Today, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Dana Kearney. Welcome to the PBS Blog. Let’s get started!
What was you childhood dream?
My childhood dream was to be a doctor. Then I realized hospitals and sick people scare me. So I had to find something else to be and I always loved writing.
Cool. In your own words, what is love?
Love is a connection that you cannot describe. It is so powerful when you feel it you know because you have never felt it before. It is a part of the air you breathe. It is unconditional. Love has been around since the beginning of time. Love lasts through the universe and galaxies. It is a selfless feeling that transforms you into your highest self. Love is when frequencies align, your life is complete, and the passion is at its peak. Love is when you see stars in their eyes. Love is balance with the universe.
Okaay Dana. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
A trip around the world would be the most exciting to go on. You could travel many different ways and see so many historic sites.
I love that. Who is your favorite writer?
My favorite writer is Zora Neale Hurston. Her stories transcend, time, space and culture. She takes us through two worlds where some of us live. She describes a time that has passed, but it is also infinite. She gives our lives space, meaning, love, and divinity.
What kind of music do you like?
I like rhythm and blues, hip-hop, pop, old school music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Sometimes I pick whatever makes me escape into another place and other times I pick what resonates with current moments in time.
Nice. Dana, define racism.
Racism is the power to negatively impact millions of lives through housing, employment, and natural resources based on race.
Nicely put. What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
My favorite movie is Gladiator. I love stories of Ancient Times. I love how the actors bring you into the story. They make you root for one over the other. Behind all the backstabbing and treachery it is a love story and a father trying to return home after he avenges his family.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult part about being a writer is getting your thoughts into a familiar structure. The most exciting part is giving your perspective on life.
What does that mean, getting your thoughts into a familiar structure?
Putting my thoughts into a format that people are comfortable with. As your thoughts come out they may not be organized or naturally flow.
Ahh. Got it. That’s true. Is there anything you don’t you like about yourself?
I don’t like my need for perfection. It stresses me out but I still strive for perfection.
Life is not always pretty. We all experience hardship every now and again. What is your best advice for reducing stress?
My best advice for reducing stress is take care of yourself. Do what makes you happy. Take time to meditate or pray. Take time to do your favorite things. Take care of yourself.
I love it.
Thank you Dana for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Dana Kearney was raised in Oakland, CA and graduated from the University of California Davis. Dana was a public school educator for ten years. She loves to read, write, swim, teach, and travel. Dana still lives in California and is currently working on Diamonds or Light? Part II
Today, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Corey Collins. Corey, welcome to the PBS blog!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Corey Collins and I am from Memphis, Tennessee. I went to college in Northern Indiana and to law school in South Florida, where I have lived since 1992.
Nice. My in-laws are in Memphis. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book entitled The Thanks You Getin 2017. I self-published my novel and the experience was exciting, painstaking, exhausting and, ultimately, fulfilling.
Love it. Who is your favorite writer?
My favorite writer (present day) is Zadie Smith. My favorite writer (all time) is James Baldwin.
I. Love. Baldwin! What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is blue.
What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?
I dislike folks who impart advice about writing authoritatively as though what works for one writer should apply to all. In my experience, writing definitely is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. I love folks who simply talk about their writing experience in such a way as to give others insight into their process so that aspiring writers might consider what nuggets to incorporate into their own process.
You summed that up perfectly. It is why I don’t like to refer to my information as advice, but tips. Tips based on my own experience I hope others could maybe add to their own experience. Very well stated there Corey. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is Memphis dry rub barbecue ribs. My second favorite is cashew nuts.
If you could live in a movie, which would it be?
If I could live in a movie, I would live in the final scene of the movie The Shawshank Redemption, one of my top 5 favorite films. The final scene depicts a reunion between two friends who served time in prison together at a city in Southern Mexico called Zihuatanejo. I was fortunate enough to visit that town in 1990 when I participated in a semester broad program during my junior year in college. It made a lifetime impression, with its pristine beaches and hospitable residents. Unlike its more popular neighbor Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo was underdeveloped, less crowded, less noisy. Peace and serenity descended upon me the minute I stepped into the city and upon its beach. The thought of spending my final days living off the sea and the land in Zihuatanejo, like the main characters in Shawshank, makes me smile.
Ha! Shawshank Redemption is one of me and my husband’s favorite movies as well. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
The most amazing adventure to go on (and one of my bucket list items) would be to trek through the mountains of Machu Picchu in Peru.
Nice. What is the most difficult thing about being a writer? What is the most exciting thing?
Finding consistent, significant blocks of time to write while working a full time job is the most difficult thing about being a writer. When I am fortunate enough to have significant, uninterrupted blocks of time, entering that zone where ideas and words seem to flow well is thrilling.
I get it. Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
Outside of writing, I love running. My personal goal is to run at least two half marathons per year and, for the past five years, I have managed to meet that goal. Aside from the health benefits, running, for me, is calming and helps to clear my mind.
How many siblings do you have?
I have one sibling, a younger sister.
Are you employed outside of writing?
Outside of writing, I am employed full time as an in house attorney for a construction company. I review and negotiate construction contracts for the company and manage their litigation.
Okaay. Another attorney in the house ya’ll. What is your favorite TV show / movie?
My favorite TV show is Game of Thrones. My favorite movie is The Godfather.
Thank you Corey for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Collins is a practicing attorney in Miami, Florida, with an innate curiosity about the world and the people in it. Collins attended college at the University of Notre Dame graduating with a dual degree in Government and Spanish in 1991. Thereafter, he spent a year working for a member of the United States House of Representatives before continuing his education at the University of Miami School of Law. He graduated in 1995 and has practiced law in South Florida since then.
Beyond practicing law, Collins chairs the board of directors of the James B. Collins Memorial Fund, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed for the dual purpose of providing scholarships to high school seniors needing financial assistance for college and making an annual donation to the American Cancer Society in the hopes of finding a cure for cancer. He also serves on the board of directors of the St. John Community Development Corporation.
In his spare time, Collins enjoys running, having completed four marathons and twelve half marathons. He also writes short stories.
About the book:
Corey B. Collins is the author of The Thanks You Get, a novel that explores human behavior and the driving force behind people’s actions. His protagonist is Hank Goodman, a public relations executive, who is drawn into a mystery involving one of the wealthiest men in South Florida. Woven throughout Collins’ novel is the theme of families, however defined, and the ties that bind them. Ultimately, Collins hopes to encourage readers to contemplate whether there really is such a thing as coincidence and whether people, with all their faults, are naturally inclined to do the “right thing” as they define it in their lives.
Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself FeatureHERE. Stay tuned for our next featured author.
Today, I’d like to welcome Trish Hubschman. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
I’m Trish Hubschman. I live on Long Island, NY.
What was your childhood dream?
Since sixth grade, 40 plus years ago, I wanted to be a published author.
Awesome. What skill would you like to master?
I’m not very good at navigating websites and blogs. That seems important in this business. I have to learn how to get around them better.
No worries. If you have the means, you can pay someone to do that for you ;-). Trish, what’s your favorite food?
Same as everyone else’s – – pizza and cheeseburgers.
Ha! Pizza is my husband’s fav. Let’s talk about writing a bit. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
The first Tracy Gayle mystery novel, The Fire, was published in 2015.
What was that like? Must have been exciting!
I published with America Star Books. They were free. I didn’t have any involvement in it. This book Stiff Competition means more to me. I was part of the whole process.
I’ve been married 27 years this coming March.
Congratulations! What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
I don’t watch TV in this century. In the 70s I did. My favorite show was Little House on the Prairie. I grew up with Laura Ingalls.
And what are some advantages, in your opinion, of eliminating television? What can we learn?
TV in the past was better, the shows, for one. The visual and sound quality were better in the past too. I’m hearing and visually impaired. It’s worse now than it was, but today’s TV turns me off, so I don’t bother trying.
Got it. Trish, why is writing important to you?
It’s a big part of me that makes me feel whole. As a hearing impaired person, writing is the best way for me to communicate and express myself.
Beautiful. What genre do you write in, why?
For novels, romantic suspense. I love, love. The mystery part makes it more fun. In short stories, I write all genres.
Trish, thank you for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Trish Hubschman has published three books with America Star Books: a short story collection of time travel and romance stories called Through Time and the first two books in the Tracy Gayle/Danny Tide series: The Fire and Unlucky Break. Trish attended college at Long Island University’s Southampton campus, earning a BA degree in English with an emphasis in writing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two dogs.
About the Book.
America’s favorite rock band, Tidalwave, is playing the Miss America pageant. Band leader Danny Tide is emceeing the event. All is going according to schedule. The judges have picked the 10 semi–finalists. Suddenly, everything comes to a halt. Miss New Jersey is missing. Nobody knows what happened to her or where she is. Danny calls his longtime PI friend, Tracy Gayle, and asks her to come down to Atlantic City to help figure things out. In need of her best friend for personal support and eager to get to another case, Tracy agrees. There’s an all–out search of the hotels on the boardwalk. They find Miss New Jersey, but it’s not good. Her kidnapping leads to another assault and murder. The big star and the lady PI work together on this one, so that the Miss America pageant can continue as usual.
Today, I’d like to welcome Sophia Tsegaye to the blog. Welcome! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Sophia Tsegaye; I am an Ethiopian American living in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ethiopia in the house. What was it like transitioning from Ethiopia to America? Any major adjustments?
I arrived in America as a newlywed, and my husband and I had to adjust to the cultural difference at first, with the help of my sister. And soon our neighbors and co-workers led us through our new lifestyle. One of the adjustments was being away from my parents and extended family members.
The other adjustment was the difference between American and Ethiopian calendar. Ethiopia uses Julian Calendar and is 7 and a half or 8 years behind the American Calendar. Ethiopia has 13 months (12 months of 30 days each, and one month of 5 or 6 days).
Now as a family, we celebrate both cultures. My children have learned to embrace the diversity in the family. In short, we have two New Years, two Christmases, two Easters and the like.
Wow, I didn’t know that about the calendar difference. This is why I yearn so much to travel outside the country!
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book “She Is My Mommy!” in March 2019 through CreateSpace. Holding my book for the first time was rewarding. Carrying a task to completion was my first goal, and I felt fulfilled. It has kindled the desire and the strength to go forward with my second book. And now I am working on my third one.
Congratulations! Amazing feeling right? Are you married Sophia? Got a boo somewhere?
I am married to a wonderful and supportive husband for the last fifteen years.
Yes. I have three awesome boys, ages 14, 12 and 3.
Beautiful. What do you wish you knew more about?
Growing up, one of my many challenges was speaking up. Both in Middle and High school, I was known for being timid and introvert. It continued well into my graduate class. For example, I would know the answer to a question, or want to voice my opinion, but could not make myself to say something. It was like being present and absent at the same time.
Later on, I realize that the only thing that was holding from communicating was the fear of making mistakes.
Now, I know that making mistakes is all right, you learn from them and move forward.
I can relate for sure. What small things makes you life easier? What makes it difficult?
Living a simple life, being grateful and exercising kindness make my life easier. I try to see the positive in people. I believe that it is wise to listen to your conscious before you speak. We often forget that a calmer tone conveys a message more effectively. I think that we all have the choice to decide whether to make our life easy or difficult. It is a choice we need to make every day. If you always feel you are a victim and everybody is onto you, then you will remain a victim of your own conscious.
If you do not control your temper, you will be treated as the perpetrator even if you are on the right.
If you are not kind, then you will miss the heart-warming reward that you get from it.
I love that Sophia. Wise words. Let’s get back to writing a bit. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult thing as a writer is writer’s block.
The most exciting thing is when you are in that creative zone, and you have no control over your writing.
Why is writing important to you?
When I write, I let myself go to places I have not visited for a long time. I navigate through my thought and dig deep into the desire to correct the wrong, to encourage the weak, to give a voice to the timid, and the like.
I want to show the reader that she or he is not alone in any circumstance. Happiness, fear, triumph, sadness, friendliness, and depression are a part of life. Therefore, what we need to do is find a way to fix the problem. In my books, I encourage children to learn to ask for help.
Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
I love making pieces of jewelry and cooking.
You’re a children’s author. What do you think of the bullying in our schools?
Unfortunately, bullying is a real and dangerous issue. I try to focus on this issue in my books and demonstrate the effects it can bring.
My boys have experienced bullying, and I have also heard of various incidents in the school. I have seen firsthand how bullying can break the spirit of a fun loving and active child.
As a parent, we should teach our kids empathy at an early age. If we see our child push another child, we should be able to explain that it is wrong.
We have to encourage our kids to communicate with us, or the school personnel if they feel unsafe or overwhelmed. Schools have councilors, and they should use these resources.
And I urge parents to listen to their kids. If a kid voices concern then parents should intervene immediately.
If you could, would you visit the past?
Yes, I would visit the past if I could. Would I give some advice to my young self and try to change the past? I do not think so, because those experiences made me the person I am today.
Precisely. What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to trust her instinct and be comfortable in her own skin. And of course, tell her to take it easy, enjoy life, and laugh more.
Thank you Sophia for spending this time with us! We enjoyed you.
Sophia E Tsegaye, is a stay-at-home mom, with three boys who keep her busy. She’s a children’s book writer, living in Cincinnati, Ohio.
From the Author:
I enjoy listening to what happens in school. Every day, my boys will come home with new stories, but unfortunately, not all are pleasant. I use their stories as a learning experience, and I guess this is how my books were born.
Many little kids are fascinated by school buses and animals. Hence I chose to have a school bus and animals as the characters.
There are different approaches to explain to kids about being unique, being different and being accommodating, so I try to bring these issues through my books.
The first book “She Is My Mommy!” is about transracial adoption, and the second book “Your Jokes Are Not Funny!” is about bullying.
Kids can be simple and yet complex. They ask us complex questions and are satisfied with the simplest explanation.
I believe in teaching kids empathy at a tender age.
Writers! Got something good for you. A friend of mine, Oliver T. Reid and his publisher Mr. Kelly Cole, both Bestselling Authors, are hosting a FREE Masterclass for those of you in the Atlanta area. I met Reid last year at the 4th Quarterly Mixer event hosted by Tinzley Bradford. Guys, the man knows his stuff, just wait until you hear him speak. You don’t want to miss this. I hear new and aspiring authors talk about the high cost of publishing all the time. Truth is, there are tons of free opportunities out there. Reach out and take them! Take advantage of the free resources that are available. This is one of them. If you are in the area, come on out.
Details: *Don’t mind the price on the flyer. This event is FREE as of this moment. Act now.*
Today, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to David Davis. Let’s get started!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is David R. Davis (My dad didn’t think I would learn to spell, so he basically made it easier for me to remember). I live in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. I do love the desert and do not miss the snowy Minnesota winters.
Ha! That’s funny about your dad. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
I loved my career as a social worker and therapist. I never made a lot of money, but I trust I added value to life. I know I added to mine and I hope that I added it to some others. I take a quote from Teilhard de Chardin – “Each of us must do one small thing in a great way. Each must weave one stitch in the magnificent tapestry of life.” I believe I added my one stitch.
Awesome. In your own words, what is humility?
Humility is the older Hispanic man that nods gratefully when he’s told he has grown beautiful flowers. Humility is the coyote on the desert trail that stops to look at me and then confidently trots away. Humility is the Vietnam vet standing on the corner asking that I might give him a dollar.
Okaayy David. I like that. Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author(s) Without doubt, are Cormac McCarthy and John Steinbeck. McCarthy has written very brutal books in a beautiful way. The Road creates almost perfect imagery. One can read his words and shiver with the desolation created. His sparse dialogue is magical. John Steinbeck wrote incredible characters. Even his lesser known books like Sweet Thursday bring to life a wonderful cast of ordinary people. I try to write and love character driven stories. Steinbeck is the gold standard for this type of writing.
What kind of music do you like?
I was raised on rock and was a rock drummer when I was fifteen. Now I listen almost exclusively to Jazz and Blues. Coltrane’s Dear Lord and Miles Davis’ So What, take me to new places no matter how many times I hear them. Hound Dog Taylor once said “When I die, they’ll say I couldn’t play shit, but I sure made it sound good.” Truer words were never spoken. No matter how good or how bad I feel, The Dog’s music makes me feel better. That’s the magic of Blues.
Let’s talk about writing a bit. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published Running In, Walking Out in 2017. I draw upon what one reviewer said to answer how it made me feel. They said , “The character Sara made me want her to be my friend.” As I said previously, I love character driven stories. If one of my characters made a reader want her as a real life friend, maybe I accomplished a bit of my ultimate goal.
Excellent. What do you wish you knew more about?
Things I’m learning right now. I volunteer at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. I play with stingrays and snakes. I love it and I’m fascinated about all things desert (Animals, Plants & Desert Ecology). Also I must learn more about climate change. If we do nothing more than we’re doing, there will be no more of anything. It is my responsibility to do what I can, “To weave my one stitch.”
Stingrays and snakes! David no! Lol. What do you think of the world we live in?
It’s difficult to be an optimist and yet I must be. My dad was a marine in WWII, I was a combat medic in Vietnam. No one alive today has ever seen one day of life where there is no war raging somewhere on our planet. I will not quietly accept the hatred and division I see in our country today. There is nothing to be gained and everything to be lost if we take the position that “If you’re different, I don’t trust you.” We need every human.
What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
I list two. A book some would say is a children’s book. I say it teaches every lesson we need to know in life. The Little Prince By Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Also On Happiness by Teilhard De Chardin. It says we all need to find something in life greater than ourselves. I have to agree.
In your own words, what is truth?
A difficult question for sure. Truth is what is, not what we want it to be. I once read that belief is what we want something to be, faith is trust that what is, is what should be. I would add, I read an interview with a professor of ethics once and he said something like this, “We don’t need to teach ethics, we need to practice ethics.” I borrow that to say we know what truth is, we just need to practice it.
What city or country would you choose to represent you?
Edinburgh, Scotland for sure. The country of Scotland has been one of great historic turmoil, yet I’ve never seen a people with a more friendly and accepting nature. Everyone I met in the beautiful city was friendly, funny and helpful. How could anyone want to be more than that?
Are you a spiritual person David?
When I need to think, to relax, to create, I hike the Sonoran Desert. I trust that when I do, I will get what I need. When I see a Harris’ hawk flying, a tiny pincushion cactus blooming in bone dry rock or a 200 year old saguaro cactus standing majestically, I know there is something working that’s greater than me. I have no name for it, but I know it’s there.
You have a way with words David! Readers, are you getting this? What advice would you give your younger self?
Always be kinder than is necessary. Money and possessions don’t make you happier, no matter what the seller tells you. Only you can make yourself happier, it’s already something you have.
Thank you David for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Davis was born in Texas and raised as a military brat. He served as a medic with the 101st. Airborne Division in Vietnam. After graduate school, David worked as a social worker and therapist for thirty-five years. He’s never had any regrets regarding his career choice. He now lives in wonderful Tucson, AZ, having moved from cold St. Paul, MN.
David spends his days writing, volunteering at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum where he gets to play with snakes, turtles, and stingrays. He weekly hikes the desert where he finds beauty, peace, and inspiration. He also belongs to the Oro Valley Writers Forum, a wonderful group of writers. He has indie published two novels, Running In, Walking Out and The Unusual Man.
Introduce Yourself continues next week with the introduction of more awesome authors. I have pushed it back a week for some important reminders and updates. You will also find these updates and reminders on the Introduce Yourself page.
#1: When emailing me about the introduce yourself interview, please put Introduce Yourself Author Interview in the subject line.
#2: Please be clear about why you are emailing me. Do not just send me questions. Address me by name, include your author bio, social media handles and your blog so I can follow you. Let me know you have at least attempted to read the instructions and be professional. Learn more about what to include in your email HERE and learn more about me by reading the About page of this blog HERE. You can also check out my author website HERE.
#3: Please attach your questions in a Word document and attach images separately. Do not include images in the word document. Attach them separately.
#4: When answering the questions, please post the question first and then your answer. Example: What is your name and where are you from? My name is _________. I ask you to do it this way so I don‘t have to go back and figure out which question you are answering. This is a free service but if I have to do extra work, I will start to charge a fee.
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#6: Again, please read the instructions published to the Introduce Yourself Author Interview page HERE.
Failure to follow these instructions mean I will ignore your email. All I ask is that you approach this opportunity with respect and professionalism. Nothing less.
Are you a new author looking for more exposure? Learn more HERE.