Interview with Author Ron Bagliere

Welcome to this week’s author interview with Ron Bagliere. Besides being an author, Ron is also an editor. Ron has posted on my blog as a guest before but this time he shares his answers to my interview questions.

Thanks, Ron, for participating in my interview.

About Writing/Books/Being an Autho

1 Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

The Lord of the Rings.
It had a tremendous impact on me as it started me writing some 30 odd years ago. For me, the epic fantasy novel was an affirmation on the spirit of friendship and having someone who would go through hell with you, and so I totally identified with the two hobbits, which got me to want about my experiences.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I was 27 at the time.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Marrion Zimmer-Bradley – Kristian Hannah – Arthur C. Clark – Lisa Wingate

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

That’s a big question. Writing is expression of myself in many ways, so it’s a journey. Creating characters with depth is such a joy and a challenge that I love and I can get lost for hours in their musings about life and their hopes and dreams – because yes, my characters are people. That probably makes me schizophrenic – LOL. As far as what I don’t like – that would be the marketing aspect, although it’s really not so much a dislike – rather it’s a distraction from doing the thing I really love: WRITING!

5. Where do your ideas come from?

For the last 5 years, most of my focus has been on Nepal and the people there, the culture, the land, and the mountains. Nepal is so rich with all these things and the backdrop so magnificent that stories just come naturally. Overall, stories come to me organically – things I see and hear, music, poetry all inspire narratives. I’m constantly drawn to broken people who are survivors, full of courage and resilience.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

Well, I used to draw quite a bit when I was younger, and people told me I was talented. I also enjoy photography and a few of my pictures made it into our local museum here in Syracuse.

7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King

8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

75% of my characters have been created with people I have met. The other 25% come from the dark side – LOL

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Can’t say as I have, although I have run into some people who have had various mannerisms of some of my characters.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Ah, that is good question. I have found the titles find me rather than me going and looking for them. They usually find me somewhere around the last few chapters of my first draft, with the exception of “The Lion of Khum Jung”. That came instantly right in the beginning, when I was over in Nepal.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Right now I’m in the middle of a three book series that takes off after “The Lion of Khum Jung”. In 2014 Nepal suffered a series of natural disasters that affected the country economically and lives lost. This series touches on these disasters, which were the Everest Avalanche that ended the climbing season on Everest and took the lives of 16 Sherpa guides – the monsoon that displaced 170,000 people due to flash floods and flooding in general, and landsides in several districts throughout the country – and finally, the freak blizzard on the Annapurna Circuit that took the lives of 43 trekkers and stranded nearly 300 people on the trail. All three of these books focus on the these disasters through the eyes of the characters, drawing them together to be stronger than they believed themselves to be. The first novel in the series “On My Way to You” is slated to be out by the end of this year with the others following a year apart.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I have received 2 awards for “Lion of Khum Jung” here in Syracuse and nationally, although I always leave it to my readers to decide what they think. If I can touch one person’s life, making it a tad better by something I’ve written, then it’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Trek the Annapurna Circuit and learn both Nepalese and Lhasa (Tibetan) languages

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

There are so many, it’s hard to pick one. I guess if I’m pressed I guess it would be my not realizing I was washing my hair with conditioner only while I was in Nepal. After a few days I looked like Jack Nicolson in the Shining. My hiking partner had quite a laugh at my wild look.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Not much that it was weird, but rather serendipitous. In my novel, The Lion of Khum Jung” I had the main character singing “Country Roads” by John Denver, which I thought was a stretch seeing how the story is in Nepal – but when I went back this year and was up in the mountains I heard the song playing not once, but three times during my trek. It raised goose bumps on my arms.

16. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

1,000 year old eggs. I don’t recommend the delicacy to the faint of heart

17. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Umm…let me see…NEPAL? J

18. What makes you happy?

My family and friends – they are the glue to life for me.

19. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Hiking with friends and family. There’s nothing like being with the people I love on a nice long trail in the woods or in the mountains.

20. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Bob Hope at LAX back in 1978, Don Henley, Michael MacDonald (backstage at the Syracuse War Memorial in 1977).

