Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Long and Short Reviews Spring Blogfest

Join me for this super book event! You will find lots and lots of chances to win free books, swag, GC, and much more. And you can enjoy all the wonderful Spring article written by each participating author. 

Recipes and Prompts - Get Creative

I'm having fun doing a series of blogs that I hope my readers will enjoy. I'll share some of my favorite recipes and devise some original writing prompts. Why not try some of both. Get creative, have some fun, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. You're also invited to post a short example of how you used the writing prompt in the comment area. My first round of posts will use the Alphabet for inspiration. Grab a friend, tell your classmates, inform your writing class, whatever, GET CREATIVE!

(C) Day is about Croutons. Since I'm a Texas girl, these croutons must be made with cornbread, of course. Cut small, these are great on top of salads and soups. Cut larger, they are wonderful snacks and even better when dipped in your favorite sauce.

Photo Credit: honestcooking.com
Sassy Cornbread Croutons

Mix up a double batch of your favorite cornbread mix and include the following.

1/2 cup finely diced onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup  minced bell pepper
(Optional) Jalapeno to taste
1 tsp. sage

Bake in a greased jelly-roll pan until done, with golden color. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch cubes, or smaller.

Melt 1 stick of butter and drizzle over pieces, Sprinkle one package of dry Ranch Dressing Mix over croutons and stir gently to distribute. Bake at 375° stirring occasionally until croutons are crunchy and toasty brown.
    Writing Prompt: Construct a scene including one or all of the following elements.
    • Kattie knew better than to explore her new cave find on her own. Spelunking wasn't a safe one-man sport. Due to her own stupidity, she was now lost.
    • She still had 4-5 days worth of water and a few of her mom's cornbread croutons stashed in her backpack.
    • The fear eating at her sanity wasn't due to lack of food or water, but rather, the sound coming from the dark region of the cave that grew louder with each ticking minute.
    Coming Soon: (D) Day - Demitasse and Ski Slopes

    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    ARTISAN INTERVIEW with Sara Lazaroff

    I'm excited to present the second spotlight in my new ARTISAN INTERVIEWS. My guest artisan today is Sara Lazaroff. Sara, please tell us when you first became interested in art.
    The Bedroom & Living Room Page From The Maplewood Brochure
     Individual Page Size: 6in x 9in
    Full Size While Open: 6in x 19in.
     Material: White Photo Supreme Double-Sided Matte Paper.

    (Sara) It’s difficult to remember when art wasn’t a part of my life. As a child, the personal world of creativity and artistic expression gave me a calming retreat that always slowed time down to enjoy the present moment. Now, as a 31- year-old graphic designer, I direct my creativity outward, infusing a sense of personality, professionalism and my own brand of artistic flair into each project my clients and I create together. I love the promise of limitless potential that being creative holds, where imagination can overcome the limitations of ‘no’ and set me free from the stifling rules the ‘no’ demands. This limitless helps me look past artistic norms and work from a mentality based on a “yes, I can!” attitude that helps me reach out to the many possibilities that life can offer. My appreciation for a variety of artistic styles has cause my own style to evolve over time to include illustration, abstraction, Baroque, grunge techniques and geometric forms. The evolution continues as I work at incorporating De Stijl philosophy, Swiss design principles, and Modern Architecture into design projects. Like most artists, I have one main space where I create, but I like to see my studio immersed in the outdoors, which allows me to be inspired to draw everything I find.

    Along with creativity comes ambition, and a childhood dream was to be the CEO of a company that specialized in doing what I love every second of the day, so after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Cal State University Fullerton, I began Apercu Design Studio, and appointed myself Lead Designer. Apercu Design Studio provides a full spectrum of creative design services which include illustration, photography, painting, desktop publishing, exhibit design, multimedia animation, marketing collateral, and web design. Apercu Design Studio also has an online presence at Cafepress.com, which is stocked with a variety of products showcasing original designs and signature styles found only in the Apercu Design Studio portfolio. It’s highly motivating to know that each day brings with it the opportunity to use my creative ability and artistic training to help clients realize their creative goals which leads to establish a personal relationship with each client and because of this my clients are just like family.

