Hi guys, after reading my author friend, Adrianna Joleigh’s brilliant blog I was inspired to offer you the opportunity to post here on my blog.
Any work you do submit will be fully credited with your name and I’ll link back to your blog so my followers (6,000+) are likely to discover you. Let’s do this!
So what I’m I looking for?
I’m ideally looking for posts about writing. Here are some ideas:
- The life of being a writer, author, poet, artist, blogger or any other creative person. What’s it really like? How are you perceived?
- Writing advice and tips. What’s worked for you? You’re valuable advice is welcome.
- Your writing inspiration. What gets you writing? What fires you up?
- Your writing experiences. Every writer has a unique creative path. What’s yours? What mistakes have you made along the way?
If you don’t want to write about writing I would also love to publish posts that are:
- Share your life lessons
- Offer life advice
- Discuss love, friendship, relationships etc.
- Deep insights
- Thoughtful posts
- Posts about creativity
- Quotations that inspire
- How to achieve a happy and content life
- Share your art, your photography, your drawings – to inspire people.
I can’t wait to share your thoughts, insights and work with my followers.
Simply email me at – email@example.com to discuss ideas for your post.
*At the bottom of your piece you are very welcome and encouraged to include your full name, your blog URL, your bio and a clear head shot of yourself.
- I am trying to re-blog a lot of the interviews I do for other people. Trying being the word! Anyhoo, today let’s have a wee look at the very lovely Urvashi who recently was kind enough to interview me. Here’s a little bit about Urvashi and the interview follows…
- Urvashi says: I am new to blogger and a budding architect. I love writing and debating. I write posts that intrigue my grey matter. If you are looking for a slice of life, look no further.
- Below is Urvashi’s interview, oh and before you read on, Urvashi has been designing a logo for my online group Support-a-Writer over on Google Plus!
- In the meantime head to http://mydenhere.blogspot.com.au/ to discover more about Urvashi.
Sending your way all my love and best wishes.Yes, this is a short piece but I’ll take the liberty of saying that it’s an interesting one. I hope you guys will agree. Yes? This is her in the picture below. (Enchanted by her smile?) Show of hands please. Grin I find her a very warm and a beautiful person. Those who have had the privilege of knowing her will nod their heads in agreement. (I love your hat Alana!) Please do not forget to check her website. You will not regret clicking the link, trust me.
Author Interview – Shellie M. Saunders
What genre would your life story be? And do you have a snappy title for your life story?
It would be a comedy-drama that follows the life of an imaginative only child who had her share of awkward moments, hilarious scenarios and tearful lessons. My life story would be titled “Confessions of a Late Bloomer.”
What are you addicted to?
Well, I daydream about my chai tea latte, get separation anxiety when I’m away from my laptop for long periods of time and never leave home without my lip therapy.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
First, I remind myself of my commitment to punch fear in the face—that’s actually what I blog about on http://writerisma.blogspot.com. Then I pick an item on my to-do list, complete it and tell self-doubt and fear to beat it.
I love that Shellie – punch fear in the face.
What motivates you to write?
Everyone has been given a gift that helps others. My gift is writing. For me, it has the power to reach people in their broken places and to let them know they’re not alone.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
I’m most proud of my family. We’ve been through a lot in the last few years. Our experiences have made us stronger and truly appreciative for every day we have together.
Who is your favorite author?
Dean Koontz. His writing is so realistic and intense that I can’t read his books before bedtime.
What book should everybody read at least once?
I’ve got to go with the Bible. It has more drama than the ABC network on Thursday nights.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing. Tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Michigan, right outside of Detroit. I still live here, and Detroit is the setting for Broken Vessels. I wanted to reveal a more positive side of Detroit to those who only know it from the media.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by both life and an active imagination. Whether I hear an interesting anecdote, catch a curious interaction between passersby or listen to a church sermon, I often end up asking myself, “What would happen if …?” I love thinking of ways characters would react in situations—especially when a twist is added.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Eight hours, but that never happens. My husband and I have a one-and-a-half year old and I write at night, so I usually get between six and seven hours of sleep.
Tell us about your new book. What’s it about and why did you write it?
Broken Vessels lets readers into the life of 27-year-old Trinity Porter. By all outward appearances, Trinity has everything figured out. In reality, she has spent years hiding behind a façade. When she runs into the one man who knows her secret—the same man who betrayed her six years ago—rage and memories resurface. Her façade starts to crumble, and with it, so does her faith. Trinity has to decide whether she will she get out of God’s way or continue to do things her own way.
I wrote Broken Vessels because I wanted to share an inspirational, yet edgy, journey of characters who have to discover the difference between who they think they are and who they are designed to be.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it — what keeps you going?
My daughter keeps me going. Every time I see her smile or hear her laugh, I remember that I have the opportunity to show her what it means to diligently go after what you want. I want to be an example to her.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I hope people will laugh out loud, wipe away tears and feel encouraged from the prologue to the very last word. I hope they see pieces of themselves in my characters and are inspired by their journeys.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
I think it is a liberating option. Self-publishing gives a voice to writers the world may not have otherwise known, and it puts power in the author’s hands.
Thanks so much for your time Shellie. Please keep in touch! I’d love to feature more of your work. All the best, I am sure with your positive and fearless attitude, you are going to go far. Be sure to connect with the lovely Shellie and the buy links are just below.
Online links – Connect with Shellie…
Today, I am very pleased to introduce you all to Ryan Krauter. He’s a lovely chap who has published an array of books. Be sure you check out Ryan’s website for more information on all his books.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people? –I maintain my superior physical form by using the treadmill and drinking Lite beer.
What scares you the most? –One day, when my time is gone here, that nobody would remember me or feel like I’d accomplished anything that would outlast me (other than my kids). That’s why writing is so rewarding; long after I’m gone, my books will remain. Whether anyone likes them is a different issue, but at least I will have left something behind!
Why do you write? –I write because, most importantly, it’s fun. I wrote two entire novels before I realized I could make them available to others through outlets like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I just enjoy creating something out of nothing, of being a producer and not just a consumer. It started out as me doodling and drawing pictures of ships, vehicles, and locations, and eventually a story blossomed out of it.
What motivates you to write? –Both good AND bad stories. When I read a great book or watch a wonderful movie, I think “Man, I am dirt compared to whoever put that together”- I’m not worthy, but I feel inspired to live up to that standard. When I read a bad book or see a real stinker of a movie, it works the same way. I think, “I can do better- time to fire up the computer!”
What books did you love growing up? –I read Ender’s Game in high school, long before it was popular to say you’d read the book. It was a great story that later encouraged me to write in the YA genre. I had a friend recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany. It was a wonderful book, with an almost complete lack of explosions, car chases, nudity and gunplay. It taught me that a great novel has characters that the reader identifies with. I also loved Starship Troopers; the book by Heinlein, not the movie. Now, I thought the movie was fun in its own special way, but the book was very deep, with intriguing ideas about service, duty, and the honor of being a full citizen with true ownership of their country. The movie took all of that out and replaced it with butts and breast shots. If the characters are compelling, the setting is much less important; the book could be about unicorn-riding leprechauns who hunt vampires, and if the cast was really interesting I’d read it. Hang on, note to self: write a plot outline for unicorn-riding vampire-hunting leprechauns. It might be the next big thing…
What do you hope your obituary will day about you? –His friends were grateful that the wake had an open bar.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? –It started out as getting published. I sent out my letters to agents, and even got a few requests for partials. Then one day an agent replied that, and I paraphrase, ‘my writing didn’t sufficiently interest him enough to offer representation’. I thought, who is this guy to pass judgment on everything I could ever write? So I went the indie route and published through Amazon, Createspace, and B&N, and never sent out another query letter.
Do you plan to publish more books? –Definitely. I write because it’s fun; it just also happens to appeal to a number of people who’ve purchased the books. It doesn’t feel like work, and I get down/jittery if I don’t get to write for a few days. It’s my way of relaxing, and I’m 50,000 words into the fourth novel of my military sci-fi series right now.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? –History. I love old buildings, stories about how we got to where we are, how the world shaped up to be what it is today. I think there’s a serious lack of knowledge and interest in the average person about the past. Don’t people care about those who came before us, why we turned out the way we did? I’d love to have my own time-traveling DeLorean so I could check everything out.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? –Somewhere in New Zealand or Australia. A nice house with a super-secret command center deep underground and a big fireman’s pole to slide down to get there.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? – I used to write on my laptop, but when it died I got an iPad. I’m by no means an Apple cheerleader, and would love to tell you all the things I don’t like about the device and the company. However, it serves my needs well for writing and is incredibly convenient to travel with. It is about an 80% replacement for a PC, at least what I use a PC for. I bought a word processing app and a bluetooth keyboard and have written my last 2 novels on it, then send it to my PC for editing and compiling.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? –Well, while I’d love to quit my day job and write full time, the reality is that very few do that and live a comfortable life. I would consider my writing a success if people continued to buy novels and drop me the occasional e-mail or blog form like they do now to say they like my work. I want to create something people will enjoy reading, and while I don’t hold out any hope of supplanting JK Rowling on the bestseller list, I’d be satisfied if I learned that people looked forward to reading what I’ve written.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? –A few of our founding fathers (Washington, Adams, the like) and I’d get their opinions on the foul political system that has evolved since their days. I’d invite Joss Whedon because, well, everything he’s done has been awesome, from Buffy to Dollhouse to Firefly and Avengers. The Marvel universe is in good hands. I’d invite George Lucas so I could ask him what the hell he was thinking about when he introduced midi-chlorians. My grandparents from my mom’s side, because they were such an integral part of our lives growing up. And finally, Bob Hoover, the air show pilot. Somebody should make a movie about that guy; I’d love to just hear him tell some stories for an hour.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? –More dorkery here, but I spend it in front of my PC making 3D models. As an indie author, I have to do everything, from writing to editing (to tricking friends into helping edit) and even making the book covers. I used Sketchup and Twilight Render to build 3D models of the ships and items in the books. So, I usually spend some time every night working on the model for the next book cover. Again, it’s more rewarding than watching The Bachelor and I feel like I’ve created something. Plus, nobody else is going to do it, so I’m glad I enjoy the process!
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? –I hope they find my books and characters enjoyable. I’m not trying to write Gone With The Wind. Every author has something they’re known for, and since I’m a lifelong sci-fi fan the choice was obvious. I describe my work to friends as ‘Tom Clancy in space’. I love the opportunities that abound in the sci-fi universe; you can write about anything, in any setting, and it’s ok! However, I didn’t want to write a book about how weird the aliens looked or how everyone coped with the time-dilation effects of extended near-light-speed travel. I wanted action and a good story that happened to take place in space, with authentic tactics and action. One thing I specifically went after was to give the characters a sense of humor. Too often, I’ve read books where every character is serious as a heart attack, and their personalities are a bit flat. Now, this isn’t a comedy, but I can confidently tell you that in real life people are funny! They say stupid things, make jokes about their friends, etc. I love how people like Joss Whedon or John Scalzi can create characters that deal with serious drama, then make a crack about how one of the male characters has a girl’s name, and then go right back to the drama. It doesn’t feel forced or fake, and real people are like that. I wanted the cast to feel like real people, and that included making them have a sense of humor.
Thank you Ryan!
–No, really, thank you, I insist!
Look at all of Ryan’s books!
