Tuesday, July 31, 2018

INTERVIEW: Texas Author Melanie Snitker

Melanie D. Snitker
Texas Hill Country

Good morning, Melanie, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the site for art and authors. What have you written?
I published my first book, Calming the Storm, in August of 2014. Since then, I’ve published six books in the complete Love’s Compass series, a novella for the Fall Into Romance collection, and I have two other series I’m working on now. The third book in the Brides of Clearwater series, Marrying Chrissy, will be available sometime in August.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I love to write contemporary inspirational romance. I try to touch on subjects that matter to everyone and show how God makes a difference in our everyday lives. In the end, it’s my hope to weave together a story that stays with the reader long after the last page has been turned.

Favorite food.
I enjoy Mexican food of almost any kind. I could probably eat good fajitas every day and never get tired of them. LOL

Tea or coffee?
I like unsweet iced tea, but I’m not a big fan of hot drinks in general.

Pizza or ice cream?
Pizza – especially if it’s supreme or Hawaiian. Though seriously, both pizza and ice cream would be awesome!

Where would you like to visit?
I’d love to go to Hawaii someday.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
Oh, it’s so hard to narrow it down to one musical artist or group. I guess, if I have to choose, I’d have to say DC Talk as my ultimate favorite. I enjoy listening to music when I write, but I usually choose music that’s a little calmer, otherwise I do more singing along than writing. LOL Favorites include Michael W. Smith, Jamie Grace, Sierra, 2Cellos, and some of the praise albums from Petra and Newsboys.

What makes you laugh?
Watching our little girl play in the sprinkler with her dog. The two of them always have so much fun together.

How old were you when you started writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I’d create my own coloring books—and later comic books—for the Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers. A few years later, I wrote a script for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I wrote a science fiction novel in high school. It needs a great deal of editing, but it wound up being over 75,000 words long. It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to consider writing inspirational romance. It’s a genre I enjoy reading, but back then, it was difficult to find clean romance. I decided more people needed to write it, and I may as well be one of them. Being a published author is truly a dream come true.

Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I started out just writing with very little planning ahead of time. It worked fairly well for me, but I often had a great deal of editing afterward. Now I’m trying to do more outlining before I begin to help the story come together more smoothly. I have a notebook that I use for each book. I jot down ideas, character traits, and try to at least line up the major events. I’ve found that I can’t plan everything out because my characters tend to have minds of their own. Many of the things I write I had no idea about ahead of time, and I’m about as surprised about them as my readers are. 

Describe your perfect evening.
My days tend to be somewhat high-stress, so a laid-back evening is always wonderful. Usually that includes putting my feet up and watching new episodes of our favorite TV shows with my husband or playing our favorite computer game together.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including my own experiences, books I’ve read, my favorite movies, and even music. Subjects involving infertility, adoption, autism, and homeschooling are all important to me, and often find their way into my books.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I usually read one of my favorite books or watch a favorite movie. That almost always helps. The other thing I do is listen to a song that makes me think of the story in my book.

Who is your favorite author?
If I have to choose one favorite, I’d have to say Lori Wick.

Best book you ever read.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Last book you read.
Engaging Mr. Darcy by Rachel John

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I’d probably be a photographer that focused on landscape and nature photography. One of these days, I want to travel around and take photos of the different fields here in Texas: cotton, wheat, etc. I think they are beautiful.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My wonderful husband, Doug. He’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams, make time to write, and is the perfect balance to my introverted personality.

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 would love to sit down and visit with my dad. He passed away in November of 2011. I’d love to talk to him about his grandkids, about the books I’ve written (I dedicated the first book I published to him), and just chat about the little things in life. So many things have happened in the nearly seven years since he’s been gone.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Never give up. Don’t let people tell you that you have to write a certain amount each day. The truth is, everyone goes through seasons in their lives. It’s easier to write during some seasons than it is others. The most important thing is to write when you are inspired and believe in yourself. What you have to say matters!

Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Social Media Links:

Brides of Clearwater Series:

Love’s Compass Series (complete with six books):

Life Unexpected Series:

Calming the Storm (debut novel):

Fall Into Romance Collection:

Monday, July 30, 2018

And While We Were Sleeping...

And while we were sleeping, 

Vision and Verse, the place for art and authors, co-founded by a Texas artist and an Ohio writer, surpassed the 200,000 Pageviews Milestone.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who stops by to see what’s happening on this little site about art and authors, reportedly the two dullest blog subjects on the web. We were warned five years ago last April that we were doomed from Day One. Art blogs are boring until it’s your blog about your own art. Author blogs are boring unless you are the author and you’re showcasing your own books. But we persisted.

