WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Dawn Vogel

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.

DawnVogel-compDawn Vogel’s academic background is in history, so it’s not surprising that much of her fiction is set in earlier times. By day, she edits reports for historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, co-edits Mad Scientist Journal, and tries to find time for writing. She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. Her steampunk series, Brass and Glass, is being published by Razorgirl Press. She lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. Visit her at http://historythatneverwas.com or on Twitter @historyneverwas.

 

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

Dawn: A cat. Naps all day, and people give me love and food when I’m not napping. That sounds pretty excellent.

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

Dawn: Some might argue that it’s letting them survive situations that appear to be certain death. There’s a scene in the manuscript for Brass and Glass 3 where one character escapes an extremely dangerous situation with just a mild concussion and another character escapes basically unscathed. A crueler writer would likely have killed one and maimed the other.

Wolf: I suppose that can seem nice from the right point of view. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Dawn: In Brass and Glass: The Cask of Cranglimmering, Captain Svetlana Tereshchenko has to go to a party in order to get some information. It’s a very elegant party, and very much not her speed. So her crew dolls her up in a borrowed dress that necessitates a corset as an undergarment AND a corset as a fashion accessory, pins a very tiny hat to her hair, and sends her in on her own. Basically, any time someone gets to dress Svetlana for an event, she regrets this option immediately.

Wolf: Eek. I’d regret that too. Corsets are torture. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Dawn: Definitely a cat person. I’m not fond of dogs of either extreme (very small or very large), but I have found virtually no cats that I can’t come to terms with.

Wolf: Hope you’re okay with wolves. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Dawn: I’ve wanted telekinesis since I was a kid. As I’ve gotten older, it seems even cooler. That way, when I go into a room and forget what I wanted, and then remember what it was as soon as I sit down, I could just bring the thing to me!

Wolf: Wish I could do that. Of course, remembering what you want is the hard part. Which of your characters is your favorite?

FinalFinalDawn: Because I write a lot of short fiction, I’ve written a whole lot of characters, so picking one of those is nearly impossible. If we’re limiting it just to the characters in my novel series, Brass and Glass, my favorite is Indigo, the ship’s mechanic. He’s a teenage boy who was raised at the fringes of the “civilized” world, so he’s got some unusual speech patterns and other quirks. So writing him is always a bit of a challenge but also a delight, as he sees aspects of the world through a very different lens than his fellow crewmembers.

Wolf: Sounds like an interesting fellow. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

Dawn: I love the ocean, particularly the northern Pacific Ocean in the damp and dismal Pacific Northwest. I would much rather be on a cloudy gray beach than a sunny one. That being said, however, I really love water in just about any format. I feel more alive when I’m near or in the water.

Wolf: Interesting. I like the ocean as well, but am very much an east coast gal. What story are you working on now?

Dawn: At the moment, I’m working on three VERY different stories. I’ve got a sci-fi noir detective story, a space opera story, and a post-apocalyptic story with mechas and climate change that really is only barely spec fic when you peel away the trappings.

Wolf: Sounds like you’re very busy. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? (Assuming you have time.)

Dawn: Gaming, watching TV or movies, and crocheting. Normally crocheting happens while one of the other two is going on.

Wolf: Thanks for visiting. You can connect with Dawn through these links:

Website/Blog: http://historythatneverwas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historythatneverwasdawnvogel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/historyneverwas
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Vogel/e/B004Q2XCJY/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/268206.Dawn_Vogel

 

Startouched front cover2STAR 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 may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or 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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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – LJ Cohen

081Welcome 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. We’re starting 2019 off with LJ Cohen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALJ Cohen is a Boston area novelist, poet, blogger, ceramics artist, geek, and relentless optimist. After almost twenty-five years as a physical therapist specializing in chronic pain management, LJ now uses her anatomical knowledge and myriad clinical skills to injure characters in her science fiction and fantasy novels. When not bringing home strays (canine and human), LJ can be found writing, which looks a lot like daydreaming.

