Thursday, July 21, 2022

Meet the Author - Ellie Yarde

Hey readers,

I am so excited to introduce you to this amazing writer who is also a blogger, a book publisher and the author of Escape The Choice and Embrace the Choice, Ellie Yarde! We are so intrigued to know more about how it all began and follow her on this writing journey where we immerse ourselves into her inspiring stories. 

To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself. 

I have done several interviews now, and this is the bit I always find difficult – trying to think of things that make me sound like an interesting person! I’ll give a few facts. I am a writer and a blogger, I have published two books, with more to come, and countless short stories on my blog. I enjoy driving, knitting, and reading, and have a deep dislike for mushrooms. I spend more time binging tv shows than actually writing or reading, and I never seem to finish watching the shows either…

I would love for you to share a little about your book, Escape The Choice, with our readers

Escape the Choice is the first book I published. It is a short story, 40 pages long, and it follows Ali as she tries to figure out how to juggle the people in her life. She is friends with Oliver, and has a crush on Noah, but neither man likes the other. Here are the first two paragraphs, just to give you a little taste of the book! I replayed the scene in my head as I twirled my pen absentmindedly around my fingers. We had been talking about Oliver, disagreeing about him. I had been arguing that there was nothing wrong with him, that he was just misunderstood. People thought he looked aggressive and avoided him because of that. I was the only one who didn’t buy into it and saw Oliver as the nice guy he really is, but Noah was arguing against him. Saying that I shouldn’t spend so much time around him by myself. As if Noah could tell me who I should and shouldn’t hang out with. Having floppy, dark hair and brown puppy dog eyes didn’t give him the authority over me to stop me being friends with Oliver. Noah had sighed, glancing at the door of my dorm room, which we both knew had my roommates waiting behind it, eavesdropping on our conversation. “I’ll see you around, Ali,” he had said, defeat clear in his voice as he shoved his arms into his jacket and walked between the beds in the room to the door, nodding a greeting to my roommates as he passed them, and left without a backwards glance.

Is there a specific time of the day that you prefer to write? 

There is a secret I hold, and that is that I don’t have much of a writing routine. I am always seeing tweets from people, saying that they wrote this many words today, or spent this long writing, but sometimes I’ll go weeks between writing. I have a very short attention span, and I get distracted when I know I should really start typing something. I am the worst at writing in the mornings and evenings. When I do write, it is in a short timeframe, between 4 in the afternoon, and dinner, which can sometimes be as early as 5:30. It’s no wonder my longest WIP has taken at least a year to get to 30,000 words! What or who inspired you to begin writing for yourself? My mum is a big inspiration to me. She has always been a writer and a bookworm, and I remember her giving me her old typewriter when I was little. I wanted to write, like her, so I would spend hours lying on the floor of my bedroom, slowly typing out stories. Evidently, my attention span has shortened since I was a child!

Can you tell us a little about your blog and the type of blog posts we can find there? 

My blog, Reading All Night, was originally meant to be a place for me to talk about writing and reading, although it has slowly morphed into a smorgasbord of posts. I now post reviews for books, movies, and podcasts, and try to post a short story each week. My favourite post to date that I have written was a post about three movies, all of which challenged usual necessities of films by removing things, such as sound or dialogue. You can have a look at this post here:

You seem to maintain a schedule for your blog. How do you stay consistent? 

If there is anything that is consistent about me, it is my lack of consistency. Keeping up with my blog is something I greatly struggle with, and most of my posts are written late in the evening, the day before they go up. I post on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Saturdays are exclusively short stories, and Wednesdays are everything else, mostly reviews. I was working towards getting my second book ready, and releasing it, the last few weeks, and my blog post schedule suffered from the lack of time I had. Unfortunately, I have been quite behind on writing posts. I am just now starting to get back on track, and am getting things scheduled for the coming weeks.

Is there a particular subject or type of posts that you prefer to write on your blog more than others? 

