems released in December. One is called Words of Wisdom, and is performed by myself with original music by Rick Blackman. The other side is called Breathless and is recorded in French by Gabriela Giacoman, the lead singer of French Boutik. The music again is original music by Rick Blackman. After this release the album will be released also on vinyl.

I now co-host a regular spoken word /Comedy night called Speaky Blinders which has a great variety of performers sharing their poetry and comedy.

I also published a book of poetry called Songs of Benevolence & Rage this year, and hopefully in December will have an experimental collection titled Beat To A Pulp published. This collection is a complete traditional Pulp style story written in verse form. I have some amazing artwork that will be complementing the collection provided by an artist friend. Who is known as Mr H. It is going to be very different, and is a work I am very proud of. So, as you can see I am busier than ever!

4- What is one question you would like the readers of this to answer in the comments?

What's next?

5- Have you, or one of your characters, ever experienced déjà vu?

Many times personally. Jake Brody certainly has a moment in Take It Or Leave It. It's centered around the female interest and the sense of déjà vu is palpable for him as he is still getting over what happened to Martina Godlewski.

Matt Harry

1- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

The theme of your story (what it’s really “about”) is crucial. Once you know the theme, it will tell you which characters to keep, what scenes are necessary, and what the ending should be. Stories without a theme may be enjoyable, but they are disposable.
Teaser pic of the next book in the series, which is out May 14, 2019!

2- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

I really enjoy the reviews at @TheAVClub. They’re intelligent, insightful, and often very funny. I base my to-read list on their “Best Of” picks every year.

3- How would Euphemia Whitmore feel about voodoo magic?

I’ll let her answer this one. The following is a quote from her unpublished volume Alternate Methods of Sorcery for Beginners:
"Voodoo magic, while certainly effective, lacks the elan and work ethic required for traditional sorcery. As such it is quite a tempting field for the young sorcerer to pursue. However, a grounding in traditional spell casting fundamentals is recommended before learning easier, alternate methods."

4- What is one question you would like the readers of this to answer in the comments?

Is there anything you’d love to see explored in a novel about teenage sorcerers? The second book in this series, Cryptozoology for Beginners, has been completed, but I’m in the planning stages for the third novel and would love to hear any wish lists!

5- Have you, or one of your characters, ever experienced déjà vu?

I feel like I experience it quite a bit. I’ve even had dreams that I later think actually happened. Naturally this makes me want to write a story about it, but I haven’t figured out a unique way to do it yet.

The answers ended up at 1400 words. Who knew these blasts from the past would have so much to say?!
We're not competing to win. There's no need for feedback. But it'd be great to keep the conversation going!
So if you feel like responding to some of the questions asked by our authors, that'd be awesome!


  1. I too believe that déjá vu is something we've dreamed and then experience something very similar. Although to be honest at times it feels like I'm repeating life and that part is truly scary!
    What a wonderful way to use the challenge and give a shout out to other authors!
    Happy Halloween!

  2. An interesting (and very different) take on the prompt.
    This reader LOVES, and is very grateful to, writers.

  3. I'm not sure about my experiences of déjá vu but I love this take on the theme. Interesting blasts.

  4. I've been in a situation where I thought I was experiencing something I dreamed about. Wierd.

  5. I enjoyed reading what these authors had to say. I think having a sense of deja vu is common. I know it's happened to me plenty of times. Maybe writing a story about these instances is the best way to handle them. It could be fun to explain through fiction why that odd feeling might be there.

  6. What a great idea to do blasts from the past!

    If you’re on facebook, please link your post to the WEP+IWSG badge over at the IWSG Facebook page, so that others can read your work.
    Thank you!

  7. Hi to you all - I need to come back to read properly ... will do anon - cheers Hilary

  8. Great way to pay homage to authors, especially debut authors. Thanks for this take on this prompt which illustrates that WEP is wide open to ideas.

  9. A creative and very different take on the prompt. Made for very interesting reading! Thanks.

  10. Nice take on the subject. Very interesting to see what other author's have to say...

  11. It's so cool how you mashed up these two prompts. A blast from the past post is so fitting for a deja vu theme and you get to promote some cool authors. Thanks bunches for doing this. What a fun post.

  12. Creative take on the prompt! As for questions... what books are on my nightstand... A Kindle and a Nook :D Currently reading Dava Sobel's The Glass Universe on the Kindle, and the 4th Wells and Wong mystery (the title escapes me just now) on the Nook.

  13. This was fun! I've definitely had the deja vu feeling myself - and it can be so disorienting!

  14. These blasts from the past were a real... blast! I think most of us have experienced deja vu. (Some are just too afraid to put a label on it!)

  15. That was sure a neat take on the prompt. I've definitely had that bad feeling and got there just before it happened. Deja vu is there for most of us, even if sometimes we don't think about it.

  16. What books are on your night-stand at the moment?
    Inhale by Kendall Grey

    What’s your favorite holiday and why?
    I really like Halloween because there are less arguments about religion, it's not about a place being conquered and people enslaved, there's candy, and it's cool to wear costumes.

    Can you tell me all about your favorite character from a book or movie?
    I really like Heath from the Existence series. Of course... I wrote it, so no real shock there. I also liked Luna from the Harry Potter series, because she was proud to be unique.

    What's next?
    Still planning to publish a book this year.

    Is there anything you’d love to see explored in a novel about teenage sorcerers?
    Diversity would be nice. There were hundreds of Native American tribes, but all the lore about their magic is lumped into a handful of tribes. Granted, much of the history was destroyed. But still, the east coast tribes had some interesting takes on magic.

  17. Great list of authors!
    I love April Fools. And Thanksgiving, because my husband cooks and it's awesome.
    I want more about cats in books about magic. I love cats, but why cats and not parakeets or ferrets or whatever? How'd that come to be?

  18. I saw the king with no clothes
    walking down the street
    as proud as can be

    I said he has no clothes
    he yelled off with his head
    and pointed at me

    No story did I
    even get to read


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