July 21, 2010

Interview with Billie A. Williams

Recently I had the opportunity to have a question and answer interiew with Billie Williams, Author of ‘Money isn’t Everything.’ I tend to ask questions that are a bit different but Billie was up to the challenge. The interview:

Billie Williams Interview

1. You are a multi-faceted writer: A. what genre have you not written in but would like to? I would very much like to write children’s books. I have taken several courses, I’ve purchased books on the subject and devoured them, and I do have one young adult story (Watch For The Raven) a historical adventure, but I cannot seem to get the hang of writing a good children’s story. It is a lot of work, which I don’t mind, but it’s not as easy as it looks.

B. What genre have you not written and don’t want to, and why?

I have not written Science Fiction or Fantasy. Though I love the artwork that usually accompanies these books, and I love the premise of designing my own complete world—I don’t think I have the talent or the drive that it would take to define a world and people it. So the only genre that I have not written, is sci fi and fantasy – I doubt that I ever will. I won’t say never because I didn’t think I’d write a play—I have. I didn’t think I’d write a Screen Play (movie script)but I have. I dabble in poetry have two books in that. I’ve put together several cookbooks, I write books on the craft of writing, I’ve written romance – romantic suspense, and others I said I couldn’t see me doing. But things evolve, and if a story wanted me to write it as Science Fiction or Fantasy I’d bite the bullet and give it a try.

2. You live in one of the least warm, ok, downright cold, winter states. Do you feel being shut in by mountainous snowdrifts allows you more time to write?

Not necessarily, ‘cause somebody’s gotta shovel that stuff ya know. {grin} It probably does help to a certain degree, though I love being out in the winter. I actually prefer the cold, no bug world to the hot summer storms. I guess I’m just a winter person. I can’t say that I hunker down and write more in the winter –though I don’t have gardens to attend to in the winter, so I probably do have a little more time to write – I just get up earlier in the summer. Usually I’m writing by 4:30 or 5 in the morning. I love watching the sun come up.

3. What is your favorite genre to:

a. Write – Actually, it’s whatever the story seems to call for. I usually start out with thoughts of mystery, which usually turns into suspense – but I write what the story tells me. Favorite? Whatever I’m writing now {smile}

b. Read—I read the same way I write. Everything and anything. If it has a hook, and a plot cries out to be read I’m on it. I started reading Undone by Karen Slaughter last night because she is top ten and critics are raving about this book. I’m sorry, I started the prologue and got bored so I turned to chapter one and got even more bored – I closed the book. It did nothing for me.

Then I picked up The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner – it intrigued me as the first chapter is written in first person – and it did pull me in. Then the second chapter begins where she left off –with her murder. I closed the book and picked up. Tess Gerritsen – never disappoints me. Janet Evanovich’s Finger Licking Sixteen – She never disappoints with her wit and humor – she writes a good book. But I read Stephen King, Patricia Cornwall, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Natalie Goldberg, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer –Jude Devereaux, Nora Roberts, I read cereal boxes, junk mail and anything that has to do with words. I love words and they all fascinate me no matter who writes them or what genre – I even read poetry – It seems every author has something to say and a style they say it in. So we (I) can learn from everyone who writes.

4. Please name four of your favorite authors.

Four favorites: Wow, that is hard.

But writers who are consistent and never let me down are ones I buy and keep. I like Patricia Cornwell, but I think she’s been pushed too hard and has lost her edge. Stephen King is a master of character development but so is Elmore Leonard; Nora Roberts has a way with setting up a memorable scene, but then so does Jude Devereaux. Hemingway, though some find plodding has a lot to teach us about showing instead of telling – Janet Evanovich who I mentioned before has a way with subtle humor and character that I love. Robert McKee can teach you about story development especially for the screen. Natalie Goldberg makes me want to write and write and write. I guess that’s more than four and I could keep going – I just think authors are a divine group of minds that deserve to be explored.

5. I need music to write. Do you need a particular ambience?

I write in the early morning silence with pen and usually scratch paper saved from printing off stuff or junk mail. Then when I type the resultant words for the day, I play Kenny G – Or Journey – I love easy listening jazz. It gets my creative juices rolling. I edit as I type in the days words.