LJ is active in SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)  and Broad Universe, and blogs about publishing, general geekery, and other ephemera at http://www.ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com. A Star in the Void (book 5 of the SF/Space Opera series Halcyone Space) is her most recent novel.  Derelict, the first novel in the series, was chosen as a Library Journal Self-e Select title and book of the year in 2016.  For more about LJ and her books, visit http://www.ljcohen.net or https://www.amazon.com/LJ-Cohen/e/B006QL6GA0

Wolf: Thanks for joining the pack. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

LJ: A perennial, my leaves emerge every year starting in the late spring or early summer. Spindly stalks grow amid the leaves and can reach four feet high. From the tips of my stalks, buds swell and each bud becomes a long, wide colorful flower. I come in many varieties, some carefully developed for selective gardeners, others emerging from the side of the road, blooming for no one in particular.

While each of my flowers only blooms for a single day, with so many buds, I can be in continuous bloom for months.

I am considered a weed by some, but I see myself as simply adaptable and hardy. I can grow in almost any soil and in a large variety of conditions.

Given enough time, I will spread year by year and become a hedge. But I am also happy to be divided and planted in new ground – both my old plant and the new will thrive. Winter will not destroy my bulbs. Nor will a gardener’s neglect.

Wolf: Sounds nice. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

LJ: Definitely a dog person. While I didn’t grow up with any animals (my mother was a fastidious housekeeper and didn’t like the chaos pets brought), I’d always been drawn to dogs. I’ve had dogs now as an adult since I got married and was gifted with a 12 week old puppy! (Not your typical wedding gift!)

We have been owned by an assortment of pups ever since, all rescues. Our current dogs are a Jack Russel mix (Dustin) and a border collie mix (Mya).

Since I work from home, I am around them most of the time. They have beds in my office, which has radiant heat. Once it gets turned on in late fall, it’s their favorite room in the house.

I’m certain that dogs exude a special kind of gravitational wave that makes it nearly impossible to get up from the sofa when they curl up nearby.

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

LJ: A faded blue police box, shaded by a canopy of trees. There is a sign with white lettering on the front. The words are blurred, impossible to read.

The birds have stopped singing. The wind fails. The trees still.

I pause with my hand on the handle. I expect it to be cold. Roughened by the rust. It is smooth. Warm. A surge of heat moves through me and I’m very aware of my own heartbeat in the sudden silence.

I look back at where I came from. There are no footprints in the deep leaf litter. The forest path is obscured in a swirling fog. I turn back to the box. The blue is now a clear and vibrant hue. Why did I ever think the box was old?

A beam of low sunlight pierces the tree branches and illuminates the bottom line on the curious sign: Pull to Open.

Wolf: Please say hi to the Doctor form me. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

LJ: To understand all the languages in the world. I would love to be able to travel and hear the music in the local language and understand a place the way someone born there does. To be able to communicate with anyone, without the barrier of an unfamiliar language between us would be amazing.

Wolf: The main character in my WIP can do that. I’m not good at learning new languages. Which of your characters is your favorite?

LJ: I’m not sure I have a favorite, per se, but the character whose creation most delighted me was that of Aeon from THE BETWEEN, book 1 of the Changeling’s Choice series.

He was not a planned character. I was writing a scene after my protagonist Lydia had been taken into Faerie and told she was a changeling. In order to clear her mind and cope with her anxiety, she goes for a run in what turns into a hedge maze. Lost and resting in a clearing, she struggles to understand her new reality. She asks aloud, “Who am I?”

At that moment, my fingers typed this reply: “That’s an interesting question.”

I had no idea who was there with her and why. But I know I needed to find out.

I remember that moment of creation with absolute clarity.

That character became Aeon. He was an ancient Fae who’d been bound to the maze. I thought he’d be a minor character, but he had different ideas. So much so, that his history turned into the backdrop and major conflict of the sequel TIME AND TITHE.

Wolf: Amazing how our characters tell us what to do, isn’t it? What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

LJ: In my 20s I had the opportunity to learn how to sail when my then boyfriend’s (now spouse’s) father bought a sailboat. I spent many hours on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland sailing that boat. One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of waves lapping against the hull, so any body of water that has a tide feels like home to me.

Wolf: What story are you working on now?A Star in the Void - Cover Art

LJ: It doesn’t have a name as of yet. It’s a totally different world from either my Fae Changeling books or my space opera series (Halcyone Space). It’s broad themes are inspired from this verse by Rabbi Tarfon: “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”

Multiple worlds are connected in the quantum realm. Most are safely sealed off. Most have no knowledge that they are but one in an infinite multitude.

A few people on a few scattered worlds can see though the multiverse. Most of those go mad. Fewer still are able to bear the burden of so many possibilities. Those are seers and are either considered cursed or blessed. Though the reality is some of both.

Perhaps one in a billion has the ability to slip from world to world and becomes a Traveler. But always, there is balance. A Traveler comes, a Traveler goes, never more than any world can bear, treading lightly to encourage balance. Until now.

Three individuals from three different worlds are drawn to one another through the thinning walls between the worlds. None of these three are Travelers in truth. But they are all that is left. For they discover something is hunting Travelers and obliterating them and the balance they bring from the multiverse.

Together, they must rescue each other and fight a foe they cannot name to heal the worlds before the walls dissolve for good.

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

LJ: My other major creative outlet is ceramics. I make functional ware both on the wheel and by slab building.  I’ve always been a tactile/kinesthetic learner and working with clay is extremely relaxing.

I also love to cook. Making soup – especially in wintertime – is one of my favorite things to do. Especially when I can feed friends and family.

So between cooking and ceramics, I can both make the food and the bowl it’s served in. 🙂

Wolf: I love clay, especially hand-building.

Connect with LJ through these links:

http://www.ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com
www.ljcohen.net
www.facebook.com/ljcohen
www.twitter.com/lisajanicecohen
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006QL6GA0

Startouched front cover2

STAR TOUCHED

A. L. Kaplan

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 may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or 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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Interview of A. L. Kaplan

Check out this great interview Vonnie Winslow Crist did.

Whimsical Words

AL Kaplan Whimsical Words welcomes guest author, A. L. Kaplan. A. L. Kaplan’s love of books started as a child and sparked a creative imagination. Born on a cold winter morning in scenic northern New Jersey, her stories and poems have been included in several anthologies and magazines. Her novel, Star Touched, released October 2017. She is the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Vice President and served on the Howard County Chapter board for several years. A. L. is a member of Broad Universe and holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When not writing or indulging in her fascination with wolves, A. L. is the props manager for a local theatre. This proud mother of two lives in Maryland with her husband and dog.

Startouched AL Kaplan A. L. Kaplan’s latest book, Star Touched, is a fast-paced read for those who love science fiction. A quick summary for my…

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Rachel Mankowitz 

081Welcome 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.

me and the girlsAuthor Biography: Rachel Mankowitz lives on Long Island with her family, including her two dogs, Cricket and Ellie, and the memories of all of the dogs that came before. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College, a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction, from Queens University of Charlotte, and is working on a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. And yes, that is a lot of student loan debt. Rachel’s first novel, Yeshiva Girl, is now available on Amazon.

Wolf: I remember the day I finally paid off my student loans. It’s a good feeling. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

Rachel: My father made me eat Ptcha once. He wanted to make sure my brother and I tried all of the Jewish foods (though it’s more Eastern European than specifically Jewish), and we weren’t allowed to say no. Ptcha is Calf’s foot jelly, a cloudy white savory jell, sprinkled with lemon juice. And it is absolutely disgusting.

Wolf: I’ve never tried that one. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Rachel: A Light saber. First of all because I hate weapons and I really don’t want to have one of my own. Second, because light sabers captured my imagination when I was little and first saw the Star Wars movies. The light sabers seemed more like an extension of the person, a way of dancing with light.

Wolf: Good description. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Rachel: I am absolutely a dog person. I love their enthusiasm for life and the wild rumpus they make of everything. I like cats too, but I’m allergic to them. I used to sleep over at my aunt’s house and her cats would inevitably sleep on my chest and I’d wake up choking, but I still loved them. I just had to make sure that as soon as I got home I took a long shower and set a blow torch to my clothes.

Wolf: That’s one way of getting a new wardrobe. While walking in the woods you come across…

Rachel: The Giving Tree. Shel Silverstein was my favorite poet as a child. I read The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends pretty much every day and memorized as many of the poems as possible to recite back to myself when I was trying to fall asleep at night. My brother and I created a whole fantasy world in our front yard based on a tree that seemed to us like the Giving Tree, and we always trusted that tree to tell us what to do next.

