An interview with Kathryn Primm, DVM

2010-09-07 20.15.52 Kathryn Primm has dreamed of being a veterinarian since the age of five. She grew up in Chattanooga, graduating from Girls Preparatory School and accepting an academic scholarship from Mississippi State University where she completed a degree in Biological Sciences as well as her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

Applebrook Animal Hospital is a dream come true for her and she will laugh and say that it is built of her “blood, sweat and tears.”

As a pet owner of two cats and Dora, a rescued Great Dane, Dr. Primm knows the challenges of keeping fur-friends happy and healthy. Helping pets and people is her passion and her mission, loving the job is an extra bonus!

PJ: How long have you been writing?

KP: Probably two years, but I have always been a storyteller at heart.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

KP: I do not think I have reached that point yet.

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

No, I was unprepared for all the revisions, but the promotion has been very much more fun than I thought!

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?

KP: Haha, I have only just begun but I have a “day job” without which I would not write at all! I find it amusing that the public thinks that. We all accept that artists are starving for their craft,  but somehow writers are making the “big bucks”.

PJ: Wouldn’t you love to prove them right? Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

KP: Now my focus is more about marketing. Since I have published this book and I think it is worth sharing, I want to be sure that people know about it,

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?

KP: I am self published, but hired an editor who was wonderful and insisted that we not push publication until we agreed it was ready, so we did several months of revision. From the first word of the first story, it was around 18 months.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

KP: I would plan better now that I know more about publication. I would make sure that I submitted my manuscript to the appropriate reviewers pre publication.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

KP: I have a LOT of energy and I am very excited about Tennessee Tails.  I am going to do everything I can and just run on the excitement for fuel! My job as a veterinarian keeps me focused and I have learned a lot about multitasking in it.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

I am an avid reader, so the first time I saw my book for sale next to all the other books on an online retailer, it really hit me. I felt so excited and overwhelmed. I remember wanting to shout from the rooftops and I took a picture of the listing.

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

KP: Somehow I guess I thought that people would automatically know about my book and want to read it. I have a love affair with books and animals and since my book combines them, I guess I thought everyone would just know about it instantly. I never realized how much work and patience were involved in getting the word out.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

KP: Good : When I was asked to speak at the vet school, I was pretty excited. I remember being a student in the very room I will speak.

Bad: When I first contacted potential publicists, the very first one instantly replied to my inquiry that she did NOT handle books that had already been published. It made me feel very small.

PJ: Isn’t that interesting? I haven’t heard that one before. With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

KP: The stories do not have “fluff” to make them better. They are entertaining, touching and honest and I tried hard to make it an easy read that reaches any animal lover’s heart.

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

KP: Always follow your dreams. Never give up and believe in yourself.

PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

KP: I think that I am the most important tool in promotion. If I am not willing to put forth effort, the promotion will fail.

PJ: I must admit, your enthusiasm is quite contagious! What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

KP: Patience has been the biggest challenge for me in the whole process. Everything moves slower than I would like.

PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?

KP: Sadly we do not.

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:TT cover

Just the one, Tennessee Tails

Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

Stories about pets and the people whose lives are made better because of their relationships. Just like people, pets have their own tales to tell if we watch and listen. There is always something that we can learn from each other.

Where can we buy it?

Amazon. Kindle http://tinyurl.com/tennesseetails

Barnes and Noble. com  http://tinyurl.com/qehzowd

and I have copies in my animal hospital where many of the stories took place.

What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

These stories are so close to my heart, I even had a hard time changing the names to protect privacy. I wanted to relay them faithfully as I remember them. I guess you could say that “literary license” was a hard concept for someone as completely guileless as I am! Since I am still the owner and primary vet at Applebrook Animal Hospital, my work is always “to be continued.”

I am, admittedly, a pet lover. Dogs and cats especially. But even if you’re not a pet lover, I bet you know someone who’d love this book!

Cemetery Whites is a Genial Genealogy Mystery

Cemetery Whites CoverCemetery Whites is a Genial Genealogy Mystery by Connie Knight

Reviewed by Denise Hartman

Recently widowed Caroline Hargrove Hamilton leaves Houston to go back to her roots in DeWitt County outside San Antonio.  Her research sojourn is interrupted by a modern day murder at the old family cemetery and eventually she finds family history and mystery intertwined.  Urged on by her family and with the help of the attractive Constable, Caroline dusts off her journalism skills to uncover the true story.

