WOLF DAWN Is Coming!

Great News!

My short story, WOLF DAWN will soon be available on Amazon. Here’s a sneak peak of the cover.

Wolf Dawn 13

Gifted with the ability to wolf-talk, Kara has lived with the wolves since she lost her memories eight years ago. Now at sixteen, snippets of her past send her searching for answers. But the warm welcome she receives in the human village hides more danger than life with the pack.

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Michelle Ray

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Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Author photo laughing

 

Michelle Ray is a middle school teacher who lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband and teen girls. Falling for Hamlet, her first novel, became the E! TV series, The Royals, starring Elizabeth Hurley, which she finds highly entertaining. Her other Shakespeare novels are Mac/Beth and Much Ado About Something, technically YA though many adults have enjoyed them. Her newest book, A World on Fire, is based on her professor husband’s research about what happened to the Jews after they were expelled from Medieval Spain.

 

Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

Michelle: A cat. They don’t care!

Wolf: Interesting. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

Michelle: Gefilte fish. Jarred fish cakes in goop. I like it but every Passover I wonder why.

Wolf: You and me both. I like mine with lots of horseradish. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Michelle: My glare. My students say it’s scary and it definitely stops people in their tracks.

Wolf: Good one. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Michelle: Giving them a happy ending. I’m not good at that. I always want everything to be ambiguous, but my draft-readers are always like, “No! Let us have something positive.”

Wolf: I get that a lot too. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Michelle: In my latest book, A World on Fire, the main character decides to cross the Mediterranean to find her fiancé. Let’s just say it’s historically accurate but it doesn’t go well for her. Actually, writing it didn’t feel mean. Just true and sad. Okay so really “mean”? In Mac/Beth giving the main character a mother more interested in her daughter’s fame and income than her well being.World digital cover

Wolf: That is mean. And sad. BTW, I love the cover for A World on Fire. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

Michelle: Something prickly that turns out to be helpful.

Wolf: I’m picturing sewing and hypodermic needles. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Michelle: Neither. Both. It depends. The animal’s personality affects how/if I connect with them. Some cats and dogs are irresistible. I’m kind of neutral about dogs, which apparently makes me more attractive to them. I’m like a bad boyfriend ­– the more aloof I am, the more the dog is like, “I will make you love me!” It’s a running joke with my friends because their dogs seek me out and lean on me all the time! A rude cat turns me off, but sometimes it cracks me up. I had a roommate whose cat used to prance across the coffee table, pause, and hang up the phone (some of you will remember the land line phone with the part that was separate). When a sweet cat drapes across me and purrs? Love it!

Wolf: I’m a sap for a cute pup. While walking in the woods you come across…

Michelle: Nature and think, “How come I don’t spend more time out here?”

Wolf: Good question. After you finish reading, go take a walk. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Michelle: Flight. Airports make me tense.

Wolf: Interesting. I’m fine with airports but hate flying. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Michelle: Run the other way!

Wolf: Smart. Unless it’s your washing machine. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Michelle: Nothing. And here’s why: after reading many, many post-cataclysmic books & watching The Walking Dead for so many years, I have come to the conclusion that, should there be a disease outbreak or a zombie apocalypse, I want to be taken out in the first moments, thank you very much. 

Wolf: Makes sense. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Michelle: Oh that’s hard! Okay, I think I like Hamlet the best. I’m still in love with him. My best friend reads all my drafts and she says my boys always start out too perfect. I guess it’s true. I’ve always had great guys around. Hamlet is funny and smart and handsome and, well, a prince. He gets a little nutty midway through the book, but Ophelia still has a thing for him to the bitter end, as do I.

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Michelle: I like stories of all kinds, so I love movies and well-written TV shows, but my favorite place is the theater. I also love grabbing coffee with friends. Great stories come when you sit down with people to chat. (Author friends are dangerous. Many personal details from real life become part of the characters’ stories.)

Wolf: I hear you. What are your two favorite books about writing? 

Michelle: On Writing by Stephen King & Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. Both gave me the confidence to say I’m a writer and the permission to not be perfect while doing it.

Wolf: Super. Thanks for stopping by. You can connect with Michelle through these links:

Website: www.michelleraybooks.com
Facebook: Michelle Ray writer
Twitter: @mraywriter

Star Touched

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – David J. Bernstein

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Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

dsb2David Siegel Bernstein, PhD is the author of Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction and the forthcoming mystery novel Poisoned Pawn. His fiction and poetry have been published in numerous print, podcast, and online magazines. His nonfiction has been published in academic journals, newsletters, book chapters, and science fiction magazines.

