Author: tracykrauss (page 2 of 16)

Interview with Reba Malloy

Here is the third character interview with the Malloy family, who have taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours. Meet Reba Malloy.

Reba Malloy

Q: I heard that you have a nickname. What is it?

A: Spitfire. My brother Zeb labelled me with that one. Nobody else calls me that, though.

Q: What’s behind it?

A: You know what they say about red heads. The fiery temperament to match the hair and all that… I just speak my mind, that’s all. I don’t see any point in beating around the bush, as they say.

Q: What is your relationship like with your other siblings? Do you get along?

A: I think we all get along pretty well. There are nine of us so there’s bound to be some fighting, but I’d say it’s generally pretty good. My sisters are all kind of bossy, but my brothers pretty much leave me be. Pip – he’s the youngest after me – and I have had a few ‘issues’, shall we say, but I won’t go into that now. One thing for sure – you mess with one of us you mess with all of us.

Q: Sounds ominous. Can you give me an example?

A: Well… I don’t want to be telling tales. Let’s just say, even if we don’t see eye to eye, we won’t put up with anything from an outsider.

Q: As the youngest girl, do you think you got spoiled by your older brothers?

A: No.

Q: That’s not the impression I got when talking to them.

A: Then they’re out to lunch.

Q: What made you decide to move to Calgary?

A: I don’t know. I just got bored at home. That and I was tired of my Ma telling me what to do, or one of my older sisters. I think I was just ready for an adventure. When I heard Bo was heading west for Christmas I decided to tag along.

Q: What are your ambitions in life?

A: I’m not really sure. When I was really little I used to want to get married and have babies, but all three of my sisters done that and it looks kind of boring. Maybe someday, but I’m definitely not ready to settle down just yet. I guess I just want to get a good job and have fun.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: Right now I’m apprenticing at a hair salon. Gemini’s. It’s run by twin sisters, Andrea and Angela Carravagio. They’ve been really good to me and are teaching me a lot. I took a course in high school, too, so it’s come in handy.

Q: Is that what you want to do with your life? Be a hairdresser?

A: Not particularly. It’s alright, but like I said, I just wanna have fun.

Q: And it sounds like you are. I hear you can party with the best of them. Is that true?

A: I can hold my own. Just cause I’m a female doesn’t mean I can’t hold my liquor or keep up with the men. I probably shoot a better game of pool than most, too.

Q: How’s your love life? Anyone special you’d like to tell us about?

A: That’s a bit touchy for me right now. I’ve been through a few break ups. I do have a crush on this one guy in particular, but I’m still working on it.

Q: Are you going to tell us his name?

A: No! What if he reads this and then thinks I’m acting like a dumb teenager or something? I am twenty-four, you know, not some little kid.

Q: I understand. I may have interviewed him previously, if it’s who I’m thinking it is.

A: Now you’ve gone and told. Thanks a lot, you –

Q: Keep in mind that this is a family friendly blog and I won’t stand for any swearing or name-calling.

A: Hmph. Too bad. I’ve got a few choice names I can think of right now.

Q: I’ll just bet. Anyway, thanks for joining me today. And good luck with everything.

A: Thanks, I guess. I’ll probably need it.

Read the series on Amazon:

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



Interview with Bo Malloy

Here is the second character interview with the Malloy family, who’ve taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours.

Bo Malloy

Q: We heard from your older brother Jed a bit about the family dynamics. What would you say is your place in the family?

A: I’m sixth of nine. Not quite in the middle, but close. I think I’ve been labelled the quiet one. The thinker. Not really sure if that’s true, but you could ask one of the others. Most Malloys have an opinion – even if it’s wrong!

Q: You have, in fact, been dubbed the mediator by some of your siblings. Do you think that’s correct?

A: Officially? No. Unofficially? Probably. I’m not trying to disrespect any of my brothers and sisters cause I love them all and would do anything for them, but if you haven’t noticed, there is a stubborn streak that runs pretty deep, not to mention most of the family are somewhat outspoken. Well, maybe not Will and Sissy so much, but the rest of them for sure. Sometimes that leads to ‘tension’, shall we say, and for some reason they come running to tell me about it. Not sure why, really, since I don’t always have advice, but I suppose I’m a good listener. Maybe that’s why.