    (Lynda) Do you travel for inspiration?

    Egyptian Mural Process
    Mural painting as background for fish tank for private party.
     Canvas Size: 24in x 30in.
    Material: Acrylic paint
    (Sara) Traveling to create art is an adventure when you consider all the things an artist goes through to finish a project. I drive up to 100 miles to observe the architecture of museums, corporate buildings, retail stores, and residential houses before I enter, as well as any exhibit that reveals another side to a design I am currently working on. The first thing I notice while shopping retail stores is the unique designed window displays. A window display needs to check off several requirements off my project list in order to enter the store for research purposes. As I browse the store, I observe the mission statement of the company and see how that message translates into how the store functions atheistically. I use my designer eye to search for the best colors, patterns and textures throughout the store, posters on the walls, and accessories that give the store personality. I also observe the people in the store to understand why that person was captivated to come in and browse. I enjoy touching textures, fabrics, and artwork to get a feel for the pattern and material if I am allowed. 

    I watch educational television shows at home with subjects that are related to the project. Sometimes the show transports me into another country where I experience culture, historic areas, and daily life of native people. Each book or article I find is like a piece of a puzzle where I need to think like Sherlock Holmes and analyze each fact and sketch an idea on paper to see if it solves the mystery of the perfect design solution. Most books are found in a mysterious dark corner where the lights turn on as you walk by, on the other side of the building or on another floor. 

    When an object or surrounding area inspires me, I walk up to it to get a closer view. I usually move around the object to get a more unique angle with my camera. Outdoor inspiration consists of hiking in the hills, a rocky soft sand beach, distance in feet to the found item, and placement of item compared to other objects in my composition.

    (Lynda) Do you have other hobbies or artistic mediums you work in? 

    (Sara)Through the years I choose mediums that suite concept the best. Mediums:  Adobe Creative Suite Software for Mac and PC Platform  Various Design Techniques  Specialized Papers  Various Printing Practices  Art History Research  Scanned Images  Web Design  Photography  Embossing  Drawing  Painting  Graphite Pencils  Human Finger  Rubber Eraser  Kneaded Eraser  Prisma Color Pencils  Charcoal  Balsa Wood  Clay  Ink

    (Lynda) Have you had memorable reactions and comments toward your work? 

    (Sara) I always believed in the philosophy, ‘Go Big Or Go Home.’ If I don’t take risks and challenge myself, the artwork and message will not leap off the page and command full potential communication to the world. When I am in a relaxed state of mind and looking to make a decision on aspects of the project, I always find the answer when I lease expect it. Sometimes when life gets tough and doubt overcomes me, I go back to think how much I accomplished and persevered over the years in hardship. If I already accomplished the hardest things in life, this small moment I am facing too shall pass. 

    (Lynda) What are you working on at the moment? 

    (Sara) Creating content for large social media marketing campaign across Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    Offering my Graphic Artist services to anyone that may need design experience in:  Original concepts  Custom illustration  Custom photography  Custom painting  Desktop publishing  2D & 3D models  Exhibit design  Multimedia animation  Marketing collateral  Web design 

    Building my inventory by designing product graphics and gaining inspiration for:  Home Décor  Dinner Party Décor  Wall Décor  Sport Accessories  Office Accessories  Cases and Covers: Desktop laptop, tablet and mobile devices  Head to Toe Accessories: Neck tie, scarf, socks, bandana, socks and flip-flops  Greeting Cards and Stationery  Women’s, Men’s, and Child t-shirt graphics  Kids Accessories

    (Lynda) What wouldn’t you do without?
    Mod Round Tablecloth
    Seamless one-piece design for dinner parties.
    Size: 90in diameter
     Material: Formated files for Cafepress printer and server.
     Printed by Cafepress.com on 100% Polyester fabric.

