The BEST OF List…

There are so many lists I want to be on…

Untitled design

There are so many lists I want to be on. Honestly, this time of year, it’s sort of important to be on the right list, if you know what I mean.

With Christmas just around the corner, I want to be on the Nice List… I’m usually on that list, but sometimes it takes a little more effort than what I’d like to admit, being the youngest and having a natural talent for all manner of mischief. I have to say, though, being the youngest I’m an easy scapegoat. Sometimes I ended up on the Naughty List by faulty circumstantial evidence. Like the time my late Uncle Al caught me looking at Grandma’s frog garden. Oh, man, he was angry!

I was terrified of that man. He was big and was always growling about something. It wasn’t much later – at his funeral, in fact – that I learned that it had been my cousin, Kent, who kept throwing Grandma’s frogs down the well… You see, I was nice, but by circumstance, I was a suspect.

Finalist lists are always exciting to be on, too. But you do have to pay attention, because sometimes, you actually win! When my talented author friend, Lisa Souza, called me up one afternoon to congratulate me on winning a literary award, I laughed. You see, I hadn’t expected it – and really, heard what she said. The conversation went something like this:

Lisa: “Hey, girlfriend, congratulations on the win!”

Me: “Oh, thanks. I’m in Seattle now with the fam. When are we getting together?”

Lisa Souza
The multi-talented Lisa Souza.

Lisa: “Tomorrow, remember?”

Me: “Oh yeah! See ya’ soon. Bye.”

Five minutes later, I call her back….

Me: “What did you say?”

Lisa: “You WON a literary award. Got the email about it today. Gah, I knew you weren’t listening!”

Me: “Wow.”

Guest Lists are nice to be on as well. The first thing anyone who knows me might guess, is I’m a total introvert. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t seem like it, right? That’s because I’ve worked on my social skills. Plus, I’m old enough to drink. So if my skills fail me, alcohol comes in handy. And if alcohol just ends up making me look like an absolute fool, there’s always Lorazepam.

Anyway, it’s important to handle anxiety so when those invitations come, you don’t freak out. When you freak out too often, your friends might mistake your behavior for lack of interest, or a “problem”. (Especially if you pass out in the hotel bathroom for hours and Security calls the Fire Department to break down the door in order to haul your toxic ass out of there. Hey – that never happened to me, I’m just saying…)

But the greatest list of all is Blondie and the Brit‘s BEST of List! I’m so proud that my episode on the show earned me the privilege of being mentioned here. It delights me! I had so much fun taping.  I hope you enjoy it, too. Here it is – Episode 65, just for you!

 

 

The Amazing Adam Vine . . .

Video game writer/designer by day, horror author by night. Sounds like a super hero, right? Drum roll please . . . It’s the Amazing Adam Vine!

Adam Vine

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Adam, and I’m glad I did! Please read on and enjoy . . .

Anderson: So, what made you start writing?

Vine: My elementary school teachers. I started drawing and writing comics about my dog around the age of six or seven. My neighbor Joey and I would hand out and create comics together, which was our favorite thing to do other than play his Sega Genesis, since my parents didn’t let me have video games until I was a teenager. I finished my first novel when I was eleven. It was about the Second Coming of God and her battle to slay a time-devouring demon. I was into that kind of stuff.

Anderson: That’s awesome! What do you like most about writing? And, what do you like the least? 

Vine: I enjoy really hitting my stride and finishing a scene or chapter in one sitting. My least favorite is editing, because for years I was a tinkerer, and never finished anything I started that wasn’t a plate of food.

Anderson: I hear you. Tell us a little bit about your work – novels, short stories, screenplay?

Vine: My first novel Lurk is a scary story about a depressed college kid who unwittingly discovers a means of watching his best friends without their knowledge – and old box of Polaroid pictures he finds Lurk cover by Adam Vineburied in his basement, which is more than it seems at first glance. Essentially, it is a possession story told through the eyes of the one being possessed.
Everything I write contains something disturbing or macabre. My goal in any story is to make the reader pause and make a face. I think that if you are aiming higher than that, you’ve lost the path. Storytelling can and should be much more than just the big surprise, the epic quote, or the bloody climax in which the entrails spill, but at the base level, those moments are what give the audience their reward for experiencing your work, which is a sense of awe. We’re like drug pushers out here. Before pretension, a story must first and foremost entertain.
Aside from horror, I’ve also published novellas, short stories, and flash fiction in other genres, from dark fantasy to science fiction and romance.

