Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday

 

 

I was trying to think of something to write today and couldn’t. My mind was blank. Then I saw this blog post come up in my email box (this one)

I like the blog, I subscribed to this blog and I enjoy reading it whenever one of the authors put out a post. You should read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Ok, for those of you too lazy to go read it (ha!) Michael Helms, who by the way is a very good writer, asks, ‘when is an author an Author? Then he goes on to explain that he read an e-book that he felt was terrible. It was short, so it wasn’t even technically a novel, it was also badly (if at all) edited. So does this make the person who published it an author? He says, no. And I agree with him. It doesn’t make a person an author if all they publish is a bad short story. That’s not the reason I’m writing about it.

The reason I’m writing about it and pointing the post out is this……..

Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Or maybe I’m ‘just a writer’.

You see, I’m not against what Michael says in his post. I’m more challenging some of the comments on the post. It’s the age-old debate…..does self-publishing make you an author or someone who just self-published? And if a writer puts out a book that isn’t professionally edited with a professional book cover does this automatically make it a bad book?

As most of you know my books were NOT professionally edited nor do they have professional book covers. Although I must admit I think the kind friend who did my book cover could be a professional at book covers. Anyway, the point being….does not having ‘professionals’ involved in the process make it a bad book? Automatically?

I think what got to me the most about Michael’s post was it hit a nerve with me. It hit my self-doubt button. That sucker is never far from the surface anyway.

 

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Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Am I a fake because I self-publish?

In my comment to the post, I admitted that I did not have professionals involved in the process of publishing my books. Not because I didn’t want to. Because I’m a poor person. I just don’t have the money to hire professionals. Which brings me to another question. Are you a ‘professional’ just because you get paid to do something? I imagine you must have experience too. The couple of people who helped me edit my books are not paid to edit. But, one is a writer with many books under her belt and one was a teacher for most of his life. Does not THAT make them ‘professionals’?

Besides, I’ve seen traditionally published books with lots of editing mistakes. Does that discount their professionalism?

I’ve been having lots of problems getting my third book going. I have self-doubts as I mentioned. I am tired most of the time…….I could make dozens of excuses as to why I’m not writing. The bottom line is the doubt. Am I a writer? An author? Or a fake?

I know this feeling will pass. At least I hope it will. It’s not Michael’s fault that his article brought up these feelings. Nor the commentators on his post. It’s all mine. I own it.

Do I have to be traditionally published to be taken seriously as a writer? Some would answer that last question with a resounding yes. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done? Times change folks. I’m old, but not too old to change with the times. Self-publishing is not a bad thing and yes it’s here to stay. Get used to it.

Now all I have to do is get myself in gear again and start writing, whether I’m an author or not. Because I refuse to let my fears or other’s opinions keep me from my dreams.

 

 

What’s your take on this debate?

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, Word Fun, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Today is going to be more word fun. I love words, letters, paragraphs, stories. There are so many people out there with so much talent for writing good stories. Sometimes though I like to read short stories or flash fiction. I love to write them too.

I think the shortest stories I’ve written were the six-word stories that you see sometimes as challenges. Now that truly is a challenge! It’s not so easy. I suppose the most famous six-word story is the one by Hemingway. I’m sure you are familiar with this one…. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In fact, I just did a six-word challenge not too long ago over on J.A. Allens blog. She has a challenge going every week over at her blog, why not check it out?

I went on the search for some six-word stories. Here’s some of what I found. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Wednesday

 

I’ll start out with my own six-word story that I did for J.A. Allens challenge.

Stormy night. Checked in Hotel California.

Now some of what I found.

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Can you write your own six-word story? Please do in the comment section, I would love to read them! 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, writing

Author interview: Christina Ochs

Another great author on the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour that I am participating in the next couple of weeks! Please join us!

