An Interview With Dates4hire Founder Louie Veleski


Louie Veleski is the founder of Dates4hire, which is a website on which to find platonic escorts; here is a link to the site:

Q:  What inspired you to start Dates4hire?


A: I have always had a fascination with online dating sites in general, but I don’t believe that the concept of traditional online dating works for everyone. For males especially, unless they have a chiselled body and a face to match their chances of being seen with an attractive woman on their arm is highly unlikely. It is a well known fact that the majority of women on dating sites get way more responses and emails than their male counterparts. Many of the men on dating sites most likely have a lot to offer but are never given the chance to make that first impression. This is why I have always thought how amazing it would be if these men could go out with someone that is highly attractive and be seen with them in a public arena. It doesn’t matter if they are not romantically linked. The confidence that the person hiring the date would gain from this experience would be immeasurable.


The other side of the website allows people to sign up for free and become an actual dates for hire. They decide their own hourly rate and choose the days and times they are willing to work which is displayed in a calendar on their profile. I have always liked the concept of getting paid to go out and socialize and this was another major inspiration for developing the site.


Q:  What kind of professional background do you have?


A: For the last 25 years I have been involved in the entertainment industry as a singer. I still front a very popular Melbourne cover band called Sexual Chocolate ( ) and have been doing this for the last 18 years of my life. Up until 6 years ago music was a full time job and the band was working about 4 nights of the week. But ever since I browsed my first internet page I have been enthralled with the endless possibilities that the world wide web had to offer.  I was very curious about how websites worked and especially how they were built. So I started teaching myself how to build a website by watching Youtube videos and doing various online courses. I started designing websites as a hobby but eventually it developed into a very profitable business. But developing websites for other companies was merely a stepping stone to eventually embarking on my very own startup.  I do have another developer that has worked with me on this project due to the complexity of the site but overall the concept and architecture of Dates4Hire is all me.


Q: What are some typical events that people hire dates for?

A: When you really think about it, a platonic date is nothing more than a companion. Therefore any event can be suitable when hiring a date from our site. You might have a wedding to attend but no partner. You might have just moved to a brand new city and would like someone to show you around. Maybe you recently broke up with a boyfriend and he’s already moved on and found a new girlfriend. You have both just been invited to a mutual friends birthday party and you know that his new girlfriend will be there. Hiring an attractive date from our site helps you avoid embracement and retain your dignity. Maybe you want to go and see a movie but don’t like to go by yourself. Or you can even hire a gym buddy as a date.. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. We have many date categories to choose from on the site and are always up for suggestions from our members..


Q:  How do you avoid having your employees prostitute themselves?


A: Our Terms of Use are very clear about our stance on prostitution or any type of sexual conduct on the site.  We even have a disclaimer at the bottom of every page letting people know that prostitution or sexual conduct will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate termination of your account. Having said this, we obviously can’t control what happens outside of the website. Neither can any other website for that matter. It would be foolish of me to assume that this type of activity will never occur between some members outside of the website.  But what consenting adults agree to amongst themselves is not really our business or our responsibility to police it.  If any of our members report someone for conducting this type of activity then they will have their account terminated immediately.


Q: I didn’t see any men in your system. Do you think it is easier to get female employees?


A: For now this seems to be the case. We are getting more women signing up as dates for hire but for any charismatic males reading this interview we encourage them to get on the site and sign up straight away. Here’s the weird thing. The site was in development for around 2 years or so. During this period we had a temporary website that explained the concept and allowed people to fill out a form and express their interest. Much to my surprise the amount of women looking to hire a date from our site was a staggering 70% of the overall signups.  So yes we do currently have a shortage of men on the site but I think this is partially due to the fact that most men would find it hard to believe that women are willing to pay them for this type of service. We will however continue to create more marketing campaigns in the future so as to attract more males to sign up as dates for hire.


Q: What’s to stop a date from blackmailing a client?


 A: I am not entirely sure why someone would want to blackmail a member on the site nor would it be possible considering that sex is off the table.  Also members are encouraged to always meet in public places for the good of their own safety. There would be far more opportunity to blackmail someone on a traditional dating site than there would be on ours. But just to let your readers know we do have a very strict screening process and unless this process has been completed a members profile does will not be displayed on the site. As for someone that is looking to hire a date, unless their profile is fully completed they are not able to hire a date.  One of the main security measures we have integrated into the website is a phone verification feature. You basically input your cell phone number in the field provided and hit the ‘Verify My Phone’ button. Once you have done this we send you a 4 digit pin code which you input in the field below and click the ‘Verify Code’ button.. This is no different to online banking or even when signing up for say a Google account. Nothing is full proof but I know for a fact that not too many other dating sites have this security feature in place.


Q: What was the strangest request you’ve ever had?


 A: In all honesty we haven’t had any strange requests to date but then again we are fairly new onto the scene so I am sure that we’re bound to get some weird requests in the future.  But unless the request is of a sexual nature it is entirely up to the members common sense to decide on whether or not the request is doable.


Q: What kind of demographic do you primarily cater to?


 A: As I mentioned before we surprisingly have a lot of women requiring male companions for social events.  But having said this we cater for anyone that is over the age of 18 and looking to either hire a date for an event or become a date on the site and earn some extra cash while having some fun in the process.  Keep in mind that members dating on the site are able to choose their very own demographics and what type of people and age brackets they’re willing to go out with. If for example I was 40 years of age but the member in question was only willing to date someone up to the age of 35 then her profile would not even come up in my search parameters.

Q: What kind of prices are we talking about here?


 A: Members can charge anywhere from $5 per hour up to $300 per hour. They decide their own hourly rate and we do not interfere in their decision. They also can choose a minimum amount of hours that they would like to be booked for. I guess members can negotiate between themselves outside of the website and that is fine by us. We however do charge a small fee when someone wants to book one of our members.  We give people 2 options. You can either sign up for a monthly membership of $24.95 and gain access to all members on the site and book as many dates as you like.  Or you can choose the one time booking option that is only provided when a member has updated their calendar and actually has some available dates displayed. A single booking token is only $9.95 and if for whatever reason the member declines your booking it will remain valid until someone accepts it.


Q:  If I showed up on the arm of a model everyone would know that I hired him. Do you have any plain looking dates?


