Month: May 2014

An Interview With Preferred Writer’s Group Co-Founder Laurie Tysinger

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Laurie Tysinger Co-founded Preferred Writer’s Group and does editing for  http://tzolkincosmology.com/ here is a link to the website:

http://preferredwriters.enjin.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What inspires you to write?

 

A: As in all things, but particularly my artwork and my writing, literally everything inspires me! I am the type of person who may very well be awoken in the middle of the night by some crazy idea (ranging from obscure to brilliant) that I simply have to get up and translate in some manner. I am also the type who might be inspired by the simple  way the light hits a certain object, or the sound of a bird in the wild, and that might lead into an article, story, song, painting, sculpture…who knows.

 

In addition, I am often inspired by the writing of others, and that can lead to a totally different writing on the same subject, or even another topic altogether, simply inspired by a phrase they may have used that touched me in some way, and I then ran in a completely different direction with it. I am curious about many things, and many different types of reading inspire me as well.

 

Q:  What motivated you to start Preferred Writers Group?

 

A: I was asked to start Preferred Writers Group by my partner, and co-owner/admin, J.D. Cumberland. He came to me with the amazing idea of starting a “Facebook for writers”. A place were writers come together and help one another. We too are writers. If we don’t write there, we don’t make money…simple as that.

 

It is also a very good “Writers Resource”. A place you can go where all the tools a writer needs, for any writing they are doing anywhere, are right there at their fingertips. We are constantly updating this in an attempt to have the best possible resources available.

 

I have to thank J.D. daily for making me a part of this. There is truly nothing else out there quite like PWG. It is a true innovation, and a great business model, though we have a long way to go with it yet. It grows daily, having garnered 70 users in less than 3 months, and I see many things happening there as we continually develop as a unique brand.

 

Q:  How does it work?

 

A: You may join the site as a user (absolutely free, of course, all you need do is register),  without even writing there, and utilize any tool or information available there. You can also share links to you work, anywhere it is found on the web, on our Community Page, and draw viewers to your own site, blog, or articles. I might add that to my knowledge, no other site allows this. It truly is about helping writers, and that is why I love it so.

 

However, if you DO chose to write, and your work displays quality content, and good grammar and writing skills, you can be chosen to be a staff writer, and will be paid .01 per view you garner on PWG. Either way, you are always free to share your work, and utilize the writer tools, and even your personal profile there to your full advantage in promoting your brand, and all your work as a writer.

 

Q: Do you think the average writer makes more or less money than they did in the days before the internet? (taking inflation into consideration, of course.)

 

A: This is a bit subjective, but here is my personal perspective. Though I wrote for print media before writing online, I never really got my foot in the door there, so to speak. I did have some minor successes, and wrote for a local paper/entertainment magazine. My pay started at .05 per word. I showed my ability as a writer right away, and was quickly raised to .35 cents per word.

 

That simply does not happen often in the online writing world. However, the wealth of opportunities to write online, and the ability to have all the resources you need right at your fingertips, offsets this aspect of the issue.

 

Q:  What is the difference between Tzolkin cosmology and regular cosmology?

 

A: Tolkin Cosmology is the work of a private client, Rohaan Solare, who describes it as “The art and science of time, change, synchronicity, human personality, and interpersonal dynamics.”

 

I do support Rohaan’s work, and am actually a huge fan myself. You can find my feelings about it here…http://preferredwriters.enjin.com/opinion/m/21774019/article/2237579/page/2 and see Rohaan’s actual work here…http://tzolkincosmology.com/

Opinion – Preferred Writers Group – Community website – Rohaan Solare and Tzolkin Cosmology :…

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Q:  Are you able to make a living writing or do you have a day job (if so what is it)?

 

A: When unable to find regular work for sometime, I simply decided to “make work” for myself on the internet. I set a goal last year to combine all the things I love into one, and make a living from it somehow. It is a constant struggle, but I feel I have accomplished quite a bit in that time! I do have other work, however, but it is seasonal. I work in a haunted house in the fall, and do artwork and costume design here and there as well.

 

Q:  How did you go about getting your first paid writing gig?

