16 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About…L.M. Nelson, Author.

Here’s part two of my interview with Rachael Ritchey. This was a fun interview to do. Thanks, Rachael!

Rachael Ritchey

We’re here with L.M. Nelson, but before I finish off this fun interview we started on Monday, here are the most important links of the day:

The Guardian as well as L.M. Nelson’s other titles can be purchased on

Guardian_5x8_BW_160jpg examplePlease support indie authors and get a copy today!

Now on to the weird, the odd, the fun that is today’s interview!

Sixteen things you (probably) didn’t know about author L.M. Nelson

My first job was…highlighting petition signatures at the Oregon Secretary of States’ Office.

If I wasn’t a teacher, I would likely be…in the medical field or doing something with photography. I’d love to be a full time writer too.

I collect…Ok. Don’t laugh. I collect cows, you know the knick-knacky, plushy, black and white kitchen cows. I also collect shot glasses (although I’m not much of a drinker), Minions, and Futurama figurines.

My favorite…

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When You Corner an Author: L.M. Nelson…An Interview

Check out my interview with the amazing Rachael Ritchey.

Rachael Ritchey

Do you ever wonder about the people behind the books floating around out there? You know, the books in cyberspace. The ones crowding shop shelves and stacked on the floor beside your bed. Those books.

Who are the people behind them? The ones we call writers, and dare I say…authors. Are they mind readers? Lofty billionaire types? Hermits? Too-cool-for-school celebrities?

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What if they’re actually regular people just like the rest of us? You know, high school students, college grads, moms, dads, working stiffs, introverts, extroverts, introverted extroverts (holla!), bikini models, teachers, doctors, dreamers, movers, shakers… Yeah, I think you get the picture.

In order to pull back part of the curtain, I think it’s terribly fun to interview authors, those writer folks, and poke around in the clutter that is their brains. I love for you to meet the people behind the stories and have opportunities to make connections, build…

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Character Interview

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I recently had a  character interview from my main man, Dr. Randal Hanson, featured on Mary’s Bookcase. It was fun to answer interview question from his point of view.

Although she included biographical information about me,  links to my books, a synopsis, and a excerpt (see above link), the interview itself is posted below.

Now for the interview…

MY: Welcome to the blog. Firstly, would you please introduce yourself to my readers.

RH: Certainly.  I’m Dr. Johnathan Randal Hanson, but my friends and family call me Randy.  I recently graduated from UCSF Medical School and am currently doing my OB/GYN residency at the University of Washington.  I’m planning to practice medicine with my father when I finally finish all of this.

MY: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

RH: My home is and always will be Seattle.  I can kinda picture myself living the life of a beach bum, though.  Water is my home away from home.  I certainly wouldn’t mind soaking up life in the sand and surf.

MY: What would you consider to be your greatest strength?

RH: Oh man.  That’s a tricky question.  I think I would have to say it’s my ability to communicate with people.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a pretty social person.  I make friends easily and seem to connect with people.  I’ve found that this ability has made me a better doctor.  I establish rapport with my patients, and I think because of this, they find me easy to talk to.  When my patients feel comfortable with me, they open up more, which makes treating them easier.

MY: What is your biggest regret?

RH:  I wish I would have established a closer relationship with my brother.  He’s always been a mixed up kid, but if I would have put forth more of an effort to connect with him, he might not have some of the problems he has today.  There were times when he needed his big brother’s guidance, but I was always so wrapped up in myself and medical school that I kind of neglected him.  I think that if I would have had a stronger bond with him, he wouldn’t feel so lost now.

MY: Describe your perfect day.

RH: Hanging out at the beach with my wife.  The sound of the waves splashing on the shore relaxes me, and conversations with my wife take my mind off the pressures of work for a while.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.

MY: Have you ever swum naked?

RH: Oh yes.  On my honeymoon in Bermuda.  That’s all I will say about that.

MY: What is your most embarrassing memory?

RH: Medical School was loaded with embarrassing moments.  But I think the most humiliating thing that ever happened to me was on the first day of my Psychiatry rotation.  My attending physician threw a patient file in my face and demanded that I give him a diagnosis.  Took me completely off guard.  Mind you, I had barely walked in the door and had no time to even look at the patient’s symptoms.  When I couldn’t give him an answer, he reprimanded me right there in his office.  Totally embarrassing.  I spent the whole night researching symptoms to come up with a full report for this guy by morning.  I’ve never been so humiliated in my life.

MY: Fine dining or a picnic?

RH: Depends on who I’m with.  I love taking my wife out on romantic dinner dates, but at the same time there’s nothing more fun than packing up a picnic lunch and hanging out at the park.  Definitely love to mix it up.

MY: What makes you angry?

RH: You mess with my wife, you mess with me.

MY: If you could choose a magic power, what would it be?

RH: Flight, without a doubt.  I love to fly.  In fact, it’s always been a dream of mine to learn to fly an airplane.  That might be something I pursue in the future, if my schedule ever dies down.

