Monthly Archives: February 2014

Erica Lucke Dean Suddenly Pops In

Hi, Erica, and welcome to my blog. Congratulations on the release of your new book — Suddenly Sorceress. This is your second book and it has already been getting some awesome reviews, and I love the cover. Was having this one published more or less exciting than publishing your first book? Thanks so much for having me today, Dionne. I love the cover too! I think getting this book published was almost more exciting than To Katie With Love. Not that I don’t adore Katie. I do, but Suddenly Sorceress is my favorite project so far. I mean, it has a witch, a magician, and a goat. What more could anyone ask for? LOL.

Suddenly Sorceress 800 Cover reveal and Promotional

 

What’s the part your love most about writing a book? I love coming up with the story. It’s like lightning streaking across my consciousness. That sudden jolt of something exciting that delights my senses. The idea is always big and easy for me to capture in my notes … though all those little details do take more work.

What’s the part you hate most about writing a book? I hate having to plan. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, but I’ve discovered the project goes more smoothly if I, at least, write out a summary for myself before I jump in. I need to know where I’m going so I don’t get lost along the way.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I guess, based on my last answer, you can see I’m a pantser at heart, but a plotter out of necessity. I never plot myself so much that I don’t have wiggle room. I just set out the major events and let all the little stuff work itself out as I go.

What’s your main character, Ivie, like, in Suddenly Sorceress? And did you model your character on yourself, a friend, or did you just pull her out of the air? Ivie is your average kindergarten teacher with a quiet, somewhat boring, existence. Well … she was until she ended up with a skunk in her bathroom and a missing fiancé. It doesn’t take her long to realize she’s not who she thought she was. Like most of my characters, Ivie is a lot like me. So was Katie in To Katie With Love, but I like to think of them as two different sides of me. Ivie is a bit more bold and a lot less clumsy.

Did the idea for this book come out of the blue, or is it something you’ve wanted to write for a while? I wanted to write a book about a witch, and a spark of inspiration flew in on its broomstick so I just went with it.

Have you ever wanted to be a witch and punish someone with magical powers? Have I ever! LOL. I was the little girl dressed as a scary witch for Halloween when all her friends were princesses and fairies. I think the idea of turning the “bad” fiancé into a woodland creature might have stemmed from my desire to turn my ex-husband into something once. I never did manage to get that to work. LOL. (LOL!).

Are you writing another book yet, or having a break? I’ve actually just finished a YA Contemporary collaboration with my friend Laura M. Kolar. I had this idea rattling around in my head, but I knew it was something I’d need another perspective for, so she agreed to work with me on it. It’s going to be amazing. We’re at the beta reader stage with it now.

I know you have a menagerie of animals at home. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I think I’d want to be a lion or a tiger. They’re fairly high on the food chain, so I wouldn’t have to worry about something else eating me. And I’d still get to eat meat. My husband keeps trying to convince me to go vegetarian, but I’m just not ready to take the plunge.

Finally, would you like to tell us a bit about what type of readers would enjoy your book. Suddenly Sorceress is a paranormal chick lit/romance with heavy doses of humor, sex, and wacky situations. I think anyone who likes to have fun while they fall in love would enjoy it.

The blurb:

PMS can be a real witch.

Ivie McKie isn’t your run-of-the-mill kindergarten teacher. After an encounter with a horny goat, Ivie has a confrontation with her lying, cheating fiancé. She is shocked when the big jerk suddenly transforms into a skunk—the black and white furry variety.

Enlisting the help of her shopaholic friend Chloe and sexy club magician Jackson Blake, Ivie is forced to play a literal game of cat and mouse as she races against the clock to change her ex back before she’s arrested for his murder.

With every new spell, a fresh wave of sexual desire draws Jack further into Ivie’s troubles, along with her panties, the car, the kitchen, and assorted seedy bathrooms.

Ivie soon discovers what every witch worth her spell book knows: There’s nothing worse than a bad case of Post Magical Syndrome.

If you like the sound of the book (and let’s face it, it sounds awesome) here is where you can buy from:

Here are the links where the book is available:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

And you can find Erica at Red Adept Publishing. Happy reading!

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Never Say Neigh

Today is a guest post from a humour writer. I would like to introduce you to Mary I. Farr. Thanks for visiting!
Author Mary I. Farr has devoted the past 30 years to exploring the worlds of hope, healing and humor. Today she has merged these life essentials into a wildly funny and gently inspirational book, Never Say Neigh. The book recently won honors in The Paris Book Festival, The Great Midwest Book Festival and the Animals, Animals, Animals Book Festival.
never say neigh
A retired hospital chaplain with plenty of wisdom under her belt and a lifelong passion for horses, Farr chose an unusual writing partner for her award-winning book—her American quarter horse, Noah Vail. Even his name says he has a funny bone of his own.
 “This is a comical horse,” Farr says. “He’s just the kind of character I imagined could ‘talk’ to people about life and its many lessons, but in a welcoming way. I figured why not use him as a humorous spiritual corrective in an often noisy world of gridlock.”
Never Say Neigh encompasses a year on the road with Noah and his partner Madam, sometimes referred to as The Management. Compassion is the order of the day for Noah. He eschews violence, prejudice and polarized politics – all with a generous dose of levity and fun.
“It’s hard to argue with a horse,” Farr says. “Noah, as the book’s narrator, makes the most difficult topics approachable for readers. He also opines on a good deal of human behavior.”
Even Noah’s blogs have won him acclaim as an Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop Humor Writer of the Month. And he’s nothing if not a well-rounded author. He keeps an active Twitter account, a Facebook page with more than 101,000 fans, and a blog. Fans can also find him on YouTube.

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A Guest with a Gift for Poetry and Verse—Maureen Flynn

Today I have my friend and poet visiting with a guest post. I first met Maureen at the NSW writers centre when I was there to talk about self-publishing. It’s exciting to see that Maureen has very recently self-published her first book of poetry, and what a gorgeous one it is. Even if poetry isn’t  your favourite thing; if you enjoy well-written prose, you will probably enjoy this – I know I did. Welcome, Maureen!

Why Poetry?

I first started writing poetry in high school; a creative form of self expression that my teacher’s never had to see. I mainly used my words for the force of good; exercising inner teen demons. For example, in Year 10 I wrote a poem about my Autistic brother. It is simple and technically awful and yet somehow… oh so accurate.

My Brother

What was that you said again?

Through innocent eyes I watch you, but

Never stare you in the eye.

It hurts, I tell you, it hurts.

You say ‘Hi,’

I sit and stare, because

What do you mean?

I play games by

Myself. Like Halo on xbox

And Zelda on my computer.

I play my gameboy.

I like my xbox, my computer, my gameboy.

I can understand them, but

Not the expression on your face.

I’ll tell you a secret!

I take tablets and I need lots of help.

I don’t like talking to people I don’t know.

But I like my dog.

Why is Mum so tired, why is sis so stressed?

I don’t know the answer so

I do an equation in my head.

I think I am mumbling.

I don’t like talking much.

What was that you said again?

When I wasn’t angsting experience, I exchanged lines of snarky free verse with my friend at the back of the English classroom. That’s how I ended up with a poem titled ‘Ode to Poetry’ (A response to Ode on a Grecian Urn) in the back of a workbook. My favourite part of the poem, aside from the alliteration of, ‘prattling pedagouge’ is the repetition of, ‘leave this picking apart/to the crows.’ How things change. Now I can’t get enough of literary analysis. The joke really backfired on me, Caringbah High.

As I got more comfortable messing around with free verse, I started to like putting word pictures together, and more and more complex ones too. It seemed to me that you could do so much more in free verse; capture something so raw, so human. Capture something ruined by too much laboured prose. I had very little life experience, but what did that matter? I soon discovered that this is what the movies are for!

I have always been a genre fiction lover. I’d rather not read about messy ordinary lives, thanks. Yet I can’t get enough of human mess at the movies. I have never been able to put my finger on just why I love straight drama on film but not in a book. Specifically, British drama. In high school I set the pattern. I love all of the actors who never get the publicity. It’s my own form of personal torture. I have seen almost every single drama film, good, bad and ugly, of the likes of Ralph Fiennes (always quietly burning over something but what?), Bill Nighy (life’s one big joke), Helena Bonham Carter (beautiful, eccentric and a messy powerhouse), Miranda Richardson (tiny and ripped apart by emotions) and Emily Watson (flinty, but somehow still breakable with those damned disconcerting lamp like eyes).

Something in the power of these actors varied performances spoke to me but I could never put it into words. The more poetry I wrote, the harder it was to string words into analytical sentences. It was so much easier, so much truer somehow, to tell stories, to respond to art with art. It was my way of making sense of the frightening, closed off and dangerous adult world that such actors regularly push us into confronting.

I saw Red Dragon. I didn’t write a review. To be honest, I wouldn’t remember the film today at all if it hadn’t been that I’d written a creative response to Watson’s Reba. I go back through my high school notebooks now, and I remember that the poem came about because of Reba, but the poem is not Reba. Reba was a springboard into a world of disability and judgement. A world that I do know and understand far too well. A world that I did know and understand then.

A Lament 

My wide eyes

Furtive, unseeing glances

Tell you what you already know

Even without the guiding stick.

My voice catches

At the sound of yours.

My mouth can’t take

Your awkward pauses.

Do I seem that desperate

To you?

When I cling and kiss your

Shyness away?

I’ve become so alone.

Shuttered away

Locked up with endless thoughts

Of a good day never to come.

All I want is

Someone to hold me

And say…

Someone to mean it and say…

“It’s all right to be different.

It’s all right

For blind women

To love.”

Yeah, I just want you to say

That just because I cannot see

Doesn’t mean that I can’t strive

For all I long to be.

Because oh how it hurts to be branded

With a label not of your choice

To have had the world take away

Both my sight and my voice.

And all because the universe can’t take

Abnormalities.

All because the universe takes

Fake.

Free verse was my curious and secret addiction. I kept writing my short stories and my novels, but I couldn’t stop writing poetry. It was a compulsion. Poetry about my family, about my feelings, about characters in films and books, about love stories and murders. My meta about our cultural stories and products became my hidden art.

And then I got to university and started writing my own poetry stories…

My Heart’s Choir Sings tells the story of a man who loses his fellow creative and partner in tragic circumstances. As he looks at objects that were once hers, he remembers their time together, in all of its pathos and pain and love. It took me two years to write and to get to publication stage. Why? Because I like my poetry to be deceptively simple, full of cultural reference and winding like a labyrinthe. I am a perfectionist, in poetry as with everything else. I want the word choices to be just so; I want you, the reader, to see what I see. I want you to feel and experience the emotional mess that I paint with my words, just as the best actors force you to experience their characters inner tumoil.

Just as drama suits the film medium, so too does poetry. Especially free verse poetry. That first person confessional drags you in, doesn’t let you look away from the impending train wreck. The imagery engages the senses and drowns you in dark and light planes. Emotional failure and carthasis become yours.

Deep down I know, dear readers, that for me, this is why poetry.

heart's choir

Maureen writes young adult speculative fiction novels and short stories and is currently studying to become a teacher. She reviews genre fiction and films, interviews authors and discusses writing at her blog, InkAshlings. She also writes free verse poetry about the human connection. Her verse novella, My Heart’s Choir Sings, is currently on sale for 99c on Smashwords and Amazon.

You can also like the Facebook page.

Otherwise, You can find Maureen at her website or on Goodreads.

 

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