My goodness Ryan, you have been super busy. That’s an impressive catalogue of books. Keep up the good work and stay in touch with all your news. Thanks mate. I’ll include an excerpt of one of your books soon.
I wanted to share with you all this amazing video sent to my email inbox today. It’s a video made by RoMay, publisher of popular STEEL magazine. I write for STEEL and let’s just say RoMay is always looking for creative ways to broadcast my writing and that of other emerging writers. With friends like RoMay, life is sweet! Thank you RoMay, the support you offer means a huge amount!
I had to share this funny picture that Urvashi Vasishtha, a lovely member from my Support-a-Writer community made today. It sums up the fun we have, but also the community spirit! Be sure you join us. You won’t regret it.
This is what Urvashi had to say, ‘Just for fun.. I hope it conveys the meaning! Cheers to us! Cheers to the community! Cheers to +Alana Munro! :)’
Howdy everyone, today I would like to introduce you to a fantastic writer from South Africa. His name is J.R Robberts. And guess what? He is releasing a novel tomorrow – the 1st of June 2013! I am sure you will all join me in congratulating J.R and wishing him all the best with his creative pursuits.
Read on to meet J.R and discover his writing,
Describe yourself in five words? Thinker, Dreamer, Weird, Open and Friendly.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear? I write, I draw, I paint or cry. Often when those feelings come I need to have a good cry and remind myself of what I am capable of. After talking and crying on the shoulder of my other half I would then transform the doubts and fears I have into characters creating a picture and understanding for myself in order to move forward. It works to visualize.
What scares you the most? Honestly, a spider that is hairy, big or small, with or without colours, I don’t care. I always have this dream that I am going to wake up only to find this massive spider just sitting, waiting for me.
What makes you happiest? Waking up each morning, knowing that I am so blessed for what I have. The fact that I can wake up seeing the cats, my love and our dog all in one room together.
Why do you write? I just can’t keep things in. I look at real life situations that inspires me, situations that often has a message attached to them that has to be delivered in some form and I feel my writing helps me to get the message across.
Have you always enjoyed writing? Since I was a child I have been writing small stuff here and there. In early High School days I wrote an entire story surrounding an old mansion and girls that visits there to unravel the mystery surrounding it, sadly I lost it and up until now I have not regained any of the memories or ideas I had back then to start over.
What motivates you to write? I don’t write in hopes of fame and whatever else. I write because once I start a story I have to follow it to see what happens in the end. I am super excited and rarely stay quiet when I write. I talk ears off.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? The strength I had to have to get me where I am today. Around every corner and roadblock of my life and what I had to give up or simply give in to in order to deal with emotional and physical abuse, I made it.
What books did you love growing up? I loved puzzle books and Ghost stories, always went to the Library with my Gran excited to see if something new came in, even had my own card, the entire works.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you? That somewhere, somehow I made a difference.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I live in South Africa, I was born in Port-Elizabeth a coastal City but raised in Pretoria, a City without a sea. I live in Johannesburg now where I found my own piece of Gold and heaven, all in one. I am proudly South-African.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? Marketing. It is so vital to spread the word about your work that it can become a real nightmare.
What marketing works for you? Currently I make use of the blog I created for the book, Twitter and Facebook. After publishing my book will go on a virtual tour which I also find effective.
Do you find it hard to share your work? No I work as a freelance writer so giving away work that will never be in my name is not an issue to me. I appreciate others input and help where I can get.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? Definitely. Always here to support.
Do you plan to publish more books? The one that is being published now will form part of a three-part series. I consider the first book as a mere introduction.
What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full-time…I work as a freelance writer so my life currently pretty much only involves writing. I also have my own blog that I try and keep up with and still need to think of myself as well sometimes. And I am lucky because I do all this from home.
What other jobs have you had in your life? I started working as a Credit clerk and from there up scaled my career working for one of the major banks in the country. When I moved to Johannesburg I had to leave due to medical reasons and that was apart from the watering that I did not mention.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Acting. It was one of my passions at school, even after school I looked for ways to stay on stage.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? I sit desk and P.C bound still hoping for a laptop.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? Eight for normal functioning, any less will cause malfunctioning.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? Yes my partner Garith for all his patience, love and support.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it? The Journey of Secrets has been stuck in my head for years and years now, I sat with three different stories that I had to combine into one. So I am using all three by packing them into three components. The story revolves around three children and their journey to protect and make use of seven magical stones to find new rulers to rescue their lands and Kingdom from destruction. It has all the content that you would expect from a fantasy and more. If I look at where the story will go after this we will keep the fantasy and combine it with some sci-fi making it even more exciting and as I said I want to see where the children end up and what secrets they will discover.
Check out the book cover,
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? I play on the P.C, spend some time with the animals or browse the Internet.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? I hope my words provoke all sorts of emotions. I try to get through a message in each of my stories, wanting to add meaning to lives even if it just a simple thing as, love each other.
Read on for an excerpt of J.R’s writing from his book,
“Has there been another attack?” Luna asked, entering the throne room and looking at the troubled face of her King and loving husband Aldour.
“Yes and things are getting worse; rumours amongst the people are stirring. Rumours of an attack on the very kingdom itself. Scouts report armies as large as ten thousand men heading this way,” Aldour replied, looking at his wife glowing in the moonlight. It lit up her everlasting beauty. He desperately wished that he could do more to protect her and his Kingdom but knew that this time, it had gone too far.
The next morning as the sun rose once more over the peaceful Kingdom, elves watched in awe as the seven Kings and Queens of Aldour made their way inside the huge gates and into the castle’s courtyard where a giant statue of a unicorn stood majestically, rearing up with its hooves carving the air, standing as a symbol of remembrance and hope. The elders of the Kingdom were awaiting their arrival and stood waiting on the high-end of the stairs that led up to the castle, old and wise elves with their blue robes and long grey beards, loyal servants of the King.
“I wonder what they are doing here?” a young elf asked as he took hold of one of the horses bridles, leading him into the stables.
“This is unacceptable, your Majesty. We cannot go through with this!” one of the Kings said, gripping his golden staff tightly. The other Kings and Queens talked amongst themselves, disagreeing with Aldour.
“Asaroth is getting closer day by day and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on the stones,” Aldour explained, “We must prepare ourselves for the toughest of times to follow, and if we keep the magic with us, it means failure; King Asaroth will be unstoppable.”
And last but by no means least, here’s a sneaky peek of the back cover,
Thanks so much J.R for a sneak peek! How thrilling to share your book the day before launch. I wish you all the best and hope to catch up with your news again before too long. Stay in touch! To connect with J.R and discover more of his writing please jump to his blog.
To push your ideology onto others, to kill or hate those who don’t agree with you?
What makes you so righteous? Your dogma, your beliefs so certain?
What are you here for?
To resist change, to live in fear?
To promote prejudice, to feed intolerance. To oppress, to bully. To constrict, to stamp on another dreams? Tell me are you here to spread lies, spread gossip? Are you hear to silence my voice?
To deny people basic human rights. Do you feel happy now?
What are you here for?
To judge and condemn. To fortify more blame. To hold on tightly to bitter grudges?
To spit up venom in my face. To incite rancour among the innocent?
What are you here for? What are you here for? It’s just please do understand, you are here on this planet for such a short amount of time. So what are you here for?
What are you here for?
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a very interesting man. Frank Sayre has led a colourful and fascinating life, do not miss this interview!
Five words that describe you: Do not under-estimate me.
Surprising facts about you: I was a drug smuggler for five years. I escaped from a Mexican jail—along with six others. My heart has been broken numerous times.
How do you work through self-doubt & fear? Some time in my mid-twenties I got tired of fear controlling me. At first, I used will power and data to summon up answers as to why I was afraid. Now I know this may seem a bit heady but I used marijuana a bit and used it for a higher purpose, not just to escape tedium. Whatever is was that came in the way of information through the various levels of my consciousness I kept gathering data about what it was I was afraid of and what was the cause of my self-doubt.
What I was doing seemed to work but not really. Information about how fear worked on me started to arrive through my emotions. My emotions had been sending me messages that I had not been paying attention to (this is very common for all of us). To spare you from the book I’d have to write to get all of this over to anyone, my second book details how I began dealing with my emotions, and how I was not alone; all of us must deal with how to overcome fear and doubt. The main clue here is I discovered that I had to love all aspects of myself & I mean all, not just a few dozen obvious aspects—I mean all of them. This opened me up to my shadow side (perhaps I’ll send excerpts that deal with this.)
What scares me the most? Suffering constant physical pain. From sun up to sun down I have a chronic back pain. This is my second greatest fear. Three years ago a doctor, after x-rays and a Cat-scan let me know I have pulmonary fibrosis & emphysema. What scares me is constant shortness of breath and the growing problem.
What makes you happiest? Finding ways to allow joy into my life; that is when I am happiest. When I look my Russian Blue (female cat) in the eyes, joy fills me. They are such lovely Creatures of God.
Why do you write? I never knew I had passions. I’d considered passions were something that someone other than me, had. In short I’d disallowed them. I can remember times when a girlfriend would ask if I was excited about something. I was always bewildered by this. Excitement, I thought, was something woman get all mixed up in. It was when I began writing I began to acknowledge passions were present. As realization poured in I was full to the brim with good feelings. The main passion had to do with eagerness to express myself. That’s why I write.
Have you always enjoyed writing? Before I had a computer my writing skills were horrible at best. In 1993 I bought my first computer, but was severely petrified as to how to operate it. After I got going, pleasure upon pleasure came as my skills increased. In 1996 I began keeping a journal. Those writing’s are contained in two folders, in 92 files, each with more than 20,000 words. It keeps me busy, and keeps me in practice, and in touch with a growing “me,” and the world around me & you and all other souls.
What motivates you to write? A need to express myself; that’s the main reason why I keep a journal. You ever get the feeling that no one is listening to what you have to say?
What writing are you most proud of? All of my writing I am proud of. I’ve written two books, and they are what I deem my freedom to put into action my ever-growing imagination. I am proud that I write, period. It is fulfilling.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? Well, I am the only one in my family (my mother was one of seven siblings; my dad had 14 brothers & sisters) who wrote a book (2 books & counting) and the only one to appear in a one-hour program seen in 35 nations.
What books did you love growing up? There were a couple of Nancy Drew books, but CS Forester, who wrote the Hornblower books, became my 1st love. Jack London wrote 42 narratives and dozens of shot stories of which I have read almost all of them.
Who is your favourite author? Bar none, Jack London, the man could write, and he lived what he wrote—but there are many close 2nd’s.
What book genre of do you adore? I am laughing about that. Back in 2008 I could not afford cable (actually I was homeless and living in my car) so the library became a source of books and afforded shelter. So too did the river and parks. It was summer. I grew tired of Patterson and Grisham and many others thriller stories. I wanted something that was real, had depth, and would give me a bigger picture of life. I found Zane Grey and began devouring his books about the Wild West. Louis Lamor also. Westerns are the answer. Zane wrote a story called “The Great Trek,” about two American cowboys in the great outback of Australia. I ate it up and still do, like a copy of, “Riders of the Purple Sage” I bought for 2 bucks.
What book should everybody read at least once? In HS it was required we read “Catcher in the Rye.” I re-read it a few years ago. It’s as good a book as any classic to start with.
