Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Trent McDonald, @trentpmcd

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Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to introduce Author and Poet, Trent McDonald. Trent is a regular participant in my weekly poetry challenge. I love how many authors write poetry too! Check out his poems HERE.

I asked him 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, Trent McDonald:

I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.

I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.

If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts.  

One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.

Trent McDonald ~ Amazon Author Page

Hi, Colleen. Thanks for inviting me to your blog.

I always say the easiest way to get to know an author is for readers to connect with them on their blogs and read their fiction. So, have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?

Yes, all of the time, particularly in my longer fiction.  I believe I do have the skills necessary to write from a point of view totally foreign to my own, which I do all of the time in my short and middle length fiction, but I still like to base at least part of the main character on myself when writing a novel length work.  

For one thing, I like the idea of the hero being a nerdy, introverted guy instead of the usual alpha male.  Don’t worry, these nerdy “heroes” are often athletic and active without being athletes, but that is me as well. 

For instance, in The Halley Branch I have the main character, Trevor, running at about my pace and participating in similar outdoor pursuits, like hiking in the mountains and kayaking.  There is another reason I use at least some of my characteristics when creating my main characters on myself, one that some people might consider cheating a bit:  I find that basing the character at least partially on me makes it easier to create a three dimensional person on the fly. 

On the fly?  From this I’m thinking that you write at a rapid pace.  Do you begin with a plot written out in detail or do you prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I have done a bit of plotting in my day, but I am closer to what is known as a “panster,” that is, I like to write by the seat of my pants and have the story tell itself.  

Most of my longer works were written “on the spur of the moment,” that is, I didn’t plan to write a book or longish novella (20,000 – 40,000 words), they just happened.  

For instance, the two fantasy novellas I recently published together were written from beginning to end following weekly prompts.  After I wrote the first chapter to a prompt, I received so much feedback to continue that I just kept going, having no idea where they were going until the next prompt. 

Other times the stories are there in my head and I just write them out like dictation.  The Halley Branch is an example of a story being created in my subconscious.  I wrote a chapter as a standalone story and then wrote one chapter a day for a month to complete the rough draft.  The interesting thing with The Halley Branch is that I had a lot of detail in that first chapter that ended up foreshadowing what occurred later.  I don’t know if I could have panned it better if I had tried.  Of course, the first chapter was created while in a different state of consciousness…

I know you would never promote drug use, so I have to ask, have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

Yes, you got the hint after reading my blog posts.  I had an odd dream about crypts and ghosts.  There were “whites” and people of color in the crypt, yet a feeling that they were all one family.  The entire dream was so strange that I had to write it down.  Of course, I did more than write it down, I embellished it a little and created a story.  The story was just so incomplete that I had to continue.  As I said, I ended up writing the entire book in 30 days.  

O.K. Going back to the idea of letting the story run or plotting, when I was a little over half way through the book, I sat down for forty five minutes and came up with a rough plot to finish the book.  That bit of plotting did help so I could neatly tie up all of the loose threads.  This was also one of the few times that I wrote it out on paper, in this case mostly writing down a list of chapter headings that I would use.  

“More typical for me is that I will take a long walk and plot it out in my head.  Later, when I write it all out, I will use the outline that I created in my mind.”  

Trent McDonald

Back to the dream, I still find it odd how many details it had that showed up, almost by accident, later on in the book.  I wrote about this dream a few times.  My blog page on The Halley Branch has links to two of them as well as much more about the story (https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/books/the-halley-branch/).  

One thing you may see while reading some of the posts is that I originally posted the book, one chapter at a time, on my blog, putting each chapter up within a half of an hour from when I complete them.  I used the same drawing for all of the posts to make sure people could tell when a new Halley Branch post was up.  It provided a constancy.

How interesting. Were you able to use that same drawing for promotion?  You know, since people were familiar with it?  In fact, I was wondering if you’ve ever designed your own book covers?

It was a pencil drawing and a bit rough, but I spent a lot of time in Photoshop and came up with a good cover, so, yes, I did design my own cover using that drawing. 

In fact, three of my five books use covers that I created.  I do really like the two covers Belinda Borrradaile created for me, but there is something satisfying about having your own artwork grace the cover of your book. 

Embers was simple, just a photograph that fit the title and idea of the short stories contained in the book.  My cover of the two fantasy novellas was the most satisfying.  I received a lot of comments on it.  

It is also interesting how well it matches the cover of Seasons of Imagination, the first cover that Belinda did for me. 

But, back to your question… I think that creating my own covers is another way that I put myself into the story.  A bit of my personality rubs off on the book itself, not just the main character.

Going full circle, that is part of what it is about for my writing.  Half of it is that I am a storyteller with all of these tales inside waiting to escape.  The other half is that when the stories finally do escape, they contain a lot of me in them, pouring forth from my subconscious straight onto the page. OK, I’ll be boring and call this “self-expression”.  

That’s it in a nutshell: the main storytelling part, the part before all of the hard work of editing begins, is just that, plain, straightforward self-expression.  And that little cherry on top, the cover, is the final detail of that self-expression.

Thanks so much for stopping by Trent. I know everyone is thrilled to learn more about you and your writing.

Thanks, Colleen. I had fun. Thanks for the opportunity.

Where Can You Find Trent McDonald?

Trent’s BLOG:  https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Trent-P.-McDonald/e/B01NCYQA3G

Twitter: @trentpmcd

k luv u bye

 Thanks for stopping by to meet 

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 142 #SynonymsOnly

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

Here are your two words for this week:

“Character & Wild”

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! 

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

This challenge is for Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

HAIGA

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Phoenix, AZ).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain the poetry from the Poet of the Month and any Honorable Mentions.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Phoenix, AZ, U. S. A.

The rules are simple

Follow the schedule listed below:

Please do a LINK-BACK to this challenge by copying the https:// address of this post into your own. Don’t forget to mention what kind of poem you’ve written. Sometimes, I can’t tell. Hey, what can I say? ❤

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. I have also been sharing some of your poetry on MeWe.com.

Click here to follow me on MeWe.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Have fun and write some poetry!


Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention(s), No. 141, #PhotoPrompt

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the Poet of the Week and any honorable mention poetry that really caught my eye. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. Stop by and say hello! ❤

What a wild week of poetry fun! From all the buzz, everyone seemed to enjoy the photo prompt. I have to tell you that I never thought this prompt would generate the interest that it has.

Imagine my surprise when Janette Bendle from her blog, What She Wrote Next, linked her short story up to this challenge. This story was heart rendering and I had to share it! Click “Save Me” to read the story. ❤ It just goes to show that inspiration takes many forms.

I thought this image would leave lots of room for imagination. After we all got over the shock of all the song titles the photo reminded us of, we got down to work. I really enjoyed the range of interpretations. Poets, you are all amazing! ❤

The Poet of the Week and Honorable Mention Poets will be published in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone will be able to grab as a FREE PDF in January 2020.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

The Poet of the Week

This week, I’ve chosen Jane Dougherty as the Poet of the Week for her Butterfly Cinquain poem featured below. I enjoyed Jane’s no nonsense approach to finding a bottle “littering” the beach. Her choice of a butterfly cinquain, also visually adds to the whimsical theme of her poem. The shape reminded me of a bottle!

Not sure how to write a Cinquain poem? Find out more HERE.

Litter,” #Butterfly #Cinquain

Bottle,
stoppered, some would
pounce, hope for a message,
keen to share nefariously
someone’s
romantic story. I pick you
up, put you in the bin,
search for coloured
pebbles.

© 2019 Jane Dougherty


Honorable Mention(s)

With a completely different take on the prompt is Merril D. Smith with her Haibun/Tanka below. Merril’s Haibun prose shares a fascinating story she gleaned from the news. Her Tanka portion below, really adds to the prose but doesn’t repeat what she already stated. This is a perfect example of a Haibun/Tanka.

Not sure how to write one for yourself? Click HERE to learn more.

Message in a Bottle,” #Haibun #Tanka

I read the news—an Alaska man finds a bottle with a fifty-year-old message inside. The Russian sailor’s note conveys friendly greetings. They drift through Cold War seas, through glasnost and perestroika to shores not yet submerged by the rising seawater of melted glaciers. The man shows the message to his sons.

Past meets the future
carried on time’s tumbling waves
ebbing and flowing
lives tide-lifted and lowered
as moon-silvered sea rolls on

© 2019 Merril D. Smith


ALL!

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Setting up your Amazon Author Page by Sally Cronin

Setting up your Amazon Author Page by Sally Cronin is the kind of information ALL authors need to know. Check this out! ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I began promoting authors and their books back in 2001 and then it was all about splashy book launches, press releases and getting local coverage. Indie authors had it tough in those days trying to break into the establishment and get the attention of national press, but could do very well locally.

It is very different today in many respects, but certainly you can still make a big splash in your own local area, especially if our books are relevant to the history of the area. Press releases and going door to door to established businesses such as bookshops, cafes, art galleries and holding book signings can certainly launch a book and possibly get the attention of a wider audience and the national press.

Six years ago I began promoting my own books (particularly Ebooks as I tend to still go local for my print books) and a handful of…

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide” by Author, Jan Sikes, @rijanjks

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Title: Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide

Amazon Author Page: Jan Sikes

Formats: Kindle

Genres: Occult Fiction, 45-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads, Occult Horror

Goodreads

In the Author’s Words

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

One afternoon, over a few glasses of wine, Claire Winters finds herself constructing a crudely made voodoo doll along with her best friend Jade, whose grandmother is descended from one of the fifteen Voodoo Queens in New Orleans.

Clair is determined to break her cheating husband’s heart, just like he broke hers when he told her he was in love with someone else and wanted a divorce.

Would you dabble in the dark arts to seek revenge over a cheating husband?

In this electrifying short story, the reader gets the opportunity to decide the outcome of this story for themselves. From the first page onward, Sikes interjects the right amount of creepiness, coaxing the reader toward the final scene.

But I want more! What happens next?

With this hair-raising short story, Sikes has the opportunity to take this tale further and to create a macabre novel filled with love, Voodoo, and revenge. Will she do it? I, for one hope so!

Now, where did I put my poppet? Jan Sikes… write the novel!

MY RATING:

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About Jan Sikes

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work. 

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories. 

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music. 

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website. 

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

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How to Connect with Jan Sikes

Connect through Jan’s website: https://www.jansikes.com
Follow Jan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes
Follow Jan on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rijanjks
Follow Jan’s Blog: https://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Other Book Reviews

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so that I can follow you!

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, Sally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro in our writers group on MeWe.com, The Literary Diva’s Hangout to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love. This is a safe site for authors, bloggers, poets, and writers to share their work.

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“Sweet Jam,” #Flash #Fiction

It’s been awhile since I had the time to join in with my favorite flash fiction challenge. Today, I finally made it.

The Carrot Ranch August 15, 2019, flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

Image by Felix Wolf from Pixabay

Sweet Jam

One of the fondest memories I have of my mother in law was the day we made strawberry jam. The kids washed the flats of strawberries in the sink, careful to pinch off only the green leaves. I dumped the ripe fruit into the pot.

Arlene never measured ingredients. She didn’t have to. Like a conductor at a symphony, she coaxed the natural sweetness out of the berries cooking on the stove before she added any additional sugar.

The older girls filled the jars with the delectable strawberry compote. Billy the toddler, dipped his fingers into the sweet jam.

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 141 #PhotoPrompt

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt!

Use the above photo as the inspiration for your poem. Ask yourself questions. Be creative! What does this photo say to you?

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

This challenge is for Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

HAIGA

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Phoenix, AZ Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain the Poet of the Week and any Honorable Mention poetry.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Mountain Standard time – Phoenix, AZ, U. S. A.

The rules are simple…

This week, we will write our poetry using a photo prompt.

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. I have also been sharing some of your poetry on MeWe.com.

Click here to follow me on MeWe.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma #PhotoPromptPoetry

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Have fun and write some poetry!


Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention(s), No. 140, “Light & Dark,” #SynonymsOnly

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the Poet of the Week and any honorable mention poetry from last week’s challenge. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! Once again you all submitted poetry that filled my heart with joy!

Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. It would mean so much if you could stop by and say hello! ❤

The Poet of the Week and Honorable Mention Poets will be published in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone will be able to grab as a FREE PDF in January 2020.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

The Poet of the Week

This week, I’ve chosen D. Avery as the Poet of the Week for her Nonet poem featured below. The word, nonet represents a group of 9 performers or instruments, so it’s safe to say this is one of those poetic forms inspired by music. This form compliments D’s theme of bird song. Read this poem out loud. It flows with a pleasing lyrical rhythm.

Not sure how to write a Nonet poem? Find out more Here. Corrine Rodrigues shares a fabulous tutorial on How to Write a Nonet Poem.

“Song Lines,” #Nonet, by D. Avery


Birds cast song lines towards eastern hills
exalt among effulgent leaves
celebrating golden dawn
Exhorting me to rise
emerge from sleep’s shade
step forth, wings stretched
Cast my voice
skyward;
fly.

© 2019 D. Avery

Honorable Mention Poetry

I really enjoyed Bob Fairfield’s synonyms in the following Shadorma. His poem contains a creepiness that it quite delightful! Plus… he used a Shadorma which really accents his theme.

“They Lurk Unseen,” #Shadorma by Bob Fairfield

In unlit
corners, shadows creep
silently,
cold fingers
search for that which ends their life,
illumination

© 2019 Bobby Fairfield

I also enjoyed Joe M’s Haiku. The word, “skyglow” describes that special time betwixt and between – when light and dark hover together. His words capture mother nature’s pallet perfectly! Look out for the good neighbors – they could be out and about! ❤

“Light & Dark,” #Haiku, by Joe M.

between day and night
skyglow fades and shadow spreads
two worlds share the land

© 2019 Joe M.

Stay tuned for the new challenge post tomorrow!

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

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Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award winning authors, Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE which she did. But stayed tuned… Vashti and I have a candid discussion behind some of the themes she explores in her books!

I love Vashti’s writing and believe me, I know what I’m talking about! I’ve read and reviewed, The Fall of Lilith. Read my review HERE. I’ve also read and reviewed, Son of the Serpent. Read that review HERE.

Please meet my guest author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, who is also an accomplished poet.

Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Amazon Author Page

Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this opportunity to share my books. I’m really looking forward to our chat.

I’m thrilled to learn more about you, Vashti. I’ve loved your Angel Series books, and I know you also have a new novella out. I’ll share more about that later.

Sounds good. Ask away. I’m happy to share.

Your Angel Series books deal with some dark subject matter. Do your readers ask if you Are a devil worshiper or Satanist?

Absolutely not. My stories are not about the devil, he happens to be a character in my stories but the stories are not about him and even if they were it wouldn’t mean I was a Satanist.

Not that it really matters, but Do you believe in God? The devil?

I believe in God and angels, so I believe that just like there are good entities there must also be evil ones. How can people like Ted Bundy, Tsutomu Miyazaki, Jack the Ripper, Ahmad Suradji, Adolf Hitler, Andrei Chikatilo among others exist if there wasn’t a devil?

So, I have to ask… are you a witch?

Witches have gotten a bad wrap through the years. Remember the evil witch from “Hansel and Gretel” who snatches up children to eat? How about Bette Midler’s character in “Hocus Pocus”?

In real life, a witch can look like anyone else. To me a witch is simply someone who is aware of her own power and puts that power into action.

Your Angel books share some of the mythology surrounding angels. Are you a religious person?

That would depend on one’s definition of what being religious entails.  I believe in the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I’ve also added, “treat others like you would like others to treat your children, parents, spouse, or friend.” If you would like others to treat your children with patience and kindness, be patient and kind to other children. If you want your elderly parents or grandparents to be treated with respect and dignity, treat every elderly person you come in contact with the same way.

I believe in doing good deeds and being kind and fair.  I don’t believe that going to a church every week or every day makes one a good person. Although there are many good people who attend churches, synagogues, mosques . . . there are also many self-righteous people who wear the facade of good, caring individuals when in fact they are nothing but selfish hypocrites with their own agendas.

I have no doubt that there are many lovely churches and temples with wonderful congregations but churches and temples are merely buildings. I’ve always felt closest to God surrounded by nature.

Vashti, why do you write?

Why does a person eat, sleep, or breathe? To live. That’s the same reason I write––to live.

What is it about dark fantasy, horror, and thrillers that draw you to those genres?

These have always been the genres that I’ve been attracted to since I was a child.  We all have a dark side, dark thoughts. I believe writing dark fiction helps me purge the darkness inside me in a positive way.

Do you read only dark fiction books?

I’ve always loved reading fantasy (High, Epic, Dark), horror, thriller, and science fiction, but I have read books in other genres from time to time. However, since I joined the Rave Reviews Book Club I’ve read many books from different genres. I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy them. Some of those genres have really grown on me.

Do you associate yourself with any of your villains?

No. As a matter of fact, I have at times asked myself, what is the opposite I would do in a certain scenario, in order to determine the villain’s next move. I have done research on serial killers, tyrants, and the criminally insane in order to come up with the personalities and traits of my villains. I’m not a perfect saint but I’m also not evil.

You’ve shared with me that some readers have been offended by the way you portray angels and for writing Your take on heaven and hell. Does that bother you? What would you say to these people?

I probably wouldn’t say anything, but for the sake of the interview, I would first remind my readers that my books are not religious, non-fiction books. They are fantasy fiction. Some readers just can’t differentiate fiction, from non-fiction. They believe everything they read, and I consider that to be dangerous.

I would also tell them that if they do not like my portrayal of angels, maybe they should write their own book depicting angels in the manner they feel is right.

And lastly, I am neither the first nor the last author to write about angels and demons or to create my own version of heaven and hell. There’s “Inferno” by Dante, “Paradise Lost” by John Milton, “Eric” by Terry Pratchett, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, “What Dreams May Come” by Richard Matheson and many more. I’m in good company.

Some people claim to be religious while knowing very little about their own religion. I’ve also discovered that the people that are truly religious and knowledgeable about the doctrine and scriptures of their faith don’t have a problem with my books, or any books like mine. Many readers have enjoyed books like mine because they see them for what they are––works of fiction.

I love your answer! Now, Do you believe in magic?

I believe in magick. I believe the mind is a powerful instrument and people can achieve miracles with the power of positive thinking. You may call it prayer, faith . . . People have cured themselves from incurable diseases because they thought it possible. I have experienced both the power of positive thinking as well as the power of negative thinking. Positive thinking is like a spell of protection. Magick is about raising and directing energy to fulfill your intentions.

As a writer are you a dark and moody person?

I have my dark moments like everyone else, I suppose. I do my share of brooding, but I do not consider myself a dark, moody or pessimistic person. On the contrary, I always try to see the glass half full. I have actually been accused of smiling too much or being too happy at times. I try to see the good in people because I believe there is good in most people. I don’t hold grudges. I rather confront someone who I believe has done me wrong and tell him or her how I feel because then I can move on and forget about it.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit, Vashti. Before I forget, what is the name of your new novella?

It’s called, Memoir of a Mad Woman. Who can explain how madness begins? Thanks for the fun interview. ❤

HOW TO CONTACT Vashti Quiroz-vega

BLOG: http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/VashtiQV
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

k luv u bye

 Thanks for stopping by to meet Vashti! You’re going to love her books!!

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 140 #SynonymsOnly

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

Here are your two words for this week:

Light & Dark

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! 

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

This challenge is for Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

HAIGA

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Phoenix, AZ).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain the poetry from the Poet of the Month and any Honorable Mentions.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Phoenix, AZ, U. S. A.

This will give me a chance to cut and paste the poems from the submission form emails into the Recap published on Monday.

The rules are simple

Follow the schedule listed below:

Please do a LINK-BACK to this challenge by copying the https:// address of this post into your own.

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. I have also been sharing some of your poetry on MeWe.com.

Click here to follow me on MeWe.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Have fun and write some poetry!