Getting To Know Me

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Interview with L.M. Nelson

Who are your favorite authors?

Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, S.E. Hinton. I’m not tied down to a specific author or genre. If the book blurb intrigues me, I’ll most likely give the book a try. I enjoy books from pretty much any genre and from many different authors. To me it’s all about intriguing characters and a well-told story.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

I own a tablet and do read Kindle books, but in all honesty, I prefer to hold a real book in my hands.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?

Personal connections. Although I have promoted via various social media platforms, I have sold more books to people face to face than through any other method. Marketing is challenging. It’s difficult to make yourself stand out in a market of millions of books.

Describe your desk.

Haha. Messy. Sticky notes and notebooks everywhere. Sketches of maps, character descriptions, and timelines. Stacks of writing reference material, a thesaurus, and a dictionary. Various pens, a laptop, and pages and pages of notes I’ve jotted down so I don’t forget story ideas as they hit me. Proofs of my novels with post-it notes sticking out of them. It’s a nightmare for my OCD husband, but it works for me.

When did you first start writing?

As a child, I always loved writing. I loved creating stories and making up characters, and wrote down song lyrics and lines from poems I liked. In Jr. High, I received several awards for research papers I wrote, and in high school I began a love affair with poetry. I began writing poetry my freshman year and had several poems published in my high school’s literary magazine. I earned a college scholarship for a poem I published in a national publication. I also began playing around with writing fiction in high school. I started off just creating stories in a notebook, most of which I don’t even have anymore. Once I graduated, I continued to write stories in notebooks. That’s where the Scrubs series began. I started it in college, just as a hobby more than anything, and kept the entire story in a notebook, hidden from anyone else’s eyes. Over the years and added to it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that a dear friend of mine read the entire series and convinced me to publish it.

The Scrubs series has grown with me. I wrote the four different books during different stages of my life. As I grew, my writing and the characters grew.

To this day, I still love to create stories in my head. I write them down and save them now, and wish I would have kept some of the stories I wrote when I was younger. I probably could have used some of those ideas to generate more novels.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I wanted my stories to be mine. I didn’t want anyone else to tell me who my characters should be or what story they should tell. I’ve heard about too many writers who went the traditional publishing route and were forced to change things in their books, even though they didn’t really want to. I didn’t want to have that hassle. I want ownership of my work and I want my characters to tell their story their way.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

The biggest joy I get from writing is the escape. I work 50+ hours a week in a very high stress job. Writing is my escape from that, my stress relief. I can tell when I go a day without writing. Anxiety kicks in and I get cranky.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in California and the Pacific Northwest. My writing has been influenced by this because I set my books in these locations. My Scrubs series begins in California, the San Francisco/ Berkeley area to be precise, and continues in Seattle, WA and Santa Monica, CA. The last book in the series partially takes place in New York City, although I’ve never been to the Big Apple itself, I have been to upstate New York.. My husband is from New York and both of my kids have been to NYC, so I used them as references when I wrote the scenes in New York.

In a fantasy book I’m working on, the imaginary world I created is a reflection of what I know about the Pacific Northwest, with mountains, trees, rivers, forests, and the beautiful green landscape.

What do your fans mean to you?

Everything. I am an introvert, and putting myself and my work out in the public eye not only took a ton of convincing, but is also very difficult for me. It makes me anxious and nervous. People who are introverts will understand that. Having someone read my work and like what I’ve done makes the journey I’ve taken through this whole writing/ publication process worthwhile. Fans offer support and encouragement, and knowing I have that is the best feeling in the world.

What are you working on next?

As soon as the entire Scrubs series is published, I actually have two projects I’m working on. One is a middle grade/ YA fantasy book that I’m 5 chapters into, and the other is an adult crime fiction novel that is from the first person point of view of a Seattle firefighter. Both of these are very different from the Scrubs series, but I’m excited to get back into them. I have adult an action/ adventure book brewing in my head, but won’t tackle that one quite yet.

Brain to Books Cyber Convention

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As an author participating in the 2016 Brain to Books Cyber Convention, I was asked to post answers to these interview questions.  So…I’m going to expose a bit of myself here and do my best to answer them.

1. Describe your favorite scene in your your book and tell us why it’s your favorite.

My favorite scenes in Scrubs involve the interactions between Randy and his best friend, Jim Ryan.  Their relationship was fun to write and their friendship is inspiring.  They have unconditional love and support for one another.  They stand together through the worst times and celebrate each other’s successes.  They joke around, as friends do, yet can have a serious discussion all in the same breath.  I love their conversations.

2. Which of your characters, do you relate to the most (or) who is your favorite character and why?

The character in Scrubs I relate to the most is Jane.  She went through some hardships in her life, but with a little love and encouragement, eventually found her strength and overcame those obstacles.  She’s a sensitive, emotional woman who is strong when she needs to be.

My favorite character is Jim.  He’s a fun-loving surfer wannabe medical student who has a snarky disposition, a sharp tongue, and is an all around laidback guy.  He speaks in surfer slang, which took quite a bit of research for me to create, but in the end, he’s a fun character.

