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Wednesday, 11 February 2009
A Talk With Ruth Hartman and an Review of My Life in Mental Chains
Topic: Author Interview
 Sorry for the slight delay in getting this up today--grocery shopping yesterday and a bug have me a bit behind.  Today we have a wonderful interview with Ruth Hartman, author of My Life in Mental Chains.  Afterwards, please see my review of this book. 

 

 

Ruth Hartman the person:

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

Kind, funny, empathetic

How do you think others would describe you?

Sweet, funny, a good listener 

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

My husband, Garry. We've been married over 26 years, and he's my best friend.

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

 We have two cats. Both are rescued strays. Maxwell, a grey, chubby male, is almost three years old. Roxy, a jet-black female, is nearly two years old. They love each other, and (usually) play well together. When they start grooming each other, we tell them to "get a room!"

 

What is your most precious memory?

My wedding. It was perfect. Not only did I get to marry the love of my life, Garry, but my dad is a minister, so he performed the ceremony.

 

What is your most embarrassing memory?

When Garry and I were dating, we were playing Frisbee at a picnic. He threw the Frisbee, I ran after it, backwards, and plowed into a picnic table full of people. I flew over the table, landed on a chair, broke the chair, and broke my toe. (I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to know that my nickname is "Grace.")

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

Actually, I'm also a dental hygienist two days a week. If it weren't for that and writing, I'd probably be a veterinarian.
 

In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

 Ruth Hartman loved her family, friends, and God. She loved to laugh. She loved to make others laugh. We will miss her loving spirit terribly, but she is now at peace with her heavenly Father.

 

Ruth Hartman the writer:

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

That happened last November, when "My Life in Mental Chains" was published. That's when I knew. It still hasn't completely sunk in yet, though. When someone tells me they've read it, it hits me again that I'm actually a writer.

What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm waiting on my complimentary copy of a short story I had published in I Love Cats magazine. A couple of days ago, I had an article accepted to You & Me magazine. I'm thrilled about those! It's funny, though, my first writing love is fiction, and I haven't had any of that accepted anywhere yet;

What are your future goals for your writing?

I've written several children's stories. I'd love to get some of them published. Also, I've completed a 25,000 word novelette, that I've submitted to a publisher. I'm still waiting to hear back from that.

 

 Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Since I work part -time in a dental office, I usually don't have entire days to write. If I'm off work, I'll write in between errands, laundry, and cleaning the house. If I'm really into something, though, my OCD kicks in and I can sit at my laptop for an entire evening at a time.

Why do you write?

I find that if I go too long without being creative, I get a little cranky. I need that self-expression.  Sometimes, I like to paint, but I'm finding I get so much more satisfaction from writing.

What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I love Mary Higgins Clark. I love her mysteries. I've never tried writing a mystery. I'm not sure my mind works that way. But I love to read them!

How do you define your writing?

My writing so far, is a mix of memoir, humor, and romance. In all of these forms, my favorite thing to do is write short, quirky conversations between two people who know each other very well.

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

Ruth's writing made me laugh, and feel good about myself.

Ruth Hartman the details:

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

I have a website at www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My e-mail is RGHartman@aol.com

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

 My only book so far is "My Life in Mental Chains". The short story in I Love Cats is titled "A Tale of No Tail." The article in You & Me magazine, which should be on their e-zine in early summer, is "Help From Unexpected Places."

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

"My Life in Mental Chains" is my true-life story about my daily struggle with severe OCD. Readers will take the journey with me, as I take them through my thoughts and actions during OCD episodes. Also, I talk quite a bit about how I was treated, and my reactions to the ones who treated me cruelly.

In conclusion:

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

 I feel so blessed to have had this book, my first, published so quickly. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the ladies on our Premium Green (through WOW! Women on Writing) discussion board. Their support and advice is so valuable to me.

 "My Life in Mental Chains" has been cathartic for me. During the writing of my story, I've come to realize just how amazing life can be. When I look back to how I was then, I never dreamed that I would ever be able to live a normal life again, much less write a book about it.

 But even more meaningful than how it makes me feel, is how humbled I am to know that what I've written helps others with similar problems. That's what makes writing real for me. That's what keeps it alive. As long as I can help someone, or make them laugh at something humorous I've written, then my dream as a writer has come true.

***

A Review of My Life in Mental Chains

Many of us have obsessions or compulsions in our lives, little quirks that, while not "normal" , don't interfere with our daily lives. These "quirks" can be simply that, or signs of minor OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).  This is a disorder that comes in degrees--from minor one area obsession, to debilitating thoughts and actions that make daily life impossible.

What would happen, if one day you woke up and one of your little "quirks" had suddenly taken on a life of its own-occupying every moment and making it impossible to think of anything else?  What happens when you physically can't stop your thoughts and actions-even though you know somewhere inside it makes no sense?

This is what happened to Ruth Hartman.  One day she started cleaning and couldn't stop--nothing seemed clean enough. She worried constantly about germs. Her daily life became one constant worry about catching something harmful or being the cause of someone else catching something.