6. What is your favorite art form, cubist, surreal, expressionist or something else?

Wow, favorite – hmmmm, I love the surreal – there is something about suggesting to me what you mean rather than showing me as a photo would. When I took art appreciation years ago – I found a couple Native American Artists whose work resonated with me. Symbols rather than clear pictures always do it for me.

7. You have been granted the opportunity to have one of the following three artists return to the world of the living to capture you on canvas. Who do you select and why?

a. Vincent Van Gogh

b. Pablo Picasso

c. Salvador Dali I have to wonder what Salvador would find in me to bring to the page – Yes, he’d be my choice. {smile}

8. You have won tickets to visit the International Space Station. You may take three guests (this includes movie stars, singers, friends and relatives). Whom do you choose and why?

First, I wouldn’t go. But if I had to…I’d bring Jackie Chan, my hubby Tom, and maybe Louise Hay – she would keep us all grounded. {cute question}

9. The library at Alexandria (Va.) has been destroyed. You are one of a number of people asked to submit ten books to the rebuilt building. What are they?

The Bible, The Oxford English Dictionary, Elements of Style, Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, The Timetables of History, The synonym Finder, Misery by Stephen King; God is Red, by Vine Deloria; Small Town Secrets, by Billie A Williams, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

10. What fur\fin\feather kritter(s) occupy your home and will they get along with the purple platypus (a rare breed), that has been given to you?

Lady Slipper (so named because I got her from my boss the day The Pink Lady Slipper got a contract from Wings ePress, Inc.) She would love the purple platypus – she would snuggle with him on the back of the couch as she has a tendency to do. She would throw her bouncy balls for him to catch and chase. She would show him what to do when the squirrels try to climb up the screen on the front porch. Oh yes, they would get along famously. She has so much to share with whoever will learn her language and let her be the boss. [smile]

11. What name do you bestow on the purple platypus?

Penelope of course – what else would a pink platypus be named – unless it pretended it wanted to be a manatee – I can think of no other name more suited than Penelope Platypus.

12. In three sentences, write the introduction to the book you’ve been commissioned to write, “The Care and Feeding of Purple Platypus’s, including their favorite Toy”.

I have a purple, perfectly preposterous, pretty platypus who plays with me on the beach and in the ocean as he is part water, part land friendly and therefore the very best kind of pet, however they are not easy to find.

If you are ever so lucky as to acquire a purple platypus, be sure to have plenty of corn pops cereal on hand as that is his/her favorite food, as it loves to catch them on its beak or is that a bill(?) when it’s out of the water.

If you need to entertain him, please get a purple plastic beach ball, his favorite toy – and it must be purple, it really must you see, as he is purple and his world demands to be – he will be your friend forever.

13. Every writer talks about their muse. What is yours?

Muse, hmmmm amusing. I guess it’s that twofold twin gremlin that perches on my shoulders and says strange things like “no one would ever believe that,”

“Sure they will,” chimes in the other, until they are ready to make me scream.

Instead, I send them out to play and let me get on with the business of writing. But, if I stop too soon, they are right back to nag and argue and tease and drive me insane until I pick up my pen and begin again.

14. Please tell us a bit, if possible, what is coming down the pipe in terms of your writing.

Currently I’m on number six of the Zodiac Sleuth Series, July Heat. It incorporates all the current members of my writers group in a mystery suspense as characters in the plot. – I hope to write one book for each of the zodiac signs – and then write at least one more where all the accidental zodiac sleuths get together to work on a mind boggling crime.

15. You’ve just won the Golden Kernel award, given for the best essay by the Candy Corn Growers Association. What was the title of the winning essay?

“White Corn, Yellow Corn and Indian Corn, Oh My?”

16. Where may our readers purchase your books?

All my books are available wherever people normally buy their books in either electronic or print. If they want an autographed copy, personalized they can order from me –by sending me an email at billie@billiewilliams.com or ask for a bookplate (a signed little note on adhesive paper to stick inside their purchased book). Wings epress at (http://www.wings-press.com ) is my publisher for most of my books. People can find all my books on my website and read the first chapters there as well at http://www.billiewilliams.com or http://writingwide.com

17. Do you write directly on the computer or do you utilize a different method?

As I mentioned earlier, I write long hand on scratch paper, sitting at my kitchen table watching the wildlife at my feeders in the wee hours of the morning before people, cars and dogs are out there to bother them or me. Then I type everything into the computer editing as I go.

