Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Interview with Author Margaret Egrot

Margaret Egrot
Coventry, UK

Margaret Egrot is based in Coventry, UK. She is the author of two YA books (And Alex Still Has Acne, and Girl Friends). Girl Friends was published in May 2016 and And Alex … in January 2015. And Alex has been on the Amazon best seller list more than once. Both stories deal with contemporary social issues – but there are a few laughs along the way, and the books have been well rated by adult readers as well as teenagers.

As well as these novels, Margaret has had several short stories intended for adults and new adult readers published. She mostly writes stories based in the present, though in her short story, Sleeping Beauty, she mixes contemporary with well know folk tales, and several of her short stories – Chains of Magic, Journey to the Fair Mountain, A Midsummer Day’s Dream, and The Ghost Queen – are based on female characters in Shakespeare plays. Many of her short stories have appeared in Solstice publishing anthologies, and are available as short story downloads from Amazon Books.
Margaret has also written a number of short plays for local amateur groups and rehearsed readings, and has just completed her first full length play. There are further details on these on her website: www.margaretegrotwriter.weebly.com

Margaret describes herself as boringly normal. She eats and drinks almost anything  - ‘though you can’t beat a cup of strong brew tea, milk no sugar,’ listens to any music so long as it has a good beat (but prefers complete silence when she is writing), and takes a polite, but rather uneducated, interest in most art. She enjoyed visiting the Art After California Light and Space exhibition at the local art gallery recently, and admires the work of the potter Grayson Perry.

The place she most likes visiting is Thailand as this is where her son and his wife live. Apart from this, the place she would most like to visit is Myanmar / Burma, which, seeing as it is the country right next to Thailand, sounds like a realistic possibility.

A perfect evening for Margaret is a trip with friends and family to the theatre, preferably to see a comedy such as One Man and Two Guvnors, followed by a glass, or several, of wine and a natter back at home (and of course a cup of tea).

Many of Margaret’s plots come from past work experiences, or individuals she met through work – all heavily disguised. She is also influenced by books and plays she has read. Her favourite author is Jane Austen, and she enjoys witty romances, detective novels and a range of non-fiction titles.

Her favourite book changes over time and is usually one she has recently read (she doesn’t, these days, persevere with anything she finds boring). 

Currently her recommended read is Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is high on her to be re-read list. Meanwhile she is reading David Nokes’s biography of Jane Austen, having just watched the new film Love and Friendship based on one of her novellas. This is a great film, by the way, and one she would like to see again shortly. The biography is a bit long winded, so she may not finish it.

Margaret says she would have a rather impoverished life if she had to rely on her income from writing. She has spent most of her adult life working with offenders, victims of crime, and troubled families. 

Now largely retired with a modest, but adequate, pension she is able to give more time to writing. At least writing regularly every day takes her mind off wondering why her royalties are so small.

Her advice to someone who wanted to be a writer is to just do it. Also to read widely, including trashy books that you throw down in disgust, convinced you can do better than that. You probably can.

Book and Social Media Links:

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Margaret-Egrot/1374506486178952

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meegrot

Website: www.margaretegrotwriter.weebly.com

Blog: www.writingandbreathing.wordpress.com 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Schedule for Aug. 29, 2016 to Sept. 2, 2016

Schedule for Aug. 29 - Sept. 2, 2016

Mon., Aug. 29 -  New Work from Parker Kaufman
                            "Sleepless Night"

Tues., Aug. 30 -  Interview with British Author Margaret Egrot
                            Author of Girl Friends
Wed., Aug. 31 -  New Cover for
                           The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

Thurs., Sept. 1 -  FREE Today! 
                            Lord of Blakeley by Carol Ann Kauffman

Fri., Sept. 2.     -  Giveaway Contest
                            Kathi Daley Relaunches the Tj Jensen Mysteries

Friday, August 26, 2016

SEA WITCH by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dr. Laura Martin, Chief Extraterrestrial Life Scientist at The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research, noticed troubling but subtle changes in the Atlantic Ocean. Before she could make sense of it all, her longtime assistant abruptly walked out. Laura hired young, handsome Scott Conner to be her personal assistant. Mayhem ensued, mainly because of Zara, the mermaid/siren/monster in the basement of the Touchstone Institute, who eyed on Scott as her possible mate in a plot for total domination of planet Earth.

“The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research is the most fantastic, exhilarating place on the planet to work. It is high energy, exciting, sometimes maddening, often frightening, heart pounding work. It’s not a job. It’s a lifetime commitment. It gets in your blood. It grabs you by the throat and possesses you, body and soul. And it is work. If you’re not prepared to work your ass off day in and day out, weekends, holidays, your birthday, and your mamma’s birthday, leave now.”

Buy Link:  http://tinyurl.com/ljan72s

A Review from Amazon.com

on August 25, 2015
If you like romance with science fiction, you're going to really enjoy this. It's kind of like Men in Black but with USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects) but the main characters aren't government agents, but scientists (but they definitely aren't afraid to use a gun or kill when necessary). I won't go into the plot because that would spoil things but you get some real twists thrown into here with two very human characters, who don't necessarily remain that way. And, yes, the romance is quite good once you get past Scott's immediate and complete infatuation.