Ron’s Links

Website: https://rjbagliere.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00LQ7NB3Y

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Interview with Author Gabriel Constans

This week’s interview is with Author Gabriel Constans. I chuckled at more than one of his answers and his non-answer to #14 has piqued my curiosity.

Gabriel, good luck with your screenplays and I really do hope you win an award for one of them some day. Thanks again for participating!

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

The book was “Autobiography of a Yogi”. It changed the way I looked at the world and what is possible.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

In high school, when I began writing articles and editing an alternative paper.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Isabelle Allende, James Baldwin, Sarah Waters, Alice Walker, Chitra Divakaruna, Alexander McCall Smith, Nora Zeale Hurston, Pat Conroy, Barbara Kingslover, Wallace Stegner, etc.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

Favorite thing about writing is being able to describe a scene in my head well enough for others to grasp it themselves and make them think, feel and/or question. Least favorite aspect of writing is knowing when to stop editing and get on with it.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Personal experiences, friends, family, history, world evenings, personal relationships, other books, stories and movies, and primarily my imagination.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I enjoy playing the ukulele, though I’m not sure how much “talent” is involved.

7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

That’s a great question. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Nora Zeale Hurston.

8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

My characters resemble, or remind me of, different people I have, and/or do know, or have heard about. Having met hundreds of individuals and their families, with hospice, in hospital, private counseling, and survivors of various forms of trauma, has provided a plethora of possibilities.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Not that I can recall. Usually, it is the other way around.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I really enjoy coming up with titles for books (and other things). It takes time to get just the right one, which must include a clear relation to the content and/or theme of the book, and that is catchy and grabs the attention of possible readers.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I have three screenplays either produced, in development, and or production, with four others I’m working on getting optioned and/or picked up for production.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

My wife gave me the award of “most persistent and steadfast”. I hope she was talking about my writing.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Win an Academy Award, Indie Spirit Award, and/or Golden Globe, for one of my screenplays.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I can, but will I? I think not.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Well, I can’t explain life, and it’s pretty weird.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

Not really. I do have to have everything around me cleaned and put away though before I sit down to write.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

A gentleman never tells.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Mendocino, California and Killarney, Ireland.

19. What makes you happy?

Loving. Making love. Being loved. Other people’s happiness and pleasure. Chocolate and stories.

20. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Playing music, working in the garden, reading, meeting friends, or watching movies.

21. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Joan Baez, Bell Hooks, and Eve Ensler.

Check out Gabriel Constans’ books here: http://www.gogabriel.com/books.html


Interview with Author N. R. Tupper

New year, new author interviews. For 2019 I will be posting more frequent interviews so check back weekly to find out about some of your favourite authors or perhaps find a new one.

First up for this first week of January is sci-fi author, N. R. Tupper. Not only is she a novelist but she plays piano semi-professionally too. And unlike me she enjoys the editing process.

Thank you for participating!

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

The Truth Trap by Frances A. Miller. Honestly, I think I was way too young to be reading it. If I recall correctly I was around 10 or 11? It’s a pretty hefty story for someone that young and it left a pretty deep mark. In it the main protagonist is falsely accused of murdering his sister and while dealing with the searing pain of her death he also has to deal with being horribly abused while in prison.  It left a lasting impression. I don’t think I could read it as an adult but I also don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I’m not sure it was a matter of realizing I wanted to write so much as knowing I wanted to tell stories. From as far back as I can remember I loved telling stories. At first I would hear stories, then repurpose them in my own way before retelling them but eventually I started telling my own original stories based off the things I love. I guess you could say I got my start in oral fanfiction!

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Joan D. Vinge. Robert Ludlum. Justin Cronin. Pierce Brown. Suzanne Collins. Many, many others but if those names are on a cover I’m 99% likely to buy the book.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

I despise the drafting process but adore the editing process. There’s something so satisfying about polishing that rough draft!

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Anything/everything. I once got an idea from a story from looking at a wind chime and my most recently published series came from a documentary on cults.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I play piano semi-professionally, I knit, crochet and enjoy sewing (though I’m not so great at sewing), and I can type at 140wpm (I figure that’s a talent!)

7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Definitely the Passage by Justin Cronin! That world is both terrifying and interesting. I’d love to see it first hand but I’d hate to live in it.