    (Sara)   Faith in God and prayer  Support from family and friends  A pencil or pen to write with, paper, and recorder to capture ideas out of the blue before subjects leave or disappear from my mind  Let the artistic flow happen no matter how silly or complex the task is to accomplish  Open mind nature and let the creative juice flow when brainstorming  Camera  Laptop with running software  Printer  Scanner  Aromatherapy  Eat clean diet  Exercise  Inner peace  Organized research  Positive thoughts  Ambitious spirit that loves a challenge 

    (Lynda) Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? 

    (Sara) Daily walk: Have wonder like a child to discover the world around you. Don’t live in the past or future, live in present and enjoy every second. Strive for a heart of gold. Help those in need to your highest ability. Create a resilient spirit. Don’t let someone live your life for you. We all have a purpose, so dig deep to find it. What is right with many may not be right for you. Let God lead your path to clear pastures. Follow your dreams no matter how difficult it’s been so far. Most of all be true to yourself and everything else will follow. 

    Project tips: The art hubs of Southern California are located in Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City, Ventura, Burbank, Glendale, Venice and other beach cities, Pasadena, Fullerton, and Brea. Write a detailed contract with all the details of the project so client and designer can understand what they are responsible for and what needs to be accomplished. A clear day is the perfect scenario for photography sessions as well as a few hours before sunset to capture natural golden glow lighting without a filter. Communication with model and stagehands, how to operate a camera, and finalizing images are keys to brilliant compositions. Make sure you are looking at the right spot on the subject before reevaluating the drawing. If you want the area to blend better on a drawing use your index finger. If you want the area to blend better on a painting use a very small dry cloth. I receive superior fine art results from using Aaron Brothers, and Dick Blick art supplies. Cheap supplies equal poor craftsmanship and presentation. A steady hand in using an exacto knife is key to a straight line and accurate pressure. Hours and money can be wasted if one party or both parties are not being direct in communication under tight deadlines. Time is of the essence, so I create shortcuts to receive the best results in the quickest amount of time.

    (Lynda) What qualities do you think are most important when creating art? 

    (Sara) Getting in touch with my inner child and remember what made me stand out as an individual and considered ‘different’ by some and embrace those authentic memories to develop the Apercu Design Studio brand. Each brainstorm session I need to clear my mind of obvious answers in order to think differently. Eat a well balanced meal, exercise and meditate to sustain energy to embody an adrenaline junkie thought process that helps me remain in a creative zone for as long as possible. Research topics inside and out to understand the meaning, explore related topics and how those ideas work together. A concept represents the sum total of the creative process, requirements and functionally to create a design solution. Strip a design to its essential elements for more clarity and impact. Don’t give up when a solution is not working. Go over the list and think of alternative routes that will be an equal or better solution. Always have a backup plan. Organize computer files, paper work, various mediums, and studio for fast and easy access. During the process, look over the client’s and boss’s must have list several times, so not a single item will be left out on the final presentation and will solve all problems. Fresh and high quality supplies on a comfortable budget for a superior final presentation.

    Graphic Artist Services: www.apercudesignstudio.com 
    Custom Product Graphics www.cafepress.com/apercudesignstudio 
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/apercudesignstudio 
    Blog: http://apercudesignstudio.tumblr.com/ 
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apercudesigns/

    Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Mary Morgan

    My guest today is Mary Morgan, author of stories that take readers into the world of Dragons and Knights. When I read this excerpt from Mary's website, I knew she was a kindred soul.

    "I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories."

    (Lynda) Welcome Mary.

    (Mary) Thank you, Lynda, for allowing me to share a “wee” bit about myself to your readers on your blog. It’s my way of stepping out from my writer’s den to chitchat with everyone for a few hours. I even baked scones for my visit today. 

    (Lynda) And they smell so good. I've tried making authentic scones several time. I think I'm getting better with each batch

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like? (Photo would be good here)

    I have this cozy corner in my bedroom with a huge window that looks out into my garden.
    There are times when my focus wanders, and I find myself watching all the little birds. I use two writing desks—one is almost 400 years old, and the other desk belonged to my father. Since I write medieval stories, I have a collection of swords nearby and period paintings, which helps to inspire the spark of creativity.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I do when taking a break from writing?