Connie Knight populates her story with believable and entertaining characters including gun-toting Great Aunt Hettie, Uncle Cotton and the local librarian.  She provides a back-drop of information about the Texas colonies and the influence of Spain and Mexico, which makes for a good read and an entertaining way to get a dose of Texas history.  Knight takes us along on Caroline’s quest through cemeteries, libraries, census records and, of course, the Internet.  She discovers relatives with secrets small and large, new and old.  Some who will take time before confiding in a newcomer.

The writing is authentic, like getting a letter from a friend and following her adventures

The descriptions of the heat, the light and the plants are particularly good.  Sometimes she wanders off onto a tangent but it seems totally natural and conversational with the detours providing background and layers to the two stories past and present.  Reveling in the language, she cites vernacular phrases, such as  “We how did but we ain’t shook” and captures well the various voices of the countryside.

This book is a treat for anyone who has ever explored genealogy.  From the researching and organizing of materials to the decoding and matching of references, the reader gets drawn into the process.  There are surprising connections and the ultimate thrill of discovery plus the solving of two crimes.  Worth reading.

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Caroline-Hargrove-Hamilton-ebook/dp/B00CIB2PYS/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1371565605&sr=8-1&keywords=cemetery+whites

An interview with Sherria Grubbs

Sherria GrubbsSherria L. Grubbs lives in North Carolina with her husband.  She is a teacher in one of North Carolina’s public school systems.  She has been writing poetry since she was in the sixth grade as a release and to lift her spirits. She considered her writing more of a hobby than a gift until recently, when she began sharing her poems with others.  Through the encouragement of her daughter and husband, she was inspired to create a book of her poems to share with others.  It is her belief that the poems she writes comes straight from the heart! http://deepconnectionsbook.com

PJ: How long have you been writing?

 

SG: I started writing poetry when I was about 12 years old, but at the age of 16 was when I began to write and keep my poems in a journal.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

 

SG: I don’t know if I have ever reached that place.  I did begin to feel like I had something worth sharing maybe about a year or two ago.

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

 

SG: When I started, I didn’t have any expectations.  However, with that being said, it is more than what I expected it to be, if that makes any sense.

PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

 

SG: My focus is really just about reaching people.  I feel like if something in my book can touch someone in some way, then it is worthy of publishing.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

 

SG: I don’t know if I would do anything differently.  I think things happen the way they are supposed to, so I am not sure I would do something differently.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

 

SG: This is hard and something that I am still struggling with.  Finding the time to do everything that needs to be done as it relates to my book and new material is very difficult so I just try to take one day at a time and get done what I can and somehow it all works out in the end.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

 

SG: One of the most exciting things that happened to me as a writer was when a much older lady wrote me a poem to thank me for writing my book and for sharing her life story/my life story with her!

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

 

SG: I think the most difficult thing for me as a writer was finding out that not all publishing companies are honest and loyal to authors.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

 

SG: The most memorable thing for me while promoting my work was my book release party.  It was amazing, the turn out was amazing and ended up being standing room only.  Everyone who helped out were like angels sent from God.  They helped to make my book release party the most memorable and best event that I ever had!

PJ: With more books being released each  month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

 

SG: I think my book says things that people feel but are afraid to say and because of this many people can relate to it!  My book unlike others speaks to the heart

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

 

SG: Don’t give up.  If your desire is to have your work published, believe it and it will happen despite whatever obstacles may come your way.Deep Connections

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:
Deep Connections: A Book Of Poetry Straight From The Heart

Where can we buy it?
www.deepconectionsbook.comamazon.com, and barnesandnobles.com

PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

 

SG: I’m not sure if no one knows this but I am very transparent in my book and it truly is a book of poems that come straight from my heart!

Author bios made easy by Kris Bock

Kris Bock

Kris Bock

Kris Bock on Bios Made Easy

Louie Scribbler grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. He currently lives in Seattle and works at the University of Washington. He has paid the bills with jobs such as loan officer, furniture mover and fry cook while waiting for his big break as a writer. Louie enjoys hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and baseball. The father of three grown children, he lives with his lovely wife Rachel and over 5,000 books.

I discovered something while coordinating writing conferences:  Even published authors often do not know how to write a good bio. This should be the easiest thing in the world—if we can write at all, surely we can write about ourselves. And yet, whether through modesty, carelessness or overwriting, many author bios fail. The bio above is full of information and may even be entertaining, but it doesn’t do its job.