Wolf: Love it. I have fond memories of that book as well. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Rachel: I’m working on a novel with super powers in it, one character can fly, and one can make herself invisible, and one can read minds. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life trying to be a mind reader, so that would be the ideal super power for me, even though I’m not sure I would enjoy it all that much. People have all kinds of crazy going on in their minds that we should never know about.

Wolf: Not sure I’d want to know what people are thinking. What is your favorite body of water and why?

Rachel: My favorite body of water is Lake Placid, in upstate New York. It captured my imagination when I was little and my Mom told us stories about summers spent on the lake with her family. I especially liked to picture her rowing through the mist in the early mornings.

Wolf: Sounds beautiful. What story are you working on now?

Rachel: I’m always working on multiple projects at once, because I can’t choose just one thing to focus on. It’s a problem. I’m thinking about a mystery set at my synagogue, and a memoir of sleep away camp, and a middle grade novel about an older African American actress and a little Jewish girl who become best friends, and there’s the super power story…it’s a long list.

Wolf: That’ll keep you busy. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Rachel: I watch enormous amounts of TV and always have. When I was little I watched TV shows to get an idea of what normal people were like. Most of my sense of the world came from The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, which explains a lot. I watched TV until the shows went off the air late at night, and then we finally got HBO and there was TV to watch all night and I felt like I’d found paradise.

Wolf: Sounds like we both had the same addiction growing up. Thanks for visiting.

Rachel also has a weekly blog on WordPress called The Cricket Pages, where she weaves together stories about her dogs with anything else she can think of, at: https://rachelmankowitz.com/

Star Touched

Startouched front cover2

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 may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or 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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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast

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.

DSC_0157Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast is the author of The Ferry Home, a memoir about her childhood on Prudence Island, a tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island. Debbie began writing as she embarked on a quest to reconnect with her island roots, starting with a cookbook for her family.

She has been published in Country magazine, and her poetry has been published in three anthologies published by the Association of Rhode Island Authors, Shoreline, Under the 13th Star and soon to be released, Selections.

Debbie, a retired teacher and Nutrition Educator, now enjoys volunteering as well as writing, gardening, biking and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Wolf: Thank you for participating in my oddball interview. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

Debbie: I am a vine, climbing over an arbor and flowering year round in shades of pink, purple and blue. My hypnotic scent brings love and happiness to anyone who takes the time to stop and smell the haunting fragrance.

Wolf: That sounds lovely. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Debbie: I am definitely a cat person, and I love their independence, affection, and soothing purrs. Over the years our cats have sprawled across desks as my boys did their homework and snuggled their soft warmth next to me when I was ill. Whiskers, my childhood pet, didn’t mind when I dressed her in a doll dress and bonnet, covered her with a blanket and took her for a walk in my doll carriage.

Wolf: She sounds like an extraordinary cat. While walking in the woods you come across…

Debbie: A hidden, deep, blue pool and a doe with three fawns frolicking at her side. The doe raised her head, gazed directly in my eyes, and I felt her trust as she returned to grazing in the emerald grass. I turned to leave, but my feet wouldn’t move. She looked into my eyes again and I heard her breathe, “Stay, you are one of us now.”

Wolf: Cool. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

I would be able to fly at warp speed, bypassing traffic and making short, but frequent trips to see my grandchildren in NY, MD and TN. I would take a leisurely flight, soaring over the ocean and countryside, or on a whim, zoom to Holland to see the tulips in bloom.

Wolf: Fun. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Debbie: In my mind I would open the door and investigate. In reality I would probably turn around and run as fast as possible in the other direction.

Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Debbie: Call each of my three sons and tell them I love them. None of them live nearby and the phone is our connection between visits.

Wolf: Which of your characters is your favorite?

FerryHome_V9-2 copyDebbie: Since my book is a memoir, I changed this question to, “Which story is your favorite?” I love the story called “Sleds and Sundays.” The island where we lived year-round was more isolated in the winter. Since the population dwindled to about fifty, my sister and I had fewer friends nearby, and my father’s store was closed so my dad worked fewer hours. My winter memories are cozier and more intimate than summer ones.

