Friday, April 17, 2015

Interview with British Author Claire Upton

Claire Upton
Norfolk/Cambridgeshire UK

Good morning, Claire. Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Tell us what have you written.
My debut novel was Twisted Fate, Ups-a-Daisy was out last year & last month (March 2015) Double Thinking Girl. I also have two children’s book that my daughter illustrated called, Nanny Pam Takes the Children to Feed the Ducks & Nanny Pam joins a Band.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I enjoy writing romantic comedy that also includes some difficulties that the main character needs to overcome. I once tried writing a crime thriller but I scared myself!

That's funny. Favorite food.
Difficult, I am gluten intolerant so my food choices have been reduced. But still has to be chocolate. Luckily, most of which is gluten free!

Tea or coffee?
Coffee. No question.

Pizza or ice cream?

Where would you like to visit?
New York & France & ultimately Rome.

Oh, Claire...Rome first! It is fabulous. Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I am loving Sia at the moment. Sometimes I listen to music but mostly I listen to motivational stuff.

What makes you laugh?
Many things. Mostly things my children say.

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
It all depends on my mood but I have many different pictures & ornaments around the house. The Double Thinking book cover actually has two of my favourites on.

How old were you when you started writing?
I think I have always written little stories but the one that I remember most was Rachel Rabbit book that I did at school when I was about 10. The teacher made them all into stapled books & probably at that point I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Describe your perfect evening.
Probably just a quiet evening with candles burning, a snuggly blanket & a good book.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From anywhere. Most of my books come from a first line that I just get in my head & I know I need to start writing.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I get busy doing other things. I don’t just sit & wait because I find that blocks your mind more. If I go & potter about the house or go out for coffee, soon enough I am scribbling on scrap bits of paper & racing back to the laptop to write it all down.

Who is your favorite author?
My top five are Katie Fforde (the main character in my new book finds comfort in her books) Adele Parks, Cathy Kelly, Sue Welfare & Erica James.

Best book you ever read.
The only boy for me by Gil McNeil. It is one of the few books I have read over & over & I don’t think I have read any of hers since. It just stuck with me.

Last book you read.
To catch a Butterfly by T M Payne. I was lucky enough to attend a speaking event with her a couple of weeks ago & she is a fabulous person. I downloaded her book & wow! It blew my mind, she is extremely talented.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I was previously an Accounts Assistant, but got laid off from my job three weeks before Christmas 2014. So am now writing full-time.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My ex mother-in-law (aka Nanny Pam). She is one of the hardest working, most positive & enthusiastic people I have ever known. She has a real love of life, even though she has had a very stressful life. I am honoured to know her & have her in our lives.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
My Grandad Bill. He died when I was 24, the last of my grandparents. We were very close & he was always an honest & positive person in my life. I miss our conversations & mostly his jolly laugh.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Just to write. There is a lot of advice out there on the technical side, how to plot, etc. But all that aside, just write the story down. Don’t worry about who might read it just write because you need to get your story out of your head & down on paper.

Do you have some links for us to follow you?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Twisted Family Holiday Series, Good Friday: Dreams & Nightmares by JR Wirth

On the eve of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, an unsuspecting bookstore owner, in a resort town, Daniel Johnson, finds himself entranced with the new woman in town. Five years a widower, Johnson is ripe for a new relationship—something real and tangible, with intimacy. Unfortunately, the arrival of the enchanting, mystery woman also brings problems with his reality. Johnson finds himself waking up in alternating worlds: the first world involves his newfound love interest and a happy life with his youngest daughter; in the second world he struggles with his bookstore and his relationship with his daughter, who believes he is becoming senile, or mentally ill. Johnson searches for the answers to the dream/wake realities, while trying to find a way to remain in the happy world with his brand-new, budding relationship. But, is he insane, or is there a greater, paranormal force guiding the action?

on April 7, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Imagine, if you will. Mr. Johnson is having problems. He is either caught between two worlds or he is mentally ill. This offbeat, "Twilight Zone" of a story will have you guessing right up until the very satisfying end. This is the first JR Wirth I've read, and I will be looking for more. Looking for something different? This is it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Interview with Author JR Wirth

  JR Wirth 
San Bernardino, CA

Good morning, JR, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Tell us a little about yourself. What have you written?
The latest from Books to Go Now is book two in the “Twisted Family Holidays” series--“Good Friday: Dreams and Nightmares.”

I've read that one, JR. Loved it. My review will be posted here on Thursday, April 16th.

Book one was released the week of Christmas, “The Town Beneath the Christmas Tree.”

That one's on my To-be-read list. I have it on my kindle app.

“In Passing” is the next up. It will be released by Linkville Press Publishing. It is a full-length, paranormal suspense, which promises to be a great read.
I have several other short stories published, including one in the Halloween anthology: “Lost Tales from the Mountain Volume 2,” and two in “In-Flight Magazine” New Year’s (second) issue. I have eight others with Ether Books in England.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I’m not sure I have a favorite genre, except each project seems to have a suspenseful nature to it; and, perhaps, a paranormal element, but not always.

Favorite food.
I kind of enjoy my own cooking, next would be a good burger.

I feel the same way! My own cooking is not to greasy, not too spicy, not too bland, not too healthy. Tea or coffee?

Pizza or ice cream?

