Tag Archives: Interviews

Brad Carl

Brad Carl, author and all-around great guy, recently invited me to appear on Backstage. It was a real treat and he graciously agreed to pop into Ink Drop Interviews in return. He offers a bit about himself, his work, and tips and tricks he’s learned along the way…

IDI – Good morning, Brad, it’s great to have you here. Let’s start with right now. What are you currently working on?

BC – It’s nice to be working with you again so soon.

I’m currently finishing up what I would describe as a psychological drama titled Craft Beer Burning. It’s about two young men who grow up best friends and end up opening a craft brewery together as adults. The storyline is somewhat of a departure from my debut, Grey Areas – The Saga, because it lacks any major crime elements. Instead, it relies heavily on loyalty, trust, and respect for some scandalous conflict. I originally hoped to have Craft Beer Burning released before the end of 2016, but it’s been a busy year for me and now looks like it will be January 2017. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

IDI – You’re not too far off course, and it’s always better to be a bit late and have it be right than to rush it when it’s not.

How important are your reading habits to your writing habits?

ga-saga-cover-digital-800BC – When I first started getting serious with my writing a few years ago I wasn’t taking the time to read many books. I used the excuse that I was too busy writing to also read. I didn’t understand the value of the relationship between the two. At the time I was drawing a lot of my inspiration from lengthy popular television cable shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Sons of Anarchy. I thought that was all I needed because the stories were deep and phenomenal. Since then, though, I’ve realized how important it is to soak up books and stories from others. Being a reader helps put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. I can see what works for other authors as well as what doesn’t work. Reading helps spark ideas. It expands my vocabulary and also enlightens me with ways to handle the things I struggle with regarding my own writing. In 2016 my goal was to read 12 books – any subject or style. I’m going to come very close to reaching that mark, and I’m looking forward to upping the ante in 2017.

IDI – Absolutely! It’s very important to read often and widely. So many authors either don’t make the time to read, or only read within their preferred genre and I think it inhibits their work. I also agree about drawing inspiration from (well-crafted) television shows. Some of the best writers in the world work in television.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing and how has it helped you in your own writing?

BC – I’ve learned that it’s all about the storyline. If your story stinks it doesn’t matter how elegant your prose is or how many times you go to the thesaurus to find a fancy word – no one will care. I believe readers will overlook typos, misspellings, and the like (to a degree) if you still tell them a good story. Not that I suggest skimping on editing and proofreading – it’s very important and I work very hard to give my readers a “clean” reading experience. It’s imperative to worry first and foremost about the story. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But I think a lot of writers distract themselves so much that they lose sight of this. Remaining aware of this has helped me stay focused on my main goal: to give the reader an emotional ride they can relate to.

IDI – We all draw from within, there is an element of us in everything we write. How much of you will a reader find in your work?

BC – This might sound silly, but I feel there’s an element of me in almost everything I write. Being able to feel emotions strongly is a major part of writing. If you can’t relate to people and their experiences and feelings, you can’t possibly express it on paper for someone else to read and experience. Basically, every character I create is developed from my own experiences in one manner or another. It might not be from a direct personal encounter, but it could be based on observing others or hearing stories from or about others. This is probably why I enjoy dialogue so much. The interaction of people – both in real life and in my writing – fascinates me.

IDI – It doesn’t sound silly at all. I agree. And like you, my writing also tends to be dialogue-heavy.

Is there a particular area of writing (getting ideas, research, revision, editing, and such) where you seem to struggle most and how do you overcome it?

BC – I love writing dialogue so much that I sometimes find myself struggling with the narrative. I’m a details kind of guy in real life, but when it comes to writing (and reading) I’m not a fan of too much description. How much is too much? I like to give the readers just enough information so they can develop their own images in their mind.  I have a big fear of boring readers with too much narrative and description. I’d rather hold their attention by moving the story forward with interesting dialogue and explanatory but brief narrative and description.

IDI – What advice would you give to new/unpublished writers?

BC – Don’t do it to get famous. Entertain people, tell a good story, listen to your audience and readers, make it all about them. Don’t neglect any piece of the writing or publishing process – especially the expense of editing. Find an editor that you can learn from – someone who makes you a better writer. Last but certainly not least: Read your work out loud.