Anderson: Where do your stories come from?

Vine: I draw from my lived experiences, or my knowledge of relevant social issues. I get my best ideas while out walking.

Anderson: Are you going to write a series, or stick with stand alone novels?

Vine: My next project is book one of a series, a dark portal fantasy set in Eastern Europe, tentatively titled Corruption. Think “Chronicles of Narnia” with more sex and death.

Anderson: That’s going to be fun. Protagonist or antagonist, which character is your favorite, and why?

Vine: Antagonist, for sure. Villains interest me more than heroes.

Anderson: I would like to know a little about your writing process, can you take me through a good writing day?

Vine: Wake up, get stoked on the coffee, and then try to hit 1500 words before I leave the house. How many words I can write in a session really depends on the scene. Some scenes come out well lubed, because they’re all dialog, or they’re already in my head. Action scenes, or scenes that I haven’t visualized very well, take me Macchina da scriverelonger to write. In the afternoon, once I’ve finished everything I need to do for my day job, I will try to write another 1000 words, but that only happens on good days.

Anderson: That’s impressive! Hey, who is your author idol? Who would you most like to emulate in your work?

Vine: Gene Wolfe. I read everything from Stephen King to David Mitchell, to Ania Ahlborn, to Cormac McCarthy . . . but G.W. is my all-time favorite.

Anderson: If you could meet any literary character from any time, any place, who would you like to meet, and why?

Vine: Tyrion Lannister, so I can step up my drunken quip game.

Anderson: Hahaha – I would want to meet Tyrion as well, but for other reasons! What’s your favorite way to promote your work?

Vine: I’m a toddler at promoting my stuff online. My highest sale days of Lurk have all coincided with someone publishing a review, so I’ll go with “reviews”. The quotation marks are there to be a sly nudge for you to go read my book and write one yourself. Seriously, I’ll wash your car.

Anderson: My car could use a bit of a spiff-up, and honestly, I hope ten thousand people go buy your book and write their reviews! That would be awesome!

Okay, so now we’re going to do a quick-fire round (thanks to Suzanne Kelman and KJ Waters) to help us get to know you a little more. Ready? Let’s do it!

  1. Coffee or tea? I love it best black, strong, and bitter, because coffee makes me run to the  . . . one document.
  2. Carrots or beets? Beets. I used to live in Poland.
  3. Dogs or cats? Dogs. I smile at them more than people.
  4. E-reader or paperback? E-reader, because I can eat with it.
  5. James Bond or Hellboy? Hellboy.
  6. Military espionage or zombies? Not a zombie guy, personally.
  7. Ford or Chevy? Ford.
  8. Pepsi or Coke? Coke.
  9. Puzzles or Crosswords? Do HOPA games counts? (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures – find out more here.)
  10. Running or Zoomba? BJJ – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Bio:

Adam Vine was born in Petaluma, California. By day, he is a video game writer and designer. He has lived in four countries and visited almost thirty. His short fiction has appeared in various horror, science fiction, and literary fiction magazines and anthologies. When he is not writing, he is traveling, reading something icky, or teaching himself to play his mandolin. He currently resides in Boston.

 

Synopsis of Lurk:

Drew Brady never wanted the power to spy on his friends. But late one New Year’s Eve, he finds a box of old Polaroid pictures buried in the basement of his college house. Drew has found a window into another world, and now the pictures are showing him things he shouldn’t see.
The pictures have the power to let him watch his three roommates and his best friend, Bea during their most private moments, and the more he watches, the more he is powerless to look away.
Drew begins to suspect there is something underneath his house that is manipulating him through the pictures. A dark, eldritch thing that feeds off depression and weakness. A thing that is pulling him down into a hole he will never be able to climb out of, a thing that will drive him to hurt the people he loves most. Can he stop it before it’s too late?

 

Social Media:

http://www.theadamvine.com

http://www.twitter.com/chillopticon

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14421346.Adam_Vine

 

The Amazing Suzanne Kelman!

This week multi-award winning author and screenwriter, Suzanne Kelman, has been blog-hopping to celebrate the re-release of her very funny book, The Rejected Writers Book Club on March 29th. It’s been a week full of fun! Today I’ve asked Suzanne to drop in and let us know what she’s been up to.

