Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Interview with novelist Karen Michelle Nutt

Novelist Karen Michelle Nutt has stopped by today to chat with me about her time travel romance/rock star fantasy, Two Worlds Collided.

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”. You can also check out her published cover art designs at Victory Tales Press and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Welcome, Karen. Please tell us about your current release.
Evie Reid on a whim agrees to travel back in time to 1997 to change bad boy, rock star Bellamy Lovel's path of destruction. She's smart with a college degree, but she is still fan-girl crazy for the rock band, Civilized Heathens. Evie knows despite all Bellamy's smiles and enthusiasm on the stage, he's destined to end it all on one lonely night in a hotel room unless she can change his path.

Bellamy isn't keen on having Evie as his personal assistant, hired by his band mates to watch over him, and keep him on schedule. However, there is something about the woman that sparks his interest, despite his best to ignore her. When darkness threatens to consume him, he realizes she may be the only light that will chase the shadows away.

What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter and I watched 'INXS- Live at Wembley' on DVD. We were sad to think the lead singer had died so tragically and there would never be another song written or performed by him. The time travel tale about Bellamy Lovel took root, but I wanted a happier ending for my rock star and sent Evie back in time to try and save him.

Excerpt from Two Worlds Collided:
Her gaze landed once more on the letters printed on the door, stating roof access and the implications of Bellamy being up here registered as a warning bell in her mind. Dear Lord, why had they allowed such a thing in his unstable condition? Then she realized the band didn't suspect he was suicidal. They believed he had a drug and alcohol problem he was trying to kick.
Leon opened the door and they took a flight of stairs to another door and opened it. The bright sunlight blinded her at first until her vision adjusted. She spotted Bellamy standing on the ledge a few feet in front of her. Fear rose up inside of her like a tangible force that urged her to go to his rescue. Her legs carried her swiftly and her hands grabbed his dress shirt with some kind of wild print on it, and she yanked him toward her.
Bellamy's hands flew out in front of him as if to grab onto something to steady his fall. "What the–" Her cry of alarm muffled Bellamy's curse when she realized he was going to land on top of her, but at the last millisecond, Bellamy twisted, grabbing hold of her as he fell onto his back with her sprawled on top of him in an unseemly manner. Her hair had come loose from the knot at the back of her neck. Her glasses were askew on her nose and she tried to adjust them as she pulled on her blouse, which had risen above her waist. Bellamy's hot hands were on her flesh and for a moment she'd forgotten to breathe. She met his startled gaze and his lips pursed into a fine line.
"What is wrong with you, lady?" he said and shoved her away, not exactly rough but with a purpose to be as far away as possible from her.
She sat in a heap next to him, feeling a bit deflated that he didn't appreciate her attempt to help. "I was saving you," she said and lifted her chin.
"Saving me? Lady, you almost sent me tumbling over the edge."
"I most certainly did not," she sputtered. "And what were you doing up there, anyway? Who stands on a ledge and not think: Hey, I might fall to my death." She rolled her eyes and that seemed to set him off.
His nostrils flared and he looked like he wanted to say more on the matter, but then he turned toward Leon, who stood there with his arms folded against his chest and his lips appeared to be twitching as if he were holding back a full out smile.
"You need to fire the security guard," Bellamy stated, "that allowed this crazy broad up here." He flew to his feet and brushed off his white pants that were smudged with dirt from the gravel rooftop. He flipped his curly hair away from his bright and beautiful blue eyes. God, he was handsome. A lean five-foot-ten, he appeared taller than he truly was, or maybe it was because she was still sprawled at his feet.
Leon cleared his throat. "Bellamy, I want you to meet your personal assistant."
It took Bellamy a moment to realize what Leon meant, and then he shook his head. "No. Absolutely, no." He narrowed his eyes on her, and she scrambled to her feet as graceful as she could, considering how she ended up there.
"I'm Evie Reid." She extended her hand.
He stared at her outstretched palm for a second then leveled his gaze on Leon. "I don't need a personal assistant, and especially one who thinks attacking a person is a great tactic to get to know each other." He turned on his heels, and murmured something in Romanian, which she knew he spoke since his parents were both from there. She loosely translated it as Crazy chicks are not my thing.
"Well yeah," she shouted back. Then decided to play his game and spoke in Romanian too. "Good thing I'm not crazy then." Loosely translated of course, but that seemed to catch his attention for about a second. He turned around and met her gaze in what she believed was supposed to intimidate her, but she refused to look away. "Giving me the evil eye doesn't work." She stared back and he dropped his gaze first.
He harrumphed and grumbled something that she was sure hadn't been flattering, and continued on his way to the door that would lead him back inside the hotel.
"Well, that went splendidly," she muttered. "Why was he up here anyway?"
"Sorry, should have warned you. It's his thing. When we're about to begin a tour, he heads for the roof of the first hotel we stay at, to meditate and put him in the right mindset, or so he says." His shoulders lifted in a shrug. "For good luck, I guess," he added.
"And I just messed that up."
"Don't worry, I have hope he'll warm up to you. You did speak Romanian to him, right? Usually, he's thrilled when someone knows the language."
Maybe, she thought, but not if he believed she was crazy.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm working on a rock star/ghost story with a mystery and of course a romance. It's titled: End of the Road.