    (Mary) I love to be in my kitchen! Cooking is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day of writing. It’s so relaxing, and I find my energy soars after I prepare a meal. Of course, I talk non-stop to my husband on any new ideas and/or plots that pop-up during my writing day.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time?

    (Mary) Absolutely! I get giddy like a kid at Christmas. I will hold my breath as the email is downloading and then I usually burst into tears. I’ve been so blessed with two fabulous covers and getting excited for the next one.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

    (Mary) Love doing book signings! It’s my chance to get out there and talk to readers. I worked as a bookseller for Borders Books, and I miss the interaction with people and talking about my favorite subject—books! I’ve done two signings at the Scottish Highland Games here in California and had a fantastic time, so more are definitely planned for this year.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also read a lot, if so, how do I fit that into my schedule and why is it important to me?

    (Mary) Reading is my quiet time to escape from my own world of characters chatting non-stop in my head. On most days, you’ll find my nose in a book an hour or so before bedtime. I read so many different genres depending on my mood, too. At the moment, I’m reading “The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen” by Syrie James.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?

    (Mary) I would tell a beginning writer to never give up and always believe in your dream.

    Find Mary Here:

    Website:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com

    Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/m_morganauthor

    Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Recipes and Prompts: What a combination!

    Using different categories and lists for inspiration, I'm going to be doing a series of blogs that I hope my readers will enjoy. I'll share some of my favorite recipes and devise some original writing prompts. Why not try some of both. Get creative, have some fun, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. You're also invited to post a short example of how you used the writing prompt in the comment area. My first round of posts will use the Alphabet for inspiration. Grab a friend, tell your classmates, inform your writing class, whatever, GET CREATIVE!

    (B) Day is about Bok Choy. Originally grown in China, this vegetable has found its way around the world. Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, and it resembles stalks of celery.

    Foxy Fresh Produce

    Vibrant Bok Choy Salad

    Serves 4

    1 Large stalk of Bok choy
    1 cup diced apple
    1/4 cup slivered almonds
    1/4 cup dried cranberries

    2 tablspoons soy sauce
    1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
                                                    2 teaspoons brown sugar
                                                    1 teaspoon diced garlic
                                                    Salt and pepper to taste

    Wash Bok choy and let dry before cutting in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise in 1/4 - inch pieces. Toss with other ingredients. Just before serving drizzle with dressing.
    Writing Prompt: Construct a scene including one or more of the following elements.
    • Dorian Sanders has just two options, die immediately, or die later.
    • His only thread of hope, an assignment to smuggle a woman and her infant twin boys off the prison island ironically named, 'Not-A-Prayer'.
    • He takes the job and allows himself to be consigned to the island. He quickly evaluates his options and devises a plan that doesn't include the added baggage of a woman and two children. 
    • But he soon learns that the best laid plans can be changed by the plea in a woman's eyes, eyes as vibrant green as the Bok choy stalk in his hand.
    Coming Soon: (C) Day - Croutons and Spelunking

    Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    plus some FREE /.99 cent Book Offers, plus Giveaways.

    Add your book's tagline  in the comment section
     (1-3 sentences only with family friendly wording - 
     include a link of your choice.)
    (One Tagline per week, thank you.)
    PLUS: If you have a Giveaway, free or $ .99 book, 
    you may leave an additional link for that as well.

    Help us extend your reach by sharing your own,
     or one of the pre-written updates below.
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    Great book TAGLINES with FREE/.99cent offers and Giveaways
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    Discover great TAGLINES plus FREE/.99cent books and Giveaways. http://bit.ly/1Dv5rrp

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Recipes and Prompts: Let's Play!


    #Asparagus #WritingPrompts #Alphabet #Murder

    Using different categories and lists for inspiration, I'm going to be doing a series of blogs that I hope my readers will enjoy. I'll share some of my favorite recipes and devise some original writing prompts. Why not try some of both. Get creative, have some fun, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. You're also invited to post a short example of how you used the writing prompt in the comment area. My first round of posts will use the Alphabet for inspiration.

