Friday, September 30, 2016

January Black Ice $.99 Sale

Dear Gentle Readers,

January Black Ice, the first Cat Collier Mystery, is now on sale for $.99 at at  

The Cat Collier mysteries has been called an exciting new series. It is a fast, funny, yet heartfelt read. It has been compared to the detective novels of the 1940's. 

The Winter Collection, consisting of January Black Ice, February White Lies, and March Blues, is out now.

Pick up this first novella for $.99 from September 30 through October 3, 2016.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Elspeth McLean, Dot Queen

Look at what this woman does with stones and paint!

These gorgeous painted stones are by Elspeth McLean, an Australian artist born in Gooseberry Hill, a small suburb in western Australia. She showed her artistic tendencies at a very early age.

She moved to the East Coast of Australia at the age of nineteen to follow her dream of becoming  a full time artist.

Elspeth now lives in Canada.

Elspeth creates breathtaking masterpieces of tiny, colorful dots in beautiful patterns on round ocean stones.  Each one is more beautiful than the next. 

Follow Elspeth McLean on Facebook by visiting her beautiful page at:

None of these photos are mine. I got them online or at website.  Her work is available for sale at 
etsy. com

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Jack Vettriano

 Jack Vettriano

Meet my new favorite artist, Jack Vettriano.  His biography begins "born in Fife, Scotland in 1951." Hold on, Readers! This Italian girl recognizes an Italian last name when she hears one. Intrigued, I continued reading that this talented man quit school and went to work in the mining industry. His girlfriend bought him a set of watercolor paints for his twenty-first birthday (Thank you, dear, whoever you are, you did the world a favor!) and from then on he spent his free time teaching himself to paint.

        There is something about his work that draws you into the painting.  The first one I ever saw was his The Singing Butler, which shows an elegantly dressed couple dancing on the beach in the rain with their butler with an open umbrella. Their is such a romantic aura in this beautifully done painting. Love it.

  And then I discovered a whole plethora of paintings by Jack Vettriano as his publishing company's website

where you can browse and buy Jack Vettriano reasonably priced posters, cards, postcards, calendars, journals, as well as canvas prints.  It is a beautiful and easy to navigate website.  

I discovered Dance Me to the End of Love, a spectacular Audrey Hepburn-like beauty in perfect ballroom dancing hold with her striking partner.

Jack Vettriano was born Jack Hoggan to a Scottish father and an Italian mother. When he was 36 and newly separately, he moved to Edinburgh and took his mother's maiden name and went on to become an international success with studios in Scotland and London.  The Singing Butler has been the best selling image in Britain and is very popular here as well.

Those who criticize his work as "too erotic" have to be those guys who prefer to look at paintings of fish or maybe still life prints of fruits and veggies.

Please visit Jack Vettriano - Official Jack Vettriano Page on Facebook for  news on Jack's current and upcoming gallery showings and current work.  Some other very interesting links are:     Posters_c29036_.htm

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fabulous Work of Suzan Drummen

The Fabulous Artwork of Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen

This gorgeous circular artwork is like giant floor jewelry.  I have never seen anything like the work of Dutch artist Suzan Drummen.

Suzan Drummen is a visual arts teacher in the Netherlands.  Some have called her work psychedelic.  The beads, stones, mirrors, etc. are placed loosely on the floor, making them ethereal and very vulnerable to destruction. 

 Side-view of Suzan's work look like giant sundaes with cherries on the top.  The must be viewed from above to get the full effect.

Directly from the Website
From this website you can view many multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography, installation and public art. The works are a playful investigation of space, illusion, optical effects and other visual phenomena as part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty. There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.
The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not, is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

This website features a selection of the work, in chronological order, with the most recent work at the top. 

Thanks to: family, friends, fellow artists, exhibition curators, art advisors, clients, commissioners, architects and those involved in the production and realisation of the works. 

