Thursday, January 6, 2022

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: People of the Sun (The Eye of Ra #3) by Ben Gartner

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for People of the Sun by Ben Gartner. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: People of the Sun
Series: The Eye of Ra #3
Author: Ben Gartner
Publisher: Crescent Vista Press
Publication Date: February 1st 2022
Print Length: 262 pages
Genre: Middle Grade Time Travel Historical Adventure
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The explosive reveal about who John and Sarah really are and why they’re traveling through time, with their most gut-wrenching challenge yet.

In the time of the Aztec, a scoundrel named Cort├ęs arrives and the kids are forced to make an extremely difficult decision: If you could change history, should you? For more twists, more danger, and more fun, read the third book in The Eye of Ra series, People of the Sun!

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EXCERPT:
When they came out of a pine forest and could see the lake below, with Tenochtitlan as a dazzling island city, John couldn’t help but mutter, “Wow.”

He heard his sister mumble the same thing.

The city sparkled and spread out with a much bigger footprint than John had imagined. He’d heard of the famed city of the Aztec, but he’d always pictured something . . . smaller. This was a regular metropolis, with suburbs and floating islands and multiple huge temples. Canoes drifted on canals like the pictures he’d seen of Venice in Italy, though these canoes were loaded with goods headed to market. Farther out into the lake, men cast nets and brought up flopping silver fish, their scales sparkling in the sun.

John’s mouth watered when he saw a floating garden bursting with leafy greens. The rectangular plot of land had poles sticking out of each side, securing boards that held the dirt like a raised garden bed back home. But this was in the middle of the lake. John squinted at the marvel of it all.

The sound of sloshing water pulled his stare toward a stone trough that started in the hills and was then suspended on man-made islands right across the lake and into the city. “An aqueduct?”

“For our drinking water,” Ome said.

“But you’re on a lake,” John said, implying that there was fresh water all around.

“Lake Texcoco is too salty to drink. Great for the fish, bad for the people,” Huitzi said.

“There are dikes that keep some fresh water close to the island, but that is used for farming,” Ome added.

Wow. John never knew that either. They lived on a lake and yet had to build a system of aqueducts to bring in safe drinking water. Amazing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra time travel adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

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GUEST POST:
Success Begets Success
by Ben Gartner


This will be a hard article to write because it requires some vulnerability. But I hope it’s useful to others, so I’ll give it a shot.

First of all, let me declare that I am no expert, nor do I claim to be special. I am simply sharing my experience in hopes that some portion of it may be useful to others.

Other writers have asked me about how I’ve been successful with my series for middle grade readers, The Eye of Ra (which includes The Eye of Ra, Sol Invictus, and People of the Sun). I am not a fan of “marketing,” so this isn’t necessarily a marketing-focused blog post. Though, of course, it is. There are many tendrils to this question, and they all assume that the content is at least “good enough” to warrant some attention. In terms of the marketing snowball effect, it all boils down to one maxim: Success begets success.

Find someone who likes your book and trumpet their approval. I know this feels like back-patting, and often we writers are loathe to do that. I am no different. So, I try to approach it as a business, which it is. I put on my “marketer” hat and think, “What would a third-party marketing person say about this review from author X about my client’s book?” And then push that out into the world. Leverage that validation from one to approach another. People want to read good books, and word of mouth referrals are the best source of recommendations. Seeing a critical review from Kirkus or Publishers Weekly or Foreword Reviews or any of the others that has a positive soundbite you can use will only help persuade someone else to think, “Hm, maybe I’ll give it a shot.” That’s all you can ask for.

And if that person then leaves a review or a rating, that’s terrific. If they tell their friends, even better.

Remember that this is a waterwheel (or hamster wheel, depending on how you look at it!) that requires constant investment of time and energy, and sometimes money. And remember that it is the quantity of exposure that cumulatively has a positive effect. One snowflake may be beautiful, but a bunch of them together has more of an impact.

Importantly, and hopefully this goes without saying, always be true to yourself. Be kind. Be helpful to others. I believe there is plenty of room for all sorts of books, and authors, and readers. A rising tide raises all boats, so focus on the positive of what you can reasonably do for yourself, and for your community, and lift others up too. Because you might just be that first review someone else is looking for to build their own snowball.
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GIVEAWAY:
Ben Gartner will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions assumes all responsibility with this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

301 comments:

  1. love the cover, this sounds really interesting

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  2. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  3. I love your cover. Did you get a lot of choice in it?

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  4. Thanks for including me on your blog!

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  5. This is right up my daughters alley. Good work.

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  6. David HollingsworthJanuary 6, 2022 at 5:41 PM

    This sounds like a fun book for teens.

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  7. I enjoyed the excerpt and the guest post and People of the Sun sounds like a great time travel adventure for the kids! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic day!