    (A) Day is about Asparagus, a wonderful vegetable that I especially enjoy grilled. To get us started, let me give you an easy recipe for preparing and grilling this little green jewel.

       Photo by Petr Kratochvil

    Grilled Asparagus with a KICK!

    Serves 4

    1 bunch asparagus
    2 tsp. minced garlic
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon Wasabi Sauce

    • Preheat the grill
    • Wash the asparagus and snap the woody ends off and place them in a large bowl.
    • Toss the asparagus with all the other ingredients until well-coated.
    • Adjust grill flame to medium and place asparagus spears crosswise on the grill. Cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Turn occasionally to prevent burning.
    Writing Prompt: Construct a murder scene including the following elements.
    • A previously healthy middle-aged man lies dead in his backyard, next to the outdoor grill. 
    • A scruffy cat sits atop the dead man's chest. The cat acts weirdly as it gently paws at the half eaten asparagus spear protruding from the dead man's mouth.
    • The cat sneezes constantly as the police officer nudges him off the corpse with his foot. 

    Coming Soon: (B) Day - Bok Choy and Smuggling

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Barbara Bettis

    #Medieval #England #Scotland #Romance
    My guest author today is Barbara Bettis. Barbara writes stories set in medieval times, one of my favorites. She is also a former health insurance claims adjuster, a former journalist, and a former journalism teacher. Barbara Bettis plans never to be a “former” author. Currently, she supports her writing habit as an adjunct English instructor at a community college near her home in Missouri.

    (Barbara) Hi Lynda. Thanks for hosting me today. I’m in the midst of a Birthday Month Celebration that features my latest medieval THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX for only 99 cents!! You know, I got so wrapped up in the writing prompt below, that I think I’ve gotten an idea for my next medieval, Macsen’s story. Thanks for that!:

    (Lynda) You're so welcome. My first published story, Payback in Wayback, was a result of a writing prompt given in a writing group I was attending at the time. I think writers often overlook the power of these spontaneous exercises. Enough about me, let's jump into your interview...

    (Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

    (Barbara) You absolutely would be doing research! But it’s difficult to find much really specific information about 12th Century England. There is a good deal written based on historical events, but personalities are more difficult to pin down. And day-to-day activities, while seeming to be easy to ascertain, are not so simple because of the lack of actual
    facts. There are wonderful research books on general things, but putting all that information together can be touchy. So much can change within a century, so what might be true for the 13th Century might not be true for the 12th. Plus, various practices differed in different parts of the country and among different social levels. Not all knights and barons were fabulously wealthy with huge demesnes.

    (Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What character was the most difficult to write, and why?

    (Barbara) The most difficult character in this last book was the villain. He was a mean, vicious murderer who hid behind a façade of urbanity and lordly graciousness. I’ve heard speakers say that everyone is a hero in his or her own ‘story.’ Allowing the villain such a layered, subtle existence is difficult.

    (Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

    (Barbara) I love doing signings and meeting readers. I do enjoy talking with people about their reading, what they like, about books in general. In the ‘old’ days when authors did publicity tours, stopping at various bookstores for appearances. Now only very well-known authors get that kind of exposure. But how fun that must have been. Occasionally we still have big-name authors at the local Barnes and Noble, signings that bring fans to wait in lines for hours. But that isn’t often, and it’s usually non-fiction authors.

    (Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also have other hobbies, if so, what kind?

    (Barbara) I used to have hobbies. What happened? Now I don’t seem to find time to do anything except write, read, and attend to my job duties (grading essays.) I can’t sew a straight line. I knot my embroidery thread. My mind wanders into plotting and I drop knitting stitches. I have a black thumb.

