Author Interview: Camilla Downs #Poet #Writer #WordsofAlchemy #Nature #Inspirational #Family

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels
  • Where are you from and in which area of the world do you live now?

I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana.

  • Tell me about the inspiration/s for your new book “Words of Alchemy.”

About six years ago, I visited Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California. The beauty was quite overwhelming, bringing me to tears. As I drove home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, sitting to take it all in. While doing this, poetic words bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events.

Here’s that first poem and a few photos from Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Earth Dance

As the sun’s rays dance upon you like stars twinkling in the night sky, so shall our souls dance upon this Earth. As you are who you are with ease, so shall we no longer struggle to be who we are. As you adjust to the World around you without struggle, so shall we go with the flow of life. As you release your beauty, power, and love for us to enjoy and learn from, so shall we drop the facade of our bodies and identifying with materialism and what we’ve accomplished … And so shall we become vessels of love, joy and peace.

Fallen Leaf Lake with Mount Tallac
Lake Taloe
Camilla hugging a tree Fallen Leaf Lake

  • How did you decide on the title?

What a great question! I like to get ideas out of my head, onto “paper” (in my case, on the computer) as I’m a visual type person. I have to see ideas and concepts to know whether or not they work. I also look at the content to see what I can pull from within the content, that also encompasses the entire book. Shortly after deciding on “Words of Alchemy” for the title, the idea to replace chapters with alchemy sections was born. Synchronistically, this also helped me with organizing the poems as I was stuck with that part of the process.

Here’s a photo of the “Chapter” page.

Its lovely to see that your children are also involved in publishing books. How did this come about? You must be very proud of their books: your son Thomas’s Biggest Little Photographer, and your daughter’s debut book Where Would You Fly and Other magical Stories. 


When Lillian was 4 years old, I had a knowing that she (and I) would write books. Due to her chromosome deletion, she has difficulty articulating words so she is not easily understandable when she speaks. However, she has (and had) all of the words in her mind, struggling to articulate them. I began researching how to self-publish, collecting information for when the time was right. This was around 2005. My dad bought her a mini laptop in 2007, and I set up a blog for her. We began writing stories together, and soon after she took it from there, writing and creating artwork.
When Thomas was 8 years old, a friend shared an article with us about a professional photographer who had taken a photo a day, for 365 days, of a LEGO mini figure taking a photo. Thomas was inspired and asked me if he could do the same. I responded that he could, and also told him that if he stuck with it, we’d publish it as a book. It was published in 2016, and Thomas is 14 years old now.


Next, it was time for Lillian’s book. I gathered her writings from 4 years old through 16 years old, categorized them, and we created a book, published in 2018. Thomas chose the title as he said it would be good for marketing. It’s also the title of one of the stories in the book.

The cover photo is a picture I took of Lillian.

  • What is the hardest challenge you have ever had to face?

The hardest challenge I’ve had to face began with one extremely hard decision, that opened the door to 13 years of healing. I divorced in 2007, beginning a journey of single parenting two kids, 1 year old and 5 years old at the time. One having special needs, the other with undiagnosed special needs. I had no idea how I would manage, as I was the sole parent, no weekends or holidays off. I made all parenting decisions alone. I spent the first year, sitting in the garage sobbing my eyes out (with a bottle of wine), whenever my kids went to bed. I had to let myself grieve over the life I thought I had, and thought that I would have in the future. 
Once I moved through the grieving, I began a path of admitting to myself that I was not okay. Deep down I didn’t respect myself, didn’t think myself worthy, didn’t unconditionally love myself, and didn’t know what it meant to be in a healthy, loving relationship with a partner. So began the journey of diving deep into myself, my past, and current situation, allowing myself to feel emotions and process events from long ago. All of this so that I could emerge a healthier person, knowing my worth, loving myself, and loving my kids as they should be loved …. unconditionally. Although I received care and affection as a child, I had never experienced unconditional love. On a wider scale, the past 13 years have been about halting familial patterns, doing my part to reverse unhealthy patterns, starting anew. 
It has not been fun, it has been deeply challenging. In fact, there were many times I considered just ending it all. The split second that thought would enter my mind, my kids faces would appear, reminding me that ending it was not the solution. I persevered, teaching myself that I can trust myself to be strong, courageous, peaceful, and compassionate when the situation calls for it. It sure as hell wasn’t easy, but it sure as hell was worth it.

  • As a single mother of two children, one of whom has a significant chromosomal disorder what advice would you give other single women in a similar position.

I can think of three suggestions. 
One is not to let anger and pride get in the way of making decisions that are in the best interest of your kids. I did that in the very beginning, not asking for the type of financial support we really needed from their dad. I was angry and held an “I can do this my myself” attitude. 
The second is to find a way to let go of guilt and shame, and ask for help. There are those who want to help, and will do it with loving kindness. 
The third is to find a support group, online or in-person, that has to do with your child’s differences. These people will be a life-line and offer endless support. I discovered the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society the night of Lillian’s diagnosis in 2004. This group and its members are like family to us, and it has been invaluable, with the relationships we have built and with the materials presented at the yearly conference.

  • When did you start writing and why?

I kept a diary as a young girl, from middle school through junior high school. I discontinued when reaching adulthood, picking it up again during my separation and divorce, continuing through to this day. The diary writing as a young girl was mostly written to share the dysfunctional family life I had, with my complaints, and about friendships and crushes. 
Later in life, I took up journal writing once again for some of the same reasons, yet, with a difference. Writing, getting things out of my head, helps me to see situations differently, helps me to process life experiences, and to discover solutions. Writing is deeply therapeutic for me, allowing my creative and imaginative nature to come out and play as well.

  • I’d love to know what you are working on next.

I’m currently working on marketing my latest book, as well as Thomas and Lillian’s books. 2020 is the year of rejuvenation for me, the year of pressing the reset button. I’ve been on a 13 year journey of deep healing connecting with feelings and events from my past, letting myself feel emotions, and working through much internal upheaval. It has been incredibly exhausting!
I reached a tipping point with that journey in the beginning of 2020, and am now ready for some rest and leveling out. I’m not working on writing projects currently. However, I do feel several projects brewing. I never really know what the next one will be until I focus on it. I hope to one day have a book written by all three of us. We shall see.

  • What is ‘beauty’ to you?

Beauty is seeing and knowing one’s own beauty, when it is reflected back to oneself from nature, from other people, from life experiences. 

  • What are your favourite genres?

I have made shifts throughout my reading years. As a child and teenager I was all about fiction and horror. As an adult I shifted to mysteries, reading every book Agatha Christie had written, ending with her autobiography. Then I shifted to only business books, autobiographies and biographies of successful people. Reading then shifted to non-fiction books in the self-help, mind, body, spirituality type books. With  the latest shift being opening back up to the fiction genre, along with creative non-fiction, memoirs and books about writing.


What books are you reading currently? 


I’m just finishing two books that I have thoroughly enjoyed. One is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean and the other is “all about love” by bell hooks. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but, if the topic sounds interesting, I highly recommend them.

  • Have you a favourite quote or saying?

It’s difficult to pin down just one quote or say. However, I have found this one to be a great reminder, many times: “You’re intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” -Ray Bradbury

  • Which season is your favourite and why?

I can’t choose just one. I love each season for the differences they bring in nature, and within myself. 

  • What other hobbies do you have apart from writing?

I love reading, having a once a week movie night with my kids, going for walks, creating art when the mood strikes (usually with items found in nature), keeping our online journal, TheTeamTLC.com, up to date, and working on MeetingtheAuthors.com. Thomas and I are currently watching the Marvel movies from beginning to end. I am deeply enjoying sharing this with him. We’ve been at it for almost a year, watching about one per month. Next up, Spider-man: Homecoming. 
I’m also a practitioner of meditating. However, I’m taking a break during this year of pressing the reset button. For six years, I meditated nearly every day. It was a beautiful experience and helped me to process life events. About two months ago, I just had a knowing that I was to take a break. I’d been going hardcore with the healing and mediating. It was time.

  • It must be wonderful to be the founder and host of Meeting The Authors. I expect you have ‘met’ many new fascinating authors? 