A: Not all of our dates for hire members are Super Models or a perfect 10 for that matter. Yes we do have models on our site and if that’s the type of person you would like to be seen with at your event, then by all means we encourage you to hire them. But that is the beauty of Dates4Hire. The fact that we don’t discriminate against people wanting to become a member for hire. We accept all types of people no matter the shape size or ethnic background. The only thing we ask is that they obey our terms of use and play by the rules. Above all they need to be genuinely friendly and a social butterfly at heart.




Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Former Homicide Detective And Author Dan Willis



Dan Willis is a former homicide detective who specializes in wellness training to first responders. He is also the author of the book Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responders Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart; here is a link to his website:

Q: What is Bulletproof Spirit about?

A: “Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responders Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart” is an emotional survival guidebook—a wellness resource for police officers, fire personnel, the military, paramedics, nurses, hospital trauma workers, as well as their spouses and loved ones. It provides, for the first time, over 40 proactive wellness strategies and emotional survival methods that work to protect, heal and nurture the spirit of those who serve—so they will no longer suffer from all of the negative aspects of their profession. The book provides first responders with a message of hope, and a path toward wellness.

Q: What made you decide to write a book?


A: I have been a police officer, now a captain, for nearly 26 years and not only have I suffered from the terrible things I have experienced, but I have witnessed numerous colleagues suffer from PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and many other physical and emotional ailments that have all been brought on and aggravated by what we experience at work. There really isn’t any effective training or information available that addresses how a first responder can proactively work to insulate themselves and protect, heal, and nurture their spirit so they will not only survive, but thrive throughout their careers.


Suicide is the number one cause of death for first responders. Every year nearly 200 officers take their own life. 21 military veterans and 1 active duty soldier kill themselves every day. 120,000 police officers go to work every day suffering with PTSD. There is a tremendous need to provide emotional survival information and training for all these heroes who sacrifice a part of themselves to protect and give life to others.


An officer with a damaged spirit is not only susceptible toward self-destructive behaviors, but they are also unable to provide the most effective and professional police services for the community, which needs and demands them to be at their very best. Bulletproof Spirit provides the training, resources, and essential information to keep them well.


Q: What kind of research did you do?


A: The genesis for the book began in 2010 when I attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I took a course regarding emotional survival taught by a supervising special agent of the Behavioral Science Unit. Since then I have read numerous books on the subject—though none of them really offered effective wellness methods that could be used as a proactive strategy toward emotional survival. Much of the literature that was available primarily dealt with all the reasons why first responders suffer from their work.


I’ve consulted with several experts in the field, such as Nancy Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D., of the Counseling Team International, and have instructed with her. In addition, I have nearly 26 years of police experience, work on our peer support team, and have established and coordinated my agency’s Wellness Program. I continue to travel and teach first responders regarding emotional survival strategies.


Q: What are some of the professional experiences you drew from for the book?


A: Most of my career has been as a detective investigating murders, child abuse, and crimes of violence. I have also been a SWAT Commander and a member of our peer support team. I worked a child molest case where the suspect had over 700 photos of infants and small children being sexually assaulted; I have crawled on my hands and knees inside a body bag in order to collect maggots so that an entomologist could estimate the time of death. I have had my police car rear window shot out, I’ve chased attempted murder and armed robbery suspects at 120 mph and caught them; I’ve worked cold case murders, one taking me five years to solve.


I worked a case where a woman was attacked inside her home and stabbed 76 times, until the knife blade broke off in her skull. And I have witnessed numerous autopsies where I not only collect evidence from the dead body, but have gotten covered in skull dust as the Medical Examiner used a high powered saw to cut through the victim’s skull to remove the brain.


Every time I suffered with my victims, each case of senseless violence, every evil act that devastated so many lives—all became very toxic and poisonous to my spirit. Through many years of trial and error, I discovered what actually worked to breathe life back into my spirit.


Q: What are some of the major principles you teach in your wellness training?


A: The most important principle to realize, is that if we do not do anything proactive toward our own emotional survival, then we will inevitably suffer from the inherent negative aspects of our profession. First responders must also learn to become much more self-aware to understand how the job has changed them—their health and wellness, their relationships, their view of others, and the quality of their lives. When first responders neglect the importance and wellness of their spirit, then they are in danger of turning into someone their loved ones no longer recognize.


I describe several warnings signs that indicate that your spirit is suffering and not constructively processing stress or trauma. I also detail how first responders can overcome the daily hypervigilance roller coaster, how to prepare for and mitigate the effects of trauma, and numerous ways that our loved ones can become our most critical life-line of support.


It is crucial for first responder agencies to develop an effective peer support team, a wellness program, effective use of chaplain services, and ongoing proactive wellness and emotional survival training for the good of the officers, the agency, and the community.


Q: What case that you had as a homicide detective was the hardest for you to deal with emotionally?


A: The worst was a case where a middle-aged man was taken about 120 miles away from my city and murdered—and had his head and hands cut off. We never did find the victim’s head or hands and the body was dumped in an alley. We had no cause of death, no murder weapon, no murder scene (he was killed and cut up in another unknown location), no witnesses to the murder, no confessions, no DNA, no fingerprints, and no physical evidence of any kind of the suspects. I spent five years immersing myself in a world of pimps, prostitutes, violent gang members, and drug dealers. I received death threats from the suspects, and was being followed by one of their accomplices.


I became obsessed with working this case, while at the same time needing to work all my other cases that kept coming in. I got very little sleep, had difficulty in my marriage, and became very paranoid. However, after 5 years, 2 Crip gang members were convicted of first degree murder.


Q: What do you believe causes first responders to have suicidal tendencies?


A: Many officers suffer from PTSD without knowing that they have it. They suffer extreme panic attacks, horrible nightmares, debilitating stress, crippling intrusive mental images, and eventually they can begin to feel hopeless as the quality of their lives continues to disintegrate.


Officers also feel a great sense of helplessness. Often we are unable to save a child, stop someone’s suffering, or arrest a violent suspect before he is able to victimize again. This sense of helplessness can also lead to guilt feelings, where the officers continually second-guess their actions—thinking there could have been more they could do.


Additionally, there still is a sense that seeking help is a sign of weakness. What we all must realize, is that PTSD is not a weakness. It is not about what’s wrong with you; it’s about what happened to you. It is actually an injury to the brain’s ability to process a traumatic event. There are effective treatments available that can help heal the brain’s processing ability so that memories of the event are no longer crippling.