Suzan Drummen

1990 – Present (23 years) Amsterdam
"As an artist I make multidisciplinary works in the media of painting, photography,installation, and public art.  The works are a playful investigation of the space, illusion, optical effects, and other phenomena as a part of a broad exploration of visual perception and the limits of beauty.  There is an ongoing inquiry into the limits of seduction and repulsion.

The installations for example, are made from crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass. From a distance they appear clear and orderly, yet upon closer inspection, the eyes become disoriented by the many details and visual stimuli. That moment, of being able to take it all in or not is explored, time and time again. The visual perception is challenged, requisitioned and intensified.

Developing my own visual work is the main thing I do, but many other activities such as teaching, being member of art committees and initiate new art projects are so interwoven that I can hardly make a distinction between my activities. It is a great a stream of actions, meetings and findings that fertilize each other immensely."

The fabulous Dutch Artist Suzan Drummen uses a very special canvas for her work.  She uses the floor!  She uses crystals, chromed metals, precious stones, mirrors, and faceted optical lens to make large scale murals using complex circular patterns, reminding me of Tibetian sand painting... and the circular written language of Gallifrey.di

Monday, September 26, 2016

Vogue: The Art of Helen Dryden

The Art of Helen Dryden                              

All Information and photos from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Helen Dryden
Born November 5, 1887
Baltimore, Maryland
Died July 1981 (aged 93)
Nationality United States
Helen Dryden (1887 – 1981) was an American artist and successful industrial designer in the 1920s and 1930s. She was reportedly described by the New York Times as being the highest-paid woman artist in the United States, though she lived in comparative poverty in later years.[1]

Dryden was born in Baltimore and moved to Philadelphia when she was seven years old to attend Eden Hall. During her early childhood years Dryden showed unusual artistic ability, designing and selling clothes for paper dolls. Eventually she sold a set of her paper dolls and dresses to a newspaper for use in its fashion section. This in turn led to a position as illustrator for Anne Rittenhouse's fashion articles in the Philadelphia Public Ledger and The Philadelphia Press.

Dryden was largely self-trained, describing her works as "a combination of things I like, in the way I want to do them." Her artistic education consisted of four years of training in landscape painting under Hugh Breckinridge and one summer school session at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Deciding that she had no real interest in landscape painting, Dryden focused her complete attention on fashion design and illustration.

Fashion illustration
After moving to New York in 1909, Dryden spent a year trying to interest fashion magazines in her drawings. None, however, showed any interest in her work and many were harsh with criticism. Dryden was particularly disappointed in her rejection by Vogue. Less than a year later, however, Condé Nast Publications assumed management 
of Vogue and set out to make changes. Upon seeing Dryden's drawings, they directed the fashion editor to contact her immediately. The result was a Vogue contract that led to a 13-year collaboration (1909–1922) during which she produced many fashion illustrations and magazine covers.[2] Her "essentially romantic style produced some of the most appealing, yet fantastical images on Vogue covers, frequently depicting imagined rather than realistic representations of dress."[3] She also illustrated other Condé Nast titles, including Vanity Fair and House and Garden.[3]

Costume design
In addition to her prolific career as an illustrator, in 1914 Dryden launched a successful career as a costume designer. She designed the scenery and some of the costumes for the musical comedy Watch Your Step, followed by designs for several other stage plays including Clair de Lune, the fanciful drama based loosely on a Victor Hugo romance. Although the play starred Lionel and Ethel Barrymore, Helen Dryden's costume designs were generally given equal credit for the play's success.[4]                                       

Industrial design
Following the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Dryden turned her attention to industrial design, producing a number of designs for tableware, lamps, and other housewares, for the Revere Corporation.[5] She had a highly paid job with the Dura Company until the stock market crash of 1929, at which point she was replaced by George W. Walker.[6] It seems Dryden never fully recovered from this blow. According to Christopher Gray, "The 1925 census recorded her living at 9 East 10th Street with her 25-year-old Philippine-born cook and butler, Ricardo Lampitok.

