An Interview With Writer Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

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Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is a former Poet Laureate of Kansas and the author of the novel, Miriam’s Well; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.carynmirriamgoldberg.com/

 

 

Q: When did you know you were a poet?

A: As a child, I was hard-wired to make things, and I started out as a visual artist, drawing and painting all the time. When I was 14, and my parents were in the middle of a long-winded and horrendous divorce, I found I needed words, so I switched on a dime from art to poetry. Luckily, I soon found a great mentor in my high school English teacher, who took me under her wing and guided me to great poets. She also encouraged my poetry and my life as a poet. We recently reconnected, and I’m so grateful to her. Over the years, I expanded to writing fiction, memoir, non-fiction, songs, and much more.

Q: What is Miriam’s Well about?

A: Miriam’s Well is  a novel that traces a modern day Exodus of Miriam, somewhat from biblical fame (she was Moses’ sister), but set in America from 1965 onward as she searches for her people and place. She is very purpose-driven, knowing she’s alive to feed, help, reach out, and making joy with people, particularly people facing big challenges, so it’s no wonder that she keeps finding herself at the center of major events that shape our country, such as People’s Park in 1969, Wounded Knee in 1973, the AIDS crisis in San Francisco in the 1980s, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and so many other events. She also, through her wandering the desert of our times, finds bits and pieces of the promised land, sometimes in places at the edge of America, literally in the case of an island she lives on off the coast of Maine and earlier on, her days in Key West, but also in communities on the edge. She lives in an ecovillage in North Carolina, in the middle of a very rural area in extreme west Texas, and in a small town in Idaho along the way. Her calling is continually make meals, music, and miracles.

Q: What made you chose “Exodus” as the model for your story?

A: I was always drawn to the story of the Exodus, especially Miriam’s role. She saves her brother Moses’ life by putting him a basket and sending him down the Nile, and she’s credited with leading the women singing and dancing through the desert. There’s also a biblical story about Miriam’s well, a mythical well that springs up from something Miriam does with a stone whenever the wandering Jews land some place new. That well allows the people to feed themselves, so it’s no wonder that my Miriam is both a singer and a cook. Mostly, I wanted to explore how we are always searching for the promised land in ourselves and our communities, and in many ways, we are always wandering too.

Q:  You teach writing at Goddard College. What are some of the things you want your students to take away from the classes that you teach?

A: I teach in the Goddard Graduate Institute, and it’s a low-residency program in which students self-design their own studies. So there are no classes per se, and I work with students — after they attend an 8-day residency to plan our their semester’s studies — long-distance, reading their work, and helping them go deeper into their best ways of learning and applying their learning to the real world. I teach writing, but much more since we’re an interdisciplinary program in which students study what calls to them most. For example, I have one student now studying spiritual memoir, another writing a thesis about how good health is related to the gut, and another planning a school on mindful outdoor leadership. I love the variety. What I want for my students is what I want for everyone: that we find our callings and also coalesce strong communities around us to help us move toward what’s most meaningful in our lives.

Q: What are some pitfalls that writers should avoid?

A: I think there’s a fallacy that writers need to suffer, especially from writer’s block, which I don’t believe in. If you’re stuck as a writer on a particular project, it just means you need more time or new perspective or that there’s something else calling for you to write. If writers can reframe the torturous myths that they must grapple with writer’s block into a much more life-giving story that, to quote poet Theodore Roethke, “we learning by going where we have to go,” then writers can open their art and lives up to new possibilities and likely far more strong writing.

Q: What are your feelings about the latest trend of open mic story telling?

A: I think story slams and the rise of lots of story podcasts are wonderful! They get us looking for meaningful moments in our lives, then finding the language to convey the power of those moments. I listen to This American Life, The Moth, and other podcasts regularly, and I’ve been running with professional storytellers for many years, so I’m delighted to see this trend taking off. Then again, this may be a trend, but storytelling is at the very root of language and the oral tradition.

Q:  You were the Poet Laureate of Kansas. How were you selected for the honor?

