Author Interview-Carol P. Roman

Hello Everyone! Welcome to another edition of Author Interview Fridays! Today we’ll be speaking with children’s book author Carol P. Roman. Welcome Carol. Let’s get right in to it and start with the questions:

51G3hatC91L

1)      Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author. 

My son’s dared me to write a book. I had always wanted to, but was afraid. They told me to write about what I knew, so I chose to use playtime with my oldest grandson as the subject, and Captain No Beard was born. I love to play imaginary games with my grandchildren, so putting our adventures to paper was an easy task.

Children’s imaginations are AMAZING. I love seeing what my daughter comes up with. She and my nephews have been the source of  more than one story 🙂 Besides, who can walk away from a dare?
2)      What genre(s) do you write in, and why?
I write in both fiction and non-fiction. Captain No Beard is an exciting adventure series involving a group of cousins who travel the seven seas in search of adventure. Each book has a gentle lesson and is based on events in my own life. If You Were Me and Lived in…is a non-fiction series that introduces culture to young children. I am a former social studies teacher and love to examine what makes the people of our world similar, so this series was a natural for me.
61TyXxyHM9L._SX491_BO1,204,203,200_
As a former writing and science teacher,  I always love to read books like this and to see how people react to them! Isn’t it so much fun to follow your passion?
4)      Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.
Captain No Beard’s crew are based on my four grandchildren, so they are by far, my favorite characters, ever. The stuffed animals are based on different family members. It fun to see if they can guess who is who, and sometimes a relief when they can’t figure it out!  My all time favorite fiction character is Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. I adore reading her story over and over again, watching circumstances change her.
I always find pieces of myself or my friends/family in characters I write, to some extent. I am often happy when they don’t find themselves! Can I admit something here, just between the two of us? I’ve never read Gone with The Wind. I know the circumstances and I’ve seen bits of the movie, but that is one classic I’ve never even tried to pick up. 
  5) There is a lot of controversy among fandoms about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?
I would love to see my books reach more people. I think they have a very important message. Captain No Beard teaches children they are never alone. The series touches on bullying, sharing, working well with other, stranger danger. If those messages are sent to a bigger audience, that would be great. The cultural series teaches tolerance through knowledge. I would hope Hollywood wouldn’t mess with those ideals.
51mjbL0mnwL._SX491_BO1,204,203,200_
  6) How do you handle writer’s block?
Never had it. I always find subjects to write about. It’s fun, not pressured. My day job has pressure enough, so this is a labor of love.
That’s amazing. Even if I don’t have any pressure, I still sometimes find myself with writer’s block. I think it stems from the insanity of day to day life. 
7) What inspires you?
Success inspires me to do more. The reaction of my fans, the awards and reviews make me feel appreciated. This has given the second part of my life so much meaning.
8) How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?
It is one of my jobs and I usually add it in last. I guess I am not that comfortable with it yet. It is just one of the things I do- I am a wife, mother, grandmother, businessperson, teacher, and an author.
 Finally, tell us where to go to find you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!) 
Thank you Carol! 
Remember, if you or someone you know is an author, an illustrator, an artist, or a musician and would like to be interviewed for this blog please leave a comment down below or message me on Twitter @writerbaby13 or Facebook facebook.com/TyreeTomes

Writer’s Quote Wednesday -Birthday Bash

Welcome back to Writer’s Quote Wednesday! This is a weekly get together across many blogs and hosted by the fabulous Silver Threading! Check out her blog for the week here and while you’re at it, check out the amazing Ronovan’s #BeWOW (Be Wonderful (or Writing) on Wednesdays) and see what that’s all about in this post. Silver and Ronovan joined forces and we like to Be Wonderful and Quote Writers all over the place on Wednesdays. 

Today would be Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s 184th birthday and, since he wrote one of my favorite children’s books of all time I thought I would take today to share some quotes from a great author…better known as Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass inspire creativity, self acceptance, and a love of strangeness. The Mad Hatter has long been one of my favorite literary characters and the quotes I’ve chosen for you today share that oddness and whimsy that translates into lyrical sentences and happy times. They always remind me that I am an author, a creator, and a fairy tale of swirling words waiting to be written down!

