Tag Archives: Novel

Book Review: Mother Earth Father Sky – by Sue Harrison

Author: Sue Harrison
Publisher: Doubleday
Date: June 1990
Genre: prehistoric fiction
Pages: 313, hardcover
Price: US $19.95, CD $24.95
My rating: An amazing, startling, satisfying read.

Mother Earth Father Sky is the first book in a trilogy that takes us into the lives of an ancient North American people in Alaska. If that sounds boring, don’t be fooled.

To be honest, I hardly know what to say about this book.  At the writing of this review, having just finished reading it I’m barely back to the here-and-now, and the story of Chagak is still fresh in my mind. To say that Sue Harrison wrote an amazing prehistoric fiction novel scarcely describes what she masterfully accomplished. Over the course of nine years she studied, researched and lived in her creative mind the tale of a long ago culture in Alaska, focusing on one Aleut woman’s struggle to survive and overcome a very harsh reality. That woman, Chagak, lived in a primitive time consisting of warrior tribes, legends, crude customs, myths, and magic, but also love, family ties, and community. The author made it all come alive through the power of the written word in a very easy-to-read style. I was held from the beginning of this book to its last page – left wanting to read more about the people I had come to know.

This book is not newly released but was published in 1990. I was fortunate to be gifted a copy and I’m so glad to have received it. If you come across Mother Earth Father Sky and you are not offended by the cruel reality and graphic descriptions of the belief system of prehistoric man, then do grab the opportunity to read this book.

(my apologies for the less than ideal image of the book)

You can find Mother Earth Father Sky listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Book Review: Kaydie by Penny A. Zeller

It didn’t work out for me to post another book review in April, but I am one of several bloggers offered the opportunity of taking part in a blog tour. We each have interviewed the author of the book I am reviewing today. My day of the tour is Monday, May 9, so do come back to meet author Penny Zeller in my interview with her. I was privileged to receive the ARC of this book so that I could write a review before posting the interview with Penny. Now here is my review of her newly published book.

Book: Kaydie
Author: Penny A. Zeller
Genre: Christian historical romance; fiction
Pages: 144, paperback
Price: $9.99
Released: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Whitaker House
My rating: A novel to recommend to anyone who enjoys a good romance story without erotica.

I have to be honest here. Romance novels are not the ones I typically go for anymore, but this book has not just the undercurrent of attraction going on, it also is a good story set in the rugged Montana Territory of the old West. Kaydie is book two of Penny Zeller’s Montana Skies series.

This story centers around the main character, Kaydie Worthington Kraemer, but several other interesting characters are introduced early on. Kaydie is a young woman who suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her former husband, Darius, who played a clever game to get her family wealth. After his death, she was rescued and taken in by her sister and brother-in-law to live with them on their ranch. Pregnant and facing recurring nightmares and haunting memories, Kaydie wonders if she can ever trust enough to love again. When a gentle, caring man with his own difficult past walks into her life, and then a childhood friend is sent by her illustrious parents to court her, she has a hard decision to make. Does she surrender to what she thinks she knows and return to a life of wealth, or does she trust her heart?

During the progression of the story the reader discovers Kaydie’s will to survive and her determination to heal in order to secure a normal and safe life for herself and her baby. Penny Zeller wrote in a way that follows closely to how a woman, struggling with memories and fears, thinks things through, over and over, on her way to emotional healing.

Penny included enough suspense to keep the pages turning, humour to lighten the mood when certain characters were faced with difficulties, and historical details revealing life in the early years of settlement. Admittedly, at one point while reading I spoke out loud, “No way!” To say I got pulled into the story would be an accurate statement.

Although Kaydie is a Christian-based novel, the reader will not feel overwhelmed by religious thought being pushed down her throat. (I say ‘her’ because most readers of this series will probably be women.) It is not preachy but puts forward the encouragement found in a relationship with God. Penny Zeller has taken a gentle but unwavering approach in presenting to the reader a valid option of how to deal with life’s problems.

If you enjoy romance novels, or if you have never read one but are curious, I encourage you to get this one.