It is absolutely wonderful and inspiring. This is one idea I am grateful to have listened about, and then took action! About a year ago I joined an amazing book group that connects authors and bloggers. I saw the tremendous need for authors to have more online exposure. 
I’m one of those people who gets ideas for new endeavors constantly, sometimes daily. I’ve learned to get the ideas out of my head, on paper (my laptop) so that I can “see” the idea. I let it marinate for a week or two or more, while I research what it would take to make it happen. I did that with Meeting the Authors. I hadn’t even launched it when I asked a question about launching it in the book group. I had over 100 authors comment on the post, requesting to be interviewed. I knew it was needed. I’m also thankful that I don’t act on every idea, letting most fall away. I’d never sleep!
I am a networker at heart. I love meeting new people, sharing ideas, getting to really know one another. I used to attend in person events to network and meet like minded people. Now, I network online. I like to be authentic with networking. I want people to know the true me and vice versa. 

MeetingtheAuthors.com has turned into a huge online networking event. HA!

  • It’s nice to see you are also featuring book bloggers. How did this come about?

Another idea that came to me as I networked in the book group, while at the same time going through lists of book bloggers, emailing ones that were a fit for my book. I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely to interview the book bloggers, asking them the questions an author would need to know before contacting them. Plus, throwing in a few personal questions to help us get to know them better. I’m having great fun shining the spotlight on book bloggers. They are a hard working group of people, simply because they love reading and books. Many of them are authors, too, or aspiring authors. It’s a win win for all.


Thank you Marje for having me on your blog. I deeply appreciate the thoughtful questions you’ve asked. I enjoyed answering each one as it caused me to dig deep and really think about my answer. 

It’s been my pleasure Camilla, you are a delight and I am so looking forward to reading Words of Alchemy. I have a feeling (and my feelings are normally right!) that I will love it. I reckon you and I are kindred spirits!


Words of Alchemy:The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love … in one beautiful book.

Book Blurb: In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”

– Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” –

 G. Brian Benson– Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”

– Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”

– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Author Links:

Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http:/theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central:

  amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors:

 http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): 

http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/

Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central:  amazon.com/author/camilladowns


All of our bookshttp://camilladowns.com/books/

Thank you so much Camilla for visiting my blog Kyrosmagica.

I feel as if I have been transported to such beautiful places – Lake Fallen Leaf and Taloe – gorgeous. Made me so happy!

I think you will agree Camilla is a fascinating, resilient lady to be admired. I loved the photo of her hugging a tree. Wish I could have been there to give the tree and her a hug too!

Please do comment below.

Have you read Words of Alchemy? Can’t wait to read it.

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

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

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

Collaborations:

The Spiritual Sisters are:

Adele Marie Park Author & Personal Blog: Firefly465

Annette Rochelle Aben Author & Personal Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen M. Chesebro Author & Personal Blog: Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry colleenchesebro.com

Debby Gies (aka, D. G. Kaye) Author & Personal Blog: D. G. Kaye, Writer

Marjorie (MJ) Mallon YA/Paranormal Author: mjmallon.com

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Author Interview: Michael Lynes #GhostlyRites #Anthology #PlaistedPublishing

A big welcome to my next Ghostly Writer: Michael Lynes who is also a fellow member of the Ghostly Rites Anthology due for release on October 31st.

Interview questions:

Why did you decide to write? I began writing a memoir for my son Christopher Aaron – “There is a Reaper” released in 2015. That project led to a collection of short stories – “The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed” released in 2017 and a Full length novel “Destroyer’s Blood” based on one of the short stories in that collection was released in 2018. My latest novel “First Blood” is the second book of that trilogy and will be out in November of 2019.
What do your family and friends think of your writing life? I think they are both supportive and interested in the various stories I’ve written. Some friends have become fans and I’ve gotten lots of help with story ideas and ‘beta’ readers from my family and other friends.
Tell us a bit about your current writing projects The latest novel in the Blood Series – “First Blood” is Book two of The Adventures of Devcalion. It’s due to be released in November of this year. In this work we pick up from the end of the conflict in Destroyer’s Blood – following Dev and Tray as they come into contact with the true power behind the battles they fought in “Destroyer’s Blood” – the final instalment in the trilogy – “First Blood” will be released in November of 2020.
Do you have a muse? Not specifically. I take my characters from people I know, or people I’d like to know – lol. My writing has been in multiple genre and many different situations and types of story arcs. I find the process itself intriguing.
What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend? Collaborations are fun and always produce interesting works. I am a member of several author groups but none are focused on collaborations, other than Ghostly Rites of course.
Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them. I work a lot on cars with my son. It used to be more of a common hobby, but these days people seem more inclined to not be DIY when it comes to their cars. My son and I have rebuilt engines together as well as replaced clutches, AC units etc. Lots of fun (for us) lol…
Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote? “Fear is the mind killer…the little death” – Frank Herbert “Dune”
Finish this sentence: For me writing is… Fun! And a lot of work too. It’s also very enjoyable, after you’ve finished…
Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying… My wife and I live in the secluded hills of Sussex County, NJ USA
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being? I can say that I am willing to believe in the spirit aspect of ghosts. Whether or not they truly can haunt is still a question in my mind. I’ve always been partial to the Jersey Devil myself as far a supernatural beings.

The Blood Series

It’s In the Blood – https://www.amazon.com/Its-Blood-Michael-Lynes-ebook/dp/B07FXT8KKL
Destroyer’s Blood – https://www.amazon.com/Destroyers-Blood-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07KCJNS7N
First Blood PREORDER: https://books2read.com/u/3kpDKR

Bio:
MICHAEL LYNES is the Award-Winning Author of The Blood Series. To date, the series has won the New Apply Literary, Indie BRAG Medallion, Readers Favorite for FANTASY and most recently the IAN Book of the Year Selection for Fantasy.
It begins with the novella “It’s in the Blood”. Continues with Destroyer’s Blood and the NEW release Book Two – FIRST BLOOD is due out on November 1st 2019.

Book One – “Destroyer’s Blood”

Reviewed By Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite
Destroyer’s Blood: The Adventures of Devcalion is the first entry in The Blood Series by Michael Lynes, a gripping fantasy with strong hints of Greek mythology. Meet Devcalion, “Dev,” a demigod, son of Prometheus and nephew of Zeus. He has a telepathic sword and a very close friend called Betrayer, “Tray”. When we encounter Dev, he and his friend are climbing up Half Dome. An encounter with Hermes changes everything, driving Dev to the last place he wants to be — Mt. Olympus. Dev and Tray are pulled into a war they never bargained for, a war against the greatest enemy of Zeus. With the darkest power in the universe bent on wreaking havoc, do they have any chance of surviving?

Destroyer’s Blood has been awarded the Silver Medal for Fantasy in the Readers Favorite Awards for 2019 and has won an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion for Fantasy. It also won the Solo Medalist in the New Apple Summer eBook Awards for 2019. Book Two – “First Blood” will be released in November of 2019.

His short story collection, “The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed”, was chosen solo Medalist Winner in the 2017 New Apple Summer Indie Book awards.
His memoir, “There Is A Reaper: Losing a Child to Cancer”, was an Indie B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion Honoree in January 2017, a silver-medal winner of the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Memoir, a medalist in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards for Memoir, a winner of the 2015 TISBA (The Indie Spiritual Book Awards), and a finalist in both the Independent Author Network 2015 Book of the Year award and the Beverly Hills Book Awards for 2015.

Most recently Mr. Lynes has been a Contributing Author to the 2019 Ghostly Rites Anthology.

Mr. Lynes was awarded a BSEE degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and currently works as an embedded software engineer. He has four sons, has been married for over thirty years, and currently lives with his wife and youngest son in the beautiful secluded hills of Sussex County, New Jersey.

Our first links to Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019:

Free Universal Buying Link: https://books2read.com/b/mv2Vvz?fbclid=IwAR1QxHsgD-ahPT4jhydWid7IC5bfpmSoV4N34XjEZXeEazQ-s5QJcX4A21k
Please note, it is showing as 99p on Amazon, which take a little longer for it to recognise its free elsewhere.

https://www.scribd.com/book/432606410/Ghostly-Rites-2019-Plaisted-Publishing-House-Presents

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/ghostly-rites-2019

I’m really enjoying interviewing my fellow Ghostly Writers.
Do check out my previous posts:
https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/
https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/26/author-interview-wendy-steele-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/
https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/27/interview-mara-reitsma-ghostlywriters-plaistedpublishinghouse/

Do comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Author Interview – Lynn Mullican #GhostlyWriters #GhostlyRites2019 #PlaistedPublishing

A big welcome to my next Ghostly Writer from Plaisted Publishing House – Lynn Mullican.