Without further ado…welcome to the wonderful, whimsical, writing world of Lewis Carroll:

8ab0d239faf9faa83c9e85c4b084facd

This quote is handy for authors, I think of it all the time as I write and try to make sure my audience has room for their imaginations. 

8f61e0f388d64301004c43a3742c1c1b

selfish actions tend to make us feel poorly in the end…but things we can enjoy with or for others make life a little sweeter every day. 

e86b4eeb6025f64dd85b9483fca06a95

If you wrote a sentence, read a page, ran an errand, or even just washed the dishes, you’ve come farther than you know! Every day, every action,very choice, every breath…look how far you’ve come. 

e5889d073495decabefab82509ce5b6d

Write the story, live the story, go kiss that crush you’ve been aiming for..whatever. 

Finally, these two speak for themselves. We are, each of us, something amazing and unique. Don’t worry about the differences, celebrate them!

Spotlight On…

Spotlight On Art

Today’s spotlight on art is going to focus on something I consider to be a special sort of art all its own; editing.

As an author I consider writing to be my special gift, my art, and I feel confident in saying that I am pretty good at it. I work, write, rework, write, read, edit, rewrite, edit, etc. before sending it to readers, editors, and their ilk to make sure that my work is ready for its audience. Even then I may go back and edit two or twelve more times. As a self-publishing Indie Author I have to wear all of those hats and dance around with them balanced like the Mad Hatter. I don’t get paid to do it, I don’t get paid to write most of the time. I just don’t like feeling as though I’ve let down my readership with sloppy writing.

As a reader, I feel disappointed and gypped when I read a book that is poorly edited. The writing can be amazing, the story line phenomenal, and the characters my absolute favorites but if the editing is terrible I feel sad. Add to that poor word choices and time line mess ups and whatever else can go wrong, and the editors’ jobs are obviously more important than many people stop and realize.

I believe that a huge part of the stigma against purchasing and reading self-published books is because so many of them have terrible editing. When a book is obviously a first or second draft that has not been edited for content or grammar it is an insult to the reader. They are then often so disappointed and soured by the experience that they don’t buy from that author or even in that genre or type (self-published etc) again.

So learn a new art, share it with your friends…edit your work. This is an art form most of us can at least dabble in!

Until next time, may you have a blessed, energized, and inspired week.

 

Saturday Stories

I’m going to be completely honest with you right now…I have no idea how much I wrote last week. I know I wrote around 3 thousand (plus) words if we combine the blog posts, short story, and chapter book work. However, most of that was admittedly on one article. I haven’t typed up Paulonious Punk’s wordage for the week so I can’t know what the exact count is there…it isn’t anywhere close to the 2000 I wanted. I’m going to guess that count was less than 500.

So why am I admitting this to you? Well, I want to be truthful and I want to be held accountable for my goals, even if that means telling all of you lovely people that I failed for the week.

What did I do?

  1. wrote 4 handwritten pages of Paulonious Punk.

2. wrote 1 flash fiction story 1st draft for contest.

3. turned in the short story I’ve been working on to the contest for which it was intended.

4. read about 200+ pages in 3 different books…but haven’t completed any of them yet. I’m hoping to change that today.

5. Had a Marvel Movie Weekend with my mother and daughter

How did your week go? Were there any goals you met, or didn’t meet, that you’d be willing to discuss? Leave me a comment and let’s get a conversation going!

On to the Short Story! This week’s excerpt is from Dragon on My Neck, Book 1 of The Stone Dragon Saga (currently available on Amazon)

“I bet that silver will look great with your complexion,” Jane announced, “Try it on!”

“OK, you don’t have to twist my arm,” Arianna giggled and slipped the heavy silver choker around her neck. She jogged through the kitchen and hallway to admire her image in the bathroom mirror.

“Oh Jane, isn’t beautiful?!” Arianna gushed, moving her head from side to side in order to better see the glint of her necklace against her pale skin.

“Very nice,” Jane agreed, “I like the way the silver and stones peek through your dark hair, it’s like you have lights under there.”

“COOL!” Arianna moved her head some more to catch the effect and the girls giggled.

“Nice? COOL?” A tiny but deep voice interrupted, “How about gorgeous? I like that one, or Handsome, since I am a male.”