IDI – Excellent advice.

Everyone has their own style and voice (if we’re doing our jobs right). That being said, if someone would compare you, who do you think they’d most likely compare you to?

BC – I’ve been told my efforts resemble those of the late Robert B. Parker, creator of the


Brad Carl

Jesse Stone series and Spenser novels. When I first heard this comparison I was flattered but had not read anything by Parker. When I read Night Passage it all made sense. It’s cool to be compared to a successful author, but it doesn’t mean I’m done growing. In fact, it only makes me want to read more so I can continue to learn and pick up things from others.

IDI – Not too shabby. I don’t know a writer who would have an issue being compared to him.

Can you tell us three interesting things about yourself you’re sure we don’t already know?

BC – I am listed on imdb.com under the pseudonym “Brad Westmar” for my supporting role in the 2013 movie House of Forbidden Secrets as well as for the lead role in a short titled The Request that appears on a DVD horror compilation, Hi-8.

Give me an acoustic guitar and you will wind up playing and singing with me for hours – whatever you want to hear. I have been playing, singing, writing, performing, and recording off and on since I was about 16 years old.  Always for fun, never for money. Strangely, I still feel to this day that I very well might be a better songwriter than I am an  author.

In addition to being a disc jockey in the 90s, I had an internet radio show from 2005 to 2008 and a podcast from 2011 to 2014. Both were sarcastic/comedy/variety shows. If you Google search “Brad Westmar” you can probably still find some audio or video clips.

IDI – I admit, I went to imbd and checked you out. Impressive.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

BC – Keep writing. Don’t stop. Don’t get discouraged. You will get better and better at the craft. By the time the publishing landscape changes when you’re in your forties, you’ll have a ton of material to put out there for people.

IDI – Amen!

Okay, time to fess up. How many unpublished and half-written books do you have sitting around your house?

BC – A lot. For fun, I’ll give you a quick rundown.

I have two short stories that I wrote about 12 years ago for a Writer’s Group I was in. I’m also looking for another story that was hand written in 1990 or 1991. This one is special to me because it’s more controversial in today’s day and age than it was back then. I’d like to re-work all of these stories in the near future.

I also have a series of short stories and micro fiction that’s collectively titled Company Man. It’s a fictitious look at the ridiculous (and often comedic) side of business.

I have a free-verse poem I’d like to do something with. I’m not sure if it’s any good, but maybe some day we’ll find out…

I think this covers it, aside from the numerous ideas I have.

IDI – Trust me, I can relate.

Where is your favorite place to write, and what are your writing quirks?

BC – It varies. Sometimes I like to go to my local Starbucks and sit with a cup of coffee for a few hours. Other times I’ll sit at home. If I’m out of town I might write in my hotel room or possibly in a bar or at another coffee shop. There are two necessities (quirks): I need to have music (usually earphones unless I’m home alone) and I absolutely must be comfortable. This means sitting in a comfortable chair (some coffee shops and bars have) and putting my feet up if possible. (recliner, foot stool, coffee table)

Truman Capote declared himself “a completely horizontal author.”  He claimed he couldn’t think unless he was lying down. I can somewhat relate, though he also wrote everything in longhand – no thanks!

IDI – Like you, I can write anywhere. Unlike you, I cannot listen to music while I write. I have more than 2000 songs on iTunes that shuffle on a loop 24/7, but the minute I sit to write, I hit the mute button. I find myself either singing along or being taken back through the years depending on the song (I grew up in the 70s and still prefer the music of the era).

Brad, I am so happy you agreed to chat with me and share a bit about yourself with my readers. Best of luck with your upcoming release and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

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Would you like to know more about Brad and his work?







Here I Stand… by Jillian Bullock

A few days ago I had the pleasure of talking with Jillian Bullock, author of the captivating, Here I Stand. I’ve had the pleasure of reading her memoir and would like to share my thoughts…


Jillian Bullock never had a conventional home or family. Her mother was black and the only father she ever knew was white, and a member of the mob. Or was he? Jillian saw things no little girl should ever have to see. Things that gave her nightmares. Things that gave her an ulcer. Things that made her question every detail of her life and what she believed to be true.