He also volunteers his time promoting writing and his fellow authors. He serves on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. This is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring writers together for instruction, counsel, fellowship, and the exchange of ideas. He also leads the Words in Progress writing group—a group dedicated to helping members to improve their writing and publishing skills.

His non-literary projects include: Re-inventing the wheel, the Sisyphus relief project, referring to myself in the third person (as THE David, lest fools confuse him with the other one).

Wolf: I like the last line of your bio. It’s good to have a sense of humor. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

David: Since much of my writing is science fiction and fantasy, I’d have to answer: Space Kraken. Although considered evil by most (misunderstood really), I’d keep all Earth colonies safe. Naturally a few would be fed to me as offerings. That’s fair. Whenever there is an alien invasion, they would have to release the Kraken!

Wolf: Love it. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

David: A sharp tongue to cut down my critics… errr, I mean my enemies. As a hidden backup piece, I’d have my wit.

Wolf: Good plan. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

David: I’ve kept my main characters meaningfully employed. Their fictional paychecks keep on rolling in. I remember for one character I provided a touch of insanity. It made him much more interesting—though not much of a people person, but he was happy.

Also, when it has fit into the story (never gratuitously) I provided a merciful death. My latest novel is a mystery with a fair number of victims. I was easy on the ones I liked.

Wolf: Remind me not to get on your bad side. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

David: A merciless death. Another cruel thing I’ve done on rare occasions is to make them two-dimensional.

Wolf: I think that is the cruelest thing you can do to a character. While walking in the woods you come across…

David: A car to take me out of the woods.

Wolf: I take it you aren’t much of an outdoors person. How about this? There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

David: Turn around and leave!  I’d come back with a new lightbulb and dehumidifier for the hall and a new drum for the washer to stop the rumbling.

Wolf: You must have read the same story I did. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

David: A suicide pill; I’d only need one.

Wolf: That is sad. What was left of the world would miss your wit. What story are you working on now?

David: I’m scribing the next book of the Caleb Jacobs series. Poisoned Pawn, the first book in the series, is hitting the market this November. I am also working on a couple of new science fiction short stories. One will challenge the reality of characters. It may turn out a few of them are fictional. The other story is a space adventure.

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

David: I enjoy interviews with very nice bloggers.

Wolf: Thank you. If you were stranded on a deserted island and only had one book, what would you want it to be?

David: I’d choose War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It would be the only time I’d be able to get through it.

Wolf: Great answer. Connect more with David through these links:

DavidSiegelBernstein.blogspot.com
Twitter: @DavidBernstein
Instagram: davidsiegelbernstein
Facebook:  @DSBernstein

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Quotations On The Constitution

Something to think about.

charles french words reading and writing

constitution

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“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

                                                                   Abraham Lincoln

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The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

                                                                   George Washington

From the Preamble to the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Oath to Uphold the Constitution

For members of Congress

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to…

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Rhiannon Held

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Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARhiannon Held writes urban fantasy, along with space opera and weird western (as R. Z. Held). She lives in Seattle, where she works as an archaeologist for an environmental compliance firm. At work, she mostly uses her degree for copy-editing technical reports; in writing, she uses it for cultural world-building; in public, she’ll probably use it to check the mold seams on the wine bottle at dinner.

Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

Rhiannon: I’m not sure I’d ever want to be an animal literally, but being one metaphorically (in the best tradition of animals that talk in folktales) would be fun! My personal metaphor animal (or patronus) is a fox. Sometimes foxes are the villains of the piece in Western folktales—sly, killing chickens, stealing what isn’t theirs. But what if folktale foxes applied their methods to less villainous goals? I aspire to be stubborn like a fox. Not stubborn like an ox, just going forward and hitting your head against a wall until it breaks (or does it?). Stubborn like a fox, who sees a goal and goes over or under or around or talks their way in or distracts the guard or in the end, makes peace with deciding it wasn’t actually worth it. If they do decide it’s worth it, they keep stubbornly trying different methods of getting to their goal until they succeed.

Wolf: I never thought about foxes like that. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Rhiannon: At one time, I thought I might write a spin-off series of my main urban fantasy series, Silver. That ended up not being where I wanted to go with my limited creative time (though I still love the idea for it!). The spin-off was intended to be set about 60 years in the future, when the werewolf characters who were part of a society hidden from humans in the Silver series had mostly died in clashes with humans once they were discovered. It meant that the characters I’d written about originally had somewhat passed into legend, with all the crunchy misunderstandings and exaggerations that intrigue me about real history. It also meant that I had to know how they all died.

