The Divining Wand

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Fan Mail: An Author’s
Most Memorable Reward, II

September 23, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Authors' Favorites, Q&A

Last month’s post on how much fan mail meant to authors surprised some visitors, while inspiring others to finally write their own personal messages. The written word is powerful in expressing heartfelt gratitude and here are more author responses to memorably touching fan mail:

~Tanya Egan Gibson (How to Buy a Love of Reading):

“A man wrote to say that my depiction of alcohol and drug addiction (in a teenage character, Hunter Cay) felt very real. He’d finished my novel between classes and had been crying when his sixth grade students came in. He wrote, “Thanks for touching my heart.” Which, in turn, touched mine. It is so wonderful and kind for people to take the time to write and share like that.”

~Kate Ledger (Remedies):

“One tremendously moving piece of fan mail came from a woman who wrote that REMEDIES had resonated with her own personal tragedy. I got teary at my computer when I read her note. Like the characters in REMEDIES, she and her husband had lost a child. She wrote that the effects of that loss have continued to ripple through her marriage. She wrote that the novel had been difficult to read, and also, ultimately, comforting, and that even though her own outcome was still in progress, the book had come along at exactly the right time.”

~Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder, Dead in the Water):

“These days you receive more emails than mail, I’m afraid. I did get a request from a girl to sign my photo and send it to her for her scrapbook. It made me feel like a teen rock star, so of course I did it. I’ve really enjoyed hearing from people. It means a lot when someone tells me that they stayed up half the night, or were late because they simply had to finish my book. It makes me feel like I’ve done my job right.”

~Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been):

“They’re all memorable, because I’m touched every time a reader takes the time to let me know how much they loved my book.”

~CJ Lyons (Lifelines, Warning Signs, Urgent Care, and Critical Condition coming November 30, 2010):

“I’ve gotten several letters from fans facing painful medical crises, including one woman whose cancer pain kept her up at nights, unable to sleep or get comfortable. They have written thanking me for providing them with escape from the pain of their lives as they read my books.

The fact that my stories have been able to help these people facing their diseases with dignity and courage brought me to tears…truly better than any award my books could ever win!”

~Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion):

“I’ve had so many amazing letters from readers world-wide; one that I loved came from the mother of seven-year-old twin girls who, after reading SOUVENIR, was inspired to create a journal for their future benefit, and to buy each of them a copy of SOUVENIR, which she was storing away in their “hope chests” to be read when they’re teens. A recent letter of praise from a woman who is a Medical Social Worker and who deals every day with patients in heartbreaking situations was also very rewarding.”

~Stacey Ballis (Good Enough to Eat, The Spinster Sisters, Room for Improvement, the rest in Bibliography):

“The young woman who wrote to say that she was able to finally extricate herself from both her dysfunctional marriage and her ongoing affair with her also-married boss because she read “Inappropriate Men”. She wrote from her fabulous new job, where she had met her fabulous (and single!) new boyfriend who worked in the same building. She said that she had felt completely trapped and that the book helped her find her spine. That e-mail gave me goosebumps.”

~Leah Stewart (Husband and Wife, The Myth of You and Me, Body of a Girl):

“My most memorable wasn’t my best, but a long letter quoting all the passages from my first book that had anything to do with sex and suggesting that I and the letter writer would really understand one another. (Oh, dear.) I also remember one I got after my second book, which was about female friendship, from a woman who’d lost her best friend in Iraq. That one was lovely and very sad.”

~ Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt releasing in Trade Paperback October 26, 2010):

“I received a letter from a 93 year-old woman who said that she loved my book and was so glad it was available in large print. She went on to say that she read it twice because, at her age, she was running out of time and didn’t know if she’d be around if/when the movie came out. It was so touching.”

~Robin Antalek (The Summer We Fell Apart):

“I think it would have to be after I published a short story in a literary journal that was put out by a university in Florida years ago. It was handwritten – a page and a half long – from a young woman who claimed to have read the story so many times she felt like the characters were people she knew. She went on to tell me she had written a paper on the story for her English seminar class. It was a pretty cool ego boost for a struggling writer who wrote late at night after work.”

~Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don’t Die YA):

“I love every bit of fan mail I get. From the adorable one-line emails just telling me how much they enjoyed the book to the detailed breakdowns of all of the elements they liked (and why). I get a lot of emails saying I’ve inspired them to write (very flattering), a lot saying that they can relate to Alexis and her sense of outsiderness (very touching), and a lot with interpretations of the book that reflect a cinematic mind at work (very interesting). I am convinced that I have the brightest and funniest fans of any book, ever! I must say, I especially love getting snailmail (as TDW might be aware).”

~Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars and The Life You’ve Imagined):

“One of my favorite notes was from a reader who enjoyed my debut with a stiff drink and added, “Only wished I had a joint to join Mira” who is, as constant TDW readers will know, the flower child grandmother protagonist. I think my favorite fan interaction was in person, at my book launch event. A woman I didn’t know told me she went out and scheduled her mammogram after reading about how my protagonist delayed her own, with severe consequences. I was so touched and honored that my book prompted her to take such an important step, and that she felt moved to share that with me.”

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Announcement: The winners of Jenny Nelson’s debut novel Georgia’s Kitchen are Keetha and Maria M.. Congratulations!

Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and your book will be sent out promptly.

What’s Next for Our Authors?

August 19, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Books

Throughout this past year The Divining Wand has presented and, perhaps, introduced you to new favorite authors. Yet, after reading and enjoying their novels, how many wonder what’s the next book and when?

Here’s a sneak peek into the future from several TDW authors:

~Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion):

“EXPOSURE, set for a late-April release, preceded by REUNION in trade paperback, probably mid-March. There is an EXPOSURE excerpt posted on my website. Cover art for both titles is in the works but not finalized yet…”

~ Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt releasing in Trade Paperback October 26, 2010):

“I’m working on a new novel titled Looking For Me.”

~ CJ Lyons (Lifelines, Warning Signs, Urgent Care):

“I have two books coming up in the near future:
CRITICAL CONDITION is the finale of my Angels of Mercy series from Berkley/Jove and will be out 11/30/10. Here’s the skinny:”

This New Year’s resolution? Stay alive….
“Harrowing…irresistible.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on Lifelines

Critics praised the national bestseller Lifelines as “breathtakingly fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly), Warning Signs as “exhilarating” (Genre Go Round), and Urgent Care as “riveting” (Pittsburgh Magazine). Now CJ Lyons returns to an ER under attack as the lives of four very special women hang in the balance…
With Pittsburgh snarled by a New Year’s Eve blizzard and Angels of Mercy Hospital cut off from the outside world, staff and patients are at the mercy of armed gunmen. Their target is Dr. Gina Freeman, who is holding vigil over her wounded fiancé, Detective Jerry Boyle.

Trapped inside with her are ER charge nurse Nora Halloran and fourth-year medical student Amanda Mason, on the last night of her ICU rotation—if not her life. Stranded outside the hospital walls is ER physician Lydia Fiore, whose past holds the secret the hitmen are willing to kill for.

With patients, staff, and loved ones held as hostages, the power out, and cold-blooded killers in control, no one may live to see the New Year…

“And coming March 1, 2011 from Vanguard/Perseus is ROCK BOTTOM co-authored with Erin Brockovich (yes, THE Erin Brockovich, how cool is that!!!)”

Ten years ago, Angela Joy Palladino left home as a pregnant seventeen year old in trouble. Now, after winning and losing a career as an environmental activist, dubbed by the media as “The People’s Champion,” she hopes to start over by taking a new job with a lawyer who is fighting to stop a mining company’s mountain top removal in an effort to save the only place she’s ever called home.

As a single mom of a special needs nine-year-old boy, Angela is happy for any work she can get, even if it means returning to the West Virginia hometown she left in disgrace. But when her new boss turns up dead and his daughter’s life is threatened, Angela discovers that her own secrets aren’t the only ones her mountain hometown has kept buried.

Hitting rock bottom, Angela must face the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind. The question remains, will she be able to outwit the killer and save the town she once cherished, all the while keeping her family, her sanity, and her new life in one piece?

~Randy Susan Meyers (The Murderer’s Daughters):

“The paperback edition for THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTERS will be coming out in February 2011. In the meantime, I just finished my next book, a story of infidelity and how it spills far wider in it’s damage then we ever imagine.”

~Sarah Pekkanen (The Opposite of Me, and Skipping a Beat coming February 22, 2010):

“SKIPPING A BEAT will be published by Atria Books/Washington Square Press on Feb. 22, 2011. Skipping a Beat is similar in tone and genre to my debut novel, The Opposite of Me, but the story is totally new. It’s about a woman named Julia Dunhill who discovers that her husband has turned into a completely different man after a sudden, shocking medical trauma – and now he wants to rewrite all of the rules of their marriage. Julia, who sees pieces of her life in scenes from the world’s great operas, has three weeks to decide if she should stay with Michael or leave him.”

