Showing posts with label author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label author. Show all posts

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Witches in Fiction by Jacqueline Paige

Witches in Fiction
By Jacqueline Paige 

Witches in fiction now seem to be the least written about. The paranormal genre has been flooded with the now more popular shape-shifters and vampires but I still prefer to write about the fantastic characters that can do any variety of magic.

When I started writing about witches I didn’t want to do the typical ‘slightly’ evil witch. My witches are otherwise normal every day people with a little something extra. In my story Twice Cursed Maddy is a hereditary witch from an entire community of magic wielding characters, complete with a school and ruling council. My present works in progress, the Ancestor’s Enchantment Trilogy is also about witches, although this time I have the good witch vs. bad witch plot line.

Although I’ve added a few new twists to it … I’d tell you but then it would ruin all the little tid bits.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Q&A with author Olivia deBelle Byrd

Q&A Interview with author Olivia deBelle Byrd

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.


When did you become interested in storytelling?

My father and grandmother were great wits and storytellers, so I grew up surrounded by wonderful Southern stories. I have loved the art of storytelling as long as I can remember.

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown: Anecdotes of a Southern BelleWhat inspired you to write Miss Hildreth Wore Brown?

Like all good storytellers, I hate to waste a good story so I repeat my stories-often. Finally in exasperation one day, my husband said, "Why don't you write this stuff down!" So I did. I actually started writing down stories for my children as a Christmas gift. Before I knew it, I had a book!

Are there any stories/tales that did not make it into your book?

An anecdote entitled "English as a Second Language" did not make the cut. The gist is on occasion my husband has been known to confuse the English language. My husband and I were in France on a tour with another couple. The tour guide was putting us onto buses according to our native language. The guide asked us if we spoke English to which our friend quipped, "Three of us do!" That was the morning my husband ordered a croton for breakfast. Imagine his dismay when the waiter served him a plant instead of a croissant! I soon discovered the apple does not fall far from the tree. At Christmas, I asked my son to attend the cantata at church. As we were seated and the singing began, he turned to me and said, "I thought it was a covered dish!"

What types of books do you read?

I love anything Southern-especially Southern humor. I love the Classics. I love English authors. I love historical fiction and a good love story is always a treat.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

My most loved book is A Tale of Two Cities-I love all of Charles Dickens' works. My other favorite English author is Daphne du Maurier. William Faulkner, Taylor Caldwell, and John Steinbeck are all favorites. Pat Conroy is my favorite modern day author. The Prince of Tides is one of my favorite books. I have read and loved all of Pat Conroy's books. He is a master of words and descriptions. You can sense and feel his settings and his characters become a part of you. Anne Rivers Siddons has especially strong women characters. As a Southern humorist, Fannie Flagg can not be beat.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Writing down oral stories is very difficult. You tend to write like you talk and it often comes out confusing and opaque. There is an art to telling stories and an art to conveying those stories in the written word.

Do you find it hard to balance your writing with your personal life?

This is my first book and marketing a book is extremely time-consuming in addition to finding time to continue writing. When Miss Hildreth Wore Brown came out, the scheduling was a little overwhelming. I decided quickly I wanted this to be a fun experience and am now doing a better job of balancing my writing and personal life.

Do you have any other works in progress?

Though I do have some ideas bouncing around in my head, my main goal right now is marketing Miss Hildreth.

Do you have a bog, website, or links to share?

My website is

You can read an excerpt, see my coming events, email me, and order the book. A new exciting event is my April Blog Tour! You can follow it on my website. I love to interact with my readers, so feel free to email me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Q&A with Authors Tom Listul and Heather Listul Hewitt

Interview Q&A

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

What inspired you to write?

Tom: I started writing just as an outlet to express myself through story telling. Song writing is the same way for me. I enjoy telling a story that takes a person somewhere that they can relate to.

Heather: I enjoy writing as a way to escape to a different place and look at ideas in different ways. It is fun to see where a story can go.

What type of books do you mostly write?

This is our first children’s book that we have written. So, we are enjoying the whole process of seeing a small idea turn into a full colored book that children will find enjoyable to read.

Do your children inspire any of books, characters, or plots?

Tom: Yes they have. Their personalities and their uncanny way of looking at life inspire me every day.

Can you share with us a little about your current book?
Monkey Made Dream

This is a story about a little girl who wakes up for school one morning and finds that her little brother has been replaced by a monkey in his bed. The story takes you through their day as the little girl tries to explain to everyone about the monkey wearing her brother’s clothes. There is a twist at the end of the story when the truth of the story is revealed.

The world of children’s book publishing is extremely competitive, with many authors hesitating between trying their luck with a traditional publisher or self publishing. What advice would you offer writers who are oscillating between these two publishing venues?

Tom: I don’t know what the right answer is for everyone. I self-published Monkey Made Dream ourselves mainly because it was for fun. I also like to be involved with the whole process of marketing. This is our project, and we want to have a say in how to get this children’s book out to the public.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Tom: Just keep writing every day.

Heather: Enjoy the process!

I thank you for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being an author.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Romp Through The Deep South by Olivia deBelle Byrd

by Olivia deBelle Byrd

Like all good Southern storytellers, I hate to waste a good story. While repeating one of my tales one too many times my husband said to me with exasperation, “Why don’t you write this stuff down?”
What began as the quest of a husband to keep his wife quiet segued into a collection of Southern stories assembled as a Christmas gift for my children. Thirty-one months and fourteen rejection letters later, Miss Hildreth Wore Brown—Anecdotes of a Southern Belle was published by an independent New York publisher.

