Archive for September, 2015

An Interview with Romantic Suspense Novelist Clara Grace Walker

Hi, Clara! Thanks so much for joining us today!

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Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on or promoting.

I write about glamorous worlds populated with characters living out soap opera style lives.  They’re like Dynasty, if Dynasty was a series of romantic suspense novels written by Elmore Leonard.  After publishing my first series, Desire Never Dies, I’ve moved on to my next series, Sex & Secrets.  Book 1 of this series, Exploits is currently with my editor, and just to make sure I’m not bored, I’ve begun drafting the next book in the series, Whispers.

 

If you could have a conversation with one person living or dead who would it be?

Robert Kirkman.  I have so many great zombie ideas.

 

Is there a theme/message underlying your work that you hope comes across? 

Love matters

 

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If you could be any character in literature, who would you choose to be? 

Arwen from Lord of the Rings

 

Pirates or ninjas, and why?

Ninjas – for the stealth factor, and because I like having both eyes and all my limbs.

 

Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?

Aggravating my neck, back and shoulder muscles by spending too much time at the computer.

 

What is your number one pet peeve when it comes to writing/reading books?

Too many books/authors trying to be the next ___________ (fill in the blank with whatever’s currently trending).

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In 4th grade when my teacher sent me off to a “Young Authors Conference.”  Not surprisingly, she was my favorite teacher.

 

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If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Ernest Hemingway…just call me “Papa’s Girl.”

 

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

One giant bestseller

 

Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?

A poorly written book with an excellent story

 

Do you think a writer should write every day?

Not strictly.  Some days are just too hectic, and there’s no point in making yourself stressed out and crazy over it.  It’s also good to recharge your batteries every once in a while.  So, if you feel like you need a day or two off, you should take it.

 

What five words would you use to describe yourself? 

Creative, determined, compassionate, hard-working and intelligent

 

Tell us something about yourself that few people know.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina.

 

If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?

Aragorn from Lord of the Rings

 

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Do you have any talismans, charms, superstitions, or music that helps you write? If so, what is the story behind them?

Music frequently inspires my writing, however the playlist is always changing depending upon the book/character that I’m writing.

 

Give us one piece of sage advice on writing, relationships, or life in general.

Never quit

 

Poetry that rhymes or poetry that doesn’t—which do you prefer?

Poetry that rhymes

 

Please give us your links, including where we can purchase your books.

Twitter Handle:  @AuthorClaraGW
Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00F5Y3RVK

Thanks, Clara! Please keep us posted on your latest developments.

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Excerpt from EXPLOITS

By Clara Grace Walker

 

He spotted her being dragged from the balcony by a tall, lean woman with flaming red hair.  She looked his way and saw him, too; her blue eyes meeting his with intensity.  Jeremy Jennings’ heart lurched.  Slender and tall, like the woman dragging her.  Her mesmerizing curves and long flaxen hair would pull in most men, and he didn’t discount them, but that wasn’t what had his heart sputtering.  It was her eyes.  Liquid pools of blue.  Startled.  Apprehensive.  And beneath that, something more.

Jeremy looked away.  He didn’t need this kind of a distraction in his life right now.  He didn’t need it at all.

He closed his eyes, trying to blink away whatever momentary spell she’d cast on him, and when he opened them, she was gone.  Vanished.  Like a dream chased away by waking.

“Jeremy!”  Darla Arnold rushed into view, waving her hand in his direction.  “Fancy running into you here.  I didn’t know you were friends of Earl and Mindy.”

He sighed.  “I’m not.  Jamie and Nick are.  I’m just here providing a little extra security.”  And waiting for an informant who claimed to have information on organized crime.  Someone who claimed his life was in danger, and whose face Jeremy had yet to spot in the crowd.  He offered Darla a nod of his head.  “You didn’t happen to see George Clooney on your travels around the ballroom, did you?”

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Posted by Matthew Peters - September 15, 2015 at 4:42 am

Categories: Author Interviews   Tags: , , , , , ,

September: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

old-woman--woman_19-135708September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month.

I think most of us have been touched by the specter of suicide. Whether through the death of someone we know and love or the pain felt when a celebrity takes his own life, it seems impossible to remain unscathed by this tragedy.

My maternal grandfather committed suicide when my mom was twelve, so in some ways she would always be twelve.

Obviously I never knew Grandpa Bob, but he remained a force in my life as I grew up, my mother’s maturation having been halted by the death of the one man she really loved and admired. The rest of my mother’s life would consist of attempts to fill the role of father figure.

