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.

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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

Introducing Jill Steele in Norman in the Painting: Character Blog hop 2014

It’s time for a character-centric blog hop. Here you will meet Jill Steele, the protagonist of my multidimensional novel, Norman in the Painting. First, I will introduce the writer who tagged me in this blog hop, Justine Manzano. I connected with her on LinkedIn and she patiently walked me through the steps.

Justine ManzanoBio: Justine Manzano is a multi-genre writer living in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Things You Can Create, Sliver of Stone Magazine, and The Greenwich Village Literary Review. She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and a twitter account where she discusses her adventures in juggling aspects of her life such as motherhood, writing, and the very serious businesses of fangirling and multiple forms of geekery. She works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine and is currently searching for a publishing home for her YA Urban Fantasy series, Keys and Guardians.

Blurb:

Jacklyn Madison has a thing for heroes. She reads about them, watches them on TV, and would very much like to become one. When a monster makes an attempt on her life she discovers she is one – the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that protects humanity from creatures that come through interdimensional rifts. It’s all fun and games until training for her duties reveals the Order’s out of touch views – Keys, like Jacklyn, are protected while Guardians, like the rest of her family, are expendable. As she rails against their value system, she finds herself in the centre of a power struggle between the group’s leader, Lavinia, and her idealistic son, Kyp – the boy Jacklyn likes. Worse, Kyp’s attempts to protect her only entangle her in a mire of deceit. Viewed as a target on one side and a weapon on the other, Jacklyn must find a way to protect the people she loves and decide what kind of hero she’s willing to become. Filled with action, romance, and paranoia, The Order of the Key is an edgy Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy novel that is currently searching for a home with an agent.

Thanks, Justine Manzano for this opportunity to blog hop.

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Here is an interview with my character, Jill Steele in Norman in the Painting:

What is your name? Are you fictional or historical? My name is Jill Steele. I suppose most people would say I’m fictional, but I think I’m real. I tell Julaina my story so that makes me real, doesn’t it?

When and where is your story set? My story takes place right now, present day, in a small California town near San Francisco. I’m a CPA and I work out of my home. I don’t like to travel much so I’ve only been to San Francisco a couple times. It’s about forty miles from my hometown. With all the action in my life, I don’t have time for San Francisco.

What should we know about you? I don’t like to tell my age but I’m older than thirty and younger than forty. I have an impossible older sister named Vivian who is my nemesis. Our family is the wealthiest in our town. Our parents died in an auto accident, and Viv wants to maintain our social status. She’s on my back about that all the time. I’m the so-called blight on the family. I own my own home and I have a Siamese cat named Rocky. I collect Foo dogs for protection. I really need all the protection I can get but you’ll have to read my story to find out why.

What is screwing up your life? My ex-husband who is in prison, a strange man in a Homberg hat who seems to be following me, and a man I love who lives in a painting…literally. He comes through now and then.

What is your goal? To prevent Norman from disappearing into the painting, to keep him in my 3D world so we can have a real relationship.

What is the title of your book? Norman in the Painting.

When will the book be published? Julaina says she would like to have it published by February 2015 but it might be a few months longer than that. She has other projects like an anthology and two other novels in the works. I’m looking forward to meeting my readers on the pages. Bye now.

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Here are the writers I have tagged. Watch for their posts on September 22nd.

G. Karl KumfertG. Karl Kumfert seeks representation for his debut novel, The Tavern Priestess. It’s a epic fantasy for young adults he frames as “Joan-of-Arc defends Merlin from Nikita”. When he isn’t pitching his manuscript to agents, Karl is either developing mobile apps, or trying to be a decent father and husband. He blogs about teen ethics, multi-racial families, and social media at http://www.gkarlkumfert.com.

He’s surprisingly personable for a former government scientist with a Ph.D. in computer science. He and his wife lead the high school youth program at their church where he also plays 5-string bass. You can visit him on https://Twitter.com/KarlKumfert

 

d-jordan-bernalJordan Bernal is the author of The Keepers of Éire, a dragon fantasy that encourages adult readers to let their imaginations take flight. Jordan’s enduring love of dragons and her pursuit of her Celtic heritage inspired her to write and publish her debut novel in her “Keeper” series through her independent press, Dragon Wing Publishing. She currently serves as president of California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch. Jordan lives in the Tri-Valley region of Northern California. She enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with Roarke, her Pomeranian. For more information on Jordan’s current projects, visit http://www.jordanbernal.com or http://www.1dragonwriter.wordpress.com.