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  8. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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  9. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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  10. The covers of your books are colorful and eye catching. Do you have a favorite color? My favorite color is cobalt blue.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. The cover art is very well done! Looks like a fun read for my upcoming road-trip!

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  12. I really liked the description of the book. Sounds like a great read.

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  13. This sounds good. I'm definitely adding it my young one's reading list.

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  14. David HollingsworthJanuary 7, 2022 at 8:00 PM

    I really like the cover!

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  15. This looks like a fun book to read for young teens. I like the cover art. Very eye catching!

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  16. Do you ever get to build a snowman with your family? We have had one snowy day this season.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  17. This book looks very interesting. Great cover!

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  18. David HollingsworthJanuary 8, 2022 at 5:54 PM

    How di8d you come up with this book?

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  19. What is your all time favorite book that you have read.

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  20. Does your family like to eat oatmeal when the weather is cold? I like oatmeal with butter and brown sugar!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  21. This read is quite unique - title genre and cover!
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  22. I would so love to read this one this winter season.
    heather
    hgtempaddy

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  23. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  24. David HollingsworthJanuary 9, 2022 at 8:35 PM

    How did you become an author?

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  25. David HollingsworthJanuary 10, 2022 at 7:04 PM

    How was day today?

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  26. Where is your favorite place to write?

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  27. If you had a choice between grits or oatmeal for breakfast, which one would you pick? I alternate between them.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  28. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

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  29. David HollingsworthJanuary 12, 2022 at 1:17 AM

    What your next's book going to be about?

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  30. How do you like your bacon cooked - extra crispy or regular? I like nice crispy bacon!

    Nancy

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  31. Where do you get your ideas for writing?

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  32. Do you have characters living in your head?

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  33. Do you do anything special to treat yourself after finishing a book?

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  34. Would you rather have a home made biscuit or toast with breakfast?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  35. David HollingsworthJanuary 13, 2022 at 10:13 PM

    Just saying hi.

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  36. What advice do you have for writers?

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  37. David HollingsworthJanuary 14, 2022 at 9:14 PM

    I think your book will do amazing!

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  38. What part of the book was the most fun to write?

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  39. David HollingsworthJanuary 15, 2022 at 9:10 PM

    The design of the cover is good.

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  40. I so enjoyed reading the excerpt- well done!

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  41. Where you live, do you get lots of snow? We had a big snow today.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  42. David HollingsworthJanuary 17, 2022 at 2:11 AM

    Do you like it when it snows?

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  43. Have you ever been sledding on a chilly and snowy day?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  44. I am adding this book to my to be read soon list!

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  45. What inspires your book plots?

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  46. Have you noticed that the days are getting longer?

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  47. What is the first book that made you cry?

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  48. David HollingsworthJanuary 18, 2022 at 9:03 PM

    Hope your Tuesday is going well.

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  49. Currently is there snow and ice in your hometown? We have snowy conditions here.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  50. What’s the best way to market your books?

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  51. I love this books details sounds like a great read.

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  52. Do you take a daily walk to clear your head?

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  53. This sounds like an interesting book to read. I also like the cover.

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  54. When you were a young kid, did you ever build a snowman?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  55. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

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  56. sounds like a super neat book!

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  57. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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  58. This so sounds like my kind of read and I love the cover too.
    heather
    hgtempaddy

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  59. David HollingsworthJanuary 20, 2022 at 8:08 PM

    How are dealing the weather?

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  60. What's your New Year's Resolution?

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  61. David HollingsworthJanuary 21, 2022 at 7:31 PM

    How are you keeping warm?

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  62. The front cover of People of the Sun (The Eye of Ra #3) by Ben Gartner is both colorful and highly detailed.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  63. It is icy and snowy here. Have you ever gone ice skating?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  64. What is the best piece of advice you have received?

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  65. David HollingsworthJanuary 22, 2022 at 8:44 PM

    What do you think of solar panels?

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  66. How did you decide that type of book you wanted to write?

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  67. What is your favorite travel destination?

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  68. Do you have a favorite style of music that you usually play?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  69. David HollingsworthJanuary 23, 2022 at 7:05 PM

    Do you have a guilty pleasure?

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  70. Do you think about your next book while writing the current one?

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  71. When you were a child or youth, who were some of your favorite authors?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  72. How do you select the names of your characters?

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  73. David HollingsworthJanuary 25, 2022 at 2:50 AM

    Do you ice cream?

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  74. Many people have a favorite color - do you? I like cobalt blue.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  75. What kind of books do you read?

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  76. This sounds like a great read that I would really enjoy.

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  77. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

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  78. What is your favorite type of music?

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  79. David HollingsworthJanuary 26, 2022 at 7:48 PM

    Do you like to take long walks?

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  80. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

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  81. What is your favorite to do your writing?

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  82. What is your favorite place to your writing?

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  83. What do you do when you're stuck?

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  84. David HollingsworthJanuary 28, 2022 at 2:55 AM

    Have you ever had smores?

