More and more people are becoming aware of the healing powers of creativity. Human nature makes people want to strive to feel good, and keep their bodies free from illness and dysfunction. Two goals most people hope for are to be creative and to improve/maintain health. Taking our cue from physics, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is changed from one form into another. Expressing your creative energy means the energy within you is given an outlet; it is redirected into a more positive energy. Everyone is inheritably born with the potential for creativity. Drawing, painting, writing, acting, sculpting, knitting, dancing, cooking and playing an instrument are all creative activities that can ignite that creative spark. Many people already embrace their creativity while others are in the realm of “I am just not creative”. The key to being creative is taking action!
“Another word for creativity is courage” ~ George Prince
I recently had the opportunity to interview author Sylvia Stein about the release of her new book, “Closure” and ask her about her writing process. Welcome Sylvia!
NEW RELEASE “Closure”
Garrison James had it all. A terrific home life and a loving family. Together, he and his wife Lila built a successful ranch and construction company. His world changed the day he lost his wife to cancer. He turned to the bottle and became a monster. Sara, his daughter, tried everything to please him.
After years of abuse, Sara’s aunt visits. She recognizes the abuse and removes Sara. The frail girl begins the delicate journey of finding herself, while struggling to leave her father and the monster behind.
Despite the emotional and mental scars she carried, Sara manages to start a new life. She is finally happy.
A phone call changes everything.
Will Sara continue her new life? Can she face the monster, or will she find closure?
Congratulations on having your newest book published, tell us about your new novella “Closure”.
Thank you so much. “Closure” is actually my first solo work. I have published anthologies with my writer’s “750” groups. But this is actually my first work on my own. “Closure” is a story of Garrison James who after the loss of his beloved wife Lila loses himself to alcohol and then takes out all of his frustrations on his young daughter Sara. They both go through a journey of pain and then it is up to Sara to decide whether she wants to deal with her past or not.
What inspires/motivates you to write?
Writing has always been my passion. I loved writing since I was a kid. Creating Stories and characters has always been part of my life.
Has your writing process changed from when you first started?
Oh most definitely. My writing process used to be where I would let the story carry me and have no regard for the grammar and structure of it. However now thanks to several writer’s groups and going for my Master’s at Southern New Hampshire online I have learned better ways of working a revising my writing.
Are you a plotter who outlines or a “pantser” who prefers to see where an idea leads you?
I used to be a panster and used to let the ideas lead me. However now I do take more time to outline and highlight my characters and plot.
Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you get through it?
At times I do get Writer’s Block and what I do to get past it is step away from it for a day or so and then I go back with a clear mind and get back at it. Music also helps with that process.
You have such a busy life; family, school, work… how do you find the time? Any tips for us on how to manage a busy life and a writing career?
Wow, great question. First of all as busy as I am I always make time to write. Whether it is 30 minutes one day or an hour the next. Never stop doing what you love. I make time when I can. Luckily my husband Jeremy is very supportive and he will give me that time by taking the kids on the weekends during the day and it allows me for some writing time as well. I also love to write late at night on my days off from work.
What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?
Oh there are so many great ones out there. I have to say
I am impressed with how the indie authors have grown over the years and they so have inspired me. Especially when it comes to Melissa’s awesome support Team. Over the years these group of Authors along with the World Literary Café have been my biggest influences not to mention my Writer’s group “750” and my other Writer’s group at SNHU.
As far as books one of my favorite books of all time will forever be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, All Stephen King Books, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and right now one of my favorite books is Among the Olive Groves by the talented Chrissie Parker.
Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?
Right now I am working on several projects not to mention I am still working on Anthologies with my Writers group “750” . However I am working hard on my second novel Clarity which I began on National Novel Month Nano last November and I am also planning on publishing my psychological thriller Battered Mind by Next February.
Yes you can find all me on:
Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked in “750” in 2012. She continued her journey by creating short stories, which were published, in the “Giant tales Anthology” series. While obtaining her Masters degree at Southern New Hampshire University online author Stein built a solid foundation with her colleagues who encouraged her to continue on her writing. That’s when “Closure” was born. With the help of her editor “Closure” grew from a short story to a full novella that Author Stein is excited to share. “Closure” is her debut book as a solo writer. To quote author Stein, “ This is the first of many to come.”