Scarborough Mysteries

Christina2As we continue with our indie book blog tour (co-hosted with Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com) today I am very pleased to welcome historical-fantasy writer, Christina Ochs. She writes epic historical fantasy from the passenger seat of a semi truck. At any given time, she, her driver husband and their two cats – Phoenix and Nashville – can be found anywhere in the lower 48. With a bachelor’s degree in History and an MBA, Christina uses her writing to indulge her passion for reading and research. Publishing as an indie author provides an outlet for her entrepreneurial side and she is an avid supporter of fellow authors, both independent and traditionally published.

Rise of the Storm is the first book in the Desolate Empire series, a historical fantasy retelling of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War. It follows four main characters through the religious and political upheavals triggering…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Author interview: Zach Chopchinski

The second interview in the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Enjoy!

Scarborough Mysteries

On the second day of our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Zach Chopchinski.

LLP_5958Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their four fur-children. Zachary has degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, Zachary decided it was time to give his other passion a chance. Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

He introduces his…

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Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, Monday Meeting, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

Monday Meeting ~~ Sept 7, 2015

Good day people! Those of you who are celebrating Labor Day, have a great one. Hope you enjoy your day off if you have the day off. Canada also celebrates Labor Day.

Let’s get this meeting started.

Monday Meeting

 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but, September has not started out well. Weather wise. It’s cold! For the last three days, I’ve had my furnace on. We’ve had temps in the low 40’s (between 5-8C) during the day and close to freezing at night. Cold rain and wind does not make tomatoes ripen, let me tell you. Right now the sun is fighting the clouds and it’s a balmy 12C (54F). It’s too early for weather this cool.

So as I sip my hot coffee I let my dissatisfaction with the weather slip away. Ah, coffee makes most things tolerable.

I have some news on the husband front. Tomorrow we have a meeting set up with someone who is (supposedly) going to help us file paperwork with the government to get him some more help, financially and medically. The great thing is this person is coming to the house! They called last week and set up an appointment. As he explained it to us on the phone, the mental health clinic that the husband talked to last month got in touch with this guy from the government. They told him the husband needs to apply to some programs to receive help as his depression is caused partly because we need the help! Well, duh, I could have told them that if they asked.

The nice thing is the husband doesn’t have to take a painful car ride somewhere. He can stay in the comfort of the house and have someone come to him. Should be interesting. Guess that means I should tidy up some, eh? Of course I could tell the guy I’ve decorated early for Halloween. 😉 Cobwebs and all! Ha!

Have I mentioned the allergies? No? Well, my allergies have been going crazy lately! Watering eyes, sniffles, sneezing, hoarseness, itchy ears. My goodness, it’s been bad this time of the year. But, I soldier on….feeling sorry for me yet? Hey, I’m trying! Don’t worry, it’ll pass. So I’ll stop whining about it. For now.

On the book front, I want to thank everyone who has purchased The Canine Caper, you guys are the best! I do hope you enjoyed it. I’m diligently working on the next to final edits for A Case of Deceit. I’m happy to say I’m on target with those. I also got the proof of the paperback version of the cover last week. It looks amazing! Thank you again Tiny for all your hard work.

Something funny happened when the proof came in the mail. The husband watched me open it and then grabbed hold of the book almost before I could get a good look at it. I told him it was just a proof so I could see how the cover looks. The story inside would not be right as I had yet to do the edits. He said he didn’t care, he was going to read it. I almost fell out of my chair! He has NEVER read anything I have written. NEVER! But, he was determined he was going to read this unedited book.

I was so nervous. First, he rarely reads books. He’s more of a newspaper, TV sort of man. He went to reading and barely set the book down all day until he was finished! He shuffled into my office where I was working on the computer, handed me the book and said, “I’m proud of you. It was a great story. It had me interested from the beginning, where I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Your story had me turning the pages until the end.”

I don’t think I have ever felt more proud of myself than when I heard him say that. Now he is an honest man. Believe me he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t mean it. He never hesitates to tell me if I’ve done something wrong. He is also not a book reader by nature. So for him to read it in one day was an accomplishment! He liked it…he really liked it! haha!

Next I have to pass the Mom test, as she has informed me she wants a copy of the book when it’s out. Uh oh….