Are there any books you really don’t enjoy? Horror stories.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I am a much travelled person, relatively speaking. I was born in a cowboy town in Eastern Oregon. My father was in the military so we travelled; San Francisco, the Mojave Desert, Florida, Okinawa. I’ve been in and out of Mexico dozens of times and lived there on four occasions—once for a year. There were five trips to Puerto Rico and a winter stay in Virginia Beach, two trips to British Columbia and on and on.
I was a long-haul driver for 4+ years and drove the Western States. My youngest brother settled in the area I now live. I choose Grants Pass, Oregon for many reasons; it was my home state and it is lovely here in the forested mountains. But the SF Bay Area, where I learned to sail at age 13, is my real home. I spent over half my life living in the natural beauty of one of the loveliest spots on earth. It truly replenished ones soul to be out and about in a setting such as the Bay Area. One is inspired just living there.
In Grants Pass, Oregon, the people are rather friendly; it is surrounded by mountains, and a river runs through town— The Rogue. I have many like-minded friends here.
Where do you get your inspiration from? That’s a fun one! I think a lot of us draw inspiration from where ever we reside; from whatever it is that fascinates us and turns our clocks. I can be inspired when in the desert, as when in the forested mountains, with my face in a book; with a lover by my side; sailing in an ocean of mystic blue water or the SF Bay. Life inspires me; the constant gift of having the awareness that I can contrast and create, now that’s inspiring!
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? I’ll only say that writing is what I Love to do.
What marketing works for you? I’ve been down the route with Lit Agents, and with self-publishing. They are both demoting and full of crap-traps. I have turned to using today’s high tech; I paid a webmaster (a local woman with 13 years experience) to design a site, and also to teach me how to drive traffic to the site. We are in the beginning stages. We’ll see! I am selling my book as an e-Book. I have had the fortune to be on a TV program. I’m planning on using all the free publicity it will draw.
Do you find it hard to share your work? No! I love sharing my work. In a perfect world, I’d give my book away for free knowing that I’d be honoured for my efforts.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? Not really! The subject matter (smuggling) has a lot to do with why they look askance, both family and friends. There are a few who seem to stand behind me. It’s like this; there are those who want to read the book and there are those who never ask.
Do you plan to publish more books? Yes.
What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full-time…
I am a full-time writer having retired a few years ago, but I am limited in what I can do these day’s. Lack if money (I love to travel) keeps me at home—as does a lung condition keep me from going about, hiking and other activities. I am active in the community with other like-minded souls and do what I can to get about, but I’m also limited in the amount of hours I can write or be active.
What other jobs have you had in your life? I have worked out doors most my life. I was an independent boat and house carpenter for over two decades; I sailed most weekends. I was a long-haul driver for a few years.
If you could study any subject at university level what would you pick? I never stopped studying. I attend the University of Pay Attention. It goes by other names, but to get to what you are asking; History, Law, Medicine, Agronomy, Physics and on and on. Why stop?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I love spring and fall so I’d move about to where spring and fall are happening. When I tire of it I’d do a winter here a summer there. Really there is no one place that would do. Perhaps most others would feel the same had they the means. I visited the tropics on numerous occasions. I’d love to spend more time, but warm weather is a bother. I’ve relatives who live in Ecuador where the average year round temps are 75-55. Now that’s a place to be!
Tell us about your family? I write about them often. I care for them but we are scattered, driven apart by circumstances that drive almost every family a part. My father abandoned us when I was 13. He was abandoned as well. So was my mother who was born an illegitimate child. My older brother and I became smugglers, and then fugitives. I turned myself in, he remained a fugitive. My mother, bless her soul, was nothing short of schizophrenic and my youngest brother took a wee bit too much acid and came out of it schizophrenic.
My oldest brother and I fought all the time, not physically; mind games and power struggles. For years I blamed him, but to cut to the chase he now has cancer. He contacted me for the first time in a good 7-8 years. It was in August of 2012. We stay in touch using the net. He’s still a fugitive. Even though his mind and body are fading we have a strong connection; we our brothers, we are one, we are awakening with every breath; which means we now share a love for one another.
My youngest brother recently moved to Portland, Or. The other day I called him. His number is no longer good. He has not called. His daughter, who moved to Portland, has four siblings. Last week she blocked me out of her FB.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? Laptop.
Where do you get support from? Do you have many friends in the industry? Not really. True support is what you are referring to, and I don’t get a whole lot of that. There are a few out there, one dude in particular and others who are fascinated. I get the impression that many or most are afraid of life and what it has to offer and thus live in fears of their own creations, ie, judgments. I look forward to gaining support from other writers, men and woman who share my passions. We live in a high-tech age. We are bound to meet up, from Oregon to Australia, from Chile to Iceland, and other far and distant places, we are one.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? At my present age, there is a wider variance, but the usual amount of 8 hours does me well.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Herman Hess, a German author and Nobel Laureate, (1962 I believe) was mostly unknown till the late 60’s. That’s when I began reading his books. “Siddhartha” is my favorite. In the last years of his life he was reclusive. Were I as what he was I’d also lean on the side of recluse.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? I have the fortune to have been in a one hour feature episode of Locked up Aboard. It is at present being aired on Nat Geo’s TV channel and will air several times during a four months period. After which my webmaster shall download it onto my website. Making good use of this publicity is what we/I am working with now. Any suggestions are welcome. I no longer have a strong desire nor the stamina to get out there and do the many things it takes to become well-known. No matter, it seems a bit silly. The 100 monkey theory is a very effective path; ask Van Gogh, oops but he’s not here! Too hard to say if you get what it is I mean. I most often live in a fifth-dimensional world.
But I love the idea and concept of knowing and sharing with others, whatever it is I can do to pass on to them or gain knowledge in return.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it’s about, and why did you write it? I actually started writing it back in 1994. I did not know that it would one day lead to another book.
Stretch your imagination to the limit, please. Imagine you are a man, and you are attractive, but you suffer from low self-esteem. But over time you have been in bed with a great number of women. Now you are in your late 40’s and a prostate disorder levels you, humbles you; you are in great pain each and every time you have to urinate; you would not wish this on anyone. Your doctor has no one solution and wants to send you to a lab where they will run a tiny camera up your male member. You instead run to your holistic therapist who suggests you write about the woman in your life—all of them, including your mother. Once you begin the pain begins to diminish.
That is what the 2nd book is about. Need I say anymore other than its reality writ large. It happened to me, and writing about those lovers has brought tremendous relief. The irony is that most everyone is not prepared for this book. Imagine that if you will.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? Jesus and Buddha for starts! Jack London also, along with Herman Hess and Bob Dylan. I’d invite Gandhi too and that Nelson Mandela fellow as well as Adolph Hitler and Alexander the Great only I doubt Hitler would make it, he’s too busy hanging out in the abyss pondering why it is he’s been left alone in the dark.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? I meditate, usually twice a day, sometimes three. I am a sport fanatic to a degree. I love football, baseball, and other athletic events—on TV or otherwise. Then there are the sitcoms. Laughing is very healing as most of us know. Other activities fill in other spots but I care not to get into them at this juncture.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax? Yes. Meditation works wonders. Very often I reach a I’m-stuck point. Most always cognitions come when I am deep down in a ThetaState. It works best if I don’t go down with any preconceived notions. Go down for the sake of relaxing and energizing your bodily paradigms. Pop goes the mind & heart!
How often do you write? And when do you write? I write almost every day, but on a lot of occasions I skip a Sunday or Saturday or a day that I am just flat-out busy. I write mostly in the morning and then some on the afternoon. There are times when I write at night, but that comes and goes.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule? I have never thought to make a habit of scheduling writing periods. There have been days on end of writing. I was told in the beginning when I complained to one of my ex-lovers; just write; get it down, let it happen; allow your thoughts to become words. Years later that advice has paid off. Get down, get angry or let the anger flow and the tears drip down your cheeks, laugh your ass sore; it doesn’t matter—but it does matter. Everything matters and with hours and days and weeks and years of writing you become more of who you want to be. There is magic in writing. You can make a whole new you, so plan on this happening to you, whether you write or keep a journal or blog, whatever.
If you like the way an author creates stories, study their methods. Learn from them. When I can’t get in sync sometimes I pick up a book and read for a while, get back in sync and go back to writing.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going? The pure excitement of writing keeps me going. I’ve little experience writing fiction, but I enjoy writing about real people and real situations. That’s the reason I keep a journal. I cannot say enough about journal writing. Journal contains the root word “journey.” Everything you write, including fiction you are on a journey. Since 1996 I have countless stories about many of the people I met along the way. Those people and their unique stories excite me, keep me going because within each story is a lesson; each person teaches you a new way to look at life, thus the journey.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? My mind & heart, for the most part live, in the Realms of Truth. Truth frightens most everyone, but I would have it no other way; I write for the sake of Truth knowing too that like all others I live lies also. But most people live in a world where the lies they live are real to them, and the lies they are told are the only thing they know. I’ve reached a point where the lies I live in become apparent real soon, soon enough for me to make other choices.
I came into (reincarnated) this life to carry out a mission… much like many or all others who have truth-sayer abilities. I know nothing more than what truth there is at any given moment, and the truth to me is that if I make others feel good or poorly then I have accomplished my mission. Why is that so? Because there is purpose in everything within creation, every thought, every action; everything the imagination can imagine. Imagine that and then imagine that the truth is in you, and all you have to do is access it; through your heart of course?
I will want others to feel better about whom they are and what they are becoming and to know that judgment from others is the other person’s fears being cast back at them; you know, like the biblical message equates, “do un to others…”
Thanks so much for your thoughts Frank! It is truly appreciated.
To learn more about Frank Sayre, please be sure to visit his website today. I’m sure you will agree he is a really interesting fella.
Howdy folks, today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a talented writer who goes by the name of Peter Licari. Be sure to check out his fantastic blog – boy oh boy, he is one smart cookie this guy!
Author Interview – Peter Licari
Describe yourself in five words? I’m The Deliberate (Belligerent) Literate.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear? I run. Literally. Because of my competitive history in distance running, I just go out for a run. When I’m moving there is no time for fear or self-doubt. When you have to run 15 miles, self-doubt will destroy you. I say my resolve came from my running.
What scares you the most? Frogs. I’m positively terrified of them. I live in Florida. I get scared a lot.
What makes you happiest? When I’m either writing, running, or with my loved ones, I’m contented. Doing any combination of the three and I become ecstatic.
Why do you write? I started writing because I loved reading and I thought that writing stories would be fun. I started writing well because of my brother and father. When I was about 6, my older brother Alex passed away. Unfortunately, I never remembered meeting him since he lived on the other side of the country. The first time I met him is when my father collapsed at his grave. It was the first time I saw my father (an ex-marine, Semper Fi) cry. I didn’t have words to describe it. So I vowed that I would always have the words thereafter.
Have you always enjoyed writing? It was a chore for me when I was younger because my penmanship is just awful. Simply atrocious. My parents told me to write so that it would improve. It really hasn’t.
What motivates you to write? You know, I actually don’t have an answer for that. At this point it’s like running. It’s simply a compulsion. Instinctual. Although there are days when I’m thinking, “I really would like to take the day off.” On those days, my readers at DeBeLit inspire me to keep going.
