Feb 28, 2017

Seven Questions for D.R. Willis

#SevenQuestions this week is with my new best friend: D.R.Willis who, aside from being an author, is a chocolatier - which has nothing to do with why we're now best friends....how dare you insinuate otherwise!

David has written four books, details of which can be found if you follow the links at the end of the interview...the sweetest, tastiest, most chocolatey links...ummm...sorry, I got distracted for a minute there. :)

Over to you David...

1 - If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?

Well, first I have to say I can never imagine myself not writing. But…I’ve been oil painting for many years, mostly landscapes. And I have been known to burst out into song at the drop of a hat. I could see myself in some sort of singing group. 

2 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

Yes, much more than I do now. And I would buy a beautiful cabin on a lake to write in. Probably not very unique, but it would be like a dream come true for me.

3 - One piece of advice for new writers?

Well, the one thing I believe in, although I cannot always do it myself, is to try and write every single day. Even if it’s just for a little bit. That way the story, the characters, are always playing around in your head.

4 - Sweet or sour?

I make chocolate for a living, so…sour. Just kidding! I’m surrounded by chocolate and Jelly beans. Sweet it is. :)

5 - On the days you're not feeling motivated, what will inspire you or kick you in the butt to get going?

If I’m sitting in front of my computer and I’m not exactly feeling it, I remind myself there’s always a chance I might not be able to write the next day or two for whatever reason. That usually does it for me. Of course, there’s always an extra cup of coffee.

6 - Sun or Moon?

Moon, I love the thought of a moonlit walk with the one you love.

7 - What's your favorite thing about your story? 

Actually, the favorite part of any of my stories is when one of the characters memories is actually my own. I hide a lot of my own life within the pages of my mystery/suspense stories.

Thank you for stopping by David. Please take a moment to check out David's links:
I’m on Twitter & Facebook

Email: drwillisbooks@aol.com


Feb 21, 2017

Seven Questions for Sara Carrero

This week's #SevenQuestions features one of my all-time favorite people: Sara Carrero! If you love the cover to my book "The Wolves of Dynamo" then you have Sara to thank for that (I already have, several times.) She's a whirling dervish of creative energy, whether she's painting, crocheting, making jewelry, constructing Zoinkies...

A rainbow of Zoinkies

 or cute bunnies...

A fluffle of bunnies

 ...she is ALWAYS creating.

Last November, Sara was an ML (Municipal Liaison) for NaNoWriMo in New York, helping set-up write-ins and get togethers for groups of writers hoping to complete the 50k challenge. I'm exhausted just writing her intro, nevermind doing all the stuff she does. lol.

Sara somehow had time to answer my #SevenQuestions...I suspect she might be a Time Lord.

1 - Leather or lace?

BOTH! Leather trimmed with lace. There are certain things you shouldn't have to choose between.

2 - If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?
Drawing, painting, sewing, making tiny books...all those other things I do! I get particularly grumpy when I don't get to write though.

3 - What is your biggest phobia?

Spiders or having ketchup on my skin, depending on the day...

4 - On the days you're not feeling motivated, what will inspire you or kick you in the butt to get going?

Telling Twitter. Once I admit that I'm just staring at my screen I usually start to write. If I'm feeling stuck generally the best thing for me to do is go shower (or as I usually call it: visiting the magical shower of ideas!), or go bake something. If I don't manage to figure out what to write next by the end of a batch of cookies they become excellent motivation.

5 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

I'd write more! I'd also get some kind of B&B and set up a writer/artist retreat so people could have a creative hideout somewhere in the middle of nowhere. There would have to be hiking trails on the grounds. And llamas! (No, I haven't thought about this at all. Well, the llamas are a new addition.)

6 - One piece of advice for new writers?

Finish your stories! Even if the fabric between universes tears open and a three-headed griffin appears that kills everyone on the spot, finish it. It took about 10 years before I actually finished a story instead of abandoning it, but that changed everything for me.

7 - Can you just sit down and write or do certain things like location, music, ambience, time of day, need to be right?

At home I can pretty much handle anything as long as it's not completely quiet, mostly because completely quiet is never quiet (NYC apartments are noisy places) and I'm distracted by EVERY sound. Music works, but sometimes I'll just end up dancing around the house instead of writing. I actually do best sitting on the couch while marathoning a show I've seen a million times. Some of my most productive days have involved Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons. Outside of the house I am usually too distracted to focus, but sometimes I manage to be productive in my favorite bars just after work.

Now, go follow Sara on twitter and check out her website for all her crafty stuff...

When fantasy writers spill ink


Feb 13, 2017

Seven Questions for Jacqueline Bach

This week's #SevenQuestions are directed at the lovely miss Jacqueline Bach. I have known Jackie for more than five years now - after I butted in on a conversation she was having twitter - and, since then, she's proven to be a great friend, supporter, Harry Potter superfan, and poster of pony videos lol. A visit on my blog is long overdue, so I will waste no more time...over to you, Jackie...

Jackie and her critters!

1 - Which character from another book/series would you like to bring into your own book/series?

Duh, Harry Potter (but my own version of him), or really any of the awesome minor characters -- I loved Sirius Black and Remus Lupin and would totally hi-jack those guys if I had the chance. Also Luna Lovegood, she was a great character too. Really, there are too many characters in that world that are great....I need to go back and re-read those books again!

2 - Which actor/actress would you love to see play your characters in a movie adaptation?

Oh, this is a fun one and will completely express my nerd-dom. My best friend/writing partner who passed away, Michelle, and I actually came up with all of the actors for our characters back in the mid 2000s....while some of my ideas have changed, for many of these I'd need to go back in time.... good thing I'm writing a time travel trilogy! So, in that series I'm agent-hunting for, my main character, Tim, would be played by a young Zac Efron (like, "Summerland" and "High School Musical Zac"). My mental image for his sister, Daisy (my other protagonist), changes constantly, but the current pick for her would probably be AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia), but this could literally change tomorrow. Their sister, Nevaeh, would be portrayed by a young Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl). Tim's adoptive Dad would be Nathan Fillion (Castle). Tim and Daisy's dad would be Eric Johnson (Smallville), while Daisy's mom would be played by Canadian actress, Britt Irvin. If you made it through reading this whole random list, good for you :P

3 - Who would play YOU in a movie version of your life?
I've been told by a few people that I resemble Spencer from Pretty Little Liars. Back in the day, when I had time to do things like watch TV or Movies, I would be able to give a better answer based on personality, but really, shouldn't any good actress be able to portray anyone? ;)

4 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

If I won $100 million on the lottery, it might actually give me the chance to write! Right now my life is consumed with work, caring for my pony (which is more cleaning up, than it is actually playing with her -- that part is the reward), and caring for my puppy, (who is also mostly cleaning up ...she's still pretty little, and as she grows, some of the challenges fade, but new ones are constantly coming up!). ;)

5 - Which writer has influenced you most?

There are a couple, J.K. Rowling actually helped inspire me to dunk back into the world of writing when I was in high school. Mark Farrington, one of my writing professors from graduate school, helped shape who I am as a writer. Also Betty Flowers wrote an article called Madman, Architect, Carpenter and Judge, which has highly influenced my revision process (I believe I first got this article from my teacher, also a published author, Michelle Brafman)

6 - One piece of advice for new writers?

Just write.
Go read "S***y First Drafts" by Anne Lamont and you will appreciate this phrase all that more. In fact, please get her book, Bird By Bird, read it, read it again, and keep it close. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
Just write -- it's going to be bad, recognize that, and it's very freeing. That's what revision is for.
Part B to this advice would be....learn to revise, and find some good critique partners who can help kick-start this process with you.
But really, think about it. It's pretty simple. If you don't write, you can't be a writer.

7 - What's your favorite thing about your story?

The character relationships. If I could just live in a story of no real plot, just character building and character relationships, and there was a market for that, I would just write that all the time. I feel like (and have been told) that the relationships and dialogues between my characters feel real and deep. I take a lot of pride in that aspect of my writing.

Thank you for asking me to do this, this is the first time anyone has interviewed me for their blog! :)

And now, you must all check out Jackie's links...

Feb 6, 2017

Seven Questions for Sara Allen Stewart

Welcome back to #SevenQuestions. My guest this week is Sara Allen Stewart, a vociferous advocate of things she believes in and a vocal supporter of her fellow authors and creatives. As usual, please take a moment to check out Sara's links at the end of the interview! And now, over to Sara...

1 - Which actor/actress would you love to see play your characters in a movie adaptation?

I actually have a file with photos of who I would have play my characters. It helps me to know how someone speaks, moves, facial expressions, etc. when I write a character. I don't worry about their age now (or even if they're living), I just picture them at the proper age in my mind. I have quite a few characters in my book and the ones I would choose for Those You Trust include: Erik Estrada, Constance Marie, Donna Murphy, Clancy Brown, Kendall Schmidt, Robert Downey Jr. (it's a wish list, after all), Maureen O'Hara, Mike Delfino, Queen Latifah, Bonnie Hunt, and Lindsay Wagner. So...that's my dream cast.

2 - If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?

There was a long period of time when I couldn't write. I had lost everything I had ever written in a house fire and I just stopped. I found I couldn't even write a short poem. One of the things that helped was photography, my dad bought me my first camera when I was five. I LOVE taking pictures of nature, animals, or other things that I find interesting.

3 - Are you scared of running out of ideas?

Not at all, my mind is constantly coming up with a new storyline, concept, or dialogue that I write down so I can use later on.

4 - What is your biggest phobia?

Crowds...or clowns. I had a nightmare once where I was trapped in a crowd of clowns.

5 - Can you just sit down and write or do certain things like location, music, ambience, time of day, need to be right?

I don't really have a set method. Usually I'm at home, the television is on, and my critters are all lying around me. Sometimes I'm up until th wee hours of the morning, not realzing how late it is, or I wake up early because I need to get the next part written down. I also take a small notebook with me everywhere, just in case I have an idea, or a block of time where I'm not doing anything.

6 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?

I would buy a home in the country with a huge library and spend a good portion of my time reading and writing. My dream is to move to a small town, open a second-run movie theatre, and once a month feature local youth artists. Whether in writing, painting, dance, whatever they love to do. I've found a lot of kids who love an art don't have the support of family and friends. I've found this to be especially true of young writers. Because a lot of kids start out writing fanfiction, because their favourite shows or movies are what they know, they are told that their work is too immature or that it's just a phase. This is not the case and I've found that many of them are actually telling portions of their own story in their writing. Sometimes it's someone who is being abused/bullied, someone who is depressed and self-harming, or someone who is confused and frightened by their sexuality, these kids have a story to tell and they should have the opportunity to tell that story.

7 - Leather or lace?

Leather...lace is too itchy ;)

Please take a moment to check out some of Sara's links. And be sure to come back next week for another #SevenQuestions