You can find Kaydie listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Watch for my interview with Penny Zeller, scheduled for May 9.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Interview with Billy Coffey & book giveaway

I won’t keep you waiting any longer for this interesting and informative interview.  You can read my March 22 post for my review of Snow Day – but now I am pleased to introduce Billy Coffey, author of Snow Day.

Billy was born and raised in Virginia, USA, where he and his wife are now bringing up their family.  Billy is a prolific writer and quite the philosopher. You may wish to check out his blog (link at end of interview) and be inspired by his insights.

 

Billy, welcome to my blog.  Please start us off by telling us a little about yourself.

I am a proud country boy. Cities scare me, and I do my best to avoid them. I’ve learned more in the mountains than I ever have in school. I hate adverbs. The best storyteller I’ve ever known was a hillbilly named Cracker. I love my family, and I worry about the world we’re all growing up in. I can hit a knuckleball and throw a tomahawk. Clowns scare the heck outta me.

I agree about the clowns!
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? Or discouraged you?

I was your stereotypical jock in high school, which meant I tried much harder on a ball field than I did in a classroom. By my senior year, seven of my classes were study halls. My plan was to coast into either college or the minor leagues.

My English teacher had a different plan. She told me one day she wasn’t about to let me sit around doing nothing, so she assigned me a weekly column in the local newspaper. My baseball career ended a few months later with a shoulder injury, and I poured out my frustrations in a column a few weeks later. A week after that, I received an anonymous letter from someone who said what I’d written had convinced them not to commit suicide. I’ve been writing ever since.

Wow! That one person whose life you impacted certainly was great encouragement to continue.
As a writer, do you do much reading?  Who/what were and are your favourite authors or books?

The general consensus is that a writer has to read, and I fully embrace that. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on, from Dr. Seuss to the Stoic philosophers. I love Flannery O’Connor and John Steinbeck. Tolstoy’s always been a favorite. And I think Stephen King is a genius.

Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

I think every writer’s biggest enemy is his or herself. That little whisper deep in your secret places will always tell you to give up, that you’re just a pretender. And honestly, I think that’s a voice to prove wrong rather than silence. There were times when I actually did give up. I was tired of rejection slips and thought I’d be happier without them. But not writing offered much more misery than writing ever could. I think that’s the mark of a writer—you want to give up sometimes, but you know you never can.

As far as believing in myself so I can say “I am a writer,” that’s a tough one. There are still plenty of days when I don’t think I’m a writer at all.

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?

I’ve always liked Psalm 66:16: “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.”

Oh, nice one.
What have you had published thus far? Of those, what do you most enjoy writing?

So far, one book, more articles than I can remember, and a few years’ worth of blog posts. By and large, writing a book is the most enjoyable. There’s a freedom in building a full story that you can’t get anywhere else.

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting a book or article?

I’m big on planning, whether a book or an article. I like to think things through before I start writing, let things stew for a while. I’m a firm believer that most writing gets done well away from a computer or a sheet of paper.

I wish I were one of those people who can write a first draft straight through. I’m not. I revise as I go, writing today’s words only after picking through yesterday’s. That takes some extra time, but the upside is that by the time I finish a first draft, I actually have the second as well. I’ll let that sit for a while, then go through the whole thing one more time. Sometimes, three drafts is enough. Oftentimes, it isn’t.

What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?

Despite all attempts at change, I’m still the most disorganized person I know. I have notebooks everywhere, ideas written down on napkins and receipts. All of that resides on a corner of my desk I refer to as My Mess. It really is sad. The only comfort I have is that if an idea is written down, I’ll rediscover it eventually.

What inspired you to write Snow Day?

I went through a job scare during the winter of 2005. I was working in a factory that handled textiles, and the textile industry is usually ground zero for a recession. Horrible, horrible time. A man has to feel like he’s providing for his family, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore. It hollowed me out inside.

Snow Day began as a series of journal entries. I couldn’t understand what was going on and why God would allow such a thing, but I had the idea the answers would come if I just paid attention to what was happening around me. The things Peter Boyd learns are the things I learned.