Dryden worked for Studebaker from 1934 to 1937, reportedly earning $100,000 per year.[7] Automotive designer Raymond Loewy contracted with her to help him design Studebaker interiors.[8] Her work on the interior of the 1936 Studebaker Dictator and President that established Helen Dryden as an important twentieth-century industrial designer.[9] The advertisements by the automaker proclaimed, "It's styled by Helen Dryden."[10] Dryden designed the Studebaker President throughout, and the press marveled that a woman had attained this eminence in mechanical engineering.[11] She was considered "one of the top industrial designers and one of the few women in the automotive field."[12] Dryden worked with Loewy through 1940.[8]

By 1956 Dryden was again living in a $10-a-week hotel room paid for by the city's Welfare Department. At the time, she referred nostalgically to "her '$200-a-month' 10th Street apartment".

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Schedule for Sept. 26 - October 1, 2016


Mon., Sept. 26 - Vogue: The Art of Helen Dryden
Tues., Sept. 27 - The Work of Suzan Drummen
Wed., Sept. 28 - The Art of Jack Vettriano
Thurs., Sept. 29 - Elspeth McLean, Dot Queen
Fri., Sept. 30 - January Black Ice $.99 Sale
Sat., Oct. 1 - Blood Shackles by Rosemary A. Johns

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Spike Collection: A Visit with 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. 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. 

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!

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: 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Walking in Peace by Parker Kaufman

Dear Gentle Readers

Our own Parker Kaufman has been a busy boy! Here is a peek at one of his latest art pieces, Walking in Peace.

Here is the description in the artist's own words.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Cover for Andrea Barbosa's Massive Black Hole

Nominated and listed as one of the 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading of 2013/2014 (reader-voted top 5 in literary fiction) at website (formerly known as Indie Author Land). 

At 18, Cibele, a student from Rio de Janeiro, moves to New York, where she meets precocious Amy, a young scholar whose goal in life is to study sciences and astrophysics. 

When she visits the Art Museum, Cibele is impressed by a particular painting depicting hell. Her horror of the image grows when Amy introduces her to astronomy, and she associates the fearful black hole to an entrance into that terrifying hell. Lost and confused about her life, she meets ambitious Agatha from Texas, who is in New York to pursue a career as a fashion model and they become inseparable. 

While trying to survive and achieve their goals, the three 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. 

Embark on a spiraling journey through Rio de Janeiro, Texas, and New York to discover the ambitions of three young women looking for 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?

Amazon Buy Link:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Orchids 101

    Dear Gentle Readers,

    Orchids have a reputation for being hard to grow. I have six. If they needed constant fussing or special greenhouse conditions to grow and flourish, mine would be dead. So if you ever had the desire to share your home with one of these exotic beauties, I encourage you to try.

    Orchids are hardy and ancient plants, some say dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. But I read that on the internet, so who knows? Their native habitat is the rainforest, which is being destroyed at an alarming rate. Deforestation. Pollution. Global warming. Each of these could cause orchids to become extinct in a few generations.

    I find them to be a lovely and elegant addition to a room. While some think the African violet may be old-fashioned and mummsie or worse yet, grandmummsie, the orchid is modern and sophisticated. The prices have come down considerably. I've seen them at the grocery store for around ten dollars. I've seen them on sale at Lowe's for 2 for $10.

    If you buy one, remember to keep your new plant isolated from your other plants for a few days, just in case your new plant has a fungus. Also, while orchids like plenty of water, they don't like to sit in it.

    More on orchids and orchid care to come.


