Come and listen to my interview from last week!

Listen to my interview on the BlogTalkRadio show Tell Me A Story from The Magic Happens network. The show is hosted by Annette Rochelle Aben and the topics range from tacos to poetry, and from novels to what Annette had for breakfast. Click the image below to go to the interview! I even read a poem and make up one for our friend Judy Martin of Edwina’s Episodes.

Interview image to click.

Today at 1:30 PM EST-Ronovan Writes on Tell Me A Story Radio!

It’s been a whole year since my last stop in with Annette Rochelle Aben on The Magic Happens network. Last time on her Internet BlogTalkRadio show, I had her Tell Me A Story. Yes, I turned it around and the guest was asking the host the questions. What will I do this time?

Last year I mentioned working on my debut novel. That novel is out and receiving amazing reviews. This year we’re talking about poetry. Why me? I wonder. She wonders how many odes to tacos I have? Little does she now.

Yes, I will be reading at least one poem.

Join me at 1:30 PM Eastern, that’s New York Time!

Annette watches the chat and speaks with those there so join in, say hi, and even throw her a question for me.

What will you ask me?

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2016/04/29/ronovan-writes-poetry-on-tell-me-a-story

The Magic Happens image

Could YOU make a choice between tacos and history? What about fresh fruit or writing? Let’s ask author, Ronovan Hester, my guest today on Tell Me a Story. Okay, so I’d rather talk to him about the topic of this month’s programs, National poetry Month. Of course we know him from his incredibly popular Weekly Writing Challenges (Haiku and Fiction) hosted on his blog http://www.ronovanwrites.wordpress.com as well as from one of his crowning achievements to date, the publishing of his first novel! Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling (co-authored with P.S. Bartlett) which recently received a 5-Star Review from http://www.ReadersFavorite.com (wtg you two). What you might NOT know, is that Ron is hard at work compiling a soon be released, book of poetry titled: My Loves. (I wonder how many odes to tacos are in it). So, tune into the show today and let’s hear all about Ronovan Writes Poetry, today on The Magic Happens Radio Network. http://www.themagichappens.com http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2016/04/29/ronovan-writes-poetry-on-tell-me-a-story

I’m being Interviewed TODAY, live on radio by @YouAreTheExpert You never know what I might say.

I’m being interviewed by

Annette Rochelle Aben

@YouAreTheExpert

on the live blog talk radio show

Tell Me a Story

For

The Magic Happens.

TODAY!

Friday February 6th from 1:30-2:30 PM EST.

TMH-Tell-Me-A-Story

That’s right, 30 minutes of me live and unscripted. And I have no idea what she is going to ask. And with me unfiltered you know anything could happen.

Click the link below for details.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2015/02/06/ronovanwrites-on-tell-me-a-story

Here’s the the show so you can listen to it when you have the time if you like.

 http://themagichappensnow.com/?p=2943

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

 

I’m being Interviewed live on radio by @YouAreTheExpert Oh dear.

I’m being interviewed by

Annette Rochelle Aben

@YouAreTheExpert

on the live blog talk radio show

Tell Me a Story

For

The Magic Happens.

Friday February 6th from 1:30-2:30 PM EST.

TMH-Tell-Me-A-Story

That’s right, 30 minutes of me live and unscripted. And I have no idea what she is going to ask. And with me unfiltered you know anything could happen.

Click the link below for details.

https://www.facebook.com/events/437245299763810/?sid_reminder=804562355110281216

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

 

My Conversation with @MichaelPhelps3 David Janssen-Our Conversations

I’m an old school movie and actor fan. Give me a classic on DVD and I’ll love you for life. Sorry, I don’t have the Blu-ray thing yet. Imagine my reaction when the man that said “Call me Mike, that’s what my friends call me” showed up about a month ago. If I had known Mike then like I do now I would have asked better questions. A close friend and confidant of a TV Icon. Co-author of the only authorized and millions selling biogMichael Phelps Authorraphy of the original Fugitive before Harrison Ford ever had his first credit role in film. Yes, “I’m Michael Phelps ‘the writer’, not the young Olympic Champion” as he likes to jest. Reading his books David Janssen-Our Conversations Book 1 and 2 you instantly feel as though you are back in another time walking with him as he reminisces about his friend David Janssen, TV star of so many series from Richard Diamond, Private Detective and The Fugitive, to O’Hara, U.S. Treasury. He was finally convinced to share his conversations with ‘Dave’ as he calls the Icon, now it’s time to have Our Conversation with Mike. (Note this interview originally appeared on my LitWorldInterviews site. But this isn’t like any author interview you’ve ever read.)

 

RW: Mike, in the Preface to David Janssen-Our Conversations you give exactly how you and David Janssen met at a party where you were working security and how the two of you created this friendship. What thoughts went through your mind about this, what I might at first glance call an Odd Couple?

MIKE: Here was this Mega-TV and film star, the same age as my older brother, and here I was, a “nobody”, not involved in the television or movie business . . . why would a celebrity like him even speak twice to someone like me. I learned later that David Janssen was in reality, just an ordinary, ‘down-to-earth’ guy who happened to be a celebrity, but yearned to have friends outside of his ‘work’ and to be treated as a ‘normal’ guy.

RW: When did the actual friendship with David begin?

MIKE: Two weeks after our first meeting he called me and invited me for drinks at The Formformosa cafe at nightosa, a nice little restaurant/bar near the studios where “The Fugitive” was being filmed.  It was 1:15 AM. That is when I learned a routine day for filming the television series may last 14 to 16 hours or longer. Also, that David Janssen always liked to stop (usually at The Formosa) and have a couple of drinks to unwind before going home.

RW: Your second meeting was a call in the middle of the night, a practice that would continue while you were in L.A. David trusted you quickly for a celebrity who valued his privacy. Why do you think it happened like that?

MIKE: I honestly can’t answer that, as I never asked Dave. I can only assume it was the fact I was NOT in the TV or film industry, when we met, I did not look at him in awe. We just had, what I would say was, a casual conversation between two guys at a party. I talked to him as if he were just an ordinary guy. He had an interest in police work and dogs, that helped, I think. Dave had no ego to speak of, and he really liked people and wanted to have friends who liked him for the man he was, not for his fame. He soon learned that whatever we discussed, I would not repeat it, it would not show up in some tabloid or fan magazine. Ellie (Dave’s first wife) mentioned that when we first talked about Dave.

RW: The after-hours drinks didn’t last forever. Mike, how did your long distance phone call friendship begin with David?

MIKE: Soon after meeting Dave, I wanted to leave Los Angeles, and relocate to New York City, as my estranged wife lived in Connecticut. At that time, I had hopes for reconciliation. So a lot was happening in both our lives. That unfolds in Chapter One, and continues throughout the two volumes.

RW: Will you give our readers an example of a story they will see in Our Conversations, something that might surprise them? Okay, maybe not surprise because you want to leave those nuggets of wonder in there for them.

“It was just after 2:30 in the morning when I pulled into his driveway.  It took him a few minutes to open the door.  He used the door as a crutch to raise himself out of the seat and steady his feet on the paved driveway.  As he leaned in and was saying goodnight, the front door of his home opened and I could see Ellie’s silhouette against the interior lighting.
She took one look at Dave and screamed; “DAVID, WHERE IN THE HELL HAVE
YOU BEEN?  YOUR MEETING ENDED HOURS AGO, I CALLED ABBY!”
“Having a drink with my friend, Mike.”  He said in a soft, firm voice. With that I heard the sound of breaking glass, as David seemed to duck his head; I then noticed a dark red liquid running down my passenger window. Ellie had apparently thrown a glass of red wine and smashed it against my window.
As he turned and bent down again to say goodnight. he was smiling. From the car interior lights I saw what appeared to be red wine splashed on his caramel-colored sports jacket and royal blue shirt.
“Sorry about that . . .  see you later.”  He said, surprisingly with a smile.  As he closed the door I could hear Ellie screaming something about him missing a party.” – END of NUGGET. (LOL)

david janssen our conversations review

RW: Mike, if you would, give us an idea of the depth of your relationship with David, and his family, then and now. I want people to realize how close this friendship was. I mean even family members respected it.

MIKE: Aside from Ellie, her daughters Kathy and Diane, the only other member of David’s family I met was his mother Berniece. When Ellie and I were writing her book, we flew Kathy and Diane to Miami and had a very nice dinner at The Jockey Club. Ellie then told Diane she was including Diane’s unwanted pregnancy and subsequent abortion (at age 16) in the book. It hurt Diane deeply, and ruined their visit. Both Kathy and I took Diane’s side and implored, begged Ellie not to include that in her book. Ellie did put it in her book. Her justification being: the secrecy surrounding the trip to Mexico for the abortion, because it would have caused a scandal for David. How she figured that, we’ll never know. I have not seen nor spoken with Diane or Kathy in over twenty years. Diane told me David was planning to divorce Dani a month before his death, which of course he had also told me as well as a few close friends. I can tell you they are both beautiful and talented young ladies.

David Janssen My Fugitive Book CoverRW: The book you mentioned, the memoir by Ellie Janssen, which you co-authored with her, David Janssen-My Fugitive in 1994 has sold millions of copies. What finally persuaded you after all this time to write about your own personal friendship with David Janssen?

MIKE: Since the publishing of DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE many, many of David Janssen’s fans and a few of his close friends who knew of the friendship Dave and I shared urged me to write this book. I wrestled with the thoughts that I would be betraying his trust. A few of my close friends, Moises Raudez, one of my Godsons and CAROL CONNORS convinced me I would be doing him a favor, letting his fans see what a really nice, ordinary guy he was and how he was Carol Connors Michael Phelpsdealing with personal torments, not seen on the screen. Writing DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations was a daunting task and in some ways, cathartic for me.

RW: Knowing of the creative process behind My Fugitive I can see how you needed to put out David’s views as he shared them with you. Mike, I have to say as a former history teacher and having had to learn facts to teach each year, I had repetition to help me remember things. But with something like this, how does one recall all those conversations and facts you have in your book?

MIKE: In the Preface, I noted that I have written Our Conversations as close to verbatim as is humanly possible. I have not exaggerated nor expounded. In the beginning, I sat down at my computer and closed my eyes; thought back to the first time we met. I visualized the scene, and found I could actually HEAR David’s voice. The conversation flowed easily. I recalled every topic we discussed in that roughly forty minutes talk. I recalled meeting Ellie and her words precisely. Going forward, I found no problem recalling our conversations, whether we were meeting in a bar or restaurant, or the countless long-distance phone calls. I NEVER recorded a single conversation with David, nor did I keep a diary.

Initially, I had a problem with the dates and time line. However re-visiting the memories from the beginning, and checking some very old notes, the dates and time fell into place. This was the most difficult because there were periods I did not hear from David for several weeks at a time.

RW: It’s fortunate you were involved with the My Fugitive biography some 20 years ago. How did you organize what we see in the books and were there topics that you decided were off limits?

MIKE: I began with our second meeting, the first we had at The Formosa and the conversations we had at that time and date came to me. There was a lot going on in his life, most notably discord in his marriage, the grueling schedule of making “The Fugitive”.

There were far too many conversations to have included in the two volumes. There were conversations about politics and politicians, Viet Nam, the economy, the Six Day War between Israel and Palestinians that I could have included. I decided to concentrate on our conversations that revolved around his failing marriage, the ups and downs of his career, the women he really loved (and lost), topics I felt would be of green-beretsreal interest to his fans. I included one conversation (which Ellie had also) involving he and John Wayne during the filming of The Green Berets“, which I felt would interest his fans while showing how Dave always stood up for the ‘underdog’. Other conversations of some of the actors, directors and writers he admired and enjoyed working with. I included very little about his Mother Berniece and other family members. I deliberately left out some conversations we had where he expressed dislike for specific, well known people.

RW: Mike, you told me that the memoir with Ellie Janssen “was the most difficult project I have ever been involved with.” would you explain a little about that?

MIKE: I never had any doubt that Ellie loved David deeply. She still loved him after their divorce and after his death. She never remarried, and there were no other men in her life. However, early in our working together I could see how bitter she remained over their divorce. As she related her recollections of incidents, other people and friends in their lives, I would recall David having mentioned the same, but with a totally different perspective. Ellie made it sound as if David was promiscuous, a “womanizer” and a ‘drunk’. On one occasion, as I was typing on my keyboard, I stopped and made the comment; “Ellie . . . that isn’t what Dave told me.” she erupted into a rage I had never seen. I knew then what Dave had expressed to me on many occasions . . . her temper! I decided then to just keep my mouth shut and write what she dictated; after all, it was HER story.

RW: There are a lot of tell-all sensationalist books out there about ‘friendships’ with David Janssen Our Conversations Book 2 Covercelebrities but there is nothing of that feel in David Janssen-Our Conversations. But with names appearing I imagine some people might have been a little apprehensive when word got out you finally gave in and were writing. Did you feel a need to let any certain persons know ahead of time what you were going to write?

MIKE: The only person who knew David intimately, that I have discussed the book with is Carol Connors. Funny thing was, when I told her that David truly loved her and using his exact words, she broke into tears and said that Sidney Korshak (a close friend of Dave’s) had told her exactly the same thing.

RW: Mike, what has been a couple of reactions to the book so far?

MIKE: Since the release one gentleman stated; “The book is all about booze, women, lawyers and dogs.” Well, I don’t know what he was expecting . . . but, during the fifteen years I knew David Janssen that is what took up the space in HIS world, as well as HIS work, which the gentleman failed to mention.  Just today, I had a telephone call from Mr. LES LANNOM, who guest starred onHARRY O episodes. We have had many conversations, but today he called to tell me had finished reading the books; and I quote: “Mike, you really caught the way David spoke . . . the way he treated people.” David liked Les Lannom; liked working with him, liked him as a friend. Les, who is about my age, looked upon David as a friend and a mentor.

RW: Were there any push backs from people when they heard you were writing Our Conversations? If so, how did you handle those? You seem very professional so I can’t see David Janssen Our Conversations Book 1 coverpeople really concerned with what you would say.

MIKE: There were only a few people who knew I was working on this project. Aside from Carol Connors, just Moises Raudez and a few devoted fans of David’s that I met through “THE-FUGITIVE-VIEWS-AND-REVIEWS” on Yahoo Groups. There are a few that I mention in the Dedication page who were very supportive of me and inspiring me as I worked. It has been a four and one half years journey into the past with my friend, and I hope I did it right. I encountered a few health issues along the way, so my writing was interrupted a couple of times.

RW: Our Conversations have kept me glued while reading. The information you share, the writing, the flat out honesty. I’m not saying this so our readers will go buy the book. I know readers will buy what they want to, but I have to say this: these would be one great holiday gift for a TV/film buff. Have you given thought to writing a movie script based on them?

MIKE: No, I have not even considered this would make a good movie . . . maybe it would, I don’t know. I will say that I believe a movie, perhaps a Made-for-Television Movie about David Janssen’s LIFE would be excellent, and is long overdue. I’ve seen some Biography movies of celebrities on the A & E channel, and most are of celebrities of far lesser importance as to the individual’s contributions to the entertainment industry.

David Janssen Our Conversations Review

RW: Mike, you knew him probably as well as any living person, the inside of him, who would you pick to play David Janssen in that movie?

MIKE: Were such a prospect of a film based on David’s life come to be, were I to have anything to say about it, JON HAMM (“Mad Men” fame) would be the only actor I feel could BE David Janssen. DAVID Jon Hamm Mad MenJANSSEN had a charisma, a magnetic personality that just drew people to him. He was so dedicated to his craft, and it was so important that he performed every single line or every single scene to PERFECTION!  David had an amazing photographic memory. He could and did MEMORIZE an entire one hundred + page script, not only his lines, but the dialogue of every single actor involved. He was not seeking entertainment industry awards, he was just determined to provide his fans with the best he could do, to make certain they were “getting their monies worth.”  There are many Hollywood Stars who have long ago passed away, yet they made such an impact on their fans, they will forever be remembered. David is at the top of the list.

 

To say today has been one of the best for this fan is an understatement. ‘Mike’ is author Michael Phelps, who happened to have been friends with a TV Icon. There is more to Michael Phelps than what you’ve seen so far and more about his friendship with ‘Dave’ as well. Click here for part two of the interview. You won’t be disappointed. But go ahead and grab his books now.

You can connect with Mike on Twitter

Acquire his books either on his Author site here or on Amazon here.

Read My LWI review of Volume 1 by clicking here. For my Amazon version click here.

David Janssen Our Conversations Book 1 coverDavid Janssen Our Conversations Book 2 Cover

 

 

 

 

 

*A note about Carol Connors-You might know her from the song To Know Him is to Love Him when she was lead singer of the Teddy Bears. She also co-wrote the ROCKY theme song. Yeah, the boxer not the flying squirrel.

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

Excerpt from my Interview with author, Michael Phelps.

On Monday I will be sharing my interview with Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps AuthorAuthor and very good friend of the late David Janssen, star of the TV series The Fugitive and others. Michael had a friendship with David Janssen unlike others. It’s not a tell-all book. I have it. I’m reading it. I am loving it.  I wanted to share a short piece of that interview today. He shared so much that it may even be a two day event. The man is open and can make you feel at home telling you about a beloved actor and how he put David Janssen: Our Conversations together.

RW:  How does one recall all of those memories you have in your book?

MP:  To write this book, I began with the Preface.  Here I gave the
background of how Dave and I met, how our friendship developed over time.
Here was this Mega-TV and film star, the same age as my older brother, and
here I was, a “nobody”, not involved in the television or movie business .
. . why would a celebrity like him even speak twice to someone like me.  I
learned later that David Janssen was in reality, just an ordinary,
David Janssen Our Conversations Michael Phelps‘down-to-earth’ guy who happened to be a celebrity, but yearned to have
friends outside of his ‘work’ and to be treated as a ‘normal’ guy.

In the Preface, I noted that I have written Our Conversations as close to
verbatim as is humanly possible.  I have not exaggerated nor expounded.
Since the publishing of DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE, Ellie Janssen’s memoir that I co-authored; many, many of David Janssen’s fans and a few of his
close friends who knew of the friendship Dave and I shared urged me to
write this book.  It was CAROL CONNORS who finally inspired me to take it
on.  In the beginning, I sat down at my computer and closed my eyes;
thought back to the first time we met.  I visualized the scene, and found
I could actually HEAR David’s voice.  The conversation flowed easily.  I
recalled every topic we discussed in that roughly forty minutes talk.  I
recalled meeting Ellie and her words precisely.  Going forward, I found
no problem recalling our conversations, whether we were meeting in a bar
or restaurant, or the countless long-distance phone calls. I NEVER
recorded a single conversation with David, nor did I keep a diary.
Initially, I had a problem with the dates and time line.
However re-visiting them from the beginning, and checking some very old
notes, the dates and time fell into place. This was the most difficult because there were periods I did not hear from David for several weeks at a time.

RW:    Was there a lot of outlining, gathering of information and the like? For example, did you remember and write in order or did things come and you then had to determine where they fell in the time line?
David Janssen Our Conversations Michael Phelps Author
MP:    I started with our first meeting.  Then two weeks after our first
meeting he called me and invited me for drinks at The Formosa, a nice
little restaurant/bar near the studios where “The Fugitive” was being
filmed.  It was 1:15 AM.  That is when I learned a routine day for filming
the television series may last 14 to 16 hours or longer.  Also, that David
Janssen always liked to stop (usually at The Formosa) and have a couple of
drinks to unwind before going home.
There is a lot more to come on Dec. 15 & 16 on LitWorldInterviews. I don’t share those interviews that much here, but I will those.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2014

Book Cover Artist Q&A with Chris Graham the @StoryReadingApe

I know many of you know Chris Graham The Story Reading Ape. Go check out his Book Cover Artist interview I did with him. Yes, he does that and you can see some of his covers.

Lit World Interviews

RW: You are the Indie Authors best friend. That’s something many people know you as, but there is another aspect of your contribution to the Author world that some are not quite as familiar with. Tell us about how and why you came to create book covers? What was your first one?

CHRIS: My first cover was for the late Steve K. Smy, ‘Shade of Evil’, the first of a new series that Steve intended to publish, this was quickly followed by two more for ‘Evil Under the Circle’ and ‘A Darkness in Amazonia’, unfortunately, Steve died shortly after publishing this last one, however, based on notes left behind by Steve, his son Damien has published one more book of a new Fantasy series (asking me to do the cover and a map) and already has the cover plus maps from me for a second book:

chris_graham_shade_of_evil_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_evil_under_the_circle_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_a_darkness_in_amazonia_cover_art.jpg

RW:…

View original post 1,525 more words

Jeanne Bannon Q&A Nowhere to Run @JeanneBannon

Check out my interview with

Author Jeanne Bannon.

Featured Image -- 5910

Paranormal is her norm, now she’s throwing some romance our way. Great answers, a nice lady. Come over and support her and check out her book. Why do the bad boys grow up to be . . . well, read the book.

Lit World Interviews

Nowhere_to_Run_Jeanne_Bannon.jpgNowhere to Run

by

Jeanne Bannon

An excerpt from the book:

A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?

“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.

A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.

Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.

He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.

A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.

Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.

“I said, open the register.”

The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and…

View original post 1,855 more words

Q&A Olga Núñez Miret of Escaping Psychiatry @OlgaNM7

Everyone go and check our our very own Olga Núñez Miret!

 

_DSC7705

And read her interview. I knew she would be fascinating, just didn’t know how much.

Ronovan

Lit World Interviews

Escaping Psychiatry finalEscaping Psychiatry

Olga Núñez Miret

“All three stories offer a great insight into psychological work and naturally allow the wonderfully interesting characters to be explored with depth and analytical sharpness.
On the way the author manages to include deep thoughts aboout a variety of subjetcs, making this a thoughtful and enjoyable read.”-ChristopherFischerBooks

“Through the genuinely interesting characters in her book, Olga weaves a so quite spellbinding study into the dynamics of life. Once one begins reading, it really truly IS difficult to put down. “– Dr. Glen Hepker (author of “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health)

“Olga Nunez Miret writes with a fine eye for the minutiae of human motivations and interactions. I, for one, hope this is not the last we have seen of the author’s central character, the reluctant psychiatrist, Mary. She deserves more outings than a paltry three.”-Diogenes

When I first learned of my…

View original post 2,244 more words

Q&A Jo Robinson of African Me & Satellite TV @jorobinson176

Everyone, you know Jo Robinson from her blog here on WordPress now meet her as an unbelievable author. I had no idea how strong and intelligent she really was. Talk about someone who knows what she’s doing. I was so impressed, I have asked her to do some guest blogs.

Click to read her Q&A at my new LitWorldInterviews site.

 

Jo Robinson (2)
Ronovan

Lit World Interviews

AM Cover V1 - CopyAfrican Me & Satellite TV

Jo Robinson

“Even though this is not the type of story I would normally read, I enjoyed the other three different themed books by this author (Fly Birdie, The Visitation and Shadow People) so much that I decided to try this latest one – and I’m glad I did, because it let me see yet another aspect of her talent as a writer.”-Chris Graham

The author has done a masterful job describing a wide range of characters. The artistic Suzette, the rugged men who work the land, the cook, maid, and tragic gardner – all have distinct personalities that leapt off the page. Enter the villainous couple who I wanted the smack from the moment I met them.”-Mark Myers

There is never a dull moment in the Hertzog household, which consists of Suzette, her loving husband Herman, their cook, Precious, the gardener, Christopher and their…

View original post 2,083 more words

Thursday! Interview with LESIE of LESIE’S WORLD!!!!!!!

THAT’S RIGHT! I GOT HER!!! ALL THE WAY FROM JAMAICA!!!!!

Just a few hours away and you get to learn a little more about Lesie.

Don’t miss it!

Lesie

 

 

 

bloglovin

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Meet Amira Makansi Author of THE SOWING.

I had no idea I was making a friend that knew the writing and publishing world so well. She was and is just a friend to me. Even knowing she was the first line of contact for when an author’s submission made it to a publisher, to her eyes, and her fully equipped literary mind didn’t hit home. She’s just a friend to me, but for everyone else, I wanted to share what else she is. So without my rambling any further, meet . . .

 

Amira Makansi

Co-Author of The Sowing

A Writing InterviewAuthors Photo

 She’s the one in the middle.

(Be still my heart if I were ever in the same room with all three for an interview.)

THE SOWING - Book One of the SEEDS TRILOGYTheSeedsTrilogy.com

RW: Amira, you have a book out now, with another one closing in on completion of the process, tell us about your book, The Sowing.

 

AMIRA: The Sowing is, at its most basic, a story about two people coming to terms with each other and the world around them. In the future society of the Okarian Sector, Okariascience rules all, and the food you eat has the power to change who you are. Sector ‘Dieticians’ program certain individuals for specific roles using genetically modified seeds and chemically-altered food; some are programmed for success, others for servitude. The majority of the Sector is kept in the dark about the true extent of the manipulation taking place, but some have learned the truth and are fighting back. The Resistance, a small, underground group of guerrilla fighters, has sworn to stop the Sector’s oppression of its citizens. Remy Alexander is one such fighter; when her sister was killed in a classroom massacre, her parents fled, taking their surviving daughter underground to join the fight against the Sector. But now, Valerian Orlean, who once loved Remy and has never forgotten her, is put in charge of a military operation to hunt and destroy the Resistance. The two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together – or tear everything apart. 

 

RW: I think I may have a few friends who would like you to write their book jackets for them. You are a co-author, who are the other authors of THE SOWING?

 

AMIRA: Two of my favorite people in the world: My mom, Kristina, and my sister, Elena. 

Authors Photo

 

 RW: I can’t imagine working on such a creative project with family and not wanting to perhaps do some type of bodily harm one another but we can get to that later. Real quick, where can my Friends purchase your book, THE SOWING?

 

AMIRA: You can get it in print or get an e-book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Thanks in advance!) 

 

RW: I want to focus on your writing process during our time today because we’ve discussed you coming back for an interview for when your next book is set for publication. With that being said let’s get into your writing process, and please use THE SOWING, which I have a copy of, (And no, it was not a gift.) as an example so we can see the process in real action.

First, what is your background as far as education, degrees? What brings you to the writing arena?

 

AMIRA: I have a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Chicago. UChicago is a grueling place with a strong emphasis on academia. I wrote countless papers in college, which, I think, honed my ability to write from a structural and grammatical perspective. Studying history is also where I really found my love of storytelling, and therefore, writing. History is just the assembled story of hundreds of thousands of lives, and studying history, at its most basic, is nothing more than discovering, analyzing, and retelling those stories. 

 

RW: As a Historian myself, degree thereof, bravo. (I have never actually written the word bravo before. You must try it. Fascinating.) Now we know about your background to be a writer, let’s take this step by step: how did you come up with your book idea?

 

AMIRA: It was definitely not my idea. I wish I could take credit for it, but it’s actually Kristina’s, my mom. She had a dream almost four years ago that sparked the original concept of THE SOWING. In her dream, two young adults are fighting in an abandoned city at night, on opposite sides of the battle. The girl skids to the ground and falls. The boy reaches his hand out to her. When their fingers meet, a flash of electricity pulses through the two of them – and then the dream ended. Kristy woke up and knew she had to tell the story of these two young lovers. Although the electric jolt has since been removed from the novel, this fundamental scene became the crux on which the entire first book rests: when Remy and Vale meet again for the first time in three years, on opposite sides of a battle with enormous ideological consequences. 

 

RW: So your Kristina has the idea, she brings it to you and your sister, what did you do next?

 

AMIRA: After Kristy decided she really, really wanted to write this story, she and my sister Elena sat down and drafted what ended up being that scene. Then they went back and wrote what eventually became Chapter One of THE SOWING. They showed both chapters to me, and I was really impressed. So impressed that I sat down and wrote Chapter Two, but this time, I wrote it from Vale‘s perspective, instead of Remy‘s. The dueling protagonist narrative was something we’d never seen before in a novel, but we wanted to tell both sides of the story, so we took it and ran with it. My sister and I went back and forth like that for a while – she would write several chapters from Remy’s perspective, and I’d write a few from Vale’s. We kept going that way, plotting out the next few chapters, but without a fully-conceived idea of where the book was going and how it would end. In a way, it was a stroke of good luck that the first draft came out as well – and as coherently – as it did. I think we were all a little surprised when we finished writing. We kind of looked at each other and said, “Well, now we have a book. What do we do with it?” 

 

RW: So it sounds like there really wasn’t any outlining really or even really the seat of pants writing, but as technical as THE SOWING is how did you make the book flow considering there were two writers?

 

AMIRA: We didn’t really outline in THE SOWING, although we always tried to make sure we knew what the next few chapters would be. It was kind of like driving at night – we could only see as far as our headlights, but we always knew there was more road ahead.

 

RW: And the research?

 

AMIRA: Most of the actual research we did came in draft two, when we focused on perfecting the science and making the world believable. When you’re dropping words like ‘hovercar,’ ‘airship,’ ‘DNA encryption,’ and ‘genetically modified’ on almost every page, we knew we’d have to do a fair bit of research to make the science at least feasible. I like to think we succeeded.

 

RW: How did the writing go for THE SOWING, was it smooth and just come easily for the first draft?

 

AMIRA: It was very smooth. The first draft was, in many ways, radically different from the book that we eventually published. For example, Remy had superpowers – we called it “bird vision”, and she could see in frequencies that no one else could. But we threw that baby out with the bathwater – we didn’t want to write another superhero novel, and we wanted our protagonists to be powerful because they are good, strong people, not because they have superpowers. But the first draft came very smoothly. We just went back and forth, chapter by chapter, until we came to a good stopping point and we said “I guess that’s that!” 

 

RW: You mentioned writing the book with your mother and  sister, how easy or difficult did that make the initial creation of the book?

 

AMIRA: The initial creation was so much fun! Working with Elena and Kristy was a thrill, as both of them bring unique abilities to the table. We all complement each other. For example, Kristy is very imaginative, and is really good at filling in plot holes. A lot of the times, when Elena or I were stumped about how to move forward or to make a chapter work, Kristy would come up with a really good idea and Elena and I would just be like, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Elena, by contrast, is a very emotional writer. She spins these gorgeous phrases that just knock you off your socks and make you totally empathize with the protagonist. Also, both Elena and Kristy tend to be much better at writing humor. My own writing is starker, and more serious. I’m also the one who brings the “science” to the “science fiction”. I’m not a scientist (though I do work in a laboratory!), but I do tend to be the one who makes sure everything’s correct, consistent, and yet readable for a layperson. 

 

RW: Let’s say you have your first draft done, did all of you walk away and leave on the shelf for a time like so many say to do?

 

AMIRA: Yes. We did, and I think that was enormously helpful. I recommend it to everyone who’s editing a novel. We finished writing the first draft of THE SOWING in November of 2012, and we handed it to some trusted friends and writers for a beta-read. The feedback we got was not only really encouraging, but also critical to shaping what the book eventually became. This interim period was when we came up with one of the most critical elements of THE SOWING, which was the mystery of the DNA encryption. Without giving too much away, the DNA mystery became a driving force in the first novel. We dove back into editing two months later, in January of 2013, and that was when we shaped the book into, essentially, what it is today.

 

RW: How many drafts did you do for THE SOWING?

 

AMIRA: It’s hard to say, because we did so many different stages of revisions. I would approximate that we did five major drafts. Three of those were re-writes for structural changes, and the last two were line-by-line edits for language and style. 

 

RW: Who did the editing for your book?

 

AMIRA: All three of us! And boy, was that a challenge. If writing the first draft with three people was smooth sailing, by draft three, we’d hit stormy seas. We all had very strong opinions about the book and believed passionately in the story, which meant that we were willing to fight tooth and nail to get rid of parts we thought weren’t good enough and to keep our favorite parts in. Editing with two other writers is a humbling experience. You realize that not every word you’ve written is gold, and that your opinion is by no means the right one. It was both an honor and a challenge to write with two other equally talented authors at my side. 

 

RW: Is there a favorite “darling” you had to “kill”, and can you explain to some of my Friends what it means to “kill your darlings”?

 

AMIRA: For me, killing your darlings means sacrificing parts of the story or phrases you love for the improvement of the novel as a whole. It means prioritizing the big picture over that scene you wrote one night that you absolutely love. One of my darlings was a scene I wrote early on in the story where Vale accompanies a squadron of soldiers on a ‘training’ mission to show him how to be a commander. In this chapter, Vale watched a fellow soldier die, killed by poisonous flowers planted by the Resistance, and his reaction was one of righteous anger and a desire to take revenge. At the time, I loved that scene, because I thought it helped justify Vale’s passion at the beginning of the novel, and it upped the ante on both sides of the war. But in the end, it didn’t fit in the overall narrative. We neither had space for it in the beginning, when we really needed to get to the heart of the action, nor did it make sense for Vale’s character arc. We cut it, and it was definitely the right choice. 

 

RW: How long did it take from the idea to the final in the hands of the publisher of THE SOWING take?

 

AMIRA: We really started writing in January of 2012, and we had a published book by August of 2013. So, almost exactly a year and a half. 

 

RW: Once the publisher had your book, how long did it take to make it out to the masses?

 

AMIRA: Well, our publisher was us! We self-published the novel, a choice I’m still proud of. It gave us more control over the art and the story, and it allowed us to get the story to the public much more quickly. We had a finished book in mid-July, and we published the whole thing in early August. So our turn-around time was about three weeks. For most books, the time between when your agent sells your book and the finished product actually hits bookshelves is around eighteen months to two years. So the fact that we put the book out a mere three weeks after finishing it is frankly pretty amazing. 

 

RW: What has been the most difficult part of the whole novel process from idea to actually selling your book to the masses?

 

AMIRA: People aren’t joking when they say that writing the book is the easy part. Marketing, and learning how to sell in this new, strange world of digital books and independent publishing, is one thousand times more difficult than writing. I love writing – it’s something that comes naturally to me, no matter how tired I am or how burnt out I am on a story. But marketing, selling, advertising, spreading the word – that’s the hard part. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing a book on social media, it’s simple: Just be yourself. There’s a writer on Twitter I very much admire named Ksenia Anske, and for a little while, when I was new to Twitter, I tried to emulate her. I was at my most boring, then, when I was trying to be her instead of myself. My follower count started jumping (not that it’s anywhere near hers) and people started really listening to me when I decided to stop being her and to start being me instead. (It was a lot easier, too!) 

 

RW: When you had those moments of frustration, exhaustion, almost burnout, what did you do as an escape?

 

AMIRA: Whiskey. And beer. And wine. No, I’m not joking, and I’m not trying to play the ‘tortured artist’ card, either. Food, drink, and good conversation with good friends, has always been my escape during times of stress. And since my co-writers are also two of my best friends, it’s easy to find an escape in a bottle of wine and a heated debate over environmentalism or economics or whether an IPA is a better beer choice than a porter. 

 

RW: What gets you pumped to write?

 

AMIRA: Music! When I’m lacking in focus, I’ll close out all my social media tabs and turn up the music. I’ll listen to everything from classical piano to jazz to indie folk to classic rock. 

 

RW: Who is your favorite author right now?

 

AMIRA: That’s a hard question to answer. I don’t know that I’ve had a ‘favorite author’ since I was much younger. I’ve been trying to read books by a lot of different authors, instead of delving deeply into the works of only one. But I will say that the book that most recently blew my head off was INFINITE JEST by David Foster Wallace. The book is enormous, and it took me almost six months to finish, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so overwhelmed by how thoroughly a writer inhabited so many different writing styles. DFW is like a shapeshifter for writers – he transitions effortlessly between countless voices. I was astounded. 

 

RW: What book are you reading now, or the latest book you read that you really enjoyed and recommend?

 

AMIRA: Right now, I’m reading IRONWEED by William Kennedy. So far, so good. The most recent book I would recommend is THE VAMPIRE LESTAT by Anne Rice. Technically, it’s a prequel to INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, but you don’t need to have read Interview in order to understand Lestat. I didn’t expect a book that was so enormously popular and ‘hip’ to be so philosophical, or so emotional. But it was both. It really resonated with me as a story about trying desperately to make connections in a world where loneliness is so prevalent, and about trying to understand the world from an outsider’s perspective. 

 

RW: What writing resources would you recommend to my Friends, including sites, anything?

 

AMIRA: Joanna Penn’s website on publishing and writing is fantastic: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/, although to be honest, I haven’t read very many books about writing. Personally, I’ve found that the best way to learn how to write is simply to read a lot and write a lot, and that if you don’t do those two things, no amount of writing ‘advice’ is going to help. 

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage?

 

AMIRA: I’ll take a really nice Riesling or a whiskey sour, depending on my mood. Also, dry rose wine, which is chronically under-appreciated in the United States, is the perfect drink for sitting on the patio with friends and family. 

 

RW: What is your favorite munchy food while writing, and if you don’t while writing what is it anyway?

 

AMIRA: Cheese and olives. 100%. Cheese is manna from heaven, and olives are the perfect complement. 

 

RW: Would anyone be surprised if I told you she had some Greek in her? What is your favorite word and why?

 

AMIRA: Oh, but I have so many! Recently I’ve been really digging the word ‘loquacious’. It’s just so weird, and I love weird words. Look at it, how weird it is. ‘Loquacious.’ It means ‘talkative’, but I can’t help but think of lollipops and Dr. Seuss whenever I think about it. I don’t know why.

 

THE REAPING COVER 8.13

RW: And a Bonus Question: When can we expect THE REAPING, the next of the THE SEEDS TRILOGY to be out?

 

AMIRA: We are shooting for October 15.

 

I hope everyone likes the cover of THE REAPING. It was revealed Friday, and I had to sit on my hands not to let everyone see it early as I was able to get a peek at it early. I thank Amira for the trust.

 

I want to thank Amira for doing this interview. Hearing her experience from beginning to end was a learning time for me. I learned that my thoughts and ways of doing things aren’t completely off the mark, and I see how you have to keep working. Even if you had a publicity machine behind you, you still have to keep working. Even walking away from your draft doesn’t mean you aren’t working on another project, you best be.

 

Amira has agreed to come back for an Author Interview when The Reaping is released. Who knew a simple follow on Twitter would turn into a great friendship. I just wish the time zones were the same.



 

Amira didn’t ask for all the links and the like in the interview and she definitely didn’t ask for the below but I wanted you to have everything in one place. By clicking on each book cover below you can go to the Amazon.com site for each book showing. THE SOWING is in both kindel and paperback.

COVERTHE SOWING - Book One of the SEEDS TRILOGY

The Seeds Trilogy Facebook Page

TheSeedsTrilogy.com

Follow on Twitter

 

Much Respect to Y’all

Ronovan

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

AMIRA MAKANSI-Writing Interview Tuesday, August 19th. She knows the business.

THE SOWING - Book One of the SEEDS TRILOGY - Copy

AMIRA MAKANSI takes us from idea to published! And let me tell you this, she knows the business better than you can imagine.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

I Speak with . . . Suzie81Speaks.

One of the first blogs I started following when I began my own site was a lot of fun to read. I liked the humor with a bit of sass and a bit of class. Women love to read her because she lays out it out there real and like they wish they could say it sometimes or have said it and are happy to find someone to show them that they aren’t the only ones that feel that way. Men read her because she writes about universal things and well . . . let’s be honest . . . the eyes and that grin . . .
What was I saying . . . oh well let me just say this . . . meet . . .

Suzie
Suzi81 Speaks

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RW: Suzie, first of all, where do you live, reside, crash, blog, basically where does The Suzie81 hang her umbrella?

 

SUZIE: In my head I live in a beautiful beach house on the coast. Unfortunately, my wallet hasn’t caught up with my little fantasy world and I live in a small terraced house on the outskirts of Birmingham, England’s second largest city, with The Bloke and two cats. I hate the curtains, but it’s cosy and comfortable and next to a beautiful park.

 

RW: You have a career that to me, one who knows, makes blogging really a chore, can you tell my Friends a bit about what you do?

SUZIE: I’m a music teacher by profession. I work with teenagers, and I’m lucky that my school is well managed, well resourced and I am surrounded by lovely staff and students. I teach my students all about music – one of my biggest influences throughout my life – how to play it, understand it, appreciate it. I try to incorporate lots of different genres and artists into the lessons, aside from anything by One Direction and Justin Bieber. They’re banned from my classroom. Oh, and Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On.’ It’s the first song that everyone teaches themself on the piano and after eight years of listening to it I have to resist the urge to stab myself in the eyeball repeatedly.

 

RW: I know that your career as a teacher recently just put you in a place where writing content for your site was near impossible. I know how much you love your site and your readers, how did you handle not having the mental energy to probably even enjoy a TV show let alone write for your site?

 

SUZIE: I find it difficult when things get ridiculously busy as blogging is a stress relief – an outlet for any pent up frustrations that have built up during the day. However, when I’m mentally exhausted I find the best thing to do is write down some ideas and store them in my notes until later, retreat to the couch wearing a comfortable pair of jammies and watch something that makes me laugh. I then revisit ideas later when I’m in a better mood.

 

RW: This is going to seem like an odd question but do you ever sit back and think about living in a country so filled with history?

 

SUZIE: My mother and sister have always been fascinated with British history and so I have grown up being surrounded by endless books on the subject. However, it was only in my early twenties that I started to really appreciate the heritage that my country has, and over the years I have become a bit of a tourist. I particularly like London and I try and visit several times a year so I can just wander around and take everything in. I also live quite close to Stratford -Upon -Avon, Shakespeares birthplace, and I like to visit there. I’ve always been a royalist and love going to all the palaces, cathedrals and museums.

 

RW: Where do your blog ideas come from? Do you just sit down and it happens or does something have to spark before you sit down?

 

SUZIE: It varies. They can be inspired by something I’ve read, a comment that has been made or something will randomly pop into my head and I’ll write it down before I forget it. The post ‘23 Things You Should Actually Do Before You’re 23‘ was written in response to a post that really angered me. My most popular post, ‘How To Know When You’re a Teacher‘ is a collection of things that I have learnt from the experience that I and my colleagues have had in the profession. ‘No Means No!’ was created after the Santa Barbara murders earlier in the year. If I’m busy, I’ll make a note of it and write it up later, and sometimes I’ll sit at the laptop, write and see what happens.

 

RW: What is your blogging space like?

 

SUZIE: I’ve seen pictures of other people’s blogging spaces and I’ve been left feeling envious of the clean desk, the pastel coloured walls, the beautiful flowers that surround it. My space, however, consists of a couch, usually with a cat asleep at each side of me. The TV is usually on in the background. The Bloke is asleep next to me. It’s calm and quiet usually.

 

RW: Tell us a little about The Bloke? (Why do I for some reason think of Sex in the City and Mr. Big every time she mentions “The Bloke”?)

 

SUZIE: The Bloke is a legend. He’s a little older than me (he’s 45, I’m 32) and we’ve been together for four and a half years. He’s the sensible one, once comparing me to a children’s TV presenter (I’m still not sure how to take that), he’s a computer genius, a silver fox, a fabulous photographer and loves all things geeky. Believe it or not, I had no idea about the difference between Marvel and DC before I met him. I now not only know the difference, but I’ve seen all the films and live with his extensive comic collection. And his Lego, most of which I’ve bought for him.

 

RW: I always wanted to be Captain America as kid . . . and now really, which hero would you want to be or what power would you want?

 

SUZIE: I don’t have a favourite marvel superhero. However, I would love to be locked in a room with all the male members of the Avengers. They might be tough, but I’d love to see them attempt to get away from a crazed northern woman… 

 



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Confession time here folks. Why is Suzie one of my favorite bloggers? Is it the hair, the eyes, the grin? Is it her writing, her wit, her ire that shows itself at times? Well yes . . . but stay with me. It’s her Twitter account photo. She’s standing in front of, yes . . . Captain America. And I am a huge Captain America fan with my prized comic book collection item being Captain America #100. Were Suzie and I thrown together by fate?  Sigh. Perhaps. And then there was that last answer.



 

10 Minutes Later After Comic Boy Geek Dreamdom

 

RW: How supportive of your blogging endeavors is Mr. Big The Bloke in as far as getting involved maybe to help you with going certain places for photos?

 

SUZIE: It was his suggestion that I started the blog in the first place, but since that initial suggestion he tends to keep out of it. I read out posts to him and ask him for advice, and the general response that I get from him is ‘yeah’ and a shrug of the shoulders, because he has no idea what sort of advice he thinks I want, but I know that he is proud of me. He is very supportive when I achieve something. When I was Freshly Pressed [Professional or Hobbyist] he printed out copies of it to save… It was very sweet. I’m quite independent when it comes to content, so he doesn’t need to take me out anywhere for photos – I’ll go myself or he’ll come with me and we’ll make a day of it.

 

RW: Speaking of photography, you list that as one of the things you enjoy and we’ve seen evidence of that on your site, what type of camera do you use? Go ahead and baffle me with the technical mumbo jumbo. I have Friends reading this that will eat it up.

 

SUZIE: I’d love to have an SLR, but I have a Canon SX270 HS that works as well as many SLR’s I’ve seen. Technical 6YXIrRua.jpg smallmumbo jumbo? I wish I could give lots of brilliant advice about settings, but I’Rc-AOzVrm still learning. My best advice? Take as many pictures as you can. In every hundred pictures I take there is usually only one or two that I would consider to be any good.

 

 

 



 Suzie thought this wasn’t technical? She spoke in Hieroglyphics as far as I’m concerned. Why do I keep asking these ladies about their cameras? And why is it the British are the ones I keep asking? And why is the British bloggers I keep interviewing? Is it the accent? Think about that one for a moment and see if it makes sense to you.



RW: How much did you know about websites and the like before starting your own blog?

 

SUZIE: Absolutely nothing. I had a Facbook page, and that was as complicated as it got. It’s been a lot of trial and error – deleting, adding, experimenting. I’ve changed my theme many times and spent a lot of time messing about with colours, fonts. I’m still not happy with my layout, but I’m getting there!

 

RW: You’ve been at this for over a year and have a great following, but at times you must run into those bad ‘blokes’ that just are not very nice, how do you handle a person who seems to simply comment to be a problem?

 

SUZIE: I’ve been lucky in that I’ve only experienced one or two negative comments (most of them being from irate women in response to a negative post I wrote about Justin Bieber), but I have had to deal with one or two men that weren’t particularly nice. One kept requesting the link to my personal Facebook page, and another, well, I’m not going to go into it but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

 

RW: I’ve been lucky as well in not having any really negative feedback but even some messages sent my way about content focus hurts. What’s your advice?

 

SUZIE: I make sure that I blacklist IP addresses where necessary and I have my comments set so that I moderate each one first. The key is to try and not take things too personally – there are always going to be troll-like figures lurking around the Internet. It’s also important to appreciate those who take the time to leave something positive – it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to agree with you, but followers who are polite, friendly and respectful and ones worth holding onto.

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RW: I’m a content fiend just because I have no impulse control, but I know burnout is probably imminent for me, so for the brand new bloggers how often do you advise people to put out new content?

 

SUZIE: It depends what your blogging goals are. If you are writing for you and only you, then post whatever and whenever. However, if you are hoping to create a regular readership I think that it is more of a question of content than how often you post. Content is the key to any blog if you want it to be a success. There aren’t any rules about how often you should post – I follow blogs that post daily, weekly and monthly, but my best advice is to make sure that what you are putting out there is something that you are proud of. Of course, the more often you post, the more likely that your blog is likely to be seen, but the content needs to entice your readers to keep coming back for more.

 

RW: Other than my blog, which I know MUST be your favorite, what types of blogs do you like to follow?

 

SUZIE: All sorts! Poetry (mainly because I have the poetic talent of a walnut), craft, lifestyle, humour… This morning I read posts about running, a sleepy cat, a poem about lost love and a movie review of Guardians of The Galaxy. I like variety. The more interesting blogs are personal, well laid out and contain photographs.

 



Note that I included the part about me being her favorite blog after I asked the question. Can you blame me? I wonder if she will notice?



 

RW: Have you ever wanted to just throw your hands in the air and say “NO MORE BLOG”?

 

SUZIE: Never. It’s genuinely the first thing that I’ve truly been interested in doing in years. I’ve experienced blog burnout and had to give myself a break for a few days, but there has never been a point in which I wanted to give up. It has now become a part of my life – my blog is incorporated into my daily routine and I have put hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears into creating something that I’m really proud of – it would be such a waste of time to get rid of it. Change it, yes, add to it, yes, but never delete it.

 

RW: What’s the funniest comment that a reader has made on your blog that first comes to mind?

 

SUZIE: I’ve had so many that its impossible to choose the funniest of all time, but I do remember that Steve Says made a comment recently when I was talking about The Bloke, proclaiming that he was ‘my lobster.’ I haven’t seen that episode of Friends in years and it cracked me up.

 

“Come on, you guys. It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You know what? You can actually see old lobster couples walkin’ around their tank, you know, holding claws like..”
GIFSoup
“See, he’s her lobster.”
GIFSoupRW: When I read your blog and look at it I get the sense of ‘professional’ in that you don’t do things haphazardly and you don’t get to crazy like I do. Where do you want your blog to lead you?

 

SUZIE: Honestly? I’ve no idea, but I love the possibilities. When I initially started the blog it was a form of therapy and I had no expectations, and I certainly couldn’t have predicted the direction that it has already taken me and the amazing people that I have met along the way.Now, I’m quite excited about all the things that I could do with it.

 

RW: I definitely agree that blogging is great therapy. Is there a book idea in the mind of Suzie, if so then would you give us a general idea about it and if you have put work into it yet?

 

SUZIE: I’m not a creative writer so fictional stories are never going to happen, but I have contemplated the idea of putting together a compilation of my favourite posts. The problem is that I don’t know who would be interested in buying something like that. I’d have to consider a target audience a little more…

 

RW: When does Suzie81 Speaks find time for her social life and what does she do during her favorite social life moments, her escape and getaway moments?

 

SUZIE: One word… Karaoke. If it isn’t a school night and there’s a microphone, I’m there. My best friend runs a karaoke night at the pub that he works at every Friday, so when I really need to unwind that’s where you’ll find me. My social life doesn’t really exist during the week, but I like to meet up with friends at the weekends and we’ll go for a meal, to the cinema or around to each others houses for a catch-up. If I want to escape I go out for a day trip somewhere – to the park, into the city, on a train somewhere, to the spa. I did once decide to go to Malaga for the weekend for my friend’s birthday and spent Saturday afternoon lying on the beach. As it was in the middle of term time, the flights were dirt cheap. I think I need to do that again.

 

RW: What is something you do that’s a hidden talent that maybe only your close friends know about?

 

SUZIE: I can make my stomach expand to the point where I look heavily pregnant. I stood next to my friend when she was 24 weeks and we looked the same size . . . perhaps it’s not a talent, more of a party trick . . .

 

RW: I can do that too . . . without  trying . . . and it’s not a trick. Umm . . is Suzie a great dancer?

 

SUZIE: Suzie likes to think that she is, particularly after consuming her own body weight in cider. Unfortunately, comparisons have been made with a frog in a blender – arms and legs everywhere – and I don’t think that Beyonce or her backing dancers will be losing sleep anytime soon.

 

RW: We need a video of that, seriously. I think our followers need to start a vote on your blog for it. What’s the one talent you would like to have that you don’t?

 

SUZIE: Dance. Again, resembling a frog in a blender proves to be a problem.

 

RW: I see a pattern here. What is your favorite outfit?

 

SUZIE: I have a dress that I bought for my 30th birthday. It’s black, strapless and figure hugging. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently fit (i’ve enjoyed my food a little too much recently) but I’m working on it.

 

RW: With ‘The Block’ in your life and the mention of the dress, what is romance to you?

 

SUZIE: I’m not a romantic, despite owning almost every romantic comedy on DVD from the last 20 years. While I love the idea, in reality I would be likely to laugh in The Bloke’s face if he gave me the speech from When Harry Met Sally, or stood outside my bedroom window holding a ghetto blaster above his head. We did, however, once sit by the Seine in Paris and watch the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower, and left a love lock on the bridge behind Notre Dame Cathedral. I suppose romance to me is not hugely wild gestures, it’s things that happen on a daily basis. When I got an ‘Oustanding’ in the last OFSTED inspection, he wrote me a card telling me how proud he was of me and that he loved me, presented me with a bracelet in a beautiful box, made me a lovely dinner and rubbed my feet. Yesterday, he attended a wedding with me, and sat holding my hand. He opens doors, kisses me on the top of my head as he walks past at home and tells me he loves me. My apologies to your readers, I can practically hear them vomiting into buckets as I write…

 

RW: Young Russell Crowe or Hugh Jackman?

 

SUZIE: Young Hugh Jackman. Middle aged Hugh Jackman. Fifty year old Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman without a shirt. Mmm… Hugh Jackman. However, the ultimate man is Dolph Lundgren. I’ve had a crush on him since I first watched Masters of the Universe when I was about six yeas old. I even have an autographed framed print of him in my bedroom. He’s a truly beautiful man.

 

RW: Did not see that one coming. What is your favorite comedic show to watch?

 

SUZIE: I love sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and have seen every episode of Friends about thirty times, but I particularly like British comedies that have a slightly eclectic humour like Spaced, Green Wing, Blackadder and Bottom. I love live stand up shows – Eddie Murphy’s ‘Raw’ is still one f the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

 



Has to be one of my favorite answers ever. I loved hearing of TV shows I know nothing about. It shows me how much I don’t know about other cultures. Loved.



 

 

RW: What is your favorite scent/aroma/fragrance and why?

 

SUZIE: Stella by Stella McCartney. I love the stuff and make sure that it’s on my birthday list every year. I’ve been stopped in the street by people who have asked what perfume I’m wearing because I apparently smell nice. Unfortunately, there’s also a very popular brand of beer that has the same name, so on occasions I’ve had to explain that I don’t bathe in lager. Although, there’s an idea.

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage?

 

SUZIE: Mojito. Original Mojito, strawberry Mojito, raspberry Mojito.

(Traditionally, a mojito is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water, and mint.)
RW: What is your favorite word and why?

 

SUZIE: Chuff. It has many uses and connotations in my world, but I like to use it in the context of ‘tighter than a gnat’s chuff.’ Take from that what you will…

 

Well on that note, and I am hoping Suzie was not referring to me specifically with that last one . . .  I want to thank Suzie for agreeing to an interview. This one has been a long time in coming, what with her busy work schedule. I hope you all enjoyed it. I can’t believed she answered everything.

Suzie

 

All Images © Copyright-All rights reserved-Suzie81Speaks.com

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

Tomorrow–Suzie81Speaks speaks with Me.

Suzie - Copy (3)

Suzie is here TOMORROW. Don’t miss it.

Tuesday, August, 12th.

And why the three images? If you have to ask then I don’t think telling you will help.

Long & Luxe with Allison Marie-The COMPLETE Interview

There are different types of sites we all like to frequent; humor, life, poetry, manic depression pain ridden men who write about anything that pops into their Lost Minds. But there is one site that is, in my opinion unique. You get a combination of life tips, encouragement, spirituality, and if you read her amazing promo ‘Female Focus Friday: One Q&A from Allison of Long&Luxe’ then you know about The Real Sexy.

Combine those qualities into a long haired blonde with big beautiful eyes and you end up with one groovy lover of love.

Let me introduce to you . . .

Allison Marie

Long & Luxe

allison_long_luxeTwitter

I asked Allison for an interview and she graciously agreed. Then her answers ended up being so great that this was originally a two part interview. But now I have combined it for easy viewing for those who want the complete story.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: First of all, why Long & Luxe?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Awesome kick-off! Well, I consider my blog a journey of uncovering our highest potential, so it’s all about our journeys together. I wish for all of my readers that their self-discovery journeys last long enough to uncover the true luxuries of life: peace, love, joy and creativity.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: There is a great deal of spirituality flowing through everything you write about; where does that come from, such as influences?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Yes, spirituality is the birthplace of everything meaningful in my life. I believe the universe, that divine energy, call it whaIMG_0661t you like, is what ignites our passions and keeps us coming back to play and serve. So to answer your question ‘where does it come from’ I would honestly say it comes from my soul. I’ve always been deeply spiritual and believed in a higher power.

Recommended Readings

These folks in particular have inspired me deeply and taught me much of what I know today to be true: Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Bernstein (check out her incredibly powerful book May Cause Miracles), Brene Brown, Maya Angelou, Mastin Kipp (check out The Daily Love website), Rain Wilson (check out SoulPancake website).

Ron Cover ShotRW: A lot of people start a blog but don’t stick with it. You’re still here and doing very well. Why did you turn to blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Thank you! I adore the blogging scene. It is astounding that we can connect through our creative endeavors this way, across time and space. It blows my mind. Obviously, people are the heart of social networks and the potential for collective, inspired change to happen quickly is like IMG_0563nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s an incredible time to be an artist. When I first began, blogging was a creative outlet for my love for fashion. I wrote all kinds of fun tips and tricks about clothing, accessories and beauty. I loved the power and fierceness of a woman’s beauty and the mystery of uncovering it; I wanted to invite people into that. Over time my passion evolved into writing about what makes us beautiful, fierce and loving from the inside. Not because I don’t still love me a fabulous pair of jeans, but because I had some deeper convictions that were beginning to want to claw their way out onto the page. I began to see myself as an inspirational writer and a spiritual seeker. I want to lift people up – that is my number one goal. So I let my writer run wild and began posting original poetry and sharing my transformative journey. Now I’m all in, writing from my most authentic place and sharing with the intent to inspire others to be their most creative, artistic, brave and wholehearted selves. All in, baby. It’s my spirit work, my offering.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: There is an obvious skill in your writing, not only in what you write but how you write. What experience did you have in writing prior to your blog, such as perhaps classes, University, workshops?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: When I was very young I wrote all the time, poetry, prayers, journals, essays. It was just part of how I made sense of my feelings and experiences. In 2000, I graduated from Penn State University with my BA in Liberal Arts. Most of my academic work was writing intensive in the areas of English Lit, Creative Writing, Sociology and Psychology. Unfortunately, once I started working in a corporate environment and raising my son (he’s now 16) I made less and less time for writing. It was still in me though, stirring to come out. Finally, after reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art a million times, I gave in and started pouring my soul into writing. It’s been saving my spirit ever since.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: With that type of degree, I would think there was likely an intent to write something other than a blog, perhaps something lengthier. Do you plan to do any kind of publishing, perhaps of your poetry, or is there a story in the works such as a novel, or some spiritual journey philosophy?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Yes! Some of my poetry has already been published in a book titled Heart Whispers, a compilation of poems by poets whose work focuses on the quiet musings of the heart. Heart Whispers features three of my original poems: Begin, Open, and Cry which can also be found on my blog. The indie poet book Heart Whispers can be purchased at Amazon.com. I also have a debut book in the works that will include more of my original poetry and just what you reference “spiritual journey philosophy.”

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What do you think makes your book idea a little different than others out there?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: I think it is becoming increasingly important to come forward and talk about our connection to a higher consciousness and a transformed way of living. I want to make that feel invigorating and accessible for real people who feel called to do soulful work but they don’t know where to turn to talk about it or explore it. People still have this way of thinking that it’s “out there” to honor your intuition and your spiritual connection. It’s not out there at all – it’s who we are at ground level, it’s our greatest potential, it’s our molecules. And the more we understand about our divinity the more we can come to understand our tremendous potential for love, creativity, compassion and peace as human beings. I want to get my story into the world to invite others in and to hear their stories.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Back to blogging, you have a loyal and loving Following. So another question would be what do you contribute to your success or your ability to connect with your Readers?

 

IMG_0641allison_long_luxeALLISON: Thank you! I am so, so blessed and humbled to welcome every single reader into my world. It is an honor and a privilege to have my work read by another interested person. I think (I hope) I connect with people because I write from my truth and if that resonates with someone else, then we know we are kindred spirits. We can trust each other. I pretty much love my readers to bits. There are so many good people out there doing tremendously inspiring things – it rocks my spirit to know them! The energy I put out comes back to me tenfold, that is a fact. My readers make we want to give it all I’ve got. They are my teachers and they light me up something wicked. I hope they know that.

 

AllisonRon Cover ShotRW: Allison, I have to say I am disappointed in you. You lied to me.  Okay you didn’t lie to me, I asked why Long & Luxe, and right now your answer IS what it means, but you started your site as a fashion tips site . . . come on . . . what was the real original meaning to Long & Luxe?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: You got me! So my original reason for L&L is kind of similar but more fashion angle – ready? My favorite song of ALL TIME is Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by the Hollies – my favorite thing to wear is long flowing hair and a long maxi dress so luxe! Luxe to me was and is always about comfort – that is the ultimate luxury.

 


 SET UP ALERT!!!

*****Ron Cover ShotRW: Perfect. This just shows how things mature and change over time, even a site now matures into something more than we thought it would be. I set Allison up for that question because I recalled that when we first met she said something about it had to do something with something from her earlier days. So yes, Allison Marie, I gotcha on this one! And you can all hear the song at the bottom of the screen and now you know why I have the slide show above today rather than yesterday.*****


 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: We share a common bond in that we don’t write or blog to gain followers. I personally think of everyone that ends up clicking to follow my blog as Finding a new Friend. To me it’s more of a support thing than a following thing. What is your own personal philosophy of blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: I know just what you mean. If you are up for the lengthy version of my answer on this question do feel free to check out my 25 Tips On Beginning A Blog That No One Else Will Tell You. It’s not only tips for beginners but also my blogging philosophy in general. For the quick and dirty summary, I offer you this quote from the article: “Don’t write for numbers. Numbers are OK left alone. Write for people. Write for people because people don’t want to be alone.” In a nutshell, that’s what always brings me back home.

 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: I’ve found that many that do have the ability to care deep have been hurt deep.

Where does your deep heart come from? Is there a history?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: You know, I’m really not sure where my deep heart comes from. I was always a sensitive, empathetic, introverted type and studied psychology because I have always been very interested in people, why they think and feel as they do, what choices they make, and what philosophies they adopt as their own and why. I do think I love big and I hurt big and it just comes naturally. A friend of mine and I talk about being ‘empaths’ or people who feel what others are feeling. I suppose a lot of my inner conviction to follow my heart comes from my mom, who died eight years ago very young. The experience of seeing my mom go through tremendous physical trauma to fight her cancer, and then to go through dealing with her death, has taught me that nothing is guaranteed in this life. It’s up to us to love deep and spread love wide in the time we are here. It’s the only thing that really matters.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What tips do you have for someone to be able to keep blogging? For example do you have burnout tips?

 

ALLISON: Well, for sure my 25 Tips are my best gems so far. As for burnout I would say ask yourself why you got started in the first place and go from there. Maybe you need to go in a new direction? Maybe you need to post less often? What is so important to you that you couldn’t go another day without sharing – write and publish about that. I would also say that the more authentic your writing and connecting, the more likely you are to want to stick around. It becomes part of who you are, your way of sharing – of giving and receiving.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: How is the family with all of your blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: My husband is thrilled that I found blogging. I think I’m kind of a pain in the ass when I don’t have a creative outlet and this one seems to suit me quite well. The rest of the family doesn’t really get that involved. My blog isn’t for everyone and that’s totally ok with me. I think it should be that way – if you are writing from your soul, some people will groove with that and some won’t. It’s your job to stay true to you. It’s sort of a good life lesson as well.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Where does the hippy chick come from?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: My mom, I think! It’s so funny you say that because in all honesty I don’t know why I connect to the peace, love and grooviness vibe but it shows up in my world all the time. I love the music and clothing of that time and I love the peaceful revolutionary mindset of possibility and change. I have been channeling my mom’s spirit more and more lately and from what I understand she was quite an earth angel back in the day. I believe that love and peace can change the world. There’s a freedom of spirit there that – you guessed it – I dig. We are going through a time of global awakening and people are looking to come back to center, through meditation and mindfulness and a re-evaluation of our priorities. We know as a species that we need to change in some fundamental ways if we want to protect our precious lives and our planet. Greed will not get us there – love will. That is why I think my old soul always finds its way back to a peaceful revolutionary place.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite scent?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: The beach. There’s no way to bottle it – you’ve got to sit in the sand and breathe with the wind and the salt spray and the waves.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite beverage?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: A crisp, lemongrassy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite word and why?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: LOVE. Because it’s everything.

 

I doubt anyone was surprised with that last answer. Even though I had never asked her before, when that word came back to me, it was no surprise at all.  I want to thank Allison for the interview and those great answers that turned some simple questions into what I think will be some life eye openers for some who read this interview series.

I leave you with . . .

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

Interview with-Vashti Quiroz-Vega Author of The Basement

THE BASEMENT

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Basement Cover (05-14-13) 9781625105554large

 Robbie is a meek boy in New York City who struggles with the desire to prove himself to his friends, his enemies, and himself. Robbie’s father is a stubborn man determined to teach his son through tough love. When he witnesses Robbie being bullied, he forces his son to face his fears. Robbie is sentenced to a frightening challenge––staying in the basement alone for a night. But what lies in the dark recesses of the basement? Will Robbie make it out alive and well? Will the urban legend about the terrifying creatures that hide in the dark basement prove to be true? And most importantly, will Robbie prove to his friends and his father that he is brave enough to take on the challenge? The Basement is a tale of angst, teamwork and solutions, treasure hunts and adventure, and facing fears. It focuses on the small world of one group of preteens and the very real and wondrous challenges they face.

When I first approached Vashti, who I met through her blog, about an interview I wanted to learn more about the author behind The Basement. There is a contrast between the woman of who I know a little about and this amazing book’s story. I still want to learn more so we can all know her better, but in truth, I want to know about this book and how it came to be and what else this author has planned for us. I’m going to get out of the way of this interview, simply ask the questions and let you meet . . .

 

 

VASHTI QUIROZ-VEGA

207024_10150498424325724_3682847_nTwitter

Ron Cover ShotRW: Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Love the name. Tell us a little about your ancestry. I am very into history. And your name spins all sorts of imagery through the echoes of my mind.  And is there a meaning behind your name?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: My first name, Vashti, is Persian in origin and has very little to do with my ancestry, I’m afraid. Vashti is the name of a queen in the old testament of the bible in the book of Esther.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Your book, The Basement available on Amazon,where did the idea come from?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: The Basement began as a short story I wrote in high school. I won an award for it and put it away in a box, along with a bunch of other stories. Years later, I came across it. After reading it again and with the encouragement of others, I decided to expand the short story into a novel.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: The book is about an 11-year-old boy and his troubles, how did you connect with the character?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I have a brother and two sisters. I’m close to all my siblings, but I grew up especially close to my brother (maybe determined by the fact that I was a tomboy). The Basement is loosely based on memories I have from childhood. The main character, Robbie, was inspired by my brother and my nephew, Joshua.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: And the abuse parts?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: There has been no abuse in my household, but I did know a child growing up who was verbally and physically abused by a parent. The parent did not try to hide this from anyone. I saw and heard this child being abused on many occasions. This experience and the memory of this child have stayed with me till this day, which is why I tolerate no kind of bullying or abuse of any kind.

An ex-boyfriend once told me that I was a perfect mix of femininity and masculinity because I am feminine and very much a woman, but I am also assertive, straightforward and I love basketball, action movies, UFC and camping.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What did it feel like writing the character of Robbie, the 11 year old boy in the book, as you had to basically become him for periods of time?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: When I wrote The Basement, I essentially became an 11-year-old boy. I felt vulnerable––like my life was not in my control. I guess I felt like a child in a scary world.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: For those reading who may not be familiar with you can you give an example of an author and perhaps a book that would give them an idea of what this book is like as far as feel and style?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: That’s a tough one. Some people have compared my storytelling to that of several other writers, including Stephen King and Anne Rice, who are two of my favorite writers and whose books I have been reading for years. So I don’t doubt that there is some of their influence in my writing, but I believe that I’m developing my own style. Not that I wouldn’t love to write as well as Stephen King and Anne Rice, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Are you a character in The Basement?MC_99732309_4

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Let’s just say that several of the characters in The Basement have some of my personality traits.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Tell us about your writing process. You took a short story and turned it into a full-length novel. How did you go about that?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: As I re-read the story, I added, changed and rearranged sentences, and I replaced and deleted words. I had read so many books and learned so much since writing that story in high school that expanding it was not that difficult. Even now, I feel that I have learned so much since publishing The Basement. I guess that’s how it is with writers. We are constantly reading, learning and improving. I feel that my second book, Lilith, will be much better written than my first, and my third book, Dracul, will probably be better written than my second, and so on. That doesn’t mean any of my books are badly written. It just means that as I learn and gain experience, my work will reflect that. I have noticed this when I compare Stephen King’s earlier books with the books he’s written in the last couple of years. But I have always enjoyed all of his books.

 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Can you walk us through how you went from complete and satisfied manuscript to now available for purchase? Many will be reading this who haven’t gone through it yet, and since you have on a number of occasions, I know I would personally like to hear it from a pro like you.

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASTHI: Wow! You flatter me, Ron. 😉 I’ve actually gone through the entire process only once with my book The Basement. The best advice I can offer anyone who has finished writing a story is to give the finished manuscript to several trusted people and ask for their honest opinions. Then after revisions (if any), hire a professional editor.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Ah, I get the impression you have published several because of how professional everything seems. What other works do you have available and what are you working on presently?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I have written a variety of short stories, from horror and dark fantasy to sci-fi and romance. You can check them out on my blog.

I’m in the final stages of editing my book Lilith. This is a dark fantasy about angels aimed at a young adult/ adult audience. I’m hoping to have it available in early 2015.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Is there a lot of romance in your work or sensuality?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: There’s always a little romance because I believe that’s part of life and reality. There’s also some sensuality in my work-in-progress because that’s part of who I am, and that part of my personality comes through in the story.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: How understanding are your friends and family when the writing mania takes hold of you?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Some are very understanding, especially other writers because they’ve been there. Others––not so much.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What would be your ideal agent be like to sign with?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I would love an agent who truly enjoys my story. The editor that’s working with me on my second book ‘Lilith’ truly loves the book. It is obvious by her enthusiasm, the comments she’s made and the questions that she’s asked me. It makes a difference when the agent loves the genre and story. Also, an agent that is hardworking and self motivated is great. One that will stop at nothing to get you the best deal possible for your book. I would love to get into one of the big publishing houses.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Now for a few fun and trivial questions. What’s your go to beverage while writing?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Water. I know you’re thinking, “boring,” but I prefer to be sharp and focused when I write. Being well-hydrated does that for me. I don’t drink much coffee, beer makes me bloat like a blowfish, wine puts me to sleep, margaritas and rum are fun, but put me in the wrong frame of mind, and I get distracted easily. So while I’m writing, it’s water for me.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your escape from writing when you need that break before burnout happens?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Reading, cooking, baking, hiking, kayaking, getting together with family and friends, watching one of my favorite shows on TV (Criminal Minds, Law and Order, Castle, Modern Family . . .) or going to the cinema, playing with my dog, and other things I shouldn’t mention––not necessarily in that order.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: And finally, as a writer, what is your favorite word and why?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Wow! There are several words I love, but the first word that comes to mind is “Dulcet.” Why? Because it’s a beautiful word, I enjoy pronouncing it and writing it down. Meaning: 1: sweet to the taste 2: pleasing to the ear 3: generally pleasing or agreeable.

Thank you, Ronovan, for inviting me as a guest author to your awesome blog. I appreciate you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to thank Vashti for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. And I hope she comes back when her next book is due out.

Her various contact information appeared in some links throughout the interview but I am putting them all here together so you can follow her everywhere. Also here are some some fan art of her and one of her characters from The Basement, Natasha. Don’t worry, she won’t mind, I already do and if she will let me follower her she’ll let you too. And we are all about supporting each other here, right?

 

ScaredGirlFinal FanArt
Fan Art of ‘Natasha’ from The Basement.
Vashti5
Fan Art of Vashti

Website

Author Site

The Basement Fan Site

Goodreads

Twitter

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

Long & Luxe with Allison Maire-Interview Part 2

In my last article here on RonovanWrites I shared Part 1 of Allison Marie Long &Luxe The Real Sexy. Check out Part 1 if you would like to read in order. I won’t waste any more of your time.

 

Allison Marie

Long & Luxe

The Real Sexy

AllisonTwitter

Ron Cover ShotRW: Allison, I have to say I am disappointed in you. You lied to me.  Okay you didn’t lie to me, I asked why Long & Luxe, and right now your answer IS what it means, but you started your site as a fashion tips site . . . come on . . . what was the real original meaning to Long & Luxe?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: You got me! So my original reason for L&L is kind of similar but more fashion angle – ready? My favorite song of ALL TIME is Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by the Hollies – my favorite thing to wear is long flowing hair and a long maxi dress so luxe! Luxe to me was and is always about comfort – that is the ultimate luxury.

 


 SET UP ALERT!!!

*****Ron Cover ShotRW: Perfect. This just shows how things mature and change over time, even a site now matures into something more than we thought it would be. I set Allison up for that question because I recalled that when we first met she said something about it had to do something with something from her earlier days. So yes, Allison Marie, I gotcha on this one! And you can all hear the song at the bottom of the screen and now you know why I have the slide show above today rather than yesterday.*****


 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: We share a common bond in that we don’t write or blog to gain followers. I personally think of everyone that ends up clicking to follow my blog as Finding a new Friend. To me it’s more of a support thing than a following thing. What is your own personal philosophy of blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: I know just what you mean. If you are up for the lengthy version of my answer on this question do feel free to check out my 25 Tips On Beginning A Blog That No One Else Will Tell You. It’s not only tips for beginners but also my blogging philosophy in general. For the quick and dirty summary, I offer you this quote from the article: “Don’t write for numbers. Numbers are OK left alone. Write for people. Write for people because people don’t want to be alone.” In a nutshell, that’s what always brings me back home.

 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: I’ve found that many that do have the ability to care deep have been hurt deep.

Where does your deep heart come from? Is there a history?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: You know, I’m really not sure where my deep heart comes from. I was always a sensitive, empathetic, introverted type and studied psychology because I have always been very interested in people, why they think and feel as they do, what choices they make, and what philosophies they adopt as their own and why. I do think I love big and I hurt big and it just comes naturally. A friend of mine and I talk about being ‘empaths’ or people who feel what others are feeling. I suppose a lot of my inner conviction to follow my heart comes from my mom, who died eight years ago very young. The experience of seeing my mom go through tremendous physical trauma to fight her cancer, and then to go through dealing with her death, has taught me that nothing is guaranteed in this life. It’s up to us to love deep and spread love wide in the time we are here. It’s the only thing that really matters.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What tips do you have for someone to be able to keep blogging? For example do you have burnout tips?

 

ALLISON: Well, for sure my 25 Tips are my best gems so far. As for burnout I would say ask yourself why you got started in the first place and go from there. Maybe you need to go in a new direction? Maybe you need to post less often? What is so important to you that you couldn’t go another day without sharing – write and publish about that. I would also say that the more authentic your writing and connecting, the more likely you are to want to stick around. It becomes part of who you are, your way of sharing – of giving and receiving.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: How is the family with all of your blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: My husband is thrilled that I found blogging. I think I’m kind of a pain in the ass when I don’t have a creative outlet and this one seems to suit me quite well. The rest of the family doesn’t really get that involved. My blog isn’t for everyone and that’s totally ok with me. I think it should be that way – if you are writing from your soul, some people will groove with that and some won’t. It’s your job to stay true to you. It’s sort of a good life lesson as well.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Where does the hippy chick come from?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: My mom, I think! It’s so funny you say that because in all honesty I don’t know why I connect to the peace, love and grooviness vibe but it shows up in my world all the time. I love the music and clothing of that time and I love the peaceful revolutionary mindset of possibility and change. I have been channeling my mom’s spirit more and more lately and from what I understand she was quite an earth angel back in the day. I believe that love and peace can change the world. There’s a freedom of spirit there that – you guessed it – I dig. We are going through a time of global awakening and people are looking to come back to center, through meditation and mindfulness and a re-evaluation of our priorities. We know as a species that we need to change in some fundamental ways if we want to protect our precious lives and our planet. Greed will not get us there – love will. That is why I think my old soul always finds its way back to a peaceful revolutionary place.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite scent?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: The beach. There’s no way to bottle it – you’ve got to sit in the sand and breathe with the wind and the salt spray and the waves.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite beverage?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: A crisp, lemongrassy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your favorite word and why?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: LOVE. Because it’s everything.

 

I doubt anyone was surprised with that last answer. Even though I had never asked her before, when that word came back to me, it was no surprise at all.  I want to thank Allison for the interview and those great answers that turned some simple questions into what I think will be some life eye openers for some who read this interview series.

I leave you with . . .

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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Long&Luxe with Allison Marie-Interview Part 1

There are different types of sites we all like to frequent; humor, life, poetry, manic depression pain ridden men who write about anything that pops into their Lost Minds. But there is one site that is, in my opinion unique. You get a combination of life tips, encouragement, spirituality, and The Real Sexy.

Combine those qualities into a long haired blonde with big beautiful eyes and you end up with one groovy lover of love.

Let me introduce to you . . .

Allison Marie

Long & Luxe

The Real Sexy

allison_long_luxeTwitter

I asked Allison for an interview and for some insane reason she agreed. Then I came up with the questions and they apparently sent some serious sparks through that groovy gray matter of hers. Instead of doing like I often do and scale down the interview to be a little shorter just because at times its information that simply is cool to me but not really part of the interview itself, I decided to make this a two part interview.

Each day you will be able to take in what Allison avails us of a little easier. I have to tell you, you may have to read it at least twice. The woman really loves what she does and believes in what she is spreading.  And now here we go.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: First of all, why Long & Luxe?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Awesome kick-off! Well, I consider my blog a journey of uncovering our highest potential, so it’s all about our journeys together. I wish for all of my readers that their self-discovery journeys last long enough to uncover the true luxuries of life: peace, love, joy and creativity.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: There is a great deal of spirituality flowing through everything you write about; where does that come from, such as influences?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Yes, spirituality is the birthplace of everything meaningful in my life. I believe the universe, that divine energy, call it whaIMG_0661t you like, is what ignites our passions and keeps us coming back to play and serve. So to answer your question ‘where does it come from’ I would honestly say it comes from my soul. I’ve always been deeply spiritual and believed in a higher power.

Recommended Readings

These folks in particular have inspired me deeply and taught me much of what I know today to be true: Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Bernstein (check out her incredibly powerful book May Cause Miracles), Brene Brown, Maya Angelou, Mastin Kipp (check out The Daily Love website), Rain Wilson (check out SoulPancake website).

Ron Cover ShotRW: A lot of people start a blog but don’t stick with it. You’re still here and doing very well. Why did you turn to blogging?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Thank you! I adore the blogging scene. It is astounding that we can connect through our creative endeavors this way, across time and space. It blows my mind. Obviously, people are the heart of social networks and the potential for collective, inspired change to happen quickly is like IMG_0563nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s an incredible time to be an artist. When I first began, blogging was a creative outlet for my love for fashion. I wrote all kinds of fun tips and tricks about clothing, accessories and beauty. I loved the power and fierceness of a woman’s beauty and the mystery of uncovering it; I wanted to invite people into that. Over time my passion evolved into writing about what makes us beautiful, fierce and loving from the inside. Not because I don’t still love me a fabulous pair of jeans, but because I had some deeper convictions that were beginning to want to claw their way out onto the page. I began to see myself as an inspirational writer and a spiritual seeker. I want to lift people up – that is my number one goal. So I let my writer run wild and began posting original poetry and sharing my transformative journey. Now I’m all in, writing from my most authentic place and sharing with the intent to inspire others to be their most creative, artistic, brave and wholehearted selves. All in, baby. It’s my spirit work, my offering.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: There is an obvious skill in your writing, not only in what you write but how you write. What experience did you have in writing prior to your blog, such as perhaps classes, University, workshops?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: When I was very young I wrote all the time, poetry, prayers, journals, essays. It was just part of how I made sense of my feelings and experiences. In 2000, I graduated from Penn State University with my BA in Liberal Arts. Most of my academic work was writing intensive in the areas of English Lit, Creative Writing, Sociology and Psychology. Unfortunately, once I started working in a corporate environment and raising my son (he’s now 16) I made less and less time for writing. It was still in me though, stirring to come out. Finally, after reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art a million times, I gave in and started pouring my soul into writing. It’s been saving my spirit ever since.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: With that type of degree, I would think there was likely an intent to write something other than a blog, perhaps something lengthier. Do you plan to do any kind of publishing, perhaps of your poetry, or is there a story in the works such as a novel, or some spiritual journey philosophy?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: Yes! Some of my poetry has already been published in a book titled Heart Whispers, a compilation of poems by poets whose work focuses on the quiet musings of the heart. Heart Whispers features three of my original poems: Begin, Open, and Cry which can also be found on my blog. The indie poet book Heart Whispers can be purchased at Amazon.com. I also have a debut book in the works that will include more of my original poetry and just what you reference “spiritual journey philosophy.”

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What do you think makes your book idea a little different than others out there?

 

allison_long_luxeALLISON: I think it is becoming increasingly important to come forward and talk about our connection to a higher consciousness and a transformed way of living. I want to make that feel invigorating and accessible for real people who feel called to do soulful work but they don’t know where to turn to talk about it or explore it. People still have this way of thinking that it’s “out there” to honor your intuition and your spiritual connection. It’s not out there at all – it’s who we are at ground level, it’s our greatest potential, it’s our molecules. And the more we understand about our divinity the more we can come to understand our tremendous potential for love, creativity, compassion and peace as human beings. I want to get my story into the world to invite others in and to hear their stories.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Back to blogging, you have a loyal and loving Following. So another question would be what do you contribute to your success or your ability to connect with your Readers?

 

IMG_0641allison_long_luxeALLISON: Thank you! I am so, so blessed and humbled to welcome every single reader into my world. It is an honor and a privilege to have my work read by another interested person. I think (I hope) I connect with people because I write from my truth and if that resonates with someone else, then we know we are kindred spirits. We can trust each other. I pretty much love my readers to bits. There are so many good people out there doing tremendously inspiring things – it rocks my spirit to know them! The energy I put out comes back to me tenfold, that is a fact. My readers make we want to give it all I’ve got. They are my teachers and they light me up something wicked. I hope they know that.

 

 

That ends today’s portion of the interview. Tomorrow will be Part Two, and I finally find out the REAL meaning of Long & Luxe. (Click here for Part Two.)

I leave you with this quote from tomorrow’s portion.

“I think I’m kind of a pain in the ass . . . ”

Those of you who know Allison, what in the world could she possibly mean? Leave a comment and we’ll see who might know her best.

Much Respect and Until Tomorrow

Ronovan

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Female Focus Friday: One Q&A from Allison of Long&Luxe.

Yes everyone. You can assume correctly. A full interview is coming with Allison from Long&Luxe. One of her answers was worth an article of its own. Really several were, but I decided to give everyone a look at this one today since it’s Female Focus Friday. Look for her interview next week. You don’t want to miss it. Not because of my questions but because of her answers.

 

Now for the question and the answer for today.

allison_long_luxe

RW: I mentioned spirituality earlier, many people are hesitant to group spirituality along with sexy, but that’s part of your blog, part of your bio page. How do you connect the two?

 

ALLISON: I LOVE this question! How cool that you bring this up, Ron. I hope you don’t mind my using this interview as the chance for me to finally say something publicly that I’ve been wanting to say to our society in general for a long time: I am so over your sexy. I am so over a cultural view that distorts our sexuality to the point where we internalize and degrade our very beings as measureable commodities. I am over the nonsense – wherever it comes from– that brainwashes us into thinking that our most sexy goods are body parts. Trust, I dig a good-looking person as much as the next hot blooded 35 year old blogger but we have got to stop the body dimorphic insanity that is crushing spirits the world over.

Here’s my humbly ferocious feeling on this: spirituality IS sexy. And sexiness IS spiritual. Show me a person who is deeply in touch with her soul and her personal goodness; with his authentic power and strength; with her deeply divine-rooted loving potential; and I will stand up and applaud their sex appeal. Doing things from your soul with grit and determination is damn sexy. Watch someone painting lost in the artistic expression of the moment, watch someone dancing with intricate skill, read someone’s clever poetry or soul creations, listen to someone telling the hard but necessary truth without apology, feel your heart race when you listen to the ethereal voice of your favorite singer and tell me that stuff isn’t the definition of sexy.

Sexy is a spark – it’s the spark of daring to own the space where your humanity meets your divinity. It’s visceral, it’s creative, it’s about beauty and emotion and pleasure. “I’m so over your sexy” means you will not make me feel ashamed about myself for wanting to rock out with the beautiful creature I am. It’s who we are. I can be sexy in a swimsuit or a track suit. It’s not up to anyone else. And it’s not measurable in numbers. And if we have to take any more clothing off just to feed the manic media machine we’ll have to start putting up our x-rays. I’m over it. Whew – thanks for letting me get that out!

 

Remember to look for her interview next week. Some great answers for you all.

And Follow her on Twitter at .

Much Respect

Ronovan

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