Q: What are some of the warning signs family members should look for?


A: There are several warning sings which show a first responder’s spirit is suffering:

  1. Isolation: First responders tend to come home and isolate themselves, so that they can unwind and get ready for the next shift. They become disengaged and indifferent. This creates distance and frustration in relationships.
  2. Anger: The first responder will tend to become increasingly angry at things that never used to bother them. Family members walk on egg shells fearing another angry outburst that they don’t understand.
  3. Sleep problems: 40% of first responders have serious sleeping disorders, and only get about 4-5 hours each night—when 8-9 hours are needed for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
  4. Depression: Left unattended, the negative aspects of our jobs can leave us feeling not only exhausted all the time, but depressed, moody, and agitated.
  5. Drinking as a perceived need: First responders have twice the rate of alcoholism as the general population. Drinking as a need in order to relax, fall asleep, or to forget, is a significant warning sign that your spirit has not been processing stress and trauma.
  6. Emotionally dead: As a way to cope with being able to do our job while in the midst of heartache and helplessness, first responders develop the natural reaction of shutting down emotional feelings. Over time this tends to make them unable to feel—being emotionally dead inside. This, of course, becomes devastating to personal relationships.


It is essential to treat, protect, and train all components that make us human, our mind, body, and especially our spirit. It is our spirit that is so critically important. It is our spirit that enables us to cope with stress, overcome trauma, and serve with compassion. Our spirit is the reservoir of our motivation to be committed to public service and helping others, to be inspired, and to be hopeful. Our spirit is the foundation for our mental, emotional, and physical health. We neglect our spirit at the expense of our own well-being.


Q: What do you think draws a person to a career in law enforcement in the first place?


A: Nearly all of us were driven to become a first responder because of our compassionate spirit to want to stand up to evil and to protect others from suffering. First responders dedicate their lives to protect and give life to others. This should give us great satisfaction and be life affirming—yet too often our service for others results in our spirits suffering.


I am constantly amazed and inspired by the level of selfless service, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication of those who work at my side. I only wish the general public realized how much we give of ourselves in order to protect and serve them. It is absolutely the best job in the world.


Q: What is the most misunderstood thing about detective work?

A: Probably the most misunderstood thing about police work in general is that we are human; we suffer, fear, and bleed like everyone else. Yet we often look past our own needs in order to help those who need us. Every one of my colleagues would willingly sacrifice their life if it meant they could save another. The heart and spirit of those who serve in the face of evil and violence makes them all heroes. Yet we have families too. Each day when we say good-bye to our baby or kiss our spouse as we leave, we know we may never see them again. We care about protecting others more than our own welfare.





Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With “The Rent” Creator Al Keyser



Al Keyser  is the writer, director and star of the web series The Rent; here is a link to the Facebook page:


Q: What is The Rent about?


A: The Rent is a dark comedy about a 40-year old loser who is forced to go to work for his mother collecting the rent in a Beverly Hills apartment building.


It’s a fun show about how the working class tries to meet the needs of the wealthy residents which are not really that wealthy at least in our pilot episode so far. They are trying to make the rent just like everyone else.


But also, primarily, it’s about the story of Freddie Jones who needs to wake up and do something different with his life, instead of freeloading off his mother while drinking and gambling his life away.


Q: What gave you the idea for it?


A: I was working on different pitches for a screenwriters conference and I needed some secondary ideas so I looked at my staff and our relationship in that we were very good buddies working and laughing together despite all sorts of seemingly dramatic things happening around us, and so I came up with The Beverly Hill Buddies, a story about a nutty Beverly Hills apartment manager who has to cope with his oddball staff while trying to satisfy the rich residents. I pitched that logline and it got a lot of interest. Later I changed the title to The Rent.


Q: How much of it is autobiographical?


A: There are some parts that I have pulled directly from my life. I really am an apartment manager and I wrote all of the characters based off of my experience with people that I have worked with. I basically understood what my casting was and created a story off of that. So let’s say 50% =)



Q: How did you finance your series?


A: I used my savings to finance the project. I normally would not do this, but as I continued to vet the idea and it continued to gain more interest, I decided it would be a good investment.



Q: What did you look for when casting the film?


A: I knew specifically what I wanted, the most talented actors that would best represent Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. I type casted all the way because it was the best choice. However each person brought their own unique personality to the table and closed the deal for their respective role. You know when you know.


Q: What is your funniest onset story?


A: The funniest onset story has to be that we all enjoyed working the scenes and laughing together. In particular, everyone enjoyed the scene with the mailman and then the real mailman showed up causing even more laughter.



Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it motivate you to create?


A: I have a great job working as a property manager near UCLA, but it’s completely separate from how I create. I like to sit alone with my thoughts and away from my work. I’m very easily motivated to create if I am strongly interested in an idea.


Q: What famous filmmaker would you compare yourself to?


A: Bowfinger


Q: What are you doing to promote your series?


A: The Rent was launched on Facebook and YouTube which has done okay so far, and I have some other show biz contacts that I have reached out to, but the best thing I’ve done was to hire Josh Mitchell as my publicist. He’s been able to connect me with all sorts of journalist that are helping to create a buzz and elevate my exposure far more than I could have done on my own.


Q: Why Beverly Hills?


A: I’ve been living near Beverly Hills for the last 7 years and found an interesting juxtaposition between the working class and the wealthy. I write what I know.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview WIth Director Antonio James


Antonio James is the director of Trey the Movie and the reality show The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood; here is a link to his IMDB page:




Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?


A: While working at the Veteran Affairs, I was presented with the opportunity to create a music video for my uncle’s music group. From then on I was hooked. I love being able to turn the ideas of one’s dreams into reality.


Q: What is Trey the Movie about?


A: A loveable guy struggles to cope with dangerous inner demons, which are fighting hard to come out. However, emotionally, he’s able to keep it together until he meets Ashley, a woman scorned, who sends him crashing over the edge of insanity and unleashes a killer that cannot be stopped!


Q: What inspired you to make it?


A: A bet over a 6 pack of beer that I couldn’t make a $400,000 movie for only $1000. Not only did I make the movie for just $750, it then went on to generate over $150 THOUSAND dollars, won multiple film festivals, featured on Fox news, screened locally and distributed on Amazon. And even though we had no crew or professional actors, the production quality (excluding acting) didn’t look $750 but $500,000.


