Author Interview – Dawn Taylor

Today stopping by the bayou comes another great author interview. This time from Dawn Taylor. If you haven’t read her work, you really should.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write? My favorite place to write is my home office, although my best ideas come right before I fall asleep.
  2. Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most? In my short story, “The Double Nickel Tour,” I can relate to my protagonist, Carol. By taking the chance to overcome her fears, she discovers a new life is waiting for her. I am not a risk taker, so writing about the nervousness of her first international flight was relatively easy to do.
  3. What’s the most surprising thing you learned writing your current book? My debut novel is “Something’s Not Right with Lucy.” The main character is seven-year-old Lucy. As I saw the world through a child’s eyes, I realized how many things adults don’t explain to children and her confusion attempting to sort things out for herself.
  4. How long on average does it take you to write a book? I have written a non-fiction book and a fiction book. Each took about two years. Both required extensive research, plus the writing and editing phases.
  5. What is your favorite childhood book? My favorite childhood book was “Charlotte’s Web.” My fourth grade teacher read a chapter a day to the class and I anxiously waited to find out how it ended.
  6. What is the oddest topic/subject you have ever googled for research for a book? The oddest topic I have researched was how long it takes a drowned kitten to float. Not the most pleasant topic, but I want my stories to be realistic.
  7. How do you select the names of your characters? Naming characters has always been easy for me. I just imagine the character and a name pops out. I actually give it very little thought.
  8. What is your writing Kryptonite? My writing Kryptonite would be noise. I must have complete silence to write.
  9. Lighting round. Pick one.
  • Morpheus or Dionysus? Dionysus
  • Gâteau De Sirop or Beignets? Beignets
  • Turbodog or Andygator? Turbogod
  • Shrimp or Gator? Shrimp,
  • House of Blues or Hard Rock Café? Hard Rock Cafe
  • DC or Marvel? Marvel
  1. How can readers discover more about you and you work? Readers can discover me at  dawnmtaylor.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authordawntaylor/, and on Amazon at amazon.com/author/dawnmtaylor.com.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feels free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

My new book, Out of the Penalty Box, a fiction romance is now available for at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered from iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

My steamy short story “Cargo” in Pirates: Boys Behaving Badly Anthology #3 is available for purchase. Find it at http://bit.ly/2C5GlLa.

Don’t have much time for reading or in a hurry? Check out my microfic, “Country Club Charades” in Fake For You at https://www.hottreepublishing.com/flash-fiction.

Also, my paranormal romance short story “Under the Magnolia Tree” in Haunted Hearts (Holiday Heartwarmers 4th vol.) is available for purchase. It can be read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Find it on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2DV5btz.

Copies of all my books are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click on http://bit.ly/2zJjUdb and signup today.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please share it with your friends and family. There’s never too many people in the bayou. Spread the word and bayou fun.

Author Interview – Jan Maher

It is always a splendid thing to have visitors here in the bayou, but it is thrilling to have some as talented as Jan Maher drop in for an interview. Jan is Jan Maher is the author of Heaven, Indiana and Earth As It Is.  She has written several plays and is a senior scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, SUNY Plattsburgh. She holds a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies: Theater, Education, and Neuroscience. She most recently taught interdisciplinary seminars, education-related courses, and documentary studies at Burlington College at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Furthermore, she is currently a senior scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, State University of New York at Plattburgh.

  1. Do you have any writing rituals?

I always write first in longhand, in my journals. As a daily, or nearly daily ritual, I write in coffee houses. If I’m really in an intense phase of writing, I might begin in one place for morning coffee, write till I’m momentarily tapped out, move to a second place for lunch and write more till the flow stops, then move to a third place for the afternoon. Usually, though, it’s just one coffee house for two hours. A seasonal ritual is to take a long-distance train (usually round-trip Albany, NY to Seattle, WA and back) and regard the time on Amtrak as a writing retreat. Sometimes I’m already working on a particular project, other times I use overheard snippets of conversation in the observation car as writing prompts for new stories or poems.