As much as I like writing, I must admit, I’m starting to struggle with my Saturday short stories. I think I have about fifty short stories currently on my blog, which is a lot of different things to write. My favourite kinds of post are currently what I think are ones I use to cheat – the movie reviews. If I don’t have a post ready for the next day, I can just sit down in the evening, watch a movie, and get the post ready pretty quickly. I am starting to get some more book reviews scheduled now, and I am really enjoying reading more. Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be? I think, deep down, I always wanted to be a writer, even if I didn’t realise it. I had some odd career dreams when I was under 10, which morphed from being a dentist to being a postman. I wanted to be an actor, a musician. All of the famous things. That is, until I realised I don’t actually like performing in front of people. But I have been writing my whole life. I remember I would read books, and then write stories about them. I wrote a chapter or two about a slave in Rome after reading The Roman Mysteries. I remember writing what
was basically fan fiction of The Walking Dead once, to add myself into the story. Why I felt the need to live through a zombie apocalypse, I don’t know!

What do your friends and family think about your book? Do you discuss your ideas with them before deciding to write about it? 

I actually rarely tell anyone my story ideas until I’ve started writing. I have one WIP, the one I previous mentioned, that’s at about 30,000 words, that I have told my mum about, although she only knows the premise, not the plot. Usually, I finish writing something before I announce I’ve written it. Not all of my family have read my books, although my mum, gran, and an aunt has.

Do you often get a writer’s block? If yes, what is your secret to get out of it?

With my terrible writing schedule, I rarely get writers block. Unless me not writing for weeks on end classes as writers block, and then I must have it pretty bad! If I don’t know where a story is going next, though, I usually step away from it for a while. The solution will pop randomly into my head at some point, and then I’ll rush to write it down before I forget it.

Is there something about writing that you dislike? 

I really hate editing. I don’t know if this classes as a part of writing, but that’s my answer. I loathe it with a passion. Reading my own work, again and again, sieving through the lines to make sure everything makes sense, and is as it should be. And things still slip through. My first book was published with a missing full stop that I have since corrected. Luckily, my mum is super patient, and she helps me to edit as I quietly sulk at having to do it at all. Which social media do you find more beneficial to promote your writing and why? I am not on a lot of social media. I mainly only use Twitter, so this is a difficult question to answer! Technically, I find Twitter most beneficial to promote my writing, but that’s only because it’s the only one I really use!

Who is your biggest motivation when it comes to writing? 

I can almost watch my unwritten books in my head like a movie, and want to be able to share the film with others through the written word. That is my main motivation. Also, having somewhere to put all the different stories, so I don’t forget them. I have what I would call some amazing ideas for stories, although I came up with them, so that might be a little egotistical to say, and I would hate for them to be lost because I never wrote them down.

Do you simply open a blank page and begin writing? Or do you plan everything

I wish I could just open a page and write. I have to have some sort of idea of what will happen in the story, or I will get nowhere. I don’t plan everything out, although some endings are pre-decided before I have even written the first word. I have a little notebook that has all my story ideas, so I don’t forget them. Some I know will only be short stories, because there simply isn’t enough to the idea to make it a full length novel, but I am fine with that. As long as I can get them written at some point!

Do you have a favorite quote? 

I am terrible at remembering quotes. I was almost going to go and google ‘good quotes’ to try and find something I liked. I do remember that one that everyone knows, though, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. A man who never reads lives only one.” - George R. R. Martin. I think this one is pretty good!

Can you give us a little insight about your newest book, Embrace the Choice? 

Embrace the Choice is the second book in The Choice Series, although all the books in the series do stand-alone, so you can read book 2 without having read book 1. While book 1 follows Ali, Embrace the Choice is about her roommate, Lena, as she tries to figure out dating when she is usually too sky to talk to anyone outside of her close friends. It is slightly longer than Escape the Choice, by a whole 7 pages! It certainly has more comedy in it than Escape the Choice, and there’s an ongoing joke about smutty romance books…if that doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will!

Do you have any other plans for either this series or any other books?

The Choice Series will have a third book, although I don’t want to reveal the name just yet… I have written the first draft, although it will need a lot of revisions before I can start the dreaded editing stage! I can reveal that it will be about Kyra, the third roommate in Ali and Lena’s tales. I have several other projects, namely my 30,000 word WIP, but I also have several other short stories that I have written. These are completed, and are just waiting for editing, which is why they have not been published yet, because I will put editing off for as long as possible!