Interview questions: 

  1. Why did you decide to write? It’s just something I have always done and enjoyed. It’s in my blood.
  2. What do your family and friends think of your writing life? Most of my family and friends are excited for me. They know it’s something I have always enjoyed, so I have a lot of support behind me.
  3. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects. I’m currently working on many projects, one of which I feel is way overdue, my religious horror novel The Shadow of Evil. I’m also working on the fourth book in the paranormal Bad Elements series, Rise of the Underground. I have also started a spinoff of the Bad Elements series, Immortal Blessings. I have several short horror stories in the works, The Awakening III, Raven’s Hill III, and a few others.
  4. Do you have a muse? Yes, this muse lives in my dreams.
  5. What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend? If you have the right mix of authors, you can get some good collaborations. The Ghostly Writes/Rites anthologies seem to gather a great mix of authors who work great together. I’m in several groups, some of which I would recommend. My suggestion for authors is to determine why you want to join some groups and then start looking for them on your social media account. What might work for me might not work for another author.
  6. Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them… Hmm, I don’t know if it’s unusual but I enjoy archery and I’ve started working on some Halloween DIY projects, a couple of which have turned out pretty good so far. I’m still working on them, though.
  7. Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote? I think Marilyn Manson said it best, “What doesn’t kill you is going to leave a scar.”
  8. Finish this sentence: For me writing is… my life.
  9. Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying… I live in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. with my husband, Pat, my adult daughter, Cassie, and our two cats, Murray and Wilbur.
  10. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being? Yes, I believe in ghosts. My favorites would probably be ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and witches. I don’t have just one favorite supernatural being.

Bad Elements: Crystal Dragon

“Live and breathe your darkest fears!”

Bad Elements: Crystal Dragon – Synopsis

Crystal Bouchard awakens imprisoned in an underground cell with no recollection of how she got there and with no memory of her prior existence. Held against her will, her captors threaten to kill her son unless she fights to the death in the underground fighting circuit. Nicknamed “The Dragon,” she spends the next several years among werewolves and vampires.

Bad Elements: Crystal Dragon – Excerpt

After the commentator announced Kara, the crowd chanted her name. Kara entered the arena. I had to admit, I stood in awe of the woman. She was at least a foot taller than me and exceptionally muscular. I looked like a midget compared to her. Her hair was straight, black, and shoulder length. She looked like she might have been on steroids.

I would have to get the upper hand early in the fight, then go low and take her down. As Kara and I faced off, our fans screamed.

Kara threw the first punch which I was able to dodge. I sidestepped her and caught her in the rib.

She groaned and doubled over.

I moved in, grabbed her by her hair and brought my knee up into her face.

That was when she wrapped her arms around me, and tried to take me to the ground.

Instead, I ran into the wall behind me. An uppercut rocked my head back, banging it against the wall. I groaned. I took a shot to the stomach before I was able to get her off of me.

While we fought, the fans slammed each other against the bars. The commentator made the announcement for the fight to stop. We glanced up at him.

Recognizing it was for the fans to stop, we returned to our business. I rushed her, going low for the legs, and slammed her into the barrier. Even though she struck the concrete wall, she was still able to elbow me in the middle of the back.

I yelped in pain. The riot started above us again. A corpse struck the bars. The snarls and growls escalated, catching our attention as they echoed throughout the arena. Kara and I glanced at each other and then at the chaos above. The bars had been bent.

Kara stood near the barrier, trying to focus in on the crowd. Blood poured out from the bars, drenching her from head to toe. She stared at me, wide-eyed, as if she knew the inevitable. My mouth fell open. Fear set deep inside me, and from this point on everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

Kara stood frozen in place. The bars moaned beneath the massive weight, continuing to bend in multiple areas behind the steel barrier. Fearful that the bars were going to split wide open, I took a couple of steps back, ready to run.

The bars exploded throughout the arena. I threw myself to the ground and covered my head. Steel echoed off of concrete walls, rebounding around me. Two of the bars struck me in the legs. They were heavy, but not heavy enough to seriously injure me.

I glanced behind me at Kara, who had fallen to the ground with a male corpse atop her. It had been torn to shreds. I gasped in horror. Blood soaked the dirt surrounding her and the body.

She barely managed to get the man off of her and stand up when several fans jumped into the arena. I pulled myself up, watching them circle Kara. Covered in blood and guts, she gave me the look which I recognized as defeat.

She was defenseless against the lot of them.

I took one step toward them and then halted in terror. She was shredded within seconds. They devoured her, some still feeding off of her while she fell to the ground. More fans followed the others into the pit, coming towards me. Their lips curled back, revealing their elongated fangs.

I backed up, recognizing the difference between their fangs and Wayne’s. At first, I thought they were werewolves too, but their flesh was white and their eyes darker.

Then I made the connection: they were vampires.

I turned and ran straight for the open concrete door behind me, my heart pounding in my chest. I never ran so fast in my life.

Wayne stood just on the inside of the gate and yelled at me to hurry. There was no sign of Alex. My guess was that he had booked it, for he was mortal like me. He needed time advantage.

Something grazed my back. I screamed. The tiny hairs on my neck stood up. I was no match for these creatures. They were closing in on me. Wayne lurched forward and pulled me to safety behind the wall, gate and door.

Some of the vampires got stuck in the small room that barricaded the corridor from the main arena. This didn’t stop them, though. They tore through the door, blowing it apart. Pieces of it flew in all directions, striking us and the walls. We ran down the corridor.

Vampires shrieked behind us, followed by unhinged metal and something heavy rebounding against the wall. Wayne and I had already passed the commentator and were coming up fast behind Alex.

The commentator screamed. I presumed the heavy object had been the door to his small office. Blood sprayed the wall next to me.

Wayne let go of me and pressed me onward, before transforming into his alternate form.

Two of the vampires jumped him while he was still in mid-transformation. He slammed them into the walls.

I screamed. He received several bites before he fully transformed. His massive body took up most of the corridor, blocking us from all of the vampires except one. I ran through the door to our right, after Alex. The one vampire who was now amongst us jumped Alex just on the other side of the door.

Alex swung the door shut and fought back. He was thrown to the ground, the vampire atop him. I jumped on the vampire’s back, wrapping my arm around its neck. The door broke into pieces around us. Wayne stormed in, still in wolf form, and bared his teeth. The creature threw me off of its back. I struck the wall behind me, my head rebounding off of it. The vampire glared at me. I thought for sure I was dead.

Wayne ran full stride at the vampire. His claws echoed off the concrete floor and drove him into a wall. Alex jumped to his feet, threw open another door, and pushed me into the dark room. Screams and other noises which I associated with being mauled escalated in the room behind us.

As we ran into the room, Alex flipped on the light switch. Wayne mutated into his human form and ran into the room after us. He slammed the door shut, separating us from the vampires.

During the course of searching for her son, she slowly begins to recollect her prior existence before her imprisonment, pushing her deeper within the fighting circuit.

Bad Elements series: Crystal Dragon, Blood for Blood & The Hybrid Unleashed – FAQ’s

Main characters:

Crystal Bouchard AKA “The Dragon” is an amnesiac victim, a martial artist, a prisoner in an immortal world. She is a fighter and a survivor, a lover and a killer. Crystal is a determined mother on a mission to find and protect her family. She is stubborn, headstrong, intelligent, and beautiful. Crystal has unwitting sarcasm to aid and jeopardize her situation no matter what position she’s been put in.

Robert Bouchard is a law enforcement officer with secrets of his own. He is driven to find his mother who has been missing for several years. He’s a young, married man with a “special” wife and three half-bred werewolf children.

Tristan Ayers is a “unique” individual with extraordinary talents and abilities. He’s a special agent investigating unethical practices within the vampire and werewolf communities. One of his current missions is a role as protector. He is rugged looking with handsome features and has multi-faceted characteristics.

Jace Templeton is a strong, powerful and rogue vampire with unethical practices and habits. He is always looking for a new project and relies on his associates for mundane tasks. He is very intelligent, cunning and forceful. He is very passionate about his new venture.

Setting – time period and locations:

The book spans approximately a five-year timeframe from mid-2007 to about 2012. Some of the locations include the forests of Payson, Flagstaff, Munds Park and Prescott, Arizona. Some of the small towns and bars are located in Payson and Flagstaff, Arizona.

Lynn’s links:

https://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Dragon-Bad-Elements-Book-ebook/dp/B0088FAQS0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470534214&sr=8-1&keywords=lynn+mullican#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Mullican/e/B0055WRN3U/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.facebook.com/Author.LynnMullican/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/BadElementsSeries/?fref=ts

http://lynnmullican.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/lynnmullican

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4842137.Lynn_Mullican?from_search=true

Lynn’s teaser for Ghostly Rites 2019:

Well, that was a very fascinating interview and scary teaser. Thank you Lynn for coming over to chat.

I’m really enjoying interviewing my fellow Ghostly Writers.

Do check out my previous posts:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/
https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/26/author-interview-wendy-steele-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/27/interview-mara-reitsma-ghostlywriters-plaistedpublishinghouse/

There may be one or two more… we shall see if anymore Ghostly Writers come to chat!

Bye for now, ghostly peeps.

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime


Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

 

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Interview: Mara Reitsma #GhostlyWriters #PlaistedPublishingHouse

Welcome to the next Ghostly Writer, Mara Reitsma, who is here to chat to me today…

1. Why did you decide to write?
I have a rather, overactive imagination. Yes, that is what we shall call it LOL.
My mind is constantly on the go and writing is my way of clearing my head.
Sometimes, the stories or ideas get so intense I can’t concentrate on anything else, so I write them all down and hash out the in betweens. It was all fun and games until I met Mark McQuillen and between his Valkyrie and my Devil’s Daughters, the games expanded. It’s still fun, and we’ve managed to create eighteen full-length novels, most of which are in various stages of writing, editing, and cover revisions; and all of them taking place inside the same Tri-Verse (As in, there were too many stories for just one Universe, so we made three.) Some people write to become rich and famous, some because they need a hobby, and then there are those like me, who absolutely need to write, or we’ll go mad!
2. What do your family and friends think of your writing life?
Just where exactly do you think this crazy comes from? Did you know that the cows you see in the fields as you drive by, are actually T-Rexs wearing cow hats so they can lure people in for a light snack? Neither did I, until I asked my Dad to stop the car one morning so I could go see them. Or perhaps you heard about the Run-Away-Train that sped through my home city in the wee hours of the morning. A train that people could only ever feel and hear, but never see… Boom Boom lived in the mountains behind our old summer cabin and when he got angry, he would pound the side of the mountain with his mighty fists and make rocks roll down into the valley below. And all that, was just from my father.

My mother was just as bad. You learned not to ask what was for supper, or you’d
wind up with Giraffe kneecaps and Alligator toes. She used to swear up and down that there was a receipt in the house somewhere and she’d find it and return us all if we misbehaved. Papa always had a story to tell and Nana was, well, Nana was Nana.
‘Why does Nana whistle?’ We would ask, and Papa would reply, ‘She’s lookin for her broom!’ How were we to know that Nana wasn’t really a Witch? Do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t even escape it during the morning coffee chats with the ladies…
‘This man came through my till last night…’ turned into my story Winged Secrets.
‘We let him stay with us for a while and while we were away he held a party, with a Ouija board….’ turned into my story, Forever Touched.
‘The dryer keeps eating the socks, I swear someone is stealing all my socks’ turned into, The Secrets of Dry’r….
In all honesty, they probably think I’m nuts, but hey, I blame them for it all!
3. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects
Currently, there are seven series on the go. I know, it’s a lot, but it’s what I do when I’m not doodling. I just like to create.
*The Valkyrie Series, including Valkyrie: Darkness Awaits, Valkyrie: Darkness Rising, Valkyrie: Song of Darkness and Valkyrie: Rise from the Ashes. These stories were written by Mark McQuillen and revised to add more story line. They are currently in the process of having covers revised.
*A We Are The Devil’s Daughters Trilogy, including Zahara, Madrina and Euphamia. Written and covered by me in the early days, this series is up for revision too, to remove any oops’ in spelling.
*The Devil’s Daughters Crossover, including Legends, Chronicles, Judgments, Distorted Pasts and Illusions of the Present. Coming soon, What Futures Hold… Written by Mark McQuillen and myself, we see Mark’s Valkyries and my Devil’s Daughters set out on a new journey to bring balance to the Verse. These books are scheduled for revision for new covers!!
*The Sins and Secrets Series includes Ezrianna and coming soon will be the second book in the series, Ambrosia. Written by me, it takes a look at the more, sinful side of the Verse and The Black Rose Guild.
*Tales of the Petals Series includes Way of the Warrior, which has been published
and is up on Amazon already. Into the Shadows and Mask of Darkness are both in for editing and formatting. These stories were written in our Black Rose group and are comprised of parts from a few different authors in said group who enjoy writing
together.
* Various Anthologies: I love anthologies and have taken part in many.
Ghostly Rrites 2017, 2018 and 2019, Ghostly Romance 2017, 2018, 2019, A
Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories, Haven: A Special Edition Anthology and more. Right now, I am editing the book trailer for Ghostly Rites 2019. Should be awesome!
*A Quest Called Motherhood (Pen Name- T.C Creare):
I am a mother and mother’s have stories too; mine are just filled with sarcasm and utter chaos, which I am compiling into a hilarious collection for all to read. Why?
Because mother’s everywhere need to know that they are not alone. Crazy happens,
everywhere!
4. Do you have a muse?
Life is my muse. It’s full of love and laughter, sorrow and pain; and there is a story to be told for every moment. We, as authors, have to grasp that moment and make that story our own. We find the rainbows after the storm, the relief after a narrow escape and the wonder in every adventure. We bring life to the characters and love to their stories.
5. What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?
From the moment you sit down with an editor or cover designer, you are
collaborating. You are working together to bring your story to life. It is an essential part of publishing and when you have the right people on you side, wondrous things can happen. I tend to do my own thing and don’t really have many groups that I follow religiously, but I can name a few.
Plaisted Publishing House has been one of my go-to places for EVERYTHING.
Knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, it is always a pleasure working
with them. They have a few groups in which I spend my time, including… Indie Publishing News Group and Ghostly Writes Anthology Group on Facebook. If you have a short Ghostly story to share, then you should pop on over. The people are fantastic and the things you learn along the way could help you in ways you never thought possible. It’s all about connecting!
6. Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them…
Life, is unusual, and I dabble in it all. Doodling, Painting, Crafting, Clay and Pop Bottle Gnome Houses, Cover Design, Interior Book Illustrations, Crocheting…. The list goes on!
7. Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote?
If you do not want sarcasm, stop doing stupid!
8. Finish this sentence: For me writing is…
Almost everything!
9. Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying…
I live on the west coast of Canada in a city called Abbotsford, with my husband,
three kids and three cats, which I like to call my Ninjas.
10. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?
Did I mention above that I grew up in a house that was over eighty years old and the original dwelling for an old orchard? No, okay, so then I probably didn’t mention the laughter from children coming from the unfinished basement, and the fact that only my sister and my Nana could hear them. Maybe that was why she whistled? Or the old faded man and his dog that roamed the property and drove our West Highland Terrier wonky. They are very real and that house was full of them. My favourite supernatural being would have to be the Will-o-the-Wisps.

Links:
Covered By The Rose- https://www.facebook.com/groups/CoveredbytheRose/

Pages of Insanity- https://www.facebook.com/PagesofInsanity/
Website-
http://itybityqt.wixsite.com/marareitsma
Author Page- https://www.facebook.com/MaraReitsmaAuthor/

Mara’s teaser:

Well, what a fascinating interview. It’s been great having Mara around.

To read about the previous ghostly writers:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/26/author-interview-wendy-steele-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

Bye for now, ghostly peeps.

Social Media Links

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

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

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Author Interview: Wendy Steele #GhostlyWriters #GhostlyRites2019

 

I’m pleased to welcome Wendy Steele to my blog today. We are both contributing authors in Plaisted Publishing House’s Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019.

So first of all I am curious to know…

  • Why did you decide to write?

I’ve been a lover of words since I could read. During the power cuts in the 1970s, we played word games on scraps of paper by candle light and I’ve loved solving anagrams and crosswords ever since.

After visiting the Tutankhamen exhibition in London when I was ten years old, I came home and wrote a poem, and ever since, I’ve come home from new adventures and committed my thoughts and experiences to paper. 

I write fiction when the stories in my head demand to be committed to paper. If I’ve a story to tell, I feel compelled to write it.

 

  • What do your family and friends think of your writing life?

My partner is the best! I like to read first draft pieces out loud, and he suffers them, bless him. He’s incredibly supportive, helping me lug boxes around to book fairs and encouraging me to keep writing and publishing. I don’t know what my friends think; you’ll have to ask them!

 

  • Tell us a bit about your current writing projects

Having written and published the first three books in the Lizzie Martin Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, I’m writing the next three to complete the series. Book four, The Eloquent Witch is written, awaiting editing, while book five, The Able Witch is more than half way through. I’ve a secret project I’m working on, plus I’m writing short stories, including ghost stories, which is how we met, on the Ghostly Writes group.

