Tag Archives: novellas

Author Interview – Linda J Pedley


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Linda

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing is an energy that lives within me and when I cannot do enough of my own creative work, it exhausts me. It sometimes becomes a vicious cycle of building up and letting go. It makes it all worth it in the end – it would just be nice to be in that place that would allow me to go evenly into that good write…

Italian Son

2. What is your writing Kryptonite? Although it’s a strength in my line of work as a publisher, time spent on others’ work is a weakness toward mine – it always comes second if there is a deadline for someone else.

3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Nope. I guess I just figure if you are going to make something of your writing life, what good is it if no one knows it’s you? It would go against my belief of being true to who you really are, and, besides, I like my name. If I write something that I consider might be better under a secret identity, well… should I be writing it at all?

Ode

4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? I am so fortunate to have close friends who are authors and an encompassing community of acquaintances who are passionate about words. Everyone contributes to your writing journey in their own way and in different ways – we must be open to learning from our associations and relationships; bringing them closer when it works and letting them go when they don’t. Can’t drop big names here that you might have heard of, but you should know the people I do know – they are fantastic.

5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? I like to be able to try everything and although I do have related books, like a novella series, I am not trying to connect everything by theme or genre. As long as it is a reflection of who I am and true to my creativity, then it is a part of me and what I am trying to say as an author.

creative spirit

6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? Any of the retreats I have been on. It is nice to focus on your writing even for a weekend and having others around who respect why you are there is priceless. You don’t have to go far, and it doesn’t have to be 5-star, but I’ve been on some nice trips: Humber College in Toronto for a summer writing week; Jasper or Hinton holed up in a nice hotel with a writing friend; Strawberry Creek with a group of writing friends spoiled by awesome meal service; and so on. All worthy.

7. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? Early? Can’t think of one… Maybe when I talked back to my parents about going on a vacation with a friend when I was 18? Perhaps, when my daughter said her first words when I was 30? When I was asked to read one of my poems to a group during Volunteer Week when I was 50? When I accepted an award from my community for my contribution to Arts, Culture & Heritage when I was 55? Or when I gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral that same year? Language has power in all its derivatives. It expresses emotion. It makes a stand. It says a lot about who we are and even who we were.

8. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? If it was my favorite, then it was appreciated in some way. We all cannot expect to find appreciation by the masses.

9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? I go under Wildhorse for many things including email, blog, twitter handle, etc. The wild horse is the epitome of strength and endurance with a wild and free spirit no matter what happens around them. The horse head logo I use is a drawing I did some time ago and, in 2005, I had it tattooed on my left shoulder. Just a little thing, but it means a lot to me.

Power Struggle

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Not too many unfinished as I managed to clean up a couple I had sitting for a few years. I guess I have about 3 or 4 books of poetry waiting to be put together in some nice way, but that will be ongoing. Definitely unfinished and on the to-do list.

11. What does literary success look like to you? Many equate success with monetary outcome. I equate success with being a leader, a good friend, and a creative mentor. Seeing others succeed along your own journey is not only inspiring – it feels right – and moving forward together is success to me.

12. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? I like to make sure details in my work are factual and have some basis in reality. But that really depends on the work. Articles require more research than fictional short stories and poetry; my novels require a ton of research especially if they are set in another time / era, or a foreign country.

13. How many hours a day/week do you write? I cannot put a time on it as I could put in 10 minutes one day and 10 hours another. I write for work for a good portion of my job, so it is possible to write many hours a week although it’s not really creative in the same way we write our fiction. It allows me to stay connected and my pen stays fluid.

Elizabeth

14. How do you select the names of your characters? I base it on the story and when it takes place – names are important and have to fit the character, as well as, the time and place of the story. I have researched names and selected them based on what they mean in the country of origin. My novella series is set in Turkey and I used the meaning of names to set them apart. They may be used in other work; they may not be popular; they may sound odd. It is whatever works for my character and my story.

15. What was your hardest scene to write? Not sure any were hard to write. This question could mean hard as in difficult, or hard as in gut-wrenching or tear-jerking or taboo. I guess when it comes to the latter, I don’t write scenes that put me in this dilemma. The former is just based on time and effort; learning how to put something across in the best way possible.

falcon

16. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them? There are certain books or short stories or poetry I have written because of the theme or topic or setting. For example, I love Shakespeare so writing a book with a series of poetry simulating the sonnets just fits and An Elizabethan Affair was a long process of fused research and imagination. I like to try all types of writing – if the idea is there and the time is right, I work on whatever the project involves: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s or young adult stories, blog posts, government or industry papers, or merely content for newsletters and web sites. It depends on what’s needed.

17. How long have you been writing? For many years, but seriously focused on funneling all my efforts in the creative writing direction in 2000. I have collections of poetry from the 1980s. I wrote and designed advertising many years for several employers. It’s always been a goal of mine to write a novel. I wrote short verses when I was in elementary school; I wrote longer descriptive short stories in my teens.

18. What inspires you? A word. A feeling. Nature. Sunshine. My love for creativity. My inner muse. My best friend. My daughter. Memories of my mother and father. 

19. How do you find or make time to write? There is always time to do it if you put your mind to it… oh, how poetic :O But, really, you just have to make time if you want to write something. I do make notes and write on scraps of paper or in my notebook. I actually have taken time to sit and write during one of my many solitude-seeking drives to Elk Island Park this summer – I think I have a couple of poems out of that effort. You just make the time.

20. What projects are you working on at the present? At the time this gets posted, I have come off two months of intense concentration on a number of books (12?) being released at a month-end event for authors I publish under my company banner. I am contemplating participating in National Novel Writing Month in November so that will focus at least 50K words on something of my own – I still have to determine what. I have many projects that could be pulled from the archives including several volumes on poetry I have written over the years and a collection of short stories, also written over the past few years.

21. What do your plans for future projects include? I am thinking of writing a sequel to my novella series set in Turkey and changing it from the young adult genre to adult fiction for the follow-up story. The characters age from their teens in the first 3 books, so I can see a definite growth in their story and maturity in the sequel. I would also like to write another story with the old English / Elizabethan / Shakespeare theme – 1590-1600ish.

22. Share a link to your author website.

A work in progress: https://www.albertaauthors.ca/Authors/Pedley/Linda-J.-

Another work ongoing: https://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/

Bio:

Linda writes from her heart and shares words on the page in order to connect with others who have similar stories to share. A lifetime of poetry and other writing has culminated in a collection of published works, including: An Elizabethan Affair, Power Struggle, A Journey of Brothers, A Journey of Truth, and A Journey of Desires (3 book novella series), co-writer of Your Lifetime of Stories workbook for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, and others. She set up her own publishing company in 2010 to help authors live their dream of seeing their own work published. You can follow her on Twitter @wildhorse33 and find her on Facebook. She blogs – when she has time – at wildhorse33.wordpress.com

 

Author Interview – V.J. Gage


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Vaun photo

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

When I write it is effortless and energizes me so much, I can write for hours at a time. I have always thought out my plot for months before I write, so when I do, it just rushes to my fingers and onto the paper.  I do not edit when I write, I get the story written as fast as I can, and then I go back once it is complete.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

I am not sure what you mean, but Kryptonite-weakened Superman.  The only thing that could slow me down was trying to write something without hours of thought.  I would have to think about something for hours, days, weeks or a month or so before I begin writing.  Then once I get going, I am a force to be reckoned with, and little will stop me.

blood games

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I am writing all of my novels under my maiden name.  VJ Gage for the Chicago Heat series and Vaunda Lynn Gage for the kid’s books.  The adult books are explicit, and I did not want to confuse the reader by using the same name.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have not stepped out into the world to know many other authors, but this year will be different. I need the support of others and to find out what has or has not worked for them.  I am just starting on marketing etc. and now is a great time to meet other authors.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Yes, I have a seven book series called Chicago Heat.  I have published two with a third out this March.  The children’s book is seven novella’s about seven cousins who have adventures with mythical creatures in the Okanagan Valley.  I am working on a second series. 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Linda at Dream Write Publishing, she has been great, and she has helped to make my children’s book educational as well as a fun read.  Her art for the book has been exactly as I imagined and she was priced right, and we met our deadline.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

As a child, I never slept much, so I began to read early.  By the time I was ten or twelve, I could write a book report “likity split,” and, I could write several in a very short time.  So I began to sell extra book reports for those who did not read.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Anything that was written by  Janet Coldwell.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

My first thought is an Eagle, it sores high and has a great view of its landscape.  But in thinking further, I am more like a busy beaver.  When I get an Idea, I will go to work on it until I have completed my task, or I have figured out it is not worth my time.  I can be deadly when I get an idea into my head.

ashes

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have four in my “Chicago Heat” series.  One romance, and two for my children’s series.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

It would be that many thousands of people have read and enjoyed my books. I would want them to say they could not put my books down and that my plots are unique and clever, and that I have a great imagination.  Then I would like to make lots of money.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

What would we do without the internet?  When I am writing, I have my tablet close by, and I can look up any information I may need.  When I need some information, it is close at hand.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

I may not be able to write for days or weeks at a time.  I still have a full-time job, and I took care of my mother and dad full time for the past ten years.  Both have passed and now my time is open to many more hours to write.

poetic

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

My main characters in my “Chicago Heat” series are based on the personalities of my own family.  Dennis Kortovich is a profile of my husband.  Veronica, his wacky wife, is a profile of me.  Many other characters are based on the personalities of my family or friends.  The children’s novels are based on real children and adults. 

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

Sex. 

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I found out I am great at killing and that I have a unique ability to be in the mind of the killer.  I like exploring both sides of the crime.  I don’t like a soft “Who Done It”  I think fast and hit hard.

17. How long have you been writing?

 I started in earnest when I was fifty.

18. What inspires you? 

 Writers, like Dan Brown.

19. How do you find or make time to write?

I may not write every day or sometimes not for weeks.  When I do sit down to write, I can go at it for several hours, and I have done up to twelve thousand words in one season.

20. What projects are you working on at present?

I just finished the final edit of The Bible Killings, and this novel should be out by March.  I am trying to figure out how to market my books at this point, and I am putting most of my time and effort into this for the next while.

21. What do your plans for future projects include?

To edit and publish at least one more book next year.  They are all written, but I need to edit the other four.  I will also putter away at the children’s novel.  I am writing a second on for Mysteries at the Lake.

22. Share a link to your author website.

http://www.vjgage.com

Visiting family at the lake during the summer is a wonderful tradition for Canadian cousins: Wyatt, Kadence, Nyomi, Jack, Sophie, Cash, and Cruz. Join them as they share their vacation with you. Discover the secret of Lake Okanagan. Hike the trails and spend time in the amazing forests and cliffs as the seven cousins make friends and solve mysteries with mythical and magical neighbors.
Ride the waters and take in the sun—whatever story they share around the evening’s campfire with hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows, it’s sure to be a memorable one!
Front Cover Icon Mysteries at the Lake
Author Bio:

V.J. Gage has been writing for over three decades. “Celebrity Lunch,” her weekly column in the Sherwood Park News, featured mini biographies about members of her community. Her column “As I See It” commented on contemporary social issues. A successful businesswoman, with many diverse interests, Vaun is also a recording artist, an emcee, and a stand-up comic, all of which serves to fuel the fast-paced, action-packed, serpentine plots of the “Chicago Heat” series. Vaun has lived in Sherwood Park since 1956.  My father was the first fire chief for the county and my mother was one of the first women real estate agents. I have owned a business in Sherwood Park for over forty years.  I now have a home based salon and I work there with my daughter. At one point I owned five salons, a clothing store, restaurant, I recorded with R. Harlen Smith and did Stand-up-Comedy and was an emcee for hundreds of events.  I was also the first in Alberta to have my own Karaoke show. I went home-based almost twenty years ago.

Vaun is currently working on a series of seven novellas,  featuring seven cousins, who have adventures  with some of the most fantastic, creatures to ever catch the imaginations of children and adults alike.

 

 

Thank you Vaun for an enlightening glimpse of your writing life and it’s inspiration.

EVENT:

Find Vaun at Words in the Park, Spark Gallery, Premier Way, Sherwood Park, Alberta on 29th September 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Liebster Award…


The Liebster Award

My thanks to CP Bialois (Ed) for nominating me for this award.

Here is the low down:

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The Rules
·  When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
·  Pass the award on to 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the bloggers that you nominated them!).
·  You write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
·  You are not allowed to nominate the blogger who nominated your blog!
·  You paste the award picture into your blog. (You can google the image; there are plenty of them!)

11 Random Facts about Mandy:

  • I’m a huge fan of Stephen King
  • I love almost all animals, apart from rhino’s…long story!
  • My favorite place to write is at my writing desk when everyone else is out.
  • When I eat chocolate, it’s white chocolate.
  • Although I was shy as a child, I’ve grown into an extrovert.
  • Given the opportunity I would live in Italy full time.
  • I read many genre’s apart from spy thrillers.
  • When I lived in England I visited a multitude of historical sites, just loved them.
  • I was a tom-boy.
  • Emigrating to Canada has given me opportunities I never even dreamed of.
  • Once I commit to something its all out.

Questions for Ed

  1. What is the one thing you miss about being a child?  Being so carefree
  2. What was your dream job growing up?  When I was very young a horse rider but this changed to interior design at around 12.
  3. Where is your favorite place to relax? With friends, the location doesn’t matter.
  4. If you have one person to thank for where you are today, who would it be? So difficult…my Dad for his love and my mentor, Linda Pedley for her belief.
  5. Out of a the celebrities, living or dead, who would do you want to meet? Viggo Mortensen 

    Viggo Mortensen at the world premiere of Lord ...
    Viggo Mortensen at the world premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  6. What would you say to them? When he is creating artwork or writing poems, does he have mental imagery of the ideas?  
  7. If you were stuck on a remote tropical island, what three(3) things would you take with you (people and pets don’t count)? A massive notebook, a huge amount of pencils and my bookcase (full of books).
  8. Are you a dog or cat person? I’ve owned both but prefer dogs.
  9. Are you a TV control dictator? Never get the control! My husband is King of the Remote.
  10. What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Green Mile
  11. If it hasn’t been made, what book would you like to be seen made into a movie? The Secret Garden by Kate Morton

I hope you enjoyed reading all those, now it’s your turn!

I am passing on the award to:

http://ejjudge.wordpress.com/

http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/

http://creativelycreatingmycreation.wordpress.com/

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://www.lorijometz.com/

http://andioconnor.com/

http://writingsistersblog.wordpress.com/

http://rebeccabradleycrime.com/

http://thewritersideoflife.wordpress.com/

http://thelivingnotebook.com/

http://literaryman.com/

Now for my questions:

a) Which genre’s do you prefer to read?

b) Is there somewhere in the world you would love to visit?

c) Have you got any phobia’s?

d) Which would you choose – meat or seafood?

e) Which famous person do you wish you were?

f) Are you sporty or not?

g) What was the name of your first pet?

h) A tropical beach or a ski resort?

i) What would be your perfect job?

j) Which snack do you prefer when watching a movie?

k) Which book are you currently reading?

I hope you have fun with this award and remember no tag backs. :D

And just a short foot note today’s word was – Adage – definition: a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation : proverb.  So as the old adage goes: “Share and share alike”

Have Fun with Words…


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Some of you may know and some not, that I create a writing prompt for my writing circle’s web site every Saturday. www.wfscsherwoodpark.com  just click on the calendar. Actually finding the prompts can be  a challenge at times but it is always fun to see the responses. From the same prompt there are as many interpretations as there are writers. In essence it is a glimpse into another writer’s mind set and creativity and let’s be truthful here, we all love to see the inside of another person’s mind!

promptsThere are benefits to using prompts. If you are ‘stuck’ or blocked giving your mind another writing task not only refreshes your creativity but also helps unlock it. A prompt can be a picture, a set of words or a sentence – no matter what it is in format, it should spark an idea or vision and from there you can write. You may only write a couple of sentence’s or it may grow into a short story or scene, whichever it is your muse is having fun. Go with the flow of it and follow that first inspiration that ‘appears’ as you read the prompt.

A piece of kindly advice;  from personal experience – don’t discard the result of these prompts. File them away in a binder or a document folder on your computer. They may turn out to be the perfect piece for a scene or the start of a new project at some later date. Case in point – my children’s book, Rumble’s First Scare grew from such a prompt and my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom was created using several prompts that lent themselves to continuing a story. www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

Inspiration does come from anywhere and each written piece of work has its value. Looking back on these snippets of creativity can be a reward on its own. Some will surprise you and delight you and others will raise memories of where you were on your writing journey at that time. They show your progress in this art.

So today’s prompt came from my desk diary and I thought I would share it with you all here. The word is – PALINDROME. Definition: a word, phrase or sentence that reads the same backward as forward. An example: “Step on no pets”.  See if you can come up with three. Have fun.

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Blog of 2012…


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Hello to you all and firstly I must say a very grateful thank you to Vikki from  http://the-view-outside.com/

She was kind enough to nominate me for this wonderful award and I would recommend you visiting her blog in a nano-second.

The rules are fairly easy – you can find them here

http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

For my pay it forward I nominate the following awesome bloggers. Each one has a different writing journey and that’s what makes them all so fascinating.

http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/

http://sogsblog.com/

http://alboudreau.wordpress.com/

http://weaklyshortstories.wordpress.com/

http://writetodone.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LittleBurstsOfInspiration

Enjoy their words and then nominate your favorites. Enjoy this festive season and I hope you are all happy, healthy and safe in 2013.