Where did you get the inspiration when it comes to the characters in your books? 

With my characters, I tend to just make them up as I go! There was no plan behind Ali, she just materialised as I wrote. Lena was based loosely on myself, and was created before I realised I wanted to write a series, and have a book from her perspective. It was a little strange, writing a book about someone I had based off myself, although it did give me a strange new understanding about myself. Kyra also just materialised, as a young woman with a tough exterior, but who can’t help but steal a few of her boyfriends hoodies to wear because they’re comfy and smell like him.

What difference did you see in your writing style after the second book of the

The main difference, between the first and second books, I didn’t really find in the writing style. My editing routine had changed, it was a lot more streamlined, but before that, there was less of a plan with the writing. I wasn’t sure what Lena’s story was until I started writing it. After I figured it out, though, I wrote half the book in a day.

Was promoting the second book easier since you have readers who are already reading your first book and must be intrigued by the sequel? 

Promoting my second book was easier, but mainly because I was running a free promotion for book 1 as book 2 came out. So I was shouting on Twitter about how book 1 was free, and casually mentioning that book 2 was also out now!

What kind of changes did you see in yourself, personally, after writing these two books? 

I wish I could say I was more motivated to write daily, and get more of my ideas out into the world! Even if the world was going to end if I didn’t write for an hour each day, I think I would end up letting the world down. I think I learnt more about myself after writing book 2, as the main character was technically based on myself. Lena has my social awkwardness, and writing about it has helped me to come to terms with the fact that it’s not just me who prefers not to be around people!

As the author itself, is there something you would like to say about your books to our readers?

My books, at least, the ones I have out at the moment, are about trying to find the right way in life, no matter what obstacles may stand in your way. Ali has to try and figure out if she can keep both Oliver and Noah in her life, or if she must give one up, and Lena struggles through shyness and an unbelievable amount of awkward situations to spend more time with the guy she likes. I must apologise to Lena, for I did put her in those situations. As an outsider, I found them hilarious, although she absolutely did not!

Is there anything that you would like to add or share in this interview?

I would love to give a link to my blog, Reading All Night, so anyone interested in my plethora of short stories and reviews can check them out:

I would also like to share the buy links for my books. Again, they do not have to be read in order, so if you fancy reading one, but not the other, that is fine!
Escape the Choice:
Embrace the Choice:

And if anyone wants to keep up with me after reading this, although I paint myself as a pretty scatter-brained individual, so I’m not sure anyone will, you can follow me on Twitter
here: ReadingAlNight

Thank you for having me! I really enjoyed answering these questions!

~ Thank you for reading & happy blogging ~ 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Meet the Author - Daryl Leonardo

Hey readers, 

How are you doing? I have a lot of exciting posts coming up, but today, I am here to introduce you to one of the most amazing authors. Apart from being very artistic, this author wrote two amazing books, Drown (which I have read and will write a review that is forever due) and his new book, Silver Boy. All the links will be down below for you to check them out. But now, it is time to welcome Daryl Leonardo. 

Before you start reading his answers, let me just tell you that Daryl is absolutely hilarious and a very fun-loving person, you will definitely love him and his books. I can guarantee you that. 

To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi. I’m Daryl. I was born in the Philippines, and I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I was younger, I was really into drawing and art. And then as I got into high school, I got more into singing and acting, which kind of shifted the trajectory of how I wanted my life to go. So, I moved to LA with my husband, and I have been pursuing a career in the entertainment industry ever since. I’m also really into video games.     

I would love for you to share a little about your book, Drown, with our readers.

drown is about two boys. The first is Erik, who’s super religious. He gets propositioned by a male classmate and it basically turns his whole life and views upside down. The other is Nick, whose parents are separating and he decides to uproot himself to move with his mother. Erik and Nick meet and spark a friendship that gets complicated really fast.        

When did you begin your writing journey? 

