Archive for the 'Interviews' Category
March 10, 2014
Hampton and Ledwith Get Down to Business
I am delighted to turn over my blog to my good friends multi published author SS Hampton Sr. and his guest outstanding middle grade author Sharon Ledwith.
Sharon Ledwith, hello! So, who are you, and where do you come from?
Hey, Stan, glad to be here! Oh, such a complicated question. How long do we have? Seriously though (and I rarely am!) I’m a middle-aged broad who writes for the middle-grade/YA genre. Guess you could say I’m going through my second childhood! I come from my parents—mom still has nightmares to this day—via Streator, Illinois USA while my father was under contract by the government to teach meteorology. That makes me a dual citizen. Currently I reside in the wilds of Muskoka, a tourist area deep in the heart of central Ontario, Canada. Cue the haunting cry of the loon…
Lol, the loon! So, why did you become a graphic artist? Was it difficult to give up that career field for writing (I assume you write full-time)?
Well someone has done his homework! I’ve always loved art throughout school, and wanted to parlay that into a solid business career. Plus I didn’t want anything to do with math again! I took the graphic technician course in college which allowed me to work in the printing trade. This was before computers took over, so everything was done by hand. Um, yeah, slow process, but worth it if you applied yourself and worked hard. My hubby and I started Box Office Graphics in the early 80s and we saw so many changes in the industry which included fax machines, computers, and the internet. The graphic businesses that didn’t change fell by the wayside. We sold our business in 2004, and have never looked back. BTW—our former business is still going strong after 30 years! And NO, it wasn’t difficult to give up that career at all. Somehow I knew deep inside I would be pursuing a full-time career as a writer. After all, something had to be done to stop the voices from talking in my head!
Where and how did you meet your husband? Was he aware that he was courting a soon-to-be writer with all of her quirks? I generally assume all writers have their quirks – I know I do.
Poor hubby. I met him at the first job I was hired at straight out of college—a graphic trade shop that specialized in plastic container packaging. Call him my soul mate or a misguided fool, I knew from the moment I met him that we were destined to be together. I believe he was aware of some quirky karma, ’cause he never gave up the chase, even when the odds were against us. I also believe writers should use all their quirks to their advantage!
Any friendly words of advice for writers, particularly when a future spouse “comes a’calling”? Or perhaps for the future spouse who discovers their love interest is a writer?
Run, spouse, run! Kidding. My advice would be to never stop investing in yourself. Invest in the best. That’s in yourself, in your readers, and in your partner. Your readers deserve the best of what you have to offer them. Surround yourself with the best possible team (this includes spouses). Never stop learning. As you grow, so will your readers, so be prepared for this. Oh yeah, and never give up. That’s a given and should be part of any author’s credo.
How did your family and friends react to you becoming a writer?
Say what? You want to be a writer? Good for you! Ten years later…you’re still writing? Anything published yet? No? Humph. Maybe you should get a REAL job. Um, yeah, tried it, didn’t like it, went back to writing, and got published. Yay me! Once I signed the contract, I was cast in a different light, and everyone was supportive and happy for me. You should have seen the release party I threw – hot damn it was fun and VERY satisfying!
I find it interesting that the inspiration for The Last Timekeepers of Atlantis came to you in a dream, that you believe in Atlantis, and you burn incense when writing. You didn’t mention what types of music you like, or favorite artists. So, not to resort to labels, but are you perhaps, something of a “New Ager”?
Yes, very much so. I’m quite a spiritual person and believe we’re all here for a reason and purpose. This comes out in my stories. I don’t want to come off as preachy (in fact I can’t stand it when other people try to shove their beliefs on me) so I try to inject humor whenever I can in my stories. I think we all learn best when there’s laughter present. And if you want a real laugh, when I first started out writing I listened to the soundtrack of Braveheart (sigh) a lot, as well as some native drum instrumentals, Enya, and Enigma. Now I hardly listen to music while writing.
Braveheart, eh? And Enya and Enigma—some of my favorite music too. Just a comment here: I like the first sentence of the opening of your blurb – “Children are the keys to our future.” Truthfully, I have always believed that. Might that have something do with the intended audience of Middle Grade/Young Adult readers regarding Last Timekeepers?
Oh definitely! But it is true – children are the keys to our future. It’s up to us adults to supply kids with good role models, people to look up to, and to aspire to. We need to be the best we can be, and offer children a new hope for a better tomorrow. I mean, how else can we pass along our knowledge and understanding to a new generation if we don’t show up in this life?
Would you please share an excerpt from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis with us? Or, if you feel comfortable, perhaps an excerpt from your prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers?
Would be honored, Stan. Here’s the blurb and excerpt from my newest release, and the prequel to the Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers:
There is no moving forward without first going back.
Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.
Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.
“Why are you here?” Lilith asked. “You’ve already got your life seal.”
“I have more questions for Istulo.” She continued to stare at the disk.
Lilith sighed. “My name is Lilith. What’s your name?”
Her shoulders relaxed slightly. A hint of a smile broke out on her face. Her upturned nose wiggled. “She-Aba. I was born here in the Black Land. Both my parents arrived from Atlantis fourteen years ago yesterday. My mother gave birth to me the next day.”
Lilith perked up. “That would make today your birthday!”
She-Aba beamed. “Yes. That’s why I’m here. For my birthday last year, I had my life reading done by Istulo. But recently, there’s been a hiccup in my plans. It’s like my life seal rearranged itself, and now I’m confused. I’m here for a reaffirmation.”
“What’s the problem?”
She-Aba traced her life seal with the tip of her perfectly shaped fingernail. “My lifetime occupation was supposed to be to design clothing for the people of the various positions in the court and temples.”
Lilith smirked. “That makes perfect sense.”
“I know, right? So why, all of a sudden, would my life seal change from designing clothing to something completely different?”
Lilith arched a fair brow. “How different?”
“Well, instead of clothing people in lavish robes and gowns for others to appreciate, the seal suggests that I’ll be doing the opposite by covering up and hiding the truth. I don’t understand it at all. I thought my life was all planned out for me.”
“I thought mine was too, until my country blew up and slid into the ocean,” Lilith muttered.
“Hey, look at the bright side, at least your hair isn’t red like mine.”
Lilith eyed She-Aba carefully. “What’s wrong with red hair? My uncle has red hair and it suits him fine.”
She-Aba moved in closer. “If you haven’t noticed already, there aren’t many redheads around here. The natives think red is magical, and anyone with red hair is considered a freak of nature.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Lilith said loud enough to cause an echo down the marble hallway. “Is that the reason why those artists were rude to you? Because you have red hair?”
“Red is a very powerful color,” a raspy voice said from behind both girls.
Lilith and She-Aba jumped. They slowly turned to find Istulo hovering over them.
Wearing the same white gown and orichalcum headband Lilith saw her dressed in before, Istulo nodded slightly before she said, “Red represents the essence of life—if we are drained of blood, we are drained of energy. The people of the Black Land understand this, and therefore red is reserved only for their gods and goddesses.”
Lilith giggled. “Don’t tell She-Aba that, she’ll think she’s a goddess.”
Here’s the LINK for more information on the book.
Thank you for visiting with us today! Are there any parting words you would like to share with us?
Absolutely! I was once asked by another interviewer to share what inspires me to write, and why am I doing what I do? The truth is that I want to be the change I would like to see in this world. Yes, I stole that from Gandhi, but those words have been my mantra, and have guided me to write stories I would have loved to read as an adolescent. My hope is to give my target audience (upper middle-grade and lower young adult) the kinds of stories the world needs now—force readers to ask why they are here on earth at this time, and what is their major purpose. I guess I’m looking for ways to make the world a better place. I also want to make people laugh out-loud while they’re reading my books, and leave them wanting more when they turn to the last page. Thanks so much for putting up with, er interviewing me today, Stan, and loved your well-researched questions! Cheers!
Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.
Musa Publishing – Amazon Link – Barnes & Noble – Kobo
When Sharon Ledwith is not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
Much of SS Hampton, Sr.’s writing is drawn from his extensive military career, including his historical short story The Sentinels.
December 1941 – the German offensive has ground to a frozen halt before an ominous forest encircling Moscow, and a German patrol seeks to discover what secrets the forest hides…
December 1941, and fresh Siberian troops from the Soviet Far East have launched savage counter-attacks against the German invaders. The Eastern Front is torn open with German units driven back, overwhelmed, or isolated. An exhausted Waffen SS infantry platoon outside of Moscow needs to know what the Siberians, hidden in a dark forest before them, are up to. A small patrol is sent into the snowy, otherworldly forest…
To read an excerpt from The Sentinels please click HERE.
SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. His military career began in 1974. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Ready Reserve, and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom.
His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. He is also a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America.
After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
To learn more about SS Hampton, Sr. or read excerpts from his books please click a vendor’s name.
Musa Publishing – Melange Books – MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon Author Page – Amazon UK Author Page – Goodreads Author Page
November 18, 2013
Stan Takes Control
Today’s blog is in the capable hands of multi-published author SS Hampton Sr. as he interviews his reluctant guest author Sloane Taylor.
Greetings Blog Goddess! You stay pretty busy behind the scenes, so perhaps we can have a better look at you.
Hi, Stan, this is very weird for me, sitting on this side of the keyboard and I don’t know what to do with my hands. So please be gentle. I bruise easily. Lol
Well, if you insist. First off, where are you from and what did your parents do for a living?
I’m proud to say I’m a born and bred Chicago Southside girl. Dad was a carpenter and mom worked as a clerk in Rosenblum’s Drug Store. Mon made sure both my older sister and I kicked off our work careers at Rosenblum’s when we were thirteen. Life as a soda jerk is a great experience!
According to your biography, your parents taught you to read, you’ve kept a diary, and you love reading on vacation. And one day you just had to tell a story. Is there anything else that propelled you down the path to becoming an author, and if so, what was that tipping point?
My husband died after a very short illness, and my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant the day before. Everything, and I mean everything fell on me. The dramatic loss of income and added responsibilities were overwhelming. I had to be creative for us to make it over the next year. Writing was my therapy. I never thought about being published until I met Beth Anderson. She became my mentor and she shoved me along the right path.
That must have been an incredibly challenging year. Hopefully it has all worked out. Regarding your mentor, mystery writer Beth Anderson—who is she, and how did you meet such an important person in your life?
On the advice of another friend, I joined Rendezvous. They produced a monthly review booklet with a large subscription of readers and major publishers. Beth was one of the directors. She took me under her wing and used her infamous “2×4 without prejudice.” Frankly, I’d be nowhere if it weren’t for Beth. Check out her website for more information on this awesome lady.
You love traveling and you have written travel articles; what are some of your favorite places you have traveled to, and why?
Europe is where my heart beats strong. During high school and college I studied German. My first trip to Europe was Germany and I was in heaven. I’d come home. Austria and Denmark hold that same warm feeling for me.
I understand. I lived in Europe myself, for five years. So, how difficult is it to set novels in foreign countries, meaning understanding the nuances of the social and cultural fabric so that your readers will feel like they’re there?
Several years after my husband’s death, and a great deal of legal work, life bounced back. I had the funds to travel again and was fortunate to spend several months a year in Europe. During that time I met great local people who still wander through the recesses of my mind. All this makes it easy for me to set my books in Europe as my stories draw from those people and the experiences we shared.
You are the Blog Goddess for Musa Publishing, you have your own blog, and you write. How do you balance all of this?
Not too well at times, but I keep on keeping on. (VBG) And I live by to-do lists.
How did you become one of Musa Publishing’s authors and end up running the Musa Blog?
Musa invited me to write for them. After three bankrupt publishers I was leery of jumping back into the world. Those situations played hell on my creativity. Studs, my non-husband because we’re too old to be boyfriend and girlfriend, showed me I am happiest when I write. So I “womaned up” and accepted Musa’s offer. Best career move I ever made.
Dominique Eastwick was the blog boss with a tremendous workload beyond the blog. Dom put out a call for help. I had just been diagnosed with aggressive larynx cancer and told that I had three months tops if the treatments didn’t work. Well, I sure as hell didn’t like that diagnosis, and decided it was just not going to happen.
What I needed was to occupy my mind with better things than me. I jumped at the chance to help Dom. After a short time, she gracefully stepped aside while I ran ahead full bore.
Damn. Well, you’ve been running the blog for more than a year, so that portion of the story ended happily. During football season many wives feel like “football widows.” Does your mate Studly DooRight ever feel like a “writer widower”?
Oh yeah, and let me tell you the can of trouble you opened with this question! Studs pointed out that when I’m deep into a project, which is almost every day, I totally ignore the world and him except for cooking. I’m working hard to steer some of that project zeal into what really matters in the evening.
Do we dare ask why you named him “Studly DooRight?”
No problem! Do you remember an old segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle show with Dudley Do-Right the Canadian Mountie? Dudley was always a hero, pure of heart, and did no wrong. Well, there you go. That sums up Studs in eight words. The Studs comes from the fact he’s strong as an ox with arms big as tree trunks. I laugh when his sisters cringe every time I call him Studs. They really need to get their minds out of the gutter. Lol
A teacher told me my youngest son said I was a writer, and he was so proud of that. I had no idea. When your daughter learned you were a writer did she brag to her friends?
Oh, Stan, I write sexually explicit romance. Even though my daughter is an adult, she cringes and swears that she can’t read my books because, “You’re my mom!” She passes out my business cards and touts me to her friends and wishes I’d write a sexless murder mystery. Lol
Will you share an excerpt from one of your novels with us?
Lord, man, I thought you’d never ask. LOL Here’s a short intro my latest release PHOTO Op!
Never mix business with pleasure, unless pleasure is your business.
Photojournalist Emily Peters gives herself the perfect birthday gift – a weekend in Paris. Her excitement builds when she hits the scene of the exclusive S&G Club. Exposing the truth behind their private pleasure chambers and the elite who frequent them will be the diamond in her career crown. At least Em thinks so until she’s tied up in knots by the Devil himself.
British restaurateur Nicholas Caine visits Paris to check on his S&G Club investment and to sample its many benefits. Nick’s not on the hunt until he encounters a tiger that pretends to be a kitten. There’s no doubt she’ll satisfactorily flex her claws given the right incentive.
What starts as a prime photo opportunity evolves into a weekend of erotic fantasies as Nick awakens Emily’s dark passions.
To read an excerpt from PHOTO Op! please click HERE.
PHOTO Op! is also available on Amazon.
You’re welcome to read excerpts from my other erotic romances HERE.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Besides that I like the other side of the keyboard better? You were gentle, Stan, and I appreciate that. You’re a good guy. Thanks for everything!
SS Hampton Sr. served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), then enlisted in the Army National Guard; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. Much of his work is based on military life such as his paranormal Dancing in Moonlight.
Something is following Corporal Ronnie Edson back to Iraq, something that won’t rest until it owns him completely.
While on much-needed R&R leave from Iraq, Corporal Ronnie Edson enjoyed a night with a beautiful woman. He thought that would be the end of it, but on the flight back to Iraq he sees an impossible sight: the woman dancing on the wing of the plane. She’s come for him, and she won’t leave without him.
To read an excerpt from Dancing in Moonlight please click HERE.
To read an excerpt from any of the books written by SS Hampton Sr. please click HERE.
Stan’s books are also available on Amazon and Amazon UK.
Hampton’s writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. He is also a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America.
He is the proud grandfather of thirteen wonderful children. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
Sloane Taylor believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that take you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.
Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.
Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website, and her blog for easy recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
December 17, 2010
Does Rob Appleton Need a Bitch Slap?
Let me know after you read his comments in our dual interview at Melissa’s Imaginarium.
Learn more about my cheeky writing partner on his website and Mercurial Times blog. I guarantee you’ll enjoy his quick wit and his terrific books.
While you’re surfing the web, check out Amber Quill Press – Amber Heat and read an excerpt from our hot new release CLAIRE DE LUNE. It’s the perfect gift for Kindle lovers.
Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back Monday. Until then…
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell
Sloane said @ 9:02 am
November 1, 2010
UP FOR A LITTLE NAUGHTY?
The Naughty Ladies of Nice are partying at Aspen Mountain Press.
Drop in and see what all the chatter is about. Leave a comment and you’re entered in a chance to win a free download.
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell
Sloane said @ 10:18 am
July 28, 2010
The Spotlight’s On
and burning bright at Off the Keyboard where Sarah Grimm digs deep to uncover the real Sloane Taylor. Join me HERE to learn more.
AND over at Melissa’s Imaginarium, Melissa Bradley has posted a completely different interview! You can check it out HERE.
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell
Sloane said @ 7:41 am
February 23, 2010
There’s a Party
today at Love Romances Cafe. I’ll be there, joined by a few friends, between 10:00 and noon CST with plenty of fun conversation and prizes. Hope to see you.
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell
Sloane said @ 7:40 am
May 27, 2008
A short message from Raine Delight;
Today I have the extreme pleasure of having the talented Sloane Taylor chatting with me on my blog. Check it out and see what I had to ask her. *grins*
Sloane said @ 1:43 pm
January 26, 2008
Gazing into the Crystal Ball
ST: Today’s our last day with M.C. Please tell us, M.C., what does the future hold for you?
MC: Where is my crystal ball…really, I have no desire to do anything than write what comes to me…saying that, in all truth, it would be wonderful to see some of my books optioned.
ST: Is there any thing you’d secretly like to do that you haven’t?
MC: I would like to write the planned fourth book in the DI Cambridge series, on a remote Greek island for complete flavor! Octavia takes a vacation to a Greek Isle and unwittingly, becomes involved in the investigation a murder.
ST: What’s in the works for the future?
MC: Oh, lots! I have several outlines and works in progress.
Continuing the DI Cambridge Mysteries:
A MAIDEN BETWIXT THE DEAD followed by A HOLIDAY FOR THE BUSMAN.
Further to A Victorian Courtesan’s Memoirs:
I CAME ACROSS THE SEA and the last of the trilogy, I CAME TO RECKONING.
I also have a sci-fi romance in the planning stages, NEW WORLD.
Additionally, I have a niggle to write another medieval fantasy.
ST: WOW!! When will you find time to breathe? LOL. Thanks, M.C., for spending so much time with us. It’s been a great week and I’ve enjoyed learning more about you. The very best to you in the future and keep us posted on your future releases.
MC: I’ve so enjoyed being here, Sloane! And thank you, I wish you the best as well.
ST: See you all next week with more blogging. Until then…
Sloane said @ 8:53 am
January 25, 2008
Author, Author, Tell Us More
ST: Good morning, M.C. Please describe your writing space.
MC: At one time, I had an upstairs office in the cottage but it proved too hot in the summer and too isolated; I was away from the many windows on the ground floor and the dogs wanting in and out at the back doors. So, I began to think…there was a large alcove off the kitchen under the high lofted ceiling that wasn’t being used. I had placed a deacon’s bench there but as it was away from the front and back doors, no one sat on it although it was handy for storage. I got rid of my wooden desk in the office and transformed the alcove with a glass L-shaped desk and an internet connection. The added bonus was the old office became another bedroom. (I adore guests coming to stay.)
ST: Sounds wonderful! Do you find writing to be fulfilling? If so, in what way?
MC: Writing is fulfilling for me, absolutely! There are voices, sometimes atrocities that must be written to release my demons, further my need to understand the world and explore motivations, fulfill my desire to stretch my imagination and find some answers through my characters.
ST: What’s your favorite part of writing?
MC: The moment of sudden inspiration, followed by the actual writing as it flows from me, the act of creating, really.
ST: What do you absolutely hate about being an author?
MC: I can’t say there is anything I hate, the reclusive work suits me. But if I was to pin point one area I have some difficulty, it would I be writing and editing books from different time periods on the same day. I can’t simply switch as I become immersed in the heroine of an era, seeing as she would, hearing as she would, thinking her thoughts and feeling her reactions in her particular era and situation.
ST: In your opinion what’s the most important thing for a new writer to learn?
MC: Most important, I believe is to find your voice and trust it. Style is so important and can transform a mere story into a tale with wings of light.
ST: Your website is beautiful. I recommend everyone cruise over and check it out. How did you decide on the content and design?
MC: Haha, like everything else I do, I thought of what I’d like: some beautiful art of women in history, lists of the series and single titles and some linked excerpts. Nothing complicated, very simple and on one long page.
ST: Why do you think a website is important for authors?
MC: Mainly, to find a book list, excerpts and what’s coming soon. Other than that, I don’t see the point of clicking here and there for added bits and bobs. That said, I have read that some readers enjoy the extras so perhaps I should consider it.
ST: I’m looking forward to tomorrow and learning what’s in the works for you. See you then?
ST: Until then…
Sloane said @ 10:01 am
January 24, 2008
The Write Side of Life
ST: Hi Everyone! We’re back with M.C. Halliday to learn more about her writing. What’s a normal day like for you?
MC: In the winter, I’m up at 6:30 every day and put coffee on to brew as my email accounts load and the dogs spend some time in the back gardens. Once I have coffee in hand, I spend an hour or two answering or sending emails, then I check my calendar and projects list before planning my day according to deadlines. I work until 4:00 or later, and then try to relax or catch up on household duties or errands. In the summer, I begin my day at 5:00 and head outdoors to garden in the early afternoon. My evenings are spent in the gazebo I erected in the far rear gardens, with my digital recorder at hand.
ST: With your busy life how do you find time to write?
MC: Oh, my life is dedicated to writing. I seldom holiday or do much else, I’m happiest when writing or researching or plotting. My tarot sign is Hermit and I think it suits me quite well.
ST: Are there any quirks you have or do before or while you’re writing?
MC: Atop a shelf on my desk, looking out a window to the northeast, stands a large fierce red dragon to ward off bad chi. That’s rather quirky to us in the West, isn’t it.
ST: Who or what encouraged you to write?
MC: Simple desire, compounded over years of suppressed need and I reached a point where it was do or die, literally. I had been suffering from physical ailments that flared most on my face (I looked like monster at one point) and went into a severe depression that worsened when I lost my lifelong Siamese companion, and sat with a bottle of pills asking myself, “What would make you NOT do this?” Immediately, the answer was writing. I quit my job, stopped dating and sought to heal with my deepest desire forefront.
ST: Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
MC: Always, a sudden inspiration comes to me. The words follow as though I hear a whisper as I write the prologue. Next comes the characters, which I seem to know inside and out as I begin. I can see them, hear the tone of their voices and sense their motivation. Then I look to the pivotal point in their life that creates who they are and why they feel/act as they do.
ST: How do you research your books?
MC: Thank heavens for the internet, especially in the last few years as it’s much improved. I can find hundreds of sources for much of what I would like to know before plotting: structure of the society, rights of men and women, clothing styles and fabrics and personal toilet, modes of transport and costs, industry and art, maps for the era and common names of people and places, language and speech patterns, entertainment and amusements, housing and furniture. Any facts or information must be confirmed from at least three other reliable sources. It helps a great deal when I have first hand knowledge of a place, such as London and all southern England.
ST: Who is your support group?
MC: My older sister was my first support. She has encouraged me through the last seven years and remains steadfast. My best friend is also an avid support and reader, she will beta read at any time and give her precious, totally unbiased opinion. Recently, I joined an online writer’s group that has also proved valuable.
ST: Thanks for all your time, M.C. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
MC: You’re welcome and I’ll be here bright and early!
ST: Until then…
Sloane said @ 9:56 am