Friends, I give you Suzanne Kelman…

Suzanne Kelman scarf photo

Anderson:  When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Kelman: Writing actually decided it wanted me, I totally fell into it, which means I was on a different path when I veered, fell into a word pothole and have been trying to find my way out ever since. I’m still surprised every day that what I am, because it has a real title. I have re-invented myself so many times in my life I’m not used of having a job with a real title. I often feel like a kid trapped overnight in a chocolate factory, may as well eat everything around me as it’s only a matter of time before someone realizes the Emperor has no words.

Anderson:  Funny! I counted 9 awards on your website – what was your favorite award and what was it for?

Kelman: Ok, so I had to go and count, too, and actually I have 11 not sure if they are all on my website, that is awesome, I had no idea there were that many. I’m always amazed about that. I have two favorite awards, the first is the first one I ever won, that was “Best Comedy Feature Film at the International Film Festival” I loved it because it was my very first award and I had to go up on stage and collect it and give a speech. And I was so shocked I had won I forgot my best friends name who had come with me. The second is the fact I placed in the Academy of Motion Pictures – Nichols Fellowship last year. Just because it’s so cool to say “Academy of Motion Pictures” and also I have a little gold Oscar stamped on the award they sent me! He is awesome! My own little Oscar man.

Anderson: Your own little Oscar man! That’s fantastic! By the way, you have one cool website. Everyone needs to go to http://www.suzannekelman.com right away! – Who did your website?

Kelman: A very unknown slow, technically challenged author called Suzanne Kelman. She’s not very good I’m thinking of giving her the boot. But thank you for popping over to visit.

RWBC meme

Anderson: Who’s your literary hero?

Kelman: You are Sharon:-) Was that the right answer? … AND right after you would be (living) JK Rowlings just because of all she has managed to achieve in her career, and my dead hero would be Jane Austin – for exactly the same reason. She is still getting reviews on Goodreads I noticed the other day, here’s hoping I’m still getting reviews on Goodreads 400 years after I’m dead!

Anderson: Great answers!  If you could magically insert yourself into some literary book/world, where would you go? And who would you be?

Kelman: Oh, I love this question, and a movie script may come out of it if I give this too much thought. I think I would love to slip into a bunch of childrens books that somehow became one Never-ending story (like the way I added that one in). So something like this, I would follow a white rabbit down a rabbit hole and come up on the Dawntreader sailing to Treasure Island where we would meet 101 Dalmatians that were eating green eggs and ham in Oz, or something along those lines. Ok, and that is how my mind works. Scary even for me!

Anderson: That would be amazing! If you could write one more story in your lifetime, what would it be about?

Kelman: I still really want to write something classical and historic. I am torn between a Victorian murder mystery or a twist on a classic, you know what happened the day after a famous story ends. I will do this one day, but it would take a lot of work and research and that’s why I haven’t done it yet.

Anderson: That would be cool. You should do that in your spare time . . . Since it’s St Patrick’s Day, give us your favorite recipe to celebrate the occasion…

Kelman: My husband’s birthday is on St Patrick’s Day so we normally eat birthday cake. But for the interests of keeping up the premise here is my recipe for Bubble and Squeak an English favorite, especially on Monday night as it uses all the leftovers from a Sunday dinner. And it has corn beef in it so I think it counts. It is particularly good with Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes.

Cornbeef Bubble and Squeak
bubble and squeak
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
Leftover cooked potatoes (mashed, roasted, and/or boiled), chopped if needed
Leftover vegetables (cabbage, carrots, Brussel sprouts etc.) chopped*
Leftover Corned Beef (or left over pork or other beef) chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
In a medium to large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the potatoes, cabbage, carrots, corned beef, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Press mixture down with your spatula and let fry approximately 8 to 10 minutes to allow browning. Turn mixture over and press down with your spatula again. Allow to fry an additional 6 to 8 more minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.
Remove from heat, season with additional salt and pepper (if desired), and serve.
Excellent served with Irish Soda Bread.

Anderson: Happy birthday to Mr. Suzanne Kelman! Thanks for the great recipe–it’s mouth-watering! . . . Okay, you’re from Great Britain, and you know we Yanks LOVE the accent. How do you feel about our accents? What’s your favorite state-side accent? What is it about accents anyway?