When did you realize it would be an adult Christian novel, or was that your plan from the start?

I was never sure it would be a CBA novel, though there was little doubt Christianity would be an integral part of the book. I prefer to think of myself as a Christian who writes rather than a Christian writer. Deep down, I feel like a career in Christian publishing would mean a career preaching to the choir. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.

How long did it take you to write Snow Day?  Did you have to do any research? And how did you come up with that title?

From start to finish, a little over five months. I was lucky in that the only research I had to do was pay attention. The title pretty much suggested itself. The day I found out I would likely be laid off was the day a snowstorm hit our town.

Did you find any part of the story difficult to pull together?

I think the most difficult part was deciding what to leave out. So much happened during that time. If I would have put everything in, the book would have easily been over 100,000 words. I pared it down to a little over half that, which I think is a manageable length for a first novel.

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters, perhaps the main character?  Do you have a favourite?

I wrote a lot of myself into Peter Boyd, the main character. He’s a smarter version of myself. My favorite, though, is probably the character of Bobby Barnes. He seems so tragic to me, but at the same time ready for some kind of redemption. He makes another appearance in the manuscript I just finished, and he’ll be the main character in the one I’m getting ready to start.

Oh, that sounds very interesting.
How did you go about finding an editor? A publisher? An agent?

I’d been querying agents and publishers without success for what seemed like forever. An editor at a New York house finally expressed interest but said I needed work on my platform. She suggested I start a blog.

Building an online audience took so much time and effort that querying went by the wayside. I finally just surrendered my writing career to God. And as is usually the case, when I gave that to Him, He gave me something back. One of my readers was a client of Rachelle Gardner’s and offered to introduce us. Rachelle signed me a month later, and I had a book contract a month after that.

From what you’ve said so far regarding your writing career, it seems that from the very beginning it has been a step by step process in God’s plan for you.
Tell us about the exciting publicity Snow Day has received thus far.

I can’t say enough for the work FaithWords has put into Snow Day. They hired a PR firm to handle publicity, which opened up avenues I didn’t think were possible for a first-time author from the sticks. There have been ads in both Library Journal and Book Page, a mention in Writer’s Digest, a dozen or so radio interviews, and a television appearance in the Washington, D.C. area. It was all fun, though a bit nerve-wracking at times. I’m much more comfortable being the guy watching everyone else from the corner of the room. Being comfortable in the middle of that room has taken a lot of effort.

As a writer do you also have a job to go to every day? If so, how do you find time to write when you are busy with life?

I have a full-time job, Monday through Friday from 7:30-4:00. That makes it tough to write every day. I’ve learned to be flexible. I’ll write when and where I can and forgive myself for that being all I can do. I’ll admit it’s aggravating at times.

What other interests do you have that you turn to for a change from writing?

I love sports, always have. And there are about 30,000 acres of wilderness outside my front door, so I’ll often either hike or ride my bike through some trails. My kids are my main interest, though. It’s tough being a parent in a Lady Gaga world.

How do you consistently write?  Do you have writing goals – daily? Weekly? Monthly? Long range?

When I’m writing books, it’s 1,000 words a day, every day, any way I can get them. That rule is unbendable. Over 1,000 is fine, but never less than that. If I’m not writing books, I’ll concentrate on my blog. I only post twice a week, but I try to write a post a day. That way when it’s time to start another book, I have the luxury of being able to concentrate on that with a healthy backlog of posts ready.

That is very smart thinking and a great tip for other writers.
Do you have another project in the works?  If so, any hints you can share with our readers about that?

My second novel is Paper Angels and will be out in November. It centers on a man named Andy Sommerville, who loses his parents as a child and prays that God will send someone to help him. God answers, and Andy spends the rest of his life trying to figure out if that answer is a blessing or a curse. It’s much like Snow Day as far as the country flavor, but it’s completely different in many ways.

I look forward to reading it!
Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be?  Any advice for hopefuls?

For years I suffered under the false assumption that landing a book contract with a major publisher would solve all my problems. It didn’t. Many went away, of course, but that just made room for a whole new set. That said, there’s nothing that can quite match the sight of your book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also a humbling time.