What is the job? To sell yourself and your books. Keep that focus in mind and the rest will follow.

Content: List your books. You’d be surprised at how many authors skip this part. This is your chance to advertise! If you have lots of books, stick to the three or four that are most popular and currently in print, or first books in a series.

People are more likely to look for your book if they know it fits a genre they like. Titles aren’t always clear by themselves. “Death in Russia” could be a mystery, biography, history, historical fiction, or political analysis. Specify the genre.

List awards, but don’t get carried away. If each book has four or five minor awards mentioned, the reader bogs down in dull details. List the most prestigious, or combine them – “Ms. Inkslinger’s books have received 11 Readers’ Choice Awards from various states.”

Relevancy: In general, stick to writing-related information. If someone is considering buying your book or coming to hear you speak, they want to know your success as a writer or speaker. They’re probably not interested in the names of your pets. And since most children write or tell stories, the fact that you’ve been writing since age 7 isn’t terribly impressive.

If you do include personal data, put your professional information first. Don’t start with your hobbies or childhood, unless it directly relates to your book. (For example, you’re a nurse and you wrote a hospital drama.) This is also not the place to thank your parents or spouse for their support. Save that for your book dedications.

 

Style: Focus on the information. Humor and lively writing are fine, but don’t get so wrapped up in sounding “literary” that important facts get buried or forgotten. A touch of formality may be appropriate here—you’re trying to portray yourself as a professional. Pretend you’re someone else writing about you. Write in the third person. “Bard Wordsmith is an award-winning author….”

If you’re releasing your own PR, you can be as zany as you like. If your bio will be one of many in a conference brochure, the designer probably wants some consistency of style. You may need different bios for different uses—playful on a book flap; professional for a newspaper article; focused on your teaching experience for a conference catalog; praising your writing success for a booksigning.

 

Length: Unless you’re asked for a certain length of bio, keep it short and to the point. An editor may shorten your writing to save space, so put the most important information in the first sentence. This may include the topic of your presentation and/or the name of one book (the most recent, the most popular, or the one you’ll be presenting).

If your bio will stand alone, on an individual brochure or flyer, you might use 100-200 words. If your bio will appear along with others, 50-100 words is plenty. Any more and some people will skip ahead (you’ll also annoy the person designing the material, who may make arbitrary cuts). Include your website for people who want more information.

To get started, make a list of the facts that you want to share—the items that are most impressive and relevant to your career. Then write a simple, straightforward paragraph that includes them. As in all good writing, communication comes first.

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.

What We Found: When Audra stumbles on a murdered woman in the woods, more than one person isn’t happy about her bringing the crime to light. She’ll have to stand upWhat-we-found-cover-small for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. But with danger all around, some risks are worth taking.

Whispers in the DarkKylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the dark. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love.

Grey Dawn: A Dulcie Schwartz Feline Mystery By Clea Simon

Simon Clea Grey DawnGrey Dawn: A Dulcie Schwartz Feline Mystery

By Clea Simon

Severn House

June 2013000_Clea.glasses

Harvard Square on a late November night would not have seemed so ominously spooky had Harvard graduate student Dulcie Schwartz not been spending her evenings transcribing the haunting ghost story of a handwritten manuscript possibly written by the author central to Dulcie’s doctoral thesis.  However, the need to grade the student papers that she had forgotten in her office sends her back to the campus building and has her braving the lonely night and jumping at the sound that seems all to reminiscent of a wolf’s howl.  A startling confrontation with her advisor Martin Thorpe frightens her into a sprint home, a childish reaction that seems all too sensible when she learns the following day that a woman was attacked that night barely two blocks away and Thorpe denies ever having been present nearby.

Even more disconcerting is Dulcie’s discovery that the woman had red-hair like herself and eerily enough like the “flame-haired” character in the manuscript.  While Dulcie’s boyfriend Chris Sorenson attempts to reassure her she is extremely disturbed by the combination of her melodramatic mother’s prophetic warning to be wary of the wolf and the possible ghostly cautioning by Dulcie’s beloved cat Grey.  Grey may no longer live in this world but his protective spirit has never left Dulcie and continues to guide and appear whenever she needs him the most.

