Randomosity











I’m so excited to have Kim Carmichael visiting my blog today to guest post.  She’s also doing a giveway-one lucky com-mentor will win a Permanent swag pack, so make sure you comment!  🙂

Tupperware, Shane & My Favorite Scene:

Every time I write a story I end up with a scene that is my favorite.  Most people would think it would be one of the sexier scenes, but usually it’s a scene that came to me out of nowhere, seems to write itself and either has me laughing or crying.  In the case of Permanent and the Tupperware scene it definitely had me laughing.

I enjoyed taking a simple, every day occurrence such as a lunch and making it into showing Shane’s growing attraction for Lindsay.  The inspiration for the scene was actually taken from my real life when I made my boyfriend at the time and now husband lunch to take to work.  Sometimes even though guys can be silent, I sort of wanted to take a peek into what they are truly thinking.  Additionally, I got to do some fun banter between Shane and his best friend, Ivan.

 The best thing about the now infamous Tupperware scene is that several people have contacted me regarding how much they loved that scene.

I know it has been said to kill your darlings, and I can’t lie, when I sent this over to my editor at Assent I was concerned she may cut the scene, but it stayed.  Apparently she saw the little bit of magic as well.

Maybe sometimes our darlings need to live to see the light of day:

 

Here is a peek into the scene:

What does a good girl like little Lindsay prepare big bad Shane for lunch?” Ivan picked up the cooler.

 “Hey.” He reached for it, but Ivan held it out of his reach.

 “This is pretty heavy. She must think you’re a pig.”

 “Give it.” He set his jaw.

 “Either you open it, or I do.” Ivan put his finger on the button latch.

 “You’re an ass.” He reclaimed his cooler and opened it himself.

 They peered inside.

 “I think that’s Tupperware.” Ivan pointed.

 Everything in the cooler was neatly packaged and Shane hated to disturb it.

 “You can’t lose that stuff. Women hate it if you lose their Tupperware, and if it’s Lindsay’s it’s all brand new.”

 “I know. I’m not going to lose it.” He prayed he wouldn’t lose the Tupperware and pulled out the first plastic square.

 Ivan leaned in as Shane lifted the lid. “Wow.”

 “It’s a salad.” Her precision cutting technique had all the vegetables uniformly sliced and diced.

 “And not just lettuce, there’s a good representation of different vegetables in there.” Ivan nodded. “She even put the dressing off to the side so it wouldn’t get soggy.”

Shane took a breath. Lindsay was all about the details and watching her work was fast becoming one of his favorite spectator sports. One second she was quiet and going through her papers, the next she was sternly giving him a lecture on finances. Half the time he didn’t understand what she said, but he loved watching her get all riled up. However with his money situation slowly being wrangled, she seemed to soften. Maybe it was time to plan an outing with her that didn’t involve business talk. With Lindsay, timing was crucial.

 “What’s your second course?”

He blinked as Ivan interrupted his thoughts and retrieved a round container from the cooler, opening it to reveal a sandwich on a circular piece of bread that fit the Tupperware perfectly.

 “That’s cool how she did that.” Ivan pointed. “What kind is it?”

 He lifted the bread. “Turkey.”

 “Healthy. She must not want you to die.” Ivan rubbed his hands together. “Keep going.”

He dug through the rest of lunch. A rectangular tub contained fruit salad, and a smaller square had cookies. Finally he pulled out a triangle one with a piece of cheese and some crackers.

 “How does she do that?”

 The lunch was as amazing as the woman who made it. His mouth watered. “What?”

 “How does she make all those shapes fit together?” Ivan motioned toward all the containers.

 “It’s so the food doesn’t get wrecked.”

 “Only girls know how to do that.”

 Shane pursed his lips. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

 

You can find Kim on Twitter @kimcarmichael4 and her website and on Facebook.

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I’m very excited to have been able to interview children’s book author J.R. Barker.  And just LOOK at this adorable frog on her cover?  I can’t get over how cute he is!

  1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    I am 25 year old Bookworm with a head full of fluff and a heart full of dreams.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    I love to read, write, walk, and do stuff in and around water. I also like to take photos.

  3. Where do you get your ideas from?

    The idea gnomes. They visit me from time to time and leave behind bubbles full of ideas; they always burst but some show me rainbows first.