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

Debbie: Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island where I grew up on a tiny island in its midst and learned to swim along its rocky shore. It is still my favorite spot for a swim, from May when the water has yet to warm until the October chill arrives. I love walking along the island clam shell beaches, watching the changing colors of the bay and listening to the waves, whether whispering or crashing on the shore.

Wolf: Brrrr. What story are you working on now?

Debbie: I’m in the midst of a romance novel as well as a collection of essays and poems.

Wolf: Glad to hear you’re delving into fiction. Your answers were super creative. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Debbie: I love the outdoors and travel that includes a new place to hike. At home I enjoy walking, biking and gardening as well as reading and cooking.  Most of all I like to spend time with my three children and four grandchildren.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Debbie at https://www.facebook.com/debbiekaimantillinghast/?ref=bookmarks

Books make great gifts

Start the holiday season out right

Pick up your copy of

STAR TOUCHED

book gift jpg

Do you have the courage to be who you are meant to be?

 

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Karen Dowdall

081Welcome 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.

KarenKaren DeMers Dowdall, PhD, MSN, BSN, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent her elementary-grade school years in the small farming community of Salmon Brook, settled in 1680 by a stalwart group of Europeans. She grew up exploring Salmon Brook’s Forest Preserve, swimming in Salmon Brook, and ice-skating on a “haunted” pond in winter.

Karen has traveled extensively, and has lived in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Living overseas opened a vista of cultures and history. It led her to understand that all cultures have storytellers that reveal all their hopes and dreams through vivid fantasy fictions, poetry, short stories, and dramatic written presentations, throughout their cultural history.

Karen has always written poems, songs, and short stories. She now has three novels that represent fantasy, coming of age, and a dark mystery. Her next novel is a time-slip fiction love story set in the present and 1692 – the age of the witch trials, and will be published in December 2018.

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

Karen: I would be a Singing Blue Sparrow. Many people don’t know that the sparrow family of birds come in many colors.

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

Karen: Words are the best weapons, because they can hurt and heal too.

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

Karen: Let them live, be happy, and fall in love!

Wolf: You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

Karen: I would be a daisy in a field of beautiful daisies.

Wolf: Pretty. I’ve always liked daisies. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Karen: I am an animal lover, but I love doggies best. 

Wolf: Me as well. While walking in the woods you come across…

Karen: A bear and this is true!  During a forest fire, my cousins and I were caught up in a forest fire and we ran for home, running beside me and my sister, was a large black bear. We looked at each other and I thought he smiled at me. All the other forest animals, large and small, were running with us too.

Wolf: That’s scary! Glad you and your family escaped the fire. I hope the bear did as well. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Karen: I would be a guardian Angel.

Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Karen: Pray!

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

Karen: I was an ocean life guard when I was in college and so I love the ocean. 

Wolf: Crashing waves. Salty water. Perfect. What story are you working on now?

Karen: I am writing a time-slip novel during the colonial period when women were accused of witchcraft. It is a fantasy and a love story too that transcends time.

Wolf: That sounds cool. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Karen: I love to walk daily, and above all, I love to dance and even owned a dance studio. I love to teach little girls and boys to dance. To be a really good dancer, one must learn ballet, modern dance, jazz and contemporary dances.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. Catch up with Karen at these links:

www.karendowdall.com
amazon.com/author/karendemersdowdall
https://www.facebook.com/kddowdalll
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7394355.K_D_Dowdall

Books make great gifts.

Star Touched

book gift jpg

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Tracy Barton-Barrett

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: I had the pleasure of meeting Tracie Barton-Barrett at the Baltimore Book Festival this fall. Please welcome her to Wolf Notes.

Tracie&MishkaAs a life-long animal enthusiast, Tracie Barton-Barrett is a speaker, Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialty in pet loss, and former psychology and sociology instructor. Buried Deep in Her Hearts is her debut novel, and she hopes it will help the reader to relate, reflect, and heal after the loss of a beloved animal. She’s facilitated pet loss support groups and presented and written articles on the subject. She and her husband live in North Carolina in the US and are owned by their two cats, Rutherford B. Barrett and Oliver Monkey.

Wolf: What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book and how did it develop?