She lost people she loved, people she loved changed without warning or reason she understood, and she was hurt and traumatized by others she loved and thought loved her back. She went from not knowing whom to trust, to not trusting anyone. At fifteen, through no fault of her own, she was forced to live on the street where she ate out of dumpsters and stood in line for one of only twenty beds each night, sleeping on a park bench when she didn’t get a bed. She fought off the cold, hunger, sexual advances, and her own depression.

When it became impossible to survive on the street, she did what so many young runaways do – she turned to prostitution. She learned how to turn off her emotions, detach her mind from her body. She swayed between determination for a better life and giving up. She had mastered Tae Kwon Do and if not for that ability, may very well have ended up dead on several occasions.

Jillian Bullock was damaged. Emotionally and physically damaged. But, from somewhere deep inside of her, a place her stepfather saw, she pulled out the drive, determination, resiliency, and grit needed to break free from a life forced upon her and become the person she was meant to be. The obstacles in her young life might have been insurmountable to many. Truth be told, I doubt I could have survived as she did.

Even when she believes she has lost hope in her dreams, from a spark within, she rebuilds a life that seemed all but lost. Jillian writes with candor, raw emotion, hope, despair, and a confidence that even she loses sight of a time or two. Jillian shares her accomplishments, her losses, her pain, her feelings toward those close to her, and her own transgressions in a strong, unshakable voice able to pull emotion from the most detached reader.

From within the embrace of a loving family, to a world feared by many, through her own strength and diligence, Jillian Bullock rises above.

The writing was wonderful. I could not put it down. I applaud Jillian first, for turning struggle into success and second, for having the gumption and courage to share her story in a clear and objective voice. I believe that anyone who might be feeling helpless or hopeless or at their end would benefit greatly from reading this story.

Here I Stand is a lesson in perseverance, hope, and redemption.


Here I Stand – 5 stars

James Lawless

James Lawless

James Lawless

I’ve been doing a lot of reviews lately, but today I’m going to step away and go back to what I originally began Ink Drop Interviews doing – an actual interview. Today I talk with James Lawless, author of Peeling Oranges and other titles.

IDI – Who is your target audience? What aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

JL – This is a very important question for promoting one’s work and a difficult one to answer. If one explores the themes in one’s work perhaps it will provide a clue. Peeling Oranges explores ideology, nationalism, love. For Love of Anna explores options to the monolith of corruption and capitalism. The Avenue explores the concept of suburbia. Finding Penelope explores the anima and true art. Knowing Women explores sexuality and my latest novel just completed American Doll explore how a great tragedy (9/11) impacted on the lives of people. I am interested in the why of things so my targeted audience would be men and women of any age who are interested in exploring the human condition and what motivates us and its corollary, what deters us in the brief time allotted to us. A non-fiction book, a study of poetry called Clearing the Tangled Wood: Poetry as a Way of Seeing the World perhaps sums it up it is a striving to produce art in an individual and original way, of putting some order on the mess.

IDI – What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt maybe to tickle our tastebuds?

JL – I have recently completed a new novel American Doll (70,000 words) which is seeking a publisher. It is about how 9/11 opens a Pandora’s Box on an Irish/American family.

When Laura Calane of New York comes to Ireland to further her studies and to live in what her father considers a safer environment after 9/11, she discovers that the land of her ancestors is not the haven she had believed it to be. When she meets social worker Danny Faraday, she is torn between her attraction towards him and the emotional blackmail of her uncle Thady who is domiciled in Ireland and who never lets her forget that he saved her father’s life in a terrorist attack in New York in 1993.

The story is about loss, losing someone as Con the firefighter did with his wife in 9/11; it’s also about hope, never giving up and knowing when to give up and let go, and how the process is in danger of repeating itself in the new generation with Laura his daughter going missing in Ireland, and Danny’s parents who were also lost at sea. It’s also about coming into maturity as in the case of Danny with the help of Laura suffering the grief, and with Laura, herself growing out of her family-engendered chimeras.


