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Saturday, 22 December 2007
Getting to Know Sylvia K. Hamillton
Topic: Author Interview

Sylvia K. Hamilton the person:

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

Determined - Particular - Creative -- Allow me one more, please. Stubborn.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Truthful - Plainspoken - Silly

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

First, is abuse to animals. I'm a member of the Humane Society and ASPCA and I support them as much as my pocket book will allow. It kills my soul to see an animal hurt or in need. Only an evil person would abuse a defenseless animal. I would fight King Kong if I caught him being cruel to one of God's creatures.  Second, and this is rather weird, I can't stand to see a tree cut down or mutilated by not being pruned properly.  Especially old ones.

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

Yes. I have a precious tortoiseshell 3-year-old cat. My husband says she looks like an owl--something about the way she holds her ears back at times. Her name is Marble and she came to us as a stray. She was pregnant at the time. We had her spayed, and needed innoculations after her babies were born. She appears to be wearing a milk mustache. Makes her look quite funny but adorable.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

The birth of my daughter, Debbie. Learning that my husband's cancer is in remission.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Perhaps I'll embarrass myself all over again by just telling you. I have so many embarrassing moments. My foot sometimes gets stuck in my mouth. Let's see...I guess when I was in 3rd or 4th  grade, can't remember which. It was Christmas, and I was happy and in love.  It was the last day of school before Christmas holiday and we were creating cards for our parents and having refreshments when curly headed Robert Woofel approached  my desk. I jumped up, threw my arms around him, and gave him a big kiss.  Only then, did I realize--I shouldn't have done  that. The teacher scolded me and I ended up crying. Ruined my whole day.

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

Probably wasting it. Maybe still decorating and hanging wallpaper with my husband. If I were younger, I would be a fashion designer or an interior designer. The latter is what I actually did before I retired.  Now that I've had a full time dose of writing, I honestly don't know what I'd do. I would be lost if I couldn't write.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Hmmm...Let's see...She lived to write and she died trying.  Oh! I don't know. This is one question I'm at a loss of words for.

Sylvia K. Hamilton the writer:

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

I visited a neighbor that I had never met and introduced myself. She said,  "Oh, you're the writer? Right here in our own park?"  My head swelled a little and my face turned red but I managed to calm my giddiness.

One other thing elated me. It was a letter from a friend's aunt. She's an everyday, ordinary, reader but her letter was so inspiring it convinced me that maybe I was a "real" writer after all. I was in a slump at the time and her words bailed me out and put the pen back in my hand and the words from my head to the keyboard.

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

I'm working on a sequel to The Kahills of Willow Walk. Working title is For the Love of Willow Walk. I was hoping it would be out by the first of the year...but I don't think so at the rate I'm going.  I'm writing short stories and adding to my collection of childhood memories which I call Long Ago Sundays. Each story has it's own title. I want to compile them some day. I'm having fun entering contests, too.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

Well...I want to finish For the Love of Willow Walk and have it published. Publish some short stories and then...whole lots of stuff...we'll see.

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

A typical writing day for me is...all day.  Of course, I take breaks for normal, trivial living tasks, but I don't shut down the computer until I go to bed. I'm back and forth all day long.

13.  Why do you write?

I write because it makes me feel creative and important. Actually, it's second nature to me and I can't help it. It's almost like a vice, an addiction. Still, an interesting habit.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Rod McKuen.  His prose is clever, emotional, romantic, and he has such great style. Also Max Lucado. He has a way with words and phrases. Although he is a spiritual writer, a minister, his stories have all the ingredients good stories should have. Of course, last but not least, all my author friends in the group, Word Mage. They're a breed set-apart, the very best. 

15.  How do you define your writing?

Well...that's a hard one. It's sort of like a soap opera, I would say. I write stories that just seem to keep on going. Like Dallas, or one of the others. I would like to think, as in one of my reviews, my story is along the lines of human interest, or a family drama with a little romance, a little mystery, and a little bit of everything. I guess I write about life, and people and their trials and tribulations,  in general.

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

I wonder if she knows she is a landmark.

Sylvia K. Hamilton the details:

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

* http://willow-walk.tripod.com/

* http://www.skhamilton.com/

* WATCH THE TRAILER:

* www.skhamilton.com/video.html

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

Sure and I'd love to hear from everyone. E-mail is peweeham22@earthlink.net

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

The Kahills of Willow Walk can be purchased at Amazon, - http://tinyurl.com/2rh34t or Barnes and Nobel online bookstores.  If you so desire and should want an autographed book please just e-mail me with your address and I'll mail you one.

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

When reading my book I believe readers can expect to laugh, cry, get angry, sad, happy, and anxious, love some characters, and hate others. Finally, yet importantly, be fulfilled. Sounds like I'm bragging but after I had put my manuscript away for a month and went back to it, I became a reader and that's exactly what I felt. Above all, if they look forward to the next one then I'll be happy as a lark.

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?

Thank you so much, Joyce, for having me here for this interview. It's been a pleasure and I appreciate the opportunity.

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper and in elementary school, I loved penmanship. I loved to practice my push-pulls and ovals. Woops! Now I'm telling my age. Oh well. It's the only homework I actually loved doing. Every holiday or birthday, I looked forward to receiving a book and sometimes more than one. I loved reading and was taught never to deface a book in any way. Books, my daddy said, would teach me what the world was about and with every word I read I would gain knowledge.  I started writing poetry and from there wrote my first novel. I managed writing short stories in between. Now I'm going for a sequel, working title, For the Love of Willow Walk.  

I was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. The hills and woods became my playground and I was happy. I had a wonderful childhood, wonderful parents and grandparents, and great friends, one of which I still correspond with.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 22 December 2007 3:12 AM EST
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Friday, 21 December 2007
Getting to Know Marilyn Celeste Morris
Topic: Author Interview
Marilyn Celeste Morris the person

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

  • 1. God-fearing woman (meaning respect)
  • 2. Nurturer
  • 3. Creative

2. How do you think others would describe you?

A bit "ditzy" but with a sense of humor; loyal; forgiving.

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

My family, my friendships, my heritage (military brat)

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

I have a cranky black house cat, Cleopatra, who lets me live with her. 

5. What is your most precious memory?

Funny, I was just saying the other day, I remembered how when my two older children (I inherited a stepdaughter when she was four) were toddlers, and they were fresh from their baths and in their jimmies and snuggled up to me as I read them a bedtime story; they smelled so fresh and sweet.  I want to keep that memory forever.

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

I remember being a toddler sitting in a galvanized washtub for a bath in the front yard of my grandparents West Texas home and somebody took a picture of me.  That was my first - and I think only - embarrassing memory.

