And welcome back to the summer bash. I hope you all will have a great July 4th holiday. In the meantime, my guest this week is Heather Greenis. Welcome Heather.:-)
Hi Kat - thanks for hosting me. You certainly got me thinking with your questions. I’m a ponderer and you succeeded in getting my mind going. On some blogs the silly me surfaces. You hit the more serious and thought provoking me. The me that enjoys some great conversations.
01: What is the first story you’ve published. Tell us a little bit about it.
Natasha’s Dream which launched a few days ago, June 21 is my first book. It’s the first of a four part saga. It was never my attempt to write a saga, but the story and characters continued to evolve in my mind. Suddenly, well, maybe not suddenly, knowing I spent 10+ years writing, I had a saga.
02: What inspired the story?
Initially I dreamed about the two main characters. My dream was the ending of ‘Natasha’s Dream’. I couldn’t get the characters out of my head and I began thinking about a life that would lead to events happening. I had a story.
03: Do you have a writing process? If so what is it?
I write when I feel inspired. When I have an idea. I write my thoughts and go back a million times to reword, and rewrite. This section would be much better if... I want this to happen, but for it to make sense, this should have happened back when... No wonder it took me ten years.
04: What do you currently have in the works? Give us a small preview.
My saga is keeping me busy
Natasha’s Dream has just launched
Natasha’s Diary begins the edit process this month and is due to launch in December
Natasha’s Hope is due to launch in March 2014
Natasha’s Legacy - I hope to submit it by the end of the month. With any luck, it will be accepted and launch June 2014.
My focus will be ensuring this happens.
05: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Favourite authors - I don’t really have a favourite. I enjoy a good gripping drama or a bit of suspense. I love reading novels that are based in another country. It’s an opportunity to learn a bit about other cultures. Occasionally I want something light. A comedy or something I don’t have to think about.
Currently I’m reading books by muse authors and authors I have connected with through my FB page. I’m enjoying the books by relatively unknown authors. I’m also widening my reading genre list a bit. Some I’m enjoying, others, not so much. Personal preference - I’m not writing reviews for books that simply aren’t my cup of tea. That isn’t fair to the author or their potential readers.
06: Do you have one author in particular who inspired your writing career? Who and why?
07: Are your stories based on real events or people?
My story isn’t, but different events in their lives are. As my husband read my book he would comment, “I remember that happening’, or ‘I remember that conversation’ You never know.
08: How much research goes into your work?
I do a fair bit of research. The Natasha series has two story lines. One is modern, the other is not. Technology is mentioned, but can’t be discussed before it was invented. I messed up with one piece that Nancy my editor caught. I had the characters using a gramophone to play records. It was invented, but the quality sucked when I was using it. It hadn’t been tweaked enough. Oooops. Needing music, a few sections were edited to have characters humming or singing. Clothing is big. What was fashionable?
Common terms were also interesting. I had a good cyber discussion with Nancy to keep one. My main characters are avid readers of novels and poetry. If they weren’t, the word couldn’t be used. Now I have your curiosity, haven’t I.
Never say never, but I don’t plan another book that steps back in time although I enjoyed writing the entire series. It’s my baby.
09: Have you ever killed off a character based on someone real? If so why?
Not yet, but you never know. Never piss off an author.
10: If you could visit any period in history, what time would you go to? Why?
Probably the 60s. People were standing up for causes they believed in. They were working together even though most of them were stoned. (considering I was never tempted by the drug scene, I doubt I would have jumped in with both feet if I had been around, but I would have been active with the cause) It was a time with less wide spread greed. Less me, me, me. There was more personal interaction. Today, we blame it on being busy. It’s convenient to email, and text. I’m terrible, I email before I pick up the telephone because the people I want to talk to are busy. My parents are the exception. I phone them.
Even in the world of publishing, I’ve never spoken to the Lea, my editors Nancy & Teale or my cover artist, Marion. I would not recognize the sound of their voice if I heard them from across the room. All communication has been cyber. Technology is a wonderful thing, and we complain when we’re without out, but...
11: If you could gather any three people in the world, living or dead together, whom would you want to meet and talk with?