~Leah Stewart (Husband and Wife, The Myth of You and Me, Body of a Girl):

“I’m working on a book about adult siblings. It started out being about location and identity (I was going to call it ELSEWHERE) but it’s gotten further and further away from that theme to become about all the complex emotions of siblinghood. Which, alas, probably means I have to think of a new title.”

~Therese Walsh (The Last Will of Moira Leahy chosen as a TARGET Breakout Book):

“What’s coming up, what’s happening: I’m currently writing my second book
in a two-book deal with Random House. I don’t want to say much about it yet,
but I can tell you that it’s about a legally blind woman trekking across 
West Virginia to find the end of her dead mother’s story. It’s been a
challenging book, in part because of the legendary scary factor associated
with writing the Second Book, but also because one of the leads is a
sense-deprived character. But I’m happy to report it’s coming along nicely.
I may have an entirely different report tomorrow!”

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Announcement: The winners of Kristina Riggle’s The Life You’ve Imagined are Amy Goodrow and Janel. Congratulations!

Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and your book will be sent out promptly.

Thank you ALL for entering the contest and your overwhelming support!

Happy Holidays from CJ Lyons, Holly LeCraw, Kristina Riggle, and Eve Brown-Waite

December 22, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Authors' Holidays

animated_christmas_background
‘Tis the season for rejoicing in memorable music, books and movies as well as sharing with others in need, and that’s what our authors offer today.

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CJ’s Favorite Holiday Entertainment

CJLyonstmbI know many people will say It’s a Wonderful Life and I too, love that one. But my two favorite movies that I never miss over the holidays are The Bishop’s Wife (the original with Cary Grant and Loretta Young) and Scrooge! with Albert Finney.

I love Scrooge! because the music is wonderful, tunes that make your toes tap all yearlong, and Albert Finney does a wonderful job of giving Scrooge a real emotional depth rather than just the stereotype he’s become to our jaded, modern eyes.

I also re-read Dicken’s A Christmas Carol each year–and yes, still end up crying everytime!!!

As for Christmas carols, I love to sing them all year round! My favs include Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Holy Night, and The Holly and the Ivy….

Here’s hoping everyone, no matter your own beliefs or traditions, has a holiday filled with good food, great joy, and the love of friends and family!
CJ Lyons (Lifelines, Warning Signs, Urgent Care)

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Holly’s Choices for Favorite Music, Book nd Movie

HollyLetmbWhen I was in high school I sang with the choir, and we had a wonderful book of carols from England that had some beautiful, rather obscure ones. One of my favorites was “See Amid the Winter’s Snow.” I really wish I had that book now. I also love “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”–it’s an advent hymn–it is so solemn and spooky. The lyrics are from the fourth century. [And can be read/heard here.]

Book–well, everyone, I mean everyone, should hear Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory read aloud at least once, and preferably many times, during their lifetime. I would also like to mention that I know The Night Before Christmas by heart. Even “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow/Gave the luster of midday to objects below…” So Victorian. (Sorry for showing off!)

Movies– I am just a sucker for all of them, but I always cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street–the original. (And I am not a crier.) That cane in the corner! Chills!
Holly LeCraw (The Swimming Pool coming April 6, 2010)

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Kistina’s Ultimate Carol

KristinatmbMy favorite holiday carol by far is “O Holy Night.” The music is so beautiful it makes me want to weep, and I like to sing it (to myself) though I know I can’t do those soaring notes justice. My favorite memory associated with that song is when I went as part of a church youth group to an old folks’ home. Mostly we were singing, but I had my violin, and I played solo, without accompaniment of any kind, “O Holy Night.” Watching the elderly men and women become transported by that beautiful hymn has stayed with me all these years. Music is my other favorite way to connect with people, besides my writing, of course.
Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars)

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Eve’s Best Gift Given

EvetmbHands down the best present I ever gave was a check for the $300 to someone I used to work with to buy a new hot water heater that had broken down two weeks before Christmas. This woman had a pretty rough row to hoe – wracked with arthritis, taking in some tough foster kids to help make ends meet and now had to shower in ice cold water (in New England in December, no less). I knew she didn’t have an extra $300 lying around for this unforeseen expense.

