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Wednesday, 2 January 2008
Getting to Know Kevin Scott Collier
Topic: Author Interview
  Kevin Scott Collier the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Humorous, hyper and naughty

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

The same.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Encouraging others to make their dreams come true.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

No pets, but I've always loved cats. My mother and 4 siblings all own cats.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

The day I became a father, adopting a 9 year old boy named Jarod.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Every day there is one, so I'll pass on this question.

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I would be part of an outreach program, helping kids become achievers.

 8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Kevin Scott Collier expired today while sand boarding down a huge hill. He is survived by his wife, son, and tons of gummy bears.

Kevin Scott Collier the writer:

 9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When a publisher contracted me to a book deal based on a short story I wrote for a niece. I was then writing a real book, then it hit me.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I am writing a sequel to the 2005 book "Esther's Channel," and also am working on various other projects. Most of the time I am illustrating books, so I do both.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

Retire with enough royalties to life comfortably and then go fishing.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

No day is typical. I juggle projects as they come up.

13.  Why do you write?

Because I have something to say. If you're going to be a writer, you should always write with purpose.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

My wife, because quite simply, she (Kristen Collier) is so good.

15.  How do you define your writing?

Dialog and emotional oriented. My stories make people think about what unites us and divides us as people. I have always thought the way to reach a reader's mind is through their heart.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

That it stood the test of time. People and emotions don't change much over generations.

Kevin Scott Collier the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

http://kevinscottcollierhomepage.blogspot.com/

http://kevinscottcollier.blogspot.com/

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My email is: kevin@kevinscottcollier.com

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

I have had over 60 books published, the best thing to do would be to visit my homepage. They are all listed there with links to purchase online.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

They can expect to think about life and to be entertained. It's not just a story, it's a journey.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Writing should be a form of communication that touches one's heart. When you buy one of my chapter books, you will see bits of yourself in there, and maybe answers to become a better you.

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008 12:09 AM EST
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Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Billie A. Williams-- Going Strong
Topic: Author Interview
 

1.     I'm really thrilled to start off your tour, Billie.  You have a new book being released today, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Small Town Secrets is like any other small town, more family then town. Everyone knows (or thinks they know) everything about everyone, until one day someone seeks a reason to defame someone else. Then, the skeletons everyone has in their closet come out to haunt them.  Trouble begins in Nettlesville with a serial arsonist bent on burning down the town one building at a time. Chaneeta Morgan and Olga Corn, both business owners, both pillars of the community are suddenly pitted against each other. The questions surfaces can they bury their rivalry long enough stop the arsonist, before all that remains of Nettlesville is the ashes. Chaneeta (owner of the Golden Kettle Café and town chair woman) is bothered by the journalistic questions of who, why while Olga (the owner of the Daily Nettle Newspaper) is more interested in Chaneeta's skeleton in her closet.

2.     I have to admit; I got a preview peek at it and loved every minute of the read.  I'm curious as to how much research you had to put into this book.  There are a few psychological twists that make the plot fascinating. 

I suppose you could say the research was my life lived in small towns. From Park Falls, Wisconsin where I was born, to Morse where I spent my growing up summers on my grandfather's farm, to Superior, WI elementary school, Ironwood and Bessemer Michigan - more elementary and junior high, and high school, To Rhinelander and my first job after graduation, to Hartland, and then Bayfield Colorado. Small towns are more about family then town. People are the Barn Raising and the Quilting Bees, the benefit Dinners and Dances of the old pioneer days and that pioneer spirit still lives in the small towns. So my life has been the research. 

3.     You write so many mysteries.  Can you tell us what you think is the one mental characteristic necessary to craft a believable mystery?

 Insatiable curiosity. A drive to ponder the unknown or the ‘what if?' of every situation. I am an incurable investigator. I always want to know the why, the how, the who and if its too simple I want to know What would happen if... I love the books that are unsolved mysteries of the world, cold case files,  a book like Real Ghosts and Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places turn my imagination loose.  The world is one big mystery if you look under the surface, if you turn over a leaf or a shovelful of dirt and discover ... a new type of insect, a piece of turquoise, a rabbits foot, a curious foot print who left it and why, where were they going? Like I said insatiable curiosity! {smile}

4.     I was wondering if there is some place readers may be able to see a trailer on this book?  What about a sample chapter?

Oh yes, Thank you for asking Joyce. I have a trailer up on my You Tube space http://YouTube.com/basbleu43 It is there along with others for various books of mine and some I've done for other people. Stop by and have a look see. You can read first chapters of all my books on my website or request the sampler file of those chapters to download and read at your leisure. http://billiewilliams.com/  You can also read first chapters of all my books and interviews done for each of them at my publisher's site http://wings-press.com/  the front page is the new releases for the current month. Go to the Authors tab and click on the W you will find me on that page.

5.  Before wrapping up your visit, Billie, can you please tell us where we can purchase your newest book, as well as your other books?  (**Note to readers--you really, really want to get this one!)

All my books are available through my publisher http://www.wings-press.com/ , from Amazon.com, or your favorite bookstore.  If they don't have it in stock they can order it for you all they need are the ISBN or title.

