Thursday, March 17, 2016

Little Beginnings

Sometimes we all would like New Beginnings in one way or another. Iris Blobel’s “Beginnings” series is about exactly that – in all shapes or sizes. From new beginnings for sisters Sophie and Mia, new beginnings for their neighbour Zach, or their friend Jared, who encountered “new beginnings” while on holidays in the USA.
The Beginnings series is set in Tasmania, the beautiful Isle south of Australia, mainly famous for  its fine foods and cuisines, especially high quality cheeses, wines and chocolate, but also for Erroll Flynn and Simon Baker as well as Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark.
Out in March: Jeri’s “Little Beginnings” come with the possibilities of something bigger.         
Cheers, Iris

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Interview with Arabella Rose ~The Hotline Girl~

Host: Today we’re here with Arabella Rose Beauregard, who has a fascinating job!
Arabella Rose: I work at the Dallas County Suicide Hotline Center.  I take suicide calls, listen, and counsel distressed people.
Suicide is a preventable tragedy, and your job is an important part of that prevention. Yet it’s certainly not something just anyone can jump into. How did you become interested in helping in this crisis area? What sort of training was required?
I became interested because of personal reasons.  I have a personal history with suicide.  I have a master’s degree in counseling, and I double-majored in psychology and counseling.
Wow. Sorry to hear that you have had to deal with suicide in an up-close and personal way. Sounds like you turned a tragedy into an opportunity to help others. I really can’t imagine how emotionally draining your job must be. How do you cope?
I keep a rigorously strict routine.  Unless I’m working, I go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, and eat a lot of the same foods.  I find structure and schedule to be soothing.  I help a lot of my callers with creating a structured environment for themselves.  I read a fun historical novel right before bed, and I drink a caffeinated soda and read the Bible when I wake up.  I clean house every Saturday, and I walk right after dinner.  The consistency of my life is my salvation.  Some people might think that I’m lonely, and I’d love a good friend or two every once in a while, but I talk to people all day long on the phone – and it’s draining – so I don’t mind the quiet peacefulness of my solitary home life.
That makes sense, when you put it like that. Dealing with chaos in the lives of others probably makes you crave routine. Do you ever become emotionally involved with the people you are helping? And do you ever get frustrated with a caller because they won’t listen to the help you are trying to give them?
In the beginning, I was more emotional.  I still cry some times, but I’ve learned to never let it show in my voice.  I’ve definitely had my fair share of nightmares when I’m sleeping. I mostly get frustrated with the prank or perverted callers, though.  They are hogging up a valuable lifeline for real, hurting people.  To do what?  Play jokes and make lewd comments?  That frustrates me like nothing else.
Lately, I’ve been a bit more emotional than usual with a specific man who has called.  But that’s a long, personal story for another time…

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friendship Friday Corey J. Popp

Beneath Claire's House, a young adult supernatural thriller, has been selected as one of Scifi and Scary Book Reviews' "Top 10 Reads of 2015."

Sixteen-year-old Claire Young is tormented by a recurring, prophetic nightmare and visitations from gruesome, mutilated ghosts. She's convinced the apparitions intend to harm her widowed father, but there's little she can do locked away in Saint Thomas Psychiatric Hospital. Her situation is hopeless until a mysterious priest delivers the name of a man who may be the only one willing to help. Claire launches a daring scheme that leads her and her best friend to a former paranormal investigator.

But Claire's father, convinced his daughter is schizophrenic, will send Claire back to Saint Thomas permanently if he discovers she's still clinging to her delusions. Claire and her friends must tread lightly to complete the investigation, but amid bizarre twists and chilling encounters, she'll discover her home's basement is hiding something far more sinister than just ghosts.

Selected as one of the "Top 5 Authors Discovered in 2015" by Scifi and Scary Book Reviews, Corey J. Popp began his writing career as a freelance writer for Gannett Company. After discovering that writing human interest and technology articles was excruciatingly boring, he transitioned to fiction. He now has much more fun and makes much less money writing about a mysterious city called Mount Herod.

Book bloggers across the Internet are praising the clean read, Beneath Claire's House

"The best YA Horror book I have read in ages...a goosebump-raising read filled with fantastic lines and vivid descriptions." -Scifi and Scary Book Reviews, Top 10 Reads of 2015

"This was one creepy YA Horror story...Claire seems like such a realistic and likeable character. She's extremely brave, almost to the point of recklessness...I really loved the way the author put this story together." -Melanie for BTS Book Reviews Magazine and Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews

"A book full of fear, betrayal, friendship and loyalty...Beneath Claire's house is a book not to miss." -Siobhan Quinlan for Readers' Favorite

"The surprising twists and turns throughout the story will keep you guessing, and all for the better...Corey J. Popp's debut novel had me glued to it and added a new author for me to look out for. " -Just Commonly Review Blog

"A definite must read for fans of scary, supernatural stories. This one will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you wonder what lurks in the shadows!" -Nerd Girl Official

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Myths Debunked- Writing as a Teenage Author

Some people tend to describe me as an old soul. I think it’s just a euphemism for being quiet and “in-my-own-head” a lot of the time, but that’s fine by me. I’ve loved stories ever since I was a child, plucking Greco-Roman mythology books off of the lowest shelf at the school library since it was the only one I could reach. I suppose in many ways, I’m still a child, but I’m an adult too. And, no matter my age, I love to write. So, being a teenager and a writer, here are some common misconceptions and realities when it comes to writing (books/blogs/poetry/all else) as a teen.

MYTH- You need to be an adult to write.
FACT- Writing starts since you first learn how to write your name. Writing starts ever since you write the words “the end” for the very first time. However, if you define true writing as publication, then that brings me to my next myth…

MYTH- The youngest writer in the world is (insert age here).
FACT- The youngest writer in the world can be in the first week of infancy (ok, maybe not) for all you know. The youngest worldwide-known, published author is a different matter entirely. 

MYTH- You have no idea what you’re doing when writing as a teenager. Give it up and wait until you’re older.
FACT- Be honest with yourself here, do any of us know exactly what we’re doing each and every day? The only way to learn how to write is through experience. Write now, write often. There are adults out there who have no idea how to write because somebody’s bad advice scared them from ever trying. Do not be afraid. Write and learn from it.

MYTH- Alright, so this is a teenager myth this time. School is taking up too much of my time to be a writer. I feel stifled by the institution and cannot write.
FACT- Try to be open-minded. There are plenty of writers in the world who grew up feeling just as you did. Writing is from experience. School does not make writers. Writers make writers. BUT it’s the writer’s experiences that truly make the writer. Yes, even school can make the writer. You can take any class and find poetry in it, even calculus, as one of my good high school teachers said. If you cannot find something to inspire you in every class, then you’re doing it wrong. History has the word “story” in it for a reason. If somebody couldn’t find something to inspire them in a certain field- inventors and geniuses of all sorts- then why would they have discovered the branches of science/math as they did? Something inspired them. Somebody invented the computer or geometry, philosophy and psychology. If you can find that inspiration too, then you can take it and write your own stories from it.

MYTH- All teenagers write about is teen angst. Any teenager can do that.
FACT- Again, writers write from experience. I went through high school angst, staring out a window and going, “Is that all there is?” But all writers insert themselves into their stories. Take Kafka, for example. He underwent periods of depression and isolation, and you found those aspects in his works, like, “The Metamorphosis”. Your writing is your soul. Embrace that.

MYTH- The publishing world isn’t going to take me seriously.
FACT- Treat writing with the respect it deserves. Write to practice and further your craft. Keep a journal of ideas. Submit to magazines and address professional writing people (shout-out to the ever-wonderful Stephanie Taylor here) with respect in order to garner respect for yourself. It’s never too early to make a name for yourself out there. And it’s never too late either.


Sophia M. Whittemore (a teenage writer)