A: I was both nominated and applied, and it ended up that while I was poet laureate, the governor eliminated the Kansas Arts Commission, which held the poet laureate program, so I was suddenly floating. Then again, the governor’s office didn’t ask me to step down, so I organized my own projects, did crowd-sourcing to raise funds for my travel, and had the privilege of working with writers around our state to hold readings and publish books. The whole experience allowed us all to speak out and up for the arts. In the end, I was able to find a new home for our poet laureate program with our humanities council, and the program has been going strong there every since.
Q: What are some of the key elements of a good poem?

A: Strong imagery and compelling rhythm are at the root of good poetry as well as strong fiction and memoir.

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how is this evidenced in your writing?

A: I love a wide variety of writers — poets like Adrienne Rich and William Stafford, the novelist Toni Morrison, non-fiction writers like James McBride and Terry Tempest Williams. I’m not sure how my influences are reflected in my writing, but I believe writers need to read widely and deeply in many genres.

Q: How has your writing style evolved over the years?

A:  I started out as a very mediocre poet in my teens, and hopefully, I learned more since then. I have moved to speaking more directly, focusing more on my images rather than telling the reader what something means, and letting the writing lead me — and hopefully readers too — toward its own vitality that can speak to our lives.

 

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

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An Interview With Actor Alessandro Marino

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Alessandro Marino is an actor who appears in the new series, “Manny’s Garage Sale”; here is a link to his website:

https://www.alessandromarino.net/

 

Q: When did you know you were an actor?

 

A: The moment I knew I was an actor was after a scene study class in which I did for the first time a scene from “A Hatful of Rain”, a play by Michael V. Gazzo in which I played “Polo”. That night I came back home and I couldn’t sleep, I kept writing and day dreaming and working on the script all night, I just couldn’t wait to do that again. I was incredibly excited but also very scared, I knew that was going to change everything.

 

Q: Your website says you like classic films. What classic film role could you have nailed and why?

 

A: It’s hard to think about nailing a part in a classic movie when they were already nailed by legend like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman, Humphrey Bogart and so on.. but I can definitely tell you two roles, one in an american classic and one in an italian classic, that I would have loved to play: E. Lee Prewitt in “From Here to Eternity” by Zinnemann and Guido in “8 ½” by Fellini. Two very different roles but both very magical for me. “8 ½” taught me how there’s no right or wrong in art as long as you express yourself truthfully. A great lesson for me.

 

Q: What is Manny’s Garage Sale about?

 

A: Manny is the proprietor of a regular garage sale where common items ignite uncommon events. Kind-hearted and just “a little left of center” Manny has a way of knowing exactly what a customer needs…even before they do. Manny’s Garage Sale is a quirky look at everyone’s relationship with their own wishes, dreams and goals. No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs one thing is certain – we all impact one another. We can only hope that it’s for the better of all involved.

Good answer ah?;) I wish I could write english so well! This above is the description you can find on www.mannysgaragesale.com . Go check it out!

 

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I play the role of Frank. Full name Frank N. Stein. If you read it all at once you can immediately have a quick idea of how hard life has been for Frank since a very young age… He’s an italian-american young man in his twenties living in USA and trying to make it as a writer while working at the cafeteria to support himself. Just when life seems to be too hard on him and he starts to lose hope, something very magical happens… He’s very

 

 

Q: How would you describe Josh’s directing style?

 

A: I would describe his directing style as modern, free and fast. I was very impressed by the fact that he was able to film 3 different episodes simultaneously while keeping everything under control and having the ability to make strong directing choices in a nutshell. Being an actor himself he has the quality to be able to talk to actors, understand their process and leave them free to experiment and improvise. Josh has the great quality to transform every problem that arises on set into an opportunity to create something. His calm and good attitude even in anxious moments taught me a lot.

 

Q: How do you support yourself while pursuing your acting career?