    So it’s a good thing my hobbies are travel, reading, spending time with friends, taking in an occasional movie and theatrical performance. But best of all, my grandchildren. I love spending time with them, even as they slip into teen-dom where it’s not always as fun to hang out with Grandmother as it once was. Speaking of travel, several years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Scotland and England. One of the places we visited in Scotland was Newbattle Abbey, a beautiful structure built on the site of a medieval Cistercian abbey. It’s just south of Edinburgh.

    (Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Using one of the following prompts, how would the first 2-4 paragraphs read?

    (Barbara) Oh, this was such a fun challenge, Lynda. As I said, I think this has triggered the idea for another story. Many readers who wrote me about The Heart of the Phoenix have said they’d love to see Macsen’s story. So here goes. The sentence prompt, one of the options you presented:

    "I'd roll in mud before I'd let you kiss me.”

    “I’d roll in mud before I’d let you kiss me.” Lady Aveline backed away from the intractable figure looming from the back of a huge grey gelding. The knight looked grim as he leaned forward to brace his arms on the saddle’s pommel.

    She’d heard Rively Castle’s new captain of the guard, this Sir Macsen, was a fearsome warrior. She hadn’t imagined he’d also be a compelling giant of a man. A man whose eyes she could undoubtedly meet without bending her head. It was the one thing she’d ever received from her wandering father—her inches. Curse him.

    “Did I offer to kiss you?” he rumbled.

    No, he hadn’t. The blasted words had slipped out as if from someone else’s mouth. She had not been thinking of his finely formed lips.

    “If you don’t come along right now, you’ll get your wish for a bout in the mud. There’s a storm blowing up right enough. Lady Evie sent me to fetch you. It’s a far walk back to her solar, so give me your hand and sit up behind me.” He extended his sword-callused fingers as imperiously as any lord.

    The miserable man needn’t sound as good as he looked, blast it. Aveline drew up to her considerable height and crossed her arms over her chest. A mistake, judging by the way Sir Macsen’s glance followed the movement.

    As if he’d signaled the sky, thunder broke overhead. So much for a solitary walk on a summer day. Infusing her sigh with all the disdain she could muster, she held out her hand, placed her foot on his, and swung up.

    When she’d settled in place, he glanced over his shoulder. “And when I do kiss you, sweet lady,” he murmured in that disturbing voice, “it won’t be mud you’ll want to roll in.”

    Visit Barbara at:



    https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis

    Find THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX at: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vSZgLF

    Sunday, March 22, 2015

    Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Deborah C. Wilding

    My guest author today is Deborah C. Wilding. Let's give her our attention as she answers some interview questions.

    Thank you Lynda for giving first-time fiction authors like myself a chance to introduce ourselves. I've authored two non-fiction books, and worked in corporate communications--all I can say is that writing historical romance is a very different experience. There's extensive research in both, yes. But my characters sometimes surprise the heck out of me! On March 6th, "Then I Met You," my WWII novel that takes place in Hawaii was released by The Wild Rose Press.

    (Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Where would I live?
    (Deborah): I live in a Hawaiian rainforest, about three miles from the most active volcano in the world. My home is uphill from the eruption, no worries there. I am partially off the grid, so I catch rainwater off my roof for my water supply--it rains most evenings, and the sunny days are glorious, so solar panels provide electricity. I've also lived and worked in Malaysia and India, but the Aloha State has always been home.

    (Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: What would I do to take a break from writing?

    (Deborah): I make a point of getting outdoors. Most mornings I take a hike with my dogs or go horseback riding. Then, I feel focused and centered when I sit down at the keyboard. If I need a midday break I do some gardening--maybe prune some hydrangea bushes to feel a sense of accomplishment, before heading back to the computer.

    (Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I do much research?

    (Deborah): Research should be my middle name. I've got a master's degree in library science--there's probably something about books and libraries that is hardwired into my psyche. I've been an historic
    photograph editor on several book projects, when I spent days searching through museum collections wearing cute white cotton gloves to prevent damage to priceless images. I've always enjoyed learning about other eras, so doing historic research seems to come naturally, and weaving actual events into the lives of my fictional characters has been the most fun of all.

    (Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I have a website?