I think I dabbled in it growing up, but I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I was around 19 or 20. Growing up pursuing acting, I had gotten the impression that being Filipino – and later, when I came to realize that I’m gay – meant there’d be less opportunities for me. And I was feeling really stuck living in the Bay because I didn’t know what to do with my life there, so I thought maybe if I tried writing scripts, I could write my own roles. So, I gave it a shot. Then I moved to LA and things just continued to develop from there.   

Has social media proven to be useful for you when it comes to promoting your book? 

Umm… Yes and no. Social media has been a really good way of connecting with readers, other writers, and being able to spread the word among my friends and family. I don’t necessarily think, for me, it translated to sales though. I would say my biggest contributor to sales was self-investment, like buying and running ads whenever I can afford it, which I guess technically that’s also through social media. But whenever I try to promote anything myself, it feels like I’m shouting into the void. It’s hard because there are just so many people out there that are doing the same thing and it can often feel like an unpaid full time job. I don’t know. Algorithms just don’t like me. I’ve been trying to build an audience for forever. I guess, I’m just not good at it.     

Can you describe yourself in three words? 

Youthful Old Man… LOL 

How does it feel to be recognized as an author? 

Honestly, it’s a little weird. I don’t know if I just have major imposter syndrome, because I’m like this when it comes to any sort of title I can give myself. I never feel totally comfortable claiming to be anything – like an actor, or singer, or writer – because I feel like it comes with all these expectations that I’m not confident I can meet. Which is weird to say because I’m so proud of what I do. So, in a way, I guess it’s like a defense mechanism, because I never want to put myself in a position where I’m gonna feel like I’m not impressive. I’m like a porcelain doll; I’m very fragile lol.  

What is one song that you could listen to till this day and not get tired of it?

Oh, that’s tough, because my musical tastes depend on my mood. I recently went to see Wicked for the second time, and I thought I was over that soundtrack, but it’s been playing on repeat in my head for days. And I am living for it.

If you could have a wish fulfilled right now, what would you wish for?

I don’t know. I guess I would wish for more time. I never feel like I have enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do.    

Who inspires you the most in your daily life? 

I have no idea. That isn’t something that I really think about. I’ll say Taylor Swift, that seems like a safe answer.

What tv shows do you enjoy watching the most? 

Hmm… I feel like I watch mostly reality TV shows and YouTube. Because I’m constantly doing something, I like when I don’t have to pay too much attention to what’s showing on TV. As far as what I enjoy, it depends. I like a little bit of everything: comedies, mysteries, horror. I just have to be in the mood to actually sit down and want to watch it.

Do you read books as well or do you simply enjoy writing? If you do read, do you have any book suggestions? 

I don’t read as much as I should. When it comes to absorbing stories, my preference is actually through video games. I like the interactivity of it. As far as books go, I really like LGBTQ+ M/M romance. Those are my favorite to read just because I didn’t have them growing up and if I did, I think it would’ve helped. I’d say that my favorites are probably AutoBOYography by Christina Lauren and Openly Straight and Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg.  

What is the best part of writing for you? What is the worst part?

I’d say the best part of writing is just the ability to put a story in a tangible form, so that you always have it and it can’t be forgotten. The worst part though, is actually writing. It’s such a process lol.   

What is a type of genre that you would never read? 

Non-fiction. I don’t know. I just don’t care much for it. Unless it’s about something I’m really interested in or it’s like a memoir, or autobiography, or something, I just don’t find it very exciting. I need it to have a story, you know? Which is funny because I actually took The Omnivore’s Dilemma from a free tiny library near my apartment. I told myself I’d read it, but I don’t know if I actually will. 

Do you have a favorite quote or any lines that you find very inspiring? 

There are so many great quotes that I love. Most of my favorites tend to be the sad or reflective ones. I just love sad things, apparently lol. But anyway, I have this book of quotes called The Best Advice Ever Given and I found this one. I think it’s quite apt.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost 

Can you tell us a little about your second book, Silver Boy, which is coming up soon? 

silver boy is a sort of follow up to drown told from the perspective of drown’s “antagonist” – I guess you would call him. It’s about Andrew, who wants to start dating but has a lot of unresolved issues – inferiority complex, internalized homophobia, fragile masculinity – and it follows him as he tries to navigate online dating whilst remaining in the closet. And I realize, for those who’ve read drown, a story about Andrew might be controversial, but I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised. At least, I hope they will be. 