Lars Gunner, the frontman for Silent Plaids, died 23 years ago and is trapped in limbo until his daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal and is able to see him. His death was ruled an unfortunate accident, but he's convinced it had to be murder despite the fact he can't recall what happened in his last moments of life. Cecilia seeks help from Kaleb, a psychic, but as they resurrect the past, the secrets and lies surrounding Lar's rock and roll life just may be the death of them too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Good question. I started writing down my stories when I was about nine or ten. I wrote plays at first. My fifth-grade teacher let my friends and I perform one of them too. It was very exciting for a ten-year-old.

Later, I jotted down stories in notebooks. I still have those early writings. They were written in ink, not on a computer. So 'spell check' wasn't available. I couldn't erase or add words if they were needed. Definitely, a rough draft. lol My daughters, when they were young, loved those stories and read them over and over again.

In high school drama class, we performed a skit I'd written. Tea for Two- a quirky murder-comedy. I was pleased when the audience laughed at the appropriate times. :)

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
By day, I work at a dental office and have worked in the dental field for over thirty years. Though writing is my passion, it's not always a reliable income. 

I usually write on my lunch break. I also devote Mondays to writing, which is one of my days off from the dental office. Yoga, coffee, then it's time to write.

I'm published with The Wild Rose Press. Highland Press, Victory Tales Press and Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. I also work behind the scenes with Victory Tales Press (http://victorytalespress.com) as the VTP Anthology Coordinator and am the Executive Assistant at Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery (http://rebeccajvickery.com/). We're always looking for short stories at VTP for our themed anthologies released throughout the year. This year at VTP, the theme is medical romances. All romances will take place in someway at Hart Medical, a fictional hospital located in the 'real' town of Hartsville, SC. Get your dose of romance, STAT! Can't wait to read the stories.

My daughter and I also run Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". We're contracted with VTP and PbRJV and also take on private clients. I usually create book covers after the day job, while watching TV or listening to my favorite rock bands.

My duties at both publishing houses involves some light editing, formatting, creating book covers, and loading books to the online bookstores. It's been interesting learning all there is to know about the publishing world. I have a newfound respect for what goes on behind the scenes and how much time and effort goes into publishing a book.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Before I can begin a story, I must know what my characters look like and what their names are. I'm very visual and must see them in my mind before I type one word of the story. I'll browse through baby books for names and what those names mean. Sometimes my daughter and I will discuss the names and what the characters look like and what they do for a living. She works at the library and she'll bring home books from there for more visual aids.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A belly dancer. Well, I was about four years old when I announced my career choice to my parents. I really meant I wanted to be a ballerina. My mother had read the book Ballerina Bess by Dorothy Jane Mills to me. See Bess dance... So of course, I wanted to also.

When I was twelve, my cousins and I planned to start a rock band. We were going to call ourselves the Crystals. I'm not sure how we came up with that name now. My parents lived right behind Knott's Berry Farm (an amusement park in California), where they had the Good Time Theater. We would purchase tickets to see bands, and big time performers. We were convinced this is where we'd make our big debut. However, our plans for rock stardom never left my parents' garage.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Readers are what writers can never live without. The novel doesn't only belong to the writer; it also belongs to the reader as well. Without the reader the story is just ink on a paper and nothing more. Opening the book, reading those first words, this is where the true magic begins. I love readers! Thank you so much for loving books.

Lisa, I want to thank you for having me here today. You have a lovely blog and ask some great questions. :)


Gillian’s Book CoversJudge Your Book By Its Cover” | Anthology Coordinator at VTP

Books Available at:

It's been a pleasure chatting with you, Karen.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Interview with women's history writer Suzanne Sherman

Writer Suzanne Sherman joins me today to chat about her women’s history / memoir Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010.

