20 May 2017

Hero Lost Anthology | Meet The Authors, Pt 3

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.

This is the third 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.


Yvonne Ventresca >> Web | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram <<

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

Besides my family and loved ones, I love genealogy. I find it fascinating to learn about history and the stories of my ancestors.

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

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to balance my time between creating my stories and marketing them once they’re published. Getting the word out about books can spawn an almost unlimited number of tasks! Over the years, I’ve tried to follow the advice that getting another book published can be the best thing for sales of previous works. To help keep me aware, I track my writing-related time and try to make sure that my creative hours outnumber the marketing and “business” ones.

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

I began studying Isshinryu karate twelve years ago. Testing for my black belt was a courageous endeavor!

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

I love almost all cookies, with the exception of thin mints and the technical kind that get left behind on the computer.

L. Nahay >> Web | Blog | Twitter | Instagram  <<

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

Other than writing, wow. I've been sitting on this question for an extensively long time (sorry!). I think I have several! For the last twenty-two years I've worked in veterinary medicine. At 16, my career path was either a degree in English, or a degree in veterinary technology, and I chose the latter because I wanted to keep the writing part of my life a passion and not a job (because I'd written since I could, and did not want to ever turn it into a chore). I've recently discovered 'medical records' I'd made when I was about 8 or 9 for frogs and turtles and snakes I had caught while romping through Wisconsin, which is where we use to spend our summers. But veterinary medicine, unlike human medicine, is not something kept strictly business. I've brought my patients, injured wildlife, broken cats, and homeless cold-bloodeds home with me a LOT!

I also have a busy creative mind (as most of us writers do) and keep myself occupied with various projects. I can do a little bit of everything, and I love figuring out new things. Over Christmas, I turned old lightbulbs into steampunked hot air balloons. Those turned out awesome! At the moment, I'm setting my attention higher, and am plotting an indoor pond for the bullfrog. This will require new toys/tools (haha!).

Which brings me to another. My goal was always to have a ginormous garden when I 'grew up'. Years of renting and constant moving kept putting that off. The first house I bought didn't have space for it: one yard went to the dogs, the other to the kids, and the third to the turtles. I've always kept house plants, though not in excess. The last house I rented (that was a nightmare), I went all out on outdoor container gardening, and that was beautiful! (because, tea, you know). And then the house failed. My current house is a keeper, and from the day I signed the papers, I've been filling him with house plants until I can get going on the outside. I want a jungle. The monsters think I'm slightly crazy, but it's gonna be great. I've dipped into carnivorous plants in the last couple weeks, and bought three more this morning! Which is hysterical if you factor in that I'm not a carnivore.

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

No matter how tedious or strenuous or emotionally vampiric it can sometimes become, writing is the easy part. Publishing and trying to get noticed is not.

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

Mmm. When I realized that I was no longer trapped and had the ability and capability to just go wherever I wanted, and that my car was my wings. I was in Southern Colorado for a festival that turned out to be a bust, and decided to go the opposite direction of home and just drive aimlessly through the Rockies. It was a beautiful, sunny June day and I did not want to go home. The roads were typical twisty turny mountain roads which was just cathartic to drive (it logically should NOT be a cathartic drive, if you've ever driven twisty turny steeply inclining mountain roads). After a few hours, I found myself in a campground. It was Father's Day, a Sunday, so by that time it was empty. I was newly divorced, the boys were with their dad, and I absolutely needed some mountain healing. But the dog was still at home. So I compromised, and drove home to grab the dog and my newly collected camping gear and made it back to the campground late into the night. I set us up and cooked dinner in pitch black. Even though my car was dead in the morning and actually returning home was something of a necessity and an ordeal, it was still the best weekend that sprouted many more. The following weekend I packed up the boys and took them to the same spot. The next month I broadened my wandering and we drove to Mount Rushmore and camped out for a week. I jumped at chances to drive home to Chicago from Colorado whenever possible, until returning permanently. And the first thing I did when a temporary job ended a couple years ago was pack up the boys again for a longer road trip to Florida. I want them to see that the boundaries we see are self made, and no one can tell us where we can or can't go.

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

Soft ones. Any flavor. I hate crispy cookies.

Mmm. I just delivered a bag of cookie mix to my 15 year old and told him to learn. I want some fresh-made cookies (made by someone other than me)!


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:

Barnes & Noble (print book)
Barnes & Noble (ebook)

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's the most adventurous thing you've done?

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  1. Great interview, Yvonne! Thank you for featuring us, Ellen :-)

    1. Glad to have had both of you participate. So interesting to learn more about both of you.

  2. Wonderful interview! I can imagine that testing for a black belt would be a courageous adventure!
    And, I love that bit of wisdom from L. Nahay - the boundaries we see are often ones that we make ourselves.
    Thank you, ladies!

  3. Karate! Impressive.
    L., that sounds like one amazing trip.

  4. I love these interviews Ellen! Yvonne, I think the black belt testing is really admirable. Lesleigh, I love you kind, adventurous nature :)

  5. I sure can relate to L's wanderlust and Yvonne's apprehension to being tested! Well done both for leading a happy and accomplished life. Our next house sit, the end of June will have a whole bunch of carnivorous plants, so that will be interesting as well.


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