Is there anything that you would like to add to this interview?

I just  want to say that I’m really excited for the release of silver boy and that I’m very thankful that drown has done as well as it has. Follow me on social media. I’m very easy to reach and I respond to anything that isn’t rude or spam. I also have an art page, a couple of comic pages on IG, and etsy show that I would love to grow, if anyone’s interested in any of that. I’ll leave links here for you. Thanks!

If you loved this interview and want to get in touch or stalk Daryl everywhere (because why not), here are all the links to his social media. Go stalk him, check out his books and spread lots of love!

Main IG:

Main Twitter:

Main FB Page:

Art IG:

Art Twitter:

Art FB Page:


Comics IG:

Etsy Shop:

Buy Daryl's books!!!


Silver Boy:

~ Thank you for reading & happy blogging ~

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Book Review : Scrabble Babble Rabble

Hey readers, 

I am so excited to share this review of Scrabble Babble Rabble because it is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. A story that stays with you, a book that you want to keep close. I loved every moment of it, the writer exceeded my expectations and I am left inspired. 

Book Title: Scrabble Babble Rabble
Author: Bruno Beaches 
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Four prison inmates are thrown randomly together during recreation time, to play scrabble, with the added zing of occasionally telling stories about a word on the board. The stories reveal their characters and histories, but the scrabble itself is a mere transient remission from the vagaries and harshness of prison life, which continues unabated around them and through them.

We are party to a voyage through calm settled waters of support, camaraderie and story-telling, to storms of violence, abuse and abject despair in a rigid, alien and unforgiving environment. We feel the emotions of the highs and lows of prison life through the victimization, determination and hope of our players, who ultimately all show resilience in one way or another.

It is a fable about humanity, garnered with wit, insight and encouragement, with a little whodunnit? thrown in for good measure

My Review: 

I could not love this book more than I already do. This is certainly not something you get to read often. I was already amazed by the title itself. I believe that a good title is one of the most important element in a book and this title could not be more perfect.  I also love the cover of the book, it very much represents the book and the story. Through the game of Scrabble, we get to learn different stories about the lives of the prisoners. Each word is represented with a beautiful, inspiring story. I can not imagine a more perfect way of introducing us to these characters. We also learn that this book is more than just a game, there is more to it. I love how the suspense keeps you engaged throughout the book, I kept wanting to read more and more. You fall in love with the characters, you forget they are prisoners, you realize they are humans, just like us. Not everyone that goes to jail is a criminal, things happen for a reason. Sometimes, we make choices based on a situation and it leads us to an unexpected journey. One of my favorite character is Mr. Blanchflower who's a very respected English teacher. He changes lives, he saves people with his kindness. He's a man of passions! I love how the writer focuses on languages as there is communication between the prisoners, there is bonding over games. It is not simply each prisoner in their own cell kind of thing. People share their stories, they communicate, they love and they hate. They love to learn new things and engage.  Let's not forget, prisoners are people. I love how there is so much reality in the story, things we can relate, issues that are based in our reality. There is so many things I want to write here but when you read a good book, there are too many feelings that you simply can't share. It is not easily to keep a reader engaged throughout the entire book, especially keeping it fun and intense but meaningful at the same time, however this author delivered.  The book leaves you with a reminder that there is always hope in life. This was my first time reading from this author, I am certain that it won't be my last time.

Scrabble Babble Rabble is a book that stays with you. I was full of emotions and even after reading it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It really makes you think about life, deeply. If you are looking for something fun, meaningful and unique, this book is for you. I don't think I cannot recommend this book enough! 

You can follow the author on Goodreads by clicking the link below:
Bruno Beaches Goodreads

You can follow me for more reviews on Goodreads
Inna's Goodreads

~Thank you for reading & happy blogging ~

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Interview with Tim - The Man on the Spectrum’s Journey: Finding His way

Hey readers,

After a long break, I am back with more blog posts and of course, more amazing writers to introduce you to. Let's meet the author of the novel: The Man on the Spectrum’s Journey: Finding His way.