3. “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. When we lack it, we invent it. What does “story” mean to you?

Story means expressing thoughts and imaginings people can relate to.  Story is showing emotion and displaying the human side of characters.   Story is allowing your imagination to run wild and creating characters and scenarios that you not only enjoy writing about but that readers will also enjoy reading.

4.  What story has recently inspired/moved you?

I’ve had several stories/ books over the years that have inspired me.   Back in Junior High, I enjoyed The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  To this day it has stuck with me because the characters were easy to relate to.  They were “real” people encountering “real” situations and I found myself rooting for them.  I recently reread this book, and it still moved me.

Several years ago I read Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz.  This is one of my favorite books  Although the chain of events in the story are pretty unlikely to happen, the author made them feel real.  I was able to follow the characters throughout and experience emotions right along with them.

The most recent book that moved me was The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.  I think each of us has gone through some sort of emotional confusion both characters experienced in this book.  I felt the heartache and joy they felt.  This was a moving love story that touched my heart.

Star Wars.  I saw the first movie when it first came out in theatres.  The characters tell the story and the story evolves with the characters.  I’ve followed the series over the years, and recently watched the latest movie.  I still love it, and will always be a Star Wars fan.

5.  Characters begin with their strengths and weaknesses. Many authors reflect their own strengths and weaknesses in their characters. What are some strengths and weaknesses that you relate to, and how have these traits influenced your characters?

I’m an emotional person.  I’m also an introvert who is highly driven and sets high standards for myself and others.   In fact, I’ve been told I’m too hard on myself.   I don’t like drama, try to avoid conflict, and don’t dwell on the past or let hardships drag me down.  I relate to characters who have struggles, but at the same time aren’t afraid to admit their fears.  They take action to overcome their problems and are motivated, driven, and don’t give up easily.   Just as people in real life learn and grow through interactions and relationships they have with other people, the characters in my stories learn and grow, either outwardly or internally, because of personal encounters with other characters.

When I write, I create my characters first.  I get into their heads, think how they think, and envision the world through their eyes.  A bit of me is in each of my characters.  Randy, for instance, doesn’t like conflict and is a highly driven, goal oriented guy.  Although he does encounter struggles, he doesn’t dwell on them.  He pushes through or works around the problem and tries to find a solution.  Unlike me, he’s social, but tends to keep his emotions hidden from others around him.  He only shares his deepest thoughts with people he’s closest to, which makes him hard to read sometimes.  Although Jane is emotional like me, much of her personality is the complete opposite of mine.   She’s a social butterfly and openly speaks her mind.  Jim is sarcastic and enjoys life to its fullest.  Bruce processes things internally and won’t let life’s circumstances stand in his way.  Mandy has random tendencies, much like me, and Sarah is quiet and shy.

My characters tell their own story, and the story evolves through them.  They build on their strengths and learn from their weakness.

5.  What did story mean to you as a child?

Character.  Imagination.  Creativity.  Adventure.  From childhood, I loved to read and write stories about imaginary places, people, and things.  I created stories in my head and on paper and even acted out adventures with these characters I created.  Whether watching movies, reading books, listening to music, or writing, I’ve always had a story in my head.

Inspiring Questions

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Recently, as part of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, a poet and fellow blogger,  Toni Umbarger, asked me some rather thought-provoking questions.  No one had ever asked me these particular questions before so it took me a while to answer.

1. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?

The one thing I wish more than anything is for my children to fulfill their dreams and live happy and successful lives.  Both are currently in the college stage of their lives and both are goal-oriented.  They work hard and have always earned good grades, so I am confident they will pursue their dreams and push themselves towards success.

2. What would be a good estimate of the number of books you have read in your lifetime?

This one is a bit more difficult, because I honestly don’t know the answer.  I’ve read so many books as a child, teenager, and an adult, that I never took the time to count them all.  Not to mention all the books I’ve read to my students over the years, including picture books, chapter books, historical fiction, non-fiction content-based books, and poetry.  I’ve also read many books about the craft of writing and the art of teaching.  I read from many genres, and I prefer to give a book the time it deserves.  So I delve into a book when I can dedicate uninterrupted time to read it.  Weekends, summer vacation, and holiday breaks from the classroom are my most productive reading times.

3. What historical figure would you enjoy meeting and interviewing?

Oh wow…there are so many.  But the one I would enjoy meeting the most would have to be Harriet Tubman.  She was a tiny woman with a big heart.  Although she was considered a fugitive, Harriet was a hero and an icon who risked her own safety to guide hundreds of slaves to freedom.  The slaves affectionately called her “Moses.”  Aside from her heroic acts of abolition, she spoke at anti-slavery meetings and advocated for women’s rights.  The courage and selflessness she displayed was truly inspiring and I would love to hear her story firsthand.

I’m curious to know what historical figure all of you would you want to meet and why.  Please leave your answers in the comments section.

Thank you, Toni, for these questions and for the nomination!  You too are an inspiring woman.