 

A: If you mean online, I suppose that would be as a Y!CN Contributor, which I still do. However, that work brought me to FullofKnowledge and ExpertsPages, where I later became an editor. Most writing sites are relatively simple. You just sign up, make the best looking profile you can, with a good bio, etc, and start writing!

 

Q:  What is the biggest mistake you have seen people make when trying to get paid for their writing?

 

A: Personally, I think writers put far too much emphasis on SEO, and keyword density! One thing that hurts both writers AND writing sites now is the fact that many sites no longer cater to quality content.

 

I have never so much as given thought to SEO or keyword density. Many who do seem to create work that is largely unintelligible, and contains no real info of value, in my opinion. Again, this speaks to the need for quality content, and the bad stuff out there hurts us all.

 

I much prefer writing a quality article about a given subject, and letting that speak for itself. If you write a good article about your subject, and include all needed info and sources, the keyword density usually takes care of itself. I feel this is an issue in good SEO that does need to be addressed by writers and sites alike.

 

 

Q:  What qualifies someone as an expert on expertpages.com?

 

A: Oh, this is a fine example for the previous question. At both ExpertsPages, and FullofKnowledge, it is not about being an “expert”. It is about quality content, and knowledge of your subject matter. You do not need to be an expert to write well. Both sites are a showcase for quality work and interesting subject matter above all else.

 

One of the major advantages to be found on these sites lies in the fact that we have an editorial team like that of no other site I have dealt with. We are very “hands on”. We guide and encourage our writers to be the best they possibly can be, and are always an editorial note away should they need us.

 

That being said, I must share some news, and I thank you for the opportunity to do so here. ExpertsPages is currently undergoing some major changes. It will soon become a new blogging platform. In that sense, then, I suppose the blogger becomes the expert, and their blog becomes a personal dissertation of their individual expertise. I rather like that concept as well. I see much growth in the future of both sites, and see them succeeding where similar sites are now failing.

 

As our owner, Aaron Coates stated recently, “FoK and EP are going to reassert their positions as the premier writing platforms”.

 

 

Q:  What do you think is the most profitable subject to write about?

 

A: That depends on your personal abilities, and probably the current market needs and trends as well, but for me, I suppose it would be music, arts and crafts how tos and alternative medicines, at the moment. These are areas of special interest and passion for me, and as I stated earlier, it is my goal to combine all these things in my writing, and make a living from that.

 

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 Colliding Pictures Director Alan Tracy

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Alan Tracy is the Director at Colliding Pictures, LLC. The company is currently casting the film Death of July; here is a link to the website:

http://collidingpictures.com/

Q: What made you want to direct?

A: When I was a young boy at the age of 8, I saw Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and I absolutely loved it! I asked him, who makes Movies? He said the Director does, and that has been my focus ever since then.

I want to direct to share my vision with others. I think movies can bring people together if you tell the story right. Often times I want people to think about what they are seeing and sometimes go beyond the face value.

Q: How did Colliding Pictures come about?

A: Colliding Pictures took years to find the right name and develop the right content. It is about merging the new age technology while drawing from older film cinema and newer relevant content for today’s films. We provide free entertainment in short films online free to watch to anyone that has a internet device.

Q: What is Lab of Laughter?

A: It is a sketch comedy web series that has not yet been picked up. It is a way to experiment with ideas within comedy and make them happen and see what works and what doesn’t work. I am co-creator with 4 other men who made LOL possible.

Q: How did you go about selecting videos to be on it?

A: All content on Colliding PIctures’ website are original content and written from either myself or others I have worked with in Minnesota.

Q: What is Death of July about?

A: Death of July is in early development for our first feature film. We will be taking on a new role in the year which is transitioning from shorts to feature length films. We hope to have many of the pieces in place by this time next year.

Q: What are some of the roles you are casting?

A: Currently there are a few roles that will be in casting by mid summer held in Minnesota for the shorts. Feature work will have casting for concept work as well by the fall.

Q: What makes your films unique?

A: I would hope that what makes our films unique is that people want to feel and see things in new ways. Though they may not always be “happy endings” they are at least satisfying when it comes to what the overall film is about.

Q: What are you hoping to accomplish at Cannes?

A: I hope to establish good relationships with other filmmakers from places both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. You never know where this business will take you. I hope that through collaborations and working together on developments we can find visions that align with one another.