Ruth Hartman describes the thoughts and feelings she experienced. She draws you in so that you can gain a rare glimpse into the thought process involved in OCD.  As you follow her journey to find answers and learn to live a life, while not free of the disorder, at least to where her life was not totally consumed by it.  You will cry with Ruth-and celebrate her victories. This book is a true inspiration to anyone who has ever experienced OCD--and to anyone who has loved someone who suffers from the disorder.

On the Rainbow Scale of Excellence, My Life in Mental Chains earns a perfect rainbow of seven colors.


Posted by joyceanthony at 2:21 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 February 2009 2:23 PM EST
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Friday, 16 January 2009
A Talk with David Snowdon
Topic: Author Interview
Thanks for being here today, David! Let's start by getting the details out of the way so we can concentrate on the fun stuff. Can you tell our readers where they can find more information on you and your work-website?

Hello, Joyce. It's a pleasure to be here today. The information for the readers is as follows;

Websitehttp://www.the-mind-of-a-genius.com/

About the book:

The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon

ISBN: 978-0-9552650-1-3

Publisher: Pentergen Books

Date of Publish: Nov 16, 2007

Pages: 288

S.R.P £6.99/ $13.56

Available from:

Waterstone's Bookshops and Waterstone's.com, Blackwells Bookshops and Blackwells.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and all good bookshops.

For reviews see Amazon.com

The Mind of a Genius is an action-based thriller. I found the title fascinating. Would you like to tell us how you came up with this title? Is this the same process you use for all your titles?

Malcolm Prince is a world-famous, British scientist, globally recognised for his scientific research work. What makes him a genius is his track record, and the fact that he created a formula that could change the world. The MI4, the CIA, the Denmark Intelligence, the Australian Intelligence and many other organisations couldn't wait to get their hands on that formula, the result of Prince's handiwork, and thus, The Mind of a Genius was born.

I use a similar method for most of my titles.

David, this book is more about espionage while your last book leaned more towards murder mystery. I'm wondering if you find it necessary to approach each genre differently, or do you find the two closely related?

My first book, Too Young To Die, was published in August 2006, and is a detective, murder mystery, set in London, Jamaica and Miami.

Private Investigator, Mike Heaton is hired by multi-billionaire, Ronald Patterson to find his daughter's killer, four years after she was brutally murdered.

While espionage thrillers and murder mystery thrillers could be closely related, because an espionage thriller could also be a murder mystery, that is not always the case, as an espionage thriller may not be a murder mystery. The Mind of a Genius is an espionage thriller, but it's not a murder mystery.  And therefore, I believe that each genre should be approached from a different angle.

When did you decide writing was where you wanted to focus your talents? Is this something you've always wanted, or did you just sort of fall into it?

As a child, when I was about 7-years-old, I used to enjoy standing in front of the class and telling short stories. I also wrote a few short stories. Later on in life, I started reading novels, and that was when the urge to write a book began. From then on, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. So from the look of things, writing is in the blood.

Being a British Author, do you find it difficult to promote your work in the United States? Is there any advice you can give others in your position that might make international promotion easier?

Over the years, I've done a lot of campaigns in the US, and I enjoy working with Americans. As far as I'm concerned, Americans are fun to work with. And I've never had any problems, promoting my work in the States.

Regarding the advice for my fellow writers, there's a wealth of information on the internet, and that makes international book promotion a doddle.

Outside writing, where does your passion take you? Any hobbies or causes you would like to talk about?

In my spare time, I like to play table tennis, socialize and read. I also like to travel.

If you could speak directly to each reader, what would you say?

Don't miss out on, The Mind of a Genius. This espionage thriller will take you all over the world.

Do you have any work in progress you would be willing to share?

My new book will be published some time in the future.

Again, thank you for being here today, David. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers while you have the chance?

I would like to wish all of the readers a great New Year. Keep reading.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Joyce Anthony for the interview.


Posted by joyceanthony at 3:12 AM EST
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Thursday, 15 January 2009
The British Have Arrived--at least British author David Snowdon has :-)
Topic: Author Interview
  Today I'd like to introduce you to author, David Snowdon and his book, The Mind of a Genius. Later this week, I will be talking with David and sharing his answers with you!

The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon                    

(The Formula That Could Change The World)

Special Agent, Jason Clay from the MI4 is hired to find a secret formula that was invented by the famous British scientist, Malcolm Prince. The only weak element in Clay's strategy to accomplish his mission is Laura Prince, the beautiful wife of the scientist, who Clay has to seduce in order to obtain the formula.

But the CIA, the Denmark Intelligence, the Australian Intelligence and many other very determined individuals are also after that formula, and can't wait to get their hands on it. The competition is fierce, but who's going to win?

The story develops as a travel through the world; with the action starting in London, then moving onto Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Australia.

Clay appears to be the right man for the job; extremely handsome and a natural charmer, nothing could be easier for him than seducing a beautiful woman in order to obtain a top secret.

