Tag-Archive for » family histories «

John Lithgow….and His Stories

     “…and that’s why we all need stories.”  John Lithgow said in a recent talk show interview.  He was telling the story of his father reading, to he and his siblings, from a book of short stories.  And then years later, as his father lay dying, John Lithgow said he read aloud to him from the very same book. 

John tells another story, within his story about reading this book of shorts to his father.  He has been on the road with this one-man show for years.  Narrating these same stories from this same book.  He calls it a trunk show; an old theatre expression. That is, pack up everything at night’s end and move, on down the road, to the next town where he presents this one-night-stand again.  He says that he finally wound his way to Broadway and is now  performing to sold-out, delighted audiences. 

This is why I entreat, beg, admonish, and plead with my readers to tell someone your story (hopefully your children and grandchildren), or write it down in a journal or even publish it. With today’s technology we are losing our oral history. And when this set of grandparents pass away it will all be lost. We all need stories. 

“Rarely have I spent so entertaining and touching a night at the theater. The predominant sentiment in Stories by Heart is love.” —Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

“Superb, illuminating and uplifting. The imagination, Mr. Lithgow wants us to know, is powerful. What could feel more current, more worthwhile in the first days of 2018?” —Jesse Green, The New York Times

This is me telling a story about John Lithgow’s story.  
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    December: British writer, J.G. Dow. January: Sue Grafton ~ In Memory
                                                                                   
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A Review ~~ Finding My Way by Judith Keim

reviews, authors, writing1 out of 5 quills        A Review  ~~  Finding My Way 

Very disappointed.  Right away the first chapter was familiar, so after checking I discovered the author had cut and pasted a chapter from Book 1 to begin her sequel in the Salty Key series. This is cheating and so lazy. In my forty+ years of reading and my 15 years of reviewing books, I have never seen this done. What was the author thinking?

The proof reading of the book was non-existent or at best, slack. In order to have the book seem to be full-length, 1.5 spaces was implemented, (instead of the industry standard 1.0 space format) causing the book to be 305 pages long, when in fact it is a cozy of about 175 pages. 

Any good sequel stands alone with its own story line.  This is not a stand-alone sequel. There is too much repeating of Book 1’s story. The author has chosen to write each book from another sister’s perspective.  The first sister, Sheena, had a somewhat interesting story line. In the second book it is from Darcy’s perspective.  And she’s not a very interesting character.  She brags about the novel she is going to write but doesn’t do much about it. Thinks that writing a restaurant review will hone her craft as a fiction writer. Huh? And she is ‘man-hungry’. Every man she meets in the story is either boyfriend/husband material or not. That’s what she leads with and it gets boring after a while.

Near the last 50 pages the author takes an unfortunate right turn. For no apparent reason, she introduces a severely disabled long-lost cousin. It was so out-of-the-blue! After that chapter he is never mentioned again.  She would have been well advised to develop the characters already on deck.  ‘Gavin’s people’ for instance. (lots of good stories there) The many boyfriend-material guys of Darcy’s. The editor/writer who is giving Darcy a chance to write for a local newspaper. (His illness/death is glossed over.)  Sheena’s son’s friend, Randy. The list goes on and on.

Sadly, she is not comfortable writing about the married physical love between Sheena and Tony. It’s stilted and I didn’t believe it.     

Ms. Keim needs to stay in the ‘voice’ of each of her characters. The writing bounced around and was frequently clunky . Sentence structure was a distraction. 

I was hoping that the author would grow in her craft with Book #2 but sadly this was not the case. It’s a shame because the story premise is a good one. I do not recommend this author’s books.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    December: British writer, J.G. Dow.  January: In Memory, Sue Grafton.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
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Auld Lang Syne ~~ Happy Holidays!

It’s that time of year….Auld Lang Syne and as the poet, Robbie Burns wrote,  “old long since”.  And I’m in the mood to tell a story.     