The best advice I can give? I’m a firm believer in the power of perseverance, so my advice is to always try once more. If you write a story you decide is awful, try once more. If you get a rejection, try once more. In the end, it doesn’t matter who gives up on you. All that matters is that you don’t.

What helpful advice. Thank you, Billy, for this enlightening interview. It has been interesting learning more about you and your journey. I wish you much continued success as you continue your writing.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed getting to know Billy Coffey better. You can read more of his insights (and his amazing testimony) here: http://www.billycoffey.com/

Also, FaithWords is generously donating a copy of Snow Day to one of you.  Check them out here: http://www.faithwords.com

If you would like a chance at winning a copy of Billy’s book simply post a comment here on my blog, telling what you most enjoyed in the interview. Enter only once, please. I will put the entries into a basket and at 9:00 pm (8:00 EST) on April 8 my husband will draw out the winner’s name. I will contact that person for his/her mailing address. If I do not get a reply by 8:00 pm EST on April 14 we will select another name – so check back!

Thanks for reading this interview, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Book Review: Snow Day by Billy Coffey

HAPPY SPRING, EVERYONE!

It has been two weeks since I last posted to my blog, but ‘life’ happens and I just didn’t get anything written. Today I will make up for that with a book review and more to follow.  Stay tuned! 🙂

As we are entering Spring in this part of our world, I would like to introduce to you a book that I think you would enjoy regardless of the season.

Snow Day by Billy CoffeyBook: Snow Day
Author: Billy Coffey
Genre: adult fiction;  inspirational/Christian
Pages: 195 (hardcover)
Price: $18.99 US; $20.99 CDN
Released: October 2010
Publisher: Faith Words — Hachette Book Group
My rating: An easy book to read, enjoy, and think about long after ingesting the last word on the last page.

It was on Twitter that I learned of this novel and its author, Billy Coffey, around the time the book was being released. Having heard wonderful things about it, I had to purchase a copy for myself. I was not disappointed.

This fictional story of faith starts and ends (except for the epilogue) on one snowy December day in a small town in Virginia, USA.  The reader gets to live that day through the eyes and life of one man, Peter Boyd. Peter is a family man and factory worker whose life has been going along as usual, except that when we meet him he has grave concerns for his future. Because of the unstable economic climate there is rumour of possible upcoming lay-offs, and he is worried about his job. The decision he makes to take the day off work on a stormy winter day just before Christmas is a decision that changes his life. Through Peter’s wanderings and ponderings, God subtly teaches him things that give him a fresh new outlook and a deeper understanding of his own faith.

I was drawn in as, chapter by chapter, Billy Coffey took me on a journey with his main character. Each chapter tells its own story from the comedic to the heart-wrenching. In Peter’s neighbourhood and the lives of the people he encounters in it, and through his interactions with his young family, God brings to his attention lessons he has to learn. We get to observe through Peter’s eyes other people’s struggles and conflicts, how they deal with them, and the impact they unknowingly have on Peter.

I am quite a visual person, so as I was reading I could see each scene as Billy creatively described it. He writes in a very descriptive manner, including natural conversations between the characters, making this a pleasant and thought-provoking read.

Snow Day is a first novel for Billy Coffey, but one can hope it will not be his last. I encourage you to look for this book and make it an addition to your personal library.

You can find Snow Day listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Watch for an upcoming interview with Billy Coffey.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 


Interview with Laura Best & book giveaway

This is what you have been waiting for,  so get comfy!  🙂   You can read my January 18 post for my review of Bitter, Sweet – but now it is my great pleasure to introduce Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet. Laura has lived in the small community of East Dalhousie, Nova Scotia her entire life. Her fiction has been published in literary magazines across Canada, including The Antigonish Review, Grain, and Room, and she was a contributor to two Christmas anthologies published by Nimbus. In 2003, her short story “Alexander the Great” was nominated for the Journey Prize.

Laura, welcome to my blog. I’m delighted to have you as my first interview participant. 🙂 To start things off, please tell us a little about yourself.

