Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

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Interview Brian Hayden – An Experience of Holding onto Life…

August 31, 2016
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Brian Hayden

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first Book, “Understanding Strategic And Tactical Planning” was a surprise. I was the Chief Operating Officer for Specialty, 24 hour and Emergency Animal Hospitals for a national Animal hospital company. I wrote some notes, intended to help our hospital managers understand the process of operating animal hospitals. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) saw it. They asked me to expand it into a book.

1583260196 VET

The next two books dealt with my death. “Death: Living To Talk About It” started out as a blog. I had just come out of hospice, where I was supposed to have died. I began a blog – the sole purpose was try to understand the ordeal I went through.

Tell us a little about yourself before your experience.

I am happily married, with two grown children. I have six grandsons. Before the problems began, I was an Air Force Master Sargent, stationed in England. I was 35 years old when I first died.

What were your ‘belief’s on life after death at that time (if any)?

I hadn’t really thought about life after death. Just the usual passing thought now and then. That changed when I was in hospice, waiting to die.

I was visited by both of my grandmothers. They had passed many years before.  Though I was drugged and dying, years of reflection bring me to one conclusion. My grandmothers were with me – watching and waiting. I talk about this in detail, in am upcoming book.

book cover

How did you come up with the title?

The title of my first post death experience book came easily. “Death: Living To Talk About It”. Having died  (actually died) 5 times and had “should have died” moments more than 200 times – well, the title just presented itself.

Is this your first book?

This was not my first book. The management book I mentioned earlier was my first book. During that period, I had written several scripts for education videos.

Why did you decide to write about your experience?

At first, I wanted to write about my experiences to help me understand what had happened to me. Later, the motivation shifted. As the blog was progressing, I received feedback from many people. They appreciated me sharing my story. It was informational, and it let people know that they are not alone. Lots of people struggle with serious health issues. They were comforted knowing others were experiencing the same things they were.

What message do you want to send to your readers?

Hope. It’s a powerful word. When you read my books, you understand the adversity and struggles I had for many years. Never give up. Think to yourself: If he can still be skulking about after all that he has gone through, maybe then I can too.

Road to Transplant

How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

“Road To Transplant” is the sequel to the “Death” book. It is an international bestselling book that chronicles my journey for life. Great information. It examines family dynamics during family crisis, looks into the process of getting a heart transplant, and follows me through the process of dying – not knowing if a heart would become available.

I’ve also written a book. “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems”. I desperately needed a diversion from talking about illness. It is a fun book. The stories will make you laugh, cry, be happy and sad.

Poems.jpg

What book are you reading now?

I am re-reading “A Movable Feast” by Hemmingway. His words stir the creative juices in my mind. I always read him, and the Russian writers of the 18th and 19th century as I write my own stories.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I have a second book of short stories and poems in the works. Also a historical fiction is almost completed. Both books should be available in about a year.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about me is on my web page. Along with excerpts from my books, reviews and links to purchase them. Also, you will find a great blog that nearly a half million people have read.

Go to Brianhayden.net for all stuff ME!

Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to know more about me, and my work.

Brian has also made videos on the dangers of smoking. See below.

 

 

Summer Author Reading – My MC Experience…

August 29, 2016
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On Saturday I was MC for the Summer Author reading at our local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. I had read the month before so was pleased to act as MC this time. It is always a pleasure to support my fellow writers and especially cool to hear them share their stories.

Aug 27th Author Reading

The three authors reading were Linda J Pedley – who thrilled us with excerpts from her ‘Journey’ trilogy, Journey of Brothers, Journey of Desires and  Journey of Truth. Beth Rowe reading from both of her YA adventure/mystery books, Bird of Barjay and Mischief, Mischief and J.E. McKnight from his intriguing sci-fi, The Arrival.

Having such a diverse selection of stories certainly made the evening a fun one and the audience loved the opportunity to ask the authors questions later. It is so important to support your local authors not only at readings but by purchasing and reviewing their books. There is months, if not years of work, in each book you read. Stories that are easy reading are hard writing!

Thank you to Dream Write Publishing (www.dreamwritepublishing.ca) and Social Grounds Coffeehouse for making this series of author readings possible. if you wish to purchase any of these books or indeed the 70+ others on the purchaser site please feel free to browse!