That’s not the mean part, though. Death is death; it comes to every character off the page. No, the mean part was when I figured out what life must be like for the characters who remained. Though the series was slated to take place in a relatively safe enclave, anyone who’d made it that far had lost pretty well everyone in the life to violence. That’s one thing to have in backstory, but it’s another to have happen to characters readers have already met!

Wolf: So true. While walking in the woods you come across…

Rhiannon: As the interest in history I mentioned above hinted at, for my day job I’m actually a professional archaeologist. Specifically, I work in compliance archaeology, which involves checking places slated for development before ground is even broken, so that we can know or predict with confidence whether there are any “cultural resources” (not just artifacts or objects, but also other things that are evidence of past humans, such as stains in the soil, trails, ditches, or building foundations) that might be disturbed when development goes forward. Over my career, I’ve specialized and now mostly edit the technical reports we produce for our results. However, I was trained in survey, which is what I would be doing when I was walking out in the woods and came across something.

What might I find, out on survey? In the Pacific Northwest, not much on the surface—our survey almost always involves digging what are called shovel probes because otherwise things are just plain too grown over to see. But we’re hypothetically walking, not digging! When walking, we often find railroad grades, but almost never rails or ties, as those were removed by the railroad companies when they closed the lines, or moved spurs as they opened up new areas for logging in historical times. Old roads are also out there. Occasionally one can find concrete foundations or pads associated with homesteads or houses. And can or bottle dumps! Workers on the job or people traveling on a road might dump the cans or bottles from what they’d eat or drunk by the side of the road or tracks. Cans rust away and can be hard to identify very precisely, but bottles often have maker’s marks, as well as how particular shapes tell you what’s inside (take a look in your recycling bin—you know what had wine in it, and what had ketchup!).

Just as a note—even as archaeologists, most of the time we record things, we don’t collect them. The point is what they can tell us, not possessing them, and they can tell us things while staying right where they are for another person to see! So if you find historical stuff in a the woods, be like an archaeologist: look it over and leave it there.

Wolf: Just like I learned in scouts. Take only picture. Leave no trace. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Rhiannon: There are two answers to this question! The first is, I’d love to be able to teleport, mostly so I could visit far-flung friends whenever the heck I wanted. Narratively, though, that one’s no good, because no super power can just work quickly and conveniently with no side effects, tradeoffs, or complications. I’ve seen plenty of complications for teleportation across fiction, but none of them are meaningful for my personality. For instance, getting lost in some kind of limbo state if you step in without picturing your destination clearly enough makes the most narrative sense for a character who metaphorically doesn’t look before they leap as well. That is the diametric opposite of me!

So the second answer is, I think I’d probably have empathy. It’s great for understanding people and helping them, but it’s pretty terrible for making sure you don’t burn out trying to fix the world all on your lonesome. If I had that superpower, maybe I wouldn’t use it very much…

Wolf: Interesting. One of my works in progress is about an empathic teleport. She has loads of complication. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Rhiannon: I have a very high, wonky prescription for which I currently wear contacts, but obviously in that case I’d want my glasses first and foremost. The next things are all bound up in what I’d like to consider my long-term survival strategy. Assume for the sake of these items, that in this new world, there are now more resources than people (true for a disease outbreak, not true for crippling drought for decades, etc.). Most fiction likes to focus on the fighting after the cataclysm, but people already tend to stick together during disasters, and enough resources afterwards means there’s much less impetus to fight to go steal someone else’s food because you’re starving, for example. But I digress!

Second item, I want a farmer’s almanac. Gotta get some crops in the ground if I want to eat in the future. But those won’t be ready for a season, if not more, so time to get me something to eat now, with a book of city maps. Remember those, from the 90s, with street maps for an entire city in far more detail than one fold-out map can give? It’ll be outdated, of course, given all the updates went online, but it would be enough to orient you and record your progress as you start scavenging. Maps are important! I won’t just be scavenging food, so I’ll want a solar panel so I can generate electricity to run any useful items that I find.

Last? Well, it’s kind of a big item, but I want a printing press. Preserving knowledge is so important, and while it’s easy to go the direction of worshiping books as singular, magical objects, I think that’s not the way to go. Preservation of knowledge is about replication. Find the books, copy down the information, and fire up the press! Print a hundred guides describing how to build a water filtration system using charcoal, and which wild plants are good to eat. Then all the people around you and their knowledge of their experiences can survive in the new world too.

