Interview with Carole MacLean

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHI  Carole MacLean wrote an essay tor my anthology, Written Across the Genres.  It’s titled “A New Season”. The first line is “Every Super Bowl season reminds me of what I miss most about my parents.” She goes on to tell about loyalty to their hometown teams after they moved to California and their loyalty to their children, cheering them on through life’s challenges and accomplishments. In their elder years, her parents’ loyalty to each other through many illnesses, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease never wavered. Carole ends the essay with a sports analogy relating to teams and a new season. You can read the essay in Written Across the Genres, available on Amazon or your local bookstore. Here is a short interview with Carole who has moved to Arizona.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and their genre?

Carole: I have no favorite, but love Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, Nora Ephron, Laura Hillenbrand, Sue Monk Kidd — a mix of memoir, not-fiction, chick lit, self-help and spirituality.

Julaina: I see you’re an avid reader. Why do you write?

Carole: To speak my truth and share with women what I’ve learned about the importance of self-care.

Julaina:  Where do you like to write?

Carole: At my desk overlooking the Sonoran Desert, the playground for quail, rabbits, roadrunners, coyote, and an occasional javelina or bobcat.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Carole: A book of personal essays about gratitude — and the lessons learned from loss and death.

Julaina: Thanks for the interview, Carole. Come back to California for a visit. We miss you.

While caring for her elderly parents, Carole realized how difficult it is for many women to take care of themselves when they are taking care of others. She began “Fuzzy Red Socks” Women’s Retreats. Now Carole is retired and blogs about self care.

https://www.fuzzyredsocks.com

Carole m younger

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Musician Sam Baker

Sam BakerTerry Gross from Fresh Air on NPR broadcasted her interview with  musician Sam Baker this last week. He didn’t start writing music until after he came close to death in 1986 on a train in Peru traveling to Machu Picchu. Since I’ve been on that train in 2000 and 2002, I stopped my car to listen to the interview.

Baker told about the bomb the Peruvian terrorist group, Shining Path had planted in the luggage rack above where he sat talking to a German family who were vacationing. In the explosion, the mother and father who sat across from him and their teenage son next to him were killed. Baker suffered a brain injury, a cut artery in his leg, severe hearing loss, a shattered left hand, a deflated lung, among other injuries and eventually, gangrene.He was in a Cuzco hospital and then airlifted to a Houston hospital.

He had to have fifteen reconstructive surgeries.During his long recovery, songs came to him, some about the attack, some about his near-death experience, and others that are like short stories written in the voices of characters. Say Grace is the title of his fourth and latest album.

When asked how the bombing changed him he said, “One thing that changed was the sense that all suffering is universal…especially what I learned was empathy, and the faith that I got was the faith in us as a group, as humans.”

You can hear the interview that includes Baker singing a couple of his songs at http://www.npr.org/2014/05/06/310089151/sam-baker-finding-grace

His website is http://sambakermusic.com where you will find his quote: “Everyone is at the Mercy of Another One’s Dream.”

Writer Interview with Camille DeFer Thompson

camille-thompson Camille DeFer Thompson has an essay and a novel excerpt in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. She has stories in other collections such as Clash of the Couples, Not Your Mother’s Book On Working for a Living, Not Your Mother’s Book On Home Improvement, Encore Voices of the Valley, and several years in the Las Positas College Anthologies.

Camille is a freelance writer whose work has been featured on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop website, and popular women’s blog https://www.midlifeboulevard.com. Follow her humor blog at https://www.camilledeferthompson.com. She is publicity chair for the Tri-Valley Branch of the California Writers Club and a member of the Social Media Group.

Here is a short interview with Camille:

Julaina: Who is your favorite author and genre?

Camille: Alice Hoffman is a novelist. Her curious, fascinating characters and unique story lines keep me turning the pages.

Julaina: Why do you write?

Camille: I’ve always loved writing. I find it easier and more fulfilling to express myself on paper than with the spoken word.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Camille: I am most inspired at my PC in my home office upstairs.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Camille: My long-term project is the first romance in a trilogy.

Julaina: Thanks for being here today and good luck with your writing.

Writer Interview with Linda Todd

LT Headshot Linda Todd has a short story called “A Marriage Blessed” and an essay titled “Tuesdays with Julaina” in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. She helped me with the editing and prep of the anthology for the press.

The book includes two collaborative stories, “Dock Story One” and  Dock Story Two.” Both stories had the same beginning paragraph and then members of my two writing classes wrote a one hundred fifty word paragraph each to continue their class story. “Dock Story One,” written by the class with 10 members was easy since there were fewer people. The other story with 22 paragraphs was a mystery that needed clues along the way. We had to restart it a couple times and two other writers helped Linda and me with the ending. I appreciated Linda’s dedication to this story and to Written Across the Genres.”Tuesdays with Julaina” is about how we met at a writers’ conference.

Here is her bio:

Linda Todd writes short stories, personal essays, and has two novels in progress. She lives with her husband in Northern California and enjoys camping in their RV and traveling between California and North Carolina to visit her children and grandchildren.

And here is my interview with her:

Julaina: How did you get the idea for “A Marriage Blessed?”

Linda: It started with a request for art, photos, crafts, etc. for California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch’s Ekphrasis 2013 Winterfest. I searched through my photos and found one I had taken in Hawaii of an art studio decorated with bright colored banners and signs. Then I thought of the different things I had seen in shops on the island, like Koa wood bowls. I learned that the bowls were used in wedding ceremonies. So I wrote the story about a couple renewing their vows and the woman’s  desire for a Koa bowl, hoping to find one at the art studio.

