Monica M Brinkman, http://monicabrinkmanbooks.webs.com/, author of The Turn of the Karmic Wheel invited me to participate in this blog hop tour. She is a member of The Writers Center and The Missouri Writers Guild. Her short stories and articles have been published throughout the internet in such places as A Word For You Press, Fifty Authors From Fifty States, and Five Monkeys, to name a few. You will also find true-life experiences of the paranormal, along with other tales and articles, at her column, A Touch of Karma, at Authorsinfo .com. Ms Brinkman hosts a weekly radio broadcast, It Matters Radio each Thursday @ 9PM ET. Check out the web site @ www.itmattersradio.com.
The tour requires that I answer four questions about my writing process:
I’m on the final stretch of completing the sequel to my historical novel, A House Near Luccoli, published by All Things That Matter Press, which imagines a friendship between the real-life 17th century charismatic Italian composer, Alessandro Stradella, and the story’s fictional protagonist, Donatella. Its current title, which I recently changed, is To A Strange Somewhere Fled, and it takes Donatella to England in May of 1682 and the small but stately Oxfordshire village of Wroxton. There she encounters the residents of Wroxton Abbey, both active in the Court of Charles II: Lord Francis North, Keeper of the Great Seal, and his younger brother, Roger, who is on the King’s Council. Of course, she is haunted by past possibilities (and impossibilities), the lure of music and its masters not done with her yet. The divine Henry Purcell and a few other composers and musicians of the time make appearances, including one (or two) Donatella first encountered in the house near Luccoli. You can read more about A House Near Luccoli and its sequel here.
Over the past months I’ve also had two illustrated Kindle Short Stories published by All Things That Matter Press: The Snow White Gift and The Library Next Door. You can read more about them here. Last year I self-published an illustrated poetry journal, A Friendship with Flowers. I’m mulling around some ideas for shorter works and for my next novel; possibilities include Christina Rossetti, an English poet of the late 19th century and the sister of the poet and painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; or Mary Webb, an English poet and novelist of the early 20th century. Of course, who knows what will take my fancy when the time comes to embark on another novel’s journey!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I would say that it differs from the work of those who fit comfortably into “the box” of a specific genre, who need to belong to “the club” of that genre and can easily promote themselves as an author in that genre. I didn’t consciously set out to write historical fiction, certainly not exclusively. Perhaps I gravitate towards it because I’m “an old-fashioned girl” in many ways that include my love for classic literature, early music, and folk traditions. But it’s the stories and characters that have suggested or, in the case of my novel, A House Near Luccoli, dictated the period and geography. I think the past can be “brought forward” without compromising its truth – that contemporary writing can be a conduit for understanding and appreciating history better. I knew a musician who sang and produced music of the Renaissance with respect for and knowledge of its origins, but who interpreted and performed it with a progressive freshness and appeal that took it out its scholarly shell and brought it into the lives of many who would otherwise never have been introduced to it – a worthwhile legacy, I think.
Rather than get too comfortable and staid with any one genre, I prefer to be a writer who, hopefully, appeals to more adventurous readers: those who enjoy my spirit of exploration because it feeds and satisfies their own.
Why do I write what I do?
I find my voice in poetry and prose, in silence and retreat, in truth and imagination. I find my subjects and characters in observation and study, music, art, nature and the contradictions of the creative spirit. I love to wander in and out of the past to discover stories of interest and meaning for the present. I write from my love of language and the belief that what is left unsaid is the most affecting of all.
How does your writing process work?
I’m really not that conscious of a process, never quite sure how my emotions are going to affect me at any given time! Well, I’m a Cancer, after all!
But once I admitted (especially to myself) how vital writing was to my life, I realized I must dedicate specific time to it. This means I have to allow whole days when there is nothing to take me out of the house, like my day job or shopping or even going out to dinner or other social distractions. I absorb the energy of environments and others too easily and find that either the anticipation or (especially) after-effect of being “out in the world” disturbs my need to be alone in an imaginative state of possibilities – so essential for my writing to progress as I wish it to. I write best in the late afternoon and evening: with prose, mostly on the computer, while my poetry is usually born of scribbles on scraps of paper. The fiction I’ve written so far has required much research; I do some as I’m writing, but initially it takes months of investigating and then reading and ruminating before it flows into a fictional narrative – in my experience like climbing a mountain to see for miles and miles, only to come down and live in one small piece of that view. I do try to exercise my writing ‘muscles’ every day in some way; certainly, having a blog and other social media interactions, especially with other writers and artists, has helped me to do so. Writer’s block happens to me less than it used to, but there are times when I put a writing project such as a novel aside for a little while in a kind of fasting to make me hungry for it again.
And now …
… it is my pleasure to introduce you to three wonderful authors who have agree to take part in this blog tour. I invite you to visit their sites and see what their imaginations and talents have been up to!
Mary Clark is a writer specializing in memoir, historical fiction, literary fiction, and poetry. Her books include: Tally: An Intuitive Life, All Things That Matter Press, August 2013; Children of Light, a poetry novel, Ten Penny Players on Scribd.com; and Covenant, historical fiction novelette, Kindle ebook. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in Jimson Weed, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, Lips, East River Review, and other literary publications. Currently, she is working on a memoir of the years she worked at St. Clement’s Church on West 46th Street in Manhattan, in the neighborhood colloquially known as Hell’s Kitchen.
Wendy Joseph vies with her characters for a life of romance and adventure. A deckhand on merchant ships, she has outrun pirates off of Somalia, steered ships large and small through typhoons and calms from the Bering Sea to Shanghai, and helped rescue seals on the Pacific coast. Believing history must be lived, she has crewed the 18th century square-rigger Lady Washington, the steamer Virginia V, the WWII freighter SS Lane Victory, and the moored battleship USS Iowa. She has shared her food with Third World workers and starving cats. She sings sea shanties, her own songs, and with classical and medieval choirs. Her passion is for works of the imagination, for telling a really good story, and for connecting with the minds and souls of readers and taking them to a magnificent and finer place. Researching The Witch’s Hand in France, she traced the paths of her characters over the terrain they covered to get the description right, and dug up old documents for historical accuracy. She holds two Master’s in English and can splice a twelve strand line. Her poetry and prose have appeared in the literary journals Bricolage, Ha!, Westwind, and Nomos. Her plays Gargoyles, The Hamlet Interview, Oil in the Sound and Booking Hold were produced to acclaim in Seattle, and she appeared in the movie Singles. Ashore she holds court with her cats Jean Lafitte and Bijou in the wilds of Washington State.
Please visit Wendy’s blog at: http://wjoseph924.blogspot.com/
Kim Rendfeld, a former journalist and current copy editor for a university public relations office, has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon and The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar (soon to be released – read advanced praise), both set eighth century Francia. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cats. They have a daughter and three granddaughters.
Please visit Kim’s blog at: http://kimrendfeld.wordpress.com/
As Valentines Day is fast approaching, here is a little poem I wrote a few years ago:
Romancing the Word
You constantly long for the right word,
though how could you ever
be content with just one-
courting the idea of a sentence,
from the first chapter through many more
to the end?
This is the romance
you live for now
and perhaps always have,
for your heart
has been stolen
by your imagination
than your reality.
Don’t give up
because your love
and it seems no one will ever know
how it breathed
as though nothing else mattered.
to your calling
and don’t regret
a word of it,
for each one
that comes to you
takes your hand
of fitting your vision
and pleasing your voice
like diamonds forever.
©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.