Thank you, Billie.  Any final words?

Thank you Joyce for allowing me to share your blog space and your time. I hope if your readers are interested in reading one of my books in progress they will consider joining my bookclub where they will receive a chapter a week in their in box of the rough draft of the novel The Capricorn Goat ~ ~ January Flannel.  To join or read more about it go to http://www.billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html  You can opt out anytime you like and I will never share your email with anyone. 

If you are a writer or are considering becoming one, you can sign up for my Free 5-week writing course at http://www.pensinmotion.com/  which is also sent to your inbox. You can get feedback on your writing if you want to as well as discuss writing with other members of the group in the Pens In Motion forum at the website.

Thanks again Joyce. Loved the questions they were fun to answer.

 

 

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 12:06 AM EST
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Monday, 31 December 2007
Getting to Know Yvonne Eve Walus
Topic: Author Interview
Yvonne Eve Walus the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Mother, writer, friend. Relationships with other people are central to how I define myself.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Organised, reserved with strangers, bossy with everybody else.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

A long-term project called parenting. I used to think that only boring women with no ambition devote their time and effort to their children. I was wrong.

 4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

A gorgeous 19-year old Siamese-cross who talks a lot, eats only baked chicken breast and owes her long-life to a daily "magic pill" that sustains her renal functions.

 5.  What is your most precious memory?

Of falling in love with my children. Clichéd but true.  

 6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Being told there is a typo in "Murder @ Work".

 7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I'd get more than 5 hours sleep a night, I'd read more books and I'd dream about being a writer.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

I cannot write my own, but sources attribute this one to Mary Frye: Do not stand at my grave and weep / I am not there; I do not sleep / I am a thousand winds that blow / I am the diamond glints on snow / I am the sun on ripened grain / I am the gentle autumn rain / When you awaken in the morning's hush / I am the swift uplifting rush / Of quiet birds in circled flight / I am the soft stars that shine at night / Do not stand at my grave and cry / I am not there; I did not die.

 

Yvonne Eve Walus the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I don't think it'll ever sink it. Even when I win the Orange Fiction Prize or make the New York Times Top Ten, I'll still be thinking: "This is great advertising, but...".

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm editing an old manuscript for Echelon Press, hopefully Karen will accept it as a prequel to "Murder @ Work".

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

The most immediate goal is to write a book set in my native Poland.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

My typical writing day starts when the children have gone to bed and my work-for-money work is done and the household chores have been ignored. Usually that's 10pm at the earliest.

13.  Why do you write?

Because it's fun? Because I can? Because I have all these words that need out?

14.  What writer most inspires you? 

Lionel Shriver Why? Her observation skills of the human psyche are spot-on, and she's not afraid to tackle challenging issues. Her "We need to talk about Kevin" is a masterpiece treaty on how parents shape their children's future.

15.  How do you define your writing?

That's an excellent question. And the answer is: I don't know.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

"Astonishing! Writing about sex at her age!" No, seriously, if they say I touched their hearts or made them think, that would be the greatest compliment of all. I want my books to stay with people. I want to make lives happier and the world better through my writing.

Yvonne Eve Walus the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? 

http://yewalus.kiwiwebhost.net.nz/

  Blog? http://yewalus.blogspot.com/

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Email me (the address is on the website) and I will be happy to arrange a chat.

19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

1.      "Erato", a poetry anthology published by Pipers Ash, UK, 2007;

2.      "Interview with a Dragon", Echelon Press, USA, July 2007;

3.      "Small Price To Pay", Echelon Press, USA, February 2007;

4.      "Murder @ A Little Bead Shop", Echelon Press, USA, December 2006;

5.      "Sex Lies and Here Be Dragons", a SF anthology, Pipers Ash, 2006;

6.      "Atlantic Pacific Indian - The Three Oceans", an anthology of contemporary short stories, Pipers Ash, 2006;

7.      "Exposed!", a poetry anthology, Pipers Ash, 2006;

8.      "Murder @ Work", Echelon Press, USA, November 2004.

9.      "NOT Porn!", a poetry anthology published by Pipers Ash, UK, August 2004;

10.  "Love Kills", a poetry anthology published by Pipers Ash, UK, September 2002;

11.  "NoWhen", a science fiction anthology published by Pipers Ash, UK, July 2002;

12.  "NeverWhen", a science fiction anthology published by VirtualVolumes, May 2000;

13.  "Poets of the Season" 1999, published by Pipers Ash, UK, January 1999;

14.  "Writers of the Future" 1999, published by Pipers Ash, UK, January 1999;

15.  "Authors of our Times" 1999, published by Pipers Ash, UK, January 1999;

16.  "The Butler did it", a detective novel, published by Writers Web Press (WWW), January 1998;

17.  "A Pillow Book", a collection of 62 poems, published by Pipers Ash, UK, September 1997;

18.  "Adultery for Women", a collection of 11 contemporary short stories, published by Pipers Ash, UK, August 1997;

19.  "Daughters of a Distant Dream", a collection of 10 science fiction short stories, published by Pipers Ash, UK, April 1997.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

I write romance, crime fiction, poetry and speculative fiction. Expect subtle humour, controversial topics, a conversational style, but most of all - a damned good read.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Yvonne Eve Walus is a member of the X generation. Born in the communist Poland, she grew up in the apartheid-time South Africa and now lives in New Zealand, which (when compared to Yvonne's two previous countries) doesn't seem to have too many political problems.

