Friday, October 31, 2014

MASSIVE BLACK HOLE by Andrea Barbosa

Massive Black Hole by Andrea Barbosa

****Listed as one of the 50 Self Published Books Worth Reading by Indie Author Land***

Hell. As you've never imagined it before.

At 18, Cibele, a student from Rio de Janeiro, dreams of a life in New York and moves to the big Apple as an au pair girl, where she meets the precocious Amy, a young scholar whose goal in life is to study sciences and astrophysics. While visiting the MET, Cibele is impressed by a particular work of art depicting hell, in the style of Hieronymus Bosch. When Amy introduces her to astronomy, she is consumed by an irrational fear of black holes. Lost and confused with what to do with her life, she meets ambitious Agatha from Texas, who came to New York to succeed as a fashion model. While trying to survive and achieve their goals, the 3 young women question the meaning of life, death and the existence of hell, and their friendship ultimately turns into a maze of betrayal, jealousy and selfishness.

>>>Because hell is real! Embark on this spiraling journey through Rio de Janeiro, Texas and New York discovering the ambitions of 3 young women trying to find the meaning of life. Through a series of events that prompt them to play with each others' destiny, they will face their ultimate challenge: is hell real?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Author Interview with Monica Jo Carusi

Monica Jo Carusi

Good morning, Monica, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  Can you tell us what you've written?  
Cross the Veil and Near Me Dwell is my first published work.   The second book of the series Hysteria and Revenge is nearing completion. 

Tell us a little about these lovely black and white drawings.  Did you do them?
 They are characters from my book.  And no, I didn't draw them.  They're the work of Jordan Baer.

What is your favorite genre to write?  

Favorite food:  
Vine ripened tomatoes.

Tea or coffee?   

Pizza or ice cream?  
Ice Cream

Where would you like to visit? 
Ireland and Scotland are my interests abroad, but I would love to take an Alaskan cruise.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?   My musical tastes are eclectic.  Bon Jovi, Wynton Marsalis, Blake Shelton, Neil Diamond and Mozart are my favorites of their respective genres.  I prefer silence while I write but background sounds don’t bother me. 

What makes you laugh?  
Geek humor

Favorite work of art or sculpture.  
I have two.  The Huth Factories at Clichy and Battle of Lights, Coney Island.  Both are meeting points of disparate subjects.  van Gogh brought together agriculture and industry while Stella joined structure and motion.  If you read my work  you will see that intertwining the unlikely is an interest.

How old were you when you started writing?  
Grade school. 

Describe your perfect evening:  
Dinner with friends

Where do you get your inspiration?  
Everywhere and everyone.  Cross the Veil and Near Me Dwell began while sitting with my father in the hospital.  There isn’t much to do at such a time but surf the internet.  An ancient Roman and a Victorian matriarch crossed my screen in succession and the thought of a conversation between them gripped my imagination.  However, the inspiration for characters in Hysteria and Revenge (soon to be published) came from three young people who read my first work and thoughtfully offered suggestions.  I truly enjoyed researching the timeperiods they would have lived and watching them come to life in the story.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?  
You are going to think I am crazy, but I sit with my hands on my laptop and type.  Sometimes what comes out is interesting and sometimes it’s drivel but I am always anxious to see what I wrote.  Once the germ or seed is planted, the story takes off and grows into whatever it is supposed to be. My job is to tend it and prune it like an ornate tree.

Who is your favorite author?                          
James Patterson. 

Best book you ever read.  
The Quincunx by Charles Palliser

Last book you read.  
The Water Brought Us by Muriel Miller Branch

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?  
Something medical and technical

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?  
My niece.  She is kind, compassionate and generous.  When things are difficult, she keeps going and still takes care of others before herself.  She doesn’t whine, complain or crawl under a table and cry even when she has every right to do so.  She has my admiration and may be the best person I know.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?  
Samuel Clemens.  I find him to be a fascinating character.  He lived an interesting life and used humor to relate to his audience.  Even though his personal life (deaths of children and wife, discord with one daughter) was rather tragic, he managed to maintain the Mark Twain persona.  As someone who enjoys researching daily life of different historical periods, I would dearly love to interview Mr. Clemens.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 
Write.  Do not be concerned with anything but the story line.  Get a first draft down and go from there. 

Do you have some links where we can follow you?  

         (Paperback and hardcover also available via Amazon)

Friesenpress:  (paperback and hardcover)

Note from Carol:
We prepare these posts at least a week in advance.  They are proofread and reread and read again.  But every once in a while when I hit that PUBLISH button, everything goes nuts.  Formatting is completely thrown out the window and what is on my final edit screen is not what shows up online.  I am having that problem today.  If this post is not uniform in font and size, it will be reformatted and reposted at a later date.  My apologies to Monica Jo.  It is the ghost in the machine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interview with Artist Pam Beer

Pamela Kay Beer
Seattle Washington

Good morning, Pamela, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  I have admired your  vibrant artwork online and am thrilled to have you with us this morning.  How would you describe your artwork?
I’m colorful and I love texture. I create things that make people remember that life is glorious and that we can find hope and joy even in the midst of crisis. It’s about painting what feels good that reminds us the hope of our calling.