She had to go once a week, on Tuesdays as it happened, to visit her uncle Thady. She was mysteriously vague about the location. ‘What does it matter where it is?’ she said. She was after a lecture and they were sharing a bench in the afternoon sun across from the campanile of Trinity.

‘So what’s the big deal about visiting an uncle?’ he said.

She told him that he was her dadʼs older brother who used to work in the fire department with him. He saved her dad’s life in 1993 when terrorists drove a van into the basement of the World Trade Center, killing six people. Her dad was annoyed with the government, believing this was a precursor and warning which the government didnʼt heed and so were not prepared for the ʻBig Oneʼ when it came. Her mom was upstairs at the time of the explosion working as a waitress in Windows of The World. She wasnʼt injured; she got out okay (Laura strangely seemed to Danny to be speaking regretfully here), but her dadʼs leg got caught under a falling beam and her uncle Thady with his great strength lifted the beam off her dadʼs leg and carried him to safety over his shoulder in the firefighterʼs hoist.

‘So that’s it,’ Danny said, ʻthatʼs why you have to visit?ʼ

She sighed.

ʻDonʼt you like visiting him?ʼ

IDI – There is a lot of commotion about the effect ebooks are having on brick and mortar booksellers. Do you think ebooks have reached their climax or do you believe they still have room to expand in the market?

JL – Ebooks have many advantage not least the ease in which one can order a book and for school children it reduces the heavy load of school bags. I don’t see them as oppositional but as complementary to the physical book. Looking at the younger generation even newspapers are being read digitally now.

IDI – How important are your reading habits to your writing habits?

JL – Reading is the life-force of writing. I don’t understand how anyone can write if they don’t read. Reading provides the breath and insight to foster serious writing. It’s a form of osmosis. The more you read, the more you soak up subliminally into your own work.

IDI – What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about writing? How has this helped you as a writer?

JL – There are many genres of writing and I explored this in my novel Finding Penelope. It is about a successful romance novelist who was providing the de rigueur happy endings for her agent until tragedy struck her own family. Her writing changed after that as she then realized that with the brevity of life she could only be true to herself in what she wrote. That applies to me as well.

IDI – What genre do you write in and why did you choose it?

JL – I write accessible literary fiction. The fact that I’m also a published poet informs this. I am interested in language as much as plot— the beauty of it, the poetry of it, its lyricism. I don’t like the division of literature into highbrow and lowbrow. There is just good writing and bad as far as I am concerned, as there was with the pre-modernists, with Dickens and Hardy and the Russian novelists.

IDI – When did you decide to write a book?

Peeling Oranges

Peeling Oranges

JL – I was always into writing. I kept diaries since childhood. I studied Spanish in college and I was fascinated by the parallel between Spain and my own country Ireland as they struggled for democracy after two civil wars. I also was after I left school examining all the things I had been taught: religion, ideology, nationalism, the Gaelic language (I was taught everything through Gaelic at school). So all these things melded into my first novel Peeling Oranges which came out in 2007 and was republished and translated into several languages in 2014.

IDI – Who’s your target audience? What aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

JL – This is a very important question for promoting one’s work and a difficult one to answer. If one explores the themes in one’s work perhaps it will provide a clue. Peeling Oranges explores ideology, nationalism, love. For Love of Anna explores options to the monolith of corruption and capitalism. The Avenue explores the concept of suburbia. Finding Penelope explores the anima and true art. Knowing Women explores sexuality and my latest novel just completed American Doll explore how a great tragedy (9/11) impacted on the lives of people. I am interested in the why of things so my targeted audience would be men and women of any age who are interested in exploring the human condition and what motivates us and its corollary, what deters us in the brief time allotted to us. A non-fiction book, a study of poetry called Clearing the Tangled Wood: Poetry as a Way of Seeing the World perhaps sums it up it is a striving to produce art in an individual and original way, of putting some order on the mess.

IDI – How much time/effort do you give to social media as a means of self-promotion?