Q: Perhaps you’re being too modest?

A: Well… I guess I’m the most level-headed one of the bunch when it comes down to it. I have settled a dispute or two in my day. Jed and Zeb fight all the time, most of it in fun. My older sisters Fanny and Mary don’t always get along, but they both left home early so I never had to settle much there. Will doesn’t tend to get in too many scrapes – actually scratch that. He gets in lots of scrapes but usually from doing something stupid on his bike, not because he doesn’t get along with people. Now, Reba is another story. It seems she was born fighting. Maybe it’s the red hair. And trouble seems to follow Pip wherever he goes, except he rarely pays for it. I guess that comes with being the golden boy.

Q: Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?

A: Oops. Maybe. Pip is my little brother and I love him the same way I love the rest of my family. That’s one thing you’ll find out pretty quick about the Malloys. Even though we may not see eye to eye all the time, we stick together when we have to. I guess what I meant was, Pip’s the baby, so naturally, he’s a bit more spoiled than the rest.

Q: What made you want to study mixology?

A: Honestly? I saw an ad at the local college and thought it might be fun. But once I got into it, I actually enjoyed the science behind it, if that makes sense. Some of my family don’t think it’s a good career – not manly enough or something ridiculous like that. But it suits me since I like to watch people and I’m a good listener. The tips are really good, too. The only part I don’t like is seeing people get out of control and not being able to do anything about it. Sure, I can cut people off if they’ve had too much to drink, but I can’t refuse to serve someone just because I know it’s a bad idea. Unless they’ve been banned from the place or something, but then that’s a whole other thing.

Q: What do you like to do for fun? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I like the outdoors. Fishing and stuff like that. I haven’t had the chance to do much of that since moving, but hopefully one day soon. I also like reading. Westerns mostly, but I’ll read just about anything if it’s in front of me.

Q: What made you move out west?

A: It’s hard to explain, really. I could have gotten a job at a bar back home, but I felt like I was stagnating – that my life was passing by and I had nothing to show for it. Two of my brothers, Jed and Zeb, had moved to Alberta several years ago and I always wanted to visit. So I saved up and decided to do it at Christmas time. I told Jed right from the start that I was going to look for work once I got there. I guess I just needed a change of scenery. An adventure before I get too old to care.

Q: But you’re still in your twenties.

A: True, but there was nothing holding me back in Newfoundland, so I figured the time was right.

Q: No relationships, I take it? Girlfriends?

A: If you’re asking if I moved because of a girl, the answer is no. I never had a serious girlfriend back in Newfoundland and I don’t have one here, either.

Q: So there’s no special someone in your life?

A: Um, no.

Q: You answered that fairly quickly. Care to elaborate?

A: No.

Q: I heard that you might have feelings for a certain someone. Is that true?

A: Who told you that? Jed? Reba? Listen, I may or may not like a certain female of my acquaintance, but to this point we are just friends and I don’t see that changing in the near future. Which is fine with me.

Q: I seem to have hit on a touchy subject.

A: That’s all I’m going to say. I may be the level-headed one, but I’m also a Malloy and that stubborn streak runs a mile wide. You won’t get any more out of me so you might as well quit trying.

Q: Understood. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: That’s a tough one. I’d like to say married with kids, but I’m not sure that’s in the cards for me. If I think about it too much I get feeling depressed, so I try not to. I just take one day at a time and do the best I can.

Q: That sounds sensible. Thank you for stopping by today.

A: No trouble.

Read the series: (available on amazon)

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



Interview with Jed Malloy

Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up with the Neighbours has been rolling out for several months and along with that, here is the first in a series of character interviews! Introducing Jed Malloy – the first sibling to appear in series one and the one who ‘started it all’ in series two. Enjoy!

Q: You come from a large family, correct?

A: Ya got that right, b’y! My folks had nine kids in eleven years. Not large by Newfoundland standards but large for anywhere else, I suppose. They’re devout Catholics which explains a few things, I guess. Took ‘em a few tries to figure out what was causin’ things! Just jokes.

Q: What’s the breakdown? Where do you fit in?

A: I gots one sister who’s older than me – Fanny. Then there’s me, Zeb, Mary, Sissy, Bo, Will, Reba and Pip, the youngest. The three older girls are all married and live back in Newfoundland with their families. You shoulda ‘eard Ma calling us in for supper!