8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

They are generally completely made up but might resemble an IDEA. For example, in my latest series the main character was born from a cult documentary and the thought: What is it like to have to choose living a false religion or being forever separated from your family? After the fact I sometimes think a character I created reminds me of someone I know but I never deliberately model them after anyone.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Kind of! Haha. When I was 13 and struggling with self esteem and confidence I created this character named Jardia. As an adult I realized that I modeled MYSELF after HIM. It was almost as if his personality was the person I wished I could be. Funny, now I kind of am him but I certainly wasn’t way back in the day when I first started exploring his easy-going, flirtatious confident self. I guess he was a Mary Sue?

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

It’s a painful, horrible, soul-wrenching process. Generally, I try to find a title that ties into the story in some way. During the drafting stage I almost always give a ‘standing title’ that changes when the story is done. Sometimes I’ve stumbled upon the perfect title right from the start though.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I am currently struggling to finish the third novel in my series. After that I am hoping to move onto a lighter children’s story to cleanse my palette before tackling the NEXT book in the series!

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No, but I’ve never entered any contests where awards would be given.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I would love to travel out of country. I have lived my entire life in this country (Canada) and have only glimpsed the border of the U.S. but have never actually gone anywhere.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I embarrass myself daily. I think the funniest moment I can recall from recent memory is this hilarious customer I had at my old job. We had this sale called 10 for $10. So, you could buy 10 items of a specific type for $10. This lady came up to the tills all disgruntled because chocolate bars were supposed to be 10 for $10 but they were instead marked $1 each. Watching my assistant manager try to explain to her that $1 each equals 10 for $10 was the funniest moment I’ve experienced in awhile. I would have felt bad for her but her attitude was so horrible it was hard to feel any sympathy! Making mistakes is natural, yelling and berating store employees and calling them stupid when you’re in the wrong? Yeah, not so natural or forgivable.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Absolutely!  I am a bit of a skeptic but I’ve seen things that make me wonder. I know the brain is tricky and often seeing ‘ghosts’ or hearing voices can be attributed to a fault in the brain, like a circuit that fires off when it shouldn’t. But, I’ve had experiences that were shared and that’s when I take pause.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

Nope!

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I have tons of food allergies so I have to admit I don’t do weird food! I think the weirdest I have ever gotten with food is eating oysters. I know! Not weird, but that’s about as spicy as I get.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love Southern Alberta. I think it’s just beautiful. Mountains AND prairies AND deadlands? Yes, please!

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

LARPing. There were these neighbor kids I used to play with and instead of playing with Barbies or toys they would LARP (unofficially). If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically taking on a persona, deciding on a storyline and then acting it out. We were never scripted, it was all impromptu imaginative play but it was my absolute favorite play activity ever. Sadly, there weren’t many kids who would participate.

20. What makes you happy?

My husband. My family. My cats. Reading and writing. And my piano.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Playing video games, playing my piano, knitting or crocheting most likely. And if none of those, I’m probably organizing some random part of my house or creating countless ‘wish lists’ for the future.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

The closest I’ve come to a famous person is some famous rock star who came through my old workplace. I didn’t recognize him though. My coworkers all freaked out but I served him like any other customer because I just had no idea he was famous! Haha. I still don’t know who he is really, despite them telling me.

Author links:

Website: nrtupper.wixsite.com/nrtupper 

Facebook: facebook.com/nrtupper

Email: nrtupperauthor@gmail.com

2018 Author Interview Recap

As 2018 nears its end, I would like to thank all the authors who participated in my blog, and to the readers who took the time to learn about favourite and new to them authors. I will continue my monthly interviews in 2019 and if you would like to contribute please send me a message. I wish you all a safe, happy, and prosperous 2019.

January
John Callas 

February
KG Petrone 

March
Sandi Bischoff   

April
Shan L. Scott 

May
Faith Bloom 

June
Lauren Boehm-Lynch 

July
June V. Bourgo

August
Sharon C. Williams

September
Heather B. Moon 

October
J. Craig Rice 

November
Sally Cronin 

December
Billie Kowalewski 

Author Interview – Billie Kowalewski

I am happy to have Author Billie Kowalewski as my interview guest for December. Billie has some entertaining answers to my questions. I am honoured by her answer to question 3, loved her answer to question 7, and intrigued by her response to question 15. Thanks again, Billie, happy you could participate.

