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“Bridged”

Published December 29, 2016 by glgiles

Goddess Be with Ye, 2016! (A year of challenges with lots of brilliant artists of many kinds passing, et cetera. Yet, it was also a year of wonderful new beginnings for me~~~)

Hel-o, 2017! (Speaking of Goddesses, I have been fond of the Norse Hel for some time) So looking forward to you, New Year~~~

 

 

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***I have titled this piece I painted “Bridged.” It is symbolic of bridging the old year with the new, etc.~~~

***2017 is also the year that my fun-filled ‘gap years’ come to a close, as I am excited to be inspired again creatively, so 2017 will (hopefully) be the year that the fictional world inside my head is successfully bridged by real world publication again.

***In addition, there are also plenty of hilarious high jinks already ensuing with me playing around on the illustrating side of things thanks to my new iPad Pro (I so dig it!)

Love, Light & Darkness,

GL Giles

 

Interview with Author and Illustrator C.L. Murphy!

Published July 29, 2014 by glgiles
C.L. Murphy

C.L. Murphy

C.L. Murphy is the author and illustrator of the children’s picture book series THE ADVENTURES OF LOVABLE LOBO.  She describes herself as having the spirit of a glitter fairy with milk chocolate dipped wings, who wishes to spread some sparkle and a bit of yum. Her fourth book in the series, LOBO’S HOWLIDAY, was recently named a gold medal winner in the eLit Awards competition! Can you howl “Ho Ho Ho”?
 
Q. Many of your readers have fallen in love with your wolf pup in the series:  “The Adventures of Lovable Lobo!” On your site here you mention that “He’s not your ordinary wolf pup!” Is one of the ways he differs because he’s a ‘vegetarian wolf?’ In what other ways does he differ?
A. He’s a silly one, that Lobo! Yes, he considers himself a herbivore and it’s quite a dilemma to have when you are amongst a pack of apex predators. In the first book of the series, LOBO & POPO FOOL THE PACK, he is asked by the alpha, his father, to provide for the pack as a right of passage. The story line poses some interesting questions. Do you go against your father’s wishes or do you try to fool the pack? It’s meant to be thought provoking and to a encourage discussion. Lobo is not unlike many young children who are eager to please their parents, meet new friends, and curious about life.
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Q. What challenges must he overcome to make him the best wolf he can be?
A. I’d say his biggest challenge is that he considers all animals his friends and the thought of eating one of them isn’t a pleasant one.  Haha! At times, he has to deal with the stigma that comes from being feared, although he doesn’t seem to recognize it.  Lobo’s character is one of acceptance, curiosity, kindness with a dash of impetuousness, and a pinch of attention deficit disorder thrown in. Oh my,  I believe I’ve just described myself! As authors, it’s funny how we can’t help but include a little bit of yourselves in the characters we create. Lobo never hesitates to help a friend and aims to be the best furry pal one could ever hope for.
Q. LOL! That’s true. Switching gears, what’s the release date for Book 5?
A. The fifth book in the series should be released by September.  This book will take Lobo and Roxy, his right-hand(wing?) raven, to the Galapagos Islands.  What fun it was to create new characters for the book!  I called upon children of the kindergarten classes, that I visited in March, to help name some of the new characters.  They came up with some very interesting and unusual names and we all giggled over many of the ideas.  That age is a delight to work with, and I find their imagination, honesty and spontaneity quite charming.
Q. So great that “Las aventuras del adorable Lobo” is obviously available in Spanish, too! Is the series available in other languages besides English and Spanish?
A. The process to have LOBO VISITS THE BARNYARD translated in Spanish was an interesting one. The vocabulary is simple in this picture book, but it was surprising how many questions the translator had for me to be certain the words had the same meaning.  What tickled me was when the translator kept insisting on changing the sounds that the farm animals made, as she was reading from the manuscript. The animals’ sounds in the book are the actual audio sounds of the animals not the words.  It took me a bit to get that across.
For now, only the second book in the series is translated into another language.
Q. The ‘PAWSOME’ pledge is nothing short of awesome! Please tell readers what the acronym stands for.
A.  Thanks, Gia! You are PAWSOME and have certainly made my day! The pledge consists of some inspiring words to live by and I wear my PAWSOME wristband proudly, everyday, to help remind me of the pledge.
Play nice…….because that’s the only way to play.
Always be kind…..because kindness is magic.
Work hard……always try your best.
Stand up fur what you believe in……and that includes yourself, too!
Only take what you need……..don’t be greedy.
Make someone’s day…….it’s so important to think of others.
Eat your fruits and greens………….a healthy diet is essential.
Q. If you weren’t a wonderful writer, then what would you be?
A.  I’d be out there looking for Bigfoot! I’m kidding, just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention! While Lobo has met Squatchy, a little Bigfoot,  in LOBO FINDS BIGFOOT, I, on the other hand find it curious that there are so many sightings and yet no conclusive evidence has been discovered. I fantasize about the possibility though….excuse me as I digress.
If you’re asking what I’d consider my dream job, then “paws down”, I’m doing it! Creating for children has always been my passion!  If you would have asked me twenty plus years ago I would have said that my dream job would have been working for Walt Disney Studios. Disney made such an impact on me when I was young, and to me, is the embodiment of everything happy and fanciful.  The fantasy world that he and his legacy continue to create is nothing short of magical.  Pictures do tell a thousand words! Even to this day, watching Disney’s movies I treat as a glorious lesson.  As a very visual person, I’m not just watching, I’m studying the colors, design, the shadows and the sumptuous detail that they include. Walt Disney’s life is one of such inspiration and to think that it all started with a mouse!
Q. I love your sense of humor, so I definitely was! And, I’m pretty sure all readers who haven’t forgotten the magic of words were, too! 🙂 Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?
A.  The best place to see all things Lovable Lobo is on the website. My favorite social media platform is twitter, and I’d like to invite your readers to engage this wacky wolf pup with a tweet and a follow.