Suzanne Sherman is a professional editor, memoir teacher, book consultant, and writing coach. She has ghostwritten memoirs and business books and her book proposals have gained representation by top agents and small publishers. Her newest book is Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 - 2010, available in print on Amazon, local bookstores, by order through Ingram, and as an e-book.

Please tell us about your current release.
Girlhood in America is a fun and fascinating look at the life and times before age 13 in every decade across a century in the words of 56 women and girls. A short cultural history of each decade and highlights from pop culture open the chapters, about inventions and advancements across the 20th century. It's a time capsule, an educational and entertaining living history that shows what's unique and what's universal across a century of change.

What inspired you to write this book?
I started teaching memoir in 1996, when my students were mostly women and men born in the early years of the 20th century. Fifteen years and hundreds of amazing true stories later, I realized the times that led us to where we are today were disappearing with the people who had lived them. I wanted to be a storycatcher and share some of the stories with more people. Florence’s dad bought a car from a door-to-door car salesman when she was 5 in 1911—that story is the 1910s chapter. Lois went to one of the first “talkies” in the 1920s. In the 1960s, Victoria went to Woodstock, at 12. And then there are the stories I collected from girls who came up in the ‘70s, ’80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. I saw the girls go from mother’s helper at home to contributors to culture.

Excerpt from Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010:
from CHAPTER 8: The 1980s

Ms. Pac-Man Is IT! Nicole Bivens — Little Rock, Arkansas
.... Nicole wore Levi’s button-up jeans and T-shirts to school because, she says, dresses just weren’t practical. Dresses were for church or weddings or Easter. And the superhero underwear? That was good any day of the week.

My underwear was decorated with characters like Tinkerbell or Care Bears and superheroes like Wonder Woman Everyone had them. My favorite shoes were KangaROOS, with the little zippered pocket on the side where you keep coins. We thought we could run faster in those shoes because that’s what they said on the commercial.

For years, my hair was long, down to my butt. That changed with Dorothy Hamill. I wanted more than anything to be a figure skater like her, but there wasn’t a chance. The best I could do was get the Hamill haircut. I never had long hair again.

Halloween was Nicole’s favorite holiday, until safety became a new concern for trick-or- treaters. It wasn’t all about putting on a costume and going out at night with friends to collect a shopping bag full of chocolates anymore.

We’d get a costume at K-Mart — Wonder Woman was one of my favorites — and our mom or a relative would go with us while we went door to door trick-or-treating. We’d come home with huge bags of candies, all kinds, and we’d sort through them for what we liked best and trade some with each other. Then we started hearing about razor blades showing up in Halloween candies and people talked about poisoning. It was all over the news: check your candy. We still went out, but as soon as we got home the adults checked every piece of our candy to make sure everything looked okay. The fun game — free candy — suddenly became something you had to fear.

That was just before seventh grade, when Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs was on full force. They showed movies at school where people high on angel dust thought they were Superman and wanted to dive out second-story windows, and alcoholics were shown in all kinds of extreme situations. In class, we made a commitment not to take drugs and signed a “Just Say No” card we were asked to carry around in our pocket or purse. I know I took it seriously even though I have no idea what happened to that card.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m collecting stories now for the next book in the 100 Years in the Life series: Teenage Girls! Coming of Age Through a Century. These are stories about experiences that affected you as a teenage girl (13 to 20 years old) and that reflect the era or decade when you were that age. Topics can be any experience that gave you a new sense of independence or in some way made an important impression on you. At the website you’ll find a form to submit your idea for contributing a story for the book. As with Girlhood in America, I’ll be including a fun and interesting write-up of culture for girls in every decade, from 1920 to 2020. This book, though, will have much to say about first loves, dating, learning to drive, and all the rest that comes crossing that bridge between childhood and being a woman.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That first diary I had when I was 10 could be called my first book, but I found the few lines to fill out for each day limiting. I had a lot more to say than what happened with the summary at the end: “It was fun” or “It wasn’t fun.” Two years later I was filling pages in three-ring notebooks detailing the day’s events (including conversations with boys) and calling those books my diary. By high school my favorite classes were poetry and creative writing. In college, I majored in creative writing, writing short stories and a short novel. I knew writing was the only world I wanted to live in.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write for much of the day every day. Besides my own writing, I am an editor, ghostwriter, and memoir teacher, helping other people write and get published. I am busy with words all day. Fortunately, I like to wake up early and use that quiet time for writing the short memoirs I publish occasionally in The Sun magazine, write my memoir blog articles, and work on my books.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I do my best work sitting with a laptop in my recliner with my feet up. Sitting at a desk or using a desktop computer is creatively confining for me.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A novelist. I didn’t know yet about memoir and how good it could be.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
In the 1960s, when I was a young girl, there were a lot of new foods and toys, some of them two-for-ones, like the Thingmaker, with its Gobbedy-Goop to make the little creatures in the supplied molds on the electric stove; I mention that in my story in the book. We get so busy with our lives we tend to forget about or discount our younger years, but writing this book I got to remember and laugh about some of the stuff that gave me so much pleasure. I’ve heard the same from women whose girlhoods were in the 1970s and on. Not all times were happy ones, and I appreciated hearing about the challenges that showed up in every decade for girls from all walks of life. I wish everyone a great experience time-traveling!


Thanks for visiting today, Suzanne.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Interview with memoirist Shirley Melis

Please welcome my special guest today, Shirley Melis. I'm just one stop along a virtual book tour she's having. We’re chatting about her memoir about finding the courage and strength to love again, Banged-Up Heart.

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Welcome, Shirley. Please tell us about your current release.
My book is a memoir. It’s a slice of my life, a significant slice. I’d been widowed nearly two years when I met a rocket scientist who swept me up into a whirlwind courtship. Falling deeply in love, we married and started traveling the world, sharing and realizing dreams of photography (his) and writing (mine) – Little more than a year later, we were fighting for his life against a rare cancer that he’d staved off for 18 years. I felt I was on a roller coaster ride unlike any I’d ever experienced. When it ended, I had to face the questions of if and how I would live.

What inspired you to write this book?
I felt blindsided. I had to figure out what had happened to me. So often, writing helps me see more clearly. At first, I just wanted to relive my wonderful relationship with John. But once I got started, I became wiser, I think – more curious, more demanding. I was curious about John and his behavior toward me. Had he intentionally kept the severity of his illness a secret from me? I was determined to face the questions I had never asked him. In the end, celebrating the relationship was not nearly so important as getting as close to the truth as I could.

Excerpt from Banged-Up Heart:
Like a budding rose, my heart had slowly opened until I found myself capable of loving again. By loving John as I did, I was able to step away from the grief that had run through me like a raging river, its currents swift and unstoppable. Granted, I did not know John fully, but give time, I would. Given time, I would come to know his shadow, and I would love that darkness in him too. I harbored no doubts. My unspoken vow: I love you past all accident. I love you forever.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have another memoir percolating.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was in the 8th grade when I wrote a piece that was printed in our class newsletter, and I felt good about it. But it was only after I graduated from college and landed a job as a newspaper columnist (traveling abroad) that I considered myself a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I consider myself a full-time writer, although my work days vary because I make time to read, practice the piano and exercise, and I’m active in local government. I also travel extensively. When at home, I usually write in the afternoons. My habit when traveling is to keep a journal, although my recordings are not always consistent.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I use up a lot of yellow lined tablets, especially when I’m expressing deeply emotional thoughts and feelings. And I have to have the right ballpoint pen. I’m partial to freebies I pick up at the bank from time to time.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be Esther Williams and swim the English Channel.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m crazy about elephants and I love cats, all kinds.


Thanks for being here today, Shirley.

Shirley's other tour stops include:

Feb 15 @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Michelle DelPonte shares her review of Shirley Melis's Banged Up Heart today at Bring on Lemons. Don't miss this exciting blog stop and book giveaway.

Feb 16 @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples interviews Shirley Melis about her book Banged Up Heart. Don't miss this heart felt interview about courage and love.

Feb 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Coach and Author Jerry Waxler shares his thoughts after reading Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.

Feb 20 @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto shares her review after reading the touching and inspiring memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.

Feb 21 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into Banged Up Heart the touching memoir by Shirley Melis.

Feb 22 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis's Banged Up Heart.

Feb 23 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don't miss today's interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Sahpiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart.

Feb 23 @ Writer’s Pay it Forward
MC Simon reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis for readers at Writers Pay it Forward. Don't miss this honest review of this courageous memoir.

Feb 24 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer's Journey - find out what Pooler has to say about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.

Feb 27 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You'll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir.

Feb 28 @ Bring on Lemons with Cindi Ashbeck
Cindi Ashbeck shares her thoughts after reading the touching story Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.

March 1 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis's memoir Banged Up Heart.

March 2 @ Book Santa Fe with Tange Dudet
Avid reader and book enthusiast Tange Dudet shares her thoughts and feelings after reading the touching memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.

March 3 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis's book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Interview with writer Tommy Donovan about his coming-of-age memoir

Writer Tommy Donovan joins me today to chat about his coming-of-age memoir, The Rail: What Was Really Doin’ in the 60’s Bronx.

Tommy Donovan grew up near the Amalgamated Cooperative Housing in the Van Cortlandt Park area of the Bronx. Coming-of-age during the turbulent and questioning 1960s helped shape his spirit of inquiry and critical thinking. He currently lives in Big Timber, Montana, with his life-partner, Dr. Kim C. Colvin. Tommy holds a doctorate in psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College at Montana State University.

Welcome, Tommy. Please tell us about your current release.
This is my coming-of-age memoir that depicts the struggles of the son of an Irish immigrant growing up in an all-Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx, between the end of World War 2 and the shadow of the Holocaust, and the emergence of the turbulent 1960s. At home, I wrestle with family dysfunction, while in the streets I must navigate a world where being a goy (gentile) confers a hurtful, outsider status on him. Eventually, my life hangs in the balance as I struggle to not surrender to the pull of drug addiction while fighting to break free and flee the Bronx for good. My confrontation with these formidable obstacles, on my journey to manhood, takes place center stage at “The Rail,” where my allies and nemeses gather daily.

What inspired you to write this book?
This is my first book. I was compelled to write this because whenever my childhood friends and I have described our growing up, we consistently get amazed reactions and someone inevitably says, “Your stories should be a book.”

Excerpt from The Rail: What Was Really Doin’ in the 60’s Bronx:
There was one particular section of the fence that ran along Van Cortlandt Park South, that came to serve as each generation’s true north and the epicenter for all manner of social interaction – especially for the postwar baby-boomers. Directly in front of the park, this portion of the fence stretched east from the retaining wall to the asphalt pathway leading into the playground area, approximately 60 feet in length. When we were little, it was just part of the landscape demarcating the boundary between the street and the park, claiming no particular attention during our comings and goings. At that tender age, even if we noticed the older kids hanging out there it had little impact on us and even less interest. As we found ourselves inexorably thrust into our teenage years, this spot in front of the playground began to loom larger and larger in our lives and our imaginations as the place to be. This section of fence was known to everyone as, simply, The Rail.

* * * * *
I AM THE BASTARD SON of an immigrant Irishman. For this reason, and more that you will discover in the course of this memoir, I have had a difficult time locating home, trusting family, finding safe harbor in many of my intimate relationships. Yet between the years 1956-1972 (spanning the ages between five and twenty-one), home, family, and a place of safety were located in the Bronx. I found them not in my own house, but in the homes, schoolyards, playgrounds, and streets of a tiny, modern-day shtetl populated predominantly by Jews. Beneath the apparent incongruity of this statement – safety in the streets of the Bronx, family among people of a completely different religion, and home within others’ homes – a deep and abiding kinship revealed itself over the course of my childhood, a kinship with a place and the people who lived there that shaped decisively who I was then and who I am now. Indeed, this sense of kindredness has informed my entire life; during these tender and impressionable years, I learned how to trust, how to share, how to stand up for what I believe, and how to love.

The soil that nurtured this unlikely, lifelong bond with this place, with Jewish culture, and with the friendships forged there – many continuing to this day – was seeded by a variety of episodes, traumatic and elegant, painful and exquisitely loving. Mine was a coming of age in a peculiar time and place. Wedged between the nightmare of World War II and the thunderous, shattering Sixties, my coming of age awoke in me, and many of us, common rhizomatic stirrings to live beneath a sun different than the one we inherited. Pulled by an indescribable draw toward a deep mutuality, there arose a desire to band together in ways that would lift us beyond what the larger world offered as the apparently irreconcilable differences of ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and race. Our sensibilities were shaped by a nascent determination to defy a history of fear and the promise of more of the same and, instead, create something we imagined would be entirely new.

What exciting story are you working on next?
YA fiction based in Celtic Mythology.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I began writing at age 14. I would write stories about our neighborhood gang, completely romanticized, and read them in installments to my friends gathered in the basements of our neighborhoods

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a college professor at Montana State University. I write when I have breaks in the teaching schedule, mostly on weekends, semester breaks and especially over the summer months.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I cannot move to the next sentence unless I feel the previous one evokes precisely what I want to convey emotionally.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Back in my day I imagined myself being a firefighter or a policeman. By the time the 1960s erupted I wanted to be a nomad.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you are writers, keep reading everything, and write to express your soul-daimon and not for any other motive.


Thanks for being here today, Tommy! Happy writing.