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Friday, December 16, 2011

Lets Start the New Year with a Thank You.

I am going to start my blog a bit differently, with an explantion and a request.

I'm not sure how you feel about the way modern people love to tear each other apart, but I hate it. From reality shows to talk shows to the comment sections on different sites. Cruel remarks just fly everywhere. Why? I have heard that it was because it is a tough time and the Internet is anonymous, is this the reason? No, people have become more and more mean spirited in the last 10 years. So what is it?

I am not talking about constructive criticism, I mean calling people names and saying nasty things about peoples abilities that really have nothing to do with what they saw or read. Is the only way to build up your self esteem is to drag others down. I think we are better then this. I think we should grow up and stop acting like a lot of spoiled children in the sandbox fighting over a toy. I believe that deep down people are good. When we have a natural disaster it comes out, so why not a financial one?

I guess what I am saying is, that since it is the holidays, and we are looking at a new year around the corner, lets try to be nice to each other. Instead of writing a resolution to lose weight, why don't we write one to be kind.

So lets start now. I want to thank everyone who reads my blogs, stories, articles and books. I want to thank everyone I have met through these blogs and have become friends with and that are now a part of my life. I want to thank everyone who left a kind comment and made me feel like I am doing something good and helpful in the world.

Thank you.

Now back to my normal writing blog:)

I wrote an article that seems to be a bit more controversial then I meant it to be. It is about my reaction to everyone thinking it is easy to be a writer. The above note was because I got some wonderful reaction, some constructive criticism and some down right mean notes. The last really hurt, so I decided to express myself again here to tell you why. Here it is, let me know what you think but keep it constructive; .

The new issue of my e-magazine Sherri's Jewel Box is out. This issue is very important to me because I finally got my Mom to contribute to it. She has made jewels for years, they are beautiful and unique. The issue is full of beautiful engagement rings and an article that designer Lisa Lichty called Tying the Knot. It is a fun and special issue, here is the link; .

A very cool thing is that my book is now on Kindle at Amazon at a great low price of 1.50.

Last but not least is my cute and silly little Xena story. It was inspired by the Rachel Zoe show. It is a pure tribute to both Rachel and Xena. I love them both so it is pure love. .

Here is an interview with teen and young adult writer Martin King;

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Yes, I still have it. I have just taken it of the shelf. I bought it when I was in year five at school (about 7) and it cost 0.45p in English money.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

I love reading teen/young adult. It is hard to say because I have a million of my stories to tell and I've developed my own style.

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

I'd be lying if I did.

Where do you like to write? is there a favorite nook or corner?

I just go upstairs and sit in my office. The views of the window are pretty incredible so it is perfect really.

Do you prefer one genre to another?

To write or read? I love fantasy. Anything where someone stumbles across another world.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devises?

I think electronic is brilliant for so many reasons, but you still can't beat the feel of a book. And would I be able to pull an electronic book off the shelf I've had for forty years and have the same affection... I can't see it to be honest.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

I'm just finishing off a book called The Bully Hunters. It is a really quirky story that one could best describe as a sort of Roald Dahl type story. It is where bully's end up...whoops! I think I've told you too much already.

Thank you Martin, your new story sounds interesting I can't wait to read it :)

Till Next Time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Issue Of Sherri's Jewel Box!

I am very excited to announce the second issue of my magazine Sherri's Jewel Box. This issue is really special. It has the beautiful jewels of Dyanna San Jewelry. It is an issue that is full of beauty and a new understanding about how the people who create and sell them. Take a look;

Just in case everyone missed this wonderful review of my novel Fantasy Time Inc. ; . Please take a look one more time at my amazing review in Valley Magazine; .

Just a note to the wise my publisher has a great deal for my the e-book version of Fantasy Time inc just 5.00. So you go to the the site; and get my book at a great price and use your e-book device. Just think you can be sitting waiting for your car to be smogged and read about 1800's or the 1920's. Enjoy.

Please welcome to Sarah Baethge, who has joined us to chat about her new book; The Speed of Darkness;

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

I remember getting and loving a copy of Black Beauty with a fancy artistic cover for Christmas one year and I read it several times. I've moved several times since then, and I guess you could say grown up so I have no idea where that copy is or if it even still exists.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

I like to read science fiction, fantasy, detective stories, and lawyer books. I've even read non-fiction sometimes, so I guess you could call me a fan of anything. I think every part of my life does something to inspire the thoughts I have while writing, so there is really no way they couldn't.

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

I don't know about touched deeply, but I kept a copy of Jurassic Park under my bed and read it countless times when I had nothing better to do.

Is there an era of writing that affects you? 1920's, 1800's so forth?