For more information visit http://www.the-mind-of-a-genius.com/

About the book:

The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon

ISBN: 978-0-9552650-1-3

Publisher: Pentergen Books

Pages: 288

S.R.P £6.99/ $13.56

 

Available from Waterstone's,  Blackwells, Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com and from the author at his website http://www.the-mind-of-a-genius.com/order.html

 

About David Snowdon -

British thriller writer, David Snowdon was born in London, and lives in London. He started writing in 1983, and wrote his first book, which hasn't been published in 1984. His first published work, Too Young To die, was published in August 2006. And his second novel, The Mind of a Genius, was published in November 2007.

To learn more about David Snowdon and The Mind of a Genius, visit http://www.the-mind-of-a-genius.com/ and to learn more about his virtual tour in early 2009, http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/12/mind-of-genuis-by-david-snowdon.html

Post comments on any of the blog tour stops and be entered in a drawing for a copy of The Mind of a Genius.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:05 AM EST
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Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Love Guru Dr. Ava Cadell shares some thoughts
Topic: Author Interview

I have quite a dilemma today-Dr. Ava Cadell has so much going on that it was hard to limit what I share with you guys-and I just don't have room to share it all!  After reading the wonderful article by Dr. Cadell, please don't forget to check out the World's Best Lover contest (details below).

Armageddon Love by Dr. Ava Cadell

What happens when people feel their own mortality?  In Dr. Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Death, people described their experience of temporarily dying and then being brought back to life.  Almost everyone who had a near death experience reported being asked two questions during the time of their death.  Regardless of culture or religious beliefs, the two questions were the same: “What did you learn about being able to love?” and “How well did you use your gifts to live your unique life purpose?”

Most of us don’t get the opportunity to ponder these questions at the brink of life and death, never mind the prospect of coming back to life to change our responses should we be disappointed by them.  This being the case, it is only extreme, life-altering events that tend to compel us to assume such contemplative poses, and no one would argue that the prospect of Armageddon is an example of such a life-altering event.  However, what is new for many is the perceived proximity of Armageddon.  What was only recently considered alarmist fodder for hypochondriacs is now a realistic prospect for many.  And as such, it is causing many to “check in” with themselves in order to re-examine their lives in ways previously not contemplated and consequently to realign their priorities.

In some instances, this will lead people to be more introverted; the perceived greater risk and threat leading these people to want to close off and protect themselves from the prospect of further harm.  In other instances, this will lead people to be bolder, more daring and to take greater risks with the thought that “the end of the world” is approaching anyway so, why not?

Both of these paths have their benefits and drawbacks.  If you become more introverted, there may be less chance of getting hurt, but you also fail to live life to its fullest.  On the other hand, if you are bolder and more daring, you may also be inviting unnecessary risks, which may lead to their own dire circumstances.  However, there is a middle of the road.  Sincere self-examination can lead to self-forgiveness, the forgiveness of others, and the ability to lead a less judgmental life.

Being bold might include having the courage to find love, to learn how to deepen a relationship, or to live out your dreams.  Once people check in with their priorities, they tend to agree that love and human connections are the things that matter most in life.  This recognition motivates people to communicate more openly, intimately and honestly.   They are more aware of time and its imminent end and are hypersensitive of being left in the position of saying, “If only…”, “I wish I had…”, or “What if…”.  Uncertainty about the world and the longevity of one’s life causes people to take action.  Single people take greater risks because they don’t want to be alone, and couples reconnect, forming closer bonds.  In other words, people seek solace and refuge in the power of love.

Love is the fuel that keeps the world going round.  It empowers our planet.  In exploring everlasting love, we are seeking to express more of ourselves and experience more of life in tandem with the right partner.  If an individual can achieve a wholesome self-love, then two people uniting in love can become a powerhouse.  Every trial and tribulation they go through together can be viewed as an avenue to know, feel, and express more love.  Love has a high value because it is an investment.  It causes us to experience life on every level, and that is the ultimate gift of our existence.  We quest for love because of its enduring quality and its ability to grow if nourished.  Love is a precious gift that we earn and as such is all the more dear to us.  To be able to receive and give more of love is to experience life in glorious Technicolor.  To learn more about the power of love, do read my book, 12 Steps to Everlasting Love, or go to my virtual seminars.

***

 For more articles from Dr. Ava Cadell, please visit:

http://www.loveologyuniversity.com/LUPages/LULibrary.aspx

To learn more about The Best Lover Contest, please visit:

http://www.loveologyuniversity.com/instruction.aspx

Do you have questions that you would like to ask Dr Ava? For a time, we'll add the option for people to post a question here and Dr Ava will give you an answer. So, bring your questions about relationship, love, sex, compatibility and much more. You can post your questions here - or send them to nikki@nikkileigh.com and I'll get them to Dr Ava.

She has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share and she shares that through Loveology University. You should take a look - www.loveologyuniversity.com to see the wide range of information she offers. There are articles, audio, video, ebooks, and many courses for people who want to learn more for themselves and for people who want to become a certified loveologist.

Check back to see what other people ask - you could learn things that can turn your life, your relationship and your love life around -- just in time for Valentine's Day.

Nikki Leigh

PS - Email your question and we will not use your name unless you give us permission - your real identity is safe.

