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.

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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

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE. (PS. I have space available for August. These spots go fast so jump on it!)

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author L. Loren

Welcome back 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 L. Loren. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Hi! My name is L. Loren and I live in Greenville, SC.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

My perfect reading room would have a huge bay window overlooking a back yard with a willow tree and a lake off in the distance. Oversized, colorful pillows would line the bench where I would relax and read my favorite stories. There would be plush carpet and lots of color on the wall with my favorite quotes adorning them. I would also need a soft blanket and table nearby setup with a china tea set decorated with and dragonflies.

Ohh. Nice! How many siblings do you have?

I have two brothers and four sisters. I am the baby so I am spoiled.

What was your childhood dream?

I had many dreams as a child but one I remember fondly was being a movie director.

I can totally see you directing a film! What skill would you like to master?

I would like to master screenwriting. I still have that movie dream. Lol

In your own words, what is love?

Love is a verb. It is something that can be felt and seen. It is when you care for someone regardless if they return the sentiment. You give your everything to that person just to make them happy, even if it means you must sacrifice. Love is everything! (OK you got me… I’m a hopeless romantic)

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L. Loren: Writer of LoveRotica. Used with permission.

That’s OK. Hopeless romantics need love too! What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

I have many adventures just waiting to be taken, but the one that comes to mind right now is taking a cross country trip with my husband, visiting each and every NBA Arena. You know the whole VIP treatment; getting behind the scene tours, attending the games and getting to meet players, taking pictures of each arena in a special location.(Every arena has that one special spot).

Speaking of locations, 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 am too non-committal for this question, but it looked fun. I don’t think I could live in one place for the rest of my life. I do have a dream house that I would like to have in Jamaica. It would be a small cottage with an amazing kitchen, a nice patio out back that overlooked a pool. The back yard would have lots of space for a BBQ grill, fire pit and a cobblestone path that led to the ocean. There would be lots of trees for shade and a place for me to write outside.

Jamaica is nice. What’s your favorite drink?

I love a good Arnold Palmer, but it has to be made right. That’s why I never order it when I go out. I like to make mine at home. Too much lemonade ruins the whole thing.

WanderLyn

What genre do you write in, why?

I write erotica because it intrigues me. I love being able to express my sexuality in a book that allows others to do the same. I can write anything I fantasize about and do anything I ever dreamed up in a book without the consequences of real life. Sex is a part of being human and when people start to accept that, they will stop thinking of it as something to be hidden and done in the dark.

I must say people, if you’re looking for a sexy read, L. Loren’s your girl!

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The Egyptian Nights Series: Coming June 20, 2017

What songs have you completely memorized?

The safer question would be what songs haven’t I memorized. Lol I love music. My poor husband is regulated to listening to my renditions of most songs that come on the radio, especially those from the 70s. I can sing non-stop on the oldies stations.

Yes, oldies are the best. Though I’m picky about which oldies I like lol. Loren, what’s your favorite food?

I love any type of pasta, unless it has seafood in it.

Shut. The Front. Door. I LOVE pasta. What’s your favorite color?

Orange is my favorite color, with purple coming in a close second.

Yess. Purple is beautiful. Who is your favorite writer?

This answer changes with my mood, but right now Maya Angelou!

Can’t argue with that one! If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?

That’s a tough one. I have many artists that I would love to shadow. If I could only choose one, I would say Sylvester Stallone. He is such an interesting man to me.

What kind of music do you like?

My taste in music is eclectic. I will rock out to country as much as I will R&B, pop or rock. I even get into classical and instrumental at times. I have a thing for the blues and I will listen to rap, but I’m old school. Don’t bring that ratchet mess to me. It will get dismissed with a quickness.

Loll! Let’s talk about your writing. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

My first book was published in 2015 and it was scary as all get out. (Yeah, I’m from the South. Deal with it. Lol).

If you could live in a movie, which would it be? Why?

This question is AWESOME! I live in movies in my head as a writer so there would be many movies. Right at this moment I would be Monica Wright in Love and Basketball. That movie touched my heart. I was her when I was in college, only the dude I was with played baseball. I would have to change the ending though, because dude was a dog. I would much rather have the man I am with now, my hubby.