  4. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    Not generally, but I have one pesky little fella at the moment who laughs in the face of names.

  5. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    No, I used to listen to music a lot. But now when I do listen to music I stick iiTunes onto shuffle and let it choose.

  6. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    I haven’t finished my favorite one so I can’t tell you what it is yet.

  7. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    I’m branching into fantasy with an eye to dip my toe in the currents of sci-fi.

  8. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    Making your brain think it wants to go over the same line again and again, only to have it tell you later that it doesn’t want that line at all.

  9. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

    The Adventures of the Frog Prince is a new take on the old fairy tale, The Frog Prince.
    In the original it seemed that the Princesses role was to strop around and be ungrateful, I thought that the Prince’s story would be much more interesting. So I wrote it.

    Frog cover IanPrince Leo has problems.
    He is currently stuck in a moat and is trying to come to terms with being small, green and surprisingly springy.
    Now he must learn to walk all over again, and avoid being eaten, as he finds his way back to the castle to find out who wants him out of the way and why.

Fun/Silly Questions

  1. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    The ability to create anything I wanted/ needed.

  2. What is your favorite word?

    Phenylalanine, an amino acid

  3. What is your spirit animal?

    I’d like to think it would be a wise old owl, but it’s probably something lame like a labradoodle.

You can find J.R. at her website, blog, or Facebook.

You can purchase The Adventures of the Frog Prince here.



Here’s the second part of the interview I’ve been so lucky to have with Danika and Oliver Campbell.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know how this dynamic writing team works.  My husband is constantly wanting us to write together, and I’ve been nervous about doing so.  After reading these answers, I’m going to certainly give it a go and see what happens.

Thank you both for visiting my blog.  It’s been wonderful getting to know you both.

danika

Interview Questions for Danika D. Potts

 1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I’m a writer from the Pacific Northwest, living in the Midwest now. I write fiction with my husband, Oliver Campbell, and I have more writing projects than I know what to do with. I have a two cats, some great friends, and I’m good for a couple of laughs now and again.

 2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

I read like it’s going out of style. I also Netflix binge quite regularly. I’m a glutton for content- film, tv, books, comics, I love all of it. Mostly, you’ll find me talking about story and structure with my husband. As nerdy as that sounds, it’s my favorite way to spend time.

 3. You co-write with your husband. Do you ever have conflicting ideas for your stories? If so, how do you work through them?

First, I want everyone to know that I’m incredibly fortunate to write with my husband. He’s a storytelling genius. He can see all the lines, you know? He can just get to the core of an idea so quickly, so cleanly, it’s dizzying. Second, I’m SO pompous, of course we have conflicting ideas. I like to get a little writing ego going now and again, and I have a tendency to want to fight for a story idea because I’ve been planning to write it forever. But the story comes first, and the rule is that everything on the page has to benefit the story. I’m learning to let go of those scenes I’m just dying to write unless they actually serve the narrative and not just my pride. Once I remembered that it’s not all about me- it’s about entertaining my audience, it started to really come together.

My husband has an incredible critical eye, and he’s as tough on his own ideas as he is on mine. It took me a bit to realize that he was just as quick to shoot down his own inventions if they didn’t make the story better. At first, It was tricky for me to separate my wife-self from my work-self. I basically had to set up a code-word to help me remember when to shut down my ego. Once that happened, we were writing like the wind blows, just beautiful word counts and thoughts meshing effortlessly. I love it.

 4. Describe yourself using only five words.

Adores robots, also accidentally funny.

 5. Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences?

There are elements of my life in stories, but there’s so much transformation involved, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing or another. I can say that there’s a lot of Oliver in Kathan (from the Twisted World), and that’s a big part of why I dig that character so much. Real life usually plants the seed, but what you see on the page has very little to do with who I am or how I live. Mostly, I’m a great thief of other’s experiences; I won’t hesitate to ask someone about their life and their story. I let those things rattle around for a while, turn them inside out and play with them, and then I find a way to flavor a character with those borrowed bits and pieces.

 6. What is the one book you can’t live without? Why?

Do you think you could ask a harder question? I’m a writer- you know that’s like asking “which breath is the breath you can’t live without?” I love books so intensely; it’s probably unhealthy. I can say that I read The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub probably once a year. It’s one of those stories that feels like coming home.