Q: Who are some of your artistic influences?

A: Of course Steven Spielberg is the man of my generation to follow, but artistically I am influenced by David Fincher and Alfred Hitchcock. If I am compared to the likes of them I am doing my job correctly.

Q: What kind of professional background do you have?

A: I have produced directed or written 14 short films as well as produced Lab of Laughter. I’m looking to get to 15 total shorts by the end of this year and then move into Feature works. I have been working on film for almost 10 years in Minnesota and I have been looking at a possible relocation to achieve stronger support to make a feature film. However, the development of the script will reveal where we will end up producing it, which I hope to be shot partially in Minnesota.

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 Casting Director Cassie Rubino Halliwell

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Cassie Rubino Halliwell  is an Executive in Charge of Casting at Magnetic Productions, whose projects include Rehab Addict and Buy This Restaurant; here is a link to the website:

 

http://www.magneticproductions.com/

 

 

Q: What made you interested in casting?

A: To be honest, I didn’t start out knowing that casting could be a career. I have always loved people, loved bringing out the best in them, and helping them find their voice. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I started out as a street recruiter for MTV. It was my first taste of casting – and I loved every part of it. Over the years I worked my way up from recruiter to associate to producer, then director and now EIC of Casting for Magnetic Productions. I have enjoyed all aspects of this journey!

Q:  What kind of educational background do you have?

A: I went to school for Sports Medicine.

Q:  What makes for an interesting reality show star?

A: Someone who is confident, not afraid to look silly and can connect with people. As a casting director, I’m always looking for people that can connect.

Q:  What are some common mistakes people make when auditioning for a reality show?

A:  Often I see people putting on an act of what they think I want to see, or they will try to portray a character they want to be. I can tell if you’re being your honest self the moment you walk in a room.

Q:  Why do you think home improvement shows are so popular?

A: Owning your own home and making it truly yours is a dream! At some point, everyone has the fantasy of owning his or her own home. I think getting to watch it lets us live out a part of that fantasy.

Q: What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen someone do in an audition?

A: I have seen some pretty amazing auditions. I once had a very nice man pull a live snake out of his pocket half way through his audition. I’ve had someone stand up during a skype interview and reveal they weren’t wearing any pants (they forgot – this wasn’t a statement) – A young lady was so nervous she started throwing up mid-sentence.

Q: What do you like about show business?

A:I like making people’s dreams come true. I love that it celebrates talent and being unique.

Q:  What would you change about it?

A: I would take out ego! Do what you do, and do it well. Enjoy the journey and stop being full of yourself or taking it personally if you don’t get a part.

Q:  Do you think fame or compensation is more important to the average reality show contestant?

A: Both! Everyone wants to be famous if they are auditioning for a show! And who doesn’t want the paycheck to follow.

Q:  What kind of show are you casting for now?

A: Right now I am looking for experts in house flipping and contractors. I am ALWAYS looking for fun outgoing family businesses and experts of unusual topics! Part of my job is finding fun new talent and creating shows around 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 Volleyball Player and Motivational Speaker Bob Holmes

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Bob Holmes is a volleyball player who holds the Ripley’s Believe It or Not World Record for most games played by an Athlete in history. He is currently a motivational speaker who leactures about bullying and teen suicide; here is a link to one of his YouTube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO7ZP3JT5Lc

 

Q:  How did you get into playing volleyball?

A: I had a bad back and a chiropractor suggested I play volleyball to help my back. He said I was out of shape and needed a workout.  Then I saw the Globetrotters doing their exhibition and thought ONE MAN AGAINST AN ENTIRE TEAM      could be an exhibition with a message. God turned an affliction into a ministry and since it was turned into a ministry I have had no back pain.

 

 

 

Q:  What do you think made you so good at it?

A: Because of having played 18.000 games usually more than 50 games a week.

 

Q:   What is the main concept behind, Beat the Odds?

A: I beat the odds on the court to paint a word picture of beating the odds in life and not committting suicide.

Standing alone as they should stand against the peer pressure.

 

Q:  How are you different from other motivational speakers?

A: INTERACTION with the crowd, playing them and giving a lot of fun and laughter prior to speaking gets the crowd really tuned in to hear me.

 

Q:  Do you have any formal training in psychology?

A: no

 

Q:  Why do you think there is so much media attention on bullying these days?

A: Because every 30 seconds a young person is trying to take their lives because of being bullied

 

Q:  What do you believe causes someone to be suicidal?

A: Not have the Lord in their hearts to give them purpose, No love at home. Bullying, and many times feeling left out

 

Q:  What was the most challenging thing about writing your book?

A: getting investors to handle the upfront costs

 

 

Q:  Your blog says ‘every 30 seconds a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying” were are you getting this statistic?

A: i remember reading it on a anti-bullying site but did not write the url down,  it might be more powerful to say that I use to have 2,3 students showing me their razor blade cuts with tears after an assembly, now it is many times a whole bunch,  15-30

 

Q:  Do you think bullying has gotten worse or peoples egos have gotten more fragile due to the internet and social media?

A: bullys have a big ego and they do not think about who they are hurting, the bullied folks are very affected and emotionally hurt by all  of it

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 K.Z. Morano

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K.Z. Morano runs the blog The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic and is the author of the anthology 100 Nightmares; here is a link to her blog:

http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/ten-questions-with-k-z-morano/

 

 

Q: What motivates you to write?

A: I started writing fiction on my blog about a year ago and received enough love from my blog followers that I decided to keep writing. I write anything from romance and erotica to horror and dark fantasy. After winning in a writing competition a few months ago, I started focusing on the horror genre. My love for writing motivates me to write.

 

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

A: After graduating and gaining all of my certifications, I worked as a volunteer in a hospital (meaning toiling all day with no pay). Then I decided that the hospital is not the place for me. Against my parents’ and my family’s wishes, I turned my back on years of education and training. I work as an on-call instructor preparing students for their IELTS interview. I also have a clothing business (for local clients only) where I sell my secondhand designer and not-so-designer items for less… much much less. I love my clothes and it makes me happy when others find pleasure in my fashion picks. I’m not selling anything right now though because November last year, a typhoon had struck my country (the Philippines). Instead of selling the latest batch of clothes, I decided to donate them all to the victims of Haiyan (Yolanda). So, I didn’t sell anything… that means no money for shopping sprees. No shopping means it’ll take a long time before I re-open the shop. But I don’t care. It was for a good cause.

Why not get a “real” job? The thing about me is that if you put me in one place for too long, eventually, I feel like I’m being suffocated. And when I feel that way, I walk away.

Another one of my sort-of occupations is that of a ghost. A ghost writer, that is. 🙂 I’ve written numerous articles that you can find online. They’re about fashion, health, beauty, sex and relationships. It feels weird seeing my articles out there with the names of complete strangers attached to them. They get all the credit for it, of course. But I’m just a ghost so I stay in the dark corners…

Having a job like that makes me love my works of fiction even more. For the first time, I’m actually getting credit for all my efforts. I cannot possibly explain how happy it makes me every time someone leaves a positive comment on my stories, every time someone writes a good review of my book, every time someone recognizes me for my work. 🙂

 

Q: What kind of topics do you like to write about on The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic blog?

A: I write about everything under the sun. I write about everything that pleases me. I write about everything that I am.

My blog started out differently from what it is now. Initially, I wanted it to be a fashion blog. My old blog friends already know this. I wanted to post photos of myself wearing designer clothes. I wanted to feature my latest purchases, review some products, etc.

But when I started writing fiction, I received plenty of encouragement. Now, you’ll find stories there that range from erotica to fantasy to horror.

The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic speaks of my journey as a person without me actually talking about that journey. It’s written and reflected all over my blog. All the readers have to do is to take a look around.

I think my blog attracts different sorts of people… maybe eclectic eccentrics like me.  Some ask me when I’m going to start writing haiku again… when? I don’t know. Will I travel more next year? Perhaps.

I’ve published a book and it’s in the horror genre. Did I foresee this? Nope. And I doubt that most of my friends saw it coming either. Since I started writing horror, I am fully aware that I’ve lost a few followers and gained new ones as well. And there are those who were there from the very beginning.

You’ll never know what my blog is going to look like tomorrow and I guess that’s what I love about it. I’m not sure what the future holds but I’ll make sure that my readers—those who decide to stick around and the new ones that I’ll meet—will be a part of it.

 

Q: What is unique about your horror anthology 100 Nightmares?

A: 100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a collection of 100 horror stories, each written in exactly 100 words, and accompanied by over 50 illustrations.

I am very passionate about micro-fiction. It takes a great deal of effort to create a story in 100 words. Each piece is a complete story—with a beginning, middle and an end—not just a bunch of pretty words strung together. I pay attention to the words as much as I do to the plot. I try to squeeze as much story and detail and imagery as I can in 100 words without making it seem contrived.

Inside, you’ll find monsters—both imagined and real. There are vengeful specters, characters with impaired psyches, dark fairy tales and stories and illustrations inspired by bizarre creatures of Japanese folklore.

My short stories and micro-fiction have been published in various anthologies, magazines and online venues over the past few months but 100 Nightmares is my first solo project. It’s a labor of love.

Q:  You say that horror writer Michael Arnzen is an influence on you; what makes you connect with him?

A: It’s the boldness of his writing that I like the most. It’s really unlike any other. Mr. Arnzen’s writing and prompts are weird but fun… sick but brilliant. Some of the stories in my book, 100 Nightmares, have been inspired by the writing prompts from his book, Instigation. Coming up with ideas for one hundred stories to be included in my book was not an easy thing to do. I wanted every story to be unique. Halfway through the process, I started to lose hope thinking I’ll probably end up with just 50 Nightmares or so… On my blog, I created a post about how his book inspired me. Other authors who influence my writing include H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. They all taught me to see the beauty in the grotesque.

 

Q: What makes a blog worth reading?

A: There are plenty of blogs out there with exceptional themes and each of these blogs attracts specific readers. It’s very important to blog about what you know.

But ultimately, I think what makes a blog worth reading is its honesty. It’s more than just being unique. The blogger should have a voice that connects with his/her readers… and that takes passion… a willingness to share and bare a part of your soul to the blogosphere. It can be through your photographs, your art, through your writing…

 

Q: You say you hate jeje monsters, what’s a Jeje monster?

A: Hate is such a strong word. Perhaps I need to revise that. 🙂 But I don’t love them, for sure! Jejemonsters / Jejemon [ˈdʒɛdʒɛmon] are a special breed of hipsters who have managed to contort language to the point of extreme incomprehensibility. It’s a pop culture phenomenon in the Philippines (where I currently live). I LOVE playing with words and creating new ones but when a guy starts saying iMiszqcKyuH instead of “I miss you.” and lAbqCkyOuHh instead of “I love you.”, that’s when you put him in the Friendzone. Heck, I don’t even want to be friends! 🙂

They’re everywhere, really, not just here… They’re spreading like zombies. (except zombies are actually way cooler) So when I start tYpFing LyK diZ, please shoot me in the head. =p

It’s simply not for me… JaJa! Ooops… I mean, Haha! 🙂

 

Q: Who are some of your favorite designers?

A: I have quite a list! But I’ll mention just a few… I love Betsey Johnson because of her fun, fearless fashion. I like seeing the pretty in the bizarre and that’s why I adore fashion geniuses like Marc Jacobs. I like Miu Miu, Tsumori Chisato, Alice and Olivia. Dior and Chanel are timeless beauties. And I’ve always liked Burberry.

 

Q: What causes someone to be a shopaholic?

A: I can’t speak for all the other shopaholics out there but for me, it’s the love for fashion, mainly, and a desire to be surrounded by pretty things. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, really. It’s an addiction, after all.

Sure, I’ve always believed that a girl can never have too many clothes. But I’ve gone a step farther. There had been ups and downs. One day I just realized that my bank account is empty, all of my hard-earned money gone…

But I decided to learn from that experience and turn it into something positive. So I started the shop. It was hard to part with my beauties. This may seem ridiculous to you but I cuddled my clothes and almost wept for them.

Then the buyers started pouring in. The ladies trusted my fashion sense and I valued that the most. Those who can’t wear my clothes (because my size is XS-S), asked me if there’s any way that I can shop for them!

So they tell me what they’re looking for and I try to find it for them… online, in thrift stores, etc. It’s fun… makes me feel like a stylist. haha 🙂

 

Q: What is the most challenging thing you have ever written about?

A: I find it hard to write comedy. I have such a weird and dark sense of humor that I often fear that it might end up making others feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes, I sprinkle my stories with stuff that are funny to me and hope that a few readers (who are probably just as twisted as me) will get it. You’ll definitely find a few of those stories in 100 Nightmares. Humorous or horrifying or both… I’ll leave it for the reader to decide. 🙂

 

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 Salted Author Aaron Galvin

 

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Aaron Galvin is the author of the YA book Salted and the producer of the indie film Wedding Bells and Shotgun Shells; here is a link to his blog:

http://www.aarongalvin.com/

 

 

 

Q: What is Salted about?

A: Salted follows a crew of Selkie slave catchers charged with recapturing an elusive runaway. When their target leads them to deeper, darker secrets, the Selkies face a moral quandary. Secure their own freedom, or return empty-handed to face the grisly consequences.

 

Q:  What gave you the idea for the book?

A: My mom.

I had written a different book that received numerous rejections. Naturally, I was moping about it. Mom told me to suck it up. Write something new. For about an hour, she gave me various prompts.

“Wizards!” she’d say.

“Yeah…” I’d reply. “Not sure if you know, Mom, but there is this series called Harry Potter…”

“Vampires! Werewolves!”

“Twilight, Mom.”

Finally, she said, “How about mermaids?”

I didn’t have an answer for that. This was back in 2009 when I admittedly hadn’t been reading much. Too busy chasing my dream of becoming an actor. Anyway, I couldn’t think of any mermaid books at the time. The only response I could come back with was that mermaids were for girls. And really what guy wanted to be seen reading about mermaids? They weren’t cool!

Then Mom said something I’ll never forget. “Find a way to make them cool.”

That changed everything. I’m a pretty competitive person. Suddenly I had a challenge. How could I make mermaids cool for guys like me? How could I make them different?

Salted is the result of that. I like to think I accomplished Mom’s challenge. Readers will decide if that’s true.

 

Q: Who are some of your literary influences?

A : Stephen King is a big inspiration. I think many people forget he’s not just an author who writes horror. He is truly one of the best, if not the best to my mind, at incorporating elements from many genres to make his stories resonate with readers.

I love most of his books, but my favorite is The Stand, which is where my love of alternating POVs originates. The way King weaves the character storylines, the build up between two forces, and his overall storytelling is nothing short of magnificent.

Others would be J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling.

 

Q: What makes Lenny an interesting hero?

A: He’s conflicted. It’s an interesting dynamic he’s placed in: both slave and slave catcher. His job is to hunt down and bring back those in a similar existence he’s living, but if he refuses, or tries to escape, then his father will be killed.

It’s an interesting predicament, to me at least. Would you bring back a stranger to a life you also want to escape, or let them alone and try to escape knowing that your decision results in a loved one’s death? It’s fascinating to watch a decision like that play out.

 

 Q:  Who plays Lenny in the movie?

A: In addition to being an author, I’m also an indie filmmaker so I’m always making mental notes whenever I watch movies or TV as to who would be great in what roles.

The great thing about your question is that I can’t point to one actor and say, Him! That’s Lenny. I love when an actor no one has heard of bursts onto the scene and just kills it. Just absolutely blows you away with their talent and you wonder where they’ve been all this time.

Another reason I can’t point out an actor is that Lenny is a teenaged little person. The only film I can think of that cast a little person at such a young age was Warwick Davis when he played the Ewok named Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and starred in Willow.

I like to think it would be a great opportunity to showcase some currently anonymous talent who might not otherwise be given a chance due to limited availability of roles.

 

Q: What is the oddest thing you have done to promote yourself as a writer?

 

A: I put the word out to my fans that if they were able to land Salted inside the Top 20 of Amazon’s Bestselling Hot New Releases that I would do the Bernie dance. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m certain it will eventually.

 

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

 

A: My day job is currently writing when I’m not headed into L.A. for auditions. It’s a fun balance that keeps my creatively engaged in both arenas. Some days I’m dreaming up stories. Other days I’m just one cog in a great machine that’s bringing another writer’s vision to life. I love both jobs dearly.

 

Q: What is Wedding Bells and Shotgun Shells about?

 

A: A behind-the-scenes look at the worst reality show ever produced.

The film is a satire meant to cast light on the overall ignorance associated with many reality TV shows. At the same, it confirms why we as audiences can’t tear ourselves away from watching the train wreck.

 

Q: How did you go about producing it?

 

A: I have a hard time asking for money. That’s not meant as a knock against anyone who uses crowdsourcing to raises funds, (in fact, they’re probably smarter than me for doing so). You can call it stubbornness, or the way I was raised, but I hail from a working class background and found funding the same way I’ve accomplished everything else in life: I worked hard, saved every penny I could, and paid for it myself.

Again, was that smart? Probably not.

I didn’t make a dime from Wedding Bells, nor will I ever because of a copyright issue I wasn’t aware of at the time. The lessons I took away from it were huge, however, and have since paid off in other ways, including preparing Salted for publication.

As for casting, I had been working as an actor in Chicago for a few years by the time we made Wedding Bells. That gave me phenomenal opportunities to know other actors. When it came time for casting, I had a short list of who I wanted to work with. I’m thankful to say they all agreed and I’m forever grateful to the performances each of them gave, as well as the crew who worked and froze in the dead of winter for nothing but the promise of warm food and possibly a bed.

Q:  When I was a kid (the earth was still hot) the YA market was heavily dominated by slice of life stories by authors such as such as S.E Hinton, Judy Bloom and Paul Zindel, these days it’s heavily dominated by fantasy; what do you think caused the shift?

A: First, I also grew up reading Zindel’s The Pigman, as well as Hinton’s The Outsiders, so it looks like I’m in good company.

Having said that, the fantasy genre has always been my first love. Whether it’s hobbits, talking animals, or anything mythological, count me in. I think what caused the biggest shift is J.K. Rowling. She made magic new again. I still remember the first book being assigned reading for my first collegiate English class. I thought it was a joke, the professor assigning me a children’s book. It was fantasy though so I was willing to give it a shot. I finished the book that afternoon.

 

 

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 Paranormal Author Louisa Oakley Green

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Louisa Oakley Green is the author of Loitering at the Gate to Eternity: Memoirs of a Psychic Bystander; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.psychicbystander.com

Q:  What is Loitering at the Gate to Eternity about?

 

A:  Psychic phenomena are more common than most people think. Those who experience them often don’t share their stories because they’re afraid of being ridiculed or deny it themselves. This book chronicles the psychic tales of everyday people. Some have had only one psychic experience in their lives. Others are guided by them daily. The book also includes a historical perspective on many types of psychic phenomena as well as the results of studies and surveys done over the years.

 

People from all walks of life participated in this anthology, from school teachers and business professionals to blue collar workers. Their ages ranged from 11 to 99. The paranormal tales they shared include contact with the dead, reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, dreams foretelling the future and much more. After finishing these personal accounts, readers may find themselves never viewing “reality” the same way again.

 

Q:  Why were you skeptical about psychic phenomena at first?

 

A:  I was raised in an environment where such things were not accepted. I grew up during the Sixties when science had conquered the devastating disease of polio, created the amazing technology of color television and piloted men 238,900 miles through space to land on the moon. I considered psychic phenomena as nothing more than simple-minded superstition. Even when I had some experiences early in my life that clearly could have been considered paranormal, I dismissed them because they didn’t fit into my “fact-based” belief system.

 

Q:  What made you change your mind?

 

A:  I like to say that the universe has a sense of humor. I was a strong skeptic. So, who could possibly be the most ridiculous match for me? More than 20 years ago, I had a chance meeting with a man, fell in love and we married. While it was not an obtrusive characteristic during our courtship, he happened to be a gifted psychic. In fact, he came from a dynasty of them. At first, I didn’t really pay much attention to the psychic abilities of my husband, Stephen, and his family. I just figured it was one of those quirky things that you accepted about someone when you got married. But strange things started happening and some of them just couldn’t be explained away. I write about some of them in the book. Eventually, I opened my mind to the possibility that there might actually be something to these abilities, and that has radically changed my world view.

 

Q:  How did you go about selecting subjects for your book?

 

A:  The book was an accident of sorts. At first, I interviewed my husband to record all of his stories from the past 40 years for the family. When I finished, it occurred to me that half of his relatives were psychic as well, so why not add their experiences? I mentioned to friends and clients what I was writing and they began confessing that they had psychic tales to share—a surprise to me because they had never previously mentioned the subject. (Neither had I, to be fair.) One CEO in the book confided that he ran his successful company through his psychic abilities. Before I knew it, strangers were being referred to me because they wanted to talk about their stories. Most of them told me I was the first person they had ever spoken to and it felt great to finally talk openly about it. Over the course of about six months, the book pretty much assembled itself.

 

Q:  What makes someone psychic?

 

A:  I think everyone is born with the potential to be psychic. I liken it to singing. Most of us are born with a voice, and thus, the ability to sing. Some people are naturally better at it than others. But it’s possible to train to improve on that talent. It’s the same with psychic ability. One thing I learned from writing this book, and an epiphany that I hope readers will come away with, is that psychic ability does not belong to an elite mysterious few. It is a normal part of the human experience and is much more common than most of us realize.

 

Q:  What have you done to promote your book?

 

A:  I’ve been on local, national and internationally syndicated radio shows from Hawaii and Alaska to London and Liverpool and everywhere in between. There have been lectures and book signings. The book’s been listed on paranormal websites as a recommended read in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. It received thumbs-up recommendations from unpaid, independent reviewers in the United States and Canada, as well as 5-star reviews across the board on both the United States and United Kingdom Amazon.com websites. In addition, there’s a website, http://www.psychicbystander.com, which offers detailed information about the book, including a theatrical book trailer complete with eerie images, a Rod Serling-type voiceover and otherworldly music. For the social media crowd, there are Facebook and LinkedIn pages (under Louisa Oakley Green), and a Twitter account under @PsychicBystandR.

 

Q:  Have you ever had an out-of-body experience?

 

A:  One of the stories in the book describes the one and only out-of-body experience I had back when I was in my twenties. I actually ended up in a different world. What was so remarkable about the incident was that it happened during a meditation. It wasn’t a dream. I was awake. It was a lucid, real experience.

 

Q:  What makes your book different from other books on the same subject?

 

A:  Most books on the paranormal are written by professional psychics or ghost hunters. What makes this book so unusual is that I have no psychic ability to speak of; thus, the term “psychic bystander,” which is in the subtitle of the book. Instead, I use my background in journalism to faithfully recount the stories of those around me. No one in my husband’s family is a professional psychic; they all hold normal jobs. And most of the writing I do these days is in the field of life sciences and the environment. So writing about the paranormal is a bit of a departure for me.

 

Q:  What do you think is the most intriguing story in the book?

 

A:  That’s a tough one. There are more than 100 stories and I have quite a few favorites. One of the people I interviewed who intrigued me the most was Denise, a school teacher. She comes from a family of Irish psychics and from her earliest memories she has had incredible paranormal experiences. Among them was playing with a dead child on a regular basis who resided in a graveyard across the street from her house. Her stories of interacting with dead people in a manner no different than the living fascinated me and her stories are among my favorites in the book. Another tale I found haunting, if you’ll forgive the pun, is a first-person account from World War I in Italy that was passed down through one woman’s family. It illustrates the thin veil between life and death during combat.

 

Q:  You were a newspaper reporter for many years; what was the most difficult story you ever covered?

 

A: The most difficult story I ever covered amounted to an ambush of sorts. I was assigned to interview a man about a family being sent to Disney World by a charity that sponsored trips and other wishes-come-true for the gravely ill. I didn’t realize, until I began interviewing him, that he was the person who was sick and it was his wife, two toddlers, and himself being granted this last request. I was stunned when he told me he had three months to live, that he knew his small sons would never remember him or the trip, but he hoped they would know how much he loved them from the photos that would be taken. We cried together when he described how he had taken his wife aside to tell her that when she was ready, he hoped she would marry again. He didn’t want her to be alone. A journalist isn’t supposed to get emotionally involved in the story—and my tears were unprofessional—but the lack of information I was given before I approached this man caught me off guard. That assignment occurred many years ago. He’s long dead. But I sometimes wonder how his wife and children fared. Based on my current beliefs, I have no doubt he continues to watch over them from the other side.

 

 

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