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.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Emunah Y’srael. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Emunah Y’srael and I was born in Brooklyn, NY. First generation Carib-American with Hebraic roots.
Your name is beautiful. What does it mean?
My name Emunah means Faith in Hebrew.
Beautiful. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
Ah, the thought is so relaxing. The room would have a huge bay window overlooking nature (beach, lake, meadow) something breath-taking. Lots of natural light, a comfortable chair for me to recline and write. I am old school and love writing my first drafts with pen and paper. Oh, yes and lots and lots of pens for some reason they tend to wander off from time to time.
Lol. Don’t they? Emunah, what was your childhood dream?
My Childhood dream was raising a family in a quiet, peaceful, natural environment filled with love and laughter. No, really, I always dreamt of the simple life and still do. As we speak I am writing it into existence.
“Writing it into existence”. I like that. In your own words, what is humility?
Humility in my estimation is the ability to accept wrongs, take advice, understand that not everyone knows everything. Humility is being comfortable with giving and receiving. and accepting we are not perfect.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I am already on it, the wildest most amazing adventure for me has been and continues to be the journey to the center of my soul. Wherever that takes me physically adds to and helps to unpack the things that have been there all along.
Nice. Does blogging help you to write?
Yes, I started blogging more lately and it helps to keep my creative juices flowing. A lot of my work is historical research and blogging helps me share my findings.
Speaking of research, what genres do you write in?
Historical Non-Fiction, Fiction Romance, Coming of Age Fiction, Women’s, Fiction, Self Help
Emunah, we like to jam out here on Throwback Thursdays. What kind of music do you like?
Depends on my mood, reggae, blues, country, jazz, classical it all depends.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
Even to this day, that first published book gives me shivers. Back in 2005, I started on a journey of healing. I wrote my autobiography still unpublished but, I did publish a self-help tutorial inspired by the book in 2010. I tried to do it myself, laying it out was like plucking hairs one by one. It was stressful but once I got it done and published it took another five years before I published again.
What takes up too much of your time?
I would say research, I love researching and sometimes I delay writing because I’m concerned about not knowing enough on the subject matter. This is why lately writing fiction has added balance to my research obsession. I can express myself and write interesting stories without having to quote sources. I like both genres and feel they both have value.
What do you think of the world we live in?
The world we live in is beautiful and ugly, it is peaceful and chaotic, it is hopeful and hopeless it all depends on how we choose to look at what we see.
Perspective. I like that. What do you love about yourself?
I love my resilience.
What don’t you like about yourself?
My tendency to be consistently inconsistent.
Why is writing important to you?
Writing is important to me because it captures my thoughts, allows me to see my words, refine my message and share it with the generations to come. It also allows the audience the privacy to receive the message, thought or story in their own time.
Alrighty then Ms. Emunah. You have a way with words. I’d have to check out your books! In your own words, what is love?
Love, oh wow love is giving, helping to restore, support or establish balance. Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation and when we love it transcends our feeling. Love is an action word.
“Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation.” Yaasss!
OK, had a moment. I’m back. Lol In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is complete, it has not holes or gaps, it is 360 like a circle from point to point.
What a pleasure to have you, Emunah! We enjoyed you beautiful. Thanks for spending this time with us today.
Emunah Y’srael is an expert in DIY Soul Improvement with over 20 years actively dedicated to her own soul journey. She is the creator of the a myriad of self improvement projects. Emunah has authored to date four books, all available on amazon.
Additional Info from the Author.
New Release – Island Love:
What could be more innocent than a good girl’s first crush? Jackie Brown was a sheltered teen who only knew sports and school, but when the new boy piques her interest she makes up her mind to take a chance at the game of love. But when her not so secret admirer decides to up the ante, the deck is shuffled and something goes terribly wrong. As secrets pile up a mistake she made in high school may cost her real love in the future. Will she reveal her hand in time or will her secret destroy her chance for true love forever?
Emunah Y’srael delivers a tale that is reminiscent of the writing styles of Mary Monroe, Brenda Barret, and Sista Souljah just to name a few. Island Love is her debut novella the first of a four part series, inspired by a Toni Morrison quote Emunah decided to write the book she wanted to read. Island Love is funny, culturally transparent and speaks to the awkwardness of coming of age and falling in love.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Marie Lavender. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Marie Lavender, and I am from the Midwestern U.S. I was raised in a small town in Indiana.
Lavender. Nice name! Marie, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
Oh! I would have a true bibliophile theme, perhaps the furniture that mimics a shelf of books? Plus, I would choose peacefully, yet inspirational quotes to display on the walls. Anything that might spark my creativity.
Ooh. That sounds nice. I would so love a chair made of books. Yesss. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
Sometimes when I’m nervous, my right leg bounces up and down. This drove my parent’s crazy when I was a kid!
Lol. What do you hate most about writing advice and what do you love?
I think those who generally offer advice mean well. And I love that people are so willing to help! However, there are some types of ‘advice’ we should take with a grain of salt. For example, a school of thought exists, one that impresses upon us writers that we shouldn’t talk about our current writing project, or we’ll lose interest in it. I’m not sure that’s altogether true. I’ve never had any trouble in that regard; in fact, discussing it with someone, at least an individual you trust, is a way to find a great sounding board for potential issues that might come up.
Plus, there’s another piece of advice which has always bothered me – “write what you know”. Yes, we should draw from our experiences, but I think we also tend to live vicariously through our characters. We put ourselves in their shoes. What would I do if I was Jake or Brenda? We wear those costumes and take their journeys. So, I don’t think we always need to have experienced their traumas firsthand. Writers house a wealth of empathy inside them. Research can only take us so far; at some point, we must put ourselves in the situation and imagine how it would feel if that happened to us too. I just believe that writing what you already know is somewhat limiting.
Interesting. It reminds me of how the process is different for everyone. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
Actually, when I was a kid, I secretly wanted to own a bookstore. That would be pretty cool! Being around books all the time would be quite a dream.
Speaking of childhood, what was your childhood dream?
I always wanted to be a writer. I remember telling my relatives in an excited voice, “I’m going to be a novelist!” Of course, I don’t think I realized it would be this much work. LOL.
What skill would you like to master?
Hmm…that’s a good one. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano. My problem is that I’ve never been able to read sheet music. Even when I took choir classes from elementary school to college, I just couldn’t get my head to wrap around the idea of the music notes. I couldn’t tell you what was a B or a high C. As a soprano, I could always match a pitch pretty well, though. So, I think maybe I’m just not meant to play the piano!
Wow, so many people would like to play the piano. That makes those who already know how pretty special lol. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I’d love to go to Ireland! I have deep Irish roots, so I’d like to see what it’s like to visit.
Cool. Marie, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?
I’ve always wanted a beach house. I don’t think I’d be too picky, as long as it was pretty and I could plant myself on the back porch, listen to the waves of the ocean as a sort of white noise, and write like a maniac.
What’s your favorite drink?
Chai iced tea with coconut milk. I haven’t been able to enjoy that for many years now, because I’m on a no-caffeine kick, but I really loved it.
No caffeine? You poor soul. Lol
What state or country do you never want to go back to?
The one I live in! LOL. For several years, I’ve really wanted to get out of Indiana. It’s just dead here. The economy is crap, and it’s hard to get inspired because there’s nothing going on here. Very little to see. I mean, I’ll come back to visit my family, but I don’t want to live here for the rest of my life.
Into music? What songs have you completely memorized?
Mostly the ones by my favorite artists – such as Paramore or OneRepublic. Other songs I have memorized were tunes that impacted me in some way, were emotionally compelling. One that I can think of off the top of my head is “Wrapped In Your Arms” by Firefight. My music tastes are pretty eclectic, but that one still makes me cry a little.
What’s your favorite food?
Chicken Oscar. I love the blend of crab meat, chicken, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. I’ve never cooked it for myself, but I had it at two different restaurants, both of which are now closed. So, I hope I can find another that makes it at some point.
Lol. Alright. Let’s get back to writing. Does blogging help you to write?
Blogging is a completely different animal, so to speak. If I’m writing an article, I am using a different part of my brain and all my creativity is shut off. I do try to make the blog post attractive with pictures. However, once I’m finished with that project, I can focus on a story.
What genre do you write in, why?
I’m a multi-genre author. I am all over the place. I have published in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. But some of my works in progress encompass the categories of time travel, dystopian, horror, comedy and erotic romance. Why do I write in all of those fields? I just let the muse lead me where it wants; I’m hardly in control! Though I lean toward romance, sometimes I surprise myself with something entirely new. In 2015, I even wrote and published a children’s fantasy.
Who is your favorite writer?
At the moment? It’s a cross between J.R. Ward and Chloe Neill.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
Technically, my first book was released in 2010. That was a collection of literary fiction and poetry. It was really exciting, actually! It was fun to think of myself as a published author. Soon, I plan to re-release the book, combined with two other previously released books, as a full collection. It will be titled Madame Lavender’s Collection of Ramblings: Tales, Snippets & Poetry.
Very cool. If you could live in a movie, which would it be and why?
I love the movie Kate & Leopold. I’m a sucker for a good time travel romance, so it was right up my alley. So timey-wimey and romantic! I love the blend of modern and Victorian era in that film.
In your own words, what is love?
Love is the deep gift of yourself – it is beyond pettiness or these trivialities we often bother ourselves with. Love is the source of everything, and we are bereft without it. Even if we don’t experience love in our lives at first, when we do, it’s extraordinary because we wondered how we existed without such a treasure. Plus, when someone really loves you, you can tell. It is unconditional, not just convenient. Real love doesn’t expect anything in return; it just is, and when you can give your heart back to someone, it’s that much more beautiful.
Indeed. Marie, who is your best friend?
It might be cheesy, but my best friend is my fiancé. He means everything to me.
That’s not cheesy at all! My hubby is my bestie, hands down. Would you like to have children?
Yes, I would love to have kids someday. I will be turning 37 this year, so I’m definitely not getting any younger! LOL. And even if it turns out that I can’t have any children of my own, we could always adopt. I think sharing a child with the love of my life, having someone we could love and raise, would be awesome. Plus, since we both have cats, it would complete our little family.
Nice. What takes up too much of your time?
Uggh…marketing! I really need to focus more on writing stories.
What do you think of the world we live in?
I think if we don’t stop hating – and I mean in every direction, even at home – we’re going to be in a lot more trouble soon.
What’s your favorite TV Show or Movie?
I have so many! The one I’m currently watching is Chesapeake Shores. Favorite movie? I think I still have a soft spot for The Princess Bride. Even though it’s silly, there is something incredibly romantic about it.
Have to agree with you there. Princess Bride is pretty good. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
A channel featuring films based on books! I love books!
Wow, that would be awesome. Like, an entire channel totally dedicated to movies and TV shows based on books. Yaass. Marie, why is writing important to you?
Writing is a kind of freedom that I’ve never experienced in other parts of my life. I can take on different personalities, drive down roads I haven’t seen before. I fall in love with my characters and go on their journeys with them. When I’m in the midst of writing a scene or chapter, it feels like home.
If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?
I’m a fan of peace. I’d want to be a version of an empath – reading people’s emotions but sending them back to the person and those around them. This would be done in a manner to show what someone else is going through. I think a lot of us feel we’re misunderstood. Our pain is often silent. If we knew more about what the next person was feeling, maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge or hate.
Indeed. In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is the human condition. Truth entails a realization that we may not have known before. Sometimes the truth is good, sometimes bad. But in the end, it’s a necessary evil, I think. I’d rather have the truth than a lie. The fiction that I write is full of hard truth in many ways.
What a pleasure to have you, Marie! We enjoyed having you. Thanks for spending this time with us today.
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.
Additional Information from Marie:
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART placed in the TOP 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.
I’m happy to welcome author Yecheilyah Ysrayl to my blog.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you, Rachel, for having me. My name is Yecheilyah (pronounced e-see-lee-yah) Ysrayl known to most as EC. I’m a native of Chicago and have been writing since I was twelve years old. I’ve been publishing my work now for about ten years. I am passionate about black history which is funny because I was never a history buff in school. But I enjoy reading and learning about the history of my people. I love sitting at the knees of elders and hearing stories of life back before I existed. So naturally, I got into writing about us just the same. Toni Morrison said that if there’s a book that you want to read that hasn’t been written yet then you must write it and that’s exactly what I do, though not…
This week’s guest post is the wonderful Yecheilyah Ysrayl, author of The Nora White Story who gave up her time to answer some interview questions! Enjoy.
Q01 – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Thank you, Ari, for having me and yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It’s one of those things for me that has always been constant in my life.
Sometimes as small children we dream of careers completely different than our ambitions as we age. Maybe we start off wanting to walk on the moon to see if it’s really made of cheese and then grow up and want to be a teacher. I was not that child. I have always wanted to be a writer in some form or another before anything else.
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, Black American Literature, and Poetry. The author of eight books (most notably, The Stella Trilogy), Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two is due for release December of this year. Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.
Q & A
What do you do and Why do you do it?
Thank you, Lisa, for having me. I am an Independent Author of Black American Literature, a Poet, Book…