18. A Hollywood agent tells you that your book “Money isn’t Everything”, is being made into a major motion picture and you may select the male and female leads. Who do you choose?

I don’t watch many, if any movies but finding an actress and actor to play Mary March and Tanner Irish is as easy for me as breathing. I love Sandra Bullock and I’d watch any movie she is in. – She would be a perfect Mary March. Tanner Irish is not as easy – there are some really good actors out there, but someone who would be perfect match with Sandra – Sean Connery (?) perhaps, or Tom Cruise, oh wait – I think Nicolas Cage – yes, he would be perfect as Tanner Irish.

19. Would you want this made in 3-D?

No, I would like it to be normal big screen or a special television movie even.

20. Take as much space as you want. Tell us the Billie Williams story and your opinion on this rather eclectic interview.

First of all thank you so much for this very fun, very challenging interview. I had a good time with it.

As for me there isn’t a whole lot to tell. I’ve lived the majority of my life on the Michigan Wisconsin border line communities. I lived in beautiful Bayfield, Colorado briefly two times and loved it the first time, mountains and all that.

I started getting work published in 2001 and decided I loved writing. Always an avid reader and lover of books and learning I guess that pretty much followed a true path.

I am an organic gardener, love to do all manner of crafts from knitting, crocheting and quilting, to drawing/sketching, and other handiwork. When I’m not writing I’m working in my garden, or at the Party/Grocery store here in our small community—or shoveling the beautiful white snow we are blessed with for nearly nine months of the year — okay so maybe it’s only 6 months, some years it feels like nine months though.

I am available if anyone wants to ask questions by email, chat room or whatever. I have a writers group that meets at my home here in Amberg that includes some online members from my Word Mage Writers and Readers group that anyone is welcome to join. I live in a very small town with husband Tom, Cat Lady Slipper –where the winters are long and cold but the people are always warm and friendly.

Thanks so much for the terrific interview Ron.




June 15, 2009

Interview with Mosetta Penickphillips-Cermak

Filed under: book tour,interviews — unwriter1 @ 9:06 pm

Mosetta Rajah and the Big Blue Ball

1. You have Rajah featured in “Rajah and the Big Blue Ball”, Do you have plans to feature your Siamese cats in one of your books? 

Dr. Mosetta: I haven’t totally decided yet. One of the books (number seven) was not picked up by my publisher because it is about the death of one of the cats, and what Rajah tries to do to help. Although the publishers have an option, they would like me to rewrite it to soften the story line.

 2. I’ve noticed you are well versed in the classics. Would you please write the opening paragraph of Rajah meets Chynna for the first time, featuring the cats as Charles Dickens would?

 Dr. Mosetta: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Chynna stared at the black thing with white markings. Already it’s head was half the length of her whole body.

“It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last”. But, this baby was canine.

It slept in the sun, in her sunny spot. “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”.

“I have to find Mommy Maia”, said Chynna. “To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart”.

Chynna jumped into mommy Maia’s lap. “HISS”.

“Don’t you like the new puppy?” ask Mommy. “I know you two will become the best of friends.”

Chynna was not too sure about that, but ,…”There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart”.

Mommy Maia had yet to be wrong.

3. You have been given two tickets and keys to a cabin. Firewood, food, coats and blankets are provided. You may take one animal and ten items. What animal and what items do you take? Hint: the cabin is in the Northwest Territories.

 Dr. Mosetta: Of course I would take Rajah LeBeau with me. Although I would NEVER want to visit this cabin, I would take lighters, a portable electric generator, my car, wireless computer, battery packs, carbonated water, medicine, a satellite cell phone, extra gasoline for the car, and a comprehensive medical kit.

 4. You have an interesting link with the number two, cats, dogs, kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Let’s keep that theme going. You’ve just won two all expenses paid tickets to the twin cities. You are allowed two books and two music CD’s. What are they?

 Dr. Mosetta: If I were only allowed two books, one of them would be the Jim Butcher’s “Harry Dresden” book. I haven’t read it as of yet, and I was distressed when they took it off of television. The other might be “Skin Trade” by Laurall K. Hamilton.

The first music CD would be the comprehensive works of Barbra Streisand, and the other, most likely would be Cher.