    ​Here is a terrific resource site for anyone interested in orchids:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Schedule for September 19 - 23, 2016

Schedule for Sept. 19 -23, 2016
Mon. , Sept. 19 - Orchids
Tues., Sept 20 - Massive Black Hole by Andrea Barbosa
has a brand new cover. Look!!!
Wed. , - Sept. 21 Walking in Peace
New Art Work from Parker Kaufman
Thurs., - Sept. 22 Book Review
The Spike Collection by Martin Skate
Fri., Sept 23 - Belterra
by Carol Ann Kauffman

Friday, September 16, 2016

MacKalvey House by Carol Ann Kauffman

Dear Gentle Readers,

MacKalvey House is the story of a young American woman who goes to England and falls in love with Kenneth MacKalvey, an older British author and art critic with a dark past. 

She also brought along her own emotional luggage. Although this is not considerable a sequel to Echo of Heartbreak, A Recipe for Life, if you remember Michelle Rosemont, the baby in Echo, this is her story.

Further complicating the matter is a young, blond, Italian lawyer who is inexplicably drawn to Michelle, and thinks Kenneth MacKalvey is not good enough for her.

This novel, although not sexually explicit or graphically violent, is not for the easily offended. 

Amazon Buy Link:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Shari Ryan's Schasm

Shari J. Ryan
Central Massachusetts

Good morning, Shari and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Artists.  We are happy to have you here this morning.  Can you tell us what you've written? 
My debut novel, Schasm  is being relaunched today. I’ve also written the second and third book of the Schasm Series, which will be coming out later in the Spring and Summer respectively. 

What is your favorite genre to write? 
Young Adult and New Adult are my genres of choice.

Favorite food? 
Sushi, Chinese, and crepes - just not all together.

Tea or coffee?
Iced coffee, even in the winter. 

Pizza or ice cream?
Ice cream.

Where would you like to visit? 
Every country in Europe.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
Chemical Romance has been a long time favorite of mine. When I’m writing I listen to a variety of music depending on the scene I’m working on. The genre of music sways from classical (Beethoven) to hard rock (female vocalists).

What makes you laugh? 
My two little boys. They are both little comedians.

How old were you when you started writing? 
I started writing on my seventh birthday when I received my first diary/journal. I haven’t stopped since. 

Describe your perfect evening: 
Anywhere sans kids (Sorry, boys. Mommy needs a break sometimes). I’m a big fan of dinner and a movie (in the winter) and cocktails with friends at a firepit (in the Summer).

Where do you get your inspiration?
Art, reading, small details in large things. 

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
I listen to lots of music, read lots of books, go for walks and long drives. 

Who is your favorite author? 
Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire are my two all time faves, but recently I’ve become a huge fan of Amy Harmon and K.A. Tucker as well.

Best book you ever read. 
Slammed by Colleen Hoover wins that award for me. 

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My husband, Josh. He’s taught me to take a closer look at life, to appreciate the small things and to take everything in slowly. Being a combat vet, he learned how to appreciate life at a young age. I met him shortly after he returned from Iraq, and he changed my life for the better. He taught me and reminds me on a regular basis that no dream is ever too big or too dumb. You never know when you might not have the chance to try and accomplish it, so it’s better to live in the present and lay all of your cards out on the table. You might fail, but you might succeed. It has been the greatest advice I’ve ever been given. 

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 great-grandmother—a Holocaust survivor and author. I would do anything to hear her stories and to find out about her inspirations. I read her book regularly as a reminder of where I got my passion for writing. 

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 
Write. Keep writing. If you think you don’t have what it takes to write, you’ll learn to write better as you write. And you might just surprise yourself when you type the words, “The End”.

Amazon Link:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Art of Federico Andreotti

Federico Andreotti  was born in Florence, Italy on March 8, 1847. His early studies in the arts were with Angiolo Tricca and Stefano Ussi at the Florentine Academy of the Fine Arts.

He is known as a prolific painter in the realistic genre, but he is famous for his aristocratic scenes.

He gained an appointment as a professor at the Academy at a young age. He painted many canvases in Florence, Rome, and other big Italian cities. 

He combined his artistic talent with his knowledge of the human anatomy. 