To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Claymont Delaware, and I am about to begin a new job at a banks public sector role right now.  I am the youngest of 6 children.  I am married and have an adopted 2-year-old daughter.

Can you tell us a little about your book, The Man on the Spectrum’s Journey: Finding His way? 

It’s about my life and the things surrounding it, between the years of 2012 and 2019.  It was during those years that I was starting to be recognized as on the Autism Spectrum, but someone who was high functioning, and there are stories and events in the book that parallel my experiences.  There are bad people with superficial motives, and also good, well meaning people who are helpful and supportive but cannot help him alone.

What is something, other than writing,  that you are passionate about? 

I am very passionate about music, comedy, and travel.  I am also very passionate about my faith, helping people including my church parish.

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? 

I may have had a desire beginning as early as 17 years of age, over 34 years ago.  I may read interesting nonfictional facts in almanacs, and stories behind entertainers and TV shows.  

Did you ever submit any stories as a kid or teenager? Or do you remember the very first story that you wrote? What was that about? 

I had never formally submitted any of my stories for a professional reviewer.  But I did write a few for teachers, and others who asked me to write essays and things for classes.

My very first story was about my first song, entitled “Kristen,” which was a love song, in which I added a back story behind my meeting her and interacting with her.  It was quite an adventure of emotions between the ages of 12 and 18, when I attended school with her from 7th grade to my senior year of high school.

If you didn’t write for a living, what would you probably do for work?

I would probably be doing work in a bank or some corporate setting, but only by default because it’s the career I kind of fell into through my schooling, temp to hire roles and one thing leading to another.  I do volunteer to play music for my contemporary church choir from time to time.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

I have become an early bird from a life of working odd shifts as well as common “bankers” work shifts.  I became that way after getting married and working a 3rd overnight shift, which changed my circadian rhythm, as it’s so-called. But before getting married, I did not enjoy having to rise early for school or work and preferred staying up late.

What inspired you to start a YouTube Channel? 

I figured out how through using the app.  I was hesitant because I feared too many people would see it and think I was making a fool of myself.  But I’ve found it to be a good tool to find ways to express my talents in small ways.  However, usually it's a struggle to be noticed on my “T Daniel” YouTube channel, and to this day don’t get much exposure.

How has writing changed you or the life around you? What was your life before writing? 

It’s something that gives me purpose, other than being there for my family.  It feels good when they show support, but I’ve found that they worry about me and what I reveal about myself and them through my creativity.

What’s your favorite writing software? 

I use the Pages app on my smartphone to do my writing.  I used the old fashioned way of writing on paper, then transferring what I wrote on the really cool Pages documents.  I’ve utilized voice to text, tried voiceover systems to hear it, and it’s helpful in making me catch mistakes, grammar errors and such.  For awhile, an app called Grammarly was useful but was complicated and detected too much at times and was too time consuming.

Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing? 

I would say my sister Linda has seemed very supportive and has complimented me on it, asking questions that I can appreciate about life and characters.  Also, a former coworker named Kalyn from TPI, The Precisionists, Inc.,  is someone I’m in touch with on social media and likes hearing what I write, and that’s encouraging.

What does your writing space look like? Do you prefer to write in an office or rather in an open space such as a park?

It has changed all the time.  It’s usually my bedside when I can’t sleep in a dark dimly lit setting.  The more quiet the better.

What is your favorite thing to do for relaxation or how do you spend your time when you are on break? 

I will sometimes take walks, when the weather is nice. I enjoy swimming in the summer, and just laying back to watch TV or YouTube.

Do you read a lot? If yes, who is your favorite author? 

I have been an admirer of a strange range of writers, from ancient ones who wrote the Bible stories, to the writers of the classics, like John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, or maybe even Peter Benchley who wrote “Jaws.”

Do you have a specific schedule that you follow or do you just write whenever you wish to? 

I write whenever I wish to, and apply my excerpts into a more organized story later.

Where do you want to travel next? 

I want to go to Florida again soon, since it’s been years since I was there last, plus take my little girl there for the first time in the next year.  Long term I’d like to see Europe, Asia and Australia or New Zealand one day.

