Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Author Interview – Kathie Sutherland

September 20, 2020
mandyevebarnett


Kathie

  1. Why did you decide to write an autobiography? For many years, existential questions like “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” have haunted me and challenged me to go deeper into myself. My search for answers to these questions led me to journaling about life moments captured on the page; writing these short pieces called out for expression. Exploring poetry and essay, fairy tale and short life stories helped me find my “real writer” voice. Self-help books, spiritual retreats, talented mentors, friends and a personal interest in storytelling, psychology, image and myth fuelled my appetite for words. Gathering these stories together into an autobiographic novel took a long time. Now that my book is complete and ready for publication, I am more aware of the gifts and talents I can bring to the world through writing.
  2. How long did it take you to write it? I began capturing moments of my life at a women’s writing seminar in 2004. When the instructor said I had an unusual story – growing up female in the macho world of the military – I was surprised; my upbringing seemed “normal” to me. Many of the stories in my book began back then.
  3. What difficulties did you experience in writing it? Because of the transient nature of my childhood, I saw my early life as chopped into segments and filed in my memory by location. Recently when working with an editor, I began to see links and patterns in my life and finally, story connections were forged and fashioned into a smooth narrative. I had difficulty identifying the genre of these stories because they are based on authentic flashes of memory, and reimagined with fiction writing tools. My goal was to reveal my authentic emotions in short life stories and connect with other kindred souls through them.
  4. How did you come up with the title? In my childhood, our family was in constant transition, and my tools for coping with goodbyes and hellos and consequently with loss and resilience. Alternate titles I considered included “Permission to Speak, Sir!”, “Nesting Places”, “Home and Away”, and “Finding Home Without a Map.” These titles spoke to my developing comfort with being at home in my heart and belonging in my own skin. At one point, the title was “Saying Goodbye is Easy – Letting Go is Hard”. The second half of this title was dropped because it became obvious to me that letting go of the past was getting easier.
  5. As a child of a military family – what can your story teach others? The stories we tell ourselves and others influence what we believe about the world. The military has its own myths, my father’s story included World War 2 events, and my mother told stories connected me to generations of extended family and how the military influenced them and my own childhood. All the legends and myths to which I was exposed inspired my narrative of leaving the sanctuary of home and seeking independence. I believe that many women experience loneliness and isolation when they choose to leave their parents’ home and grow into their own lives. Reframing my life story allowed me to understand that it is a universal story.
  6. The book is a collection of short stories – why did you chose this format? Short stories stand alone, and a collection of short stories are sometimes linked but not always; a novel-in-short-stories has a narrative arc even though the stories stand alone. It is not a memoir because that genre covers a set period of time. Autobiography is factual but many of my stories were imagined to make a point. My research revealed that short stories are more likely to be accepted by a publisher if the author’s stories appear in literary magazines or their writing is well known. This format seemed to work for me because it suited my experience in life.
  7. Do you write in any other genre? I began writing poetry in the 1970s, and I was seeking inspiration for poems when I attended the women’s writing classes in 2004. With encouragement, I began writing prose and personal opinion essays for magazines. Poetry continues to intrigue me and I hope to add to my published books of verse but I also have a novel on the back burner (which is also told in segments!), two based-on-real-events historical fiction books and a non-fiction book. I do not write fantasy or romance and tend to lean towards literary fiction.
  8. Do you have other books? Since 2004 I’ve created several handmade poetry chapbooks, and published two books of poetry. I’ve also self-published a book of essays and a volume of personal fairy tales. All of them are inner focused, and intended for kindred spirits who are interested in myth and metaphor.
  9. Where can your readers find you on social media? On FB as Kathie Sutherland Author, on Twitter as Kathie.Sutherland aka wordpainterpoet, on LinkedIn, Instagram and on my website kathiesutherland.com where my books and writing companionship services are available. I offer Inner Child workshops, Reminiscence and Listening Services, a scuba diving-inspired workshop focused on going deeper into emotions and create “Portrait Poems” as personal gifts.
  10. Do you have a blog? Since writing “Saying Goodbye is Easy”, I have gain clarity about the purpose of my writing. I want to give back through coaching and writing companionship. I have renewed my blogging practice.
  11. What did you learn about yourself while writing this autobiography? The whole of my writing life has been about acknowledging and accepting myself. This autobiography has been narrative therapy for me. Each piece I worked on required me to come to terms with the theme of the story I was writing. One of my greatest strengths is my love of learning. That love brings me back to the greater life questions and my search for answers. I love learning through research. I love learning about words. I love inner work. I love writing to grow.

Saying Goodbye

Blog:

https//kathiesutherland.com

Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/kathiesutherlandauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/kathie.sutherland/?hl=en

@wordpainterpoet

Author Interview – Elizabeth Crocket

February 5, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

the author pic

What inspired your latest novel?

I wanted to write a book with an authentic cancer story line in it. Having experienced a cancer journey myself, I recognize that life goes on despite your illness. So in Full of Grace, protagonist Angela, who has made her living as a romance author thus far, begins writing the story of Grace, whose husband is having an affair. Again. (Luckily, that part I didn’t experience.) (:                                                                      

How did you come up with the title?

The title, Full of Grace, is multi-layered. Angela becomes full of the character she is writing about, Grace. Also, the character Grace, is told she is full of Grace. There are different ways to interpret it.                              

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, no specific messages. If the readers take anything from the book, I’m pleased! I think different things will resonate with different women.

How much of the book is realistic?

I think the book is quite realistic, being that it is a contemporary women’s fiction novel. I like to think I write about current societal issues.

full of grace liz crocket wrap (1)

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

While there are no characters directly based on someone I know, I certainly drew from all the people I have known, including myself, who have had a struggle with cancer. I also wanted a story line where someone adored their grown children, as I do mine.

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

Readers can find out more about me on my website, Elizabethcrocket.com. (And I love when they comment!) I’m also active on facebook. Facebook.com/Elizabeth.crocket.7923

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

My next book, The Smell of Roses, is hopefully due out in the next year or so. It’s also women’s fiction with a strong romantic element. And so was my debut novel, A Path to the Lake.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I grew to love both of the protagonists (there are two) Angela and Grace, as the story unfolded. I enjoyed Angela’s sense of humour, and Grace’s kindness, in particular.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I do write in more than one genre. In particular, Japanese short form poetry, including haiku, haibun, photo-haiga and more. I had two chapbooks published by Red Moon Press, the largest publisher of Japanese short form poetry in the western world. There are many samples on my website.

path

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I start with getting to know my characters really well. I have been surprised myself by where they take me sometimes!

What is your best marketing tip?

I’m not sure I have a “best”. But I do think it helps to try and build a network of support around you of people you trust and enjoy.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

I think in today’s market, a certain amount of social media marketing is a necessity.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I am so blessed in that regard. My husband, my family, my dear friends and my writer friends are all enormously supportive.

Author Bio

Elizabeth is a women’s fiction author and poet living in Ontario, Canada. She has written three women’s fiction novels, all with a strong romantic element. A Path to the Lake debuted in April, 2018, and Full of Grace launched in January, 2019. The Smell of Roses is slated to be released the end of 2018 or early 2019. You can find out more about her at Elizabethcrocket.com https://elizabethcrocket.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Crocket/e/B07KSHLHXM%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

 

 

Author Interview – K.D. Rose Completed Interview

February 2, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Author-Interview-Button

K.D. was able to complete the interview and I am so pleased. Please join me in getting to know her.

KD Rose

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It exhausts me! But thinking up what I’m going to write about energizes me.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Health issues.  😦

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I do write under a pen name. K.D. Rose is my real initials coupled with my family name on my mother’s side. So all my relatives are actually Rose’s on that side! It’s not my married name though. All my books and literary publications are under my Rose name.

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

I have been friends with a number of authors and how close they are and how much we help each other is invaluable. Because my health changes, how close I can stay changes too, which is unfortunate but it is wonderful when you can root for people and they root for you.

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

I focus completely on literary publications now. In fact I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. My body of books are still there but they run the gamet. I do have another book ready to go when I am able.

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

I had a mentorship with a poet that I contacted when I found him in the Poets Market Book. That was a wonderful relationship and feedback with new ideas.

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

When I wrote a smart alecky note to my teacher in elementary school. We were supposed to be writing apologies. I didn’t feel Iike I had done anything wrong. I got hauled out of class into the hallway for a talking to!

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

All of Philip K. Dicks works. He was a master science fiction writer. Also Harlan Ellison.  They are both famous but not as much as they should be.

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

I’m in love with cats so it would be some kind of cat. Probably a black panther.

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

About two in the works.  But lots of literary works too.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

I’d like  to win a few pushcart prizes. That would be successful to me. Then win another type of prestigious prize as well.

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

My writing doesn’t usually require too much so I research things here and there, in deep once in a while. Mostly its superficial things though.

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

When I am well, I write 6 to 8 hours a day.  But then lots of time will go by where I can’t at all.

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

I based one book on the first names of family. I and they thought that was fun.  Other than that, I usually pick a name that I feel fits the personality.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

I had to write a sex scene because the publisher wanted it and had no idea how to!   I just don’t write those.

  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 balanced by trying them out but poetry always remained my speciality. Now it is essays and literary publishing in journals.  I have a number of fiction books out though.

  1. How long have you been writing?

Since I was in my teens. It has always been an inspiration for me.

  1. What inspires you?  

I love it when ideas come either out of the blue or from something I am seeing or experiencing at the time. That gives me a rush.

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

I am lucky in that I have a library set up just for that. It beckons me. So making the time is just balancing writing and health usually.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I have an essay that I am in the middle of.  I received good feedback on it and need to incorporate the feedback to rewrite.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I have a book I am probably going to self- publish.  I haven’t published in awhile and the companies I was publishing with went out of business.   My other future projects are all essays for submission to literary journals.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

Here it is! https://authorkdrose.net/

In the meantime here is her website to give you a taste.

https://authorkdrose.net/

 

Bio:

K. D. Rose is a poet and author. K.D received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem: There are Species of Stars that Have Yet to be Seen. K. D.’s book, Inside Sorrow, won Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Poetry. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Word Riot, Chicago Literati, Poetry Breakfast, BlazeVOX Journal, Ink in Thirds, Northern Virginia Review, The Nuclear Impact Anthology, Stray Branch Magazine, Literary Orphans, Maintenant Contemporary Dada Magazine, Lunch Ticket Arts and Literary Magazine, The 2016 Paragram Press Anthology, Eastern Iowa Review, Bop Dead City, Santa Fe Literary Magazine, Hermes Poetry Magazine, Slipstream, Wild Women’s Medicine Circle Journal and The Offbeat Literary Magazine. She also won an Honorable Mention in the 2016 New Millennium Writings Poetry Contest. Her last release was Brevity of Twit. She has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Member: Poetry Society of America. Member: Poets and Writers. Member: Academy of American Poets.

 

The Art of Gibberish…

October 13, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Gibberish – definition: meaningless or unintelligible talk or writing

I bow to a master, Lewis Carroll, who wrote the marvelous poem Jabbawocky. It is part of Alice Through the Looking Glass and is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English. It is a playful, whimsical poem including such nonsense words as “galumphing” and “frabjous”. I always wanted to know what a Tumtum tree would look like.

Have you written a nonsense poem?

Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Acquiesce – A Poem…

March 26, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Acquiesce – definition: to accept, agree, or give consent by keeping silent or by not raising objections.

I wrote a poem on this word – I hope you like it. As always comments are more than welcome.

heart_036

My Acquiesce, My Love

You break our date moments before you are to arrive

I gaze at my reflection, all dressed up

But I keep quiet and say it’s OK

Days goes past without a word

Tension builds within to call

But I refrain from becoming a burden

A knock at the door, it’s you

I’m overjoyed and smile thankfully

You give no apology just expect compliance

A crowded room, many strange faces

I cling to your arm, anxious

You shake my hand away, discarded

An offer you accept with no thought of me

Dismissed and shown the door

A bus trip home, crying in submission

You pick me up when it pleases

Dropped quickly when not

My obedience, my love I cling

Moments are all I am given

Treasured and remembered

Without you I am nothing

Mandy Eve-Barnett

21st March 2013

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