Month: September 2017

An Interview With Writer Patrick Adams

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Patrick Adams is the author of the children’s book, Lisa Goes To series; here is a link to his website:

http://www.patrickadamsbooks.com/

 

 

Q: What made you want to write?

 

A: The writing bug didn’t hit me until a few years ago, but the genesis of it took place on a beach in French Polynesia.  In 2012, I was on a cruise around the islands there on Paul Gauguin Cruise Lines.  I traveled by myself, so I had a lot of time alone with my own thoughts.  I was laying on a beach on a little island there called Motu Mahana.  I was taking in the scenery.  I really loved it there.  All of a sudden, a story started to form in my head.  It was powerful…..it was like i could feel the book writing itself in my mind.  It was so powerful that I had to grab a piece of paper where i could find one and get something to write with.  I wrote down the story and started to even outline chapters.  When I was done, I folded up the paper and put it away.

 

For the next two years, I occasionally looked at that paper and thought more about the chapters.  I never seemed to have the time or focus to write it though.  That is, until 2014, when I quit my job and took a 4 month sabbatical where I traveled the world.  My primary goal on that sabbatical was to write this book.  Not only did I do that, which I have finally submitted that book for developmental edit, but I also conceived a children’s book series based on travel.  On that 4 month sabbatical, in my mind, I became a writer.

 

Q: Why children’s books?

 

A: I fell in love with two things about the children’s book series I had conceived.  First, the stars of the book were to be my own kids.  I would have a lot of fun writing stories and bringing their real personalities to life.  Second, it had a travel theme.  One of my biggest passions in life is traveling and seeing different places in the world.  Even though I had written a novel, I decided to push forward with this concept first.  It was something special for my kids, and that drove me more to bring it to life.

 

Q: What is Lisa Goes to England about?

 

A: Lisa Goes to England is the debut adventure of Holly, Daniel and Jonathan along with Holly’s magical stuffed animal, Lisa.  Lisa is magical because she can come to life and transform herself into any animal or object.  The kids are visiting England and planning to see a lot of amazing sites.  Lisa turns into a flying horse and she and Holly go to meet the Queen at her castle.  Daniel and Jonathan head off to see Stonehenge.  Jonathan, the rambunctious one, causes an incident and Stonehenge that require Holly and Lisa to come to the rescue.  The book is meant to entertain and educate kids about England and have an adventure to remember.

 

Q: What separates Lisa from other children’s book heroines?

 

A: Lisa is a very magical entity in a modern and real world setting, and in addition to all the amazing powers she has, she’s also a companion and protector for Holly.  Many children loved their stuffed animals, and in some cases treat them like a real person.  I decided to take that a step further and create not only a powerful and noble character in Lisa, but have her always be the one who saves the day.  I’m hoping that relationship between children and their stuffed animals resonates when they read about Lisa.

 

Q: You have a very responsible job as a AVP of Strategic Implementations for a mortgage company. What does your job entail?

 

A: I run a Project Management Office (PMO) in my company which is responsible currently for all of the project management, process management, business analysis, training, systems administration, data reporting and quality assurance.  We are there to support the front line staff who are helping borrowers through their mortgage loans and to ensure that all systems are working and that we are constantly making our process better.  I manage a team of 6 people that help make all of this happen.

 

Q: How do you make time for writing?

 

A: I take advantage of free time when I have it and the motivation strikes.  I have become quite a user of the Notes app on my iPhone.  That has become my tool to capture ideas if they hit me during the day or during a time that I’m unable to sit down and write.  Writing children’s books is much different than writing a long novel in that you can keep the story text simpler but spend more time imagining the illustrations to go along with it, which are the heart and soul of the books.  Because of that, I’m still able to be as prolific as I want in preparing my children’s books even though I have a full time job.

 

I did write another full book of travel stories from throughout my lifetime, which I was able to do in my free time while still working.  After a lot of thought, I will probably turn that into a blog series about travel.  I’m hoping to roll that out in the coming months.

 

Q: What inspired you to start a blog about epilepsy?