Although writing has always been a big part of her identity, Yvonne obtained a PhD in Mathematics and currently works for an innovative education company as a project manager, business analyst and trouble-shooter.

Her books have been published in the States and the United Kingdom. In 2004, Yvonne made headlines by winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at the international SFSA short story competition.

PS: That was my official biography. Phew! Here is another one, that has been accused of being flippant and unprofessional: Yvonne Eve Walus is a mathematician, a poet, a wife, a mother and a fake feminist - not necessarily in that order. During the day, she works for a progressive education company. At night, she loves reading (Elisabeth Berg, Agatha Christie, Minette Walters, Nick Hornby), playing bridge and German board games. Sometimes she goes into shady Internet sites - for research purposes only, of course. Other than that, her life is pretty mundane and sleep-deprived. Like Terry Pratchett, Yvonne believes that the world could do with more orang-utans. And dolphins. And whales. Her other likes include the colour blue, milk chocolate, cats, sleeping and scuba diving in tropical locations. Her favourite own book is "Murder @ Work", in which she killed her least favourite boss.

Yvonne's lived on three continents and her work reflects the wealth of her cultural background.

 

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 31 December 2007 1:24 AM EST
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Sunday, 30 December 2007
Getting to Know Peter N. Jones
Topic: Author Interview
  Peter N. Jones the Person

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being

For me, the three words that most resonate with me are compassion, advocacy, and integrity.

2. How do you think others would describe you

 As the big Nordic looking guy in the corner.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing

That's easy, the outdoors and indigenous peoples. To some extent, they go hand in hand in my mind.

4. Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Sorry, no pets, just mother nature's children.

5. What is your most precious memory?

Again, I don't think I have one. I try and focus on everything and nothing, leaving behind a memory of good times and happy places.

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

When I was in 5th grade I forgot to take off my night shirt, so I had to wear my coat all day at school so no one would know.

7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Playing outside and advocating for indigenous peoples rights and the environment.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

On June 28th, 2097, exactly 123 years to the day, Peter N. Jones' ashes were spread over the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Always a work horse, Dr. Jones continued his work in advocacy and research of indigenous peoples and the environment up till his final moments. He died of fatigue trying to speed hike the Ten Mile Range in the Colorado Rockies.

Known for founding the Bauu Institute and Press (http://www.bauuinstitute.com/), a research and publishing house focused on issues of importance in the environmental, psychological, and social science fields, he also went on to climb all of the Colorado 14,000 foot mountains in 19 days, publish several books, and tirelessly give his time to those who asked. He will be missed by many. His final words were, "where one falls, another arises."

Peter N. Jones the writer

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

No, I still struggle every day and have no confidence.

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm working on streamlining it. For me writing is a constant process; every time I read my own work I always see ways of improving it.

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

Just getting better. Since I don't really dabble in fiction (yet), my primary goals are to work on getting my writing more concise and clear. For me this involves going over, and over, and over, and then over again the same piece, slowly massaging it until I think it is clear in meaning, yet precise in syntax.

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I have no pattern. I blog or do emails in the morning. I write at night, or in the afternoon. Basically, whenever I get a moment. Sadly, my brain doesn't turn off too easily, so even though I may not be writing, I do think of my work. I plan areas for future research, question my arguments, and dwell on random facts.

13. Why do you write?

Because I don't like talking. I always mess up my thoughts if I have to come up with them on the spur of the moment. Writing gives me the time to make sure my brain was working correctly when I had that "great idea."

14. What writer most inspires you?  Why?

None, for me it is the information that inspires. I remember books more than I remember writers. In my case, that would be just fine. If they remember my book or article or argument then I'm happy.

15. How do you define your writing?

All over the board. Justice oriented, nonfiction, anthropological, psychological, action oriented, philosophical, and hopeful.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Anything, as long as someone is saying something!

Peter N. Jones the details

17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

Sure. I'm Director and Editor of the Bauu Institute and Press (http://www.bauuinstitute.com/), an environmental, psychological, and social science research and publishing house. I am also Editor of the Indigenous Issues Today (http://indigenousissuestoday.blogspot.com/) news blog and Publisher of the New Great Books (http://newgreatbooks.blogspot.com/) blog. The former explores indigenous issues from around the world, such as sovereignty, access to natural and sacred sites, global warming impacts, and much more. The latter publishes short blurbs and reviews of books from all genres and modes of publication.

18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Sure, email is the easiest: pnj@bauuinstitute.com

19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

My two current ones are: American Indian mtDNA, Y Chromosome Genetic Data, and the Peopling of North America, and Respect for the Ancestors: American Indian Cultural Affiliation in the American West. I have a book on shamanism in North America coming out in Spring of 2008.

20.For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

 Learning an enormous amount about American Indians, the early history of North America, and the current anthropological understanding of the peopling of the New World. Although the books are fairly academic in much of their content, I hope I've done a good enough job to make them accessible to a wide audience.

In Conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I don't really have much more to say... I'm a fairly humble person. Thank you for having me. Cheers.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 30 December 2007 4:13 AM EST
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Saturday, 29 December 2007
Getting to Know Sara Thacker
Topic: Author Interview
Sara Thacker the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Kind, Intense, Leader

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

I think people would describe me as funny but driven. They would say that I'm generous and caring. I will step up and take the leadership role in most situations so some people might see me as pushy while others are glad that they don't have to lead.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Jesus is the first thing I am passionate about. The other is serving at my church.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

We have a dog, Jackie. She's a puggle. Her pictures can be found at http://jackiethepuggle.blogspot.com

5.  What is your most precious memory?

My most precious memory was the day I gave birth to my daughter. We decided to have her at a birthing center. The center was housed in an older home that was decorated in period peaces. Not at all the kind of style I have my house decorated in, but it was wonderful to give birth under the white canopy of the old bed in a room decorated 19th century furnishings.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

There are so many to choose from. Until about 8 years ago, some words just didn't make sense to me. I could see the letter but they just didn't come together unless I could put my finger under them. Ordering from a menu on the wall has always been difficult. Carob chips were absolutely murder for me to pronounce. The ‘B' shifted spots in my brain and I just couldn't pronounce it. I know, what am I doing writing a book if I can't even read correctly and letters jump around? I have to edit, edit, edit just to make sure I don't have the letters wrong and say quiet instead of quite. I've mispronounced so many words and it's so embarrassing. Thank God for spell check and grammar check, if only I had one of those for when I talk.

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Maybe forensics. But I'm not sure I could stand the detail work. If not forensics then I'd work at Starbucks. I love the atmosphere. All of those people in and out, it would be fun.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She loved the Lord with all of her heart. Sara used 
to the limit the powers that God granted her; she was worthy of love 
and respect. Her life has been lived well and there are no regrets. 
(I paraphrased some from Eleanor Roosevelt)

Sara Thacker the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When I held my first paperback, Coiled Revenge, in my hand, that's when it hit me as being for "real."

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

Edits, lots of edits. Once I finish editing Smooth Lies and Princess Slave, I'll get back to work on writing a political thriller. I'm also working on getting a Christmas story up on my website in the next few days.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I would like to be able to finish two full length novels a year and about five shorts under my Sara York name.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Lots of coffee. I try to wake up before everyone else does. This only works for me about half of the time. When I'm in hammer down mode I try to wake up at about four in the morning. I'll work until the kids get up. Then I'm mom until about mid afternoon. Once they settle down and as long as we don't have to go somewhere, I can work for about an hour. If I have a specific deadline then I go to Starbucks, see more coffee, and work there for a few hours.

13.  Why do you write?

I love making up stories. I think I would have been a Bard if I had been born before there was widespread access to paper and pens. I love the enjoyment that people get from reading a new story. Bringing hope and love to others is very rewarding.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I've recently become more aware of Stephen King's influence in my work. Not that I'm into gore like he is, but in my suspense books you get a bit of gore. Lisa Gardner and Debbie Macomber both have influenced my writing. Mrs. Macomber inspires me the most though. Her personal story is amazing and the stories she writes are filled with wonder and love.

15.  How do you define your writing?

My suspense novels are dark. They focus more on the deep, dark recesses of the human mind. My work as Sara York is dark erotic.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Wow, fifty years. Hopefully I'll still be working. I want my work to stay contemporary to the time. So I hope that people will say that my writing is relevant. I hope that people will still want to read my work and that I'll be able to encourage others to become more than what they were before.

Sara Thacker the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

My website is http://sarathacker.com and my blog is http://sarathacker.blogspot.com. You can also find me on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/sarathacker

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

The best way to reach me is to click the email me button on my website.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

The only book that is out right now is Coiled Revenge. Early next year Smooth Lies will be out and my Sara York line will have Princess Slave.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

They can expect a spine tingling ride that will leave them wishing they'd slept with the lights on.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Life is too short to waste. If I could leave people with one thought it would be to encourage them to seek their dreams. You control your attitude and your actions are determined by you. If you don't like what you see in your life, then change what you are doing. Remember that you can make your dreams come true.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007 1:46 AM EST
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Friday, 28 December 2007
Getting to Know Lorena McCourtney
Topic: Author Interview

Lorena McCourtney the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Christian, wife/mother, writer.

(Is that cheating, to combine two words into one? Or the literary equivalent of creative accounting?)

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

I used to be "that quiet little dark-haired girl." I'm still quiet and still little (4'11" doesn't change), but the rest is long gone. Now,  I'm not sure. Makes me rather curious, actually. How would they describe me?

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Skip this one, okay?

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

No pets at the moment. We're away from home quite a bit, and it would be rather difficult to take with us the "pets" we've had in the past: numerous horses, dogs, cats, a couple of rats. What I miss most now is not having a cat. There's something about having a purring cat curled up in your lap that helps put life problems into perspective.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Seeing my son when he was first brought to me in the hospital. Looking at me with big blue eyes (which later turned hazel), as if he was so wise and knowing - and I wasn't.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

A real-life embarrassing moment or two may make it into a story line, but I'm not going to elaborate on any of them here!