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

I would be a teacher.  Preferably in a college, teaching history or English. 

 8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Marilyn left a legacy of love and laughter.  In all things, she attempted to be fair and forgiving.

Marilyn Celeste Morris the writer:

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

When I held my first published novel in my hands.  I was in heaven.  I had achieved a goal others only dream about.

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

I have several works in progress and I jump from one to the other as the muse moves me.  Holidays are slowing me down, though. 

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

To finish those works in progress and have them published.  To become, if not famous, at least well known.

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

I attempt to be at the computer every morning by 9:00 AM.  Sometimes I don't succeed, but I try to do a little bit each day, at least four hours.  My body can't stand much more than that.

13. Why do you write?

Because it's what I am.  A writer writes. 

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

I love Pat Conroy's writing.  It's sheer poetry.  And, of course, he's a military brat, too. (His dad was The Great Santini.  My dad was a major in the US Army from 1938-1958)

15. How do you define your writing?

I'm a novelist at heart, although I do have two works that are not novels. 

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

"She captured life as she knew it."

Marilyn Celeste Morris the details:

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

I have several blogs:

www.//yagotmestarted.blogspot.com (rants)

www.//focusonthegoodstuff.blogspot.com (to counter the rants)

www.//OnceaBratBookBlog.blogspot.com (for my Once a Brat book)

www.//Sabbath'sRoom.blogspot.com (for my first novel of the same name)

www.//TheLadyWithLupus.blogspot.com (for my lupus book)

www.//editingexcellence.blogspot.com (which deals with my editing business and provides tips for writers)

And my pitiful website is www.//graceworksproductions.freewebs.com And I really need to give it an overhaul now that I can almost understand what I'm doing.

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

I can be reached at marilyncmorris@sbcglobal.net

If for some reason that addy doesn't work, (Yahoo sometimes does the strangest things) then I can be reached at rmebrat38@sbcglobal.net

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

First book, first novel:  Sabbath's Room, a supernatural murder mystery set in the Texas Hill Country.

Second book, a memoir about my life as an army brat from my birth in 1938 to my father's retirement in 1958: Once a Brat

Third book: Diagnosis: Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient

Currently in limbo is my most recent novel, The Women of Camp Sobingo, which was an ebook publication by a publisher who is now bankrupt.  I'm seeking a new publisher who won't be afraid of the word "bankruptcy collateral." The first three can be purchased through Amazon.com

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

For my novels, you can expect a well-conceived plot with believable characters and an attention to detail.  For the memoir, a reader can gain some insight into the life of a military brat in the Cold War era.  For the lupus book, I hope the reader will learn something of this disease, how to live with it and gain some insight into oneself through crisis.

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 began writing in kindergarten, when I saw my teacher put marks on the blackboard.  I knew the marks were letters of the alphabet, that letters made words and words made sentences.  Sentences made stories.  I was off and running.  My formative years being spent in relative isolation in various military compounds overseas provided me with an opportunity to dream and write.  Like many other writers, I put aside my goals in favor of marriage and raising children.  A divorce provided me with the opportunity to turn once again to a world where I was in charge of my characters and what they said and did.  It was therapeutic for me to finish my first novel, Sabbath's Room, send it off and have it published.  When I retired from Corporate America, I was at last able to declare myself an author and write to my heart's content. 

I do want aspiring authors to know that writing is the easy part.  Re-writing and editing is hard work.  So is marketing your finished product.  Like many writers who would rather be working on the next novel, I don't enjoy the promoting of my works.  Much of my promoting is done on the Internet, rather than trying to get my books into brick and mortar stores. 

The world of publishing is not at all what is portrayed in old movies, where the writer is given a zillion dollar contract, sent on a whirlwind book tour and is rich and famous overnight.  With print-on-demand technology, ebooks and other avenues to publishing your works, the door is wide open, but you should investigate thoroughly all your options before deciding on your course of publishing your work. 

Good luck and keep writing.  You're doing something others only dream of. 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007 2:18 AM EST
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Thursday, 20 December 2007
Getting to Know Mary Jo Reed
Topic: Author Interview
Mary Jo Reed The person
1.  Compassionate, spiritual, and optimistic are the three words I would choose to describe myself.
2.   Others might see me as humurous, outgoing, and positive-thinking.
3.  I am most passionate about making others happy.
4.  My pets are extremely important to me. Libby, my cat, is a nine year old grey and white whirlwind.  She does not make up to new people very well, but she is often my shadow.  Being independent as felines are, she comes "visiting" when she feels the time is right. She often sits on my lap as I type at the computer.
    
Zip, my 10 year old Border Colllie, is the canine "love of my life."  He is always near me. If I get to running about the house too much, he plops down in the hallway, so he can see what I am doing.  I take him to agility classes where he excels, and we must walk and play ball every day.  These things are good for me, too.  You always hear that dogs give unconditional love to humans; he does that--in spades.
5.  Seeing my first grandchild for the first time is my most precious memory. She has brought nothing but joy into my life.
6. When I was in 9th grade, we wore stiff petticoats under our skirts.  As I walked into study hall, mine started to slip.  Yikes!!
I did this kind of duck-walk, so it wouldn't fall completely off, and then went to the restroom as soon as I could.
7.  This is a hard question, for I taught English to 9th and 10th graders for 30 years before retiring in 2000. I always enjoyed writing for myself and my students, but never thought of writing a book. Writing the book has been an unexpected gift.
8.  Mary Jo Teele Reed, age 105 died peacefully with her family around her.  She taught English in the Muscatine School District for 30 years and loved every minute of it.
She enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling, scrapbooking, and being with her family.  She retired in 2000 and began doing volunteer work at the Senior Resources agency in Muscatine.
Among other things, she taught creative writing to senior citizens.
  
After a series of "coincidences," and help from friends of her mother's, she wrote a biography of her mother and her place in the quiliting community.  She self-published the book and did her own marketing.  When she held the book in her hands for the first time, she said that she felt she had given birth to a 4th child.  She often said she felt like she was  being led on a guided tour, for the necessary things for writing the book often just fell into place. However, it was a struggle, emotionally, but she always smiled and said she would not have missed the opportunity for the world.  She perceived the writing of the book as a gift.  We will miss her optimistic attitude and her joy for life.  She leaves two daughters, Renee and Colette, and one grandchild, Katelyn.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Denise.
Mary Jo Reed The writer
These questions don't really apply to me as well as they might to others. Writing to publish will probably be a one-time deal for me.  Even though friends suggest I write another, I doubt that will happen.  I always have kept a journal and written little stories and songs for my granddaughter.  I will, of course, keep doing these things.
When I finally decided I would write the bio about Mother, I had an overwhelming amount of information.  First, I had to decide how I would write the book, and I choose to do it chronologically.  I sorted info by years and put the material for each year in a folder.  Some days, I would work all day.  Other days, I would not work at all. Sometimes, it seemed a nightmare of organization.  I kept finding more pictures of quilts, so I had to add an appendix.  This was great.
I always told my students to write what they knew about and write in a conversational tone.  My mother had a great sense of humor, and luckily she passed that on to me. My writing reflects my sense of humor when appropriate.   I didn't want to come up with some boring, facts only biography, and readers have told me that that did not happen.
A famous lady in quilting said that my book was the type that could only be written by a daughter. I take that as a huge compliment.
In fifty years, I hope people will still see the love, respect, and admiration shining through my words about my mother.  I hope that they see it as the tribute to her as it was meant to be.
Mary Jo Reed The details.
I have not yet set up a website or blog, but I do plan to do that in the future.  Readers could reach me at my email addy.
MATERIAL PLEASURES is my first book.
Anyone, I hope, who reads my book will recognize the talent of my mother, enjoy the pictures of her unique quilts, and get a sense of the life that she led.
In Conclusion
As a retired  English teacher, I really didn't plan to do anything REALLY creative, just continue to enjoy life.  When the opportunity came to write the book about Mother, I was overwhelmed, at first, but since I taught writing, I was not worried about that angle.  I had so much help from friends and family which made it easy to get started.  I look upon the writing of the book as a gift.  I always knew my mother had a passion for quilting, but I learned just how deep that passion really was. Mother and I were very close, but I learned so much more as I wrote the book.  If anyone has an opportuniy such as I did, go for it!!  It has been and continues to be one of the best experiences of my life.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:32 AM EST
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Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Getting to Know Nikki Leigh
Topic: Author Interview
  Nikki Leigh the person:

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

Creative, independent and supportive

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

The people that I've asked, said very positive things. Usually, creative, sharing, helpful, independent and driven.

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

Learning more about a wide variety of topics and anything that is associated with the ocean.

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

My cat Shadow has been with me for almost 6 years. He's a gray bobtail and he is very independent. Muze has been with me for 2 years and he's a tiger strip. He lays curled up beside me while I'm working and he's included in Book Promo 101 and 201. Also, my blog Muze's Musings is named after Muze.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Probably the first time I stuck my feet in the sand at the beach. The first time I held each of my books in my hands is a very close second.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

There have been many embarrassing moments throughout my life. I'm not sure I can think of one specific "most embarrassing" memory, but it would have to be during my school days when I was always the tallest kid in the class and I had braces for 5 years.

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

I've been managing and reorganizing businesses since I was 19 and I still do some of that work. I have also done promotional work for a wide variety of businesses and I still do that. Anything at this point, would involve management and promotion of products, services and author promotion.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Nikki Leigh is from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She was a small town gal who gained some level of success as an award winning fiction and non fiction author. The people and places she wrote about were meant to touch the core of your being and help you learn about other places and times.

She worked to help other people learn and do more. Her love of the ocean and lighthouses was evident in her home, her photos and her writing. She leaves behind two cats who are spoiled rotten, but they loved her. She also leaves her father, mother, brother, two grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Nikki Leigh the writer:

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

That was probably the evening when I finished the first draft for my first book. The next day I was attending the Virginia Festival of the Book for the first time. I had the most fascinating conversation in my mind on the ride to the event. I felt so confident about "being a writer" until I got near the event. At that point I felt very unqualified and like a "wannabe". By that evening, I was excited about getting that first novel published and I went home to compile and mail 50 query letters and synopsis to various agents.

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

I'm working on the first draft for Book Promo 201, the second book in my author promotional series. In addition, I'm beginning research for the second book in my Cape Hatteras mystery series. There are several short stories that I need to finish and I'm reworking my first book for re-release in 2008. When that's finished, I need to start writing the next book in the historic Misty Cove series.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I plan to finish the books mentioned above and there are a number of Cape Hatteras books that I really want to write. Also, when the Misty Cove series is finished, I have a new heroine that will have her own mystery series. Over the last two years, I had 10 of my own books released and I ghostwrote 8 books for others. I'm working to shift into more promotional work for my income, so that I can focus more writing efforts on my books.

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

Most weeks I write about 60-80 hours a week. That fluctuates depending on how much promotional work I'm doing for myself and others. I check my email in the morning and respond to everything that needs my attention. I write mid to late morning, most the afternoon and most of the evenings. Some nights I write until 9 or 10 and occasionally I shut down the computer and work on research. On rare evenings, I shut down the computer and read someone else's books. Each weekend, I write articles for an ongoing website client. I also work on a forum for about an hour each day. My writing day activities depend on whether I'm working on one of my projects or a book for a client.

13.  Why do you write?

Writing and promotion are two of my favorite creative outlets. I mention in my Book Promo books that we can and should be as creative in our promotion as we are in our writing. For all those years that I "put off" writing, promotional work was my best creative outlet. I did drafting work for nine years and that was another creative outlet, but then I changed jobs. I love writing because it gives me that creative outlet and it gives me a way to share the stories racing around in my mind. It lets other people visit the settings I love and to meet the characters that I've created. What more could I want?

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

That's tough. There are some things about many authors that inspire me and it all revolves around what they accomplish in their work. Just a couple of examples: Jon Jefferson (Jefferson Bass) and the way he creates the vivid setting and characters. Jeffrey Deaver and the way he keeps the reader guessing till the very end and even though I'm always shocked, it makes perfect sense when I get there. Danielle Steel and the way she touches the heartstrings of her readers, I also like the way she weaves historic events into some of her books. Maeve Binchy is another author that creates a very vivid setting and characters that we care about. These are just a few, but there are many many more. The funny thing is that there are things I would do differently in these writers' books, but I also admire many of the things they do. I guess that means its not blond loyalty and admiration.

15.  How do you define your writing?

Define my writing, that another good question. What if I tell you what I aim to create in my writing? In my fiction, I strive to create a setting that is real to the reader and characters they will care about or hate - depending on which characters. I want to get them emotionally involved in the story. In my author promotional books, I want to share the information and experiences that I've gathered in a way that speaks to the reader, not speaks over their head or down to them. Speaking to the reader is much more helpful than talking down to them. My business books are written in the same style and I've gotten great reviews about the easy to understand style and that they are packed with useful information.

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

"I traveled to many interesting and vivid places through the pages of Nikki Leigh's books and I felt like I was "in the story" with the characters who became my friends."