Nice of you to invite me to your blog, Lynn. Besides being a writer, I’ve been married for thirty-one years. I have three children, two girls and a boy, and last year I became a grandmother for the first time. I belong to the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia and I’m also a member of CANSCAIP. I’m very much interested in local history, and I’m a member of the local museum Society as well as a volunteer with the local church.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?

Although I enjoyed writing at a very young age, and continued to write through high school, I never considered it seriously as an option until after the birth of my third child. That was when I realized that I needed to do something for me, and right away I knew that ‘something’ was writing. Did anyone in particular inspire me? Not really, it was more of a matter of necessity in the very beginning, a strong need to express myself with words.

As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

Because a lot of my time is spent writing I don’t get to read as much as I’d like to, but I think I read a fair bit. A day does not go by that I don’t read something. There are a lot of authors whose work I really enjoy: Donna Morrissey, Jill MacLean, Christy Ann Conlin, Syr Ruus, Jan Coates, Ami MacKay, I could go on and on. Some of these are writers that I’ve met within the past two years whose work I thoroughly enjoyed.

Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

It took quite a few years and a few published stories under my belt before I really believed that I was a writer. When I could actually tell others that I was a writer without a flicker of self-consciousness then I knew deep in my heart that I was. For many years I was a closet writer. Very few people knew my secret. I didn’t know anyone else who wrote and I was about as removed from the writing community as anyone would want to be. I didn’t even know a writing community existed. Writing in isolation like that takes a lot of determination. I might not have felt like a writer back then, but I was determined that one day I would. So much has changed for me since then. I’ve met more writers this past year than I could ever have imagined. My oldest daughter is also a writer and last Fall we both had work published in the same issue of R.E.A.L. Seems like I’m surrounded by writers and it feels pretty good.

As far as giving up goes, I think most writers feel like giving up at some point. Writing is not for wimps. It’s a lot of hard work with many disappointments along the way. My times of discouragement are always short-lived because when I’m completely honest with myself I know that I couldn’t give up. Even if I never had another thing published I would still write.

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?

I do have a favourite verse from the Bible. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” I truly believe that everything happens in its own time and that we need to have patience and faith. I try to keep in mind that no matter what is happening in my life that there is a purpose.

What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen?

My very first publication came in 1993. It was a short story that I submitted to The Amethyst Review, a literary journal right here in Nova Scotia. I saw an article about the journal in the Chronicle Herald and it mentioned that they were one of very few journals who offered feedback on the submissions. Since I’d never received any feedback it sounded like a good idea. I submitted the first time and my story was rejected, but then I reworked the story with the suggestions they had offered and it was accepted.

That must have been exciting! What have you had published thus far? Of those, what do you most enjoy writing?

So far my list of publications includes over forty short stories published in literary magazines, some non-fiction articles, pieces in two Christmas anthologies and a farm anthology published by Nimbus Publishing. My debut young adult novel, Bitter, Sweet was published in 2009 by Nimbus Publishing. As for a preference, I enjoy writing from a child’s perspective, for me it wouldn’t matter if it was a short story or a novel. I’m happiest writing either.

That’s a wonderful list of accomplishments. What process do you go through when writing and perfecting a book or article?

I usually spend some time thinking about the story I want to write before I begin. When I’m writing fiction I always need to have a character in mind before I start writing. I sometimes jot down notes as ideas sometimes come to me at the oddest times and when I’m no where near my computer. I’m not one of those writers who work from an outline. For me, it’s sometimes a matter of showing up on the page each day to see what will happen. I sometimes get surprised! When I’m not writing I’m often thinking about my characters and getting to know them better. I tend to edit as I write, and will go over a paragraph or sentence many times until I’m satisfied with the way it sounds.

What inspired you to write Bitter, Sweet?

The inspiration for Bitter, Sweet came from a newspaper clipping that I’d saved for a number of years about a family of kids who get in some trouble with the law. I saved the clipping thinking that a similar situation might one day make a good scene for a story. I wasn’t sure in the beginning if it would be a short story or something longer. Then one day out of the blue a line came to me. Turns out it was spoken by Pru, the eldest daughter in the book. When I got further into the story I began to see that it was going to be much longer than a short story and as more and more ideas came to me I knew I was writing a young adult novel.

