June 26, 2013

Interview with Carla Woody

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carla WoodyCarla Woody has been mentoring people toward conscious living for more than twenty years. In 1999 she established Kenosis LLC to serve human potential and support the vision: “One tribe, one world.” In 2007, she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to help preserve indigenous wisdom ways. Carla is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. She also writes articles related to personal growth, natural healing and advocacy of Native traditions, and is a fine artist. She makes her home near Prescott, Arizona.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Carla: I’ve been writing off and on since childhood. The first story I can remember writing was called The Empty-Treed Forest. Looking back, this was an environmental piece somewhat strange for a seven-year-old to produce. As a teenager I wrote bad protest poetry, and then set creative writing aside for a long time in favor of the academic reports and theses necessary to acquire degrees. In the early 1990s I picked up the pen again to start writing articles and books in earnest.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carla: The themes have to do with spiritual evolution, natural healing, indigenous cultures, and advocacy related to Native wisdom traditions in danger of decimation. I cover these subjects in journal and magazine articles, as well as narrative nonfiction and fiction books.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carla: I view my books and articles as vehicles for my lifework, a way folks can be introduced or as an adjunct to my programs. For more than twenty years I’ve been mentoring people toward conscious living. In 1999 I founded Kenosis LLC to support human potential through travel journeys working with Native spiritual leaders and healers in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and the USA, and mentoring programs integrating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and sacred world traditions. Then in 2007 I established Kenosis Spirit Keepers, its 501(c)3 nonprofit extension, to help preserve indigenous lifeways through various projects.

Christine: What is your writing experience?

Carla: I have a passion for expression. That’s why I find it so important to, as much as possible, integrate some form of it into my everyday life and live through deeply held values. There were too many years I didn’t do that and felt cut off, which—of course—is how I came to do the work I do with others. In particular, writing and artwork are how I work things out internally and keep the creative juices flowing.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Portals to the Vision SerpentCarla: Portals to the Vision Serpent was just released on June 17, 2013. It’s a coming-of-age novel—a Hero’s Journey—that takes the reader into the realms of shamanism and the Maya world as a young man searches for his lineage and missing father. Interwoven are the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come from misunderstandings. It’s basically a book about spiritual healing. Readers are likely to see themselves in various ways, the same as reported to me from readers of my nonfiction books Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage (2004) and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness (2000).

My article The Last Spirit Keeper was published in Sacred Fire Magazine in November 2012, Issue 16, about the last Lacandón Maya elder in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico still maintaining his traditions against great pressure. My article Acts of Creation was just accepted by Stone Voices, a spiritually oriented, literary arts journal, no date on publication yet.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Carla: I’m definitely a morning person and have a ritual that sets my day. I usually get up before dawn, feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, and meditate for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing it, in that order, for nearly thirty years. Then I start writing if I have a project, or other work. Several years ago I put Joseph Campbell’s writing practice in place: at least three hours a day. It became automatic, and often the time extends itself without me noticing.

Christine: What interests you about writing fiction?

Carla: I’m most interested in teaching stories. The reader learns or resolves something themselves through identifying with different characters, in the course of being entertained. As the writer, the same is true for me. The process is magical to me. It’s like a movie unfolds in front of me, and I just write it down. It’s particularly surprising when a new character appears to take me somewhere I hadn’t imagined.

Christine: How do you come up with an idea for a new novel?

Carla: The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. Right now I’ve got two different ideas vying for my attention, both well developed. I’m not yet sure which one will win out to focus on first. It would be great to be able to split myself in two!

Christine: Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?

Carla: I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazines since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.

Christine: Where can we find your books and websites?

Carla: Find Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark, and Calling Our Spirits Home on Amazon, or order through local bookstores.

Please note that I donate 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the 501(c)3 nonprofit I founded to help us with our projects to preserve Native traditions.

You’re invited to visit Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers to learn more about offerings and sign up for free material and the Kenosis Inspirations ezine. Follow my blog The Lifepath Dialogues.

Christine: Thanks so much for joining us today, Carla. Your work and your books sound so interesting. Best of luck with your articles and books.

June 3, 2013

Interview with Carrie Golden

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carrie GoldenCarrie was born in a small city of Plattsburgh near the border of Quebec, Canada and grew up in the Adirondack Mountains. She now lives near Raleigh, NC with her husband and son, and a small cat farm.

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?

Carrie: As a girl, I pretty much lived in my imaginary worlds. I felt like an outsider; different from the others mainly because of my hearing disability and my strange accent. The problem was I tended to act out whatever went through my mind. One time this landed me in the ER. When I was in 5th grade, a good friend and I decided, just for fun, to see who could write the best short story. From this single experience I discovered another way (safer too!) of bringing things to life. Writing changed everything for me. Since then, it helped me to stay out of the ER!

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carrie: I like to write different types especially micro-poetry, short stories, screenplays, and web novels.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carrie: One day I’d love to be able to stay home and write on a full-time basis; in the meantime, I work in the banking industry as a Loan Servicing Specialist so my husband can complete his Engineering degree.