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

Ramona Quimby By Beverly Cleary. She was always so spunky and a little bratty like me and I felt like I identified with her when I read those books.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

For as long as I can remember I wanted to do it. I didn’t think I did this but, from what others have told me recently, I guess I talked about writing a book a lot growing up. I lacked the courage to be able to try for a long time which is a shame really. Thankfully I found the courage finally in 2010 and I’ve been so happy ever since. It’s hard work, but it’s definitely something I enjoy. Never let fear keep you from doing something you really want.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

I have a lot of them. Stephanie Meyer, Lauren Kate, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Sandra J Jackson (Yes, I mean you. I loved Promised Soul) this is just a few really, I have many more. I discover new ones I love almost every day.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

Okay, lets start with my least favorite stuff. The obvious, I hate writers block like every other writer. I also hate that I can’t do it full time yet. It frustrates me that I only get a couple of hours to write most days lately, if at all. But that will all sort itself out eventually, I hope.

What I love about writing is that it’s like reading in reverse. I get just as lost in the story I am creating as I would with another authors book. I form a bond with my characters too and end up loving them as if they are real and I look forward to working with them every day.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere. I see scenarios in every day things all the time and I write down those ideas constantly. Sometimes, the kids on the bus will say something silly and that will inspire me too. Music is a big influencer. A song will come on occasionally that will send my imagination soaring. I love that one the most.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I wish I could say I’m a very talented singer or painter. Nope nothing like that. I’m double jointed in my left thumb (It’s a talent depending on how you look at it.) I drive big buses for my day job, and I’m a well of useless (it’s all in how you look at it) driving knowledge like licencing, and road rules. I can also remember every person I’ve picked up and where they all go. I often tease them saying: “I’ll never remember your name, but I know where you live.”

7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

As dorky as this is gonna sound, my own book Enlightened. What I would give to hang out with my characters just once. I have a dream of one day being able to hug them all.

8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

I have a little of both. I will never reveal “who is who” but a couple of the characters are a smash up of two different people I knew because their traits and personalities worked so nicely together, I couldn’t resist.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

YES! Freaked me right, out.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I came up with Enlightened on my own because of what the book is about. The other two Divided and Awakened which are the second and the third book in the Enlightened series my daughter titled them. She did great, because the titles fit what they are about perfectly.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I don’t have much to tell yet other than I am starting another book, and I’m still in the planning and outlining stage. I have 3 characters that I play with in my imagination daily. No title for it yet either.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

So far, Enlightened is my only award-winning title. It won Distinguished Favorites in 2017 from Independent Press Awards.

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Stick my feet in the Pacific Ocean.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I can’t believe I’m gonna tell this one, it was what came to mind suddenly. Are you Ready?

