Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR





Hello Fabulous Fans & Followers of Vision & Verse.  Here we are at the end of 2013 and it's been an amazing year for Carol and me.  We would not have had that success without you, our faithful readers, and we thank you for your continued support.

I believe that 2014 is going to be an even more awesome year for V&V and our followers.  I can tell you that Carol is working on some great interviews and other surprises and I will be coming back with a few surprises of my own.

Once again, thank you all for your continued support for what we do here at V&V and we look forward to keeping your curiosity piqued in the coming year.  Peace and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!!  See you soon.

Parker Kagan-Kaufman

Image above is an 104 year old post card from my personal postcard collection.  The design is beautifully embossed with exquisite detail.  The depiction delivers the message of the passing of the year in such an ingenious way.

2014


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happiness



Thought for the Day:

       Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Interview with Author Susanne Matthews

 Susanne Matthews
Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

Good morning, Susanne.  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. What have you written? 
That’s a long list. Written and sold under my own name: Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, The Captain’s Promise, Holiday Magic Book One, Second Chance, Book Two, The Perfect Choice, all currently available and Until It’s Over which will be released in June.
Under the pen name Misty Matthews I co-write with another author and we have Coming Home, Book One of Taking a Chance on Love, available now, and Grand Slam which will be released in January. 
I also have two other books currently with publishers.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I write romance, but within that genre, I guess I prefer romance/suspense. 

Favorite food.
Cheesecake—cherry, nothing with nuts or chocolate because I’m allergic to both.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, peppermint tea in the evening

Pizza or ice cream? 
Pizza—all dressed

Where would you like to visit? 
I’d love to visit Australia and New Zealand, and while I was there, I’d throw in Tahiti.

Favorite musical artist.
Kenny Rodgers 

Do you listen to music when you write? 
No. I’m afraid I need silence to write—I have to listen to the voices in my head telling me what comes next!
  
What makes you laugh? 
A good joke, some funny movies like Elf, and my grandkids. Children can say the funniest things.

How old were you when you started writing? 
Let me put it this way; I always wanted to be a writer. I dabbled in poetry as a teen. I spent over 30 years as a high school English teacher, so my desire to write was there, but the time wasn’t. I actually started writing seriously at 62. 

Describe your perfect evening.
It really depends on the season. I’m basically a home body. In summer, I like to sit outside on a warm, clear night and admire the stars. We have a fire bowl, and my husband will make a fire.  We’ll sit there with a bottle of wine—just the two of us. We don’t get as much alone-time as I’d like, so I relish the quiet time we have together just talking about stuff.  In winter, we have a fireplace indoors, so I like to sit in front of the fire, and watch a movie or something on the television with him. Friday nights are pizza night, so we have it delivered, and I don’t have to cook.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I usually get inspired by the world around me, the news, and television programs. Fire Angel was inspired by a series of unsolved arson fires around the city where I live. In Plain Sight came out of a costume I wore in a church Easter pageant. The Captain’s Promise was written specifically for a friend nicknamed Elle. The novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo, which needs to be edited before I submit it to the publisher who’s requested it, was inspired by the place where we had lunch this year on our wedding anniversary. 
  
What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
I go and clean something. Usually the block disappears quite quickly.

Who is your favorite author? 
Nora Roberts

Best book you ever read.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My husband John. He’s the one person who’s been there for me all along. We’ve been married 42 years. He’s always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do. When I told him I wanted to write, he told me to go for it, and I haven’t looked back.

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 think I’d like to sit down with Charles Dickens. He used his writing ability to try and change the conditions of his time. I’d like to know whether or not he felt he’d succeeded in his quest. I wonder how he’d feel knowing his books are still being read and studied long after his passing. Around my house, watching A Christmas Carol is part and parcel of Christmas.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Don’t give up your dream. I almost did, thinking I was too old to start a second career. Learn all you can about writing—grammar and spelling are important. Finish what you start. Whether you write from an outline or the seat of your pants makes no difference, but don’t leave an unfinished manuscript lying on your desktop. Stories that are finished can be revised, edited, submitted, and sold, those that aren’t, can’t. 