Jane stared again at Arianna’s necklace as she watched its head move and its mouth open again, “Well…ladies have you lost the ability to speak? I’m sure you were speaking English. Let’s see, how about French? German maybe? Irish?” The dragon repeated himself in many languages, including a clucking noise that sounded like chickens running through a farmyard. When the girls finally answered though, it was in English again.

“What’s going on?” Arianna asked, too scared to try removing her necklace as it moved and chattered on her neck.

“I…I have no idea,” Jane replied, still gaping at the miniature dragon as it finally stopped talking and began to glare balefully at the roommates.

“Ummm…Mr. Dragon sir,” Arianna looked down at the bobbing head under her chin, “How can you talk to us?”

“I can talk any language, including animal and magical,” The dragon rather proudly announced, unlatching his tail and slithering down to the counter.

“Oh, How? I mean, no offense but you’re a necklace.” Arianna grimaced, “Or I thought you were.”

“I am,” The dragon grinned suddenly, a surprisingly cute addition to his features, “I am also a dragon that moves and speaks. I shoot fire from my nose and ice blasts from my throat.” This time he growled and puffed himself importantly.

“Fire and Ice?” Jane asked incredulously, “That’s pretty amazing, especially for a dragon of your umm…stature.”
The dragon snorted a flame in Jane’s direction and turned it to a ice pellet with his breath, wheezing out what sound like a giggle as it hit her arm.

 

“Ok, well…obviously I was mistaken.” Jane took a few steps back from the counter and earned another smile from the creature on the counter.

 

“What’s your name?” Arianna asked, “I hate to keep calling you ‘the necklace’ since you’re alive and all.”

“Thank you,” The dragon nodded his head regally at Arianna, “My name is….Al.”

 

“AL?”

 

“Its short for Aliphonsore,” he shuddered, “My mother saddled me with that name.”

 

“OK, Al…I like it,” Arianna decided, “I’m Arianna and this is Janice.”

 

“Jane, please,” Jane replied, “And I call her Anna.”

 

“Pleased to meet you,” Al answered, happy to finally be getting to know his new mistresses.

 

“Al, how did you become a necklace?” Arianna wondered aloud.

 

“Let’s go find somewhere comfortable for you two to sit, and I’ll tell you.”

 

After gathering hot tea and snacks, the girls settled onto the soft couch in their living room and Al positioned himself on the coffee table, beginning to stretch his wings as he contemplated how to begin his story.

Buzzing: Autism

In a recent discussion on personal buzz words for books I admitted to fellow BookTuber Acacia Ives that fairy tale re-tellings, specifically appealing to or talking about nerds, and autism are three of the big buzzes for me. When she asked why I realized that maybe my answer would require more than a few lines in the comment section (Mostly because I deleted three paragraphs worth of response before settling on a somewhat lengthy shortened reply).

So why is autism a buzzword for me? I haven’t ever been diagnosed as being on the spectrum, I didn’t grow up with a close friend or family member on the spectrum…so what’s going on?

I honestly cannot tell you when the first hook grabbed me. I can’t remember the first person I met with Autism, though I’m sure there were autistic students in school with me when I was younger. However, I can tell you that I can always remember being interested in the idea of autism. If you aren’t familiar with ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorder) you can find some helpful facts on the webpage for the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and on the Autism Speaks webpage.

For me the idea of autism resonates in a way that most perceived ‘special needs’ do not. I say perceived because I have begun to see autism as merely a different way to see the world. Having spoken to many students and peers with varying levels of ASD, as well as reading articles written by and about those who have been diagnosed, what I’ve found is that a great majority of autistic people find more issue with how people perceive them and with struggling in the ‘normal’ sector of the world than they do with their ‘special need’. To them, the only thing ‘special’ is how hard they have to work when placed beside those of us who don’t think in their type of brain. Yes they might need help discerning things like emotional intent, expressions, and even imagination. However, ‘special needs’ and extreme levels of help are often not what people with ASD really need.