 

A: Being a foreign actor I do not have the possibility to have a side job that is not related to the field I graduated in at the moment, so apart from the income I get from my acting and modeling career I heavily rely on a trust fund I was lucky to build when I was in Italy. I graduated in “Business & Management” back in Italy and worked there for a little while.

 

Q: What do you miss about Italy?

 

A: The food, the language and the beaches (I come from south of Italy) are for sure at the top of the list. However the single thing I miss the most is the sunday’s lunches at my grandfather’s house, when the whole family get together. It’s not easy to be the only one missing!

 

 

Q: What is your strangest Los Angeles story?

 

A: It was one of the first nights out since I moved to Los Angeles, I was in a very nice bar in West Hollywood and I was talking with this beautiful girl and I asked her if she wanted a drink. She asks for champagne, which is not the best answer you can get as a struggling actor, but she was too beautiful and smart to say no. So while thinking how to save those money in the next days I decide to go to the bar and get two glasses of champagne.

The time to coming back and bam… she was talking in the corner with another guy, drinking champagne. I couldn’t believe that, until I realized that the guy she was talking to was Leonardo Di Caprio. That made me quickly understand that the competition in any field here in Los Angeles is not like in South of Italy! It was the last time I went to get two drinks at a bar without bringing the lady with me!!

 

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I started studying acting at the City Academy of London, then studied at Michael Rodger’s Acting Studio in Milan, graduated in Acting for Film at NYFA in Los Angeles last september and currently studying Meisner Technique at The Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts in North Hollywood.

 

 

Q: What would you do if you disagreed with a director about how a role should be played?

 

A: I would definitely try to talk to him and explain my reasons and listen to his, but in the case the disagreement can not be solved I would trust him and adapt.  An actor should always show up on set with clear and strong choices about the character but it’s the director who has a vision of the bigger picture and an actor should trust his vision and be able to adapt truthfully to any situations and change.

(As long as the director is not drunk… :p)

 

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

An Interview With Cannabis Consultant Kiki Freeman

 

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Kiki Freeman is a cannabis consultant who owns Grow House LA; here is a link to the website:

 

 

Q: What inspired you to start Grow House LA?

 

A: My inspiration for GrowHouseLa came from not wanting to do residential real estate anymore, and good friend of mine asked me to find him a location shortly after I got into Commercial real estate. After a few successful deals, I knew the market in coming years would be awesome! It wasn’t, I hit a lot of brick walls, however I was determined to stay afloat until Recreational Cannabis became legal.

 

Q: What does a cannabis consultant do, exactly?

 

A: My focus is in the real estate sector. I find compliant locations for cultivators, and retail operators, connecting investors with cultivators, selling existing grow operations, consultation for licensing and being the go to for all things cannabis.

 

Q: What kind of professional background do you have and how does it qualify you for the job of cannabis consultant?

 

A: I specifically focus on the Real Estate aspect of the industry, therefore a thorough knowledge of local real estate market is a must. Also, it’s imperative to keep abreast of all the legal changes in the cannabis industry as this will assist in dealing with cultivators and investors. Lastly, you would need to know exactly what a cultivator needs in terms of location, size, power distance from sensitive uses ect.

 

Q: What are a few of the things someone starting a grow house should know?

 

A: If your just starting to grow, I’d highly recommend starting with a small location. I’d also recommend obtaining a partner for financial reasons and lastly you must be able to distribute your product. Therefore relationships with dispensary owners is a must.

 

Q: What questions should a potential grower ask before starting their business?

 

A: How do I dispose of my product! Since so many cultivators are in the market, having an excellent supply of distribution is a must.

 

Q: Do you think growers in states that have legal marijuana should be concerned about Jeff Sessions recinding of the Cole Memo?

 

A: No, its just a fear tactic. Once all states figure out how to maximize their tax profits, it’s a win win. Cannabis is healing, healing people with opioid addictions, cancer ailments ect…. the proof is undeniable.

 

Q: What is the strangest questions a potential grower has asked you

 

A: I actually haven’t had any,lol

 

Q:  How did you get investors interested in your company?