One day back in fourth grade, I believe the year was 1985, and I was about 10 years old at the time. I was not one of those kids whose parents had a lot of money, so I wore a lot of hand-me-downs from cousins and wore other things until they were worn out or I out grew them. Where I grew up the 4th and 5th grade was separate from the elementary school and the middle school in its own building. So, in our young minds, we weren’t quite babies anymore because we were no longer in elementary school. So, things like clothes were starting to matter a bit. Not that I cared about that kind of thing normally, because generally speaking my clothes at that time weren’t so bad. My under garments however were a different story. I was in gym class. Our school was small, and the gymnasium had a stage on one end and would double as an auditorium at times. I don’t remember what we were playing in gym that day, but I do recall sitting on the stage waiting for my turn. Someone called me over, so I jumped down from the stage. Well, as I did my back pocket snagged on a nail that wasn’t flush with the edge of the stage floor and the back of my jeans ripped open wide. I held my ripped pants together and rushed over and told the gym teacher who advised me to go to the office. For the record, this part wasn’t so bad, the gym teacher didn’t even question me when I told him what happened. When I reached the school office where all those bored gossipy housewives sat answering the phones that’s when everything turned. I was holding my pants closed when I entered the office. When the woman asked me what I wanted, I explained to her that I ripped my pants in gym and that I needed to call my mom. The woman told me I had to show her otherwise I couldn’t use the phone. I did try to say no (many times, I even begged) because I did not want anyone one to see I was wearing Smurf underwear. After a couple of tries I finally, and reluctantly, turned around and showed them. All of the ladies in the office laughed and then finally let me call my mom. Thank God, none of the kids saw what I was hiding that day. The office ladies were bad enough! Thankfully, in 2018 that sort of scenario would have gone a lot different. No, I’m not traumatized, in case anyone is wondering. It was a much different time back then, and it is one small part of my story that helped make me who I am today.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Yes, tons of things. My house is/was (not sure what’s going on with this it’s been about 3 years since our last little encounter) haunted and once a year my favorite apparition would do a little something to try to impress me. Usually around the end of January or the beginning of February and it was only just the one time. He’s poked me in the eye (which I sat up and told him he was mean) He banged on my radiator the next year (when I told him to stop because I had to work in the morning, he did.)  Played with the change in my glass bowl (I got up quick and turned on the light because I had pictured a mouse falling in or something. When I didn’t find anything in the bowl, I assumed it was him and I told him next time to drop in a hundred.) My favorite one is when he sat on the bed. (I sat up and yelled that was awesome!) It’s been quiet every year since. I miss him.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I knock on wood when I have to say something I don’t want to happen out loud.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I swallowed an ant once. It was in my cup of milk and I didn’t know it was in the cup until it was pretty much to late and swallowed it with the milk. Of course, everything came back up shortly after.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Anywhere. I don’t get to vacation very often, if ever, so I don’t have one just yet.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was roller skate, and I loved going to the roller rink. I loved the loud music, the disco light, the skating, the junk food. Those were the days!

20. What makes you happy?

My kids do. They are as weird as me, but smarter and better. I’m pretty sure both of them have a story in them as well. I’m just waiting to see which one of them bursts first. Writing makes me happy too. Good books. I meet someone new every day at my day job and I love that too. I also love the beach and the ocean.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Working mostly. My author activities can be a bit costly and I need to keep funding my habit.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Most recent, Mark Slaughter lead singer of the late 80’s band Slaughter!! Woo hoo! I got so lucky that day, I thought I was just in line for a tee shirt. The crowd parted just right, and I saw him. He hugged me, and I got a photo with my shirt. Totally cool. I’ve met mostly bands. Someday, I hope to meet Aerosmith. A girl can dream! L

Links

Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/authorbilliek/

https://www.facebook.com/enlightenedbookofficialpage/

Amazon link for Enlightened: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTBR36K

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/kowalewskibillie

Twitter:
https://www.twitter.com/enlightened31

Author Interview – Sally Cronin

Please welcome, Sally Cronin, as my guest for November. 

I first “met” Sally through her WordPress Blog, and I have to say I admire her work. She has a great blog and is always supporting and promoting other authors as well as writing her own books. So when I asked her to be my guest, I was thrilled she agreed to participate, knowing how busy she is. 

Thanks again, Sally! Oh, and I too have won money on Friday the 13th… twice. 🙂

1 Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I read the usual fairy stories and Enid Blyton books and loved them, but I really only got excited about reading at about 8 years old when I began borrowing books from my two sisters, who were ten and eleven years older than I was.  The first book that I remember really making an impact on me was Whatever Happened to the Corbetts by Nevil Shute. It was set close to my home town, along the coast in Southampton, and featured a family who take to their yacht following the bombing of the south coast and onset of disease and civil unrest. I was about 11 years old, and didn’t fully understand the significance of the book until later. The novel was actually written in 1938 before war broke out, but was so detailed in events that did occur, that 1000 copies were distributed at the onset of bombing, to the air raid wardens as a guide to what would happen. I went on to read all his books and particularly enjoyed those set in his adopted home of Australia

2. Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas from stories come from all over the place… literally. I have lived, worked and travelled abroad since I was a child, following my father from posting to posting with the Royal Navy and then with my husband in his career. I seem to have a pretty good memory going back to about three years old, particularly for people who have played a part in my development. From my amah in Ceylon, my first teacher Mrs. Miller, through to the elderly friends of my mother who loved to talk about their lives… and illnesses! Location is important but it is individuals and their stories that get me excited about writing. Sometimes the most unassuming person is holding onto a secret, or an experience that is out of the ordinary. Winkling those tales out of people is my favourite pastime.

