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Issue 23

Author Ashley Twitchell

Author Jen Selinsky

Author Troy Scott

Author Jenna E. Johnson

Reader’s Life Magazine

Editor’s Note Recently Reader’s Life Magazine has been going through a series of changes. One of these changes is the switch from monthly issues and bi-monthly. We are now publishing every- other month so that be can spend a longer amount of time on or content to ensure it will be the best quality content we can manage. We thank all of our readers for your understanding and hope you enjoy our first bi-monthly issue which features YA and Children's authors. Troy Scott, Ashley Twitchel, Jen Selinsky and Jenna E. Johnson. As always we at Reader’s Life Magazine wish you happy reading.

Editor In Chief ‒

Trisha Ratliff

Contents 2-3: Editor’s Note 4-5: Jen Selinsky interview 6-7: Troy Scott Article 8-10: Ashley Twitchell Article 13-14: Lifelong Love of Reading 16-17: Jenna E. Johnson

Cover by Trisha Ratliff. Formatted by Trisha Ratliff. Articles edited by Jim Ringel and Trisha Ratliff. Articles written by Jen Selinsky and Trisha Ratliff.

Interview with Jen Selinsky 1. How long have you been writing? I have been writing ever since I was fifteen, which is more than half of my life. It seems the older I get, the more prolific I become, but that’s a good thing because that means I have more to offer my readers.

2. What inspired you to start writing? I don’t recall any direct source of inspiration, but I was always very imaginative, especially as a child. Nowadays, I draw inspiration from most anything.

3. What is your novel’s title? My most “recent” novel is called Springtime in London, which was completed in 2012.

4. Is it part of a series? I have written the first draft of a companion piece, Summer of ’72 and have started a sequel, Summer in France.

5. When was it published? Springtime in London was originally published in 2011, but I made some revisions and expanded the content the following year.

6. Was it self published? The book is self-published on Lulu and is available through other online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

7. Why did you decide to publish the way you did? At the time, my only means of releasing books was via self-publishing. Now that I have three traditional publishers: Pen It! Publications, Per Bastet Publications, and Arterial Poetry, I no longer have to solely rely on selfpublishing to get my work to readers. 8. Do you have any advice for new writers

wanting to publish? If you are as passionate about writing as I am, don’t give up! Self-publishing is a great means of beginning, and it can often lead to so many new opportunities. In the short span of two years, I have gained three small press publishers, one of which has published six of my children’s picture books and two of my adult coloring books.

9. Are you working on any other projects? I have seventeen drafts in my e-mail inbox, and that’s not including the ones which are still in handwritten form and my three remaining coloring books, which I am drawing by hand. It seems like I am always working on something!

Troy Scott Troy Scott first began writing in 5th grade ”They were just little pieces of ideas that I had.” Although they weren’t very detailed he still creidits them as being the foundation of what was to come. He continued writing while in High School taking part in the School paper and then after graduation taking a job as a sports editor at the local newspaper in his small town. “In college I entered the short story contest for the school. I was runner-up in the contest.” Scott credits his older brothers friend as a sourseof inspiration for him. “ when I was a young teen one of my brother’s friends became the sports editor for the local paper. This was a friend that my older brother played basketball with. He was a huge inspiration for me.” Scott since a young age has had a deep love for reading. And Cites Edgar Allan Poe and J.R.R Tolkin as favorite authors. In January his first novel A Storm on Mars the first of a 3 part series was published by at Bellamy-Fleming Publishing. “I had sent the short story that the book is based on to the publishing company. My original intent was to hopefully get some short stories published. As it turned out they were interested in the story, but not interested in short stories.

They offered to publish it as a book if I would write it. I was as amazed by that as anybody, but I can only say I am blessed. “ When asked if he had any advice for young writers his answer was this. “This sounds so simplistic, but I have heard this from many accomplished writers. If you want to be a writer, write. Get as many words on paper as possible. Go back later and edit and then edit more, and still more. Keep repeating these steps. If you have a little bit of talent and a love for writing, you will get there.“ Currently Scott is working on the rough draft of his next novel and is looking at late 2018 as the deadline.

Ashley Twichell “ I have been writing for

“When I was younger,

Much more believable

twenty years, from the

and even now, I've

of a stepmother. But

time I was a little girl.

been particularly drawn

why? I like to delve into

There were always

to fairy tales, with a

that angle and really

stories buzzing around

desire to put a spin on

explore the human

in my head, and when I

a classic tale, or delve

dimension.” Currently

was younger, they

into perhaps

she has two novels out

would come out in the

psychological and

(Of Slippers and

form of play. Eventually,

cultural explanations

Secrets", and its

I got in the habit of

for some of the more

sequel, "Portrait of a

writing them down.”

puzzling aspects of

Princess) and one is

Say’s Author Ashley

fairy tales.

set to come out next

Twichell about when

For instance, what is it

month. A Tale of Two

she first began writing.

with mothers in fairy

Wars. Her series is a 4

While she has been

tales? They're either

part saga. All three of

actively writing for 20

absent and sainted or

her current novels

years she wasn’t ready to

villainous and mad.

have been Self-

publish until the past year.