Most of what I've read is modern, 1990's-now.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

I have a computer on the desk in the corner of my bedroom.

Do you prefer on genre to another?

I mainly like science fiction or modern fantasy.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devises?

I like my kindle because it allows me to carry a full library of what I may like to read in a space no larger than a thin paperback.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

Currently I'm looking for ways to sell my short novel The Speed of Darkness at Amazon; or Smashwords: .

Thank you so much Sarah for you wonderful interview, I'm sure we will all be fascinated by your novel.

Till next time:)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Amazing Things Coming!

I am working on a lot right now, I am hoping to meet as many of you as possible. I have two events that I am really excited about that are coming up this month.

The first one is Encino Life Stories for Fun and Profit! It is under the Meetup where people get to meet and mingle locally in each city. I have two meet ups happening under the group. The first one will be on Monday Sept. 12, 2011 at 12p and the second one is on Saturday Sept 17Th at 2pm. I have always loved to teach, I think I am by nature a teacher. So I am so looking forward to teaching people to bring there life out for other people to touch. Here is the link; .

The other event will happen at the end of the month, it is A Live Book Reading. It will be on Sept 24Th at 8pm est and 5pm PST. I will get to read a new selection of my novel Fantasy Time Inc. I am so excited, its not my first reading but it is my first this way. I think this new technology. So cool! You may listen via the Internet by clicking here; Audience Log-in URL; you may listen by phone by dialing 512-400-4809 and entering pin# 1126718. Get in touch with me via my email and let me know if you can take part. I will have the host send you an invite. This event was canceled due to the bad weather on the east coast. I will let you know when it will happen. I am sorry for anyone who tried to connect, I didn't know till the day before.

I am working on several things; a memoir, my new novel, a play and three other really great special projects. Everything is on track and so exciting I will keep you all up on the stuff as things are ready to be revealed.

My interview this blog is with Charles S. Weinblatt, he is the author of Jacob's Courage. So everyone give him a warm welcome.

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

Rather than a singular book, my collection of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe presented some thrilling reading when I was an adolescent. Poe, a daring and original writer for his time, was the Stephen King of the 19Th Century. His morbid preoccupations and dramatic ambiance set the mood and atmosphere of each story. Poe's influence on short-story writing is nothing less than spectacular. The Telltale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum were seminal works for his age and genre. Poe's preoccupation with death overshadowed everything in his life, especially his writing. In today's world, he would have been bigger than King. Poe also wrote science fiction and poetry. I consider The Mask of Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Oblong Box to be absolute classics.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an effect on your own writing?

I am an eclectic reader. At any given point in time, I am reading at least one non-fiction and one fiction book. Because I am a book reviewer, I tend to receive certain genres. The New York Journal of Books, apparently considers me their Jewish/Holocaust reviewer. I've probably reviewed almost a dozen such book in the past two years ( ) I enjoy them and I am considering writing another fictional Holocaust account.

But my favorite genres are science fiction and horror fiction. I also enjoy non-fiction history, including Antebellum America and books about Abraham Lincoln. These books generally do not have an effect upon my writing. But I certainly can say that James Michener and Herman Wouk (The Winds of War, War & Remembrance) have influenced my style. Their attention to detail, evocative descriptions and flowing dialog make them tremendous authors.

My Holocaust novel is grounded in the same basic theme offered consistently by Michener. My fictional characters, who are young lovers, walk through real historical scenes. A newspaper editor called Jacob's Courage, The Forrest Gump of the Holocaust, because my characters walk through critically-important historical events. The reader not only has a thrilling, suspenseful love story, but also learns about the details of history. The only downside to this is the amount of research required to make the novel accurate. I devoted about three years of daily research to Jacob's Courage. Some days, research was all that I accomplished. But in the end I believe that readers deserve and prefer accurate historical fiction.

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

The first book that really moved was The Source by James Michener. Michener presents the results of a highly successful archaeological dig in Israel to a city that existed in ancient times. He tells a singular story of the history of the Jewish people, offering the reader a unique perspective on the Jewish struggle for survival over the past two thousand years. We follow extremely well-developed characters and their progeny through the centuries of historical events. Thus Michener presents the story of the Jewish people, told through wonderful characters and amazing circumstances. It's so powerful that some people consider it a life-altering event. When I write historical fiction, I think of Michener. I try to fabricate compelling characters and place them into historically accurate circumstances. Thus the reader not only enjoys a thrilling book, but also learns something new about history. And yes, I still have and treasure that hardcover book.

Is there an era of writing that effects you? 1920's, 1800's so forth?

