Tag Archive | real books

Author Interview seventh question


And the last, best, and most visual question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Referring to either your most recent book release, or your current WIP, if you were to cast your characters, what actors would portray them? Tell us about the character, and why the actor/actress fits.

ROFL…my poor writers’ group members will tell you that I drive them nuts, not only casting my own characters, but almost forcing them to cast their stories as well. When I’m writing a story, I may cast someone by looks alone, or perhaps I’ll see him/her in a role that screamed my own. Often though, by the time you finish your story, that casted actor may be too old, may be starring in something else where you say, “What was I thinking??” I tend to cast because of movements or attitude. It always helps to SEE your character in motion, catch tics, mannerisms, even the speech patterns. That does not, however, mean if they have a southern accent, you can’t force them to use an Irish one. Also, sometimes I cast people from photos that fit, even though I may not have any idea who they are. I give you the cast of my latest release, Kate’s House.

Anson Mount as Ian Stuart(WITH the beard, his dimples drive me nuts. LOL)

Hair model as Kate

Skyler Samuels as Crysta

Colin Ford as Liam

Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Livvy

Jasika Nicole as Reggie

Blake Michael as Rocky Lando

Maria Cesaria Cordel Encantado as Jannette

Miss Cicely Tyson as Nannette

Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.
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Author Interview fifth question


Fifth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Pick five words to describe your writing style/voice… then tell us why you chose each word.

Irreverent–I’ve never been one to back down or believe or not believe something simply because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I draw characters who are the same way–be they children or old ghosts. Every character I create has at their core some belief system and they always follow it–good or ill. Which brings me to…

Emotional– All my stories are built around the character’s emotions. Their belief systems often drag them along from chapter to chapter and decide how they’ll react to whatever situation or other character they encounter. They will defend the things they think are important to the exclusion of many other “supposed to be important” things, and the resulting feelings–happy, sad, terrifying, and exhilarating–build the stories. This very often will include the emotions in the settings as well. I met an old lady once who smoked a cigar and drank moonshine. She was the most irreverent and the most fascinating woman I ever met. And that brings me to…

Lighthearted–In the immortal words from Legend, “there can be no good without evil….No love without hate….No heaven without hell….No light without darkness.” I take it a little further–“there can be no sorrow without happiness…not pain without humor” or you dissolve. Which brings me to…

Honest–While I adore fantasy, fairy tales and make believe, I can’t stand things or people who don’t ring true. I try very hard to make my characters breathe. I want them to walk off my pages, take my readers’ hands and pull them into the stories.

Southern–I am southern. I’ve lived in Delaware and Michigan, and still I came out southern. I lived in Florida and even though it’s south of Georgia, only certain parts of the state are really southern. Ninety percent of my characters are southern. Most bleed Georgia red clay, buttermilk and cornbread. There will be “sayings”. There will be accents–if not of the tongue, surely of the heart.

The Top Five Things I Discovered In 2014


We’re about to say goodbye to 2014. Each new year comes around and we measure the last with several different yardsticks. Did we accomplish the goals we set this time the year previous? Are we in better health than we were last year—physical and financial? How did our children fare? Our spouses? The rest of our families? Is our house clean? Does our car run, need work?

Are we happy? And if we are, more so or less so than the end of the year before?

Did we learn anything? About the world? About ourselves? Did we pick up any knowledge intensely valuable to no one but ourselves?*

We’re about to enter 2015, so how was my last year?

My family is doing well. Mark could be happier in his job, but he’s extremely good at what he does so even on days he thinks he’s not appreciated, deep down, he knows they’d be sorry if he up and left. There’s extreme satisfaction underneath the general frustration. So that’s good.

Courtney is happy. She has great friends who value her and whom she values. She’s good at what she does, and enjoys it—stress and all. This was the year she learned how to suffer fools—something I had hoped she wouldn’t have to learn for years off. She doesn’t enjoy it and she doesn’t suffer them well or because she wants to, but I won’t allow her to use my food processor to deal with them, so she doesn’t have much choice. I’m considering researching Voodoo doll construction for her.

Dusty has gone back to school, and is happier than he’s been in a long time. Thank you, Jesus. He’s happier and learned more in the first week of his first semester than he did the entire two and a half years at the other college in the other program. Does that mean he’s given up his music? Not at all, and my heart still sings when he plays me his newest composition.

Between my two babies, my home will forever be filled with art and music.

And me? Well, I learned a lot this year, about myself, my kids, and some things that are completely useless to everyone else but me.

