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Author Spotlight: Linda M. Crate

February 17, 2017

This will be the last weekly spotlight- I have had such a great response from those i’ve reached out to that I’d like to make it a monthly thing. However, as Crate was quite prompt in her response time, I decided to go ahead and do this one.

Next month around this time, I will be featuring artist Heather Davies-DeVoe; keep an eye out for that.

Now, onto the spotlight of the day! Crate is known for her love of fantasy and poetry and is the author of such books as: Centaurs and Magic , Blood and Magic (a personal favorite!), and Dragons and Magic. Her poetry can be found on websites and in magazines like The Horror Zine, and Moon and Sun.

2007

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novels Corvids & Magic and Phoenix Tears are forthcoming.

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Interview (I apologize for the blocky formatting- not sure what happened and I couldn’t fix it!):

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?                                                                                                 I have written since I was a child so my whole life, really. I didn’t really get into writing as an everday thing until I was about thirteen, though.
  2. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?              I write a lot of different pieces in a lot of different mediums. I would love to be known for my novels or my poetry which are the things I frequently work on the most.
  3.  Where do you get your ideas?                                                                                                                     I am inspired by everything and anything: other poets, authors, and writers; the weather, music, events in my own life, phrases that my friends or strangers (maybe even myself) say, a single phrase that just won’t let me rest until it’s written that rattles around my head, movies, television, etc.
  4.   How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?                                                                                         I take nature walks, listen to music, watch anime, talk to someone be it a friend or family member, take a shower, leave the project for a while and come back later essentially. Sometimes you have to just walk away for the day and come back to it with fresh eyes the next day – sometimes it’s just an hour or two before my mind kicks it into high gear and decides to cooperate with me.
  5.    In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?                       Poetry and fantasy, it seems, are my favorites. However, I try not to limit myself to one genre. I generally have fragments of each genre in my fantasy novels, but they’re usually considered young adult. I don’t go for a certain genre. I just start writing and see where it takes me. I am also fond of finding the beautiful in mysterious and dark things so horror is sometimes very prevalent on my mind ironically enough usually not around Halloween but in the middle of winter or sometimes even spring.
  6.   How long does it take you to complete a project?                                                                                   It really depends on the project and how motivated I am to complete it. Novels can take anywhere from a few months to a year depending on my muse. Lately, novels have been written mostly in a few months.

Poetry, essays, reviews, and short stories  take a significantly shorter amount of time given their  format.  Those can take anywhere from minutes (generally poetry only) to a few hours. Although, I like writing essays for 10 in ten minutes. I think it’s helping with my speed writing, and that’s always a good thing for a girl who always has too many ideas in her head. I always have something to be working on.

7. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

Never give up on your dream. Follow your heart. Keep pushing, keep going; swallow down your fear and your pride and face negativity head on. But never stop. Keep going no matter what. One day I got nineteen rejections in one day – after wiping the tears from my face, I got back to writing. This happened a couple of years ago before my first novel was published. If you are dedicated and hard-working then you can make your dreams come true. Don’t let anyone discourage you from your craft. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

8. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your writing sessions?

Not usually. Sometimes I write better without music. Sometimes I need music to inspire my muse to wake up.

9. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?

I don’t have to have anything whilst writing, but I do sometimes venture over for a snack of cookies (my favorite – especially sugar cookies) or fruit. As for drinks it’s usually water; tea, hot chocolate, iced tea, or juice. Sometimes lemonade – as it’s my favorite.

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If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the author, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors/artists you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy than i would stephen king or tim burton. although, how marvelous would that be?

Take care butterflies! }|{

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Author Spotlight: Jessica Marie Baumgartner

February 13, 2017

Second Spotlight, butterflies!

Our guest today is Jessica Marie Baumgartner, author of  By the Stars (Book One of the Embracing Entropy series) and My Family is Different, a children’s book illustrated by Laura Winship-Fanae. Baumgartner has written several more, but these are the ones which stand out to me. I am embarrassed to say that I have not read the entire Embracing Entropy series, but I will have you know it is on my to read list!

Baumgartner is fearless, and I hope to one day be as brave!

bw

Jessica’s motto is: Adventure first, then write! When not running around exploring nature and chasing after two smaller versions of herself, she also feeds the bunny. Somehow in there she has found the time to author the Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is different. She is a currently member of the Missouri Writers Guild and SCBWI. Her articles and stories have been featured in a wide variety of publications such as Outposts of beyond, Circle Magazine, Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, and many more. 

Find her at-

jessicamariebaumgartner

Facebook

@jessmbaum:

youtube

amazon

goodreads.com

And, right on into the questions!

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?

I want to give the poetic, “since I could remember” answer, because I’ve always been getting into trouble for daydreaming and making up stories (It took me a while to learn the difference between fantasy and reality as a child). But in terms of professional writing, I got my first paying gig back in 2011, so about 6 years.

  1. Who do you most identify with (living, dead, real or fictional)?

Holy hell! I love this question. I can think of people living, dead, real, and fictional, but if I can only pick one, probably…this is so hard. Haha How about I go with fictional? Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) comes to mind, so does Matilda (Roald Dahl) and Kaeldra (Susan Fletcher). I am not nearly as talented as these characters, or as cool, and though my life has been rough-it wasn’t as bad as theirs, but they share a lot of feelings I have often harbored. A love of reading and art, being a weird greenish eyed chick, having known the cruelty of others and learning to forgive.

  1. Tell us a fun and interesting fact about one of your projects?

My first novel, the one I finished first and have actually shed tears over is STILL unpublished. I threw it in my duds folder ages ago and had given up on it. Now that I’ve grown my editing skills, I wish to revive her, but it’s going to take a few years probably. haha

  1. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?

Probably my upcoming children’s book: The Golden Rule. It’s a simple story about a girl who learns the golden rules from many different religions and philosophies around the globe. My first children’s book: My Family is Different has been very popular and I constantly get thanked for writing it. So many people express their shock at the fact that we don’t have more books about acceptance and diversity.

  1. If you could, who would you ask to look at your work?

I honestly don’t know. Every literary agent that exists? Haha I can’t fathom asking any famous author to do it because they have their own work to do. Maybe Dave Grohl or Betty White? haha

  1. What is your main inspiration?

My kids. I’ve always written, but I never honestly thought it was a viable career choice. I kind of fell into getting published after my first daughter was born. From there both girls have been super encouraging. They have unconditional faith in my stories.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?

Beats me. haha They’re constantly attacking my brain. I have notebooks full of ideas for projects I want to start on once I wrap up the ones I’m currently shaping.

  1. How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?

What is this “writer’s block” that you speak of, and where do I get it? I could use some because I find myself constantly itching to write.

  1. In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?

It depends on the day. Most often I would say that writing for children is one of the most gratifying storytelling routes. They really listen and haven’t already heard everything. That just might be me being lazy. I also astound myself with how my non-fiction pieces turn out.

  1. How long does it take you to complete a project?

If only there was a set number. Unfortunately my work is always all over the place. I recently finished a short fantasy story in one night, but I’ve also had works that took over a year to finish.

  1. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

Writing is NOT a get rich quick scheme. If you wouldn’t dedicate yourself to it without the prospect of being paid, get out now.

  1. Who is your favorite independent writer/artist?

Richard Smyth. I stumbled on his first novel by accident and been hooked ever since. He does nature pieces in addition to fiction and that offers a broader scope to appreciate.

  1. Who is your favorite mainstream writer/artist?

Damn. How do you pick one? That’s like asking my favorite color-rainbow, or my favorite song-which genre, era, and tempo? I love Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Susan Fletcher, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and a bajillion others.

  1. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your writing sessions?

Different writing sessions call for different practices. Some nights I just need some wine or rum, others I have to go outside and hike or swim to get my head right. Jumping up and down or dancing is often needed. (I don’t sit still well.) Writing by candlelight gets my gears turning at times too.

  1. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?

In winter, there is nothing like hot green tea. Spring is more about the void of food but lots of rum and wine. In summer and fall, jerky and trail mix are my best friends.

 

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If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the author, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy author than i would stephen king.

Take care butterflies! }|{

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Author Spotlight: Helen Deakin

February 2, 2017

Alright butterflies, it’s finally time I post my first interview. Because she is a wildly imaginative author, Helen Deakin will be in the Spotlight.

 

helen-deakin

 

Helen grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland and recently moved to Laidley with her partner Dave and their three beautiful children and they are her most important passion. 

She has been writing since she was capable of stringing a basic sentence together (Helen still has her first book “Sally’s Monster” laying around somewhere) and all she ever dreamed of was becoming an author.  Helen is currently working on editing her next two novels, “The Ruined Ones,” and “Precient”, putting together a short story collection, and writing a requested piece of work, based on the war journal entries of the client’s father.  Sometimes Helen tries to do too many things at once because she is highly allergic to sitting still and doing nothing.

To keep up with Helen Deakin, connect with her here:

www.helendeakinauthor.com

www.facebook.com/helendeakinauthor

www.twitter.com/helendeakinbook

Here are a few of her Novels, found on Amazon:

 

 

Our sweet guest was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me. (If you have any that are not on the following list, make sure to comment and ask!)

 

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?

I have been writing ever since I could string a sentence together on paper (the first little book I wrote was when I was five and was called “Sally’s Monster).  However, it was only a couple years ago I decided to take the plunge into professional writing and publish my first full length novel, “Behind Blue Eyes.”

2. Tell us a fun and interesting fact about one of your projects?

My latest book I am working on, “The Ruined Ones,” came about due to a very bizarre dream I had in which I was a man whose wife and baby had been kidnapped by people who had taken over the world.  They had us segregated into groups, the bad ones kept in cattle yards for slaughter and the good ones taken elsewhere.  Needless to say, “The Ruined Ones” isn’t exactly the same but the idea for it arose from this strange sleep story my mind created.

3. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?

“The Ruined Ones,” which I am still in the final editing phases of.  It is my favourite of all my work because I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stuff.

4. If you could, who would you ask to look at your work?

Stephen King, without a doubt.

5. How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?

I have a notebook I always have near me that I write random ideas, snippet of interesting conversations and parts of dreams, books or movies I think could be blossomed into a story of its own.  If I am in need of inspiration, that’s what I look at.

6. In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?

Horror and thrillers are my main niche and definitely my favourite genres.

7. How long does it take you to complete a project?

It depends, I guess.  Behind Blue Eyes was something I wrote when I was only about 17 and I went back to it years later to finish it so I am not sure exactly how long that one took, however “The Ruined Ones” I hand-wrote nearly 400 pages from start to finish in exactly 30 days (which is saying something considering I am a mother of three young children and also run a small hobby business from home—among other commitments).

8. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

Determination and belief in your abilities is key.  No matter what anyone else might say about how hard it is to break into the writing industry and make it, never give up.  Most of all, don’t expect to get a major break and just be thrown into stardom.  Everything takes time and if you give it said time, you will build yourself up as a great writer/artist and be better off for taking a long road, learning so much along the way.

9. Who is your favorite mainstream writer/artist?

Stephen King will always be top of my list but I also really enjoy books by Matthew Reilly, Brian Keene and  Sandra Brown

10. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?

Coffee, coffee, coffee and most importantly, coffee.

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed this interview, and if you find something you wish me to improve upon in the future, let me know!

 

 

 

 

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reworking: The Cardiff Vampires

January 24, 2017

Alright, butterflies… 
Since I started working on Mercenary’s Edge, I started realizing that there is so much more I can add to my other stories. I’ll be starting with the Cardiff Vampires since it’s a personal favorite. Thank you for your patience while I rework them for a second round of publication.

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-jest not-

January 19, 2017

You are not monarchs,

And

They are not your jesters-

Even if they were,

What’s wrong with showing

Humanity?

Post Script:

A marionette implies 

Strings.

I’m curious;

Do you actually see any?

-freya

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-scold-

December 14, 2016

Poor people

Should not be made

To feel guilt

For being poor.

They should not feel

It a sin to

Be hungry,

Thirsty,

Tired…

Helpless.

Don’t just complain 

That it happens…

Make a positive change

To prevent it.

-freya

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-what she took-

December 6, 2016

For granted:

Those who tried their best,

The good times,

The memories,

The fairy tale dream…

Until another broken heart

Taught her another important 

Lesson:

Soccer mom avenue was

Creeping upon the horizon,

But not until she fit their molds…

They couldn’t accept it,

No tolerance of the rejection,

She refused societal boundaries,

Considered a societal burden…

If she hadn’t thought to

Appreciate what she’d once

Taken for granted,

Never would she have 

Grown…
-freya-