I prefer contemporary writing, especially science fiction and historical fiction. I find the direct style and fearless atmosphere exciting and thought-provoking. Of course, Poe was a 19Th-Century writer and I enjoy his writing. But, I think many of us would agree that Poe's style was ahead of his time. One of the challenges of writing a book in a different period is the effective use of dialog. The author must use words, terms, expressions and slang of that specific time and place, in order to be truthful to the characters and to create realistic ambiance. I discovered that this slowed me down when I was writing Jacob's Courage. Thus, writing about something in the contemporary world is easier.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

Our house is perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a wooded ravine filled with amazing flora and fauna. On a regular basis deer stroll outside of our windows. We also have a very diverse and fascinating variety of birds that frequent the feeders directly outside our large windows. Our family room is a perfect vantage point on this magnificent display of nature. With a two-story vaulted ceiling, huge skylight and glass doors and windows overlooking the ravine, this room is bright, expansive and enticing. Despite the occasional distraction of a hummingbird, deer, groundhog, squirrel or fox. I find this atmosphere conductive to writing.

Do you prefer one genre to another?

My favorite genre is science fiction. My second favorite is horror-fiction. I find myself attracted to dystopian novels, especially within those two genres. I also enjoy non-fiction history. I don't normally read much juvenile fiction, although I published a children's book early this year. My Holocaust novel is primarily for adults; but as a coming-of-age love story it certainly fits into the YA genre. I'd have to say that there is no particular genre that I dislike. That being said, I don't read many western, business books or non-fiction travel. I also enjoy graphic novels (especially sci-fi), biographical and military non-fiction and horror fiction, especially supernatural.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devises?

A few years ago, e-books were a dream. Today, they comprise about 21% of all sales. I expect that figure to rise exponentially in the near future. In general, I prefer printed books. However, I have read many books on my laptop, including PDF versions and Kindle books. I have an open mind about e-readers and I make sure that all my books exist in the formats for all e-readers, tablets and smart phones. However, I believe that some books lend themselves much better to hardcover print, such as books about art or architecture. I also believe that some of the classics just feel better read on hardcover books and fine paper. But the future is all about practicality and ease of use. That means all new books, even books about art, should have an electronic version. It makes no sense to bypass a large and growing market.

Can you tell us about what you're working on now?

My first trade-published book was Job Seeking Skills for Students (1987, Kendall-Hunt Publishing); a non-fiction textbook book that was aimed at youthful job seekers. My second trade-published book was Jacob's Courage; A Holocaust Love Story (2007, Mazo Publishers). After writing the Holocaust book, I needed to clear my head with something different. So, I wrote a non-fiction book about author marketing, called, Book Marketing 101 (2009, Smashwoods, Amazon Kindle). This was basically a rehash of my experiences as a novice author. My most recent published book is children's story, Runaway Ducks (2011, Smashwoods, Amazon-Kindle).

This year, I was finally able to begin work on my favorite genre, science fiction. I am nearly finished with a thrilling sci-fi novel, called Lost & Found (temporary title). It's about an American astronaut (Ariel) who is caught in the mother of all solar storms. The raging solar storm sends our protagonist's mind at nearly light speed out of our solar system. He eventually reaches an Earth-like planet with two warring advanced civilizations. One of the groups downloaded Ariel's mind into a cloned body. He has to learn how to use his new body, how to speak a drastically different language and how to fit into a strange society. Ariel becomes a fighter pilot, as he had done on Earth. He even falls in love. Rocket attacks occur frequently, launched by an unseen, unknown enemy. Certain that he is fighting on the right side, Ariel leads an attack against the enemy on the other side of the planet. His jet is shot down in a jungle and he must survive attacks by ghastly beasts. Eventually, Ariel is captured as a prisoner of war. But the enemy turns out to be completely different. Ariel suddenly realizes that he had been programmed to hate an enemy that was nothing at all like he had been programmed to believe.

This novel is filled with thrills, trepidation, aliens, monsters, spaceships, war, love and passion. From the thundering lift off of Ariel's ride into space, this novel is a rollercoaster ride of suspense. I guarantee a suprise ending. But it also has a deeper meaning, offering the reader an opportunity to reflect upon people and cultures that we dislike. Sometimes we discover that the people we hate the most are a lot like us. As a fan of Star Trek, I try to force the fiction reader to reflect upon issues like social justice, prejudice and tolerance. That gives this novel multiple layers of meaning.

Thank you so much Charles for that wonderful interview. As a fellow fan of Star Trek and the great bird of the galaxy Gene Roddenberry, I look forward to reading your new novel.

Speaking of Star Trek that was one of the biggest influences when I wrote my novel Fantasy Time Inc . That with the great H. G. Wells were fundamental in my writing my novel about a time travel vacation agency.

Till next time:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Events Galore!!

Well, I am really excited to tell you about several up coming events for me. I have been working very hard and I am gratified that I am seeing some good results.