My links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLMauthor
Website: http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

My blog: http://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

My books are all available in e-book format for download and many are available in print version from Amazon .com 












Saturday, December 28, 2013

Interview with Author Maria Grazia Swan


Maria Grazia Swan
Phoenix, Arizona

Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors today, Maria Grazia.  We're happy to have you here with us.  Tell us a little about yourself and what you've written.
I have two series out at the moment, Mina’s adventures and what I like to call the Moon series, however my publisher refers to it as Lella York’s series. I also have a variety of non-fiction credits because I used to write relationships columns for singles who weren’t born yesterday and ended up with a book on the subject, Mating Dance. 

What is your favorite genre to write? 
I LOOOVE to write suspense with romantic elements, lots of romantic elements, but not enough to qualify as Romantic Suspense. Must be my Italian seeping through, I insert love in all my stories.

Favorite food. 
Can I say chocolate? If not, pasta. Pasta and bread are my comfort food. Except when a man invites me to a dinner date and asks the same question I say steak, potato and a glass of wine. The sure thing. How can you mess up a steak and a baked potato? I don’t want to spend my date-time discussing food, I rather discuss more personal subjects.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee. I’m Italian, remember?

Yes, I remember.  So am I!  Pizza or ice cream? 
I would pick pizza, not much of an ice cream person.

Where would you like to visit? 
I have Australia and New Zeeland on my bucket list.

Favorite musical artist. 
That’s a hard question. I tend to change my mind according to the mood, the weather, the daily news…and the person sitting next to me.

Do you listen to music when you write?  
What? Nope, I need silence.

Me, too.  I am too easily distracted!  What makes you laugh? 
The older I get the more I laugh. Little things that would have annoyed me to death a few years ago, I now find entertaining. Go figure!

How old were you when you started writing?
I won my first literary contest when I was 14, I’m guessing I started as a kid?

Describe your perfect evening. 
Dinner Al Fresco with friends, loud mouth friends…drinking Prosecco, ending up in someone’s home for coffee and chatting until the wee hours.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
People I’ve known. People I know. People I love. And the ones I despise. Memories, possibilities, dreams and never ending hopes. We could say I’m inspired by my feelings.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I fill out interview forms…☺

Who is your favorite author? 
Too many to list.

I hear Carol Ann Kauffman is pretty good.  Best book you ever read.
I honestly hope I haven’t read it yet. 

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My grandfather. My blog is called Stories my grandfather told me and other tall tales. The photo on the blog page is of my grandfather and his beloved dog Roma. The photo was taken in 1936, I wrote a story about the dog, I write many stories about my grandfather. Some of the stories were told to me by my grandmother. Okay, moving on, getting misty.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
By now it should be obvious, my grandfather. Want to make sure he is reading my stories up in heaven.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Know that whatever you want to write about is probably already out there. However, no one can write like you do, your voice is unique, so go ahead, write from the heart and persevere. 



These last thirty days have been very interesting to say the least. In November I released Italian Summer, book 3 of the Mina’s adventures series. This is very special to me because I went back home to Italy, province of Vicenza (around Venice) to look at my small town with clean eyes and while doing that, lots of forgotten memories came hurling back. By the way, in the book I never mention the name of the small town where I was born and grew up because I want to make sure I’ll be allowed back.

Then on December 1 my publisher released Gemini Moon, (love the cover) the first of the new series. My main protagonist is a little older than the one in my first series. She is of course Italian born, don’t know how else to write…but she has a son in his twenty, a movie star no less. Okay, I better stop here.

It was a pleasure to have you with us, Maria Grazia.  Please come back and see us again.  Best of luck to you in all your writing endeavors!  








Friday, December 27, 2013

Author Interview with Cherime MacFarland


    

Cherime MacFarlane
Alaska
(I am camera-shy.  This is the best of a bad lot.)

