Interview with author, J.T. Wright

JTW. I’m the second of four daughters born to Lois and Walt. My father’s family were (are) enrolled members of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Indians. My mother’s family was in the logging business and lived close to Gifford Pinchot State Park. I grew up in Tacoma, Washington.
In 1988, I met and married a Kiwi polo player, and we moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, where I have worked in the arts and events industry, creating and producing events and festivals ever since. For my services to the arts, the King appointed me an Officer of the N Z Merit of Honor.
I discovered the soothing effects of writing in 1985, the same year I got sober, after someone suggested I write my thoughts in a journal. I journaled for a couple of years before deciding to write a novel. How to Grow an Addict, was published in 2015. My second novel, Eat and Get Gas, was released on June 6, 2023, and has been optioned for TV/Film by Producer Leanne Moore (GLOW and The Lincoln Lawyer for Netflix).

Writing in my office

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing? (please provide a photo of you at work in your shed, room,

closet, barn, or houseboat….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

JTW. I taught myself to tune out the world and focus on writing, and for years I was happy to write almost anywhere. Lately though, in this covid era, I write at home, where it’s quiet. I use my laptop and often move from desk to couch to chair.

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

JTW. I eat a lot of toast when I’m in a writing groove (avocado, strawberry jam with too much butter, and occasionally a smashed banana), and I often turn off my phone and lock the front door. I have a pen collection and many notebooks filled with ideas and comments.

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

JTW. I cringe when I read or hear the word ‘moist.’

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

JTW. I write on Post-it notes, in a notebook, on my phone, and my laptop.

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names.

JTW. We have four polo ponies (Roxy, Rudy, Allie, and Pearl), two cats (Max and Gracie), and nine chickens (Lucy, Gothe, Little Lavie, Big Lavie, Grey Stumpy, Black Stumpy, White Stumpy, Hooty one and

Hooty1 and Hooty2

Hooty two).

Q. Do you enjoy writing in other forms (playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc.)?
If yes, tell us about it.

JTW. I’ve been trying to write a decent short story for months. It’s harder than I thought it would be.

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

JTW. I don’t have advice because it’s an issue for me, too, but I’ve learned that suffering is optional, and it’s best if I give into the thing that yells at me to be written.

 

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

Join us for part 2 of our Interview next week.
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Book Review – Catherine Ryan Hyde’s latest book

 

5 out of 5 stars

One of the most delightful things about this author is the reader NEVER  knows where she is going with her story-line.  And A Different Kind of  Gone is no exception.  
Catherine Ryan Hyde starts us off with a  search and rescue for a missing girl.  And ends us…..well…….I’m not known for my ‘spoiler alerts’, am I?
This was my favorite.” Wait! I say that every time I set one of her books down, finished.   Until the next one comes out (grin).

I can’t  give my readers  even a short synopsis because no matter what  I write, it would give something away.  But the story has everything!  Norma, Jill and Wanda are incredibly brave. The horses and dogs (two of my favorite things) swirl through the story and add such color and flavor. 

I recommend all books by Catherine Ryan Hyde but my top three favorites are this one and Allie and Bea and  Have You Seen Luis Velez?           

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Book Review ~ October in the Earth by Olivia Hawker

 

5 out of 5 stars

My favorite book of all time was Hawker’s One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.   Until now.

Little did I know this author has more to write and stories to tell. The writing is exquisite in October in the Earth.  The characters are compelling and easy to love.  While I have never ridden the rails, myself, I was completely empathetic to the two lone women out in a cruel and mean world, during an era that suppressed women and crushed dreams and aspirations.  

As a rule, I skim ‘acknowledgments’ and ‘author’s notes’ but I wanted to know what Hawker was thinking when writing this great American novel.  So I read on…to discover that she started rewriting it (for the sixth time) just a few days after she had sworn off writing forever.  That’s how close we all came to never seeing this masterpiece. How close we came to losing this brilliant author.   Lucky for us she was compelled to return and write a little more. 

The Great Depression hit the 30’s of the last century with a devastating effect on the nation. Whole families take to the rails because, while dangerous, it is free transportation to maybe a better life…a life where they can, at least, feed their children. Fate or life…or whatever you want to call it…has driven Del and Louisa away from a relatively safe home life to riding the boxcars looking for any menial job. Sustenance for one more day.  Following the harvest, crisscrossing the nation by rail.  They meet by accident and forge a bond that nothing can break…maybe. 

Olivia Hawker writes compelling page-turners and usually, the ending is a surprise. In my humble opinion, this book replaces The Grapes of Wrath, by John  Steinbeck as the classic story of the nation’s struggles during the Great Depression. 

 

Did you miss my interview with Olivia?

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Author, Donna Everhart ~ Interview

Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author known for vividly evoking the complexities of the heart and a gritty fascination of the American South in her acclaimed novels. She received the prestigious SELA Outstanding Southeastern Author Award from the Southeastern Library Association, among many others.  Born and raised in Raleigh, she has stayed close to her hometown for much of her life and now lives just an hour away in Dunn, North Carolina.  

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

DE. I have an office upstairs that’s pretty secluded, which I love. It’s actually the same office I used when I was working way back when in the corporate world. Since I left that occupation in 2012 to write full-time, the one big thing I’ve changed is adding bookshelves. Lots of them! These shelves hold my inspiration and of course, my entertainment. The books in the pictures were placed right after the bookcases were built when I was still organizing, and boy, that was a lesson learned. I must’ve moved my stacks at least three times until I finally settled on read non-fiction/craft books to be read and my own work.

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

DE. We’re all so uniquely different with how we approach writing, so, I suppose you could say we all have quirks. I don’t necessarily need a completely pristine

 workspace, but I don’t want it so messy it’s distracting. I like medium point pens, although I don’t (and never will) work in long hand. The pens are for taking notes when I have an idea I don’t want to forget. And, usually, around 4:00 p.m., I often need a break, and I’m prone to have some caffeine so I can catch a second wind. It’s usually coffee, but if it’s really hot, (I’m in NC – it gets pretty hot!) I’ll opt for slightly sweet iced tea with a squeeze of lemon.

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

DE. I found a body on the beach once. It was a young man in his early 30s who was pulled out by an undertow. It was right after 9/11 and eventually I found out he was fasting, and praying, and on that particular day, the day he was due to go back home to West Virginia, he went out for a swim and, sadly, drowned. I found out all of this through his mother who contacted me later. She was able to find my address from her other son who was a state trooper, and had access to information. She wrote to thank me for holding his hand until help came. Even though he was gone, I felt compelled to do that. It was kind of scary because his eyes were still open, and I SWEAR he could see me, but given other things going on with him physically, it was apparent he’d passed on. It was really tragic and sad.

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

DE. I go right to the keyboard. My writing is too messy, (note the remark about long hand above) and I think too fast (sometimes) to be able to write anything legible. I even have trouble with my grocery list and deciphering what the heck I wrote on it.

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names. 

DE. I don’t have any pets at the moment. I used to have Yorkies. First, we had “the girls,” Bella and Kiwi. We tragically lost them in the summer of 2012, within three weeks of each other due to that whole fiasco with jerky treats. (If anyone is wondering what I’m talking about, just Google dog jerky treats made in China and FDA.) About 4 months later, in December of 2012 we got another little Yorkie we adopted who was 3 years old. His name was Snickers, but we renamed him Mister. (close in sound) He was a mess, really quirky, was NOT food driven – at all. He had some health issues like IBD, and chronic pancreatitis. We also tragically lost him in the summer of 2021. I took him to get his teeth cleaned and he suffered a catastrophic event. It’s a long story, but it tore my heart to pieces. Right now, we don’t have any pups, but I keep going out to sites to poke around and look. I know one day we’ll have some again. I’m thinking of adopting a bonded pair, if I can. I think that would be perfect.

Q. Do you enjoy writing in other forms (playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc.)?
If yes, tell us about it.

DE. The only other form of writing I’ve done is a very short form of flash fiction. I used to write these one-hundred-word stories where five prompt words were

Coming Soon!

provided and the goal was to write a complete story (beginning, middle, end) in 100 words. I’m so consumed now with writing to contract that I’ve not done this in years, but it was fun, and actually really challenging – more so than you’d think.

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

DE. You’re “looking” at a procrastinator.

Don’t miss part 2 of this entertaining interview with Donna next week. 

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Book Review * Saints of Swallow Hill by Donna Everhart

5 out of 5 stars     ~~ Book Review 

Donna Everhart knows how to capture the heart and mind of her reader from (practically) the first page.  Del and Rae Lynn couldn’t be two more different personalities, but the reader quickly empathizes or feels some affection (in the case of Dell) early on.  While Donna has her own unique voice she did remind me, at times, of a blended flavor reminiscent of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Lofty company, in my opinion.  

If you had told this reviewer she would be reading about ‘turpentiners’ next, I would have said, “Say what?”
It’s a fascinating, exciting story set during the Great Depression.  Desperate people using any idea just to survive with literally the shirt on their back and little else. 

If you don’t read another book this year, be certain you read Saints of Swallow Hill.  I highly recommend it!

Coming soon! An Interview with Donna Everhart!

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COMINGSOON!

 

Interview with author, Laila Ibrahim part #2

Q. What first inspired you to write? (con’t.)

LI. …… I thought to myself, of course, he does. She was his primary attachment figure. Our self-identity if formed by those early attachments. And in a flash, I thought of Lisbeth in Mattie’s arms. I wondered what it would be like for her to love this woman like a mother and then be expected to reject Mattie’s humanity to take her place in society. Then I wondered what it would be like for Mattie to have to leave her child to care for another baby. Finally, I wondered about Anne. I thought Anne would be a bigger presence when I started the novel.

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

LI. The characters.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

LI. Absolutely. Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming out loud as a write. I feel and see a scene and then my job is to describe it.

Q. What compelled you to choose and settle on the genre you now write in?

Playing in the snow

LI. I feel like I was given the story of these women and I’m just going from there. Part of what I am working on is understanding how we got to this moment in time, given the history of our nation and world. I think about the caste system baked into the constitution of the United States that gave wealthy, white, Christian able-bodied straight men the most rights—and yet the  founders wrote a document that would one day include me as a citizen. I’m grateful to all the people who came before me who worked so that I could have the rights that I do. I don’t take my freedom for granted in any way.

Q. Are you working on something now or have a new release coming up? If so tell us about it.

LI. Cherry Blossoms in set in Oakland and Berkley between 1941 and 1946. Kay Lynn is a young woman with two children whose life is torn apart by World War 2. It is expected to be released in May 2023.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

Wedding Party



LI. For my 40th birthday I challenged myself to start writing Yellow Crocus after the story had haunted me for 7 years. Five years later I self published it. It got picked up by Lake Union of Amazon Publishing in 2014 and I haven’t looked back. I’ve published five books since then with the sixth expected out in May 2023,

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

LI. Not in my lifetime—too many people my age love to turn actual pages. Maybe in my children’s life time. Or my grandchildren’s.

Q. What makes a writer great?

LI. I don’t know that I am qualified to answer this in a general way. I know many people for whom the language or poetry of writing is what makes you a great writer. I like writing that makes me feel something and learn more about the human condition. For that reason I like writers who are both honest and vulnerable.

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

LI. I start with knowing my main character(s) and a general time frame. Then I read the newspapers from that time until I find historical

events which give me momentum for a plot. I meditate on the characters, family members and the society and an outline starts to fall into place. I do a solid outline and from there I write. Ideally I have a contract for a book or two from the outline. I notice that most of the time I stick to the outline for the first ⅔ and return to it for the ending. But towards the ending it changes depending on what I’ve actually written. My first drafts are more like a screen play than a book. It’s lots of dialogue. For later drafts I layer in setting and reflection.

Q. How have your life experiences influenced your writing?

LI. My values and education show up in my stories. I’m called to write about the details of mothering in difficult situations.

Q. What’s your downtime look like?

LI. I love my evenings when I watch tv with my wife. Hazel goes between us on the couches and I work on a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a very relaxing way to end my day. I enjoy gardening and walking with friends in the afternoons. We attend the Unitarian Church on most Sundays.

Peru

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

LI. Picture books are compelling to me. I was a preschool teacher/early childhood educator for decades. I thought of several stories then and sometimes I wonder about getting them onto the page.

Q. Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

LI. Not only is it okay to make mistakes, it is an important part of learning and being a conscious being. I want to grow and learn throughout my life. I often circle back to reflect on earlier parts of my life to think about them with my current understanding.

Did you miss the beginning of this delightful interview? Click here
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Interview with Victoria Costello (conclusion)

Q. Are you working on something now or have a new release coming up?

VC. My new book comes out on June 13, 2023, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it to readers. As mentioned, it evolved from the true story of my tragedy-plagued Irish American family I told in A Lethal Inheritance, but with me giving myself permission to ask, What if? What if the youngest family members dared to confront and reverse this legacy of violence and madness? The result is Orchid Child, a mix of history and fantasy inspired by Celtic folklore, along with science, and bits of mystery and romance. It’s a story told in three voices, one per generation, over a century.
Teague is the novel’s orchid child, who hears voices and talks to trees, but rarely people. Bullied back home in New York, he finds validation when his Aunt Kate takes him to West Ireland, where neo-Druids identify his strange perceptions as the gift of second sight, putting Teague at odds with Kate who sees his mental differences as a medical problem to be fixed.

Kate is the family success story, whose rising star in neuroscience has crashed in a sex scandal. She vows to salvage her career by taking on a study on the epigenetics of family mental illness in a rural Irish county. Only to discover she’s unknowingly come to her ancestral homeland, meaning she’s studying her own genes. As Kate’s research is blocked by hostile locals, Teague drifts further into his pagan fellowship, pushing Kate to confront the limits of science and the power of ancestral ties. Ellen is the apothecary’s daughter who will become Kate’s grandmother. Forced to flee Ireland for New York City after her beloved, also a holder of second sight, is accused of betrayal in the 1920 Irish Rebellion, Ellen lives to her eighties as the matriarch who struggles with the burden she’s accepted to keep the gift alive—until the family wound, past and present, can be healed.
I’m feeling gratified by the early positive reviews, the feeling that the story you’ve slaved over for ten years, is touching people, making them think and have hope when times are tough.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

VC. A weird thing about me is that even as a kid, when I kept a diary, or scribbled poems, I always took my writing seriously. It probably has to do with the fact that I’m a Scorpio and writing has always been my secret life. And that’s probably why it took until this year, when I’ve just turned seventy, to share my most secret story with actual readers around the world.

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

VC. I, for one, love paper books, especially hard cover, fine paper books, but I read e-books and listen to audiobooks more often

for practical reasons. I imagine I’m typical that way. So until we run out of trees, that will probably stay the norm.

Q. What makes a writer great?

VC. Oooh, hard one. Maybe the courage to bare their soul, regardless of what anyone thinks or says. The ability to find the right, and the fewest, words to express the ineffable.

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

VC. It all comes down to perseverance. Orchid Child took ten years from beginning to end. You have to want it more than anything else in your life during that time of writing, revising, querying, and promoting. There may not be room in your life while you have young kids to raise. That’s why I think a lot of women publish later. But I believe our books are richer for it.

Q. How have your life experiences influenced your writing?

VC. It’s all there in my writing.

Q. What’s your downtime look like?

Top of Mt. Victoria

VC. Walks with friends in our wonderful downtown Ashland, Lithia Park. Hikes in the hills. Cat play. I really don’t have what you would call hobbies. I eat but I’m not a cook. I read and watch endless Scandinavian and British mysteries, from Shetland to Inspector Morse, I find are the perfect diversion when my mental energies need a rest.

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

VC. Being new to fiction, I’ll stick with it for the time being as my main creative output. I’ve also been writing essays on craft and theory of fiction and especially autofiction.

Q. Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

VC. I’m good enough. Pretty enough. Smart enough. Why, oh why, did I, like most women, take so long to learn this? Being enough is wonderful. Try it!

Did you miss the beginning of this interview?
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A chat with author, Victoria Costello (part 2)

Edith Wharton’s estate.

VC….While working on my memoir, I did a ton of freelance writing, mostly science and psychology for outlets like Scientific American MIND, the kind of writing where facts and evidence reign supreme. I plan to stick with fiction from here on out. Just last year, I started teaching writing and I find that I love it. I’ve now taught both in person and online, through Southern Oregon University, and this Spring, for WritingWorkshops.com. The course I’m teaching now is called When Memoir Becomes Autofiction and it’s for memoirists who, like me, want to fictionalize their life stories to one degree or another. I’m having a blast and I’m sure it’s making me a better writer.

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

VC. I know many smart people say you should just sit down and do it, free write whatever comes into your head. Others listen to music or read poetry. For me taking a walk is the best thing for getting past a major block, or that blah, I have nothing worthwhile to say feeling.

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



VC. I usually begin with a feeling and then connect it with a character and a situation, in that order. For Orchid Child that feeling was one of disconnection, of not belonging anywhere, something I felt which I gave to Kate, along with her Daddy issues.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

VC. I think it was my early conviction that I was a weird kid, so I better tell no one what I was really thinking. It was safer to write things down.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

VC.   Aside from the moment when I laid eyes on my first-born son, getting lost in writing has been the best feeling I’ve ever had. I think it’s the same for artists working in any medium, and for athletes, too, although I wouldn’t know about that. As a writer, losing time and space while getting lost in my stories is everything. The euphoric feeling that carries you along, the words and sentences that seem to come out of nowhere, or from someone long ago. Not that this happens all the time. or even a lot. But when it does, it’s the payoff for suffering through all the drudgery of blank screens, and mornings when you have zero inspiration, not to mention the feelings of insecurity that are part and parcel of the writing life. That said, this high can conflict with other parts of life, like mothering and partnering, so it becomes a challenge to set boundaries, both for yourself and others.

Q. What compelled you to choose and settle on the genre you now write in?

VC.  I, and, maybe, most writers, tend to circle around the same themes no matter what we’re writing. For example, there’s a scene in Orchid Child that first appeared in my memoir, A Lethal Inheritance. It’s a traumatic childhood memory I’ve carried forever about finding my father passed out in our flooding basement. In the memoir I told it in the voice of my seven-year-old self as best as I could recall. In the novel, this same memory is shared by my protagonist Kate, a brilliant neuroscientist with serious Daddy issues. As Orchid Child opens, Kate has lost her job in the wake of an affair with her married lab director. Later, Kate tells her drunken dad story to Ryan, a work colleague and her soon to be love interest, who responds empathetically. Indeed, Ryan’s availability for relationship tests Kate’s predilection for doomed affairs. Like all unrecovered sex and love addicts with Daddy issues, Kate—like me for much of my adult life—resists a healthy relationship with an available man.

Suffice to say, I’ve struggled with this issue in therapy for decades but, oddly. it was only after I went to the bottom of it in fiction that I finally felt done. So, for me writing this novel has had a profoundly healing effect. I’m also gratified when I hear from readers who email to say that reading Kate’s story has helped them process their own issues. It’s also a lot of fun to make up stuff after spending decades adhering to the facts.

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names.

A. Now that I’m living on my own, I relish the company of my two, four-year-old Maine Coon sisters. Venus is the wary, mischievous one, while Queen Luna is the epitome of sweetness and calm who believes I exist solely to meet her needs.

Join us next week for the conclusion. Did you miss Part 1?
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 June: Laila Ibrahim

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Interview with H.W. “Buzz” Bernard, author of Down a Dark Road

TS. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist. His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was published in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one bestseller in Amazon’s Kindle Store. In 2020, Buzz switched from writing suspense/thriller novels to WWII historical fiction. 
Buzz’s fourth WWII historical fiction novel, DOWN A DARK ROAD, is scheduled to be released on May 9th.
Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for thirteen years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades. He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit. Although a native Oregonian, Buzz lived for 35 years in Atlanta, and now resides in Kennewick, Washington, with his wife Barbara and their fuzzy Shih Tzu, Stormy . . . who doesn’t live up to his name.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

Stormy in Buzz’s studio

HWB. I have a writer’s studio that is separate from the main house. It was built just over a year ago. It’s rather large since it has to accommodate books, photos, plaques, and general “stuff” that I’ve accumulated in over 60 odd years of work.

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

HWB. Not really. But I do need a cup of coffee every morning to get my heart started.

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

HWB. Although I began writing short stories when I was in high school, I didn’t become serious about writing novels until I was 60 years old. My first novel, EYEWALL, was published when I was 70. So you can do the back-of-the-envelope math and figure out I’m continuing to write well into geezerhood.

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

HWB. I typically go right to my keyboard, although I’ll occasionally scratch notes on a writing pad if I’m doing research on the run. I love writing on a computer because I can edit as I go—trying this word or that, and experimenting with sentences of different lengths.

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names. 

HWB. I have a 12-year-old Shih-Tzu named Stormy (who is actually pretty docile). He demands that he accompany me to the studio every morning. Not that he wants to be with “Daddy,” but because he knows he’s going to get a cookie from my stash in the studio.

Q. Do you enjoy writing in other forms (playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc.)?
If yes, tell us about it.

HWB. Not really. But I started my writing avocation by selling articles to magazines and Sunday supplements (remember those?) of newspapers. I wrote five nonfiction (trade) books back in the Middle Ages, but decided that was too much work for too little monetary return. (This, you see, was waaay back when “cut and paste” meant you literally had to cut and paste . . . because you were writing on something called a typewriter.) I gave up writing for awhile after the nonfiction books, but missed it. That’s when I decided to try my hand at creating a novel. How hard can that be? I thought. Pretty damn hard, it turned out. But in the end, it turned out to be a whole lot more fun than anything else, at least for me.

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

Part Two will post next week. Don’t miss it!
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To receive my weekly posts, sign up for my  On the home page, enter your email address. Watch for more interviews with authors.  March-Apr:   Joshua Hood, author of ROBERT LUDLUM’S THE TREADSTONE RENDITION  April: Author, H.W. ‘Buzz’ Bernard May: Victoria Costello.

A few BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK 

 

Interview with writer, Joshua Hood, writing Robert Ludlum’s newest book

Joshua Hood is an Army vet, former SWAT sniper, and “current full-time author with a beautiful wife and two wonder-kids.”

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

JH. I have a small office next to a gas station on the historic Collierville Square.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat workspace, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, a glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)
JH. Can’t think of any.

Q. How do you ‘get inside’ Robert Ludlum’s head and write for him?

JH. Besides his books, I spent time reading articles and watching interviews.

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

JH. I almost quit writing last year, but the hardware store I wanted to work at wasn’t hiring. And no, I’m not kidding.

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

JH. I use a white board and a legal pad for each book.

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names. 

JH. I have a Chocolate Lab named Meg.

Q. Do you enjoy writing in other forms (playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc.)?
If yes, tell us about it.

JH. I writing articles for gun magazines like Personal Defense World, Tactical Life Soldier of Fortune and Ballistic.

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

JH. Creativity isn’t a vending machine; you can’t just drop in some quarters and hope to come away with a good idea. It takes time. Time to let your ideas incubate and grow. To an outsider this might look like procrastination, but in reality, it’s a process.

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

JH. They just kind of show up during the process.

 

Q. What first inspired you to write?

JH. The summer before junior high I was watching an old James Bond movie called Goldfinger. I remember not wanting it to end and when it did, I started my first short story to try and recapture that magic.

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

JH. The situation.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

A. Yes. I think all writers get lost in the flow.

Join us next week for the conclusion of this interesting interview with Josh.  
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To receive my weekly posts, sign up for my  On the home page, enter your email address. 

Watch for more interviews with authors.  December: Marc Cameron, writing for TOM CLANCY
March-Apr:   
Joshua Hood, author of ROBERT LUDLUM’S THE TREADSTONE RENDITION , April: Buzz Bernard writing for Tom Clancy

A few BOOKS BY TRISHA SUGAREK