Christine: What do you like to read?

Carrie: I enjoy reading apocalyptic types of books that have elements of fantasy in them (books written by Terry Brooks for example).

Christine: What genre do you write, and why?

Carrie: I tend to write cross-genre. My favorite is blending Fantasy with Horror while sprinkling in a bit of Science Fiction. I primarily do this because I don’t like being confined to one genre.

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?

Carrie: I have several short works published on Piker Press as well as Zombie Poetry and Literature for Kids

Christine: What seems to be the recurring theme(s) in your writing?

Carrie: Death and hopelessness as well as hope and faith. I like to include most if not all of these in my stories. No matter how bleak things get, if you just hang on, there is an end to this darkness and misery. The light is just around the next corner.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Carrie: On Twitter or on my writing blog A writer and her adolescent muse.

Thanks so much for interviewing on my blog today, Carrie. Good luck with your writing and your writing career.

May 15, 2013

Interview with Will McClinton

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Will McClintonI’d like to welcome Will McClinton to my blog for an interview. Here is a little about him:

In high school, my passion for writing grew. By the summer after graduation it was a possibility. Then I was blindsided by a MVA (motor vehicle accident) that changed the direction of my life. I lost sight of my joy in writing. This is still sending ripples through my life. After two decades of work in the healthcare field (I’m a RN now), I recognized a need to connect with the creativity that was missing from my personal life. So Lineage was begun. I refused to stop writing even for shoulder surgery. My mom typed and painted in classical oils for over thirty years, even with having lost an arm during the great depression. So I took the strength I had learned from her and went on as I do now in her wake. Reading, writing, and gardening will always be a part of my life, as she will.

Christine: It’s nice to meet you, Will. What inspired you to write your first book?

Will: My inspiration to write came out of necessity – needing a creative outlet that is year round of which writing can be. Unlike gardening, one of my pleasures, time, is limited. There is nothing like getting my hands into the soil – a way of connecting with the earth, its energy. Writing is a seedling at the beginning of a story, small and fragile, but as time goes on, the characters grow and change, developing before your mind’s eye.

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

LineageWill: There are several messages that readers can take away from Lineage – The Descendants. First, but only one of several. Beauty can often be a disguise for evil, appearing innocent and harmless. Take a page out of resent American or French politics; we all need to look beyond the surface of the story. Do not accept on blind faith that the truth and the facts are one in the same. The news communication networks like nothing better than a good – or is it bad – sex scandal to sale time or space.

Christine: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Will: I was in 9th grade English, a creative writing class taught by Ms. Woodring. Not a typical English teacher, for she was aggressive and outspoken. By the time I finished that semester, I was bitten by the graphic arts bug and wanted to write for my life.

Christine: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Will: The hardest part of writing a novel was committing to it. Then it was choosing a subject. I enjoy reading over a range of genres.

Christine: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Will: I tell anyone that will listen that wants to write a story or a book, make the time and sit down and do it. Once you begin, a fertile imagination will bring the story, as in planting a seed.

Christine: Where can we find out more about you and your book on the Web?

Will: Blog: www.mcclintonlineage.wordpress.com
About the Book: www.mcclintonlineage.wordpress.com/about-the-book
Twitter: @WillMcClinton1

Thanks so much for joining us today, Will!

April 27, 2013

Interview with Stephen Brayton

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:00 am by Christine Rice

Stephen BraytonStephen L. Brayton owns and operates Brayton’s Black Belt Academy in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is a Fifth Degree Black Belt and certified instructor in The American Taekwondo Association.

He began writing as a child; his first short story concerned a true incident about his reactions to discipline. During high school, he wrote for the school newspaper and was a photographer for the yearbook. For a Mass Media class, he wrote and edited a video project.

In college, he began a personal journal for a writing class; said journal is ongoing. He was also a reporter for the college newspaper.

During his early twenties, while working for a Kewanee, Illinois radio station, he wrote a fantasy-based story and a trilogy for a comic book.

He has written numerous short stories – both horror and mystery.

His first novel, Night Shadows (Feb. 2011), concerns a Des Moines homicide investigator teaming up with a federal agent to battle creatures from another dimension. His second book, Beta (Oct. 2011), was the debut of Mallory Petersen and her search for a kidnapped girl. In August 2012, the second Mallory Petersen book, Alpha, was published. This time she investigates the murder of her boyfriend.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Stephen: Well, I can’t claim I was a writer right from the womb, but soon afterward. ‘Soon’ being a relative term, of course. I loved books from an early age, and one day I thought that with all of the books I’d read, mysteries and science fiction and horror, I’d like try my hand at writing some stories. I created a character called Sam P. Petersen who lived in the Quad Cities (where I spent my early years) and worked for the East Moline Police Department. I wrote short stories featuring him. Those were my first attempts at short story writing and character profiling. From the time I started talking about writing, my parents encouraged me to continue creating stories. I wrote during college and became serious in the late-90s.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Stephen: Well, my last book, Alpha, was published in August of 2012, but my most recent publication has been the first part of a serialized short story called “White Belt Weapons” in Taekwondo Times magazine. The March issue published an interview with me as a ‘Person of Interest,’ and the May issue began what I hope to be a long-term relationship with them on short stories.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Stephen: I’m a Fifth Degree Black Belt and own and operate a taekwondo club in Oskaloosa; plus, I have a full-time job. I have to find time to write during the slow hours or days off.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Stephen: Depends on the day. My schedule is never the same from week to week. I could work weekends or nine nights in a row. Usually, I’m on the graveyard shift from 11-7; sleep until the middle of the afternoon; class on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings; back to work at 11. During the night, I have plenty of time to write. On days off or afternoons, I may head outside to write or fish or visit family. I wish I could tell you I was an international spy in a different locale every day… At least the travel part sounds fun.

Christine: What is the title of your most recently published novel and a description of it?

AlphaStephen: Alpha is about Mallory Petersen, a Fourth Degree Black Belt in taekwondo and private investigator in Des Moines, Iowa. Usually her cases involve the oddballs of society, but every now and then she takes on a serious investigation. In this book, she’s relating a story to her current boyfriend about her involvement in the investigation of the murder of her previous boyfriend. Along with that case, she’s also searching for a missing woman.

Christine: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them.

Stephen: Of course I’m in love with Mallory. Six feet tall, blonde, blue eyes, drop dead gorgeous, excellent martial artist and instructor, strong, independent, quirky sense of humor, and a romantic.

I know an author is supposed to know almost everything about all the characters, but I’m still discovering things about Mallory’s office manager Darren. Currently, he doesn’t have a last name. That issue will be solved in the next book. He’s enigmatic, quiet, loyal, and always seems to know where Mallory is and what she’s doing. This drives her crazy sometimes.

Christine: Where can we find your novels?

Stephen: Alphawww.amazon.com/Alpha-Stephen-L-Brayton/dp/1610091159
Beta (Mallory’s introduction. Ebook only) – www.amazon.com/Beta-Mallory-Petersen-Mystery-ebook/dp/B005UHEWPC
Night Shadows (eBook only) – www.amazon.com/Night-Shadows-ebook/dp/B004O0VD1M

Christine: Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen: Ellery Queen – I think I’ve read almost every one of his mysteries.
Erle Stanley Garnder – Ditto.
H. P. Lovecraft – The master.
Clark A. Smith – A close second to Lovecraft.
Elaine Viets – She helps inspire my humorous creativity.
Sparkle Abbey – Who doesn’t like dog and cat mysteries?
Robert Pobi – A true genius with words.
Frank Kane, Carter Brown, Day Keene, (and others in the same genre) – Pulp fiction mysteries. I really enjoy the flavor of these stories.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Stephen: Website – www.stephenbrayton.com
Blog – www.stephenbrayton.wordpress.com
Book Review Blog – www.braytonsbookbuzz.wordpress.com
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@SLBrayton).

January 7, 2013

Books Update

Posted in Books, Editing, Personal, Publishing, Reading, Self-Publishing, Writing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:20 pm by Christine Rice

Hello everyone,

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting mostly reviews and interviews for the past couple of months. And you are right. Since mid-October I haven’t posted about my books, namely my works-in-progress. Back in early September, I pretty much stopped writing in my works-in-progress due to publishing one of them (Freelance Writing Guide) and having a blog tour. I have no regrets, of course, because I was ecstatic about publishing a book I had been working on for eight months, and the blog tour was an absolutely great experience.

During the blog tour, I got my first client project in which I edited and formatted a novel. In case you didn’t know, I wear a few different hats in the publishing industry, including freelance writing, editing, and formatting in addition to being an author. A part of my freelance writing business is writing book reviews, which I post here for you all. Additionally, many of the books I review are free kindle books, so I hope I have helped you choose some great reads for cheap.

Shortly after my first client, I got another client, and many more, and I’ve been doing client projects ever since. My time is spent on client projects, reading and reviewing, blogging, networking, and also my health. In addition to being a writer, I am a health-conscious person, because I know without my health, I am nothing. So I work on being healthy, and becoming healthier, each day, in addition to my career.

I haven’t resumed working on my works-in-progress, besides updating Freedom from Fat with posts from my health blog, but I am 100% interested in finishing my works-in-progress and plan to do so in the future. I just cannot promise when that will be. Right now my interests lie in my health and growing my freelance business, and since I move through life naturally based on how it flows, I go with the flow.

I am certain that someday I will return to my works-in-progress, because I love writing and publishing books. It makes me so happy to get my thoughts and experiences in a permanent state that can be enjoyed for years to come. For now, I will go with the flow, and I will resume working on my works-in-progress once the flow returns to that part of my life.

I just wanted to reassure you all that I will be publishing the books I was working on, and I will keep posting on this blog.

Thanks for your kindness and support,

Christine