Monday, 31 March 2014

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Ginger Simpson

1.Tell me about your book, Ages of Love, and where you got your inspiration for it?

Actually, Ages of Love is a combination of three previously published Novellas, but my inspiration for each was remembering what love was like at various stages of my own life. My current publisher agreed that all three were worth sharing, so I did a re-write of each story, and each woman has her own portion of the book to show the reader’s her take on finding love.

2. What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer and how did you bounce back from it?

Right now, I’m dealing with reviews left by people who obviously have no agenda other than to damage a writer’s reputation. I have three horrible reviews on a credible Historical novel that have me scratching my head and wondering how the heck they don’t realize that white women were often captives of the Indians and elected to stay rather than return as damaged goods. Also, my beautiful cover, which captures the essence of the story has been deemed porn and tossed in with Victoria Secret’s lingerie ads. If anyone would like to see the reviews, check out White Heart, Lakota Spirit on Amazon.

3. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not really. I had the opportunity to “redo” previously published work into one novel, and I really love the way it came together. I was able to use the lessons I’ve learned along the way and I truly believe the stories are so much better than before.

4. If you could ask your future self, one question, what would it be?

How long am I going to live? When I was younger, I didn’t worry about such things…you know youth are invincible in their own minds, but now that I’m officially a senior citizen and see friends and peers passing away, I worry that I won’t have time to accomplish all the things I want to do before my time comes.

5. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?

I try to put a message in each, but the one that I would really like readers to grasp has been a poor seller despite promotions I’ve tried. I wrote a YA called Shortcomings, which addresses bullying tactics and how we sometimes unknowingly contribute to the problem. I even did a study guide with hopes that teachers would find it worthy of sharing in their classes. Bullying is a hot topic, and I wrote the book because I have a grandson who is autistic that I know is bound to suffer at the hands of someone who needs to be cruel.

6. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have many favorites, but right now I’m hooked on Rita Karnopp. I’ve been so impressed with her books…and there are too many to list, that I asked her to beta read Ages of Love for me. Her suggestions were stellar and I give her a great deal of credit for making my book better. If you get a chance, I do suggest you read White Berry on the Red Willow and I know you’ll crave more. Books We Love also offers a Special Edition for each of their authors, so you can enjoy three books for a very affordable price.

7. Would you rather be the good guy or the bad guy in a movie?

I’d have to be the good guy because I don’t deal well with conflict. In fact, in life, I’d walk a mile to avoid it, and I hate walking these days. I suppose I’d be a boring character, unlike those I’m able to create in books, because I’d just be me and leave the judging to others who seem to enjoy it. I don’t.

8. What was your favourite subject at school?

Creative Writing in English class. I also liked Business English, where we composed letters. I’ve always wanted to write, and thanks to small press who allows us to use creative license and not write inside boxes, I’m living the dream.

9. If you could try out any job for a day (real or fictional) what would you like to try?

Well, I retired for a reason after working most of my life, and as strange as it seems, if I was younger, I’d go back and apply to be a Correctional Officer again. Although I only worked in that capacity for a year, I liked the myriad of tasks, personalities, and the importance of the job. I believe I made a difference because unlike some who work in that field, I didn’t set myself up to be judge and jury, rather treated the inmates with the same respect I expected from them. Working there was the impetus behind my novel, First Degree Innocence.

10. What eye colour do you find sexiest?

To me, it’s not the color, rather the sparkle in the eye when someone looks at you. I don’t know why I keep ending up with blue-eyed husbands, but I do. I’ve seen some pretty sexy brown eyes in my day. Lol

11. Do you watch horror movies on or from behind the couch?

I don’t watch horror movies period. Every since I was persuaded by a friend to see The Exorcist, I’ve not watched another since. That one gave me nightmares and I thought about it even when I was awake. I love good mystery and thriller novels, but as far as watching scary movies…I hate being on the edge of my seat and then screaming like a baby.

12. What question would you most like someone to ask you? And what would be your answer?

What a great question. I miss the good ol’ days when people looked shocked when I revealed my age. Just once again, I’d like someone to ask my age, and when I admitted to it, they looked at me with wide-eyed disbelief. It just doesn’t happen anymore. I’d also like to be carded when I ask for a senior discount, but now days, they recommend it. :(

13. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Edit, edit, edit. I can’t emphasize the importance of making sure the work you publish is the best it can be. I, for the first time, had two people beta read for me before submitting my manuscript, and I can’t believe how helpful they were to catching typos, and making suggestions I didn’t think about. Also, an old saying comes to mind…”Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” There are going to be people who don’t like your work, but there will be just as many who do. Grow a thick skin and have faith in yourself and your abilities.