Three amazing leaders
Mahatma Gandhi - he is described as a spiritual/political leader and humanitarian. He made some mistakes, but he fought for the people. I admire his compassion, his will and his perseverance.
Jesus - a blue collar working man whose goal was to help the people - need I say more.
I would take Mother Teresa.
President Obama - Another man with a huge heart, full of compassion, not greed. I wish he was Canadian and could run this country. Canada would soar under his leadership. I admire him and his wife Michelle.
It would be an amazing conversation with some laughter. Three of us have a sense of humour although you’re not seeing mine in this particular conversation. You have me thinking and pondering.
Notice I did not mention our own so called leader. Thanks but no thanks. He isn’t known for listening or too much of anything else.
I’m in trouble if you’re a fan of republican. No interest sitting with anyone from that party, but I would love to sit with Bill Clinton and or Al Gore. Obama, Clinton and Gore. I’d just sit back and listen, taking it all in. Once I got past being intimidated, if I got past being intimidated, I’d be in my glory.
12: What do you do for fun when you aren’t busy writing?
Fun! In the summer I garden, putter in my gardens. Seeing the weeds, I should be attacking my gardens with vengeance. I learned how to golf this spring so perhaps we’ll take the clubs out once or twice.
I’m involved with the charity “The Healing Cycle” raising funds for Hospice Palliative care. My best friend died a few years ago and raved about the care she received. I’m fundraising in Patti’s memory. Our big event takes places two days after I launch. I’ll be busy that weekend. I plan to start volunteering with our local hospice once this series has a manageable schedule.
During the winter months, I curl. The club is active October through April. I manage the junior league (4 coaches teaching 30 kids ages 6-16) with two hour lessons once a week. I play 2 to 3 times a week, with different teams. One night is competitive. My husband is also a curler which is wonderful even though we play on different teams. A social sport, there is a lot of laughter on the ice. I love it!
In between, we love to travel. Meeting people, exploring places, investigating things. Life is never dull. I wouldn’t want it to be.
13: What is the one thing people believe about writers that upsets you?
A little too early for that question. Ask me again in a year or two... or five. I don’t have enough experience to give a knowledgeable answer
I’ll turn that one back on you!
14: Is there any genre you haven’t written that you’d like to try your hand at?
Where to begin!! - Someday, I’d like to write a comedy. The Natasha series had comical lines to lighten a scene, but it’s a drama. With any luck, it will bring a tear or two to your eye.
I’d like to try a kids book. Not young adult, but kids picture book. Something Mommy Daddy or whoever can read to them at bedtime.
I’d love to work with someone and co-write a book. Something creepy. I don’t read this genre, nor do I plan to. I don’t need inspired to get bad dreams. I have ideas but need help to get them on paper. I wouldn’t know where to begin writing this.
15: If you were independently wealthy what is the one place on Earth you’d most like to visit? Why?
India, Africa, even Northern Canada. It breaks my heart knowing there is so much humanitarian work that needs done. So much suffering in the world. I’d like to be known for making a difference. I was put on this earth for a reason, I’m not getting any younger, and I haven’t scratched the surface. The best is yet to come, I hope.
16: What is your favorite color? Hum- I think that depends on my mood and where I am.
17: What is your favorite food? Chocolate - dark chocolate, but not bitter. Yummy!
18: What is your favorite movie? - Sound of Music. Here I go back to the sixties again. I’m too young for this.
19: What is your favorite TV show? Last year I would have said ‘Flashpoint’ but they took if on the air, the rotten poops. Not impressed.
‘Doc Zone’ although my answer will probably be different a year from now. Flavour of the month. A program that makes me think. It’s weekly themes are all over the map.
20: What is your favorite holiday? Christmas - life doesn’t interfere at Christmas. Family gets together and that’s important, especially with nieces and nephews getting older. We stopped exchanging gifts and give donations to the receivers choice of charity. Obviously, money intended for this household goes to the Healing Cycle. It feels good knowing we are helping other, hoping giving someone out there a reason to smile, someone like Patti.
Natasha’s Dream - June 21, 2013
Natasha' s Diary - December 2013
Natasha's Hope - March 2014
Natasha's Legacy - submitted...