Q: When did you decide to move away from Newfoundland to Alberta? Why did you move?

A: Four, maybe five years ago now? There was no work back ‘ome and I got wind of a job in Alberta so I up and made the move. Gotta go where the work is. ‘Alf of the people out west are from Newfoundland, I think. I started in the oil patch but when that didn’t pan out I got on at Titan – the construction company I work for now. They’re pretty good to me. Can’t complain, that’s for sure.

Q: What kind of relationship do you have with your other siblings? Are you close?

A: We’re a pretty tight bunch, I’d say. I love to ‘ate ‘em some of the time, though. That’s the cockeyed thing about family. They gets on your nerves at times but you’ll never find a Malloy who wouldn’t stand up for ‘is kin when it comes down to it. As far at that goes, I’d say Zeb and I are the closest. Always ‘ave been. ‘E’s cleaned my clock a time or two, I’ll ‘ave to admit, but the lummox is the best friend I got in the world, and that’s no lie.

Q: What’s it been like having some of your family come join you?

A: Great, great. Well, at times it’s a bit tryin’ when they’re all underfoot… We been squeezed into my little apartment like sardines, but that’ll change, I reckon, once some of ‘em start findin’ their own way. I’d never turn family out on the street.

Q: What’s your favourite activity? What do you do for fun?

A: Oh, let’s see… I likes to play pool and ‘ang out down at the Urban Cowboy. It’s this retro joint where a guy can ‘ave a cold one and meet up with a buddy or two. I don’t play sports if that’s what you mean! I used to like ‘unting back ‘ome but ‘aven’t ‘ad the opportunity since bein’ in the city.

Q: Would you consider yourself a good person?

A: What kind a question is that? Lard tunderin’! You come-from-aways know ‘ow to ask the dumbest questions I ever ‘eard! I went to Catholic school for my whole education so I guess that counts for something.

Q: Fair enough. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

A: No. This interview ‘as made me thirsty, though. I’m gonna go down to the Urban Cowboy and see if my buddy Lester wants to shoot a game of pool before the night is through.

Q: You mean Lester Tibbett?

A: Course that’s who I mean. Are ya stun? Lester and me live in the same building and work for the same outfit. He’s a real good sort.

Q: We’ve met him previously.

A: Then why the dumb question? Lard of a duck! Anyway, is this ‘ere interview over yet? I’ve developed an awful thirst…

Read the series on Amazon!

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE


Check out the other interviews:

Bo, Reba, Pip, Will, Zeb

Get Your Platform Moving!

I’ve presented a workshop on platform building and marketing several times over the past year and have refined it to its current state. GET YOUR PLATFORM MOVING discusses the how and why of building a platform step by step and is useful for any type of business, although it is geared to writers.

As my gift to you, I’d like to offer the pdf as a download.




Why I’ve Become a Hybrid

This article was originally posted on Kim Rempel’s blog on March 31, 2017 under the title

What 16 Publishing Contracts Taught Me About Ego, Publishing, and Making Money as a Hybrid Author-Preneur

I used to think finding an agent and securing a traditional publishing deal was the pinnacle of writing success. It would prove I was legit. I’d finally be able to call myself a writer without feeling like a fraud.

Since my first book came out in 2009, however, my thinking has changed. I’ve signed sixteen traditional contracts, had an agent, said good-bye to that agent, used a vanity press twice, and self-published using both Createspace and Lightning Source. I’m a hybrid – a new breed of writer trying to use the best from both worlds.

The Truth About Traditional Publishing

Before we go any further, I should set the record straight about what some of these terms actually mean. Traditional publishers do not charge any kind of fee. Period. These can be big New York firms or small boutique houses, but there is no cost to the author in a traditional contract. Instead, the writer gets paid for their work, through an advance, through royalties on books sold, or both.

There are still many pros to traditional publishing. Besides the assurance (most of the time) of a quality product, one’s books have access to the company’s distribution channels. There are none of the headaches of managing all the production and bookkeeping responsibilities. However, there are some serious downsides, too. Authors have minimal control over their own work. There can be restrictions on the cover, launch date, and promotions. Less of the profit goes to the author since he or she is also fueling the larger machine of the publishing company.

