The Clever and Creative Veronica Krug

Veronica has a ready smile that will impel you to smile back. She also has a great sense of humor, as does her husband. They have a small green parrot named Virdi which Roger taught to say “Kiss My Ass” when he comes in the room. As one would imagine, her house is full of artwork. Here is her interview with the equally delightful Sherri Lupton Hollister.

Welcome Veronica Krug to Creekside Café

Bio: Veronica Krug, an active member of Carteret Writers, North Carolina Writer’s Network and Seascribes has lived and worked in Eastern NC for the past seven years. She has four self-published titles as well as a calendar showcasing her work as a sand artist on the beach of Emerald Isle. Originally from Akron, Ohio, Veronica taught Middle School art and reading for 

over 25 years and was a director of recreation for ten years before that. 

Sherri: Welcome Veronica to my virtual café. My dream is to one day have a place where I can meet and greet authors, drink coffee or tea and be surrounded by books and the river. As chairperson for the Pamlico Writers’ Group, I have had a lot of interaction with members of the Carteret Writers, we are sister groups I feel and support each other. I wish I could attend more events. Maybe when I retire. You are a retired Middle School teacher, are your books written for that age group?

Veronica: 2 are for eighth graders and up; Good Beasts Bad Creatures, and The Siren and the Crow. Mainly because there are some scary parts in them. A bit of gore as well, but I know middle schoolers dig that kind of thing. They showcase North Carolina folklore and are educational without being pushy about it.

Sherri: You mentioned your calendar of your sand art, I look forward to seeing it at the book festival. How did you get into doing sand art? Do you photograph it? Are you also a photographer? What other art projects do you enjoy, and have you considered writing about them or using them for a calendar?

Veronica: Well! Being an artist, I saw a huge canvas of sand in front of me at low tide. A California artist, Andre Amador, inspired me and thought I’d try it. He uses a rake. When I tried that on our beach, it looked terrible. My husband had a PVC pipe he used for holding his fishing pole up. The end of it looked like a pencil, and bam…beach art. It’s really a Zen thing for me when I’m doing it. I never dreamed so many folks would like it so much. I incorporate my love of writing into my photos by inserting a quote; and no, I am not a professional photographer. I have been a watercolorist for over 40 years and mainly work on them when I take a break from writing.

Sherri: Tell us a little bit about your novels and the characters. This is a fantasy series based on North Carolina folklore. I love folklore and often enjoy reading young adult fiction.

Veronica: Both of my low fantasy novels include a group of four friends, Kayla, Jerry, Sarah, and Nick, who have a mystery to solve. The first, Good Beasts Bad Creatures, focuses on Kayla, Jerry, and Grimalkin; a panther who escapes a farm and is the progeny of the Beast of Bladenboro. The Beast of Bladenboro was a creature who terrorized the town in the 50s.

     The second story, The Siren and the Crow, features Nick and a dog named Shep. They camp by the French Broad River in Asheville. Nick is kidnapped and his friends must solve a murder before he becomes the next victim. In the process, Nick discovers his heritage. The story is based on the siren, Tzelica, who pulls men to their deaths…but she is not the murderer.

Sherri: You are published through Lulu. I have seen their advertisements but I’m unfamiliar with the company. What was your publishing experience with them like?

Veronica: Good. I believe it’s the best way to publish for little money. It’s a print on demand company, but it only takes 10 days to receive your book after ordering. It’s a learning process at first, and they have switched book cover design to Canva. But, after some practice, Canva is really good. eBooks are pretty easy. They take any word document, but for paperbacks, you must save your word to a PDF. The only charge is to purchase a book at cost to make sure the layout and print is correct. I learned about it at Carteret Community College before Covid hit. I would imagine the class will return. It is really worth it.

Sherri: Have you always been a writer? When did you start writing and when did you decide to publish your first novel?

Veronica: I’ve always loved writing, and had many articles published in magazine and won competitions. My favorite was an all-expense paid trip to New York City for me and a friend. The contest was to write about a special friend. Man, did we have fun. We even had a driver whenever we wanted. We just called down for him. I didn’t get serious about writing a novel until about 15 years ago when my students told me I should write about Lorenzo DiMedici. His story really intrigued my middle schoolers. Back then, there wasn’t much about him, and I had to go to the Library of Congress to get any real information. When Assassin’s Creed came out, my students were so excited, because they knew all about the DiMedicis. I wrote A Magnificent Man first as a screenplay and actually won an award for it, but nothing happened, so I wrote the book. I finished it in 2017 and had retired by then. So much about him is out now.