What writing are you most proud of? That would have to go between two items. One is my first book, The Dimensional Constant (link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dimensional-Constant-ebook/dp/B009ZLRZU8), the other is a philosophical article I wrote earlier this year (http://lifeasahuman.com/2013/mind-spirit/food-for-thought/who-would-let-a-child-die/). I actually majored in Philosophy while was at the University of Tampa. It’s a lot of fun just to think.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? My running is a constant source of pride for me. Not to be boastful, but I am pretty quick. I run a sub 15:40 5k and a sub 34:00 10k. Both times are looking to be dropped by the end of this year.
What do you hope your obituary will day about you? I want to be remembered as a renaissance man. I have a lot of projects that scope the writing spectrum. I have my blog, my books, flash fiction, novellas, short stories, poetry– I’m pretty well-versed in writing. But I also want to be remembered how I was. Mostly kind, extremely sarcastic, a little irritating on the wrong days, and extremely fun on the right ones. I hate the practice of practically sanctifying people after they die. I prefer to remember (and be remembered) as we were.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I was born in California, moved to Coral Springs, Florida when I was less than a year old. When I was 10-11, we moved to a small town called Chuluota which is near Orlando. I tell people that a 20 minute drive one direction takes me to the bustling heart of the city. A twenty minute run, however, takes me to the goats. I moved to Tampa to go to the University of Tampa, but found that for a number of reasons it just wasn’t the best fit. So I transferred over to the University of North Florida. So after summer is over, I’ll be in Jacksonville.
How did you develop your writing? By practicing. A lot. I’ve burned more books than I’ve finished. I’ve failed more often than not. DeBeLit is my sixth attempt at a blog. I read books on the craft voraciously. I still check up on weird words so I can mix up my writing a bit. The only way to get good is to practice and practice often.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? Getting published! I actually had to self-publish my book and I think I’m going to stick with that format. Publishers are looking for easily digestible, simple works that replay the same stories with different names and settings. There are only a few really good authors who add variety to the market and that’s because they managed to get in when publishing wasn’t as money-driven. My stories are as complicated as life is. That’s my style, so I think I’ll stick with it.
What marketing works for you? Generally just talking to people. I don’t have the funds to really push my books like other authors do. So I talk to people, advertise it on my blog occasionally, and make sure that what I make is good. You can talk up writing as much as you’d like, but if it’s garbage then your words won’t remove the stench.
Do you find it hard to share your work? I used to by I don’t really anymore. I’ve been jaded by rejection, it sort of just rolls off of me now. If someone doesn’t like my work, they tell me. I look at what they say, consider it, and if it’s just laden with pejoratives I don’t pay it any attention. If there’s merit, I consider it. Most often, I find that people like to read my stuff. It’s humbling but it gives me the confidence to continue.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? Oh God yes. My parents are extremely supportive. They listen to all of my ideas and first drafts. At first they were excited thinking, “wow he can really write!” Now it’s like “we get it, we get it, he can write! Let’s see him live up to his potential.” My friends are so supportive. My girlfriend reads over my major works to edit it, so does my best friend Josh Enot. Josh is so supportive that he even went out of his way to practically stalk my blog just so he’d win the recent 1,000th viewer event I had. My girlfriend is always asking me about what I wrote that day. Even when it’s a topic that she has no real interest in, she gets excited just because I am. I’m so humbled by the support I get from my loved ones. I couldn’t do it without them.
Do you plan to publish more books? Many more. I plan on releasing two this year and part one of a third. My plan is to write anywhere from 1-4 major projects (novels, novellas, or philosophical books) a year until I can’t write anymore. One is actually going to be released in early June! But it’s still a secret project so I can’t divulge too much…
What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time… Well I’m a full-time college student so I don’t have that much time. I write freelance articles and in the summer I work with my father to install and maintenance hurricane shutters. 10 months out of the year, though, I’m a writer.
What other jobs have you had in your life? Just this and construction work. I’ve been thinking about expanding my resume, but I actually find that I’ve gotten pretty proficient at writing. I’m actively trying to make this into a livable career.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Philosophy. All day. I absolutely love it.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Grey Eagle, California. The mountains, the clean air, and the countless trails to run nearby. It’d be heaven.
Tell us about your family? We are the epitome of functional dysfunctionality.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? Wherever, whenever. I’m not that particular. Although, I tend to write in bed on a computer more than anything. I just like to be cozy.
Where do you get support from? Do you have many friends in the industry? I have a lot of friends and fellow bloggers that give me support. So, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to plug them now. I have Mak from Beautiful Freaks and a Day in the Life of Mak. There’s Jasveena from Thoughts and Views that Matter. Kathrine Brown at Artistry. Ørjan from Who Taught you Science? Tea from Unsweetened Iced Tea. And a whole lot of others who I would love to include by I need to stop before this list rambles. My blog has a list of writers who I follow. You should check them out. Go to Peter’s blog to discover who he follows.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? 6 hours. Any more I get sluggish. Any less I become weirdly ADD and hyperactive.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? Everyone and anyone who’ve already mentioned, plus my high school Debate/English teacher Mrs. Browne. She has been instrumental to my success as a writer. She taught me how to articulate and express myself as a debater and as a writer.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Successful writing is writing that makes people feel. A successful writing career is making people feel while being able to feed yourself.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? My marketing campaign is simple. Create good content, spread it around to a few people, find good content, spread THAT around to a few people, and hope that it will encourage the masses to read my works. It’s been working well, shockingly.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it? My newest book is called The Othersiders. It’s about shadows becoming conscious with apparent malevolent intent. War breaks loose, it’s a post-apocalyptic look at a fantastical future. But it’s also an allegory for human development and the mind. It’s a thing of beauty, but it won’t be finished for a while yet. My book that’s currently out is called The Dimensional Constant. It’s a thrilling look at the conflict between God and the Sciences embodied by two opposing university students, searching for the truth about an apparent suicide. Not to be biased, but I highly recommend it.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? Steve Prefontaine (a great American distance runner), Edgar Allen Poe, Einstein, Neils Bohr, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Emily Dickenson, and Frida Kahlo. God, that would be one hell of a party.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? Reading or running. Maybe hanging out with friends or my girlfriend.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? I want them to feel like something has been added to them. Whether it’s knowledge, a good story, or an emotion they’ve never felt before. I want to add to people. Make them more alive.
Thank you Peter! We wish you ever success in the future. Keep up the good work and keep in touch with all your writing news. Be sure to come back to tell us all about your book releases as I’d love to feature them too.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Australian writer Ian Cochrane. I wanted to share with you the wonderful feedback he posted on his website about his interview experience with me. It certainly made my day! Thanks Ian!
To be perfectly honest, the only things I knew about the town of Karratha until recently, was that it was somewhere up in the northwest Australian outback, and the commercial centre of the Pilbara region; Karratha taking its name from the indigenous language meaning `good country’. How could I possibly have guessed it was also home to the now famous writing dynamo, Alana Munro?
Along with her family of 3-kids, a husband and a doting dog, Alana somehow manages to maintain her own website, while hosting a Google+ community for writers, bloggers and poets; her vibrant `Support-a-Writer’ group offering a wide range of support and encouragement. But wait, there’s more: with her first book – `Women Behaving Badly’ – receiving excellent reviews and critical acclaim, Alana still finds time to interview willing writers, along with imbibing the occasional glass of a cheeky Australian Shiraz.
Nevertheless, when first reading of `an interview opportunity’ conducted by a famous author, I still hesitated..… after-all, it is something `we writers’ invariably endeavour to squirm out of; preferring the lonely but noble lot of a struggling, literary loner.
Cochrane clan tartan
- Alana: “It is a pretty extensive interview.”
- Me: Mmm.
- Alana: “I want to learn about the person behind the craft. The questions are interesting! I find many interviews really boring, so I only ask questions that will get you talking. It’s really easy – I don’t see any point in over complicating things!”
- Me: Mmmm.
Now, as anyone who has had dealings with Alana will know, she is one talented dude with an infectious Scottish lilt and a sociably persuasive manner.
So….. to cut a long story short, My First Interview is here.
Thank you Alana.
Hi guys! Today I am pleased to introduce you to a lovely lady who is close to releasing her second novel. Maggie has many great words of wisdom for budding authors. I hope you enjoy reading about Maggie, her life and about her books as much as I enjoyed interviewing her.
Author Interview – Maggie Tideswell
1) Why do you write?
Writing is like a compulsion, it is something I have to do. There are all these words and stories inside me I just have to share. I don’t really have a choice in the matter. To write or not to write isn’t an option. I was very young when I told my mother that I was going to be a writer one day. She didn’t believe me, of course. I went through the usual what I wanna be when I grow up of a ballerina and a vet and so on, and it wasn’t until I was somewhere in my thirties that I started writing seriously. Now I can happily kick myself for wasting so much time.
2) Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born in Mbombela, Mpumalanga. Those days it was called Nelspruit, Transvaal. It was a tiny town then, now it is a bustling city and still one of my favorite places. When I was 13 I went to the School for Art, Music and Ballet in Pretoria to study ballet. I completed high school in Durban and then went nursing for a year. I met my husband in hospital. He was my patient. Together we moved all over Kwa-zulu Natal before coming back to Mpumalanga. We even liver for 3 years in Pilgrim’s Rest, a town that sprung up in the Gold Rush in 1873 and is now a World Heritage Sight. Now my husband and I live in Johannesburg. I hate the traffic. After the beautiful places we lived, this is not where I want to be. But what can I say?
3) What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Getting published and marketing. Writing is like breathing. It is something I have to do or die. Publishers are weary of new writers and it is very hard to find one who will take a chance on you. The trick is to never give up and to keep believing in yourself. There is a publisher out there that is a perfect fit for your work. But it is going to take time, lots of time.
I find marketing to be quite a challenge. With no knowledge of marketing or selling, when my first book was published, I thought marketing it meant spamming my Facebook friends! It had some success, until Facebook blocked me. One learns fast. Just like one learns ones craft of writing, one develops marketing strategies and one learns to do it better and without annoying the very people one wants to read the book.
4) Do you find it hard to share your work?
When I first started writing, I was so secretive about it. I didn’t tell people I was writing a book and I NEVER allowed anybody to read anything I was working on. But if one wants people to read ones work, one has to learn to share. When I started looking for a publisher, I had to practice letting go. Now I want everybody to enjoy my work.
5) Do you plan to publish more books?
Oh yes! My first book, Dark Moon, was published by All Things That Matter Press in 2011. My second novel, Moragh, Holly’s Ghost is in the editing process and will be released soon. I am working on my third novel, Roxanne’s Ghost, which should be finished by the end of the year. Then there are four more that will follow one at a time.
6) What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I love cooking. I love experimenting with food and can spend days in my kitchen. I love feeding people. Needless to say, I love eating too!
Reading is also a passion and I don’t think I will ever be able to sleep without reading first.
7) What other jobs have you had in your life?
I was a nurse for a year directly after leaving school. In those days we didn’t take gap years like the kids do now. We went nursing for a year. It was a wonderful experience.
I went to teachers training college until I realized that I didn’t want to teach anybody anything. My mother was a teacher all her life and it was her dream for me to follow in her footsteps. Sorry Mom. My personality just didn’t support the teacher-student situation.
I did industrial (contract) catering for many, many years. This was where I could live out my love of food and cooking. And I was a jolly good manager too.
I worked as a receptionist in a stoma clinic. That was emotionally wrenching as most patients had cancer or other life-threatening diseases. Now I’m in sales. I sell magazine subscription packages to businesses with waiting rooms. I spend my days on the telephone and never have to leave my office. I hate the traffic!