Clearing the Tangled Wood

Clearing the Tangled Wood

JL – Too much time of late; it is eating into my creative energy. I find myself looking at emails before I start writing in the mornings. I am new to it; I have set up a blog that no one responds to; when I post it on Facebook or LinkedIn I get some responses. I seem to have built up a large clientele with positive feedback and excellent reviews but it is frustrating in that it doesn’t seem to improve sales. Some of my books are being translated and Paula Sanchez who translated Peeling Oranges into Spanish even set up a Facebook page totally dedicated to this book https://www.facebook.com/esjameslawless . However, pressing a like is mere tokenism. I wish I knew the secret to successful promotion. Maybe it’s a slow process and I need to me more patient.

IDI – What’s the best advice ever given to you, and by whom?

JL – Two pieces of advice if I may. One I received when I was an undergraduate; my lecturer in Gaelic, a kindly matronly lady commented on my essay by announcing to the class, Tuigeann sé cad is filíocht ann– he understands what poetry is. This had a hug impact on me; it boosted my confidence at a tender age and inspired me to write.

Another was when studying for my MA later I asked the professor when we were doing construction theory if there is such a thing as a universally accepted work of art. The professor winked. That wink made me think of so much stuff— sometimes mediocre— orchestrated by media and rich benefactors which otherwise might not have seen the light of day. Which brings us back to power and the flowers born to blush unseen. So much good material is produced but because it does not have the back up of media or clique elites. it doesn’t gets it due reward. So that professor’s wink spurs me on as it made me realize that just because something is extolled in the media, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best of its kind.

IDI – Have you ever wanted to give up? What stopped you?

JL – Yes I am nearly at that stage now with frustration and failure to make it as they say. It is a really hard slog and sometimes, despite my getting great commendations for my work, I realize talent is not enough. You need a thick neck or luck or cuteness and then you have to lick up to the people in the know. I find those thing very difficult to do. Despite being a hybrid writer and being published by small publishers, I might as well be independent, as a small publisher does very little to promote one and naturally is limited in resources. And the big publishers are mere conglomerates now and take no risks for art’s sake. They seem for the most part to churn out tried and tested works. I sometimes think I am in the wrong era firstly because I am a middle-aged heterosexual male writer and also perhaps because a few generations ago publishers were less agenda-driven and were more personable and adventurous.

IDI – I think we’re all looking for that magical combination or the day when all of our stars align. I too have won awards, but have yet to see J.K. Rowlings-type fortune. I write for myself… the money I make is a bonus. I hope  you stick it out…

Tell us a little about yourself. (What you do for a living, for fun, to relax.)

JL – I write full time now. I used to teach but took early retirement. I like to garden, play tennis and walk every day either along the canal bank in County Kildare or in the mountains of Wes Cork where I reside sometimes. I seem to be a person who functions two thinks at a time. Even as a kid when my aunt would call, and my father would be at work, I would eavesdrop on her conversation with my mother, conspiratorially delivered in those patriarchal days. And later as a young adult I remember in Germany playing the card game Schnoutz while simultaneously reading Jude the Obscure. It’s almost as if one reality is not enough. That’s why I’m a writer, I guess, creating alternative worlds.

IDI – One last question. In your opinion, what defines a great book?

JL – To find a great book can be serendipitous. To establish it in the canon requires influence. A great book is one that sticks with you over the years. From my childhood reading, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain are like old friends. Then on maturing there are writers one returns to time and again, Turgenev, Chekhov, de Maupassant, Tolstoy, Cervantes, Joyce, Woolf. So what have these writers’ books got in common if anything and are they great or have they been made to appear great? Are they universally accepted as works of art. All I can say with any certainty is that a great book has staying power. It may not even be recognized in its own time which gives hope to all aspiring writers— how often do we realize the worth of things in hindsight. These writers I read at a pristine time in reading before the ubiquity of technological interference. Books in my maturing years held a hegemony over one’s mind. So will future generations see things in the same way? Will there be a dumbing down or perhaps a greater honesty? If Joyce were to submit Ulysses to publishers in the present climate, would it be accepted?  It is for each new generation to answer that question.

IDI – I would like to thank James for appearing on Ink Drop Interviews and share a few on his contacts links with readers.









Kathy Reinhart is the author of the award-winning Lily White Lies, The Red Strokes, and other works under the pen name Nova Scott.

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Lily White Lies

Lily White Lies

Elizabeth Love

Hello everyone!