 

A: This is a great question….Over the years investors have been reaching out to me to lease their property or to purchase property to place a cultivator or dispensary due to the  substantially higher prices that they can charge the tenant. The prices are now starting to level, however an investor can still generate up to 65% more return on their investment. Also, the cost to outfit a small 5,000 square feet cultivation operation can cost around $250,000 without the cultivator seeing any returns, thus an investor can partner with a cultivator and receives better returns than any other investment vehicle.

 

Q:  How do you tell high quality cannabis from low quality cannabis?

 

A: Well that’s somewhat not in the scope of my duties, however my top cultivators have the best relationships with the most popular dispensaries. They build brands that are free of any pesticides, and can past testing.

 

Q: Do you think smoking a blunt will ever replace drinking champagne when closing a real-estate deal?

A: Well, we in Cali don’t smoke blunts (tobacco is so taboo) we prefer prerolls. And I’d say it will be safe to say that smoking your vape along with a glass of Champagne is likely to become the norm!

 

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 Chris Hoover

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Chris Hoover is the co-author of the book, How We Got Trumped; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1983873772/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_awdo_t1_VU0xAbCDS60JN

 

Q: What made you want to write a book about Donald Trump?

 

A: He needed to be exposed for the terrible corrupt, things he has done in his life, and during his Presidency.

 

Q: What sets your book apart from all the other books about him?

 

A: Ours is a historical rendering that layers his life in unison with the past 60 years of American History.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: There was about 200 hours of research done between Brad Lockwood and myself, and we have over 400 verifiable sources in the book as a result.

 

Q: What are some of the facts in the book that you think will shock even the most avid trump hater?

 

A: The fact that he and his father were gifted favor’s by the New York City that amounted to over 100 Million dollars, spanning over three decades of time, between 1970 and 2000.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how did it effect your ability to write a book?

 

A: I am a remodeling contractor and I was out of work, evacuated due to the massive fires in California during the writing of this book. I was not able to work, on my scheduled construction projects and so I put all my energy into the finishing of this book over the Holiday Season of 2017.  Typically, I would have been working 8 to ten hour days, on my construction projects, and then another 6-8 hours each night.  However, because of the fires, I was able to focus my attention on the completion of this book for the final 6 weeks of 2017.

 

Q: What do you think the mainstream media is overlooking in their coverage of the Trump administration?

 

A: The amount of days he actually works, Vs the days he is spending on the Golf Course.

 

Q: Why do you think anyone would vote for Trump?

 

A: Not a Clue in the World!

 

Q: How do you think Trump got into Wharton and how was he able to graduate?

 

A: Donald J Trump got into Wharton because of the contacts his father had on the board of directors at Wharton, and it was also this favoritism that surely helped him to graduate.

 

Q: Do you think the Democrats should compromise and give Trump his wall to save DACA?

 

A:  I believe that DACA is a beneficial Policy that should not be sacrificed under any circumstances.  I also believe the wall, would only bring more extremely negative attention to America, and that the building of it should be avoided at all costs.

 

Q: What do you think will be Trump’s ultimate downfall?

 

A:  He will most likely be impeached, based on his recent actions spanning over his first year as the President of the USA.

 

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 Clay Cureton

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Clay Cureton is an actor who appears in the short film, All In; here is a link to his Facebook page:

 

https://www.facebook.com/claycali

Q: What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I’d have to give my oldest sister Anita the credit for my passion for acting because it was she who as a theater/drama club member in high school would write 2 part plays that would of course star me and her. By the way she was about 16 and I was about 6.

 

Q: What is, All In about?

 

A: ALL IN is a short film about William and 3 of his friends who go through college together running a 4 person poker card team. Anyway after college they go their separate ways and unbeknownst to the other 3 William becomes an FBI agent who’s current case tasks him to bring down a traveling casino den that is using and laundering counterfeit money. Hence the reason William gets the gang back together…

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A:  I play the lead Agent William.

 

Q: How did you prepare for the role?

 

A:  You know its funny in preparing for any role I always read any directionals that come with the script as well as asking the writer or director what their vision for the character might be and then I usually watch any movies that I think might be closely related to the role I’m playing. For ALL IN I watched the movies 21 and Now You See Me part 1.

 

Q:  You minored in theater in college. What are some of the differences between stage acting and screen acting?

 

A: I think some glaring differences is on stage/in theatre you play to the audience, the energy is more in your face because you know that if you make a mistake the audience is right there to catch it so your focus hyper heightened. Also in my experience I found theater directors/writers to be more in your face. As opposed to screen acting where you’re playing to and off your co star/s and camera. I also think you have to channel create and bring your own energy to any character/s roles you play…

 

Q: What kind of day job (or income source) do you have and how does it influence your acting?

 

A:  I am a property manager by trade and have been for about 12 years and for me my day job helps my acting by allowing to interact with different personalities which helps me hone my abilities to play off of people as well as create and develop my own character roles based on the various people I meet…

 

Q: What is your strangest Los Angeles story?

 

A: Wow, what is my strangest LA story? That’s tough… I’ll go with this one around 2010 I was in Pasadena attending a manager’s conference and it was running extremely long and I was extremely hungry. So we finally get a break so I run across the street to so I think Baja Fresh (maybe) and I get inside and its packed I mean no available seats. So finally I order and get my food and I spot a free table outside. So I race to the table get the spot only to realize I didn’t get a drink so I place my tray of food on the table and head back inside to grab a beverage. It takes maybe 10 minutes I get my drink and race back to my table only to find someone seated at my table eating my food. At that moment in my mind I had 2 choices: #1 I could get angry and cause a scene or #2 I could realize that the man probably needed the food far more than I did. I’m proud to say I chose option 2 and I thought he she have a drink with his meal so I gave him the drink as well…

 

Q: What famous theatrical role would you like to attempt?

 

A: That’s an easy one, Othello, in Othello or even Iago because I had about a year of Shakespearian training in college but I have yet to have a chance to use it. I’d just like to see what and how I’d do with the role…

 

Q:  To what method of acting do you ascribe?

 

A: You know its funny because I used to think I was more Meisner mostly because at San Diego State my professor/s mostly taught the Meisner technique. However, I realize now my style is definitely more Lee Strasberg because the first thing I look to do is find an emotional connection with a role and then I try to apply the writer’s vision of the role to my personal life. I’ve found that I’m far more authentic this way…

 

Q:  Your movie is about gambling. What movie would you bet on to win, best picture this year?

 

A:  I’m betting All the Money In the World the movie by Ridley Scott about J Paul Getty starring Christopher Plummer and Mark Wahlberg

 

 

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 M.T. Bass

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M.T. Bass is the author of Murder by Munchausen; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.mtbass.net/

 

Q: What is Murder by Munchausen about?

 

A: Technology run amuck—but what’s new about that, right? Well, in the near future, artificial intelligence and robotics have converged. Siri, Alexa and Cortana are not just voices in pods that sit on the coffee table eavesdropping on your life and fetching stuff from the Internet. They have extremely human like bodies – in fact, they are called synthetic humanoids, synthoids for short – and act as “Personal Services Assistants” to free us from dirty jobs and menial chores out in “meatspace.” Of course, mankind being mankind, there are those among us who hijack that technology for ill intent and profit, turning synthoids into contract killers. The police unit that tracks down the hackers and repos the murderous ‘bots is the Artificial Crimes Unit.

 

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

 

A: It’s never just one thing with me. Zombie stories being done to death – so to speak – gave me pause to ponder what other incarnate form evil could take. At the same time, guys like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are warning us that artificial intelligence will be the end of life as we know it. Suddenly, I had a vision in my head of the police take down of an android assassin which opens the book. And from there the story started writing itself. The first two installments of the opening trilogy are done.  Murder by Munchausen came out in April of this year and number two, The Darknet, will be released February 2, 2018.  I’m working on the “compelling conclusion” now.