8) If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Philosophy – the meaning of it all. I love the themes, nothing is as it seems and the subjectivity of reality.
9) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’m not fussy, as long as it is somewhere remote and peaceful – and without traffic! Ireland would be great, or Sitka, Alaska. I prefer small towns, mountains and forests.
10) How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
All of those. When I started writing my first novel many years ago, I hand wrote first and then typed it on the pc. Those days we had one pc in the house and everybody wanted to do something on it. Mommy was last in line, of course. I cannot tell you have many times somebody or other ‘lost’ my manuscripts. Now I have my own little Dell and let anybody in the family just go near it. I prefer to write at my desk, but just lately I started taking my laptop to bed on the weekend until the sun is high. If it is a matter of writing or not writing, anything goes.
11) Where do you get support from? Do you have many friends in the industry?
Yes, many. I belong to the author forum of my publisher, All Things That Matter Press, and have made wonderful friends there. The writers really support each other with advice and ideas for marketing, helping each other promote their work etc. I also belong to another writers’ support group that works similarly. In South Africa I recently met about 5 published authors right here in my city. It is good to connect with people in the same situation as yourself, even if just to prove to you that you are not alone.
12) Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Having people read what I write. It is as simple as that. I don’t want to get rich – though it would be nice. I want people who don’t even know me to know about my writing, I want them to enjoy my stories, connect with my characters, to cry with them, to laugh with the, to love with them.
13) Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
Moragh, Holly’s Ghost is a paranormal romance. It is set in modern day Cape Town, South Africa. Holly is a divorcee with two children. Her well-meaning friends decided that she should get married again. They place a tiny advert in the newspaper to find her a husband. With friends like those, who needs enemies, right? Wrong. That little advert triggered a chain of events that changed Holly’s life forever.
Read on to enjoy a free excerpt of Moragh, Holly’s Ghost >>>
Nothing manifests as it was intended
Energies distort and warp the world
And it becomes a treacherous place
Moonlight slanted across the floor, a gentle breeze lifting the gossamer curtain. Shadows moved across the wall. The sleeper moaned and turned, muttering, the bedding shifting to the floor. Down the hall, a few mumbled words as if in reply, and then silence again. The house sighed and creaked as it settled for the night.
A dog barked at shadows down the street–a melancholy sound–joined by another bored canine further away. An owl hooted in the tree outside the open window, its heart-shaped face turning to survey the night before it swooped soundlessly into another dimension. The sounds might have belonged to another world, because the sleepers didn’t hear.
Somebody heard, though, crouched in the swirling mist, careful not to disturb the shadows on the wall. Breath rasped in the still of the night, power in the plume.
This is a place that is not a place,
at a time that is not a time
Please, release me from the dark
and let me rest in the light!
The clock in the hall ticked down the minutes to midnight. Something scratched at the glass in the window frames, the breeze sighing around the corners, piling dead leaves into a doorway.
The mask–a hideous ethnic thing hanging against the landing wall–fell from its hook and clattered down the stairs. Within moments, they were at the top of the stairs, three wispy white figures in the moonlight.
“Something is about to happen,” one of them said, a hand to her throat.
“A big change is coming,” another agreed, grasping for a hand to hold on to.
“We have to prepare,” the third one added, turning into the circle of protection.
The most important thing one can take anywhere, is an open mind.
Friday, September 18
Dark Moon in Virgo
Ending relationships – contact with the dead
Attention to detail to make life better
Holly slammed the door, and immediately wished she hadn’t. They surrounded her before the reverberation died down. They should only start chanting ‘Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble’ for the picture to be complete–and she was being a bitch. It wasn’t their fault she had a bastard for an ex.
“Same old story.” She flung her bag onto the couch and fisted her hands in her hair as she sank to the padded seat. “What am I going to do?” she wailed. “Why is he doing this to me?”
Nina sat down next to her, wrapping her arm around Holly’s shoulder. “It’s her, love, not Donald. I’m sure it’s that person he married who’s putting him up to it. But you’re so right; they can’t be allowed to do this to you anymore. Come into the kitchen. Let’s have a glass of wine and put our thinking caps on.”
“Yes, we’ll make a plan. You have to fight fire with fire, sweetie.” Susan got hold of Holly’s wrist and pulled her to her feet. “Nina’s right; they can’t be allowed to get away with this any longer.”
“You know,” Blair said over her shoulder, leading the way to the kitchen, “it’s because you’re alone that he thinks he can walk all over you as he pleases. If you had a man to look out for you, he wouldn’t dare.”
“I don’t want a man,” Holly sobbed, allowing Susan to push her down into a chair by the table. “Men are nothing but trouble.” She took no notice of the clinking glasses or the glugging as they were being filled. She didn’t want any stupid wine. She wanted her children.
Chairs scraped the floor when the other three sat down, the silence that followed deafening. Holly looked up at them through the blur of her tears. A creepy feeling started between her shoulder blades and shivered down her spine. The three of them had the same soft little smile around their lips. “What?” she snapped. She was missing something here. “What?” she repeated.
“That’s it, isn’t it,” Susan said.
“Fight him at his own game,” Blair agreed.
“You have to get married again,” Nina concluded.
Holly’s mouth fell open. “What? Are you bonkers? I just said I don’t want another man in my life. Get married–that’s your solution to my problem?” Holly glanced between them. The soft smiles had morphed into open grins, and they nodded vigorously in unison. “And who, pray tell, shall I marry?” Shock had dried her tears, leaving mascara smudges under her eyes.
Blair tapped a long scarlet nail against her nose. “Um, you must know somebody, a friend, anybody you could persuade to help you out?”
“Help me out? By marrying me? One doesn’t get married as a favor, Blair. And you know very well that I haven’t got a social life−I haven’t met anyone new. Our friends are now Donald and Gwen’s friends. And at work there’s nobody.” She flung herself sideways in her chair. “God, why am I even discussing this? I’m not getting married and that’s that,” she ended with a gulp of wine for emphasis.
Three pairs of eyes met−they were running with the idea. Dammit, she was a divorced mother of
two, not their kid sister. None of them had been married before, so what right did they have to
push her into it again?
“We could advertise,” Blair shrugged.
Correction: not any old marriage, but marriage to a complete stranger. It happened to every second girl. “Are you crazy?” Holly gulped, but Susan’s hand on her arm interrupted the tirade she was about to launch into. “What?” Holly snapped at her. They could not be serious.
“Let’s just work this through, Holly. What have you got to lose? As it is, Donald’s not letting you see the boys. Being married again would give you an edge that you don’t have now. If you had a brother, or if your father was still alive, they could have taken Donald on, mano a mano, forced him to be reasonable. Between the three of us, we couldn’t do it.”
“That’s a fact. Donald won’t listen to you, not even to Heather. There’s nobody who could make him see sense, except a court of law–for which I don’t exactly have the money right now. I might as well hire a hit-man,” Holly muttered.
“Yes, and have the kids go into care when you get the chair,” Blair said, delicately choosing a pickle from the dish Susan had put on the table.
“It was a stupid joke, okay? Jeez.”
“Holly, look, this could really work,” Susan said. “All you need is an open mind. Just listen for a moment. If we put a very small, discrete advert in the paper, run it only once, and you get no response, you would’ve lost nothing. Then we go to plan B.”
“Why can’t we go straight to plan B?” Holly mumbled.
She might as well have saved her breath, for Nina continued, “If somebody responds to it, you play along and as soon as Donald comes to his senses, you take off and have the marriage annulled. You walk away with what you wanted, and the man walks away all the richer for having known you.”
Holly leaned her elbows on the table. “If–and I must say it’s a big if−some poor fool responded to an advert like that, don’t you think he might be entitled to a proper marriage? Which means no annulment.”
“Holly, you’re not listening. He won’t expect anything from you if he knew from the beginning that it would be a virgin marriage.”
“Oh, get real, will you, Blair. What man would agree to an arrangement like that? What would be in it for him?” Holly drained her glass and got to her feet. “I’m not even going to discuss this any further. I’m not getting married again, except for love, which makes it highly unlikely, because there’s no such thing as love. Love is only another word for stupidity and a bunch of raging hormones. Ask me, I know. Now you have to excuse me. I’m going to bed and don’t even try to tell me it’s too early. I don’t care.”
Nicole sat up and reached for her blouse. Bits of straw clung to her tousled red hair. She smiled down at the man stretched beside her, running her nails over his ribs and solid six-pack. When his muscles contracted, she rolled to her feet, shaking the blouse, in no hurry to put it on. He was taking her in–she felt his eyes on her.
She was proud of her body, every inch of her firm and pampered, and she liked showing herself off to him. He appreciated her.
Ned pushed up in the straw, leaning back on one elbow to watch her. “When can I see you again?” His voice was husky with the aftermath of passion.
Pulling her shirt over her head was the natural end to the tryst. “Don’t be greedy. You know what
would happen if Daddy found out about us.” Her mind was already on the visitor she was
Ned reached for her hand and tried to pull her back down beside him, but she wasn’t in the
mood anymore. “Ne-ed. Come on, let me go. Joshua is coming,” she whined. He instantly let her go. Nicole stumbled away, and had to steady herself on a post. Fine bit of explaining it would take if she were to fall out of the hayloft with her backside bare.
Ned knew she was going to marry Joshua someday. He didn’t have to get childish every time Joshua’s name was mentioned. They could play, as long as nobody knew about it. It meant nothing. She pulled her jeans over her hips and flung her slip-ons to the floor below. Without looking at him, she started down the ladder.
Ned rolled to the edge of the loft, supporting his torso on his elbows, his hands dangling over the edge. Halfway down the ladder, Nicole froze when he said, “What if I got you pregnant?” A soft smile curved his lips. He was devastatingly attractive. More’s the pity he was a nobody.
She didn’t return his smile. “Have no fear, Ned, I wasn’t born yesterday. You would never be master here,” she ground through her teeth and continued down the ladder, out of the barn. Trust a man to try and make something sweet and temporary a problem. Halfway across the yard, she stopped, a crease pulling her brows together.
No, surely not.
She broke into a run and hit the kitchen steps at full speed. The housekeeper turned from the stove when Nicole dashed past her and cringed when the bedroom door slammed.
Gwen cuddled into Donald’s side and trailed her finger along the line of his jaw. He turned his head away and got up off the couch. Gwen collapsed against the padding, sighing heavily. She had to do something, and fast. Everything was going wrong. “Darling, you shouldn’t upset yourself. It was her own fault. Why can’t she just move on with her life, and leave us alone?”
Donald splashed several fingers of whiskey into a glass without offering her any. He said nothing. Gwen got up and wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing her cheek between his shoulder-blades. “Let’s go to bed, my love. I could make you forget her pitiful face,” she coaxed.
Donald flung the whiskey down his throat, and untangled her arms to face her. “She isn’t pitiful, Gwen. She loves her children, and this is hurting her more than any mother deserves to be hurt.”
“Of course she deserves it. She deserves it for boring you to tears. You said it yourself−if she had been a better wife to you, your eye would never have strayed. You and I, on the other hand, were made for each other−deny that if you can. We belong together.”
Donald turned back to the decanter. “There’s more to marriage than sex, Gwen.” He poured another liberal drink and took it to the French windows to stare out over the darkening garden.