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I always thought if I weren't a writer I might turn out to be an eccentric little old lady with seventeen cats. At one time what I really wanted was a ranch, to be out there raising cattle and horses. But now I can't imagine myself as anything other than a writer.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

No, that's a problem someone else will have to cope with.

Lorena McCourney the writer:

 9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I thought I was a "real" writer when I sold my first article to a magazine, a piece about my dad, when I was still in high school. But I wasn't.

I thought I was after I'd sold a half dozen children's short stories. But I wasn't.

I thought I was when I sold my first book. But I wasn't. (It got lost in the shuffle between sale and publication and never even made it into print.)

I thought I might be when I held my first published book in my hands.

Now, after 39 published books, on a good day I think I am. On a not-so-good day, when the computer screen is blank, or I've just deleted most of the last three days' work, I wonder whatever made me think I was, or ever could be, a "real" writer.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm working on my Andi McConnell Mysteries, a series about an older woman and her limousine. We're planning five books in this series, and I'm working on Book #3 now.  I'm a slow writer, so with two more to go after this one, I have my writing lined up for the next couple of years.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I think I've finally found my niche, writing lighthearted, fun, cozy mysteries. But lurking in the back of my mind is a darker adventure/romance set in the future. Plus a couple of women's fiction novels.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

My writing day always starts with Bible and prayer time. I get to my computer about 9:00, check e-mail and answer the most pressing ones. I open the file with the chapter previous to the one I'm working on. Revise it. Revise the current chapter up to the point of blank screen. I realize I revise way too much, but it seems to be a compulsion I can't break. Then I try to write something new to advance the story.

I break at noon for lunch with my husband, who is retired.

Afternoon is hopefully getting a few more pages written (and rewritten) and taking care of the business aspects of the writing life. My brain tends to turn to mush around 4:00-5:00, so I quit about that time.

13.  Why do you write?

Probably because I can't imagine what I'd do with my life if I didn't write.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

The Bible, which had a number of  different authors, is my biggest inspiration. Other than that, I often get a little jolt of inspiration from whatever I happen to be reading at the moment. A book I'm reading right now that I find inspiring is  Listening for God  by  Marilyn Hontz..  But I may also get smidgens of inspiration from the cartoon strip Zits or an e-mail from a friend.

15.  How do you define your writing?

Since I can't come up with an answer to this, I guess I don't define it. I just write.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

"Lorena McCourtney, a prolific writer from the early 21st century, wrote memorable cozy mysteries that transcended the genre is both plot and character." (Dream on, Ms. M., dream on.)

Lorena McCourney the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

Website: http://www.lorenamccourtney.com/

No blog yet.

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

There's contact info on my website.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

I've had 39 books published, under my own and several other names. These go back a long ways and are mostly out of print so I'll just list the most recent ones.

The Andi McConnell Mysteries (Thomas Nelson)

Your Chariot Awaits (current release)

Here Comes The Ride (coming in May, '08)

The Ivy Malone Mysteries (Revell)

 Invisible (Winner,. Inspirational division of Daphne du Maurier Mystery/Suspense awards)

 In Plain Sight (Finalist, Daphne du Maurier Inspirational division)

 On the Run (Winner, Daphne du Maurier Inspirational division)

 Stranded

The Julesburg Mysteries (Revell)

 Whirlpool (RITA finalist)

 Riptide

 Undertow

 20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Probably a character who's older in years but not in heart.  Quirky people. Some laughs. A twisty, turny mystery plot. A Christian world view, but no preachiness.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I've put a fair amount of me into my most recent books. I wrote my Ivy Malone character (an older woman who thinks of herself as an LOL - little old lady - who discovers she seems to have aged into invisibility) came from some personal experiences. From the reader response I've had, a lot of women, not necessarily older ones, have encountered this same brush with "invisibility." It has struck a real chord of recognition.

My new series is also about an older woman, her problems not with invisibility, but with the murders that keep intruding into her life. Like that dead body in her newly acquired limousine.

Like most writers, I love to hear from readers. Look at my website and contact me.

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 1:16 AM EST
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Thursday, 27 December 2007
Getting to Know Judith Laura
Topic: Author Interview
Judith Laura, the person:

 

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

 

Alive, female, curious

 

2. How do you think others would describe you?

Creative, intelligent, humble (One person said to me, “You’re humble for a writer,” and others in the group agreed.)

 

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Heh. OK. Sex, (well, you said passionate, what did you expect?), pre-Romantic classical music, good (usually literary) fiction, folk dancing, subjects related to my books.

 

4. Do you have any pets?

No. I had a dog when I was a child. I loved him, his floppy ears, his pleading eyes. One day I came home from school and my parents said they had “put him to sleep” because he had worms.  I understand, happily, this is no longer a reason for killing dogs.