Nikki Leigh the details:

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

Nikki Leigh website - http://www.nikkileigh.com/

Business website - http://www.sandcconsulting.com/ (my real name is Shri Henkel)

Self Promotion Pages at Inspired Author - http://www.inspiredauthor.com/

Blog Tour Website - http://www.inspiredauthor.com/promotion/

I have quite a few blogs, but my main blog is http://www.muzesmusings.blogspot.com/

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

The most direct place to contact me is nikki_leigh22939@yahoo.com or one my main blog http://www.muzesmusings.blogspot.com/.

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

I have books released under two names, so I'll list them separately.

Books Released Under "Shri Henkel"

365 Foolish Mistakes Smart Managers Make

How to Open a Financially Successful Pizza and Sub Shop

Non Commercial Food Service Manager's Handbook

Successful Meetings: How to Plan, Prepare and Execute Top Notch Business Meetings

(I compiled the 4th edition of the Restaurant Manager's Handbook)

 

Books Released Under "Nikki Leigh"

Stormy View - contemporary Misty Cove book

Widow's Walk - Misty Cove Chronicles - Book One

Lady Lightkeeper - Misty Cove Chronicles - Book Two

Lilah and the Locket - Cape Hatteras Series - 1954

Book Promo 101 - Learn the Basics of Book Promotion

Journeys of a Lifetime by Members of the Readers Station

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

My novels give you plenty of local and historic authenticity. Anyone who in interested in lighthouses, lifesaving stations, shipwrecks and the ocean will find a lot of accurate history. My heroines are strong and independent. You will watch them grow and become more independent through the pages of my books. My non fiction is all written in an easy to understand style to help you learn more about the various topics.

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 you asked a bunch of great questions to give your readers plenty of ideas about my work. I would like to mention a new site that I'm launching in a few weeks. It is an all new blog tour website. We're going to handle tours in a whole new way. I'm offering special low introductory prices and I'm also offering free promotional opportunities for all members of the site. If you would like to get some exposure for your books, feel free to become a member. If you would like to get more exposure for your books or for a business, read the information about how to become a sponsor (there is no charge). I'd be happy to speak to anyone who is interested in being a member, a featured author or a sponsor. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Most of the site is working at this time, but people can register at any time. Please contact me if you would like to discuss being a featured author. We plan to launch our first tours in January and we would love to include you. The address is www.inspiredauthor.com/promotion/. I would also be happy to add you to my mailing list to make sure you get all the advance information. Email me at nikki_leigh22939@yahoo.com and put "mailing list" in the subject line. I'm also available to answer questions at the same address.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007 1:42 AM EST
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Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Getting to Know Erica Stux
Topic: Author Interview
 Erica Stux the person:

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

easy-going, hard-working, friendly

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

bright, dependable

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

Nature &conservation

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

Not now, but I've had several cats

5.  What is your most precious memory?

The day each of my children were born

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Almost walking into the men's room while in college

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

Probably some sort of volunteer work

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Erica Stux grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. her love of science led her to study chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. After working several years in industry, she married fellow chemist Paul Stux, They moved to Akron, Ohio, where she became involved in various volunteer work while raising three children. Reading to her children inspired her to start creative writing, and over the years she wrote and published many poems and short non-fiction, first for children and then for adults. After her husband died, she turned to writing books, and also to a previous interest - writing music.  Four of her musicals have been performed.  In 1999 she moved to the Los Angeles area to marry long-time friend Bill Shore. Her sense of humor led her to write her most recent book "Who, Me? Paranoid?"

 Besides her husband, she leaves three children and four grandchildren.

Erica Stux the writer:

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

When my first book was published.

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

Not much - I keep sending out query letters.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing? 

Get various poetry collection for children published. Get one or more of my musicals produced.

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

I don't have a day that I'd consider typical. The only constant is waiting for the mail each afternoon and hoping there will be something from a publisher.

13.  Why do you write? 

As a sort of legacy -  to leave something behind after I'm gone.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Right now I'd say Erma Bombeck, whom I'm trying to emulate.

15.  How do you define your writing? 

I've written in many genres, so there's no single definition.

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

She was thorough in her research and could express herself well, and her humorous prose and poetry gave people lots of laughs.

Erica Stux the details:

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

Sorry, I don't have a website.

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

My e-mail address:  ericastux@aol.com

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

Landlady (adult novel),  Winston Derek 1991  now out of print, but I have copies

Eight Who Made a Difference: Pioneer Women in the Arts, Avisson Press  1999

Strobe Lights (poetry chapbook)  The Plowman  1995

Writing for Freedom: the Story of Lydia Maria Child, Lerner Publishing Group  2000

Sequins and Sorrow (a memoir of my co-author), AuthorHouse  2002

Enrico Fermi, Trailblazer in Nuclear Physics,  Enslow Publishers  2004

The Achievers: Great Women in the Biological Sciences,  Avisson Press  2005

Going for the Jocular Vein (poetry chapbook), Hazel Street Productions  2005

Who, Me? Paranoid?  (humor collection)  Wheatmark Publishers  2007

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

From my biographies, lots of information. From my humor collection, lots of laughs.

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'm a member of California Writers Club; I'm currently a columnist at www.hazelst.com.

I like to write about animals and nature for children, but none of those manuscripts has found a publisher as yet.  I wrote the biographies because I felt that teenage girls need more role models in the literature that's available to them.

Sales of my books are picking up. I hope "Who, Me? Paranoid?" will continue to sell for a long time.

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007 1:30 AM EST
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Monday, 17 December 2007
Getting to Know Howard Hopkins
Topic: Author Interview

Howard Hopkins the person:

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

Driven, sensitive, annoying.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Probably shy and quiet, a loner...oh, my, now I'm sounding like a serial killer...He was such a quiet guy, I didn't realize he had all those bodies in his cellar!

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

Music and bodybuilding and comic books.

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

Not since losing my cairn terrier. Haven't been able to bring myself to get another. But I am a huge animal lover.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Don't really have one. How lame is that?

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

If I told you you'd have to enter the witness protection program...but it involves a cheerleader locker-room and some guys dressed as elves. Beyond that, I'm thinking colonoscopy...

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

Would like to be a pro musician and singer, but have always suffered from tremendous stage fright, which makes that profession tough.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Even as a horror writer, this ranks as the creepiest question I have been asked. But since I AM a horror writer, I plan to be immortal. So it would read, don't mourn Howard because he'll be rising by midnight and by that time you should probably be running...

Howard Hopkins the writer:

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

I am not sure if there was a defining moment, but probably it had to be the first time I pulled a magazine with one of my stories out of the envelope. Before that, I thought I was a real writer, but holding an actual published piece sorta justifies it, especially to doubting relatives. In my personal view point, anybody who sits down and finishes writing a story or book is a real writer. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, writing, so my hat goes off to anybody who can finish a story.

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

Actually a lot of things. I have been doing a lot of anthology work for Moonstone Publications (they publish comic books, prose anthologies and novels, graphic novels, etc.) At present I just had a story published in their The Spider Chronicles (The Spider is a 1930s pulp novel hero) with John Jakes, and have upcoming shorts in The Avenger Chronicles (another 1930s/40s pulp hero) and Captain Midnight (an old time radio hero). I furnished the Introduction for The Avenger book as well and was just made co-editor on the project, so I am very excited about that, because The Avenger, along with another pulp hero, Doc Savage, is my all-time favorite pulp character. I will also be doing a Spider graphic novel for them. I'm also working on two new westerns for Black Horse, have a story bringing awareness to spousal abuse in Express Westerns new anthology, Where Legends Ride, five or six different horror and adventure novels, three comic book scripts, plus keeping up on ongoing horror serial called The Chloe Files (which also has a just published Amazon Short). My latest Black Horse Western, Desolation Pass, under my Lance Howard penname, is just out.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

Basically to keep writing about the things I love to write about-but making a heck of a lot more money doing it!

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

Usually I start off-after dragging my bum out of bed, showering, getting to the gym-by checking email for anything that absolutely has to be answered right away, then it depends on what I am doing-novel, or other work. Lately I spend a few hours editing the Avenger work, or writing a couple blog pieces, Chloe Files, or working on whatever project on the front burner. I spend a couple hours a day promoting or doing the peripheral promo type things like updating websites or MySpace, Facebook, etc.

13.  Why do you write?

Probably for the same reason most authors do-because we have to. It's something inside and we have stories that force us to tell them. There are certainly easier ways to make a living or even to creative something, but writers HAVE to write. It's a compulsion. We want to entertain people, too.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

That would be Doc Savage pulp writer Lester Dent. His ability to hook a reader and create a character in only a handful of words was an incredible gift. His imagination was a thing of wonder. And he had a way with prose, very snappy. I owe so much to him.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I'm an entertainer. I like to take people away from their problems for a few hours. I don't want to depress or add to their troubles. I want them to feel my writing is an escape. So that's what I strive for. Whether it be one of my western or horror novels, I want them to feel it was worth the time they spent with the book and that they hopefully got lot of enjoyment out of doing so.  I will never be Hemingway but I can tell a story...

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

Damn, they actually paid him for that? Seriously, if they say "I enjoyed that book," that's the most I would or could ask for.

Howard Hopkins the details:

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

My personal website is: http://www.howardhopkins.com/

My Blogsites are:

Dark Bits: http://howardhopkins.blogspot.com/

The Chloe Files: http://chloefiles.blogspto.com/

I also have a MySpace page is: http://www.myspace.com/yingko2

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

Readers can reach me at yingko2@aol.com

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

My horror titles under my own name, Howard Hopkins, are: NIGHT DEMONS, GRIMM, DARK HARBORS, THE DARK RIDERS, PISTOLERO,  THE NIGHTMARE CLUB #1: THE HEADLESS PAPERBOY (this one for kids 8+).

Some of my Lance Howard western titles are, LADIGAN, DESOLATION PASS, RIPPER PASS, JOHNNY DEAD, THE WEST WITCH and 20+ others.

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

Escape, characters they can relate to, fast pacing and crisp dialog. Mood and suspense also. For my horror novels, if you are expecting something like SAW you won't find it in my books. You'll find more classic horror, things that go bump in the night, fear without huge heaps of gore and four-letter words. Certainly some deal with frightening issues, but I am more in the Stephen King and Dean Koontz mode than the recent spate of gore-filled movie horror (and I do want to scare the crap out of you, after all!) My kid's horror series novel harks back to the Hardy Boys meets Scooby Doo, something parents can give their kids without worry. My westerns are a bit of a mix of traditional western with modern characters and human issues. Some deal with spousal abuse and prejudice while telling an action and character-propelled story.

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 would like them to know I write for them, to entertain and help them escape, if only for a few hours, their everyday problems and disappointments. Life is hard, and if you want more depression you can turn on the news and find a bellyful of it. But if you just want to curl up and get away for a spell, then that's what I try to give you. I want readers to have a good feeling when they finish the book, not a notion to fetch a straight razor and a bottle of wine and climb into a tub. There are enough bad things in the world, enough pressures and stresses...if I can relieve that even a tiny bit, then it makes all the work worth every second of it.

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007 12:53 AM EST
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Sunday, 16 December 2007
Getting to Know Rae Lindley
Topic: Author Interview
 

Interview Questions (No word limit unless stated-let us get to know you!)

Rae Lindley the person:

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

Cheery, Romantic, Enigmatic.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Hmm. They would probably say giggly, thoughtful and quiet because I'm usually in my head listening a lot.

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

Love and my family.  I guess you could say I tend to be in love with love romance-wise because of the idea in supporting one another through thick and thin once the honeymoon phase passes. And of course I'm very passionate about my family because of the support we give each other through the good times and the hard times.

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

No, unfortunately I never really had any pets. Hmm, that is unless you count the classroom rabbit in, hmm 7th grade. His name was Puck (like the Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream fairy) and he was so adorable...until he got out of his cage. That little animal loved to run around my back yard and I always had to run and catch him for like half an hour when it was time to put him back in the cage. I had never seen a rabbit move so fast before then!

5.   What is your most precious memory?

Ooh that's a good question. I was blessed to have many growing up, but the most precious one has to be a mixture of all the times my family came to support me in all the events I had from poetry readings to dance productions and most recently a screening of my short animated film. That was really an amazing feeling because it was the end of working so hard in collaboration with my group and being in a dark room with a full size movie screen (my dream since childhood!) it was completely surreal. Plus we ended up winning the audience award!

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Oh, you just had to ask this one! *laughs*  May I plead the fifth? hehe

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

I would probably be sitting behind a camera somewhere making films or in an easy chair advising clients stretched out on a couch. Both filmmaking and psychology are still my greatest loves and probably would have happened if my writing didn't win out in the end.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Rachel "Rae" Lindley author of the Cimmerian Series as well as speculative romantic and paranormal fiction has died. She was 280 years of age.

Lindley died in her home in the Italian countryside of Tuscany of chocolate deficiency, according to her agent and leaves behind a legacy of films, 50 books in various fiction and nonfiction genres and two children.

(Hey, a girl can dream can't she? ;-)).

Rae Lindley the writer:

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

That would definitely be recently. One of the reviewers for Cimmerian City told me that she added me to her list of favorite authors. As a reader all my life I've always been the one collecting fave authors and waiting for their new releases so it was pretty mind blowing to have someone consider me one of their faves!

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

I have a few projects lined up in my head. Of course, I have the third book in the Cimmerian Series waiting in the wings entitled Cimmerian Girl which would tie up everything together in the overall arc presented in the first two books. Raven Blackheart, my heroine, finally comes to grips as the Dracin blood overtakes her Human blood. Dracins are like vampires in that they crave blood but they aren't deterred by garlic, holy water and all the traditional weaknesses. Sunlight is still a possibility as the sunlight on Earth has been blocked by a cloud of pollution and atmosphere since the early 21st century. One of the fun things about creating Dracins is that their whole mythology is a mystery since they're a new species. So as the series progresses, we really get to see how much they compare to traditional vampires as Raven fights her addiction and severs her family ties to the corporations.

Currently I'm writing the full length book to my romantic urban fantasy novella Ariya: A Kiss of Ashen Twilight which features an Aziza fairy settling in with an underground organization of vampires, werewolves and shifter elves. They've lived underground unseen by human eyes for centuries and a sloppy mistake from a Ren (renegade shifters) may blow their entire operation under the mortals. There's also some historical scenes in the story as I explore their backgrounds which led them to the current time.

I also have a few romantic suspense novels in mind, but they're currently in idea format.

   11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

One of my main goals is to get all of my ideas written down whether in novella, novel or short story format. I have WIP doc. Format that has a list of all my works in progress and I go in and check off each one. It's a great feeling to get them all started and finished one by one. J

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

Sure! I usually wake up in the morning, get my breakfast and take it to the computer. Check email, group digests and publishing industry news on the various blogs that I'm addicted to reading. Once that's done, I usually take care of promotions and my boards. Sometimes I write if I have a story or scene in my head usually until the afternoon when I break. If I'm in the middle of a book, I usually come back in the evening to type up what I wrote the previous night and work on that for the rest of the evening.

That's usual typical unless I have a book cover or another art project.

13.  Why do you write?

Short answer: because I have to. Long answer: because I have so many stories that need to be told and shared to the world with an underlining message.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Hmm...growing up, I would have definitely said Anne Rice because I love her world building skills that simply suck you in. She really made vampires sympathetic and unique and I couldn't help wanting to know more about all of the characters.

Today, for their work ethic, I would probably say Nora Roberts and Stephen King. They really get their butts in the seats and get the writing done; particularly Nora Roberts because she can write different genres and series one after the other.

For the work, I would say Joss Whedon because he's so versatile from comics to film to TV and he writes his characters so unique and engaging.

Oops you said writer, but I couldn't choose just one!

15.  How do you define your writing?

That's a good question because we're always asked about which genre and market our work best fits in. I would say my writing is romantic, suspenseful, sometimes paranormal and definitely speculative in a ‘what if' type of scenario. Sometimes all the elements are thrown together in one big pot of ideas.

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

Man, those were some great stories I love to curl up and revisit again and again.

Rae Lindley the details:

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

Definitely! My website link is: http://www.raelori.com/

My newly revamped blog is available at: http://raelori.blogspot.com/

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

I love hearing from readers! They can always reach me at Rachel@raelori.com

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

Cimmerian City, the first book that kicks off the Cimmerian Series is available now in print and ebook format.

My other works include:

The Eye of Alloria

One Evening in London

I also have stories in the anthologies:

Weirdly: A Collection of Strange Stories from Wild Child Publishing

A Twist of Fate from Eternal Press

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

They can expect a nice ride because I love putting my characters through some amazing adventures and interesting journeys internally and outwardly.

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?

Hi readers! Much like other authors I love to write the type of stories that I tend to read. Some of it is science fiction, some romance, some suspense and most of what I write tends to be all three. I like to showcase strong heroines in extraordinary situations that really test their wills. Much of my works in progress (and works in the process of finding nice homes) fit this description.

If you'd like to keep up with my current and upcoming projects, you're more than welcome to join my mailing list as I have a monthly newsletter. Feel free to sign up at: http://raelori.com/mailinglist

I also love hearing from readers so feel free to drop me a line anytime!


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007 1:12 AM EST
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Saturday, 15 December 2007
Getting to Know Anna J. Evans
Topic: Author Interview

Anna J. Evans the person:

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

Sappy, driven, and exhausted

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Hyper, friendly, and run-off-at-the-mouthish

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

My kids. Mommying is the best job ever (and the hardest). I also love photography and work as a freelance photographer for my state's paper.

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

No pets, just kids-Big'un, Princess, and the Roo

5.  What is your most precious memory?

A tie between the day my son was born and the day I married my husband and my two full time stepdaughters.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Wow, that's a hard one....hmmm...so many to choose from, lol. I guess the most embarrassing in recent memory was my now 9 year old's second grade open house. I squatted down to ask my youngest to be quiet while 9's teacher was talking and split open my pants, all the way from the waistband down one leg to my knee. Thank god, my hubs had a jacket with him and covered me up and helped me scurry out to the car. My kids still bring this story up on a monthly basis...or whenever their friends are over.

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

Photography full time, I guess. Or maybe I'd just focus on being a mom. I'd love to have one or two more kids and having more time to spend with them would be great.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Here lies Anna J. Evans, she loved well, lived with a passion, and was lucky enough to share her life with a man who loved her the way she'd only dreamed she could be loved and with three fantastic kids.

Anna J. Evan the writer:

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

When that first royalty check  came in. People were really paying to read my work! Woah, that was cool, and scary too. At that point those readers became people I was determined not to disappoint.

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

I'm booked through the summer with new releases for Ellora's Cave and have my first two releases coming from Samhain Publishing in February and July 2008. I've got a great mix of spicy stuff coming out-if I do say so myself, lol-a little something for everyone from historical, paranormal, and urban fantasy erotic romance. I've also recently sold my first Young Adult paranormal chick lit. It won't be out until 2009, but I'm getting ready to start edits any day now. Exciting stuff!

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I want to keep writing racy fun romances as "Anna", continue to write at least one book a year for my YA pen name, and then get into some more straight urban fantasy. I love world building, and being the workaholic I am, I think I need a third pen name to really round things out, lol.

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

On the three days my littlest has Mom's Day Out, I usually aim to get about 3,000 words done plus any edits or promo things that I have going on that day. That takes up about the whole day until time to get him at 2:00 p.m. On weekends and days the Roo is home, I trrryyyy to get about 1500 words done if possible, but it can be difficult. He's three and really into Mama participation in everything, even watching Sesame Street.

13.  Why do you write?

I have to write. If not...my mind will race all night with all the stories trying to get out.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Wow, hard question. I love Mary Janice Davidson's unique voice. I love Scott Westerfeld's imaginings for the young adult future. I really admire Sylvia Day and Gena Showalter and my critique partner, December Quinn, who is such a talented urban fantasy writer. And I could really go on and on.

15.  How do you define your writing?

Anna is fun with a healthy dose of romance and an abundance of heat. Sassy and seductive, and hopefully with some imaginative twists people haven't seen a million times before.

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

Man, that was an entertaining book, one for my keeper shelf.

Anna J. Evans the details:

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

Sure!

Website: http://annajevans.com/

Blog: http://annajevans.blogspot.com/

Writer's group: http://dnwriters.com/ (We have a HUGE holiday contest going on if this goes live before the holidays.)

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

Head over to my website: http://annajevans.com/ and hit the email link. I'm thrilled to hear from readers! Email is my favorite way to procrastinate.

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

Of course, lol.

From Ellora's Cave Publishing (all of which are listed on my author page, link below):

http://www.ellorascave.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=AJE

Novels and novellas:

"Enchanted"

"Love Fool"

"Main Attraction" Perfectly Wicked 1

"Sinfully Sweet" Perfectly Wicked 2

"Bad Apple" Perfectly Wicked 3

"As the Lady Wishes" co-written with December Quinn

"Demon's Triad" co-written with December Quinn (January 2008)

"Deep Cover" (February 2008)

 

Short stories and anthologies:

"Ellora's Cavemen: Dreams of the Oasis Volume 2"

"Off the Deep End"

"Seducing the Enemy"

"Decking the Hollisters"

"Ellora's Cavemen: Seasons of Seduction Volume 4" (Dec. 22, 2007)

 

From Samhain Publishing:

http://samhainpublishing.com/

"Captured" erotic historical February 2008

"Devil Take Me" July 2008

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

Sexy, but always a romance. There is a lot of nookie, so if you don't like that...well, then you might not like my books. But my mother has read them all and she's sixty, lol.

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?

Just that I write to entertain, to give the kind of read that takes you away from the rest of the world and provides that much needed escape we all crave from time to time. If I've provided that for my readers, I feel I've succeeded.

 

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007 2:26 AM EST
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Friday, 14 December 2007
Getting to Know Tricia Ballad
Topic: Author Interview
Tricia Ballad the person:

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

Driven romantic dreamer

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Completely nuts!  When I tell people about my average day, they tend to wind up exhausted just listening to it all.  But somehow it all ends up working out, mostly due to lots and lots of coffee.

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

My family.  My husband and I met when we were 18, just two months into our freshman year of college, and we've been attached at the hip ever since.  We got married right out of college, and have three boys, with Baby #4 due in May 2008.  Sometimes keeping everything running smoothly, making sure everyone has what they need (both physically and emotionally) can be crazy, but it's worth every minute. 

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

Oh yes - this zoo wouldn't be complete without the animals.  We have a German Shepherd-Husky mix named Sheba, a sweet, cuddly cat called Phantom (or El Gato Diablo by those unfortunate to have annoyed him and who bear the scars of their misfortune) and two Parakeets called Zig Zag and Little Peep.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

I'll skip over the obvious - my wedding and the births of my children.  Ok, I take that back.  I'd have to say one of the memories that I revisit often, especially when life seems to be crashing out of control, would be dancing with my husband at our wedding.  After all the stress of planning, and the heightened emotions of the actual ceremony, as soon as he took me in his arms he whispered "It's just you and me now."  and the whole room faded away. 

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Um...I plead the Fifth! 

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

Before I became a full-time writer, I wrote web applications.  It was a good job, and I was fairly decent at it, but it wasn't my passion.  I'd imagine if I hadn't had the life of a writer dangling before me, temptation incarnate, I would probably have continued on that career path.

8.   In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

ACK!  I don't have time to die - there's too much to do!

Tricia Ballad the writer:

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

I think for me, that realization came in stages.  Being a writer was always part of my identity, even as a young child.  As I neared adulthood, the voices of reason crept in and informed me that I could be a writer, but I needed a "real" job to pay the bills.  (not that there's anything wrong with that - I'm rather fond of having a roof over my head!)

The day I cashed my first check earned from putting words on paper, I realized that perhaps the two weren't mutually exclusive - writing AND paying the bills.

Then there was the day I saw my name on Amazon.com and realized I had wandered across the line from "writer" to "author."

Seeing my first work of fiction hit the virtual ebook shelves opened up another door.  My next goal is to add the title "novelist" to my mental resume.  I'm hoping to achieve that goal in 2008.

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

I'm on track to transition from non-fiction to full-time fiction in 2008.  I have several stories under consideration with various publishers, and a novel that I expect to finish in June or July. 

11.   What are your future goals for your writing?

To write fiction full-time.

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

I get up around 6:30am, take my older two boys to school by 7:35, come home and write a bit until the youngest decides he's bored with independent play, or it's time to pick up my middle boy from preschool at 10:30, whichever comes first.  After lunch, the youngest goes down for his nap and my middle son has quiet time, so I can usually get some writing done then too.  I have about 14 hours of babysitting per week, which I use to work on non-fiction, since for me that takes a lot more concentration than fiction.  If I'm behind, I also squeeze in a couple of hours of writing from 3:30 - 5:30 or 6p when my husband is home to entertain the kids.  Unlike a lot of writers, I avoid working after they go to bed because by the end of the day I'm completely worn out and really not intelligent enough any more for anything more mentally challenging than staring at TV shows!

13.  Why do you write?

Because I can.  Because it's how I relate to my world - through stories and characters. 

14.   What writer most inspires you?  Why?

It's probably trite, but J.K. Rowling is one of my heros.  She wrote this great series of novels as a single mother, raising her kids and holding down a day job.  For most of us - myself included - "just" being a decent parent, even with the help of a spouse, is a full-time job!  Add a 9-5 job on top of that, AND somehow find the time and mental energy to write novels? 

15. How do you define your writing?

I write stories that leave the reader feeling that there *is* a little bit of magic, of romance, even in the mundane of situations. 

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

"Ms. Ballad's stories always left readers seeing a ray of hope in the world."

Tricia Ballad  the details:

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

My website is http://www.triciaballad.com/.  I'm working on a MySpace page and will be putting up a blog on my website with posts about new stories, the writing process, and sneak peeks into upcoming work.  I'll post links to the blog and the MySpace page on my website as soon as they're ready to launch.

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

My email address is Tricia@TriciaBallad.com.  I'm always happy to hear from readers!