“What are you saying? That I don’t do it for you anymore? Do you want her back?” Gwen’s voice rose steadily. She couldn’t help herself. Her world was seriously cracking, and she would not have it crashing around her ears.
“No, Gwen, that wasn’t what I said. I just don’t feel right about what we’re doing to Holly. I don’t see why we couldn’t just carry on the way we were in the beginning.” Donald faced her with the glass in his hand. “I don’t want to hurt her anymore, that’s all, and keeping the kids from her, hurt the kids as well−and it bothers me a lot.”
Gwen smiled, tracing his lips with a forefinger. “Are you sure that’s all? We could let her see the boys next week, if it will make you feel better. Could we forget about her now?”
Donald returned her smile. “I’m sure it would be all right. No last-minute backing out, though.
Let’s not make an issue of this. Holly should see the kids regularly. Then I’m sure she would
find someone else and leave us alone.” Gwen’s smile slipped when a shadow passed over his
She knew it. He didn’t want Holly to find somebody else. She couldn’t take the risk of Donald seeing Holly every second week, however briefly. It was just too dangerous. It was two years since the divorce, and nearly three since she’d met Donald. The next six months were the most dangerous, when her work would finally have no more effect and Donald’s true feelings would out.
Let him believe Holly would come for the kids soon. Next weekend was a long way off, and a lot could happen before then. For now, a lesson seemed to be in order. “I don’t suppose you feel up to making love to me now, being in the mood you’re in. I’m going to read in bed. The spare room is made up. G’night.” She sashayed out of the room.
By the time she reached the bedroom, Gwen had worked up a good head of steam. This was a ridiculous situation and she would not allow it to continue for a moment longer. Holly was Donald’s unfortunate past and it was time they both realized that Gwen was not a woman to be trifled with.
What could she do to snap the bond between Holly and Donald once and for all? Bad marriage indeed. A bad marriage did not have lingering affection in its wake.
Gwen stamped her foot before flinging herself across the bed. A grin stretched her mouth when a thought jumped into her head. Why hadn’t she realized it before? The playing field had changed. Before, she had aimed the energies at Donald, but the time had come to go for the jugular−a psychic attack on Holly, the pathetic creature. That the other woman was at an emotional low did not elicit sympathy from Gwen. Instead she recognized pathways that could only aid her new cause.
Gwen smiled. This was something she had never attempted before and the challenge sent a thrill through her body. She had to start right away. Slipping her dressing gown around her shoulders, Gwen tiptoed past the lounge, barely glancing at Donald on the couch, nursing yet another whiskey.
In her bathroom, Nicole flung the medicine cabinet open with such violence that the top hinge ripped out of the wood. She didn’t notice the door hanging drunkenly against the wall. Without touching it, she stared at the strip of Dianne−and the evidence that she’d forgotten to take the pill for the past week. Her period wasn’t due for another two weeks. She was ovulating and they hadn’t used a condom. Oh Lord, no, Ned might get his wish through her own stupidity after all.
There was a knock on her door, and when she came out of the bathroom, pale-faced and shaky, her father filled her room. “Nicole, what’s going on with you? Martha told me about your unladylike run through the house. What’s eating you now, girl?”
“Daddy, I’m so angry, I could spit,” Nicole said. Tears were close, but in this instance, it would not have the effect she wanted. Her eyelids batted rapidly. Her father’s temper didn’t scare her, but being pregnant did.
Magnus wrapped his arms around his daughter. “I can see you’re upset about something, baby. You know you could tell Daddy anything, don’t you? How I can help?”
Nicole pushed herself away. She was a grown woman, yet he treated her like a toddler. “No, I just have to deal with this myself, Daddy.”
“Nicole, tell me,” her father thundered.
“You can’t help, Daddy. It’s just boys. Some push their luck more than others would dare. I
know I shouldn’t get upset–it’s harmless–but sometimes I just can’t help getting mad. Maybe I should go back to town for a while. I think I’ve outgrown farm life.”
“Nicole, this is no ordinary farm–it’s a wine estate and your inheritance. We were so pleased
when you moved back home. Mother will be heartbroken if you leave again so soon. Tell me who bothers you and he won’t be here in the morning. I want an answer now.”
Nicole took a deep breath. He was right–it’s only been a month since she came home and only because she’d noticed Ned in the lab the weekend before. It hadn’t been difficult to seduce him. She hadn’t met a man yet who could resist her for long. Without Ned, Willowgrove would lose its appeal again. Was she ready to see the back of him?
Yes, dammit. The audacity of the man to get her possibly pregnant was enough reason to get rid of him, and fast. “Daddy, I know I’m being silly, but it’s that new man in the lab, Ned somebodyortheother. He gives me the creeps. He has no respect. I should go to the city until he’s moved on. I wouldn’t imagine his type to stay in one place long.” She sniffed loudly. She couldn’t be pregnant. Pregnancy ended a woman’s life and ruined her figure forever.
“I will not allow anybody, least of all somebody I employ, to drive my only daughter from her
home.” Magnus turned for the door. “I’ll have a word with him.”
Nicole stared at the door, listening to her father’s receding footsteps. This was dangerous. Ned might spill the beans. Would her father believe him over her? She was going to have to be extra nice to Joshua–it’s been too long.
Donald saw Gwen go past. He knew when he was being manipulated, but though he very much needed to make love with Gwen tonight, a man had his pride. It was wrong what she was forcing him to do to Holly. She had no reason to resent Holly, and he had to battle his guilt alone.
He poured again and sat down, his legs stretched before him, one arm draped over the back of the couch. He shouldn’t have discussed the details of his first marriage with Gwen, but in the beginning, it’d been so easy to open up to her, and he’d wanted no secrets between them. But mostly he’d needed a vent, to soothe the guilt by having somebody agree with him. He’d told Gwen far more than he’d intended to.
He took a deep sip of whiskey, relishing the heat in his throat. If he was to be completely honest with himself, he had to admit that his dissatisfaction with life in general was largely due to regret –he regretted replacing Holly with Gwen. Maybe an apology–and honesty–could have made the difference at the time. Holly would’ve forgiven his indiscretion, but instead he’d gone and married his indiscretion. Mature, yes, that was the way. Now he sat with the regret.
This evening, when she’d stood at the door, the urge to take her into his arms had been so strong, he had to hang on to the doorpost to stop himself. She’d looked so tiny and vulnerable and fragile and gorgeous beyond belief, her little pointed chin quivering with distress, tears raining down her face. His heart had swelled with love, and more than he could give her with Gwen hovering around them. Holly was his wife, dammit. He didn’t want her to be with someone else.
He’d made a big mistake, and the only way to fix it, was drastic action. Gwen had to go. They could be a family again. They could be as happy as they’d been before Gwen had wormed her way between them. They could have counselling, therapy, anything, as long as Holly was back where she belonged. He just didn’t love Gwen enough to sacrifice everything for her.
Magnus stomped out the house. On the veranda he lit a cigarette. This could be a serious situation, if what Nicole said was true, and it could escalate if he didn’t handle it correctly. Ned
was a good worker, educated. Boys will be boys, but Nicole was his daughter. He would not
have her at risk of the workers’ lusts running amok. He needed to make an example. A pity it was Ned she’d pointed out. He would get to the bottom of this, before he decided what to do.
The butt landed in nearby shrubs.
He was crossing the yard when Joshua came galloping into it. Magnus turned and waited for the young man to dismount. “I need to speak to you, son.”
“Sure. What’s on your mind, sir?”
“I was wondering what your intentions were. I think Nicole’s had enough time to play, don’t you? It’s time she was married. A couple of kids would settle her down.”
“I agree, sir, but Nicole is stalling. If it were up to me, we’d have those kids by now. She just won’t commit. I’ve started to think that she doesn’t want to marry me at all.”
“You’re cynical, and I can’t say I blame you.” Magnus clasped Joshua’s shoulder. “Maybe the time has come for drastic action. I’m sure you could think of something. She’s talking of going back to her place in the Cape Town. I don’t want that. Whatever you decide to do, you know you have my full support, my boy. Just marry the girl as soon as possible. You’d better go in now; she’ll be waiting for you.” Magnus felt Joshua’s eyes on his back as he walked in the direction of the staff quarters.
Ned swung the door wide. “Sir?”
“Relax, man.” Magnus lowered himself into a chair. It was comfortable accommodation he provided for the people who worked in his winery. But being this far from town and any action, he well understood the restlessness.
Ned, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, planted his feet and crossed his arms. Muscles bulged under his tan. “Ned, son, I’ll come straight to the point. My daughter has lodged a complaint against you. Dammit man, she is my daughter, and she is promised.”
“Excuse me, sir, but what exactly was her complaint?”
Magnus’ brow lifted. “That you behave inappropriately towards her.”
“My behavior’s inappropriate? Anything specific? I don’t recall anything Ms. Jones could complain about.” Frowning, Ned sat on the edge of a chair facing Magnus, eyes steady on his employer’s. “I take it you want me to go. Would first light be soon enough?”
Magnus held the young man’s eyes. They didn’t waver. “Aren’t you going to say anything in your defence?”
“What could I say, sir? With respect, it would be my word against hers, and we both know whom you’d believe.”
Magnus eyed the young man thoughtfully. The man rose in his esteem for not trying to coerce anything out of him in return for his silence. “First light would be fine. I couldn’t throw a man out in the dark. It’s for the best, though I am sorry to lose you. Good men willing to tolerate the isolation are hard to find.”
Nicole sauntered the length of the porch to where Joshua leaned against the railing. She was beautiful–sultry, with just the right amount of decadence to hold a man’s attention. But time was marching on, and soon she wouldn’t be the young belle anymore. Already fine lines gathered at the corners of her eyes and the shadowy light on the porch accentuated the brackets that ran from her nose to her mouth–all evidence of years of hard play. Even the color of her hair was more vibrant than it used to be. Nicole was not going to age gracefully.
“Hello, Joshua,” she purred, kissing him on the lips. Her body touched his lightly, and then she
was gone, sitting down in one of the chairs and crossing her legs. “Come sit down. Martha is bringing the drinks.”
Joshua perched on the edge of the chair facing hers. What was wrong with him? He knew how
old Nicole was, and a few lines weren’t important. Yet a moment ago, when she’d first flung the
screen door wide, her flaws had been all he could see. The housekeeper appeared to interrupt his thoughts.
“Nicole,” he said after a long sip of beer, “I’m not staying long tonight.”
“Aw, Joshua, why?” Nicole pouted prettily, but Joshua wasn’t in the mood for her games. Being in her presence oppressed him tonight and he couldn’t wait to be away.
“I want to know two things from you. Firstly, I would like to know if you have any intention of marrying me at all,” he held up a hand when she tried to interrupt. “And secondly, I’d like to know when you foresee that happy event taking place.”
“Joshua, what kind of questions is those? Aren’t we engaged to be married?” She jumped to
her feet. “You know, we never do anything together anymore. There’s just this animosity
between us about getting married, and I’m sick of it. Why are you pushing so hard? Why don’t
you let it happen when it is meant to?”
Joshua dumped his glass on the table and got to his feet. “When it is meant to? Could you give me an indication as to the timeframe we’re looking at? I’m sick of this waiting game while you play the social butterfly. I feel side-lined. Neither of us is getting any younger, Nicole.”
Nicole stamped her foot. “That does it; I’m going to live in Cape Town again. This small-mindedness in the wilderness is getting me down. You shall have to wait until I’m bloody good and ready to get married.” She spun on her heel and stormed into the house. Joshua sighed from the depth of his soul.