But because my mother was touched by death at such an early age, and since I was privy to the story from early on, suicide seemed a natural part of life. I was never surprised when I heard of someone taking their own life; indeed, I found it a little strange to encounter someone whose life had not been impacted by suicide.

I would come to know suicide a little more closely when my stepfather hanged himself. I was in my mid-twenties at the time. Shortly before taking his own life, Chuck had been picked up going the wrong way on the Jersey Turnpike. It was a case of early Alzheimer’s, and my stepfather decided in some portion of what was left of his brain after years of drinking and huffing paint thinner, that he no longer wanted to live.

I share my experiences with suicide to show that I am not unfamiliar with the devastation it can wreak. I also share them because I want to say something about the topic that I feel needs to be said.

One often hears suicide called the most selfish of acts.

But is it?

While it may seem like a selfish act to those left behind, this does nothing to address the pain and suffering of the one who took her own life.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Killing one’s self is the most drastic measure one can take. Can we even fathom the amount of pain and suffering an individual must experience before deciding it’s simply unbearable to continue to exist? As Ian Maclaren said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

In this month of suicide prevention may we always hold near and dear the people among us, especially those battling difficulties, and that means essentially everyone. Think not just of what their loss might do to us, but of the amount of pain and suffering they are experiencing. Listening to someone can mean the difference between life and death.

And please if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts get them to a health professional immediately.

Here is the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Their website can be found here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Be well, friends.

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Posted by Matthew Peters - September 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Categories: Mental Health   Tags: , ,

An Interview with the Amazing Poetess Kit Campbell

Hi, Kit! Thanks so much for joining us today!

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Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on or promoting.

Hello there! I’m Kit Campbell. I am a mess of chaos in my personal life, but it makes for good material when it comes to writing. That being said, I’m promoting my first book of poetry, The Doldrums: Not Your Grandma’s Poetry, which details some of those messy moments in life. I am also currently working on my first novel.

 

If you could have a conversation with one person living or dead who would it be?

In keeping with the literary theme, I would have to say Emily Dickinson. Her story is an interesting one, and I have the feeling she would have some interesting views of the world.

 

Is there a theme/message underlying your poems that you hope comes across?

I unintentionally tend to gravitate toward a theme of loneliness and/or misunderstanding. I feel as though reading of someone else’s solitude somehow alleviates our own. It is as if there is another person in the world who feels the same, so perhaps the reader is not quite as alone or misunderstood as he or she thought. That’s the hope, at least.

 

If you could be any character in literature, who would you choose to be?

My first thought was Puck, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a mischievous “merry wanderer,” and I feel like I could fall into that character with some ease. 🙂

 

Pirates or ninjas, and why?

Oh, pirates. For sure. Because they are rule breakers who get to cruise around the world. We have to pay big bucks for that, usually!

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have only recently allowed myself to be called a “writer,” but I have always been one. From the time I first learned to read and write, I would pen stories and draw pictures to go with them. I have discovered old stanzas of poetry written in my huge kindergarten handwriting.

 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

You! And that’s the truth.

 

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

Definitely one giant bestseller. I think one of the greatest honors for an author would be to write the kind of book that compels folks who don’t normally read to start doing so. Also, I’m just not the type of person to aim for “moderate” goals.

 

Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?

This is tough. If I am honest, if either are lacking, I tend to lose interest and stop reading entirely. If I had to choose, I’d rather read something well-written with weak content. Then at least a great idea wasn’t wasted on a poorly-written book.

 

If you could marry a fictional character, who would it be?

Jamie Fraser, from the Outlander series. Yes, sir.

 

Give us one piece of sage advice on writing, relationships, or life in general.

I wish I had any to spare. I will now refer you back to the first question. 🙂

 

Poetry that rhymes or poetry that doesn’t—which do you prefer?

Yes. I just prefer good poetry of any kind. If it can be said in iambic pentameter, that is great. If that idea is better expressed in prose, that is great. It is all art to me.

 

Links:

Book: The Doldrums: Not Your Grandma’s Poetry

Webpage: The Musings of Kit Campbell

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KCampbell_Write

 

Thank you so much for joining us, Kit! Please keep us posted on your latest developments.

 

Doldrums Cover

“Boneyard”
You know I need you, so you withhold your love
The thirst for power always hungry for more
My pain feeds your addiction like a holiday meal
As you sip at the cup of my tears
The sweet taste of victory sliding over your lips
To the very gut of your soul
Until what remains is nothing
But the bones of my love
picked clean and passed to the dogs
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Posted by Matthew Peters - September 1, 2015 at 6:01 am

Categories: Author Interviews   Tags: ,

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