The first event is a meet up I am having to learn about your life story and how to produce it. I am so excited to meet people and help them bring their life to other people. The date of the Meet up will be very soon, I will let you all know as soon as it is set in stone. I really hope to see you all there:)

Before that on line I am having another of my Virtual Events, I will discuss all the exciting new developments and my new book. The new one is really different, so come join us on Friday to hear all the great new information. Here is the link; .

Exciting news about a reading that I am going to join on line. The event is call A Live Reading. The one I will be on is September 18th. I will be reading with three other writers and the whole reading will take a couple of hours. Your going to have a couple of choices you can listen on your phone or watch it on your computer. Kind of cool, huh? We can all do it in the comfort of our homes, and my little kitty Xena is very happy I won't be leaving her that day:)

There is a new article I wrote for Working Writer called Why Should you Stick To One Medium.

Here is the Link, tell me what you think; .

I would like to welcome my newest writer to my Interview Series; Annette Jahnel. She is here to chat about writing and her novels; My Year of Beds and Andi Micki and the Men of Mallorca. So lets give her a warm welcome:)

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

It was an antique, cloth bound copy of Grimm's fairytales. Yes, I still own it, but in wanting to read the stories to my daughter, I discovered that those original German fairytales were anything but pleasant. As example, the original version of Cinderella involves the bloody business of chopped off toes and heels. The prince only noticing that the shoe was forced to fit the ugly sisters when he noticed the blood welling from it. And so all the stories go. How time change. I wonder that I liked the book at all. Perhaps it was rather the act of being allowed to sit on fathers or mothers knee while they read to me that holds the appeal, and the illustrations are very beautiful.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

My reading habits have changed over the years. But if I am to find a thread, the books that appeal to me always deal with discovery. From the Adventure Series of Enid Blyton or her Wishing Chair series, I wanted a chair like that, one that would take me to far away places. I got myself a Wish Mobile instead. I read all of the James Michener's books in my teens.

Now I read books that explore the mind, and the possibilities that are contained in our expanding knowledge; Quantum physics, Philosophy, and my favorite light reads are books that seem to delve into the absurd, but managed to expose the simple truths of life. Tom Robbins and Douglas Adams are two of my favorite authors for light yet deeply thought provoking reads.

I think everything we experience in life affects how we think and express ourselves. Which is why my advise to my daughter has always been; be careful what you allow into your mind, once its in there you can never get it out.

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

So many books, so many moments. No, I cannot say that I do, although Dr Seuss and his mad world of strange creatures, bent trees and twisted language is making a serious play for my attention right now.

Is there an era of writing that affects you? 1920, 1800's so fourth?

No, although I do like really fat books, I hate getting to the end of a really good book. There is a little death right there in the last full stop.

One of my favorite books is a monster called A Terrible Beauty. I have read it three times, and will probably read it several times more. In this modern age of limited attention span, the fat book does seem to be a dying breed. Fat is bad...even for books.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

I am nomadic by nature so I don't have a favorite nook or corners. i do have the great good fortune of having friends with cottages tucked away in exotic corners of the world.

Do you prefer one genre' to another?

No, I will read just about anything. Life is a quest for knowledge, and, as we learnt from the movie Men in Black, knowledge can be found in the most unlikely places.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic device?

I don't yet own an electronic reader so have no way of judging. I imagine that in time there will be no choice. I do know that for the digital native (those people born into the digital age) the question is moot. They read electronically... is there any other way?

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

I am just about to embark on a countrywide talk tour through South Africa, promoting my book, My Year of Beds. In the background I am doing spade work for my next book, Andi Micki and the Men of Mallorca. It promises love, lust, travel and general youthful misadventure.

Thank you so much Annette, it was a really good interview! Your answers filled my mind with more questions, maybe we could have another chat sometime. Please go to Annette's website at .

Till next time:)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sherri's Jewel Box Came!

I would like to thank everyone for the great response to my new magazine; Sherri's Jewel Box. I have had a lot of hits and great comments. I am so grateful, thank you to everyone. I also would like to promise you a great new issue coming out in September! It will be bigger, full of great interviews and beautiful pieces. I can't wait till everyone sees it!

Here is a new picture from my Paws for Troops signing, yes I did sign someones book it was not just me sitting there smiling. I did enjoy the event and the best part was they made they're goal so all those soldiers and puppies and kittens will get together and party:)

I am very excited about my new event that I will be a part of, it is a Webinar called, "A Live Reading." I will read a selection from Fantasy Time Inc. It will be at the end of this month, and its free:) All you have to do is call in and listen. There will be four authors that will be doing readings and I am really excited to be a part of such a fun event! Stay tuned for date and time.

For my interview I'd like everyone to welcome Cindy Cromer
and her book Desperate Measures!

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

This is a very hard question since as long as I can remember I have loved to read. The Nancy Drew mystery series stands out from my childhood. When I was in elementary school I'd rather read the next Nancy Drew book than play during recess. Unfortunately, I don't have any of those books but I wish I did.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

I enjoy mystery suspense and also books mingled with some science or medical drama. Books of this theme have definitely affected my writing. I earned my Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology and became the president of a laboratory network. My scientific and executive experience has helped me to create the main character of Desperate Measures, Caitlin Martel, and have thrust her into a suspenseful plot of family secrets and an unknown enemy.

Do you remember what is the first that touched you deeply?

Another tough question since I have read so many books but I'd have to say Suzanne's Diary to Nicholas by James Patterson. This was the first book I read outside of Patterson's Alex Cross books and truly revealed the authors talent, diversity, and brilliant story telling with an unexpected ending. I have to admit, I cried my eyes out at the ending. There is also another book I'd like to mention at this point, "The Perfect Husband" by Lisa Gardner. She is a master of the craft of twists and turns which keeps the reader guessing. In writing Desperate Measures, I strived to achieve what Lisa Gardner has in her books.

From the reviews that I have received, it appears I have so far accomplished this goal. Here is one review I'd like to share with you. For further reviews visit my publishers website, . Desperate Measures is listed under Top Sellers.

1. Posted by Cher green on 8th May 2011

2. Cindy Cromer debuts with a real page turner. Just when you think you've figured it all out, a new twist appears and sends you in another direction. Keep guessing, but you'll never guess who the villain is.

Is there an era of writing that affects you? 1920's, 1800's and so forth?

I enjoy novels written in the present but there is another book that stands out that I won't forget, "A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith. Excellent novel and one I wouldn't normally choose. The author takes the reader on a journey from the 1800's to 1960 in Florida and dramatically describes the development of Florida to what is today. My so had to read this book, the child's version, in fourth grade and I couldn't wait until he came home from school so that we could discuss the Maclvey's adventure and heartache through the swamps of Florida.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

Anyplace where it is quiet with no interruptions. I have my small office set up and block out the world when I write. Sometimes I pace the house and pool area when I am struggling with a scene. At this point I not only talk to myself but answer myself until I have the scene worked out. My family looks at me like I'm crazy but for the most part they have gotten used to it.

Do you prefer one genre' to another?

My preferences are mystery, suspense, and medical thrillers. Science Fiction usually doesn't capture my interest.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do prefer an electronic devises?

Well, since Desperate Measures was released in e-format until 100 books sell, I should say electronic device but I will be honest. I like the physical book in my hands to flip pages and dog ear each stopping point.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

I am currently putting the finishing touches and edits to my second book, Desperate Deceptions. It could be considered a sequel, but I have written it as a stand-alone and the reader won't be lost if they haven't read Desperate Measures. Of course, my goal is propel the sales of my first and make the reader want to read both. I have a third and fourth book in a rough draft format, and are completely different from the first two. They are mysteries, but totally different characters and plots. Once I finish those two I would like to get back to a few characters I created in Desperate Measures, especially Tomas. I created him as a minor role to provide a bit of comic relief to the reader, but he took on a life of his own and I want to create his own story line. Barry Solerno also needs to be the main focus of a book. I have no idea where I came up with him, but he became my favorite character.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer these questions. Please visit my website

Thank you Cindy for such a great interview, I think we will all enjoy to read your new book:)

Please check out my books at; or .

please read my magazine at; .

Till next time:)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exciting Things Arrive!

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My new on line magazine is up!!! I am so excited and I am getting really good feedback. I am so happy that my little idea is actually working out. It's so exciting!!! If you haven't read it yet here is the link; . Tell me what you think:) If your a collector or you make any kind of Jewels please let me know because I am doing a feature on that too. Please send me a note at

I am so happy, I just got such a great review of my novel Fantasy Time Inc. from Valley Scene newspaper. I knew it was coming and I was very nervous and I was delighted when I read it! Here is the link; . Pretty cool, huh? If you would like to get a copy here is the link to for Barnes and Noble; .

I was also really excited because two of my articles came out on the same day. They were very different from two separate publications but I was very proud of both of them. One of them is about Taking On A Job that appears in Working Writer, it was in response to a comment that made me think; how do you come up with ideas for the many types of things we write? Here is the link; .

My other article in was inspired by watching shows about loss and how to overcome it. Also how loss brings on a crisis of self worth and the ways to regain it. This is something I am striving for in my life so it is of much interest to me. Here is the link; .