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Interview with Artist Karen Emma Hall!

Published June 7, 2014 by glgiles

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“Karen Emma Hall is a creative new children’s author. Her first series of stories for children…combines skills of illustrations and words to draw children into the magic world of stories and reading. Karen discovered her love of writing a long time ago while reading to children as an auxiliary nurse and a nanny. She helped children in the classroom with their art, and soon decided to put the two together – writing stories with illustrations for children.
Eventually she started working with the elderly, and found that they loved art and painting as well, so her stories are not just for the young but everyone, aged one to one hundred. Her first series of children’s stories are a little bit magic. They leave readers with that magic feeling after reading them. If you love owls and you love cats, then you are going to adore her fully illustrated books. All the illustrations in the books are hand drawn and painted.
The very first book in the Teeny Pheeny Tales series is very appealing, as it is the introduction of the main characters, Mrs Phoenix and Teeny Pheeny, (Pheeny coming from the word Phoenix) and the owl folk of Boohoo Village. This series brings you teeny bits of teeny magic. The owls are almost living and breathing as they’re very endearing, funny and even a bit grumpy! It’s all about the owls!
Karen has four daughters and two special cats (who turn up in the stories). She is very active on social media, and is very happy to reply to messages in person on twitter, where she also writes her own quotes. You can follow her on google+ facebook and her blog. Karen’s blog is very popular and very amusing and a must read. Karen is currently illustrating more sketches and starting on her next children’s amusing stories about cats… but I can’t give away too much about that just yet…’Follow’ said the pied piper, and they did follow
Twitter @PeachyEmma https://twitter.com/PeachyEmma
http://captnjacksparrow.wix.com/books
peachyemma.blogspot.co.uk” (Amazon).

 

 

 

 

Q: Please tell us where your inspiration for your wonderful illustrations has come from?

A: In a couple of words, children and animals. My children and the children I have worked with, and my pets I have. Children love art in one form or another, and no child is bad at art. It is an expression of themselves, their feelings, their personality.
Even when my daughter said she wanted her room newly decorated to get rid of the mess on the wall, (it was covered in various pictures, drawings, writings, notes, posters, etc.) I told her it has her art, her expression and her creation. It showed us who she was, how she expressed herself, and her personality comes through those pictures and how she placed them on the wall. She did look on it with different eyes, and changed the way she thought about art. But she still wants new wallpaper….

Q: Where can readers find your artwork?

A: Originally I had never thought about showing my artwork, as a lot of it I had done years ago before I even got a computer. I did self-portraits when I was a teenager, which I will never show anyone ha! Then I started painting. Water and oils. I could never get away with oils, but then discovered these amazing pens from a craft shop and I loved how they worked and blended. I never felt I was any better at Art than the next person, they were always pretty, colourful, but because I loved illustrating that was all that mattered. I did not originally set out to show them off, I just loved drawing and found it relaxing and therapeutic. I really must decide which website to use to show them off… when I get a little time.

Q: Which medium do you prefer to work in? What other mediums have you tried?

A: I try everything. I don’t like working with oils as much I found, but I really admire oil paintings. I love water paints, and plain and simple coloured pens and pencils the best.

Q: What can readers discover at your blog here?

A: Silly quirky fun stuff mainly, as I always used to just write whatever comes into my head. I wasn’t writing for anyone else but me. It is always good to get stuff down, so I thought I would start a blog to see how it went and if anyone wanted to read it. These days I blog about the KLA and children’s literature.

My primary concerns are, of course, books and reading, particularly encouraging children to read in a world full of technological distractions, but I talk about anything that catches my eye. It’s intended to be a five minute coffee break – leave whatever’s stressing you out alone for a few minutes, put your feet up, and let’s chat about whatever comes to mind.

Q: Speaking of KLA, you started the popular ‘Kid Literature Authors’ Facebook page—which has already had over 1,000 likes in a little over a month. Why is it such a ‘happening spot’?

A: I think I managed to stumble upon a real gap in the market. There’s a wealth of pages on Facebook dedicated to specific books, authors, series or genres, but nothing that’s a meeting place for bringing together readers, authors and books all in one group. It really started out on Twitter while I was working on Teeny Pheeny. I was looking to build up interest in my own book, of course, but found so many people there with ideas and suggestions and their own needs, and we made a bit of a loose group out there in the ‘Twitterverse’. It soon became clear that we’re all pulling in the same direction – we want our children reading, and we want to get books into their hands. So a Facebook page seemed to be the next logical step. I put the page in the hands of those core people I met on Twitter – after all, it’s intended as a democratic arena for the promotion of reading. With a handful of administrators and editors, we were able to pull together plenty of relevant material and all of our collective contacts, and the page just flourished from there. Ironically, once I started setting the Facebook page up and then organising the website, I had little time left for poor Teeny Pheeny. So now I have to be very strict with my time, as I have so much to do in one day, and I must try to not feel guilty for taking time for myself and my books.

Q: I think that many altruistic personalities will find that entirely relatable. You also founded the wonderful ‘Kid Literature Authors’ site at http://www.Kidliteratureauthors.com where there are book reviews, free books and information for parents and teachers. What else can readers find there?

A: The reviews have just started at the beginning of this month (June), and we’ve had a great batch to start with. We’ve got a ‘free stuff’ page which includes short videos of stories being read aloud, and these are great for parents and children to watch together. We’ll be keeping our news up-to-date on the front page, so any events we think are relevent to our visitors will go there. We also have individual pages for our key collaborators, so you can find out a bit more about our authors and illustrators. The site has only been live a couple of weeks and already we’ve got a lot of content up there – and we will only be adding more and more! In the near future we’ll be looking to add to our reviews, and introducing a guest blog feature.

Q: Now for a fun, random question: Do you see yourself taking a trip ‘across the pond’ to meet many of your fellow children’s picture book enthusiasts here?

A: I couldn’t think of anything better! I’m ridiculously busy at the moment, what with keeping an eye on the Facebook page, getting the website up and running, promoting many people, and of course with my own books, but I’d never rule out a trip ‘across the pond’ It is one of my ambitions. Now I have a reason to go, as I have come to know a few super people since starting the KLA.

Q: Where can readers go to connect with you and your work (social networking sites, etc.)?

A: Lots of places! The website’s at http://www.kidliteratureauthors.com. The KLA is also on Facebook, with a lively community waiting to meet you there. I’m also very active on Twitter, and always pleased to welcome new followers. The first in the Teeny Pheeny series is available at Amazon to download for your Kindle or PC, and it’s a great introduction to my range of characters. Really if you want to know the instant anything happens go to Twitter, as that is where I go to escape—for timeout. If you are on Twitter and you follow me, you will be the first to know what I am up to!

Q: What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2014?

A: Plenty of work will go into the Kid Literature Authors website, adding in additional features, working on reviews and promotions. From the perspective of my own writing, there’s another Teeny Pheeny book on the way with more brand new illustrations, as well as a collaboration on a book for middle grade readers, called ‘Corey in Cold Cliff Castle’. It’s a wild adventure with gruesome characters that will hopefully attract boys to reading. Very fun, Scooby doo meets Hammer Horror. What is more thrilling for me is that Eric Heyman is illustrating some drawings for Cory in Cold Cliff Castle, and they are so good they are spooky-rific! You all must keep checking up to see the goings on from Twitter and the website.

Interview with the Darkly Delightful Wendy Potocki!

Published May 31, 2014 by glgiles

Wendy Potocki lives and writes in NYC. If that isn’t scary enough, she writes in the genre of horror. She feels creating good horror is an art form. She religiously devotes herself to pursuing it over hill and dale — and in the crevices of her keyboard.

Named one of the Top Ten “New” Horror Authors by Horror Novel Reviews, she has seven self-published novels. Book trailers for many of her works may be found on her official website http://www.wendypotocki.com/. Her newest frightmare is THRILL. It’s a non-stop chillfest and has been attracting a lot of attention. Her next planned projects are The Witch’s Stone, The Virgin, and ZaSo, a Gothic tale of horror. Please subscribe to her mailing list for updates and giveaway information.

http://bicameralwriting.wordpress.com/join-my-mailing-list/

In her spare time, she loves to go for long walks, drink Starbucks Apple Chai Lattes, make devotional offerings to her cat named Persephone and be stilled by the grace, beauty and magic of ballet” (Amazon).

 

 

 

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You recently held a successful event/giveaway on Facebook, et cetera. Please tell readers about it, and do you plan on having another one this year? Or, in 2015?

Yes, I hosted a fantastic event entitled The Danse Macabre Giveaway. Here’s the link to it on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/436950353115235/

The event was centered around my paranormal mystery called Black Adagio. The book combines horror and ballet into a scary, suspense-filled thriller.  I had a number of brilliantly insane authors participate and give away free copies of their books. I also gave away book swag, t-shirts and skull necklaces. Since skeletons feature prominently in Black Adagio, skulls fit perfectly into the theme.

Yes, I am planning on hosting a new giveaway come October. It’ll be called Halloweenpalooza II. I hosted Halloweenpalooza I last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again. Last year, the participating authors wrote blogs on their scariest paranormal experience. We got some great stories. This year we’re back with another theme. I’m not going to say any more about it other than Halloweenpalooza II will be bigger and better. Here’s a link to the Halloweenpalooza I blog:

http://halloweenpalooza.blogspot.com/2013/10/halloweenpalooza-31-days-of-halloween.html

And Halloweenpalooza I Official Event page on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/events/164385847097718/

The links will give the readers that didn’t attend a chance to sample what you’re in for if you do join our next party. And please read the blog. Some of the personal experiences with ghosts and the supernatural are mind bending! I had no idea I’d get that kind of response, but the authors were very forthcoming in dishing up true encounters.

I was happy to have been included in your event—with the group of “brilliantly insane authors!” *cue crazy-sauce laughter here* Plus, I know that you and I share a love and respect for felines. My cats are certainly some of my muses. Is your cat, Persephone, one of yours?

Of course! Cats provide the perfect dichotomy needed to write. By that I mean, they’re very grounding, but in giving us sure footing, they allow us to soar. I use this unique combination to my advantage. When writing, I constantly glance over at my Persephone. The sight of her all curled up on the couch or kitty condo (yes, she does have her own carpet-covered home inside the one I provide for her), centers me. It gives me a pleasure that all is right in the world, and the relaxation derived from that sense of well-being is used as momentum to get back to work and stop ogling my beautiful furball.

I do have an upcoming series of books where Persephone comes out of the shadows and onto centerstage, but that’s all I’ll say about it right now. Persephone, honey, I’m gonna make you a star!

Can’t wait to read that series! Please tell readers about the wonderful work that the Golden Paw Society of NY is doing to help rescue animals. And, where can readers go to learn more about the Golden Paw Society?

So happy you asked me about this! *drags over soapbox*

Golden Paw Society of NY is a rescue organization that I’ve come to know through Facebook. The have a unique positioning and I believe their mission statement says it all. It is: www.goldenpawsociety.org — GPS: Helping Shelter Cats Find Their Way Into Forever Homes.

To break that down, it means that every few weeks they perform something called “Shelter Runs.” It involves members of GPS going to municipal shelters and pulling animals that have either been housed there for too long a time or that are at risk in terms of being euthanized or succumbing to untreated health issues.

Can I tell you that these Shelter Runs are my favorite times of the month? I get so delighted and have kicked in a few dollars to aid them in getting these abandoned kitties (and sometimes dogs), out of harm’s way. They always post pictures of the animals rescued on these runs. You can find many those pictured on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/goldenpawsociety/info.

The other thing I love about Golden Paw is that they’re very proactive in posting updates so you can see the before and after shots of these rescues. The difference a little love, nutrition and needed medical treatment make is astonishing. These animals flourish and blossom in such short periods of time. Once the animal reaches a state of good health, they’re put up for adoption … and here’s where the real magic comes in. I simply love, admire and respect the matches Golden Paw makes. I don’t know how they do it, but they do not put the animal through the trauma of giving them to just anyone who asks. The process is way more selective and they seem to weed out those who would only dump the animal after a few weeks. Instead, the matches made are solid, lasting, and, yes, forever! There are tons of updates on the little furballs in their new homes after a few weeks, months and years of arrival! These animals have found safe, loving homes and people who care. For me, that’s what it’s all about!

Four paws up for Golden Paw Society of NY! They’re the best of the bestest!

 

So AWESOME! Please go into more detail about helping our canine friends, too. Please tell readers about the wonderful work that the Big Dog Ranch Rescue is doing. And, where can readers go to learn more about the Big Dog Ranch Rescue?

Big Dog Ranch Rescue is another organization I found through Facebook. Here’s a link to their page:

https://www.facebook.com/bigdogranchrescue

I admire BDRR for the same reasons I do GPS. BDRR is also very transparent. They post pictures of new arrivals as well as after shots of the dog once it’s been cleaned up and fed decent food for a few days. Because you get to bond with the dog in this way, it’s very emotional when they announce the dog has been adopted! It’s always accompanied by a nice picture of the new family with their new four-pawed baby. Often these families will send BDRR photos of how the dog is adjusting to having a home. Usually it’s very well. Who wouldn’t like their own space, tons of love and good food? Then there’s the couch privileges! Pictures of the dogs sprawled out on their doggie bed or going for a walk on the beach for the first time are so precious! I love that BDRR makes such great matches. In fact, I love that GPS and BDR make such successful matches so much so that put together a video that pays tribute to them and all organizations that show compassion and kindness to our four-pawed friends! Here’s the video for those that are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTvgI5xFy78

That’s great…thanks for sharing! Switching gears, when were you named one of the ‘Top Ten New Horror Authors’ by Horror Novel Reviews? Congratulations, by the way!

Thank you! It was quite the honor. I had run across Horror Novel Reviews while web surfing. I loved the site so I read their review policy. I decided to go ahead and send my chiller-diller THE MAN WITH THE BLUE HAT to them, but was unsure if they’d even review it. Believe me, I would have been happy with only that.

Well, a few weeks later, I’m on Twitter and I see a tweet from Matt Molgaard of Horror Novel Reviews and it’s directed at me. I RT’d it. I automatically RT these kind of things so I hadn’t really digested what the tweet was about. I guess I just assumed it was about the review. I went off of Twitter and was opening my email when I did a double take. I’m guessing the morning coffee kicked in at that point! Sometimes it takes a while. Anyway, it was like … duh! What did that tweet say? I scrambled back to Twitter and looked through my Notifications and sure enough, the tweet was something about me being named one the Top Ten New Horror Authors. I was like … wha’?!!! So I punch in the link to Horror Novel Reviews and find the article and … *drum roll* … I’m in it! Yes, there I am named as one of the Ten Best of the 2013. I can’t tell you the thrill that elicited, and the carpet still bears traces of my happy dance.

How many novels have you written? And, are they all classified as horror reads?

I’ve written over ten novels, seven of which can be classified as horror. The others are written under pen names. They include mysteries and fantasy thrillers.

I’d also like to state that although the seven books (THRILL, Black Adagio, The Man with the Blue Hat, Adduné: The Vampire’s Game, Adduné: The House of Cards, The White Lady Murders and The Horns of September) tuck into the horror genre, some do cross over into other categories. For instance, Black Adagio neatly fits into paranormal mystery. Also Black Adagio and my latest frightmare THRILL are suitable for both Adult and YA audience. I don’t write for YA’s, but it just worked out that way.

I know that I’ve been reading a lot about “narrative flow” recently. So, how important do you think it is to good storytelling?

It’s everything. If you don’t have a flow, you don’t have a book—you only have an idea or outline for a book. It’s like comparing a bunch of dots to a drawing where the dots are connected. By drawing that stick figure, the picture begins to emerge. But compare that stick figure to a finished painting.  There’s quite a difference—a depth that adds richness and complexity. It’s in the shading, use of nuances and colors that the true beauty comes into focus and can be considered art and it’s the same with the written word.

I’ve always written to a rhythm that runs through my head when penning a tale. No one told me to do this, it came naturally to me. I don’t know if it’s because of my dance background that this happened, but each story I write has its own unique tempo. Therefore, the way I write each story is different and adheres to this pace.

I experimented with this rhythm in Adduné: The House of Cards. It’s the second book in my vampire trilogy. In one chapter, I literally choreographed the words and action to a song. I must have written that passage over at least thirty or forty times until I got the timing right and the crescendo matched the one in the music.  I was so happy that I nailed it. When I read the final version, I cheered and knew it was worth the effort.

I love that musical connection. So, what’s in the works for the rest of 2014?

Right now, I’m in the midst of editing a new frightmare. It’s called Trillingham and can’t wait to publish it. I hope to have it released this summer. After that, it’s back to working on the third and final entry in the Adduné vampire trilogy. The Reckoning will complete the tale begun with The Vampire’s Game and continued in The House of Cards. The Reckoning has a very complicated storyline and I’m taking my time in getting it right. I am making sure all the questions are answered and that Miranda Perry’s journey into the dark world of vampires leaves readers glad that they were part of the adventure.

Where can readers go to connect with you (social networking sites, blog, et cetera)?

Oh, cheesh! Where can’t they find me? I’m all over social media!

They can twitter me at @WPotocki. They can also find me on Facebook so please show me some love and like my page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-Potocki-Author/100285326834525?ref=hl

I have several blogs:

http://bicameralwriting.wordpress.com/

http://legendofthingsonsticks.wordpress.com/

http://wendypotocki.wordpress.com/

I also have a mailing list that you can join so you won’t miss out on anything.

Subscribe to our newsletter

I love to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. And thank you, Gia, for allowing me this opportunity!

My pleasure! Love what you’re about!

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