Interview with Writer Sonia Geasa

germany-flag-Sonia Geasa has two essays published in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. The one called, “The House in Germany” tells about living on Haupstrasse in Spangdahlem. In the essay, she says, “I lived in Germany for two years, but Germany still lives in me.”

Sonia’s other essay titled, “I’ll Be Back,” is about wanting to write and joining my writing class a few years ago. Her bio states: Fifty-five years of marriage, five children, and eight grandchildren are pieces in the patchwork quilt of her life. She hopes to share scraps through her writing.” The following is an interview with her.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and genre?

Sonia: I enjoy reading Pat Conroy. His descriptions are moving and emotional. He totally immerses the reader in the setting as well as his characters.

Julaina: Why do you write?

Sonia: I write to recall and relate both mundane and important events in my own life.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Sonia: I prefer to write on my kitchen island. It feels homey and helps evoke memories.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Sonia: I am writing a love story/memoir based on letters from my husband-to-be while he was in Germany and I had not yet joined him there.

Julaina: Thanks, Sonia, for the interview. I’d like to say how much I appreciate your comments when we analyze writing in class. You are very insightful. See you Monday.

Interview with Poet Joan Green

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIJoan Green wrote a poem called “Our Talking Cat” for my anthology, Written Across the Genres. Her poem is comprised of 16 haiku that tell the story of how their cat learned to say her husband’s name. Joan earned a BA from UC Berkeley and holds an elementary teaching credential. She loves to volunteer, travel, hike, read, write, and listen to classical music.

Here is an interview with Joan Green:

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and genre?

Joan: It’s difficult for me to single out a favorite author, but I do enjoy reading good mysteries and historical literature.

Julaina: Why do you write?

Joan: Writing is in part an emotional release for me.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Joan: I usually write while holed up in my den. However, my haiku poems often come to me in the wee hours of the morning when I’m half asleep.

Julaina:  What are you working on now?

Joan: Although I’ve been preoccupied with poetry more recently, I still want to complete the family history memoir I started some time ago.

Julaina: I remember the wonderful letters from your father when he was in the war that will be included in that memoir. Good luck with finishing the project. Thanks for stopping by for my questions.

Author Interview with Stacey Gustafson

Stacey's head shotToday, I’m pleased to participate in a blog tour and interview Stacey Gustafson, author of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives.
Julaina: Since you are a friend of mine, I know you, but for our readers, who is Stacey Gustafson?
Stacey: I’m a humor writer, wife, and mom. I grew up in St. Louis. My high school English teacher picked me to be Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. I think she wanted to keep me busy so I would quit talking in her class. As my kids grew up and out of the house, I filled the void with writing. I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich and Lisa Scottoline. Their writing inspired me.
Julaina: What’s your book about?
Stacey: Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. It’s my life in a minivan. I write about family and everyday things like the laundry, public restroom, carpool, and parent teacher conferences. As a humor columnist for the local online newspaper, I realized I had enough material to start a humor collection. That’s when the idea for Are You Kidding Me? was born.
Julaina: How did you choose the cover?
Stacey: I wanted the cover to portray a frustrated woman, not mad or sad but hilariously outnumbered and outconned by her friends and family. Again. I wanted her to vaguely resemble me, but with younger face and better hair. It’s the way I imagine myself.
Julaina: Where do you get your ideas?
Stacey: My humor is observational. I take notes when something’s funny. I notice the mundane, like self-checkout machines, roundabouts, DMV, Brussels sprouts and pet hamsters then hope it’s universally funny.
Julaina: Who are your favorite comedians?
Stacey: Hands down, my favorite comedian is Kathleen Madigan. She’s from St. Louis, Missouri, like me, and really captures the Midwest attitude in her stand-up routine. Other favorites include Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Chris Rock. They tell funny, relatable stories about their families and growing up in the 70s.
Julaina: What does your writing process look like?

Stacey: I wake up around 7:30 a.m. and watch 30 min of comedy like Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs or my new favorite, Black-ish. Then I check social media for an hour and write new material for 3-4 hours. Right now, I’m on a Blog Tour for Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, but I hope to get back to my regular writing schedule soon.
Julaina: Are You Kidding Me is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/147guNj where I noticed other books that have your stories included.

Stacey: Yes, most editions of Not Your Mother’s Book have my stories as well as the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch’s anthology, and your book, Written Across the Genres. Crystal Ponti’s new book called Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats was published last month with one of my stories in it.

Julaina: Congratulations on your successes. What’s your next project?
Stacey: I’m collecting stories for my second book, Are You Kidding Me? Part Two. It will be geared toward moms with college-age kids, empty nesters, something I have first hand knowledge. Also, I’m writing a humorous murder mystery, fiction, of course. It will be a lighthearted chase through suburbia as the protagonist attempts to solve a local mystery set in my hometown of Pleasanton, CA.
Julaina: Thanks for stopping by my blog on your tour. As you know, I’m a big fan of yours and welcome your spontaneous humor whenever we’re in the same place.

Gustafson_Front_LO 092614

You can find Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives on Amazon and connect with Stacey on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter! And follow some of the other blog tour stops on the Blue Lobster Book Co website.

http://amzn.to/147guNj

 

Abroad, a novel by Katie Crouch

Abroad A Novel by Katie CrouchI read Lisa Marie Basile’s August 7, 2014  interview with Katie Crouch, author of Abroad. Basile said that although the novel is inspired, not based, on the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007, Crouch “gives her characters autonomy from the real story and the prose is poetic and arresting.”

What I discovered when I met Crouch at the National Reading Group Month Event in San Francisco last Saturday, is that the narrator in her book is the deceased victim “telling her story from the grave”. Crouch said she chose that perspective because there have been several books written about Amanda Knox, both non-fiction and fiction. Crouch wanted her book to be different. The main focus wasn’t on Amanda Knox, but on the victim.

Interspersed throughout the novel are stories from Etruscan society where women are sacrificed to the Sun God and often flayed alive. Crouch saw her victim as a present day example of the sacrificing of a woman. Basile points out that Abroad “deals with the inner mechanisms of female relationships, the search for identity and the dark dimensions of desire.”

To read the full interview go to:

http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/36176/murder-and-magic-abroad-an-interview-with-katie-crouch.html