Don’t Make These Newbie Publishing Mistakes

I’ve had a few less than stellar experiences with books that were traditionally published. My first book deal was for my book, And The Beat Goes On. I later learned that this particular publisher also charged for services (a vanity press), but in my case there was no charge of any kind. I worked with multiple editors, cover designers, proofers, etc. I didn’t know much about contracts, so I signed a seven-year deal for a 6% royalty on the cost price. The book originally came out in hardcover and sold for $30. Since my royalty was on the cost price, not the list price, I ended up making about $.87 per book. Even if you’re not a mathematician, you can see that I would have to sell a lot of books to make any money! However, I was just thrilled to have signed a real book deal and I was naïve enough to think that my books would suddenly start flying off the shelves.

I had a rude awakening when I realized I was still expected to do much of my own marketing. As well, my hands were tied when it came to giveaways, pricing, or sales. Add to that, the fact that I could not make any changes of any kind for seven long years since I no longer had the rights to my own work.

Here’s another story about my agent. I will not name him here, but he was a very nice man, and again, when he agreed to represent me I was thrilled, thinking I’d finally arrived. (This was a few years after that first book deal.) The first contract he found me was for my book, Wind Over Marshdale, with a small ‘boutique’ publishing house. The deal was for a much more substantial royalty, but remember, he was entitled to a 15% cut of whatever royalties I made. After hearing from readers who wanted a sequel, I decided to write a novella length story called Lone Wolf, which basically answered the question on everyone’s mind, “What happened to Thomas?” My agent felt that pitching a novella, even to the same publisher, wasn’t a smart move. I asked him if I could pitch it myself and he said, “Go ahead.” (In my case, my agent had first rights to any subsequent work I might produce.) I pitched it to the same publisher and they wanted the book, so I signed with them without my agent – meaning more royalties for me!

The story doesn’t end there, however. He had in his possession another of my manuscripts called, Three Strand Cord. He was busy pitching it to various large houses with no success. Again I suggested trying the same boutique publisher, but he didn’t feel that the royalties or distribution channels would produce a high enough return to make it worthwhile. In the meantime, that manuscript was floating around from publisher to publisher for more than a year, totally out of my control. Finally, after much prayer and a few emails, we decided that it would be best if we parted ways. It was a very amicable parting and I have nothing against him. He did his best for me, but I was beginning to realize that the bureaucracy of the traditional system, with all its gates and red tape, was not something I was interested in pursuing anymore.

A Warning on Self-Publishing

One of the biggest issues with the modern era of self-publishing is the glut of poor quality books out there. I’m not, by any means, saying all self-published books are poor quality. On the contrary, modern author-preneurs are becoming savvy marketers. Part of that means realizing that substandard quality may begood enough for the first book, but it will not sell future books. It’s worth the investment to outsource such things as editing and cover design.

 The Freedom of Hybrid Publishing

Authors no longer have to be bound by seven-year contracts or agent’s wishes. We have the means to take control of our own writing careers and maybe even make some money at it. While I’ve signed a fair number of traditional deals, I’ve also seen the wisdom in learning the ropes of self-publishing using Createspace and Lightning Source, two of the most well know DIY platforms.

I don’t plan to self-publish exclusively, though. All of my stage-plays have been published traditionally in the US and I do quite well on the performance royalties. In this case, these publishers have a reach I could never hope to duplicate. It wouldn’t make sense to re-publish them myself, since I would stand to lose significantly.

Similarly, at this time, I am not planning to get the rights back for a couple of my other books. Clean Reads, (formerly Astraea Press) a small press who published both Wind Over Marshdale and Lone Wolf, treats their authors very well. I’ve made some wonderful connections, and have been involved in some amazing promotional opportunities with them. Why would I want to leave?

There is no one answer, just as there is no ‘one way’ to get published. The advantages of being a hybrid are many. And a growing number of high profile authors are now also going the indie route. They’ve made a name for themselves via the traditional route, but now find they have more flexibility and control over their own work.

There’s nothing wrong with doing both; there is value and validity to each method. It is up to individual writers to choose what path makes most sense in any particular situation. Like never before, writers have truly become the authors of their own destiny.


Older posts Newer posts

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