  1. Which of your characters would most likely be a member of the Phunny Phorty Fellows? Why did you pick this character?

Definitely Jacque. She’s a minor character, but the most likely to want to be in costume in public. She’s from Dallas originally and lives in Chicago when we meet her in my novel, Earth As It Is. Of the small band of cross-dressers who meet for tea, cookies, and conversation on the near north side of Chicago in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, Jacque is also the one who feels a need and makes a decision to transition to female in the 60s. Her willingness to flirt in a Chicago gay club with a man who turns out to be a gay basher distinguishes her from her friends (including my main character) who are far more focused on blending in than on standing out.

  1. How old were you when you wrote your first story? What was it about?

My ready answer is that I wrote before I could read. My mother was a commercial artist and she had beautiful handwriting. I was fascinated that her marks on paper were both elegant and meaningful to others. I would have been around 3 or 4 when I filled several pages with loops and swirls in imitation of her cursive and asked her to read the story to me, explaining that though I could write, I couldn’t yet read. It turns out the story she read to me was about a little girl who was sent to reform school because she never cleaned her room when her mother asked her to! I complained, of course, about the content. She told me if I didn’t like the story I’d have to learn how to read as well as write. So I did, though not till a couple of years later. And after that, when I was sent to my room to clean it, I would instead hide behind the bed and read books.

(Thinking about it now, for the first time it occurs to me that this primed me for receptivity to Toni Morrison’s comment that if there’s a book that you want to read and it hasn’t been written yet, you must write it. I’ve loved that idea ever since I first heard it decades ago.)

In sixth grade, we had an assignment to write a poem. I played clarinet at the time, and I remember only the first line of the poem I wrote. “Mozart, why do you torture me?”

  1. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?

This is a fascinating question. At first, I thought it would be difficult to answer, but very quickly I settled on Helen Breck. Helen is a woman who lives her life in fear that her secrets will be revealed and ruin her. I would like to tell her it’s all right. That history will move on and the things she felt and did will be understood and forgiven.

  1. What was your favorite childhood book?

This is a toss-up between three answers: The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, Heidi by Joanna Spyri, and just about any Nancy Drew mystery. I always wanted, and never had, a horse. I read every book about horses in the Fort Wayne, Indiana public library, but The Black Stallion was the first. As I remember it, the appeal was the close relationship between the boy and the horse. Heidi I loved because I loved to think about living on a mountaintop, living simply and self-sufficiently, living in tune with nature. Nancy Drew was always solving mysteries which generally involved getting into trouble and back out again. I vaguely remember one in which she infiltrates a Klan gathering and figures out who the villain is by looking at shoes. I have no idea if my memory is accurate on this.

  1. Do you have any writing mentors? If so, who are they?

Though I never had the opportunity to work with her in person, I consider Carol M. Bly to have been a mentor. I discovered her book, The Passionate, Accurate Story, in a Chicago used bookstore about the same time that I’d begun to turn my attention from playwriting to fiction, and found it to be amazingly perceptive and useful. Shortly after, I met her online in a writers’ board on AOL, back in the mid-90s when AOL was the only game in town and there were special discussion boards similar to today’s Facebook groups. One was called “Integrity and Art in Fiction” and Carol was a regular poster there. This led to an online and email friendship that lasted until her death in 2007. I still have the note she wrote me after I sent her a copy of my first novel.

  1. How important is it that you portray diversity in your characters?

Very. That takes a lot of different forms, depending on which of my writing projects is considered. In my play, Most Dangerous Women, for example, the words and songs of close to 80 women are included, and they comprise a wide range of nationalities, ethnicities, and ages, as well as a range of historical eras. In my novel, Earth As It Is, the focus is mostly on gender diversity. My main character identifies as a heterosexual and is a cross-dresser. That character’s friends include other heterosexual cross-dressers as well as one, Jacque (mentioned above), who will eventually transition m to f. In Heaven, Indiana, the characters in my small, fictional town are dealing with the legacy of slavery times even when they don’t realize it. Indiana is a state with a complex and contradictory history with regard to race, having been one of the free border states pre-and during the Civil War and home to a large anti-slavery population and extensive Underground Railroad system; then becoming a state completely dominated by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. That mix of influences is something I was very much aware of growing up in Indiana during the 1950s and is still in evidence today in the culture and politics of the state. That legacy impacts my characters’ lives in a variety of ways.

In another sense, I would say that I’m interested in always portraying the diversity within an individual character. Sometimes that includes gender or racial diversity within a single character, but I also think of it in terms of a complexity of inner life.

  1. How do you measure your growth as a writer?

Hmm … I guess that goes back to what I just said about complexity. I think my writing when I first began tended toward more simplistic characters and situations. There was little or no moral ambiguity. Good guys were good guys and bad guys were bad. I was young enough to think I knew what the world needed and brash enough to think I had at least some of the answers. The older I get, the more it’s the questions that multiple, not the answers. I would measure my growth, then, by measuring my ability to feel empathy for and create empathy for a wider range of characters and my ability to create stories that leave readers or audience members in a place where they are encouraged to think more openly and broadly than they did before they read my book(s) or saw my play(s).

      9. Lightning round: Pick One

  • Rex or Zulu? Zulu
  • Pecan Pie or Lemon Icebox Pie? Pecan Pie
  • Okra or tomatoes? Tomatoes but I’m going to try to give okra a chance in 2018
  • SEC or ACC? Do I dare admit I’m not a football fan?
  • Dixieland or Swamp Rock? Swamp Rock
  • Muses High Heels or Krewe of Carrollton Shrimp Boots? Krewe of Carrollton Shrimp Boots, definitely!

10. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

It has been a true pleasure to have had this opportunity to interview Jan, and I thank her for sparing the time.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feels free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

My new book, Out of the Penalty Box, a fiction romance is now available for at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered from iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Don’t have much time for reading or in a hurry? Check out my microfic, “Country Club Charades” in Fake For You at https://www.hottreepublishing.com/flash-fiction that also was released this week.

My steamy short story “Cargo” in Pirates: Boys Behaving Badly Anthology #3 is available for purchase. Find it at http://bit.ly/2C5GlLa.

Also, my paranormal romance short story “Under the Magnolia Tree” in Haunted Hearts (Holiday Heartwarmers 4th vol.) is available for purchase. It can be read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Find it on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2Ab706S.

Copies of all my books are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click on http://bit.ly/2zJjUdb and signup today.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please share it with your friends and family. There’s never too many people in the bayou. Spread the word and bayou fun.

Pirates: Boys Behaving Badly Released

Are you ready to sail on the high seas or into uncharted galaxies? Do you love pirates who risk it all? Do you love steamy romances and exciting adventures? Are you excited by men (and women) who don’t always follow the rules? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place.

Welcome to Pirates: Boys Behaving Badly Anthology #3 is edited by the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Ms. Delilah Devlin and available for purchase TODAY. Pirates: Boys Behaving Badly Anthology #3 is a delectable anthology is filled with roguish pirates! Readers who crave adventures set on the high seas—or in deep space—will find plenty of sexy bad boys and naughty alpha males unafraid to risk life and limb for treasure—or a lucky lover’s heart!

In “Cargo”, Pirate Captain Jasper has been hired to retrieve cargo from the ship, Sea Lily. To his horror, he discovers the ship is a human trafficking vessel, designating him default master of female sex slaves. That’s not the job he signed on to do. Adding to the issue, none of the women speak English, except for one, and she refuses to talk. But what she doesn’t communicate with words, her body transmits nonverbally. Now, instead of Jasper stealing a ship, he’s at risk of having his heart stolen.

I had tremendous fun pushing the envelope with this story, and I hope everyone has just as much fun reading as I did writing. As a writer, it’s sometimes scary venturing into the unknown and expanding writing genres. But it’s also thrilling. This is my first pirate story ever. Initially when I began writing “Cargo”, I started with a more traditional pirate story. It didn’t take me long to realize that my story would struggle to stay within the traditional framework. I like busting stereotypes with characters that break molds. With this, my Cajun Captain Jasper was born. Read his story out now on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2DV5btz.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feels free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

My new book, Out of the Penalty Box, a fiction romance is now available for at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered from iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Also, my paranormal romance short story “Under the Magnolia Tree” in Haunted Hearts (Holiday Heartwarmers 4th vol.) is available for purchase. It can be read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Find it on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2Ab706S.

Copies of all my books are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click on http://bit.ly/2zJjUdb and signup today.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please share it with your friends and family. There’s never too many people in the bayou. Spread the word and bayou fun.

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Quarter Goal (Dec. – Feb.)

As anyone following this blog knows, Creole Bayou is twofold. First, it is a place to be a source of information regarding Creole culture and heritage. Not only do I enjoy learning and writing about this topic, I strongly feel that there is a need to have an online channel for this information.

Creole Bayou also is the place to find the listing and updates of my novels. I write romantic fiction– supernatural/paranormal, psychological, contemporary, humor, litfic, mystery, super steamy, and the occult romances. All my romances include Creole or Cajun characters, and most are set in Louisiana. I mention this here, because last month, I decided to take part in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG). For those unfamiliar with what the group is about, the link is at the bottom of the page. The group makes a writing relating post the first Wednesday of each month and is a type of writing challenge. Since I regularly post on Wednesdays, my goal is to blend the two by creating writing related posts which includes Creole culture. However, that may not always be possible as those posts require a lot of research. Depending on what’s going on, I’m not always able to complete that research in time, and it’s my aim to only provide accurate and quality posts. I am working on a post for writing post for January that blends the two that hopefully everyone will enjoy. But today, I’m diverting from that plan in preparation for my upcoming releases and my inability to include all the topics needed in a single post.

Since I have two upcoming releases (Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors and Out of the Penalty Box), I decided to set some writing goals. I think nearly every writer does this, but it was vlogger Jenna Moreci (check her out on YouTube – she’s awesome!) that gave me the idea to post quarterly goals online. The beauty of this is that it increases the accountability in accomplishing goals that need to be done but also allows to connect with other writers. Additionally, it demands discipline, and it helps with achieving my ISWG challenge, which is a good thing.

Jenna suggests making 10-20 writing and personal goals to be achieved in three months. I don’t know if I’m as ambitious as all that and am certain I’ll likely be modifying and tweaking my goals and the way I measure them. To be considered successful for the quarter, at least half of those goals must be met. With that in mind, here are my quarterly goals from December to February.

  1. Finalize my marketing plan for both Out of the Penalty Box and Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors (This qualifies as 1A and 1B).
  2. Sales goals for Out of the Penalty Box and Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors
  3. Work on my website (This is an ongoing process and recently I did major work on it. However, it needs more. One thing I discovered was two broken links. Plus, my newsletter/mailing page has always been a bit wonky. Which brings me to #4.
  4. Fix my newsletter/mailing list page. (The signup should be working properly now but there still are some issues to be repaired.)
  5. Maintain my weekly blog
  6. Write daily (This should be a no-brainer but it doesn’t happen. I realize that idealistically I would accomplish this but likely won’t. But if I write more days in a week than not then I’m #WINNING)
  7. Completing all my WiPs. (Here’s the rub. I have several WiPs, and two should be finished by now. I had a yearly goal to do this that I made last December, and of course, this was a big fat failure. So, it has to go back on the list and get done. No other options are acceptable. Since I won’t make it by December 31, maybe I can make it by February 28—or 29th if it’s a leap year.)
  8. Edit the “beast” (One of my WiPs I have started to refer to as the beast because of its beastly word count. I’ve been chipping away at it for years. While it is getting better, it is far from getting done. It refuses to be tamed. Right now, it is resting, as the last time we wrestled, it bested me again. When we wrestle again, I aim to trim 15,000 words.)
  9. Create a marketing plan for my “beast”. (I’ve already begun this and probably will complete this before completing #8.)
  10. Learn about creating a book trailer.
  11. Host a giveaway
  12. Research publishing options for my fantasy stories. Over the year, I have written several fantasy stories that at present have no home. I’ve been toying with the idea of complaining them into an anthology. Since I have never self-published, I need to research this more.
  13. Give my WiP a name. (I have a WiP that I just can’t find an appropriate name. It’s crazy that I can’t.)
  14. – 20. Are personal goals that won’t be posted here.

Special thanks to Jenna Moreci for sharing this idea via vlog.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feels free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads.

Copies of my books are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

My new book, Out of the Penalty Box, a fiction romance is now available for pre-order at a bargain price at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be preordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Also, my paranormal romance short story “Under the Magnolia” in Haunted Hearts (Holiday Heartwarmers 4th vol.) is available for purchase. It can be read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Find it on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2Ab706S. This makes for an excellent holiday gift.

Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click on http://bit.ly/2zJjUdb and signup today.  With 2018 just around the corner, I have lots of exciting news to come.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please share it with your friends and family. There’s never too many people in the bayou.

 

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group