Heather turned the third card over and placed it to the right of the two crossed cards. Her hand hovered over the deck but didn’t turn the next card. She stared at the three cards on the table. There was a disturbance in her soul, and she hoped to get an answer from the cards. They have never failed her before.
The first card was The Lovers. It was high time Holly found somebody to love. She would have to do a reading for him, to see if he was worthy of her Holly, but for the moment Heather knew that a new man in her sister’s life was not what was bothering her. The second card had followed quickly.
The Empress. A pregnancy? Was Holly pregnant? The card was reversed. Did this mean the pregnancy cannot come to its natural conclusion? Yes, but it wasn’t Holly who was pregnant. A frown pulled Heather’s brows together. A pregnancy, not Holly’s, that was going to affect Holly in some way. The cards will reveal the significance.
Heather stared at the third card. The High Priestess told her exactly that, that the truth will be revealed. Heather’s hand hovered over the card to feel its vibrations. The card had fallen in the position of the distant past, which means that something mysterious is at work in Holly’s life.
Gwen stood for a moment in the absolute dark inside her private domain. It enveloped her like a lover’s embrace. She was going to need all the help she could get in this, and the only help available to her was the Book of Shadows. She lit the sconces and reached for the thick leather-bound grimoire on the bookshelf and bit her lip. She was not comfortable doing this, but if she wanted to save her marriage, there was no other way she could see.
Balancing the book on its spine, her hands flat against the front and back covers, she licked her
lips and raised her eyes to the ceiling, imploring help from the Mother. She doubted that guidance would be forthcoming. What she was about to attempt was Dark Arts.
Returning her attention to the book, concentrating hard on her purpose, she snatched her hands
away and allowed the book to fall open, well-warn pages fluttering before settling down. The Book would tell her what to do. Gwen leaned forward over the open pages. The candles cast shifting light. The book had fallen open on the page describing a rather interesting ritual. Yes, that was what she needed to do, to remove the negativity Holly brought into her life and marriage, and to break the bond between Donald and his ex-wife. This was for a good cause−Gwen’s happiness.
Holly wouldn’t come to any harm, not lastingly anyway. As soon as her effect on Donald was broken, her silly life could continue as before, though without Donald and the boys.
Gwen’s finger ran down the page as she read through the ritual to see what she needed.
Heather turned the fourth, fifth and sixth cards over in quick succession, placing them below, above and to the right of the spread. Her hair blew off her face and she sucked her breath in sharply.
The Moon in the fourth position confirmed that something hidden was at work, something potentially dangerous to her sister. The man Holly loved? No, instinct told Heather that it was more than that, deeper, directed from afar, like a restless spirit in the night.
The Two of Cups had fallen in the best outcome position, reassuring Heather that this new relationship was exactly what her sister needed. The new man was going to be good for Holly. As soon as she saw her sister, Heather was going to have to demand an introduction. But in the meantime, she would not worry about him−there were other forces at work in Holly’s life that commanded immediate attention.
Death in the position of the immediate future confirmed that. The Death card predicted major change coming and very soon, within a week or so. Oh why was Holly so stubborn? Why did she do this hiding from her sister thing whenever she needed Heather the most?
Heather breathed deeply through her nose. There were several ways to interpret the cards, depending on the positions in which they were drawn and in relation to each other, and she would not get a clear meaning until she had all of them in front of her. She could not even begin to know what action was needed before she understood the whole problem. If only Holly would contact her. There was only one thing to do, and that was to finish the reading.
The seventh card Heather turned over was the Nine of Swords. Heather sucked her breath in. Oh no, just when she felt that Holly’s future might be quite rosy, this grim card came up. It could refer to death, miscarriage, deception or despair. Which applied? Was the baby that was not Holly’s that could not be born going to die? Or was this a reference to Holly herself being in mortal danger? The rest of the cards will shed light.
The card in the external influence position was the Queen of Pentacles reversed, indicating an evil woman, well aware of what she was doing. Who was this? Surely this couldn’t be Donald’s
second wife. Holly didn’t pose a threat to her, unless if there was something that Holly hadn’t told her. Whoever she might be, she meant Holly harm.
The card that Heather turned over in the hopes and fears position, The Tower, again indicated change and that the change would be due to an outside influence and that Holly would have no control over it.
The final card was not the one Heather would have hoped for. It confirmed her fears for Holly, as the Seven of Swords indicated that Holly should be careful whom she trusted.
Gwen pulled the door to her shed closed behind her and listened to the locks engaging themselves. Clouds had come in and the sky was dark apart from the city lights reflecting off them. She did not feel good about what she had just done.
In the kitchen she scrubbed her hands violently, as if the soap and water could erase the imprint of the crucifix on the palm of her hand.
She tried to ease the guilt in her mind, that her heart had not been in it, and therefore nothing would come of it. All the same, she knew that for some time to come, every time she thought of Holly, she would see the red drop forming at the bottom the cross, held like a knife in her hand. She did not quite understand the parts of the ritual – it had never been her intention to harm Holly physically, nor, the goddess forbid, that she should actually die. As it was, Donald had a bleeding heart for the woman.
Gwen soaped her hands again, telling herself that she was being irrational and that it will be the last time she washed. Yet the smell of the burning herbs remained in her nostrils and her nails seemed discolored.
She swore to herself that she would never, ever again dabble in things she did not understand.
*** For more information on Maggie or to make a connection with her,
Thanks so much for a wonderful interview Maggie. Thanks for sharing your work and giving us some great advice. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. It’s been a pleasure to meet you.
Hi folks, today I’d like to introduce you to a delightful chap called Ian. He’s wrote a fascinating book. Take a look!
Ian’s first book `Indian Summers: Mumbai and Beyond’ is about being there, in this land of two million gods; commingled with his nostalgic memories of 1967’s Summer of Love – gurus, tie-dye and cheesecloth-clad women with flowers in their hair; youthful bearded men in patched jeans and psychedelic headbands.
To find out more please go to,
Indian Summers is available on Ian’s website http://iancochrane.com.au/ using Paypal or credit card, already Ian has had glowing literary reviews including the following-
‘The style is observational and anecdotal, his vignettes illuminated by the assorted zany characters he meets. Anyone who has ventured alone around India, with an open mind and a sense of humour, will find resonance in Cochrane’s adventures.’
– Susan Kurosawa, travel editor, the Australian.
Let’s meet the man himself. Are you excited?
Hello Ian! So lovely of you to drop by…
Author Interview – Ian Cochrane
1/ Describe yourself in five words? – Writer on people and places.
2/ What motivates you to write? – It’s about satisfying the creative urge; beginning with a blank piece of paper, developing an idea, and seeing where it leads.
3/ What books did you love growing up? – The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez, A Goddess in the Stones by Norman Lewis, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Venice by Jan Morris, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin.
4/ Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? – Grew up in a working class Melbourne neighbourhood, married early and travelled the world; returning to Melbourne but choosing to live in the country for many years – the historic gold country north of Melbourne – while continuing to travel. Now living in bayside Melbourne, with further travel always on the agenda.
5/ What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…Writer, photographer and draughtsman; with a `real’ income derived from freelance design/ draughting in the energy and resource sectors.
6/ If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Happy in Melbourne, but do keep returning Venice; such a romantic part of the world, with the notion of no cars very appealing. I also have a soft spot for New York (even with its traffic), but I’d find it a too cold at times.
7/ How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? These days I generally take notes and get the bones of a story down using the ‘Notes’ facility on my iPhone, and have always taken photographs.
8/ Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? This is an important one; especially with writers often being so isolated . Now, how much space do we have? I’ve had lots of tea and sympathy to get me to wherever I am today; writing with some degree of confidence.
Firstly, my Scottish grandmother who was quite the storyteller.
Secondly – although harbouring an intense dislike for school and having no real literary background – I should thank a teacher: an enthusiastic English teacher and a correction pen prone to leaking red ink on anything it touched. Ungrateful at the time of course, it was this patient woman who encouraged my lazy but imaginative doodlings while equipping me with a useable command of the English language.
Thirdly, it’s my long-suffering soul mate and girlfriend, Sue – a willing proofreader – who tolerates my search for an elusive story, phrase or word; and me jumping out of bed at 3am in the morning to write something ‘important’ down.
Fourthly, my belated entry into the social media; encouraged by joining the fantastic blogging group Blog Catalog; a friendly community ably hosted by AngieA and TonyB. It was vie discussion within this group that lead me to Google Plus and the wonderful Alana Munro.
& lastly my wonderful Melbourne editor; Jackey Coyle of Wordy Gurdy. For it was Jackey who taught me to finally write something readable.
And it was Jackey who told me to “get real, pull out a red pen and slash” a lengthy travel article I’d submitted to the Australia’s only Daily National broadsheet, after having initially refused their offer to publish if I would resubmit at their preferred length of 1200 words. Jackey’s advice resulted in my very first published article; a romantic feature on the Venetian Lagoon.
9/ When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Hiking, wine, food, music, film, theatre or reading a hard copy of something; although I must say, I’m listening to some form of music pretty much all the time when writing.
10/ What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Although I’ve had favourable comments regarding my writing’s attention to detail, I’m constantly trying to minimise the number of words used.
I prefer the reader to ‘interpret’ where necessary. By that I mean, I’m more into setting up a mood and creating characters that are strong enough to enable the reader to fill in the gaps and to travel to places they may never get too.
Thank you Ian! It has been a pleasure getting to know you. I wish you every success in the future. Please do stay in touch and let us know how you are.
Hello everyone. I have the pleasure this week of introducing you to a lovely American writer and author who goes by the name of Glendon. He always has words of support and is a source of inspiration to all writers. A great bloke all round. Make sure you hook up with Glendon on his blog. So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Author Interview – Glendon Perkins
A: Describe yourself in five words?
G: Bald. Genuine. Honest. Empathetic. Supportive.
A: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
G: Never Married. Whenever I tell someone that I receive a bunch of “huh-uh and no way.”
A: How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
G: Lots of rum Not really. I’m not afraid of most things except crocs and sharks and anything that wishes to bite to see if I taste like chicken. Self-doubt though: wow that’s tough. In almost everything I do, I don’t doubt. But for the things I do doubt, I fight hard at staying in the dark place, as if its easier to self-doubt than not. How so I overcome? Some support from wonderful people. Adrianna Joleigh is one of those people. I would have to say Mary Cain as well. Adrianna is stuck with more personal troubles though. Without her I would be wondering blind most days. It’s safe to say she’s my best friend.
A: What scares you the most?
G: Failing. (Sharks and crocs too, of course.) I don’t like to fail myself or anyone else. Mostly failing others or letting them down is the worst fear.
A: What makes you happiest?
G: Lots of rum. To know I’ve been able to help others get over the hump. Whatever it may be.
A: Why do you write?
G: Truthfully I don’t know why. Sometimes I feel the need to put something down so I do. But I would be lying of I didn’t get (Adrianna hates that word) a warm and fuzzy feeling to know my writings create an emotional reaction in people.
A: Have you always enjoyed writing?
G: No, I haven’t. I started as a freshman in high school and stopped as a junior. I picked it up again three years ago.
A: What motivates you to write?
G: Lots of rum. People’s reactions to what I wrote. I know I don’t fit into everyone’s preferences with my genre, but for those I do, I write for them.
