Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author interview- Kersten Kelly

Kersten Kelly is a new author. Her first book is Economics- a simple twist on normalcy. The premise of the book is to incorporate economic theory into social media, pop culture, business, education, and history to help determine why certain things happen.

Here is the link to the book's website The economics book

Here is the interview


Favorite color-Yellow
Place of your dreams-Amsterdam, I've been there once for New Years Eve, and it was so incredible that I felt like I was in a dream. The people I met were incredible, and there were fireworks and celebrations everywhere. It was unbelievable.
Favorite author-Steven Levitt
Favorite books-Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, Blink, The Tipping Point, A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard

Zodiac sign-Taurus


1. These days there is a lot of talk about economic problems and economists are often criticized for their inability to provide lasting solutions to the world's problems. What do you feel about this?

Knowledge is power in the topic of economics. Economists might be able to provide the solutions, but when more people are educated on the subject, there is a more cohesive binding of people to move world problems forward. By researching, reading, and educating oneself on economics and how the theories come together to explain many of the world's issues, ordinary people can contribute to solving these problems. The problems are much larger than just a simple economic solution from one person. We need everyone to buy in to the solutions and work together to implement them.

2. How is the knowledge of economics helpful to an author in promoting their books?

The knowledge of economics is helpful in promoting my book because opportunity costs are so high. When a book comes out, an author only has a certain amount of time for the initial marketing of the book to choose the most effective places to advertise the book. Because I am only one person, I use economics to determine which mediums will yield the highest return on my investment. In other words, if I have a choice between 5 book reviews or 10 author interviews on different websites, what is my most impactful option? Using economic theory helps to determine how my time should be spent in the promotion process.

3. What was your motivation behind writing this book?

I love economics, and I majored in it during my undergraduate work at Indiana University. As a student, many of the examples in my textbooks were irrelevant and made the subject one that many students did not enjoy. I wanted to change the negative connotations associated with the topic. I wanted to make it something that people understood and relished learning about. Hopefully anyone who reads this will have a better appreciation for such an intricate subject of material.

4. Tell us about your life and an author/economist.

I try to balance being an author with my full-time job as a salesperson based out of Chicago, Illinois. Although I only spend a portion of my time as an author writing, I am always an economist. I think about economic theory (and I challenge readers to do the same in the book) and how it influences my daily life all the time. Each time I have to make a decision or analyze the best way to conquer a situation, I consider my options through an economic lens. As an economist, I am always looking to be better off in my choices. Everything I do in my life is pretty much a blend of both "hats" that I wear.

5. What message would you like to give your readers.

I would like my readers to know that economics can be an interesting, informative way to look at the world. It is not just useless theories that can only be applied to textbooks. If a person purchases gas or follows theilocal sports team, economics is intertwined in both of those activities in a multitude of ways. By reading the book, people can understand this better. Economics is a tool that can help people make better decisions for themselves. I sincerely enjoyed writing this book, and I hope that people enjoy reading it. In addition, believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. With passion and dedication, anything is achievable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Interview with romance author Elizabeth Boyle

Elizabeth Boyle is the NY Times bestselling author of eighteen novels and two novellas. Her favorites moments as an author include winning the Dell Diamond Debut, the Romance Writers of America RITA award and falling over backward into Puget Sound during a photo shoot. Having successfully hunted software pirates for a living, Elizabeth feels equally qualified to delve into the antics of rakes, spies and privateers in her writing life.

Review Carnival is  honored to be interviewing such an amazing writer.

Favorite color- Green
Favorite author/s- Laura Lee Guhrke, Laura Joh Rowland, Julia Quinn, Caroline Linden, Candice Hern . . .

Zodiac sign- Capricorn
A quote that inspires you- Show up.

Favorite book- The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

Dream holiday destination- Anything with a beach and crystal blue water.


1. Romance is a very popular genre with many different subgenres and types of characters. What kind of characters do you like the most? I love uptight and straitlaced hero that I can send the most dizzy, wild woman to upend his well-ordered life. And at the same time, I love the overly confident and ultra rakish fellow who meets his match in an unlikely heroine--the bluestocking, the widow, the spinster.