I would like everyone to welcome my guest author Celia A. Andriello who has

agreed to come and chat with us about her five novels, her writing and the way she sees it all. Please give Celia a warm welcome;

What was the first book you remember loving?

My very first heart throb book was Man O'War. Like so many little girls , I was a horse addict. It was the public librarian that handed me that book. It was thick, hard covered and I handed it back to her and said, "Sorry, but I can't read."

"Can't read? Who said?"

"My teacher."

She handed it back, and with the conviction of a general she said, "You can read, and this book will prove it."

She was right. It took me forever to finish it and when I did. I read it again!

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

There isn't a genre of books that I haven't digested with gusto; but my all time favorite author, the author who holds my reverent esteem is Alexandre Dumas. I have read, and re-read his untarnished works countless times. With the stroke of his pen he cause me to hunger for more of his scrumptious prose. He has been a most singular influence in my writing. Throughout my novels there is always a modicum of Dumas' technique on every page.

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

Perhaps it was because I was pregnant, but the first book that compelled me to weep had just hit the shelves. The title was Alive! by Piers Read. It was the true story of a sixteen young men, on a Colombian soccer team, that survived an airplane crash in the Andes Mountains. Their struggle to survive was heart wrenching throughout their entire ordeal, until they were able to walk/drag themselves to safety. I was only able to read it once; it was that powerful.

Is there an era of writing that affects you? 1920's, 1800's so forth?

An era of writing? My heart runs the gambit in this area, for if the writer is worth his or her mettle he/she will haul me by the throat into that period of time, and I will not return to the now until I have consumed all of the leaves offered.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

My writers garret is here at my computer, but I cannot sit here and wait for inspiration to hit. Inspiration consistently comes through the efforts of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. If there's a writer's block, this couple has the power to heal!

Do you prefer one genre to another?

Genres- I have digested so many, that now I have grown bored. It's why I started to writing my own novels. Everything out there has become re-runs. I require something fresh and odd, as well as inspirational.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devise?

Electronic devices clog my arteries. I do not understand Kindle or the alike. They do not do what they purport, that is, they do not save energy. When I hold a book in my hands my essence absorbs its vitality.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

My latest novel, like all of my novels, weaves child abuse into the outcomes of adult behavior. In my perspective, child abuse is not a 90 minute talk-show laced with cure-all prescriptions. It is very real and should never be implemented as insensitive entertainment. What I try to do is recognize it for what it is, and develop the characters to enrich their mental states by understanding why they do what they do. Not to cure themselves-for that is an impossibility- but to develop from the abuse to be more comfortable in their skin. There is no perfect person; so why strive for perfection when the fun is in challenge of the game known as life?

This 5th novel takes an abandoned child, now in adult form, and through the support of her once repulsed lover, as well as her friends, she learns that her frustrations with herself are actually gifts to her constituency. She is charming as well as devious, and volatile. combining all three together she constructs an outcome she designs and executes with the confidence of a cobra! (Gotta put that hostility somewhere.)

Thank you for a great interview Celia! It was very interesting and enjoyable. Please check out her books:)

If you have any questions for me please email at or send me a tweet at @rithebard.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sherri's Jewel Box cometh

My new on-line magazine Sherri's Jewel Box will be released to the public on July 4th!!! I figured that would be the best way to celebrate my patriotism...just kidding. I really just felt that a holiday weekend is great time to do all the work to make sure my first issue will be outstanding. I am so proud of it and I have been working so hard on it. I hope you all enjoy it.

It will feature the history and stories of classic, vintage and historical jewels. I am hoping that the stories and articles will inspire my readers to collect their own pieces. The sentiment for each piece and the history are what draws me to vintage jewels. The beauty, history and sentiment of the family pieces make them special, its the beauty of it that strikes me. Please come and enjoy my new magazine!

Here I am at the Paws for Troops event, from my little face it looks like I am having a good time, huh? I did, I sold books for charity, ate pizza, bought a nice purse, and met some pretty dogs. The most important thing is that they met their goal for the event. Yeah!!!! And I helped in my own little way, so I feel very good about that. So I would say that this event was a win-win, wouldn't you?

Photograph by Chuck Cason

Please welcome my newest author that has agreed to join us for a short chat about writing; Pamela Sisman Bitterman.

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

The first book that I remember falling in love with, and probably the one that I have most often given as a gift in the 50-plus years since it was first read to me, is the quintessential children's book of my generation, The Velveteen Rabbit. I still have my ancient copy, the one my Mom read to me and the same one that I subsequently read to my own children. (I also still have my own "real" stuffed rabbit that I slept with through out my entire childhood.) Both are being saved for future generations... I'm convinced that my compulsion to ultimately pen children's books is due in large part to my own dreamy childhood memories associated with this story.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing?

