Welcome to my blog interview with children’s author, Danielle Cotton, author of Tajja and the Legend of the Queens. I’ve been friends with this wonderful woman for a decade and am always amazed at her strength and passion. She’s written a delightful book with a poignant message about embracing your heritage and taking responsibility.
Danielle Cotton is a children’s author, history teacher, and proud mother of two high-energy girls, Sofia and Zoe. She writes to create books that celebrate their black beauty and the legacies of strong black women in history. When she isn’t on an epic adventure with her daughters, she’s trying to find a sunny spot in which to write or read.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, CF WALLER,
author of FREE DIVE AND SOUTH FACE.
Award winning novelist C. F. Waller published his first science fiction novel at age forty-seven, after a flight on an ill-fated commercial airliner over the Atlantic Ocean, that nearly became an episode of “Why Planes Crash.” This experience illustrated for him first hand that writing about exotic or dangerous locales was safer than traveling to them. Since then, he likes to think his meticulous research and storytelling gives readers a clear sense of their grandeur, without the inherent risk of flying.
After narrowly escaping the academic death-grip of several universities, he worked in nightclub, took a turn as a new car salesman, and did hurricane shutter engineering. His favorite authors include Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut Jr and Michael Crichton. His favorite novel is The Picture of Dorian Grey by Wilde, which inspired a bigger than life oil painting that hangs on his bedroom wall.
Though he’ll forever be a Midwestern boy at heart, he now lives on the gulf coast of Florida with his wife Tina and one fuzzy feline companion. If he’s not working on a new novel, you can find him volunteering at church, playing overly competitive Yahtzee with his spouse, or indulging in an unhealthy addiction to competitive cooking shows on television.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Not locked into just one. Went to Readers Favorite book awards last year as a winner in Paranormal [SOUTH FACE] and Science Fiction [FREE DIVE] (narcissist patting himself on the back). In my opinion a good plot is in itself a genre.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Take a two-hour walk, then sit down and write. All my ideas come when un-plugging my mind after walking.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
For the most part, I over-research locations. Sometimes you have to make the ideas fit a timeline or to fit a scene, but I endeavor to be spot-on. Unfortunately, literary license is an ugly necessity. I often sit down to write and get lost in research, winding up with no words at the end of the day.
Welcome to my blog interview with writer, Kathleen Ann Gonzalez, author of A Beautiful Woman in Venice and Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.
Kathleen Ann Gonzalez started out as a teacher but was surprised to discover that she is a writer and dancer as well. While she spends most of her time trying to infect teenagers with her great enthusiasm for literature and writing, she still squeezes in time to write about her work and her travels. Her first book, Free Gondola Ride, is about the gondoliers of Venice, while her second book, A Small Candle, includes interviews with participants in the Camp Everytown program. Her 2013 guidebook Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, takes readers to over 90 locations Casanova lived and loved, and it has been published in Italy as well. Gonzalez has published several other essays and articles over the years and has recently completed a book about Venetian women, titled A Beautiful Woman in Venice.
(Courtesy photo by Laura Rice) Kathleen Ann Gonzalez’s curiosity about the mythical figure Casanova resulted in her new book “Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.” It is both a guide to Venice, which she visits annually, and an insight into the legendary lover.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Free Gondola Ride, was born from my love of Venice. I fell in love with the city within the first five minutes that I was there, on a 1996 spring break trip with my students in Europe. I returned to the city that summer and met a gondolier who piqued my interest in his unique profession. Wondering how to get back to Venice again, I thought, “Why don’t I write a book about the gondoliers?” No one else had done it yet, and I thought I might as well try. I definitely doubted myself along the way, but since I had successfully published some essays and other articles, I decided that I should at least try.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Free Gondola Ride was trying to be a couple genres—history, memoir, and travel book, which is perhaps its biggest weakness as its purpose isn’t so clear. I learned from writing that book that I should have a clearer concept of my purpose for the work. Not that a book has to fit neatly into a single box, but I do believe the writer should know what she’s trying to do. Seductive Venice is a guidebook that I tried to make accessible for armchair travelers as well as those on foot. My latest book about Venetian women is really a history book, with biographies about a host of historical women. I never knew I was going to become a historian.
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Heather Hildenbrand, author of the Dirty Blood & Imitation series. I recently discovered her when I was given review copies of Imitation and Deviation. I had a blast reading them and was thankful to be able to interview her. She is witty and funny and her books are definitely worth checking out.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I like the silence. No music or white noise for me. I can write that way if I have to but most of the time, I like the quiet. I guess the voices in my head are that loud.
Do you have a specific writing style? Probably not. I’ve done such a variety. But I really like present tense, first person POV. It feels more edge-of-your-seat. I do that in my Imitation series and it amps up the tension and suspense that way. Really fun!
How did you come up with the title? For Dirty Blood, I wanted something that got your attention, something almost violent. I don’t know, it just came to me. I think it suggests action and intrigue—at least enough to hook someone’s interest.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? For Dirty Blood, it’s that family isn’t just who you’re born related to. It’s more about the people you connect and bond with along the way. The people who are there for you when you need someone to have your back. Half of my “family” in my life have been made up of those kinds of people. I think it’s important to learn to look for those kinds of relationships in life and hang on.
How much of the book is realistic? HAHA Werewolves are totally real….right? (more…)