    (Deborah):  My website took a few days to complete, plus a couple of phone calls for technical assistance, but it is up and running at www.deborahwildingauthor.com. One of the most interesting features on the site is a slideshow of photographs from my personal collection, showing Honolulu as it looked between the late 1800s and V-J Day, in 1945. Not that I was around then!

    (Lynda Asks):  If I were you and wrote books: Would I be a pantser or plotter?

    (Deborah): Plotter to the max. And very low tech. To begin with, I taped on my wall a gigantic home-made calendar with the dates from mid-November to mid-December 1941 while I wrote "Then I Met You." Penned on each day in ink were things like, events in Hawaii, ships in port, newspaper headlines--even moon phases. Then on post-its, I wrote the activities and emotional reactions of each character. The post-its had to be shuffled around from date to date like crazy during the planning and plotting phase before I got them settled into a comfortable pattern as the book took shape. I thought I might get bored or stifled, writing from such a structured format, but the strangest thing happened--when I didn't have to worry about what happened next, I could concentrate on my first loves: dialog and setting. Then, too, the characters didn't always behave the way I expected! So I had to make some adjustments along the way.

    #WWII #Hawaii #Research #V-JDay #Rainforest

    Visit Deborah at the following links:

    Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS BY Chrys Fey

    My guest today is Chrys Fey. Welcome to Between The Pages, Chrys. Please introduce yourself and then I'll ask you some questions that will help us get to know you a little better.

    Hi everyone! I’m Chrys Fey, the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. I am a lover of rock music, fairy tales, and cats. I started writing when I was twelve-tears-old and haven’t stopped since. I am thrilled to be here on Lynda’s blog. Her interview sounded so unique and fun that I couldn’t pass up on it. Let’s get started. Shall we?

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like?

    (Chrys) Your desk would have a witch’s cauldron (or what I refer to as a writer’s cauldron) full of pens, highlighters, and scrap paper. You’d also have a green Power Ranger action figure sitting on your desk, which was a gift from your nephew to battle writer’s block.

    (Lynda) I must admit, I've never considered an action figure as a weapon against writer's block. Very original. :)

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What things would inspire me?

    (Chrys) Anything and everything. A screw you unearthed from the roots of grass when you were a child would inspire a whole series that would spark your passion for writing. A safety pin you see sitting on your nightstand will inspire a scene in a story, and every dream you have a night will have the potential to become a book.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I do when taking a break from writing?

    (Chrys) You’d read every chance you get, indulge in Thursday night TV (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder), draw fashion designs, pen song lyrics, and make jewelry.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing?

    (Chrys) Absolutely! You’d have four cats that you rescued from your backyard from an unknown fate involving rowdy twin boys. These kitties will stretch out on your desk, leaving very little room for your keyboard.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write for myself or my readers?

    (Chrys) You’d write for yourself AND for your readers. The first draft is always more for yourself, but as you edit it, you’re perfecting it with your readers in mind.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time?

    (Chrys) You’d never get over that excitement. Seeing your book cover for the first time is the most amazing feeling. It lets you know your story is really going to be published and it’s also a thrill to see your story come to life with colors and pictures.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I have a website or blog? If so, where can they be found? Do I offer promo features for other writers on my blog?

    (Chrys) You would have both. Your blog will be the most important tool, though. This is where you’ll offer writing tips on Mondays, fun posts for readers on Wednesdays, and author guests on Fridays for interviews and scene spotlights. You’d call your blog Write with Fey.

    (Lynda) And Chrys has a new READER'S INTERVIEW feature on her blog that is very fun and interesting. I really enjoy reading those.

    (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, And I was stuck in solitary confinement, what five items would I most want with me?

    (Chrys) An infinite supply of notebooks and pens, Internet access so you could blog and email your editor, and lots tea and chocolate for that mid-afternoon craving!

    Books: www.amazon.com/author/chrysfey

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChrysFey

    Blog: www.writewithfey.blogspot.com

    Website: www.ChrysFey.com

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChrysFey