Review: Never Too Late

Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Revinvention (without getting lost along the way)

Author: Claire Cook

Paperback: 124 pages (also available in e-books)nevertoolate

Publisher: Marshbury Beach Books (July 16, 2014)

Synposis:

Wondering how to get to that life you really thought you’d be living by now?

Claire Cook speaks to real women—our fears and obstacles and hopes and desires—and gives us cutting edge tools to get where we want to go.

Bursting with inspiration, insider stories, and practical strategies. Filled with humor, heart, encouragement, and great quotes.

Claire Cook shares everything she’s learned on her own journey— from writing her first book in her minivan at 45, to walking the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of Must Love Dogs at 50, to becoming the international bestselling author of eleven novels and a sought after reinvention speaker.

You’ll hop on a plane with Claire as you figure out the road to your own reinvention. You’ll laugh a lot and maybe even shed a few tears as Claire tells her stories and those of other reinventors, and shares her best tips for getting a plan, staying on track, pulling together a support system, building your platform in the age of social networking, dealing with the inevitable ups and downs, overcoming perfectionism, and tuning in to your authentic self to propel you toward your goals.

Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is real, grounded, and just the book you need to start reinventing your life.

Review:

It’s easy to feel we are too old, too busy, too ignorant, too…something to become that person you always wanted to be. Claire Cook swipes away all those excuses in Never Too Late not because she is some super inspirational speaker, some psychology expert or some super success (although she is, in my eyes a super success). the reason she makes you believe maybe you can accomplish your goals and become that person you always wanted to be is because she was once in your shoes. She was once the person wondering, Can I really do it? Reading Never Too Late is like talking to an old friend.

You can also download a free Never Too Late workbook as a companion to the Never Too Late book here. It’s a short little booklet but it is a great help pulling what you want to remember from her book and gathering it all in one place.

Review and Giveaway: The Corpse Who Walked in the Door

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The Corpse Who Walked in the Door

by Jackie King

on Tour September 2014


Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: Deadly Niche Press

Publication Date: June 2014

Number of Pages: 206

ISBN: 978-162016-112-8

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Former society wife Grace Cassidy is learning to live on the minimum wage she earns as a bed & breakfast inn-sitter. Grace finds her cat’s bloody paw prints leading away from a bathtub and wants to run for her life. But she can’t. Her 19-year-old son is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of concrete steps and she won’t abandon him.

Review:

In the beginning I thought Grace was just too…accommodating…for her own good. She needed to pipe up and start standing up to the difficult people in her life. Thankfully, as the book went on Grace became spunkier. Happily, she surrounds herself with some interesting people, particularly the folks who have “fallen on hard times” and live in the lower quarters of the B&B where she works.

This was a fun, light-hearted romp of a mystery made memorable more by the people who live in Grace’s life than by the people who die in it. It’s very easy to picture yourself as Grace, juggling all the everyday minutiae: bosses, families, employees, catty women, secrets and just for good measure, throw in a dead body!

Read an excerpt:

Blood colored paw prints trailed from the white tile bathroom onto the faux Oriental rug in the bedroom where Grace stood. The cat-feet marks immobilized Grace. She closed her eyes and prayed that she had been claimed by stress-induced insanity, that there were no dark-red blots before her eyes, but a hallucination. A nice long rest in a mental hospital didn’t sound too bad. Anything except another dead body in this inn where she worked.

Author Bio:

Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery The Corpse Who Walked in the Door is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.To learn more about Jackie, check out my 5Ws interview yesterday here>.

Catch Up With Jackie:

Tour Participants:



Giveaway:

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5Ws with Jackie King

Jackie King is on a Partners in Crime tour with her latest book: The Corpse who Walked in the Door. Today I have a 5Ws interview with Jackie and tomorrow more about her book including a review and giveaway! So make sure you stop by tomorrow too.

Author Bio:

Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery The Corpse Who Walked in the Door is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.

WHO
Who is your favorite literary sleuth?

Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s old maid sleuth won my heart the first time I read one of the great lady’s books. This was so far back in time I blush to give the year, so I won’t. I was riding a Greyhound bus from a dusty little Oklahoma town, traveling to Norman to attend The University of Oklahoma. At the local drug store, which also happened to be the bus stop, I picked up thirty-five cent paperback copy of A BODY IN THE LIBRARY. I fell into the pages of this book and was hooked for life. (And yes, at that time I did pay 35 cents for the book. I also worked part time for 75 cents an hour at a Plumbing Company.)