Sherri: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Veronica: I loved Stephen King so much so that when I was in college, the professors compared my style to his. I also love Erma Bombeck’s humor. I used to go straight to her columns in the paper. She was relatable. Now, I enjoy Fredrick Backman books; my favorite being A Man Called Ovi, which will soon be a movie called, A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks. He has humor mixed with the challenges of getting older. His work inspired me to write my newest title, Toasted Marshmallows. It’s about a summer camp for senior citizens, and a bear named Rizzy. I’m in the process of editing and looking for an agent. This is totally adult humor. A break from my YA tomes.

Sherri: What advice would you give to beginning authors?

Veronica: Keep at it. It helps to join a group suffering the same as you. LOL Also it helps to remember it takes time. Expect to make several edits of your stories before you can put them out there. Listen to helpful critiques. Thank you, Sherri, for talking to me. I enjoyed answering your great questions.

Sherri: If you enjoyed my interview with Veronica Krug, you can meet her in person at the New Bern Farmers Market Author Sunday Book Festival, November 20th, from 1 to 4 pm. Books make excellent holiday gifts or escapes from the chaos of the season.

If you are unable to buy Veronica’s books at the festival you can purchase them online, the links are below.

The novels I am featuring at the fair are Good Beasts Bad Creatures and The Siren and the Crow. Both Young Adult mystery thrillers take place in North Carolina based on folklore in the state. In Good Beasts, it is the progeny of the Beast of Bladenboro; and in The Siren and the Crow, the story is based on Tzelica, the siren of the French Broad River in Western NC. Both novels feature the same group of friends, their efforts to survive these creatures, and solve a murder mystery at the same time. The paperbacks are a special festival price of $15. each. 

You can purchase Veronica’s books on and through her website,

“The pacing in Veronica’s stories are impressive, and it keeps them moving forward at a strong clip.” -International Screenwriters Association

Come Meet the Fascinating Author Bill Furney

On Sunday, November 20, we are having a special event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the New Bern Farmer’s Market , 421 S. Front Street, New Bern, NC. One of the authors is the well-read, interesting author Bill Furney. Another attending author, Sherri Lupton.Hollister, did an outstanding interview with Bill and I hope they’ll invite me to their beer drinking event some time in the future. Here is the link to her blog interview.

An interview with the Amazing Joan Y. Edwards

Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443


Joan Edwards is a very encouraging person. Feeling down about your work, or yourself, or life in general? Let Joan know. She’ll do her best to perk you up and urge you on to reach higher. Her latest book, Joan’s Elder Care Guide, came out recently, so she’s busy promoting it.

But I’m sure she’s also working on her next project. Let’s see what that is.

SMS: Please tell us about how you came to be a writer, but first let’s get the details about your early life.

Were you born in South Carolina?

JYE: I was born in Wilson, North Carolina. However, I never lived there. My parents lived in Georgia and came back to Wilson so my Grandmother Sue Bruffey could help Mother with me. We lived in Tucker, Georgia until I was 7 years old. Then we moved to Falls Church, Virginia. I lived there until I went to Western Carolina College in Cullowhee, North Carolina in 1958.

SMS: Are you one of many siblings or did you get your parents all to yourself? If you have any siblings, where are you in the line? How many boys in the family and how many girls? Describe a bit of your family life. Chaotic? Joyful? Strict? Laidback?

JYE: I was one of four children. I had one brother and two sisters. My older sister, Judith, died in 2012. I was the middle child until my younger sister, Janet was born fourteen years after me. My brother, Butch, is five years younger than I. We lived on a farm in Georgia for a short time. My mother had a chicken house in Falls Church. My daddy bribed her with that to get her to move to Virginia. I jumped Double Dutch jump rope, played hopscotch, hide and seek, read books, and put together jigsaw puzzles with my siblings and friends. Our family played the alphabet game, finding license tags from each state, and counting red convertibles when traveling. We made up plays and acted them out.

SMS: What kind of school system did you have? I, for instance, spent most of my grade-school years in 3-room school house. Was your school bigger? Did you have good teachers?

JYE: I went to St. James Catholic School in Falls Church, Virginia from second to eighth grade. It was a very good school. They gave us exams at the end of each school year. At the end of the third grade, I got the mumps and contracted a sleeping sickness. I missed the end of year exams. It’s funny because I didn’t remember that until it was time for the fourth grade exams. I told my teacher: “You can’t give me the fourth grade exam yet. I haven’t taken the third grade exam”

I asked her why hadn’t I taken the third grade exam. She didn’t know. So Mother explained what had happened. Probably the fever I had from the mumps instigated it. After two weeks, I was fine.