 7. I find that I get distracted easily. How do you overcome distractions when writing?

It helps to be out of time, like, constantly behind. I absolutely cannot afford a distraction when we have a project underway. I know that I’m handling my business when Oliver has to remind me to take a break and reel it back in a bit. It’s also important to be very, very honest with yourself about your priorities. I know people who tell me how much they want to write, but can’t find an hour between all their favorite shows to get some words on the page. If you want to write MORE than you want to watch TV, then you’re going to make it happen. If you want to write more than you want to be distracted, you’ll make those words appear. If you don’t, that’s cool. Just be real with yourself. Stuff is going to come up and try to claim your attention. Is it more important than your dream? Are you sure? Be 100% sure before you let it steal your time.

 8. What is one piece of advice you can give first time authors that you wish you’d known when you started out in the industry?

Network. Network your butt off. Spend as much time as you can writing, finish everything you start (even if it’s terrible), and network like your life depends on it. Your livelihood certainly does.

 9. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

This is the ugly truth, here. The hardest thing about being a writer is knowing that all the inspiration in the world counts for nothing if you don’t bust your ass and put the words on the page. Good ideas just don’t count compared to good discipline. It’s hard to realize that being creative is really secondary to being committed. I was in denial about that for a long time, but it’s also why I wasn’t completing projects.

 10. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work? Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

Our latest work is The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger. 

TheTwistedWorldI

Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.

Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities.

Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world.

They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves.

Fun/Silly Questions

1. If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would be in Tahiti, flopped out on the beach, drinking mai tais until the sun goes down.

 2. What is your favorite word?

Well, now it’s mai tais. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

 3. What is your least favorite word?

Docile.

 4. What is your go to snack food?

Oh, Cheetos every time. I’ve moved through shame and right back into complete love for them.

 5. What is your guilty pleasure movie or book?

What a Way To Go, with Shirley MacLaine. I watch it every chance I get. It’s only a guilty pleasure because my husband HATES it. Louisa is one of the most original characters, and the whole film is amazing eye candy. So many costume changes, so much romance, it’s the silliest, best movie ever made.

 6. What is the last song you’ve had on repeat?

I’m the worst when it comes to music. I forget to listen to it for weeks at a time, so I just tag along for whatever anyone else is listening to.

Danika can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and WordPress.  You can find Danika and Oliver’s other release, Rabbit in the Road on Amazon.



I’m very excited to have both Oliver Campbell and Danika Campbell, a husband and wife who co-author books together.  Today’s interview is with Oliver, and tomorrow’s will be with Danika.oc

  1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    I’m from the Midwest and have had an interesting career in video game journalism. I’ve done a bit of work as an editorialist and reviewer for a variety of smaller game news oriented sites including Hard4Games, EOGamer, and Video Game Scoreboard. I am also married to my co-author.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    As I’m a video game journalist, I spend a lot of my off-time gaming. Some games are for work, others for pleasure. Since storytelling lives in the territory of both games and film, I tend to consume a lot of both. I find it to be good study material to see where everyone else is headed, as well as helping me spot trends. Other interests that I have include baking, studying psychology and philosophy.

  3. You co-write with your wife.  Do you ever have conflicting ideas for your stories?  If so, how do you work through them?

    Oh, absolutely. Working in a team presents some interesting challenges, but we find ways to work through them. Early on we discovered that the best way to proceed was to learn how to separate our relationship from the work. When we’re in discussion regarding any of our projects, we treat it as a business relationship and act accordingly. When we have ideas or thoughts on progression that conflict with each other, we often use a pro/con approach to see which idea will present the most benefit to the work itself. Learning how to toss aside your ego for the greater good of the work is easily the most important thing you can gain from this method of creation.

  4. Where do you get your ideas from?

    The short answer? Everywhere. The longer, more fulfilling answer comes down to a simple question: “What if?” I’m a firm believer that almost every work of fiction asks a what-if question, and attempts to provide a potential answer to it within the narrative. Using this idea, I may hear about something in the news or may peruse an interesting fact in my studies that causes me to ask if circumstances were different, what the potential outcome might be. Here’s a few interesting questions for your readers to consider as story what-ifs:
    a) What would the world be like if there was no gold (the mineral) in it?
    b) What would human civilization be like if we consumed salt water instead of fresh water?
    On the surface, these two questions seem rather uninteresting and dull. If you look further into them, the entire world is changed in ways that are almost unimaginable. Gold is a precious limited resource and quite a few industries rely on it. Without it, certain technologies might not exist or alternatives would have to be found. If human beings consumed salt water instead, most human civilization would be found at the shores of oceans on every major continent and water would have to be imported in-land. These are just a few examples, but you can see how there’s a lot of wiggle room to create brand new worlds and scenarios that are worth exploring. Just change one tiny facet of how all of this functions, and you have a world much different than the one you know.