3. If you could jump inside of a book for oneday (as an observer) what book would it be?

It would probably be Clan of the Cave Bear by Jeanm. Auel. Provided I could steer clear of the cave bear and other such fearsome creatures. How amazing to walk in the footsteps of Ayla during her early days of learning to be self-sufficient, and to survive in such a hostile environment. Certainly would not mind popping into the other books in the series either… just for the day though… there are certain modern amenities I don’t think I could live without. However, it would be a huge privilege and a fascinating experience to see our early ancestors up close and personal.  A book set further back than Clan of The Cave Bear is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray, but I think that would be far too tough an ask to visit. I don’t think you would get out of the book alive.

4. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I usually have a working title and then as the stories or the plot of a novel unfolds, I get a lightbulb moment and a title is born. Sometimes the working title sticks, such as with What’s in a Name?  Which is my two volume short story collections. Just an Odd Job Girl came from a comment someone made when I was telling them the story of all my temp jobs. They called me that from then on. Once I have a title in my head, I then google to make sure that there are not too many with a similar wording, and if so I work mine around.  With billions of books in the world, it is tough to be completely original.

5. What are you working on now and can youtell us about it?

My next project is going to be a departure from the books that have gone before. It is a new genre for me, new characters and hopefully it will develop into a series. I still need to get my head around it and will be spending the next few weeks writing it in my head and then come the New Year it is time to get serious. If I pull it off I think it will surprise those who currently read my books!

6. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No official awards, but to my mind, anytime someone takes the time to write a review and share it, I have achieved what I set out to do. Of course it does help if you put your books forward to the various award sites. Everything that throws a spotlight on your book is a good thing and with so many book titles being published each week, it is another way to make your title stand out. It is also an accomplishment to be celebrated.

7. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I would love to go to the Oscars as movies are another passion of mine. Of course if the film of one of my books happens to be nominated, that would be the icing on the cake. I cannot imagine anything more exciting as an author to see your credits rolling through on a screen of an award winning film. Dream big or go home

8. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I was born on Friday 13th and when I was growing up people said that I would be unlucky. As it turns out I have won the lottery on Friday 13th several times (okay only a small amount, but better than nothing). I have been offered jobs on that date, and I have had some pretty memorable experiences too. So I decided eventually to make an effort on Friday 13th to push my luck as far as possible.I nterestingly, having lived in Madrid for 17 years, it is Tuesday 13thwhich is considered unlucky.

9. What makes you happy?

Apart from my husband and family, my happiness is definitely linked to online activities. I love switching on my computer to write a post for my blog, interacting with friends around the world across social media, writing stories and receiving instant feedback, and being part of a very special community of like-minded and generous people.  I hope to still be doing this until the time has come to hang up this life, but it would be really nice if I could get to those Oscars first. Having said that, being happy is not dependent on any particular person or event now or going forward, it is something I have decided to be here and now.

10. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

That would be reading, listening to music and watching movies. I used to do tapistries for many years, that now adorn the walls but unfortunately even with glasses my eyes don’t seem to want to co-operate with fine stitches and needles. Thankfully although my husband listens to all his books rather than read them, and likes classical music rather than my rock ‘n’ roll and country, we love the same movies. If anyone would like a recommendation it would be Alpha. The film reflects my fascination with the books of Jean M. Auel and is set 20,000 years ago, with the development of the synergistic relationship between man and wolf.

Thank you again Sandra for inviting me over… it is much appreciated.

Bio

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. After a long and very happy career, I took the step to retrain as a nutritional therapist, a subject that I was very interested in, and to make the time to write my first book. Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.  As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sally’s Links

My books are available at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

And Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

Social Media

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

Author Interview – J. Craig Rice

Welcome J. Craig Rice – October’s author interview.

The answer to question 1 is inspiring, question 6 made me chuckle as I also have that talent (as I am sure so do many other creatives), and question 15 warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.

Thank you for sharing your fascinating (and sometimes humorous) answers to the interview questions.