It’s been a while since I posted a new interview. I have been busy with a few projects of my own, including my latest release, THE RED STROKES, which is available at Amazon. By the way, it’s on sale for one more day before going back up to regular price, so now’s the time to check it out.

In the meantime, I have recently had a few requests for interviews, so I have dusted off the questionnaire and would like to introduce you to Elizabeth N. Love, (also known as ‘Bee Love’) author of POURING THE CUP.

IDI – Tell us, Elizabeth, What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt maybe to tickle our tastebuds?

ENL – I am working on a follow-up to Pouring the Cup entitled The Dark Days that brings closure to the open ends from the first book, such as what happens to the Prophets who are left alive after the Stormflies break loose, and will Axandra and Quinn’s romantic relationship continue. The next work also continues to describe the culture and traditions of the people who separated themselves from humanity centuries ago, looking at both similarities and differences. I worked on the first chapters vigorously this week.  The draft is still rough, but here is an excerpt:

Spring lagged this year, sprinkling the beginning days with plummeting temperatures, thundering snow storms and rapid warm flashes that melted the white away within hours of the snow’s accumulation. The climate appeared to be exhibiting all the symptoms of a bout with river fever, the hot and cold flashes that plague anyone who falls victim to the annual virus. During the warm respites, people availed themselves of the sunny, though damp, outdoors, preparing for Spring’s intense work of planting fields and repairing buildings.

”Do you remember seeing any children at the Prophet Haven?” Ty Narone asked Quinn Elgar from across the wrought iron table on the veranda protruding from the back of the People’s Hall. The wide, flat raised surface overlooked the drowsy garden. When the plants lost their leaves and blooms to sleep away the winter, the garden appeared sad and forlorn.

The two gentlemen shared an unusual meeting, one requested by Narone. The Commander of the Palace guard brought with him a three page report with the intent of enlightening Elgar to its contents. Although he accepted his orders from his only superior, the Protectress, Ty had not yet come completely to terms with Mr. Elgar’s residence within the Palace. Elgar’s continued presence caused the security officer a great deal of consternation. They rarely spoke to one another and behaved guardedly in each other’s presence. Ty assumed Elgar’s lack of communication meant the man was hiding something. Quinn described the Commander as reticent when asked.

Quinn took several minutes to review his memories of the Haven, having only briefly visited the forsaken mountain home of the Prophets a few months ago. From the moment they stepped into the split mountain beneath the Great Storm, Quinn observed every detail, every step, every face, every doorway. Of the 430-odd Prophets living in the stone city, not one of them appeared to be less than thirty years old. No children, and no evidence of children.

IDI – Before THE DARK DAYS came POURING THE CUP. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

ImageENL – The lead protagonist of Pouring the Cup is an imperfect woman, but not in a stereotypical way. She has been created with a number of faults and she is an introvert who would like nothing better than to hide in her cottage most of her life.  Not by choice, she is destined to be the vessel for a very strong parasite and she has to find a way to live with the burden or find a release, which forces her into an extroverted lifestyle as a public figure.

IDI – Are your stories plot or character driven? 

ENL – My stories are much more character-driven, because I want to express the characters reactions to their role within the plot. I love the study of the mind and emotion and all of the contradictions that go with it. For instance, in Pouring the Cup, the protagonist’s need to isolate herself from most of society makes her transition to a public figure much more difficult. She is a classic introvert, so socializing can be an exhausting task, plus she happens to be harboring another sentient entity inside her body. That secret makes her more withdrawn. Opening up and revealing that secret to the ones she loves drives the plot forward.

IDI – Something every writer is asked to the point of exhaustion – where do you get your ideas?

ENL – Ideas come from everywhere, but I usually pull from reading other books or the NPR news. The idea for Pouring the Cup started decades ago when I first became interested in the concept of human beings leaving Earth to find a new home. The questions were “Why did they leave?” “Where did they go?” and “What did they do when they got there?”  But instead of focusing on the journey or the initial arrival on the new planet, I set up a society that’s been thriving for centuries and is well established in its ways. So then the question becomes “How did they use their history to better themselves?” In this case, the people left because they were persecuted for who they were, similar to the Pilgrims, and they built a society where no one would feel unwanted or left out.