Good morning, Cherime!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  I am delighted to have a chance to talk to you this morning about your books and the writing process.  Tell us a little about yourself and what you've written.
Although born in New Orleans, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan. I have lived here for 37 years, I have lived through -40 degrees, hauled water, made bear bacon and live in a cabin. I have used a fish wheel to catch salmon coming up the Copper River. I was my second husband's chief mechanic's helper and only roadie. I have cut firewood on shares, worked as a cocktail waitress, then as a paralegal for over 26 years. I hold the #80 press card as a reporter for the Copper Valley Views newspaper which ceased publication in the 1980s. I have been writing stories since junior high. Retired now, I can devote my time to what I love.
I came to Alaska by way of Arizona and California. I experienced the building of the pipeline up close. Then my second husband and I moved to Wasilla to get warm. It hardly ever drops past -25 in South Central Alaska. I never thought I would love it so much I never want to leave. The beauty of Alaska is a draw I cannot resist.  I love the people and the history. I have been captured by a place I came to under duress. Life does play some interesting tricks on one. I lost my first husband to alcohol. My second husband, the love of my life died as a result of disease. We were not apart more than 24 hours for 20 plus years . I never wanted to be anywhere but with him. He was a man to run the river with.
I've written:




What is your favorite genre to write? 
Romance but I do tend to look at things from both the male and female viewpoint. I was my father's oldest son. I understand men as well as women. The Copper River Romance series is set in a rural area of Alaska. The population there is an odd mix of cultures. I really like exploring that dynamic and how it affects the people living there.


Tea or coffee?
Both, but two cups of New Orleans coffee and chicory is my main morning drink. The rest of the day is for tea. 





Where would you like to visit?
I want to go back to Scotland. 

Pizza or ice cream?
Ice cream, butter pecan.

Favorite food.
Chocolate anything.
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write? What? 
Robert Plant. I listen to hot country, rock and heavy metal. It depends on my mood.

What makes you laugh?
Just about anything. I laughed my self silly over Jeff Foxworthy's "You're An Alaskan If".





How old were you when you started writing?
I was telling stories and acting out scenarios for as long as I can recall. I was always the action figure; my little sister was the side kick. I began writing stories down in junior high school.
Describe your perfect evening.  It would be relaxing with a nice dark beer or a shot of good Scotch in ginger ale. I enjoy listening to music while either reading a good book or working on a book.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Inspiration comes from odd sources sometimes. It has come from things which have happened in my life or the lives of others. A couple of times inspiration came from song lyrics. Often it comes from dreams that are not quite dreams as I am not quite asleep when they happen.


What do you do when you get  writer's block?
I don't often have writer's block. If the words are not flowing easily I will read or go break some speed limits out on the road. I like driving fast. I commuted 130 miles to work over snow and ice covered roads for over 30 years. In Alaska if you are driving under 70 mph get into the slow lane and let everyone else go by, snow or no snow. 
Who is your favorite author?
Anne McCaffrey, I have read everything she wrote twice.

Best book you ever read. 
Crystal Singer




Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My father, Forrest Lundin. He was an encourager. He told me I could do anything I wanted to do. Then he taught me about levers and how to use them.


If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
Robert the Bruce of Scotland. I want to know all the gory details of what really happened.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? Do not turn down an opportunity to try something you have never done. Experience what life has to offer. Even if it turns out badly, it might find its way into a book someday. As they say in flying "any landing you walk away from is a good one".

Do you have a link for us to follow you?
http://www.amazon.com/Cherime-MacFarlane/e/B00EP24SZW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1









Thursday, December 26, 2013

Interview with Author Martin Skate


Martin Skate
London, UK 

Good morning, Martin.  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  Tell us, what have you written?
The Spike Collection: Ten random short stories. It is my first published book, released in October 2013. I honestly don’t know why it has taken me this long to get something published! I gave myself a project of writing ten short stories, challenging myself to write a few varied tales, and this is the result. I began writing them in May, and was utterly thrilled to not only be published, but to learn how to publish, and experience the challenging world of ‘marketing’. 

I am so completely overwhelmed and excited by this publication that I am now in the mindset of writing a whole bunch more. I have begun writing a novel and hope to have it published in February 2014. 

Also I am thankful for being so widely embraced in the independent author’s circle, there are so many benefits, so much love, and so much learning. Plus of course, the great reviews, the feedback, the friendships, wow, it is immense, writing has suddenly become incredibly addictive!


