Interview with Arlene Rains Graber

Published 2019-11-26.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I check the best seller list, Book Reads or Ask David. I also scan the book ads in different publications. If a title is of interest, or it is an author I am familiar with, I order a sample. About 70% of the time, I will order the entire book after I've read the sample.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was in the second grade, and with my Big Chief tablet, wrote Over the Blue Moon. The story is about a young girl who travels to the moon and discovers it is blue.
How do you approach cover design?
I am fortunate to have a daughter who owns a graphic design firm. We talk about my plot, the characters, and setting and she takes it from there. Her company, Tallgrass Studios in Lawrence, Kansas has created several covers for various authors.
What is your writing process?
When I have an idea for a short story or novel, I start writing a draft. After about ten pages, I will write an outline in long hand, then go back and start writing the story again. I write each day for about two hours in the morning. Often I will write again after lunch for an hour or so.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read Betsy Tacy and Tib, by Maud Hart Lovelace. The characters came alive and I placed myself right into their lives. From then on, bringing characters alive has been a goal. Getting to know how they think, act, and their dreams for the future.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird has always been a favorite, and just this year, Marja Mills has released The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee. It is a non fiction book and I must tell you, I couldn't put it down.

Jan Karon is another favorite writer. She is famous for the Mitford series, and then Jodi Picoult I dearly love. She is a wonderful writer who is able to place her reader right into her story.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love both fiction and non fiction. Stories about real people and their challenges. A good mystery is nice once in awhile, however, not a favorite.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my Kindle Paperwhite. In fact, I'm addicted. When I hear of a novel I might like, either by the newspaper or Internet Associations, I click and it's uploaded within a few minutes. Can't get easier than that. Before, I would write myself notes and forget to drop by our bookstore and purchased it. Now my library is growing growing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have marketed with Ask David, Book Daily, Good Reads, Facebook, and a few book signings. All good and productive, however, it is still word of mouth with friends and family that drives my sales. If I'm traveling, a conversation with a stranger almost always ends with me handing them a card. Same goes for social events when I meet someone new. I'm not sure now where I heard this, but it was stated that authors are their own best advertisers.
Describe your desk
My desk is stationed in a corner of my living room. It is an industrial business desk, nothing fancy, just serviceable. It is usually heaped with papers and lists of things to do. I have a laptop, desk top, (I tend to use both during the day) a printer, and a hoard of pens. I have an aromatherapy candle and a hand made wooden fountain to give ambiance. My cell phone is close, but I turn it off when I am writing. An icon of Paul the apostle stands watch and gives inspiration.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Kansas. I'm not sure it influenced me in any other way than to delve into a character's life and give him or her a character trait of sincerity underneath mischief and right down questionable conduct. Being from Wichita, Kansas which is the air capital of the world, and in the center of the United States - it is easy to travel in many directions to places of interest.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I spend time in coastal Maine each summer, and last year attended a performance at the Ogunquit Playhouse. The wheels began to turn and The "Casting" of Wendy Holcomb was born. The novel is the fourth in The Plane Tree in Provence series.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I attended a writer's conference in 2012 and attended two sessions on Indie publishing. It sparked interest and I became an Indie author.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Goodness yes, in a big way. I love the fact they distribute to many different vendors and the exposure is great.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Living life through my characters.
What do your fans mean to you?
The world. Without them there is no motivation.
What are you working on next?
The fifth and final novel in The Plane Tree in Provence series.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Car pooling my grandson around, scrapbooking, and gardening.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Vernie: One Year Tops
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 66,310. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Christian » General
Vernie Olander, author, lives with her husband and two daughters in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. After fifteen years as the executive director of the Portland, Maine Symphony Orchestra she retired to pursue a career as a novelist. Days quickly changed from board meetings, and unraveling complicated budgets, to hours of writing and dreaming up plots for fiction novels. Then the unexpected happened.
Devoted to Traveling: Revised Edition
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 37,980. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Trip Journals
A unique devotional book by Kansas writer, Arlene Rains Graber. The book is a chronicle of the first-hand experiences of a woman whose adventures are written with lessons learned. Travel the globe with her as she experiences the healing aspects of San Francisco to a spiritual renewal in an ancient cathedral all the while allowing readers to experience the highs and lows of traveling.
The "Casting" of Wendy Holcomb
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 64,640. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Wendy Holcomb is a happily married mother of a college bound daughter, and enjoys a comfortable life living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, when her career begins to create numerous problems in her otherwise well-ordered life. The question is: will she shun family life for a chance on Broadway, or walk away?
Lessons from Maine
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 28,180. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Travel - Reference
As a journalist living in Kansas, Arlene Rains Graber enjoyed a fast-paced life writing for newspapers and magazines, before the fiction bug knocked at her door. She was an avid reader of fiction, but had never written a word that wasn’t true until a plot formed in her mind. Travel with her on annual retreats in Maine provide the perfect environment to make the transition.
Sarah's Choice: with a little help from Tuscany
Series: A Plane Tree in Provence, Book 3. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 72,300. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A Plane Tree in Provence, novel. The women are back from France and Sarah has to make a decision whether to tell her husband about the affair, or keep it hidden. Although she is guilt ridden, she ignores the inevitable for as long as she can until Raoul, the other man, makes an appearance forcing her to to make a choice.
The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society
Series: A Plane Tree in Provence, Book 2. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 64,670. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Penny Wilson, owner of the Designers Pen needlework shop in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, lives in a large rambling home with her husband, Michael, and two sons. Life is good until Penny accidentally spots Michael with another woman. An affair? Or a harmless encounter? Penny has her friends in The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society to lean on. While she wants
Angel on My Shoulder
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 63,760. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Pringle Taylor is thirty, single, tall, lean, smart, and involved in a two-year relationship with Hunter Wilson. Her third floor walk-up in Brooklyn's Park Slope area is decorated just the way she likes it, and she is rewarded every day teaching at-risk children. Crisis hits when the head master at her school suddenly closes due to economics, and Hunter unexpectedly proposes. What to do.
A Plane Tree in Provence
Series: A Plane Tree in Provence, Book 1. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 83,310. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » European
(5.00 from 1 review)
Five women take a life-changing holiday to France and return home recharged to explore hidden dreams. Adventures and conflicts emerge as the five wind their way through Provence and conclude each day around the large plane tree at their rented farmhouse, with spirited conversation and a generous portion of food and wine. By the end of the trip each return home anxious to change their lives