Do you have a favorite quote that you would like to share with us?  

"All things in moderation".

If you had to meet a character from your novel, who would it be? 

Here’s where it gets interesting, because I have met already people who inspired my characters.  But if I were a reader getting to know the characters, I’d like to meet my main character’s mother, who in the book is in her 80s, and would like to learn of her life experiences, especially raising kids, being a caretaker for minor children between the 1940s and 1980s.

Also, I’d love to meet Deanna at a different time when she was single and younger.  Even though she’s very professional and dignified, there’s a certain “sexy” side to her as a leader, with the dark red hair and Irish family background, and someone who is Ken’s boss, despite being a female who is younger than him and attractive.  But being married kept both of them off limits from each other romantically.  

What advice would you give to a new writer who wants to publish their first novel? 

Have patience, and be willing to invest, mostly in time and materials.  These days, if not paper and pen, then apps.

Is there anything that you would like to add or share in this interview?

My characters are people that I would really love for people to take time and get to know.  Also, if they could visualize them and provide their own feedback from what they get from this story, the morals and such, I would consider that a success.  If you think it was interesting at all, wait until you read my prequel, my work in progress.  It’s a real humdinger!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Meet the Amazing Blogger - Unwanted Life

Hey readers,

I am happy to introduce you to an awesome blogger who goes by the name of Unwanted Life. If you guys have not heard of Unwanted Life, you are missing out because there are so many interesting and inspiring posts on the blog. You should definitely check it out!

What impact does blogging have in your daily life? How has blogging helped you? 

Blogging in my daily life gives me something to do to stop me losing my mind as I’m trapped at home with nothing to do. Since my health started to deteriorate and I had to give up my volunteer job at a substance abuse charity as a result, I had a lot of time to waste, even when doing my postgraduate degree. Starting my blog gave me something to do and I got to help people at the same time.

I’ve benefited a lot from blogging, besides it helping to keep me sane. It’s allowed me to expand my knowledge through researching my articles and it’s helped improve my counselling skills.

How do you manage to be consistent with your posts? Do you schedule them ahead or do you simply write whenever you want to?

I post a new article once a week on a Wednesday, so I just have to schedule to that deadline. Most of the time I only finish an article a day or two before it’s to be published, but from time to time I get four or more weeks ahead of my schedule. Although that often depends on how bad my mental health is at the time.

I’ve also started doing a monthly meet the sponsors article, which I can never really get a head with, given the nature of how it operates. But so far I’ve got it done by the start of the new calendar month.

What has been your most successful post? Why do you think that is?

My most successful article, since it was published at least, is ‘How Anime Brings Mental Health Into The Mainstream’. Before that, it was a tie between ‘Which Winnie The Pooh Character Are You?’ and ‘Alternative Subcultures: Goths And Mental Health’. My anime article was only published this year, yet it has topped my visits list almost every day since.

I think this particular article is popular because anime is hugely popular. I love anime and watch it all the time, which is why I noticed how mental health appeared in a lot of anime's popular shows. This was what motivated me to write the article in the first place.

Who inspires you to keep going and pushes you to better yourself in your life?

Cosmic Taryn helped keep me going when I thought about quitting, although they didn’t know it at the time. They were just being them; supportive by nature. But it was enough to keep me going. Happy to have met them and have them in my life, even though we’ve never met each other.

How long have you been blogging for? 

I started blogging in January 2019, so it’ll be three years this coming January. Although it feels longer, due to the pandemic.

Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is your occupation and how do you find time to juggle between these two? 

At the moment I do two volunteer jobs on top of blogging. My volunteer jobs only require about six hours a week of my time on average. This leaves plenty of time for blogging as long as my mental health or health issues aren’t playing up too much.

What do you do when you are feeling upset about something but don’t want to share your thoughts with anyone? What do you do in that very specific moment? 

I don’t really do anything. If it’s particularly bad, I may play some really heavy metal loudly or send a couple of messages to my partner to rant. But mainly I do nothing.

I believe that every blogger is different and has their own stories to share through the images, the display, and the title. Is there something that you find unique on your blog? Something that you might not find on any other blog that you visit? 