Click to open expanded view

The Spike collection: Ten random short stories[Kindle Edition]

Martin Skate 

Print List Price:$7.99
Kindle Price:$0.99
You Save:$7.00 (88%)



What is your favorite genre to write?
Humour.  It is that simple! I tried to write different genres, but my characters always return to being slightly mischievous, a little bit sarcastic, and always leaning to have one of those eyebrow raised looks of disdain on them, they’re always a bit self -deprecating.  I like science fiction, surrealism, anything a bit different, I got this (I think) from Catch-22, and from Douglas Adams’s Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (they’re both big influences). 

Favorite food.
Apart from onions? Well I am concerned that my love for gammon could one day mean that that is all I eat. Fortunately that eventuality hasn’t occurred yet. I feel like I could eat tubs of egg mayo, prawn mayo, or maybe just even coleslaw until I literally exploded, they are the ‘yum’ foods for me. I have never really been fussy with food, I’ll eat anything, but if I like it, I will eat it in large quantities and forever. The wife will say my favourite meal is ‘Toad in the hole’ (Sausages cooked in a giant Yorkshire Pudding, with peas (though the peas is my own adage to this masterpiece)). I am not a massive dessert fan although my favourite chocolate bar is plainly a KitKat (normal, chunky, flavoured, anything you like, KitKats are the true Daddy of the chocolate bar world). 

Tea or coffee?
From around 16-25 I was a tea drinker. Loved it. Then I had my first cup of coffee and could never have a cup of tea ever again, yuck. Coffee, Americano, no sugar, it is really the only drink necessary (apart from wine, and the occasion G&T obviously). 

Pizza or ice cream?
Ummmmm, pizza, but only good pizza, and only really because am not a fan of ice-cream any more, except for in the summer (i.e roughly about 4 days in a year in London), and then it will be a Feast, Magnum, Cornetto, something like that, and chocolate, always chocolate, everything else is sheer nonsense. 

What’s good pizza? You knowwww, the thin crust, probably with onion, sweetcorn, some kind of chicken, good tomato saucey type deal all over it, nothing fancy, must have onions (that’s a deal-breaker, no onion no pizza). 

Where would you like to visit?
I am well-travelled I am pleased, proud to say, no wait, how do I sound humble here? I’ve been around. I have never been to Alaska. There’s nothing I particularly want to see there but I recall watching a tv programme called ‘Northern Exposure’ it made me want to go and live there for a while, it was remote, cosy, relaxed, reallllllly relaxed, I reckon decades could pass without people noticing there. I guess I am saying I would like to visit the more remote & country-type places, somewhere where there is fishing… I’ve never been fishing, lots of invitations to do so, just haven’t yet, there you go, I’d like to go to Fishing please. 

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I grew up on a diet of Elvis & Elton John, and still love both. My current favourites are Bruno Mars, and a band called Fun, so the pop world has never left me. I do a lot of long distance running so for that I listen to a whole menagerie of dance music, most of which I don’t even know who the artists are, I just love the sounds. Prince, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Eva Cassidy, Daft Punk, they’re all on my current playlist. When I write I need complete silence, but if I have to have the headphones on (to drown out the noise in the background) it is something mellow, Ray Lamontagne is a good one for this, love the Ray! 

What makes you laugh?
A lot, my sense of humour stuck at around 12 years old and has never really progressed from there. More specifically… George from Seinfeld, good puns, my kids (they’re comedy legends unbeknownst to them), Tony Hancock, Kenneth Williams, Family guy (particularly when it’s late and the wine glasses are large ones), in fact so many things. I laugh at my own jokes too, I don’t see this as a bad thing (although others frown, or stifle laughs, or both).  

How old were you when you started writing?
I used to write my own comics at school does that count? When I was a teenager I would write about what happened when my friends grew up. I blogged (but was awful) a while back, and I think I began writing short stories around eight years ago, it took me until now to publish. 

Describe your perfect evening.
Hmmm, this is the hardest question so far. There would be wine, there would be great conversation, which would then progress to a comfy lounge and further deep conversation, and then of course, there would either be a piano or a guitar and we would sing until we were hoarse or there was sunrise, or (usually) both. 

Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere, even a train journey that I’ve made a thousand times can give me something. The bigger impact is with new experiences, anything new anything different, that is inspiration in itself. 

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Well, I haven’t been a writer that long to find out, and I have so many ideas literally bursting to get out that I think I am a bit away from this yet, however, sometimes yes, a blank page is a blank page, this is what my blog is for. I find that I give myself a topic and I can ramble on for a while before the words stop coming (however, ummm, no one is saying the writing is of any quality, but, I do completely adhere to the philosophy that writing is like a muscle, it needs to be exercised, this is so so true, the more you (or I) write the easier it becomes. Practice practice practice, it is the same with running, the more you run, the easier it is, trust me (I went from never running at all, to running 2 minutes a day, to running a marathon ☺). 

Who is your favorite author?
Tom Sharpe. A wonderful style, this is the definitive ‘laugh aloud whilst reading’ example. I have read and re-read Sharpe’s books many times and they never get dull, if anything they improve and I always think upon parts that I missed the first time around, highly recommend. 

Best book you ever read.
Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. The troubles that Yossarian encounters, the irreversible circles that he is bound by, and his incredulity, it all just makes me incredulous with him. I truly feel the senselessness, the madness, the craziness of it all, I am right there with Yossarian, I feel his pain, his frustration, wow. It is a book I will never tire of and am consistently motivated and inspired by. It is not just a book, it is magic, how Heller articulated the craziness of it all I will never know. 

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
Oooh, a personal question, crikey. There is someone. He made me realise you could do anything you wanted to and that there was no reason to feel bound to do anything. Errr, next!? ☺  

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Elvis Presley. I would love to have discussed his impact on the world and how he perceived it.  I would like to discuss with him how he could have gone further to improve the world via music, and asked what his thoughts were on why music was so enriching and powerful. 

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Just write! Practice all the time, write a little each week, get feedback, and make the time to really do it. It’s that simple, you can do it, if I can, anyone can. 

Do you have any links for us to follow you? Blog: http://www.martinskate.com/ 
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G05WZPW/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/martinskateauthor
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/martinskate9 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/martinskate9 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays


Dear Happy Readers,
     I wish you the happiest of holidays, surrounded by your loved ones, and experiencing the peace and joy of the season.
    Hugs,
    Carol   

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Giveaway



A Merry Christmas 1700 LIKES Giveaway is now in progress on my Facebook Author Page.  Go to Amazon.com and type in "books". In the search box type in "Carol Ann Kauffman".  Eight books are listed, the titles of the full-length novels are written in ALL CAPITAL letters.  Pick the one you want and type the title in the comment section of my Facebook Author Page. All books are kindle format digital books.  Winners will be notified on Facebook, Vision and Verse and carolannkauffman.weebly.com, my website.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Interview with Author Kathy Bryson

Kathy Bryson
 Florida

Good morning, Kathy!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  What have you written? 
Feeling Lucky and coming in Summer 2014, the sequel Restless Spirits

What is your favorite genre to write? 
Romance with a touch of something extra. I was fortunate to find a publisher, SoulMate Publishing, that specializes in cross-genre fiction.

Favorite food. 
Roast beef as in stroganoff and French dip sandwiches.

Tea or coffee? 
Coffee, definitely coffee. I cannot start the day without it!

Pizza or ice cream?
Ice cream, preferably with chocolate. Though those cookie pizzas are pretty good too!

Where would you like to visit? 
Paris, Vienna, Rome - I visited London and Italy in high school, but I’d love to do the Grand Tour again!

Favorite musical artist. 
Tough choice! I listen to k.d. lang when I’m relaxing, Pat Benatar or Brian Setzer when I need energy and Chris Isaak when I’m blue. I’ve been know to rock out to Guns N’ Roses and I love the Metropolitan Opera’s live telecasts!

Do you listen to music when you write?
 Actually I can’t. I need quiet to concentrate. I like music when I tweet and email and such, but to get writing or grading done, I have to turn everything off.