 

A: My daughter, Rhythm, was diagnosed with a form of Epilepsy called Infantile Spasms when she was 7 months old.  Infantile Spasms not only causes seizures, but impact the development of a child.  This has been very true in Rhythm’s case.  Rhythm was in the Philippines when she was diagnosed.  The doctors over there put her on several medications, which simply drained the life out of her and made her nearly a vegetable.  At that time, my fiance (now my wife) and I had made connections with other parents through Facebook groups whose children were experiencing similar conditions.  We started to learn of other options that people had tried, including cannabis oil, that had positive effects on their children.  On the other hand, we also learned of children who weren’t making it, sometimes due to the disease and other times due to the pharmaceuticals they were taking for it.

 

When Rhythm arrived here in the US, we had weaned her off pharmas and were set to try a form of legal CBD Oil made from hemp called Haleigh’s Hope.  This was considered a supplement and is quite different than medical marijuana which is still being debated in states across the country. It did contain cannabinoids, the element of cannabis that has shown to be effective in stopping seizures.  Within a week of taking Haleigh’s Hope, Rhythm’s seizures stopped.  She went from over 100 per day to zero for awhile.  She still had remnants of the Infantile Spasms though, and as we worked with the dosage and added multi-vitamins, the seizures have completely stopped now for the last two months.

 

I started writing this blog so that the many families out there who are dealing with this same thing know Rhythm’s story and it may give them options they had never considered.  It also helps us to learn what has worked for them.

 

Q: What do most people misunderstand about epilepsy?

 

A: People who aren’t close to someone who has epilepsy, be it a friend or family member, may think of the seizure as being a convulsion that someone has that they quickly recover from.  But there are many forms of epilepsy that are insidious, and that includes Infantile Spasms.  In a way, it re-sets the brain every time it happens and wipes away what a child has learned on a daily basis.  Not only that, but it stunts their ability to learn anything new.  Rhythm’s seizures stopped two months ago and she is 2 years old now.  She still can not sit up, crawl, walk, talk or even keep sustained eye contact.  This will be a long haul for Rhythm to learn all of these things many parents take for granted.  It will take years of therapy, and ultimately her body will have to teach her brain, instead of the other way around.

 

Q: What trends in children’s fiction annoy you?

 

A: The one trend for me is probably the attached stigma to self-publishers, which I am.  I think the phrase “Independent Author” is not a bad thing at all, but even I have run up against some rejection of being accepted into book stores, partnering with foundations or doing shows at schools or other venues because I’m not working with a reputable publisher.  I have nothing against publishing companies, and had strongly considered shopping my Lisa Goes To series around to several of them.  But there is a rigidity to some places that can really give your book a strong opportunity to succeed, and even though the book could be amazing in its own right, it’s rejected without a look because it’s self-published.  Books should be reviewed and considered based on their content, not their publisher.

 

My company, Patrick Adams Books, LLC, which I publish my books through, has recently opened up to clients.  I’ve taken my experience and knowledge of self-publishing and really want to help others bring their vision to life.  We will be publishing our first children’s book not authored by me in late September or early October.  My promise to the other Independent Authors is complete control over their books, copyright in their name and ownership of all illustrations and images.  It leaves all of the decision making in their hands, and I feel happy to have helped guide them through the process.

 

Q:  If Lisa spent the day at your office, what kind of adventures would she have?

 

A: Lisa would join me in meetings for the first few hours.  Then she’d come to life while sitting in my office, bored from the meetings, and whisper in my ear – “Hey……do you want me to turn into an airplane and take you somewhere fun?”  I would think about it for a second, and then say, “Yes.  Yes I do.”  And off we would go!  She’d have me back in time for my next meeting though.

Please note; 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 Actress Caroline DeGraeve

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(Originally posted to ActLand.)

 

 

Caroline DeGraeve is an actress who appears in Josh Mitchell’s new film Hard Visit; here is a link to her website:

 

Q: What made you interested in working in film?

 

A: Last summer I was cast as the lead role of Beth Clark, for a western indie film called Cataract Gold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnxviqZhW_Q).