2. A place you've always dreamt of writing about in your novels and why - I love my current time period--The Regency, the era of Jane Austen. So I suppose I am living my dream.

3. What do you think makes historical romances different from other types of romance (other than being set in history when things were different)? I think there is always a romanticism about the past, but the Regency has that added cache of being the last era of manners and abandon, before the advent of trains and machinery. There is still a pastoral elegance to the time period that I think readers find as a perfect antidote to modern life.

4. How does it feel to be an internationally known/published author? I don't know--quite honestly. I just write my stories. That they go out into the world and into so many places that I've never heard of--just astounds me. I sit in my quiet office in the Pacific Northwest and spin stories that I hope readers all over will enjoy.

5. Your dream romance novel.... The one that makes a reader laugh out loud and fall in love at the same time.

Manga writer interview with Queenie Chan

Today I'll be interviewing a great new manga writer at Review Carnival-Queenie Chan. Queenie Chan was born in 1980 in Hong Kong, and migrated to Australia when she was six years old. In 2004, she began drawing a 3-volume mystery-horror series called "The Dreaming" for LA-based manga publisher TOKYOPOP. To date, it has been translated into multiple languages.

She has since collaborated on several single-volume graphic novels with best-selling author Dean Koontz. As prequels to his "Odd Thomas" series of novels, they are called “In Odd We Trust” and “Odd Is On Our Side”, the latter becoming #1 on the New York Times best-seller list the week it came out. A third book, "House of Odd", is coming on March 20th, 2012. In 2009, she also provided art for the "Boys Book of Positive Quotations", by best-selling inspirational author Steve Deger.

Currently, she is working on "Small Shen", a prequel to Kylie Chan's best-selling "White Tiger" fantasy series. Apart from her professional work, she also draws a number of online comic strips on her personal site: http://www.queeniechan.com/



Favorite mangaka- Eichiro Oda
Favorite manga- One Piece
Favorite color- Red
Zodiac sign- Gemini
Place of your dreams- Blue skies, white sand... clear waters. A beautiful untouched tropical paradise.
Favorite character (in book/manga/movie)- Very hard... probably Tyrion from the "Game of Thrones" series of novels. He's such a good person, but the odds are stacked against him, and he has to fight every step of the way just to get any decent treatment.

1. Why did you decide to write manga?

I've always liked to write in high school, and we got plenty of chances to do creative writing in the earlier years. However, as I got to the higher grades, these chances dribbled away, so I was no longer able to write as much since I was too busy studying. When university came along, I found my degree (in Information Systems) very stressful, so I started drawing as a way of escape. I'd been reading manga all the way through my childhood, and one day it occurred to me that I can draw my own manga stories too... just like that, out of the blue. So, my #1 hobby in university was born.

2. What kind of characters or plots do you like to create?
I've drawn stories in all kinds of genres, so my interests are quite broad. Generally speaking, I tend to gravitate towards darker stories, because that's the way I am, but I've since learned the importance of a "lighter" outlook. I also like drawing/writing fantastical kinds of stories, probably because of the visual nature of manga. I feel I can create an entire magical universe on the cheap, just by usng pencil and paper. That gives me a lot of freedom, and it gives me a lot of opportunities to look at pretty pictures online (for inspiration).

3. Who are your biggest inspirations?

There's been a lot of artists over the years who have inspired me, but I would say my single biggest influence was probably Tezuka Osamu, the creator of Astro Boy. In the west, he's primarily known as a creator of children's stories, but in truth his work is very diverse, and there isn't a topic under the sun he hasn't tackled. He's also an incredibly dynamic and interesting story-teller - he uses techniques in his own stories that I've not seen used anywhere else. His story "Black Jack", about a rogue doctor (surgeon) who charges people ludicrous fees, but who really has a good heart, blew my teenage mind when I first read it. I didn't know people could write those kind of stories... but he did, and he taught me a lot.