What makes you laugh?
Silly stuff. I like dumb jokes, bad puns, goofy costumes. You just can’t take life too seriously.

How old were you when you started writing? 
Junior high. By the time I finished reading through my elementary school and the local children’s library, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I studied English in college and finished my 1st book then, but I struggled to find the time and energy to write once I started working. Switching to teaching gave me that necessary time.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Quiet, reading or watching a good movie on TV.  Just me and the kitties fighting for couch space and control of the remote. 

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Feeling Lucky was inspired by Kathy Love’s Fangs, But No Fangs. She wrote a funny scene about a vampire getting his butt pinched by an older lady, a “she-clown.” I laughed, but then I thought that was a little unfair. Older ladies can appreciate a good-looking man too! Then it occurred to me that vampires might be sexy, but what you really need is to capture a leprechaun because they have money! 
Restless Spirits was a very different scenario. The overriding question there was how do you bounce back after you accidently set your best friend’s house on fire? So far, not a personal experience, thank goodness!

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
Go for a walk. Getting out and moving around helps my brain jump to whatever conclusion it can’t see on the computer screen.

Who is your favorite author?
I love good satire, especially sci-fi/fantasy that pokes fun. My favorites include Robert Asprin, Terry Pratchett, Craig Shaw Gardner. My favorite paranormal romance authors take an irreverent approach – Dakota Cassidy, Michele Bardsley, Molly Harper. 

Best book you ever read. 
Oh, I have a library full of books that defies an easy choice! Shakespeare, however, has been my go-to source for this series. Not only did he help define fairy lore in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, he just has such beautiful language! A pleasure to read and hear.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
Probably my mom. I end up writing a lot about mother/daughter relationships because they have this great inherent conflict. Daughters want to please their mothers, but they don’t want to be their mothers. Mothers want to protect their daughters, but have to let go. My mom and I are very different people, but we’ve learned to respect and appreciate our differences. She’s a great person to bounce ideas off.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Marie Curie. She was born when women weren’t allowed to study and excelled in a field that even now women struggle in.  And she did it at the turn of the last century during great political unrest and social change. She was one of the founding pioneers of a then entirely new approach to the natural world, physics. She became the 1st woman to win a Nobel Prize in Dec. 1903, but just six months earlier, in June 1903, she wasn’t allowed to present to the Royal Institute of London because she was a woman. She did this all with the help of her husband, Pierre Curie, so I’d love to get her take on work and relationships today, a hundred years later.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? Read everything! Dr. Seuss said it best – “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Do you have any links for us?
Facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/kathybryson22
Twitter is https://twitter.com/kathybryson2

Book is available at http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Lucky-ebook/dp/B00DH6HQ9M/

website-blog is http://kathybryson.wordpress.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOIdqDhbcjA

Kathy Bryson's Feeling Lucky Book Trailer
www.youtube.com










Saturday, December 21, 2013

Interview with Author Samantha Holt


Samantha Holt
Warwickshire, England

Good morning, Samantha.  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  We're happy to have you here with us this morning.  What have you written? 
I’ve write mostly historical romances and the odd contemporary or fantasy ones. My latest release is To Steal a Highlander’s Heart which is a medieval Highland romance.

I LOVE Highland Romances.  What is your favorite genre to write? 
Historical will always be my favourite. I love to pull people into the past and research is always fun. I do find contemporary easier but I don’t find it as satisfying.

Favorite food.
That one’s tough! I love all sorts and it depends on my mood. I’ve got a real weakness for fresh pastries though.

Tea or coffee?
Tea!

Pizza or ice cream?
I’m not a fan of either I’m afraid! I think I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like ice cream.

Where would you like to visit?
Russia or Malaysia.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I’m a big fan of Poets of the Fall, an alternative rock band. They’re not hugely well known but write some of the most beautiful lyrics and are so inspiriting. I always listen to music when I write.

What makes you laugh?
Silly things usually. My husband and I have the same quirky sense of humour and we’ll usually come out with something at the same time which will make me laugh. My children make me laugh too.

How old were you when you started writing?
I’m not sure. I enjoyed writing from an early age but didn’t start writing properly until about two years ago, when I was twenty six.