 

Q: There have been a lot of novels based on Jack the Ripper; what makes your book different?

 

A: I’m not trying to retell the story of Jack the Ripper so much as I am using it to tell my story. Spoiler alert – Jack might not be the only serial killer involved in the series.

 

Q: What makes Jake worth reading about?

 

A: Jake is a good cop, but not a do-gooder. His willingness to bend the rules to save his partner Maddie’s career got him reassigned—in his mind, exiled—to the Artificial Crimes Unit. So he’s not a techno-wiz, but just a regular guy stuck in a strange new world and trying to make the best of it.

 

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

 

A: I’m a self-employed sales rep for electro-mechanical component manufacturers who sell into the aerospace, medical and industrial automation markets.  It doesn’t so much influence my writing as it feeds the beast by getting me out from behind my desk and into the real world with lots of impressions of people, places and (yawn) corporate drama. At one point, I managed twenty-five states and five Canadian provinces.  I got a lot of writing done sitting in a United Airlines aluminum tube at thirty-five thousand feet on my way from here to there and back again.

 

 

Q: What is the biggest difference between your books and those of Philip K. Dick?

 

A: I might be admitting blasphemy, but I’ve not read Philip K. Dick. I may have seen the original  Blade Runner when it came out, but it’s a far faded memory. Once I got into writing the Munchausen series, I didn’t want to bring similar stories into my head.  There’s probably more Elmore Leonard or Michael Connelly in the books than the usual Sci-Fi suspects.

 

Q: What kind of formal training have you had?

 

A: I was an English major and a Philosophy major at Ohio Wesleyan University. My focus of study in the English Department was creative writing under novelist and poet Robert Flanagan (http://www.robertflanagan.com).  My senior thesis for my Philosophy major was on the metaphysical aspects of language – like why Eskimos have so many more words for snow than anybody else.  After I got out of school, I just wrote and wrote and wrote and kept writing to this day.

 

With regards to self-publishing, though, my first job out of college was supervising the Text Editing Center at the phone company where we prepared all of the internal manuals and technical documentation for publication.  It was a lot of typesetting and formatting, which has definitely come in handy in pushing my books out into the world.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: The second installment of the opening trilogy for the series, The Darknet, is being released February 2, 2018.  I’ve discounted the eBook fifty percent for pre-orders and I’ve priced Murder by Munchausen at $.99 for readers.  I’m promoting those deals in as many places as I can.  If the Bookbubbas smile kindly on me, the first book will be free for a limited time in January.

 

Q: What is the worst advice anyone has given you about writing?

 

A: “Write what people want to read.” Every time I tried that, it was crap and I hated what I wrote. So, how could I expect a reader to like it?

 

Q: If you could program an android to kill someone, who would it be and why?

 

A: “I hereby invoke and refuse to waive all of the following rights and privileges afforded to me by the United States Constitution. I invoke and refuse to waive my 5th Amendment right to Remain Silent. I invoke and refuse to waive my 6th Amendment right to an attorney of my choice. I invoke and refuse to waive my 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If I am not presently under arrest, or under investigatory detention, please allow me to leave.”

 

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 Alexander M Zoltai

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Alexander M Zoltai is the author of the novel, Notes From an Alien; here is a link to his website:

 

https://nfaa.wordpress.com/

 

Q: What is Notes From an Alien about?

A: Notes is the history of an alien family and the role they play in their worlds’ struggles to attain lasting peace and tranquility. It’s also about the final stages of a 500 year war between two planets that are in sharp contrast with each other; one a drippingly greedy Corporate world; one a completely superstitious Religious world. It’s also about a third planet that is, in its structure and function an Alien Being. So, there’s the ending of war, the beginning of peace, and the interaction of a number of different aliens. Ultimately, Notes is about what people can stand, how long they can stand it, and what they’d really rather have…

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Well, I actually tried to write it four different times over an eleven year period—each time was a different way to deal with the major themes of corporate greed, religious fanaticism, justice, and peace. The first three attempts died of swift stillbirths; number four turned into the novel. My deeper desires for writing the book were all tied up in how people relate to each other—the power-grabbing types, the overly-passive types, the rational types, and the mad-as-a-hatter types—how they interact and what might be necessary for them to achieve some form of unity…

Q: What makes Sena a character worth writing about?