 

 

  • Do you have a muse?

Not as such, but being outside in nature is where I feel supported and inspired. We have a shelter on the riverbank, recently updated, where I like to sit and write if the weather allows.

  • What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?

I’ve never worked on a book with another writer, but I think it would be really exciting. I’ve worked with the fabulous Claire Plaisted on two previous Ghostly Writes anthologies, and recently had the privilege to work with other magical writers on the Witch Lit group, where we produced our Witch Lit Anthology: Words from the Cauldron, with all profits going to Books for Africa.

I love anthologies! I think they’re a brilliant vehicle for showcasing the writing style of authors, allowing the reader a taster of what an author can do, and if they like a writer’s style, they can read more by that author. My story for this year’s anthology ‘Charlotte’s Ghost’ is set in 1850, as I researched this era for a steampunk story for Zimbell House Publishing earlier in the year, and wanted to explore further.

 

  •  Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them…

I don’t think I do anything I’d particularly call a hobby. I write, I dance, I renovate my home, I cook, I read, I knit and I’ve recently learned to crochet.

 

  • Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote?

I’m running with this one at the moment…’Let the beauty you love be what you do’ –Rumi.

 

  •  Finish this sentence: For me writing is…

My window on the world, allowing me to share my stories.

 

  •  Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying…

I live in mid Wales with my partner, my daughter, six cats and a rabbit called Ula.

 

  •  Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?

I believe there is something in our being that allows us to interact with other energies operating on a different plane of existence.

 

Website: www.wendysteele.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendyWooauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/destinyofangelsnovel

https://www.facebook.com/WendyWooBooks

https://www.facebook.com/TheStandingStone 

Amazon author: http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-steele-91257660/

Goodreads author:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6548666.Wendy_Steele

All Author: https://allauthor.com/profile/wendywoo/

YouTube: Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

The Witch Lit Podcast – Witches Who Write

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZdKsXSo074&t=652s

Book Gorilla

https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B007VZ1P06/wendy-steele/kcc

Wendy’s Teaser for her story – Charlotte’s Ghost in Ghostly Rites 2019:

It’s been lovely having Wendy round. In case yo missed it I interviewed Mary last time:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

Bye for now Ghostly peeps. Next up for the Ghostly Writers interview hotspot it’s Mara Reitsma….

See you soon, Ghostly Peeps!

 

Buy Book: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook #ABRSC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Author Interview: Mary Woldering #GhostlyWriters #GhostlyRites2019

 

 

Welcome to Mary Woldering, a fellow author in Plaisted Publishing House’s Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019 which will be releasing in time for Halloween. I am inviting fellow Ghostly Writers over for a chat on my blog.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Mary…

Interview questions:

 

  1. Why did you decide to write?
    I just did.  I’ve always written. My big Children of Stoneseries was part of hundreds of chronicles of dreams and reincarnation/past like regression experiments as well as guided lucid dreams into other realms. I novelized it, then went back years later seeking some verification. Oddly enough I found a few bits.
  2. What do your family and friends think of your writing life?
    They know it’s an all-consuming hobby and wish it made money. My son Thomas is active in it as my editor formatter and cover artist.
  3. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects
    I’m revising the second series book up to about the half way point because it’s fine after that. I’m also struggling to get a decent ending to the fifth and final book in the series.
  4. Do you have a muse? On occasion, a spirit guide drops by from time to time to give me a tidbit or two.
  5. What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?
    Black Rose and Robinators.
  6. Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them… Renovating things. I’m working on a house now. I’ve had dozens more but don’t have a calm enough lifestyle. My adventures into the psychic and spiritualism were the strangest.
  7. Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote? Favorite? Not really. Maybe “Keep smiling, have faith: but let me state up front it’s not about religion, just belief in one’s ability to survive.
  8. Finish this sentence: For me writing is…what I do
  9. Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying… For now Euclid Ohio but anticipating a move to Mentor, Oh in the spring (10 miles away)
  10. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?
    From my previous answers I’d say that was obvious. I guess my favorite would be one who became a character in my series and in quite a few short stories. Prince Maatkare Raemkai. I met him shortly after the place where he was trapped for 50 years burned down. See Ghostly Writes2018 “Raemkai’s Stairs” He lurked and taught me and my friends interesting spiritual things and is one of the reasons we ravenously pursued the research back in the 1970’s. I still get contact now, but it’s decidedly less now that the stories are being published. There are quite a few others but he’s been the stand out and most frequent and true to form a comfort when death of someone is near.

 

 

Have you started the Journey?

 

CHILDREN OF STONE

1)Voices in Crystal 2) Going Forth By Day 3)Opener of the Sky 4) Heart of the Lotus 5) Lake of Memory – coming 2019-20

EMOTIVE, EXOTIC & BEAUTIFUL!!

WALK WITH THOSE WHO ONCE BECAME GODS.

 

The Mystery of Ancient Egypt RETOLD – in a combo of fantasy, real history, mythology and magic. Like GAME OF THRONES in Ancient Egypt – With ALIENS

 

Like ancient superheroes, those touched by the Children of Stone wander through the reality of ancient legends, RESHAPING myth and history.

Unforgettable people and their stories of mysticism, magic and never-ending love.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DMvkKJ

Author Page: https://bit.ly/2x1PZJe

Website: https://www.maryrwoldering.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryrwoldering/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7398194.Mary_R_Woldering

 

Mary’s teaser for her short story in Ghostly Rites 2019 which is entitled The Changeling Princess….

 

It’s been lovely to invite Mary over, I will be interviewing Ghostly Rites fellow writer Wendy Steele next.

Bye for now,

 

Buy Book: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media Links

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook #ABRSC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

 

 

 

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Author Interview: Frank Prem #storytelling #poet

About Frank Prem

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet for forty years. When not writing or reading his poetry to an audience, he fills his time by working as a psychiatric nurse.

He has been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as ‘spoken word’.

Frank has published two collections of free verse poetry – Small Town Kid (2018) and Devil In The Wind (2019).

He and his wife live in the beautiful township of Beechworth in northeast Victoria (Australia).

 

Good morning Marje, (at least it’s morning over here in Beechworth, the little town where I live in Australia).

Good morning Frank. So lovely to welcome you to my blog…

  • Your tagline ‘There are stories all around me’ really appeals to me. I agree with this one hundred percent! With so much inspiration everywhere how do you decide what to write about?

I suspect I may end up being a little indirect in my answer to this, Marje.

I decided a long time ago in my writing development that I should adopt a philosophy along the lines of – no single thing, however great or small, should be discarded from acting as the source of a poem. A story.

As a result, I’ve found myself writing about a snail crawling across the inner forest of a head of broccoli from my garden, about the king of the lizards running around in pursuit of life and death matters on my back veranda. The clouds and the sky.

Literally everything I encounter feels as though it has the potential to captivate, and there are days when I can’t switch that sense off. I see these stories everywhere.

One of the reasons I developed such an affinity for the small, I think, comes from my childhood and adolescence, where I was very conscious of coming from a small town, being a small fish, and yet feeling (of course) as though I was in the very centre of the functioning universe.

I decided that small needed to be celebrated, and I started by purposefully incorporating local place names in my poetry. Little locales of only a handful of people, but a name made real by being included in a poem.

Sometimes that seems enough.

The link below will take you to a poem I wrote about a possible World Tour I might undertake if ever I had a poetry ‘hit’. The idea of appearing and performing to sell-out crowds in these little places that sometimes consisted of nothing more than a hall and some scattered farms amused me enormously at the time. I’m a little gobsmacked, now, by the cheekiness of my then self, given that I’ve begun actively seeking out exactly such places as these to host readings and performances. . .

The poem is called ‘World Tour’ https://wp.me/p7yTr8-1KR

  • I’m curious to find out more about you! I know from your blog/blogs that you live with your wife Leanne, in Beechworth north-east Victoria. You are both creative and have collaborated together. That must be so wonderful. Tell me about your collaborations and any plans you have for the future.

It really is wonderful being partner to someone who is a talented and gifted artist and musician in her own right.

The nature of our direct collaborations change as we go along, and new interests and imperatives surface.

In the past we have performed together on stage, created songs together, and put music to poetry to turn poem into song. Leanne has illustrated a poetry collection for me in the past (one of our early attempts to self-publish). That collection – Memoir of a Dog – is no longer in print, but might get another airing in the future.

Leanne has also produced and accompanied some of my poems, transforming them from spoken word into a different realm of work and accomplishment.