My family and I had just decided to splurge on an aquarium as a gift for the whole family. But when I heard Diane’s story I came home and asked everyone if instead of buying ourselves a fish tank, could we give the money to her for a hot water heater. The first gift was that our kids – who were about 8 and 11 at the time – agreed without too much arm-twisting. And the second gift was that Diane accepted the money. You know how they say it’s better to give than to receive? Well, giving that gift definitely felt better than any gift I’ve ever received.
Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life)

For Holiday Gift Giving: An Autographed Book

November 05, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Uncategorized

More than likely those visiting this site would agree that books are among the best holiday gifts with autographed ones being perfection! Autographed, is that possible without going to a book signing?

Indeed it is and, with the holidays only more than a month away, this Fairy Godmother contacted authors who had had a new book released within the past six months to ask, “Do you autograph by mail?” So anyone searching for that unique, reasonably priced, perfect present, here are what some of our authors do:

Arrangement with a local bookstore:

Eve Brown-Waite (read Presenting Debutante Eve Brown-Waite and First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria) says:

” Via a special arrangement with my local bookstore I can purchase, personalize, autograph and send a copy of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA to anyone in the USA for just $25. That would be the cost of the book itself in most stores. This book would make a great gift for any world traveler, do-gooder, or Peace Corps-type on your holiday list (also, anyone who just loves a good read). I don’t make any money on this, but it certainly helps spread the word about my book and supports a great, independent bookstore. I need all orders by BY NOVEMBER 15 in order to ensure delivery by the holidays. Anyone interested can contact me at Evebwaite@comcast.net.”

Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion) offers:

“I made an arrangement with my local indie, Quail Ridge Books & Music — 800-672-6789 — in Raleigh. When a reader calls and orders an inscribed copy, the store lets me know and I drop by to inscribe it before they ship the book. For basic autographed copies, they ship from signed stock that they keep on hand.”

Ivy Pochoda (see Ivy Pochoda’s The Art of Disappearing) says:

“If you’d like autographed copies of my book, contact my local bookstore BookCourt — 718-875-3677 — in Brooklyn.”

Books in the mail:

Mia King (Mia King and Table Manners is doing a holiday special – $20 for a signed/dedicated book of choice and ceramic “live simply” plaque. $5 shipping. Contact mia@miaking.com

Carleen Brice (Orange Mint & Honey, Children of the Waters):

“If people send me a book with return postage, I will autograph and send it back. But let’s say for the holidays return shipping is on me. They just have to buy the book and send it to: Carleen Brice, P.O. Box 7108, Denver, CO 80207.”

And Jessica Barksdale Inclan (Being With Him, Intimate Beings, The Beautiful Being) offers the same. Contact jbarkinclan@gmail.com

Maud Carol Markson (Looking After Pigeon) provides two options:

“I could send out personalized book plates or if the person prefers, he/she could purchase the book directly from me and I could send it to them ($20.00 would probably cover the cost of the book and the packaging and shipping to anywhere in the US).) Contact MaudCarol@aol.com

Book Plates:

Tish Cohen (Little Black Lies,Town House):

“I do mail out signed book plates, as well as sign books mailed in to me.” Contact tish@tishcohen.com

CJ Lyons (Urgent Care):

“I offer my readers customized signed bookplates.

I’ve sent dozens of these all over the US and abroad, even had a few people ask for several, all personalized to various friends they were gifting with my books.” Contact cjlyonswriter@yahoo.com

And with this early planning you can do the same!

CJ Lyons’ Urgent Care

October 26, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

URGENT_CARE
According to medical suspense author CJ Lyons’s website, “no one is immune to danger” and the acclaim received from her two previous novels — Lifelines, Warning Signs — (notice the flashing reviews) proves that this writer has indeed found the pulse of her genre. For fans and potentially new fans, she continues to write “Thrillers with Heart” in her third book, Urgent Care, due in bookstores and online retailers tomorrow.

Having practiced as a pediatric doctor for seventeen years, this author knows about the depth of heart and writes about the life she has lived by telling the tales of the women of Angels of Mercy Hospital. These four main characters are: Lydia Fiore, MD, ER attending physician; Dr. Gina Freeman, third year Emergency Medicine resident; Nora Halloran, RN, BSN, SANE; and Amanda Mason, fourth year medical student. Meet them here and by reading the FAQ about CJ. For that’s where you’ll discover that each of these women bears a part of the author:

“Like Amanda, I was the outsider in med school, only a Yankee down South. Like Gina, I was seen as a rebel during residency and my fellowship. I once thought following the rules was the best way to save lives, like Nora, and I now, like Lydia, have learned to live by a different set of my own “’rules.’”

Yet it is in CJ’s Monday, October 19, 2009, popculturedivas post, Living a Life of Crime, where the author explains why she forged a new set of rules and how she found her way “out of the darkness” as Nora finds her own way in Urgent Care.

Although the following describes CJ’s reason for “darkness,” please read the entire post:

“For my pediatric internship and residency I returned to my home state of Pennsylvania and my favorite city, Pittsburgh. During my internship year, something happened that would change me forever.

“One of my fellow interns was killed. Murdered. In the most heinous ways imaginable.

“His death hit us all. We were all very close, the twelve—now eleven—of us. We had to be—no one else understood what we were going through that first year as a doctor when you hold life and death in your hands and have no experience to follow, forced to trust your gut and your heart to make the right decisions. No one else worked our crazy hours, no one spoke our short-hand, stressed-out, sleep-deprived language.

“Then we were twelve no more.

“His killer was caught—thanks to the hard work of several law enforcement agencies. Four days later we were all back to work. He was gone.

“But not forgotten, never forgotten.

“We each found our path out of the darkness. Just like Nora finds her way in my new book, URGENT CARE.

“For me, my path was through my writing. I put aside the science-fiction and fantasy I wrote in school and turned to the gritty, dark world of crime fiction.”

And eventually — years later –that personal life experience would take on another shape and become the kernel for the backstory of Urgent Care. Here’s the synopsis:

CJ Lyons returns to the front lines of the ER and the lives and loves of four very special women. Angels of Mercy Hospital charge nurse Nora Halloran has been living with a painful secret for two long years. When a coworker is assaulted and killed, Nora must face her deepest fears and reveal all her secrets to the man she loves to stop the killer from striking again.

*****

A TV commercial that will be airing in the southeast this week:

And, of course, an URGENT CARE excerpt.

In the interview, Meet Medical Thriller Writer CJ Lyons, at Vivian’s Mysteries this past January 27, 2009, when the author was asked, “Where do your ideas for medical thrillers come from?” she replied:

“Most of my ideas come from things that frustrate me and that I want to change. Topics that I feel passionate about. LIFELINES was pure thriller, WARNING SIGNS more of a mystery but URGENT CARE (due out in October) is psychological suspense. It’s about facing the truth of your past, learning how to trust again. In it, Nora, the ER’s charge nurse, deals with her past as a survivor of a sexual assault.

“While writing it I was very cognizant of the fact that this is an uncomfortable subject for many. But I also wanted to be as honest as possible, to illuminate the courage I’ve seen in victims—and how an assault changes their lives. I can only hope that I did their stories justice and that URGENT CARE will help to inspire and empower readers.”

Even as a novelist CJ Lyons still sounds like a physician who wants to heal others, doesn’t she? Her fourth book, Isolation, to be released next year, will be Gina’s story and the finale of the quadrilogy. But it’s Urgent Care that garners the attention now and will be available for you tomorrow.

What an extraordinary individual capable of making two dream careers come true and be successful at both! For those who wish to learn even more about CJ, please visit Penguin.com (usa) where she’ll be the guest blogger this week.

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand will be giving away two copies of Urgent Care. To enter, please leave a comment on this post before the deadline of Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The winners — based on a random drawing — will be announced here in Thursday’s post.

The Revealing of CJ Lyons

October 21, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

cjlyons2
The first sentence of this bestselling author’s website Bio page reads:

CJ Lyons has lived most of her life on the edge.”

TRUTH: That is an understatement! For, by reading on, you’ll discover that:

“Trained in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, she has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, rape, homicide and Munchausen by Proxy. She has worked in numerous trauma centers, on the Navajo reservation, as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, as well as a flight physician for Life Flight and Stat Medevac.”

And then there are CJ’s further adventures both in the US and abroad.

Her writing comes from being a story-teller and creating dramatic tales about “people discovering the courage to make a difference. This is what drove her into writing thrillers with strong relationships and led her to coin the term: Thrillers with Heart.”

CJ’s first medical suspense novel, Lifelines, debuted in March 2008 and became a national bestseller. The second in the Angels of Mercy series, Warning Signs, followed in January 2009 and her third book, Urgent Care, will be released next Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Urgent Care will receive a full presentation here on The Divining Wand next week but, for now, it’s time to reveal CJ Lyons.

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Daring to dream by taking leaps of faith

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: No rules, just write!

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Actually, my current life is pretty darn close–living the way I want, doing a job I love, friends and family to share successes with and who listen when I need a sympathetic ear, things to strive for but also content with what I have and who I am right here and now.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Becoming bored or boring

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Right here, right now

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Katherine Hepburn

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: The Dalai Lama

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Patience…..I have none, seem to be missing the gene for it!

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: As a pediatrician, saving lives; as a writer becoming a National Bestseller

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Lack of patience.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Sheer stubbornness–I’m half Irish, half Italian, so it comes naturally.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Believing what others thought instead of believing in myself

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Gene Krantz–the man who brought Apollo 13 home

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Did I mention being a tiny bit stubborn?

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: The Stainless Steel Rat

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Francis Dolarhyde

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Jesse Owen–wouldn’t be able to say anything, I’d be awe-struck, but it would be a privilege to shake his hand.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People wasting my time with meaningless blather.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Walking on the beach and watching the dolphins frolic

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’ve already lived it–being a pediatric ER doc. But for one I haven’t tried yet, it would be to become a film editor–I can name my favorite editors and I can often see exactly how/when a movie needs trimmed or cut differently.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Vision, Passion, and Commitment

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Dark Chocolate

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Can’t narrow it down and it depends on my mood–I listen to everything from head-banging heavy metal to zydeco to Celtic ceili music.

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS
WAY COMES, Mark Helprin’s WINTER’S TALE, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s MISTS OF AVALON, Joseph Campbell’s MYTHS TO LIVE BY, Katherine Neville’s THE EIGHT

Strong, smart and full of surprising answers, don’t you agree? To learn more about CJ, please follow her on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

Before, During and After…

June 24, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: News

Here are a few terrific examples of what could happen in a writers’ life before, during and after publication.

As a debut-author-in-waiting, complete with white gloves and pearls, you discover that The Debutante Ball is looking for debut authors for the class of 2010! Knowing how much coming out and dancing every week at the Ball would mean — both in emotional support and publicity –, you read From the Debutante Ball — Class of 2009 and fill out the application. Good luck!

As Kristina Riggle, having just launched Real Life & Liars, you are interviewed on Authors on Air, discussing whether Mira is based on a real person, your songwriting background, and your next book. For anyone who missed that LIVE event, you offer the opportunity to catch the podcast here.

Also, as Kristina, you’re hitting the road this summer and anyone living in the Michigan and Illinois area can meet/greet and have you sign their copy of RL&L at one of many scheduled appearances beginning this week through the end of July.

And, as CJ Lyons, you recently learned that your debut medical suspense, Lifelines, has been nominated for a Book Buyers Best Award. Lifelines is also a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense as well as the National Readers Choice Award. Congratulations!

And so life continues for authors beyond their pages.

Author News and Thank Yous

June 18, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: News

CJ Lyons WARNING SIGNS was one of the books featured in Barbara Vey’s Publishers Weekly blog yesterday! What great press, CJ, congratulations….

Also yesterday, Katie Alender’s post, So much for being a housewife announced the news that her YA novel, Bad Girls Don’t Die, is going to be a series! Indeed, there are going to be “two more books full of spooky shenanigans with Alexis and pals, with Book 2 set to release in Spring of 2011.” How thrilling and deserved!

And now I’d like to acknowledge two authors/friends who supported and believed that this site and role were my “inevitable.” They’re “Special K’s,” with the first one being Kristy Kiernan. Almost all know her name and brilliant work — Catching Genius and Matters of Faith –, and then there are those of us who know her by having been touched by her visionary mind and generous heart. Kristy acted as a sounding board, advisor and co-dreamer on this project. True, it was my idea, yet when “K” declares something to be “brilliant”…you have to see it through! Yesterday, she paid me the ultimate compliment with her blog post, The Divining Wand – Choosing Authors as Friends. Thank you Kristy for being an author and friend.

Katie Alender is my second “Special K” and well on her way to being Kristy Kiernan, Jr. More than a talented and skillful writer, Katie — like Kristy — is a meaningful storyteller. And then there are all of her other interests, including Photoshop “hobbyist.” Are you getting the picture? 😉 Yes, that’s correct, this “gorgeous,” “knockout,” “lovely,” and “amazing” site was put together by Katie. The design, images and ideas were mine but Katie created/perfected every little detail down to the fingers waving The Divining Wand. Thank you Katie for being an author and friend.

The Divining Wand will now wrap up its first week, running on a four day post schedule to allow for gathering more content, filling more pages, and reading more books. Have a wonderful weekend and do return on Monday because there’s yet another novel about to be released!