Simon perfectly combines gothic elements with an academic mystery to create a completely unique and compelling novel.  All of the characteristics of classic gothic mysteries that are present in the manuscript Dulcie studies come vividly to life in her own world, but she is comforted by the thoughts of her new kitten Esme and the always protective spirit of Grey.  Just as entertaining are the infighting and political machinations that exist in an Ivy League college and have her advisor’s position at risk to more popular academics with impressive published accreditations to their names.  The relaxed pace of the novel appropriately falls in line with a classic gothic novel and builds up to a surprising confrontation that threatens both Dulcie’s life and the work she is determined to complete.  This is a very unique mystery that blends aspects of gothic novels and academic mysteries and will please readers with affection for compassionate and protective animal companions.

Earl Staggs

Earl Staggs

Earl Staggs earned a long list of Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year.  He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, is a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.  Email: earlstaggs@sbcglobal.net

Interview with Tall Chambers

by Earl Staggs

Recently, I’ve been intrigued by authors interviewing their characters.  I thought it was such a neat and interesting thing to do I decided to interview Tall Chambers, the main character in my Mystery/Thriller novel, JUSTIFIED ACTION.Justified Action

JUSTIFIED ACTION is a serious novel dealing with serious issues.  Tall works for an agency which tracks terrorists and puts them out of business before they strike.  He puts all that aside, however, when someone close to him is murdered.  Then it becomes a personal matter and nothing will stop Tall from finding the killer.

In spite of the seriousness of the story, I decided to have some fun with this interview.  I think you’ll learn a little about Tall and the story that plays out in the book.  I also hope you’ll find a chuckle and a grin along the way.

* * * * *

EARL  — Thanks for coming in for this interview, Tall. (stands, smiles, offers hand)

 

TALL  —  (shakes hands, sits) Not at all.  Thanks for inviting me.  Nice place you have here. What do you do?

EARL – I’m a writer. I sit here at my computer all day and punch out stories.

TALL – Interesting. Good luck with that, Carl.

EARL —  Uh. . .it’s Earl.

TALL – Sorry.

EARL – That’s okay, but speaking of first names, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get that unusual one you have?

TALL  –  I don’t mind a bit.  A lot of people ask me about that.  My real name is Tallmadge, an old family name my mother picked out. As soon as I was old enough to talk, I asked people to shorten it to Tall. Everyone did  (grins) . . .except Mom, of course.

EARL  –So it’s not just because you actually are tall.

TALL  – No. I’ve been six foot three since I turned fifteen, but I was thin as a stick. In fact, my nickname was “Splinter.”  In the Army, I learned how to exercise and work out to build myself up.  I still work out an hour or two a day when I can.  I don’t want to become like one of those people who sit at a computer all day and. . .sorry.  No offense.

EARL  – Oh, none taken.  I really should exercise once in a while.  Do you miss the Army?

TALL  – Yes, I do. I didn’t agree with everything they did, but I felt part of something important and thought that in some small way, I could make a difference.

EARL —  But you left the Army. Why?

TALL —  I was reprimanded and demoted for striking a superior officer.

EARL – Oh, my.  Why on earth would you do that?

TALL – I had no choice.  He was doing something that could have ruined his career.  I only wanted to stop him, but he started throwing punches at me.  I threw one back and that was the end of the fight and my career in the Army.

EARL  – I understand after you left the Army, you joined a special agency that does something pretty important.

TALL  – The agency I’m with now is not one of those everyone knows about like the CIA or FBI. This agency keeps a low profile. Very few people even know it exists. I hope you understand I can’t say much about it.

EARL  – So, if you told me, you’d have to kill me?  (laughs)

TALL  – (shrugs – doesn’t laugh)

EARL  – (gulps)  Okay, moving right along.  Can you tell us what this agency does?

TALL  – We track subversive and terrorist groups both here and overseas.  If we determine they’re a threat to innocent lives, we put them down.

EARL  – (grins)  When you say “put them down,” do you mean. . .?

TALL  – (shrugs – doesn’t grin)  Unfortunately, most of them choose to die for their cause rather than go to prison, so we accommodate them. If they want to meet Allah and collect their virgins, we put them in the express lane.

EARL  – (gulps) I see. How do you feel about that?

TALL  – I don’t enjoy it, but it’s necessary. We have a motto:  kill one terrorist, save a hundred lives.  After a while, you learn to think about the lives saved, not those taken.

EARL  – How do you go about doing. . .uh. . .what you do?

TALL  – The usual. Guns, explosives, whatever it takes.

EARL  –  The book is called Justified Action. Is it all about taking out terrorists?