The questions and answers can be found at: http://www.worldsbestlover.blogspot.com/

For more information on how you can become a certified lovologist, stop by http://www.loveologyuniversity.com/LUPages/Mission-Statement.aspx and take a look around Loveology University!

***

Tomorrow, we again visit with political expert, Earl Ofari Hutchinson--and Friday Dr. Ava Cadell will return for a final visit!


Posted by joyceanthony at 3:00 AM EST
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Sunday, 4 January 2009
Getting to Know Dwight C. Rounds
Topic: Author Interview
 

 

Dwight C. Rounds the person:

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

Dependable, funny, direct

2.   How do you think others would describe you?

Same as #1

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

Beatles era music and baseball

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

Three dogs - a Boxer, Scottish Terrier, and a Yorkie/Schnauzer mix

5. What is your most precious memory?

Throwing curve balls in Little League baseball

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

Having a ski come off, and take off down the hill, and having to go after it on one ski. (this was before ski brakes)  It could have killed someone. 

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

Same as now; real estate development and management, investments, some golf and ping pong

8.    In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

He always did what he said he would do, and always went out of his way to speak to people.  He always thought most obituaries said exactly the same things, which often were sugar coated.  Because of that, this is all he wanted written for his obituary. 

Dwight C. Rounds  the writer:

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

Certainly not in school, when I disliked writing term papers. In my thirties and forties, I began writing about things that interested me, and have collected compilations on many different subjects.  I guess I first considered myself a writer, when I started my book about five years ago. 

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

I am not writing anything currently, but am spending some time trying to market the book.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

In the near future, I am not going to have the time to write another book.  On my current book, I would like to set up more book signings around the country.  Along with the signings, I host a music identification contest that people enjoy.  It is only fun when a lot of people show up.  I would like to find places where I already know someone who can provide me with an invite list of people about my age who enjoyed that music.  Unless I am fairly sure that at least thirty people can show up, I would not schedule one.

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

I would spend about an hour a day writing, and reading and watching videos on the topic most days.

13. Why do you write?  

Enjoyment and recognition

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Bill James, who writes about baseball.  He looked at baseball in an entirely different way, causing me to often realize "I never thought of that."

15. How do you define your writing?

Thought provoking, discussion starting, opinionated

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

If you want to know about the music, and social activities during the Beatles era, this book will tell you all you need to know. 

Dwight C. Rounds the details:

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

www.AnimalsToZombies.com   www.DayTripper.blogspot.com

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

DCRounds@aol.com  or UnfortunateSon@AnimalstoZombies.com

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

The Year The Music Died

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

The book is part reference material and part commentary.  It is irreverent, and entertaining for those who have a sense of humor.  It is a music book aimed at non musicians, which are most music listeners. 

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?

There is no one alive who enjoys that era of music more than I do.  I have listened to it almost daily for 45 years now, and am constantly watching videos and reading about it. 


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:53 AM EST
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Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Questions and Answers with Crystalee Calderwood
Topic: Author Interview
Where did you get the inspiration for Angeline Jellybean?

I don't even remember how I came up with the story. I was taking a picture book writing class back in 2007. Our assignment was to write a picture book under 500 words, and that's what I did. I wrote it in rhyme because I wanted to see if I could write a rhyming picture book. I didn't even really expect to like it. That's how Angeline was born. A few rounds of revisions and a submission later, here it is!

Is Angeline anything like you?

Oh yes. *laughs* Angeline loves jellybeans almost as much as I love chocolate. Of course, I have learned to limit my chocolate intake, and I didn't have to go through the nasty side effects that Angeline did! Angeline is also very strong-willed and has a bit of a temper, which reminds me of a certain little redheaded girl I once knew.

When did you start writing?

I've been writing as long as I can remember. I used to write short stories way back in first grade. I've been reading even longer, since before I started school, so I only felt it was natural for me to write. I wrote poetry for many years. It wasn't until I went to grad school to get my MFA in Creative Writing that I discovered writing for children. That was in 2006. I ended up with a dual emphasis in poetry and writing for children and adolescents. I am amazed at how far I have come along with my writing since then.

How do you get the ideas for your picture books?

Well, I live and experience life, first of all. I get most of my ideas from things I've seen, experienced or heard. I also try to interact with children. I spent a year as a volunteer reading to children in daycares across Pittsburgh. In that year, I learned more about what children like than I had learned in my entire life. I also love to read children's books. I'm always asking myself if I can write something better than or different than the kinds of books that are out there. I'm not interested in writing books that copy a current trend, unless I can put my own spin on that trend.

Do you experiment with other genres as well?

Yes, I do. I started out writing poetry. I have also experimented with flash fiction. But nothing makes me happier than writing for children. I'm really a big kid at heart, and I write the kinds of books I would have liked to read when I was younger. I have also recently completed a young adult novel in verse, and I'm very excited to break into the YA market was well

***

Update:  I spent hours yesterday working with Wordpress, but couldn't get it to do all I want. I'm heading over to Blogger now and see how I can work with that.  Please watch here for updates.  Thanks for your patience, everyone!


