Tell us why you participate in National Novel Writing Month
I find it a superb way to practice writing to a deadline, write without the worry of editing and letting my creativity flow with no constraints.
How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?
My first NaNo was 2009 when I was persuaded by a new writing friend from my writing group to participate. At the time I’d only written very short stories (and I mean short). The idea of fifty thousand words made me refuse point blank but gradually she convinced me I could do it. That first NaNo’s project was edited and revised almost every year until I finally published it 2018.
How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?
This will be my tenth NaNo – I only missed 2017 when I was working on two manuscripts that were published that year.
What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?
The idea came late in October (almost November) it just popped into my head to write a young romance set within a university campus. The two main protagonists have evolved into fully rounded characters now.
If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?
I indulge my creativity in writing whether writing fiction or aiding clients within my freelance business and am a writing community advocate.
Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?
I have used several dream sequences within my works of fiction, they are always vivid and I quickly write them down. I always have a notebook on the bedside table.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Stephen King is my literary hero. He is the greatest story teller, creating characters with minimal description, grips your interest from the first page and never disappoints. My greatest possession is a personal letter I received from him. It is framed about my writing desk.
What is your preferred genre to write in?
I do not write to genre, I write the story an it chooses which genre it is as it unfolds.
Before Remaining Aileen was, Remaining Aileen the novel, she was an idea I had for a screenplay. A few years back, around 2014 I had this super vivid vision of a young mom, who was on a plane that was falling from the sky. All hope is lost. Her thoughts revolve around never seeing her children, or husband again, and the devastating reality that she is going to die. Until she wakes up, alive, completely unharmed- or so it appears.
This scene became the inciting incident that would propel Aileen along her journey, as well as what started me down my path of becoming a writer.
At the suggestion of my amazing husband, Aileen became a novel instead of a screenplay, and now she is about to be released into the world and I truly still, cannot believe it. Fun fact, my very first title idea was Vampire Mom, and it was going to be this light-hearted story of a mom who becomes a vampire, until I realized just how HARD it would be to actually try and be a mom and a vampire. While I do keep some light-heartedness in the story, it did end up taking a bit of a darker/ more emotional turn (which I am so excited about) than I originally was planning. But if there is one thing I have learned about writing stories, is that they seem to tell you what they want to be regardless of your original intentions. It’s best to just see where it takes you sometimes!
–How did you come up with the title?
My first idea for a title for this book was Vampire Mom, but as the story unfolded it just didn’t fit anymore. My main character Aileen really struggles with her new “life” as a vampire and does all she can to try and make her new life fit back with in her old one. So Remaining Aileen felt a little more descriptive of her goal and struggle within the story.
How much of the book is realistic?
In many ways Aileen’s story into motherhood is based on my own inner struggles I went through while learning how to be a mom, but overall, this being a vampire story, it’s not exactly realistic.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think my characters are all inspired in some way by either people I know, have known, or maybe would like to know! But no one character is based on anyone specific.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I do have plans for a sequel for Remaining Aileen, Aileen still has a way to go in her story and I’m excited to share the rest of it when the time comes!
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
One of favorite character’s ended up being Ana, Aileen’s Mother-in-Law. There is just something about her bulldog “don’t mess with me or my family” attitude that I deeply admire. Ana would do anything for the ones she loves.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I really enjoy writing within the speculative/paranormal realm of things. While Remaining Aileen is Women’s Fiction I prefer to add a speculative twist to it rather than normal/real-life type things.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan my stories. I need to have a clear vision for what my beginning, middle, and end will be before I dive in and write.
What is your best marketing tip?
I am so new to the world of marketing, so far, I don’t have enough experience to give any tips but if I end up with any I will gladly share!
-Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
I find social media to be more of a tool than a hindrance for me. It’s where I have found my support network for my writing, as well as a place I can connect with readers. I have made some really amazing writer friends through my social media platforms.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
What I enjoy most about writing is when you get that initial idea. The spark. That single immeasurable moment where what did not exist now exists and it’s such a great feeling. My next favorite moment is writing the words “The End”. I’ve never felt more accomplished then writing those two words at the end of my first finished draft.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I was 28.
Where is your favorite writing space?
My favorite place to write is my white oak desk my husband crafted for me. We hand selected each board that went into it together, and the fact he made it for me makes it so special.
-Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I started my own writing group of sorts called Writer Moms Inc., a support group for mom writers on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. While Writer Moms Inc. mostly holds an online presence, I do try my best to meet up with my local writer mom friends and chat about all things writing and mom life, as well as encourage the members of WMI to do the same where they live!
-If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
I have two authors actually I would love to meet, share a cup of tea with and chat about writing and life. The first is Anne Rice, because well, she’s Anne Rice! I really feel like her vampire stories were the precursor to many of the vampire fiction/movies/TV I love to watch.
I would also love to meet Stephanie Meyer. My whole inspiration for becoming a writer was because of reading Twilight, so I would love to have the chance to meet her in person and gush all about how amazing she is and how grateful I am that she put her stories out into the world.
-If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
I actually quite love where I currently live, in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada range, however, I really love the Pacific North West so if I could live anywhere I might head up north!
-Do you see writing as a career?
I would really like being a published author to become my career. After Remaining Aileen, I will have her sequel to write, and then I have a few other novel ideas floating around I’d love to develop and publish.
-Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
I don’t tend to eat while writing, but coffee or tea is a must!
-What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
Usually, my rewards for reaching deadlines, or completing drafts is to stay up at late as I want catching up on all the Netflix I missed while writing!
My good friend, Mandy Eve-Barnett, asked me a couple of weeks ago to write a little something on reincarnation. I asked her to provide me with a guideline as this subject could easily be interminable, and she did.
Now, before I go ahead and give you the question and answer period, I want to admit that I have been a vocal proponent of reincarnation for many years. In fact, I was fourteen when I began to question the wisdom around me and consider this possibility. Since, well, let’s just say I have found supporters in many corners of the world, and by acting like the doubting Thomas my father always preached I should be to get to the truth, information began to flow and I began supporting the reincarnation premise even faster. Since, then, I have also come across a few of my past lives in what I call lucid dreaming, and in flashback bits of memory when encountering people who are very familiar to me, or when traveling to places that have spawned memories so vivid, I could not discount the souvenirs. All this information has, of course, strengthened my belief in reincarnation.
Furthermore, for all you enthusiasts who would like to find out more, you can touch base with the writings of Edgar Cayce who was the first sleeping prophet I consulted. His books on the subject provide extensive verification of the matter.
Another theorist on the issue for those of you who wish to make a more thorough investigation in the world of incarnation, you may consult Helen Wambach who worked in this field a long time and has documented many such occurrences using a scientific approach. She has many video interviews on the subject accessible through Internet.
Last but certainly not least, I thought who best to consult on this matter than a friend, Dr. Dorothy Neddermeyer who found interest in this topic as early as 1954 and has embraced her mission with dedication, education, and a vast experience in working in the field most of her life. For the purpose of this interview, Mandy and I (Joss Landry) have submitted a few questions to Dr. Neddermeyer, and here are some of her notable answers. Please note that Dr. Neddermeyer is available for a past life regression consultation through the Genesis foundation: http://drdorothy.info
1. Tell us about your qualifications? and (together with number 2) Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work, Ph.D. in Philosophy Major: Metaphysics.
Certified NLP/Ericksonian Hypnosis Practitioner Certified: Past Life Regression Practitioner 30+ years experience. Past President International Association for Regression Therapists .
2. How you became interested in past life regression? At age 7, I received a message that I would have a significant impact in people’s lives. I learned about Past Life Regression work reading about Virginia Mae Morrow, the Colorado woman whose hypnosis-induced recollections of Bridey Murphy was first told in articles by William J. Barker in The Denver Post in 1954 . I was 12 years old
3. Have you encountered unusual past life stories? Having facilitated hundreds of Past Life Regressions many interesting past life juxtapositions have been uncovered. People from other planets? Yes
4. Are birthmarks signs of injury from a past life? Yes, birthmarks and other physical abnormalities and illness are often from a past life. The past life can be accessed and the trauma that has been carried into the current life can be processed and released.
5. What aspects of a person’s past life might carry over to their new incarnation? All issues–mental/emotional, physical and spiritual that the person came to resolve in this life time.
6. Do you feel introverted people are a sign that they are holding on to a past life? It can be a sign, but is not considered an absolute indication of a past life.
Are they easier subjects for hypnosis? There is no research that I am aware of that posits introverts go into a trance easier than others.
7. How can you identify a soul you’ve met before?
• A strong attraction or aversion to a person — There are three types of soul mates.
• Overwhelming emotions when meeting.
• You click immediately/quickly.
• A sense of having known the person before.
• You read each other like a book. You have many things in common.
• Time seems to stand still when you are together.
• You have a strong connection even when apart.
8. Is there a limit to how many times you reincarnate? Incarnation is for the purpose of Emotional and Spiritual growth. As long as the soul desires to evolve in Emotional and/or Spiritual growth the soul has the option of incarnating to finish the work.
Do you have a favorite blog post topic to share with your readers?
I organize blog topics for the year every December and then publish my intent. This keeps me accountable and gives my followers an idea of what to expect. Dependent on the topics or choice of posts, my schedule changes. I even scheduled every day for one year using a word of the day diary – thus, each post was my interpretation of that word! Yes, it was a busy year and some words took longer for me to come up with a post but it was a wonderful creative exercise for a writer! For example, this year, I post Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Jan -May Monday’s were Lost Words, Wednesday’s alternative living options (inspired by my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch) and Saturday’s are a prompt contest. The second half of the year – Monday’s are various topics including an invitation for my followers to suggest one, and Wednesday’s are reincarnation / life after death and related topics. (inspired by my romance based on soul mates reincarnated, The Twesome Loop).
Throughout the time I have run my blog, I have covered many topics but a favorite one is interviews with other writers and authors – I get to know them and their writing.
The little Rumble plush toy I made for promotion of Rumble’s First Scare.
When was your last pinch me I’m dreaming moment?
I have had a few – publishing my first children’s book, Rumble’s First Scare, and subsequent books, The Rython Kingdom (an adult romance novella set in medieval England) and another children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue.
Also becoming Secretary of my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and also Vice President of the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County.
Writing has become the focus of my life and a true passion in my later years. Although I have always been creative, painting, sculpture, knitting and pottery, it was not until I immigrated to Canada from England and happened across a leaflet in the local library for the writing group. I went to the first meeting and instantly found a fellowship that has enriched my life.