I’ll give links to a couple of examples.

One piece – Dog and Mob – that originated as a poem, was transformed into a song, and then given the community music treatment by a choir that Leanne runs in the town. There is a Facebook recording the choir singing it last Spring, here: https://www.facebook.com/springsingbeechworth/videos/203391797215168/

The song starts about 20 seconds in.

There are also examples of accompanied, studio quality poems, where we worked on a number of pieces that were mythologically themed available to be listened to. Leanne accompanied, produced and sometimes added voice to these pieces. Poems include not I at all, the day craft, maketh the man, and a long night to sunrise: https://frankprem.com/studio-quality-accompanied-recordings/. My personal favorite is maketh the man.

In future, we may well tour together presenting a combined puppetry and poetry show, with accompanying workshops.

  • What excites and intrigues you most?

I find it difficult to resist new writing challenges, particularly involving imagery.

I’ve come to realise that a lot of my writing involves imagery – either creating pictures out of words, or using picture images as the stimulus for creating a poetic journey that a reader can embark on.

On a quite different plane, the creation of collections in published book form is an exhausting exhilaration. I often speak of having had a 40 year apprenticeship learning my craft. One outcome of that is that I have 40 years of manuscripts that demand I do something with them. The collections published to date were first written more than a decade ago, and mostly resemble memoir.

My more recent work, though, has much more of a speculative fiction feel to it – for example, what happens when an astronaut is trapped, alone, on a spaceship that travels at light speed away from earth. How does he live? What keeps him going? Does he go mad? I know the answer, now.

I wake up each morning expecting that I will write something new, that someone far away from where I am, physically, and who I haven’t yet met, will enjoy reading.

I love that need in me and the wonderful feeling of achieving it.

  • I’d love to find out more about your experience as a psychiatric nurse. What attracted you to this particular profession?

I became a psychiatric nurse because it was fated for me, I think, Marje.

Mine was an immigrant family who lobbed in Australia in 1957. Secure work was a priority for the adults, and working for the government was as secure as work could be, in that time.

The Mental Asylum at that time was a government run institution that utilised a core of untrained staff who were able to learn on the job, and over time, almost my entire family obtained jobs there – mother, father, sister, aunty, grandfather.

I swore they’d never get me!

I started psychiatric nursing when I was twenty, already with a young family. I enquired for a job as a cleaner, and was offered a place as a Student Nurse.

Fortunately, I turned out to be better at the job than some and no worse than most, so the work suited me well enough and I ended having a highly varied career in the public mental health services of Victoria.

I am still employed as a psychiatric nurse on a part time basis. You just can’t beat government work!

  • What is your opinion on the millennials? The youth of today seem to be suffering from so many mental health issues. What do you think is the source of their predilection to suffer in this way?

I admit to feeling a little isolated away from the millennial generation, if I’m being honest with myself. The nature of the social world we live in has changed so very dramatically, and in such a short period of time that I sometimes feel I have no valid reference points, and am in danger of becoming someone who can only relate to the ‘good old days’ of my own youth.

With regard to mental health issues, my work is in the public system, and so it is almost always associated with application of the current Mental Health Act and the application of treatment against the individual’s consent. Increasingly this is because of illicit drug use triggering a psychotic (or related) reaction. This is at the extreme end of mental illness, and not necessarily typical.

It can be dangerous and frightening for all concerned and I no longer work in acute units because I have largely lost my capacity for empathy for a clientele that repeatedly and knowingly places itself and myself in the way of harm.

Without empathy, I can’t perform my work in the way I know I should. It Is not work that an ageing old fart such as myself can keep pace with any longer, I’m afraid.

  • In certain circumstances do you believe that poetry can express more than prose can? Please explain your thoughts with examples from your poetic work to date.

This is a question that plays directly to my biases. Naturally I think poetry can express more, much more. However, I’m not sure that it often does so.

I have only started to contemplate prose and what I expect of it since beginning my own journey toward publishing my own work. Some of the things I see are difficult for me to assess well. For instance, contemporary prose seems to come – to be directed toward – groups of three or more, a little like Macbeth’s witches.

There is a generation of writers that is learning that the way to produce new work is to plot and plan in terms of prequels and sequels and spin-offs. This is all driven by marketing strategy in this modern age, of course, though for most I suspect there is no living to be made from the effort.

In addition, contemporary prose seems driven to fit within badged genre categories – the badge being the genre-characteristic cover, which has to identify all crucial aspects for a readership that is presumably not willing to test the contents unless correctly directed.

So, while prose can express much, and I like nothing better than a good book in my hands and some thoughtful stimulation, it is rare for me to encounter it without deliberate research or divine intervention of a random nature.

With regard to poetry, of course I believe it can express more. It is the medium of ‘show, don’t tell’. The medium of complete journeys packaged up in readings that require no more than a minute or a minute and a half to take the reader away, and to return.

In my own case, a collection of 8,000 – 9,000 words will contain as many as 50 such journeys, and tell a complete overarching story on the way.

Having said that, though, I am actually pessimistic about the state of published contemporary poetry. I am thinking here particularly of poetry published in literary journals that are, presumably, the benchmark for contemporary standards.

I feel that the art and gift of storytelling through poetry has been largely lost or relinquished in favour of the complexity of poetics and explorations of shape and form, rather than delivery of comprehension and greater understanding to a reader.

By way of an example, from my own work, of the breadth that can be encompassed by a poem I’ve recollected a poem written back in 2015 and looking at a number of different facets, different ways of considering a single concept – in this case Time. I think Time is a massive and complex concept to get my head around, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try, and it doesn’t mean that my reader won’t be able to grasp it (and likely add examples of his/her own to take the ideas further).

Complexity doesn’t need to be inaccessible, and poetry is a wonderful medium to achieve that accessibility. Here is the poem ‘six ways to measure time . . .’ : https://wp.me/p7yTr8-3ag

  • I’m looking forward to your new release The New Asylum – a memoir of psychiatry. Is this a combination of research/your own experiences as a psychiatric nurse? Due to the sensitive nature of this collection what are the steps that you take to ensure this is presented in a sensitive way?

I’m getting quite excited about this collection graduating to book form. I think it is an important reflection and a kind of expose of public psychiatry, as experienced by myself in various guises, but also reflecting the perspective of clients of the service and their carers.

I have done virtually no particular research for the collection. The collection is my lived experience, drawing of course on knowledge acquired as a child, a student, a nurse, a manager and always as a human being operating within strange and strained parameters.

Most of the poems in this collection are sensitive in their nature. Highly confronting, in many cases, as well, with electro-shock therapy, seclusion and involuntary treatment, suicide and despair all featuring in different places.

These are difficult subjects, but they are increasingly a feature of daily life that none of us can avoid. Mental illness was once a secret thing, a taboo and a stigmatised shame to be kept locked away and out of sight. That is no longer possible, in my opinion, because extremes of mental illness are now residing in the back bedroom of our homes, over the neighbours fence, or on the street where the deals are being done, and in all of our hospital emergency departments.

Children can no longer complete their primary education without having acquired a better working knowledge of illicit substances in the district than their parents can ever hope to have.

I hope what comes through in the poetry collection is a sense of compassion and empathy for participants in the system – clients, carers and staff, but either way, it’s time for these things to be part of our everyday conversation.

  • What attracts you to the free verse form of poetry?

My, possibly too often repeated, personal mantra is this: Rhyme should be invisible. Free verse should be sung.

What I mean by that, is that the use of rhyme, when done well, is a subtle and nuanced thing. There should be no rhyme-clang at the end of every other line. I apologise to all rhymers for this comment, and I’m not meaning to suggest that rhyme isn’t just as valid now as it has always been, but in my own case, I largely stopped writing rhymed poetry when I realised just how hard it is to execute well.

I recall working on one poem for fully a day and a half to try to get right. Twelve hours and more, for a single poem. That is not like me and not acceptable to me. I persisted with the poem because I had a special purpose in mind, but I really haven’t bothered since, apart from occasional lapses that sneak up on me.

The poem, by the way, was titled ‘The Hat That Won The Cup’ and is here: https://wp.me/p7yTr8-2Ux.

I like free verse as a form because I believe that there is music in our spoken language, and it is my job to find the music in whatever I write. I can’t do that if I’m fettered by the requirements of a rhyme scheme.

In coming weeks I’ll be leading a community education course (for the first time) over a six week period, in which I hope to explore exactly this – the music in speech – as a theme. I’m very much looking forward to it (though with some trepidation).