Q: What are the elements of a successful horror movie?


A: In my opinion, the most important element of a great horror movie is the psyche of the bad guy. Every horror movie’s antagonist suffers from some mental disorder and his behavior should be according to his state of mind. Knowing your character’s psyche allows the audience to understandably relate to why their favorite psychopathic killer rips people apart and makes the viewing experience of blood splatter and guts that much more enjoyable.


Q: What is The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood about?


A: RDNH is about the inside story of celebrity dance choreographers. It shows the struggles, successes, and sacrifice of their underrated world through reenactment of real past events. Call it a “Tell all Book” for TV!


Q: What did you like about Shane Sparks’ writing?


A: What I got from Shane the most is that he writes from the heart. He has strong convictions and a deep recollection of memorable experiences about a world many of us look past.


Q: What kind of day jobs have you had in the past and how do they influence your work as a director?


A: US Air Force, Veteran’s Affairs. As stated above, I love to manage teams and what better team to manage or be apart of then working with American veterans and becoming an Airman in the United States Air Force.


Q: How did you achieve making directing your full time job?


A: By staying passionate about what I do. I view directing as a hobby not work. Why? Because a hobby is something you’re so passionate about that you will use your own money to fund your activity. During my downtime this passion enables me to create spectacular, high quality directing reels at lower costs, which helps when securing jobs.

When it’s not your passion, you’re doing it only for money, which is work. And no one likes to go to work.


Q: What is your oddest onset story?


A: When a background extra decided to become a lead actress at her own discretion. On the set of Trey, we had enough time to film one more shot and in the middle of the shot she got up out of her seat and begin interacting with the lead actors. Yes, I was infuriated, but in post, it ended up being a big part of selling the scene. So it was a fortunate accident.


Q: What film in history would you most like a chance to remake?


A: Dragonball: Evolution (2009). My Producers would be John Davis and Adam Schroeder from Chronicle (2012) and my Cinematographer would be Bill Pope from Matrix Revelation (2003).





Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actor Lauran de Winter





Lauran de Winter is an actor who appears in the Television series The Chosen Ones; here is a link to his website:





Q: What made you interested in acting?


A: I had just quit my cycling career at a young age, and I was looking for a new challenge and passion. Some friends of mine advised me to start acting so I gave it a try. I liked it for personal reasons, I could get to know myself better and explore my feelings and emotions and I guess fully grow up as a person. I love fully going for something, the acting industry has such an exciting variety to offer that it is something I can fully throw myself into for a lifetime. I believe we all like to express ourselves and for me acting is the most truthful, exciting, fun and challenging way to express myself. Acting is what I love and I love to inspire people. Myself I get the most inspired from watching a good movie with a good message, and I want to give this gift to other people as well.


Q: What is The Chosen Ones about?


A: The Chosen Ones is a TV-series about a group of people in the government that are cloning humans for evil reasons.



Q: What role do you play?


A: I play the agent in the TV-series who is sent to find out what sort of experimenting is going on. I find the answers and I am the one to find out the government is cloning people. I go on a journey to protect the humans from this.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your creative work?


A: I am a full time professional actor.


Q: What are some things you have done to promote yourself?


A: I have a website where people can keep up to date with what I’m doing at I am on Facebook with a fanpage under lauranndewinter. I’m on twitter as well, @laurandewinter. This way I keep my fans informed of what I’m doing.


Q: What is the most unusual thing anyone has ever told you about acting?


A: Acting is pretending. Of course we all know the role is not our real lives as actors, and we really want to bring the character, YOU as the actor have to fully embrace the circumstances and personality of the role.


Q: What’s the biggest difference between The USA and Netherlands?


A: Well, the USA is the big brother of the World to me. In Holland we take over a lot of things from the US. I would say in Holland everything is more equally divided and generally the people are very happy. In the US there is more opportunity if you want to succeed. I need that environment, you can’t do it all by yourself. Everybody needs a team, and your team needs to see possibilities equally to the way you see them. I find that mentality in the US like no other country in the world. Holland is a beautiful place to visit, and to live. So is the US. For acting the US is the place to be. I don’t exclude the possibility to act in a Dutch movie or TV-SHOW. I would enjoy it and it’s a great way to give back.


Q: What director would you most like to work with?


A: Steven Spielberg. He has such a variety in his movies, and always comes up with winning movies. As a person he seems humble to me, and someone all of us can learn from.


Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe?


A: I study Meisner and Strasberg.


Q: .If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?


A: Not too much. There are a lot of people that like this or that to be different. If you believe in what you do, you can succeed in whatever it is you do. I always look at myself as to where I can improve, but I’m too busy focusing on my career to worry about how I’d like things to be different. You choose who you want to be, who you want to work with and what you want to do if you want it bad enough. The acting industry has no limitations, at least I don’t see them.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Couples Therapist Duane Harvey



Duane Harvey is a licensed marriage and family therapist who is certified in Imago and works in Santa Monica, CA; here is a link to his Psychology Today page:,MFT_Santa+Monica_California_48433


Q: What exactly is Imago?


A: Imago is Latin for image. In neo-platonic philosophy it referred to imago dei, the image of God we carry within us. In Imago Therapy it refers to the image of the type of partner we are looking for, based on our early experiences with caretakers. Our imago contains both positive and negative traits and we are secretly seeking both, while only conscious of the desiring the positive traits. The negative traits are necessary for the re-activation of those early wounding experiences. It has been shown neurologically that deep emotional memory can be reconsolidated and altered by re-activation followed by corrective experiences with the type of person who originally wounded us.


Q: What does getting certified in Imago entail?


A: Basic certification requires a license to practice psychotherapy, attending a Getting The Love You Want workshop, then a year of coursework and supervision with a clinical instructor, which includes video presentation of work with couples. The certifying board is called Imago Relationship International.


Q: What sort if things do you discuss in your Tantric Couples Conversation group?


A: We discuss how to talk about things. We learn to mirror each others words, to slow down. We gaze silently into the eyes of our partner for three minutes while synchronizing our breath. Love is an addiction. Addictions require surges of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Eye gazing can supply us with an endless supply of this drug. Eye gazing is how we fell in love. We discuss what it felt like to fall in love and re-experience the feelings as we talk about it. We discuss what it is like to breath together.

We discuss touching.

We discuss the sexually charged energetic map of the body and explore different ways of touching each center.

We discuss the ways we appreciate we our partner.

We discuss high eroticism as form of healing.

Some of the discussions are private, between partners, but some are shared.


Q: What are the benefits of doing this kind of therapy in a group?


A: Couples discover very quickly that the problems they thought were uniquely theirs are shared by most couples, and that resolving these problems are a lot easier than they thought. Couples don’t even have to share or actively participate in a group to benefit. The romantic dyad is probably the most isolated of all our social units. Breaking down the fourth wall dissolves shame and provides new solutions fast.




Q: What is your professional opinion of sexual surrogates?


A: There is no such thing as a surrogate. It is always the real thing. Sexual surrogates will tell you they are really relationship surrogates. On the other hand, every relationship is a surrogate for an original relationship. Practically speaking, I have found surrogates to be of great value for clients who have difficulty finding relational experience through common social channels.


Q: What are some of the most common problems you see in couple’s therapy?


A: All couples experience ruptures of connection. The most common problem I see is the couples inability to repair due to the emotional style in which they react to the rupture. For instance, Susan feels ignored by John at a party, but instead of describing her vulnerability she criticizes him for paying attention to others. This causes him to feel inadequate, so he withdraws, which makes her feel even more deeply abandoned and angry. The story is not important. What is important is the rigid pattern they have been locked into and the stereotypical way it escalates. Their higher functioning thought processes have been highjacked by the lightning fast primitive brain we share with all mammals. They are unable to exercise conscious free will, but think they are.


Q: What theories in psychology do you think are passé?


A: The most obsolete theory in psychology is unfortunately the most prevalent and pervasive. Simply put, it is the notion of individual self-reliance and independence, most succinctly expressed in the slogan that one must love oneself before can love someone else and the corollary that one must do their individual work before they can be a successful couple. Not only is this idea wholly inaccurate, it is destructive and goes largely unchallenged as a collective assumption. Connection has be pathologized into codependence.


Q: How does one go about picking out a good therapist?


A: Most people assume that every therapist is competent working with couples or at the very least is relationship oriented. This is far from the truth. Our graduate training programs, even the so-called integrated and spiritual ones, are heavily biased toward the ninetieth century notion of individualism. Working with couples is not for the faint of heart and most therapists are not comfortable with it, and will recommend individual therapy. It is a well established statistic that individual therapy is very good at helping people break up, not come together. If you are in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship, make sure the therapist you select specializes in relationship.


Q: Are there any relationship problems that you see wealthy couples have that other people do not?


A: We all have the same basic attachment needs and problems. But wealthy couples have greater access to complexity, with more outsiders circling the perimeter. They also tend to have more exits, which leaks energy out of the couple bubble. Bonding requires a deep interdependency that can be inhibited by the illusion of independence that wealth can sometimes promote.


Q: How do you feel about reality shows such as Couples Therapy and Celebrity Rehab?


A: The show Couples Therapy makes me sad.


An effective couples therapist is not distracted by the stories couples tell, but focuses on the process and patterns between.

An effective couples therapist carefully regulates negativity, unravels criticism to expose the emotional need it is trying to express.

An effective couples therapist does not challenge one partner without also challenging the other, and keeps the conversation corralled between the partners, deflecting attempts to draw the therapist in as a referee.

An effective couples therapist makes use of every moment of interaction to uncover and steer attachment needs toward target responses.


It is sad to think that anyone might mistake Jenn Berman’s brand of bedlam for real couples therapy.


I have never seen Celebrity Rehab.




Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actress Jessica Lindsey Gilbert


Jessica Lindsey Gilbert is an actress who appears in the film Spoken; here is a link to her website:


Q: What made you interested in acting?


A: I became interested in acting when I was about 8 years old, I remember watching the Movie E.T, and thinking I want to be an actress. The reason why is because, I thought the movie E.T. had such an amazing message. I thought here is this boy without a father and he is having trouble with his life and he really needed someone. I was without a father as well, and I related. He not only got a friend, when he needed it, he got a super friend that could feel what he felt. That friend was connected to him. I connected to the movie a lot and it helped me . So I thought I would like to grow up and be an actress, so I can tell beautiful stories through film. That was the first time I remember, realizing I was interested in Acting.


Q: What is Spoken about?


A: A group of friends that try to find balance in their rocky relationships as they deal with love, loss, betrayal and trust. This was a very unique film for me, because it was shot like a traditional film, however it had very little dialogue. Most of the films dialogue was expressed through spoken word. Spoken was a collection of poetry and spoken word that the director Stacy Lightner created over the years. Each piece was written at different stages of her life . Many of the themes expressed were issues that Stacy had dealt with personally.


Q: What role do you play?


A: I play the role of Valerie. Valerie is the young women that Micah is in love with. Valerie is a young struggling Artist, and so is Micah. Micah is in love with Valerie but chooses to not live with her, because he does not want to be a burden on her while they are still struggling. So Micah lives with a women he does not respect or Love, because she pays his bills. Valerie is in Love with Micah and wants to be with him, but does not want to be involved in his drama so she sadly has to let him go, until he leaves his current situation and changes. Even though Valerie  is heart broken by this.


Q: What kind of training have you had?


A: I have studied Method Acting techniques attributed by Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, Robert Lewis and Stella Adler.

Also Meisner technique which is closely related to Method I believe.

I have also studied what is called Stanislavski’s system, which is Constantin  Stanislavski’s system of acting.

I have also done Practical Aesthetics by David Mamet.

and these are the places I have or remember taking classes, Acting Corps BootCamp 1,2 with Sydney Walsh Acting Corps North Hollywood. Actors workshop improvisation in Hollywood with Anthony Meindl, at Anthony Meindl Studios. I have also done Scene study with great actor and director Isa Totah. I studied with Doug Warhit at Castaway studios as well, and love his book. Before Coming to Hollywood, I Studied at The Tacoma School of the Arts. I studied  theater classical and Modern. On camera Technique acting and scene study with Kelly Doran For 3 years. I am currently working with a Coach I love, Robert Amico.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?


A: All I do right now is acting, Currently I do not have a second Job, I love doing Just Acting.  It feels great pursuing my passion.


Q: What is your strangest on set story?


A: One Time I was doing a Music Video , and they put Make up on me. I had a allergic reaction to the makeup, and my whole Face swelled up. I looked like a giant Tomato.


Q: What famous role could you have nailed?


A: I think I would have been a great Actress for the Movie the Graduate, if I was around. I love that Movie, I would have loved to have been in it.


Q: Who are some of your acting influences?


A: Katherine Hepburn

Meryl Streep

Ingrid Bergman

Grace Kelly

Bette Davis

Audrey Hepburn

Dianne Keaton

Joan Fountain

Faye Dunaway

Susan Hayworth

Elizabeth Taylor

Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

Jodie Foster

shirley Maclaine

Julia Roberts

Diane Lane

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Lawrence

Nicole Kidman

Charlize Theron

Halle berry

Kate winslet

Cate Blanchett



Q: What would you change about the film industry?


A: When People are really Famous, I would hope paparazzi wouldn’t take unwanted photos of their Children, other than that I love the industry and Love Acting.


Q: What do you think is more important, looks or talent?


A: Talent.



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Writer Renee Y. Brown

renee y. brown

Renee Y. Brown is a writer of Writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction who publishes her work on , here is a link to her LinkedIn page:






Q: What made you want to be a writer?


A: It wasn’t a deliberate decision, like I said “I want to be a writer,” like someone would say “I want to be lawyer” or “I want to be a teacher” or whatever. It’s more like it’s impossible for me to not be a writer. Before I could read or write my mom read books to me or I saw movies and TV shows that sparked my imagination and I would make up my own stories and characters and act them out, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. As soon as I could write I started to write stories. So it wasn’t a decision. I was born this way.

Q: What is the overall theme of Beauty and the Beast?


A: That poem, published September 3 at, was actually a re-written version of a poem I wrote in 1976. I was born and grew up in Los Angeles. The pressure to be physically attractive is an intrinsic and palpable part of the social culture there, then and now. In 1976 I was 18 and attended junior college. I was slightly overweight and had acne so I felt like the most hideous creature on earth. I’d never dated a guy or had one touch me. I was sitting in the cafeteria one afternoon and saw the most gorgeous guy, downright beautiful. He had pitch-black hair and sparkling ocean-blue eyes and perfect features. After 38 years I still remember. I came to the cafeteria at the same time every day because he was always there with his friends. He never saw me. I wrote ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with him as the beauty and me as the beast. Funny, but this is the first time I’ve ever told that story to anyone. When I went into the army a few years later I found out I wasn’t as ugly as L.A. thought I was. Today the poem is no longer personal but I re-wrote it in my current style and made it the opening poem of a sequence of three published by under the overall title ‘The Beast of Beauty.’ The sequence is a journey, from the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ seeing herself as ugly and unworthy while dreaming of the unattainable prince, to the second poem, ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ which is about how fairy tales warp girls into judging themselves only by their appearance and to associate physical unattractiveness with evil and outward beauty with good. The last poem is ‘A Kiss from the Prince,’ which is about spiritual and metaphysical transformation into true beauty. In 1976 I was the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Today I am the woman in ‘A Kiss From the Prince.’ I have gray hair and wrinkles and I’m invisible to the world so outwardly I’m right back where I was in 1976, but now, my face doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant. My face is not who I am. My words are who I am. I know the true prince and I know I am loved.

Q: Who are some of your influences?


A: Influences for poetry are Erica Jong, Adrienne Rich, and Marge Piercy. For fiction, I used to read science fiction and fantasy in the 80’s and 90’s, so I was influenced by the great women authors of the genre: Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton and Joan Vinge. I don’t have any authors I follow anymore, there’s just too much stuff published these days and it doesn’t come close to the quality of the great authors I mentioned. My own fiction is so particular (maybe even peculiar) and quirky and unique that it doesn’t even fit into any genre niche. Maybe ‘quantum-metaphysical-romance-science fiction-fantasy-erotica,’ or something.

Q: What is is AWESOME. It is my BFF. It’s an online magazine that has everything: news and commentary from all political perspectives; personal essays and memoirs; reviews; travel articles; fiction and poetry; even cartoons. I like the open format that allows writers from both ends of the political spectrum and all points in between a forum to express their views. There is a lot of reader feedback so it is a very interactive publication. Their sub-heading is “A subversive retort to biased media, promoting free speech & the right to question.” And they do all this with humor that is razor sharp, irreverent and always brilliant. Subversify is a cooperative owned by Mitchell Warren, Karla Fetrow and Grainne Rhuad. Mitchell is CEO and Karla and Grainne are editors, writers and general curators of the site. Grainne is my editor and she works with me in a cooperative way that lets me be me and that’s something I appreciate. She’s a webpage genius and designs the pages for my poetry which is no easy task when I use odd formatting or have lines that are longer than the page is wide. Somehow she makes it all work and adds the perfect images to go with my pieces. Although I’ve never met her face-to-face I consider her a friend. Karla writes insightful and intriguing articles on subjects not covered by the mainstream media. Mitchell is an all-around cool dude with a great sense of humor. When I first submitted to Subversify in 2010 he advocated for my story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and it was published and I’ve been with them ever since.

Q: What made you select it as your platform?


A: I honestly can’t remember how I found Subversify. It was in 2010 and I had written the short story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and I was probably looking for places to submit it and stumbled upon Subversify. However I got there, I don’t believe in random coincidence. I believe in synchronicity and that things happen for a reason so I and Subversify were meant to be. I submitted the story and they liked it and published it and the story received good feedback from readers. Mitchell encouraged me to submit more, and as I sometimes joke about myself, ‘don’t invite me for a free meal unless you’re serious because I will take you up on it,’ so I kept submitting stuff and they kept publishing it. Certainly having Grainne as my editor keeps me coming back because it’s such a pleasure to work with her. Of course I like the publication itself, I like that it stands for free speech and is open to all points of view. And of course I like them because they like my work! It’s sort of my literary home now, for shorter works anyway, like ‘The Earth Show’ I have novellas and novels that I will probably self-publish. But for poetry and short stories Subversify is my go-to place. I love those guys!

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?


A: I don’t have a job at all. I am a disabled veteran on VA disability. When I was able to work I was a newspaper reporter. I loved the actual work and if I ever did anything meaningful in writing beyond personal meaning it was as a reporter. But I hated the corporate structure and working with editors who didn’t care about the quality of their work. I also saw the end coming in the mid-2000’s because 21st technology made newspapers archaic. I have no nostalgia for the dead newspaper industry. For decades I saved copies of newspapers with my stories in them. Last year I finally threw them all out, every single one.

