Monthly Archives: February 2015

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Zachary Paul Chopchinski

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And our blog tour comes to an end in Maine, the US with Zachary Paul Chopchinski. Here’s his interview:

I am 26 years old and live in Maine with my lovely wife, Layla, our two dogs and two cats. I currently work as the director of security at a local college. Working in a field like security, despite the fact that often I was a manager and in charge of sensitive situations, I found myself with plenty of time to dream up stories. Working primarily nights exacerbated this, since I was often left to my own devices. This alone time allowed me to create other lives, worlds, and times. Often, this led to fervid writings penned as I arrived home after long nights, my day supposedly ending, yet merely at its start. I received an Associates degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Maine. Although I do not have a degree in writing, or its associated fields, I have always had a passion for it. I had two short stories published by Ohio State University when I was in elementary school, and a poem published when I was in high school.

I have always had two passions in my life, criminal justice and writing, and after spending nearly 5 years working in security, I have decided it is time to give my other passion a chance. When I am not writing, or dreaming up my next story, I can be found reading and studying about watches, playing video games or spending time with my family.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

As a child, I did not live in the best community. Often I found myself sitting alone in my room and reading, about far away places. I began to write at a young age — albeit not very good pieces, but I tried my best — and I have to say that the mere thought of my earliest work still makes me blush. The first thing that I ever wrote and finished was a short story entitled “Never Been Kissed”. Sadly, this was a short story about my very first girlfriend and date. I still have it to this day and my family loves to pull it out of hiding and read it to me just to make me blush. It was quite cheeky, I thought I was the next romantic novel superstar, yet I still think of it to this day.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

My favorite part of being a writer would have to be the ability to create something out of the most humble of things, or perhaps nothing at all. Whenever I find myself pondering hardships, boredom, possibilities or anything that may hit me, I throw a small story into the mixture and see what develops. I would have to say that my least favorite thing about being a writer is this little attention deficit problem that I have. I often find myself thinking over several possible story ideas at once and get overwhelmed, only to find myself nearly giving up on all of them. I generally am able to press forward, it is just frustrating at times.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

Absolutely I believe in writer’s block. Writing, like any art form, is based out of the author’s creativity and inspiration. This is a very fickle thing, like many things in life. Writers can find themselves uninspired, not in the mood, or maybe even unable to push through a certain point in their piece, for whatever reason. My best tip for beating this is to think back to what you were experiencing when you first began working the piece. Focus on what sensations you were feeling and immerse yourself into that mindset. If it was a song, listen to the song again. If you were in a special place when the thought first roared through your mind, go back and shoot for it again. Finding ourself in the situation which first spawned your works will relaunch the story for you.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

I am currently working on the second instalment of my novel, The Curious Tale of Gabrielle. The most challenging aspect of this piece is the base premise of it depends highly on historical accuracy. So, coupled with heavy writing, I now find myself doing more research than I did when I was in college.

What supports you in your writing?

Currently, there are two things that come to mind when thinking of what supports my writing. First thing would have to be music. I often listen to specific genres when writing that help me maintain focus on what I am currently working on. I use the music to channel the emotions and mindset needed to further my writing. The second is my lovely wife, Layla. She does what I have jokingly referred to as “mothering” me to make sure that I accomplish the goals that I set for myself. As I said, I do have a nasty little attention deficit problem, and she helps me keep that at bay when needed. For that, she is my greatest support.

What are you currently reading?

“War and Peace” by Tolstoy

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

http://zachchop.com

One book that I would like to promote is The Curious Tale of Gabrielle, scheduled to come out at the beginning of March.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23561884-the-curious-tale-of-gabrielle

 

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Cheryle Baker

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Today’s interviewee: Cheryle Baker

Cheryle Bill Hill Springs 2011Hello, I am Cheryle Baker.  I use C.Lightwalker for my virtual escapades thus the name of my Blog “Lightwalkers Blog”. I may not qualify for this tour.  I am not a published writer, in fact I recently enrolled in WordPress Blogging U 101, as a way to discipline myself to write on a regular basis, be accountable to doing the writing and to have some sort of structure.   I write sporadically, mostly for myself.  My main focus has been on poetry.  I attended courses Intermediate, Advanced and Form Poetry taught by Micheline Maylor at Alexandra’s Writers Society Centre in Calgary a number of years ago.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

When my great grandfather passed way, I received the phone call. I was about 15 at the time.  My mother and father were out, probably at a Friday night dinner.  My two sisters and I were home alone.  I answered the phone and someone, I don’t remember who, an aunt or uncle, told me that my grandfather had passed. This was my first experience with death.  Once when I was too young to understand, I found a dead puppy in the field and I had visited one of the Death Camps in Germany. While I waited for my parents to come home I wrote a poem.   This is the first piece of writing I remember writing with a purpose, other than a school assignment. I asked my mother to place the poem in the coffin with him, under his pillow.  I believe my intention was to make sure he had a physical representation of my love with him where ever he went.  At the time I had faith in some sort of heaven.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

I enjoy the clarity that comes with writing.  The sense of accomplishment and completion. I enjoy the feel and sound of the words.  Knowing what I have written down paints the picture I am expressing.

My least favourite aspect is struggling to capture the absolutely right word as it slips quickly by my inner eye.  Sometimes I can see it but not quite catch it.  Then I have to sit, try to recreate the thought process that led to the appearance of that particular word.  Not being successful with that approach, I then search the dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary or whatever resource would be helpful in providing me with the word that perfectly fits my image of the sentence or picture I am painting on the page.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

Yes,  leaving the piece for a while.  Placing my focus on something else, even meditation.  Sometimes it is a matter of something not being right in the piece I have been working on.  When I figure out what that is, things begin to flow much easier.  Other times I’m not clear as to where I am going.  Again, once I figure it out I can recommence the process.  Other times, I just have to struggle and writhe while I figure it out.  There is no one way, for me.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

I am currently working my way through Blogging U 201.  I completed Blogging U 101 and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.  My poetry is always waiting around the door or inside the hamper. When it appears I take note and add to the collection.  I have created a feature – The Meditation Cushion – which is my way of improving myself as a meditation instructor. The most difficult challenge is avoiding the procrastination and actually doing it.  Fear sometimes stands in the way of me and the page.

What supports you in your writing?

The satisfaction of knowing I have said what I needed to.  I get this sense that there is no more to put down on the page.  I let it sit.  When I come back, I rearrange the paragraphs, edit a few things, it feels done.  Whew!  It’s out and I’m happy with it.

What are you currently reading?

Biography – Acaryia Mun Bhuridatta Thera by Acariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno

Philosophy for Dummies – by Tom Morris, Ph.D

Tibetan Book of the Dead – A translation with commentary by Francesca Fremantle and Chogyam Trungpa.

Several books, including tapes on learning to speak Thai.

 

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

https://lightwalker1.wordpress.com/about/

www.facebook.com/CLightwalker

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Jay Dee Archer

We’re into our final week, but here is another great interview with a fellow writer…

Kate M. Colby

Jay Dee Archer

jay deeBorn in a very small town in Alberta, Canada, I went through an atypical childhood as a nerd, all the way up until university.  I have been living in Fujisawa, Japan, which is near Tokyo, for nearly ten years now.  I’m an English teacher, but writing is my passion.  I’m married and have one daughter.  We will be returning to Canada next year, where I will hopefully find a lot more time to write, and a lot more privacy.  Although I teach English and write, I have a university degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia.  This helped fuel my obsession with everything science related, including science-fiction.  When I’m not writing (which is most of the time), I’m playing with my daughter, going out hiking and walking, and blogging.  Through my walking, I also like doing photography, and have gone…

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The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Kimberly DuBoise

Featured Image -- 454Our interviewee for this Monday is – Kimberly DuBoise.

I live in the Midwest with my husband, cat and dog. I have taught preschool in the public school system for ten years. I have written and published a book of poetry and a non-fiction book on faith. If I am not reading or writing I am probably cooking or walking. My blog is called the tinypoet because I am tiny – 4’6 to be exact. I have Turner Syndrome, which impacts my daily life and thus my writing.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

kim bookI wrote a book titled “The Hidden Castle” when I was nine and still have it. I remember choosing the cover. It was fun to illustrate, too. It is a mystery, action story that reflected my love of Nancy Drew back then! I got an A+ on it, still remember that. It meant so much to me.  My first self-published book is a poetry collection that exemplifies my heart toward worship and seeking spiritual connection.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

My favorite aspect of writing is expressing my deepest emotions. Using my creativity. My least favorite aspect is marketing, promotion.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

Yes, I do believe it occurs. I think so much of our mental energy is destructive unless we channel it constructively. To beat it I change my locale, surroundings, give myself a break. Staying inspired and knowing why you are doing this is important.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

I am writing my first fiction story right now. The challenges for me have been plot kimdevelopment and not editing too much as I go along.

What supports you in your writing?

Other writers and the groups I belong to on social media.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading along with my husband as he studies his online travel course!

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

Readers can find me on my blog, http://www.tinypoet86.blogspot.co.uk/and find my latest book at http://amazon.com/dp/B00L2AST2I

Thank you! Happy Reading!

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Suzanne M. Brazil

Great to have our next interviewee, Suzanne M. Brazil….

Kate M. Colby

Suzanne M. Brazil

suzanneMy name is Suzanne M. Brazil. I grew up mainly in the Midwest and live less than an hour north of Chicago with my husband and son. We have a daughter getting married in June and our son is in college. I’ve been writing my whole life. When I’m upset, happy, loving, homicidal – it all comes out first in a letter in my head. I once tap danced in a Las Vegas showgirl type outfit in a variety show in Texas and I have owned two horses (neither in Texas). I’ve been published twice in Writer’s Digest and several time in local publications. I finished my first draft of my first novel in August 2014 and am in the thick of revisions. I blog, riff and revise from my daughter’s old bedroom at a desk my husband made for me.

What is the first piece you…

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1000 Voices for Compassion

I am doing something I never do – blog twice in a day – because today is a rallying call to raise 1000 Voices for Compassion: http://goo.gl/BKe5Ja & http://yvonnespence.com/all/1000-voices-for-compassion/

I was listening to Radio 4 the other day to a programme about whether the news agenda is too focused on ‘bad news’. It’s true, I have gone from being a real news addict to actually choosing not to watch or listen to the BBC news because it leaves me feeling despondent and helpless.

I don’t think having a ‘good news’ agenda is about not telling the audience about the violent and inhumane sides of humanity. I think it is about also finding the stories of compassion within these awful situations. Even in the worst environments, people do show compassion towards each other: sharing some food or drink; holding another person’s hand; talking gently when all around are incomprehensible angry words. These are the ‘good news’ stories I would like to hear (and indeed they are often to be found on Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent, but rarely on the news programmes).

Today we can all show one small sign of compassion to someone. It is my belief that it is our capacity for compassion and empathy which are the only weapons against war, terrorism, violence and torture. If we walked for one second in another person’s shoes, then we would not be so quick to condemn or hate.

 

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Sabina Khan

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sabina Today’s interview is with: Sabina Khan.

Sabina Khan is the author of “Realm of the Goddess”, the first in a series of YA Paranormal Fantasy books based on the gods and goddesses of India. She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and three daughters, one of whom is a fur baby. She is passionate about the empowerment of girls and women, hoping to inspire them with the strong female characters in her novel.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

I think I must have been in Grade Three when I wrote a short story about two kids who found themselves transported to this magical world where giant golden raspberries hung from the trees and friendly giant snored on the fields.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

The fact that I can legitimately daydream and watch TV/movies and say it’s research. Also that I can watch people in public and imagine them as characters in my books, without wondering if I am slowly going insane. My least favorite aspect has to be the nailbiting moments when you wait to see if anyone will love it as much as you do.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

It has hit me over the head multiple times since I started writing, so yes I believe in writer’s block. It can be paralyzing and extremely humbling, but I find that giving yourself a good kick in the butt or better still having someone else around to do that for you can be a swift but effective remedy.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

Currently I am working on Book Two of the Realm of the Goddess series. I would say that the most challenging aspect of this is to fill the reader in on what happened in the first book without going into it too much. It’s hard to find a balance sometimes.

What supports you in your writing?

sabina bookI would have to say that the constant encouragement of my family and friends has kept me going. It’s important to have a cheering section in your corner, but equally essential to have people who keep you grounded. I feel very lucky to have both. Of course I also have a puppy who keeps my toes toasty while I’m writing.

What are you currently reading?

“The Golem and The Jinni” by Helene Wecker. Absolutely magical and mesmerizing.

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

Follow me on Twitter: @Sabina_Writer

and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RealmGoddess

Find out more at http://realmofthegoddess.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Realm-Goddess-Sabina-Khan-ebook/dp/B00Q0OWI4G