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Friday, 19 December 2008
Getting to Know Jean Henry Mead
Topic: Author Interview
Jean Mead the person: 

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

 That's a tough question. Impatient, determined and compassionate. I'm impatient to get things done, determined to succeed in whatever I attempt, and hopefully, I'm compassionate.
2.      How do you think others would describe you?
 Because I'm basically shy, people sometimes think I'm aloof. I hope they think I'm dependable because I try very hard not to let anyone down. And I'm sure they think I'm a little eccentric, but most writers are.
3.      Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
love animals, especially dogs. I also like photography and I'm a bibliophile. I have thousands of books, some of which I've had since I was a child. We're either going to have to build a library or just buy multi-format books for our ebook readers.
      
4.    Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.
I had two dogs until last month when my lovable black lab, Muggles, was struck by a pickup truck. I now have a very lonely Australian Sheppard, Miriah, as well as two crazy ducks named Vern and Shirley. I also have Chicki, a hen that was nearly killed by her flock mates. Only Miriah is allowed in the house. :)
5. What is your most precious memory?    
When my first grandchild was born and my very nervous son-in-law brought him out of the delivery room wrapped in a blanket.
6. What was your most embarrassing memory?
 I embarrass easily so it would be hard to remember just one. Okay, I do remember when the batteries fell out of the bottom of my tape recorder and rolled under a massive desk the night I crashed a cocktail party at a local bank to interview sportscaster Curt Gowdy. I had to return the following day to interview him in the bank lobby with lots of people present. Not an easy way to conduct an interview.
7.      If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I would either be a photographer or an anthropologist. I'm fascinated by ancient civilizations. If not married, I'd probably be an aid worker in a foreign country. I've worked at various jobs such as teacher, secretary, sales, office manager, parts chaser for our business, magazine editor, photojournalist and news reporter, but nothing pleases me more than being a novelist.
 
8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary. (This was so hard)
Jean was born the eldest of five children and the only girl in an otherwise all-boy neighborhood, the reason she was a tom-boy and unafraid to try new things. Her curiosity sometimes got her into trouble but it served her well as an adult when she began her writing career. Divorced at 27, with four young daughters, she started college, carrying a full load of classes while working, and coaching her daughters' softball teams. Doing their homework together, the five of them managed to stay on the honor rolls. 
 Four years later, she remarried and the family moved to Wyoming where they began a new life.
     
Working as a magazine editor and freelance photojournalist, Jean's magazine articles were published domestically as well as abroad, winning some awards. In 1982 her first book was published and others followed. Later, her grandchildren arrived and life was complete, although not always easy. She once said that she would like to be remembered as someone who tried her best.
Jean Mead the writer:
9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

 
I realized I was a real writer when I got my first news reporting job with the local daily newspaper while editor of my campus weekly.  But I wrote my first novel when I was nine, a chapter a day to entertain classmates. I wrote it on construction paper with pencil and it got rave reviews from my classmates because it  made them laugh. I've always included humor in all my books, including nonfiction. I cringe remembering my first newspaper article, titled, "Are mosquitos bugging you?" I don't think the publisher appeciated my wacky humor.
10.  What is going on with your writing these days?
I'm working on a third novel for my Logan &  Cafferty senior sleuth mystery series as well as a children's book, The Mystery of Spider Mountain and an historical novel about the hanging of "Cattle Kate." Three books at once is about all I handle. The second novel in my Logan & Cafferty series, Diary of Murder, will be out next spring
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
To continue writing my mystery/suspense series and western historicals. Maybe even more children's novels. I would someday like to have some of my novels published as audio books.
12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I'm usually at my computer by eight each morning where I remain until noon, and one until three in the afternoon. I love writing, so it's not a chore. Getting the housework and laundry done is the real chore. I've heard other women writers say, "What I need is a wife to keep up the household." I agree. Men writers are usually relieved of household chores but are burdened with the responsibility of earning a living. But a lot of women work and write too.
13.  Why do you write?
Because it's in me to write and it brings me great of joy when the writing goes well, which is most of the time. I give my characters free rein and they rarely lead me astray. I just type as fast as I can to keep up with them.
14.  Which writers most inspired you?  Why?
Ernest Hemingway inspired me because he changed the way modern literature is written. I have a difficult time reading some of the flowery language of the classics although I have over a hundred classic novels on my bookshelves. It's probably because of my journalism training, and Hemingway began as a journalist. I was also born on his birthday.
                
I studied Dean Koontz's writing style when I was attempting to make the transition between journalism and fiction. I've always liked the way he strings his words together, although some of his early novels were pretty flowery at times.