On a more cheerful note…Saturday is my birthday (the 12th) and don’t forget about my weekend birthday party! I’m not sure what exactly I’ll have going on but I do know I’ll hopefully have The Canine Caper on sale for the weekend. So stop on by sometime during the weekend and get a copy of The Canine Caper if you haven’t already done so!

I have finally put up some buttons on my sidebar with pictures of the books where all you have to do is click on them and they will take you to Amazon where you can order them. I’m slow, but I get there eventually.

That’s about it for this Monday Meeting. Hope to see you this weekend! Until then, have a great day!

 

Posted in Blogging, Guest posts, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Guest Post by Author Holly Kerr ~~ Invaded by the Kids

Hello, People!

Today I have another guest post. This one is by author and blogger Holly Kerr. Holly writes contemporary women’s fiction/chick-lit/romance.

Holly is also the mother of three kids. So I asked her to write about how she manages to find the time to write. With three kids I know she has to be one busy woman. I find it hard to find time to write and I don’t have any kids.

So please let’s give a big hello to Holly.

 

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Invaded by the Kids

I can see the end of the pier and then suddenly Benjy is driving right over it, and then we’re flying through the air – (excerpt from The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd, by Holly Kerr, to be published fall 2015)

Mom!”

What are we doing today?”

Can I have a snack?”

My hand reaches out tentatively. His jacket is open and I smooth his tie flat over his firm torso, stepping even closer as I touch the knot against his throat…

She won’t let me watch my show!”

It’s my turn on the computer!”

It’s too hot to go to the park!”

All writers understand the frustration of being yanked away from a moment where everything is working in your book; characters are amazing you with their dialogue, action is gripping, love scenes are intense…

The timer for the dryer goes off. The doorbell rings. Your email pops up (is it your agent/editor?)

The kids need your attention.

These can be wonderful ways to procrastinate or they can be constant annoyances, depending on how your writing is going at that particular time. For me, my reaction also depends on what I’m writing. If it’s an action scene, or dialogue that I need to get on paper, distractions can be tough. And don’t get me started when I’m writing a love scene! As well as writing women’s fiction/chick-lit under my own name, I also write erotic romance under the pen name Anna Ellis.

Any idea how scary it is trying to write a sex scene while looking over your shoulder to make sure your kids don’t pop up behind you unawares?

I’m a writer who has the good fortune to work full-time doing something I love. I also have three wonderful kids who are home for the summer holidays with me. At times, I don’t think that the two things are mutually compatible.

Just so you don’t think I’m a totally neglectful mother, my children are 13,12 and 9. They are perfectly capable of feeding (for the most part) and amusing themselves and each other. They have friends nearby to play with and lots of activities in the house during the time when I’m working. And it’s not all day; I know there’s no chance of an eight-hour workday, or even a three hour one while they’re home.

Most people would be cheering about that – the summer off to spend with your kids. And I enjoy it as well but I’m a writer. And only writers will understand – I need to write. There are characters developing in my head as we speak; scenes unfolding, ideas, inspirations…they don’t stop.

What’s wrong, Mommy? You’re quiet.”

My head is in my book, sweetie. I need to figure out how to end this chapter.”

So what do I do? The two loves of my life (actually 4 loves, since I have 3 kids; 5 if you factor in my hubby) seem to be at war with each other, both demanding equal time and energy. My creativity level is on over-drive; doing my best to get a good chunk of my book finished by the end of the summer and find new and exciting ways to entertain the troops. I know it will be an amazing summer, but I’m tired already from thinking about it.

My plan to maximize my writing time while my kids are home this summer:

  1. Wake up early. This isn’t difficult because I’m an early bird, and usually at my most creative in the morning.
  2. Teach my kids about grammar and sentence structure by asking them to edit pages of my work-in- progress.
  3. Setting office hours for myself and teach the kids to respect when I’m working.
  4. Share creative time with everyone. When I’m writing, so are they, or drawing, colouring, etc
  5. Distribute the household chores, ask for help to lessen the time wasted on silly things like vacuuming and laundry

That’s what I have so far. I know this won’t be easy; yesterday I already had a tug of war between finishing the last-minutes edit on my new book and getting dinner started, but that’s a common occurrence.