His paintings depicted the gentries aristocracy in their finest dress. The elaborate period dress and the sophisticated airs of his subjects gave his paintings a special air, sometimes described as Rococo Revival.

He is praised for his dramatic use of color in his paintings.

Federico died in 1930 in Florence. His work is widely sought after in auction houses in Europe.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Interview with Author Brent A. Harris

Brent A. Harris
Twenty Nine Palms, California

Welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors, Brent. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
Though I’m rather decent at writing words, I’m less proficient at stringing them together to form sentences. Nevertheless, I seemed to have stumbled into several short stories, mostly with a little help from friends. I can’t emphasis that enough. Have a support group! You can find the majority of my work published in anthologies through Inklings Press, who is not only the publisher for my short stories, but my friends.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Alternate History and science fiction are my recreational methods of escaping reality, but I’ve dabbled in some other things. I… I don’t like to talk about it.

Favorite food.
Anything not cooked by me.

Are you related to my husband? That is his favorite food, too!
Tea or coffee?
The tea got dumped in the Harbor and I don’t as of yet understand the Language of the Coffee Machine. I drink pre-chilled energy drinks. Pop a tab and guzzle. Repeat as needed

Pizza or ice cream?
Why not both? (just not ON the pizza). Seriously, pizza and ice cream are the base of my personal food pyramid.

Wine or beer?
Rum and Vodka

Where would you like to visit?
The Cretaceous

Isn't that a small, crusty animal like a lobster? Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
Lindsey Stirling. She’s my muse when my other muse isn’t looking (sorry, wifey). And I’m into movie/tv scores. Anything done by: Bear McCreary, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Klaus Baldet, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, just to name a few!

What makes you laugh?
A rousing game of Cards Against Humanity. Also, British People

Favorite work of art or sculpture.
Apparently, I’m an uncultured swine. I have no idea.

This is a blog about Art and Authors, so I am obliged to ask. Do not feel bad. How old were you when you started writing?
My 9 year old found a piece of writing from when I was 9. She corrected my grammar.

Describe your perfect evening.
Binging a season on Netflix. Reading a good book. Going out to a midnite showing of the newest comic book movie. I prefer to be alone or with a crowd that shares similar interests.

Where do you get your inspiration?
As Jack Kerouac might say in a drunken stupor: Living. At no time am I ever not thinking about something I should probably write down.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Write. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Even if it’s painful, even if it’s not what you sat down to write. Writing is work.

Who is your favorite author?
At the risk of sounding cliché, Tolkien and GRR Martin, and from the television/movie script scene, Joss Whedon.

Best book you ever read.
I love fiction for fun, but non-fiction sticks with me more. My favorite books to read are actually references about how to improve my writing. Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages is probably one I’ve worn out by re-reading.

I've not heard of that one. I'll add it to my eading list. Last book you read.
The Art of Comics, by Scott McCloud. Technically, I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m assuming I will by the time the article runs. So far, my mind has been blown by some of the seemingly obvious revelations about why symbolism and iconography are so important to story-telling and the structure of stories themselves.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I was a retail manager for 14 years. Now, I drink heavily. Remember folks, correlation is not causation. But you can draw your own conclusions.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I honestly have no idea who I wouldn’t put down here. Everyone I’ve ever met has influenced me in some way, conscious or unconsciously. You guys are all important. Really, I’m just standing on all your shoulders, in the same way that I hope I’ve let others hop onto mine.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
It truly would be Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire fame. And I wouldn’t talk. I’d just swoon and listen. I’d learn more from him about writing over lunch than I would in a lifetime of study.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Develop thick skin and buckle up for the long haul. It’s as terrifying and painful as it is rewarding and fun. Even though I don’t feel as I’m in a position to give advice, I will mention one thing that was important for me: find friends who share your passion as much as you and who are better writers than you. It’s the only way you’ll keep going and get better.

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