IDI – I’ve heard argument for each side, but when writing, do you outline or sketch the entire book before you feel comfortable enough to begin your draft or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your jockeys?

ENL – For any of my stories, I first form a goal in my head of where I would like to see the story end up, but this is just a guideline. I’ve tried outlining, but then I feel like I’ve already written the story. I pick a starting point, create a character and let the character lead me down the path. Pouring the Cup originally started out with dragons and the main character had children. Later on, both of those things disappeared in favor of the protagonist’s personality.

IDI – When people say ‘why do you write’, I reply ‘I’m either creative, or a pathological liar. I haven’t decided yet’, just for shock value. Actually, I think (in part) that writing is almost like being schizophrenic, but without the personalities coming out verbally. Seriously, we ‘become’ the people we write, at least for a time. We have to feel what they feel, think what they think, know what they know… so how can we not ‘be’ them? Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?

ENL – I agree that our characters represent personalities within the writer. In order to write a character well, you have to let yourself think the same way they do, even if only temporarily. I use writing to express parts of myself that people in the real world don’t see much of. My co-workers believe I’m a patient, kind, easy-going person.  In reality, my patience is about a hairs-width and I can say some pretty mean things. Writing lets me work out some of the dark parts, or just explore questions I have about my own personality in a safe zone.

IDI – Pen and paper or computer and Word? The bustle of Barnes and Noble or the quiet of your study? Alone or within a writing group? Tell us, what is your most productive/inspiring setting?

ENL – Pen and paper are a lot more portable for those inconvenient moments when an idea strikes, such as waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting a waiting room, or sitting in the park. Plus, I like to see what I scratched out in case I want to use something later on. Typing in the computer from my handwritten notes is a great first editing process.  I can type a lot faster than I can think.

IDI – I know I have ideas for stories that cross over the lines of my usual genre. Do you have any such ideas wandering around and if so, what’s your outlook of genre crossing?

ENL – In my opinion, genres are arbitrary divisions in literature and music. Not every book fits neatly into one genre, and not every writer wants to stick to one genre.  I like to write science fiction, fantasy, and main-stream, sometimes poetry. I hope to complete my non-fiction biographical in the near future, which is a far cry from science fiction. Each book should be taken on its own merit. If a writer wants to expand and express themselves in a different area, go for it.

IDI – Everyone has their own dream. What’s yours… best seller, feature film adaption, fame, riches, Oprah, Pulitzer?  

ENL – It’s safe to say I’ve imagined all of these things and what I would do with them. Most realistically, my husband has said that my book would actually make a strikingly-visual film, giving substance to the somewhat ethereal aspects of telepathy and the energy-based creatures that are the overall antagonists of the story. I even have several pieces of music picked out that would form a powerful soundtrack for such a movie.

IDI – What advice would you give to new/unpublished authors? 

ENL – Writing is really the easy part and the fun part – and if it isn’t fun for you, don’t keep doing it – but putting your work out for public view is scary. Ignore the negativity and embrace the positivity and just keep at it. Be persistent. Your audience is out there.

IDI – As a writer, what is the one thing you would most like people to know about you?

ENL – I am still trying to decide if this is all in my head, but I have a feeling that when people see that I’m from Kansas, they immediately dismiss my writing as too Christian or Conservative, of which it is neither. I’ve always felt like people who live outside of Kansas have the idea that we all live on isolated farms in a more or less cultural dessert. I have rural upbringings, but I’ve never fit into the mold of the small-town girl. I learned from my mother to read and learn about things outside of my immediate realm. My writing is actually quite humanist, and some might even say socialist. I believe in equality for everyone and hope that one day stronger communities will solve many of our social problems.

IDI – I agree with your sentiments, equality and stronger communities. Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your work and thoughts with my readers. I wish you the very best in all of your writing endeavors.


Kathy Reinhart is the author of three novels, MISSOURI IN A SUITCASE (under the pen name, Nova Scott), the award-winning LILY WHITE LIES, and the current release, THE RED STROKES. Connect with Kathy through her WEBSITE where you can learn more about her, her books, and how to request your own Ink Drop Interview.


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