Here are my top five:

 

  1. It’s the end of the year and while my house does not look like a murder scene it is by far not spotless. However, my kitchen is clean and my dishes are done, and soup is on. My bathrooms are clean. My laundry is done, mostly thanks to my sweet baby girl. My front room is presentable enough not to horrify people who come to my door. My floors need doing, but I’m not worried about that right now. If someone comes in and says, “Oh my hell, your floors are horrible!” I will hand them the cleaner and a mop, and we’ll have a lovely conversation while they are correcting the problem.
  2. I can rewrite and entire novel, creating an almost completely new storyline and edit it in 5 ½ weeks! But not without my right hand woman and professional ledge-talker-offerer…LOL Thank you, Pam. In addition, I have my very own—I don’t want to say bulldozer…LOL so we’ll just say…earth mover. She will not let me stand still or give up. She will not let me waste time grousing, and will not let me simply take what’s handed me. No, she goes out there and pushes me through the next door in my path, and if there isn’t one, she FINDS one. Thank you, Charly! And one can simply not survive without a cheerleader and I have one of the best. Thank you, Neva! I love you guys more than I can tell you. You are all three invaluable to me.
  3. Few people keep their promises and though we don’t like that they’re not honoring contracts or aren’t paying us like they should be, we can’t let it destroy our health. I’m learning to believe that Sister Karma bites everyone in the ass eventually. Their time is coming. Of course, the Voodoo doll research might come in handy here as well.
  4. I can still do my beloved needlework. I’ve not even tried to do any in almost  three years since I had a mild stroke. I figured if I, lover of words and trivia, have problems remembering names, dates and events, and can’t find certain words when I need them,  how on earth can I expect to remember how to take string and thread and yarn and create anything beautiful…or even not overly homely? In July, I finished a counted cross-stitch Paula Vaughn piece of a front porch swing. It was not only easy, it turned out very well. In October, I started a sweater for my niece–an intricate, heavily cabled, highly stylized jacket and matching hat. It was completely finished by the first of December, turned out just the way I intended, and not only fit her, but she loved it. And by the week before Christmas, I’d crocheted four purses with basinets and baby dolls inside for my great nieces. So, I consider that a major win.

 

*Side note that only knitters will understand or care about:  I started doing needlework when I was nine years old and after—we’ll just say –many decades of learning and teaching and doing, I would have thought I’d pretty much have learned it all, until Brittney’s sweater. I seldom work with knitting grid patterns, but this time necessity called for it. The intricate cable design worked with decreases from bottom to top, but the pattern grid remained the same size, and equal stitch graph from top to bottom. I discovered “ignore stitch” means exactly that when looking at legended stitches beside little blank squares. It’s all based on lace technique of making wrap stitches, or increases and decreases in the row previous. While it completely freaked out my holey, word-obsessed brain, once I “read” what the grid was saying, I was able to see it and had no problem. The key? TRUST the pattern’s author, because what you’re seeing in the grid, ISN’T what’s actually happening. Now that I’ve completely confused all you non-knitters, I’ll just say this was a monumental moment in my re-establishing my needlework capabilities…and we’ll return to subject at hand.

  1. I am a terrible, horrible, ridiculously BAD blogger. I SAY I’m going to blog every week. I promise my daughter that I’ll blog every week. She even goes so far as to write out little strips of paper with topics so all I have to do on weeks my brain’s not working or I can’t think of a topic, or am just to tired of lazy to come up with, I’ll have a topic at my fingertips. And still I am a horrible blogger. We’ve established I don’t particularly like blogging. And you can look at the few I’ve done and know, I am less than sporadic. Courtney just looks at me and shakes her head. She definitely has a better work ethic than I do. Now that said, her class schedule this next semester leaves me with a LOT less sit-in-the-car-and-wait time and a lot more potential writing time. And since I do have all those lovely colored topic papers, I will have less reason not to blog. Will I be able to push myself to blog more? Well, let’s just say, though I didn’t blog a lot last year, I did blog more than the year before.  So, there’s hope. There is hope.

 

Goodbye 2014. Thank you for the ups and downs, the good things and the bad things and the strength we gained from both. Thank you for the balance. God knows you’ve got to be tired and deserve your rest. 2015, I ask that you help us deal with the bad things some of us are carrying over in to the New Year, and the attention to enjoy all the good that comes our way.

I wish all of you readers love, strength, peace, enough happiness to overshadow whatever trials and sorrows you might face, and as always, enough of everything to make your life a fulfilling and satisfying one.

 

Time to get on with the soup…

Epic blogging failure?