Tracy: Buried Deep in Our Hearts is a novel that uses a dog, cat, and horse story line to celebrate our important connection to our animals, and honor their memories. As someone who has lost animal companions, the desire to write a book about pet loss, and addressing the unique, yet universal experience, was always a goal of mine. We know now that when a person experiences sadness or grief, similar parts of the brain light up as if a person were experiencing physical pain. After losing two beloved pets in grad school, I remembered what one of my professors said, “Don’t do nothing (with grief.)”

Buried_Deep_in_our_H_Cover_for_Kindle (1)So, ever the devoted student, I delved into pet loss research, copying as many articles as I could, proud of my newfound labeled and neatly stacked folders. But, they just sat there. Collecting dust. For years. It wasn’t until the anniversary of our Kimball Kitty’s death (whose story is featured in my book) when it hit me: Make it fiction.

From the second this “a-ha moment” occurred, a new energy and trajectory took its course, and Buried Deep in Our Hearts was born. Ironically, I primarily read non-fiction for most of my childhood. I was more interested in reading books about psychology and physiology than picking a book from a fiction reading list. It’s only been in the last ten years that I’ve read and truly enjoyed fiction. I know that my book came from something bigger than myself.

Wolf: It’s hard for non-pet owners to understand the connection we have to our pets and the loss we feel when they are gone. They are part of the family. Just wondering, do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Tracy: Yes! And, a horse person, as well as an elephant person, and a sloth person, and an orangutan person, and a swan person, and …..

Wolf: Not surprised at your answer. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

Tracy: As a seafood lover, I thought I would try Lionfish. Yes, the beautiful, striped fish you see in the aquariums with the long spines. Unfortunately, they are upsetting the ocean’s balance because they don’t have any natural predators. So, as a seafood lover, I decided to take one for the team, and try one. Unfortunately, it didn’t end so well for me. The bathroom became my best friend the next day. Maybe the spines weren’t completely cooked out!

Wolf: Sorry to hear that. I’ll steer clear of them. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Bubby&Me

Tracy: To be able to teleport. It sure would cut down on travel expenses! I do believe that toddlers, as well as my cats, already teleport!

Wolf: I think you’re right. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Tracy: Gladys Paisley. Eccentric, older women always make me smile. Can’t pick a favorite animal character. They’re all my favorite!

 

Wolf: What is your favorite body of water and why?

Tracy: As a native of Michigan, I’m certainly a “water baby.” I’m drawn to any body of water, larger than a puddle. I used to live in Virginia Beach near the ocean and would visit the Boardwalk every day, regardless of the weather. The constancy and rhythm of the waves soothed my mind, especially after a stressful day.

Wolf: I’ve always loved the ocean myself. What story are you working on now?

Tracy: This can be a trick question for an author! For me, much of the work happens even before sentences are typed out on the screen. At the moment, I’m writing a novel focusing on a girl that loves horses, but, for various reasons, can’t have one. I’m also looking into writing a children’s book based on Buried Deep in Our Hearts. In addition, there are two other books that are just in the planning stage, but all my books will celebrate the human-animal bond, in some form.

Wolf: Love the idea for the children’s book. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Tracy: Love to travel, laugh from a really good or clever joke or meme, learn about history, be near the water, listen to and play music, watch movies and Will & Grace or Friends reruns, or find a good bingeable Netflix or Hulu show.

Tracie&horseWolf: You really like water, don’t you. If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

Tracy: The question I asked my students: Who would you like to play you in a movie if they did a biopic of your life? Most of my students said they think Tina Fey for me. What an honor—she’s such an amazing and talented woman. Not to mention, hilarious!

The other question is: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received? Because we tend to remember negative things people say about us, also known as the negativity bias, many students needed a minute to think. Truthfully, so did I. But, when I heard my students say that something I said changed, or even saved their life, it doesn’t get much better than that. 😊

Wolf: Connect with Tracy on Social Media.

Social Media Links:
Email: AnimalsConnectUs@gmail.com
Website: www.AnimalsConnectUs.com
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/TBartonBarrett
Twitter: @AnimalsConnect
Instagram: traciebartonbarrett
Amazon (Please buy new copies. Used copies only benefit seller) Paperback & Kindle: https://goo.gl/eXERyq

Books make great gifts.

Don’t forget to pick up you’re copy of STAR TOUCHED.

book gift jpg

 

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