 5. You’ve written a lot of books. Hollywood is making a movie of your life. Who plays you?

Dr. Mosetta: Whoopie Goldberg.

 6. As told to Joyce, you have a strong connection with animals. You are walking through the forest when suddenly you come face to face with a lonely albino fox. What is the name of the book, the fox and the little girl that befriends the fox?

 Dr. Mosetta: The title of the book might be “Outcast”, and the little girl that befriends the fox might be called Jamie King. I think that I would name the fox something like Crystal.

 7. Parents seem to prefer game consoles to books. Have you considered turning your books into interactive games for these consoles?

 Dr. Mosetta: Yes, I have considered it, but first of all, I am not sure where to begin with this, and secondly, I have a concern that parents don’t choose to read to their children. There is a special bond that develops between children when their parents read to them.

October 24, 2008

A Very Special Interview

I was allowed an opportunity to interview a very special person. Please, I beseech everyone to pay very close attention to question two. That is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to someone as kind and as gentle as Joyce. Do NOT allow that to happen to anyone else! With that, let me present a most unique chance to meet Joyce A. Anthony, the person.


Questions for Joyce

Welcome Joyce! Joyce Anthony, Mother, writer, and ‘mom’ to a wide variety of abandoned/neglected animals, has kindly agreed to be my guest today on this forum. She leads a very busy life and I was most fortunate to catch her for this visit. She is an excellent writer but that is only the tip of her talented iceberg. Join me as we talk about her more personal side.

1. We’ll start off easy. You have many fur/feather kids. Tell us more, what kind, name and how the adopted you.

You didn’t say I had room to write a whole book J Sam is an Irish Setter/Labrador mix-he was brought to me from South Carolina. It was a matter of either I take him or he went to the shelter because he has a rather..hmm..spirited personality. Caramel is the oldest of my cats, and the only female. She is a rare orange female. Her mother was abandoned when her family moved and had become feral. When she had a litter, everyone got a home except Caramel, and Shane insisted we bring her home or she would “die out there”. Spirit’s mother was also a feral cat. He’s a large orange tabby and when I saw him, he sat down and looked at me. I knew his named immediately. He came home with a sister, Ash, who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Othello is a perfect tuxedo cat. His mother showed up on my doorstep and I thought she was a kitten; she was so thin and tiny. I fed her regularly and it soon became apparent she was pregnant. Being feral, I had to be careful, but I took her in and made a place for her to safely have her kittens. She had 4 females and one male. She and the females all found homes, but nobody wanted the male, so Othello stayed!
My doves-Mars, Venus and Eros-belonged to a woman who was in the hospital constantly. Her family was neglecting the birds and finally said they were going to release them. Having been born in captivity, that was a death sentence. I agreed to take them in. The cockatiels come from different places. Telio came to me when his family was neglecting him. They “didn’t have the time” to talk with him or take care of his needs. Tia didn’t even have a name-she had been an unwanted gift to a family that called her ‘the bird” and fed her food that wasn’t meant for her species. She came to me with her topknot cut off.
Then there is Elvis, the chinchilla. Elvis spent days alone in a cage in a room that was shut off from all activity-he would go several days with no contact, no food or water. This had gone on nearly a year when I finally outright asked if I could have him. There was no argument.

2. Speaking of animals, you had and have, serious issues with Hartz. Could you please elaborate on this?

Over a year ago, I had seven cats altogether. I gave them their flea treatment, but had bout Hartz flea treatment for cats instead of my normal Advantage from the vet. I gave them all their treatment and left for a few hours. I had read the instructions, including all warnings, and every cat should have been fine-they were all within the weight, age and health limits listed.
When I returned, one of my cats was lying on the floor, bleeding from the mouth and ears and her body wracked with convulsions. Two other cats were having periodic convulsions. Being a weekend, I took them to the Pet Emergency Center-and all three had to be euthanized. The first question the vet asked me was if they had been given a recent flea treatment-and if it had been Hartz. It seems he was very well versed in the effect it was known to cause. I was told to go home and bathe the other four cats in Dawn dish liquid to get as much of the treatment off them as possible. This I did.
The next morning, I woke to another one of my babies having convulsions-and the other three jerking their paws and shivering. Back to the EPC. I lost Sierra that day-that was four of my babies in less than 24 hours. The remaining three spent two days at the hospital, being given fluids and watched. They survived.
I have never gotten any satisfaction from Hartz. They claimed it was an isolated incident-yet I’ve had numerous people contact me since who have gone through the same things. I am in the process of trying to find a lawyer willing to take on a wrongful death case against Hartz-because the KNEW there was a problem and still are selling their products. I won’t give up.