 

5. What is your most precious memory?

Not the one in question 4!  There are many precious memories, but since I’m writing this in the holiday season:My father was a musician. Every Christmas Eve he had a gig playing violin at Midnight Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral. I thought it strange that a Jewish man would be participating in a Catholic mass, but he explained that Christian violinists didn’t like to work Christmas eve. Beginning in my early teens, he took me along, a ticket he got as part of his payment providing me with a seat in the pews. I loved the music and pageantry, but not the heavy incense.

I remember one time in particular after the Mass, as we drove home along streets glittering with Christmas decorations, a recording of Handel’s Messiah came on the radio. This was before every choir in creation sang the piece and it may have been the first time I had heard parts of this masterwork other than the Hallelujah Chorus. As we neared our house I was wishing we weren’t there yet. I wanted to hear more of the music and I knew that my father wouldn’t be able to turn on the radio in the house because it was late and would wake up my mother and sisters. But I didn’t say anything because I figured my father must be tired and would want to get home and to bed. Nevertheless, when we got about a block from our house Dad pulled the car over and stopped.  “I want to hear the rest of this,” he said, turning up the radio.  Parked near a wooded area where holiday glitz gave way to the more subtle shimmer of stars, we listened together until the piece ended. Then Dad started up the car again and we drove the one block home in silence.  

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

Me get embarrassed? Never happens. I am one kewl chick  ;-)

 

7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Frittering it away in exotic places as a gazillionaire.

 

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She came. She wrote. She published.

Judith Laura, the writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

My first intimation that I was a writer came when I started writing plays for my dolls when I was about 7 years old. By the time I was 10 I had moved on to scripting movie scenes for the occupants of my doll house, complete with what passed for sex scenes in the parents’ bedroom.  But it was an incident at the end of 6th grade that for me confirmed I had what it took to be a writer. The “valedictorian” for graduation had already been determined (no, it wasn’t me!). The teacher decided that instead of having a “salutatorian,” by tradition the second highest ranking in the class (which also wouldn’t have been me), she would select the second speaker by having a writing contest. I won! And after that my career goal was set.  

 

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

I am completing work on a second edition of my second book.  I am also trying to gather my poems together and persuade someone to publish them in a book, but I keep getting sidetracked.

 

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

To keep my four books in print. And if something else comes along, we’ll see....

 

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Not without giving away trade secrets.Pretty snarky, huh?

Actually I have no typical “writing day.” If I’m writing fiction, I like that to be the first thing I do, while my mind is flexible from sleep. Poems come to me when they’re ready: during the day, in middle of the night. I try to scribble them down on table napkins, paper towels, margins of junk mail, etc., then I usually rewrite later at the computer. I write non-fiction whenever it’s needed.  BTW, I am fortunate in that I have never had writer’s block. Writing either just comes to me, or I do it when I decide to do it. Nothing in my mind prevents or blocks me from writing if I’ve decided to write.  I do admit that sometimes I come to a sentence that’s not exactly what I want. When that happens, I just type something in or put in [WRITE THIS LATER...SOMETHING ABOUT BLAH BLAH] and then continue on. I do lots of rewriting. I think computers have been great in freeing up writers to let words flow out more easily without feeling you have to get it perfect the first time. 

 

13. Why do you write?

Because it’s what I do and who I am. (Besides the books and poems, I made my living full time for oh about 30 years as a writer and editor, mostly in health and medicine.)

 

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Can’t select only one writer, the others would feel left out. Also, it’s different writers at different times and different writers for different genres. Historically, I feel I was greatly influenced by James Joyce and T.S. Eliot.

 

15. How do you define your writing?

I don’t. I leave that to others.

 

16. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

She was ahead of her time.

Judith Laura, the details:

17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

http://www.judithlaura.com/books.html

 

18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

www.judithlaura.com/contact.html

 

19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Beyond All Desiring, a novel (2005), winner in 3 contests, www.judithlaura.com/beyond.html

Three Part Invention, a novel (2002), www.judithlaura.com/3PI.html

Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics (1997)

www.judithlaura.com/gs21.html

 She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother (1989, 1999)) www.judithlaura.com/slgm.html

 

20. For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

To be challenged and maybe even inspired.

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

 

I think the best way to find out about me and my writing is to read my books, poems, and other stuff I’ve written. But if it’s “facts” you’re after, a good start is www.judithlaura.com/about.html


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 3:31 PM EST
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Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Getting to Know Liz Flaherty
Topic: Author Interview

 Liz Flaherty the Person

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Oh, man, nothing like starting with a hard one! Okay, how about I HOPE I’m kind, funny, and smart. But I probably have to say neurotic and self-righteous, too. (And I don’t color inside the lines very well; you said three, didn’t you?) 

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Oh, dear. Anal, I’m afraid, but nice.  

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.  

Family. I’m a Christian and I’m passionate about that. Fairness. I want life to be fair to everyone, not that it works out that way, but I want it to. 

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Yes, we have three cats. Gabe, Jessy, and Dirty Sally. Gabe’s our baby, Jessy’s grouchy, and Dirty Sally came to us scrawny, filthy and starved. Now, she has long, soft gray hair and is fat. She still eats as though every meal will be her last. 

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Having my kids. Marrying their father. 

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

It has to do with periods and adolescence. 

7.  If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I’d own and operate a bed and breakfast. I doubt I’d make a lot of money, but it would be fun to meet so many interesting people. 

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Liz Flaherty spent her entire life in Miami County, traveling when and where she could. She leaves three children and their spouses, six perfect grandchildren, and , three cats. She also leaves her husband, Duane, (AKA “the boyfriend”) with the reminder, “I TOLD you I was going first. The checkbook’s in my purse.”           

It is her request that friends and family make quick work of her viewing and funeral, then have a great party in celebration of her life. She had a ball.

Liz Flaherty the writer:  

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?  

Yup. I was in the 5th grade. I didn’t know how I’d make my living or what else I’d do in life, but I knew I’d always write.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I’m working hard at what I hope will be my second Silhouette Special Edition.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I want it to continue to be fun, although I want to be successful at it, too. And I want my writing to give its reader a good day, or at least a good couple of hours!

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

No, because there isn’t one. I work full time, plus am active in family, church, and community (good grief--don’t I sound pompous?), so there are no typical days.

13.  Why do you write?

Like there’s a choice?

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

That’s hard to answer. I am, of course, inspired by those who do it easily and  well. But I’m even more driven by those who just do it every day, pulling it word-by-word from somewhere behind their eyeteeth, whether they feel like it or not.

15.  How do you define your writing?

Midwestern cozy. Oh, say, did I just invent a new sub-genre?

16.  In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Here, read this--it’s good. 

Liz Flaherty the details: 

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?  

My website and blog are at http//www. lizflaherty.com Please come and visit!

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

You can email me at lizkflaherty@yahoo.com or s-mail me at P O Box 207; Macy, IN 46947

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Always Annie, Because of Joe, and The Debutante’s Second Chance. The first two--sigh--are long out of print, but still show up on ebay.

20.  For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?  

They can expect to read about people they know, about situations they can identify with, and they can expect to laugh--not out-loud guffaws, just a grin here and a snicker there because that’s how we all survive. I guess that’s what readers can expect: survival. 

In conclusion: 

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

 You mean there’s more? Okay, I’m not exciting, although I can be fun--or so I keep telling people. I’m on the severalth (a new word, I know) reinvention of self. I’ve been daughter and sister, the lead singer’s wife, the tall kid’s mother, the Flaherty and Wilson kids’ grandma, a writer, a postal worker...well, actually, I still am all those things. Being them has taught me that you don’t have to be good at everything. You just have to like doing it and you need to try. My favorite word over the past few years has become “joy.” This is what I wish for you all. Thanks for having me!

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007 2:27 AM EST
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Monday, 24 December 2007
Santa Claus Stops By
Topic: Author Interview
  I know this is for books and authors, but enough has been written about tonight's guest that I thought you guys might enjoy the recent chat I had with Santa Claus :-)

Me:  Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with us today, Mr. Claus; I know how busy you are this time of year.

SC:  Thanks, Joyce.  I like to get to know the people I deliver presents to.  They are usually asleep.  I often wonder if snoring is their only way of communicating! By the way, just call me Nick, Mr. Claus sounds so uppity.

Me:  Thanks, Mr....er, Nick.  Now that I have you here, I'm sure everyone would like to hear from you about how you make it around the whole world in one night.  Is your sleigh specially made, or is it magic.

SC:  Magic?  I had Ole' Salty -that's what I call my sleigh-fitted with dual Supercharged 396 engines quite some time ago.  With the population growing by the minute, magic didn't quite cut it!

Me:  So what about the reindeer?

SC:  Let me tell you about that one.  Ole' Dasher was the first.  He was quite a ladies' man, if I do say so myself.  He was young and ...well, with all them pretty does around, my reindeer barn was soon overflowing.  I had to do something.

Me:  That was?

SC:  I heard how being a responsible animal friend meant getting' your critters neutered, so I gathered them all up and called out the vet elf to do the job.  Ole' Dasher put up a mighty valiant fuss, but he soon gave in to the Boss-that'd be the Missus in case you wonder. 

Me:  So the reindeer population declined a bit, huh, Nick?

SC:  No-these particular reindeer come from a little known mountain village in the Alps and live for centuries.  Why...Ole' Dasher is nigh on 800 years now!

Me:  So...the reindeer no longer pull your super-charged sleigh.  Do you still have the elves making toys?

SC:  Oh, my, yes!  I tried to get retailers to donate things-you know, to help make things easier on the little guys?-but no luck there.  They wanted cash.  Now, in case nobody has noticed, this here suit has no pockets.  Where do they think I'd carry cash?

Me:  I see your point.  So how do your elves keep up with the growing population?

SC:  Well I didn't get THEM fixed!!!!

Me: uh....

SC:  They may be small, but they are quick ‘uns! Why Rudy-he's Chief Elf-can whip out 1500 yo-yos a minute!!!  I give the little guys credit; they are hard workers.  And cheerful!!  Why, I have yet to enter the workrooms once without the sound of singing-they learned a new one a bit back that goes something like, "hi ho, hi, ho, it's off to work we go"  --wish I knew where they picked it up-I'd strangle the little scalawag that taught it to them.  I'd love to hear good old Jingle Bells once in a while!