 
15. How do you define your writing?
I had to think about that for a while. Someone recently compared my historical novel, Escape, to Hemingway's work. I was flattered but can't quite see it. I like to follow actual events in my historical books, so it could be considered faction rather than fiction. I like to think of my books as an honest portrayal of the human condition, both past and present. And of course, generously sprinkled with humor. If we can't laugh at ourselves, we're in trouble. I enjoy writing mysteries most because they're such a challenge. I also like reading mysteries and trying to solve the crime before the fictional detectives.
16. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
That they couldn't put my books down, that they enjoyed the humor and solving the mysteries as well as learning something from reading them.
Jean Mead the details:
17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?
My website is: JeanHenryMead.com (http://jeanhenrymead.com/)
Blog sites:
Write On! Advice From an Editor: (http://advicefromeditors.blogspot.com/)
A Western Historical Happening: (http://awhh.blogspot.com/)         
I also contribute to Murderous Musings (http://murderousmusings.blogspot.com/) and                          MakeMineMystery (http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/
        
18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?
They can email me at JeanHenryMead@aol.com. I'm always happy to hear from my readers.
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Most of them are out of print but can be found on various used book sites:
A Village Shattered, Escape, A Wyoming Historical Novel; Wyoming in Profile, Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland, Maverick Writers (written as S. Jean Mead), Westerners, Wyoming's Cowboy Poets, Wyoming Historical Trivia (written as J. J. Hammond), Escape on the Wind, What Our Parents Should Know: Advice From Teens (edited), and Shirl Lock & Holmes (as Jean Henry).
20. For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Mystery, suspense, humor, a little romance, western facts and fiction, and hopefully an enjoyable 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?
That my writing comes from the heart. That I love my characters and live with them 24/7 while I'm writing a book, which means that Sarah Cafferty and Dana Logan live with me most of the time. That I spent nearly four years researching and writing Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland and had so many notes left over that I wrote Escape, A Wyoming Historical Novel.  That I've interviewed hundreds of writers, actors, Hollywood screenwriters, artists, politicians and other celebrities. Most of the interviews are between the covers of my books: Westerners, Maverick Writers and Wyoming in Profile. And that writing is my favorite pastime.

Posted by joyceanthony at 4:32 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 19 December 2008 4:37 AM EST
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Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Questions and Answers With Mark Tewart--Sales Superstar
Topic: Author Interview

What inspired you to write How To Be A Sales Superstar?

I became distressed as I witnessed the majority of salespeople suffering and even failing in their careers. I felt that salespeople were being misled by traditional sales training techniques. These techniques are no longer the answer to selling in today’s market. I felt compelled to share the information and strategies that I have personally used to create superstar success and also have used with thousands of other salespeople and businesses to explode their success.

Why is traditional goal setting keeping salespeople broke?

Traditional goal setting focuses on the wrong things. You can set all the goals you want but if you don’t change your mindset, belief system and actions you will fail. This failure creates a pattern that becomes indelibly lodged into your subconscious brain and then reflects into your everyday actions. This book clearly outlines the steps you must take to erase the negatives you have acquired and replace them with exact patterns you need to create immediate and massive results. I would like to pose one question to you, if conventional goal setting works then why aren’t more people reaching the level of success they would like? The reason is that conventional goal setting creates frustrated and broke salespeople.

How important is attitude and how does one gain the attitude of a Sales Superstar?

Everyone has heard the adage that life is 90% attitude. It may be 99% attitude. The reason is that the right attitude must be present for you to gain success and it must also be present to maintain success. When salespeople start their career, they hear over and over that you have to have a good attitude. The challenge is that nobody shares for these salespeople exactly how you do it. Words are easy but in the stress of real word selling the ability to create and maintain a positive attitude is more difficult. However, it’s amazing what salespeople can do in their lives if they know the right formula to gain and maintain a superstar attitude. I share the precise, step by step formula in this book that gives salespeople an enormous advantage.

In your book you discuss why over 90% of salespeople underachieve. Can you discuss a couple of the main reasons why?

Traditional sales training and teaching focuses on outdated sales methods. In this book I outline new strategies based upon today’s marketplace. I combine those updated sales skills with specific people skills, life skills and marketing skills that salespeople need for superstar success. If you read conventional sales books they focus things such as how to close the sale. If salespeople don’t clearly understand other skills sets, those techniques will not matter. As a matter of fact, those skills will hurt them more than help them.

What are some of the biggest mistakes salespeople make in customer followup?

Most salespeople don’t follow up. The majority of salespeople who do follow up don’t have a system to follow up on an ongoing and automated fashion. This book outlines a follow up system that personalizes and builds a relationship with the customer and sets up future sales, referrals and additional revenue streams from continuity programs using multiple media and technology.

What is the difference between action management vs. time management?

You can’t manage time. There is 1,440 minutes everyday. Superstars take specific actions in a day that lead to results that are exponentially better than the average salesperson. Conventional time management techniques focus on items such as to-do lists. In this book, I define how items such as conventional to-do lists keep you from being successful and what you must do differently to reach maximum productivity that result in superstar results.

Enjoy this video from Mark Tewart~I'll be back tomorrow with my review of How to Be A Sales Superstar

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:19 PM EST
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Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Mark Tewart Talks with Books and Authors
Topic: Author Interview

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

determined, persistent, committed

2)     How do you think others would describe you?

