Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Urvashi Trikha

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Urvashi Trikha. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

 

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Urvashi Kumar Trikha. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India and moved to Dubai, UAE in my late twenties. I have grown to enjoy the sand of the Arabian desert as much as I adore the rain of the Indian monsoons.

Yess. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Quiet and uncluttered. A room filled with the smell of books, greenery and sunlight. A corner where I can cuddle up on a couch and read for hours and an old wood desk to work on. A shelf full of books – some like old heirlooms which I want to re-read over years and years to come and some like new shiny jewels that I can’t wait to discover.

Girl. I wanna be in yo reading room, shooo. Lol. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

An event planner! I love being a hostess. Every occasion, big or small becomes an excuse for me to organize an event which brings together friends and family. I am as enthusiastic helping a plan and execute an event for a loved one.

OK. Sounds like we are going to be good friends. I can use a planner! What skill would you like to master?

I would love to be able to stick to an idea.

LOL

Seriously, my mind seems to have so many thoughts all at once that it becomes hard to zero in on one particular thought to base a written piece on. Each thought seems to be more fascinating or more heartwarming than the other which makes it hard to choose a topic. Reading between the lines, within my thoughts is an art that I would love to master.

Got you. Urvashi, does blogging help you to write?

Blogging helps me immensely. My blog, simplyathought.com helps me become a tiny part of the lives of people across places and time zones from Iceland to New Zealand and the United States to United Kingdom. A click of a button enables me to share inspiring stories and motivational quotes with readers globally. The warm encouragement and the constructive feedback I receive from my wonderful reader family helps me better myself as a writer.

What do you think of the world we live in?

Our world is evolving rapidly with technology playing a vital role in our life. At times the changes brought by technology come to us so quickly in succession that it becomes difficult even for its inventor i.e. the human race to cope with those changes.

That’s what’s up. In your own words, define racism.

“Sexism and Racism, even when sugar coated leave a bitter taste.”

This quote of mine sums up how I feel about these two very troubling aspects of our society. Countries have grown from strength to strength over time and yet the dark shadow of discrimination based on race and gender looms dark.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about being a writer is being able to navigate through your own ideas while you are writing. You could begin penning down words inspired from one thought and find your work move into a direction away from what your original concept was. This can be both challenging and surprisingly rewarding at the same time.

The most exciting thing about writing is the need to constantly challenge yourself and to push your own self-created boundaries. A writer may, many a times not even be aware of what all he/she is capable of writing. Discovering depth, inclination and genre in terms of writing is an extremely exciting process.

Nice. Why is writing important to you?

When I share a part of myself and the world (as I see it) with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world, my endeavor is to send each one of them love, hope and perhaps make them smile. Writing is my attempt to become a part of their life by adding value and joy. I have described the importance of writing to me through my quote.

“Words, when written with the intent to entertain and motivate, have

the ability to enrich both the reader and the writer.”

Urvashi Kumar Trikha

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

I would like to use my superpower to sprinkle the magic of Faith and Belief. I want to ensure that every single person continues to believe in him/her self each day. I see so many beautiful, young lives destroy themselves as they lose faith in themselves and it saddens me deeply. Having faith in ourselves gives us the immense strength we all need in the journey of life. “Believe in yourself-Always.”

Thank you Urvashi for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you beautiful!


Copyright © Urvashi Trikha

 

Bio.

Urvashi is an Indian expat who currently lives in Dubai, UAE with her husband and son. She writes entertaining fiction, heartwarming short stories, inspiring articles and motivational quotes for her readers across the world through her internationally popular blog simplyathought.com. Calling herself a Banker by Chance – Writer by Choice, Urvashi has a master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is an avid reader, keen traveler and enthusiastic cook. Urvashi draws inspiration from cultures across the world and works to support community causes close to her heart, particularly those supporting Women’s Education and Welfare.

Urvashi is the Founder of Simply A Thought – The Writers and Artists Collective. It is an initiative founded by her, for the resident community to help promote the love of reading and writing. There is also an added emphasis on encouraging women to share their own unique creative talents with others. “The joy of writing and reading, the satisfaction of transforming clay into sculpture, a white canvas into a rainbow, whatever your creativity may be – celebrate it, encourage it, applaud it.” (Urvashi)

Be Sure to follow Urvashi online!

Facebook: @UrvashiKumarTrikha, TheWritersandArtistsCollective

Twitter: @UrvashiKumarTrikha

Instagram: simplyathought

Web. http://www.simplyathought.com


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jo Elizabeth. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

 

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Jo Elizabeth Pinto. I grew up in Brighton, Colorado, just north of Denver, and in the last forty years, I’ve seen it change from a humble farming community to a thriving suburb. The jury’s still out on whether progress has been made. I lived away for a short time, but I’ve come back to raise my little girl among family, friends, and familiar places.

Are you employed outside of writing?

I wish writing could put a roof over my head and keep new shoes on my daughter–an expensive proposition in itself between how fast she grows and how quickly she wears out sneakers–but like most authors, I work to support my writing habit. For the last thirteen years, I’ve been a freelance braille proofreader. I mostly work on textbooks, kindergarten through college, but I get to do a novel now and then. That’s a treat!

I am sure you will most certainly get to write full-time one day. I’m rooting for you! What was your childhood dream?

I remember the evening I first knew I would be a writer. I don’t recall exactly how old I was or the season of the year, but it wasn’t long after I started school. My dad and I were curled up on the high-backed couch in our living room, and he had just finished reading a library book aloud to me. The book was about Osceola, the Seminole Indian chief who fought to keep his people in Florida during the early 19th century.

“It’s all gone,” I said sadly when he finished the book. “It was such a good story, too.”

I can still feel the ache in my throat, some forty years later. I was truly sorry the book had ended. I thought I’d lost the story forever. As a blind child, I hadn’t yet truly grasped the idea that books were permanent, that they could be read over and over.

“It’s not gone,” my dad said. “We could start at the beginning and read it again. Not tonight, though.”

Once ignited, that passion for capturing words, for touching people with stories, has been unwavering in me. I’ve never once doubted it as my calling.

Pinto with guide on autumn street
Pinto with guide on Autumn Street

Awwue. In your own words, what is love?

Love is an action, not just a feeling; a verb, not just a noun. That’s a central theme in my novel and a core belief in my life. Talk is cheap. We can say we love each other all day long, but in the end, the world will be better or worse based on how we proved or didn’t prove our love with tangible actions.

What’s your favorite drink?

Gotta have my strong black coffee in the mornings. That’s non-negotiable.

A fellow coffee head people! What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Never say never, although since the TSA cracked down, there are several U.S. airports I’d be happy if I never had to visit again. I received my latest guide dog from a training school in Boring, Oregon, and while the Northwest was beautiful to visit, I don’t think I could linger there. I love my Colorado sunshine. I said in my thank-you speech when I took possession of the dog that it was no wonder Starbucks was dreamed up in Seattle; they all have to walk around with half blood and half coffee in their veins just to keep moving without solar power.

Does blogging help you to write? If so, how?

I don’t have a blog, but I guest post for others frequently and write for my own Facebook page. Blogging helps me by keeping my creative juices flowing. I don’t have the time or the energy to write another novel at this point–between raising a ten-year-old, managing a household, and operating a business, sometimes I barely have the time or the energy to brush my hair–but I love to write. So I push myself to come up with a few paragraphs at a time, a few times a week, to feed my audience and my soul. Also, blogging forces me to keep my writing tight and sparse.

What’s your favorite food?

Comfort food to me is pinto beans and green chili wrapped in a homemade tortilla. I can smell it now–chili roasting in the fall, tortillas cooking on the griddle–I’m drooling on my keyboard.

Now you know I gotta mess with you Jo. Your last name is Pinto and your favorite food is Pinto beans. Ha!

What kind of music do you like?

I listen to a lot of country music, especially the older stuff. The songs tell moving human stories.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

BSODCoverArt
The Bright Side of Darkness is available now on Amazon.

I had shopped my first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness, around to agents and editors for years. Many were interested, but the book couldn’t be pigeonholed into one of their tight and fast genres. Was it Young Adult? Inspirational? Contemporary? When my mother died suddenly in 2014, the reality hit home for me that none of us know how long we’ll walk on this planet, and we better make the most of every day because it could be our last. I didn’t have any more time to wait around. I self-published my novel on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, then made an audiobook out of it as well, since having books available in alternative formats for non-print readers is important to me. Writing the novel was the fun part. Publishing was just a matter of following directions. Marketing–I’m an introvert, so it’s been a challenge. But it’s also been one of the most amazing growing experiences of my life.

What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?

The book that most captivated me when I read it, from a thought-provoking perspective, and that has stayed with me through the years, is “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. I grew up in a home where social justice mattered, and reading about the journey the hard-pressed Joad family made across the country, fleeing the Dust Bowl to find a better life in California, reminded me of the stories my dad and his siblings and parents would tell me about growing up in northern New Mexico, or even in my little Colorado town before civil rights had smoothed out some of the worst inequalities between brown and white people.

Are you political Jo?

I spent my younger years in political oblivion. As I’ve reached middle age, I’ve become concerned about issues of injustice that won’t let me stay quiet. I use my persuasive skills as a writer to contact my elected officials and to call people to action regularly. And I’ve always voted since I turned eighteen. Countless brave people have given their limbs and lives so I can have a voice at the ballot box.

Religious?

I’m a Christian. Wait–before you freak out, I’m not one of those nut jobs you see on TV trying to convince you that he needs a $54 million Falcon jet and you ought to foot the bill. I live by two simple rules–love your God and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it. Jesus laid down those rules and we human beings added the rest and really gummed up the works.

Why is writing important to you?

I write because I love words because writing is part of my soul because I’ll explode if I don’t write. But I also write because I believe I have a gift–no, a duty–to make people think. Whether it’s a fiction book, an advocacy blog piece, a lighthearted Facebook post, a political call to action, or a simple speech, I write to get the attention of my readers. Sometimes I need them to act; other times I simply urge them to reflect and look at the world from different angles, but I always want them to think. That’s really the most difficult and the most exciting thing about being a writer–because when people don’t think and you’ve tried with every ounce of your effort to reach them, it’s gut-wrenching. But when it works, it’s beautiful!

I love your reason for writing. In the words of Carter G. Woodson, “when you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” So it’s very important for us to be able to think for ourselves.

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Thank you Jo for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


20160820_195546
Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Bio.

J.E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.

The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

Follow Jo on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/authorjepinto/

Amazon Author Central

http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

 

Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

New Author Tip – Nothing is a Waste of Time

Me and Vivica Fox at her Book Signing yesterday. Be sure to stop by The Medu Bookstore at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and grab your copy of ‘Everyday I’m Hustling’ by Ms. Fox and ‘I am Soul‘ by me!

Dear Indie Author / Self-Publisher, that thing you are doing, that step you’re taking, that move you made….

…is not a waste of time and don’t let anyone tell you that it is. Time is never wasted. Everything is a learning experience IF you choose to see it that way. People like to tell you not to do something because it hadn’t worked out for them or because they can’t see any good in it. If you sow negativity about every mistake then you will reap negativity and nothing will ever work. But, if you sow positivity by turning those mistakes into lessons then you will reap positivity by acquiring a new skill. You will be blessed with an understanding you didn’t have before and the courage to take risks that are no longer bound by the limitations of others.  As an Indie Author you will be bombarded with advice so you have to be very conscious of what works for YOU and what doesn’t. Sometimes the only way to know this for certain is to do the work. Knowledge is only power when it is applied. At some point you must make the difficult decision to stop researching and have faith in the work. Just do the work.

2nd Annual Poetry Contest – Just EIGHT more days!

There are just EIGHT more days to enter the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! Prizes include money, promotion, publishing, books and more. Don’t miss out! CLICK HERE for a reminder of the entry guidelines and prizes. The deadline will be here before you know it. Enter today!

3 Lessons from a Book Festival

IMG_5494
Book Fest, 2018. Georgia State University

Saturday, I attended another live book signing event, the inaugural Atlanta African American Book Festival. It was not my first signing but it was my first festival. Here are some things I learned.

Spend Modestly on Your Decor

I saw many beautiful, grand banners and signs at the festival. The authors did not come to play ya’ll. They DID that. I couldn’t stop smiling. Of course, my main focus was on my table but I wouldn’t be EC if I didn’t observe the environment around me, if I didn’t seek out a learning opportunity.

I noticed that the tables that were neat but modest sold at the same rate as the tables that were elaborate and fascinating. While captivating, without the personal appeal of the author talking and engaging with the people, the large banners and signs didn’t add anything extra far as I could tell. Not to mention that many of these banners are very costly. I took this lesson from it:

Spend modestly on decor. It’s nice to go big (go big or go home right? Lol) BUT, if you can’t afford it, don’t overthink it.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to attend a live event. I got lots of comments on this poster:

Most loved table art goes to: The I am Soul poster!

I got it made at Walmart for less than $20. You don’t have to have a boring table but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Between Walmart, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby and, surprisingly, Ross Dress for Less (go in the area with all the household stuff, usually in the back…you’re welcome) you can find some expensive-looking stuff that’s actually pretty cheap. Also, don’t forget that you are a big part of the experience. You are the star. Without you, it’s just expensive plastic. I didn’t even get to use my card-reader and no one paid much attention to the bookmarks. I am not saying to have these things is wrong. There are some very basics (like a card-reader and apparently that cash app is hot) you must have at a live event. I am saying not to stress out if your table isn’t grand.

Don’t Overcharge Your Readers

 

Book Fest 2018, Georgia State University

I was surprised to discover many books in the $20 range. For non-celebrity Indie Authors people never heard of, I thought this was a bit much. Personally, I wouldn’t charge over $10 for a copy of my book at an event. I say this not to indicate you should just give your work away, but I think it’s a good idea to give your readers the exclusive by offering them books at a price lower than if they had to pay for shipping. By showing up readers can purchase a discounted copy of some of their favorite books of yours in paperback. They have probably traveled to see you and you probably bought your books in bulk at a discount anyway and you don’t have to ship the book to them. I think that’s deserving of the people who choose to support you. People may pay $20 for a book at a celebrity signing or for a book direct from Amazon or your author website, possibly, but I think it’s a good idea to give readers something special at signings.

Live in the Moment

 

 

I did something different this time around. I didn’t post images of the event until I got back to the house. I didn’t live stream or rush to upload anything. I enjoyed the moment laughing with my husband and friend, talking to the authors and guests and taking pictures. We are so caught up in “Live Streaming” our lives these days so that other people can “see us” “in” the moment that we forget to enjoy the moment for ourselves. I had a much more enjoyable time selling books, practicing my pitch, mingling with guests and passing out my business cards than I would have trying to add hashtags to an Instagram post as someone walks past my table, buying nothing because my head is down. Personally, I attend live events because I enjoy networking with the people and creating memories I can look back on in pictures, not because I think I must. We only have one life to live and I want my children and grandchildren to look back on these pictures as proof that they can do anything they want to do if they only believe they can.

 

View all the festival pics plus more on my author website here.

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author V.M. Sang

 

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to V.M. Sang. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

 

What is your name, and where are you from?

My name is Vivienne Sang. I was born and brought up in the north west of England in a town called Northwich, not far from Manchester. At present, I live in the south-east of England not far from the town of Eastbourne.

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

I don’t know if I’d be really good at it, but I would like to have been a vet.

Nice. How many siblings do you have?

My father died when I was very young and my mother re-married. She had a girl with my step-father, my half-sister, but my step-father had already got 7 girls and 3 boys with his first wife, so I have 10 step-siblings as well.

What skill would you like to master?

I do some painting when I have time. I would really like to become a good painter.

What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Belgium. They insist on signing their town in the language of the area, in spite of the rest of the world calling them something else. Liege, for example, is called Luik, I think. Now I don’t have a problem with this, per se, but many countries that have different names for towns sign them with both. We got lost trying to find Liege.

Also, we nearly ran out of fuel once because there were no fuel stations on the main road and we had to go off into a village and by chance found one. Also, Brussels is a nightmare to get around.

Unfortunately it’s on the way to many places in Europe I do want to go back to!

Yea. I can see how that can be confusing with the language. I love history. Who is your favorite historical figure?

Leonardo da Vinci. He’s not only a great artist but also scientist and technologist, too. I went to his home in Amboise in France where they had built scale models of his inventions using only the tools and materials he would have had. Brilliant.

The Wolf Pack is available now on Amazon

Let’s talk about writing. What genre do you write in?

I write mainly fantasy, but have recently published a historical novel based in Roman Britain, and have another almost done. I think historical fiction is much harder to write, So much research is needed that you can get away with when inventing your own world. Having said that, I do try to make my world as scientifically realistic as possible, so that does involve some research.

 That’s true. Historical Fiction does require lots of research. Are you married Vivienne? Children?

Yes, I’ve been married for a very long time. 53 years! I have two, a boy and a girl.

Awwue. Congrats! 53 years, wow. Relationship goals!

What are your thoughts on race? Define racism.

There is only one race. The Human Race. People who judge others on the basis of ‘race’ are ignorant. People should be judged by their words and actions only, not on how they look. This applies to disability, too. and everything that makes us different. We should embrace our differences. 

Racism is deciding you don’t like a person or group of people you know nothing about on the basis of some physical thing, such as the color of their skin, the slant of their eyes or some other superficial, irrelevant thing.

Thank you V.M. Sang for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


V.M. Sang

About.

Vivienne Sang was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the United Kingdom. She was educated at Northwich Girls’ Grammar School and at Elizabeth Gaskell Teacher Training College in Manchester. She taught Science, Maths and English in Salford and Heywood, Lancashire until she had her first child.

After staying at home to bring up her two children, a girl, and a boy, Vivienne returned to teaching when her son started school. At this time, the family lived near Southampton but moved to Redhill in Surrey where she taught in Croydon.

When she took early retirement in 2001 Vivienne moved with her husband to East Sussex.

As well as writing and reading, Vivienne enjoys many crafts and also paints. She enjoys cooking and walking on the Downs as well as cycling.

Vivienne enjoys traveling and has visited many countries in Europe and has made two visits to the USA.

Be Sure to Follow V.M. Sang Online:

Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE. Also, there will be some changes to this feature coming this fall. Get the updates HERE

#Poetry #Blog Tour Update

First, I want to thank everyone who shared the original post on their social media’s and all of the wonderful and generous bloggers who reached out. The struggle is real out here and the magnitude of having someone to host me on their blog for free is not lost to me so thank you. As of now I am no longer accepting invitations to be featured on any more blogs. If you emailed me, thank you for your interest.

Below are the blogs that I will be visiting starting next month and into October. Unlike a traditional blog tour, this tour will feature new material per blog stop. This means that there is one new poem per blog so you will get something different on each blog! The tour stops are also one week apart so that you’ll have a chance to catch up in the event you don’t catch it on the first day. You will also be helping the host bloggers out by visiting their blogs and sharing the post on your social media.

Blog Tour Hosts

Day One: Vearner Gloster

https://poemsbyvearnagloster.blog/

Day Two: Vivienne Sang

https://aspholessaria.wordpress.com/

Day Three: Don Massenzio

https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/

Day Four: Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

Day Five: Balroop Singh

https://balroop2013.wordpress.com/

Day Six: Mary Schmidt

https://whenangelsfly.wordpress.com/

Day Seven: Rachel Poli

https://rachelpoli.com/

Day Eight: Abbie Johnson

https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/

Day Nine: Frank Parker

https://franklparker.com/

Day Ten: Lynda McKinney Lambert

https://llambert363.blog/

I am closed to accepting any more inquiries, however, if you emailed me or if you wanted to participate in the tour I can still use more reviews. If you are into poetry and would like to be gifted a copy of the book, let me know. I would also appreciate any shares of this post in promotion of the upcoming tour. You don’t wanna miss out!