Wild Violets, a novel

Mother, Violet, on right

In a very ‘Auld Lang Syne’ kind of mood, I  remembered things from my long ago youth at  holiday time.  Especially my mother’s traditions in the kitchen.  Christmas dinner was a big stuffed turkey with all, and I do mean all, the trimmings.  Dinner began with a ‘shrimp cocktail’.  If there was fresh shrimp (there had to have been; we lived in the Pacific Northwest for goodness sakes); my mother had never heard of them.  Canned shrimp filled two third’s of a martini glass, topped with her homemade cocktail sauce.  A sprig of parsley  on top and the glass was then placed on a paper doily covered saucer.  On the saucer was ONE, (never two or three) Ritz cracker.

The sage, giblet stuffing, made from scratch and that means my mother saved the heels of bread loaves for weeks. I’ve never tasted dressing as good since.  She would make the usual trimmings, gravy from the turkey drippings, green beans (out of a can, of course) flavored with bits of boiled bacon, baked sweet potatoes, and jellied cranberry sauce.  She considered whole berry cranberry sauce savage.  Home made biscuits and mashed potatoes.  And then the pièce de résistance………..her oyster dressing.  Heaven in a bite!

family histories, family secrets, story telling, writers

Mom & me

Not being a particularly religious family the blessing was be short.  If my Dad could get away with it, he would add: “Pass the spuds, pass the meat, for

Godssakes, let’s eat.” We would toast each other with Manischewitz  wine. A wine connoisseur Mom was not!  And I never knew why a Kosher red wine was part of her tradition.  

As dishes were passed around the table,  someone would always mention my mother’s off colored joke about a “boarding house reach“.  A stickler for good manners, she would instruct us that a ‘boarding house reach’ was when you could ‘reach’ for something on the table and at least one butt cheek remained on your chair.  That was an acceptable ‘reach’ and not bad manners. Otherwise, you must ask politely for someone to pass down what you wanted.

roaring 20's, flappers, new fiction, Wild Violets

the flapper days

I was never certain whether she had run a boarding house or had just lived in one sometime during her 1920’s flapper*bar owner*professional bowler* speckled younger days.  If she had run a bordello it would not have surprised me!    Miss you, Mom!

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Footnote:  “Auld Lang Syne”  is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well-known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.

The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago”, “days gone by” or “old times”.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   October’s author was Donna Kauffman. November: Rita Avaud a Najm. December: British writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Interview with British Writer, J.G. Dow

TS.   A ‘cozy’ writer from the UK and new to the scene.  James lived for a few years in the North of England and spent a while living in Manchester. He says that’s why he is fairly comfortable writing about the city. He went to University in Manchester many years ago and “still miss the place sometimes now and have good memories!”  When not writing fiction he enjoys walks in the country and indulging in a spot of cooking now and then. He has been known to pen the occasional poem.  Jane of Manchester is his debut novel. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provide a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….)

JG. I write in my bedroom, sit in an easy chair surrounded by books and cd’s and pictures on the walls. It’s comfortable and warm and a good place to settle into a bit of writing. It’s nice to be cosy when being creative!

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JG. I like to have a bottle of Berocca vitamin drink sometimes or a cup of tea but water is fine as well. I think a Brandy would make the creative process a bit hazy although some famous writers like Bukowski obviously liked a tipple while at the typewriter I suppose…each to their own!

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JG. I play the guitar and like reading and also listen to a wide variety of music and tend to enjoy going out for a few drinks on a weekend followed by a nice hot curry! The North of England is a good place for spicy food!

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JG. I write in the evening mainly as it can be noisy where I live in the daytime. I used to write through the night but I find I get too tired to do that nowadays and it can be a bit exhausting so sometime between 5pm and 8pm is a decent period to get on with it.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JG. I suppose just keep at it and try not to get stressed out…maybe do something else for a while till the mood returns and remember to make writing enjoyable otherwise it won’t flow. If you feel too tired one day, don’t bother and try again the next day when you feel more energized!

with Dad at family wedding

Q.Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JG. I used to live in Manchester and so that was the inspiration for the setting of the Jane books but in terms of characters, I just made them up and tried to make them as realistic as possible.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

JG. I wrote poetry for a while and then decided to try stories and after a while of short stories and the odd mini plays that weren’t very good, I thought novel writing may be a different way to go. I think I like writing longer prose more to be honest as you can get really stuck into it and be immersed in the whole thing.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

me at family home in Yorkshire

JG. Characters I suppose as they drive what happens next but the situation soon follows and is integral of course. But the characters and their motivations tend to lead the way otherwise it can all feel a bit flat if they aren’t paramount.

