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06 May 2017

Hero Lost Anthology | Meet The Authors, Pt 1

Editor's Note: In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday about our eccentric adventures on our sailboat and as my random thoughts and musings about life, I've decided to have the occasional blog post on Saturdays where I focus on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, interviews with authors etc. So if you're into all things related to books, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

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This is the first in a series where I get to introduce you to my co-authors of the IWSG anthology <<Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life>>

I decided to ask them a series of questions about what they're passionate about, lessons learned about writing, the most adventurous thing they've done and, of course the most important question, what their favorite cookie is.

Grab a comfy chair, a cup of cocoa and a handful of your favorite cookies and get to know these wonderfully talented folks.

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Jen Chandler >> Blog | Instagram <<

1 - Other than writing, what's your biggest passion in life?

I love sewing! I'm an avid hand-stitcher and I design all my own patterns. What that really means is I draw a simple sketch on paper and then trace it onto fabric. Then I cut out patchwork embellishments and see what happens! Both of my grandmothers were and my mother and sister are seamstresses. I grew up in a family of women who made clothes, crafted quilts, and stitched everything from dolls to embroidered samplers. I love the idea of carrying on a simple tradition and enjoying doing something tactile in our overly digital world.


2 - What has been your biggest lesson learned in your writing career to date?

The biggest lesson I've learned is to stop worrying about what others will think of what you're writing and write the story that is begging to be told. I write very, very far outside the box of what many people I know generally read. I've had moments of panic thinking of someone reading something I read and being shocked or offended or questioning my mortal soul. But I've learned that my voice is my own and I must use it; I must tell the story that is given to me. If I try to make something sound OK for Person A and then try to make it sound another way for Person B, I'll end up with a conglomerate of mess that works for no one. The best suggestion I could give any writer is to write true to YOUR voice. Usually, this works best for me if I don't think and I do Stream of Consciousness practice with my story ideas. SoC is something I learned in college. You set a timer - 5, 10, 30 minutes, whatever- and you write. Do it by hand or on computer but you don't stop, don't edit, don't think. You write the very first things that come out of your fingers. You can edit later! That's the truest way I know to write.


3 - What's the most adventurous thing you've done? 

Eight years ago I boarded a plane by myself and flew to India to meet a friend who'd been living there for three months. I spend two weeks in a completely foreign environment. It was the most amazing experience! I was the outsider; I didn't speak the language; I didn't understand the culture. I loved every minute of it!

And I learned how to say "My husband is trouble" in Hindi :)

4 - What's your favorite kind of cookie? If you don't eat cookies, why not?

I love chocolate chip. Call me old fashioned, but that's my absolute favorite! I really like the cookie dough, but the powers that be tell me that's not healthy, so I won't tell you that I eat it by the spoonful. Don't want to upset the Status Quo ;) 





1 - Other than writing, what's your biggest passion in life?

My children.  Recently I reflected on the day I held my first born in my arms after three long days of anticipation and six nurses later. That instant created a paradigm shift in me. You look down and feel this warm little body in your arms. This perfect, innocent and helpless little being who will one day develop into his or her own special person. Everything about you, the new momma or new dad shifts. You don’t think the same. You don’t care about the same things. Anyway, nothing quite matters so much aside from making my two little beings feel safe, happy and a drive to dream big dreams and live them.

2 - What has been your biggest lesson learned in your writing career to date?

Just because I finished a manuscript doesn't mean it's truly finished. I sat down three months after my son was born and committed myself to making my writing work. I wrote a good year on my first long manuscript. I thought it was incredible. I was ready for the world to read it. Eight years later I see why the world wasn’t ready for me just then. 

3 - What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

That's a hard one to pinpoint. Most of the daring things I have done were worth it, like traveling to different countries and walking these new worlds with glittery eyes, or parasailing, and even confronting bosses in difficult heart invested situations.  But the bravest of all braves? The trophy moment? Honestly, it goes back to being a mom. You don't really know what you get into when you bring a life into this world. Suddenly your past is forgotten. The little angel in your arms is yours to protect.  Pretty scary at first. Then there are always the worries that follow. Sigh. I love it.