As an author autism both intrigues and frightens me. I love the way autism works, the way the brain works with autism. Each person with ASD has a different tick. It changes, it evolves, it moves with them in ways others disorders and/or illnesses cannot. I am enthralled by the way people with autism work, the way the different levels of autism force people to change and create in order to make their way through the world. The intricacies of beautiful minds that become somewhat of a fear factor for those of us who aren’t forced to live with it. I often write characters who, in my mind, have a touch or more of autism. I never specifically state that, however, because I am afraid writing yet another autistic character who is just a stylized, simplified, watered down version of their true self. A candy coated pill for the ‘normals’ to swallow down and say proudly to each other that they read a story about autism. Or, conversely, an over dramatized, emphatic, in your face autistic character who makes everyone uncomfortable because those are so rare in real life that I would be completely untrue to those I love and who I feel have entrusted me with their significance. You see, that must be it. Autism is a buzzword for me because people I care about, a cousin, some students, a nephew..those people deserve me to care. They deserve for us all to care and to want to understand. That is why I think it Should be a buzzword.

Here, though, is what I do know about why Autism is a buzzword:

  1. It has been used as a scapegoat. 

When I say that it is used as a scapegoat, I’m not just talking about classroom inclusion discussion or lively debates about inoculations. While both of those have been batted around like a tired yarn ball given to a kitten, those aren’t the only things that like to use autism as a main battle point. In fact, when people discuss things like ‘mental retardation’ they like to also bring autism into that mix. While the rise in autistic diagnosis for the past 15 years or so has actually led to a decrease in the diagnosis of ‘intellectually disabled’ the likelihood is that the actual issues haven’t changed, but our abilities for detection have. As our understandings and tests have evolved, our ability to recognize those who learn, comprehend, and develop differently has become slightly more sophisticated. normal-wiring-compared-autistic-wiring

Now take all of that last paragraph and set it aside for a moment because I have also seen a few cases of ‘autistic scapegoating’ while in a teaching capacity that had nothing to do with whether or not a repetitive motion or strict schedule should be allowed in with the ‘normal’ kids (remind me to post about normal sometime…).

For Example: I have seen a student who was placed on academic plans, had ‘special’ classes, etc etc etc due to their ‘severe level of Aspergers Syndrome’ but who only exhibited signs of ASD when they thought about it. That’s right, the only time that student actually showed any discernible signs were basically when they didn’t want to do the classwork or wanted to get out of a project. It turns out that the family had been so insistent that a love for farm animals and interest in horses was a ‘fixation’ that must be a mental issue, the therapist finally gave in and diagnosed it. A new doctor did an examination and declared that said student just needed to be made to follow rules and stop being coddled..and that they had mild Attention Deficit Disorder and should be allowed to work on the family farm more.

  1. It is an unknown

The term ‘Autism’ has been around for roughly 105 years. On the WedMD’s A History of Autism page the discussion ranges from early diagnosis, to the combination of schizophrenia and autism, to the use of LSD as a treatment for autism in the 70s, and on to the 1980s and 90s as we slowly began to use behavioral therapy as a way to ‘treat’ autism. All very interesting and enlightening things. All facts that you should check out. However, none of the facts are definitive. Unlike many of the other mental or physical illnesses we deal with, autism has not been completely defined. We cannot pinpoint one or two specific activities that cause or worsen autism. In fact, each case is different.

autism-diagram

What that means for those not dealing with autism is that we have no idea what to do. We don’t know what it is to have that difference in our heads. This means that most of us will be made uncomfortable by the difference. No matter how progressive most people might claim to be, change makes us uncomfortable. Funnily enough, the change that makes us uncomfortable makes them uncomfortable from the other side of it. Think about that next time you encounter someone a little different from yourself.

 

  1. It is on the rise

 

As I mentioned before, the occurrence of an ASD diagnosis is up and rising, mostly because our understanding of the disorder has helped to create more appropriate understandings for people with what would have previous been lumped under the title of  ‘mental retardations’. However, the statement that 1 of 45 children is being diagnosed with some sort of ASD could throw people off. That does seem like an awful lot of newly minted autism sufferers.

 

All of this comes together, in my mind, to show that we are still bumbling through the world of the brain. That we still don’t truly know anything about autism, and that ASD is a term deserving of our buzz.

I didn’t realize that this term held so much importance for me until Acacia asked me that innocent ‘why’ and I hope that I have fired you up a little along the way as well.