As I have revealed in earlier interviews, books I read absolutely have an affect on my writing.

So much so that my tendency to become completely absorbed in whichever good book I happen to be reading at any given time, precludes
my being able to both write and indulge my voracious reading habit, simultaneously.I love to read. Always have. Books offer a unique opportunity to learn, to think, to explore, to disappear, to re-invent,
to live a thousand different lives. Most writers who dare to spill their guts on paper will likely never know the extent to which they have affected change, or the many lives that they have touched. I like that. Ripples in a pond.

I do believe that we can learn a great deal about how to write well by reading well written books. However, I will also admit that reading badly written books that somehow miraculously made it to publication is what eventually prompted me to try my hand at the craft, arrogantly avowing that "I can definitely do better than that!"

Do you remember what is the first book that touched you deeply?

I so remember the first book that touched me deeply. At the risk of cliche' I have to join the ranks of millions by admitting that it was Catcher In The Rye. That book was the motivation behind my initially embarking upon a career path to help troubled children. Discovering A Separate Piece represented another profound reading event in my life. Hmmm, I am just now realizing something. See what happens when we write? The protagonists, in fact pretty much all the principal characters of both of these books, were young boys. As a tomboy growing up as the antithesis of the debutante/ Betty Crocker crazed peers of my youth, I was desperate for literary role models that were brave, empowered, heroic, introspective, and soulfully embattled. I apparently found precious few young female characters that fit that prototype. But authors? Now that's another story. One had to look no further then Atalass Shrugged's Ayn Rand, or the stunningly talented fifteen year old S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders. Both these books were also among my favorites and both have left an indelible mark. When the characters from a book stick with you, haunt you, become friends whose companionship you yearn for long after the story ends, then the author has done her job masterfully. That is always a goal of my writing.

Is there an era of writing that affects you? 1920,'s, 800's so forth?

The era of writers that most affected me should be fairly self evident by this point in the interview. They were the writers of my youth, the illustrators of my personal experience. Of course, works by Steinbeck, Faulkner, Hemingway, Melville and the like were devoured and beloved. But Ken Kesy, Thomas Wolf, Jack Kerouac and J. D. Salinger became my surrogate best friends. Today, veteran authors like Barbara Kingsolver, and John Le Carre never let me down. And I'm always open to being swept away by new up-and-comers the likes of an Anne Lamont or a Dave Eggers, for instance. We need to believe that there's still great hope for their (our) ilk, right? I just read an interview with the renowned author Ann Patchett. Of the five books that she read in the last year and "wished she was still reading," was one by a (then) virtually unknown author whom she met when they shared a cab to the airport after a writers conference. We're all out there metaphorically waiting for that cab.

Where do you like to write? Is there a favorite nook or corner?

My most disciplined writing takes place in my office, mostly during the early dawn hours. But I write everywhere, on whatever is handy, whenever an idea presents itself. My moleskin is often anything with enough room to scratch out a notion on-a grocery list, gas receipt, stupid flyer stuck under the windshield wiper of my car.

Do you prefer one genre' to another?

Although I primarily write nonfiction, when I read I love losing myself in really good adult fiction. I have the adventures that become the stuff of my nonfiction, and that then becomes the perfect package deal for me. I get to do it, survive it, and then re-live it on paper. However, I am now dabbling in my first adult fiction project (see question #8), and am finding it ridiculously liberating, and so much fun! I have had two non-fictions, one homily and one children's book published so far. Although writing children's books has always appealed to me, as they are an invaluable vehicle by which one can profoundly touch the hearts and minds of impressionable future generations, it is harder then it looks. There is a science to it, with very precise format requirements for age and target audience appropriateness. But once you learn the parameters and integrate these guidelines into the creative process, you have in effect found the keys to the kingdom. I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of science fiction or fantasy. Although the writing for those genres can be beautifully creative and artfully composed, I personally have difficulty suspending logic for the duration of the read. Probably a failing on my part, and ultimately my loss.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic device?

I do like the feel of a book. I like to hang onto them, smell them, share them, scribble in their margins, and yes, dog-ear a page. I would hate to see cloth books disappear from tomorrows artistic landscape. But much of my stubborn devotion to hard copies is as sentimentally driven as it is financially and environmentally counter-indicated. Although I admit to being a bit of a neanderthal with the new technology, I suppose I have to also admit that electronic reading devises are probably the way of the future. Two of my most recent manuscripts have been published digitally, so in that respect, I suppose I even hope that to be true. In fact, most new books that I read today, I download to my own kindle.