How long did it take you to write Bitter, Sweet? Did you have to do any research? And how did you come up with that title?

Bitter, Sweet came about very quickly and ideas seemed to flow quite freely. I think I wrote it in about three or four months. Setting it in the community where I live I think helped immensely. It was easy to write about the things I grew up knowing about.

Although I had some knowledge of healing plants I needed to do more research on that topic. I had to check to make sure that the deadly nightshade plant actually grew in Nova Scotia. I was pretty sure it did but since it plays such an important role in the story I had to be positive.

The title is in reference to the deadly nightshade plant or bittersweet. The Publisher wanted to keep the title I had chosen because they felt it was the perfect title for the book even though there were many books on the market with bittersweet in them. The comma between the two words was the publisher’s idea to help set it apart from other books with the same title. Now that I’m used to the comma I couldn’t imagine it not being there.

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

It’s difficult for a writer to choose a favourite character. We tend to like all the characters we create on some level. But if I had to choose, I’d probably say that Pru would be at the top of my list.

I think most authors put a bit of themselves into their characters. It would be difficult not to. I enjoyed writing the character of Issy the most, and her dialogue seemed to come so easily. Since I happen to share some of Issy’s beliefs, I’d probably answer yes to that question. I can see some of my own traits in Issy.

How did you go about finding a publisher? an editor? and do you have an agent yet?

So far I’ve hardly given any thought to acquiring an agent, but one never knows what the future will hold. When I submitted a synopsis of my story and a few sample chapters to Nimbus I waited about eight months before I heard anything. At that point I was asked to submit the entire manuscript. Four months after that I received a call from Penelope Jackson, the Children’s Book Editor. Nimbus wanted to publish my book. When it came time to edit the book Caitlin Drake was assigned as my editor. She was wonderful to work with. The rest is history.

Bitter, Sweet has been on a thrilling publicity ride.  Besides your book making an appearance in the Hallmark movie November Christmas, tell us what honours this book has received thus far.

Last July, Bitter, Sweet was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. This is a national award presented by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in Toronto and it was an honour and a thrill to be nominated alongside some of Canada’s best known YA writers.

You are not only a writer but you have a job to go to every day, so how do you find time to write when you are busy with life?

Since my job allows me to have months off at a time I probably am fortunate to have more writing time than writers who hold down a year round job. Oddly enough, it is during those times when I am working that I tend to get more writing done. When my time is limited I make writing a priority. I set aside a specific time to write in the evening and I try my best to stick with it.

What other interests do you have for a change from writing?

My others interests would naturally include reading, but I’ve been known to do a little knitting as well. While I like to try new things I also know that any other hobbies would take time away from writing.

How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals?

While the idea of writing goals sounds appealing to me, and I know having goals works well for others, I haven’t found that to be the case for me. Setting goals doesn’t allow for those unexpected things that crop up, revisions that you hadn’t planned on, a new plot twist, those kinds of things. I do like to keep a record of my daily word count so that I can at least look back on the progress I’ve made so far.

Do you have another project in the works? Any hints you can share with our readers about that?

I’m working on another novel at the moment. I don’t often discuss my work with others. All I will say is that it is young adult and set in a fictitious community in Nova Scotia.

Oh, that sounds intriguing, I look forward to reading it. Finally, do you have any advice for hopefuls?

The best advice I can give to hopefuls it to write as much and as often as you can. Pay close attention to any comments that editors send your way. Forget the notion that your work can not stand to be improved upon. Everything can be improved. You’ll start to know when you’re getting closer to publication. Those comments will be laced with a sweet touch of sugar as your writing get stronger. Lastly, don’t give up. If you believe in your talent keep working at it, perfect it to the place where someone will want to publish it.