VioletCarrMoore-DSCViolet Carr Moore achieved her dream of becoming a published author with her first book, In the Right Place: A Gallery of Treasured Moments. She followed that memoir of mystic vignettes, with Moments of Meditation, a collection of devotionals. Violet’s short stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers, Christmas Miracles and other anthologies. Her winning themed haiku appeared in San Francisco Bay Area newspapers. She is a freelance copy editor and mentors aspiring writers in independent publishing workshops. Violet blogs humorous writing tips at http://violetsvibes.wordpress.com. Visit her website http://www.carrtwins.com. Follow her on Twitter @violetsvibes. Contact her at info@carrtwins.com.

sharonsvitak2-19-11Sharon Svitak writes under the pen name Sharon Burgess. The author of Simply Irresistible: A Spruce Creek Romance, she is working on the second book in the series. She is a member of the San Francisco Area Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In addition she is an officer on the corporate board of the California Writers Club. She credits her membership in both organizations for pushing her to finish her first book and get it published. Like all writers should be, she is an avid reader, especially romance novels which is the genre she writes. Visit her at http://www.sharonsvitak.com  http://www.sharonburgess.com

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref%3Dnb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=simply+irresistible+a+spruce+creek+romance&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%

 

Elaine SchmitzElaine Schmitz’s life has had many chapters, set in many locales. She graduated from USC with a B.A. in English, and planned to become an editor. However, life intervened; ten years later, she became a business manager at AT & T for twenty years. Now she has reinvented herself as a freelance and fiction writer and editor. She writes about what is important to her. She successfully published her first book “Recipes & Recollections of my Greek American Family,” soon in its second printing, and seven fiction and memoir pieces in anthologies. She is currently working on her third novel. She finds writing a fulfilling career, full of learning, adventures, and many wonderful people. Visit her on http://www.elaineschmitz-writer.com.

Interview with Jordan Bernal

d-jordan-bernalJordan Bernal is president of The California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Writers Chapter. She has won awards for her recently published novel, The Keepers of Eire, and has several stories and poems in various publications.

In my anthology, Written Across the Genres, Jordan has an essay titled “Reflections”, a poem called “Dreams”,  and a novel excerpt from The Keepers of Eire. An interview with her is below.

Julaina:  Who is your favorite author and genre?

Jordan: I love Anne McCaffrey. Her Dragonriders of Pern series encouraged me to use my imagination. I was able to delve into the world of dragons and become a dragonrider—how fantastic is that?

Julaina:  Why do you write?

Jordan: When I read I want to immerse myself in another world, another life, not the ordinary. My writing is a way to share my love of dragons and imagination with others.

Julaina:  Where do you like to write?

Jordan: I write in various places: the Danville library or Peet’s Coffee are the most prevalent. I like to put in my ear buds and crank up the music in my iPod shuffle, so once I’m in the zone, the location doesn’t really register with me. I just need a place where I’m not interrupted.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Jordan: Book 2 of my Keepers series, The Keepers of Caledonia.

Julaina: Looking forward to Books 2 and 3. Thanks, Jordan.

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Interview with Author George Cramer

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIIn my anthology, George Cramer has an essay titled, “Why I Hate D.E.E.R.” in which he takes the reader on a ride to see why deer are a hazard when he’s on a motorcycle road trip. George also has a novel in progress excerpt in the anthology called “A Tale of Robbers and Cops” in which two brothers have to prove their worth in order to be included in a group of criminals. They execute a prank that is not only funny but brings them a bonus. Here is an interview with George Cramer.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author?

George: Without a doubt, Bernard Cornwell. He writes historical novels in such a manner that I can see, feel, and hear his characters. I’ve read all twenty-four novels in his Richard Sharpe series about the Napoleonic Wars. When I visited Salamanca, Spain and Porto, Portugal, it was as though his protagonist, Richard Sharp, was walking the battlefields with me.