SMS: I believe you were a teacher for a number of years. What inspired you to do that? How did the teaching spur your desire to write stories? Or did it? I know you wrote one picture book about a duck who liked to play music. Did you read it to your students? Tell us the name of your book. And what inspired you to write it?

JYE: When I was a teenager, I loved babysitting with young children of school age. I planned parties and activities. I babysat a lot. I also enjoyed teaching my cousins how to do things. In school the teachers would ask me to read the geography book because I made it come alive for them. I took care of my brother and I also took care of my younger sister. We wrote plays and acted them out for our families and friends.

When I lived in Tucker, Georgia, my environment was great for hearing stories and telling stories. Mother read to us from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Andersen’s Fairy Tales. These were thick books with only an illustration at the beginning and a few sparse black and white illustrations in the middle. There were no picture books back then. People who babysat with me told me stories. I made up stories. When I was five years old, I made up the story of Flip Flap Floodle.

When I taught school, many times I would tell them Flip Flap Floodle. They loved it and begged me to tell them other stories. So I had to do spur-of-the-moment stories for them. I made up characters and put them in weird situations. I made up the ghost stories The Golden Arm and The Day I Turned My Brother into a Monkey. They laughed and laughed. Afterwards I had them write stories and draw illustrations for them.

web 96 res red Flip cover color

I tried off and on for many moons to get Flip Flap Floodle published. I got many rejections. After I retired, I promised myself I would submit it to publishers for 5 years. If at the end of 5 years, no one said, “Yes,” then I would self-publish it. Everyone said, “NO.” So in 2004 I self-published Flip Flap Floodle through BookSurge. Luckily for me, color print-on-demand came out just in the knick of time for me. I have made many presentations to elementary school students explaining the process of how I changed the illustrations and how I used the internet to help me improve my drawings of a frog and Mr. Fox. I drew a rocking chair for Flip’s grandmother to sit in. The proportions and slant of the rockers were all wrong. I took a rocking chair that I had and placed it in front of me. I said, “Rocking Chair, you’re gonna sit there until I can figure out how to draw you right.”

And it did.

I’ll share this with you. I had all my illustrations and text formatted for “landscape” view. After I paid my money and signed my contract, BookSurge said, “We don’t do landscape books.”

Horror of all horrors. Talking about pep talks. I had to do quite a bit of talking to myself to get the energy to redraw all the illustrations in “portrait” view. This was what I said to myself, “Joan, each time you redo an illustration, you’re making it better and better.”

SMS: Tell us how you came to write your current book, Joan’s Elder Care Guide. web 96 res cover Joan's Elder Care Guide by Aidana WillowRaven

Did you consult geriatric care providers? A lot of it is personal experience, I’m sure. Do you feel that experience gave you a way to make your guide more relatable?

JYE: I took care of my mother, Ethel Darnell Bruffey Meyer for fourteen years. Through trial and error I found ways that worked. For at least two years, I wasn’t able to go anywhere out of town. There were no books about elder care. The internet wasn’t like it is now where you can put in almost any medical condition and find a definition and possible cures. My teaching experience helped me realize that I wasn’t leaving the substitute caregivers enough information. Once I started to leave them what my mother could and couldn’t do and things to watch out for, things went better. I put what I did plus I added other things I discovered through research so that caregivers would have the information they need at their fingertips.

SMS: How are you marketing your book? And are you just marketing locally or are you using contacts around the country? Any chance of having it translated into other languages to help families with their elderly relatives?

JYE: I’m marketing Joan’s Elder Care Guide on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and through conferences that I attend. I also do presentations for groups that work with the elderly. Our church has my book in its gift shop. Oh my, that filled my heart with joy. Editing the book left me exhausted. I’ve spent the last three months spending time with my family and friends to regain my inner strength.

I’m willing to travel to promote my book, but that hasn’t happened yet. I feel sure it will in the future. I have not heard anything about its being translated into other languages, although that would be quite an honor. It will come out as an E-book at the six months or one year mark. I think that will help many people access the parts they need quickly with the E-book’s search capabilities.

SMS: Tell us something about your publisher. How did you find her? And what kinds of books is she looking for?

JYE: I found 4RV Publishing during Muse Online Writers Conference in October 2010. I pitched Joan’s Elder Care Guide to Vivian Zabel the owner. She asked me to send a proposal and the first three chapters. They offered me a contract in 2011 and said they would publish it in 2015. It is a small traditional publisher in Edmonton, a suburb of Oklahoma City. It was named the Best Edmond Book Publisher of the year for four consecutive years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Submissions are closed for Children’s books now. Submissions are open for Artists, Illustrators, Short Stories, Tweens & Teens, Young Adult, New Adult, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Biblical Based. They used Ingram’s Print on Demand service for Joan’s Elder Care Guide.