Join us December 15th for Part 2 of the Interview with J.G. Dow

To Purchase, click here 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Interview with Childrens Book Author, Rita Avaud Najm (part 2)

Continuing my interview with author, Rita Avaud Najm. ‘Poursuivant mon interview avec l’auteur, Rita Avaud Najm’

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

RN. Each situation needs a character that goes with it and fit its plot. I cannot create a character without giving it a role. Just like movies! The scenarios come first and then finding the right actors for every scene you have created.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

RN. I never get lost, maybe because I write for children and my stories are usually short.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

RN. I don’t have a Muse, but I hope my “Petite Rita” stories will become as famous as “Martine,” “Madeline” and “Dora the explorer.” All of my other stories, even the fictional ones, teach children about the importance of virtue, honesty and love. They all have a message and teach life-long lessons while entertaining the readers.    

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

RN. Publishing my third volume of “La Petite Rita” is my next step, as well as finding an illustrator for my other pictures books that need a lot of colorful, joyful and eye-catching drawings.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

RN. My first serious book was a guide for teachers and parents to encourage students to read more poetry and non-fiction books. That guide was my graduation project in 2013, while I was working at one of Houston’s public schools libraries. Since then I’ve been seriously writing with a goal of publishing my works. 

Q. How long after that were you published?

RN. I’d been looking for a publisher for a year and a half. It’s not easy to make your dream come true.

Q. What makes a writer great?

Creativity, imagination, a unique style make a great writer, as well as knowing their audience’s interest, and expressing their ideas clearly and be passionate about the subject or story they are writing about.

Q. And the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

RN. It’s just time. “No book” is the starting point that needs a push to make the invisible visible, and to put thoughts into sentences. The “keep on” is the key to finally typing the joyful two words of mine, “The End.” It’s not a hard process; it’s a plan or a goal that one should enjoy achieving and seeing it in hand.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

RN. “Memories are special moments that tell our story” My childhood memories are the basic of most of my stories. They flash through my mind and give me ideas to write more and more.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

RN. I am a Children’s book author who writes fiction and non-fiction stories and I love it.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

RN. Writing is more than putting sentences on a page; it’s a gift that any reader might have. If you are a good reader, love books, have plenty of feelings that you would like to express, why don’t you let them be heard? I never thought that I would be an author one day and that I would bring my characters to life!


Did you miss Part I of my Interview
with this children’s author? Click here.

To purchase Rita’s books: click here
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!
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To Purchase: click here  

 

 

 

Celebrating Our Veterans on Their Day, 2017!!

In Memory….

            You might say I’m a ‘military brat’.  My life certainly was changed by members of my family serving in the armed forces.  So what better time than on this Veteran’s Day to honor them….those who keep us SAFE and FREE!  And to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us and their country.

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Gerald Guyer (cousin)   US Marines**WWI – gave his life -France ** Son of Gladys; nephew of Violet, about whom I have written many stories.

William Jay Woods (biological father)  US Navy ** WWII –   South Pacific campaign – PTSD.  He met my mother in San Francisco, where she owned a bar and grill.  He returned from war  an alcoholic, experienced rages and had a parrot named Butch.

military verterans, US Coast Guard, US Navy, US Air Force, WWII, Viet Nam, Korean WarJohnny Cable (step-father)  US Army ** WWII South Pacific campaign – lost an eye, suffered from jungle rot and PTSD.  He later served on a ship in the Korean War as a meat cutter.  He was instrumental in serving the troops a HOT Thanksgiving dinner on the beach.

At seven years of age I dare not run in and jump on the bed in the mornings to wake up Daddy.  He would wake up ready to fight the ‘Japs’.   He was a wonderful father but the horrors of the South Pacific campaign were never far from the surface.

family histories, family secrets, story telling, writers

my mother, Violet

Violet Guyer (mother) US Armed Forces ** Wife, sister, and mother of members in the military.
My mother, who I write about, was auntie to Gerald.  She married Jay (active Navy) and Johnny (active Army) and was a military wife for two decades. She was mother to Jack (US Air Force) and Doris, (US Marines).

Jack Borden (brother)  US Air Force ** Loaded B52 bombers – hot spots around the world – 20+ years of service.  My brother would come home from far away places like Germany, Iceland, Africa, Panama and because he  didn’t have a hometown girl, he would take me, his teenage sister, ballroom dancing.

Jack Henderson.  (first husband) US Air Force * While in the military, he was on a ship in the Pacific and witnessed one of the first A-Bomb test explosions off Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.  We are still friends.

Robert Berry (second husband)   US Navy Seals, US Coast Guard ** 20+ years of service. Robert.Berry
Robert was a Navy Seal, underwater demolition during the Viet Nam years.  He later served as a warrant officer aboard an icebreaker and was certified to scuba dive under the Arctic ice.

 

john.Viet.Nam

John Sugarek, Viet Nam

John Sugarek (husband)  US Marines ** Viet Nam –   John was my husband for 30 years. He was kind-hearted and funny and everyone loved him.  I witnessed two of his  flashbacks from battle in Viet Nam (twenty years later)  and he suffered, untreated, from PTSD. Partially due to the PTSD (I believe) he died at his own hand in 2006.  His fellow wounded warriors celebrate at the Whiskey Battery Reunion, once a year.marines

 

We are all grateful to our military for their unswerving bravery, service, and loyalty and we honor those who have come home, battered but alive.
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

Interview with author, Donna Kauffman (part 2)

Q. Do you get lost in your writing? (con’t.)

DK. Always. It might take some time to sink into fiction world, but when I do, I’m gone until I surface again. Could be an hour, could be all day. One of the things I do to help “sink in” is re-read what I wrote the day before. It’s an easy way to start, as you’re not asking yourself to come up with anything new quite yet, but simply to review the work from the day before, get back into the scene you were working on, edit now that you’ve had the chance to get some distance from it and can be more objective, and by the time I get to the end of that I find the writing is flowing and I’m in without even realizing it.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?
 

DK. No muses for me. Other than the story and my characters and being compelled to find out what happens next.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

DK. I launched a new series this summer with the release of Blue Hollow Falls. It’s set here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is very special to me, finally getting to write about this place I love so much. The second in the series is a holiday e-novella, The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls, which will be out on October 31st.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

DK. I started when I was pregnant with my first son. I was twenty-eight at the time, and in my fourth trimester (do that math) so I was just desperate enough at that point to try anything as a distraction. Writing a book seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do. Then I (finally!) had my son, and the writing got put aside. I picked it up again when pregnant with my second son. I was twenty-nine at the time (do that math, too) and just desperate enough at the time to try anything as a means to get a little me time. I put that aside when son number two arrived, but along with him came the decision to stay home and raise my kids, and I decided to give writing more seriously a try. I did join that writer’s group then and I finished that first book.

Q. How long after that were you published?

DK. My youngest was two when I sold that first book and I’ve been continually published ever since. (My sons are 29 and 27 now and have been my biggest champions all along the way.)

Q. What makes a writer great? 

DK. Gosh, I don’t know if I can sum that up. It’s such a personal relationship between reader and writer, each one unique. I guess, if I had to summarize, I’d say it’s a writer who tells the story he or she most wants to read, stays true to that ideal, and puts absolutely everything into each moment. If you’ve done the very best you can do, told the story to the best of your ability, it might not make you “great” in the eyes of others, but it does make you the best you can be, and I’ll take that.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

DK. Anguish, self loathing, and doubt? Kidding. Kinda. It’s having all the optimism in the world that your new book idea is just the best idea ever, then finding a way to maintain that enthusiasm though all the ups and downs (and downs, and downs) of pulling that story out of yourself, one word, sentence, and paragraph at a time. Then editing all those words and sentences and paragraphs, tossing out chunks, rewriting chunks, tossing more, and writing some more, and then finally accepting that this is the very best you can tell that wonderful story you had in your head, and even though you’re relieved, proud, thankful, you still promise yourself that next time you’ll find even better words to tell that next fantastic story idea. But, for this time at least, you’ve done it, and it’s the very best you could do, and it’s time to put it out there.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

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DK. I don’t write about, or include, specific life events or experiences into my fiction. However, life experiences, world views, the personal circle of life that swirls around you at all times, all inform who you are, and how you think, and what you know about life, and therefore how you imbue your characters with their world views and how they think, etc. I’m not sure how you would ever write a story that wasn’t influenced in some way by what you see, know, learn, explore, absorb, even though it’s mostly in the abstract. I don’t create characters to give voice to my opinions, but since I am creating my characters, I am the one giving them their opinions. So, even if they aren’t me, or aren’t anything like me, they still come from me, so it’s my ideas/thoughts/opinions on what a person like them would be like, that creates them. If that makes sense.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

DK. The great thing about writing romance is that it lends itself to combining with pretty much any other genre. I’ve written suspense, mystery, paranormal, time travel, etcetera, but always with the relationship at the core of the story. That’s what drives my storytelling, so I don’t know that I’d want to explore a genre that didn’t have that at the center of it.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
 
DK. I love hearing from readers and hanging out with them. You can find me online at www.donnakauffman.com and on social media at:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/donna.kauffman1/
Twitter: @DonnaKauffman
Instagram: @donnakauffman

  Drop by, drop in, hang out, and laugh along!

Did you miss Part I of this Interview?       To Purchase Donna’s books
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!   
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Interview with author, Donna Kauffman

TS. Fairly recently I discovered Donna.  I ordered one book (Blue Hollow Falls) and quickly ordered the rest of her books. That’s always a good sign from this Blogger!  Beautifully crafted stories!

 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provide a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….)  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

DK. I work any and everywhere. Have laptop, will travel! And I often do. I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia, and though I do have dedicated office space in my house, I don’t think I’ve ever actually gone in there to write. Working where you live can, at times, provide a wealth of distractions to help procrastinate getting any writing done. At least a few times a week, I hop in my car and head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is minutes from where I live, and find a quiet overlook, trail, picnic area, and work there. It’s inspiring and has the added benefit of no internet/cell/email/other distractions. I’ve written large portions of many books up there.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

DK.  No rituals for me. I prefer it quiet (no tv, music, chatter) but I’ve written sitting in busy airport terminals and during my kids sports practices. I think sometimes you can get bogged down by placing too many “I have to have this in order to write” requirements. I’ve always been a “plant your backside somewhere and fall into the story already” type, mostly because I know if I started down the “I must have” path, I’d never get another book written.

Fox kits at Rescue Center

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

DK. I volunteer for a local wildlife center and a local wildlife sanctuary. I’m a dedicated hiker/outdoors person and photographer who loves animals, so it’s been a fascinating adjunct to that and I’ve learned so much about all the critters I’ve lived amongst for years. If I had the time, I’d love to get my wildlife rehabilitators’ license. Someday!

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

DK. No set time. My schedule and other obligations often create the blocks of time I write. Given a whole day with nothing else on the docket, I tend to get up and dive in before the world wakes up and gets in the way, and often times write all day until dinner. Then I’d likely sink back in again after the world goes to sleep. I’m both morning person and night owl, so that comes in handy!

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?  

DK. That’s the single biggest obstacle to all writers. I think I can safely say we all do it. (And if you don’t, please share your trick with me!) I guess I’ve learned how to remove temptation from my immediate surroundings (hence the my mobile office pod, as I call it, aka my car.) If I can’t stop myself from getting up and doing laundry instead of tackling the next scene, or from scrolling through social media, then I take myself off somewhere where I can’t do either of those things. It’s an ongoing battle. Deadlines and knowing you’ve got bills to pay also help immensely.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

DK. I don’t know if I can pinpoint that. Story evolution is such an ephemeral thing for me. It comes at me from all sides, in all manners of unfolding. Some characters are part of the initial, ooh, this is a story I want to tell! And some come along as the story develops.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

DK. Wanting there to be more books in the world that I wanted to read. I have broad interests in fiction and I’m very picky all at the same time. I like what I like. I have my favorite authors and am always on the prowl for new ones. (The library is a wonderful treasure trove for finding new authors. No investment risk other than a little time to see if they can pull you into their worlds…) I was having a hard time finding more of what I loved and kept imagining what story I would want to read, and one thing led to another, and I started putting thoughts to paper. I’d always been a writer of some kind or other, so it was a natural combination of putting my thoughts down in writing, then steering those thoughts into the fictional realm. When I got serious about it, I joined a local writer’s organization and immersed myself in learning more about the craft of writing as well as the business of writing. I knew immediately I’d found my people. (Fictional and non.)

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

DK. Could be either one. It really depends on the story. The trigger could be location, occupation, setting, conflict, or any combination of those. I’ve been writing small town fiction for a while now and so location is often the first thing that intrigues me. I want to set my fictional world in this place or that, and then occupations, conflicts, plot ideas start to percolate, and along with them the perfect people to tell that story, both main characters and secondary. Research begins, story begins, and folks just up and introduce themselves in the process.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

Join us for Part II, October 27th of this fascinating Interview                  

To purchase Donna Kauffman’s books ~ Click here 
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Purchase here

 

Cast Iron by Peter May ~~ A Review

 

reviews, authors, writing

reviews, authors, writing

reviews, authors, writing

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing

5 out of 5 quills  A Review 

Flawless writing!  Some writers have simply got IT!  Peter May is one of those. 

Cast Iron is proclaimed to be the final episode in the Enzo Files. Years ago Enzo Macleod was challenged/dared to solve seven cold case murders. This one was the toughest of them all because the original evidence (which there was damn little to begin with) was flawed. Macleod must unravel what happened years before in the long dead dynamic of the victim’s family and friends.  Powerful people want to thwart this detective’s efforts at all costs and it gets very personal.

Peter in Spain

Another aspect that this reader really enjoyed was getting to know Macleod’s personal life without it intruding into the murder plot.  The subplot is masterfully accomplished.  

Let’s hope it isn’t the acclaimed finale to the Enzo Files! 
 

Did you miss my Interview with Peter May?
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!   
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Purchase here

Review ~~ La Petite Rita by Rita Avaud a Najm

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 3 out of 5 quills   A REVIEW  La Petite Rita

Part of my job and responsibility is to give ‘new’ authors a chance at exposure, through my reviews and interviews. It is part of my mission to support other authors and offer advice. 

Vol. I & II of La Petite Rita are a good start to a charming series.  Based upon the author’s childhood memories, it revolves around a little French girl (Rita) immigrating to the United States with her parents.  Seen through Rita’s eyes, we observe Thanksgiving, first day at school, shopping, weddings, bicycles in the rain. 

The unique feature in the author’s books is the use of the French language. Simple phrases that any child could learn.  BUT, the footnote translation should be in phonetic (fa-net-ic) form as the actual phrase is already in the text of the story. This would teach the child ‘how’ to say the phrase in French. 

The covers of the books have no title, so the reader isn’t told immediately what the book is about. By the title, La Petite Rita, my first impression was that it was a children’s book written in French.  And the illustration on volume 2 really doesn’t tell the reader what it’s about. Only when they begin to read the book do they realize that it is a collection of very short stories. Missing inside is a content page with the title of each story. 

New authors should value the cover artwork and ‘title’ beyond all else. These are the first things that might inspire the reader to carry your book to the check-out counter! 

The books are charming little vignettes with a cute introduction to French.   To purchase
Don’t miss my Interview with the author in November!

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In NOvember we say hello to ‘Rita’ the author of the above books. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!
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