A: What writing are you most proud of?
A: What are you most proud of in your personal life?
G: I would say my time in the U. S. Navy. I spent nearly five years in the service, and most overseas in the small island country of Bahrain.
A: What books did you love growing up?
A: What do you hope your obituary will day about you?
G: Perfect husband. Perfect father.
A: Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
G: I grew up in Gillette, Wyoming. A city around 20,000 until just recently; now around 35,000. It sits at the farthest western edge of the Black Hills National Forest and the northern edge of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. I currently live in Lusk, Wyoming about 160 miles south east of Gillette.
A: How did you develop your writing?
G: Painfully. And through lots and lots of reading. I read far more than I write. I enjoy the styles of King and Koontz the most and my writing is a mix of both styles.
A: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
G: Marketing. I’m an introverted person. I can hide behind a screen and be brave but in person I’m mouse like unless I have to be outward.
A: What marketing works for you?
G: Adrianna Joleigh. I think she would yell from Mt. Sinai with a bullhorn if she could. Seems like Internet sources work well, Google + being my top source for readers.
A: Do you find it hard to share your work?
G: Not anymore. I used to like I think every writer did or does. It was a situation where I didn’t feel like I had a choice so I stuck my hand on the fire.
A: Is your family supportive?
G: Yes, my family is. They may not read my work, but they stand behind me 100%. Do your friends support you? Absolutely. Without their support I wouldn’t be doing this interview.
A: Do you plan to publish more books?
G: No books published yet but I do plan to publishing if I have a good story.
A: What else do you do, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
G: I’m an X-ray technologist. I work a week straight and have two off.
A: What other jobs have you had in your life?
G: X-ray tech is the longest job. I am a certified diesel mechanic as well.
A: If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
G: Forensic psychology. I have a keen interest in serial killers and what makes them tick. Are you scared yet?
A: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
G: Next door to my closest friend. *See above statement for closest friend*
A: Tell us about your family?
G: Not married and no kids of my own. The rest of my family live in Gillette, parents and siblings, nieces and nephews.
A: How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
A: Where do you get support from? Do you have many friends in the industry? Friends and family and fellow writers.
G: I have nearly 700 connections in Google Plus alone, and others not on the social network.
A: How much sleep do you need to be your best?
G: Six hours is the most I ever sleep so I think that is when I’m at my best.
A: Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
G: Adrianna Joleigh. Since I met her a few months ago she’s been my best supporter and my biggest fan. I’ll throw some kisses and hugs out to her.
A: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
G: Giving my readers what they enjoy. Not all of us will be published but that doesn’t indicate we can’t write.
A: It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
G: I don’t have a big marketing campaign. I post links to my writings on my social networks.
A: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
G: I don’t have a new book other than in progress. I have three in-progress novels at the moment. Two, Buried Alive and Saucy Jacky I post as a blog novel. The other Cold Winter I write traditionally, but I do submit it to a critique group. Cold Winter and Buried Alive have roots in the Black Hills where I hunt. Both have connections to sink holes, but are different stories. Saucy Jacky is my spin on Jack the Ripper.
A:If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
G: My parents, Stephen King, and Adrianna Joleigh.
A: When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
G: I read a lot. But I am also and outdoors person, hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, shooting sports, and rock climbing.
A: What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
G: I hope they will feel like they are in the story. If I want them to be scared, I am hoping they will be. Same for happy, sad, and love. I would like the reader to be exhilarated while they read my writings. And I want them coming for more and more.
*** Glendon and his dear friend Adrianna have recently been published. To view their contribution to an exciting new book hit this link. To find out more information please contact Glendon by going to his blog. Keep an eye out for these two! They are most definitely going places.
Thanks so much for the interview Glendon. I wish you every success in the future with your writing. I look forward to charting your creative journey.
If you’d like an interview like the lovely Glendon please do get in touch. I’d love to showcase your talent and as you can see I ‘link’ back to your website/blogs like a lunatic! I’ll also share your interview with everyone I know and on social media sites. I don’t charge a penny. I am writer. I love, love, love to support other creative souls. Just tell everyone you know about what I do and who I am. I appreciate that. Thanks!
You’re leaving Facebook? You’re leaving us? You can’t leave Facebook!
Umm yeah I can and I have. (It’s a website. A website. I can leave a website).
But what about your book? How will you ever manage to promote your book without Facebook?
That’s a fair point. I have considered that. But I’m sure I’ll manage. Many books were publicised before Facebook. And many more will succeed after Facebook.
Life ticked along just fine before Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook. I joined in 2005 and looking back, previous to my sign up, I managed to maintain relationships quite alright.
I’ve been trying to leave Facebook for about two years. Yes really! Pathetic isn’t it? It’s not an easy thing to do. Facebook keeps pulling me back in, sending out automatic but heart-wrenching emails to tell me that my friends miss me. Why don’t you come back and play with us? What’s wrong with you? Your friends need to see you? Look at all the fun they are having…
Those emails are wrong on two accounts.
1. They are emotional blackmail. They want me to feel bad for ‘disconnecting’ from friends. Of course hidden beneath the blackmail is Facebook desperately trying to recruit me so they can earn more revenue from me. Sick or what? It’s not about friendship, it’s about company profit.
2. Really? You are telling me my friends miss me? How does a website know that? Surely if people miss me – they can get in touch or I can get in touch. We are big boy and big girls - we can figure it out and reach people if they want to. It’s not really that complicated. I don’t really need your help Facebook. Thanks anyway.
I think the constant guilt inducing emails, trying to regain my loyalty wore me down. But not now. I am standing firm. Facebook you have messed with the wrong girl.
Life went by just fine before a geeky graduate had a bright spark idea to ‘connect’ people online. Zuckerberg managed to convince millions of people to rely heavily on his one website to communicate. He’s a clever chap, I’ll give him that.
But I’m terribly sorry Zuckerberg. You’ve had your money off me. We’ve had a good run. My friends who are actually friends will hopefully take the time to stay in touch. And as for my book, Women Behaving Badly? I’ll get creative and stop relying on one website. I’ll think out the box, just like you did Zuckerberg.
Hey everyone, the support group I run for writers, poets and bloggers over on Google+ is going great guns! I’m so pleased. The people who have joined are amazingly supportive and creative souls. You have to meet them all! I think I will need to ask someone to help me moderate soon.
Sharon, who runs The Coalition of Independent Authors was so impressed with my online community group that she emailed me and asked if I’d like to link with her successful website. I said yes of course – remember May is my month for saying yes to brilliant opportunities. How exciting! Now even more new authors, writers, poets and possibly bloggers will find us. Thanks Sharon!
*** If you want to link up with my support group or to my author website just get in touch. I don’t network, I connect. I’d love to hear from you!
Press releases are not for the faint hearted. A significant level of courage and plucky-why-the-hell-not attitude won’t hurt. After all you are broadcasting your tidings to the world. I’d say it was spine-chilling, but truth be told it is rather thrilling. The biggest stumbling block for many is there are lots of scary rules you must abide. The tone of the message is all important too. Crikey, it’s enough to make a person shudder.
So what’s the best tone? Informative, definitely not promotional. The release is directed at the media professionals looking for a news story. If you go all promo on them and over the top your release will no doubt be promptly deleted. They won’t give you a second thought. Crumbs! Before you do anything, research how to write a press release. Then locate one of the many zillion templates available online for free.
I sat down with a glass of red wine and tried my best to compose one. After a few hours of head starching, I think my first attempt was okay but if you have any suggestions to make it really zing do let me know? I will keep working on it until I am 100 per cent happy! Anyhoo guys, here is my first attempt,
This is the taster heading >>>
New book exposes the shocking truth about female friendship
Emerging author, Alana Munro in her new book, Women Behaving Badly is seeking to set the record straight about women’s friendships. The book explores the many negative and often invisible behaviours common between women.
And then I just go for it! >>>
New book, Women Behaving Badly, written by Alana Munro is exposing the truth about how badly women can behave towards their friends.
This book is especially geared towards women who have been hurt by other women and women who are seeking to understand negative and passive aggressive behaviours between females. The book reveals the common bad friend behaviours such as jealousy, power games, competition and bitching. Women Behaving Badly also hopes to help women seek healthier friendships by weeding out the negative friends and pin pointing the bad behaviours early on in relationships.
This book seeks to dispel the myth that all women are nurturing and supportive to one another. The book questions whether sisterhood actually exists between normal every day women in today’s world. Women Behaving Badly encourages women to look honestly at their friendships and the behaviour encountered. The book also aims to liberate women from their passive silence – it is okay to admit women are only human with profound emotional shortcomings. This book asks if feminism is too idealistic – the author argues that women hurt each other more than empower one another. The book also argues that women are often too fickle and expect too much from their friendships. Furthermore, the author has complimented this book with many of her own deeply personal experiences.
Due to the topical nature of Women Behaving Badly, the book has already been picked up by ABC Radio (a live studio interview was broadcasted last week) and The West Australian Newspaper also published an article about the book. It is attracting attention worldwide perhaps due to the brutally honest review of how some women can behave.
The book is currently available in eBook format on http://www.amazon.co.uk (and worldwide distribution throughout Amazon), with more online store releases due in June. A paper copy of the book is expected later in 2013.
Full Contact Information:
+61 0402 561 869
Phew! So, have you ever wrote a press release? How did the experience go for you?
I think there is nothing better than sharing in another persons joy, with Adrianna Joleigh I can’t help but want this beautiful woman to reach for the stars. She is a positive force and I’m fortunate to have connected with her thanks to the support group I run. Isn’t that the healthy foundation to friendship – to truly bask in a friends glory and encourage them? To cheer each other on? I think so.
Adrianna was my first writer to be interviewed. It was an absolute pleasure as she is such a down to earth, honest person. I love it when people are able to let their true character come through. Please read her brilliant interview click here. I wanted to share with you what Adrianna made of her interview experience. I thought it was really good feedback.
’I was honoured when asked by Alana Munro, if I’d consider doing an interview to feature on her site. She is a great great great asset to the writers everywhere and always looking to help bring someone out of the dark corners and into the light so the world may get to know them better’.
‘In recent times, Alana runs a Google+ community for all writers, bloggers and poets. Support-a-Writer offers support and encouragement to all new writers. The members share marketing tips, discuss their writing ideas and cheer each other on. It is a very active and friendly community, do consider joining if you hope to discover new talent or you are a writer looking to connect. You will be sure to receive a warm welcome!’ (quoted from site).
‘I simply adore this woman. If you have the pleasure of developing a relationship with her you will know exactly what I mean’.
If you liked what you read, just get in touch with me. I don’t bite. I’m friendly! I am always keen to meet talented people and showcase them for free. It would be my pleasure to help create more exposure for your work. For more information go to my tour host page.
›Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#4 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Emotions & Feelings
#16 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Families & Parents > Relationships > Friendship
Number 4 and 16 in the charts – I’ll take that thank you very much!
And the massive American market, harder to make headway but I am in the top 50. So that’s a pretty good effort.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,098 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#45 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Parenting & Relationships > Parenting > Emotions & Feelings
It will be interesting to see how my numbers change as I really start to push my marketing campaign forward. How did you manage to push your numbers along? I’d love to hear how your book is going?
The book will be distributed to many more online retail stores, libraries and (hopefully) some more shops throughout 2013. Contact me for more information about buying or stocking this book.