What about you? What are you main distractions? Any suggestions that I can use?

 

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Holly Kerr has managed to write three books when her kids were in school, Unexpecting, Coming Home and Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. Her fourth novel, chick-lit/spy thriller The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd will be out this year. Her latest book writing as Anna Ellis is available July 31.

Visit her at hollykerr.ca or annaellisauthor.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/HollyKerrAuthor, www.facebook.com/AnnaEllisauthor

 

 

Thank you, Holly, for guest posting. I really appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday Little Dinosaur

Come join us in wishing Rara Happy Birthday. She still needs our help in any way we can give it. Send her best wishes and feel the love!

Stories that Must Not Die

We are patiently waiting for you to come out of your cave. While we wait we’ve decided to celebrate your birthday with some Stories about you that will live on forever.


One day, a dinosaur appeared in my fishbowl. She was wildly drawn and breathing fire, but I wasn’t afraid. She dropped an insightful comment and left. I poked my head into her domain and found a wondrous world full of creative and awesome things. I followed her immediately.

A few months after we met, she asked me to guest post on her blog. It was my first guest post. I was nervous as hell, even though, at that point, I didn’t realize what a blogging celebrity she was. I posted what, in all honestly, is one of my most half-assed posts since I had the flu at the time, but her audience was kind, just like Rara.

For the…

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Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

The Way and Why of My Writing (#mywritingprocess blog tour)

I have had one dream throughout my lifetime that I have held onto. No matter what life threw at me, no matter how tough things got, I held onto this dream.

I will be a writer some day. A writer of tales. A writer of words that people wanted to read and to which they enjoyed.

I held onto that dream and now, finally, I am starting to live it. I have a couple of short stories published at Etherbooks.com and have two novels and a memoir in the works. And you know what? It feels fabulous to live my dream!

Life has thrown me some awful stuff, but I’m stubborn and I’m a fighter. So no matter how down I got, no matter how hard things became, no matter how hopeless things looked, I fought back. At this stage of my life most women would be watching their kids become adults, they would be settled into a life and sitting back relaxing. Not me!

I don’t have kids and that’s ok. I am finding new adventures to get into, with my writing and with my life. Things are looking better than they have ever looked before. I’m ready! I’m ready to get things done, to do new things and to have new adventures! Let’s do this!! This is my new motto……. Let’s do this!!

I want to thank my good friend tiny over at tinylessonsblog.com for inviting me to #mywritingprocess blog tour. Tiny and I have been through NaMoWriMo together last year, her first year doing it and my second. We both managed to accomplish what we wanted to do with cheering each other on! Tiny even managed to publish a book that came out of NaMoWriMo.

“Confessions of a Rescue Dog” is tiny’s book. It’s a fantastic book full of stories of Bumbles adventures. Bumble is tiny’s pet poodle and he is just one cute, articulate dog! Go over to Tiny’s and say hi to her and Bumbles, you won’t regret it!

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What am I working on right now?

I have several projects in the works. Including 2 novels and a memoir. Of course I haven’t finished any of them! I’ve also started a new project, a story in a film noir style of writing.
From as much as I’m writing, it looks like it will turn into a serial story. It’s called CC and the Fed and the first chapter is posted on my blog and can be read here.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure it does differ. It’s just ‘my voice’ instead of someone elses. My first novel, “The Key”, is an adventure novel, with a touch of fantasy in it. I’m 2/3 done with it. My second novel, “The Letter”, is a mixture of adventure, romance and revenge. My memoir is of course my story of my life. I have a lot more living to do, so who knows when that will get done.

Why do I write what I do?