Are you an Autism buzz worder? Do you have other buzz words that attract you to things, or repel you from them? Are you a writer that deliberately writes, or doesn’t write, a certain type of character because of things like Autism or tropes on special needs? Leave a comment and lets get a good conversation going!

156201-425x339-autism-brain

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Remember to go see Silver Threading and Ronovan for all the info on WQW and #BeWOW.

This past week saw the world lose David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Glenn Frey. Science Fiction/Fantasy editor David G. Hartwell is teetering on the brink of death after having a massive brain hemorrhage (I honestly believe that he is already passed, however I cannot find confirmation at this point in time), and locally we have lost a dear friend and music teacher rather unexpectedly.

So what am I trying to say in this depressing beginning to Writer’s Quote Wednesday? 2016 sucks. This “New Year/New…” has brought a lot of new tears. However, I always try to take comfort in the words of a person. The quotes, comments, songs, and characters that they have left behind will be a way for us to remember and share their talent with others.

Usually I try to explain why a certain quote or song caught my eye…this week I’m just going to put them all down there and you can make up your own minds. I will say that if you want to know more about my personal feelings on the subject you can check out the videos I did for David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Happy Writer’s Quote Wednesday Everyone! May the year get better from here…

David-Bowie-quote-Lazarus-600x600

Spotlight On:

Welcome Welcome to this week’s Spotlight On Art

Today we are talking with the wonderful illustrator Louise Boulter, of Louise Boulter Illustration.

  • How did you get started in illustrations?

When I think about it,  I was illustrating to text when I was at school, creating stories and illustrating them.  My first job was for a lovely lady who owns fashion label Brat and Suzie. She got me going by asking me to come up with some illustrations for her t-shirts.

That sounds like a lot of fun!

  • Has art been a lifelong passion of yours?

I grew up with my mum who was an artist and Studied fine art at Wimbledon school of art. So I grew up in that environment.  It felt unnatural and intimidating studying fine art, but drawing and illustrating has always been something I’ve done, like sitting down to a good book.

My mom is also an artist, and my illustrator, but I could never draw well enough to suit myself so I stuck with writing. I think it is always amazing when someone can draw and create like that!

Giant birdspvuk270

  • How do you want people to feel when they see what you’ve created?

 

Most of the time the work I produce is commissioned by a client.  So I want them to like it.  I do family portraits so I would like the client to feel I’ve captured the nature of their family in one way or another.

Understandable! You want to make sure you capture what they want…which would drive me crazy. In my opinion, that is probably much more difficult than creating what pops into your own head and then hoping people in general enjoy it!

 

  • What media do you prefer to draw/create in, and why?

I love drawing with a scratchy fountain pen and quink ink when its all scratchy and unpredictable.

I enjoy writing with a fountain pen as well, mostly because the ink flows in funny ways and the scratch is very ‘old world’ and satisfying. 

 

  • What is your creative space/working environment like?

A complete and utter mess.  I am currently surrounded by receipts for tax, scraps of paper, pens rolling around the desk top and as it stands 4 empty teacups.  I try and tidy it once a week.

I don’t believe in completely clean work spaces! I always feel like if the work area is clean (while you’re in a project anyway) that you are probably having issues with the job at hand. 

 

  • What is something new that you’ve either learned or noticed recently?

These wonderfull GIFs that have been floating around.  Ive seen so many beautiful moving images recently.

I love those! 

 

  • What illustration related projects would you love to be able to do in the future?

A childrens book.  I am currently going though a process with a writer.

Wonderful! Children’s books are so much fun!

  • What inspires you?

People and nature.  I find I don’t really need to walk far at all until I see someone interesting.  The sensations of walking by the sea or in a forest or clifftops is almost like my fuel to keep me inspired and happy.

Misichenrimatissee

Nature is so amazing, ever changing and ever solid. I find a lot of inspiration there as well. 

Thank you Louise for joining us today! It has been a lot of fun getting to know you and I look forward to seeing that children’s book soon.

You can find Louise Boulter at:

http://www.louiseboulter.co.uk/

and on Twitter: @123lop

Remember, if you, or someone you know, would like to be featured on a Tuesday Spotlight or on an Author Interview Friday please leave me a comment letting me know!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you so start up a conversation in the comment section and I’ll hop on in! Until we meet again, may your week be full of blessings and inspiration!