Q: You were a photo journalist in the military; what were some of your most memorable assignments?


A: I had no memorable assignments in the army as a photographer. I’m a woman. I spent four years mostly in a darkroom developing film and printing photos taken by men. The good assignments where you actually shot photos that got published with your byline, those jobs went to men. I became an army journalist only after I got out of the active duty (full-time) army and went into the army reserves. My reserve unit sent me to the military’s journalism school in 1985. I did nothing memorable in the reserves either. That doesn’t mean I’m not affected by having been in the military. I’m on VA disability now. Enough said.

Q: What trends in poetry annoy you?


A: Snobbery in literary poetry annoys me. Literary writers and university professors would not consider my poetry ‘real’ poetry because I often use rhyme and right now rhyming is anathema in poetry. It’s considered to be at the level of pop song lyrics which of course they also look down upon. I don’t give a damn what the snobs think. I’m not writing to please literary critics. I’m writing first of all to please and satisfy myself. I’m also writing for the reading pleasure of people who are turned off by the snobbery and obscure metaphorical language of literary poetry. My poems don’t need to be ‘interpreted.’ The reader knows exactly what I’m saying and what I mean when they read the poem. I respect the intelligence of my readers and I hope they simply enjoy reading my stuff. Reading shouldn’t be ‘work,’ it should be fun.

Q: What is your process for writing a poem?


A: Process? What process? Just kidding. It varies according to the poem. Like I said earlier, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was inspired by direct personal experience. Some are commentaries on subjects I feel strongly about, like the obsession with physical beauty in our culture. Sometimes an idea just pops into my mind. And sometimes I sit down with the intention to write a poem and either it happens or it doesn’t happen. I can give examples of each. Obviously ‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a commentary poem. ‘Fairly Tales’ is a narrative poem in three parts that takes three major fairy tales, ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Snow White,’ retold by other women within each tale through totally different interpretations. I like taking traditional subjects like fairy tales and deconstructing then reconstructing them in my own way. In that sense those are also commentary poems expressing my point of view. A very personal poem was ‘I Had Sisters Once’ That one was difficult to write because I was expressing some very deep emotions and beliefs. As a side note to the reason why I love Subversify as my poetry platform, a reader, ‘Rich in PA,’ left this comment about that poem: “wow … how painful to read and now know … we all make choices, sometimes for no reason at all, that I think haunt every breath and every moment as a silent echo that blurs our memory. Powerful work here … the reason I visit Subversify often …” That’s better than money to me and shows what I mean about respecting my reader’s intelligence and hoping that they get something valuable out of their reading experience. Another narrative poem, ‘Michael,’ was based on a character from one of my novels but as I wrote it the character morphed into the Archangel Michael and the narrative into social commentary and eventually ended up as a love poem. That was just following the inspiration of the creative process in the moment. Then I have groups of poems, like ‘The Beast of Beauty,’ that are on the same subject. ‘Here and Hereafter’ are poems about death and the afterlife. Some are personal (‘King of White Roses’), some are my own ponderings on the subject (‘If,’ ‘The End of the Line’). ‘Today’s The Day’ are poems on romantic love. I wrote ‘Today’ just for fun because it’s about an older woman seducing a younger man using principals of quantum physics to prove her point. ‘The Gospel of Jon’ is from my personal experience of first love. ‘In Translation’ is dialog taken from another novel in which an American woman explains to her British boyfriend the subtle differences in the same language that can lead to misunderstandings but ultimately to the same conclusion—love. Despite all the poetry my main focus is writing fiction. Poems just sort of pop up now and then. So basically I guess the answer I gave at the beginning of this question applies, ‘what process?’ Like life, poetry happens.

Q: If you could take a road trip with Sylvia Plath or T.S. Elliot who would you pick and why?


A: That’s a difficult question because there are pros and cons with both. Since you’re talking about a road trip and not dinner or just having coffee I’d probably rather be cooped up in a car for a long time with T.S. Eliot. After all, I put a quote from him on my Linked-In page header: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I believe in that. I believe consciousness is infinite and eternal. The things valued in this world—money, possessions, status, power, fame, looks—are all temporary and will end or turn to dust. Only those who will risk thinking, imagining, and doing that which is far beyond the limitations of this world will find out, without having to die first, that how far one can go is limitless.



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Actress and Producer Deborah Funes






Deborah Funes is an actress who appears in the upcoming film The Mob and the producer of the film Touch MY Heart here is a link to the website:


Q: What is The Mob about? 

A: I can’t talk to much about that film project at this time. The only think that I can say is that “The Mob” is about Italian mafia from 1940’s and 1950’s.

Q: What role do you play?

A: I will play an Italian woman.

Q: What kind of experiences did you draw from when preparing for the role?

A: I speak a little Italian so will not be difficult to memorize my lines in that language. At the same time will be an opportunity to practice.

Q: What are some of your favorite feminist revenge movies?

A: I love feminist revenge type of movies as I am a feminist…(smiles). One of my favorites was “Fatal Attraction” with some of my favorite actors Michel Douglas and Glenn Close. I saw that movie a long time ago and was very strong…Maybe I should watch it again.

An other feminist revenge movie that I liked was “Enough” , with Jennifer Lopez.  But my favorite women’s revenge movie is “The War of The Roses”. Even if is an old movie from the 80’s I think was hilarious. Again with Michael Douglas…he is a great actor!.


Q: What kind of training have you had?


A: My acting training started at the age of six when I was lead actress at the plays in the school. We used to have an amazing stage and I had to perform in front of hundreds of people (parents, teachers and nuns).

Later in life I had done TV commercials, pilots for american TV series and sketch for Latin TV shows.

All those experiences were training me in front of the camera. From 2004 I toke acting class with many professors.  Some of then were successful actors that now are retired. I like to train to challenge myself.


Q:  What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they influence your acting?

A: I don’t have a day job. I work 24/7 managing my career: I am my own PR, my own Booking Agent, Art Director for photo shoots, calendars,web sites, souvenirs, I am my own Social Media Manager and  Marketing Director.

To be able to do all this activities correctly I studied at the University, I graduated, and train. I also give guidance to other talents who want to be in charge of the own careers and succeed.