4. What are your other hobbies?

I like to sew. I'm not so talented in the knitting department, but I also like to crochet cute little toys. I'm getting pretty decent at it, and it's always to have a nice relaxing hobby where you produce something cute and worthwhile at the end. When I'm not doing little arts and crafts, I like to read, watch movies, and play video games. I also shouldn't neglect exercise... since I sure surf the internet a lot too.

5. What is the best part of being a manga writer?

Seeing your creations come to life, and getting paid for doing it! Drawing manga is a slow and excruciating process, and there's no way of making that process easier or shorter. The reward is getting it finished, and seeing your characters being enjoyed by other people. There isn't anything else I'd rather do.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Romance novels cover model- Laura Williams interview

The most exciting part of most romance novels are the beautiful covers that take us to an exotic place and time. The models on these covers make our innermost romantic fantasies come true. Since I have reviewed so many romance novels on review carnival, I decided to do an interview with model Laura Williams, who has appeared on more than 1000 romance novel covers. She has modelled for bestselling writers such as Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas and others on their most recognizable covers.

Here is the interview.

Favorite color- Red

Zodiac sign- Scorpio

Favorite country/city- Cape Town, South Africa

One fashion item you can't go without- iPhone

Your prince charming should be- Intelligent, have a sense of humor, and well traveled.

1. You look so different on each and every cover. I couldn't even say that they were all of the same person. How do you manage to be so versatile?

I have found that lighting, make-up and how I style my hair can dramatically change how I look in photographs. I can be modern or from another time period, casual or sophisticated and can even appear to be different nationalities—just by altering those 3 basic factors. Then, of course, there’s the obvious differences due to wardrobe and setting. Also, when I am posing for the covers I take on the mood of the character in the book which can have an important effect on how people perceive me. It’s like being an actress of sorts. The more real my portrayal is then the more intriguing the cover will be.

2. Do you read romance novels? Which are your favorites?

I have read romance novels. I especially like Nora Roberts and Lisa Kleypas. Through the years, I’ve done covers for each of these outstanding authors.

3. You get to wear beautiful dresses on the covers. Please describe how it feels to be wearing them.

Many of the dresses are really gorgeous. It's definitely a perk being able to wear them and feel beautiful and feminine. I'm lucky I am in a profession where I get to do this for a living. But my favorite accessory in a book cover shoot is definitely the hot guy standing next to me :)

4. Do you prefer to model on contemporary romance covers or historical romance covers? Why?

I enjoy both, but I do slightly prefer historical. It's more fun to see the covers when they come out, and it's more of a novelty. It always makes me wonder what people's lives were really like back then.

5. Which are your favorite covers till now.

There are many covers that I really like. I work with very talented art directors and illustrators who make all their covers very beautiful . My most recent favorites are: Stranger in My Arms, The Harlequin and Dark Stranger. But my all-time favorite was one of the first covers I did in the beginning of my career. It was called Proud Wolf's Woman by Karen Kay. The author was extremely happy and wrote a letter praising me as a model to the company that had hired me. That was very exciting at the time so I have fond memories this one. It helped start my career to becoming the top female book cover model.

6. How do you feel when you look at covers with pictures of yourself on the shelves of top-tier bookstores?

It's a lot of fun, especially when I travel. I have seen myself on the cover of romance books in Germany, England, Greece, Iceland, Italy, South Africa and the Middle East. It’s always a pleasant surprise to find pictures of myself anywhere, but somehow it’s even more uniquely thrilling when it’s in some remote, exotic place I wasn’t expecting, or I find myself on the cover of a translated version. My family and friends enjoy finding me in their local bookstores and shops, too. My nieces and nephews have a whole book collection of their Aunt Laura.

7. What does beauty and love mean to you.

Having the career that I've had in the modeling business, I've learned that the only beauty and love that is lasting comes from the inside. It comes from loving and taking care of yourself and from being a good person to others. Looks can fade if you don't take care of yourself and no one gives love to someone who doesn't love themselves or give back to others.

Wishing all the best to Laura!

Images used belong to copyright holders. The covers are in order:

A Case for Romance- Katie Rose
Secret Star- Nora Roberts
Stranger in my arms-Lisa Kleypas
The Brahms Deception- Louise Marley