 

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I love this question, because it had such an impact on my love of reading. I grew up in a house hold that had little education, my grandparents, who were raising me, were minimally educated and never found joy in reading anything other than the newspaper. I had a friend who was reading the book Gremlins, which had just been released in the theaters and he was talking about it a lot, and I was fascinated that a book had more details than a movie. I went out and bought my own copy and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It took me from Friday evening until Sunday to finish, I barely slept, but I couldn’t get enough. After that, I was reading everything I could get my hands on.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I didn’t realize I had an interest in writing until after years of doing it. I was introduced to the game Dungeons and Dragons when I was in my freshmen year of High School. This was also during the time when playing or being involved in D&D was viewed as a cult and worshiping Satan. I found I loved running the games because I couldn’t stop being creative and I admit my mind wouldn’t shut down and some of my friends thought I was more than a little deranged. After I started reading the Dragonlance series, I realized I wanted to write similar books, but coming from a low education background, all my attempts was viewed as a waste of time and eventually, that passion crumpled under peer pressure from my family.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

This is hard to answer, I love Steven Gould, but I believe that is more for the content of the Jumper series than anything else, after that I try to stick to reading Indie Authors and haven’t locked down one I like the most.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

My favorite thing about writing is getting the ideas out of my head into written word, sharing my thoughts and dreams with anyone who will read them. My least favorite thing about writing is my lack of skill at it. I’ve always known I had the talent to write, but as I often got bored in school, I wasn’t the most attentive in my classes and the skills I needed, I didn’t pick up.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Everything and everywhere. My favorite genre is always going to be science fiction/fantasy, but as I found my niche for writing comes from romantic comedy, I just look around, people I talk to, things I see, movies, television, books, ideas come from everything that crosses my path.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I’m very talented at procrastination. I honestly haven’t thought about it much.

7. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

All of my characters come from bits and pieces of people I’ve interacted with throughout my life. I try to use the good parts the most, and the villains of the story are modeled after the aspects of what I hate the most in people’s behavior.

8. How do you come up with titles for your books?

This is my biggest weakness. I honestly hate the titles of my books and want to change them, but can’t seem to come up with anything better.

9. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

When I wrote The Wright Life, I actually wanted it to be a one and done, and move on to something else, but as the book was much longer than planned, it turned into needing a sequel. I had planned to finish it within the next year, but life stood in the way of doing that, and nearly two years later, I’m still working on it. What I can tell, is that Jim getting shot, isn’t the worse thing that could happen to him.

10. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Well, winning the lottery is high on that list. Honestly, I am pretty happy with my life, the ups and downs that come with breathing, gives me opportunity to learn and grow. My life isn’t perfect, but whose is? I have wonderful kids, a wife that hasn’t killed me yet, and a roof over my head. I think the only thing left, is to become a better writer.

11. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

Anything I ever did before having kids is truly embarrassing, anything after that was completely intentional.

12. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I consider myself to be an open-minded skeptic. I’ve never seen a ghost or demon, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Until that time, to me there is no such things as ghosts, but if I meet one, I will be interested in having a chat about it.

13. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I once swallowed a fly, completely unintentional and definitely not planned.

14. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love history, and as such Washington DC has always been my go-to destination spot. I’m hoping that someday, I will get to take a vacation and go back and spend more than one day there.

15. What makes you happy?

Definitely my kids. My youngest daughter was born with 2 chromosome abnormalities, so rare, she is the only recorded person on the planet with them. She has similarities to children with Autism, learning disabilities and a whole spectrum of other issues. The fact that she doesn’t grasp the difficulties this causes her and that she is always happy, brings me the greatest joy. When I look at her and see her smile, nothing makes me happier.

16. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Working, I’m always working.

17. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

That is a surprisingly large list. My favorite though was meeting Chris Claremont of X-Men fame. He is responsible for taking the X-Men comic books from a nearly canceled series to what it is today. I’ve also met Michael Dorn, Lt. Worf from Star Trek, I’m a big man, he makes me look tiny, met Drew Brees once, Donna Douglas, Elle May Clampet from The Beverly Hillbillies, and many others. I wouldn’t even suggest these people would ever remember me, but it was still cool. And those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

 

Craig’s links

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook