Category : Author of the Month

Author of the Month

Chelee Cromwell: Pioneering Sci-Fi Romance With Heart and Vision

From Nova Scotia to the World Stage, Explore the Inspirations and Dreams Behind NEWBIA, the Debut Novel That’s Captivated Readers Worldwide.

Life is meant to be explored and enjoyed while loving each other, showing and giving respect, acceptance, and understanding while embracing the many gifts and talents placed upon each of us. – Chelee Cromwell

Chelee Cromwell, an author from Nova Scotia, has made waves with her unique blend of science fiction and romance. Chelee is recognized as the first Black woman in Nova Scotia to publish a combination science fiction, fantasy, and romance series. Born and raised in Lake Loon and Weymouth Falls, her roots deeply influence her storytelling.

Her debut novel, NEWBIA, gained international attention, resonating with readers from countries across the globe, including Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Bahamas. Chelee’s inspiration for NEWBIA stemmed from a dream that came to her night after night, and it followed a coherent storyline.

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Author of the Month

Breaking Triathlon World Records Together – Meet Our Author and Racing Power Couple John Wragg and Elizabeth Model

The new Memoir “Go” details John Wragg and Elizabeth Model’s journey competing across all seven continents and completing 400 full-distance triathlons.

“The challenges are part of the journey.”

John Wragg

We’re shining the spotlight on a triathlon power couple, John Wragg and Elizabeth Model, who are breaking records all over the world!

They have competed across all seven continents, completing 400 full-distance triathlons! Wragg has almost completed 300 triathlons, more than anybody else on this planet! And Model is one of only two women to have competed in more than 100 triathlons.

The Canadian couple co-wrote their memoir “Go: A Multi-Sport Journey Through Seven Continents” and are Tellwell’s January Author of the Month!

Embark on a journey with John Wragg and Elizabeth Model, a couple who conquered the world of triathlons. In this interview, we explore their love story that began at the Ironman finish line in Tempe, Arizona, and the highs and lows of their multisport adventures.

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Author of the Month

Author of the Month: Children’s Author Elizabeth Retter

Exploring the world of The Adventures of Easton the Rescue Pet: An interview with author Elizabeth Retter

Just put pencil to paper and go for it.

Elizabeth Retter

Join us in an insightful conversation with Elizabeth Retter, a recently retired teacher of twenty-five years, whose love for children’s books and dedication to animal rescue shine through her debut series, The Adventures of Easton the Rescue Pet. Discover the inspiration behind Easton’s character and how Elizabeth aims to impact young readers’ perceptions of rescue animals and adoption. Gain insights into the adoption process, challenges, and rewards from an advocate for rescue pets. Elizabeth also shares valuable tips on finding reputable rescue organizations and her childhood inspirations, and provides encouraging advice for prospective children’s authors. 

Don’t miss this engaging interview with a passionate storyteller and advocate for both literature and furry friends.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind The Adventures of Easton the Rescue Pet? What motivated you to write a children’s book centred on a rescue pet? 

As a recently retired teacher of twenty-five years, I have always had a great love for children’s books. Easton has proven to be quite a character who gets himself into a lot of silly situations that I believe children and pet owners can relate to. I also wanted to raise awareness of the importance and need of rescuing animals of all kinds. 

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Author of the Month Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Author of the Month: Parimalasri ‘Sri’ Docktor writes and illustrates adorable children’s books about her tortoises

Sri draws inspiration from her Russian tortoise, Tank, and her Indian Star tortoise, Radha

This November we celebrate our latest Author of the Month: Parimalasri Docktor, also known as Sri. She is the author of the children’s book Where Is He? Tank the Tortoise, and has recently released Tortoise Goes to the Vet: Radha – Indian Star Tortoise, a book she both wrote and illustrated. The story quickly ascended to #1 on Amazon USA, securing its place as the Top New Release in Children’s Reptile & Amphibian Books.

Sri took the time to sit down with us and discuss her love of animals and storytelling, and more about her process as an author.

Tortoises are central to your storytelling and art. When did you begin keeping tortoises as pets, and what do you love about them?

We have had our pet tortoises since 2019. I love the way they show affection. I love how they communicate silently. I just love everything about them.

Your books are from the viewpoint of your favourite pets, the tortoises. Can you elaborate on how your pets inspire your storytelling, and why you choose them to tell your stories?

Our tortoises inspire me to write about them, since it is first-hand knowledge about them. They are intelligent and show unconditional love. I choose to tell stories through them since I learned how similar their emotions and feelings are to humans. 

Tortoise Goes to the Vet highlights the importance of family acceptance. How do you believe children can benefit from the themes of inclusivity and support portrayed in the book?

Our tortoises are like children. They can be taught to do activities as a routine, just like children. They are very playful; they are stubborn and have emotions like children. Children can relate to my stories since some of them go through similar situations.

When did you decide to become an illustrator? What was it like illustrating an entire book for the first time?

I have always been good at art since I was a small child. I could draw naturally. I decided to do my own illustrations for my second book since I had the confidence. Illustrating successfully for the first time is a humbling experience. It was a blessing and a learning curve. It sure was fun!

What children’s book authors/illustrators inspired you to create books?

I wanted my books to be unique, fun, and educational. I wanted my books from my own thought process and creativity. My tortoises inspired me to start my writing journey.

Outside of your writing, you mention enjoying meditation, creating artwork, and observing nature. How do these activities contribute to your creativity as an author, particularly when crafting stories for children?

Nature is a beautiful thing. Silence is bliss! The stillness and the expansion of silence in Nature helps me tap the essence of beauty. It invokes my creative thought process and helps craft stories for children.

To discover more about the wonderful world of Parimalasri’s tortoises, visit www.parimalasridocktor.com. You can also pick up her new book on Amazon.

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Author of the Month

Author of the Month: Bonnie Randall – Unmasking Halloween chills in her new book, ‘The Shadow Collector’

Discover her advice for writing memorable and haunting stories this spooky season.

The plot of The Shadow Collector held my interest from the first page to the last. I was left in suspense after reading each page.

– The Avid Reader

Welcome to a must-read interview with Tellwell author Bonnie Randall, a contemporary writer with a unique perspective that traverses both the traditional and self-publishing realms. Known for crafting mysterious and eerie tales, Bonnie Randall has left a trail of suspense with her books, Divinity & the Python, Within the Shadow’s Summit, No Vacancy, and her latest offering, The Shadow Collector.

The Shadow Collector has reached remarkable heights, achieving the coveted #1 spot on Amazon.com’s Ghost Romance chart. It has also peaked at #2 in Canada and reached an impressive #19 in Paranormal Suspense on Amazon.uk.

Today, Bonnie Randall generously shares her insights into the art of writing gripping stories and making the most of self-publishing.

Q: What inspired you to delve into the supernatural thriller genre, and how do you keep it fresh and exciting for your readers? 

Hey, I’m a Scorpio! I was born into the supernatural thriller genre! 

As for keeping a story in this category fresh and exciting, it can be a tall challenge! A lot of what we define as “paranormal” spins out of legends and folklore that are so old—the roots of those tales stretch right back into ancient tomes like the Torah and Bible. As such, there are fields of tropes and clichés you need to either embrace or avoid when creating your own story, because you definitely don’t want your reader to feel like they’ve already seen this book a million times. But you also want to deliver the thrill they’re expecting and hoping for. So how do you turn the key in such a way that it unlocks something unexpected? Well, how about a graveyard that’s haunted not by ghosts, but by tangible memories only your heroine can see? Or what about little phantasm children who, instead of innocent victims, are perhaps wiser (and certainly wilier) than the adults? 

Oh, and how about a haunted house that is the safest place your protagonist has ever known, a place her heart longs to be? That’s The Shadow Collector in three pithy lines, but beyond that, what keeps this story exciting are characters who are deeply human, who take you to their emotional place and make you care about them, root for them.

Q: You’ve created a captivating series of supernatural thrillers. Can you tell us what it takes to plan and execute a series like yours, and you go about it? 

Wine. A lot of wine. Or maybe it’s “whine.” 

Just kidding. The Shadow Collector is the first in what will be a four-book series whose overarching question, “Where did all the children go?” is currently answered via a blizzard of Post-it notes that serve as a storyboard in my writing room. And, just like any individual title, it is divided into Acts I, II, and III, so too is an entire series—except on a far more protracted scale. As such, Book II and Book III ostensibly serve as Act II of the entire series, and right now I am writing them simultaneously due to the amount of cross-pollination of clues and secrets revealed within each of these stories. 

Beyond plotting and process, though, another important element in a series’ execution involves staying true to the voice of each character. This series has a big cast, and each book will feature a different leading man and lady whose points of view will propel the narrative drive. To that end, one of my many jobs in crafting these novels will be to respect each character’s individual personality, their back-story, and their unique voice, which my readers have now come to know and recognize from Book I, The Shadow Collector.  

Q: Your books often mix romance, mystery, and danger. What advice can you offer to writers looking to incorporate both elements and maintain an effective balance?

First and foremost, always—and I mean always!—stay true to reactions and emotions that are consistent with whatever your protagonist is facing in each individual scene. For example: if your character is facing off with the phantom in the graveyard, she will not be thinking about how sexy the hero is (even if he is). Conversely, if your hero is flashing his adorable dimples at her while she is trying to be serious—dang! She’s gonna notice those damn dimples, and become aware of a whole clutch of other, even naughtier thoughts that will upend her too. 

In short, a romantic thriller is, essentially, two stories about the same people happening simultaneously: it’s a love story and a mystery. So to keep those pages turning, use the romance to create barriers that keep your protag from solving the mystery, and use the mystery to create barriers that keep your protag from connecting with their love interest. 

Q: Can you tell us about your experience working with Tellwell, and how self-publishing compares to traditional publishing?

I have had a variety of publication experiences! First, I had a project traditionally picked up by small press Panverse in California (Divinity & The Python, 2013); next, I self-published with no assistance (Within The Summit’s Shadow, 2019); and now I’ve chosen the assisted-publishing route with Tellwell’s contribution to The Shadow Collector

Each experience has benefits and challenges: going the traditional route can result in a publisher taking on the “heavy lifting” of cost, distribution, and some marketing, but trad publishing also involves querying and uncertainty. Will an agent or editor even be interested in my project? Or will they take a pass? 

Self-publishing comes with the benefit of getting your project into the hands of readers, but indie authors still (sadly) face a lot of stigma: some readers (and other writers) assume your work is substandard, amateur, or even “illegitimate.” With that reality in mind, I strongly recommend that any author going the self-published route does it well: make the investment and use assisted publishing to help craft the best-looking product you can produce, because like it or not, we do judge a book by its cover, so yours needs to shine! Don’t believe me? I’d be only too happy to share the dramatic difference in sales between my unassisted self-published novel Within the Summit’s Shadow and The Shadow Collector, which I created with Tellwell. 

Next: use an editor. No, seriously, use an editor! If you have a professional editor, great. If you don’t, and the assisted-publishing company you’ve employed offers editing as part of their service, purchase it!

Yikes! That turned into a bit of a lecture, didn’t it? Let me sum up with this: my Shadow Collector journey with Tellwell has been top shelf; the formatting, the cover art design, and (perhaps especially) the marketing coaching has, without a doubt, been a massive part of what has propelled The Shadow Collector into the top 50 in its Amazon categories eight separate times since its release in May. I am so thrilled and grateful to be working with such a great partner! 

Q: Could you share some of the books and authors who have inspired your writing journey? 

I read so much and from such a wide variety of genres, anyone who looks at my Goodreads list probably thinks it’s been compiled by a dozen different people! But certain authors inspire me more than others: Lucy Foley and Shari Lapena are pacing and plot twist queens! For the creepy factor, though, I adore Jennifer MacMahon, but I (obviously) love me some sweet magic too, so for that I pick up everything by Sarah Addison Allen and Heather Webber. When I want my prose to lean a little more into the poetic and imagery-rich side of life, Ann Marie Eleazer’s poetry gets me there, but if I really want my paranormal possibilities to crackle and creep you out good and proper, I dive into the blacker-than-midnight rabbit holes of the late indie journalist David McGowan!  

Q: What’s your favourite way to celebrate Halloween? 

I’m glad you asked, but you might not be! Aside from giving out stellar loot bags (no candy corn or witch’s kisses from this house, baby! Here it’s chips & chocolate all the way!) I, unlike The Shadow Collector’s Natalya, actually enjoy a stroll through the cemetery—especially on Halloween. In fact, an abandoned graveyard where I used to live had headstones that would appear then disappear depending on who was looking at them, and what angle they were looking from. And yeah, I write fiction, but I am not making that up.

Pick up one of Bonnie’s books this Halloween. Just click the image below.

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Author of the Month Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Uncategorized

Author Bryan Cole unveils the complex world of paladins in his fantasy novels ‘Beginning of Arrogance’ & ‘Futility of Defense’

Dive into an exciting interview to discuss the creative process for an epic fantasy series

Cole’s vivid depictions of combat are nothing short of mesmerizing. Imagine being entrenched in battle, surrounded by monsters, all the while strategizing to unveil the greater powers at play. Fans of the fantasy genre will find themselves entranced by the myriad magical and supernatural elements skillfully interwoven into the narrative. This book is a veritable treasure trove of fantastical wonders, from teleportation to gods, prophecies, and dragons.

★★★★ Literary Titan

In his compelling fantasy series, critically acclaimed author Bryan Cole delves into the intricate relationship between paladins and the societies they engage with. His book Beginning of Arrogance recently reached #2 on Amazon.com’s Military Fantasy chart and peaked at #20 in Epic Fantasy. His latest novel, Futility of Defense, explores the complexities of divine champions, blending heroism with the disruption of the balance of power. Inspired by a desire to create a world where paladins aren’t just token additions but significant forces with real-world consequences, Cole crafts a captivating narrative. Join us as we dive into the inspiration behind his characters, the challenges they face, and the intriguing blend of classic fantasy elements that shape his storytelling.

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Author of the Month

Unleashing heroic baking: An exclusive interview with author, entrepreneur, and TV personality Barb Lockert

Find out how to be a hero in the kitchen, and learn about Barb’s journey as an author!

Get Barb’s book on Amazon.com

Are you ready to transform your baking prowess and elevate your culinary skills to heroic levels? Look no further than the delectable pages of Easy Baking in Barb’s Kitchen. This extraordinary baking cookbook is poised to revolutionize your baking experience, providing you with a treasure trove of time-saving techniques and scrumptious recipes that will make you the baking hero among your friends and family.

Our guest today, Barb Lockert, is not just an accomplished author and entrepreneur, but a television personality who has been gracing screens for over four decades. With a passion for people, travel, cooking, and baking, Barb’s infectious enthusiasm has made her a natural at delivering easy-to-understand instructions that resonate with novices and experts alike. Her culinary journey began with the establishment of a teaching gourmet kitchen store, where she honed her teaching skills and perfected her easy cooking and baking methods.

Barb preparing desserts.

But Barb’s influence extends far beyond the kitchen. Her entrepreneurial spirit has earned her a plethora of awards, and she has shared her expertise on both local and national television, captivating audiences with informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations. Her contributions to various magazines and newspapers have solidified her status as a culinary authority, and her motivational speaking engagements have inspired countless individuals in their own ventures.

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Author of the Month Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Discovering deeper connections: Author Arwinder Kaur’s captivating journey in ‘Living While Human’

Find out more about her acclaimed debut, which is honoured by the San Francisco Book Festival Nautilus Book Awards, and the Whistler Independent Book Awards

Recognizing my mentors was important, since they were immensely significant in forming my understanding about what it means to live as people…

ARWINDER KAUR

Today we are honoured to have the talented author Arwinder Kaur with us, whose thought-provoking debut book Living While Human takes us on a profound journey of self-discovery and understanding. Through her insightful exploration, Arwinder offers valuable insights into how we can navigate the complexities of our modern world while fostering a deeper connection with ourselves, others, and the earth.

Arwinder has woven a captivating narrative that not only delves into the enigmatic human psyche but also presents a candid and heartfelt account of her South Asian family’s migration to Canada. In her compelling memoir, she shares her incredible experiences as a globetrotter during her youth, providing her with a unique education about the multifaceted nature of humanity. As a social worker specializing in child welfare for nearly three decades after attending SFU, she possesses a wealth of wisdom and compassion that shines through her writing.

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Author of the Month

“Choosing Love Over Pride”: A spotlight on author Marielle de Vassoigne and her latest book!

We are excited to celebrate one of Tellwell’s talented authors, Marielle de Vassoigne for this Author of the Month feature. Join us as we explore the beautiful world of Choosing Love Over Pride and its unique themes of love, acceptance, and individuality.

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Author of the Month Tellwell News

From Nashville bounty hunter to children’s book author: Paul Hart shares his insights & inspiration

Paul Hart shares advice for career transitions and talks about the magic of writing for kids

I let the books write themselves. Whatever I feel at that moment in time, I write.  

Paul Hart

This month we are featuring Paul Hart. Our interview delves into the fascinating journey of a man whose career has taken him from the high-stakes world of a Nashville bounty hunter to the enchanting realm of children’s literature. With eight years of experience in the thrilling bounty-hunting industry, Hart has now embraced a new passion as a children’s book author. As he embarks on this creative transition, we have the opportunity to gain insights from his unique perspective, seek his advice for readers considering a drastic career change, and discover the values he hopes to instil in the children who experience his stories.

His newest book, Shirley the Perky Turkey, recently launched through Tellwell publishing and reached #18 on the Children’s Animal Stories Kindle chart on Amazon.com.

You’ve had a versatile career with 8 years as a Nashville bounty hunter, and now you are making the transition into children’s book author. Do you have any advice for readers who might be thinking about a drastic career change? 

 At the risk of sounding cliché, my advice would be to go for it.  Sometimes, our life interests change with the passing years. In my case, I wrote poetry and a children’s book when I was a teenager, long before the bounty hunting opportunity popped up in my life. Now that chapter is closed. I’m revisiting an old friend: children’s literature.  

​Your last book, The Nashville Bounty Hunters, was a memoir, and your current book, Shirley the Perky Turkey, is a story for children. What challenges did this creative shift pose for you as an author?   

I have such a passion for all the different styles and designs of the craft of writing. Believe it or not, it wasn’t that challenging to transition. Firstly, it’s been ten years between publications of the two books.  Secondly—and this may sound strange—but I let the books write themselves. Whatever I feel at that moment in time, I write.  

What inspired you to write children’s books? 

What has inspired me to revisit children’s books is that I see a path we are headed down and I don’t like it. Some literature that is being put in the school libraries is completely and utterly disgusting. In my own small way, I would like to combat this by being an author that offers good, wholesome stories with a positive message.  

Who is your favourite children’s book author and why? 

That is a tough question.  I would have to say Aesop. His stories have stood the test of time and always contained a life lesson. Some of our favourite stories we’ve read as a kid were actually first created by Aesop: “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and many others. 

What was your favourite part of the children’s book creation process? 

The very end. After the dust settles and the book is created, that’s when the magic happens.  I’ll show you what I mean. Attached is a photo recently taken of my friend’s great-niece reading Shirley The Perky Turkey with her father. That’s my absolute favourite part.   

Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

Whether you are a reader or a writer, you’re helping keep the craft of writing alive. If by chance you pick up a copy of Shirley The Perky Turkey,  I hope it brings you joy.   

For more information on Paul Hart and his books visit www.PaulHartbooks.com

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