Author Interview – Becky Michael

Hello and welcome to another brand new edition of Author Interview Fridays! This week we are chatting with author and former teacher, Becky Michael. Let’s dive in:

 

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

 

This has been a gradual process, so there wasn’t a specific moment of realization. Creative writing wasn’t as commonly cultivated for us who grew up during the 50s and 60s, and it was only after becoming a teacher that the idea of working toward publication began to come together for me as a realistic pursuit.

 

Sadly, it seems as though the schools are beginning to shy away from creative writing more and more now. Creativity doesn’t test well apparently, but those who love writing will find their ways eventually.

 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

 

Writing for children is a way for me to retell some of the fun events from my childhood. This way, I can better fashion the outcomes to my liking! My stories and books for adults tend to focus on complicated relationships and often contain an aspect of mystery.

 

Both sound like fun! I think I might start re-telling some events from my childhood and tweak a few things 😉

 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

 

I tend to read mysteries, but find myself drawn to the titles that delve deeply into the psyches of the characters and their relationships.

 

I love character studies, though I tend to read more fantasy than anything now.

 

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

 

A favorite in my own writing would be Solveig Baumann. Sol is one of the main characters in my short story, “Romantivores” (although her name isn’t mentioned), and readers will share more of Sol’s life in my still-to-be-published book by the same title. The story first appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and introduced this woman and her lover cooking dinner under somewhat unusual circumstances. She’s a little “kinked”, but a good person. Sol is independent and accomplished in her field, yet craves that “other” who will always be there for her. At the time of this interview’s posting, my story is available free of charge through Amazon Kindle until January 12.

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It’s difficult to choose a favorite character by another author, since there are so many I enjoy! One of the first that comes to mind is “Ruth Galloway”, from the wonderful series by British mystery novelist Elly Griffiths. Ruth is well educated, successful and independent. She’s also a loving mother who holds a secret love close to her heart.

 

You seem to favor independent, well educated women. I think a lot of people still gravitate toward ‘traditional’ princess types of women instead and it is very refreshing to see two favorites like yours!

 

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

 

Since I also work as a contract writer for a company offering courses and other educational content online, I have another outlet. If I’m not making much progress in my personal writing, I may review and edit more of that freelance work, which also helps pay the bills. Eventually, my own writing pulls me back.

 

It sounds like you have it covered! I find that moving between projects helps me as well. I wonder if this is something all writers have done throughout the ages?

 

  • What inspires you?

 

Nature and beautiful surroundings, such as those found in the Upper Peninsula of my home state, Michigan, inspire me. Books and stories by great authors are also stimulating, so I try to read as much as possible.

 

Your home state sounds beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever been there.

 

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!)

I blog about pursuing publication, the craft of writing, reading, and other favorite interests at Platform Number 4. Readers may also discover more at my about.me  and Pinterest pages, and my story is available for Kindle through Amazon. Don’t forget…it’s free, from now until January 12. I’d love some additional reviews!

 

Thank you for dropping by and answering some of our questions today Becky! I’m excited to read your story. Good luck!

Remember guys, if you want your very own Author Interview or Artist Spotlight, just let me know! Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Character Interview: Eliza Gable

Welcome to a new interview with the talented, sassy, and delightfully world saving Eliza Gable, who just so happens to be a main character from Elizabeth S. Tyree’s current (2015) National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) work in progress! I, the elusive journalist writerbaby (please, no pictures, my hair is an awful mess at the moment) have managed to catch up to Eliza has she leaves Ms. Tyree’s home in search of coffee. She has agreed to a quick, short interview, in return for a few free cups of joe, naturally.

Let’s get down to business then, shall we Ms. Gable?

Sure, you were right about the coffee here by the way. This is a phenomenal cinnamon, pumpkin spice. 

I’m glad. Now then, let’s ease into this a bit. I think my readers are most interested in just getting to know you a little bit better. After all, your friend the author has been keeping you under fairy tight wraps.

Not really, I’ve been pretty busy you know. 

I’m sure you have been, but we’re all wondering about you. So my first question is, “What is the top song on your favorite music playlist right now?”

Well you know, I honestly have a bit of what I like to call musical attention deficit so I keep changing it up, all the time. Right now I’m on a jazzy classic rock kind of kick so there’s a lot of classic fusion going on. For instance, I’ve been listening to Chicago, Queen, Miles Davis, Aerosmith’s blues album…the list goes on and on. Great stuff. 

Don’t let her lie to you like that writerbaby, she’s got R. City’s “Locked Away” stuck on repeat in the car.

Please do ignore the random crazy bystander who so presumptuously sat with us. This bearded beggar wouldn’t know what I listen to. 