Have you attended any authors readings, whether reading or listening?

What was your experience like?

What did you learn?

Do you know your local authors? If not contact your library.

 

 

Writing Prompt Contest – My Favorite Book…

August 27, 2016
mandyevebarnett


books

Write about your favorite book.

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for prose. Poems can be any length, if you can regale your book review in rhyme!

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

A Glimpse Through A Window – A Ghost Story…

August 24, 2016
mandyevebarnett


A Glimpse Through A Window – A Ghost Story

hardyes-window
It started with a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. A movement passing the opened window but when she turned there was nothing there. Dismissing it as possibly a bird or a butterfly floating in the warmth of summer sunshine, she turned back to her work.
Just one more chapter and then she would treat herself to a walk to ease and stretch her aching muscles. Janice had woken bursting with inspiration at five o’clock, now six hours later a major part of the novel was complete. With a flourish she hit the keypad and straightens up. There in front of her was a beautiful face peering through the window. Instinct makes her jump and involuntary utter a gasp.
“Hello, who are you?”
The lady smiles but does not answer just reaches out her hand to beckon Janice outside. Her dark shape and long ebony locks float as if in water, it is surreal. Fascinated Janice opens the patio door and enters the warmth of the day time sun.
“Come follow – you will find.”
“Find what, where are we going?”
Without waiting the lady turns toward the rose garden, the oldest part of the cottage garden. The floral scent permanents the air as they approach the blooms. The dark lady stops in the centre of the path and points. Janice’s eyes follow her fingers direction – there blooms an ebony rose so dark it gleams.
“Write its story, Janice and release me.”
“Release you – I don’t understand?”
“My spirit resides within the bloom I am relying on your gift of words to free me forever.”
“What shall I write? Tell me what to write.”
“You know my story it is deep within you.”
Janice’s mouth opens to ask another question but the dark lady has disappeared. Was she dreaming? Everything seemed so real, so tangible – the warmth on her skin, the grass beneath her feet. Janice returns to her desk, puzzling thoughts race through her mind. There she finds a dark rose petal lying upon the laptop keys. It was real?
A blank page faces her and her fingers begin to type – a story unfolds.
Esmeralda’s roses were well renowned even as far away as London. Each bloom was perfection itself due wholly to her unwavering commitment to their care. After years of trial and error with combinations of manure, egg shells and herbs, Esmeralda had found her ‘secret’ formula. Each season demanded another ritual before the first buds appeared in April. With careful attendance each bud was nurtured to its full potential. Every flower show saw Esmeralda take first place much to the dismay of her rival, Vanity. The competition between the two women was fierce.
During the sixth annual London show Esmeralda was summoned by the Duke of Suffolk. He commissioned her to produce a truly black rose – something never achieved before. With a deep bow Esmeralda had thanked him for his obvious confidence in her abilities but felt she would not succeed. The Duke took her hands and solemnly stated that if anyone could succeed it was indeed the Rose Queen herself.
Upon her return home Esmeralda began researching the deepest and darkest strains of rose. Using grafting techniques and cross pollination she grew several young plants. As they grew and flourished she waited patiently for the first blooms. She achieved deep burgundy and the darkest crimson but never ebony. Three long years past each new bloom took her a step closer to her goal but never close enough. Then in the fourth year a tiny shoot grafted to the main plant produced a bud unlike any Esmeralda had ever seen. It was the darkest green she had ever seen. She tended to this special bud as with all her charges and waited in anticipation for it to blossom.
Sunday 14th April would be a date Esmeralda would never forget – for that morning she witnessed the darkest most beautiful ebony bloom gleaming in the sunlight. She would send word to the Duke that she has succeeded in making his wish come true. However, Esmeralda died that day at the hands of her arch rival, Vanity. It was a dagger to her heart as she breathed sweet words to her special bloom. Vanity took the plant and professed it was her own creation. She became famous over night and reveled in the adulation.
As for Esmeralda her body was buried beneath her rose garden- a place she had loved above all others. Her spirit lived on in the multitude of blooms until one day it rose up and made its presence known. She was the Rose Queen and the ebony bloom her creation.
The words flowed so quickly Janice could not read them quickly enough. At last her fingers ceased their frantic tapping and she realized who her visitor had been. Janice would make sure the real creator was acknowledged for her Black Rose.

***

As you can see this story was written a while ago and confirms my continuing fascination in the ‘other side’.
Mandy Barnett 3 April 2011

Have you written ghost stories?

Care to share one?

My Interview at Joseph D Drumheller – The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book…

August 22, 2016
mandyevebarnett


Link here: https://josephdrumheller.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/five-steps-to-create-a-childrens-book/

The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book  

Rumble's First Scare

  1. The Idea

This may seem like the easiest part of creating a children’s book – right? Not as easy as first appears as it turns out. Your idea has to convert onto the page in a language that your target audience can understand word usage is vital so take note.

  1. What age group are you writing for?
  2. Will you target pre-schoolers or an older age group?
  3. Will the story contain a moral or lesson?

My children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare began life as a prompt for Halloween. I did not want to write the usual monster narrative but something more unusual and fun. So I wrote the story from the young monster’s point of view. Younger children love Rumble and monsters are not so scary.

  1. Finding a Publisher

There are numerous avenues to research when it comes to finding a publisher.

  1. You can follow children’s book agents.
  2. Submit your story to contests with a book contract attached.
  3. Attend conferences and find an interested agent/publisher.
  4. Research local or regional publishing houses and submit your story.

I was fortunate to find a publisher locally and this made my publishing experience a more personally tailored one. Dream Write Publishing did an amazing job and I was part of the process all the way through.

  1. Illustrations

The amount of illustrations is dependent on the age of your target group, the younger the age group the more pictures are required and less text.

  1. If you are a talented artist you can illustrate yourself.
  2. Do you know an artist that will collaborate with you on the project?
  3. Does your publisher offer this service?
  4. There are many artists on social media you can approach.

My Rumble character was the culmination of my imagination and crude drawings and a wonderful artist friend, Matthew McClatchie, who made my idea of what Rumble would look like into reality.

  1. Text

Again the amount of text needs to be balanced for the target age group. For example, if the books are for very young children the text needs to be simple and sparse with great pictures, but for independent readers, illustrations can be on the chapter headers only.

  1. Do you want the story in rhyme form?
  2. Choose simple pronounceable names for your characters.
  3. Wrap the text around the pictures or along the bottom of the page.
  4. Keep exposition to a minimum
  1. Extra Pages
  2. The publisher will require your author bio and a photo
  3. You will create a ‘blurb’ – a brief description of the story – for the back of the book.
  4. If you wish you can have a dedication page.
  5. The publisher will allocate an ISBN and the legal disclaimers and permissions for duplication.

Sharing my little book with friends and family was stupendous. The moment any author is handed their first book is overwhelming emotional. It is the closest an adult comes to childish delight. The reality that your words are now published, that many people will read it and your words will outlive you delighting generations to come is a heady feeling.

After your book is published your work is not done. Promotion becomes your master. Be creative and say ‘Yes’ to any and all opportunities that come your way. The more your book is noticed the more sales.

Mandy and Rumble at SC Summerwood

To promote Rumble I created a soft toy of Rumble, which was so much fun. Once I showed my writing group they all announced I should make miniatures for each book, I declined!  Rumble accompanies me to readings and events and is always popular. As I had a good deal of promotion to manage without sewing into the wee hours, I did commissioned Rumble hats, and ordered T-shirts, which are a lot easier to handle.

Bio:

Mandy@

Always creative, I came to writing later in life. A chance visit to a writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, propelled me into the written word in a way I could never have imagined. I delve into all genres expanding my writing muscles and with several books published; I am certainly making up for ‘lost’ time. As a free flow writer, my stories lead me rather than the other way round, delighting me with plot twists and turns. Writing is my passion, the source of new found fellowship and most of all fun.

shelf

Contact:

I can be reached through my blog at www.mandyevebarnett.com, on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/ and through Twitter @mandyevebarnett

Annual Colouring Contest:

I arrange an annual colouring competition prior to Halloween for Rumble fans. The picture is in .pdf format and downloaded from my publisher’s website – http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca. Once all entries are in I choose the winners. Prizes include Rumble hats, T-shirts, monster orientated toys and games.

My newest book will be launched this fall – Clickety Click   is a YA monster story. Why do I have a propensity for monsters, I have no idea!

Click crop cover

 

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