Determined, persistent, committed, loyal, honest, driven, family man, successful, hard working, adventurous, fearless, high achiever, no BS, straight shooter, tough, risk taker

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

Personally, it's my family and reaching my potential and helping others reach their potential especially youth. Professionally it's reaching my potential and helping others do the same. That can be in my speaking, training, coaching, consulting or my other businesses. I also am passionate about creating things such as new businesses or new projects.

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

My family has two dogs - Maggie is a Black Poodle and Mojo is a Yellow Lab who is as big as a horse

5)      What is your most precious memory?

I am blessed to have so many. So many revolve around my family and also my kids. I coach youth sports and my son and it's incredibly rewarding. I love all the memories our family travels and vacations.

6)      What is your most embarrassing memory?

My most embarrassing memory is when I started my business with no liquid cash and having times I had to put things on credit that I should not have and feeling like I had let myself and my family down. In my youth I was a very good basketball player but was cut from the team one year and was in absolute shock because I knew that I was good but I was cut because my off the court behavior had become wild and undisciplined.

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

I am blessed that I do so many things. Beyond writing, I am a speaker, trainer, consultant, coach, and entrepreneur. I think I need several outlets for my stimulation. I am fortunate that I am self employed because I think I am virtually unemployable.

8)      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

A good husband, father, son and person. Mark made a difference for many that he met. He did not die asking for another chance.

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

When I wrote my first article and submitted it for review to be published and the editor called me all excited and said it was great and wanted me to publish an article every month.

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

I am publishing articles every month. I write a couple of monthly ezines and am starting the process of my new book.

11)   What are your future goals for your writing?

I plan to write one book a year or more for the next ten years and continue to write monthly articles and ezines.

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

I write most mornings. Sometimes with my travel and workload I take one day and just write for most of the day.

13)  Why do you write?

I enjoy expressing myself. I feel I have valuable information and insight that may benefit others. Writing is also a great creative outlet for me. I also enjoy the feedback I get from my writing. Personally, I think I am English challenged. Nobody would confuse me being a masterful writer with great technical skills. Actually, I am sure my editors have had some great laughs reviewing my work. However, I have been blessed with having wonderful response form my writing. I think people are looking for people to communicate form their hearts and appreciate that more than the technical. Maybe that's a lesson for all politicians.

14)  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I can't say I have one favorite author. However, my personal reading tastes are non fiction, biographies, self improvement etc. I love Think and Grow Rich, The Richest Man in Babylon and Psycho Cybernetics had a huge impact on me. My brother gave me that book when I was in middle school and made me read it. Pretty heady stuff at my age but it was impactful.

15)  How do you define your writing?

Straight ahead, to the point, conversational, sometimes humorous, politically incorrect

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

I don't hold any pretense that anyone will be saying anything about me or my writings fifty years from now. Moby Dick or War and Peace my writings are not. However, I would be pleased if my writings had made significant impact on someone and maybe a few people would point to works as being timeless in helping someone. I have had many authors and books pointed out to me that I never would have known but a few people spread the news to me and many others. I would like the following sentence. If you want to be successful, you should go back and read Mark Tewart. That would be awesome.

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

Absolutely! Go to http://www.marktewart.com/ - http://www.tewart.com/ - http://www.marktewartlive.com/ - http://www.howtobeaslaessuperstar.info/

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

You can email me at info@tewart.com or you can call my office at 513 932-9526

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

How To Be A Sales Superstar - Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It is available in bookstores and Amazon and other online retailers. My other books are more of trade specific book, manuals etc. but you can go to http://www.tewart.com/ or http://www.marktewart.com/

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

I think they will be surprised when they read a book about sales that they can get so much useful information for not only sales but their businesses and their lives.

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 wrote my book on sales because I grew sick and tired and even upset that I saw so many intelligent and talented people who were not reaching their potential and even failing in sales. I also saw this same frustration in business people, entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life. I felt like I had a message to share that could cut through the clutter and allow people to experience the big successes they desire. I felt that traditional sales training and much of the motivational training was outdated and lacked a base in reality. I wanted people to have usable tools instead of just theory.

I want the people who are the seekers, the ones who are trying to reach success in their lives to have the information to do so.

 

 

To read the first chapter of How to be a Sales Superstar and to receive several FREE bonuses from Mark Tewart, visit http://www.marktewartlive.com/.

Full tour details are posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-be-sales-superstar-by-mark.html

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 2:11 AM EST
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Sunday, 14 December 2008
A Talk with C. L. Talmadge and a Series Review
Topic: Author Interview

Today I have both an interview and a book (or rather books) review. First, C. L. Talmade gives us some insight into who she is and why she writes. Secondly, I have had the chance to read the first three books in the epic fantasy Green Stone of Healing series. Sit back and get comfy, you may be here a while :-)

***

C. L. Talmadge the person:

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

Independent, curious, unorthodox

2.    How do you think others would describe you?

Obsessed by writing.

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

Spiritual-emotional healing and growth.

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

No pets at present. But a cat named Portia supervised me for nearly 20 years. A dog named Annie who arrived with my partner was my faithful guardian and another dog named Tip who I found as a stray introduced me to canine crime.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

My encounter with the healing light of unconditional love. It rocked my world in every way possible.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

I'd rather not give that away. Let's just say I have been a bit klutzy all my life and leave it at that.