Describe your perfect evening.
A quiet one. A nice long bubbly bath, glass of champagne, dinner cooked for me and then a film with the hubby.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I wish I knew. Mostly in bed when I should be sleeping. Occasionally a word or theme will spark an idea but often they come in one great big ball of inspiration and I have an instant story that just needs fleshing out. And sometimes I get nothing at all and I need to work and work to get some ideas out.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I often have two stories going on at once. If one stumbles, I just put it away and concentrate on the other. If I leave a month or so, I usually can come back to it with a fresh perspective.

Who is your favorite author?
Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell.

Best book you ever read.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
Probably my dad. We have very similar ideas and ethics. He also had a big part to play in my childhood as my mother was sick for a lot of it. We still chat on the phone twice a week.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Find someone who can offer you support and kind criticism. It might take you a while to find the right person but once you do, they’ll always be there to encourage you and work through ideas. Also be prepared to do the same for someone else, even if you do find your fame and fortune!

Book Blurb
Moray, Scotland, 1231 

Alana sets eyes on Morgann for the first time in several years and what does he do? He captures her! But Alana refuses to go meekly with the sexy Highland warrior. Her kidnapping will reignite the rift that’s existed between the two clans since her father accused Morgann of theft and she doesn’t want to see her father harmed in the inevitable war that will ensue. 

Unfortunately for Alana, the faeries seek to interfere with her plans to escape. The sidhe have a debt to repay and Tèile, the green faery, is determined to mend the rift between the clans for good. And that means ensuring Alana and Morgann marry. 

Morgann has his own reasons for taking Alana and they are nothing to do with marriage or war. He wants to use her to reveal a secret from the past, the one that had him accused of theft. If only he didn’t find his childhood friend so attractive. When circumstances force them together, Alana’s life is threatened and war is imminent. Can Morgann reveal the truth without losing Alana? And will the faery’s meddling help or hinder his cause? 

Buy link: http://amzn.com/B00FIO4D4M
Facebook link: www.facebook.com/romanticfiction
Website: www.samanthaholt.org.uk












The Spore by Christopher Weed



This gorgeous, eye-catching powder-coated steel beauty is the work of the very talented American sculptor, Christopher Weed.  His work is very well-known in the American West, with pieces on display in Denver and throughout Colorado.  I had the privilege of viewing this in person at the Museum of Art in Colorado Springs, Colorado this spring.  This giant purple orb draws you to it, bringing to mind some fascinating scientific object... or maybe a squishy toy... or a kidney stone... or an alien spacecraft from Doctor Who, all at the same time.  Once you see a "Weed" in person, you never forget it.
   

Friday, December 20, 2013

Interview with Author Viv Drewa

Viv Drewa
Fort Gratiot, MI
Good Morning,Viv! Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. We're happy to have you here with us this morning. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you became known as "The Owl Lady", and what you've written.
My first published work was the story of my grandfather's escape from Poland in 1900. It was published in the “Polish American Journal”. I'm working on a second novel, "The Angler and the Owl" which takes place on the Amazon in Brazil. When not writing I read or sew. I had my own business 'The Emerald Owl' where I made wedding gowns. I also teach sewing once a week to physically and mentally disabled adults. I wrote a newsletter for the area's Multiple Sclerosis group until the funding ran out. I was the owl girl for a while because I'm crazy about owls, and have been for as long as I can remember. At some point in time I became the owl lady.
What is your favorite genre to write? Paranormal/thriller, horror. I don't like gore or erotica
I don't read gore or erotica, either. What is your favorite food? Chinese
Tea or coffee? Coffee in the morning, tea the rest of the day
Pizza or ice cream? Pizza
Where would you like to visit? England, Vienna, Venice, South America, Jamaica, to name a few.
Venice is absolutely fantastic. You will love it. Favorite musical artist. Toby Keith
Do you listen to music when you write? What? Mozart when I have a slow day writing. Otherwise, the local country station.
What makes you laugh? Funny people.
How old were you when you started writing? 9 years old.



The Owl of the Sipan Lord [Kindle Edition]

Viv Drewa 

Kindle Price:$5.99







Describe your perfect evening. That's a tough one. I guess sitting with my hubby and watching TV.