SMS: You encourage lots of people with your blog, not just to continue writing and submitting, but also to expand their writing horizons by starting blogs or doing other things related to writing. How do you find the time? What blogs do you have other than “Never Give Up”? Do you cut yourself slack when you don’t finish all your projects for a given day? What are your comfort food and/or activity?

JYE: Thank you for saying that I encourage lots of people with my blog. When I first started my blog, I didn’t know what I would write, but I did know that it would come from the heart to help those who read it keep on going and never give up. I’d like to inspire them to learn what they need to learn to get where they want to go towards their life goals. In 2010 after I came back from a writing conference and an all week workshop, I wrote about what I learned. That’s when my readership spiked upwards big time. It’s a great idea to give yourself some slack when you don’t finish all your projects in a given day. Loving, forgiving, and accepting yourself is what I believe God would want you to do. I try to do that. Sometimes I am harder on myself. I believe it’s important for you to control your blog, not for your blog to control you. While I worked editing Joan’s Elder Care Guide, I didn’t write as many posts on my blog. I plan to get back into writing at least four posts a month. It is healing for me to write posts for my blog.

SMS: How did you come to start the PubSub group? And how did you find all the people who’ve signed up? I know there are people from all over this country, but also in England, who are members. Are there members from elsewhere?


JYE: In 2009, I realized that I had about ten manuscripts written and that I hadn’t submitted many of them. Only one or two. Of course, I was concentrating on the care of my mother, so that was a good reason for not submitting. But I wanted to submit. I thought if I could get a group of writers to submit a book at the same time as I did, that it would encourage and challenge me to submit my manuscripts, too. That’s why I had a certain date in mind (third Friday of the month) for the group…PubSub3rdFri. That was good for me, but then people said they didn’t want a specific day to submit their work. So I knocked out the words – 3rd Fri – for the group and started calling it, “Pub Subbers.” When you submit your work, you are Pub Subbing.

For a while, we only had about 4 members. Now we have 30 members! Only 2 or 3 have left the group. Pub Subbers is on my blog. That’s where people found our group.

Members believe that the more manuscripts they have in the hands of editors, agents, and contests, the better chance they’ll have at being published. Each time a member submits, he improves his skills in writing, submitting, and marketing. Each submission gets him closer to publication.

In this group, members ask others for suggestions about writing and marketing. Members rejoice with you when you receive a “YES.” They also encourage you when you get a “NO.”
Automated reminders are sent for Week 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Pub Sub process. Automated reminders are sent out to ask members for their goals at the beginning of the month and a recap of their progress on the last day of the month.

For an invitation to join, please send an email telling why you’d like to join Pub Subbers to

Pub Subbers

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

SMS: What’s next on your agenda? Are you working on another book? Planning a trip to Jupiter? Touring the world in a hot air balloon?

JYE: I love your questions! I’d love to fly in a hot air balloon. I rode in one that was tethered to the ground one time. I am working on the illustrations for chapter book Larry, the Terrifying Turkey. I have several choices for the project to check for necessary revisions before submitting to a publisher or agent:

  1. One young adult novel: Immigrant Heart
  2. Two screenplays: Against the Odds and The Perfect Couple.
  3. Picture book, Aunt Sophie’s Biscuits, Porky Wins the Race
  4. Chapter books: The Golden Arm, The Day I Turned My Brother into a Monkey and Messy Marvin

SMS: Thanks, Joan, for taking the time to fill us in on your projects.

JYE: You’re very welcome. I am honored to be a guest on your wonderful blog. It’s fun to read your reviews of books. You give the essence of the stories and make us want to read them.

SMS: I know you have FaceBook and LinkedIn accounts, but what others do you use?

Readers, if you’re interested in following Joan and her endeavors, please check out her blog by following the link I’ve provided here. Please be sure to check out her books on Amazon at her author page:

web 96 res red Flip cover color

Flip Flap Floodle Will Flip’s song save him from Mr. Fox? Will he give up or keep on playing his flute?


Barnes & Noble

web 96 res cover Joan's Elder Care Guide by Aidana WillowRaven

Joan’s Elder Care Guide

Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive

4RV Publishing


Barnes and Noble


Facebook Author Page

Facebook Group for Bloggers, Authors, and Illustrators: To Market To Market



Twitter: @joanyedwards @tomarketsuccess



Next week I’ll have more reviews.  Let me know if you’d like me to do an interview of you and your work. Sarah Maury Swan