  5. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    For me, it’s not very difficult at all. The number one piece of advice that I can give other storytellers is to stop naming characters before you’ve settled on your narrative. It’s a common trap and locks you into certain things. When you’re naming a character, it’s important to consider their situation and the civilization that they come from. We choose our names based on a variety of factors including what we’re exposed to, current cultural norms and standards, and even what other people have named their own children. Sure, you might have settled on a really cool name that you like, but if it doesn’t meld and flow well with the other character names you have in your story, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb. In our first novella Rabbit in the Road, we actually sat down and studied the naming convention of America during the time period it takes place. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all stories; treat it as a guide and not a rule.

  6. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    Music is absolutely a factor when we work. There’s an entire playlist of music for Rabbit in the Road (and those songs are even referenced in the book itself). Music is a powerful entity when it comes to constructing a narrative. As we know, music has long played a major role in human civilization. A song can be a motivator and other songs can be highly demoralizing. Music invokes strong feelings in people. When we construct our works, we make sure that there is music appropriate to the scenes that we are creating to put us in the right frame of mind. I can’t recommend it enough.

  7. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    Oh, this is a tough one, but I’m going to have to say Rabbit in the Road. It was a very exciting time for us and a brand new venture. Rabbit in the Road was an incredibly successful endeavor for us, and an experience worth doing. There were a lot of things that we didn’t know and had to learn on the fly, and there was a great deal of impact on release. When we were at a wedding some months back, I was approached by several women whom I was not aware had read the book and told me how much of a difference the work had made in their lives. To be able to directly interface with your audience and to know that your work did in fact change the world, that’s a feeling that can’t be replicated by much else.

  8. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    There are several genres that we’re toying around in at the moment. Several works have been outlined in other genres including science fiction and romance. There’s also a super secret project in works in a genre that hasn’t even been invented yet. We’re really excited about that one.

  9. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    The most difficult part about being a writer is learning to grin and bear it. Not everyone is going to like your work, for many different reasons. I have found this to be true both in fiction and in my journalism work. The most important thing that I can tell any prospective writer is to not give your negative feedback so much attention. Sure, you should see if there is actually helpful criticism that might help you improve your craft, but if there isn’t, pay it no mind. Focus your attention on those who are strongly supportive of you and make sure you support them in turn. These are the people who are going to promote your work, so you would do well to give them lots of care. It will pay off.

  10. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

    TheTwistedWorldIOur latest work is The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger. It’s our first foray into high fantasy, and has been very well received. In recent years we’ve found it very difficult to find fantasy that is palatable to our tastes, so we decided to sit down and create a fantasy world that we would find enjoyable. One of the first things that we settled on was to turn genre tropes on their ear, and in that effort I believe that we’ve succeeded. Our target audience for The Twisted World has been primarily women, and we’ve REALLY resonated with that audience.

    “Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

    Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

    Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities. Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

    This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world. They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves.”

    The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger is an Amazon exclusive ebook title, and will soon be accompanied with a paperback edition to be released shortly.

Fun/Silly Questions

  1. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    Oh this one is easy. Definitely would have to be a Green Lantern with construct powers

  2. What is your favorite word?

    Metamorphosis.

  3. What is your least favorite word?

    Privilege.

  4. What is your go to snack food?

    Tropical Skittles. Always does the trick.

  5. What is your spirit animal?

    Funny question, this one. One time when I was in New York City, I visited a palm reader for a goof. She ended up telling me about the book we were working on at the time (I hadn’t mentioned it or being a writer in any capacity) and also told me that my spirit animal was the wolf.

Oliver can be found on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and his blog on WordPress.  You can find Oliver and Danika’s other book, Rabbit in the Road on Amazon.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll have an interview with Oliver’s wife, Danika, and see how things work from the ‘other side’.



et cetera