Monday, June 9, 2014

And we lean on each other by Leanne Dyck

(rock art by Byron Dyck)

Let's begin this post with one of my favourite Beatles songs, shall we Help --or more to the point Lean on Me

Okay, now that we've sent the mood... 

Authors work alone and yet we all need one another from time to time. That's why I joined a writing group and why I enjoy inviting authors to make guest appearances on my blog. And even though it's not always possible with my rigid blogging schedule (Monday and Friday, without fail regardless of...blab, blab, blab. Fingers crossed), I enjoy participating in blog tours. I view it as yet another way to connect with other authors and have fun. So when Debra Purdy Kong (Casey Holland Transit Security Mysteries) invited me to participate I readily agreed.

(rock art by Byron Dyck)

In order to participate I needed to answer questions four (any Monty Python fans our there?)

What are you currently working on?

Um, well... I take too big a bite when I'm eating and I...

I'm currently working on two novellas (literary and a mystery), a play (yes, a play. I never thought I would but it's a local contest--so how could I refuse?) and two short stories. Oh, yes, and I'm up to my earlobes in revisions. It's all tons of fun. There's not enough hours in the day. But if I were granted more I'd fill them with writing projects.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Simple answer:  its my work. By that I mean, my work is heavily influenced by what interests, inspires and concerns me. For example...
I'm dyslexic and am disappointed by the lack of support for adults with learning disabilities. This lack of support leaves learning disabled adults with health and employment problems--some of us wind up on the street or in jail. Potential lost. Lives wasted. But it doesn't have to be this way. Something must be done. All of us deserve to have an opportunity to have our own success story.

Increasing society's knowledge of dyslexia is a good starting point. Hoping to help obtain this goal, I've written a novel about my own experiences with dyslexia.

Why do I write what I do?

My junior high English teacher introduced me to authors like John Steinbeck who gave voice to ordinary people living ordinary lives. And, so, at an early age, I found what I was driven to write about. I've never regretted accepting this invitation.

How does my writing process work?

I write daily and work on a number of projects simultaneously. I'm actively participating in social networking and view this participation as a way not only to sharpen my writing skills but also as a way to exchange ideas with my fellow authors. So I spend each morning (7 days a week) engaged. Then I go for a 45-minute walk and usually end my workday by reading for an hour.

(rock art by Byron Dyck)

And, now, I pass the torch to...

I've known Amber Harvey for (estimate) close to ten years. And have greatly benefited from her careful eye and keen brain as I'm fortunate to be a member of a writing group that meets in her house once a month. Amber is also a friend of this blog (Writers' Circle a poem by Amber) and I've reviewed one of Amber's books: Mayne Island Skeletons.

Amber Harvey
Amber Harvey has always been a scribbler. At age 10, she started writing a novel.
Amber has written and published three mystery/adventure novels for children 8 to 12, set on Mayne Island, BC. Her third novel Skeletons was published by Smashwords and is available as an ebook.
And recently (Spring, 2014) Amber's piece 'Canadian from Coast to Coast' was published in Mystery Readers Journal.
Please visit Amber's blog.

I meet Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff online. And was impressed by how two authors can work so closely together. So, impressed, in fact, that I invited them to be featured on my blog. They accepted my offer and I'm delighted to tell you that they will be my guests on Friday, September 12th.

Barbara Jean Coast (Andrea Taylor & Heather Shkuratoff)
Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name for writers Andrea Taylor & Heather Shkuratoff who live in Kelowna, BC.  Not only is Barbara Jean a writer of cozy mysteries, she's also a social butterfly and resides in Santa Lucia, California, eerily similar to Santa Barbara, circa 50's/60's.  DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, the follow-up to STRANGLED BY SILK in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series is coming soon from Cozy Cat Press
Please visit Barbara Jean's blog

Sharing my author journey...

(Mayne Island deer in my front yard)

I finished writing my play. And on June 20th I'll share it with some friends, after receiving their valuable feedback, I'll sit back down and work on revisions. Ah revisions...
I have said that this is the first play I wrote. Well, given deeper thought, I discovered that this wasn't true. You see, as a teenager, I was inspired to write by watching tons of TV and I dreamed about writing for TV. And so I wrote plays. Perhaps these plays still exist--somewhere... 
To write a play you must employ different techniques, for example there is the whole thing about how to you convey the character's thoughts. What I'm planning to do is have my character talk to the audience. Will this work? My fingers are crossed.
It was a fun exercise and I can't wait to move on with this project.