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  85. How do you handle writing slumps?

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  86. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?

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  87. Where you live, is it a snowy weekend?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  88. David HollingsworthJanuary 29, 2022 at 9:36 PM

    Hope you're keeping warm during these snowy days.

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  89. Are you looking forward to Spring? I know I am.

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  90. I think I would have a hard time putting this book down after starting to read it.

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  91. Do you have a favorite place in the U.S. that is a great spot to travel to and visit?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  92. David HollingsworthJanuary 30, 2022 at 7:22 PM

    Do you ever read the books you've written?

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  93. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

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  94. Do you have a favorite outdoor sport that you enjoy watching?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  95. David HollingsworthJanuary 31, 2022 at 8:23 PM

    Have you ever read one of your own books?

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  96. What's your drink of choice when you're writing?

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  97. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

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  98. David HollingsworthFebruary 1, 2022 at 7:30 PM

    Where do you go for inspiration?

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  99. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

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  100. Do you have a favorite space to do your writing?

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  101. What did you want to be when you grew up?

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  102. David HollingsworthFebruary 2, 2022 at 9:21 PM

    Just saying hi.

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  103. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

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  104. David HollingsworthFebruary 3, 2022 at 6:48 PM

    I like the cover.

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  105. How long did it take you write the book?

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  106. Do you have a favorite way to relax?

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  107. David HollingsworthFebruary 4, 2022 at 8:02 PM

    Have you ever come across your books in bookstores?

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  108. My question from yesterday doesn't seem to have posted - what's the furthest you've been from home?

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  109. Do you listen to music when you write?

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  110. Where do you get your ideas for writing?

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  111. As you were growing up, who were some of the people that you considered as your role models?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  112. David HollingsworthFebruary 6, 2022 at 3:09 AM

    just saying hello.

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  113. Do you do anything special to treat yourself after finishing a book?

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  114. Do you take time off from writing on the weekends?

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  115. Does your family like to watch the assorted events of the Winter Olympics?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  116. What was your favourite subject in school?

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  117. Ooh! I love time travel books!

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  118. David HollingsworthFebruary 8, 2022 at 3:28 AM

    If you could go back in time, where would you go?

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  119. Do you prefer colder or warmer climates?

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  120. Have you ever made your own Valentine's Day cards?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  121. David HollingsworthFebruary 9, 2022 at 11:50 PM

    What's your favorite form of therapy?

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  122. What advice do you have for writers?

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  123. David HollingsworthFebruary 12, 2022 at 2:08 AM

    Do you watch Turner Classic Movies?

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  124. I would so enjoy reading this book and I like the cover too.

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  125. Did you always want to write children's books?

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  126. Will you be watching the Super Bowl? I'll be reading a book.

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  127. What part of the book was the most fun to write?

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  128. How has your year been so far?

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  129. David HollingsworthFebruary 14, 2022 at 6:33 PM

    Do you believe in miracles?

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  130. Do you believe in love at first sight?

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  131. Do you celebrate Valentines Day?

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  132. I so enjoyed reading the excerpt- well done!

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  133. Will you buy any discounted Valentine's Day goodies today?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  134. David HollingsworthFebruary 15, 2022 at 6:09 PM

    What's something you're looking forward to?

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  135. David HollingsworthFebruary 16, 2022 at 5:50 PM

    What's your favorite genre of book?

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  136. What is the first book that made you cry?

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  137. David HollingsworthFebruary 17, 2022 at 8:32 PM

    How have you been these days?

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  138. Today's best quote: “Find joy in snow,” he said. “because if you don’t find joy in snow, you’ll be less happy and still have the same amount of snow.”

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  139. David HollingsworthFebruary 18, 2022 at 6:25 PM

    Who's your favorite filmmaker?

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  140. What’s the best way to market your books?

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  141. David HollingsworthFebruary 19, 2022 at 7:19 PM

    What's your favorite book genre?

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  142. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

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  143. David HollingsworthFebruary 20, 2022 at 4:11 PM

    Happy Sunday!

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  144. Have you ever met someone from the internet?

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  145. Sounds awesome. I would love to read thid

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  146. How did you decide on the cover for this book?

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  147. David HollingsworthFebruary 21, 2022 at 6:30 PM

    What did you want to be while growing up?

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  148. I hope you are somewhere warm. Current wind chill here is -10.

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  149. David HollingsworthFebruary 22, 2022 at 6:29 PM

    Happy Tuesday!

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  150. What was the best day of your life?

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  151. Do you write an outline before you start your book?

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  152. David HollingsworthFebruary 24, 2022 at 3:31 AM

    What's your next book going to be about?

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  153. How do you select the names of your characters?

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  154. I would so enjoy reading this book and I like the cover too. How long did it take to write it?

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  155. Who or what inspires your writing?

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  156. David HollingsworthFebruary 25, 2022 at 6:39 PM

    What's the best thing about being a writer?

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