Julaina: What is a writing day like for you?

Linda: I work out at the gym, eat breakfast, and have coffee before wandering into my office to pound away at the keyboard. Lately I’ve had to write on my phone when I ride Bart to work.

Julaina: What do you enjoy about writing?

Linda: Once I start working on a project, the story elements come together. I’m always surprised by what comes out. Sometimes it takes a lot of time.

Julaina: What is the difficult part of writing for you?

Linda: When I get stuck and need to find a way out of an alley or determine what could come next. It’s a challenge to work through the problem and find a solution.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Linda: My short stories and I’d like to finish at least one novel this year.

Julaina: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Linda: Read, study, and write, write, write.

Julaina:  Thanks, Linda. I look forward to working with you again.

Writer Interview with Sharon Lee

Old fashion ice boxSharon Lee has a short short story and a memoir essay in my anthology, Written Across the Genres.

The short short is called “Coming Home” and is filled with sensory details of a cold winter day. The memoir essay, “Hide and Seek”, is about helping her five year old brother hide in an ice box and her struggle to get him out when he cried that he couldn’t breathe.

Here is an interview with Sharon:

Julaina: How did you get the idea for your story?

Sharon: As an adult, I have come to realize the close call to loosing my brother when we hid in an icebox.

Julaina: What is a writing day like for you?

Sharon: Early morning is when my best ideas flow. It’s easy to completely lose track of time and write for three to four hours without noticing.

Julaina: What do you enjoy about writing?

Sharon: Writing for me unleashes all kinds of stuff and I find it stimulating, healing, and very fulfilling.

Julaina: What is the difficult part of writing for you?

Sharon: Sometimes the right words elude me, so I go on and come back to it later. Then the words untangle and my thoughts flow freely again.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Sharon: My plans are to complete my first novel by January 2015.

Julaina: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Sharon: Follow your passion, write every day, and never give up.

Julaina: Thanks, Sharon. I’m looking forward to your novel and more short stories.

Writer Interview with Jan Davies

jan daviesJan Davies has a short story, “Saving Sheena”, and a memoir essay, “A February Christmas” in my anthology, Written Across the Genres (available on Amazon).

Jan is an independent business lady, President of the WiMe Group, Inc., who has always loved to write; poetry, journals, short and long stories and memoir.  Her passions are family, writing, reading, taking photographs of special moments, eating delectable foods, sipping distinct, flavorful wines, and laughing with friends. She travels to new, enchanted places with laptop and iPhone in hand.

Here is the interview with Jan Davies.

Julaina: How did you get the idea for your story?

Jan: With “Shaving Sheena”, I wanted to write a piece about a mature woman, her experiences as a widow, dating, and her grown children’s reactions.

Julaina: What is a writing day like for you?

Jan: I steal precious moments either before the sun rises or way after the sun goes down. When the house is quiet, my thoughts and words are allowed their freedom.

Julaina: What do you enjoy about writing?

Jan: Seeing my thoughts appear on paper and launch into a life of their own.

Julaina: What is the difficult part of writing?

Jan: Having the discipline to do it on a regular basis and taking the time needed to sit still and allow the creative thoughts to percolate in my mind.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Jan: My plans are to pursue an artist for my children’s books. I want to take the next steps toward getting them published.

Julaina: Do you have a tip for aspiring writers?

Jan: It’s easy to say, “Do it”. The passion needs to come from within but a writer needs a support group. Find a writing group that is critical but nurturing for you to expand and grow.

Julaina: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Jan: I want the readers of “Saving Sheena” to see the humor of how a mature, widowed mother of four grown children introduces a younger man into the family as her boyfriend. Sheena proves there is life after a spouse’s death.

Julaina: Sheena certainly surprises her children and the readers. Thanks, Jan, keep writing.

Interview with Poet Marilyn Slade

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIPoet Marilyn Slade has two poems published in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. “Traveling to Nowhere” is based on a serious theme whereas in “Waiting Room Connect” readers can enjoy her humor.

Here is the bio she gave me. Marilyn Slade has been described as an immature senior citizen which accounts for her love of humor. She writes Haiku, poetry, short stories, and unfinished novels. She taught a class on a cruise ship to Mexico but it was mistaken for a class in martial arts.

Interview with Poet Marilyn Slade:

Julaina: How did you get the ideas for your poems?

Marilyn: A quirky mind helps when deciding what to write. You can’t control where your mind or imagination will take you.

Julaina: What is a writing day like for you?

Marilyn: Usually feeling the pressure to deliver. I write mostly in evenings when I have open time.

Julaina: What do you enjoy about writing?

Marilyn: Losing myself and all my pains and troubles while I enjoy my fun characters.

Julaina: What is the difficult part of writing?

Marilyn: To set aside distractions or limit the time spent on them so I can finish my memoir, two novels, short stories, and a book of poems.

Julaina: You have several projects going on. Do you have a tip for aspiring writers?

Marilyn: Don’t let yourself get waylaid.

Julaina: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Marilyn: I hope readers will laugh and enjoy my writing and that it will spark in them the impulse to write their own stories or poems.

Julaina:  Thanks, Marilyn. You know I’m a big fan of yours.