4 - What's your favorite kind of cookie? If you don't eat cookies, why not?

A really great chocolate chip cookie with multiple kinds of chocolate buried inside. Oh yeah…the gooey center is a must! I also love a gentle crunch around the edges.
Cookie monster you may call me? Double thumbs up.



Olga Godim >> Website and Blog | GoodReads | Wattpad | Twitter  <<

1 - Other than writing, what's your biggest passion in life?

I’d say reading. Undoubtedly many writers will answer the same way. For me, I’m not even sure what came first: reading others’ stories or making up my own. I’ve been an avid reader since elementary school but I made up my own stories for as long as I remember. When I was about seven, I decided to write a science fiction novel. I drew the front cover with a space ship on it. I also made the back cover with the price. My mother was very impressed, although I never finished that novel. I don’t think I even started writing it. Nowadays, I don’t read much science fiction. My favorite genres are fantasy and romance.

2 - What has been your biggest lesson learned in your writing career to date?

I don’t like it when my characters suffer. I care too much for them. Learning to make them struggle, inventing calamities and obstacles for them was one of the biggest lessons I had to absorb.

3 - What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

That’s easy – immigration. In 1994, my family and I left Russia for Canada. The adjustment to the new country, new language, new culture, entirely new way of life was quite an adventure. Like any adventure, it was scary and difficult. Like any adventure, it took a while, but in the end, it left behind good memories and fascinating stories. Never, even for a moment, despite all the hardships we faced, did I regret the decision to immigrate, probably the most important decision of my life. 

4 - What's your favorite kind of cookie? If you don't eat cookies, why not?

I’m not a big fan of cookies; I prefer cakes and pastry. Chocolate. Cream. Rich and moist. Sweet and nutty. Flaky and light. Delicious! Are you drooling yet? I am. Seriously, of all the types of cookies, the only one I actually like is rugelach – traditional Jewish sweet rolls. Last year, I wrote a flash fiction story about rugelach and posted it on my website. Here it is: https://olgagodim.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/hannahs-rugelach/ For those who don’t know, there is a picture of rugelach there.

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If you're interested in picking up a copy of <<Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life>>, you can find it at these online retailers:

Amazon (US)
Amazon (Canada)
Amazon (UK)
Barnes & Noble (print book)
Barnes & Noble (ebook)
iTunes
Kobo

Fantasy (FIC009000) Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378

You can also find out more about the book and my co-authors over at our website and blog.

Now over to you - what are you most passionate about?

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14 comments:

  1. Such fun interview questions! Thank you for hosting us, Ellen. By the way, I finished reading your story. Wow. Just wow! I'm honored to be in the anthology with all of you!! Happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks for participating, Jen. Your story was amazing by the way. Loved it!

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  2. It's great to meet your fellow authors. I'm so proud of you. This has to be a dream come true.

    I'm passionate about boating.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. They're a great group of people. It was fun getting to know more about them.

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  3. Moving from Russia to Canada is a big step, especially when it involves immigration.
    Jen and Erika, you can have my cookies. (I don't eat chocolate.)
    Every time we've moved has been an adventure. And always to a place I don't know. When I moved to Arkansas, I had to get out a map to find it. Albuquerque was the most fun and adventurous.

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    1. The interviews have been a neat way to learn more about everyone. Especially the all important issue of cookies :-)

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  5. Great interview, Ellen. I am passionate about travel. Since we have moved back to shore, our adventures have been smaller and more contained but still enjoyable, and definitely more comfortable. Each time we change homes and dogs, we go on a new adventure. :-)

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    1. You guys have a great thing going on with your house and pet sitting. You get to travel and experience new things in a really comfortable way.

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  6. Jen, thank you for your amazing tips on writing and being yourself through it all. Olga, I love how you don't want your characters to suffer. Lovely post Ellen.

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  7. Great to get to know some of the authors a little better. I agree with Jen - you can't worry about what other people will think when you write. If I thought about my family reading my stuff, I would freeze! I know they have now, but it still feels weird!

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    1. It is weird to think about your family and friends reading your stuff.

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