I’m probably the only mental health blog that has a darker, more negative looking logo, negative name, and darker styling in general. Most mental health blogs use light colours and positive imagery. But my life has always existed in darkness and I’ll always be a goth metalhead, and I won’t hide that. I want to be true to myself and how mental health issues really are: dark.

Is there a time where you really don’t feel like blogging? Did you ever take a break while blogging?

There’s been lots of times where I’ve struggled with blogging, but I don't really take a break. I’m not sure what I’d do with myself if I did. That much free time wouldn’ be healthy for me. But there’s no real specific times where I’ve hated blogging, it’s just my mental health and health issues can drain me of motivation or just make it too hard to do stuff.

I love reading your blog posts and from what I have read, you are always honest and a straightforward type of person. If you don’t like a product, app or anything else, you will tell the readers your honest opinion. That’s how I feel when I read your blog. How would you describe yourself in three words? 

This really stumped me, I had to come back to this one once I’d finished the other questions.

Damaged, but trying

Your blog has great topics including mental health, wellness, physical health, dyslexia and others. What’s your favorite type of posts to write about? 

I guess the area between mental health and advice, where these two come together, that’s what I prefer to write about. I get to learn as much as my readers when I write about that intersection.

What is your biggest achievement? (Either as a blogger or in life in general) 

I guess my biggest achievement to date is graduating from my postgraduate degree, which was a lot harder to do then it should have been. I lost funding during this degree, so I had to defer a year. Two placements for my clinical hours let me down two years in a row so I couldn’t get my clinical hours. My mum developed cancer while I was studying, and my health issues were getting worse. So it became quite a slog fest to finish.

Do you have a favorite tv show or a favorite movie that you would like to share with our readers?

I guess Star Trek (TV series and films, the whole collection), because it paints the ideal situation of how human society could function in a world without capitalism. All the more important as capitalism leads us to our climate disaster. Plus, sooner or later, almost every single job will be done by robots, so we won’t need to work, so this presents a good replacement model to live by. 

How did you come up with the name of your blog? 

I came up with the name for my blog by adapting the name for my biography that I never wrote. I would have called that book, Life of an Unwanted Youth. So I took the Unwanted part, because I’ve always felt unwanted, dropped the rest, and added Life on the end: Unwanted Life was born.

Do you have a preference between promoting your blog posts on Twitter or on Instagram? Where do you feel you are most active and engage with people? 

Instagram is a waste of time for promoting my articles, I’m not sure how anyone else finds it, but Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t favor any of my posts there. Twitter is far better for traffic, so I’d tell people to invest their time there.

Have you ever met any other bloggers in real life? Would you want to meet another blogger?

I don’t think I’ve ever met a blogger in real life, but then I don’t share my real name or images of my face. With people not knowing who I am, you don’t really end up in situations where other bloggers might get to meet you. But that might change one day. I could see myself revealing who I am at some point.

What are some of your hobbies? 

Not much at the moment, just watch a lot of TV shows, films, and anime, and do some gaming from time to time. I’d love to do more creative stuff, but I just don’t have the space to do that.

Do you have any upcoming projects or any posts that you would like to share with our readers? (personal or blog projects)

I’m currently putting together an article about what it’s like to live with suicidal thoughts, so if anyone would like to share their personal experience of that with me for that article, please contact me. 

I’d also love to share more of people’s stories of feeling unwanted and how that affected them too. If that interests you, please reach out and let's have a conversation about how we can make that happen.

Currently working in collaboration with an arts organization and an artist to create a video of what it’s like to go through an episode of my psychosis. Which is a situation I never thought I’d be in, which is both scary and exciting to be involved in.

What would you do to improve your blog? 

If I had more knowledge about website building, I’d improve it’s loading speed. Google keeps telling me it doesn’t load fast enough, but I’m at a loss about how to make that happen. I might also add a counselling service if my imposter syndrome lessens for long enough.

Unwanted Life is an amazing blogger, if you enjoyed this interview, make sure to check out the blog and all of the social media. Unwanted Life writes about mental health, learning disabilities, therapy and more, you should definitely check it out.



All Unwanted Life links

~ Thank you for reading & happy blogging ~