Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Alycee Lane

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

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Alycee Lane and I’m from Buffalo, New York.

Nice, I’ve been to New York once. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

I laugh loudly at my own jokes, including the ones I tell in my own head.

Lol. What was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to be a doctor who would cure cancer. That dream ended when, at the age of six, I was spanked vigorously for having poured my secret cure into my mother’s milk at the dinner table.

Oh wow. You rebel you. What skill would you like to master?

I really would like to master playing the saxophone, but I’d actually have to learn how to play the saxophone.

Lol. I love it. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

I think it would be amazing to venture off to Antarctica. On the other hand, I left Buffalo, New York for a reason (spoiler: it wasn’t because of buffalo wings).

Speaking of wings, what’s your favorite food?

Anything with pork, which is why being a vegetarian, is pretty damn hard.

Oh Alycee. That was not the right answer. Anything but pork! Don’t do it lol. What kind of music do you like?

I can’t get enough of jazz and blues.

What do you wish you knew more about?

Black holes. The idea of them really blows my mind.

In your own words, define racism.

Voting for Donald Trump.

LOL. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS. FOX NEWS.

Are you religious Alycee?

Yes. I attend Bedside Baptist every Sunday (this is one of those moments when I am laughing at my own joke).

Rofl. You are a trip. Let’s talk about my favorite subject. How long have you been writing? Tell us a little bit about the journey thus far.

I have been writing earnestly since 2012, though I had written some academic papers before then. A few months before my dad died in 2010, he asked me, “when are you going to write?” He knew it was my life aspiration. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that, in my mind, I had decided to let that dream go. I was done. When I reflect on that moment, I’m inclined to believe that, on some spiritual level, he did know that I had given up. Those who are facing death often see and know things quite clearly. And if they’re your parents…well, then they see through you as well. I remember shrugging, in that way children do when they’ve been caught. The question bothered me enough that, two years later, when my mother’s health began to fail, I was writing like crazy.

In some ways, then, my writing has been a journey through grief, as well as a return to who I really am – the person whom my father clearly knew and saw. For that reason, the journey has also been a powerful one.

That’s powerful. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?

The most difficult thing about being a writer is keeping a muzzle on the little critic who sits on my shoulder and pretends to be my muse. The most exciting thing is creating that perfect sentence, the one that sounds right.

“Once I was willing to step out of the closet and be completely vulnerable – to expose myself knowing that I could very well become (even more) an object of hate and of violence from people who looked like me and from those who didn’t– once I allowed myself to be that raw, I became absolutely and devastatingly powerful.”

-Alycee Lane, The transformation of vulnerability into power and action

Why is writing important to you?

I don’t know. It is. I think I would talk too much if I didn’t write. Or –or, I would finally learn how to play the sax.

I understand that you specialized in African American literature and culture of the civil rights and black power movements. You also explore political issues through the prism of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence. I love the Panthers as well as Dr. King. What attracted you to this kind of work? Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations?

Okay, so not the easiest questions for someone who’s spent the whole day with a five-year-old.

Lol. Answer the question Alycee!

I come from a very political family, so I naturally gravitated toward studying the literature and culture of the CR/BP movements (plus, I am old enough to remember the Free Angela Davis movement, and I used to shout “Black Power” out of my school bus window while being bused across town. To this day, I remember the “White Power” sign that hung from one of the houses I passed every day to get to my integrated school).

So, my main inspirations were my parents, as well as my brothers and sister. Then there were my professors at Howard University, mainly Patricia Jones Jackson and Claudia Tate, from whom I took Howard’s first Black Women Writers class. I went to Howard intending to matriculate for law school and ended up leaving there with a Ph.D. on my mind. Good teachers can do that to you. Also among my influencers: Valerie Smith, Richard Yarborough, and Kim Crenshaw.

Oh, yeah: Toni Morrison, Barbara Smith, Alice Walker, Gloria Anzaldua, Cheri Moraga, Audre Lorde, Sweet Honey in the Rock, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone. Countless women I have loved and who have loved me.

With regards to my blog writing: an “ex” did me two favors. The first was gifting me a collection of King’s work. The second was keeping a copy of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Step in her bookcase. Reading both radically changed this deconstructionist’s heady, cynical life. Having said that, I like to think that I arrived at this place of a commitment to nonviolence and engaged Buddhist practice through the influence of the Panthers, Fanon, Malcolm X, and others.

Now, my five-year-old is my main inspiration. Every day she teaches me how much work I have to do. There’s nothing more humbling than having someone who has been on earth for merely 1800+ days tell you that you don’t know anything about nothin’. Just plain dumb.

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

My superpower would be this: I would make men cry simply by showing them the hand. Why this power? Because I suspect that much of the world’s violence can be attributed to the fact that too many men are unable to cry, to live from the heart, to be vulnerable, to be tender.

What genre do you write in, why?

I primarily write nonfiction, though I suspect this is a cop-out. I don’t know – I’m kind of with Arandati Roy on this: these are not the times for fiction.

I disagree, there is always a time for Fiction!

Alycee, thank you for spending this time with us! We enjoyed you.


Copyright © Alycee Lane

Bio.

Alycee Lane is an Oakland, California-based writer and blogger.

A graduate of Howard University, Alycee studied English literature and later obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy from UCLA, where she specialized in African American literature and culture of the civil rights and black power movements. From 1995 to 2003, she served as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after which she obtained her Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).

Alycee is author of the award-winning book, Nonviolence Now! Living the 1963 Birmingham Campaign’s Promise of Peace (Lantern Books, 2015) as well as the blog Coming in From the Cold, where she explores political issues through the prism of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence. Her newest work, The Wretched of Mother Earth: The Handbook for Living, Dying, and Nonviolent Revolution in the Midst of Climate Change Catastrophe, was just published on April 4, 2018.

Alycee has also written a number of scholarly and other articles on subjects ranging from the Black Panther Party to mitigation evidence in death penalty cases to climate change. In 1993, she was awarded the Audre Lorde Quill Award from the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum for the essays and interviews that she produced for BLK, a news magazine dedicated to the African American gay and lesbian community, as well as for her work as editor of Black Lace, the first ever African American lesbian erotic magazine.

Be Sure to Follow this Author Online:

Twitter: @AlyceeLane

Blog: http://blk2buddah.wordpress.com

Amazon page: amazon.com/author/alyceelane


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 Phyllis Babrove

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

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Phyllis Babrove. Originally from Wisconsin, I have lived in Florida for forty-seven years.

Wow. 47yrs. It’s like you’re originally from Florida lol. Are you employed outside of writing?

I went to college at the age of forty, and six years later earned a master’s degree in social work. In 2015 I retired as a full-time school social worker. Currently, I work part-time providing supervision to social workers that are becoming licensed and as a substitute social worker in schools when someone goes on maternity leave.

Nice! You are doing excellent work. Phyllis, what’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is pink.

When Shadows Linger is available now on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite writer?

I have several favorite writers so it is difficult to say. Of course, I don’t mind mentioning a few: Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, and John Grisham. Those are just a few.

So Phyllis, married? Children?

I have been married for forty-six years. I have four adult children and six grandchildren.

Yass. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think that our world is desperately in need of repair in many areas. It makes me sad to think that we are going backward in many ways. But I am encouraged by the strength being shown in this young generation. They are the most forceful group that I have seen since the 1960s. I have a great deal of faith that they will make some positive changes.

What are your thoughts on race?

What are my thoughts on race? That there shouldn’t be any thoughts about people based on race, religion, or social economic status. We are all the same and should treat each other as such.

In your own words, what is racism?

Racism is passing judgment on a person based on his or her race, and not on whom the person really is. I grew up with a lot of anti-semitism, so I understand what it’s like to be discriminated against because of “what” I am and not based on “who” I am.

Are you religious Phyllis?

Am I religious? That depends on the definition of what religious is. I believe in God. I try to be caring, compassionate, honest, trustworthy and treat everyone with respect. So, in my mind, I am religious.

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

“Small Great Things,” by Jodi Picoult, is a wonderful book.

Let’s talk about writing. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about writing for me is promoting my work. The most exciting is when I see the finished product and I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette is available now on Amazon.

Why is writing important to you?

I love to write. When I write, I can express my thoughts, dreams, and feelings. I am also able to put myself in places where I’d like to be. For example, my novel is set in Vermont because I fell in love with the state and I wish I could live there.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

When I envision a room that I would love to be able to write and read in, it is a room with bookshelves filled with all of my favorite books. It would have a lot of windows with views of the mountains (yes, I’d be in Vermont!), a fireplace, a light brown leather love seat (the really soft leather), and a desk. At the desk would be a big soft leather chair that rocks. The carpeting would be thick brown with specks of gold. Pictures of my family would be on the walls and different mementos that belonged to my parents.

That sounds like a great room. Very comfortable. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

If I had one superpower I think it would be to take the word “judgment” out of our vocabulary. I don’t feel that any human being has the right to judge another for any reason.

Are you into Politics at all?

I became interested in politics in 2008. For the first time, I helped a candidate campaign by going door to door. While I liked some past presidents, I don’t think we have ever had or will ever have, anyone as wonderful as our previous president was.

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend.

Awwue. Yeess. Phyllis, what is truth?

Truth to me is when I can be honest with myself and with God. Truth is the foundation of trust, so if a person isn’t honest how can they be trusted? Without trust, what are we left with?

Phyllis, thank you for spending this time with us!


From the Author:

I was born in Wisconsin and I moved to Florida as a newlywed in 1971. When my children were old enough, and with a ton of support from my husband, I decided to earn a college degree. I call going to school at the age of forty my first midlife crisis. Six years later I had earned a master’s degree in social work and had a fulfilling career. Three years ago I (semi) retired and took on my second midlife crisis and entered the wonderful world of writing. I have self-published two novelettes, one novel and have had two short stories published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine. I am also a regular contributor to “Extra Innings,” an online newsletter for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My husband and I like to travel to New England and visit small towns. We live in Sunrise, Florida with our ten-year-old Yorkie, Lars.

Be sure to follow Phyllis on her website below!
https://mirikalblog.com/


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

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Sean Mungin

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

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Sean Mungin and I live in Los Angeles, California.

I always wanted to visit Cali. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

My perfect writing/reading room would have bookshelves (filled with books, of course) covering every wall (except for the window and sitting area) from the ceiling to the floor. It would have soft music and sounds of water running in the background. It would have a comfortable sitting area next to the window.

I love that sound of water, I imagine that would be peaceful. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

I think I would probably be a pretty good counselor. I have always been the person that others would come to talk through their problems. I think the most memorable moment was when I was in high school; a married co-worker of mine came to me and began sharing issues she was having within her marriage. I do not remember what I actually said to her, but I do remember that she returned to me and thanking me because whatever I said to her worked.

That’s what’s up. Speaking of being good at things, what was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to be a musician. I have always had an ear for music. I once asked my mother for music lessons, but we were not in a position financially for me to ever begin them.

Cool. Do you play any instruments?

I play around with the keyboard and was teaching myself to play guitar until I broke a finger on my right hand.

Aww. Boo. Speaking of childhood, any siblings?

I have five siblings. Two older brothers, an older sister, and two younger sisters.

What’s your favorite drink?

My favorite drink is coffee. I love to try different blends from around the world. The smell is intoxicating. The taste is awesome. Dark, bold roasts…of course.

A coffee drinker, yaass. What state or country do you never want to go back to?

I never wanted to come back to California, but it is amazing how my life has come full circle and I am right back here in the Greater Los Angeles area again 20 years later.

The Thorn in the Flesh is available now on Amazon.

Lol. Let’s switch it up a bit. Does blogging help you to write?

Blogging has helped me write in a major way. I have always loved to write. It helps me to process my thoughts and life experiences. However, because becoming a successful blogger and growing a larger reading audience requires consistency, it also requires that I pay close attention to the content and the reading patterns of my audience. As we try to interpret the data from our sites, we have to tailor everything towards the things that work and make the necessary adjustments on the things that have not worked.

True. Sean, what’s your favorite food?

I am not certain that I have a favorite food. I like to try different dishes at least once.

C’mon Sean. I know you have a favorite food! If all the food in the world no longer existed and you had to eat one meal every day, what would it be?

If I were in that situation, I would have to choose an egg and cheese sandwich. I can eat breakfast any time of the day.

Nice. I love eggs. Well, except for…anyway. Let’s move on. What’s your favorite color?

I have four favorite colors: white, black, blue, and olive green. I am not certain if white and black qualifies though, but I like them anyway.

Ha! Your one of those “black and white aren’t colors” kinda guy huh? Lol. Who is your favorite writer?

I think it would be blasphemous for me to say that I do not have a favorite writer, but it is true. I like to read across different genres and I believe that my writing has been influenced by each in their own respective ways.

Nice. You said you wanted to be a musician, what kind of music do you like?

I like to listen to Christian, classical and soft instrumental music.

Let’s go back to writing, when did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I published my first book back in 2003, I think. It felt like a great accomplishment. But, as I have matured in my thinking about life, I think I would do a complete overhaul of the work to include my current perspective on things. Back then, I was really just venturing out for the first time in this capacity, so I am certain that there were a lot of errors in need of major editorial assistance.

I feel you. I felt the same way about my first work. Although my baby, I have since pulled it from shelves for that reason. What do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about public policy. I, for some reason, am in love with policy.

Interesting. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think, at some point, we all have lost our way. Everything has become focused on global competition instead of what is in the best interest of the global community.

What are your thoughts on Race?

Contrary to the beliefs of many, I believe race is still an issue. It has an undeniable presence within our society. I believe that it has become more overt within the past 14 – 15 months. Maybe that was needed to force others to acknowledge its existence. We cannot address something if others are unwilling to meet us at the table to discuss how to best remedy this problem.

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

The Bible.

Yasss! What’s your favorite scripture or book?

I love the entire Bible. If I had to choose my favorite books, they would be everything written by Paul. My favorite verse is John 15:5. That verse keeps me grounded.

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

The most difficult thing about being a writer is overcoming writer’s block. One day, things may flow more fluidly than on others. At this point, you are at the mercy of the process. In a world where there is so many negative events taking place, it is sometimes difficult to be inspired.

The most exciting thing is the finished product. The sense of accomplishment is a big deal to any writer, I would imagine.

Indeed.

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


Copyright©Sean Mungin. Photo used with permission.

Sean Mungin is a public figure who has embodied the spirit of individual and corporate success. Sean graduated from Lee University in 2005 with a Bachelors in Theology. He also earned a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He also completed the Masters in Religious Education program from the Mason Kelly Washington Religious Training in Long Island, NY.

Sean’s current positions as an administrator and minister align him with his previous positions as an individual genuinely concerned about the holistic well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, and socio-economical) of all people. His most recent accomplishment was becoming a Certified Writer/Editor for the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors. Sean is currently working on focusing on developing and implementing several entrepreneurial projects. His goal is to create multiple opportunities for a higher quality of living for all within his area of influence.

Sean’s is known for his favorite motto, “Love God…love people…love yourself”


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

Introduce Yourself – Promotional Opportunity for New Authors

Tomorrow marks the exact date of the premiere of this feature. On March 27, 2017, I opened my blog to authors who were interested in being interviewed here and to promote their work. I am reposting this for any authors out there who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity for free promotion. While met with much excitement, the number of authors taking advantage of this feature has slowed. I want to remind you that it is here if you’d like and it’s free. If you are a new author or author in general and you’re looking for a way to introduce yourself to the blogging community or potentially new readers, please read on for more information.


Many of you know me from my writing and this blog but before I dedicated my time to writing full-time, I worked with children and to an extent, I still do.

I taught creative writing as part of a private Louisiana In-Home School program for about four years and then I helped to run a research and fellowship center in Shreveport for about five more years. My primary job was working with children, tutoring and teaching them.

What does this have to do with my promotional opportunity for New Authors?

One of the songs my team came up with to help children to break the ice  in the children’s bible study class is an Introduce yourself song. It starts:

“Introduce yourself, hey hey! Introduce yourself…hey!

My name is___________.”

At the end of last year, I told you all that I was looking to implement another promotional opportunity for authors on this blog. It has taken a long time but is finally here!

At the moment, I run two:

  • Book Reviews (currently closed for registry but returning soon. Stay tuned.)
  • Book Promo. – Where I promote book covers in my email list FREE. Send me your cover, blurb, and buy links to be featured to my email HERE.

Now I am implementing a third opportunity. Something I am hoping will give you a bit more exposure. I am calling it Introduce Yourself, inspired by the children. Here’s how it works:

Introduce Yourself – a promotional opportunity for new authors on The PBS Blog. It is an interview conducted by me with questions specifically tailored to helping us to get to know you better.

I enjoy thought provoking conversation and so is the tone of this blog so please be as detailed as possible in your answers. People are less likely to support people they don’t know anything about so dig deep and let us get to know the real you!

How to Get Involved

All you have to do is choose at least 10 questions from the list below and email them to me with your social media handles, photos, a brief bio, and a link to your website or blog. Email me HERE . Once I receive your email, I will respond in 2-3 business days with the date of your feature.

Again, answer the questions as fully and as detailed as possible.

Even though this segment is inspired by new authors (i.e. Introduce Yourself), any author can jump on board!

INDIE AUTHORS AND TRAD. AUTHORS

PUBLISHED AUTHORS AND ASPIRING AUTHORS

NEW AUTHORS AND EXPERIENCED AUTHORS

I run into people all the time who didn’t know who I was until they saw me featured on someone’s blog. It is a wonderful opportunity for increased exposure.

If you’re interested please choose your questions* (no less than 10 but no more than 40), email them HERE along with your photos, bio, and social links. I won’t pull your arm or beg you to participate in this but let’s face it, this is for you! Also, let’s not forget this is a FREE opportunity for exposure.

Just saying.

*The questions are not in any particular order. Start with question 30 or question one. Your choice. Just make it an interesting mix.

  1. What is your name and where are you from?
  2. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
  3. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
  4. Are you employed outside of writing? Is so, tell us about your job.
  5. What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?
  6. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
  7. How many siblings do you have?
  8. What was your childhood dream?
  9. What skill would you like to master?
  10. What skill do you think you’ve mastered?
  11. In your own words, what is humility?
  12. In your own words, what is love?
  13. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
  14. 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?
  15. What’s your favorite drink?
  16. What state or country do you never want to go back to?
  17. What songs have you completely memorized?
  18. Does blogging help you to write? If not, why so? If so, how so?
  19. What’s your favorite food?
  20. What’s your favorite color?
  21. Who is your favorite writer?
  22. If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?
  23. What kind of music do you like?
  24. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
  25. If you could live in a movie, which would it be? Why?
  26. Who is your best friend?
  27. Are you married? How long?
  28. Are you single? Would you like to be married?
  29. Do you have children?
  30. Would you like to have children? Why?
  31. What takes up too much of your time?
  32. What do you wish you knew more about?
  33. What small things makes your life easier? What makes it difficult?
  34. What’s your favorite Historical figure?
  35. What do you think of the world we live in?
  36. What are your thoughts on Race?
  37. In your own words (not Google’s) define racism.
  38. What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
  39. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
  40. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
  41. Are you religious? Explain.
  42. Are you political? Explain.
  43. What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
  44. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
  45. Why is writing important to you?
  46. What do you love about yourself?
  47. What don’t you like about yourself?
  48. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?
  49. What genre do you write in, why?
  50. In your own words, what is truth?

Added Disclaimer: DO NOT try to use this as an opportunity to preach your personal message of salvation, bombard / hit us over the heads with your awesome books, or take advantage of this space in any way that is discriminatory. That is NOT how you want to use this feature! This is an opportunity for us to get to know you as a person. Only then will we be interested in your work. That said, try being less “salesy” and more genuine in your answers!

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Marie Lavender

 

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!

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

 

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.

Eww at crab meat lol. Favorite color?

Hot pink!

Directions of the Heart is available now on Amazon

 

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.


Author Banner. Marie Lavender.

Bio.

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.

Be Sure to Follow Marie Online!

Links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Felicia Denise

 

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

What is your name and where are you from?

Felicia Denise is my real name, and I’m a southern girl by birth—Ole Miss—but grew up in Michigan, got married and started a family in California, moved back to Michigan and now I live in Arizona.

Watch out traveler. Always wanted to visit Cali. Now, you know I have to ask. Since Friday came out, how many times have someone said to you “Bye Felicia?”

LOL! Actually, I’ve probably said it to other people more than it’s been said to me! I also have half a dozen t-shirts, a coffee mug, a keychain and a cap that say, “Bye Felicia!” Both my sons have it as my ringtone. LOL!

Lollll.

How many siblings do you have?

I am one of nine—six girls and three boys. We lost our youngest brother twenty-five years ago to AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of twenty-nine. I don’t believe the eight remaining of us have all been in the same place at the same time since his funeral. There’s always one missing.

Awwue. I am so sorry to hear that. How long have you been married Felicia?  

We’ll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in mid-September!

Whoop! Yass. Do you have children?

Yes, three. Our oldest son lives a couple of hours away and works for a major medical corporation; the younger son is a member of the National Guard and works in security, and our daughter is an Army wife who works on base. Notice there was no mention of grandchildren… but I have four grand-dogs!

In the Best Interest of the Child (September 30, 2016)

Amazon US http://bit.ly/BestInt

Amazon UK http://bit.ly/BestIntUK

Amazon CA http://bit.ly/BestIntCA

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/BestIntAU

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/BestIntGR

 

Not grand-dogs loll. I understand that you write, are you employed outside of writing?

No. I had to leave the workforce almost twenty years ago because of chronic illnesses—osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia.

What was your childhood dream?

To sing with Up with People! LOL! They were a group of young men and women who toured the country regularly…singing in schools, on college campuses, at sporting events, etc. And I loved to sing when I was a kid! My parents’ friends would pay me a quarter to sing at BBQs and picnics LOL! And I sang it all—Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson—just give me room!

When I was thirteen, a large mass grew over my thyroid and larynx. Fortunately, it was benign. It took a year of surgeries and rehab, but I did go back to singing. Only instead of standing with the girls and singing soprano, I had to stand with the boys and sing bass!

Cool! You gonna have to sing for us one day. So sorry about that mass, glad you everything went well.

You named some artists and I know you be jamming out with us on Throwback Thursdays! So, please tell us more about the kind of music you like.

I love music… end of story! My playlists are so eclectic—60s folk and Motown, 70s funk and disco, 80s Soul, R&B, and boy bands, 90s power females… all mixed in with Classical and Country! The only music that annoys me is gangsta rap and grunge.

Yea, the music today irks my nerves. I don’t even know what to call it but it’s not music. What skill would you like to master?

Playing the piano! Always wanted to learn and even owned a piano at one time. My children were young and involved in every group and club imaginable and there just was never enough time for lessons and practice.

I’d love to learn to play the piano too. Let’s talk about writing, what’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?

Finding your audience.

The most exciting thing?

The emails from readers when they make a real connection with characters and plot. There’s truth even in fiction.

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

The Bible. Some believe it’s just a book of rules on things you can’t do, but think about it. Nearly every existing trope or genre can be found in the Bible. There’s a lot going on the pages of the Good Book, which is why it takes at least a year to read and comprehend it properly.

Probably the best answer to that question I’ve had here yet. You KNOW I agree. I think people will be surprised at how much information is in the bible. Giants? Bible. Demons? Bible. Righteous and fallen angels?Bible. Black History? Bible. It’s all there.

Felicia, religious?

Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor and I was raised in church, but I am not a fan of church doctrine. To me, it’s the underlying problem of ANY religion. Man interjecting his rules and wills where they don’t belong and for non-religious reasons.

I knew we connected for a reason. I gotta share some information with you! Who is your favorite writer?

Two-way tie between Toni Morrison and Jonathon Kellerman. They couldn’t be more different in genre and style, but before I finish the first chapter of any of their books, I’ve crossed into another world.

Family Matters (In the Best Interest of the Child #2) (August 2017)

Goodreads http://bit.ly/FamilyMattersGR

 

Nice. What do you hate most about writing advice?

The subjectivity! Everyone wants you to buy their book or enroll in their class because they have the sure-fire method for becoming a bestselling author and selling truckloads of books. But that just isn’t true. What works for you may not work for me. And it isn’t because I did anything ‘wrong’. An author must put in the time—hit a few and miss a few—to find what works for them… and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Say THAT. What do you love about writing advice?

I love the common-sense advice. It removes all the mystery and double-talk and explains in two or three paragraphs the information you need to know.

Indeed. Now, I met you through the blog so let me ask you, does blogging help you to write?

Actually, for me, it’s the opposite. Writing helps me blog.

I like it. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

JRR Tolkien Network! “All Hobbits, All the time!” I’d never change the station!

What? Lol. Felicia girl you got me rolling.

What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

TRUtv…ugh! It was nice when it was CourtTV, now it’s just desperate reality shows and people saying, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

Free, a Novella (May 30, 2017)

Amazon US  http://bit.ly/LindenLane

Amazon UK  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneUK

Amazon CA  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneCA

Amazon AU  http://bit.ly/LindenLaneAU

Goodreads   http://bit.ly/FreeANovella

 

What do you think of the world we live in?

I grew up in the 60s and came of age in the 70s and would give anything to have those days back. They were not perfect times, by any means, but the movement for change was a positive one and shared among the masses. Today, pick any ten people and you could get ten different agendas. Diversity was once our strength, now it’s the focus for oppression. It saddens me to look into the eyes of children and the elderly when they realize how little their lives matter with the changes taking place.

Hmm. Right. In your own words, what is love?

To understand and accept someone into your heart, regardless of their shortcomings or differences, without expecting anything in return.

We enjoyed you lady! Thanks for spending this time with us today. Now, bye Felicia :-).


Author Photo. Felicia Denise

Bio

Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.

Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, in summer 2017.

Be Sure to Follow Felicia online!

Links

Author Websitehttps://feliciadenise.com

Blog (Nesie’s Place)https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Felicia-Denise/e/B01M03R54B/

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/authorfeliciadenise

Bookbub Author Page https://www.bookbub.com/authors/felicia-denise

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/FeliciaDenise

Twitterhttps://www.twitter.com/MsFelicia

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fle_d/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/fdreevers/

Google+https://plus.google.com/u/0/110467680823101573705

Monthly Newsletterhttp://eepurl.com/cklOKL


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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Frank Parker

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

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

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Frank Parker. I was born and grew up in Herefordshire, a small rural county next to the border between England and Wales. I lived for the first decade of my life in a small stone cottage beside a stream with a couple of waterfalls. We were surrounded by traditional hay meadows and grew all our own vegetables in a medium sized garden. My parents were from London originally. They were married shortly after the commencement of World War II. Dad was an airman. Two years after I was born he was killed in action whilst taking part in a bombing raid over Germany. Having only one parent qualified me to attend a boarding school where, from 1952 to ’58, I was educated in the manner of a traditional English Grammar school.

Did you say Herefordshire?? My maiden last name is Hereford!

Are you married Frank?

In September 1963, I married the love of my life. We had met two years before. I still recall the day. It was August bank holiday 1961, the day of the annual village show. I was supposed to meet up with my then girlfriend, enjoy the many activities on offer then go on to the dance in the village hall afterwards. She arrived in the company of two friends. Try as I might I could not separate them. As a gauche 19-year-old, I didn’t know whether to be flattered being accompanied by three young women or disappointed that I could not be alone with the one I wanted to be with. Later she turned up at the dance in the company of another youth and I danced with one of her friends. That was it. Me and the friend were set on a course that sees us still together all these years later.

Beautiful. What’s your favorite food?

I love cooking and eating dishes in the styles of the Indian sub-continent. My preference when dining out has always been Indian. I recall when I lived in South Africa, in 1974, we would spend Sundays around the pool at a nearby hotel which served excellent curries that we washed down with locally produced ale. In 1990 I discovered the ‘Balti’ style of Indian cuisine whilst working in the English Midlands. More recently I watched Rick Stein’s television series in which he toured India discovering the various regional styles. I have his book of the series and regularly produce dishes from it.

Oh OK. So what you saying is we need to be at yo house then huh Frank? 🙂  In your own words, define racism.

Racism, to me, is the mistaken belief that people from the same ethnic origin as yourself are superior to those from all other ethnicities. It is made worse when that belief leads people to behave disrespectfully towards people who do not share their own ethnicity. Being disrespectful towards others is not acceptable in any circumstance, but when it is justified by reference to a perceived difference based on ethnicity, sexuality or physical or mental deformity it is especially deplorable.

Frank, are you a political man?

I have held a strong interest in politics for as long as I can remember. My response to the previous question should make it clear that I follow the Liberal tradition. In the 1980s I put my political beliefs into practice, becoming a local politician in my then home district in the East of England. I also worked in a voluntary capacity on campaigns for the Party. Aside from Party Political activities, I cannot avoid political comment in my writing, especially my blog. I also believe that it behooves us all to involve ourselves in unpaid activities utilizing one’s time, skills and energy wherever there is a need in the local community.

Summer Day by Frank Parker is AVAILABLE now on Amazon.

What genre do you write in, why?

You might gather from the above that the genre in which I am most comfortable is Historical Fiction, often based on the lives of real people. I am especially interested in ordinary people who find themselves in the midst of significant events, how do they respond to the consequences of war, epidemic or famine? It is easy to investigate the causes of such events or to condemn those whose mistaken beliefs lay behind some evil deed. Among the suffering of ordinary people are to be found tales of great heroism at the personal level. That’s what I hope to bring to the fore.

I’m a fan of Historical Fiction myself.  What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

I’ll end with a controversial thought about TV channels. I don’t either want to see the demise of any existing channel or the creation of any new channel. What really annoys me is that we have so many channels dedicated specifically to sport and yet sport seems, to me at least, to be taking up an increasing proportion of mainstream television schedules. Let’s leave sport on the sports channels and keep mainstream television free for news, documentaries, drama and the arts.

Who is your favorite writer?

I find it difficult to single out one individual as a favorite writer. There are many authors whose work I have enjoyed in different phases of my life, from Enid Blyton and W.E. Johns in childhood, through Agatha Christie, Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury in my youth and early twenties, to great Irish writers like Colm Toibin, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne and Ann Enright today. I like a work of literature to provide a new insight into the human condition, to make me laugh and cry or simply to marvel at the use of language. If only I could manage that in my own work I would be a happy man indeed!

I love literature of the same kind so I definitely feel you. What’s your favorite Historical figure?

I don’t have a favorite historical figure. I find it reprehensible that official histories pay so little attention to the achievements of women, and then only those who exhibit masculine qualities. Warrior women like Boudica or Joan of Ark. Devious, deceitful women like Cleopatra. The truth is that whilst men were attracting fame – or notoriety – by fighting wars or making significant discoveries, it was the women who remained at home and managed the family estate, overseeing everything from planting and harvesting to organizing essential repairs and improvements, thereby ensuring that what the men came back to was frequently in a better condition than when they left. So, my favorite figures from history are those unsung heroines without whom no battle would have been worth winning, no new knowledge worth the knowing.

If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?

When I was in my early teens I came across a book in the school library. It was a big colorful book of the kind that are usually referred to as ‘coffee table books’. It was full of reproductions of famous art works. The particular work that had an enormous impact on me, such that I can still recall it some 60 years later, was titled ‘Burning Giraffe’. It was painted by a Spanish artist named Salvador Dali. In the intervening years, I have seen many documentaries and read many articles about this eccentric gentleman and his fellow surrealists. As someone who has tried, largely unsuccessfully, to paint, I would have loved to have been able to spend a day in the company of Seńor Dali, to discover his techniques, gain insights into the way his mind works and discover how he was able to translate his thoughts into images on canvas, film or sculpture.

bitmoji-20170402033318

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


Frank P

Frank Parker

Bio.

At 17, Frank’s plan to become a reporter was scuppered by advisors who insisted he “get a trade”. He became an Engineer. In the 1980s he tried a career change becoming involved in local politics. Articles he wrote at that time appeared in obscure political journals and he contributed business profiles to a regional “Business Link” magazine. These did not pay the bills so he returned to Engineering until retirement in 2006. Since then his short stories and poems have been included in several short print-run anthologies. He has self-published four novels, and two collections of poems and short stories. He is presently researching, and writing about, the famine that afflicted Ireland between 1845- 52.

He lives in the Irish Midlands with the woman he married in 1963.

Be Sure to Follow Frank Online!

Web: https://franklparker.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HerefordAndIrelandHistory/

Twitter: @fparkerswords 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7834486.Frank_Parker

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