TALL  – (hesitates, looks away) No, not for me. Someone very close to me is murdered. After that, my only focus is finding the people responsible and making things right. I use the resources of the agency, but it’s completely my own personal operation.

EARL  – (gulps)  When you say “making things right,” do you mean. . . ?

TALL  – (shrugs – doesn’t reply)

EARL  – So are you able to find who was responsible and make them pay?

TALL  – (looks away again) Not exactly. It gets complicated. A lot of people are involved, some in high places.

EARL  – How high?

TALL  – As high as you can go.  I can’t say any more than that. I hope you understand.

EARL – I understand completely.  Let me ask you about—

TALL — (looks at watch, stands up) I’m sorry, but I have to go now. I have a job to do just across the street. (smiles, extends hand)

EARL  – (stands, shakes hands)  Uh, okay.  Just across the street? When you say you “have a job to do,” do you mean. . . ?

TALL  –(turns, walks to door)  You’ll hear a lot of noise. I wouldn’t go outside for a while.

EARL  –(gulps, watches him go)

* * *

Thanks for letting me take up some space here, PJ.  I enjoy the interviews and articles you do, and I appreciate the opportunity to make an appearance.

If I may, I’d like to invite your readers to come over and visit my website where they can:

. . . . .read Chapter One of JUSTIFIED ACTION featuring Tall Chambers.

. . . . .read Chapter One of my Mystery novel, MEMORY OF A MURDER.

. . . . .read a short story called “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer.” Some say it’s the funniest story I’ve ever written.

. . . . .read another story there called “White Hats and Happy Trails,” about the day I spent with my boyhood idol, Roy Rogers.  There’s even a picture of me with Roy to prove it’s all true.

. . . . .and more.

Here’s where:  http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com

 Hey Earl – you are welcome here any old time! And how bout this all of ya’ll who’ve now had the pleasure of meeting Tall Chambers. Why don’t you leave us a comment and tell us who you think he looks like? Better yet, send a photo! I bet I can wrangle Earl into a drawing for something free for someone. Let’s hear it!

Review: Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey

fey_floats-the-dark-shadowFloats the Dark Shadow

by Yves Feyauthor-yves-fey

ISBN-13: 978-1937356200

BearCat Press (August 31, 2012)

Ever since seeing this book’s gorgeous trailer…

I’d been eager to read it, wondering if it could possibly live up to its preview. Let me tell you, it does not disappoint. Yves Fey is a consummate artist. Her passionate, enthralling world fully involved all my senses—including the sixth. Fair warning: that enthrallment included “the fascination of the abomination” in unstinting measure.

Set in Belle Epoch Paris in 1897, here’s how the story starts: “Gilles unlocked the scorched oak door and raised his lantern, illuminating the staircase that coiled down to the dungeons of the chateau. Underneath the smell of ashes, of damp stone and lantern oil, he inhaled traces of other odors. Mold, urine, and feces, Clotted gore. Fear. The fetid bouquet blossomed in his nostrils. Repugnance entwined with anticipation.”

“Repugnance entwined with anticipation”: Gilles feels this and often so does the reader. Fey’s prose is vastly more than words on paper, vividly evoking odors, images, sounds, sensations (on the skin), and feelings (in the heart)—as many of them sinister as sumptuous. Her work clearly has been impeccably researched and fully imagined, in meticulous detail. Like the mists of Paris in the novel, these details constantly swirled, coalesced, disappeared, and reappeared in new forms in my mind. After this, my imagined Paris will always be the City of Light and Shadow.

The book’s multisensory richness is more than matched by emotional energy and complexity rarely found in characters outside the classics. The passion of some scenes nearly sets the pages on fire. There’s not a predictable personality in sight—though there are some you’ll recognize, since Fey weaves in historical figures such as Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, and the infamous child murderer Gilles de Rais, he of the “gore-sodden soul” (a compound adjective worthy of Homer).

For an expanded experience, log onto http://yvesfey.com/, the most beautiful website I’ve ever seen. You’ll be able to visit the mysterious Paris of Theo, Averill, and Michel (depicted by artists of the Belle Epoch); read and hear its poetry; and learn about its history, customs, and institutions.

All in all, Floats the Dark Shadow exerted an irresistible allure that enveloped me totally—exactly what I want from a novel. I understand this book is the first in a series. As soon as I reached the last page, I was longing for the sequel.