14. How did you chose your genre?

What genre? I’m just joking. I’ve tried my hand in most of them…except maybe true horror, but I always seem to migrate back to Historical Western Romance. I attribute my preference for this genre to years of growing up with westerns on TV, reading all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series in grammar school, and generally loving the era.

15. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?

I’m a pantser, so most of my books are character driven. I’m one of those folks who have voices in her head all the time, and whoever yells the loudest with their story idea is usually who gets picked. In most cases, I’m in the dark while writing the story—don’t know where I’m headed until I get there. I did however, write Betrayed, which is based on my sister’s real life experience with Internet dating. I think there is a little of me in every book I write.

16. What was the point you realised that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

I started writing in 2000 and my debut novel was published in 2003. Back then, eBooks weren’t as popular, in fact, anyone published with small press was automatically deemed a poor author who couldn’t make it in the “real writing world.” I took a chance and submitted my manuscript to The Romantic Times for a review. At that time, most ebooks were being given 2-star ratings and harsh reviews, so when I garnered 4-stars, I really felt like an author for the first time. I’ll cherish that review forever.

17. How do you handle working with an editor without letting pride get in the way?

Sometimes pride wins out. I’ve discovered that editors aren’t always the ‘be all-know all,’ in fact, a lot of them are authors who haven’t written as long as I have. I go into editing with an open mind and a willingness to learn, because I have enhanced my skills through the process over the years. However, if there is something I feel is worth fighting for, I will stand up and say so. It’s always wise to pick your battles, and I’ve learned that through being an editor. It’s a hard job with very little appreciation shown, but there are those who make changes to word things how they would say it. I select to use what makes my work better and decline anything that indicates my voice is being lost.

18. Are you scared of sharing a story idea because someone might steal it?

There are bound to be duplications in ideas with all the books released every day. If an author stifles his/her creativity because of that fear, we’d be missing a lot of fascinating books.

19. What alcoholic beverages do you favour when you hit a wall?

I have bright yellow labels on medications I take that advise me to avoid alcohol. It’s not difficult since I’ve never liked the after-effects of imbibing. When I “hit the wall” I walk away and wait until my character feels like talking again. There is nothing I can do to prevent them from going mute, and they often do, but luckily, they get chatty again, and I’m back on track.

20. How do you deal with brilliant ideas that pop up while you’re writing something else?

If you could see my “works-in-progress” folder, you’d know the answer. I usually start the manuscript as the character talks to me, giving enough information so that I don’t forget to come back to the storyline. The hard part is shutting up the character until I’m finished with what I’m working on. The inside of my head is really noisy sometimes.

21. If you could have only three electrical appliances in your home, what would you have a why?

Well, let’s see. Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’d have to have my computer or I’d be lost. I hate writing in longhand. I’d have to have my microwave or we’d starve, and I’d definitely need my blow brush or I’d look like Harpo Marx.


Love comes when we least expect it, whether from dreams or reality, it touches our souls and warms our heart. Join Chase, Faith and Hope as they each journey on their own trek into happiness. Will they truly find what they need or is there still a search remaining for one or more?


About Ginger

Born and raised in California, Ginger suddenly found herself in Tennessee. The experience was sort of like traveling from earth to another planet. So used to the rat-racing freeways and type-A personalities who moved faster than a speeding bullet, she now exists in a laid-back environment where everyone younger tacks a "Miz" on the front of her name. She came here to be close to her grandson...the love of her life, and since she retired from the University of California, she expected to have a whole lot of time to write. She'd  like to say she's finished a ton of novels, but life gets in the way. Besides dealing with a muse that goes AWOL from time-to-time, she was was a pioneer in her family to contact a virus one would normally associate with dogs--Parvo Virus B-19. Trust her, you don't want it.  If you're like her, and never heard of it Google it!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ten Things: Beauty and The Beast

Now we all know this story right - Disney's version of it - Beautiful enchantress turns a wicked prince into a beast until he meets his true love. Its one of my favourite stories and one of my favourite movies but watching it again as an adult - there are certain things that struck me. I would like to list ten of them here.


Beast is a Prince...presumably as the next scene is Belle in a nearby French Village...of France. How did no one notice that the heir to the throne had suddenly gone missing? And where the hell were his parents while this was all going on?


The Enchantress who turned him into the beast does so for what, fun, randomly wandering the country side cursing brats. Why is no one worried about or trying to stop her?


If you think about it, the cursed rose is supposed to bloom until the princes 21st year. In "Be Our Guest" Lumiere says its been ten years. That means The prince was eleven when the curse was put on him. Essentially it boils down to that the enchantress put a curse on an Eleven Year old boy because he wouldn't let a stranger in the house.

This does not look like an eleven year old boy!


The enchantress curses the whole castle. The servants are selfish by association are they. Did she not take her pills that morning or what?


Belle leaves her room because she's hungry. The servants go through a whole song and dance about food and hospitality where Belle doesn't eat anything and then she agrees to go on a tour of the castle. Did she forget she was hungry?


Chip is not ten. Meaning he can't have been born before the curse. Is Mrs Potts still able to procreate even though she's a teapot? Or if he was born before the curse is it only the beast who is aging while the others are all frozen in time? Also what happened to Mr Potts? Did he break?


Gaston leads an angry mob of villagers to the castle of the beast which happens to be in walking distance. How did they not know the castle was there?

Belle could see the Beast climbing up the side of the castle to see her but couldn't spot Gaston sneaking up behind him to stick a knife in him. Honestly.


If there was an enchantress roaming around punishing kids for being brats - why wasn't this bozo on the top of her list?

Happily Ever After Everybody with Belle marrying Prince Adam - the same Belle who didn't want to marry Gaston because she wanted a life of adventure and freedom. Yes, being the wife of a head of state - I see the freedom there.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... Trisha Haddad

1. Tell me about your book Deep Green and where you got your inspiration for it?

Deep Green is a Young Adult survival/romance. Leah has some social anxiety and general awkwardness, and prefers books to interaction with “real” people. When a terrorist attack on the cruise ship she’s on with her folks leaves her adrift in a lifeboat with strangers, she’s forced to take a lead to keep them all alive. Together they face danger after danger as they fight for survival. Leah also struggles with the growing attention from the guys she's stranded with, and her mixed emotions toward them.

2. What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer and how did you bounce back from it?

Oh, a silly boy I was friends with in high school told me I’d never be a published author, especially with a Middle Eastern last name. I was pretty mad about it at the time, especially because I took everything much more seriously back then. To bounce back, I just had to prove him wrong. The best part came a few years later long after we’d lost touch. He ran across my first book and emailed me (through the contact form at my author site, no less!) to eat his words. That was pretty satisfying!

3. Would you break a law to save a loved one?

Absolutely! I’d hope it was a little law-breaking though, like speeding or parking in a no-park zone!

4. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?

I’ve been really pleased that some of the reviewers who have written about Deep Green have picked up on the themes. The over-arching theme is the question of ends justifying the means, and when they no longer do. There are also side themes about finding your voice, about gender roles, and loneliness in the midst of a crowd.

5. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

John Steinbeck; he writes place and depth of the human experience with such grace.

6. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?

I don’t want to learn guitar, I just want to magically know how to play it. I’ve tried learning and I’m pretty awful at it, but I really want to be able to play.

7. What was the point you realised that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

Probably when I saw my first book in Barnes & Noble. Oh, and when I see my books in libraries it is especially exciting!

8. Which book do you wish you’d written?

Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks. It is a gorgeous and heart-breaking literary fiction novel inspired by the true story of Eyam, an English village that decides to close its borders when the plague from London hit, so as to absorb the hit there (an do they ever!) and not spread it to neighbours.

9. How do you deal with brilliant ideas that pop up while you’re writing something else?

I usually start a new document and try to write what might be the back cover blurb of the new idea and then save and close. That way, if it really so good, I don’t lose the idea. Usually though, the new ideas are just my brain trying to make me procrastinate on writing a particularly difficult part of the current book.

10. What’s next for you? 

On New Year’s Eve, I finished the draft of a sequel to Deep Green. It is my first sequel, and has been a lot of fun revisiting the characters (well, at least the characters who survived the first book).


Leah Taylor prefers the quiet adventure and romance of books, but during a cruise with her parents, a terrorist attack leaves her adrift in a lifeboat with strangers.

University student, Blue McCree impresses her immediately with his knowledge of literature and philosophy, but equally thrilling is strong, quiet Musir, whose chivalry and wisdom capture Leah’s curiosity.

Together they face danger after danger as they fight for survival. Leah also struggles with the growing attention from the men she's stranded with, and her mixed emotions toward them.

When Leah learns the dark secrets her fellow survivors hold, the truth will blow apart any semblance of civility and test Leah’s preconceived notions of just how far dedication can go before it crosses over into fanaticism.

About Trisha

Trisha Haddad is a writer living in sunny Southern California with “her guys” (her husband and sons). She is the author of YA novel Deep Green, and two romantic suspense novels geared to adults.