Wine or beer?
Red and lite

Where would you like to visit?
I would like to visit many places, but Costa Rica is high on my wish list.

Favorite musical artist.
My favorite all time musical group has to be Joy Division. I like alternative, indie and real classics such as the “Nuggets” collection. I do listen to music from time-to-time when I write, and it tends to be indie/alternative.

What makes you laugh?
Good wit and children make me laugh. Modern comedy movies, on the other hand, don’t seem to do it for me.

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
A favorite sculpture of mine would have to be that of David. Because of the history, it is the most intriguing, next to the pyramids and Stonehenge.

I saw the David in person in Florence. Absolutely fantastic. Stonehenge holds a fascination for me, also.  How old were you when you started writing?
I started writing as a youth. At about eight years old, I started to enjoy writing and have been doing some sort of dabbling ever since. From song lyrics in high school (never became anything) to a professional book that ended after only five chapters.

Describe your perfect evening.
Wow my perfect evening? I have too many to ideas, but one might include an adult beverage, a warm fire and good company.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspiration from many places. For instance, I got the idea for one of my books in a dream. When I woke up, I wrote a few one-word notes and in the morning it was on. Another time I was inspired by a movie (based on a book), or challenged is more like it. I thought ‘Hey I could do something like that.’ In reality my book is nothing at all like the movie I saw. Another time I was making a CD and added a song by The Band, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” which inspired “Confederate.” And yet another time, my granddaughter approached me with the question, “Why isn’t there a book about us, (grandchildren)?” “The Town Beneath The Christmas Tree” was born…

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I don’t think I’ve experienced traditional writers block. When I’m trying to work out a situation or some dilemma, and am feeling a bit frustrated, I’ll take a break and something usually comes to me.

Who is your favorite author?
I like Dan Brown, Dean Koontz and John Grisham.

Best book you ever read.
The two I’ve read more than once are “Lightning,” by Dean Koontz and “The Client,” by John Grisham.

Last book you read.
The last book was I read was “Cinderella Had It Easy,” a nice read from Jennifer Conner.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
My day job is a psychotherapist. I supervise interns at a forensic-psychiatric unit in Pomona, CA; and conduct community therapy with foster kids for a non-profit in the Inland Empire section of CA.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I would have to say my kids and grandkids have had the most influence in my life, because so many of my personal decisions have been made keeping them in mind.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I’ve become very interested in history, particularly in the US. The one person I’m most interested in talking with, at this point, is probably Thomas Jefferson, in the 1770’s.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
I would say that being a writer, and being published, is a blessing, but have a career as well… eating is essential.

Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Twitter:                        @JRWirth       
linkedin:          www.linkedin.come/pub/jeffrey-wirth

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Reviews for Waiting for Richard

Dear Gentle Readers,

My "mature" romance, meaning the main characters are 60+ years old, has two great new reviews I would like to share with you this morning. These certainly made my day!


on March 18, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I absolutely adore this story! It's sweet, and intelligent, and funny, and very brave. How could I not love a woman of my [advanced] age who's able to use the dreaded M-word in a speech to her almost-as-old beloved?! What a marvelous writer Kauffman is.

on March 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Waiting for Richard was a wonderful treat. This is my first time reading Ms. Kauffman and I wasn’t disappointed. Reading this unique story has made me want to read all the other stories in the series.

Skye has dreams about a man that plagues her memory, but considers herself too old to pursue the image. She goes on a journey and a lot of other fun excitement happens. I recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Look at the Week Ahead on Vision and Verse

A Look at the Week Ahead

Dear Gentle Readers,

We have an exciting week coming up to celebrate our two-year anniversary of Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. We are presently at 52,765 page views. We appreciate each and every one of our readers who stop by to see what's happening every day.

This week's schedule:

Monday, April 13
     My romantic adventure story with 60+ year-old main characters, Waiting for Richard, got two great new review I want to share with you.

Tuesday, April 14
     JR Wirth, a terrific author with a certain Rod-Serling quality to him, stops by for the full interview treatment with me. You will enjoy his answers and insights as much as I did.

Wednesday, April 15
     Vision and Verse's Second Bloggiversary

     The art of American Realist artist Edward Hopper is offered for your viewing pleasure. Something about this tall, gangly, quiet man who thought he wasn't all that talented touches me. We need more man like that and less who think too much of themselves.

Thursday, April 16
     JR Wirth wrote his second installment in the Twisted Family Holiday Series, called Good Friday: Dreams and Nightmares. Read my review on Thursday.

Friday, April 17
     We are so lucky to have British author Claire Upton with us on Friday for a full interview.  She is just delightful and a lovely person as well as prolific writer.

Friday, April 10, 2015

From the Pages of Grandfather's Life

From the Pages of Grandfather's Life (Kindle Edition)
This is a grandfather's true story of his frightening and perilous journey to freedom from occupied Poland behind the Iron Curtain in 1913. So many of these true stories of our family member's bravery have been lost because they didn't want to talk about. It is a tiny glimpse into a man's soul.

Dear Gentle Readers,
From the Pages of Grandfather's Life is simply that, a small narrative surrounding Viv Drewa's grandfathers brave run to freedom. I have gifted this book to the male winners of my contests who don't read romantic fiction, and the only complaint I've heard is that it was too short and they wanted to read more.