Kelman: I think it’s funny when people tell me they don’t have an accent. As though America is some sort of neutral point. But everyone has an accent, to an English person every American has an American accent.  I forget I have one until people remind me, on the whole it works for me people think I’m very intelligent so I’m happy with that. I’m thinking people here should stop paying for college degrees and instead get out a tape on British accents from the library, it will be cheaper and will work wonders for their career. I love strong accents, anything in the South, that is one of the reasons I added Southern twins in my book.

Anderson: Tell us something about yourself that most people would never guess?

Kelman: I have a very bubbly personality so people are always surprised to know I’m actually an introvert. I am never happier when alone for hours, days, years at a time.

Anderson: I hear you. We’ve met over wine before and we had so much fun, tell me, what would it take to actually have another date with you?

Kelman: Money works great, or the words “let me do your social media for you.” But, seriously we had so much fun when we got together, it would just take finding a way in our crazy schedules to do that. I always seem to be juggling way too many projects. Soon Sharon, soon.

Anderson: Wouldn’t that be great if there were little social media angels flying around, volunteering to make us look awesome? Hit me up, I actually know someone 😉   Okay, You and KJ Waters host a podcast, Blondie and the Brit… tell me, who was your favorite guest, and why?

Blondie and Brit logo

Kelman: Is that a trick question? Is the answer… Sharon Anderson? Actually, your interview was a great deal of fun, because YOU are so much fun and I still laugh about Vampires and Anime. But, if I had to choose someone it would have to be Terry Persun, for an arha moment he gave me. He talked about how he was is a constant process of observing life to create story, and I it was a big moment for me, as I am in a constant process of somersaulting through life, my mind is one never-ending to do list. Terry showed me a different way to move through the world. I’m not there yet, still doing double axels, but there is the hope of being there. (Listen to Terry Persun’s interview on Blondie and the Brit here.)

Anderson: What’s coming next for Suzanne Kelman? Suzanne Kelman phot

Kelman: Oh Crikey, where do I start. I have just finished a comedy mid-grade novel called the The Misadventures of Horace Higginbottom, I need to start shopping that. I also have a T.V. pilot that is in development and a feature film that I’m about to start work on and I’m working on book 2 of the Southlea Bay Series. Just spinning creative plates as always, though I love to work this way, I never get bored.

Anderson: Okay, your down time looks like my busiest day ever. . . So now, because I was a guest on your podcast (you can listen to that here) and you gave me a quick-fire round of questions, answer the following in one or two words: (Ready?)

1. Tea or cappuccino – What is cappuccino?
2. Roast beef or chicken – Roast Beef! With Yorkshire Pudding, Roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts. Now I want to go home to the U.K. and have Sunday lunch at my mums!
3. Boxers or briefs – Boxers they fit better on my head! All that elastic means I can pull my ponytail through a leg hole.
4. Sean Connery or Daniel Craig – Is this a trick question? Sean Connery all the way Daniel Craig is a light weight.
5. Bruce Willis Die Hard or Bruce Willis Red – LOL, When I actually figure out what this question means I will give you an answer… can I phone a friend?
6. Helen Mirren or Dame Judy Dench – Judy all the way! Love her in everything Helen’s Ok, but she’s no Judy.
7. Popcorn or Redvines – This is the hardest question so far! Popvines….
8. Haggis or Black pudding – I’m going to say Black pudding only because I haven’t had it for so long and believe it or not I had Haggis recently!
9. Lewis or Tolkien – Tolkien, Lord of the Rings was one of my most favorite stories as a child and I lived at the top of the road in England where Tolkien lived and set the Hobbit. It’s a lovely little mill town called
Sarehole and Tolkien grew up there and it was his inspiration for The Burrows.
10. Dogs or cats – Dogs but only because she would be mortified if I chose the cat and the cat is all like, “whatever, talk to the tail”!
11. Quick! Favorite Doctor Who – Tom Pertwee because he was The Dr. when I was young, so he’s “the real one” the other also just followed him.
12. Favorite holiday – Christmas, I’m missing it already, I have told my husband when I’m on my deathbed he has to put up the Christmas tree even if its July!

Thank you, Suzanne, for being a guest on my blog. We’ll have tea soon on the island, and it will be EPIC!