WHAT
What made you start murdering people (on paper of course)?

I was 17-years-old and was studying creative writing under two writing-teacher-greats at OU, Walter Campbell and Foster-Harris. After reading as many mysteries as I could find, I decided to try it myself. I finished my first mystery, titled THE DEATH OF LOVELY ANN, when I was 18. It was never published, and I still have a hand-typed copy. (Rave reviews from my mother and my sister, though.)

WHERE
Where did you get the inspiration for your corpse series? Are there really B&B sitters?

I vacationed at lovely and charming B&B in Alameda, California. I traveled with a friend, who had been sent by her company to learn a new software. She was busy with classes during the day, and I spent my time soaking up the charming ambiance and walking through the lovely Victorian neighborhood to the beach. I also became friends with our hostess, who happened to be an Inn-Sitter. She explained that she made her living, year around, doing this. She had a long list of regular clients, and she stayed booked up for a year in advance.

My stay was pure luxury. She served a different, 5-course breakfast every morning we were there. Everything was made from scratch. Most B&B’s furnish cereal, milk, fruit and pastries. But I didn’t know that at the time. Being spoiled was something I decided I didn’t want to give up. At least not in my imagination.

One afternoon, after walking to the beach and back, I collapsed on my charming, antique bed and began to play my favorite writer’s-game. What if?

What if when I came home, there was a dead body in my bed?

And what if he was naked?

And what if the police thought that I had killed him?

And what if, suddenly, I had no resources at all? No money. No credit cards and no job skills to use making myself a living.

I love that game.

As I dreamed up answers to my questions, I knew I wanted to create a character who started the adventure with very little real-life experience. I decided she needed to be from a wealthy family. whose life had always been privileged. I wanted her to be middle aged, and to have no job skills, then I’d put her in as much trouble as possible. Because kids have been a part of my adult life, I added a teenaged son. The cat came later. I love kids and animals.

WHY
Why did you begin writing mysteries instead of just reading them?

This type of mystery is something that I love to read.

WHEN
Will we be able to catch up with Grace’s adventures again? Any new books or series in the works?

I expect that Grace will go on as long as I go on. As I wrote book 2, I began getting really tired of her sometimes wishy-washy nature. She seemed guileless and she made some bad decisions. So I had her to evolve, and to like herself better for it.

In book 3, my current work-in-progress, Grace continues developing her own character, and making better decisions. Grace, Theodora and Trouble fly back to Grace’s hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She intends to file divorce from her unfaithful husband, and live a quiet life.

She didn’t count on another dead body showing up next door.

Category: Interviews  7 Comments

Free Book: Love Gone to the Dogs

It’s the dog days of summer. So what’s an author with a book featuring neighbors and their battle over their dogs supposed to do? Give away e-copies for the month of August, of course! Don’t miss out on your last few days to download Love Gone to the Dogs. So you’ll have something fun to read on Labor Day after you finish your grilled chicken, corn on the cob and watermelon. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? This book is too.

Love Gone to the Dogs (Second Chances Book 1)

Author: Margaret Daleymargaretdaley

E-Book: 166 pages

Publisher: Amazon Digital (July 4, 2012)

Synposis:

Single mom, Leah Taylor, has her hands full with a grandfather, an inventor, who lives a bit risky when it comes to his job and two sons, one a rambunctious genius. But it is her free spirited beagle who gets her into trouble with her new neighbor, Dr. Shane O’Grady, when her dog makes a move on his champion bichon that he wants to breed.

Leah and Shane clash over their dogs that clearly like each other. Leah is determined to ignore her neighbor, but when her youngest son who tries to defy gravity and fly ends up hurt, it is her neighbor, the doctor, who takes care of her son. Can Leah and Shane find love or has love gone to the dogs?

Read an excerpt here.

Review:

If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance you can enjoy on a hot summer afternoon, Love Gone to the Dogs is it. It’s a classic romance novel boy meets girl, obstacle, obstacle, obstacle and finally, success. The humorous family in this book will make you smile. Actually, it’s the story of three unlikely romances: Leah and Shane, Albert and Princess (their dogs) and a third one I don’t want to spoil for you.

Amulet: Escape from Lucien

Amulet #6: Escape from Lucien

Amulet Seriesamulet

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Paperback: 256 pages (also available in e-formats)

Publisher: Graphix (August 26, 2014)

Synposis:

Navin and his classmates journey to Lucien, a city ravaged by war and plagued by mysterious creatures, where they search for a beacon essential to their fight against the Elf King. Meanwhile, Emily heads back into the Void with Max, one of the Elf King’s loyal followers, where she learns his darkest secrets. The stakes, for both Emily and Navin, are higher than ever.

kazuReview:

Let me start out by saying I’m not a big reader of sci-fi/fantasy or graphic novels. Sure I know Star Wars but that’s pretty much the extent of it for me. That said, this is an action-packed book that I’m sure young readers will enjoy. I actually got a Star Wars vibe from it…two battling sides, communities on desolate planets, space ships. The illustrations are fantastic, they just pop off the page.

It took me a while to sort everyone out since this is Book 6 in the series. So, if your young reader wants to start a new series, please start with Book 1 so they can understand everyone’s backstory, where their loyalties lie and important events that happened in past books. But if you have a fantasy lover in your house I’m betting Amulet will be a big hit.

5Ws with Paige Strickland

Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity

Author: Paige Stricklandakin

Paperback: 256 pages (also available in e-formats)

Publisher: Idealized Apps (September 23, 2013)

Synposis:

In 1961 Paige was put up for adoption, a more taboo and secretive topic than it is today. Paige’s adoptive family chose not to focus on the adoption, but instead function as a regular family with natural children. However, being adopted made her feel vulnerable and unreal. She longed to know more about her true self. In Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity, Paige tells stories from the perspective of a child and adolescent, growing up with a closely guarded secret. Through vignettes, Paige relates feelings about her adoption to forming and maintaining relationships, caring for pets, moving to new houses and neighborhoods, losing loved ones and entering young adulthood. Her need for acceptance is juxtaposed with her adoptive father’s increasingly erratic behavior. This is a tale of family joys and hardships, friendships, falling in love and the need to belong. It is set in the era of free love, social unrest and unexpected change during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

5Ws with Paige Strickland:

WHO
Who is your hero?

In real life, my two grandmas were my biggest heroes. I hope I represented them as such in Akin to the Truth. They handled situations with grace and finesse. They had solutions for everything and were very resourceful, independent widowed ladies.

paigeWHAT
What was the most difficult thing about writing Akin to the Truth?

Finding adequate time to write between work during the day, (school), and caring for my kids, who were still young and less dependent, was the most challenging part of the writing process. I had to work, and could not compromise my job. My kids needed attentive parents, rides, help with schoolwork and other usual adult supervision, and I could not cut corners there. Therefore, time to write was at a premium.

WHERE
Where do you do your writing? Since you’re a teacher, I picture you typing in an empty classroom, reading bits aloud to the empty desks.

I actually do very little writing at school, although it has happened some. Usually I’m home at my computer. Coffee shop places and bookstores also work well for me.

WHEN
When did you begin writing? Do you write mostly memoir or do you delve into other genres?

I began writing Akin to the Truth in the summer of 2002. I wrote while my kids were in a three-week summer “drama camp” activity. Instead of going home, I hung out at coffee shops and one grocery that had café tables with a spiral notebook and kept writing. (No laptop computer yet). I’d just met my birth father’s family and was super-charged to lay the groundwork for the story. My kids were not totally clear on who was who in my family, so I wanted to write in a way that explained all of my family to them.

WHY
Why did you decide to share such an intensely personal story about adoption, especially when there are so many strong feelings both for and against adoption?
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At first I wanted to share my story as a book for my kids. The project sort of grew bigger as I wrote more. I shared some vignettes with my local writers group and received great feedback. I was writing more than just an account of who was who; I was describing in great detail and relating stories that added up to form a big book, which had the running theme of being adopted and how that felt.

I knew that there were many adoptees, especially from my age bracket, who were still searching, found both wonderful and unsatisfying information or were simply seeking ways to relate to other adoptees. Every adoption story is unique, and I was also curious to read about others. I didn’t want to make a book that bashes adoption as an industry or adoptive parents. That wasn’t my focus. I just wanted to tell it as it was from my perspective.

I wrote it in such a way that people should draw their own conclusions as to whether adoption is a good or bad thing. I only know how it was during my era, which is probably quite different today. Now we see “baby-mamas and baby-daddys” on television, blended and diverse family units that never used to exist, and open adoptions. My book, then becomes a lesson in history for adoptive family members because the mystique and even shame of adoption isn’t there the way it used to be.

I want my book to provide understanding for what it’s like to be adopted, no matter which era you are from.

Understanding Creative Puberty

Understanding Creative Puberty

Anyone who wishes to be a creative writer- that is, a writer who produces fictional works- must go through a period in which their work is generally not very good. This is usually the starting point most authors have. No one, however talented as they may become, begins knowing how to write a bestselling novel, or a short story that is in great demand. If this were so, then the task of writing would be an easy one. Great stories would be a dime a dozen and therefore cheaply acquired. The necessary maturation process a writer goes through makes his own work valuable in the long run by reason of such work becoming ever more scarce the more he improves his craft. Thus, it may be said that improving one’s own writing is improving one’s own potential for profit.

This process is somewhat akin to that of a person’s matriculation during years of puberty. A human being, however advantaged or disadvantaged at birth, nevertheless begins life as little more than a wailing lump of flesh, incapable of looking after itself, prone to injury and accident, easily susceptible to sickness. Compare that condition with that of an adult: an adult, it may be presumed, is capable of looking after himself, has developed a strong enough immune system to ward off most diseases, can withstand shocks and perturbations, and in most cases need not rely upon the care of others.

To suppose that some people are “born to writers” or that only certain people can be writers while others cannot is the same as supposing that some babies are incapable of fully maturing into adults. It makes little matter that one process happens naturally without the permission of the person who experiences it, while the other is the result of practice, acquiring knowledge, patience and lots of hard work. The end is essentially the same: a writer starts off producing fiction not suitable for public consumption in the same manner that a person starts off being unable to form cohesive speech patterns.

As a result, it seems clear that statements to the effect of “not anyone can become a writer” are fallacious, if not absurd. Writing requires practice, as with anything else. No one who takes training courses on how to throw a baseball expects to become a major league baseball pitcher overnight. Nor should anyone who first takes up a pen, or opens a word processing program, expect to write a manuscript capable of earning them a comfortable living on their first try.

That people give up due to frustration, or an inability to overcome writer’s block, is not an indication that only some people can write. At best, it is only an indication that those individuals who did not succeed at becoming good writers were unable to do so. The potential may have lain within them, stifled by any number of factors, or kept hidden inside, never let free by means of self-education. A crucial step in a writer’s maturation process may have been missed, such as getting feedback from an editor, attending a writing seminar, or anything else.

Just as there are conditions the human body can have which impair physical growth- such as osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition which prevents the growth human bones and thus the human body- does not render some people capable of becoming normal, fully-functioning adults, so too does not a lack of success from some writers prevent others from succeeding. Indeed, a condition such as the one described here may be cured at some point in the future. A statement declaring it impossible for physically disadvantaged people to overcome their disadvantages does not take into account the work that doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and all sorts of medical professionals do every day to add to the knowledge of their profession.

So too is it a fallacy to say that a struggling writer cannot overcome his disadvantages through the means of hard work by learning from the example of writers who have come before him, who offer their knowledge to the public. A pessimistic statement made against certain people to become writers is a statement against individual human will, which history has shown can overcome any number of difficulties. It is a statement which says that it is impossible for human beings to produce ever more stories of quality for ever lower prices even while that very process appears to be occurring: more stories are being produced than at any other time in human history, some at less cost than a fast food meal.

However, while I believe that anyone can become an writer, it is not a process that is easy, or at first profitable. Writing is a vocation which is often done on the margins of one’s life, a discipline taken off to one side, a consumption of an individual’s discretionary time away from the business of making money and accumulating wealth. There is no guaranteed path to success for a writer. Indeed, writers can toil in obscurity for years before being “discovered.” The famous authors of the world are by no means representative of the individual writer who must continually toil away at his craft, either by reason of his passion, or to meet his obligations.

The most common result for a writer is to be relatively unknown. This is a natural process which forces writers to increase the quality of their work in order to make more money from it. If this were not so, then anyone could be a writer spewing out any kind of drivel they please. The market for fiction has allowed the best writing to rise to the top, while the rest of it, howsoever good it may be, is less well-known, less famous.

There are, in fact, thousands upon thousands of unknown writers churning out words in the hopes of making a living with their craft. It is very likely that these people were told that their work was impractical, or that they weren’t any good at it. It is very likely that when they attempted to publish their works, they were greeted with rejection slips or, more commonly, outright silence. Some writers give up without an audience. Some press on, determined to make something of themselves, come what may. It is these writers who persevere through all difficulties that we generally recognize as being successful.

