Monday, 6 May 2013

Author Interview - April R. Talley

   

April R Talley was born and raised in the Rubber City, Akron, Ohio in 1959.  She is the youngest of six children.  She attended Brigham Young University for a time, but withdrew to work fulltime for Osmond Productions in Orem, Utah as a member of The Osmond production staff.  After a brief stint working in television, she returned to Akron to finish her education.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media Communications in 1981.   April later worked as vice president and part owner of a dance and sportswear boutique.  Married in 1982, she is the proud mother of seven children and is deeply involved in volunteer work for her church.  April spends her time working on future projects, caring for home and family, and traveling.  David’s Song is her debut novel and the first of a trilogy.

Tell us about your family. I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man who is a writer as well.  He writes poetry and has had one book of poetry published and he was featured in the Fire in the Pasture poetry anthology.  Together we have been blessed with seven children; all except for one are girls.  We are always asked where the boy fits in—he’s number 3 in the group—and he is not spoiled, contrary to popular opinion.  We also have been blessed with 6 grandchildren. And what they say is true, grandchildren are the best.  You feel all the love and none of the responsibility for their upbringing.  I still have two girls at home, although one is a senior in high school this year and will fly from the nest in the fall.  The youngest is a social butterfly and keeps me informed of all the drama happening in 8th grade.

What inspired you to write your first book? David’s Song is my first book and it was inspired by a real life experience.  When I was in college I had a big crush on a boy.  That relationship never developed into anything more than friendship, but I never forgot him.  Nearly 25 years later, I ran into him again.  I met his wife and his oldest son and had a few minutes to chat with him.  He still remembered me as well, which was incredibly flattering.  After that meeting, I started wondering how my life would have been different if something had developed in those early days.  In the end, I decided that I loved the life I had and am glad for the way life worked out.  But through all that wondering, David’s Song was born.

What made you want to be a writer? I never thought about being a writer, but in retrospect, I wished someone had suggested the idea to me long ago.  I’ve always had stories floating around in my head, even as a young girl.  I just never thought about writing them down.  After the experience that inspired David’s Song, I kept thinking of the experience and this story began to develop.  I knew it wouldn’t go away until I did something with it, and so I began to write—and I haven’t stopped since.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I think that would be my dialogue.  It’s far easier for me to come up with a conversation between people than it is to describe, say, a sunset.  (I leave that to my poetic husband.)  I can move a story along much quicker through dialogue than any other way.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? With the help of my husband, and a daughter who is also a writer, I really started learning about the craft of writing.  As they helped me revise and edit David’s Song, I was given a tutorial in character development, grammar, punctuation, and the fact that readers are intelligent…I didn’t have to spell everything out for them.  To me, part of the fun of writing has been the learning curve that I’ve been on and continue to ride.  Sometimes I think I learned nothing in school.

Will you write others in this same genre? Absolutely!  Part of what I enjoyed about writing David’s Song was exploring the different personalities and how they affected relationships.  I love to read women’s fiction for the same reason.  I think anything I write will have that feature to it, whether it’s romance, women’s fiction, Christian lit, or YA…which I have been trying my hand in all of the above…I will always be exploring relationships and how they are affected by the differences in how each character sees the world.

How important do you think villains are in a story? I think it depends on the kind of story.   In a plot based on good vs. evil, villains are absolutely necessary.  If I have a complaint about having a villain, it is that they are often made one dimensional.  I don’t think anyone, good or evil, is without their nuances.  I want to know what makes a villain evil.  What happened in their lives?  Give me their history.  

I have taken pride in comments by my readers, that there really isn’t a villain in David’s Song.  No one is painted so completely one color.

Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? I would have to say my mentor has been my husband.  I say this for a couple of reasons.  One, he has been incredibly supportive of my efforts ever since he discovered that I was writing. I tried to keep it from him, thinking that my writing wasn’t very good. (One of his favorite stories to tell.)  
Secondly, he has patiently worked with me to develop my characters, keeping them true to their own personalities.  He has also been a task master at getting rid of adverbs, clich├ęs, and keeping my writing clear.  One favorite line we still laugh over was, “I saw a man on a horse that looked like my husband.”  When I read that line to him, he paused and said, with a laugh—“Who looks like your husband, the man or the horse?” He has been very helpful!

Have you started another book yet? I actually have finished three other books.  David’s Song is the first of a trilogy. The other two books are completed and going through revisions and polishing.  I have written another stand alone novel entitled, The Night is Gone, about a young man overcoming a drug addiction and searching for forgiveness from his family and from God.   I have two other novels just in the beginning stages, one historical, the other a futuristic project.

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? An interesting question. I suppose that I would like to think that perhaps I have influenced someone for good through my writing—that I wrote something that someone took to heart and made a better choice because of it, or that someone felt inspired to think more kindly of themselves or others.  Maybe someone will be a little less judgmental because, through my writing, I have presented an alternate perspective.  I would also like to think that I never wrote anything that would embarrass a member of my family—that they would be proud to say, “My mom, (or wife, or sister, or daughter, or grandma) wrote that.”


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David's Song Taken from the book cover: Annie only ever really loved two men in her life. One broke her heart, the other married her. Four children and fifteen years later, Annie’s marriage is in jeopardy. Money is tight and her husband questions the very foundation of their relationship. When Annie is unexpectedly given the opportunity to see the young man who broke her heart — a man who is now a megastar in the music industry — Annie is faced with choices. Choices that will determine what is of more value — a second chance at lost love and unfulfilled dreams or commitment, trust, and love built on years of experience. A psychologically subtle, yet compelling tale about how the instinct and need for love overcomes self-doubt and personal inadequacy.  


  Praise from reviews on Goodreads.com "Not just your typical romance novel"  - Tracy Williams "David's Song is great read that leaves you thinking about the story and pondering your own relationships".  - Anna Pavkov "Sucked me in from the 1st page"  - Jill Walker "Loved this book . . . could not put it down!"  - Dana Vieira    


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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