Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you a new author, at least to me, Darlene Foster. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.
First, please meet my guest, Darlene Foster.
Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends.
Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”. She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people.
She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul. “Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel.
Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.Amazon Author Page
Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m really looking forward to our chat.
I do it all the time. My novels are set in places I have visited so I use my experiences to inspire my stories and include many of them in the plot.
For example, when I was in Barcelona, my backpack was stolen, but I got it back when a woman found it under her car in the shopping centre parking lot. In Amanda in Spain, Amanda’s backpack gets stolen in Barcelona and she gets it back. The outcome is a bit different though. You would have to read the book to find out what happens.
My aunt and I stumbled upon a derelict building on the prairies when we were kids. It was as if whoever lived there, just up and left. Food was still on the table and sewing in the machine. It was quite creepy. I included that house and experience in Amanda in Alberta.
As adults, that same aunt and I visited a hotel in New Mexico that is supposed to be haunted. I incorporated that experience in Amanda in New Mexico. My books are full of things that have happened to me in real life!
Do they ever. I am so fortunate. I come from a very close, huge, German-Canadian family and we all support each other in our endeavours.
I did a reading at a library in Calgary, Alberta which was well attended. I was related to over half of the attendees. Others that I didn’t know said they came because a relative of mine told them about the event.
I sold out of books that day. Most events have some relatives attending. They buy my books and tell everyone they know about my books. My family knows how to network.
One cousin used my books for reading assignments when she was homeschooling her son. My 90-year-old mom keeps copies of my books in her room at the retirement home and the staff often read them to the other residents.
My children and grandchildren are great supporters and I’ve been invited by my grandchildren’s schools to do readings and workshops. My husband is very patient with my writing activities and spreads the word to his friends and connections. He is also the photographer at my events.
I certainly appreciate all the support my family has given me over the years and attribute much of my success to them.
I love writing for tweens, kids from 7 to 12. This is my favourite age group. Tweens are not babies anymore but not yet teenagers. They are curious, eager to learn about new things and enthusiastic about life. They have concerns and fears as all children do but are still positive for the most part and not tainted by teenage angst and broken hearts. I believe they possess a sense of adventure that makes them eager to read about other worlds, both real and imaginary. If I can help them dream about travelling to other countries one day, I have done my job.
Not at all. As long as they contain books and readers they will be charming. I recently visited a new library in Calgary, Alberta. It was amazing. A very interactive, vibrant place for the entire family to enjoy.
I loved watching families looking at books together and engaging in activities. The wonder in the children’s eyes was reflected in the adults.
Last summer I facilitated a workshop in the downtown Vancouver Public Library during their summer book and writer’s camp. What a wonderful opportunity. The place was buzzing with creative minds and budding authors.
In Liverpool, England, I visited the main library and found a Harry Potter room with children dressed in Hogwarts cloaks waving wands. The positive energy was contagious.
Children learn differently now and I am so pleased to see that libraries understand that and have adapted. They are no longer the quiet, solemn and sometimes dull places they once were. That is a good thing because if they don’t change with the times, young people would no longer go there. And libraries are the best places in the world to hang out!
I have a couple of projects on the go right now. The seventh book in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action, is completed and with the publisher. There will be a few more edits with plans to release the novel September 1, 2019.
In Holland, Amanda gets involved in searching for a missing gardener, rare tulip bulbs, and a home for an abandoned puppy, all while seeking clues as to why her great-uncle didn’t return from the second world war. I am excited about this book as I love how it all comes together in the end. The cover will be revealed soon and it is a cracker!
I have written half of book number 8, “Amanda in Malta – The Sleeping Lady” and plan to finish it by this summer. I also have a rough idea for book number 9, Amanda in France. I am also busy promoting the series whenever and wherever I can. There is no rest for the wicked a writer!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to answer your excellent questions. The only difficulty was choosing which ones to answer as they are all great!
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/
Thanks for stopping by to meet
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.