So it would be more like Love and Baseball (*stops to roll on the floor laughing. Wipes eyes*) Lol. I had to do it.

Who is your best friend?

Doug Tetting is my best friend, lover, protector, giver of dreams and the best comedian on the planet.

How long have you been married?

We’ve been married 16 years, and together 21.

Yaass! I love it. Would you like to have children?

NO! Why? It is not for me.

Whhaaattt????? Nooo Lisa! (*Dabs the corner of right eye*)

What takes up too much of your time?

Social Media, but it is a necessary evil.

I know right. What do you wish you knew more about?

Writing for TV and Movies. That’s why I’m taking a course!

Loren, I think you still have dreams of being a director! Tell us about the course.

I am taking the Master Class- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. So far, the course is amazing. It delves into the inner workings of developing a show for television and all the steps you need to take to make it successful. Shonda Rhimes is the Queen of Thursday Nights and she knows great television. I am enjoying the course because it lets the students into her personal process, which is something you usually don’t have access to.

What’s your favorite Historical figure?

Cleopatra! She was bad ass.

Lol. What are your thoughts on Race?

I think race is something that is used to separate people and cause friction in the world. It is far too important in the world.

I know right. In your own words (not Google’s) define racism.

Racism is an excuse people who have a particular hue of skin, use to make them feel better about themselves, by belittling and demeaning people who are different than them. An unnecessary evil!

What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?

My favorite TV show is hard to pinpoint. I love Scandal, NCIS, and Underground. I used to love Criminal Minds, but they got rid of Hotch and the show has gone downhill. My fave movies vary between, The Color Purple, An Affair to Remember, Forrest Gump, Love and Basketball and the Rocky movies, including Creed.

I enjoyed Creed myself. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

Women’s Sports Channel!

Let’s talk about books. What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Yea, that’s a good one. Loren, why is writing important to you?

I can’t live without it. It is a part of me that I must do.

Why is it a must for you?

I must write because I believe it is what I was put on Earth to do. I have a million stories in my head just waiting to be written. I am always coming up with new ideas for stories and I get excited just thinking about them. I see the world through a writer’s eye and always have. It has just taken me longer to gain the courage to write it down for others to enjoy.

What do you love about yourself?

I love that I have an open mind and my willingness to try new things.

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

I have the superpower, but I don’t have the ability to infuse it into everyone. It is LOVE! Why? If people focused on love instead of hate, this world would change for the better. I’m not saying I want a utopia where people walk around like mindless drones smiling at the moon. I am simply saying, if people opened their hearts more instead of using hate to lead, things would get better for everyone.

That’s probably the deepest answer I’ve gotten on this interview yet! You’re onto something Loren. Love is a superpower indeed. 

In your own words, what is truth?

Truth is the ability to step outside of yourself and see things for what they are, without any emotional attachment. Emotions cause truth to be skewed and then nobody knows what really happened.

Lol. True.

Coming June 20, 2017

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*WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Let’s get the children out of the room please.

Egyptian Nights

(Book 1 in The Triple Threat Series)

is available now for pre-order. CLICK HERE

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman named Egypt, and she loved sex. Cursed by her mother’s dying declaration, she thinks she is unworthy of love. Locking her feelings inside an impenetrable ice block, she hides behind casual sex. Aided by her Naughty Fairy Godmother, she creates a playlist of rules to live by to avoid a broken heart.

When the ruggedly, sexy businessman, Harper Beckmann enters the restaurant where she is the executive chef, she feels drawn to him in ways she never felt before. When he denies her offer for a casual hook-up and offers to take her on a date instead, she is intrigued. Unable to resist his charms, she allows him to break all of her rules, including kissing on the mouth.

Harper has been playing the field since his fiancée left him for his best friend. A romantic at heart, he longs for the love of a good woman. When he meets Egypt, he knows instantly she is just what he needs to cure his aching heart. If he can break down her walls and get her to admit she loves him too, Beckmann may just be the one to break the curse.

Thanks so much Loren for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


L. Loren. Used with permission.

Bio.

Loren is a former call center supervisor currently based in Greenville, SC with her loving and supportive husband.

Growing up the youngest of seven in a small town in North Carolina, she embraced her love of reading which helped to develop her imagination.