I had no prior experience as an actor but the director, Paul Kiener, insisted I was natural. Upon my first day of filming, I felt I was meant to be in film. I was simultaneously at ease and excited. I knew I wanted to work in film immediately.

 

Q: What is Hard Visit about?

 

A: Hard Visit is about a struggling actor, Ben, who goes to his bookie brother, Smoothy, for help. Ben gets thrown into the shady world of gambling, deception and hidden agendas. When a conniving woman gets between the two brothers, the stakes run higher than ever.

 

Q: What role do you play in the film?

 

A: I play Piper Kissinger, a woman after Smoothy’s attentions in

the hot tub.

 

Q: How did you prepare for the role?

 

A: I put myself in the shoes of someone who seduces a man for personal gain.

 

Q: What is your strangest audition story?

 

A: When I was approached for the lead in Cataract Gold, I wasn’t even aware of auditions taking place. I was at a Starbuck’s waiting for my drink. I had just finished a hike in 100 degree weather. I must’ve looked a fright! I remember being frustrated that my phone wasn’t connecting to Wi-Fi fast enough and was probably scowling. In my periphery, I noticed someone staring at me and I was not in the mood for shenanigans, so I looked up, gave my best glare, and continued being preoccupied with my phone. The man staring turned out to be Paul Kiener, who proceeded to tell me he was casting for his western and that he loved my look. I wasn’t swayed to participate because I had no clue who he was and it just seemed odd to approach a stranger in line for coffee to audition for a lead role in a feature film. I did, however, take his card. After a few hours of searching online for any telltale signs of smut films under his name or any other shady work, and not finding anything, I gave him a call. I met him an hour later and read a few pages of the script for him. Next, he asked if I could ride a horse without falling off. I answered “yes”. Next thing I knew, I was in a movie. It was all very surreal, but I loved every moment of the experience and I knew I wanted more.

 

Q: How does your work as a bartender influence your pursuit of acting?

 

A: I act every day of my life. Bartending or serving is like putting on a show. You greet the guests differently based on what you read about their expression or behavior. In the hospitality industry, it’s important to learn how to talk to all sorts of people. You can’t be afraid to engage in conversation or draw their attention in some way. As a bartender, the bar is your ship, so to speak, and you are the captain. You have to read your crew, anticipate their needs, and know if someone is getting unruly or causing disharmony. Moreover, you should know how to approach each situation based on how you read each individual, or if any personal dynamics amongst your guests exist. If your assessment of any given scenario is correct, you will be able to slide right into any character you need to get the result you want. My personal thoughts or feelings are on the backburner while I work. It’s all an act.

 

Q:  Have you ever been offered a gig while you were tending bar?

 

A: Nothing of consequence ever came of several conversations. It’s a common occurrence for people to show interest in film or suggest working together on something.

 

Q:  What do you like about living in the desert?

 

A: Contrary to what many people think, I love the heat! Also, it’s a very relaxed lifestyle that has enough activity to involve yourself with, if you so choose. Also, there is a lot of talent in the desert. I filmed my short film, Real Smile (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6043410/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) in the desert and had a lot of help from businesses and other artists in completing it.

 

Q: With which character that you have played do you have the least in common?

 

A: The role of Dolly in Gina Carey’s The One Year Pact (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7079604/) is very different from me. Dolly is a very vulnerable, dependent woman. In the scene, Dolly is embarrassed and in tears at something that happens and locks herself away to hide. I’m not a crybaby, nor would I lend much importance a situation that blemished a flawless reputation for propriety. I’m not interested in being seen as perfect. I believe our flaws give us the human connection we crave.

 

Q: Do you think aspiring artist are more susceptible to con men such as bookies and hustlers?

 

A: Yes. Aspiring to amount to anything in the entertainment world demands a lot of work and effort for almost no return. It takes guts and tenacity to keep at it. There will be pitfalls and disappointments but, in the end, it’s about how much you want it. Being confident, being a hard worker, and developing a marketing strategy are tools that will inch you along despite setbacks.

 

 

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