Happy Easter…

Remember back in January I said I’d be blogging every week? Remember I said my daughter made all those wonderful little blogging topics? I’ll bet you’re wondering right now whether it surprises you most that I am blogging tonight, just after midnight on April 20, 2014, or that it’s not December 31, 2014. I’ll bet further, that this all looks like one of my typical blogging epic failures.

Not….

Just after I posted my blogging orders from Courtney, I received a lovely surprise—a three book deal from Blush. So, I spent the next five weeks rewriting the first book, the second five weeks finishing and editing the third book, and the next three weeks redoing portions and editing the second book. Since then, I’ve been sleeping. ;-D

The first book, SECRET INGREDIENT will be released on May 29, 2014. I’m thrilled and hope you will be pleased as well.

Easter. Spring. New beginnings. It’s taken me a long time to get back to work, but I’m ready now.

When will my next blog entry be? Hmm…well, Courtney’s semester ends around the first week in May. I should be able to squeeze one in between now and then. You know, after Easter and before painting the living room and my bedroom. (Mark chose the colors…we’ll call it wine for the bedroom and something called mushroom for our bath. Shall we take bets on how long it’ll be before he wakes up screaming that he’s sleeping in a hot pink room and discovers that mushroom is what the paint industry named the color to confuse poor men into thinking it’s not pink?)

Until then, have a wonderful Spring, dear readers!

 

Requiem for Brick and Mortar


Last week we found out that the front and back ball joints in my husband’s work truck were shot. It would take the better of all day to have it serviced. Yes! Date day! Turned out date day turned into date morning as they were finished by one. So, we had a lovely breakfast and spent the rest of the morning at the bookstore.

Now, I won’t mention which bookstore, but suffice it to say, of the 5 bookstores we had a year ago, it’s the only one left in town…or in any town within a good 50 miles. This was and is not my favorite, but beggars can’t be choosers as they say. Still, it was a lovely morning. Over the last year, we’ve mourned the death of 4 of our bookstores, including one a Mom and Pop store that’s been a fixture in our town since I was a girl. There are still used bookstores, textbook stores, and Christian bookstores, but the rest are gone.

I’d forgotten how much I’ve loved spending hours in the bookstore, browsing through titles I was able to pick up and hold, being able to rifle through a stack of magazines to decide which I want to buy. The last time I was in a bookstore was right before Halloween, so I’m sure I contributed to the demise, and I’m heartbroken to think that it may not be long before this last vestige of the bound and printed word will be gone as well. I realize I can still pick up a magazine at the checkout counter at the grocery store. God knows, I can’t possibly live without knowing who’s sleeping with whom or who the Middleton sister’s latest designer might be. How long will it be before we have no where to get a book written on paper with a cover on it? Will our public libraries be next?

Now, don’t get me wrong, my books have been published digitally, and I’m grateful. But it has been my dream, along with many other striving authors, to hold my printed book in my hands, see it on bookstore shelves, library shelves. When my last publisher closed its doors right after Thanksgiving, many of my colleagues chose to self-publish…a practice that was utterly taboo not so very long ago. If you self-published, you were basically saying to everyone, “I can’t get a traditional publisher, so I’ll just do it myself.” While many recent self-published authors still fall squarely into that category, despite the big bucks they are raking in, these authors aren’t among those. They are talented writers, their books solid stories and they deserve the attention and the money. Self-publishing is no longer embarrassing. It’s “the wave of the future.” Seems they used to say the same about Epublishing and now it appears to be.

I’m grateful for my digital titles, but I’m the first to admit I don’t love my reader. I understand it–a device for storing many titles. When packing for a trip, it’s a nice space saver. Students who are developing severe back problems from carrying mega-pound backpacks loaded down with countless textbooks would be overjoyed if all those text books weighed less than a pound. THAT would be a common sense use for Ereaders. But when I’m reading a book from it, it doesn’t feel like I’m reading for enjoyment. It feels the same as working on my computer. Work. I remember musical progression from vinyl to 8-tracks to cassettes to CDs, and swearing I would never go to the next thing, and I admit I still have many vinyl records I horde, still play and love. But I also have a slew of CDs…when you don’t have any other choice, you have to pick your battles. It just seems odd that Hollywood is choosing to remake every old TV show and cartoon we watched as children, movies that our parents loved. They are spending boatloads of money to preserve old movies. How long before we are reading only digital because we have no other choice? Is this progress? Or are we all so convinced that the world’s going to end at the end of the year, we just don’t care?

I will go back to the bookstore next week and spend more time. I will buy a few hardbacks and a few paperbacks because I never know when this will all be gone.