Me:  Changing the subject here, Nick...Christmas is such a small part of the year, what do the elves do the rest of the time?

SC:  I knew you'd ask me that L  Why, they tend to the candy cane fields.  At least most of them do.  The rest I have stationed at strategic points throughout the world-you don't think I can watch EVERYONE myself, do you???  Someone has to help with my naughty list!!  Delegate, Joyce, that's the secret.  I delegate!

Me:  Anything else you'd like to say to our readers, Nick?

SC:  Is there ever!!!  If you people would help out a bit-give some toys to kids, visit some elderly homes, pass out blankets to the homeless-I might be able to take at least a small break. I ain't getting' any younger, you know!  All this not believing in me-I'm here, aren't I? - is getting me down.  You-each and every one of you-has a bit of magic inside-help me out here, people!! 

Me:  Sound advice, Nick.  Have a safe flight this year!

SC:  Merry Christmas Books and Authors readers-and to all a Good Night!

 

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 8:35 PM EST
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Getting to Know Jeanette Cezanne
Topic: Author Interview

Jeannette Cézanne the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Thoughtful, empathetic, opinionated

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Probably about the same.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Making the world a better place. I'm active in the peace and social justice movement and do volunteer work around domestic abuse issues.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

I have a lovebird named Robert Johnson (no, he doesn't exactly sing the blues, but he does have blue feathers, hence the name). My cat's name is Becket, and there's a backup cat named Kirsipuu.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

My first date with my husband. I'd arranged for us to go to a jazz club and when he came to pick me up at the bookstore where I worked, I said, "You like jazz, right?" I mean, everybody likes jazz, or so I thought (I'm a city girl). He of course said, "No, not very much," but proceeded to come with me anyway. Walking back to the car we had our first kiss, and two elderly ladies passing us on the sidewalk stopped. One looked shocked, but the other said, "Love is in the air!"

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Ha. Like I'm going to tell you. I could make something up, of course ...

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I'm not good at doing very much else. In some ways I'm a writer by default - it's the only thing I really love to do and can do well. I'm not good at being told what to do or how to do it, which precludes most career choices.

8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She made a lot of mistakes, but learned from most of them. Through her writing she explored the many different facets of being human. She is survived by her husband, Paul, and stepchildren, Jacob and Anastasia.

Jeannette Cézanne the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

Oh, I have a giant writing ego: I always knew it was what I did, and did well. I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

My agent is shopping two novels --- my fiction is a little too dark to interest most mainstream publishers, but he believes that they're terrific, so I'll take his word for it. I have two nonfiction books out this year, and that's been both exciting and exhausting. I have some short stories out in a number of literary journals. Oh, and my first play is being produced in January!

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I'd like to get these more literary novels published and out there - again, I have enough ego to believe that I have something to say in them, and the fellowships and foundations that have been partially supporting me can't all be wrong.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I'm up around six, and spend some time getting into the day - yoga and meditation, then dealing with emails. At seven I walk over to my local "provisions" shop, as they like to call themselves, and buy the daily paper and a coffee and chat a bit with people there. I'm generally at my desk and writing by 7:30 and go through until I'm tired or have reached a good stopping place or don't know what to say next. In between I have a fantastic software application that reminds me to stretch every half-hour, a Very Good Thing! Afternoons are for reading and research and generally by 4:00 I'm out walking around in my community again and pretty much finished for the day. I do some copywriting and search engine optimization to help pay the bills and they're generally confined to two days a week so I can keep to my writing schedule the other days.

13.  Why do you write?

Can't not. When I go for a few days without writing I start feeling sick.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Anita Shreve. She makes you feel what her characters are feeling in ways that no other author has ever done for me. I'm also inspired (in other ways) by Mary Stewart, Phil Rickman, and John Gardner.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I don't. I leave that for the reviewers.

Okay, that was too flip. I guess. But "my writing" feels meaningless. Every book is different. I'm a different writer with every story I tell or idea I try to get across. So I honestly don't know the answer.

16.    In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

It made them think.

Jeannette Cézanne the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

I have several websites (I write under some different names), but let's keep it simple: www.JeannetteCezanne.com, and my blog, Beyond the Elements of Style, is there too.

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

There's contact information on my website, or they can email JCezanne@JeannetteCezanne.com

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Well, the two nonfiction titles I'm promoting this year are Open Your Heart with Reading and Open Your Heart with Geocaching - available online, of course, but I urge all readers to go and order them from their local independent booksellers, because they really need the business and it's not something we want to have disappear.

20.    For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

To be challenged rather than comforted.

In conclusion:

21.    Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I think that there's a lot of darkness in the world and in people, and I also think that people in general try to find what light there is, both within and without. They muddle along and do the best they can; but the reality is that the world and the people in it are complex and difficult to understand, and we do both a disservice when we try and force them into binary absolutes. I write about this. I also have a strong sense of place - my environment is extremely important to me - and I think that in some ways place is as much a character in my books as anyone else.

My nonfiction books are about finding that light, somehow, sometimes against all odds. They are about places where I've found that light and want to share it with others.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 24 December 2007 1:50 AM EST
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