 No problem Eliza, I’ll just pretend as though your man friend, Brent is it? I’ll pretend as though Brent isn’t sitting beside you giggling and smirking.

I appreciate that writerbaby.

 Unless you want to further explore the ideas of the, how did you put it…bearded beggar, I think we can safely move on to our second question. What has been your scariest experience?

In this life? (hahaha) Well I would have to say it was probably when we all decided to rock climb this huge sheer cliff and then hang-glide back down the other side…which looked out over a ravine. It was windy day and I’m afraid of heights so it was not very pleasant to begin with. 

YOU LOVED THAT! 

yeah, somewhere around the halfway point. I was terrified and shaking until we got to the top and I wasn’t in that harness anymore!

Really? That’s the thing you choose? Everything you’ve done and been through and climbing a steep rock is your scariest thing ever?

Hush you

(Brent throws his hands up in surrender and leans back with a smirk) Fine, I’ll just here and drink my steamer. 

Good

  That sounds like it was quite the adventure! I believe I would have been too scared to even get started! So tell me Eliza, do you have a personal motto that helps you through situations like that? If so, would you mind sharing it with our audience?

Oh here we go.

  YES!! I have a motto or quote for just about any situation really. One for all occasions! For that particular outing, I kept remembering a piece of art I had once seen. Intended to decorate a very girly bedroom, this painting looked like it belonged in a classic girl’s room, replete with flowered wallpaper and full skirts. But the words, the words almost had be buying the over-priced thing. it said, “Remeber, she who is brave, Is Free!”

Wonderful!

Oh yes, I love that one. But my everyday go to is basically just to Be Happy, Be Yourself, and leave them all wondering!

 I like that one too! Let’s see, what is your most treasured possession?

That’s so easy. Books! Books I’ve read, manuscripts I’ve written, bare notebooks filled with stories and advertisement ideas. After all, I’m an ad exec along with my partner, ol’ Big Mouth Brent over here. 

Careful honey. Remember, words can hurt and i might just have to go home and cry tonight instead of going with you to see that new chick flick with the shirtless super dude you love. 

Of course, I really meant that my favorite treasure is the Beauty and the Beast framed advert that he got me for my birthday last June. 

Better.

 You two must blow the socks off of competitors and clients. The way you banter would have me buying an ad for just about anything! Now that I have you blushing, let’s move on to question number six, Who are your role models?

Well there are the obvious answers: My family, friends, friend families, etc. Other than that, anyone who works had at what they love and who refuse to change themselves for others UNLESS they really want or need that change. For example, toning down rebellious qualities for work purposes is a sign of growing up and that’s great. Toning down personality quirks because a certain person doesn’t like them is, however, just dimming your light. You don’t need that. 

I also always, always look up to anyone of any age bracket that pushes through struggles to pursue their passions. 

 You said earlier that you are in advertising. Is that what you always wanted to do?

No, haha, I always just wanted to be a storyteller. I can see the ideas though, swirling around me. I hear about products and thoughts on advertising and it’s like I can just reach out a pluck an image to pitch. Since writing doesn’t pay the bills

Yet. It will someday…

Yes, thank you dear. Since writing doesn’t pay the bills, yet, this advertising has been a great way to both earn money and tell a story or two. 

Sounds like you have it pretty well figured out! There may be hope for women in their late twenties after all. Before I let you go, I do have one final question for you. I heard you two bantering about a certain topic on the way in to this cute little place earlier and I just have to know ~ what is it about pumpkins?

Well, they make me happy. Orange is my favorite color, fall is my favorite season, I like to cut stuff up sometimes, and I adore the taste. Plus, my family had a tradition of cooking down pumpkins and baking together when I was little. Good memories, good times. 

Short answer…she’s a loon. 

 Well I believe I’ll let the two of them duke it out. Thank you Eliza, and Brent, for those great answers. And Thank you, dear audience, for tuning in.

This is writerbaby13 signing off and saying, Until we meet again keep your paper filled and your pens at the ready!

     Good Day!

Artistic Tuesday – Christina Fehring

Welcome to Artistic Tuesdays! Today’s guest hails from Germany, where she has been a lifelong lover of art. Beginning her career with her maiden name, “Böhnke”, Christina Fehring hasn’t let marriage and a child slow down her artwork. In fact, she uses her life to inspire even more! IMG_20150908_184208

Let’s see what she has to say:

1) How did you get started in illustrations?

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember but I put more effort in it
since my art and german studies at Paderborn University in Germany.

2) Has art been a lifelong passion of yours?

Definitely. Since I can hold a pencil actually!

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

This depends. My art is either surreal, unusual, having the quality of a dream…or ‘happy’, such as funny or cute looking character design. Thus, want people either get a surreal feeling or simply put a smile on their face.

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

For traditional art I use graphite/coal, ink pens and brushes, watercolors and pastels, mostly of the german brand “Faber Castell”. For digital art I work with Adobe Photoshop.

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5) What is your creative space/working environment like?

I often work in the living room. Truth is, I like being surrounded by my family when being creative. I also like painting in the garden.

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I love to work outside in a garden setting. Such inspiration for many forms or creativity. 

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

I learned that it is sometimes more important to actually finish an illustration or painting than to generate more and more ideas without being able to carry out all the projects in my mind due to time limit.

That is a fine line to have to try to walk! I know a lot of artists and authors with scattered lines and remnants of ideas they’ve never finished but LOVED when they started.

7) Tell us about your two all-time favorite pictures: Please include 1 thing that you have drawn or created, and 1 someone else did.

My favourite work of myself is a portrait of my son because it makes me smile whenever I look at his charming ‘baby smile’.
Portrait_son (1)

My favourite picture of another artist is ” La petite Irène” from the French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir because when I discovered this wonderful painting as a child on an art book it awakened my wish to become an artist myself. It gives me the most nostalgic feeling.
La petite Irène_renoir

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

I would love to Illustrate a children’s book.

I wonder if anyone reading this blog might need some help with a children’s book?? Her contact information is at the bottom of the post!

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9) What inspires you?

Nature and classical music.

10) Who is your favorite artist/illustrator? Why?

Pierre-Auguste Renoir because he draws like he has an angel in his heart and inspired me to become an artist.

11) Finally, tell us where to go to find you/who you illustrate for if you don’t have your own pages yet. (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Pinterest, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!)

Instagram: M_Christina_Art

Twitter: @_Chris_Ti_Na_

Website: www.art-is-life-gallery.jimdo.com (german)

Thank you Christina for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us!

Remember, if you are an artistic soul who would like to do an interview, just give me a shout!

Author Interview: Kayla Matt

Thank you everyone for joining us on another segment of Author Interview Fridays. Today I have the great pleasure to present to you the author of what we’re calling ‘hybrid’ novels, Kayla Matt.

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Thank you for taking the time to participate in this Kayla! Let’s get to it:

Author Interview Questions

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I usually go by K.Matt. It’s not a pseudonym. But if I did have one, I’m not sure what I’d use.

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

To be honest, I can’t really pinpoint when, exactly, I’d realized that I was an author. I went to college to become an illustrator, and am still working at that. If I had to choose a time, I’d say that it was sometime in middle school that I started writing more. But I never put much thought into publishing anything until after college.

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

Now this is a loaded question… My work is usually some blend of horror, sci-fi, and urban fantasy. The books themselves are 1st person/present tense, and consist of a combination of prose and graphic novel elements. The reason I stick with this—let’s call it a hybrid—is because I enjoy it. I wish I could say there was more to it than that, but there really isn’t. I enjoy it, and find myself hoping that others do, as well.

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

I’ll go for pretty much anything that’s not romance/erotica. But if I had to pick a favorite, I would say probably fantasy. Usually, I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels. For those, the same rules tend to apply: nothing too heavy on the romance.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

Now this is a hard one… There are a lot of fictional characters out there that I love. And having to choose just one of my own is like trying to tell someone to play favorites with their kids. But here goes!

Out of all characters created by someone else, I think one of my favorites of all time may be Batman. Not a literary character, per se, but the different approaches taken with the character over the past 75+ years interest me. People have gone campy with him, they’ve gone serious… there’s a Batman for pretty much every mindset. He’s been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.

I will accept Batman as a literary character!

As for mine, it’s a toss-up between Travis and Ivy. Travis is my favorite to write. He’s the main narrator of my first three books, and is a half-monkey man with hair longer than any of those around him. His friends and family have probably taken to calling him Rapunzel behind his back, after a certain point. Also, he possesses a strong regenerative ability, accompanied with an insanely high metabolism. Along with all of that is some level of insecurity, some of which concerns his nose, and a lot of it having to do with his childhood.  As for Ivy, she was the first one I’d created, around 13-14 years ago. Telepathic, telekinetic, and has a very unique blood composition that requires her to drink alcohol as opposed to water. She works as an assassin, but greatly enjoys her downtime. And both can veer into smartass territory every so often. So, like I said, it’s sort of a tie between these two.

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  • There is a lot of controversy 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 think it would all depend on how much input I would get. If someone were insane enough to want to make a movie based on these books, I’d hope they would agree with my vision. I’d definitely want it to be animated. At the same time, I would NOT want it to be geared toward children. Seriously, just no. Of course, the controversy that would likely stem from it would definitely help raise further awareness of it… But no. I’d rather not receive angry letters from someone’s parents.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

In that case, I usually put on some music, watch cartoons, and grab a snack. Or roleplay with a friend. That generally brings about ideas.

  • What inspires you?

Oh, man…I have a lot of inspiration out there…horror movies, Disney films, animation, the works of Stephen King and Jim Butcher… And comics. Can’t forget comics.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

Oddly enough, it hasn’t really come up. Though I would imagine I would get offended. Usually, they seem to be somewhat interested, and then ask where they can find my books. Which is, of course, some degree of nerve-wracking.

Seriously, apparently the people in my area are the ones that worry about ‘stability’ and ‘money’…or maybe they’re just the ones willing to rudely spout it out to a person they’ve just met.

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you

My Twitter handle is @MarieTwixie, and my Facebook page for my books is at http://facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries ,where one can find all sorts of artwork and updates pertaining to these books. Both Visions and Retribution can be found on Kindle and in paperback on both Amazon and CreateSpace, and in hardcover on Lulu.com. Book 3: Destruction is currently in the works, and if I can get it finished when I’d like to, it should be up for release around Halloween. Hopefully.

VisionsPaperbackCoverRetributionPaperbackCoverDestructionPaperbackCover

*All images provided by, and property of, Kayla Matt*

Thank you Kayla! We look forward to seeing what you do next.

Remember, if you would like to be featured on an interview here, leave me a message or comment and let me know!

Author Interview: Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree

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Dr. Tyree

Hello everyone and welcome to the third installment of the Interviews segment for Here There Be Dragons. 

Today I am honored to welcome minister, professor, author, and my dad, Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree. Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to answer a few questions for us sir.

Let’s get started:

  • What name do you write under?

I often write under the name Bible Chair.  The name is above the door and I write under it.  The name I use to identify my work is Dr. Wilson J Tyree

  • Is this a pseudonym?

Nope, that’s the name they gave me at birth, including the title.  They knew I was special.

  • Do you use more than one name when you write? No
  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

In reality, my writing grew out of a need to organize and recycle my teaching.  Sermons, Bible classes, etc. Seem to beg to be put into written form, organized and shared with audiences I might never meet.

To be fair, he recycles the material far more often than this lets on. Ask him about The Woman at the Well sometime when I’m not around.

 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

Religion and spirituality are my main fields of endeavor, as they are my areas of expertise 😊

He also has a children’s book out, writes poetry (some of which is available in Ministerial Musings) and works well as a backboard to bounce ideas off of.

 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

I rarely read full volumes, but occasionally read articles concerning biblical studies.  My eyesight is poor and my attention span minute.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

I am intrigued by St Augie, a character from one of my own short stories (Found in the volume Ministerial Musings).  As for characters created by others, I’m partial to Nancy Drew.

Notice it isn’t one of my characters? Not sure that he’s read any of my books in their entirety…not even the short story ones!

 

  • There is a lot of controversy 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?

Can’t imagine a scenario where that would make any sense at all.  For the record, though, I would rather see a book brought to life in 2 hours or less than to invest the weeks of squinting and concentration needed to wade through the printed page☺

His children’s book, Monsoon McKreel and the Rose could be made into an animated picture with ease.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I write as a sideline, so I can often move to another project and come back later.  For items with a deadline, (I write a weekly religious column for the local paper) I tend to retreat to commentary on current events in my own life.

  • What inspires you?

Faith, Hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love (Paul).  I enjoy that moment when someone “gets it” because I’ve been able to organize the material in a way that makes sense to them.  Keeps me coming back.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

I’m minister.  I’m pretty used to that face.  The one that gets me is the fake face when they say they would love to read my stuff.  😃

See, he lives in the same town I live in. All of you that are telling me you’ve never had that ‘face’ show up…come visit.

 

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you

My blog is a bust.  I rarely remember to post.  Best spot is Kindle.  My goal is to give away about 1000 books per year, so check the kindle free list on just about any given Monday or Tuesday.  If you’d like to help me in this quest, like us on Tyree Tomes and share the freebie announcements.  I appreciate your time.

He regularly has free e-book give aways, which we always post on the Facebook page. You can also find updates for his work here on Here There Be Dragons, since the Tyree Tomes blog hasn’t had a post updated in months (MONTHS…*sigh* I remind him…)

www.amazon.com/author/wilsontyree

www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes

Thank you for participating in our Interview Segment, Dr. Tyree! Good luck with your new books, your new semester, and that weird kid you have 😉

Remember, if you would like to be featured in an interview on this blog, please just drop me a comment or message and let me know. I’ll get you set up with some (hopefully) fun questions and a little bit of free exposure.

Musings Sabbath 3000 Paul

Monsoon Essays Buffy and BiffLostandFound