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

My current release is a short story called The Perfect Candidate available from Wild Rose Press.  (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=607)

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

Here's an excerpt:

Caroline went into her office and closed the door. What could Joshua need to talk about so urgently that he'd call twice in one afternoon? Could he finally have had it with her lack of time for him? She took a deep breath and told herself if he was calling to say he was finished with her, she could remain calm-at least until she hung up the phone. Before she had a chance to imagine life without Joshua, Caroline dialed his number. A strangling wave of loneliness swept over her at the thought he might not be there by the time she finally got through the endless pile of work on her desk.

The phone rang three times as she paced the room. Finally, he answered, his voice strong and confident. "Joshua Walters."

Caroline closed her eyes and savored the image of the man she loved. He kept his sandy brown hair pulled back in a shoulder-length ponytail, but a few wisps inevitably escaped. His body was toned and muscular from long hours of heavy labor, and his pale blue eyes always seemed to be laughing.

 "Hi, Joshua," Caroline said as she neatened the piles of paperwork on her desk. "Look, I'm sorry I didn't call you back the other day[1] . I finally got out of the office around seven o'clock, and I just went home and crashed. I meant to call you back first thing this morning, but- "

"-Hey, sweetheart," his gentle, solid voice cut her off. "Slow down. Everything okay?"

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 am an average woman, with all the hopes and stresses and worries that all women have, as we juggle work, family, relationships, and everything else.  I don't write stories from a serene vacation house in some exotic retreat - I write amidst the loose ends and chaos of everyday life.  That tends to come out in my characters and their stories.  My characters all find that love of a lifetime, but it's rarely in the form of Prince Charming riding in on a white steed to set all the troubles of life to rights.  Finding that one true love helps my heroines find the strength to face life.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007 2:33 AM EST
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Thursday, 13 December 2007
Getting to Know Walter McElligott
Topic: Author Interview

Walter McElligott the Person 

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

Honest, faithful (married 42 years), caring
 
2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Funny, intelligent, persistent
 
3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

When I was struck down with spinal meningitis as a teen, through the love
of Jesus Christ, I survived the trauma of brain surgery. In spite of the
resulting seizure disorder and left hemiparesis, I persevered 5 years of
college and post-Bachelor's degree studies, 25 years employment, Thanx to my love of Jesus Christ and my family, my wife and two children.

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

No, Max, our schnauzer was with us for a dozen years, before he died,
several years ago. My story about Max will be published in a Dog Book
anthology by John Cali, due out in January 2008

 
5.  What is your most precious memory?

Our daughter's graduation from USAF Basic training in San Antonio, Texas, even though, her ceremony was finished and she was on her way home at about the same time we got off the bus from Chicago.
 
6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Having lost so much weight, my pants fell off my waist at our Monday
night prayer group. No fear, I gained it all back. Fortunately, one of
the ladies was talking with Joan, in front of my mishap.

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

I really don't know, but having twice been placed on disability in 1983
and in 1997, my writing has been a lifesaver for me, along with the
writing support I've received from my writing group, the Chicago writers Association (
http://chicagowrites.org), and my publisher, Lynda S. Burch, of Guardian Angel Publishing. For anyone doubting this, Joan invites you to our house during one of my all too frequent hard drive crashes.
 
8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
 
Walter enjoyed life, and looked forward to the promise of heaven, but
only if his wife and family was with him. Not necessarily at the same
time
 
 
Walter McElligott, the writer:
 
 
9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real"
writer?

When I originally wrote Abraham & Anna at The Birth of Jesus, twenty
years before it was published as, "A Blessed Bethlehem Birth", at
Christmas 2006. Soon after that, others recognized my writing gift, and I became the editor/writer of our prayer group newsletter.

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

I am the editor of the Chicago Writers Association, CLARION Newsletter,
which I was asked to develop in 2005.
 
"My wife's 1997 healing from Breast Cancer", 0/04, <
www.Kmareka.com>.
 
"Memories in the Making", Published in Cup of Comfort for Weddings, 12/06
I have other stories in anthology editors' hands. I am writing a story
about the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871 from a child's POV.
 
11. What are your future goals for your writing?

To write every day I have left in life, with the knowledge that I've
lived more days than I have left, a very blessed life. I know that not
all I write will be published, but I do have a story to tell to young and
old.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
 
A typical writing day for me begins and ends in my second-bedroom, turned office. I'm behind a computer, where, as a one-handed typist, I write everything from letters to editors and bloggers about protecting our lovely, rural village from "progress." This is also known as Illinois's
fraudulent plan to build an unneeded, unwanted third Chicago airport in
our backyards, and from the effect of sprawl and increased truck and
train traffic.
 
I also write and edit material for the CWA CLARION, and my own personal story and book review writing at MickLitgroup (at) yahoogroups.com.
 
13.  Why do you write?

To stay sane-see above about computer hard drive crashes.
 
14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I just discovered William Martin, who began writing in 1979, with Back
Bay, and recently wrote, "The Lost Constitution." I love history and
Martin does a wonderful job with old Boston, the Northeast, and the
American Revolution.
 
The other novels I like to read are legal mysteries. I've found David
Baldacci to be one of the best, followed by john Grisham.
 
15.  How do you define your writing?
 
Primarily, seeing the world through the eyes of innocent children
 
16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Golly, Walt's writing actually lasted this long?
 
Walter McElligott, the details:
 
17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?
Blog?

I plan to be creating a website soon, and have blogs at MickLit, Eastern
Will Co-IL-Irish-author.

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

Email: wmcauth07 (at) juno.com, GAP Publisher's web
 
19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

A Blessed Bethlehem Birth, Guardian Angel Publishing
 
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com
 
 
20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

A Blessed Bethlehem Birth" told by Abraham & Anna Mousenstern, is an
illustrated children's story of two mice and their animal friends that
prepare the stable for Mary and Joseph and the birth of the Baby Jesus.
ISBN 10: 1-933090-21-4 ISBN 13: 9781933090219

http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com
 
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 did an assorted degree of writing during my 25 years of working in
Chicago's Loop, as an insurance claim manager for several companies, and in Roosevelt University's Legal Assistant Program, which led me to
working as a paralegal with 2 Chicago law firms. In the first law firm, I
researched and wrote a supplement to the sole practitioner's text on
small business taxation, and drafted a second manuscript on small
businesses. With the second midsize city firm, I was the paralegal for a
partner and 2 associates in the Worker's Compensation Department, which entailed a good amount of legal research and case decision writing.

God Bless, Walt McElligott
Beecher, IL USA, 60401
Editor of Chicago Writers Association (
http://chicagowrites.org)
 
CLARION Newsletter (quarterly) January 1, 2008


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007 3:06 AM EST
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