Great advice! Thank you so much for this interview, Laura. It’s been fun learning more about you and I wish you much continued success.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed getting to know Laura Best a little better. Visit her blog, being sure to check out her Publications link and her November 29 post: http://www.lauraabest.wordpress.com

Also, Nimbus Publishing generously donated a copy of Bitter, Sweet for me to offer here. Check them out at: http://www.nimbus.ns.ca

Would you like a chance at winning this copy of Laura’s book? Simply post a comment here on my blog, telling what you most enjoyed in the interview. Enter only once, please. I will put the entries into a basket and at 9:00 pm (8:00 EST) on February 14 – Valentine’s Day – my husband will draw out the winner’s name. I will contact that person for his/her mailing address. If I do not get a reply by 8:00 pm EST on February 21 we will select another name – so check back!

Thanks so much for reading my first interview, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Day 27: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Saturday, Day 27 of NaNoWriMo.  Wow! What a day this has been. First of all, in the morning my husband and I went to town to the Farmers Market where I purchased three Chr istmas gifts (just couldn’t resist) after I met local author Jan L. Coates – which is why we went there today.  She is delightful!  She signed my copies of her newest book – A Hare In The Elephant’s Trunk – and we chatted a bit.  (Actually, I’m sure I talked too much.  oh dear)  I urge you to check out this website: http://www.wadeng.org

I have several books I am eager to read — three books for which I will be writing reviews.  I will be posting those reviews here on my blog, just as I did on October 26 after reading Max Lucado’s book – Out Live Your Life.  But I am especially so looking forward to reading Jan‘s book after NaNo is over.  I heard an interview on the radio several weeks ago and was touched by the story, built around a true and tragic story. I will probably write about her book here, too.

When we returned home I got down to writing.  For hours I sat writing, getting up to walk around or stretch, and to make myself a lunch in the middle of the afternoon.  Just before midnight I punched in my new numbers.  I’d managed to write 3525 words today!  Yay!  That takes me up to 38,527 words written for this challenge so far. Now it feels more as if I can win this NaNo challenge, whereas I was beginning to doubt myself the last few days.  Now I have it 78% completed! Almost 11,500 words have yet to be written – in three days – but now it is reachable again.  I just have to aim for 4000 words a day (which I haven’t done yet!) and I’ll have it, with extras as security.  🙂  Piece ‘o cake, right?… Right?

An idea for PiBoIdMo came through right around midnight.  I now have 40 ideas for that challenge.  It has been fun in a different way doing PiBo.

I believe I can call myself a writer after all this, what do you think?

What does it take for you to see yourself as a writer?  Or if you are not a writer, then what makes you believe in your talents and abilities?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Day 26: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Friday, Day 26 of NaNoWriMo was a poor writing day for me.  To start things off I got maybe four hours of sleep last night which would have been longer except for the fact that I was up early this morning to go to town with my sister.  I had errands (banking, shopping) to do and she did some shopping, and it took longer than we had anticipated so I didn’t get back home until middle of the afternoon.  I was SO tired and my writing didn’t amount to much tonight, but in looking back over my daily totals I discovered that it wasn’t my worst day.  I haven’t let myself not write something each day because I didn’t want to get out of the habit of writing and into the habit of skipping days.  As it is I am going to be doing major catch-up soon.

I have the NaNo challenge 71% completed, having added 768 words today which brings my written total to 35002 words. I had to get it over 35000 before leaving this for a longer sleep tonight.  (It’s time to quit when I keep nodding off with pen in hand!)

When we were in town today we drove past the car lot which had been one of the sets used in a Jason Priestly movie last year.  We were commenting on the look of it today, they had some strange goings-on there, and I joked about it – then realized that from what I said .. oh wow!  A picture book idea for PiBoIdMo!

It’s amazing to me how so much around me can be converted into picture book ideas.  (Thanks Tara and friends!)  You can check out what I am talking about all the time by looking here: http://taralazar.wordpress.com

And before I quit I just want to say that I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning as I will be going to the Farmers Market in Wolfville to meet Jan Coates, author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk.  She is going to be signing copies of her book there and I’ll be in line.

Have you met any authors and did you get a signed copy of that author’s book?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