Thus was the beginning of Miss Hildreth—a humorous, satirical romp through my Southern life. I like to call it real-life fiction as all the people, places and events are real, but like all good Southern stories exaggeration and embellishment have been added to these real events. Because they are actual occurrences, the reader is drawn into the warmth and familiarity of the characters and their stories. What Southern mother has not threatened her offspring with grits and water for supper if that thank you note does not get written? What quaint Southern town does not have a grand dame who wears turbans and dark sunglasses and calls everyone “dahling” whether they are darling or not? Where else but the South can a mink be mistaken for possum?

Being raised by a Southern father and grandmother of great wit, humor flowed as freely as water from a faucet in our household. More years into adulthood then I am going to reveal, when prodded by my husband’s bid to shush me I put pen to paper and the stories poured forth as though an age-old tap had been discovered and turned on. With hours of sweat, spoonfuls of tenacity, and several strokes of plain good fortune, the amusement and idiosyncrasies that are so unique to the Deep South came to life on the pages of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown. The stories are punctuated with everyday mishaps that Southerners seem to have a knack for turning into entertainment. It turns out Bostonians do not always appreciate being called “ma’am” and New Yorkers can have Southern manners.

My humorous foray through Southern life has led me into a joyous romp through the land of authors and readers. As an old reader and a new writer, it warms the cockles of my Southern heart to know there are so many book lovers in this world. Through books, we become what we dream, we are educated and inspired, we travel into the souls of characters and find ourselves. To be a new author in the presence of so many creative minds has been a gift. To be in the presence of so many lovers and readers of books has been an inspiration. I believe deeply in the written word. Very simply, it gives meaning and beauty to life.

About the author

Olivia deBelle Byrd is a self-proclaimed Southern Belle who resides in Panama City, Florida, with her husband, Tommy. She is the author of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown—Anecdotes of a Southern Belle, which is her first collection of satirical essays.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips on Writing for Children by Sherry Ellis

Tips on Writing for Children
by Sherry Ellis

Here are a few ideas to help aspiring children’s writers on their writing journey:

First, remember what it was like to be a child. Remember your feelings and concerns. What did you enjoy? What did you think was funny? Do you have any childhood memories that might make a good story? If you can think like a child, writing for them is a lot easier.

Second, read picture books. Not only will they be a source of inspiration, but they will give you a sense of what kids enjoy and what publishers might want to see.

Third, consider taking a writer’s workshop. You may pick up a few tips to help you become a better writer.

Fourth, join a writer’s group. Consider joining the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI – You’ll learn a lot about what’s going on in the world of children’s writing. Local group meetings are a wonderful opportunity to network and have your own work critiqued.

Fifth, if you wish to be a published author, learn about the publishing industry. Do research on various publishing companies and learn about the submission process.

Sixth, be prepared for rejection. No one wants to be rejected, but the truth is, it’s part of the process. Develop a thick skin, and keep going.

Seventh, always submit your best work. That means that you may have to revise your work several times before it is ready for submission. Hire an editor to edit your work. The editor may catch something that you never noticed.

Finally, enjoy what you do. Care about the writing process and the privilege of writing for children. You may make a difference in someone’s life!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Q&A with author Matt Mikalatos

Q&A with Matt Mikalatos, the author of "Imaginary Jesus"


How did you start writing?


It mostly grew out of my drama classes in high school, actually. We would write our own sketches and plays, and when I got into college I realized that I loved writing, not just acting. So I was actually a writing major at the University of California in Riverside, and I wrote a couple of unpublishable projects before Imaginary Jesus. But high school is where it all started, with an excellent Drama teacher named Mrs. ten Pas.


How did you come up with the idea for "Imaginary Jesus?"


I have always thought it interesting to take Biblical stories and transport them into the present so I can see what makes sense and what is weird. For instance, Jesus walking up to fishermen and saying "Follow Me" doesn't seem like a big deal. But imagining him walking into a fast food restaurant and telling the employees to follow him is a completely different picture. It's weird to imagine people leaving burgers burning on the grill and walking out the door after Jesus. So, as I started to wrestle through a lot of our misconceptions about who Jesus is, I thought it would be funny and interesting to see what it would be like if we could actually see our misconceived Jesuses. It all grew out of that first chapter in the book, where someone points out, "Hey, your Jesus seems a little weird. I don't think that's the real Jesus."


Who are your favorite writers and why?


Oh boy... how many do I get to list? Here are a few:

1) John Steinbeck. If I could grow up to write like anyone, it would be JS. I re-read "East of Eden" about once a year. He has an amazing ability to draw out the complexities of human interactions that shows a keen understanding of human nature and what drives us. He doesn't waste words, and his books are moving and powerful.

2) Gene Wolfe. Gene Wolfe gets touted all the time as one of the best living writers in the English language, and I think this is true. His books are the type of books that I can re-read multiple times with increasing enjoyment. Check out his collection of short stories "Strange Travellers" or the novel "Pirate Freedom."

3) Flannery O'Connor. Again, keen insight into human beings, but Flannery also has keen insight into everything else. Everything she wrote, essays, short stories and novels are all amazing. The short story "Parker's Back" is my current favorite. I've never lived in the South, either, I'm a California boy.

4) Michael Connelly. I love the Harry Bosch detective novels. I always pre-order them and then wait by the mailbox. I love reading about someone so dedicated to justice and the fact that every human being matters and they all "count." And he's a gifted story teller, who uses plot to reveal character over time. Harry Bosch is certainly my favorite series character.

There are a lot more... Vonnegut, Beuchner, Lewis, Chesterton and more. But I don't want to bore you by listing a million authors!