  • It’s clear that you write from your experiences in a poetic memoir form. For Devil in The Wind (which I enjoyed enormously,) an account of the horrendous Black Saturday bush fires, how much research did you do? And how many people did you interview? From this particular collection do you have a favourite poem that you would like to share?

I’m delighted you enjoyed Devil In The Wind, which I think of as another quite ‘difficult’ collection, given what it deals with.

Again, in terms of actual research, I did very little, and it was largely confined to ensuring that I had place names and particular fires (there were hundreds burning at the same time) correctly identified.

The poems in that collection were written as the fires were happening. As I experienced an event, I wrote it. As I heard a particular story reported on the news, I wrote it. As the Commission of Enquiry conducted its work, I wrote the stories.

I think some of the urgency and anxiety and despair we all experienced at the time might have been captured in the poems because they were written at the time the events were happening.

When I’m reading to an audience, I think my ‘go to’ poem from Devil In The Wind is a piece called ‘strength of a truckie’. This is one of four poems from the collection that I was able to have video recorded and uploaded on my very own YouTube channel (which is something I never expected to have happen in my lifetime!).

The link to this particular poem is here: https://youtu.be/O8-uWaqj72o

I hope to do some videos for The New Asylum before it is released, as well.

  • From your body of work which book are you most proud of and why?

The very first book that I self-published was called ‘The Book of Evenings’. It is currently out of print, though I think a re-publication is in order at some point. That is the book that I think I am most proud of. Not only was I ‘on fire’ as an emerging writer, but it represented something intangible for myself and my identity – belonging to a class of poets, of authors. Validation of my own secret self, now revealed.

It so happens, I have a couple of poems from that collection in audio-recorded form, here: https://frankprem.com/random-readings-from-the-archives/

There are a number of recorded poems on this page and readers are welcome to listen to any and all of them, but the titles from The Book of Evenings are: carmen and cisco, learning to twirl, and tuesday night at emile’s.

Frank Prem Contacts and Social Media

Author Page (Newsletter sign up): https://FrankPrem.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/frankprem2

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvfW2WowqY1euO-Cj76LDKg

Twitter: Frank PremAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07L61HNZ4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Small Town Kid blurb

Small Town Kid is a poetry anthology that illuminates the experience of regional life as a child, in an insular town during the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, remote from the more worldly places where life really happens, in a time before the internet and the online existence of social media.

It is a time when a small town boy can walk a mile to school and back every day, and hunt rabbits with his dog in the hours of freedom before sundown. He can hoard crackers for bonfire night and blow up the deputy school master’s mailbox in an act of joyous rebellion.

It is a time when a small town teenager will ride fourteen miles on a bicycle for his first experience of girls, and of love. A time when migrating from a foreign country to a small town means his family will always feel that they are strangers, while visitors to the town are treated like an invading host.

It is also the remembrance of tragedy for inexperienced friends driving on narrow country roads.

This collection of poems and stories shares the type of childhood that has mostly disappeared in contemporary times. Come and revisit it here, in the pages of a Small Town Kid.

Devil In The Wind blurb

Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.

In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.

And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.

In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.

In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people who had lived through the experience — victims, rescuers, and observers — were spoken and were heard.

Devil In The Wind is Frank Prem’s poetic anthology of the personal, and very human, accounts of those who themselves experienced and survived Black Saturday. Poetry writing that interacts directly with readers emotions.

The New Asylum (draft) blurb

The New Asylum is the third volume in a series of free-verse poetry anthologies and personal memoirs from Australian author Frank Prem (Small Town Kid, Devil In The Wind).

This collection is an exposé of life in the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades and describing sometimes graphically, sometimes ironically, often poignantly, and always honestly, a search for meaning in extraordinary and often incomprehensible circumstances.

The journey begins with childhood experiences of watching immigrant parents earn their living in the Mayday Hills Mental Asylum… progresses through the oddities and antics of psychiatric nurse training in the 1970s… on to the high-pressure coalface of managing regional centres facing an inundation of modern urban challenges… and finally, settles into the generally calmer waters of a small town residential facility.

Join Frank Prem on his New Asylum journey, and discover what it means to become that particular ‘mental health creature’ that is a psychiatric nurse.

 

I think you will agree that this is a fascinating interview with Frank.

Do comment below, we would love you to join the discussion.

 

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#ABRSC – MJ Interviews Author Darlene Foster – Children’s Adventure Series: Amanda Travels

A huge welcome to Darlene Foster who is over at my blog home today for a Q and A about her children’s adventure series: Amanda Travels.

Some of you might know that I like to interview using my nickname MJ…

MJ: I’d love to find out more about your amazing travel series featuring a twelve year old girl. Who is Amanda Ross and where does she like to travel to? What mysteries does she uncover/solve? What adventures does she have?

Darlene: Amanda Ross is an average girl living in Alberta, Canada and she is bored. On her twelfth birthday she makes a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out all her candles. The next day tickets to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates arrive in the mail. She has an amazing adventure in the UAE that includes a mysterious perfume flask, a beautiful princess, a loyal camel and a chase across a dangerous desert. You can read about her adventures in Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask

Amanda now has the travel bug and when her friend Leah invites her to come to Spain on a holiday with her, she jumps at the chance. She visits Madrid, explores a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stays overnight in an old, spooky monastery, takes part in a tomato fight and discovers the amazing sights of Barcelona. A young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, shows up wherever Amanda and Leah happen to be. Can Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe from the clutches of an evil horse thief without bringing harm to herself and Leah? This adventure is in Amanda in Spain-The Girl in the Painting.

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Amanda travels to England to spend spring break with Leah where she has to get used to funny accents and cars driving on the opposite side of the road. The girls visit the Isle of Wight where they meet Charlie, a kind old bookseller, and his cat Rupert. They discover a vintage book is missing from a set, meet a couple of dubious teenagers and a suspicious woman. Amanda explores Hampton Court, Harrods, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle while trying to find out what happened to the missing novel and why Charlie is acting so strange. Find out more in Amanda in England-The Missing Novel.

Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta when she visits from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, tour a ranch, go on a cattle drive, visit a Buffalo Jump, spend time at a Dinosaur Museum and explore the Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s very important, until everyone appears to want it. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and risking their lives? Spend time with Amanda in Alberta as she attempts to decipher the writing on the stone in Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone.

On a river cruise down the Danube, Amanda is given a valuable violin to look after by a homeless musician. She is fascinated by the medieval castles, green valleys and charming villages of Germany, Austria and Hungary, learns about European history and enjoys the sounds of music along the way. But, she is not sure who she can trust and if the violin can be kept safe for the poor prodigy in Amanda on the Danube-The Sounds of Music.

MJ:  How many books have you written? I’m sure my readers would be fascinated to find out more…

Darlene: I have written six books in the Amanda Travels series and one Spanish/English book called, Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. The most recent Amanda Travels adventure takes place in New Mexico where Amanda is on a school trip. One of her classmates claims she sees ghosts but Amanda has trouble believing her, until strange things start to happen. The beautiful but haunting landscape, an ancient pueblo and a haunted hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past in Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.

MJ: Is Amanda a little like you, when you were her age?

Darlene: There is always a little bit of you in your characters. But, Amanda is more like the girl I would have liked to have been when I was twelve. Unlike Amanda, I didn’t start to travel until I was twenty-eight years old. Perhaps I should have made a wish before I blew out my candles.

MJ: Where do you currently live? What is it about your home/s that you love?

Darlene: I have a house in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, where I spend most of my time. I love the never ending sunshine and the relaxed life style. I have plenty of time to create my stories and am close enough to other parts of Europe that I can explore. I will always be a proud Canadian though.

MJ: I am a keen traveller and you are too! Is there a favourite holiday/travel destination that you like to visit frequently? Or do you prefer to discover new places?

Darlene: I so often fall in love with a place and say I must return but I always want to check out new places too so seldom do. We once made a stop at Malta on a cruise and decided we needed to see more of it. A year later we spent a week there. I think Amanda may visit Malta too.

MJ: It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting background: growing up on a ranch in Southern Alberta. That sounds fascinating! Tell me more…

Darlene: It was an incredible place to grow up but I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I was often bored and lonely and couldn’t wait to grow up and move to the city. The plus side was that I had lots of time to make up stories in my head and plenty of time to read, when my chores were done.

MJ:  What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of:

a. With regard to writing.
Darlene: I am proud of the fact that I have published seven books in eight years.
b. A non-writing one!
Darlene: I am proud of raising two amazing kids, one an accomplished potter and another who is not only a great dad and grandfather but a talented musician. Creativity in one way or another seems to run in the family. Of course, I encouraged it.