A: Well, her ancestors—who appear in the story well ahead of her—are part of what makes Sena a worthy character. The other thing is she’s my “co-author”. She wrote the Prologue for the novel and she gives folks the option to believe she’s real, or not… Within the confines of the book’s reality she’s the character who reaches out—in “electro-mental” ways—with us folks on Earth. The connection to Earth is my way of letting readers know, for sure, that what’s happened in their worlds clearly applies in our world…

Q: What made you interested in interviewing authors?

A: My blog’s primarily about writing; but, also about reading and publishing. I began the interviews because some of my early readers left such interesting comments on posts that I thought they deserved a spotlight post, so other readers could get to know them and their way of working. After the first five or so, I began to range wider—folks I’d met on Twitter, people I’d blogged about, friends I’d made in the Virtual World I visit every evening… I have, as of right now, 84 interviews—people with many books to their credit, many not yet published, many struggling with how to best publish, a few who seem to have figured it all out—the whole enterprise is totally fascinating…

Q: Who was your most memorable interview subject?

A: That has to be Jane Watson. There are two interviews now and I’m hoping to have a third, soon. The best way to indicate why I think her interviews are memorable is to quote just a few of her comments — On why she writes: “To find out, to access an inner world, to explore the possibilities of an image (because I think am a very visual writer), to process my experience.” — On her source of inspiration: “I find inspiration everywhere. Someone once said that a writer’s own life experience is like the piece of grit in an oyster, which the writer’s art and skill then transforms into a completely different and wonderful pearl.” — On what blocks many writers: “It’s my experience that many writers have a wonderful story that they could tell but they go out of their way NOT to tell that story. I believe this is because we are often fearful of recognising our own true authentic self that the story contains; i.e., we are fearful of accessing our own Inner Worlds.”

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how is this evidenced in your writing?

A: My main “writing influence” comes from C. J. Cherry, Hugo award winner of over 60 Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels. This is “evidenced” in my writing by the way the experience of reading her has bolstered my commitment to write—not “like” her; but with the same devoted attention to character, theme, and plot she exhibits. Also, reading her helped set my mind free of the many misconceptions about writing that the Internet “Experts” poison minds with—she showed me how to write from “vistas” that aren’t derived from what other people are doing. Then, there are John C. Gardner, Robert Heinlein, and Ursula K. Le Guin. They “influence” me by the integrity and passion they exhibit in their work; which, I hope, is noticeable in my own work…

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

A: Stopping the production of the print version through FastPencil (which stopped the book’s appearance on Amazon {except for a very few copies that are selling for exorbitant prices—prices set by God-knows-who…}) and publishing it on Smashwords for free; which is in concert with making it freely available on my blog and on Wattpad. Then, tweeting about it, in amongst all my other tweets that are about interesting Writerly things…

Q: What kind of formal training have you had?

A: I assume the “training” is about writing? If so, my training (which is “formal” to me but probably not others) is a life-time of reading everything I could get my hands on; plus, years of actually sitting down at the computer and writing, every day…

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

A: My day job is writing; and, it influences my writing because writing, if pursued faithfully and regularly, will always positively influence one’s writing; but, I live on a small military pension…

Q: If you had a close encounter with an alien, what questions would you ask him or her?

A: Well, I feel like I’ve had a “close encounter” with an alien in my novel; but, that’s another story… A “real” alien? Hmmm… Assuming we could communicate, I would have to ask them for any advice they could share about writing. Then, I’d want to know their opinions on what could help Earth attain lasting peace and tranquillity. Then, ask if I could have a ride in their spaceship…

 

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