Tag Archives: short stories

Author Interview – P.S.Winn…


Please welcome Pamela – I asked her to participate mainly due to her book entitled Obligations, to tie into my near death topic, however as a prolific author it was soon clear I needed to highlight her other books too. Enjoy.

biopic

What inspired you to write your first book?

I think I began writing more to just preserve my ideas in book form. My husband was told he may not live much longer back in 2012. That was scary and we moved back to my hometown so I could be by my family. I almost threw out my poems and short stories due to the quick nature of the move. I decided then I needed to keep those writings and began then to actually write a novel. My husband has since stabilized, not improved, but is hanging in there and we are taking each day as it comes and cherishing the moments.

How did you come up with the title?

The first book is “Foretold” and is based on the last days found in the Bible and in the works of Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus. I never thought the world would just end, but I always felt it would never be the same and people may have to go back to the basics. The Bible has a quote about turning weapons to plow shares. I feel that means we won’t have the things we have now and we may all instead have small gardens and farms to support our families. Now, getting ready to write book #42 I still find that what I learned in the Bible, by reading Cayce, Nostradamus and others can be found in whatever I write.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

I have just finished book #41 entitled “Tidbits and Treasures” it is a collection of poetry.
I am having health issues of my own and having problems with my spine which in turn effects my hands, so I am slowing down in writing, but have finished the 41 in 4 years, with 42 being started and 3 more in my head.

tidbits-and-treasures

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

In almost all my books I like to combine a bit of spirituality in with the other genres. I think I have two that show this best “Obligations” and “Of Jeebies and Journeys”. I also a couple of collections of short stories that definitely do. “Visitations” and “Wings to Whispers”

How much of the book is realistic?

obligations

In “Obligations” a near death experience takes a young man to the other side and then he is sent back because evil followed him. The young man, Josh, is given the gifts of seeing spirits and auras to help him. I haven’t had a near death experience, but know people who have and tried to base the book on what they saw and felt. I think the curtain between our world and heaven is very thin and think if people open their minds they may see that loved ones who have passed away are trying to reach us, protect us and let us know they are not too far away. In “Jeebies and Journeys” Jed journeys from this world to the next in hopes of returning something precious that was stolen from his wife Ellie by the Jeebies. I hope I captured Heaven and the possibilities we’ll find in that novel.

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

I think all writing has to be based on what we know and have lived through. I also think characters have many things in common with people we know or even ourselves. Don’t tell my friends though, I am keeping identities secret.

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

I really love Josh in the book “Obligations” and Nikki in the book “Tunnels”. The latter combines a bit of supernatural with spiritual as wormhole like Tunnels take Nikki to other worlds and alternate realities.

2-pswinn-sfs

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I wouldn’t change any books. I’ve had people say some books are too short, although I have “Tunnels” which is over 600 pages. I know I have been asked several times to write sequels to the books, especially “Obligations” and “Pacific Passage”, which is a novel where people live through a wreck of a cruise ship that heads through a vortex to an island where mysteries of ages are discovered..

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks, without readers vivid imaginations the books wouldn’t be finished. I think each reader brings their own ideas and images to the books they read and make them better. As an avid reader, I know when I read a book I see it just a little differently than the next person. I am positive that is why the book is always better than the movie. We bring our own mind with a personal movie screen along with us and as we read the story unfolds to each of us differently.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Just putting the words down on paper, I do this longhand. I think the best part is when I am not actually writing, but doing something else and an idea pops in my head, usually my characters taking to me, and they take the story in a route I never thought of.

1-pswinn-all-ages

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I’d have to say at least by the first grade, or as soon as I learned to write. I loved to write poems and short stories, I just didn’t try to write a novel until October of 2012.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I think I love it all, but when the work is done and I try to add in a special note to family, friends and readers that I hope is more personal and can express the gratitude I feel for all the support in this crazy world I find myself in.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

I love supernatural. I think some may think supernatural is science fiction, but for me I like to think that supernatural is closer to what is possible.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I don’t write a whole lot of romance, although it is definitely in the books and I don’t write erotica. I think romance is good when we let our own imaginations fill in the gaps.

What book are you reading now?

Hard to say, I usually read between 4 and 6 books a day. I am a top ten reader on Goodreads and have done over two thousand reviews on Amazon since 2013.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

About a million. I’d have to say my favorite authors who have multitudes of books and genres would be John Dizon, Char Iverson and Angie Blake. I love Berkeley Rourke and John Putnam, especially for westerns. For books that touch the heart I love Phyllis McManus and Stephanie Parker McKean. For suspense Mark Tilbury is great and spiritual writer Doug Simpson is a must have. I know I have missed hundreds of people whose books I love and hope they will forgive me.

3-pswinn-short-and-spiritual

Do you see writing as a career?

That is what I do now. I used to work in customer services, but herniated discs, spine degeneration and my husband’s health problems make being an author with my own hours a much better choice. I am just thankful that I am able to do that. Being an author, unless you are a Stephen King or a J.K. Rowling doesn’t keep the lights on.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I nibble when I write and when I don’t! My favorite is chocolate, but I love a good bowl of buttered popcorn too. I also live on coffee, both with and without chocolate added.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I don’t know if my habits are odd, but most of my stories are written in my mind in that place we go between being awake and asleep. Luckily for me, I remember the stories in the morning when I wake up. I think from childhood, the amazing thing and what I appreciate most are my parents giving me the love of reading, which led to the writing. My parents are gone now, but they still visit me once in a while and those moments are added into the short story collections “Visitations” and “Wings to Whispers.”

4-pswinn-ms

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I have no idea, if I am lucky, I hope to have a few more books out and also be helping other authors to do the say. I try to help get other writers noticed by putting their books on my face book page and on twitter where I have almost 17000 followers.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Slowing down, sometimes if I know how I want a book to end, it is hard to force myself to slow down and get the whole story in before that ending.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

I have no deadlines, my reward is always that first review and I have to say my readers have been amazing. So many touch my heart with the reviews and many explain my book better than I can.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Not yet. I have found a couple of times I was almost ready to throw something out and start over when the story changed, usually with my characters input, and the story turned out better than I could have imagined.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Bible or something like that. A guide for people to follow that would bring them happiness and also a type of guideline for morals, love and understanding. I think our world needs that. I wrote a short story collection called “Life Bridges” with three stories of people who used love and understanding to overcome hatred, bullying and prejudice. That is what is important in this life. I am not a religious person who regularly attends church, but I am spiritual and believe we can make a difference with one good gesture if we all try.

What is your best marketing tip?

I think it is running a book on a 99 cent sale. I promote in Facebook groups and on Twitter. When I sell a book on sale instead of just giving it a way I get more reviews. Although as a reader I grab a lot of freebies and always leave a review. The only time don’t is if it would be under a three star. I can’t do that to an author and try to find them and personally send a message why.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

The new book is about the paranormal, but it is also a mystery with some twists and turns as a spirit tries to share a tragedy in her past with people in the present.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

“Tidbits and Treasures” should be released in November and is a collection of my life through poems. I wanted to put a lot of the poems I have written through the years in book form. Mostly to preserve that writing, but also I hope to touch readers with what are treasures to me. The poems are on love, life and all that involves, including tragedies with the happy moments.

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

The books are on Amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/P.-S.-Winn/e/B00E6XAR82/

on Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/p.s.-winn

My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pswinnbooks/

On Twitter I am @ https://twitter.com/pswinnauthor

You can also find me on Goodreads where I am an author and an avid reader!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580862.P_S_Winn
Thanks so much for letting me spout my thoughts here and I hope that I have given you some good information and I hope you will join me on Facebook or Twitter, especially if you are a fellow author. I would love to share what others write on my pages.
Even though I have written 40 books, getting ready for 41, in 4 years I am still honored and amazed when asked if I would like to do an interview and am grateful for your asking me.

Summer Author Reading – 9 Tips to Prepare and Read…


 

Last Saturday I attended a local author reading, it was at a new venue – a local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. The cafe owner is welcoming all local artisan’s to display or perform giving the community a new place to enjoy the arts.

Although this is not my first public reading, there are always steps to take in preparation.

  1. Firstly, you must determine what you are going to read. If you have several books, will you read from a new one or something you feel will grip the audience.
  2. Will the audience be young or adult? Tailor your readings accordingly OR take two pieces to read just in case. (Which is what I did for this reading)
  3. If there is a time limit to the reading, practice the passages out loud. It doesn’t work well to just read it. Practice inflection and if you are good at them, dialectics.
  4. Make sure to mark the start and finish of the piece you are reading, this will ensure you stay within the time limit.
  5. Remember to take promotional items with you including business cards, bookmarks and of course books. A small amount of petty cash too so you have change.
  6. Props are a good idea for children’s books. I have a soft toy I made for my Rumble book. I did take a couple of ornaments with me just in case children were present and I did read from Ockleberries to the Rescue as well as from The Rython Kingdom.
  7. Depending on the venue, there maybe a microphone, if not it is an idea to either purchase one or borrow one. Some venues have a lot of background noise so you want your audience to be able to hear you.
  8. Remember to smile, look up while reading and engage your audience.
  9. Be ready with answers to questions about your book and your writing.

The event on Saturday was an all adult audience which resulted in quite a long Q&A session.

What tips can you share about author readings?

Not the most flattering photo of Karen Probert and I – just wondering what we we discussing when the camera caught us! There will be another photo to add – hopefully!

IMG_0922

Karen is a short story expert – her books and mine can be found at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca – Karen’s: Fragments of Lives & Colouring Our Lives. Mine: Rumble’s First Scare & Ockleberries to the Rescue and also The Rython Kingdom.

New photo from SGC staff – I had to share – loved the captive audience even though you can’t see them all.

SGC reading

Interview with Karen Probert – Adept Short Story Writer…


Karen WITP 2014

How did you come up with the titles of your books?

The working title while I was writing ‘Fragments of Lives’ was Chunks of Life. It sounded too harsh, too heavy. Pieces of Lives sounded too even and Slices of Lives sounded like serving pieces of pizza or cake. Because no one character is in each story and each story is just a piece, often rough around the edges, of a life Fragments seems descriptive of the contents.

With “Colouring Our Lives”, I wanted to use Colouring Outside The Lines but it has been used often by other authors. I polled friends and other writers and the consensus was to use “Colouring Our Lives” Each story in this book has a predominant colour associated with it.

Fragments

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

“Fragments of Lives” is my first book of fictional short stories.

“Colouring our Lives” is the second, both have been published by Dream Write Publishing. I’m working on a very long short story, which may turn into a novel if that is what the characters want – the working title is “Bloodlines”.

How much of the book is realistic?

Although all my stories are fiction, the characters and scenarios in them are realistic and believable. I don’t write fantasy or sci-fi but about innately human characters in realistic situations where there is tension or an attainable goal being pursued.

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

Although I have no favourite character I often portray characters who are flawed, as we all are in some ways, but have the strength to live their lives thoughtfully and with integrity.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes, there are always improvements that could be made.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? The thought process. Hmmm.  A story begins with just one sentence or piece of dialogue. I just start there and follow the character’s lead. Once that story is written I go back, fill in, add other characters, or adjust the setting. I add details to embellish the idea of the story.

Colouring Our Lives

What do you enjoy most about writing?

My favourite part is creating the characters – what are their beliefs, how were these beliefs formed, how are they living their lives and making those lives work? Yes, they always have flaws or something has happened to them to change their perspective but they carry on. Not all of that information may be available to the reader, but it is in the back-story.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write?

Realistic fiction.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Probably I would never write about war or destruction. I could not write about a dystopian world where there seems no hope but only despair.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I neither eat/nibble nor listen to music while I write – quiet and calm allow me to concentrate best.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most difficult challenge for me is to make the people in the stories interesting but to also keep them like ordinary, real people that the reader might meet in everyday life. Each one has to have a secret or a flaw or be in an extraordinary circumstance that makes them act the way they do. That’s what holds the reader’s interest.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Many times an idea has not come together. It isn’t that I hated what I’d written but that I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the idea work.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

“Bloodlines” is about anthropologist, Hannah, of middle-Eastern descent who marries an African American whose genealogy is suspect, but whose family believes it is pure back to African slaves. Hannah is trained to follow the evidence and do the research. Doing the background research for this has been fascinating – everything from the gene causing red hair to Chilean bats – and I hope that comes through when I get to the end of the story. This story is purely fiction, but it could be true.

Links :

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010543031395

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/karen-probert

 


Clickety Click Excerpt #10 – The End…


monster claw

Alice’s excitement kept her awake until the early hours but she was still wide eyed in anticipation of her new role. The elders welcomed her into their cavern and huddled around her as she explained the cloth storybook. It took many months of carefully note taking to ensure the whole Griffian history was compiled. Another several months were taken to make sure it was in chronological order and then the sewing begun. During this time, Alice’s task became the talk of the underground world. Many Griffian’s would nod to her as she walked the many corridors. Alice increasingly felt at home in the rock caverns and corridors and became accustomed to her new form.

Alice and Totoran would escape into the night sky when the moon was hidden by clouds or was just a sliver of light. She flew over her Aunt and Uncle’s old home on occasion but it was just a forgotten place now. After their rescue her guardians settled into the under ground world in the mountain range and were always pleased when she visited them. The story of her parentage was no longer a secret and Alice knew she was where she belonged for the time being – a Griffian new world would be found eventually and a new chapter written in their history.

I hope you enjoyed my ‘short’ story! It just grew and grew.

With several larger projects requiring my time, I thought it best to end this story.

thank you

An Interview with Country & City Girl – Barbie-Jo Smith…


Barbie

What inspired you to write your first book?It was time, plain and simply. I had been putting together information for ages and it was just time to clear off my desk! I’ve always written but I think I had more time to really think it out and organize the information after I retired.
How did you come up with the title?
When I write I often create the title first. This gives me a sense of grounding. The title of my first book is “A Country Gal in the City” and I am literally that gal. The book is a reminiscent collection of humorous stories and poems based on real life. I have lived in both city and country so the title is a natural. No matter how many other books I write, I’ll always be that country gal whose life bridges two worlds.

CGintheC_cover_front[1]CGintheC_cover_back[1]

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
ACGITC is my first official book. I’m working on a second now. It’s called “Things Were Going Fine Till We Hit the Rapids”. For years I wrote columns in two specific magazines, “Our World+50” and “Cloverleaf Country”, and various newsletters, smaller publications. My work was also displayed as a museum exhibit for a year. I currently have my work published in 12 anthologies of Canadian writers. During my career years I did a lot of business and medical writing, so while I wasn’t published through traditional means, I have always been “a writ’n fool”!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My books aren’t novels, but rather compilations true stories. I don’t write to give a message but if there is something in my writing, it would be to get out there and really live! Remember to be grateful for the good things in your life and more grateful for the harsh things. It’s during the tough times in life when we learn the most important lessons.
How much of the book is realistic?
As above, it’s all based on real people and real life events.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes very much so and they generally appear as themselves. In rare cases I change names and/or combine people or events to ensure privacy. One of the strongest characters is my late father, Ty Smith. He had a great sense of humor and was genuinely accident prone. The combination provided unlimited side-slapping situations. He always had a caper on the go. Really now, do you know anyone who could charm his wife into dangling him by the ankles out the upstairs window so he could patch cracks in the stucco?

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, yes! I would change the format to make it read more easily and compliment the contents. In the next book I will include a table of contents, something which I totally forgot in the first. I’m satisfied with the artistic content but am considering a second edition that will just look and read better with a few more selections added in. Barring that, the next book will have a cleaner presentation. Publishing is an ongoing process so I’m guessing that you reach perfection after producing several hundred books!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My goal is for them to see the picture I’ve painted with words. If they come along on the ride through the story and have a good time, then I’ve succeeded. If they throw back their heads and belly laugh, even better. My work reflects everyday experiences (well in most cases) that most of us have had, and I write those from a humorous point of view. I hope the reader will see that there is humor and fun in almost every situation.

kansas-roundup-27d47213.jpg.885x491_q90_box-0,325,3000,1991_crop_detailWhat is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
I’ve long suspected that I was born in the wrong century. I love the story about the cattle roundup. On one of those shindigs, you just work yourself down to a stump while having a ton of fun and laughs. It’s not for everyone and I’ve met some cows that would also like to skip the experience, but if you ever get the chance to participate …
What is your favourite theme/genre to write?
Humor.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Mmmmm! That a tough one. I think I could tackle almost anything, especially if it was research related, however if it required a lot of cruelty, really bad language or depravity, I think I might struggle a bit. If it had a higher meaning, that is, to be used as a reference or is written for a specific special interest group, then perhaps it would make the experience more palatable.
What book are you reading now?
I’m not reading anything right now. This is a somewhat vain attempt to keep focussed on my own writing. I’m not sure it’s working! However, when I want to escape I read mindless drivel that I can steam through in a day or so. There was a time when all I read was textbooks, even for enjoyment! I’m not so driven now, although I enjoy a good hematology text every now and then. I sound like a vampire!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Not at this time.
Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t think I’m disciplined enough to make a total career out of writing. I love it but I have a very busy life so I struggle with balancing all the things that I love to do. Now if someone gave me a huge publishing advance I’d strap myself to the desk and stay there until I finished the book or died trying.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Do you mean literally or figuratively? My husband and I have just moved to a village community in the country so I imagine we will still be here until they come to cart us off. Whether that’s in ten years, who knows. As for my writing, and I think that’s what you really wanted to know, I plan to have rounded out my technique and finished several books. I’m like a slow moving steam engine and I’m still building up that head of steam. Heaven help us when I reach warp speed! I’ve been incubating an idea for a children’s book series for years and I think I’d like to play with that next. However I also have an outline for a collaborative cookbook with my youngest daughter. There are lots of potential projects to keep me busy.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in you writing?
Discipline! To produce you have to sit there and write. I do a lot of fooling around – coffee, get comfortable, look outside (my window looks out on a green area where wild things pass by), sip coffee, get comfortable again, quick glance outside (was that a deer), check e-mail, call up writing files, sip coffee, think and key I some words and ideas, sip coffee, glance outside (yes it is and there’s another one), now it’s time to use the washroom……… Eventually I get some writing down, but it’s a struggle. It’s obvious that I need to throw out the coffee pot and move my office to the basement!
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Not hated. I just knew I could do better. I tried my hand at fiction one time and my writing group advised me to kill off the husband of the main character early in the story. I really let him have it in a very gory way and when I read it to the group there was literal wincing. I may have gone a little overboard! Actually I really like my writing. I may be the only one who does, but the important thing is that it gives me joy!
What book do you wish you had written?
I love the writing of James A. Michener because he researched so well and was an excellent story teller. You can literally step into the story and stay there. I would be proud to say that I wrote “Centennial”. My friend, Sue Hyde, is writing a book about the old west and it’s fascinating. I love the characters and how she crafts the story. Every time she sends me pages, I can’t help being drawn into the story and it stays with me for a long time afterward. That’s the sign of a good author. I hope I can do that for my readers.
What is your best marketing tip?
Be bold. Ask for the business. Go for it! I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch. I suck at marketing!
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
The same genre.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Draft 1 cover iconHere’s the text from the book cover.
“Things Were Going Fine Till We Hit the Rapids” is a collection of short stories and embedded poems, all based on real life experiences. The title has a double meaning, because we can literally hit the rapids on a boat ride down a river and we can metaphorically hit the rapids on our journey down the river of life. Barbie-Jo writes with both sensitivity and hilarity, sharing stories from her life and introducing characters who whose antics and experiences will have you laughing out loud.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
Through my publisher, Dream Write Publishing http://www.dreamwrite.ca, or dreamwrite10@hotmail.com or you can simply e-mail me at countrygal@sasktel.net.