Her desire to write lay dormant for years until she found the courage to look within and her passion could no longer be ignored.

Be sure to follow L. Loren online:

https://llorenwriter.wordpress.com/ 

http://facebook.com/l.lorenwriter

http://goodreads.com/lloren

Twitter: @rebirthoflisa

Pinterest: rebirthoflisa

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MSTKUBI

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

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Aspiring Author Meredith Gibrahar

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 Meredith Gibrahar. She’s our first Aspiring Author! Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What would your favorite writing / reading room look like:

My perfect writing/reading room would be a clean table with just a computer and a comfortable reading chair.

What is the most annoying habit that you have?

The most annoying habit I have is to say, “I’m sorry!” I am on disability for a mental illness.

What do you hate about writing advice? What do you love?

What I hate about writing advice is that it’s not specific enough. What I love about writing advice is learning more and more each day.

I feel you. Can you give us an example of what would be specific writing advice for you?

How do you develop a character in fiction?  How do you set up a scene in your book?

What do you think you’ve mastered?

I think I’ve mastered the skill of painting with pastel and watercolor paints.

Ooh. Nice. Do you have any siblings Meredith?

I have two brothers.

Cool. What was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to be a secretary so that I could use a typewriter.

My dad had a typewriter! We broke it of course lol. In your own words, what is Humility?

Humility is to be honest about your achievements.

I love it. In your own words, what is Love?

Love is something to be shared between two people.

What is the most amazing adventure you’d like to go on?

The most amazing adventure would be to go on a safari to take photographs.

Thank you Meredith for spending this time with us!


Bio.

I am a new Canadian author. Just starting out and trying to get some interest in two new books. I have experienced much in life and think that I have a rich past and a rich imagination that will create two thrilling and suspenseful books.

More about Meredith:

Meredith was born in 1958 in Ontario Canada. She wrote a play in public school and have written one scientific article and a thesis. She writes poetry and fiction and is working on a non fiction book called The Dominant. She is a single parent.

Follow Meredith below:

https://meredithgibraltar.wordpress.com/

Facebook: Meredith Gibraltar@meredithgibraltar

Twitter: @mgibraltar101

Email: meredithgibraltar@outlook.com

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Dan Alatorre

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established (not so new) authors and their books.

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

What is your name and where are you from?

I’m Dan Alatorre and I live in Tampa.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Ooh, that’s touchy. I actually have THE perfect writing room. When we remodeled our house, we converted the dining room into a kind of reading room, then I took it over as my office. It was beautiful mahogany bookshelves and two Queen Anne mahogany chairs, a barrister bookcase, and a writing desk. Dark green walls and three big windows trimmed in white with thick green curtains, walls adorned with framed artwork of a British fox hunt, pond boats and wood duck decoys, rows and rows of books… It’s most writers’ ideal writing room. My editor kinda hates me for having it. We do video calls and she sees it and weeps.

Lol. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

Bragging about my awesome writing room. That, and accidentally-on-purpose telling my cold weather friends how awesome it is here (Tampa) every time we talk.

The Navigators is available HERE on Amazon

Dan, are you employed outside of writing?

I’m an author, that’s my gig. I have also a Young Author’s Club where I give guidance to grade school kids who want to be writers, and I host a private coaching/critique group for adults who are learning to be novelists. That’s a lot of fun. So many people want to write a book but don’t know where to start, or need input to take their work from good to great, you know? I help them. It’s very fulfilling work.

That sounds great! Speaking of critiques, what do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

I don’t listen to much writing advice. The people giving it are not necessarily correct – myself included! My favorite piece of advice is – the one I LOVE – is: “Great writing isn’t safe.” My second: “If I could give you one thing it would be enough confidence to believe in yourself the way I do.” So many people are afraid to be bold in their writing, to go there, to put themselves out there for the world to see, naked and exposed and vulnerable. They play it safe, so they never feel the applause and gratitude when somebody says THAT was a great story or THAT was the most romantic scene ever. Safe sucks. Be brave. It’s worth it. And writers have to be brave because we risk that every time, risking the pain and humiliation of rejection and being laughed at, and yet we go right back out there and do it again.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

Lion safari in Africa. Like in those big Jeeps. I have friends who’ve done it, and I’ve seen it on TV – I just can’t figure out why the lions don’t walk over and eat the people in the Jeeps. That makes no sense to me. The lion sees you outside the Jeep, you are dinner. You take two steps and sit down IN the Jeep, it’s like he can’t see you. I wanna do that, to be up close and personal with nature that way. But in the Jeep, and not getting eaten. With my luck, that would be the day the lions figure it out. A big lion would be like saying to his lion buddy, “Hey, Bill, you know those things in the Jeeps are the same things we eat when they are out walking around?” And we’d all get eaten.

In your own words, what is humility?

Doing it. Not bragging and boasting about how awesome you are, just getting it done and not boasting. Then, help others do it – and they boast about you, and you honestly believe they are exaggerating.

Probably the best definition I’ve heard so far. What skill would you like to master?

Levitation. Wouldn’t it be cool to fly like Superman? I’d freaking do it naked just to have people saying they saw a naked guy flying over their house. People would be getting locked up in loony bins everywhere.

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

Writing, I hope. I’m a pretty good motivational speaker, though. I went to president’s circle with two different Fortune 500 companies and a lot of people I hired became successful because I believed in them like no one else did. One example was a young lady we hired from a local high school when we were trying to create an in-house telemarketing department. She wasn’t too good at phone sales, but she was a good worker with a lot of potential – to me. To a lot of other people, she was just a high school kid. One day I was working on some report and I said to her, “Here have a look at this. One day you’ll be a branch manager and you’ll have to do these reports.” Her jaw dropped. I was no big shot, but nobody had ever told her she had that kind of potential before. It changed her world. She became a dedicated, hardworking employee. I think she grew three inches that day. Another time, I was in Home Depot and I hear a guy calling me from across the store. He runs up – it’s another former telemarketer I hired for that program. He wanted his friend to meet me because he said I gave him his start. He was a successful business person, buying and remodeling houses. He worked for me for three months, and ten years later he was still bragging about me to his friends. I’m not sure I’ve ever told either of those stories in print before, so I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m just saying that inspiring folks is really cool and we should all do more of it.

I agree. We can never lift people up too much (Lol @ she grew 3 inches). What’s your favorite drink?

Peach mango green tea. I live on the stuff. It tastes awesome, and there’s no caffeine. I get up at 4:30 and start writing without java juice. That’s another reason my writer friends hate me – no caffeine required. My editor texts me in the morning and she’s like Whuuuuuttt? I’m bouncing off the walls. She says she wants to slip me a cappuccino just to see what happens.

Yea, you’ll be flying for real then. What state or country do you never want to go back to?

I could do without Alabama. It’s like indoor smoking is required there. Yuck. Aruba sucked. A desert on an island. Hot. Damn hot. Pretty water, but way too damned hot. I live in Florida and I thought it was too hot, so most of you will just burst into flames.

Let’s get a little personal (readers make the “ooh” noise). How many siblings do you have?

Four brothers and two sisters. I am number six out of seven, children of a small-town doctor. It was like being a celebrity, being out to dinner with my dad. Everybody would come over and say hi, and Dad would talk to them all. He knew everybody, and they all loved him. If I could be half the man my dad is, I will be a great man.

Ahh, that’s where you get it from! What was your childhood dream?

I had a classic childhood filled with daydreams of being a writer and a cartoonist. I settled on writer.

What kind of music do you like?

Not much. I’m a former drummer in a rock band, so music has to have an interesting beat, and not a lot of tunes do that these days. Melodically, I love all music. A good tune puts you in the mind of its creator like no other art form. We all hear it the same, but we all hear it differently. There are songs I’ve heard 500 times that can make my cry each time I hear them. Oh Holy Night is one. Ave Maria is another. When You Wish Upon A Star is another. If I try to sing them, I can’t get through without choking up. The reasons why are different in each case, but suffice it to say each is hugely sentimental. I’ll break down if I try to sing Oh Holy Night. Seriously.

*EC writes down the secret to making Dan cry. Stores it away for later.*

Poggibonsi, An Italian Misadventure is available HERE on amazon.

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

August 2013. I pushed “publish” and sat back waiting for Oprah to call. I even rehearsed my answers to the questions I thought she’d ask. I’M STILL WAITING, MS. WINFERY!

You too?! (Dear Oprah, you heard it here first.) Dan, who is your best friend?

My daughter’s Spanish art teacher. She posted on Facebook that she was going to buy all my books. Automatic best friend status.

Is Dan married? How long?

Yep. 25 years this fall.

Congratulations! Does blogging help you to write? How so?

Yes, and anyone who says otherwise is lying. Probably. Yes, it takes time away from writing, but blogging IS writing. And it’s a fun way to connect with others with a same interest, also known as friends. Blogging rocks. I have friends all over the world because I blog. I’ll be seeing the brilliant Lucy Brazier (PorterGirl) in a few months – in London, going to haunted pubs – because I blog. We live ONCE, people!

Ahh man. I’m jealous. I wanna go to London! Who is your favorite writer?

Mark Twain. When people are still quoting you a hundred years after your death, you’ve done something right.

I know that’s right. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most exciting thing is creating words on a page that make people laugh, or make them cry, or open their minds or make them totally conceive of a world you created, and they go, hand in hand, your willing accomplice, into it with you. Playing them like a piano, knowing: get ready, get ready, here it comes, BOOM – they get to the sad part and they have tears streaming down their face, and then you insert a line and they are laughing through the tears. That is awesome. It’s a super power only writers possess. The worst thing? When it doesn’t work.

Loll. I love it. Speaking of Super-powers, if you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

That flying naked stuff would change the world, I think.

 It definitely would. What genre do you write in, why?

I am writing in each genre in succession until I find one I’m good at. Cook books is next, I think, then scrap-booking.

Neat. Why is writing important to you?

Money.

Lol. Honesty is the best policy. Let’s keep it going. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

The Dan Channel. But I’m working on it.

What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

I totally don’t get MSNBC. Everybody’s so angry all the time over there.

What are your thoughts on Race?

We messed up race relations in this country recently, and we have to get over being angry about everything. That anger stuff hasn’t worked in the middle east for 3000 years, and it’s not gonna work here. My mom’s family is from Germany, my dad’s is from Mexico and earlier in the line from Spain; I have a black brother in law and a black guy married my niece, the daughter of my brother who married an Italian girl. Love, people. It’s not that hard. And America does it better than anybody else, but we aren’t perfect and occasionally back slide. But the people who promulgate racial disharmony, for whatever reason, I sleep well knowing they lose eventually. It’s a dying industry as we all intermarry, less and less a factor every generation, despite the 24/7 news stations telling me otherwise. We’ll get there. We’re pretty smart and awfully compassionate.

Speaking Love, Dan, in your own words, what is love?

That crazy semi-queasy feeling you get when you can’t stand being away from somebody, your heart racing when you are about to see them, the euphoria you get when you DO see them, and the hating to say goodbye… Deep, slow, soft kisses you wish would never end and you want to go on forever. Heartache over being apart and joy over being together. Something like that.

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

Future Shock, by Alvin Toffler. He was cutting edge and basically completely wrong about everything. Like most people who know everything.

In your own words, what is truth?

Pure honesty and emotion, put on the page bare and raw and open and hurtable, identifiable in the smallest detail to anyone who sees it, and lasting beyond your ability to stand it.

Dan, this was fun. Thanks for making us laugh and spending this time with us!


Dan Alatorre. Used with permission.

Bio.

Dan Alatorre is the author of numerous best sellers, host of the YouTube video show Writers Off Task With Friends, blogger… and father to a hilarious and precocious daughter, “Savvy” of the bestselling book series Savvy Stories. His novels, short stories, illustrated children’s books and cookbooks have been translated into 12 different languages and are enjoyed around the world.

Dan and his family live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. (If it’s Friday, he’s making pizza, including making the dough and sauce from scratch. Who does that?)

Blog – www.DanAlatorre.com

Universal link for Poggibonsi http://geni.us/PoggibonsiUS

Universal link for the Navigators http://geni.us/navigators

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8 Things to Keep in Mind about Your Introduce Yourself Interview

  1. There are 50 questions to choose from. MIX THEM UP and remember that they do not have to be in order. (..because I’m gonna like, mix them up anyway)
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  1. Do put some thought into your answers. Give us something interesting and write in complete, detailed sentences. Remember that you’re a storyteller so showcase your personality. I had the opportunity of being interviewed by Best Selling author Dan Alatorre recently. If you are unfamiliar with how text interviews are structured, you can check it out HERE for an example of the format.
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Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Patty Fletcher

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 Patty Fletcher. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

Go ahead and Introduce yourself. Tell us your name and where you’re from.

My name is Patty L. Fletcher, and I am from a town in Northeast Tennessee in the United States called Kingsport.

Nice to meet you Patty! What would your perfect reading/writing room look like?

It’s funny you should ask. I am currently redoing the home I live in. Even though it is a rental, I feel very much as if it were my forever home, and thanks to a special grant I have recently received due to being Multiply disabled, the owner and property manager have given me a free hand. My perfect reading/writing room is going to have soft comfortable furniture for lounging, so that when I have free time or I’m working on a book review for another author, I’ll have a relaxing place to sit and read. I am also going to put in a desk for writing which will have plenty of room for my computer, Bluetooth keyboard, and other writing implements. Of course, I’ll have a big dog bed because I have a big beautiful beast of a Labrador from The Seeing Eye and he will need a place to hang out while Mommy works. There are two wonderful windows in the room, and I’m going to put in new shades so that when the sun is shining and temperatures allow, they can be open wide to let in the light, and breezes that seem to always blow through. I’ll have a big rag rug on the floor and even a bean-bag chair. I’m excited to be designing this room, and cannot wait until my dog and I can hang out in there all the time.

Wow! I think it’s so cool that you get to design your perfect room now. Congratulations on the grant too! You’re winning Patty. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

I believe the most annoying habit I have is that I obsess about things. If I get something stuck in my head like a problem that has not been resolved, I cannot let it go until it is resolved in some way. This can affect my writing because if I have a passage of a book, or blog post that I’m working on and it doesn’t feel right to me I’ll work, and work on it until it does. Thus, leaving other tasks undone.

In your own words what is love?

Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality. It is knowing all there is to know about another and still being able to be with them no matter what. It is being able to dislike something they do, say, or are, and still being able to find room in your heart for them, and it should always be unconditional.

That’s beautiful Patty. I LOVE it. Favorite line: “Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality. You mentioned blogging, does blogging help you to write?

Yes, Blogging Helps me to write. When I discovered blogging I realized I had a way to connect with those who had read my first published book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, in a whole new way. Recently I was interviewed for a podcast, and they asked me about my blogging. I told them I called it “Reality Blogging” because I didn’t necessarily plan my writing. I just wrote what happened as it happened.” I write what I see and do. I write what I feel. I write what others do to me, for me, and with me, and how that works or doesn’t work in my life. I use it to publish excerpts of things I’m working on. Someone asked me why I do that, and I said, “Because I can get feedback from the ones who are going to buy my books, and find out what they like, or dislike about it. It is my way of sharing who and what I am. It has helped me to grow in all ways as a person, thus it has helped me grow as an author as well.

Indeed. So, Patty, what’s your favorite food?

Well, that’s hard. I suppose there are many reasons that I was matched with a Labrador for a guide, because just like a Lab I’ll just about eat anything that won’t eat me. I suppose if I had to name a food I really love it would be fried shrimp. I could eat my weight’s worth of the stuff. Just give me a big mountain of Fried shrimp and a large cup of dipping sauce, along with a large jug of Micro-Brew and watch me go!

Nooo. Not Shrimp! Lol. Who is your favorite writer?

My favorite writer of all time is Stephen King. Not only do I love to be scared silly, but I find his books, such as, The Dark Tower Series, 11/22/63, The Bill Hodges Trilogy, The Talisman, Black House, and Joy land, have helped me learn things about myself in ways that nothing I have ever read before has done. I love how he writes notes to his, “Constant Reader” and although his books aren’t Nonfiction, they touch on reality in a unique way.

I loved King’s On Writing. If you could shadow your favorite artist who would it be?

This answer is the same as above. ‘Laughing’ 😊 Stephen King. It is my Dream to meet him. Sit and talk with him, and have him read my book.

Lol Hee hee. OK. Now, as you may know The PBS Blog loves music. What kind of music do you like?

I love Classic Rock! From the 50’s 70’s and 80’s as well as heavy metal. I was a teenager in the 80’s and got really into the Big Hair Bands.

OK, I see you. Heavy Metal. Lil wild there huh Patty? Lol. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I Self-Published my first book in 2014. It was a thrill like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and probably will never experience again. It had always been a dream of mine to do so, and when I was finally able to accomplish it I was never so happy or proud. Oh! Yeah! I was terrified, because I wrote about my life, and the people in it, but I had to. The story was just too good to keep to myself.

Nice. I love it that I’m meeting all these memoir writers! Ya’ll are gonna have to give me a lesson or two. Patty, I sense you have a good heart. Who is your best friend?

My very best friend in the whole wide world is King Campbell Lee Fletcher Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba. He goes everywhere with me, doesn’t care that I’m thin or fat. It doesn’t bother him that I am blind, and he is ever happy. He can lift me out of the muck of depression like no other. He keeps all my secrets, and listens no matter what I have to say, and he answers all my questions and never cares how many I ask. He is always there for me, and you remember how I said love should always be unconditional? Well, he’s got that down pat! There won’t ever be a friend like him in my world again after he’s gone. Even though I’m sure I’ll have more guides, he’s absolutely the best friend ever ever ever in my life.

Patty, I understand that you’re blind. Can you share with us some insight into how that impacts your writing? What is it like being a blind writer? What makes it special?

I guess I don’t think of it much. The most challenging thing I think for me as a Blind Writer are the different methods of Technology, and how compatible they’re going to be with my Operating System, and Screen Reader, or Iphone Voice-Over.

What makes it Special? Well, the telling a story in such a way so that the Sighted Reader gets a glimpse into the World of a Blind Person. I have been Complimented many times in Topic Specific Social Media Groups that unless a Specific Topic came up, most did not know, or if they did, had forgotten that I was Blind. This means I’m functioning as “Anyone else would.”

I simply love to write. I want everyone to feel as I feel, Hear as I hear, and experience with all my senses, and how they work.

A Reader came to me one day and taking my hand said, “I read your book! I loved it! I cried, laughed, got angry, and scared, all in the same moment.” I laughed, squeezing her hand and said, “Of course! A Bipolar wrote it” Turns out for her, my Blindness wasn’t the Amazing part, and if that is so, I really did my job! 😊

Ms. Fletcher paints a vivid picture of her experience in training for a guide dog under difficult personal circumstances. A must read for those contemplating the move from a cane to a guide dog, as well as those interested in the physical and mental obstacles faced by the blind. – Amazon Customer Review

That’s amazing. I hope you’re listening writers! Patty is blind and still writes books. You, my writer friends, have no excuse. 🙂 ….Patty, what do you think of the world we live in?

Right now, the world we live in, in my opinion needs a big kick in the ass. There is too much hate. Too much negativity, and entirely too much judgmental behavior going on. We need more love. More peace, and more acceptance, but as a whole, I know there are still lots of great people places, and things left and I want to find each and every one of them. Draw all them out, and help make the rest of the world a better, and brighter place to live.

Lol! I know that’s right *pumps fist* What is the most thought provoking book you ever read?

The most thought provoking book I’ve ever read has thus far been Wolves of the Calla Book Five of The Dark Tower Series. It helped me to define allot of fears I have wrestled with for many years in my life, and I was able to begin to address them, and overcome them after having read it.

Why is writing important to you?

Writing is important to me because it allows me to express my whole self. If I’m writing SF (Which I’m finally getting the nerve to do) I can allow myself to come out in my characters in ways I haven’t yet been able to do. If I’m writing about something that hurts me I can express it fully because if I’m writing about it, rather than speaking directly to another I can say all I have to say without being interrupted, scolded or made to feel small. It allows another to read my thoughts, digest them and then react. Some call this being non-confrontational. I don’t know? Maybe it is, but for me it is the best thing on earth.

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Patty, it was truly a pleasure. Thank you for spending time with us!


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Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport, TN, where she is a nonprofit consultant, the creator of The Neighborhood News, and writes full time.

Her autobiographical book is Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life (C 2014). There, she tells how she obtained her first guide dog from The Seeing Eye® in Morristown, NJ: what motivated her, the extensive training she had, and the good friends she made.

For more details about her and her book, including where to purchase the book in e-book or print format go to: www.dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/

To see her blog and newly updated website go to http://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/


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

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Brenda Scruggs

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 Brenda Scruggs. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from? 

Hello, my name is Brenda Scruggs and I live in the Volunteer State -Tennessee.

Cool. My in-laws are in Memphis. Are you married? How long?

I will be married 24 years this April.

Hey! Gone head witcha bad self then. Happy anniversary! Who is your best friend?

I couldn’t ask for a better friend than my husband. His support and encouragement is more than I than I could ever imagine.

Awwue. Yaass. I love it. 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?

It would be a Mediterranean Style house. I love the openness of the floor plans. And, the house frames are different than a traditional house.

Nice. Are you employed outside of writing? Tell us about your job.

By day, I work as a Merchandiser for Foster Grant and American Greetings, by night, I am a finger typing writer, as my husband would call me.

In your own words, what is love?

Love is more than words, its action. My definition of Love would be Selflessness – putting others above yourself.

Protector by Brenda Scruggs is Coming Soon. Image Used with permission.

I LOVE that definition! Selflessness. Yes. What genre do you write in, why?

At the moment, I’ve written Christian Fiction Romance/Suspense. One that is currently in print, “The Chocolatier,” a story that downloaded in my head one day when someone asked me if I wanted a piece of chocolate, my response was, “I’m not fond of Chocolate.”  Which is true, growing up, I remember, I always chose any other desert before I picked chocolate. (Crazy, I know). Another “Protector,” is to be released soon. But, my work in progress, is Historical Romance. I believe with Romance/suspense gives the reader a little edge wondering how the twists will turn out. The reason I began writing historical fiction is when I started doing research on the area that I’m from. I immediately thought of 1876, and the way the country could’ve appeared. Tennessee has a rich history in horse racing which peeked my interest.

Not fond of chocolate?! Whhaat.

Speaking of works, when did you publish your first book? What was that like?

The feeling an author gets when they first open the box of their printed book is almost indescribable. For me, it was a mixture of jumping up and down then wanted to hug it as if it had been a lost puppy returning home.

I think you’ve just described every writer reading this post! Jumping up and down and hugging the book is definitely a must. What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

Honestly, I don’t hate any writing advice. I can’t grow in my writing if I can’t receive any advice. Proverbs 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser. Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.”

Uh oh, she dropping scripts yall! I love it. Prov. 9:9 is one of my favorites.

Does blogging help you to write?

I do believe blogging helps me write. I have two blogs an author blog and Many Hats of a Lady blog. On one, I post and reblog about writing and the other, I have more freedom of posting different subjects. So, I’m continually, thinking and writing something along with my manuscript.

Awesome. Thank you, Brenda, for spending time with us today!

Branda is leaving us with a little treat! Here’s a blurb from The Chocolaiter. Enjoy:

From The Chocolatier

Would her heart learn to trust again?
Would she be able to love again?
 
Charlene Callaway finds herself far from home after finding her fiancé with another woman on their wedding day. She moves to San Francisco when her friend convinced her to start a new beginning. But, when she goes to work at a Chocolate Company, she wasn’t ready for her new boss. She wouldn’t let her heart get broken again.
 
Charles Riveria an heir to huge Chocolate Company was content as Director of Marketing. Charles’ passion is to represent Riviera Chocolate making it the best empire in the industry until he literally bumps into Charlene Callaway. When a stalker abducts Charlene, Charles finds himself doing everything in his power to find to her even if it took his cousin, the leader of a black opt team to find her.


Bio. Brenda studied journalism in high school which stirred her imagination into putting words on paper. Years later, she read an author’s interview that awakened the creativity that laid inactive. She gathered her thoughts and laid her pen to paper and hasn’t stopped.

Brenda loves to create stories in either Contemporary or Historical settings that take the reader on travels of conflict and suspense with a flavor of romance. Her characters are strong and determined while facing oppositions that could alter their way of life.

She is married and lives in Tennessee. She takes pleasure in watching television with her husband, eating Mexican food and scribbling her thoughts on paper.

Facebook – Brenda Scruggs-Author
brendascruggs.wordpress.com  Author blog
brendascruggssite.wordpress.com  Many Hats of a Lady Blog


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