Yes, we showcased my novels, short stories, and works-in-process. Yes, we featured some or our own artwork. But we added the people of interest along the way. 

We’re not much. We’re plain. Simple. One column down the middle, white background, no fancy stuff. We let our content take the stage, whether it’s a new book, a film pick, or an interview with one of today’s up and coming artists or authors. We don’t pretend to be anything we’re not, no illusions of grandeur here. 

Just a spark, call it inspiration, creativity, magic voovoo. That special spark you see in a painting or photo, hear in a touching song, or read in a surprising simple text. That spark that speaks to you, awakens something inside you. 
It’s that memorable glint of beauty that separates that moment from the rest of your day. 

Hey, we don’t always nail it. And these days, ‘we’ is me. The rest of the staff has moved on...to full-time jobs, professional positions, or dropped out of the blog scene completely.  But long as I can find an artist, painter, photographer, or author willing to take the time to interview with us, we will continue.

Am I surprised we hit 200,000 pageviews? Yes!!! Why? I don’t know. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Schedule for July 30 - August 3, 2018

Mon., July 30 - And While We Were Sleeping...
A Vision and Verse Milestone
Tues., July 31 - INTERVIEW with 
Texas Author Melanie Snitker
Wed., Aug. 1 - FILM PICK: The Extraordinary 
Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
Thurs., Aug. 2 - ART Russian Artist
Wassily Kandinsky

Thursday, July 26, 2018

BOOK: The Blue Cove Mysteries by Iona Morrison

Dear Gentle Readers,

Today I want to share with you an outstanding series written by Iona Morrison. Young Jessie Reynolds moved to a new town and immediately becomes embroiled in the murder investigation of a local pastor, partly because of the really cute sheriff.

I say partly, because there are 'forces' at work.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

INTERVIEW with Epic Fantasy Author Rival Gates

Rival Gates
 Omaha, NE USA

 Good Morning, Rival, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the site authors.What have you written? 
"Quest for the Red Sapphire" "Sapphire Crucible" and soon to come, "Mandrean Revenge."

What is your favorite genre to write? 
Epic Fantasy

Favorite food. 

Tea or coffee?

Pizza or ice cream?

Wine or beer?

Where would you like to visit? 

Oh, Rival, go and go soon. Rome is fantastic. They call it the Eternal City for a good reason. See the 
Vatican Museum. Eat at one of the local eateries. Stroll around the city in the late afternoon. Visit the Colliseum. Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to 
music when you write?  What? 
My favorite band is Genesis. I need complete silence when I write.

What makes you laugh? 
People who don't think writing is work.

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
Any painting by Thomas Kinkade.

How old were you when you started writing? 

Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write? 
I do an outline first in bullet point. Then I write the novel. This way I don't miss important points or get writer's block.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Me, my wife and the dogs.

Where do you get your inspiration?

What do you do when you get a writer's block? 
When it happens, I read what I just wrote and continue the thought.

Who is your favorite author? 
C.S. Lewis

Best book you ever read. 
"The Return of the King" J.R.R. Tolkien

Last book you read. 
"Scattered Shells" by Francene Staley.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer? 
Furniture salesman.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My mother was my biggest influence. She listened to me ramble about one book after another and always encouraged me.

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 would sit down with Napoleon and find out how he came up with so many brilliant battleplans.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer? 
You are going to face rejection. That's part of the business. You just have to keep trying until the right fit comes along.

Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Web Site: http://www.rivalgates.co
Twitter: RivalGates1

Purchase “Quest for the Red Sapphire”

Purchase “The Sapphire Crucible”
Purchase “Mandrean Revenge”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FILM PICK: "Loving Vincent"

Dear Gentle Readers,

If you haven't heard of the movie Loving Vincent, I want to encourage you to seek it out on video or wherever you stream your entertainment.
We'd read about this motion picture animation about the final days of Vincent Van Gogh, where each cell in the animation is an oil painting. We followed it's progress closely as it was seven years in the making. We were so excited to see it on the big screen, all 65,000 frames. But this world's first fully painted feature film never made it to a theater anywhere near us. So I bought it on Amazon for my husband's birthday.

It is absolutely wonderful. The casting is exceptional. Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza on Poldark), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, Hanna, Lady Bird), and Douglas Booth to name a few. Even Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) shows up as the Boatman. The artwork is breathtaking. And the music! 

It is the story of a letter Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo before he died The story, the cast, the music, and the wonderful paintings lift this feature film to a must-see masterpiece.

The postmaster in the little French village where Vincent was staying before his death mailed this letter twice, and twice it was returned. So the postmaster sent his son to personally deliver the letter to Theo.  

Top customer reviews:

Format: DVD

Format: Blu-ray|Verified Purchase

Format: DVD|Verified Purchase