Yet, it must be said: if every writer would realize that they have the potential for greatness inside of them, would not they continue along the path they have chosen, regardless of whether people liked their work or not? Perhaps when people say that only certain individuals can become writers, it is this very statement which discourages writers from pursuing their dreams, leaving all future creative efforts unfinished, their dreams scattered to the wind.

I am here to tell you that anyone can become a writer. If you are willing to put in the work, if you are willing to weather the storms that will come your way as a writer, if you are willing make yourself as a person better suited to the task of writing, then you can do it. Just as each baby has the potential to become an adult, so too does every adult have the potential to become a writer. The talent already lies within you. It’s just a matter of finding it, honing it, and using it.

About the Author:
Winter Trabex is an author of four novels who lives in central Pennsylvania. Her first non-fiction book, How to Write Fiction: Wrangling With the Written Word was released in August 2014. She has been writing for fifteen years.

How to Write Fiction: Wrangling with the Written Word

Author: Winter Trabextrabrex

E-Book: 71 pages

Publisher: Amazon Digital (August 15, 2014)

Synposis:

Have you ever wondered how to write fiction, or how to write better fiction? Winter Trabex provides the answers in this book. In her 15 years experience as a writer, publisher and editor, she shares the secrets she has learned along the way.

These include:

-How to write with an extemporaneous style without the use of an outline.
-The role of the human brain in writing good fiction.
-How to make a story read well.
-How to describe characters and settings.
-How to manage English grammar for maximum effect.
-Choosing the correct environment to write.
-What kind of books to write that will sell in the market.

This book also includes a sample short story, “The Wolves at Night” in which the author provides a realistic sample of all the kind of fiction she believes work best.

Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front

Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Frontmaudlin

Author: Todd DePastino

Hardcover: 384 pages (also available in paperback and e-formats)

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (May 11, 2009)

Synposis:

A self-described “desert rat” who rocketed to fame at the age of twenty-two, Bill Mauldin used flashing black brush lines and sardonic captions to capture the world of the American combat soldier in World War II. His cartoon dogfaces, Willie and Joe, appeared in Stars and Stripes and hundreds of newspapers back home, bearing grim witness to life in the foxhole. We’ve never viewed war in the same way since. This lushly illustrated biography draws on private papers, correspondence, and thousands of original drawings to render a full portrait of a complex and quintessentially American genius.

92 illustrations

willieReview:

Always interested in World War II history, I was already familiar with Willie and Joe, the sad eyed, scruffy bearded guys that showed the world the war through a GI’s eyes in cartoons for Stars and Stripes. But I wasn’t familiar with Bill Maudlin, the man who drew these classic cartoons. I appreciated Todd DePastino’s book because it didn’t just tell the story of the “wunderkid” who skyrocketed to fame during World War II. He also gave backstory about Maudlin as a kid before entering the service and didn’t hold back from revealing his warts, mistakes and failures. He effectively showed that Maudlin was more than just the hand that drew Willie and Joe. The delves into his relationships, his fears and told it all in a way that made a fascinating story. He also revealed in may cases the story behind the cartoons Mauldin drew…why he chose what he did to draw, the unseen meaning behind some of the cartoons, and how specific cartoons had a far greater effect on the world than just making military men laugh.

Although anyone interested in World War II or military history will love A Life Up Front, I feel it will appeal to a wider audience as it touches on the life during the Great Depression, the days of the Red Scare and even Vietnam. It follows life in the United States from the 1920s through the 1980s as told through the experiences of one World War II GI — one who recorded that time with his drawings.

Maxwell Street Blues

Maxwell Street BluesmaxwellStBlues

Author: Marc Krulewitch

E-book: 245 pages

Publisher: Alibi (August 5, 2014)

Synposis:

Chicago runs in Jules Landau’s veins. So does the blood of crooks. Now Jules is going legit as a private eye, stalking bail jumpers and cheating spouses—until he gets his first big case. Unfortunately, the client is his ex-con father, and the job is finding the killer of a man whom Jules loved like family. Why did someone put two bullets in the head of gentle bookkeeper Charles Snook? Jules is determined to find out, even if the search takes him to perilous places he never wanted to go.