The "stepmother" in

published. “all three

Twichell enjoys delving

Snow White was

are self published.I

into the unknown aspects

originally written as her

tried getting published

of fairy tales. She enjoys

mother, but the

the traditional way, and

putting a spin on classics

Brothers Grimm

came close a few

tales or getting a different

changed it after

times, but it was a very

perspective on certain


long and discouraging

aspects of the original


process. At some


wanted to believe a

point, my production

mother would become

was starting to

murderously jealous of


her own daughter.

efforts and I realized it

as an "unknown", it

“ My best piece of

would be more sensible

doesn't matter how well

advice for new writers:

to self-publish.While

you write, you probably

be your own worst critic.

trying desperately to snag

aren't going to get a book

Most authors will

an agent at a traditional

deal, and even if you do,

recommend you get a

literary agency, I was

you might end up

professional editor,

starting to become

self-publishing anyway

especially if you

overwhelmed by my own

because you're going to

self-publish and that's

ideas and my own

wind up doing a lot of the

fine if you do, but I would

production. I was, in a

legwork even if you get a

encourage you to learn

sense, outpacing myself.

book deal. I have read

to be both writer and

blogs of several

editor. Find a way to

traditionally published

assess your writing with

authors who chose to

a hawk-like critical eye.

self-publish, and an

Also, read, read, read!

author visited my

Read in a variety of

university essentially

genres. Read classics

saying the same thing.

and contemporary

Ironically, some

novels. Never stop

self-published authors

reading. It will only make

who gather enough of a

your writing better, and

following can attract the

will help you develop

attention of publishers

that editorial eye.”

At the same time, I had several friends and family members read manuscripts and their feedback encouraged me to finally take the step towards self-publishing. I had been afraid to do that, only because I know nothing about marketing (I'm still learning), and I always felt that I was "good enough" to land a book deal. But when you realize that's not what agencies are really looking for, and that's not how the publishing

and get a book deal. So, there's no reason to limit yourself if you want to be published and you're confident enough in your work.”

As of right now she is working on many projects, “I am working on several different projects all at once, so it's a bit dizzying.

business works, you start

Twitchell also has advice

Currently, I am working

to understand that

for new writers.

on a horror novel set in Hungary.

It involves witches,

several months ago. I have

resurrection, vampirism, and

several other stories on the

all things spooky. I am also

back burner as well, a

working on a mystery series

retelling of Rumpelstiltskin

with a detective named

and Snow White, to name a

Gideon Prendergast, an

few, and I will work to get

unassuming bank clerk who

them on Amazon as soon as

finds himself inexplicably

they are publish-worthy.

drawn into webs of intrigue and corruption. I am also working on a contemporary novel set on the island of Samos in the Mediterranean Sea, about a middle-aged woman who is invited to an archaeological dig site by her brother, to help her come to grips with her recent divorce. Her brother, the head archaeologist believes he has discovered he bodily remains of the mythic figure Heracles, and a series of thirteen vases tell an intriguing, but mystifying story. As the protagonist grapples through what happened over a thousand years ago, she must also face what happened only

Writer’s Wanted Reader's Life Magazine is looking for talented writers to volunteer their time to our publication. Currently, all positions are without pay, but all applicants are welcome to use their published Reader's Life Magazine articles for their professional portfolios. If you would like to join our team, please contact us at: readerslifemag@gmail.com

‒Editor In Chief: Trisha Ratliff

Lifelong Love of Reading those early words take shape faster than you think. Sounds also play an important role in helping children recognize speech.

to give more substance to the stories.That way, readers can digest more words while extrapolating the meaning of the stories.

Children’s titles include everything from easy board picture books to young adult literature. This genre includes a very wide range, which means that there is at least one book to cater to the tastes of every child.

Board books are small books made of thick paperboard, as to prevent the tearing of pages by infants. Oftentimes, these are the types of books which parents will introduce first to their young ones. Board books usually contain one word, or very short sentences, which pertain to the pictures.

Between birth and age three, children’s minds are like sponges.During that stage, they learn more easily and faster than most adults. That’s why it’s important for parents and guardians to read to their kid(s) as soon as possible; don’t delay on exposing them to beginner’s board books. Even if you think your child does not understand a thing you are saying,

There are many types of picture books. Toddlers enjoy bright, full-color illustrations. These books emphasize the importance of visual images in relation to words and sentences. Both art and text work together to give the young reader(s), quite literally, the full picture. Picture books for more advanced readers include full paragraphs

Once children reach elementary school, most are ready for chapter books. Whether these books have illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, or drawings are peppered throughout the entire book, readers get used to the idea of reading more complex stories. Character development and plot become more intricate. The lack of pictures on each page leads the reader to use his or her imagination more as they devour each and every word.

My name is Jen Selinsky, and I write children’s picture books. Even though that is only one genre I am known for, I believe it’s a very important one. Introducing kids to books at a young age is paramount, as it fosters a lifelong love of reading.

Some might say that there is a fine line between advanced juvenile fiction and young adult fiction. Many young adult fiction books deal with topics, such as sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Advanced juvenile titles might brush upon these topics a little, but they are not described in explicit detail. Most young adult books are intended for adolescents in high school. If parents are sensitive about what their children read, then it is a good idea for parents to preview such books beforehand. One well-known author, James Patterson, has written many excellent books for kids, teens, and adults. One of his most famous quotes is, “We believe a kid who reads is a kid who can succeed.” He has donated millions to bookstores and libraries to encourage young people to love reading. I would like to continue to create works for young readers in hopes that they will get excited about reading, as books will help them discover their own greatness. Also, as my friend Scott Spoonmore likes to say, “Children that are read to read, too.”

Jen Selinsky was born in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2003, she earned her bachelor's degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, she earned her master's degree in library science from the same school. Jen has worked as a professional librarian for over twelve years. She has published more than 180 books, many of which contain poetry. Her work can be found on the following sites: Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, Pen It! Publications, and Books-A-Million, as well as many others. She has also been featured in publications such as: The Courier Journal, The News and Tribune, Explorer Magazine, Liphar Magazine, and Indiana Libraries. Jen lives in Sellersburg, IN with her husband.

Jenna E. Johnson “I’ve always been a story creator. I can remember dreaming up plots and characters as far back as elementary school. Only after finding myself at the end of my academic career did I finally realize my passion was the written word and bringing all these realms to life.”Author Jenna E Johnson says. She’s been writing seriously for 13 years and publishing two different series of novels. One in the YA/NA genre and the other being in the J. category. johnson draws heavily on her extensive knowledge of celtic folklore for her novels. When asked where all of her inspiration comes from she answered. “I blame my Celtic Studies and Art classes from college. The art classes because of all the

drawings I was encouraged to add to my sketchbook (these became the bare bones of my characters and the world of Oescienne), and the close study of the Celtic culture and their lore had a huge influence, too.” “I didn’t do much research for the names in the Oescienne series. I distinctly remember sitting at my desk, very early on in the writing process, and going through known names, then completely making names up, until I landed upon something that sounded right to me. Coming up with the locations of the books wasn’t as difficult. The province of Oescienne is based on my hometown and the surrounding area, so I simply used those geographical locations and created names that were similar to place names I have known my entire life. Describing them was the

same. All I had to do was picture the location, and if I had any trouble, I simply went out to visit it in person.” Johnson just recently finished her 12th novel ‘The Legend of Oescienne - The Reckoning’ “The Reckoning is the last book in my Legend of Oescienne series (and my longest book yet).” This novels ebook is currently coming out June 16th and the paperback version should follow shortly after. It is currently available for pre-order. “The Reckoning will be the fifth and final book in the series. When I first started out, I really didn’t know how many books there would be. I thought a trilogy would be good, then realized there would be a fourth book. Once I got into the fourth book I then knew there had to be one more. As for the mystery between Jaax and Jahrra

I’ve known that from the very beginning. There have been times, while writing the series, that both Jaax and Jahrra (and the other characters) have surprised me or done something I didn’t expect, but I’ve always known how the series would end and I am very pleased with the ending and hope my readers will be, too.” Johnson has self-published and independently published all of her novels without any assistance from agents or publishers. “I initially decided to self-publish because I had heard other authors had waited years, some decades, to get their books in the hands of the public. I didn’t want to wait that long.” Johnson even shared her advice for writers. “The market has changed a lot since I first published (way back in 2009). When I started out, indie publishing was just starting to get a foothold. Now, there is so much content out there it’s easy for your work to get a little lost. Also, marketing has become more difficult since many services that were once free or affordable

have grown more expensive. My advice would be to really do your homework and decide if self-publishing is the best option for you. Whatever you do, though, don’t give up on your writing!” Currently Johnson is putting all of her energy into getting her new novel out and ready for the public as well as getting ready for Phoenix Comic Fest and is hopeful that once it is published that she can focus on other projects.

Profile for Trisha Ratliff

May issue 2018  

Issue 23 of Reader's Life Magazine. Features: YA and children's authors Jen Selinsky, Troy Scott, Ashley Twitchell and Jenna E. Johnson

May issue 2018  

Issue 23 of Reader's Life Magazine. Features: YA and children's authors Jen Selinsky, Troy Scott, Ashley Twitchell and Jenna E. Johnson


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