3. As a writer, you are in the world of the arts. To this world you also bring photography. What types of photos do you prefer to take?

The sunsets in our city are considered to be the third most beautiful in the world-so they are something I often photograph. I also love the lake, with its many moods. As for people and animals, I prefer candid shots rather than posed-and I’ve been practicing my close-ups of macro-shots.

4. Another aspect of you is your ability to do research. This works well with your genealogical projects. How did you develop such a strong interest in ancestral knowledge?

I wrote once: All that came before and all that’s yet to be, are alive this very moment deep inside of me. This explains it perfectly. All those who lived before I have are part of me-we share the same genes-and often the same hopes and dreams. I started mainly as a way to find out where I came from-and anyone who does genealogy understands how it becomes almost an obsession.

5. Another side benefit of your research capabilities is numerology. Please tell us more.

I’m not sure how much I can explain in a short answer. Okay, I use the ancient charts to do numerological character charts that run between 25 and 30 pages each. The old charts are different than the modern ones found most places-and much more accurate. The most common comment I receive is that it is like I crawled inside the subject’s head J This practice is based on the assumption that everything is energy and vibrates to a numerical vibration-letters, colors, music notes, etc..

6. What is your favorite music and why?

I will always hold a special place in my heart for both old-time country and old-time gospel music. These are not only what I grew up with, but also the lyrics reflect much of who and what I am.

7. Your favorite flower is the daffodil. Your favorite color is yellow. What is your favorite stone?


8. You have been given three tickets to take a vacation anywhere away from earth. It will cost you nothing. Where will you go and why?

Saturn-because I’ve always felt drawn to that planet
Pluto-because I think it got a raw deal by being demoted
Sirius-because I have this silly picture every time I think of it of a start that is home to a doglike species that function much like humans-only kinder and happier

9. You have been granted four strange wishes. You cannot use them on yourself but must make a wish for four others. Who are they and what are the wishes?

1. Every animal has a loving home.
2. No child knows the pain of being abused.
3. Every human knows what it feels like to be free.
4. Nobody ever again knows the feeling of being told their loved one will not return from war.

10. Sam is a very special puppy. Tell us about him.

What can I say about Sam-he’s a mini-horse disguised as a dog-who thinks he’s a cat! Sam is a big Mama’s boy. He’s a brat to the nth degree, protective of me, wants to be anywhere the cats can be. He tries to “round-up” the cats outside, thinking they all belong in the house, but will leave them alone if I tell him they aren’t “our kitties” but are “God’s kitties”. He walked himself across the street one day-scared me half to death, but I had to laugh because he looked so proud of himself. One edge of the leash was attached to his collar and he took the other end in his mouth. I guess he figured as long as someone had that end, he was safe. He’s a Lab/Irish Setter mix-but his personality is all Lab.

11. Your prowess in the kitchen is legendary (ok, it will be after this is posted). What is your favorite dish to make?

I have no idea if it could be called legendary-my meatloaf has been the cause of a lot of controversy, though J My favorite meal is meatloaf, oven-fried potatoes and corn on the cob. My family, however, likes my Christmas goose.

12. Many have commented favorably on your looks. What is your definition of beauty?

I don’t think beauty is something you see-it is something you feel. If I’m asked to describe someone, it is often nearly impossible to describe them in terms of how they look-I’m more apt to describe personality traits-because how I feel when around someone is how I “see” them.

13. Are there any superstitions you believe in?

Hmm…I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which makes this a loaded question!! It’s bad luck to kill spiders (and also cruel); if I see a blue jay when things are going wrong, they’ll turn out well; I can’t go to bed with everything finished (I’ll read one chapter of a new book, start a new puzzle, etc.); if the leaves turn upside-down, it is going to rain. Things like that.

14. Do you see the water glass half empty, half full or did the kitties get to it?

None of the above; my glass is overflowing. I have everything I need and enough to share.

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