Suzanne Kelman is the author of “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club” and an award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Her accolades include The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences – Nicholl Fellowship Finalist, Best Comedy Feature Script – L.A. International Film Festival and Gold Award Winner – California Film Awards.

Book Synopsis Rejected Writers' Book Club coverLibrarian Janet Johnson is puzzled when she is invited—and practically dragged—to her first meeting of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club. This quirky group of women would much rather celebrate one another’s rejected manuscripts over cups of tea and slices of lemon cake than actually publish a book. But good friends are exactly what Janet needs after moving to the small town of Southlea Bay, Washington. Just as the ladies are about to raise a teacup to their five hundredth rejection letter, they receive bad news that could destroy one member’s reputation—and disband the group forever. To save the club, Janet joins her fellow writers on a wild road trip to San Francisco in search of the local publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret. As they race to the finish line, they’ll face their fears—landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers, ungrateful children—and have the time of their lives.

Here’s how to find everything great about Suzanne!
IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5882992/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Blog http://www.whidbeylifemagazine.org/suzanne-kelman/
Twitter http://twitter.com/@goody2prod
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Goody-2-Productions
Linked in http://www.linkedin.com/pub/suzanne-kelman/32/23a/860
Amazon  http://ow.ly/Zm6XL  

Blondie and the Brit Podcast Interview is LIVE, baby!

It is always good to surround yourself with like-minded people. After all, no one understands an engineer joke better than a fellow engineer. Cooks have their own brand of hilarity, too.

blondie and the brit image

Creatives? Well, let me just tell you, I was recently interviewed by KJ Waters and Suzanne Kellman for their podcast, Blondie and the Brit, and that was the most fun I have had in a very long time!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:  Listen to Blondie and the Brit here!

 

The Fabulous February Grace!

I have known for a long time that writers are a rare breed of folk. From my volunteer work with Skagit Valley Writers League to Whidbey Island Writers Association and the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts to brick and mortar book sellers: authors create as much community as they can, helping each other, encouraging each other–making sure we all have a voice uniquely our own, and through our critique groups, making sure our commas are in the right places…

 

full res author photo BW - smaller

I was approached by an outstanding author, February Grace, recently for an interview. It’s exciting really – to be interviewed by such an amazing author! Here is the link to what we talked about on her vibrant and brilliant Clockwork Conversations. I thought you might like to get to know the author behind all the fabulousness that is February Grace.

So, without further ado, here is the dazzling Ms. Grace …

 

WISHING CROSS STATION COVER HIGH RES FULL FINAL - small

February Grace is an author, poet, and artist from Southeast Michigan. In previous novels, she has introduced readers to characters with clockwork hearts, told of romantic modern-day fairy godparents, and reimagined a legend, centuries old. Now, in her fifth novel with Booktrope, readers will board the special at WISHING CROSS STATION and embark on a trip through time. She is more than mildly obsessed with clocks, music, colors, meteor showers, and steam engines.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

FG: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy a house in Golden Oak, which is a new housing development that is right INSIDE Walt Disney World. Yes, for a price (a pretty one LOL)  you can actually live at Walt Disney World. That would be my dream come true… to always be within fifteen minutes of EPCOT and The Magic Kingdom… I can’t think of anything that could be more amazing than that. Because I grew up on Disney, going back there always feels like going home.

  1. What is the one thing that’s sure to make you smile and inspire you the most?

FG: When someone close to me say something encouraging to me about art or writing. It doesn’t have to happen often; I can go for ages on one positive, encouraging remark. Those times they say things like “Write what your heart tells you,” and “Paint what you want,” or “You don’t have anything to prove, tell the story you want to tell…” mean the world to me. As far as making me smile, my sweet little gray and white kitty hugging his favorite toy, a stuffed doll of Elsa from Frozen, never fails to do the trick. The cute, people. I tell you, it’s overwhelming, the cute.

  1. Who’s your favorite author? What’s your favorite genre? Why?

FG: Tough to nail it down– but I have to say I think my favorite author of all time was the poet Tennyson. If you’d asked me that question before I might have said Charlotte Bronte or Douglas Adams (and different as they are, they are in my top three with Lord Alfred) but there is just something about Tennyson’s words that cast a spell over me. I am very fond of non-fiction books as well, especially those about Temperament Theory. In that instance, Dr. Keirsey is my favorite author. So it varies.

Love stories and poems, of course, are my all time favorites to read but the good thing is that romance crosses genres so I can find it almost anywhere I want to. And if I can’t find the story I was looking for, sometimes I write it myself! :~)

  1. When thinking about your own work, are you most like Virginia Woolf, Laura Ingalls Wilder, J.D. Robb, or _______? Give us an example.

Ooo, that is a hard one. I honestly have no idea. I don’t compare myself to other writers when I’m writing because my characters tell the story– I just take dictation. I guess I would have to leave it up to my readers whether or not my work reminded them of anyone else’s and honestly, I think that I would find it the best thing of all if it didn’t. It would be amazing to have my work thought of as having a voice of its own.

  1. Who is your favorite character?

In one of my books or in any book in general? So difficult to choose. The easy answer is Jane Eyre but the more realistic answer is Arthur Dent from Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur is every man/person, you can relate to his struggles in a very human way. And no one wrote humor like Douglas Adams could.

  1. You work in two genres, fantasy and steampunk, is it fair to ask which one you like better? (sorry I had to ask )

I actually consider my main genre to be romance. I wrote a literary romance with Steampunk embellishments, (Godspeed) and I wrote a duology about modern fairy godparents (Of Stardust and In Starlight) and those were fantasy romance. Then I wrote a very romantic fairy-tale retelling and now I am writing a fantasy/time travel story that is more than anything else also a romance. So though I don’t write contemporary romance, romance is definitely my focus in all my stories, love is the point of it all, to me, after all!

  1. Finish this sentence: I write because…

… I want to touch people’s hearts. I hope to give them something, or someone in the form of a character, to remember and treasure. If I can give readers a moment/experience like that, then there’s nothing more I could ask for as a writer or artist.

Thank you so much for having me as your guest!

~*~

You can learn more about February Grace and her writing by visiting her at www.februarywriter.blogspot.com or connecting on Twitter @februarygrace

Check out her books here – or go to your favorite bookseller!

Godspeed Barnes and Noble or Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of Stardust    Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Amazon,  Alibris, or Barnes and Noble

Birds and Books

There are many birds I feel drawn to. During my sojourn in San Francisco I haunted La Ville du Soleil on Grant Ave. Beautiful, eclectic shop filled yard sale items from the French countryside. I remember a marionette bridal party, eight pieces, gorgeously turned out in tuxedos and gowns, the entire bridal party had heads of different species of barnyard fowl. bird cage

One room was full of fine linens and tableware, beautiful ceramic mixing bowls and measuring cups, aprons and dishtowels. Another room contained costumes from the opera, chic, cool items I could never afford to add to my wardrobe. Further along, I found a wicker suitcases full of some forgotten family’s silver. The store had everything, and each room I investigated had its own music playing in the background – opera, 20s jazz, French mavens drawing out their love and loss.

It was heaven on earth to me. Along with the French charm, interspersed throughout the store, on the floor, on a table, were old-stylized cages of little finches chirping merrily along with the music. I fell in love with finches then…

 

But I also love peacocks – the very idea of them inspires me. People used to keep peacocks for their horrible calls when visitors would arrive. The birds served as watchdogs, alerting the family of any approach. I often wonder what my neighbors would think if I started in peacockraising peacocks… I can see them gracefully nesting on top of my trellis, screaming “Help!” to all who pass by.

Of course, here I must admit, I really only want the peacocks for their feathers. I know it’s somewhat Edwardian, keeping peacocks just for their feathers, but I can’t seem to help myself. I am mesmerized by the bird, their feathers in particular. Recently I visited an antique store across the river from where I live. Imagine my delight when I went up the rickety staircase, turned the corner and discovered a large urn filled with peacock feathers! At only a dollar a feather, this might go a long way in keeping the peace in my neighborhood… 

And of course, I adore pelicans! I even gave one a role in my first novel, Curse of the Seven 70s. This pelican acts as eyes and ears to my protagonist, Varo, when he is otherwise indisposed. I find it rather hilarious to pair a sexy male lead with a comical bird, don’t you? pelican blog

Kathleen Kaska, author of a series of mystery trivia companion books, Sydney Lockhart mysteries, and the nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, is an avid bird watcher. She recently interviewed me for her blog Birds and Books – please check it out! http://www.kathleenkaskawrites.blogspot.com/