If you would like to be known more about Author Stein’s books here is a link of them.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”~ John Lennon
Who or what is your favourite mythological figure? Write about what happens when this character lives among us mere mortals. Do they hide their abilities or powers? Do they fit in or are they ostracized from society for being different? Does Ares get a job as a clown? Does Hades join the PTA? Does a neighbour have a pet dragon?
Get creative, write and most of all…have fun! :)
“Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett
What area of your life do you not tend to? What problems arise as a result of ignoring it? Write about what could happen if you make a decision to direct energy and attention to this area you’ve been ignoring. What could happen if you keep ignoring it? By giving it your attention how could your life change?
Reflect and write.
“For me the end of a book is just as exciting as it is for a reader.”~
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela
It’s time that you broke up with your biggest fear. What better way for you to say good-bye than by writing them a “Dear John” letter. For those of you who have been lucky enough to not be the giver or receiver of such a letter~ it’s basically a letter you send to end a relationship and bid adieu. If you can learn to laugh at what scares you, then perhaps you won’t see that fear as being so intimidating.
Get creative, write and most of all….have fun! :)
I recently interviewed author Chrissie Parker about writing and the release of her new book, “Among the Olive Groves”. Welcome Chrissie!
NEW RELEASE “Among The Olive Groves”
Elena Petrakis adores living on the Greek island of Zakynthos. When World War Two looms her way of life is threatened. Left with no choice she joins the island’s resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom.
Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future.
From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, ‘Among the Olive Groves’ is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.
Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?
I live with my husband in London (UK). I love to listen to music and read books. I make spiral bead bracelets and am very passionate about history, and archaeology.
I have had a varied life in regards to work. When I was at school I wanted to be either an actress or an archaeologist, two very different career paths. Things weren’t easy and after much investigation and thought, I eventually settled upon actress. Partway through training, I decided I didn’t really want to be an actress after all, as I much preferred the technical side of theatre, so I re-trained, whilst working at the Bristol hippodrome Theatre. I then became a Freelance Production Assistant and later a Production Coordinator, I worked at my local TV station as studio crew, toured with cover bands and worked as a freelancer on feature films, documentaries and a variety of TV programmes.
Over the years I enjoyed re-discovering my love of ancient History and Archaeology. Recently I completed a six-month course in Archeological Techniques, and a six-month course in Ancient Egyptian History with Exeter University. I hope to undertake another course with them next year, but not sure which one yet!
Writing is something that has always been with me. I was always writing short stories at school, and in my teens I also wrote a lot of poetry. Over the years I tried unsuccessfully to write numerous novels, but could never find my niche. Despite that, I never gave up, and kept trying. It is something I love doing and am glad that I have finally succeeded in releasing my first novella. In 2013 I was very lucky to have one of my poems ‘Maisie’ read at the Bath Literary Festival as part of the ‘100 poems by 100 Women’ event. I have also guest written for two Epilepsy charities in the UK and Canada.
You published “Integrate” last fall and you just released “Among the Olive Groves”; with one under your belt, was the writing process different this time around? Did you prefer writing one more than the other and if so, why?
I liked writing both books; Integrate was completely fictional and didn’t need any research so I was free to let my mind wander. Among the Olives Groves was different, even though I could let my mind wander, I also had to do a lot of research to get the story right. In a way it was more fun as I was able to learn about a genre of history I didn’t know much about. A lot of time and energy went into Among the Olive Groves and it became a complete labour of love, and I am so happy with the final story. I hope people love reading it as much as I loved writing it.
What is the most important thing for you when writing your novels? Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”?
When writing my thrillers I tend to write by the seat of my pants, and do some, but little planning. My historical fiction is very different; there is a lot of research that needs doing, so I tend to plan a lot more. This was definitely the case for Among the Olive Groves. As parts of the book was set out in sequential years I needed to fully research and plan the story around facts for each of those years. It’s a lot more work, but I don’t love it any less, as I get to research history, which is something I love!
What does your writing routine look like? How has this routine changed from when you first started?
My writing routine has changed a bit. I no longer work full time, so have more free time. I now write when I don’t have any freelance/temp work. Sometimes I have days or even weeks at a time to sit and work, it’s great as I actually get more achieved in those few days/weeks and I have managed to increase my daily writing word count to 7000 words on a good day!
What is the most memorable response you have had about your writing?
I got a great review for Integrate, it said:
“A good read, Ms Parker keeps you on a knife edge ’til the end, she pulls you in, gives your mind a bit of a pounding and leaves you feeling guilty for intruding on her thoughts.”
It is one of the best reviews that I have ever read for a book. Reading it made the whole process worthwhile. I want people to enjoy my work, but I also want them to be left feeling like they had been taken on an unpredictable or enjoyable journey too.
Which one of your characters (if any) would you want to travel with?
Oh definitely Elena Petrakis. She is a feisty little thing who loves life and in her own words “doesn’t like to let the grass grow under her feet”. I think she would be a lot of fun, I imagine that if you went on a road trip with her she would be enthralled by everything she saw and would want to delve into the areas she visited soaking up all of the local colour and atmosphere. I think she would be a lot of fun, and maybe get into a bit of trouble too!
What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?
Most books! I love reading, and collect books. My favourite is my collection of Agatha Christie novels, I am a huge fan of her work. And then there were none and Death on the Nile are my favourites. She had an incredible talent, and was also very interested in archaeology and history like myself.
Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?
I’m currently writing two sequels to Integrate that will be released next year. They will be called Temperance and Retribution. I am also revising two historical fiction novels set in Egypt and Jordan.
Twitter – @Chrissie_author
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/ChrissieAuthor/
Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.
Chrissie is also an Author. Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013. Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution. Both will be released in 2015.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation. Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.
Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University. She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com
Decided to take a break from blogging for a week to focus on my writing and current course-load. Wishing all a wonderful week and I will be back on August 11th!
Who Killed Candy Dashwood?
Candy Dashwood was young, beautiful, and accustomed to getting exactly what she wanted, by any means necessary, including sex and blackmail. Does that make her murder less important? Or her killer less guilty? Her mother doesn’t think so. She asks private detective Jack Harney to help find Candy’s killer. When all signs point to her police officer lover, the case seems cut and dry. So why does the evidence seem so flimsy? And why are the police so unwilling to dig any deeper. Jack uncovers a web of sex and deception in which nothing is as it seems, and the list of potential killers grows every day. Can he put the pieces together and discover who really killed Candy, or will her killer Sweet Mystery is a suspenseful murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Praise for Sweet Mystery:
“I absolutely LOVED this book. This is the third book in a series by MaryAnn Kempher, and they just keep getting better!!! The story line was awesome…. I was hooked from the very beginning and found that I was unable to put this book down. I loved the characters, and it was nice to see some of the characters from the other books return in this one, especially Nene and Gaga :-) Those two ladies are a hoot!!
I am really looking forward to book 4!! “~ Yvonne via Amazon ~5-star Review
“I loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down. Out of the three in this series, this is the best one. I am looking forward to the next book.”~Wanda Downs via Amazon ~5-star Review
Books by MaryAnn Kempher
If you’d like to connect with MaryAnn Kempher, that will be easy:
MaryAnn Kempher’s writing is infused with romance and mystery. Her love of romance stories goes back to her teen years spent living in Reno NV where Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. MaryAnn’s travels have taken her to beautiful cities in Italy, Southeast Asia and the sultry desert country of Qatar. She met her husband on one of her romantic misadventures while traveling. She has two children and currently lives in Florida where she and her family share their home with two dogs and a cat. Her writing influences include favorite authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She’s a huge fan of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. Her guilty pleasures are any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha.
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. ” ~ C. S. Lewis
Write about what happens when your characters anger catches up with them. How does their anger manifest itself? Does it cause them to lash out? Has it been channeled into something positive and productive? Do they manage to resolve their feelings? How does their anger serve them in the long-run?
Reflect and write …