MJ:  I believe you do speaking engagements and the like. What are your tips for public speaking?

Darlene: Be natural and be prepared. Know who your audience is and involve them. Be energetic and enthusiastic about your subject matter. Once you make a connection with the audience, the rest flows naturally.

MJ:  What is the best part of being an author? And what is the worst?

Darlene: The best part of being an author is having a reader tell me how much they enjoyed my book. That is the icing on the cake for me! The worst is sitting in front of the computer plugging away alone. I am an extrovert and am energized by being around people, so the solitary part of writing is hard for me. But if I don’t do it, I won’t have readers telling me they enjoyed my book!

MJ: What are your favourite things to do, besides writing?

Darlene: Walking my dog, eating chocolate, reading, chatting with friends and family, exploring new places.

MJ: Have you found any resources/websites that you would like to share that are particularly helpful to authors?

Darlene: A friend gave me a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and it is the best resource ever. There are others in the series which I have since purchased as well. Their website Writers Helping Writers has great writing tips too. https://writershelpingwriters.net

MJ: Are you a plotter or pantser?

Darlene: I am a paid up member of the panster club and have the badge to prove it. I have tried to be a plotter many times and have failed miserably.

MJ:  What kind of food do you like?

Darlene: You mean besides chocolate? I am a vegetarian and love most vegetables, if done right. I especially enjoy Asian food as I love how the vegetables are prepared. So Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese food are high on my list. I also prefer my food to be spicy and not boring. Please don’t serve me plain steamed vegetables.

MJ: What advice would you give new authors such as myself?

Darlene: To persevere and believe in yourself. Writing is hard work but it is so worth it when you hold that finished book in your hands. Never give up!!

MJ:  If you were to lose one of your senses which one would you feel the loss of most and why?

Darlene: I think I would have to say the sense of sight. There is so much to see in this amazing world we live in and I am thankful I have seen a lot. But there is still much more I would love to see.

MJ; Finish this sentence. A travelling onion…

found itself part of a pasta sauce in Italy and said “Sono contenta”

Darlene: Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Marjorie.

MJ: It’s been my pleasure Darlene.

Reading through your responses to my questions I have to say we have a fair amount in common: a love of travel, chocolate, (who doesn’t like chocolate – I have met one person who didn’t but that is a long story,) reading, writing,  spicy food, and a paid up membership of the pantser club!

Thank you for taking my travelling onion to Italy. He needed a slice of the action on a holiday abroad! Lol…

Darlene’s social media links:

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon Author Page
WordPress Blog
Goodreads
Twitter

What fun. If you’d like to visit my blog for a Author Spotlight/Guest post, do get in touch. MJ would love it if you do!

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For information about my privacy and GDPR compliance please visit: https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/20/privacy-and-gdpr-compliance/

 

 

M J Mallon _ YA Author

 

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media:
Authors Media Kit: https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/13/media-kit/
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
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#Read about Guest #Author Judy Martin

A very interesting interview on The Story Reading Ape about our very own Judy Martin, (blogging as the delightfully witty and engaging Edwina’s Episodes,) who has recently released a poetry book – Rhymes of The Times. Do share and spread the word.

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Co-Authoring Questions: Amber Wake Gabriel Falling

Amber Wake

Synopsis

The autumn of 1705 brings Royal Navy Captain Gabriel Wallace to face off against an enemy within the ranks of the Admiralty itself that threatens his career, his reputation, his family, and something even more far-reaching in its plot.

Court-martialed and with Admiral Chambers, the mastermind fearfully known as the Chambers of Hell, out for his destruction, Wallace finds he has allies willing to face the might of the mightiest power on earth, with some allies in the most unlikely of places. The crew of his former command, the Majesty’s Venture, mutinies from the Royal Navy. With capture by his enemies close behind, Wallace agrees to become captain once again.

With a ship at his command, Captain Gabriel Wallace sets out to fulfill his mission, the completeness of which only he knows.

Now a pirate by situation, Wallace sets out for the Colonies and the Caribbean. Will his crew remain loyal as they leave the rule of the Royal Navy behind? Will his lifelong friend, Miles Jacobs, follow Wallace blindly without knowing the whole story? Finally, will the young Lieutenant Maddox Carbonale stay under the command of Wallace or have plans to lead instead?

With these questions in his thoughts, Gabriel Wallace wages war on Chambers and goes after the largest haul in the history of the Spanish Main. Whom does Wallace meet along the way? To whom are his loyalties to: vengeance or something more powerful?

If you love tales of adventure, of the sea, of the struggles of men, and nods to history, this is your book. Read Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling and you’ll have a new appreciation for all of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales.

 

Isn’t that cover just beautiful, it certainly makes me excited to read the book, here are the links to buy a copy.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.au

 

As you will know I’ve been a fan of Ronovan’s Haiku challenges for some time now… that’s how I got to know the guy. In fact Ronovan kind of introduced me to the whole haiku landscape, and for that I am indebted. I doubt that I would ever had written haiku if it wasn’t for his weekly challenge.  So with that in mind I thought it would be a lovely idea to do a shout out for his new book, and some questions for him to answer..

Amber Wake sounds a fascinating historical adventure doesn’t it but how did it all come about? I was very interested to discover more about the authorial partnership between Ronovan and P.S. Bartlett, particularly as I would perhaps one day like to write a joint novel with my daughter who also writes. So my questions below focussed on the pros and cons of co-authorship.

 

I am curious about how you and P.S. Bartlett got together to write Amber Wake Gabriel Falling.

 

I believe we met through Twitter to begin with, and she offered a copy of her book, The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge. I read it, liked it a lot, and did a review. I followed that up with an interview and we became friends, started exchanging emails a lot about writing and ideas. That led to the ideas of prequels to her book and for me the writing of Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling.

The benefits of co-authoring with a more experienced author.

 

I’ve been writing books for at least 15 years now. I’ve never chosen to self-publish before and only submitted a few of my books to agents. In the area of the pirate genre, it did help with her knowledge of various aspects of the genre, and she had worked with the editor previously. I keep looking at my work and improving in my writing, and with each look at my novels, I have fresh eyes and new ideas. Maybe someday I’ll actually bite the bullet and put one out. I’ll never think one is good enough.

 

The positive aspects of co-authoring and the difficulties you may have experienced.

 

To the positive I would say playing ideas off each other, ideas you might not have otherwise. Also having certain expertise in areas. Being a Historian and writer, I loved doing the research to create the characters, do the character development down to little details people might not realize are important, and then write the story. Then PS Bartlett used fresh eyes to tighten things here and there, add her own ideas and some aspects of her voice in places. We wanted the story in a male voice, since it is from a man’s point of view, but we also needed her voice to show through at times to link the book to her other The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales books, even though Ivory Shepard, The Razor, doesn’t appear in the book.

 

For difficulties, you have two authors that may have differing ideas at times. Neither idea is wrong, just different. It’s hard to see something you become so attached to be changed even in the slightest. However, going into a co-authoring project, you know it will happen. It’s kind of like having your children taught differently than you have raised them to believe. The best thing to do is tough it out and wait for the reviews. We’ve been fortunate to have great reviews so far. I’m sure someone will come along with a negative one, every book has one of those. As a reviewer myself, I know reviews are just opinions. I’ll take it and move on, but consider what each reviewer says.

 

Do you have very different writing styles, or are you quite similar in your approach?

I think we both have similar styles. We have points we want to cover, but we let the characters and the story determine what happens in between. I know sometimes I write a character I’ll end up not liking, although I meant for him to be a nice guy.

 

How did your writing styles effect the outcome of the final manuscript?

 

Our styles compliment each other. The only differences in styles that might have made things interesting would be some thoughts to certain intentions of characters. With there being other books written that occur after this one, certain things need to happen that weren’t in the original manuscript I wrote. Again, as I’ve mentioned before, that’s going to happen in any co-authoring project.

 

Would you recommend this approach to writing and why?

 

Our approach was for me to write the original manuscript, free rein. After the original manuscript it then went to PS Bartlett. I think if all involved agree to what is what then it’s a fine approach.
If you had the opportunity again would you go it alone or co-author?

 

I’m currently writing solo with several projects going at the same time. I would co-author again if the project and co-author are right. There are people I would like to work with.

Do check out Ronovan’s blog and his other links for loads more information, and of course a smashing blog to follow. Support this worthy fellow he really works hard for the blogging community.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica x

 

 

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