Nonetheless, the learning curve of my reluctant though "strongly advised" delve into the new computer generated publishing business has as often led me to an awed sense of proud accomplishment, as it has to having to be physically restrained from furiously flinging any one of a number of fancy hand held devices out of my second story window.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

At present, I am actively working on marketing my published books. Hence this Author Highlight, for which I am very grateful! That being said, the Self-Promoter hat is not the most comfortable fit for me, just as it probably isn't for most writers. It is a necessary evil, all the same. And although I actually enjoy doing these online interviews, there is undeniably that marketing method to my madness.

My works-in-progress are presently an adult fiction, and a second children's book. But my primary work-in-progress is always myself. Consequently, if the next great adventure opportunity suddenly presents itself, I will be off and running! In all likely-hood it will then become the subject of a subsequent nonfiction and quite possibly my next published work as well. I love writing but living big and full for as long and as well as I can still wins out, hands down, as my diversion of choice.

Thank you so much for that wonderful interview, I think we learned a lot about your inner thought process:) If you would like to check out these book trailers for more information, please follow these links; , , .

If you would like to ask questions, offer suggestions or just chat please contact me on twitter at; @rithebard or at my email .

Friday, June 17, 2011

Exciting Events Approaching

So many things are happening right now, I feel like a beautiful rainbow has opened up for me. I have a great event coming up it is a charity called Paws for Troops. The event is called Paws-atively Purr-fect Fund Raiser. It is to help both our veterans and animals heal from the trauma they had been through together. Its a great cause! I am very proud to help out. I donated my books and I will be signing at the event and my Mom donated one of her beautiful needlepoints. So exciting! For more information please check out

My new magazine is coming along very well. It is called The Jewel Box and here is the new logo. What do you think of it? My on-line magazine that celebrates the beauty and sentiment of family jewels. Pieces that you collected from your mother or grandmother. I am also going to focus on hot new pieces of all different types as well as historical pieces. It is a special, personal project of pure love. It will be premiering at the end of the month and I can't wait!!!

I have a new article in Working Writers it is about inspiration. One of my favorite subjects that I feel is deep and mysterious. Here is the link; . Let me know what you think?

I would like you all to welcome my new guest for my interview series author Cindy Jones. She wrote a wonderful book called My Jane Austen Summer; A Season in Mansfield Park. Welcome Cindy!

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the first book to have special meaning for me. I read a copy from the school library in fourth grade and remember having to renew it at least once in order to finish it. Although I had been reading novels since second grade, especially Nancy Drew mysteries. The Secret Garden was different. The walled garden, the locked door, and the secret relationship provided my first experience with Gothic elements in literature and started my love affair with books.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books affect your writing?

I like to read books that have literary sensibilities and commercial tendencies. I crave complex characters and beautiful prose but need a tension-filled plot to go with them. And since I write the books I would like to read, my craving dictate my writing. My favorite contemporary book is The City of Your Final Destination by Peter Cameron. I also love Jane Austen, Henry James, Edith Wharton and Daphne Dumaurier.

Of all your work what is your personal favorite?

My personal favorite is whatever I happen t be working on at the moment. Writing a novel is an intense experience and I lose myself with the characters and the story of each project while I'm working on it, starting with the novel I wrote in the fifth grade, followed much later by the first novel I wrote as an adult (now buried in a drawer), to My Jane Austen Summer and my current work-in progress. I love them equally, especially during the time they need the most attention from me.

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

My favorite character of my creation is also the protagonist of my current work. Working closely over a period of years tends to make them come alive in my imagination so that sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of them in the real world, or I refer to them in conversation before realizing what I've said. A man drove a golf cart past a window where I was sitting one day. I remarked to myself, "There goes Henry," (the male lead in my current project), but I immediately realized my lapse. Another time I suggested we stay with my character while traveling in England, before realizing my mistake.

What is your favorite character from another writer?

I love Fanny Price, a bookish woman who becomes the heroine of her own story, Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I identify with a person who creates an interior world through reading, and I admire her courage in taking such a strong stand against the villains in her story.

Do you prefer on genre to another?

I have a preference for complex and compelling fiction.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devise?

I was surprised to discover that I could lose myself in an electronic novel just as completely as I could in print. I enjoy the convenience of an e-reader and the rich feeling of an abundance of titles waiting for my attention. However, if I am reading carefully for research or discussion purposes. I like to have the printed version in my hands for ease of flipping back and forth through pages, highlighting and note taking. I'm sure the electronic reader will evolve to address this issue or I will adjust by necessity, but until such time, I mainly use my e-reader for pleasure and stick to print for work related reading.

Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I'm working on a novel about contemporary women who trade places. The story involves travel, India, Romantic Poets, and the power of imagination.


Thank you so much for joining us and giving your take on reading and writing. I really appreciate it:)

If you have any questions or suggestions please email at or on twitter @rithebard.