Where do you get your inspiration? I brain storm with my friend. Between us I've quite a few ideas.
What do you do when you get a writer's block? Save what I've written and, if it's nice out take a walk, if it's cold I read. I try not to talk to anyone.
Who is your favorite author? Stephen King
Best book you ever read. “The Ghost of Varner Creek” by Michael Weems.
I haven't read that one. I'll have to pick it up. Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? My dad. He never made me feel I couldn't do what made me happy.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Edgar Allen Poe. His work, and Kings, turned me more toward the paranormal/thriller/horror genre.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? Don't be afraid of two things: 1) ask questions and 2) do plenty of research for the novel you're writing.

Do you have any links for us?
Viv Drewa, Author, on FaceBook my web: vivdrewa.com
Amazon.com Viv Drewa

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Author Interview with Josie Cara


  Josie Cara
 New York City

Good morning, Josie!  Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  It is a pleasure to have you with us this morning.  Tell us, have you always lived in New York City?
Yes.  I love it.

What have you written?
My first book, “In a Heartbeat”, came out December 14, 2013 and I’m working on my second book now. Hopefully, it will be out the end of 2014.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Although I will try other genres in the future, my favorite now is Romantic Suspense. No matter how solid two people think their relationship is, something always comes along to chip away at it. A little suspense, or better yet, a lot of suspense, can make a relationship stronger or destroy it altogether.  Time travel is one of my favorites and I will, eventually, attempt to write one.

What is your favorite food?
I love Italian food, especially lasagna and pizza. I can eat pizza every day of the week, and in NYC, there are many great pizza joints.

Where would you like to visit?
I refuse to fly, never have and never will. I think that, in a past life, I may have died in a plane crash because I am terrified of flying. But, from articles I’ve read, I would like to visit Paris – most likely in my dreams.

Don't be afraid, Sweetie.  I find a good, stiff drink makes any ride enjoyable.  You must go to Venice.  It is fabulous!  What makes you laugh?
My 13 year old grandson makes me laugh everyday with his silly jokes, faces and dances!

What is your favorite music?
I’m an avid music lover. I love it all, but my favorite, and the one I listen to most, especially when writing, is hard rock. Some of my favorites are The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Doors and in today’s rock world, Maroon 5, No Doubt, Black-Eyed Peas.

How old were you when you started writing?
I’ve always written stories in my head but started putting them down on paper in high school. I worked on the newspaper and magazine in both high school and college.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Men may have the physical strength, but it’s women who have the mental and emotional capacity to handle any problem that comes their way. I’ve watched many strong women in my family alone overcome horrible events in their lives.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I usually go back and reread what I’ve already written, add and delete and then try to continue the storyline. If that doesn’t work, I leave it alone until tomorrow.

Who is your favorite author?
The first author who really gripped my imagination and has never stopped captivating me is Nora Roberts. Her books have run my imagination ragged. In the crime books, Robert B. Parker caught my intention with his good versus evil, bad boy, Spenser.

What is the best book you have ever read?
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is the best series collection I have ever read. Her combination of American history with time travel back and forth to the colonial days has blown my mind. I loved every book.

That series is a favorite of mine, too.  I love Jaime and Claire.  Who is the one person who has influenced your life the most and why?
My grandmother was a woman plagued by overwhelming problems in her life, from being dragged down the aisle by her father to marry a man she didn’t know, to raising children with physical and mental problems, to helping support her family after her husband was crippled with rheumatoid arthritis and finally, to dying with grace from uterine cancer. Yet, no matter what was going on in her life, she always had her door open to family and friends who needed help. No matter what kind of problem they had, she found a way to help them. Her heart was always open and her face was always covered in a big smile. Our house was always filled with people, day and night. When she passed, the funeral home was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came to pay their respects.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Never give up. Keep writing and if you can’t find a publishing house to put out your work, do it yourself. There are more and more indie writers today who do a fantastic job of writing, promoting and marketing their own work. Amazon.com has their own publishing company, Create Space, who do everything to help the author get their work out there.

You can find me at the following: