Month: June 2016

Am Interview With Country Singer Eddy Mann

 

 

em.jpgEddy Mann is a Christian Country artist who has recently released the album Dig Love; here is a link to his website:

 

http://eddymann.com/

 

Q: When did you know you wanted a career in music?

 

A:  Well I was an athlete when I entered high school and a musician by the time I left. Somewhere along the way someone put a guitar in my hands and it was decided. Over the course of a year or so I turned from a shy and quiet kid, into a confident, outgoing creative.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of Dig Love?

 

A:  A little over a year ago I found myself in a season where I was writing a lot of material as a result of what I was watching and hearing in the news. So when it came time to pick the songs for the album I found that the songs had an idyllic, peaceful, compassionate theme running through it. Musically it had a more roots kind of Americana feel to it and that lent itself to the overall vibe.

 

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

 

A: As a young man I worked full time as a musician, but when I met my wife I wanted my children to know who I was and what I looked like so I went back to school to become an educator. A season later I received a call from an assistant pastor to create a new service at his church. That ended up being another wonderfully blessed season. Each experience we have becomes a part of the fabric of who we are. So I’m the musician, songwriter, and creative that I am now because of the people and situations I’ve encountered.

 

Q: What is your most unusual performance story?

 

A: Unusual doesn’t jump out at me, but unique does. In fact just last night at a meet and greet after a concert a woman came up who had just lost her husband to cancer. She really wanted to get out of the house and saw an ad that I was playing, checked out my website, and something drew her to the event. Afterwards while we were talking she shared how there were multiple moments during my performance that really touched her and gave her some comfort. They’re the kind of moments that can inspire and never get old.

 

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

 

A: They’re really diversified. My father had a bebop quintet so there was always music in the house growing up. I’ve always enjoyed listening to a variety of styles. I really like the new Vince Gill album, Steve Gadd’s new one 70, Foy Vance has new one, Ed Roman, they’re all quite a bit different but they’ve all moved me.

 

Q: There is a lot of debauchery in the music industry, as a Christian do you ever feel conflicted with people you meet in the industry and the lifestyles they lead?

 

A: No, not at all. I live a compassionate, peaceful existence because it’s what inspires me, energizes me, and gives me purpose. I choose to live it as an alternative. So for me, I live my faith as an example of another path to follow and sometimes that intrigues others, and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

Q: What has been your biggest professional triumph?

 

A:  That’s easy, that I get to live out my passion, the fact that I’m still making a comfortable living, providing a comfortable lifestyle for my family, and living a debt free life. Imagine that!

 

Q: What trends in music annoy you?

 

A: I’m a little disappointed in the lack of live outlets for younger musicians. I came up in an environment where I could play out every weekend. In high school I was performing regularly and was honing my craft. Those nights were invaluable to my maturing as a musician and writer.

 

Q: What sets you apart from other Christian country stars?

 

A: What sets us all apart is our personal journey; the people that we’ve met, the places that we’ve been, the joys, the sorrows, how we’ve gotten to this point in time.

 

Q: What is your theme song?

 

A: I’m A Blessed Mann

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 Keane

Chris Keane author

Chris Keane is the author of Loot and The Girl from the Woods; here is a link to his Twitter account:

https://twitter.com/KeaneFiction

 
Q: What is Loot about?

 

A: Loot is about three 12-year-old boys in 1977 who skip trick-or-treating to search for cash left behind by one of their deceased aunts so they can buy an Atari game system.

 

Q:  What inspired you to write it?

 

A: Loot was inspired by fond memories of Halloween and the endless hours I spent with my friends exploring the woods and farmland around our neighborhood.

 

Q: How did you go about promoting it on Kindle?

 

A:  I promoted Loot on Kindle by signing it up for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and also registing the e-book on Goodreads.  On KDP, I set up giveaways to help get into more readers’ hands and generate reviews.

 

 

Q: What is your new book The Girl from the Woods about?

 

A: The Girl from the Woods is paranormal romance novel about a 19-year old guy who gets dumped at his elderly grandmothers in a rural upstate New York for the summer. Without a car, cell service, or even basic television, there is nothing to do but wander around the nearby woods just as he had as a small child. During a hike, he meets sexy—and slightly older—Angie. On the surface, she’s a devoted daughter content to be single while she manages her father’s medical practice. Yet deep down, Angie is bored and heartbroken…and is harboring some special gifts that she keeps secret from her father and their backwoods community. As Dante’s grandmother’s health declines, he reaches out to Angie’s father for help, only to uncover the good doctor’s dark side. When Dante confides in Angie, it drives a spike into their budding relationship. He’s left to wonder if he’s all alone in his quest to save his grandmother from grave danger.

 

Q:  What is your creative process?

 

A: Sometimes story ideas come to me randomly.  Most of the time, I’ll sit down and brainstorm and write down topics until one looks promising. If  they are worth pursuing, I’ll sketch out a brief outline.  Usually, they are not enough to go on for a full story. But once I settle on a solid premise, things move rather quickly.  First, I complete a detailed outline, and then I just start knocking off chapters one by one.  I try to get through the entire story before doing much editing. Once I’m done I’ll go back and read what I have and see if it works.  If so, I’ll give it an edit myself, before sending it to a professional copy editor prior to publication.

 

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

 

A: I’m an engineer by day. While I don’t write about the field at all in my work, I think it has given me organizational skills which I use to structure to my stories, and also some analytic skills to “de-bug” problems when stories don’t work. It also has probably given me some patience and perseverance as some problems are not easily solved.

 

Q:  Who are some of your writing influences?

 

A: I have been influenced many authors along the way. Some writers I try to emulate are: Elmore Leonard (for his great dialog and plots), Steven King (for his imaginative storytelling), and also more recently both Alice Sebold and Khaled Hosseni (for their haunting prose).

 

Q: What makes a character worth reading about?

 

A:  I appreciate characters who are passionate and also somewhat flawed.  Its always interesting to watch someone take journey and overcome their shortcomings along the way.  In the end, they end up learning something about life, and hopefully some of that is transferred to the readers.  Of course, it’s got to be a really fascinating journey to keep readers turning pages!

 

Q: What trends in literature annoy you?

 

A: I really dislike how flooded the book market is with dystopian works as a result of the success of The Hunger Games.  Yes, I found it very entertaining myself, but the whole premise loses its luster the next trilogy around.

 

Q: What scares you?

 

A:  I’m scared of the unknown! As soon as there’s a problem, I race to my smartphone and start to Google everything I can about the topic.  Knowledge may not be a panacea but it makes me feel more in control.

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 Professional Organizer Francesca Villardi

ft

 

Francesca Villardi is the owner of Perfectly Organized by Francesca; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.perfectlyorganizedbyfrancesca.com/

 

Q:  What is Perfectly Organized by Francesca?

 

A:  It is my company I started about 4 years ago, I help people organize their homes, offices, garages and lives. I also do Personal Assistant services, I design websites and maintain them for clients, I do social media work for clients and teach them how to set up social media.

 

Q: What inspired you to start the business?

 

A: I was a legal assistant that worked for Real Estate Attorneys in a title company when the real estate market here crashed, I couldn’t find a job that would pay me for my 17 years of experience.

I remember my pastor said I should do something I was passionate about and I really loved to organized my friends home so I decided to step out in faith, even though I was getting divorced and this was a risky move for a soon to be single mom of two girls.

 

Q:  Why do I need your business?

 

A: Everyone needs more time, everyone wants to come home to a peaceful space but you cant do that when your surrounded by clutter, it is overwhelming and it weighs you down, literally and emotionally. I come in and help you, one on one to set up a system to get you and keep you organized. Most of my clients keep their spaces clean and organized even months and years later. Its all about having a system in place. You have to want to change, once you decided to do that, the rest is easy.

 

Q: Are you able to pay all your bills with this business or do you have a day job?

 

A: This is my day job, I started adding services to this business like personal assistant work, I also added social media work, building and maintaining websites for clients, different things to try to make more money.

I write an Inspirational blog every day called Treadmill Treats that I get some royalties from, not much but it all helps. I still do hair at night because once your a hairstylist always a hairstylist and the extra income is great, since being a single mom is hard these days,

 

Q: What was the most challenging thing about starting your own business?

 

A: How was I going to pay my bills? How was I going to take care of my girls? I was well off being married and this was all new for me, taking care of myself, starting a business all on my own. I guess the most challenging now is that I work a lot of hours and that is hard for all of us, but I love what I do and I love my clients.

 

 

Q: What is your weirdest work story?

 

A: Well I do find all kinds of things in a persons closet! You never know what you will find.

but the saddest story was a client who was a hoarder she was moving from 3000 Sq ft home ,1500 miles away to a 900 sq ft apartment and she could grasp the fact the her whole retirement money that she would be able to get from selling this home would be spent moving and storing a bunch of junk. It taught me this went deeper with people, that some people it was a true philological problem

 

 

Q: How much do you charge?

 

A:  I charge 40.00 Hour for organizing work, if you book more than 6 hours I will give a discount and 18.00 hour for Personal Assistant work. The web designing ranges depending how involved the site you want.

Everything I do is on my website http://www.perfectlyorganizedbyfrancesca

 

Q: What qualifies you for the job?

 

A: I took some courses, I read a lot but I think it comes down to a love and a passion for what your doing, to do something, no matter what it is and truly love it. That make you more than qualified because you put your all into it, all the time.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when it comes to organizing their personal lives?

 

A: They let it go, then they get overwhelmed and then start to avoid it, like it will disappear but it keeps getting worse. The hold on to things and cant let go, if you want to change you have to let go of things, start fresh, let go of fear, I promise you, the end result will be amazing!

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 Natasha F. Betts

 

natb

Natasha F. Betts is the author of Tasha’ s Magic Pine Tree: here is a link to her website:

 

Q: What is Tasha’ s Magic Pine Tree about?

A:  It is semi autobiographical in the basic fact that when I was growing up Ilived next door to my grandad’s house in Nesbit, MS . He built a tree house in his front yard for my brother an I . The vivid memories of my childhood came through when I was writing because I believe in being true to yourself and emobroidering your past and present is a great way to layer a story without having to deal with writers fog or block. I rememeber the majesty of the tree and how I looked forward to climbing to the top and just letting my imagination run wild. Tasha’s Magic Pine tree is about a girl who goes out to the front yard to find that the old pine tree has been struck and hollowed out after a lightning storm and she looks up into the bottom crawlspace of the tree to discover zero gravity like you would find in space. She starts floating into the inner universe where their are other planets. I guess to sum it up its about space and time travel. This is book one in what will be a series of compilation short stories to be bound as a volume.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I wanted to let my memories of that time in the tree house in my grandad’s yard shine through the storytelling. I fond memories of time spent thinking in the tree house.

Q: What do you like about Amazon self publishing?

A: I love publishing on the Kindle platform with Amazon foremost because its free and yet you get to set your royalty share and price per. Country for your books. The fact that you can becoome a global bookseller in a couple off clicks after putting in tax information for the IRS is just a simple one time process once your account is established your good to upload your book in Pdf or docx format.(there are other formats but I mostly use the aforementioned.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: I would make changes to cover creator which let’s you chose one of there covers or upload your own photo. The only complaint I have is that it won’t print the Title of your book across your photo that you upload yourself. So if you have a photo you want to use you have to figure out how to fit your title on the picture before upload. I usually end up using cover creator.

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

A: I work in securtiy in a guard booth before that I worked in healthcare where I was constantly burned out. I usually just work weekends and if no trucks come through with freight I pick up my phone and open documents in my google drive app and write until me shift ends. I usually work alone so the only noise is the music from the computer. My employer doesn’t have a problem because if there aren’t any trucks flowing the the gates I have a lot of free time to pass. It is has been good for me because I get to work and still hone my craft and still do my job. I still get to meet people as opposed to when I used to isolate myself from people to write which wasn’t good for my creativity.

Q: Who are some of your writing influences?

A: I read a lot of Beverly Cleary growing up. I also look to JK Rowling’s story of how she struggled before breaking through with her writing. I also enjoyed the classic writers Poe, Hemmingway, Faulkner, Eudora Welty. I am not necessarily a fan of horror , but I enjoy the storytelling of Stephen King how he can take a story about nothing and go from simple to complex .

Q: Who are some of your favorite ebook authors?

A: L.T. Vargus and Chris Baine wrote a fresh take on Zombies .I am not usually into zombies, but when you start to read The Scattered and the Dead you don’t realize that its going to turn into a zombie story. Just for the sake of full disclosure I met L.T. Vargus (female writer) through twitter and read her and Chris Baine’s work from there .I also like Rayne Hall, Chris Keane, and romance novelist Kimberly blalock and the Bella saga is excellent writing and marketing. She is not writing your usual novella stuff.

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

A: I would think scoring this interview with you tops my prior achievement of having a sucessful book signing at the local library. I have advertised on facebook and have tweeted and shared promotions on Twitter as well.

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

A:  I have had some people say they I should be writng about was popular at the moment instead of coming up with my own original concepts in order to sell books or that I should have a longer word count. I feel that wordsmithing just for the sake of word count can sometimes take away from quality storytelling. Quantity of words does not necessarily mean quality book. I try to explain that while making profit from books would be great be its hard for people who do not write to understand the joy I get and the creative release.

Q: What is the best reason for a child to escape into the world of Tasha’s Magic Pine Tree?

A: I would have to say because when I was growing up space shuttle launches were still a big deal and use to be nationally televised before we got all of these cable channels and technology which has taken our mind off of space. Children need to return back to innocence through the imagination and escape to distant planets and that is what books were for me growing up in Mississippi . Through discovery of dreaming and reading you can travel anywhere and create your own world.

 

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 Real Estate Agent Lauren Davis

 

 9x12_Lauren Davis_Headshot_0324 copy (2)

 

 

Lauren Davis is a Los Angeles based real estate agent; here is a link to her website:

 

 

http://www.ldavisestates.com/

 

Q: What made you decide to go into real-estate?

 

A: I have always loved homes, designs, landscaping etc. I have a sales background so combining my passion with my sales background and the ability to have my own business was extremely appealing.

 

Q: What kind of jobs did you have before getting your real estate license?

 

 

A: I was a Sales Manager for Sandals and Beaches Resorts and worked for Bleacher Report.

 

Q: What was the most challenging thing about the real estate exam in California?

 

A:  I’m not going to lie, I am an awful test taker and not a traditional student so reading and reading made it hard to grasp. It wasn’t that it was hard, its just such an abundance of information, terms and scenarios. I got lucky and passed the first time but I took a crash course and studies flashcards for a month!

 

Q:  What is your strangest work story?

 

A: There are so many and I hate to label any of my clients as a strange experience. However, that being said I guess I can mention that I had clients that found me through my website and didn’t speak English so everything was google translate and then in person things got a little tricky. My arms were sore from all the motioning I was doing and trying to act my words out. Had anyone seen this they would have either laughed until they cried or thought I was definitely insane.

 

Q:  What are the advantages of being in so many professional associations?

 

A:  The networking, support, education and credibility all are extremely valuable.

 

Q: What makes Los Angeles buyers unique?

 

A:  Los Angeles buyers are from everywhere! One day you’ll have a family that just moved from Austrailia and the next day meet with a capitol group from China looking for investment properties. I am fortunate that the always changing scenarios keep my life anything but dull.

 

Q:  How has the real estate market changed over the last few years?

 

A:  Every market is different, however I’ve noticed lots of first time homebuyers have emerged with interest rates being at historical lows.

 

Q:  What has been the most unique house you have ever shown?

 

A:  I get chills when I walked in the historical Hancock Park mansion on Lucerne designed by famous architect John C Austin. He was the architect of the Griffin Observatory and LA City Hall. The wood work in the mansion and layout is so grand.

 

Q:  What is the best movie you have ever seen about your profession?

 

A: This may be a little creative but I love the movie ‘Far and Away’, its about the Oklahoma Landrun (and I’m from Oklahoma) and it shows how valuable land is and always has been and that its chaos in obtaining it. This movie shows the historical value of real estate. Things could have been more organized if there real estate agents back then haha.

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 Juston Graber

 Juston

 

 

Juston Graber is an actor who stars in the film Beyond the Call of Duty; here is a link to his IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5211249/

Q: What is Beyond the Call of Duty about?

A: Duty versus desire seems to be a common theme found within this zombie film.  The main characters are military special operations personnel whose mission is involuntarily extended due to reasons that are not laid plainly on the table. The characters are torn between their duties of service and their desire to return home to their families.

 

Q: What role do you play?

A: I play the role of David. David and Beverly, played by actress Angel Izard, are out on a camping trip as a couple trying to rekindle their love.  Both characters are vital in setting up the exposition of the undead for the audience because they experience the first, and unfortunate, encounter with a zombie and the deranged Doctor Bergman – who may or may not be responsible for the entire mess, I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone.  Haha.

 

Q: How did you hear about the project in the first place?

A: I worked with Aleksander Ivicic on a mini-web series called “By the Book,” and he asked me if I’d be interested in playing a role in a film that he was working on.  He said he wanted an actor that he could trust to do a good job and thought of me.  I was happy to work with him again because I found him to be a gifted Actor/Director/Writer.

 

Q: What sets it apart from other zombie films?

A: I would say that the story is pretty original.  I believe Aleks has a goal to bring something fresh to the table by connecting the audience to the relatable characters, which can often be difficult in zombie films especially.  Supernatural elements tend to drive a particular disconnection within suspending disbelief.

 

Q: You were in the military. What is the most realistic film you have seen about the military?

A: I tend to stay away from military movies because of how inaccurate they can be.  My fellow service members who do watch them have told me that there have been a lot of improvements and recommend I watch American Sniper and 13 Hours, but I am wary.  I am extremely critical when it comes to even the smallest aspects – like how to wear a uniform correctly (which can be Googled by the way, some of these costume designers are skipping their homework!).

I did enjoy a lot of what was captured in Black Hawk Down.  The firefights, the tinnitus, the camaraderie between the troops (especially Eric Bana’s portrayal of Hoot and his speech on “why we do it”).  It would have been nice to see more reloading of weapons, however, which is the issue with most action movies in general.

 

Q: What has been your most awkward celebrity encounter?

A: I don’t think I’ve had one yet.  I did see Nick Nolte walking on Hollywood Boulevard last summer and really wanted to say something to him – because I had just crashed an audition forGraves, an upcoming TV series he is supposed to appear in.  I was asked to leave the audition because it was actually a call-back with the director Robert B. Weide, and the casting assistant said he did not know who sent me.  I told the assistant the truth – that I was crashing.  Unfortunately he said that he could not allow me to go in.  He did however ask for my head-shot and resume…so, who knows, maybe I’ll be in season 2, or maybe I’ve been blacklisted for trying to kick in doors Hollywood style.  Haha.  Better than doing it 11 Bravo style.  I never said anything to Nick on the street.  I believe that was awkward for me because I’m usually not afraid to break the ice and introduce myself.

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: Ever since I was a kid I knew this was something that I was going to pursue.  Every movie that I saw I would get this feeling of, “Why am I not in this?”  When I separated from the Army in 2012, I moved back to Buffalo, NY and sought out the independent film community there.  I began acting and loved every single thing about it.  I knew that I did not have any training, and believe that it is important to any craft someone is trying to hone, so I moved to Savannah, GA and began the BFA program in Performing Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  I eventually moved to Los Angeles to continue to pursue acting and transferred to University of Southern California.  Acting is the one thing I am most passionate about.

 

Q: How did the military prepare you for a career in acting?

A: A lot of people wouldn’t think there is cross-over from a military career to an acting one.  I feel that the discipline instilled in me from serving the country has been the most beneficial preparation anyone can have in any career.  You also need to remain focused and flexible, which the military does a fantastic job training their troops in their “hurry up and wait” structure.

 

Q: How do you feel about actors becoming involved in politics?

A: Personally, I don’t follow politics too much, but to answer the question, to each their own.  If somebody feels strongly about a situation, they have the right to get involved in change regardless of their profession.  It can be a double edge sword however because if an actor has a particular fan-base, then s/he is able to influence her or his fans.

 

Q: What is scarier combat or an audition?

A: I think what it comes down to is preparation.  Both combat and auditioning require a certain level of preparation.  Either or is capable of throwing random situations at you that can startle you or stop you in your tracks.  There is more of a life/death aspect that plays a role in combat though.  If you mess up at an audition, there will always be another audition.  If you mess up in combat, you’re either dead or you’re gonna get somebody else dead.

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