Because it’s in me and I need to get it out. Really, it’s just that simple and that complicated. I get a story in my head and that just won’t let me be. It builds and builds till I need to write it down just so it will quiet down. This happens a lot, always has. Once I write it down, it grows, the characters grow and take over, I’m just the writing vessel.

How does my writing process work?

I’m not a disciplined writer. I don’t sit down every single day and write. I find that puts too much pressure on me and I just can’t write that way. I write when the feeling is too strong to ignore. Sometimes it only lasts for days, sometimes it can last for months. Then I need a rest. It’s kind of how I blog too. Some days I just have nothing inside to say. I’m a pantser, all the way. I never plan anything out, I just sit and write and am surprised at how often it’s actually something worth reading.

 

Now on to introducing two gentlemen who will carry the blog tour on next week. First up is Michael from Morpethroad. In his own words…….

I remember I was writing while in high school and then into College years I wrote and was published in a few different journals and anthologies.

I have to admit I have never written to be published, but rather for a specific audience I perceived at the time.

As a result a lot of my work I have written I have put aside once it had served its purpose and moved on to a new project.

I taught for 39 years in a variety of high schools and at each one I wrote for specific students and purposes. In some I wrote musicals, as there was a need for them in those environments. These I wrote in the late 1980’s at a school where the student population responded to my work and we had a production team that responded to my ideas.

When I moved to the last school I worked at there was a need for another type of writing.

As I taught drama in the senior school and as drama was a subject that was new in this school and as it is a practical subject students are required to perform some individual project, one option being performance.

To cater to this option I wrote a lot of performance pieces, some I have on my blog. Many were written for specific students in collaboration with them and that in itself was a great process to be part of.

At one point I did have a collection in book form, sold a few gave most away. I have been pleased over the years to go to a few schools and see my work performed and in ways I was pleased as the students took ownership of the script and adapted it to suit their needs and that was always the purpose of my writing to present a script they could edit for their own requirements.

In later years I re- wrote a play I had written in 1992 for a 2012 audience, a Theatre in Education piece about anorexia. Then in my final teaching year, I did a production on ‘Living with Lady Macbeth’ with a lot of me in it as I added a few characters and changed the script a little to suit the needs of my then students.

I write often in response to a need, in WP that tends to be the prompts that I attempt. Often I find the prompts challenging in themselves and I have learnt to be discriminating in what I do as I often think I am not being true to my own desire to write for me and that has to be balanced with my innate desire to write which I try to do most days.

I have written in collaboration with a few bloggers and that is always an experience one such collaboration is on my blog ‘The Cat People of Kagir.’
Writing for me is always an exploration of an idea, a challenge for me to try something new, often taking me out of my comfort zone and placing me in the world of people I see as far superior writers to me.

I have written a lot of poetry in recent times, I see poetry as a great challenge, how to write a lot in the least number of words possible.

Though I do see myself as more of a storyteller type of poet.

I enjoy the writing process and that includes the editing process. I think that is where my work gets honed down to the precise meaning I intended.

There is an inner excitement in the writing process, the chase to create and express in words an idea that germinates in my mind and is realised in some form on the page.

As my blog title suggests I do write ‘random meaningful words on a page’ which I shape into a meaning that I hope others  connect with too.
If I was to select three pieces that I am proud of it would be these three:
http://summerstommy.com/2014/01/24/dverse-meetingthebar-bedtime-stories-tall-tales-the-art-of-story-telling/ – this poem was written originally at the time of my father’s death, a few days before it happened and as I live alone and after spending all day with him watching his decline, I would come home and write about my day. This poem came from one of those nights where I was thinking that it was time for him to go and leave the pain and discomfort he was experiencing behind him. Two days later he died.
Marnie

This is an example of a collaboration with a student to create a performance piece. We worked on this for a long time, it was constantly revised and reworked until we were both happy with the final product. It helped that the student I worked with was exceptionally talented.
Photo Challenge #8 “War Paint” – No Painted Maypole

This is a recent piece and is also an example of how I am able to use my female muse as I have discovered I have both a male and female muse.. My female muse does afford me the opportunity to try to write from a feminine perspective and I like that I can.

 

And now Martin Conterez from Hungry Dog’s Lair;

As much as Martin loves to share his work, he hates coming up with a bio. He reads other bios and feels inadequate compared to the wittiness that others display with ease. Then there’s writing in the third person that makes him feel like he’s just gotten out of the psychiatric ward of a hospital and the only way he can cope with reality is by narrating his own life. Even worse is when he finally manages to cobble something together, he gets brutally honest with how he feels about his writing. He says things like this.

Martin is the vastly underwhelming author of Hungry Dog’s Lair which can be found at themathmaster.wordpress.com. He is currently writing a book titled The Other Side of Darkness, which he expects to be the worst selling book of all time, if he can ever get his butt in the chair often enough to actually complete said book. He never thought of himself as a writer until very recently. He wasted his youth in San Diego by getting a B.A. in Mathematics. He then wasted much of his adult life jumping from city to city and landing in the city that reflects failure the most, Washington D.C. It was there that he could be barely proud of the M.S. Management and MBA degrees, he later earned. He now posts unedited chapters of his book for free on his blog.

You can wish you read something else after you read the first several chapters here: http://themathmaster.wordpress.com/the-other-side-of-darkness/
If you think his writing is bad you should look at some of his drawings as he also does a web comic. Here is latest strip: http://themathmaster.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/raincloud-and-whirlwind-9/
If that’s not enough word and art vomit for you, this sniveling, whining, childish piece is probably the most difficult thing he’s ever written, and he’s disgustingly proud of it: http://themathmaster.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/one-hour/

If you still aren’t sure of his pretentiousness please visit him on social media so he may remove all doubt.
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+MartinConterez
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HungryDogsLair

 

Thank you gentlemen for helping me out on this blog tour! People go read these blog’s, you’ll like them, I promise! 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, nonfiction

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE~~~ Work of Art

“Art” isn’t just paintings and sculptures, it can be anything in which we find beauty and meaning — even food. Show us a thing, place, or person that’s a work of art to you.

This is this weeks WordPress photo challenge. Hope you enjoy my ‘works of art’.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Author Interview ~~ Laura Cowan ~ Music of Sacred Lakes

Hello People! I hope everyone is going to have a wonderful Easter!

Today I have a special treat for you. Laura Cowan, author of a wonderful book called Music of Sacred Lakes has kindly agreed to an interview.

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Laura writes magical realism. It’s a fantastic and a little known genre that Laura does so very well. Her book Music of Sacred Lakes, is about a man called Peter, who has to come to terms with himself after his carelessness causes the death of a young girl. It’s how he does this and what he goes through that makes this book so beautiful. Laura takes us on a journey of redemption that will stay in your mind long after you finish reading the book.

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It’s available at Amazon…….here.

 

1- What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the spirit of place. Why do some places feel empty and others feel weighed down by eons of history? I saw a parallel with the music that comes out of certain countries and places, too. There is a mood to places that soaks into everything about their cultures. I wanted to track down what was going on there, on a spiritual, metaphysical and physical level.

2- What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Parts of this book explored the dysfunctional history of my family, and that tore me up getting it on the page. Why did generation after generation of my family have children that felt unwanted and rejected? It caused mental illness, violence, heartbreak. I was starting to suspect that a lack of love—and a lack of connectedness—was at the root of this legacy. When I realized that disconnect extended to a disconnect with understanding our place of belonging in the world itself in our culture as a whole (the Christian idea of man being a special creature set apart from the rest of creation or the modernist idea of man being able to stand objectively outside of the world to observe it for scientific research gave rise to this terrible loneliness and sense of displacement in western cultures, I was finding, which was changing with the rise of postmodernism and other related movements toward understanding man’s place of belonging in the world), this book really took off, but the whole thing was intense. When I finished, I wondered if I would ever recover my previous level of energy, that was how much it took out of me.

3- How do you find or make time to write?

I have a young child, I’m staying home to raise, and I have even done some freelance journalism on the side. Finding time to write has been a daily struggle, but it was when I realized I wasn’t going to get a better chance than my current schedule that I buckled down and just made it happen. I have been waiting to write for years, and once I figured out how to do the writing, figuring out how to get the time seemed like a very small obstacle by comparison. I think if you want it badly enough, you have to be more careful not to burn yourself out or get your priorities screwed up than you have to worry about not finding time.

4- How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?

I used to shy away from this question, because the answer is pretty weird. But when I started sharing this, people all over the place started telling me they have had the same experiences, so I’ve started to think it’s pretty typical, just something people don’t feel comfortable sharing in our culture. From a young age I had dreams that correctly predicted the future and a very mystical experience of life. It seemed silly to me to debate whether animals had souls, or trees had some kind of sentience. Of course they do! Or else what are they communicating when they express themselves in their own ways? It was when I was older that I realized this is a mystic’s way of viewing the world. Lots of people don’t experience the world this way, but the mystics of all cultures and religions have the same thing to say. Everything is alive. And modern physics is bearing this out, through a new understanding of the energetic basis of all matter. Magical realism is a way of exploring the world that introduces the unexpected, magical, or mystical into the everyday and brings everything alive for the reader. I have always loved books like that as a reader, and I think other people do too. Magical realism is a way to view the universe out of the corner of your eye and catch it jumping around before it presents a more mundane appearance to your direct gaze.

5- What was one of the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?

How hard it is for people to discuss spiritual topics! I thought people who knew me would be more open to exploring an idea with me because they knew my heart was in the right place, but instead I ran straight up against all kinds of rigid preconceived notions that my beta readers couldn’t even discuss they were so charged for them. I guess this makes sense: the sensitivity of spirituality and related topics is the reason we often don’t discuss these things in public—wars have been fought over them. Still, I had a much more open reception with readers I had never met than people who knew me well, probably because people who had never met me would only pick up the book in the first place if they were interested in these topics. I was actually called a heretic by two people very close to me, which resulted in five extra months of obsessing over every detail in the book, to double triple check that I hadn’t gone all sideways somewhere in a way that would hurt people or make a mess. In the end, I realized that whether I was right or wrong about what I was doing with the book it was definitely where I was at the moment and exactly what I intended the story to be. So, I learned to trust myself a little and I published it.

6- If you had only one piece of advice to give to new writers, what would it be?

Trust yourself. So many new writers want to write so badly they make themselves sick over it, not realizing that strong instinct that they should be writing is the sign that they have the talent to do this. Also, strong self-doubt is another great indicator. If you want to write something totally bizarre and don’t think there’s an audience for it, chances are you would be doing us all a favor by adding your voice to the mix. Go with it, see what happens. Trust me when I say it hurts a lot more to stay stuck not daring to start than it does to try some things and have them not work out. Who knows if anyone will want to read my strange little book? But writing it was a personal revolution for me.

I want to thank you Laura once more for agreeing to an interview. I wish you all the luck in your future writings and book sales.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Fiction, Uncategorized, writing

Announcing the winner of the Maddie Cochere Book giveaway!

Hello people!

Happy Thursday to everyone! I’m just doing a quick post to announce the winners of Maddie Cochere’s new book “Murder Under Construction.”

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If you haven’t read that post, please go here. Maddie has a wonderful new book out.

As promised, Maddie is willing to give away three copies of her new book. I put all the names into a hat, (took me a devil of time to find a hat!). I shook it all up and let Sam my faithful companion dig out three. He’s really good at that! Didn’t even eat the paper. Good dog Sam!

So the winners are!

MC Whispers

Lois Fields

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If the winners can contact me via email (jrpbooks (at) mail (dot) com ) and tell me which way they want to receive their books, either Smashwords or Amazon I will send a code out to them or Maddie will for your free copy!

Thank you to all the people who commented and read the post. Maddie and I appreciate it. I may even do more author interviews in the future! You’ve been warned!