The villain of the piece, Zara, even comes across as sympathic... well, as sympathetic as an man-eating alien she-beast can be. If I had one ding against the story it was Zara's wildly shifting emotions. In a lot of ways, it can be explained by the events in the story but it is very obliquely done. Also, even better, there are plenty of seeds in this story for a sequel and I really hope that happens.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Art of Hillary Eddy

Hilary Eddy was born in England and spent her childhood in Surrey, England, where her mother's love of colorful flowers and her father's broad appreciation of nature proved to have a profound influence on her artistic concerns and interests. 

She attended college in North Wales where she was awarded the Douglas Williams Memorial Prize for Excellence in Art. She then came to the United States where she pursued her career at Purdue University, gaining her Masters of Arts degree in Fine Art in 1974.

Hilary has held more than sixty solo exhibitions of her oil paintings nationally at museums, universities, and commercial art galleries. including the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. 

She has won over forty awards in national and regional exhibitions. including the Grand Prize and First Place Award in the experimental category in The Artist's Magazine, which had over 10,000 entries.

Her paintings have been featured in the major art publications like American Art Collector, International Artist. The Artist's Magazine, and Art Crowd Magazine.

I was captivated by her colored glass collection of oil paintings that you see here today. 

I claim nothing here as my own. All information is from the website listed below. Check it out. Her work is fantastic!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Interview with Author Dianne Harman

 Dianne Harman
Southern California

Good morning, Dianne, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. We are delighted to have you with us this morning. For those who aren't already familiar with your work, can you tell us what you've written? 
Suspense series, Coyote Series, and four cozy mystery series: Cedar Bay, Liz Lucas, High Desert, and Midwest.

What is your favorite genre to write? 
Cozy Mystery

And you do it well! Favorite food. 
Prime rib

Tea or coffee?

Pizza or ice cream?

Wine or beer?

Where would you like to visit?

Do you listen to music when you write?  What? 
No, I like the quiet.

Me, too. What makes you laugh?
Things that just happen, not jokes.

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
Anything by Georgia O’Keefe

How old were you when you started writing?

Describe your perfect evening. 
A glass of wine, a good dinner, and a book.

Where do you get your inspiration?

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I’ve never had it.

Who is your favorite author? 
Whoever I’m reading at the moment.

Best book you ever read. 
Couldn’t single one out.

Last book you read. 
Am reading five at the moment.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
If I was younger, I’d be a chef or breed dogs.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My husband because he has supported me over the years no matter what I’ve become involved in.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 
The Dalai Lama. He’s a constant source of inspiration.

He is a true source of inspiration to us all. What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 
Just do it! You don’t need degrees, critic groups, or workshops.

Do you some links so we can follow you?
Web Site http://www.DianneHarman.com
Blog: http://dianneharman.com/blog/
Twitter: @DianneDHarman

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_8?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=dianne%20harman&sprefix=Dianne%20H%2Cdigital-text%2C407&rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Ck%3Adianne%20harman

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dale Chihuly, Glassmaster

Dear Gentle Readers,
When we were in Las Vegas in 2007, we were lucky enough to view the unusual and breathtaking glass sculpture of one very talented Dale Chihuly at the Bellagio.  Beautiful as a description just doesn't come close.  Once you have seen one of his creations, you are forever changed as to what you think is beautiful and what you believe is possible.  You can recognize one of his pieces wherever you seen it.  I believe Dale Chihuly invented the American Art category of "glass sculpture."

 My mother had a collection of depression glass, so we were aware at a young age the beauty and fragility of colored glass. But Dale Chihuly's work is jaw-dropping.  His pieces are no little footed candy dishes!

Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington on September 20, 1941. Reports indicate Dale was not a stellar student. and after graduating Woodrow Wilson High School in 1959, he bounced around a few different colleges, but nothing ignited his fire, so he quit college and went to Florence to study art.
(Lucky for us!!!)

 He began glassblowing in 1965 and found his true calling, becoming an internationally recognized glass sculptor.  He worked at the Murano Glass Factory near Venice.  We toured the facility, as that was something I always wanted to do. (Tour, not blow)

Dale's largest permanent collection can be viewed at the Oklahoma city Museum of Art, and visiting it is also on my bucket list.

His work and reputation are more prominent in the West.  I was thrilled to see some of his work in Colorado the last time we were there, similar to these beautiful flower pods to the right, with vibrant opalescent two and three-toned contrasting colors.

During a visit to England in 1976, Dale was in a very serious auto accident, leaving him with no sight in his left eye and the loss of depth perception.  (That's why he wears an eye patch.)  He once said this disability caused him to move on to working on projects of a much larger scale.  

Many of Dale's prominent pieces were chandeliers.  His initial pieces, around 1992, were modest and lovely, but soon they blossomed into beautiful flowers, and breasts, and snakes, and  all kinds of wild glass creations one wouldn't expect on a chandelier, and it was fabulous.

 In the 1970s, Dale did a series of glass paintings based on Native American designs, aptly titles his Navajo Blanket series.

The documentary, Chihuly Over Venice, was a truly spectacular event, coordinating glass and color and water and timing.  

None of these photos are mine.  I claim nothing here.  Nothing is mine, except the memories.  I looked him up on Wikipedia and Facebook.  I simply wanted to share my limited knowledge of this fabulous glass artist/glass master so my readers would associate the name, Dale Chihuly with these magnificent glass creations.

Links to learn more about him:
He is on Facebook and Wikipedia.