On my little extra time I work in vacations rentals.

This activities keep me busy and of course influence my career big time.


Q: What is your oddest on set story?

A: The most weird thing that happened to me on set was during my first feature film: A naked old man appeared in a Hunting House to scare a group of students. We didn’t see that coming so honestly we been all scared for real to the point that one of the girls was vomiting after we shoot that scene. Latter that night I was in need of a ride to my hotel and that actor offered me to take me in his truck. Favor that I rejected because I was still in shock.


Q: What do you miss about Argentina?

A: I miss my friends and family more than anything else. I miss the bread and bakery that is extremely fresh as they manufacture all in front of your eyes. I miss the vegetables that are mostly organic so they have natural color, shape and are more tasteful.  I miss the coffee places. Starbucks didn’t exist when I was living there so the coffee places that I am missing are the ones where people drink real coffee from Argentina adding some liquor and eating amazing cakes. In special in winter time those coffee places are the best where people get together to have long conversations by the fire. I miss the way that they design the cities…people in Argentina walk a lot…I can’ live in a city or area where I can not walk. I need to bread the air, I need to feel the sun in my face and feel the energy of the city. That’s why my main cities in the US are Miami Beach and Manhattan.

Q: What do you like about Miami?

A: The green and the water. When I was a child I wanted to be a swam to be able to be between the green and the water. When I was a teenager I saw the people living between the green and the water in Miami Vice TV series. I used to draw myself in an hammock between two palms…now I am here and I love it!  I also like the variety of cultures in Miami Beach. This is a city where you can make friends from all over the world.

Social and entertainment are very important to me, so this is the place to be.


Q: What is next for you?


A:  I am producing my first feature film “Touch MY Heart”. I am writing the story, and preparing the funding campaign by Indiegogo now as we are on very early stage of development.

“Touch My Heart” is an inspiring feature film based in a real story part of my life and is about an actress who experienced

the worst nightmare when the doctors find a big tumor with metastasis. Tumor that was growing for many years of emotional struggles with family, ex boyfriends, the loss of her grandparents and the lack of true love in her life. Facing Brest Cancer, she decide shrink the tumor before the scheduled visit with the oncologist.  She began to research natural remedies, healing herbs and special diets. She has to confront her deepest feelingsand painful past experiences to conquer sadness and distress.


I am really focus in to produce this film…believe me or not this story happened for real on the last6 month. Now that I am a cancer survivor, that I am healthier than never before, that my courage and faith are stronger, plus all the knowledge that I got to be able to myself, I am happy and I feel so much power in my life. I want to help others with this movie. Not only to heal cancer but to prevent it. People from all over the world are contacting me to ask questions about Natural Healing of Cancer. It is an honor to be able to help. I want to spread the world with my experience. This movie will give hope to many people as it is a very contagious story that will touch the life of many people, in special people who have or had  cancer, or people who had loss someone with cancer. COLLABORATE WITH THIS GREAT FILM PROJECT AND CAUSE AT: more information about “Touch My Heart” film project please feel free to follow at:

And follow me and my acting career at:


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Writer Catherine MacDonald

Romancing the Vines



Catherine MacDonald is the author of Romancing the Vines; here is a link to her website:





Q: What is Romancing the Vines about?

A: Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can’t seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca’s torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels her back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival.


Q: What personal experiences inspired you to write it?


A: At one time I thought I wanted to run a vineyard, so I researched and visited vineyards and I found that running an RV dealership is easier. I’ve traveled to Italy, France, and of course, the Sonoma Valley many times. The story grew out of my travels and my love for wine. I’ve also experienced visions from past lives, which prompted me to include them in this story.


Q: What makes Francesca Bernard a unique character?


A: Francesca is stubborn and not a very good business woman. She refuses to listen to her heart. She refuses to acknowledge her own wine-making abilities, and she has a door open to the occult. But on the other hand she is a naughty girl and resorts to things she shouldn’t do in order to raise some money for the vineyard.


Q: Who are some of your literary influences?


A: Literary: Hmm. I’ve read everything May Sarton ever wrote, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Ayn Rand, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and F.Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoyed these authors because of the complexities of their work. I’ve tromped around through Key West and Hemingway’s old haunts and been to his place in Idaho. A current writer I’ve enjoyed is Deborah Harkness who wrote the All Souls Trilogy because I love historical fiction complemented with the occult.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your creative work?


A: I own and operate an RV dealership with my husband. We have thirty-two employees and so far we’ve sold 487 units this year. Daily, I meet amazing people with fascinating stories. (I also was a teacher for 25 years.) I was given a plaque on my desk that reads: Careful…or you’ll be in my novel.


Q: What kind of research did you do for The Divorce Ranch?


A: I read extensively about the time period and visited what are the remains of several ranches in the area. This was how Nevada struggled through The Great Depression. We legalized gambling and made divorce a six week process; hence, people traveled from all over the country and Europe to receive “the cure” and throw their rings off the Bridge of Sighs and into the Truckee River. One of my characters was designed after my great-aunt who was a secretary on a Hollywood studio lot in the 1930s. She used to tell me some stories!


Q: What do you think the main difference is between what men and women want to read about?


A: I’ve found men are more action driven. My husband reads a great deal, but he likes books where things are blown up or someone is shot on the first page. I am interested in the human experience and like character-driven plots. I’m not a huge romance reader, but I used to be vice president of the romance writers in my area and I discovered many women who liked to escape read those fantasy books.


Q: Do you think people find physically attractive characters more sympathetic than those who are not?


A: I think people find unattractive characters more sympathetic because they have a harder time than the “beautiful” people in life. Doors open slower. You have to depend on your strengths and talents, and not your image in the mirror. Beauty fades like a blooming rose.


Q: What is the most unusual thing you have done to promote your book?


A: Nothing unusual. The typical book signings, radio talks, and TV appearances. In my youth I was wild and crazy, but now that I’m matured I am a mellow girl.


Q: If you were to write fan fiction about any character in literary history, who would you pick and why?


A: I’ve always been a fan of Scarlett O”Hara from Gone with the Wind. Given the time period and the shackles placed on women, she was strong and determined and did what was necessary. Of course, she was in love with the weak Ashley and doesn’t realize who she truly loves until it’s too late. I can’t image wearing those corsets and all those clothes in the hot, sticky south.




Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)