Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . . Rebecca Nolen

61VmrvliHfL__UX250_I first met Rebecca through SCBWI Houston. She was sweet, full of energy and easy to talk to. I now have the pleasure of working side by side with her with the Houston Writers Guild where she serves as President.

Her Historical Fantasy, THEY DRY, released in 2013, got rave reviews. The Dry is a children’s historical fantasy that combines the awful truths of the mining world in 1895 West Virginia with an adventure story about a boy who goes on a 51CGsfAq1dL__AA160_search for his father and discovers a world underground overrun with giant insects. Some insects are good, some are bad, and some are plain ugly. A blend of fiction and non-fiction that is designed to educate in a delightfully entertaining way.

Deadly Thyme, released in 2014, is an adult psychological suspense set in a sleepy seaside village of North Cornwall where a girl has disappeared. The villagers are keeping secrets. One of them is deadly.

She writes children’s books as Rebecca Nolen and adult books as R.L. Nolen. Rebecca Nolen is a native Houstonian. She loves to write and can be found at any given time at the top of the stairs pounding away at the keyboard or in the kitchen searching the inside of the refrigerator for inspiration.

You can find her work on Amazon and all social media. She has some pretty spooky/mysterious instagram pictures.

And now for the “tiny” interview. Enjoy!

ME: Do you have a nickname?

REBECCA: My answer has to do with my age. When I was a girl, all the “cool” girls had nicknames like “Debs” “DeeDee” or “Peg”. Then nicknames had to do with nature like “Moon” and “Star”. I always wanted a cool nickname but none stuck. My secret wish at the time was that someone would nickname me “Bubbles”. Yes. I know, porn star. Ha. Ha.

ME: Oh my gosh, I swear I wanted mine to be Bunny, lol.

ME: What is your greatest accomplishment?

REBECCA: First, I birthed two children and stayed home with them for some years. The hardest job in the world is being a mom. I applaud all moms. I wish I could take all the credit for the great people my two turned out to be, but I have to give some credit to my husband because he was there, too. Second, I have birthed two novels. It was a long and occasionally tortuous process, but here they are in the world. Please love them.

ME: You have a lot to be proud of.

ME: What is your writing style?

REBECCA: My writing style is haphazard. When I am writing a novel, I sit down and write until I fall over. But I often write blogs – and those are never planned. They happen on the way to doing something else.

ME: What book character would you be and why?

REBECCA: When I was little two of my favorite authors was Arther Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling. I wanted to be Tarzan because he was strong and able to figure things out to get things done. I also loved Kip. He was courageous, adventurous and curious. Never mind that they were boys, I never dreamed “girlie”. What I think I turned out to be is Winnie-the-Pooh. He says, (and I’m paraphrasing) that a thing when it’s inside you is truly a thing, until it gets out and then it doesn’t seem to be the thing you thought it was at all. This is what I’m thinking while composing my first drafts. I also see myself as more simple-minded about life than I was when I was a younger “serious” person.

ME: Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter” when you write?

REBECCA: My writing style was that I sat down and wrote and wrote and hoped I would get to a place where all that I wrote worked together and made sense. After two novels written in this “pantser” fashion I now know that I will use a plan and a rough outline from now on. So now, I’m a plotter.

It was a pleasure to interview you, Rebecca. I hope to see a next novel out shortly. Keep up the great work.

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Tiny Talk Tuesday With . . . Maureen Sky

blingMaureen is a wife, mother, and grandmother first. She lives in a small, quaint New England town that she shares with her husband, Eddie, and their tiger cat, Grueby.  They are antique collectors and just love a good auction and/or flea market.  Eddie introduced her to vintage jewelry, specifically, Bakelite jewelry, for which she used her knowledge of the Bakelite jewelry to write her first children’s book. She took some of the names of the Bakelite plastic bangle bracelets to use as some of the names of the characters in her book (i.e., Applejuice, Butterscotch, Pearl, etc.).

Maureen worked for more than 20 years in the public sector as a secretary in the main office of a local high school in my area.  She enjoys being creative, sewing, painting, crafting and always enjoyed journaling, as well.  Just recently, she decided to try her luck with writing and wrote a poem for an amateur poetry contest.  It encouraged her to continue on with her writing and prompted her to write, “The Bling Fairies of Junkett Falls.”  The book is about little fairies that live out of our jewelry boxes.  “Have you ever gone to your jewelry box to grab a piece of jewelry, only to find it is in a big tangled mess of gems and jewels, when you know full well, that when you left it last, it was nice and neat and organized? You say, how does this happen?”  Blame it on the Bling Fairies!

The book has opened some new doors for Maureen.  She attended a Pitch Festival held in LA last September 2014, where she pitched the book and its story to the Hollywood Film Industry held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  It is available via Xlibris online bookstore, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble, and Ebooks.  One can also contact me at: skybookstuff88@gmail.com.   She’s also a member of SCBWI and on various book related websites.

And now for the “tiny” interview.

ME: What is your favorite word in the English language and why?

MAUREEN: My favorite word in the English language is the word “Try”, because it represents much about us and how our life story evolves, if we just “Try.”

ME: A very strong word full of meaning.

ME: If you were stuck on a deserted island forever, and you could bring one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

MAUREEN: I would have to say that I would want the book to be “The Bridges of Madison County”, because the main character in the story is a woman who (while her husband and two children are off to a county fair with their prize animals), falls passionately in love with a stranger who comes to town to take photos of nearby historical bridges.   So many women can relate to this woman and how she became lost within her routine marriage while taking care of her children, etc. We, as women, lose ourselves and our true identity, as we wind up putting ourselves and our needs last. The stranger brings out the desire and passion in her as she rediscovers herself and her body, her buried passion and desires, hopes and dreams. It would be exciting to end up on an island with this book and that perfect stranger.

ME: Here, here.

 

Me: Describe your writing style in one sentence:

Maureen: Because I am a first time author, I am still learning about my style, however, I am feeling that my style leans toward humor with a bit of quirkiness thrown in.

ME: A good laugh never hurt anyone. We need more of it.

Me: If you could spend a day with one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

MAUREEN: I would say the character, “Sarachie”(Bling Fairies), as she is sister to the main character, “Velvy.” She suffers from low self-esteem as she is not as pretty as her sister and has a weight problem, (both issues that I can relate to). However, I would want to spend time with her to teach her and let her know that she is beautiful no matter what shape and size she is and that the people who matter in this world, love her unconditionally.

ME: Something kids can easily relate to.

 

ME: What genre have you not written in but would love to try?

MAUREEN: A Romance novel. I think it would be interesting to see how I would create the characters, write the story, and navigate the plot.

Maureen, thank you so much for being part of my blog. Write everyday and never stop perfecting the craft. I wish you much success with your book.

Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . .KC Maguire

jackieKC Maguire writes short fiction in the romance, mystery, science-fiction and fantasy genres. She has a particular passion for young adult and children’s books and is currently working on three young adult novels in the speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy) genre. Kaleigh’s flash fiction has appeared in many publications. She has three e-novellas published by Books To Go Now: Destiny, Dear John, and Ivory Tower. Her short story. She has completed the fiction writing certificate programs at UCLA and Stanford, and is currently a student in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She is a member of RWA, AWP and SCBWI. She51hFNtqw82L__UY250_ loves to blog about books, writing, and to interview new authors. She’s a member of the Houston-based Space City Scribes author collective. In July of 2014, she joined the blogging team at Luna Station Quarterly, contributing interviews with women speculative fictions authors. She has lived in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, but now resides in Ohio with her family.

I have got to know KC personally through our weekly critique sessions. She has introduced me to the world of Sci-fi and I’m hooked. She also has been my buddy during the Houston and LA SCBWI conferences. I adore KC and especially that Australian accent.

I hope you enjoy our tiny talk.

ME: How do you want to be remembered?

KC: Ugh. Do I HAVE to be remembered? Wouldn’t it be more mysterious if I wasn’t?? Like, “where did all those books come from?” / “who wrote them?” I don’t know. Must have been a ghost!!

ME: I’d have to remember you.

ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . .

KC: Open fireplace, pot of steaming hot coffee and a pile of books to read.

ME: Sounds tempting.

ME: Tell us five words that describes you as a writer.

KC: Tenacious, precise, grammar-checker (that’s two words!), romantic, melancholy (but only when I haven’t had my pot of coffee)

ME: If you could sit and have a drink with famous author dead or alive who would it be, and why?

KC: Shakespeare. Need I say more???

ME: Go big or go home.

 

ME: What genre have you not written in, but would love to try?

KC: Murder mystery. Definitely. Maybe thriller, but I’d probably end up scaring myself.

ME: Well when you do I’d love to read it.

KC, thank you so much for doing the interview. I can’t wait for you to come back to Houston!!

Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . . Jennifer Larson

I had the pleasure of meeting Jen, for the first time, at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles this past August. Our personalities clicked and we hit it off right away. You can’t help but be drawn to her personality and drive.

Jen had been teaching for 14 years before she decided that she wanted to focus her time on her writing. This path led her to not only write, but also self-publish her 1st children’s picture book, Lost Soles. Jen gave me an advanced copy. The pictures were vibrant and held a great little story about the emotional journey of a lost sandal. Lost Soles will be available on Amazon in the next few days. You can find Jen here, http://www.authorjenniferlarson.com, @authorjlarson, and http://www.authorjenniferlarson.blogspot.com.

Since August, we still  keep in contact. I’m getting to know more about Jen and her self-publishing journey, while also earning a sweet new friend from the Carolinas. Below, we will learn a bit more about her. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

jen

ME: Tell us something that has been in the vault. Something hardly anyone knows about you.

JEN: Not everyone know this, but I photograph lone shoes I find along the sides of roads, on the sidewalk, in medians, and in other random places. I then use these “lost soles” as writing inspiration and for my blog every Monday.

ME: I love it.

 

ME: What is your greatest fear?

JEN: My greatest fear, as it relates to writing, would have to be the fear of rejection and possibly hearing that my writing isn’t any good.

ME: I think all writers can relate.

 

ME: Describe your writing style.

JEN: I’d say my writing style is lighthearted around, of course, an underlying message. Oh, and I like to throw in the occasional  playful pun.

ME: I can second that.

 

ME: If you can spend a day with a book characters who would it be, and why?

JEN: Hmmm…what character and why? It’d have to be Mary Poppins. She is a sweet, nurturing, and gentle soul. And it doesn’t hurt that she can also create a little magic. 🙂

 

ME: If you were left on a deserted island forever, which book would you bring with you and why? 

Jen: Glass Castle spoke to me on so many levels. What a phenomenal memoir! I learned that all things are possible, no matter the circumstance.

ME: Sounds wonderful. I’m going to add that to my list of reads.

 

Thanks so much Jen for participating in my Tiny Talk. I look forward to our next meet up at another SCBWI event. I wish you great success with Lost Soles. I’m sure it’ll be a shoe in for greatness. I beat you to the pun!