Wolf: You and Tatiana, the main character in Star Touched, would get along great. Books and wild edibles are her things. What story are you working on now?

Rhiannon: Oddly enough, speaking of a post-apocalyptic world…That’s not quite true, I have at least four projects on my hard drive right now in various stages of completion, but the one I’m currently revising is a weird western, set centuries after the apocalypse, that explores, among other things, just what people looking back on us might put in their books about the period of their history we’re currently living in. Also it has conscious AI and other leftover technology from the old world as well as tall tales, lonely trails through deep forested canyons, private dancers, saloons, gun battles, and bicycle chases.

Wolf: That sound great. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Rhiannon: For hobbies that get me out of the house, I belong to a community choir and have a D&D game, and I also enjoy hiking and finding little local museums to poke around. On a given evening, though, I write until I have no more brain left, which isn’t always bedtime, so I also have to fill that time. To get away from words without completely vegging in front of Netflix (which I do my share of, let’s be honest) I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles and cross-stitch. The bigger the picture the better, for both of those!

Wolf: All fun activities. What’s your philosophy that keeps you going through the hard times of writing?

Rhiannon: A question I get a lot that I never know how to answer is “Has there ever been a time you tried to give up writing?” It’s hard to answer because the honest reply is, “No.” But there’s a really interesting question buried inside of that, it’s just been made too specific. When times are hard (and every writer knows, damn but they get hard) even if you don’t feel that difficulty in the form of wanting to quit, how do you get through?

My philosophy: things work out. That needs a bit of explanation, otherwise it sounds like an empty platitude. Not everything will succeed. Not everything will get better. But things will change. That change might bring something that’s even better than what you thought you wanted. It might bring what you feared but you find out there was no reason to fear it after all. It might bring something so awful that you’re forced into making a decision that you never would have imagined making that brings even more change…that might be better than you imagined. Or worse. My life philosophy is that change is terrifying but as you get used to things, you realize they’ve worked themselves out. Somehow. Not how you imagined. But probably not bad, in the end. And a writing career is just a microcosm of that. There are no guarantees you’ll succeed at any one project or goal, but if you keep writing and submitting and give the change something to work on, you’ll end up somewhere new. And I’d like to keep finding out where that new place is!

Wolf: Great philosophy. You can connect with Rhiannon through these links:

 
Twitter: @rhiannonheld
Website: www.rhiannonheld.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5324198.Rhiannon_Held

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Heidi Hanley

081

Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by today, Heidi. Tell us a little about yourself.

100_1022_resizedHeidi: There are worse things than living in a world of kings, queens, warriors, bards, and all manner of magical beings. After a life spent burying myself in the imagination of others and lamenting my inability to create such a story myself, I was challenged by my husband and a friend to bust down the barriers to my own creativity and just do it! I did, and the Kingdom of Uisneach series is the result.

I have been blessed by careers as a Registered Nurse, an interfaith minister and a hospice chaplain, but ever-flowing beneath the surface was my passion for books and writing. Whether I was writing care plans, weddings or journaling my own personal odyssey, I crafted words in ways that others found . . . interesting.

The Kingdom of Uisneach series taps into the core of my Irish heritage, evoking the spirit of ancient myth and legend. I hope you enjoy this story and would love to hear from you.

Wolf: Sounds interesting. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Heidi: I am drawn to swords, which represent many things such as justice, ritual, power and strength. Specifically, I would choose the longsword. On the physical level it is the common weapon of the warriors I write about in the mythic fantasy genre. It requires a great deal of strength and dexterity to manage in battle and can get the job done completely. Granted, it is usually more difficult for women to use effectively, but not impossible. It is both an elegant and earthy weapon, crafted and honed by the hands of a smithy in a simple wood-fired cottage. On the symbolic level it is power and strength, two attributes of the men and women I write about. It plays a key role in The Prophecy in the magical sword Nuada, one of the four treasures of Uisneach.

Wolf: There is nothing like a good blade. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

Heidi: I adore ferns for their diversity and grace. They remind me of faeries and whimsy. Being one who is often referred to as ‘a bull in a china shop’ the lithe grace of ferns is something I can only dream of. Living in forested places, changing color with the seasons and hosting shelter to small or magical beings, is all I could hope to be in the botanical world.

Wolf: And some of them taste good. I mean the ferns, not the faeries. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Heidi: Definitely canine! I adore dogs and have often said I’d have one of every kind, though that would leave little time for writing. In my mundane world, I have a very un-mundane Scottish Terrier named Riley, who people on Facebook have come to know as my office buddy. In Uisneach, Briana has Dara, an Irish Wolfhound. She saved him when he was wounded and in turn, he became one of her loyal guards. I cannot imagine any world without dogs in it and none of my future books will be without some form of canine hero.

Wolf: I know exactly what you mean. While walking in the woods you come across…

Heidi: Well, obviously a magical oak tree that is a portal to another kingdom in need of a savior-queen.

Wolf: Of course. What else could there be? If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Heidi: All my life, I have had this occasional dream of being able to fly. They are rare, and I really treasure them.  It feels so good to be able to fly fearlessly above the world, seeing everything from a higher perspective. I am also inspired by watching documentaries where they are looking down on say, the African savannah or the Amazon River and birds are flying below. It gives me the same feeling that I’m flying.

Wolf: I’ve had those dreams as well, which is kind of funny. I don’t like heights. Do you have a favorite character?

the-prophecy_03Heidi: Every character in The Prophecy is my favorite for a different reason. However, I am really beginning to appreciate Briana as a force to be reckoned with. Readers have so far either loved her or have rolled their eyes and picked her apart. I guess she makes an impression and that is exactly what I like about her. She isn’t ordinary, though she thinks she is. Up until she walked through a tree in the woods near her house and ended up in Uisneach, she lived a pretty sheltered life. On the other side of the tree, she immediately discovers she is the savior to a land of gnomes, dryads, witches, druids and very mythic men and women and must adapt quickly to this new paradigm. She goes from being a young woman who cries at the drop of a hat and rejects most men because they don’t meet her dreamy expectations, to a woman who makes hard, sacrificial choices for the greater good of a kingdom she falls in love with. I freely admit it is cosmically cliché. I meant it to be. Her character arc seems complete in The Prophecy, but through the writing of the second book, The Runes of Evalon, it is clear she has room to grow, and is. She impresses me more and more with each passing day.

Wolf: Describe a meal you (or Briana) would be served while visiting another world.

Heidi: So, I’m on Uisneach and it’s the season for Christmas and Briana wants to celebrate the holiday she remembers so fondly. She consults with Moira Flannigan, the head cook and Reilly Doherty the butler, to create the meal. Slabs of cheese and baskets of nuts and fresh berries start the meal. The main course is roast turkey, pheasant, rabbit and venison, with sautéed mushrooms and wild onions. Brimming bowls of potatoes, turnip and carrots are set on the tables. Fresh oat bread with herbed butter is a staple at the castle and one of Briana’s favorites. Apple crisp and wild berry cobbler with whipped cream will be dessert. Cups will overflow with red ale, Uisneach mead and fresh goat milk. What won’t be served is plum wine, an Uisneach specialty that makes Briana act a little crazy.

Wolf: Yummy. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

Heidi: Two bodies of water play important roles in my life. Waterfalls are magical and play a significant role in my writing as you will see as the story of Uisneach unfolds. I live within a couple of hours drive of the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. When I’m feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or overtired, I head for the ocean. The timelessness of wave after wave, crashing on rock or breaking on the sand is healing and reassuring for me.

Wolf: I agree, sunny day ocean waves are soothing. What story are you working on now?

Heidi: The Runes of Evalon is book two of the Kingdom of Uisneach trilogy. I have just finished the first draft and hope to have it edited and published in the spring. This book is written from Briana’s and Silas’s alternating points of view. Silas is on a quest to find important magical runes to restore magic in Uisneach and Briana and Brath are trying to capture Lord Shamwa and stop him from wreaking havoc across the kingdom.

Wolf: If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

Heidi: What is the meaning of life? Ha! Isn’t that everyone’s question? Doesn’t everyone want an answer? In my work as a hospice chaplain, I often ask people what gives meaning to their life. I think the answers to the question about the meaning of life are varied and personal. So, for me, I will answer that the meaning of life is to find the place where I am connected to the song of the universe and then to discover how to work with that energy in the quest to be all that I am capable of being and bring something of meaning and value to the other souls and beings I share this life with.