Well, your artwork makes me feel good!  What is your favorite medium to work with? 
Primarily acrylics and often I will add textural mediums and other elements for a mixed media approach. Texture is an integral part of most of the backgrounds I paint for my work. To get that texture I will often use many layers of color, sanding and scratching in between the layers to get the variegated effect on the canvas. This surface is a little more challenging on which to paint additional element, but the look is unique. Lately I’ve been incorporating more mediums and sometimes paper or other textures glued to the surface before priming for the paint. I’m an experimentalist by nature.

Where would you like to visit? 
I want to visit the French countryside. I’ve been to Europe, but somehow missed France. Hubby promises we’ll do this in about 3 years. I can’t wait! Reason: I want to walk in the footsteps and see what the great masters saw and painted. I think this will bring them alive.

Oh, that sounds fabulous.  Who is your favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you work? 
I do, I listen to a variety depending upon my mood.  What? I like to rock out to Santana, relax and be mellow to Santorini when I want that coastal feeling, Nora Jones when I feel like brooding, and Kings of Leon for a little bit of Southern Rock. I listen to a lot of oldies too.

What makes you laugh? 
My husband is such a cut up. He makes me laugh at myself. And like most people, funny animal videos do the trick if I’m feeling down.

How old were you when you started creating art? 
I remember my first real artwork was from third grade. I painted the teacher, the whole front of the classroom setting in excruciating detail. When it was time for our spelling test, I failed it because teacher said I cheated. The artwork with the spelling words was still on my desk! I didn’t paint much after that, a little as a teenager with lots of angst. Then when my daughter was born 30 years ago, I found a muse.

We all like to draw, paint, glue rocks together, snap photos, etc., but we are well aware we couldn’t make a living doing it.  When did you know this is what you wanted to do with your life? Sixteen months ago I was downsized from a very well paying corporate position in Information Technology. That job made me so tired, that I decided it was time to make a change and do what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. Paint. So here I am living my dream.

When did you know you made the right decision? Some days I still wonder if I’ve made the right decision and other days, I’m absolutely positive. I go back and forth depending on my mood, whether anything sells or whether or not a work is liked. Being an artist can be lonely and bring up all kinds of insecurities. The cure for me is to connect with other artists, keep improving my skills, and journal for a positive attitude.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Inspiration comes from a variety of areas. Sometimes from places I visit. For example, visiting galleries and talking to other artists offer tons of inspirational ideas.  Beautiful scenery, a blue sky, an idea, my garden, and even the feelings I have about finding joy or peace. As a Christian, some of my work is based on encouraging verses from the Bible.  Also, Years ago I painted lots and lots of flowers as a watercolorist; sometimes I go back to my past work and get an idea.

What do you do when you get artist's block? 
Cry…no just kidding. I just keep painting and usually make a really big mess. Sometimes I find something else to do for a few days, but I don’t stop trying to paint. If I work at it too hard, I get blocked.   

Who is your favorite artist? 
Kandinsky. His use of color, line, and form   intrigue me. Most notably his earlier works when he was experimenting with impression and the period around 1916-1920. I saw some of his works at the Guggenheim in Venice a few years back—the movement and fluidity intrigue me.

Favorite painting. 
“Small Pleasures” by Wassily Kandinsky 1913.

Favorite sculpture. 
I don’t have an absolute favorite for sculpture, but I am going to plug a contemporary artist whose sculptures are clean and elegant, Angela Treat Lyon. She’s got some beautiful sculptures as well as 2D work.

Best book you ever read. 
Probably Wuthering Heights. I fell in love with Heathcliff. This book shaped my teenage perspective of romance.

Last book you read. 
The very last book I finished on a recent vacation to California was Dan Brown’s, Inferno. I enjoy this author’s descriptions and analysis of famous art.  

Describe your perfect evening. 
Best friends (this includes my very best friend whom I married), great food, and lots of laughter.

What would you be doing for a living if it weren’t what you’re doing now? Since I’m from a technology background, I’d likely be slogging away at some IT job. But, alas, I don’t have to do that anymore!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My husband, the man I’ve been married to for 32 years. He has always supported my career path, been a terrific encouragement, and loved me even when I was at my worst. This sort of acceptance has allowed me to become more fully who God made me to be.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
Da Vinci, his intelligence and life are fascinating. I’d want to ask him questions about how he married science and art for such amazing outcomes.  

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be an artist? Paint what you love with abandon. Paint a lot and don’t worry about wasting paint. Take a lot of chances and make a lot of mistakes.

Thank you for being with us this morning, Pamela.  You are delightful and your work is vibrant, happy art.  Please come back to visit us anytime and bring more of your gorgeous artwork with you.