John Geddes: In His Own Words

John Geddes

 

Today’s post is all about John Geddes – author of “A Familiar Rain“, blogger (at johngeddes.ca), and inspirational tweeter (@JohnJGeddes). Read on for the low down on this amazing man in his own words:

“I was always a writer. If I had my way, I would have published books under a pen name. I wanted so badly to write and communicate with readers, but preferably at arms length, with little or no attention shown to me.

A defining moment occurred in university when I finally got up the courage to show Raymond Souster my poems. Ray was a well-respected Canadian poet and a recipient of the Governor General’s award. I admired Ray’s style and looked up to him as a role model.

We sat in his front room with his gracious wife and one-eyed cat, while he read my poetry. At last, he put down the poems and said to me, “your poetry is more literary than mine, but I’d like to edit and help you publish. I’d also like you to come to a few parties and meet some Montreal friends of mine.” He mentioned Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton and several other published authors. I was flattered, but afterwards, panicked. Sad to say, I saw my own shadow and ran. I saw Ray once or twice afterwards, but never took him up on his generous offer. Recently, I found out he passed away. I still consider him a mentor and influence on my life.

A few years later, another Governor General award winner, Earle Birney, chose one of my poems in a poetry contest. A friend pushed me into asking if he would care to see more. He was obviously inundated with similar requests and gave me a stern, “No!” That monosyllabic reply caused me to retreat into myself for a few more years. Such is the effect of a frosty reply to a sensitive spirit.

If I could give any advice to young writers it would be to accept yourself—very often a gift is bound up with weaknesses and vulnerability—with me, it was an exquisite sensitivity that enabled me to create, but made me fearful of sharing my gift with others.

I’m often asked about the inspiration for my writing and how I deal with writer’s block. Let me begin by saying, I don’t think writing should be forced—that will definitely lead to feeling blocked. Writing should be a spilling over of creativity that has its origins deep in the soul. I often allow my subconscious to mull over things and do all the heavy lifting—then, when I sit down to write, I find most of the story has already been worked out.

I don’t use music to inspire or motivate me and can write anywhere—even in noisy dentist offices or crowded restaurants. The idea of a writer’s den sounds appealing, but for me, it’s unnecessary. I have a very nice office/study I rarely use and prefer the dining room table or curling up on the sofa with Muse Cat at my side and Levi, my pup, at my feet.

I think I’m comfortable with the writer I’ve become. I’ve always gravitated toward authors who are authentic—I especially admire Frost and Pasternak, Dickens and Hardy. Among modern authors I’d list Jack Finney. The point is to find someone whose work you admire and someone who can mentor you. None of us develop as solitary artists—we need the example and advice of those who have gone before, on whose shoulders we can stand, and whose ideals we can espouse, and perhaps even emulate in our own art.”

Check out the links below for even more information on John Geddes:

The Blog of John Geddes

Twitter Page of John Geddes

Amazon Page for “A Familiar Rain”

 

A Fresh Start…

I have been mulling over an idea for the last few days and have finally made the decision to do it. I am going to do a complete rewrite of the introductory chapters of my current book in progress.

Some of my fellow writers might think it is a sure sign of insanity.

But consider this, rather than the beginnings of a literary massacre, it may very well be the start of a bold new beginning!

Not unlike the upcoming new year, which some thought might never come (Mayan calendar – *eye roll*).

We are the looking at the start of 2013, a whole new year of memories to be made, new people to be met, and experiences to be lived.

Just as this new year holds untold promise for our lives, I am hoping that the revisions to my current story will breathe new life into its pages. 🙂

Painted Faces – New Book Promotion

Painted Faces Cover

Painted Faces Cover

 

Today’s post is about a new book, “Painted Faces” by L.H. Cosway.

This is an unconventional tale of love between quick witted Freda and darkly handsome Nicholas. The characters in this book are absolutely unforgettable and mesmerizing. The dialogue and witty banter will have you smiling from ear to ear. The backdrop of the story is peppered with cultural references to Dublin that makes the reader feel like they are really there with the characters.

But don’t just take my word for it, get your copy here:

http://www.amazon.com/Painted-Faces-ebook/dp/B00AOSEF9A

Catching Up With Kenya Wright

Kenya Wright

Writers lead an insanely busy life, and Kenya Wright is no exception. But I did get her to agree to take a little time out of her crazy schedule so we could do some “catching up”.   🙂

So Kenya, you ended up as a writer, but what job did you dream of having when you were a kid? 

“I dreamed of being a rapper. My name was Queen Kobra. I wrote the most horrendous lyrics. They drowned in curse words and made absolutely no sense. Later, I shifted to dreaming of being a poet. My poems leaned toward the gruesome sexual side. I’m mortified anytime I find one.”

So out of curiosity, what are the top three things on your “bucket list”?

  1. “Hump Jason Momoa’s leg.
  2. Eat samples of foi gras in Paris.
  3. Ski.”

If you could travel back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

“Wow. Just one? That’s so unfair.

I was a ridiculously troublesome always-involved-in-drama- female. From my teens and throughout my twenties, I concentrated my every breath on getting the male gender’s attention. My advice to my younger self would be, “Focus on your education, bettering yourself, and getting physically fit. The men will come regardless.”

(Excellent advice indeed!)

Now, with regards to your writing career, what is the biggest challenge you faced or the hardest obstacle you overcame?

“Finding the time to write! I have three kids and a great husband. I’m enrolled in a online MFA program  as well as completing my law degree at University of Miami Law. Additionally, I work a full time job.

I have a cool, groovy desk where I barely write. Instead, people can catch me writing on the train, in the bathroom as my kids take a bath, at the playground, in the gym on the treadmill, and wherever else I can manage a few seconds to knock out some sentences. My ultimate dream is to become a full time writer where I can wake up, grab a luscious coffee from Starbucks, and simply type out chapters with no interruptions.”

As a writer, how do you deal with writer’s block?

“I honestly haven’t been hit with writer’s block yet. It’s coming one day. For now so many novels crowd my head that I’m aggravated that I can’t write them all down fast enough. The biggest thing for me is that I’m a book-buying addict. I go through these spurts of being hooked on a genre, particular plot-line  or author for several weeks. I devour all of those books until I can’t find anymore and then end up writing the book I want to read.

So I think the best advice to someone with writer’s block is to read some good books to get inspired.”

Speaking of “good books”, which authors are you a fan of? 

“I’m a big fan of Laini Taylor. The things that she does with setting and description should be illegal. When I want to write a scene’s location, I read a few chapters out of her book for inspiration.

Kim Harrison’s world building is phenomenal. She’s the reason why I take great efforts to develop interesting book worlds that people would want to live in.

I model my characters’ relationships with Ilona Andrews’ style. I’m a major fan. If I can get the address of this writing couple, I would camp out in front of their door just so I could share their space.

I’ve just discovered Sylvia Day. Her mastery of intense relationships  have triggered me to delve into contemporary romance.”

Don’t stop here, check out more about Kenya Wright at:

Kenya on Twitter

Kenya’s Website

 

Kenya’s Author Page at Amazon

 

Book Promotion for “Escape” by Kenya Wright

Escape - Cover Art

“Escape” by Kenya Wright

(Available now on Amazon.com)

A domina’s only purpose is to birth vampire children for the Quiet King. Brie has been a domina for two years. After witnessing the slaughter of babies, she plans to escape and seeks help from Samuel, a vampire known for aiding many out of slavery.

However, Samuel has only one policy. He won’t help dominas run away from the king. The penalty is too high and their blood triggers powers in him that he doesn’t want released. So Brie is forced to lie and Samuel is lured in by her blood. Something emerges within them that they can’t deny, overwhelming their every cell and igniting an all-consuming hunger that neither can escape.

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing

Date of Release: December 2, 2013

Get it here now!

Author Bio:

Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night. She is the author of the dark fantasy bestselling books in the Santeria Habitat Series (Caged View, Fire Baptized, and The Burning Bush).

Website – http://www.KenyaWright.com

Twitter: @Firebaptizedd

Catch my interview with her here Thursday, December 13, 2013!!

In the Wake of Tragedy

I was browsing through the internet news headlines this morning when a title caught my eye, “Researchers find more graves at Fla. Reform school”http://news.msn.com/us/researchers-find-more-graves-at-fla-reform-school . Even after I finished reading, my thoughts kept coming back to it.

It always horrifies me when headlines like this appear, but especially when it involves a state run institution where people are entrusted with the safekeeping of the lives of children and adolescents.

All too often, I think society gets desensitized to these stories of violence and degradation. We see so much in movies and the media that we are over-inundated with it until many people don’t see it as more than words on the page.

Over this past weekend, I sat down to watch the latest Batman movie. I was already a half hour into the movie before it struck me that this was the very same movie that so many people were killed and injured watching. A chill ran up my spine. It wasn’t that I had forgotten, but more like it had taken a backburner in my consciousness. (For those personally involved in that horrific event, I am truly sorry for all that you endured.)

With so much tragedy in the world, I cannot help but think of the approaching holiday and its true significance. When there is so much bad, I am thankful there is also an abundance of good.

As for the poor souls of those children whose lives were affected by the events related to in the above mentioned article, I pray that they and their families have found peace. Just as I pray the same for all the victims of tragedy all over the world.

Being the Author of Your Life

When you write a story there is a whole world of opportunities to explore. As you make decisions and choices about the story, some options disappear completely, while new and different ones become available.

Now, what is an author to do when they see that a story has grown stale? They interject excitement, something spontaneous and new.

How often do we do that in our daily lives? Do we recognize the telltale signs of being stuck in a rut?

Do we see that we have allowed ourselves to get lost in the humdrum (and for single parents, perhaps lost our individuality to our other role as Mom or Dad)?

Surely, you have heard the phrase, “captain of your own fate”. To a point, this is true.

Granted, life will always throw us a curve ball now and again, and all we can control with those is how we choose to react to them.

But to most everything else, remember this:  Always taking the same path will always deliver you to the same destination.

Sometimes you need to mix it up. Half the fun in life are the surprises we encounter along the way!