Julaina:  Why do you write?

George: I stepped into your “Polish Your Writing” class by accident about two years ago. After my first writing assignment, I’ve been unable to stop. If I allow a day to go by without writing, I’ve wasted a day.

Julaina:  Where do you like to write?

George: At the Dublin Senior Center, this is where I’m most productive. When I have trouble with my laptop, I return to my home office.

Julaina:  What are you working on now?

George: I’ve got three novels in the works, two crime stories and one romance. In addition, I try to write at least one short story a week.

Julaina: I’ve read parts of those novels and I’m looking forward to seeing them in print. Thanks, George.

Interview with Poet Fred Norman

If you missed my previous post, I recommended Fred Norman’s book, A Hill of Poems which has the Crosses of Lafayette on the cover. Here I will do an interview with him. His poem, “Top Loading Washing Machine” is in my anthology, Written Across the Genres (available on Amazon). At bookstore readings, people tell me they enjoy his poem even more when they hear him read it.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author?

Fred: Lately my favorite author seems to be the writer of the last good book I’ve read. For fiction that would be Chang-Rae Lee, the book is On Such a Full Sea. This is a book for writers as well as readers. It can be read for pleasure, an educational comment on our society with waves of tenseness and an ending that keeps the story fresh in memory for weeks after reading the last word. For the writer, it can be studied to learn how to do successfully what writers often are taught not to do, very long sentences, for instance and relatively little dialogue.

For non-fiction that would be Glenn Greenwald, the book is No Place to Hide. It has to do with Edward Snowden. It reads like a well-written novel, it’s difficult to put down, it stimulates the emotions. You can read this book and learn unpleasant truths or you can ignore this book and live in ignorance, happily, perhaps, but only happy for a while.

In poetry I long ago was hypnotized for life by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”. Oh, that vision of a dream. That Xanadu. Whenever I need a push to write, be it prose or poetry, or sometimes just to dream, I reread this poem.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Fred: I prefer writing at home, in my house, in a small room with windows to let in sunlight on a sunny day and to see out into darkness at night, quiet, and absolutely undisturbed by human contact.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Fred: As you know, I committed myself to using whatever writing skill I have to oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. To that I’ve added drones and whatever other illegal and immoral acts our government and military insist on doing. The list is endless. I’m set for life as far as reasons for writing are concerned.

Poetry works well in this endeavor, but as you also know, nobody reads poetry, especially my kind of poetry, so I’m not accomplishing what I set out to do. There are other genres I need to explore. For some of my ideas, the pamphlet is ideal, and there are publishers who specialize in pamphlets. That’s what I’m working on now. Look for the word “Occupy”. Blogging. My website is Crazydove.com. Short stories and essays. They’re next. I should be able to stay busy for a while.

Julaina: Thanks, Fred, for taking time for this interview. And good luck with your projects.

Written Across the Genres Author Interview

Emily De Falla’s interview continues from my April 15th post. Her Western flash story, “The New Ranch Hand”, and her essay, “You’re Going to be on Art Linkletter”, are in my anthology, Written Across the Genres.

I asked Emily to name a favorite author, why she writes and where, and what she is working on now. She answered:

I can’t pick just one author. I love Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, Geraldine Brookings, and Ann Patchett. I learn something every time I read something they write, about myself, about the human condition, about the meaning of life.

I write because it requires me to “think with consequences.” To write well you have to think hard and deep, answer difficult and complex questions, and take a position. I don’t mean in a political way, but even deciding what word to use, or how to begin a story is taking a position. Writing is work and takes skill and concentration.

I pretty much always write at my dining room table, or the desk in my home office, not because “I like it” but because it is where the computer is when I have the time to write.

I almost never have a work in progress, and now is no exception. My pattern is to go for a long time without writing anything and then to sit down and pound something out, often a full draft in one sitting. I am seriously considering taking a stab at poetry because it is the highest distillation of emotion and words and requires intense focus and observation. I welcome what I consider would be an extreme challenge. I think the reward would be similar to that of a spiritual journey.

Thanks, Emily.