Wolf: I hope everyone enjoyed Heidi’s visit to Wolf Notes. You can connect with Heidi through these links:

Facebook: Heidi Hanley Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/heidihanleyauthor/
Kingdom of Uisneach (closed group on Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1936863969722285/
https://www.instagram.com/heidi_hanley/
http://kingdomofuisneach.com/
https://www.amazon.com/Prophecy-Kingdom-Uisneach-Book-ebook/dp/B079DS3R2M

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Catherine Lundoff

081

Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Wolf: This week we have Catherine Lundoff.

clundoff publicity photoCatherine Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis. She is the author of Silver Moon and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and editor of the fantastical pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), as well as a number of published short stories in different genres. She is also the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world.

 

 

Wolf: If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Catherine: I love swords, but I also have long term damage to the tendons in my arms, so it depends on how realistic I’m being. Fantasy Me would love to wield a rapier with finesse and panache because they look cool and elegant. They’re also the kind of sword you can use to disarm or disable, rather than necessarily kill.  Real Me recognizes that I don’t have the arms, hands or, based on my brief flirtation with fencing, the physical coordination to pull off using a nice sword properly. Real Me probably just needs a small maneuverable tank.

Wolf: That sound very familiar. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Catherine: Make my characters fall in love. Falling in love is new and glorious and exciting. It can happen on so many different levels, emotional and physical. It’s a big motivator for change, and change makes for interesting stories.

Wolf: It certainly does. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Catherine: Make my characters try to stay in love despite the obstacles. I mean, I could say turning them into werewolves and sundry other monsters, but they generally want some version of that. Falling in love is hard. Staying in love is harder. It’s also sometimes a very bad idea, but they don’t always know that until they’re in trouble.

Wolf: Yes. Sometimes relationships can be hard work. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Catherine: Cats! So much cats! I like dogs okay, but they’re a lot of work. My cats are too, but they make it seem like you’re lucky to be serving them. My cats are also Egyptian Mau mixes so they’re very soft and cuddly and people-oriented. And they invent interactive games, so it’s a bit like having dogs that don’t have to go for walks, I suppose.

Wolf: Do your cat’s like belly rubs? My daughter is living with one that loves them. (For real, not the usual cat trap.) While walking in the woods you come across…

Catherine: A mysterious object that is clearly more than it seems and a crone with a wolf who is waiting for me in a part of the forest I have never wandered into before. Instaquest! And no, I don’t know what the mysterious object is yet. Maybe something small and portable, like a glass orb or a ring. Those are always popular. Part of my fantasy involves having both a bag for carrying stuff and pockets, just to make all this more convenient. And maybe a few scraps of meat for the wolf.

Wolf: Yum. Can you make those filet mignon scraps? If you could have a super power, what would it be?

ebook qosp scourge 432 x 648 72 dpiCatherine: Healing, self and others. This would come in so handy right now! While it would be fun and useful to have my own illnesses and injuries heal very rapidly, it would be even better to be able to share that power and help others. I think that’s something I’d be happy to fantasize about.

Wolf: I love that. Some of the characters in my novel Star Touched can heal. Speaking of, what five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Catherine:

  1. A Swiss Army knife
  2. A bottle of rubbing alcohol
  3. A box of bandages
  4. A box of energy bars
  5. A box of water purification tablets

Dull, but practical. I’d say a favorite novel, but I can compose my own and make due on the storytelling front.

Wolf: Practical helps you survive. What story are you working on now?

Catherine: I’m working on one of next year’s Queen of Swords Press titles, but when it comes to my own writing, I tend to work on several projects at the same time. Right now, that’s Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon, my menopausal werewolves novel, a gaming tie-in project that I can’t discuss yet and a new short story set in the late 1700s. The last one is about a young woman who wants to be a playwright.

Wolf: menopausal werewolves? Interesting. I’d like to read that. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Catherine: Or editing or publishing? I like hanging out with friends. I love theater and concerts and some films and I like to read. Also, high tea, preferably combined with the hanging out with friends and/or reading. Really, tea, friends and reading in some combination are all lovely. Cat snuggling is also a big part of this vision of relaxing fun times.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. You can connect with Catherine through these links:

Websites: www.catherinelundoff.net and www.queenofswordspress.com
Twitter: @clundoff and @qospress
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Clundoff/

Can you be who you are meant to be?

Startouched front cover2

STAR TOUCHED

Eighteen year old Tatiana is running from her past and her Star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population.

Her power to heal is sometimes overshadowed by the ability to create ravaging fires. Fleeing the fear induced persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. This civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Tatiana is once again left with the choice to flee or to stay and fight for the new life she has built. Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends… and herself.

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