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

I would practice a healing discipline of some sort, most likely as an acupuncturist or naturopath.
 

8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

The remains of C.L.  Talmadge are neither here nor anywhere. Her ashes have scattered to the four winds. As a human being, she cared enough to be more loving to everyone, herself included. As a writer, she tried to inspire her readers with hope and the desire for healing and joy in their lives. She'll be back soon in a new and improved edition.

C. L. Talmadge the writer:

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

When I realized I had few if any other discernible talents.

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

Trying to complete the 4th book in my epic fantasy and get into Book Five. I'm also writing a lot about love for my blog and politics for my syndicated column.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

To complete my four-generation epic fantasy series in time to finish the prequels before I'm too doddering to sit at my computer and hunt and peck.

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

I write best in the mornings, although lately I have found extra energy spurts in the early evening. My days usually start with writing and then switch to other tasks I may have to complete.

13. Why do you write?

Because I cannot think of anything else I would rather do when I get up in the morning.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

J.R.R. Tolkien inspires me because he was not afraid to tackle major themes in his fiction.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I'm not sure what this means, but there are a number of ways I could define it. Perhaps the best way is simply to call it my bliss.

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

That my writing entertained readers yet also inspired them to open their minds, their hearts, and their souls to re-create themselves, their lives, and their world as more loving, more joyous, more free.

C. L. Talmadge the details:

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

Series website: http://www.greenstoneofhealing.com/

Column website: www.northstarwriters.com

Blog: www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe

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

Through the series website or by e-mailing info@greenstoneofhealing.com

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

The Scorpions Strike-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book Three

Fallout-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book Two

The Vision-Green Stone of Healing® Series, Book One

Hope is in the Garden-Healing Resolution Through Unconditional Love (under the byline Candace L. Talmadge with co-author Jana L. Simons)

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

Expect the unexpected-my fiction is not the usual "dungeons and dragons" fantasy. My nonfiction focuses on alternative healing and my blog and syndicated political column politics from a non-mainstream perspective.

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?

Although the title of my fiction series includes the word healing, the society I write about is deeply divided by race, rank, and gender and is punitive and violent. In other words, although it is powerful and wealthy, this society is desperately in need of healing. (Sound familiar?)

Some readers have expressed genuine distress over the levels of violence and cruelty in my story. I cannot sugar-coat it. The stark contrast between the healing, inclusive alternative that my heroines attempt to provide and the world in which they live is precisely what motivates other characters to yearn for what they do not have in their being and their lives: love, light, and joy.

It all comes down to this: only love is real. Joy is who we really are. My fiction and non-fiction all explore the one factor that keeps us from feeling and thus living these most elemental of truths.

Readers who enjoy strong, outspoken female characters, a good yarn about dysfunctional family relationships, star-crossed romance, action/adventure, and a very different take on spirituality may enjoy my fiction.

***

My Review:

The Green Stone of Healing Series, an epic fantasy written by C. L. Talmadge, follows the lives of four generations of women who inherit a mysterious green stone that allows each to heal both body and soul.  Each must learn to harness the energy within before she can hope to heal the pain without caused so often by the battle between the Toltecs and Turanians.

Ms. Talmadge leads us into our journey by introducing the reader to Lt. Helen Andros.  Born as the result of a secret union between a brothel-dwelling mother and aristocratic father, Helen's life is put on the defensive from the beginning.  Being of mixed-heritage in a world where class and race are severely divided, she is caught between two world, never quite fitting into either. Helen uses her strength to create her own spot, holding most of the world at bay with her sharp tongue and rebellious nature.  It is these traits that get Helen in trouble often--and the only things that help her survive in the end.

The amount of research that went into these books.  It has made it possible for the author to create a world that is so unlike that which we know, yet seems familiar.  Many would skim the gory details and harsh realities of this time, but Ms. Talmadge does not.  Her blunt portrayal of the violence and discrimination of the period is realistic, drawing you in and causing you to feel the fear and uncertainty surrounding the characters, yet she does so with finesse, never resorting to harsh language or undue description to make her point.  I found this a refreshing change from the majority of action books on today's market.

I was a bit disappointed to find all three of these books following Helen. Knowing that four generations of women are eventually going to be introduced, I was anxious to meet the others and am wondering if there is too much detail to hold the attention of today's reader, which is often short.  Keeping her chapters short, the author makes it possible, however, for those with short attention spans or little time to easily find break points without ruining the story.

C. L. Talmadge wastes no words in her writing.  Each words draws the reader onward and deeper into the story. The cast of characters in these three books is as varied as life itself, allowing for both excitement and conflict.  Men and women alike will enjoy following the strong Helen through her journey of discovering who she is and, more importantly, what all she is truly capable of accomplishing.  This series will enhance any library it becomes a part of.

On my Rainbow Scale of Excellence, the Green Stone of Healing series rates six colors!


Posted by joyceanthony at 5:42 AM EST
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