Snooky, as he was affectionately known, had a knack for turning dirty dollars clean, with clients ranging from humble shop owners to sharp-dressed mobsters. As Jules retraces Snooky’s last days, he crosses paths with a way-too-eager detective, a gorgeous and perplexing tattoo artist, a silver-haired university administrator with a kinky side, and a crusading journalist. Exposing one dirty secret after another, the PI is on a dangerous learning curve. And, at the top of that curve, a killer readies to strike again.

Review:

Truthfully, Maxwell Street Blues started out a little slow and Jules Landau seemed as if he might not be up to the job (it’s seems like every other page the man has a new bruise). But hang in there, Jules eventually starts to come into his own. You can trace his growth as a private investigator from page one to his ultimate unravelling of the murder and many other crimes connected to it. And the excitement starts to rachet up!

Jules Landau is surrounded by some real characters: his dad, Frownie, some interesting (dirty?) cops and a wide variety of suspects and people connected to the murder of Jules’ childhood friend Snooky. Even though he died before page one you’ll find yourself fascinated by Snooky, even in death he remains interesting.

If you want a little Dashiel Hammet comes to 2014 give Maxwell Street Blues a try.

5Ws with Bethany Harar

Voices of the Sea

Author: Bethany HararBethanyCover

Paperback: 285 pages (also available in e-formats)

Publisher: WiDo Publishing (July 22, 2014)

Synposis:

The Sirens of Pacific Grove, California are being exterminated, and seventeen-year-old Loralei Reines is their next target. Lora may look like a normal teenager, but her voice has the power to enchant and hypnotize men. Like the other Sirens in her clan, however, she keeps her true identity a secret to protect their species.
Lora’s birthright as the next clan leader seems far off, until the Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult determined to kill all Sirens on Earth, begin exterminating her people. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Lora must take her place as Guardian of the Clan.

Lora is determined to gain control of her skills to help her clan, but they are developing too slowly, until she meets Ryan, a human boy. When Ryan is near, Lora’s abilities strengthen. She knows she shouldn’t be with a human. Yet, she can’t resist her attraction to him, or the surge in power she feels whenever they’re together.

And the Sirens are running out of time. If Lora can’t unlock the secret to defeat the Sons of Orpheus, she, along with everyone she loves, will be annihilated.

5Ws with Bethany Harar

WHY
Why did you decide to write about mythical creatures living as humans?

other beth picI think my secret dream is to be more than I am – to have powers and abilities at my disposal – and so that is what I write about. In this case, the Sirens came to mind because I was teaching The Odyssey, and had thought more than once that they really deserved more “time” in the epic poem. I mean, Odysseus passes them unscathed, and they are just left there. But how did they get there? What do they really want? What is it like to be able to seduce men in that way? All of those questions nagged at me, and I had to tackle them. But I wanted them here, in our time, so that teenagers could relate to them. Hence, the human “thing”.

WHAT
What mythical creature would you be if you had a choice?

Can I be a goddess? Of course I can! Yes, a goddess who is strong, brave and beautiful. And of course I would like the ability to fly, change shape and live forever. A unicorn wouldn’t be bad, either, because they are beautiful, shimmery and magical. And of course, if I could be a Siren from my book, I would choose that as well.

I cheated and chose three. But as a goddess, I can do that. ?

WHERE
Where is your favorite place to write?

At my kitchen table, with my family occupied in other areas of the house. I prefer it quiet, with maybe music in the background.

WHO
Who inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve read voraciously my entire life, and have always appreciated the craft of writing, but worried my ideas might be overdone. One year, at the DC Book Festival, I heard Neil Gaiman speak. He said that someone once asked him if he was worried the novel he was working on was just another telling of The Jungle Book.He said that he was not worried at all, because he hadn’t told his version of The Jungle Book yet. And now, we have The Graveyard Book as a result. That gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead and start writing.

But the reality is that every author I’ve ever read has inspired me to be a writer. The way they craft their words, and create their stories has been an inspiration.

WHEN
When will we be reading another one of your books? Will you be exploring more fantasy elements or going into more realism for your next book?

I’m working on my next novel, but it is in the beginning stages. I’m sticking with the fantastical, of course, but going the paranormal route this time. My main character experiences a life-changing event, and is sent to a school for troubled teens. Let’s just say the rehabilitation doesn’t go well. I hope to be finished within the year, and will of course start querying after I’ve polished it!